at all, I made up my mind that I would take you out both
of you. Yet it is like walking over a grave, I shiver'
she did actually shiver as she spoke. 'I feel as if I were
contriving a mischief for myself.
These signs always
come true a mischief/ she repeated, 'to myself indeed
she was, as you shall afterwards learn. 'As for the world
you will certainly do as much mischief to that as you can.'
'As we can, Madam/ said the Bishop with a smile he
was easy now that he knew her mind. Before, he was in-
clined to be rough. 'The world, on the other hand, is al-
ways trying to do a mischief to me/
''But mischief to you, Madam?' cried the captain, that
mirror of gallantry. ' A soldier is all gratitude and honour.
Mischief to you ? Impossible !'
'And a Divine/ added the other with a grin, 'is all
truth, fidelity, and honesty. His profession compels these
'Quite so. Well, gentlemen of honour and truth, you
shall once more return to the scenes and the pursuits and
the companions that you love. Moll and Doll and Poll im-
patiently await you at the Black Jack. And I see, only a
short mile from that hospitable place, another refuge call
it the Black Jug where before long you will pass a few
pleasant days of rest and repose before going forth in a
'If we go forth in that procession, murmured the Bishop
with lowering face, 'there are other people quite as deserv-
ing, who will sit there beside us/
'Go/ she said. 'I have talked enough and more than
enough with such as you. Go/
They bowed again and walked away.
Now I heard this interview, half of which I did not un-
derstand, with amazement unspeakable. The lady was go-
ing to release this pair of villains Why? Out of the
boundless charity of her benevolent heart?
She looked after the precious pair, standing for a mo-
ment with her hand shading her eyes. The light went out
of her face : a cloud fell upon it : she sighed again : her lips
1 2 The Orange Girl
parted : she caught her breath. Ah ! Poor lady ! Thy face
was made for joy and not for sorrow. What thought, what
memory, was it that compelled the cloud and chased away
She turned her head she moved away. I was still stand-
ing at my window looking on : as she passed she started and
stopped short, her face expressing the greatest possible be-
wilderment and amazement.
'It is not . ..' she cried 'Surely No Yet the resem-
blance is so great. Sir, I thought at first you were a
gentleman of my acquaintance. You are so much like him
that I venture to ask you who you are?'
'A prison bird, Madam. Nothing more/
'Yes, but you are so like that gentleman. May I ask
'My name, at your service, Madam, is Halliday. My
friends call me Will Halliday.
'Will Halliday. Are you a brother but that cannot be
of Mr. Matthew Halliday?'
'I am his first cousin/
'Matthew Halliday's first cousin? But he is rich. Does
he allow you to remain in this place?'
'It is not only by the sufferance of my cousin Matthew
but by his desire that I am here/
'By his desire ! Yes I know something of your cousin,
sir. It is by his desire. I discover new virtues in your
cousin the more I learn of him. I suppose, then, that you
are not on friendly terms with your cousin?'
'I am not indeed. Quite the contrary/
'Can you tell me the reason why ?'
'Because he desires my death. Therefore he has caused
my arrest he and an attorney of the devil named Probus/
'Oh ! Probus ! I have heard of that Probus. Sir, I would
willingly hear more concerning this matter and your cousin
and Mr. Probus, if you will kindly tell me. I must now
go, but with your permission I will come again. It is not
I assure you, out of idle curiosity that I ask these questions/
The next day, or the day after, the Captain and the Bishop
walked out of the Prison. When they were gone open talk
went round the Prison, perhaps started by the Poet, that
one was a highwayman and the other a sharper perhaps a
forger a contriver of plots and plans to deceive the un-
wary. I marvelled that they should have received the
Prologue 1 3
bounty of so fine a lady, for indeed, whether highwayman or
sharper or honest men, they were as foul-mouthed a pair of
reprobates drunken withal as we had in the prison.
And then I remembered, suddenly, the reason why I rec-
ognised the lady's voice and why there was something in
the face also that I seemed to know. I had been but once
in my life to the Theatre. On that occasion there was an
actress whose beauty and vivacity gave me the greatest
possible delight. One may perhaps forget the face of an
actress playing a part, because she alters her face with every
part: but her voice, when it is a sweet voice, one remem-
bers. The lady was that actress. I remembered her
and her name. She was Miss Jenny Wilmot of Drury
HOW I GOT INTO THE KING'S BENCH
I AM TURNED OUT INTO THE WORLD
IN the year 1760 or thereabouts, everybody knew the name
of Sir Peter Halliday, Merchant. The House in which Sir
Peter was the Senior Partner possessed a fleet of West In-
diamen which traded between the Port of London and Ja-
maica, Barbadoes, and the other English Islands, taking
out all kinds of stuffs, weapons, implements, clothing, wine,
silks, gloves, and everything else that the planters could
want, and returning laden with sugar in bags, mahogany,
arrack, and whatever else the islands produce. Our wharf
was that which stands next to the Tower stairs : the count-
ing-house was on the wharf: there the clerks worked daily
from seven in the morning till eight at night. As a boy it
was my delight to go on board the ships when they arrived.
There I ran up and down the companion: into the dark
lower deck where the midshipmen messed and slept among
the flying cockroaches, which buzzed into their faces and the
rats which ran over them and the creatures which infest a
ship in hot latitudes and come on board with the gunny-
bags, such as centipedes, scorpions, and great spiders. And
I would stand and watch the barges when they came along-
side to receive the cargo. Then with a yeo-heave-oh ! and
a chantey of the sailors, mostly meaningless, yet pleasant to
hear, they tossed the bags of sugar into the barge as if they
were loaves of bread, and the casks of rum as if they had
been pint pots. Or I would talk to the sailors and hear sto-
1 6 The Orange Girl
ries of maroon niggers and how the planters engaged the
sailors to go ashore in search of these fierce runaways and
shoot them down in the mountains : and stories of shark and
barra coota : of hurricanos and islands where men had been
put ashore to starve and die miserably : of pirates, of whom
there have always been plenty in the Caribbean Sea since
that ocean was first discovered. Strange things these sailors
brought home with them: coral, pink and white: preserved
flying-fish : creatures put in spirits : carved cocoanuts : every-
body knows the treasures of the sailor arrived in port.
This, I say, was my delight as a boy: thus I learned to
think of things outside the narrow bounds of the counting-
house and the City walls. Marvellous it is to mark how
while the Pool is crammed with ships from all parts of the
world, the Londoner will go on in ignorance of any world
beyond the walls of the City or the boundaries of his par-
ish. Therefore, I say, it was better for me than the study
of Moll's Geography to converse with these sailors and to
listen to their adventures.
Another thing they taught me. It is well known that
on board every ship there is one, at least, who can play the
fiddle. A ship without a fiddler is robbed of the sailors'
chief joy. Now, ever since I remember anything I was
always making music: out of the whistle pipe: the twang-
ing Jews' harp : the comb and paper : but above all out of the
fiddle. I had a fiddle : I found it in ,a garret of our house
in Great College Street. I made a sailor tell me how to
practise upon it : whenever one of our ships put into port I
made friends with the fiddler on board and got more les-
sons; so that I was under instruction, in this rude manner
for the greater part of the year, and before I was twelve I
could play anything readily and after the fashion, rough and
vigorous, of the sailors with whom strength of arm reckons
I belong to a family which for nearly two hundred years
have been Puritans. Some of them were preachers and
divines under Crcmwell. Their descendants retained the
strict observance of opinions which forbid mirth and merri-
ment, even among young people. Although they conformed
to the Church of 'England, they held that music of all kinds :
the theatre: dancing at the Assembly: reading poetry and
tales: and wearing of fine dress must be sinful, because they
call attention from the salvation of the soul, the only thing
How I Got Into the King's Bench 17
about which the sinner ought to think. Why it was worse
to let the mind dwell upon music than upon money-getting
I know not, nor have I ever been able to discover. It will be
understood, however, that ours was a strict household. It
consisted of my father, myself, a housekeeper and five ser-
vants, all godly. We had long prayers, morning and even-
ing; we attended the Church o: St. Stephen Walbrook, in-
stead of our own parish church of St. Michael Paternoster,
because there was no organ in it : we went to church on Sun-
days twice: and twice in the week to the Gift Lectures, of
which there were two. My father was a stern man, of great
dignity. When he was Lord Mayor he was greatly feared
by malefactors. He was of a full habit of body, with a
large red face, his neck swollen into rolls. Like all mer-
chants in his position he drank a great deal of port, of which
he possessed a noble cellar.
I have often wondered why it was never discovered that I
practised the fiddle in the garret. To be sure, it was only
at those hours when my father was on the wharf. When
I had the door shut and the windows open the maids be-
low thought, I suppose, that the sounds came from the next
house. However that may be, I was never found out.
Now this fondness for music produced an unfortunate re-
sult. The sight of a book of arithmetic always filled me with
a disgust unspeakable. The sight of a book of accounts in-
spired me with loathing. The daily aspect of my father's
clerks all sitting in a row on high stools, and all driving the
quill with heads bending over the paper, made me, even as a
child, believe theirs to be the most miserable lot that Fortune
has to offer her most unhappy victims. I still think so.
.Give me any other kind of life: make me a bargee: a coal-
heaver: a sailor before the mast: an apothecary: a school-
master's usher: in all these occupations there will be some-
thing to redeem the position : but for the accountant there is
nothing. All day long he sits within four walls : his pay is
miserable : his food is insufficient : when in the evening he
crawls away, there is only time left for him to take a little
supper and go to his miserable bed.
Imagine, therefore, my loathing when I understood that
at the age of sixteen I was to take my place among these
unfortunates, and to work my way towards the succession
which awaited me the partnership held by my father by
becoming a clerk like unto these others whom I had always
1 8 The Orange Girl
pitied and generally despised. From that lot, however,
there was no escape. All the partners, from father to son,
had so worked their way. The reason of this rule was that
the young men in this way acquired a knowledge of the busi-
ness in all its branches before they were called upon to direct
its enterprise, and to enter upon new ventures. I daresay
that it was a good practical rule. But in my own case I
found it almost intolerable.
I was unlike the clerks in one or two respects : I had good
food and plenty of it. And I received no salary.
I had a cousin, named Matthew, son of my father's
younger brother and partner, Alderman Paul Halliday, Cit-
izen and Lorimer, who had not yet passed the chair. Mat-
thew, though his father was the younger son, was three or
four years older than myself. He, therefore, mounted the
clerks' stool so many years before me. He was a young
man with a face and carriage serious and thoughtful (to all
appearance) beyond his years. He had a trick of dropping
his eyes while he talked: his face was always pale and his
hands were always clammy. Other young men who had
been at school with him spoke of him with disrespect and
even hatred, but I know not why. In a word, Matthew had
no friends among those of his own age. On the other hand,
the older people thought highly of him. My father spoke
with praise of his capacity for business and of his industry,
and of the grasp of detail which he had already begun to
show. As for me, I could never like my cousin, and what
happened when I was about eighteen years of age gave me
no reason to like him any better.
I had been in the counting-house for two years, each
day feeling like a week for duration. But the question of
rebellion had so far never occurred to me. I could no
longer practise in the garret while my father was in the
counting-house. But I could get away, on pretence of busi-
ness to the ships, and snatch an hour below with the fiddler.
And in the evening sometimes, when my father was feast-
ing with a City Company or engaged in other business out
of the house, I could take boat across the river and run over
to St. George's Fields, there to have half an hour of play
with a musician, of whom you shall learn more, called
Tom Shirley. After the manner of youths I never asked
myself how long this would go on without discovery: or
what would be the result when it was discovered. Yet I
How I Got Into the King's Bench 19
knew very well that no Quaker could be more decided as to
the sinfulness of music than my father and my uncle. Had
not the great and Reverend Samuel Halliday, D. D.,
preached before the Protector on the subject of the snares
spread by the devil to catch souls by means of music?
Now, one afternoon in the month of June, when the count-
ing-house is more than commonly terrible, a message came
to me that my father wished to speak with me.
I found him in his own room, his brother Paul sitting
with him. His face showed astonishment and anger; that
of his brother presented some appearance of sorrow real
or not, I cannot say. My uncle Paul was, as often happens
in a family, a reduced copy of his elder brother. He was
not so tall: not so portly: not so red in the face: not so
swollen in the neck: yet he was tall and portly and red and
swollen. He was shaking his head as I entered saying,
'Dear ! dear ! dear ! And in our family too in our family !'
'Son William/ said my father, 'I have heard a serious
'What is that, Sir, if I may ask?'
'I learn from my brother, who had it from Matthew '
'From Matthew/ my uncle interposed solemnly.
'That you lose no opportunity of getting away from your
'desk to go on board our ships in the Pool, there to play
the fiddle with the common sailors to play the riddle the
common fiddle like a fellow with a bear with the common
sailors. I hear that our Captains and officers are all ac-
quainted with this unworthy pastime of yours ! I hear,
further, that you have formed an acquaintance with a cer-
tain fellow named Shirley, now a prisoner in the Rules of
the King's Bench, one who makes a sinful living by playing
wanton music for lewd and wicked persons at what are
called Pleasure Gardens, whither resort such company as no
godly youth should meet. And I hear that you spend such
time as you can spare under the tuition of this person/
He stopped. My uncle took up the word.
'All these things I am assured by my son Matthew to
be the case. I have informed Matthew that in my opinion
it was right and even necessary that they should be brought
before the notice of my brother/
'I wait thy reply, Will/ said my father.
'It is all quite true, Sir/
'Quite true/ I felt a little sinking of the heart because
2O The Orange Girl
of the disappointment and sadness in his voice. 'But/ he
went on, 'what is the meaning of it? For my own part
I see no good purpose to be gained by music. On the other
hand my grandfather, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Halliday, hath
clearly shown in his book of godly discourses, that music,
especially music with dancing, is the surest bait by which
the devil draws souls to destruction. People, I am aware,
will have music. At our Company's feasts music attends:
at the Lord Mayor's banquets there is music: at the Lord
Mayor's Show there is music: at many churches there is
an organ: but what hast thou to do with music, Will? It
is thy part to become a merchant, bent on serious work:
and outside the counting-house to become a magistrate.
What hast thou to do with music?'
He spoke, being much moved, kindly because alas!
he loved his son.
'Sir/ I said, 'it is all most true. There is nothing that
I love so much as music/
'Consider/ he went on. 'There is no place for music in
the life before thee. All day long learning thy work in
the counting-house: some time to succeed me in this room.
How is it possible for a young man who stoops to make
music on catgut with a bow to become a serious merchant,
respected in the City?'
'Indeed, Sir, I do not know/
'How will it be possible for you to advance the interests
of the House nay, to maintain the interests of the House,
when it is known that you are a common scraper in a crowd
like a one-legged man with a Jack in the Green ?'
Now I might even then have submitted and promised
and given up my fiddle and so pleased my father and re-
mained in his favour. But thic was one of those moments
which are turning-points in a man's life. Besides I was
young; I was inexperienced. And an overwhelming dis-
gust fell upon my soul as I thought of the counting-house
and the ledgers and the long hours in the dingy place driv-
ing the quill all day long. So without understanding what
the words meant, I broke out impatiently:
'Sir/ I said, 'with submission, I would ask your leave
to give up my place in this office/
'Give up? Give up?' he cried, growing purple in the
face. 'Does the boy know what he means ?'
'Give up?' cried my uncle. 'Is the boy mad? Give up
GIVE UI'!' UK CRIED, GROWING PURPLE IN THE FACE."
How I Got Into the King's Bench 21
his prospects in this House this the soundest House in
the whole City? Nephew Will, wouldst starve?'
'I will make a living by music/
'Make a living a living make a living by music?
What ? To play the fiddle in a tavern ? To play in the gal-
lery while your father is feasting below?'
'Nay, sir; but there are other ways.'
'Hark ye, Will; let this stop. Back to thy desk lest
something happen.' My father spoke with sudden stern-
'Nay, sirj but I am serious/
'Ay ay? Serious? Then I am serious, too. Under-
stand, then, that I own no son who disgraces the City fam-
ily to which he belongs by becoming a common musician.
Choose. Take thy fiddle and give up me this office thine
inheritance thine inheritance, mind, or lay down the fiddle
and go back to thy desk. There, sir, I am, I hope, serious
He was. My father was a masterful man at all times;
he was perfectly serious. Now the sons of masterful men
are themselves often masterful. I walked out of the count-
ing-house without a word.
I am conscious that then is no excuse for a disobedient
son. I ought to have accepted any orders that my father
might choose to lay upon me. But to part with my fiddle,
to give up music: to abandon that sweet refreshment of
the soul: oh! it was too much.
Moreover, no one knew better than myself the inveterate
hatred with which my father and the whole of my family
regarded what they called the tinkling cymbal which they
thought leads souls to destruction. Had I seen any gleam
of hope that there would be a relenting, I would have
waited. But there was none. Therefore I cast obedience
to the winds, and left the room without a word.
Had I known what awaited me : the misfortunes which
were to drag me down almost unto a shameful death, in
consequence of this act of disobedience, I might have given
But perhaps not: for in all my troubles there were two
things which cheered and sustained me, I enjoyed at all
times, so you shall learn, the support of love and the re-
freshment of music.
Had my father known of these misfortunes would he
22 The Orange Girl
have given way? I doubt it. Misfortune does not destroy
the soul, but music does. So he would say and so think,
and conduct his relations with his own accordingly.
I walked out of the counting-house. At the door I met,
face to face, the informer, my cousin Matthew, who had
caused all this trouble.
He was attired as becomes a responsible merchant, though
as yet only a clerk or factor with the other clerks. He wore
a brown coat with silver buttons : white silk stockings : sil-
ver buckles in his shoes : silver braid upon his hat : a silver
chain with seals hanging from his fob : with white lace ruf-
fles and neckerchief as fine as those of his father, or of any
merchant on Change.
He met me, I say, face to face, and for the first time within
my knowledge, he grinned when he met me. For he knew
what had been said to me. He grinned with a look of such
devilish glee that I understood for the first time how much
he hated me. Why? I had never crossed him. Because
I was the son of the senior partner whose place I was to
take and of the richer man of the two Partners. His
would be the subordinate position with a third only of the
profits. Therefore my cousin hated me. He, I say, noted
my discomfiture. Now, at that moment, I was in no mood
Something in my face stopped his grinning. He became
suddenly grave : he dropped his eyes : he made as if he would
pass by me and so into the house.
'Villain and maker of mischief !' I cried. Then I fell upon
him. I had but fists: he had a stick: I was eighteen: he
was five-and-twenty : he was heavier and taller : well ; there
is lettle credit, because he was a poor fighter : in two minutes
I had his stick from him, and in three more I had broken it
over his head and his shoulders. However, had his wind and
his strength equalled his hatred and desire that the stick
should be broken over my shoulders instead of his, the re-
sult would have been different.
'You shall pay you shall pay you shall pay for this/ he
gasped, lying prostrate.
I kicked him out of my way as if he had been a dog and
strode off, my cheek aflame, my hand trembling and my
limbs stiffened with the joy of the fight and the victory.
Come what might, I had whipped my cousin, like the cur
he was. A thing to remember.
How I Got Into the King's Bench 23
I have never repented that act of justice. The memory of
it brought many woes upon me, but I have never repented
or regretted it. And certain I am that to the day of his
miserable death Matthew never forgot it. Nor did I.
A CITY OF REFUGE
MY last recollection of the counting-house is that of Mat-
thew lying in a heap and shaking his fist, at me, while, be-
hind, my uncle's face looks out amazed upon the spectacle
from one door, and the clerks in a crowd contemplate the
discomfiture of Mr. Matthew from another door. Then
I strode off, I say, like a gamecock after a victory, head
erect, cheek flushed, legs straight. Ha ! I am always glad
that I drubbed my cousin, just once. A righteous drub-
bing it was, too, if ever there was one. It hanselled the
new life. After it, there was no return possible.
And so home though the house in College Street could
no longer be called a home I now had no home I was
turned into the street. However, I went upstairs to my
own room mine no longer. I looked about. In the cup-
board I found a black box in which I placed everything I
could call my own: my music; my linen and my clothes.
On the wall hung the miniature of my mother. Happily she
had not lived to see the banishment of her son : this I put in
my pocket. The fiddle I laid in its case. Then with my
cudgel under my arm and carrying the fiddle in one hand
and the box on my shoulder I descended the stairs now, I
must confess, with a sinking heart and found myself in
I had in my purse five guineas the son of a most solid
and substantial merchant, and I had no more than five
guineas in the world. What could I do to earn a living?
Since I had been for two years in my father's counting house
I might be supposed to know something of affairs. Alas!