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is behind. He is a weathercock ready poised for all points of the compass, and free to move in any direction, and so often as the varying wind of opinion may chance to blow. Like a weathercock he will stand still till his tail is appealed to, he has no voluntary motion, and no reason for existence except to tell which way the wind lies. In him you have your weatherHe is to all intents and Reserve the trope

cock pure and simple. purposes a human vane. for him. Don't call the honest thinker by this contemptuous epithet, because he has seen fit to renounce an opinion which can't be made to square with his enlarged knowledge and experience. He is not shifted about in shilly-shally fashion by his tail, but moved forward by his brains. That is just the difference. Your weathercock has very little weight in front,his centre of gravity is far back in the rear, and he has plenty of tail.

[The shrill crowing of a cock awoke us.]



ORDER! Ladies and Gentlemen, Order! we pray you! 'tis most unseemly to rush into our presence in such tumult and confusion. There, we thought it would come to that, do pray keep back,-you'll all be on your faces presently,―prone, piled up like so many cotton bales. You must be perpendicular, ladies and gentlemen, we really can't preach to you in that prostrate posture. There, there, get out of the aisles; but gently, gently, if you please. Now really, one at a time, the pew doors were not made for people ten abreast. There, you are stuck fast,-fall back some of you. You on the right there, in Mrs. Close


pen's family pew, you can't stand there like sheep in a railway car; it only holds eight comfortably, and there are positively eighteen of you. Do be careful, Sir, of that pew-door just behind, it will be off its hinges presently, and we like doors on the pews here. are family pews, Sir, select family pews, made expressly for private use, and kept locked when the family make no appearance. Where are the beadles? Why all this crushing and squeezing? What do you take us for? It is not a playhouse, we assure you. Ladies and gentlemen, you are not in the pit of a theatre. Do you take us for a new sensation drama? In the name of all that's decent and orderly, some of you give way. Fie on you, Sir, fie, that poor lady next you is fainting, you'll be chargeable with manslaughter; keep your arms down, Sir; 'tis brutal, positively brutal. Shrieks! has it come to this? Let no more come there, and turn one-half of these people out, beadles. Quite right, turn them out, never mind their menaces and protests, turn them out, and close the doors.

Well, we have order and some degree of comfort at last. But really, ladies and gentle

men, your selfish jostling is not creditable to you. You have actually struggled and fought for your places as if you cared for nobody but yourselves. Not one of you now before us would budge a jot,—you are plainly, every one of you, a most egoistical dog-in-the-manger set of people.

We shall not preach the sermon we intended, you are not fit to hear it. We shall preach an extemporary discourse from a text suggested by the scene we have just witnessed, and suitable for such a congregation as you, who have contrived to sift yourselves out of the rest of society as a very disagreeable representative class. You remind us how


Wrestles with man for some slight plank, whose weight Will bear but one."


The famous Cardinal was an excellent moralist, like many another self-seeking intriguing priest of all churches. No doubt he spoke feelingly about the plank. He himself was on the plank, and, whether slight or substantial, he only intended that one should be upon it, at least in his lifetime, and it was some inconvenience to his ambitious projects that other

men would wrestle with him for a secure seat on it at the danger of upsetting it altogether. We are quite of his opinion, that it is philosophically absurd for a number of drowning people to catch hold of the same slight piece of floating timber, and especially to try to get astraddle on it; but then it is well known that drowning people will even catch at a straw, which is less hopeful than the slightest conceivable plank; and it is scarcely reasonable, although it may be eminently philosophical, to expect sinking people to be scientific with their heads hardly above water, and to scorn the straw, or to imitate the courtesies of the drawing-room, and politely say, "After you, Sir, if you please." The philosophy is unquestionable and the politeness exquisite, but there are situations in the experiences of human life, and this is one of them, when philosophy, however wise, is the extreme of foolishness, and politeness is a refinement which may be decorously dispensed with.

The Cardinal's plank is an exceptional case, and we know that exceptions are privileged, and enjoy an immunity from reason and rule. When several men are literally out of their

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