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Hostile Critics

Society Compared to a Bowl of Punch

The Phoenix
Party Zeal

A varice

Beating of Wives

Growing Virtuous in Old Age

Bobadil's Plan for Saving the Expense of an Army

How to be Reputed a Wise Man
Sectarian Differences
Censorious People .


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Bits of Books




Now hardly here and there a hackney-coach
Appearing showed the ruddy morn's approach.
The slipshod 'prentice from his master's door
Had pared the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor.
Now Moll had whirled her mop with dexterous airs,
Prepared to scrub the entry and the stairs.
The youth with broomy stumps began to trace
The kennel's edge, where wheels had worn the place.
The small-coal man was heard with cadence deep,
Till drown'd in shriller notes of chimney-sweep:
Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet;
And brick-dust Moll had screamed through half the


The turnkey now his flock returning sees,
Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees;
The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands,
And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands.




"Are you a hermit?" we asked, with a wondering look.

"Have I not said it? The Hermit of Bellyfulle, and this is my Hermitage; this the Cell of the Corkscrew," cried the anchorite; and he then turned to the pan, his eye melting on the frying eggs.

The Hermit appeared between fifty and sixtynearer sixty. He would have looked tall, but for his breadth of shoulder and bow of belly. His arms were short, thick, and sinewy; with a fist that might have throttled a wild boar or a keen attorney. Altogether he was a massive lump of a man, hard and active. His face was big and round, with a rich, larder look about it. His wide, red cheeks were here and there jewelled with good living. As gems are said by some to be no more than a congelation of the rarest essences attracted and distilled from mother earth, so were the living rubies burning in the cheeks of the Hermit, the hardened, incarnated juices of the deer of the forest-the volatile spirits of the vine. The Hermit had no nose; none, ladies, none. There was a little nob of flesh, like a small mushroom, dipt in wine, which made its unobtrusive way between the good man's cheeks, and through which he has been known to sneeze: but impudence itself could not call that piece of flesh a nose. The Hermit's mouth had all the capacity of large benevolence; large and wide, like an old pocket. There seemed a heavy unctuousness about the lower lip; a weight and drooping from very mellowness-like a ripe peach, cracking in the sun. His teeth-but that he had lost one, as we afterwards learned, in active

service on a Strasburg ham-were regular as a line of infantry, and no less dangerous. His forehead was large his black hair waning into grey, save that one lock, which grew like the forelock of old Time, was raven still. His eyes were small, and so deep in his head, no man ever saw the whites of them there they were, like black beads sunk in scarlet flesh. Such is the poor, weak picture of the glorious living face: and then every bit of it shone, as though it had been smeared with sacrificial fat. The Hermit's voice was deep and clear; and he had a sweet, heart-warming chuckle, which came like wine gurgling from a flask. The very pope of hermits was the Hermit of Bellyfulle.

This worthy anchorite wore no weed of greynot he. He had a capacious gown of faded scarlet damask, worn-much worn: yet there were traces in it of past beauty; goodly bunches of grapes, antique flagons, and Cupids flaying a buck. This robe was girded about the waist with a thick silken rope; a relic, as he told us, picked up in a pilgrimage. It had been a bell-rope in the best hostelry of Palestine. The nether anatomy of the recluse showed, as we thought, that all the vanity of the world had not died within him, for he wore black velvet breeches; and, moreover, seemed to throw an approving glance at his leg, cased in unwrinkled silken hose of ebon black. His feet were easily lodged in large slippers of cramoisy velvet, with here and there a glimmering of old gold lace.

A hermit would be no hermit without a skull. The anchorite of Bellyfulle was fitly provided with such tangible aid to solemn reflection: for he had the skull of a heathen Paladin, in the which-for the top had been curiously sawn off, and hinged, and a silver box contrived in the cavity-in the which the Hermit of Bellyfulle kept his best to

bacco. He moreover showed his horror and contempt for heathenism by sinking the basanet of a Saracen knight into a spittoon.

The Cell of the Corkscrew revealed the magnanimity of its hermit indweller. Its walls were tapestried with sides of bacon, with hams smoked over fires of cedar and sandal-wood. Festoons of sausages hung from the roof, dazzling the eyes and melting the heart of the beholder. Frequent peering forth, with death-grim snout, a boar's head would show itself, to the ear of fancy grunting for the knife. And now, the eye would wander to a squab of flesh—a buffalo's hump-toothsome to rest upon. And then there were tongues, as many as at Babel, hanging on all sides; tongues of deer, of antelope, of Indian ox, smoked and cured by Indian cooks. Glowing and beautiful were a hundred vitreous jars of pungent pickle, disposed about the cell with the finest consideration of colour and effect. There, too, was the delicious olive, in its mild, immortal green, for Bacchus in his afterdinner hour to dally with.-Douglas Jerrold,


Welcome, welcome, happy pair,
To these abodes where spicy air
Breathes perfumes, and every sense
Doth find his object's excellence;
Where's no heat, nor cold extreme,
No winter's ice, no summer's scorching beam;
Where's no sun, yet never night,
Day always springing from eternal light.

Chorus. All mortal sufferings laid aside,
Here in endless bliss abide.

Thomas Nables.

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