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that unconstitutional band of gens. how I was introduced to the atd'-armes created for the direct pur- tention of a magistrate, and recordposes of tyranny, and held up to the ed in the diurnal page of the newsindignation of all England by the paper—all this must be left to other weekly eloquence of the Despatch historians to narrate.
CHAP. V. WHAT STORY IT WAS THAT HUMPY HARLOW TOLD AT JACK GINGER's. At three o'clock on the day after “ The story begins with · Hume the dinner, Antony Harrison and I phries told me,” said Bob. found ourselves eating bread and " And,” proceeded Joe," for our cheese-part of the cheese-at Jack lives we cannot recollect whatit was.” Ginger's. We recapitulated the “ Wonderful !” we all exclaimed. events of the preceding evening, and “How inscrutable are the movements expressed ourselves highly gratified of the human mind !" with the entertainment. Most of the And we proceeded to reflect on good things we had said were re- the frailty of our memories, moralvived, served up again, and laughed izing in a strain that would have at once more. We were perfectly done honour to Dr Johnson. satisfied with the parts which we "Perhaps," said I," Tom Meggot had respectively played, and talked may recollect it." ourselves into excessive good hu- Idle hope ! dispersed to the winds mour. All on a sudden, Jack Gin- almost as soon as it was formed. ger's countenance clouded. He was For the words had scarcely passed evidently puzzled ; and sat for a mo- “ the bulwark of my teeth," when ment in thoughtful silence. We Tom appeared, looking excessively asked him, with Oriental simplicity bloodshot in the eye. On enquiry, of sense, “ Why art thou troubled?" it turned out that he, like the rest of and till a moment he answered us, remembered only the cabalistic
“What was the story which Humpy words which introduced the tale, but Harlow told us about eleven o'clock of the tale itself, nothing. last night, just as Bob Burke was Tom had been educated in Edinteeming the last jug ?”.
burgh, and was strongly attached to “ It began,” said I, “with · Hum- what he calls metapheesicks ; and, phries told me.'”
accordingly, after rubbing his fore“ It did,” said Antony Harrison, head, he exclaimedcutting a deep incision into the “ This is a psychological curiosity, cheese.
which deserves to be developed. I “I know it did,” said Jack Ginger; happen to have half a sovereigo about “ but what was it that Humphries me," (an assertion, which, I may rehad told him ? I cannot recollect it if mark, in passing, excited considerI was to be made Lord Chancellor.” able surprise in his audience,) " and
Antony Harrison and I mused in I'll ask Harlow to dine with me at silence, and racked our brains, but the Rainbow. I'll get the story out of to no purpose. On the tablet of our the humpy rascal —and no mistake." memories no trace had been en- We acquiesced in the propriety of graved, and the tale of Humphries, this proceeding; and Antony Harrias reported by Harlow, was as if it son, observing that he happened by were not, so far as we were concerned. chance to be disengaged, hooked
While we were in this perplexity, himself on Tom, who seemed to have Joe Macgillicuddy and Bob Burke a sort of national antipathy to such a entered the room.
ceremony, with a talent and alacrity “We have been just taking a hair that proved him to be a veteran warof the same dog,” said Joe. " It was rior, or what, in common parlance, a pleasant party we had last night. is called an old soldier. Do you know what Bob and I have Tom succeeded in getting Harbeen talking of for the last half hour?” low to dinner, and Harrison suc
We professed our inability to con- ceeded in making him pay the bill, jecture.
to the great relief of Meggot's half“ Why, then,” continued Joe, “it sovereign, and they parted at an was about the story that Harlow told early hour in the morning. The last night.”
two Irishmen and myself were at
Ginger's shortly after breakfast; we py Harlow, performing that feat, had been part occupied in tossing which by the illustrious Mr John halfpence to decide which of us was Reeve is called "flaring up.” to send out for ale, when-Harrison Nothing," we replied, "nothing, and Meggot appeared. There was but we are anxious to hear that conscious confusion written in their story." countenances. “ Did Humpy Harlow “I understand you,” said our tell you that story?” we all exclaim- broken-backed friend.
“ I now reed at once.
collect that I did tell it once or so “ It cannot be denied that he did,” before in your company, but I shall said Meggot. “Precisely as the not be a butt any longer for you or clock struck eleven, he commenced any body else.' with ' Humphries told me''
“ Don't be in a passion, Humpy," “ Well--and what then?"
said Jack Ginger. “ Why, there it is,” said Antony " Sir," replied Harlow, “ I hate Harrison, “may I be drummed out nicknames—it is a mark of a low if I can recollect another word.” mind to use them and as I see I am “ Nor I,” said Meggot.
brought here only to be insulted, I The strangeness of this singular shall not trouble you any longer adventure made a deep impression with my company. on us all. We were sunk in silence Saying this, the little man seized for some minutes, during which his hat and umbrella, and strode out Jerry Gallagher made his appear of the room. ance with the ale, which I omitted “ His back is up,” said Joe Macto mention had been lost by Joe gillicuddy, "and there's no use of Macgillicuddy. We sipped that trying to get it down. I am sorry British beverage, much abstracted he is gone, because I should have in deep thought. The thing appear made him pay for another round.” ed to us perfectly inscrutable. At last But he was gone, not to return I said "This never will do-we can- again-and the story remains un. not exist much longer in this atmo- known. Yea, as undiscoverable as sphere of doubt and uncertainty. We the hieroglyphical writings of the must have it out of Harlow to-night, ancient Egyptians. It exists, to be or there is an end of all the grounds sure, in the breast of Harlow; but and degrees of belief, opinion, and there it is buried, never to emerge assent. “I have credit,” said, I, “at into the light of day. It is lost to the widow's, in St Martin's Lane. the world—and means of recovering Suppose we all meet there to.night, it, there, in my opinion, exist none. and get
Harlow there if we can?" The world must go on without it, “ That I can do," said Antony and states and empires must conHarrison, "for I quartered myself tinue to flourish and to fade withto dine with him to-day, as I saw out the knowledge of what it was him home, poor little fellow, last that Humphries told Harlow. Such night. I promise that he figures is the inevitable course of events. at the widow's to.night at nine For my part, I shall be satisfied o'clock."
with what I have done in drawing So we separated. At nine every up this accurate and authentic parman of the party was in St Martin's rative, if I can seriously impress on Lane, seated in the little back par- the minds of my readers the perishlour; and Harrison was as good as able nature of mundane affairs-if I his word, for he brought Harlow can make them reflect that memory with him. He ordered a sumptuous itself, the noblest, perhaps the chasupper of mutton kidneys, inter- racteristic, quality of the human spersed with sausages, and set to. mind, will decay, even while other At eleven o'clock precisely, the eye faculties exist-and thatin the words of Harlow brightened, and putting of a celebrated Lord of Trade and his pipe down, he commenced with Plantations, of the name of John 'a shrill voice
Locke, we may be like the tombs “ Humphrics told me
to which we are hastening, where, “Aye,” said we all, with one ac- though the brass and marble record, “ here it is-now we shall have main, yet the imagery is defaced, it-take care of it this time.” and the inscription is blotted out for
“What do you mean ?" said Hum- ever!”
THE CRUISE OF THE MIDGE.
Of moving accidents by food and field.”-Othello. When I came to myself I was sit. closed as if he slept; and a small ting in the small muddy path through coal black tuft of hair on his chip, which our antagonists had been under his nether lip, startled one, driven. About a fathom from me, from its conspicuousness in contrast partly hid by the mangrove bushes, with the deatbly pallor of his face. say the dead body of one of the He was a very handsome youth, yet white crew of the polacre. He had the features inverted, as his head hung fallen across a stout branch, that shot down, assumed from this circumout horizontally from one of the stance an expression so unusual, yet trees at a height of about a foot from so soft and so touchingly melancholy, the ground, so that, while his feet that although I had often looked on and legs rested on the soft black al. death before, even in my own miserluvial soil on one side of it, his head able plight I could not help noticing and relaxed arms hung down on the it, and being moved by it. There other. He was dressed in the striped was no wound that I could see, but shirt already mentioned, largely thick black gouts were slowly trick, open at the breast, and wide white ling from the white fresh splintered fisherman's drawers, that reached to end of the branch that had been split the knee, made of some strong cot- off in the rush, across which he lay; ton stuff of the same fabric as the but this was only noticeable at the India salampore, so that the garment splinter-mark, the sluggish stream looked like a Greek kilt. It was being invisible, while it crept from fastened at the waist by a red silk his body along the dark green bark sash, one end of which hung down of the limb of the mangrove-tree. A over the branch across which he lay, small pyramid had already been apparently saturated and heavy with formed on the ground, directly beblack blood, that gave it the appear- low the end of the branch, by the ance of a large purple tassel. His dropping of the coagulating blood. collapsed loins, where he was doubled The whole scene was pervaded by over the branch, looked as thin and the faint mysterious light of the subattenuated as if he had been shot in dued sunbeams, as they struggled two, and his prominent chest and through the screen of motionless lower extremities merely connected leaves, above where the dead corse by his clothing. His feet and legs, as slept in the deep cold shadow, that well as his arms, were bare-his shirt- to the eye of one suddenly withsleeves extending only three inches drawn from the glare of the tropical below his shoulder; and it was a fear- noontide, appeared to approach abful sight to look on the death-blue solute darkness; still a soft green colour of the muscles, which no long- ray, or pensil, like moonlight pierer stood out in well-defined and high cing the thick woven leaves of a relief, but had fallen and assumed summer arbour, fell on and floated the rounded appearance of a wo. over the face and one of the naked man’s limbs. The crown of his head arms, until the still features appeared touched the ground, resting on his to become radiant of themselves as long black hair, that had been worn if they had been blanched by it into turned up into a knot, but was now the self-luminous whiteness of fresh spread out in a rich tress, a foot be- hewn alabaster. yond him. He had ear-rings in his It was in truth a most piteous ears, and a broad gold crucifix tied sight, and as the image of my aged round his neck by a cord of spun parent rose up, in my extremity, behair-Alas for her whose raven locks fore my mind's eye at the moment, composed the strands of it! His I held up my feeble hands to heaven, mouth was open, but his eyes were and prayed fervently unto the Al
VOL. XXXV. NO. ccxx.
mighty to bless her declining years, near the flank, so that his two hindand, if that my race were indeed run, legs were utterly powerless, and and that now in very truth my place trailing on the ground. was to know me no more, that my He scrambled on a foot or two fursins might, for Christ's sake, be for- ther towards me-again all was still, given me. Alas, alas !” thought I, and he lay quiet with his nose restbowed down by intense suffering ing on the ground, as if he had been to the very dust,“ may he too not watching his prey; but the next mohave had a mother ?” For à mi- ment pain appeared suddenly to nute, as I slowly recovered from the overcome him again, and once more stunning effects of the shot, I sat ob he stretched out his fore-paws straight serving all this, and pressing the torn before him, and throwing his head skin of my forehead to my temples back, he set up the most infernal with one hand, whilst with the other howl, that ear ever tingled to." MerI kept clearing away the blood as it ciful powers ! can he mean to attack flowed into my eyes; but by the time me?" thought I, as the fierce creature I had perfectly recovered my re- left the dead body he appeared to be collection, my sympathy vanished, watching, and reared himself on his all my thoughts became absorbed, fore-legs, with open mouth, and and my energies, small as they were tongue hanging out, uttered the at the time, excited in almost a su- most fearful cries, between a fierce pernatural degree by the actual ap- bark and a howl, and again attempted proach of a hideous, and, in my help- to drag himself towards me. I made less condition, probably the most ap- a desperate effort to rise, but could palling danger that a human being not; and in the prospect of so dreadcould be threatened with.
ful a death, I shouted for aid, as loud For a second or two I had noticed as my feebleness would let me. that the branch across which the Once more suffering seemed to overdead Spaniard lay, was slightly come the creature's ferocity, and he moved now and then, and that some stopped and yelled again. object was advancing from beneath Although I was still in some degree it, out of the thicket beyond. I was bewildered, and almost blinded from not long left in doubt, for one of the the blood that continued to flow noble blood-hounds now dragged down my forehead, and the flap of himself into the light, and wriggled skin that covered my left eye, so as from amongst the mangroves to effectually to seal it, acting as a deadwithin a fathom of me. At first when light as it were ; still, for dear like, I he struggled from beneath his mas- grasped my cutlass-alas, the blade ter's body, he began to lick his face was broken short off by the hilt! and hands, and then threw his head My left hand then mechanically back with a loud whine, in expecta- clutched my belt where my pistol tion of some acknowledgment. Alas! hung—"Ah, it is there, any how." none came; and after another vain I instantly changed the broken blade attempt, pain seemed to make the into my other hand, and with the creature furious, and he seized the coolness of despair cocked the pisarm next me by the wrist, making the tol in my right, aud lay still, awaiting dead bones crackle between his teeth the approach of my fierce antagoin his agony. All at once he began nist, under the tremendous persuato yell and bark, although at intervals sion that my fate was inevitable if he turned his fierce eyes on me, and I missed him. As I looked in breaththen swung his head violently back, less dread, he suddenly gave a and again howled most piteously. scrambling wallop towards me—“I
All this time I could hear the loud am done for-God have mercy on shouting of our people in the dis- me, and receive my soul!” Another tance, and a scattering shot now and scramble. I felt bis hissing hot then, but the work nearer home was breath ; and the foam that he champmore than sufficient to occupy me, ed from his fangs, as he tossed bis for the dog, after another moment head from side to side in a paroxysm of comparative repose, suddenly of rage and pain, fell like snow-flakes raised himself on his fore paws, and over my face. “Now is the time !" for the first time I could see that he I thrust the pistol into his mouth, had been shot through the spine, and pulled the trigger. Almighty powers! it flashed in the pan! With overtook our allies, having bathed my remaining strength I endeavour- my wound with rum, and bound it ed to thrust it down his throat, as he with my handkerchief, I was quite coughed up blood and froth into my able to walk, and talk, and in a cerface; be shook his head, clutched tain degree to take care of myself. the weapon in his teeth, and then The path continued for about half threw it from him, as if in disap- a mile farther, and in all that route pointment that it had not been part we no longer heard or saw any indiand portion of his enemy, and again cations of our comrades. “Why, made a snap at my shoulder. I there is no use in all this,” said old struck at him with my broken cut- Clinker; "they must have taken anlass-he seemed not to feel the blow other direction, so we had better re-and throwing myself back as far turn, and wait the young flood to as I could, I shrieked in my extre- enable us to back out of the scrape.” mity to that God whom I had so often I considered this the wisest advice slighted and forgotten, for mercy to that could be given, and right-aboutmy miserable soul. Crack—a bul- face was the word, when a scapelet whizzed past me. The dog gave grace of a marine, who had straggled a loud, long howl, gradually sinking from the main body, suddenly came into a low murmur as his feet slid running at the top of his speed from from under him, and his head lay the advance, and sung out,-“ Lord, open-jawed on the mud—a quivering sir, and messmates, come here, come kick of his feet-and he was dead in here !" reality-as I was figuratively from Why, what do you see?" refear.
sponded Clinker. “ Hillo," quoth old Clinker, the Why, sir, here is the queerest master-at-arms, who had come up sight I ever see'd in all my born from the boats, “who is this fighting days.” with beasts at Ephesus, eh?" The “ What is it, man? what is it?" moment he recognised me, the poor exclaimed one of the old quartera fellow made bis apology, although, masters of the ship, as we bowled Heaven knows, none was required. along, following the man; but the
“ Beg pardon, sir ; I little thought fellow gave no answer, but skipped it was you, Mr Brail, who was so on before us like a dancing-master. near being worried by that vile beast.” Presently we arrived at an open
I breathed again. The bullet that space, situated apparently at the had so nearly proved my quietus at head of the tortuous mangrove-frinthe commencement of the action, ged creek that we had landed in. had struck me on the right temple, The channel of it was dry, all above and, glancing, had ran along my whole the crook, about fifty yards from us, forehead, ploughing up the skin, as where it bent towards the east, and I once saw a fallow field torn by a full of black slimy mud, overarched thunderbolt, until it reached the left entirely by the black snake-like roots eye, where it detached a large flap and branches of the mangroves, of the skin, that, as already mention- whose upper branches, as usual, ed, hung down by a tag over my supported a thick matted canopy of larboard daylight, fairly blinding me green leaves, while all below was on that side.
bare naked convolutions of green “Here, Quintin, and Mornington,” weather-stained stems and branches. said Clinker, to two of the people, The muddy canal seemed to end at who followed him, “ here, lend a this spot, under the dark green shade hand to bring Mr Brail along, will of the bushes. In its obscene chanye?” They raised me on my legs, nel, hauled close up to the head of and gave me a mouthful of grog the creek, lay a large Eboe canoe, from a canteen, and we proceeded, about fifty feet long, the bottom bol following the voices of our ship- lowed out of one single tree, but the mates. Comforted by the cordial, I top-sides were built of some kind of found my strength return in some hardwood plank, so as to raise the measure; and when I was once satis- gunwale about a foot above the ledge fied that no bones were broken, that of the original vessel. The two bamI was in fact only and simply kilt, boo masts were unshipped, and stow. my spirits revived, and before we ed amidships on the thwarts, and