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took of the exertion, he shook from his capacious head such volumes of powder, that like pious Eneas on the first interview with Queen Dido, he might be said to have been enveloped in a cloud. Nor was Will's partner an insignificant figure in the scene; she was a young lady of most voluminous proportions, that quivered at every skip; and being braced up in the fashionable style with whalebone, stay-tape and buckram, looked like an apple pudding tied in the middle; or, taking her flaming dress into consideration, like a bed and bolsters rolled up in a suit of red curtains. The dance finished.—I would gladly have taken Will off, but no;-he was now in one of his happy moods, and there was no doing any thing with him. He insisted on my introducing him to Miss Sparkle, a young lady unrivalled for playful wit and innocent vivacity, and who, like a brilliant, adds lustre to the front of fashion. I accordingly presented him to her, and began a conversation, in which, I thought, he might take a share; but no such thing. Will took his stand before her, straddling like a colossus, with his hands in his pockets, and an air of the most profound attention; nor did he pretend to open his lips for some time, until, upon some lively sally of hers, he electrified the whole company with a most intolerable burst of laughter. What was to be done with such an incorrigible fellow?—To add to my distress, the first word he spoke was to tell Miss Sparkle that something she said reminded him of a circumstance that happened to him in China;—and at it he went, in the true traveller style,-described the Chinese mode of eating rice with chop-sticks ;-entered into a long eulogium on the succulent qualities of boiled birds' nests : and I made my escape at the very moment when he was on the point of squatting down on the floor, to show how the little Chinese Joshes sit cross-legged.
In no instance have I seen this grasping after style more whimsically exhibited than in the family of my old acquaintance Timothy Giblet. I recollect old Giblet when I was a boy, and he was the most surly curmudgeon I ever knew. He was a perfect scare-crow to the smallfry of the day, and inherited the hatred of all these un
lucky little shavers ; 'for never could we assemble about his door of an evening to play, and make a little hubbub, but out he sallied from his nest like a spider, flourished his formidable horse-whip, and dispersed the whole crew in the twinkling of a lainn. I perfectly remember a bill he sent in to my father for a pane of sound glass "I had accidentally broken, which came well nigh getting me a flogging; and I remember, as perfectly, that the next night I revenged myself by breaking half-a-dozen. Giblet was as arrant a grub-worm as ever crawled; and the only rules of right and wrong he cared a button for, were the rules of multiplication and addition ; which he practised much more successfully than he did any of the rules of religion or morality. He used to declare they were the true golden rules; and he took special care to put Cocker's arithmetic in the hands of his children, before they had read ten pages in the bible or the prayer book. The practice of these favourite maxims was at length crowned with the harvest of success; and after a life of incessant self-denial, and starvation, and after enduring all, the pounds, shillings and pence miseries of a miser, he had the satisfaction of seeing himself worth a plum, and of dying just as he had determined to enjoy the remainder of his "days in contemplating his great wealth and accumulating mortgages,
His children inherited his money; but they buried the disposition, and every other memorial of their father
Fired with a noble thirst for style, they instantly emerged from the retired lane in which themselves and their accomplishments had hitherto been buried; and they blazed, and they whizzed, and they cracked about town, like a nest of squibs and devils in a firework. I can liken their sudden eclat- to nothing but that of the locust, which is hatched in the dust, where it increases and swells up to maturity, and after feeling for a moment the vivifying rays of the sun, bursts forth ą mighty insect, and Autters and rattles, and buzzes from every tree. The little warblers, who have long cheered the woodlands with their dulcet notes, are stunned by the discordant racket of these upstart intruders, and contemplate, in contemptuous silence, their tinsel and their noise.
Having once started, the Giblets were determined that nothing should stop them in their career, until they had run their full course and arrived at the very tip-top
in his grave.
of style. Every tailor, every shoemaker, every coachmaker, every milliner, every mantua-maker, every paperhanger, every piano-teacher, and every dancing-master in the city, were enlisted in their service; and the willing wights most courteously answered their call, and fell to work to build up the fame of the Giblets, as they had done that of many an aspiring family before them. In a little time the young ladies could dance the waltz, thunder Lodoiska, murder French, kill time, and commit violence on the face of nature in a landscape in water-colours, equal to the best lady in the land, and the young gentlemen were seen lounging at corners of streets
, and driving tandem; heard talking loud at the theatre, and laughing in church, with as much ease and grace, and modesty, as if they had been gentlemen all the days of their lives.
And the Giblets arrayed themselves in scarlet, and in fine linen, and seated themselves in high places; but no body noticed them except to honour them with a little contempt. The Giblets made a prodigious splash in their own opinion; but nobody extolled them except the tailors, and the milliners, who had been employed in manufacturing their paraphernalia. The Giblets thereupon being, like Caleb Quotem, determined to have "a place at the review,” fell to work more fiercely than ever ; they gave dinners, and they gave balls; they hired cooks ; they hired confectioners; and they would have kept a newspaper in pay, had they not been all bought up at that time for the election. They invited the dancing men, and the dancing women, and the gormandizers, and the epicures of the city, to come and make merry at their expense; and the dancing men, and the dancing women, and the epicures, and the gormandizers, did come; and they did make merry at their expense; and they eat, and they drank, and they capered, and they danced, and they -laughed at their entertainers.
Then commenced the hurry and the bustle, and the mighty nothingness of fashionable life ;-such rattling in coaches ! such faunting in the streets !. such slamming of box-doors at the theatre ! such a tempest of bustle and un. meaning noise wherever they appeared! The Giblets were seen here and there and every where ;—they visited every body they knew, and every body they did not know and there was no getting along for the Giblets. Their plan at length succeeded. By dint of dinners, of feeding and frolicking the town, the Giblet family worked themselves into notice, and enjoyed the ineffable pleasure of being for ever pestered by visiters, who cared nothing about them; of being squeezed, and smothered, and parboiled at nightly balls, and evening tea-parties; they were allowed the privilege of forgetting the very few old friends they once possessed ;--they turned their noses up in the wind at every thing that was not genteel; and their superb manners and sublime affectation at length left it no longer a matter of doubt that the Giblets were perfectly in the style.
In my mind there's no position more positive and anexceptionable than that most Frenchmen, dead or alive, are born dancers. I came pounce upon this discovery at the assembly, and I immediately noted it down in my register of indisputable facts—the public shall know all about it. As I never dance cotillions, holding them to be monstrous distorters of the human frame, and tantamount in their operations to being broken and dislocated on the wheel, I generally take occasion, while they are going on, to make my remarks on the company. In the course of these observations I was struck with the energy and eloquence of sundry limbs, which seemed to be flourishing about without appertaining to any body. After much investigation and difficulty, I, at length, traced them to their respective owners, whom I found to be all Frenchmen to a man. Art may have meddled somewhat in these affairs, but nature certainly did more. I have since been considerably employed in calculations on this subject; and by the most accurate computation I have determined, that a Frenchman passes at least three fifths of his time between the heavens and the earth, and partakes eminently of the nature of a gossam or soap bubble.
One of these jack-a-lantern heroes, in taking, a figure, which neither Euclid nor Pythagoras himself could demonstrate, unfortunately wound himselfI mean his foot-his better part-into a lady's cobweb muslin robe; bụt perceiving it at the instant, he set himself a spinning the other way, like a top, unravelled his step, without omitting one angle or curve, and extricated himself without breaking a thread of the lady's dress ! he then sprung, up like a sturgeon, crossed his feet four times, and finished this wonderful evolution by quivering his left leg, as a cat does her paw when she has accidentally dipped it in water. No man of "woman born," who was not a Frenchman, or a mountebank, could have done the like.
I HAVE often had occasion to remark the fortitude with which women sustain the most overwhelming reverses of fortune. Those disasters which break down the spirit of a man, and prostrate him in the dust, seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give such intrepidity and elevation to their character, that at times it approaches to sublimity. Nothing can be more touching than to behold a soft and tender female, who had been all weakness and dependence, and alive to every trivial roughness while treading the prosperous paths of life, suddenly rising in mental force to be the comforter and supporter of her husband under misfortune, and abiding, with unshrinking firmness, the bitterest blasts of adversity.
As the vine which has long twined its graceful foliage about the oak, and been lifted by it in sunshine, will
, when the hardy plant is rifted by the thunderbolt, cling round it with its caressing tendrils, and bind up its shattered boughs; so is it beautifully ordered by Providence, that woman, who is the mere dependant and ornament of man in his happier hours, should be his stay and solace when smitten with sudden calamity; winding herself into the rugged recesses of his nature, tenderly supporting the drooping head, and binding up the broken heart.
I was once congratulating a friend, who had around him a blooming family, knit together in the strongest af. fection. “I can wish you no better lot,” said he, with enthusiasm, "than to have a wife and children.—If you are prosperous, there they are to share your prosperity; if otherwise, there they are to comfort you.” And, indeed, I have observed that a married man falling into misfortune is more apt to retrieve his situation in the world than a single one; partly because he is more sti. mulated to exertion by the necessities of the helpless and