+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

curtains; the other two were cuddled
together in the folds of the muslin, fast
asleep, and rolled into a ball. In winter
their sleep is so sound that respiration is
suspended, and they are cold and death-like.
Many a poor Croquenoix has been thrown
out of the window by his capturer, under the
impression that the vital spark had departed,
while Croquey was only slumbering a little
more profoundly than usual, and enjoying
a complete escape from the troubles of the

But you do not find Croquenoix in your
French dictionary? You will not be very
wrong, if you render the word as "Dormouse."


"I CAN scarcely hear," she murmured,
    "For my heart beats loud and fast,
But surely, in the far, far distance,
    I can hear a sound at last."
        "It is only the reapers singing,
            As they carry home their sheaves;
        And the evening breeze has risen,
            And rustles the dying leaves."

"Listen! there are voices talking."
    Calmly still she strove to speak,
Yet, her voice grew faint and trembling,
    And the red flushed in her cheek.
        "It is only the children playing
            Below, now their work is done,
        And they laugh that their eyes are dazzled
            By the rays of the setting sun."

Fainter grew her voice, and weaker,
    As with anxious eyes she cried,
"Down the avenue of chestnuts,
    I can hear a horseman ride."
        "It is only the deer that were feeding
            In a herd on the clover grass,
        They were startled, and fled to the thicket
            As they saw the reapers pass."

Now the night arose in silence,
    Birds lay in their leafy nest,
And the deer couched in the forest,
    And the children were at rest;
        There was only a sound of weeping
            From watchers around a bed,
        But Rest to the weary spirit,
            Peace to the quiet Dead!


IN Chancery Lane, Fetter Lane, Cursitor
Street, Portugal Street, Gate Street, and
Basinghall Street, London, there are certain
publics of ease to the Courts of Chancery,
Bankruptcy, and Insolvency; antechambers
to the sponging-houses and debtors' prisons;
houses of call for miserable law-writers,
for bailiffs' runners and decayed process-
servers, with parlours and snuggeries choking
with expectant insolvents, anxious bankrupts,
magnificent sheriffs' officers, lawyers,
lawyers' clerks and blue bags. I would
rather be excused from giving anything
beyond a bare enumeration of these houses and
persons, since better hands than mine have
limned them off. So, avoiding these, I will
reserve to myself three judicial houses of
call:—The Nisi Prius, adjoining the Great
Hall of Pleas; the police public, which may
be over against any one of the metropolitan
police courts; the assize public, which is
in the Old BaileyThe Bailey, of course
not far, if you like, from that Ingoldsby-
immortalised victualling-house, the price of
whose first floor, previous to a fashionable
entertainment, was so condescendingly demanded
by my Lord Tomnoddy.

The Nisi Prius public, is by far the most
aristocratic of the three set down. Indeed, at
one time it disdained to be called a tavern, and
rejoiced in the title of Sims' HotelSims being
a mythic man, a waiter of Queen Anne's time,
traditionally believed to have once lent five
gold pieces to Sir Richard Steele, and a
cousin, I opine, of the many mythic Toms,
Bobs, Sams, Joes, Nells, Dollys, and Betties,
keeping hotels, taverns, and coffee-houses in
and about town. Long did Sims hold out
against the degradation of bar custom. Give
us the landed gentry, that bring actions about
mortgages, and win 'em, and order their
rump and dozen, or if they lose 'em, have a
magnum of claret in at once to drown their
sorrow. Every witness in the palmy days
of Sims was as good as a crown bowl of punch
to the house. Every consultation between a
lawyer and client involved a bottle of wine at
least. Verdicts were dinners at a guinea
a head. Litigants would think nothing of
spending their two or three guineas a-piece
over a trifling affair like an injunction in
Chancery or a rule to show cause. But when
top boots and Hessian boots had quite gone
out; when the hand of the great logician
Deathhad solved all Lord Eldon's doubts
when, finally, brooms had made themselves felt
in the Aug├Žan stables of the law, and the
abominable arrest by mesne process was abolished,
Sims sank, to rise no more as an hotel. The
rumps and dozens, the crown bowls, the
guinea dinners, took wing with the tops and
Hessians, Lord Eldon's doubts, and the forty-
shilling judgments. Sims would have come
to grief and bankruptcy had not Sims
(represented for the time by its landlord, Bobo, a
worthy man, nephew of the Lord Chancellor's
purse-bearer)—had not, as I say, Sims been
wise. Sims manfully put its shoulder to the
wheel, and went the whole hog in the pewter
and pint pot line; and, though keeping the
words "Sims' Hotel" in raised stucco letters
over the first-floor windows, became thenceforth,
to all intents and purposes, a public-

During the long vacation, when lawyers
and pheasants are on the wing; when the
Bar migrate to Baden, and the Bench to
Brussels; when clients and debtors breathe,
and walk no more in fear of that fell tap on
the shoulder, far worse than rheumatism or
sciatica, which presages the evil deeds of
John Doe; when bailiffs slumber, turnkeys