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comes with a frightened look, and says, “Law, mum! there's three bricks taken out of the garden wall, and the branches broke, and all the pears taken off the pear-tree !” Poor peaceful suburban pear-tree! Gaol-birds have hopped about thy branches, and robbed them of their smoky fruit. But those bricks removed ; that ladder evidently prepared, by which unknown marauders may enter and depart from my little Englishman's castle; is not this a subject of thrilling interest, and may it not be continued in a future number? — that is the terrible question. Suppose, having escaladed the outer wall, the miscreants take a fancy to storm the castle? Well — well! we are armed; we are numerous ; we are men of tremendous courage, who will defend our spoons with our lives ; and there are barracks close by (thank goodness!) whence, at the noise of our shouts and firing, at least a thousand bayonets will bristle to our rescue.

What sound is yonder? A church bell. I might go myself, but how listen to the sermon? I am thinking of those thieves who have made a ladder of my wall, and a prey of my pear-tree. They may be walking to church at this moment, neatly shaved, in clean linen, with every outward appearance of virtue. If I went, I know I should be watching the congregation, and thinking, “Is that one of the fellows who came over my wall?” If, after the reading of the eighth Commandment, a man sang out with particular energy,

Incline our hearts to keep this law,” I should think, “ Aha, Master Basso, did you

have pears

for breakfast this morning ? ” Crime is walking round me, that is clear. Who is the perpetrator? . . . What a changed aspect the world has, since these last few lines were written! I hare been walking round about my premises, and in consultation with a gentleman in a single-breasted blue coat, with pewter buttons, and a tape ornament on the collar. He bas looked at the holes in the wall, and the amputated tree. We have formed our plan of defence — perhaps of attack. Perhaps some day you may read in the

6. DARING ATTEMPT AT BURGLARY Heroic VICTORY OVER THE VILLAINS," &c. &c. Rascals as yet unknown! perhaps you, too, may read these words, and may be induced to pause in your fatal intention. Take the advice of a sincere friend, and keep off. To find a man writhing in my man-trap, another mayhap impaled in my ditch, to pick off another from my tree (scoundrell as though he were a pear) will give me no pleasure ; but such things may happen. Be warned in time, villains ! 'Or, if you must pursue your calling as cracksmen, have the goodness to try some other shutters. Enough! subside into your darkness, children of night! Thieves! we seek not to have you banged — you are but as pegs whereon to hang others.


I may have said before, that if I were going to be hanged myself, I think I should take an accurate note of my sensations, request to stop at some public-house on the road to Tyburn, ani be provided with a private room and writing-materials, and gire an account of my state of mind. Then, gee up, carter! I beg your reverence to continue your apposite, though not novel, remarks on my situation ; — and so we drive up to Trburn turnpike, where an expectant crowd, the obliging sheriffs, and the dexterous and rapid Mr. Ketch are already in waiting.

A number of laboring people are sauntering about our streets and taking their rest on this holiday — fellows who have no more stolen my pears than they have robbed the crown jewels out of the Tower — and I say I cannot help thinking in my own mind, Are you the rascal who got over my wall last night?" Is the suspicion haunting my mind written on my buntenance ? I trust not. What if one man after another were to come up to me and say, “ How dare you, sir, suspect me in your mind of stealing your fruit? Go be hanged, you and your jargonels !” You rascal thief! it is not merely threehalfp'orth of sooty fruit you rob me of, it is my peace of mind - my artless innocence and trust in my fellow-creatures, my childlike belief that everything they say is true. How can I hold out the hand of friendship in this condition, when my first impression is, "My good sir, I strongly suspect that you were up my pear-tree last night?” It is a dreadful state of mind. The core is black; the death-stricken fruit drops on the hough, and a great worm is within — fattening, and feasting, and wriggling! Who stole the pears? I say.

Is it you, brother? Is it you, madam? Come! are you ready to answer - respondere parati et cantare pares? (O shame! shame!)

Will the villains ever be discovered and punished who stole my fruit? Some unlucky rascals who rob orchards are caught up the tree at once. Some rob through life with impunity. If 1. for my part, were to try and get up the smallest tree, on the darkest night, in the most remote orchard, I wager any money I should be found out — be caught by the leg in a man-trap, or have Towler fastening on me. I always am found out; have been; shall be. It's my luck. Other men will carry off bushels of fruit, and get away undetected, unsuspected; whereas I

and punishment would fall upon me were I to lay my



hand on the smallest pippin. So be it. A man who has this precious self-knowledge will surely keep his hands from picking and stealing, and his feet upon the paths of virtue.

I will assume, my benevolent friend and present reader, that you yourself are virtuous, not from a fear of punishment, but from a sheer love of good : but as you and I walk through life, consider what hundreds of thousands of rascals we must have met, who have not been found out at all. In high places and low, in Clubs and on 'Change, at church or the balls and routs of the nobility and gentry, how dreadful it is for benevolent beings like you and me to have to think these undiscovered though not unsuspected scoundrels are swarming! What is the difference between you and a galley-slave? Is yonder poor wretch at the hulks not a man and a brother too? Have you ever forged, my dear sir? Have you ever cheated your neighbor? Have you ever ridden to Hounslow Heath and robbed the mail? Have you ever entered a first-class railway carriage, where an old gentleman sat alone in a sweet sleep, daintily murdered him, taken his pocket-book, and got out at the next station? You know that this circumstance occurred in France a few months since. If we have travelled in France this autumn we may have met the ingenious gentleman who perpetrated this daring and successful coup. We may have found him a well-informed and agreeable man. I have been acquainted with two or three gentlemen who have been discovered after — after the performance of illegal actions. What? That agreeable rattling fellow we met was the celebrated Mr. John Sheppard? Was that amiable quiet gentleman in spectacles the well-known Mr. Fauntleroy? In Hazlitt's admirable paper,

Going to a Fight,” he describes a dashing sporting fellow who was in the coach, and who was no less a man than the eminent destroyer of Mr. William Weare. Don't tell me that you would not like to have met (out of business) Captain Sheppard, the Reverend Doctor Dodd, or others rendered famous by their actions and misfortunes, by their lives and their deaths. They are the subjects of ballads, the heroes of romance. A friend of mine had the house in May Fair, out of which poor Doctor Dodd was taken handcuffed. There was the paved hall over which he stepped. That little room at the side was, no doubt, the study where he composed his elegant sermons. Two years since I had the good fortune to partake of some admirable dinners in Tyburnia — magnificent dinners indeed ; but rendered doubly interesting from the fact that the house was that occupied by the late Mr. Sadleir. One night the late Mr.

Sadleir took tea in that dining-room, and, to the surprise of his butler, went out, having put into his pocket bis own cream-jug. The next morning, you know, he was found dead on Hampstead Heath, with the cream-jug lying by him, into which be had poured the poison by which he died. The idea of the ghost of the late gentleman flitting about the room gave a strange interest to the banquet. Can you fancy him taking his tea alone in the dining-room? He empties that cream-jug and puts it in his pocket; and then he opens yonder door, through which he is never to pass again. Now he crosses the hall : and bark! the hall-door shuts upon him, and his steps die away. They are gone into the night. They traverse the sleeping city. They lead him into the fields, where the gray morning is beginning to glimmer. He pours something from a bottle into a little silver jug. It touches his lips, the lying lips. Do they quiver a prayer ere that awful draught is swallowed ? When the sun rises they are dumb.

I neither knew this unhappy man, nor his countryman Laërtes let us call him — who is at present in exile, having heen compelled to fly from remorseless creditors. Laërtes fled to America, where he earned his bread by: liis pen. I own to having a kindly feeling towards this scapegrace, because, thongh an exile, he did not abuse the country whence he fled. I have heard that he went away taking no spoil with him, penniless almost; and on his voyage he made acquaintance with a certain Jew; and when he fell sick, at New York, this Jew befriended him, and gave him help and money out of his own store, which was but small. Now, after they had been awhile in the strange city, it happened that the poor Jew spent all his little money, and he too fell ill, and was in great penury.

And now it was Laërtes who befriended that Ebrew Jew. He fee'l octors; he fed and tended the sick and hungry. Go to, Laërtes! I know thee not. It may be thou art justly erul patria. But the Jew shall intercede for thee, thou not, let us trust, hopeless Christian sinner.

Another exile to the same shore I knew : who did not? Julius Caesar bardly owed more money than Cucedicus : and, gracious powers ! Čucedicus, how did you manage to spend and owe so much? All day he was at work for his clients ; at night he was occupied in the Public Council. He neither had wife por children. The rewards which he received for his orations were enough to maintain twenty rhetoricians. Night after night I have seen him eating his frugal real, consisting but of a fish, a small portion of mutton, and a small measure of Iberian or Trinacrian wine, largely diluted with the sparkling waters of Rhenish Gaul. And this was all he had; and this man earned and paid away talents upon talents; and fled, owing who knows how many more! Does a man earn fifteen thousand pounds a year, toiling by day, talking by night, hav. ing horrible unrest in his bed, ghastly terrors at waking, seeing an officer lurking at every corner, a sword of justice for ever hanging over his head — and have for his sole diversion a newspaper, a lonely mutton-chop, and a little sherry and seltzerwater? In the German stories we read how men sell themselves to - a certain Personage, and that Personage cheats them. He gives them wealth ; yes, but the gold-pieces turn into worth. less leaves. He sets them before splendid banquets : yes, but what an awful grin that black footman has who lifts up the disb-cover; and don't you smell a peculiar sulphurous odor in the dish? Faugh! take it away: I can't eat. He promises them splendors and triumphs. The conqueror's car rolls glittering through the city, the multitude shout and huzza. Drive on, coachman.

Yes, but who is that hanging on behind the carriage? Is this the reward of eloquence, talents, industry? Is this the end of a life's labor? Don't you remember how, when the dragon was infesting the neighborhood of Babylon, the citizens used to walk dismally out of evenings, and look at the valleys round about strewed with the bones of the victims whom the monster had devoured? O insatiate brute, and most disgusting, brazen, and scaly reptile! Let us be thankful, children, that it has not gobbled us up too. Quick. Let us turn away, and pray that we may be kept out of the reach of his horrible maw, jaw, claw !

When I first came up to London, as innocent as Monsieur Gil Blas, I also fell in with some pretty acquaintances, found my way into several caverns, and delivered my purse to more than one gallant gentleman of the road. One I remember especially one who never eased me personally of a single maravedi one than whom I never met a bandit more gallant, courteous, and amiable. Rob me? Rolando feasted me; treated me to his dinner and bis wine; kept a generous table for his friends, and I know was most liberal to many of them. How well I remember one of his speculations! It was a great plan for smuggling tobacco. Revenue officers were to be hought off; silent ships were to ply on the Thames ; cunning depots were to be established, and hundreds of thousands of pounds to be made by the coup. How his eyes kindled as he propounded the scheme to me! How easy and certain it

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