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This live automaton, who seem'd
A Bank Director once, who dwelt at Chigwell,
And as the reader knows the prig well,
I need not say he went, delighted!
For great men, when they let you slice their meat May give a slice of loan-a richer treat.
No stage leaves Chigwell after eight,
Which was too early to come back; So, after much debate,
Peter resolved to hire a hack.
The more inclined to this because he knew
An economic stable-keeper,
From whom he hoped to get one cheaper.
Behold him mounted on his jade,
A perfect Johnny-Gilpin figure;
Devour'd enough for six or seven,
Or that the darkness jumbled the two gates,
Instead of Number Two,
Rode in-dismounted-left his nag,
And homeward hurried without more ado.
Some days elapsed, and no one came
Each with a bill, which Peter they submit to;
The tale got wind.-What, Peter make a blunder!
Prim, that he suffer'd an attack
Of bile, and bargain'd with a quack,
Who daily swore to cure him-till he died;
His scraped, and saved, and hoarded store
THE LAST OF THE PIGTAILS.
"The body is the shell of the soul; apparel is the husk of that shell; the husk often tells you what the kernel is."
No; never will I forgive thee, Frank Hartopp! Hadst thou been mine enemy, I might have obeyed the divine injunction, and pardoned thee; but as we are no where enjoined to forgive our friends, thou
shalt never have absolution for thine offence.
not to me of the last of the Romans; thou hadst a prouder distinction, for thou wert the last of the pigtails! And to cut it off, at the solicitation of thy Dalilah of a daughter!-verily, Frank, thou must wear in thy head the instrument that Samson wielded: -it was an act of capillary suicide, a crinigerous felode-se; and were the locks of Berenice, which ascended from the Temple of Venus, to shoot from their constellation, or the golden hair by which Absalom was suspended in the forest of Ephraim, or the immortal ringlet ravished from Belinda, to offer themselves as a substitute for thy loss, they could neither restore thee to thy former honours, nor to thy pristine place in my esteem. Feeling with that author who could not bear to see an old post grubbed up to which he had been long familiarised, what must I endure at the excision of this appendage, which I had seen hanging from a head I loved for nearly half a century, until I had identified it with my friend as part and parcel of himself?
The blow, too, fell upon a wounded spirit; for I had scarcely recovered the extinction of the last of the cocked-hats, with which my old friend John Nutt, of happy civic memory, had walked away into the other world. What a treat was it to me, some of whose senses have already left me, and gone forward to the land of shadows to announce my speedy coming--what a treat was it to me, in my walks city-wards, to throw mine eyes over the profane round-hatted vulgar of Fleet-street or Cheapside, and encounter in the distance
the lofty triangular summit of my friend, like some precious argosy or "huge ammiral" sailing up out of the last century, every corner richly freighted with antique reminiscences, and as pregnant with triple associations as the trident of Pluto! What a collyrium to my feeble eyes to gaze upon his blue, collarless, basket-buttoned coat, ever fresh in texture though venerable in form, with its circular halo of powder behind, gradually shading off into that debateable land which was daily invaded by pulvillio and daily recovered by the brush! His long-flapped waistcoat was of the same material and hue; so were his breeches, (for I renounce the new-fangled squeamishness of expressing them by "small clothes;") his narrow stock allowed his worked frill to meander upon his bosom, or wanton in the wind, in sympathy with the ruffles on his sleeve; his powdered wig balanced itself with majestic curls, like fins, on either side; and behind(dost thou hear, Frank Hartopp ?) there depended a goodly pigtail. By heavens! I'll have a starling taught that word to ring it in thine ear!-John was characteristic in every thing, even in epicurism, of which he was the professed high-priest. Methinks I now behold the peevish expression and drop of the under-jaw, which would sometimes follow the first mouthful of venison, and hear the gentle oath with which he would excommunicate the gamekeepers, for shooting a buck and leaving it to die slowly while they went in pursuit of another. His, however, was not the anger of feeling, but of taste; inasmuch as the animal thus expiring in a feverish state, the flesh
(to use his own phrase) "ate tough and coddled, instead of being short and crisp in the mouth!" How important and reflective was his look, as his palate toyed with the first glass of Madeira, ere he pronounced that verdict against which there was no appeal; for to question his authority in a tavern would have been to deny Diana at Ephesus. It was said that he could distinguish by the flavour from what island a turtle had been imported, and in what forest a buck had been shot; but these, I apprehend, are fond exaggerations of his disciples. He is swept into the invisible world, but his form and figure are still present to my mind's eye: the warrants of the grim serjeant cannot be served upon those who reside within the verge of the imagination; Death himself cannot prevent our friends from living in our memory.
Time, alas! has not left me many with whom I can grapple in a more tangible form, and I am jealous of the smallest fragments of these relics. Three-fourths of my heart, like an old ivy-plant, are under ground, and I do but cling with a more stubborn and sinewy grasp to that which I can still embrace. The least change, even in the external appearance of my remaining friends, is as an uplifted finger, pointing to the great metamorphosis impending over them. Their outward figure is finally made up in my mind, and I cannot bear to have it altered; they are all remnants, and should consider themselves as having survived the fashions. I miss even an old button from their coats, as if I had lost one of my holdfasts. To me the very hairs of their head are numbered; and to cut off a