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and a frowning brow, looking upon its solitude. Did he dream? Something like a toad's head seemed protruding from the hole. He rubbed his eyes ; and with what emotions, I leave the reader to imagine, beheld something very like a toad, the outline, the shadow of his corpulent pet, slowly creep forth and drag himself to his old position. The speckled skin hung flabbily, the legs were perfect anatomies ; the toad seemed in the last stage of a consumption. In vain his feeble jaws essayed to seize their prey. His eye gleamed brilliantly. Vaucluse tearfully opened the casement, placed the daintiest flies in the open mouth of the convalescent, and ere many days beheld the bright colours revive upon the epidermis, the sides and back plump heartily out, and the fly.hunt proceed more briskly than ever. He once more rejoiced in his petnotion.
PHILOSOPHERS seldom deem the minor characteristics of their kind worthy of discussion. Otherwise, methinks they would have analysed a feeling of which not a few are conscious; I mean the loitering propensity. Even the poets, who are vastly more circumspect in noting the quaint things of life, have scarcely alluded to this. Neither Crabbe, indefatigable as he was in taking cognizance of the veriest huniors of our nature, nor Wordsworth, bravely as he has persevered in showing up the more sim. ple and native workings of the heart, have done justice to the inherent disposition to loiter which belongs to some men, as truly as their gait or their noses.
Let no one suggest that the topic would have been appropriate to Thomson's "Castle of Indolence.” Your legitimate loiterers are the busiest men alive. Depend upon it their air of leisure, though it may indicate the absence of certain domestic inspirers of activity-proves any thing rather than the absence of thought. Why, Addison was wont to loiter in club-rooms, Irving in old English castles, and Charles Lamb at book-stalls. The Spectator, Sketch-Book, and Elia, prove that they did not loiter in vain. Taste and circumstances combine to influence our habits of loitering. The young physician loiters in the druggist's shop, the coxcomb in the street, and the poet by the river's side. Loiterers of some kind and in some degree are we all, superlatively busy and time-saving as we may complacently think ourselves.
There is no little philosophy in loitering. The driving creatures who are ceaselessly on the move, brushing by you with a smile of recognition which habit has stereo. typed on their countenances, and a nod which says,
6 How d' ye do," and "good b’ye" at the same time, know none of the true zest of life, save the little modicum which is in. volved in mere locomotion. They are like certain poet. asters who in the race of rhyme, linger not for ideas. What to them are the border roses and beautiful vistas of rural pathways, or the heart-stirring faces and rich print. shop windows of the metropolis ? Like Young Rapid, their watch-word is “ keep moving ;" and as to by.way thoughts or observations, they'll none of them. Now, consider how much of the pleasure of life is contingent, and how little direct. In pressing ardently onward to a much desired goal, we, in a manner, prepare ourselves for disappointment. But the flower that smiles up to us unbidden from the hedge, the splendid prospect suddenly encountered, the en passant greeting--these are thrice enlivening because expected.
Fertilizing and auspicious as is the energetic play of all the faculties, there is a deep wisdom in allowing the
mind to lie fallow. Like the soil thus exposed to the grateful agencies of nature and its own self-evolved energy, its productiveness is eventually enhanced. Amid the exciting elements in which we live, there is a little danger of a dearth of action. And if one would press on with secure intelligence, let him sometimes loiter to scrutinize and meditate, let him behold what is around as well as be. fore him. Oh, it is true philosophy, in such a shadowy world as ours, to linger momentarily over every joy-beam, were it only to garner up its blessedness in our memories !
It is, after all, by dribblets that good comes to us; and thus only can we happily imbibe it to any great degree. A lover of books unless thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Dominie Sampson, feels rather oppressed than inspired on first entering an immense library. Yet such a one may lounge an hour over a bookseller's counter, or scan the pages of a racy magazine, enjoying the while a mood the most calmly pleasurable. In this, as in many other respects, there is a coincidence between the influences of art and literature. To one whose love of the beautiful is passionate and keen, there is something oppressive in the aspect of a well-stocked gallery, while an artist's sanctum proves a delightful resort; and a fine parlour picture, accidentally fallen in with, is productive of unalloyed delight. A single congenial volume represents to the imaginative mind the idea of literature; and a sketch or statue is an eloquent symbol of art. There is a philoso. phical principle involved in these facts. The truth is, the feelings of a man of ideal and susceptible temperament and these characteristics are rarely disunited-are as
delicate as they are vivid. An impusing array of objects, until singly and methodically scanned, by the variety and richness of their suggestions, confuse and satiate his sensitive taste. Individually, unobtrusively, unexpectedly ad. dressed, his mind freely responds. The current of feeling thus receives an impetus, neither rude nor onerous, but precisely strong enough to urge it into a thoughtful and happy flow. Painters speak of a feeling for color ; so is there a feeling for the beautiful and the true in man, which will not bear forcing nor feasting, but finds its own gratification in self-possessed and spontaneous observation. And thus the loiterers, on the world's highway, in true enjoyment and actual good, not unfrequently outstrip the most bustling and speedy of the careering multitude :
as the fowl can keep Absolute stillness, poised aloft in air, And fishes front, unmoved, the torrent's sweep So may the soul, through powers that faith bestows, Win rest, and peace, with bliss that angels share."