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very safe from all such reformers as the learned friend. I vaticinate what will be the upshot of all his schemes of reform. He will make a speech of seven hours' duration, and this will be its quintessence: that, seeing the exceeding difficulty of putting salt on the bird's tail, it will be expedient to consider the best method of throwing dust in the bird's eyes. All the rest will be
as Aristophanes has it; and so I leave him, in Nephelococcygia.t
* Sounds without meaning; imitative of the voices of birds. From the "Opvites of Aristophanes.
+ “Cuckoo-city-in-the-clouds.” From the same comedy.
Mr. Mac Quedy came up to the divine as Mr. Crotchet left him, and said: “There is one piece of news which the old gentleman has not told you. The great firm of Catchflat and Company, in which young Crotchet is a partner, has stopped payment.”
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Bless me! that accounts for the young gentleman's melancholy. I thought they would overreach themselves with their own tricks. The day of reckoning, Mr. Mac Quedy, is the point which your paper-money science always leaves out of view. .
MR. MAC QUEDY. I do not see, sir, that the failure of Catchflat and Company has any thing to do with my science.
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT.
It has this to do with it, sir, that you
would turn the whole nation into a great paper-money shop, and take no thought of the day of reckoning. But the dinner is coming. I think you, who are so fond of paper promises, should dine on the bill of fare.
The harper at the head of the hall struck up an ancient march, and the dishes were brought in, in grand procession.
The boar's head, garnished with rosemary, with a citron in its mouth, led the van. Then came tureens of plum-porridge; then a series of turkeys, and, in the midst of them, an enormous sausage, which it required two men to carry. Then came geese and capons, tongues and hams, the ancient glory of the Christmas pie, a gigantic plum-pudding, a pyramid of minced pies, and a baron of beef bringing up the rear.
“It is something new under the sun,” said the divine, as he sat down, " to see a great dinner without fish.”
Fish was for fasts, in the twelfth century.
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Well, sir, I prefer our reformed system of putting fasts and feasts together. Not but here is ample indemnity.
Ale and wine flowed in abundance. The dinner passed off merrily: the old harper playing all the while the oldest music in his repertory. The tables being cleared, he indemnified himself for lost time at the lower end of the hall, in company with the old butler and the other domestics, whose attendance on the banquet had been indispensable.
The scheme of Christmas gambols, which
Mr. Chainmail had laid for the evening, was interrupted by a tremendous clamor without.
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. What have we here? Mummers ?
“Who is there?” he added, approaching the door of the hall.
“Who is there?” vociferated the divine, with the voice of Stentor.
“Captain Swing,” replied a chorus of discordant voices.
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Ho, ho! here is a piece of the dark ages we did not bargain for. Here is the Jacquerie. Here is the march of mind with a witness.