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OUR MISCEJ^ij.AWY. '''' .-+--

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OUR MISCEJ^ij.AWY. .-+-- After-Dinner Speeches.-I hope a day will soon arrive when we shall have the speeches done by a skilled waiter at the side table, as we now have the carving. Don't you find that you splash the gravy, that you mangle the meat, that you can't nick the joint in helping the company to a dinner speech? 1, for my own part, own that I am in a Mate of tremor and absence of mind before the operator;: j., a condition of imbecility during the business; and t!mt I am sure of ahead-ache andindi- gestion the next morning. What then ? Have I not seen one of the br-vest rnR" in the world at a city dinner last year in a state of equal panic ?—Thackeray. An Outspoken Epitaph.—A remarkably out- spoken one from <i monument in Horsleydown Church, in Cumberland, runs as follows:—" Here lies the bodies of Thomas Bond and Maiy, his wife. She was temperate, chaste, charitable but she was proud, peevish, and pas- sionate. She was an affectionate wife and tender mother; but her husband and child, whom she loved, scarcely saw her face without a disgus'ing frown, while she received visitors, whom she despised, with an endear- ing smile. Her behaviour was discreet towards strangers, but imprudent in her family. Abroad, her conduct was influenced by good breeding, but at home by ill-temper." And so the epitaph runs on at consider- able length, acknowledging the good qualities of the poor woman, but killing each by setting against each some peculiarly unamiable trait. I confess that my feelings are quite turned in her favour by the unmanly assault which her brother (the author of the inscription) has thus made upon the poor woman. If you cannot honestly say good of a human being on his gravestone, then say nothing at all.-Frasei-'o Magazine. A PJea for Calcraft.-Some little time since a son of Calcraft was maltreated, because, in the course of fate, an executioner was his fa'her; and nobody, not tbe staunchest advocate of capital punishment, pitied the lad, but thought rather it was an event natural to his position. Why so? If capital punishment be necessary, what has Calcraft done?' Heroic Calcraft! Why there is no man "inall England has done for England wbat Calcraft has; if the principle be right. A surgeon who severs a mere limb from its existence, what is he to a Catcraft, who hesitates not, at the call of duty, to sever the whole body from its life? Dispise Calcraft Why, if the principle were right, a dukedom and a second Blenheim .were a poor national reward to such an immortal benefactor. English reader, you who boast of your civilisation, yet urge, in opposition, to all evidence, that life must be takw that your revenge may be slaked, to you we address this plea, for the executioner. If you feel that you 'cannot be so consistent, so honest, so generous as to do honour befitting in kind to your best friend and most courageous of protectors—if you feel that, in spite of reason, in spite of justice, you cannot warm towards this noble, this seif-rsacrificing, this cairn, this duty-serving brother of yours, who not only accepts your theory but gives it practice, then ask yourselves— why not? And, if we mistake not, you will come with us to this conclusion-that the man is an outcast because he is the executioner of that gross and animal will of yours which your own better self bids you to abhor; that he is in fact the reflection, through his office, of the baser half of your own nature; that he does but perform that which your better hearts would instinctively shrink from and that the dread officer is falselv appreciated for the simple and single reason that his office is a lie.- Social Science Review. A Serf's Viewoi Emancipation.—One day I had the following conversation with a serf, who brought me a message: Your name is Evan Vasilivovitch; to whom do you belong? "rám the serf of Karmoritch." "How many are you?" "Two thousand souls lire: we." You will all soon be free." He looked at me from the corners of his eyes, and drawled out, "Yes. If God and our Father will." "It will be better for you, Evan; will it not ?" God knows, baron; how should I know?" "How much obrok do you.pay? "Thirty roubles a-year." "Do you pay it in work, or in money?" "I work four days a-week in the sugar fabric, to pay the obrok, passport, and taxes." "How much are the passport and taxes?," "About three roubles and a-half, beside other things." "That is thirty-three roubles and a-half you have to pay, and for this you work four days every week in the sugar- mill? "It is so, baron, and hard work it is." When you get your freedom you will not require to Day obrok, or to work for it. Your time will be your own to cultivate your ground. Will not that be better for you? "God give it. I don't know. But I am tired of working." "How much land have you?" Three and a half deciatines (ten acres)." Well, that is plenty to keep your family on. If you spend all your time on it, and pay, no obrok, is it not plenty ? "I don't know, baron, but I am tired of working in the fabric." "Now, tell me, Evan, what do you intend to do when you get your freedom? Will you remain here and work your ground, or will you seek bread somewhere else?" He turned his eyes first up, then down, then on both sides, as if seeking to evade an answer, gave the peculiar peasant's shrug, and slowly muttered, "I shall sleep, baron." "And after you have slept, Evan?" "I shall eat, baron." "And after you have eaten, Evan ? "I shall sleep again, baron." And when the black bread is all gone, and when the pig and poultry are all eaten, and when the potatoes, carrots, and cabbages are all eaten, and when there is no firewood nor pasture, what will you do then, Evan ?" "Then I will tell you, baron. Now, may God give you health, and thank you for the tea-money you are going to give me Give you good day I believe this is the case of nearly all the serfs.—AU the Year Bound. 11 "Hypnotism."—Perhaps some of my readers may have witnessed, and many more will have read the account of, the curious effects which Mr. Braid, of Manchester, produced by what is called hypnotism. Mr. Braid rejected the theories of the mestneriser and phrenologist, and maintained that he could produce, bv action of the muscles, phenomena analogous to those with which the phrenological mesmerist startles the spectators. I saw him thus fascinate to sleep a circle of miscellaneous patients by making each patient fix successively his (or her) eyes upon a lancet-case that the operator held between finger and thumb. And when slumber had been thus induced, without aid of magnetic passes, and merely by the concentration of sight and mind on a single object, Mr. Braid said to me, Now, observe, I will draw into play the facial muscles which are set in movement by laughter, and ludicrous images will immediately present themselves to the sleeper." He did so gently to one of the sleepers, an old woman; pushing up the corners of her mouth. Presently the patient burst into laughter so hearty, as to be contagious amongst the audience present; and when asked the cause, told (always in slumber) a droll story of something which had happenedto her a few days before, and which the muscular action excited had at once brought back to the memory. Next, Mr. Braid drew down the muscles on the wrinkled face of another old lady-bent her bead towards the floor, and joined her hands as if in supplication-immediately the poor old creature doled forth, Lord have mercy upon us, miserable sinners," and if left long enough to herself, would have gone through all the responses in the Litany. Another touch or two of the enchanter's wand—the head thrown upward, the forehead gently smoothed, the eye- brows lifted-and the same old woman thought she was in heaven, and began to describe the beauties of the angels. I believe that Mr. Braid has, in one respect, been more fortunate than his fellow-thaumaturgists, the mesmerisers. He has not been derided as a dupe, nor denounced as an impostor, by sceptical physiologists.- Blackwood. Something for Male Friends. "I've done smoking." Our friend delivered himself thus, honestly and in earnest. As he emptied his. mouth of the last cigar, our mouth became fuil-full of blessings. Blessed is the man himself. He is more wise, more cleanly, more avoury, and more reasonable than when he went smoking and puffing about like a locomotive. Blessed is the man's wife. She is the happiest woman for the four reasons mentioned in tha last sentence, and for many more. She had hoped against hope for the last puff, but it has been made at last. We seem to see her face brighten, her step is more elastic, her voice is sweeter, her welcome to her husband as he reaches home is more cordial. She has our hearty congratulations. Blessed is the man's house. An unsavoury spirit has gone out of it. More easily Can it be kept neat and tidy. Old repellances will repulse no more. Blessed is the man's apparel. A certain fragrance has left it; but noi to the sorrow of those oft in proximity with him. His ward- robe is minus a real annoyance, and plus the benediction of many a friend. And blessed is the man's health. In the smoke and fire he so long kept up beneath his nos- trils he fed an insidious enemy. And his whole nervous and digestive system unites in the benediction we now indite. And blessed is the man's pocket. A leak is stopped. As much as before will flow in, and less flow out. We seem to hear a voice from that quarter, "There will be better days in the department of our master's dominions." All blessed be the man's resolution. May it tower aloft, like a granite pillar, above all the smoke ana nre tnat may assail it! That last, putt! Be it the 1 last? And, though the smokers will not join, yet there will be enough to unite in a hearty Amen.-Boston Paper. Whittington's Munificence.-Whittington,. in fact, was a people's champion, as well as a Royal banker; and he lent his purse, as well as his influence, to raise the people in the. social scaler- During his lifetime he erected conduits for the people at Cripplegate and near Billingsgate; he founded a library for the Grey Friars' monastery in Newgate-street, and furnished it with books, which, at that time, before the introauctiorj of the art of printing, were extremely costly; he caused the compilation of the "Liber Albus," a book of great importance, in which were entered the laudable customs not written, but wont to be observed in the city of London;" and he contributed largely towards the erection of the library at Guildhall. He restored the hospital of St. Bartholomew, Smithfield, which had fallen into decay, and, by his instructions on his death- bed, he provided for the rebuilding of the prison of Newgate, which was so pestiferous as to cause many deaths; and for the erection of a noble set of almshouses at Highgate, which bear his name. It is stated of him that, in his last mayorality, King Henry V. and Queen Catherine dined with him in the city, when Whittington caused a fire to be lighted of precious woods, mixed with cinnamon and other spices, and that, taking all the bonds given him by the King for money lent, amounting to no less than £60,000, ne threw them into the fire and burnt them; thereby releasing his Sovereign from his debts. The King, astonished at such a proceeding, exclaimed, "Surely never had King such a subject;" to which Whittington, with courtly gallantry, replied, "Surely, sire, never had subject such a King. Capper's Port and Trade of London.

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