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quite disheartened by his harsh reproof, he gave them half a guinea a-piece to drink his health, and raise their dejected spirits.
Soon after this we were called to a very genteel entertainment, which was dressed by Mr. Thornhill's cook. And it may not be improper to observe, with respect to that gentleman, that he now resides in quality of companion at a relation's house, being very well liked, and seldom sitting at the side-table, except when there is no room at the other, for they make no stranger of him. His time is pretty much taken up in keeping his relation, who is a little melancholy, in spirits, and in learning to blow the French horn. My eldest daughter, however, still remembers him with regret; and she has even told me, though I make a great secret of it, that when he reforms she may be brought to relent. But to return, for I am not apt to digress thus, when we were to sit down to dinner, our ceremonies were going to be renewed. The question was, whether my eldest daughter, as being a matron, should not sit above the two young brides ; but the debate was cut short by my son George, who proposed that the company should sit indiscriminately, every gentleman by his lady. This was received with great approbation by all, excepting my wife, who I could perceive was not perfectly satisfied, as she expected to have had the pleasure of sitting at the head of the table, and carving all the meat for all the company.
But notwithstanding this, it is impossible to describe our good-humour. I can't say whether we had more wit among us now than usual, but I am certain we had more laughing, which answered the end as well. One jest I particularly remember: old Mr. Wilmot drinking to Moses, whose head was turned another way, my son replied, “ Madam, I thank you.' Upon which the old gentleman, winking upon the rest of the company, observed that he was thinking of his mistress. At which jest I thought the two Miss Flamboroughs would have died with laughing. As soon as dinner was over, according to my old custom, I requested that the table might be taken away, to have the pleasure of seeing all my family assembled once more by a cheerful fireside. My two little ones sat upon each knee, the rest of the company by their partners; I had nothing now on this side of the grave to wish for—all my cares were over, my pleasure was unspeakable. It now only remained that my gratitude in good fortune should exceed my former submission in adversity:
HEN one gazes on a landscape of Turner or of Wilson, till his eyes are filled with all the charms of scenery, all
the beauties of light and shadow, all the harmonies and
contrasts of form and colour, and his heart is touched with a sense of the glories of Nature, and the skill of the limner, with what a feeling of dissatisfaction does he find his sleeve plucked by some critic, who assures him that such a piece of scenery
never really existed—that the artist “has produced something which never was, and never will be seen in any part of the world.” In vain do you assure him that you have seen trees, and mountains, and stream, and verdure, and sky, and every other accessory of the picture over and over again in your wanderings through the world. Nay, that you can recall more than one scene that bears a strong resemblance to the whole landscape. You are met by the remark, “Quite true; but, nevertheless, such a tree never grew beside such a stream ; such a sky never hung over such a mountain. The river belongs to England, the sky to Italy, the forest to Germany, the meadow to Ireland.”
“Well," you say, "but they might have all concurred in some lovely spot of earth without violating the harmonies of Nature." The critic answers you with a smile of triumph, “Oh! certainly : but, then, they didn't." You turn from him with a conviction that he is impertinent and a trifler, and console yourself by gazing once more on the object of his criticism. With feelings akin to these do we regard the endless disputes upon the locality of “ The Deserted