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SAINT ANTHONY'S SERMON TO THE
Saint Anthony at church
Was left in the lurch,
So he went to the ditches
And preach'd to the fishes.
They wriggled their tails,
In the sun glanced their scales. And ye, sacred sunbright mountains,
The carps, with their spawn,
Are all thither drawn;
Have open'd their jaws,
Eager for each clause.
No sermon beside
Had the carps so edified.
Who keep fighting like tikes, 'Mid soft flowers supinely sinking,
Now swam up harmonious
To hear Saint Antonius.
No sermon beside *All too great these ceaseless labours,
Had the pikes so edified.
And that very odd fish,
Who loves fast-days, the cod-fish
The stock-fish, I mean
At the sermon was seen,
No sermon beside 'How shall I new strength refuse thee,
Had the cods so edified.
Good eels and sturgeon,
Which aldermen gorge on,
Went out of their way
To hear preaching that day.
No sermon beside
Had the eels so edified.
Crabs and turtles also,
Who always move slow,
Make haste from the bottom,
As if the devil had got 'em.
No sermon beside
Had the crabs so edified.
Fish great and fish small,
Lords, lackeys, and all,
Each look'd at the preacher A CURE FOR A CONTRADICTORY SPIRIT.
Like a reasonable creature. There are few good listeners in the world who
At God's word, make all the use they might of the understand
They Anthony heard. ings of others in the conduct of their own. No
The sermon now ended, individual ingenuity can sift and examine a sub
Each turn'd and descended; ject with as much variety and success as the
The pikes went on stealing, minds of many men put in motion by many
The eels went on eeling. causes, and affected by an endless variety of acci
Much delighted were they, dents. Nothing, in my humble opinion, would
But preferr'd the old way. bring an understanding so forward, as this habit
The crabs are backsliders, of weighing the opinions of others; a point in which almost all men of abilities are deficient;
The stock-fish thick-siders, whose first impulse, if they are young, is too
The carps are sharp-set, often to contradict; or, if the manners of the
All the sermon forget. world have cured them of that, to listen only
Much delighted were they, with attentive ears, but with most obdurate and
But preferr'd the old way. unconquerable entrails. I would recommend to
HOW TO RUIN YOUR HEALTH. such young men an intellectual regimen, of which I myself, in an earlier period of life, have
1st, stop in bed late; 2d, eat hot suppers; 3d,
turn day into night, night into day; 4th, take felt the advantage; and that is, to assent to the two first propositions that they hear every day;
no exercise; 5th, always ride when you can and not only to assent to them, but, if they
walk; 6th, never mind about wet feet; 7th, can, to improve and embellish them; and to
have half-a-dozen doctors; 8th, drink all the make the speaker a little more in love with
medicine they send you; 9th, try every new his own opinion than before. When they have
quack; 10th, if that doesn't kill you, quack a little got over the bitterness of assenting, they yourself.-Punch. may gradually increase the number of assents, A young lady being asked by a politician, which and so go on as their constitution will bear it. - party she was most in favour of, replied, that she Sydney Smith.
preferred a wedding party.
SAM SPRATT, THE AUCTIONEER. which will prove it, and for the right ap
dog: and we have a story to tell of him In a certain town in the west of Eng- preciation of which these preliminaries land, there lived some time back an indi- have been stated. vidual rejoicing in the euphonious name Sam was on one occasion intrusted of Sam Spratt. He was by trade an auc- with the task of selling the furniture of tioneer, and by character—an auctioneer. an old and decayed mansion-house, situFor all who have observed this class of ated at a considerable distance from the men, as they appear at least in rural dis- little town which he honoured by his own tricts, must be aware that the auctioneer residence. After all the valuables of the is here, there, and everywhere, one and place, once a manorial dwelling of note, the same being. If it be true that the had been duly disposed of, a quantity of gift of poetry is inborn and not to be ac-timeworn odds and ends of all kinds still quired, as Cicero was obliged to conclude, remained, for which no purchaser could after making some abortive attempts at be found. In these circumstances it writing verses which would have brought struck our auctioneer, who was ever on down on an Eton boy a shower of birch, it the alert for a speculation, that it might is equally true and unquestionable that be worth his while to pick up the said the auctioneering talent is an endowment articles; and he forthwith offered a of nature. It is a profession not to trifling sum for them, which was immebe learned by apprenticeship; certain in- diately accepted by the proprietor's agents. nate qualities are indispensable to the On his way homewards, with his purchase man who would follow it with success. in the boot of his gig, San revolved deeply Accordingly we find, on inquiring into in his mind the best way of turning it to any and every auctioneer's history, that account; and as a promising plan dehe never began life in this capacity. veloped itself gradually in the recesses of He tried other trades, perhaps twenty of his scheming brain, he chuckled audibly, them, ere discovering the purpose for and visibly rubbed his hands. As soon which he was brought into the world, as he reached home, he sat down and and the sphere for which alone his pecu- penned a flourishing circular, which he liar genius fitted him. The qualities of got thrown off with all possible speed the auctioneer need scarcely be described from the village press-a machine, by to any who remember a single specimen the way, so old, that Faust might have of the genus. A boundless gift of the worked it, though it could never work gab,' or, in other words, a steam-engine fast. This circular he immediately dispower of talk; a keen perception of the tributed through the whole neighbourridiculous, and a strong bent to satire; hood, announcing that a'magnificent sale, impudence unlimited; no great nicety of and such a one as had never before occonscience, or rather a decided dash of curred in the vicinity,' would take place trickery, amounting very nearly, we are on that day week, 'in the large room of sorry to say, in many instances, to roguery; the Hen and Chickens,' the best inn of a thorough acquaintance with the ordi- which the place could boast. Having nary foibles of humanity; and, to crown issued this note, with many accompanyand guide all these qualities, a good gene- ing flourishes about the extraordinary ral head-piece, with a sprinkling of men- desire which 'S. S. always had to please, tal cultivation: these are the essential accommodate, and serve his fellow-townsrequisites that go to the making of the men, our auctioneer left the thing to work finished district auctioneer. As to his phy- for eight days in the minds of the people sical man and habits of life, he is usually of the place and its neighbourhood. And brisk and jolly-looking, and loves good eat the announcement did ferment briskly ing and his glass, the latter often to a and well, a'magnificent sale' being by no rather uncommendable excess.
means a common occurrence in the place, Such is, was, and possibly ever will be, Curiosity was fully aroused. On the day the provincial auctioneer, and such was appointed for the affair, the street oppoSam Spratt. Indeed, Sam presented all site to the Hen and Chickens was filled the natural characteristics of his tribe in with persons lounging about, waiting for rather an extreme degree, conjoined with the hour of twelve. The squire of the a larger store of acquired knowledge than manor and his lady were there; the nousually falls to the lot of his brothers in tary and his whole family marched about; trade. Sam Spratt was in short a clever | the half-pay quartermaster displayed his
martial graces, and his yet quarter-mar- I offer to you, ladies and gentlemen, are tial attire; the grocer, tlie greatest mor- a few unimportant and commonplace ones, cantile man in the village, strutted about which I almost blush to see on the same with a lordly air, his wife and daughter table with the others.? hanging on his arms; and finally, not to With this preface, the auctioneer put speak of many sinaller personages, the up the only four or five articles which schoolmaster himself was on the field, seemed to the company of the slightest having given a holiday to his boys for the value. They were sold at once, and well; purpose.
for the people were dubious whether any Sam Spratt had judiciously ordered of the others would be worth buying. that the saleroom should not on any Sam then entreated the company again account be opened till the hour of twelve to refresh themselves; and after a short struck, being somewhat afraid of the first pause, resumed his harangue. impression which the display of his articles 'Ladies and gentlemen, nothing but might produce, if he was not there in the firm reliance which I have on your person to guide and rectify the people's powers of discrimination could induce judgment. When the doors were opened, me to offer for sale here the precious in truth, the disappointment of the en- rarities which you now behold, and which trants was excessive at seeing before them I have procured at the cost of almost una table covered with old rusty, musty, equa!ied exertion and research. All the fusty, household implements, without articles now before you, ladies and gentlemore than three or four articles of any men, possess a deep historical interest; seeming value among then. These few having belonged to personages who have articles Spratt had mingled purposely in past times been the glory of old Engwith bis grand purchase. People began land. You are the descendants of these to whisper, and to laugh, and to snarl, great men, and, like pious sons, will bless according to their dispositions, as if as- the opportunity, I am sure, now held sured that a hoax had been played upon out to you of acquiring some small relics them. But ere long Sam Spratt entered, of those illustrious individuals who have and all eyes were fixed upon him. The given you such a heritage of renown.' auctioneer wore the triumphant yet dig- Having delivered these emphatic words, nified look of a Roman conqueror. As Sam stretched out his hand to the table, the first stroke of his great game, he caused and raising a very odd-looking article, a table to be brought forward, which exclaimed, 'Behold, for example, this presented a goodly array of pots of beer, boot-jack, so little worthy, to appearance, and liquors of a more ardent kind, of of your notice! What will you say, ladies which he pressed the company to partake, and gentlemen, when I inform you that by way of refreshing and amusing then- this antique boot-jack belonged to Wilselves (he said), until he had made some liam the Conqueror, and that every day slight preparations for commencing busi- saw the hands of that mighty warrior and
Having nothing else to do, the monarch applied to this article wbich people of the commoner sort were not mine now so unworthily, but respectfully, slow in accepting the invitation; and touch? Where is the Englishman, proud even the magnates took a sip. Having of his descent from the followers of the victhus opened their hearts-for well he torious Norman, who would not delight knew the effects of such auxiliaries at a in the possession of such a relic as this !' salc-Sam mounted a table, and in a Here the equire, a person much better grave and impressive tone of voice began acquainted with the receipts of 'Lawson's his real business operations.
Complete Farrier' than with the fashions Ladies and gentlemen,' said he, 'proud of the eleventh century, drew up his head and happy am I to find myself this day in with grace and dignity, and seemed to the midst of so respectable an assemblage. gain two inches of stature, from the reOften have I had occasion to admire the collection that his ancestor had helped to excellence of your taste and the profun- rob the Saxons of life and lands at the dity of your judgment; and I trust that | Conquest. The auctioneer, at one glance, this day's proceedings will but afford new saw that he night now pass from William proofs of both, since it is principally to the Conqueror's boot-jack, in the assuryour taste and judgment, to your intelli- ance that a customer had been found for it. gence and your patriotism, that I shall 'You also behold these thres volumes, this day appeal. The first articles which he resumed, 'which many persons would
pass by with contempt, regarding only Here Mrs Simkins, the wife of a ship'stheir age and tattered condition. These steward in the Russian tallow trade, put books, however, ladies and gentlemen, be- her hand into ber pocket, and gave an longed to theillustrious author of 'Paradise audible rattle, to be certain that she had Lost,' and should, and must, be inesti- brought a sufficient supply of money with mable in the eyes of those by whom learn- her. Sam heard the pleasing chink, and ing and the muses are held in honour.' knew that the pistols had not missed
In uttering these words, Sam sbot a fire. side-glance at the pedantic schoolmaster, 'Ladies,' continued the auctioneer, 'I who thought himself a 'mute inglorious have been guilty of a glaring breach of Milton,' ever since he had written a copy politeness, in not sooner pointing to some of psalm-tune verses for the squire's birth of those rarities which must particularly day feast. The schoolmaster did not interest the fair sex. I now present to leave the effect made upon him now to be you this ruff, so marked by envious holes, guessed, sceing that he audibly exclaimed, as an article which was once worn around at mention of the muses, 'This is my busi- the neck of Mary Stuart, and, doubtless, pess!'
has often been wet with the tears of that Behold,' continued Sam, 'this rusty unfortunate princess. How precious must sabre, which, alas! is now sheathless. this appear in the eyes of every lady With what enthusiasm will this sword versed in historical studies, and whose be clasped by those who have bravely heart sympathises with the misfortunes of served their country in the field, when her sex!' they know that it has been wielded by The notary's wife, who had bought the arm of Marlborough himself, and is from Spratt, at his last sale, a compendiget stained with the gore of our enemies.' ous 'History of England' by Oliver Gold
This was a home-stroke with the old smith, here turned to her husband, and sabre. The half - pay quartermaster whispered, in tones too decisive for the looked 'fierce as ten furies;' and Spratt honest man to think of contradiction, 'Resaw that the rusty sword was sold. member, I must have Mary Stuart's ruff,
There is another treasure,' said Sam, Mr Humphries.' Sam Spratt proceeded 'almost more precious, ladies and gentle in his triumphant course. men, than any of the others. This old 'This pipe, ladies and gentlemen,' said broom which I now hold up once waved he, pointing to a strange-looking piece of at the mast-head of the Dutch Admi- blackened ivory, 'is a genuine bijou, havral Van Tromp's ship, being placed there ing been the very pipe used by the faby him to warn the English that he de- vourite sultana of Solyman the First, signe:i to sweep them from the seas; but Emperor of the Turks.' the English showed him they could handle The squire's wife having once appeared a broom as well as he. This is a glorious at a county fancy-ball in a Turkish dress, relic for any Briton; but it must be more had ever since considered herself as an peculiarly dear to all who bave belonged authority upon all oriental matters, and to the brave body of Britain's tars.' she now cast an attentive and longing
The old village carpenter, who had look upon Solyman's sultana's pipe, which spent a great part of his life on board of perfectly satisfied the knowing auctioneer a man-of-war, internally resolved that he as to its fate. would have Van Tromp's broom, if he But it is time now, ladies and gentleshould spend his last farthing upon it. men, to close this long, yet, I hope, satisThe auctioneer knew where this sweep-factory exposition of the claims of a few ing hit took effect, and proceeded:- of these articles to your attention; others
This pair of pistols, ladies and gentle- there are as wonderful, as will be seen men, of which one wants the stock and when they are put up. I cannot, howthe other the barrel, are invaluable ar- ever, refrain from noticing, preliminarily, ticles, having first been in the possession one other portion of these relics. This of the real Robinson Crusoe, and after- quantity of broken china which you sce, wards of the celebrated circumnavigator, constitutes all that now remains of a set Captain Cook. If there be any one here which were ordered from Potsdam by whose heart and thoughts follow with in- Henry the Eighth for his wife, Catherine terest the course of illustrious voyagers, Howard. Three London manufacturers, to that person these pistols must indeed who have been informed of the perfect be precious memorials.'
workmanship of these articles, have sent a request to me to reserve the things for slightest regard to veracity. Look at them at any price, and, consequently, goods of all kinds and shapes, from books they will not now be sold.'
to razors, and dealers will in all cases be This speech of sly Sam brought out found to be adepts in Sam Spratt's ways the feelings of the assemblage completely, of doing. If we have amused the reader and showed the irresistible effects of his with our auctioneering sketch, the amuseskill and address. All present exclaimed ment he has received will not prevent against the injustice and impropriety of him from perceiving the moral. showing articles which were not to be sold; and, after a time, Sam condescended
OUR VILLAGE FAVOURITES. to assure the company that he preferred the friends around him to all the world, Years ago, when Colonel Thornton, and that the three London manufacturers ripe in honours, and sated with the toil should not have the china. The curiosity and tumult of public life, came back to and attention of the audience were more the shady green retreats of Hawthornden, awakened now than ever; and after Sam he looked out in pride over the rich had given the obliging assurance just al- acres that stretched away from his winluded to, one person pointed to a broken dow, and over the green lawn before his corkscrew, which was placed prominently door, to the poble grove of oak and elm, on one of the china dishes made for Ca- and down to the village that lay slumbertherine Howard.
ing along the silvery winding stream down 'What screw is this ?' was the question in the valley; and then, as he thought of addressed to the auctioneer.
the great wealth and the proud position Ah! gentlemen, cried Spratt, depre- he enjoyed, he remembered the four beaucatingly; 'I entreat you not to rob me of tiful girls who sat down at his table, this one precious relic. This alone would and the noble boy who should bear his I reserve for myself!' Of course, the name down to another generation. curiosity of the company was only the Who will ever forget little Sidney more aroused by this, and everybody Thornton, that beautiful boy of thirteen called for an explanation about the cork- summers? Who does not remember his screw. 'Gentlemen,' said Sam, 'its his- flashing dark eyes, that were as full of tory is this:-You all remember that fickle feeling as ever were a woman's—one when Cromwell was enjoying himself moment filling fast with tears, and then freely at dinner one day with some inti- sparkling through the drops with boyish mate friends, a message was brought to glee? or the sweet childish lips that were him, to the effect that a deputation for ever moving, quivering now with wished to see him. The Protector was at fleeting sorrow, or pouting in momentary the time engaged in seeking for the cork- anger ? Old men used to gaze upon his screw, which had fallen below the table, broad sunny brow, so clustered round and he desired the deputation to be told with glossy curls, and bless the child. that he was engaged in devotion. After- Everybody loved the boy; who could wards, he turned to his friends, and said, help it? and the gruff blacksmith, who "These fools think we are seeking the bad his shop down by the river, used to Lord, when we are only seeking the cork- wipe his smutty face when he heard his screw." Gentlemen, that is the cork- clear laugh of an afternoon, and would
let his iron cool, to follow him about the This gave the finishing stroke to the shop, answering all his questions, and enthusiasm of the company; and Sam, teaching him to use his tools. And the striking while the iron glowed, at once surly old shoemaker, that was never commenced the sale. Ere an hour went known to sleep, nor ever to be really over, every article on the table had been awake_stitching, and hammering, and sold, and at high prices. Sam Spratt boring holes the livelong day, and far left the Hen and Chickens a very con- into the dark hours of the night-even he siderable gainer by his little speculation used to look up through his great brassin the odds and ends of the old mansion- rimmed spectacles with a strange grim house. And now, when we have brought smile upon his careworn face, when little the history of his adventure to a close, Sidney stood in his shop-door; and he we would not have the world to be too would stop his endless 'rap-tap' upon his hard upon tricky Sam. All that he did lapstone, and get up to hunt about was to puff off his goods without the among the odd strips of leather and