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from its parent tree by the wind, and dashed it, with all the fury of hopelessness,
“ Full on the footpad's forehead! down he sank,
I heard my name vociferated as I fled, but I staid not for this. With inconceivable rapidity I fled from the place of combat, and, after traversing a space of many miles, perceived, to my great satisfaction, that I was not pursued. I was endeavouring, though without much chance of accomplishing this desirable object, to discover the road I ought to take, when my ear was suddenly startled by a sound, which very much resembled a groan. At first, I treated it as a fanciful sound, though I confess my eyes were turned, with not the most comfortable feelings, upon the rugged branches, and broken stumps, that might have, to a terrified mind, borne the appearance of Satan and his sable attendants. A second, more loudly repeated, convinced me of its reality, and immediately looking in the direction whence it seemed to proceed, I espied something white lying upon an open tuft of grass; but I was, unfortunately, short-sighted, and this, added to the natural darkness, rendered me incapable of distinguishing the nature of the mysterious appearance. A third, and deeper groan, vibrated on my ear: imagination immediately resumed its sway, and concluding it to be a woman, and fancying I could distinguish her garments, “Alas, unhappy one!” thought I to myself, “thou wast once, perhaps, lovely, in the bloom of youth, and surrounded by all the blessings of peace and innocence; but now, by the arts of some infamous seducer, art become a fugitive vagabond, cast upon the wide world, houseless and helpless, with no one to pity, no one to succour thee! Yes, by heaven! there is one,” I exclaimed, rushing forward with the most fervent feelings of humanity and pity: “there is one shall help thee, poor victim, and shelter thee from the furious storm. There is one,” I continued, with all the ardour of a mind inspired with the most generous benevolence, “that shall recruit thy weary limbs, and, if possible, restore thee to happiness ;" and, approaching still closer, 1 bent down, and was preparing to modulate my voice in the softest accents of pity, when up it started, Mr. Editor, not in the shape of either a Chloe or Lucinda, but in that of one of my father's favourite Dorsetshire sheep, which, while enjoying the slumbers I had disturbed, uttered those hard breathings which, to my ear, sounded as groans. . “ Damn humanity !” I exclaimed, as the animal retreated with frightened rapidity, through an opening in the trees. “Damn humanity," I exclaimed, as I hurried back on my way, in no very placid temper, and in the next instant found myself at the bottom of a ditch, the existence of which I had entirely forgotten. Luckily, it was a dry one, but, unluckily, of such a depth, and defended by such steep banks, that, notwithstanding I received no injury by the fall, I was soon aware that the retreat would be a labour of much greater difficulty than the entrance had been; and, to add to my troubles, the long-expected rain began to fall in torrents. Thrice I attempted the steep ascent, and thrice, with nails begrimed with dirt, and muddy knees, met with a repulse. My labours might have continued much longer, had not a large Newfoundland dog, accompanied by the butler, sent to search for me, smelt out my retreat. With the joint assistance of Hector and John, I was soon rescued, and, in a short time found myself at the hall-door, surrounded by all the servants, who had been on the look-out, and who, while listening to John's account, passed not a few jokes on young gentlemen studying the stars in a ditch. Heedless of these, and their stifled laughter, and having relieved my father's fears, I had the gratitude to recall my oath, and thank Humanity for my safe return; and when I found myself established by the blaze of a good fire to dry my moistened garments, “Bless Humanity !” I exclaimed, “for had she not directed Hector, I might still be exposed to yon rumbling thunder, and all the fury of the tempest, with a ditch for my bed, and in no better plight than the unfortunate victim of seduction.” This suggested an instructive thought: “Pshaw!” I cried, “ that must be forgotten till the next meeting of the King of Clubs, and then, perhaps, I may be inclined, though at my own expense, to furnish ample food for laughter to the members, by sending an account of my adventure. Sterling will deliver a lecture on star-gazing, and Musgrave descant upon the propriety of having lamps to a night-coach. Peregrine, perhaps, will dish it up as a pretty morsel of a tale in The Etonian. It will be a warning to all warm and poetical imaginations, not to stray too far, allured by the beauties of an autumn evening, until, after mistaking a Dorsetshire wether for a frail one, repenting of a faux pas, they shall slip, by a faux pas, into a ditch, after the manner of
P. 8. I forgot to mention, that the apothecary's lad brought a complaint the next morning against Master Theodore, for “breaking Mr. Gargle's head, in the storm, last night.”
WITH OBSERVATIONS ON THE MODERN ART OF
If society be the end and object of civilization, it must be confessed, that we English, of the 19th century, are in a very barbarous condition. Never was an intercourse with the world clogged with so many impediments as at the present moment: never did good company cost so much pains to arrive at, and never did it afford so little in return. God be with the good times, when the sole capacity required to figure among -men, was that of a two-gallon cask, and when we were sure to get on with the females at the expense of a little“ civil speaking, lying and slandering." Then, alas ! any body was company for every body; and the first lord in the land did not think shame, faute de mieux, to take up with the conversation of his butler, or his game-keeper, over a tankard ; while the young ladies, faute de tout, danced “Bobbing. Joan," with the rest of the domestics, in the servants' hall. But now-a-days, folks are grown so confoundedly precise,or, to use their own word, so select, for sooth, in their society, that a man requires fresh qualifications for every house he enters. The rigour of the Vienna aristocracy of the first class, is not more unbending to the bourgeoise, nor more uncompromising in a quartering, than our pretenders to selection, in their several degrees. A stranger might as well attempt to “ work his way” into a Freemason's Lodge without the sign, as one of the profane to find favour in the eyes of a coteriewithout its specific qualification. That thesupreme bon ton of the supreme bon genre, should be a little particular is but right, seeing the number and pertinacity of the intruders. Almack’s has nothing of the facilis descensus Averni," nor should it. On the contrary, to get out of Newgate, or the Fleet, is less difficult than to get in to the rooms in King-street; and this I take to be a merciful dispensation of “their selectnesses, the committee; since none but those bred to the trade are capable of standing the quietude of extremely fine manners, which is just one degree less than that of the tomb. But high rank and bon ton do not stand alone in this pretension. We have it running through all the classes and predicaments of society, from the Four-inhand Club to Mrs. Hourglass's “ tea and tracts,” the amateur concerts at the Jew's Harp, near Whitechapel, and our friend's blue-stocking association in Houndsditch. Even the footmen of the House of Lords, we are told, keep clear of the borough-mongers, and country puts of the lower house.