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MR. FIREDAMP. Sir, I feel the malignant influence of the river in every part of my system. Nothing but my great friendship for Mr. Crotchet would have brought me so nearly within the jaws of the lion.
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. After dinner, sir, after dinner, I will meet you on this question. I shall then be armed for the strife. You may fight like Hercules against Achelous, but I shall flourish the Bacchic thyrsus, which changed rivers into wine: as Nonnus sweetly sings, Oivw kupatóevri μέλας κελάρυζεν Υδάσπης.
MR. CROTCHET, JUN. I hope, Mr. Firedamp, you will let your friendship carry you a little closer into the
* Hydaspes gurgled, dark with billowy wine.
Dionysiaca, XXV. 280.
jaws of the lion. I am fitting up a flotilla of pleasure-boats, with spacious cabins, and a good cellar, to carry a choice philosophical party up the Thames and Severn, into the Ellesmere canal, where we shall be among the mountains of North Wales; which we may climb or not, as we think proper; but we will, at any rate, keep our floating hotel well provisioned, and we will try to settle all the questions over which a shadow of doubt yet hangs in the world of philosophy.
MR. FIREDAMP. Out of my great friendship for you, I will certainly go; but I do not expect to survive the experiment.
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Alter erit tum Tiphys, et altera quæ vehat Argo Delectos Heroas.* I will be of the party, though I must hire an officiating curate, and deprive poor dear Mrs. Folliott, for several weeks, of the pleasure of combing my wig.
* “ Another Tiphys on the waves shall float,
VJRG. Ecl. JV.
LORD BOSSNOWL. I hope, if I am to be of the party, our ship is not to be the ship of fools: He! He!
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. If you are one of the party, sir, it most assuredly will not: Ha! Ha!
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT.
MR. MAC QUEDY. You need not dispute about terms; they are two modes of expressing merriment, with or without reason ; reason being in no way essential to mirth. No man should ask another why he laughs, or at what, seeing that he does not always know, and that, if he does, he is not a responsible agent. Laughter is an involuntary action of certain muscles, developed in the human species by the progress of civilization. The savage never laughs.
THE REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. No, sir, he has nothing to laugh at. Give him Modern Athens, the “learned friend,” and the Steam Intellect Society. They will develope his muscles.
THE ROMAN CAMP.
He loved her more then seven yere,
The Squyr of Lowe Degre.
The Reverend Doctor Folliott having promised to return to dinner, walked back to his vicarage, meditating whether he should pass the morning in writing his next sermon, or in angling for trout, and had nearly decided in favor of the latter proposition, repeating to himself, with great unction, the lines of Chaucer:
And as for me, though that I can but lite,