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And still to love, tho' prest with ill,
THE COUNTRY BUMPKIN AND RAZOR
A fellow, in a market-town,
and down, And offer'd twelve for eighteen pence;
Which, certainly, seem'd wonderous cheap,
And, for the money, quite a heap,
A country bumpkin the great offer heard;
With cheerfulness the eighteen-pence he paid,
And, proudly, to himself, in whispers said- This rascal stole the razors, I suppose
“No matter if the fellow be a knave,
« Provided that the razors shave; “ It certainly will be a monstrous prize.”
So home the clown, with his good fortune, went,
Smiling, -in heart and soul content,
Being well lather'd, from a dish or tub,
Hodge now began, with grinning pain, to grub Just like a hedger cutting surze:
'Twas a vile razor!-then the rest he try'd;
All were impostors. “Ah!” Hodge sigh'd, “I wish my eighteen-pence was in my purse.' In vain, to chase his beard, and bring the graces,
He cut and dug and whin’d and stamp?d and swore; Brought blood, and danc'd, blasphem'd, and made
And curs'd each razor's body, o'er and o'er.
Firm as a Foxite, would not lose its ruff;
Hodge, in a passion, stretch'd his angry jaws,
Vowing the direst vengeance, with clench'd claws, On the vile cheat that sold the goods.
“Razors! a vile, confounded dog! "Not fit
scrape a hog!” Hodge sought the fellow-found him-and begun
“P'rhaps, Master Razor-rogue! to you 'tis fun “ That people flay themselves out of their lives.
“ You rascal! for an hour have I been grubbing, “Giving my crying whiskers here a scrubbing “With razors just like oyster-knives.
“ Sirrah! I tell you, you're a knave “ To cry up razors that can't shave." “Friend," quoth the razor-man,“ I'm not a knave. “ As for the razors. you have bought;“Upon my soul, I never thought
“ That they would shave.” “Not think they'd shave?" quoth Hodge, with wond'.
ing eyes And voice not much unlike an Indian yell, "What were they made for then, you dog?” he cries.
“Made!" quoth the fellow, with a smile"to sell.”
ON HAPPINESS OF TEMPER.
GOLDSMITH. Writers of every age have endeavoured to shewthat pleasure is in us, and not in the objects offered for our amusement. If thte soul be happily disposed,
every thing becomes capable of affording entertainment; and distress will almost want a name. Every occurrence passes in review, like the figures of a procession; some may be awkward, others ill dressed; but none but a fool is, for this, enraged with the masă ter of the ceremonies.
I remember to have once seen a slave, in a fortification in Flanders, who appeared no way touched with his situation. He was maimed, deformed and chained; obliged to toil from the appearance of day till night-fall, and condemned to this for life; yet, with all these circumstances of apparent wretchedness,
sung, would have danced, but that he wanted a leg, and appeared the merriest, happiest man of all the garrison.
What a practical philosopher was here! a happy constitution supplied philosophy; and though seemingly destitute of wisdom, he was really wise. No reading or study had contributed to disenchant the fairy-land around him. Every thing furnished him with an opportunity of mirth; and, though some thought him, from his insensibility, a fool he was such an idiot as philosophers should wish to imitate: for all philosophy is only forcing the trade of happiness, when Nature seems to deny the means.
They who, like our slave, can place themselves on that side of the world in which every thing appears in a pleasing light, will find something in every occurrence to excite their good humour. The most calamitous events, either to themselves or others, can bring no new affliction; the whole world is, to them, a theatre, on which comedies only are acted. All the bustle of heroism, or the rants of ambition, serve only to heighten the absurdity of the scene, and make the humour more poignant. They feel, in short, as little anguish at their
own distress, or the complaints of others, as the undertaker, though dressed in black, feels sorrow at a funeral.
Of all the men I ever read of, the famous Cardinal de Retz possessed this happiness of temper in the highest degree. As he was a man of gallantry, and despised all that wore the pedantic appearance of
philosophy, wherever pleasure was to be sold, he was generally foremost to raise the auction. Being a universal admirer of the fair sex—when he found one lady cruel, he generally fell in love with another,
from whom he expected a more favourable reception. ! If she, too, rejected his addresses, he never thought
of retiring into deserts, or pining in hopeless distress: he persuaded himself-that, instead of loving the lady, he had only fancied that he had loved her;and so all was well again.
When Fortune wore her angriest look, and he at last fell into the power of his most deadly enemy, Cardinal Mazarine (being confined a close prisoner, in the castle of Valenciennes) he never attempted to support his distress by wisdom or philosophy; for he pretended to neither. He only laughed at himself and his persecutor; and seemed infinitely pleased at his new situation. In this mansion of distress,-though secluded from his friends,—though denied all the amusements, and even the conveniences of life, he still retained his good humour; laughed at the little spite of his enemies: and carried the jest so far-as to be revenged, by writing the life of his gaoler.
All that the wisdom of the proud can teach-is to be stubborn, or sullen, under misfortunes. The Cardinal's example will instruct us to be merry, in circumstances of the highest affliction. It matters not whether our good humour be construed, by others, into insensibility; or even idiotism; it is happiness to ourselves; and none but a fool would measure his satisfaction by what the world thinks of it.
The happiest silly fellow I ever knew, was of the number of those good-natured creatures that are said to do no harm to any but themselves. Whenever he fell into any misery, he called it, “ seeing life.” If his head was broke by a chairman, or his pocket picked by a sharper, he comforted himself by imitating the Hibernian dialect of the one, or the more fashionable cant of the other. Nothing came amiss to him.