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1. PROTRACTED egotism is an inconvenience and imperfection in colloquial intercourse, which must be avoided and suppressed by those who are desirous of excellence in this accomplishment. This admonition is of wide extent. It comprehends not only the circumstances in which me and myself are the actors in the drama, but those interludes which depend upon my husband, my dear little boy, my servant, or even (however good she may have been) my grandmother.
2. Avoid special reference to personal illness, and to the catalogue of a sick house; articles of dress, lawsuits, apothecaries' bills, and physicians' fees, are all excommunicated. Whatever brings conversation closer to ourselves, draws it further from the solicitude of others; and will sometimes lead us, with the delusion of a fiery meteor, into pools and quag. mires, through which few will be disposed to follow.
3. The practice of egotism is the parent of another inconvenient habit, the visitation of which is universally allowed to be a grievous calamity. Of all the miseries that can be inflicted upon a company, scarcely any can surpass that of a LONG STORY. If it be permitted to denominate anything a bore, a long story may justly be pronounced an intolerable bore. This outrageous violation of regard towards others, sometimes proceeds from an affected desire of being very precise as to persons, times, and places.
4. “I remember having been one day-I think it must now be seven years ago ;-let me see: my little girl will be six years old next September, and I dare say, indeed I am sure, it must have been eight or nine months before she was born; so that I was pretty right;-about seven years ago ; it was not long after I was married; and my husband and myself, and Sir John and Lady Clutter, and Mrs. Spark, and—let me see—I really begin to be very forgetful, for I am sure there was somebody else.”
5. In this manner some of the garrulous pests of society
commence a story, the result of which it is impossible to conjecture, and, when obtained, is seldom worth knowing. A facetious gentleman having listened with much philosophical patience to a detail of this kind, afterwards inquired of the narrator (who had lived almost entirely in London) if she knew Great George street, Westminster? “Yes, perfectly well.”
6. “You know, then, Parliament street ?" “Oh, yes!” “If you go along Parliament street to the end, there is a paved crossing."
you remember the sentries at the Treasury ?” “Very well."
66 A little further on, you know, are the Horse Guards ???
“Do you remember the iron gates at the Horse Guards ?” “ To be sure, I do ; but what then ?? “Why, I remember them, too!"
THE BAT AND THE WEASELS.-W. A. KENTISH.
1. A Bat by accident once fell
Into a Weasel's cell,
And ere she well knew where she was,
Of one who would not treat her over nice!
2. “Confound your impudence," the Weasel said ; 6 How is it that
There isn't one of all your race,
That isn't slanderous and base!
3. “Mouse?” cried the other, dead with fear,
“You are mistaken, Sir-indeed you are !
Heaven forbid it!-Mouse? oh no! 'T must be
4. These reasons seemed so plausible and plain,
That she was set at liberty again !
Two days had scarcely passed away,
Before the Bat
Who was to birds an enemy!
5. “An outrage !" cried the Bat, “ I do protest, I've not the least resemblance of a bird,
That ever I have heard !
Birds, if appearance be believed,
6. Thus twice a well-timed repartee she threw in,
Which snatched her from the jaws of ruin.
It often happens in unsettled nations,
Long live the King !" they loud exclaim,
MEN WHO ARE DILIGENT IN TRIFLES. REV. J. HAMILTON.
1. We this instant imagined a man retaining all his consciousness transformed into a zoophyte. Let us imagine another similar transformation; fancy that instead of a polypus you were changed into a swallow. There you have a creature abundantly busy, up in the early morning, forever on the wing, as graceful and sprightly in his flight, as tasteful in the haunts which he selects. Look at him, zig-zagging over the clover field, skimming the limpid lake, whisking round the steeple, or dancing gaily in the sky.
2. Behold him in high spirits, shrieking out his ecstasy as he has bolted a dragon-fly, or darted through the arrow-slits of the old turret, or performed some other feat of hirundine agility. And notice how he pays his morning visits, alighting elegantly on some house-top, and twittering politely by turns to the swallow on either side of him, and after five minutes' conversation, off and away to call for his friend at the castle.
3. And now he is gone upon his travels-gone to spend the winter at Rome or Naples, to visit Egypt or the Holy Land, or perform some more remarkable pilgrimage to Spain or the coast of Barbary. And when he comes home next April, sure enough he has been abroad-charming climate-highly delighted with the cicadas in Italy, and the bees on Hymettus-locusts in Africa rather scarce this season; but upon the whole much pleased with his trip, and returned in high health and spirits.
4. Now, dear friends, this is a very proper life for a swallow, but is it a life for you? To flit about from house to house; to pay futile visits, where, if the talk were written down, it would amount to little more than the chattering of a swallow; to bestow all your thoughts on graceful attitudes and nimble movements and polished attire; to roam from land to land with so little information in your head, or so little taste for the sublime or beautiful in your soul, that could a swallow publish his travels, and did you publish yours, we should probably find the one a counterpart of the other; the winged traveller
enlarging upon the discomforts of his nest, and the wingless one, on the miseries of his hotel or his chateau: you describing the places of amusement, or enlarging on the vastness of the country, and the abundance of the game; and your rival eloquent on the self-same things.
5. Oh; it is a thought, not ridiculous, but disgusting. Though the trifler does not chronicle his own vain words and wasted hours, they chronicle themselves. They are noted in the memory of God. And when once this life of wondrous opportunities and awful advantages is over-when the twenty or fifty years of probation have fled away_when mortal existence, with its facilities for personal improvement and serviceableness to others, is gone beyond recall—when the trifler looks back to the long pilgrimage, with all the doors of hope and doors of usefulness, past which he skipped in his frisky forgetfulness—what anguish will it move to think that he has gamboled through such a world without salvation to himself, without any real benefit to his brethren, a busy trifler, a vivacious idler, a clever fool !
ODE TO MY LITTLE SON-THOMAS HOOD,
1. Thou happy, happy elf!
Thou tiny image of myself!
Thou merry, laughing sprite !
With spirits feather light, Untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled by sin, (Dear me! the child is swallowing a pin !)
2. Thou little, tricksy duck !