« PreviousContinue »
is the last in the world to hinder any ses-turvey times, however, a transposithing like gallantry, and, with an arch. tion of beginnings and endings is no ness which shewed she guessed the lady very, extraordinary occurrence, by had made a conquest, she proceeded to which, as in a Hebrew book, we begin give me all the information she possessed at the end; or like the retrograde peon the subject.
destrian, we get forward by going back. She said the young lady was the only ward; or like the lottery, in which the child of the laie Comte de Montville, capital prizes are kept back to the last who had been massacred among the drawing, and the first object of every other nobility during the French Revo- adventurer is made the last of his hope: Jution; that the Comtesse, her mother, -I expect, therefore, you will find in had fled to England with her daughter, my postscript, what has, I think, been without any other attendants than an rather keenly said of all female postAbbé, who had been patronized by the scripts, the matter and meaning of my Jate Comte, and was inuch devoted to epistle.--I want to ask you a question : the family. On their arrival in this and as women are in general' fond of country, they were completely desti- asking questions, I have left iny inquiry tute, but that the Abbé, who was a to this supplementary part of iny cor, very learned man, had gained a gen. respondence, as affording a better opteel living by teaching languages, and portunity for such an investigation, than that the Comtesse, wbo excelled in what the body of my letter could afford., painting, added to their support by the For although you may think this body exercise of that art; they lived very rather meagre and thio, yet it will not comfortably until about a month since; be difficult for me to prove, that it is when the Comtesse, whose health had perfectly fashionable in its form, and been gradually declining, and who had very genteel in its style.— Now this is bewailed continually the fate of her the very thing that I want to ask you husband, died. The Abbé, on the death about–Pray, good Sir, what are we to of his patroness, bad fallen sick, and take for the general nieaning of those was now dangerously ill ; and if he civil and obsequious terms with which should die, the poor young lady would our daily correspondence is subscribed be left destitute of friends-Their in- by almost every individual who adcome, she said, was now chiefly, the dresses his sentiments to us in episproduce of the young lady's exertions, tolary correspondence, whether within wbo had been taught to paint by her the compass of an invilation, or exmother—" But, Monsieur,” she added, tended to the three sides of a fashion“ this affords a scanty subsistence, which able scrawl:-- One is our humble servant is the more straitened to procure medi. - another is our obedient servanical assistance for the poor old man, a third our faithful servant-a fourth whom the young lady attends on with our obliged servant-a fifth our gratealmost filial affection.
ful servant-a sixth our devoted ser. This account raised greatly my cu. vant- a seventh is mine most truly -riosity; and promising the cominuni. an eighth is your's most sincerely-or cative wonan that I would call again, any body's else, &c. &c. &c. I retired home, and passed the night in You must know, that I have fredreaming of the lovely French lady, quently tett something like a delicate who had raised an emotion in my reluctance to use these different modes breast to wbich I had before been a of finishing my correspondence, when strauger.
I have been totally unconscious of the (To be continued.)
sentiment which the words themselves
convey-- and this feeling has been conTo the Editor of the European Maguzine. siderably strengthened by several in
of the D. O me the favour to believe, that I profession of the writers and the pure
port of the letters.--The other day, am very truly,
my falher, who is curale of the parish, Your obliged and humble servant,
received a most imperious repriinand TABITHA TRUEPENNY.
from bis rector, who resides in the P.S. I have no doubt you will think country, and has not visited his pathis an odd way of beginning a letter, risbioners in town or ascended bjs me. but a very usual niode of ending one. tropolitan pulpit for these three years, I admit it, my dear Sir.-Io these 10p- for baving omitted weekly prayers on a Europ. Mas. Pol. LXXII. Dec. 1817.
single Weduesday, after a close oh. given a ten pound check, to prevent servation of all occasional and weekly a seizure of the bed from under him; duty for a quarter of a century, this this man told Mr. W - -, that he letter was sigued, your humble servant was very sorry to trouble hiin, but -when I'm sure the writer of it had he had from pressing necessity altered as little pretension to humility, as the his ten into twenty-and sensible of beadle of the parish in his new gold. the risk wbich he had run, he had gone Jaced coat and hat; or, to stop a little to France, and was his grateful serbigher in simile, the gentlemen-church- vant.--The Bishop of L wardens at a general vestry.- My bro- a living to one of his clergy, which ther, who is a very quiei sort of a man, the Reverend Gentleman had accepted and by no means apt to quarrel with upon its being understood he would be any body, happened unfortunately to expected to give it up. in bonour, tread upon tlic toe of a passionate half. to his lordship's nephew, when be pay Hibernian officer in an invalid should be of age to take priest's orders; corps, as he was crowding into the the worthy incuiubent, when apPump-room at Bath last week--the next plied to about that period, wrote to morning he was surprised by a chal- The bishop, that he could not in conlenge from this man of exmeme sen- science think of irespassing so far upon sitiveness, who signed himself my the statute agaiost Simony, and therebrother's most obedient servant-he fore hoped bis lordship would excuse only requested the honour of killing his devoted servant, &c.-) am, Mr. him like a gentleman, for which he Editor, a spinster on this side of thirty, should always
consider himself bis most and was lately addressed by a young obedienl.-My father also was addressed mau who is with a conveyancer in by the clerk of the parish this very Chancery-laue - At the time that he morning, upon the subject of burial obtained the assent of my father to fees, which' Mr. Amen bad bitherto make his declaration, which was acembezzled, in utter subversion of the cepted by me, the suit to wbich I have curate's right-and then subscribed ailuded was pending for the recovery himself my father's faithful servant of a pretty large estate in Hereford-A very good young woman, abo shire-my lover had proceeded with lives next door io nje, was indiscreet much prodent circumspection, and had enough to make a confidante, in an asked the lawyer what expectation of affair
of affection, of one of those busy success bis client might form the limb tatiling females who are to be found of the law, to keep up the best appear. in every neighbourhood - She also was ance of hope for his own sake, and the young woman's faithful servant, shrewdly guessing that his repori would after having vainly attempled, in a long be communicated to us by the young cpistle of rouud-about explanation, lo man himself, though nol perhaps acprove herself guiltless of a treachery companied with the disclosure of the which few women very readily pardon, inquiry, told bim, that there was not that of supplanting her in the regards of the least doubt of the decision being her lover. -Our lawyer yesterday did my in our favour— The coutrary resuli, father the favour of informing him however, soou altered my lover's views, that he had sent his bill of costs for and I received a very judicious congi, defending an unsuccessful suit-and signed, “ Your's most sincerely," &c. although he has been the confidential Now, Mr. Editor, all this has puzzled attorney of our family for the last me a good deal, and I really wish to fifteen years, and has diminished our know how we are to account for the income by at least as many hundred incongruity between the substance of pounds, he assured his employer, that such letters and their respective subunless he immediately paid the bill, scriptions of profession. It is a diffi. he must expect procecdings against culiy which I know has, in some degree him forthwith for ihe recovery of the or other, been felt by every one who same, by his obliged servant, &c.-- does not allow the pen to use esThe philanthropic Mr W-shewed pressions which the heart disavows. me a note at the last anniversary of - cannot help thinking, that the our female socieiy, which he bad re- simple " l'ale" of the Romans was ceived from one of our ojects, to a far inore conscientious mode of sub. whom, when in the most deplorable scribing a letter, than these methods staic of exigency, he had gcnerously of a hollow and unmcaning courtesy
for furewel may be a wish that even that can improve the mind, form the the angry man--the duellist—the vio- heart, and refine the manners, of any lator of a trust, or the betrayer of a stripling youth just stepping into mansecret--the ungrateful object of our hood, I have the boldness to declare; generosity, or the faithless lover, might and this assertion I am sorry to be able use with propriety. The reprimanded to ground upon the evidence which the might apply it as an admonition- premature old men of the day, and the " take care for the future.” The cha- more juvenile profligates of fashionable lenged might interpret it into" if you notoriety, bear to the truth of it. escape a hair trigger you will be well Under the sanction of a decent exterior off. The person betrayed, might read (I beg their pardon for using so homely it as" let your experience make you a word, which their vocabulary does not wise." The forsaken maiden, might contain) these ephemerals of vitiated accept it as advising her to look gentility, take the liberty of committing out for another husband.” And thus any outrage upon the laws of moral the receiver of a letter would be at no life while they can contrive to keep on loss to reconcile the contents with the the safe side of those judicial restricassurance of the writer. !
tions which the courts below are vulgar I consess, Mr. Editor, I think this enough to enforce upon such fringey would be an instance in which this classi- remnants of half-titled frivolity, these cal age might be considerably improved, infinitesimals of negative nobility, with and the no-meaniug of such complimen. as little regard for their nominal pretary forms would no longer remain as a tensions, as they would exercise towards reproach upon the sincerity of its episo any of the humbler Sabbathi-breakers tolary style.
and midnight revellers of St. Gilesos, Now, Sir, I do expect that my post- who boast of the patronymic “O's, cript will vindicate the substance of my and Ap's, and Mac's, of their highletter; and that should you insert both blooded progenitors. in the next Number of your amusing You are just young enough, G-, Miscellany, as you have already dis- to be led into error; and I hope not posed of many of my humble contribu- so far matured in it, as to shut your tious, you will reasonably believe, that heart against parental exposure of it. I am, very truly, your obliged and You will perhaps admit, that the ob. burmble servant; and that in the full servation and experience of a father, exteot of the word, I may add the may have put him in possession of that Roman Vale-“go on and prosper.". knowledge of the world, which although Or as it it is simply translated by the it adds but little to his own store of gentle Quaker.
wisdom, yet gives him an opportunity FARL THEE WELL! of preventing his son from becoming Amen (orner,
the dupe and victim of the folly of Nov. 29th, 1817.
others. " I will conclude, then, that you admit the possibility of this acquisitiva
on the part of one, who lived at least LETTERS
a quarter of a century before you were
born; and who, during your progress FROM A FATHER TO ITIS SON
towards the years of discretion, bas IN AN OFFICE UNDER GOVERNMENT.
seen just enough of the maxims and manners of this very best company to discover, that the surest proof of dis
cretion is, to shuu the intercourse of THAT the greater part of what is those who so unwarrantably assume
called the very best company, is this characteristic, with as much anxiety really the very worst into which a as he would avoid the association of young man can be introduced, is a fact persons infected with a pestilential diswhich no one who has noticed the progress of society during the last thirty lodeed, I never knew a young man years will be disposed to deny.-- And who has once suffered bimiself to surthat the habits and custoins of those render his time to the risk of such con. who expect to be considered by society tamination, but has found himself unas the members of this highly polished der the urgent necessity of yielding his part of the commuunily, are the most obligations one by one, of religious, opposite to every principle and practice moral, and social duiy, to the influen
MY DEAR G-,
tial progress of the corruption. His there is a more pernicious consequence early sense of virtue is imperceptibly arising out of such dangerous interbenumbed by the contact, until all his course, which I must notice, as it leads better convictions of propriety are para- directly to that point to which I referred lyzed, and the most deplorable privations in my last letter. of every estimable feeling of the heart en- Those who are too proud to confess sue. There is generally such a cold-beart. the intluence of the virtues of the ed unconcern for the purer sensibilities of heart, generally consider themselves human nature among these bighly re• too much elevated above the common fined ladies and gentlemen, that except notice of mankind to restrain its vices. a due observance of the meum and Hence dissipation reigns with all its perluum of puoctilious ceremony, they re- picious influence among them, and woe to wain perfectly at ease respecting any the youthful novice who enters the sphere event that may occur to raise or de- of iis doncinion; for a mowevt, perhaps, press the worldly condition of those, he hesitates, as he lifts the Circean cup whom they honor with the distioguishi- to his lips; but when he sees so many ed title of their dearest friends. Aud if willing subjects of vicious folly, living at any time one of this favoured set, has without thought, and revelling in enby any chance been enabled to confer a joyment, be begios to listen to their favor upon thein, such are their lofty seductive persuasions-he hears the conceptions of their personal claim to loud laugh with which bis scruples are the attention, that the affair is perfectly derided, and be pauses no longer, but reversed in all its dependencies; you shows at one draught, that he has cou. are the obliged individual, by their rage enough to be as vicious and as mad condescending to accept your well. as the most depraved among them. Still, intentioned service, wbich ibey regard however, his better sense returns at as sufficiently acknowledged, by a few intervals, and he finds himself often modish phrases, which inform you, upon the point of yielding to the faithfal that they are your eternally grateful, remonstrance of his conscience, and the your ever obliged, your very faithful unanswerable dissuasives of his reason and devoted servants. Sentiments - he feels the corrective convictions of which dwell in the heart just as long as right and wrong giving way-be marks they live on the lip; that is, during the the waste of time which his new course few pulsations which enable them to oflife requires—he forms resolves of prubreathe out the uumeaning professions dential reserve, but they are too feeble that mingle with the passing air, and to resist the exalted examples of are no more thought of.
those who, with so much wivning famiThis is an indiffereucc, or as the liarity, uobend the rigid self.complaFrench terrn better expresses it, a non- cency of their boasted high birth, and chalance, which gives sv polite an ease permit themselves to be addressed as to their demeanour, as to captivate the his friend and bis companion."
"Sure. silly fancy of their humble' isoitators, ly," he says, "these persons who es. who in their haste to acquire the man. timate themselves so much above the ner, insensibly adopt the unprincipled common level of society, are not to be josensibility on wbich it is formed. reckoned below it because they assert And many a young man who was once to themselves their just right of indepenhumble enougb to suppose, that a warın dent indulgence, and shall I forfeit their and grateful heart was his fairest oroa- favor and give up their ivterest merely Jaent, after a short initiation into the because I have hitherto been constrain. habits of his great acquaintance, based to submit to the old fashioned rules assumed the same high tone of self- of humble life, the grave saws of a reference, and disregarded all conside- worn-out wisdom that is ever preaching rations, for the more just affections of in niy cars the precepts of a virtue the heart, as really too vulgar for his which is more often adopted from use, too common-place to deserve a necessity then choice.” Thus he lamoment's thought in his estimation. bours hard to justify his subjection to
That this is not a false view of the evil, and as our moral poct Cowper writes insolent pride of such persons, the
"Reason now geoeral experience of those whom they Takes part with appetite, and pleads the condescend o tolerate as their inferiors, will at once pronounce. But Perrersely, which oftate she so condemned;
With shallow sbifts and old devices, worn be is told it is wil, and that he is the life And tattered in the service of debauch,
of the company; he is tapped upon the Covering his shame from his offended sight.” shoulder by one of his ladyship auditors,
When once a young man finds himself and called a wicked creature : upon her compelled to degrade his reason so de- honour.'. The young may not knowing plorably, as to make it the apologist the credit of the witness, or the worth of his dissipated inclinations, and the of the evidence, begins to feel himself advocate of his vices, it is all over of consequence to the best company, as with him, and there is no hope of his one among them ; and in order that he conversion from either. This is a con- may keep up his pretensions as the cater. dition of his uuhappy jufatuation in er of fun, seizes upon the most sacred which he soon acquires a boldness of subjects and characters for his licenimitation which enables him to vie even tious parodies and libertine ridicule with the best company, in unblushing still, however, be . means no harm-he violation of the social virtues His only does it to amuse the best company tongue becomes the apt pupil of bis who always love quizzing—there's noear, and the sacred name of bis God is thing criminal in a joke-your strait. blasphemed with a flippancy froin which laced prigs are the stupidest beings on there was a time when he would bave earth. shrunk with horror. He swears, as the But he has not yet attained every vulgar phrase is,“ likca lord”—but then qualification for this best company until “ he meaos no harm by it;" and he simply he has been as drunk as a lord. He had, concludes that there must be a certain heard, perhaps, that a real gentleman grace in an oath, as her ladyship now never disgraces himself by intoxication, and then indulges in it. But who ever as he had also heard that a man of re-, heard, G. of a man or a woman swear- fined manners and genuine good breed., ing like a Christian? Perhaps you will ing never swears, nor deals in offensive express some surprise at a lady's swear- ambiguities of expression, and that be ing; yet it is not more strange than has too much respect for religion to ritrue ; nor is it niore monstrous than dicule either its ordinances or its minis.comnion among your best sort of com- ters. But since our youth has kept the pany, to hear an oath uttered by a besl company he knows this to be all fashionable female, not with the timid fudge and humbug--two elegant exLisp of apprehension, but with the full pletives of inuch comprehensive extent acceptof masculine plainness ; yet " she of meaning, which are well understood means no barm by it," notoriety is all by the best company, and by nobody she has in view the thing's washing" else. He drinks his bottle, therefore, that's all.
because he looks upon it as a proof of The next step of the young man's panliness; and be boasts of having progress in this school of folly and dis. knocked up Lord John, Sir Harry, and sipation, is the habit of twisting an ob- the Major, t'other night, but he was not servation into a double-entendre by touched; he walked off with a couple some indecent pun or other; and if he of boliles, and was as well as he is at, should possess some ingenuity for the the time be tells you this. His boast, practice, he will be encouraged to pur- bowever, is in danger of contradiction, sue it by witnessing the relish with when some one of the honourable, which the prurience of it is received by Misses insinuates, with a facetious, the men, and the promptitude with which half-oath, that he was rather fresh when it is comprehended by the women. A he came into the drawing-room, and little perseverance in this genteel ac- that he was monstrous loving. He recomplishment bids fair to place him buts this charge, by declaring upon his among the most polished of these “pam- soul, that he was quite clear-Dot the perers of speech.” But you will see that least nuddled-for that he can at any such contaminating converse must in time drink two bottles-wine has no fect the very imaginations of the effect upon him. Now, here's a young thoughts, and turn the very core of the G pot more than 22 years of
age, heart into corruption in which all the by getting into the best company, ruinfair health and beauty of a modest mind ed in head and heart, and just as comquickly fades and decays. Yet there is pletely so as if he had herded with the an excuse even for this, in which the lowest of his species. There is anotber disciple of these polite preceptors finds part of his career, however, in wbich be his first scruples completely quieted— is made to feel, perhaps, more of the