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It is time, however, to return from this long digression to the consideration of the mental qualities of this animal :-It has no judgment; no memory, except as to a few scraps of songs and tunes, and such nonsense; no imagination: it has, however, something which approaches to a minor kind of invention, and is displayed in the discovery of a new cape to a coat, a new method of wear. ing a watch, a new shape for a hat, a new mode of fastening the neckcloth; and I have been informed by persons more acquainted with modern verse than I am, that their invention has even extended to the penning of a sonnet. This appears to me very improbable; but a name was mentioned to me, which I am not sure that I quite recollect, but I think it was Byron."

The female faculties are very similar to the male, with one addition, a great power of attention; though it is entirely expended in investigating the forms, the beauties, and faults of dress, and in hearing read the galamatias and indelicacies of French romance : I say hearing read,--for a Belle will not spoil the brilliancy of its eyes by perusing even the billets-doux addressed to itself, but employs a woman, whose name, after long enquiries, I find to be 6 femme de chambre,” to execute this and similar purposes.

Such, then, being the nature and capabilities of the animal, what do I propose ?

First, that the legislature should take them entirely under its care: learned men, men who have drawn from Aristotle a profound and intuitive knowledge of nature, should be employed to examine and develop their faculties : after being submitted to a course of learned experiment, they should be divided into two classes, the competent and the incapable. The incapable, that is, those who cannot be at all raised to the rank of human beings, might be applied to some such purposes as the following: the females might be compelled to display their powers gratis to the public, as figurantes at the Opera or processionists at the Theatres. Thus there would be a great saving of expenditure, and what is more, a great saving of private virtue; for the poor girls who are now torn from the humblest walks of life, and are introduced to situations which necessarily subject them to solicitations too great for their uneducated habits to resist, will by this arrangement remain in their original station, and become useful servants and useful wives, instead of being bad dancers and vulgar courtezans : while the Belles who are to be substituted for them, will easily be able from their rank, and above all from their coldness, to withstand those temptations CC 2


* I suppose my deceased friend alludes to the Poems of Lord Byron, a minor. His first offering to the public will indeed do no credit to his name; but his “ English Bards and Scottish Reviewers,” though full of faults, shews' a spirit and taste and mantiness of thinking, which if well directed may be of service to maokind.

which subdue the poorer female. The golden-ringed finger, the scented head, the insinuating lisp, the fluent flattery, and above all, the Bank-bill,—to whose united influence the vulgar Dancer falls a willing victim, will be despised by the Belle : to the four first it is too used to feel any impression from them, and its circumstances will place it above the temptation of the last and most dangerous Jure; at any rate, only one here and there, whose avarice is greater than its coldness, will make shipwreck of its continence_instances too detestable to allow the least pity.

There is also another purpose to which these Belles may be usefully applied. I am told that there is a vast quantity of rich and fashionable young gentlemen about town, to whose credit it is absolutely necessary to have mistresses. There is no improper intercourse between the parties : all that the mistress has to do with her Protector (for such they tell me is the name of the male party) is, to spend his money and to ride in his carriages; all that he has to do with her is, to bow to her if he happen to meet her in the streets or at the theatres, and to propose a bumper to her name when he is called upon for a toust,--another strange phrase, but which the learned will understand by referring to Horace, Book III. Ode 19. I. 9 & following.---to Martial, passim.

Now I propose that every one of these gentlemen should take a Belle into his protection : it will save him the expence of earriages, as the Belle will frequently have one of its own;-it will give him an opportunity of shewing his taste by selecting a pretty one for his particular attention; whereas now, as notoriety is the only object, he is forced to have the most infamous, however old or ugly: lastly, the Belle will lose no character,-partly from from baving none to lose, and partly (if an additional reason is wanted) from having no sort of obligation to the gentleman, except now and then for a new song, or for drinking to her health till he tumbles from his chair. This sort of intercourse is much more delicate than the union of gentlemen and vulgar courtezans, and may be called Beau-Platonism, being such an intercourse as the philosopher Plato would have recommended if he had been a fashionable rake (as some of his enemies by the bye have most falsely, suggested), and had retained his opinions con. cerning sexual associations. Such and many other are the uses to which the incapable Belles may be appropriated; but these hints may

suffice at present, till I can prepare my folio* treatise on this subject for the press. )

I now

* As my friend was very indolent, this Treatise of course was not finished, nor would have been if he had lived to the age of Nestor. A vast number, however, of unconnected fragments remain, but not sufficiently interesting for public view.

I now come to the incapable males :-And here no one who has observed the fine tall footmen who figure at the backs of the carriages and the chairs of ladies of rank, but must immediately agree with me that these employments are far more suitable to Beaux than to men: the Beau, too, could not feel itself disgraced by occupations which would so closely connect it with the fair,— it would be considered as a cicisbeo or a page of honour, and while it tripped by the side or stood humbly smiling at the back of its mistress, would recall to our minds the days of chivalry, when Beaux of another sort, indeed, but equally futile,-when ferocious military Beaux, like lions led in chains by Cupid, submitted their haughty pomposity to the menial services of the ladies.

The next service is of a more imposing sort :--There are in London two or three regiments of stately men, who ride on black horses, and whose employment is, once or twice a day, to traverse the whole length of the Park and to fix themselves, by alternate divisions, in certain canopied recesses, where they attract the astonished gaze of the passers-by, -exciting in some an admiration of their finery, in others a wonderment of their object and purpose,—but appearing by their statue-like faces never to participate in the feelings to which they give birth. They are never called upon to fight, except when the citizens happen to be a little refractory at the prospect of starvation or an infringement of their liberties, and even then their ease is so much studied that they are generally seconded by all the troops from all the parts of the kingdom. Some have superficially and impudently denied their usefulness; but others, who have a deeper insight into human nature, and whose views of our excellent Constitution as by law established are more profound, assert with a warmth which of course can only arise from conviction, that these troops are abso. lutely necessary for the preservation of the King, his crown, and dignity. Indeed, knowing as I do how much the mass of man, kind is taken by cumbrous splendour and magnificent nothingness, I should be unwilling to deprive the Crown of this valuable jewel, -I only wish to propose a substitute. Instead of the able. bodied men who now wear this finery, but who, like the before. mentioned footmen, might be rendered more useful to the country by fighting its enemies abroad or digging its mines at home, would not, I ask without fear of contradiction, the Beaux be a substi. tute perfectly equivalent? Would they not look as fine Would they not be as peaceable? And as to any objections arising from the weight of the dress or of the sword, surely the heaviness of the apparel might be diminished without detracting from its grandeur, and a sword like Harlequin's would serye very well for general purposes, 063


The last use is one to which some objection may perhaps arise, but I am sure it will be done away by a little consideration :-It is well known, that in order to carry on the machine of government it is necessary for the Minister of the day to have a well-dressed, well-disciplined band of voters, to be ready at a moment's warn. ing to overpower, that is, to outnumber, the ranks of the Oppo. sition. Now, though I believe there is no great difficulty in raising and recruiting from time to time this band of Gentlemen, pensioners, yet they are subject to many inconveniencies which every well wisher to his country, and of course to these men who are so vitally useful to the country, must desire to see removed. For instance, they are most of them commissioners of public boards, or stewards of noblemen, or contractors, or bankers; and in consequence of their close attendance to Parliament, either lose their health in the service of their country, or, what is worse, become bankrupt. Now I would propose, that these Beaux, who are always on the spotwho are used to turn day into night,who have no business to attend to, and who, from being generally in easy circumstances, it is to be presumed would be content with a smaller compensation for their votes, would be far better for filling the benches of the Ministers, and by their gay and polite appearance might induce now and then a fashionable Whig, * and there are some fashionable Whigs,--to give a vote, when all the eloquence of the Minister had been of no avail.

Such are the uses to which I would refer the incapable and inferior animals of this species; but for the more improveable class,--those who should evince some mental competency,--they should be designated to higher services. It is notorious that there exists in society a vast number of men and women of fierce, unaccommodating humours, and brutal dispositions; yet possessing in themselves the stamina of better qualities, and not unfre: quently conspicuous for great talents and extensive learning: they are to be found chiefly among isolated + scholars in small colleges and distant country towns, where their self-importance is seldom shocked by rivalry of intellect, and their conceits are cherished by the unqualified flattery of an admiring coterie. The females consist, for the most part, of antique ladies, known by the vulgar appellation of Old Maids,or of young ones, whose revolting habits seem to insure them the like privilege of chastity unap,



* My 'friend takes it for granted that the Oppositionist is a Whig; Jast fifty years give soine colour to his idea.

+ It may seem strange that a scholar should speak thus of a class of men to which he may be thought to belong; but either from a native mildness of temper, or from rubs in life which effectually bumiliate human pride, my friend was remarkably soft and urbane in his manners. He was vain, and fondly deyoted to bis owo plaus, but never proud or insolent,

proached and unapproachable. There are some, indeed, to be found among the married; but I believe very rarely, except where they have brought with them large dowries. At any rate, I have not seen many instances, though to be sure I have been told that it is part of the etiquette of fashionable people to be good-tempered before the world; and indeed I recollect a gentleman of peculiarly sweet manners, and who seemed to me a model of conjugal affection, who has been divorced from his wife for excessive cruelty. The men, also, are seldom married, except now and then, when they pick up a poor, dull-tempered country lass, who cannot resist the temptation of being wife to a gentleman, that is, to a man above the rank of a mechanic.-- What is it, then, that I propose ? Simply this :- I would engraft, by act of Parliament, my better Beaux and Belles on these ill-mannered animals. The immediate consequence of such unions would of course be misery to the parties engaged in it: no matter,--they deserve to be miserable; but in the next generation the breed would be ame. liorated, and in the third or fourth, we should have a race of reasonable beings. For instance: I would conjoin a tattling, dancing, 'singing, dressing, giggling Belle, with a morose, un, gainly, slovenly, brutal Scholar: they would necessarily hate each other, but there would be sufficient sexual inclination to enable them to continue their species, and her coldness would preclude all possibility of doubt as to the paternity of their off, spring. Well; the first-born would partake about equally of its father's and mother's nature: it will be rather aukward and very overbearing, and at the same time have a hankering after dress and plays and idleness. If a boy, he will be pedantic and a wearer of fine clothes : he will write, perhaps,* a treatise on statistics, and intersperse it with gallantries and allusions to the fashionable world; or indite poems to the ladies, stuffed with names and references of which the said ladies shall not under stand one word ;-too stupid for gay life, too unsteady for study, he will vacillate between his library and the ball-room, with just

earning enough to be a connoisseur, and just fashion enough to be allowed to be the butt of girls of quality. If the child is a female, she will be a reader of novels and a sayer of ill-natured sarcasms: she will attend public lectures in a dress of high fashion and take snuff: she will in a morning write three lines of a sonnet on the Indestructibility of Genins, or the Materiality of the Soul; and in the eyening will go with inked fingers to a concert, where сс 4


* I have heard my friend speak of a man who somewhat answers this description. His name it is unnecessary to repeat; but those who wish to have it, may recall to their recollection the pedantic, amorous lucubrations of a Gentleman and Geographer, of whom the ladies at Paris made so much a few years ago,

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