There were, likewise, in the collection several interesting relics of humorous felony; such as the snuff-box of the Cock-lane ghost—the stone thrown by Collins at William the Fourth’s head—a copy of Sir Francis Burden’s speech, for which he was committed to the Tower—an odd black silk glove, worn by Mr. Cotton, the late ordinary of Newgate—Barrington’s silver tooth-pick—and a stay-lace of Miss Julia Newman.
These were but a small portion of the contents of the museum; but I had seen enough to make me sick of the exhibition, and I withdrew with the firm resolution never again, during my life, to enter the house of a Criminal Curiosity Hunter.
* * * * *
ECCENTRICITIES OF THE MINOR DRAMA.
We had intended to have arranged, for the use of future syncretics, a system of coincidences, compiled from the plots of those magnificent soul-stirring extravaganzas produced and acted at the modern temples of the drama—the chaste Victoria—the didactic Sadler’s Wells—and the tramontane Pavilion: but we have found the subject too vast for comprehension, and must content ourselves with noting some of the more exorbitant and refined instances of genius and hallucination displayed in those mighty works. Among these the following are pre-eminent:—
It is a remarkable thing that mothers are always buried on the tops of inaccessible mountains, and that, when it occurs to their afflicted daughters to go and pray at their tombs, they generally choose a particularly inclement night as best adapted for that purpose. It is convenient, too, if any murder took place exactly on the spot, exactly twenty years before, because in that case it is something agreeable to reflect upon and allude to.
It is remarkable that people never lie down but to dream, and that they always dream quite to the purpose, and immediately on having done dreaming, they wake and act upon it.
It is remarkable that young men never know definitely whose sons they are, and generally turn out to belong to the wrong father, and find that they have been falling in love with their sisters, and all that sort of thing.
N.B. Wanted, a new catastrophe for these incidents, as suicide is going out of fashion.
It is remarkable that whenever people are in a particular hurry to be off, they make a point of singing a song to put themselves in spirits, and as an effectual method of concealing their presence from their enemies, who are always close at hand with knives.
It is remarkable that things always go wrong until the last scene, and then there is such hurry and bustle to get them right again, that no one would ever believe it could be done in the time; only they know it must be, and make up their minds to it accordingly.