Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

men have no characters at all.” I know that a great deal of nonsense may be written upon any subject; but with due deference to yourself, and Mr. Pope, we are very much characterised, and therefore ought to be satirised in the present day; and I insist that there are, from time to time, more prominent characters among us than among your sex. For my part, I candidly confess, that I like to quiz myself, for the delightful satisfaction it gives me of quizzing other people. My dear Mr. Man in the Moon, your Paper never will succeed, unless you are a little scandalous. It will never have one half the sale of Madame Lanchester's Dress Book, unless you can draw living characters. Come, come, if it were not that I do not wish to be absolutely ill-natured, I could help ye to a few for you to begin with; for instance, my own cousin, the soft and delicate Miss Bellamira Blushington, who went with us last summer in a barge to Richmond; who, though fashion had stript her almost naked, was so very modest that she could not bear any body to look at her, and actually fainted away because a gentleman next her happened to touch her bare elbow. Then there is the amiable and accomplished Mrs. Anchovy, Alderman Anchovy's wife, who, one day, at a city feast, got a piece of hot potatoe into her mouth, and made as great a variety of ugly faces with the torture as a mountebank at a fair, before her politeness would let her sputter it out on her plate. By the elegant way she orders her knife and fork, you may know that her busband is a volunteer; and her next door neighbour, at dinner, is always in dread when the amiable Mrs.

[ocr errors]

Anchovy carries arms. You would be delighted, Mr. Man in the Moon, to see Mrs. Alderman Anchovy carve a goose; she seizes a tremendous knife and fork, and stands up, her arms being nearly at right angles with her body, and then she haggles at a wing, until it flies off into the plate of one of the astonished guests, with a sufficient quantity of gravy; yet Mrs. Anchovy is monstrously refined, and cannot bear any thing vulgar. I think that this character would do very well, drest with your sauce piquante. Apropos, another has just come into my head, Miss Bridget Hopkins, the methodist clergymnan's daughter; I had one day the curiosity to look over her father's shoulder, at the head or skeleton of one of his discourses, when I observed he had quoted an author whose name I could not recollect for the life of me, it was Harry Slottle ; until, upon enquiry of the preacher, I found that the author meant was the great Aristotle himself. This is a fact, upon my honour. Miss is musical, and always entertains her friends with singing psalms, accompanied by her two little ugly brothers, one of whom takes the treble, the other the counter tenor, and Miss the base. C'est un drole ragout cela. I am afraid that I shall be tiresome, otherwise I could give you a charming groupe of female characters; if you chuse to accept them, let me know; but, perhaps, you will chuse to begin with me; do, if you please, most satirical sir. I am very fond of walking by the light of the moon. Adieu.

“ I am, with much regard, yours, Grostenor Street, Jan, 2d, 1804.

ARABELLA LIVELY."

Immediately upon the receipt of the above letter, curiosity induced me to find out the residence of my fair correspondent in Grosvenor-street; when, through the accustomed aperture, the hole in the window shutter of her room, I discovered the amiable Miss Arabella Lively in a charming gossip with the amiable Miss Bellamira Blushington, and could hear her (for sound is instantly conveyed from the window shutter to my residence through the tube of the moon beam converging to my ear) using the most tender expressions to her friend : “ My love, won't you take some coffee?"--" How well you do look to-night!"_"What a charming dress!" &c. &c.“ O fye, Miss Arabella Lively, if you must be satirical, you should be sincere; besides, dare you talk of naked drapery, good heavens, how transparent!" Bellamira, and Arabella, charming cousins! “ However there is some honesty in declaring that you don't mind being quizzed yourself, if you can but have the privilege of quizzing others.” Now, my dear Miss Lively, do you know that I am in love with the whole sex; you will laugh immoderately, no doubt, at the idea of the Man in the Moon, who is represented an old fellow, as you call it, being so universal a gallant. I don't know how it is, but with a very few exceptions, I believe women, particularly English women, to be mild, gentle, affectionate creatures. I don't mean to beg this question of Mr. Țimid, who has a scolding wife; or of Mr. Solus, whose wife ran away the other day with a captain. I mean to take the aggregate of virtue, grace, and accomplishment throughout the kingdom; and the

amount of virtue, grace, and accomplishment will be found immense, it enriches the empire. How tender of their offspring; how economical in their families; how attentive to the moral and religious duties of life

I do believe, if it were not that modest women, by their chaste endearments restrain the licentiousness of man, society would cease to exist.

are women.

Now with respect to the nakedness of the ladies, I shall attempt a word or two in their defence: I compare the female character to TRUTH, and every body knows that the naked truth is best; the reason is, that TRUTH has a beautiful and lovely form, and shame can never be attached to it. Now the comparison is clear. The ladies of the present day have beautiful and lovely forms, and very little shame; ergo, they resemble TRUTH. I shall not say a word about the new invented corsets, since they help to make up things to advantage, and as the embonpoint is all the fashion; nor about red elbows, since the pink dye is the rage. I long positively for the next masquerade, or to be introduced to this famous Madame Lanchester, that I may know how to undress the ladies of the moon, of whose manners and customs I intend hereafter to give some account.

[ocr errors]

SIR,

“ For heaven's sake, Mr. Man in the Moon, whither, like Phaeton, are you driving full speed? do pause a moment ere you go a single step farther. Have you any conception of the race of people you are enlightening with your rays of knowledge ? and pray, why after all did you prefer illumining England? Is it because your brethren, the Israelites, there find an asylumn? For the honour of humanity I will believe it to be so, and that pure gratitude influenced your motives. But, pray sir, take care what you do, or you will be caricatured in every print shop at the west end of the town; for know, sir, that the English are a nation of--not shopkeepers, as a great little man has advanced, but a nation of profile painters. You recollect what one of the ancients says of the origin of profiles ; according to the imperfect image preserved in the saloon of my memory, I believe it was Quintilian, or if it was not him it must be somebody else; for I, being of the modern school, am utterly unable to forge it, even in this age of forgeries. However, if you read half the classics carefully over, you will probably find a passage beginning habet in pictura speciam; but as I hate all the classics, excepting Hoyle's Games, and the Racing Calendar, you will excuse my going on with the quotation; he tells us, that. Apelles having to paint the portrait of a person who had lost an eye, he avoided introducing the disagreeable object by the invention of the profile. You know, Mr.Man in the Moon, that great examples form mighty precedents, and therefore in imitation of the immortal Appelles, the English paint entirely in profile. They are, upon my honour, sir, nothing but profile painters. Look at Peter Parasite's picture of my Lord Lugubre, his carbuncle nose, wide mouth, and irregular

+

* sy

« ForrigeFortsæt »