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to wishing every mouthful would be their last. In short, this sea-sickness did what Dominie Frelinghuysen's exhortations could never do; it made me despise this world, and the things of this world—for the time being. I remember I offered a jack tar all my pickles and sweetmeats, the very thought of which I abhorred, if he would only do me the favour to throw me overboard. But he only laughed in my face, and muttered something about “fresh water sailors.”
In a few days, however, my troubles passed away, and I became more reconciled to my situation. I recovered my appetite, and that is always sure to put a man in good humour, provided he has wherewithal to satisfy it. And here I cannot but notice a strange thing that happened to me.
The sea-sickness entirely cured me of my passion for the little milliner, from which I am inclined to believe, that love is a bodily rather than a mental disease, and a sea voyage the best possible specific for
I landed in good time in England. People may talk of the bluff, abrupt, ill-humoured sincerity of the English, but for my part I was not troubled much with it. I had plenty of money, which I was not niggard of, and money will make even John Ball polite. Nobody ever told me any ill-natured truths ; and I cannot sufficiently impress it on the inexperience of my young friends, that this exemption from unpleasant remarks, or insufferable friendly admonitions, is one of the greatest blessings accompanying the possession of wealth. The poor are actually condemned to the misery of hearing the truth, while it is the happy prerogative of the rich to listen for ever to the tuneful lullaby of delicious flattery. I finished my tour in England, without, so far as I recollect, hearing a single uncivil remark at my expense; but then I paid for it, I confess. Yet, after all, when we come to the point, what is superfluous wealth good for, except to purchase bows, civil speeches, and the admiration of the vulgar?
From England I crossed the channel to France, where I found every thing much cheaper than in England, especially civility. Here I purchased the title of " my lord," of the landlord, for a douceur of five franks. I had heard that titles were very cheap in Europe, but had no idea they could be
purchased for so little. There is nothing in England but London, and nothing in France but Paris—so to Paris I went, without looking either to the right or the left all the way. In truth, I took an anodyne, that I might sleep through the journey, and thus avoid the tedium of such a long ride. Being entirely ignorant of the French language, I hired a valet, to talk, think, decide, and act for me on all occasions. He rid me of a vast deal of
trouble, but then I paid well for it. But what of that? Where is the use of being rich, if one can't do every thing, but eat, drink, and be merry-by proxy.
At Paris I ran a glorious race. By dint of spending money like a prince, I actually excited the notice of some of the beau monde, and in passing one of the princes of the blood one day, in my splendid equipage, I had the superior delight of hearing him ask who I was. I wrote an account of this to my mother, and my bills were duly honoured. Alas! my dear young friends, it was something to be a prince in those times. His very glance conferred immortality; and the qualifications of a black leg, or a debauchee, became ennobled in his person. But times are changed; and such are the abject notions of quality now prevailing, I am told even in France, that the first prince of the blood is actually obliged to depend for some portion of his respectability, upon the low-born pretension of merit and virtue.
I figured at the Palais Royal ; I figured at the opera ; and I figured at court, where I was introduced by a blunder. My valet, either through ignorance or design, had given me out as a descendant of Columbus, instead merely of a companion of Hendrick Hudson. The descendant of the discoverer of a new world was condescendingly considered as fit to be received at the court of the grand monarque of the old, and I was at the summit of human glory. But as ill luck would have it, the mistake was discovered, and the descendant of the companion of the immortal Hudson was prohibited the court. Nay, I was told, that the sanctuary was considered as polluted—the audience chamber was actually new painted and gilded-the stair-case leading to the king's apartments replaced by new steps of marble, and a general purification took place, at an expense of half a million of livres. I was not worth putting in the bastile, or I should certainly have been sent there.
After this, it was impossible to breathe or have a being at Paris, and acordingly I went to Italy, where I fell in love with the Italian opera ; and what was worse, with an Italian opera dancer, who became deeply smitten with me the moment she was properly certified that I could afford to be in love-with an Italian opera dancer. She was as beautiful as an angel, at least she appeared so on the stage; and she took care that I should never see her off of it, but in the dim obscurity, so dear to the votaries of love, and so especially dear to those bashful signoras who have seen their best days. Now it was that my money flew like chaff before the wind, and that my bills poured
upon the old gentleman, that had it not been for my re
ception at the court of Versailles, and my intimacy with a prince of the blood, bearing the bend sinister on his escutcheon, who borrowed my money, of all which I had duly certified my treasurer, I believe he would have irretrievably dishonoured me by letting them be protested. He even went so far as to hint, that I might better have married the littie Dutch milliner.
In process of time, it came to his ears, through the medium of some malignant persons, who envied my honours, that I had been ignominiously dismissed the court of France, for not being the descendant of Christopher Columbus. This news, coming on the back of some heavy drafts, quite put him out of patience, and he peremptorily ordered me home. By the same vessel came a letter from my mother, telling me to stay if I wished, and she would ke care to settle the matter of my disobedience. Indeed, if she had not written, I should have staid, for it is not likely that a boy who has had his way all his life, will commence being an obedient son just as he becomes a
But, unluckily, my good mother, not long afterwards, learned that I was desperately in love with an Italian opera dancer. At that time, it is impossible to conceive the intense horror with which our worthy respectable Dutch dames contemplated these capering signoras. All that was ever written, şung, or dreamed; all that reality or imagination had ever presented or conjured up, concerning the arts, the wiles, and the wickedness of women, was embodied of their ideas of these light-footed dames. My mother was convinced that I would be stripped of ail I had, then abandoned, and then assassinated by a whiskered bravo with a stiletto a yard long. She happened to be right in her first and second, and her third might have come to pass in time.
She first wrote to beseech me, and afterwards commanded me, on her blessing, to come home. But I had been too well instructed, to obey her. She then adopted the infallible system of cutting off my supplies, which sorely put me to my trumps. But I had established a credit with my banker, who continued to supply me with money until the return of a bill which I had drawn to reimburse him. From that time, both the banker's cotfers, and the heart of my signora, were hermetically seal. ed against me. It is, indeed, amazing to see how her love changed, as by miracle, the moment she discovered the fatal truth. That very day she wrote me a letter full of tender reproaches for having deceived her unsuspecting innocence with an idea of my immense riches, and that night, instead of appearing with a decent sobriety due to the occasion, danced a
furious ruffa, which shot a German prince right through the
I was now poor and forsaken ; my spirit and purse both ex-
On my return I took the city by storm. At that time, a young fellow that had made the grand tour, was looked upon here in the light in which the Musselman views a pious devotee that has just returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca. His manners were the standard of elegance-his opinions the umpires of taste-his attentions the hope of the belles, and his dress the despair of the beaux. But now, the times are sadly altered. They cross the Atlantic with as little ceremony or preparation as were used formerly in crossing the East river ferry; and people think no more of a grand tourist, than of a young fellow that has galloped round Lake's-tour on a hack horse. Blessed be my stars, which ordained that my youthful lot should be cast in an age when an embroidered waistcoat, and lace ruffles, made a gentleman, and the grand tour, a demigod.
I appeared in the beau monde of New York in a blue coat of bird's-eye silk; a white satin waistcoat embroidered in silver; a pair of purple velvet breeches; diamond knee and shoe buckles, and silk stockings ; which last, at that time, were enough to confer immortality. The next day, and, indeed, every day, and sometimes twice or thrice a day, like the cameJeon, I changed my dress and my colour; for one of the last things I did previous to coming home, and I look upon it as one of the most important acts of my life, was to make arrangements with a fashionable tailor for a constant supply of suits made in the newest Paris cut. These were the days of my glory, and it was at this time that the title of count was bestowed upon me by the unanimous consent of
fellow citizens. You may smile at the assumption ; but as the people are the undoubted sovereigns of this country, I look upon a title voluntarily bestowed by them, as being quite as legitimate, and
worthy of all acceptation, as if it were derived from the pleasure of a king, or came by actual inheritance. It would savour of vanity, were I to relate the triumphs I achieved in breaking off matches, setting the belles to pulling of caps, and driving the homespun beaux into utter annihilation, by the splendours of my embroidery and gold lace. At balls, nobody could get partners until I had made my selection; and if it so happened, that any one of the ladies had a previous engagement, she was sure to forget it if I asked her hand. In short, I
envy of one sex, the admiration of the other, and came in for all the kisses in crossing kissing-bridges on sleighing parties.
Without vanity I may affirm, that I could have married the first heiress in the city, could I have brought my mind to it. But some how or other, it would seem, that the more a man sees of the world, the less he is inclined to marry. He is apt to acquire a habit of vagabondizing; a taste for living at hotels, and dining at ordinaries, entirely at, war with the everyday monotony of the wedded state. Šo at least it was with
I could not bear the idea of sinking into an uninteresting married man, and foregoing the delight of being universally admired. I made up my mind to play the butterfly through the vernal season, to laugh,chirp, dance, sing, and flutter from flower to flower, while the sun shone, taking it for granted that I could make my choice, throw the handkerchief, and marry whenever it suited my inclinations.
Accordingly, I sported my embroidery without mercy, at parties and public places, and for a while reigned supreme lord of fashion among the beau monde of my native city. But the empire of fashion is not like other empires; it is neither held for life, nor by hereditary succession. In a few years I found myself gradually declining from my supremacy, though I continued to keep up my vivacity astonishingly, and to importhe most fashionable dresses from Paris faster than ever. Still I could not help feeling the sceptre gradually declining from my grasp ; the young ladies began to recollect their previous engagements when I asked them to dance; the young sprigs just grown up began to dub me an old bachelor; and, finally, there came out a new governor, with a young aid in a red coat, who gave me the coup de grace, and carried all before him.
But the mischief is, that neither bell nor beau that has enjoyed supremacy in the fashionable world long enough to become acquainted with the sweets of power, is apt to take warning in time, and retire gracefully from the field which can no longer be maintained, under the cover of matrimony. They fit about Vol. II.