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ELL!" Here we are!" You call to mind the clown who used to sprat,
We often used to fancy, ere emerging from our teens,
With lofty* aspirations every nation that might bo
We loved—ah! so has every one—but few loved one so fair;
Our life! 'Tis yours, 'tis his. ,We each find ardent passions chilled;
but where's the one we used to sit beside
Where are we now? Pshaw! Boxing Night! and seated 'midst a throng
E. I. Blakchabh.
MRS. BROWN'S NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR.
OT as I'm one to bear no malice or 'aired in my 'art, as I was taught in my catechism, but as to loving M M. Felton like myself, tho' she is my neighbour, I never could, for a more disagreeabler woman never trod shoe leather; and what I calls a reg'lar grinder, with a husband at sea, as must be glad to get there out of her way.
Not as she can help lettin' lodgings, as is a thing as I have done myself, and may come to again, for if anything was to 'appen to Brown, the 'ouzo is double what I should want, and move again I hope I never shall.
Not as ever I had spoke to that woman, thro' not a-likin' her scowlin' ways, and them four children of hern if constant rowin's is proper broughtin's up, why she've done her duty, as is a thing as makes me glad when it's a wet day, as I can't hear her a-hollarin' at them in the garden, as they've trampled into a wilderness, with rabbits and fowls kep' in wire work at the bottom, as is a downright nuisance.
And how that lady come for to lodge with her I couldn't think; as I see was a lady, tho' not much luggage, for the cab drove up, and me a-lookin' over the blind, not as I'm one for to watch my neighbours.
I don't know how it is, but somehow anyone in weeds is a sight as moves mo, tho' not a becoming thing in my opinion, tho' some thinks quite different, as was the case with old Mr. Clinker, in the leather line in the Boro', as was always worretin' his good lady for to wear 'em in his life time, a-sayin' as he should like for to see what sort of a widder she'd make, which she never did, for he buried her, and married his own housemaid as led him a frightful life, and serve him right too.
How I come to he a-lookin' out of the window I can't think. Yes, I know, I was a-watchin' for the muffin bell, as is a thing I sometimes relishes with my tea, as I toasts myself, and butters both sides.
Well, it was just dusk when that cab drawed up and the poor lady got out, with a pale face, and the little boy about six, I should say, a hopeless cripple, as made my heart bleed for to see her carrying up them steps. So I says to myself, He'll never comb a gray hair, I can see ;" for there was death in his face, being that drawed and all eyes.
I couldn't get that boy's face out of my head, not for days, but never see nothin' of him, as I should say must have found them young Fkltons a downright nuisance.
It must have been a fortnight, in fact I know as it was thro' what 'appenod, as they'd been in them lodgings, when I heard a ring and some one a-talkin' to our Sarah, as is a good gal, but don't keep that pot-boy at his proper distance, so I says " Whatever is it, Sarah P" Sho says, " It's next door."
I says, "Go along next door, why I can hear some one at the kitchen door, as is a thing I don't hold with, and means to keep the key on." Says she, "It's young Master Felton."
I was a-thinkin' as he didn't want no good, when up he runs with bluchers as made my passage mud all over, and says, " Please, Mrs. Brown, mum, would you mind a-steppin' in?"
"Well," I says, "it's not a thing as I cares to do," thro' havin' put my feet in warm water the night afore, and the evenin' bein' damp," but whatever is the matter p" "Why," he says, "mother's stept out with a friend, and not expected in till ten at the earliest, and the lady in the parlour is a-goin' on tremenjous."
"You don't mean to say as she's in liquor, I hope, for never will I believe
it till my own eyes .' "Oh, no," he says, "but she's a-sobbin' and
a-cryin' like wild, and we don't know what to do."
However should they, as the eldest is but twelve, and only a bit of a gal from the parish as a servant, as must have a life on it, I should say?
So I wraps up pretty warm, and with my clogs on, for wear them ingcyrubber things I can't, as heats the foot, and is always a-slidin', and in I
goes thro' tho back-door, on to the kitchen landin'. And sure enough there I hears sobbin' and cryin' like anything thro' the back parlour door, so goin' to the front I gives a gentle tap, as not bein' heard I gives a louder, a-sendin' all them Felton children back, as come a-trottin' up, to the kitchen.
Well, I didn't get no answer, so I turns the handle and goes in, and could just see, thro' the shetters not bein' shet, as there wasn't nobody in the room, nor a bit of light nor fire, with them foldin' doors part open.
So I says, in a low voice, "mrs. Dornton, mum," for I'dhearsay as that ware her name, but as I didn't get no answer, I taps at tho foldin'-door; when I hears a voice as give me a turn, say, "Don't come near me, he's a-dyin', let me alone."
So in I goes at them words, and says, " Whatever do you mean by a-goin' on like this, with no light and not having no one with you P"
Up jumps a figger as was seated near a bed, as the gas-lamp showed thro' the folding doors, and says, " Pray spare me till he is at rest, I can't pay you, indeed I can't."
I says, "Pay me, my dear," for I heard it was tho poor lady's voice, I says, " You don't owe me nothin', and if you did I shouldn't trouble you for it." I says, "Wherever is the light P" She says, a-catchin''old of my hand, " I haven't got one, and that dreadful woman I'm afraid to ask."
I says "Rubbish about afraid." So I hollars out to the gal, "You bring me a light," and she hollers back as she ain't got ono till missus comes in.
I says to the boy as run up, "You go into my place and ask my Sarah for to give you a couple of candles ana the lucifers," as he did very willin', and while we was a-waitin' I holds her hand and listens to the breathin' in the bed, as was short and quick like.
I says, " How long 'as he been bad?" She says, " Nearly a week." I Bays, " No doctor, nor nothin' p" She says, " I've not a farthing, nor a friend in the world," and busts out agin.
I says, "If you goes on like that I'll leave this very moment," as made her cling to me and give in. When that boy brought me the candles, I says, " Now just you step down
as that room, as hadn't been touched for days, and I should be ashamed for the doctor to see.
As to the poor little boy, he was on the bed partly dressed, a-lookin' death all over. So I sets to work, and pretty soon had him on to the sofa in the front room, with the blankets round him. Then I calls the gal and says, "Light a fire." She says, " Missus have locked up the coals.
"Then," I Bays, "Get a scuttle from my house and light a fire," as was soon done. "Now," I says, "you do that bedroom this very moment, or I'll have the law on you."
It's well as my Sarah come in with the coals, for I sent her back for the brandy, as is a gal I can trust with the keys, and soon gave that child a teaspoonful or two of brandy and water warm, so that By the time the doctor come he was more active like. As to the poor lady, she was that exhausted that I made her take just a wineglass herself, with a crust of bread as Sarah got her, for the poor creature was a-sinkin' thro' famishin'. For that gal told me as she didn't think they'd had onythin' Bincc Monday in the room, and this was Wednesday evenin'.
When Mr. Railton come in he gives me a look as I comprehended, and says, "He'd better be got to bed," as was a poor little wasted mortal Ob over you see. The poor lady she whispers to Mb. Railton, "Is there any hope P Oh! save him, I' ll work for you, do anything if you'll save him!
So I says, "If you wants to kill him go on like this." I says, " This good gentleman will do his uppermost, and no one can't do no more, but," I Bays, "you mustn't take on liko this."
Well, the doctor he got a feedin' the poor little boy with a bit of toast sopped in brandy and water, as revived him, and we was all a-lookin' at him, when the door was busted open violent, and in bounces Mrs. Felton, with her bonnet on, as made the poor lady catch hold on my arm, and say, " Oh, pray save me from that awful woman."
"Awful woman," says Mrs. Felton, a-turnin' deadly whito, as is a temper I can't a-bear, "Awful woman, who are you speaking' to, aa am a honest woman. Anyhow as you are not. Pay me my rent, or turn out. I'll have the police to you."
So the doctor, he says, " Can you disturb her under such circumstances?" a-pointin' to the boy. "Let 'em go to the workhouse, like beggars as they are, says she, "and not come and take respectablo lodgin's, as they can t pay for."
So I whispered to the doctor, I says, "Do you think as moving him next door would do any harm P" He says, "Anywhere better than here, and I'll carry him myself, in my arms." So I speaks to the poor lady, as didn't seem to have no sense left, till she see the doctor lift the boy up in his arms, and then rushes up to him.
I says, " You're only a-comin' next door, both on you." So I sends in Sarah to open the door, and the'doctor carries the poor boy, as was light as a feather, into my house. Just as ho was a-leavin the room, if that woman didn't lay her hand on the blanket, a-sayin', "That's my property."
I says, " Your property it may be, but put your hand on it if you dare, and see how I'll serve you." She turns on me like a tiger, and says, "You're a interfering old fool. What business have you in here at all, aorderin' my servant about P" I says "I'm in your lodger's room, as you ain't no right in; I knows the law," and I says, "You're a low-lived creature, as talks about respectable lodgings, and is'the disgrace of tho place. Nice respectable lodgers you had last month, as you had to take up to the police for pawning your bedclothes. And pray what are you yourself? Do you think as I don t know all about that chap as was your lodger, and desorted his wife and family down in Lewisham, as may come yourself to havo the bed took from under you with your husband a-comin' home any thus when you least expects."
Wefi, she was took aback, and seemed for to stagger like. She says, "It's all lies," a-graspin' like. I says, "Oh, is it P Very well, then, next time as ho comes I'll get some one as will imdemnify him pretty quick. Now," I says, " I don't caro who or what you are, but you behave yourself decent, and let this lady take what she wants and go quiet, and if she con pay you she will."
That woman was struck dumb, she didn't say a word, but goes out of the room. So I sayB to the poor ladv as had sunk on a chair, " Put your things together and come with me." But law bless you, she hadn't enough to fill a pocket handkerchief, besides her bonnet and shawl, as were only a tippet, for as she told me arterwards she'd parted with everything down to her boots.
I was a bit afraid when Brown come in as he'a bo put out with mo atakin' in strangers like that, but he only said, "Martha," he says, "don't believe all as you'ro told, but," ho says, " I'm not the man for to shot my door agin a lone woman and her dyin' child, was they ever so bad."
All that night did I set a-watchln' that poor bov. His mother wouldn't lay down, as was my wishes, not as she could help a-dozin' off in spite of herself. I never see a whiter hand than she'd got, tho' that thin as you might see thro' it, as the sayin' is, and a lovely head of hair as her widow's cap kep under, and I see by tho way as she begun for to do it as she was a lady in her ways, tho' poor soul not such a thing as a change about her.
I think it must have been about eight when Mr. Railton looked in, as didn't see no great change, but I did, and says, "He's a-sinkin' rapid," and so ho was.
I'd said to the poor lady over night, "Excuso me, mum, but haven't you no friends for to write to " She busts out a-cryin', and says as she'd got a father as was married again, living.
I says " Wherever dees he live? She says, "At Heme Hill; but," she says, I never can."
"Now," I says, "if you're a-goin' to let pride lead you to distraction, as the sayin' is, it's not my business, but," I says, " consider your child." So she seems for to hesitate, and at last she opens a little black writin'-desk as she'd got, and she writes a letter as Brown posted hisself as he went out in the mornin'.
I don't think as there was five minutes passed all that day as she did'nt keep a goin' to the window and a watchin'. Well, I got a bit of a nap in the afternoon, but was up and quite lively about five, and got a cup of tea, as was the only thing that poor lady would touch, and as to tho poor boy, except a moistenin' of his poor parched lips, there wasn't nothin' to be done.
It was heart-brcakin' for to see her settin' by the bed, a holdin' his poor little hot hand, a kissin' of it with tho tears a strcamin' down her cheeks; and Bhe kep' sayin' to me, "Do vou think he'll comer" For it was too dark for to see out of winder. I says, " Surely, my dear, if he's got tho feelin's of a father in his bosom, as is natural."
I was just a tryin' for to make that poor boy's head comfortable on his piller, when I seo as tho end were a-comin'. So I didn't say nothin', but I makes a sign to her and puts him gently into her arms, and says, "My dear, he's a goin' to a better, happier world. Do you have his last breath as will be a comfort for you to think on arterwards." She says, "No, no; don't tell me so, pray don't." I says, " My dear, it is my duty." I says, " Do you try and do yours, and submit," I says, "to One as loves him, and is a takin' him out of a wicked world." So I takes his little hand and give it a kiss, for ho looked like one of the Holy Angels, with a sweet look a-comin' over his face as his dear little spcrrit passed away. She didn't shriek nor scream, but I see her give one look up as went to my 'art. I heard her mutter them blessed words as is our only stay in life and death, and then she fell a tain: in' on the bed.
Just then there come a ring like wild at the gate, and I heard footsteps and voices in the passage. So I runs to the top of the stairs and calls Sarah to come and help me and a young lady, i and showed 'em into all over?" says tho old gentleman. I says, "The little boy is gone to heaven." He says, "My poor girl, where is she?" I says, " There," and in he goes with the young lady, as bust out cryin' like wild, and says, "emily, Emily! don't you know me ? I'm Clara," and the poor old gentleman, with the tears runnin' down his checks, fell on his knees beside that bed, and said "emily-, Emily, forgive me!"
I thought my heart would 'ave broke, as I shot the door and left 'em to theirselves. As must have been a bitter meetin' and ought to be a warnin' to them as quarrels, and keeps up bitter feelin's; for tho' they took her away, and buried the little boy handsome, they couldn't heal her wounds, and wanted for to pay me liberal. As I says, "No," 1 says, "never will I take a farthin' ; and as to settlin' with Mrs. Felton," I says, " let some man do that, as isn't a female as I'd let myself down to speak to."
I think it must have been full three months arter that that young lady come out, still in weeds, in a carriage for to see me, and brought me a handsome clock for tho mantel-piece, and she kissed me, a sayin', "You were indeed a friend; und don't think as ever I can forget what you've done for me," and bust out a cryin', and would go to see tho room where he died, and stayed nearly two hours; and if she'd been my own flesh and blood 1 couldn't havo cried more. As wanted me to go over there, for her stepmother is dead, and her sister keeps house. So I says, " No," I says, "as a friend in a 'umple spear, 1 knows my place, as I will always keep to." And she promised to come again soon, and couldn't help hardly a smilin' when I told her how my words had come true about Mrs. Felton, as had been and gone and shot the moon, as the sayin' is.
PADDY BLAKE'S ECHO.
N the gap of Dunlo
There's an echo or so; And some of them echoes is very surprisin'; You'll think in this stave That I mane to desaive— For a ballad's a thing you expect to find lies in ;*
But sartin and thrue In that hill forninst yon There's an echo as sure and as safe as the bank too: If you civilly spake, "How d've do, Paddv Blake?"" The echo politely says, "Ycry wcll, thank you."
One day Teddy Keogh With Kate Connor did go To hear, from the echo, this wonderful talk, sir; But the echo, they say, Was conthrairy that day, Or perhaps Paddy Blake had gone out for a walk, sir. "Now," says Teddy to Kate,
"'Tis too hard to be bate By this deaf and dumb baste of an echo, so lazy; But if we both shout To oach other, no doubt We'll make up an echo between us, my daisy! "Now, Kitty," Bays Teddy, "To answer be ready," "Oh, very well, thank you," cries out Kitty; then, sir, "Would you like to be wed, Kitty darlin' ?" says Ted. "Oh, very well, thank you," says Kittv, again, sir. "Do you like me t says Teddy; And Kitty, quite ready, Cried, " Very well, thank you," with laughter beguiling. I think you'll confess Teddy could not do less Than pay his respects to the lips that were smiling. Oh, dear Paddy Blake, May you never forsake Those hiUs that return us such echoes endearing; And may girls all translato Their soft answers like Kate, No faithfulness doubting, no treachery fearing; And, boys, be you ready, Like frolicsome Teddy, Be earnest in loving, tho' given to joking, And thus when inclined, May all true lovers find Sweet echoes to answer from hearts they're invoking.
THE HOSPITABLE FRIEND.
(catulll-8. Ode XIII.)
T. H. S. Escorr.