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ening at the prospect conjured up before him, he appeared to acquiesce, and the bill of Peter Smyrk was instantly paid. Mrs. B.'s drafts on futurity, and on Richie's four thousand pounds, began to be pretty considerable; and all the good debts, which, as sleeping partner in the firm, she brought with her, were paid.

How often did he revert to his former unambitious and peaceful life when freed from any attachments either of love or law,—when, with a clear conscience, and a well-brushed coat, he sat perched on the high stool at his desk in -- Alley, where his horizon was bounded by cotton-bags and wool-sacks, and through a vista of teachests, as they were piled in pyramidal precision, before his considerate eyes! Thoughts of better days and better things came over him as he flung his last sovereign in payment for some pretty trumpery of his very dear Mrs. B. and cried, “I might have prevented all this, I should-but did not !!"

In this mood of mind it was, that Richie, as he was one day exercising his ruminating faculties on the number and colour of the flags on London Bridge, and profoundly intent on the diagrams formed by the mud thereon, was roused from his reverie by a smart tap on the shoulder. Now this was given with such precision, there was no mistaking it; and if he had any doubts of the intent of the individual thus accosting him, they were at once dispelled by his captirating manner, which, though manly, was somewhat apprehensive, and of such a nature as to be quite taking at first sight ;-such is the overpowering, irresistible charm of manner !

“ 'Tis rather sudden, sir,” said Richie," and the amount not very great; it might have been settled without arrest.”

“ You must admit, Mr. Barter,” said the sheriff's officer, “ that the thing is done genteelly; no noise or exposure. Surely you won't go to jail for this trifle;" and Richie groaned as the Bench and its bars stared him in the face.

“No use in fretting, sir,” said the chief performer in this civil action. “There's nothing like bending to a storm. If a man reels and staggers, the best thing he can do is to go to the wall 'for support: and let me tell you, sir, that many a man has made a right good stand there when driven to it. Lord bless you! the coats of half my acquaintance are absolutely threadbare from standing too close to it. You don't understand me, mayhap not; two or three good compositions, and then a good fat insolvency, friendly assignees, and a few other friendly etceteras,—that 's what I mean by 'going to the wall,' Mr. Barter. You'll make a pretty wallflower yourself—an excellent creeping plant. You may be bruised a little, and in that case the wall will be good for shelter and support, and in time you may creep against it;" and the worthy official gentleman chuckled, as he gave poor Barter a nudge in the side, and conducted him through what he called the way of all flesh, — a small wicket studded with spikes, on either side of which stood fellows with looks as sharp and as full of iron. And as Richie found himself in the midst of the prison, a sinking of the heart-a feeling of loneliness and desolation came over him, and he exclaimed,

“ How easily I might have avoided this!- I could have done so,'tis clear I SHOULD_BUT I DID NOT !"

L.

PLUNDER CREEK.-1783.

A Legend of New York.
BY THE AUTHOR OF “TALES OF AN ANTIQUARY."

I cannot tell how the truth may be,

I say the tale as 'twas said to me. -Scott. The reader perhaps scarcely requires to be reminded, that an acknowledgment of the independence of America, and preliminaries of peace between that country and Britain, were signed at Paris, November 30th, 1782; though it was not until the following February that a vessel from the United States first arrived in the river Thames. Early in that month the friend who communicated this narrative chanced to visit an old London physician, who had long since retired from practice, and who had, oddly enough, selected as the seat of his repose one of those ancient houses, built half of brick and half of wood, which stood within the last seven years, on the western side of the Southwark end of old London Bridge, partly hanging over the roaring water, and partly standing in the street called Bridge-Foot. Another visitor, who was then present, was a zealous old Dissenting clergyman, probably originally of the family of Dunwoodie, or Dinwithie, but who at this time was called Doctor Downwithit; a name which he singularly well deserved, from his practice of beating the cushion in his fervency, in the pulpit, and of vehemently striking the table in conversation, to enforce his arguments and observations. In supporting these, he was generally rather loud and tenacious; and one of his most favourite notions was, that almost all genuine religion had travelled westward to America, which had thus become the ark wherein it was preserved, and the very Salem of the modern world. He believed, however, on the authority of the early historians of the country, and especially on that of the strange narratives of the Mather family, that certain parts were grievously vexed by witches and evil spirits; for, like many of his brethren, he held that compacts with the infernal powers were still possible. But if New England were thus troubled, he also considered that Old England was in a still worse condition; for he maintained the well-known saying to be no allegory, but a literal fact, that Satan was bodily resident in London!

The remainder of the party, to which the reader is now introduced, consisted of the old physician himself, and his wife,-a little sharp old dame, most terrifically stiff and ceremonious, and dressed in the most solemn fashion of half-a-dozen years previous. Her hair, superbly powdered, was most exactly combed straight upright over a cushion, the sides being curiously frizzed, and the back turned up in a broad loop; upon the top of which tower appeared a tremulous little gauze cap, decorated with ribands, and fastened by long pins with heads of diamond-paste. The rest of her dress consisted of a stiff rose-colour silk gown, of great length in the waist, and bordered in every part with rich full trimmings; whilst the front, and all around it, was open, and drawn up in large festoons with knots of riband, discovering an under garment of purple silk, and a round and fullflounced white muslin apron. Black silk shoes, with high French

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heels and rich diamond-cut steel buckles, completed her costume. Next to this stately dress, if there were any thing in which Mistress Cleopatra Curetoun was most particularly particular, it was in observing and exacting the most punctilious manners, and in the exhibition and preservation of her tea-equipage; a very rare, very small, and very fragile, set of Nan-kin porcelain, which forty years back, was in the highest estimation and value.

The recent peace with America, and particularly the arrival of a ship from the United States, had inspired Dr. Downwithit with even more than his usual warmth and energy in discoursing of them, especially when he spake of the unlooked-for happiness and glory of the Thirteen Stripes of America at that moment flying in the river !" He also farther expressed his joyful zeal by frequent and vigorous blows upon Mrs. Cleopatra's small round tea-table, of the carved Honduras mahogany then so fashionable, which approached in colour to ebony itself. At every stroke of his broad and heavy fist, all the china simultaneously leaped and chattered, and the table declined and rose again with a creaking jerk, which showed how much it was internally affected by the worthy preacher's zealous orations; and it may be doubted if either spring or hinge ever perfectly recovered them. At each of these convulsions, Mrs. Cleopatra regarded her visitor with a withering frown, every lineament of which was visible, from the extremely open character of her head-dress; and she appeared to be earnestly wishing that the boisterous admirer of America were safe in irons on board the vessel he declaimed about, with thrice the thirteen stripes duly laid upon his back.

“ The Thirteen Stripes of America in the river, madam!" exclaimed the doctor for the twentieth time; and for the twentieth time he drove his fist upon the table with the aforesaid consequences; "the Thirteen Stripes of America in the river !—it's a step towards the universal peace of the world, and an event not to be paralleled in our times ! But what do we hereupon? Why, I'll tell you: instead of receiving our American brethren with repentance, kindness, and honour, we let their ship come up even to the very Custom-house with as little regard as a herring-buss or the Gravesend tilt-boat !

“ Convince yourself of it by to-day's London Chronicle. Only listen. • February 8th. Mr. Hammet begged to inform the House of a very recent and extraordinary event; that, at the very time he was speaking, an American ship was in the river Thames, with the Thirteen Stripes flying on board !'—an interjectional bang upon the table.• She offered to enter at the Custom-house, but the officers were at a loss what to do. Now, Mr. Physician, what have you to say to this ?”

“Why, doctor,” said Curetoun merrily, “that brother Jonathan was in vastly great haste to get a week sooner where nobody wanted him at all ; and so we may conclude that he's very glad the war 's over, notwithstanding his swaggering."

“ But, sir, we do want our Transatlantic brother,” instantly rejoined Downwithit, in a vehement and positive voice; “we want all those blessings which America has in such abundance,—her liberty, her patriotism, her pastoral simplicity, her temperance, her humanity, her piety, her—"

“ Her witches, and her slaves !" added the physician quietly.

“ Sir," said the minister, innocently, “ there has not been either witch or conjuror in America for these last fifty years, and more. If I live another day, I will go to the wharf and glad my eyes with the sight of that most happy vessel wherein the Thirteen Stripes of America are now floating in the river ; nor will I refuse to give the right hand of fellowship to the meanest mariner or servant on board, but think myself honoured and happy in his grasp : for methinks there must be something soul-refreshing in the very voice and touch of persons coming from so pious a country. Here we speak with the tongues of worldlings; but there the common converse is framed out of that used by our ancient godly ancestors, who, for conscience sake, emigrated to the American deserts and forests. It is holy oil from the lamps of the sanctuary,' as the pious John Clarke calls it; a sort of blessed tongue, which

“ You're an awful smart chap, I calkilate," exclaimed a loud voice in the passage, with a most remarkable kind of twang; "you are mighty 'cute, but I rather guess now the 'squire is to home, and that I must see him right slick away at once, and so here I sticks.”

“Yes, sure, he speak to massa," added another voice, evidently that of a negro, with a thick gobbling sound; "he berry 'ticklar message for him from berry ole friend." Then, in a lower tone, it continued, “ He give Ivory lilly drop o' rum, Mister Spanker Poke.horn see him."

These speeches had followed a loud knocking at the door, and the servant’s vain attempt to explain that Dr. Curetoun was engaged with visitors. The domestic, however, at length succeeded in tranquillising the guests, and then entered with a letter for the physician, of which he almost immediately announced the contents, by saying, “Well, Dr. Downwithit, you will now have it in your power to shake hands with a real American from yonder ship, without waiting till to-morrow, or even going down to the wharf; for I learn by this letter, that my old acquaintance Backwoodsley, who went to settle in Kentucky twenty years ago, has sent over his intended son-in-law, and one of his negroes, to collect his outstanding debts, and dispose of his property."

“ By your favour, then, sir,” said the clergyman, “I beg that we may presently have them both in.”

The physician's orders to this effect being given, in a few seconds appeared the American and his negro. The former was a very tall and strong man, with a sallow and most audacious countenance, shaded by hog-colour hair, which grew in stiff pendent flakes ; he was dressed in a large loose suit of coarse light brown duffel, with a long and wide frock-coat and trousers, and a broad white hat. He carried a five-feet untrimmed bamboo in one hand, and in the other a Dutch pipe, which he continued to smoke and swing about, to the great molestation of Mrs. Cleopatra, who absolutely started with horror, at the sight of a human being clad in a style so savage, and so entirely opposite to the fashion of the time. Of the negro it is enough to say, that he was of the Dutch race, broad and big in person, very greasy in the face, something like a ship's cook; his mouth was of an enormous size, and evidently accustomed to both good laughing

and good living; and his dress consisted of coarse dark-grey cloth, with a tow shirt and trousers, and a dirty striped woollen cap. After a courteous welcome and introduction, the physician inquired after the welfare of his acquaintance in Kentucky, to which the American replied in the same loud nasal tone as before,

“ Why, the 'squire's pretty kedge for an ould un, and I guess that I'm cleverly myself; though, as I've been progressing all day hither and yon, I arn’t in such good kilter as I was when I first got in the ould country; for I reckon it rained some to-day, and was dreadful sloshy going, enough to make mankind slump at every step. It was mighty near four o'clock, too, afore I could see a plate-house to feed at; and when I made an enquerry for one, folk laughed and said nout, as if I'd spoke Greek, or was moosical, for you doosn't talk such dreadful coorious elegant English here in your little place of an island as we do, I reckon. So I began to rile, I did ; and grow tarnation wolfy: but at last I saw the New York Coffee-house, and in I turns, and spends the balance of the day there. They charged me four dollars for feed and drinking, they did ; and yet couldn't give me a beaker of egging, or gin cock-tail, or a grain of sangaree, or any other fogmatic, or a dish of homminy. And now I should like to make an enquerry of you; what's your names ? and how have you got along ?-I say, Ivory, you precious nigger !” he continued, suddenly turning round and aiming a long stroke at him with his rattan, “what do you do, in the 'squire's keeping-room?"

“ Massa help tell he to come in," returned Ivory, most adroitly edging and skipping out of the sweep of the bamboo.

“Yes, sir," interposed the physician, coming between them, “it was at my request he came, and so he is not at all to blame. My friend here is extremely desirous of hearing from your own lips something about a country which he esteems so free, so pious, and so happy as America." This he uttered with a peculiarly arch expression, and a side-glance at Downwithit; and then continued, “ But first what refreshments shall we offer you, Mr. Pokehorn ; I believe that's your name?”

“Oh, I arn't nice, by no manner of means," returned the American; “I can take considerable of anything now, but the nigger will like a beaker of rum best."

“ Pray, sir,” said Mrs. Cleopatra in a very stately manner, though meant to be very gracious, “what family has Mr. Backwoodsley ? I was but a mere girl when he left Europe, though I can remember he was a fine tall portly gentleman."

“ Possible! Well, now, ma'am, I should have guessed you'd been raised a purty middling awful long time afore that, to look at you : but, as you say, the 'squire's tall enough now, I calkilate, and so is all his family, for that matter ; for Longfellow Backwoodsley, of Kiwigittyquag, measures six foot three in natur’s stockings, and his sister Boadicea is but an inch and a half shorter. What family has the 'squire, did

you say? Why, mighty near a dozen, I calkilate. Let's see: there's Travelout Backwoodsley, the oldest, he was the squatter as went to Tennessee; Longfellow, as I told you about, an awful smart gunner and racoon-catcher he is; Gumbleton, that is considerable of a lawyer in York State: Hoister, as went to sea ; my ould

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