A parting glance at such of the actors in this little history as it has not,
in the course of its events, dismissed, will bring it to an end.
Mr Haredale fled that night. Before pursuit could be begun, indeed before Si_ohn was traced or missed, he had left the kingdom. Repairing straight to _eligious establishment, known throughout Europe for the rigour and severit_f its discipline, and for the merciless penitence it exacted from those wh_ought its shelter as a refuge from the world, he took the vows whic_henceforth shut him out from nature and his kind, and after a few remorsefu_ears was buried in its gloomy cloisters.
Two days elapsed before the body of Sir John was found. As soon as it wa_ecognised and carried home, the faithful valet, true to his master’s creed,
eloped with all the cash and movables he could lay his hands on, and starte_s a finished gentleman upon his own account. In this career he met with grea_uccess, and would certainly have married an heiress in the end, but for a_nlucky check which led to his premature decease. He sank under a contagiou_isorder, very prevalent at that time, and vulgarly termed the jail fever.
Lord George Gordon, remaining in his prison in the Tower until Monday th_ifth of February in the following year, was on that day solemnly tried a_estminster for High Treason. Of this crime he was, after a patien_nvestigation, declared Not Guilty; upon the ground that there was no proof o_is having called the multitude together with any traitorous or unlawfu_ntentions. Yet so many people were there, still, to whom those riots taugh_o lesson of reproof or moderation, that a public subscription was set on foo_n Scotland to defray the cost of his defence.
For seven years afterwards he remained, at the strong intercession of hi_riends, comparatively quiet; saving that he, every now and then, too_ccasion to display his zeal for the Protestant faith in some extravagan_roceeding which was the delight of its enemies; and saving, besides, that h_as formally excommunicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for refusing t_ppear as a witness in the Ecclesiastical Court when cited for that purpose.
In the year 1788 he was stimulated by some new insanity to write and publis_n injurious pamphlet, reflecting on the Queen of France, in very violen_erms. Being indicted for the libel, and (after various strange demonstration_n court) found guilty, he fled into Holland in place of appearing to receiv_entence: from whence, as the quiet burgomasters of Amsterdam had no relis_or his company, he was sent home again with all speed. Arriving in the mont_f July at Harwich, and going thence to Birmingham, he made in the latte_lace, in August, a public profession of the Jewish religion; and figure_here as a Jew until he was arrested, and brought back to London to receiv_he sentence he had evaded. By virtue of this sentence he was, in the month o_ecember, cast into Newgate for five years and ten months, and require_esides to pay a large fine, and to furnish heavy securities for his futur_ood behaviour.
After addressing, in the midsummer of the following year, an appeal to th_ommiseration of the National Assembly of France, which the English ministe_efused to sanction, he composed himself to undergo his full term o_unishment; and suffering his beard to grow nearly to his waist, an_onforming in all respects to the ceremonies of his new religion, he applie_imself to the study of history, and occasionally to the art of painting, i_hich, in his younger days, he had shown some skill. Deserted by his forme_riends, and treated in all respects like the worst criminal in the jail, h_ingered on, quite cheerful and resigned, until the 1st of November 1793, whe_e died in his cell, being then only three- and-forty years of age.
Many men with fewer sympathies for the distressed and needy, with les_bilities and harder hearts, have made a shining figure and left a brillian_ame. He had his mourners. The prisoners bemoaned his loss, and missed him;
for though his means were not large, his charity was great, and in bestowin_lms among them he considered the necessities of all alike, and knew n_istinction of sect or creed. There are wise men in the highways of the worl_ho may learn something, even from this poor crazy lord who died in Newgate.
To the last, he was truly served by bluff John Grueby. John was at his sid_efore he had been four-and-twenty hours in the Tower, and never left hi_ntil he died. He had one other constant attendant, in the person of _eautiful Jewish girl; who attached herself to him from feelings hal_eligious, half romantic, but whose virtuous and disinterested characte_ppears to have been beyond the censure even of the most censorious.
Gashford deserted him, of course. He subsisted for a time upon his traffic i_is master’s secrets; and, this trade failing when the stock was quit_xhausted, procured an appointment in the honourable corps of spies an_avesdroppers employed by the government. As one of these wretched underlings,
he did his drudgery, sometimes abroad, sometimes at home, and long endured th_arious miseries of such a station. Ten or a dozen years ago—not more—_eagre, wan old man, diseased and miserably poor, was found dead in his bed a_n obscure inn in the Borough, where he was quite unknown. He had take_oison. There was no clue to his name; but it was discovered from certai_ntries in a pocket-book he carried, that he had been secretary to Lord Georg_ordon in the time of the famous riots.
Many months after the re-establishment of peace and order, and even when i_ad ceased to be the town-talk, that every military officer, kept at fre_uarters by the City during the late alarms, had cost for his board an_odging four pounds four per day, and every private soldier two and twopenc_alfpenny; many months after even this engrossing topic was forgotten, and th_nited Bulldogs were to a man all killed, imprisoned, or transported, Mr Simo_appertit, being removed from a hospital to prison, and thence to his place o_rial, was discharged by proclamation, on two wooden legs. Shorn of hi_raceful limbs, and brought down from his high estate to circumstances o_tter destitution, and the deepest misery, he made shift to stump back to hi_ld master, and beg for some relief. By the locksmith’s advice and aid, he wa_stablished in business as a shoeblack, and opened shop under an archway nea_he Horse Guards. This being a central quarter, he quickly made a very larg_onnection; and on levee days, was sometimes known to have as many as twent_alf-pay officers waiting their turn for polishing. Indeed his trade increase_o that extent, that in course of time he entertained no less than tw_pprentices, besides taking for his wife the widow of an eminent bone and ra_ollector, formerly of MilIbank. With this lady (who assisted in the business)
he lived in great domestic happiness, only chequered by those little storm_hich serve to clear the atmosphere of wedlock, and brighten its horizon. I_ome of these gusts of bad weather, Mr Tappertit would, in the assertion o_is prerogative, so far forget himself, as to correct his lady with a brush,
or boot, or shoe; while she (but only in extreme cases) would retaliate b_aking off his legs, and leaving him exposed to the derision of those urchin_ho delight in mischief.
Miss Miggs, baffled in all her schemes, matrimonial and otherwise, and cas_pon a thankless, undeserving world, turned very sharp and sour; and did a_ength become so acid, and did so pinch and slap and tweak the hair and nose_f the youth of Golden Lion Court, that she was by one consent expelled tha_anctuary, and desired to bless some other spot of earth, in preference. I_hanced at that moment, that the justices of the peace for Middlese_roclaimed by public placard that they stood in need of a female turnkey fo_he County Bridewell, and appointed a day and hour for the inspection o_andidates. Miss Miggs attending at the time appointed, was instantly chose_nd selected from one hundred and twenty-four competitors, and at onc_romoted to the office; which she held until her decease, more than thirt_ears afterwards, remaining single all that time. It was observed of this lad_hat while she was inflexible and grim to all her female flock, she wa_articularly so to those who could establish any claim to beauty: and it wa_ften remarked as a proof of her indomitable virtue and severe chastity, tha_o such as had been frail she showed no mercy; always falling upon them on th_lightest occasion, or on no occasion at all, with the fullest measure of he_rath. Among other useful inventions which she practised upon this class o_ffenders and bequeathed to posterity, was the art of inflicting a_xquisitely vicious poke or dig with the wards of a key in the small of th_ack, near the spine. She likewise originated a mode of treading by accident
(in pattens) on such as had small feet; also very remarkable for it_ngenuity, and previously quite unknown.
It was not very long, you may be sure, before Joe Willet and Dolly Varden wer_ade husband and wife, and with a handsome sum in bank (for the locksmit_ould afford to give his daughter a good dowry), reopened the Maypole. It wa_ot very long, you may be sure, before a red-faced little boy was see_taggering about the Maypole passage, and kicking up his heels on the gree_efore the door. It was not very long, counting by years, before there was _ed-faced little girl, another red-faced little boy, and a whole troop o_irls and boys: so that, go to Chigwell when you would, there would surely b_een, either in the village street, or on the green, or frolicking in th_arm-yard—for it was a farm now, as well as a tavern—more small Joes and smal_ollys than could be easily counted. It was not a very long time before thes_ppearances ensued; but it was a very long time before Joe looked five year_lder, or Dolly either, or the locksmith either, or his wife either: fo_heerfulness and content are great beautifiers, and are famous preservers o_outhful looks, depend upon it.
It was a long time, too, before there was such a country inn as the Maypole,
in all England: indeed it is a great question whether there has ever been suc_nother to this hour, or ever will be. It was a long time too—for Never, a_he proverb says, is a long day— before they forgot to have an interest i_ounded soldiers at the Maypole, or before Joe omitted to refresh them, fo_he sake of his old campaign; or before the serjeant left off looking i_here, now and then; or before they fatigued themselves, or each other, b_alking on these occasions of battles and sieges, and hard weather and har_ervice, and a thousand things belonging to a soldier’s life. As to the grea_ilver snuff-box which the King sent Joe with his own hand, because of hi_onduct in the Riots, what guest ever went to the Maypole without puttin_inger and thumb into that box, and taking a great pinch, though he had neve_aken a pinch of snuff before, and almost sneezed himself into convulsion_ven then? As to the purple-faced vintner, where is the man who lived in thos_imes and never saw him at the Maypole: to all appearance as much at home i_he best room, as if he lived there? And as to the feastings and christenings,
and revellings at Christmas, and celebrations of birthdays, wedding-days, an_ll manner of days, both at the Maypole and the Golden Key,—if they are no_otorious, what facts are?
Mr Willet the elder, having been by some extraordinary means possessed wit_he idea that Joe wanted to be married, and that it would be well for him, hi_ather, to retire into private life, and enable him to live in comfort, too_p his abode in a small cottage at Chigwell; where they widened and enlarge_he fireplace for him, hung up the boiler, and furthermore planted in th_ittle garden outside the front-door, a fictitious Maypole; so that he wa_uite at home directly. To this, his new habitation, Tom Cobb, Phil Parkes,
and Solomon Daisy went regularly every night: and in the chimney-corner, the_ll four quaffed, and smoked, and prosed, and dozed, as they had done of old.
It being accidentally discovered after a short time that Mr Willet stil_ppeared to consider himself a landlord by profession, Joe provided him with _late, upon which the old man regularly scored up vast accounts for meat,
drink, and tobacco. As he grew older this passion increased upon him; and i_ecame his delight to chalk against the name of each of his cronies a sum o_normous magnitude, and impossible to be paid: and such was his secret joy i_hese entries, that he would be perpetually seen going behind the door to loo_t them, and coming forth again, suffused with the liveliest satisfaction.
He never recovered the surprise the Rioters had given him, and remained in th_ame mental condition down to the last moment of his life. It was like to hav_een brought to a speedy termination by the first sight of his firs_randchild, which appeared to fill him with the belief that some alarmin_iracle had happened to Joe. Being promptly blooded, however, by a skilfu_urgeon, he rallied; and although the doctors all agreed, on his bein_ttacked with symptoms of apoplexy six months afterwards, that he ought t_ie, and took it very ill that he did not, he remained alive—possibly o_ccount of his constitutional slowness— for nearly seven years more, when h_as one morning found speechless in his bed. He lay in this state, free fro_ll tokens of uneasiness, for a whole week, when he was suddenly restored t_onsciousness by hearing the nurse whisper in his son’s ear that he was going.
‘I’m a-going, Joseph,’ said Mr Willet, turning round upon the instant, ‘to th_alwanners’—and immediately gave up the ghost.
He left a large sum of money behind him; even more than he was supposed t_ave been worth, although the neighbours, according to the custom of mankin_n calculating the wealth that other people ought to have saved, had estimate_is property in good round numbers. Joe inherited the whole; so that he becam_ man of great consequence in those parts, and was perfectly independent.
Some time elapsed before Barnaby got the better of the shock he had sustained,
or regained his old health and gaiety. But he recovered by degrees: an_lthough he could never separate his condemnation and escape from the idea o_ terrific dream, he became, in other respects, more rational. Dating from th_ime of his recovery, he had a better memory and greater steadiness o_urpose; but a dark cloud overhung his whole previous existence, and neve_leared away.
He was not the less happy for this, for his love of freedom and interest i_ll that moved or grew, or had its being in the elements, remained to hi_nimpaired. He lived with his mother on the Maypole farm, tending the poultr_nd the cattle, working in a garden of his own, and helping everywhere. He wa_nown to every bird and beast about the place, and had a name for every one.
Never was there a lighter-hearted husbandman, a creature more popular wit_oung and old, a blither or more happy soul than Barnaby; and though he wa_ree to ramble where he would, he never quitted Her, but was for evermore he_tay and comfort.
It was remarkable that although he had that dim sense of the past, he sough_ut Hugh’s dog, and took him under his care; and that he never could b_empted into London. When the Riots were many years old, and Edward and hi_ife came back to England with a family almost as numerous as Dolly’s, and on_ay appeared at the Maypole porch, he knew them instantly, and wept and leape_or joy. But neither to visit them, nor on any other pretence, no matter ho_ull of promise and enjoyment, could he be persuaded to set foot in th_treets: nor did he ever conquer this repugnance or look upon the town again.
Grip soon recovered his looks, and became as glossy and sleek as ever. But h_as profoundly silent. Whether he had forgotten the art of Polite Conversatio_n Newgate, or had made a vow in those troubled times to forego, for a period,
the display of his accomplishments, is matter of uncertainty; but certain i_s that for a whole year he never indulged in any other sound than a grave,
decorous croak. At the expiration of that term, the morning being very brigh_nd sunny, he was heard to address himself to the horses in the stable, upo_he subject of the Kettle, so often mentioned in these pages; and before th_itness who overheard him could run into the house with the intelligence, an_dd to it upon his solemn affirmation the statement that he had heard hi_augh, the bird himself advanced with fantastic steps to the very door of th_ar, and there cried, ‘I’m a devil, I’m a devil, I’m a devil!’ wit_xtraordinary rapture.
From that period (although he was supposed to be much affected by the death o_r Willet senior), he constantly practised and improved himself in the vulga_ongue; and, as he was a mere infant for a raven when Barnaby was grey, he ha_ery probably gone on talking to the present time.