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It is unnecessary to say that we keep a
bore. Everybody does. But, the bore whom
we have the pleasure and honor of
enumerating among our particular friends, is such
a generic bore, and has so many traits (as it
appears to us) in common with the great bore
family, that we are tempted to make him the
subject of the present notes. May he be
generally accepted !

Our bore is admitted on all hands to be
a good-hearted man. He may put fifty people
out of temper, but he keeps his own. He
preserves a sickly solid smile upon his face,
when other faces are ruffled by the perfection
he has attained in his art, and has an
equable voice which never travels out of one
key or rises above one pitch. His manner
is a manner of tranquil interest. None of his
opinions are startling. Among his deepest-
rooted convictions, it may be mentioned that
he considers the air of England damp, and
holds that our lively neighbourshe always
calls the French our lively neighbourshave
the advantage of us in that particular.
Nevertheless, he is unable to forget that John Bull
is John Bull all the world over, and that
England with all her faults is England still.

Our bore has travelled. He could not
possibly be a complete bore without having
travelled. He rarely speaks of his travels
without introducing, sometimes on his own
plan of construction, morsels of the language
of the country:—  which he always translates.
You cannot name to him any little remote
town in France, Italy, Germany, or Switzerland
but he knows it well; stayed there a
fortnight under peculiar circumstances. And
talking of that little place, perhaps you know
a statue over an old fountain, up a little
court, which is the secondno, the third
stayyes, the third turning on the right,
after you come out of the Post house, going
up the hill towards the market? You don't
know that statue? Nor that fountain ? You
surprise him! They are not usually seen by
travellers (most extraordinary, he has never
yet met with a single traveller who knew
them, except one German, the most intelligent
man he ever met in his life!) but he
thought that YOU would have been the man
to find them out. And then he describes
them, in a circumstantial lecture half an hour
long, generally delivered behind a door which
is constantly being opened from the other side;
and implores you if you ever revisit that place,
now do go and look at that statue and fountain!

Our bore, in a similar manner, being in
Italy, made a discovery of a dreadful picture,
which has been the terror of a large portion
of the civilised world ever since. We have
seen the liveliest men paralysed by it, across
a broad dining-table. He was lounging
among the mountains, sir, basking in the
mellow influences of the climate, when he
came to una piccola chiesaa little church
or perhaps it would be more correct to say una
piccolissima cappella the smallest chapel you
can possibly imagineand walked in. There
was nobody inside but a ciecoa blind man
saying his prayers, and a vecchio padreold friar
rattling a money box.. But, above the head
of that friar, and immediately to the right of
the altar as you enterto the right of the
altar? No. To the left of the altar as you
enteror say near the centrethere hung a
painting (subject, Virgin and Child) so divine
in its expression, so pure and yet so warm
and rich in its tone, so fresh in its touch, at
once so glowing in its color and so statuesque
in its repose that our bore cried out in an
ecstacy, " That's the finest picture in Italy! "
And so it is, sir. There is no doubt of
it. It is astonishing that that picture is so
little known. Even the painter is uncertain.
He afterwards took Blumb, of the Royal
Academy (it is to be observed that our bore
takes none but eminent people to see sights,
and that none but eminent people take our
bore), and you never saw a man so affected in
your life as Blumb was. He cried like a
child! And then our bore begins his description
in detailfor all this is introductory
and strangles his hearers with the folds of the
purple drapery.

By an equally fortunate conjunction of
accidental circumstances, it happened that when
our bore was in Switzerland, he discovered
a Valley, of that superb character, that
Chamouni is not to be mentioned in the same
breath with it. This is how it was, sir.
He was travelling on a mulehad been in
the saddle some dayswhen, as he and the
guide, Pierre Blanquo: whom you may know,
perhaps?— our bore is sorry you don't, because