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THE CHARITY DINNER.-LITCHFIELD MOSELY.

mences.

Time: half-past six o'clock. Place: The London Tavern. Occasion: Fifteenth Annual Festival of the Society for the Distribution of Blankets and Top-Boots among the Natives of the Cannibal Islands.

On entering the room we find more than two hundred noblemen and gentlemen already assembled; and the number is increasing every minute. The preparations are now complete, and we are in readiness to receive the chairman. After a short pause, a little door at the end of the room opens, and the great man appears, attended by an admiring circle of stewards and toadies, carrying white wands like a parcel of charity-school boys bent on beating the bounds. He advances smilingly to his post at the principal table, amid deafening and long-continued cheers.

The dinner now makes its appearance, and we yield up ourselves to the enjoyments of eating and drinking. These important duties finished, and grace having been beautifully sung by the vocalists, the real business of the evening com

The usual loyal toasts having been given, the noble chairman rises, and, after passing his fingers through his hair, places his thumbs in the armholes of his waistcoat, gives a short preparatory cough, accompanied by a vacant stare round the room, and commences as follows:

"My LORDS AND GENTLEMEN :-It is with feelings of mingled pleasure and regret that I appear before you this evening: of pleasure, to find that this excellent and world-wide. known society is in so promising a condition; and of regret, that you have not chosen a worthier chairman; in fact, one who is more capable than myself of dealing with a subject of such vital importance as this. (Loud cheers.) But, although I may be unworthy of the honor, I am proud to state that I have been a subscriber to this society from its commencement; feeling sure that nothing can tend more to the advancement of civilization, social reform, fireside comfort, aud domestic economy among the Cannibals, than the diffusion of blankets and top-boots. (Tremendous cheering, which lasts for several minutes.) Here in this England of ours, which is an island surrounded by water,

as I suppose you all know-or, as our great poet so truth. fully and beautifully expresses the same fact, ‘England bound in by the triumphant sea'-what, down the long vista of years, have conduced more to our successes in arms, and arts, and song, than blankets? Indeed, I never gaze upon a blanket without my thoughts reverting fundly to the days of my early childhood. Where should we all have been now but for those warm and fleecy coverings?

My Lords and Gentlemen! Our first and tender memories are all associated with blankets: blankets when in our nurses' arms, blankets in our cradles, blankets in our cribs, blankets to our French bedsteads in our school-days, and blankets to our marital four-posters now. Therefore, I say, it be comes our bounden duty as men-and, with feelings of pride, I add, as Englishmen-to initiate the untutored sav. age, the wild and somewhat uncultivated denizen of the prairie, into the comfort and warmth of blankets; and to supply him, as far as practicable, with those reasonable, seasonable, luxurious, and useful appendages. At such a moment as this, the lines of another poet strike familiarly upon the ear. Let me see, they are something like this, ah-ah

“ Blankets have charms to soothe he savage breast, I forget the rest. (Loud cheers.) Do we grudge our money for such a purpose ? I answer, fearlessly, No! Could we spend it better at home? I reply, most emphatically, No! True, it may be said that there are thousands of our own people who at this moment are wandering about the streets of this great metropolis without food to eat or rags to cover them. But what have we to do with them? Our thoughts, our feelings, and our sympathies are all wafted on the wings of charity to the dear and interesting Cannibals in the far-off islands of the great Pacific Ocean. (Hear, hear!) Besides, have not our own poor the work-houses to go to; the luxurious straw of the casual wards to repose upon, if they please; the mutton broth to bathe in; and the ever toothsome, although somewhat scanty allowance of " toke" provided for them! If people choose to be poor, is it our business? And let it ever be remembered that our own people are not savages and man-eaters, and, therefore,

And to-to do-a-"

our philanthropy would be wasted upon them. (Overwhelming applause.) To return to our subject. Perhaps some person or persons here may wonder why we should not send out side-springs and bluchers, as well as top-boots. To those I will say, that top-boots alone answer the object desired-namely, not only to keep the feet dry, but the legs warm, and thus to combine the double uses of shoes and stockings. Is it not an instance of the remarkable foresight of this society, that it purposely abstains from sending out any other than top-boots? To show the gratitude of the Cannibals, for the benefits conferred upon them, I will just mention that, within the last few weeks, his illustrious majesty, Hokee Pokey Wankey Fum the First--surnamed by his loving subjects “The Magniticent,' from the fact of his wearing, on Sundays, a shirt-collar and an eye-glass as full court costume-has forwarded the president of the society a very handsome present, consisting of two live alligators, a boa constrictor, and three pots of preserved Indian, to be eaten with toast; and I am told by competent judges, that it is quite equal to Russian caviare.

"My Lords and Gentlemen! I will not trespass on your patience by making any further remarks; knowing how incompetent I am-no, no! I don't mean that-knowing how incompetent you all are-no! I don't mean that either - but you all know what I mean. Like the ancient Roman lawgiver, I am in a peculiar position; for the fact is I cannot sit down-I mean to say, that I cannot sit down without saying that, if there ever was an institution, it is this institution; and, therefore, I beg to propose, ‘Prosperity to the society for the Distribution of Blankets and Top-Boots among the Natives of the Cannibal Islands.'”

The toast having been cordially responded to, his lordship calls upon Mr. Duffer, the secretary, to read the report. Whereupon that gentleman, who is of a bland and oily temperament, and whose eyes are concealed by a pair of green spectacles, produces the necessary document, and reads in the orthodox manner

" Thirtieth Half-yearly Report of the Society for the Distribution of Blankets and Top-Boots to the Natives of the ('annibal Islands,

“The society having now reached its fifteenth anniversary, the committee of management beg to congratulate their friends and subscribers on the success that has been attained.

“When the Society first commenced iis labors, the generous and noble-minded natives of the islands, together with their King-a chief whose name is well known in connection with one of the most sterling and heroic ballads of this country-attired themselves in the light but somewhat insufficient costume of their tribe-viz., little before, nothing behind, and no sleeves, with the occasional addition of a pair of spectacles; but now, thanks to this useful association, the upper classes of the Cannibals seldom appear in public without their bodies being enveloped in blankets, and their feet encased in top-boots.

" When the latter useful articles were first introduced into the islands, the society's agents had a vast amount of trouble to prevail upon the natives to apply them to their proper purpose; and, in their work of civilization, no less than twenty of its representatives were massacred, roasted, and eaten. But we persevered; we overcame the natural antipathy of the Cannibals to wear any covering to their feet; until, after a time, the natives discovered the warmth and utility of boots; and now they can scarcely be induced to remove them until they fall off through old age.

“During the past half-year, the society has distributed no less than 71 blankets and 128 pairs of top-boots; and your committee, therefore, feel convinced that they will not be accused of inaction. But a great work is still before them; and they earnestly invite co-operation, in order that they may be enabled to supply the whole of the Cannibals with these comfortable, nutritious, and savory articles.

As the balance sheet is rather a lengthy document, I will merely quote a few of the figures for your satisfaction. We have received, during the last half-year, in subscriptions, donations, and legacies, the sum of 5,4031. 68.8{d. We have disbursed for advertising, &c., 2221. 68. 2d. Rent, rates, and taxes, 3051. 108. 0}d. Seventy-one pairs of blankets, at 20s. per pair, have taken 711. exactly; and 128 pairs of top-boots at 218. per pair, cost us 1341. some odd shillings. The salaries and expenses of management amount to 1,3071. 48. 21d.; and sundries, which include committee meetings and traveling ex: penses, have absorbed the remainder of the sum, and amount to 3,2681. 98. 1 d. So that we have expended on the dear and interesting Cannibals the sum of 2051. and the remainder of the sum-amounting to 5,1981.-has been devoted to the working expenses of the society.”

The reading concluded, the secretary resumes his seat amid hearty applause which continues until Mr Alderman Gobbleton rises, and, in a somewhat lengthy and discursive speech-in which the phrases, “the Corporation of the City of London,” “suit and service,” “ ancient guild,” “liberties and privileges,” and “ Court of Common Council,” figure frequently,-states that he agrees with everything the noble chairman has said ; and has, moreover, never listened to a more comprehensive and exhaustive document than the one just read; which is calculated to satisfy even the most obtuse and hard-headed of individuals.

Gobbleton is a great man in the city. He has either been lord mayor, or sheriff, or something of the sort; and, as a few words of his go a long way with his friends and admirers, his remarks are very favorably received.

Clever man, Gobbleton !” says a common councilman, sitting near us, to his neighbor, a languid swell of the period.

Ya-as, vewy! Wemarkable style of owatowy--gweat fluency,” replies the other.

But attention, if you please !--for M. Hector de Longuebeau, the great French writer, is on his legs. He is staying in England for a short time, to become acquainted with our manners and customs.

“MILORS AND GENTLEMANS !" commences the Frenchman, elevating his eyebrows and shrugging his shoulders. “Milors and Gentlemans, You excellent chairman, M. le Baron de Mount-Stuart, he have say to me, ' Make de toast.' Den I say to him dat I have no toast to make; but he nudge my elbow ver soft, and say dat dere is von toast dat nobody but von Frenchiman can make proper; and, derefore, wid your kind permission, I vill make de toast. De brevete is de sole of de feet,' as you great philosophere, Dr. Johnson, do say, in dat amusing little vork of his, de Pronouncing Dic.

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