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ful noses, without knowing exactly why. To tell the truth, it is time the property changed hands. There can be no doubt that of late months it has somewhat deteriorated; for, though the old gentleman, who is shortly about to mingle with the shadows of the past, introduced some salutary reforms into certain small portions of his estate, causing divers peculating and unrighteous stewards to resign their trusts; yet a malignant imp, named Cholera, gave him such a fright in the early part of his career, that he never did good afterwards; his nerves tumbled to pieces, he became light-headed, and committed the oddest vagaries imaginable, so that all things went to wreck and ruin; his land remained untilled, his ships lay rotting in his harbors, and none of his tenants prospered excepting doctors, sextons, gravediggers, apothecaries, and undertakers. It is to be hoped that the young heir will bestir himself vigorously, and put things to rights; that he will drown the cholera in the Pacific, "deeper than did ever plummet sound;" chain up the ferocious and insatiable northern bear in his own appropriate regions of darkness and desolation; allow those pugnacious animals, the Dutch and Belgians, to knock their heads together until they find out what they are quarrelling about; or else hand their rulers Homer's makes up her mind to wear this article of apparel, either in public or private, the more decidedly and gracefully she does it the better; but still there must be some affectation in the raptures of the town at witnessing the same. To be sure, no one buttons a coat, adjusts a cravat, wears a hat, handles a cane, or draws a pair of gloves on in the true spirit of knowing and irresistible coxcombry equal to Madame Vestris; and it is really pleasant to sit and see those manly airs and graces played of by a woman, affording, as it does, conclusive evidence that such deep-laid schemes to ensnare the admiration of the fair sex do not always escape detection ; yet still the skill and observation requisite to do this may
be rated too highly. But Madame Vestris has better, though perhaps weaker claims than this, on the public favor. She has the ability to make wearisome common-place passable, frivolity agreeable, and sprightliness fascinating-a never-flagging joyousness of spirit, and an almost promethean power of imparting a portion of her exuberance of life and animation to the walking, talking, mechanical blocks by which she is occasionally surrounded. To use a striking, technical phrase, she keeps the stage alive.” Her motions are graceful in the extreme, and like a greyhound or a thorough-bred racer, she the unfortunate writer to sit ruminating in an atmosphere of uncomfortable density.
It is newyear eve ! a season that I, for one, always felt an especial delight in. There is about it a mixture of mirth and sadness, of joyous anticipation and melancholy regret, that suits one of my temperament. It is a fitting time, too, for cogitation, and the birth of important and solemn thoughts. A great change is taking place. One year more from our slender stock is on the point of rolling away, to "join the past eternity.” Time is about to close another volume of his works, in which our good and bad deeds are registered, and to lay it quietly by amid the records of what has been, until it is wanted for final inspection. It is “iron-clasped and iron-bound," and can no more be opened by us. What is written there can never be erased--the slurs and blotches must all go—and that word never ought to make us pause before we stain with foul thoughts, or unmeet actions, the fair clear page of the daybook, which to-morrow will be laid before
Newyear eve! It is a season for calm, melancholy retrospection--for nearly all retrospection is melancholy-the mind naturally reverts to the past, and images of things that have almost faded away and become forgotten dreams, amid the bustle and hurry of business, and the small cares and meannesses of life crowd vividly back upon the memory.
“ The eyes that shone,
beam on us again through the long vista of departed years, though even with a kinder and mellower lustre than of old; and the good hearts and true, that the cold green grass grows silently over, are again beside us. They, the dead, welcomed in many a newyear with us once, were glad and joyous, and passed the bottle and the jest, and they are gone! The songs they used to sing, and the tones and inflections of their voice, all their little whims and peculiarities, become again clear and distinct. Yet they to whom those things appertained, fine, hearty pieces of flesh and blood, with whom we were hand and glove, and from whom we could not live apart, are really gone-dead and gone ! and, alas! for human nature that it should be so, unless at seasons like the present, when a gush of better feeling calls them back, almost forgotten!
Among the genial and good old customs prevalent about this time, one, of friends gathering together on a newyear eve, to take their farewell of the departing and welcome the coming year, it is to be hoped will not speedily pass out of fashion. There is more refinement about the conviviality on such an occasion than is common at other seasons ; and recollections of the changes and mutations that have taken place since last they met to chant old ditties to "the year that is gone and awa'," have the effect of softening down the otherwise too boisterous hilarity prevalent at festive meetings. And what an expansion of the heart, what an influx of kindly feelings takes place; what old and delightful reminiscences are awakened ! With what joyous warmth one good fellow pledges another, and with what a depth of feeling is the common toast, “to absent friends,” given, as each man yearningly thinks, as he slowly raises the glass to his lips, of the dear and distant. Such a scene may not, indeed, be exactly to the taste of the stern and unflinching moralist, the retailer of terse aphorisms and sage prudential saws and maxims,
“One to whose smooth-rubbed soul can ching,
Nor form nor feeling, great or small;
An intellectual all-in-all."
But for all that, it is a scene at which wisdom need not frown, and where virtue and cheerfulness might with great propriety take a glass together.
The newyear day itself. Who will say that happiness is not good for man; and who will say that there is not a greater quantity to be had at a cheaper rate on this day than on almost any other?