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as well as the key-board. Though the humour
of his sketches is generally grim and dry, the
cleverness of many of them, and the correctness
of hand displayed, are not to be
overlooked, as so many ingredients which helped
to make up a whole, that there is small chance
of seeing reproduced.

During the earlier period of John Parry's
humorous career, he was associated with
Albert Smith, as the contriver of his drolleries.
It must be noted that by neither word, look, nor
sign, had either author or actor, in their freest
moments of fun, one second's recourse to the
coarse allusions and appeals, which were too
generally introduced in former days, to spice
washy comedy, or to give the finishing touch
of "breadth" (so ran the jargon) to dramatic
personation. But in this, both author and
interpreter, may be said to have followed, as well
as helped to lead, the improved taste of our
middle classes. Double entendre is to be seen
sparingly in our theatres and concert-rooms
pretending to any respectability, save when
they are imported from foreign parts, shameless
in rouge, blazing with diamonds, and
(pro pudor!) caressed and patronised by those
who ought to lead, and not lag behind, the
intelligence and refinement of the class beneath
and, in this respect, above them.


AT midnight between the ninth and tenth of
May, 18—(it is less than thirty-five years ago),
there occurred a meeting which, whether for
the incongruity of its constituent elements, the
difficulties with which it was encompassed, its
gloom and mystery, or its actual purpose, has,
to the best of the writer's belief, no parallel in
social history.

During the period that has since elapsed,
many minor particulars have come to light, and
supplied the materials for as circumstantial a
narrative of this singular transaction as the
most curious inquirer could desire.

On the evening of the eighth of May, that
is, the day preceding the incident about to be
related, the family of Mr. Newton Horsfall, of
Cowling Priors, Herts, noticed something
unusual in that gentleman's demeanour.

Mr. Horsfall was the representative of an
old and loyal county family. Though of
somewhat quiet and retiring habits, he was an
active county magistrate, and, the previous
year, had served the office of high sheriff.
Aged, at this period, about forty-eight, he
had married seven years before a lady twenty
years his junior, by whom he had a son and

At dinner, on the day above mentioned, Mr.
Horsfall's disturbance seemed to increase. He
ate but little, was silent and abstracted, and,
contrary to his wont, appeared relieved when
his wife's departure left him to his own
meditations. He moved restlessly in his chair, got
up and paced the room, and, finally, sitting
down at a bureau that stood in a corner of
the room, fell to examining some papers he
selected from its contents. These he divided
into two portions, one of which he tore up
to the minutest particles, the other he placed
under seal and restored to its former place.
It was known at an after period that he had
also opened and reperused his will.

This done, he rested his head on both hands
and resumed his anxious meditations.
Suddenly he spoke aloud.

"I willyes, I will do it. Yes, come what
may, the reproach of being absent shall not
attach alone to me. Let danger, let what is
worse, ridicule, attend this proceeding, I am
of a race that keep their faith, and——–"

"Newton!" said a gentle voice, and a white
hand glistened on his shoulder. "I have not
been your wife for seven years," resumed Mrs.
Horsfall, "without learning to read your face.
You have a trouble, dear; the first, I hope and
believe, you have not permitted me to share.
Forgive my eavesdropping. My anxiety was
intolerable. What has happened?"

Mr. Horsfall smiled.

"Happened, my love? Nothing, nothing
in the world. The worst isthe very worst is,
thatthatI must leave you for some thirty-
six hours, and that, unfortunately this very


"I understand your consternation, my dear,"
said her husband, trying to speak lightly;
"we have people to dinner to-morrow, and
unless they would consent to wait till six in
the morning, my Lucy must be host and hostess

"Oh, Newton, it is impossible!"


"But will you tell me nothing more?"

"Every word, dear; but not now."

"Newton, I have a petition to make to you."

"Speak it, love."

"Take me with you."

"Not ifahemmy dear, it is impossible,"
said the magistrate. "You must remain to
receive our friends, and assure them that
nothing short of business that would not brook
an hour's delay, compelled me to be absent from
my post. Now, if you love me, not another
question. Ring the bell, like a sensible woman,
and order the carriage at four."

"Four in the morning?" ejaculated Mrs.
Horsfall, faintly, and burst into tears.

"The idea is terrible," said the magistrate,
smiling; "but take courage. Duty calls."

"May I go with you part of the way?"

"To London? Certainly, if you wish it.
All the way."

It was not in his very gentlest accents that
Jacob Gould, the coachman, acquainted his
pampered horses with the astounding fact that
they were required to turn out of their
comfortable nests, as he himself had done, at four
in the morning. As for Mr. Horsfall himself,
now that he had apparently resolved upon his
course of action, he grew more cheerful, and
jested gaily with his wife as he put her into the
carriage. At the top of Regent-street he