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with the indecision of age: he meets with contempt, where he expected applause. His heart, however, still beats at the call of pleasure-his pulse still futters at the prospect of some novel gratification-but he dies ere it be realized-he is stretched in his grave ere his morrow of happiness arrive! No sculptured Bible decorates his tomb; no flattering epitaph--not even a stone marks where his ashes rest
“ Alive, ridiculous; and dead, forgot."
1. TAE Sprightly Belle has an incessant Aow of spirits; and whether in the park, at an assembly, or a rout, still runs on in the same lively and enviable strain of conversation. Her features are never saddened with melancholy: the funeral of a statesman, or the concert of a duchess, equally witness the smiling complacency of her countenance. Whether she springs into her carriage, or parades out of church, a skilful observer may discover that at heart she is all whim, humour, and glee. Ladies of this description are in general harmless: the only mischief they produce is to themselves; for, as years roll on, and infirmity advances, they find upon reflection, that a few hours devoted in their former days to reading and meditation would have made them much more sprightly at sixty, than does a retrospect of their gaieties and amusements.
2. The Funny Belle is, in my grave estimation, a very troublesome sort of creature; and I confess if I were a bachelor and disposed to change my state for that of a Benedick, I should almost choose any belle bat a funny one. Ladies of this description go much beyond the sprightly belles in their absurdities; and I have known some very modest young men, well charged with the classical wisdom of a college, absolutely looked and talked out of countenance by one of this loquacious and
facetious tribe. If, during the impressive warbling of Miss Stephens, or the pathetic tones of Miss O'Neill, you should hear a tittering or a loud laugh in the boxes, depend upon it the interruption proceeds from a funny belle. The only thing “devoutly to be wished” is, that ladies of this stamp would oblige the sober part of the public by communicating only to their dressing and waiting-maids all the funny things they have to say. It too often happens, that the perpetration of a little mischief mingles in the reflections of these funny creatures -and when the happiness of a family is completely destroyed, it is, to be sure, a very comfortable compensation to be told, that “nothing serious was meant."
3. The Witty Belle is grave in the morning, but facetious in the evening; because, during the former part of the day, she is treasuring up a quantity of bon-inots, mixed with a few sarcasms and puns. When all her artillery of wit is played off at once, it is absolutely stunning; and reminds one, “ if small things may with great compare,” of the roar of cannon and flash of red hot shot and mortars, on the memorable sortie from Gibraltar. The worst of it is, that, with these ladies, wit is mistaken for wisdom; and a cutting retort is considered more creditable than a grave and sensible remark. I dined the other day with a young Templar, who had invited, along with his relations, two or three of these witty belles to meet me. On my right hand sat a pleasant and well-informed lady, to whom I was anxious to show every attention, for she had read and travelled much to the purpose; but all in vain-these witty ladies laughed and talked, and at length disagreed so lustily, that I thought it prudent to make my retreat, urging that I wished to attend an evening lecture at the Royal Institution by Dr. Crotch. I confess there was more harmony in this latter place than at the table of my friend the Templar. Wit is a dangerous weapon to manage in the hands of a man, but it is much more so in those of a woman.
may be rationally doubted, whether a purely witty creature ever secured a bosom friend: admiration and occasional fear are not the ingredients of
a permanent friendship. Moreover, there is oftentimes a danger of indulging sceptical opinions amongst this sparkling tribe: novelty is sometimes amusing, but good sense alone is substantial. I once knew a witty young lady, who, on being asked whether she had ever read Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity, replied, that she understood it was first published in the 17th century, and contained all the false metaphysics of that age!
4. The Charming Belle is the counterpart of the Delightful Beau ; she talks, she sings, she plays charmingly: she looks charmingly at a concert, but more charmingly in the dress of a Spanish Count at a masquerade. There is, however, occasionally, a mixture of gravity in these charming Belles; for a pensive and meditative air sometimes heightens the expression of a beautiful face. The principal wish of em is, to be thought, in every respect, charming creatures: at their devotions, or during their studies, they hope equally to charm; though it oftentimes happens that they fail to charm the heart, and to secure, what they are most anxious to obtain, an amiable and excellent gentleman for a partner through life.
5. The Smart Belle I would designate as a young lady always anxious for the reputation of being dressed in the very pink of fashion-so that she may be considered as a model for others, and, in consequence, a sort of standard of taste-about which philosophers have so ridiculously wrangled. These smart Belles, however, are not free from a portion of vanity and conceit; and if nature has been kind enough to form them in one of her choicest moulds, they take care to convince us of their sense of such a favour, by walking, sitting, or reclining in the most gracefully-studied attitudes. The foot is sure to project beyond the usual limits, under the Grecian-bordered flounce of a transparent gown; and the eye is constantly at work, like a wheel turning on its axis, to discover to what part of their dress the attention of the bystanders is directed. I question whether a young lady of this description
does not experience ten times more anxiety and more tification than does the most homely-featured Miss in his majesty's united kingdoms.
6. The Captivating Belle seems formed of quite ethereal matter. She neither talks, nor looks, nor conducts herself as an ordinary human being. She is far beyond the charming Belle, inasmuch as downright captivation exceeds á mere 'charm. She carries every thing by assault and storm—and while others are pursuing the usual quiet routine of courtship, she is deterinined to conquer her lover by a coup de main neither parleys nor delays are granted. Women of this description live in a constant state of flutter and alarm
<they are perpetually dreading a rival—some fresh constellation in the hemisphere of fashion, which is to shine with brighter rays, and to excite a more general admiration. Of domestic duties they entertain very limited and imperfect notions—they are born for a larger sphere of action, for a wider range among the follies and absurdities of the world. Their chief excellence consists in playing and singing--and in these departments they captivate beyond expression: but the worst of it is, mankind like to be captivated with qualifications a little more substantial for the remembrance of these die away almost as soon as the sounds which are produced.
7. The Accomplished Belle. It is difficult to do justice to this species of the fair sex,--for it comprehends a vást variety, and includes a very general description of young ladies. The word "accomplished" has, in regard to this subject, a very particular meaning: it is not solely confined to the improvements of the mind or the virtues of the heart—it has nó exclusive reference to domestic duties-to the needle, or the book-but comprehends rather those attainments which arise from dress, from playing, from singing, and from dancing. Thus, the daughter of a tradesman is as accomplished as the daughter of a noblèınan : and the sounds of the piano or the harp are as frequently heard to proceed from behind the shop, as froin the splendid drawing
room above. In regard to dress, we oftentimes see the former young lady as fashionably attired as the latterfor muslin is muslin, and rouge is rouge, apply them as you please. Money purchases accomplishments: it is a mistaken notion to imagine that intellectual pursuits or domestic virtues produce the accomplished Belle. The music-master, and the dancing-master, and the charming shops in Bond-street, with a little dash of confidence and colloquial fluency-these are the chief sources from which I would recommend all young ladies to make themselves accomplished.
8. The Aged Belle is immediately known by an affected air and studied spriglatliness of demeanour. She talks much more than either of the foregoing of her class, and puts on a greater superabundance of ornaments. Her cheeks glow with more colour, and her dress betrays a more liberal turn of thinking. A blooming miniature of a fancied lover supplies the place of a faded one of her father; and though it is with difficulty she can ascend her carriage steps, she never refuses a partner at a ball, because it is the fashion to slide down à dance. But follow her to her home, and see the fretful airs and indignant passions into which she is thrown-because some one more engaging has received greater attentions than herself. A faro-table, or some other ingenious gaming amusement, is resorted to as the most efficacious method of revenge for past vexations ; and if a young captain or country squire wins of her a few sovereigns, she retires to repose, vastly gratified.
Unfit for toil, unable to collect
pursue Weak, weary, wretched, at the sultry hour