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the lovely being she had promised to introduce to him might be altogether a fiction! His spiriis sank at the idea, like the quicksilver before a hurricane, and he heartily wished himself back in his own shop, or his warehouse, anywhere but alone in the same room with a crazy woman, who talked Encyclopedias, till he was as heavy at heart, as confused in his head, and as uneasy all over as if he had just feasted with a geologist on pudding-stone and conglomerate.
A dozen times he was on the point of rising, determined to plead a sudden headach, a bleeding at the nose, or a forgotten engagement; and certainly ere long he would have said or done something desperate if the eccentric lady had not, of her own accord, put a period to his suspense by saying abruptly,
“ But we have gossipped enough, Mr. Mooby, and I must now introduce
you to my Camberwell Beauty." The crisis was come ! The important interview was at hand ! Mr. Mooby sprang to his feet, twitched his collar, plucked his cuffs, set up bis hair, clapped his bran new hat under his left arm, and smelling and smiling at his bouquet, walked jauntily on his tiptoes, at the invitation of the lady, into a sort of boudoir.,
"And was the Beauty in the little room?"
Yes. There was also a couch in it, and a most luxurious library chair. One side of the wall was covered with cases of stuffed birds of the smaller species, the opposite side was occupied by cases of shells, and specimens of minerals, and metallic ores, and the third side was taken up with cases of beetles, moths, and butterflies.
“ But the Beauty ?"
On the sofa-table lay a Hortus Siccus for botanical specimens, and a Scrap-book,—both open.
“ But the Beauty ?"
In one corner of the room, on a kind of a pedestal, was a bust of Cuvier; in the opposite corner, on a similar stand, a head of Werner ; in the third nook was that of Rossini; and in the fourth stood a handsome perch for a parrot, but the bird was dead or absent. Over the door-"
“ No, no-the Beauty ?"
Over the door was a half-length of the lady herself, in a fancy dress; and from the centre of the ceiling hung a small Chinese lantern.
“ The Beauty ?"
In the recess of the solitary window, on a stand, stood a compound birdcage, à la Bechstein, enclosing a globe of gold fish, and surmounted by a basket of flowers. The floor,--which was Turkey carpeted
“ The Beauty ? the Beauty ?"
The floor was littered with various articles, including a guitar,-a large porcelain jar,—and a little wicker-work kennel for a lapdog,—but the dog like the parrot was deficient.
“ The Beauty? the Beauty ? the Beauty?"
My dear madam, pray have a little patience, and read “Blue Beard ;" how nearly his last wife was destroyed by her curiosity. My mystery is not yet ripe, and you have even less right to the key of my Romance than Fatima had to the key of the Bloody Chamber.
CHAP. VIII. Every person of common observation must have remarked the vast contrast between the carriage of a man going up, and the bearing of the same man going down in the world!
In the first case how he trips, how he brightens, how he jokes, how he laughs, how he dances, how he sings, how he whistles, how he admires, how he loves : in the second predicament—how he stumps, how he glumps, how he sneers, how he satirizes, how he grumbles, how he frowns, how he vilifies, how he hates-in short, how he behaves with a difference, like Mr. Mooby.
As he ascended Grove-hill his step was brisk and elastic, he simpered complacently, held his bouquet mincingly in his lemon-coloured glove, and had his new hat stuck jauntily a little on one side of his head.
As he descended the steep, his tread was heavy, sometimes amounting to a stamp, the flowers had been thrashed into a bundle of stalks, the delicate kid glove was being gnawed into a mitten, and the bran new beaver was sullenly thrust down over his eyebrows.
As he mounted, his eyes were cast upward towards the elm-tree tops, as if looking for birds' nests.
As he descended, his eyes were turned to the gravel-path, as if in search of Brazilian pebbles.
As he went up, he hummed “ La ci darem."
In going up, he had carefully picked his way avoiding every dirty spot.
In going down, he tramped recklessly through the mud, and stepped into the very middle of the puddles.
“ And had the Beauty slighted him?"
Why, those persons who saw him come out of the house-door, remarked as he stumbled down the steps, that his face was as red and hot as a fiery furnace: others, who did not notice him till he had cleared the front garden-gate, observed that his complexion was as pale as ashes. And both reports were true, for like the Factions of the Red and White Roses, did Anger and Vexation alternately domineer and hoist their colours by turns in his countenance.
“But had the Beauty really behaved ill to him ?"
Why, in going to the house he had conducted himself towards men, women, and chi.dren, with a studied and almost affected courtesy ; whereas in going from the premises he jostled the gentlemen, took the wall of ladies, punched each littie boy who came within reach of his arm, and kicked every dog that ran within range of his foot.
“ Then she had been scornful to him!"
Every body in the street looked after him. Some thought that he was mad; some, that he was in liquor—others, that he was walking for a wager, and, from his ill temper, that he was losing it.
“ Poor man !"
However, on he went, striding, frowning, muttering, and swearing, gnawing one kid glove, and shaking the other like a muffin-bell. On he went-like an overdriven beast-on through Church-street, and away cross the Green, kicking hoops, tops, and marbles ; thumping little boys, and poking little girls, snubbing nursemaids, making faces at their babies, and grinning viciously at every thing in nature that came within his scope. He was out of humour with heaven and earth. It pleased him to know, by a sudden yell in the road, that a cur was run over; and he was rather glad than otherwise to see a horse in the pound.
“ Poor fellow ! how cruelly he must have been treated !"
Well, on he went to the Red Cap, where an omnibus was just on the point of starting.
It was invitingly empty, so without asking whether it went to the East or West End, in jumped Mr. Mooby, and threw himself on the centre seat at the further end of the vehicle. And now for the first time he had leisure to feel that he had been worked and walked, morally as well as physically, into a violent heat. He let down all the windows that would go down, tugged out his handkerchief, wiped the dew from his face, and then fanned himself with his hat. The process somewhat cooled the outer man, but his temper remained as warm as ever, and at last found vent.
“ Confound the old fool!” he exclaimed, with an angry stamp on the floor of the omnibus—“Confound the old fool with her Camberwell Beauty! Why didn't she tell me it was a Butterfly !"*
SHORT RIDES IN AN AUTHOR'S OMNIBUS.
ENGLISH AND SCOTCH LAWYERS.
Ausonius has an epigram upon a certain Furippus, whose name, as the first syllable was made long or short, appeared to be deduced from Latin words equivalent to our English derivatives--furtive, or furious -either of which, says the epigrammatist, would be equally applicable to the party in question
Elige, utrum malis : aut tende, aut corripe nomen.
Conveniet quodvis, fur, furiose, tibi. Whereupon the scholiast thus rebukes the wicked wag : “ Virulentum acumen, et à quo abhorreat lector ingenuus; si enim, ut pulchrè Seneca — non est jocus esse malignum,' quid erit contumeliosum esse ?"
After demurely giving in my adhesion to this condemnatory remark, I may safely record an anecdote suggested by the perusal of the above epigram.
Pray, sir," said an ingenuous youth to a grave-looking old gentleman, at a party where they were discussing legal subjects,
Vanessa Antiopa-deriving its English name from having been first observed at the suburban village in Surrey. The famous clown Grimaldi, who was a butterfly-fancier, once had his house broken into by thieves, and was especially vexed at the injury inflicted by the burglars on his Camberwell Beauties.
“ What is the difference between a Scotch writer to the signet, and an English lawyer ?"
“Just the same difference," was the reply, “ that there is between an alligator and a crocodile !"
AN ECONOMICAL MODE OF PAYING DEBTS.
Seneca's averment Ingratum est beneficium quod diu inter manus dantis hæsit,” has been well put by the same Ausonius in his eighty-third epigram
Si bene quid facias, facias cito: nam cito factum
Gratum erit : ingratum gratia tarda facit. An Oxonian borrowed two sovereigns of a brother collegian, promising soon to return them in some shape or other.
“I should like to have them back as nearly as possible in the shape of two sovereigns," observed the lender, " and I trust you will not forget the old adage bis dat qui cito dat,- he gives twice who gives quickly.'”
“ Then we are quits," cried the borrower—instantly tossing back one of the sovereigns.
ARISTÆUS, THE JEW. St. Justin, adding new marvels to the account of the septuagint version of the Old Testament, first given by Aristæus, the Jew, for the manifest purpose of glorifying his own nation and religion, assures us that Ptolemy Philadelphus caused seventy houses to be built for the interpreters, that they might perform their task without conferring with each other, notwithstanding which, there was such a perfect conformity in their translations, not only in the sense but in the terms, " that there was not one word in one of their versions that was not in another, and that they all wrote word by word the same expressions," in confirmation of which startling assertion, St. Justin triumphantly exclaims,
“Don't think, O Greeks! that what we say is a forged story. We ourselves, when at Alexandria, saw the ruins of those little houses in Pharos where they were still remaining."*
This is somewhat in the style of our Kentish story of the Goodwin Sands and Tenterden Steeple. The original wonder soon suffered a diminution of fifty per cent., for St. Epiphanius tells us that there were two of the translators in each cell, and that there were only thirty-six copies of their version : but the whole statement was subsequently rejected. Dupin was persuaded that the Pentateuch was the only portion translated into Greek in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus ; that the following books were afterwards translated by other authors ; that the collected version was used, even in their synagogues, by the Hellenist Jews, who, in order to render it more authentic, invented the story of the seventy interpreters and the cells, which the Christians received from them; that the narrative of Aristæus is a romance; and that he was not even a contemporary writer, a fact proved by his mistakes in chronology.
The foundation upon which it rests being now abandoned, it is a pity that we should retain the use of the word septuagint. Dr. John
Dupin's “ Complete History of the Bible,” cap. vi., p. 170.
son, in his “ Dictionary," qualifies it as “the supposed work of the seventy-two translators.” Dean Prideaux, and others of our church dignitaries, fully concur in the opinion of Dupin.
CONSOLATIONS OF ENVY. Mr. Lawrence, in his “ Lectures upon Physiology," speaking of Hunter, the celebrated surgeon, has the following passage:
- He seldom entered into the regions of speculation; and the fruits of his excursion, when he did thus indulge himself, are not calculated to make us regret they were so few. They bear indeed the marks of the common weakness of our nature, and remind us of the observation applied to the theological writings of Sir Isaac Newton, that they afford to the rest of mankind a consolation and recompence for the superiority he displayed over them in other respects.”
The world, ever jealous of placing a double wreath upon a single brow, is rarely without some consolation of this nature, for if a great man compromises the reputation he has gained by seeking a new fame in pursuits for which he is not qualified, he will seldom lack assailants who will deny his claim to the eminence he has achieved, and who will endeavour to raise themselves by lowering a rival. If they cannot succeed in this, they will tell you there is nothing wonderful in his superiority considering the peculiar advantages possessed by the individual in question.
When I was told that Sir Walter Scott never had occasion to take physic, he triumphantly exclaimed, “That explains the whole mystery! With such a constitution as his, I would have undertaken to write all the Scotch novels in less time !"
A most amusing attempt to depreciate a rival, arising from a still more rankling jealousy—that of the pocket-is recorded of Richardson the itinerant showman, when, at one of the great northern fairs, he beheld crowds of people hurrying to an opposition booth to see a white-bearded patriarch, who was asserted to be a hundred and eight years old.
"Here's a precious humbug!" exclaimed the indignant Thespian. “ Here's a fuss to see a fellow only a hundred and eight years old ! Why, if my great grandfather had lived till now, he would have been a hundred and thirty-seven !"
FLAT-SKULLED NEGROES NOT NECESSARILY NUMSKULLS. “How are we astonished," says Volney (“ Travels in Egypt and Syria,” chap. vi.), “when we behold the present barbarism and ignorance of the Copts, descended from the profound genius of the Egyptians, and the brilliant imagination of the Greeks ; when we reflect that to the race of negroes, at present our slaves, and the objects of our extreme contempt, we owe our arts, sciences, and the very use of speech; and that it is even a problem whether the understanding of negroes be of the same species with that of white men!"
Dr. Pritchard thus sums up the result of great learning and research bestowed upon the consideration of this question :
“We may consider the general result of the facts which we can collect concerning the physical character of the Egyptians, to be this: that the national configuration prevailing in the most ancient times was nearly the negro form, with woolly hair; but that in a later age this character had become considerably modified and changed, and