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visits made or received, a conversation in set form where
nothing is said or intended to be said — the subjects
being the first melon, the new opera, or the last ball,
on which they linger as if conscious that their whole
storehouse of thought had been expended there. For-
tunate is it for the visitor if he has some town news to
communicate, a newly published novel, or some fresh
piece of scandal, as in this way, he may earn the praise
of being an interesting and agreeable talker. Now
comes the table with its wine and other luxuries — an
excellent opportunity to talk of delicate constitutions,
war and peace, famine and cholera, popular revolutions
and military parades, served up much in the same
manner as the dishes. Then the concert, where the
most melting tones are designed only to win applause
and pay, and not to touch the heart — or the theater
where Thecla listens to the ghostly voice of the
prompter, and the murdered Wallenstein is thinking
how he shall thank his applauding public, while the
same public is coquetting from box to box, forgetful of
every thing else — or the ball where the giddy whirl of
the waltz fens up the last spark of passion in the worn-
out heart, and then the artificially heated blood is
cooled again with artificial ice. And this life whose
orgies we could not wish to unvail, however well they
may suit the fine polish and graces of this class of per-
sons — is it not pitiable ? In comparison with such hol-
lowness and insipidity is not the bold transgressor of
God's commands still a man ? He is still something,
and therefore may yet be made to feel that there is a
Judge of quick and dead, and be brought back from his
evil ways. But with the above described class of per-