cut from off a fairy loaf.
But there was more than this. It was
only the married people and the children who
gave Tom Pinch a welcome as he passed. No,
no. Sparkling eyes and snowy breasts
hurriedly to many an upper casement as he
clattered by, and gave him back his greel
not stinted either, but sevenfold, good measure
They were all merry. They all laughed. And
some of the wickedest among them even i
their hands as Torn looked back. For who
minded poor Mr. Pinch? There was no harm
And now the morning grew so fair, and all
things were so wide awake and gay, that the
sun seeming to say â€” Tom had no doubt he
MARK TAPLE Y\S JOLLITY.
said â€” " I can't stand it any longer : I must have
a look " â€” streamed out in radiant majesty. The
mist, too shy and gentle for such lusty company,
lied off, quite scared, before it ; and as it swept
away, the hills and mounds and distant pasture
lands, teeming with placid sheep and noisy
crows, came out as bright as though they were
unrolled bran new for the occasion. In com-
pliment to which discovery, the brook stood
still no longer, but ran briskly off to bear the
tidings to the water-mill, three miles away.
Mr. Pinch was jogging along, full of pleasant
thoughts and cheerful influences, when he saw,
upon the path before him, going in the same
direction with himself, a traveller on foot, who
walked with a light, quick step, and sang as he
went â€” for certain in a very loud voice, but not
unmusically. He was a young fellow of some
five or six-and-twenty perhaps, and was dressed in
such a free and fly-away fashion, that the long
ends of his loose red neckcloth were streaming
out behind him quite as often as before ; and
the bunch of bright winter berries in the button-
hole of his velveteen coat, was as visible to Mr.
Pinch's rearward observation, as if he had worn
that garment wrong side foremost. He con-
tinued to sing with so much energy, that he did
not hear the sound of wheels until it was close
behind him ; when he turned a whimsical face
and very merry pair of blue eyes on Mr. Pinch,
and checked himself directly.
"Why, Mark!" said Tom Pinch, stopping,
" who 'd have thought of seeing you here ? Well !
this is surprising !"
Mark touched his hat, and said, with a very
sudden decrease of vivacity, that he was going
" And how spruce you are, too ! " said Mr.
Pinch, surveying him with great pleasure.
" Really I didn't think you were half" such a
tight-made fellow, Mark!"
" Thankee, Mr. Pinch. Pretty well for that,
I believe. It's not my fault, you know. With
regard to being spruce, sir, that's where it is,
you see." And here he looked particularly
"Where what is?" Mr. Pinch demanded.
" Where the aggravation of it is. Any man
may be in good spirits and good temper when
he's well dressed. There ain't much credit in
that. If I was very ragged and very jolly, then
I should begin to feel I had gained a point, Mr.
"So you were singing just now, to bear up,
as it were, against being well dressed, eh,
Mark?" said Pinch.
" Your conversation's always equal to print,
sir," rejoined Mark, with a broad grin.
" Well !" cried Pinch, "you are the strangest
young man, Mark, I ever knew in my life. I
always thought so ; but now I am quite certain
of it. I am going to Salisbury, too. Will you
get in ? 1 shall be very glad of your company."
The young fellow made his acknowledg-
ments and accepted the offer ; stepping into the
carriage directly, and seating himself on the
very edge of the seat with his body half out of
it, to express his being there on sufferance, and
by the politeness of Mr. Pinch. As they went
along, the conversation proceeded after this
" I more than half believed, just now, seeing
you so very smart," said Pinch, " that you must
be going to be married, Mark."
"Well, sir, I've thought of that, too," he
replied. " There might be some credit in being
jolly with a wife, 'specially if the children had
the measles and that, and was very fractious
indeed. But I'm a'most afraid to try it. I
don't see my way clear."
" You're not very fond of anybody, perhaps ?"
" Not particular, sir, I think."
" But the way would be, you know, Mark,
according to your views of things," said Mr.
Pinch, " to marry somebody you didn't like,
and who was very disagreeable."
" So it would, sir, but that might be carrying
out a principle a little too far, mightn't it ?"
" Perhaps it might," said Mr. Pinch. At
which they both laughed gaily.
" Lord bless you, sir," said Mark, " you don't
half know me, though. I don't believe there
ever was a man as could come out so strong
under circumstances that would make other
men miserable, as I could, if I could only get a
chance. But I can't get a chance. It's my
opinion, that nobody never will know half of
what's in me, unless something very unex-
pected turns' up. And I don't see any prospect
of that. I'm a going to leave the Dragon, sir."
" Going to leave the Dragon ! " cried Mr.
Pinch, looking at him with great astonishment.
" Why, Mark, you take my breath away !"
" Yes, sir," he rejoined, looking straight
before him and a long way off, as men do some-
times when they cogitate profoundly. " What's
the use of my stopping at the Dragon ? It ain't
at all the sort of place for me. When I left
London (I'm a Kentish man by birth, though),
and took that sitivation here, I quite made up
my mind that it was the dullest little out-of-the-
way corner in England, and that there would be
some credit in being jolly under such circum-
stances. But, Lord, there's no dulness at die
Littles, cricket, quoits, nine-pins,
comic songs, choruses, company round the
chimney corner every winter's evening â€” any
man could be jolly at the Dragon. There's no
credit in //nit."
But if common report be true for once,
Mark, as I think it is, being able to confirm it
by what I know myself," said Mr. Pinch, "you
are the cause of half this merriment, and set it
â€¢â€¢ There may be something in that, too, sir,"
answered Mark. " But that's no consolation."
" Well !" said Mr. Pinch, alter a short silence,
usually subdued tone being even more
subdued than ever. " I can hardly think
enough of what you tell me. Why, what will
become of Mrs. Lupin, Mark?"
Mark looked more fixedly before him, and
further on still, as he answered that he didn't
suppose it would be much of an object to her.
There were plenty of smart young fellows as
would be glad of the place. He knew a dozen
" That's probable enough," said Mr. Pinch,
*'â€¢ but I am not at all sure that Mrs. Lupin would
be glad of them. Why, I always supposed that
Mrs. Lupin and you would make a match of it,
Mark : and so did every one, as far as I know."
" I never," Mark replied, in some confusion,
I nothing as was in a direct way courting-
like to her, nor she to me, but I don't know
what I mightn't do one of these odd times, and
what she mightn't say in answer. Well, sir,
that wouldn't suit."
â€¢â€¢ Not to be landlord of the Dragon, Mark?"
cried Mr. Pinch.
" Xo, sir, certainly not," returned the other,
withdrawing his gaze from the horizon, and
looking at his fellow-traveller. " Why, that
would be the ruin of a man like me. I go and
sit down comfortably for life, and no man never
finds me out. What would be the credit of the
landlord of the Dragon's being jolly? why, he
couldn't help it, if he tried."
"Does Mrs. Lupin know you are going to
leave her?" Mr. Pinch inquired.
" I haven't broke it to her yet, sir, but I
must. I'm looking out this morning for some-
thing new and suitable," he said, nodding
towards the city.
"What kind of thing now?" Mr. Pinch de-
'â€¢I was thinking." Mark replied, "of some-
thing in the grave-digging way."
'â€¢ Good Gracious, Mark !" cried Mr. Pinch.
"It's a good damp, wormy sort of business,
sir," said Mark, shaking his head, argumenta-
tively, "and there might be some credit in
being jolly, with one's mind in that pursuit,
unless grave-diggers is usually given that way ;
which would be a drawback. You don't happen
to know how that is, in general, do you, sir?"
" No," said Mr. Pinch, " I don't indeed. I
never thought upon the subject."
" In case of that not turning out as well as one
could wish, you know," said Mark, musing again,
"there's other businesses. Undertaking now.
That's gloomy. There might be credit to be
gained there. A broker's man in a poor neigh-
bourhood wouldn't be bad perhaps. A jailer
sees a deal of misery. A doctor's man is in the
very midst of murder. A bailiff's ain't a lively
office nat'rally. Even a tax gatherer must find
his feelings rather worked upon, at times.
There's lots of trades, in which I should have an
opportunity, I think."
Mr. Pinch was so perfectly overwhelmed by
these remarks that he could do nothing but occa-
sionally exchange a word or two on some indif-
ferent subject, and cast sidelong glances at the
bright face of his odd friend (who seemed quite
unconscious of his observation), until they
reached a certain corner of the road, close upon
the outskirts of the city, when Mark said he
w r ould jump down there, if he pleased.
"But bless my soul, Mark," said Mr. Pinch,
who in the progress of his observation just then
made the discovery that the bosom of his com-
panion's shirt was as much exposed as if it were
midsummer, and was ruffled by every breath of
air, " why don't you wear a waistcoat ?"
" What's the good of one, sir?" asked Mark.
" Good of one ? " said Mr. Pinch. " Why, to
keep your chest warm."
"Lord love you, sir!" cried Mark; "you
don't know me. My chest don't want no warm-
ing. Even if it did", what would no waistcoat
bring it to ? Inflammation of the lungs, per-
haps? Well, there'd be some credit in being
jolly, with an inflammation of the lungs."
A , .Mr. Pinch returned no other answer than
such as was conveyed in his drawing his breath
very hard, and opening his eyes very wide, and
nodding his head very much, Mark thanked him
for his ride, and without troubling him to stop,
jumped lightly down. And away he fluttered,
with his red neck-kerchief, and his open coat,
down a cross-lane : turning back from time to
time to nod to Mr. Pinch, ami looking one of
the most careless, good-humoured, comical fel-
lows in life. His late companion, with a thought-
ful face, pursued his way to Salisbury.
TOM LOOKS AT THE SHOPS.
Mr. Pinch had a shrewd notion that Salisbury
was a very desperate sort of place ; an exceeding
wild and dissipated city : and when he had put
up the horse, and given the hostler to under-
stand that he would look in again in the course
of an hour or two to see him take his corn, he
set forth on a stroll about the streets with a
vague and not unpleasant idea that they teemed
with all kinds of mystery and bedevilment. To
one of his quiet habits this little delusion was
greatly assisted by the circumstance of its being
market-day, and the thoroughfares about the
market-place being filled with carts, horses,
donkeys, baskets, waggons, garden-stuff, meat,
tripe, pies, poultry, and hucksters' wares of every
opposite description and possible variety of cha-
racter. Then there were young farmers and old
farmers, with smock frocks, brown great-coats,
drab great-coats, red worsted comforters, leather-
leggings, wonderful shaped hats, hunting-whips,
and rough sticks, standing about in groups, or
talking noisily together on the tavern steps, or
paying and receiving huge amounts of greasy
wealth, with the assistance of such bulky pocket-
books that when they were in their pockets it
was apoplexy to get them out, and when they
were out, it was spasms to get them in again.
Also there were farmers' wives in beaver bonnets
and red cloaks, riding shaggy horses purged of
all earthly passions, who went soberly into all
manner of places without desiring to know why,
and who, if required, would have stood stock
still in a china-shop, with a complete dinner-
service at each hoof. Also a great many dogs,
who were strongly interested in the state of the
market and the bargains of their masters ; and
a great confusion of tongues, both brute and
Mr. Pinch regarded everything exposed for
sale with great delight, and was particularly
struck by the itinerant cutlery, which he con-
sidered of the very keenest kind, insomuch that
he purchased a pocket knife with seven blades
in it, and not a cut (as he afterwards found out)
among them. When he had exhausted the
market-place, and watched the farmers safe into
the market dinner, he went back to look after
the horse. Having seen him eat unto his heart's
content, he issued forth again, to wander round
the town and regale himself with the shop win-
dows : previously taking a long stare at the bank,
and wondering in what direction under-ground,
the caverns might be, where they kept the
money ; and turning to look back at one or two
young men who passed him, whom he knew to
be articled to solicitors in the town ; and who
had a sort of fearful interest in his eyes, as jolly
dogs who knew a thing or two, and kept it up
But the shops. First of all, there were the
jewellers' shops, with all the treasures of the
earth displayed therein, and such large silver
watches hanging up in every pane of glass, that
if they were anything but first-rate goers it cer-
tainly was not because the works could decently
complain of want of room. In good sooth they
were big enough, and perhaps, as the saying is,
ugly enough, to be the most correct of all
mechanical performers ; in Mr. Pinch's eyes,
however, they were smaller than Geneva ware ;
and when he saw one very bloated watch
announced as a repeater, gifted with the uncom-
mon power of striking every quarter of an hour
inside the pocket of its happy owner, he almost
wished that he were rich enough to buy it.
But what were even gold and silver, precious
stones and clockwork, to the bookshops, whence
a pleasant smell of paper freshly pressed came
issuing forth, awakening instant recollections of
some new grammar had at school, long time ago,
with " Master Pinch, Grove House Academy,"
inscribed in faultless writing on the fly-leaf!
That whiff of russia leather, too, and all those
rows on rows of volumes, neatly ranged within â€”
what happiness did they suggest ! And in the
window were the spick-and-span new works from
London, with the title-pages, and sometimes
even the first page of the first chapter, laid wide
open : tempting unwary men to begin to read
the book, and then, in the impossibility of
turning over, to rush blindly in and buy it !
Here too were the dainty frontispiece and trim
vignette, pointing like hand-posts on the outskirts
of great cities, to the rich stock of incident
beyond ; and store of books, with many a
grave portrait and time-honoured name, whose
matter he knew well, and would have given
mines to have, in any form, upon the narrow
shelf beside his bed at Mr. Pecksniff's. What
a heart-breaking shop it was !
There was another, not quite so bad at first,
but still a trying shop ; where children's books
were sold, and where poor Robinson Crusoe
stood alone in his might, with dog and hatchet,
goat-skin cap and fowling-pieces ; calmly sur-
veying Philip Quarll and the host of imitators
round him, and calling Mr. Pinch to witness
that he, of all the crowd, impressed one solitary
foot-print on the shore of boyish memory,
whereof the tread of generations should not stir
the lightest grain of sand. And there too were
the Persian tales, with flying chests, and stu-
dents of enchanted books shut up for years in
caverns : and there too was Abudah, the mer-
chant, with the terrible little old woman hobbling
out of the box in his bedroom : and there the
mighty talisman â€” the rare Arabian Nights â€”
with Cassim Baba, divided by four, like the
ghost of a dreadful sum. hanging up. all gory, in
the robbers' cave. Which matchless wonders,
coming fast on Mr. Pinch's mind, did so rub up
and chafe that wonderful lamp within him, that
when he turned his face towards the busy street,
a crowd of phantoms waited on his pleasure,
and he lived again, with new delight, the happy
days before the Pecksniff era.
He had less interest now in the chemists'
shops, with their great glowing bottles (with
smaller repositories of brightness in their very
stoppers) ; and in their agreeable compromises
between medicine and perfumery, in the shape
of toothsome lozenges and virgin honey. Nei-
ther had he the least regard (but he never had
much) for the tailors', where the newest metro-
politan waistcoat patterns were hanging up,
which by some strange transformation always
looked amazing there, and never appeared at all
like the same thing anywhere else. But he
stopped to read the playbill at the theatre, and
surveyed the doorway with a kind of awe, which
was not diminished when a sallow gentleman
with long dark hair came out, and told a boy to
run home to his lodgings and bring down his
broadsword. Mr. Pinch stood rooted to the
spot, and might have stood there until dark, but
that the old cathedral bell began to ring for
vesper service, on which he tore himself away.
Now, the organist's assistant was a friend of
Mr. Pinch's, which was a good thing, for he too
was a very quiet, gentle soul, and had been, like-
Tom, a kind of old-fashioned boy at school,
though well-liked by the noisy fellows too. As
good luck would have it (Tom always said he
had great good luck) the assistant chanced that
very afternoon to be on duty by himself, with no
one in the dusty organ-loft but Tom : so while
he played, Tom helped him with the stops; and
finally, the service being just over, Tom took the
organ himself. It was then turning dark, and
the yellow light that streamed in through the
ancient windows in the choir was mingled with a
murky red. As the grand tones resounded
through the church, they seemed, to Tom, to
find an echo in the depth of every ancient tomb,
no less than in the deep mystery of his own
heart. Great thoughts and hopes came crowding
on his mind as the rich music rolled upon the
air, and yet among them â€” something more grave
and solemn in their purpose, but the same â€”
were all the images of that day, down to its very
lightest recollection of childhood. The feeling
that the sounds awakened, in the moment of
their existence, seemed to include his whole life
and being ; and as the surrounding realities of
stone and wood and glass grew dimmer in the
darkness, these visions grew so much the brighter
that Tom might have forgotten the new pupil
and the expectant master, and have sat there
pouring out his grateful heart till midnight, but
for a very earthy old verger insisting on locking
up the cathedral forthwith. So he took leave of
his friend, with many thanks, groped his way out,
as well as he could, into the now lamp-lighted
streets, and hurried off to get his dinner.
All the fanners being by this time jogging
homewards, there was nobody in the sanded
parlour of the tavern where he had left the
horse ; so he had his little table drawn out close
before the fire, and fell to work upon a well-
cooked steak anil smoking hot potatoes, with a
strong appreciation of their excellence, and a
very keen sense of enjoyment. Beside him, too,
there stood a jug of most stupendous Wiltshire
beer ; and the effect of the whole was so tran-
scendent, that he was obliged every now and
then to lay down his knife and fork, rub his
hands, and think about it. By the time the
cheese and celery came, Mr. Pinch had taken a
book out of his pocket, and could afford to trifle
with the viands ; now eating a little, now drink-
ing a little, now reading a little, and now stop-
ping to wonder what sort of a young man the
new pupil would turn out to be. He had passed
from this latter theme and was deep in his book
again, when the door opened, and another guest
came in, bringing with him such a quantity of
(old air, that he positively seemed at first to put
the fire out.
" Very hard frost to-night, sir," said the new-
comer, courteously acknowledging Mr. Pinch's
withdrawal of the little table, that he might have
place. "Don't disturb yourself, I beg."
Though he said this with a vast amount of
consideration for Mr. Pinch's comfort, he dra
one of the great leather-bottomed chairs to the
very centre of the hearth, notwithstanding; and
sat down in front of the fire, with a foot on each
" My feet arc quite numbed. Ah ! Bitter
cold to be sure."
" You have been in the air some considerable
time, I dare say?" said Mr. Pinch.
" All day. Outside a coach, too."
" That accounts for his making the room so
cool," thought Mr. Pinch. "Poor fellow! Plow
thoroughly chilled he must be !"
The stranger became thoughtful, likewise, and
sat for five or ten minutes looking at the fire in
THE NE W PUPIL.
silence. At length he rose and divested himself
of his shawl and great-coat, which (far different
from Mr. Pinch's) was a very warm and thick
one ; but he was not a whit more conversational
out of his great-coat than in it, for he sat down
again in the same place and attitude, and lean-
ing back in his chair, began to bite his nails.
He was young â€” one-and-twenty, perhaps â€” and
handsome ; with a keen dark eye, and a quick-
ness of look and manner which made Tom
sensible of a great contrast in his own bearing,
and caused him to feel even more shy than
There was a clock in the room, which the
stranger often turned to look at. Tom made
frequent reference to it also ; partly from a
nervous sympathy with its taciturn companion ;
and partly because the new pupil was to inquire
for him at half after six, and the hands were
getting on towards that hour. Whenever the
stranger caught him looking at this clock, a kind
of confusion came upon Tom as if he had been
found out in something ; and it was a perception
of his uneasiness which caused the younger man
to say, perhaps, with a smile :
" We both appear to be rather particular about
the time. The fact is, I have an engagement to
meet a gentleman here."
" So have I," said Mr. Pinch.
" At half-past six," said the stranger.
" At half-past six," said Tom in the very same
breath ; whereupon the other looked at him with
" The young gentleman, I expect," remarked
Tom, timidly, "was to inquire at that time for
a person by the name of Pinch."
"Dear me!" cried the other, jumping up.
" And I have been keeping the fire from you all
this while ! I had no idea you were Mr. Pinch.
I am the Mr. Martin for whom you were to
inquire. Pray excuse me. How do you do ?
Oh, do draw nearer, pray !"
" Thank you," said Tom, " thank you. I am
not at all cold ; and you are ; and we have a
cold ride before us. Well, if you wish it, I will.
I â€” I am very glad," said Tom, smiling with an
embarrassed frankness peculiarly his, and which
was as plainly a confession of his own imperfec-
tions, and an appeal to the kindness of the
person he addressed, as if he had drawn one up
in simple language and committed it to paper :
" I am very glad indeed that you turn out to be
the party I expected. I was thinking, but a
minute ago, that I could wish him to be like
" I am very glad to hear it," returned Martin,
shaking hands with him again ; " for I can assure
you, I was thinking there could be no such luck
as Mr. Pinch's turning out like you."
" No, really !" said Tom, with great pleasure.
" Are you serious ?"
" Upon my word I am," replied his new
acquaintance. " You and I will get on excel-
lently well, I know; which it's no small relief to
me to feel, for to tell you the truth, I am not at
all the sort of fellow who could get on with
everybody, and that's the point on which I had
the greatest doubts. But they're quite relieved
now. â€” Do me the 'favour to ring the bell, will
Mr. Pinch rose, and complied with great
alacrityâ€” the handle hung just over Martin's
head, as he warmed himself â€” and listened with
a smiling face to what his friend went on to say.
It was :
" If you like punch, you'll allow me to order
a glass a-piece, as hot as it can be made, that
we may usher in our friendship in a becoming
manner. To let you into a secret, Mr. Pinch, i
never was so much in want of something warm
and cheering in my life ; but I didn't like to run
the chance of being found drinking it, without
knowing what kind of person you were ; for first