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Whose even thread the Fates spin round and full,
I was proud of Windsor, and my great delight was to show the lions to strangers. There were always two staple commodities of this nature—the Round Tower, and the State Apartments of the Castle—which were not affected by any of the changes of the times.
The Round Tower has an historical interest of a certain kind about it, from having been the prison of the captive Kings of France and Scotland in the reign of Edward the Third.
As we grow older, this sort of charm becomes very worthless; for, after all, there is just as much philosophical interest in the wars of the Fantees and the Ashantees, as in those of the French and the English for the disputed succession to a crown, the owner or pretender to which never dreamt that the possession or the winning imposed the least obligation to provide for the good of the people from whom they claimed allegiance. However, I used to feel this sort of interest in the place; and when they showed me the armour of John of France, and David of Scotland, (as genuine, I dare say, as any of those which Dr. Meyrick has consigned to plebeian shoulders, and much later eras,) I felt very proud of my country for having so gloriously carried fire and sword to the dwellings of peaceful and inoffensive lieges. The Round Tower is a miserably furnished, dreary sort of place; and only repays a visit by the splendid view from its top. But it once had a charm, which, like many other charms of our boyhood, has perished for ever. There was a young lady, a dweller within “the proud keep,” to whom was intrusted the daily task of expounding to inquiring visitants the few wonders of the place. Amongst the choicest of them was some dingy tapestry, which, for aught I know, still adorns the walls, on which were delineated various passages of the piteous story of Hero and Leander. The fair guide thus discoursed thereon, with the volubility of an Abbé Barthelémi, though with a somewhat different measure of knowledge:—“Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the whole lamentable history of Hero and Leander. Hero was a nun: she lived in that old ancient nunnery which you see. There you see the lady abbess chiding Hero for her love of Leander. And now, ladies and gentlemen, look at Leander swimming across St. George's channel, while Hero, from the nunnery window, holds out a large flambeau. There you see the affectionate meeting of the two lovers; and then the cruel parting. Ladies and gentlemen, Leander perished as he was swimming back. His body was picked up by Captain Wanslom, of his Majesty's ship Britannia, and carried into Gibraltar, where it was decently buried. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the true history of Hero and Leander, which you see on that tapestry.” Alas, for the march of intellect such guides are every day getting more and more scarce; and we shall have nothing for our pains in the propagation of knowledge, but to yawn over sober sense for the rest of our lives.— Knight's Quarterly Magazine.
XXXI. THE SAPIENT PIG.
THE following epigram appeared in the Morning Chronicle at the time that Toby the sapient pig was exhibited in town.
I passed through London's gorgeous shops,
And wondered at her essenced fops,
Methinks, if these would change, 'twere well,
Did pigs aspire to savoury smell,
XXXII. A PRACTICAL SARCASM.
THIS is another anecdote told of the late Rev. Robert Hall. When discussing one day the necessity of Church reform with a clergyman who, after being educated by the Dissenters, obtained a conviction of the purity of the Established Church, and a lucrative living within her pale, at the same time, Mr. Hall illustrated this kind of logical process in a way unsurpassed in the history of sarcasm. This gentleman's constant refuge, when hard driven by the arguments of Mr. Hall, was, “I can't see it,”—“I don’t see it,”—“I can't see that at all.” At last, Mr. Hall took a letter from his pocket, and wrote on the back of it with his pencil in small letters the word “God.” “Do you see that ?” “Yes.” He then covered it with a piece of gold. “Do you see it now %" “No." “I must wish you good morning, sir,” said Hall; and left him to his meditations.
XXXIII. A GREAT MAN IN DISGUISE.
MANY years ago it happened that the elder Wernet, the painter, was travelling from Marseilles to Paris in the coche-voiturin, an extra-heavy diligence, which performed the journey in three weeks. Among the passengers packed up in its ample cavities, Vernet took particular notice of a fat man, with a red and vulgar face, whose wits seemed as thick as his body; and resolving to amuse himself with this grotesque creature, he showed him a great deal of politeness, which the fat man returned awkwardly, but good-humouredly. They soon came to a hill; and, as the poor jades would have been totally unable to drag up the coche-voiturin with its fat and lean cargo, the passengers got out. As they were walking, they passed near a ditch of no great width, and Wernet, who was a good leaper, offered to bet that he would clear it.
“What!” cries the fat man, much surprised, “could you clear that ?”
“To be sure I could ; it's not wide.”
“I should like to see you set about it.” “Why so 2° says Wernet, clearing it. “Youv'e done it, sure enough,” said the fat man; “I should like to try too; you have put me in spirits, and I think I could get over.” “You !” cried the painter, bursting into a loud laugh; “I should like to see you set about it. I will bet our dinner that you tumble in.” “Come now, don't frighten me...beforehand. Let me see: our dinner, that comes to a good deal.” “Three francs, I believe.” “That’s a good bit of money; never mind, I'll try. Done.” After cutting half a dozen queer faces, the fat man. leaped, and plumped down a foot farther than Vernet had gone. “I must have my revenge,” cries Wernet, rather. piqued; “ you won't refuse me, I hope.” - “Oh no! It was a mere chance, and may not happen. again: at any rate people must play fairly, and to-morrow we will leap for our dinner once more.” The next day another opportunity of trying their agility presented itself, and the fat man won by a trifle, as he had done the day before, and was again delighted with his astonishing luck; while Wernet, more and more mortified at the triumph of his antagonist, renewed the contest every day, and lost every day without exception. But everything must have an end, and our. travellers had arrived at their last stage; on which the fat man went up to Wernet and said: “Sir, I owe you a thousand thanks for your kindness in paying for my din