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election time with a burning desire to go about
among his tenantry. No society is so delightful
to him as that of a small householder (and voter).
As he enters the abode of the small householder
his eye wanders among the outbuildings.

"Why, Plumper," he says, " that barn is in
a terrible statealmost unfit for use?"

"Ah, sir," Plumper answers, " I've been
representing that to your Hagent, any time for the
last ten months."

"Never heard of it till this moment," says
the propitiatory gentleman, and instantly he
solemnly pledges himself to have the barn
rebuilt forthwith. Now, is it not to be expected
that in a little while the conversation should
get on from the barn, to the corn which the
barn contains, from the corn to the corn-laws, and
so to politics generally? Is it not to be
expected that the election should be brought on
the tapis? Is a vote too much to give for a new
barn?

Or suppose that, towards the same election
time, the propitiatory gentleman is represented
by an agent, and that this agent is seized with
the same love for the society of small
householders which characterises his Principal. What
accommodating arrangements that agent will
be in a position to make! Plumper is, in
this case, a very small householder indeed, and
is behindhand with his rent. The agent reminds
him of this fact, representing to him in glowing
colours all the unpleasant results which might
legitimately ensue from it. What a relief to
Plumper to be told that the agent thinks he can
set it all right for him, and that the landlord
won't be hard upon him this time. It is a mere
matter of fairness that the agent should remark
as he leaves, " By-the-by, Plumper, you'll take
care to be early at the poll on Wednesday."
Delightful system; mutual services rendered;
a bond of union established between man and
man. Gratitude, one of the noblest of human
emotions, called out, not, as in most cases, all
on one side, but on both sides at once.

I am weary of giving instances, they occur in
ordinary society every day. Your friend suffers
you to exercise your hobby-horse before a
company in order to buy your forbearance when he
wants in turn to have a canter. He does not
interrupt your account of your exploits on the
moors, because he has got his exploit across
country to deliver himself of, and which will
need all your powers of endurance. Nay,
sometimes the compact will go beyond such trivial
matters, and a man will enter into a bargain to
let alone your particular vice if you will extend
a similar indulgence to his.

It is simply the fear that this humanising
and ennobling interchange of mutual benevolence
is likely to be attacked by the mean
personage who has endeavoured in your columns
to aim a blow at the gratuity system, it is this
fear and this only which has betrayed me into
this lengthy address. I trust you will pardon it.
I trust any deficiencies in the closeness of my
argument or in my style may be pardoned also,
in consideration of my inexperience in literary
composition, an art which nothing short of the
importance of my subject would ever have
induced me to meddle with.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,
A HOUSEHOLDER OF GINSBURY.

*** We have put this communication into
the hands of our contributor, the author of
"Don't," and, strange to say, he is so little
convinced by it, that he not only adheres to all that
he originally put forward on the abolition of
gratuities, but adds that he wishes with all his
heart that those " Interchanges of Mutual
Benevolence," of which our correspondent speaks
so freely, should be got rid of as well.

SKATING SPIDERS.

SPINNER, spinster, and spider, signify the
spinning-man, woman, and animal. Is er the
German masculine pronoun for he, the source of
the English termination er? do the letters st
hint or indicate the feminine pronoun sie or
she? and does d stand for t or the neuter
it? Whatever the answers of the students
of words may be to these queries, it is
certain that spanning, spitting, and spinning,
all express the notion of stretching out, or
spouting forth, or darting forth. The spinning
animals have one great advantage over the
spinning men, never being forced to work half-
time by a scanty supply of raw material for their
webs. The spinners may be compelled to make
their cries heard to the ends of the earth for the
reddish-yellow or snow-white hairs which they
weave into their nankeen or calico fabrics; but
the spiders, self-contained and self-supporting,
carrying their supplies within themselves, are
independent alike of America, Africa and Asia.
As for the spinster, she is an extinct species.
If she exists at all in modern society, it is only
as a legal or ecclesiastical fiction, in marriage
licences, and yet of old she was the model
woman. The Hebrew poet, lover and king, Solomon
has sung how effectually she handled the
spindle and distaff; and in much more recent
times, a British bard of the fifteenth century,
Gavin Douglas, says in his Palace of Honour,
describing the costume of one of his heroes:

And eke his coit of golden thredis bricht
Quhilk his moder him span.

But the spiders are neither distressed, nor
changed, nor extinct, spinning as they did
thousands of years before it was remarked that
the lilies of the field, without toiling or spinning,
were more gorgeously arrayed than Solomon
was when clad in the finest fabrics of his
spinsters. When the spinster, worth more than
rubies, has vanished away into a verbal fossil,
the spider is more than ever instructing the few
men of science who study him. I have just
been reading the first part of a folio work on
British and Irish spiders, by Mr. Blackwell,
with a dozen plates, containing coloured
illustrations of more than a hundred species, and I
venture to say that all spiders are wonderful,
and that many are beautiful. I forget what the

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