« PoprzedniaDalej »
boy going home for the holidays; and returned to his domestic retreat to count the tardy minutes till dinner was announced.
'His little active wife and children all sympathised with the parent; and while his affectionate partner proffered a jelly or an ice, or an anchovy sandwich, to recruit his wasted energies, his eldest girl would gently lull his mind by playing soft airs upon the piano, while he lolled at full length upon the yielding sofa.
In fact, he had the art of turning all their tenderness and activity to the promotion of his own peculiar enjoyment.
Poor Slow! he was as nearly arriving at perfection in the art of idleness as any mortal breathing, when, unfortunately, the world suddenly lost the benefit of his bright example and profound experience, through the intervention of an apoplectic fit.
"Man never is, but always to be blest!"
YAWN THE FOURTH.
"My dear Tom," said an exquisite to a brother idler, “how do you spend the four-and-twenty hours?"
"In charity!" replied his friend.-" In charity ?" "Yes," continued Tom. "Firstly, I give twelve hours to sleep, and of the remaining twelve I give two to dress, four to eating and drinking, four to the play or opera, and two to smoking and building !" "Building ?"
"Yes-castles in the air; and I do assure you
a most agreeable pastime. And now, what do you think of my disposition?'
"Equitable as 'tis amiable, Tom," replied his friend; " and I must positively take a leaf out of your day-book."
"My waste-book, call it," said Tom, in which the initials L. S. D. may be appropriately construed Lounging, Smoking, Dreaming, and the sum total the luxury of Indolence-the dolce far niente."
Tom was a philosopher of the school of Epicurus. Life was made for enjoyment; it is a delicious draught, which your labourer in the vineyard gulps with the avidity of thirst, while your idle man sips, and sips, and enjoys it to the last drop!
The pleasure of life is in ACTIVITY," said the Bee.
"The pleasure of life is INACTIVITY," echoed the Tortoise.
And we agree with the more rational reading of the latter.
YAWN THE FIFTH.
THE most commendable idleness is, perhaps, that which assumes the mask of industry.
Knitting, knotting, and netting, oriental tinting, wafer-basket-making, card-work in general, and rug and worsted-work in particular, are all the labours of ingenious idleness.
Why, we have seen young ladies undertake a canvass with all the earnestness of a committee-man at a contested election, and yet give up, like an unsuccessful candidate as soon as they got-worsted! while some have actually spread their canvass for a sale (at a fancy fair), and yet never passed the needles!