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pick your bones yourselves. It is dangerous to sup soup with the devil, or permit your captain to pick a bone with you. I shall look over your fault this time, of being hungry, as it may be an accident when it happens to no more than twelve of you; but to any above that number it is downright mutiny.'"

The complainants are obliged to walk off. But just as Richard Stubbs, the captain of the mess, has nearly disappeared, "The Old Commodore" struck up "O the roast beef of Old England! O the Old English roast beef!" which unsuitable remembrancer caused the said Richard to shake his head, "while his outstanding pigtail made solemn gyrations in the unconscious air." This was sufficient to call forth the display of the Commodore's authority; and accordingly the captain of the mess was recalled, when the following dialogue and lecture took place.

"Did you ever hear, Richard Stubbs, said the Commodore, of the 'Devil's dumplings?'

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Lord bless your honour and his Majesty, no, sir,' said Richard, again all trembling.

"Order the master-at-arms to send aft every third man who was going to bring his beef under my nose to-day—every third captain of the messes, I mean.' *




"When the Commodore had them all properly toe-ing a line, he placed himself before the centre man: he cast his one ogre-eye fiercely up and down the rank, and then said sharply, 'My men, do any of you know what 'Devil's dumplings' are?'




"Their silence was a complete manifestation of their ignorance, and the Commodore proceeded:- My men, I have served his Majesty before most of you were born (the hat lifted as usual at 'Majesty') and at a time when British seamen gloried in their hardships, and could live upon their glory, for they had very often little else to eat; but you-you are a fallen race, a set of gormandizing rascals, who are only thinking of how much living fat you can turn his sacred Majesty's, God bless him! (hat higher than usual) pork and pease into. It is of no use telling such ravenous eaters as you are, how, when I sailed in the Weasel in the Dutch war, the men were put upon an ounce of bullock's hide, taken off the main yard, per day per man, and when this failed us, we tried what kind of wood, when reduced to sawdust, would make the best substitute for flour. After several trials, we found that the hard wood we got from the Spanish main answered the purpose best; and, ever after, it was called lignum vitæ, or the log of life, just in the same way as we call bread of wheaten or barley meal the staff of life; and then the little round wooden wheels in our blocks began to get the name of sheaves, for really they were as sheaves of corn to us.' *

"Now, my men, ever since I have had command of this ship and squadron, I have been like a father to you all,—and bating that I have spared the rod, I have proved myself to you a wise and indulgent parenta little too indulgent, mayhap-allowed a little too much for lee way in my dead reckoning with you all, but I hope none of you will take advantage of my weakness. Now, for the good of his Majesty's service, God bless him,

and may he never see a banyan day! (hat lifted) you have all been placed six upon four; and hot weather and long keeping will make salt beef shrink like a lawyer in his shroud. I know all this, and I likewise know that ye are not like the men I sailed with in the Dutch wars; in those days four of them would eat up an ox at a meal, or live upon his hoofs for a fortnight, as the case might be, according to orders, and as was most fitting for the good of the service. Ah! there were giants in those days; and sages, too, who made their giants' strength still stronger by their wisdom; and it was those sages who taught the seamen, when provisions ran short, how to make Devil's dumplings. Now, my men, as I wish you to make the most of your rations, and as I do not think that any considerations could induce me to allow you to eat the hides of the yards or grind up the blocks for flour, you had better listen attentively;'-and then the Commodore, taking out of his pocket a well thumbed volume of Roderick Random, which he generally carried about with him, holding the book in his right hand, commenced very deliberately turning over the leaves with his iron left, as if to discover the right place, and then, pretending to read, went on, with a look sour enough to pickle cabbage without vinegar, as follows: Page the 75th, chapter the 14th. How to make Devil's dumplings. Let the cook of the mess take a four-and-twenty-pound shot, or a shot of any other weight, the heavier the better, and clean it well with spittle and fresh oakum.'


"Here three midshipmen burst out into indecorous laughter, and were immediately sent to the three respective mast-heads for their unmannerly interruption of the solemnity of the proceedings; and, after the Commodore had eyed them half up the rigging, he continued to appear to read,—' And fresh oakum: then take all the bones you can get, whether of pork or of beef it matters not, and pound them into a pulp, of the consistency of damp flour. You must then return the shot to the shot-rack, and take for every handful of said pulp three handfuls of oatmeal, mix carefully with cold water, and knead all together into dough, and then tie up into dumplings of half a pound each, boil three hours in salt water, season them with gunpowder, and serve up hot. The above dish will be found the most wholesome and savoury that you can put upon the mess-table, when no better can be procured.'

"I arn't a morsel o' doubt of it, Sir Hocktiovas,' said a grim old quarter-master, one of the instructed.

"Nor I either, nor any reasonable man,' said the Commodore in continuation."

Such is a specimen of the gruff, coarse, kind, and bold Old Commodore's eccentricities.

Mrs. Trollope's "Vicar of Wrexhill," is the most objectionable even of that lady's objectionable tales. She seems under the influence of many strong prejudices, and various sorts of unprovoked bitterness. The object of her present spite and abuse is that party of the English established church which passes by the name of Evangelical-a section, we believe, whose doctrines may be called hyper-calvinistic, and which, we have no doubt, frequently lays itself open to the chastisement of satire, not merely on account of

the inconsistencies which occur between profession and practice, but of the constant employment of a sectarian slang that is calculated to bring contempt upon religion, and to disgust the minds of all who are possessed either of Christian humility and tenderness of conscience, or of a just taste. Now this is the class which our authoress has fallen foul of, and though there are, here and there, clever hits and some happily constructed scenes, these are neither so numerous nor so brilliant as to redeem the novel from the charge of being of a heavy and dull character, evidently the work of one who knows nothing of Christianity, either as respects its benign and gracious spirit, or with any class of its true professors. There can be no doubt, however, had Mrs. Trollope that large body of the churchmen of England to describe, who are toppers, fox-hunters, and card-players, and whose sermons, if composed by themselves, as well as their ordinary language, breathe not one sentiment peculiar to the New Testament, the picture would be as largely filled with adulation as the present is with abuse. We have still a graver charge to advance against this pure creation of a distempered imagination, which is, that sentiments both in spirit and expression abound in it which are grossly irreverent, even blasphemous. It is a daring thing to repeat the words that the tender ear is sometimes forced to listen to, coming from the depraved, the sceptical, or the fanatic; and nothing but some positive good to be done by the repetition of them, will induce a person of a well-regulated mind to mouth language so abhorrent. What then is to be said of that one, who deliberately and continuously racks her brain to devise a fictitious story that is interlarded with expressions which the tasteful and the devout would shun to repeat, even when their invention was not tasked? We therefore hold Mrs. Trollope as doubly guilty, being not only the gratuitous rehearser of language altogether unwarrantable, but the creator of the occasion on which it was used. The recklessness with which she makes use of the most sacred name, and of the most solemn phrases of Scripture, is in itself a fearful experiment to make in a novel which is meant to entertain the young. All who rely in any degree upon our opinion will, we hope, take our advice when we counsel them not to offend their consciences or waste their time by such reading; for although we extract a specimen, which by the bye is not so objectionable as hundreds of others which might be quoted, it is merely to fortify our censure, and to prove, that besides extravagant caricature, the authoress has given reins to a most serious freedom and violation.

Before introducing our extract, we may just allude so far to the course of the story as to say, that a Mr. Mowbray, who has an income of 14,000l. a-year, dies suddenly, leaving the whole of his fortune to his wife, without making any provision for his children. Mr. Cartwright, the newly inducted Vicar of Wrexhill, intrudes

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himself upon the family under the pretence of administering religious comfort, but really with other and less pious views, as becomes too apparent when Mrs. Mowbray changes her name to that of Mrs. Cartwright. She also, to the great injury of her children by the former marriage, makes a will in favour of her new husband, but at length discovering his true character, secretly revokes it. On her death the detestable hypocrite finds his schemes wholly defeated, and is obliged to retire from the splendid possessions which he was ready to pounce upon.

Such is a meagre outline of an improbable story, which has not in the filling up even the merit of preserving consistency upon its own showing. Now for our extract. The scene occurs at a dinner given after a serious fancy fair.

"The champagne flowed freely; and whether it were that the sacred cause for which the meeting was assembled appeared to justify, or at least excuse, some little excess; or that nothing furnished at Mr. Cartwright's board but must bring a blessing to him who swallowed it; or that the fervent season led to thirst, and thirst to copious libations; whatever the cause, it is certain that a very large quantity of wine was swallowed that day, and that even the most serious of the party felt their spirits considerably elevated thereby.

"But, in recording this fact, it should be mentioned likewise, that, except in some few instances, in which thirst, good wine, and indiscretion united to overpower some unfortunate individuals, the serious gentlemen of the party, though elevated, were far from drunk; and the tone of their conversation only became more animated, without losing any portion of the peculiar jargon which distinguished it when they were perfectly sober.

"The discourse especially, which was carried on round Mr. Cartwright after the ladies had retired, was, for the most part, of the most purely Evangelical cast; though some of the anecdotes related might, perhaps, in their details have partaken more of the nature of miracles than they would have done if fewer champagne corks had saluted the ceiling.

"One clerical gentleman, for instance, a Mr. Thompson, who was much distinguished for his piety, stated as a fact which had happened to himself, that, in his early days, before the gift of extempore preaching was fully come upon him, he was one Sabbath day at the house of a reverend friend, who, being taken suddenly ill, desired Mr. Thompson to preach for him, at the same time furnishing him with the written discourse which he had been himself about to deliver. 'I mounted the pulpit,' said Mr. Thompson, 'with this written sermon in my pocket; but the moment I drew it forth and opened it, I perceived, to my inexpressible dismay, that the handwriting was totally illegible to me. For a few moments I was visited with heavy doubts and discomfiture of spirit; but I had immediate recourse to prayer. I closed the book, and besought God to make its characters legible to me; and when I opened it again, the pages seemed to my eyes to be as a manuscript of my own.'

This statement, however, was not only received with every evidence

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of the most undoubting belief, but an elderly clergyman, who sat near the narrator, exclaimed with great warmth, I thank you, sir; I thank you greatly, Mr. Thompson, for this shining example of the effect of ready piety and ready wit. Though the cloth is removed, sir, I must ask to drink a glass of wine with you; and may the Lord continue to you his especial grace.'

"There were some phrases, too, which though undoubtedly sanctioned by serious usage, sounded strangely when used in a scene apparently of such a gay festivity.'

"One gentleman confessed very frankly his inability to resist taking more of such wine as that now set before them than was altogether consistent with his own strict ideas of ministerial propriety. But,' added he, ' though in so yielding, I am conscious of being in some sort wrong, I feel intimately persuaded at the same time, that by thus freely demonstrating the strength and power of original sin within me, I am doing a service to the cause of religion by establishing one of its most important truths.'


"This apology was received with universal applause; it manifested, one of the company remarked, equal soundness of faith and delicacy of conscience.

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"One of the most celebrated of the regular London speakers, known at meetings throughout the whole Evangelical season, having silently emptied a bottle of claret, which he kept close to him, began, just as he had finished the last glass, to recover the use of his tongue. His first words were, My King has been paying me a visit.'


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Indeed!' said Mr. Cartwright, whose attention was instantly roused by this very interesting statement; where was the visit made, Mr. White?' "Even here, sir,' replied Mr. White, solemnly; here, since I have been sitting silently at your hospitable board.'

"As how, sir?' inquired a certain Sir William Crompton, who was placed near him. Do you mean that you have been sleeping, and that his Majesty has visited you in your dreams?'

"The Majesty that I speak of, Sir,' replied Mr. White, is the King of Heaven and the Lord of Hosts.'

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"What other could it be !' exclaimed Mr. Cartwright, showing the whites of his eyes, and appearing scandalized at the blunder.

"I wonder, Mr. Cartwright,' said a young man of decidedly pious propensities, but not as yet considering himself quite assured of his election, I wonder, Mr. Cartwright, whether I shall be saved or not?'

"It is a most interesting question, my young friend,' replied the Vicar mildly; and you really cannot pay too much attention to it. I am happy to see that it leaves you not even at the festive board; and I sincerely hope it will be finally settled to your satisfaction. But as yet it is impossible to decide.'

"I shall not fail to ride over to hear you preach, excellent Mr. Cartwright!' said a gentleman of the neighbourhood, who, though not hitherto enrolled in the Evangelical calendar, was so struck on the present occasion with the hospitable entertainment he received, that he determined to cultivate the acquaintance.

"You do me great honour, Sir,' replied the Vicar. If you do, I hope it will be on a day when you can stay supper with us.'

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