The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 46 pages of information about The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction.

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PICTURE OF LIBERTY.

(For the Mirror.)

  O, Liberty! thou goddess, heav’nly bright! 
  Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight,
  External pleasures in thy presence reign.

  ADDISON.

Aristo tells a pretty story of a fairy, who, by some mysterious law of her nature, was condemned to appear, at certain seasons, in the form of a foul and poisonous snake.  Those who injured her during the period of her disguise were for ever excluded from participation in the blessings which she bestowed.  But to those who, in spite of her loathsome aspect, pitied and protected her, she afterwards revealed herself in the beautiful and celestial form which was natural to her, accompanied their steps, granted all their wishes, filled their houses with wealth, made them happy in love and victorious in war.  Such a spirit is Liberty.  At times she takes the form of a hateful reptile; she grovels, she hisses, she stings; but woe to those who in disgust shall venture to crush her!  And happy are those who, having dared to receive her in her degraded and frightful shape, shall at length be rewarded by her in the time of her beauty and glory!—­See Edin.  Rev. vol. xlii. p. 332.

P.T.W.

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FIRST AND LAST.

(From the Italian.)

  One single truth before he died
  Poor Dick could only boast;
  “Alas, I die!” he faintly cried,
  And then—­gave up the ghost!

* * * * *

FRENCH GAMING HOUSES.

(For the Mirror.)

  Dicing-houses, where cheaters meet, and cozen young men out of
  their money.

  Lord Herbert.

  Begin with a guinea, and end with a mortgage.

  Cumberland.

      What more than madness reigns,
  When one short sitting many hundreds drains,
  When not enough is left him to supply
  Board wages, or a footman’s livery.

  Dryden’s Juvenal.

  Gaming finds a man a cully, and leaves him a knave.

  Tom Brown.

The last “nine days’ wonder” is the excess to which gaming is carried among the higher circles of this country; but I much doubt whether the present expositions of such enormity in a neighbouring nation will work the desired effect on Englishmen.

Popular prejudices are obstinate points to combat; but every one who has had opportunities for observation, must allow, that in their taste for gaming, the French and English character are widely different.  In France, every one plays at cards, or dominoes, and at all hours in the day, in every cafe, wine-shop, and road-side inn throughout the country.  I remember to have frequently seen, in the wine-shops at Paris, carters in blue smock-frocks playing at ecarte and dominoes over a bottle of vin ordinaire at eleven o’clock in the morning, particularly in the neighbourhood of the markets.  In England such amusements would be illegal, and the victualler who allowed them in his house would probably be deprived of his license.

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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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