generation;”—he bowed to others—galvanism
could not have procured the tithe of a salaam for
me. His till was afflicted with a sort of sinking-fundishness.
I was the contractor of “the small bill,”
whose exact amount would enable him to meet a “heavy
payment;” my very garments were “tabooed”
from all earth’s decencies; splashes seemed to
have taken a lease of the bottoms of my trousers.
My boots, once objects of the tenderest care of their
unworthy namesake, seemed conscious of the change,
and drooped in untreed wretchedness, desponding at
the wretched wrinkles now ruffling the once smooth
calf! My coat no more appeared to catch the dust;
as if under the influence of some invisible charm,
its white-washed elbows never struck upon the sight
of the else all-seeing boots; spider never rushed
from his cell with the post-haste speed with which
he issued from his dark recess, to pick the slightest
cobweb that ever harnessed Queen Mab’s team,
coats; a gnat, a wandering hair left
its location, swept by the angry brush from the broad-cloth
of those who paid their bills—as far as
I was concerned—all were inoculated with
this strange blindness. It was an overwhelming
ophthalmia! The chambermaid, through its fatality,
never discovered that my jugs were empty, my bottle
clothed with slimy green, my soap-dish left untenanted.
A day before this time had been sufficient service
for my hand-towel; now a week seemed to render it
less fit to taste the rubs of hands and soap.
Dust lost its vice, and lay unheeded in the crammed
corner of my luckless room.
READER.—I feel for you.
Silence! the worst is yet to come. At dinner
all things changed—soup, before too hot
to drink, came to my lips cool as if the north wind
had caressed it; number was at an end; I ranked no
longer like a human being; I was a huge ought—a
walking cypher—a vile round O. I had neither
beginning nor end. Go where I would—top,
bottom, sides, ’twas all the same. Bouilli
avoided me—vegetables declined growing under
my eyes—fowls fled from me. I might
as well have longed for ice-cream in Iceland—dessert
in a desert. I had no turn—I was the
last man. Nevertheless, dinner was a necessary
Was excluded from the calendar. Night came, but
no rest—all things had forgotten their
office. The sheets huddled in undisturbed selfishness,
like knotted cables, in one corner of the bed; the
blankets, doubtless disgusted at their conduct, sought
refuge at the foot; and the flock, like most other
flocks, without a directing hand, was scattered in
READER.—Did not you complain?
I did—imprimis—to boots—boots
scratched his head; ditto waiter—waiter
shook his; the chambermaid, strange to say, was suddenly
READER.—And the landlord?
Did nothing all day; but when I spoke, was in a hurry,
“going to his ledger,” Had I had as many
months as hydra, that would have stopped them all.