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FORTUNATUS had only a life interest in his
purse; and we all know too well that when
he died, it vanished with him. Sinbad the
Sailor, a munificent merchant in his way,
gave the porter of Bagdad only a poor one
hundred sequins every day after dinner.
Aladdin sent his mother to propose for the
Sultan's daughter, with a tolerable present
of jewels, but still with no more than
could be spread forth on a china dish and
tied up in a napkin. The Genie of the Lamp
considered it a reasonable exercise of his
supernatural power, to serve refreshments on
a "large silver tray holding twelve covered
dishes of the same metal, two flagons of
wine, and two silver cups." Ali Baba beheld
in the robbers' cavern what his limited ideas
conceived to be a pretty large amount of
ready money in gold coin; yet he thought it
a wonderful thing to carry off no more than
his three asses could bear, under an outer
load of wood and green boughs; and there
was not so much of it but that his wife
borrowed " a small measure "—about the size
of a banker's shovel, sayto measure it
out. Prince Camaralzaman (not to be learned,
and call him Kummir al Zummaun) found,
in the cave he accidentally opened on the
gardener's ground, fifty brass urns, each with
a cover on it, all full of gold dust. But, his
share of gold dust, when he divided it with
the gardener, was not such a great share after
all, for it only half filled fifty olive pots; and
that's not muchin these times. Candide
and Cacambo, when they came to the land of
the red sheep, found the common children (in
very ragged clothes of golden brocade) playing
at quoits with pretty large pieces of gold.
But, they might find the common men in
Australia and California playing a variety of
games with the same bright metal, at the
present hour. The double and treble-headed
giants whom courageous Jack destroyed,
were believed in their pastoral days to be
gigantically rich, although they had only
stored up exhaustible amounts of gold. Nay,
the very gods of classical antiquity were
represented as celestial in the possession of
services of golden plate, and the lounging
upon golden couches.

In all these golden fables there was never
gold enough for me. I always wanted more.
I saw no reason why there should not be
mountains and rivers of gold, instead of paltry
little caverns and olive pots; why JASON and
his men should not have sailed in search of
flocks of golden fleeces rather than one. For,
when imagination does begin to deal with
what is so hard of attainment in reality, it
might at least get out of bounds for once in a
way, and let us have enough.

Now, it might be supposed that what I am
going to relate, had its foundation in this
old sense of injury. But I shall relate it,
to the letter, precisely as it happened to me.

At the corner of Wood Street, Cheapside,
London, there is a tree. I suppose it has not
the least business to be there, but it is
pleasant there. It is a far better thing than
a statue, to my thinking, as statues go. I
have the greatest admiration for King George
the Fourth, but I should prefer an elm tree
in Trafalgar Square. A pigtail in any material,
but especially in stone, strikes me as a pretty
object; still, I think a poplar would be on the
whole more ornamental in Pall Mall East.
And anybody will concede that, in place of
the frightful abortion on the top of the
arch at Hyde Park Corner, the commonest
cabbage-stalk ever grown would be a blessed

I stood under the tree at the corner of
Wood Street, Cheapside, at ten of the clock in
the morning, on the first of the gloomy month
of November in the present year of grace.
I was a little dazed, as the tree itself
may be for anything I know, by the roar of
traffic in that busy place; but I am quite
certain I was not asleep. I had been reading
the Times, and had walked up the Strand and
Fleet Street. The polite black-bordered-
announcements in the shops, concerning seats
to let, "To view the funeral procession,"
coupled with the morning's advertisements
relative to the prices of seats, and to the
number of ladies and gentlemen wanted to
make up little lively parties, and to the
available accommodation in the articles of
provisions, fruit, wine, plate, linen, glass,
china, and good fires, "on this national though
melancholy occasion," had set me thinking
whether, in these days, a State Funeral (however
congenial to the Herald's College, or