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THE PRAISE OF CHIMNEY-SWEEPERS.

I like to meet a sweep—understand me- of kibed heels (no unusual accompaniment) not a grown sweeper-old chimney-sweepers be superadded, the demand on thy humanity are by no means attractive—but one of those will surely rise to a tester. tender novices, blooming through their first There is a composition, the ground-work nigritude, the maternal washings not quite of which I have understood to be the sweet effaced from the cheek—such as come forth wood 'yclept sassafras. This wood boiled with the dawn, or somewhat earlier, with down to a kind of tea, and tempered with an their little professional notes sounding like infusion of milk and sugar, hath to some the peep peep of a young sparrow ; or liker tastes a delicacy beyoud the China luxury. to the matin lark should I pronounce them, I know not how thy palate may relish it; in their aërial ascents not seldom anticipating for myself, with every deference to the the sun-rise ?

judicious Mr. Read, who hath time out of I have a kindly yearning toward these dim mind kept open a shop (the only one he avers specks-poor blots—innocent blacknesses, in London) for the vending of this “whole

I reverence these young Africans of our some and pleasant beverage,” on the southown growth—these almost clergy imps, who side of Fleet-street, as thou approachest sport their cloth without assumption; and Bridge-street-the only Salopian house-I from their little pulpits (the tops of chimneys,) have never yet adventured to dip my own in the nipping air of a December morning, particular lip in a basin of his commended preach a lesson of patience to mankind. ingredients—a cautious premonition to the

When a child, what a mysterious pleasure olfactories constantly whispering to me, that it was to witness their operation! to see a my stomach must infallibly, with all due chit no bigger than one's-self, enter, one knew courtesy, decline it. Yet I have seen palates, not by what process, into what seemed the otherwise not uninstructed in dietetical fauces Averni—to pursue him in imagination, elegancies, sup it up with avidity. as he went sounding on through so many dark I know not by what particular conformastifling caverns, horrid shades ! to shudder tion of the organ it happens, but I have with the idea that " now, surely, he must be always found that this composition is arlost for ever!"-to revive at hearing his prisingly gratifying to the palate of a young feeble shout of discovered day-light-and chimney-sweeper-whether the oily particles then (O fulness of delight!) running out of (sassafras is slightly oleaginous) do attenuate doors, to come just in time to see the sable and soften the fuliginous concretions, which phenomenon emerge in safety, the brandished are sometimes found (in dissections) to adhere weapon of his art victorious like some flag to the roof of the mouth in these unfledged waved over a conquered citadel ! I seem to practitioners; or whether Nature, sensible remember having been told, that a bád sweep that she had mingled too much of bitter wood was once left in a stack with his brush, to in the lot of these raw victims, caused to indicate which way the wind blew. It was grow out of the earth her sassafras for a an awful spectacle certainly; not much sweet lenitive—but so it is, that no possible unlike the old stage direction in Macbeth, taste or odour to the senses of a young where the “ Apparition of a child crowned, chimney-sweeper can convey a delicate exwith a tree in his hand, rises.”

citement comparable to this mixture. Being Reader, if thou meetest one of these small penniless, they will yet hang their black gentry in thy early rambles, it is good to give heads over the ascending steam, to gratify him a penny. It is better to give him two- one sense if possible, seemingly no less pence. If it be starving weather, and to the pleased than those domestic animals-catsproper troubles of his hard occupation, a pair when they purr over a new-found sprig of

valerian. There is something more in these precipitation when I walk westward, a sympathies than philosophy can inculcate. treacherous slide brought me upon my back

Now albeit Mr. Read boasteth, not with in an instant. I scrambled up with pain out reason, that his is the only Salopian house; and shame enough—yet outwardly trying to yet be it known to thee, reader—if thou art face it down, as if nothing had happenedone who keepest what are called good hours, when the roguish grin of one of these young thou art haply ignorant of the fact—he hath wits encountered me. There he stood, pointa race of industrious imitators, who from ing me out with his dusky finger to the mob, stalls, and under open sky, dispense the same and to a poor woman (I suppose his mother) savoury mess to humbler customers, at that in particular, till the tears for the exquisitedead time of the dawn, when (as extremes ness of the fun (so he thought it) worked meet) the rake, reeling home from his mid- themselves out at the corners of his poor

red night cups, and the hard-handed artisan eyes, red from many a previous weeping, and leaving his bed to resume the premature soot-inflamed, yet twinkling through all with labours of the day, jostle, not unfrequently such a joy, snatched out of desolation, that to the manifest disconcerting of the former, Hogarth but Hogarth has got him for the honours of the pavement. It is the already (how could he miss him ?) in the time when, in summer, between the expired | March to Finchley, grinning at the pieman and the not yet relumined kitchen-fires, the —there he stood, as he stands in the picture, kennels of our fair metropolis give forth their irremovable, as if the jest was to last for ever least satisfactory odours. The rake, who –with such a maximum of glee, and minimum wisheth to dissipate his o'ernight vapours in of mischief, in his mirth—for the grin of a more grateful coffee, curses the ungenial genuine sweep hath absolutely no malice in fume, as he passeth ; but the artisan stops to it—that I could have been content, if the taste, and blesses the fragrant breakfast. honour of a gentleman might endure it, to

This is saloop—the precocious herb-woman's have remained his butt and his mockery till darling—the delight of the early gardener, midnight. who transports his smoking cabbages by I am by theory obdurate to the seductivebreak of day from Hammersmith to Covent-ness of what are called a fine set of teeth. garden's famed piazzas—the delight, and oh! Every pair of rosy lips (the ladies must I fear, too often the envy, of the unpennied pardon me) is a casket presumably holding sweep. Him shouldst thou haply encounter, such jewels; but, methinks, they should take with his dim visage pendent over the grateful leave to “air” them as frugally as possible. steam, regale him with a sumptuous basin The fine lady, or fine gentleman, who show (it will cost thee but three-halfpennies) and a me their teeth, show me bones. Yet must I slice of delicate bread and butter (an added confess, that from the mouth of a true sweep halfpenny)--so may thy culinary fires, eased a display (even to ostentation) of those white of the o'er-charged secretions from thy worse and shining ossifications, strikes me as an placed hospitalities, curl up a lighter volume agreeable anomaly in manners, and an allowto the welkin-so may the descending soot able piece of foppery. It is, as when never taint thy costly well-ingredienced soups--nor the odious cry, quick-reaching

Turns forth her silver lining on the night. from street to street, of the fired chimney, invite the rattling engines from ten adjacent It is like some remnant of gentry not quite parishes, to disturb for a casual scintillation extinct; a badge of better days; a hint of thy peace and pocket !

nobility :— and, doubtless, under the obI am by nature extremely susceptible of scuring darkness and double night of their street affronts; the jeers and taunts of the forlorn disguisement, oftentimes lurketh good populace; the low-bred triumph they display blood, and gentle conditions, derived from over the casual trip, or splashed stocking, of lost ancestry, and a lapsed pedigree. The a gentleman. Yet can I endure the jocularity premature apprenticements of these tender of a young sweep with something more than victims give but too much encouragement, forgiveness. In the last winter but one, I fear, to clandestine and almost infantile pacing along Cheapside with my accustomed abductions; the seeds of civility and true

A sable cloud

courtesy, so often discernible in these young such sheets as he there found, into which he grafts (not otherwise to be accounted for) was now but creeping back as into his proper plainly hint at some forced adoptions ; many incunabula, and resting-place. By no other noble Rachels mourning for their children, theory than by this sentiment of a preeven in our days, countenance the fact ; the existent state (as I may call it), can I explain tales of fairy-spiriting may shadow a lament- a deed so venturous, and, indeed, upon any able verity, and the recovery of the young other system, so indecorous, in this tender, Montagu be but a solitary instance of good but unseasonable, sleeper. fortune out of many irreparable and hopeless My pleasant friend JEM WHITE was so defiliations.

impressed with a belief of metamorphoses In one of the state-beds at Arundel Castle, like this frequently taking place, that in some a few years since—under a ducal canopy- sort to reverse the wrongs of fortune in these (that seat of the Howards is an object of poor changelings, he instituted an annual curiosity to visitors, chiefly for its beds, in feast of chimney-sweepers, at which it was which the late duke was especially a connois- his pleasure to officiate as host and waiter. seur)—encircled with curtains of delicatest It was a solemn supper held in Smithfield, crimson, with starry coronets inwoven- upon the yearly return of the fair of St. folded between a pair of sheets whiter and Bartholomew. Cards were issued a week softer than the lap where Venus lulled before to the master-sweeps in and about the Ascanius-was discovered by chance, after metropolis, confining the invitation to their all methods of search had failed, at noon-ılay, younger fry. Now and then an elderly fast asleep, a lost chimney-sweeper. The stripling would get in among us, and be goodlittle creature, having somehow confounded naturedly winked at; but our main body his passage among the intricacies of those were infantry. One unfortunate wight, lordly chimneys, by some unknown aperture indeed, who, relying upon his dusky suit, had alighted upon this magnificent chamber; had intruded himself into our party, but by and, tired with his tedious explorations, was tokens was providentially discovered in time unable to resist the delicious invitement to to be no chimney-sweeper, (all is not soot repose, which he there saw exhibited; so which looks so,) was quoited out of the creeping between the sheets very quietly, presence with universal indignation, as nct laid his black head upon the pillow, and slept having on the wedding garment; but in like a young Howard.

general the greatest harmony prevailed. The Such is the account given to the visiters place chosen was a convenient spot among at the Castle. But I cannot help seeming to the pens, at the north side of the fair, not so perceive a confirmation of what I had just far distant as to be impervious to the agreehinted at in this story. A high instinct able hubbub of that vanity; but remote was at work in the case, or I am mistaken. enough not to be obvious to the interruption Is it probable that a poor child of that descrip- of every gaping spectator in it. The guests tion, with whatever weariness he might be assembled about seven. In those little temvisited, would have ventured, under such a porary parlours three tables were spread penalty as he would be taught to expect, to with napery, not so fine as substantial, and uncover the sheets of a Duke's bed, and at every board a comely hostess presided deliberately to lay himself down between with her pan of hissing sausages. The them, when the rug, or the carpet, presented nostrils of the young rogues dilated at the an obvious couch, still far above his preten- savour. JAMES WHITE, as head waiter, had sions—is this probable, I would ask, if the charge of the first table; and myself, with great power of nature, which I contend for, our trusty companion BIGOD, ordinarily had not been manifested within him, prompt- ministered to the other two. There was ing to the adventure ? Doubtless this young clambering and jostling, you may be sure, nobleman (for such my mind misgives me who should get at the first table—for that he must be) was allured by some memory, Rochester in his maddest days could not not amounting to full consciousness, of his have done the humours of the scene with condition in infancy, when he was used to be more spirit than my friend. After some lapped by his mother, or his nurse, in just general expression of thanks for the honour

the company had done him, his inaugural “The King,”—“the Cloth,”—which, whether ceremony was to clasp the greasy waist of they understood or not, was equally diverting old dame Ursula (the fattest of the three), and flattering ;-and for a crowning sentithat stood frying and fretting, half-blessing, ment, which never failed, “ May the Brush half-cursing “the gentleman,” and imprint supersede the Laurel !” All these, and upon her chaste lips a tender salute, whereat fifty other fancies, which were rather felt the universal host would set up a shout that than comprehended by his guests, would he tore the concave, while hundreds of grinning utter, standing upon tables, and prefacing teeth startled the night with their brightness. every sentiment with a “Gentlemen, give O it was a pleasure to see the sable younkers me leave to propose so and so,” wbich was a lick in, the unctuous meat, with his more prodigious comfort to those young orphans; unctuous sayings—how he would fit the tit- every now and then stuffing into his mouth bits to the puny mouths, reserving the (for it did not do to be squeamish on these lengthier links for the seniors—how he occasions) indiscriminate pieces of those would intercept a morsel even in the jaws of reeking sausages, which pleased them some young desperado, declaring it “must mightily, and was the savouriest part, you to the pan again to be browned, for it was may believe, of the entertainment. not fit for a gentleman's eating ”—how he would recommend this slice of white bread,

As chimney-sweepers, come to dustor that piece of kissing-crust, to a tender juvenile, advising them all to have a care of JAMES WHITE is extinct, and with him cracking their teeth, which were their best these suppers have long ceased. He carried patrimony,—how genteely he would deal away with him half the fun of the world when about the small ale, as if it were wine, he died—of my world at least. His old naming the brewer, and protesting, if it were clients look for him among the pens; and, not good, he should lose their custom ; with missing him, reproach the altered feast of a special recommendation to wipe the lip St. Bartholomew, and the glory of Smithfield before drinking. Then we had our toasts— departed for ever.

Golden lads and lasses must,

A COMPLAINT OF THE DECAY OF BEGGARS,

IN THE METROPOLIS.

The all-sweeping besom of societarian re They were the oldest and the honourablest formation-your only modern Alcides' club form of pauperism. Their appeals were to to rid the time of its abuses—is uplift with our common nature ; less revolting to an inmany-handed sway to extirpate the last genuous mind than to be a suppliant to the fluttering tatters of the bugbear MENDICITY particular humours or caprice of any fellowfrom the metropolis. Scrips, wallets, bags— creature, or set of fellow-creatures, parochial staves, dogs, and crutches-the whole men- or societarian. Theirs were the only rates dicant fraternity, with all their baggage, uninvidious in the levy, ungrudged in the are fast posting out of the purlieus of this assessment. eleventh persecution. From the crowded There was a dignity springing from the crossing, from the corners of streets and very depth of their desolation ; as to be turnings of alleys, the parting Genius of naked is to be so much nearer to the being Beggary is “with sighing sent.”

a man, than to go in livery. I do not approve of this wholesale going The greatest spirits have felt this in their to work, this impertinent crusado, or bellum reverses; and when Dionysius from king ad exterminationem, proclaimed against a turned schoolmaster, do we feel anything species. Much good might be sucked from towards him but contempt ? Could Van. these Beggars.

dyke have made a picture of him, swaying

сс

a ferula for a sceptre, which would have No one properly contemns a Beggar. Poverty affected our minds with the same heroic is a comparative thing, and each degree of pity, the same compassionate admiration, it is mocked by its “ neighbour grice.” Its with which we regard his Belisarius begging poor rents and comings-in are soon summed for an obolum? Would the moral have been up and told. Its pretences to property are more graceful, more pathetic ?

almost ludicrous. Its pitiful attempts to The Blind Beggar in the legend—the father save excite a smile. Every scornful comof pretty Bessy-whose story doggrel rhymes panion can weigh his trifle-bigger purse and ale-house signs cannot so degrade or against it. Poor man reproaches poor man attenuate but that some sparks of a lustrous in the street with impolitic mention of his spirit will shine through the disguisements condition, his own being a shade · better, —this noble Earl of Cornwall (as indeed he while the rich pass by and jeer at both. No was) and memorable sport of fortune, fleeing rascally comparative insults a Beggar, or from the unjust sentence of his liege lord, thinks of weighing purses with him. He is stript of all, and seated on the flowering not in the scale of comparison. He is not green of Bethnal, with his more fresh and under the measure of property. He conspringing daughter by his side, illumining fessedly hath none, any more than a dog or his rags and his beggary-would the child a sheep. No one twitteth him with ostentaand parent have cut a better figure doing tion above his means. No one accuses him the honours of a counter, or expiating their of pride, or upbraideth him with mock fallen condition upon the three-foot eminence humility. None jostle with him for the of some sempstering shop-board ?

wall, or pick quarrels for precedency. No In tale or history your Beggar is ever the wealthy neighbour seeketh to eject him from just antipode to your King. The poets and his tenement. No man sues him. No man romancical writers (as dear Margaret New- goes to law with him. If I were not the incastle would call them,) when they would dependent gentleman that I am, rather than most sharply and feelingly paint a reverse of I would be a retainer to the great, a led fortune, never stop till they have brought captain, or a poor relation, I would choose, down their hero in good earnest to rags and out of the delicacy and true greatness of my the wallet. The depth of the descent illus- | mind, to be a Beggar. trates the height he falls from. There is no Rags, which are the reproach of poverty, medium which can be presented to the are the Beggar's robes, and graceful insignia imagination without offence. There is no of his profession, his tenure, his full dress, breaking the fall. Lear, thrown from his the suit in which he is expected to show palace, must divest him of his garments, till himself in public. He is never out of the he answer “mere nature ;” and Cresseid, fashion, or limpeth awkwardly behind it. fallen from a prince's love, must extend her He is not required to put on court mournpale arms, pale with other whiteness than of ing. He weareth all colours, fearing none. beauty, supplicating lazar arms with bell His costume hath undergone less change and clap-dish.

than the Quaker's. He is the only man The Lucian wits knew this very well ; in the universe who is not obliged to study and, with a converse policy, when they would appearances. The ups and downs of the express scorn of greatness without the pity, world concern him no longer. He alone they show us an Alexander in the shades continueth in one stay. The price of stock cobbling shoes, or a Semiramis getting up or land affecteth him not. The fluctuations foul linen.

of agricultural or commercial prosperity How would it sound in song, that a great touch him not, or at worst but change his monarch had declined his affections upon the customers. He is not expected to become daughter of a baker! yet do we feel the bail or surety for any one. No man troubleth imagination at all violated when we read the him with questioning his religion or politics. “true ballad,” where King Cophetua woos He is the only free man in the universe. the beggar maid ?

The Mendicants of this great city were so Pauperism, pauper, poor man, are expres- many of her sights, her lions. I can no more sions of pity, but pity alloyed with contempt. spare them than I could the Cries of London

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