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abundance: in general, I kept my arms folded up thus upon the pit of my stomach; it is the way at Drury-lane, and has always a fine effect. The tankard would sink to the bottom before I could get through the whole of my merits: in short, I came off like a prodigy; and, such was my success, that I could ravish the laurels even from a sirloin of beef. The principal gentlemen and ladies of the town came to me, after the play was over, to compliment me upon my success; one praised my voice, another my person: Upon my word, says the squire's lady, he will make one of the finest actors in Europe; I say it, and I think I am something of a judge. Praise in the beginning is agreeable enough, and we receive it as a favour; but when it comes in great quantities we regard it only as a debt, which nothing but our merit could extort: instead of thanking them, I internally applauded myself. We were desired to give our piece a second time; we obeyed, and I was applauded even more than before.
At last we left the town, in order to be at a horse-race at some distance from thence. I shall never think of Tenterden without tears of gratitude and respect. The ladies and gentlemen there, take my word for it, are very good judges of plays and actors. Come, let us drink their healths, if you please, sir. We quitted the town, I say: and there was a wide difference between my coming in and going out: I entered the town a candle-suuffer, and I quitted it a hero!-Such is the world-little today, and great to-morrow. I could say a great deal more upon that subject, something truly sublime, upon the ups and downs of fortune; but it would give us both the spleen, and so I shall pass it over.
The races were ended before we arrived at the next town, which was no small disappointment to our company; however, we were resolved to take all we could get. I played capital characters there too, and came off with my usual brilliancy. I
sincerely believe I should have been the first actor of Europe, had my growing merit been properly cultivated; but there came an unkindly frost which nipped me in the bud, and levelled me once more down to the common standard of humanity. played Sir Harry Wildair; all the country ladies were charmed: if I but drew out my snuff-box, the whole house was in a roar of rapture; when I exercised my cudgel, I thought they would have fallen into convulsions.
There was here a lady who had received an education of nine months in London, and this gave her pretensions to taste, which rendered her the indisputable mistress of the ceremonies wherever she came. She was informed of my merits; every body praised me; yet she refused at first going to see me perform: she could not conceive, she said, any thing but stuff from a stroller; talked something in praise of Garrick, and amazed the ladies with her skill in enunciations, tones, and cadences. She was at last, however, prevailed upon to go; and it was privately intimated to me what a judge was to be present at my next exhibition: however, no way intimidated, I came on in Sir Harry, one hand stuck in my breeches, and the other in my bosom, as usual at Drury-lane; but, instead of looking at me, I perceived the whole audience had their eyes turned upon the lady who had been nine months in London; from her they expected the decision which was to secure the general's truncheon in my hands, or sink me down into a theatrical letter-carrier. I opened my snuff box, took snuff; the lady was solemn, and so were the rest. I broke my cudgel on Alderman Smuggler's back; still gloomy, melancholy all; the lady groaned and shrugged her shoulders. I attempted, by laughing myself, to excite at least a smile; but the devil a cheek could I perceive wrinkled into sympathy. I found it would not do; all my good-humour now became forced; my laughter was converted into hysteric
grinning; and, while I pretended spirits, my eyes showed the agony of my heart! In short, the lady came with an iutention to be displeased, and displeased she was; my fame expired :-I am here, and -the tankard is no more!'
RULES ENJOINED TO BE OBSERVED AT A RUSSIAN ASSEMBLY.
WHEN Catharina Alexowna was made empress
of Russia, the women were in an actual state of bondage; but she undertook to introduce mixed assemblies, as in other parts of Europe; she altered the women's dress by substituting the fashions of England; instead of furs, she brought in the use of taffeta and damask; and cornets and commodes instead of caps of sable. The women now found themselves no longer shut up in separate apartments, but saw company, visited each other, and were present at every entertainment.
But as the laws to this effect were directed to a savage people, it is amusing enough to see the manner in which the ordinances ran. Assemblies were quite unknown among them: the czarina was satisfied with introducing them, for she found it impossible to render them polite. An ordinance was therefore published according to their notions of breeding, which, as it is a curiosity, and has never before been printed that we know of, we shall give our readers:
I. The person at whose house the assembly is to be kept, shall signify the same by hanging out a bill, or by giving some other public notice, by way of advertisement, to persons of both sexes.
II. The assembly shall not be open sooner than four or five o'clock in the afternoon, nor continu longer than ten at night.
III. The master of the house shall not be obliged to meet his guests, or conduct them out, or keep them company; but, though he is exempt from all this, he is to find them chairs, candles, liquors, and all other necessaries that company may ask for: he is likewise to provide them with cards, dice, and every necessary for gaming.
IV. There shall be no fixed hour for coming or going away; it is enough for a person to appear in the assembly.
V. Every one shall be free to sit, walk, or game, as he pleases; nor shall any one go about to hinder him, or take exception at what he does, upon pain of emptying the great eagle (a pint-bowl full of brandy): it shall likewise be sufficient, at entering or retiring, to salute the company.
VI. Persons of distinction, noblemen, superior officers, merchants, and tradesmen of note, head workmen, especially carpenters, and persons employed in chancery, are to have liberty to enter the assemblies; as likewise their wives and children.
VII. A particular place shall be assigned the footmen, except those of the house, that there may be room enough in the apartments designed for the assembly.
VIII. No ladies are to get drunk upon any pretence whatsoever, nor shall gentlemen be drunk before nine.
IX. Ladies who play at forfeitures, questions and commands, &c. shall not be riotous: no gentleman shall attempt to force a kiss, and no person shall offer to strike a woman in the assembly, under pain of future exclusion.
Such are the statutes upon this occasion, which, in their very appearance, carry an air of ridicule and satire. But politeness must enter every country by degrees; and these rules resemble the breeding of a clown, awkward but sincere.
THE GENIUS OF LOVE: AN EASTERN
THE formalities, delays, and disappointments, that precede a treaty of marriage here, are usually as numerous as those previous to a treaty of peace. The laws of this country are finely calculated to promote all commerce, but the commerce between the sexes. Their encouragements for propagating hemp, madder, aud tobacco, are indeed admirable! Marriages are the only commodity that meets with none.
Yet, from the vernal softness of the air, the verdure of the fields, the transparency of the streams, and the beauty of the women, I know few countries more proper to invite to courtship. Here Love might sport among painted lawns and warbling groves, and revel amidst gales, wafting at once both fragrance and harmony. Yet it seems he has forsaken the island; and, when a couple are now to be married, mutual love, or a union of minds, is the last and most trifling consideration. If their goods and chattels can be brought to unite, their sympathetic souls are ever ready to guarantee the treaty. The gentleman's mortgaged lawn becomes enamoured of the lady's marriageable grove; the match is struck up, and both parties are piously in love according to act of parliament.
Thus they, who have a fortune, are possessed at least of something that is lovely; but I actually pity those that have none. I am told there was a time, when ladies, with no other merit but youth, virtue, and beauty, had a chance for husbands, at least among the ministers of the church, or the officers of the army. The blush and innocence of sixteen was said to have a powerful influence over these two professions; but of late, all the little traffic of G