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HE pleasant month of February was at an end. It had
been so pleasant that everybody considered that the
extra day which Leap-Year presented to it was a wellmerited gift. March had begun its progress. The winds always blow in March, but the flowers sometimes won't follow the example, and put off their blowing. But this year they were all to the fore early, and Spring's approach was, in point of fact, a quick March with a lively air.
The birds were all singing merrily. Thoy had paired and built their nests, so that the troubles of settling and furnishing were over, and they could give their minds to music. There were all sorts of birds and all sorts of songs, but they harmonised gloriously. Somebody told somebody else, who confided it to a third party, who wrote to the newspapers about it, that he believed he had heard a Cuckoo; but that was a little too strong for thepapers, especially as Parliament was sitting, for that has a fine tonic effect on editorial credulity. There have been editors who would swallow bushels of gigantic Gooseberries in the recess, but strain at a Toad in a block of stone during the session. The truth was, that what the somebody aforesaid heard and mistook for a Cuckoo was a dissipated Lark with a hiccup. It had been in the Sun" early in the morning.
The Lambkins were particularly lively. In their happy state of innocence they frolicked about and kicked up their heels, as if there were no such thing in the world as what CAPTAIN MAYNE REID would describe as the Mentha officinalis or Common Mint. No suspicion of vinegar soured their sweet thoughts
they dreamt not of cotelettes à la Soubise, or of the possible future - Sim
of their small fry. They even admired the blue of the sky, as if
it were not the hue of the butcher's livery. The distant church bells shed the music of their sweet chimes upon the air, and wanton little zephyrs brought its echoes with them to compare them with the tinkle of the waterfall. The meadows were fresh and green, and in the arable land the busy plough was taking its share in man's labour. Spring and Leap Year were taking summary measures for the re-decoration of the Theatre of Nature.
The trees were putting forth tiny leaves. The Horse Chestnuts were first, and had a start of the Oaks. The Elms were not far astern, but the Ashes had put off their display till Ember week. The Ashes are always late :-Nature reviewing her forces seems perpetually saying to them “ Ash you were !" However, the trees generally looked spring-like, and by their own leaves and with the kind permission of the sun and fine weather, would probably soon make a very respectable bough—a good many boughs, indeed-to the public.
As for the flowers they, as was said at the commencement of this preface, þlew in profusion. There were innumerable daisies—pretty little blossoms, though they are as hard to get out of the lawn as BISHOP COLENSO. As for Violets-you had only to follow your nose, and you would find them :—that is, if your nose was anything better than a promontory whereon to set a pair of barnacles a-straddle. Snowdrops, Crocuses, Hyacinths, abounded, and there were blossoms on many a fruit tree, and the Lilacs and Laburnums were showing well for flower.
And then to crown the delights of Spring, and fill all hearts with mirth, sunshine, and merriment, that hardy perennial, Fun, came out with a volume. No sooner did it put forth its leayes, than a broader smile was observed on the face of Nature. The trees shook with a pleasant laughter. Fat little þuļs that had been too lazy to open, split their sides with chuckling. The birds grew quite chirpy over it. The lambking jumped at the notion of it. Even the waterfall joined in, and kept up a little silvery laugh as it hurried along chattering to its pebbles and whispering to its banks the good news that a new volume of FUN was out!
And thus Fun was welcomed everywhere. In the busy city it brought choorful hints of the pleasant country, carols that reminded the town-pent prisoners of the singing of birds. Physicians recommended it as wholesome diet for the ailing. They said the old system of blood-letting in Spring was obsolete, but that it was a good vernal practice to breathe the comic vein.
In quiet nooks of the pleasant country it amused and delighted thousands of readers, instructing them, too, in the doings of the busy world. East and west, north and south, its appearance was hailed with delight. Like the morning drum-beat of England which goes with the sun round the globe, a ripple of pleasant laughter spreading in widening circles from land to land announced the publication of
Much Ado about TABLE
Nothing. The next best thing
The Monton Register,
a St. Louis paper, to being well is to
under the heading of know exactly what
“American Tin," says, you ought to do when
“The United States you happen to be ill; but a good many doc
are no longer depentors are too profoundly
dent on the Old World
for their saucepans; scientific to give you
in Southern Missouri practical advice in
there is tin enough to plain English. We welcome in Mr. WIL
supply the kitchens
for a million years." LIAMS's little treatise on the "Health-Resorts
Why this excitement ? of France and Italy"a
Saucepans may be
made of other metal pleasant exception to
than tin, and to judge the general rule of dulness amongst works
from the Alabama coron medical subjects.
respondence of Mr. Himself an able and
Seward, the American experienced prac
supply of brass does
not seem to be in any titioner, and the son of one of the most emi
danger of giving out. nent physicians of the day, MR. WILLIAMS
Toole-Liberal! explains in a simple
A MARGATE correand intelligible way the
spondent informs us various advantages
that bills have been and drawbacks of such
displayed in that town places as Hyères,
declaring that “On Cannes, Nice, and
Monday the Second of Mentone. So long as
September the wellour noble country shall
known comedian MR. retain its present pecu
J. L. Toole will apliarities of climate,
pear at the Theatre for there will always be
two nights only." We some thousands of
have the highest ad. English men and wo
miration for MR. men compelled to go
Toole, but we cannot abroad before the first
believe that even his of the November fogs;
undoubted versatility and we cannot com
can contrive to get two mend to them a more
nights out of Monday agreeable or useful
evening! guide than MR. WILLIAMS. That gentle
Bravo! man's book, we may
It is stated that both add, is quite worth
LORD STANLEY and reading even by those who have no direct
MR. DISRAELI will
visit Ireland during personal interest in
the recess. We underthe subject; its style is simple and pellucid;
stand that it is their
intention to take the and the author seems to have none of those
national bull by the violent prejudices
horns-Qy. those of a which sometimes warp
dilemma ! the judgment, on professional subjects, of
A Tyrant. even the ablest men.
A WITNESS was
asked the other day A Bit of Proverbial Philosophy by our own Tupper. by counsel to describe briefly the character of the prisoner, who
was accused of getting drunk and tyrannizing over his wife and We have never heard of a case in which capital invested in playing family. He answered that he should be inclined to style the accused Aunt Sally has resulted in a profit. Yet the adherents of the ducal "a brandy-and-water-Cure." game persist in their patronage, doubtless on the principle “Once bit, twice sky."
The Latest from Ireland.
A FRIEND sends us a suggestion, which, if not positively witty, is A DEPUTATION from one of our metropolitan boroughs waited on comparatively funny. He propounds that a young lady who is not Sir MORTON Peto the other day to present a sort of condoling address yet "out" is very like a schoolboy who is kept in for his Greek. to him. Of course the borough of Fins bas a sympathy with things Why? Don't you see ?-Because she is kept more at Home-er than that are fishy.
she likes !