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It is doleful to contemplate the petty expedients adopted by many Americans abroad to get rid of our own test of social standing, which is fitness or merit, and pass by the European one, which is rank or distinction. The strange devices some of them have hit upon, the extraordinary pretexts under which they have attempted to give themselves out as social eminences, would furnish some excellent stories, and I suppress many which I could tell, simply, irony aside, because they are too good. They would attach enduring ridicule here, and mortification which would be shared by others than the offenders, while the "titlesin question would point out these last inevitably to any one who might be of their acquaintance. Besides, the telling of these stories like the making of many books would come to no end, I shall therefore limit myself beforehand to one, and upon that one I will venture. It will serve instead of many, as it combines a variety of good points, and it was told to me by the gentleman who had the passive or resisting part in it. Two Americans, young men, arrived at a certain foreign capital, and desired a functionary of our government, then and still there, to present them to the prime minister and virtual sovereign of the country. The request was not an agreeable one, and was met by several difficulties, and staved off as long as possible, and at last when they grew very urgent, they were told it was not possible to present them, because it was the established etiquette that every person presented should have some diplomatic or military rank, and appear in the dress which belonged to it. The applicant replied to this, that they would remove the difficulty at once, one bad à militia title and the appropriate uniform, and the other, who was spokesman for both, proposed to put on his " diplomatic dress” for the occasion. The functionary in question, who had never heard that his customer was a diplomate, was not prepared for this, and he had no better answer ready but to say, that in that case, if he had a diplomatic character, certainly he must present him, and in order to that he wished to be informed what appointment it was that he held. Oh, as to that, he did not hold any.—“ Well, then of course it is the dress belonging to some appointment you have formerly held.”—No, he had never held any. — “ Well — but — pray sir — you hold no appointment, and have never held any, may I ask you on what principle you put on the dress that represents one ?” — “Oh, as for that — we Americans we are all fit to be diplomates, and so — I got the dress made.”

As for wearing militia uniforms abroad, and calling one's-self captain or colonel on the strength of militia commissions, that is a thing, the propriety or honesty of which may be disputed on, and I leave it undiscussed. But that we, all, or at least all of us who think ourselves so, are fit to be militia colonels, is a point which the Citizen King thinks probably by this time is too much proved, and he is not yet at

the end of his experience. The joke is beginning, however, to be understood at the Tuileries, and will in fact, not do much longer in France at all; farther inland, the same distance which makes good credentials rare and difficult to be obtained, makes bad ones pass muster more easily. I have seen a man's name in a tavern album in Germany, where, under the head of profession he put down that he was a general, a thing of so little note at home, that I believe he might have kept it a secret had he been so disposed, from his very wife ; and another in the very same book, a person whom I knew something about, had disguised himself completely from my recognition by writing Lt. Col. such a one, U. S. A. A military friend who was with me, knowing that there was no Lt. Col. of that name in the army, inquired a little into the thing, and we got at the explanation, but this was a positive fraud.

Perhaps the object of these remarks is now accomplished, which was only to arrive at a point, where I could introduce a double protest; first, in the name of common sense against the conduct of many Americans in foreign lands, but secondly, and more earnestly, in the name of the country at large, against being held at all responsible for them, or implicated with them. Some such salvo we want, for we are rather a thin-skinned race, and without it we should go on incurring perpetual irritation from endless histories of raw and green proceedings, and anecdotes of utter want of tact, intrusiveness, vanity, impudence, and even imposture. The sooner the thing is well understood at home, the better, for it is growing worse in Europe with the increasing clouds of our travellers, and a part of it only is susceptible of any remedy ; that part, to wit, which is connected with presentations at courts. Our own government ought to remedy this; if they do not, the patience of Louis Phillippe will be by and by exhausted, and he will apply a remedy in his own case as others may hereafter, when they come to be visited as he has been. It would be a mortifying circumstance perhaps, but whoever has been much in Paris of late years, would find reasons to justify the king in it, and to be as glad as he would be of the abatement of the nuisance it would check.

STORY OF THE HAT.

FROM THE GERMAN OF GELLERT.

CANTO FIRST.

The man who first invented that
Protean fashion's toy - a hat,

Wore his felt cover with the brim
Slouched down. Yet he contrived to wear
The thing with such a grace and air,

He seemed a dandy, spruce and prim.

As through the streets he walked, surprise Beamed forth from every fopling's eyes; And all the wondering town confessed That matchless genius he possessed.

He died, and left - bequest most rare!
The broad-brimmed hat to his next heir.

The funeral o'er — the heir scarce knew What with the dish-shaped thing to do,

Whose flabbiness annoyed him sore; He studied long - his skill then tried, Turned up the hat on either side,

And brought it to a peak before.

Now walking forth, the people saw
And hailed the change with great eclát.
“ 'Pon honor,” cried they; "sir, the hat
Hath now a shape worth looking at !”

He died, and left - bequest most rare !
The peaked hat to his next heir.

The heir received the hat, and eyed
The goodly gift with swelling pride,

And judged it lacked a final touch ;
He scrutinized it close and long,
And felt that there was something wrong —

A something that deformed it much.

“Aha!” cried he, “its sole defect,
I am most happy to detect !"
So turning up the brim behind,
He pressed and smoothed it to his mind.

Who can th' astonishment conceive
That seized the crowd, when they espied
The novel change! “Behold,” they cried,

“Behold what genius can achieve !
Oh, what a glorious transformation !

The man's an honour to the nation !"

He died, and left - bequest most rare !
The three-cock'd hat to his next heir.

The hat was now no longer new,
(Three owners' hands it had passed through,)

Much soiled it was and greased, alack !
But, on improvement bent, the heir
Pondered the matter well with care;

Then scour'd, and spunged, and dyed it - black.

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He died, and left - bequest most rare !
The re-formed hat to his next heir.

Invention is the artist's glory,
And gives renown in future story.
- The next heir, with a daring band,
Stripped from the hat the silken band;
With gold-lace trimmed it round instead,
And set it sideways on his head!

The crowd cried, with a deafening roar,
“Now genius cannot higher soar!
Compared with this man, all the rest
Were silly, bungling fools at best!”

He died, and left- bequest most rare !
The gold-laced hat to his next heir.

End of Canto First.

(PWhat further change the hat befel

In canto second we shall tell.
-- Each heir some alteration made;
And each new fashion, as it rose,
Was praised and aped by fops and beaux.
Fancy devised new forms and name,
But the old hat was aye the same !

In brief - as these the hat, philosophers, you'll find,
Have treated, in times past, the Science of the Mind;
And still, new-fangled doctrines, quaint and bold,
Find ready friends and favorers — as of old !

U. U.
York, Pa.

CRITICAL HINTS.

(We need hardly say how happy we shall be to hear further from the venerable author, dramatist, and critic, whose initials are subscribed to the following communication. Eds. Am. Mon.]

To the Editors of the American Monthly Magazine. Gentlemen, I have read with pleasure, and I believe profit, the Essays on the Characters of Desdemona and Hamlet in your very valuable publication. On the latter, permit me to suggest a few thoughts, which, multitudinous as are the criticisms before the public, I do not remember to have seen.

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