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Roundabout Papers   By: (1811-1863)

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By William Makepeace Thackeray



On a Lazy Idle Boy

On Two Children in Black

On Ribbons

On some late Great Victories

Thorns in the Cushion

On Screens in Dining Rooms

Tunbridge Toys

De Juventute

On a Joke I once heard from the late Thomas Hood

Round about the Christmas Tree

On a Chalk Mark on the Door

On being Found Out

On a Hundred Years Hence

Small Beer Chronicle


On Two Roundabout Papers which I intended to Write

A Mississippi Bubble

On Letts's Diary

Notes of a Week's Holiday

Nil Nisi Bonum

On Half a Loaf A Letter to Messrs. Broadway, Battery and Co., of New York, Bankers

The Notch on the Axe. A Story a la Mode. Part I Part II Part III

De Finibus

On a Peal of Bells

On a Pear Tree


On some Carp at Sans Souci

Autour de mon Chapeau

On Alexandrines A Letter to some Country Cousins

On a Medal of George the Fourth

"Strange to say, on Club Paper"

The Last Sketch



I had occasion to pass a week in the autumn in the little old town of Coire or Chur, in the Grisons, where lies buried that very ancient British king, saint, and martyr, Lucius, who founded the Church of St. Peter, on Cornhill. Few people note the church now a days, and fewer ever heard of the saint. In the cathedral at Chur, his statue appears surrounded by other sainted persons of his family. With tight red breeches, a Roman habit, a curly brown beard, and a neat little gilt crown and sceptre, he stands, a very comely and cheerful image: and, from what I may call his peculiar position with regard to Cornhill, I beheld this figure of St. Lucius with more interest than I should have bestowed upon personages who, hierarchically, are, I dare say, his superiors.

Stow quotes the inscription, still extant, from the table fast chained in St. Peter's Church, Cornhill; and says, "he was after some chronicle buried at London, and after some chronicle buried at Glowcester" but, oh! these incorrect chroniclers! when Alban Butler, in the "Lives of the Saints," v. xii., and Murray's "Handbook," and the Sacristan at Chur, all say Lucius was killed there, and I saw his tomb with my own eyes!

The pretty little city stands, so to speak, at the end of the world of the world of to day, the world of rapid motion, and rushing railways, and the commerce and intercourse of men. From the northern gate, the iron road stretches away to Zurich, to Basle, to Paris, to home. From the old southern barriers, before which a little river rushes, and around which stretch the crumbling battlements of the ancient town, the road bears the slow diligence or lagging vetturino by the shallow Rhine, through the awful gorges of the Via Mala, and presently over the Splugen to the shores of Como.

I have seldom seen a place more quaint, pretty, calm, and pastoral, than this remote little Chur. What need have the inhabitants for walls and ramparts, except to build summer houses, to trail vines, and hang clothes to dry on them? No enemies approach the great mouldering gates: only at morn and even the cows come lowing past them, the village maidens chatter merrily round the fountains, and babble like the ever voluble stream that flows under the old walls. The schoolboys, with book and satchel, in smart uniforms, march up to the gymnasium, and return thence at their stated time. There is one coffee house in the town, and I see one old gentleman goes to it. There are shops with no customers seemingly, and the lazy tradesmen look out of their little windows at the single stranger sauntering by. There is a stall with baskets of queer little black grapes and apples, and a pretty brisk trade with half a dozen urchins standing round. But, beyond this, there is scarce any talk or movement in the street. There's nobody at the book shop... Continue reading book >>

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