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wife, and young Decker of Brasennose.-Mem. Young Decker a great fool, but takes good care of the cellar. On my return sent my pines to the Hall (know Sir Harry's have failed this year), and received, per bearer, an invitation to join in the eating to-morrow.
"Tuesday. After breakfast a water-excursion with the Hon. F. Goree; the poor little fellow very ingeniously fell out of the boat. I contrived to catch him by the collar in time to prevent him from spoiling his curls; but he was quite outrageous because I ruined his neckcloth. Eh bien! I lose nothing, for I never compassed a dinner with the Countess yet.-7 o'clock. Dinner at the Hall. A large party. Began my manœuvres very badly, by correcting a mistake of the old Gentleman's about "Hannibal the Roman General;" recovered my ground, unconsciously, by a lucky dispute I had with his opponent in politics. A good dinner. Hinted how much I preferred a saddle of of mutton cold. Praised the wine and drank it with equal avidity. In the evening played the flute, joined in a catch, and took a beating at chess from her Ladyship with all imaginable complacency. Have certainly made great progress at the Hall. Must dance with the. Baronet's daughter at the ball on Thursday.
Wednesday.-Wet morning. Nothing to be done. Cold saddle, with compliments, sent over from the Hall. Pocketed the affront and dined on the mutton.
Thursday. My mare has sprained her shoulder. How am I to get to the Rooms to-night ?-1 o'clock. Walked out. Met young Lawson. Hinted Rosinante's calamity, and secured a seat in the curricle.-10 o'clock. The curricle called. L. nearly lodged me in a ditch. Au reste, a pleasant drive.-Mem. To dine with him at six to-morrow, and he is to take me in the evening to a quadrille at the Landrishes'. The Rooms very full. Certainly intended to dance with the Baronet's Beauty. Made a villanous mistake, and stood up with Caroline
Berry. My Roxana avoided me all the rest of the evening. How stupid! Have certainly ruined myself at the Hall!"
This sort of life must have been very annoying to such a man as Charles Torrens; however, he has now freed himself from it. "Good-bye," he said, as we shook hands, and parted; "You'll come to us again, Perry, I was a harum-scarum dog when you knew me last; but if the river of life is rough, there is nothing like an affectionate wife to steady the boat!"
"Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days ?"
ISAIAH, Xxiii. 7.
Since first the Dorian these proud structures placed
Scorning the tricks of meretricious Art,
And round the shrine his pious votaries throng,
Hark to the lute and tabret! from each home
The halcyon calm is lasting, while afar
Rolls the black tempest of destructive war.
The scars, which angry elements have made,
A. L. B.
MICHAEL OAKLEY'S OBJECTIONS TO WIT.
"Parcas lusibus, et jocis, rogamus,
Non cuicunque datum est habere nasum."-MARTIAL.
HOWEVER I may be censured and ridiculed, or deserve censure and ridicule, in deviating from the general opinions of my friends and the Club, I nevertheless feel convinced, that while I state a few of my objections against the mistaken notions of many, who fancy themselves witty and facetious (nescio quo judice), I am not the only one who has been repeatedly disgusted with those paltry and trifling quaintnesses which the multitude admire, and term wit. It has often been a source of wonder to me, that men, endowed with good sense and powerful abilities, should perpetually be employed in racking their brains, and torturing their powers of invention, merely for the purpose of gaining the applause and admiration of persons, who, in most instances, are unable to distinguish the sensible and praiseworthy from the absurd and ridiculous. In nothing are men thoroughly and egregiously deceived, as in this particular. They mistake the babblings of a frivolous and petulant tongue, for the corruscations of genius; and fancy that they discover a fund of wit and humour in every fleeting joke, every sally of levity, which obtrudes itself upon their ears. But the man of sense restrains his words and sentiments, while the multitude are tickled and delighted with this folly. That man alone sees all its weaknesses and all its futility-hears the utmost extent of its powers;---yet disregards them. As a skilful boxer or cudgel-player, he reserves his attack upon it, until it lies completely at his mercy; and then, with one well-aimed and decisive blow, humbles it to nothing]
The love of praise, that most powerful incentive to the human heart, attacks, by different plots and manœuvres,
the whole of mankind. But it is my opinion, that of all its methods of persuasion, few have been found more alluring than the prospect of becoming ennobled by the powers of Wit. There is something so fascinating in the idea of commanding the risible faculties of our hearers, as it were, by magic ;-of "setting the table in a roar," at will: and exacting dread and respect from all, through the medium of our satirical powers, that we may (for a short time, at least,) cease to wonder, that so many have sought fame by this alluring, though difficult, path. But if we calmly and coolly reflect upon the obstacles which many before us have undergone and yielded to in the pursuit of this object, we shall, I am positive, be inclined to delay, if not to give up our purpose, previous to our enrolling, or attempting to enrol, ourselves, amongst the herd of Wits. For Wit is a capricious and fickle Deity; nor is every one, who desires such a distinction, calculated to be one of her favourites. Few, very few, are so highly gifted: all others, who indulge any pretensions to it, deserve nothing, save contempt and ridicule. Let us remember, that " from the sublime to the ridiculous there is but one step ;"—that a man must either excel in this particular, or sink into a prattler of trifles and absurdity. Our friend Horace
"Mediocribus esse poetis
Non homines, non Dii, non concessêre columnæ :
He might have mentioned the same with regard to Wits. But these are not the only objections which I entertain towards Wit. However excellent and successful a man may be in this respect, I certainly deem it, to say the least of it, a most dangerous weapon. It may pro bably provoke the most quiet and generous temper; and make us enemies of those who are most worthy of our friendship. Few can bear the venom of its shafts without some considerable degree of irritation; nay, if we