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my master never scruples to rouse me up from my first sleep, and give me charge of an entirely new meal, after I thought I was to he my own master for the night. This is a hardship of the most grievous kind.
8. Only imagine an innocent stomach-genius, who has gathered his coal, drawn on his night-cap, and gone to bed, rung up and made to stand attention to receive a succession of things, all of them superfluous and in excess, which he knows he will not be able to get off his hands all night. Such, O mankind, 1 are the woes which befall our tribe in consequence of your occasionally yielding to the temptation of “a little supper." I see turkey and tongue in grief and terror. Macaroni fills me with frantio alarm. I behold jelly and trifle follow in mute despair. O that I had the power of standing beside my master, and holding his unreflecting hand, as he thus prepares for my torment and his own!
9. Here, too, the old mistaken notion about the need of something stimulating besets him, and down comes a deluge of hot spirits and water, that causes every villicles in my coat to writhe in agony, and almost sends Gastric Juice off in the sulks to bed Nor does the infatuated man rest here. If the company be agreeable, rummer will follow upon rummer, while I am kept standing, as it were, with my sleeves tucked up, ready to begin, but unable to perform a single stroke of work.
10. I feel that the strength which I ought to have had at my present time of life has passed from me. I am getting weak, and peevish, and evil-disposed. A comparatively small trouble sits long and sore upon me. Bile, from being my servant, is becoming my master; and a bad one he makes, as all good servants ever do. I see nothing before me but a premature old age of pains and groans, and gripes and grumblings, which will, of course, not last over long; and thus I shall be cut short in my career, when I should have been enjoying life's tranquil evening, without a single vexation of any kind to trouble me.
11. Were I of a ran'corous temper, it might be a consolation to think that my master the cause of all my woes must suffer and sink with me; but I don't see how this can mend my own case; and, from old acquaintance, I am rather disposed to feel sorry for him, as one who has been more ignorant and imprudent than ill-meaning. In the same spirit let me hope that this true and unaffected account of my case may prove a warning to other persons how they use their stomachs; for they may depend upon it that whatever injustice they do to us in their days of health and pride will be repaid to themselves in the long-run, — our friend Madam Nature being an inveterately accurate accountant who makes no allowance for revokesel or mistakes. CHAMBERS.
LXX. - THE PERMANENCE OF WORDS. 1. An eloquent but extravagant writer * has hazarded the issertion that “words are the only things that last forever." Nor is this merely a splendid saying, or a startling paradox,” that may be qualified by explanation into commonplace; but with respect to man and his works on earth it is literally true. Temples and palaces, amphitheatreset and catacombs, Et — monumentsel of power, and magnificence, and skill, to perpetuate the memory, and preserve even the ashes, of those who lived in past ages, — must, in the revolutions of mundaneet events, not only perish themselves by violence or decay, but the very dust in which they perished be so scattered as to leave no trace of their material existence behind.
2. There is no security beyond the passing moment for the most permanent or the most precious of these ; they are as much in jeopardy33 as ever, after having escaped the changes and chances of thousands of years. An earthquake may suddenly ingulf the pyramidser of Egypt, and leave the sand of the desert as blank as the tide would have left it on the sea-shore. A hammer in the hand of an idiot may break to pieces the Apollo Belvidere, Et or the Venus de Medici el, which are scarcely less worshipped as miracles of art in our day than they were by idolaters of old as representatives of deities.
3. Looking abroad over the whole world, after the lapse of nearly six thousand years, what have we of the past but the words in which its history is recorded? What beside a few mouldering and brittle ruins, which time is imperceptibly touching down into dust, — what, beside these, remains of the glory the grandeur, the intelligence, the supremacy, of the Grecian republics, or the empire of Rome ?EI Nothing but the words of poets, historians, philosophers, and orators, who, being dead, yet speak, and in their immortal works still maintain their dominion over inferior minds through all posterity. And these intellectual sovereigns not only govern our spirits from the tomb by the power of their thoughts, but their very voices are beard by our living ears in the accents of their mother-tongues.
4. The beauty, the eloquence, and art, of these collocations of sounds and syllables,"o the learnëd alone can appreciate, and that only (in some cases) after long, intense, Et and laborious investi. gation; but, as thought can be made to transmigrate from one body of words into another, even through all the languages of
the earth, without losing what may be called its persenal identity the great minds of antiq'uity continue to hold their ascendency over the opinions, manners, characters, institutions, and events of all ages and nations, through which their post'humous compositions have found way, and been made the earliest subjects of study, the highest standards of morals, and the most perfect examples of taste, to the master-minds in every state of civilized society.
5, Words are the ve’hicles by which thought is made visible to the eye and intelligible to the mind of another; they are the palpable forms of ideas, without which these would be intangibles as the spirit that conceives or the breath that would utter them. And of such insluence is speech or writing, as the conductor of thought, that, though all words do not “last forever,”—and it is well for the peace of the world, and the happiness of individuals, that they do not, - yet even here every word has its date and its effect; so that with the tongue or the pen we are continually doing good or evil to ourselves or our neighbors. El
6. On a single phrase, expressed in anger or affection, in levity or seriousness, the whole progress of a human spirit through life, perhaps even to eternity, — may be chānged from the direction which it was pursūing, whether103 right or wrong. For in nothing are the power and indestructibility of words more signally exemplified than in small compositions, such as stories, essays, - parables, EI songs, proverbs, I and all the minor and more exquisite forms of composition. It is a fact, not obvious, perhaps, but capable of perfect proof, that knowledge, in all eras which have been distinguished as enlightened, has been propagated more by tracts than by volumes.
7. In the youth of the Roman com'monwealth, during a quarrel between the patricians and plebe'ians, Et when the latter had separated themselves from the former, on the plea that they would no longer labor to maintain the unproductive class in indolent luxury, Menēnius Agrippa, by the well-known fables of a schism in the human body, in which the limbs mutinied against the stomach, brought the secēders to a sense of their dūty and interest, and rec'onciled a feud which, had it been further inflamed, might have destroyed the state, and turned the history of the world itself thenceforward into an entirely new channel, by interrupting the tide of events which were carrying Rome to the summit of dominion. The lesson which that sagacious pātriot taught to his countrymen and contemporaries, Ei he taught to all generations to come. His fable has already, by more than a thousand years, survived the empire which it rescued from prēmatūre destruction.
8. The other instance of a small form of words, in which dwells, not an immortal only, but a divine spirit, is that prayer which our Saviour taught his disciples. El How many millions and millions of times has that prayer been preferred by Chris tians of all denominations ! So wide, indeed, is the sound thereof gone forth, that daily, and almost without intermission, from the ends of the earth, and afar off upon the sea, it is ascending to heaven like incense and a pure offering; nor needs it the gift of prophecy to foretell, that, though “ heaven and earth shall pass away,” these words of our blessëd'16 Lord “shall not pass away,” till every petition in it has been answered, till the kingdom of God shall come, and his will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
LXXI. — THE PUFFERS. 1. A PIOUS Brahmin, it is written, made a vow that on a certain day he would sacrifice a sheep ; and on the appointed morning he went forth to buy one. There lived in his neighborhood three rogues who knew of his vow, and laid a scheme for profiting by it. The first met him and said, “0, Brahmin, wilt thou buy a sheep? I have one fit for sacrifice.” — “ It is for that very purpose,” said the holy man, “ that I came forth this day."
2. Then the impostor opened a bag, and brought out of it an unclean beast, an ugly dog, lame and blind. Thereon the Brahmin cried out, “Wretch, who touchest things impure, and utterest things untrue! callest thou that cur a sheep?” “ Truly," answered the other, “it is a sheep of the finest fleece and of the sweetest flesh. O, Brahmin, it will be an offering most accept able to the gods.” “Friend," said the Brahmin, either thou or I must be blind.”
3. Just then one of the accom'plices came up. “ Praised be the gods," said this second rogue, “ that I have been saved the trouble of going to the market for a sheep! This is such a sheep as I wanted. For how much wilt thou sell it?” When the Brahmin heard this, his mind waved to and fro, like one swinging in the air at a holy festival. “Sir," said he to the new comer, “take heed what thou dost; this is no sheep, but an unclean cur.” –“0, Brahmin," said the new comer, “thou art drunk or mad.”
4. At this time the third confed'erate drew near. “Let us ask this man,” said the Brahmin, “ what the rature is, and I will stand by what he shall say.” To this the others agreed, and the Brahmin called out, “ 0, stranger, what dost thou cal] this beast?” — “Surely, 0, Brahmin,” said the knave, “it is a fine sheep.”
5. Then the Brahmin said, “Surely the gods have taken away my senses ;” and he asked pardon of him who carried the dog, and bought it for a measure of rice and a pot of ghee,52 and offered it up to the gods, who, being wroth at this unclean sacri fice, smote him with a sore disease in all his joints.28
6. Thus, or nearly thus, if we remember rightly, runs the story of the Sanscritei Æsop.EI The moral, like the moral of every fables that is worth the telling, lies on the surface. The writer evidently means to caution us against the practices of puffers, - a class of people who have more than once talked the public into the most absurd errors.
7. It is amusing to think over the history of most of the pub. lications which have had a run during the last few years. The publisher is often the publisher of some periodical work. In this periodical work the first flourish of trumpets is sounded. The peal is then echoed and reëchoed by all the other periodical works over which the publisher, or the author, or the author's cotërie, may have any influence.
8. The newspapers are for a fortnight filled with puffs of all the various kinds which Sheridan has recounted, — direct, oblique, and collusive. Sometimes the praise is laid on thick, foi simple-minded people. “Pathetic,” “sublime,” “splendid,” • graceful, brilliant wit,” “ exquisite humor,954 and other phrases equally flattering, fall in a shower as thick and as sweet as the sugar-plums at a Roman carnival. El
9. Sometimes greater art is used. A sinëcure has been offered to the writer if he would suppress his work, or if he would even soften down a few of his incom'parable portraits. A distinguished military and political character has challenged the inimitable sătirist of the vices of the great; and the puffer is glad to learn that the parties have been bound over to keep the peace.
10. Sometimes it is thought expedient that the puffer should put on a grave face, and utter his pånëgyr'icel in the form of admonition! “Such attacks on private character cannot be too much condemned. Even the exubërant wit of our author, and the irresistible power of his withering sarcasm, are no excuse for that utter disregard which he manifests for the feelings of others.”
11. That people who live by personal slander should practise these arts is not surprising. Those who stoop to write calumnious books may well stoop to puff them ; - and that the basest of