Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

flowers, who came swarmin' into the room like bees. “ You'd better go for the pelice, some of you, for I can see his head again' the grate, and his body must be blowed into powder.”

“Well,” Mrs. Mervin says, as pleasant as a vinegarcruet, “it's only to be expected of parties lettin' lodgins who don't understand the business. Go for the pelice, by all means, and I do hope strict inquiry will be made."

Just as the pelice came, I could see Mr. Bulliphant comin' to, through the ceilin', of which I was very glad, though I thought there was money enough about. him to have paid all expenses if otherwise.

“It's all right," he said, kind of impatient, talkin' to the door, where the peliceman was hammerin'. “I'll pay for everythin'."

It did my heart good to hear him speak up so bold.

"Open the door, or I shall force it," the peliceman made request.

“Oh, I'll open it fast enough, my good man," said Mr. Bulliphant, quite cool, undoin' the door. “Now, then, Mr. Peliceman, what might you please to want ?” —just as bold as I'm a sayin' it to you.

This is a very ugly business,” the peliceman says. “ Horrid !” says Mr. Bulliphant.

" It'll cost me over a hundred pound.”

You won't get off for that," the peliceman makes answer;

the law don't fine for murder." “ Murder ?" says my respectable lodger. whoever dreamed os such a thing ?”

“ It is my dooty, to inform you that all you says will be prodooced again' you at your trile," the peliceman says kindly.

I never thought Mr. Bulliphant had gone for to murder his son, and I now felt sure if he had done it, as there could be no doubt with his head in the fender, that it was pure accident.

“ This is a very sad thing,” the peliceman goes on, takin' up pore Mr. Goliah's head

at of the grate.

66

" Why, "Drop that!" says Mr. Bulliphant, very sharp; “that's my property."--Only to think of his speakin' so unfeelin' of his son.- -“Why, you don't mean to say you suspect And he stops and then laughs.

“ This is a little more than suspicion,” the peliceman makes reply, pickin' up the head again, and wrappin' it in his pocket-handkerchief; "and as soon as convenient, perhaps you'll come along with me."

“Oh, this is too much !” says Mr. Bulliphant. “Why, that's all that's left of my new Steam Man I've brought over from the States : cost me three hundred dollars; and I've been practisin' workin' him in private before publicly exhibitin' him in England, and makin' my fortune. Obliged to put up with the pryin' of an inquisitive old hag of a woman" (oh, how base are men lodgers !) “and work in secret, like a household burglar, for fear some one should forestall the invention in this country. I had got him to work like a lamb, when, just as he boiled this mornin', and steam comin' out of his hat like anythin', I remembered I had screwed down the safety-valve in his left ear overnight; and before I could get to undo it, he went off like a powder-magazine, and nearly blew me out of window. And I can't get another man over in less than a couple of months, and by that time they will be all over the country.”

Well,” thinks ), 16 there is ten shillin' clean gone out of my pocket, for certain; but I feel sure Mr. Bulliphant will not see me deprived of my rights, if so be as I make proper mention.”

“I always speak as I find, and Mr. Bulliphant is a real gentleman whatever the Gillyflowers say through envy and malice, bein' empty; and he paid up square, even to half-a-crown for the peliceman, as suitable to his station in life.”

(Reprinted, by permission, from Chambers's Journal.")

44

ST. VALENTINE'S DAY.

ANONYMOUS.

A long time ago, there lived, you must know, such an

amiable bishop-or so he was paintedThat when he was dead, the people all said, " That dear,

good, old VALENTINE ought to be sainted!” So they did it straightway, and selected a day-namely,

Feb. the Fourteenth-which to him was devoted; And because all his life for avoidance of strife and kind

ness of heart the old boy had been noted, They likewise decreed that ev'ry fair deed, the tenderer

traits of our nature adorning, Should be practised by all, both great folk and small, in

honour of him upon VALENTINE's morning.

But a sad little rogue, who was no less in vogue at the

period named than he's been ever since (it May save you a guess if at once I confess the young

rascal is Amor-qui omnia vincit), Declared that his part in mankind was the heart, and

that all tender feeling was 'neath his dominion (And I fancy that few, who've with Love had to do, will

venture to combat the monarch's opinion). So the bishop's high claims and the pious folks' aims

with equal sang froid and impunity scorning, The wicked young elf assumed to himself the customs

and rights of St. VALENTINE's morning.

But first, in a mask, to lighten his task of deceiving the

world (no Herculean labour), He began as a saint (which he certainly ain't) to preach

the great duty of loving one's neighbour. And seldom has preacher, or master, or teacher, found

pupils so ready to learn as did Cupid, And the world saw for once a school with no dunce (for

in love not e'en folly would stoop to be stupid).

So the Saint had to yield to Cupid the field, for the sly

little rascal all hearts was suborning, Though the day it still goes, as every one knows, I sup

pose, by the name of St. VALENTINE's morning. And all through the years when that morning appears,

the trees begin budding, the birds begin pairing, And the lover rehearses the passionate verses, affection

for her whom he worships declaring; And his hopes, like the trees, now it ceases to freeze (for,

of course, they can't grow when the frost is so bitter), Bud forth into words; while the girls, like the birds, at

the thought of their lovers are “all in a twitter.” [P.S.—Oh, ye fair, have a care, and beware of his snare,

and prepare at your bard's friendly warning To steel all your hearts 'gainst the arts, darts, and

smarts which young Love scatters round him on VALENTINE's morning. ]

DAME DURDEN.

ANONYMOUS.

DAME DURDEN kept five serving girls

To carry the milking pail;
She also kept five labouring men

To use the spade and flail.
Twas Moll and Bet, and Doll and Kate, and Dorothy

Draggletail, And John and Dick, and Joe and Jack, and Humphrey with his flail.

'Twas John kiss'd Molly,

And Dick kiss'd Betty,
And Joe kiss'd Dolly,

And Jack kiss'd Katty,
And Dorothy Draggletail,

And Humphrey with his flail,
And Kitty was a charming girl to carry the milking pail.

Dame Durden in the morn so soon

She did begin to call;
To rouse her servants, maids and men,

She then began to bawl. 'Twas Moll and Bet, and Doll and Kate, and Dorothy

Draggletail, And John and Dick, and Joe and Jack, and Humphrey with his flail.

'Twas John kiss'd Molly, &c.
'Twas on the morn of Valentine,

The birds began to prate,
Dame Durden's servants,

maids and men, They all began to mate, 'Twas Moll and Bet, and Doll and Kate, and Dorothy

Draggletail, And John and Dick, and Joe and Jack, and Humphrey with his flail.

'Twas John kiss'd Molly,

And Dick kiss'd Betty,
And Joe kiss'd Dolly,

And Jack kiss'd Katty,
And Dorothy Draggletail,

And Humphrey with his flail,
And Kitty was a charming girl to carry the milking pail.

THE RAFFLE FOR THE ELEPHANT.

WALTER THORNBURY.

It is now four years ago that a certain Mr. Joseph Fletcher, generally known in Hertfordshire by his sporting name of Porky Jenkins," kept the "Flying Dutchman,” a public-house in the pleasant little country-town of Pipington-cum-Tabor, a little off the high-road, and about a dozen miles or so beyond the sepulchral town of St. Albans.

Porky Jenkins had been formerly “the champion of the light weights," and the hero of special paragraphs

« ПредишнаНапред »