« ForrigeFortsett »
me word she would come and dine with collected it from the representation she gave me, and therefore desired me to have no me of his. “ I have every thing in Tran. other company. I took care accordingly, quillus,” says she, “ that I can wish for and was not a little pleased to see her enter and enjoy in him (what indeed told me the room with a decent and matron-like were to be met with in a good husband) behaviour which I thought very much be- the fondness of a lover, the tenderness of came her. I saw she had a great deal to a parent, and the intimacy of a friend.” say to me, and easily discovered in hereyes, Ittransported me to see her eyes swimming and the air of her countenance, that she in tears of affection when she spoke. “And had abundance of satisfaction in her heart, is there not, dear sister," said I, which she longed to communicate. Ilow- pleasure in the possession of such a man, ever, I was resolved to let her break into than in all the little impertinences of her discourse her own way, and reduced balls, assemblies, and equipage, which it her to a thousand little devices and intima- cost me so much pains to make you contions to bring me to the mention of her temn?” She answered smiling, • Tranh husband. But finding I was resolved not quillus has made me a sincere convert in a to name him, she begun of her own accord: few weeks, though I am afraid you could
My husband,” says she, “ gives his hum- not have done it in your whole life. Το ble service to you;” to which I only an- tell you truly, I have only one fear hangswered, I hope he is well,” and without ing upon me, which is apt to give me waiting for a reply, fell into other subjects. trouble in the midst of all my satisfactions: She at last was out of all patience, and sairl, I am afraid, you must know, that I shall with a smile and manner that I thought not always make the same amiable aphad more beauty and spirit than I had ever pearance in his eyes that I do at present. observed before in her; “ I did not think, You know, brother Bickerstaff, that you brother, you had been so ill-natured. You have the reputation of a conjuror, and if have seen ever since I came in, that I had you have any one secret in your art to a mind to talk of my husband, and you make your sister always beautiful, I should will not be so kind as to give me an occa- be happier than if I were mistress of all the sion.” “ I did not know," said I, “ but it worlds you have shown me in a starry might be a disagreeable subject to you. night." *** Jenny," said I, “ without havYou do not take me for so old-fashioned a ing recourse to magic, I shall give you one fellow as to think of entertaining a young plain rule, that will not fail of making you lady with the discourse of her husband. I always amiable to a man who has so great know nothing is more acceptable than to a passion for you, and is of so equal and speak of one who is to be so; but to speak reasonable a temper as Tranquillus:-Enof one who is so-indeed, Jenny, I am a deavour to please, and you must please. better bred man than you think me.” She Be always in the same disposition as you shewed a little disliketo my raillery, and by are when you ask for this secret, and you her bridling up, I perceived sheexpected to may take my word, you will never want be treated hereafter not as Jenny Distaff, it; an inviolable fidelity, good-humour, but Mrs. Tranquillus. I was very well and complacency of temper, outlive all pleased with the change in her humour; the charms of a fine face, and make the and upon talking with her upon several decays of it invisible.”
Tatler, subjects, I could not but fancy that I saw a great deal of her husband's way and man
§ 114. Curiosity. ner in her remarks, her phrases, the tone The love of variety, or curiosity, of seeof her voice, and the very air of her coun- ing new things, which is the same or at tenance. This gave me an unspeakable sa- least a sister passion to it,-seems wove tisfaction, not only because I had found her into the frame of every son and daughter a husband from whom she could learn many of Adam; we usually speak of it as one of things that were laudable, but also because nature's levities, though planted within us I looked upon her imitation of him as an for the solid purposes of carrying forward infallible sign that she entirely loved him. the mind to fresh enquiry and knowledge: This is an observation that I never knew strip us of it, the mind (I fear) would doze fail, though I do not remember that any for ever over the present page; and we other has made it. The natural slyness of should all of us rest at case with such obher sex hindered her from telling me the jects as presented themselves in the parish greatness of her own passion, but I easily or province where we first drew breath.
3 II 2
It is to this spur which is ever in our his pupil's neck;--for if he is such as my sides, that we owe the impatience of this eyes have seen! sonie broken Swiss ralci. desire for travelling: the passion is no ways de-chambre-
--some general undertaker, bad,—but as others are---in its misma- who will perforin the journey in so many nagement or excess ;-order it rightly, the months, “ if God permit,” —much knowadvantages are worth the pursuit; the ledge wiil not accrue ;- some profit at chief of which are--to learn the languages, least,--he will learn the amount to a hallthe laws and customs, and understand the penny, of every stage from Calaisto Rome; government and interest of other nations; -he will be carried to the best inns,---to acquire an urbanity and confidence instructed where there is the best wine, and of behaviour, and fit the mind more ea- sup a livre cheaper, than if the youth had sily for conversation and discourse; to take been left to make the tour and bargain us out of the comp:ny of our aunts and himself. Look at our governor! I beseech grandmothers, and from the tracts of nur- you :-see, he is an inch taller as he relates sery mistahes; and by shewing us new ob- the advantages.jects, or old ones in new lights, to reform - And here endeth his pride-hisknowour judgments-by tasting perpetually the ledge, and his use. varieties of nature, to know what is good But when your son gets abroad, he will --by observing the address and arts of be taken out of his hands, by his society men, to conceive what is sincere,-and by with men of rank and letters, with whom seeing the difference of so many various he will pass the greatest part of his time. humours and manners--to look into our- Let me observe, in the first place, that selves, and form our own.
company which is really good is very rare This is some part of the cargo we might and very shy: but you have surmounted return with; but the impulse of seeing new this difficulty, and procured him the best sights, augmented with that of getting letters of recommendation to the most emiclear from all lessons both of wisdom and nent and respectable in every capital. reproof at home-carries our youth too And I answer, that he will obtain all early out, to turn this venture to much ac- by them, which courtesy strictly stands count; on the contrary, if the scene paint. obliged to pay on such occasions, but no ed of the prodigal in his' travels, looks more like a copy than an original-- will it There is nothing in which we are so not be well if such an adventurer, with so much deceived, as in the advantages prounpromising a setting-out,- without care posed from our connections and discourse --without compass, — be not cast away for with the literari, &c. in foreign parts; espfever ;-and may he not be said to escape cially if the experiment is made before we well--if he returns to his country only as are matured by years or study. naked as he first left it?
Conversation is a traffick; and if you But you will send an able pilot with enter into it without some stock of knowyour son--a scholar.-
ledge, to balance the account perpetually If wisdom could speak no other lan- betwixt you-- the trade drops at onct: guage but Greek or Latin--you do well- and this is the reason,-however it may be or if mathematics will make a gentleman, boasted to the contrary, why traveikr -or natural philosophy but teach him to have so little (especially good) converse: make a bow-he may be of some service tion with natives, -owing to their suspi.. in introducing your son into good societies, cion, or perhaps conviction, that there i and supporting him in them when he has nothing to be extracted from the conversa: done--but the upshot will be generally tion of young itinerants, worth the troue this, that in the most pressing occasions of ble of their bad language,-or the interaddress, if he is a man of mere reading, the ruption of their visits. unhappy youth will have the tutor to carry The pain on these occasions is usually
and not the tutor to carry him. reciprocal; the consequence of which is,
But you will avoid this extreme; he shall that the disappointed youth seeks aa casier be escorted by one who knows the world, society; and as bad company is always not merely froin books- but irom bis own ready; -and ever lying in wait-the ca experience:-a man who has been em- reer is soon finished; and the poor prodha ployed on such services, and thrice made gal returns the same object of pity, wat the tour of Europe with success.
the prodigal in the gospel. --That is, without breaking his own, or
in their own opinion, or debars them from $ 115. Controrersy seldom decently con
the hope of contributing reciprocally to ducted.
the entertainment of the company. Mer'Tis no uncommon circumstance in con riment extorted by sallies of imagination, troversy, for the parties to engage in all sprightliness of remark, or quickness of the fury of disputation, without precisely reply, is too often what the Latins call, the instructing their readers, or truly knowing Sardinian laughter, a distortion of face themselves, the particulars about which without gladness of the heart. they aiffer. ilence that fruitless parade of For this reason no style of conversation argument, and those opposite pretences to is more extensively acceptable than the demonstration, with which most debates, narrative. He who has stored his memory on every subject have been intested. with slight anecdotes, private incidents, Would the contending parties first be sure and personal peculiarities, seldom fails to of their own meaning, and then communi- find his audience favourable. Almost cate their sense to others in plain terms every man listens with eagerness to extemand simplicity of heart, the face of contro- porary history; for almost every man has versy would soon be changed, and real some real or imaginary connection with a knowledge, instead of imaginary conquest, celebrated character, some desire to adwould be the noble reward of literary toil. vance or oppose a rising name. Vanity
Browne's Essays. often co-operates with curiosity. Ile that 116. How to please in conversation.
is a hearer in one place, qualifies himself
to become a speaker in another; for though None of the desires dictated by vanity is he cannot comprehend a series of argumore general, or less blameable, than that ment, or transport the volatile spirit of wit of being distinguished for the arts of con- without evaporation, yet he thinks himversation. Other accomplishments may be self able to treasure up the various incipossessed without opportunity of exerting dents of a story, and pleases his hopes them, or wanted without danger that the with the information which he shall give defect can often be remarked; but as no to some inferior society. man can live otherwise than in an hermis Narratives are for the most part heard tage without hourly pleasure or vexation, without envy, because they are not supfrom the fondness or neglect of those about posed to employ any intellectual qualities bin, the faculty of giving pleasure is of above the common rate. To be acquaint
Few are more frequently ed with facts not yet echoed by plebeian envied than those who have the power of mouths, may happen to one man as well forcing attention wherever they come, as to another, and to relate them when whose entrance is considered as a promise they are known, has in appearance so very of felicity, and whose departure is lament- little difficulty, that every one concludes ed, like the recess of the sun from northern himself equal to the task. Rambler, climates, as a privation of all that enlivens fancy and inspires gaiety.
s 117. The various Faulls in ContersaIt is apparent that to excellence in this
tion and Behaviour pointed out. valuable art, some peculiar qualifications
I shall not attempt to lay down any parare necessary ; for every man's experience ticular rules for conversation, but rather will inform him, that the pleasure which point out such faults in discourse and bemen are able to give in conversation holds haviour, as render the company of half no stated proportion to their knowledge mankind rither tedious than amusing. It or their virtue. Many find their way to
is in vain, indeed, to look for conversation the tables and the parties of those, who where we might expect to find it in the never consider them as of the least impor- greatest perfection among persons of tauce in any other place; we have all
, at fashion : there it is almost annihilated by one time or other, been content to love universal card-playing; insomuch that I those whom we could not esteem, and been have heard it given as a reason, why it is persuaded to try the dangerous experiment impossible for our present writers to sucof admitting him for a companion, whom ceed in the dialogue of genteel comedy, we know to be too ignorant for a counsel- that our people of quality scarce ever meet lor, and too treacherous for a friend. but to game. All their discourse turns
He that would please must rarely aim upon the odd trick and the four honon, at such excellence as depresses his hearers and it is no less a maxim with the
of whist than with those of Bacchus, that force of expression : they dwell on the intalking spoils company,
portant particles of and the, and the signi. Every one endeavours to make himself ficant conjunctive and; which they seem as agreeable to socieży as he can; but it to hawk up, with much difficulty, out of often happens, that those who most aim at their own throats, and to cram them, with shining in conversation, overshoot their no less pain, into the ears of their auditors. mark. Though a man succeeds, he should These should be suffered only to syringe not (as is frequently the case) engross the (as it were) the ears of a deaf man, through whole talk to himself; for that destroys an hearing trumpet : though I must conthe very essence of conversation, which is fess, that I am equally offended with the talking together. We should try to keep Whisperers or Low Speakers, who serm up conversation like a ball bandied to and to fancy all their acquaintance deaf, and fro from one to the other, rather than scize come up so close to you, that they may it all to ourselves, and drive it before us be said to measure noses with you, and frelike a foot-ball. We should likewise be quently overcome you with the full ex. cautious to adapt the matter of our dis- halations of a stinking breath. I would course to our company; and not talk have these oracular gentry obliged to talk Greck before ladies, or of the last new fur- at a distance through a speaking-trumpet
, below to a meeting of country-justices. or apply their lips to the walls of a whis
But nothing throws a more ridiculous pering gallery. "The Wits, who will not air over the whole conversation, than cer- condescend to utter any thing but a box tain peculiarities, easily acquired, but very mot; and the Whistlers or 'Tune-hummers, difficultly conquered and discarded. In who never articulate at all, may be joined order to display these absurdities in a truer very agreeably together in concert; and light, it is my present purpose to enume- to those tinkling cymbals I would also Tate such of them, as are most commonly add the sounding brass, the Bawler, who to be met with ; and first to take notice of enquires after your health with the bel those buffoons in society, the Attitudina- lowing of a town-crier. rians and Face-makers. These accompany The Tatlers, whose pliable pipes are every word with a peculiar grimace or admirably adapted to the "soft parts of gesture; they assent with a shrug, and conversation," and sweetly “prattling out contradict with a twisting of the neck : of fashion,” make very pretty music from are angry with a wry mouth,
and pleased a beautiful face and a female tongue ; but in a caper of a minuet-step. They may be from a rough manly voice and coarse feaconsidered as speaking harlequins; and tures, mere nonsense is as harsh and dissotheii rules of eloquence are taken from nant as a jig from a hurdy-gurdy. The the posture master. These should be con- Swearers I have spoken of in a former pa demned to converse only in dumb-show per ; but the Half-swearers, who split, and with their own persons in a looking-glass; mince, and fritter their oaths into gad's as well as the Smirkers and Smilers, who bud, ad's fish, and demme ; the Gothic so prettily set off their faces, together with humbuggers, and those who “nick-name their words, by a je-ne-sçai-quoi between God's creatures," and call a man a caba grin and a dimple. With these we may bage, a crab, a queer cub, an odd fish, likewise rank the affected tribe of Mimics, and an unaccountable muskin, should newho are constantly taking off the peculiar ver come into company without an intertone of voice or gesture of their acquaint- preter. But I will not tire my reader's paance : though they are such wretched imi- tience by pointing out all the pests of contators, that (like bad painters) they are versation: nor dwell particularly on the frequently forced to write the name under sensibles who pronounce dogmatically on the picture, before we can discover any the most trivial points, and speak in senlikeness.
tences; the Wonderers, who are always Next to these, whose elocution is ab- wondering what o'clock it is, or wonder. sorbed in action, and who converse chiefly ing whether it will rain or no, or wonderwith their arms and legs, we may considering when the moon changes; the Phrase the professed Speakers. And first, theologists, who explain a thing by all that, emphatical; who squeeze, and press, and or enter into particulars with this and that ram down every syllable with excessive ve- and t'other ; and lastly, the Silent men, hemence and energy. These orators are who seem afraid of opening their mouths, remarkable for their distinct elocution and lost they should catch cold, and literally
and nay này:
observe the precept of the gospel, by let- try. He imagines himself about to underting their conversation be only yea yea, take a long voyage to some strange re
gion, where the natives were as different The rational intercourse kept up by con- from the inhabitants of his own city as the versation, is one of our principal distinc- most distant nations. He accordingly takes tions from brutes. We should therefore boat, and is landed at a village about a endeavour to turn this peculiar talent to league from the capital. When he is set our advantage, and consider the organs of on shore, he is amazed to see the people speech as the instruments of understanding: speak the same language, wear the same we should be very careful not to use them dress, and use the same customs with himas the weapons of vice, or tools of folly; self. He, who had spent all his life within and do our utmost to unlearn any trivial or the sight of Pont Neuf, looked upon every ridiculous habits, which tend to lessen the one that lived out of Paris as a foreigner ; value of such an inestimable prerogative. and though the utmost extent of his travels It is, indeed, imagined by some philoso- was not three miles, he was as much sur: phers, that even birds and beasts (though prized, as he would have been to meet with without the power of articulation) perfect- a colony of Frenchmen on the Terra Inly understand one another by the sounds cognita. they utter; and that dogs, cats, &c. have In your late paper on the amusements each a particular language to themselves, of Sunday, you have set forth in what like different nations. Thus it may be sup
manner our citizens pass that day, which posed, that the nightingales of Italy have most of them devote to the country; but I as fine an ear to their own native wood wish you had been more particular in notes, as any signor or signora for an Ita- your descriptions of those elegant rural lian air; that the boars of Westphalia mansions, which at once shew the opugruntle as expressively through the nose as lence and the taste of our principal merthe inhabitants in High-German; and that chants, mechanics, and artificers. the frogs in the dykes of Holland croak I went last Sunday, in compliance with as intelligibly as the natives jabber their a most pressing invitation from a friend, to Low-Dutch. However this may be, we spend the whole day with him at one of may consider those whose tongues hardly these little seats, which he had fitted out seem to be under the influence of reason, for his retirement once a week from busiand do not keep up the proper conversa
ness. It is pleasantly situated about three tion of human creatures, 'as imitating the miles from London, on the side of a publanguage of different animals. Thus, for lic road, from which it is separated by a instance, the affinity between chatterersand dry ditch, over which is a little bridge, monkeys, and praters and parrots, is too consisting of two narrow planks, leading obvious not to occur at once: Grunters and to the house. From the lower part of the Growlers may justly be compared to hogs: house there is no prospect; but from the Snarlers are curs, that continually shew garrets, indeed, one may see two men their teeth, but never bite ; and the spitfire hanging in chains on Kennington compassionate are a sort of wild cats, that will mon, with a distant view of St. Paul's cunot bear stroaking, but will pur when they pola enveloped in a cloud of smoke. I set are pleased. Complainers are screech-owls; out in the morning with my friend's bookand story-tellers, always repeating the keeper, who was my guide. When I came same dull note, are cuckoos. Poets that to the house, I found my friend in a black prick up their ears at their own hideous velvet cap sitting at the door smoaking ; braying, are no better than asses : Critics he welcomed me into the country, and in general are venomous serpents, that de- after having made me observe the turnpike light in hissing; and some of them who on my left, and the Golden Sheaf on my have got by heart a few technical terms right, he conducted me into his house, without knowing their meaning, are no where I was received by his lady, who other than magpics.
Connoisseur. made a thousand apologies for being catch
ed in such a dishabille. 118. A Citizen's Country House des
The hall (for so I was taught to call it) cribed.
had its white walls almost hid by a curious Sir,
collection of prints and paintings. On one I remember to have seen a little French side was a large map of London, a plan novel, giving an account of a citizen of and clevation of the Mansion House, with Paris making anescursion into the coun- several lesser views of the public buildings