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exchanged the frying pan for the fire. I was now doomed to add moral to my physical degradation. The world must excuse the loquacity of an injured being, and bear with me, while I tell my tale.
“ Nihil est tam miserabile, quam ex beato miser,” as Cicero told my last master but one. Had I never been faced with oak, and carpetted with baize, I might even now have been comfortable; had I never known quiet and respectability, I might even now by the aid of a little philosophy, have been a happy bureau. readers are longing to know what enormities could have given birth to these sad reflections. I pass by the insults which I endured from greasy cricket balls, awkward fishing rods, the foul stench of forgotten gentles and caddis-worms, the pollution of muddy fives' balls, the intrusion of boating jackets, and straw hats into the part of me expressly devoted to literature. These and a thousand other evils of equal inhumanity I must forget; they are swallowed up in the recollection of sights that shocked my moral nature. My new guardian passed his life under the influence of a strenuous idleness, which allowed him to be regular in his attendance at Surly, and the aquatics, but made it utterly impossible for him to compose his own themes or verses. For the one, he was usually indebted to his fags; for the other, he looked to some obscure poet, whom in the end he never failed to bring unintentionally to light. I blush to think of the space which I was compelled to devote to illicit translations, or, as he anomalously termed them,
Englishes," to the well-digested bundles of “old copies,” miscellaneous offspring of equally unwilling poets, his predecessors, to double pens, and all the paraphernalia of shuffling. I still shudder at the cards my breast.
and dice, which I concealed; at the chaos of sporting pictures, penny songsters, unpaid bills, and tickets for ale and cyder. I trust I shall be pardoned for these expressions of my disgust at his immorality, they are heightened perhaps, by my vivid recollection of personal ill treatment. I was selected to show off the strength of his arm, and the invulnerable cuticle of his knuckles, After standing for some minutes in an attitude, which would have done honour to Hercules or Tom Spring, he would, with an emphatic whistle, drive his fist through
To this operation of “ panelling,” I was subjected (start not, courteous reader, at my assertion) no less than thirty times. Not only was my chest weakened, but I was at last completely unhinged. Then was it that even Boxiana and the Racing Calendar were removed from my charge, to make room for a set of stumps, which, after being pierced with three wounds, I was compelled to admit. I am confident that I should not have survived many months in these savage hands; my days were numbered, but fortunately my master's constitution gave way at the same time with my own. He went home, I to my old friend the carpenter, who made me better than new, and sold me for twice my original value. By the help of putty and red cloth I was turned out in renovated beauty, and gladdened the eyes of a nice young man, who would have scorned me but three months since. I again looked forward to literary ease; and such indeed it was; for, satisfied with the symmetry and brilliancy of his books, my new patron paid little regard to their interior, “ Indulge ordinibus," was his motto; quartos and octavos, pens and pencils, shirts and cravats, were arranged with Chinese exactness. I have no great idea of his scholarship; of his personal neatness there could
be but one opinion. If he neglected his Horace, it was to exersise his hat brush; if he did not refer to his Scapula, be was assiduous in consulting the Hints on Etiquette. His button-bole was more flowery than his style ; and his theme smelt more of musk than of the lamp. I never cordially admired him; and I gave up his gay collection of poetry and travels at his departure without a sigh.
What a superior being is my present possessor ! how can I thank him for the confidence reposed in me, and the honourable position which I owe to his patronage? To me he has entrusted the contributions, which the public are now permitted to criticise; in every nook I have some precious gem, the pride of the essayist, or the glory of the sonnetteer. In difficulty, he looks up to me as if for assistance in his decision on the value of the materials
efore him; and I sigh as I think of the care which has been bestowed on many a rejected article. Every day brings me some new prodigy of genius or folly, some monument of labour or
but I must remember that I am only a bureau ; it is enough for me that this humble narrative of my life and sufferings has gained an immortality, despaired of by furniture on which no Editor has kindly smiled.
To a Lady.
A goddess at her art defied :
The hapless victim of her pride.
O then beware Arachne's fate;
Be prudent, Chloe, and submit;
Ipsam in certamen stulta vocasse Deam ;
Irruit in pænas ingeniosa suas.
Ergo, age, ne percas isto deperdita fato
Prudens imperium disce subire, Chloe :
Quæ speras salibus vincere, et arte Deam.
Although soft sleep death's sad resemblance bears,
Still do I wish him on my couch to lie; Come, balmy sleep, for sweetly it appears Thus without life to live, thus without death to die.
Anon. Idem Latine Redditum. Quid licet advenias mæstâ sub imagine mortis Somne? comes nostri sis tamen usque
tori : Lenis ades: dulce est expertem vivere vitæ,
Vivere sic liceat, sic sine morte mori.
IN VINO VERITAS.
A Libel on Luther by a Jesuit.
“Love ye,” say Proverbs, “ truth without a mask ?
Idem Latine Redditum.
Ecquis inornatâ gaudebit imagine veri?
Ingenui quærat pocula plena meri.
Lutherus “ sic nos experiamur,” ait.
Nudatam ante oculos orat adesse Deam.
Lenæo cupidâ, quam petit, arte rapit.