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comprehend. When **** comes, poking in his head and shoulder into your room, as if to feel his entry, you think, surely you have now got him to yourself—what a three-hours' chat we shall have !-but, ever in the haunch of him, and be fore his diffident body is well disclosed in your apartment, ap pears the haunting shadow of the cousin, over-peering his modest kinsman, and sure to overlay the expected good talk with his insufferable procerity of stature, and uncorresponding dwarfishness of observation. Misfortunes seldom come alone. "Tis hard when a blessing comes accompanied. Cannot we like Sempronia, without sitting down w chess with her eternal brother? or know Sulpicia, without knowing all the round of her card-playing relations ? must my friend's brethren of necessity be mine also ? must we be hand and glove with Dick Selby the parson, or Jack Selby the calico-printer, because W. S., who is neither, but a ripe wit and a critic, has the misfortune to claim a common parentage with them?

Let him lay down his brothers; and 'tis odds but we will cast him in a pair of ours (we have a superflux) to balance the concession. Let F. H. lay down his garrulous uncle; and Honorius dismiss his vapid wife, and superfluous establishment of six boys: things between boy and manhood—too ripe for play, too raw for conversation—that come in, impudently staring their father's old friend out of countenance; and will neither aid nor let alone the conference: that we may once more meet upon equal terms, as we were wont to do in the disengaged state of bachelorhood.

It is well if your friend or mistress be content with these canicular probations. Few young ladies but in this sense keep a dog. But when Rutilia hounds at you her tiger aunt; or Ruspina expects you to cherish and fondle her viper sister, whom she has preposterously taken into her bosom, to try stinging conclusions upon your constancy; they must not complain if the house be rather thin of suiters. Scylla must have broken off many excellent matches in her time, if she insisted

upon

all that loved her loving her dogs also. An excellent story to this moral is told of Merry, of Della Cruscan memory. In tender youth, he loved and courted a modest appanage to the opera, in truth a dancer, who had won him by the artless contrast beiween her manners and situation. She seemed to him a native violet, that had been transplanted by some rude arcident into that exotic and artificial hotbed. Nor, in truth, was she less genuine and sincere than she appeared to him. He woved and won this flower. Only for appearance' sake, and for due honour to the bride's relations, she craved that she might have the attendance of

her friends and kindred at the approaching solemnity. The request was too amiable not to be conceded : and in this solicitude for conciliating the good-will of mere relations, he found a presage of her superior attentions to himself, when the golden shaft should have “ killed the flock of all affections else." The morning came : and at the Star and Garter, Richmond—the place appointed for the breakfasting-accompanied with one English friend, he impatiently awaited what re-enforcements the bride should bring to grace the ceremony. A rich muster she had made. They came in six coachesthe whole corps du ballet—French, Italian, men and women. Monsieur De B., the famous pirouetter of the day, led his fair spouse, but craggy, from the banks of the Seine. The prima donna had sent her excuse. But the first and second buffa were there; and Signor Sc—, and Signora Ch-, and Madame V. with a countless cavalcade besides of chorusers, figurantes, at the sight of whom Merry afterward declared, that " then for the first time it struck him seriously that he was about to marry-a dancer.” But there was no help for it. Besides, it was her day; these were, in fact, her friends and kinsfolk. The assemblage, though whimsical, was all very natural. But when the bride--handing out of the last coach a still more extraordinary figure than the rest-presented to him as her father—the gentleman that was to give her awayno less a person than Signor Delpini himself—with a sort of pride, as much as to say, See what I have brought to do us honour!--the thought of so extraordinary a paternity quite overcame him; and slipping away under some pretence from the bride and her motley adherents, poor Merry took horse from the back yard to the nearest seacoast, from which, shipping himself to America, he shortly after consoled himself with a more congenial match in the person of Miss Brunton ; relieved from his intended clown father, and a bevy of painted buffas for bridemaids.

XIV.

THAT WE SHOULD RISE WITH THE LARK.

At what precise minute that little airy musician doffs his night-gear, and prepares to tune up his unseasonable matins, we are not naturalists enough to determine. But for a inero human gentleman-that nas no orchestra business to call him from his warm bed to such preposterous exercises--we take ten, or half after ten, (eleven, of course, during this Christmas solstice,) to be the very earliest hour at which he can begin to think of abandoning his pillow. To think of it, we say; for to do it in earnest requires another half hour's good consideration. Not but there are pretty sun-risings, as we are told, and such like gauds, atroad in the world, in summer time especially, some hours before what we have assigned; which a gentleman may see, as they say, only for getting up. But, having been tempted once or twice, in earlier life, to assist at those ceremonies, we confess our curiosity abated. We are no longer ambitious of being the sun's courtiers, to attend at his morning levees. We hold the good hours of the dawn too sacred to waste them upon

such observances; which have in them, besides, something pagan and Persic. To say truth, we never anticipated our usual hour, or got up with the sun, (as 'tis called,) to go a journey, or upon a foolish whole day's pleasuring, but we suffered for it all the long hours after in listlessness and headaches; Nature herself sufficiently deelaring her sense of our presumption in aspiring to regulate our frail waking courses by the measures of that celestial and sleepless traveller. We deny not that there is something sprightly and vigorous, at the outset especially, in these breakof-day excursions. It is flattering to get the start of a lazy world ; to conquer death by proxy in his image. But the seeds of sleep and mortality are in us; and we pay usually in strange qualms, before night falls, the penalty of the unnatural inversion. Therefore, while the busy part of mankind are fast huddling on their clothes, are already up and about their occupations, content to have swallowed their sleep by wholesale; we choose to linger abed, and digest our dreams It is the very time to recombine the wandering images, which night in a confused mass presented ; to snatch them from forgetfulness; to shape and mould them. Some people have no good of their dreams. Like fast feeders, they gulp them too grossly, to taste them curiously. We love to chew the cud of a foregone vision : to collect the scattered rays of a brighter phantasm, or act over again, with firmer nerves, the sadder nocturnal tragedies; to drag into daylight a struggling and half-vanishing nightmare; to handle and examine the terrors, or the airy solaces. We have too much respect for these spiritual communications to let them go so lightly. We are not so stupid, or so careless, as that imperial forgetter of his dreams, that we should need a seer to remind us of the form of them. They seem to us to have as much significance as

We are

ANNUATED.

our waking concerns; or rather to import us more nearly, as more nearly we approach by years to the shadowy world, whither we are hastening. We have shaken hanus with the world's business ; we have done with it; we have discharged ourself of it. Why should we get up ? we have neither suit to solicit, nor affairs to manage. The drama has shut in upon us at the fourth act. We have nothing here to expect, but in a short time a sickbed, and a dismissal. We delight to anticipate death by such shadows as night affords. already half acquainted with ghosts. We were never much in the world. Disappointment early struck a dark veil between us and its dazzling illusions. Our spirits showed gray before our hairs. The mighty changes of the world already appear as but the vain stuff out of which dreams are composed. We have asked no more of life than what the mimic images in play-houses present us with. Even those types have waxed fainter. Our clock appears to have struck. We are suPER

In this dearth of mundane satisfaction, we con tract politic alliances with shadows. It is good to have friends at court. The abstracted media of dreams seem no ill introduction to that spiritual presence, upon which, in no long time, we expect to be thrown. We are trying to know a little of the usages of that colony ; to learn the language and the faces we shall meet with there, that we may be the less awkward at our first coming among them. We willingly call a phantom our fellow, as knowing we shall soon be of their dark companionship. Therefore, we cherish dreams. We try to spell in them the alphabet of the invisible world ; and think we know already how it shall be with us. Those uncouth shapes, which, while we clung to flesh and blood, affrighted us, have become familiar. We feel attenuated into their meager essences, and have given the hand of half-way approach to incorporeal being. We once thought life to be something ; but it has unaccountably fallen from us before its time. Therefore we choose to dally with visions. The sun has no purposes of ours to light us to. Why should we get up?

XV.

THAT WE SHOULD LIE DOWN WITH THE LAMB.

We could never quite understand the philosophy of this arrangement, or the wisdom of our ancestors in sending us for instruction to these woolly bedfellows. A sheep, when it is dark, has nothing to do but to shut his silly eyes, and sleep if he can.

Man found out long sixes. Hail candlelight! without disparagement to sun or moon, the kindliest luminary of the three-if we may not rather style thee their radiant deputy, mild viceroy of the moon! We love to read, talk, sit silent, eat, drink, sleep, by candlelight. They are everybody's sun and moon. This is our peculiar and household planet. Wanting it, what savage, unsocial nights must our ancestors have spent, wintering in caves and unillumined fastnesses! They must have lain about and grumbled at one another in the dark. What repartees could have passed, when you must have felt about for a smile, and handled a neighbour's cheek to be sure that he understood it? This accounts for the seriousness of the elder poetry. It has a sombre cast, (try Hesiod or Ossian,) derived from the tradition of those unlanterned nights. Jokes came in with candles. We wonder how they saw to pick up a pin, if they had any. How did they sup? what a melange of chance carving they must have made of it!-here one had got a leg of a goat, when he wanted a horse's shoulder—there another had dipped his scooped palm in a kid-skin of wild honey, when he meditated right mare's milk. There is neither good eating nor drinking in fresco. Who, even in these civilized times, has never experienced this, when at some economic table he has commenced dining after dusk, and waited for the flavour till the lights came ! The senses absolutely give and take reciprocally. Can you tell pork from veal in the dark? or distinguish Sherris from pure Malaga ? Take away the candle from the smoking nian; by the glimmering of the left ashes, he knows that he is still smoking, but he knows it only by an inference; till the restored light, coming in aid of the olfactories, reveals to both senses the full aroma. Then how he redoubles his puffs ! how he burnishes ! There is absolutely no such thing as reading, but by a candle. We have tried the atfectation of a book at noonday in gardens, and in sultry arbours; but it was

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