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This is a protest against a growing and
intolerable evil to which every reader of these
lines will unhesitatingly put his name. Every
body is subject to the nuisance. Some
pretend to despise it; some are goodnatured,
and don't care about it; others are so snobbish
and vain, that they positively like it;
but all this is no argument why you and I
should submit to it, or refrain from expressing
our disgust and dissatisfaction.

I mean the pest of biography. What in the
world have I done to have my life written?
or my neighbour the doctor? or Softlie,
our curate? We have never won battles nor
invented logarithms, nor conquered Scinde,
nor done anything whatever out of the most
ordinary course of the most prosaic existences.
Indeed, I may say the two gentlemen I have
mentioned are the dullest fellows I ever knew
they are stupid at breakfast, dinner, and
tea; they never said a witty thing in their
lives; they never tried to repeat a witty
thing without entirely destroying it. I have
no doubt they think and say precisely the
same of me, and yet we are all three in the
greatest danger of having our lives in print
every day. And not only thatwhich is bad
enoughbut we are pestered twice a-week at
least, with requests to be our own executioners,
to write memoirs of ourselves, to
furnish materials for our own immolation.
Fancy Smedder, M.D., writing his adventures!
Fancy Softlie, M.A., inditing his Recollections!
Why, they have neither recollections
nor adventures; and the whole reason of the
application is that we three live in a village
where, some time or other, in the reign of
somebody or other, there was a fellow of the
name of Chaucer, who had some lands here;
and our houses are built on part of his estate.
What does it matter to me whether or not
this person had at one time the property
which is now mine: or what does it add to
the knowledge people may wish to have
about him, to be told all about Smedder's
birth, parentage, and education; or the years
in which I was baptised and married? But
there's a society, forsooth, called the
"Chaucerian," and to please the admirers of that
unexampled poetasterthough, confound me
if I ever read a word of him!—I am to parade
before all the world, my age, and my wife's
age (I wish they may catch her in a
communicative vein!), where my father made his
money, what he gave for this estate, who
instructed me in the rudiments of Latin and
Greek, and who my schoolmaster's father
was, and whether his wife survived him.
What right have those inquisitive Chaucerians
to know how many children I have, and how
long a time elapsed between their births?
They'll be sending for my marriage certificate
next,—with a facsimile of my wife's wedding-ring.

At another time there was a fellowat
what period of the world's history not a soul
in the parish can divine who performed
miracles every Thursday, with the water of a
well which none of us knew anything about,
in the "halig-field above the tannen," which
none of us ever heard the name of. The
miraculous gentleman was Saint Snibble, a
disciple of a person calling himself the
Venerable Bede, whoever he may be, who used to
cut up his shirt into little pieces when he had
worn it twelve years without changing; and
who, dipping fragments of it into the well, gave
the water the power of curing all the cattle
which drank it, of all manner of diseases;
and bottles of it were sent to all the veterinary
surgeons in the land. Now there is a
"Snibble brotherhood," it appears, who are
gathering up every tittle of information they
can collect about their chief. They have,
therefore, pressed me to furnish a sketch of
my worldly progress, to be published in their
Transaction. The old man lived, I am told,
a thousand and odd years ago, and what
connection my voyage to New York in eighteen
hundred and forty-four, or my partnership
with Spuddy and Frip can have to do with
him, neither my wife nor I can guess. I
remember, indeed, we made a good speculation
in soap, but the saintly Snibble does not
seem to have been particular in that article
of commerce; and surely it can make no
difference to him whether my eldest daughter's
name is Mary Anne with two capital letters,
or Marianne with only one; and yet that is
a question about which the society is greatly

They are jolly fellows, too, those
inquirers after the water-cure! They fixed a
day to come over and search for the sacred