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THE LAST WORDS OF THE OLD YEAR.

THIS venerable gentleman, christened (in
the Church of England) by the names One
Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty, who had
attained the great age of three hundred and
sixty-five (days), breathed his last, at midnight,
on the thirty-first of December, in the
presence of his confidential business-agents,
the Chief of the Grave Diggers, and the Head
Registrar of Births. The melancholy event
took place at the residence of the deceased, on
the confines of Time; and it is understood
that his ashes will rest in the family vault,
situated within the quiet precincts of
Chronology.

For some weeks, it had been manifest that
the venerable gentleman was rapidly sinking.
He was well aware of his approaching end,
and often predicted that he would expire at
twelve at night, as the whole of his ancestors
had done. The result proved him to be
correct, for he kept his time to the moment.

He had always evinced a talkative disposition,
and latterly became extremely garrulous.
Occasionally, in the months of November and
December, he exclaimed, "No Popery!"
with some symptoms of a disordered mind;
but, generally speaking, was in the full
possession of his faculties, and very sensible.

On the night of his death, being then
perfectly collected, he delivered himself in the
following terms, to his friends already
mentioned, the Chief of the Grave Diggers and
the Head Registrar of Births:

"We have done, my friends, a good deal of
business together, and you are now about to
enter into the service of my successor.  May
you give every satisfaction to him and his!

''I have been," said the good old gentleman,
penitently, "a Year of Ruin. I have
blighted all the farmers, destroyed the land,
given the final blow to the Agricultural
Interest, and smashed the Country. It is
true, I have been a Year of Commercial
Prosperity, and remarkable for the steadiness of
my English Funds, which have never been
lower than ninety-four, or higher than ninety-
seven and three-quarters. But you will
pardon the inconsistencies of a weak old man.

"I had fondly hoped," he pursued, with
much feeling, addressing the Chief of the
Grave Diggers, "that, before my decease, you
would have finally adjusted the turf over
the ashes of the Honourable Board of
Commissioners of Sewers; the most feeble and
incompetent Body that ever did outrage to
the common sense of any community, or was
ever beheld by any member of my family.
But, as this was not to be, I charge you, do
your duty by them in the days of my
successor!"

The Chief of the Grave Diggers solemnly
pledged himself to observe this request. The
Abortion of Incapables referred to, had (he
said) done much for him, in the way of
preserving his business, endangered by the
recommendations of the Board of Health;
but, regardless of all personal obligations, he
thereby undertook to lay them low. Deeper
than they were already buried in the
contempt of the public, (this he swore upon his
spade) he would shovel the earth over their
preposterous heads!

The venerable gentleman, whose mind
appeared to be relieved of an enormous load,
by this promise, stretched out his hand, and
tranquilly returned, "Thank you! Bless you!"

"I have been," he said, resuming his last
discourse, after a short interval of silent
satisfaction, "doomed to witness the sacrifice of
many valuable and dear lives, in steamboats,
because of the want of the commonest and
easiest precautions for the prevention of those
legal murders. In the days of my great
grandfather, there yet existed an invention
called Paddle-box Boats. Can either of you
gild the few remaining sands fast running
through my glass, with the hope that my
great grandson may see its adoption made
compulsory on the owners of passenger
steam-ships?"

After a despondent pause, the Head
Registrar of Births gently observed that, in
England, the recognition of any such
invention by the legislatureparticularly if
simple, and of proved necessitycould
scarcely be expected under a hundred years.
In China, such a result might follow in fifty,
but in England (he considered) in not less
than a hundred. The venerable invalid
replied, "True, true!" and for some minutes
appeared faint, but afterwards rallied.

"A stupendous material work;" these

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