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'Tis true, said I, correcting the proposi-
tion, the Bastille is not an evil to be de-
spised ; but strip it of its towers, fill up the
fosse, unbarricade the doors, call it simply
a confinement, and suppose 'tis some tyrant
of a distemper and not of a man which holds
you in it, the evil vanishes, and you bear the
other half without complaint.

I was interrupted in the heyday of this
soliloquy with a voice which I took to be of
a child, which complained " it could not get



out." I looked up and down the passage,
and seeing neither man, woman, nor child,
I went out without further attention. In
my return back through the passage, I heard
the same words repeated twice over ; and
looking up, I saw it was a starling, hung in
a little cage. " I can't get out 1 I can't
get out 1" said the starling. I stood looking
at the bird ; and to every person who came
through the passage, it ran fluttering to the
side toward which they approached it, with
the same lamentation of its captivity " I
can't get out," said the starling.

God help thee ! said I ; but I'll let thee
out, cost what it will ; so I turned about the
cage to get the door. It was twisted and
double twisted so fast with wire, there was
no getting it open without pulling the cage
to pieces. I took both hands to it. The
bird flew to the place where 1 was attempt-
ing his deliverance, and thrusting his head
through the trellis, pressed his breast against
it as if impatient. I fear, poor creature, said
I, I cannot set thee at liberty. " No," said the
starling, " I can't get out, 1 can't get, c.nV I
vow I never had my affections more tenderly
awakened ; nor do I remember an incident
in my life where the dissipated spirits, to
which my reason had been but a bubble,
were so suddenly called home. Mechanical
as the notes were, yet so true in tune to
nature were they chanted, that in one mo-
ment they overthrew all my systematic
reasonings upon the Bastille, and I ^avily
walked up-stairs, unsaying every word I had
said in going down them.

Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery,
said I, still thou art a bitter draught ; and
though thousands in all ages have been made
to drink of thee, thou art no less bitter on
that account. 'Tis thou, thrice sweet and
gracious goddess, addressing myself to Lib-
erty, whom all in public or in private worship,
whose taste is grateful, and ever will be so,
till Nature herself shall change ; no tint of
words can spot thy snowy mantle, or chymic
power turn thy sceptre into iron ; with thee
to smile upon him as he eats his crust, the
swain is happier than his monarch, from
whose court thou art exiled. Gracious
Heaven ! cried I, kneeling down upon the
last step but one in my ascent, grant me but
health, thou great Bestower of it, am.' jrive
me but this fair goddess as my companion,
and shower down thy mitres, if it seem good
unto thy Divine Providence, upon those
heads which are aching for them.

The bird in his cage pursued me into my



DEATH OF TWO LOVERS BY LIGHTNING.



121



room. I sat down close by the table, and
leaning my head upon my hand, I began to
figure to myself the miseries of a confine-
ment. I was in a right frame for it, and so
I gave full scope to my imagination.

I was going to begin with the millions of
my fellow-creatures born to no inheritance
but slavery ; but finding, however affecting
the picture was, that I could not bring it
near me, and that the multitude of sad groups
in it did but distract me, I took a single cap-
tive, und having first shut him up in his
dungeon, I then looked through the twilight
of his grated doors to take his picture.

I beheld his body half wasted away with
long expectation and confinement, and felt
what kind of sickness of the heart it was
which arises from hope deferred. Upon
looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish.
In thirty years the western breeze had not
once fanned his blood : he had seen no sun,
no moon, in all that time, nor had the voice
of friend or kinsman breathed through his
lattice : his children but here my heart be-
gan to bleed, and I was forced to go on with
another part of the portrait.

He was sitting upon the ground upon a
little straw, in the furthest corner of his dun-
geon, which was alternately his chair and
bed. A little calendar of small sticks lay at
the head, notched all over with the dismal
days and nights he had passed there. He
had one of these little sticks in his hand, and
with a rusty nail he was etching another day
of misery to add to the heap. As I darkened
the' little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless
eye towards the door, then cast it down,
shook his head, and went on with his work
of affliction. I heard his chains upon his
legs as he turned his body to lay his little
stick upon the bundle. He gave a deep
sigh : I saw the iron enter into his soul. I
burst into tears I could not sustain the pic-
ture of confinement which my fancy had
drawn.

I started up from my chair, and calling
La Fleur, I bid him bespeak me a remise,
and have it ready at the door of the hotel
by nine in the morning.

" I'll go directly," said I, " myself to Mon-
sieur the Due de Choiseul."

La Fleur would have put me to bed ; but,
not willing that he should see anything
upon my cheek which would cause the
honest fellow a heart-ache, I told him I
would go to bed by myself; and bid him go
do the same.

LAURENCE STEBNE, in "Sentimental Journey."



DEATH OF TWO LOVERS BY LIGHT-
NING.

FROM POPE'S LETTERS TO LADY WQRTLKT
MONTAGU.

I have a mind to fill the rest of this paper
with an accident that happened just under
my eyes, and has made a great impression
upon me. I have just passed part of this
summer at an old romantic seat of my Lord
Harcourt's, which he lent me. ... It
overlooks a common field, where, under
the shade of a haycock, sat two lovers, as
constant as ever were found in romance,
beneath a spreading beech. The name of
one let it sound as it will was John
Hewet; of the other, Sarah Drew. John
was a well-set man, about five-and-twenty ;
Sarah, a brown woman of eighteen. John
had for several months borne the labour of
the day in the same field with Sarah ; when
she milked, it was his morning and evening
charge to bring the cows to her pail. Their
love was the talk, but not the scandal, of
the whole neighbourhood ; for all they
aimed at was the blameless possession of
each other in marriage. It was but this
very morning that she had obtained her pa-
rents' consent, and it was but till the next
week that they were to wait to be happy.
Perhaps this very day, in the intervals of
their work, they were talking of their wed-
ding clothes ; and John was now matching
several kinds of poppies and field flowers to
her complexion, to make her a present of
knots for the day. While they were thus
employed (it was on the last of July), a
terrible storm of thunder and lightning arose,
that drove the labourers to what shelter the
trees or hedges afforded. Sarah, frightened
and out of breath, sank on a haycock ; and
John, who never separated from her, sat by
her side, having raked two or three heaps
together to secure her. Immediately there
was heard so loud a crack as if heaven had
bursted asunder. The labourers, all soli-
citous for each other's safety, called to one
another. Those that were nearest our lovers,
hearing no answer, stepped to the place
where they lay ; they first saw a little smoke,
and after this the faithful pair John with
one arm about his Sarah's neck, and the
other held over her face, as if to screen her
from the lightning. They were struck dead,
and already grown stiff and cold in this ten-
der posture. There was no mark or disco-



122



MR. MUMFORD'S STORY.



louring on their bodies, only that Sarah's
eyebrow was a little singed, and a small spot
between her breasts. They were buried the
next day in one grave, where my Lord Har-
court, at my request, has erected a monu-
ment over them.

Upon the whole, I cannot think these
people unhappy. The greatest happiness,
next to living as they would have done, was
to die as they did. The greatest honour
people of this low degree could have, was to
be remembered on a little monument.

ALEXANDER POPE.



MR. MUMFORD'S STORY.

[Mr. T. W. KOBERTSON, author of " Ours," and " So-
tit-ti/," although he has made his chief success as a
dramatist, has long been favourably known as a contri-
butor to the light literature of the day.]

The name of Mephistopheles Mumford is
too familiar to the British public to require
introduction : not that my Christian name is
Mephistopheles but John. Mephistopheles
is a " sobriquet " bestowed on me, after my
great success in the year '28, at Tutbury,
in the drama of the " Fate of Faustus ; or,
the Fourth of February and -the Midnight
Hour." My Mephistopheles was the rage in
Tutbury. I played it at least six times
during the season an unprecedented run.
I afterwards acted it, with similar results,
atEckington, Bunborough, Stickton-le-Clay,
Fagthorpe, and Queerham, and was compli-
mented by Lord Landstraddlin, on the
occasion of the bespeak of the East Loam-
shire Yeomanry Cavalry, of which his lord-
ship was Colonel-Commandant, at the T. R.
Butterfurrow.

According to a custom, seldom departed
from in the dramatic profession, I married
young ; and according to another equally-
established theatrical precedent, the lady I
married was possessed only of the treasures
of youth, beauty, and amiability. I once
scorned the idea of marriage for money, but
my views upon that subject have consider-
ably modified. My salary (my wife did not
act) was small, but as a compensation, my
family was large. Six precious but expen-
sive pledges of affection were born to us in as
many years, and I had to work hard to find
the necessary boots and batter puddings.
Rehearsal in the morning, study in the
afternoon, the theatre at even, and often



study all the night, such is the laborious
life which the enemies of our profession
stigmatize as lazy.

Evil days fell upon us ; fever swept away
my children. I had toiled to maintain
them ; I had to toil to bury them. They
died of a terrible epidemic that raged in the
year that the ''Brigand" was brought out
at Drury Lane. I was studying Massaroni
at the time. I'll not endeavour to say how
we felt it. My wife kept all their little
shoes she has them by her now.

Four months after the interment of out
last darling, my wife was again confined. I
had my little daughter christened Evadne.
I had played Colonna the night before.

Evadne, I need hardly say, was edu-
cated for the stage ; that is, she was made
to act as soon as she could toddle. Often
as Rolla have I borne her on my shoulders
across the bridge over the cataract, while
the applause was thundered in my ears.
Often have I wept over her, as I gently re-
pudiated Mrs. Haller ; and often, when I
carried her home at night beneath my
cloak, the darling would warm her little
hands in my breast, and by the time I
reached our lodgings have fallen fast asleep
in my arms ; in short, as my friend Tom
Tearlungs (poor Tom was a tragedian at the
east-end of London, and died of delirium
tremens) said of her, "She was cradled in
a helmet, nursed on rose-pink, and weaned
on properties."

I have remarked that, generally, the
fathers of actresses are absurdly prejudiced
in favour of their daughters. They think
no other girls can be so handsome, fasci-
nating, or talented. I remember reading a
very humorous description, in a work written
by a gentleman who, in my poor opinion,
would have done more service to his
country had he constructed a tragedy rather
than a mere novel. It was of one Captain
Costigan, the father of Miss Fotheringay,
and I laughed heartily at his ridiculous
doting. I need not say that I am superior
to that sort of weakness, and that in as-
serting that my Evadne was the loveliest
girl ever seen, and the finest actress in cer-
tain parts that ever graced the stage, I am
not influenced by partiality, but uttering a
simple fact that would be endorsed by every
check-taker in front of the house. You
should have seen the box-plan on her be-
nefits ; you should have heard her recep-
tions ; you should have read the verses
in the Poet Corner of the flamtattleton



MR. MUMFORD'S STORY.



123



Free Press and the Slocum Advertiser ;
and you should have seen the child herself.
My dear old friend Jack Madigag, who
played the low-comedy in the Cwymrym-
wymwygeiddon circuit, used to say, " Vad "
(he always called her Vad) "has the sort of
eyes that go right through a man like a
gimlet, and come out at the back of his
coat in the shape of brass buttons ! " We
worshipped her, Mistress Mephistopheles
and I. We had lost six, we had to love her
for seven !

When Evadne was nearly nineteen years
of age, we were acting in a small town in
Ireland. I had played Virginius that night,
the child, of course, playing Virginia. We
were walking home together, when a young
man, an officer of the barracks (I recognized
him from having seen him in the boxes),
came up to us, and asked Evadne if he
should have the pleasure of seeing her
home?

I saw that he had been drinking, and I
told him positively but politely, that I was
my daughter's escort.

"Never mind, old fellow," said he, "you
can walk behind, you know."

He advanced towards the child. I held
out my disengaged arm, which carried a
short Roman sword, wrapped in a gun-
case. The young man ran his nose on to
the hilt, which peeped out of the case, and
I dare say hurt himself very much ; he
swore an awful oath and cried-

" You infernal old vagabond, I'll wring
your neck off!"

Evadne threw herself between us, just as
the heroines do in dramas ; and I believe
the drunken ruffian would 'have attacked
me, but for the arrival of another young
officer, in uniform.

"Hallo! what's the row?" asked the
new comer.

The tipsy fellow swore. I explained:
and Evadne trembled violently.

" Look here, Hops," said he in uniform ;
" you've frightened the young lady. You'd
better go to barracks."

The tipsy officer was the son of an emi-
nent English brewer (if eminence can be
obtained by brewing beer, which I doubt),
and in the regiment was called " Hops."

To cut short a long story, Hops was with
difficulty prevailed upon to leave us, and
the stranger asked my permission to ac-
company us as far as our door.

The young man, whom I found to be a
perfect gentleman, but lamentably ignorant



of theatricals, walked by Evadne's side,
and when we parted we both expressed
our sense of obligation.

" Don't mention it," was the reply. " With
your permission, I will call to-morrow, and
bring the man who left us to apologize."

" Oh ! don't bring him again," said the
child. "I couldn't bear the sight of
him ! "

" Then I must hope to bring his written
apology."

" At all times, sir, I shall be most happy
to see YOU ! "

We went in, told our adventure to Mis-
tress Mephistopheles, and were so excited
by the event that we could eat no supper.

The next day Lieutenant Lysart, for that
was the name of our escort, brought an
apologetic note from " Hops," and stayed
with us to tea. After that he called upon us
every day, and watched Evadne from his
box every night, to such an extent that Miss
Panker, who had a pretty wit, and played
the chambermaids, began to tease Evadne,
and to call Lieutenant Lysart Romeo.

My wife and I soon saw that they loved
each other. The child lost her appetite
and her spirits, but as a sort of compensa-
tion, acted with frantic enthusiasm. The
exercise of her art was a safety-valve for
overcharged and excited sentiment. I
spoke to her upon the subject ; so did her
mother, but she only answered us with
tears, and we could not bear to see her
weep.

For the young man, his conduct was re-
spectful and becoming. I showed him by my
manner that I thought his visits too fre-
quent, but he called as usual. I discovered
that, though an only son, he was poor, for
the estate had borne the burthen of a long
lawsuit, arising out of a disputed inheritance.

It was the last week of the season. After
I had played in the first piece the
" Warlock of the Glen " I went home to
supper. Mistress Mephistopheles had pre-
pared some tripe. I ate heartily, and, after
a pipe, returned to the theatre to fetch
Evadne, who acted in the interlude. She
was not in her dressing-room. I knocked
at the door, and was told by Miss Panker
that she had dressed herself hurriedly and
gone. I thought it odd that she should
not have waited for me, and walked home
again hastily, hoping to catch her. Her
mother told me she had not seen her. I
ran back to the theatre ; the curtain had
not fallen on the last piece. Evadne wa*



124



MR. MUMFORD'S STORY.



nowhere to be found. By this time I grew
seriously alarmed. I flew home, and found
my wife in strong hysterics. With the assist-
ance of the landlady, I restored her. She
could not speak, but she held in her hand a
crumpled letter. It ran :

DEAREST, dearest, FATHER and MOTHER, I write this
in great anguish, for I know that you will think me
unaflectionate and undutiful. Oh ! do not do not
think ill of me till you know all. It will be useless
attempting to seek me, or to find out where we have
gone. Heaven bless you ! my dear father and mother.

E.

I learned afterwards that the note had
been brought by a boy a soldier's son
from the barracks.

I will pass over our terrible trouble. The
abandonment of fond parents by a young
girl has been described too often for me to
dwell upon it here. Suffice it, the child had
quitted the town with Lysart.

I made inquiries, but in vain. At the
first inn on the road, I could hear nothing
of them.

Fortunately, the two following nights I
was out of the bills, but on the last night of
the season I played Rolamo in the inter-
esting and pathetic drama of '' Clare ; or,
Home, sweet Home." It is not a piece
played much now-a-days. It would not suit
the modern, natural, impertinently familiar
style of acting among the " how-do-you-
to-day " " half-a-pound-of-bacon-and-cut-it
fat" school, as I call it the school which
teaches Richard, when, on the eve of the
battle that is to decide his fate, crown, and
kingdom, he asks Catesby, "Is ink and
paper ready ? " to do so in the tone that he
would order a tavern-waiter to bring a fried
sole and a chop to follow.

A large house was attracted by my ap-
pearance in " Clari," for the piece treats of
a father whose daughter has deserted him
for the arms of a betrayer in fact, the
situation was exactly mine. It was a pain-
ful trial for me, but I owed a duty to the
public, and I resolved to go through with it.

The audience held their breath as the slow
music played, and I appeared upon the
bridge with my gun upon my shoulder.
They received all that I said with the great-
est attention, but no applause. Every eye
was watching me to see how much of the
emotion I expressed was real or false, hu-
man or dramatic.

I felt my heart sink when Miss Panker



played Clari (the child had been cast for
the part), came on veiled, and told me a
story so nearly resembling my own. When
she asked my counsel as to the course she
should pursue towards her father, I recited,
amid a solemn silence

" Shall I paint his (her father's) agonizing
sufferings to you? I can do so, for I have
felt it I feel it now. I once had a daugh-
ter ; oh ! how I doated on her, words cannot
speak thoughts cannot measure ; yet she
sacrificed me to a villain. Her ingratitude
has bleached this head, her wickedness has
broken this heart, and now my detestation
is upon her. Oh! do not you resemble
her! Remain not a moment longer from
your father. Fly to him ere his heart give
way as mine does now ere he curses you
as I now curse "

I could say no more ; my feelings flooded
my throat, and I fell on the stage senseless.

I was laid on my bed with fever for three
weeks ; when I recovered, my wife whose
devotion during my illness deserved a piece
of plate caught it from me, and I had to
nurse her. We pulled through it, though,
and left the town, both very old and broken.

Four years passed away. Each summer
we received a letter containing five Bank of
England notes, each for 10. The enve-
lope bore a London post-mark, but, though
the address was written in an unfamiliar
hand, we knew from whom they came. I
need not say they were left untouched.

Our life was a sad one. After my illness,
my voice lost much of its strength and mel-
lowness and even the most indulgent of
British publics like plenty of lungs. I
could only get engagements in small thea-
tres, where the salary was inconsiderable,
even when paid.

I was acting at Crumblecrag. It was a
bitter winter, the snow was on the ground,
and the business had been wretched. I was
playing Rolla to a small but highly intelli-
gent audience, and as the curtain fell, and
I lay upon my bier, I was informed that a
gentleman wished to speak to me. I got off
my bier, dressed myself and went out. A
tall man in a light coat was standing under
a gas-lamp. I stepped forward and said

" Pray, sir, are you the "

The man turned round and said, Mr.
Mumford ! "

I nearly fell. It was Lysart !

" Allow me to assist you."

" How dare you to touch me ? " I cried,
feeling, partly from indignation, partly from



MR. MUMFORD'S STORY.



125



dramatic habit Heaven help me ! for the
hilt of my sword.

" I want to speak to you," said Lysart.
" We cannot talk in the open air ; oblige
me by coming to the hotel for a few minutes
only for a few minutes."

He seemed not only easy and unconcerned,
but in high spirits and good humour. I fol-
lowed him mechanically. We were shown
into a room, and he shut the door.

" Now, my dear Mr. Mumford," he began.

" Have you brought me here to insult
me, Mr. Lysart ? "

" Pardon me, I am now Sir Percy Ly-
aart ! "

"You are a villain, sir!" I exclaimed.
Where is my child? my daughter? where
is she ? Give her to me ! "

" Evadne Mumford," he replied, " exists no
longer ! "

" Dead ! "

He made no answer, but went to the
door, opened it, and admitting a woman ele-
gantly dressed, said

" Allow me to present you to Lady Ly-
sart ! "

Great Heaven ! It was Evadne !

I knew it was Evadne, for the next mo-
ment I had her in my arms and on my
knees. Oh ! how we kissed each other, and
how we cried and sobbed, and how happy
we were! (Sir Percy walked away and
pulled out his pocket-handkerchief.) It was
herself, Evadne ; oh ! my darling and my
joy ! My Vad ! Vad ! ! Vad ! ! ! And it
was all real and true, and not a dream,
and I shouldn't wake up to watch the
squares of the window-panes upon the
blind.

" But mamma," said Evadne I beg her
pardon, Lady Lysart.

" Never mind mamma, my pet, she's in
bed and asleep. Tell me all about it."

"Well then, dear daddy how thin you are,
and you've got a wig on we were married
in London two days after I left you, but I
knew you would not keep the secret."

" Never mind that, my beautif "

" And Percy expected all his money from
an aunt, a very haughty lady, who prided
herself on her birth, and who, if she had
known of his marriage with an obscure
actress, would have cut him off "

"Without a shilling," laughed Evadne's
husband, the baronet ; " but three months
ago she died "

" And we have only just found out where
you were," added the baronet's wife.



I blessed them both and then shook
hands with my son-in-law. I had begun to
cry copiously when I remembered I hadn't
time for it. Lady Lysart threw a cloak
over her head and shoulders she looked
exactly as she used to do in Little Red
Riding Hood, in the opening of the pan-
tomime at Bagshot-in-the-Wold and ran
home with me.

My wife had gone to bed, leaving a tripe
supper in a vegetable dish on the hob for
me. It is odd, but in all the important
events of my life tripe has ever pursued
me ever been on my track !

The fire had gone out, and the lucifers
were in the bedroom. We groped up-stairs
in the dark.

" That you ? " said my wife, from under
the bed-clothes. " Had your tripe ? "

" Tripe be hanged, madam. Behold your
child ! " And I struck a lucifer. Need I
describe the meeting ?

We all went back to the hotel, where a
table was laid with all the delicacies of the
season including lobster-salad ; but we
none of us could eat, except Sir Percy, who
enjoyed himself with the lobster salad arnaz-



After supper, when we were all seated
round the fire, Evadne left the room for a
few minutes and returned with what do



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