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an openness of manner rather than a candour of sentiment. A man of the world, of polished attainments and practised habits, is often only artificially frank. He speaks freely upon many subjects, and discusses the merits of various persons, but they are topics which involve no principle,—they have no effect in disclosing “the inward man,” they are the materials only of small-talk which float lightly upon the surface of general society.
The really frank are not numerous. Perhaps the world will not permit their growth, and is unfavourable to their cultivation. The frank, indeed, however morally estimable, are as apt to give offence as to please. “The truth is not to be spoken at all times.” The shaft
, though not personally aimed, may put many in personal fear.' Though the cap was not in : tended to fit, yet it may chance to adapt itself to an irritable head. We have no objection, indeed, to a frank admission of our merits; but beware of the free hand of correction! Its touches, however delicate, are not always acceptable! The sentiment of sincerity, thus restrained, soon ceases to act, and all that remains is mere manner, which, though agreeable, because graceful, or vivacious, is of little moral importance.
Reserved manners owe their origin, in general, to natural constitution. The instances of the contrary are not frequent. They form the exception to the rule; and consist, chiefly, of those who have been long excluded from society, and have entered it both late and disadvantageously, or of those who have passed the spring-time of life under severe and arbitrary restraint. In both instances, the natural thoughts and feelings have been so long in subjection, that the habit imposed has grown, from necessity, into a second nature, and the effect remains even after the cause has been removed. Thus à being, fitted originally, perhaps, for the delightful interchange of the most friendly confidence, has become contracted into a taciturn, an unsocial, and often a morose character. The wellsprings of sympathy have been poisoned at their source.
Those who are remarkable for a natural reserve of manners, probably owe the peculiarity to physical temperament. They are of the class of individuals who reflect within themselves rather than think aloud” to others.
They are good listeners rather than talkers, and think more than they speak. According to the order of their intellect, they may muse or contemplate, indulge in thought or reverie, in speculation or in dreaming. The truth is, they are deficient in animal life. They are not impelled by an exuberance of spirit to put thought into action, or live over the scenes of their imagination. They have their day, as well as their night dreams, are absorbed in the intensity of their inward feelings, and the abstraction of their intellectual conceptions. Let them
be neither censured for their silence, nor praised for their gravity. It is of their nature; they act “in their vocation;" and, though they are less foolish, are not wiser than other people; though less joyous, they are not more miserable than their noisy competitors.
Diffidence of manners frequently arises from a too keen sense of propriety, from a desire to shew a perfect conformity, and to display a perfect acquaintance, with all the requirements of the occasion. These frequently consist of nice elegancies of manner, of prescribed ceremonies, and local forms and habits. The importance of the matter depends more on the manner in which it is done than on its intrinsic qualities. The merit consists in the adoption of observances, which derive their value solely from the style in which they are performed. A bow or a compliment should not be attempted unless it can be done well. To succeed is an agreeable thing; to fail, or "come tardy off,” amounts to a greater misfortune than at first we should be inclined to allow.
Diffidence, both of feeling and manner, arises also, in some instances, from an humble appreciation of self, (perhaps not a very frequent offence !) and an exalted conception of mankind, their affairs, and opinions. It is a mixture of vanity (not of pride, as some have supposed, ) and humiliation. It desires to be admired, and is abashed that it cannot obtain immediate distinction. It is an error in judgment. The things about which so many are anxious, when properly estimated, and viewed in relation to the real duties and interests of a rational being, are generally insignificant. Why should plain sense and honest intention cower down in any mortal presence ? The world, indeed, looks big; but its magnitude is in the numbers, not in the stature, of its individuals; in its mass, and not in the excellence of its elements.
Sometimes a real feeling of diffidence is attempted to be hidden under the veil of a confident manner. This has always a ludicrous air in the eye of the discriminating observer. It is, as it were, the young beginning, the infancy, of impudence. It assumes a loud tone to hide its tremor, and struts to avoid an air of weakness and embarrassment.
Unaffected diffidence, on the other hand, is always interesting, unless to the view of the callous and unfeeling. It is one of the most delicate offices of the perfect gentleman to relieve these sensations without appearing to perceive them. man of high moral feeling will, of course, be ever inclined to do it, but he may not possess the nice tact to effect the object; and may, instead of diminishing, increase the pain.
CONFIDENCE of manner is of various kinds, and arises out of different states of feeling and intellect. There can be no reason why the highest order of intellect should not always
indicate itself in perfect self-possession. Yet the finest mental system is still dependent upon the structure of its organic constitution ; and is, indeed, probably more dependent, occasionally, on its agents, than a coarser and hardier nature. It is in moments of what may be called inspiration, or high and bappy excitement, that it assumes the external manner of the bold and imperious. It is then irresistible. All ordinary natures bow beneath it, as under the sovereign sway of a superior being
But no intellect is equal to all things; and, in proportion as it excels in some, as it feels its occasional exaltation and pre-eminence, it is hurt and disappointed that it cannot triumph over all other obstacles. With such a sentiment of frequent humiliation, it cannot wear the general demeanour of boldness, and may sometimes appear embarrassed, uneasy, and restlessly impatient. Such, indeed, is often the fever of genius.
But even in the ordinary achievements of human talent, there is much to curb the feeling of pride and self-gratulation; and the humblest ambition is often thrown back to take a still lower rank in the gradations of merit. It is success that gives the habitual feeling of confidence, and boldly anticipates, from the past, the recurrence of the future.
And this constant conviction naturally communicates itself to every external act, and the general demeanour. Such will be the case, at least to a very considerable degree, even with those who are naturally of a retired and unassuming disposition. But there are some who are intimidated by no disappointment, and who feel no disgrace; whose hardy intellect, and obtuse sensations, seem to defy all difficulty, and remain unconscious amidst every defeat. In some instances, this may arise from a stern determination of will, and not from insensibility of feeling. A mind of such a stamp is capable of any exertion.
6 Its firm nature
Can neither raze nor pierce.” But it will often be found, that sensibility bears no precise proportion to intellect, and that there are men of talent who possess but little of benevolent feeling, though it is not improbable that their sympathy is excited whenever self is the predominant object. The manners of the confident, indeed, pecu. liarly indicate self-satisfaction. They appear to have achieved the object of their desire or ambition, they have realized the beau-ideal of their limited imagination,—they have arrived at their bounded standard of perfection; complacency smiles in their countenance, and gives ease, and sometimes animation, to their demeanour; or they look down, with supercilious aspect, on their less fortunate and less assuming competitors. Thus it is that the manners indicate the state of the internal
powers and sentiments. The eye never strays with a timorous or enquiring anxiety,—the countenance betrays no emotion of uneasiness. The individual is characterized by a firmness of attitude, a confidence of look and movement, and a carriage that denotes bim to be on favourable terms with himself. This enviable state of assurance is the result of well-balanced feel. ings and intellect, accompanied by an exact correspondence of success with the measure of endowment.
Let those, however, who may be deficient in this equanimity of temper, and these powers of face, console themselves by reflecting, that they who are self-satisfied, are frequently satisfied with little; that assurance is no invariable proof of talent, nor diffidence a conclusive evidence of deficiency; that humility may even sometimes be allied to genius; and that he who feels the severest disappointment, may owe it, not to his abstract incompetency, but to a bright and exalted conception of the beautiful and the sublime; to the severity of his task, and the unapproachable excellence of his standard of comparison.
Before concluding, it may be observed, that it is one of the most difficult of all questions, to determine whether the result of any individual character has chiefly been produced by its inherent or natural power, or by education and circumstances
. As a general question it can never be decided; but there are some instances, amongst those who are the best known, that shew the preponderance of nature over cultivation; and there are others, for whom nature has done but little, compared with the measure of educational attainments. As there are some who are endowed with greater strength and longevity than others, and who preserve these qualities amidst many untoward circumstances; so there appears to be bestowed, on some occasions, an intellectual vigour, which flourishes with but little artificial excitement; whilst, in other instances, the natural capabilities appear so inert, that, without the most careful culture and continued encouragement, no maturity of mind can be expected. There may be the latent metaphysical power, but the vitality and organization are dormant, by which alone that power can be manifested. In the latter case, it is evident that education and circumstances effect the larger share of the result. In the former, nature is the more potent mistress.
Within the brief limits of an Essay, it has been impossible to do more than hint at some parts of our subject. The design has been merely to present a sketch, to glance at the materials, to endeavour to dispose them in something like order, to trace some of the sources, and discuss a few of the principles. If I have succeeded in exciting attention, and giving rise to thought, I shall esteem myself fortunate. I have attempted only to draw the outline, the reader will fill up the picture.
Argument. Address to the City; comparison between its fate and thatof Rome-Progress
of the Turkish power, and indication of their designs on Constantinople Their desolating career-Address to Greece- Humiliated state of the Roman power—The Turkish army, under Mahomet, approaches the City in great numbers, while the garrison consists of but a few thousand men; who, however, resolve to resist to the last--The first night of its being invested described - Position of the besieging army, and nightdescription of the City and Harbour-The Emperor resolves to save his crown, or perish–The Turks immediately begin to erect works, to annoy the besieged by their artillery-Change in the mode of warfare produced by the invention of gunpowder-The Turks make a breach, and endeavour to enter, but are repulsed ; and the Greeks and Genoese, under Justiniani, make a sally and overthrow their works-The Turkish fleet attempts to force the harbour, but is repulsed by the ships within The tyrant orders new levies, and surrounds the city with increased forces, battering the walls night and day.
City of glory! Central seat of power !