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You accordingly refer to your watch, if you have not previously consigned it to the pawnbroker, and discover that you are a full hour in the rear of your appointment. "Hang the watch-it must surely be wrong," you exclaim, while reflection whispers that it goes vexatiously well. At this instant, a Newfoundland dog in search of its owner rushes past with ungentlemanlike independence of motion, liberates the uncivil watch, and deposits you in a good-sized gutter, filled with an agreeable assortment of defunct dogs, truant turnip tops, and stray shoes, of all of which you have at least the satisfaction of making "your election sure."
After the customary period of prostration, you rise in a deep suit of mourning for the death of the watch, while the clenched noses, and expressions of "how extremely filthy," of passing strangers, betoken your approach. While thus, like a walking smelling-bottle, you deal out olfactory treasures, a fashionable friend whom you would not encounter for worlds, scents you at a distance, and hurries forward for the combined purposes of curiosity and condolence. Away you run; but in popping round the corner of a bye street, catch a perspective glimpse of a tailor, who sues for the honor of an introduction through the medium of a bailiff. Thus you contrive to
verify the old adage, "Incidit in Scyllam cupiens vitare Charybdim," and with difficulty escape the jaws of the monster by another friendly circumbendibus.
After a few similar episodes, you reach the scene of appointment, in full expectation of terminating your miseries by a change of raiment. But, alas! "sorrow treads hard on the heels of happiness," and you are informed by the servant with a grin, which is answered by a dismal attempt at another from yourself, that his master is gone out, astonished and displeased at Mr. D.'s unaccountable delay. Home then you return, but not until you have encountered the usual concomitants of rainy weather-such as the gratuitous droppings of other people's umbrellas, which descend in rivulets from your shoulders, the passing splash of a clumsy carter, and the salute on the shin-bone from the projecting clogs of some perverse old gentlewoman.
On reaching home you discover the strict truth of the proverb, that misfortunes seldom come alone, in the multitudinous array of creditors who await your arrival. On looking into their faces in hopes of discovering some gleam of sun-shine, you find for your especial comfort, that like the day they are dull, ugly, and ominous. What
must be done?-a few small payments must at least be made; but on referring to your purse and pocket-book, you discover that some gentleman, in the good-humored levity of his mind and fingers, has relieved you from the fatigue of carrying the one, and that the rain has made a proselyte of the other, by converting it into a pleasing pulp. Unfortunate catastrophe! your creditors of course are infidels, and move off with the firm intention of procuring you apartments in the Bench.
When this miraculous draught of duns is over, you deny yourself to every one who may happen to call, in melancholy anticipation of a fresh shoal of sharks. The word, however, is no sooner given, than the gentleman whom you missed in the morning knocks at the door, but being denied pursuant to order, hurries away in a pet, fully convinced that you intend to insult him and his.
Meantime the hour of repletion approaches, and there is but one solitary shilling wherewith to stay your appetite. On the instant of the discovery a most prodigious inclination ensues, and the steams exhaling from the different cook-shops smell more irresistibly fragrant than ever. On your road to dinner, the rain still continues; the street and the shower, like a couple of malicious old crones, are busy in casting reflections at each other;
the gutturs, swelled into rivulets, roll majestically along, and the big drops fall with monotonous sullenness on the unprotected pate of some hatless pedestrian. The sun shines forth now and then, to see how things are going on below, and then retreats, as much as to say, "I'll have nothing to do with such an ill-looking world;" while a dismal fog obscures the landscape, as an old woman conceals her ugliness in a veil.
The rain at length ceases; and on returning from dinner, the raised petticoats of a lady who is walking before you, display a pretty foot, the probable title-page of a beautiful work. In a few minutes the owner of the treasure turns round; but what is your horror on discovering the visage of your great-aunt, the contemporary of Methusalem. You bow with sullen dismay; while she takes the privilege of relationship, in entrapping you for a walk, directly opposite to the place where you are going. When this infliction is over, you return home, like Goldsmith's traveller, "remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow;" but, on finding that the day appears to consign its dulness to the especial custody of the night, are ready to burst with vexation, and go to bed fully persuaded that you would have gone out and hanged yourself in the park, if you were not afraid of catching cold by the experiment.
"It is the very witching hour of night,
IN the county of Galway, in Ireland, there lived a young couple, the children of two neighbouring cottagers, who were betrothed to each other from the earliest period of infancy. Their parents were of the lowest class of peasantry, and possessed no inconsiderable share of the national characteristics. With dispositions inherently good, their passions had been inflamed by the pressure of acute poverty, and finally induced them to join the rebellion, which terminated in the death of E- and his associates.