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THOUGHTS ON THE WORDS “ TURN OUT.”
« We all, in our Turns, Turn Out."-Song:
TURN OUT!!! There are in the English language no two words which act so forcibly in exciting sympathy and compassion. There is in them a melancholy cadence, beautifully corresponding with the sadness of the idea which they express : they awaken in a moment the tenderest recollections, and the most anxious forebodings : there is in them a talismanic charm which influences alike all ages and all dispositions; the Church, the Bar, and the Senate, are all comprised in the range of its operation : indeed we believe that in no profession, in no rank of life, we shall find the man who can meditate, without an inward feeling of mental depression, on the simple, the unstudied, the unaffected Pathos of the words “ Turn Out.”
Is it not extraordinary, that when the idea is in itself so tragic, and gives birth to such sombre sensations, Melpomene should have altogether neglected the illustration of it? Is it not still more extraordinary that her sportive sister Thalia should have dared indecorously to jest with a subject so entirely unsuited to her pen? To take our meaning from its veil of metaphor, is it not extraordinary that Mr. Kenney should have written a farce on the words “ Turn Out?” We regard Mr. Kenney's farce as a sacrilege, a profanation, a burlesque of the best feelings of our nature; and in spite of the ingenuity of the writer, and the talents of the performers, humanity and its attendant prejudices revolt in disgust from the scene which endeavours to raise a laugh by a parody of so melancholy a topic. .
It is not difficult to account for the pensive feelings which are excited by these words : they recall forcibly to our mind the uncertainty of all human concerns ; they bid us think on the sad truth, that from power, from affluence, from happiness, we may be“ turned out” at a minute's warning ; they whisper to us that the lease of life is held on a precarious tenure, subject to the will of a Providence which we can neither control nor foresee; they oblige us to look forward to that undiscovered country, from whose dark limits we would fain avert our eyes; they convince us of the truth of the desponding expression of the Psalmist, “ Man is but a thing of nought, his time passeth away like a shadow.”
Are not these the reflections of every thinking mind? If they are not, we must entreat the indulgence of our readers for the melancholy pleasure we take in the discussion of the subject.
omily the poet or silentful exiscere friend tory tributes death
The words may indeed be more than ordinarily affecting to us, inasmuch as they remind us of a friend who in his life was " turned out” from every thing that life can bestow, but who in his death shall never be “ turned out” from that consolatory tribute to his Manes,—the recollection of a sincere friend. Poor Gilbert! the occurrences of his eventful existence would indeed furnish materials for the poet or the moralist, for a tragedy of five acts, or a homily of fifty heads. His father always prophesied he would turn out a great man; and yet the poor fellow did nothing but turn out, and never became a great man. At fourteen he turned out with a bargeman, and lost an eye ; at seventeen he was turned out from Eton, and lost King's; at three-and twenty he was turned out of his father's will, and lost a thousand a-year; at four-and-twenty he was turned out of a tandem, and lost the long odds ; at five-and-twenty he was turned out of a place, and lost all patience ; at six-and-twenty he was turned out of the affections of his mistress, and lost his last hope, at seven-andtwenty he was turned out of a gaming-house, where he lost his last farthing. Gilbert died about a year ago, after existing for some time in a miserable state of dependence upon a rich uncle. To the last he was fond of narrating to his friends the vicissitudes of his life, which he constantly concluded in the following manner_“So, gentlemen, I have been turning out during my whole life; you now see me on the brink of the grave, and I don't care how soon I turn in." ; · We had not heard from him for a considerable space of time, and were beginning to wonder at his protracted silence, when a friend who was studying the Morning Post apprized us of his decease by the following exclamation :" My God! old Gilbert's dead! here's a quaint turn out!”
Alas! how often does it happen that we are not aware of the value of the blessings we enjoy, until chance or destiny has taken them from us. This has been the case in our acquaintance with our lamented companion. How bitterly do we now regret that we did not, while his life was spared, make use of his inestimable experience to collect some instructions on the art of turning out, both in the active and the neuter signification of the words. For surely no two things are more difficult, than the giving or receiving of a dismissal. To go through the one with civility, and the other with firmness, is indeed a rare talent, which every man of the world should study to attain.
When we consider the various chances and vicissitudes which await the citizens of our little commonwealth in their progress through life; when we recollect that some of them will enter into political life, in order to be turned out of their places ; others will enjoy the titular distinction of M.P., that they may be turned out of their seats the next election; while others again, by an attachment to Chancery expedition, will endeavour to get turned out of their estates ;-it is surely worth while to bestow a little attention upon the most proper mode of behaving under these unfortunate circumstances... · Mr. Moöxton receives a turn out better thati aný political man of our acquaintance. It was of him that Sir Andrew Freeman, a Hertfordshire Independent, who, to do him justice, would be witty if he could, broached the celebrated remark :- He has turned out so often, that I should think he's turned wrong sidé out by this time.” Mr. Monxton is indeed a phenomenon in his way. The smile he wears on coming into office differs in no respect from that which he assumes on resigning all his employments. He departs from the enjoyment of place and power, not with the gravity of a disappointed minister, but with the self-satisfied air of a successful courtier. The tact, with which he conceals the inward vexation of spirit beneath an outward serenity of countenance, is to us a matter of astonishment. When we have heard him discussing his resignation with a simper on his face, and a jest on his lip, we have often fancied that Mr. Kemble would appear to us in the same light; were he to deliver Wolsey's soliloquy with the attitudes and the gestures of a harlequin in a pantomime, Juvenile politicians cannot propose to themselves, in this line of their profession, a better model than Mr. Monxton.
Nor is this art less worthy the attention of the fair sex. There are very few ladies who have the talent of dismissing a lover in proper" style. There are many who reject with so authoritative a demeanour, that they lose him, as an acquaintance, whom they only wish to cast off as a dangler; there are many again who study civility to such an extent, that we know not whether they reject or receive, and have no small difficulty in distinguishing their smile from their frown. The deep and sincere interest which we feel in all matters relating to the advantage or improvement of the fair sex, induces us to suggest that an Academy, or a Seminary, or an Establishment, should be forthwith instituted for the instruction of young ladies not exceeding thirty years of age, in the most approved method of saying “ Turn Out.” So far indeed has our zeal in this laudable undertaking carried us, that we have actually communicated our ideas upon the subject to a lady, who, to quote from her own advertisement, “ enjoys the advantages of an excellent education, an unblemished character, and an amiable disposition." We are happy to inform our friends and the publie in general, that Mrs. Simkins has promised to devote her attention to this branch of female education. By the end of next month she hopes to be quite competent to the instruction of pupils in every mode of expressing * Turn Out" the Distant Hint, the Silent Bow, the Positive Cut, the Courteous Repulsė, and the Absolute Rejection. We trust that due encouragement will be given to a scheme of such general utility :
In the mean time, until such Academy, or Šeminary, or Esta-, blishment shall be opened, we invite our fair readers to the study of an excellent model in the person of Caroline Mowbray. Caroline has now seven-and-twenty lovers, all of whom have successively been in favour, and have been successively turned out. Yet so skilfully has she modified her severity, that in most cases she has destroyed Hope without extinguishing Love: the victims of her caprice continue her slaves, and are proud of her hand in the dance, although they despair of obtaining it at the altar. The twenty-seventh name was added to the list of her admirers last week, and was (with the most heartfelt regret we state it), no less a personage than the Hon.Gerard Montgomery. Alas! unfortunate Gerard !
“Quantâ laboras in Charybdi,
'! Digne puer meliore flamma." He had entertained us for some time with accounts of the preference with which he was honoured by this miracle of obduracy, and at last, by dint of long and earnest entreaty, prevailed upon us to be ourselves witness to the power he had obtained over her affections. We set out therefore not without a considerable suspicion of the manner in which our expedition would terminate, and inwardly anticipated the jests which “ The King of Clubs"? would infallibly broach upon the subject of Gerard's “ Turn Out.”
Nothing occurred of any importance during our ride : Gerard talked much of Cupids, and Hymen; but inasmuch as we were not partakers of his passion, we could not reasonably be expected to partake of his inspiration.
Upon our arrival at Mowbray Lodge, we were shown into a room so crowded with company, that we almost fancied we had been ushered into the Earl's levee, instead of his daughter's drawing-room. The eye of a lover, however, was more keen. Gerard soon perceived the Goddess of the Shrine receiving the incense of adulation from a crowd of votaries. Amongst these he immediately enrolled himself, while we, apprehensive that our company might be troublesome to him, hung back, and became imperceptibly engaged in conversation with some gentlemen of our acquaintance. To speak the truth, on our way to “ the Lodge” these “ Thoughts on Turn Out” had been the subject of our re-, veries, and whatever expressions or opinions we heard around us, appeared to coincide with the cogitations with which we were occupied. We first became much interested in the laments of an
old gentleman who was bewailing the “ Turn Out” of a friend at the last election for the county of — Next we listened to an Episode from a Dandy, who was discussing the extraordinary coat “ turned out" by Mr. Michael Oakley at the last county ball. Finally we were engaged in a desperate argument with a Wiccamist, upon the comparative degree of talent “ turned out” from each of the public schools during the last ten years. Of course we proceeded to advocate the cause of our foster-mother, against the pretensions of our numerous and illustrious rivals. Alas! we felt our unworthiness to stand forward as Etona's Panegyrist, but we made up in enthusiasm what we wanted in ability. We ran over with volubility the names of those thrice-honoured models, whose deserved success is constantly the theme of applause, and the life-spring of emulation among their successors. We had just brought our catalogue down to the names of our more immediate forerunners, and were dwelling with much complacency on the abilities which have during the last few years so nobly supported the fair fame of Eton at the Universities, when our eye was caught by the countenance of our Hon. Friend, which, at this moment, wore an appearance of such unusual despondence, that we hastened immediately to investigate the cause. Upon inquiry, we learned that Montgomery was most romantically displeased, because Caroline had refused to sing an air of which he was passionately fond. We found we had just arrived in time for the finale of the dispute.' “ And so you can't sing this to oblige me?” said Gerard. Caroline looked refusal. “ I shall know better than to expect such a condescension again,” said Gerard, with a low sigh. “Tant mieux ?” said Caroline, with a low courtesy. The audience were unanimous in an unfeeling laugh, in the midst of which Gerard made a precipitate retreat, or as O'Connor expresses it, "ran away like mad,” and we followed him as well as we could, though certainly not “ passibus æquis." As we moved to the door we could hear sundry criticisms on the scene. "" Articles of ejectment!” said a limb of the law. " The favourite distanced !” cried a Newmarket Squire, “ I did not think the breach practicable !” observed a gentleman in regimentals. We overtook the unfortunate object of all these comments about a hundred yards from the house. His woe-begone countenance might well have stopped our malicious disposition to jocularity; nevertheless we could not refrain from whispering in his ear—" Gerard ! a decided Turn out !” “I beg your pardon," said the poor fellow, mingling a smile for his pun with a tear for bis disappointment, “ I beg your pardon ;-I consider it a decided take in."
. . F.W.
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