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showed the same laudable desire of imitating him, as their kinswoman did of copying her. But each end of the table made now and then interchanges with the other: some of the most promising of lord's followers were favoured with the countenance and regard of her ladyship; while on the other hand, some of her nymphs drew the particular attention of Acteon, and seemed, like those in the picture, willing to hide his Diana from him. Amidst those different, combined, or mingled parties, I could not helpadmiring the dexterity of Placid, who contrived to divide himself among them with wonderful address. To the landscape-gardener he talked of clumps and swells; he spoke of harmony to the musician, of colouring to the painter, of hats and feathers to the young ladies, and even conciliated the elevated and unbending baronet, by appeals to him about the key at Marseilles, the corso at Rome, and the gallery of Florence. He was once only a little unfortunate in a reference to Colonel Caustic, which he meant as a compliment to my lady, 'how much more elegant the dress of the ladies was now-a-days than formerly when they remembered it?' Placid is but very little turned of fifty.
Caustic and I were nearly 'mutes and audience to this act. The colonel, indeed, now and then threw in a word or two of that dolce piccante, that sweet and sharp sort in which his politeness contrives to convey his satire. I thought I could discover that the company stood somewhat in awe of him; and even my lady endeavoured to gain his good-will by a very marked attention. She begged leave to drink his sister's health in a particular manner after dinner, and regretted exceedingly not being favoured with
‘She hardly ever stirs abroad, my lady,' answered the colonel ; - besides (looking slyly at some of her ladyship’s female friends, she is not
young, nor I am afraid bashful enough for one of Diana's virgins.'
When we returned home in the evening, Caustic began to moralize on the scene of the day. “We were talking,' said he to me, 't'other morning, when
you took up a volume of Cook's Voyages, of the advantages and disadvantages arising to newlydiscovered countries from our communication with them; of the wants we show them along with the conveniencies of life, the diseases we communicate along with the arts we teach. I can trace a striking analogy between this and the visit of Lord and Lady Grubwell to the savages here, as I am told they often
Instead of the plain wholesome fare, the sober manners, the filial, the parental, the family virtues, which some of our households possessed, these great people will inculcate extravagance, dissipation, and neglect of every relative duty; and then in point of breeding and behaviour, we shall have petulance and inattention, instead of bashful civility, because it is the fashion with fine folks to be easy ; and rusticity shall be set off with impudence, like a grogram waistcoat with tinsel binding, that only makes its coarseness more disgusting.'
· But you must set them right, my good sir,' I replied, in these particulars. You must tell your neighbours, who may be apt, from some spurious examples, to suppose that every thing contrary to the natural ideas of politeness is polite, that in such an opinion they are perfectly mistaken. Such a caricature is indeed, as in all other imitations, the easiest to be imitated; but it is not the real portraiture and likeness of a high-bred man or woman.
As good dancing is like a more dignified sort of walk, and as the best dress hangs the easiest on the shape; so the highest good-breeding, and the most highly polished fashion, is the nearest to nature, but to nature in its
best state, to that belle nature which works of taste (and a person of fashion is a work of taste) in every department require. It is the same in morals as in demeanour; a real man of fashion has a certain retenue, a degree of moderation in every thing, and will not be more wicked or dissipated than there is occasion for; you must therefore signify to that young man who sat near me at Lord Grubwell's, who swore immoderately, was rude to the chaplain, and told us some things of himself for which he ought to have been hanged, that he will not have the honour of going to the devil in the very best company
Were I to turn preacher,' answered the colonel, 'I would not read your homily. It might be as you say in former times; but in my late excursion to your city, I cannot say I could discover, even in the first company, the high polish you talk of. There was Nature, indeed, such as one may suppose her in places which I have long since forgotten ; but as for her beauty or grace, I could perceive but little of it. The world has been often called a theatre; now the theatre of your fashionable world seems to me to have lost the best part of its audience; it is all either the
yawn of the side boxes, or the roar of the upper gallery. There is no pit (as I remember the pit); none of that mixture of good-breeding, discernment, taste, and feeling, which constitutes an audience, such as a first-rate performer would wish to act his
For the simile of the theatre will still hold in this further particular, that a man, to be perfectly well-bred, must have a certain respect and value for his audience, otherwise his exertions will generally be either coarse or feeble. Though indeed a perfectly well-bred man will feel that respect even for himself; and were he in a room alone,' said Caustic (taking an involuntary step or two, till he got oppo
site to a mirror that hangs at the upper end of his parlour,) 'would blush to find himself in a mean or ungraceful attitude, or to indulge a thought gross, illiberal, or ungentlemanlike. You smile, said Miss Caustic to me; “but I have often told my brother, that he is a very Oroondates on that score; and your Edinburgh people may be very well bred, without coming up to his standard. « Nay, but,' said I, ‘were I even to give Edinburgh up, it would not affect my position. Edinburgh is but a copy of a larger metropolis; and in every copy the defect I mentioned is apt to take place ; and of all qualities I know, this of fashion and good breeding is the most. delicate, the most evanescent, if I may be allowed so pedantic a phrase. 'Tis like the flavour of certain liquors, which it is hardly possible to preserve in the removal of them.' Oh! now I understand you,' said Caustic, smiling in his turn; ' like Harrowgate water for example, which I am told has spirit at the spring; but when brought hither, I find it, under 'favour, to have nothing but stink and ill taste remaining.'
No. 34. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1785.
That we often make the misery, as well as the happiness we do not find,' is a truth which moralists have frequently remarked, and which can hardly be too often repeated. 'Tis one of those specific maxims which apply to every character, and to every situation, and which therefore, in different modes of
expression, almost every wise man has endeavoured to enforce and illustrate. Without going so far as the Stoics would have us, we may venture to assert, that there is scarce any state of calamity in which a firm and a virtuous mind will not create to itself consolation and relief; nor any absolute degree of prosperity and success in which a naturally discontented spirit will not find cause of disappointment and disgust.
But in such extremes of situation it is the lot of few to be placed. Of the bulk of mankind the life is passed amidst scenes of no very eventful sort, amidst ordinary engagements and ordinary cares. But of these, perhaps, still more than of the others, the good or evil is in a great measure regulated by the temper and disposition of him to whom they fall out; like metals in coin, it is not alone tlieir intrinsic nature, but also that impression which they receive from us, that creates their value. It must be material, therefore, in the art of happiness, to possess the power of stamping satisfaction on the enjoyments which Providence has put into our hands.
I have been led into these reflections from meeting lately with two old acquaintances, from whom I had, by various accidents, been a long while separated, but whose dispositions our early intimacy had perfectly
unfolded to me, and the circumstances of whose lives I have since had occasion to learn.
When at school, Clitander was the pride of his parents and the boast of our master. There was no acquirement to which his genius was not equal; and though he was sometimes deficient in application, yet whenever he chose he outshone every competitor.
Eudocius was a lad of very inferior talents. He was frequently the object of Člitander's ridicule, but he bore it with an indifference that very soon disarmed his adversary; and his constant obligingness