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; at one of the fashionable coffeehouses by the torments of fierce ardour de
which I attended, was a Member of picted in the faces of those who were Parliament who had the same name engaged in play. Finding my aversion as that which I had assumed-Jones unconquerable, he applauded my resoand who honoured me with his par- lution, and related a number of inticular notice. Through his instru- stances in which poverty had ensued mentality I procured admission into from too earnest a pursuit after an
Club-house, a source of real increase of competence at the gamblingE gratification to my literary propensi- tables. He enlightened me also as to.
ties, as an extensive library and all a variety of methods by which unprinthe periodicals and new publications cipled villains deceive the unwary, with were at my command. On reviewing a view, as he expressed himself, of the list of names, I found the Smiths putting me completely on my guard. I as abundant as ever, though rather was obliged to him for his instructions; sorry to find that I was not the only but I have since painfully experienced Jones ; nevertheless, I congratulated that no man can be capable of profiting
myself on the execution of my deter- by such lessons till his heart has beEmination. I was, of course, extremely come to a certain degree hardened. flattered by such attention from a man
While the fulness of native generosity of Mr Jones's rank. He singled me remains, he is defenceless; in proporout on every opportunity, and I cer- tion as this suffers abstraction, and its tainly enjoyed his company; for, as place is supplied by a fixed determinahe had been a traveller, and was a tion to credit no one without a most man of intelligence, he possessed a rigid investigation, his safety is infund of anecdote relating to the dif- creased. In short, he becomes secure ferent countries he had passed through, as he becomes suspicious. But to rewhich afforded me much information. turn to my tale: Jones hinted that my He amused himself once or twice in talents deserved a more elevated sta. endeavouring to trace a relationship ; tion, and proposed that I should seek but, as may be expected, his genealogy a seat in the House, offering to support was not very correct, seeing that he
me with his interest, and if necessary had the name of his fathers, and I one with his
In the innocence of i that might literally be called my own. my heart, I admired his apparently dis
By his means I had often the pleasure of interested friendship; but though I being present at the debates in the two promised to watch for the first favour
and learning my wishes, as our able occasion, my spirit would not allow intimacy increased, to see some of the me to be under any pecuniary obligascenes of upper life, he undertook to tion. be my mentor. Under bis auspices I “ Thus we went on for a time, till one visited different places, and above all morning, as we were conversing toge. the various gambling-houses ; but to ther at the club-house, a letter was these last I had no inducement to pay brought to him by the waiter. Excua second visit, otherwise than to gratify sing himself for his rudeness in intermy conductor. Their prison-like en- rupting our conversation, he proceeded trances leading to a splendid interior, to read the letter with every visible where, save those interested in the token of perturbation; and while layestablishment, all the inmates appeared ing it down again, he muttered, I horribly flushed with the fire of a most can't help it!' As this exclamation tremendous and destroying anxiety,
made me involuntarily cast an enquireminded me of the hall of Eblis in ring eye at him, he requested me to the tale of Caliph Vathek ; and the read the letter, which I delicately desight of torture, whether wilful or in- clined doing. He then insisted on flicted by others, furnished no delight informing me that the purport of it to my acutely sensitive mind. I, how- was to require the immediate payment ever, accompanied Jones several times, of a balance of L.100 for election expursuant to his own wish; but somehow penses in the borough wbich he or other always withstood any invita- represented, with a hint that, if the tions to join in any game, by insisting demand was not satisfied, his seat in upon my ignorance of the subject. An Parliament would be endangered. early contracted aversion to gambling «« If,' said he, I had not lent a every description, was not lessened large sum to Sir
I could have paid it with ease; as it is, swered sharply, that if he had come they must wait till next week, and in to apprehend me, it would have been the mean time do as they please; their a different affair, but a mere call was profits are large enough if they waited of no importance. seven years.'
6. It is the first time,' replied she, " I, who had suffered no particular * that officers have added searching mishap in the world except what re. the house to a mere call.' sulted from the abhorred name of “ Searching the house!' I ejacuSmith, readily gave credence to his lated. words, and felt sincerely concerned at “Yes, sir,' said she. the prospect of his being thus injured. I do not wish my house to be noted I was far from spending the whole of as harbouring doubtful characters, I my income, and had generally some shall be obliged to you to leave it inaccumulations at my banker's, which stantly. If you will waive your notice, at this time amounted to about two I will give up your last quarter's board. hundred pounds. I therefore freely No person has ever been taken into offered to accommodate him with the custody in my house, and I hope I required sum. At first he displayed shall escape the disgrace yet.' some scruples, which I overcame with- " " You shall, most assuredly,' reout much difficulty, I remember now, plied I. • You will tell Mr T. that and be agreed to accept it as a loan. I shall be at the Club-house every The conversation then turned to morning.' I then paid my bill, and other matters, during which I took a was going up stairs, when a loud check from my pocketbook, and, if I knock at the door was heard. Mrs may believe my senses, drew
upon my L. hastened to open it herself. I caught banker for one hundred pounds, and the words, Must have him now,' handed the paper to him, with the and her rejoinder, · He will be at feelings that I was doing a service to Club-house in the morning.' a worthy man.
There was also a sound as of money “ This was my situation with respect falling to the ground; but to this fact to Mr J., when, on the evening of the I cannot pledge myself. I was allowfollowing day, on my return home ed to pack up my things unmolested, from a short country excursion, Mrs and a coach having been summoned, L., my landlady, with a most puzzling I left the house in a state of the utcountenance, observed, that she had most perplexity. long regretted the course I was pur- “I passed a sleepless night at a suing, and had often been on the hotel, in vain endeavouring to sur. point of warning me of the conse- mise what had put me under judicial quences, but a dislike to interfere with surveillance; but my confidence of other people had hindered her; now, innocence, whatever it might be, dea however, she must speak, or her own termined me to present myself at reputation would be compromised. once at the police office. The next This prologue made me silently won- morning, on my road thither, I called der what was now to be enacted, while at the club-house, intending to stay she went on to inform me that Mr T., only a few minutes, but had scarcely the officer, had been enquiring for me. entered, when the waiter intimated I no doubt looked astonished at this that a gentleman outside desired to announcement, as I had neither the speak to me. When the gentleman honour of his acquaintance, nor been
---Mr T. himself-in a low tone, anengaged in any transaction which nounced that I was his prisoner ; brought me under his cognisance. I “Prisoner! for what?' I exclaimed, therefore gave
utterance to the unconscious of the tone of voice in thought that I supposed he wanted which I asked the question, the sudden my evidence, though upon what I loudness of which brought several of could not divine ; and was turning the members out to hear the answer away when Mrs L. remarked that it For forgery!' I was then taken was the first time such company had before the magistrates, where a solicalled at her house, that she was not citor formally stated that a certain used to it, and hoped it would not banker (not mine) had cashed a check occur again. Nettled at her insinua. for £500, purporting to be signed by tion about I knew not what, I an- a. person of the name of Edward
Jones, and had paid the money to a of this examination was my being re. - ticket-porter, who told the clerk he manded till the attendance of Mr Jones i had been sent by a gentleman at and my banker could be procured; and
Club-house; that this Edward Jones I thus became an inmate of the house having denied the signature, an en- of correction for that night. quiry was instituted, the result of " At the re-examination next day, my which was, the apprehension of the banker stated, that for a considerable prisoner, me miserum.
time past I had kept an account with “ Thus were the horrors of the Smith him as Edward Jones; and that, as he persecution amplified ;-I had been received my dividends, he was fully E flogged for being engaged in the burn- assured that I had property, sufficient
ing of an old woman's shed and appur- to set me above any temptation to distenances, and now stood a chance of honesty. He added, too, without any being as innocently hanged for forgery, hint from me, that I lived very consiand all on account of a cursed coinci- derably within my income, and that he dence of names. I had no idea that had repeatedly paid over the residue, there was another Edward Jones keep- by my order, to different public chariing money at a banker's; and execrated ties. All this was very well; but the my folly in not changing the Christian answer to a question from the solicitor, as well as the surname. How much that the check which I mentioned had
misery should I have been spared! I never been presented at his house, had i was aroused from this and similar re- a slightly balancing effect: Mrs L.
: flections by the voice of the magistrate was next called on, and I have no desiring to know if I intended any de- doubt that vexation at being thus fence. My request to see the check brought before the public, contrary was complied with, and it was no won- to her wishes, led her to expatiate der that I gazed on it for some time things of no moment into matters of in a mute astonishment, which it re- magnitude, with a view to her own
quired the magistrate again to inter- vindication. After stating, therefore, E rupt. The coincidence was completed. that during my early residence in her
By some slight of hand the direction house my conduct had been exceedhad been varied. My banker's name ingly steady, she professed herself stood first, but not alone, as I had rea- bound to add that I had latterly beson to suppose when I drew the check; come rather gay, that I had been seen another name now appeared, which it coming out of a gambling-house, and was then explained distinguished two had even been known to mingle with firms, the principals of which bore beggars. This was the first blow at
The body of the the value of my banker's evidence. writing was to all appearance my Mr Jones, my very worthy and esteemown, but there was a thickening about ed friend, was also present, but with the strokes of the signature, and a the most consummate effrontery denied little flourishing, which made me ra- that any money dealings had ever ther doubtful of its being mine, though passed between us. Enraged at this there was a great resemblance. But unexpected villany, I burst into a raas to L.500, tha I positively never pid narration of all that had passed, inserted. I stated my impression can
and inveighed against him as having didly and honestly, without having endeavoured to seducemeto gambling; recourse to any equivocation or chi. but he coolly replied, that I furnished canery, for which there was some another proof of my ingratitude. Then opening ; but here again my nicety of turning to the bench, he continued, sentiment restrained me from alluding that, considering me a very promising to Jones further than to acknowledge young gentleman, he had taken some that I drew a check upon my bankers interest in me, but my allegations rein his favour. My address was re- specting him were utterly false ; he warded by a damning smile of incre deeply regretted that I had resigned dibility, which played over the coun- myself to dissipation, and that he tenances of my hearers; and certainly, had implicated himself with me in when I put all the incidents together, any way.
thus deprived I can forgive them for it. The issue of my only means of defence : no
* A fact.
one saw me give the check to the idea of an action for false imprisonfellow, and my high sentiments of gen- ment to clear my character from the erosity had prevented my requiring aspersions thrown on it; but a lawyer's an acknowledgment from the rascal opinion that the proceedings were not at the moment. The solicitor for the altogether untenable, and that a verprosecution then observed, that though dict was very doubtful, made me foremy name were Edward Jones, the go it, and I was thus left in the situasignature, under the circumstances, tion of the pannels, as they are termed would amount to the crimen falsi; and in Scotland, when a jury returns not requested a further adjournment to proven ;' a verdict which, without afford time to find the ticket-porter, absolute conviction, leaves the disa after whom every search had been grace of suspicion as strong as ever. made but without success, and his tes- “ But the demons which haunted my timony was essential to connect the course had not yet finished their work. chain of evidence. I was accordingly When I presented myself at the clubagain remanded. I do not under house, the committee desired a private stand to this hour how the cheat was interview, at which they informed me effected. I am very clear about the that, in consequence of what had ocsubstitution of a five for one, but the curred, a resolution had been unanidirection remains a mystery to me. mously passed that I should be called The motive was also apparent: the on to establish my right to associate prosecutor had a larger fund at his with them as a gentleman. I indigbanker's than I had. at mine, a fact nantly referred them to Mr E. which was brought to bear against On the third day, as I was entering myself. Surely, I thought in my pri. the room, a letter from the chairman son meditations, our laws attach too was delivered to me, enclosing a copy much importance to a name, or would of Mr E.'s answer. The old gentle not our legislators be usefully em- man, with all the truth and candour ployed in ordaining that every man which marked his career, detailed all should be distinguished by some cha- the particulars with which he was racteristic epithet, such as was com- , acquainted, bestowed the highest enmon among the Celtic and other bar- comiums up to the time of our partbarous nations—squint-eyed, bow-leg. ing; but concluded with informing the ged, hump-backed, any thing to ob- committee, that shortly after my last viate that dreadful community of arrival in London I had desired to be names, which had once got my back addressed by the name of Jones, for coloured with stripes, and now made what reason he was ignorant. This my neck unwittingly twist under the was enough: further enquiry the comfancied rope. I entirely overlooked mittee deemed unnecessary ; a plain the want of words to particularize intimation was conveyed to me that every individual, in my abhorrence of my absence would be acceptable
, and those general ones which may bring in the event of my not gratifying them a man to the gallows; and had this in this respect, regular expulsion occurred to me, it would only have would follow. It is difficult to concaused me to include the paucity of ceive what my emotions were. Had language in my curses.
I met the vagabond Jones, in my pa“ After a confinement of three days, roxysms of rage, I might actually I was discharged on my promise to have gone up stairs in the Old Bailey appear when called on, in consequence without benefit of clergy. of the prosecutor declining to proceed “ I was now done with the elite who for fear no jury would bring in a ver- had composed my association. I tried dict of guilty without the ticket-por- one or two respectable boardingter's evidence to connect me more houses ; but, to say nothing of Mrs closely with the affair, and he was not Li's tongue, I was unable to satisfy to be found. At first I was delighted the proprietors as to the who and with this sudden escape, but the ap- what, without effectually damning pearance of the man would have been myself by publishing particulars which more satisfactory; as he could not have I would rather have forgotten. A truly sworn to receiving a check from strong spirit of resentment, which me, I should most probably have been Roderick Random describes, fortuhonourably acquitted, and the real nately sustained me in the injustice of rogue discovered. I entertained some my situation. I now turned City-ways,
will, my directed me.
and, leaving the west, procured quiet warrant during a short residence in lodgings in the east, where payment Edinburgh, in mistake for another man, beforehand silenced all objections. I whom the Three Sisters bad ordained forgot to tell
that my banker had should be beforehand with me. I will declined receiving my money in fu- now mention the incident which led ture. My mercantile knowledge, which me to resign pursuits, which the newas previously very scanty, became cessity of occupation rather than much improved by the intercourse I pleasure had imposed upon my active was obliged to maintain with men mind. whose whole souls were engrossed in “ While passing along Cheapside one business. Instead of club-houses, the day, a servant in Mrs Li's establish. coffee-houses were now my resort; and, ment made up to me, and addressing not to detain you with sketches of the me as Mr Jones, informed me that company I met, at length I ventured shortly after I had left her mistress's upon speculations myself, principally house, a gentleman, apparently a foin insurances, sometimes gaining, reigner, had called to enquire after other times losing, but without much Mrs L. stated the story of the difference either way. I need scarcely check, and added that it was believed mention that I had devoted the name I had gone abroad, as I had not since of Jones to the fate of Smith-the been heard of. Upon which the gennext I assumed being that of Arthur tleman, exclaiming, “ My child, my Williams.
child !” unceremoniously rushed from “When I analyze my feelings, I can. the house. This was extraordinary pot detect any reason that guided me intelligence indeed. My various names in the choice of names-mere chance, had involved me in many perplexiyou
evil destiny alone ties, and now were perhaps the means
Do not imagine that in of preventing the discovery of a pathe name of Williams I escaped any rent. I could consult with no one, nominal troubles. Far from it. I got without exciting suspicions which in into a dispute once with a merchant my present situation were unknown. newly arrived from China, for opening I tried an advertisement which, witha letter directed to him at John's Cof- out betraying me, might guide him to fee-house, to which place I was also a me, but was disappointed. I had long subscriber, and surprised him by assu. been growing weary of my City larances that such a mistake should bours, and sighing for return to the never occur again, as I would instant- otium cum dignitate of the west end ; ly adopt another name. This inad- and this last occurrence completed my vertency had nearly caused me addi disgust. I had formed no friendships, tional annoyance. The repeated trans because I had found none to consort ference of my stock by myself to other with my disposition; and, since the denames, had not escaped notice; and ception practised on me by Jones, I the subscribers began to ask, “What was fearful of intimacy. I was alone sort of man is this?' A well-contrived in the world ; and, with the power of story had completely sunk all traces wealth, was becoming misanthropic. of my former self, and I had now, in My meditations alarmed myself. I addition, assured the subscribers, that at length determined upon a foreign I had no one, kith, kin, or otherwise, journey ; and having appointed a city interested in my movements. As I banker as my agent, and provided had always immediately paid all de myself with bills upon his corresponmands upon me, the rising tumult of dents abroad, I left the country, caretheir mercantile souls was soon quello less whether I returned to it or not. ed, and I was suffered to pursue my The name in which my passport was usual avocations quietly. "But I will made out was Walter Campbell, not trouble you with all the vexations which I was compelled to keep nolens I endured from the cursed ubiquity of volens, under the continental system names, from which the most fanciful of police, throughout my progress to combinations were unavailing to de. the different capitals. With this nom fend me ; except that I became ut- de guerre, some irritating mistakes terly hopeless of success, when, after happened, as the Campbells are not combining a number of them
in what rare, from France to Siberia, to which I considered the most out-of-the-way latter country my wanderings exmanner, I was arrested on a fugæ tended.