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A TRIP HOME.

LETTER I.

My Dear FRIEND,

You were very urgent with me when we were about to part, that I should send you a detailed account of my wanderings “at home,” and I accordingly purpose to do so, as well as circumstances will allow. I shall not keep a regular journal, because I know very well that it would, in fact, be an irregular one, in as much as I should often be obliged to omit whole days from pressure of other occupation, and often from want of matter to record. My plan, therefore, will be just to "jot” down, as the Scotch express it, what occurs to me at the moment when I am sitting to my desk, without reference to the circumstance recorded, having occurred to-day, yester

B

I warn you

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day, or the day before. I shall devote my

blank days to giving you some idea of my proceedings, and

that you must not look for my sheets very regularly: they will be made up, not always for the packets, but for such private opportunities as may take several at one time. By such means I hope to give you some idea of my movements “at home;" a term, by-the-bye, which we colonists all use with reference to a country which perhaps we have never seen, and in which we may not even possess either friend or acquaintance, except such as we may casually meet with, wandering like ourselves from their real home, and in which we are so far from being “at home,” that the very customs of the country are strange to some of us : not so much so, to be sure, as they were some few years ago, for we have now most of us been home, and exported thence, with ourselves, the customs of the mother-country our father-land.

This puts me in mind of “ leetle annecdote,” as Mathews' old lady used to say, illustrative not only of the subject in question, but of the difficulty which inust be experienced by foreigners in familiarising themselves with the conventional use of terms employed in the countries they visit, even after they have made themselves masters of the grammatical structure of the language; illustrative also of the logical definition of “words," viz. that they are signs arbitrarily agreed upon by common consent to represent things or ideas. Not, however, to enter upon any disquisition of this sort, albeit interesting enough in its proper place, the

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anecdote runs thus.--A certain gentleman, wellknown in our island one generation back, going “home” for the first time, was anxious for an interview with a lady of “ton;" he had been unsuccessful, though he might have adopted the lamentation of Æneas, and exclaimed—“ iterum, iterumque vocare," having called repeatedly at her door, without being fortunate enough to gain admission; in due time he received a card, inscribed—“Mrs.-at home such an evening." "I'm very glad to hear it,” said he, “and I wish she'd stay at home a little more, it would be a very good thing for her family. I've called fifty times, and she's always been not at home; I'll take this opportunity of having a chat with her, though it's rather an unseasonable hour.” It is very much to be questioned whether he found himself much “at home,” when, instead of a têteà-tête, he found himself in the midst of a crowd of fashionables; it is even questionable whether he might not have exclaimed with Hamlet_“Oh! that this too solid flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself to dew!” though, by the way, he was more likely to have deplored the absolute probability of such an event, which always seems to threaten one upon such an occasion, even though out of doors it may be so cold as that the very breath shall be freezing about the whiskers of your horses and coachman. Apropos of routs, have you got a good receipt for making one? possibly not, though the style of thing is now common enough with us; here then I send you one which may possibly be of use to you

some of these days. “Take all the ladies and gentlemen you can collect, and put them into a room with a slow fire; stew them well : have ready twelve packs of cards, a piano forte, a handful of prints and drawings, and put them in from time to time. As the mixture thickens, sweeten with politesse, and season with wit, if you have any, if not, flattery will do, and is very cheap. When all have 'stewed well for an hour, add some ices, jellies, cakes, lemonades, and wines; the more of these ingredients you put in, the more substantial will your rout be. Fill your room quite full, and let the scum run off.”

If it were not for the intrinsic value of the above receipt, I should apologize to you for the very discursive nature of this letter : the fact is, as I dare say you will presently find out, that my pen is affected with a species of St. Vitus' dance, and is constantly starting off in various directions without leave or license, carrying with it the hand and head which should direct it; pray forgive the infirmity. In the present case perhaps you will make a further allowance for my thus indulging in a sort of Hourish of trumpets, instead of rushing at once “in medias res," “ in the midst of the matter," according to rule. Can you not understand that there is a slight horror and squeamishness at the bare idea of recapitulating the miseries of that afternoon when you and I shook hands together last upon the deck of the good ship, whither you had kindly acconipanied me with some two or three other friends, for the purpose of wishing me farewell, at the risk of

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