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