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“I have reason to believe I am right, my love," said the husband, mildly. “ Reason !” exclaimed the wife, astonished.
66 What reason can you possibly have to believe you are right, when I tell you I am morally certain you are wrong, my love."
“My only reason for doubting it is, that I set my watch by the sun to-day.”
“ The sun must be wrong then,” cried the lady, hastily. “ You need not laugh ; for I know what I am saying; the variation, the declination, must be allowed for, in computing it with the clock. Now you know perfectly well what I mean, though you will not explain it for me, because you are conscious I am in the right.”
Well, my dear, if you are conscious of it, that is sufficient. We will not dispute any more about such a trifle. Are they bringing up dinner ?”
“ If they know that you are come in; but I am sure I cannot tell whether they do or not. Pray, my dear Mrs. Nettleby,” cried the lady, turning to a female friend, and still holding her watch in her hand, “what o'clock is it by you? There is nobody in the world hates disputing about trifles so much as I do; but I own I do love to convince people that I am in the right.”
Mrs. Nettleby's watch had stopped. How provoking! Vexed at having no immediate means of convincing people that she was in the right, our heroine consoled herself by proceeding to criminate her husband, not in this particular instance, where he pleaded guilty, but upon the general charge of being always late for dinner, which he strenuously denied.
There is something in the species of reproach, which advances thus triumphantly from particulars to generals, peculiarly offensive to every reasonable and susceptible mind; and there is something in the general charge of being always late for dinner, which the punctuality of man's nature cannot easily endure, especially if he be hungry.
1. The amusing Diderot thus bewails the loss of his old Morning-Gown :—“What could tempt me to dismiss that good old servant! It was made for me: I was made for it. It fitted every turn of my body with its pliable folds. I was easy and even appeared graceful in it, while my new cumbrous garment renders all my motions stiff and awkward.
2. “My poor old friend was ready in a moment, to supply all my wants. Indigence is always so obliging! If a book was covered with dust, one of its sleeves was ready in a moment to wipe it: if my pen was clogged up with ink, how handy was a skirt of my old gown to cleanse it !
3. “Abundant were the jetty tokens of its frequent services; those tokens evinced the man of learning, the writer, the laborious author. I have now the air of an opulent idler. I scarce know myself now. Enveloped in my old gown, I defied my own or my servants awkwardness; I dreaded neither sparks of fire, nor drops of water:
4. “Poor thing! over it I was absolute monarch, but am myself become the humble slave of my new habit. Dear me!
has luxury caused in my apartment! There was a time when the furniture of my chamber corresponded well with my good old domestic.
5. 6 A rush-bottomed chair, a deal table, a long shelf for my books, together with a few dingy old prints, formed, in concert with my venerable gown, a most harmonious groupe
of indigents. Now the sober and edifying retreat of a philosopher is made to resemble the gaudy cabinet of a Nabob.
6. “Nothing of my laudable mediocrity remains, except a venerable mat, which agrees, indeed, but ill with the newer part of my furniture; but I have vowed, and here I do vow again, that I never will permit it to be removed.
7. “ The feet of Diderot were not made to trample on the beautiful pictures of the Gobelins.* No! I will preserve my
* The place where the most elegant carpets are woven.
poor old ragged mat, as the Persian peasant, who, when elevated from his hovel to the palace of his Sovereign, kept, with care, his original wooden shoes, to remind him of his first humble station."
1. TWELVE sorts of meats my wife provides,
Nor fails me of a dish,
The other four of fish.
2. For the first course, she stores my board
With birds that dainties are,
A bittern and a jar.t
3. With these my appetite when cloyed,
For fish she renders sharp,
A gudgeon, and a carp.
4. Then the dessert with fruit abounds,
All fitting well the season,
A crab, and a small reason.
5. Now can a man have such a wife,
And not upon her doat,
Which costs him not a groat ?
* Quail for Quarrel, or rather Quell. + Jar, an old word for the Ruff and Ree, from their quarreling. A whiting pout.
SOLON AND CRESUS.- ENFIELD.
1. It is related, that Solon visited Creesus, king of Lydia, and that, during the interview, the following interesting conversation passed between them. Cresus, after entertaining his guest with great splendor, and making an ostentatious display of the magnificence of his palace, desirous to extort from Solon expressions of admiration which he did not seem inclined to bestow, asked him, whom of all mankind he esteemed most happy? Solon answered: “ Tellus, the Athenian."
2. Crosus, surprised that Solon should name any other man in preference to himself, requested to be informed of the grounds of this judgment. “Tellus," replied Solon," was descended from worthy parents, was the father of virtuous children, whom every one respected, and, at last, fell in an engagement in which, before he expired, he saw his country victorious,
3. Croesus, flattering himself that he should at least obtain the second place, in Solon's judgment, among the fortunate, inquired whom, next to Tellus, he thought most happy ? Solon, in return, said, two youths of Argos, Cleobis and Biton, who while they lived were universally admired for their paternal affection to each other, and for their dutiful behavior to their mother; and who, after they had given an illustrious example of filial piety, expired without sorrow or pain.
4. Croesus, mortified to find the condition of a private citizen of Athens or Argos preferred to his own, could no longer refrain from asking Solon, whether he meant wholly to exclude him from the number of the happy ? Solon's reply is a memorable proof of his wisdom : “ The events of a future life are uncertain ; he who has hitherto been prosperous may be unfortunate to-morrow : let no man therefore be pronounced happy before his death.” 5. This observation made so deep an impression upon
the mind of Creesus, that when afterwards, experiencing a reverse of fortune, he became a prisoner to Cyrus, and was brought forth to be put to death, he cried out: “O Solon ! Solon!" Cyrus inquiring into the meaning of the exclamation, Crosus informed him of what had formerly passed between himself and Solon. The consequence was, that Cyrus, struck with the wisdom of Solon's remark, set Crosus at liberty, and treated him with all the respect due to his former greatness.
A HOME PICTURE.—MRS. FRANCES D. GAGE.
1. BEN FISHER had finished his harvesting,
And he stood by the orchard gate,
As he called on his good wife-Kate.
The dust of the field on his hat:
As he looked on the stock so fat.
2. “Here, give me the baby, dear Kate, you are tired, I fear
have too much care;
Before we go to the Fair.
Fat hogs, and fat sheep, and fat cows,
And care wrinkles shading her brow.
3. “Can't go,' did you say ? 'Can't afford the expense ??
I know, Kate, our crops aint the best;
And together we'll now take a rest.
And Lily and Fan are a show;
So up to the Fair we will go.