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"he did not know, but they had sent the outline of an ambassador.'
The Way in which we shoot Game.-We are a dead-shot, but not always, for the forefinger of our right hand is the most fit ful forefinger in all this capricious world. Like all performers in the Fine Arts, our execution is very uncertain; and though "always ready is the impress on one side of our shield, "hit and miss" is that on the other, and often the more characteristic. A gentleman ought not to shoot like a gamekeeper, any more than at billiards to play like a sharper. We choose to shoot like a philosopher, as we are, and to preserve the golden mean in murder. We hold, with Aristotle, that all virtue consists in the middle between the two extremes; and thus we shoot in a style equi-distant from that of the game-keeper on the one hand and that of the bagman on the other, and neither killing nor missing every bird; but, true to the spirit of the Aristotelian doctrine, leaning with a decided inclination towards the first rather than the second predicament. If we shoot too well one day, we are pretty sure to make amends for it by shooting just as much too ill another; and thus, at the close of the week, we can go to bed with a clear conscience. In short, we shoot like gentlemen, scholars, poets, philosophers, and contributors, as we are; and looking at us, you have a sight
"Of him who walks in glory and in joy, Following his dog upon the mountain-side,"
a man evidently not shooting for a wager, and performing a match from the mean motive of avarice or ambition, but blazing away at his own delight, and, without seeming to know it, making a great noise in the world. Such, believe us, is ever the mode in which true genius displays at once the earnestness and the modesty of.
Drum Ecclesiastic. "Ah, Sir," exclaimed an elder, in a tone of pathetic recollection, our late minister was the man! He was a powerfu' preacher, for i' the short time he delivered the word amang us, he knocked three pulpits to pieces, and dang the insides out o' five bibles!"
Ears-Among the Romans it was a custom to pull or pinch the ears of witnesses, present at any transaction, that they might remember it when they were called to give in their testimony.-Among the Athenians it was a mark of nobility to have the ears bored; and among the Hebrews and Romans this was a mark of servitude.-Butler tells us that "a witty knave bargained with a seller of lace, in London, for so much lace as would reach from one of his ears to the other. When they had agreed, he told her he believed she had not quite enough to perform the covenant, for one of his ears was nailed to the pillory at Bristol.
Mandeville tells of a people somewhere, that used their ears for cushions. And a servant of his (says Dr. Bulwer), that could not conceal his Midas, told me lately in private, that on going to bed he binds them to his crown, and they serve him for quilted nightcaps."
Spicy Profits-In the third voyage of the Company to the East Indies, one of the ships, the Consent, of 115 tons, sailed from the Thames in March, 1607, and procured a cargo of cloves. The prime cost was £2,948 15s. and they were sold for £36,787.
Strength of the Ruling Passion."-M. de Fontenelle, who lived till within one month of 100, was singular in his conduct; for it was remarked of him that he was never known either to laugh or to cry, and he even boasted of his insensibility. One day a certain bon vivant Abbé, with whom he was particularly intimate, came unexpectedly to dinner. The Abbe and Fontenalle were both very fond of asparagus; but the former liked it dressed with butter, and the latter with oil. Fontenelle said, that for such a friend there was no sacrifice of which he did not feel himself capable, and that he should have half the dish of asparagus which he had ordered for himself, and that half, moreover, should be done with butter. While they were con versing together thus friendly, the poor Abbé fell suddenly down in an apoplectic fit; upon which his friend, Fontenelle, instantly scampered down stairs, and bawled out to his cook, with eagerness, whole with oil! the whole with oil! as at first."
A Concert of Cats.-The following amusing passage occurs in a letter, "Sur les Spectacles des Anglais," from Baron Bielfield to a friend at Berlin: On m'a reconté qu'un Italien industrieux s'avisa de donner, il y a quelque années, un spectacle singulier à Londres. C'etoit abord un concert de Chats, qu'il avoit rangés selon leur age, leur grosseur, et leur voix, plus ou moins forte, sur des gradins, en forme d'amphitheatre. Tous les Chats étoient ajustes de fraises, et de manchettes de papier.
Ils avoient devant eux des pupitres, où leurs pattes étoient attachées. Chaque Chat avoit devant soi une feuille de musique, et deux bougies. L'on m'a assuré, que cette assemblée de virtuoses mi-tigres formoit un coup-d'œil bien comique au moment qu'on levoit la toile; qu'il y avoit parmi ces Chats des phisionomies fort plaisantes; que chacun d'eux sembloit rouler les yeux d'une manière differente; que la musique, et les instruments dont on accompagnoit leur voix, étoient également bizarres; et que toutes leurs queues étant arrêvées dans des pinces, le maître de cette chapelle singulière n'avoit que serrer ces pinces, pour faire miauler et crier ses chanteurs aux endroits où il en avoit besoin."
THIRD SERIES.] BOSTON, DECEMBER 15, 1830.
[VOL. 5, No. 6.
AMONG the recollections associated with my earlier years, none awaken such happy feelings as the memory of a friend of my father's, named Butler; and, in devoting a leisure hour to a sketch of his character, I anticipate the revival of many delightful sensations, which other reminiscences would fail to
Harry Butler was the youngest son of a gentleman of ancient family and comfortable fortune, in the north of England; but, his estate being entailed, and his family large, his younger children were necessarily left with few pecuniary resources, save what arose from the professions they had embraced during the life of their father.
At the death of his parent, Harry wanted a few months of completing his minority, when his own inheritance would be little more than one hundred pounds per annum, the legacy of a distant relative. Being the youngest son, and in his childhood the plaything of his father, his education had been much neglected; for Mr. Butler, towards the close of his life, became fretful valetudinarian, and, in spite of the remonstrances, of his friends, refused to part with his favorite son; the natural consequence of which was, that, when arrived at manhood, his knowledge consisted in thoroughly understanding the management of dogs and horses, in
27 ATHENEUM, VOL. 5, 3d series.
being a capital shot, a dauntless hunter, and, moreover, what was certainly an anomaly, a tender and assiduous nurse.
My father, who had been a schoolfellow, and subsequently a college chum of his eldest brother's, invited Harry to spend some time with him, on the decease of his father; and, had there not been a rapid increase to the family in the shape of sundry little misses and masters, he might have been an inmate of our house until his death. It so happened, at the time I had the honour of entering existence, that the nurseries were pronounced not to be sufficiently capacious to contain so many inhabitants; and it was found necessary to add Mr. Butler's sleeping apartment to them. Notwithstanding the extreme delicacy with which he was requested to occupy another bedroom, and the apologies which accompanied it, he hesitated to comply-not from any feeling of dislike at the change, but from a few awakened qualms of conscience at continuing his residence with us any longer. His visit had been prolonged from weeks to months, and from months to years; and, one evening, during the time that intervened between dinner and tea (I do not think he could possibly have found utterance in the broad light of day), he communicated to my astonished father his intention of
leaving him at the expiration of a month. With the surprise of a person who has never contemplated such a proceeding, my father poured forth such a volley of words to dissuade him, that my old friend, albeit a poor wrangler on any subject, could not reply to them, and the master of the house, mistaking his silence, was satisfied at having gained a complete victory. But the natural pride and delicacy of Harry Butler, which had probably never been called into action before, were now thoroughly awakened; and, his determination being made, no arguments, however strong, no reasons, however cogent, could effect an alteration.
Both my parents had various motives for wishing to keep him. Putting aside his kind heart and gentle temper, his qualifications as a sportsman had sufficiently endeared him to my father; and the experience he possessed in managing horses and training dogs was so great, that from his departure nothing less was anticipated by his friend than the total loss of his favorites in the stable and in the kennel.
"Who but Harry Butler could have provided sufficient game in two mornings to feast a party of friends, who filled the house, for a whole week? Who but Harry Butler could have cured Black Tim of jibbing, and, more than all, who else could have discovered the retreat of the otter, which for two successive years devoured the carp in the large pond ?-Part with him! the thing was impossible!" Thus mentally argued my father. My mother's reasons were of a totally different nature. "Who but Mr. Butler would allow the children to torment him in every possible way, without being angry or annoyed? Who but Mr. Butler would have sat the whole morning in George's room, when confined by the measles, to keep the dear child quiet by manufacturing a paper kite? Moreover, what person on the whole
earth save Mr. Butler would recol lect to arrange the cushions in the large arm-chair, and place the footstool in a right position, when she returned to the drawing-room after her periodical absence from it? Part with so kind a friend! Not if her entreaties had any power."
A pretty good idea may be formed of the substance of both parents' arguments, when the subject of their friend's departure was again mentioned. But Harry was invincible; nothing could make him abandon his intention; till my father was so thoroughly vexed that I believe he could have found it in his heart to wish that I, the innocent cause of this domestic uneasiness, had never made my appearance. There was, besides, a stronger reason which delicacy forbade my father to adduce. "How could he possibly make his slender income suffice for all his wants? His own family could afford him no assistance, and a profession of any kind was totally out of the question. He had too from childhood been accustomed to all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life, yet he would give up all, merely to indulge a foolish whim. The fellow was mad-he must be mad!" and every species of raillery and jesting, which long intimacy would allow, was put in force to induce him to relinquish his design, but without effect. His expressions of gratitude were unbounded-in thanks he was eloquent; and so simple and touching were his professions of neverceasing regard, that I believe the separation had a great effect in strengthening the love of my parents, if it were possible that their attachment, were capable of in
But, after all, his departure from our house was little more than nominal; he engaged a lodging in the neighboring town, to which he returned every night to sleep after passing the whole day with us, so that my father had nearly as much of his company as before, and the evils
he had foreboded in losing him were therefore entirely obviated.
When first I recollect him, Harry Butler was verging on five and thirty, possessing a slender figure, and an attractive countenance, eyes as bright and keen as a hawk's, a Roman nose, thin flexible lips, on which rested a perpetual smile, and crisp brown hair-in fact, his face was one that children, whose skill in physiognomy is generally acute, were certain to be pleased with.
But there were other reasons why he was thus beloved by the younger members of the family; his skill in all kinds of small handicraft was sufficient to render him a welcome guest. If a new toy chanced to be broken, the accident occasioned no regret, for Harry could render it as good as when it first came from the dealer's shop. Nothing was too difficult for him, from mending the leg of my brother's rocking-horse to putting a new nose to my sister's wax-doll; from dancing the baby to playing at cricket, nothing came amiss, and it was not surprising that one whose accomplishments were so versatile, and whose temper no accident could ruffle, should be loved with a fondness almost amounting to idolatry by us all. My heart even now throbs at the thoughts of those days of happiness.
He was, moreover, the confidant of the whole family: from my father to the youngest child who could first lisp the nursery tales of mystery, all brought their secrets to him, and the strictness with which they were kept could only be equaled by his patience in listening to them. Nor was he less useful as a mediator between the careful and nervous mother and her children; when any request was wanted to be made for pleasures which seemed difficult to be obtained, Harry was the person to disclose with due caution the desire, which might have been read in the anxious countenances of the group around him; and a denial was seldom given, for my mother
generally extorted a promise from him that he would accompany us in, what seemed to her, exploits of the utmost danger.
Our greatest happiness consisted in riding with him, and to gratify us he would scour the country in search of a sufficient number of small ponies, caring little for the fatigue and trouble, provided he was able to assemble as many chargers as were required for what he was wont to call "the boys' fieldday." But I must observe, that his kindness was not confined to us
my sisters had a due portion of his time; he it was who also instructed them in the polite art of riding, who taught them to angle in the pond, and, in short, all those amusements, which young ladies are allowed to engage in without gaining the imputation of being tom-boys; yet it must be confessed they went to the furthest verge of such feminine accomplishments.
But winter was the season when the fun and frolic of his temper shone forth with the greatest effulgency. Oh! the merriment of those long December nights, when all were assembled, and the party increased by aunts and cousins innumerable, who periodically sojourned with us! His whole desire then was to render all happy and, whether in paying those slight attentions which old people, and particularly old ladies, like so much, or in devising fresh amusements for the young, the natural kindness and sportiveness of his heart were plainly visible.
cuit of the chambers ere they betook themselves to their repose. Ghost stories after that were prohibited.
Dancing was a favorite amusement of all, and Harry Butler was one of the best performers in a country dance-remember, gentle reader, quadrilles and gallopades were not then invented-I ever recollect to have witnessed. It happened that, during the winter of which I speak, none of the grownup ladies could perform on any instrument; some of the younger ones could play, but then they preferred dancing, therefore what was to be done? Harry could play "indifferently well" on the violin; but his being spared was totally out of the question; as well might they dance without music at all, as dispense with him for a partner. In this instance did his sportive imagination remove every obstacle; Terpsichore and Orpheus were in him united-he danced and he fiddled at once-the sole musician and the envied partner conjoined, making the old walls ring with his laughter and his music, and the old floor rebound with his agile steps.
But Fortune, who, in her blindness, often empties her cornucopia at the feet of those who least expect her favors, and as often takes from others who fancy themselves secure of their possessions, was determined to make our worthy friend the subject of one of her freaks. His only independence, as I have mentioned, amounted to one hundred a year, the legacy of a female cousin, related to him somewhere in the tenth or twelfth degree. Now it happened that this cousin had a brother, wealthy, eccentric, and a bachelor; but so many years had elapsed since Harry had heard his name mentioned, that he had almost ceased to have any recollection of him; or, if he was thought of, it was only to wonder how the old gentleman could possibly have arrived, with a fret
ful, capricious temper, and an ailing body, to so great an age.
Harry visited his cousin, when a boy, in his father's company, and the testy bachelor was pleased with his attention to his parent, and took occasion to allude, in Harry's presence, to the difference there was between him and his own nephews
boys about our friend's age, but unruly and rebellious, and a perpetual source of annoyance to him.
Caprice, his ruling foible, produced an unexpected change in the situation of Harry; for his cousin died, at the age of ninety-four, making him his sole heir, and leaving him all his possessions, from a fine mansion, estates, and funded property, down to the most insignificant items, which were noted in the will with singular precision. A host of greedy relatives were thus disappointed, and this circumstance had a great effect in alloying his happiness, " for he could not bear," he said, "to know that they were cursing him in their hearts, and ready to throttle him from sheer malice." There was another drawback; six months after the testator's death, he was required to take his name, a thing by no means relished by poor Harry, who had imbibed from his father a proud love of his certainly very respectable cognomen. His cousin's name moreover was not of the patrician class, and the change from Butler to Slim would have annoyed others less endued with feelings of family pride than our friend. The children relished the joke exceedingly, and the cry of 'Squire Slim usurped the place of Harry Butler so speedily, that I believe 'Squire Slim would willingly have resigned all pretensions to the fortune annexed to it, to be rid of the odious name entirely.
Never was a parting so sorrowful as ours; the lamentations at the loss of our friend were general, and in which every member of the household participated. Nothing