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stones, expecting to see them tumble, as think to move one nerve of Jerry Whistle. Medusa, staring at that officer, would have had the worst of it, and bashfully, hopelessly let drop her eyelids. And so it was with the country maiden. Jerry still stared : leaving the girl nothing to do but to wonder at his impudence. At length, however, Mr. Gum enters the room ; and Jerry, glancing at him, and, as the girl thought, very much awed by his presence, instantly moves away. “Well
, I'm so glad you ’re come ! ” cried the girl, and her eyes sparkled, not unnoticed by the footman.
Sorry, my daffydil, to keep you waiting ; but aunt is such a 'oman for tongue. A good cretur though ; what I call a reg'lar custard of a 'oman; made o' nothing but milk and spice and sugar.
“ What ! and no eggs? Pretty custards they'd be,” cried the girl, with a smile of pity for the detected ignorance.
“That's like you women,” said Mr. Gum, playfully twitching the girl's bonnet-string ; “ you can't allow for a bit of fancy : always taking a man up, and tying him to particlars. Well, you are a rose-bud, though !”
“ Never mind : I know that : let us go to Mary Axe,” and the girl vigorously retied her bonnet-strings, and stood bolt up.
66 In a minute. Just half-a-mouthful of brandy and water atween us ; just no more than would fill the eye of a little needle. You can't think what a lot of morals my aunt always talks : and you can't think how dry they always make me. Now, don't shake
your dear little head as if it was of no use to you : I tell you, we must have a little drop, and here it is." (And Mr. Gum spoke the truth.) “I ordered it as I came in."
“ Not a blessed drop— I won't, that I won't, as I'm a sinner,” cried the girl with feminine emphasis.
66 A sinner! There never was a cherub on a tombstone like you. I should like to hear anybody call you a sinner-'twould be a bad day's work for 'em, I can tell you. Now, just a drop. Well, if you won't drink, put your lips to the edge of the glass, just to sugar it."
Well, what a cretur you are!” said the girl; and with cheeks a little flushed, she took a bird's one sip of the liquor.
“ Ha ! now it 's worth drinking,” cried Ralph ; and he backed his opinion by taking a long draught. “ And now," said he, staring full in the girl's face, and taking her hand, “and now,
as a particlar favour, I want you to tell me one thing. Just one private question I have to put. Look in my eyes, and tell me what
think of love." “Go along with your rubbish !" exclaimed the girl ; at once cutting the difficulty of a definition. Love! Rubbish ! She knew it not ; but the wench spoke with the tongue of old philosophy. She gave a homely expression to the thoughts of sages, anchorites and nuns. The shirt of hair ; the iron girdle ; the flagellating thong, all declare the worthlessness of love. “Love is rubbish ” chants the shaven monk : and the like treason breathes the white-lipped sister, and sometimes thinks it truth. The words are writ on monastery, convent walls, though dull and dim-eyed folks without do not believe them ; and-perverse is man !turn from the silver music of the syllables for jangling marriagebells.
“Ain't you afeard the roof will tumble on you ? Love rubbish ! Why, it's what I call the gold band about natur's hat,”—for liquor made the footman metaphorical. “Love, my slip of lavender, love is?
“ I don't want to know nothing about it, and I won't stay a minute longer from Mary Axe.” And again the girl stood up, and began to push her way from the box, Mr. Ralph Gum refusing to give place, at the same time lifting the teaspoon from the glass, and rainly menacing her with it in the very prettiest
• Well, my peppermint, you shall go ; to be sure you shall. There now" And with determined swallow, Mr. Gum emptied the glass to prove his devotedness to her will. “ We 'll pay at the bar, my poppy. Don't forget your bundle. Got your best things in it, eh? Don't forget it, then.”
A smile, with something of contempt in it, played about the maiden's lip. Forget it?—as if any woman ever forgot a bundle, the more especially when it contained any of those vestments that, looked upon with thoughtful, melancholy eyes, are only flowing, shining proofs of a fallen state, though the perverse ingenuity of the sex contrives to give a prettiness to the livery of sin, to the badges of our lapsed condition. When we remember that both sorts of millinery, male and female, are the consequences of original wickedness, ought not the manly heart to shrink, and feel a frog-like coldness at an embroidered waistcoat? Ought not woman, smitten with the recollection of the treason of her great
mother, to scream even at the rustling of a pompadgur, as at the moving scales of a gliding snake ? Sve ought, but jus fear she seldomi does. Nay, sometimes she actually loves—determinedly loves--fine clothes, as though she had first wakei ir, Paralisc, like a queen from a siesta, in velvet andi lyfacade, with. jeweis in her hair, and court plaster stars upon her cheek. With heart-breaking perverseness, she refuses to admit the naked truth to her soul, that the milliner came into the world with death. Otherwise, could philosophy with its diamond point engrave this truth upon the crystal heart of woman, it would very much serve to lessen pinmoney. We have heard it said--of course we immediately wrapt our countenance in our cloak, and ran from the slanderer—that woman fell for no other purpose than to wear fine clothes. In the prescience which she shared with man she saw the looms of the future world at work, and lost herself for a shot sarsnet. It is just as possible, too, that some of her daughters may have tripped at the window of a mercer.
We cannot at this moment put our finger upon the passage, but surely it is somewhere written in the Talmud, that Eve on leaving Eden already took with her a choice and very various wardrobe. We have entirely forgotten the name of the writer who gives a very precise account of the moving. Nevertheless, many of the details are engravedas with pen of iron upon rock -on our heart. First came a score of elephants ; they, marching with slow pace, carried our first mother's gowns bestowed in wicker-work. To a hundred and fifty camels were consigned the caps and 'kerchiefs. And our author, we remember, compassionately dwells upon a poor dromedary.—one of two hundred—that, overladen with bonnet-boxes, refused to get upon his legs until the load was lightened by half, and another hunchbacked beast appointed to share the burden. Whole droves of ponies, that have since made their
way to Wales and Shetland, carried shoes and silk stockings, (with the zodiac gold-worked for clocks,) and ruffs and wimples, and farthingales and hoods, and all the various artillery that down to our day, from masked batteries aim at the heart of heedless, unsuspecting, ingenuous man,-weapons that, all unseen, do sometimes overthrow him! And in this way, according to the Talmudist, did Eve move her wardrobe into the plain country ; and in so very short a time—so active is woman, with her heart like a silkworm, working for fine clothes-did our first mother get about her, what she, with natural meekness called, only a few things ; but which
Adam-and at only thy wire thousandth package, with an impatient sulkiness that we fear las descended to some of his sonsdenominated a pack of trumpery. If women, then, are sensitive in the matrez of birdlec, they inherit the tenderness from their first rosy mother. And our.country" wench, though we think she had never read the Talmud, had an instinctive love for the fine clothes she carried with her.-An instinct given her by the same beneficent law that teaches parrots and cockatoos to preen their feathers.
Whilst, with profane fingers-like an allowed shopman-we have twiddled with the legendary silks and muslins, and other webs the property of Eve; whilst we have counted the robe-laden elephants, and felt our heart melt a little at the crying, eloquent pathos of the bonnet-crushed dromedary, Vr. Ralph Gum has paid for his liquor, and, his heart generous with alcohol, has stept into Bow-street. Glowing with brandy and benevolence, he heroically observed—“Never mind the bundle. I don't care if any of our folks do see me. So, my heart's honeysuckle, take my arm.” And, with little hesitation-for now they could not be very far from St. Mary Axe—the girl linked herself to that meek footman. “ Don't know what place this is, of course ? Covent-garden market, my bluebell. This is where we give ten guineas a pint for green peas, and”
“ Don't they choke you?” cried the wench, astounded at what she thought a sinfulness of stomach.
“Go down all the sweeter,” answered the epicurean vassal. “When they get to ten shillings a peck, they ’re out of our square altogether ; only fit for pigs. Noble place, isn't it? Will you have a nosegay? Not but what you're all a nosegay yourself ; nevertheless, you shall have something to sweeten you ; for that Mary Axe-well, I wouldn't set you against it—but for you to live there ; you, a sweet little cretur that smells of nothing but cow's breath and new-mown hay ;-why, it's just murder in a slow So do have a nosegay ;
and Mr. Gum insisted upon disbursing threepence for a bunch of wallflowers, which—against his wish and intention-she herself placed in her bosom. Then he said: “I do pity you, going to Mary Axe.”
“ But I 'm not a going to stay there,” said the girl : “noI'm only going to see master, and he's to take me into the country, to live with sich a sweet young lady.”
Well, there 'll be a couple of you,” said Ralph, “ I'm blessed if there wont. And whereabouts ?
“That 's telling,” replied the girl ; as though she stored up a profound secret in her heart, that it would take at least five minutes for Ralph's picklock tongue to come at.
This Ralph felt, so said no more about it.
“And here, in this place, we make our Members for Westminster—things for Parliament, you know.”
“How droll! What should they bring 'em like turnips to market for ? ” inquired the wench, wondering. “ Don't
know? Because they may be all the nearer the bad ’tatoes and the cabbage stumps. That's what our porter tells me is one of the rights of the constitution ; to pelt everybody as puts himself up to go into Parliament. Well, I've been done out of a nice chance, I have,” said the footman with sudden melancholy
• What do you mean? Not lost anything ?” and the girl looked sweetly anxious.
“Ain't I, though? You see, his lordship, my young master, went and stood in the country ; and I couldn't go down with him. Now, if he'd only put up for Westminster, I'd just have come here in plain clothes, and dressing myself as if I was a blackguard, shouldn't he have known what bad 'tatoes was !
Why, you wicked cretur! you wouldn't have thrown 'em at him ?
“Oh, wouldn't I though!” cried Mr. Gum, and he passed his tongue round his lips, enjoyingly.
“What for? Is he sich a wicked master-sich a very bad man?” inquired the girl.
* Don't know that he is. Only you can't think what a pleasure it is to get the upper hand of high folks for a little while; and ’tatoes and cabbage stumps do it. It's a satisfaction, that's all,” said the footman.
“I won't walk with you—not another step," and the wench angrily withdrew her arm.
“ There you go, now; there you go. Just like all you women ; if a man makes a harmless joke, -and that's all I meant-you scream as if it was a flash of lightning. Bless you ! I'd go to the world's end for my master, even if I never was to see him again. That I would, my sprig of parsley.”
“ Is this the way to Mary Axe ? If I'm not there directly, I'll ask somebody else.”
“ Just round this turning, and it's no way at all.” And