« PredošláPokračovať »
of the daughter of Melpomene." There might have been some difficulty in deciding to which of the rival candidates it was our duty to inscribe these pages; but when the muses brought forward theirs, our vote was instantly recorded for her.
And now, fair lady, if our excuses are not yet sufficiently rendered, we have one more in reserve that cannot but be received. We must therefore acknowledge, that in what we have stated to the public in our first chapter, about the why and wherefore of our writing this work, we have omitted one material circumstance, and that the real truth of the matter is, entre nous, that we wrote it on purpose to have the pleasure of dedicating it to yourself, and for no other purpose whatever. If, after this candid confession, you are not willing to pardon us, but still reproach us with,
" Oh, wicked, wicked Mister Smith,
why, then, we are ready to make the amende honorable, on the first notice, in whatever manner you may be graciously pleased to prescribe.
In the mean time, since we have ventured so far, we may as well incur the whole risk—" neck or nothing," at once. We are not used to be afraid of any thing, and we therefore beg leave to hint, that we are by no means averse to receiving a “ dedi
. cation fee ;" and that we humbly request that it may consist of one-only one kiss upon that lily white hand. When we receive that favour, we shall be better able to express the profound respect with which we have the honour to subscribe ourselves, Your obedient servant,
THE AUTHOR. ROSINE L A V A L.
For us and for our tragedy,
WE have, these several years, threatened to make, at our earliest leisure, three grand experiments, viz.-first, to write a novel, secondly, to fall seriously in love, and, thirdly, as a corollary and legitimate consequence, to get married, if our love was fortunate; but " circumstances beyond our control," as the phrase is, had kept us so occupied, as to leave us little time to think of, much less to execute, these great designs; we had not even digested a“ plot” B 4
for either of them, at the commencement of the very last summer; in fact, we had begun to think of renouncing the first, until both the others had been perfected, of leaving the second to time and accident, and to give ourselves no further trouble about the third, until we should be in danger of incurring that bitter reproach of doctor Young's upon procrastinators—
“ A fool at forty is a fool indeed.”
We had a snug term of years yet to intervene before that period; and we were going on to the old tune, “ Vogue la Galère,” when our drifting bark was suddenly becalmed, and we had thrown upon our hands more of the leisure, which we thought till then we had sincerely coveted, than we knew how to dispose of.
" Deus hæc nobis olia fecir."
The cholera, that dreaded visiter, reached our city; and though we were among
the few who were not alarmed by the devastations of the disease, still when we found all our friends and acquaintances deserting, one after the other, we saw that it was impossible for us to remain in the dreary solitude of the city, and we packed off to a village in the interior, at a respectful distance from the seat of the pestilence.
When we were snugly settled in our country quarters, the precise locality of which is of no importance, we began to deliberate upon the means of filling up the period of our exile. We found there several very agreeable people of our acquaintance, of both sexes ; but society was quite out of the question, when every body was thinking and talking of nothing but the cholera. We could not bear to ride alone, although we had one of the best pieces of horseflesh of our own at command; and as the gentlemen and ladies were all of opinion that riding on horseback was a predisposer, it was impossible to get a companion, unless we bribed the hostler. As to