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THE YOUNGER BROTHER.
In the gay radiance of this lofty room,
'Tis a warm night, but you can feel the air
But where is Lady Mary's matron grace?
The gentle Lady Mary scolds her maid,
Inferior ringlets are at last arranged:
The knocker now its pealing thunder rolls-
And, really, every body comes so late!"
The room shines out, with gay progressive state
Alas, how vain those glances at the door,
He then displays his trinkets, rich and rare,
Almack's fair Adelina loses, and French plays,
* " Les principaux traits de l'histoire Grecque et Romaine sont brodés dans mes mouchoirs, pour l'instruction de ma fille," said a scientific Parisian belle.
The Younger Brother.
'Tis two o'clock-he cannot yet artive ! -
She reads-she trembles and she looks aghast,
“You see I but deserve a mild rebuke,
The guilty paper, in a thousand scraps,
From pique, shame, anger Lady Mary wept :
ANTIPATHIES. Every one, who has mingled in society, is acquainted with the peculiar feeling of aversion towards particular individuals, which is so well described in the hacknied verse :
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell ;-
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell. But though this aversion should be felt and acknowledged, it would still puzzle the observer to state from what particular feature of the object contemplated his dislike arose, or wherefore it was felt at all." Nevertheless the antipathy continues, and is found too powerful for the aid of reason to overcome. The effect is notorious—the cause remains a Je ne sçai quoi, a something, we know not what. It almost seems as if we viewed in some of our fellow creatures an esprit malin in the disguise of humanity. We often think we see “treasons, stratagems, and spoils,” in every wrinkle ploughed by time on the visage of an unoftending fellow mortal; and no bitter drug from the nauseous recess of the apothecary, no potion mingled to set at nought the strongest stomach, will make the “gorge rise" more effectually, than the sight of the human face divine," stamped with an indescribable character, will awaken our prejudices. But it is not through the organ of vision alone that our antipathies are excited. The voice and address of one man may cause all his good qualities to be overlooked : he may differ from us on a favourite topic, or he may fling a colouring over his first intercourse with us, which may arouse inextinguishable dislike; but in such cases, there are at least assignable causes for the feeling, however unjustifiable that feeling may be in itself, while, in the antipathy awakened oftentimes from a solitary glance, there is not the least clue to direct us to the cause.
The antipathies of mankind are a numerous family, connected with things animate and inanimate. Nature, for example, is said to have an antipathy to a vacuum, and the Law to perpetuities. But Chancery matters are, no doubt, to be excepted from this rule ; for, regarding them, the law seems to feel an unconquerable aversion the other way, scorning alike the inviolability of property, and the limits of conceivable duration.
No one has walked up the Strand at noon-day, and glanced his eye at the ten thousand faces he is sure to encounter in the course of his peregrination, but has felt the species of antipathy in question towards some whom he has met, who were perfect strangers, and were neither wanting in comeliness of countenance, nor exhibited a vicious physiognomy. We may see ugliness and deformity enough in our rambles, and they may produce pity without our indulging an ill-natured antipathy towards them; because reason whispers us that the ugly or deformed man is perhaps just, amiable, and generous, and we are mostly willing to concede the point, and may even feel a degree of respect for him; which is not the case when our intuitive antipathies take possession of us. We seem to indulge them in defiance of common sense, until they become but
little qualified from downright hatred. Whence can this feeling of the human bosom arise, more powerful than reason, and so palpably unjust in itself?
Some persons will go so far towards justifying themselves, that they will deny ever having been mistaken in their ideas of an individual, after having once looked him in the face; and, like Judge Buller regarding the guilt of a criminal, (so fame reports) pronounce them to be good or bad, according to the impression their countenances may excite. But there must be numerous instances which are exceptions to such uncharitable assertions as these, in the experience of any who will candidly examine into the subject for themselves. It is, however, remarkable, that while we cannot teN wherefore we condemn the unoffending object of our antipathy, we can neither appeal to reason nor good-nature for a justification of our conduct, nor find any thing resembling statute law to bear us out. Thus it is to judge from the first impression made upon the senses, which impression may arise from distorted vision; or who knows but some objects may be more calculated than others to produce an unpleasant sensation on the brain, through the organ of sight, by their reflecting distorted rays of light, instead of those which are rectilinear
Addison gives strength to an idea something similar to this, by imagining an invisible communication from an unseen object of antipathy equally powerful with one which is visible. He face. tiously relates the story of a lover who felt a mortal antipathy to a cat, and was pushing his suit with a young lady, in the full tide of success, and in the teeth of a rival. The latter had begun to withdraw his attentions in despair, when he learnt the strong prejudice entertained by his antagonist against the feline species. Ře immediately bribed the young lady's waiting-woman to pin a cat's tail under the dress of her mistress, whenever his rival was to pay her a visit. The success of the stratagem was complete: the unlucky cat-hater turned pale whenever he approached the lady's person, and soon began to display an indifference towards her, which she speedily perceived and resented, by dismissing him, and marrying his wily adversary. But stratagems like these are not practised where they could have no end to accomplish, where no mistress was to be won, or rival scared away. Perhaps the theory of Gall and Spurzheim may throw some light upon the subject. We may easily imagine, from what appears in their transcendant discoveries, that the boss of murder may be placed on a head otherwise well-formed and possessing a comely countenance. The cranium of the street-passenger, studded with protuberances like an Alpine Lilliput, which are concealed beneath a thick covering of hair and a ponderous beaver, when they happen to be of volcanic materials, or, to drop metaphor, of integuments enclosing rapes, murders, or treasons, may throw off certain effluvia, or reflect light in certain directions, which by its unpleasant impression may be calculated to produce antipathy in beholders. This must, of course, take place insensibly, and thus a warning to keep us from too close a contact with bad characters may be furnished us by the guardian benevolence of Nature.