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treated the thing as a joke; and to the delight of the by-standers, received a very gravedrubbing.
There are two eminent threats connected with caning, in the history of Dr. Johnson. One was from himself, when he was told that Foote intended to mimic him on the stage. He replied, that if “the dog” ventured to play his tricks with him, he would step out of the stage-box, chastise him before the audience, and then throw himself upon their candour and common sympathy. Foote desisted, as he had good reason to do. The Doctor would have read him a stout lesson, and then made a speech to the audience as forcible; so that the theatrical amnals have to regret, that the subject and Foote's shoulders were not afforded him to expatiate upon. It would have been a fine involuntary piece of acting, the part of Scipio by Dr. Johnson.—The other threat was against the Doctor himself from Macpherson, the compounder of Ossian. It was for denying the authenticity of that work; a provocation the more annoying, inasmuch as he did not seem duly sensible of its merits. Johnson replied to Macpherson's letter by one of contemptuous brevity and pith; and contented himself with carrying about a large stick, with which he intended to repel Macpherson in case of an assault. Had they met, it would have been like “two clouds over the Caspian ;” for both were large-built men.
We recollect another bacular Johnsonian anecdote. When he was travelling in Scotland, he lost a huge stick of his in the little treeless island of Mull. Boswell told him he would recover it : but the Doctor shook his head. “No, no,” said he ; “let anybody in Mull get possession of it, and it will never be restored. Consider, Sir, the value of such a piece of timber here.”
The most venerable sticks now surviving are the smooth amber-coloured canes, in the possession of old ladies. They have sometimes a gold head, but oftener a crook of ivory. But they have latterly been much displaced by light umbrellas, the handles of which are imitations of them ; and these are gradually retreating before the young parasol, especially about town. The old ladies take the wings of the stage-coaches, and are run away with by John Pullen, in a style of infinite convenience. The other sticks in use are for the most part of cherry, oak, and crab, and seldom adorned with more than a leathern tassel ; often with nothing. Bamboo and other canes do not abound, as might be expected from our intercourse with India; but commerce in this as in other respects has overshot its mark. People cannot afford to use sticks, any more than bees could in their hives. Of the common sabbatical cane we have already spoken. There is a sufficing little manual, equally light and lissom, yclept an ebony switch ; but we have not seen it often.
That sticks, however, are not to be despised by the leisurely, any one who has known what it is to want words, or to slice off the head of a thistle, will allow. The utility of the stick seems divisible into three heads: first, to give a general consciousness of power; second, which may be called a part of the first, to help the demeanour; and third, which may be called a part of the second, to assist a man over the gaps of speech—the little awkward intervals, called want of ideas. Deprive a man of his stick, who is accustomed to carry one, and with what a diminished sense of vigour and gracefulness he issues out of his house ! Wanting his stick, he wants himself. His self-possession, like Acres's on the duelground, has gone out of his fingers' ends; but restore it him, and how he resumes his energy' If a common walking-stick, he cherishes the top of it with his fingers, putting them out and back again, with a fresh desire to feel it in his palm How he strikes it against the ground, and feels power come back to his arm How he makes the pavement ring with the ferule, if in a street; or decapitates the downy thistles aforesaid, if in a field ! Then if it be a switch, how firmly he jerks his step at the first infliction of it on the air How he quivers the point of it as he goes, holding the handle with a straight-dropped arm and a tight grasp " How his foot keeps time to the switches . How he twigs the luckless pieces of lilac or other shrubs, that peep out of a garden railing ! And if a sneaking-looking dog is coming by, how he longs to exercise his despotism and his moral sense at once, by giving him an invigorating twinge | But what would certain men of address do without their came or switch There is an undoubted Rhabdosophy, Sceptrosophy, or Wisdom of the Stick, besides the famous Divining Rod, with which people used to discover treasures and fountains. It supplies a man with inaudible remarks, and an inexpressible number of graces. Sometimes, breathing between his teeth, he will twirl the end of it upon his stretched-out toe ; and this means, that he has an infinite number of easy and powerful things to say, if he had a mind. Sometimes he holds it upright between his knees; and tattoos it against his teeth or underlip, which implies that he meditates coolly. On other occasions he switches the side of his boot with it, which announces elegance in general. Lastly, if he has not a bon-mot ready in answer to one, he has only to thrust his stick at your ribs, and say, “Ah! you rogue 1" which sets him above you in an instant, as a sort of patronising wit, who can dispense with the necessity of joking. At the same time, to give it its due zest in life, a stick has its inconveniences. If you have yellow gloves on, and drop it in the mud, a too hasty recovery is awkward. To have it stick between the stones of a pavement is not pleasant, especially if it snap the ferule off; or more especially if an old gentleman or lady is coming behind you, and after making them start back with winking eyes, it threatens to trip them up. To lose the ferule on a country road, renders the end liable to the growth of a sordid brush, which, not having a knife with you, or a shop in which to borrow one, goes pounding the wet up against your legs. In a crowded street you may have the stick driven into a large pane of glass; upon which an unthinking tradesman, utterly indifferent to a chain of events, issues forth and demands twelve and sixpence.
XXXIX_OF THE SIGHT OF SHOPS.
Though we are such lovers of the country, we can admire London in some points of view; and among others, from the entertainment to be derived from its shops. Their variety and brilliancy can hardly fail of attracting the most sluggish attention : and besides reasons of this kind, we can never look at some of them without thinking of the gallant figure they make in the Arabian Nights, with their Bazaars and Bezesteins; where the most beautiful of unknowns goes shopping in a veil, and the most graceful of drapers is taken blindfold to see her. He goes, too smitten at heart to think of the danger of his head; and finds her seated among her slaves (exquisite themselves, only very inferior), upon which she encourages him to sit near her, and lutes are played ; upon which he sighs, and cannot help looking tenderly; upon which she claps her hands, and a charming collation is brought in ; upon which they eat, but not much. A dance ensues, and the ocular sympathy is growing tenderer, when an impossible old woman appears, and says that the Sultan is coming. Alas! How often have we been waked up, in the person of the young draper or jeweller, by that ancient objection How have we received the lady in the veil, through which we saw nothing but her dark eyes and rosy cheeks How have we sat cross-legged on cushions, hearing or handling the lute, whose sounds faded away like our enamoured eyes How often have we not lost our hearts and left-hands, like one of the Calendars Or an eye, like another ? Or a head; and resumed it at the end of the story : Or slept (no, not slept) in the Sultan's garden at Schiraz with the fair Persian.
But to return (as well as such enamoured persons can) to our shops. We prefer the country a million times over for walking in generally, especially if we have the friends in it that enjoy it as well ; but there are seasons when the very streets may vie with it. If you have been solitary, for instance, for a long time,
it is pleasant to get among your fellow-creatures again, even to be jostled and elbowed. If you live in town, and the weather is showery, you may get out in the intervals of rain, and then a quickly-dried pavement and a set of brilliant shops are pleasant. Nay, we have known days, even in spring, when a street shall outdo the finest aspects of the country; but then it is only when the ladies are abroad, and there happens to be a run of agreeable faces that day. For whether it is fancy or not, or whether certain days do not rather bring out certain people, it is a common remark, that one morning you shall meet a succession of good looks, and another encounter none but the reverse. We do not merely speak of handsome faces; but of those which are charming, or otherwise, whatever be the cause. We suppose, that the money-takers are all abroad one day, and the heart-takers the other. It is to be observed, that we are not speaking of utility in this article, except indeed the great utility of agreeableness. A candid leather-cutter therefore will pardon us, if we do not find anything very attractive in his premises. So will his friend the shoemaker, who is bound to like us rural pedestrians. A stationer too, on obvious accounts, will excuse us for thinking his a very dull and bald-headed business. We cannot bear the horribly neat monotony of his shelves, with their load of virgin paper, their slates and slate-pencils that set one's teeth on edge, their pocket-books, and above all, their detestable ruled accountbooks, which at once remind one of the necessity of writing, and the impossibility of writing anything pleasant on such pages. The only agreeable thing, in a stationer's shop when it has it, is the ornamental work, the card-racks, hand-screens, &c. which remind us of the fair morning fingers that paste and gild such things, and surprise their aunts with presents of flowery boxes. But we grieve to add, that the prints which the stationers furnish for such elegancies, are not in the very highest taste. They are apt to deviate too scrupulously from the originals. Their well-known heads become too anonymous. Their young ladies have casts in their eyes, a little too much on one side even for the sidelong divinities of Mr. Harlowe. In a hatter's shop we can see nothing but the hats; and the reader is acquainted with our pique against them. The beaver is a curious animal, but the idea of it is not entertaining enough to convert a window full of those requisite nuisances into an agreeable spectacle. It is true, a hatter, like some other tradesmen, may be pleasanter himself, by reason of the adversity of his situation. We cannot say more for the cruel-shop next door, a name justly provocative of a pun. It is customary, however, to have sign-paintings of Adam and Eve at these places; which is some relief
to the monotony of the windows; only they considering the quantity of slumbering enremind us but too well of these cruel neces chantment inside, which only wants waking. sities to which they brought us. The baker's A bookseller's is interesting, especially if the next ensuing is a very dull shop, much in books are very old or very new, and have fronferior to the gingerbread baker's, whose par- tispieces. But let no author, with or without liament we used to munch at school. The money in his pocket, trust himself in the intailor's makes one as melancholy to look at side, unless, like the bookseller, he has to it, as the sedentary persons within. The ho- much at home. An author is like a baker ; sier's is worse ; particularly if it has a Golden it is for him to make the sweets, and others to Leg over it ; for that precious limb is certainly buy and enjoy them. And yet not so. Let us not symbolical of the weaver's. The windows, not blaspheme the “divinity that stirs within half board and half dusty glass, which abound us." The old comparison of the bee is better ; in the City, can scarcely he turned to a purpose for even if his toil at last is his destruction, of amusement, even by the most attic of dry- and he is killed in order to be plundered, he salters. Weown we have half a longing to break has had the range of nature before he dies. them, and let in the light of nature upon His has been the summer air, and the sunshine, their recesses ; whether they belong to those and the flowers ; and gentle ears have listened more piquant gentlemen, or to bankers, or any to him, and gentle eyes have been upon him. other high and wholesale personages. A light Let others eat his honey that please, so that in one of these windows in the morning is, to he has had his morsel and his song.- A bookus, one of the very dismallest reflections on stall is better for an author than a regular humanity. We wish we could say something shop; for the books are cheaper, the choice for a tallow-chandler's, because everybody often better and more ancient; and he may abuses it : but we cannot. It must bear its look at them, and move on without the hor. fate like the man. A good deal might be said rors of not buying anything ; unless indeed the in behalf of candle-light; but in passing from master or mistress stands looking at him from shop to shop, the variety is so great, that the shop-door ; which is a vile practice. 18 the imagination has not time to dwell on any necessary, we suppose, to guard against pilferers; one in particular. The ideas they suggest but then ought not a stall-keeper, of any permust be obvious and on the surface. A grocer's ception, to know one of us real magnanimous and tea-dealer's is a good thing. It fills the spoilers of our gloves from a sordid thief! A mind instantly with a variety of pleasant tastes, tavern and coffee-house is a pleasant sight, as the ladies in Italy on certain holidays pelt from its sociality ; not to mention the illusthe gentlemen with sweetmeats. An under trious club memories of the times of Shakspeare taker's is as great a balk to one's spirits, as and the Tatlers. We confess that the coma loose stone to one's foot. It gives one a monest public-house in town is not such an deadly jerk. But it is pleasant upon the eyesore to us as it is to some. There may be whole to see the inhabitant looking carelessly a little too much drinking and roaring going out of doors, or hammering while humming a on in the middle of the week ; but what, in the tune; for why should he die a death at every mean time, are pride, and avarice, and all the fresh order for a coffin ? An undertaker walk- unsocial vices about? Before we object to ing merrily drunk by the side of a hearse, is a public-houses, and above all to their Saturday horrid object ; but an undertaker singing and evening recreations, we must alter the systems hammering in his shop, is only rapping death that make them a necessary comfort to the himself on the knuckles. The dead are not poor and laborious. Till then, in spite of the there ; the altered fellow-creature is not there; vulgar part of the polite, we shall bave an but only the living man, and the abstract idea esteem for the “ Devil and the Bag o’ Nails ;* of death ; and he may defy that as much as he and like to hear, as we go along on Saturday pleases. An apothecary's is the more deadly night, the applauding knocks on the table that thing of the two; for the coffin may be made follow the song of “ Lovely Nan," or * Bran for a good old age, but the draught and the Captain Death,” or “ Tobacco is an Indian Weed," drug are for the sickly. An apothecary's looks Why, Soldiers, wky;" or " Says Plute, aby well however at night-time, on account of the should man be vain ;” or that judicious and uncoloured glasses. It is curious to see two or answerable ditty commencing three people talking together in the light of
Now what can man moro desire one of them, and looking profoundly blue.
Nor sitting by a sea-conl fire: There are two good things in the Italian ware
And on his knees, &c. house, — its name and its olives; but it is chiefly built up of gout. Nothing can be got We will even refuse to hear anything against out of a brazier's windows, except by a thief : a gin-shop, till the various systems of the but we understand that it is a good place to moralists and economists are discussed, and live at for those who cannot procure water- the virtuous leave off seduction and ald port. falls. A music-shop with its windows full of In the mean time, we give up to anybody's dis title-pages, is provokingly insipid to look at, like the butcher's and fishmonger's. And yet
| see how things go by comparison. We re- large, well-conditioned horses of the brewers,
member, in our boyhood, a lady from the West Indies, of a very delicate and high-bred nature,
who could find nothing about our streets that
at its height of annoyance, unless you see a paviour or bricklayer coming out with his
three penn'orth on his bread—a better sight than the glutton's waddling away from the fishinonger's. A poulterer's is a dead-bodied business, with its birds and their lax necks. We dislike to see a bird anywhere but in the open air, alive and quick. Of all creatures, restraint and death become its winged vivacity the least. For the same reason we hate aviaries. Dog-shops are tolerable. A cookshop does not mingle the agreeable with the useful. We hate its panes, with Ham and Beef scratched upon them in white letters. An ivory-turner's is pleasant, with its red and white chessmen, and little big-headed Indians on elephants; so is a toy-shop, with its endless delights for children. A coach-maker's is not disagreeable, if you can see the painting and
hels. JAn umbrella-shop only reminds one
T of a rainy day, unless it is a shop for sticks also, which as we have already shown are meri
birds, odd old carved faces, and a variety of things as indescribable as bits of dreams. The green-grocer carries his recommendation in his epithet. The hair-dressers are also interesting as far as their hair goes, but not as their heads —we mean the heads in their windows.” One of the shops we like least is an angling repository, with its rod for a sign, and a fish dancing in the agonies of death at the end of it. We really cannot see what equanimity there is in jerking a lacerated carp out of water by the jaws, merely because it has not the power of making a noise; for we presume that the most philosophic of anglers would hardly delight in catching shrieking fish. An optician's is not very amusing, unless it has those reflectingglasses in which you see your face run off on each side into attenuated width, or upwards and downwards in the same manner, in dreary longitude. A saddler's is good, because it reminds one of horses. A Christian sword-maker's or gun-maker's is edifying. A glass-shop is a beautiful spectacle; it reminds one of the splendours of a fairy palace. We like a blacksmith's for the sturdy looks and thumpings of the men, the swarthy colour, the fiery sparkles and the thunder-breathing throat of the furnace. Of other houses of traffic, not common in the streets, there is something striking to us in the
and the rich smoke rolling from out their chimneys. We also greatly admire a wharf, with its boats, barrels, and packages, and the fresh air from the water, not to mention the smell of pitch. It carries us at once a hundred miles over the water. For similar reasons, the crabbedest old lane has its merits in our eyes, if there is a sail-maker's in it, or a boat-builder's and water at the end. How used old Roberts of Lambeth to gratify the aspiring modesty of our school-coats, when he welcomed us down to his wherries and captains on a holiday, and said “Blue against Black at any time,” meaning the Westminster boys | And the colleges will ratify his praise, taking into consideration the
a pastry-cook's, though we would rather not eat tarts and puffs before the half-averted face of the prettiest of accountants, especially with a beggar watching and praying all the while at the door. We need not expatiate on the beauties of a florist's, where you see unwithering leaves, and roses made immortal. A dress warehouse is sometimes really worth stopping at, for its flowered draperies and richly coloured shawls. But one's pleasure is apt to be disturbed (ye powers of gallantry bear witness to the unwilling pen that writes it) by the fair faces that come forth, and the halfpolite, half-execrating expression of the tradesman that bows them out; for here takes place the chief enjoyment of the mystery yelept shopping ; and here, while some ladies give the smallest trouble unwillingly, others have an infinity of things turned over, for the mere purpose of wasting their own time and the shopman's. We have read of a choice of a wife by cheese. It is difficult to speak of preference in such matters, and all such single modes of trial must be something equivocal ; but we must say, that of all modes of the kind, we should desire no better way of seeing what ladies we admired
most, and whom least, than by witnessing this
trial of them at a linen-draper's counter.
XL.—A NEARER VIEW OF SOME OF THE SHOPS.
IN the general glance that we have taken at shops, we found ourselves unwillingly compelled to pass some of them too quickly. It is the object therefore of the present article to enter into those more attractive thresholds,
and look a little about us. We imagine a fine day ; time, about noon ; scene, any good brilliant street. The ladies are abroad in white and green ; the beaux lounging, conscious of their waists and neckcloths; the busy pushing onward, conscious of their bills; the dogs and coaches—but we must reserve this out-of-door view of the streets for a separate article. To begin then, where our shopping experience began, with the toy-shop:
Visions of glory, spare our aching sight !
We still seem to have a lively sense of the smell of that gorgeous red paint, which was on the handle of our first wooden sword The pewter guard also — how beautifully fretted and like silver did it look How did we hang it round our shoulder by the proud belt of an old ribbon ;-then feel it well suspended ; then draw it out of the sheath, eager to cut down four savage men for ill-using ditto of damsels . An old muff made an excellent grenadier's cap ; or one's hat and feather, with the assistance of three surreptitious large pins, became fiercely modern and military. There it is, in that corner of the window— the same identical sword, to all appearance, which kept us awake the first night behind our pillow. We still feel ourselves little boys, while standing in this shop ; and for that matter, so we do on other occasions. A field has as much merit in our eyes, and gingerbread almost as much in our mouths, as at that daisy-plucking and cake-eating period of life. There is the trigger-rattling gun, fine of its kind, but not so complete a thing as the sword. Its memories are not so ancient : for Alexander or St. George did not fight with a musket. Neither is it so true a thing ; it is not “like life.” The trigger is too much like that of a cross-bow ; and the pea which it shoots, however hard, produces even to the imaginative faculties of boyhood a humiliating flash of the mock-heroic. It is difficult to fancy a dragon killed with a pea: but the shape and appurtenances of the sword being genuine, the whole sentiment of massacre is as much in its wooden blade, as if it were steel of Damascus. The drum is still more real, though not so heroic.— In the corner opposite are battle-doors and shuttle-cocks, which have their maturer beauties ; balls, which possess the additional zest of the danger of breaking people's windows;– ropes, good for swinging and skipping, especially the long ones which others turn for you, while you run in a masterly manner up and down, or skip in one spot with an easy and endless exactitude of toe, looking alternately at their conscious faces;–blood-allies, with which the possessor of a crisp finger and thumb-knuekle causes the smitten marbles to vanish out of
the ring ; kites, which must appear to more vital birds a ghastly kind of fowl, with their grim long white faces, no bodies, and endless tails;–cricket-bats, manly to handle;—trapbats, a genteel inferiority;-swimming-corks, despicable;—horses on wheels, an imposition on the infant public ;-rocking horses, too much like Pegasus, ardent yet never getting on ;-Dutch toys, so like life, that they ought to be better;-Jacob's ladders, flapping down one over another their tintinnabulary shutters ;-dissected maps, from which the infant statesmen may learn how to dovetail provinces and kingdoms —paper posture-makers, who hitch up their knees against their shoulderblades, and dangle their legs like an opera dancer;-Lilliputian plates, dishes, and other household utensils, in which a grand dinner is served up out of half an apple ;-boxes of paints, to colour engravings with, always beyond the outline;—ditto of bricks, a very sensible and lasting toy, which we except from a grudge we have against the gravity of infant geometricks;– whips, very useful for cutting people's eyes unawares;–hoops, one of the most ancient as well as excellent of toys;–sheets of pictures, from A apple-pie up to farming, military, and zoological exhibitions, always taking care that the Fly is as large as the Elephant, and the letter X exclusively appropriated to Xerxes:–musical dealboxes, rather complaining than sweet, and more like a peal of bodkins than bells ;— penny trumpets, awful at Bartlemy-tide;— jew's harps, that thrill and breathe between the lips like a metal tongue;—carts—carriages —hobby-horses, upon which the infant equestrian prances about proudly on his own feet : —in short, not to go through the whole representative body of existence—dolls, which are so dear to the maternal instincts of little girls.
We protest, however, against that abuse of
them, which makes them full-dressed young ladies in body, while they remain infant in face; especially when they are of frail wax. It is cultivating finery instead of affection. We prefer good honest plump limbs of cotton and saw-dust, dressed in baby-linen ; or even our ancient young friends, with their staring dotted eyes; red varnished faces, triangular noses, and Rosinante wooden limbs—not, it must be confessed, excessively shapely or feminine, but the reverse of fragile beauty, and prepared against all disasters. The next step is to the Pastry-cook's, where the plain bun is still the pleasantest thing in our eyes, from its respectability in those of childhood. The pastry, less patronised by judicious mothers, is only so much elegant indigestion : yet it is not easy to forget the pleasure of nibbling away the crust all round a raspberry or currant tart, in order to enjoy the three or four delicious semicircular bites at the fruity plenitude remaining. There is a custard with