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advice would be short and simple:-“My good friend, your heart's blood is too poor; you must live better; I do not mean richly, which is badly; but always have the best of what is necessary, and instead of laying by a few shillings to be wasted on the apothecary, or to purchase of yourself endless anxieties, throw them at the head of this imaginary necessity which haunts you, and which is a mere bugbear that destroys your comfort, and frightens away your friends.” As to sheer avarice, it is, we fear, an incurable disease : the nortification has taken place; the heart is ossified ; and a general rheumatism, locking up the faculties, prevents the wretched sufferer from administering even to the common sustenance of his nature. But if there is any crisis in such a malady, at which the mental physician could interpose, he would say, “ Miserable being, shake off your lethargy and look about you. To what a state have you reduced yourself! Your feelings have no play; you have no taste for a sound judgment: the eye of your conscience never closes. Nothing can save you but a recurrence to the grand and simple remedies which Nature and Reason furnish to the unvitiated. Your heart must be set free; it is too much confined in that narrow bosom: it wants air and exercise; it must walk abroad among the beauties of creation, where every thing breathes a glorious enlargement, and where you may regain your spirits for comfort and your appetite for benevolence."
But it is needless to expatiate on the obstructions which mental patients always present to their own cure with a madness so pertinacions. They will not only deny their discase altogether, but will swear they hare not a symptom of it, though every thought, look, and action declare to the contrary. They are like vain persons with shoes too tight for their fiet, who though galled at every step, and rendered ridiculous in erery movement, would rather die on the spot than own themselves uncomfortable. Accordingly they carry about their infirmities with a gravity so inflexible, that were we not convinced of their sufferings, their appearance would be altogether ludicrous, especially if we personified the figures they cut by the sapposition of a similar behaviour under bodily afflictions. For instance, the man of bad temper may be regarded as one with a whitlow at the end of every finger, which smarts with agony at the slightest touch, and which he nevertheless persists in keeping sore. The envious man is one who in the height of a fever is to be satisfied with nothing less than running his head against his neighbour's wall, or hanging himself upon a pear-tree that looks over it, or getting his best friend to beat him about the head and shoulders. The ladies under this alliction resemble those superannuated gallants, who whenever they see a white hans, imagine they feel it smacking their faces or scratching their eyes, and fall into an agony of admiration at every beauty that comes across them, -with this difference however, that the flames and racks, of which the latter talk so ridiculously, are felt in all their misery by the former, and the agony above-mentioned does really constitute the torment of their lives. A person with mean habits of saving, who is continually pinching and shufiling, is as stupid as one who should cherish an affection of the skin, perpetually irritating to himself and disgusting to others : but the confirmed miser is a man positively vain of his wen, and not only so, but anxious to increase it by all possible means to an intolerable burden.
We forbear to follow up the analogy beyond these common and every day maladies, which every body may compare. It is sufficient to know that there is not a single one of them, the care of which is out of our power, if we get ourselves earnesly to look for its origin; but such is the fatality of human folly, and so resolute are rational beings to keep themselves wretched, that they hug disease to their hearts when they wonle shudder at a chilblain or a cut finger. And yet if people would really think of this origin,-if they would really exercise their reflection npon the causes of the chagrins, the anxieties, the mortifications, the tears, and the agonies that are continually arising from the pettiest and most despicable things, it is hardly possible but that many of them would alter upon sell-inspection, even were there nothing more to induce them than a sense of the ridiculous.
Meditating on this subject the other evening, at that still and delightful hour, when it is just too dark to read but too light to have candles, we got into one of our usual reveries, and fancied ourselves a kind of mental doctor above-mentioned, who from being overwhelmed with practice had stolen an hour's slumber after dinner. In the midst of our enjoyment, we thooght that a footman came abruptly in to call us to his master, who had been in a dismal way, he told us, ever since the preceding morning,-refusing every kind of solace, and giving symptoms of what was apprehended to be insanity. We asked the footman what he had seen of the disorder; and, while getting ready to go, received the following account: “Sir,"
I have always thought that my master was not quite right; but for these two days he has been worse than ever. Such snapping, and snarling, and kicking this thing and kicking tother, for all the world as if he had been bit! This morning, I only went to give him his shoes, which never can be polished enough to suit him, and he kicked his slippers off in my face, and asked me whether I meant to ruin him in blacking? At dinner yesterday he said that the sweet wine was vinegar ; broke one of the tumblers and kicked the dog under the table for it; swore that the mistress meant to provoke him because she helped him to all the nicest bits at table; and smacked my young lady's cheek for going out of the room, which he said was flying in his face. Afterwards he grew a little quiet, but nobody dared to come near him, or to look that way, or to make the least noise, he was so touchy. In the evening we had company, and then, Lord! Sir, to see how pleasant he was, so smiling and good-natured to every one that came ! Thinks I to myself, who Would take you to be such a devil! All this morning you would have thought there was a corpse lying in the house, every body looked so atismal and went about like a ghost.?! We were glad to learn that the fit had not lasted more than two days, since we should not have so much difficulty in tracing it up to its cause, as would have been the -case with a longer duration. We proceeded as fast as possible to the
» said he,
house; and on seeing his new visitor, the patient did not favour him with the accustomed smiles; he was aware tliat we understood his malady; and guessing our object, seemed to resign liimself to the scrutiny. with a kind of patient impatience. After feeling his pulse, examining what muscles had been most affected in his face, and satisfying ourselves from those about him how he had passed the last forty hours, we were pretty well enabled to follow back the disorder through its various exa citements. He was at that moment labouring under a threat of disinheriting his son. We accordingly traced the disorder from the disinheriting to a hat-box belonging to the young gentleman, which happened to have fallen in his way; from the hat-box to a snuff-box which he had let fall after dinner; from the snuff-box to an imeasy dozing in his chair; from the dozing in his chair to an enormous meal during which he had abused all that he swallowed; from the enormous meal to a speech made by his wife, who had kindly begged him not to venture so much upon a dish that had disagreed with him; from the speech of his wife to the face of a servant who stood near, and who appeared to him to be laughing in his sleeve: from the servant, after a number of petty turns and stumbling blocks too numerous for detail, to the well-blacked shoes; from the wellblacked shoes to a hasty mouthful of hot tea; from the hasty mouthful of hot tea to getting up late; from getting up late, which it seems he did half from sleepiness and half from being ashamed to shew his face, to restlessness and peevishness all night; from restlessness and peevishness all night to a hearty supper, which he ahused as usual; from the hearty supper to another entreaty on the part of his wife :-here we lost scent for a time, for as the footman had said, he had been uncommonly pleasant during the stay of his company; but we found the link again in the gentleness of his daughter, who had left the room, as the footman related ;~from the gentleness of his daughter, who we found was very like her mother, we proceeded with our tracing to the good things to which his wife had helped him at dinner; from the good things to which his wife helped him at dinner, to a glass which he broke in the middle of it; from the broken glass to an agitation of rierves, arising from a refusal which he had just given an old friend who wanted to borrow a little money of him ; from the refusal given his old friend to the tears and patience of his family all the morning; from the tears and patience of his family to a long lecture which he had been giving them on their want of attachment to him; from the long lecture he had been giving them to another sulky and peevish breakfast; from the sulky and peevish breakfast to a private, mysterious lecture given to his wife before he came down stairs; and, at last from the private lecture, we came to the grand secret of all,--to the fountain of this Nile of tears, to the immediate cause of all the taunts, trials, and miseries. which a whole family had been suffering for two long days, and which nobody but ourselves dared to mention to the unhappy being.-- It was A Pin!-Our hero had taken up the comb) to his head, when a pin which had unluckily found its way between the teeth and hung at a right angle from it by the head, gave him a light scratch on the pericranium. 56 Zounds!" exclaimed the gentleman, turning red. “ Bless us !" ejaculated the lady, turning pale;-and then the said lecture ensued, which put an end to two whole days of good-humour on his part, and an equal holiday of comfort on that of his household.
llow a cure is to be brought about in diseases of this kind, we have not room to shew here; but it is a work of much time and patience. The close of our dream in 1811 was clearly in the wrong; for we fancied ourselves effecting it on the spot. All we can say at present is, that the doctor must take care he does not want curing himself; and that the great art towards the patient, as we heard a friend say of peevish children, consists in reconciling him, not so much to others, as to himself.
Printed and published by Joseph APPLEYARD, No. 19, Catherine-street, Strand.
Price 20.--And sold also by A. Grippon, Importer of Snuffs, No.31, Tavistockstreel, Covent-garden. Orders received at the above places, and by all Book. * sellers and Newsmeis.
There he arriving round about doch fie,
No. LXII.-WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13th, 1820.
It has been a great relief to us during our illness (from which, we trust, we are now recovering) to find that the re-publication of some former pieces from other periodical works has not been disapproved. Being still compelled to make up our numbers in this way, we have the pleasure of supplying the greater part of the present one with some Table-Talk, with which a friend entertained us on a similar occasion a few years ago in the Examiner. To the reader who happens not to be acquainted with them they will be acceptable for very obvious reasons: those who rei
remember them, will be glad to read them again; and as for ourselves, besides the other reasons for being gratified, we feel particular satisfaction in recalling to the author's memorý as well as our own, some genuine morsels of writing which lie appears to have forgotten.- What follows, of our own, is from the work mentioned in our last; and the merry letter, in conclusion, is from an acquaintance, whose intimacy with the wits of antiquity does not hinder him from cracking jokes for us sickly moderns. His jokes, in every respect, were never more in season.
BOOKS WITH ONE IDEA IN THEM.
Dull poetry is to me far more oppressive than the same quantity of dullness in prose. The act of attending to the metre is perfectly painful where there is nothing to repay one in the thought. Of heavy prose I can swallow a good dose. I do not know that I was ever deterred from reading through a book which I had begun, supposing the subject to be to my mind, except Patrick's Pilgrim. The freezing, appalling, petryfying duilness of that book is quite astounding. Yet is there one lively image in the preface, which an author in the present day might comfort himself by applying to his reviewers : “ If the writer of these pages shall chance to meet with any that shall only