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a certain number keep dram-shops. But this is one of them; and a man who can recall to his recollection the magnificent gin-temples of London, will have a fine subject for contrast.
When I entered the Dublin whiskey-shop, I thought of this temple, and it struck me that two abodes for the same evil spirit more different in their character could not be found. The shop had very much the appearance of a common
a chandler's shop.
On the counter were some two or three dirty whiskey-glasses, and discoloured pewter measures, which had evidently done the state some service.” There was a small tub of dirty water about the middle of the counter, in which the whiskey-glasses, I presume, were rinsed after being used by a customer, and in front of this, projecting about a foot and a half from the counter, was an upright board, perhaps six feet high. It is behind this screen, or one formed of three or four empty tea-chests placed upon each other, where the board is not provided, that those who wish to take a dram without being observed from the street, can do so. Behind the dirty counter there is just room for one man to stand, but not for another to pass; and, in place of gilded vats we may see a number of small tin teacanisters, and in a little glass-case on one side, probably a few of the smaller articles to be found at a “general shop." shelves which extend around the place, are ranged a number of quart-bottles filled with whiskey, and the printed labels on which give the only appearance of regularity to be observed in the shop. Ēven the windows of the front are disgraceful: some are of common green-glass, with the knob in the centre : others are of glass so imperfectly blown that on looking through them a man's face appears extended to the ordinary length of his arm, or expanded like the Bull and Mouth in St. Martin-le-Grand. The place in front of the counter is strewed with broken boxes, a form or two, and some dirty straw; upon the latter of which, every now and then, one of the ladies who is smoking drops the contents of her pipe, which, however, she retains in her mouth for a minute or two, without being aware of her loss. No one puts his foot upon
the burning tobacco, for he would not spoil what may perhaps be recovered and again used by the smoker; but if it is not, its fragrant perfume combines with that of the whiskey and of the drinkers to render the atmosphere of the place still more intolerable. There are no spirit-taps upon the counter like those previously described, or indeed of any kind, for the vender draws the spirit direct from the cask he has behind, and the small casks that may be disposed upon the shelves amongst the whiskey bottles, are empty, therefore, and only exhibited for the sake of ornament ! Altogether the shop is as disgusting as can be imagined, far worse than any description can convey an idea of,—it is filthy in its external and internal appearance,--the atmosphere reeks with a foul odour, and the frequenters of the shop seem fitting visitors for such a place.
The number of such low drinking-shops is far above what might be imagined. The writer before quoted says that in 1835, in one street in Dublin, containing one hundred and thirty solvent houses, as they are called, seventy were whiskey-shops. "The fact is, that many wealthy citizens, reckless of the consequences which affect
the drunkard, derive large incomes from public-houses, and of course, exert themselves to the utmost to obtain licenses for publicans. In one case, where the churchwardens refused to renew the certificate of good conduct for a man who rented one of these shops, because he also kept a house of ill-fame, the case was even prosecuted to a court of law to oblige the churchwarden to renew the certificate ; and, though the application was refused, it showed the extent to which influence is exerted in favour of these places.
I have not instituted a comparison between the London gin-temple and the Dublin whiskey-shop for the purpose of exhibiting the former in the most favourable point of view; for, as far as the intrinsic merits of either are concerned, the whiskey-shop is probably the more honest, since it will contain the least adulterated spirits. But I wished to show that the meanness or the splendour of the dram-shop made no difference in its character. The same miserable and despicable race of creatures are to be found in both. In London or in Dublin the frequenters of such places exhibit the same haggard look and trembling step,--the same low,sullen, feverish eye, and the same parched and quivering lip. Whiskey rots the mind as surely and as powerfully as gin; and, whether in Ireland or England, where the same poverty and wretchedness prevail, the same low vices accompany them.
BY CHARLES HOOTON.
BOOK THE SECOND.
Colin's attempt to liberate Fanny's father from the mad-house, with the adventures
that befel him thereupon. When our hero had taken leave of his friends, and passed out of his mother's house, he found the night, as he thought, peculiarly adapted for his purpose. The air was dark and troubled, vexed with contending winds, which blew, as it seemed, now from one quarter of the heavens, and then again from its opposite, while drops of rain occasionally came on the blast, succeeded by momentary showers of hard hail. Though summer-time, the weather felt as though it had suddenly changed to that of March, so cold and ungenial was the blast.
The youth pursued his way for some distance along a dark lane, fenced high with thick hawthorn on each side, and traversed by deep ruts, here and there containing puddles of water, which reflected some little light as they caught the sky, and deceived him with the idea that something white was lying in his road. From this lane he crossed a stile and several fields, as offering the most direct route to the back part of the grounds around the doctor's house. When arrived there, he stopped outside the plantation, in order to assure himself that no person was about. Nothing living stirred at that hour. He forced his way through a thorny gap in the fence, and soon found himself at that north-east corner of the yard-wall which he had particularly specified. He now uncoiled
his rope, and cautiously threw up that end of it to which a grappling-hook was attached. After a few efforts it caught firm hold, and as the distant clock struck ten, he ascended to the top of the wall; though, as he fancied this elevation would bring him in relief against the sky, he crouched as closely as possible, in order to avoid being seen, should it unluckily so chance that any individual of the establishment was about.
“ Are you there?" asked Colin, in a low but earnest voice, as he peeped down into the yard.
"Yes," answered one from below, in a similar tone. right. Make haste !"
Colin's heart leapt within him for joy. Now was he well rewarded for all his pain and trouble :—to think that he had succeeded at last, notwithstanding all his mother's and Fanny's fears ! Hastily he drew up the hempen ladder after him, and, sitting upon the top of the wall, fixed it on the other side, in order to enable James Woodruff to ascend.
“ Put your feet in, and hold by the sides,” said Colin, as he saw dimly that the figure was coming up.
“Yes, yes," replied he. “Stop there till I get safe to the top. "
And in the next minute, when the body was half above the wall, Colin received a heavy blow on the head from a short bludgeon, accompanied by a fierce exclamation and an oath, that if he did not surrender that instant his brains should be blown out! Regardless of the height of the wall, he instantly dropped, and, though half stunned, and sprained in the leg besides, he endeavoured to make off. The fellow who, it was now evident, had been stationed in the yard on purpose to draw him into this trap,-poor Woodruff had kept in his cell,—was afraid to risk his limbs or his neck by following Colin's example ; but, instead of so doing, he began to bawl lustily for assistance. Colin heard two blunderbusses fired, and afterwards the crash of pursuers through the plantations behind him. Conscious that the injury he had received from the fall would prevent him from escaping them by flight, he raised himself up against a gate-post, with his arms close against his sides. In this situation he had the pleasure, two minutes afterwards, of both hearing and seeing a couple of stout fellows rush past within a yard of him, one of whom, by his voice and language, Colin recog. nised to be Mr. Palethorpe. Within a short period, having “lost scent,” they returned, and lingered a few moments about the gate, as though irresolute which way to take. During this brief interval he plainly overheard the following conversation.
“Dang him, I wish we'd hit him! It would have saved us all this trouble."
“Ay, ay, and hit him I will,” replied Palethorpe, “if I can once get sight of him. Meesis was quite right, you see, in what she overheard him say-a young vagabone! She told me afore I came out, if I did get a shot at him, to pepper him well; and so I will. If we kill him in trespass and burglary, I think the law will stand at our backs. Dang him !-we lost sound of him somewhere here about, and I should not wonder if he's crept under some of these bushes. I'll fire in, and chance it.”
No sooner said than done. Off went the blunderbuss into the thick underwood, for the moment making the spot whereon they
stood as light as day, and illuminating Colin's figure as brilliantly as though he had stood beneath the flaring light of a gas-burner. Luckily the two men stood with their backs towards him, or he must inevitably have been detected. The report over, they listened; but a few frightened birds, blindly fapping their wings amongst the trees, were all that could be heard. Palethorpe loaded again, and then made a proposal, which was agreed to by his companion, that they should take a circuit of the plantation, and then got on to the road.
The opportunity thus afforded to Colin was made the best use of by him, and he endeavoured to steal off in the direction of his mother's house. But, when he had cleared the plantation fence, he again heard his pursuers beating about in the road between him and that place, so that he deemed it most advisable to take the direction of Whinmoor. In that direction the coast seemed clear; and, accordingly, keeping closely under the darkness of the hedge. side, he set off at his best speed. For the period of three-quarters of an hour or more he pursued his way unobstructed; and as at the expiration of that time he had reached the Leeds and York highway, about a mile beyond which the old farm was situated, he began to congratulate himself upon his escape. Here he slackened his pace in order to recover breath and strength, both of which were well-nigh exhausted by his previous exertion.
As he rose to the top of a gentle hill, which the highway crossed, the sound of a horse's hoofs upon the hard road, though at a considerable distance, struck his ear. It came from the direction in which he had come, and seemed to be getting nearer. Was it any one pursuing him ? His fears told him it must be so.
Instead, therefore, of pursuing the road any farther, he leapt the fence, and hurried by a shorter cut over the fields in the direction of Miss Sowersoft's house. As he advanced the gusty wind again and again brought along with it the sound of violent galloping. It was gaining rapidly upon him: but he was now nearer the house, and the horseman, if destined to the same place, would, he knew, be obliged to keep the beaten road, which would take him nearly a mile farther than that which Colin himself had taken. As he crept quietly into the farm-yard he perceived a light in one of the lofts. The door was opened, and a waggon stood beneath. Abel and old George were loading it with hay, for the purpose of sending it during the night to York; in order to be in that city sufficiently early on the following morning. There was no time to lose ; and to stay at the farm to be taken prisoner would be quite as bad as though he had allowed himself to be taken at first. He therefore walked boldly up, and briefly told them that while he was at Bramleigh a plot had been laid by Palethorpe to entrap him ; that he had threatened to shoot him if he could catch him ; that it was with the greatest difficulty he had escaped ; and that even now he believed they had sent some one on horseback to pursue him.
All this being to their own knowledge pretty characteristic of the aforesaid Palethorpe, they did not hesitate in agreeing to Colin's proposal that he should get into the waggon, have the haytrusses piled around and over him, so as not to exclude the air, and in this manner to convey him to York. In order to bind them the more strongly to their promises of strict silence and secresy, Colin
gave Abel one of his guineas, to be afterwards divided between the two. He then jumped into the waggon, and in a few minutes was very effectually put out of sight. In a few minutes afterwards a horseman dashed into the yard, and demanded of them whether Colin Clink had come home. Abel denied that he was under any roof there ; and, after undergoing a strong test of his powers of equiv. ocation, contrived, very much to Colin's satisfaction, to persuade the pursuer to go home again.
Some time afterwards the horses were tackled on, the waggon began to move, and a tedious journey of more than six hours' duration brought them within the old walled city of York, at about seven o'clock in the morning.
Having deposited his waggon in the market-place, Abel now invited Colin, who had made his way out of the vehicle when some two miles off the city, to accompany him to a public-house. This request the lad complied with ; and, while making his breakfast, obtained ink and paper from the landlord, and wrote a short letter to his mother, and another to Fanny, explaining the circumstances which had led to his absence and flight, and promising to write again as soon as he had resolved in what place he should settle for the present, as he did not consider it safe to remain permanently, even at the distance he then was. These he gave in charge to Abel, who vowed to deliver them both safe and speedily. He then inquir. ed of Colin whether he did not intend to go back again?
“Not till I know that every thing is safe,” replied the youth, “ or else it would have been useless to come here."
" Then what do you intend to do? or where dost t' mean going?" again asked the man.
“ I am quite undecided yet,” remarked Colin ; “but I shall find out a place somewhere, depend upon it.”
“Well, lad,” said Abel, * if I could do aught for thee, I would ; but I mean leaving our missis's myself as soon as I can. I'll either list, or go to Lunnun very soon, for it's beggarly work here."
The thought struck Colin,--should he go to London? He had money, very luckily, sufficient to keep him awhile ; and, so far off he would be safe enough. When there, as he dared not return to Bramleigh to pay his promised visit to Kiddal Hall, he could write to the Squire, and tell him what had happened, which would do quite as well ; and doubtless enable him, with Mr. Lupton's assistance, not only very shortly to triumph over his persecutors, but also possessed of sufficient power to effect successfully that great object, the attempt to achieve which had so unexpectedly led to his present unpleasant situation.
He finally took his leave of Abel in the market-place, and then rambled alone and thoughtfully about the town, until within an hour or two of mid-day.
CHAPTER XIII. Country notions of London. --A night.journey to the Metropolis, and Colin's
arrival there. The good people of the Great City possess but a slight idea of the light in which they and the modern Babylon
are regarded by the remote and rustic natives of the provinces. Colin partook largely of the general sentiment respecting that wonderful place, and its, in