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YES AND NO.
“ We came into the world like brother and brother,
And now let's go hand in hand, not one before another."-SHAKSPEARE.
MR. LOZELL'S TREATISE ON THE ART MR. OAKLEY'S TREATISE ON THE ART OF SAYING “ Yes.”
OF SAYING “NO."
“ He humbly answered “Yea! Bob."” “My son--learn betimes to say No." ANON.
Miss EDGEWORTH. OUR opinion is very much Our opinion is not a jot weakstrengthened by the relief that ened by the probability that many many of our friends will assent to of our friends will dissent from it, it, when we assert that no art when we assert that no art rerequires in a greater degree the quires in a greater degree the attention of a young man on his attention of a young man, on his entrance into life than that of say- entrance into life, than that of ing “ Yes.” A man who deigns not saying 66 No.” A man who is to use this little word is a bull-dog afraid to use this little word is a in society ; he studies his own gra- spaniel in society; he studies to tification rather than that of his please others, rather than to befriends, and of course accom- nefit himself, and of course fails plishes neither : in short, he de- in both objects : in short, he deserves not to be called a civilized serves not to be called a man, and being, and is totally unworthy of is totally unworthy of the place the place which he holds in the which he holds in the creation. creation.
Is not it right to believe the pos- Is he a rational being who has sible fallacy of one's own opinion? not an opinion of his own?-No.
-Yes. Is not it proper to have Is he in the possession of his five a due consideration for the opinion senses who sees with the eyes, of others ?-Yes! Is not it truly who hears with the ears of other praiseworthy to sacrifice our con- men ?-No! Does he act upon viction, our argument, our obsti- principle who sacrifices truth, honacy, upon the shrine of polite- nour, and independence, on the ness ?--Again and again we an- shrine of servility ?-Again and swer-Yes ! yes ! yes!
again we reply-No! no ! no! Nothing indeed is to us more Nothing indeed is to us more gratifying, than to behold a man gratifying, than to behold a man modestly diffident of the powers relying boldly on the powers which which nature has bestowed upon nature has bestowed upon him, him, and assenting, with a proper and spurning, with a proper consense of his own fallibility, to the sciousness of independence, the opinions of those who kindly en- suggestions of those who would deavour to remedy his faults, or to reduce him from the rank he holds supply his deficiencies. Nothing as a reasonable creature, to the is to us more gratifying than to level of a courtier and a timehear from the lips of such a man server. Nothing is to us more that true test of a complying dis- gratifying than to hear fr the position—that sure prevention of lips of such a man that decided all animosity – that immediate stop test of a free spirit—that finisher to all quarrels—that sweet, civil, to all dispute-that knock-down complacent, inoffensive mono- blow in all arguments that strong, syllable-Yes !
forcible, expressive, incontrover
tible monosyllable-No! Yet, alas! how many do we Yet, alas ! how many do we find who, from an affectation of find who are either unable or unsingularity, or a foolish love of willing to pronounce this most argument, do as it were expunge useful, most necessary response! this admirable expression from How many do we see around us, their vocabularies. How many do who are in the daily habit of prowe see around us, who are in the fessing to know things of which daily habit of losing the most ad. they are altogether ignorant, of vantageous offers, of quarrelling making promises which it is imwith strangers, and of offending possible for them to perform, of their best friends, solely because saying to use for once a soft exthey obstinately refuse to call to pression) the thing which is not, their assistance the infallible re- solely because they will not call to medy for all these evils, which is their assistance the infallible re to be found in the three letters medy for all these evils, which is upon which we are offering a brief to be found in the two letters upon comment.
which we are offering a brief com
ment. We are sure we are only chim- It is dreadful to reflect upon ing in with the opinion of other the evils which this neglect must people, when we lament the mani- infallibly produce. It is dreadful fold and appalling evils which are to look round upon the friends the sure consequences of this dis- and relatives whom we see sufferinclination to affirmatives. To us ing the most appalling calamities it is really melancholy to look from no other misconduct than a upon the disposition to contradic- | blind aversion to negatives. It is tion by which some of our friends disgusting to observe the flexible are characterized, to observe the indecision of some, the cringing manifest pride of some, the un- servility of others. Forgive us, reasonable pertinacity of others. reader, but we cannot help soliloOf a surety, if we are doomed at quizing-God save the King of any future season to put on the Clubs, and may the Princes of the yoke of wedlock, Mrs. L., and all Blood Royal be early instructed in the Masters and Misses L. shall the art of saying “ No." be early instructed in the art of saying “ Yes.”
Look into the pages of history ! Look into the pages of history! - You will find there innumerable - You will find there innumerable examples in support of our opi- | examples in support of our opinion. When the Greeks begged nion. Pompey was importuned Achilles to pocket his affronts and to give battle to Cæsar ;-he commake an end of Hector, he refused. plied. Poor devil !-he would Very well, we have no doubt he never have been licked at Phardid all for the best; but we are salia if he had learned from us the
morally sure that Patroclus would art of saying “ No.” Look at the not have been slain, if Achilles had conduct of his 'rival and conknown how to say “ Yes.” We queror, Cæsar! You remember the all know how he cried about it words of Casca," I saw Mark when it was too late. To draw Antony offer him a crowọ, and he another illustration from the same put it by once; but for all that, epoch, how disastrous was the ig- to my thinking, he would fain have norance which Priam displayed of had it!” Now this placid 6 putthis art, when a treaty was on foot ting by” was not the thing for the for the restoration of Helen. No- Romans : we are confident Julius thing was easier than to finish all Cæsar would never have died by disputes, to step out of all diffi- cold steel in the Senate, if he had culties, by one civil, obliging, 1 given them a good decisive insupergentlemanly 66 Yes.” But he re- able " No!" Whatever epoch fused—and Troy was burned. we examine, we find the same reWhat glorious results would a con- luctance to say “No” to the allure. trary conduct have produced! It ments of Pleasure and the mandates would have prevented a peck of of Ambition, and alas! we find it troubles both to the Greeks and productive of the same consethe Etonians. It would have saved quences. Juvenal tells us of an the Ancients ten years, and the unfortunate young man, one Caius Moderns twelve - books, of blood- Silius, who was unlucky enough to shed. It is almost unnecessary to be smiled upon by the Empress allude to the imprudent, the luck- Messalina. The poor boy knew less Hippolytus; he never would the danger heran-he saw the death have been murdered by a marine which awaited him; but an Empress monster, if he could but have said sued, and he had not the heart to “ Yes:" but the word stuck in say 66 No!” He lost his heart first, his throat, and he certainly paid and his head shortly afterwards. rather dear for his ignorance. - 66 Yes,” cries a critic, “ I agree « Dam'me,” says a blood, “ all with all this, but it's all so old.” that happened a hundred years We assent to your opinion, my ago."-An Etonian bas occasion. good friend, and will endeavour ally great difficulty in carrying his to benefit by your suggestion. ideas a hundred years back. Come then we will look for illus- Well then—we will go exampletrations among the characters of hunting nearer home. our own age.
There's Lord Duretete the misan- There's Sir Philip Plausible, the thrope. He has a tolerable fortune, Parliament man. He can make a tolerable talents, and tolerable speech of nine hours, and a calcuperson. He plays a tolerable ac-lation of nine pages : nobody is a companiment on the flute, and a better hand at getting up a matolerable hand at whist. Yet, with jority, or palavering a refractory all these tolerable qualifications, he oppositionist; he proffers an arguis considered a most intolerable ment and a bribe with equal dexman. What is the reason of this terity, and converts by place and seemingly anomalous circumstance? | pension, when he is unable to conThe reason is obvious---His Lord-vince by alliteration and antithesis. ship can't say 66 Yes.” This abo- l What a pity itis he can't say "No!”
minable ignorance of our favourite “ Sir Philip,” says an envoy, art interferes in the most trivial" you'll remember my little busiincidents of life; it renders himness at the Foreign Office!”alike miserable and disagreeable. “ Depend upon my friendship,” 66 Will your Lordship allow me says the Minister. “ Sir Philip!" to prefix your name to a dedi- says a fat citizen, with two votes cation ? ” says Bill Attic the sa. and two dozen children, " you will tirist. " I must go mad first,” remember Billy's place in the Cassays his Lordship.“ Duretete! toms !”_" Rely on my promise!" lend me a couple of hundreds ! ” says the Minister. « Sir Philip!” says Sir Harry. “ Can't, ’pon ho- says a lady of rank, “ Ensign Roenour!” says his Lordship. “ You buck is an officer most deserving dear creature ! you'll open my ball promotion !” “ He shall be a this evening!" says Lady Germain. colonel!-I swear by Venus !”
I'll be damned if I do!” says says the Minister. " Exitus ergo his Lordship. See the catastrophe. quis est.? " He has outraged his Bill Attic lampoons him — Sir friendship--he has forgotten bis Harry spits in his face, and Lady promise-he has falsified his oath.Germain votes him a bore. How Had he ever an idea of performunlucky that he cannot say ing what he spoke ? Quite the 66 Yes! "
reverse! How unlucky that he cannot say “ No!”
Look at young Eustace, the man Look at Bob Lily! There lives of honour!-He came up to town no finer poet! Epic, elegiac, salast year with a good dress, a good tiric, Pindaric, it is all one to address, and letters of introduce him!” He is patronised by all the tion to half a dozen great men. first people in town. Every body He made his bow to each of them, compliments him, every body asks spent a week with each of them, him to dinner. Nay! there are a offended each of them, and is now few who read him. He excels starving in a garret upon inde- alike in tragedy and farce, pendence and cold mutton. What and is without a rival in amis the meaning of all this? Eustace phibious dramas, which may never learped how to say “ Yes!”— be called either the one or the “ Virtus post nummos! Eh! young other ; but he is a sad bungler in man?" says old Discount the negatives. « Mr, Lily,” says the usurer. “ I can't say I think so," Duchess, his patroness, you will says Eustace..66 Here! Eustace, be sure to bring that dear epiboy,” says Lord Fanny, 66 read thalamium to my conversazione over these scenes, and let me have this evening!” There is no deyour opinion ! fit for the boards, I nying your Grace,” says the poet. think! Eh ?” “ You'll excuse me " I say, Lily," says the Duke, his if I don't think they are,” says patron, 66 you will dine with us at Eustace. 6 Well! my young seven ?'" “ Your Grace does me friend,” cries Mr.Pliant, " we must honour,” says the poet. 6 Bob!” have you in Parliament I suppose ; says the young Marquis, 66 you make an orator of you! You're are for Brookes's to-night?” on the right side I hope ?” “I" Dam'me! to be sure," says the should vote with my conscience, poet. Mark the result. He is gone
Sir," says Eustace, See the finale. 1 to eat tripe with his tyrannical Eustace is enlisted for life in the bookseller he has disappointed Grub-Street Corps, where he his patroness-he bas offended his learns by sad experience how dan. patron-he has cut the Club! gerous it is to say “ No” to the How unlucky that he cannot say avarice of an asurar, the vanity of “ No.” a rhymer, or the party-spirit of a politician. How unlucky that he cannot say « Yes.”
Godfrey is a lover, and he has Ned Shuttle was a dashing every qualification for the office young fellow, who, to use his own except ope. He cannot say “ Yes." expression, was “ above denying Nobody, without this talent, a thing ;"-in plainer terms, he should presume to be in love, | could not say “ No." (Şir!” says « Mr. Godfrey,” says Chloe, | an enraged Tory, “ you are the « don't you think this feather author of this pamphlet !” Jack pretty?" 66 Absurd !” says God, never saw the work, but he was frey. « Mr. Godfrey !” says the « above denying a thing," and lady,“ don't you think this peck was horsewhipped for a libeller. lace becoming?” “Never saw « Sir ! ” says an unfortunate piany thing less so !” says Godfrey, geon, " you hid the king in your “Mr. Godfrey,” says the coquette, sleeve last night!” Jack never saw “ don't you think I'm divine to- the pigeon before, but he was night?” 6 You never looked “ above denying a thing," and worse, by Jove!” says the gentle was cut for a blackleg. 66 Sir!” man. Godfrey is a man of fashion, says a hot Hibernian, « you in, a map of fortune, and a man of sulted my sister in the Park !” talent, but he will die a bachelor. Jack never saw the lady or her What a pity! We can never look champion before, but he was on such a man without a smile for above denying a thing," and his caprice, and a tear for its con- was shot through the head the sequences. How unlucky that he next morning. Poor fellow ! How cannot say 6 Yes.”
| unlucky that he could not say
66 No.' In the position we are next go- In the position we are next ing to advance we. know every going to advance we know every body will agree with us; and this body will differ from us ; but this consideration very much strength- only strengthens our opinion. Noens our opinion. Nothing is so thing is so becoming to a female becoming to a female mouth as a mouth as the power,-ay, and the civil and flattering “ Yes.” It is im- inclination, to say “ No!” So possible, indeed, but that our fel- firmly indeed are we attached to low-citizens should here agree with this doctrine, that we never will us, when they reflect that they ne- marry a woman who cannot say ver can be husbands until their in- “No.” For the most part, indeed, amorata shall have learnt the art of the sex are pretty tolerably actusaying “ Yes." For the most part, ated by what the world calls a indeed, civility and good-nature spirit of contradiction, but what are the characteristics of our Bri. we should rather designate as a tish fair; and this patural inclina. I spirit of independence. This na