Page images

Dr. F. He is, by Jove! It won't do to mention it, because of the way in which it came to my ears; but you may depend upon it he is in a very ticklish situation just now.

Editor. How do you mean? (Dr. F. points to his head with a very significant look.) Pooh! I don't believe a word of it! where did you hear it? (Dr. F. looks round the room, and then whispers in the Editor's ear.) That should be good authority, but

Dr. F. It is a fact, and you'll hear more about it before long, I met Sir R. Peel on his way to Downing Street as I came here, and he appeared very agitated. He was walking uncommonly fast, though the day is so hot. But I'll not interrupt you any longer, for I know your time is precious ~so good by. [Erit DR. FROTH–Editor writes]

There is a painful rumour in circulation this morning, in the bighest quarters, upon a subject which is too delicate to mention more explicitly. We hope it may prove altogether unfounded, or at least much exaggerated; but the PECULIAR SOURCEs from which we derive our information, justifies us in attaching more than ordinary weight to the distressing report. Should anything further transpire, after our paper is put to press, we shall not fail to communicate it to our readers in a second edition.'

(Rings the Printer's bell. MR. Pica enters.) Here are two more leaders, Mr. Pica. How does your matter stand now ?*

MR. P. I measured it just before you rung the bell, and I had about a column ard a quarter open; but these leaders will make a third of a column.

EDITOR. Rather more, I think. (Exit Mr. Pica. As he goes out, enter MR. SNOOKS.) How do you do, Snooks?

MR. SNOOKS. Fagged almost to death. What with the hot weather, and the hot water in which I am eternally kept in my theatre, I declare I feel myself getting quite ill. EDITOR. You don't look well.

MR. Snooks (with a long face.). I am not well. It is too much for me, I do assure you. You have heard how Liston has served me; haven't you? You saw the paragraph in the Morning Post; didn't you? I will say it was a d-d shabby trick; wasn't it?

EDITOR. Oh, he knows he is such a favorite with the public, that he can do as he likes.

MR. Snooks. Yes; but my dear sir, a manager's property, you know, is not to be made ducks and drakes of, because a popular actor thinks proper to think he can take what liberties he chooses with the town.

EDITOR. Certainly not.

MR. Snooks. It is very hard upon me, you know, when I have made all my arrangements for the season, at an enormous expence, to be left in the lurch at the very moment when the theatre was beginning to pay itself, by a lucky hit; for I do call it a very lucky hit, the bringing out that new comedy with a character in it written expressly for Liston. Without him, it is nothing—absolutely nothing;—it is scandalous to think that there I am, stuck fast--and can't play it, because Mr. Liston, to whom I am paying thirty pounds a week, throws up his part in a huff. I do say 'tis scandalous—isn't it?

EDITOR. It is too bad.

MR. SNOOKS. Too bad ! It is atrocious ! For just observe-(The Editor fidgets)—But I am taking up your time, else I could prove to you in one minute, that I am losing fifty pounds a night, at least, by not playing this new comedy. And I do say that's a cruel case--a very cruel case. Don't


think so? EDITOR. I do indeed.

Mr. Snooks. I wouldn't wish to ask you to do any thing unpleasant to your own feelings—but if you have no objection to say a few words, just a

* i. e. How much more do you want to fill the paper ?

you think of it.

little paragraph of half a dozen lines, treating the matter in your own way, it would really be doing me a service—for the public don't at all understand these things, and it is proper they should know how they are treated by those whom they patronise.

EDITOR. 'The public, my dear Snooks, don't care a fig about your greenroom feuds; and the less that is said about them the better. They look only to your bill, and the entertainment it promises. You'll never succeed in making them a party to your squabbles behind the curtain ; and your best policy is to make them interested in what takes place before it.

Mr. Snooks. I dare say you are right; but it is a shame notwithstanding. Do you think there would be any harm in calling public attention to the great efforts which I am really making, as you know, at my theatre ?

EDITOR. How do you mean?

Mr. Snooks. Why—but stop,-as I am here, I may as well show you a few lines I wrote this morning myself. Just read that, and tell me what

Editor (reads). You wish that this, or something like it, should appear? Mr. SNOOKS. Exactly.

EDITOR. Well, you can leare it with me. It certainly will not do in its present form, but, with a few alterations, it shall go in.

MR. Snooks. Thank you ; you are always very kind. But, you never come near us—I wish you would look in now and then-there's my box at your service whenever you like—do come,I wish you would--will you come to-night ? well, some other night then-good day-I am very much obliged to you-good day.

[Erit (Editor alters Mr. Snook's paragraph, and falls into a brown study, which

lasts several minutes. It is interrupted by the entrance of the clerk, who brings him the card of a gentleman below stairs who wishes to speak with him for one minute. The clerk is ordered to show the gentleman up,

and the Rev. Jupiah Flinn enters.) The Rev. Mr. FLINN. Are you the editor of the

? EDITOR. I am.

The Rev. Mr. Flinn. Then I have called upon you, sir, to request that you will contradict a most malicious and unfounded report of the death of my uncle, which appeared in your paper yesterday.

EDITOR. With great pleasure, if it be unfounded; but I can assure you there was nothing malicious in the statement. Who is your uncle? The Rev. Mr. F. The Bishop of

There is a letter I received from him this morning, dated only yesterday; and your paper says, he died suddenly at his episcopal palace last Saturday. These false reports are not only most distressing to the friends and relations of an individual, but they are cruel disappointments to a numerous class of your readers. I have met three deans and one prebendary already, who have hurried up to town in consequence of the scandalous rumour.

EDITOR. I am really very sorry; but the fact is, the rumour did not originate with us; it was copied from another paper. However, I shall be most happy to give it a positive contradiction.

The Rev. Mr. F. You may do so, as you see, by this letter, with perfect confidence. I can partly guess how the mistake originated. The Bishop of who is upon a visit to my uncle, and who is in his eightieth year, actually lies at the point of death. His recovery is hopeless, I find ; but the blunder is the more awkward, because my uncle has long had the promise of being translated to the see of

if he outlived his friend.' EDITOR. I shall not fail to set the matter right.

The Rev. Mr. F. Sir, I am obliged to you. (The Rev. Judiah Flinn puts his uncle's letter into his pocket and departs.)

[ocr errors]

Editor (writes.) We cannot sufficiently reprobate the manner in which some of our contemporaries give circulation to the most unfounded reports. We, yesterday, incautiously copied from another paper, a statement of the pretended death of the Bishop of

We have the best authority for asserting that this paragraph is wbolly without foundation. We have seen a letter from the Right Rev. prelate, written four days after the date of his alleged decease, and at which period be was in the enjoyment of excellent health. We are happy in being thus enabled to dispel the gloom which the report of his lordship's death must have occasioned, wherever talents, piety, moral worth, private virtue, and public integrity are beld dear. At any time, the loss of such a man as the Bishop of would be severely felt; but at a moment like this, when the best interests of the church are in danger, it would be a national calamity. In the words of Shakspeare we are ready

to exclaim

-" He's a learned man. May he continue
Long in his country's favor, and do justice
For truth's sake, and his conscience; that his bones,
When he has run his course, and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphan's tears wept on 'em!”

“While however, we heartily congratulate our readers upon this bead, we deeply regret to add that the life of the venerable Bishop of is despaired of. He lies dangerously ill at the episcopal palace of the Bishop of .; and though he was alive when the last accounts came away, the severe nature of his malady, at his very advanced age (for be is between eighty and ninety), forbids the most sangine hope to calculate upon his recovery. He, too, is one of the pillars of the Church ; and whenever it sball please Divine Providence to take him, this may be his epitaph :

« This bishop,
Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashioned to much honor. From his cradle
He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one;
Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading.

In bestowing,
He was most princely.
And, to add greater honors to his age
Than man could give him, bo died, fearing God.”


Come– I shall do pretty well for leaders, after all, though there is nothing to write about. (Rings Mr. Pica's bell.) Here is more copy ready : This is a leader and this, a common pur in l. p.*

A common par" is a “common paragraph;” and “l.p." stands for that description of letter which is called long primer. Paragraphs, in a paper, have their places of precedency, and their select company, as well as advertisements. There is as much difference, in point of dignity and rank, between an l.p. par (or a paragraph in large letters), coming immediately after the leaders, and a scrubby minion par (or a paragraph in small letter), shoved any where, as between a minister's private secretary, and the private secretary's private clerk.

Your l. p. par is a gentleman, and keeps good society. You will always find him in the midst of their excellencies the ambassadors, who have paid visits to the foreign Office, or (received despatches from their own governments ; side by side with peers and west-end commoners, who have gone out of town, come into town, or given grand dinners ; surrounded with princesses and other illustrious personages, who have taken an airing or paid a morning visit. But your minion par is a sneaking, shabby, obscure little fellow, poked down in a corner by himself, or at best only permitted to associate with melancholy accidents">" daring robberies” — "more fires"-"extraordinary longevity,”-the puff particular of Warren's blacking, and the puffs universal of Colburn's authors. It is only when


[ocr errors]

Mr. Pica. I have too much already, by at least half a column, and I don't know what to leave out.

EDITOR.—Half a column too much,—then you do not want any more from me.

MR. P. No, sir; I was thinking of keeping the “awful thunder storm” till to-morrow, only it is a week old already.

EDITOR. Never mind. We shall have some more thunder storms by to-morrow, in all probability; and then you can put them all together.

MR. P. Do you care about “the Grand Seignior" and the “Flying Fish” going in to-day? Because if they are left out, I can make room for the “White Witch," the “Persian Ambassador,” and “Waterloo Bridge."

EDITOR. Find a place for the “ White Witch.” She has been standing for a long time; ever since Monday.

MR. P. So has “ Waterloo Bridge,” sir.
EDITOR (with an arch look.) Yes; but that was intended to stand.

MR. P. (Laughing as before.) I shall want two or three small pars, of about six lines each, to make out the columns, for none of the long articles will fit exactly

EDITOR. Wait a moment, and I'll give them to you. (Writes.)3

"Mackerel are just now in season, and remarkably cheap. We are glad of it, for they furnish an economical and wholesome meal to the poorer classes, with a few potatoes."

The metropolis was visited by a violent storm last night. The rain fell in torrents. We have not heard whether it extended beyond the immediate vicinity of London.”

" If the hot weather continues much longer, there will be too much of it. The farmers are already crying out sadly for rain.”

“ As a man was driving a pig, yesterday, down the Haymarket, the obstinate animal ran between the legs of an old woman who was carrying a heavy basket of cabbages on her head, and threw her down. The poor old creature bruised her elbow shockingly. The pig ran off in the direction of St. James's Square. The writer of this saw the accident. What are the street-keepers about, to allow fellows thus to drive their pigs on the foot pavement, in one of the most crowded thoroughfares of the metropolis ?"

Anecdote. An exquisite—that is a tip-top dandy, was calling a coach the other day, opposite Southampton Street, in the Strand. The delicate creature could not make his voice beard; when a rough Jack-tar, who happened to be passing by, hailed coachee in a voice like a speaking trumpet. • Here,' said Jack, looking unutterable things at the dandy-here's something wants you.'

A LEGAL CONUNDRUM.- When a ship of war has but an indifferent crew, and is ill provided with cannon, she is in want of the assistance of two learned counsel. Who are they ? Man-ning and Gun-ning.-N.B. This is not one of Lord Norbury's lasts."

There are half a dozen pars for you. If you do not want them all to-day, use any of them that will fit, and keep the rest for another time. (Exit Mr. Pica. The Editor puts away his letters and paperslocks up

his writing desk-washes his hands-adjusts his cravat-buttons his coat --- puts on his hat and glovesand sallies forth into Fleet Street or the Strand, to enjoy the fresh air, while Mr. Pica is using all necessary

diligence to get the paper ready for publication.) Parliament is sitting, or there is “a press of matter," that these distinctions are levelled in one common fate of pars, and even leaders. It is then only, that lords and ladies, M.P.'s and quack doctors, hops, crops, and concerts, fops, fiddlers, and philosophers, large turnips and theatrical stars, bishops and burglaries, are all equally the minions of the daily press, and distinguished only by their "station in the file.


To Geoffrey Oldcastle, Esq. Sir,- I have been a reader of your Magazine, and a well-wisher to it from its commencement; as far as I could, I have endeavoured to promote its success; and I still feel an interest in that success; but, in what I am about to propose, you may possibly think I take a questionable way of showing it.

You are aware, (though perhaps no one else is), that many years ago I began a series of papers in Blackwood, entitled, “ FIRST AND Last," intending to complete them in twelve numbers. It so happened, I never did complete them; and it so happens, I should like to complete them in the CANTERBURY Magazine. For this purpose I now send you the first of them, “ corrected, amended,” and, I hope, *improved,” If you publish it, I shall consider that you accede to my proposal, and forward


the others; and, when they have made their bow to your readers, and cultivated their good opinion, I shall introduce the remainder to their acquaintance. I should not exact this condition were it not that I think the last « Firsts and Lasts” would be imperfect without the first. I have, moreover, been induced to select your Magazine for finishing them, because I see my friend, the “ Silent Meniber," has also transferred his pen to your service. I remain,&c.

WILLIAM MUDFORD. Nov. 24, 1834.

Take down from your shelves, gentle reader, your folio edition of Johnson's Dictionary,–or, if you possess Todd's edition of Johnson, take down his four ponderous quartos; turn over every leaf; read every word from A to Z; and then confess, that, in the whole vocabulary, there are not any two words which awaken in your heart such a crowd of mixed and directly opposite emotions,as the two which now stare you in the face-first and LAST ! In the abstract, they embrace the whole round of our existence : in the detail, all its brightest hopes, its noblest enjoyments, and its most cherished recollections; all its loftiest enterprises, and all its smiles and tears; its pangs of guilt, its virtuous principles, its trials, its sorrows, and its rewards. They give you the dawn and the close of life; the beginning and the end of its countless busy scenes. They are the two extremities of a path, which, be it long, or be it short, no man sees at one and the same moment. Happy would it be for us, sometimes, if we could—if we could behold the end of a course of action as certainly as we do the beginning : but oftener, far oftener, would it be our curse and torment, unless, with the foresight or foreknowledge, we had the power to avert the end.

But let me not anticipate my own intentions, which are to pourtray, in some ten or twelve sketches, the links that hold together the first and last of the most momentous periods and undertakings of our lives; to trace the dawn, progress, and decline of many of the best feelings and motives of our nature ; to touch, with a pensive colouring, the contrasts they present; to stimulate honorable enterprises by the examples they furnish; and to amuse by the form in which the truths they supply are embodied. I shall begin with a subject, not exactly falling within the legitimate scope of my design; but it will serve as an appropriate introduction; and I shall call it


Twelve friends, much about the same age, and fixed by their pursuits, their family connexions, and other local interests, as permanent inhabitants of the metropolis, agreed one day when they were drinking their wine at the Star and Garter, at Richmond, to institute an annual dinner among themselves, under the following regulations : That they should dine alternately at each other's houses on the first and last day of the year; that the first bottle of wine uncorked at the first dinner, should be re-corked and put away, to be drunk by him who should be the last of their number; that they should

« PreviousContinue »