Caddy Cuddle by Anonymous
On the second anniversary of their wedding-day, the Honourable Charles
Caddy, and Lady Letitia, his high-born and beautiful wife, entertained a
large party of guests at Caddy Castle. Until a few months previously to
this event, the old building had been left nearly desolate, for a period
of eleven or twelve years: a few domestics were its only inhabitants,
except old Squire Caddy Caddy, its unfortunate owner, who had lost his
wits, and was confined in one of its comfortable turrets, under the care
of a couple of stout and wary keepers.
The castle had recently been put in order for the reception of the
Honourable Charles Caddy, a distant relation of, but next heir to, the
lunatic, who was entrusted with the care of Caddy Caddy's property. He
came down to Caddy Castle, with a determination of making himself popular
in the neighbourhood; and began by giving invitations to all the gentlemen
and ladies of respectability, within a circuit of several miles. A number
of his own personal friends, and those of Lady Letitia, had followed them,
shortly after their departure from town, to spend the Christmas holidays
at Caddy Castle; so that the ancient edifice was by far more gay than it
had ever been, even during the time when the once jovial Caddy Caddy was
lord paramount in the halls of his ancestors.
Among the guests assembled in honour of the day, was Mr. Caddy Cuddle, a
quiet elderly bachelor, of small fortune, related, on his mother's side,
to the Caddy family, who had been one of Caddy Caddy's most intimate
associates, in former times. By order of the medical gentlemen who
attended on Caddy Caddy, Mr. Cuddle, as well as all his old friends, had
been denied access to the lunatic, from very proper motives, at the outset
of his confinement Caddy Cuddle's cottage was eleven miles distant; the
Castle had lost its chief attraction; and this was the first time he had
been near it, for several years.
In his younger days, Caddy Cuddle was of a very active and enterprising
spirit; he shared the perils of his father's three last voyages, and
would, in all probability, have made as good a seaman as old Herbert
Cuddle himself, had it not been for the solicitude of his mother; who,
losing her other two children rather suddenly, persuaded young Caddy that
a life of ease, with sufficient to satisfy the desires of a moderate
person, was preferable by far to the dangers attendant upon a chace after
Fortune, on the perilous ocean. Caddy then amused himself by studying the
learned languages; and, at length, as some of his simple neighbours said,
had got them so completely at his fingers' ends, that it was a pity his
parents had not made him a parson.
He was simple, kind, and innocent of evil intentions, as it was possible
for a man to be; but it was his misfortune, owing to his ignorance of that
most useful of all sciences, a knowledge of the world, to touch the
feelings of his host rather smartly, on several occasions, during the
discourse that took place, over the bottle, among the guests at the
Castle. Cuddle was naturally taciturn; but two or three extra glasses of
wine produced their usual effect upon such a temperament, and rendered him
too loquacious to be pleasant. The happiest hours of his life, were those
which he had passed, above a dozen years before, at Caddy Castle; and he
repeatedly alluded to his unhappy friend, poor Caddy Caddy,—the
feats they had performed, the jokes they had cracked, the simple frolics
they had enacted, and the songs they had sung together, over their ale and
tobacco, in the good old days.
The Honourable Charles Caddy felt particularly annoyed at the fact of his
lunatic relation's confinement in the Castle,—which, perhaps rather
in bad taste, he had made the scene of festivity,—being thus
abruptly revealed to his fashionable visitors; but he was too well-bred to
display the least symptom of his feelings. Watching, however, for an
opportunity, when he might break in upon Cuddle's narratives, without
palpably interrupting him, the Honourable Charles Caddy, adroitly, as he
thought, started a subject, which, he imagined, would be at once
interesting to his neighbours, and turn two or three of his metropolitan
friends from listeners to talkers.
"I have been looking over the common, this morning," said he, "and it
occurs to me, that, in a neighbourhood so opulent as ours, races might be
established without much difficulty. The common would afford as pretty a
two-mile course as any gentleman could desire. If such a thing were set on
foot, I should be happy to lend it all the support in my power. I would
take leave to offer a cup, to commence with; and I think I could answer
for a plate from the county members. Indeed, it surprises me, rather, that
the idea has not before occurred to some gentleman in the vicinity."
"Cousin Caddy, it has!" exclaimed Cuddle; "our respected friend and
relation, up stairs, gave away a dozen smock-frocks and a bundle of
waggon-whips, for seven successive years; and would, doubtless, have done
so to this day, had not his misfortune deprived him of the power. The
prizes were contested for, regularly, on the second day of the fair,—which
then took place on the common,—immediately after the pig with the
greasy tail was caught; and the boys had eaten the hot rolls, sopped in
treacle; and the women had wrestled for the new gown; and—"
"Women wrestle!" exclaimed one of the Honourable Charles Caddy's friends.
"Mr. Cuddle is quite correct, sir," replied young Tom Horner, who had
lately come into possession of a snug estate in the neighbourhood; "I have
seen them wrestle, in various other parts of the county, as well as on our
"Never heard of such savages since the day I drew breath! Egad!—never,
I protest!" said the gentleman who had interrupted Caddy Cuddle.
"Why, it's bad enough, I must admit," said Homer; "but I think I heard you
boast that you were a man of Kent, just now, sir; and, as I am told, the
women of that county play cricket-matches very frequently. Now, in my
opinion, there is not a very great difference between a female match at
cricket, on a common, and a feminine bout at wrestling, in a ring. In
saying this, I beg to observe that I mean no offence."
"I take none; I protest I see no occasion,—no pretence for my taking
umbrage.—I am not prepared to question the fact,"—added the
speaker, turning toward his host; "not prepared to question the fact, you
observe, after what has dropped from the gentleman; although, with
permission, on behalf of the women of Kent, I take leave to declare, that
I never heard of their indulging in such an amusement, before the
gentleman mentioned it."
"Well, sir," said Caddy Cuddle, who had been very impatient, all this
time, to blazon the generosity and spirit of his friend, Caddy Caddy; "I
was going on to state, that, after the gold-laced hat was grinned for,
through a horse-collar; the pig was caught, and so forth,—the
expense of all which pastimes Caddy Caddy bore;—the
waggon-horse-race was run, for the whips and frocks."
"A waggon-horse-race!" said the gentleman of Kent; "I beg pardon; did I
hear you correctly?—Am I to understand you, as having positively
"Certainly, sir," said Tom Homer; "and capital sport it is: I have been
twice to Newmarket, and once to Doncaster; I know a little about racing; I
think it a noble, glorious, exhilarating sport; but, next to the first run
I saw for the St Leger, I never was half so delighted with any thing, in
the shape of racing, as when Billy Norman, who now keeps the west gate of
Caddy Park here, exactly sixteen years ago, come August, won the whips on
"Indeed!" simpered the gentleman of Kent, gazing at Tom Horner, as though
he were a recently imported nondescript "Billy, on that occasion, rode
most beautifully;" continued Horner; "he carried the day in fine style,
coming in, at least seven lengths, behind all his competitors."
"If I may be allowed," observed the gentleman of Kent, "you would say, before."
"Not at all, sir; not at all;" exclaimed Caddy Cuddle; "draught horses are
not esteemed as valuable in proportion to their speed: in the
waggon-horse-race no man is allowed to jockey his own animal; the riders
are armed with tremendous long whips; their object is to drive all their
companions before them; he that gets in last, wins: and so, sir, they
slash away at each other's horses;—then, sir, there's such shouting
and bellowing; such kicking, rearing, whinnying, galloping, and
scrambling, that it would do a man's heart good to look at it. Poor Caddy
Caddy used to turn to me, and say, as well as his laughter would let him,—'What
are your Olympic games,—your feats, and fine doings at the tombs of
your old Greek heroes, that you prate about, compared with these, cousin
The Honourable Charles Caddy smiled, and bit the inner part of his lip
with vexation: he now tried to give the conversation another turn, and
introduced the chase; thinking that it was a very safe subject, as Caddy
Caddy had never kept a pack of hounds. "I feel very much inclined," said
he, "anxious as I am to forward the amusement of my neighbours, to run up
a kennel, beyond the rookery, at the north end of the park,—where
there is very good air, and a fine stream of water,—and invite my
friend, Sir Harry Parton, to hunt this country, for a couple of months
during the season. One of my fellows says, that there are not only numbers
of foxes in the neighbourhood, but what is still better, a few,—a
very few,—of those stags, about which we have heard so much. I think
I have influence enough with Sir Harry to persuade him; at all events,
I'll invite him; and if he should have other existing engagements, I
pledge myself,—that is, if such a step would be agreeable,—to
hunt the country myself."
"Our respected and unfortunate friend, cousin Caddy," said Cuddle, "had a
little pack of dogs—"
"A pack of dogs, indeed, they were, Mr. Cuddle," interrupted young
Horner; "five or six couple of curs, that lurked about the Castle,
gentlemen, which we used sometimes to coax down to the river, and spear or
worry an otter; and, now and then, wheedle away to the woods, at midnight,
for a badger-hunt, after drinking more ale than we well knew how to carry.
I was a boy then, but I could drink ale by the quart."
"Ay, ay!" exclaimed Caddy Cuddle, "those were famous times!'Tis true, I
never went out with you, but 1 recollect very well how I enjoyed poor
Caddy Caddy's animated descriptions of the badger-hunt, when he came
"Oh! then you hunted badgers, did you?" said the gentleman of Kent
to Tom Horner, in a sneering tone, that produced a titter all round the
table. "Yes, sir,—we hunted badgers," replied Tom; "and capital
sport it is, too, in default of better."
"I dare say it is," said the gentleman of Kent.
"Allow me to tell you then, sir, that there is really good sport in
badger-hunting; it is a fine, irregular sort of pastime, unfettered by the
systematic rules of the more aristocratic sports. The stag-hunt and the
fox-chase, are so shackled with old ordinances and covert-side statutes,
that they remind me of one of the classical dramas of the French: a
badger-hunt is of the romantic school;—free as air, wild as mountain
breezes;—joyous, exhilarating, uncurbed, and natural as one of our
Shakspeare's plays. Barring an otter-hunt, (and what's better still,
according to Caddy Cuddle's account, who has been in the North Seas, the
spearing of a whale,) there are few sports that suit my capacity of
enjoyment, so well as badger-bagging.—Just picture to yourself, that
you have sent in a keen terrier, no bigger than a stout fitchet, or
thereabouts, to ascertain that the badger is not within; that you have
cleverly bagged the hole, and stuck the end of the mouth-line in the fist
of a patient, but wary and dexterous clod-hopper; (an old, lame,
broken-down, one-eyed gamekeeper, is the best creature on earth for such
an office;)—and then, what do you do?—Why, zounds! every body
takes his own course, with or without dogs, as it may happen; hunting,
yelping, hallooing, and beating every brake for half a mile, or more,
round, to get scent of the badger. Imagine the moon, 'sweet huntress of
yon azure plain,' is up, and beaming with all her brilliancy; the trees
beautifully basking in her splendour; her glance streaming through an
aperture in an old oak, caused by the fall of a branch, by lightning, or
bluff Boreas, and fringing the mallow-leaf with silver; the nightingale,
in the brake, fascinating your ear; the glow-worm delighting your eye:—you
stand, for a moment, motionless;—the bat whirrs above your head and
the owl, unaccustomed to the sight of man, in such deep solitudes, flaps,
fearless, so near as to fan your glowing forehead with his wings:—when
suddenly you hear a shout,—a yell,—two or three such
exclamations as—'There a' ees!'—'Thic's he!'—'At'un,
Juno!'—'Yonder a goath!'—'Hurrah!'—'Vollow un up!'—'Yaw
awicks!' and 'Oh! my leg!'—You know by this, that 'the game's a
foot;'—you fly to the right or left, as the case may be, skimming
over furzy brake, like a bird, and wading through tangled briar, as a pike
would, through the deeps of a brook, after a trout that is lame of a fin.
You reach the scene of action; the badger is before, half a score of tykes
around, and the yokels behind you.—'Hark forward! have at him!' you
enthusiastically cry; your spirits are up;—you are buoyant—agile
as a roe-buck;—your legs devour space—you—"
"My dear fellow, allow me to conclude," interrupted Caddy Cuddle, "for
your prose Pegasus never can carry you through the hunt at this rate. To
be brief, then,—according to what I have heard from my
never-to-be-sufficiently-lamented friend, Caddy Caddy,—the badger,
when found, immediately makes for his earth: if he reach it without being
picked up and taken, he bolts in at the entrance; the bag receives him;
its mouth is drawn close by the string; and thus the animal is taken.—But,
odds! while I talk of those delights, which were the theme of our
discourse in the much-regretted days of Caddy Caddy, I forget that time is
on the wing.—I suppose no one is going my way."
"I am," replied Tom Homer, "in about three hours' time."
"Ay, ay! you're younger, friend Homer, than I have been these fifteen
years," said Cuddle; "time was, before Caddy Caddy lost his wits, when he
and I have sat over midnight together, as merry as crickets; but since his
misfortune, I have become a very altered man. 'PrimÔ nocte domum claude—that
has been my motto for years past Mrs. Watermark, my good housekeeper, is,
I feel convinced, already alarmed; and it would not become me, positively
to terrify her: besides, I am not on very intimate terms with my horse,
which I borrowed from my friend, Anthony Mutch, of Mallow Hill, for this
occasion: the roads, too, have been so cut and carved about, by the
Commissioners,—doubtless, for very wise purposes,—since poor
Caddy Caddy's time, that I had much ado to find my way in the broad
day-light; and these spectacles, I must needs say, although I reverence
the donor, are not to be depended on, so implicitly as I could wish. Let
me see—ay—'tis now twelve years ago, from my last birth-day,
since they were presented to me; and, believe me, I 've never had the
courage to wear them before. I hate changing,—especially of
spectacles; I should not have put them on now—confound them!—had
it not been for Mrs. Watermark, who protested my others were not fit to be
seen in decent society."
"Under the circumstances you have mentioned," said the Honourable Charles
Caddy, "I must press you to accept of a bed. Pray, make the Castle your
own; you will confer an obligation on me by remaining."
"Cousin Caddy," replied Cuddle, rising from his seat, and approaching his
host, whose hand he took between both his own; "I rejoice to find so
worthy a successor of poor Caddy Caddy, master of Caddy Castle. It would
be most pleasing to me, if it were possible, to remain; and, I do protest,
that I positively would, were it not for the feelings of Mrs. Watermark,—a
most worthy and valuable woman,—who is now, perhaps, sitting on
thorns on my account But I feel so grateful to you,—so happy in your
society, that I will actually quaff another bumper, previously to taking
my stirrup-cup; yea, and truly, were honest Jack Cole—old king Cole,
as we used to cadi him, in Caddy Caddy's days,—were Jack here, with
his fine bass voice, I would actually proffer a stave or so,—say,
for instance, the Dialogue between Time and the Drinkers,—if Tom
Horner would chime in, as he used to do when a boy, here, in this very
room, with honest Jack, poor Caddy Caddy, and my-self, in times past—Honest
Jack! most excellent Jack! rare king Cole! would he were here!"
"I should be sorry, cousin," said the Honourable Charles Caddy, "to have
omitted, in my invitation-list, the name of so respectable and staunch a
friend of our family, as Mr. Cole, of Colebrook. If I do not mistake, he
sits immediately below my friend Wilmot, at the next table; I regret that
I have not had an opportunity of making myself more known to him."
"Jack! honest Jack!" exclaimed Cuddle; "old king Cole, here, and I not
know it?—Little Jack, that's silent as the grave, except when he
thunders in a glee!—Where, cousin? Oddsbird! eh?—Jack, where
"Here am I, Caddy," replied a diminutive old gentleman, with a remarkably
drowsy-looking eye; "I thought you were not going to accost me."
The deep and sonorous tone in which these words were spoken, startled
those who sat near old Cole: they gazed at him, and seemed to doubt if the
sounds they had heard really emanated from the lungs of so spare and puny
a personage. Cuddle crossed his arms on his breast, and exclaimed, "And is
it, indeed, my friend Jack Cole?"
"Don't you know me, when I speak even?" growled old Cole, "or d'ye think
somebody has borrowed my voice?"
"'Tis Jack, himself!" cried Cuddle; "honest Jack! and I did not see him!—These
glasses I cannot help stigmatizing as an egregious nuisance."
"Well, Mr. Cole, what say you, will you join us?" inquired Homer.
"No, sir," replied Cole; "sing by yourself; one ass at a time is bad
enough; but three braying together, are insupportable."
"The same man,—the same man as ever;" exclaimed Cuddle, apparently
very much pleased;—"begin, Homer;—you know his way;—he
can't resist, when his bar comes. He had always these crotchets;—begin,
my boy; I will pledge myself that he falls in with the stream of the
Horner and Cuddle now commenced the glee; and, as the latter had
predicted, Cole, after closing his eyes, throwing himself back in his
chair, and making sundry wry faces, trowled forth the first reply, and
afterwards, all the other responses of old Father Time, in the following
"Whither away! old Father Time?
Ah! whither dost thou run?"—
I've a mob to mow;
My work is never done."
"Tarry awhile with us, old Time,
And lay thy scythe aside!"—
'Tis a busy day;
My work it lieth wide."
"Tell us, we pray thee, why, old Time,
Thou look'st so pale and glum?"—
"I evermore sigh,
'Eternity, oh! come!'"
"Art thou, then, tired, old Father Time?
Thy labour dost thou rue?"—
Has it been my song,—
'Could I but die like you!'"
"Tell us, then, when, old Father Time,
We may expect thy death!"—
"That morn Eternity's born,
Receives my parting breath."
"And what's eternity, Father Time?
We pray thee, tell us now!"—
Are dead, it is then Eternity they know."
"Come, fill up thy glass, old Father Time,
And clog its sands with wine!"—
They would faster flow,
And distil tears of brine!"
Caddy Cuddle, at the conclusion of these verses, took possession of a
vacant chair, by the side of old Cole, and soon forgot that there was such
a being as Mrs. Watermark in existence. He quaffed bumper after bumper
with honest Jack;—an hour passed very pleasantly away in talking of
old times;—and Cuddle wondered to find himself slightly intoxicated.
He immediately rose, took his leave rather uncourteously, and went out,
muttering something about "eleven miles," and "Mother Watermark." In a few
minutes, he was mounted, and trotting toward the park gate which opened on
the high road. "A fine night, Billy Norman;—a fine night, Billy;"
said Cuddle, as he rode through, to the old gatekeeper; "pray, Billy, what
say you? Don't you think they have cut the roads up cruelly, of late
years?—Here's half a crown, Billy.—What with planting, and
enclosing, and road-making, I scarcely know the face of the country; it's
as puzzling as a labyrinth.—Good night, Billy!"
Cuddle, who was a tolerably bold rider, for a man of his years, now struck
his horse rather forcibly, with his heels, and urged him at once into a
"He hath a spur in his head," said Billy Norman to himself, as Cuddle
disappeared down the road; "I hope nought but good may happen him; for
he's one of the right sort, if he had it." The roads were dry and hard,
the air serene, and Billy stood listening, for a few minutes, to the
sounds of the horse's feet; he soon felt convinced, by the cadences, that
Caddy Cuddle was increasing, rather than diminishing, his speed. The beat
of the hoofs became, at length, barely audible; it gradually died away;
and Norman was going in to light his pipe, when he thought he heard the
sounds again. He put his hand behind his ear, held his breath, and, in a
few moments, felt satisfied that Caddy Cuddle had taken the wrong turning,
and was working back, by a circular route, toward Caddy Castle again. As
he approached nearer, Norman began to entertain apprehensions that
Cuddle's horse had run away with him, in consequence of the violent pace,
at which, it was clear, from the sound of its feet, that the animal was
going. Norman stepped off the pathway into the road, and prepared to hail
Cuddle, as he passed, and ascertain, if possible, what really was the
matter. The horse and his rider came on nearly at full speed, and Norman
shouted, with all his might,—"Holloa! hoy! stop!"
"I carry arms! I carry arms!" cried Cuddle, urging his horse forward with
all his might.
"Zauns!" exclaimed Norman, "he takes I for a highwayman!—He must ha'
mistook the road, that's certain; the horse can't ha' run away wi' un, or
a'uldn't kick un so.—Sailor, you be out o' your latitude."
The circle, which Caddy Cuddle had made, was about two miles in
circumference: he went precisely in the same direction again, without, in
the least, suspecting his error; and having, as he thought, mastered four
miles of his road homeward, and given his horse a tolerable breathing, he
began to pull up by degrees, as he, for the second time, approached the
little rustic lodge of Caddy Park, from which he had issued at his
departure. Norman again hailed him, for he felt tolerably satisfied that
Caddy carried no other arms than those with which Nature had endowed him.
Caddy now knew the voice, and pulled up:—"Who's there?" said he; "A
friend, I think; for I remember your tone.—Who are you, honest man?"
"Heaven help us, Mr. Cuddle!" exclaimed Norman, "Are'ee mad, sir, or how?"
"Why, nipperkins! Norman, is it you?"
"And how got you here?—I thought nothing had passed me on the road.
Where are you going, honest Norman?"
"Going!—I be going no-where," replied the gate-keeper; "I be here,
where you left me. Why, doant'ee know, that you ha' been working round and
round, just like a horse in a mill?—And after all this
helter-skelter work, here you be, just where you were!"
"D—n the spectacles, then!" said Cuddle; "and confound all
innovators!—Why couldn't they let the country alone?—I've
taken the wrong turning, I suppose?"
"Yeas,—I reckon't must be summat o' that kind:—there be four
to the right, out o' the strait road, across the common; the three first
do bring'ee round this way, t'other takes'ee home:—but, odds! Muster
Cuddle! do'ee get off!—Here be a girth broke,—and t'other as
old as my hat, and half worn through, as'tis.—Oh! you must go back;
you must, truly, go back to the stables, and put the tackle in order."
Cuddle seemed rather loath to return, but old Norman was inflexible: he
led the horse inside the gate, which he safely locked, and put the key in
his pocket, and then hobbled along, by the side of Caddy, toward the
stables. As he passed the outer door of the house, he whispered to the
porter, his fears for Cuddle's safety, if he were suffered to depart
again, and begged that the porter would contrive to let his master be made
acquainted with the circumstance of Caddy's ride.
The information was immediately conveyed to the dining-room, and
half-a-dozen gentlemen, with the Honourable Charles Caddy at their head,
immediately proceeded to the stables, where they found Cuddle, perspiring
very copiously, and endeavouring to obtain information for his guidance,
in his contemplated journey, from those, who were, from the same cause, as
incapable of giving, as Cuddle was of following, correct directions. The
Honourable Charles Caddy, in spite of his good breeding, could not help
laughing, when he heard Cuddle's account of the affair; but he very
judiciously insisted on Cuddle's remaining at the Castle until morning.
Caddy vowed that he would acquiesce only on one condition; which was, that
a servant should be immediately dispatched to his cottage, to allay the
fears of Mrs. Watermark; and that such servant should be specially
enjoined, not to blab a word of his mishap, to the good old gentlewoman.
"If he should," said Cuddle, "Mrs. Watermark will be terrified, and we
shall have her here before morning, even if she walk all the way."
It was in vain that the Honourable Charles Caddy and his visitors
entreated Caddy Cuddle to return to the table; he preferred retiring to
rest at once. "You must put up with one of the ancient bed-rooms, cousin
Cuddle," said the Honourable Charles Caddy; "but you fear no ghosts, I
"Nipperkins! not I!" replied Cuddle. "If I am to sleep out of my own bed,
I care not if you place me in the most alarming room in the Castle. To
confess the truth,—but this under the rose, cousin,—I feel a
touch of the influence of Bacchus, and 'dulce periculum est,' you
know, when that's the case."
The bed-chamber to which Cuddle was consigned, still retained its tapestry
hangings; and the good man quivered, either with cold, or at the solemn
appearance of the room, when he entered it. A very prominent figure in the
arras actually appeared to move, as Cuddle sat down in a capacious old
chair, at the right-hand side of the bed, to undress himself. After gazing
earnestly at it, for a moment, with his stockings half drawn off, he
corrected himself for indulging in so ridiculous a fancy:—"None of
these Pygmalion freaks," said he; "none of your Promethean tricks, Mr.
Imagination of mine: and yet, perhaps, I am accusing you wrongfully, and
these mischievous glasses have endowed yonder figure with seeming
vitality; I hope I may not break them, in a-pet, before I get home."
Caddy Cuddle was one of those unfortunate beings who accustom themselves
to read in bed; and who, from long habit, can no more compose themselves
to sleep, without perusing a few pages, in their night-gear, than some
others can without a good supper, or a comfortable potation. Caddy
discovered two or three old, worm-eaten books, in a small table drawer,
and selected that one which was printed in the largest type, for his
perusal, when recumbent. It was a volume of tracts, on geomancy,
astrology, and necromancy. Cuddle read it with avidity, and by the time
the small piece of candle, with which he had been furnished, was burnt
out, he had filled his brain with images of imps and familiars. Finding
himself, suddenly, in utter darkness, he laid down the book; and then,
turning himself on his back, very soon fell asleep No man, perhaps, ever
kept a log-book of his dreams; ant yet, such an article would certainly be
more amusing than many an honest gentleman's diary; for there are persons
in the work whose waking adventures are as dull and monotonous as the
ticking of a clock, while their biography in bed,—their nightly
dreams,7—if correctly narrated, would, in some cases, be exceedingly
droll; and, in others, insupportably pathetic. The happiest people by
day-light, often suffer agonies by night; a man who would not harm a worm,
with his eyes open, sometimes commits murder, and actually endures all the
misery of being taken, tried, convicted, and half executed, in
imagination, while he lies snug, snoring, and motionless, beneath a pair
of Witney blankets. It is rash to say that any individual is, or, at
least, ought to be, happy, until we ascertain how he dreams. A very
excellent country 'squire, in the west of England, was once told, by a
person of discrimination, that he appeared to be the most comfortable man
in existence:—"Your desires are within your means;"—thus the
squire was addressed;—"your wife is most charming in temper,
manners, and person; your affection is mutual; your children are every
thing that a parent could wish; your life has been so irreproachable, that
you must be as easy in mind as it is possible for a man to be: no one
bears you malice; on the contrary, every body blesses you: your house and
your park are delightful; you are most felicitous, even in your servants
and cattle; you are naturally—"
"True, true, to the letter," impatiently interrupted the 'squire; "but
what's all the world to a man who, without why or wherefore, dreams that
he's with old Nick every night of his life?" Caddy Cuddle was not much
addicted to dreaming; but, on the night he slept in the ancient room, at
Caddy Castle, he felt satisfied, as he afterward said, that in the course
of a few hours, his imagination was visited with fantasies enough to fill
a volume; although he could not recollect, with any distinctness, even one
of them, half an hour after he awoke. The moon was shining full upon the
window, and making the chamber almost as light as day, with her radiance,
when Caddy opened his eyes, after his first sleep, to satisfy himself, by
the view of some familiar object, that he was not among the strange
creatures of whom he had been dreaming. Perched upon his nose,—threatening
it with whip, as Caddy saw, and galling it with spur, as Caddy felt,—he
beheld an imp, whose figure was, at once, more grotesque and horrible,
than any of those which had flitted before his mind's eye, during his
slumbers! The creature seemed to be staring at him with terrific
impudence, and jockeying his feature, as though it were actually capable
of running a race. Caddy's eye-balls were almost thrust out of their
sockets with dismay; his nether-jaw dropped, and he groaned deeply, under
the influence of the visible nose-night-mare with which he was afflicted.
For more than a minute, Caddy was incapable of moving either of his limbs;
but he summoned up resolution enough, at last, to close his eyes, and make
a clutch at the fiend, that rode his nose in the manner above described.
With a mingled feeling of surprise, mortification, and joy, he found the
nose-night-mare to be his spectacles!—He had gone to sleep without
removing them from his nose; and, by tumbling and tossing to and fro, in
his dreams, he had displaced, and twisted them, sufficiently, to assume a
position and form, that might have alarmed a man of stouter nerves than
Caddy Cuddle, on awaking in the middle of a moonlight night, after
dreaming of more monsters than the German authors have ever located on
Walpurgis Night in the Hartz.
Caddy tried to compose himself to sleep again; but grew restless,
feverish, and very uncomfortable: he beat up his pillow, shook his bed,
smoothed his sheets, walked several times up and down the room, and then
lay down again;—determined, at least, to doze. But Morpheus had
taken leave of him; and Caddy, at last, resolved on dressing himself,
going down to the kitchen, and, as he had tobacco about him, to smoke a
pipe, if he could find one, clean or dirty. He attributed his want of rest
to not having indulged in his usual sedative luxury, before going to bed;
and very resolutely taxed himself with the commission of an egregious
folly, for having drank more than he ought. Anthony Mutch's horse, and the
Commissioners of the roads, he very copiously abused, while dressing
himself: the spectacles were, however, the grand objects of his
indignation; but, bad as they were, he conceived that it was necessary to
coax them into shape again, and mount them on his nose, previously to
attempting, what he deemed, the perilous descent, from his chamber, which
was on the third floor, to the kitchen below. Caddy, however, was too well
acquainted with the topography of the house, to incur much danger:
moreover, the moon beamed with such brilliancy, through the glass dome
that lighted the great circular staircase of Caddy Castle, that a man,
much more short-sighted than our hero, might have gone safely from the top
to the bottom, without the assistance of glasses.
In a hole in the kitchen chimney, Caddy found two or three short pipes; he
congratulated himself on the discovery, and immediately filled one of them
from his pouch. The Castle was now as quiet as the grave; and no soul, but
Caddy himself, seemed to be stirring. He felt rather surprised to see the
stone floor of the kitchen, for above a yard from the chimney, covered
with embers of expiring logs, while the hearth itself was "dark as
Erebus." Caddy Cuddle, however, did not trouble himself much about this
circumstance: he had often seen the kitchen in a similar condition, after
a frolic, in Caddy Caddy's time; and very gravely lighting his pipe, he
deposited himself on a warm iron tripod,—which had been standing on
the hearth, probably, the whole evening,—in preference to a cold oak
chair. The kitchen was comfortable, notwithstanding it was dark, (for the
embers, as we have already stated, were expiring, and Caddy was without a
candle,) and he smoked the pipe so much to his satisfaction, that he
determined to enjoy another. Kicking the bits of burning wood together, as
he sat, in order to light his tobacco, he, unintentionally, produced a
little blaze, which proved rather disastrous to him:—as he stooped
to light the pipe, he heard a noise, that attracted his attention; Caddy
looked about, and, on the spacious hearth, beheld something, that bore a
rude similitude to a human figure!
Caddy was rather alarmed; and he uttered an exclamation, which seemed to
rouse the object of his fears. It raised itself on its hands, and after
staring Caddy full in the face, as he afterwards stated, began to uncoil
itself, and, at length, rose, and stood, tolerably terrified, to judge
from appearances, gazing at the odd-looking figure which Caddy cut, with
his night-cap, spectacles, and pipe, on the large iron tripod. Cuddle now
perceived that his companion, although of masculine frame, was arrayed in
female habiliments, which were black as the exterior of an old stew-pan.
It was Martha Jones, the scullion, a Welsh girl, who, whenever she could,
indulged herself with a night's rest, in her clothes, on the warm hearth
of Caddy Castle kitchen, instead of a comfortable bed in one of its
turrets. On these occasions, she previously swept the embers from the
hearth to the stone floor; as Caddy Cuddle had found them, on entering to
smoke his pipe. She was indulged in these and a few other odd vagaries, on
account of her excellence as an under-strapper to the cook, who frequently
said, that she could, and would, do more work in one day, than a brace of
the ordinary run of scullions did in a week. Martha possessed a pair of
immense muscular arms, which resembled, in hue, the outer leaf of a
frost-bitten red cabbage: her cheeks were of the same colour, when clean;
and shone, after a recent ablution, as though they had been smeared with
bees-wax and turpentine, and polished by means of a furniture-brush. Caddy
Cuddle, in his subsequent description of Martha, said, that her hair was
jetty as a black cart-horse's tail;—her lips pouted like a pair of
black puddings; and her eye,—for truth to say, she had but one,—was
as fiery and frightful as that of a Cyclops. Martha's features were,
however, though large, remarkably well-formed; and more than one
ploughman, in the neighbourhood, already sighed to make her a bride.
After Martha had gazed, for more than a minute, at Caddy Cuddle, who
ceased to puff, and almost to breathe, from the moment the scullion had
first begun to move, she burst out into a loud fit of laughter, in which
she indulged for some time;—occasionally stirring and raking the
embers on the floor together, to create a better blaze, in order that she
might enjoy a full view of Caddy Cuddle, who was now quite as ludicrous in
her estimation, as she had been terrible in his. Cuddle, at last, waxed
wroth; threw his pipe on the floor; thrust one of his hands beneath the
breast of his waistcoat; placed the other behind him, under the tail of
his coat, which he considerably elevated by the action; and, in this, as
he deemed, most imposing attitude, asked Martha how she dared to insult
one of her master's guests in that manner.—"Stand aside," continued
he, "and let me withdraw to my chamber, woman!"
"Ooman!" cried the scullion, ceasing to laugh in an instant, and putting
on rather an alarming frown:—"Ooman!—her name is Martha Jones,
and no more a—Yes, her is a ooman, though, tat's true;—but
Martha Jones is her name, and her will not be called ooman py nopoty, look
you; that is what her will not—Ooman, inteet! Cot pless her! To live
six long years in the kitchen of 'Squire Morgan, and one pesides, at
'Squire Caddy's, with a coot character, and her own aunt a laty, to be
called 'ooman,' py a little man in a white night-cap! look you, I sall tie
Caddy Cuddle's experience with the woman-kind, at our excellent friend,
Jonathan Oldbuck ycleps the fair part of the creation, was very limited:
he had read of heroines, in the Latin and Greek authors; spoken to a few
demi-savages, when a boy, during his nautical adventures in foreign parts;
occasionally chucked a dairymaid under the chin, when Bacchi plenus,
in the reign of Caddy Caddy, at Caddy Castle; and had a few quarrels with
his housekeeper, Mrs. Watermark. He was of opinion, from what he had
witnessed, that a little flattery was of sovereign virtue with the sex;
and, in order to escape from Martha's clutches, of which he felt in
considerable awe, Caddy Cuddle essayed to soothe and allay the fever into
which he had thrown the scullion by calling her a woman, with a few
compliments. But, like all inexperienced persons, Caddy Cuddle could not
hit the golden mean; he overstepped the mark so much, as to make honest
Martha imagine that he really admired her. Caddy was not aware to what an
extent his flattery was leading him: he plumed himself on his tact and
discretion, when Martha's face began to relax into a smile; launched
boldly into hyperbole, as soon as she curtsied at his compliments; and, in
order to effect a dashing retreat, by a bold coup-de-main, attacked
the enemy with a brigade of classical metaphors. The scullion could hold
out no longer; she strode over the intervening embers; clutched Cuddle in
her colossal grasp; and, in an instant, she was seated on the tripod which
he had previously occupied, with the very alarmed little gentleman perched
upon her knee.
The nose-night-mare was a trifle, in Cuddle's estimation, compared with
what he now endured: he struggled, and roared with all his might-called
Martha Jones, "Circe, Canidia, Scylla, Medea, Harpy, Polyphemus, and Witch
of Edmonton," without the least effect: she seemed to consider all these
appellatives as endearing epithets, and kissed Caddy, so vehemently, that
he thought his heart would break.
And it was not merely the warmth of the scullion's gratitude or affection—whichever
it might be—that so discomposed Caddy Cuddle; Martha, in striding
across the blazing embers, had ignited her greasy, and, consequently, very
combustible apparel; and although she, in her raptures, seemed to be quite
unconscious of the circumstance, Caddy Cuddle felt that the incipient
flame had begun to singe his stockings. At length, Mistress Martha
herself, became, somehow or other, cognizant of the fact; and she
instantly threw Caddy Cuddle off her knee, shrieked like an infuriated
maniac, snatched up the kitchen poker, and flourished it about Caddy's
head, threatening him, by her actions, with immediate annihilation; as
though he, good innocent man, had been the cause of the combustion.
Luckily for Caddy and the scullion, their tete-a-tete had been so
boisterous, as to have alarmed the Castle; and the French cook, with two
or three other men-servants, burst into the kitchen at a very critical
instant both for Caddy and Miss Jones. A bucket of water, dexterously
applied by the coachman, quenched the blazing petticoats, and somewhat
allayed the fiery heart of the scullion; who retreated behind a pile of
pots and kettles. While Caddy apostrophized the cook, Martha was loud in
vituperation; the men-servants were noisy as Bedlamites; and the cuisinier
himself, a recently imported Frenchman, imprecated, very loudly, in his
own language,—consigning Caddy, the scullion, coachman, and his
fellow-domestics, with all other the English people, past, present, and to
come, in one lot, to the care of King Pluto and his sable adherents.
Alarmed at the uproar, the guests at Caddy Castle came in by twos and
threes, and, in a few minutes, the kitchen was thronged.
The Honourable Charles Caddy had scarcely closed his eyes, when the
exclamations, from Caddy Cuddle and the scullion, reached his ears; the
lovely Lady Letitia having amused herself by giving him a curtain lecture,
of some two hours' duration, after they had retired, on his gross and most
apparent gallantry to the plainest woman among the visitors at the Castle.
He leaped out of bed, on hearing the noise, rather to escape from the
dulcet abuse of his beautiful better-half, than from any strong feelings
of interest or curiosity; and, as soon as he could make himself fit to be
seen, hurried toward the place of declamation. There he found Caddy
Cuddle, encircled by twenty or thirty people, (who, although they were his
guests, and had dined with him, he positively did not know in their
night-caps,) exclaiming, prodigiously, against the scullion, and
endeavouring, by dint of vociferation, to prove that he was not at all to
The Honourable Charles Caddy soon cleared the kitchen, when he found that
nothing of consequence had occurred: the guests and servants retired; and
Caddy Cuddle, after making several apologies and protestations of
innocence, whatsoever the scullion might say of him, to his cousin, took
up a candle, which somebody had left on the dresser, and marched off to
the staircase. The Honourable Charles Caddy, who had detained the cook,
now inquired who and what the creature of darkness was behind the
saucepans; and while the cook was explaining, and Martha Jones was giving
most excellent account of herself, Caddy Cuddle proceeded toward his
bed-chamber. As he passed Lady Letitia's door, he knocked, and whispered,
through the key-hole, a long string of apologies, in which he was
interrupted by the lady's husband; who, after politely marshalling him to
his room, made him a most ceremonious and courtly bow, and wished him a
very excellent good night.
Caddy paced two or three times up and down the room, lamenting his
misfortunes, and inwardly vowing never to quit his cottage for a castle
again. He was so anxious not to disturb the household, that he neither
stamped on the floor, nor groaned audibly; but rather "stepped a-tip-toe,"
from the window to the fire-place, and thence to the window again,
scarcely breathing as he moved. Finding but little relief from this state
of constraint, he threw himself on the old chair that stood on the
right-hand side of the bed, and began to recover a little of his usual
good humour. He reviewed the circumstances which had happened during the
night; and they now presented themselves in so droll a light to Caddy's
mind, that he could not help smiling at his mishaps, and proceeded to
unbutton his waistcoat All at once, the remembrance of the moving tapestry
flashed across him, and his eye was instantly fixed on the figure that had
alarmed him, previous to his retiring to rest "Surely," thought he, "it
could not have been imagination, for it moveth, even now, most palpably!—or
my visionary organs are singularly impaired;—or these new spectacles
lead me into very unpleasant errors. Would that I had never accepted
them!" He removed the suspected offenders from his nose, wiped them
carefully with the tail of his coat, and was going to put them on again,
when a tall, stout-built person, slipped out from behind the arras, and
advanced, with hasty steps, toward him, exclaiming, "Soho! friend Caddy
Cuddle, you're come at last!"
"What, in the name of all that's good, art thou?" exclaimed Caddy, feeling
surprised that he was not more frightened;—"who art thou?"
"Don't you know me, Caddy?" said the intruder, laying his hand on Cuddle's
arm; who was very much pleased to feel that his visitor possessed the
property of tangibility, and was, therefore, no ghost.—"Don't you
know me, Caddy?" repeated the figure, in rather a reproachful tone.
"I dare say I should, sir, if you would permit me to put on my spectacles,—bad
as they are," replied Caddy; "and if you'd step back a yard or two, so as
to get, as it were, at the proper focus of my sight:—suppose you
take a chair."
The tall man retreated some paces, and Caddy put on his spectacles:—"Now,
sir," said he, "we shall see:—Where are you?—Oh! I perceive—Why,
bless my soul, sir—is it—can it be? Are these glasses really
playing me tricks? or have I, in truth, leaped out of the frying-pan into
the fire?—You surely can't be my very unfortunate and most respected
friend, Caddy Caddy, of Caddy Castle!"
"The same," replied the tall old man, with a sigh:—"Caddy Caddy,
sir, of Caddy Castle."
"And how the nipperkins did you break loose?" cried Cuddle, rising from
the chair, and advancing two or three steps.
"Where now, where now, sir?" said Caddy Caddy, taking a gentle hold of
Cuddle's arm:—"Where now, friend Cuddle?"
"Where?—why, to the door, doubtless!—Am I doomed to do nothing
but alarm the castle?"
"Alarm the castle!" exclaimed Caddy Caddy; "are you out of your senses?
why, they'd lock me up, man, if you did."
"To be sure they would, and that's precisely what I want them to do.—My
dear sir, I beg pardon; I wouldn't give offence I'm sure,—neither to
you nor the people of the Castle; but I can't help it.—You must
allow me to give the alarm.—I cannot submit to be shut up with a
"So, then, you join in the slander, do you?" said Caddy Caddy; "Cuddle,
you hurt me to the soul!"
"Well, well,—my dear friend,—my respected friend,—I am
sorry I said so;—it was but in joke."
"Cuddle," replied Caddy, "I was ruined by a joke:—somebody called me
a madman, in jest; the rest of the world joined in the cry, though it was
a fool who gave tongue; and, at last, they ran me down; proved, to their
own satisfaction, that I was out of my wits, for being in a passion with,
and turning upon, those who were hunting me. Nothing is more easy than to
prove a man mad:—begin, by throwing a slur upon his mental sanity;
watch him narrowly; view all he does with a jaundiced eye; rake up a score
of facts, which occurred a year apart,—facts that are really
frolics, freaks, whims, vagaries, or what you will, of the like nature;
place them all together, and the business is done; you make as fine a
picture of lunacy as a man would wish to look at. I assure you, Caddy
Cuddle, I am no more a lunatic than you are,—take my word for it; so
sit down and tune the fiddle."
"Fiddle! what?—where?—which fiddle?"
"Oh! they allow me my fiddle; I should go crazy in earnest without that I
left it behind the arras;—come—"
"Come! come where?"
"Come and fetch it," said Caddy, dragging Cuddle toward the place from
which he had issued.
"Nipperkins, cousin!" cried Cuddle, "go and get it yourself."
"No, no," replied the other, with a knowing look; "If I were to do so,
you'd slip out, while my back was turned, and raise the Castle. I've had
trouble enough to elude their vigilance, during the bustle, to lose my
liberty so easily again. By-and-bye, we'll go down stairs together, and
break open the cellar;—it's all my own, you know, if right was cock
of the walk. I'm for gamocks and junketting, I forewarn you, and we'll
have a jolly night of it." By this time, Caddy had approached the arras,
with Cuddle fast in his clutch; he stooped down, and drawing forth an old
fiddle and stick, put them into the hands of Cuddle; who, as may readily
be imagined, was by no means enamoured of his situation.
"Now," said Caddy, "in the first place, my friend, play Rowley Waters. I
have been trying to recollect the two last bars of it for these three
years, but I cannot. Do you remember how beautifully my drunken old
butler, Barnaby, used to troul it?"
"Ay, those were merry days, cousin," said Cuddle; "poor Barnaby! his
passion for ale laid him low, at last."
"And many a time, before."
"What! was it in time of your sanity? I beg pardon—Do you remember,
then, our finding him, flat on his back, by the side of an untapped vat of
the stoutest beer that ever Caddy Castle could boast?—Methinks I can
see him now, with the gimlet in his hand, with which he had made an
aperture in the cask, and sucked the blood of barley-corn, to such an
abominable extent—the old beast did—that—"
"Don't asperse him, Cuddle," said Caddy; "he put a peg in the hole before
he died. He was the best of butlers; if he always drank a skinful, he
never wasted a noggin. But now for Rowley Waters;—play up, and I'll
"No, no," said Cuddle, laying down the instrument; "I'll do no such thing;—I
won't, by Jupiter!—that's resolute."
"Well, then, I'll play, and you shall dance."
"Don't make me swear," said Cuddle; "don't, Caddy Caddy!—What! raise
a riot again?—You don't know, perhaps, that I have, already, sinned
egregiously;—although, I protest, without the least evil intention.
Besides, it would produce that very effect which you wish to—Eh!
what was I saying?—Well, I don't mind if I do give you one
"Thank you, kindly, cousin Cuddle," said Caddy, taking up the fiddle; "but
you have raised an objection, which I admit to be of great weight. Oh!
cousin Cuddle! Did you want to betray me?—I thank you for the hint:—we
should, indeed, alarm my enemies. You overreached yourself, and saved me,
"Well, I scorn a lie," replied Cuddle; "such a thought as you suspect did
occur to me; for I protest I am not very comfortable in your company, much
as I respect you. Go back to your bed; do, pr'ythee now, be ruled—oblige
me, cousin;—for your own sake, go."
"Oh! what a thing self-interest is!" exclaimed Caddy; "'for your own sake,
go,' quoth he, when it is solely for his! Cousin Cuddle, I shall not;—that's
a plain answer for you."
Caddy now placed a chair immediately opposite to that one on which he had
found Cuddle sitting, on his entrance; he forced the alarmed little
gentleman into his seat; and, in a few moments, resumed the conversation.
"Cuddle," said he, looking very seriously, "as the world goes, I take you
to be an honest man, and my friend. Now, I'll confide something to your
ear that will perfectly astonish you. The people about me, don't know a
syllable of the matter; I kept it snug from them; if I had not, they would
have restricted me to one room, instead of allowing me the liberty and use
of three.—Draw your chair close.—About three years' since, I
"So I heard," said Cuddle, trembling as he remembered what had been
related of Caddy's violence on that occasion. The great staircase of the
better part of Caddy Castle, was circular, and surmounted by a magnificent
dome, which lighted it completely down to the hall; Caddy had thrown
himself over the banisters, and must, inevitably, have been dashed to
pieces, had it not been for a scaffolding, which some workmen had erected
within the circle of the staircase, for the purpose of repairing some part
of the masonry, a few days before. Caddy fell among the people on the
temporary platform, and was taken up, apparently, lifeless; but, in the
course of a couple of months, his bodily health was restored,—his
mental malady remaining nearly in its former state.
"You know," continued Caddy, "of my leap; I gave them the slip, then,
cousin, in good earnest I fell a terrific depth, and did the business at
once. I recollect the moment of my near approach to the scaffolding, of
the erection of which, I was ignorant; but, as it happened, it did not
frustrate my intentions."
"I feel very ailing—very indisposed, indeed," said Cuddle; "pray,
cousin Caddy, permit me to—"
"Nonsense!" exclaimed Caddy; "you are as well as ever you were in your
life; I am sure of it; so hear me out:—of course, you heard their
account of restoring me to health;—but they know nothing of the
matter, cousin Cuddle:—when I seemed to them to revive, I felt that
I was disembodied!"
"Disembodied!" cried Cuddle, staring wildly at Caddy.
"Ay, disembodied, cousin," said Caddy; "and my sole with, except for
liberty, now is, to obtain a disembodied companion, who—"
Cuddle could hear no more. To describe his thoughts or feelings at this
moment, would be a task beyond the power of our feeble pen. We shall
attempt, only, to relate his actions.—He threw himself back in the
capacious chair which he had hitherto occupied, but by no means filled;
brought his knees on a level with, and as near as he possibly could to,
his face; and then, suddenly throwing out his legs, with all the energy he
possessed, struck Caddy in the breast with his feet so violently, as, in
an instant, to turn him and his chair topsy-turvy on the floor. He
exhibited a specimen of that agility for which he had been famed in his
younger days, as well in this, as in his subsequent proceedings. Skipping
over Caddy and the chair, he flew to the door, and made for the staircase
at full speed. It is useless to conceal that Cuddle was dreadfully
frightened; he heard Caddy striding after him at a fearful rate; and felt
satisfied, by the evidence of his ears, that his dreaded pursuer would
very speedily overtake him. People in similar situations adopt plans for
escaping, which men, sitting calmly over their coffee, would never dream
of. Cuddle knew that he should have no chance in a grapple with Caddy: it
was ridiculous to hope for help if he cried out; for, before any one could
come to his assistance, Caddy would have sufficient time to disembody his
spirit; and his pursuer was evidently an over-match for him in speed.
Cuddle was desperate: he suddenly determined on attempting to evade his
enemy by a bold and dangerous manouvre. He leaped upon the banisters,
which were massive and broad enough for a man to stand upon with ease;
caught hold of the rope, by which the dinner bell, above the cupola, was
rung by the porter, in the hall below; and threw himself upon it,—in
a style which would have done honour to a thorough-bred seaman,—at
the moment the tops of Caddy's fingers touched his heels. We cannot wait
to describe the consternation into which the ringing of the dinner bell,
at that time of the night, threw all the inmates of Caddy Castle;—our
hero claims our undivided attention; for his position was most perilous—at
least, in Cuddle's own opinion.
Having descended, with moderate haste, for a few yards, he felt, by
certain jerks of the rope, that Caddy had followed his example, and was
pursuing him down the rope,—with such hair-brained velocity too, as
he very speedily ascertained, that he was in greater danger than ever. The
rope was swung to and fro, by his own exertions and those of his enemy,—bumping
him against the banisters with considerable force; but the blows he thus
received were beneath his notice; he thought only of escaping. Finding
that Caddy gained upon him, he contrived, as the rope swung toward the
side of the staircase, to catch hold of one of the stout iron rails of the
banister;—secure in his clutch, he quitted the rope with
considerable dexterity, and had the satisfaction, while he dangled, of
seeing Caddy slide by him. He now began to roar lustily; but his efforts
were needless, for almost every living creature in the house was already
on the alert; the watch dogs were barking without, and the lap-dogs
within; the ladies were shrieking; the gentlemen calling the servants, and
the latter wondering, and running here and there, exceedingly active, but
not knowing what to do or what was the matter. By degrees, the male
portion of the inhabitants of the Castle became concentrated in the hall:
lights were procured; and while the ladies and their attendants peeped
over the rails of the great staircase, in their night-caps, to watch the
proceedings of the party below, Martha, armed with the kitchen poker,
volunteered to search every hole and corner in the Castle: but her master
forbade her on pain of his displeasure; "For," said he, "I feel satisfied
that it is a disgraceful hoax of some scoundrel in the house, who shall
certainly be ducked if ever I discover him.—Is any one absent?"
"All the men servants are here, sir," said the coachman; "and all the
gentlemen, too, I think."
"No, they are not," exclaimed Martha, with a ludicrous grin; "where is my
sweetheart, can you tell?—I do not see him."
"Oh! he's fast asleep, good man!" said the Honourable Charles Caddy.
"I wish he were;—I do most sincerely wish he were!" quoth Cuddle,
who had released himself, by his own exertions, from his pendent position,
and was now hastening down the lowest flight of stairs. "You may stare, my
good host," continued he, "but to sleep in Caddy Castle is perfectly
"So I find, to my cost," replied the Honourable Charles Caddy; "and if I
can find out the rascal who—"
"Do not waste time in threats," said 'Cuddle; "but fly—disperse, in
quest of my respected, unhappy friend, poor Caddy Caddy, who has been with
me this half hour, and would have disembodied me, if I hadn't given him a
kick in the stomach, and put my trust in the bell-rope."
At the request of his host, Cuddle gave a hurried detail of what had taken
place between himself and Caddy Caddy; while those domestics, who had the
immediate care of the lunatic, hastened up to his rooms. They returned
just as Cuddle had concluded, and stated that Caddy Caddy was undressed,
and fast asleep in his bed;—that they found the doors locked, and
every thing about the apartments in the precise state in which they had
left them. One of the party said, that he slept in the next room to Caddy
Caddy, and was quite certain that he should have been, as usual, roused,
had the lunatic but merely moved: and as to the old Squire having been at
large, the fellow swore that it was impossible.
It was useless for Cuddle to vow and solemnly declare that Caddy Caddy had
been with him, in the face of this evidence: the gentlemen shook their
heads; the men grumbled; the ladies on the stair-case tittered; and their
maids pronounced Mr. Cuddle's conduct to be altogether shocking.
"It is a very distressing case," said the Honourable Charles Caddy; "and I
protest I never was in so awkward a situation before. I feel bound to
apologize," continued he, "to every lady and gentleman in the Castle, for
the uproar, which my relation, Mr. Caddy Cuddle, has, doubtless,
unintentionally, produced. I am bound to add, in justice to myself, that,
upon my honour as a gentleman, I had not the most remote idea that either
of my guests was a somnambulist."
"Is it possible that you can allude to me?" exclaimed Caddy Cuddle. "Is my
veracity impeached? Am I to be a martyr to our poor mad relation's freaks?—Or,
possibly, you will tell me that I ought to doubt the evidence of my own
"I never presume," was the reply, "to dictate to a gentleman on so
delicate a point. Perhaps you will allow one of my servants to wait on you
during the remainder of the night."
"I'll do no such thing," said Caddy Cuddle: "let the horse be saddled
directly. I'll go home at once, and endeavour to make my peace with Mrs.
Watermark, from whom I expect and merit a very severe lecture, for so
cruelly cutting up her feelings as to stay out a whole night nearly.
Cousin Caddy, good b'ye; ladies and gentlemen, your servant."
Caddy Cuddle immediately departed, vowing, per Jovem, as he went,
never, after that morning, to bestride Anthony Mutch's horse,—to
dine at Caddy Castle, or any where else out of his own house,—or to
put on a strange pair of spectacles again.