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Others on beds of roses lay reclined,
The regal flowers athwart their full lips thrown,
A double flower that from one bud had blown,
One, half asleep, crushing the twined flowers,
Upon a velvet slope like Dian lay;
Still as a lark that mid the daisies cowers:
Her looped-up tunic tossed in disarray, Showed rounded limbs, too fair for earthly bowers; They looked like roses on a cloudy day; The warm white dulled amid the colder green;
they should find a voice to complain that we are tyrants and usurpers, to kill and cook them up in their assigned and native dwelling-place," we should most convincingly admonish them, with point of arrow, that they have nothing to do with our laws but to obey them. Is it not written that the fat ribs of the herd shall be fed upon by the mighty in the land? And have not they, withal, my blessing?-my orthodox, canonical, and archiepiscopal blessing? Do I not give thanks for them when they are well roasted and smoking under my nose? What title had William of Normandy to England that Robin of Locksley has not to merry Sherwood? William fought for his claim. So does Robin. With whom both? With any that would or will dispute it. William raised contributions. So does Robin. From whom both? From all that they could or can make pay them.
The flowers too rough a couch that lovely shape to Why did any pay them to William? Why do any
Some lay like Thetis' nymphs along the shore,
Sinking like flowers at eve beside the rocks,
Of the low waves was heard. In little flocks Others went trooping through the wooded alleys, Their kirtles glancing white, like streams in sunny valleys.
They were such forms as, imaged in the night,
Sail in our dreams across the heaven's steep blue; When the closed lid sees visions streaming bright, Too beautiful to meet the naked view; Like faces formed in clouds of silver light.
Women they were! such as the angels knewSuch as the mammoth looked on, ere he fled, Scared by the lovers' wings, that streamed in sunset red.
MR J. L. PEACOCK.
This gentleman has written some lively, natural, and humorous novels-Headlong Hall, 1816; Nightmare Abbey, 1818; Maid Marian, 1822; and Crotchet Castle, 1831. These were republished in 1837 in one volume of Bentley's Standard Library, and no single volume of fiction of modern production contains more witty or sarcastic dialogue, or more admirable sketches of eccentric and ludicrous characters. His dramatis persona are finely arranged and diversified, and are full of life, argument, and observation. From the higher mood' of the author we extract one short sketch a graphic account, in the tale of Maid Marian,' of freebooter life in the forest.
I am in fine company,' said the baron.
In the very best of company,' said the friar; 'in the high court of Nature, and in the midst of her own nobility. Is it not so? This goodly grove is our palace; the oak and the beech are its colonnade and its canopy; the sun, and the moon, and the stars, are its everlasting lamps; the grass, and the daisy, and the primrose, and the violet, are its many-coloured floor of green, white, yellow, and blue; the Mayflower, and the woodbine, and the eglantine, and the ivy, are its decorations, its curtains, and its tapestry; the lark, and the thrush, and the linnet, and the nightingale, are its unhired minstrels and musicians. Robin Hood is king of the forest both by dignity of birth and by virtue of his standing army, to say nothing of the free choice of his people, which he has indeed; but I pass it by as an illegitimate basis of power. He holds his dominion over the forest, and its horned multitude of citizen-deer, and its swinish multitude or peasantry of wild boars, by right of conquest and force of arms. He levies contributions among them by the free consent of his archers, their virtual representatives. If
pay them to Robin? For the same reason to bothbecause they could not or cannot help it. They differ, indeed, in this, that William took from the poor and gave to the rich, and Robin takes from the rich and gives to the poor; and therein is Robin illegitimate, though in all else he is true prince. Scarlet and John, are they not peers of the forest?-lords temporal of Sherwood? And am not I lord spiritual? Am I not archbishop? Am I not Pope? Do I not consecrate their banner and absolve their sins? Are not they State, and am not I Church? Are not they State monarchical, and am not I Church militant? Do I not excommunicate our enemies from venison and brawn, and, by'r Lady! when need calls, beat them down under my feet? The State levies tax, and the Church levies tithe. Even so do we. Mass! -we take all at once. What then? It is tax by redemption, and tithe by commutation. Your William and Richard can cut and come again, but our Robin deals with slippery subjects that come not twice to his exchequer. What need we, then, to constitute a court, except a fool and a laureate? For the fool, his only use is to make false knaves merry by art, and we are true men, and are merry by nature. For the laureate, his only office is to find virtues in those who have none, and to drink sack for his pains. We have quite virtue enough to need him not, and can drink our sack for ourselves.'
MR HORACE SMITH, one of the accomplished authors of the Rejected Addresses, was one of the first imitators of Sir Walter Scott in his historical romances. His Brambletye House, a tale of the civil wars, published in 1826, was received with distinguished favour by the public, though some of its descriptions of the plague in London were copied too literally from Defoe, and there was a want of spirit and truth in the embodiment of some of the historical characters. The success of this effort inspired the author to venture into various fields of fiction. He has subsequently written Tor Hill; Zillah, a Tale of the Holy City; The Midsummer Medley; Walter Colyton; The Involuntary Prophet; Jane Lomax; The Moneyed Man; Adam Brown; The Merchant, &c. "The Moneyed Man' is the most natural and able of Mr Smith's novels, and contains some fine pictures of London city life. The author himself is fortunately a moneyed man. 'Mr Shelley said once, "I know not what Horace Smith must take me for sometimes: I am afraid he must think me a strange fellow; but is it not odd, that the only truly generous person I ever knew, who had money to be generous with, should be a stockbroker! And he writes poetry too," continued Mr Shelley, his voice rising in a fervour of astonishment "he writes poetry and pastoral dramas, and yet knows how to
if, instead of employing an amanuensis, to whom he dictates his thick-coming fancies,' he had concentrated his whole powers on a few congenial subjects or periods of history, and resorted to the manual labour of penmanship as a drag-chain on the machine, he might have attained to the highest honours of this department of composition. As it is, he has furnished many light, agreeable, and picturesque books-none of questionable tendency -and all superior to the general run of novels of the season. Mr James's first appearance as an author was made, we believe, in 1822, when he published a History of the Life of Edward the Black Prince. In 1829 he struck into that path in which he has been so indefatigable, and produced his historical romance of Richelieu, a very attractive fiction. In 1830 he issued two romances, Darnley, or the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and De L'Orme. Next year he produced Philip Augustus; in 1832 a History of Charlemagne, and a tale, Henry Masterton; in 1833 Mary of Burgundy, or the Revolt of Ghent; in 1834 The Life and Adventures of John Marston Hall; in 1835 One in a Thousand, or the Days of Henri Quatre, and The Gipsy, a Tale; in 1837 Attila, a romance, and The Life and Times of Louis XIV.; in 1838 The Huguenot, a Tale of the French Protestants, and The Robber; in 1839 Henry of Guise, and A Gentleman of the Old School; in 1840 The King's Highway, and The Man at Arms; in 1841 Corse de Leon, Jacquerie, or the Lady and Page: The Ancient Régime, and A History of the Life of Richard Cœur de Lion; in 1842 Morley Ernstein;
*Lord Byron and Some of his Contemporaries, by Leigh
in 1843 Forest Days, Eva St Clair, The False Heir, and Arabella Stuart. We have in this catalogue some seventy or eighty volumes. 'There seems,' says a lively writer, 'to be no limit to his ingenuity, his faculty of getting up scenes and incidents, dilemmas, artifices, contretemps, battles, skirmishes, disguises, escapes, trials, combats, adventures. He accumulates names, dresses, implements of war and peace, official retinues, and the whole paraphernalia of customs and costumes, with astounding alacrity. He appears to have exhausted every imaginable situation, and to have described every available article of attire on record. What he must have passed through-what triumphs he must have enjoyed-what exigencies he must have experiencedwhat love he must have suffered-what a grand wardrobe his brain must be! He has made some poetical and dramatic efforts, but this irresistible tendency to pile up circumstantial particulars is fatal to those forms of art which demand intensity of passion. In stately narratives of chivalry and feudal grandeur, precision and reiteration are desirable rather than injurious-as we would have the most perfect accuracy and finish in a picture of ceremonials; and here Mr James is supreme. One of his court romances is a book of brave sights and heraldic magnificence-it is the next thing to moving at our leisure through some superb and august procession.'
REV. G. R. GLEIG.
The REV. G. R. GLEIG, chaplain of Chelsea Hospital, in the early part of his life served in the army, and in 1825 he published his military reminiscences in an interesting narrative entitled The Subalters. In 1829 he issued a work also partly fictitious, The Chelsea Pensioners, which was followed next year by The Country Curate; in 1837 by The Hussar, and Traditions of Chelsea Hospital; and in 1843 by The Light Dragoon. Besides many anonymous and other productions, Mr Gleig is author of Memoirs of Warren Hastings, a work which certainly has not added to his reputation.
W. H. MAXWELL-C. LEVER-S. LOVER. Various military narratives, in which imaginary scenes and characters are mixed up with real events and graphic descriptions of continental scenery, have been published in consequence of the suc cess of the Subaltern. Amongst the writers of this class is MR W. H. MAXWELL, author of Stories of Waterloo, 1829; Wild Sports of the West; Adven tures of Captain Blake; The Bivouac, or Stories of the Peninsular War; The Fortunes of Hector O'Halloran, &c. MR C. LEVER is still more popular; for, in addition to his battle scenes and romantic exploits, he has a rich racy national humour, and a truly Irish love of frolic. His first work was The Confes sions of Harry Lorrequer, which was followed by Charles O'Malley, the Irish Dragoon; Jack Hinton, the Guardsman; Tom Burke of Ours; and Arthur O'Leary, his Wanderings and Ponderings in many Lands. Mr Lever's heroes have all a strong love of adventure, a national proneness to blundering, and
tendency to get into scrapes and questionable situations. The author's chief fault is his often mistaking farce for comedy-mere animal spirits for wit or humour. MR SAMUEL LOVER, author of Legends and Stories of Ireland, Rory O'More, Handy Andy, L. S. D. &c. is also a genuine Irish writer, a strong lover of his country, and, like Moore, a poet and musician, as well as novelist. The scenes of war, rebellion, and adventure in Mr Lover's tales are related with much spirit.
JAMES FENIMORE COOPER.
JAMES FENIMORE COOPER, the American novelist, has obtained great celebrity in England, and over all Europe, for his pictures of the sea, sea-life, and wild Indian scenery and manners. His imagination
James Fenimore Cooper.
is essentially poetical. He invests the ship with all the interest of a living being, and makes his readers follow its progress, and trace the operations of those on board, with intense and never-flagging anxiety. Of humour he has scarcely any perception; and in delineating character and familiar incidents, he often betrays a great want of taste and knowledge of the world. When he attempts to catch the ease of fashion,' it has been truly said, he is singularly unsuccessful.' He belongs, like Mrs Radcliffe, to the romantic school of novelists-especially to the sea, the heath, and the primeval forest. Mr Cooper, according to a notice of him some years since in the New Monthly Magazine, was born at Burlington on the Delaware, in 1798, and was removed at an early age to Cooper's Town, a place of which he has given an interesting account in The Pioneers. At thirteen he was admitted to Yale college, New Haven, and three years afterwards he went to sea-an event that gave a character and colour to his after-life, and produced impressions of which the world has reaped the rich result. On his marriage to a lady in the state of New York, he quitted the navy, and devoted himself to composition. His first work was published in 1821, and since that period he must have written above seventy volumes. Among them are The Pilot; The Pioneers; The Spy; The Prairie; The Last of the Mohicans; The Red Rover; The Borderers; The Bravo; The Deer Slayer; Eve Effingham; The Headsman; Heidenmauer; Homeward Bound; Jack o' Lantern; Mercedes of Castile; The Pathfinder; The Two Admirals; The Water Witch; Wyandotte; Ned Myers, or Life before the Mast, &c. Besides his numerous works of fiction, Mr Cooper has written Excursions in Italy, 1838; a History of the American Navy, 1839, &c. In these he does not appear to advantage. He seems to cherish some of the worst prejudices of the Americans, and, in his zeal for republican institutions, to forget the candour and temper becoming an enlightened citizen of the world.
MR HALIBURTON, a judge in Nova Scotia, is the reputed author of a series of highly-amusing works illustrative of American and Canadian manners, abounding in shrewd sarcastic remarks on political questions, the colonies, slavery, domestic institutions and customs, and almost every familiar topic of the day. The first of these appeared in 1837, under the title of The Clockmaker, or the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville. A second series was published in the following year, and a third in 1840. Sam Slick' was a universal favourite; and in 1843 the author conceived the idea of bringing him to England. The Attaché, or Sam Slick in England, gives an account of the sayings and doings of the clockmaker when elevated to the dignity of the Honourable Mr Slick, Attaché of the American Legation to the court of St James's.' There is the same quaint humour, acute observation, and laughable exaggeration in these volumes as in the former, but, on the whole, Sam is most amusing on the other side of the Atlantic.
W. HARRISON AINSWORTH.
Mr W. HARRISON AINSWORTH has written several picturesque romances, partly founded on English history and manners. His Rookwood, 1834, is a very animated narrative, in which the adventures of Turpin the highwayman are graphically related, and some of the vulgar superstitions of the last century coloured with the lights of genius. In the interest and rapidity of his scenes and adventures, Mr Ainsworth evinced a dramatic power and art, but no orisecond romance, Crichton, 1836, is founded on the ginality or felicity of humour or character. marvellous history of the Scottish cavalier, but is scarcely equal to the first. He has since written Jack Sheppard, a sort of Newgate romance, The Tower of London, Guy Fawkes, Old St Pauls, and Windsor Castle. There are rich, copious, and brilliant descriptions in some of these works, but their tendency is at least doubtful. To portray scenes of hideous details of human suffering, can be no elevatlow successful villany, and to paint ghastly and ing task for a man of genius, nor one likely to promote among novel readers a healthy tone of moral feeling or sentiment.
SAMUEL WARREN -MRS BRAY-ALBERT SMITHHON. C. A. MURRAY.
In vivid painting of the passions, and depicting scenes of modern life, the tales of Mr SAMUEL WARREN, F.R.S. have enjoyed a high and deserved degree of popularity. His Passages from the Diary of a Late Physician, two volumes, 1837, contain many touching and beautiful stories; and his Ten Thousand a Year, though in some parts ridiculously exaggerated, and too liable to the suspicion of being a satire upon the middle classes, is also an amusing and able novel. MRS BRAY, a Devonshire lady, and authoress of an excellent tour among the mountains and lakes of Switzerland, has written a number of historical and other novels-De Foix, or Sketches of Manners and Customs of the Fourteenth Century, 1826; Henry de Pomercy; The Protestant, a Tale of the Reign of Queen Mary; Talba, or the Moor of Portugal; Trelawney of Trelawney, &c. An English novel, Caleb Stukeley, published anonymously in 1842, is a vigorous and interesting work, though in some parts coarse and vehe ment in style. The Adventures of Mr Ledbury, by ALBERT SMITH, and The Prairie Bird, by the HONOURABLE C. A. MURRAY, may be mentioned as
among the superior class of recent novels. The whole of these it would be impossible to enumerate; for not only does every year and month send out a new one,' but every magazine contains tales and parts of romances well written, and possessing many of the requisites for successful works of this description. The high and crowning glory of originality, wit, or inventive genius, must always be rare; but in no previous period of our literature was there so much respectable talent, knowledge, and imagination embarked in fictitious composition. One great name, however, yet remains to be mentioned.
through scenes of poverty and crime, and all the characters are made to discourse in the appropriate language of their respective classes; and yet we recollect no passage which ought to cause pain to the most sensitive delicacy, if read aloud in female society."'
The next work of our author was Nicholas Nickleby, a tale which was also issued in monthly numbers, and soon attained to extensive popularity. The plan of this work is more regular and connected than that of Pickwick,' the characters generally not overdrawn, and the progressive interest of the narrative well sustained. The character of Mrs Nickleby is a fine portraiture of the ordinary English wife, scarcely inferior in its kind to Fielding's Few authors have succeeded in achieving so bril-Amelia; and Ralph Nickleby is also ably portrayed. liant a reputation as that secured by MR CHARLES The pedagogue Squeers, and his seminary of DoDICKENS in the course of a few years. The sale of theboys Hall, is one of the most amusing and grahis works has been unexampled, and they have been phic of English satirical delineations; and the picture translated into various languages, including even it presents of imposture, ignorance, and brutal cuthe Dutch and Russian. Writings so universally pidity, is known to have been little, if at all, caripopular must be founded on truth and nature-must catured. The exposure was a public benefit. The appeal to those passions and tastes common to man- ludicrous account of Mr Crummles and his theakind in every country; and at the same time must trical company will occur to the reader as another of possess originality and force of delineation. The Dickens's happiest conceptions, though it is pushed first publication of Dickens was a series of sketches into the region of farce. In several of our author's and illustrations, chiefly of ordinary English and works there appears a minute knowledge of drametropolitan life, known as Sketches by Boz. The matic rules and stage affairs. He has himself, it is earlier numbers of these were written for a news- said, written an opera and a farce, and evidently paper, the Evening Chronicle, and the remainder for takes pleasure in the business of the drama. May a magazine. They were afterwards collected and not some of his more startling contrasts in situapublished in two volumes, bearing respectively the tion and description be traced to this predilection? dates of 1836 and 1837. The author was then a Oliver Twist, the next work of Mr Dickens, is also young man of about twenty-six. In 1837 he began a tale of English low life, of vice, wretchedness, and another series of a similar character, The Pickwick misery, drawn with the truth and vigour of Crabbe. Papers, of which 30,000 copies are said to have The hero is an orphan brought up by the parish, been sold. Though defective in plan and arrange- and thrown among various scenes and characters ment, as Mr Dickens himself admits, the characters of the lowest and worst description. The plot of in this new series of sketches, and the spirit with this novel is well managed, and wrought up with which the incidents are described, amply atone for consummate art and power. The interest of the the want of any interesting or well-constructed plot. dark and tragical portions of the story is overThe hero, Pickwick, is almost as genial, unsophisti-whelming, though there is no unnatural exaggera cated, and original as My Uncle Toby, and his man, tion to produce effect, and no unnecessary gloom. Sam Weller, is an epitome of London low life in its Take, for example, the following account of a scene most agreeable and entertaining form. The dia- of death witnessed by Oliver while acting in the logue overflowed with kindly humour, and felicities capacity of attendant to an undertaker. of phrase and expression; the description was so graphic and copious, and the comic scenes so finely blended with tenderness and benevolence, that the effect of the whole was irresistible. The satire and
ridicule of the author were always well directed, and though coloured a little too highly, bore the clear impress of actual life and observation. To aid in these effects, Mr Dickens called in the artist and engraver. What Boz conceived and described, Phiz represented with so much truth, and spirit, and individuality-seizing upon every trait and feature, and preserving the same distinguishing characteristics throughout-that the characters appeared to stand bodily forth to the world as veritable personages of the day, destined to live for all time coming. The intimate acquaintance evinced in 'Pickwick' with the middle and low life of London, and of the tricks and knavery of legal and medical pretenders, the arts of bookmakers, and generally of particular classes and usages common to large cities, was a novelty in our literature. It was a restoration of the spirit of Hogarth, with equal humour and practical wit and knowledge, but informed with a better tone of humanity, and a more select and refined taste.There is no misanthropy in his satire,' said one of his critics, and no coarseness in his descriptions-a merit enhanced by the nature of his subjects. His works are chiefly pictures of humble life -frequently of the humblest. The reader is led
[Death and Funeral of a Pauper.]
There was neither knocker nor bell-handle at the
open door where Oliver and his master stopped; so, and bidding Oliver keep close to him, and not be groping his way cautiously through the dark passage, afraid, the undertaker mounted to the top of the first flight of stairs, and, stumbling against a door on the landing, rapped at it with his knuckles.
teen. The undertaker at once saw enough of what It was opened by a young girl of thirteen or fourthe room contained, to know it was the apartment to which he had been directed. He stepped in, and Oliver followed him.
There was no fire in the room; but a man was crouching mechanically over the empty stove. An old woman, too, had drawn a low stool to the cold hearth, and was sitting beside him. There were some ragged children in another corner; and in a small recess, opposite the door, there lay upon the ground something covered with an old blanket. Oliver shuddered as he cast his eyes towards the place, and crept involuntarily closer to his master; for, though it was covered up, the boy felt that it was a corpse.
The man's face was thin and very pale; his hair and beard were grizzly, and his eyes were bloodshot. The old woman's face was wrinkled, her two remaining teeth protruded over her under lip, and her eyes were bright and piercing. Oliver was afraid to look
at either her or the man; they seemed so like the rats he had seen outside.
'Nobody shall go near her,' said the man, starting fiercely up as the undertaker approached the recess. 'Keep back! d-n you, keep back, if you've a life to lose.'
Nonsense, my good man,' said the undertaker, who was pretty well used to misery in all its shapes 'nonsense!'
'I tell you,' said the man, clenching his hands and stamping furiously on the floor-I tell you I wont have her put into the ground. She couldn't rest there. The worms would worry-not eat her-she is so worn away.'
The undertaker offered no reply to this raving, but producing a tape from his pocket, knelt down for a moment by the side of the body.
Now, you must put your best leg foremost, old lady,' whispered Sowerberry in the old woman's ear; we are rather late, and it wont do to keep the clergyman waiting. Move on, my men as quick as you like.'
Thus directed, the bearers trotted on under their light burden, and the two mourners kept as near them as they could. Mr Bumble and Sowerberry walked at a good smart pace in front; and Oliver, whose legs were not so long as his master's, ran by the side.
There was not so great a necessity for hurrying as Mr Sowerberry had anticipated, however; for when they reached the obscure corner of the churchyard, in which the nettles grew, and the parish graves were made, the clergyman had not arrived, and the clerk, who was sitting by the vestry-room fire, seemed to think it by no means improbable that it might be an 'Ah!' said the man, bursting into tears, and sink-hour or so before he came. So they set the bier down ing on his knees at the feet of the dead woman; 'kneel down, kneel down; kneel round her every one of you, and mark my words. I say she starved to death. I never knew how bad she was till the fever came upon her, and then her bones were starting through the skin. There was neither fire nor candle; she died in the dark-in the dark. She couldn't even see her children's faces, though we heard her gasping out their names. I begged for her in the streets, and they sent me to prison. When I came back she was dying; and all the blood in my heart has dried up, for they starved her to death. I swear it before the God that saw it-they starved her!' He twined his hands in his hair, and with a loud scream rolled grovelling upon the floor, his eyes fixed, and the foam gushing from his lips.
The terrified children cried bitterly; but the old woman, who had hitherto remained as quiet as if she had been wholly deaf to all that passed, menaced them into silence; and having unloosened the man's cravat, who still remained extended on the ground, tottered towards the undertaker.
'She was my daughter,' said the old woman, nodding her head in the direction of the corpse, and speaking with an idiotic leer more ghastly than even the presence of death itself. Lord, Lord! well, it is strange that I who gave birth to her, and was a woman then, should be alive and merry now, and she lying there so cold and stiff! Lord, Lord!—to think of it; it's as good as a play, as good as a play!'
As the wretched creature mumbled and chuckled in her hideous merriment, the undertaker turned to go away.
'Stop, stop!' said the old woman in a loud whisper. • Will she be buried to-morrow, or next day, or tonight! I laid her out, and I must walk, you know. Send me a large cloak; a good warm one, for it is bitter cold. We should have cake and wine, too, before we go! Never mind: send some bread; only a loaf of bread and a cup of water. Shall we have some bread, dear?' she said eagerly, catching at the undertaker's coat as he once more moved towards the door.
'Yes, yes,' said the undertaker; of course; anything, everything.' He disengaged himself from the old woman's grasp, and, dragging Oliver after him, hurried away.
The next day (the family having been meanwhile relieved with a half-quartern loaf and a piece of cheese, left with them by Mr Bumble himself) Oliver and his master returned to the miserable abode, where Mr Bumble had already arrived, accompanied by four men from the workhouse, who were to act as bearers. An old black cloak had been thrown over the rags of the old woman and the man; the bare coffin having been screwed down, was then hoisted on the shoulders of the bearers, and carried down stairs into the
on the brink of the grave; and the two mourners waited patiently in the damp clay, with a cold rain drizzling down, while the ragged boys, whom the spectacle had attracted into the churchyard, played a noisy game at hide-and-seek among the tombstones, or varied their amusements by jumping backwards and forwards over the coffin. Mr Sowerberry and Bumble, being personal friends of the clerk, sat by the fire with him, and read the paper.
At length, after the lapse of something more than an hour, Mr Bumble, and Sowerberry, and the clerk were seen running towards the grave; and immediately afterwards the clergyman appeared, putting on his surplice as he came along. Mr Bumble then thrashed a boy or two to keep up appearances; and the reverend gentleman, having read as much of the burial-service as could be compressed into four minutes, gave his surplice to the clerk, and ran away again. Now, Bill,' said Sowerberry to the grave-digger, fill up.'
It was no very difficult task, for the grave was so full that the uppermost coffin was within a few feet of the surface. The grave-digger shovelled in the earth, stamped it loosely down with his feet, shouldered his spade, and walked off, followed by the boys, who murmured very loud complaints at the fun being over so soon.
'Come, my good fellow,' said Bumble, tapping the man on the back, they want to shut up the yard.'
The man, who had never once moved since he had taken his station by the grave side, started, raised his head, stared at the person who had addressed him, walked forward for a few paces, and then fell down in a fit. The crazy old woman was too much occupied in bewailing the loss of her cloak (which the undertaker had taken off) to pay him any attention; so they threw a can of cold water over him, and when he came to, saw him safely out of the churchyard, locked the gate, and departed on their different ways.
'Well, Oliver,' said Sowerberry, as they walked home, how do you like it?'
'Pretty well, thank you, sir,' replied Oliver, with considerable hesitation. Not very much, sir.' 'Ah, you'll get used to it in time, Oliver,' said Sowerberry. Nothing when you are used to it, my boy.'
Oliver wondered in his own mind whether it had taken a very long time to get Mr Sowerberry used to it; but he thought it better not to ask the question, and walked back to the shop, thinking over all he had seen and heard.
The atrocities of Sykes in the same tale, particularly his murder of the girl Nancy, are depicted with extraordinary power.
In 1840 Mr Dickens commenced a new species of fiction, entitled Master Humphrey's Clock, designed, like the Tales of My Landlord, to comprise different