STRANGE STORIES BY A NERVOUS GENTLEMAN.
A Hunting Dinner
Adventure of my Uncle
Adventure of my Aunt
Adventure of the Mysterious Picture
Adventure of the Mysterious Stranger
Story of the Young Italian
BUCKTHORNE AND HIS FRIENDS.
Club of Queer Fellows
Poor Devil Author
Buckthorne; or, the Young Man of Great Expectations
Grave Reflections of a Disappointed Man
THE ITALIAN BANDITTI.
Inn at Terracina
Adventure of the Little Antiquary
Adventure of the Popkins Family
Story of the Bandit Chieftain
Story of the Young Robber
Kidd, the Pirate
Devil and Tom Walker
Wolfert Webber; or, Golden Dreams
Adventure of Sam, the Black Fisherman
TALES OF A TRAVELLER
STRANGE STORIES BY A NERVOUS GENTLEMAN.
I'll tell you more; there was a fish taken,
A monstrous fish, with, a sword by's side, a long sword,
A pike in's neck, and a gun in's nose, a huge gun,
And letters of mart in's mouth, from the Duke of Florence.
Cleanthes. This is a monstrous lie.
Tony. I do confess it.
Do you think I'd tell you truths!
FLETCHER'S WIFE FOR A MONTH.
[The following adventures were related to me by the same nervous
gentleman who told me the romantic tale of THE STOUT GENTLEMAN,
published in Bracebridge Hall.
It is very singular, that although I expressly stated that story to
have been told to me, and described the very person who told it, still
it has been received as an adventure that happened to myself. Now, I
protest I never met with any adventure of the kind. I should not have
grieved at this, had it not been intimated by the author of Waverley,
in an introduction to his romance of Peveril of the Peak, that he was
himself the Stout Gentleman alluded to. I have ever since been
importuned by letters and questions from gentlemen, and particularly
from ladies without number, touching what I had seen of the great
Now, all this is extremely tantalizing. It is like being congratulated
on the high prize when one has drawn a blank; for I have just as great
a desire as any one of the public to penetrate the mystery of that
very singular personage, whose voice fills every corner of the world,
without any one being able to tell from whence it comes. He who keeps
up such a wonderful and whimsical incognito: whom nobody knows, and
yet whom every body thinks he can swear to.
My friend, the nervous gentleman, also, who is a man of very shy,
Retired habits, complains that he has been excessively annoyed in
consequence of its getting about in his neighborhood that he is the
fortunate personage. Insomuch, that he has become a character of
considerable notoriety in two or three country towns; and has been
repeatedly teased to exhibit himself at blue-stocking parties, for no
other reason than that of being "the gentleman who has had a glimpse
of the author of Waverley."
Indeed, the poor man has grown ten times as nervous as ever, since he
has discovered, on such good authority, who the stout gentleman was;
and will never forgive himself for not having made a more resolute
effort to get a full sight of him. He has anxiously endeavored to call
up a recollection of what he saw of that portly personage; and has
ever since kept a curious eye on all gentlemen of more than ordinary
dimensions, whom he has seen getting into stage coaches. All in vain!
The features he had caught a glimpse of seem common to the whole race
of stout gentlemen; and the great unknown remains as great an unknown
A HUNTING DINNER.
I was once at a hunting dinner, given by a worthy fox-hunting old
Baronet, who kept Bachelor's Hall in jovial style, in an ancient
rook-haunted family mansion, in one of the middle counties. He had been
a devoted admirer of the fair sex in his young days; but having
travelled much, studied the sex in various countries with distinguished
success, and returned home profoundly instructed, as he supposed, in
the ways of woman, and a perfect master of the art of pleasing, he had
the mortification of being jilted by a little boarding school girl, who
was scarcely versed in the accidence of love.
The Baronet was completely overcome by such an incredible defeat;
retired from the world in disgust, put himself under the government of
his housekeeper, and took to fox-hunting like a perfect Jehu. Whatever
poets may say to the contrary, a man will grow out of love as he grows
old; and a pack of fox hounds may chase out of his heart even the
memory of a boarding-school goddess. The Baronet was when I saw him as
merry and mellow an old bachelor as ever followed a hound; and the
love he had once felt for one woman had spread itself over the whole
sex; so that there was not a pretty face in the whole country round,
but came in for a share.
The dinner was prolonged till a late hour; for our host having no
ladies in his household to summon us to the drawing-room, the bottle
maintained its true bachelor sway, unrivalled by its potent enemy the
tea-kettle. The old hall in which we dined echoed to bursts of
robustious fox-hunting merriment, that made the ancient antlers shake
on the walls. By degrees, however, the wine and wassail of mine host
began to operate upon bodies already a little jaded by the chase. The
choice spirits that flashed up at the beginning of the dinner, sparkled
for a time, then gradually went out one after another, or only emitted
now and then a faint gleam from the socket.
Some of the briskest talkers, who had given tongue so bravely at the
first burst, fell fast asleep; and none kept on their way but certain
of those long-winded prosers, who, like short-legged hounds, worry on
unnoticed at the bottom of conversation, but are sure to be in at the