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“ This is quite a scene, I protest,” cried Miss Tracey.
“ But one in which we should all have been proud to have been actors, I trust," answered the baronet. “ What say you, ladies and gentlemen ?" continued he, coming forward, “ though we cannot equal Miss Beresford's kindness, since she sought out poverty, and it comes to us, what say you, shall we make a purse for these good people, that they may not think there is only one kind being in the neighbourhood ?"
“ Agreed !” cried every one; and as Sir Frederic beld the hat, the subscription from the ladies was a liberal one; but Mr. Beresford gave five guineas; then Mr. Hanmer desired the overjoyed family to go to his house to get some refreshment, and the company reseated themselves.
But Mr. Beresford having quitted his seat in order to wipe his eyes unseen at the door, the baronet had taken the vacant place by Julia.
“ Now, ladies and gentlemen," cried Beresford, you shall see a new sightma parent asking pardon of his child. Julia, my dear, I know I behaved very ill; I know I was very cross to you-very savage-I know I was--you are a good girl-and always were, and ever will be, the pride of my life, so let us kiss and be friends;" and Julia, throwing herself into her father's arms, declared she should now be herself again.
“ What, inore scenes !” cried Mr. Hanmer, “what, are you sentimental too, Beresford ? who should have thought it!”
“ Why, I'll tell you a story now,” replied he:-"That girl vexed and mortified me confoundedly, that she did; I wished her to be smart, to do honour to you and
your daughter to-day, so I sent her twelve guineas to buy a very handsome velvet pelisse, which she took a fancy to, but which I thought too dear; but instead of that, here she comes in this old fright; and a fine dowdy figure she looks ! and when I reproached her, she said she had given the money away, and so I suppose it was that very money which she gave to these poor people. Heh! was it not so, Julia ?”
“ It was,” replied Julia, “and I dared not then be so extravagant as to get the pelisse too.”
“ So, Hanmer," continued Beresford, "you may sneer at me for being sentimental, if you please; but I am now prouder of my girl in her shabby cloak here, thay if she were dressed out in silks and sattins."
“ And so you ought to be," cried Sir Frederic, " and Miss Beresford has converted this garment,” lifting up the end of the pelisse, “ into a robe of honour;" so saying, he gallantly pressed it to his lips. “Come, I will give you a toast," continued he:-“Here is the health of the woman who was capable of sacrificing the gratification of her personal vanity to the claims of benevolence !"
The ladies put up their pretty lips, but drank the toast, and Beresford went to the door to wipe his eyes again, while Julia could not help owning to herself, that if she had had her moments of mortification, they were richly paid.
The collation was now resumed, and Julia partook of it with pleasure; her heart was at ease, her cheek recovered its bloom, and her eyes their lustre. Again the Miss Traceys sung, and with increased brilliancy of execution. " It was wonderful, they sung like professors !” every one said; and then again was Julia requested to sing,
“ I can sing now," replied she, “and I never refuse when can do so. Now I have found my father's favour, I shall find my voice too;" and then, without any more preamble, she sung a plaintive and simple ballad, in a manoer the most touching and unadorned.
No one applauded while she sung, for all seemed afraid to lose any particle of tones so sweet and so pathetic; but when she had ended, every one, except Sir Frederic, loudly commended her, and he was silent; but Julia saw that his eyes glistened, and she heard him sigh, and she was very glad that he said nothing.
Again the sisters sang, and Julia too, and then the party broke up; but Mrs. Tracey invited the same party to meet at her house in the evening, to a ball and supper, and they all agreed to wait on her.
As they returned to the house, Sir Frederic gave his arm to Julia, and Miss Tracey walked before them.
" That is a very fine, showy, elegant girl,” observed Sir Frederic.
" She is indeed, and very handsome,” replied Julia, " and her singing is really wonderful.”
(6 Just so," replied Sir Frederic, it is wonderful, but not pleasing. Her singing is like herself; she is a bravura song-showy and brilliant, but not touching—not interesting.” Julia smiled at the illustration, and the baronet continued; “ will you be angry at my' presumption, Miss Beresford, if I venture to add that you too resemble your singing? If Miss Tracey be a bravura song, you are a ballad not showy, nor brilliant, but touching, interesting, and --"
Oh, pray say no more !" cried ”Julia, blushing, and hastening to join the company; but it was a blush of pleasure; and as she rode home she amused herself with analysing all the properties of the ballad, and she was very well contented with the analysis.
That evening, Julia, all herself again, and dressed with exquisite and becoming taste, danced, smiled, talked, and was universally admired. But was she particularly so? Did the man of her heart follow her with delighted attention ?
“ Julia,” said her happy father, as they went home at night, “ you will have the velvet pelisse and Sir Frederic, too, I expect."
Nor was he mistaken. The pelisse was hers the next day, and the baronet some months after. But Julia to this hour preserves with the utmost care the faded pelisse, which Sir Frederic had pronounced to be “a robe of honour."
DESCRIPTION OF A FINE GENTLEMAN.
AS many females seem passionately fond of the name of a fine gentleman, it may not be improper to give a description of so fascinating a person, in order to guard them against the delusion.
When we are at a loss to describe any uncommon phenomenon, we commonly attempt to say what it is not, and so give an idea of a something to which we can affix no name. The physician is called to a patient in a particular disorder - he knows not what to call it. It is not the gout-it is not the rheumatism—there are no symptoms of a fever-as few of inflammation-ergo, it is an inward complaint, something nervous.
The naturalist finds a substance lying on the ground. It is not a stone, nor a stick; it is not an animal, nor an ore; it is not a plant, nor a root; at length, after lonking over Linnæus's arrangements, and finding it to be like nothing there, he pronounces it a lusus natura. To apply this to the Fine Gentleman :
A Fine Gentleman is not a learned gentleman, for looking into books would spoil his eyes, and a knowledge of elegant writing unfit him for polite conversation.
A Fine Gentleman is not an ignorant gentleman, for he knows the name of every article of fashionable apparel, and can with extraordinary precision mark the distinctions of Carmelite, Emperor's Eye, Vestris Blue, Feu de l'Opera , &c. and other niceties, which knowledge requires to be something more than merely learned in the primary colours.
A Fine Gentleman is not a pious gentleman, for to him nothing can be so insupportable as seriousness. The sight of a parson operates upon him as the smell of rotten cheese upon the nerves of a fine lady.
A Fine Gentleman is not a rational creature, for he avoids nothing so much as thinking.
A Fine Gentleman is not an industrions man, for his whole life is spent in idleness, and at the end of it, it is impossible for him to recollect one hour in which he was well employed.
Å Fine Gentleman is not an idle gentleman, for from morning to night he is in perpetual motion from one place of amusement to the other; from the breakfast to the gaming-table; from the gaming-table to the coffee-house ; from the coffee-house to the Park; from the Park to dinner and the bottle; from the bottle to tea; from tea to the play ; from the play to supper; from supper to the bagnio; from the bagnio to the street; from the street to the roundhouse; from the round-house to the justice; from the justice home again-Da Capo.
The Fine Gentleman is not an ingenious gentleman, for during a long existence, he is never once able to discover the real purpose for which he was sent into the world, endued with a head, tongue, eyes, hands, feet, &c.
The Fine Gentleman is not an honourable gentleman, because he discharges no debts lawfully contracted, and unlawfully contracts debts which he does not mean to pay:
The Fine Gentleman is an honourable gentleman, for no man can call him rogue without being called to an account for it, although the proof be as clear as the blade of his sword.
Since a Fine Gentleman includes so many contradictory characters, to what class of mortals must we consign him? He is, in fact, an animal sui generis, of his own engendering; there is nothing like him on earth. Nature has no share whatever in his composition. Men are sometimes born fools, geniuses, dunces, deformed, &c. but no man is by nature a Fine Gentleman. It is to the tailor and hairdresser we are to look for the creation of this strange animal. In ancient times, perhaps, some attempts may have been made to construct a Fine Gentleman ; but that perfection to which the machine is now brought, is the work of many centuries.
Before the flood we are sure there were none; wicked as the world then was, we believe not one Fine Gentleman was drowned at the flood ; indeed had there been any then on the earth, Noah must certainly have mistaken them for a species of monkey, and put a couple of them into the ark. After the flood, even when the Egyptians were a great flourishing people, I do not find any mention of Fine Gentlemen; nor when the Romans conquered them, do their historians give any account of Fine Gentlemen.
Be the controversy concerning their origin decided in what manner it may, we have the creature now among us, and they appear in the army, the law, and the church; but most of all in the army, as no abilities are required ; less in the church, where something of abilities is looked for; and least of all at the bar, for there nothing but abilities can do. Any man may read prayers, and steal sermons; and any man may go through the exercise of the fusee and spontoon; but it is not every man who can combat the difficulties of a criminal case, or a civil plea.
The late Lord Chesterfield has been the making of many a Fine Gentleman. With him, clean teeth, and nails well pared, were greater accomplishinents than a pure heart and an enlightened understanding ; and he who adopts his lordship's refined sentiments of duplicity and dress, must inevitably turn out an arrant coscomb, it be escape being a professed profligate.
THE STORY OF LAVINIA.
SOON as the morning trembles o'er the sky,