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About Smoking

My Pipes
In a select company of scoffers my brier was known as the M...


...

The Romance Of A Pipe-cleaner
We continued to visit the _Arcadia_, though only one at ...

Jimmy's Dream
I see before me (said Jimmy, savagely) a court, where I, Ja...

When My Wife Is Asleep And All The House Is Still
Perhaps the heading of this paper will deceive some read...

Primus To His Uncle
Though we all pretended to be glad when Primus went, we ...

His Wife's Cigars
Though Pettigrew, who is a much more successful journali...

Gilray's Dream
Conceive me (said Gilray, with glowing face) invited to wri...

The Arcadia Mixture Again
One day, some weeks after we left Scrymgeour's house-boa...

My Tobacco-pouch
I once knew a lady who said of her husband that he looke...

How Heroes Smoke
On a tiger-skin from the ice-clad regions of the sunless no...

The Murder In The Inn
Sometimes I think it is all a dream, and that I did not rea...

The Ghost Of Christmas Eve
A few years ago, as some may remember, a startling ghost...

Tobacconists' Signs
I would enjoin every shop to make use of a sign which ...

The Grandest Scene In History
Though Scrymgeour only painted in watercolors, I think--...

Smoking In The Restoration Period
The Indian weed withered quite Green at noon, cut do...

Early Victorian Days
Scent to match thy rich perfume Chemic art did ne'er...

The Arcadia Mixture
Darkness comes, and with it the porter to light our stai...

Cavalier And Roundhead Smokers
A custom lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, ...

Preface
This is the first attempt to write the history of smoking i...



Pettigrew's Dream








My dream (said Pettigrew) contrasts sadly with those of my young
friends. They dream of revenge, but my dream is tragic. I see my editor
writing my obituary notice. This is how it reads:

Mr. Pettigrew, M.A., whose sad death is recorded in another column, was
in his forty-second year (not his forty-fourth, as stated in the evening
papers), and had done a good deal of Jubilee work before he accepted the
commission that led to his death. It is an open secret that he wrote
seventy of the Jubilee sketches which have appeared in this paper. The
pamphlet now selling in the streets for a penny, entitled Jubilees of
the Past, was his. He wrote the introductory chapter to Fifty Years of
Progress, and his Jubilee Statesmen is now in a second edition. The
idea of a collection of Jubilee odes was not his, but the publisher's.
At the same time, his friends and relatives attach no blame to them. Mr.
Pettigrew shivered when the order was given to him, but he accepted it,
and the general impression among those who knew him was that a man who
had survived Jubilee Statesmen could do anything. As it turns out, we
had overestimated Mr. Pettigrew's powers of endurance.



As The Jubilee Odes will doubtless yet be collected by another hand,
little need be said here of the work. Mr. Pettigrew was to make his
collection as complete as the limited space at his disposal (two
volumes) would allow; the only original writing in the book being a
sketch of the various schemes suggested for the celebration of the
Jubilee. It was this sketch that killed him. On the morning of the 27th,
when he intended beginning it, he rose at an unusually early hour,
and was seen from the windows of the house pacing the garden in an
apparently agitated state of mind. He ate no breakfast. One of his
daughters states that she noticed a wild look in his eyes during the
morning meal; but, as she did not remark on it at the time, much stress
need not be laid on this. The others say that he was unusually quiet and
silent. All, however, noticed one thing. Generally, when he had literary
work to do, he was anxious to begin upon his labors, and spent little
time at the breakfast-table. On this occasion he sat on. Even after the
breakfast things were removed he seemed reluctant to adjourn to the
study. His wife asked him several times if he meant to begin The
Jubilee Odes that day, and he always replied in the affirmative. But
he talked nervously of other things; and, to her surprise--though she
thought comparatively little of it at the time--drew her on to a
discussion on summer bonnets. As a rule, this was a subject which he
shunned. At last he rose, and, going slowly to the window, looked out
for a quarter of an hour. His wife asked him again about The Jubilee
Odes, and he replied that he meant to begin directly. Then he went
round the morning-room, looking at the pictures on the walls as if for
the first time. After that he leaned for a little while against the
mantelpiece, and then, as if an idea had struck him, began to wind up
the clock. He went through the house winding up the clocks, though this
duty was usually left to a servant; and when that was over he came back
to the breakfast-room and talked about Waterbury watches. His wife had
to go to the kitchen, and he followed her. On their way back they passed
the nursery, and he said he thought he would go in and talk to the
nurse. This was very unlike him. At last his wife said that it would
soon be luncheon-time, and then he went to the study. Some ten minutes
afterward he wandered into the dining-room, where she was arranging some
flowers. He seemed taken aback at seeing her, but said, after a moment's
thought, that the study door was locked and he could not find the key.
This astonished her, as she had dusted the room herself that morning.
She went to see, and found the study door standing open. When she
returned to the dining-room he had disappeared. They searched for him
everywhere, and eventually discovered him in the drawing-room, turning
over a photograph album. He then went back to the study. His wife
accompanied him, and, as was her custom, filled his pipe for him. He
smoked a mixture to which he was passionately attached. He lighted his
pipe several times, but it always went out. His wife put a new nib into
his pen, placed some writing material on the table, and then retired,
shutting the door behind her.



About half an hour afterward Mrs. Pettigrew sent one of the children to
the study on a trifling errand. As he did not return she followed him.
She found him sitting on his father's knee, where she did not remember
ever having seen him before. Mr. Pettigrew was holding his watch to
the boy's ears. The study table was littered with several hundreds of
Jubilee odes. Other odes had slipped to the floor. Mrs. Pettigrew asked
how he was getting on, and her unhappy husband replied that he was just
going to begin. His hands were trembling, and he had given up trying to
smoke. He sought to detain her by talking about the boy's curls; but she
went away, taking the child with her. As she closed the door he groaned
heavily, and she reopened it to ask if he felt unwell. He answered in
the negative, and she left him. The last person to see Mr. Pettigrew
alive was Eliza Day, the housemaid. She took a letter to him between
twelve and one o'clock. Usually he disliked being disturbed at his
writing; but this time, in answer to her knock, he cried eagerly, Come
in! When she entered he insisted on her taking a chair, and asked her
how all her people were, and if there was anything he could do for them.
Several times she rose to leave, but he would not allow her to do so.
Eliza mentioned this in the kitchen when she returned to it. Her master
was naturally a reserved man who seldom spoke to his servants, which
rendered his behavior on this occasion the more remarkable.



As announced in the evening papers yesterday, the servant sent to
the study at half-past one to see why Mr. Pettigrew was not coming to
lunch, found him lifeless on the floor. The knife clutched in his hand
showed that he had done the fatal deed himself; and Dr. Southwick,
of Hyde Park, who was on the spot within ten minutes of the painful
discovery, is of opinion that life had been extinct for about half an
hour. The body was lying among Jubilee odes. On the table were a dozen
or more sheets of copy, which, though only spoiled pages, showed that
the deceased had not succumbed without a struggle. On one he had begun,
Fifty years have come and gone since a fair English maiden ascended the
throne of England. Another stopped short at, To every loyal Englishman
the Jubil---- A third sheet commenced with, Though there have been a
number of royal Jubilees in the history of the world, probably none has
awakened the same interest as---- and a fourth began, 1887 will be
known to all future ages as the year of Jub---- One sheet bore the
sentence, Heaven help me! and it is believed that these were the last
words the deceased ever penned.

Mr. Pettigrew was a most estimable man in private life, and will be
greatly missed in the circles to which he had endeared himself. He
leaves a widow and a small family. It may be worth adding that when
discovered dead, there was a smile upon his face, as if he had at last
found peace. He must have suffered great agony that forenoon, and his
death is best looked upon as a happy release.



Marriot, Scrymgeour and I awarded the tin of Arcadia to Pettigrew,
because he alone of the competitors seemed to believe that his dream
might be realized.





Next: The Murder In The Inn

Previous: Gilray's Dream



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