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I've been gathering some of the most delicious strawberries, for I know you are fond of them, —and we have such excellent cream, — and everything is so sweet and still here! — O!" said she, putting her arm within his, and looking up brightly in his face, — " oh, we shall be so happy!"
15. Poor Leslie was overcome. He caught her to his bosom, he folded his arms around her, he kissed her again and again; he could not speak, but the tears gushed into his eyes; and he has often assured me, that, though the world has since gone prosperously with him, and his life has, indeed, been a happy one, yet never has he experienced a moment of more exquisite felicity.
1. My blessing with you;
\ And these few precepts in thy memory
2. Costly S; thy habit as thy purse can buy,
* This is the imperative mood of the verb character, signifying to engrave, or describe in characters.
t Shakspeare often personifies inanimate objectSj applying the masculine and feminine pronouns to them, as if they were persons. In this sentence thought is trie antecedent of the pronoun his. 9
t The literal meaning of this expression is, Do not make the palm of thy hand callous by shaking every man by the hand. The figurative meaning, as Dr. Johnson says, may be, Do not, by promiscuous conversation, make thy mind insensible to the difference of character.
§ This advice, it must be recollected, was given by a nobleman to his son; and should be taken with considerable qualification in other cases. Even old Polonius himself would not have recommended a large tailor's bill, without the means of liquidating it. Every one, however, who 1ms
But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
I LESSON XV. .
Language and Dress. — O. W. Holmes.
1. Some words on Language may be well applied
The native freedom of the Saxon lips;
2. The crampy shackles of the ploughboy's wall
Can smooth this roughness of the barnyard down;
a proper regard to personal appearance will confess that the cheapest dresses are not always the most economical; and it is perhaps questionable, whether it is not the duty of the rich to patronize industry by the consumption of those articles which encourage human labor, when they can do so wjjbout neglecting other duties.
* "Season." — The meaning of this expression is to fix it in the mind in such a manner that it will never wear out.
3. It can't be helped, though, if we 're taken young, We gain some freedom of the lips and tongue;
But school and college often try in vain
4. A few brief stanzas may be well employed
The clownish voice that utters road for road;
5. Once more : speak clearly, if you speak at all; Carve every word before you let it fall;
Don't, like a lecturer or dramatic star,
Try over hard to roll the British R;
Do put your accents in the proper spot;
Don't,—let me beg you, — don't say " How?" for " What?"
And when you stick on conversation's burs,
Don't strew the pathway with those dreadful ursA
6. From little matters let us pass to less,
I leave the broadcloth, — coats and all the.rest, —
* The poet here humorously alludes to the difficulty which many persons, bred in retirement, find in pronouncing this word correctly. It will be difficult to express in letters the manner in which it is frequently mispronounced, but it is a sound somewhat similar to voo. The proper pronunciation is vu or ve-ew. They also who give the short sound of o in the words soap, road, coat, boat, most, and root, come in for a small share of "his lash.
t The drawling style in which many persons are in the habit of talk ing, heedlessly hesitating to think of a word, and the meanwhile supplying its place by the unmeaning syllable "ur," is here happily condemned. Such habits may easily be corrected by a little presence of mind, and particularly by following the direction, Think twice before you speak once.
The things named "pants" in certain documents, —
7. Three pairs of boots one pair of feet demands, If polished daily by the owner's hands;
If the dark menial's visit save from this,
Have twice the number, for he '11 sometimes miss.
One pair for critics of the nicer sex,
Close in the instep's clinging circumflex,
Long, narrow, light; the Gallic* boot of love,
A kind of cross between a boot and glove.
But, not to tread on everlasting thorns,
And sow in suffering what is reaped in corns,
Compact, but easy, strong, substantial, square,
Let native art compile the medium pair.
8. The third remains; and let your tasteful skill Here show some relics of affection still;
Let no stiff cowhide, reeking from the tan,
9. Wear seemly gloves; not black, nor yet too light, And least of all the pair that once was white;
Let the dead party where you told your loves
10. Have a good hat; the secret of your looks
But man and nature scorn the shocking hat.
* The French boot, which, from its peculiar shape and lightness, gives the foot ease, while it displays the arched form of the foot, t India rubber. 1
t Brogan is derived from the Irish. It is a thick shoe, or rather something between a shoe and a boot.
§ By the patched calfskin is here meant either the old calfskin boot which has been patched, or, perhaps, the "goloeshoe" or overshoe, which resembles a patched shoe.
I! Kid gloves.
Does beauty slight you from her bright abodes?
11. Be shy of breastpins; plain, well-ironed white,
But spurn those paltry cis-Atlantic lies,
* * * * *
12. The stately neck is manhood's manliest part;
# # # * *
13. I spare the contrast; it were only kind To be a little, nay, intensely blind:
Choose for yourself: I know it I cuts your ear;
14. But, oh my friend! my favorite fellow-man! If nature made you on her modern plan,
Sooner than wander with your windpipe bare, —
* The name of a vender of fashionable hats, in the city where the poem from which this piece is an extract was delivered. To understand (he witticism in the next couplet, the reader will recollect that felt is a substance composed of wool, or wool and hair, matted together to form the body of a hat.
t The poet here alludes to parts of dress which have as yet found no name in our dictionaries. The false bosom and shirt-collar, vulgarly called "a dickey," have as yet (thanks to the cleanly spirit of literature) found ni favor with the lexicographer.
t The shirt-collar, which, when not properly proportioned, cuts the ear, or the points of which will not allow free motion to the face.
§ The witty poet here alludes to one of Mother Goose's melodies. ThejHtoZ John is •• My son John," who
"Went to bed with his breeches on, —
II There is a protuberance ia the fore part of the throat, occasioned by the projection of a cartilage, to which the name of 1i Adam's apple"