Friends and Hares

: Ghosts.

The Duke of Longueville's reply, when it was observed
to him that the gentlemen bordering on his estates were continually hunting

upon them, and that he ought not to suffer it, is worthy of imitation: "I

had much rather," answered the duke, "have friends than hares."

Henri IV. once reproached M. d'Aubigne for continuing his friendship for M.

de la Tremouille, who had recently been banished from court. D'Aubigne
br />
replied--"As M. de la Tremouille is so unfortunate as to have lost the

confidence of his master, he may well be allowed to retain that of his


Curran says, "when a boy, I was one morning playing at marbles in the

village ball alley, with a light heart and lighter pocket. The gibe and

the jest went gaily round, when suddenly there appeared amongst us a

stranger, of a very remarkable and very cheerful aspect; his intrusion was

not the least restraint upon our merry little assemblage, on the contrary,

he seemed pleased, and even delighted; he was a benevolent creature, and

the days of infancy (after all the happiest we shall ever see), perhaps

rose upon his memory. God bless him! I see his fine form, at the distance

of half a century, just as he stood before me in the little ball-alley in

the days of my childhood. His name was Dr. Boyse. He took a particular

fancy to me. I was winning, and was full of waggery, thinking every thing

that was eccentric, and by no means a miser of my eccentricities; every one

was welcome to a share of them, and I had plenty to spare after having

freighted the company. Some sweetmeats easily bribed me home with him. I

learned from poor Boyse my alphabet and my grammar, and the rudiments of

the classics. He taught me all he could, and then sent me to the school at

Middleton. In short, he made a man of me. I recollect it was about five and

thirty years afterwards, when I had risen to some eminence at the bar, and

when I had a seat in parliament, on my return one day from court, I found

an old gentleman seated alone in my drawing-room, his feet familiarly

placed, on each side of the Italian marble chimney-piece, and his whole air

bespeaking the consciousness of one quite at home. He turned round--_it was

my friend of the ball-alley_. I rushed instinctively into his arms, and

burst into tears. Words cannot describe the scene which followed:--"You are

right, sir; you are right. The chimney-piece is your's--the pictures are

your's--the house is your's. You gave me all I have--my friend--my

father--my benefactor!" He dined with me; and in the evening I caught the

tear glistening in his fine blue eye, when he saw poor little Jack, the

creature of his bounty, rising in the House of Commons, to reply to a

_Right_ Honourable. Poor Boyse! he is now gone; and no suitor had a larger

deposit of practical benevolence in the Court above. This is his wine--let

us drink to his memory."

Bishop Fowler, of Gloucester, and Justice Powell, had frequent altercations

on the subject of ghosts. The bishop was a zealous defender of the reality

of them; the justice was somewhat sceptical. The bishop one day met his

friend, and the justice told him that since their last conference on the

subject, he had had ocular demonstration, which had convinced him of the

existence of ghosts. "I rejoice at your conversion," replied the bishop;

"give me the circumstance which produced it, with all the particulars:--

ocular demonstration, you say?"--"Yes, my lord; as I lay last night in my

bed, about the twelfth hour, I was awakened by an extraordinary noise, and

heard something coming up stairs!"--"Go on, sir."--"Fearfully alarmed at

the noise, I drew my curtain--." "Proceed."--"And saw a faint glimmering

light enter my chamber."--"Of a blue colour, was it not?" interrogated the