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EREBUS and BACCHUS reigned in sublime and awful grandeur over the scene; not a leaf stirred;
the drowsy note of the beetle was hushed, and the caterpillar sung no more from his mystic dell. Thick gloom hung like a night-wanderer over a Virginia fence, under the influence of twenty-three gin cock-tails.
' Fitz-HERBERT MONTROSE DE FRANKINCENSE sat in morose indifference to the gay scene that was passing around him, gazing out upon the dark night, from his little sanctum, in the seventh story of a lodging-house, in Wooster-street Place, and musing on the uncertainty of human events.
Thus, thus ! in point of fact, so it is - so it ever has been, since first I appeared on this little stage of life; so are all our happiest dreams doomed to be dashed to atoms by the cold realities of life, and the heartless criticisms of an unfeeling world. Ah! horrid remembrance! Why did I follow her -- why pursue that graceful form for seven long blocks, in those awfully tight boots, only to find — dire catastrophe ! — that shie was a nigger! Darn her deceptive hoops ! excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, if I am profane, but in the agony of my despair, I must fain give vent to my overpowering emotions. Hence, I repeat it, darn them ! darn them - - darn every thing that aided in the darned deception; darn - oh! this too horrible !' and our hero, clasping his head between his thin, pale hands, staggered into a chair, and gave vent to his feelings in an outgush of sobs that shook the room from centre to circumference, and nearly dislocated the joints of the chair, on which his slender form gracefully reposed.
“The strong man wept!' 'He was suddenly aroused from his reflections by the whizzing of a missile past his
The next instant there was a tremendous crash, as of a falling aërolite, and the room was filled with a powerful odor. Passing his hand hastily across his eyes, FitzHERBERT MONTROSE DE FRANKINCENSE thrust his long bony fingers through his raven locks, and reconnoitred. By close observation, he discerned fragments of blue glass scattered over the floor, in wild confusion, while his experienced nose told him that the offensive smell was whisky -- Irish whisky. It was enough! Mad with rage, our hero leaped forward to his open window.
“Ha!' he shouted fiercely, as he peered into the darkness below ; 'be ye goblin damned, or be ye flesh and blood; be ye inhabitant of heaven or earth, or the waters under the earth ; what I want to know is, who threw that bottle of whisky into my room?'
' A low, fiendish chuckle, arising from out the Stygian gloom, was the only response that greeted his quivering ears.
Say, ROBINSON, is that you?' "Ay - dog and villain -- it is I; even I, ROBINSON! What wouldst thou, my noble Firz? Speak, caitiff, or I'll blow you higher than a kite; say you will, Josey.'
" What the devil did you throw that at a fellow for? Why could n't you come up, and let a fellow wet his vissle, eh?'
"Jest bekase I could n't get in, old boy! Come down and open the door.'
CHAPTER SECOND.-THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER.
O PSHAW ! is that so?' - SHAKSPEARE,
· While the incidents narrated in the preceding chapter were in course of action, a solitary horseman might have been seen slowly winding his way down Canal-street. Pausing opposite a rookery, where a mysterious light was glimmering from a window, he dismounted.
“Ha! ha!'he chuckled; 'I have found the spot at last!' • Then turning to his noble steed, he gave it a kick that started it off at a spanking
pace toward the North River. Arriving at the Hoboken ferry, it stuck its nose in at the ticket-office, frightening the individual who therein presideth; then dashing in, leaped into the water, hysterically remarking, "Three cents in !' and sunk to rise no more.
'Meantime, the mysterious stranger, had strode up to the window where the light had been seen, and was industriously engaged in deciphering some cabalistic hieroglyphics, which he observed gleaming dimly through the curtain. He found at last, that by reading them backward, he arrived at the solution of the mystery, which was the object of his pilgrimage hither.
"! REIB REGAL.'
« Overjoyed at this discovery, he thrust his hand cautiously into his pocket, drew forth a silvery weapon, and boldly rushed into the interior of the apartment. Dashing his weapon down upon the counter, he demanded, in thunder-tones :
Ein glass lager!' 'A wrinkled crone, who tottered under the burden of nigh ten-score years, rushed slowly up to the opposite side of the counter, and seizing the silvery weapon, eyed it suspiciously. Then she bit it with her sharp tooth, and pushing it angrily away, remarked:
“Nicht gut. 'S ist ein falsches Stück !'
• The stranger was thunderstruck! Black in the face, he strode madly forth, and disappeared in the distance.
‘HiF hi 'ad a donkey vot vould n't go.'- POPE. “MEANTIME, our hero had not been idle. Hastening down to the street-door, he flung it open, and rushed forth. It was broad day-dight. The robins chirruped blithely in the tree-tops, and the lambs were skipping gayly over LISPENARD'S Meadows, toward sun-down. Our hero surrendered himself to the delicious influence of the scene, and his mind was filled with sweet and dreamy visions of love and bowers of delight. He was not long permitted to meditate, however. A rude voice accosted him, in tones that sent a pang of remorse to his heart, and grufily inquired : ""Black y bo-o-o-ts ? '
!' was the undaunted response of our hero. [Our pen is a member of the Baptist Church, and refuses to say where the youth was requested to go. Suffice it, that the thermometer is there supposed to be permanently located at ninety-six degrees.]
• The courageous remark was overheard. ANGELINA JANE confronted her Fitz, and fell shrieking into his arms.
6 Go to
'READER, our task is nearly ended. If you have followed us through our tedious narrative, as far as this our closing chapter, you will not need to be told that the remainder of the history of the characters we have introduced is clearly indicated by the thread of intricate events which we have succeeded, much to our delight and surprise, in unravelling. Need we add, that the beautiful ANGELINA JANE was wedded to the mysterious stranger; that the stranger proved to be the long-lost son of the old hag in Canal-street;
that Fitz-HERBERT DE FRANKINCENSE met the reward of his numerous crimes on the gallows; that the villain ROBINSON was reformed, and became a dealer in oyster-stews, in Fulton Market; and that that is all? We trust not. Reader, adios !
We should regard it as rank 'lese-majesty' of friendship, should KNICK forget to thank the many kind friends and true,' who have, during the “trialtimes' of late months, stood so faithfully by their old favorite. To all who have, by genial letters, kind greetings, and merry 'quips and cranks,'cheered us on and aided us in preparing for them our monthly feast, we return grateful thanks. And we pray you be not backward in communing with us.
Pleasant is it in the sanctum, when 'our youth' enters, bearing letters from many lands. Therein we read, 'as in a magic glasse,' the fates and fortunes of many a stanch 'Knickerbockerite,' it may be ‘in climes ayant the saut sea,' perhaps even here in merrie Gotham, but all dear to us, all welcome to a place in this our Gossip, wherein, as around that famed high table in Le Moyen de Parvenir, good fellows and gay dames chat and laugh in silvery tones, 'year through year.' Mass! but ye are welcome!' Even as we write, comes a portly, jolly, stout, winking-eyed envelope ; a merry man, my masters,' as we do verily opine, whe, his surtout taken off, reveals the following screed: '
The Deacon Promoted. “This was the way of it. You see, ‘Old Lines' and 'SID'started out just before Thanksgiving, for a shooting-match — more common few years ago than now about six or seven miles from here, off on the Cheshire road. They had but one gun between them, and they agreed to use it ‘jintly,' as Captain CUTTLE would say. Well, they got to the place where the shooting-match was to come off, and had a few shots each without any return for the money expended ; either because the chickens were too far off, or the quantity of cider-brandy they had imbibed prevented their getting a good sight at the game. They were determined to have some poultry for Thanksgiving, some way or other, either by fair means or foul, even if they had to blaze away at the tenants of some of the numerous farm-yards they passed; though that was dangerous, and might be expensive business. After once more refreshing themselves, a bright idea presented itself to the mind of Old Lines, whereupon he said to his companion : SID, I have it!'
"Sid was a little startled by the abrupt remark, but he was courageous enough to ask : 'Where is it?'
“Where ? never you mind, SID; you know old Deacon HOLLEY keeps a tavern, about two miles from here. Let's go and try some of his poultry.'
Now, the reason old HOLLEY was called 'deacon,' was because he mixed so many hard words — sometimes called profane — in his every-day speech, that his neighbors, and the frequenters of his tavern, declared him entitled to the appellation. Sid agreed to the proposal of his friend, and after arranging who should carry the gun, and who the ammunition and provisions, (the latter mostly in a wooden bottle, common in those days,) they started for the deacon's. They were jolly companions at all times, but the frequent tipping of the wooden bottle made them more ‘jolly'than usual, and when they got to the deacon's, they felt as though they had been going up-hill all the way ; but LINES had not disclosed his project to Sid, and Sid was not disposed to ask any more questions than necessary, in their present state of fatigue. Finally, just before they reached the house, LINES says: “Sid, load your gun, and load her well!'
‘Sid obeyed orders, and put in a good charge of powder, and a handful of buckshot, and announced himself “all ready.'
Now, let me load her,' says LINES.
“Never you mind,' says LINES, ‘I want to know's she's loaded.' ‘Sid handed him the gun, and he put in about the same quantity of powder and shot.
“Now, Sid, mind you, when we get to the deacon's, you ask him how much he will charge you for a shot at his flock of poultry, and let you have all you kill. I know the old cuss; he thinks more of his chickens and turkeys than he does of the rest of his family, and of course he won't let you shoot. Never you mind, we have n't got any game to-day, and we must have some for Thanksgiving. If he refuses to let you fire, we will go into the bar-room, and have a little of his old 'red-eye,' and I'll manage him. You stand your gun up in the corner, careless-like, and after we have had our swig,' you go out into the yard for an observation.'
"Sid could not appreciate the joke that he knew was to come, although he felt it was coming, for Old Lines seldom failed.
* The deacon' met them at the door, a not very common occurrence for him at that time of the day, and cordially greeted them.
* A drink all around made them congenial, when Sid commenced his negotiations, as instructed by his superior, and finally offered the deacon three shilling for a shot at his poultry. The deacon felt indignant — insulted; he would not have his poultry fired at for twenty-five dollars, and he would shoot any man that would do it. Those chickens and those turkeys he was fatting for Christmas, and he would not have one of them killed before that time for any money.
" During the conversation, Sid stood his gun up carelessly in one corner, walked to the bar, emptied bis glass, and suddenly walked out the door. LINES saw him go, and intimated to the deacon that the last few drops in that glass were too much for Sid, and he would play a trick upon him.
‘Pointing to the gun, he said to his host: “Deacon, see here, I'll draw the charge out of that ere gun, and when he comes in you make a bargain with him for a shot, that's all.' "All right, old fellow; give us your hand,' says the deacon.
A joke 's a joke,' says LINES.
" True, that's so, you're right there,' replied the deacon; and LINES went to work and withdrew a heavy charge of buck-shot and powder from Sid's gun, and set it back in the corner, in the same position as he found it, at the same time giving a significant nod to the deacon, as much as to echo his 'all right.' The host treated LINES on the strength of the joke, and he had but just emptied his glass as Sid came in, who, aware that LINES was one ahead of him on drinks, took up his gun, as if about to leave, when the deacon called out to him: ‘I say, friend, what did you say you would give for a shot at them fowls out there?'
"Well, if you will get them all together up in the corner, and let me have what I kill the first time, I'll give you three shillings: my gun is loaded, and I'd like a chance at 'em.'
“I'll tell you what 't is, friend, you may pull your trigger on 'em once, and only once, for three shillings, and have what you kill; but if you miss 'em, you must pay me a dollar, and I only allow it just for the fun of the thing.'
Done,' says Sid, that is all I want to do it for, but you must 'shoo? 'em up in the corner, where I can have a fair sight at 'em.'
"So the deacon and Old LINES went out in the yard, and drove the chickens and turkeys up in the corner of the yard, and Sid primed his gun. It had an old flint-lock, made before percussion-locks were so common, but he was not long about it, however, and stepping out the door, rested his piece on a rail-fence for a better aim. As soon as the word was given, and he could steady himself, he pulled the trigger—'fizz-z,' it went, and 'bang !' Sid, either from the recoil of the gun, or from over-excitement, lay
sprawling on the ground, nine chickens and two turkeys were sacrified, and a general scattering took place among the flock. Old LINES expressed, in emphatic words, his astonishment, and the deacon swore terribly; and when he accused LINES of trickery, his only reply was: ' You saw me draw the charge, and how the d--1 did I know there was another charge in the cussed old gun?'
• As soon as Sid recovered his equilibrium, he picked up as much of the game as he and LINES could carry, and invited the host to a drink from the wooden bottle, requesting him to treat his next guests to a Thanksgiving dinner from the poultry left behind.
The deacon's expressions, in relation to the affair, were so far from chaste or polite, that from that time his appellation among his acquaintances was changed from that of 'deacon' to 'parson,' by which title he is known by all the frequenters of Henroost Tavern.''
The above is given, be it observed, ‘solely on the grounds of morality.' Don't cheat lest ye be cheated. • There's the rub. ‘And further this deponent sayeth not!'
I Leaf from Modern Distorn. Mr. Thomas Davis was a young lawyer, possessed of enough property to render him satisfied with the number of clients allotted to him by fortune, whatever that number should chance to be. A pretty, loving, lovable wife, a pleasant house, and a good cook, combined with excellent health and a capital digestion, to render Mr. Davis a happy man, in a degree, far beyond that enjoyed by ordinary mortals.
But no man here below is perfectly happy for any length of time ; and, one day, one source of his beatitude, his “good cook,' turned up in a 'new and astonishing character,' as they say in theatre-bills.
Mrs. Davis's grand Southern connections, the Setons, had signified their intention of visiting her; and this intelligence having become known downstairs, half-concealed growlings and grumblings might have warned a person more alive to portents than Mrs. Davis, that BRIDGET was preparing for a coup.
Well, the SETONS came in the afternoon, and were to stay until the next afternoon. BRIDGET excelled herself in the evening and the morning meal, and the guests were loud in praise of her handiwork: but when Mr. Davis left the house after breakfast, to wend his way to his office, he was recalled, ere he had proceeded many steps, by the voice of his wife.
‘Tom!' said she, in an agitated whisper, ‘O Tom! BRIDGET says she won't cook another meal in the house unless we agree to give her a dollar a month more, and to keep her for six months
'She can't get it that way,' interrupted Mr. Davis.
‘ But, Tom, the Setons are here, you know, and they must have dinner, and what shall we do?'
“We'll see,' quoth Tom, and walked down-stairs,
What is the matter, BRIDGET ?' said he.
Now, BRIDGET knew her master to be a very quiet man who never meddled in domestic affairs, and she stood in no awe whatever of him. So her answer came glibly and resolutely enough.