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ledge, and cultivates his mind, the more various, and perfect, and extatic, will be his risible faculties. From all that I have said, and all that I have thought on this subject, I am inclined to persevere in the position with which I set out, "that the want of risibility is a mark of a weak and uncultivated intellect, of a bad and a vitiated heart, or of both."
THE NARRATIVE BEGUN.
I SHALL, from time to time, present the reader with an abridgment of my deceased young friend's account of his life, written by himself; he was in the habit of keeping a diary of his own transactions till within a few days of his death, the manner of which I related in a former essay, wherein I gave to the public his interesting and pathetic remarks on the death of his brother, whom he survived but a few weeks. But let
this young gentleman speak for himself; ⚫ he begins his account from his birth, and continues it down to nearly the period of his departure from this world. "In the year 1778, I was introduced into this pla net, in the house of my father, a very respectable clergyman of the church of England, in the south-western part of this. island. My infancy passed, as does the infancy of most children, in the mediocral station, in the alternate employments of crying, and eating, and drinking, and sleeping, and listening to the silly tales of foolish nurses, and in being frequently whipped. My mother possessed an understanding, strong, and much better cultivated than is that of the generality of women, according to our present system of education; that is, she was well read in history, in poetry, in moral and religious books, in her own vernacular idiom, beyond which she did not travel; and, withal, was a wonderfully notable, and managing, and bustling woman. In her young days she had been much with what are called people of fashion, in high life; and many a time have I listened, till
my head ached, to her very plentiful details of dukes, and marquisses, and earls, and viscounts, and baronets, and knights, and squires, and simple gentry, with all of whose heraldic claims she was accurately acquainted; for she was a very great advocate for family distinction, and prided herself not a little in a long pedigree roll, which traced her ancestry up to Horsa the Saxon king, brother to Hengist, and contained a full length picture of king Henry the Seventh, in his royal robes, stretching, out his sceptre, graciously, as a token of pardon to one of her progenitors who had been guilty of high treason against his sovereign lord and master. This valuable piece of furniture was once lent to an aunt, also a mighty genealogist, who forgot to return it; and where it now is deposited, we know not, to our great discomfiture, chagrin and vexation. My mother was a most violent, impetuous, haughty, and authoritative dame, and ruled the whole house, not excepting my father, with a rod of iron. My first years of childhood, save that I was suckled by a very small Welch woman, were
entirely committed to my mother, who very` religiously believed in the truth of Solomon's axiom, he that spareth the rod, hateth his child.' Certainly my mother did not hate me, as my skin can testify in legible characters; nevertheless, she was at times very indulgent, always attended carefully to our healths, and provided very plentifully for our corporeal nutriment. She was certainly very charitable, in the general acceptation of that term, i. e. she visited the poor in their habitations, and relieved their wants, as far as her ability extended, by money, food and raiment; all which she seasoned with advice, not always delivered in the gentlest and most encouraging tone, for she was very fond of giving them, as she called it, to understand that she knew of their negligence, or dirtiness, or laziness, or want of economy, or deficiency in obliging behaviour, &c. She attempted to teach me the alphabet, but in vain; the more she scolded, the less willing was I to learn; and the oftner she had recourse to birchen arguments, the more abhorrent was I from all instruction; till, after having bestowed on me
the encouraging epithets of dunce and dolt, and stupid, and obstinate, and headstrong, and wilful, and perverse, and naughty boy, with now and then a caress and a little wheedling, which always came too late, because they were preceded by severity, she consigned me over to a female animal, ycleped a school-mistress, who was very short of stature, thin, wrinkled, of a haggard aspect, and demure, and precise, and prim in her garb, and abiding in the churchyard. This woman, during two years, attempted to inspire me with a love for my horn-book, by threats, and ginger-bread, and apples, and boxes on the ear, and sugar-candy, and whippings, all so judiciously mixed, and tempered, and varied, that I at length detested and despised her. I was now nearly five, and knew not three letters of my alphabet; a formal complaint was lodged against me, and my mother prepared to inflict a terrible flagellation as a punishment for such audacity and idleness, and contempt of all lawful authority: my father, God bless him! happened to enter the room at this critical moment, and enquiring into the cause of