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rendered as there are now; and perhaps, although I own that this does not appear probable, as many bad pictures then palmed off annually upon a discerning public as in the enlightened era of 1826.
If, like Sir Richard Phillips, you have a penchant for portraits, be sure to know the tack upon which you are sailing; for I purchased, a few days ago, a very tolerable portrait, as I was told, of Dr. Akenside, which turns out to be an effigy of Dr. Moore, the celebrated expurgator of worms; and my worthy spouse, who has imbibed a little of my taste, bought, a month or two ago, a treble-chinned likeness of an eminently respectable soap-boiler in the Borough, as a portrait of portly Jemmy Thomson the poet.
SKETCHES FROM ABROAD.
Even there, the world's confine, the wondering Tritons
you know, 'tis not long since king Psammis's tomb
For though you are as quiet and meek as a mouse,
LACONISMS, FROM THE GERMAN.
A good conscience is better than two witnesses—It will consume thy griefs as the sun dissolves the ice.—It is a spring when thou art thirsty, -a staff when thou art weary,
,-a screen when the sun burns thee,a pillow in death.-Hippel.
Human life is a gloomy chamber, in which the images of the other world shine the brighter, the deeper it is darkened.—J. Paul.
Though joy itself be transient and fleeting, it is preceded by long hope, and followed by yet longer recollection.—J. Paul.
Most men are possessed, like plants, of hidden virtues, which chance calls forth.-Fr. Schulz.
Hope is the ruddy morning ray of joy, and recollection is its golden tinge ; but the latter is wont to sink amid the dews and dusky shades of twilight, and the bright blue day which the former promises, breaks, indeed, but in another world, and with another sun.-J. Paul.
We must act the same by our friends as by virtue, and put neither wantonly to the test. —Müllner.
Benevolence is the only treasure that is increased by participation.Ibid.
No incense so blinds a woman as that which burns for her alone.— Ibid.
Praise and wine strengthen, provided they do not intoxicate.—Ibid.
Forest trees are like great people, they give plenty of shade, but no fruit.-Ibid.
Lovers conceal their faults from each other, and deceive themselves friends confess their faults to one another, and pardon them mutually. Ibid.
What happens here is clear; the why shall be conspicuous when the dead arise.-Ibid.
THE LAST COFFIN.
FROM THE GERMAN.
The watchman upon the turret had cried the midnight hour; the heavens shone in all their starry splendour; and the ground glittered with myriads of brilliant specks. Every sound of living breath seemed benumbed by the frost, and every murmur that arose from the sleeping city was borne away upon the blast. Fearfully now resounded the footsteps of the sentinels, as, muffled up in their long white cloaks, and high black caps, they wandered to and fro, with measured paces, like spirits of the departed.
Lo! an aged prince passes through the postern gate of his castle into the neighbouring park. His faithful attendants, who have watched his steps for a period exceeding the usual span of mortality, would fain implore their lord to skreen his hoary head, now that the last branch of his royal house is withered; but the earnestness of death darkens the king's countenance,-silently they bow their heads before him, for their lips refuse their office, and they follow him sorrowfully with their eyes.
With impetuous haste the aged prince totters through the glittering evergreens. He feels not the cold, nor the frosty breath of the wind that tosses the few scanty, grey locks upon his bare head.
It is as though he would anticipate the destiny that seizes with icy hand upon his trembling heart.
He has arrived at the verge of his park, near the humble dwellings of the workpeople in the employment of the court.--He stands still,
“ Oh Fate! thou shouldst have spared me my one, last, solitary child !” sighed he. “Oh, happier than thy country's prince art thou, base artisan, even though thou wakest amid thy sleeping little ones with care, because thou hast not wherewithal to satisfy their hunger on the morrow! Thou livest anew in them ;-but with me, my whole race descend into the grave.
He advanced a few steps forward ; a noise met his ear; it was the grating sound of a saw.
" Who works so much beyond the midnight hour? Doubtless,” continued he, replying to himself," it is the coffin-maker, preparing his coffin. Man! thou might'st become rich, if now thou madest him a cradle.”
He had approached nearer to the house whence the sounds proceeded; when the sawing ceased, and he distinguished the tones of a deep male voice. It was an old strange melody, harsh and monotonous as the words which grated on his ear.
The fiend of death has seized his bow,
His shaft unerring flies--
The mighty mortal dies !
Your treacherous deeds proclaim-
Behold the pit-by man of sin
A snare for others laid-
His own death-bed is made !
In whom is placed my trust;
Omnipotent and just ! The king listened; anon the song ceased, and a noise resounded from within as of tools thrown aside.
" But no guilt rests upon my brow," said the prince, “ I have seen two generations spring up and fade; I have ruled them justly.”
A frosty shudder agitated his feeble frameat length he became more composed. He opened the door; a hot vapour rushed forth, and a large apartment presented itself to him, illumined by many lights. At a long working bench stood a tall, haggard form, busied upon an almost finished coffin. No life, no emotion, no spark of sensibility beamed from the workman’s glassy eyes, as he continued his employment, regardless of the monarch’s entrance.
“ So late at your duty, master ?” said the prince.
“ Every man,” returned the joiner,“ performs the work to which the Eternal Master calls him; and he has sent me to you to prepare your race a resting place.'
“ Man! how can God have called thee to that work?” exclaimed the raging prince, “ Madman! wouldst thou add to my anguish ?”
“ Sire,” returned the coffin-maker, undismayed, “ madness will vex thee! But,” continued he, after a pause, “ if you would fain hear my history and your own, sit you down upon that coffin-lid; it is the coffin of your own heir, but there is no other seat in the place. See, it is masterly work; this sculpture upon it is the design of a church crumbling to pieces, with its tombstones and crosses, the tokens of death, destroyed by death's hand. Why dost thou stand staring so wildly at my work? Make no ceremony, but be seated, that I may proceed; the job is almost done, and will occupy me just as long as my story.”
As if pressed down by some invisible power, the prince seated himself upon the coffin lid, as it lay upon the floor; the coffin itself stood upon the bench. The joiner tucked up his wide sleeves about his nervous arms and began to plane it, while, with his eyes fixed upon his work, as if he heeded nothing else, neither the high personage who listened to him, nor the import of his own words, or rather as if the latter were spoken by another mouth or at least another spirit, he began :
“ Sir, did you know the deceased Prince Sigismund ?"
“ My ancestor,” answered the king, gloomily, “ the last of his family, as I of mine.”
“ My grandfather,” said the workman.
“ Thy grandfather ?” replied the prince, with surprize. “ Heavens, what form suddenly presents itself to my memory?”
“ My history will explain all,” rejoined the coffin-maker. “ When I first came into the world there was little prospect that the golden circle would ever deck your brow; and just so much the more wildly was the storm to rage amid the clustering branches of our family, till none were left but my grandmother and her only daughter. Then your