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DARtTON AND CO., 58, IIOLBORN HILL.
It is owing to frequent enquiries concerning many of
the "tales in this volume that they have been re-
printed in the present form. Those who read them
in their childhood having been gratified, are naturally
desirous of imparting the same pleasure to their off-
spring, and, perhaps, of reading them again them-
selves, to remind them of their "Halcyon days" a
"Long time ago."
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEES ; and how they were well mus-
tered, but never peppered . 1
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK; showing
the value of Time 26
THE HAUNTED YILL: a. fearful and alarming wet
Ghost Story 47
THE ORIGINAL HISTORY OF A CAT; and its Nine Lives 01
MRS. FIDDLEFADDLE'S INTELLECTUAL ESTABLISHMENT 163
THE TWOPENNY MAIL; or, Old Charlotte Skinner, and
the Day of the Grand Jubilee . 191
DAVID SINGLETON, THE YOUNG SHEPHERD 198
ARTHUR, the Young Rifleman 2:13
YOUNG ELI.ERBY; or, Crack Soldiering 224
EBENEZER AND DOROTHEA, the Old-fashioned Quakers 236
THE YOUNG REBELS: a Comical Pathetic Tale 253
THE HONEST DUTCHMAN ; or, what Boys and Girls can
do when they try 273
THE UGLY SLAVES OF BENGAL: a Vision of Thugeeism 2R8
A PITFALL . 814
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS;
AND HOW THEY WERE WELL MUSTERED, BUT
THERE once lived in the country town of Skilla-
gough, not a hundred miles from the metropolis,
a very excellent gentleman, named Scrivener. He
was, as you may almost judge from his name, a
lawyer, and he bore the character of being an honest
one. He deserved this character, for no one acted
more fairly towards his clients; he also acted with
great liberality to his townsmen-he gave good din-
ners frequently to the, elite of the town, and sub-
scribed largely in the winter to the soup fund, and
coal and blanket society. He went regularly to
church, and did all things with due order and de.
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
corum; so that he obtained the character of high
respectability, and was looked upon by all classes as
a very worthy man; and had it been his good for-
tune to have died at the completion of his fortieth
year he would have obtained, and deserved as good
an epitaph as it was possible for a stonemason to cut
But it so happened that, just as Mr Scrivener had
reached his fortieth year, a strange consternation
was felt in various parts of England, particularly in
the district in which Mr. Scrivener resided. Some
poor country fellows, driven half-mad for want of
food, made a great clamour round the poor-house,
and it was feared that some shocking catastrophe
might take place; and, therefore, the lawyer, who
might, from his general habits, have been supposed
not likely to go any further than to make out the
mittimus of some unfortunate wretch, captured in the
henious crime of eating a good dinner at another's
cost, did no more nor less than avow his intention to
take up arms against rebellion, as he called it; or, in
other words, to form a volunteer corps, for his native
town and district, against the disaffected and disloyal
Mr Scrivener was tall and thin, like a May-pole,
and prided himself upon his fine figure. His father
had been in the old trained band of the City of
London, and he had left, among a vast quantity of
other rubbish, an old rusty sword and halbert, with
THE YOUNG 'VOLUNhTEERS.
which Mr Scrivener, when a boy, used to equip him-
self. Mr. Scrivener, too, had read of knight-errantry,
and knew almost the whole of the Seven Cham-
pions of Christendom" by heart. He also visited
the theatres in his boyhood, and was delighted be-
yond measure at seeing men, in pasteboard armour,
whack and thump each other about with wooden
swords. So delighted was he with the ancient mode
of warfare, that, on one occasion, when not quite
twelve years old, he took an opportunity, when no
one was by, to arm himself, cap-a-pie, with various
kitchen utensils. With the large lid of the fish-
kettle for a shield, the tin dripping-pan for a breast-
plate, and a small plated dish-cover for a helmet, he
sallied forth in all the glory of knighthood, and was
not satisfied until he had cut down a score of goose-
berry bushes, in proof of his undaunted valoui.
But these propensities were nipped in the bud by
Master Scrivener being sent to school away from
home, where he was kept vigorously employed.
After this, he had four feet of mahogany placed
against the pit of his stomach, and a quill put into
his hand, with a direction from his father (a very
worthy man) to drive that over a few dozen folios
every day. At first the young gentleman winced,
then he sighed, theu he groaned; then he ran away,
then he was brought back; then he kicked; then he
rebelled; then he grumbled, groaned, and sighed
again; till at last he settled quietly down to musty
THE YOUNG VOLIINTEflS.
law cases for fourteen hours out of the twenty-four
The knight-errant propensity, therefore, was
smothered with law Latin, conveyances, writs,
caveats, pleas, and rejoinders; in short, so piled up
were these over his former thoughts and feelings,
that it was not till Mr. Scrivener had taken a part-
ner, and begun to get rich, and, therefore, free from
the pressure of his law cases, that he ever thought
of playing the hero's part, much less of raising a
troop of volunteers.
But the soldier mania came full upon him at an
age when he ought to have known better. There
seemed to his jaundiced eye a necessity for his exer-
tions in protecting the property of the county. Just
as if a standing army of 100,000 men, which
England then enjoyed, with thousands of constables
and policemen, were not sufficient to repel the force of
a few occasional crowds of half-starved countrymen,
of whom it was somewhat jocularly said it took seven
to make a shadow.
So it was Mr. Scrivener went to work. He called
a meeting of the inhabitants; he wrote a circular;
he caroused his friends; he dined his partisans; and
did a great many other things, by which he made
Dr. Bubblejock, a schoolmaster, coincided with his
A very handsome young man, a surgeon, named
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
Spatterdash, who had obtained the cognomen of Sir
John Spatterdash, entered into them most cordially.
A patriotic hatter, named Spicy, remarkable for a
red nose, joined the fraternity; and from this clique,
as a nucleus, arose the Skillagough Invincible
Volunteer Infantry." Timothy Scrivener, Esq., com-
mandant; Simon Spatterdash, captain; Nicholas
Spicy, lieutenant; and Walter Small Chance, ensign.
Now, it so happened that the town of Skillagough
had been in a state of apathetic stagnation for a long
time; fairs and bull-baiting had gone out of fashion;
cock-fighting had been put down; and badger-
drawing had no patrons. A philosophical gentleman
had lectured to empty benches; and although a
Frenchman, with a pair of dancing dogs, had obtained
the patronage of the gentry and public, -yet some
kind of excitement was necessary for the sleepy mul-
titude of this drowsy town. This was to be found in
the raising of a mimic army, and the pomp and cir-
cumstancof immortal war.
A vast number of the young and middle-aged men,
therefore, immediately joined the INVINCIBLE CORPS-
their numbers exceeding a hundred. Uniforms were
provided-green and white flags were made by the
ladies-sword-knots embroidered-caps fitted. The
whole county was put in motion. Musterings were
held daily-drillings nightly. A vast number of
new officers were created, almost as numerous as the
common men; sergeants, corporals, drummers, fifers;
THE IOIJNG VOLUNTEERS.
in short, such a display of invincibles had not been
seen in this county since the invasion of the Spanish
Among other extraordinary things which took
place in this extraordinary town, it so happened that
Dr. Bubblcjock took it into his erudite head to
spread the mania among his scholars; and, accord-
ingly, the whole of them, to the number of nearly a
hundred, were equipped in uniforms, with little guns
on their shoulders, feathers in their caps, and their
heads fixed in black stocks so firmly that they ap-
peared to have been screwed on to stand cannon-
shot, or any other formidable missile. The boys
were pleased or proud enough of their task. They
felt more at home in it than in reading hic hmc
hoc," or wading through Propria que Maribus,"
and the conjugation of the Latin verbs; and these
studies were wofully neglected. Mathematics were
changed for military tactics; and the classics for the
art of gunnery, and the study of the militia manual.
In short, to such an extent did the military en-
thusiasm carry these embryo heroes, that they longed
for nothing so much as a revolution, that they might
display their valour-in which longing, it is but
justice to say, the men soldiers also participated.
But after waiting for several weeks-nay, months
-the Invincible corps found that the only thing in
danger of rising in the county was the price of bread
and beef, instead of men. The poor community
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
were too ill-fed to have any aspiring blood in their
veins. The county was remarkably quiet; and, in
consequence, the volunteer corps was laughed at by
insensible people, and by many, I suppose, who
would have been very glad of their assistance in case
a riot had broken forth.
To keep the martial excitement alive, recourse was
to be had to conviviality. Therefore, Commandant
Scrivener, in the first instance, gave a good dinner to
the corps; and, in the next, the corps returned the
compliment. This was talked about for a month be-
fore and after, and spun out the popularity another
quarter. Then-there was the presentation of a pair
of colours by the Honourable Miss Fidgetty, worked
by her own hands. This gave occasion for a field
day, and a sham fight. But at last a fire broke out
in a neighboring farm, and in the middle of the
night, too. The Invincibles arrived; some with
clothes, some without; some with their arms in their
hands, and others with their hands in their arms;
they escorted the fire-engines-they bound a cordon
round the flames-they guarded the pond from which
water was obtained; and the fire being subdued,
the next day Commandant Scrivener received the
thanks of the surrounding farmers for "his praise-
worthy and indefatigable exertions on a recent awful
But still nothing could keep the martial fire alive.
It had blazed out and now it mouldered or
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
smouldered, and smoked and fumed, till at last it
was almost forgotten, and the Invincibles began to
be tired of the continual "shoulder arms" and
" order arms;" so, for the sake of diversion, they
divided themselves into two parties-one against, and
one for the commandant-and a wordy warfare be-
gan, and bulletins were issued in the shape of news-
paper paragraphs, which ended in Mr. Scrivener
throwing up his office in disgust, and the command
being transferred to Dr. Bubblejock.
Dr. Bubblejock was more proud than ever, and
dined and addressed his corps over and over again.
He also harangued his boy company, and told them
to remember that they fought pro aris etfocis-that
the eyes of posterity were upon them-that none
but the brave deserve the fair," meaning the country
fair, at which so many brown gingerbreads were
Now, it is a well-known fact that boys often do
what men cannot; and that when the wits of an un-
lucky youngster are put against those of an old
pedagogue, the result is an outwitting of the latter;
and it so happened that in Dr. Bubblejock's school
there were two or three ripe spirits who longed to
put their martial prowess to the proof.
They had heard of battles, and they longed
To follow to the field some warlike lord."
Among these, and first and foremost among them,
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
was the Honourable Harry Slapdash, who was the
only son of a very rich old gentleman, first cousin to
Lord Daffodil, and of great expectancy. Harry, who
had more pocket-money than all the schoolboys put
together, and who monopolised all the cake, all the
fruit, and fire-works within a quarter of a league of
the school-house, set his heart upon a feat which he
supposed would gain for him a celebrity equal to that
of Hector or Hannibal, or any hero, ancient or
Harry was a good tactician, and knew what he was
about. He knew well enough that money was the
sinews of war; and, therefore, he obtained a tolerably
good supply of that necessary substance from his
father, who sent him, without inquiry, a 10 note.
Harry then wrote to his uncle, and received another
5 ; then to his maiden aunt, with the like success;
then to his cousin Tom; then to his other relations;
all of whom, knowing Harry's great expectations,
made no hesitation in sending him sums of money,
which they fancied would be repaid with interest
when the youngster came of age.
When Harry had, therefore, made himself master
of some twenty or thirty pounds, all in hard gold,
too, he began to put his plan into execution; and,
without telling the full extent of his projects, im-
parted to three or four of his schoolmates his inten-
tion of having a good spree, as he called, it. Dr.
Bubblejock allowed his eldest pupils to have any
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
luxuries they chose to pay for, wisely considering
that the more they provided themselves with the
less he should have to provide; and therefore
Slapdash ordered in a dozen of champaign, and as
many fowls, with which he regaled his selected asso-
ciates. He had them in his own room, and over the
fowls and the champaign they vowed eternal fidelity
to each other, and obedience to Slapdash.
The plot now began to thicken. Smith, Quirk,
and Scrivener-the latter the son of the retired com-
mandant-were let into the secret, which was to
persuade the boys of the school to turn out some
night, at beat of drum, and put the whole school
and premises in a state of siege; the joke to consist
in the terror and confusion of Dr. Bubblejock, and in
inflicting summary vengeance on him for certain
floggings which several of the boys had recently ex-
"And now," said Slapdash, "I will tell you what
I intend to do, and woe be to him who splits on us.
I have got nearly 50. With some of this money-I
do not know how much-I intend to buy a lot of
things. First, I will have at least a bushel of
cracker-balls, 100 sky-rockets, 500 squibs, serpents,
crackers, Roman candles, blue-lights, grenades, port-
fires, and all sorts of combustibles. I will have also
a keg of powder; and I have already two small can-
nons and two pistols, and I think I know how to
make a mortar out of a piece of broken gas-pipe,
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
which I have stowed away under my bed, for I have
thought for a long time of having some rare sport."
"But are we to have banners, and flags, and
drums, and trumpets, and such things ? said Quirk,
" because the fun would not be half so good without
"We shall have everything of that sort; and
shields, and swords, and helmets, if you like; only
let me have plenty of powder and fireworks," replied
But I do not understand exactly what we are to
do," said Quirk. I never read of a siege, nor how
soldiers go to work when they attack a town, or a
fort, or a fortification."
"Well then, listen to me," continued Slapdash,
" and you shall hear all about it. First, then, you
must suppose that here is a town-here, just where
I make this hole with my heel-and then round it a
wall or batteries, like this," said he, making a circular
mark with his toe. Very well. Now this wall is
twenty or thirty feet high, and men are on the top of
it, and the whole space above is full of cannon, their
mouths pointing every way. Now, under the wall is
a deep ditch. And then you see that the wall would
be zig-zag,'so that the cannon would fire down these
ditches or trenches the moment the soldiers that
attacked the fort got under them. Suppose, now, an
army was here, and this army wanted to take posses-
sion of this city-what would they do ? Why, they
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
would dig trenches here, and raise batteries there,
and begin to fire away at the fortifications of the
town, to make a breach in them; then they would
cut a zig-zag trench all the way along from these
batteries till it came. quite under the walls; or they
would cut a deep hole all the way, and into it put a
quantity of powder-(that is called undermining the
walls)-then this powder would be fired-(and that
would be called springing a mine)--and then the
walls would be blown up into the air, and the can-
nons, and guns, and soldiers upon them; and then,
when the mine was sprung, the cannon from the be-
siegers would beat the ruins' about still further; and
under cover of this fire the troops would advance,
huzzaing as they came, and I should be at the head
of them, and we should rush up like tigers, and
spring on the foe, and cut, and hack, and smash, and
tear, and kill, and-"
Why, I declare," said Quirk, "you are quite out
of breath with talking so fast."
No, no, it is not with talking; it is with mount-
ing the breach, you know. These plaguey stones are
very difficult to clamber up," and here the young
hero panted again.
"But are we to do all this ?" said both the boys
in a breath. Is it to be real ?"
Oh no, ours is only sham, you know; but it will
be good fun, and look almost as grand as a real
assault; and when we see old Bubblejock put his
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
Lead out of the window in his nightcap, surrounded
by fire-works, it will be splendid; won't it ? "
Oh, capital, capital !" and here the silly boys
danced and leaped with delight.
And that ugly old scaramouch, old Prosody, the
Latin tutor; I hope we shall have him out. Remem-
ber the horsing he gave you yesterday, Quirk."
You need not tell me to remember it," said
Quirk; "for I anm so sore that I could not sit down
at dinner, and was forced to put myself quite over the
form, I am so scarified."
"Aye, and he shall be scarified before we have
done with him "
"Do you remember being in the black-hole?"
said Quirk to Slapdash.
Do I recollect it ? yes; and I recollect putting
my hand down and feeling something soft, and damp,
and cold, which struggled under my touch, and made
my blood run cold-it was a toad-." And here the
young lad, lately red and hot with his enthusiasm,
turned deadly pale.
We'll be revenged," said one.
"We'll be revenged," said both the other boys.
Yes, we will be revenged, by having a good game
of sport-some rare fun."
But suppose we are found out ? said Scrivener.
"And what then; we should only have a good
threshing, and be sent to bed. Perhaps I should be
turned away from the school, and go to another
which I should like better."
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
To be sure," said the Other boys; for, as to old
Bubblejock, I hate him; although I like to play at
volunteers very well."
"Yes; mind, we must all have our guns, and, if
possible, our uniforms; that will be the great diffi-
culty ; but it will be easy enough; I never yet set my
heart upon a thing but I managed it well enough.
Not always," said Quirk; "you remember the
attack upon the green-house ?"
"Yes, but that was a different thing; besides, we
shall here have the whole school with us."
So with these views and notions did these silly
boys begin to lay a plan for nothing more or less
than an attack upon their own school; and from
this moment nothing was heard of, or thought of,
but the method to be pursued to carry the design
The very next night, after the candles had been
taken away, and the bolstering over, Slapdash and
Scrivener began to break their plans to the boys who
slept in the large room with them; for, as in most
schools, a large number slept in one room, and in this
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
room there were above twenty boys. The youthful
urchins, who had been warmed into deeds of arms by
the mad brain of Dr. Bubblejock, were not slow in
entering into all the preconcerted schemes, and many
of them got no rest the whole night for thinking of
it. The strictest secrecy was enjoined, and at last it
was thought requisite to let none into the plan with-
out swearing them in.
Slapdash therefore procured a copy of Horace,
and made every boy kiss it, and promise not to
divulge what they were about to do, and to use his
best endeavours to promote the design.
' When nearly the whole of the school had been
brought over in this way, preparations were speedily
made for carrying the plan into execution.- Slap-
dash had supplied himself with immense masses of
fire-works of every description, and gunpowder, in a
number of small quantities, which he had purchased
at various shops, and at various times.
After a great deal of discussion, pro and con, it
was arranged that the boys were, one and all, to wait,
on some coming night, till they heard the clock strike,
and the chimes play twelve. Then each was silently
to get up, to take his gun in his hand, and creep
down stairs, and muster in the alcove at the bottom
of the garden. Thus mustered, they were to put
themselves under the direction of Slapdash, and
commence operations, the principal part of which was
an attack upon the house and premises with fire-arms
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
and fire-works ; the joke to consist in the alarm ex-
perienced by Dr. Bublejock, Prosody, and the.other
inmates, and the pelting of them with fire-works and
Now, the 18th of December-breaking-up day-
was very nigh at hand. This is a day that all boys
long for with intense delight;. and Slapdash thought
it the most fitting day for his enterprise. Accordingly,
the 18th of December was named as the grand night
for an event such as had rarely taken place in schools,
and it was looked forward to with great delight; the
days, hours, and even minutes were counted.
Dr. Bubblejock had, somehow or other, a great
aversion to the breaking-up day, and had more than
once tried to put out the bonfire on the green; con-
sequently, the village boys were no friends of his,
and the schoolboys were ready enough to enter into
any scheme'which should bring back the neighbour-
hood to its ancient glory in that particular.
Slapdash had prepared such a magazine of com-
bustibles as no boy in the world ever prepared before.
He had crammed them into all his boxes, and had
stores buried in various parts of the garden, and out-
buildings. The other boys, too, had, so far as their
comparatively limited means would allow them,
crammed their boxes with squibs, crackers, and other
fire-works. Quirk and Scrivener had each purchased
a cannon of considerable size, whose power of making
a report was prodigious; and the whole preparations
THEf YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
were made with such secrecy, and so fully, that
nothing now remained but for the day to arrive
which was to develop the affair.
On the morning of the 18th December-breaking-
up day-Dr. Bubblejock had every one in to his task
at an early hour. The Greek and Latin master,
Prosody, too, was walking backwards and forwards
among his pupils, with his cane under his arm, look-
ing as sour as a crab-apple, and every now and then
making a cut at this or that boy, who ventured to
peep from his lesson. At last the tasks were over,
and the boys went in to breakfast.
When breakfast had concluded, Dr. Bubblejock
mounted the rostrum, and with much solemnity in his
looks, addressed his pupils in the following terms:-
"My boys,-This, you know, is our breaking-up
day, and it is usual for low and ignorant boys to make
bonfires, and burn squibs and crackers; but I wish
my pupils to conduct themselves as gentlemen, and
therefore I shall interdict any buying or letting off
squibs, or any other incendiary practices. In lieu of
which I shall to-morrow give all my young volunteers
a field-day and a sham fight on the heath; and this
evening every lad will have his gun out to clean and
furbish for the business of to-morrow.
Bravo said Slapdash.
"And-hem-hem-early in the morning you
must present arms before my chamber window, and
fire a royal salute."
THlE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
"'You shall have it early enough," said Slapdash.
As early as you like; I do not care how early,"
said Dr. Bubblejock.
This having been said, the boys returned to their
lessons, and the worthy master sat down to his news-
paper, leaving the ushers to flog, and scold, and fag
away as they would.
Well, somehow or other, the day was gone through,
but to them the longest day they ever experienced,
for every heart thought of nothing else but the even-
ing's fun. The evening set in, and about six o'clock
the boys were all called into the great dining-hall,
and each had his gun given him. Then came lots of
rotton-stone and brick-dust, leathers, polishing peb-
bles, and such matters; with such rubbing, scouring,
and polishing, as would have done credit to a cam-
paign against the united forces of Europe.
The supper hour came; and the doctor, quite de-
lighted to observe the alacrity with which his young
soldiers cleaned their fire-arms, determined upon
giving them a treat. There was a cask of elder wine
which was but so-so, and which gave hints of its not
intending to keep till Christmas; besides which, the
cask had been a little musty. It was only the
expense of a few pounds of sugar; and therefore a
cauldron full was ordered to be heated; and, just
before bed-time, little jorums, of about a quarter of
a pint each, were handed to all the boys, with thick
lumps of toast, and it was taken with an avidity only
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
equalled by the cleaning of the fire-arms before
This beverage made the boys still more frisky, and
when they retired to rest, no rest did they take, nor
did they intend to take any. Slapdash had, too,
taken care not to let their courage go to sleep, for he
had smuggled into the chamber some cherry-brandy
and a little tin pot. The brandy bottle was opened
as soon as the lights were taken away, and a sup and
a cherry were taken all round. Next a long whisper-
ing followed, and all the .boys crowded close to each
other. The whispering concerned the mode of
attack, and such other after-considerations as might
be calculated upon.
At last the clock struck eleven-then a quarter
past-then half-past-then three-quarters; and at
that moment Slapdash served out his third invincible
gulp of cherry-brandy, as he called it.
And now the clock struck twelve, and every boy
was instinctively. on his feet. Slapdash was fully
equipped, with two pair of pistols in his leather
girdle, his musket, and a sword. He enjoined silence;
declaring that if he heard a word spoken by any boy,
he would knock him down. He proceeded towards
the door of the apartment on tip-toe, directing the
other boys to follow him. By the aid of a dark
lantern, which he had procured, he soon undid the
bolts and fastenings of the outer doors, and at last
had the satisfaction to find himself and his com-
THE TOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
panions in the court or play-yard, without discovery.
Still enjoining the strictest silence, he desired Quirk
and Scrivener to fetch the cannons and combustibles,
which were, after a few minutes, drawn up, under the
stifled cheers of the boys.
"And now," said Slapdash, when everything was
prepared, the first thing we will do will be to fire a
*feu de joie before the master's window, and pepper
him well with squibs and crackers."
The array which the urchins now presented was
really formidable as well as ludicrous. Many of
them, in their haste, from the effects of the brandy,
were but half clothed; some had one shoe off, and
the other on; some were without coats, and some
without corduroys; some wore their shirts, by mis-
take, outside, and others had forgotten both stockings
and shoes. But every one had his gun, and they
were ramming, and loading, and priming away as fast
as they could, when, all at once, Dr. Prosody ap-
peared in the midst, with a formidable cane in his
What is this going on ? said he; "I command
you to desist."
Down with him," said Slapdash; "'tis Prosody,
the Greek; war against the Greeks; let him have a
swim in the duck-pond."
No sooner said than done. Dr. Prosody was
thrown down, and, in spite of his kicks, threats, and
entreaties, speedily carried to the duck-pond, thrown
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
into it. and left to find his way out as he pleased. It
was well the duck-pond was not so deep with water
as the learned tutor was deep-read in Greek and
Latin, or he would have been drowned to a certainty.
The whole corps were now drawn up before the
front windows of the mansion, and a grand salute
was fired, succeeded by the roar of the cannon, and
the dread boom of the mortar, made from the old
gas-pipe, which, at the first discharge, flew into a
thousand pieces, luckily hurting no one. The volley
was succeeded by another, and a loud cheer or scream
from the boys, in the midst of which Dr. Bubblejock
put his head out of the window, nightcap and all.
This was the signal for the squibs, and in an instant
hundreds were thrown at the bewildered schoolmaster.
He raised his hands in horror, pulled off his night-
cap, and threw it out of window at the besieging
party. This was returned by another discharge of
guns, and a further display of crackers. Slapdash
had prepared a cracker which was to make one
hundred reports, and this, with a dexterous jerk, he
threw into the dominie's apartment, which continued
cracking and exploding, until it had fairly driven him
out of it.
The dominie came down in great rage, and rushing
through the smoke with fury upon Slapdash, seized
him by the collar. The youth, who had then a tre-
mendous squib, just lighted, thrust it into the face of
his assailant, and freed himself at once from his
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
grasp. Twenty other boys, with lighted squibs, now
held them close to various parts of their master's per-
son, who, after in vain fighting against such odds,
rushed into the street, shouting "Fire! treason!
rebellion murder !"
This was enough; the report of fire-arms had already
partly aroused the neighbourhood. The Invincible
corps were soon under arms in the market-place; the
fire-engines also came running down with the velocity
of steam-engines; but upon the exit of Bubblejock
the boys had barricaded the school-gates, and threw
over hundreds of fire-works upon their besiegers-
rockets, maroons, serpents, and every other kind of
combustible; they also threw over packets of gun-
powder, bound with touch-paper, which exploded with
a loud report, and annoyed the volunteers exceed-
Slapdash was in his glory, and called out to his men
in fine service style, Remember the fags and canes,
the strokes on the hand, the fillips with the finger, the
punching of sides, and the pulling of hair! Remem-
ber the salt-junk, and the cast-iron crust of the salt-
junk pie !"
Hurrah!" said the besieged, and away went
another handful of crackers over the gate.
"Think on the strappings for going to sleep at
church Think of the black hole Think of the
Latin verbs and the hexameters."
And they did think of these, and fired away with
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
more fury than ever. At last, however, the men
volunteers broke open the gate with sledge-hammers,
and rushed in upon the boys. They were, however,
met by two discharges from their cannon, and a full
volley from the blank musketry, and a hundred squibs
And now a blaze appeared from the doctor's bed-
room window, and in a few minutes all the domestics
were out either at other windows, or on the top of the
Now we shall have a bonfire after all," cried Slap-
dash; and sure enough they had, for the flames burst
forth with great fury, not from one window, but
many. The engines came close to the house and
began to play, while the boys still pelted their enemies
with stones, squibs, and crackers.
At last, however, the house was one entire blaze;
and the boys, one and all, began to be a little
frightened. Slapdash in vain called upon them to
fight like Trojans. Some ran away, some skulked,
some went to their parents in the town, and some,
thinking to get out of the scrape, took refuge under
the engines, and began to pump away with great
ardour. Slapdash alone remained at his post, and
threw his squibs and crackers till the last.
But the captain of the Invincibles laid furiously
about him, and Slapdash was knocked down with a
blow of his sword. The remainder of the boys, ob-
serving the fall of their leader, cried for quarter, and
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS.
rushed forward to extinguish the fire. All efforts
were, however, unavailing, and the poor dominie's resi-
dence was burnt to the ground.
Slapdash was now taken before a magistrate and
put to prison, but his friends being very rich and
powerful, and lots of money being forthcoming, he
got out of the scrape at no expense to himself.
Years after, however, he had the good fortune to
be blown up into the air in a real bombardment ; and,
though the circumstance was very shocking, it was a
benefit to society, for this young man had turned out
a monster of iniquity, with scarcely a redeeming
quality about him.
Several of the lads in the school got a severe whip-
ping; but the prime mover of the whole affair, as I
told you, came off Scot-free.
The moral I wish to convey to my young readers in
this story is, never to be led astray by bragging
lordlings because they are rich, and to bear in mind
that they ought never, under any circumstances, to
break the law under which they may be living.
As to the present Volunteer movement, that is
quite a different affair. I have no doubt that the
drilling and the discipline will "lick" many an
awkard young gentleman into shape; but as to there
being any danger of a French invasion, that is all
"bosh." England is quite free from that, depend
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEERS. 25
After all, there is nothing like peace and quiet-
ness, and so let us hope, in the words of one of
the best of books, that "unity, peace, and concord "
may be established among us for all generations.
Yet the present Volunteer movement is a good
one; and the raising of 250,000 good men and true
will be one efficient way of ensuring peace. Foreign
nations will never think of coming over to us, when
they know they shall be well licked." And, there-
fore, I hope that every schoolboy will join the rifles
-for a very few years will turn boys into men-men
of whom England will, I hope, have reason to be
ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK;
SHOWING THE VALUE OF TIME, AND HOW TO
MAKE THE, MOST OF IT.,
" WHAT is a clock good for ? I should like to know
that. I know what a house is good for-to eat in,
and drink in, and live in, and sleep in. I know that
chairs are made to sit down upon; tables to put
books, and plates, and dishes, and all sorts of things
upon. There are the hobs on each side of the fire-
place; I know what they are for. I know what the
carpet is for, and the fender and fire-irons, and side-
board, and book-case; aye, and the piano-forte, I
know what that is for, although we have not got one.
I like that the best of any; but what is the good of a
clock ?" So said Peter Simple to himself.
Go on again, my little man," _said I; you will
stop bye and bye."
"There it stands, a great tall ugly thing, with
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK. 27
two hands, and with its hands in its face--
like an ill-natured child a-crying; and then it
goes click-clack, tick-tack', and every now and then,
ting, ting, ting, ting, and stops between its tinging
almost as if it were out of breath; then it gives a
cluck, as much as to say, "There's music for you."
And pretty music it is, all of one sound. Why, a
piano-forte is a hundred times better than a clock. I
like to hear the piano-forte play; it makes me feel
as if I could kick and caper about all day. I should
like to know what good there is in Mr. Clock. You
know I do not like you," said the little boy,'shaking
his fist in the clock's face; "you always tell my
mother when it is time to go to school, and if I could
get the door in your stomach open, I would spoil you,
for a nasty tell-tale as you are. I am quite tired of
your tick-tack; and, as to your striking, I should
like to strike you, you ugly-looking thing."
Here the clock struck one-two-three-four-
"Peter, Peter, where are you? Do you know it
is time for school?" said a voice in an adjoining
room : it was Peter's mother.
Aye, I'll be even with you some day," said Peter,
" depend upon it."
)Peter vowed vengeance on the clock, but set off
for school, and was barely in time; but, as he had
not far to go, he was not long after the appointed
hour; he said his lessons, and came home again at
twelve o'clock. At one he had his dinner.
28 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK.
He then went into the garden, and romped about
with an idle playmate, who lived next door, one
Thomas Slovenly, who asked him at last to go and
fetch his kite, that they might fly it in an adjacent
Peter ran in full of delight at this notion. His
kite was behind the clock, and his string on the top
of it. He first got his kite out and laid it on the
table; then he mounted on a chair, but that was not
high enough to reach the top of the clock-head; so
he got a stool and placed it upon the chair, and
mounted on that; but still he found it difficult to
reach his string. While straining himself over as far
as he could, the clock struck one-two-oo. It quite
startled Peter, and down he fell, chair and stool and
all. It was time for school. Peter, it is time for
school," said his mother, as she entered the hall,
where Peter lay on the floor, bellowing with all his
"What have you been at ? said his mother.
Only getting my string off the top of that nasty
Come, come," said his mother, go to school."
But Peter made a great to-do. He said he had hurt
himself, and could not walk. He had made a great
bump on his head. Oh, my head Oh, my poor
leg!" said he, and began to roar again with all his
His mother, thinking him to be really hurt, took
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK. 29
him up and laid him on the sofa, bathed his head
with vinegar, and rubbed his leg; but she would not
let him stop away from school. She looked at the
clock and said, Come, my dear boy, it is half-past
two o'clock; I must send Sarah with you to excuse
your being so late."
I do not believe that clock, mother, it is always
telling stories. I don't believe it can be two o'clock
My dear," said his mother, that clock always
speaks the truth."
I wish you would get rid of it though, mother,
and buy a piano-forte; I should like that a great
deal better. If the clock played a tune every time it
struck, I should like it better; but, when last it
struck, it only knocked me down, you know. I hate
the clock; do buy a piano-forte, there's a dear
"Perhaps some day you may know the clock's
value, my dear; but come-now for school. Come,
Sarah, take Peter to school, and explain to his master
why he was not there sooner."
Peter was taken off, very unwillingly though, to
school, vowing vengeance within himself against the
clock, which he looked upon as his greatest enemy.
He thought he would endeavour to find the key of
the clock-case, and see if he could not stop its ticking,
and, what was worse, its telling the time for him to
go to school. And he made up his mind that very
30 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK.
night to creep down-stairs, when everybody was
a-bed, and see what he could do to destroy the
When the evening was come, Peter could scarcely
learn his tasks for thinking of the clock, and how he
could spoil its ticking. First he thought of one
thing, and then of another. He knew that his father
wound up the clock once a week; but he had never
seen the inside of it, and was almost afraid of there
being some live thing within it. The more he
thought of the matter, the more he felt sure it was
so. "For," said he to himself, father is forced to
lock it up, else it would get out, and that is the
reason why the door is always shut. But I am de-
termined to know what it is, and put an end to it
somehow. The time came for going to bed, and Peter
was told to say his prayers, which he did, repeating
every word, but never thinking at all of what prayers
were for. I dare say he could see no more use for
them than he did in the clock.
After the servant put him to bed, Peter lay awake
a good while thinking what to do. It was a beautiful
moonlight night, and the moon shone full in upon
his bed. In the day-time he had made up his mind
to go down-stairs and get the key of the clock-case
out of his father's bureau, and see what was inside of
it, that he might stop its ticking, and clicking, and
striking, and telling tales, as he called it.
But when the night came, he was afraid to move
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK. 81
out of his bed, everything was so still and lonely.
The moon seemed to shine so coldly, and the further
end of the room seemed so dark; and then as he lay,
with his heart beating, he heard the clock tick, tick,
from the bottom of the stairs, as loudly as if it were
close to his ears. His courage failed him.
He put his head under the bed-clothes, and after
tossing first on one side and then on the other, now
lying on his back and now on his face, at last
doubled himself up, his knees and nose together, and
went off sound to sleep.
Before he was well asleep, as he thought, Sarah
came and shook him by the shoulder, and said,
"Come, come, Master Peter, it will soon be nine
The clock again, thought Peter, half-asleep and
half-awake, rubbing his eyes.
Come-get up, get up," said Sarah. "You will
be too late for school."
School and clock; clock and school. I wish the
clock was dead, and the school too. I have not had
any sleep," said Peter.
"No sleep ?" said Sarah. "Why, you went to
bed at nine o'clock, and have slept twelve hours by
Peter could stand this no longer, and began to cry.
I wish there was not a clock in the world," said he.
He, however, got up and dressed himself, whimpering
all the while. At last he washed, and crept softly
32 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK.
down stairs; and just as he got on the last stair, near
which the clock stood, and he was about to give it a
kick with his foot in very spitefulness, the clock
There, Peter," said his mother, you will be too
late for school again. Come, make haste; take your
breakfast, and run all the way."
Peter went off to school with half his breakfast.
When he got there, his master looked very angry.
"Peter," said he, "do you know what's o'clock?"
No, sir," said Peter.
"Then I must teach you," said he. With that he
laid him across his knee, and caned him on the breech
till poor Peter could not stand. He found it a great
deal more difficult to sit.
When he got to his form one boy said, What's
o'clock, Peter ?" and another, "A clock is a thing
that ticks." Another, a good deal more waggish,
A clock's a thing that's made to tick:
How do you like our master's stick? "
Peter 'cried more at this than at the whipping he
had received, and made such a noise, that the master
came to him and said, What are you crying for ? "
and, without hearing why, said, Leave off, sir, or I
will cane you again." Still Peter cried; still the
master told him to leave off. Leave off," said he,
shaking him; "Leave off," said he, boxing him;
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK. 33
" Leave off," said he, caning him again ; Leave off,
leave off, leave off, leave off." With every leave
off," he gave him a cut, till he was out of breath, and
pale with anger.
Peter found it very difficult to leave off, but did
squeeze his mouth together so as to make no noise,
and went to his writing and arithmetic, as usual, till
it was time to go home.
When he got in-doors he met his father, who
pointed up to the clock, and said, Do you see how
late you are ? I wish you would learn to come home
from school in time," said he;, it is almost one
Peter looked at the clock, as much as to say,
"You won't do that much longer, old boy; I think
I am a match for you, at any rate.
After dinner, it being half-holiday, Peter was
allowed to go into the garden. When he had been
there some time, his father called him from the cel-
lar, to take some bottles of wine into the parlour.
This Peter did, and ran into the garden again. A
short time after he went in to get his kite, and what
was his astonishment to find the key in the clock-,
case. As he stood looking at this, half inclined to go
and open the door, and see what was inside, his father
entered the parlour, locked the door, and put the key
in the drawer of his bureau.
How shall I get this key ?" said Peter. Father,
may I get a pencil from your bureau ? said he "I
want to draw a picture of our new summer-house."
84 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK.
With all my heart," said his father; take the one
with a slide to it from the second drawer."
This was the very next drawer to that in which the
key was placed, and Peter, trembling all the while he
did it, first opened this drawer and took out the key;
he then opened the other and took out the pencil, and
tried to look as innocent as if he had done nothing
wrong; but that was a very difficult matter.
What have you done, now, Peter ? You have up-
set the ink, I suppose, or broken the drawer," said
"No-o, father," said the boy; "I only hurt my
finger." The truth was, he had hurt something worse
than his finger; he had hurt his conscience, and it
smote him in the face, and made him look pale.
To avoid this confusion, he ran into the shrubbery,
and hid the key in an old tree, and then went about
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK. 35
as if nothing had happened. After a short time he
felt more calm.
The afternoon passed away, and the evening set in;
Peter all the time thinking upon the best means of
opening the door of the clock-case, and cutting the
He thought it would not take long, if he could
get his father and mother out of the way. How to
do this was the difficulty.
When he got out of the school, he vowed vengdXnce
against the clock; and determined that another
night should not pass before he had destroyed it. He
came part of the way home with Samuel Thorp, a
very shrewd lad.
Samuel," said he, "do you know what is inside
a clock ? "
"Why, yes, to be sure," said Thorp; don't
you? Why, pulleys and weights, and cat-gut, and
But what makes the clock go ? said Peter.
"Why, the weights and pulleys. If you were to
cut the cord, the clock could not go at all."
What, could not my mother tell when it was time
for me to go to school ? "
"No," said Thorp; "nor yet when you ought to
come home. A clock is a shocking tell-tale."
I believe you, it is," said Peter. I wish there
was not a clock in the world. But did you say cut
36 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK.
"Yes, to be sure. If you cut the cord, the clock
"Won't it? Then I should never get another
flogging for not knowing what's o'clock."
"I can't tell anything about that," said Thorp,
"but I wish you would change tops with me. I'll
give you my two pegs for your boxer, if you like."
Peter was a very simple lad, and immediately
changed tops with Thorp; and, after having a few
spins, ran home, his head full of the best way to open
the clock-case, that he might cut the cord.
He had not got far, however, before he met William
Playful, who asked him to have a game of bat-ball
with him. He immediately threw down his hat and
book-bag, and entered into the game with some
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A OLOCK. 37.
After playing till he was tired, he said, "I must go
home now; I begin to feel hungry."
So Peter put on his hat, and took up his bag, and
again set off for home; and, as his stomach kept
calling out, Make haste, "Peter, make haste," he
soon reached his father's house.
Peter the Simple, as we shall now call him, soon
found himself within his father's house. When he
got in his father looked very angrily at him, and
without saying a word took him into the hall where
the clock stood. He then pointed with his finger to
the clock's face. Do you see that, sir ? said he.
Peter looked up at the clock, and while he was
looking at it, it went cluck." Peter thought it
seemed pleased that he was in disgrace, and chuckled
"There," said his father, "it gives the warning-
it is on the stroke of two; and as you have chosen to
loiter on your way home in this manner, you shall
return to school at this very moment."
"But I am so hungry, father," said Peter, whim-
And I am so angry," said his father. So get
along, sir; and. I will call on your master, to know
why you come home from school so late every day;
and I hope your master will punish you as you de-
One-two," said the clock.
"Oh, you would wish me to get two beatings,
88 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WLTH A CLOCK.
would you? you spiteful, old, ugly, mahogany-look-
ing thing." And Peter began to cry.
Go along," said his father, out of the house.
Take up your bag. I shall follow you, depend upon
it." So Peter was forced to go back to school with-
out his dinner, and went crying all the way. As to
the clock, he felt that he could cut it, and hack it,
and break it all to pieces. Aye," said he, only
let me get another night over my head, you shall see
if I won't be revenged on you for this."
When Peter reached the school his master saw that
he had been crying, and said-" What! have you
not left off crying yet? I shall give you something
to cry for before you go home, depend upon it." So
Peter was more frightened than ever, and could not
learn his lessons, for he felt both faint and ill, and
Therefore, when he went up to his master he hesi-
tated and stumbled so in his lessons that Mr.
Thwackum grew quite out of patience with him, and
said that he should stop till ten o'clock at night if he
did not learn them properly.
Peter determined, therefore, if he could get outside
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK. 39
the door, to run off, and not come in again. He
asked leave to pass outside, and then took to his
heels, and darted across several meadows, till he
concluded he had got too far to be followed.
When he thought it was time to go home, he made
towards his father's house. Aye," said he, I shall
not be home late this time, and perhaps father will
forgive me, if I promise never to do so any more-not
till the next time."
So Peter went boldly into the parlour. "Why,
Peter," said his mamma, "are you come home
already ? Why, it cannot be five o'clock! She
then went and looked at the clock. Why, it is but
a little after four. You must have been playing
truant, and shall go to bed without your supper."
Well," said Peter to himself, that clock is a tell-
tale. Oh, if I could get at it, I would tear it to
pieces." And then he stamped his feet, and bellowed
with all his might.
His father came in shortly after this; he was just
going to call at the school. When he saw Peter, he
looked at the clock, and said, So you have stopped
away from school this afternoon, have you? Come,
sir, march to bed immediately. No words." Saying
this, he drove him up-stairs without further delay.
The servant was then sent to put him to bed. She,
however, was what is called a good-natured girl, and
brought up a thick slice of bread-and-butter under
her apron; she also contrived to bring up a little
40 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK.
mug of tea. Poor Peter was very glad of this. After
a short time he got into bed, and, sobbing awhile,
fell asleep. When he got to sleep, he began dream-
ing about the clock. He thought that it walked up-
stairs, and stood before the bed; that its hands
turned round and round with a rapid whirl, and
every now and then stood at the hours 9, 12, 2, 5,
while the door in its front opened and shut several
times, showing him something in the form of a
Peter awoke in a great fright: it was just day-
break. The clock was still in his eyes. He pulled
the clothes over him-then he paused awhile-then
he listened; it became a little lighter, and he had
more courage. The first beam of the rising sun threw
a red ray on the upper part of the ceiling. Peter
listened-the clock was ticking; he listened again-
suddenly it struck four.
There it is again! Now is the time to do for it.
Shall I ?" He listened again; all was silent. "No-
body will be up for a long time yet," thought he.
He would be quiet enough by breakfast-time, I
dare say. Let me see! Where is my knife? Then
he drew his trousers to him, which lay on the chair
by the bed-side, and fumbled in his pockets for his
knife. Oh, here it is," said he; "but-oh! I have
not got the key; it is in the hole of the old tree.
What shall I do ? I will creep down stairs. I think
I know how the doors are fastened. Hush !" He
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK. 41
got up, and put on his clothes very quietly. His
heart, however, would not lie quiet at all, but beat,
beat, beat, at his side, as if it wanted to force its way
"What can make my heart beat so ?" said Peter.
"I know I am not afraid; if I were, I would do for
this clock somehow; for I have suffered enough
through it." And then he thought of the scoldings,
and floggings, and fastings of the last day or two.
So he crept down stairs very gently, undid the
bolts of the door which led to the garden, lifted the
great bar of the outer door, and took off the chain
presently he found himself in the open air.
He ran to the tree, in the hole of which he had hid
the key of the clock-case; having secured it, he ran
on tip-toe back again. He went into the hall, where
the clock was, but he could scarcely see it, as the
shutters were not opened. Just as he was feeling
for the key-hole, he thought of his knife. Oh,"
said he, plague take it, that is up-stairs; I left it on
the bed." So the silly boy crept up-stairs very
gently, obtained the knife, and was soon before the
Now for it," said he, as he opened his knife. All
was silent. He stood with his knife in one hand, and
the key in the other-now the key is in the lock-
he turns it-the door opened. Peter got a glimpse
of two or three long cords, and two long round brown-
looking things, which startled him, for he had never
seen the inside of a clock before.
42 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK.
He listened-he trembled; but he drew his knife,
and stretched his hand out to cut the cords. Just as
the edge of it, however, touched the string, the loud
alarum bell of the clock began ringing at a violent
rate; the alarum weight ran down with a loud grating
noise, and Peter dropped down on the ground terribly
The noise went off, and all was still again. Peter
listened. Nothing was to be heard but the regular
tick of the clock. Aye," said Peter, I have given
him a cut, and he has cried out. I must do for him
now. There," said he, "you tell-tale, take that"-
(here he made a plunge with his knife at the cord)-
and that," said he; and another-there."
In an instant the weights dropped down with a
dreadful crash; a slight jingle of the bell was heard;
one tick-a click-it was over-and a red fluid gushed
out from the bottom of the clock-case.
Aye," said Peter, it is his blood; I have killed
him-he does not tick-he is dead."
Peter then ran up-stairs, scarcely knowing where
he went to; jumped into bed with his clothes on,
rolled himself up in the sheets, and listened. All was
silent. He will never tell tales of me again," said
Peter. I am glad he is done for."
Presently he heard Sarah getting up in the next
room. After a little she went down-stairs. Peter
heard her open the front parlour shutters; then she
cried out, and ran up-stairs; she knocked loudly at
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK. 43
her mistress's door, Oh, Ma'am," said she, here
are thieves in the house! Murder! Fire! Help!
Murder I "
Mr. Simple was in a few minutes down stairs. He
noticed all the doors to be open. "Why," said he,
" somebody has been at the clock The cords are cut !
and, -I declare, the two bottles of wine which 1 had
placed at the bottom of the case, to be handy when
I wanted them, are broken to pieces by the falling
of the weights! What does all this mean? "
I am sure I don't know, sir," said Sarah, who
sobbed as if she had been attacked, instead of the
Ha! a knife! Why, it is Peter's pocket-knife !
What can this mean ? "
"As sure as I'm alive," said Sarah, "that silly
boy has been and cut the cords. I heard him say he
would do for the clock the other day."
Mr. Simple, without saying another word, went
up to Peter, who was trembling under the bed-cloth-
ing. Peter," said he, you are a very little boy,
but a very great simpleton. Aye, Peter, if I was
only half as fond of striking as that poor clock was,
I should get a rod and make you remember this trick,
I can assure you."
Peter rolled himself round and round in the bed-
clothes, so that it was difficult to tell which was his
head and which were his feet. His poor father felt
him all over. At last he found his back, and giving
it a slight tap, said-" Do you hear me, Peter ? "
44 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK.
Peter feeling this tap, and deeming it to be only
the commencement of a sound drubbing, made a
spring, and a tumble, and a roll; and, as he was
bound hand and foot in the bed-clothes, he rolled
down on the floor. This not being quite so soft a
place to tumble on as the bed, Peter set up a loud
cry, while his father drew the clothes from him, till
he was at last quite uncovered.
"Peter," said he, "you have murdered the clock,
and you must be tried for it. I am afraid it will go
very hard with you. What have you to say for your-
self ? The clock is done for."
Oh, father," said Peter, "there is no good in a
clock; it is only a big tell-tale. We shall do very
well without it. Do forgive me this once; do, there
is a dear father."
"I suppose you think," said Mr. Simple, "that
now you have destroyed the clock, I shall not know
when you ought to go to school, or when you ought
to come home; but do you know, young gentleman,
that I have a watch in my pocket ? "
Peter had quite forgotten his father's watch, al-
though he had more than once held it to his ear, that
he might amuse himself by its ticking.
"You silly boy," continued his father; "and if I
had no watch, do you think I should not know the
time ? Why, the sun would tell me every day."
"What, when it does not shine, father? "
"Why, no, perhaps not; and this is the reason
PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK. 45
that clocks and watches are so useful to measure time
To measure time with? I don't understand this,
I am sure."
"I suppose you know that when the sun rises, it
is called morning; and when it sets, it is called even-
ing ? You have your breakfast in the morning, and
your supper in the evening. Is it not so? "
"Yes," said Peter.
"Well, there was once a time when people used to
have no other way of measuring time than by looking
at the sun; and as they could not tell exactly the
time of day by it, as it varied much in its time of
rising in various parts of the year, it led to a great
deal of confusion, and so various means were taken to
Well, I can't think how they can measure time.
I know how to measure a piece of board, or a house,
or a garden; but it would puzzle me to measure
It did not puzzle you much to kill the clock,"
said his father; "but come, listen to me.
It was found out that the sun came to the same
place in the heavens at particular times; and every
time the earth went round the sun it was agreed
it should be called a year.
Well, then, this year had to be divided into equal
parts; at first this could not be done exactly; but
at last, after a great deal of study, it was divided into
65 days, 5 hours and 49 minutes, nearly.
46 PETER SIMPLE'S ADVENTURES WITH A CLOCK.
"Then each day was also divided into twenty-four
parts, called hours; and the hours into sixty parts,
called minutes; and the minutes into sixty parts,
"Well, then, a clock measures exactly hours,
minutes, and seconds; and by my watch I can tell at
all times how long it will be before I get up in the
morning, should I happen to wake in the night. If
I should be out in the fields, I can tell by my watch
when I ought to come home to dinner; while the
cook at the same time knows by the clock what time
to get dinner ready; and you know when to go to
Oh, father," said Peter.
Before clocks like these were invented, time used
to be measured by water dropping from a glass
vessel. Then sand-clocks, or hour-glasses, were in-
vented to measure the hours, which are still used at
sea; and sometimes you may see minute-glasses used
to boil eggs with.
A good while after the invention of water-clocks
and hour-glasses, a very clever mechanist constructed
a watch-such as you see in my hand. But I can
tell you no more about clocks and watches now ; but
if you will make haste and dress yourself, and come
down stairs to breakfast, I will show you what a won-
derful invention a clock is, and what a very great sim-
pleton you have been."
THE HAUNTED MILL.
A FEARFUL AND ALARMING WET-GHOST STORY.
MY young friends have doubtless often heard stories
of ghosts and hobgoblins. I remember, when I was
a child, the poor foolish nursemaid used to enter-
tain me with an extraordinary variety of such matters,
so that my hair has stood on end, and I have been
afraid to rise from my chair to go into the dark.
Then, after I got into bed, I would smother myself
in the bed-clothes, and quake at the rustle of a leaf
against the chamber windows; and if I-slept, I used
to dream very horrible things indeed-about murders,
and dead bodies walking about in winding-sheets, and
demons staring through grated bars, with red, flaring,
I remember on one occasion waking in the middle
of the night, and observing, by the light of the moon,
as I supposed, a tall white figure standing in the
corner of the room; it was motionless, which added
to my terror-for I had heard of dumb, motionless
THE HAUNTED MILL.
ghosts; I looked at it, and trembled all over; I saw
the deep lines of its face, and its dark brow seemed to
scowl upon me, and its ashy, flat, moon-lit forehead
seemed like cold, obdurate marble. I called Mother,
mother! screamed violently, and kicked-oh, how
I did kick-till I was as bare of clothes as kicking
could make me. The house was aroused; mother,
father, servants, all were soon in the bed-room. I
could say nothing but-" The ghost the ghost! "
and pointed to the corner. When it was examined,
the cause of my distress was soon apparent, being
nothing more than my good father's flannel dressing-
gown, which the moon by her beams had partially
enlightened, and whose careless foldings, in its lights
and shadows, my fancy had shaped into a ghost,
which indeed it was-the ghost of a flannel dressing-
In the same village where I lived was an old mill,
dilapidated in the extreme-going to decay; its
planks cracked, its posts shivered, its sails split and
torn, its ladder broken through, and its wheel tireless
and spokeless, it was indeed the ghost of a mill. The
wind used to blow upon it, but its sails never moved;
its clapper was still in the loudest breeze; the voice
of its grinding had apparently ceased for ever; and
the wind used to rave over it, or whistle through its
dilapidated sides in very dismal howlings
As if this had not been enough of insult for the
poor old mill, a screech owl had made his roosting-
THE HAtUNTED MILLi
place among the decayed machinery, and in the still
hour of midnight, when all else was hushed, and
calm, and tranquil, would startle the forest trees with
his uncouth hooting, and fill the air with a sort of
terror. And he was the sole tenant there, for the
rats had left long ago, after devouring the surface of
every board which the flour had penetrated; and
thus the old mill was looked upon as a hideous and
fearful thing in itself; but, when the story of its
present ruin and dilapidation was told, it can
scarcely be wondered that the more ignorant portion
of the village should look upon it with a superstitious
And a strange story it was, but yet a true one.
Some years ago, there lived at a house close by,
but since pulled down, Jeremiah Cloff, the miller.
The house in which Cloff resided had been the habi-
tation of his father and grandfather before him, who
had built both it and the mill. Old Jeremiah Cloff,
the grandfather, had originally been a farmer's
labourer, and could neither read nor write. He
could, however, work, he could be frugal, he could be
trustworthy, and save money. From his earliest
boyhood he had been inured to labour; from five
years old his hard hands had supported him. From
the cow-boy he rose to the ploughman, and from the
ploughman to the foreman- of the farm; and at the
age of fifty he began to think and act for himself.
He bought grain, he sold grain, he converted corn
THE HAUNTED MILL.
into four. He had but little money, but it was
always ready money. He took advantage of the fall
of grain-and bought; he took advantage of the rise
of prices-and sold.
God prospered Jeremiah Cloff, for God helps
those who help themselves," as poor Richard says.
Jeremiah put his shoulder to the wheel, and got him-
self out of the mire of poverty to which he had been
born. He still was successful, and on the sixtieth
year of his birthday laid the foundation of his mill.
On the sixty-second year of his birthday both his
house and mill were completed, and his only son,
named Jeremiah, after himself, came of age.
The first Jeremiah Cloff was a long while getting
old, for he was aged in years before time seemed to
have overtaken either his body or his mind. He
still worked on, and at sixty-five might be seen
mounting that now crazy ladder with a sack of corn
on his shoulder, which he shot into the hopper with
all the ease of a younger man. At seventy Jeremiah
was less strong, but had the satisfaction to see his
son treading in his footsteps. Yes; carrying up
the corn into the hopper, which he could no longer
carry; driving the same cart, which he could no
longer drive; and making the same good bargains
which his father used to make, and which the old
mail was still as fond as ever of making.
But time will bend the strongest knee, and old
Jeremiah began to find the walk up those creaking
THE HAUNTED MILL.
stairs a task, and the care of his business a burden;
and as he felt his faculties one by one decaying, and
his sources of enjoyment decreasing, he was forced to
admit, even to himself, that he was old. But still,
although too old to labour, he could look on, and
daily he would toddle to his mill, the source of all
his delight in times past. He would untie the sacks
as well as his trembling hands would allow him, and
dive his hand into the corn and weigh it in his hand,
and smell it, and pick it over, and venture to try to
bite the kernel, to see if it bit flinty or kindly, as the
millers say; and then he would stand over the bin
and warm his shelved hands in the falling flour, and
so puddle about from wheat to flour, and from bin
to bolster, till he was tired out for the day.
So passed old Jeremiah to his rest; for on one very
cold winter's day he chanced to go into the mill all
alone, and mounted up to its higher parts, to see how
the stones worked, and he sat himself down close by,
to watch their motions. He felt faint, and as the
cold north-eastern blast blew keenly upon him
through the rafters of the mill, he felt a sleepy
sensation, and for a moment rested his head against a
beam. These were all the pangs of death Jeremah was
to feel, for he expired as if passing into a sweet
slumber, at the head of his mill-stones.
THE IIAUTNTED MILL.
His son Jeremiah, although deeply affected at the
sudden death of his aged parent, thought the best
monument he could raise to his memory, and the
best way of showing his love for the old man, was to
follow in his footsteps, and he determined to do so.
He rose early, and went to bed early; he did himself
what some would have told others to do; he set his
servants the example of industry by being himself in-
dustrious; he was punctual in his payments, true
and just in all his dealings; and this brought grist
to the mill," as the saying is. So the second Jere-
miah prospered like the first; from a mere grinder of
grist he became a substantial mealman; from his suc-
cess as a mealman he became a banker. But I must
tell you the particulars of that affair.
It so happened that the Duke of Portland, who
was at that time at the head of the government of
King George III., had a steward who, in catering for
the extraordinary large establishment of that noble-
man, made choice of Jeremiah Cloff to supply the
mansion with corn for the horses, and flour for the
family. Upon receiving the order, Cloff was given to
understand that he must take off a large discount
upon payment of the bill.
THE HAUNTED MILL.
How am I to do so?" said he; "for I have al-
ready charged my lord the lowest price, and were I
to take off anything I should have no profit."
These matters are easily accommodated," said
the steward, instead of charging low you must
charge high. You know, Mr. Cloff," said he, we
must have our perquisites."
Humph," said the miller, I understand; I am
to lay on to my lord and to take off to you."
"That is the proper way of doing business," said
Cloff was an honest man, and would not under-
stand this manner of acting. When he ruminated
on the matter in the evening over his pipe, as was
his usual custom, in his little summer-house, within
the sound of his own mill sails, after a few puffs he
said to himself, Well, the thing is clear enough; I
have got an opportunity of being a rogue-aye, a
rogue in grain.' I am to be like the man in the
Scriptures-' How many quarters of wheat owest
thou ? 'Forty.' Take thy pen and write four-
score.' Humph." And here he knocked the ashes
out of his pipe, and began to hum a stanza of the old
song in praise of tobacco :-
Think on this when you smoke tobacco;
IFor man is but dust,
And go he must,
Like ashes and smoke,
For life is a joke,
A vapour and puff.
THE HAUNTED MILL.
Yes," said he, "when a man turns to this, what
do all his dealings come to? 'Tis true I have got to
live, but then I have got to die. So, better to die an
honest man, than live a rogue. Yes, yes, old mill, I
had sooner you should grind little than much upon
So s:, i:., Cloff turned in doors, and before he
went to bed took up his pen and wrote thus to the
unjust steward :-
Sm,-I will not consent to supply corn and flour to my
lord in the unjust way you have proposed, because I would
rather be honest than rich. My lord is a worthy nobleman,
and if he were not, it does not follow that you and I should
unite to cheat him. I am very sorry he has such an unjust
steward, and hope he will find him out some of these days.
"JEREMIAH CLOrf, Miller."
And so this brief letter was sent to the steward
the next morning, and Jeremiah gave up all idea of
improving his fortune in that way, and went on
grinding and plodding, as his father had done, with a
cheerful mind and robust body.
It was nearly seven years after this event, when
the circumstance; had been almost forgotten in the
miller's mind, that early one morning a message
was brought to Cloff from the Duke himself, to re-
pair immediately to the great house to receive some
orders from his grace. Cloff, without waiting, set
off in his floury coat, and was, without further cere-
mony, ushered into the Duke's presence.
THE HAUNTED MILL.
Cloff, Cloff," said the Duke, hurriedly, You are
an honest man, as it would seem; is not this your
hand-writing? So saying, he handed to him the
identical letter he had written to the steward, who it
appeared had, in the interim, been transported for
forgery, and this letter had been found among his
Will you explain to me the circumstances under
which you wrote that letter ? "
Cloff explained, as well as he could, all the circum-
stances relating to the affair.
It is as I supposed," said the Duke. Some
orders will be sent you, my friend," he continued,
"and as they.will be rather large I will give you, as
a loan, such a sum as may be of service to you." So
saying, he immediately drew a cheque for 5,000, and
handed it to the astonished miller. Thou hast been
faithful over a few things ; I will make thee ruler over
Cloff rubbed his eyes, and thought the whole wal
a dream. Was it real? Could it be? He looked
around on the sumptuous furniture, the golden tas-
sels, the rich embroidery of the curtains; he looked
at the Duke, and fumbled the cheque, for his hands
trembled with astonishment.
Other matters of detail I leave with Mr. Lang-
horn," said the Duke ; "but depend upon me at all
times as your friend."
Cloff went home bewildered and confounded. The
THE HAUNTED MILL.
next day Mr. Langhorn, the new steward, called on
him, and handed him an order for corn and flour to
a considerable amount. In a few days a government
order was transmitted to the value of nearly
20,000. And now did the honest Cloff understand
the noble offer of the Duke. Without this sum, or
one in some degree similar, it would have been im-
possible for him to have gone to market.
Well, to make a long story short, what with the
Duke's patronage, and government contracts, Cloff
made money as fast as he could tell it. He now
married, and was soon delighted with the birth of a
son, whom he named Jeremiah, after himself and his
good old father. As his riches increased so did his
importance, and before his son came of age he had
established a county bank. But still, with all his
wealth, he never gave up the old mill. No. '" That,"
said he, "is the foundation of my fortune;' it shall
be an heirloom in my family. I am miller and
banker. A miller I have lived, and a miller I will
die." Never did a morning pass but Cloff mounted
his mill ladder, nor left till his coat had received its
Cloff, therefore, continued to prosper. His wealth
grew enormous; for his expenses not being a fourth
of his income, it naturally multiplied. The good
man gave away largely; but still, like the widow's
cruse, the more he gave, the more his oil seemed to
increase. But still he never left the old mill; and
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THE HAUNTED MILL.
keen for his almost exhausted frame, and seemed
ready to put out his flickering lamp of life; I tell
you, boy, if you forget the mill, God will forget you.
Keep the mill going." And he pointed at it with his
The mill shall go," said the son, somewhat im-
"Not to the hammer, boy," said the old man
quickly. If you despise the mill," said he again,
with nearly the whole of his remaining strength;
"if I thought you would-" and here the old man
burst into tears like a child-" if I thought you would
not keep on the mill, I should not die happy."
I will keep on the mill," said the son. I have
said so over and over again."
I never liked the banking business, though I
made money at it," said the old man. Stick to the
Whether the old man's excitement about the mill,
or his fears concerning his son's promise had the
effect of exhausting the little fire of life remaining in
him, I know not; but suddenly his eyes became
fixed and glassy-he sank on his pillows-he tried to
articulate. His son stood aghast. He raised his
head, and again pointed to the mill. At length, as
if he had summoned up the last of his remaining
strength, he said, finally-" Keep the mill going !"
and then fell back in his chair, and expired.
THE HAUNTED MILL.
THE young man who was born with a silver spoon
in his mouth "-Jeremiah the Third, as I shall call
him-was a very different character to his father or
grandfather. The bank, the money, the connections
of the firm; all that gave indication of wealth and of
stability, had their effect on the mind of young
Jeremiah. He was born, as the saying is, "with a
silver spoon in his mouth "-that is, with a fortune
ready made; and this, poor fellow, was his mis-
Somehow or other Jeremiah obtained the name of
Spoony Cloff, arising, I suppose, from his being born
to great wealth and little wit. His mamma--aye,
there was the mischief of it-she had very different
notions of things to her husband, honest Jeremiah
Cloff; she was somewhat of a bouncible lady, fond of
silks and satins, furbelows, ear-rings, embroidery, and
the host of nonsensicals with which little minds pride
themselves. While Mr. Cloff's notion was to be quiet,
and do his duty to all that surrounded him, Mrs.
Cloff was for cutting a dash, giving large dinner-
parties, having black servants, driving a pair of
ponies, making and receiving calls and visits.
THE HAUNTEDD MILL.
Young Cloff was of course initiated, at a very early
period, into all the fineries and fooleries of this kind
of life. He supposed that when he grew a man he
should be rich; and, therefore, he was determined to
be idle. From school he was kept at an early period
for fear study should injure his health; for although
the poor boy could eat as much as any ploughman,
and looked as fat as a prize bullock, yet he was said
to be in delicate health, and the doctor said too much
study would bring him to a premature grave. So he
grew up to the age of eight or nine years without
knowing his letters. What did he want with letters?
THE HAUNTED MILL.
He knew he should have plenty of money, and his
mamma had taught him that money, and not learn-
ing, was to be respected-that money would obtain
everything. She, however, knew that Jeremiah
would cut a poor figure in the world unless ho ob-
tained some information; so, after a great deal of
delay, she agreed that he should go to school.
Now, in the town in which the Cloff family re-
sided were, as is usual, schools of all grades-from
twopence a week up to twenty-five guineas a quarter
-so that one would have thought Mrs. Cloff could
have found no difficulty in fixing upon some one to
suit her son. There was the Mathematical and Com-
mercial Academy, conducted by Mr. Digit, who pro-
fessed to teach every commercial thing for scarcely a
commercial consideration; and then there was the
Classical and Mathematical College, conducted by
the Rev. Dr. Delectus, who went as high into the
classics as a balloon goes into the air, and who
thought nothing of anything but classics and mathe-
matics. Between these two Mrs. Cloff was sorely
puzzled. What she would have liked would have
been for her son to have received a better education
than any other lad in the township, with little expense
to herself and no trouble to the child. She thought
a really clever schoolmaster ought to be able to imbue
a child with the whole circle of the sciences without
any exertion on the part of his pupil. But neither
Mr. Digit nor Dr. Delectus professed to do this; but
Mr. Syntax did. Ay, Mr. Syntax, of the Hocus
THE HAUNTED MILL.
Pocus Educational Establishment, advertised to
educate young gentlemen in classics, mathematics,
science, history, geography, grammar, French, Latin,
Greek, German, music, drawing, hydrostatics,
hydraulics, optics, ticktacts, tactics, nicknacks, and a
hundred other things, in a manner pleasing to the
child; so that. learning was to be a delight, and
teaching a pleasure.
Now this was the very thing Mrs. Cloff wanted,
and accordingly Jeremiah was sent to school,
bedizened with fine clothes, a watch in his pocket,
and a gold chain round his neck. His pony was also
sent with him, and a tremendous plumcake; a lot of
sweetmeats, sugar-plums, baker's-hard, and candied
orange-peel. Then he was to come home every fort-
night; the servant was to be sent for him, and he
was to ride his pony home. His mamma was also to
call and see him once a fortnight; so that mother
and child met for sympathetic endearments once a
week. Mr. Syntax had particular directions given
him on no account to hurt his mind by doing or
saying anything to him -disagreeable, for he was a
child of very delicate susceptibility, and his feelings
were not to be trifled with. Then he was not to be
opposed in his various notions, for he was a boy of a
very fine spirit, and she would not have his noble
spirit broken for the world.
All this poor Mr. Syntax agreed to comply with,
and Master Jeremiah Cloff the banker's son, was
placed at school.
THE HAUNTED MILL.
FoR the first two or three weeks things went on
pretty well. Mr. Syntax gave the young simpleton
but very little to do; so he rode his pony, played at
sailing boats in the water, got into mischief now and
then, which was looked upon as a proof of his extra-
ordinary precocity by his mamma, although Mr.
Syntax looked serious; and so things went on. At
the end of three months Jeremiah went home, and his
mother expected to receive a prodigy of learning.
THE HAUNTED MILL.
The first day of his being at home old Cloff thought
he might put a few questions to his son; so, after
Mrs. Cloff had, at breakfast, eulogised the dear boy's
conduct at school as the paragon of perfection, Mr.
Cloff called out to him, Youngster-spell mill.' "
M-i-l," said Jeremiah.
"F-1-o-w-r," replied the boy.
Well done," said the father; "now spell thresh-
My dear, how can you expect the poor child to
spell such hard words? I am quite astonished at you.
See, you have broke the poor child's heart (Jeremy
looked very sulky); come and kiss me, my darling
So the darling boy began to pout and to frown,
but he did not go to his mamma. Don't want to
be kissed," said he.
"No, you want the threshing machine," said the
I am sure he does not want your advice," said
the mother, nor any such a barbarous, hard-hearted,
cruel, unnatural barbarian. Here, my dear, take
this orange marmalade, and never mind what your
I think you want the threshing machine as well
as the child," said Mr. Cloff.
But Mr. Cloff said no more, except Sow your seed,
Mrs. Cloff, you will have to reap the harvest."
THE HAUNTED MILL.
The gentle Jeremiah went to school again, and as
Mr. Syntax found it necessary to urge his pupil on
a little, the second quarter was not so comfortable
as the first; so his fine noble spirit was brought into
play, as his mother would have said. The very first
task Jeremiah was compelled to learn by his master,
he took the hint and cut the gordian knot, by run-
ning away. The master, of course, was blamed; he
was called a cruel tyrant, not fit to conduct a school;
and Jeremiah the clever was withdrawn.
After this the poor child had a tutor at home, who
it was discovered had a bad temper, and was therefore
dismissed. Their next was too lenient, and did not
push his pupil on in his studies. The next was too
rigid. The next had some other defects. Another
school was tried, and from this Jeremiah eloped.
Then private tutors, then a school; till at last he
grew up into manhood, knowing little more-nay, in
fact, not so much, as the boys of the charity school
to which old Cloff had subscribed, with great credit
to-himself, ten guineas a year.
It will not be wondered at, therefore, that Jeremiah
was a very hopeful youth. What with his ignorance
and his expectancy, he stood in a fair way of making
a dash of some kind in the world. In the first place,
he had a sovereign contempt for his mother, and no
respect whatever for his father. The old man's
death, as already detailed, afforded him satisfaction
rathe than sorrow; for he had all the world before
THE HAUNTED MILL.
him, and a fortune of nearly one hundred thousand
The old mill! Let the old mill rot, piece-meal,
for what I care," said he, long before his father's
funeral was over. "And as to the bank, I shall
make very short work of that. All that I have got
to do now is to live and enjoy myself. Business and
trade! a fig for it. I will take pretty good care not
to make my coat dusty, I'll warrant me."
With these notions Jeremiah Cloff, the fashionable,
determined to lead the life of a gentleman of indc-
pendence, ease, and fortune. Money was to supply
the place of wit; money was to supply the place of
judgment; money was to be manners; money was to
be morality; money was to be everything.
The first effort of emancipation was to dispose of
all interest and right in the bank. As to the mill,
that was to take its chance, and go to dilapidation as
it pleased. A life of pleasure was before him.
Jeremiah came up to London, took up fashionable
quarters at the West End, and his first ambition was
to drive four-in-hand in Rotten Row. A splendid
turn-out was procured. Mounted on the box, the
young miller (that should have been) cut a splendid
figure. The ladies stared at him as he passed; the
real fashionables quizzed him, as with his hat on one
side, he looked down with ineffable contempt on the
pedestrians; and the great Achilles himself was not
an object of greater attraction when first set up than
THE HAUNTED MILL.
Jeremiah Cloff, the miller's son, when he made his
public entry into Hyide Park.
The next freak was to take a box at the opera; and
here the poor young man was fascinated nightly by
*dancers, singers, and buffoons. To do the thing
genteelly, Mr. Cloff was obliged to change his tailor.
Upon his first visit to London he had, according to
his bringing-up, gone to the most respectable tailors
in the City for a suit; but a few nights' attendance
at the opera convinced him that the City was not the
place for an exquisite fit. Mr. Tightfit, of Bond-
THE HAUNTED MILL.
street, was therefore applied to, and the young as-
pirant of fashion, who had thought five guineas a
tolerably good price for a coat, was now taught that
fifteen were "considered moderate." Cloff was,
therefore, squeezed into a coat, waistcoat, and panta-
loons of pea-green superfine, and went down to the
______ I( .1 *' ',
opera in as elegant a trim as a young man would wish
for; his fingers sparkled with diamond rings, his'
neck sported a massy gold pin decked with brilliant,
his somewhat thick hands were driven into a pair of
lilac gossamer kid gloves, and his boots were nar-
rowed at .the heels to such a delicate point that he
found it difficult to stand on them, at the same time
the extreme sharpness of the toe gave him exquisite
THE HAUNTED MILL.
uneasiness. Besides this the poor fellow somehow
or other found out that he had weak eye-sight, and
therefore procured a pearl-mounted eye-glass, through
which he deigned to look at the objects around him.
He wondered how he could be so vulgar as to look at
anything with the naked eye, and supposed that the
use of eyes was to accommodate eye-glasses. And
thus he appeared, night after night, at the opera.
And now, instead of talking, as his good old father
and grandfather had done before him, of barley and
beans, sharps, pollard, bran, and middlings, he de-
lighted to lisp the praises of the prima donna,
Madame Squallofrighty, or the superb dancing of the
immortal Taglioni. Sometimes, notwithstanding,
when the wind met him at the corner of a street,
he would-or rather he could not help-thinking
of the old mill; but the thought was soon thrown to
the winds, from whence it came.
Cloff had now a great ambition to be introduced at
court; but how this was to be managed was a diffi-
culty. As luck would have it, a general election
drew nigh. The ins (that is the party in power); had
taxed John Bull's pockets a little too stiffly; and the
outs (that is, the party out of power), had persuaded
honest John that he had been hardly done by;
and therefore John had thought proper to stop the
supplies. The King was, therefore, in a quandary,
and the ministers in fidgets. To secure an over-
whelming majority in the lower House of Parliament
THE HAUNTED MILL.
every means and stratagem were resorted to; all that
money, cunning, or duplicity could buy, was at-
tempted to be gained.
Now, Cloff was a freeholder for the county of Bucks,
and had a vote. His influence was also great, and
he had lots of money. At one of the fashionable
soirees he came in contact with one of the clerks of
the Treasury, the Honourable Mr. Dashaway, who
proposed to Cloff to put up for the borough of Black-
berry, in the ministerial interest. As to an intro-
duction at court, he could easily procure that, and
even to the King himself, if necessary.
The matter was, therefore, arranged. Cloff put
forth a declaration of his intention of offering him-
self as a candidate for the borough of Blackberry, and
entered into correspondence with a negotiator of
bribes-for the election was to be bought, as usual in
such cases. At the same time, his most gracious
Majesty King George the Third had a levee, and
Cloff had a card of presentation, the Hon. Mr.
Dashaway having received permission to introduce
him to the King.
The levee day came; hundreds of carriages rolled
along St. James's-street; the Guards were under
arms; the pole of one carriage came through the
back of a second, which, to make things uniform,
pushed its pole through the panels of a third. Cloff
had started his carriage, and had his arms emblazoned
-so large, as almost to frighten the horses. Where
THE HAUNTED MILL.
he got them from the Herald's College alone could
tell. When he paid the fees, and entered his car-
riage, the beadle stood to usher him into it, and a
reverend doctor of law, cap in hand, escorted him to
the door. As to the poor young man, lie felt so
large and important that, like the frog in the fable,
he grew quite uncomfortable, so inflated was he with
pomp, pride, and vanity.
Down St. James's-street drove the miller's son.
His card procured him admission to the palace. Then
came the awful squeeze. Hundreds-nay, thousands
THE HAUNTED MILL.
-of fat dowagers, puny noblemen, powdered officers
robed lackeys, feathered dames, and gold-bedizened
damsels; old, young, brown, fair, pretty, ugly, halt,
maimed, lame, and blind, painted up to the eyes, and
scented abominably, made a mob not to be equalled
at Bartholomew fair. Then came the pushing, the
driving, the elbowing, the toe-treading, the squeezing,
the fumbling, the panting, the groaning; till at last,
with his wig twisted, his cravat tumbled, his sword
dangling between his legs, Jeremiah Cloff was pulled,
pushed, or driven into the presence of the King.
" Quick! quick! said the lord in waiting, and
pushed him towards the throne; but before he could
make one knee touch the ground, he received an-
other push from behind, and a pull of the arm, and
was handed over into the ante-chamber, to be
squeezed, rumpled, crumpled, and fumbled as before.
The election now came on. Money flowed, as
blood has often flowed, for the same cause. Cloff
was in the interest of the ins, and got worsted. It
was a sharply-contested election. Lord Merrythought
was his opponent, and expenses were enormous on
both sides. The day of reckoning soon came, and
Cloff found himself minus fifty thousand pounds,
being exactly one-half his fortune. The Hon. Mr.
Dashaway therefore turned his back upon him.
How to retrieve this great mistake was now ClofPs
object. But this appeared to be impossible; so after
grieving over the loss for a few days he went to the
play, the ball, and the opera, as before.
THE HAUNTED MILL.
After some months spent in this kind of recreation,
Cloff married one of the opera-dancers, and entered
upon a new fashionable career in the marriage state.
The lady, of course, could not exist without her car-
riage, nor he without his cab and tiger; so a carriage
for madame was forced to be kept on. Then there
were horses for riding; a horse in town, a horse in
the country, servants, and all other et ceteras. What
was fifty thousand pounds to provide for this ? Why,
Cloff spent the half of it in the first three years, and
was told that he was a great deal too economical.
Alas! poor fellow, he discovered that he was going
back, and wished to retrieve his fortune, so he went
to the gaming-table. At first he won a few hundred
pounds. Excited by this seeming success, he played
largely, and won and lost by turns. At last he
staked very high sums, till in the end he staked his
all, and lost his last shilling.
A few days more saw him in a spunging-house;
then came the law, the law expenses, and beggary.
In the midst of his beggary a son was born to him.
Poor child, it had not a blanket to wrap itself up in.
Cloff and his wife and child were without the neces-
saries of life. He could not bear the sight. Other
debts pressed upon him; the chains of a jail clattered
in his ears-he fled.
But where should he flee ? He knew not; but he
kept on. He turned his back on the metropolis, and
took the bye-roads and green lanes into the country.
He subsisted for days upon the grain which stood
THE HAUNTED MILL.
then richly in the ear, for it was harvest time. On
and on he wandered, he spoke to no one, and knew
not whither he went. At last he thought he had
reached some spot long since familiar to him. He
looked around him. Yes, he knew that old oak tree;
he had played under it when a child. He looked
again. Alas it was the miller's orchard, full of ripe
rosy apples. A third time he looked around him, and
there stood the old dilapidated mill.
A shriek of wild agony burst from his lips as he
gazed upon this object, and his dying father's words
rang in his ears, and smote him to the heart, as if
they had cleft it in twain. The anguish was in-
supportable. He ran up to the post at the back of
the mill, and beat his head against it. Life was no
longer endurable. He looked around him for some
implement with which to put an end to his miserable
existence. A cord dangled from the top of the ladder
at the landing-place above. He ran up wildly. In
a few moments the fatal rope was round his neck,
and without a prayer or cry for mercy the wretched
man swung himself off; the old beam creaked, but
did not break; the cord strained, but did not part;
and Jeremiah Cloff was suspended midway between
earth and heaven. He gave one struggle, and was no
more. His soul passed to its account with all its
imperfections upon it.
What became of the fourth Cloff, and how he re-
gained possession of the old mill, is related in the
THE HAUNTED MILL.
AFTER such a series of strange events connected with
this old mill, it was no wonder for it to obtain a fear-
ful name. That one should die in it, another by it,
and another on it, was quite sufficient to obtain for it
the name of the fatal mill.
When Cloffs body was found the next morning
suspended from the upper part of the ladder, the
whole neighbourhood was in great consternation; but
when the body was recognized as belonging to the
son of the late proprietor of the mill, the wonder and
amazement were indeed great. Next night a violent
thunder-storm came on, and the tempest howled about
the old mill most fearfully. A thunderbolt struck it,
and passing through its centre, split the nether mill-
stone, and blackened its way down to the very foun-
All this tended to increase the awe which every one
felt upon looking at the mill, and after a while the
superstitious began to hear strange noises, and to see
strange sights, and to fancy strange things concern-
ing the mill. It was called the "Tomb of the Three
Millers," and they were said to meet under its walls
every night at twelve o'clock, and joining hands,
THE HAUNTED MILL.
dance till the clock struck one, pronouncing a curse
on every one who should ever grind at the mill.
Old Mrs. Starchwell, the washerwoman, said she
distinctly saw a monster one night as she was going
home late from her washing, with a black, shaggy,
wiry skin, a head and face something between a bear
and a dragon, with large saucer-eyes, huge fang
teeth, a long tail, and prodigious claws, go up into the
mill with a sack full of something. The old woman
further said that the demon, or spirit, or whatever it
was, called out to her in a voice like thunder:-
Do you know what I've got here ?
Do you know what I've got here?
I'm husbanding a store;
The bones of millers that are dead,
To grind, and grind, and grind for bread,
As millers grind the poor."
And then she heard the crushing of the bones in the
hopper, and their horrible grinding amid the blasted
stones. The mill sails went round without any wind,
a strong smell of sulphur pervaded the air, and then
from the bottom of the mill rolled trunkless skulls,
partly like skulls, and partly like quarter loaves, one
after the other, to the bottom of the hill, where they
were lost in a thick smoke.
Mr. Wonderlove had also his vision to recount of
what he had heard and seen in the dead hour of mid-
night. Mr. Wonderlove was the parish clerk and
THE HAUNTED MILL.
schoolmaster; and he had seen four millers hanging
by the neck-one on each sail-swing round with
awful rapidity. He had also heard the grinding of
the bones, which partly proved Mrs. Starchwell's ac-
count to be true. He had seen the dancing millers
also. Besides which, he had seen something which
he was forbidden to reveal; and, therefore, he knew
more about the supernatural affairs of the mill than
any other person. But still Mrs. Starchwell's ac-
count was looked upon to be the most authentic, and
she was considered as the true oracular pythoness of
And thus the old dilapidated mill, which only
wanted a few pounds laid out upon it to be as active
and profitable as ever, was left to decay. It is true
that no one had any business with it; no one knew
to whom it belonged, and very few cared. Cloff was
buried under the four crossways, as a felo de se, and
with the exception of the mill terror, things went on
as usual in the neighbourhood of it.
Time passed away. The old mill stood where it
did. People had partly forgotten the circumstances
connected with it. The unreal circumstances, how-
ever, were as vivid as ever in the minds of both young
At last, however, a poor begging widow woman,
attended by a little boy not quite seven years old,
was seen to enter the town. The little boy, who
was just able to read, was before his mother, and
THE HAUNTED MILL.
stopped at the first house to read a notice on a large
board, which ran as follows :-
BY ORDER OF THE MAGISTRATES,-A]1 beggars, vagrants,
and idle or disorderly persons, if found remaining within this
township for more than two hours, will be committed to jail
for fourteen days.
Tn OTHY FIG, Overseers.
PETER Purp, I
JONATHAN RAWBONES, High Constable."
When the poor little boy saw this he turned, with
tears in his eyes, and pointed to the board. "Oh!
dear mother," said he, "we shall not get a halfpenny
in this town."
"Heaven help us said the poor woman, in a
foreign accent (for she spoke in bad English), "for
else we must die. Take the last piece of crust I
have, my child, and take the little mug and fetch me
a drop of water from yonder pump."
The little boy did as he was- desired; but just as
he had lifted up the handle of the pump, a thick, fat,
surly man, with a large, red-pimpled face, stepped
quickly from his door opposite the pump, calling out,
" Hollo, you you ng imp, down with that pump-
handle," and gave the poor child a most severe cuff,
which felled him to the ground. D'ye think we
build pumps for such varment ? said he. "Here,
Jerry, bring the padlock. Why did you not put it on
this morning?" So saying, a padlock and chain
were brought forth, the latter of which was passed
THE HAUNTED MILL.
round the pump, which was secured hard and fast by
The poor woman now ran up to the high constable
-(for this stout personage was no less than Mr.
Rawbones)-and exasperated almost to madness at
the ill-usage of her child, took up a cleaver which was
lying on the block at Mr. Rawbones' door, who was a
butcher, and made a blow at him with all her force.
The butcher ran away, shouting out "Murder!"
which brought out all his men. The poor woman,
with a frenzied look, flourished her weapon; the
street was alarmed; every one came out to see what
was the matter. Down with her! down with her!"
cried Mr. Rawbones from his chamber window, into
which he had ran for safety; and the people clustered
round the woman. The poor child clung closely to
her, and buried his head in her garments.
"I do not want to do any harm, my goot people,"
said the woman; "only dat man, he fight my child
with his great big paw, and I should almost kill him
rather than he kill my child. Dere is the shoppare,"
said she, throwing down the weapon.
Seize her; seize her, in the King's name. That's
right, handcuff her. Off with her; off with her to
the cage. A foreign varment. Bundle off the young
one also. I will soon be after you."
Before these directions could be well given they
were accomplished by the bystanders, two of whom
were petty constables, and the poor famished woman
THE HAUNTED MILL.
and her child were taken and thrust into the cage.
It was a good thing for them, poor creatures, for they
obtained bread and water, which would otherwise
have been denied them in the good town of Brutelaw.
All that evening, and the whole of the next day-
for it was on a Sunday that the two vagrants reached
Brutelaw-did they remain in the cage, with a little
damp straw for a bed, and a piece of bread and a jug
of water for food.
Rosette-for that was the poor woman's name-
prayed fervently that God might be pleased to take
her. As for the little boy, he amused himself
during his confinement by first picking out a number
of the longest and soundest straws; some of these he
split into halves, and fastening them, when laid cross-
ways, with a pin, he placed the point of it into the
hollow of the long straw, and thus made himself a
mill. One of these he held against the key-hole, or
grating of his dungeon, and had a childish delight
in beholding the wind blow them round and round;
and as he could not bear to enjoy his delight alone,
he often called on his poor mother to share it with
him. There, look now, mamma," he would say,
when a gust of wind made the sails go round more
quickly, how pretty they go round. Look look !
there is a dear mamma "
But his poor mamma was too much absorbed in
sorrow to take much notice of his childish play, and
she wept incessantly. At last the morning came, and
THE HAUNTED MILL.
with it the head constable, Mr. Rawbones, and his
two satellites. They proceeded to open the doors,
and handcuff the woman, and taking the boy by the
collar, led them both away to the town-hall, where
the magistrates were sitting.
There were two magistrates on the bench. One-
Mr Bouncible-had been in the early part of his life
a wholesale, retail, and exporting cheesemonger, and
having acquired a large fortune, had returned to the
county when still quite a young man. How he got
into the commission of the peace few knew, but it was
supposed that, somehow or other, he had supplied
grease to the political wheel. He was a round-faced,
fat man, with huge red whiskers, a ferret-eye, and
looked down from the bench with ineffable contempt
upon all who sat below it.
The other magistrate-Sir William Wiseman-
was tall and well-proportioned, with a large clear
forehead, a mild eye, and quiet demeanour. He was
somewhat grey, but had lost none of his bodily or
mental powers. He seemed pleased and affable to
all around him. Sir William was the scion of an old
stock of baronets, and had the feelings, bearing, and
education of a gentleman.
"Now, Rawbones," said Bouncible, let us dis-
patch your business. Fourteen days, I suppose, as
Bless your worship, I have been almost murdered
by this here furyess; my head nearly chopped in two;
THE HAUNTED MILL.
my wife so alarmed as to be forced to send for Dr.
Dosemwell; my house invaded-and a house is an
Englishman's castle, your worship; my pump violated,
which I had put a lock on to keep off the tee-totallers;
and the town itself in a state of rebellion. I hope
your worship will give her and her brat twelve
months for certain. Now, just look, your worship,
how indifferent the young dog stands with his straw
mills, whirling them about in dishonour of your wor-
ship's presence; he ought to be committed for con-
tempt of court."
"Make out her committal, Mr. Scrivener," said
Bouncible to the clerk of the court.
"Stay one moment," said Sir William; "let us
hear what the prisoner has to say for herself "
Very true, your worship," said Rawbones.
"Now, my good woman, let us hear your account
of this matter." Rosette told the magistrate, in her
broken English, a true account of the affair, and said
she knew that she did wrong in taking up the shop-
pare, but she did it not to hurt any one; and that,
being very hungry and excited, she had been over
rash, and begged pardon and forgiveness.
Where do you come from, woman ?" said Mr.
We come from Sicily," said Rosette; "we come
from de town Palermo. My husband is English; he
die some year ago; I come to find him out."
A good story," said Bouncible. Her husband
THE HAUNTED MILL.
died some time ago, and she came to find him out.
I suppose you go into the churchyards then, and pull
the bones about."
Oh no share; he not buried in the churchyards,
as I learn at de time; he buried in de road, where
dey cross one over de oder."
"I think the woman is mad," said Bouncible.
"It's all sham, your worship; she is and old stager,
depend upon it," said Rawbones.
"I not know sham," said the poor woman.
"Do you mean," asked Sir William, in a kind tone,
"that your husband was buried under the junction of
four cross-ways ? He must then have killed himself."
"Oh yes, sair, he kill himself vid de rope," said
"Hung himself ?" Sir William asked.
"Yes sair; and the tears came into Rosette's
And pray what was your husband's name ? in-
quired the same magistrate.
"They called him Cloff-Jeremiah Cloff," she said.
"Cloff !" said both magistrates in one breath.
"Cloff said Mr. Rawbones." Cloff was heard
going about from mouth to mouth. The court stood
up in astonishment.
He was de master of de bank in de town where
he live, and de miller of de flour," said Rosette.
"We understand you, my good woman; and for
the sake of that poor little boy's grandfathecr-a very
THE HAUNTED MILL.
honest man-you shall have protection, and assistance,
And so, after some further investigation, the high
constable no longer pressed his charge. Rosette and
little Jeremiah were liberated, and told to call on Sir
William Wiseman the same evening. They went,
and the old baronet received them kindly. Sir
William was poor, as many worthy people are. He
could do but little in the way of giving; but he
could teach these poor people to help themselves,
which is doing good in the right way.
Rosette, who understood Italian-her native lan-
guage-very well, and had some knowledge of
English, offered to become a teacher to several
families in the neighbourhood, and Jeremiah was
sent to school-the very school his grandsire had
established. He did not, however, spend all his time
at school; for as his poor mother fell very sick, he
was obliged to do something to bring in an honest
penny, so he hired himself to a very wealthy farmer
in the neighbourhood for a few weeks to keep the
birds off the corn. For this he was paid fourpence a
day; and every little helps, when one is nearly des-
And so it was Rosette contrived to live. As
Jeremiah grew bigger, he began to follow the plough,
and became a handsome youth, and very fond of his
mother. He never forgot her. When on his return
home late at night, after his hard day's work, he
THE HAUNTED MILL. 85
would stop to gather mushrooms, or any other little
thing of which she might be fond, that he might have
an offering for her when he reached his happy little
Besides acquiring considerable skill in agriculture,
Jeremiah became exceedingly clever in the manage-
ment of live stock. At a very early age he had been
entrusted with a flock of ewes to attend during the
lambing season, for a portion of the profits, and he so
faithfully tended his charge, that he brought up a
THE HAUNTED MILL.
larger quantity than usual of lambs. This put money
in his pocket; ten pounds-a large sum for him-
were the reward of his industry.
When the money was paid to the poor lad he
seemed almost frantic; such a sum he thought it im-
possible he should ever possess. He ran to his
mother, and scarcely felt the ground under his feet
throughout the whole distance. He threw the money
into her lap. There, mother; my dear mother "
said he, "you can now buy yourself some clothes,
and lay in a few faggots and chumps for the winter,
and make yourself comfortable and happy."
Not a farthing will I touch of it, my dear boy,"
said his mother. No; this ten pounds will be your
fortune. Improve on it lay it out in stock-in
lambs-next year; it may be worth ten times ten
After much hesitation, Jeremiah did as his mother
desired him. He bought a dozen ewes, and led
them on the hills with his master's. He again was
successful in the lambing season; his dozen ewes,
at the end of the following year, had increased to
Some of these the youth sold; he laid out the pro-
duce in others. And so on the next year, and again
the next, till at last, before he was twenty-one years
of age, he was the owner of above five hundred sheep,
with some cows, oxen, and swine.
On the day he reached his twenty-first year, he was
walking down the principal street of the town near
THE HAUNTED MILL.
which he resided, and observed a bill in the window
of Mr. Mallet, the auctioneer, which ran to the fol-
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION,
By Mr. MALLET, Auctioneer,
On Friday, July 9, 1803.
The whole of that Messuage and Tenement, situate on the
Warren Hill; together with the Bill, Mill-stones, Boulters, and
Machinery of every description,
Which will be sold without reserve, &c.
Yes it was-the very mill on which his poor father
had hung himself. He looked upon the bill with a
sigh, and turned away. He returned, again read the
bill, and shuddered. While he was reading the bill
the third time, Mr. Mallet popped his head out of
the door, and said, '" Ha, ha! Master Cloff, there is
a bargain for you, if you do not mind a ghost or two,
which will be put in with the lot. Ha, ha, ha!"
Cloff could not laugh; he thought of his poor
father, and turned away, without saying a word.
Some hours or so afterwards, on his return, several
persons were wending their way towards the scene of
the sale; most of them I suppose, more from curiosity,
than any wish to make purchase of so dilapidated a
structure. Cloff, poor fellow, unconsciously followed,
and after a short time, found himself standing under
the mill on the very spot where his poor father had
destroyed himself. The sale had just begun.
THE HAUNTED MILL.
Mr. Mallet enumerated, with surprising volubility,
all the various parts, portions, and merits of the mill,
which he declared, positively, were little the worse for
wear, which was literally true, as they had not worn
out, but rotted out. But, with all his eloquence, he
could scarcely find a bidder. There were three acres
of land, an eight-roomed tenement, mill, machinery,
brick-work, wood-work, iron-work, stone-work, and
all to be sold to the highest bidder, let him bid ever
At last, after a great deal of jesting and laughter,
both from the auctioneer and his auditors, old Scare-
crow, the money lender, called out, I'll bid a hun-
dred pounds for the whole lot."
One hundred pounds; thank you, sir. A good
beginning; although the estate is worth a thousand.
Going for one hundred pounds. Why, the old oak-
work would build a very smart brig or sloop, and the
elm would supply you and half the town with coffins,
Mr. Scarecrow; and as to the stone-work-I think
you take a pleasure in skinning flints-and so here
goes. Going, going, going."
The hammer was raised, and was on the point of
descending, when young Cloff called out, One hun-
"Good," said the auctioneer; "one hundred
guineas; going for a hundred guineas; only one
hundred guineas; ghosts, hobgoblins, imps, saucer-
eyes, long tails, sharp claws, white sheets, shrouds,
THE HAUNTED MILL.
dancing demons, horns, hoofs, dead men's bones-all
going, going, going; only one hundred guineas;
Crack went the hammer on the desk, and every-
body turned his eye upon the purchaser; and every-
body knew the purchaser. Some smiled, others
shrugged up their shoulders, and one or two said,
SI wish you joy of your bargain, young fellow."
And so it was that young Cloff again became the
proprietor of the estate of his ancestors. The very
next day he went to work. In a few weeks the
miller's house was repaired, and his mother brought
to reside in it. A few months and a few scores of
pounds put the mill into condition; and on that very
day six months, the sails, which had not turned for
nearly twenty years, went round again, and the
whole aspect of the place was changed.
Prosperity now followed the young man at every
step, as it had done his grandfather and great-grand-
father. Honest, frugal, and industrious, Cloff grew
rich, like them. His mother was comfortably pro-
vided for, and she grew to a good old age, and died
happy. After his mother's death Cloff married, and
brought up his children to habits of rigid industry.
The old mill was the grand staple of their wealth.
The ghosts and hobgoblins had vanished even from
the recollection of the common people; and Cloff
died mayor of the town into which he entered as a
vagrant and an outcast.
90 THE HAUNTED MILL.
And now, my young friends, I wish to say a word
or two to you concerning this story. You see by it
the too common fate of families. The grandfathers
and great-grandfathers acquire wealth by frugality
and industry; their sons and grandsons too often live
idly, and spend it again. Let this not be your case.
Should you be poor, recollect that even poverty can-
not prevent your rising to wealth, with prudence and
industry. Are you rich ?-do not let the silver spoon
which you are born with melt in your mouth. Re-
member this proverb, which has a higher authority
than man, for it is the Word of God:-
"The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and
drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."-Prov. xxiii. ch.