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sweetness of her father, that her countenance, though mournful, was highly pleasing. The maids and shepherds of the neighbouring plains gathered round, and called her Pity. A red-breast was observed to build in the cabin where she was born; and while she was yet an infant, a dove pursued by a hawk flew into her bosom. This nymph had a dejected appearance, but so soft and gentle a mien, that Ihe was beloved to a degree, of enthusiasm. Her voice was low and plaintive, but inexpressibly sweet: and (he loved to lie for hours together on the banks of some wild and melancholy stream, singing to her lute. She taught men to weep, for she took a strange delight in tears; and often, when the virgins of the hamlet were assembled at their evening sports, Ihe would steal in amongst them, and captivate their hearts by her tales, full of a charming sadness. She wore on her head a garland composed of her father's myrtles twisted with her mother's cypress.
One day, as soc fat musing by the waters of Helicon, her tears by chance fell into the fountain; and ever since the Muses' spring has retained a strong taste of the infusion. Pity was commanded by Jupiter to follow the steps of her mother through the world, dropping balm into the wounds flie made, and binding up the hearts she had broken. She follows with her hair loose, her bosom bare and throbbing, her arments torn by the briars, and her feet leeding with the roughness of the path. The nymph is mortal, for her mother is so; and when she has fulfilled her destined course upon the earth, they mall both expire together, and Love be again united to Joy, his immortal and long-betrothed bride. Aikin's Mi/cell.
5 14. Scene between Colonel Rivers and Sir Harry; in vibich the Colonel, from Principles of Honour, refuses to gi<ve bis Daughter to Sir Harry. Sir Har. Colonel, your most obedient: I am come upon the old business; for, unless I am allowed to entertain hopes of Miss Rivers, I shall be the most miserable of all human beings,
Riv. Sir Hasry, I have already told you by letter, and I now tell you personally, I cannot listen to your proposals. Sir Har. No, Sir!
Riv. No, Sir: I have promised my daughter to Mr. Sidney. Do you know that, Sir I
Sir Har. I do: but what then? Engagements of this kind, you know
Riv. So then, you do know I have promised her to Mr. Sidney?
Sir Har. I do—but I also know that matters are not finally settled between Mr. Sidney and you; and 1 moreover know, that his fortune is by no means equal to mine; therefore
Riv. Sir Harry, let me afle you one question before you make your consequence.
Sir Hat: A thousand, if you please. Sir.
Riv. Why then, Sir, let me asle you, what you have ever observed in me, or my conduct, that you desire me so familiarly to break my word i I thought, Sir, you considered me as a man of honour i
Sir Har. And so I do, Sir—a man of the nicest honour.
Riv. And yet, Sir, you a(k me to violate the sanctity of my word; and tell me directly, that it is my interest to be a rascal!
Sir Har. I really don't understand you. Colonel: I thought, when I was talking to you, I was talking to a man who knew the world; and as you have not yet signed
Riv. Why, this is mending matters with a witness! And so you think, because I am not legally bound, I am under no necessity of keeping my word! Sir Harry, laws were never made for men of honour: they want no bond but the rectitude of their own sentiments: and laws are of no use but to bind the villains of society.
Sir Har. Well! but my dear Colonel, if you have no regard for me, mew some little regard for your daughter.
Riv. I (hew the greatest regard for my daughter, by giving her to a man of honour; and I must not be insulted with any farther repetition of your proposals.
Sir Har. Insult you, Colonel! Is the offer of my alliance an insult! Is my readiness to make what settlements you think proper
Riv. Sir Harry, I mould consider the offer of a kingdom an insult, if it were to be purchased by the violation of my word. Besides, though my daughter shall never go a beggar to the arms of her husoand, I would rather fee her happy than rich; and . if she has enough to provide handsomely for a young family, and something to spare for the exigencies of a worthy friend, I (hall
think her as affluent as if she were mistress of Mexico.
Sir Har. Well, Colonel, I have done; but I believe
Riv. Well, Sir Harry, and as our conference is done, we will, if you please, retire to the ladies. I shall be always glad of your acquaintance, though I cannot receive you as a son-in-law; for a union of interest I look upon as a union of dishonour, and consider a marriage for money at best but a legal prostitution.
§ 15. On Dignity of Manners. There is a certain dignity of manners absolutely necessary, to make even the most valuable character either respected or respectable.
Horse-play, romping, frequent and loud fits of laughter, jokes, waggery, and indiscriminate familiarity, will sink both merit and knowledge into a degree of contempt. They compose at most a merry fellow; and a merry fellow was never yet a respectable man. Indiscriminate familiarity either offends your superiors, or else dubs you their dependent and led captain. It gives your inferiors just, but troublesome and improper claims of equality. A joker is near akin to a buffoon, and neither of them is the least related to wit. Whoever is admitted or sought for, in company, upon any other account than that os his merit and manners, is never respected there, but only made use of. We will have such a-one, for he sings prettily; we will invite such-a-one to a ball, for he dances well; we will have such-a-one at supper, for he is always joking and laughing; we will ask another, because he plays deep at all games, or because he can drink a great deal. These are all vilifying distinctions, mortifying preferences, and exclude all ideas of esteem and regard. Whoever is bad (as it is called) in company, for the fake of any one thing singly, is singly that thing, and will never be considered in any other light; consequently never respected, let his merits be what they may.
This dignity of manners, which I recommend so much to you, is not only as different from pride, as true courage is from blustering, or true wit from joking, but is absolutely inconsistent with it; for nothing vilifies and degrades more than pride. The pretensions of the proud man ate oftener treated with sheer and contempt, than with indignation; as we offer
ridiculously too little to a tradesman, who asks ridiculously too much for his goods; but we do not haggle with one who only asks a just and reasonable price.
Abject flattery and indiscriminate assentation degrade, as much as indiscriminate contradiction and noisy debate disgust. But a modest assertion os one's own opinion, and a complaisant acquiescence in other people's, preserve dignity.
Vulgar, low expressions, aukward motions and address, vilify, as they imply either a very low turn of mind, or low education, and low company.
Frivolous curiosity about trifles, and a laborious attention to little objects, which neither require nor deserve a moment's thought, lower a man; who from thence is thought (and not unjustly) incapable of greater matters. Cardinal de Rætz, very sagaciously, marked out Cardinal Chi i for a little mind, from the moment he told him he had wrote three years with the fame pen, and that it was an excellent good one still.
A certain degree of exterior seriousness in looks and motions gives dignity, without excluding wit and decent cheerfulness, which are always serious themselves. A constant smirk upon the face, and a whiffling activity of the body, are strong indications of futility. Whoever is in a hurry, shews that the thing he is about is too big for him—haste and hurry are very different things.
I have only mentioned some of those things which may, and do, in the opinion of the world, lower and sink characters, in other respects valuable enough; but T have taken no notice of those that affect and sink the moral characters: they are sufficiently obvious. A man who has patiently been kicked, may as well pretend to courage, as a man blasted by vices and crimes, to dignity of any kind. But an exterior decency and dignity of manners, will even keep such a man longer from sinking, than otherwise he would be: of such consequence is the To isftitov, or decorum, even though affected and put on. Lord Chesterfield.
§ 16. On Vulgarity. A vulgar, ordinary way of thinking, acting, or speaking, implies alow education, and a habit of low company. Young people contract it at school, or among servants, with whom they are too often used to converse; but, after they frequent good company, they must want attention and observa
tion very much, if thry do not lay it quite aside; and, indeed, if they do not, good company will be very apt to lay them afide. The various kinds of vulgarisms are infinite; I cannot pretend to point them out to you; but I will give some samples, by which you may gueiV at the rest.
A vulgar man is captious and jealous; eager and impetuous about trifles: he suspects himself to be (lighted; thinks every thing that is said is meant at him; if the company happens to laugh, he is persuaded they laugh at him; he grows angry and testy, fays something very impertinent, and draws himself into a scrape, by shewing what he calls a proper spirit, and asserting himself. A man of salhion does not suppose himself to be cither the sole or principal object of the thoughts, looks, or words of the company; and never suspects that he is either slighted or laughed at, unless he is conscious that he deserves it. And if (which very seldom happens) tiie company is absurd or ill bred enough to do either, he does not care two-pence, unless the insult be so gross and plain as to require satisfaction ot another kind. As he is above trifles, he is never vehement and eager about them; and wherever they are concerned, rather acquiesces than wrangles. A vulgar man's conversation always savours strongly of the lowness of his education and company: it turns chiefly upon his domestic affairs, his servants, trie excellent order he keeps in his own family, and the little aneedetes of the neighbourhood; all which he relates with emphasis, as interesting matters.—He is a man-goGiD.
Vulgarism in language is the next, and distinguilhing characteristic of bad company, and a bad education. A man of ♦alhion avoids nothing with more care than this. Proverbial expressions and trite sayings are the flowers of the rhetoric of a vulgar man. Wouldhe fay, that men differ in their tastes; he both supports and adorns that opinion, by the good old saying as he respectfully calls it, that " what "is one man's meat is another man's "poison." If any body attempts- being smart, as he call it, upon him; he gives them tit for tat,, ay, that he does. He has always some favourite .word for the time being; which, for the fake of using often, he commonly abuses. Such as, •vastly angry, vastly kind, vastly handsome, and vastly ugly. Even his pronunciation •f proper words carries the mark of the
beast along with it. He calls the earth yearth; he is obleiged, not obliged to you. He goes to -wards, and not to<ivardi such a place. He sometimes affects hard words, by way of ornament, which he always mangles. A man of fashion never has recourse to proverbs and vulgar aphorisms; uses neither favourite words nor hard words; but takes great care to speak very correctly and grammatically, and to pronounce properly; that is, according to the usage of the best companies.
An awkward address, ungraceful attitudes and actions, and a certain left-handedness (if I may use that word) loudly proclaim low education and low company; for it is impossible to suppose, that a man can have frequented good company, without having catched something, at least, of their air and motions. A new-raised man is distinguished in a regiment by his awkwardness; but he must be impenetrably dull, if, in a month or two's time, he cannot perform at least the common manual exercise, and look like a soldier. The very accoutrements of a man of fashion are grievous incumbrances to a vulgar man. He is at a loss what to do with his hat, when it is not upon his head: his cane (if unfortunately he wears one) is at perpetual war with every cup of tea or coffee he drinks; destroys them first, and then accompanies them in their fall. His sword is formidable only to his own legs, which would possibly carry him fast enough cut of the way of any sword but his own. His cloaths fit him so ill, and constrain him so much, that he seems rather their prisoner than their proprietor. He presents himself in company like a criminal in a court of justice; his very air condemns him; and people of fashion will no more connect themselves with the one, than people of character will with the other. This repulse drives and sinks him into low company; a gulph from whence no man, after a certain age, ever emerged.
^17. On Good-breeding. A friend of yours and mine has very justly defined good-breeding to be, " the result of much good sense, some goodnature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others, and with a view to obtain the fame indulgence from them." Taking this for granted (as I think it cannot be disputed) it is astonishing to me, that any body, who has good fense and good-nature, tare, can essentially fail in good-breeding. As to the modes of it, indeed, they vary according to persons, places, and circumstances; and are only to be acquired by observation and experience; but the substance of it is every where and eternally the fame. Good manners are, to particular societies, what good morals are to society in general, their cement and their security. And as laws are enacted to enforce good morals, or at least to prevent the ill effects of bad ones; so there are certain rules of civility, universally implied and received, to enforce good manners, and punish bad ones. And, indeed, there seems to me to be less difference both between the crimes and punishments, than at first one would imagine. The immoral man, who invades another's property, is justly hanged for it; and the ill-bred man who, by his ill-manners, invades and disturbs the quiet and comforts of private life, is by common consent as justly banished society. Mutual complaisances, attentions, and sacrifices of little conveniences, are as natural an implied compact between civilized people, as protection and obedience are between kin;s and subjects; whoever, in either cafe, violates tliat compact, justly forfeits all advantages arising from it. For my own part, I really think, that, next to the consciousness of doing a good action, that of doing a civil one is the most pleasing; and the epithet which I should covet the most, next to that of Aristides, would be that of well-bred. Thus much for good-breeding in general; I will now consider some of the various modes and degrees of it.
Very few, scarcely any, are wanting in the respect which they should shew to those whom they acknowledge to be infinitely their superiors; such as crowned heads, princes, and public persons of distinguished and eminent posts. It is the manner of sliewing that respect which is different. The man of fasiiion, and of the world, expresses it in its fullest extent; but naturally, easily, and without concern: whereas a man, who is not used to keep good company, expresses it awkwardly; one fees that he is not used to it, and that it coils him a great deal: but I never saw the worst-bred man living guilty of lolling, whistling, scratching his head, and suchlike indecencies, in companies that he respected. In such companies, therefore, the only point to be attended to is, to shew that respect which every body means
to shew, in an easy, unembarrassed, amf graceful manner. This is what observation and experience must teach you.
In mixed companies, whoever is admitted to make part of them, is, for the time at least, supposed to be upon a footing of equality with the rest; and, consequently, as there is no one principal object of awe and respect, people are apt to take a greater latitude in their behaviour, and to be less upon their guard; and so they may, provided it be within certain bounds, which are upon no occasion to be transgressed. But, upon these occasions, though no one is entitled to distinguished marks of respect, every one claims, and very justly, every mark of civility and good breeding. Ease is allowed, but carelessness and negligence are strictly forbidden. If a man accosts you, and talks to you ever so dully or frivolously; it is worse than rudeness, it is brutality, to (hew him, by a manifest inattention to what he fays, that you think him a fool or a blockhead, and not worth hearing. It is much more so with regard to women; who, of whatever rank they are, are entitled, in consideration of their sex, not only to an attentive, but an officious good-breeding from men. Their little wants, likings, dislikes, preferences, antipathies, and fancies, must be officiously attended to, and, if possible, guessed at and anticipated, by a well-bred man. You must never usurp to yourself those conveniences and gratifications which are of common right; such as the best places, the best dishes, &c. but, on the contrary, always decline them yourself, and offer them to others; who, in their turns, will offer them to you: so that upon the whole, you will, in your turn, enjoy your share of the common right. It would be endless fci me to enumeiate all the particular instances in which a well-bred man shews his good-breeding in good company; and it would be injurious to you to suppose, that your own good sense will not point them out to you; and then your own good-nature will recommend, and your lelf interest enforce the practice.
There is a third sort of good-breeding, in which people are the most apt to fail, from a very mistaken notion that they cannot fail at all. I mean, with regard to one's most familiar friends and acquaintances, or those who really are our inferiors; and there, undoubtedly, a greater degree of ease is not only allowed, but proper, and contributes much to the comforts of a private, social life. But ease and freedom have their bounds, which mull by no means be violated. A certain degree of negligence and carelessness becomes injurious and insulting, from the real or supposed inferiority of the persons; and that delightful liberty of conversation among a few friends, is soon destroyed, as liberty often has been, by being carried to licentiousness. But example explains things best, and I will put a pretty strong cafe: —Suppose you and me alone together; I believe you will allow that 1 have as good a right to unlimited freedom in your sompany, as either you or I can possibly have in any other; and 1 am apt to believe too, that you would indulge me in that freedom, as far as any body would. But, notwithstanding this, do you imagine that I should think there was no bounds to that freedom? 1 assure you, 1 should not think so; and I take myself to be as much tied down by a certain degree of good manners to you, as by other degrees of them to other people. The most familiar and intimate habitudes, connections, and friendships, require a degree of good-breeding, both to preserve and cement them. The best of us have our bad fides; and it is as imprudent as it is illbred, to exhibit them. I shall not use ceremony with you; it would be misplaced between us: but I mall certainly observe that degree of good-breeding with you, which is, in the first place, decent, and which, I am sure, is absolutely necessary to make us like one another's company long. Lord Chesterfield.
4 18. A Dialogue betivixt Mercury, an Englijb Duelli/l, and a North-American Savage.
Duellist. Mercury, Charon's boat is on the other side of the water; allow me, before it returns, to have some conversation with the North-American Savage, whom you brought hither at the same time as you conducted me to the shades. I never saw one of that species before, and am curious to know what the animal 15. He looks very grim.—Pray, Sir, what 15 your name? I understand you speak English.
Savage. Yes, I learned it in my childhood, having been bred up for some years in the town of New-York: but before I was a man I returned to my countrymen, the valiant Mohawk?; and being cheated
by one of yours in the sale of some rum, 1 never cared to have any thing to do with them afterwards. Vet 1 took up the hatchet for them with the rest of my tribe in the war against France, and was killed while I was out upon a scalping party. But I died very well satisfied: for my friends were victorious, and before I wa4 stiot I had scalped seven men and five women and children. In a former war 1 had done still greater exploits. My name is The Bloody Bear: it was given to me to express my fierceness and valour.
Duellist. Bloody Bear, I respect you, and am much vour humble servant. My name is Tom Fushwell, very well known at Arthur's. I am a gentleman by my birth, and by profession a gamester, and man of honour. I have killed men in fair righting, in honourable single combat, but do not understand cutting the throats of women and children.
Savage. Sir, that's our way of making . war. Every nation has its own customs. But by the grimness of your countenance, and that hole in your breast, 1 presume you were killed, as 1 was myself, in some scalping party. How happened it that your enemy did not take off your scalp?
Duellist. Sir, I was killed in a due!, A friend of mine had lent me some money; after two or three years, being in great want himself, he asked me to pay him; I thought his demand an affront ta my honour, and sent him a challenge. We met in Hyde-Park; the fellow could not fence: I was the adroitest swordsman in England. I gave him three or sour wounds; but at last he ran upon me with such impetuosity, that he put me out of roy play, and I could not prevent him from whipping me through the lungs. 1 died the next day, as a man of honour should, without any snivelling signs of repentance: and he will follow me soon, for his surgeon has declared his wound to be mortal. It is said that his wife is dead of her fright, and that his family of seven children will be undone by his death. So I am well revenged; and that is a comfort. For my part, I had no wife.— [ always hated marriage: my whore will take good care of herself, and my children are provided for at the Foundling Hospital.
Savage. Mercury, I won't go in a boat with that fellow. He has murdered his countryman; he has murdered his friend. I fay, I won't go in a boat with that fellow,