tioners, who not only prescribe but dispense their own medicines, I have prepared a regular course of light reading, whereof I now present the first packet, in the humble hope that your dull hours may be amused, and your cares diverted, by the laughing lucubrations which have enlivened Hood's Own.


How the following correspondence came into my hands must remain a Waverley mystery. The Pugsley Papers were neither rescued from a garret, like Evelyn,-collected from cartridges like the Culloden,-nor saved, like the Garrick, from being shredded into a snow storm at Winter Theatre. They were not snatched from a tailor's shears, like the original parchment of Magna Charta. They were neither the Legacy of a Dominie, nor the communications of My Landlord,--a consignment, like the Clinker Letters, from some Rev. Jonathan Dustwich,-nor the waifs and strays of a Twopenny Post Bag. They were not unrolled from ancient papyri. They were none of those that “line trunks, clothe spices,” or paper the walls of old attics. They were neither given to me nor sold to me, nor stolen, nor borrowed and surreptitiously copied,-nor left in a hackney coach, like Sheridan's play,—nor misdelivered by a carrier pigeon,—nor dreamt of, like Coleridge's Kubla Khan,-nor turned up in the Tower, like Milton's Foundling MS.,—nor dug up,—nor trumped up, like eastern tales of Horam harum Horam the son of Asmar,-nor brought over by Rammobun Roy,-nor translated by Doctor Bowring from the Scandinavian, Batavian, Pomeranian, Spanish, or Danish, or Russian, or Prus. sian, or any other language dead or living. They were not picked from the Dead Letter Office, nor purloined from the British Museum. In short, I cannot, dare not, will not, hint even at the mode of their acquisition: the reader must be content to know, that, in point of authenticity, the Pugsley Papers are the extreme reverse of Lady L.’s celebrated Autographs, which were all written by the proprietor.

No. I.-From Master RICHARD PUGSLEY, to Master ROBERT

Rogers, at Number 132, Barbican.

DEAR BOB, Huzza !—Here I am in Lincolnshire ! It's good-bye to Wel. lingtons and Cossacks, Ladies' double channels, Gentlemen's stout calf, and ditto ditto. They've all been sold off under prime cost, and the old Shoe Mart is disposed of, goodwill and fixtures, for ever and ever. Father has been made a rich Squire of by will, and we've got a house and fields, and trees of our own. Such a garden, Bob !—It beats White Conduit.

Now, Bob, I'll tell you what I want. I want you to come down here for the holidays. Don't be afraid. Ask your Sister to ask your Mother to ask your Father to let you come. It's only ninety miles. If you're out of pocket money, you can wa and beg a lift now and then, or swing by the dickeys. Put on cordroys, and don't care for cut behind. The two prentices, George and Will, are here to be made farmers of, and brother Nick is took home from school to help in agriculture. We like farming very much, it's capital fun. Us four have got a gun, and go out shooting : it's a famous good un, and sure to go off if you don't full cock it. Tiger is to be our shooting dog as soon as he has left off killing the sheep. He's a real savage, and worries cats beautiful. Before Father comes down, we mean to bait our bull with him.

There's plenty of New Rivers about, and we're going a fishing as soon we have mended our top joint. We've killed one of our sheep on the sly to get gentles. We've a pony too, to ride upon when we can catch him, but he's loose in the paddock, and has neither mane nor tail to signify to lay hold of. Isn't it prime, Bob? You must come. If your Mother won't give your Father leave to allow you,-run away. Remember, you turn up Goswell Street to go to Lincolnshire, and ask for Middlefen Hall. There's a pond full of frogs, but we won't pelt them till you come, but let it be before Sunday, as there's our own orchard to rob, and the fruit's to be gathered on Mon day.

If you like sucking raw eggs, we know where the hens lay,


and mother don't ; and I'm bound there's lots of birds' nests. Do come, Bob, and I'll show you the wasps' nest, and everything that can make you comfortable. I dare say you could borrow


father's volunteer musket of him without his know. ing of it; but be sure anyhow to bring the ramrod, as we have mislaid ours by firing it off. Don't forget some bird-lime, Boband some fish-hooks-and some different sorts of shot_and some gut and some gunpowder—and a gentle-box, and some flints, some May flies,—and a powder horn,—and a landing net and a dog-whistle—and some porcupine quills, and a bullet mouldand a trolling-winch, and a shot-belt and a tin can. You pay for 'em, Bob, and I'll owe it you.

Your old friend and schoolfellow,


No. II.-From the Same to the Same.

When you come, bring us a 'bacco-pipe to load the


with. If you don't come, it can come by the wagon. Our Public House is three mile off, and when you've walked there it's out of everything. Yours, &c.,



MOGGRIDGE, at Gregory House Establishment for Young Ladies, Mile End.

MY DEAR JEMIMA, Deeply solicitous to gratify sensibility, by sympathizing with our fortuitous elevation, I seize the epistolary implements to inform you, that, by the testamentary disposition of a remote branch of consanguinity, our tutelary residence is removed from the metropolitan horizon to a pastoral district and its con

genial pursuits. In futurity I shall be more pertinaciously superstitious in the astrological revelations of human destiny. You remember the mysterious gipsy at Hornsey Wood ? —Well, the eventful fortune she obscurely intimated, though couched in vague terms, has come to pass in the minutest particulars ; for 1 perceive perspicuously, that it predicted that papa should sell off his boot and shoe business at 133, Barbican, to Clack & Son, of 144, Hatton Garden, and that we should retire, in a station of affluence, to Middlefen Hall, in Lincolnshire, by be. quest of our great-great maternal uncle, Pollexfen Goldsworthy Wrigglesworth, Esq., who deceased suddenly of apoplexy at Wisbeach Market, in the ninety-third year of his venerable and

lamented age.

At the risk of tedium, I will attempt a cursory delineation of our rural paradise, altho' I feel it would be morally arduous, to give any idea of the romantic scenery of the Lincolnshire Fens. Conceive, as far as the visual organ expands, an immense sequestered level, abundantly irrigated with minute rivulets, and studded with tufted oaks, whilst more than a hundred wind-mills diversify the prospect and give a revolving animation to the scene. As for our own gardens and grounds they are a perfect Vauxhall --excepting of course the rotunda, the orchestra, the company, the variegated lamps, the fire-works, and those very lofty trees. But I trust my dear Jemima will supersede topography by ocular inspection ; and in the interim I send for acceptance a graphical view of the locality, shaded in Indian ink, which will suffice to convey an idea of the terrestrial verdure and celestial azure we enjoy, in lieu of the sable exhalations and architectural nigritude of the metropolis.

You who know my pastoral aspirings, and have been the indulgent confidant of my votive tributes to the Muses, will conceive the refined nature of my enjoyment when I mention the intellectual repast of this morning. I never could enjoy Bloomfield in Barbican,—but to-day he read beautifully under our pear-tree. I look forward to the felicity of reading Thomson's Summer with



green seat, and if engagements at Christmas permit your participation in the bard, there is a bower of evergreens that will be delightful for the perusal of his Winter.


« VorigeDoorgaan »