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"and as to Macaulay," said he, "I never met a more silent man in my life."*
I FULLY intended going to America; but my parishioners held a meeting, and came to a resolution that they could not trust me with the canvas-back ducks; and I felt they were right, so gave up the project.
TRUE, it is most painful not to meet the kindness and affection you feel you have deserved, and have a right to expect from others; but it is a mistake to complain of it, for it is of no use: you can not extort friendship with a cocked pistol.
* In the summer of 1844, in the list of passengers, on the arrival of the Great Western at New York, was advertised Sydney Smith. It created some paragraphing in the papers, and quite a flutter among the genuine Sydney's church friends. In a letter to the Countess Grey, Smith alludes to the affair: "There arrived, the other day, at New York, a Sydney Smith. A meeting was called, and it was proposed to tar-and-feather him; but the amendment was carried, that he should be invited to a public dinner. He turned out to be a journeyman cooper! My informant encloses for me an invitation from the Bishop of the Diocese to come and see him, and a proposition that we should travel together to the Falls of Niagara."
The author of the article in the Edinburgh Review, on Smith (July, 1855), caps the "sham Sydney Smiths and false Macaulays" with the following:
Sophie Arnault actually played off a similar trick on a party of Parisian fine ladies and gentlemen who had expressed a wish to meet Rousseau. She dressed up a theatrical tailor who bore some likeness to the author of 'Emile,' and placed him next to herself at dinner, with instructions not to open his mouth except to eat and drink. Unluckily he opened it too often for the admission of champagne, and began talking in a style befitting the coulisses; but this only added to the delusion, and the next day the noble faubourg rang with the praises of the easy sparkling pleasantry of the philosopher. According to another well-authenticated anecdote, there was a crazy fellow at Edinburgh, who called himself Doctor, fancied that he had once been on the point of obtaining the chair of Moral Philosophy, and professed the most extravagant admiration for a celebrated poet. Some wag suggested that he should pay a visit to his idol. He did so, and stayed two days, indulging his monomania, but simultaneously gratifying his host's prodigious appetite for adulation; and the poet uniformly spoke of him as one of the most intelligent and well-informed Scotchmen he had ever known. When this story was told to Sydney Smith, he offered the narrator five shillings for the exclusive right to it for a week. The bargain was struck, and the money paid down."
DON'T you know, as the French say, there are three sexesmen, women, and clergymen.
SOME one naming as not very orthodox, "Accuse a man of being a Socinian, and it is all over with him; for the country gentlemen all think it has something to do with poaching."
DOME OF ST. PAUL'S.
WE were all assembled to look at a turtle that had been sent to the house of a friend, when a child of the party stooped down and began eagerly stroking the shell of the turtle. "Why are you doing that, B?" said my father. "Oh, to please the turtle.” “Why, child, you might as well stroke the dome of St. Paul's, to please the Dean and Chapter."
SOME one observing the wonderful improvement in since his success; "Ah!" he said, "praise is the best diet for us, after all."
YES! you find people ready enough to do the Samaritan, without the oil and twopence.
THE haunts of Happiness are varied, and rather unaccountable; but I have more often seen her among little children, home firesides, and country-houses, than anywhere else; at least I think so.
DANIEL WEBSTER struck me much like a steam-engine in trowsers.
PRESCOTT THE HISTORIAN.
WHEN Prescott comes to England, a Caspian Sea of soup awaits him.
IN 1823, having received a presentation to the Charterhouse from the Archbishop of York, for his second son, Wyndham, Sydney Smith took him there in the spring. While he was in town, Mr. Rogers says, "I had been ill some weeks, confined to my bed. Sydney Smith heard of it, found me out, sat by my bed, cheered me, talked to me, made me laugh more than I ever thought to have laughed again. The next day a bulletin was brought to my bedside, giving the physician's report of my case; the following day the report was much worse; the next day declaring there was no hope, and England would have to mourn over the loss of her sweetest poet; then I died amidst weeping friends; then came my funeral; and lastly, a sketch of my character, all written by that pen which had the power of turning everything into sunshine and joy. Sydney never forgot his friends."
ADDRESSING Rogers: "My dear R., if we were both in America, we should be tarred and feathered; and, lovely as we are by nature, I thould be an ostrich and you an emu."
"How is Rogers?" "He is not very well." Why, what is the matter?" "Oh, don't you know he has produced a couplet? When our friend is delivered of a couplet, with infinite labour and pain, he takes to his bed, has straw laid down, the knocker tied up, expects his friends to call and make inquiries, and the answer at the door invariably is, 'Mr. Rogers and his little couplet are as well as can be expected.' When he produces an Alexandrine he keeps his bed a day longer."
SYDNEY SMITH mentioned having once half-offended Sam. Rogers, by recommending him, when he sat for his picture, to be drawn saying his prayers, with his face in his hat.*
* Diary of the Rev. Richard Harris Barham, Oct. 2, 1831-in Memoir. The tête morte anecdotes of Rogers are numerous. That pleasant book
ONE evening, at his house (in London in later life), a few friends had come in to tea; among others, Lord Jeffrey, Dr. Holland, and his sister. Some one spoke of Talleyrand. "Oh," said Sydney, "Lady Holland labored incessantly to convince me that Talleyrand was agreeable, and was very angry because his arrival was usually a signal for my departure; but, in the first place, he never spoke at all till he had not only devoured but digested his dinner, and as this was a slow process with him, it did not occur till everybody else was asleep, or ought to have been so; and when he did speak he was so inarticulate I never could understand a word he said." "It was otherwise with me," said Dr. Holland; "I never found much difficulty in following him." "Did not you? why it was an abuse of terms to call it talking at all; for he had not teeth, and, I believe, no roof to his mouth —no uvula— no larynx-no trachea―no epiglottis—no anything. It was not talking, it was gargling; and that, by-the-by, now I think of it, must be the very reason why Holland understood him so much better than I did," turning suddenly round on him with his merry laugh.
"Yet nobody's wit was of so high an order as Talleyrand's when it did come, or has so well stood the test of time. You re
The Clubs of London, tells us "it was the fashion to liken the pale visage of the poet to all sorts of funereal things-Tristissima mortis imago! But Ward's (Lord Dudley) were the most felicitous resemblances. Rogers had been at Spa, and was telling Ward that the place was so full, that he could not so much as find a bed to lie in, and that he was obliged, on that account, to leave it. 'Dear me,' replied Ward, was there no room in the churchyard?' At another time, Murray was showing him a portrait of Rogers, observing that it was done to the life.' 'To the death, you mean,' replied Ward." Among other sallies of the same kind, was his asking Rogers -"Why don't you keep your hearse, Rogers? you can well afford it." Fraser's Magazine, in 1830, had a severe caricature-"There is Sam. Rogers, a mortal likeness-painted to the very death." Byron's terrible lines are well known :
Nose and chin would shame a knocker;
Is't a corpse stuck up for show,
The corpse, however, long survived all the satirists, Ward, Byron, Maginn.
member when his friend Montrond* was taken ill, and exclaimed, 'Mon ami, je sens les tourmens de l'enfer.''Quoi! déjà?' was his reply. And when he sat at dinner between Madame de Staël and Madame Récamier, the celebrated beauty, Madame de Staël, whose beauties were certainly not those of the person, jealous of his attentions to her rival, insisted upon knowing which he would save if they were both drowning. After seeking in vain to evade her, he at last turned toward her and said, with his usual shrug, "Ah, madame, vous savez nager." And when exclaimed, "Me voilà entre l'esprit et la beauté," he answered, “Oui, et sans posséder ni l'un ni l'autre." And of Madame "Oui, elle est belle, très-belle; mais pour la toilette, cela commence trop tard, et finit trop tôt." Of Lord he said, "C'est la bienveillance même, mais la bienveillance la plus perturbative que j'ai jamais connu." To a friend of mine he said on one occasion, "Milady, voulez-vous me prêter ce livre?" "Oui, mais vous me le rendrez?" "Oui." "Parole d'honneur ?" "Oui." "Vous en êtes sûr ?" "Oui, oui, milady; mais, pour vous le rendre, il faut absolument d'abord me le prêter."
"I find," says Lady Holland, "that Talleyrand used to tell this story as having passed between Cardinal De la Roche-Guyon, a celebrated epicure, and his confessor."
Moore in his Diary (April 2, 1833) has a similar môt of Talleyrand in connection with the above: "On some occasion when M. very ill, had fallen on the floor and was grasping at it violently with his hands 'Il veut absolument descendre,' said T. His friend Montrond took his revenge in the style of his master- Madame Flamelin reproached M. de Montrond with his attachment to Talleyrand: 'Heavens,' he replied, 'who could help liking him, he is so wicked!'"
A few of the neat sayings of Talleyrand, current in London society with the above and of a similar character, also from Moore's Diary :
"At breakfast at Lord Lansdowne's, Madame Durazzo, in talking of poor Miss Bathurst (who was drowned at Rome), mentioned that Talleyrand in reading an account of it (in which it was said that her uncle plunged in after her, and that M. Laval was in the greatest grief), said, 'M. de Laval aussi s'est plongé, mais dans la plus profonde douleur.'
To some notorious reprobate (said to be Rivarol) who remarked to him, 'Je n'ai fait qu'une seule méchanceté dans ma vie;' Talleyrand answered, ‘Et cellelà, quand finira-t-elle ?'
Of a lady who was praised for her beaucoup d'esprit: Oui, beaucoup d'esprit, beaucoup; elle ne s'en sert jamais.””
Jerdan, in his Autobiography has the following: