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A Blithe Old Age

A Blithe Old Age image
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An oíd man who is eüjoying a blitlie oíd age is iuvariably cheery. He feels that if' be has not very long to live in the world, be may as wtll enjoy to tlie utmost, and make ihe bet of, ihe mea.sure of existence whirh is 10 be vi urhr-af'ud hiiu. His hearty laiuhs and well-iinied jests keep uiany a table in a ruar, and it is a ptnall matter that he sees greaier nierit in bis own jokes than a great many other poople do, and tliat persons are often more affected by the unotuousness ofhis tones and the radiapee oí his smilea than by tbe richness of his imagination. He will tura his owa infirmities into a cause of merriment. Because he limps vrhen he waiks aeróos a room suggests to hiui many humorous reflections ; and, even wben he seriously is atniss, tbe last person whnm he thinks of becoming terrifíed at is his doctor. There is a sort of sturdy independence about him, and he constantly sings au "I'm not dead yet" air. He cannot go out into the fields and have his fill of' sport, for, with all Jjis joviality and lion-heartedness, he is af'raid of the "rheumatics," and he may experience a twioge of regret as he watches younger men doing so and leaving him behind ; but hisdenaeanorwould neverlead you to thiuk tbat he had a grievance ; and it' the young men, when they eome home, choose to teil liim ot' what tbcy have done, they will discover an appreciative and discerning liatener. Of course there is a twinge of conservatisni in his character, and his suocessors and he do not think alike about niany ïuatters, but he does not becouie soured on tbis account. He perceives in it a natural dispcnsation of Providence, and concludes that if the younger generaticm are not doing exactly as he would have thom do, they are on the whole doing very well indeed, and will know how to attaio something like perfection ere they have rcached his age. At the same time hewill talk, under proper oncouraKement, of' the triuuiphs which he has acbieved, and of' the iiiaDy wonderful things which he bal seon perforined. While dweiling on thie congenia] thcmes bc du Tnir - J;j.J unlercy towarcf fiyperbole, there may be a preponderance of the personal prunoun "I" in the anecdotes whicU he tells us, anccdotes uiay gradually grow to quite cxtraordinary diniensions under the influenre of his glowing imagination, but in what he does you will trace little indication of' the tuint of ill-nature. He will dilate not on tbc vices of those who havo treated liim badly, but on the virtues of those who have treated him well. He will converse not of the dark liours through whicli Jio bas pajsed, but of the t-unny ones which have cheered bis soul. He will not argue that humaoity is made up of so much vice and selfishness, wi'h ju-t the traco of virtue and truth here and there, but that tho selfishness and vice, compared with the virtue and truth, are coniparatively stnall and uniniportant. He shows so opcnly that lio belieyes in you that you cannot but believe in liim. He bas mnintained the simplicity of his character to such an cxtent that he is able to play at blind-man'sbufl'with a party of children, and thoroughly enjoy the romp and being pulled about until hin limbs refuse to do any more work for him, and he has to sink, exhauHted, into a chair, and mop hi radiant face and shining bald hcad with a silk pocket handkerchief. He is equally happy when adyising those who find thameelTeè placed in dilemmas, while his wisdom, experience, and great power of discernuiriii are invariably at the disposal of those who may choose to ask for them ; and the same remark sliould, in a majority of caaes, be applied to his purse. People who saw him only when he was enjoying, evidently wit Ii tlif koei et rclib, the creature comforts of life, laiiKbing at eouie ci'mical exbibition, or literally revelling in tbecharms of a bright, crisp morning, and a ohoioe, fre.h bit of landscape, and tho people who saw him only when he was carrying on desperate platonic flirtatious and rally ing matches with the othcr m'x, might aluiosl fancy tbat it was impossible for a deep vein of serious, generous feeling to run beneath bis joyous exuberance. But who can be more tender, sympathetic and thougbtful than he, and wlio seems to have a keener appreciation of the trials and difficulties with wbioh his fellow men have tocontend? The tact that, whilo so far as tbis workl is concerned he lias little to look f'orward to but a nook in some qniet church-yard he is full of gayity is not due to frivolity, but to his conviction that things are, in the long run, bouud to work out for the best, and that it is his duty to be true to bis In-t inspirationa o long as be has the power to be so, and to his still deeper oodviction that under all circumstanui's ho shmilil oherisb a confidenco in the brightQWB of bis own dostiny and the beneficence et' l'iovidence. - [Liberal Kview. Tuk Britih Museum Ltbnry oontaim three miles of book 6helves eight feet high and, taking all at the ordinary Svo si.c, there are twenty-flve miles of shelves. The domo of' the reading-room is the second largest in the world, the diameter of that of the Parthenon, Kotne, exceeding it only by two feet, while St. Peter's, being only 139 feet, is loss by one foot. Antrim county is tryiog to find out whcre its "scat" is. The clerk has removed his office to Bellaire, while the treasurer and judge of probate are still at Elk ltapids.