« ForrigeFortsæt »
disappointed in one pursuit, voracious as it is for food, will easily find more ignoble objects for its gratification, and will even gorge on the most common meats sooner than taste of none. Mr. Perfect does not seem to be aware, that with his every virtue, one, one dangerous passion or imagination of the heart capable of creating numerous vices, gave direction to all his speculations; and, unhappily, it was of that insatiate kind that would not wait for the refreshment that the virtuous labourer after honest fame is sure one day or other to meet with. To avoid saying any thing common place on the subjects of pride or vanity, I shall make no mention of its being contrary to the will and design of the Creator, that so weak a being as man should entertain them in his thoughts or actions, I shall endeavour to consider the matter on another ground; that is, with reference to the poisonous effects of these noisome weeds upon the man who permits them to sprout and grow to any size in his mind. The instant that pride or vanity possess him with their baneful influence, the vigorous plants of truth, reason, genius, and talent become choked up, or perhaps destroyed. It is then that man begins to look round, not for the delightful repast which reason places within his reach, but for the luxuries of his imagination, honours, respect, and attendance; in short, for any thing that may add to the consequence he would wish to hold in society. Certainly the author of Sir Charles Grandison was too good a judge of the human heart to make vanity the ruling and directing principle of his hero's mind; on that material he erects the cha
racter of Sir Hargrave Pollexfeu; no wonder then that my correspondent, who, after all, I believe to have the same good heart he ever had, failed in his enterprize after superior excellence, I know very well how difficult it is to convince men of serious truths; but arithmetic, the pounds, shillings, and pence of temporal benefit and advantage they will readily attend to, and pleasure often engages them to the contemplation of good as well as evil, We will suppose a man of pure mind and morals just setting out into life, modest from nature, unambitious from principle; if such a man meets with any checks in the plan he has proposed himself, he is regardless of the consequences; they can affect him but little: he has not taken the upper end of the table, and cannot therefore be sent much lower down; assuming no eminence of place, he loses none, and his unaffected humility creates, at length, genuine and just respect. The best character that a man of good heart and of good intentions in society can adopt is, his own. The chief excellencies, those of the mind, may certainly be sometimes improved from example, as well as the manners; but then the desire of that improvement must be founded upon that true principle that emulates the worth, and not the fame of the character. A good man is in all situations the same; no adversity can degrade him: and in prosperity, when all admire him, he feels not that his value is increased. As for the resolutions that men are apt to form from time to time, particularly in the moments of remorse, they are seldom efsectual; and only remind us of the gay Lord Lyttleton,
who used to say, that he had the resolution to make
: Having had occasion to speak of the conduct and of
That the world it goes round by arithmetic's rules,
Is a matter of just observation;
In the table of life's NUMERATION.
Thus, as soon as, heigh ho! we set out on the scale,
We begin to outlive our condition;
Just to add up a sum of ADDITION.
Then with dice, and with beautiful women and tall,
And with horses of figure and action ;
That we soon know the rule of SUBTRACTION,
Now married, we've plenty of business to do,
For a wife makes a great alteration;
And then there's your MULTIPLICATION.
But though various the pleasures we taste in a wife,
Yet conjugal joys are a vision :
Than they work ą sum in DIVISION.
There's one rule that will serve us wherever we go,
That has stood from the day of creation ;
And the proof-it is self approbation.
It was remarked by a wit of the present time, at a public table, of one of the company who happened to say little or nothing for a considerable time, That the gentleman had got a vacancy. Such a vacancy appears, at present, in the gossip of the day. Heaven and earth, sea and air, and the whole animal creation, have been ransacked to afford novel entertainment. Balloons, diving bells, swimming ladies, Mamelukes, and Newfoundland dogs; what is to succeed I cannot myself determine, so various and changeable are the pursuits of the two foolish nations, France and England. Perhaps, being near Christmas time, the ladies may like a game at hunt the slipper, with Cinderella, in Drury-lane; though the poor dog has not yet made his farewell speech, numerous are the puns and witticisms still made upon the harmless quadruped. Amongst others, the manager was asked, a few days ago, if Carlo gave orders ? the answer was, No, sir, he would not part with a bone, I assure you. I deem it however unfair to quiz the honest animal; he is by far the most natural performer I have noticed since the days of Garrick, and I hope that his theatrical
career will not end with the performance of a particular part, as that of many a very great performer has done, but that he may have a constant engagement, and that some of the dramatists of the present day may write for him ; the analogies of taste and genius will be then preserved,
Well suited are their doggrel rhymes,
The new performer might have, perhaps, a part in the musicalentertainment of Cinderella, now in preparation, and might be made to hunt the slipper to great advantage, though I conceive there is little doubt of the success of the piece, and that from the subject it may possibly put the proprietors on a better footing: Numerous, too, are the enquiries upon this subject, How is Miss D- to be represented, is she to enter 0. P. in a dust cart, with the rich cinders round her lovely waist, or iş shę to have a neat and elegant coal scut tle in one hand, and a shovel and broom in the other? The last would certainly be the best adapted costume for the character, and the sing song slut cannot fail to please.
Good heavens! what is this that I observe? the seats of one of the temples of taste and genius, where wit and humour constantly preside, scarcely half filled. Whither are its accustomed visitors engaged? Is it to see the four-footed rag merchant, that they abandon an entertainment replete with true and genuine amusement? return to it again; it is yourselves who