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not in harmoniously; and saluted his pathetic conclusion with a subdued hiccough, and a plentiful effusion of tears. “Bedad, it is a beautiful song," says he, “and many a time I heard poor Harry Incledon sing it.”
“He's a great character," whispered that unlucky King of Corpus to his neighbor the Colonel ; "was a captain in the army. We call him the General Captain Costigan, will you take something to drink?"
“Bedad I will,” says the captain, "and I'll sing ye a
And, having procured a glass' of whisky-and-water from the passing waiter, the poor old man, settling his face into a horrid grin, and leering, as he was wont, when he gave what he called one of his prime songs, began his music.
The unlucky wretch, who scarcely knew what he was doing or saying, selected one of the most outrageous performances of his répertoire, fired off a tipsy howl by way of overture, and away he went. At the end of the second verse the Colonel started up, clapping on his hat, seizing his stick, and looking as ferocious as though he had been going to do battle with a Pindaree. “ Silence !” he roared out.
“Hear, hear!” cried certain wags at a farther table. “Go on, Costigan," said others.
“Go on!” cries the Colonel, in his high voice, trembling with anger. "Does any gentleman say 'Go on'? Does any man who has a wife and sisters or children at home, say “Go on' to such disgusting ribaldry as this? Do you dare, sir, to call yourself a gentleman, and to say that you hold the King's commission, and to sit down amongst Christians and men of honor, and defile the ears of young boys with this wicked balderdash?”
Why do you bring young boys here, old boy ?” cries a voice of the malcontents.
“Why? Because I thought I was coming to a society of gentlemen,” cried out the indignant Colonel. “ Because I never could have believed that Englishmen could meet together, and allow a man, and an old man, so to disgrace himself. For shame, you old wretch ! Go home to your bed, you hoary old sinner! And, for my part, I'm not sorry that my son should see, for once in his life, to what shame and degradation and dishonor drunkenness and whisky may bring a man.
Never mind the change, sir ! - curse the change!” says the Colonel, facing the amazed waiter. “Keep it till you see me in this place again : which will be never, - by George, never !” And shouldering his stick, and scowling round at the company of scared bacchanalians, the indignant gentleman stalked away, his boy after him.
CHARITY AND HUMOR.
lax, loose. eb-ul-li’-tion (-lish'un), outward os-ten-tā’-tion, ambitious display. display.
pir-ou-ette' (pir-oo-et'), a whirling ep-i-cu're-an, one given to pleasure. on the toes in dancing. flic-flac, a step in dancing.
seign-eur (seen-yeur), a lord. i-ras'ci-ble, given to anger.
shan-dry-dan', a vehicle.
SEVERAL charitable ladies of this city, to some of whom I am under great personal obligation, having thought that a lecture of mine would advance a benevolent end which they had in view, I have preferred, in
place of delivering a discourse, which many of my hearers no doubt know already, upon a subject merely literary or biographical, to put together a few thoughts, which may serve as a supplement to the former lectures, if you like, and which have this, at least, in common with the kind purpose which assembles you here,
that they rise out of the same occasion, and treat of charity.
Besides contributing to our stock of happiness, to our harmless laughter and amusement, to our scorn for falsehood and pretension, to our righteous hatred of hypocrisy, to our education in the perception of truth, our love of honesty, our knowledge of life, and shrewd guidance through the world, have not our humorous writers, our gay and kind week-day preachers, done much in support of that holy cause which has assembled you in this place, and which you are all abetting?
the cause of love and charity ; the cause of the poor, the weak, and the unhappy ; the sweet mission of love and tenderness, and peace and good-will toward men.
That same theme which is urged upon you by the eloquence and example of good men to whom you are delighted listeners on sabbath days is taught in his way, and according to his power, by the humorous writer, the commentator on every-day life and manners. And as you are here assembled for a charitable purpose, giving your contributions at the door to benefit deserving people who need them without, I like to hope and think that the men of our calling have done something in aid of the cause of charity, and have helped with kind words and kind thoughts, at least, to confer. happiness and to do good.
If the humorous writers claim to be week-day preachers, have they conferred any benefit by their sermons ? Are people happier, better, better disposed to their neighbors, more inclined to do works of kindness, to love, forbear, forgive, pity, after reading in Addison, in Steele, in Fielding, in Goldsmith, in Hood, in Dickens ? I hope and believe so, and fancy, that, in writing, they are also acting charitably; contributing, with the means which Heaven supplies them, to forward the end which brings you, too, together. A love of the human species is a very vague and indefinite kind of virtue, sitting very easily on a man, not confining his actions at all, shining in print, or exploding in paragraphs; after which efforts of benevolence, the philanthropist is sometimes said to go home, and be no better than his neighbors.
Tartuffe and Joseph Surface, Stiggins and Chadband, who are always preaching fine sentiments, and are no more virtuous than hundreds of those whom they denounce and whom they cheat, are fair objecte of mistrust and satire; but their hypocrisy (the homage, according to the old saying, which vice pays to virtue) has this of good in it, -- that its fruits are good. A man may preach good morals, though he may be himself but a lax practitioner: a Pharisee may put pieces of gold into the charity-plate out of mere hypocrisy and ostentation ; but the bad man's gold feeds the widow and fatherless as well as the good man's. The butcher and baker must needs look, not to motives, but to money, in return for their wares. I am not going to hint that we of the literary calling resemble Monsieur Tartuffe or Monsieur Stiggins; though there may be such men in our body, as there are in all.
A literary man of the humoristic turn is pretty sure to be of a philanthropic nature; to have a great sensibility; to be easily moved to pain or pleasure; keenly to appreciate the varieties of temper of people round about him, and sympathize in their laughter, love, amusement, tears. Such a man is philanthropic, manloving, by nature, as another is irascible or red-haired or six feet high. And so I would arrogate no particular merit to literary men for the possession of this faculty of doing good, which some of them enjoy. It costs a gentleman no sacrifice to be benevolent on paper; and the luxury of indulging in the most beautiful and brilliant sentiments never makes any man penny the poorer. A literary man is no better than another, as far as my experience goes; and a man writing a book, no better nor no worse than one who keeps accounts in a ledger, or follows any other occupation.
Let us, however, give him credit for the good, at least, which he is the means of doing, as we give credit to a man with a million for the hundred which he puts into the plate at a charity-sermon. He never misses them: he has made them in a moment, by a lucky speculation ; and parts with them, knowing that he has an almost endless balance at his bank, whence he can call for more. But, in esteeming the benefaction, we are grateful to the benefactor too, somewhat. And so of men of genius, richly endowed, and lavish in parting with their mind's wealth ; we may view them at least kindly and favorably, and be thankful for the bounty of which Providence has made them the dispensers.
I have said myself somewhere, I do not know with what correctness (for definitions never are complete),