health's sake. There was matting and a velvet cushion in the dean's stall; none in that of the prebendaries.

-- My common sense told me all this ought to be reversed ; but I supposed it was human nature, though I could not make it out.

I afterwards, indeed, became acquainted with courtiers and coquettes, both male and female ; but though disguise had become with them a system, and a sort of trade, I found that the only difference between them and younger people was, that they had more experience.

I was first led to the observation of this, by seeing a young man of my own age excessively. attentive to a very old, and apparently disagreeable woman. I asked his reason. He said it was mere charity, as few would take the least notice of her; -and, as I knew he was goodnatured, I believed him. I afterwards found. that a certain great lady, to whom the other had been governess, and who thought it a duty to correspond with her, was fond of chit-chat, and made her deal largely in gossip; so that all my friend ever said or did was sure to be put down, and sent to the great lady. With her, she being one of the sovereigns of fashion, it was an object with him to stand well. Moreover, the great lady had à very pretty daughter, and both mother and

shrewdness showed itself, and was respected. In fact, my curiosity about characters made people a little afraid ; and in truth I had enough to do. The pride and jealousy of tutors; the blown-up self-consequence of heads of houses ; the complacency of clerical dandies; the insolence of fellow commoners (especially of the nouveaux riches); these formed an admirable contrast to the subserviency of tuft hunters and other subordinates, who had their way to make, either in college, or the world.

The strivings of these last to obtain a common bow or nod of recognition from the first, were highly amusing. But it often cost them dear; for the bow and nod were sometimes forgotten, and one man, the particular intimate of a nobleman in college, fretted himself into a decline, because his noble friend did not notice him in London. · Yet motives were never avowed, at least not real ones; and I observed that wherever there were two that prompted any particular conduct, the weakest was always the one put forward. ; A reverend prebendary, in a cathedral town, oncé amused me much. He complained that the stalls in the chapel were cold ; and being a wont invalid, of a high family, he used on a vacancy, to bec


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daughter were rather romantic; and accordingly my friend's conversations with the old governess were always sentimental and romantic. To read the governess's letters, one would have supposed him Sir Charles Grandison himself: which did him no disservice with the ladies in question. Nothing, I believe, particular came of it, except the introduction he so much wished, to a place in society which he might otherwise have failed to acquire.

All this I afterwards learned from the great lady herself, and it illustrated my growing theory as to a division of motives, assignable and unassignable, which afterwards stood me in much stead in my commerce with the world.

One of the most pregnant instances of this occurred when I was very young, at a great festive Easter assemblage, at a great castle in the south. It was full of dance and jollity, midnight sport and revelry; in short, it was, among other amusements, the temple of music. One of the priestesses was particularly excellent at the piano; yet not content with the praises which really were her due, she always played with gloves on, the fingers of which, too, were longer than could be convenient for any common occupation. We all wondered at this, as we thought it must impede her play. She said it did, but that without

the warmth of this aid, her poor fingers could not move at all. This astonished us the more, as no one, even without gloves, could show such rapidity of finger. Our astonishment was exactly what she wanted. She sang well too, and sang often; and being “Lady Mary," completely eclipsed a young female commoner, who yet had many fair pretensions. The eclipse grieved her mother to the soul. One day Lady Mary kept her room with a cold. “Ah! poor thing!" said the rival's mother, “poor, dear Lady Mary; she cannot, must not come down ; and we cannot hear her sing to-night.” This concern gave me a high idea of the lady's friendship, which lasted full an hour, until I heard her felicitating herself and her daughter, that they should, that evening at least, listen to her, without being forced to hear any odious Lady Mary. I was astounded, but thinking it the way of the world, went on observing.

From possessing the sort of curiosity I have described, almost every incident that arose, trivial or serious, turned itself to account. But I was a sad novice at first; for, strange to say, I had never been in London, and my experience had been confined to a country village, or at best to Oxford. I was, in fact, sadly ashamed of my ignorance, and sometimes seemed ridiculous, even to myself,

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