“Whiz-z-z-z-z-t!” shouts Mr. Manhug, as they emerge into the cool air, in accents which only Wieland could excel; “there goes a cat!” Upon the information a volley of hats follow the scared animal, none of which go within ten yards of it, except Mr. Rapp’s, who, taking a bold aim, flings his own gossamer down the area, over the railings, as the cat jumps between them on to the water-butt, which is always her first leap in a hurried retreat. Whereupon Mr. Rapp goes and rings the house-bell, that the domestics may return his property; but not receiving an answer, and being assured of the absence of a policeman, he pulls the handle out as far as it will come, breaks it off, and puts it in his pocket. After this they run about the streets, indulging in the usual buoyant recreations that innocent and happy minds so situated delight to follow, and are eventually separated by their flight from the police, from the safe plan they have adopted of all running different ways when pursued, to bother the crushers. What this leads to we shall probably hear next week, when they are once more reunis in the dissecting-room to recount their adventures.
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It is said that the Duke of Wellington declined the invitation to the Lord Mayor’s civic dinner in the following laconic speech:—“Pray remember the 9th November, 1830.”—“Ah!” said Sir Peter Laurie, on hearing the Duke’s reply, “I remember it. They said that the people intended on that day to set fire to Guildhall, and meant to roast the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.”—“On the old system, I suppose, of every man cooking his own goose,” observed Hobler drily.
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THE “PUFF PAPERS.”
I cannot recollect the precise day, but it was some time in the month of November 1839, that I took one of my usual rambles without design or destination. I detest a premeditated route—I always grow tired at the first mile; but with a free course, either in town or country, I can saunter about for hours, and feel no other fatigue but what a tumbler of toddy and a pipe can remove. It was this disposition that made me acquainted with the fraternity of the “Puffs.” I would premise, gentle reader, that as in my peregrinations I turn down any green lane or dark alley that may excite my admiration or my curiosity—hurry through glittering saloons or crowded streets—pause at the cottage door or shop window, as it best suits my humour, so, in my intercourse with you, I shall digress, speculate, compress, and dilate, as my fancy or my convenience wills it. This is a blunt acknowledgment of my intentions; but as travellers are never sociable till they have cast aside the formalities of compliment, I wished to start with you at the first stage as an old acquaintance. The course is not usual, and, therefore, I adopt it; and it was by thus stepping out of a common street into a common hostel that I became possessed of the materiel of those papers, which I trust will hereafter tend to cheat many into a momentary forgetfulness of some care. I have no other ambition; there are philosophers enough to mystify or enlighten the world without my “nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips” being thrust into the cauldron, whose