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cataract--all his legs put up into splints—or some otherdreadful catastrophe too horrible to mention. But even this was not all; for among other pieces of furniture which Ned added to his parlor was a smart little thoroughbred bull terrier, which he always kept under the sofa in a hamper turned on one side. In Mrs, Suddle's absence, Ned was wont to interfere with the peace of the landlady's cat by setting his dog after her and fastening the door; so that, on coming home, the landlady was always "put out” on finding Puss in such a state of nervous excitement that he would never come out from under the dresser, but continually answer all kind enquiries by spitting and growling, and refusing most positively to partake of his usual supper. Mrs. Suddle had repeatedly threatened to 66 do for Ned's dog, and there is no doubt she would, if she had not been afraid of it—not being disposed to allow the animal to operate upon her varicose veins, which, upon a word from Ned, he would have done sans ceremonie.
But to return to Ned Nipper's parlors. From the general aspect of these apartments, and the mixed character of their contents, a speculative beholder might have been troubled to decide to what class of mortals their occupant belonged. the table stood a pewter pot with the occiput of a skull placed on the top of it to keep the flies out; whilst at the top of a very shabby little bookshelf crammed with volumes of all sorts and sizes, were placed two other crania-one with a short pipe stuck in its mouth, the bowl of which was turned downwards, whilst the other was deprived of its skull-cap, and was merely a collection of bony features having the expression of a ghastly grin upon them. Over the mantelpiece were suspended several meerschaum pipes and a flute, and the walls were hung round with various anatomical plates and drawings, some of which had been executed by Ned Nipper himself.
The furniture was of a quaint pattern, of what particular date it would be impossible to say, for the worthy Mrs. Suddle had evidently an eye to the utile as well as the dulce, in which, perhaps, the former predominated over the latter; for the bookcase, besides containing the volumes mentioned, had drawers at the bottom with old-fashioned brass handles which always rattled a good deal on being pulled out. Besides the ordinary complement of cane-bottomed chairs and a little mahogany loo-table, was an ancient sofa-one of those venerable specimens of antiquity so frequently to be met with in the apartments of medical students. It as of imitation rosewood -the cushion composed principally of hay, which you might tell by the peculiar sensation experienced on sitting down on it,-- was covered by dark blue moreen (watered) with vallance to match. We have so far entered into detail touching the sofa, inasmuch as it was under this article of furniture that Ned Nipper's favourite little terrier was deposited in a hamperfull of straw. Hidden by the vallance aforesaid, strangers were occasionally not a little disconcerted at the appearance of the savage-looking little beast, on a given signal from Ned, who was very fond of producing a little consternation amongst his friends occasionally, by way of alternating with the monotony of good fellowship.
The generally received opinions concerning medical students will, perhaps, induce the reader to be somewhat astonished that one evening, Ned Nipper-always a youth of most buoyant spirits-was in a most despondent state of mind. What could be the reason? Had he been “plucked?” No; for though always "going up,” he never went. Had he received a long letter, trebly crossed, from his lady-love, telling him that the dream was all over-that the spell was broken-that he must try to think that they had never met—that in future they had better only stand on the footing of friends, in which capacity she would always be happy to see him ? No. Had he a bill to meet? No-worse ! He had to face a most im portunate debtor, who would be put off no longer! Ichabod Prim, a sedate Quaker, at whose house Ned Nipper had lodged for many months prior to his joining the standard of the worthy Mrs. Suddle, and who had received no consideration for the convenience in the shape of rent, had determined to take proceedings for the same without further notice; and having been informed that Ned would certainly have a remittance from the country, and that the long-standing account would be paid in full, he was that evening to wait upon his debtor for a final settlement. What was to be done? It was useless to be “out,” for that move had been practised so many times that the peaceful intentions of the sedate Ichabod were bestirred to wrath; and what was more, he had discovered the whereabouts of Ned's father, to whom he vowed he would apply, and as the money had been received and spent long since, the discovery would involve Ned in family jars which would be unpleasant.
There are few positions in life more forcibly calling into action the display of whatever philosophy we possess than that
of extensive liability without the prospect of means to liquidate. The knowledge that you are at the mercy of people whose station in life is infinitely below yourself, who are as destitute of feeling as they are of manners-people who would dun you with savage delight if they found you on the arm even of your very governor—the knowledge that you must bend the knee of submission to a tailor who can barely write his own name, or bow with reverence to some knight of the awl who threatens you in such wretched spelling that, but for an intuitive knowledge of the purport of such a communication, you could make no kind of guess as to its purport,—to a mind of some lofty pretension these grovelling matters fill the nrind with disgust at human nature generally, and the faulty constitution of society in particular.
It was some such train of thought as this that pervaded the mind of Ned Nipper, as he became painfully aware of the fact that the punctual Ichabod would be there to receive the sum of six pound fifteen-bill delivered. Ned dived into his pocket in despair—but only to disturb the repose of sixpennyworth of halfpence, which was all the cash he had.
The sudden arrival of a friend and fellow-student, in whom Ned could repose confidence, was unction to the saddened soul of our hero; and in a few moments Ned had related the circumstances of his distressing case.
“ But what's to be done?” enquired Ned; "the old broadbrim knows where the governor lives, and if he writes down home he'll make a mess of it! You remember when I had that party, Tom, about a month ago_when Jack Ginger was fined five shillings the next morning ? Well, that was when I had the money."
Well, my dear fellow, then I suppose you're hard up?" said Tom; “I'm sorry for that, for I wanted to borrow a pound. Never mind ! how much have you got?
Ned smiled somewhat sorrowfully as he penetrated his pocket, and pulling out some halfpence, displayed them in the palm
of his hand, adding slowly,
“So much the better,” added Tom," put a bunch of keys to them, and they'll do very well to make a noise with-you mustn't let him think you have no tin at all, or he'll be down upon you. You've got some spirits in the house, Ned?”
“ Yes ; but the rascal's a Quaker!” “ Never mind that-human nature's frail ; it's precious cold
to-night, and it's very hard if we can't get him to take a nip
The important conference was soon closed by a single knock at the door, which was speedily followed by the entrance of a very tall, demure-looking man, dressed in the sombre garments of that extraordinary denomination of Christian men called Quakers.
This sedate individual, whom the reader may probably recognise as Mr. Ichabod Prim, seemed to exhibit in appearance a very fair specimen of the sect. His face was thin and long; his cheekbones, although prominent, appeared more so, by reason of the sunken state of Ichabod's eyeballs, -small squinny eyes being deposited at the bottom of his bony orbits. But though Prim's eyes were small, they were not devoid of a certain quizzical expression of jocularity, which appeared somewhat incompatible with the otherwise puritanical expression of Ichabod's countenance. His hair was cut short, and his visage was wanting in anything approaching the outward adornment of whisker.
On entering the parlor, the Quaker made a profound obeisance to the two friends.
“ Good even to thee, friend Nipper," said Mr. Ichabod Prim, seating himself on the nearest chair, and inverting his broad-brimmed hat between his knees. 6. Perchance thou art engaged? In that case I will wait without for a season. The delays of business are occasionally unavoidable.”
Nothing of the kind, Mr. Prim,” said Ned—“ I couldn't allow it. This gentleman is a friend of mine (the Quaker and Tom bowed to one another) who is aware of the object of your visit."
As he concluded this sentence, Ned walked to the cupboard, and soon produced a small pint decanter of whiskey, and one of some other spirit, and some wine-glasses. While Tom was filling the glasses, Ned searched the recesses of his writingdesk, and soon produced some papers, which the vigilant eye of Mr. Prim was not long in pronouncing to be his own bills. Rubbing his hands, apparently in consequence of the cold, but really by reason of the exceeding joyfulness he felt at the prospect of a speedy settlement of account, the sagacious Quaker felt his soul warm within him.
“ You'll take a glass of something, Prim?” enquired Ned, handing a glass of whiskey.
“ I thank thee kindly, friend Nipper,” replied the Quaker
quietly, " but I am a temperate man, and indulge not in the vain luxury of strong drink, save by the sage advice of my discreet physician.'
Tom kicked Ned's foot under the table.
“ Excuse me, Mr. Prim," said Tom—" with every due deference to your saintly creed, as it happens to be my birthday I cannot allow of excuses.
A thimblefull can't hurt
you, and the coldness of the night is a sufficient warranty for the propriety of the proceeding.” And here Tom tumbled a i thimbleful ” out of the other decanter down his own throat, by way of setting a wholesome example,
"If you'll empty your glass, Mr. Prim, we'll proceed to business at once," suggested Ned, who again thrust his hand into his pocket, and stirring up the halfpence and keys together with as much naivete as possible, he got a pen and ink.
The prospect of such an amicable arrangement of affairs overbalanced the good Quaker's temperate resolves; and having made some preliminary observations on the subject of intemperance, and at the same time the propriety of keeping out the cold, whilst he fully dilated on the fact of its being completely foreign to his habits to indulge the stimulus of strong drink, Mr. Prim looked at the candle through his glass with one eye -closing the other-sipped the whiskey, and pronouncing it to be excellent, emptied his glass without more to do. Before putting down the glass, however, the good Quaker was fain to strive for breath ; for as the liquor was nothing more or less than rectified spirits of wine sweetened, it imparted a sensation to the throat of the temperate Quaker very similar to that which would be produced by boiling water. When, however, he had recovered himself, Mr. Prim found words :
“Thy liq-liq-liquor is strong to the taste, friend Nipper, and it being in no wise my custom tough !-indulge" Here a fit of coughing cut the Quaker short. When Ñed and his friend had composed themselves after indulging somewhat boisterously in merriment at Mr. Prim's expense, they at once proceeded to engage in such general conversation as they thought the Quaker might become interested in.
The heavy expression of Mr. Prim's eye, and the attention with which he seemed to listen to the conversation, together with some little laboriousness about his breathing, indicated the effect produced by the alcohol. It was some time before Ned hit the right nail on the head, for he was anxious in the furtherance of his views to engage the Quaker in conversation.
JANUARY, 1849,-N0. I. VOL. XI.