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as they are now being carefully "weeded out" from their native places by certain landlords, who think it better and more Christian-like to turn their lands into sheep-walks than to suffer them to be tenanted by mere men, women, and children. "Weeding" is a nice word, isn't it? it so capitally describes the worth of the thing rooted out. The poor man is, of course, the "weed;" the rich is the "lily," that "neither toils nor spins." And just now, it seems, certain places in the Highlands are overgrown with this rank, foul weed-this encumbrance to the soil-this one human thing, worse than thistle or nettle. What a beautiful world this would be, wouldn't it?-if this weed of poverty was cut up, burnt, destroyed, got rid of any way! It's a dreadful nuisance; and yet it will spring up, like groundsel or any other worthless thing! And strange to say, the sun will shine upon it, and the dews of heaven descend upon it, all the same as if it was one of the aforesaid lilies, full of light and breathing sweetness. Odd, isn't it, that the sky should shine so impartially on both ?—Your affectiorate grandson, JUNIPER HEDGEHOG.
LETTER XV.-To Miss Kitty Hedgehog, Milliner, Philadelphia.
DEAR KITTY,—If I haven't written before this, it is because I've had nothing worth ink and paper to send you. I know that you've a mind above politics, and may you be pardoned for the lightness-can sleep like a cat in the sun, no matter how much the Church may be in danger. When, however, there's anything stirring among silks and satins, why, then your woman's spirit is up, and all the milliner is roused within you. Knowing this, Kitty, I shall treat you with a few lines about a Powdered Ball we've lately had at Court; when everybody, out of compliment, I suppose, to what is called the wisdom of their ancestors, went dressed like their great grandfathers and grandmothers. A huge comfort this to great people in the shades! Dear Queen Charlotte was once again at Court, very flatteringly represented by a fine piece of point-lace worn by the blessed Victoria herself. And dukes, and lords, and generals-all of 'em sleeping in family lead-were once more walking minuets and dancing "Sir Roger de Coverly." Everybody, for a time, lived more than a hundred years ago; and, as I'm told, felt very happy at going backward even for one night. To go back is
with many high folks the greatest proof of wisdom; and therefore, among such people, the Powdered Ball was considered a glorious stride in the right direction. Only imagine the rapture of a Duke of Newcastle, living, even in fancy, for a few hours, at any time from 1715 to 1745; a time when there was no Reform Bill, no steam-engines, no railways, no cheap books! Think of the delight of many old gentlemen believing themselves their own grandfathers; quite away from these revolutionary days, and living again in "good old times"! I've heard-though I don't answer for it-that two or three of 'em were so carried away by the thought, that, to keep up the happiness as long as they could, they went to bed in their clothes, high-heeled shoes and all. At this very moment, they do say Lord still in his embroidered coat and smalls, with a wig like a white cloud upon him. He declares 1715 is such a "good old time" that nothing shall make him go on again to 1845. He has ordered flambeaux for his servants, and now and then talks about going to Ranelagh. Moreover, by people quite worthy of belief, it is feared his delusion, as they call it, is spreading, as they call it, amongst certain high folks; many of 'em thinking themselves a hundred years back, and wanting to make Acts of Parliament in the spirit of that good old time. See, Kitty, how a Powdered
Ball may turn the highest heads-even the nobs. of the country!
The ladies were, of course, all jewelled, and very fine. Oh, what a fortune some of 'em would have been to a poor man-with their stomachers! But, Kitty, there is one odd thing at these masks and balls how is it that young ladies—with names as white as snow-sometimes take the character, fly-spotted and damaged as they are, of sinful lovebirds? You, Kitty, being a woman, can explain this; but to me, one of the ignorant rough sex, it does seem odd that a pure young lady should dress herself as Nelly Gwynne, or any other person of the sort, when the aforesaid pure lady would squeakand, no doubt, very proper-at the living creature as if it was a toad. Can you explain this, Kitty? Do they take such characters, just as they put black patches on their cheeks, to bring out their own white all the stronger? Or is it that there's a sort of idle daring in it, just as children play with fire, though they never mean to burn themselves? I can't make it out; but how should I expect it -I, a poor, weak, ignorant man-how should I unriddle a creature that's puzzled Solomon? Of course there was an account of the dresses. Well, when I opened the Morning Post, and saw whole columns built o' nothing but velvets and satins, and all that, if I didn't grin-like a clown
through a collar for a new hat-at the vanity of life.
"Look here," says I to Bill Fisher, that was sitting in the Spotted Lion-"look at the conceit of these folks," says I, "who think that all the world's to stand still a-reading about their 'gimp Brandenburghs and buttons'-their 'buttons and frogs'their 'blue facings and turnback'-and such mountebankery." "It is quite beneath us as men," says Bill; "not at all like lords of the creation. Now, I can forgive the women-poor little souls!—for having all their flounces and puffings put in the paper. It's nat'ral for them." "Why nat'ral?" says I. Why," says Bill, "because they know it makes one another savage. Bless you, that's what they do it for-and nothin' else." And then you should have heard how he laughed as he spelt out the paper. "Look here, now," says he, "here was a lady with a dress looped with bouquets of pink roses; skirt of rich green satin, trimmed with flounces of point-lace and bouquets of roses; white satin shoes with high heels, green rosettes, with diamonds in the centre. Hair powdered, and ornamented with roses and diamonds. Now, isn't it dreadful, Juniper, that people are to be stopped over their honest pint of porter with stuff like this? What's' satin shoes with high heels' to all the 'versal world? But then, as I say, the women do it to