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pluck a heart of meaning out of it. However, THE TRAGEDY OF THE TILL.
be it as it may, you shall hear it, sir.
“ There was a man called Isaac Pugwash, a (Douglas Jerrold, born in London, 30 January, 1803; dweller in a miserable slough of London, a died at Kilburn, London, Sth June, 1857. Midshipman, printer, dramatist, journalist, novelist, essayist, humour-squalid denizen of one of the foul nooks of that ist-and potent in all the many parts he played. His suc- city of Plutus. He kept a shop; which, though Dess was won by dint of hard honest work; his end came small as a cabin, was visited as granary and in the sunshine of success. He was noted for saying store-house by half the neighbourhood. All "sharp things:" he should also have been noted for saying the creature-comforts of the poor—from bread them only when falsehood of some sort or other called
to that questionable superfluity, small-beerthern forth. He was one of the earliest contributors to Pack, in which the Candle Lectures and other popular were sold by Isaac. Strange it was, that with sketches first appeared. It was as a dramatist and such a trade Pugwash grew not rich. He had bumourist that he was best known; but it was the pro
many bad debts, and of all shopkeepers, was dictions of his more serious moods which exhibited his best powers, whilst they showed his earnest sympathy he had neither eye nor ear for bad money.
most unfortunate in false coin. Certain it is, with all who struggled and hoped, and his love of rural ble This is most apparent in the Chronicles of Clover Counterfeit semblances of majesty beguiled *sk, which, according to his son--Mr. Blanchard him out of bread and butter, and cheese, and Jerrold-Fas his pet work. “The Chronicles are a red herring, just as readily as legitimate royalty fragment of what it was originally intended by the struck at the Mint. Malice might impute author they should be;" says Mr. B. Jerrold in his interesting preface to the admirable edition of his father's something of this to the political principles of works issued by Messrs. Bradbury, Evans and Co.; | Pugwash, who, as he had avowed himself
again **bat the fragment, it was his belief, had a better chance and again, was no lover of a monarchy. Neverof reaching the hands of future generations, than the theless, I cannot think Pugwash had so little reet of his works. All the qualities of his genius shine
regard for the countenance of majesty as to their brightest here. The study of benignant nature is
welcome it as readily when silvered copper as rich and rare. The Legends' have purposes in them, from which the author, being in downright earnest with when sterling silver. No, a wild, foolish enthe world, could never long wean his fancy." The fol- thusiast was Pugwash, but in the household lowing “Tragedy of the Till" is one of the legends, told by matter of good and bad money he had very that most delightful of modern Friar Tucks, “The wholesome prejudices. He had a reasonable Hermit of Bellyfulle.” The book is full of quaint fancies, wish to grow rich, yet was entirely ignorant of and presents a world in which the wrongs of our world are humorously set right.')
the by-ways and short-cuts to wealth. He would have sauntered through life with his
hands in his pockets and a daisy in his mouth; of .
and dying with just enough in his house to see nothing in it but the tricksiness of an ex
pay the undertaker, would have thought himtravagant spirit; and some, perchance, may Mrs. Pugwash, such a careless, foolish, dream
self a fortunate fellow; he was, in the words of 'The chief dramatic works of Douglas Jerrold are :
ing creature. He was cheated every hour by Black-eyed Swor; The Rent-day; Nell Gwynne ; Time a customer of some kind; and yet deny Peres onders; the Bubbles of the Day; the Prisoner of credit to anybody — he would as soon have War; the Cal': Pao, &c. His miscellaneous works are: denied the wife of his bosom. His customers Cake and Ale; Men of Character; Mrs. Caudie's Curtain knew the weakness, and failed not to exercise Lecture; Panch's Letters to his Son; The Man Made of it. To be sure now and then, fresh from conMoney; Story of a Feathır; St Giles and St. James ; Chronicles of Clovernook, &c.
jugal counsel, he would refuse to add a single
“IT is a strange tale, but it hath the recom
herring to a debtor's score; no, he would not i root of primrose, is her offering to the hopeful be sent to the workhouse by anybody. A loveliness of nature; is her testimony of the quarter of an hour after, the denied herring, soul struggling with the blighting, crushing with an added small loaf, was given to the circumstance of sordid earth, and sometimes little girl sent to the shop by the rejected yearning towards earth's sweetest aspects. mother, — he couldn't bear to see poor children Amidst the violence, the coarseness, and the wanting anything.'
suffering that may surround and defile the “Pugwash had another unprofitable weak- wretched, there must be moments when the
He was fond of what he called nature, heart escapes, craving for the innocent and though in his dim, close shop, he could give lovely; when the soul makes for itself even of her but a stilling welcome. Nevertheless, he a flower a comfort and a refuge." had the earliest primroses on his counter,— The Hermit paused a moment, and then in 'they threw,' he said, “such a nice light about blither voice resumed. “But I have strayed the place.' A sly, knavish customer presented a little from the history of our small tradesman, Isaac with a pot of polyanthuses, and, won by Pugwash. Well, sir, Isaac for some three or the flowery gift, Pugwash gave the donor ruin four years kept on his old way, his wife still ous credit. The man with wall-flowers regularly prophesying in loud and louder voice the inestopped at Isaac's shop, and for only sixpence vitable workhouse. He would so think and talk Pugwash would tell his wife he had made the of nature when he should mind his shop; he place a Paradise. “If we can't go to nature, would so often snatch a holiday to lose it in Sally, isn't it a pleasant thing to be able to the fields, when he should take stock and balance bring nature to us!' Whereupon Mrs. Pugwash his books. What was worse, he every week would declare that a man with at least three lost more and more by bad money.
With no children to provide for had no need to talk of more sense than a buzzard, as Mrs. Pugwash nature. Nevertheless, the flower-man made his said, for a good shilling, he was the victim of weekly call. Though at many a house, the those laborious folks who make their money penny could not every week be spared to buy a with a fine independence of the state, out of hint, a look of nature for the darkened dwellers, their own materials. It seemed the common Isaac, despite of Mrs. Pugwash, always pur- compact of a host of coiners to put off their chased. It is a common thing, an old familiar base-born offspring upon Isaac Pugwash; who, cry," said the Hermit—"to see the poor man's it must be confessed, bore the loss and the florist, to hear his loud-voiced invitation to indignity like a Christian martyr. At last, take his nosegays, his penny-roots; and yet is however, the spirit of the man was stung. it a call, a conjuration of the heart of man A guinea, as Pugwash believed of statute overlaboured and desponding-walled in by gold, was found to be of little less value than the gloom of a town-divorced from the fields a brass button. Mrs. Pugwash clamoured and and their sweet healthful influences—almost screamed as though a besieging foe was in her shut out from the sky that reeks in vapour house; and Pugwash himself felt that further over him;-it is a call that tells him there are patience would be pusillanimity. Wherethings of the earth beside food and covering to upon, sir, what think you Isaac did? Why, live for; and that God in his great bounty hath he suffered himself to be driven by the voice made them for all men. Is it not so?" asked and vehemence of his wife to a conjurer, who the Hermit.
in a neighbouring attic was a sideral go-between “Most certainly,” we answered; “it would to the neighbourhood--a vender of intelligence be the very sinfulness of avarice to think from the stars to all who sought and duly otherwise."
fee'd him. This magician would declare to Pug“Why, sir,” said the Hermit benevolently wash the whereabout of the felon coiner, andsmiling, “thus considered, the loud-lunged the thought was anodyne to the hurt mind of city bawler of roots and flowers becomes a high Isaac's wife—the knave would be law-throttled. benevolence, a peripatetic priest of nature. “With sad indignant spirit did Isaac Pugwash Adown dark lanes and miry alleys he takes seek Father Lotus; for so, sir, was the conjurer sweet remembrances—touching records of the called. He was none of your common wizards. loveliness of earth, that with their bright looks Oh no! he left it to the mere quack-salvers and balmy odours cheer and uplift the dumpish and mountebanks of his craft to take upon heart of man; that make his soul stir within them a haggard solemnity of look, and to drop him, and acknowledge the beautiful. The monosyllables, heavy as bullets, upon the ear penny, the ill-spared penny—for it would buy of the questioner. The mighty and magnifia wheaten roll—the poor housewife pays for cent hoeuspocus of twelvepenny magicians Was scorned by Lotus. There was nothing in his to you! for consider, my poor soul,' said Lotus look or manner that showed him the worse for in a compassionate voice, 'in this world of keeping company with spirits: on the contrary, tribulation we inhabit, consider what a beperhaps, the privileges he enjoyed of them nighted nincompoop is man, if he cannot elect served to make him only the more blithe and a good shilling from a bad one.' jocund. He might have passed for a gentle. “I have not a sharp eye for money,' said man, at once easy and cunning in the law; his į Pugwash modestly. “It's a gift, sir; I'm assole knowledge, that of labyrinthine sentences sured it's a gift.' made expressly to wind poor common sense on “A sharp eye! An eye of horn,' said parchment. He had an eye like a snake, a Lotus. “Never mind, I can remedy all that; constant smile upon his lip, a cheek coloured I can restore you to the world and to yourself. like an apple, and an activity of movement The greatest physicians, the wisest philosophers, wide away from the solemnity of the conjurer. have, in the profundity of their wisdom, made He was a small, eel-figured man of about sixty, money the test of wit. A man is believed dressed in glossy black, with silver buckles mad; he is a very rich man, and his heir has and flowing periwig. It was impossible not very good reason to believe him lunatic; whereto have a better opinion of sprites and demons, upon the heir, the madman's careful friend, seeing that so nice, so polished a gentleman calls about the sufferer a company of wizards was their especial pet. And then, his attic to sit in judgment on the suspected brain, and had no mystic circle, no curtain of black, no report a verdict thereupon. Well, ninety-nine death's head, no mummy of apocryphal dragon times out of the hundred, what is the first -the vulgar catch-pennies of fortune-telling question put, as test of reason? Why, a questrader. There was not even a pack of cards tion of money. The physician, laying certain to elevate the soul of man into the regions of pieces of current coin in his palm, asks of the the mystic world. No, the room was plainly patient their several value. If he answer yet comfortably set out. Father Lotus reposed truly, why truly there is hope; but if he stamin an easy chair, nursing a snow-white cat upon mer, or falter at the coin, the verdict runs, his knee; now tenderly patting the creature and wisely runs, mad—incapably mad.' with one hand, and now turning over a little "I'm not so bad as that,' said Pugwash, a Hebrew volume with the other. If a man little alarmed. wished to have dealings with sorry demons, “Don't say how you are—it's presumption could he desire a nicer little gentleman than in any man,' cried Lotus. Nevertheless, be Father Lotus to make the acquaintance for as you may, I'll cure you, if you'll give attenhim? In few words Isaac Pugwash told his tion to my remedy.' story to the smiling magician. He had, “I'll give my whole soul to it,' exclaimed amongst much other bad money, taken a Pugwash. counterfeit guinea; could Father Lotus discover ««• Very good, very good; I like your earnestthe evil-doer?
ness, but I don't want all your soul,' said “Yes, yes, yes,' said Lotus, smiling, 'of Father Lotus, smiling—'I want only part of course—to be sure; but that will do but little: it: that, if you confide in me, I can take from in your present state—but let me look at your you with no danger. Ay, with less peril than tongue. Pugwash obediently thrust the organ the pricking of a whitlow. Now, then, for forth. Yes, yes, as I thought. 'Twill do examination. Now, to have a good stare at you no good to hang the rogue; none at all. this soul of yours.' Here Father Lotus gently What we must do is this-we must cure you removed the white cat from his knee, for he of the disease.'
had been patting her all the time he talked, *** Disease!'cried Pugwash. “Bating the loss and turned full round upon Pugwash. “Turn of my money, I was never better in all my days.' out your breeches' pockets,' said Lotus; and
** Ha! my poor man,' said Lotus, 'it is the the tractable Pugwash immediately displayed benevolence of nature, that she often goes on, the linings. “So!'cried Lotus, looking narrowly quietly breaking us up, ourselves knowing no at the brown holland whereof they were made more of the mischief than a girl's doll, when - very bad, indeed; very bad; never knew a the girl rips up its seams. Your malady is of soul in a worse state in all my life.' the perceptive organs.
“Pugwash looked at his pockets, and then you'll sink to the condition of a baboon.' at the conjurer: he was about to speak, but the ""God bless me!' cried Pugwash.
fixed, earnest look of Father Lotus held him “¢ A jackass with sense to choose a thistle' in respectful silence. from a toad-tool will be a reasoning creature, "Yes, yes,' said the wizard, still eyeing