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go direct to the heart through the chy- ham, Mr. Benjamin Ligament Cable, the lopoietics. Day after day streams of vice, Mr. Wirey, the great city orator, black-coated, white-chokered people, of Mr. Deputy Greenpea, Alderman Carcasewaiters, “ professionals,” and “ company,” man, Lord Fudleigh Steward, Sir Benja(of whom, in my early times of dining out, min Bawl, &c., all in due order. Lower I might have said with truth, “ Tros Ty- down, little cards stuck into sponge-cakes riusve mihi nullo discrimine agetur,'') may pointed out the local boundaries for “ the be seen pouring into that shady hall within Press,” which I approached with much which resounds forever the clang of covers humility. A stout gentleman with spectaand the rattle of the dinner-steel, mingled cles was busy pointing a pencil, and prewith the faintest soupçon of French cook- maturely sipping hock as I sidled up. He ery from the remoter kitchen. Day after looked at me--brushed the crumbs of bread day carriages and cabs there deposit their off his highly-ornate “tommy," and adjoyous burdens toward seven o'clock, and dressed me in some cabalistic phraseology, the band of the Guards seem there to be of which I only understood the words on constant duty. Fresh posters outside “Going to make much of this ?" As I felt announce diurnally new objects to be hungry, I replied, “ Well, I should rather achieved in the paths of gastronomic re say so ;" on which the stout gentleman, generation; nor is there in this age of immediately turning his back on me, mereprogress any development of science, of ly remarked, “ You'll h’ve it all to yoursocial knowledge, or of political life, in self then," an observation which left me which the Metropolis Tavern and its din to infer that he was slightly deranged and ners do not play an important part. decidedly ill-bred, for I could not at all
“ Mankind Amealorations ?” said the fat fancy that I would be really called on to porter in his arm-chair, as I timidly made consume the whole banquet. By-and-by my inquiries; “ up stairs, sir, third fight. the press-seats became fuller and fuller, Leave yer hat and coat at the table, please, and I was aware that I was a black sheep, sir."
a "new boy at school,” for as no one And so I ascended a lofty flight of stairs, could say who I was, it seemed to be the walls by the side of which were decked taken for granted I was nobody. Spriggs with portraits of great kings, and admirals, of the “Star,” who wore a bright blue and generals, who had feasted in their day cravat, and a white vest, with gold flowers, right gloriously in these saloons, amid files hinted audibly to Brown of the “ Moon” of smiling waiters and plethoric guests till that I was some “ outsider” that Ginner I reached the banqueting-room. What a of the “ Deflagrator" had engaged for the new world it was to me! Three long ta- evening; but Brandyer's theory that I was bles glittering with plate, with center doing it" on my own hook," for the pieces laden with bouquets, with stupen- society, seemed to be most generally acdous wine-coolers, side-covers, and heaps ceptable. of silver knives and forks flashing brightly It is not pleasant to be the subject of beneath the light of wax and gas, ran the baseless theories in one's own hearing ; length of a noble and richly-decorated hall, and for some few minutes I felt unhappy till they effected a junction with a trans- and distrait, and the more so because my verse cross-table—the seat of honor-at confrères were on such good terms with the end of the room, covered with dazzling each other. ornaments, such as the Roman in his con Enter at last a grand procession! Smiling quering hour might have snatched from stewards with white wands in their hands, the treasure-houses of an Eastern monarch and rosettes in their button-holes, precede In the orchestra over the entrance were a stately pomp of lords, and baronets, and the fair ladies whose happiness it was to knights, and aldermen, and gentlemen, be about to see the Ameliorators feeding, (ought not the last to be first, by-the-by?) and beneath it that indefatigable band of and escort them to the top table; and the Guards was already bleating through amid the strains of the band and the all its lungs of brass a preparatory re- waving of kerchiefs from the gallery, the hearsal of the march in Nabucco. The Ameliorators take their places. A crowd cards before the dishes bespoke the rank of waiters struggling beneath the weight of the guests. There was Lord Cinder- of mighty covers fills up the void which ley, the benevolent chairman, Lord Bruf- has been left by the march of white-headed
pobles, with red noses and ribins, and is he is—he confesses with a sigh--the hero at last precipitated on the tables in a sedi- of hundreds of them; he takes care of me ment of tureens and smoking dishes. as a father would of a favorite child—he While I gaze in wonderment on this tells me when to drink my cold punch, strange scene, the triumphal strains of the my champagne, my claret, (he insists on band cease, and I feel a gentle nudge at its being a light red-sealed bottle-orange my elbow. A party gorgeously apparel wont do, nor scarlet,) the exact moment ed, with rills of shirt-frills and bossy at which port may be ventured on, and he studs, and an engaging smile at once fa- marshals the made dishes, and reveals miliar, and deprecating offense, says to me, their secrets with rare prescience ; he is “Mr. a-a-a, (a bow, I haven't the my mentor as to what to eat, drink, and pleasure of your name, (a bow,) but my avoid ; makes enemies of his best friends name is Harkaway, sir-well known to by giving me all the tid-bits of flesh, fish, Mr. Ginner, of your paper, sir, (a bow,) — and fowl, and hears unmoved the whisand if you 'll be so good as to say Harka- pered libel that “ Old Goldfish is buttering way, the toast-master, waz asmanything up that young press chap to get a report you 're good enough to think, sir-as usual, of the speech," absorbed in the rare enjoy(two bows.) Thank you, sir, you 're very ment of what, he says, with a sigh, is now kind,” (three bows, and vanish the vision his greatest pleasures, “Seeing a man eat amid the waiters.)
with an appetite." And now a clergyman rises to bless the With the aid of Goldfish I got on refeast, and as his general exhortation, not markably well. My brethren of the pencil to be fond of creature-comforts, but rather relaxed so far as to ask me to take wine to eschew feasting and reveling, is some- in rotation, and to inform me that this was thing of the longest, many of the company the best dinner going, as it was expensive, raise the covers, and peep slily into the and there was nothing to do in the way of dishes to ascertain the contents, and then, speech-writing. Several times I had obas the Ameliorators are great martyrs in served a tall, slight, courteous-looking this way, and stave off what they so much person, in evening dress, hovering round desire, as long as possible, a stout gentle- our chairs and speaking confidentially to man with a bass voice, a lean gentleman my confrères, but could not make him with a barytone tenor ditto, and a cherry- out; waiter, head or tail, he evidently was cheeked, rotund little body, whether boy not, and yet, he somehow or other, seemed or man, one cannot say at the distance, to belong to the Metropolis Tavern. There with a juggle and a warble in the throat was an air of diplomatic grace about him like that of an over-fed nightingale, exe- -a soft, oily gait, which slid him about cute the dreary ode to the deity of dinners, here, there, and everywhere, as though he Non nobis Domine."
traveled on felt springs—a bland smile What a clatter as the peaceful army sits and a hearty genial manner, mingled with down to battle! If old Homer had heard excessive respectfulness and deference of it he might have culled one more simile to address that attracted attention at once. describe the march of the Grecian host. Just as I was inquiring who this very Ladles, spoons, knives, forks, plates, cov- agreeable person was, and had learned it ers, and glasses, keep up a perpetual clash, was Mr. Lave, the proprietor, he appeared tingle, clang, which rise above the crash at my elbow, and as if I had become the of a waltz by Lanner, and the rows of the one object of his thought and exertions, in waiters by dozens. A red-faced gentle- his inimitable tones said, “ Dear me,
dear man at the other side of the table, who has me, Mr. Ruxton, you have eaten nothingbeen working away at a large tureen for absolutely nothing! Is there nothing I some time, catches a glimpse of my plate could get to tempt you? I have kept a while I am staring about me, and with woodcock just for you and our excellent horror exclaims, “Why, sir! you've had friend, Mr. Goldfish. Ah! there is a man, no turtle ! and it's getting cold! here, Mr. Ruxton! Such a man, sir, (forte ;) waiter, that young gentleman's plate op- I often say what would we do only for posite. I've a nice bit of the meat for him, sir, (piano,)-enormously rich-dines you left.” What a mine of happiness I here four times a week. You really will am for that man! he has discovered I not take anything more? dined so well! never was at a public dinner before, and delighted, indeed! And how is my excel
VOL. III, No. 5.-HH
lent friend, Mr. Ginner? No indisposition, London, in attending a dog-fight for the I hope ? Ah, well, that 's really well, sir. purpose of reforming two very pet crimiSo glad to hear you believe him in his nals who hitherto obstinately refused to usual health.” By this time a waiter had read tracts, and live on the fat of the land whispered something in Lave's ear. " And at the expense of the society, and in disnow, sir, I 'll just give you, if you will allow tributing some religious pocket-handkerme, a taste-just a taste-'pon my word, Mr. chiefs; but as he had succeeded in capRuxton, it 's my last dozen of Prince Met- turing a cracksman out of luck, and two ternich's Cabinet hock-keep it just down repentant cabbies, and taking them off to there, between your legs—and give a glass the retreat, he was in the best humor or so to your vis-à-vis. Ah! Mr. Gold- possible, and spoke sanguinely of his ultifish, you know what we have got here.
The end of that dinnerTell our excellent friend here, (myself) what was it? when was it? I know not. who has honored us with his company this I remember a small room filled with cigar evening, its history, I pray, sir. James, smoke, faces looming out above it, and the (to a waiter,) attend particularly to these fumes of hot brandy and water; also a gentlemen here, and to this gentleman number of songs and broiled bones, and an especially, whom I have not seen before. enthusiastic speech from myself, in which No Champagne, but Moet and Chardens- I wished to embrace all the company, and do you like La Rose or Chateau Lafitte, as hailed them all as my best friends—and a claret? I think you will ; I'll send then a cab to the " Deflagrator,"—a digboth—now do, I beseech you, make your nified but unsuccessful attempt to walk selves comfortable.” And Mr. Lave glided steadily up stairs, with a consciousness off to spread happiness round him, and to that men in white shirt sleeves were grinwin the hearts of aldermen, common-coun- ning at me-most extraordinary paper, and cil-men, stewards, and committee-men, by pens and ink, in a desk in a big room appeals to their vanity and their stomach. with a rotatory motion, and a poem com
And now came “ The Queen," " The mencingPrince Albert,” &c., which are irreverently "Sing, muse, sing the banquet of our Lave, described in the prints as the usual loyal
Which not Lucullus". toasts, and “ The Army and Navy.” Mr. The meeting with Dammer was awful. Sims, of the City Artillery Company, re- However, I got over it, and ever since I turned thanks for the army, observing, have been a “diner out” for the papers. that, when the time came, the corps to It is not improbable but that I may give which he belonged would do its dooty, some account of the greatest and most (great cheers,) and Lieut. Knocks, of the remarkable of the wonderful scenes I have R. N., did the same for the navy, and in witnessed in that capacity—but it's very the course of his remarks introduced a trying to the constitution. spirited account of the battle of Copenhagen—the professionals warbling sweetly A Cooking Earl.—The Earl of Peterin the intervals, and Harkaway bellowing borough, among other things, was in the like all the bulls of Bashan, his perpetual habit of stating that, during the War of the injunctions to gentlemen to charge their Succession, he had frequently been in danglasses, as if poor human nature was not ger of perishing for want of food; and prone enough to do it without any such that even when he could get it, he was stimulus. My mind having been set at often obliged to cook it himself; he thus rest by an assurance from my stenographic became a good artist, and, from the force of friend on the right, that Lave would get habit, sometimes dressed his own dinner. me the names of the people at the other Those who have dined with him at Pardinner, and that a line or two would be son's Green, have seen him at work in a enough for it, I resigned myself to the dress for the purpose, like that of a tavern joys of the table, amid which was Lord cook : he usually retired from his company Cinderley's speech on the gradual approach about an hour before dinner-time, and havof an ameliorated-mankind era, which he ing dispatched his culinary affairs, would illustrated by some astounding statistics return properly dressed to his place among from all parts of the criminal world. The the guests, and astonished them by his noble lord had spent the day in hunting up wit and varied information.-Warburton's young thieves through all the alleys of Life of Peterborough.
IBIS-SHOOTING IN THE SWAMPS OF
small French or Creole settlement, with LOUISIANA.
no other company than my gun; even
without a dog, as my favorite spaniel had THE ibis (tantalus) is one of the most the day before been bitten by an alligator
curious and interesting of American while swimming across a bayou. I went birds : it is a creature of the warm climates, of course in a boat, a light skiff, such as and is not found in either the northern or is com
mmonly used by the inhabitants of the middle states—the tropics, and the coun- country. tries contiguous to them, are its range. Occasionally using the paddles, I alLouisiana, from its low elevation, possesses lowed myself to float some four or five almost a tropical climate ; and the ibis, of miles down the main bayou ; but as the several varieties, is to be there met with in birds I was in search of did not appear, I considerable numbers.
struck into a “branch," and sculled myself There are few sorts of game I have not up stream. This carried me through a followed with horse, hound, or gun; and, solitary region, with marshes stretching among other sports, I have gone ibis- as far as the eye could see, covered with shooting : it was not so much for the sport, tall reeds. There was no habitation, nor however, as that I wished to obtain some aught that betokened the presence of man. specimens for mounting. An adventure It was just possible that I was the first befell me in one of these excursions that human being who had ever found a motive may interest the reader. The southern for propelling a boat through the dark part of the State of Louisiana is one vast waters of this solitary stream. As I labyrinth of swamps, bayous, and lagoons. advanced, I fell in with my game; and I These bayous are sluggish streams that succeeded in bagging several, both of the glide sleepily along, sometimes running one great wood-ibis and the white species. way and sometimes the very opposite, ac- I also shot a fine white-headed eagle, (Falco cording to the season. Many of them are leucocephalus,) which came soaring over outlets of the great Mississippi, which be- my boat, unconscious of danger. But the gins to shed off its waters more than three bird which I most wanted seemed that hundred miles from its mouth. These which could not be obtained. I wanted bayous are deep, sometimes narrow, some- the scarlet ibis. times wide, with islets in their midst
. I think I had rowed some three miles They and their contiguous swamps are the up-stream, and was about to take in my great habitat of the alligator and the fresh- oars and leave my boat to float back again, water shark—the gar. Numerous species when I perceived that, a little further up, of water and wading fowl fly over them, the bayou widened. Curiosity prompted and plunge through their dark tide. Here me to continue; and after pulling a few you may see the red flamingo, the egret, hundred strokes further, I found myself at the trumpeter-swan, the blue heron, the the end of an oblong lake, a mile or so in wild-goose, the crane, the snake-bird, the length. It was deep, dark, marshy around pelican, and the ibis ; you may likewise the shores, and full of alligators. I saw sce the osprey, and the white-headed eagle their ugly forms and long serrated backs, robbing him of his prey. These swamps as they floated about in all parts of it, and bayous produce abundantly fish, reptile, hungrily hunting for fish and eating one and insect, and are, consequently, the another; but all this was nothing new, for favorite resort of hundreds of birds which I had witnessed similar scenes during the prey upon these creatures. In some places, whole of my excursion.
What drew my the bayous form a complete net-work over attention most, was a small islet near the the country, which you may traverse with middle of the lake, upon one end of which a small boat in almost any direction ; in- stood a row of upright forms of a bright deed, this is the means by which many scarlet color: these red creatures were settlements communicate with each other. the very objects I was in search of. They As you approach southward toward the might be flamingoes ; I could not tell at Gulf, you get clear of the timber; and that distance. So much the better, if I within some fifty miles of the sea, there is could only succeed in getting a shot at not a tree to be seen.
them ; but these creatures are even more It was near the edge of this open country wary than the ibis ; and as the islet was I went ibis-shooting. I had set out from a low, and altogether without cover, it was
not likely they would allow me to come of danger. These were first thoughts, within range ; nevertheless, I was deter- natural enough; but they rapidly gave mined to make the attempt. I rowed up place to others of a far different character. the lake, occasionally turning my head to When I gazed after my boat, now beyond see if the game had taken the alarm. The recovery-when I looked around, and saw
was hot and dazzling; and as the that the lake lay in the middle of an inbright scarlet was magnified by refraction, terminable swamp, the shores of which, I fancied for a long time they were flamin- even could I have reached them, did not goes. This fancy was dissipated as I seem to promise me footing—when I drew near. The outlines of the bills, like reflected that, being unable to swim I could the blade of a saber, convinced me they not reach them—that upon the islet there were the ibis ; besides, I now saw that they was neither tree, nor log, nor bush ; not a were only about three feet in hight, while stick out of which I might make a raftthe flamingoes stand five. There were a I say, when I reflected upon all these dozen of them in all. These were balanc- things, there arose in my mind a feeling of ing themselves, as is their usual habit, on well-defined and absolute horror. one leg, apparently asleep, or buried in It is true I was only in a lake, a mile or deep thought. They were on the upper so in width ; but so far as the peril and extremity of the islet, while I was ap- helplessness of my situation were conproaching it from below. It was not over cerned, I might as well have been upon a sixty yards across; and could I only reach rock in the middle of the Atlantic. I knew the point nearest me, I knew my gun that there was no settlement within miles would throw shot to kill at that distance. -iniles of pathless swamp. I knew that I feared the stroke of the sculls would start no one could either see or hear me-no them, and I pulled slowly and cautiously. one was at all likely to come near the lake; Perhaps the great heat—for it was as hot indeed, I felt satisfied that my faithless a day as I can remember-had rendered boat was the first keel that had ever cut them torpid or lazy. Whether or not, they its waters. The very tameness of the sat still until the cut-water of my skiff birds wheeling round my head was evidence touched the bank of the islet. I drew my of this. I felt satisfied, too, that without gun up cautiously, took aim, and fired both some one to help me, I should never go out barrels almost simultaneously. When the from that lake : I must die on the islet, or smoke cleared out of my eyes, I saw that drown in attempting to leave it. all the birds had flown off except one, that These reflections rolled rapidly over my lay stretched out by the edge of the water. startled soul. The facts were clear, the hyGun in hand, I leaped out of the boat, and pothesis definite, the sequence certain; ran across the islet to bag my game. This there was no ambiguity, no supposititious occupied but a few minutes; and I was hinge upon which I could hang a hope ; no, turning to go back to the skiff, when, to not one. I could not even expect that I my consternation, I saw it out upon the should be missed and sought for: there was lake, and rapidly floating downward! In no one to search for me. The simple habimy haste I had left it unfastened, and the tans of the village I had left knew me notbayou current had carried it off. It was I was a stranger among them: they only still but a hundred yards off, but it might knew me as a stranger, and fancied me a as well have been a hundred miles, for at strange individual ; one who made lonely that time I could not swim a stroke. excursions, and brought home bunches of
My first impulse was to rush down to weeds, with birds, insects, and reptiles, the lake, and after the boat; this impulse which they had never before seen, although was checked on arriving at the water's gathered at their own doors. My absence, edge, which I saw at a glance was fathoms besides, would be nothing new to them, in depth. Quick reflection told me that even though it lasted for days: I have the boat was gone-irrecoverably gone ! often been absent before, a week at a time.
I did not at first comprehend the full There was no hope of my being missed. peril of my situation; nor will you. I I have said that these reflections came was on an islet, in a lake, only half a and passed quickly. In less than a minute, mile from its shores—alone, it is true, and my affrighted soul was in full possession without a boat; but what of that? Many of them, and almost yielded itself to dea man had been so before, with not an idea spair. I shouted, but rather involuntarily