I am not partial to blues: generally speaking, ladies do not take up science until they find that the men will not take up them; and a remarkably clever woman by reputation is too often a remarkably unpleasant or a remarkably ugly one. But there are exceptions; exceptions that a nation may be proud of—women who can fulfil their duties to their husbands and their children, to their God and to their neighbour, although endowed with minds more powerful than is allotted to one man in tens of thousands. These are heavenly blues; and, among the few, no one shines more pre-eminent than my dear Mrs S——e.
However, whether Newton was satisfied or not, this conversazione was a finisher to Dr Feasible, who resigned the contest. Dr Plausible not only carried away the palm—but, what was still worse, he carried off the “practice!”
“Their only labour is to kill the
And labour dire it is, and weary woe.
They sit—they lounge—turn o’er some idle rhyme:
Then rising sudden—to the glass they go,
Or saunter forth with loitering step and slow.”
Castle of Indolence.
Captain Oughton, who commanded the Windsor Castle, was an original. His figure was short and thick-set, his face broad, and deeply pitted with the small-pox; his nose, an apology for a nose, being a small tubercle arising midway between his eyes and mouth, the former of which were small, the latter wide, and displaying a magnificent row of white teeth. On the whole, it was impossible to look in his face without being immediately struck with his likeness to a bull-dog. His temperament and his pursuits were also analogous; he was a great pugilist, knew the merits of every man in the ring, and the precise date and circumstances attending every battle which had been fought for the previous thirty years. His conversation was at all times interlarded with the slang terms appropriated to the science to which he was so devoted. In other points he was a brave and trustworthy officer, although he valued the practical above the theoretical branches of his profession, and was better pleased when superintending the mousing of a stay or the strapping of a block than when “flooring” the sun, as he termed it, to ascertain the latitude, or “breaking his noddle against the old woman’s,” in taking a lunar observation. Newton had been strongly recommended to him, and Captain Oughton extended his hand as to an old acquaintance, when they met on the quarter-deck. Before they had taken a dozen turns up and down, Captain Oughton inquired if Newton could handle the mauleys; and on being assured in the negative, volunteered his instruction during their passage out.