It is very injudicious to put yourself into such a perspiration. What is the cause of this extreme physical and mental excitement, sir?'
Such was the very philosophical address of Mr. Robert Bolton, a shorthand-writer, as he termed himself--a bit of equivoque passing current among his fraternity, which must give the uninitiated a vast idea of the establishment of the ministerial organ, while to the initiated it signifies that no one paper can lay claim to the enjoyment of their services. Mr. Bolton was a young man, with a somewhat sickly and very dissipated expression of countenance. His habiliments were composed of an exquisite union of gentility, slovenliness, assumption, simplicity, NEWNESS, and old age. Half of him was dressed for the winter, the other half for the summer. His hat was of the newest cut, the D'Orsay; his trousers had been white, but the inroads of mud and ink, etc., had given them a pie- bald appearance; round his throat he wore a very high black cravat, of the most tyrannical stiffness; while his tout ensemble was hidden beneath the enormous folds of an old brown poodle-collared great-coat, which was closely buttoned up to the aforesaid cravat. His fingers peeped through the ends of his black kid gloves, and two of the toes of each foot took a similar view of society through the extremities of his high-lows. Sacred to the bare walls of his garret be the mysteries of his interior dress! He was a short, spare man, of a somewhat inferior deportment. Everybody seemed influenced by his entry into the room, and his salutation of each member partook of the patronizing. The hairdresser made way for him between himself and the stomach. A minute afterwards he had taken possession of his pint and pipe. A pause in the conversation took place. Everybody was waiting, anxious for his first observation.
'Horrid murder in Westminster this morning,' observed Mr. Bolton.
Everybody changed their positions. All eyes were fixed upon the man of paragraphs.
'A baker murdered his son by boiling him in a copper,' said Mr. Bolton.
'Good heavens!' exclaimed everybody, in simultaneous horror.
'Boiled him, gentlemen!' added Mr. Bolton, with the most effective emphasis; 'BOILED him!'
'And the particulars, Mr. B.,' inquired the hairdresser, 'the particulars?'
Mr. Bolton took a very long draught of porter, and some two or three dozen whiffs of tobacco, doubtless to instil into the commercial capacities of the company the superiority of a gentlemen connected with the press, and then said -
'The man was a baker, gentlemen.' (Every one looked at the baker present, who stared at Bolton.) 'His victim, being his son, also was necessarily the son of a baker. The wretched murderer had a wife, whom he was frequently in the habit, while in an intoxicated state, of kicking, pummelling, flinging mugs at, knocking down, and half-killing while in bed, by inserting in her mouth a considerable portion of a sheet or blanket.'
The speaker took another draught, everybody looked at everybody else, and exclaimed, 'Horrid!'
'It appears in evidence, gentlemen,' continued Mr. Bolton, 'that, on the evening of yesterday, Sawyer the baker came home in a reprehensible state of beer. Mrs. S., connubially considerate, carried him in that condition up-stairs into his chamber, and consigned him to their mutual couch.