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  • SheffieldPark 4 Feb 2013 at 20:16
    Of course Irish railways may be cheaper as they are mainly single tracks, whereas railways in England are mostly double track.

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MRS. CAUDLE'S CURTAIN LECTURES.

LECTURE XXXIII.

MRS. CAUDLE HAS DISCOVERED THAT CAUDLE

IS A RAILWAV DIRECTOR.  

"When I took up the paper to-day,   Caudle, you might have knocked me

down with a feather ! Now don't be a hypocrite- you know what's the mat- ter. And when you haven't a bed to lie upon, and are brought to sleep upon coal-sacks- and then I can tell you, Mr. Caudle, you may sleep by yourself - then you'll know what's the matter. Now, I've seen your name, and don't deny it. Yes-the Eel-Pie Island Railway-and among the Directors, Job Caudle, Esq., of the Turtledovery, and-no, I won't be quiet. It isn't often-goodness knows !-that I speak; but seeing what I do, I won't be silent. What do I see? Why, there, Mr. Caudle, at the foot of the bed, I see all the blessed children in tatters- I see

you in a gaol, and the carpets hung out

at the windows.

"And now I know why you talk in   your sleep about a broad and narrow gauge ! I couldn't think what was on your mind-but now it's out. Ha ! Mr. Caudle, there's something about a broad and narrow way that I wish you'd remember- but you've turned quite a heathen : yes, you think of no- thing but money now. Don't I like money ? To be sure I do ; but then I like it when I'm certain of it ; no risks for me. Yes, it's all very well to talk about fortunes made in no time : they're like shirts made in no time-it's ten to one if they hang long together.

"And now it's plain enough why you can't eat or drink, or sleep, or do anything. Your mind's cut up into railways ; for you shan't make me be- lieve that Eel-Pie Island's the only one. Oh no ! I can see by the looks of you. Why, in a little time, if you haven't as many lines in your face as there are lines laid down ! Every one of your features seems cut up-and all seem travelling from one another. Six months ago, Caudle, you hadn't a wrinkle^ yes, you'd a cheek as smooth as any china, and now your face is like the map of England.

"At your'time,of life, too!'. You, who were for always going) small and

sure ? You to make heads and tails of your money in this way ! It's that stockbrokers dog at Flam Cottage he's bitten you,'I'm sure of it. You're not fit to manage your own property now ; and I should be only acting the part of a good wife, if I were to call in

the mad-doctors.

" Well, I shall never know rest any more now. There won't be a soul knock at the door after this, that I shan't think it's the man coming to take possession. 'Twill be something for the Chalkpits to laugh at when we're sold up. I think I see 'em here, bidding for all our little articles of bigotry and virtue, and-what are you laughing at? They're not bigotry and virtue; but bijouterie and vertu ? It's all the same ; only you're never so happy as when you're taking me up.

" If I can tell what's come to the

world, I'm a sinner ! Everybody's for turning their farthings into double sove- reigns and cheating their neighbours of the balance. And you, too-you're beside yourself, Caudle-I'm sure of it. I've watched you when you thought me fast asleep. And then you've lain, and whispered and whispered, and then hugged yourself, and laughed at the bed-posts, as if you'd seen 'em turned to sovereign gold. I do believe that you sometimes think the patch-work quilt is made of thousand pound bank-

notes.

"Well, when we're brought to the Union, then you'll find out your mis- take. But it will be a poor satisfaction for me everv night telling you of it. What, Mr. Caudle? They won't let me tell you of it ? And you call that 'some comfort?' And after the wife I've been to you ! But now I recollect. I think I've heard you praise that Union before ; though, like a fond fool as I've always been, I never once sus- pected the reason of it.

" And now, of course, day and night you'll never be at home ? No, you'll live and sleep at Eel-Pie Island! I shall be left alone with nothing but my thoughts, thinking when the broker will come, and you'll be with your brother directors. I may slave and I may toil to save sixpences ; and you'll be throw- ing away hundreds. And then the expensive tastes you've got ! Nothing good enough for you now. I'm sure you sometimes think yourself King Solomon. But that comes of making money-if, indeed, you haye made any -without earning it. No : I don't talk nonsense : people can make money without earning it. And when they do, why it's like taking a lot of spirits at one draught ; it gets into their head, and they don't know what they're about. And you're in that state now, Mr. Caudle: I'm sure of it, by the way of you. There's a drunkenness of the pocket as well as of the stomach and you're in that condition at this very

moment.

" Not that I should so much mind -that is, if you have made money-if you'd stop at the Eel-Pie line. But I know what these things are: they're like treacle to flies : when men are well

in 'em, they can't get out of 'em : or if they do, it's often without a feather to fly with. No : if you've really made money by the Eel-Pie line, and will give it to me to take care of for the dear children, v»hy, perhaps, love, I'll say no more of the matter. What! Nonsense ? Yes, of course: I never ask you for money, but that's the word.

"And now, catch you stopping at the Eel-Pie line ! Oh no, I know your aggravating spirit. In a day or two I

shall see another fine flourish in the paper, with a proposal for a branch from Eel-Pine Island to the Chelsea Bun-house. Give you a mile of rail, and-I know you men-you'll take a hundred. Well, if it didn't make me quiver to read that stuff in the paper and your name to it ! But I suppose it was Mr. Prettyman's work ; for his precious name's among 'em. How you tell the people 'that eel-pies are now become an essential element of civilisa- tion'-I learnt all the words by heart that I might say 'em to you-* that the eastern population of London are cut off from the blessings of such a neces- sary,-and that by means of the pro- jected line eel-pies will be brought home

to the business and bosoms of Ratcliffe

highway, and the adjacent dependen- cies.' Well, when you men-lords of the creation, as you call yourselves-do get together to make up a company, or anything of the sort,-is there any story-book can come up to you ? And so you look solemnly in one another's faces, and never so much as moving the corners of your mouths, pick one ano- ther's pockets. No : I'm not using hard words, Mr. Caudle-but only the words that's proper.

"And this I must say. Whatever you've got, I'm none the better for it. You never give me any of your Eel Pie shares. What do you say ? You will give nie some ? Not' I-I'll have nothing to do with any wickedness of the kind. If, like any other husband, you choose to throw a heap of money into my lap-what? You'll think of it ? When the Eel-Pies go up ? Then I know what they're worth-they'll never fetch a farthing."

"She was suddenly silent"-writes I Caudle-" and I was sinking into sleep, 1 when she nudged me, and cried, ' Cau

I die, do you think they'll be up to I morrow?'"

The Drowning of Two Hundred Soldiers.-The Nouveillise of Mar

seules gives the following particulars of the frightful accident which happened in Italy by the giving way of a bridge : "A letter from Venice, dated the 4th of September, informs us that a dreadful event had taken place on the preceding day, between Belluno and Feltre. Two hundred Italian soldiers were executing some manoeuvres at that point under the command of an Austrian officer, who, without any plausible motive, was obstinate in wishing them to cross a bridge which menaced to fall with the slightest shock, and of which the local authorities, with praiseworthy caution, had for some time forbidden the passage.

It was in vain that several of these sol- diers represented to their officer the danger there would be in marching over the bridge ; the Austrian captain reiter- ated his orders, which the unhappy men had the folly to obey. They marched on to the bridge, and the ex- pected catastrophe immediately took place. The bridge tottered, cracked, and fell into the stream, and the whole of the two hundred soldiers perished in the deep and rapid river across which the bridge had been erected. The offi- cer, who was marching at the head, had prudently taken some steps in advance, and succeeded in reaching the opposite bank in safety."-Atlas, Sept. 27.

Disturbances in Holland.-It

appears by the accounts which have been received this week from Holland, that several disturbances have occurred in consequence of the advance which had taken place in the price of provi- sions, consequent upon the failure of the potatoe crop, on which a large portion of the population are almost as depend- ant as the Irish peasantry. The follow- ing is an extract of a letter dated Am- sterdam, Sept. 24 :-"A rather serious riot took place at Delft, on Monday evening. The windows of the shops of several bakers and flour dealers were smashed to pieces by a violent mob of persons who had become exasperated at the sudden rise in the price of bread, flour, &c. The house even of the bur- gomaster was attacked. The grenadiers and the artillerymen in garrison were at last called out, and they prevented fur- ther excesses. Yesterday, at noon, the streets were filled with an immense con- course of people, notwithstanding the appearance of a proclamation, which forbade more than four persons to as- semble in the public thoroughfares. It

is stated in the above document that the military will make use of the means they have at command, in order to repel force by force. Effective measures have been taken to prevent any further riots at the Hague, and not less than eighteen persons have been arrested. It appears that the King's proposed journey to Weimar is postponed. This city is perfectly tranquil."-Bell's Mes- senger, Sept. 29.

Loss of a French Government Schooner. - Thirty-one Persons Drowned. - A Brest journal an- nounces the loss of the government schooner Doris, from Martinique, and having on board sixty-seven persons, of whom nine were passengers. The vessel was entering the harbour of Brest on Sunday evening last, at half past seven, at which time the weather was very bad, when a sudden squall laid her on the_ side, and she imme- diately filled and went down. The persons on board had not all time to

throw themselves into the sea. The boats, which at once went out when the alarm guns were fired from the forts, picked up thirty-two men, and four others gained the shore by swim- ming, so that thirty-one persons were lost. The only officer saved was M. Bontemps, acting as captain's clerk. None of the bodies of the persons lost had been washed ashore when the

account left. A fishing boat was also capsized about the same time, with four men on board, but they were all saved by a boat from the Allier corvette. Britannia, Sept. 27.

Ocular Demonstration.- During the late continued wet weather, a country laird in the upper ward of Lanarkshire became very uneasy for the safety of his crops. Bût if the honest laird's anxiety were great on account of the weather, his mind was still more perplexed by the state of his barometer. Morning, noon, and night, did he come from the fields dripping with wet, and as often visited and tapped his "weather glass," which, to his daily increasing surprise, and not- withstanding the rain continued to pour down in torrents, always indicated fair weather, v This state of matters con-

tinued for nearly a fortnight ; when the laird, one very wet day j having deter- mined to put an end to the misconcep- tion, lifted the barometer from its position on the wall, and presenting its face at the door exclaimed, with an oath, " Will you believe your ain een ?"

-Scotsman.

Her Majesty^ Health.-We are enabled to state that her Majesty the Queen is in a situation which promises to add to her domestic happi- ness, and which cannot fail to excite the affectionate solicitude of her people. -Britannia, Sept. 27.

The Napoleon column at Boulogne has only just been terminated, although the first stone was laid by Marshall Soult on the 9th of November, 1834. Britannia, Sept. 27.

Comparative Cost of Lines in England and Ireland.- On ex- amining the return of the number of new railways for which acts were obtained last session, we find that the

difference in the cost of construction is very considerably in favour of Ireland. For example : acts were obtained for the construction of 1895¾ miles in   England and Wales, at an estimated cost of £28,342,047, being at the rate of £14,951 per mile. Scotland obtained acts for 438½ miles, at the estimated expense of £6,549,500, being an average cost of 14,913 per mile. Ire-

land obtained acts for 644½ miles of' new railway, and the estimated expense is £7,598,035, which gives an average of only £11,790 per mile. Capitalists who desire permanent investment should not overlook the important fact of cheapness in the construction of our Irish railways.-- Irish Railway Gazette.

Death of the Head of "Young Ireland".- The repeal agitation has lost an able, enthusiastic, and, withal, an honest champion, by the untimely death of Mr. Thomas Davis, the principal editor of the Nation news- paper, who died in Dublin, cn Tuesday, from the effects of a gastric fever with which he had been seized about ten days ago. Mr. Davies had barely entered the prime of life, being little over thirty years of age, and the columns of the journal over which he presided since its establishment bore ample testimony to his capacity as a writer of no ordinary ability. The re- peal association attended the funeral of the lamented gentleman.- Liverpool Albion, Sept. 22.

Canadian Winter Wonders.-When the winter sets in at Quebec, all the animal» required for the winter's consumption are at once killed. If the troops are numerous, perhaps three or four hundred bullocks are slaughtered and hung up. Every family kill their cattle, their pigs, sheep, turkeys, fowls, &c, and all are put up in the garrets, where the carcases immediately freeze hard, and remain quite good and sweet during the six or seven months of severe winter which occur in that climate. When any portion of meat is to be cooked, it is gradually thawed in lukewarm water, and after that it is put to the fire. If put at once to the fire in its frozen state it spoils. There is another strange circumstance which occuss in these cold latitudes ; a small fish called the snow fish is caught in the winter by making holes in the thick ice, and these fish conning to the holes in thousands to breathe, are thrown out with hand-nets upon the ice, where they become in a few minutes frozen quite hard, so that, if you wish it, you may break them in half like a rotlon stick. The cattle are fed upon these fish during the winter months. But it has been proved-which is very strange-that if, after they have been frozen for 24 hours or more, you put these fish into water, and gradually tbaw them as you do the meat, they will recover and swim about again as well as ever.-Marryat's Settlers in

Canada.

Chat in the Reporters* Gallery or the House of Commons.-It is fine fun to listen to the conversation of the gentlemen reporters in the little back room adjoining the gallery, waiting for their turn during a great debate. The stranger would be sur- prised with some such a scene and conversa- tion as this : "Well, Williams, who have you had?" "Oh, Peter (Borthwick). I've cut him precious short." "Who's up now?" "Lord John." "Thank God for that." And out the interrogator rushes to take his turn at an easy man, for the Whig leader is, perhaps, the easiest man in the boase to report, from the hesitation of his speech. Presently a roar will be heard like the rushing? of the wind through a forest of trees. Lord John has just sat down, amid a shout of ap- plause from the Opposition ; the gallery doors open and in come two or three reporters with their notes ; a dead silence succeeds, followed by a host of cheers; and the man who is waiting for his turn takes another peep into the house through the gallery-door, and comes back and says, " Peel's up, there's a toucher for some of them. Horrid Twist's working away like a thousand of bricks." The gentleman so forcibly alluded to is Horace Twiss, who sits in the opposite gal- lery to the reporters', in the first row in the strangers' gallery : he it is who furnishes the able abstracts of the night's debate in The Times. When the Premier speaks, as his delivery is very rapid, it is, of course, double work for the shorthand-writers, who never lose a word he says when be is speaking on any important subject. The Premier down, the loud cry of "Divide, divide!" is directly heard, and in pour all the reporters fiçom the gallery. "Thank God!" cries the lucky man who has just saved his turn, as he eyes the notes of the'man who has just taken Peel. "You've got a ticket there, Bob." Bob is too dogged to reply, and sets to work to transcribe the bookfull of notes he has before him. Whilst the division is going on the reporters know bow to enjoy themselves : they have a Bellamy's of their own on a small scale, and certain creature comforts make up for dry speeches. In a short time another dull, swarming noise is heard: it is the members cofning in from the lobby after the telling. At this signal the reporters' little room is speedily cleared for the gallery

to ascertain the numbers.

Simple Mode op Purifying Water.

It is not so generally known as it ought to be, that pounded alum possesses the property of purifying water. A table-spoonful of pul- verised alum sprinkled into a hogshead of water (the water stirred at the time) will, after the lapse of a few hours, by precipi- tating to the bottom the impure particles, so purify it that it will be found to possess nearly all the freshness and clearness of the finest spring water. A pailful, containing four gallons, may be purified by a single teaspoonful.-Glasgow Herald, Sept. 8.

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