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and discharged it, sans ceremonie, in the face of her beloved.
Save us from famine! what a scene for Hogarth, or Apelles himself, followed; both Thalia and Melpomene might have employed their opposite powers in describing it. An excellent course was spoiled; the cloth was deluged; the lady-visitor shrieked, and nearly sunk into hysterics ! Mr. Ohobyholio gasped for breath, from the effects of this newly-invented, and too violent shower-bath, while the matchless heroine of the affray, scowled and stormed amidst the ruin she had made.
Any one who had known Mr. Ohobyholio a few years prior to this mishap, would have been disposed, on witnessing this scene, to exclaim as himself had often done, “ Tempora Mutantur !" The times were, indeed, changed; and so were his circumstances, and spirit. But imagine not, sympathetic reader, that the case which I have instanced, was the chief among Mrs. Ohobyholio's exploits, or the principal this hen-pecked unfortunate had to endure; no, verily, after being lectured for hours, until the drum of his ears was nearly cracked, he has enjoyed the felicity to behold the climax of his virago's spleen, by her hurling a splendid, span new, costly head-covering, known among the vulgar as a bonnet, upon a roaring fire, and then, thrusting it into the increasing flame with the poker, as though it had been an heretic, which she was causing to undergo an auto de fe. Sometimes he had borne marks of her gentle fingers on his woe-begone face for weeks ; and at others, has been in danger of suffering from an attack of her pleasantry in some public walk, the same sensations which the men of David must have experienced when the Amonites disgraced them, by cutting their garments. If he remained at home, all the scurrility which her ever-supplied entrepot could pour forth, was heaped upon him; and if he presumed to leave the house, her sonorous notes—welcome to his ears as the braying of an ass -saluted him from her open window, and thus, while her voice could reach his tympanum, he was serenaded by his gentle and pleasure-affording rib, at noon day.
I fear to proceed in my “Tale of sadness," lest my fair readers should imagine that I am scrawling, or have scrawled, under the influence of misanthropic feelings, and have, therefore, maligned their sex, by dealing out “Things which are not—which never can be." But I aver to their gentleness, on the honour of an honest writer, and a true man, that I have not written, and will not write, ought but the truth, although not the whole truth, for then I am certain my honest report would be deemed but a “Canterbury tale." But to stop at the point at which I have arrived, would be dangerous: like one decoyed into a bog by an iguis-fatuus, I know not which way to turn, or if, indeed, turning will at all help me. I cannot recede, the path is too mirey: my only way, therefore, is, to take the shortest road, and go forward to the end, with all possible expedition; this I will try to do.
Mr. Ohobyholio was a kind of book-worma lover of literature—and would as soon have allowed Shylock to have borne away part of his flesh, as some of his books: this love for printed paper, led him, on one occasion, into a complete quandary. He was, at the time referred to, obliged to leave home for a few days, and without any intention in what he did, beyond the preservation of his “volumes,” he took the precaution to lock the door of his apartment, in which, "row above row,” they were arrayed in order, and dropped the key unfortunately into his pocket, and took it with him. Now, Mrs. Ohobyholio was not a lover of scholastic lore, or indeed, of any lore, excepting such as her own tongue could furnish: nevertheless she approved not of this conduct of her spouse, and therefore, determined to see the inside of the room perforce ;-and see it she did. The trifling matter of bursting a door, or breaking a few panes of glass, was to her herculean power and Hectorial spirit, a thing “light as air.” “She'd do it, in spite of the villain, that she would :" consequences to her were of no consequence.
At the appointed time, Mr. Ohobyholio returned, and, on repairing to his study, Oh! what a sight did he behold. A more plegmatic person than he was, might have been roused to madness at the sight. “Love laughs at Locksmiths,” it is said,—and so does hatred too. The lock was shattered, and the door, hanging by one hinge, for the other had been wrenched off, proclaimed
that the hand of the destroyer had been there. He entered ;-and, Oh! appalling spectacle :—there lay the unoffending volumes, scattered most ignobly, “heaps upon heaps," on the floor, like a regiment of wounded soldiers upon a battle field. Some had lost a page, some a cover, others had been slightly wounded, and not a few mortally.
The fact is, our heroine was not satisfied with having entered this garrison of literature, but determined, as some modern generals have done, to punish the inmates, for the time and expense employed in the siege, and accordingly, she seized, with sacrilegious hand, the delight of her dear husband, and hurling them from the shelves, where they appeared to stand, on her entrance, as so many witnesses of her infamous conduct, she dashed them, irrespective of worth or worthiness, around her, and then left them as Mr. Ohobyholio found them.
As he first entered the room, and gazed upon the scene, the effect of horror so vividly portrayed by the powerful pen of Shakspeare was realized by him: “Each particular hair did stand erect upon his head,
Like quills upon the frighted porcupine."
As Nero would have gazed upon burning Rome, had he not kindled the flame himself, so Mr. Ohobyholio stood, half paralized, until he wept in perfect agony, like a child, and so obtained a deliverance from madness itself.
After awhile, he replaced, with care, his best earthly friends,-his only earthly comforters,—but soon missed a valuable manuscript. He spent some time, seeking it with considerable emotion, and at length, had the satisfaction to learn, that his kind and thoughtful wife had kindly put the offspring of his burning thoughts into a hotter place, to purify it from any real or supposed impurity :
-she had burned it!
It is stated of the great Sir Isaac Newton, that the labours of sereral years of his life were irrecoverably lost in five minutes, by his favourite little dog, Diamond, upsetting a lighted candle among his papers, during his absence. On returning to his study, and viewing what had taken place, he said, “Ah, Diamond, Diamond; little doest thou know what evil thou hast done!” This was bearing misfortune like a philosopher, and we are not greatly surprised at it; but Mr. Ohobyholio made no pretentions to philosophy-how, then, was he to bear his loss? Besides, the affair of Sir Isaac's was occasioned by accident; his by malicious design. That was the unfortunate act of a dog! This the meditated work of a WIFE! Nevertheless, Mr. Ohobyholio did bear it with a magnanimity of temper, which would not have disgraced the prince of mathematicians himself; wisely settling it in his mind, that it would be equally to his comfort to bear the loss without the storming of passion which remonstrance would have given rise to, without restoring his ill-fated