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is asked, to do her justice, which, in man and his wife, who dill not agree my opinion, is the principal beauty in very well ; Miss F declared it to playing."-" The mother is right," be the gentleman's fault, Miss Gthought I, after I heard the two first loudly maintained it was the lady's. bars of the London March, “her“ After all,” thought I,
the new willingness is the principal beauty in school is preferable. In the young Miss Betsy's playing !"-"Won't you ladies of the present day we meet with accompany it with your voice, my none of that petty, vulgar, interferdear ?" said her mother; and Missence with the concerns of others, Betsy began to sing Logie o' Bu-which is so tiresome and disgusting." chan" in a voice which, as somebody Alas! I was soon doomed to change says, I might have heard had we been my opinion; I was forced to make shut up together in the same band- the same remark on the habits of sobox. This was no salvo for my ill- ciety, that an eminent moral philosohumour; I felt it increasing every pher has lately made on the powers of moment. “ Behold,” said I to my- the human mind, namely, that we self, “the evils of over-refinement! are apt to be deceived by a new modi. Fifteen years ago I might have listen- fication of a known principle; and ed to this with patience, at least, if that we sometimes consider as a new not with approbation; but now, when faculty, what is only the same enerthe classical melodies of Haydn and gy differently applied. The ringing Mozart have become, as it were, na- of the door-bell announced the return turalized amongst us, while those of of Miss F---'s fair nieces. " Thank Winter, Paer, Mayer, and Cimarosa, heaven!" said I internally, “ we shall are rapidly advancing towards adop- have done with silks, and ribbons, tion ; and, when we hear these melo- and family quarrels.” Misses Jane dies sung by our female acquaintance, and Margaret entered. They are girls with voices and science little inferior of good parts; and their understandto those of professors, our taste has ings have been well cultivated ; they become fastidious, and we reject with are accomplished without display, and disdain what we once received readily. well-informed without pedantry. Had Thus it ever is that factitious refine- I been asked, a week ago, what were ments produce in us a loathing of their faults, I should have been at a those pure and simple pleasures loss how to reply; now, I could anSpite of my ill-humour, I could not swer the question without hesitation. suppress a smile at the absurdity of “Well, ladies, have you had a pleamy own reasoning. “ Simple in- sant party?” “ O yes, pleasant edeed,” thought I, as I heard the voice nough." « Of whom did it consist?" of Miss Betsy following the notes of “Oh!" said Miss Jane,
we had, in the piano one after another, as if they the first place, Captain had been so many stepping-stones. Í ing, as Edie Ochiltiee says, as if he rather think my smile had been ob- durst not look down, for fear he should served by the mother, and favour- see his shoes. I was highly amused ably construed; for, when the music with him; he was at one time twirlhad ceased, and conversation was re- ing a painted fire-screen, which he sumed, she chatted with great glee happened to let fall; with an air of and volubility. To do my friend the most perfect insouciance, he sufMiss F-justice, she is not much fered it to remain on the ground, and addicted to-anecdote ; but to-night continued conversing to the lady next she was forced to suit her con- whom he was standing, without apversation to her visitors ; and we pearing conscious that he had dropped had a great deal of private family it.” « Nay,” said Margaret,
I history. I happened to make a re- think that may be easily accounted mark on a lady who has been lately for; I suppose the tightness of his married; this produced a dissertation stays did not permit him to come on the dress in which she appeared at within arms-length of the ground." church. The value of her pelisse was • Who were the ladies of your parcalculated, and there was something ty?" asked Miss F-, “Oh, there said about a pair of French white was Miss , and her cousin Miss boots, then “ such a bonnet! a shower -, who performed the entrée préof rain would make it quite useless." cipitée in finer style than I have ever Then we had the history of a gentle- seen it. When the door was opened
they rushed into the room with the passed?" My dear Mr Mvelocity of a ship launching ; then you are giving me quite a lecture,
í they seized upon poor Mrs, and really will have no more of it; I must I verily thought would have shaken go and sing the savageness out of you. her arm off.”
" Then,” said Jane, Come Margaret, I think we must “ we had that solemn piece of furni- give MrM--Vecchio arrogante.' ture Mrs
-; one would think there with some such finesse does woman never had been a widow in the world ever stop the discussion, when the arbefore, she looks so grim, and sighs guments against her are too strong to so piteously.” “ I declare," said Mar- be confuted. garet, " I think she took that way of Amongst the marked propensities of making love to poor Mr --, who the present age, there is none more lost his wife lately.” “I had almost obvious than a general tendency to forgotten to mention the all-accom- satire. It seems to be universally difplished Miss said Jane, “ with fused throughout this kingdom, withher studied unaffectedness and laboure out exception of rank, sex, or age ; ed naïveté ; there is a quiet self-im- and although it assumes different portance about that girl, which pro- forms, the spirit is everywhere the vokes me ten times more than the same; in the little Miss who quizzes most downright pedantry; then she her friend's ball-dress, as in the rerequires to be drawn out; and when viewer who criticises the last new she is drawn out she speaks in such publication. Whether or not satire neat sentences, and rounded periods, is allowable, and if it be, to what exthat I always think she is repeating a tent it may be carried without reprebit of the Spectator.” “Miss hension, are questions of some imsaid I angrily,
but I portance to the comfort of socicty. thought it advisable to gulp down a The advocates for duelling maincomparison I was about to inake, and tain that it is conducive to the preI quietly added,
fine girl.” servation of order and good breeding, “ Bless me !” said Jane," I did not and that these being so necessary to know she was an acquaintance of the peace and happiness of social life, yours
, or I would not have quizzed duelling is therefore allowable. In her so much." “ Nay, Miss Jane,” this, as in some other cases, the resaid I, “ I think it is better you medy is worse than the disease. There should quiz my acquaintance than are few individuals with whom the those who are strangers to me; in the dislike of their acquaintance, and former case, there is no chance that their consequent banishment from the absent should be hurt by it, be good society, would not serve as a sufcause my opinion of them is already ficient check to the indulgence of established; in the latter, there is coarse and surly manners; and even some danger of my being prepossessed if the number were greater, it were against them." " Come, come, I better that society should be infested, know this is a rebuke to me; but af- with some of these nuisances, than ter all, where is the great harm of a that several human creatures should little quizzing? I am sure no one be every year hurried into the prewas ever the worse of it.” “ Are you sence of their God, in the very act of quite sure of that? Are you sure, if I disobeying his commands. By a sihere to meet with any of those ladies milar mode of reasoning do satirists to-Morrow, whom you have to-night endeavour to defend the severity of been cutting up so unmercifully, that their censure. They allege that it I should see them without prejudice?" imposes a salutary restraint upon the “ But you know I have said nothing conduct of others; that it prevents but what they have deserved ; and if those irregularities and absurdities, it is truth-why, then, you know, those deviations from received and there is no harm in telling you what established principles, of which the you would soon find out yourself." weak and the self-sufficient are ever “Do you never change the opinion prone to be guilty. This appears you at first form of a person? Do plausible; the advantage held out is you not sometimes find out that your considerable; but before we admit judgments have been premature, and the force of the argument, we must do you not sometimes wish to retract examine whether there be not some chose strictures that you have hastily attendant evil, sufficient to counter
balance all the good to the perform- sive, become in turns the victims of ance of which the satirist lays claim. his sport or his malice ;—the cravings
Were satire directed only against of his appetite are never satisfied ; vice, or against those imprudencies and when he can discover no new which frequently lead thereto, it would prey, he is forced to make a meal on then become one of the most power- the mangled carcases he has already ful auxiliaries of virtue; it would be torn and disfigured. the preserver of order and peace in so This is the age of freedom; perciety; and by punishing those crimes haps I ought rather to say, of the of which the law takes no cognizance, abuse of freedom. Formerly men might be regarded as the supplement were contented with making verbal to legislative authority. But to this, critiques upon their neighbours ; but its true and legitimate use, it is never now, satirical speculations stalk forth applied; these high and important in the shape of thick octavos; and ends are altogether neglected; while remarks on the cut of your friend's it wastes its force upon trifling pecu- wig are entered at Stationers' Hall. liarities and harmless foibles: nay, it The British public, however, is not so is often made the tool of envy and easily entertained as to rest satisfied malice, and directed by them against with a description barely ludicrous ; what is really good and praiseworthy. the mixture must be seasoned with a According to its present mode of ap- little of that agreeable bitter, which plication it may cure an awkwardness, the satirist so well knows how to inbut it will not repress a vice; and fuse.--I do not mean to reprehend the benefits it may confer on others, the manner in which authors are in pointing out follies, and warning treated in the present day ; because I them against their commission, seem do not find that they now fare any few and trifling, when they are offer- worse than they have done from time ed as an equivalent for the pain in- immemorial. When a man presents Aicted on those individuals who are to the world the effusions of his brain, the objects of censure.
he invites the notice of the public, he But I do not content myself with calls upon all to “come and see;" and laying aside as unjust the claim which that is a request with which the readthe satirist makes to our thanks and ing part of the community are so ofapprobation. I become his accuser, ten disturbed, that one need not be and charge him with being the dis- surprised to find them not always in turber, instead of the guardian, of good humour. Neither ought the authe peace of society. He is not the thor to feel any enmity against those fair and open enemy who challenges reviewers who handle his book a little you to the encounter, and thereby roughly ; did they decoy him, with gives you an opportunity of defenil- false promises, to throw himself upon ing yourself ;-he does not frankly their mercy, he would have some reatell you, that by your words, or your son to complain of their treatment; actions, you have forfeited your title but they hold out no lures; and the to some property of which the world severity he sees exercised upon his believes you to be the legal possessor ; elder brothers, may serve as a warnbut he visits you at noon-day with ing to him. As he marches along to the countenance of a friend, he marks present his yet uncut volume at the the vulnerable part, and returns un- foot of the awful throne, he may, if der cover of night to rob you of what he choose to make use of his eyes can ne'er enrich himself. When the and ears, see the outer court (like that Demon of satire is abroad, no one can of Giant Despair) strewed with the feel himself secure from his attacks. bones of former victims, aud hear the Whatever may be in reality the mo- choir of the temple of criticism chaunttives or the tendency of an action, ing the canone perpetuo of “dilly, dilwhen seen through the false medium ly, come and be killed.” Very different which he holds to the eyes of the from all this is the case of the quiet spectators, and through which he private citizen, who never dreamed finds but too many who are willing to of his name appearing in print, save look, it appears distorted and stained. at his marriage or his death, when he The old and the young, the learned unexpectedly finds himself dragged and the unlearned, the keenly en- upon the stage, for the amusement of terprising, and the quietly inoffen- the spectators. He feels himself the
object of an unprovoked outrage; and Yet against those invaders of social his first emotions are rather those of rights, I never feel inclined to indulge anger, than of that cool contempt in that torrent of invective, which which philosophy and common sense some think justly their due. I neialike dictate as the proper mode of ther upbraid them with malice, nor treating his brutal insulters.
envy, nor all uncharitableness. It The boldness of these attacks in- will generally be found, that the aucrease in proportion as it is found they thors of such injudicious satire are may be committed with impunity. still in the morning of life, in all the At first there are only obscure hints heyday of youthful health and spirits. given of the person intended, which Malice and envy are not the natural none but the knowing ones can under- faults of youth ; at that happy period stand; next the initials of the name men possess a gaieté du cæur which make their appearance ;, then they is inimical to the deep indulgence of give the consonants of it, leaving the the former, and a self-conceit, which rowels only to be supplied by the in- prevents the excitation of the latter. genious reader; and at last comes the This thoughtless inattention to the nane at full length, so that he who feelings of others, this wanton inruns may read. This is contrary to dulgence of mirth without regard to every rule of propriety and good breed- its consequences, proceeds solely from ing; it is a direct violation of the laws the same exuberance of youthful of society—a trampling upon all the spirits, which, ten years ago, when decencies and charities of social life. they gamboled in the court-yard of There may be some who imagine that the school, prompted them to amuse there is little more harm in mention- themselves with throwing stones and ing directly the person alluded to, mud at the inoffensive passengers. I than in pointing him out by some would hope, that their intention is circumstance which plainly indicates now, as it then was, not to hurt the him; but this is a very, erroneous objects of their sport, but merely to idea : blameable as both those modes show how cleverly they can hit the of proceeding are, the former is in- mark; that they do not enjoy the finitely more mischievous in its con- pain they inflict, but simply the va, sequences. The anecdote which now nity of observing their own dexterity. announces its hero as distinctly as his But although the motive may not proper name would, may, in a few be malicious, an action which is proyears
, be entirely forgotten, or, at ductive of unnecessary pain to others, least, the knowledge of it is confined must not be allowed to pass unreprovto the immediate neighbourhood of ed. I would appeal to their reason, the parties concerned. I appeal to whether this be a proper use to make every one possessed of humanity, whe- of the faculties bestowed on them. I ther there be not, in the indecent would ask them if it be consistent freedom of which I complain, much with the account they must one day to harrow up the feelings of many an render of their application of these fac amiable individual. Suppose a wife culties. No one can plead the posyet sinking under the recent loss of an session of a talent for satire as an exaffectionate husband, or a daughter cuse for improper indulgence in it; newly bereft of a kind and tender fa- such a talent is nothing more than the ther, would it not add unspeakable having a quick perception, and a livebitterness to their grief, should they ly imagination, and these are qualichance to cast their eyes on a page ties which might be applied to a betwhere that naine which they never ter purpose. Above all, I would ask pronounced without feelings of ming- if it be agreeable to the intention of led love and respect, whose very men- Him who placed us here for our mution now calls up the tears of regret, is tual support and comfort; who, knowmade the subject of a bitter sarcasm, ing the many unavoidable evils of our op of rude and mocking ribaldry ? earthly pilgrimage, has commanded This is not a fanciful case; those who us, as the best method of ameliorating have been the objects of unprovoked those evils, to be kindly affectioned censure may soon go hence and be no one to another. more seen ; and then, perhaps, may This is an error which time is likethe authors of such censure regret ly to cure. As we advance in life, we what they cannot recal.
grow weary of courting opposition;
VERSES BY A YOUNG LADY.
we are less solicitous to bring ourselves But the Lyrics in these match so well, into notice by making enemies; and
And so like is the ionocent metre, we become convinced that one friend That I'm bother'd to death with each Bell, is more valuable than a thousand ad And lost between Peter and Peter. mirers. Together with the gaiety of will no one in tenderness lend youth, we lose its petulance, and its
A clue to the positive story ?--self-sufficiency; and the coolness and Or some wretch, in the shape of a Friend, apathy of age bring along with them May waddle away with the glory. a sobered valuation of our own abilities, a lessened desire for the praise of Since my mind must some notion be gleanthe multitude, and a full assent to the ing, truth of the maxim, that “ the merit I'll venture the verses to class :of pleasing must be estimated by the The Burlesque --by its having a meanmeans.”
ing; George Street, July 7.
The Real,--by its having an Ass.
I pity its tradesmen in town ;-
B(The ingenious work entitled “ The Fan.
cy, a Selection from the Poetical Remains of the late Peter Corcoran of Gray's Inn, Student at Law, with a brief Memoir of his Life,” has indeed been literally “gutted or cleaned out” before we could lay Last night I strove, but strove in vain, our hands on its contents, and we find One Aeeting glance from thee to gain ; little left to reward our search, except But ah! you rov'd from fair to fair, the jeu d'esprit of which we have given Nor once imagin'd I was there. the title above. We have mislaid Mr And I was sad, yet glad to see Wordsworth's last volume, or we should You did not throw your eyes on me, have quoted, as a rejoinder, his exquisite For I could gaze unseen on thee. sonnet, beginning
Oh! it was sweet to hang the while “ A book was writ of late called Peter Upon your look, and on your smile ; Bell,"
To watch each beam of light that fell
Upon the face I lov'd so well ; of which it is surely high praise to say To hear your voice, whose mellow tone that it is not at all inferior to Milton's I felt could make me all your own; fine original, which, till now, we had to gaze until my aching sight supposed quite inimitable
Was lost in visions of delight; “ A book was writ of late called Tetrachor. Almost to fancy I could trace don."
Your balmy breath pass o'er my face ;
Play 'mid the ringlets of my hair, Magazine compilers are often greatly put And breathe its perfume on the air.
to it for filling up their last page, parti. To wish yet fear to meet your eye,cularly when it is left in so scrubby a To wish yet fear-and know not why; state as this has been, by our friend for well I knew I should not trace the Bystander. We suspect we must One smile of greeting on thy face ; put our hand into our Poetical Reposi. I knew thine eye would pass me o'er, tory, and draw out something or other; Unconscious we had met before ; at the same time, informing our friends And yet I shrunk behind my screen, Jannes and Jambres, that our drawer is And fear'd I might, perchance, be seen. again overflowing, and that we are ready Oh! then, 'twas almost sweet to be to receive another visit from them when. Unknown, unnoticed, love, by thee. ever they are so inclined.]
For had I been a lovely flower,
And fit to deck thy favour'd bower, Two Peters!-two Ballads !-two Bells ! - Thine eye had told a mutual flame,
Ah, which is the serious Poem ! And mine had sunk with maiden shame; The tales which Simplicity tells,
But Beauty smiles not, love, on me, Are the tales for niy heart,--when 1 And I unseen can gaze on thee. know 'em !
London, September, 1815.