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the claims of the rival ladies—he was pronounce<1 a lunatic. Having his example before my eyes,' concludes my uncle, ' I have resolved to live as I have done—in a state of single blessedness.'
Whatever others might think, I had no reason to be displeased with this determination; and of course did not seek, in this particular instance, to controvert his will. A s he grows oldhis temper gets more irritable; and perhaps the ready assiduity of his attendants, tends to promote this failing of old age. Between myself and the housekeeper there is a regular contest of good offices; and although my mother has assured all Bishopsgate-street that I am to inherit the property of her 'brother Zachary,' I am sometimes apprehensive that my rival for his good opinion may supplant me. A few days since I pleased him exceedingly by my method of worming a puppy, and he promised on the occasion to make the necessary arrangement for my interest in Clodhall beyond the possibility of legal cavil. On one condition, only, am I to inherit—that of ahandoning the name of Clownbull, and subscribing myself in future Zachary Toploft.
EXTRACTS FROM THE COMMON-PLACE BOOK OP
A LITERARY LOUNGER.—NO. IV.
The exclamation of James the Fifth, when, on his ileath-bed, he heard the news of his queen having been delivered of a female child, was long remembered by his people. He turned his face to the wall, and was heard to mutter, 'It came with a lass, and it will go with a lass—devil go with it!' These, his last words, referred to the circumstance of his family having acquired the crown by marriage.
One of the numerous popular stories told in ridicule of the Scottish Highlanders, is pointed by a very droll and laconic expression. A north-countryman travelling one day upon a road met a black snail, which, under the mistaken idea that it was a dried plum, he took up and proceeded to eat. On biting off and swallowing a part of the body, he discovered what it was; whereupon, being unwilling to acknowledge his disgust, and wishing rather to conceal if possible from himself the real sen timeu t under an affected one, he threw away the remainder of the creature, with this angry ejaculation, 'Cot tam—tak you tat for bein sae like a plhumtaimas!'
Upon the first of March King Cadwallo met a Saxon army in the field. In order to distinguish his men from their enemies, he, from an adjoining field of leeks, placed one in each of their hats; and having gained a signal and decisive victory over the Saxons, the leek became the future hadge of honour among the Welch, and is particularly worn on the 1st of March, or St. David's day.
At Hatherleigh, a small town in the county of Devon, exist two remarkable customs :— one, that every morning and evening, soon after the church clock has struck five and nine, a bell from the same steeple announces, by distinct strokes, the number of the day of the month, originally intended, perhaps, for the information of the unlearned villagers. (The same custom exists at Pembroke, in South Wales, at five in the morning and eight in the evening.)—The other is, that after a funeral, the church bells ring a lively peal, as in other places after a wedding; and to this custom the parishioners are perfectly reconciled, by the consideration that the deceased is removed from a scene of trouble to a state of peace.
GIVE HIM A BONE TO PICK!
This saying prohably took its rise from a custom at marriage feasts, among the poor in Sicily, when, after dinner, the bride's father gives the bridegroom a bone, saying, 'Pick this bone, for you have undertaken to pick one more difficult.'
I woNDEn no one has ever written an apology for the feline race. The subject is by no means uninteresting, and is far more inviting than the broomstick on which Dr. Johnson threatened to endite a learned essay. There is a philosophical gravity, too, about a cat which provokes reflection, and it would be no mean achievement in the science of metaphysics to account satisfactorily for the had odour in which such useful creatures are generally held, while at the same time their many good qualities are highly prized by individuals. A friend of mine—a great casuist—says, with every appearance of prohability, that cats, like officers of justice, being always employed against thieves, naturally excite the enmity of knaves—and that, like the said officers, they are considered a necessary evil—beings whom we would willingly do without, could we only dispense with their services.
The force of public opinion is curiously exemplified in their case: they have gotten a had name, and are therefore treated with sad injustice: naturalists have latterly attempted to degrade the king of animals by attributing to him the qualities of the cat, and it is well known that they have been long indirectly censured, by ladies of a certain age, and of inconvenient dispositions, being denominated'old cats.'Yet, notwithstanding
vol. I. June, 1829. Y