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FRUM Ar ADAME ADOLPHE DE CHODOREILLE
TO MADAME LA PRESIDENTE DE LA ROU
: ANDIERE, AT WIVIERs.
Ah, my poor Claire, could you have known how many wretched little griefs your innocent letter would awaken, you i.ever would have written it. Certainly no friend, and not even an enemy, on seeing a woman with a thousand mosquito: bites and a plaster over them, would amuse herself by tearing it off and counting the stings.
i will begin by telling you that for a woman of twenty-seven, with a face still passable, but with a form a little too much like that of the emperor Nicholas for the humble part I play, I am happy Let me tell you why: Adolphe, rejoicing in the deceptions which have fallen upon me like a hail-storm, smooths over the wounds in my self-love by so much affection, so many attentions, and such charming things, that, in good truth, women— so far as they are simply women—would be glad to find in the man they marry defects so advantageous: but all men of letters, (Adolphe, alas, is barely a man of letters) who are beings not a bit less irritable, nervous, fickle and eccentric than women, are far from possessing such solid
ualities as those of A. and I hope they have not all been as unfortunate as
e. Alas, Claire, we love each other well enough for me to tell you the simple truth. I have saved my husband, dear, from profound but skilfully concealed misery. Far from receiving twenty thousand francs a year, he has not earned that sum in the fifteen years that he has been at Paris. We occupy a third story in the rue Joubert, and pay twelve hundred francs for it; we have some eighty-five hundred francs left, with which I endeavor to keep house honorably. I have brought Adolphe luck; for since our marriage, he has obtained control of a feuilleton which is worth four hundred francs a month to him, though it takes but a small portion of his time. He owes this situation to an investment. We employed the seventy thousand francs left me by my aunt Carabas in giving security for a newspaper; on this we get nine er cent., and we have stock besides. ince this transaction, which was concluded some ten months ago, our income WOL. III—W. H.
has doubled, and we now possess a cometence. I can complain of my marriage in a pecuniary point of view no more than as regards my affections. My vanity alone has suffered, and my ambition has been swamped. You will understand the various petty annoyances by which I have been assailed, by a single specimen. Adolphe, you remember, appeared to us on intimate terms with the famous baroness Schinner, so renowned for her wit, her influence, her wealth and her connection with celebrated men : I supposed that he was welcomed at her house as a friend: my husband presented me, and I was coldly received. I saw that her rooms were furnished with extravagant luxury; and instead of Madame Schinner's returning my call, I received a card, twenty days afterward, and at an insolently improper hour. On arriving at Paris, I went to walk upon the boulevard, proud of my anonymous great man : he nudged me with his elbow, and said, pointing out a fat little ill-dressed man, ‘There's so and so l’ He mentioned one of the seven or eight illustrious men in France. I got ready my look of admiration, and I saw Adolphe rapturously doffing his hat to the truly great man, who replied by the short little nod that you vouchsafe, a person with whom you have doubtless exchanged hardly four words in ten years. Adolphe had begged a look for my sake. “Doesn’t he know you?' I said to my husband. ‘Oh, yes, but he Holy took me for somebody else,’ replied he. And so of poets, so of celebrated musicians, and so of statesmen. But, as a compensation, we stop and talk for ten minutes in front of some arcade or other, with Messieurs Armand du Cantal, George Beaunoir, Felix Verdoret, of whom you have never heard. Mesdames Constantine Ramachard, Anaïs Crottat, and Lucienne Vouillon threaten me with their blue friendship. We have editors totally unknown in our province to dinner. Finally, I have had the painful happiness to see Adolphe decline an invitation to an evening party to which I was not bidden. Oh! Claire dear, talent is still the rare flower of spontaneous growth, that no greenhouse culture can produce. I do not deceive myself: Adolphe is an ordinary man, known, estimated as such : he has no other chance, as he himself says, 21
than to take his place among the utilities of literature. e was not without wit at Viviers : but to be a man of wit at Paris, you must possess every kind of wit in formidable doses. I esteem Adolphe; for, after some few fibs, he frankly confessed his position, and, without humiliating himself too deeply, he promised that I should be hapy. He hopes, like numerous other or§ar; men, to obtain some place, that of an assistant librarian, for instance, or the ecuniary management of a . ho knows but we may get him elected deputy for Viviers in the course of time? e live in obscurity: we have five or six friends of either sex whom we like, and such is the brilliant style of life which your letter gilded with all the social splendors. From time to time I am caught in a squall, or am the butt of some malicious tongue. Thus, yesterday, at the opera, I heard one of our most ill-natured wits, Lèon de Lora, say to one of our most famous critics, “It takes Chodoreille to go off to the banks of the Rhone to discover the Carolina poplar !' . They had heard my husband call me by my Christian name. At Viviers I was considered handsome, I am tall, well-made, and fat enough to satisfy Adolphe In this way I learn that the beauty of women from the country is, at Paris, precisely like the wit of country gentlemen. In short, } am absolutely nobody, if that is what you wish to know : but if you desire to learn how far my philosophy goes, understand that I am really happy in having found an ordinary man in my pretended great one. ‘Farewell, dear Claire It is still I, you see, who, spite of my delusions and the petty annoyances of my life, am the most favorably situated : for Adolphe is young, and a charming fellow. CARoll NE HEURTAt.
ONE AT A TIME.-An Irish peasant, on a small ragged pony, was floundering through a bog, when the animal, in its efforts to push on, got one of its hoofs into the stirrups.
“Arrah, my boy,” said the rider, “if Ayou are going to get up, it's time for me to get down.”
(CLASSIC) GREEK WIT. THE MOUSE AND THE MISER.
Asclepades, the Miser, in his house
SUSAN. A KIND PROVIDENCE.
He dropt a tear on Susan's bier,
But bluer sky brought newer tie,
The moments fly, and when we die,
THE YOUNG GAZELLE. A MOORE-ISII TALE.
In early youth, as you may guess,
And while my schoolmates studied less,
Those touching lines from “Lalla Rookh”—
Such root within my bosom took,
Oh, yes! a sweet, a sweet Gazelle,
So soft, so liquid, that a spell
Years, childhood passed, youth fled away,
Till came that most auspicious day
With care, and trouble, and expense,
It seemed of great intelligence,
I make no apology;
“I've studied owls,
And other night fowls,
And I tell you
What I know to be true :
An owl cannot roost
With his limbs so unloosed;
No owl in this world
Ever had his claws curled,
Ever had his legs slanted,
Ever had his bill canted,
Ever had his neck screwed
Into that attitude.
He can't do it, because
'Tis against all bird laws.
An owl has a toe
That can't turn out so |
I’ve made the white owl my study for years,
And to see such a job almost moves me to tears 1
Mister Brown, I'm amazed
You should be so gone crazed
As to put up a bird
In that posture absurd 1
To look at that owl really brings on a dizziness;
The man who stuffed him don't half know his business '''
And the barber kept on shaving.
“Examine those eyes.
“With some sawdust and bark
Stuck up there so stiff like a side of coarse leather.
In fact, about him there's not one natural feather.”
Just then, with a wink and a sly normal lurch, The owl, very gravely, got down from his perch, Walked round, and regarded his fault-finding critic (Who thought he was stuffed) with a glance analytic, And then fairly hooted, as if he should say: “Your learning's at fault this time, anyway; Don't waste it again on a live bird, I pray. I'm an owl ; you're another. Sir Critic, goodday !” And the barber kept on shaving.
JAMEs T. FIELDs. Boston, 1817–1880.
THE COMIC BLACKSTONE.
[GILBERT Aphott A BEckett, a witty and humorous English writer, was born in London in 1810 or 1811; was admitted to the bar in 1841; was a frequent contributor to the London “Times” and “Punch", and died in 1856. His most celebrated works are “The Comic Blackstone" (1844–46) and “The Comic History of England” (1848).
The former is remarkable, because of the terse and accurate manner in which, following the arrangement of Sir William Blackstone's “Commentaries", the author jestingly states all the elementary principles of the common law, and of the wit and humor with which he illustrates and explains those principles. We give as our selection Chapters XIV., XV., XVI. XVII. of Book I, on the “Domestic Relations,” and Chapters XXI, and XXIV, of Book III., on “Pleading” and “Trial by Jury.”
THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS. OF MASTER AND SERVANT.
HAVING commented on the people in their public relations, we now come to rivate relations, including Master and §. Husband and Wife, which, bythe-by, is a relation something like that of master and servant, for the wife is often a slave to the husband,-Parent and Child, and Guardian and Ward—the latter being a sort of relationship which is seen upon the stage, where a choleric old man with a stick is always thwarting the affections of a young lady in white muslin. We shall begin with Master and Servant—showing how such relationship is created and destroyed. There is now no such thing as §. and proper slavery in England; so that a servant of all-work who says, “Hang that door-bell,—I am a perfect slave to it,” has recourse to a fiction. England is so repugnant to slavery, that directly a negro sets his foot on English ground he is free; but if he has lost both his legs, he cannot of course put his foot on British soil, and would remain a slave to circumstances. A menial servant is so called from the word maenia, which signifies walls, and arises probably from the practice of brushing down cobwebs from the maenia, or walls, with a Turk'shead, or hair-broom. The old doctrine of a month's wages or a month's warning is always acted on in London, , except when a servant refuses to obey his master's orders, when it seems the master may give his servant kicks—and kick him out —instead of halfpence. Another species are called A. from the word apprendre, to learn; and thus a barber's apprentice learns to shave on the faces of poor people, who, in consideration of their paying nothing, allow themselves to be practised on by beginners who have never handled the razor. Next come the Labourers, whose wages were formerly settled by justices of the peace at session, or the sheriff; but now the master settles the wages, or, if he does not settle, he is a very shabby fellow for failing in doing so. Stewards, Porters, and Bailiffs come next; but no one would think of having a bailiff as his servant, unless there were an execution in the house, and the bailiff were thrust into livery to save appearances. A master may correct his apprentice for negligence; and if a grocer's apprentice neglects to sand the sugar, the master may give him the cane for neglecting his business. A master may maintain or assist his servant in an action at law; and if one's footman happens to be a rightful heir in disguise, the master may lend him the money to go to law against the wrongful heir, for the purpose of recovering the property. A master may assault a man for assaulting his servant, on the principle, probably, that in a row, as in everything else, the more the merrier.
“If o po do hire my servant,” says F. N. B. 167, 168—but whether F. N. B. is a policeman or what, it is impossible to say, for we only find him alluded to in the books as F. N. B. 167, 168—“if any person do hire my servant,” says he, “I, may have an action for damages against both the new master and the servant, or either of them.” This glorious old privilege is rather obsolete, for we do not find the courts much occupied in trying actions between ladies and gentlemen and their late menials. The master is amenable, to a certain extent, for the act of his servant; and therefore, if his servant commit a trespass by order of his master—such as if a gentleman riding by a field were to order his groom to jump over into it and pull up a turnip—the master, though he did not eat the whole of the turnip, or any of it, would be liable for the trespass. If an innkeeper's servant rob a guest, the innkeeper is liable, on the principle of like master like man; for the law very reasonably thinks that, if the servant is a thief, the master very likely may be. If I usually pay my tradesman ready money, I am not liable if he trusts my servant; but ifido not usually pay him any money at all, then I am liable to pay the money—when he can get it out of me. This is on the authority of Noy's Maxims —and a maxim is always supposed to contain the maximum of wisdom. By an old statute, called “An Act for the better and more careful use of the Frying-pan,” it is provided that any seryant who sets the house on fire by carelessness shall forfeit 100l., or go to the workhouse, where the servant would forfeit so many pounds of flesh by the spareness of the diet; but this act, savouring too much of the spirit of Shylock, is now seldom acted on. A master is liable if anything is thrown from the window of a house; but it has been decided that if a house should be on fire, and a servant should throw himself on the indulgence of the public, by jumping amongst the crowd and should hurt any one, the master would not be liable, for this would not be wilful damage. If a pea-shooter be discharged from the garret, and the pea enter the eye of a passenger, the pater-familias, or master of the house, is, in the eye of the law, answerable for the pea in the eye of the stranger;