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A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, Src.
GLASGOW, TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 1832.
MEMOIRS OF A PAISLEY BAILLIE.
But nearer see yon hill with tall spire crown'd.
Whilst round its base a thronging town is wound,
RENFREWSHIRE CHARACTERS AND SCENERY.
A STEEPLE CHASE AFTER ANTIQUITIES.
Having got things toshed up in this way, I was anxious to get our Antiquary liar led up to the High Kirk, for his strange figure, violent gestures, and the way that he wapped about his hands, had by this time gathered B gay pickle folk about us. What faschit me maist, was some of my ain freends in daikering backwards and forwards in the square, with their hands in their breek pouches, or stuck in their oxters, coming within earshot, and saying till ane anither, loud enough for Mr. Roustythrappil to hear, "Whatten a queer neighbour is that the Baillie's got in tow with? Surely they winna cast out—I declare they'll fecht. Weel it's a pity, the Baillie, puir bodie, demeans himsell wi taking ony sic chat aff the hands of that dour doun-lookin, sneckdrawer. Od, if it was me, I would hand him ower to Captain Jamffray of the Police in the dooble of nae time." This was really a tempting of Providence on their part, as weel as an affront to myself, that I didna pass ower neist time we foregathered in the Baillie's club, for I gied them their ditty—het and heavy; but, afterthey had apologeesed, I telt them, as in duty bound, all I kent, and a wee scent mair, about Mr. Roustythrappil. It was really a mercy, however, that that gentleman being a thocht deaf in his near lug, owing to his having catched a cauld while sitting at the sea side ae stormy afternoon, listening like a seamaw or kittywake to the sough of the wind and the jaupin' of the waves. He assured me, that the thundering waves of the ocean, as they dashed themselves belly-flaucht against the caverned rocks, made far grander music to his ears, than all the orchestras in the world heaped together, could produce. No being particularly weel skilled in musical science, never having advanced farder therein than to croon ower the "Auld Hundred," or the "Martyrs," I could not contradict him, howstimever, I closed the business by observing, that if it wasna that good, it was at least dirt cheap, which in a mercantile point of view, was a great object. Now, this sensible observer of mine, brought on another brulzie between us, that was out of a' character; but I may keep that to speak about in due season; all that I wish to have explained here, is, that my fiery freend had that great conveniency and positive advantage till a man in his progress through life, called a deaf lug.
Off we set at last for the High Kirk, and after warsling up the brae as weel as could be, we got into the steeple, and up the stair we scrambled like two cats after a cushy-doo or a mealy mouse. I never had ony great liking to speel up to the heichest buttlings, for a body's head is apt to get licht at that extraordinar altitude. Then the ladder is aye shougy-shouing, and the idea is perfectly frichtsoiue, least it break, and a body be tumbled down headlang and brained without mercy upon the muckle bell. It really gars a' my flesh grue to think upon sic a catastrophe. It is weel kent that I am as bauld as my neibours, having been enrolled in the Gentle Corps of Volunteers, and
having marched doun to Greenock with knapsack on back, cartridge box at my hinderlets, rausquet shouldered and bayonet fixed, determined to face and to fecht the bloody French, if they ever daured to land at the shore; but for a' that, there is nae needcessity for ony man, by way of a boast, to put himsell in unnecessary peril. This were my reflections, I candidly confess, when I was climbing the ladder after Mr. Roustythrappil. The twa sides of it were so thin and shachly, in fack they looked nae gritter than a fishing wand, and they geed and sweyed hither and thither, at sic a rate, that I looked for the hail concern breaking thro' the middle, and baith of us losing our precious lives for a piece of idle daurin.
Weel, we were baith creepin up the ladder like twa monkey beasts or jackey tars, and I was beginning to look and mak my observes upon my neibour's bumphlit pouches, to see whether they had a steek as I jaloused to keep a' tight, when the ladder gies such a creak and heisy up and doun, that I thought it was all up, and that baith of us were on the eve of spinning heads ower heels frae tap to boddum, getting a dunch here, a cloud there, and a jundie every where, till we came clash doun, twa disfigured masses of broken banes and lifeless flesh. A man of ordinar courage would have dwarfed. But for me, I held a death grip of the ladder, and jamming my head between twa of the steps, to be out of the way, in case my freend had lost his futting, I laid myself as flat as possible, to let him trintle ower me in his douncome as easily as possible. In this posture I clung for some time with my een steekit; for the fack is, I couldna bide the sight of seeing any body, far less a freend, cutting flourishes in the air, and posting aff till eternity, as a body might say, in a coach and four, with the diel himsell for an outrider. The sensible heart may conceive the horror of that awesome moment. There was me, the head of a house, a married man and B faither, swinging midway between earth and heaven—the ladder creaking and jigging under my weight, and threatening to snap richt thro the middle, and then labouring under the apprehension, that poor Mr. Roustythrappil wouldna hae the benefit of a clean fall, but come bang against the back of my neck wi' a thud, that might either break it or the ladder—in ony case a fatal issue—or that he in his mortal desperation, (drowning men catch at straes) might mak' a claucht at me in passing, and hard me after him to the pit of destruction. Abuse me I heard a satr strusslin', fitterin', pechin', and grainin', though I saw nacthing, on account of my even being steekit, as aforesaid, but it immediately came intil my head, that this breingin and stramash must needs be atweesht my puir unfortunate freend and the Bethral, as ilk ane was Itrivin' to save himsell frae distruction, at the expense of his neibour, according to law. Ane was eneuch, but baith to tumble down upon my tap, was naething short o' dounricht murder. I roared out to them no to get intil grips, but, if they bood to come hurtling ower me, to tak' time and do it, ane after the ilher, and wi' that I steekit my een closer and closer thegither—jammed my head farrer and farrer through the steps, and made up my mind to die, like a Roman or a real game cock. To look doun was impossible—a body's head would have spun round like a peerie, to contemplate a tumble of at least two hunder feet. About half way doun, ane was sure to come whack against the bell, and there be clean knocked to shivers, afore reaching anes sad and feenal landing place, in the session house, at the boddum of the steeple. Then, in the middle o' the meantime, it came to my recollection that I had seen that the wood of the ladder wassairly wormed through, which, added to its desperate thinness, greatly increased my confloption.and with pure reasoning, on my imminent danger, I was just dissolved into two lump of geil. Were it a case of fire, and ane up even fourstairs, and evenhaflinssmuired wi'reik, I wouldna hae been nearly sae sair distressed, for then, a body might get blankets and sheets, and swing themselves ower intil the feather beds, that, nae doubt, gude neibours would be spreading out, to kepp our fall, or the leeries and sklaiters, and firemen would set to their ladders, and carry a body doun on their backs, just like—aye, just like ony thing, as Dr. Kittletext says, when he comes to a dead pause, in a string of lively similitudes. But, in my case, there was nae kind friend or neibour, nae bauld sklaiter to lend me a lift in my needcessity and peril. I was a prisoner in a dreary steeple, far out of the hearing or help of man, and in momentary expectation of dreein' a death, waur ten thousand times waur than that of a common malefactor, that gets naething mair than a bit insignificant fall of a foot or sae, and has nae precious bane broken in his body, excepting an ugly twist in the vertebrae of his neck. All they thochts and considerations galloped through my head like lightening, and then a deadly cauld shiver gae through my heart, when I reflecked on the distress of my puir wife and bairns— when she cried upon her husband and they cried upon their faither, and the voice, forever dumb, that could have meized their sorrows, and put an end to their woeful lamentings.
Further I needna endeavour to describe my precarious and frichtsome situation, but at ae time I was in sic a fever wi' the thocht of what might happen, that I positively cried out, "for Gude sake, Mr. Roustythrappil, dinna lay hands on me, if ye hae tint your futting. There's nae fun in two Christians perishing by a miserable death if ane can serve. Catch rather at thejeists or the tackling o' the bell, grip till ony thing, but haud aff me, the faither and bread winner of a family of small innocents."
Weel, I was in siccan a state, that I lost all count of time, and, having my een steekit, didna perceive that Mr. Roustythrappil, and the Bethral that led the way, had got landed safe and sound on the gallery that leads out to the buttlins, and there the two had been cracking like pen guns, no missing me at all, till they commenced their descent, which, of course, was arreisted when they saw the dreadful situation and agony of suffering that I was in. "What's come owre ye, Baillie?" cried the Betheral. "Are ye unwell," shouted the Antiquary. "Either come up, or gang down," continued the impertinent body of a Betliral, "for Ise assure ye the timmer winna carry three, its as souple as a rash, and would scarcely do for steps and stairs to a hen's bauk, let abee three ordinar-sized men."
Seeing now, how the land lay, and that nae mishanter was likely to occur, saving what might arise through unnecessary apprehension, I opened my een at ance, and cried, courageously, " Ou aye, talking's easy, but how am I to get my head out frae between the twa steps that it's jammed in? I'm nearly throttled—ye maun lend a hand quickly, twa three minutes mair would have finished me." With that, I heard my friend laughing, as if he had found a mear's nest, whilk was ony thing but kind or considerate, considering the jeopardy I put mysell into, entirely to obleege him. "I declare, Baillie, it is the first time I ever saw a magistrate in a pillory, and I hope it shall be the last." "Sae do I myself," quo I, rather sharply; "but if ye canna help a friend at a dead lift, wi naething better than a bitter mock, I'm no thinking ye'U ever be axed twice, or thanked ance."
This brought them baith to their senses, and seeing/ me to be really jammed atween the twa spars, and held tight and fast, without the power of thrawing my head to ae side or the ither, (a fuck, I was nae myself aware of, at first, but thocht to play it art' as a good guise, to keep them frae laughing at the posture they found me in) Mr. Roustythrapple turned himself round, like a lamplighter, and descending on the ither side of the ladder, hinging by his hands in a wonderful way, wrenched out the step, at once relieved my head, and swung himsell down to the floor, before you could say Jack Robinson. I was really thankful to him for his good offices, but I didna think it worth while to tell him how I had mysell to thank for that plisky and causeless tribulation of soul and body.
Coming out of the steeple, we then proceeded alang Oakshaw Street till the Bowling Green, at the Hutheid, and there we twa had a desperate argle-bargling about the probable extent of the Roman camp. Of course, as in duty bound, out of respect to my native town, I threipit that it occupied fully mair ground than the present town stood upon; and, that in these farawa times, there was really a superior harbour at the Sneddoun, as weel as het and cauld baths, of the most sumptuous description, forbye ither luxuries and arts, introduced by these uncommon clever people. Another point I insisted upon, and Mr. Roustythrappil either could not, or would not contradict me in, quhilk was, that the Romans never conquered Paisley, but were invited to winter there, for a year or twa, and to make themsells quite at home, till they could be better provided for, in some ither pairt of the kingdom. In remembrance too, of this great historic truth, regarding the concord and amity subsisting between the natives of Paisley and Rome, I proved, to my ain satisfaction, that the name of the town was altered from Vanduaria to Pax et Lex, and softened down, afterwards, by elision, and otherwise to Paselet, Passelay, and now as it is written Paisley." Mr.Roustythrappil couldna contravene a single bit of my argument in this engaging subject, and did naething, all the time I was haulding forth, but laugh and rub his twa hands thegither, and girn in my face, like a thief through a widdy. The fack is, I jaloused the deil's buckie might be meaning to write a bit history of our antiquities, and, for the credit of the place, it was necessary that a few new thochts on the subject, forbye them that are to be met with in books, should be driven intill him ; and I handled they matters with sic an aff-hand kind of fluency of speech, that I am sure Mr. Roustythrappil thought me nae sma' shakes in history and antiquities; and the farrer back I gade, I universally found mysell mair at hame, which I look upon as a very fine discovery in the philosophy of the human mind. Facts and dates are just another term for falsehoods and errors, and a perfect down-draught to clever thinking. But upon this head, we got into a sad tirrivee. Mr. Roustythrappil was neither to haud nor to bind, and had the impudence and wickedness to say that it was just owing to the fanciful speculations of sheer and conceited ignorance that the inquisition of truth was rendered so painful in its progress, and so dubious and unsatisfactory in its results. Now, this was a bit spitefulness in him, that I couldna have looked for at the hands of ane that was born and bred a gentleman. However, I gied him up his fit in my ain way, and at my ain time and convenience, according to law, as the following chapters will declare.
* This notion I had frae our Tuoimns, in his Lecture, deliver, ed before the Paisley Philosophical Institution, in the Abbey close, upon Local Etymologies, and Lingual Transmogrifications.
Mo Lie He Accident determined his taste for the stage. His
grandfather loved the theatre, and frequently carried him there. The young man lived in dissipation: The father observing it, asked in anger, if his son were to be made an actor. "Would to God," replied the grandfather, "he was as good an actor as Montrose." The words struck young Moliere; he took a disgust to his tapestry trade; and it is to this circumstance, France owes her greatest comic writer.
Passages from the Diary of a late Physician. With Notes and Illustrations by the Editor; two vols. William Blackwood, Edinburgh, 1832.
A Okbat noise was made about the contents of these volumes, when they were publishing, periodically, in Blackwood's Magazine. Some attributed them to Mr. Moir, others supposed them to be written by our distinguished townsman Mr. MacNish, and every body agreed that the circumstantiality and appearance of truth which they possessed, indicated their author to be a professional man. We, believe, however, the truth was, that while each man supposed his own conjecture the true one, nobody had the least grounds beyond what general resemblances might exist, in the style or subjects, for forming any opinion upon the authorship. The writer, we believe, is now either known, or supposed to be a young man who frequents one of the principal publishing houses in London, and who is not, after all, a medical practitioner. Regarding the pretensions which the stories assert to being founded on facts, we have no reason to say anything either confirming, or invalidating. They certainly bear no evidence in themselves to confute the writer's repeated assertions of their reality, and, if they are altogether invented, the ingenuity which they display, is of no ordinary description: In that case, the same remarks which the author of the History of Fiction has made of Swift and De Foe have equal force when applied to these volumes.
"Both are remarkable for the unaffected simplicity of their narratives—both intermingle so many minute circumstances, and state so particularly names of persons, and dates, and places, that the reader is involuntarily surprised into a persuasion of their truth."
"Those minute references immediately lead us to give credit to the whole narrative, since we think they would hardly have been mentioned unless they had been true."
We need as little occupy any space with commenting upon the merit of these sketches which has been recognized by a translation into the French language, and by the publication of a stereotyped edition in America. The interest of "The Cancer," "The Wife," "The Statesman," and " Mother and Son," has been felt and acknowledged by every reader. We confess, however, that some of the characters in others of the passages, appear to us not to be worthy of a place beside those which are contained in the stories just mentioned, as they show too much of a striving after effect. This remark we would exemplify in the "Ruined Merchant," who, though he is the subject of a most affecting tale, is not drawn at the beginning with much distinctness. We may also mention, that the "Martyr Philosopher" has too much sentimentalism and poetry in his composition to accord with our ideas of nature. Such trifling observations, however, do not affect the general excellence of the work to which some of the contemporary magazines have borne a very satisfactory testimony, by borrowing the idea in their own pages. Some of the London periodicals have certainly abused the " Diary" very virulently, but they have, probably, been actuated by jealousy of B rival publication. The spirit of these sketches, which is the point on which they have been attacked, appears to us to exhibit nothing that deserves censure. On the contrary, the lessons of morality which they read, have every prospect of operating beneficially, and will, therefore, deserve the thanks, rather than wound the feelings of private individuals.
The thread of the silk worm is so small that many folds are twisted together, to form our finest sewing thread ; but that of the "rider is smaller still, for two drachms of it, by weight, would reach from London to Edinburgh, or 400 miles.—Arnott's Physics.
THE GRAVE DIGGER OF ZURICH.
One the night of the 12th September, 1776, being the eve of a Sunday, on which a general communion was to be at the cathedral church of Zurich in Switzerland, called Munster Kirk, and many thousands were expected there to partake of it; the wine was prepared and brought to the church to be ready against morning; but, in the mean time, an incarnate devil dared to lay hands on the sanctuary of the Lord, and poisoned all the wine. In the morning, when the sacrament was administered, there was a hurried confusion; several fainted away on the spot; several vomited; several were taken with a violent colic ; and, in short, the whole city was thrown into the utmost consternation. Upon this an experiment was tried, and the poison discovered. About eight had died of the poison when this came away; and had not the bad taste of the wine given early notice of the intended mischief, many more must have perished: still some hundreds were dangerously ill. After a strict examination, it was discovered, that one Wirtz, a grave digger, was the perpetrator of this diabolical deed, with a view to promote his business, which had been slack for some time. The villain was immediately apprehended.
ELEGY ON MAJOR.
Past a' reineid;
Naemairhe'll cry the "bonny tummel,"
An ideot creed;
For now he's dead.
Nae mair he will, wi' rattlin' birr,
His powers to heed;
Cauld, stiff an' dead.
Cholera! thou malignant evil,
Thy direful greed;
Ye've laid him dead.
Besides, to him ye've done the same
Ye've sent wi' speed,
Amang the dead.
This city has great cause to rue
Ye had nae need
Low wi' the dead.
I dinna mean your ears to diddle,
The Italian weed—
The dormant dead.
Sic powers as his were very rare,
For no to be a man o' lair—
But now, alack, ye'll see nae mair,
Him raise his head,
Waea me, he's dead.
It, to my heart, gies muckle pain,
Now a' tak' heed,
Since Major's dead.
That scourge which Major aff did carry,
A splendid pair!
The rage among the ladies at present is: Transferring Prints upon white wood. In this way the neatness of handiwork supplies the want of taste and skill in drawing; and, with very little trouble, some of the finest designs of our artists are made to adorn a screen or reticule. Might we not suggest, that, while these pretty amusements are occupying the attention of the fair, the bazaar, for the benefit of the cholera hospitals, would be easily got up, and be productive of great advantage. We know that there are some among our fair who are ever ready to engage in charitable purposes, and only require a master spirit to unite them in some great enterprize.
WEST COUNTRY REMINISCENCES.
The following odd advertisement, connected with our city, is taken
from the Edinburgh Courant, of 28th October, 1757 "We,
Robert M'Nair, and Jean Holmes, having taken into consideration the way and manner our daughter Jean acted in her marriage —that she took none of our advice, nor advised us, before she married—for which reason, we discharged her from our family, for more than twelve months; and, being afraid that some or other of our family may also presume to marry, without duly advising us thereof; we, taking the affair into our serious consideration, hereby discharge all and every one of our children from offering to marry, without our special advice and consent first had and obtained; and, if any of our children should propose or presume to offer marriage, to any, without, as aforesaid, our advice and consent, they, in that case, shall be banished from our family for twelve months ; and, if they should go so far as to marry, without our advice and consent, in that case, they are to be banished from the family, seven years; but, whoever advises us of their intention to marry, and obtains our consent, shall not only remain children of the family, but, also, shall have a due proportion of our goods, gear, and estate, as we shall think convenient, and as the bargain requires; and, further, if any one of our children shall marry clandestinely, they, by so doing, shall lose all claim or title to our effects, goods, gear, or estate; and, we intimate this to all concerned, that none may pretend ignorance."
PREDICTION OF ST. CESAIRE, BISHOP OF
The following appeared in a Journal in this country about fifty years ago, taken from a book entitled "Liber Mirabilis," and deposited in the Royal Library of Paris, printed in Gothic characters:—
The administrators of this kingdom (France) shall be so blinded, that they shall leave it without defenders; the hand of God shall extend itself over them, and over all the rich.
All the nobles shall be deprived of their estates and their dignities.
A division shall spring up in the church of God: and there shall be two husbands—the one true and the other adulterous.
The legitimate husband shall be put to flight: there shall be a. great carnage, and as great an effusion of blood as in the time of the Gentiles. The universal church and the whole world, shall deplore the ruin and destruction of a most celebrated city, the capital and mistress of France. The altars of the temples shall be destroyed; the holy virgins, outraged, shall fly from their monasteries; the church pastors shall be driven from their seats, and the church shall be stripped of her temporal goods.
But, at length, the black eagle and the lion shall appear, arriving from far countries.
Misery be to thee, O city of opulence! thou shall at first rejoice, but thy end shall come. Misery be to thee, O city of Philosophy! thou shalt be subjected.
A captive king, humbled even to confusion, shall at la! ver his crown, and shall destroy the children of Brutus.
At the present moment, when this fell disease is raging among us, every thing that has been remarked concerning its symptoms or its cure, is worthy of attention. With this view, we present our readers with the following extracts, from a recent publication of a celebrated German Physician: —
It is his conviction that the patient's symptoms should in so far guide the treatment—that stomach sickness or actual vomiting, should be met by emetics—bowel complaint, by purgatives—perspiration, by medicine, to increase perspiration—plethoric symptoms, by blood letting.
It is universally admitted, that rules for Cholera treatment, as applicable to every case, are a more chimera, as almost every kind of treatment, however opposite, has succeeded with some patients and failed with others. But innumerable cases in Hamburgh, among the better classes, never were heard of, being checked before medical aid was called, by the instantaneous adoption of the simple remedy of getting into a warm bed, between blankets, and drinking profusely of chamomile tea, (no matter if the drink were vomitted the next moment or not,) and rubbing the patient with camphorated spirits. To facilitate this operation, which must be persevered in, a flesh brush, made of many folds of plaiding, stitched together, and about nine inches long, by four to five broad, with a strap at the back through which the hand passes. Tin cases, hollow and bent, so as to lie conveniently on the stomach, about one inch and a half thick, filled with hot water, which, without much weight, conveys and retains beat. Some yards of flannel should be in every house, and hot water night and day in readiness, as life, when saved, is always so by the promptness of assistance, and not one case of cure is known when the disease had advanced far before help was obtained.
We understand, that a Sermon on " Assurance and its Grounds," preached at the ordination of the Rev. John Laurie, as Minister of the church and parish of Row, with the charge addressed to the minister and the parishioners, by William Fleming, D. D., is in the press.
A Saxon Grammar, and Derivations, with an Analysis of the style of Chaucer, Douglas and Spenser, by Professor Hunter, Anderson's University, is announced.
An Unfortunate Corrector or The Press.—Pope Sixtus V. superintended an edition of the Vulgate, every sheet of which he carefully inspected as it passed through the press; and, to the amazement of the world, the work remained without a rival—it swarmed with errata! A multitude of scraps were printed to paste over the erroneous passages, in order to give the true text. The book makes a whimsical appearance with these pasted corrections; and the heretics exulted in the demonstration of Papal infallibility! The copies were called in, and violent attempts made to suppress it; however, a few remain for the rapturous gratificaof the Biblical collectors. At a late sale, the Bible of Sixtus V. fetched above sixty guineas: not too much for a mere book of blunders! The world was highly amused at the bull of the Pope and editor prefixed to the first volume, which excommunicates all printers, &c, who, in reprinting the work, should make any alteration in the text!—D'Israeli.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. "V. P." in an early number.
The " Ark and Dove" in our next Saturday's number. "Stanzas on the Death of Grucr M'Gruer," if possible, tomorrow.
Several Poetical pieces are in type, but are kept back from want of room.
TO LET, apply to Messrs. J. & A. DENNISTOUN, 7, Montrose Street, ENTRY AT WHITSUNDAY,— GERMISTON HOUSE, within half an hour's walk of the Royal Exchange.
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Also, VILLAFIELD HOUSE, situated at the bead of TAYLOR STREET, within ten minutes' walk of the Exchange.—Contains Dining-room, Drawing-room, and five Bedrooms, Kitchen, Pantries and Cellars, with an excellent Garden.
QUPERB LONDON HATS from the following celebrated O Makers.—ISAAC FORTH, lately appointed Hatter to Her Majesty, BICKNELL & MOORE, BOWLER & SON, WILSON, EVELEGH, &C. &C.— To be had of R. NIXON, 98, ARGYLL STREET, Corner of the ARCADE, who has just received a supply of the NEATEST and NEWEST SHAPES.
Published, every Morning, Sunday excepted, by John Finlay, at No. 9, Miller Street; and Sold by John Wylie, 97, Argyle Street; David Robertson, and W. R. M'phun, Glasgow; Thomas^stevenson, and the other Booksellers, Edinburgh : DaVid Dick, and A. Gardner, Booksellers, Paisley: A. L»ing, Greenock; and J. Glass, Bookseller, Rothsay.
PRINTED BY JOHN GRAHAM, MELVILLE PLACE.
A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c.
GLASGOW, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 1832.
"You rogue, here's lime in this sack too: there is nothing but roguery to be found in vilunoui men.
nasi Part or king Henry Iv.
Truth, they gay, lies in a well, and, from its scarcity, we should think it a well as deep as "the deep, deep sea." Every one pretends to love and admire truth, but every one seems to love filling more; for we are all fibbers, in a greater or lesser degree. We are disposed, however, to make one little exception from this sweeping, but true remark. We are too gallant, and we love women, "lovely women," too ardently, to insinuate, for a moment, that they are ever in the habit of fibbing, although there be sulky, surly unbelieving fellows, who will maintain the reverse of this opinion. But, with them we will not argue farther, than simply remarking that Johnson's classification of fibbers, into mercantile fibbers, vain fibbers, and malicious fibbers, is a good one, and that, as it is impossible to say "lovely fair ones" can be either mercantile, vain, or malicious, it would appear from the Doctor's view of the matter, that they are excluded from fibbing altogether.
Your mercantile fibbers are very numerous. They are both old and young, and, if they can fib dexterously, they are considered desperate clever business-fibbing fellows. The getting of an order, the securing of a customer, or the making of a bargain, be it good or bad, cannot be done without many a fine thumping fib. Your horse jockey is the most honoured man on earth. He is deemed the prince of fibbers, more so, even than the lawyer; for every thing he says about his nag, is written down as fibbing. But why so kind to these ignorant dealers in horse flesh? They are not a bit better fibbers than other dealers, and, because they are more anxiously watched, their fibbing has not the same effect as the fibbing of others. The steed, both lame and blind, is praised by the jockey, as a " rare un' to go," which is a fib, and the rotten web of silk is praised by the mercer, as of the finest quality, which is another fib. What difference is there? We are all jockeys and fibbers in our way.
"All the world's a stage,
We fib, fawn and flatter, and do a thousand other things, as our parts and our characters require. We are merely players,
"And one man in his time, plays many parts," dressing and undressing, painting and painting, his acts, words and deeds, as may be fitting. There is more acting, more fibbing, amongst the rich, than the poor. Your rich merchant fibs every hour of the day, and dreams of it when sleeping. His stores are already over-stocked. He can't purchase, but all the time, he is fibbing; for he must, and will purchase, though these "wise saws" are weak inventions to bring the seller, (who fibs too) to the lowest penny in price. See the same one, when selling, how altered, and what lots of iinjj fibbing. What he formerly abused is then the finest thing in the market, but it is a fib. It is cheap, that's another fib, and he has no profit, which is a third fib; for he may have twenty, thirty, aye, or fifty per cent. "When Greek meets Greek then comes the tug of war," and when merchant meets merchant
then comes the dissimulation and the fibbing. "There is no friendship in trade," but there are many outward professions of it, but silently and quietly, it is all fib, fib, fibbing.
Your tradesmen are arrant fibbers, generally about the most trifling things. Your boot maker tells you unasked, that your boots are of the best material and fit to a tittle, but he fibs, for they pinch your toes most confoundedly, and burst in a week. Mister Snip is to send home your new pea-green toggery after the newest cut, in time for some favourite party, but he fibs, for it comes too late—it doesn't suit, but the arch rogue sees no fault—every thing "fits like a glove," while the little man of fashion is fibbing all the time. After a hard day's toil, you delight in a glass of good old wine, and in all its ruby brightness it may appear before you—but after all "it's not the thing." The dealer assures you, on his honour, it is first rate, but he is fibbing, for he knows it to be bad. When you purchase your souchong and hyson, and your Stilton, have an eye on the weights or you are a done man, and if you have patience enough just watch the fibs, as they rattle on, about the quality and cheapness of one or all of the articles. If you are an exquisite, and fond of the gew-gaws of perfumery, and such like trumpery, you are sure to have fibbing on the largest possible scale. Your artists too, these men of the brush, are great fibbers. If they paint your portrait, they flatter—they give you a Roman nose, while yours is a snub one, and then they fib, by telling you it is " a striking likeness." Your critic is all a fib—he fibs about books, and a great many things, that he has neither seen, read, nor understands. Your politician spends his rhetoric in expounding principles which he says are founded in truth, while they are all fibs. And your quack, while he is hourly poisoning you with his pills, fibs by swearing you are hourly getting better. In short, there is fibbing in every thing—we can't speak without fibbing—we can't think without fibbing —we can't write without fibbing—we can't buy or sell without fibbing—it is all fib, fib, fibbing.
Some fibbers are like the grave digger in Hamlet, to whom you " must speak by tho card, or equivocation will undo you." They fib by equivocation—they don't come plump out, with a tremendous whaler of a fib, but seek to do it by equivocation and confusion of words and ideas, but, in any way, it is all ribbing. There are other fibbers who fib not by speaking loud or long, but by sly winks, ominous shakings of the head, "with arms encumbered, and by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase." By these antic gestures, they give you to understand, that so and so is the case, which they know to be a fib. Your Smallest men are strange fibbers—they fib by saying so and so is rich, while these fibbers mean that he is poor, and, vice versa, they fib. These are arch fibbers—sly fellows—what did Aristotle say about fibbers—that they were " not to be credited when they spoke the truth." But Aristotle himself was a fibber.
Your mercantile fibbers have reasons for fibbing. It is " all in the way of business," and "all to turn the honest penny." The highwayman, too, robs and steals in the way of business, and all to turn the penny, which is not a fib. Is gold acquired by fibbing, honestly acquired ?—Yes. What a fib.