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memory has not such a prodigious tenacity as you suppose. I will endeavor to give you an account of the last two days. Aye—this is Wednesday. Well, sir, I rose on Monday morning, and
Phys. May I ask at what hour you rose ?
Lady (with a slight blush). It was rather late: two o'clock, I believe ; but I had been at a party during almost the whole of the preceding night. As soon as I was dressed, I rode to the Park.
Phys. You have not mentioned your breakfast. I hope you did not omit that essential meal.
Lady (a little vexed). I—I took my breakfast in bed. Well, sir, the Park was so crowded that my carriage could hardly move along: this would not have annoyed me much, but unfortunately it was a very cold day, and, having a slight rheumatism in my face, I could not venture to put down the window; so that, sir, I had no opportunity of showing my new French head-dress and shawl. You will allow, sir, that this was a very mortifying circumstance.
Phys. Be assured, madam, of my sympathy.
Lady. Well, sir : I returned home in expectation of finding Professor B- who had promised to dedicate a concerto to me: the traitor was not there, but in his stead a letter of apology, in which he pretended to recollect that he was under a previous obligation to dedicate the thing to Lady Belville; but I understand the whole affair—she has been bribing him.
I flung away the letter in contempt; but what was I to do with my spare time? It wanted nearly three hours to dinner, and, as my toilet only occupies two, I had an hour upon my hands. It was impossible to have recourse to my music, having been so recently ill-treated by one of its professors : books I cannot read; even French tales have become insipid. Luckily I fell asleep.
In the evening I went to Mrs. Merton's rout; but, such is my ill-fortune, that I really think that there is a conspiracy
to reduce me to a state of apathy. Would you believe it, sir, that, although I played till three o'clock in the morning, I could neither win nor lose, though I made every effort in my power by extravagant betting and careless playing. You see that my case is hopeless.
Phys. Tolerably bad; but I trust not incurable.
Lady. You will change your opinion when you hear more. I was determined yesterday morning to indemnify myself for the vexations of the preceding day : I ordered my carriage by two o'clock, and had already put on my favorite French bonnet and shawl, when a servant came in and announced my mischievous cousin, Lady Courton.
It was no slight evil to be interrupted just as I was going on my morning expedition ; but what was my horror, when Lady Courton entered with a shawl twice as beautiful as my own. I nearly fainted : she saw my distress, and instantly discovered the cause of it, but, with her usual malice, began to tease me by desiring me to admire it, and to guess its value.
After harassing me for half an hour, she observed that she would not detain me, as I appeared to be going out. We went down stairs together; but, to my astonishment, I could not see her carriage. “What's the matter, my dear cousin ?" she exclaimed. Where's
your carriage ?" I asked. “ Is that all !” she said, laughing: “O_I sent it away; you must know that I intended to lounge away the morning with you at your piano-forte; but, as you are for a ride, I'll accompany you." Was ever anything so consummately illnatured? You know, sir, it was quite impossible that I could take her into my chariot, and make myself a foil to show her finery. I felt a sudden giddiness, and declined going out.
Phys. It certainly was a matter of much embarrassment, but I doubt whether it amounted to a physical or moral impossibility.
Lady. The case, sir, is so peculiarly feminine, that I cannot allow you to be an adequate judge of it.
Phys. Your reproof is very just. But how did you spend the remainder of the day which began so miserably?
Lady. Worse and worse. My cousin tormented me till nine o'clock, when I left her and went to the opera.
Phys. Here, madam, you received, no doubt, some pleasurable compensation for the troubles of the day.
Lady. Quite the contrary. I was tired to death. How could it be otherwise, when I heard only one tolerable song, and saw only one tolerable dancer. I was engaged to a supper party at Lady Belville's; but as I knew that treacherous professor would be there, I would not go to swell her insolent triumph: so I drove home, and went to bed. Now, sir, you have heard my case, what remedy do you suggest for my miseries?
Phys. My remedy, I am afraid, will not be very palatable; but I will stake my reputation on its efficacy. In the first place, madam, I must positively insist that you go but to one rout in a week.
Lady. Monstrous and impossible !
Phys. It may be so, madam; but you must vanquish the monster, and make “impossibility slight work.” In the next place, you must never breakfast in bed, but must rise-let me see, I will not be too harsh-at eight o'clock, under penalty of
Lady. What penalty, sir ?
Phys. Under penalty, madam, of losing that cheerful bloom of your complexion, and that elastic elegance of your limbs, for which you are now so justly celebrated.
Lady. Sir, you seem a judicious person, but your prescription is very rigid.
Phys. In the third place, you must become more independent of your dress. I see, madam, and understand that contemptuous frown; but hear me further. While you rely for fame on the splendor or beauty of your dress, you are likely to be perpetually worsted by the lucky purchaser of some more exquisite ornament, or the ingenious propagator of some
new fashion. Surely, madam, it will be better to trust to the irresistible graces of your person-I speak, madam, merely professionally--to the enchanting character of your conversation, than to a French bonnet or a French shawl. You will thus be sure of perpetual admiration; for I cannot learn that you need fear any competitors on this score.
Lady (smiling most graciously). I am sure, sir, you will never find me an intractable patient: you know, sir, I always had the utmost confidence in your judgment.
Phys. You do me honor, madam. In the fourth place, you must not give up your music, because a mean-minded pro fessor has so shamefully affronted you. I presume, madam, that you
have no cause of complaint against Mozart: he cannot have been so ungrateful as to offend a lady who adds grace to his most consummate harmonies.
Lady (affecting to laugh). You are very pleasant this morning, sir; and really your advice seems very reasonable: I shall consider it very seriously. But come, sir, I feel as if I were much better. The carriage, I see, is at the door; and you must allow me to ask your company to Johnson's, where I want your judgment on a picture which I think of purchasing. Your carriage can follow.
Phys. I have not much time for viewing pictures, but I shall be proud to attend you for a short time. I am glad to see you so much better.
Lady. My spirits are much less depressed than they were.
Phys. If you follow my advice, you will continue to be equally cheerful as now.
Lady. We will talk more about that as we ride along. You must not administer your remedy all at one time. But come, sir, the carriage is ready.
Phys. I attend you, madam. (Aside.) O Flattery! were you never used for worse purposes, a flatterer might become & useful being.
TO A LITTLE BOY.-ROBERT CHAMBERS.
1. My winsome one, my handsome one, my darling little boy,
The heart's pride of thy mother, and thy father's chiefest joy, Come ride upon my shoulder, come sit upon my knee, And prattle all the nonsense that I love to hear from thee: With thine eyes of merry lustre, and thy pretty lisping
tongue, And thy heart that evermore lets out its humming happy
song; With thy thousand tricks so gleesome, which I bear without
annoy, Come to my arms, come to my soul, my darling little boy!
2. My winsome one, my fairest one, they say that later years Will sometimes change a parent's hope for bitter grief and
tears : But thou, so innocent! canst thou be aught but what thou art, And all this bloom of feeling with the bloom of face depart? Canst thou this tabernacle fair, where God reins bright
within, Profane, like Judah's children, with the pagan rites of sin ? No—no, so much I'll cherish thee, so clasped we'll be in one, That bugbear guilt shall only get the father with the son ; And thou, perceiving that the grief must me at least destroy, Wilt still be fair and innocent, my darling little boy !
3. My gentle one, my blessed one, can that time ever be,
When I to thee shall be severe, or thou unkind to me?
wreck, Or clench with rage the little hand now fondling round my
neck ? Can this community of sport, to which love brings me down, Give way to Anger's kindling glance, and Hate's malignant frown?