One day, when empty and unoccupied, I was hailed by two police-officers who were bearing between them a prisoner. It was the seducer of my second ill-fated mistress; a first crime had done its usual work, it had prepared the mind for a second, and a worse: the seducer had done a deed of deeper guilt, and I bore him one stage towards the gallows. Many months after, a female called me at midnight: she was decked in tattered finery, and what with fatigue and recent indulgence in strong liquors, she was scarcely sensible, but she possessed dim traces of past beauty. I can say nothing more of her, but that it was the fugitive wife whom I had borne to Brighton so many years ago. No words of mine could paint the living warning that I beheld. What had been the sorrows of unmerited desertion and unkindness supported by conscious rectitude, compared with the degraded guilt, the hopeless anguish, that I then saw?
I regret to say, I was last month nigh committing manslaughter; I broke down in the Strand and dislocated the shoulder of a rich old maid. I cannot help thinking that she deserved the visitation, for, as she stepped into me in Oxford Street, she exclaimed, loud enough to be heard by all neighbouring pedestrians, “Dear me! how dirty! I never was in a hackney conveyance before!”—though I well remembered having been favoured with her company very often. A medical gentleman happened to be passing at the moment of our fall; it was my old medical master. He set the shoulder, and so skilfully did he manage his patient, that he is about to be married to the rich invalid, who will shoulder him into prosperity at last.
I last night was the bearer of a real party of pleasure to Astley’s:—a bride and bridegroom, with the mother of the bride. It was the widow of the old rector, whose thin daughter (by the by she is fattening fast) has had the luck to marry the only son of a merchant well to do in the world.
The voice suddenly ceased!—I awoke—the door was opened, the steps let down—I paid the coachman double the amount of his fare, and in future, whenever I stand in need of a jarvey, I shall certainly make a point of calling for number One Hundred.
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“A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.”
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BELL.—THE CRY OF THE DEER SO CALLED.
I am glad of an opportunity to describe the cry of the deer by another name than braying, although the latter has been sanctioned by the use of the Scottish metrical translation of the Psalms. Bell seems to be an abbreviation of the word bellow. This sylvan sound conveyed great delight to our ancestors chiefly, I suppose, from association. A gentle knight in the reign of Henry VIII., Sir Thomas Wortley, built Wantley Lodge, Warncliffe Forest, for the purpose, as the ancient inscription testifies, of “Listening to the Harts’ Bell.”