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inanimate objects becomes stronger than in youth ; they are, perhaps, the last remaining associates of earlier days of happiness, when the companions we have loved are no more, or are divided from us by absence, or, what is worse, are changed; or have proved, it may be, unworthy of the affections lavished upon them: but the trees and shrubs and flowers planted by us, thrive, and repay our care ; cheer us with their ever renovating beauty, and impart, as it were, their youthful vigour to our declining feeble

The very chair we have been accustomed to, receives us still with unchanging kindness; le fauteuil qui nous tend les bras, assumes the character of friend whom we have invested with all our feeling and thoughts, and who promises to us an assurance of sympathy and comfort that will be unaltered to the end.

These were so truly General Montgomery's feelings, that he may well be supposed to have writhed under Lady Frances's enumeration of improvements; and had his gentle spirit ever suffered him to utter a severe reproof, it would have been called forth in the present instance ; but he preserved silence, signifying his dissent, as she ceased speaking, only by a mournful shake of the head and a look of regret.

A pause ensued, for Lord Mowbray seemed unwilling to accept the challenge covertly offered by Lady Frances, while addressing her uncle; and Lady Frances, on her part, disappointed in the object she had proposed by speaking at all, appeared reluctant to join farther in the conversation. The good General was unwilling to allow the question at issue, however, to end thus abruptly; and, ever anxious to think in unison with those he loved, sought some point to concede.

“I think you are right, Frances, about those rooks,” he said, interrupting the silence; 6 but what can I do? would


have them shot ?"

“ Shot !” exclaimed Lady Emily eagerly ; "oh, no; I beseech you, dear uncle, do not have any of them shot : only drive them away.”

• Why, Emily, you remind me of a gentle friend of mine, whose premises were overrun by rats, but who could never be persuaded to destroy them; till at last, wearied with the

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complaints of servants, and finding that the plea which he always urged, of there being room enough in the world both for himself and the rats too, availed nothing, he consented to a removal of the obnoxious visitors. And

at length accomplished by carrying many sacks-full to a neighbouring common; where, released from their temporary captivity, they were left to live out their little day of life unmolested, at least by him. is a pity,” said the General, as he concluded, “ that this gentleness of soul will not bear reasoning upon, for one cannot choose but love it."

“ Love it! yes,” cried Lady Emily; “but are there not some things, dearest uncle, which it would be wicked to reason upon, and as wicked not to love? and surely this gentleness you speak of is one of them.”

General Montgomery gave one of his fondest looks of admiration and affection, as he pressed Lady Emily's hand in his own, saying, sa deraison, fussiez vous Caton, auroit l'art de vous plaire."

Well!" said Lady Frances scornfully,

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seem to have got tolerably far from the first question ; we began with a disquisition on taste, and are ending with a disquisition on rats :" and, forgetting the reserve she had assumed towards Lord Mowbray, she asked—“Pray, my Lord, what is your opinion of modern improvements? for I think we should end one subject before we begin another. Emily and her rats can wait. What do


think ?” “ Think !” said Lord Mowbray, half starting from a reverie into which he had fallen,

" about what ?”
" About taste.”

“What a question ! Do you expect me to discuss, in a word, a subject which has filled volumes ? I know what pleases myself—that is, I believe I do-sometimes." “Well,” interrupted the General,

“ before you go farther, Frances, in questioning Lord Mowbray on this subject, I think you are yourself bound to give us a definition of taste. I have my suspicions, however, that you confound it with fashion, though they are two very different things; and therefore, before you enter the lists, I will read you a little disquisition on these two words. It pleased me extremely yesterday, when I met with it in one of the Magazines ; I have it in my pocket.”

The party having reached the General's bower, and having arranged themselves beneath its shady roof, he read to them as follows:



Fashion and Taste were sisters, but so very opposite in their characters, appearance, and manners, that few persons could suppose them to bear any relationship to each other.

Fashion was light, airy, agreeable ; but changeable as the cameleon. Taste was grave, gentle, unobtrusive, and required to be courted and drawn out in order to be understood and appreciated. Fashion swayed like a capricious tyrant where she obtained rule. Taste maintained her power by gentie but convincing arguments ; the more she was known the better she was loved; invariable in her modes and

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