Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

<

grew attentive again, then took out his toothpick

case, then looked at the players in spite of him, • then grew serious, then agitated, till, at last, • he was fairly beat out of his ground, and obliged

to take shelter behind Lady Cockatoo's head, to prevent the disgrace of being absolutely seen weeping. • But to return from this digression. The Simulation of indifference in affliction is equally a fe. * male as a male accomplishment. On the death of

a very, very near relation, a husband, for instance,

custom has established a practice, which polite • people have not yet been able to overcome ; a lady • must stay at home, and play cards for a week or • two. But the decease of any one more distant, « she is to talk of as a matter of very little moment,

except when it happens on the eve of an assembly,

a ball, or a ridotto; at such seasons she is allowed “ to regret it as a very unfortunate accident. This ' rule of deportment extends to distresses poignant

indeed ; as, in perfect good-breeding, the fall of a * set of Dresden, the spilling of a plate of soup on a

new brocade, or even a bad run of cards, is to be • borne with as equal a countenance as may be.

Anger, the second passion above enumerated, is < to be covered with the same cloak of ease and

good manners ; injury, if of a deep kind, with pro• fessions of esteem and friendship. Thus, though • it would be improper to squeeze a gentleman's

hand, and call him my dear Sir, or my best friend, • when we mean to hit him a slap on the face, or to 6 throw a bottle at his head : yet it is perfectly con• sistent with politeness, to show him all those marks # of civility and kindness, when we intend to strip • him of his fortune at play, to counterplot him at • an election, or to seduce his wife. The last-men• tioned particular should naturally lead to the con

[ocr errors]

• sideration of jealousy; but on this it is needless to

insist, as, among well-bred people, the feeling it. • self is quite in disuse.

Love is one of those passions which politeness • lays us under a particular obligation to disguise,

as the discovery of it to third persons is peculiarly • offensive and disagreeable. Therefore, when a • man happens to sit by a tolerably handsome girl, • for whom he does not care a farthing, he is at li• berty to kiss her hand, call her an angel, and tell • her he dies for her ; but, if he has a real tendre for

her, he is to stare in her face with a broad unfeel. • ing look, tell her she looks monstrous ill this even• ing, and that her coiffeuse has pinned her cap shock

ingly awry. From not attending to the practice

of this rule amongst people of fashion, the inferior • world has been led to imagine, that matrimony • with them is a state of indifference or aversion ; • whereas, in truth, the appearances from which that

judgment is formed, are the strongest indications • of connubial happiness and affection.

. On the subject of joy, or at least of mirth, that great master of our art, my Lord Chesterfield, has • been precise in his directions. He does not allow of laughter at all; by which, however, he is to be • understood as only precluding that exercise as a

sign, common with the vulgar, of internal satisfac• tion; it is by no means to be reprobated as a dis

guise for chagrin, or an engine of wit ; it is, in• deed, the readiest of all repartees, and will often

give a man of fashion the victory over an inferior, • with every talent, but that of assurance on his 6 side.

• As the passions and affections, so are the virtues • of a polite man to be carefully concealed or dis• guised. In this particular, our art goes far beyond • the rules of philosophers, or the precepts of the

6

Bible ; they enjoined men not to boast of their vir. 'tues ; we teach them to brag of their vices, which • is certainly a much sublimer pitch of self-denial. • Besides, the merit of disinterestedness lies altoge• ther on our side, the disciples of those antiquated • teachers expecting, as they confess, a reward some' where ; our conduct has only the pure

conscious. ness of acting like a man of fashion for its recom

pence, as we evidently profit nothing by it at pre• sent, and the idea of future retribution, were we • ever to admit of it, is rather against us.'

Such, Mr. Mirror, is the substance of one of my lectures, which, I think, promise so much edification to our country (yet only in an improving state with regard to the higher and more refined parts of politness), that it must be impossible for your patriotism to refuse their encouragement. If you insert this in your next paper (if accompanied with some commendatory paragraphs of your own, 60 much the better), I shall take care to present you with a dozen admission tickets, as soon as the number of my subscribers enables me to begin my course.

I have the honour to be, &c.

SIMULATOR

V

N° 41. TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 1779.

Sit mibi fas audita loqui.

VIRG. PASSING the Exchange a few days ago I perceived a little before me a short plump-looking man, seem, ing to set his watch by St. Giles's clock, which had just then struck two. On observing him a little more closely, I recognised Mr. Blubber, with whom I had become acquainted at the house of my friend Umpbraville's cousin, Mr. Bearskin. He also recollected me, and shaking me cordially by the hand, told me he was just returned safe from his journey to the Highlands, and had been regulating his watch by our town-clock, as he found the sun did not go exactly in the Highlands as it did in the Low-country. He added, that, if I would come and eat a Welsh-rabbit, and drink a glass of punch with him and his family that evening, at their lodgings hard by, they would give me an account of their expedition. 'He said, they found my description of things a very just one ; and was pleased to add, that his wife and daughters had taken a great liking to me ever since the day we met at his friend Bearskin's. After this, it was impossible to resist his invitation, and I went to his lodgings in the evening accordingly, where I found all the family assembled, except Mr. Edward, whom they accounted for in the his. tory of their expedition.

I could not help making one preliminary observation, that it was much too early in the season for viewing the country to advantage ; but to this Mr. Blubber had a very satisfactory answer; they were resolved to complete their tour before the new tax upon post-horses should be put in execution.

The first place they visited after they left Edinburgh was Carron, which Mr. Blubber seemed to prefer to any place he had seen; but the ladies did not appear to have relished it much. The mother said, «She had like to have fell into a fit at the noise of • the great bellows.' Miss Blubber agreed, that it was monstrous frightful indeed. Miss Betsey had spoiled her petticoat in getting in, and said it was a nasty place, not fit for genteel people in her opinion. Blubber put on his widest face, and observed, that women did not know the use of them things. There was much the same difference in their senti. ments with regard to the Great Canal ; Mr. Blubber took out a bit of paper, on which he had marked down the lockage duty received in a week there ; he shook his head, however, and said, he was sorry to find the shares were below par.

Of Stirling, the young ladies remarked, that the view from the castle was very fine, and the windings of the river very curious. But neither of them had ever been at Richmond. Mrs. Blubber, who had been oftener than once there, told us, that from the hill

was a much grander prospect ; that the river 6 Thames made two twists for one that the Forth • made at Stirling ; besides, there was a wood so s charming thick, that, unless when you got to a ris

ing ground, like what the Star and Garter stands on, you could scarce see a hundred yards before you.'

Taymouth seemed to strike the whole family. The number and beauty of the temples were taken parti'cular notice of; nor was the trimness of the walks and hedges without commendation. Miss Betsey Blubber declared herself charmed with the shady walk

« ZurückWeiter »