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and conventional beyond any parallel on earth
and delivered, in a manner barely expressible
to the eye as follows:

Sir when I came do o o wn to this house to night

I found Her Ma jes ty's Minis ters

Is Parliament included in the Common
Prayer-book under the denomination of
"quires and places where they sing"? And
if so, wouldn't it be worth a small grant to
make some national arrangement for instruction
in the art by MR. HULLAH?

Then, consider the theatrical and operatic
questions that arise, likewise admitting of no
solution whatever.

No man ever knew yet, no man ever will
know, why a stage-nobleman is bound to go
to execution with a stride and a stop
alternately, and cannot proceed to the scaffold on
any other terms. It is not within the range
of the loftiest intellect to explain why a stage
letter, before it can be read by the recipient,
must be smartly rapped back, after being
opened, with the knuckles of one hand. It is
utterly unknown why choleric old gentlemen
always have a trick of carrying their cane
behind them, between the waist-buttons of
their coat. Several persons are understood lo
be in Bedlam at the present time, who went
distracted in endeavouring to reconcile the
bran-new appearance of Mr. Cooper, in John
Bull, bearing a highly polished surgical
instrument-case under his arm, with the fact
of his having been just fished out of the deep
deep sea, in company with the case in question.
Inexplicable phenomena continually arise at
the Italian Opera, where we have ourself
beheld (it was in the time of Robert of
Normandy) Nuns buried in garments of that
perplexing nature that the very last thing
one could possibly suppose they had taken,
was a veil of any order. Who knows
how it came about that the young Swiss
maiden in the ballet should, as an established
custom, revolve, on her nuptial morning, so
airily and often, that at length she stands
before us, for some seconds, like a beautiful
white muslin pen-wiper? Why is her bed-chamber
always immediately over the cottage-door?
Why is she always awakened by three
taps of her lover's hands? Why does her
mother always spin? Why is her residence
invariably near a bridge? In what Swiss
canton do the hardy mountaineers pursue the
chamois, in silkstockings, pumps, blue breeches,
cherry-coloured bows, and their shirt-sleeves?
When the Tenor Prince is made more tenor by
the near approach of death from steel or
poison; when the Bass enemy growls glutted
vengeance, and the Heroine (who was so glad in
the beginning of her story to see the villagers
that she had an irrepressible impulse to be
always shaking hands with them) is rushing
to and fro among the living and disturbing
the wig of the dead; why do we
always murmur our Braaavo! or our
Braaava! as the case may be, in exactly
the same tone, at exactly the same places, and
execute our little audience conventionalities
with the punctuality and mechanism of the
stage itself? Why does the Primo Buffo always
rub his hands and tap his nose? When did
mankind enter into articles of agreement that
a most uncompromising and uncomfortable
box, with the lid at a certain angle, should
be called a mossy bank? Who first established
an indissoluble connexion between the Demon
and the brass instruments? When the sailors
become Bacchanalian, how do they do it out
of such little mugs, replenished from pitchers
that have always been turned upside down?
Granted that the Count must go a-hunting, why
must he therefore wear fur round the tops of
his boots, and never follow the chase with any
other weapon than a spear with a large round
knob at the blunt end?

Then, at public dinners and meetings, why
must Mr. Wilson refer to Mr. Jackson as
"my honorable friend, if he will permit me
to call him so?" Has Wilson any doubt
about it? Why does Mr. Smithers say that
he is sensible he has already detained you
too long, and why do you say, "No, no; go
on!" when you know you are sorry for it
directly afterwards? You are not taken by
surprise when the Toastmaster cries, in giving
the Army and Navy, "Upstanding, gentlemen,
and good fires"—then what do you laugh for?
No man could ever say why he was greatly
refreshed and fortified by forms of words,
as "Resolved. That this meeting respectfully
but firmly views with sorrow and apprehension,
not unmixed with abhorrence and
dismay"—but they do invigorate the patient,
in most cases, like a cordial. It is a strange
thing that the chairman is obliged to refer to
the present occasion;"—that there is a
horrible fascination in the phrase which he
can't elude. Also, that there should be an
unctuous smack and relish in the enunciation
of titles, as " And I may be permitted to
inform this company that when I had the
honor of waiting on His Royal Highness, to
ask his Royal Highness to be pleased to
bestow his gracious patronage on our excellent
Institution, His Royal Highness did me
the honor to reply, with that condescension
which is ever His Royal Highness's most
distinguishing characteristic"—and so forth.
As to the singular circumstance that such and
such a duty should not have been entrusted
to abler hands than mine, everybody is
familiar with that phenomenon, but it's very
strange that it must be so!