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--three times three-we have taken Humbridge.” As soon as this ceremony was over, they sat down and drank, “ Success to our arms, and confusion to the Yankees.” For a short time, a pom pous, solemn silence ensued, at length one of this erudite body, taking his pipe from beneath his rubicund nose, said, “ Humbridge! um-I have seen it in the map of America, but I don't exactly recollect in what part.” “Why, a” replied the Mayor, “ you see a —there are a vast many bridges in America, but if my memory does not fail me, this crosses the Delaware, just below Bunker's Hill.” “ Pray, Mr. Mayor,” said Mr. Alderman, “ what is that coup de main and propria persona, you so often read about ?”
- What! Mr. Alderman, don't you know who Coup de main is ? why then, I'll tell you, Coup de main is a Hessian general, and Propria persona, is his aid de camp." And thus they settled the matter. " Aye, aye,” continued the mayor, “ they can't hold out long, but I'm very sorry Mr. Sheriff to find, some of our own countrymen hold with them through thick and thin; the laws are too lenient in this respect, they ought to be punished; for the man that will not stand up for his country, is no true Briton.” You know, Mr. Romney, I am not much given to taciturnity, but the profound wisdom of these politicians, had in a manner overwhelmed my faculties; they now, however, gave me an opportunity I could not resist. “Give me leave, Mr. Mayor," said I, “ to ask your advice?" His worship nodded approbation. “ My father, sir, was an Englishman, my mother an American, whom he married at Philadelphia. In crossing the seas I was born about the midway between the two countries; now, sir, as I evidently belong to neither, which, in the present contest, should I stand up for?” “Why, sir," replied the mayor, not a little puzzled, “you see-a-water is no country-and-a- that is-d- nme, sir, you are a rebel, and ought to be sent out of the country." With all their affected gravity, it was as much as the major part of them could do to avoid laughing ; but as the mayor was offended, they stilled this propensity, called for their reckoning, and in solemn silence left the house.”
“ I give you credit for your invention, Tony, but you are too severe upon the body corporate.”
“ Invention ! I swear it is all true! I can tell you what the word alderman is derived from ; it arose simply from the circumstance of the two boys, sons of a carpenter, who, during their leisure hours, chizzled out of an useless lump of wood, a curious man, which, when finished, was found to be made of wood called alder, hence we have the word alderman, and hence we may naturally account for the more than ordinary thickness of the heads of these gentlemen.
“ We took up our lodging at the public house, and as it was a sharing company, I thought it better to board, that I might be sure of some share of eatables, if there should be none of money. Well, sir, I played in Mrs. A-w's company for four months, and might perhaps, upon the average, share ten shillings per week; this, with a few pounds at my ben,* did moderately, that is, I existed. I don't know how it was, but I soon became thin, and nervous as a tea-drinker ; in fine order for fiddling, I could shake with every finger; and as to my nose, I am quite ashamed of it; formerly it hung out a sign of sumptuous fare and good living, but now it shakes, like the pale wattles of a turkey cock in good humour. However, to cut my story short, I found, if I did not move “ whilst I had strength to run, and something to cover me," I might soon be,“ not where I should eat, but where I should be eaten.” So, leaving the remainder of my wardrobe in my landlady's care for safety, with my cane in my hand, and half a crown in my pocket, I have padded the hoof, one hundred and fifty miles without drops, and frequently without a bed ; but seeing your name in a Manchester play bill, I knew you would make interest to get your old friend a situation, rather than see him reduced to the “ lathy consistence of Joe Snip the tailor.” Buxton lay in my route, and by the greatest good fortune in the world, I find you here. And how is the dear woman? and my friend Fanny?!?
“ The former is well, and will rejoice to see you; the latter, our faithful travelling companion, we buried about a week ago.”
“So poor Fanny is put to bed with a shovel! Well! it is what we must all come to ! she lived a virtuous and a happy life, and died full of years !" Tony was filling his third
pipe, and the linen lay unnoticed on the table; “my good fellow,” said I, “ you forget the shirt.”
- Od rabbit it! I can make a shift without till morning."
As I knew there was no moving him that night, I ordered supper and a comfortable bed. As we were eating some fine Derbyshire trout, a luxury Tony had not lately indulged in, I rallied him on the advantages derived from fasting, and appealed to his own experience, which gave a goût to this meal, it would otherwise have wanted.
66 Od rabbit it! Mr. Romney, I see no advantage in fasting, except to get one's self a better appetite for the next meal. Besides, one may carry a joke too far; fasting yesterday, for instance, caused a quarrel between two old friends, Mr. Tony Lebrun and his small guts -small indeed! for I could have • crept into an alderman's thumb-ringComing up a hill, about nine miles off, my fast unbroken, I heard a rumbling, something like stage-thunder. Stopping to listen, what should it be, but my old friends, growling and grumbling, and breeding intestine discord! What the devil are you at,' said I, 'you ungrateful scoundrels ? Have I not, for these forty years, maintained you at an immense expense ? Have you not been my peculiar care, even to the neglect of more noble friends ? and now, when a little fasting is necessary, for the good of the constitution, like seditious subjects, you grumble at my government.' Admonition was useless—they grumbled on; so I thought it best to say no more, for they are a set of never-to-be-satisfied, weak, windy, griping citizens; and the more you indulge them, the more they want.”
(To be Resumed.)
That milkmen are philosophers 'tis true;
CHARACTER OF LA FONTAINE.
[We quote the following from the Literary Pocket-Book for the new year. It is part of the “ Calendar of Birth-days, or Sketches of some eminent Men, whose personal as well as intellectual characters render their Anniversaries more particularly worthy of observance :"]
JEAN DE LA FONTAINE, remarkable for carrying to its highest and most amusing pitch the quality which the French happily call naivetė, that is to say, a certain fresh taste of the most natural and ingenuous feelings that are innate with us, was born at Chateau Thierry, July the 20th, (8th, O.S.) 1621. He was well educated, and at nineteen went among the Fathers of the Oratory, but left them shortly. His father, who was the forestkeeper of the district, put his son in his place; but he had as little taste for business, as for polemicks, and quitted the forest ledger to converse with the birds. His discovery of the poetic faculty, however, was of a piece with the rest of his simple and off-hand character; for he did not find it out till his twenty-second year, when, upon accidentally hearing an ode of Malherbe's, he was seized with a transport, which hurried him into the arms of the Muses. He chose the wildest and giddiest, but by no means the least knowing of the family, retaining, nevertheless, his personal character for extreme quietness and simplicity. Of this apparent contradiction, the pleasant phenomenon called La Fontaine was ever afterwards composed. He was a good scholar, could be critical with Quintilian, and romantically moral with Plato; but his favourite authors were the romancers and novelists of Italy, and such of his countrymen as had given way to their animal spirits be. fore him, such as Rabelais and Marot. One of his biograpbers has well said, that although averse to restraint of any kind, yet, to oblige his parents, he “ suffered himself to be married.” An anecdote of this marriage, and some other accounts of him, will display his character at once in the truest and most amusing light. His wife, while he was present with her, sufficed him both with her beauty and wit, and he used to consult her on what he wrote; but the Duchess de Bouillon coming to Chateau Thierry, and Fontaine being introduced to and pleasing her, he was tempted Vol. II.]
[No, VIII. by her society, and by the hope of seeing the Parisian wits, to go with her to the metropolis, where he made no more ado but took up his abode like a bachelor. A pension was soon procured him ; he was subsequently in the service of Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, the sister of our Charles the Second, and finally settled for twenty years in the house of Madame de la Sabliere, who one day having greatly diminished her retinue, said she had retained but three animals on her establishment : her dog, her cat, and La Fontaine. It was the same lady, we believe, who in allusion to the apparent insensibility with which he put forth the finest productions, called him the fable-bearing tree. In the mean while, (though we know not how long the practice continued,) he had by no means quarrelled with his wife, but used to go down in the country to her every September, the lady perhaps being well contented to pass the rest of her time, and that also, as she pleased. They were neither of them economical, and whenever he made a visit, he used to contrive to part with some piece of his family property in house or land, so that a handsome estate was well nigh consumed. Whether this, or any other of his habits, produced a rupture, we cannot say; but we read of his being advised to reconcile himself to Madame de la Fontaine, and of his going down in the country for that purpose. His friends. were surprised to meet him speedily in town again, and upon asking him about his reconciliation, he said, with his usual air of simplicity and sincerity, that “ he had been down to see his wife, but was told she was at church.” La Fontaine had a son, who was taken under the patronage of the President Harlay. One day he met a youth at a house who pleased him so, that he observed to the company what a promising boy that was. He was told that it was his own son; upon which he replied “ Indeed! well, I'm very glad of it.” This was not affected. It was only carrying to excess what has been observed in Goldsmith and others. We know a living author of whom it would not surprise us to hear the same thing. La Fontaine was seen one morning by Madame de Bouillon on her way to Versailles, sitting under a tree. . On her return in the evening, “ there was La Fontaine,” says bis biographer, “ in the same attitude, though the day had been cold, and much rain fallen.” Racine once put a