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MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.-PART V.
BY PISISTRATUS CAXTON.
BOOK 111.-INITIAL CHAPTER, SHOWING HOW MY NOVEL CAME TO BE CALLED "MY NOVEL."
"I am not displeased with your MR SQUILLS.—“Certainly; there is novel, so far as it has gone," said my not a catchpenny in the world but father graciously; "though as for The what goes down, if the title be apt Sermon—"
and seductive. Witness Old Parr's Here I trembled; but the ladies, Life Pills.' Sell by the thousand, sir, Heaven bless them! had taken Par- when my 'Pills for Weak Stomachs,' son Dale under their special protec- which I believe to be just the same tion; and, observing that my father compound, never paid for the adverwas puckering up his brows critically, tising." they rushed boldly forward in defence Mr CAXTON.-—" Parr's Life Pills! of The Sermon, and Mr Caxton was a five stroke of genius! It is not forced to beat a retreat. However, every one who has a weak stomach, like a skilful general, he renewed the or time to attend to it, if he have. assault upon outposts less gallantly But who would not swallow a pill to guarded. But as it is not my business live to a hundred and fifty-two ? " to betray my weak points, I leave it to PISISTRATUS, stirring the fire in the ingenuity of cavillers to discover great excitement.--"My title! my the places at which the Author of title !—what shall be my title !" IIuman Error directed his great guns. MR CAXTON, thrusting his hand
“But,” said the Captain, "you are into his waistcoat, and in his most a lad of too much spirit, Pisistratus, didactic of tones.-" From a remote to keep us always in the obscure period, the choice of a title has percountry quarters of Hazeldean-you plexed the scribbling portion of manwill march us out into open service kind. We may guess how their invenbefore you have done with us?" tion has been racked by the strange
PISISTRATUS, magisterially, for he contortions it has produced. To begin has been somewhat nettled by Mr with the Hebrews. The Lips of the Caxton's remarks—and he puts on an Sleeping,'(Labia Dormientium)—what air of dignity, in order to awe away book do you suppose that title to deminor assailants. — “Yes, Captain signate ?-A Catalogue of Rabbinical Roland -- not yet awhile, but all in writers ! Again, imagine some young good time. I have not stinted my lady of old captivated by the sentiself in canvass, and behind_my mental title of 'The Pomegranate foreground of the Hall and the Par- with its Flower,' and opening on a sonage I propose, hereafter, to open treatise on the Jewishi Ceremonials! some lengthened perspective of the Let us turn to the Romans. Aulus varieties of English life-"
Gellius commences his pleasant gosMR CAXTON.-"Hum!"
siping Noctes' with a list of the BLANCHE, putting her hand on my titles in fashion in his day. For father's lip.-*. We shall know better instance, · The Muses' and 'The Veil,' the design,
perhaps, when we know · The Cornucopia,'' The Beehive,' and the title. Pray, Mr Author, what is · The Meadow.' Some titles, indeed, the title ?"
were more truculent, and promised MY MOTHER, with more animation food to those who love to sup upon than usual—" Ay, Sisty-the title?” horrors such as · The Torch, The
PISISTRATUS, startled. — “ The Poniard,' The Stiletto '" title! By the soul of Cervantes ! I PISISTRATUS, impatiently.--"Yes, have never yet thought of a title !" sir; but to come to My Novel.”
CAPTAIN ROLAND, solemnly. MR Caxton, unheeding the inter"There is a great deal in a good title. ruption.--"You see, you have a fine As a novel reader, I know that by choice here, and of a nature pleasing, experience."
and not unfamiliar to a classical What say
reader ; or you may borrow a hint that I ask you to remember it is to from the early Dramatic Writers." invent a title for mine--My Novel!'
PISISTRATUS, more hopefully.- MR CAXTON, clapping his hands "dy! there is something in the Drama gently.--" Excellent-capital ! Noakin to the Novel. Now, perhaps, I thing can be better ; simple, natural, may catch an idea."
pertinent, conciseMR CAXTON. 6. For instance, PINISTRATUS.-"What is it, sirthe author of the Curiosities of Lite- what is it! Have you really thought rature (from whom, by the way, I of a title to My Novel ? " am plagiarising much of the informa- MR CAXTON.-" You have hit it tion I bestow upon you) tells us of a yourself—My Novel.' It is your Spanish gentleman who wrote a Co. Novel-people will know it is your medy, by which he intended to serve Novel. Turn and twist the English what he took for Moral Philosophy.”. language as you will-be as allegorical
PINISTRATUS, eagerly.—"Well, sir?" as Hebrew, Greek, Roman-Fabulist
MR CAXTON. — And called it The or Puritan-still, after all, it is your Pain of the Sleep of the World.'" Novel, and nothing more nor less
PISISTRATUS.—" Very comic in- than your Novel." deed, sir."
PINISTRATUS, thoughtfully, and MR CAXTON. -“ Grave things were sounding the words various ways.then called Comedies, as old things "My Novel-um-um! 'My Novel!' are now called Novels. Then there rather bald—and curt, eh?" are all the titles of early Romance MR CAXTON.--" Add what you say itself at your disposal Theagenes you intend it to depict-Varieties in and Chariclea,' or • The Ass' of English Life." Longus, or The Golden Ass' of MY MOTHER.—“. My Novel ; or, Apaleius, or the titles of Gothic Ro- Varieties in English Life'- I don't mance, such as "The most elegant, de- think it sounds amiss. licious, mellifluous, and delightful yon, Roland ? Would it attract you History of Perceforest, King of Great in a catalogue ?" Britain,'”—And therewith my father My Uncle hesitates, when Mr ran over a list of names as long as the Caxton exclaims imperiously, Directory, and about as amusing. "The thing is settled ! Don't dis
“Well, to my taste," said my turb Camarina." mother, the novels I used to read SQUILLS." If it be not too great when a girl, (for I have not read many a liberty, pray who or what is Camasince, I am ashamed to say,)—" rina?"
MR CAXTON.—"No, you need not MR CAXTON. “ Camarina, Mr be at all ashamed of it, Kitty." Squills, was a lake, apt to be low, and
MY MOTHER, proceeding.-"Were then liable to be muddy ; and ' Don't much more inviting than any you disturb Camarina' was a Greek promention, Austin."
verb derived from an Oracle of ApolTHE CAPTAIN.-" True."
lo; and from that Greek proverb, no MR SQUILLS.-“ Certainly. No- doubt, comes the origin of the inthing like them now-a-days!” junction, 'Quieta non movere,' which
MY MOTHER.-"Says she to her became the favourite maxim of Sir Neighbour, What?'"
Robert Walpole and Parson Dale. THE CAPTAIN.-4. The Unknown, The Greek line, Mr Squills, (here my or the Northern Gallery'-"
father's memory began to warm,) is Mr SQUILLS.-" There is a Secret ; preserved by STEPHANUS BYZANFind it Out!'"
TINUS, de Urbibus PisIsTRATUS, pushed to the verge of human endurance, and upsetting
• Μή κίνει Καμάριναν, ακίνητος γαρ
αμείνων. .' tongs, poker, and fire-shovel.— What nonsense yon are talking, all of you ! ZENOBIUS explains it in his Proverbs; For heaven's sake, consider what SUIDAS repeats ZENOBIUS ; LUCIAN an important matter we are called alludes to it; so does Virgil in the upon to decide. It is not now the Third Book of the Æneid; and SILIUS titles of those very respectable works ITALICUs imitates Virgil — which issued from the Minerva Press Et cui non licitum fatis Camarina moveri.'
Parson Dale, as a clergyman and a let it alone; but woman, being the
It is greatly to be regretted that his inexpressible and fierce satisfacMr Stirn was not present at the tion, Mr Stirn fell upon a knot of Parson's Discourse-but that valu- boys pelting the swans; sometimes able functionary was far otberwise he missed a young sapling, and found engaged-indeed, during the summer it in felonious hands, converted into months he was rarely seen at the a walking-stick ; sometimes he caught afternoon service. Not that he cared a hulking fellow scrambling up the for being preached at—not he: Mr ha-ha! to gather a nosegay for his Stirn would have snapped his finger sweetheart from one of poor Mrs at the thunders of the Vatican. But Hazeldean's pet parterres ; not unthe fact was, that Mr Stirn chose to frequently, indeed, when all the do a great deal of gratuitous busi- family were fairly at church, some ness upon the day of rest. The curious impertinents forced or sneaked Squire allowed all persons, who their way into the gardens, in order chose, to walk about the park on a to peep in at the windows. For Sunday; and many came from a dis- these, and various other offences of tance to stroll by the lake, or recline like magnitude, Mr Stirn had long, under the elms. These visitors were but vaiuly, sought to induce the objects of great suspicion, nay, of Squire to withdraw a permission so positive annoyance, to Mr Stirn- villanously abused. But though there and, indeed, not altogether without times when Mr Hazeldean reason, for we English have a natural grunted and growled, and swore love of liberty, which we are even is that he would shut up the park, more apt to display in the grounds of and fill it (illegally) with man-traps other people than in those which we and spring-guns,” his anger always cultivate ourselves. Sometimes, to evaporated in words. The park was
still open to all the world on a Sun- they ha' left the body. But in this day; and that blessed day was there. here willage there ben't a man, fore converted into a day of travail woman, nor child, as has any consarn and wrath to Mr Stirn. But it was for Squire or Parish, barring myfrom the last chime of the afternoon self." It was just as he arrived at service bell until dusk that the spirit that misanthropical conclusion that of this vigilant functionary was most Mr Stirn beheld Leonard Fairfield pertarbed ; for, amidst the flocks walking very fast from his own home. that gathered from the little ham- The superintendent clapped on his lets round to the voice of the Pastor, hat, and stuck his right arm akimbo. there were always some stray sbeep, " Hollo, you sir,” said he, as Lenny or rather climbing desultory vaga- now came in hearing, "where be you bond goats, who struck off in all per- going at that rate ? " verse directions, as if for the special “Please, sir, I be going to church." purpose of distracting the energetic “Stop, sir-stop, Master Lenny. watchfulness of Mr Stirn. As soon as Going to church !-why, the bell's church was over, if the day were done ; and you knows the Parson is fine, the whole park became a scene very angry at them as comes in animated with red cloaks, or lively late, disturbing the congregation. shawls, Sunday waistcoats, and hats You can't go to church now !" stuck full of wild-flowers - which “Please, sir” last Mr Stirn often stoutly maintained “I says you can't go to church to be Mrs Hazeldean's newest gera- now. You must learn to think a little niums. Now, on this Sunday espe- of others, lad. You sees how I sweats cially, there was an imperative call to serve the Squire! and you must upon an extra exertion of vigilance serve him too. Why, your mother's on the part of the superintendent— got the house and premishes almost he had not only to detect ordinary rent free: you ought to have a gratedepredators and trespassers ; but, ful heart, Leonard Fairfield, and feel first, to discover the authors of the for his honour ! Poor man! his heart conspiracy against the Stocks; and is wellnigh bruk, I am sure, with the secondly, to “make an example." goings on.”
He had begun his rounds, there- Leonard opened his innocent blue fore, from the early morning; and eyes, while Mr Stirn dolorously wiped just as the afternoon bell was sound- his own. ing its final peal, he emerged upon “ Look at that ere dumb cretur," the village green from a hedgerow, said Stirn suddenly, pointing to the behind which he had been at watch Stocks—" look at it. If it could speak, to observe who had the most sus- what would it say, Leonard Fairpiciously gathered round the stocks. field ? Answer me that l-Damn the At that moment the place was de- Stocks, indeed!'" serted. At a distance, the superin- “It was very bad in them to tendent saw the fast disappearing write such naughty words," said forms of some belated groups hasten- Lenny gravely.
* Mother was quite ing towards the church ; in front, the shocked when she heard of it, this Stocks stood staring at him mourn- morning.” fully from its four great eyes, which
MR STIRN.—“I dare she was, conhad been cleansed from the mud, but sidering what she pays for the prestill looked bleared and stained with mishes : (insinuatingly,) you does not the marks of the recent outrage. know who did it-eh, Lenny?” Here Mr Stirn paused, took off his LENNY.—“No, sir ; indeed I does hat, and wiped his brows.
not!" “If I had sum un, to watch here," MR STIRN." Well, you see, you thought he, “while I takes a turn can't go to church — prayers half by the water-side, praps summat over by this time. You recollex that I might come out; praps them as did put them stocks under your sponsiit ben't gone to church, but will come bility,' and see the way you's done your sneaking round to look on their duty by 'em. I've balf a mind to,"-willany! as they says murderers are Mr Stirn cast his eyes on the eyes always led back to the place where of the Stocks.
"Please, sir,” began Lenny again, mission to which he was deputed. In rather frightened.
youth, at least, everything has its “No, I won't please; it ben't pleas- bright side-even the appointment of ing at all. But I forgives you this Protector to the Parish Stocks. For time, only keep a sharp look-out, lad, the Stocks, themselves, Leonard had in future. Now you just stay here- no affection, it is true; but he had no, there, - under the hedge, and no sympathy with their aggressors, you watches if any persons come to and he could well conceive that the loiter about or looks at the Stocks, Squire would be very much hurt at or laughs to hisself, while I go my the revolutionary event of the night. rounds. I shall be back either afore “So," thought poor Leonard in his .church is over or just arter ; so you simple heart-—"so if I can serve his stay till I comes, and give me your honour, by keeping off mischievous report. Be sharp, boy, or it will be boys, or letting him know who did worse for you and your mother: I can the thing, I'm sure it would be a let the preinishes for four pounds a proud day for mother." Then he year more, to-morrow.
began to consider that, however unConcluding with that somewhat graciously Mr Stirn bad bestowed on menacing and very significant remark, him the appointment, still it was a and not staying for an answer, Mr compliment to him-showed trust and Stirn waved his hand, and walked off. confidence in him, picked him out
Poor Lenny remained by the Stocks, from his contemporaries as the sober very much dejected, and greatly dis- moral pattern boy ; and Lenny had a liking the neighbourhood to which he great deal of pride in him, especially was consigned. At length he slowly in matters of repute aud character. crept off to the hedge, and sate him- All these things considered, I say, self down in the place of espionage Leonard Fairfield reclined in his lurkpointed out to him. Now, philoso- ing-place, if not with positive delight phers tell us that what is called and intoxicating rapture, at least the point of honour is a barbarous with tolerable content and some comfeudal prejudice. Amongst the higher placency. classes, wherein those feudal preju- Mr Stirn might have been gone a dices may be supposed to prevail, quarter of an hour, when a boy came Lenny Fairfield's occupation would through a little gate in the park, just not bave been considered peculiarly opposite to Lenny's retreat in the honourable; neither would it have hedge, and, as if fatigued with walkseemed so to the more turbulent ing, or oppressed by the heat of the spirits among the humbler orders, who day, paused on the green for a moment have a point of honour of their own, or so, and then advanced under the which consists in the adherence to sbade of the great tree which overeach other in defiance of all lawful hung the Stocks. authority. But to Lenny Fairfield, Lenny pricked up his ears, and brought up much apart from other peeped out jealously. boys, and with a profound and He had never seen the boy before : grateful reverence for the Squire in- it was a strange face to him. stilled into all his habits of thonght, Leonard Fairfield was not fond of notions of honour bounded themselves strangers ; moreover, he had a vague to simple honesty and straightfor. belief that strangers were at the botward truth ; and as he cherished an tom of that desecration of the Stocks. unquestioning awe of order and The boy,then, was a stranger; but what constitutional authority, so it did not was his rank? Was he of that grade appear to him that there was any in society in which the natural offences thing derogatory and debasing in are or are not consonant to, or harmonibeing thus set to watch for an ous with, outrages upon Stocks ? On offender. On the contrary, as he began that Lenny Fairfield did not feel quite to reconcile himself to the loss of the assured. According to all the experience church service, and to enjoy the cool of the villager, the boy was not dressed of the summer shade, and the occa- like a young gentleman. Leonard's sional chirp of the birds, he got to notions of such aristocratic costume look on the bright side of the com- were naturally fashioned upon the