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but Lazarus. And an eminent bookseller complaining of the hard and unfeeling and publisher,—who, in his zeal to present prejudices of the world; and the sweet maid the public with new facts, had he lived in has again and again declared, that no those days, I am confident, would not have irrational prejudice should hinder her from scrupled waiting upon the person himself esteeming every man according to his last mentioned, at the most critical period of intrinsic worth. Often has she repeated the his existence, to solicit a few facts relative to consolatory assurance, that she could never resuscitation,—had the modesty to offer me consider as essentially ignominious an acci
guineas per sheet, if I would write, in his dent, which was indeed to be deprecated, but Magazine, a physiological account of my which might have happened to the most feelings upon coming to myself.
innocent of mankind. Then would she set But these were evils which a moderate forth some illustrious example, which her fortitude might have enabled me to struggle reading easily furnished, of a Phocion or a with. Alas! Mr. Editor, the women, Socrates unjustly condemned; of a Raleigh whose good graces I had always most or a Sir Thomas More, to whom late posassiduously cultivated, from whose softer terity had done justice; and by soothing minds I had hoped a more delicate and my fancy with some such agreeable parallel, generous sympathy than I found in the men, she would make me almost to triumph in -the women began to shun me—this was my disgrace, and convert my shame into the unkindest blow of all.
glory. But is it to be wondered at ? How couldst In such entertaining and instructive conthou imagine, wretchedest of beings, that versations the time passed on, till I importhat tender creature Seraphina would fling tunately urged the mistress of my affections her pretty arms about that neck which to name the day for our union. To this she previous circumstances had rendered in- obligingly consented, and I thought myself famous ? That she would put up with the the happiest of mankind. But how was I refuse of the rope, the leavings of the cord ? surprised one morning on the receipt of the Or that any analogy could subsist between following billet from my charmer :the knot which binds true lovers, and the knot which ties malefactors ?
SIR,—You must not impute it to levity, I can forgive that pert baggage Flirtilla, or to a worse failing, ingratitude, if, with who, when I complimented her one day on anguish of heart, I feel myself compelled by the execution which her eyes had done, irresistible arguments to recall a vow which replied, that, to be
sure, Mr. was a judge I fear I made with too little consideration. of those things. But from thy more exalted I never can be yours. The reasons of my mind, Celestina, I expected a more unpre- decision, which is final, are in my own breast, judiced decision. The person whose true and you must everlastingly remain a stranger name I conceal under this appellation, of all to them. Assure yourself that I can never the women that I was ever acquainted with cease to esteem you as I ought. had the most manly turn of mind, which she
CELESTINA. had improved by reading and the best conversation. Her understanding was not more At the sight of this paper, I ran in frantic masculine than her manners and whole haste to Celestina's lodgings, where I learned, disposition were delicately and truly feminine. to my infinite mortification, that the mother She was the daughter of an officer who had and daughter were set off on a journey to a fallen in the service of his country, leaving distant part of the country, to visit a relahis widow, and Celestina, an only child, with tion, and were not expected to return in less a fortune sufficient to set them above want, than four months. but not to enable them to live in splendour. Stunned by this blow, which left me withI had the mother's permission to pay my out the courage to solicit an explanation by addresses to the young lady, and Celestina letter, even if I had known where they were, seemed to approve of my suit.
(for the particular address was industriously Often and often have I poured out my concealed from me, I waited with impatience overcharged soul in the presence of Celestina, the termination of the period, in the vain
hope that I might be permitted to have a remnant of this frame (the mangled trophy chance of softening the harsh decision by of reprieved innocence) with credit to mya personal interview with Celestina after self, in any of those barbarous countries. her return. But before three months were No scorn, at least, would have mingled at an end, I learned from the newspapers with the pity (small as it might be) with that my beloved had — given her hand to which what was left of me would have been another!
surveyed. Heart-broken as I was, I was totally at a The singularity of my case has often led me loss to account for the strange step which to inquire intothe reasons of the general levity she had taken ; and it was not till some with which the subject of hanging is treated years after that I learned the true reason as a topic in this country. I say, as a topic: from a female relation of hers, to whom it for let the very persons who speak so lightly seems Celestina had confessed in confidence, of the thing at a distance be brought to view that it was no demerit of mine that had the real scene,—let the platform be bonâ caused her to break off the match so abruptly, fide exhibited, and the trembling culprit nor any preference which she might feel for brought forth,—the case is changed ; but as any other person, for she preferred me (she a topic of conversation, I appeal to the vulgar was pleased to say,) to all mankind; but jokes which pass current in every street. when she came to lay the matter closer to But why mention them, when the politest her heart, she found that she never should authors have agreed in making use of this be able to bear the sight-(I give you her subject as a source of the ridiculous ? Swift, very words as they were detailed to me by and Pope, and Prior, are fond of recurring her relation)—the sight of a man in a night to it. Gay has built an entire drama upon cap, who had appeared on a public platform this single foundation. The whole interest -it would lead to such a disagreeable asso- of the Beggar's Opera may be said to hang ciation of ideas! And to this punctilio I upon it. To such writers as Fielding and was sacrificed.
Smollett it is a perfect bonne-bouche.—Hear To pass over an infinite series of minor the facetious Tom Brown, in his Comical mortifications, to which this last and heaviest View of London and Westminster, describe might well render me callous, behold me the Order of the Show at one of the Tyburn here, Mr. Editor! in the thirty-seventh year Executions in his time : “Mr. Ordinary of my existence, (the twelfth, reckoning from visits his melancholy flock in Newgate by my re-animation,) cut off from all respectable eight. Doleful procession up Holborn-hill connexions ; rejected by the fairer half of about eleven. Men handsome and proper that the community,—who in my case alone seem were never thought so before, which is some to have laid aside the characteristic pity comfort however. Arrive at the fatal place of their sex ; punished because I was once by twelve. Burnt brandy, women, and sabpunished unjustly; suffering for no other bath-breaking, repented of. Some few penireason than because I once had the mis- tential drops fall under the gallows. Sheriffs' fortune to suffer without any cause at all. men, parson, pickpockets, criminals, all very In no other country, I think, but this, could, busy. The last concluding peremptory psalm a man have been subject to such a life-long struck up. Show over by one.”—In this persecution, when once his innocence had sportive strain does this misguided wit think been clearly established.
proper to play with a subject so serious, Had I crawled forth a rescued victim from which yet he would hardly have done if he the rack in the horrible dungeons of the In- had not known that there existed a predisquisition,-had I heaved myself up from a position in the habits of his unaccountable half bastinado in China, or been torn from countrymen to consider the subject as a jest. the just-entering, ghastly impaling stake But what shall we say to Shakspeare, who, in Barbary, — had I dropt alive from the (not to mention the solution which the Graveknout in Russia, or come off with a gashed digger in Hamlet gives of his fellow-workneck from the half-mortal, scarce-in-time- man's problem,) in that scene in Measure for retracted cimeter of an executioneering slave Measure, where the Clown calls upon
Master in Turkey;-I might have borne about the Barnardine to get up and be hanged, which
he declines on the score of being sleepy, has when we are seen,” as the Angel in Milton actually gone out of his way to gratify this expresses it, “least wise,"—this, I am afraid, amiable propensity in his countrymen ; for will always be the case ; unless, indeed, as it is plain, from the use that was to be made in my instance, some strong personal feeling of his head, and from Abhorson's asking, “Is overpower the ludicrous altogether. To me, the axe upon the block, sirrah ?” that be when I reflect upon the train of misfortunes heading, and not hanging, was the punish- which have pursued men through life, owing ment to which Barnardine was destined to that accursed drapery, the cap presents as But Shakspeare knew that the axe and block purely frightful an object as the sleeveless were pregnant with no ludicrous images, and yellow coat and devil-painted mitre of the therefore falsified the historic truth of his San Benitos.-An ancestor of mine, who own drama (if I may so speak), rather than suffered for his loyalty in the time of the he would leave out such excellent matter for civil wars, was so sensible of the truth of a jest as the suspending of a fellow-creature what I am here advancing, that on the mornin mid-air has been ever esteemed to be by ing of execution, no entreaties could prevail Englishmen.
upon him to submit to the odious dishabille, One reason why the ludicrous never fails as he called it, but he insisted upon wearto intrude itself into our contemplations upon ing and actually suffered in, the identical, this mode of death, I suppose to be, the ab- flowing periwig which he is painted in, in surd posture into which a man is thrown the gallery belonging to my uncle's seat in who is condemned to dance, as the vulgar -shire. delight to express it, upon nothing. To see Suffer me, Mr. Editor, before I quit the him whisking and wavering in the air, subject, to say a word or two respecting the
minister of justice in this country ; in plain “ As the wind you know will wave a man;
words, I mean the hangman. It has always to behold the vacant carcase, from which the appeared to me that, in the mode of inflicting life is newly dislodged, shifting between capital punishments with us, there is too earth and heaven, the sport of every gust; much of the ministry of the human hand. The like a weathercock, serving to show from guillotine, as performing its functions more which point the wind blows ; like a maukin, of itself and sparing human agency, though a fit only to scare away birds ; like a nest left cruel and disgusting exhibition, in my mind to swing upon a bough when the bird is has many ways the advantage over our way. flown: these are uses to which we cannot In beheading, indeed, as it was formerly pracwithout a mixture of spleen and contempt tised in England, and in whipping to death, behold the human carcase reduced. We as is sometimes practised now, the hand of string up dogs, foxes, bats, moles, weasels. man is no doubt sufficiently busy ; but there Man surely deserves a steadier death. is something less repugnant in these down
Another reason why the ludicrous asso- right blows than in the officious barber-like ciates more forcibly with this than with any ministerings of the other. To have a fellow other mode of punishment, I cannot help with his hangman's hands fumbling about thinking to be, the senseless costume with your collar, adjusting the thing as your valet which old prescription has thought fit to would regulate your cravat, valuing himself clothe the exit of malefactors in this country. on his menial dexterity — Let a man do what he will to abstract from I never shall forget meeting my rascal, his imagination all idea of the whimsical, I mean the fellow who officiated for me,-in something of it will come across him when London last winter. I think I see him now, he contemplates the figure of a fellow-creature -in a waistcoat that had been mine, in the day-time (in however distressing a smirking along as if he knew me situation) in a night-cap. Whether it be In some parts of Germany, that fellow's that this nocturnal addition has something office is by law declared infamous, and his discordant with daylight, or that it is the posterity incapable of being ennobled. They dress which we are seen in at those times have hereditary hangmen, or had at least,
in the same manner as they had heredi• Hieronimo in the Spanish Tragedy.
tary other great officers of state; and the
hangmen's families of two adjoining parishes But it is time to quit a subject which teems intermarried with each other, to keep the with disagreeable imagesbreed entire. I wish something of the same Permit me to subscribe myself, Mr. Editor, kind were established in England.
Your unfortunate friend,
ON THE MELANCHOLY OF TAILORS
“ Sedet. æternumque sedebit, Infelix Theseus."
That there is a professional melancholy, if Drink itself does not seem to elevate him, I may so express myself, incident to the or at least to call out of him
of the exoccupation of a tailor, is a fact which I think ternal indications of vanity. I cannot say very few will venture to dispute. I may that it never causes his pride to swell, but it safely appeal to my readers, whether they never breaks out. I am even fearful that it ever knew one of that faculty that was not may swell and rankle to an alarming degree of a temperament, to say the least, far re- inwardly. For pride is near of kin to memoved from mercurial or jovial.
lancholy !-a hurtful obstruction from the Observe the suspicious gravity of their ordinary outlets of vanity being shut. It is gait. The peacock is not more tender, from this stoppage which engenders proud a consciousness of his peculiar infirmity, humours. Therefore a tailor may be proud. than a gentleman of this profession is of I think he is never vain. The display of his being known by the same infallible testi- gaudy patterns, in that book of his which monies of his occupation. Walk, that I emulates the rainbow, never raises any may know thee."
inflations of that emotion in him, corresDo you ever see him go whistling along ponding to what the wig-maker (for instance) the foot-path like a carman, or brush through evinces, when he expatiates on a curl or a bit a crowd like a baker, or go smiling to himself of hair. He spreads them forth with a sullen like a lover ? Is he forward to thrust into incapacity for pleasure, a real or affected mobs, or to make one at the ballad-singer's indifference to grandeur. Cloth of gold audiences ? Does he not rather slink by neither seems to elate, nor cloth of frieze to assemblies and meetings of the people, as one depress him — according to the beautiful that wisely declines popular observation ? motto which formed the modest imprese of
How extremely rare is a noisy tailor! a the shield worn by Charles Brandon at his mirthful and obstreperous tailor!
marriage with the king's sister. Nay, I doubt " At my nativity,” says Sir Thomas whether he would discover any vain-glorious Browne, “my ascendant was the earthly complacence in his colours, though "Iris" sign of Scorpius ; I was born in the planetary herself “dipt the woof.” hour of Saturn, and I think I have a piece In further corroboration of this argument of that leaden planet in me.” One would —who ever saw the wedding of a tailor anthink that he were anatomising a tailor ! nounced in the newspapers, or the birth of save that to the latter's occupation, methinks, bis eldest son ? a woollen planet would seem more consonant, When was a tailor known to give a dance, and that he should be born when the sun or to be himself a good dancer, or to perform was in Aries.—He goes on: “I am no exquisitely on the tight-rope, or to shine in way facetious, nor disposed for the mirth any such light and airy pastimes ? to sing, and galliardise of company.” How true a or play on the violin ? type of the whole trade! Eminently eco Do they much care for public rejoicings, nomical of his words, you shall seldom hear lightings up, ringing of bells, firing of cana jest come from one of them. He sometimes nons, &c. ? furnishes subject for a repartee, but rarely Valiant I know they can be; but I appeal (I think) contributes one ore proprio. to those who were witnesses to the exploits
of Eliot's famous troop; whether in their well-attested fact, I shall proceed and endeafiercest charges they betrayed anything of vour to ascertain the causes why this pensive that thoughtless oblivion of death with turn should be so predominant in people of which a Frenchman jigs into battle, or this profession above all others. whether they did not show more of the And first, may it not be, that the custom melancholy valour of the Spaniard, upon of wearing apparel being derived to us from wlwt they charged; that deliberate courage the fall, and one of the most mortifying which contemplation and sedentary habits products of that unhappy event, a certain breathe ?
seriousness (to say no more of it) may in the Are they often great newsmongers ?-I order of things have been intended to be have known some few among them arrive impressed upon the minds of that race of at the dignity of speculative politicians; but men to whom in all ages the care of conthat light and cheerful every day interest in triving the human apparel has been enthe affairs and goings on of the world, which trusted, to keep up the memory of the first makes the barber * such delightful company, institution of clot).es, and serve as a standing I think is rarely observable in them. remonstrance against those vanities which
This characteristic pensiveness in them the absurd conversion of a memorial of our being so notorious, I wonder none of those shame into an ornament of our persons was writers, who have expressly treated of me- destined to produce ? Correspondent in lancholy, should have mentioned it. Burton, some sort to this, it may be remarked, that whose book is an excellent abstract of all the the tailor sitting over a cave or hollow place, authors in that kind who preceded him, and in the caballistick language of his order is who treats of every species of this malady, said to have certain melancholy regions always from the hypochondriacal or windy to the open under his feet.—But waiving further heroical or love melancholy, has strangely inquiry into final causes, where the best of omitted it. Shakspeare himself has over- us can only wander in the dark, let us try to looked it. “I have neither the scholar's discover the efficient causes of this melanmelancholy (saith Jaques), which is emula- choly. tion ; nor the courtier’s, which is proud ; nor I think, then, that they may be reduced the soldier's, which is politic ; nor the lover's, to two, omitting some subordinate ones, viz. which is all these :" and then, when you
The sedentary habits of the tailor.might expect him to have brought in,“ nor
Something peculiar in his diet.the tailor's, which is " so and so, he comes to an end of his enumeration, and falls to a First, his sedentary habits.-In Doctor defining of his own melancholy.
Norris's famous narrative of the frenzy of Milton likewise has omitted it, where he Mr. John Dennis, the patient, being queshad so fair an opportunity of bringing it in, tioned as to the occasion of the swelling in in his Penseroso.
his legs, replies that it came “by criticism;" But the partial omissions of historians to which the learned doctor seeming to proving nothing against the existence of any demur, as to a distemper which he had never
read of, Dennis (who appears not to have • Having incidentally mentioned the barber in a com- been mad upon all subjects) rejoins, with parison of professional temperaments, I hope no other trade will take offence, or look upon it as an incivility some warmth, that it was no distemper, but done to them, if I say, that in courtesy, humanity, and a noble art; that he had sat fourteen hours all the conversational and social graces which “ gladden a day at it; and that the other was a pretty life," I esteem nc profession comparable to his. Indeed, so great is the goodwill which I bear to this useful and doctor not to know that there was a commuagreeable body of men, that, residing in one of the Inns nication between the brain and the legs ! of Court (where the best specimens of them are to be found, except perhaps at the universities), there are seven
When we consider that this sitting for of them to whom I am personally known, and who fourteen hours continuously, which the critic never pass me without the compliment of the hat on
probably practised only while he was writing My truly polite and urbane friend, Mr. -m, of Flower-le-luce-court
, in Fleet-street, will his “ remarks," is no more than what the forgive my mention of himn in particular. I can truly tailor, in the ordinary pursuance of his art, say, 'hat i never spent a quarter of an hour under his submits to daily (Sundays excepted) throughbunds without deriving some profit from the agreeable discussions which are always going on there.
out the year, shall we wonder to find the
either side. А