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he, “I am pretty well.” “What circumstances ?” said I. “Oh!” answered he, “nothing but the pressure of business, a general correspondence, letters innumerable to answer, precedents to examine, friends to oblige, and so forth.” “ Very odd !” thought I; “what can all this mean?”
I sat down and glanced my eye over the paper, whilst he stood leaning on the left haunch, the right foot advanced, his head a little inclined towards me, his right hand clenching a twopenny-post letter, and rounded like some of the bad statues in our squares, his left hand thrust into the pocket of his pantaloons, and his whole figure displaying a studied attitude ! He now looked in the glass, dropped the letter as if he was presenting it to some one, stood upright, thrust the right hand into his breast, and faced me like an overgrown image, or a fulllength in a niche.
What the deuce is the matter with you ?" said I. “Order, order," replied Stephen, looking at himself in the glass. “A little touched !” quoth I to myself. “I remembered hearing that his grandfather, the bacon-man, died in St. Luke's, that he left his son Roger a large fortune; that Roger became a sleeping partner in a mercantile concern, and left the profits to this Stephen, who seems to be a noon-dreamer.” I took
paper once more. Stephen the while looked at a parcel of letters, and smiled. Then assuming another studied attitude, he faced his mirror again, and paid me the compliment of listening whilst I read a few paragraphs aloud ; but I soon found he did so only to give himself an opportunity of practising the outward signs of parliamentary approbation or disapprobation. When he disliked the subject, he coughed and scraped his feet; when he liked it, he cried “ Hear, hear.” “Upon my word,” said I, “ you seem to be so occupied and so out of reason, that I wish you a good morning.” I hastily withdrew; the young man remaining fixed before his looking-glass. 6 Chair, chair," I heard, as I went down stairs.
Meeting an old servant of his, I said to him, “ I fear your master is not well : he seems in a kind of hurry which is not consistent with sound reason. He was a very silent, dull boy when he was at the Charter-House; and he now does nothing but talk, and that very incoherently too."
“ Law bless ye !" replied honest John, “he is only a little overjoyed and proud. He came home last night from Cornwall; and he has done nothing ever since but place the chairs like so many folk, walk in and out of the room, practise how to take a seat with a particular grace, rise up and sit down again, scrape his feet, and cough, change his attitudes before the glass, cry Ay and No! Order! Hear! hear!” — “ Very bad symptoms, indeed!” observed 'I.
“ That's not all,” said John. “ He takes up a sheet of paper and fills it with nought but his name; and then he rung
me, and when I came into the room, he made me sit down in a high chair, and standing up before me with a quire of paper
up in his hand, he muttered some gibberish, called the blank paper a Road Bill, and then bid me go about my business. Now I knew that I paid all the bills last week. Taking pity on him as I shut the door, I opened it again and looked back, saying, • Master, when will you have dinner?' • When the question is disposed of,' said he—'at the division—when the House is up.”” • Ay, it is all up with him," said I.
“Well, so thought I,” cried John, laughing immoderately ; “I thought as how Master was turned out a right fool at last ; but it is no such a thing ; he is only made a Parliament man of. He has bought a borough, and every mother's son in it; and has come home as pleased as the pigs (a very suitable simile, thought I). The packet before him were franks; and he has written his name fifty times to practise (as he calls it). He has spoiled a quire of paper in writing to himself, with a large M. P. at the end of his name. “ I mentioned Master's madness to Lord Liquorpond's scul
and he told me for my comfort never to mind : it was only a boyish frolic. 'Bless you,' says the scullion, (and he, sir, reads the debates every day), · let him have his own way; it is only the glory of the thing—the impulse of the moment ; when he comes to the House he will be as mute as a mackerel.' "-" I wish he were there now," said I.
Here ended John's account; and as I was going out of the door, I heard silly Stephen call John. John ! John !" said he,“ run after the gentleman and ask if he will have a frank? I have only received one letter from my constitu- , ents, containing a publican's bill : it shall be laid on the table. No; on second consideration, it shall be thrown out. Therefore, John, you see that I have lots of franks to give and to receive, and if you want to write to your friends, you may call upon me. They may direct too to you, under cover,-mind, under
cover, to Stephen Esq., M.P. You know that I am now returned.”
Mercy defend us! What a resemblance there is betwixt St. Stephen's Chapel and St. Luke's Hospital !" thought
THE HERMIT IN LONDON.
THE MILK-MAID AND THE BANKER.
Who lived at Acton,
A crooked-backed one.
Vicious, and spiteful;
Over the hedges daily, and got pounded.
For then both cord and cow eloped together.
Which had as usual slipped its anchor,
When on the road she met a certain Banker,
By gazing on her features, crimsoned high
you from Acton, pretty lass ?” he cried :
you know the laundress, Sally Wrench ?” “She is my cousin, Sir, and next-door neighbour.” “ That's lucky—I've a message for the wench
Which needs dispatch, and you may save my labour. Give her this kiss, my dear, and say I sent it,
But mind you owe me one- - I've only lent it." “ She shall know,” cried the girl, as she brandished her
bough, “Of the loving intentions you
bore me ;
But as to the kiss, as there's haste, you'll allow
Will reach Acton some minutes before me.”
ADDRESS TO THE MUMMY IN BELZONI'S
In Thebes' streets three thousand years ago,
And time had not begun to overthrow
Thou hast a tongue—come let us hear its tune;
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon,
--for doubtless thou canst recollect-
Of either Pyramid that bears his name?
By oath to tell the secrets of thy trade-
In Memnon's statue, which at sun-rise played ! Perhaps thou wert a priest !—if so, my struggles Are vain, for priestcraft never owns its juggles ! Perchance that
very hand, now pinion'd flat,
Or doff'd thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
I need not ask thee if that hand, when arm’d,
Has any Roman soldier mauld and knuckled,
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled :
Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen,
And the great deluge still had left it green ;
Art sworn to secresy! Then keep thy vows;
Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house; Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered, What hast thou seen—what strange adventures numbered ! Since first thy form was in this box extended,
We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations ; The Roman Empire has begun and ended,
New worlds have risen—we have lost old nations, And countless kings have into dust been humbled,
While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled. Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head,
When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses,
O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,
The nature of thy private life unfold:-
And tears adown that dusky cheek have roll’d :-
and race ? Statue of flesh-immortal of the dead !
Imperishable type of evanescence ! Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed,
And standest undecay'd within our presence,