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THE MEMOIRS OF CHARLES MATHEWS,"
ANECDOTE AND JOKE-
AND GRAVITIES FOR GRAVER FOLK.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
The insect called a " Bookworm," is a Mite that eats holes in books ; consequently may be supposed to live upon learning ; and it is also probable that Bookworms, as well as other inordinate self-seekers of their class, who “die of feeding,” have their favourite morsels and tit-bits.
The presenter of the following pages is a very mite in literature, who, without having lived upon learning, has often tasted it. In later life, possessing no provision of her own whereon to feed (no home tomes), she has dieted upon that of others, and in imitation of the fastidious epicure who took one bite out of the sunny side of every peach, she has, as often as opportunity permitted, snatched a mouthful out of the daintiest food that fell in her
way-and, like other needy cormorants, not dis. dained to banquet at the feasts of the rich; carry. ing thence, from every good and pleasant dish, a taste of its quality for after-enjoyment. In other words, our Bookworm has seldom relished a borrowed book without eating a hole in it; and like the man who was said to earn a subsistence by asking everybody that came out of a tobacconist's shop for a pinch of snuff, retailing the mixture as soon as he had filled his box
our mite has scraped together, on less mercenary, though not less selfish grounds—a grain or two of wisdom whenever it fell in the way, till at length she found herself with a chest-full. This chest she is now induced to open partially to public inspection, for, like Charles Surface, she is “ of a communicative disposition, and does not like to keep so much knowledge to herself.”
The specimens presented may be likened to a Tailor's Pattern-book, exhibiting a snip of every colour and quality, with here and there a patch of the lighter texture of home produce ; altogether composing what the learned would call a Cento.
In fine~ to return to our first metaphor-our humble Bookworm is about to share with her friends some of her accumulated scraps and dainties, and should they not touch the palates of every individual alike, there will be found ample variety for diverse tastes to feed on; and, as it is believed that there is not anything placed before them that is not perfectly wholesome, it is hoped that “good digestion“ will ” wait on appetite, and health on both.”