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concerning not so much the past and present as the expected glories of the great American nation. In the general character of these toasts geographical considerations were very prominent, and the principal fact which seemed to occupy the minds of the speakers was the unprecedented bigness of our country.

“Here's to the United States!” said the first speaker,

“bounded on the north by British America, on the south by the Gulf of Mexico, on the east by the Atlantic, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean!”

“But," said the second speaker, “this is far too limited a view of the subject, and in assigning our boundaries we must look to the great and glorious future which is prescribed for us by the manifest destiny of the Anglo-Saxon race. Here's to the United States ! — bounded on the north by the North Pole, on the south by the South Pole, on the east by the rising, and on the west by the setting sun!”

Emphatic applause greeted the aspiring prophecy. But here arose the third speaker, - a very serious gentleman from the far West. “If we are going,” said this truly patriotic American, “to lessen the historic past and present, and take our manifest destiny into account, why restrict ourselves within the narrow limits assigned by our fellow-countryman, who has just sat down? I give you the United States! — bounded on the north by the Aurora Borealis, on the south by the precession of the Equinoxes, on the east by the primeval chaos, and on the west by the Day of Judgment!”

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THERE sat an old man on a rock,

And unceasing bewailed him of Fate —
That concern where we all must take stock,

Though our voice has no hearing or weight;
And the old man sang him an old, old song
Never sang voice so clear and strong
That it could drown the old man's long;

For he sang the song “ Too late — too late!”

“ When we want, we have for our pains

The promise that if we wait
Till the want has burned out our brains,

Every means shall be present to sate:
While we send for the napkin, the soup gets cold
While the bonnet is trimming, the face grows old ;
When we've matched our buttons, the pattern is sold ;

And everything comes too late — too late!


66 When strawberries seemed like red heavens,

Terrapin stew a wild dream,
When my brain was at sixes and sevens

If my mother had folks and ice-cream,
Then I gazed with a lickerish hunger
At the restaurant man and fruit-monger:
But oh ! how I wished I were younger

When the goodies all came in a stream — in a stream!

“I've a splendid blood-horse and — a liver

Which it jars into torture to trot; My row-boat's the gem of the river —

Gout makes every knuckle a knot ! I can buy boundless credits on Paris and Rome, But no palate for menus — no eyes for a dome: Those belonged to the youth who must tarry at home

When no home but an attic he'd got — he'd got.

“How I longed in that lonest of garrets

Where the tiles baked my brains all July
For ground to grow two pecks of carrots,

Two pigs of my own in a sty!
A rose-bush — a little thatched cottage

love -- a basin of pottage! Now in freestone I sit — and my dotage

With a woman's chair empty close by — close by!

Two spoons

“ Ah! now though I sit on a rock,

I have shared one seat with the great ;
I have sat - knowing naught of the clock

On Love's high throne of state;
But the lips that kissed, and the arms that caressed,
To a mouth grown stern with delay were pressed,
And circled a heart that their clasp had blessed,

Had they only not come too late — too late !”



So many talents are wasted, so many enthusiasms turned to smoke, so many lives spoiled for want of a little patience and endurance, for want of understanding and laying to heart the meaning of The Present for want of recognizing that it is not the greatness or littleness of the duty nearest hand, but the spirit in which one does it, which makes one's doing noble or mean! I can't think how people who have any natural ambition, and any sense of power in them, escape going mad in a world like this, without the recognition of that. I know I was very near mad when I found it out for myself (as one has to find out for oneself everything that is to be of any real practical use to one).

Shall I tell you how it came into my head ? Perhaps it may be of comfort to you in similar moments of fatigue and disgust. I had gone with my husband to live on a little estate of peat-bog, that had descended to me all the way down from John Welsh, the Covenanter, who married a daughter of John Knox. That didn't, I'm ashamed to say, make me feel Craigenputtock a whit less of a peat-bog and a most dreary, untoward place to live at. In fact, it was sixteen miles distant on every side from all the conveniences of life, shops, and even post-office. Further, we were very poor, and further and worst, being an only child, and brought up to great prospects, I was sublimely igno

rant of every branch of useful knowledge, though a capital Latin scholar and very fair mathematician.

It behooved me in these astonishing circumstances to learn to sew. Husbands, I was shocked to find, wore their stockings into holes, and were always losing buttons, and I was expected to “ look to all that


also it behooved me to learn to cook ! no capable servant choosing to live at such an out-of-the-way place, and my husband having bad digestion, which complicated my difficulties dreadfully. The bread, above all, brought from Dumfries, “soured on his stomach” (O Heaven!), and it was plainly my duty as a Christian wife to bake at home.

So I sent for Cobbett's “ Cottage Economy,” and fell to work at a loaf of bread. But, knowing nothing about the process of fermentation or the heat of ovens, it came to pass that my loaf got put into the oven at the time that myself ought to have been put into bed ; and I remained the only person not asleep in a house in the middle of a desert.

One o'clock struck! and then two!! and then three !!! And still I was sitting there in the midst of an immense solitude, my whole body aching with weariness, my heart aching with a sense of forlornness and degradation. That I, who had been so petted at home, whose comfort had been studied by everybody in the house, who had never been required to do anything but cultivate my mind, should have to pass all those hours of the night in watching a loaf of bread which mightn't turn out bread after all !

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