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6 of nature, and of common sense,” still do attempt to practise those graces which, in their ideas, constitute the very essence of politeness and gentility. They do nothing like other people. They are so attentive to the manner, that they cannot deliver a news-paper, ask a common question, or walk across a room, without impressing on the mind a strong idea of that affectation which they mistake for elegance, and which, instead of insuring the respect, never fails to excite the derision and contempt of men of sense.
This can never be properly called politeness. Genuine politeness is incompatible with hypocrisy and affectation; and he who practises the arts of the latter, can never possess the former, which is a flower springing from the goodness of the heart, rather than of the head; an internal perfection, rather than an external accomplithment; a pliability of difpofition, which thews itself in the performance of those innumerable little kindnesses, which apparently confer no obligation, but which nevertheless constitute the chief cement of society, and endear mankind to each other.
I am well aware that the performance of these sociable actions, this minutiæ of friendly intercourse, is not considered as the object of politeness; but that its grand constituent is the manner in which these kindnesses are expressed; and this idea is the very fountain-head whence flow those innumerable streams of affectation and superciliousness which so abundantly water the fields of politeness and good breeding as to render them more fruitful in the rank weeds of folly, than the flowers of elegant gentility.
THAT fome favours acquire a doublc value from the manner in which they are conferred, the experience of every man can tcfify. But that this manner requires very singular address, and is so difficult of attainment as the fons of politeness would have us believe, is not quite so obvious. In the action or manner of him who is heartily desirous of serving us, we shall never discover either aukwardness or affectation: the benevolence of his intention gives a life and a manner to his action indescribably plcaling, and which fashionable politeness vainly endeavours to imitate, and can never acquire. In this action, and in this manner consists that genuine politeness which so widely differs from the politeness of courts, and which courts can never teach : because the former is the product of benevolence; the latter of dissimulation; the one is the offspring of that social kindness implanted in the bofom by the hand of nature; the other, the
bungling effort of art: the wretched substitute for smothered sociableness and brotherly kindness. And hence arises the difficulty of being what the world calls polite; for the politeness of the world confifts in imposing on mankind; in subftituting specious professions for generous ac. tions, and endeavouring to pass current the tinsel of art,' as the bullion of nature. This artificial conduct of those who assume to themselves precedency in politeness, gave occasion to the best of all moral writers to remark, that “ he had not “ found among any part of mankind, less real and “ rational complaisance, than among those who “ have passed their time in paying and receiving “ vifits, in frequenting public entertainments, in
studying the exa&t measures of ceremony, and in watching all the variations of fashionable courtesy.”
The science of true politeness contains but few rules, and those very fimple. I believe they may be reduced to two: First, always to give that preference to others which arrogance would allume to itself; and, secondly, on all occasions, to adopt that golden rule, so often praised, so seldom practised, and so unmeritedly rejected in all modern systems of politeness, which advises men,
66 to do unto others as 66 themselves would wish to be done unto;" a rule totally subversive of the noble Earl's system, which is built on a profesied violation of duties incumbent on every human being who has any regard for the good will of good men, or the approbation of heaven. Of a system thus vitiated and depravcd, it is no wonder that the followers and admirers were numerous. We always lend a willing ear to him that promises to render us amiable in the eyes of others, more especially if his instructions, at the same time, tend to liberate us from the restraints of morality, and the duties of religion.
There are few men, particularly young men, without the desire of external accomplishinents. Previous to the labour of acquisition, I should wish them always to consider the real value of that which thcy are solicitous to obtain: candidly to weigh its advantages with its inconveniencies; and if it cannot be acquired but with the facrifice of principle, to reject it altogether, not only as contemptible, but as destructive of its own purposes. He that makes himself acquainted with external accomplishments, but with a view of laudably recommending himself, and of rendering his services the more acceptable to his fellow-creatures, has learned only that which he will soon find it necessary to unlearn;
and if in the pursuit of fuch narrow fame, he has injured his innocence, will the applaufe of vanity and of folly, of the idle and of the fashionable, afford any recompence for the lofs of that which can never be regained ? He can never err, who in the pursuit of accomplishments, can allure himself that he shall not repent of his acquisitions; and who shall have so used them, as to bear their remembrance in that hour when “ vanity is divested of her robes, power de“ prived of her sceptre, and hypocrisy drops her • mask.”
To the New SpecTAT O R. Friend SPEC,
I HAVE an extensive acquaintance, know every body, and their concerns; and a few anecdotes of my companions, whose original characters may merit your attention, will no doubt entertain your readers.
An English pause enfueda paule which intervenes in all companies when the gentlemen are picking their teeth, looking at their watches, or lost in the admiration of a delicate white hand which the company must not be ignorant of: the ladies, on the other side, viewing each other with insignificant smiles. This filence remained for the space of five minutes, which my friend Timothy observing, was willing to remove; and -to the surprize of the ladies, whose blushes evinced their astonishment-he put his hand, as if inadvertently, on a critical part of the gentleman's breeches who sat next to him ; perceiving his purposed error, he asked if they were not sattin ? The gentleman, with a sarcastic reserve, replied No that they were nankeen. The words were fcarcely faid, when my friend Timothy exclaim cd-I beg your pardon, Sir, all breeches are fat in! -He then burst out into an immoderate fit of laughter, which forced the laugh of the company at his folly, instead of the pun. served round. The lady of the House asked my friend if he chose Bohea ? he replied in the negative, that he preferred Belle-the! Another peal of laughter succeeded from himself with a constant repetition of “ That's very good! very good indeed!”—He always places himfelf at the corner of a table, and will not eat, which the company naturally observing, he then ecchoes their furprise with “ Not eat! bless me! I am amazed at " that; for I am sharp fet !"-alluding to the corner of the table against his breast.
This is a true copy of Timothy Artist, who is exact image of Sancho Panza. Had he but the proverbs—instead of his puns--there is such a striking resemblance, that I should certainly have mistaken him for an illegitimate offspring of that famed hero. This Original, friend Spec, will reflect on a sensible mind, the contempt, which it must be subject to, by repeating a string of stale, třite jokes, without time or place to recommend them!
[ To be continued. ]
“ Nul fust unguiam tam dispar tibi." PUNNING is a species of amusement too common with our modern petit maitres, who have not sense fufficient to talk half an hour rationally without punning on every sentence and word that is repeated. Punning resembles a general flying over to the enemy, and enslaving his country. Though we approve of the treasan, we despise the traitor. The pun we may admire, but the punfter is always treated with contempt, from a presumption that we are, ourselves the subject of his ridicule.
TIMOTHY ARTist is, as most little people are, vain 10.a proverb, and very tenacious of his own abilities, which, if we credit his own words, furpass nature! Egotism is his Pegasus, on which he rides in obscurity. I met him the other evening accidentally, at the house of a friend, where I -was invited to a small card party. On-my entering the room, before the usual compliments of politeness had ensued, he feized my hand, gave me -a tremendous Shake, and with an almost unintelligible voice asked me howI did? Then-without waiting for an answer--repeated a whole string of devilish good puns, as he called them, which he had made since he saw me laft, and which I could - not possibly attend to, from my aukward painful situation. My inattention rather chagrined him; however he perigitted me, at last, to fit down.
To the NEW SPECTAT O R. Dear Spec,
Not to be awed by assumed authority, nor to spare follies in compliment to the man that commits them, is the chief characteristic of John Bull. I trust, therefore, you will not reject such of my animadversions as may have the appearance of severity, when they are recommended by truth.
Another story, too true!
66 Learn to be wise from others' harm,
And you shall do full well."
In Bulia, as in London, there are many public amusements, and, amongst the rest, thca. trical exhibitions ; but not to be compared with those of London. The performers are, in general, idle and diffipated; the men peculiarly irreligious, and the women peculiarly frail. In this character, however, they are not all to be included. The Bulian itage boafts of some men morally good, and of some women piously chaste.
AMONGST other actresses whose beauty of person and theatrical merit excited particular notice, and the applause of the Bulian audience, was Ligrac; and such was the peculiarity of her fortune, that it deserves commemoration. A London actress may not be ashamed of receiving instruction from the example of a Bulian heroine.
Ligrac was the daughter of a Bulian tradesman. „, She had no other than a common education ; but the sweetness of her voice determined her to embrace the profession of an actress; and indeed it would have been cruel to have deprived the Bulians of a harmless pleasure by concealing so excellent a talent. Ligrac was engaged, and captivated all who saw, and all who heard her.
There is perhaps no station wherein the fair sex are so much exposed to temptation as on the stage. Ligrac, of course, had many admirers; and, amongst the rest, one whose offers she thought it prudent to accept, for they were such as promised the tranquillity of retirement, and the enjoyment of affluence.
EDALI was one of those men who, without any of the accomplishments which render riches respectable, was ambitious of public regard, and the applause of an ignorant multitude ; and these he endeavoured to obtain by emerging into diffipation, by purchasing large quantities of balloons, and by contributing to such of the public sports and diversions as delight the “ great vulgar, and the little;" for of elegant amusement or mental recreation, Edali had no more conception than a Bulian joint-stool.
Against the charms of beauty, however, neither ignorance nor dulness can make any forcible resistance; and as it is a principle of folly to be discontented without the possession of that which has the admiration of multitudes, Edali sacrificed a part of his wealth for the company of
Ligrac; and agreed to support her for life, on condition that she formed no new connexions, and attached herself solely to him.
But it was never yet in the power of beauty to render its influence perpetual. Though it may retain its qualities, and even grow more lovely, . it can seldom conquer the opposition of novelty, or insure a lasting attachment of the human heart. Custom renders it familiar, and familiari. ty produces indifference. Then it is that mental accomplishments, sweetness of disposition, and propriety of conduct are to preserve that affection which beauty created, but which beauty can no longer insure. But qualities like these have little effect on the heart of him who seeks only the gratification of brutal paflions. If, therefore, Ligrac possessed them, she possessed them in vain ; for besides the natural infensibility of Edali, he was not only tired of Ligrac, but he was avaricious, and consequently desirous not only of quitting her arms, but of annulling the contract by which he was bound to support her for life.
IGNORANCE and cunning are often aflociated. Edali considered how the latter scheme might be accomplished, and at length found that confederacy was necellary, and therefore imparted his design to a man of little or no property, and who, like himself, would “ circumvent heaven" for interest. It was now the chief business of these two to find out means for depriving a harmless girl of her livelihood, and to complete the ruin which Edali had begun.
To which of them the honour of the invention is due, I have not been able to discover, but they at length adopted a plan which had the desired effect; and shews to what baseness human nature
an descend, and how soon " the wicked find fit instruments of ill." It was proposed that the confederate, putting on the habit of a Bulian nobleman, and appearing as one possessed of more extensive property than Edali, should pay his coust to Ligrac, and offer her his hand in marriage, which, as Edali had quitted her, it was not likely she would refuse. Thus Edali would be freed from the performance of his contract, and his confederate would gain a wife from whose theatrical talents he expected to derive considerable emolument.
Ligrac received the addresses of the confede. rate, and the nuptials were celebrated. He had recommended himself more particularly by an assurance that she should always have at her command an ærostatic globe of peculiar magnificence and which should transport her with peculiar rapidity to whatever quarter the directed its course, A few days after their marriage Ligrac called for
He that loves, and fears to try, Learns his mistress to deny. Doth the chide? 'Tis to shew it, That thy coldness makes her do it.
Is she filent? Is she mute? Silence fully grants thy suit. Doth she pout, aud leave the room? Then she goes to bid thee come.
Is she sick? Why then, be sure, She invites thee to the cure. Doth she cross thy suit with No? Tush! she loves to hear thee woo.
Doth she call the faith of men In question ? Nay underfoot, she loves thee then; And if e'er sbe make a blot, She's loft if that thou hit'ft her not.
the globe ; but no globe was to be found; and on enquiring into the reason, her husband calmly informed her of the whole deception. I shall not attempt to describe the feelings of the unfortunate Ligrac. No pen can describe them;-mand yet such was the goodness of her difpofition, that had she fallen into other hands, she had been reconciled and happy. But alas! what happiness could she expect in the arms of one capable of thus deceiving her ? She not only abandoned him, but her country, her father, and her friends. Thousands of leagues did she go, and at length found herself in Aidni, breathing perfumes, and living in the luxuries peculiar to that country.
Here she formed a new connexion, and was blessed with an infant. Having acquired riches, and desirous of revisiting her native country, with her lovely infant in her arms, she, with many others, entered a balloon destined for Bulia, and with a panting heart bade adieu to Aidni ! It was a journey of many months; a journey which the hapless Ligrac never accomplished; for the travelling machine had not been many days launched into the air, before it came over an immense confluence of waters, and, some of its materials giving way, made a rapid descent into the midst of the waves where Ligrac, her infant, and all her companions perished.
Such was the end of the lovely, the unfortunate Ligrac !-Her body was afterwards found by fome Bulian mariners, and what is remarkable, her infant was clafped in her arms.
The sight touched even the hard hearts of mariners; with tears in their eyes, they committed the bodies to the earth, and a Bulian poet inscribed this verse over Ligrac's grave: “ Let coxcombs flatter, and let fools adore,
Here learn the lesson to be vain no more !"
He that after ten denials, Dares attempt no further trials, Hath no warrant to acquire The dainties of his chaste desire !
The following truly poetical effusion reflects honour on the author, and consequently needs no apology for insertion.
Addressed to Mrs. M A RTY R.
ANTEROS swift thy secret arrow aim !
To which Creusa fell Medea's prey; And pierce the heart my eager soul wou'd claiin,
Prevent the danger of a Syren's sway!
Then wou'd stern Ate, on her crimson throne,
Arise and smile amid her bloody crew ; Leander, own that love with justice fhone, Idalia then her tempting light renew!
The following stanzas were written by the immortal Sir Philip Sidney, a lover, and a hero in the glorious reign of Elizabeth ; and are communicated to me by a lady who probably thought the instructions they contain necessary for my conduct in the article of
Whilst, in the daily prints, praise and censure are so partially bestowed on public performances, I cannot refrain saying something, to counteract the prevalence of misrepresentation'; and though I should not trouble myself with a perpetual review of theatrical affairs from an idea of their importance, yet I am excited by the love of truth, and stimulated by indignation at its continual abuse, to remark on such exhia bitions as I find thus misrepresented by the arti. fice of avarice, the partiality of friendship, the zeal of ignorance, or the heat of resentment.
Drury Lane. For this fortnight past this theatre has been disgraced by a dance which is usually introduced between the play and the farce, and is called the Sportsman's Return, in which a man fires a gun to
FAINT amorit !---what, dost thou think To taste Love's honey, and not drink One dram of gall ?---Or to devour A world of sweet, and taste no four ?
Dost thou ever think to enter Th’ Elysian fields, that dar'ît not venture In Charon's barge ?--A lover's mind Muft use to fail with every wind.
the great terror of the ladies, and to give fome colour to the name of the dance. It is tediously long and disgusting; and though Mr. Hamoir dirplays some merit in his performance, the Sportman's Return is a miserable example of his skill in composition. I have never been present when it has not completely wearied the patience of the audience, except such of them as might never have seen a stage dance before.
But indeed, whilst the opera house is open, it is not to be expected that dancing should fuc
ceed on the English stage. There is no vestige i of comparison.
JUDA MACCABEUS, by command, on Friday, brought a polite audience, and went off with great spirit.-His Majesty was received, as usual, with reiterated marks of loyalty. The Queen and Princesses never fail of similar tokens of popular affection and esteem.
The Double Disguise continues to increase in reputation, and verifies my predictions concerning its success.
Covent Garden. IN Rute a Wife and Havé a Wife, Mrs. Abington has received so much news-paper applause, that it is needless to say any thing of Irer excellence, The extravaganza of puffing, however, considerably hurts her; because, after reading such accounts, she always falls short of expectation, even in Eftifania, the only character in which she can'pretend to more than general excellence. Her forte is low comedy, but she is so ambitious of representing a fine lady, that she grows giddy with dress, flutters on the stage, is 'ogled by cox. combs--as every woman 'is, that puffs for itand then is "called a fine actress !--Excellent criticism !- I shall next expect to see her ftiled a beauty!
That praise is seldom well grounded which is exaggerated; and I should wish to rescue the rereputation of Mrs. Abington out of the hands of her critics, who instead of shewing her in delicate colours, bedaub her in such a manner with fulsome panegyric, and artificial compliments, that the resembles nothing in the shape of humanity.
Mrs. CO WLEY's comedy called Which is the Man? was performed on Tuesday to a crouded audience. 'I he comedy itself is intitled to very flender praise; and nothing could have saved it from oblivion, but the comic powers of Mr. Quick and Mrs. Mattocks, who, in the outre Pendragons, usually excite much laughter. The fable exhibits no skill, for we very early discover which is the man; ani of the principal female character, Lady Bell so much is füid previous to her appearance, and expectation raised fo
high, that we are disappointed. Lady Bell by no means answers her description; her person and manner, represented by Mifs Younge, are indeed charming; but the promised exuberance of wit, and sprightlinefs of dialogue arc seldom to be discovered. Most dramatic writers have policy enough to afford unexpected gratification; but, in this instance, Mrs. Cowley has reversed the rule. The performers are not wanting, on their parts, to do the comedy ample justice.
On Thursday, the Merchant of Venice. Enough, yet not too much, has been said of Macklin's Shylock. There may be many Shylocks in the world; but on the stage it will probably be many years before we see another.-Miss Younge's Portia has been equalled, but never excelled. - Jessica was personated by Miss Wheeler of Drury-Lane Theatre, in such a manner as to make me regret that she is not brought forward as she merits. It may be faid of Miss Wheeler, that when her theatrical abilities shall equal, the excellence of her private character, she will be the best actress this kingdom ever produced.
ISABELLA, by Mrs. Crawford, on Saturday, has completely established the reputation of Mrs. Siddons. It were invidious to make comparisons ; and it ought to be fome confolation to the friends of Mrs. Crawford that she plays Isabella no more. --Henderson's Biron, like the Drury-lane Isabella, soars above all praife.—The inferior characters merited the applause they received. The Epithalamium, inftead of decorating, dirgraced the whole.
The Queen of GOLCONDA.
King's Theatre. To the new entertainment of La Regina di Golconda, “ The Queen of Golconda," performed on Thursday, it is difficult to assign an appellation : in the bills it is miscalled an opera. It is a kind of dramatic hodge-podge: it is not an opera, for the better part of it consists of dancing; it is not a ballet, for it is intermixed with singing. We are told it is after the French style, and I trust it is, for it is by no means worthy of any other stage.
The fable, like most of the Italian fables, is trifling and foolish. Indeed any thing, in that respect, conceived by genius, or dićtated by elegance, is, I believe, never expected in these regions. I have always regarded the Poet of the Italian opera, as the maker of a nauseous pill, which another is obliged to gild, before it can be adıninistered to the patient. The fable and the language of La Regina di Golconda has given me no occasion to alter my opinion,