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ciled himself to the cheat, resolving to have nothing further to do with bargains.
“For in this instance," said he, “though I did get the things for a mere nothing, I was not only robbed of the money I paid for the goods, but was absolutely laughed at as a fool into the bargain.
ELLISTON'S' EQUIVOQUE; OR, THE PLAY AND THE POTATOES. ElListon, as before mentioned, was very fond of equivoque, and eagerly seized upon every opportunity that presented, to indulge in it. A few days before his death, a gentleman well known in the theatrical world, waited upon him by request, relative to an engagement then pending with Charles Horn, the celebrated singer and composer. When the visiter entered the room in which Elliston held his levée, he found it occupied by the great man himself, Ben Fairbrother, the very clever prompter of the Surrey, then the trusty treasurer and confidential secretary of the great lessee, and a long, thin, portentous-looking person, with a huge MS. in his hand. Winking his eye at the new-comer, Elliston motioned him to be seated, and proceeded to the business he had then on the tapis.
“ Take a sheet of paper, Ben,” said he to Fairbrother," and write down what I shall dictate to you. I must send to that fellow Stubbs about his potatoes. In the mean time, Mr. Rushworth," turning to the long gentleman, who it appeared was an expectant dramatist, " Pil attend to your play, 'The Ferocious Brothers,' and give you my opinion of it—Sir,” (turning to the secretary), “ I have received the sample of the potatoes, and have boiled some of them-I have read your play, sir,” (to the author) -" They are considerably too smallYour play is too long I wanted four sacks. There are two acts too many-I wished to bave mealy potatoes, I want something more melodramatic. You have observed the unities of time and place too strictly-You must send to Stubb's warehouse before six this evening, Ben-I am aware the commentators"
“ Common tatoes, sir?” said Ben, mistaking Elliston. « These are kidneys."
" True, true,--the Murphys and Cumberlands."
“Murphies, Cumberland! These come from Kent, sir," said Ben, again mistaking.
“I mean the playright, not the potatoes. Arthur Murphy, Ben, not the fruit of the Emerald Isle,” said Elliston, smiling, “though I believe he was an Irishman—But as I was saying, sir, I should have prefered your play if it had been less regular-The potatoes are too round -Still I do not wish to discourage you—If you have any of a better sort—You may succeed more perfectly, perhaps, in a second attempt -Send me six sacks—But don't let it exceed two acts—My price will be for a good article, eighteenpence a bushel-If I approve of your play, I shall give you one guinea per night-I am, sir—You may let me hear from you as soon as you like-Send them whenever you chooseYour obedient servant, Robert William Elliston-Seal the letter, Ben -Good-day, sir.”
و سفر | !م
...4! ?19 bisele, THE COVENTRY RIBBON-WEAVERS.
it. sci u An anecdote has been told of Elliston, being once unable to procure fresh post-horses when on a journey, and peremptorily desiring the landlord to take any man's horses, for that he was Robert William Elliston, and on his Majesty's service. That he did say so, is most true, and that the banter had the desired effect is equally true. But he once got a list on his road, and supplied a temporary defalcation of horse-flesh in a much more extraordinary manner.
Returning to town some years since from Litchfield, after completing a short engagement there the night previous, in a postchaise very heavily laden with his luggage, the horses became so jaded and distressed through the weight of the theatrical paraphernalia they had to drag after them, and the heaviness of the roads, that they fairly knocked up about three miles before they completed the last stage into Coventry, which is rather a long one. This was a death-blow to Elliston's hopes. He had to appear at Drury Lane that evening in his favourite character, the Duke, in the " Honeymoon,” for the benefit of Miss Duncan, afterwards Mrs. Davison; and had so nicely calculated his time, that by travelling twelve miles an hour, he would have been enabled to reach the theatre as nearly about the usual time of commencing the performances as possible; consequently half an hour's delay would have been fatal. What a dilemma!
There he was, as he expressed it, “ completely stuck in the mud," no horses being to be procured from the neighbouring villages. None - nearer than Coventry itself., Thither, after much consultation, he was
on the point of despatching the postboy for the purpose of procuring then, for to proceed there on foot was quite out of the question, when loud and tumultuous shouts at a distance announced the turn out of a large body of the Coventry ribbon-weavers, who were at that time in a state of great distress, through want of employment and the smallness of wages when work was procured ; and soon a riotous assemblage of nearly five hundred of the poor fellows, looking even more starved and ragged than weavers usually do, was seen rapidly advancing towards him. An idea instantly suggested itself to his fertile fancy, by which he might be relieved from his awkward position.
Immediately ascending the roof of the chaise, he placed himself in an oratorical attitude, and loudly calling on the astonished mob by the names of "Friends and countrymen,” to listen to him, soon imposed silence,
All was attention, an harangue was evidently intended, and the spectators listened with the most anxious but gloomy silence, being quite undecided at first whether Elliston was a magistrate or a manufacturer, both characters at that time equally obnoxious to them; but a few words speedily reassured them, and changed their portentous silence into loud shouts of approbation.
“ Friends and countrymen,” said Elliston, “I don't know what your wrongs are, but they shall be redressed. I am proceeding to London as fastly as my horses will carry me for the express purpose of taking my place in the house, and resuming my nightly duties. You appear in distress.
I pledge my word, that if I can get to Coventry,
and am thereby enabled to proceed to London in time to-night, my first step shall be to bring forward, to the notice of the public, a bill for your benefit. (Loud hurrahs.)
" Who is he?" cried one.
“No matter, he's an M.P.,” shouted a fourth, “he'll stick up for the ribbon-weavers."
“ You are right, my friends and countrymen," said Elliston, importantly catching the last speaker's words, “ I am an M.P., and I will stick up for the ribbon-weavers. (Loud hurrahs.) If it depend on me every lady shall soon have her beau, cockades shall be the order of the day. I'll procure a dissolution on purpose that a general election may take place for the consumption of satin favours and silk colours. (Immense hurrahing.) Freedom of election! Privilege of speech! I don't ask you to take out my horses--glorious constitution !- I don't want you to draw ine into Coventry-Britons never will be slaves ! Magna Charta-hand-looms-old England-Coventry and the ribbonweavers for ever!" (Tumultuous exultation.)
“ He's a real patriot,” said one.
“ Sittingbourne .'" cried Elliston, anxious to get on ; “ Feignwell and Sittingbourne.”
“ Bravo ! bravo! Take out the horses, draw him into Coventry. Hurra-a-h! three cheers for the ribbon-weavers ! Coventry and Feignwell for ever! Hurra-a-h!"
This was just what Elliston wanted, the horses were taken out, and re-entering the chaise with a profusion of bows, he was speedily drawn amid the loud shouts of the mob to Coventry, and safely deposited before the door of the Craven Arms, much to the astonishment of the good people of that ancient and loyal city.
Here again, briefly and ambiguously addressing the suffering populace from the balcony of one of the club-room windows, he bade them return home and remain patient.
“ No rioting," said he. “You know me, I pledge my honour I will immediately proceed to London and make your distress public. Another week shall not pass without something being performed for your benefit.”
The poor fellows giving 'one cheer more,' directly dispersed, all hope and expectation; and procuring fresh horses, Elliston was again speedily on his road to the metropolis, and arrived at Drury Lane--thanks to the poor ribbon-weavers—just as the first music was rung in.
Naturally of a good heart, and doing a thousand kind acts in his life, which, though less amusing, might more justly be recorded to his memory than his eccentricities, Elliston remembered the timely service he had received, and his first step on his afterwards repairing to the Olympic, of which he was then proprietor, was to issue to the public a bill, “ For the Benefit of the distressed Ribbon - Weavers of Coventry.”
On the night appointed, the house was crowded in every part. Elliston exerted himself to admiration, and the result was, that a sum, amounting to upwards of a hundred pounds, was realized for the poor weavers. This sum Elliston, the next day, transmitted to the chairman of a committee that had been formed to receive subscriptions for their relief, which he accompanied with a letter to the chairman, wherein he stated, that though not an M.P. in a parliamentary sense of the word, as the poor operatives had supposed, when they so timely drew his carriage into Coventry, he was an M.P. in the theatrical one, being manager of a playhouse, the Olympic; that he was a Member of the Hundreds of Drury, and had not accepted the Chiltern Hundreds ; that he had kept his promise of bringing before the public a bill for their benefit, and had great pleasure in enclosing the amount it had produced, which he earnestly hoped might prove of some service to them; that he should the next season revisit Coventry in order to fulfil a theatrical engagement into which he had entered with that city, when he should have great pleasure in again meeting them, and hoped to find their trade in a more flourishing state, and themselves in more prosperous circumstances.
The poor weavers were no less surprised than delighted at this communication, and the assistance it conveyed; their gratitude knew no bounds, and the health of the generous theatrical M.P. was drunk in many a hearty bumper. Time rolled on, trade revived, the circumstances of the poor
ribbonweavers once more became prosperous, and when Elliston came down to fulfil the engagement he had mentioned, there was another turn out of the ribbon-weavers; but this time it was of a more pleasurable nature. A large body of them assembled on the London road, about two miles before the entrance to the city, the manager of the theatre having given due notice of the great actor's expected arrival in his bills, and when the chaise appeared, again with loud shouts they took out the horses, and drew it in triumph into the city. This was, as the gratified comedian assured them, in returning thanks, “one of the proudest moments of his life.”
He found the whole town prosperous, and every thing going on successfully. His visit afforded general satisfaction; he was hailed whenever he appeared. The theatre was nightly filled by the grateful operatives; and when at the close of his engagement his benefit took place, the most crowded house that ever had been known in the theatrical memory of Coventry, testified the gratitude of the honest weavers, and realized him a return of more than three times the amount he had so timely obtained as a theatrical M.P., by his bill for their benefit. At the close of the evening's performance, when he was called for, and came forward to receive their farewell plaudits, he assured them with a true parliamentary flourish, that, it being his duty to give his voice as a speaker, he must say, never had he presided over a house that had afforded bim so much satisfaction by its crowded benches, the press in the gallery and the full attendance in the lobbies. A House, he observed, in which though there were several parties, there had in the course of the evening been no division ; that though several members had spoken on both sides of the question, their speeches had all of them appeared to give satisfaction; that he thanked them for the supplies they had so liberally granted him, and should go back to London, with a due sense of their support, where if he should be again returned for any other place than the Olympic, he could only say, for his part, whatever honourable members might pretend, he should desire no. better fortune than to be—SENT TO Coventry.
REMINISCENCES OF A MEDICAL STUDENT.
AN EXCURSION WITH BOB WHYTE.
“I CANNOT conceive a more deluding error," said Bob Whyte, “ than to imagine that a man, because he is devoted to pursuits of science or philosophy (for you must be aware that it is now generally considered desirable to attach different meanings to these two words understanding the first to include all investigation of the properties of matter-using the second to designate all inquiry into mental phenomena), I cannot conceive,” he continued, “a more palpable blunder than to fancy that a man, because he is even enthusiastically given to such subjects, must be therefore a cold, grave, abstracted being, unwitting of the creature-comforts of this life-who revels not in the sunburst of woman's eye, nor cares by a luting* of lips to inhale into his system her dew-beladen breath, the gaseous sublimate (to indulge in a chemical metaphor) of her gentle being, ungifted with an eye to look with Byron's on Mount Jura, unennobled with a mouth to expand withal into a guffaw at Hood's last and brightest.
“ The tree of knowledge was surely not a thorn-tree-no, it bloomed in the midst of a garden, and bore fruit so luscious, as to tempt to the first and greatest of all rebellions ! So is it stills0 should it be. To shroud the beauty of the bright goddess, STUDY, under a pall of melancholy gloom—a forbidding curtain of dust and cobwebs, is as bad as to hang the ascetic veil before the sweet smile of the Madonna, Reigion.
“ For instance,-now here are you and I, Grim (to me, the Medical Student, briefly and affectionately), who flatter ourselves we are up to a wrinkle or two on some rather abstruse points. Prithee, who broke his collar-bone at football t'other day? Who fished Lord What'shis-name's trout-streams, and he never the wiser ? Who was drunk o' Wednesday? Who was caught--"
“No more of that, Bob, if you love me; get on with the affair you are at.”
Now this affair was the manufacture, with a blowpipe and spiritlamp, of a curious little bit of glass apparatus, which he intended to use in exhibiting to the Soandsonian Scientific Society, a new method he had hit upon of making the salts of manganese.
We were seated together in the workshop attached to the magnifi. cent apparatus-room in the ancient University of Soandso. Before us was a snug little furnace, surmounted by a sandbath ; on one side a turning-lathe; on the other a model system of pulleys. Under a table in a corner had been shoved a large plate electrical machine out of
When the open extremities of two tubes are brought together, and united by some intermediate moist substance, so that any vapour or gas may pass through without contamination from the external air, this is called in the language of the Laboratory, “luting.”