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A Perfect Treasure*

From Chambers’ Journal

I am not a man to have hobbies—far from it—but everybody, I suppose, likes one thing more than another, and what I like is Plate, good, serviceable gold and silver, such as is pleasant to see upon one’s table, whether by sunshine or candlelight, and which one likes one’s guests to see. It is whispered by malignant persons (so at least certain good natured friends tell me), that I should not give so many dinner parties, if it were not to exhibit these costly articles. I am not conscious of such a motive for my hospitality; but if it exist, it need not surely be objected to; it is I who have to pay for the weakness, and not my friends—as happens in some cases I could name. If I possessed a selection of the most hideous china in the whole world, and filled my drawing rooms with unhappy persons after dinner, who were compelled to bow down before Bel and the Dragon (if I may say so without impiety), as Colonel Twankay does, for instance, then I grant you there would be some ground for complaint; or if I invited people to “at-homes” every Wednesday evening (a most impertinent form of invitation, in my opinion) in order that they should have the pleasure of hearing men confute Professor Piebald upon the question of the Theory of Development, as my good friend Dr. Twistie is in the habit of doing; or if I had a daughter with high notes, and inveigled the unwary with a bait of “a little music,” like my neighbor, the Hon. Mrs. Matcham—so proud and stuck up, that she is as often as not called Lucifer Matcham—who, I dare say, thinks her invitations are quite an honor to the recipients. But there; I have no patience to speak about such people. These, forsooth, are the persons—… Read More