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preceding year, Wellington, with the sagacity of prescience, had examined it as a possible site for a great battle. On this ground and for this contest Wellington had the favorable side, Napoleon the unfavorable. The English army was above, the French army below.
The Bashful Man.
HENRY MC KENZIE.
I labor under a species of distress, which, I fear, will at length drive me utterly from refined society. This distress is an extreme bashfulness and awkwardness. However, having determined to conquer these disadvantages, three days ago I accepted an invitation to dine with Sir Thomas Friendly. He has two small sons and five tall daughters, all grown-up, and living at Friendly Hall.
As I approached the house, a dinner bell alarmed my fears, lest I had spoiled the dinner by want of punctuality. At my first entrance I summoned all my fortitude, and made my rehearsed bow to Lady Friendly; but, unfortunately, bringing back my left foot into the third position, I trod upon the gouty toe of poor Sir Thomas, who had followed close at my heels. The confusion this accident occasioned in me is hardly to be conceived.
The cheerfulness of her ladyship, and the familiar chat of the young ladies, insensibly led me to throw off my reserve and sheepishness, till, at length, I ventured to join in the conversation, and even to start fresh subjects. The library being richly furnished with books in elegant bindings, I conceived Sir Thomas to be a man of literature; and ventured to give my opinion concerning the several editions of the Greek classics—in which the Baronet's ideas exactly coincided with my own! To this subject I was led by observing an edition of Xenophon, in sixteen volumes; which (as I had never before heard of such a thing) greatly excited my
curiosity, and I approached to examine what it could be. Sir Thomas saw what I was about, and (as I supposed) willing to save me trouble, rose to take down the book, which made me more eager to prevent him; and, hastily laying my hand on the first volume, I pulled it forcibly-when, lo! instead of books, a board, which, by leather and gilding, had been made to look like sixteen volumes, came tumbling down, and, unluckily, pitched upon a Wedgewood inkstand on the table under it. In vain did Sir Thomas assure me there was no harm done. I saw the ink streaming from an inlaid table on the Turkey carpet; and, scarce knowing what I did, attempted to stop its progress with my cambric handkerchief. In the height of this confusion, we were informed that dinner was served up.
In walking through the hall and suite of apartments to the dining-room, I had time to collect my scattered senses; till I was desired to take my seat at table, betwixt Lady Friendly and her eldest daughter. I will not relate the several blunders which I made during the first course, or the distresses occasioned by my being desired to carve a fowl, or help to various dishes that stood near me, spilling a sauceboat, and knocking down a salt-cellar; rather let me hasten to the second course, where fresh disasters quite overwhelmed
I had a piece of rich sweet pudding on my fork, when Miss Louisa Friendly begged to trouble me for part of a pigeon that stood near me. In my haste, scarce knowing what I did, I whipped the pudding into my mouth-hot as a burning coal! It was impossible to conceal my agony; my eyes were starting from their sockets! At last, in spite of shame and resolution, I was obliged to drop the cause of torment on my plate. Sir Thomas and the ladies all compassionated my misfortune, and each advised a different application. One recommended oil, another water, but all agreed that wine
was perhaps the best for drawing out the heat; and a glass of sherry was brought me from the side-board-I snatched it up with eagerness; but oh! how shall I tell the sequel? Whether the butler by accident mistook, or purposely designed to drive me mad, I know not; but he gave me the strongest brandy, with which I filled my mouth, already flayed and blistered. Totally unused to every kind of ardent spirits, with my tongue, throat, and palate as raw as beef, what could I do? I could not swallow, and, clapping my hands upon my mouth, the burning liquor squirted from me, like a fountain, over all the dishes, and I was crushed by bursts of laughter from all quarters.
In vain did Sir Thomas reprimand the servants, and Lady Friendly chide her daughters; the measure of my shame and their diversion was not yet complete. To relieve me from the intolerable state of perspiration which this accident had caused, without considering what I did, I wiped my face with that ill-fated handkerchief, still wet from the consequences of the fall of Xenophon, and covered my features with streaks of ink in every direction! The Baronet himself could not support this shock, but joined his lady in the general laugh; while I sprang from the table in despair, rushed out of the house, and ran home, in an agony of confusion and disgrace, which the most poignant sense of guilt could not have excited.
Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little blest with the soft phrase of peace;
For since these arms of mine had seven year's pith,
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broil and battle;
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver
Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
For such proceeding I am charged withal—
I won his daughter.
Her father loved me, oft invited me,
Still questioned me the story of my life
From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,
I ran it through, even from my boyish days
Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' the imminent deadly breach,
And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence,
And portance in my travel's history:
Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven,
It was my hint to speak,—such was the process;
And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear Would Desdemona seriously incline:
But still the house-affairs would draw her thence;
She 'ld come again, and with a greedy ear
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
Here comes the lady; let her witness it.
-Othello, i., 3.
TONE OF GENIALITY.
(See Tone Drill No 108.)
[The tone of Geniality manifests a feeling of good will. to the listener, more eloquently than words, "I wish you well, it is a pleasure to talk to you, I delight in your company.'']
T. DE WITT TALMAGE.
Agreeable people!. I see by your looks, my friends, that you belong to this class. These good-humored husbands before me are all what they ought to be, good-natured as a