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Diabolical Suggestions. By Thomas Hood, Esq.
Literature of the Month (for Mar): Madame D'Arblay's Diary of the
139 to 143
(for July): Cabool, Personal Narrative of a
420 to 431
tinople, &c., in 1840-1, by the Marquis of Londonderry.- Fourth
Volume of the Diary of Madame D'Àrblay.—Massaniello : an His-
torical Romance. Edited by Horace Smith, Esq.
573 to 583
The WHISPERING GALLERY
144, 432, 583
Notes on New PUBLICATIONS
NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
BY LAMAN BLANCHARD, ESQ.
FIGURES on China jars and ivory fans, figures in intricate quadrilles, and figures of polite rhetoric, are among the things which education and custom have rendered perfectly comprehensible to every woman of taste; but figures of arithmetic are unquestionably matters on which even the most enlightened and accomplished of the sex are apt to entertain rather confused ideas.
We intend not hereby the remotest of remote allusions to the subject of age. On that point it is well known, their notions are for the most part perfectly clear-perfectly clear ; as they always are with regard to the particular hour of the night at which “ truant husband" returned home from the club or the play-they never confound the sober hour of eleven with dissipated half-past one, when discussing the question over the breakfast-table next morning. Never. You never hear them upon such occasions, cry,
“My dear, it's of no use talking ; I'm sure it was half-past one before you came to bed, and I believe it was two, comparatively speaking."
(This phrase, by the way—this comparatively speaking" —is invaluable as a qualifier of exaggeration, while it justifies and makes clear the most preposterous comparisons,
The scold informs her wedded victim that he is enough to provoke a saint, “ comparatively speaking,” and the traveller fresh from New York declares that he had seen cheeses there in which the mites were as large as muffins, “ comparatively speaking.”)
But with reference to those figures which are sometimes essential in the calculations of “ domestic economy," with reference to the phraseology, current in what is called the monetary world - most women are, for half their lives at least, in a delicious mystification, an
May.- VOL. LXV. NO. CCLVII.
exquisite obliviousness. “Five per cent.,” constitutes a case of perplexity, and“ per ann.,” converts it into an enigma not to be solved.
We never quote without book; here is an argument drawn from real life, that is exactly in point.
“Make haste, Edward, make haste down, you'll be too late," cried the anxious mistress of a pretty lodge at Kensington, to its hurried, flurried, worried master, as the omnibus that took him to town drove up to his gate the other morning.
“ How I do hate this omnibus life !” she continued, as after two or three“ Now, sirs," from the road, he darted past her, just in time.
“Only to think of my being obliged to see that dear fellow rush out of doors every morning, as if the house were on fire! That horrid omnibus ! It doesn't care how husband and wife part !”
And the affectionate creature, left to herself, sat down to meditate on grave matters. Various abstruse and difficult calculations kept her brain in full employment until his return, when the result began to unfold itself in this interesting observation :
“ In my opinion, Edward, we could very well afford a riage !"
A slight shrug, a movement of the eyebrows, a rather melancholy smile, and a decided shake of the head, conveyed the discouraging answer.
Well, but think now,” pursued the lady, “just estimate the expenses. What would a carriage and horses, once purchased, cost in the year?"
“Pair of horses? Oh, why—a hundred a-year-set it down at a hundred, certain," was the reply.
“And what, now, does the omnibus cost you, may I ask?" “Omnibus? Oh, why-eight pounds—about eight.”
“But this you would save," argued the lady; " for if we had the carriage, you would not want the omnibus, you know."
“That's true; yes, of course, I should save the eight pounds.".
“Well-well!” cried the lady, with a look of exquisite simplicity, yet in a tone that implied something of exultation as a discoverer.
“ Well! and wouldn't that be getting eight per cent. ?”
Wise and excellent is the law that gives, in due succession, the sway of this empire to the hand of a woman. Ever may we have reason to rejoice while a lady sits on the throne; but perhaps it is quite as well that women should still be, as heretofore, excluded from the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Kind, pretty, perplexing Mrs. Dipple, was the exact representative of that class of feminine economists to which we are referring. She knew when she wanted fifty pounds without looking into her accountbook ; but as for showing, when it was all gone, how it had been expended in the“ house affairs,” you might as well expect Master Bidder to furnish an account of all the items, because he was such an excellent reckoner. Yet account for the sum she would-in her way-she was such a severe economist. She was the most accurate of all ladyarithmeticians that the world has yet looked upon, the most expert at rendering a family Dr. and Cr. account. Still she never got beyond