« ZurückWeiter »
SPECIMENS OF A PATENT POCKET DICTIONARY,
For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words.
Habit. The covering worn by the body or mind: in the former case hiding Nature, and in the latter revealing her.
Happiness. The health of the mind, produced by its virtuous exercise. They who would attain it otherwise may search for the word Will-o'-the-wisp.
Harmony of sentiment.-A much better ingredient in married life than that species of harmony which springs from discord.
Hassock. Of special service to certain church-goers who like a nap upon their knees; and to poetasters, as affording the only rhime to cassock.
Haunch of venison.-That with which the dæmon of gout and gluttony baits his hook.
Head.-A bulbous excrescence, used for hanging a hat on, taking snuff with, shaking, or nodding; or as a target, which they who know its value offer to be shot at for a shilling a day.
Health.-Another word for temperance and exercise.
Heart. The seat of feeling, and therefore supposed to be wanting in butchers and critics. According to a French author, those men pass the most comfortably through the world who have a good digestion and a bad heart.
Hemp.-The neckcloth, alias nec-quid, which rogues put on when they see company for the last time.
Hero. A wholesale man-butcher.
Hearse. The triumphal car in which bones and dust proceed in state to their final palace-the grave.
Heterodoxy-Has been defined to be another man's doxy, whereas orthodoxy is our own.
History. The Newgate Calendar of Kings, which finds no materials in the happiness or virtue of States, and is therefore a mere record of human crime and misery.
Hoax, Hocus-pocus, Humbug.-See Holy Alliance, Constitutional Association, and in general all pharisaical pretenders to exclusive loyalty and sanctity.
Holidays.-The elysium of our boyhood; perhaps the only one of our life. Of this truth Anaxagoras seems to have been aware. Being asked by the people of Lampsacus before his death whether he wished
any thing to be done in commemoration of him, "Yes," he replied, "let the boys be allowed to play on the anniversary of my death."
Honour. Conventional legislation for the correction and government of all those points which the law does not reach.
Hope. A compensation for the realities of life, most enjoyed by those who have the least to lose, since they are generally rendered much happier by expectation than they would be by possession.
Hunger. The universal stimulant of men and beasts the same which gives the poor man his health and his appetite; the want of which afflicts the rich with disease and satiety.
Hypochondria.-The imaginary malady with which those are taxed who have no real one.
Idol. What many worship in their own shape who would be shocked at doing it in any other.
Jealousy.-Tormenting yourself for fear you should be tormented by
Illuminati.-Men enlightened by nature, and of course particularly obnoxious to the hooded owls, royal bats, and chartered beasts of prey, who thrive best in the deepest darkness.
Immortality-of modern authors. Drawing in imagination upon the future for that homage which the present age refuses to pay. best a protracted oblivion.
Indigestion, Industry.-Two words which were never before found united.
Infant.-A mysterious meteor sent to us from the invisible world, into which, after performing the evolutions incidental to the seven ages of man, it will finally return.
Ink.-The liquid which renders thought visible and reason communicable and of course the greatest enemy to the
Inquisition. For which see Holy Alliance.
Judge, Jury.-A compound legal machine, somewhat resembling a clock, the latter exhibiting twelve numbers, and giving warning to the former, before he can strike, or indicate the hour at which a criminal is to die.
Ivy.-A vegetable corruptionist, which, for the purpose of its own support, attaches itself with the greatest tenacity to that which is the most antiquated and untenable, and the fullest of holes, flaws, and imperfections.
King-According to modern doctrine, the hereditary proprietor of a nation; according to reason, its accountable first magistrate.
Kitchen. The temple for whose consumption hecatombs of animals are daily sacrificed, who, however, generally wreak a final revenge upon epicures and gluttons.
Knowledge.-A molehill removed from the mountain of our igno
Laughter. A faculty bestowed exclusively upon man, and which there is therefore a sort of impiety in not exercising as frequently as we can. We may say with Titus, that we have lost a day if it have passed without our laughing. The pilgrims at Mecca consider it so essential a part of their devotion, that they call upon the Prophet to preserve them from sad faces.
The matin chorister, that first sets the light of heaven to
Law. That in which we are still as far behind some portions of Europe as we are ahead of them in cottons and cutlery, owing principally to the blind obstinacy of its professors, who have in all ages been the last to abandon a legal abuse. Even the statutes against witchcraft were not repealed until after France had set us the example, and many of our law-officers strenuously opposed the measure to the last! Labyrinth.-See Law.
Learning. Too often a knowledge of words and an ignorance of things; a mere act of memory which may be exercised without common
Licenser (dramatic).-One who attempts to atone for his own licentiousness by over-acting the puritan and the rigorist towards others. Loan. A means of robbing our successors for the purpose of destroying our contemporaries.
Logic. Substituting sound for sense, and perverting reason by reasoning.
Logwood.-A dye much used in the manufacture of wine.
Longevity. Adding a few years to the wrong end of life, and surviving oneself
Lottery. The only game of chance where you are certain to lose your money.
Lover.-One who in his desire to obtain possession of another has lost possession of himself.
Loyalty. Sometimes a profession, sometimes a trade, sometimes art; generally self-love disguised as a love of the king.
Martyr. That which all faiths have produced in about equal proportions; so much easier is it to die for religion than to live for it.
Marriage.-Taking a yoke-fellow, who may lighten the burden of existence if you pull together, or render it insupportable if you drag different ways.
May.—“I had rather live twenty Mays," says Sir Thomas Wotton, "than forty Novembers," and yet in his old age he was anxious to prolong the winter of his days
"And from the dregs of life thought to receive
What the first sprightly running would not give."
Medicine. - Guessing at Nature's intentions and wishes, and then endeavouring to substitute our own.
Melancholy.-Ingratitude to Heaven.
Milk, London.--The joint production of the cow and the pump. Misanthrope.-One who is uncharitable enough to judge of others by
Money-May be accused of injustice towards mankind,—inasmuch as there are only a few who make false money, whereas money makes many men false.
Monastery.-A house of ill-fame, where men and women are seduced from their public duties, and generally fall into guilt from attempting to preserve an unnatural innocence.
Mouth. An useless instrument to some people,—in as far as it renders ideas audible, but of special service for rendering victuals invisible. Mummy.-A flesh statue--an immortal of the dead.
Muzzle.--A contrivance to prevent biting or barking, put upon the mouths of dogs in England, and upon those of human beings in the dominions of the Holy Alliance.
Negro. A creature treated as a brute, because he is black, by greater brutes who happen to be white.
Nightingale.--The musician kindly appointed by Heaven to cheer us in the darkness.
Nobleman.--One who is indebted to his ancestors for a name and an estate, and not unfrequently to himself for being unworthy of both. Nose.--See Snuff-box.
Nonsense.--Generally applied to any sense that happens to differ from our own.
November. The period at which every Englishman takes leave of the sun for nine months, and not a few of them for ever.
I LOVE to hear at mournful eve
I love to see the misty moon,
And wind the darksome homeward lane
From way thus distant, lone and late,
While every lowly lattice shines
Where round the blazing evening fire
And passing by each friendly door,
To sit beside the fire, and hear
To see the social tea prepared,
To sip our tea, to laugh and chat
THE CANADIAN EMIGRANT. NO. I.
AFTER several years of active service, our battalion was re-formed, in the year 1816, and, like many others at the peace, I was thrown upon the world without fortune or profession. I was pressed by some friends to enter into their offices, and promised certain advancement ; but I could not bear to think of submitting to the petty caprices of cold, calculating money-getters, after having for seven painful years lived the slave of military tyranny; and though my early education had qualified me for entering upon a learned profession, yet the time necessary for securing a subsistence by my own talents, my former habits of strenuous idleness, and the want of funds of my own to carry me through the trial, compelled me, without hesitation, to reject the choice of either. After looking about me for many months, and finding myself as far from a decided resolution as ever, I reluctantly accepted the invitation of a brother demi-solde, to settle in the wilderness of Upper Canada. To leave my native land at the moment I was beginning to enjoy it, was indeed painful to my feelings; but then I had a prospect of becoming free and independent by a few years of active exertion; and, at the worst, should be exposed to no scorn of the rich or powerful but if adversity followed me to the New World, I could bear it boldly and recklessly, for "a stranger is a stranger in a strange land"— if I met no pity, I should feel no shame ;-unknowing and unknown I could exert myself as far as honour and integrity would sanction in any situation, without the reluctance I must necessarily feel on entering the ranks of common life in such an aristocratical country as England. Such were the impressions that induced me to promise my friend Bthat I would accompany him to America. For myself, how little soever I relished the predominant feelings of English society, I felt no love for America nor the Americans; it was not, therefore, any political feeling, nor any romantic illusion of retirement in the woods, that had any influence on my decision. My resolution being once formed, I bustled through the preparations for my departure, and with a smiling face, but aching heart, jumped into the coach that conveyed us to Liverpool, there to embark for new scenes and adventures.
We decided on traversing the United States on our way to Upper Canada; and, accordingly, took our passage to New York. The evening before we embarked, I went out of the city alone, ascended a slight rising ground, and thence took a last survey of the wide prospect that lay before me of the wonders of commerce, the applications of science, and the splendid creations of wealth and knowledge. Here," I said to myself, "is the last view I shall, perhaps, ever enjoy of the wonderful effects of human talent,-of the incessant dominion of mind over the properties of matter,-of civilized man over the distant and uncivilized regions of the earth! I go to scenes where Nature reigns supreme-where the influence of man is scarcely felt amidst the immensity of wilderness-where he appears only as the red hunter of the woods, or the wretched exile from distant and more genial climes. I am to lose the society that lightens all the evils of life, that makes life itself a boon-those friends whose smile gladdens the heart, whose sympathy consoles, whose experience guides:-all these I leave for cold, unsympathizing, uncultivated strangers,- for solitude in all its desolation,