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In battle's heat, amid ensanguin'd slaughter,
Since such the influence of a simple sound, That raises whole battalions from the ground, Snatches the hero from an early grave, And rescues e'en what valour could not save -Frightful indeed must be the scene, the hour, When this word “ Quarter" nerves the arm of power! When it no longer stays, but swells it higher, And draws accumulating terrors nigher, Adding, as 'twere, fresh fuel to the fire !
· Such time there is ; a time of high control,
• Folks must be punctual ;- if you'll settle, so-
Now shiverings come, and horrid dreams affright! Shocking by day, most horrible by night! “ To wit," -- the worst wit that a man can deal inAnd hark? what thundering knock is that now pealing? • A tradesman, sir, that with you fain would speak ;'I'm not at home, nor shall I be this week. Eh! what?-a Bill of Sale ?-my things appraised ? Ha! who is that, as in a pulpit raised ? · The chairs and tables move, the china rattles; A going, going—all my goods and chattels ! My wife's choice silks walk off, a bedgown's brought her; My wine binns all at once seem fill’d with water ! The curtains, beds and bed-posts too, withdraw, And swan-down-feather beds are stuffed with straw !
In our kind neighbour, Mrs. Curious, drops, Prying and pertness in her eyes and chops ; • Dear.me! good lack ! alarmed at such a clatter, • I've just stept in : Do tell me - What's the matter? Matter! (says I) and from her.turn away, Matter enough I think—'Tis Quarter Day!
While in my parlour to and fro I'm bouncing, A messenger arrives, this news announcing• Gripus sends word-since you indulgence claim, • He'll stay proceedings, if a day you'll name.' A day!—The day of judgment then, T roar, And, as released from peril, slam the door!
Off gallops be, but leaves a bailifi's jobber,
Again the herald comes !-speaks louder--faster• The day of judgment will not suit my master. • Besides, he says, he shall that day be busy, • The very thought of judgment makes him dizzy' Zounds !-(with an oath, thus making worse the matter) If not that day-why call then-the day after !
Now, on my shoulder, taps I feel, each minute,-
Still Quarter Day keeps running in my pate,
Throughout Moore's almanacks no evil signs That rule o'er man_his head, feet, back, and loins ; Trine, Sextile, Quartile, Saturn, Sol, Aquarius, Mars, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Sagittarius, With Capricorn, and all the Zodiac, Enough to make a reader's jaw-bones crack; Not all, in hieroglyphical array, Bring such dark bodings, such dire ills pourtray, So ominously black-as QUARTER DAY!
When I was residing near Bristol, I often walked into the city and its neighbourhood, and frequently visited the theatre to see the performances. I was acquainted with several of the company, particularly Mr. Charles Murray and Mr. James Biggs, both clever men. Charles was the Prince of story tellers; and, if permitted, a tale or two, shall be told of him. One day we were both invited to the table of a friend of his, who lived not far from the Theatre. This friend was a gentleman of the name of Wensley, who was then very partial to the Drama, and has since introduced to the public two of his daughters. It will be immediately recollected that a Miss Wensley niade her appearance at Covent Garden, a few years since, and I believe was favorably received ; she was afterwards engaged at several country Theatres, and by me for a few nights at Taunton; on the evening of her benefit there, she and her sister sung several popular songs and duets.
But we must return to Bristol again. While at Mr. Wensley's table, Mr. Elliston came in and stayed seve
ral hours ; this was the first time I had ever seen that gentleman, except on the stage; he was then rapidly advancing in reputation, and had become a public favorite. He made an excellent Charles Ratcliffe in the comedy of “ The Jew.” He afterwards played Sheva at Covent Garden. Mr. Elliston is so clever a man, that perhaps he never decidedly failed in any part he attempted ; but still he is not equally excellent in all. In my opinion I have seen as good Jews-bis friend Murray for one, but I never saw so excellent a Charles Ratcliffe. At that time he looked, spoke and acted the character most admirably.
Mr. Murray was an agreeable and witty companion ; I wish to avoid being misunderstood in what I have further to say of him, and his jovial qualifications. He was not a drunkard ! he'd too much good sense for that: yet no one loved a cheerful glass of wine better than he did; and no one more amply repaid it with pleasantry, wit, and good humour.
After leaving the party on the evening in question, he requested my company to take a stroll with him through the Bristol Streets; nothing could stay his tongue as we passed along! If he saw a light at a window, he would knock at the door, until it was either opened, or some one answered from within, “ Who's there ?" “Tis I, don't you know me?" “ I can't say I do, sir!” “ Where's your Master ?” “ Just gone to bed, sir " “ Bless me, bed !---call him up directly! this gentle. man has particular business and must see him!” “No no, said I, we will call again to-morrow : ” “ Will you leave your names gentlemen "?? “Our names! mine is