10 o’clock.—Heard that a vagabond was singing “Jim Crow” on Tower-hill—proceeded with a large body of the civic authorities to arrest him, but after an arduous chase of half-an-hour we unfortunately lost him in Houndsditch. Suppressed two illegal apple-stalls in the Minories, and took up a couple of young black-legs, whom I detected playing at chuck-farthing on Saffron-hill. Issued a proclamation against mad dogs, cautioning all well-disposed persons to avoid their society.
12 o’clock.—Waited upon by the secretary of the New River Company with a sample of the water they supply to the City—found that it was much improved by compounding it with an equal portion of cognac—gave a certificate accordingly. Lunched, and took a short nap in my cocked hat.
1 o’clock.—Police-court. Disposed of several cases summarily—everybody in court amazed at the extraordinary acuteness I displayed, and the rapidity with which I gave my decisions—they did not know that I always privately tossed up—heads, complainant wins, and tails, defendant—this is the fairest way after all—no being humbugged by hard swearing or innocent looks—no sifting of witnesses—no weighing of evidence—no deliberating—no hesitating—the thing is done in an instant—and, if the guilty should escape, why the fault lies with fortune, and not with justice.
3 o’clock.—Visited the Thames Tunnel—found Brunel a devilish deep fellow—he explained to me the means by which he worked, and said he had got nearly over all his difficulties—I suppose he meant to say he had nearly got under them—at all events the tunnel, when completed, will be a vast convenience to the metropolis, particularly to the lower classes. From the Tunnel went to Billingsgate-market—confiscated a basket of suspicious shrimps, and ordered them to be conveyed to the Mansion-house. Mem. Have them for breakfast to-morrow. Return to dress for dinner, having promised to take the chair at the Grand Annual Metropolitan Anti-Hydro-without-gin-drinking Association.
* * * * *
Here a hiatus occurs in the MS.; but from cotemporary authorities we are enabled to state that his lordship was conveyed home at two o’clock on the following morning, by some jolly companions.
“Slowly and sadly they smoothed
And they told his wife and daughter
To give him, next day, a couple of red-
Herrings and soda-water.”
* * * * *
THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS.
The gay Daffodilly, an amorous
Stole out of his bed in the dark,
And calling his brother, Jon-Quil, forth he stray’d
To breathe his love vows to a Violet maid
Who dwelt in a neighbouring park.
A spiteful old Nettle-aunt frown’d
on their love;
But Daffy, who laugh’d at her power,
A Shepherd’s-purse slipp’d in the nurse’s Fox-glove,
Then up Jacob’s-ladder he crept to his love,
And stole to the young Virgin’s-bower.