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were paid for posting their master's accounts. At this the saucy fellows laughed; but one of them, more civil than the rest, inquired, “ How many hours' drive would do me in the Tally-ho?” I answered, that “I did not care if I drove all night, as I could sleep in the coach, provided I were set down in the morning at some good eating-house, where I might have the means of diverting myself for the rest of the day, and resuming my journey by night; because I thought it time lost to be sitting in a coach, and rattling over the pavement all day long." The book-keeper entered into my design at once, and said, that, “ as I was travelling for information, and to visit different houses, and transact matters during the day time, he would undertake to book me all the way, as an inside, to Liverpool, by different night coaches.” This offer I accepted, and the guard was commissioned to see it executed.
Before we started, I very considerately purchased two maps, to be a check upon the guard, should he attempt to mislead me. The first was a large map of London, and the second a small chart of the world; for I knew that, with these, I would be able to direct my course all over the globe ; but, alas! Jack, I forgot to observe that the date of the London plan was so far back as 1824, and that many of the improvements could not have been inserted at that time. This inattention led, in part, as you shall hear, to my being inveigled into a trip across the Atlantic.
About four in the afternoon we set off, driving towards the west end, through Piccadilly, Brompton, Kensington, Brentford, Hounslowby the bye, why it should be called west end, is to me quite unintelligible ; I am sure that we met no termination, but continued all night long in sight of the lamps; and whenever the coach stopped, I found myself in a fine paved street, which, they told me, invariably, was High-street. I observed, indeed, some trees and hedges here and there, which, I suppose, belong to parks and squares ; but I knew that all was right; for on every blank wall I read, in legible characters, the names of Hunt, Warren, Larnder, and others, recommending you to buy blacking at Blackwall, in Holborn, and the Strand: so long, therefore, as these met my eye, I was quite satisfied that there could be no danger of my losing my way; for if I chose to leave the coach, any body could direct me back to Blackwall, Holborn, or the Strand. I once or twice inquired of the waiting-maids, how far we were from the country. Some asked me what country I meant? others thought that I was joking with them; and not a few reddened, and made some sharp retort, as if I had offended them. Poor ignorant things! thought I; they have been bred up all their lives in the heart of the city, and do not even know what the country means. I determined to put no more such puzzling questions to them, but to refer myself to my maps next day. And now I fully comprehend the reason, why the fashionables make so much fuss about going into the country, and usually require four horses to carry them out of town; vor did I any longer wonder at the stay they make, since it might probably take them a length of time, merely to get off the stones of London.
I was awakened next morning by the stopping of the coach, about nine o'clock, at the door of a fine club-house, with a swan painted over the door, and informed by the guard, that this was the place
where I was to stop ; and that I would be called for at five in the afternoon. After breakfast, I made my toilet, spruced myself up in perfect Adonis style, and walked out to see this part of the town. I observed, by the board at the first turning, that I was still in Highstreet-a very fine street, Jack, not unlike Bishopsgate-street a great deal of business seemed to be doing there, in the hardware and crockery lines. I lounged about most part of the day, stared at by the shopkeepers, as if I were a monstrosity; by which I concluded, that this was not the fashionable promenade; still I would not expose my ignorance, by asking for the park, or street, where people of the ton usually paraded. It is true, that I put several side-wind questions to a young woman in a cake-shop; but she told me of so many parks in the neighbourhood, with confounded crankey names, and so many King and Queen streets, all which I knew to be puddling little places, that I saw immediately, that she knew nothing of high life, and the habits of the west end. I once strayed a considerable distance from High-street, and found so much difficulty in getting back again, though I followed the streets by name, which, in the map of London, ran into High-street, that I determined to saunter up and down, in sight of the club-house, till dinner time. The waiter was the stupidest animal I ever met; he knew nothing of Hyde-park, Regent-street, or New Bond-street; and all his acquaintance with the city itself, did not extend beyond some few of its churches; St. George's, or St. Bride's, or St. Paul's. It was now, for the first time, I perceived the error that I had committed, in not selecting the last published plan of London ; for in that of 1824, there was no such long street as Highstreet, which must have been all built since that time. As for Mercator's chart, I hunted in vain for any thing like a street in it, though London was there, plain enough: it must be, that the map was too minute, to afford space for the printer to insert the word street, so many times; though, I am sure, it would be much more explanatory to the travellers, if he had left out such insignificant places as Birmingham and Manchester, and merely mentioned the streets through which one passes, in coaching it from Lad-lane to Liverpool quay. If ever you drive that way, Jack, do not put up at the Swan club-house ; only think of their charging me three shillings for a steak, when every one kuows that the best rump-steak may be had in the city for one shilling and sixpence, pickled onion included. At five I was moned to proceed on my journey, and the jolting of the coach soon set me asleep; once or twice during the night, I was disturbed by the sudden drawing up of the stage, and found myself, as usual, in a populous, well-lit street, and at the door of another club-house, at which some of the passengers alighted, and made room for new comers; but few of them came inside, and such as did, spoke with a nasty Lancashire twang, that was half unintelligible to me. I preferred ruminating on the surprise which my excursion would give my pretty Nancy, to listening to their silly conversation about wools and cottons; and found an invincible charm in holding to my lips her little curl, over which I usually fell fast asleep in a few minutes. Next day I woke. at rather a late hour, and found that we were rolling along a very grand, busy place; and upon inquiring the name of the street, I learnt that we were still traversing the interminable High-street. When we
stopped, a number of eads and sailor-like fellows besieged the door of the coach, demanding, very obstreperously, where we were going! I observed the guard pointing me out slyly, to one of these fellows, who came up and told me, that if I was for Dublin, I had not a moment to spare, as the steam-boat was starting. Whom was I to refer to but the guard? who told me, the traitor! that all was right; and then made his cringe for perquisites. Oh! that I had listened to the warning voices of the other cads and porters, who desired me not to go with that fellow, who had already charged himself with my valise and umbrella, and whom I followed mechanically to Liverpool quay..
This, Jack, is a place like Blackwall; where the shipping lie as thick as at the Custom-house. It is the other end of the river Thames, and I could plainly see the Surrey hills on the farther shore. To the west lay Ireland, as some one told me; and I thought I could distinguish the smoke and steeples of Dublin; and the steward told me we should be over in a few hours. I thought he was exaggerating the time, in order to make his charge appear more reasonable, for he had the conscience to ask one guinea for transporting me
across the channel ; but this is the way with all new inventions, thought I; it would be better for me to take a wherry to myself, and get skulled over, than go by their enormous steam vessel! Oh! Jack, that I had hat followed this wise suggestion !—but then I was reluctant to withdraw my luggage, once it was aboard, and so I paid the fellow, determined, in my own mind, to summon him at the other side, for the overcharge.
I had not much time for further reflexion, for the sailors set up a yohoying song, and began pulling ropes till they set the machinery in action, and made it difficult for nie to keep my feet. I was so annoyed with their confounded unmusical humdrum, the meaning of which I could not understand, for undoubtedly it was a Yankee-doodle-do farewell, that I gladly took the steward's hjnt, to go down, and look after a birth for myself; but not until I saw, that if we continued to go at that rate, we must reach Dublin in less than an hour. And 80 we would, Jack, but for the treacherous smuggler of a captain, who had no sooner got out of sight of the custom-house officers, and the water-bailiffs, than he hoisted sail, and leaving Ireland on liis right, made directly for North America, kidnapping all who were on board, with a view of taking us out to colonize some of the hack settlements.
But, to relate things in their order: I had been about an hour below, diverting myself with the books and apparatus of the grand cabin, when I began to feel a little queerish for the want of breakfast, so I called the waiter loudly, when presently a sailor-boy presents himself, with a hand-hason, and begs my pardon for not bringing it sooner. I told the fellow. to go about his business; that I did not want him, nor his empty bason, but the waiter, that I might inquire after breakfast. The lad immediately retreated, and sent in a rough Jack-tar, with a fur cap upon his head, who told me, that breakfast would be served up in a few minutes. “How do you know that?” demanded I. “ Because it is my husiness to order it,” replied he.
Pray what would you choose to have-bam or eggs?" I now
thought to myself, that they had communicated by telegraph with some of the inns in Dublin, and fancied, that it would be a rare thing to bespeak a choice breakfast in this way; I therefore ordered some fresh Dublin-bay herrings, and Waterford sprats, to be got ready immediately. The fellow, whom I found out to be the steward, informed me, that “they had none on board." « On board ?" said I; “ I do not mean to eat until I get on shore." “ At that rate,” rejoined he, “ you will fast till ten o'clock to-night ; for it will be the finest passage we have ever had, if we reach Kingstown by that hour.” He then left me to attend to some female passengers, whom, no doubt, this discovery shocked as much as it did me, for I never heard such tones of lamentation as those in which it was responded : but having a tolerable share of presence of mind, I did not suffer myself to be overwhelmed at once by this information. Recurring to the map of the world, I traced from Liverpool westward, until I alighted upon Kings-ton in the United States: it was evident, therefore, that the captain had shot southward a considerable way, in order to avoid the coast of Ireland; and it was very likely, judging by the steward's account of the time, that we were now upon Vancouver's, or Captain Cook's first track, and entering the immense Atlantic Ocean, between Capes Clear and Finisterre. I shall not attempt to pictore my sensations at this diseovery. A cold shivering seized me, in consequence of agitation ; and I felt a deadly sickness prevailing all over my inside. This was not a little augmented, by the hysterical fits into which some of the female passengers were thrown, and by the sighs and groans of all the poor abducted victims. In this general dejection, I felt it incumbent on me to muster all my fortitude, and contrive some scheme to effect the deliverance of myself and my companions in misery. I did not doubt that we might fall in with some fishing-smack, or packet-boat, on its way home to Westminster-stairs, and that I would be able to write a line to the foreign secretary, upon this violation of the law of nations; instigating him to aceept the message of the president of congress, and not suffer the glory of Old England to be tarvished, by refusing so repeatedly the challenges of the American champion, who had now added a violent act of provocation in our abduction. By tire help of such suggestions, and good smelling-salts, I was enabled to appear, with tolerable equanimity, at the breakfast table, where I resolved to divert my anguish, by a hearty meal. But, alas! Jack, the expedient that had so often soothed my troubles, was umequal toperform its natural oflice, on this greatest of all my calamities. The very idea of eating seemed to choak me with internal surges ; andand-in short, I spoiled my own and others breakfast. They advised me to go and lie down, saying, that I was sea-sick; but that could not be, for deuce a drop of sea-water had I touched : still I would not own to these unfeeling catchpoles, that I was only home-sick; for which reason I told them, it was nothing but the wind. “How can that be?" said the chief of these pirates, detaining a huge gobbet of fat pork on his fork, while he spoke. “ The wind is south-east by east, and could not be in a more favourable point." With this insult over my misfortunes, the barbarian thrust the sixpenny worth of pig down his throat, and threw me into convulsions at his savage inhumanity.
I was now carried off to bed, that is to say, to a cupboard-shelf with bedclothes on it; and this, Jack, with a rude wash-hand stand in it, was all the furnished lodging they allowed me for my money. But what can prisoners expect? In my agony I frequently begged to be put on shore, no matter whether on the Surrey or London side; that I would excuse their refunding any part of the fare, and even pay a handsome gratuity, if they would set me out at the first stairs or wharf that they came to. But they only answered with rude laughter, that added to the spasms of my heart. I now first comprehended what the poets and tragedians mean by grief: every thing that I have felt before, was mere sentiment and imaginary woe; but now I experienced the real pangs and yearnings of distress, and became conscious of possessing bowels of compassion for the sufferings of the poor moaning captives around me. Yes, Jack, I have discovered how tender-hearted I am.
How long I lay in these mortal heavings, praying that the crisis of death might relieve me, I know not, for my watch had gone down; but I am sure it must have been an incalculable number of hours before the twilight came on: because, as we were travelling westward in a boat, impelled by American steam, (so much superior to ours,) it stands to reason, that we were going with the sun, and of course should not miss the daylight until we had left him a considerable way behind us; this must be plain to any one that knows what Aphelion and Perihelion mean, or to be more explicit, Apogee and Perigee. Well then, about the time when my stomach could hold out no longer with fasting such a space of time, this long polar day came to a conclusion, and I determined to rise and prowl about in the dusk for something to eat ; for hunger, you know, will break through stone walls ; and why should it not through wooden ones ? besides, I heard the steward say we were near the light ship, which I did not doubt was some light, fastsailing skiff, that would probably undertake to drop a letter for me in the two-penny post. So, I pencilled a few lines to Mr. Canning at Downing-street, and slipped, as well as I could, out of my confined apartment; but sorrow had so completely upset me, that I could not keep my legs, and staggered about like a drunken man. At last I bobbed against the steward, in the dusk, and thought that all was over with me, as he would naturally suspect my intention to escape, and have me searched with the damnatory note about me. Recollecting how despatches had been treated on similar occasions, I clapped the paper into my mouth, and by a desperate gulp or two, sent it down to be digested by the gastric juice. It operated better than any other prescription could have done, for in a moment I felt considerably relieved; which shows what a length of time I must have fasted, when my stomach could put up with a mouthful of paper. Compassion, or fear of losing by my death, induced the steward, instead of ordering me to be stripped, to invite me to take some dinner, and even to persuade me to walk upon deck to get an appetite. I heard him make the same proposal to many more of his victims; thus, even slave merchants, for the sake of lucre, will take pity upon their suffocating cargo. His assistant-jailor enveloped me in a dread-nought, that must have been wire-wove, it felt so bristly: its weight too was such, as effectually to preclude my escape by leaping overboard and swimming to the shore. These precautions being taken, I was hoisted upon