" Tell the voices," said I, " that they talk non-
sense ; the book, if it exists, is a good book, it con-
tains a deep moral ; have you read it all ? "
VOL. II. H
146 APPLES AND PEARS.
" All the funny parts, dear ; all about taking
things, and the manner it was done ; as for the rest,
I could not exactly make it out."
" Then the book is not to blame ; I repeat that
the book is a good book, and contains deep mo-
rality, always supposing that there is such a thing as
morahty, which is the same thing as supposing that
there is anything at all."
" Anything at all ! Why an't we here on
this bridge, in my booth, with my stall and
my . . . ."
" Apples and pears, baked hot, you would say —
I don't know ; all is a mystery, a deep question. It
is a question, and probably always will be, whether
there is a world, and consequently apples and pears ;
and, provided there be a world, whether that world
be hke an apple or a pear."
" Don't talk so, dear."
" I won't ; we will suppose that we all exist —
world, ourselves, apples, and pears : so you wish to
get rid of the book ? "
" Yes, dear, I wish you would take it."
" I have read it, and have no farther use for it ;
I do not need books : in a little time, perhaps, I
Ch. XVI.] WHAT WILL YOU READ? 147
shall not have a place wherein to deposit myself,
far less books."
" Then I wiU fling it into the river."
" Don't do that ; here, give it me. Now what
shall I do with it ? you were so fond of it."
"I am so no longer."
" But how will you pass your time ; what will
you read ? "
" I wish I had never learned to read, or, if I had,
that I had only read the hooks I saw at school : the
primer or the other."
" What was the other ? "
" I think they called it the Bible : all about God,
and Job, and Jesus."
" Ah, I know it."
'' You have read it; is it a nice book — all true?"
" True, true — I don't know what to say ; but if
the world be true, and not all a He, a fiction, I don't
see why the Bible, as they call it, should not be
true. By-the-bye, what do you call Bible in your
tongue, or, indeed, book of any kind ? as Bible
merely means a book."
*' What do I call the Bible in my language,
148 METAPHOR. [Ch. XVI.
^' Yes, the language of those who bring you
'' The language of those who didy dear ; they
bring them now no longer. They call me fool, as
you did, dear, just now; they caU kissing the Bible,
which means taking a false oath, smacking calf-
" That's metaphor," said I; "EngHsh, but meta-
phorical ; what an odd language ! So you would
like to have a Bible, — shall I buy you one ? "
" I am poor, dear — no money since I left off the
" WeU, then, I '11 buy you one."
" No, dear, no ; you are poor, and may soon
want the money ; but if you can take me one con-
veniently on the sly, you know — I think you may,
for, as it is a good book, I suppose there can be no
harm in taking it."
" That wiU never do," said I, ^' more especially
as I should be sure to be caught, not having made
taking of things my trade ; but I '11 tell you what
I 'U do — try and exchange this book of yours for a
Bible ; who knows for what great things this same
book of yours may serve."
Ch. XVI.] THE FUR CAP. 149
" Well, dear," said the old woman, " do as you
please ; I should like to see the — what do you call
it? — Bible, and to read it, as you seem to think it
" Yes," said I, " seem ; that is the way to express
yourself in this maze of doubt — I seem to think —
these apples and pears seem to be — and here seems
to be a gentleman who wants to purchase either one
or the other."
A person had stopped before the apple-woman's
stall, and was glancing now at the fruit, now at the
old woman and myself; he wore a blue mantle, and
had a kind of fur cap on his head ; he was some-
what above the middle stature; his features were
keen, but rather hard ; there was a slight obhquity
in his vision. Selecting a small apple, he gave the
old woman a penny; then, after looking at me
scrutinizingly for a moment, he moved from the
booth in the direction of Southwark.
"Do you know who that man is ? " said I to the
" No," said she, " except that he is one of my
best customers : he frequently stops, takes an apple,
and gives me a penny; his is the only piece of
150 I don!t know him. [Ch. XVI.
money I have taken this blessed day. I don't know
him, but he has once or twice sat down in the booth
with two strange-looking men — Mulattos, or Las-
cars, I think they call them.
BOUGHT AND EXCHANGED. — QUITE EMPTY, — A NEW FIRM. — BIBLE8.
COUNTENANCE OP A LION. — CLAP OF THUNDER. — A TRUCE WITH
THIS. 1 HAVE LOST IT. — CLEARLY A RIGHT. — GODDESS OF THE
In pursuance of my promise to the old woman, I
set about procuring her a Bible with all convenient
speed, placing the book which she had intrusted to me
for the pui'pose of exchange in my pocket. I went
to several shops, and asked if Bibles were to be
had : I found that there were plenty. When, how-
ever, I informed the people that I came to barter,
they looked blank, and declined treating with me ;
saying that they did not do business in that way.
At last I went into a shop over the window of
which I saw written, " Books bought and ex-
changed : " there was a smartish young fellow in the
shop, with black hair and whiskers; " You ex-
change ? " said I. " Yes," said he, *' sometimes,
but we prefer selling ; what book do you want ? "
1 52 QUITE EMPTY. [Ch. XVII.
'' A Bible/' said I. " Ah," said he, " there 's a
great demand for Bibles just now; all kinds of
people are become very pious of late," he added,
grinning at me ; "I am afraid I can't do business
with you, more especially as the master is not at
home. What book have you brought?" Taking
the book out of my pocket, I placed it on the counter :
the young fellow opened the book, and inspecting
the title-page, burst into a loud laugh. " What do
you laugh for ? " said I, angrily, and half clenching
my fist. " Laugh ! " said the young fellow ; " laugh !
who could help laughing ? " "I could," said I ; " I
see notliing to laugh at ; I want to exchange this
book for a Bible." " You do ? " said the young fel-
low ; " well, I daresay there are plenty who would
be willing to exchange, that is, if they dared. I
wish master were at home ; but that would never do,
either. Master 's a family man, the Bibles are not
mine, and master being a family man, is sharp, and
knows all his stock ; I 'd buy it of you, but, to tell
you the truth, I am quite empty here," said he,
pointing to his pocket, " so I am afraid we can't
Whereupon, looking anxiously at the young man,
Ch. XVIL] A NEW FIRM. 153
" what am I to do ? " said I ; "'I really want a
" Can't you buy one ? " said the young man ;
" have you no money ? "
" Yes," said I, '' I have some, but I am merely
the agent of another ; I came to exchange, not to
buy ; what am I to do ? "
" I don't know," said the young man, thought-
fully laying down the book on the counter; " T
don't know what you can do ; I think you will find
some difficulty in this bartering job, the trade are
rather precise." All at once he laughed louder than
before; suddenly stopping, however, he put on a
very grave look. " Take my advice," said he ;
'' there is a firm established in this neighbourhood
which scarcely sells any books but Bibles ; they are
very rich, and pride themselves on selling their
books at the lowest possible price ; apply to them,
who knows but what they will exchange with you."
Thereupon I demanded with some eagerness of
the young man the direction to the place where he
thought it possible that I might effect the exchange
— which direction the young fellow cheerfully gave
154 BIBLES. [Ch. XVII.
me, and, as I turned away, had the civility to wish
I had no difficulty in finding the house to which
the young fellow directed me ; it was a very large
house, situated in a square ; and upon the side of
the house was written in large letters, *' Bihles, and
other religious hooks."
At the door of the house were two or three tum-
brils, in the act of being loaded with chests, very
much resembling tea-chests ; one of the chests fall-
ing down, burst, and out flew, not tea, but various
books, in a neat, small size, and in neat leather
covers ; Eibles, said I, — Bibles, doubtless. I was
not quite right, nor quite wrong ; picking up one of
the books, I looked at it for a moment, and found it
to be the New Testament. " Come, young lad,"
said a man who stood by, in the dress of a porter,
" put that book down, it is none of yours ; if you
want a book, go in and deal for one."
Deal, thought I, deal, — the man seems to know
what I am coming about, — and going in, I presently
found myself in a very large room. Behind a
counter two men stood with their backs to a splendid
Ch. XVIL] COUNTENANCE OF A LION. 155
fire, warming themselves, for the weather was
Of these men one was dressed in brown, and the
other was dressed in black ; both were tall men — he
who was dressed in brown was thin, and had a par
ticularly ill-natured countenance ; the man dressed
in black was bulky, his features were noble, but
they were those of a Hon.
" What is your business, young man ? " said the
precise personage, as I stood staring at him and his
" I want a Bible," said I.
" What price, what size ? " said the precise-look-
*' As to size," said I, " I should hke to have a
large one — that is, if you can afford me one — I do
not come to buy."
" Oh, friend," said the precise-looking man, *'if
you come here expecting to have a Bible for no-
thing, you are mistaken — we "
" I would scorn to have a Bible for nothing,"
said I, " or anything else ; I came not to beg, but
to barter ; there is no shame in that, especially in a
country like this, where all folks barter,"
156 CLAP OF THUNDER. [Ch. XVII.
" Oh, we dun't barter," said the precise man, " at
least Bibles ; you had better depart."
" Stay, brother," said the man with the coun-
tenance of a Hon, '" let us ask a few questions ; this
may be a very important case ; perhaps the young
man has had convictions."
'' Not I," I exclaimed, " I am convinced of nothing,
and with regard to the Bible — I don't believe . . . ."
" Hey !" said the man with the Hon countenance,"
and there he stopped. But with that "Hey" the
walls of the house seemed to shake, the windows
rattled, and the porter whom I had seen in front of
the house came running up the steps, and looked
into the apartment through the glass of the door.
There was silence for about a minute — the same
kind of silence which succeeds a clap of thunder.
At last the man with the Hon countenance, who
had kept his eyes fixed upon me, said calmly,
" Were you about to say that you don't beheve in
the Bible, young man ? "
" No more than in anything else," said I ; " you
were talking of convictions — I have no convictions.
It is not easy to beheve in the Bible tiU one is con-
vinced that there is a Bible."
Ch. XVII.] A TRUCE WITH THIS. 157
" He seems to be insane," said the prim-looking
man, " we had better order the porter to turn him
" I am by no means certain," said I, " that the
porter could turn me out ; always provided there is
a porter, and this system of ours be not a lie, and a
" Come," said the lion-looking man, impatiently,
" a truce with this nonsense. If the porter cannot
turn you out, perhaps some other person can ; but
to the point — you want a Bible ? "
" I do," said I, " but not for myself; I was sent
by another person to offer something in exchange
" And who is that person ? "
" A poor old woman, who has had what you call
convictions, — heard voices, or thought she heard
them — I forgot to ask her whether they were loud
" What has she sent to offer in exchange ?" said
the man, without taking any notice of the conclud-
ing part of my speech.
'' A book," said I.
" Let me see it."
158 I HAVE LOST IT. [Ch. XVII.
" Nay, brother," said the precise man, " this will
never do ; if we once adopt the system of barter, we
shall have all the holders of useless rubbish in the
town applying to us."
" I wish to see what he has brought," said the
other ; " perhaps Baxter, or Jewell's Apolog}% either
of which would make a valuable addition to our
collection. Well, young man, what's the matter
with you ?"
I stood hke one petrified ; I had put my hand
into my pocket — the book was gone.
" Whdii 's the matter ?" repeated the man with the
lion countenance, in a voice very much resembhng
" I have it not — I have lost it ! "
" A pretty story, truly," said the precise- looking
man, ""lost it!"
" You had better retire," said the other.
" How shall I appear before the party who in-
trusted me with the book ? She will certainly tliink
that I have purloined it, notwithstanding all I can
say ; nor, indeed, can I blame her, — appearances are
certainly against me."
*^ They are so — you had better retire."
Cli. XVIL] CLEARLY A RIGHT. 159
I moved towards the door. '' Stay, young man,
one word more ; there is only one way of proceed-
ing which would induce me to heHeve that you are
" What is that ?" said I, stopping and looking at
'^ The purchase of a Bible."
" Purchase ! " said I, '' purchase ! I came not to
purchase, hut to barter ; such was my instruction,
and how can I barter if I have lost the book ? "
The other made no answer, and turning away I
made for the door; all of a sudden I started, and
turning round, " Dear me," said I, " it has just
come into my head, that if the book was lost by my
neghgence, as it must have been, I have clearly a
right to make it good."
" Yes," I repeated, " I have clearly a right to
make it good ; how glad I am ! see the effect of a
little reflection. I will purchase a Bible instantly,
that is, if I have not lost " and with con-
siderable agitation I felt in my pocket.
The prim-looking man smiled : " I suppose," said
he, " that he has lost his money as well as book."
160 GODDESS OF THE MINT. [Ch. XVII.
" No/' said I, " I have not;" and pulling out my
hand I displayed no less a sum than three half-
" 0, noble goddess of the Mint !" as Dame Char-
lotta Nordenflycht, the Swede, said a hundred and
fifty years ago, " great is thy power ; how ener-
getically the possession of thee speaks in favour of
man's character ! "
" Only half-a-crown for this Bible ? " said I, put-
ting down the money, " it is worth three ;" and bow-
ing to the man of the noble features, I departed
with my purchase.
" Queer customer," said the prim-looking man, as
I was about to close the door — '" don't hke him."
" Why, as to that, I scarcely know what to say,"
said he of the countenance of a hon.
THE PICKPOCKET. — STRANGE RENCOUNTER. — DRAG HIM ALONG. — A
GREAT SERTICE. — THINGS OF IMPORTANCE. PHILOLOGICAL MATTERS.
MOTHER OP LANGUAGES. ZHATS !
A FEW days after tlie occurrence of what is recorded
in the last chapter, as I was wandering in the City,
chance directed my footsteps to an alley leading
from one naiTow street to another in the neighbour-
hood of Cheapside. Just before I reached the
mouth of the alley, a man in a great coat, closely
followed by another, passed it ; and, at the moment
in which they were passing, I observed the man
behind snatch something from the pocket of the
other; whereupon, darting into the street, I seized
the hindermost man by the coUai*, crying at the
same time to the other, "My good friend, tliis
person has just picked your pocket."
The individual whom I addressed, turning round
with a start, glanced at me, and then at the person
162 STRANGE RENCOUNTER. [Ch. XVIII.
whom I held. London is the place for strange
rencounters. It appeared to me that I recognised
"both individuals — the man whose pocket had been
picked and the other; the latter now began to
struggle violently ; '" I have picked no one's pocket/'
said he. " Eascal," said the other, " you have got
my pocket-book in your bosom." '' No, I have
not/' said the other; and, struggUng more violently
than before, the pocket-book dropped from his
bosom upon the ground.
The other was now about to lay hands upon the
fellow, who was still struggling. " You had better
take up your book," said I; ''I can hold him."
He followed my advice; and, taking up his pocket-
book, surveyed my prisoner with a ferocious look,
occasionally glaring at me. Yes, I had seen him
before — it was the stranger whom I had observed
on London Bridge, by the stall of the old apple-
woman, with the cap and cloak; but, instead of
these, he now wore a hat and great coat. " WeU,"
said I, at last, " what am I to do with this gentle-
man of ours?" nodding to the prisoner, who had
now left off strugghng. " Shall I let him go ?"
"Go!" said the other; "go! The knave— the
Ch. XVIIL] DRAG HIM ALONG. 163
rascal; let him go, indeed! Not so, lie shall go
before the Lord Mayor. Bring him along."
" Oh, let me go," said the other : " let me go ;
this is the first ofience, I assure ye — the first time I
ever thought to do anything wrong."
" Hold your tongue," said I, " or I shall be
angry with you. If I am not very much mistaken,
you once attempted to cheat me."
" I never saw you before in all my life," said the
fellow, though his countenance seemed to belie his
"That is not true," said I; "you are the man
who attempted to cheat me of one and ninepence in
the coach-yard, on the first morning of my arrival
" I don't doubt it," said the other; " a confirmed
thief;" and here his tones became peculiarly sharp ;
*' I would fain see him hanged — crucified. Drag
"I am no constable," said I; "you have got
your pocket-book, — I would rather you would bid
me let him go."
"Bid you let liim go!" said the other almost
furiously, " I command — stay, what was I going to
164 A GREAT SERVICE. [Ch. XVIII.
say ? I was forgetting myself," lie observed more
gently ; " but he stole my pocket-book ; — if you did
but know what it contained."
" Well," said I, " if it contains anything valuable,
be the more thankful that you have recovered it ;
as for the man, I will help you to take him where
you please; but I wish you would let him go."
The stranger hesitated, and there was an extra-
ordinary play of emotion in his features : he looked
ferociously at the pickpocket, and, more than once,
somewhat suspiciously at myself; at last his coun-
tenance cleared, and, with a good grace, he said,
" Well, you have done me a great service, and you
have my consent to let him go; but the rascal
shall not escape with impunity," he exclaimed sud-
denly, as I let the man go, and starting forward,
before the fellow could escape, he struck him a
violent blow on the face. The man staggered,
and had nearly fallen; recovering himself, however,
he said, ''I tell you what, my fellow; if I ever
meet you in this street in a dark night, and I have
a knife about me, it shall be the worse for you; as
for you, young man," said he to me; but, observing
that the other was making towards him, he left
Ch. XVIIL] THINGS OF IMPORTAMCE. 165
■whatever lie was about to say unfinished, and,
taking to his heels, was out of sight in a moment.
The stranger and myself walked in the direction
of Cheapside, the way in which he had been ori-
ginally proceeding; he was silent for a few mo-
ments, at length he said, " You have really done
me a great service, and I should be ungrateful not
to acknowledge it. I am a merchant ; and a mer-
chant's pocket-book, as you perhaps know, contains
many things of importance; but, young man," he
exclaimed, '' I think I have seen you before ; I
thought so at first, but where I cannot exactly say:
where was it?" I mentioned London Bridge and
the old apple-woman. " Oh," said he, and smiled,
and there was something peculiar in his smile, " I
remember now. Do you frequently sit on London
Bridge?" ''Occasionally," said I; ''that old
woman is an old friend of mine." " Friend?" said
the stranger, " I am glad of it, for I shall know
where to find you. At present I am going to
'Change; time, you know, is precious to a mer-
chant." We were by this time close to Cheapside.
" Farewell," said he, " I shall not forget this ser-
166 PHILOLOGICAL MATTERS. [Ch. XVIII.
vice. I trust we shall soon meet again." He then
shook me by the hand and went his way.
The next day, as I was seated beside the old
woman in the booth, the stranger again made his
appearance, and, after a word or two, sat down
beside me; the old woman was sometimes reading
the Bible, which she had already had two or three
days in her possession, and sometimes discoursing
with me. Our discourse rolled chiefly on philo-
"What do you caU bread in your language?"
" You mean the language of those who bring me
things to buy, or who did; for, as I told you
before, I shan't buy any more ; it 's no language of
mine, dear — they call bread pannam in their
" Pannam ! " said I, " pannam ! evidently con-
nected with, if not derived from, the Latin panis;
even as the word tanner, wliich signifieth a six-
pence, is connected with, if not derived from, the
Latin tener, which is itself connected with, if not
derived from, tawno or tawner, which, in the Ian-
Ch. XVIIL] MOTHER OF LANGUAGES. 167
guage of Mr. Petulengro, signifietli a sucking
child. Let me see, what is the term for bread in
the language of Mr. Petulengro? Morro, or
manro, as I have sometimes heard it called; is
there not some connection between these words and
panis? Yes, I think there is; and I should not
wonder if morro, manro, and panis were connected,
perhaps derived from the same root; but what is
that root? I don't know — I wish I did; though,
perhaps, I should not be the happier. Morro —
manro ! I rather think morro is the oldest form ; it
is easier to say morro than manro. Mori'o ! Irish,
aran; Welsh, bara; English, bread. I can see a
resemblance between all the words, and pannam
too; and I rather think that the Petulengrian word
is the elder. How odd it would be if the language
of Mr. Petulengro should eventually turn out to be
the mother of all the languages in the world ; yet it
is certain that there are some languages in which
the terms for bread have no connection with the
word used by Mr. Petulengro, notwithstanding that
those languages, in many other points, exhibit a
close affinity to the language of the horse- shoe
master : for example, bread, in Hebrew, is Laham,
168 ZHATS! [Ch. XVIII.
which assuredly exhibits little similitude to the
word used by the aforesaid Petulengro. In Arme-
nian it is "
" Zhats I " said the stranger, starting up. '" By the
Patriarch and the Three Holy Churches, this is
wonderful! How came you to know aught of
NEW ACQUAINTANCE. WIRED CASES. —BREAD AND WINE. — ARME-
NIAN COLONIES. LEARNING WITHOUT MONET. — WHAT A LANGUAGE.
THE TIDE. — TOUR FOIBLE. LEARNING OF THE HAIKS. — OLD PRO-
VERB. PRESSING INVITATION.
Just as I was about to reply to the interrogation of
my new-formed acquaintance, a man, with a dusky
countenance, probably one of the Lascars, or Mu-
lattos, of whom the old woman had spoken, came
up and whispered to him, and with this man he pre-
sently departed, not however before he had told me
the place of his abode, and requested me to ^isit
After the lapse of a few days, I called at the
house, which he had indicated. It was situated in
a dark and narrow street, in the heart of the city, at
no great distance from the bank. I entered a
counting-room, in which a solitary clerk, with a
foreign look, was writing. The stranger was not at
home ; returning the next day, however, I met liim
at the door as he was about to enter ; he shook me
VOL. II. I
170 WIRED CASES. [Ch, XIX.
warmly by the liand. '' I am glad to see you/' said
lie, " follow me, I was just tliiuking of you." He
led me tlu'ougli the counting-room, to an apartment
up a fliglit of stairs ; before ascending, however, he
looked into the book in which the foreign- visaged
clerk was writing, and, seemingly not satisfied with
the manner in which he was executing his task, he
gave liim tw^o or tln'ee cufi*s, telling liim at the same