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'Tis your bold task the gen'rous strife to try;
AN ADDRESS, SPOKEN BY A VERY SMALL BOY.
WHEN boys are exhibiting in public, the polite
ness or of the hearers frequently induces them to inquire the names of the performers. To save the trouble of answers, so far as relates to myself, my name is Charles Chatterbox. I was born in this town; and have grown to my present enormous stature, without any artificial help. It is true, I eat, drink, and sleep, and take as much care of my noble self, as any young man about; but I am a monstrous great student. There is no telling the half of what I have read.
Why, what do you think of the Arabian Tales? Truth! every word truth! There's the story of the lamp, and of rook's eggs as big as a meeting-house. And there is the history of Sinbad the Sailor. I have read every word of them. And I have read Tom Thumb's Folio through, Winter Evening Tales, and Seven Champions, and Parismus, and Parismenus, and Valentine and Orson, and Mother Bunch, and Seven Wise Masters, and a curious book, entitled, Think well on't.
Then there is another wonderful book, containing fifty reasons why an old bachelor was not married. The first was, that nobody would have him; and the second was, he declared to every body, that he would not marry; and so it went on stronger and stronger. Then, at the close of the book, it gives an account of his marvellous death and burial. And in the appendix, it tells about his being ground over, and coming
out as young, and as fresh, and as fair as ever. Then, every few pages, is a picture of him to the life.
I have also read Robinson Crusoe, and Reynard the fox, and Moll Flanders; and I have read twelve delightful novels, and Irish Rogues, and Life of Saint Patrick, and Philip Quarle, and Conjuror Crop, and Esop's Fables, and Laugh and be Fat, and Toby Lumpkin's Elegy on the Birth of a Child, and a Comedy on the Death of his Brother, and an Acrostic, occasioned by a mortal sickness of his dear wife, of which she recovered. This famous author wrote a treatise on the Rise and Progress of Vegetation; and a whole body of Divinity he comprised in four lines.
I have read all the works of Pero Gilpin, whose memory was so extraordinary, that he never forgot the hours of eating and sleeping. This Pero was a rare lad. Why, he could stand on his head, as if it were a real pedestal; his feet he used for drumsticks. He was trumpeter to the foot guards in Queen Betty's time; and if he had not blown his breath away, might have lived to this day.
Then, I have read the history of a man who married for money, and of a woman that would wear her husband's small-clothes in spite of him; and I have read four books of riddles and rebusses; and all that in not half a quarter.
Now what signifies reading so much if one can't tell of it? In thinking over these things, I am sometimes so lost in company, that I don't hear any thing that is said, till some one pops out that witty saying, "A penny for your thoughts." Then I say, to be sure, I was thinking of a book I had been reading. Once, in this mood, I came very near swallowing my cup and saucer; and another time, was upon the very point of taking down a punch-bowl, that held a gallon. Now, if I could fairly have gotten them down, they would not have hurt me a jot; for my mind is capacious enough for a china shop. There is no choking a man of my reading. Why, if my mind can
contain Genii and Giants, sixty feet high, and enchanted castles, why not a punch-bowl, and a whole tea-board?
It was always conjectured that I should be a monstrous great man; and I believe, as much as I do the Spanish war, that I shall be a perfect Brobdingnag in time.
Well now, do you see, when I have read a book, I go right off into the company of the ladies; for they are the judges whether a man knows any thing or not. Then I bring on a subject which will show my parts to the best advantage; and I always mind and say a smart thing just before I quit.
You must know, moreover, that I have learned a great deal of wit. I was the first man who invented all that people say about cold tongues, and warm tongues, and may-bees. I invented the wit of kissing the candlestick when a lady holds it; as also the plays of criminal and cross-question; and above all, I invented the wit of paying toll at bridges. In short, ladies and gentlemen, take me all in all, I am a downright curious fellow.
HOWARD AND LESTER.
A DIALOGUE ON LEARNING AND USEFULNESS.
IFE is much like a fiddle: plays such a tune as suits him. Lester. The more like a fiddle, the better I like it. Any thing that makes a merry noise suits me; and the man that does not set his hours to music, has a dull time on't.
How. But, Lester, are there no serious duties in life? Ought we not to improve our minds, and to prepare for usefulness?
Lest. Why, in the present day, a man's preparing himself for usefulness, is like carrying coals to Newcastle. Our country is full of useful men; ten, at
least, to where one is wanted, and all of them ten times as ready to serve the public, as the public is to be served. If every man should go to Congress that's fit for it, the federal city would hardly hold them. How. You mean, if all who think themselves fit for it.
Lest. No; I meant as I said.
How. Then what do you think fits a man for Congress?
Lest. Why he must be flippant and bold.
How. What good will that do him, if he is without knowledge?
Lest. O! he must have knowledge to be sure.
How. Well, must he not be a man in whom the people can trust? Must he not understand politics? and must he not be able and willing to serve his country?
Lest. I agree to all that.
How. Then you suppose that the federal city could hardly hold all our men who unite eloquence with confidence, knowledge with integrity, and policy with patriotism. I fear that a countinghouse would give them full accommodation.
Lest. I don't go so deep into these matters: but this is certain, that when the election comes, more than enough are willing to go.
How. That, my friend, only proves that more than enough are ignorant of themselves: but are there no other ways of serving the public?
Lest. Yes; one may preach, if he will do it for little or nothing. He may practise law, if he can get any body to employ him; or he may be a Doctor or an instructor; but I tell you the country is crowded with learned men begging business.
How. Then you intend to prepare yourself for the ignorant herd; so that you may not be crowded.
Lest. I have serious thoughts of it. You may take your own way, but I'll never wear out a fine pair of eyes in preparing myself for usefulness, till this same
public will give me a bond to employ me when I am ready to serve them. Till such a bond is signed, sealed, and delivered, I shall set my hours to the tune of Jack's alive." To-day's the ship I sail in, and that will carry the flag, in spite of the combined powers of yesterdays and to-morrows.
How. Well, Lester, you can take your choice. I shall set my hours to a more serious tune. I ask no bond of the public. If my mind is well furnished with knowledge and that same generous public, which has so uniformly called to her service the discerning, should refuse my services, still I shall possess a treasure, which, after a few years of dissipation, you would give the world to purchase, THE RECOLLECTION OF TIME WELL SFENT.
OW darkness fell
On all the region round; the shrouded sun From the impen'tent earth withdrew his light: I thirst, the Saviour cried; and lifting up His eyes in agony, My God, My God! Ah! why hast thou forsaken me? exclaim'd.
Yet deem him not forsaken of his God!