Falconer, who is very ill, I to the yard, and there heard Mr. Pett tell me several things of Sir W. Batten's ill managements, and so with Sir W. Warren walked to Greenwich, having good discourse, and thence by water, it being now moonshine and 9 or 10 o'clock at night, and landed at Wapping, and by him and his man safely brought to my door, and so he home, having spent the day with him very well.
The river once kept out although the cliff receded again the marsh became dry land, but, in fact, the cliff receded a very little way, and the slopes of the streets north of Thames Street show exactly how far it went back. Many hundreds of years later precisely the same course was adopted for the rescue of Wapping from the marsh in which it stood.
It was left to me, therefore, to do honour to our landlord's hospitable cheer to his tea, right from China, which he got in a present from some eminent ship's-husband at Wapping to his coffee, from a snug plantation of his own, as he informed us with a wink, called Saltmarket Grove, in the island of Jamaica to his English toast and ale, his Scotch dried salmon, his Lochfine herrings, and even to the double-damask table-cloth, "wrought by no hand, as you may guess," save that of his deceased father the worthy Deacon Jarvie.
This rather indescribable element runs through a hundred English things, as in the love of bathos shown even in the sound of proper names; so that even the yearning lover in a lyric yearns for somebody named Sally rather than Salome, and for a place called Wapping rather than a place called Westermain. Even in the relapse into rowdiness there is a sort of relapse into comfort.
The narrow and forbidding by-path under that glim, a path intermittent and depending on the weight of the night which is trying to blot it out altogether, goes to Wapping Old Stairs. Prince Rupert once went that way. The ketch Nonsuch, Captain Zachary Gillam, was then lying just off, about to make the voyage which established the Hudson's Bay Company.
The Wapping landlady was on her return from the same place, where she had attended the payment of a man-of-war, with sundry powers of attorney, granted by the sailors, who had lived upon credit at her house.
There was the landlords of 'arf the public-'ouses in Wapping, all smoking big cigars; two dock policemen in plain clothes, wot 'ad got the arternoon off one with a raging toothache and the other with a baby wot wasn't expected to last the day out. They was as full o' fun as kittens, and the landlord o' the Jolly Pilots pointed out to Ginger wot reasonable 'uman beings policemen was at 'art.
He was at Wapping, in the company of some persons who used the sea, in order to get into some ship, he cared not in what station, when a young man, clerk to an eminent merchant of his father's acquaintance, happened to come in, to enquire after the master of a vessel, by whom some goods belonging to his master were to be shipped: he had often seen Natura, and though much altered by his late way of living, knew him to be the person whom he had heard so great a search had been made after: he took no notice of him however, as he found the other bent earnestly in discourse did not observe him, but privately informed himself of all he could relating to his business there, and as soon as he came home acquainted his master with the discovery he had made, who did not fail to let his father know it directly.
Larkspur stopped suddenly, as he turned the leaves, his attention arrested by one particular page. "Here it is," he said; "the very business I was speaking of. Five hundred pounds for the discovery of the murderer, or murderers, of Valentine Jernam, captain and owner of the 'Pizarro', whose body was found in the river, below Wapping, on the third of April, 1836.
One of the preliminaries I adopted, was to repair to a quarter of the town in which great numbers of this people reside, and study their complexion and countenance. Having made such provision as my prudence suggested to me, I retired for that night to an inn in the midway between Mile-end and Wapping.