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forth learnedly upon the merits of top dressings, guano, and fat loamy soils. Another member has gone to a distant land and we shall see his face no more. So is the little company scattered—and yet not all are departed of the old familiar faces. Smith the president, and Jackson the humourist of the Club still meet, and over a quiet pipe, do now and again talk of the days which can come no more: to recall laughable incidents; and to linger with affectionate regret over the memories of the defunct association. It has been mooted that the Crust Club should be revived, and spring phoenix-like from the ashes of the past, but that is not likely to happen. We should miss the once familiar faces; the friendly jokes, and well comprehended allusions, which were the salt of its existence. It cannot, it should not be revived. The door is shut and locked, and the key that would open it utterly lost : we would not seach for another, neither break open and burst rudely in upon the long closed chamber.
Who does not remember some happy red letter day spent with dear friends in a pleasant country place? It seemed that the sun shone brighter; the sky was clearer; and the birds sang more sweetly than they ever did before or since. And we recollect, sadly, how it was resolved that the party should meet to revisit that lovely spot where we had all been so happy, next week, or next month—but the years have rolled away and we have never seen that place again where the birds sang their Sundaybest tunes, and the trees waved their arms over us in benediction. So with our Club, we cannot live the past again, and our members will probably never more meet in this world in social gathering, to talk politics, to quarrel as all good friends do sometimes, to play inferior whist, to smoke too much for the good of the parlour curtains; and to keep rather late hours. Yet it is not good to be always wise. “ Because thou art virtuous, shall there be no more cakes and ale?”
Ours was not a perfect institution : we heard too often the chimes at midnight, to be able to rise with the respectable early bird. Of course we are wiser now, and go to bed at proper hours; we are more decorous and a trifle prosier, than in the Crust Club days; yet because of those pleasant hours snatched from the monotonous routine of life which is calculated to make the best of Jacks a dull boy, I think all the members wherever they now may be, will with me always cherish most dearly their connection with this little oasis in the desert of this earthly career,-yclept “Our Crust Club."
W. H. T.
It is my privilege to submit a few choice productions in the art of letter writing, which, through the fact of the schoolmaster being so wofully abroad, will, I feel sure, afford some little amusement.
These epistles have been received from time to time at one of the public offices of the town, and of course have received that special attention which the flagrancy of the charges contained in them, one and all, demand.
The brevity and matter-of-fact style of the first under our notice is uncommon from this class of correspondents, and no one can deny the writer the nom de plume assumed.
“Mrs. Barnacle 150 Pebble Mill St. keeps a Dog and Don't pay for it-you Make me pay so please Make her pay-Justice."
It will be seen that to bring to justice the delinquent referred to in our next, some little tact was necessary. " DEAR SIR,
i wish you would kindley go or send to No. 21 Gulliver St a small shop and there you will find a Large Dog that is quite a nusance to the neighbourhood and they Do not pay taxes for it wich i think they ought. P.S.-pleas Look to there scales and weights at the same time as they are very Defishunt boy Doing so you will oblige yours a neighbour. You must pleas watch your opportunity as sometimes the Dog is out."
I am afraid a great want of confidence would be felt in my conduct for making public the following communications, but that as there are no signatures attached to any of them, I cannot see how I can be guilty of betraying trust.
i rite to tell you as how the People at No 60 Larceny St in Arson New Town is a keeper of a dog and dont pay you, dont say as how i told you thair name is Collins and it aint fair fore me to pay an not them." “SIR,
allow me to call attention to a dog thats being kept by Mrs. Jones 1 Court 1 House Ruby Lane they have had now this last 12 months without paying for him and he is left in the yard nearly every night of the week to the Danger of all that pass up and down, and if spoken to about it they insult all so doing so therefore they are setting the law and everything at Defiance as they say they dont intend paying for him—so your intention to this will greatly oblige.
The breed of the Dogs referred to in the next would be considered invaluable by almost every one else but the writer and spinster aunts. " SIR,
I write to inform you that there is a Lot of Dogs about Prim St and thay are not Pay for it is not safe to keep a cat in the neighbourhood.”
I am in grave doubt whether the next case was not one which called for the assistance of the Parish Doctor, as a third interesting event appears to be darkly hinted at.
Please to attend to dog at Price's Pikelett shop No. 42 Bun St. it as been there with welps twice to the annoyance of the neighbours."
One would almost be inclined to the supposition that the succeeding effusion was dictated by a spirit of envy at the excellent quarters enjoyed by the fortunate quadruped.
- Joseph Robinson 13 Court 15 House Honey St. keeps a Dog in his Pantry without a licence."
It is to be hoped that in the interests of the fair tax-payer the wholesale defaulter, now introduced to our notice, met with that summary treatment at the hands of the officials which our informant thought he merited.
I write to inform you that Josepeth Carrige of no 4 back of no 35 Dorking St. as got a dog with ur welps and fouls without a licensed which is a great noucenes to the noubers.
Yours truly, S. V." The disinterestedness of the writer of the choice production next on our list is greatly to be admired. " Dear Sir,
i right theas words to you teling you tat John morrs is a keepen to dog and they ar seven monts old opicetsite the chool lane.”
The powers of discrimination as regards taxed and untaxed dogs, evidenced by our next correspondent, would be invaluable to an official. “ DEAR SIR,
I have heard talk of nussances of dogs But I think Whippet St. is the worst from the Lamp shop to Pug St. you cannot pass for dogs and not one I dont bleeved is payed for.
a passer by." The paternal sentiments of the author of the following, it may readily be conceded, have been most barbarously outraged.
i now take the pleasuer of writing to you of informing to you of a pearson in Titcumb St. in birmingham of keeping two dogs this last year and also a gun in their house i do not know wheather they do pay a lisence for the two dogs and a gun but i am informed they do not, they only pay for one dog and now lisence for the other dog nor gun i have seen the gun fired in the yard wheir they live a pigon that as droped on the buildings in the yard it is a close yard and not fitting for
struch things to be lett of wheir their is children in the same yard and has children of their own 6 in number and I thought it my duty to informe you of it Sir of this going on the man that I complain of is Mr. Tompkins to you of keeping these.
I remain your obedient truly." There is a savouriness about the next two which could not fail to commend itself strongly to the sympathetic official. " DEAR SIR,
Will you kindley see if there is no Remedy for the Dog nucience that there exists in and about Typhus St. the Dogs are a Disgrace to every one but Dog breedens wich are many they are a terrour to all But the owner there are several that have been bitten by them yet they still are there year after year not being paid for they are continualy waiting round entry's where Dogs are kept up at the back the smell that is when the Sun shines Hot is fearfull if they try to drive them away they fly at them i am not a Resident of Typhus St. But a visitor of the sick and can vouch for the truth of this as i think if the people where made pay for them they would uot keep them trusting you will try to Remedy this evil i Remain yours truly a visitor of the poor and sick.”
i should be Glad if you would look after 2 dogs kept at the Back of 41 Boniface St. wich they do not pay for and often-times they fight them and there is a stinking wash-tub in the yard i do not know wat the Inspecters are doing not to see into it. Please look after thiss."
The least imaginative among us would at once come to the conclusion, after perusing the epistle coming next, that a veritable descendant of “Bill Sykes” was referred to, “ GENTLEMEN,
At the second house right hand side up Sandbag St. is a white bull and terrier Dog with Dark spot on left ear kep by a party there the name of Jones which is the greatest Blaguard the dog or the owner I dont know but I think If they were made to pay for the Dog the one nusance would soon be removed."
It can be imagined with what avidity the strong arm of the law would respond to the invitation to visit the Elysium mentioned in this friendly note.
At the back of the Blue Pig, Thimblerig St. there is 3 Dogs kep 1 at no 1 House and 1 at no 5 House and 1 at no 10 House and They Dont pay for them and they say they Dont care a D-n for the Law. There was a fearfull fight last week over them. Dinner time would be the Best to call if you will be kind enough to send a Gentleman.
Yours a friend." One can scarcely imagine greater simplicity of character than is displayed by the writer of the lines of which these given below are a copy. " SIR,
I write to let you know that Mr. Taffy of 17 Snowdon St makes His boast that he keeps a Dog and does not pay Taxes for it nor never means. He does keep a Dog but whether he pays or not perhaps You would kindley see to as I dont think I ought to pay and He Brag He does not nor dont mean by attending to the above you will greatly oblige above one."
Like a great many besides, our informant who comes next is under the impression that a licence has wonderful power over a savage dog, and will effectually protect his calves from peril in that quarter henceforth. No Chancellor of the Exchequer can hope to impart such a thoroughness to his measures, be he Conservative or Liberal.
"A small Black savage Dog is kept at 13 Heifer St. ant a Large Brown Dog kep in the Back Premises of No. 15 I dont think that either of them are paid for they are very savage and dangerous to the inhabitants put your best man on to these two Dogs and you will oblige a man that nearly got bit the other day by these currs."
My list is exhausted and my task is finished. It would be futile for me to attempt to originate a continuation of anything so extremely grotesque as these curiosities.
Thou of the angel-face, and guileless eye ;-
And voice of gentlest tone;
And ye shall dwell alone;
These proofs of placid mind,
And welcome him to home?