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And we should say to you, as Jack Falstaff said to Prince Henry :- “ Thy love to me, Hal, is worth a million;: - more than a million, million of millions !" At present, we will pro. mise no more than to proceed with our story without farther delay.
AGAIN we sing the man with the carbuncled face,-the facetious MerryMAN ! Descend,-not ye nine Piërian-water-drinking, pale - visaged Sisters ; — but thou jolly, ruby-faced, grapejuice-loving Bacchus ;. and inspire us to sing the deeds of thy favourite, - of thy high priest !'Tis well;
our prayers are heard ;- we have cauglit the god at Mother Red Cap's, or some other public- house : — we feel the inspiration, and shall deliver the oracles..
At the meeting of the new Common HaH, Paul Sheers presented a Petition against Merryman's return, on account of its having been unduly obtained, by infringing some of the lays against biassing voters by bribery, corruption, treating, or otherwise.
Amongst the witnesses brought forward by Paul Sheers, to prove these illegal acts, were two who had voluntarily offered their services to him as such. They had been previously acquainted with Merryman; had been repeatedly in his company during the contest, and one of them had married a natural daughter of his,or one of his natural daughters, for we know not whether he had more than that one. As the characters of these two men were very-very bad, and Merryman held incontestable proofs of their badness in his hands; it was hinted by some ill-natured persons, (for, shining virtue is always the butt of dark envy!) that he had palmed them upon Paul Sheers, with a view of impeaching their characters, and discrediting the whole contents of the petition.- Now, whether the laughter-loving Merryman had really passed this joke upon his competitor or not, these two witnesses produced most, though not quite all the effect which he could have desired from them. The petition was declared to be false
and scandalous, but not malicious. So that it should seem to have been really the opinion of the Common Hall, that some deception had been practised, and that Merryman's wit cut more keenly and closely than Sheers's. Upon this second triumph, Merryman privately laughed in his sleeves, and publicly talked largely about the grossness of this attack upon his honour !
Again ; What is honour? We have already explained our sense of it in our second volume; but other writers have given very different definitions of it. One asserts, that
“ Honour's a fine imaginary notion !" Another says, that
“ Honour's but an itch of youthful blood !" And a third terms it
“ A very word, - an empty name !" --Merryman must have spoken of it in their sense of the word, and not in ours. incontestably proved, before the committee apa pointed to enquire into the election, that the leading persons of the household had actually clubbed together under fictitious names to sup
port Merryman, and biass the freedom of elections. — So much for the abuse of the public money, the honour of Mr. Merryman, and the integrity of the Brushites !
THE AUTHOR PROCEÉDS WITH HIS STORY.-HE RE
SELVES, WITH MORE IMPUDENCE THAN EVER AUTHOR WAS POSSESSED OF, ALL THE TALENTS OF THE MANOR. -THE AUTHOR BEGINS TO MAKE A
WHICH HE CAN BY NO MEANS ALLOW.
FREELAND resembled a ship.
Reader. Why, Author, you have given us that simile before.
Author. We know it: but when a horse's paces please us, we do not check him, because they are the same as before; and when our pen happens to be in a flowing vein, we will not stop it to look out for new similies, though they were, as Jack Falstaff says of reasons, ' as plenty as blackberries !