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Second Paper On Murder
by [?]

Of this dinner there are ample short-hand notes amongst the archives of the club. But they are not “extended,” to speak diplomatically; and the reporter is missing–I believe, murdered. Meantime, in years long after that day, and on an occasion perhaps equally interesting, viz., the turning up of Thugs and Thuggism, another dinner was given. Of this I myself kept notes, for fear of another accident to the short-hand reporter. And I here subjoin them. Toad-in-the-hole, I must mention, was present at this dinner. In fact, it was one of its sentimental incidents. Being as old as the valleys at the dinner of 1812, naturally he was as old as the hills at the Thug dinner of 1838. He had taken to wearing his beard again; why, or with what view, it passes my persimmon to tell you. But so it was. And his appearance was most benign and venerable. Nothing could equal the angelic radiance of his smile as he inquired after the unfortunate reporter, (whom, as a piece of private scandal, I should tell you that he was himself supposed to have murdered, in a rapture of creative art:) the answer was, with roars of laughter, from the under-sheriff of our county–“Non est inventus.” Toad-in-the-hole laughed outrageously at this: in fact, we all thought he was choking; and, at the earnest request of the company, a musical composer furnished a most beautiful glee upon the occasion, which was sung five times after dinner, with universal applause and inextinguishable laughter, the words being these, (and the chorus so contrived, as most beautifully to mimic the peculiar laughter of Toad-in-the-hole:)–

“Et interrogatum est a Toad-in-the hole–Ubi est ille reporter?
Et responsum est cum cachinno–Non est inventus.”


“Deinde iteratum est ab omnibus, cum cachinnatione undulante–
Non est inventus.”

Toad-in-the-hole, I ought to mention, about nine years before, when an express from Edinburgh brought him the earliest intelligence of the Burke-and-Hare revolution in the art, went mad upon the spot; and, instead of a pension to the express for even one life, or a knighthood, endeavored to burke him; in consequence of which he was put into a strait waistcoat. And that was the reason we had no dinner then. But now all of us were alive and kicking, strait-waistcoaters and others; in fact, not one absentee was reported upon the entire roll. There were also many foreign amateurs present.

Dinner being over, and the cloth drawn, there was a general call made for the new glee of Non est inventus; but, as this would have interfered with the requisite gravity of the company during the earlier toasts, I overruled the call. After the national toasts had been given, the first official toast of the day was, The Old Man of the Mountains–drunk in solemn silence.

Toad-in-the-hole returned thanks in a neat speech. He likened himself to the Old Man of the Mountains, in a few brief allusions, that made the company absolutely yell with laughter; and he concluded with giving the health of

Mr. Von Hammer, with many thanks to him for his learned History of the Old Man and his subjects the assassins.

Upon this I rose and said, that doubtless most of the company were aware of the distinguished place assigned by orientalists to the very learned Turkish scholar Von Hammer the Austrian; that he had made the profoundest researches into our art as connected with those early and eminent artists the Syrian assassins in the period of the Crusaders; that his work had been for several years deposited, as a rare treasure of art, in the library of the club. Even the author’s name, gentlemen, pointed him out as the historian of our art–Von Hammer–

“Yes, yes,” interrupted Toad-in-the-hole, who never can sit still–“Yes, yes, Von Hammer–he’s the man for a malleus haereticorum: think rightly of our art, or he’s the man to tickle your catastrophes. You all know what consideration Williams bestowed on the hammer, or the ship carpenter’s mallet, which is the same thing. Gentlemen, I give you another great hammer–Charles the Hammer, the Marteau, or, in old French, the Martel–he hammered the Saracens till they were all as dead as door-nails–he did, believe me.”