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PICTORIAL HUMOR.—New READINGS FROM OLD AUTHORS.
"That man received his charge from me.”
“Who is in the press that calls ?"
loves, it seems startling to learn, on the authority of Pliny, that the Romans considered the hawk a bird of particularly good omen in marriage, because it never eats the hearts of other birds; thus intimating that no differences or quarrels, in the marriage state, ought ever to reach the heart.
"Marriage,” says Dr. Johnson, “is the best state for a man in general, and every man is a worse man, in proportion as he is unfit for the married state." It may be doubted, however, whether another of his positions could be maintained—“that marriages in general would be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the Lord Chancellor, upon a due consideration of character and circumstances, without the parties having any choice in the matter.”
. In the pressure that now weighs upon all persons of limited fortune, sisters, nieces, and daughters, are the only commodities that our friends are willing to bestow upon us for nothing, and which we cannot afford to accept, even gratuitously. It seems to have been the same, at a former period, in France. Maitre Jean Picard tells us that, when he was returning from the funeral of his wife, doing his best to look disconsolate, such of the neighbors as had grown-up daughters and cousins came to him, and kindly implored him not to be inconsolable, as they could give him a second wife." Six weeks after,” says Maitre Jean, “I lost my cow, and, though I really grieved upon this occasion, not one of them offered to give me another."
It has been recorded by some anti-connubial wag, that when two widowers were once condoling together on the recent bereavement of their wives, one of them exclaimed, with a sigh, “ Well may I bewail my loss, for I had so few differences with the dear deceased, that the last day of my marriage was as happy as the first.”—“There I surpass you," said his friend, " for the last day of mine was happier ! ”
MASQUERADE-A synonyme for life and civilized society. There are two sorts of masquerade, simulation, or pretending to be what you are not: and dissimulation, or concealing what you are, and we are all mummers under one or the other of these categories, excepting a few performers at the two extremes of life, those who are above, and those who are beneath all regard for appearances. As a secret consciousness of their defects is always prompting hypocrites to disguise themselves in some assumed virtue, the only way to discover their real character, is to read them backwards, like a Hebrew book.
Many masqueraders on the stage of real life, betray themselves by overacting their part.
The Regent of France intending to go to a masquerade in the character of a lackey, and expressing an anxious wish to remain undetected, the Abbé Dubois suggested that this object might easily be attained, if he would allow him to go as his master, and to give him two or three kicks before the whole company. This was arranged accordingly, but the pretended master applied his foot so rudely and so often, that the Regent was fain to exclaim, “Gently, gently, Monsieur l'Abbé! you are disguising me too much!”
MASTER—Being our own master, means that we are at liberty to be the slave of our own follies, caprices, and passions. Generally speaking, a man cannot have a worse or more tyrannical master than himself. As our habits and luxuries domineer over us, the moment we are in a situation to indulge them, few people are in reality so dependent as the independent. Poverty and subjection debar us from many vices by the impossibility of giving way to them: when we are rid and free from the domination of others, we are corrupted and oppressed by ourselves. There was some philosophy, therefore, in the hen-pecked husband, who being asked why he had placed himself so completely under the government of his wife, answered, “ To avoid the worse slavery of being under my own.”.
MEDICAL-PRACTICE—Guessing at Nature's intentions and wishes, and then endeavoring to subtitute man's.
MELANCHOLY-Ingratitude to Heaven. As a good
antidote to gloomy anticipations, we should all of us do well to recollect the saying of Sir Thomas More,
“If evils come not-then our fears are vain,
MEMORY-Rochefoucauld says, “Every one complains of his memory, no one of his judgment.” And why? Because we consider the former as depending upon nature; and the latter upon ourselves Alleged want of memory is a most convenient refuge for our self-love, since we can always throw it as a cloak over our ignorance. It is astonishing how much people are in the habit of forgetting what they never knew.
“Strange,” says the same writer, “ that we can always remember the smallest thing that has happened to ourselves, and yet not recollect how often we have repeated it to the same person."
It is a benevolent provision of nature, that in old age the memory enjoys a second spring-a second childhood, and that while we forget all passing occurrences, many of which are but painful concomitants of old age, we have a vivid and delightful recollection of all the pleasures of youth. Many a graybeard, who seems to be lost in vacancy, as he sits silently twiddling his thumbs, is in fact chewing the mental end of past happiness, and enjoying a tranquil gratification, which youngsters might well envy.
Objects become shadowy to the bodily eye, as they are more remote, but to the mental eye of age, the most distant are the most distinct. A man of eighty may forget that he was seventy, but he never forgets that he was once a boy. Who can doubt the immortality of the soul, when we see that the mind can thus pass out of bodily decrepitude into a state of rejuveniscence ? for this process amounts to a Palingenesia
-a partial new birth out of a partial disease, preparatory to a total resurrection out of total dissolution.
MINDS—Large ones, like pictures, are seen best at a distance. Their beauties are thus enhanced, and their blemishes