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penurious and antiquated Dowager, in whose reign this tax was first laid, but I remember an elderly tabby of my acquaintance in the habit of giving card-parties and dry-drums three times a week, who dwelt on her merits with great satisfaction; and indeed, if report spoke true, she had some right to do so, as she derived a tolerable income from the aforesaid tax, which she always most rigidly enforced,under the stale pretext of its being the perquisite of her serving-man who always supplied the cards, although it was very well known that she had no servant whatever but an old maid like herself, and a superannuated butler whom she procured to attend on such occasions, for a trifling gratuity. Indeed I have some reason to believe that the example of Mrs. Tabitha Brag is much followed in Dublin by those ladies who are in the habit of giving card-parties; and I would quote a few names among my own acquaintances, who always take care to clear, at least, the expences of tea, cakes, and refreshments, by their card-money-fund. I am, therefore, in some fear, Mr. Editor, that this odious tax, will continue unrepealed for some time longer, as its supporters know its sweets too well to resign itwithout an obstinate struggle. I should wish, however, to see some public spirited ladies, whose example would be followed, lead the way in abolishing a custom so contrary to the true spirit of hospitality, and one which has so often prevented me from joining in an amusement, of which, as an old bachelor, I am naturally fond.
In concluding, Mr. Editor, I would define true hospitality to be that happy talent of making your guest feel himself as much at home as possible, by leaving him to consult his own taste and inclination in every particular.
I fear I have spun out these remarks beyond the limits of your patience. Should they meet your approbation, however, you may occasionally hear from an old Bachelor, who takes leave to subscribe himself
I have frequently remarked how differently the mind acts in similar situations, and how inconsistently we enjoy at one XOL. I.—NO. III. .:
period what we deprecate at another. The diversity in the characters of men renders a disagreement in their actions the less strange; but when we observe the same man depressed and weakened under trifling accidents, who philosophises under great evils, we are led to indulge the idea of a general imperfection in our nature which has created no being without its inconsistencies. I have so often met with persons of this cast, that I am not surprised when I hear of them; and I have more than once entertained thoughts of noting down their avocations and situations in life, to ascertain if this mental incongruity arose out of peculiar circumstances, or natural imbecility. Sometimes, indeed, I have seen it carried to an extravagant height. I recollect a peasant who cultivated a few acres on the banks of the Rhine,—his whole subsistence was drawn from the produce of his labor, and he owed less to fortune than to honest industry. The successful crops of a few years increased his little revenue, and after changing his common hut to a farm-house, he added to his household the daughter of a neighbouring vintner. Every thing he undertook seemed to prosper, and in the midst of his improving happiness, Providence blessed him with a son. He was a man of an intelligent understanding; I have conversed with him, while the moon, setting behind the hills, tinged the tops of the trees with a beautiful light, when he has described to me his notions of the planetary system as he imbibed them from the belief of the peasantry; and he has listened with eagerness while I undeceived him, and pointed out to him the imperfections of his astronomical knowledge. I remember with what animation he dwelt upon the superstition of his countrymen, who had once a custom of coming to the Rhine on a certain day in the year to wash their clothes, in the assurance that by so doing they washed off all the sins of the preceding year, and carried away with 'them souls as spotless as their garments; and I cannot forget his exposition of the legend of "THE WANDERING JEW," so commonly received in Germany. He was credulous, but in some matters, obstinate and resolute; there was a striking inconsistency in his actions that astonished me. The Rhine had overflowed its banks during a winter of unusual severity, and a considerable portion of his cultivated land, which spread down to the waterside, was inundated, and its vegetation ultimately destroyed; the flood had swept away all that his industry had reared, and left the earth strewed with broken masses of rocks and scattered sand that it had car
ried from the bed of the river. In the morning he arose→ unconscious of the devastation of the night, he went forth to observe the progress of his crops, and beheld in the places, where they had been flourishing the evening before, one universal desolation. He was dumb in the agony of his heart; he spoke not, but with a placid resignation on his countenance returned to his cottage,-his wife, who had been just informed of their misfortune, met him at the door, and bursting into tears, fell upon his neck; moved at her distress, yet patiently submitting to it, he led her in, aud endeavoured to console her. He reminded her that it was the visitation of the Highest, and that it became her to yield without a murmur to his will. She was comforted, and endured the trial, as a dove that has suffered from the inclemency of a storm, cowering under the wings of her mate:she endured it, but trembled still in sorrow and agitation. With a spirit unbroken by adversity, he rose superior to despair, and with renewed assiduity labored to recover his fortunes. From an early period of life a faithful dog attended him, and to this animal he was strongly attached; it followed him wherever he journeyed, watching him as he slept, and never partaking of rest but in the hours of its master's security. It chanced that occasion called him to a village about four leagues from his cottage, and he set out with his dog after taking an affectionate leave of his wife and child. It was night when he reached his destination, and being weary he retired to bed at the first inn he met with. It happened that the place was principally inhabited by fishermen who lived solely upon their success on the river, which they covered at night with their boats. Among other articles they used in their trade, they found a kind of buoy necessary, and this they usually formed of the skins of dogs, which they caught straying about the village. To be brief-the peasant's dog losing its master, wandered about in search of him, and some of the fishermen happening to observe it, took an opportunity of seizing and carrying it off. Its fate was soon determined;-and the next night its skin was seen on the branches of an old ash tree that hung over the river. Disconsolate at missing his dog, its master in vain endeavoured to discover it; he felt no fatigue in crossing the mountains in the search, and returning without it, gave himself up to grief. Yet unwilling to believe it lost, he fancied it had returned home before him, and full of hope, hastened back to his cottage. Finding, however, upon enquiry that
the dog was not there, he would receive no consolation, and shut himself out several days from all intercourse with his family. I have seen this unfortunate man in his wretchedness, and in vain brought to his recollection the lessons he had himself taught to others under their misfortunes. He gave up the comforts of domestic society, and neglected his little plantations; all was a wreck, and before I left that part of Germany he was a man of broken fortunes, and decayed mind. Thus the human being who could philosophically bear up against the heaviest of evils-who could calmly behold the flood rush over his grounds, and sweep away the very sources of his existence,-became depressed, and incapable of common exertion at the loss of a favorite dog.
I have little patience with such characters, and much of my pity for their misfortunes is destroyed in refleeting on their inconsistency. The other night I sat alone in my room, and a train of thinking led me from the contemplation of those uncertainties of the intellect, to consider how differently men would bear a sudden reverse of fortune,-some raised from poverty to independence, and others thrown from prosperity into adversity. In the midst of my thoughts, many of those illustrious personages of whom I had read flashed on my memory, and my honest friend Robin Roughead, together with Nell, the Mock Duke, and the lord and blacksmith in Ennui alternately occurred to me. In the traditions of old I traced many anecdotes of this kind, but none fastened so forcibly on my mind as that of Cardinal Wolsey.
In imagining a reverse of this kind, from affluence and pomp and prosperity, to want and contumely and humiliation, I could not avoid observing to myself that it required no ordinary mind to meet the sudden trials of such a situation with patience and fortitude; and in noticing this subject, I would be blind to the usefulness and beauty of illustration, if I forgot a name that has purchased its splendour in the hours of its degradation, and borrowed more glory from its overthrow than it could have earned in the years of its sway and exaltation. I mean NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE, who never convinced me he was a great man, until his imprisonment in St. Helena. I reflected on his character when it had excited the astonishment of Europe-I looked dispassionately on his fiery career, unsubdued by defeat-unrepressed by difficulty-I compared him to the lightning that rushes across the stormy face of Heaven, destroying in the moment that it dazzles-I listened coolly to the details of conquests and
carnage-Jena, and the bridge of Lodi-Wagram, and Elau-Friedland and Austerlitz-Marengo and ArcoliMoscow and the Pyramids of Egypt-and I traced him over the countries he laid desolate, by a path of blood. I remembered, when he gave up his sword on the deck of the Bellerophon, that he had put crowns on the heads of othersI followed him into captivity-I saw him, in imagination, on the rock of punishment-and I beheld a smile upon his features-the Eagle of Freedom no longer hovered over him-yet he was unconquered still! Have we a parallel in the annals of history?-The philosophy of Roman fortitude sank before defeat, when Brutus, after the battle of Philippi, fell upon his sword-but NAPOLEON triumphing under the fetters of his conquerors, gives a lesson to the world by whom he was overthrown.
I believe I fell into a kind of reverie in reflecting upon the extraordinary chances that befal us in this sublunary state, for I fancied a thousand characters in my own mind that had never existed, and placed them in a variety of circumstances to observe how they would carry themselves. On the result I came to a conclusion that it required a stronger mind to bear sudden adversity with resignation, than sudden elevation with meekness; although I perceived the difficulty my imagined personages experienced in appearing as honest and plain as usual, on an accession to an estate or situation of consequence. Amongst others I drew the picture of a country barber who had lived from his childhood in an obscure village; one who had enjoyed the honor of curling and shaving the news-monger, the apothecary, the pedlar, and the piper of the town-and whose information was confined to the names and professions of his neighbours, and the convicts in the goal-the peculiarities of his customers, and the history of the head landlord's ancestors. I perceived him suddenly made Lord Mayor of Dublin-invested with civic honours, and followed by a retiuue of visitors and petitioners. I never enjoyed my own thoughts so much,-I beheld him stepping with an awkward pomposity through the streets-inspecting the honesty of the weights, and the length of the measures-and in the pride and progress of his dignity, I thought I beheld one of his former acquaintances approach him, stretching out a dirty hand, and expecting a hearty shake in return ;-my risibility would scarcely permit me to observe with what an air of ridiculous majesty his Lordship put it aside, and marched into a chandler's shop. "Enough,"