Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/128

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and Almanacs, and some New Year's gifts for the children. But I heartily wish well to poor mortals, and mean to do all I can for their improvement and happiness.'

'It is a good resolution,' rejoined the Old Year; 'and, by the way, I have a plentiful assortment of good resolutions, which have now grown so stale and musty, that I am ashamed to carry them any further. Only for fear that the City authorities would send constable Mansfield, with a warrant after me, I should toss them into the street at once. Many other matters go to make up the contents of my bandbox; but the whole lot would not fetch a single bid, even at an auction of worn out furniture; and as they are worth nothing either to you or any body else, I need not trouble you with a longer catalogue.'

'And must I also pick up such worthless luggage in my travels?' asked the New Year.

'Most certainly—and well, if you have no heavier load to bear,' replied the other. 'And now, my dear sister, I must bid you farewell, earnestly advising and exhorting you to expect no gratitude nor good-will from this peevish, unreasonable, inconsiderate, ill-intending and worse-behaving world. However warmly its inhabitants may seem to welcome you, yet, do what you may, and lavish on them what means of happiness you please, they will still be complaining, still craving what it is not in your power to give, still looking forward to some other Year for the accomplishment of projects which ought never to have been formed, and which, if successful, would only provide new occasions of discontent. If these ridiculous people ever see any thing