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of the fact, than that a short time since a celebrated literary character was compelled to free himself from the charge of lunacy, for having spoken a few sensible words in a ball room. For ourselves we cannot help professing an unqualified contempt for dancing, and its appendages; and when we see such men as S-, or T—, or P—, or M—, neglected for the insects that buzz in a crowded assembly, our aversion is increased an hundred-fold. We can make allowances for bad taste, but when blended with stupidity it is insufferable.
And yet the time has been, when in the earliest glow of youth, with those famous lines of Gray for ever in our mind,
"Where ignorance is bliss
we conscientiously adhered to the principles we professed. The time has been when we too could find amusement in a ball room, and be elevated to enthusiasm by the witchery of the scene. In the gay bowers of D—we could once while away the hours in the company of fashion, and apostrophize in our dreams the beautiful spirits that swam before our fancy. But our hospitable friend has gone to his last account, to mingle with the dust of dead ages. In the hours of gaiety or gloom, of
sickness or of health, his memory rushes over our mind like a fairy vision of the past. We recall him -witty, liberal, kind-hearted, as we once knew him, and then turn with chilled hearts to the spot where he slumbers. Soft be his pillow, and tranquil his repose! He has left a blank in the neighbourhood of D-em, that will not easily be filled up. The woods still echo with his praise; the nightingale, to which he has so often listened, still breathes her melancholy plaint; and his name, kept alive by such memorials, is still green in the remembrance of his friends.
A DULL DAY IN LONDON.
"Dead dogs and turnip-tops come tumbling down the flood." SWIFT'S CITY SHOWER.
AN Essay, says Dr. Johnson, should be adapted to its subject; and as the subject on which we intend to expatiate is a dull day, so shall our dissertation possess an orthodox and corresponding dulness. Of all inconveniences to which our ill
starred nature is subjected, the penance imposed on us by a rainy day in London is the worst. It commences with an early drizzling mist, which fits tight to the body, like a suit of fashionable clothes, and then cohabiting with the smoke of the metropolis, begets a precious offspring of fog, pestilence, and head-ache. On getting out of bed at the usual hour, you undraw the curtains, in hope of fronting the full face of a cheerful sun-but find,
instead, a darkness both tangible and visible-to feeling as to sight. Shivering at the disappointment, you tumble once again into the snug corner of bed, and from the hazy appearance of the weather draw apologies for a further indulgence in napping. This will do for a time; but the fatal hour must arrive; and (horrendum dictu!) the unpolite glass hints that your chin bears no faint resemblance to a goat. Well then, shave you must; and as you are in a desperate hurry, your beard looks as thick and stubborn as a shoe-brush. To increase, if possible, your disquietude, the razor refuses to scrape acquaintance with your chin-until after an obstinate resistance it makes up for lost time, and cuts your flesh in the very part where it is most conspi
Meantime the tea and toast are getting cold, and hunger hints that breakfast is no insignificant addition to the sum of human felicity. Down then you go, and, while engaged in sipping adulterated bohea, hear the rain patter dismally against the window, as if to remind you of an engagement formed with a gentleman at the East end of the town. While reflecting on the most eligible mode of conveyance, in comes the servant, (if you have one,) and the mistress of the lodgings if you have not, and observes, with a corres
ponding length of phiz, that the only umbrella in the house has been seized, as it were, with a violent fit of the small-pox, and has broken out into holes in every direction. This is delightful intelligence, and gives you a fine plea for adopting the philosophy of Heraclitus.
Well! at last, breakfast, like a long story, has come to an end; and as promises are sacred, whether (to use an elegant idiom) it rains cats or dogs, you stalk forth in sullen dismay, like the shade of Dido when she met Æneas in Hell. The umbrella meanwhile, after the fashion of a sieve, makes a refined selection of rain-drops upon your ̈hat; and your only consolation is, that the bigger ones can't get through. As you are in an enormous hurry, the usual obstacles of the city delay your progress, in exact proportion to the speed you wish to make; so that by an accurate computation, you may calculate the moment of your arrival, by adding two extra hours to the one appointed for your interview.
On entering Cheapside, you have a glorious opportunity of soliloquizing, until a waggon, which seems to monopolize all the horses in the neighbourhood, has crossed your road. Out of evil, however, springeth good, says the Psalmist; and you have now fit leisure to ascertain the time.