same time to abate (if anything was found unreasonable) in their rents.

At the mention of this, the four Quarter Days involuntarily looked at each other, and smiled; April Fool whistled to an old tune of "New Brooms"; and a surly old rebel at the farther end of the table (who was discovered to be no other than the Fifth of November) muttered out, distinctly enough to be heard by the whole company, words to this effect—that “when the old one is gone, he is a fool that looks for a better.” Which rudeness of his, the guests resenting, unanimously voted his expulsion; and the malecontent was thrust out neck and heels into the cellar, as the properest place for such a boutefeu and firebrand as he had shown himself to be.

Order being restored, the young lord (who, to say truth, had been a little ruffled, and put beside his oratory) in as few and yet as obliging words as possible, assured them of entire welcome; and, with a graceful turn, singling out poor old Twenty-Ninth of February, that had sate all this while mumchance at the sideboard, begged to couple his health with that of the good company before him, which he drank accordingly; observing that he had not seen his honest face any time these four years, with a number of endearing expressions besides. At the same time removing the solitary Day from the forlorn seat which had been assigned him, he stationed him at his own board, somewhere between the Greek Calends and Latter Lammas.

Ash-Wednesday, being now called upon for a song, with his eyes fast stuck in his head, and as well as the Canary he had swallowed would give him leave, struck up a Carol, which Christmas-Day had taught him for the nonce; and was followed by the latter, who gave “Miserere" in fine style, hitting off the mumping notes and lengthened drawl of Old Mortification with infinite humour. April Fool swore they had exchanged conditions; but Good Friday was observed to look extremely grave, and Sunday held her fan before her face that she might not be seen to smile.

Shrove-tide, Lord Mayor's Day, and April Fool next joined in a glee

'Which is the properest day to drink?'

in which all the Days chiming in, made a merry burden.

They next fell to quibbles and conundrums. The question being proposed, who had the greatest number of followers? The Quarter Days said there could be no question as to that; for they had all the creditors in the world dogging their heels. But April Fool gave it in favour of the Forty Days before Easter; because the debtors in all cases outnumbered the creditors, and they kept Lent all

the year.

All this while Valentine's Day kept courting pretty May, who sate next him, slipping amorous billets-doux under the table, till the Dog - Days (who are naturally of a warm constitution) began to be jealous, and to bark and rage exceedingly. April Fool, who likes a bit of sport above measure, and had some pretensions to the lady besides, as being but a cousin once removed, clapped and halloo'd them on; and as fast as their indignation cooled, those mad wags, the Ember-Days, were at it with their bellows, to blow it into a flame; and all was in a ferment, till old Madam Septuagesima (who boasts herself the Mother of the Days) wisely diverted the conversation with a tedious tale of the lovers which she could reckon when she was young, and of one, Master Rogation-Day, in particular, who was for ever putting the question to her; but she kept him at a distance, as the chronicle would tell, by which I apprehend she meant the Almanac. Then she rambled on to the Days that were gone, the good old Days, and so to the Days before the Floodwhich plainly showed her old head to be little better than crazed and doited.

Day being ended, the Days called for their cloaks and greatcoats, and took their leaves. Lord Mayor's Day went off in a mist as usual; Shortest Day in a deep black fog, that wrapt the little gentleman all round like a hedgehog. Two Vigils-50 watchmen are called in heaven-saw Christmas-Day safe home — they had been used to the business before. Another Vigil - a stout, sturdy patrol, called the Eve of St. Christopher -- seeing Ash-Wednesday in a condition little better than he should be, e'en whipt him over his shoulders, pick-a-back fashion; and Old Mortification went floating home singing:

“On the bat's back I do fly,”

and a number of old snatches besides, between drunk and sober; but very few Aves or Penitentiaries (you may believe me) were among them. Longest Day set off westward in beautiful crimson and gold; the rest, some in one fashion, some in another; but Valentine and pretty May took their departure together in one of the prettiest silvery twilights a Lover's Day could wish to set in.


The Biographical and Critical Essay

The Place of Milton as a Poet.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

The Functions of the Chorus in the Greek Tragic Drama.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)


William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

Joan of Arc.

Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859)

The Hero as a Man of Letters: Samuel Johnson.

Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881)

Doctor Johnson and His Times.

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859)

A Visit to Wordsworth.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

The Loves of Stella and the Dean.

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

The Great Armada's Home-Coming.

James Anthony Froude (1818–1894)

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The First Expedition of Jean Ribaut.

Francis Parkman (1823–1893)

The Marquis of Montrose.

Sir John Skelton (1831-1897)

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