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"No bad news, I hope?" said the commissioner, deriving courage from his recent alliance with the state personage to ask after the state affairs.
"No, no; none of any importance," said the count, with great suavity; "a little rebellion, nothing more," smiling at the same time with the most imperturbable complacency.
"Rebellion!" said Mr Pig, loud: " nothing more!" said Mr Pig to himself. "Why, what upon earth"
"Yes, my dear sir, rebellion : a little rebellion. Very unpleasant, as I believe you were going to observe: truly unpleasant: and distressing to every well-regulated mind |"
"Distressing! ay, no doubt; and very awful. Are the rebels in strength? Have they possessed themselves of"
"Oh, my dear sir!" interrupted Fitz-Hum, smiling with the utmost gayety, " make yourself easy: nothing like nipping these things in the bud. Vigour, and well-timed lenity will do wonders. What most disturbs me, however, is the necessity of returning instantly to my capital: to-morrow I must be at the head of my troops, who have already taken the field: so that I shall be obliged to quit my beloved bride without a moment's delay; for I would not have her exposed to the dangers of war, however transient."
At this moment the carriage, which had been summoned by Von Hoax, rolled up to the door: the count whispered a few tender words in the ear of his bride; uttered some nothings to her father, of which all that transpired were the words—" truly distressing," and " every well-constituted mind;" smiled most graciously on the whole company, pressed the commissioner's hand as fervently as he had done on his arrival, stepped into the carriage, and in a few moments " the blue landau," and the gentleman with " superb whiskers" had vanished through the city gates.
Early the next morning, under solemn pledges of secrecy, " the rebellion "and the marriage were circulated in every quarter of the town; and the more so, as strict orders had been left to the contrary. With respect to the marriage, all parties (especially fathers, mothers, and daughters) agreed privately that his serene highness was a great fool .; but, as to the rebellion, the guilds and companies declared unanimously that they would fight for him to the last man. Meantime the commissioner presented his accounts to the council: they were of startling amount; and, although prompt payment seemed the most prudent measure towards the father-in-law of a reigning prince, yet, on the other hand, the "rebellion" suggested arguments for demurring a little. And accordingly the commissioner was informed that his accounts were admitted ad deliberandum. On returning home, the commissioner found in the saloon a large dcspatch which had fallen out of the pocket of Von Hoax: this, he was at first surprised to discover, was nothing but a sheet of blank paper. However, on recollecting himself, " No doubt," said he, "in times of rebellion ink is not safe: no doubt some important intelligence is concealed in this sheet of white paper, which some mysterious chemical preparation must reveal." So saying, he sealed up the despatch, sent it off by an estafette, and charged it in a supplementary note of expenses to the council.
Meantime the newspapers arrived from the capital, but they said not a word of the rebellion; in fact, they were more than usually dull, not containing even a lie of much interest. All this, however, the commissioner ascribed to the prudential policy which their own safety dictated to the editors in times of rebellion; and the longer the silence lasted so much the more critical (it was inferred) must be the state of afiairs; and so much the more prodigious that accumulating arrear of great events which any decisive blow would open uponthem. Atlength, when thegeneral patience began togive way, a newspaper arrived, which, under the head of domestic intelligence, communicated the following anecdote:
"A curious hoax has been played off on a certain loyal and ancient borough-town not a hundred miles from the little river P .
On the accession of our present gracious prince, and before his person was generally known to his subjects, a wager of large amount was laid by a certain Mr Von Holster, who had been a gentleman of the bed-chamber to his late highness, that he would succeed in passing himself off upon the whole town and corporation in question for the new sovereign. Having paved the way for his own success by a
previous communication through a clerk in the house of W &
Co., he departed on his errand, attended by an agent for the parties who betted against him. This agent bore the name of Von Hoax; and, by his report, the wager has been adjudged to Von Holster as brilliantly won. Thus far all was well; what follows, however, is still better. Some time ago a young lady of large fortune, and still larger expectations, on a visit to the capital, had met with Mr Von H., and had clandestinely formed an acquaintance which had ripened into a strong attachment. The gentleman, however, had no fortune, or none which corresponded to the expectations of the lady's family. Under these circumstances, the lady (despairing in any other way of obtaining her father's consent) agreed, that in connexion with his scheme for winning the wager, he should attempt another, more interesting to them both: in pursuance of which arrangement, he contrived to fix himself under his princely incognito at the very house of Mr Commissioner P., the father of his mistress; and the result is, that he has actually married her with the entire approbation of her1 friends.' Whether the sequel of the affair will correspond with its success hitherto, remains, however, to be seen. Certain it is, that for the present, until the prince's pleasure can be taken, Mr Von Holster has been committed to prison under the new law for abolishing bets of a certain description, and also for having presumed to personate the sovereign."
Thus far the newspaper:—however, in a few days, all clouds hanging over the prospects of the young couple cleared away. Mr Von Holster, in a dutiful petition to the prince, declared that he had not personated his serene highness. On the contrary, he had given himself out both before and after his entry into the town for no more than the Count Fitz-Hum; and it was they, the good people of that town, who had insisted on mistaking him for a prince; if they would kiss his hand, was it for him, an humble individual of no pretensions, arrogantly to refuse? If they would make addresses to him, was it for an inconsiderable person like himself rudely to refuse to listen or to answer, when the greatest kings (as was notorious) always attended and replied in the most gracious terms? On further inquiry, the whole circumstances were detailed to the prince, and amused him greatly; but, when the narrator came to the final article of the " rebellion," (under which sounding title a friend of Von Holster's had communicated to him a general plot among his creditors for seizing his person,) the good-natured prince laughed so immoderately, that it was easy to see that no very severe punishment would follow. In fact, by his services to the late prince, Von H. had established some claims upon the gratitude of this, an acknowledgment which the prince generously made at this seasonable crisis. Such an acknowledgment from such a quarter, together with some other marks of favour to Von H., could not fail to pacify the " rebels" against that gentleman, and to reconcile Mr Commissioner Pig to a marriage which he had already once approved of. His scruples had originally been vanquished in the wine-cellar, and there also it was, that upon hearing of the total extinction of the " rebellion," he drowned all scruples for a second time.
The town of has, however, still occasion to remember the
blue landau, and the superb whiskers, from the jokes which they are now and then called on to parry upon that subject. Doctor
B , in particular, the physician of that town, having originally
offered 100 dollars to the man who should notify to him his appointment to the place of court physician, has been obliged solemnly to advertise in the gazette for the information of the wits in the capital, "that he will not consider himself bound to that promise; seeing that every week he receives so many private notifications of that appointment, that it would quite beggar him to pay for them at that rate." With respect to the various petitioners, the bakers, the glaziers, the hair-dressers, &c, they all maintain, that though FitzHum may have been a spurious prince, yet, undoubtedly the man had so much sense and political discernment, that he well deserved to have been a true one. Knight's Mag.
THE CAMERONIAN BANNER.
O Bannrr! fair banner! a century of woe
And disgraced by the graceless, and sold by the slave,
And hung o'er a hostel, where rich ruddy wine.
And the soul-cheering beverage of barley divine,
Floated glorious, and sent such a smoke—in his flight
The lark stayed in air, and sung, drunk with delight.
Does this lessen thy lustre? or tarnish thy glory?
Diminish thy fame, and traduce thee in story?
Oh, no, beauteous banner! loosed free on the beam,
By the hand of the chosen, long, long shalt thou stream!
And the damsel dark-eyed, and the covenant swain,
Shall bless thee, and talk of dread Bothwell again.
Allan CUMNINUIUM. 235
THE MINSTREL'S HOUR.
When day is done, and clouds are low,
And flowers are honey-dew,
Along the western blue,
Far in the dimness curtain'd round.
He hears the echoes all
Or distant waterfall:
And still, as shakes the sudden breeze,
The forest's deepening shade,
The silver serenade:
The star, that peeps the leaves between,
To him is but the light
Shines to her pilgrim knight;
Or, if some wandering peasant's song-
And thus he thinks the hour away
In sweet, unworldly folly;
That feed his melancholy:
Rev. G. Crolv.