+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

Keorma, Jerdu and Krooraa Plow, Indian
Coaptu, Kitclieree, Manoooly, and Cawabs,"
I sauntered into the Bengal Hotel the other
day. I know the merits of old English fare,
and could live contentedly upon " plain roast
and boiled; "but I determined to give Hadjee
Allee a chance of convincing me: so I called
for "a couple of cawabs," by way of
commencement. " A couple of cawabs, sir? " said
the waiter; " cawabs is a soup, sir." " Very
good," said I; " then bring me a basin of
cawabs." I was not ashamed of my
ignorance. I came there to learn, and I did learn;
though I burnt my mouth in the trial. These
are my principles; and I think I have said
enough to show the difference between myself
and Fitz-Baynard.

When I was a young man I wrote poetry.
All young men did not write poetry then, as
they did afterwards, when Lord Byron came
more into fashion. I recollect, when Lord
Byron died, it was generally considered that
if he had not died, as he did, just on the right
side of forty, his reputation would have been
materially damaged. I had held similar
opinions when a youth; and had determined to
"play the .Roman fool" upon my thirty-ninth
birthday. But my ideas had undergone some
modification before that time. I was, indeed,
within a short march of that poetical Rubicon,
at the time of the noble lord's decease. But
I knew that the sincerest of his admirers
would cross the fatal line if his turn came;
and I was sure that Lord Byron had an intention
of doing so, if he had not been cut off in
his youth. I remember a stanza in Don
Juan, in which an allusion is made to the
author's intention of purchasing a peruke;
and a speculation upon the probable appearance
of his hair at forty; from which I infer,
that with a full consciousness of the fact that
time was fast hurrying him towards that
critical period, he had taken the resolution
calmly to abide the event. And why should
he not? Do such minds grow old?

That / have contrived to keep something
of my juvenility, I think is pretty well proved
by the fact of my being still the president of
the " Youthful Britons." And how have I
done this? Not by standing stock-still, and
bending my back for the years to play at
leap-frog over it; and growling at everybody
else because they would not stand still
in like manner. Neither was it by
constantly " thinking of my grave," as I over-
heard my pious, well-meaning old landlady
say I ought to be doing "at my time of
life;" but I am not offended. Here am
I in my sixty-sixth year, as youthful;
ever I was, and as cheerful, thank God!
Three stairs at a time is my way of getting
up stairs; and, as to playing on the fiddle, I
natter myself I can tear my way through
Beethoven's "mad " quartette with the fiery
vigour of a much younger fiddler. I walked
down to Rochester one day last summer, and
got up the next morning as fresh as a daisy.
I don't say I could stand such a life as our
friend Stow leads. My wild oats are sown.
But I can walk a match, or bowl a ball at
cricket, with most men. Ask any of our
club if their hands have ever tingled after
blocking a ball from me. And do I owe all
this to Nature? I think not.

What I have said, what I do say. and what
I will say, as long as I have health, (and I
flatter myself I have as much of that article
as most people.) is, that, ninety-nine times
out of a hundred a man need not grow old
unless he likes. This is what you may learn
from looking at Fitz-Baynard, and then
at me; this is the moral of what I have been
saying. This is the important truth which I
have to proclaim I believe that I have
discovered the true Elixir of Life. I am not fond
of making myself conspicuous, in print, or
elsewhere; but my motives are philanthropic
motives. I am ready to do a little good
where I am. I did not sit down to write
this article for the mere sake of abusing
Fitz-Baynard, in a periodical that he does
not read; but I say, that if Fitz-Baynard
senior, or any of Fitz-Baynard senior's
class, feel themselves to be miserable old
fellows, they have none but themselves to
blame. For, let me tell them, that it is
not years, nor bald heads, that constitute
the right definition of old age. While a man
keeps up in the march, and does not stand
still to look back, he is as good as any of
them. It is giving in that does it; it is being
lazy, and over-comfortable fancying that
you have marched far enough; that there is
no better land than that you have come to;
and persuading yourself that you do not
envy those who have gone on, and left you
behind; and, when a man so persuades
himself, and tries so to persuade others, he is
become an old fellow, and a Fitz-Baynard

Now, I consider the father of our young
friend knocked under in the year 1825. I
regard his coat, trousers, hat, and watch-
guard as so many outward symbols of that
inward stoppage which took place in that
year. To any person acquainted with the
histoiy of costume, the fact is as clear as the
date of a cathedral to a student of architecture.
There he stands, as perfect an
embalment of the past as any Roman idler,
suddenly imbedded in lava in the streets of
Herculaneum. In the year '25 he rebelled against
the great law of change and movement; and
there he stands to this day, grumbling, and
trying to persuade us to rebel too. But we

Now Ready, Price 5s. 6d., neatly bound in Cloth,
Containing Nos. 79 to 103 inclusive, (from September 27,
1851. to March 13, 1852.)