« ForrigeFortsæt »
just as we can, and though folly may sometimes fill up a place in the journal, we may indulge the hope, that the balance may nevertheless be in our favour ; since, in a just accompt, the debtor and creditor's sides are added up. Do not let us despair even of overcoming the habits that have interfered with our book-keeping; or, above any thing, allow one interruption or neglect to dishearten us from going on in general correctness, nor let us confine the recommencement of our resolutions to a new year's day. Every, or any day will serve to begin a good work; and if we are not perfectly correct, we may be so much so as to inform us within a little of the state of our accompt. It is the bad man alone who commences his course again, with new oppressions and extortions, who has entirely to change the character of his mind; for weaknesses and foibles, though it is our duty to overcome and forsake them, are within the meaning of that forgiveness which knows the nature of human infirmity, and which will not set down in the great account of all those errors which bring their punishment with them, in the same page with the complicated enormities of the wicked, which poison and destroy the happiness of their fellow creatures, and which are perhaps past atonement.
* Who can but love the sex? whoever hates it, is a stranger to virtue, grace, and humanity.”
Saturday, 7th Jan. 1804.
HAVE just received a very serious remonstrance from Miss Arabella Lively; which, as it also conveys something like a hint for a little mischief, I shall give it in her own words, that her friends may know to whom they are indebted for my animadversions on the
“ MY DEAR MR. MAN IN THE MOON, “ What can you possibly have been thinking of all this time? you certainly have forgotten like true man, the promise you made in one of your very first Numbers, that the affairs of the ladies should sometimes be attended to. Instead of which, your Paper contains nothing but dull politics, purity, morals, Buonaparte, Newfoundland dogs, &c. &c. but not one single word about Madame Lanchester, fashions, thin drapery, ridicules, &c.; and then your characters are man people, as if we were not as busy and as conspicuous as they are in society. But, perhaps, you are of the same opinion with Mr. Pope, who said, “ most wo
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 lielp 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 husband is a volunteer; and her next door neighbour, at dinner, is always in dread when the amiable Mrs.
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 piquanté. Apropos, another has just come into my head, Miss Bridget Hopkins, the methodist clergyman'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 Stottle; 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 chiuse 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.
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 expresa sions 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 declar. ing 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, Timid, who has a scolding wife; or of Mr. Solus, whuse wife ran away the other day with a captain. I mean to take the aggregate of virtue, grace, and ac, complishment throughout the kingdom; and the