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surprised if it explode, and wound no one but himself. Dirt wantonly cast, only acts like fuller's earth, defiling for the moment, but purifying in the end ; so that those who are the most bespattered, come out the most immaculate. Pleasant was the well-known revenge of the vilipended author, who having in vain endeavoured to propitiate his critic by returning eulogy for abuse, sent him at last the following epigram:
ABUSES-See Tory Administration, passim. Thank Heaven, the times are changed, and those who refuse to give up abuses, will inevitably be called upon to surrender uses. Will they take a hint, and make a compromise in time, or like the borough-mongers, dig a pit for themselves to fall into? For their own sakes I hope they will yield in time; for the sake of the country I might wish them to be obstinate.
ACCIDENT-Fanatics, whose inordinate conceit prompts them to believe that the Deity must be more engrossed with the affairs of an obscure Muggletonian in Ebenezer Alley, Shoreditch, than with the general and immutable laws of the universe, presumptuously wrest every unexpected occurrence, in which themselves are concerned, into a particular Providence, more especially if it be an escape from any sort of danger. As the risk, however, must come from the same source as the deliverance,
-as a providential escape, may with equal propriety be termed a providential exposure to imminent peril,
- this hazardous doctrine, like a two-edged sword, must cut both ways; and according to the sanguine or desponding temperament of the expounder, will tend to generate either an overwhelming arrogance, or a dark despair. A plot is
formed, to way-lay and murder a man, on his way home at night. He gets drunk, takes the wrong road and escapes. Even a Muggletonian would hesitate at calling this a providential intoxication, and yet he often uses the term when it is quite as inapplicable and indecorous. Occurrences of this description may be improved into moral warnings without supposing any special deviation from the laws of nature. There is a Providence ever watching over the destinies of mankind, but we should not the less on that account observe tbe maxim of Horace-Nec Deus intersit nisi dignus vindice nodus. The uncharitable forgetfulness of this rule was once well reproved by Voltaire, who happened to be in company with a fanatical old lady during a violent thunder storm, when she screamed out, that the house would be dashed to pieces upon their heads on account of his impiety, “Know, madam,” said the Patriarcli—“ that I have said more good of the Deity in a single verse, than you will ever think of him in the whole course of your life.”
Father Mabillon, who had been of a very narrow capacity in his youth, fell, at the age of twenty-six, against a stone stair-case, fractured his scull, was trepanned, and after that operation, possessed a luminous understanding, and an astonishing zeal for study. We submit this accident to the joint and serious consideration of the Muggletonians and Phrenologists, but without recommending either party to anticipate the same results, should they be disposed to make a similar experiment upon their own sculls.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS—In women all that can be supplied by the dancing-master, music-master, mantua-maker and milliner. In men, tying a cravat, talking nonsense, playing at billiards, dressing like a real, and driving like an amateur coạchman. The latter is an excusable ambition, even in our noblemen, for it shows that they know themselves, and have found a properer place, and more congenial elevation than the peerage. Some there are, who, deeming dissolute manners an accomplishment, endeavour to show by their profligacy that they know the world, an example which might be dangerous, but that the world knows them. Accomplishments are sociable—but nothing so sociable as a cultivated mind.
ACTOR—How often do we quote Shakspeare's dictum, that
“ All the world's a stage,
without reflecting upon its close applicability, not only to the classes he has specified, but to almost every individual in existence. The laws of society, and the restraints upon opinion, compel us all to be actors and hypocrites, simulators and dissimulators; and the more servile the observance of this slavish disingenuousness, the greater the assumed civilization ! Oh, for a week's social intercourse in the Palace of Truth of M. de Genlis, that we might see what capital actors we have all been when out of it; especially those who had been playing the parts of Maw-worm and Cantwell!
Diderot has endeavoured to prove that in the delineation of the passions—" He best shall paint them who shall feel them least," and that an actor, injured rather than benefited by an intense feeling of the emotions he represents, is never so sure to agitate the souls of his hearers, as when his own is perfectly at ease. We believe that he may excite without being excited, for the same reason that the most sensitive young lady will remain unmoved at the hundredth reperusal of the tragedy, which at first drew a flood of tears from her eyes ; but the mimic, in order to carry our sympathies with him, must at least have a certain degree of susceptibility in himself. How can he successfully study or understand a character if totally incapable of feeling it? Speaking, as it were, an unknown language, he must deliver it, without adaptation or expression, and consequently without effect.—His emotion may be as transient „as you please, but it must be once felt,
once impressed upon the actor, if it is to impress the audience. To suppose that the studied and artificial, can be more appropriate to the stage than real passion, is a contradiction in terms, for it is a remarkable fact, that deep and genuine emotion, even in the humblest persons, is never undignified, never ungraceful.
An adherence to nature, however, is by no means incompatible with a due regard to the Thespian art, which requires elaborate study, and to a heightening of the effect by professional, or even mechanical aids. Vivid conception, and keen sensibility, will not of themselves make a good actor; but it may be questioned, whether a good actor can be made without them. Rare indeed is the physical and moral combination that produces a superior performer, as will at once appear if we compare the best amateur, with a second or even a third rate professional actor. What miserable mummery are private theatricals! At those given last year at Hatfield House, old General Gwas pressed by a lady to say whom he liked best of all the actors. Notwithstanding his usual bluntness, he evaded the question for some time, but being importuned for an answer, he at length growled, “Well, madam, if you will have a reply, I liked the prompter the best, because I heard the most of him, and saw the least of him !"
ADDRESS_Generally a string of fulsome compliments and professions, indiscriminately lavished upon every king or individual in authority, in order to assure him of the particular, personal, and exclusive veneration in which he is held by those who, being the very obedient humble servants of circumstances, would pay equal homage to Jack Ketch, if he possessed equal power. In the latter case, they would perhaps attempt to dignify his person, and his office by some courteous periphrase, or concealing both beneath the appropriate veil of a dead language, would speak of him as- 5-Vir excellentissimus, strangulandi peritus.
In a Shrewsbury Address to James I., his loyal subjects
expressed a wish that he might reign over them as long as sun, moon, and stars should endure.—" I suppose, then," observed the monarch, “ they mean my successor to reign by candle-light."
ADMIRATION–We always love those who admire us, says Rochefoucauld, but we do not always love those whom we admire. From the latter clause an exception might have been made in favour of self, for self-love is the source of selfadmiration; and this is the safest of all loves, for most people may indulge it without the fear of a rival.
ADVERSITY—is very often a blessing in disguise, which by detaching us from earth and drawing us towards heaven, gives us, in the assurance of lasting joys, an abundant recompence for the loss of transient ones. * Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” Many a man in losing his fortune has found himself, and been ruined into salvation ; for though God demands the whole heart, which we could not give him when we shared it with the world, he will never reject the broken one, which we offer him in our hour of sadness and reverse. Misfortunes are moral bitters, which frequently restore the healthy tone of the mind, after it has been cloyed and sickened by the sweets of prosperity. The spoilt children of the world, like their juvenile namesakes, are generally a source of unhappiness to others, without being happy in themselves.
ADMITTING yourself out of court, a legal phrase, signifying a liberality of concession to your opponent by which you destroy your own cause. This excess of candour was well illustrated by the Irishman, who boasted that he had often skated sixty miles a day. Sixty miles !” exclaimed an auditor—" that is a great distance: it must have been accomplished when the days were longest.”
To be sure it was ; I admit that,” cried the ingenious Hibernian.