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قراءة كتاب The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 10, No. 277, October 13, 1827

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‏اللغة: English
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
Volume 10, No. 277, October 13, 1827

The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 10, No. 277, October 13, 1827

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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then cut up the back on each side the bone, or chine, as it is commonly called. The bone is taken out, but the tail, with two or three inches of the bone, is left; the head is cut off; all the entrails are taken out, but the skin of the belly is left uncut; the fish is then laid, with the skin undermost, on a board, and is well rubbed and covered over with a mixture of equal quantities of common salt and Jamaica pepper. Some of this mixture is carefully spread under the fins to prevent them from corrupting, which they sometimes do, especially if the weather is warm. A board with a large stone is sometimes laid upon the fish, with a view to make the salt penetrate more effectually. In some places, as Dumbarton, instead of a flat board, a shallow wooden trough is used, by which means the brine is kept about the fish; sometimes two or three salmon are kippered together in the same vessel, one being laid upon the other. The fish, with the board or trough, is set in a cool place for two or three days; it is then removed from the board, and again rubbed with salt and pepper; after which it is hung up by the tail, and exposed to the rays of the sun or the heat of the fire. Care is previously taken to stretch out the fish by means of small sticks or hoops placed across it from side to side. After it has remained in the heat a few days, it is hung up in a dry place till used. Some people, in order to give the kipper a peculiar taste, highly relished by not a few, carefully smoke it with peat reek, or the reek of juniper bushes. This is commonly done by hanging it up so near a chimney in which peats or juniper bushes are burnt, as to receive the smoke; there it remains two or three weeks, by which time it generally acquires the required flavour.



(Concluded from page 227.)

Debt is obligation, and "obligation," says Hobbes, "is thraldom." This will be evident if we once consider to what a variety of mean shifts the state of being in debt exposes us. It sits like fetters of iron on conscience; but as old offenders often whistle to the clanking of their chains, so rogues lighten their hearts by increasing their debts. It destroys freedom as much as a debtor is his creditor's slave; and, under certain circumstances, his range may be reduced to a few square feet, and his view prescribed by a few cubits of brick walls; and, humiliating as this may appear, it sits lightly on the majority, since, even the brawlers for liberty, forgetting "the air they breathe," are often to be found within its pale; but in this case they also forget, that being in legal debt is less venial than many other sins, since it cannot be cleared by any appeals to argument, or settled by shades of opinion. Subterfuge, lying, and loss of liberty, are not all the miseries of a conscious debtor: in the world he resembles a prisoner at large; he walks many circuitous miles to avoid being dunned, and would sooner meet a mad dog than an angry creditor. He lives in a sort of abeyance, and sinks under shame when caught enjoying an undue luxury. In short, he is cramped in all his enjoyments, and considers his fellow, out of debt, as great as the emperor of the celestial empire, after whose repast other kings may dine. Hence ensue repining and envy: he fancies himself slighted by the world, and, in return, he cares not for the opinion of the world; his energies waste, and he falls.

These sufferings, however, appertain but to one class of debtors. There are others who scorn such compunctious visitations, and set all laws of conscience at defiance. They press into their service all the aids of cunning, and travel on byroads of the world till they are bronzed enough for its highway. Their memories are like mirrors, and their debts like breathings on them, which vanish the same moment they are produced. They look on mankind as a large family, and the world as a large storehouse, or open house, where they have a claim proportioned to their wants. They clear their consciences by maintaining, that what is parted with is not lost, and foster their hopes with the idea of its reversion. They think those who can ride ought not to walk; and, therefore, that all men have the option of such chances of good-fortune. With this laxity of principle they quarter themselves on the credulity of extortionate tradesmen, and the good-natured simplicity of friends or associates. If, perchance, they possess any excellence above their society, they consider it as a redeeming grace for their importunities, and, calculating on the vulgarism ad captandum, that what is dearest bought is most prized, they make their friends pay freely for their admiration. Nor are such admirers willing to break the spell by which they are bound, since, by their unqualified approval they sanction, and flatter the man of their party, to their mutual ruin; for, as Selden observes, "he who will keep a monkey should surely pay for the glasses he breaks."

Prone as men are to the crooked path, and still more apt as the weak and ignorant are to indulge them in such a course, perhaps the love of principle is as strong in men's hearts as it ever will be. Of times gone by, we must not here speak; because the amor patriæ its has long since shifted to amor nummi, and naked honesty has learned the decency of dress. There have been profligates in all ages; but the world, though sometimes a severe master, ruins as many by its deceitful indulgence, as by its ill-timed severity. Good fellows are usually the worst treated by the world allowing them to go beyond their tether, and then cutting them off out of harm's way. Nothing but an earlier discipline can improve us; for so habitual is debt, that the boy who forestals his pocket-money uses it as a step-ladder to mortgaging his estate. The sufferers, in such cases, are generally shut up in prisons or poor-houses, to afflict or console each other as their sensibilities may direct; and thus the salutary lessons, which their condition might afford, is lost to the world. Neither are such scenes of real misery courted by mankind; the nearest semblances which they can bear being in the sentimentalities of the stage, encumbered as they often are by overstrained fiction and caricature. On the contrary, a walk through those receptacles of human woe, and the little histories of their inmates, will often furnish as many lessons of morality and world-knowledge as will suffice us for life. We may there see the rapacious creditor at the same goal with the unfortunate debtor, whom he has hunted through life, supplicating mercy which he never exercised, and vainly attempting to recant a course of cruelty and persecution, by mixing up his merited sufferings with the distresses of his abused companions.

Goldsmith has said, that "every man is the architect of his own fortune;" and perhaps there are few men, who, in the moments of their deepest suffering, have not felt the force of this assertion. In high life, embarrassments are generally to be attributed to the love of gambling, prodigality, or some such sweeping vice, which no station can control. Bankruptcies, or failures in trade, being common occurrences, are seldom traced to their origin, too often found to be in expensive habits, and overreaching or misguided speculations, and sometimes in the treachery and villany of partners; and, amidst this bad system, so nicely is credit balanced, that a run of ill luck, or a mere idle whisper, is often known to destroy commercial character of a century's growth. But in these cases it should be recollected, that the reputation of the parties has probably been already endangered by some great stretch of enterprize, calculated to excite envy or suspicion.

Debts of fashion, or those contracted in high life, are usually the most unjust, probably the result of honesty being more a virtue of necessity than of choice, and of the disgraceful system of imposing on the extravagant and