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Ye powers, who rule the tongue,—if such there are,–
And make colloquial happiness your care,
Preserve me from the thing I dread and hate-
A duel in the form of a debate.
Vociferated logic kills me quite;
A noisy man is always in the right:
I twirl my thumbs, fall back into my chair,
Fix on the wainscot a distressful stare,
And, when I hope his blunders are all out,
Reply discreetly—“ To be sure-no doubt!"
Dubious is such a scrupulous, good man-
Yes—you may catch him tripping, if you can.
He would not, with a peremptory tone,
Assert the nose upon his face his own;
With hesitation admirably slow,
He humbly hopes-presumes—it may be so.
His evidence, if he were called by law
To swear to some enormity he saw,
For want of prominence and just relief,
Would hang an honest man, and save a thief.
Through constant dread of giving truth offence,
He ties up all his hearers in suspense;
Knows what he knows as if he knew it not;
What he remembers seems to have forgot;
His sole opinion, whatsoe'er befall,
Centering, at last, in having none at all.
A story, in wbich native humor reigns,
Is often useful, always entertains :
A graver fact, enlisted on your side,
May furnish illustration, well applied ;
But sedentary, weavers of long tales
Give me the fidgets, and my patience fails.
'Tis the most asinine employ on earth,
To hear them tell of parentage and birth,
And echo conversations, dull and dry,
Embellished with, "He said," and " So said I."
interview their route the same,
The repetition makes attention lame:
We bustle up, with unsuccessful speed,
And, in the saddest part, cry,“ Droll indeed !”
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG.-GOLDSMITH.
Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,--
It cannot hold you long.
In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran,-
Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes ;
The naked every day he clad,-
When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends ;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
*Went mad, and bit the man.
Around from all the neighboring streets,
The wondering neighbors ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.
The wound it seem'd both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That show'd the rogues they lied ;
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In the hope that St. Nicholas* soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads,
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap;
When out of the lawn there rose such clatter,
from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I few like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher ! now, Dancer!
Vixen ! On, Comet! on, Cupid ! on, Dunder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall !
Now dash away! dash away! dash away
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys—and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof;
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack;
His eyes-how they twinkled ! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encirled his head like a wreath,
He had a broad face, and a little round body,
And, though rubicund, was no lover of toddy.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know that I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all his stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they flew like the down of a thistle;
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
< Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”
THERE'S NOTHING IN IT, OR MISERIES OF ENNUI.
SIR CHARLES COLDSTREAM, SIR ADONIS LEECH AND
HON. TOM. SAVILLE.
Sir C. My dear Leech, you began life late--you are a young fellow—forty-five--and have the world yet before youI started at thirteen, lived quick, and exhausted the whole round of pleasure before I was thirty. I've tried everything, heard everything, done everything, know everything, and here I am, a man at thirty-three, literally used up.
Leech. Nonsense, man !-used up, indeed !-with your wealth, with your little heaven in Spring Gardens, and your paradise here at Kingston-upon-Thames,
Sav. With twenty estates in the sunniest spots in England.
Leech. Not to mention that Utopia, within four walls, in the Rue de Provence, in Paris. Oh, the nights we've spent there -eh, Tom?
Sir C. I'm dead with ennui.
Leech. Ennui ! do you hear him, Tom? poor Croesus !
Sir C. Croesus !—no, I'm no
My fatheryou've seen his portrait, good old fellow--he certainly did leave me a little matter of £12,000 a year, but after all
Leech, f. Sav. Oh, come !
Sir C. Oh, I don't complain of it.
Leech. I should think not.
Sir C. Oh no, there are some people who can manage to do on less-on credit.
Leech. I know several
Sav. My dear Coldstream, you should try change of scene.
Sir C. I have tried it—what's the use ?
Leech. But I'd gallop all over Europe.
Sir C. I have there's nothing in it.
Leech. Nothing in all Europe !
Sir C. Nothing-oh, dear, yes! I remember, at one time I did somehow go about, a good deal.