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&c. &c. The great fame of this talented lady, caused her son to be regarded as a most invaluable brat, being endowed with many of his mother's graces; able to act and look a postilion to the life; to sing the comic song of “Sally Sykes ” with all the twitching of the mouth, winking of the eyes, and contortions of the body that possibly could be required by the most fastidious connoisseur. The noted company had continued proofs of the existence of this talented young gentleman, by his slyly drawing from under them their chairs, stools, or logs of wood on which they sat, allowing them to rest their wearied limbs on the floor of their loft, somewhat oftener than agreeable, or by pinning together the dresses of the ladies; enveloping the dogs and cats in the gentlemen's coats and trousers; or placing a large block of wood in a dark passage, then concealing himself in an adjacent spot that he might enjoy the dismay of the first unhappy wight that had the misfortune to stumble over it.
The confusion I have attempted to describe was at its height: the debating had become so loud and warm, that it was utterly impossible to distinguish one word from another, or to whom the voices belonged. The manager was mechanically looking over the tempting bill of fare, that was intended to lure the people from the amusements promised by All the Tops of the mighty and much celebrated town of All-Tops, to take place in a large and conveniently situated field, where all the poor were to be treated to a dinner of cold beef and plum pudding, backed by strong ale and cyder, and amused with donkey racing, pole climbing, grinning through horses' collars, and dancing; a band of distinguished musical professors being provided for the occasion, who played so well and kept such excellent time that every one might dance to his own particular wishes; fast or slow, it mattered not; the stately minuet, the genteel quadrille, the rapid reel, the motley country dance, or even the elegant waltz and sprightly gallopade, might all be danced to the same tune, and yet in perfect unison with these distinguished musicians.
We anticipate—where were we? The manager conning with serious face his announcement of the representation of the coronation of our beloved Queen, with new scenery, machinery, dresses, decorations, properties, and combustibles, for the purpose, no doubt, of firing salutes in honour of her majesty:--the whole of which would, from its delicate and faithful delineation, lead the audi. ence to imagine that they really were in Westminster Abbey, and enable them to say that they had beheld the coronation of our gracious Sovereign. One great difficulty now presented itself to the manager, viz.—to find a person who would judiciously deliver these bewitching and alluring bills. The person accustomed to this business, was at the present time carpenter and scene arranger, and, consequently, could not be disturbed; besides, he might lose himself in the vast mazes of the two streets comprising the elegant town of All-Tops.
Manager Love Ease was see-sawing in his chair for a luminous thought. Mrs. Playall was declaring, not in the most gentle terms, that she would not perform the part intended to represent our beauteous Queen, unless a better and richer robe was immediately prepared. Master Edmund Playall declared equally as loud as his parent, and in the same elegant language, that he would not be train-bearer to such a robe. Mr. Playall declared that the robe was a very good robe, and for his part he could not conceive why Mrs. Playall, who was generally so quiet, so easily pleased and so good tempered, should object to it. His gentle helpmate, dashing the article in question in his face, said, as he admired it so much he might wear it.
The leading gentleman of this talented company having joined them that morning, and not being initiated in theatrical affairs, was looking aghast, and asking first of one then of another, what part he was expected to perform that night; in answer to which he met with sneers and contempt from everybody; some turned from him with insulting pity at his vast ignorance, as they were pleased to term it; others pointed and said, “There, Sir, is the manager, he will enlighten you.” Then, laughing amongst themselves, decided that the poor gentleman would make a most contemptible appearance and failure, each determining to do his best in making this presumptuous jackanapes, as they facetiously termed him, a laughing stock for their own amusement, if not for that of the audience.
Thus all was confusion, when one loud and continued shout announced that the procession had begun to move. All rushed forth, helter-skelter, without the slightest distinction to talent, respect, or age-each seeking to take precedence of the other. The candle snuffer unfortunately trod upon the tender feet of the talented and dignified Mrs. Playall, for which offence he received a sound box on the ear. This talented lady's coro sposo was equally kind to the singing woman, Madame Screechi, which made her utter a note so loud and shrill, that each mechanically raised their forefingers to their ears. The scene painter, brush in hand, pressed passed the walking lady, Miss Saynought, and graciously condescended to leave on her best silk dress (purchased by the profits of her benefit at —) the print of his implement of usefulness. The low comedian, Mr. Squat, with his laughing physiognomy, pushed his comely person in front of everybody, to the dismay of the new walking gentleman, Mr. Strut, whilst the manager's wife was wondering at the great neglect with which she was treated, but on so great an occasion as the procession of All Tops to celebrate the coronation with the most extraordinary condescension, determined to drop for a time the dignity of the mana
geress and mix with the company, and her husband followed, joining with heart and soul in the cheering cry of “ Long live the Queen,” and gazing with wondering eyes, open mouth, and fixed admiration at the magnificence and vast extent of this mighty procession of the inhabitants of All-Tops.
This grand procession consisted first of men belonging to a neighbouring hamlet, decorated with blue ribbons and blue and white three-cornered paper caps, walking two and two, carrying banners, crowns of flowers, and wreaths of evergreen, followed by their wives and children of all ages. Next came a man on a milk white horse, dressed in blue robes, representing the Herald, followed by the working classes of All-Tops, each decorated with a bow of blue ribbon, and a medal suspended round the neck also by a bit of blue, bearing flags with “ Long live the Queen,” “God bless the Queen,” “ May her reign be happy,” &c. Then followed in proud array, blushing with anxious beauty, nineteen maidens, with flowing robes of spotless white, their hair decorated with wreaths of blue ribbon, and garlands of the choicest flowers waved over their heads, closely followed by the great trades-people of the great town of All-Tops.
The musical baker and his talented son--the singing and refined butcher, and his partner in all duets, glees, &c., the barber—the fat and jolly publican, each dressed in his best. Closing this vast and mighty procession, the gentry, the tops of this elegant town of All Tops, consisting of the parson, a tall
, lean, sallow looking man, with head erect, and aristocratic walkhis countenance making a mighty effort towards a smile, which had been so long a stranger, that even on this grand occasion his stern features refused most decidedly to relax, therefore, only drew forth a sort of grimace. By this stately parson's side walked in moody melancholy, the principal gentleman of the town, poor but proud. The lofty and aspiring blood of his ancestors glowed in the inner man—the coat well brushed over to smooth down its napless cloth, whitened seams, and gaping stitches-the hat that mounted this high head, wore a most careful shape, but beardless, fearing to oppress with unnecessary weight the noble head—the trousers of summer fashion, and goodly All-Tops cut-the plough-boy's cobbler had done his best to make a fashionable and serviceable bootma broad blue ribbon and medal gracefully thrown around the collar, and resting on the left breast, completed the costume of this great man, who deeply felt his condescension in joining those whom another day would have felt delighted at being honoured by a nod. Next, in conscious pride of his inestimable worth, came the head physician, with his handsome countenance, on which intellect had once strongly impressed its mark, but now gradually yielding to vanity and selfishness. His erect head and carriage bespoke the dignity, that he thought and wished the whole world must and would