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The French tragic writer, desirous of abating his son's almost 'frantic ardor in the pursuit of poetry, and apprehensive that the inexperienced young man might attribute to his father's tragedies the caresses which several of the nobility lavished upon him, used often to say "Think not, my son, that it is my poetry which procures me all these kindnesses. The verses of Corneille are a hundred times superior to mine; and yet nobudy regards him : they only love him in the mouth of his actors. Instead of tiring peuple with the recital of my works, I never mention them, and am contented if I can entertain my visitors with topics that are amusing, and agreeable to themselves. My talent, with them, is not to make them sensible that I am a man of wit, but that they have wit themselves. Thus, when you see a nobleman pass whole hours with me, you would be astonished, if you were present, to observe him frequently leave me with out my having spoken four words ; but by degrees I put him in the humor of prattling, and he goes away still more satisfied with himself than withi me?
But, though the advice here given by Racine, and illustrated by Sterne with his usual liveliness, is founded in a perfect knowledge of mankind, yet it implies a want of candor, and can be successfully practised only by men of keen penetration, great subtlety, and address. There is a much easier and surer way of pleasing in company, which is in every one's power to practise; and that is shewing a disposition to be pleased.
Light Reading at Leisure Hours, p. 346.
Hobson's Choice-TOWARDS the south end of the market-place, Oxford, stands Hobson's conduit, from which water is always ruming, through several iron pipes. This conduit was built by the celebrated Hobson the carrier, 'who gave rise to the proverbial expression of “ Hobson's choice:
this or none"-by letting out horses to the students, in such a rotation that they had an equal share of rest and work, and by resolutely refusing to let another horse than that which, in its turn, was placed next the door.
M. Mag. v. 15, p. 119. A certain gentleman, as he was making a speech before Gismond duke of Austria, not able to hold any longer, let fly with a prodigious noise; when turning about to his posteriors, “ If you are resolved to speak, (says he,) 'twill be to no purpose for me to say any thing;” and then pursued his discourse without being at all disconcerted. B, W.
Chilo used to say, that there were three things difficult: to keep a secret, to bear injuries, and to make a good use of time. He observed that a man onght never to threaten; for this was a female weakness.--That the greatest mark of wisdom was to restrain the tongue, especially at a feast. That one ought never to speak ill of any person; otherwise he would be perpetually exposed to the danger of raising up enemies against himself, and of hearing things by no means agreeable to him.That a man ought to visit his friends when in disgrace, rather than when in favour.--That it was better to lose, than to acquire ill-gotten gain.
That we ought never to flatter a man in his adversity. That a man of courage ought always to be mild; and endeavour to procure respect, rather than fear.-He held, that the best policy in a state, is to teach the citizens how to manage their own families with propriety.
That a man ought to marry a plain unaffected woman, and not to ruin himself by the celebration of his nuptials.—That gold and silver were tried by a touch-stone; but that it was by means of gold and silver that the hearts of men were tried.-That we ought to use every thing with moderation, lest we should be too sensibly affected with the loss of them.-" Love and hatred,” said he,“ do not last for ever: love, as if you were one day to hate; and never hate, but as if you were one day to love."
Fenelon's Life of Chilo, v. 1, p. 152.
It would surprize a modern fine lady, were I to tell her, that the cup from which she sips her tea had been through the hands of at least twenty-three dirty workmen before it met her lips; but such is the fact, for if we retrace the process, we shall find the following croud employed for the purpose :—the man who grinds the articles for the composition; the man that mills them; the person that calcines them; the grinder of the lumps; the sifter; the attender on the vats; the temperer; the thrower; the drier; the turner; the spout maker, who forms the spouts and handles; the handler, who puts them on; the biscuit-fireman; the blue painter; the dipper, who immerses them in the glaze; the trimmer, who clears them from irregu
larities in the glazing; the gloss fireman; the sorter; the painter; the enamel fireman; the burnish
THE grand jitry of the county of Tipperary in Ireland, had lately under consideration the propriety of building a new county-jail, and came to the following resolutions, which were published in the newspapers :
ist.---Resolved, That the present jail is insufficient, and that another ought to be built.
2d.-- Resolved, That the materials of the old jail be employed in constructing the new one.
3d.-Resolved, that the old jail shall not be taken down until the new one be finished.
ONE forenoon as I was sauntering through the streets of Strasbourgh, with some of our countrymen, we were informed that the music of some of the regiments had been ordered to a particular church, where the count de son of Lewis the XVth by madame de Pompadour, was expected to be at mass.We all immediately went for the sake of tlie military music, and found a very numerous and genteel company attending. After having waited a considerable time, it struck twelve, upon which the whole company retired without hearing the music or mass.—After mid-day the ceremony could not have been performed, although the count had come. Something very important must have intervened to prevent a Frenchman, and one of his character for politeness, from attending on such an occasion. There was however a mur
mur of disapprobation for this want of attention, and the priest was not applauded, who had hazarded the souls of a whole churchful of people, out of complaisance to one man; for those who imaginé that a mass can save souls, must admit that the want of it may be the cause of damnation. Mr Harvey whispered me, “ In England they would not have had half the complaisance for the king himself, accompanied by all his legitimate children, that these people have shewn to this son of a W-e.” Moore's View of Society & Manners.
UNDER a despotical government, there is no true liberty, and but nominally, any gradation of rank, All men are slaves. I have somewhere read, that, at the court of Paul of Russia, two lords came in, one of whom began to converse very familiarly with a shoe-black, whom he saw employed in his office. The other asked him af terwards, how he came to talk in that manner with such a fellow ?" Such a fellow !" rejoined the other." Nay, there is policy in it; for who knows but to-morrow I may be obliged to black his shoes.”
EPICTETUS.-It is reported, that when his master once put his leg to the torture, Epictetus with great composure, and even smiling, observed to him; "you will certainly break my leg:" which accordingly happened; and he continued in the same tone of voice" did I not tell you, that you would break my leg.” Carter's Epict. Introd. 34.