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manner.

as the poet calls it, no gentle mind—and sure hers is one of the gentlest-ever had to deal with.

Pondering upon her inexplicable visage-inexplicable, we mean, but by this modification of the theory—we have come to a conclusion that, if one must be plain, it is better to be plain all over, than, amid a tolerable residue of features, to hang out one that shall be exceptionable. No one can say of Mrs. Conrady's countenance, that it would be better if she had but a nose. It is impossible to pull her to pieces in this

We have seen the most malicious beauties of her own sex baffled in the attempt at a selection. The tout ensemble defies particularizing. It is too complete — 100 consistent, as we may say—to admit of these invidious reservations. It is not as if some Apelles had picked out here a lip—and there a chin-out of the collected ugliness of Greece, to frame a model by. It is a symmetrical whole. We challenge the minutest connoisseur to cavil at any part or parcel of the countenance in question; to say that this or that is improperly placed. We are convinced that true ugliness, no less than is affirmed of true beauty, is the result of harmony. Like that, too, it reigns without a competitor. No one ever saw Mrs. Conrady, without pronouncing her to be the plainest woman he ever met with in the course of his life. The first time that you are indulged with a sight of her face is an era in your existence ever after.

You are glad to have seen it—like Stonehenge. No one can pretend to forget it. No one ever apologized to her for meeting her in the street on such a day and not knowing her: the pretext would be too bare. Nobody can mistake her for another. Nobody can say of her, “ I think I have seen that face somewhere, but I cannot call to mind where." You must remember that in such a parlour it first struck you—like a bust. You wondered where the owner of the house had picked it up. You wondered more when it began to move its lips—so mildly too! No one ever thought of asking her to sit for her picture. Lockets are for remembrance; and it would be clearly superfluous to hang an image at your heart, which, once seen, can never be out of it. ' It is not a mean face either; its entire originality precludes that. Neither is it of that order of plain faces which improve upon acquaintance. Some: very good but ordinary people, by an unwearied perseverance in good offices, put a cheat upon our eyes ; juggle our senses out of their natural impressions; and set us upon discovering good indications in a countenance, which at first sight promised nothing less. We detect gentleness, which had escaped us, lurking about an under lip. But when Mrs. Conrady has done you a service, her face remains the same ; when she has done you a thousand, and you know that she is ready to double the number, still it is that individual face. Neither can you say of it, that it would be a good face if it were not marked by the smallpox--a compliment which is always more admissive than excusatory-for either Mrs. Conrady never had the smallpox, or, as we say, took it kindly. No, it stands upon its own merits fairly. There it is. It is her mark, her token; that which she is known by.

XI.

THAT WE MUST NOT LOOK A GIFT-HORSE IN THE

MOUTH.

which my

ware.

Nor a lady's age in the parish register. We hope we have more delicacy than to do either ; but some faces spare us the trouble of these dental inquiries. And what if the beast,

friend would force upon my acceptance, prove, upon the face of it, a sorry Rosinante, a lean, ill-favoured jade, whom no gentleman could think of setting up in his stables? Must I, rather than not be obliged to my friend, make her a companion to Eclipse or Lightfoot? A horse-giver, no more than a horseseller, has a right to palm his spavined article upon us for good

An equivalent is expected in either case ; and, with my own good-will, I would no niore be cheated out of my thanks than out of my money. Some people have a knack of putting upon you gifts of no real valuie, to engage you to substantial gratitude. We thank them for nothing. Our friend Mitis carries this humour of never refusing a present to the very point of absurdity—if it were possible to couple the ridiculous with so much inistaken delicacy and real goodnature. Not an apartment in his fine house (and he has a true taste in household decorations) but is stuffed up with some preposterous print or mirror-the worst adapted to his panels that may be—the presents of his friends that know his weakness ; while his noble Vandykes are displaced, to make room for a set of daubs, the works of some wretched artist of his acquaintance, who, having had them returned upon his hands for bad likenesses, finds his account in be. stowing them here gratis. The good creature has not the heart to mortify the painter at the expense of an honest refusal. It is pleasant (if it did not vex one at the same time)

a

to see him sitting in his dining-parlour, surrounded with obscure aunts and cousins, to God knows whom, while the true Lady Marys and Lady Bettys of his own honourable family, in favour to these adopted frights, are consigned to the staircase and the lumber-room. In like manner his goodly shelves are one by one stripped of his favourite old authors, to give place to a collection of presentation copies—the flour and bran of modern poetry. A presentation copy, reader-if haply you are yet innocent of such favours—is a copy of a book which does not sell, sent you by the author, with his foolish autograph at the beginning of it; for which, if a stranger, he only demands your friendship; if a brother author, he expects from you a book of yours, which does sell, in return. We can speak to experience, having by us a tolerable assortment of these gist-horses. Not to ride a metaphor to death-we are willing to acknowledge that in some gifts there is sense. A duplicate out of a friend's library (where he has more than one copy of a rare author) is intelligible. There are favours, short of the pecuniary—a thing not fit to be hinted at among gentlemen-which confer as much grace upon the accepter as the offerer; the kind, we confess, which is most to our palate, is of those little conciliatory missives, which for their vehicle generally choose a hamper- little odd presents of game, fruit, perhaps wine-though it is essential to the delicacy of the latter that it be home-made. We love to have our friend in the country sitting thus at our table by proxy; to apprehend his presence (though a hundred miles may be between us) by a turkey, whose goodly aspect reflects to us his "plump corpusculum;" to taste him in grouse or woodcock; feel him gliding down in the toast peculiar to the latter; to concorporate him in a slice of Canterbury brawn. This is indeed to have him within ourselves ; to know him intimately: such participation is, methinks, unitive, as the old theologians phrase it. these considerations we should be sorry if certain restrictive regulations, which are thought to bear hard upon the peasantry of this country, were entirely done away with. A hare, as the law now stands, makes many friends. Caius concil. iates Titius (knowing his goût) with a leash of partridges. Titius (suspecting his partiality for them) passes them to Lucius ; who in his turn, preferring his friend's relish to his own, makes him over to Marcius ; till, in their ever-widening progress and round of unconscious circum-migration, they distribute the seeds of harmony over half a parish. We are well disposed to this kind of sensible remembrances; and are the less apt to be taken by those little airy tokens-impalpable to the palate-which, under the names of rings, lockets, keep

sakes, amuse some people's fancy mightily. We could never away with these indigestible trifles. They are the very kickshaws and foppery of friendship.

XII.

THAT HOME IS HOME, THOUGH IT IS NEVER SO

HOMELY.

Homes there are, we are sure, that are no homes; the home of the very poor man, and another which we shall speak to presently. Crowded places of cheap entertainment, and the benches of alehouses, if they could speak, might bear mournful testimony to the first. To them the very poor man resorts for an image of the home which he cannot find at home. For a starved grate, and a scanty firing, that is not enough to keep alive the natural heat in the fingers of so many shivering children with their mother, he finds in the depths of winter always a blazing hearth, and a hob to warm his pittance of beer by. Instead of the clamours of a wife, made gaunt by famishing, he meets with a cheerful attendance beyond the merits of the trifle which he can afford to spend. He has companions which his home denies him, for the very poor man has no visiters. He can look into the goings on of the world, and speak a little to politics. At home there are no politics stirring but the domestic. All interests, real or imaginary, all topics that should expand the mind of man, and connect him to a sympathy with general existence, are crushed in the absorbing consideration of food to be obtained for the family. Beyond the price of bread, news is senseless and impertinent. Al home there is no larder. Here there is at least a show of plenty; and while he cooks his lean scrap of butcher's meat before the common bars, or munches his humbler cold viands, his relishing bread and cheese with an onion, in a corner, where no one reflects upon his poverty, he has a sight of the substantial joint providing for the landlord and his family. He takes an interest in the dressing of it; and while he assists in removing the trivel from the fire, he feels that there is such a thing as beef and cabbage, which he was beginning to forget at home. All this while he deserts his wife and children. But what wife, and what children? Prosperous men, who object to this desertion, image to themselves some clean, cortented family like that which they go home to. But look at the countenance of the poor wives who follow and persecute their good man to the door of the public house, which he is about to enter, when something like shame would restrain him, if stronger misery did not induce him to pass the threshold. That face, ground by want, in which every cheerful, every conversable lineament has been long effaced by misery -is that a face to stay at home with? is it more a woman, or a wild cat ? alas! it is the face of the wife of his youth, that once smiled upon him. It can smile no longer. What comforts can it share? what burdens can it lighten? Oh, 'tis a fine thing to talk of the humble meal shared together! But what if there be no bread in the cupboard ? The innocent prautle of his children takes out the sting of a man's poverty. But the children of the very poor do not prattle. It is none of the least frightful features in that condition, that there is no childishness in its dwellings. Poor people, said a sensible old nurse to us once, do not bring up their children ; they drag them up. The little careless darling of the wealthier nursery, in their hovel is transformed betimes into a premature reflecting person.

No one has time to dandle it, no one thinks it worth while to coax it, to sooth it, to toss it up and down, to humour it. There is none to kiss away its tears. If it cries, it can only be beaten. It has been prettily said that “ a babe is fed with milk and praise.” But the aliment of this poor babe was thin, unnourishing; the return to its little baby-tricks, and efforts to engage attention, bitter ceaseless objurgation. It never had a toy, or knew what a coral meant. It grew up without the lullaby of nurses, it was a stranger to the patient fondle, the hushing caress, the attracting novelty, the costlier plaything, or the cheaper off-hand contrivance to divert the child; the pratiled nonsense, (best sense to ii,) the wise impertinences, the wholesome lies, the apt story interposed, that puts a stop to present sufferings, and awakens the passions of young wonder. It was never sung to-no one ever told to it a tale of the nursery. dragged up, to live or to die as it happened. It had no young dreams. It broke at once into the iron realities of life. A child exists not for the very poor as any object of dalliance ; it is only another mouth to be fed, a pair of little hands to be betimes inured to labour. It is the rival, till it can be the cooperator, for food with the parent. It is never his mirth, his diversion, his solace ; it never makes him young again, with recalling his young times. The children of the very poor have no young times. It makes the very heart to bleed to overhear the casual street-talk between a poor woman and her

It was

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