Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

of time, who, to say the truth, can do almost any. thing but make people young. They are, notwithstanding, still warm candidates for female favor ; look venerably tender, and repeat over and over the same honeyed speeches and sugared sentiments to the little belles that they poured so profusely into the ears of their mothers. I beg leave here to give notice, that by this sketch, I mean no reAection on old bachelors; on the contrary I hold that next to a fine lady, the ne plus ultra, an old bachelor to be the most charming being upon earth ; in as much as by living in a single blessedness," he of course does just as he pleases ; and if he has any genius, must acquire a plentiful stock of whims, and oddities, and whalebone habits ; without which I esteem a man to be mere beef without mustard ; good for nothing at all, but to run on errands for ladies, take boxes at the theatre, and act the part of a screen at tea-parties, or a walking-stick in the streets. I merely speak of these old boys who infest public walks, pounce upon ladies from every corner of the street, and worry and frisk and amble, and caper before, behind, and round about the fashionable belles, like old ponies in a pasture, striving to supply the absence of youthfuil whim and hilarity, by grimaces and grins, and artificial vivacity. I have some

times seen one of these “reverend youths” endeayoring to elevate his wintry passions into something like love, by basking in the sunshine of beauty; and it did remind me of an old moth attempting to fly through a pane of glass towards a light without ever approaching near enough to. warm itself, or scorch its wings.

· Never, I firmly believe, did there exist a family that went more by tangents than the Cocklofts. Every thing is governed by whim; and if one member starts a new freak, away all the rest follow on like wild geese in a string. As the family, the servants, the horses, cats and dogs, have all grown old together they have accommodated themselves to each others habits completely ; and though every body of them is full of odd points, angles, rhomboids, and ins and outs, yet some how or other, they harmonize together like so many straight lines; and it is truly a grateful and refreshing sight to see them agree so well. Should one, however, get out of tune, it is like a cracked fiddle, the whole concert is ajar ; you perceive a cloud over every brow in the house, and even the old chairs seem to creak affetuosso. If my cousin, as he is rather apt to do, betray any symptoms of vexation or uneasiness, no matter about what, be is worried to death with inquiries, which answer no other end bat to demon.

strate the good will of the inquirer, and put him in a passion ; for every body knows how provoking it is to be cut short in a fit of the blues, by an impertinent question about “what is the matter ?” when a man can't tell himself. I remember a few months ago the old gentleman came home in quite a squall; kicked poor Cæsar, the mastiff, out of his way, as he came through the hall; threw his hat on the table with most violent emphasis, and pulling out his box, took three huge pinches of snuff, and threw a fourth into the cat's eyes as he sat purring his astonishment by the fire-side. This was enough to set the body politic going ; mrs. Cockloft began my dearing" it as fast as tongue could move ; the young ladies took each a stand at an elbow of his chair;Jeremy marshalled in rear ;--the servants came tumbling in; the mastiff put up an inquiring nose;

and even grimalkin, after he had cleaned his whiskers and finished sneezing, discovered indubitable signs of sympathy. After the most affectionate inquiries on all sides, it turned out that my cousin, in crossing the street, had got his silk stockings bespattered with mud by a coach, which it seems belonged to a dashing gentleman who had formerly supplied the family with hot rolls and muffins ! mrs. Cockloft thereupon turned up her eyes, and the young ladies their noses; and it would have edified a

whole congregation to hear the conversation which took place concerning the insolence of upstarts, and the vulgarity of would-be gentlemen and ladies, who . strive to emerge from low life by dashing about in carriages to pay a visit two doors off; giving parties to people who laugh at them, and cutting all their old friends.

THEATRICS.

BY WILLIAM WIZARD, ESQ.

I went a few evenings since to the theatre accom panied by my friend Snivers, the cockney, who is a man deeply read in the history of Cinderella, Valentine and Orson, Blue beard, and all those recondite works so necessary to enable a man to understand the modern drama. Snivers is one of those intolerable fellows who will never be pleased with any thing until he has turned and twisted it divers ways, to see if it corresponds with his notions of congruity; and as he is none of the quickest in his ratiocinations, be

will sometimes come out with his approbation, when every body else have forgotten the cause which excited it. Snivers is, moreover, a great critic, for he finds fault with every thing; this being what I understand by modern criticism. He, however, is pleased to acknowledge that our theatre is not so despicable, all things considered ; and really thinks Cooper one of our best aetors. The play was OTHELLO, and, to speak my mind freely, I think I have seen it performed much worse in my time. The actors, I firmly believe, did their best; and whenever this is the case no man has a right to find fault with them in my opinion. Little RUTHERFORD, the Roscius of the Philadelphia theatre, looked as big as possible; and what he wanted ia size he made up in frowning. I like frowning in tragedy; and if a man but keeps his forehead in proper wrinkle, talks big, and takes long strides on the stage, I always set him down as a great tragedian; and so does my friend Snivers.

Before the first act was over, Snivers began to. flourish his critical wooden sword like a harlequin. He first found fault with Cooper for not having made himself as black as a negro; “ for,” said he, " that Othello was an arrant black, appears from several expressions of the play; as for instance, * thick lips,' sopty bosom,' and a variety of othe

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »