evening, I must go back to the Great City."
" And what will you do in the Boro Foros?"
" I know not," said I.
"' Earn money?"
" If I can."
THE WOODED HILL. 241
" And if you can't?"
^' You look iU, brother," said Mr. Petulengro.
'^ I do not feel well ; the Great City does not
agree with me. Should I he so fortunate as to earn
some money, I would leave the Big City, and take
to the woods and fields."
'' You may do that, brother," said Mr. Petul-
engi'o, '' whether you have money or not. Our
tents and horses are on the other side of yonder
wooded hill, come and stay with us; we shall all be
glad of your company, but more especially myself
and my wife Pakomovna."
"What hill is that?" I demanded.
And then Mr. Petulengro told me the name of
the hill. " We shall stay on t' other side of the
hill a fortnight," he continued ; " and, as you are
fond of hi writing, you may employ yourself pro-
fitably whilst there. You can write the lil of him
whose dook gallops down that liill every night, even
as the hving man was wont to do long ago."
" Who was he?" I demanded.
" Jemmy Abershaw," said Mr. Petulengro; " one
VOL. II. M
242 A GREAT FAVOURITE. [Ch. XXVI.
of those whom we call Boro drom engroes, and the
gorgios highwaymen. I once heard a rye say that
the hfe of that man would fetch much money ; so
come to the other side of the hill, and write the lil
in the tent of Jasper and his wife Pakomovna."
At first I felt inclined to accept the invitation of
Mr. Petulengro; a little consideration, however,
determined me to dechne it. I had always been on
excellent teiTQS with Mr. Petulengro, but I reflected
that people might be excellent friends when they
met occasionally in the street, or on the heath, or
in the wood ; but that these very people when hving
together in a house, to say nothing of a tent, might
quarrel. I reflected, moreover, that Mr. Petulengro
had a wife. I had always, it is true, been a great
favourite with Mrs. Petulengro, who had frequently
been loud in her commendation of the young rye,
as she called me, and his turn of conversation ; but
this was at a time when I stood in need of nothing,
Hved under my parents' roof, and only visited at the
tents to divert and to be diverted. The times were
altered, and I was by no means certain that Mrs.
Petulengi'o, when she should discover that I was in
Ch. XXVI.] THE SHOP WINDOW. 243
need both of shelter and subsistence, might not
alter her opinion both with respect to the individual
and what he said ā stigmatizing my conversation as
saucy discourse, and myself as a scurvy companion ;
and that she might bring over her husband to her
own way of thinking, provided, indeed, he should
need any conducting. I therefore, though without
declaiing my reasons, dechned the offer of Mr.
Petulengro, and presently, after shaking him by
the hand, bent again my course towards the Great
I crossed the river at a bridge considerably above
that hight of London; for, not being acquainted
with the way, I missed the tuiTiing which should
have brought me to the latter. Suddenly I found
myself in a street of which I had some recollection,
and mechanically stopped before the window of a
shop at which various publications were exposed;
it was that of the bookseller to whom I had last
appHed in the hope of selling my ballads or Ab
Gwilym, and who had given me hopes that, in the
event of my writing a decent novel, or a tale, he
would prove a purchaser. As I stood listlessly
244 MUCH WANTED. [Ch. XXVL
looking at the window, and the publications which
it contained, I observed a paper affixed to the
glass by wafers with something written upon it.
I drew yet nearer for the purpose of inspecting
it ; the writing was in a fair round hand ā '^ A
Novel or Tale is much wanted," was what was
BREAD AND WATER. ā FAIR PLAT. FASHIONABLE LIFE. ā COLONEL
B , . . . ā JOSEPH SELL. ā THE KINDLY GLOW. EASIEST MANNER
'" I MUST do sometliing," said I, as I sat that night
in my lonely apartment, with some bread and a
pitcher of water before me.
Thereupon taking some of the bread, and eating
it, I considered what I was to do. " I have no idea
what I am to do," said I, as I stretched my hand
towards the pitcher, " unless ā and here I took a con-
siderable draught ā I write a tale or a novel ....
That bookseller," I continued, speaking to myself,
" is certainly much in need of a tale or a novel,
otherwise he would not advertise for one. Suppose
I write one, I appear to have no other chance of
extricating myself from my present difficulties ;
surely it was Fate that conducted me to his
" I will do it," said I, as I struck my hand
246 FAIR PLAY. [Ch. XXVII.
against the table ; '' I ^Yill do it." Suddenly a heavy
cloud of despondency came over me. Could I do
it? Had I the imagination requisite to write a
tale or a novel ? " Yes, yes/' said I, as I struck
my hand again against the table, ^' I can manage
it; give me fair play, and I can accomplish any-
But should I have fair play? I must have
something to maintain myself with whilst I wrote
my tale, and I had but eighteen pence in the world.
Would that maintain me whilst I wrote my tale ?
Yes, I thought it would, provided I ate bread, which
did not cost much, and drank water, which cost no-
thing ; it was poor diet, it was true, but better men
than myself had written on bread and water; had
not the big man told me so ? or something to that
effect, months before ?
It was true there was my lodging to pay for ; but
up to the present time I owed nothing, and perhaps,
by the time that the people of the house asked me
for money, I should have written a tale or a novel,
which would bring me in money ; I had paper, pens,
and ink, and, let me not forget them, I had candles
in my closet, all paid for. to hght me during my
Ch. XXYIL] FASHIONABLE LIFE. 247
night work. Enough, I would go doggedly to work
upon my tale or novel.
But what was the tale or novel to be about?
Was it to be a tale of fasliionable life, about Sir
Harry Somebody, and the Countess Something?
But I knew notliing about fashionable people, and
cared less ; therefore how should I attempt to de-
scribe fashionable Hfe ? What should the tale con-
sist of? The life and adventures of some one.
Good ā but of whom ? Did not Mr. Petulengro
mention one Jemmy Abershaw ? Yes. Did he not
tell me that the life and adventures of Jemmy Aber-
shaw would bring in much money to the writer ?
Yes, but I knew nothing of that worthy. I heard,
it is true, from Mr. Petulengro, that when ahve he
committed robberies on the hill, on the side of
wliich Mr. Petulengro had pitched his tents, and that
his ghost still haunted the liill at midnight; but
those were scant materials out of which to write
the man's life. It is probable, indeed, that Mr.
Petulengro would be able to supply me with further
materials if I should apply to him, but I was in a
hurry, and could not afford the time which it would
be necessary to spend in passing to and from Mr.
248 COLONEL B . . . . [Ch. XXVII.
Petulengro, and consulting liim. Moreover, my
pride revolted at tlie idea of being beholden to Mr.
Petulengro for the materials of the history. No, I
would not write the history of Abershaw. Whose
then ā HaiTy Simms ? Alas, the life of Harry Simms
had been already much better written by himself
than I could hope to do it ; and, after all, Harry
Simms, Hke Jemmy Abershaw, was merely a robber.
Both, though bold and extraordinary men, were
merely highwaymen. I questioned whether I could
compose a tale hkely to excite any particular in-
terest out of the exploits of a mere robber. I want
a character for my hero, thought I, something
higher than a mere robber; some one hke ā hke
Colonel B . . . . By the way, why should I not
write the life and adventures of Colonel B . . . .
of LondondeiTy, in Ireland ?
A truly singular man was tliis same Colonel
B .... of Londondeny, in Ireland ; a personage
of most strange and incredible feats and daring, who
had been a partizan soldier, a bravo ā who, assisted
by certain discontented troopers, nearly succeeded
in steahng the crown and regalia from the Tower
of London; who attempted to hang the Duke of
Ch. XXYII.] JOSEPH SELL, 249
Ormond, at Tyburn; and whose strange, eventful
career did not terminate even with his life, his
dead body, on the circulation of an unfounded re-
port that he did not come to liis death by fair
means, having been exhumed by the mob of liis
native place, where he had retired to die, and car-
ried in the coffin through the streets.
Of liis hfe I had inserted an account in the New-
gate Lives and Trials ; it was bare and meagre, and
written in the stiff, awkward style of the seventeenth
century; it had, however, strongly captivated my
imagination, and I now thought that out of it
something better could be made ; that, if I added to
the adventures, and purified the style, I might
fashion out of it a very decent tale or novel. On a
sudden, however, the proverb of mending old gar-
ments with new cloth occurred to me. " I am
afi^aid," said I, " any new adventures which I can
invent will not fadge well with the old tale ; one
will but spoil the other." I had better have nothing
to do with Colonel B . . . ., thought I, but boldly
and independently sit down and write the life of
This Joseph Sell, dear reader, was a fictitious
250 THE XINDLY GLOW. [Ch. XXVTI.
personage who had just come into my head. I had
never even heard of the name, hut just at that
moment it happened to come into my head ; I
would write an entirely fictitious narrative, called
the Life and Adventures of Joseph Sell, the great
I had hetter hegin at once, thought I ; and re-
moving the hread and the jug, which latter was now
empty, I seized pen and paper, and forthwith es-
sayed to write the life of Joseph Sell, hut soon
discovered that it is much easier to resolve upon a
thing than to achieve it, or even to commence it ;
for the life of me I did not know how to hegin, and,
after trying in vain to write a line, I thought it
would he as well to go to hed, and defer my pro-
jected undertaking till the morrow.
So I went to hed, hut not to sleep. During the
greater part of the night I lay awake, musing upon
the work which I had determined to execute. For a
long time my hrain was dry and unproductive ; 1
could fonn no plan which appeared feasible. At
length I felt within my hrain a kindly glow ; it was
the commencement of inspiration ; in a few minutes
I had formed my plan ; I then began to imagine
Ch. XXVIL] EASIEST MANx\ER IMAGINABLE. 251
the scenes and the incidents. Scenes and incidents
flitted before my mind's eye so plentifully, that I
knew not how to dispose of them ; I was in a re-
gular embarrassment. At length I got out of the
difficulty in the easiest manner imaginable, namely,
by consigning to the depths of oblivion all the
feebler and less stimulant scenes and incidents, and
retaining the better and more impressive ones. Be-
fore morning I had sketched the whole work on the
tablets of my mind, and then resigned myself to
sleep in the pleasing conviction that the most diffi-
cult part of my undertaking was achieved.
CHAPTER XXVIII. '
CONSIDERABLY SOBERED. POWER OP WRITING. THE TEMPTER. ā
HUNGRY TALENT. WORK CONCLUDED.
Rather late in the morning I awoke ; for a few
minutes I lay still, perfectly still; my imagination
w^as considerably sobered ; the scenes and situations
wbicli bad pleased me so mucb over night appeared
to me in a far less captivating guise that morning.
I felt languid and almost hopeless ā the thought,
however, of my situation soon roused me ā I must
make an effort to improve the posture of my affairs ;
there was no time to be lost; so I sprang out of bed,
breakfasted on bread and water, and then sat down
doggedly to write the life of Joseph Sell.
It was a great thing to have formed my plan, and
to have aiTanged the scenes in my head, as I had
done on the preceding night. The chief thing
requisite at present was the mere mechanical act of
Ch. XXVIII.] POWER OF WRITING. 253
committing them to paper. This I did not find
at first so easy as I could wish ā I wanted mecha-
nical skill ; but T persevered, and before evening I
had written ten pages. I partook of some bread and
water ; and, before I went to bed that night, I had
completed fifteen pages of my life of Joseph Sell.
The next day I resumed my task ā I found my power
of writing considerably increased ; my pen hurried
rapidly over the paper ā my brain was in a wonder-
fiilly teeming state ; many scenes and visions which
I had not thought of before were evolved, and, as
fast as evolved, written down; they seemed to be
more pat to my purpose, and more natural to my
history, than many others wliich I had imagined
before, and which I made now give place to these
newer creations : by about midnight I had added
thirty fresh pages to my " Life and Adventures of
The third day arose ā it was dark and dreary out
of doors, and I passed it drearily enough within;
my brain appeared to have lost much of its former
glow, and my pen much of its power ; I, however,
toiled on, but at midnight had only added seven
pages to my histoiy of Joseph Sell.
264 THE TEMPTER. [Ch, XXVIII.
On the fourtli day the sun shone brightly ā I
arose, and, having breakfasted as usual, I fell to
work. My brain was tliis day wonderfully prolific,
and my pen never before or since glided so rapidly
over the paper; towards night I began to feel
strangely about the back part of my head, and my
whole system was extraordinarily affected. I like-
wise occasionally saw double ā a tempter now
seemed to be at work within me.
" You had better leave off now for a short space,"
said the tempter, '" and go out and diink a pint of
beer ; you have still one shilling left ā if you go on
at this rate, you mil go mad ā go out and spend
sixpence, you can afford it, more than half your
work is done." I was about to obey the sugges-
tion of the tempter, when the idea struck me that,
if I did not complete the work whilst the fit was on
me, I should never complete it; so I held on. I
am almost afraid to state how many pages I wrote
that day of the life of Joseph Sell.
From this time I proceeded in a somewhat more
leisurely manner ; but, as I di'ew nearer and nearer
to the completion of my task, dreadful fears and
despondencies came over me ā It will be too
Ch. XXVIII.] HUNGRY TALENT. 255
late, thought I; by the time I have finished the
"work, the bookseller will have been supplied with a
tale or a novel. Is it probable that, in a town like
this, where talent is so abundant ā hungr}^ talent
too, a bookseller can advertise for a tale or a novel,
without being supplied with half a dozen in twenty-
four hours ? I may as -well fling down my pen ā I
am writing to no pui-pose. And these thoughts
came over my mind so often, that at last, in utter
despair, I flung down the pen. Whereupon the
tempter within me said ā " And, now you have flung
down the pen, you may as well fling yourself out of
the window; what remains for you to do?" Why
to take it up again, thought I to myself, for I did
not like the latter suggestion at all ā and then
forthwith I resumed the pen, and wrote with greater
\dgom' than before, 'from about six o'clock in the
evening imtil I could hardly see, when I rested for
awhile, when the tempter witliin me again said, or
appeared to say ā "All you have been writing is
stuff", it will never do ā a drug ā a mere drug;" and
methought these last words were uttered in the
gruff tones of the big pubHsher. " A thing merely
to be sneezed at," a voice hke that of Taggart
256 WORK CONCLUDED. [Ch. XXVIII.
added ; and then I seemed to hear a sternutation, ā
as I prohahly did, for, recovering from a kind of
swoon, I found myself sliivering with cold. The
next day I hrought my work to a conclusion.
But the task of revision still remained; for an
hour or two I shrank from it, and remained gazing
stupidly at the pile of paper which I had written
over. I was all hut exhausted, and I dreaded, on
inspecting the sheets, to find them full of ahsur-
dities wliich I had paid no regard to in the furor of
composition. But the task, however trying to my
nerves, must he got over ; at last, in a kind of de-
speration, I entered upon it. It was far from an
easy one; there were, however, fewer errors and
ahsurdities than I had anticipated. Ahout twelve
o'clock at night I had got over the task of revision.
" To-morrow, for the bookseller," said I, as my
head sank on the pillow. " Oh me ! "
NERVOUS LOOK. ā THE BOOKSELLER'S WIFE. THE LAST STAKE. ā
TERMS. ā GOD FORBID. ā -WILL YOU COME TO TEA ^ A LIGHT
On arriving at the bookseller's shop, I cast a nervous
look at the window, for the purpose of observing
whether the paper had been removed or not. To
my great dehght the paper was in its place ; with a
beating heart I entered, there was nobody in the
shop ; as I stood at the counter, however, delibe-
rating whether or not I should call out, the door of
what seemed to be a back-parlour opened, and out
came a well dressed lady-like female, of about thirty,
with a good-looking and intelhgent countenance.
" What is your business, young man ?" said she to
me, after I had made her a polite bow. ^' I wish to
speak to the gentleman of the house," said I. " My
husband is not within at present," she replied;
" what is your business ? " ''I have merely
258 bookseller's wife. [Ch. XXIX.
brouglit something to show liim," said I, " but I
will call again." " If you are the young gentleman
who has been here before," said the lady, " with
poems and ballads, as, indeed, I know you are,"
she added, smiling, ^' for T have seen you through
the glass door, " I am afraid it will be useless ; that
is," she added with another smile, " if you bring us
nothing else." " I have not brought you poems
and ballads now," said I, " but something widely
different ; I saw your advertisement for a tale or a
novel, and have written something which I think
will suit ; and here it is," I added, showing the roll
of paper which I held in my hand. '^ Well," said
the bookseller's wife, you may leave it, though I
cannot promise you much chance of its being ac-
cepted. My husband has already had several
offered to him ; however, you may leave it ; give it
me. Are you afraid to intrust it to me?" she de-
manded somewhat hastily, obsemng that I hesi-
tated. " Excuse me," said I, " but it is all I have
to depend upon in the world ; I am cliiefly appre-
hensive that it will not be read." " On that point I
can reassure you," said the good lady, smiling, and
there was now something sweet in her smile. '' I
Ch. XXIX.] THE LAST STAKE. 259
give you my word that it shall be read ; come again
to-morrow morning at eleven, when, if not approved,
it shall he returned to you."
I returned to my lodging, and forthwith betook
myself to bed, notwithstanding the earhness of the
hour. I felt tolerably tranquil ; I had now cast my
last stake, and was prepared to abide by the result.
Whatever that result might be, I could have nothing
to reproach myself with; I had strained all the
energies which nature had given me in order to
rescue myself from the difficulties which surrounded
me. I presently sank into a sleep, wliich endured
during the remainder of the day, and the whole of
the succeeding night. I awoke about nine on the
morrow, and spent my last threepence on a break-
fast somewhat more luxiuious than the imme-
diately preceding ones, for one penny of the sum
was expended on the purchase of milk.
At the appointed hour I repaired to the house of
the bookseller; the bookseller was in his shop.
" Ah," said he, as soon as I entered, '' I am glad
to see you." There was an unwonted heartiness in
the bookseller's tones, an unwonted benignity in his
face. " So," said he, after a pause, '' you have taken
260 TERMS. [Ch. XXIX.
my advice, written a book of adventure; nothing
like taking the advice, young man, of your superiors
in age. Well, I think your book will do, and so
does my wife, for whose judgment I have a great
regard ; as well I may, as she is the daughter of a
first-rate novelist, deceased. I think I shall venture
on sending your book to the press." '' But," said I,
" we have not yet agreed upon terms." '' Terms,
terms," said the bookseller ; " ahem ! well, there is
nothing like coming to terms at once. I will print
the book, and give you half the profit when the
edition is sold." " That will not do," said I ; " I
intend shortly to leave London : I must have some-
thing at once." " Ah, I see," said the bookseller,
" in distress ; frequently the case with authors, espe-
cially young ones. Well, I don't care if I purchase
it of you, but you must be moderate ; the pubHc are
very fastidious, and the speculation may prove a
losing one after all. Let me see, will five ....
hem " ā he stopped. I looked the bookseller in the
face ; there was something peculiar in it. Suddenly
it appeared to me as if the voice of him of the
thimble sounded in my ear, " Now is your time, ask
enough, never such another chance of establishing
Ch. XXIX.] GOD forbid! 2G1
yourself; respectable trade, pea and thimble. "Well,"
said I at last, " I have no objection to take the
offer which you were about to make, though I really
think five- and- twenty guineas to be scarcely enough,
everything considered." " Five-and-twenty guineas !"
said the bookseller ; " are you ā what was I going to
say ā I never meant to offer half as much ā I mean
a quai'ter ; I was going to say five guineas ā I mean
pounds ; I will, however, make it up guineas."
" That will not do," said I ; " but, as I find we shall
not deal, return me my manuscript, that I may
carry it to some one else." The bookseller looked
blank. " Dear me," said he, '' I should never have
supposed that you would have made any objection
to such an offer ; I am quite sure that you would
have been glad to take five pounds for either of the
two huge manuscripts of songs and ballads that you
brought me on a former occasion." " Well," said
I, '' if you will engage to pubhsh either of those
two manuscripts, you shall have the present one for
five pounds." " God forbid that I should make
any such bargain," said the bookseller; " I would
publish neither on any account ; but, with respect to
this last book, I have really an inclination to print
262 WILL YOU COME TO TEA ? [Ch. XXIX.
it, both for your sake and mine ; suppose Tve say
ten pounds." '' No," said I, '' ten pounds mil not
do ; pray restore me my manuscript." " Stay," said
the bookseller, '' my Tvife is in the next room, I
will go and consult her." Thereupon he went into
his back room, where I heard him conversing with
his wife in a low tone ; in about ten minutes he re-
turned. '' Young gentleman," said he, " perhaps
you will take tea with us this evening, when we will
talk further over the matter."
That evening I went and took tea with the book-
seller and his wife, both of whom, particularly the
latter, overwhelmed me with civihty. It was not
long before I learned that the work had been akeady
sent to the press, and was intended to stand at the
head of a series of entertaining narratives, from
which my friends promised themselves considerable
profit. The subject of terms was again brought
forward. I stood firm to my first demand for a
long time ; when, however, the bookseller's wife com-
plimented me on my production in the highest
terms, and said that she discovered therein the
germs of genius, wliich she made no doubt would
some day prove ornamental to my native land, I
Ch. XXIX.J A LIGHT HEART. 263
consented to droj) my demand to twenty pounds,
stipulating, however, that I should not be troubled
with the correction of the work.
Before I departed, I received the twenty pounds,
and departed with a hght heai't to my lodgings.
Reader, amidst the difficulties and dangers of this
Hfe, should you ever be tempted to despair, call to
mind these latter chapters of the hfe of Lavengro.
There are few positions, how^ever difficult, from which
dogged resolution and perseverance may not Hberate
INDISPOSITION. A KESOLUTION. ā POOR EQUIVALENTS. ā THE PIECE OF
GOLD. FLASHING EYES. HOW BEAUTIFUL. ā BON JOUR, MONSIEUR,