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national legends. You are always so very obliging, I know that you will gratify me."

Very much affected by the empressement of the compliment, and with as much modesty of tone and gesticulation as it was possible for a susceptible Irishman to accomplish under the circumstances, I talked a deal about the impossibility of refusing such a request from such a quarter. "A sweet command,” said I, "coming in angelic accents, heralded by a smile too heavenly to be withstood by an anchorite" (I had been dining out that evening with the Member for Mayo, at Long's),—and on I went, like old Kean in a moment of melting softness, or Dick Shiel with the tears of Ireland in his throat. "As some poet," observed I, coming to the climax, "says somewhere of some fair lady,—

'From such sweet lips what precepts fail to move?'

"Oh, oh! Mr. O'Shaughnessy, you are outrageously flatteringOh! fie, fie, Sir! you impudent individual!" simpered the very much embarrassed object of my gallantry, which was getting beyond the verbal climax, and assuming a serious deportment; and she added something about Irish blarney and recklessness, which I now forget, for nearly at that moment her excellent mother made her appearance. The widow Lindon did not perceive her daughter blushing as innocently as a cat caught on the edge of a churn; and, as I kept whistling away and gazing, as if in historical admiration of an old picture of the Duke of Marlborough in a tie-wig and jack-boots-which, in justice to the artist, I should observe, always struck me as having been executed with a red-hot poker on a board-she thought me in one of my usual reveries, repeating Rule Britannia or St. Patrick's Day. The difference between these two nationals, not all the hurdy-gurdies in London could ever make her understand. I soon convinced her, however, that my thoughts were with my eyes, for I struck up in a tone of decided triumph

"Malbrouck s'en va-t-en guerre,

Mi ron ton, ton ton, mi ron taine;
Malbrouck s'en va-t-en guerre,

On n' sçait quand il reviendra!

Il riviendra à Pacques,

Mi ron ton, ton ton, mi ron taine,

Il riviendra à Pacques,

Ou a la Trinite!"

And this, for the special benefit of the widow, who was not such a polyglot as Lady Morgan, I gave according to Father Prout's happy rendering:

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My landlady expressed no astonishment, good easy woman,--for she was accustomed to my post-prandial hilarity, especially on those occasions when I had dined out; and she took in excellent part my further exuberance, when, waltzing with her round the room in gallant measure, and skipping the intermediate dialogue between the page and the lady, I proceeded with the only remaining portion of the funeral song of the great Marlborough which I remembered:"Je l'ai vu porter en terre,

Mi ron ton, ton ton, mi ron taine!
Je l'ai vu porter en terre
Par quatrez' officiers!"

"He's dead-he's dead as a herring!
For I beheld his 'berring,'
And four officers transferring
His corpse away from the field!"

After this, having given an Irish keen, I bade "good night to Marlborough," and sat down to manufacture a tumbler of my national beverage. As I deliberately poured in the alcohol and the element, having first put in the sugar (that's the ticket), and amalgamated the useful with the sweet, I reviewed my past life; and, lifting up the veil of the future, I shed a tear upon the sorrows of Spain.

My landlady was of a certain age, and a few years beyond it. She had been some time a lone woman; but she was not without a hope that she might not be long so. There is more in this negative style of putting the case than old bachelors are aware of:—

"For, though of some plumes bereft,
With her sun, too, nearly set,

She'd enough of light and wing still left

For a few gay soarings yet."

She had thrown her cap at the old Mark-lane broker, who occupied her first floor for the last seven years, and who, if he lived so long wedded or unblessed, was likely to occupy them for seven more.

My landlady's only daughter had arrived at that period of her teens when the girl begins to forget that she is but yet a child, and to dream that she is a woman. She had the good sense to profit by the little skill in music which I possessed; and during two pleasant winters which I passed under her mother's roof, we played the piano-forte together.

My ardent pupil used also to sing with me, until at length I taught her to give true expression to my own native melodies at least; and I prevailed on her, in the long run, to omit her r's at the end of the first vowel, as well as to leave off exasperating her h's. We also read French together during the long evenings, by her own fire-side, in the snug little parlour on the left-hand side of the hall as you entered the street-door. In return for my friendly tutorial offices, too willingly performed for the pleasure which they afforded me, I confess that I was made as happy as any poor bachelor of "one-and-twenty could possibly be in a London lodging-house. My hair-brushes were always clean-my collars never wanted a string-my shirts were always aired, and never wanted a button-my stockings never had a

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hole but the right one-my best coat (I should say my better one) was cleansed with crape, lest a brush might deal with the nap, as consumption too often does with beauty,

"Steal before the steps of time,

And waste its bloom away."

In fact, all my little domestic interests were attended to, and my most trifling wishes were anticipated. In addition, I dined very often by invitation with the family, which consisted exclusively of the two amiable individuals alluded to.


Ar this period of my wayward and eventful existence, now years ago, I had been awaiting in London the arrival from Ireland of a sum of money, small indeed, but sufficient for my simple purpose, the purchase of a soldier's outfit and a sword. My destination, on obtaining this necessary supply, was Madrid, there to join a guard regiment of Her Most Catholic Majesty's, which was commanded by a kinsman of mine by my mother's side, one who, since then, in the war of succession just brought to a close, has added to the honour of an old Hiberno-Iberian name.

During my sojourn in "the great metropolis," like many more of my poor young countrymen "shot down" in it by chance or the force of circumstances, I derived my principal support from my contributions to the Newspaper Press; and the readers of a certain weekly journal, famous principally, before my accession, for its palacekitchen and police reports, might have been surprised, on one occasion of great public excitement, to observe the dull editorial columns enlivened by the sparkling productions of an evidently young and fervid imagination. I should also mention that this particular hebdomadal was also purchased for its news of the fashion and scandal of high life; nor should I forget to record of its leading article, that no one could ever see the point or the principle of it, except that it invariably leaned towards the people in office and .6 the powers that be."

I have observed that its readers might have been surprised— surprised did I say?-the readers of the Slop, on the occasion alluded to, were astounded. One of them in particular, who used to read it every Sunday morning from the "title-head" to his own name in the "imprint"-for he was the proprietor-nearly lost his senses, and was only restored by copious phlebotomizing to something like tranquillity. When at length, after having been nearly bled to death, he opened his eyes, he ejaculated languidly-"That vagabond Irish penny-a-liner has committed me with the government; he has compromised the principles of the Slop!" The fact is that the Slop had no more principles than its name implied; and my principal contributions to it hitherto had been in the theatrical line. I was deemed so mild and good-natured in these my critiques, that I was now and then trusted with a leader which had nothing to say to things political. Of this kind was my article on the "burking" of the Italian Boy, which set all the old ladies in town in hysterics, and made cooks

and housemaids in the squares more liberal to the hurdy-gurdies. Then it was that Jocko had a welcome post on the area railings,—that dancing dogs looked up, and white mice were in requisition. I never shall forget that article-never; nor more particularly the circumstances attendant upon it. Like many of the nobler works of antiquity, the fragments of which are alone transmitted to us, my leader on the Italian boy is, alas, only remembered in detached passages by those who recollect it. I regret for the integrity of these my confessions, that I am not of the number of the latter, as the only thing with which I can tax my memory concerning it is, that, taking advantage of the uncertainty of the place where the horrible deed was committed which put a seal upon his innocent existence, I laid the scene in a cellar-time, midnight; dramatis persona, an old hag, warming her skinny claws over the dying embers on the hearth; first ruffian holding a sack open; second ruffian with a carving-knife, standing over the sleeping victim, and with his right arm bare, high poised in air, &c. &c., about to strike the fatal blow. I also remember having quoted on the occasion, a celebrated passage* from the Episode of Nisus and Euryalus, which was deemed very handsome on the part of a classical editor, and very appropriate by numbers who scarcely knew more of the genius and writings of Virgil than that et was and, and quoque meant also; and by many more whose knowledge of the language of Rome was never worth speaking of by themselves or others, and who would not have been much surprised, if on this score they were told that tace was Latin for a candle. This may not, after all, be a bad hint to newspaper editors, who dive for classic pearls into Quoting Dictionaries and the Selecta Sententiæ, compiled cut and dry for the use of those to whom the classics of Greece and Rome have been a sealed volume. I have thought proper to allude to my funeral oration on the ill-fated child of Italy (as Haines Bailey would have called him) for two reasons: first, to show that there are leading topics besides political ones, by seizing which, and handling them properly, a hungry literateur may earn his dinner; and secondly, to explain how it was, that I was a felicitous contributor to the Slop on many subjects, until I wrote for it, in an hour of fatal facility, my first political article and-my last. The circumstance which led to this unfortunate perpetration, I cannot deny myself the melancholy pleasure of relating.

Mr.Theodore Suckmug, who "did the heavy," that is wrote the leaders for the Slop, was a gentleman of extraordinary corporal and mental conformation. His glorious plenilunar face, and his jolly personal rotundity, would at once impress you with the opinion, that, as they say in Ireland, he was "about the house at meal-times," and that he diluted his solids with "something stronger than spring-water." His nose was neither Roman nor Grecian, but approaching to the Gothic, the grog-blossoms thereon reminding you of the clustering bunches of the vine,—it was short and stumpy like an Irishman's pipe, and its

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Purpureus veluti quum flos succisus aratro
Languescit moriens, lassove papavera collo
Demisêre caput, pluviâ quum forte gravantur.

Nov. 1840.-VOL. I. NO. VI.


colour at the tip was an expensive purple, by which I mean to say, that it cost no small sum to paint it. His eyes were dark, deep-set, and diminutive; but if their surpassing brightness might be deemed a beacon which pointed to the mens divinior within, you would expect brilliant things of their proprietor whenever he took his pen in hand to illuminate the readers of the Slop. Of his mouth nothing particular need be said, save that his lips seemed made, not so much for tenderness as for smoking cigars, and that his teeth, if they were his own, were sufficiently respectable. His hair, which was once a shining black, was assuming more and more of a greyish tinge, as indeed most men's do, when they pass the barrier of forty-five, who have indulged in the pleasures of the table, and the other seducing amenities of a metropolitan existence.

Whilst Mr. Suckmug was writing his leading article, his chin, which would have wooed the pencil of Sir Peter Lely, hung double over his cravat; and his tongue wantoned in playful pastime with the dimple on either cheek, in pursuit of the picturesque. I suppose that it was on account of this, in addition to his other pinguid propensities, the compositors attached to the distinguished literateur the soft appellation by which he was known within the precincts of the pressroom. This, although not far removed from the editorial sanctum sanctorum, had not the acoustic properties of Dionysius' gallery. So much the better for "our fat friend," and better still was it for the compositors; for when the "printers' devil" arrived from time to time with detachments of the leading article, the cry went round from the foreman to the last member of the corps typographique, "more melt." That this had a direct personal allusion was unquestionable, because that which printers call "a bit of fat," is of an easier and far more profitable description of copy than the hieroglyphical handwriting of the redacteur en chef of the Slop.

As to Mr. Suckmug's dress, his hat was of Bread-street Cheapside gossamer, his boots of the skin of the buck. His coat was not so well cut as those of Count Alcibiades Mirabel, and was made more for comfort than fascination. Contrary to the practice of the Dutch-built class of elderly gentlemen, who will have tight fits, his indispensable continuations were arranged on the infinite space principle, which is based upon the excellent reason given by Rabelais for the breadth of Gargantua's galligaskins.

If I be deemed too particular in this my description of the personal peculiarities of the facile princeps of the London weekly press, let not me, but the public sentiment, be blamed, by pandering to which, and describing most accurately, besides their sayings and doings, every possible "feature" of our living great men, from Dan O'Connell's brown wig to Sir Robert Peel's coat and waistcoat, from Tom Duncombe's tile to Lord Brougham's tartan breeches, the minute author of "The Great Metropolis,' "The Bench and the Bar," "Random Recollections," "The Metropolitan Pulpit," and a hundred other similar productions, has acquired that which, to minds constituted like his, is far more precious than literary reputation. Mr. Cudgelbrain's books sell, which is all that he and his publisher care about. With respect

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