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breakfast. It was thoroughly Oxonian, and would have done credit to a prize essayist of Alma Mater. He gave a summary of an imaginary history of riddles, gravely descanted upon their historical importance, the part they played in oracular responses, and their influence in private families; was eloquent upon Edipus, his fate, and of the Sphynx.

"The Theban monster that proposed Her riddle, and him who solved it not, devoured;

That once found out and solved, for grief and spite

Cast herself headlong from the Ismenian steep."

I will not trouble you with his learned disquisition, nor take you in his travel from Egypt to Greece, and I know not where. He exhibited the whole heathen mythology as a phantasmagoria of riddles, questioned the muses of Herodotus, and authors that you and I, Eusebius, never knew, or have forgotten. In short, he proved that the world would never have been the world it is, but for the ancient riddle. He was critical also upon some very poor ones of antiquity-upon their trifling nature, how under the Romans they were deteriorated from their ancient dignity; was severe upon Virgil's "Dic quibus in terris;" passed on to their moral effect, and proved that we owe to the riddle our very virtues, and finally our liberties; strenuously insisted that we should not lose sight of the fact that all the world is still a riddle, as is every thing in it. The great riddle is life. He would have us again, as we would value the blessings we enjoy, restore the honour it has lost from the decadence of time, or the base and malicious plain-speaking of the present very vulgar age, to the riddle, and not to leave it as we have done to the practice of our wretched politicians, both in and out of Parliament, and to those ministers who are practically but trifling enigmas, incapable of solving anything themselves, or of doing anything which can be rationally solved by any one else. At this part of the essay the Doctor put his handkerchief to his mouth, but it would not do; he broke out into a hearty laugh, and cried "Bravo!-fit for any stage and platform, institutions and athen


really it is a capital burlesque." "Burlesque," said the Oxonian, with affected gravity and wounded dignity, holding himself upand he had purposely dressed in black, all but a white waistcoat, and had not forgotten his white kid gloves-" burlesque, indeed! I appeal to the present judicious assembly, or assemblage rather, of honest hearts and smiling and beauteous faces, if the gentleman who has, as I think, and I perceive you think, improperly interrupted me, has solved my riddle. Treating, then, this unseemly interruption as it deserves, I come to my Peroration." He shortly recapitulated, and thus addressed us, with his hand upon his heart :"Ladies and gentlemen, I have scarcely touched upon the delicate subject, the object of this meeting. I am confident you will understand me, when I compare this happy, this truly philanthropic scheme of our friend to a bell-to the bell which, I trust, with its parochial voice, will proclaim in its cheeriest notes a general Reconciliation. It is indeed like a bell, for it has the same requirements, without which bells must be mute. It equally requires good metal. Ladies and gentlemen, it shall be of silver! yes, silver, bountifully supplied by the generous owner of this honourable mansion. It is like a bell too, for it, as a bell, requires a clapper; and I see before me many ready to supply that want. It must also have a rope, which we will endeavour to make, to weave, and to twist. It will also require a good hand to pull it; and where shall we find one more fit for the work than this (and here the sly fellow took my hand and exhibited it), which, let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, receives its pulsation from the best of hearts?"

Ralph Rhymer sat down amidst "unbounded applause," which was speedily followed by such unextinguishable laughter as arose among the gods when Vulcan handed about the ambrosia of celestial Reconciliation. When seriousness was restored, a few specimens of our intended collection were read, and we each went to prepare more.

Some days have passed, Eusebius, since the reading of our Oxonian's essay. We have been very busy, and

having called in the aid of the doctor's curate, I am enabled to send you some portion of our collection, and I hope you will dignify it with the title of a "Florilegium," although I should not wonder if you thought it fitter for a "Hortus siccus."

You will observe that a few things were agreed upon before we commenced our labours. We were to ignore charades, enigmas, rebuses, and id genus omne, and know nothing but the word riddle; that, in writ ing them, we were to consider sound, as it is proposed that they should be at least first read aloud; consequently that you and I may be com

You ought to have received this letter, my dear Eusebius, long ago: by mistake it was put aside with other papers and not sent. I have, therefore, now an opportunity of adding the solutions, made by the Riddling Committee, to be read after the business of the meeting. Rhymer, I suspect, was the chief composer. I also have to tell you that the Family Junction Party went off satisfactorily: "coit amicitia," and I hope not "malè sarta." I took Rhymer with me to our old friend Meanwell's ever hospitable mansion. He was busiest among the guests, and contrived, by his sly whispered helps, that every one should


monly put for the letters U and I; and if there be any other words used, the sound of which would express what the spelling would fail to do; all this was required before we commenced our task. And now, Eusebius, take your easy-chair, read, and give your wise brains a little rest from the whirl of your philosophies, and recreate them in these flowery labyrinths; and you may puzzle your neighbours by handing over to them the task of solution, and you will probably give them quite as good an occupation as they had before, and at least equally innocent. Vive Valeque. A. Q. S.


Speaker-RALPH Rhymer.


Most given by nature to be low, By art I'm well conducted, And raised to station eminent,

And strangely I'm constructed.

win a prize. But he is so little proud of his manufacture, that he says he shall henceforth consider Davus a wiser man than Edipus. The distribution of prizes pleased every one-at least all professed to be pleased. The worst guesser was Sophy Single, but she contrived to drop her winnings into other's baskets. The delay has at least spared your brain an irritation quite useless to such a philosopher as you are; but, as you have many neighbours, and families who are none, you may withhold as long as you please the solutions, to give wholesome exercise to their wits. Yours ever, A. Q. S.

When Portia stood before the fate-ful urns,

Two foolish suitors chose, with worldly eyes, One gold, one silver; one true heart discerns

That outward lead may hold the nobler prize. Ye gentles all, who listen to our rhymes,

Learn-wisdom may be found where none appears; If you interpret well, the merriest chimes

Are only mirthful to consenting ears.

Although not any muse hath deigned to spin,

For outward grace, or gold or silver thread, A verse uncouth may hide some sense within, Precious as Portia in the urn of lead.

For though five letters make my name,
There stands a five betwixt 'em;
And turn them round, I'm just the same,
My being so hath fixed 'em.

But more-I stand for one (if you
My head and tail dissever)
That liv'd more years than many live,
And very near for ever.


All locks I break, yet strange am found,
The more I break, the firmer bound;
Though teeth I have, I never eat,-
I hunt the hare, yet have no feet.

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I'm found in yellow, white, and red,-
(Nor more be said upon that head ;)
I'm often in the papers found,
Then make more noise than all around.
Though sprung from sire most slow, I ape
All travellers,-oft have touched the Cape;
Born where hot suns hold fierce control,
I'm always warmest near the Pole.


I'm in the highest circles known,
And in the lowest noted,
And trusted,--for my truth is shown
Whenever I am quoted.

I sailed around the world with Cook,
Who wholly did engross me;
And though advised, what pains he took
In every point to cross me.

Though much at sea, no fight I've seen,
Kept mostly under hatches;
By land in battles I have been,

And still can show my scratches.
And strange it is, though old I grow,
And age leaves lines and traces
In every feature-even so,

More perfect still my face is.

Nine lives have cats, yet may be drown'd,
I live though daily martyr'd;
I'm bound, I'm hang'd, and I'm cut down,
And even drawn and quarter'd.

I very often make a match,

Although I never marry; And love as often lifts the latch, And will no longer tarry.

Reverse me now-a shuffling knave! An implement of evil!

Sly trickster-hold-you well behave; I know how to be civil.

I've brethren three-one in light sport
To other's hearts is cruel;
One (for we all are of the Court)

There sports the brightest jewel.
One wears, indeed, a sombre hue,

Yet is no less a knave, sir; Tho' ever holding up to view

What minds you of your grave, sir. I'm armed like Hercules, and mean To be no vain pretender;

And tho' a captive to no queen, I make all hearts surrender. "Off with his head"-of Buckingham 'Twas said; so mine dissever, And straight you'll find out that I am And hope to be-yours ever.


Have you my first, in perfect state?
You've no bad speculation;
'Tis silent, yet is thought to speak-
Is keen in observation.

My second's a commanding air,

My first it keepeth under; What Homer made a Jovial thing, That oft denoted thunder. My whole is suited to a hair

Both to my first and second; Without it would the gentlest she A barefaced jade be reckon'd.


My two first letters show the man,
So do my five-to whose last three
Are owing many a plot and plan

Of wisdom, wit, and knavery.

My four first would exhort in vain

If their three last should be dead letters; My five last all the world contain,

And even bind the sea in fetters.

I'm quite at home in letters six,-
To friendship warm, to coldness hateful;
And still th' inconstant heart I fix,
That without me would be ungrateful.


My first is of most ancient date,
My second of to-day;

My first my second rules, and bids
come, and pass away.

Yet so that where my first is not, My second cannot be;

My second is both long and short, And in my first's degree.

My first, although it never stirs,
Seems ever in a race;
Rises perhaps, but never sits-
My second runs apace.

My first had never feet; but once,

Tis said, was known to stand; And by that act, my second won, Brought blessings on the land." My whole is a most precious thing, Yet often vilely spent,And e'en though thrown away, returns To give your heart content.


The greatest contrasts mark my first-
Tis praised, abused, the best, the worst;
Preferred before the good and great,
Yet with the beggar at your gate.
At Court admitted-oft with fear
Lest it should reach a monarch's ear;
Yet courts of law it much frequents
In search of flaws and precedents,
Good, vicious, false, and true-in brief,
Favours the plunder'd and the thief.
Is truth itself-a very lie,-
Loud-tongued, and silent in the eye,
Or gently whispers in a sigh
The lover's charm. O lady fair,
Of the known faithlessness beware;
Yet should my first your lover make,
My second be, or second take
Precedence first, then drop behind,
And the two things be one combined-
Accept the promise of his tender,
And to his heart your heart surrender.


My first is beauteous, and to pride gives birth; My second is the meanest thing on earth; Though one most vile, the other precious reckon'd,

My first owes all its being to my second;

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Cut off my head-look in your glass,
Oh! what complexion, red and white;
I make your sparkling eyes surpass

The precious ray of diamond bright-
Your lips to redden with delight.
Cut off my tail-my head repair,

Now take it, Chloe, to thy breast;
Though it will double all thy care,

And thou but give it half that nest,
Thy fondest love it will attest.

Cut off at once both head and tail,

Behold a word which shows the will, What many wish to do, and fail,

Of those who spare, and those who kill, In war, peace, arms, in arts, and skill. Restore, dear maid, the severed parts,

The change declares what I would do Around your very heart of hearts;

If Hymen would but let me woo ;—
And you and I were one, not two.


There are two words that you and I
Make bold and loud, or soft and sly-
Both mischievous-and oft we go-
Together set 'gainst friend or foe-
Yet different courses we pursue:
For when there's any danger, you
Go off-and I in secret lurk,
And keep my legs for surer work.


I am certainly very handsome, and ought to be married, for the birds on St Valentine's Day are not more given to pair than I am. And many a lady offers me her hand-besides, I have received several love-letters; but, alas! one too many, and that has destroyed all my affection. Since then I have been on and off with many-have even gone to the altar-and have there been cast off at a moment's warning; the very priest has refused to unite me. Yet, still, all seek a match for me, hold out their arms to receive me, and yet I am single.


Beyond the earth, above the skies,
Seen and unseen by mortal eyes
Am I-yet come within the span
E'en of the little hand of man.
Cut off my head-my flight so fleet,
Is measured only now, by feet.
Remove two letters of my name,
I fly at kings with deadly aim,
Yet take no democratic side.
To courtly persons close allied-
To be above them all, my pride.
Fair dame, my honour high thou knowest,
As when I touch thy hand thou showest;
When cut by thee, oh then I'm lowest.
No lands have I, in breadth or length,
Yet in the game-laws is my strength;
With every pack, whene'er they meet,
You find me, and I'm seldom beat.
Without me, much is lost-to win me
They strive in vain, who are within me.

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Though one, not always one, in name,
As noticed by the trump of Fame;
One name assumed-I'm jewelled bright,
One marks me stoutest in the fight;
Though proud as Tory, Peer, or Whig,
One name, I own, is infra dig.
Again I change my reputation,
And win all hearts by the mutation;
Thus in three parts to find me out,
The first may give much room for doubt;
But step by step, and sure and slow,
Follow that second, and you'll know.
The third's a guide-but will escape,
By changing colours, face, and shape;
But oft uncall'd, will come to hand,
And then is mostly at command.
And with his blind eye in the middle,
A cyclop may with ease be led ;
And show that spot will serve good stead
To teach you how to solve the riddle.


My dawn of life was fair to view,

Joy came with each succeeding morrow, Until, alas! I met with you;

You turn'd my every joy to sorrow.
Enchanter fell, behold thy deeds;

My lily-roseate face is clouded,
The flowers I wore are now but weeds,
In blackness all my beauty shrouded.
Depart, depart-for losing you,

A brighter day will chase my sadness;
Say thy farewell-and soon adieu (a dew)
Will change my tears to drops of gladness.


What days were they, when I was not, For such there were, 'tis said, I wot; And yet before that time, good Madam, I stood in very front of Adam.

And when all creatures to him came,
Stepped forth, and was the first to name.
Yet I confess the truth which says,
'Tis plain, I was not in those days.
Yet I bethink me well, nor doubt me,
There never could be days without me.
And ever I, as in the past,

As long as there's a world, shall last;
And wheresoe'er is man and speech
Shall I be heard, my voice shall reach.
Then, pray, what wretched days were those,
When I was not, as men suppose?


My first is the last of a long race of kings; My second, oh, that is the strangest of things! For 'tis up in the air, and 'tis down in the


It crawls on the ground, and 'tis over the


My whole is ubiquitous, all the world over, From New York to Liverpool-Paris to Dover

Is at Petersburg, Berlin, at Rome, and Vienna;

A Proteus, in changing position and shape, It reaches the Pole, and it doubles the Cape. 'Tis proud, and 'tis humble, as peacock and daw,

Perhaps was with Ceres's daughter at Enna. For as still in remembrance of Enna's soft bowers,

It has the same love and attraction to flowers;

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My first and second are so fond a pair,
That where one is, you'll find the other there.
Indeed, so much united, that each one
Without the other's lost, or quite undone.
Both given to dress, and going thus together,
My first is better dressed for foulest weather,
And yet my second is a perfect beau;
Nor lags behind, how fast soe'er they go!
Yet, should my first sole arbitress review
And change her state, inclin'd to buckle to,
My second on that instant will deny,
Refuse the knot, and shun the marriage tie.
Nay, though he seemed to love the very

That my first treads on, is not to be found.

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