Page images
[ocr errors]

sermon from an old volume, of which I was fondand pronounced the benediction.

People who, without necessity, voluntarily and from mere whim and caprice, disappoint the reasonable expectations of their neighbours, are chargeable not merely with meanness, but also with refined cruelty. Idle excuses for promise breaking, are but lame apologies for deception and falsehood. To raise expectations and excite hopes, which you either have no good reason to suppose you can meet, or which you have no intention to try to meet, is to injure others and degrade yourself. In the haste and bustle of multifarious engagements, even a good and faithful man may forget his promise ; and when this is the case, he will feel very sorry and express regret, and if need be, ask forgiveness. But reckless promise breaking renders a man unworthy of confidence.

In very little and trifling things, as well as in affairs of grave importance, the moral evil of promise breaking is made apparent. Hence grandmother again. About a year after the first refusal to take me to London, I was taken. We lodged at a friend's house in Stepney. I begged earnestly to be shewn St. Paul's Cathedral, and was promised I should see it. I think no omnibuses existed then, and hackney coaches were expensive affairs, and not needed by good walkers, without luggage or anything but themselves. Granny took me along Mile-end Road, Whitechapel, Aldgate, Leadenhall-street, &c., till we reached the Mansion House. We then stopped.


Pointing to this building, she said, " there, my boy, there's a grand place; that is St. Paul's!” “Deary me," said I, “why it don't look like a church. I have seen St. Paul's in pictures, and it has a wonderful high steeple or dome.” “Ah, well, perhaps, they have taken the steeple down, for workmen are always doing something at it!" Well, thought I, in my great disappointment, “This is a rum go," and we returned to Stepney. The good lady at the house where we lodged, listened to my speechifying about how St. Paul's should be one thing in pictures and quite another in itself, till she suddenly exclaimed, “Why, my boy, you are deceived, that place was not St. Paul's; your grandmother was tired, and did not like to walk along Cheapside, at the end of which you

would have seen the real St. Paul's, and no mistake.” From this I inferred that some people, when the keeping a promise gives them any little trouble, at once break it; and I thought then the best way was, when a thing wanted doing, to do it yourself, if possible. So next day I set off, and found St. Paul's for myself; and the sight of this magnificent edifice seemed to cool my indignation at granny's want of veracity.

People who deceive in small things, are not to be trusted in things great and important. A man once related to a brother minister the fact of his having been highly complimented, and promised certain good things in the way of elevation. The minister's reply was, They deceive you, sir.” Yet these deceivers

[ocr errors]

were remarkably grave and solemn looking personages ! It ought not then to be a matter of surprise that very grave characters are sometimes viewed with suspicion and distrust.



MRS. ADDLEPATE iş still of opinion, even now, that she is somewhat enlightened on the subject of eccentricity, that it is a very odd sort of a thing, and she has yet some lingering doubts whether it can safely be tolerated. She was heard to exclaim, “I vunder at the monsus impurence of a man trying to call the attention of the British public to his grievences and disappointments ! Vot, is the man actilly mad? Is he got the monnomaniac, for to go for to think the public of these yere realms has nothing better to do than okkipie their walleable time in the perusal of his luckybrations" [lucubrations].

Mr. Considerate.-"Be calm, madam, he is right, even in his severities; none can feel on the subject of his complaints as he himself, and we may think ourselves well off that he has not gone farther into detail : and I can assure you that he is not to be intimidated by any kind of censure, threatening, or denunciation."

Mrs. Addlepate.-“What do I hear? A man like you,

above all others, to tollevate his persumpshun in exgibbiting such extinguished and noble kracters as if they vus the werry skim o' the earth. Its orrid ! Whoever, besides hisself, ever met with men and

[ocr errors]

women with such pecooliarities as he pretends to describe ? Stuff, nonesense, balderbash! O don'tdon't-paternize him! Have respec to yerself, Sir, and be werry careful how you commit yerself by any written dokkiments in his favour. Let all his writings be burned in eternal, everlastin hoblivion."

Mr. Considerate.—“You either do not, or will not, understand him, madam. You are much excited. Be tranquil. He is fully prepared to defend every thing he says, and his manner of saying it."

Mrs. Addlepate.--"Don't talk to me in that ere vay, Sir; I shall construct your obserwations into a hinsult.-—I tell you, this here henseggtricity of his'n is loathesome, and abominable, and detestable, and aggrewatin, and everythin that is vile, and ought to be hexegrated by the ole intelligent universe; by all the wise and thinkin inhabitants, of all the stars and planets in all the systems which okkipi infinite space. For my own part, I have resolved over and over again, that I would read him never no more; but some how or other, when I am reading his perductions, they seems like those dreadful wenemous sarpints that the writers on Zooholigy mention, that ven you vunce looke at em, they so charm and transfix yer, that yer cannot, as it were, move from the spot, and ven they have vunce cotched yer, they swallows yer up ole and entire. Keep out of the vortex, says I to myself; keep out of the vortex, Betsy Addlepate; don't be attracted by this man's writings ; don't be whirled round. Remember the

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »