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of the dessert. Tomkins refuses to visit Simkins, because the latter gives French wines, which he cannot afford to retaliate; and Huggins withholds the light of his countenance from Briggs, because he never gives him a second course, although he always provided one for the said Briggs at his own house. Nay, so minute are these balancings and calculations, that they even take cognizance of fractional parts. 'Excessively shabby of Mrs. Brown," I once heard a lady exclaim, "to give us a dinner of five and seven, when she had two courses of seven and nine at my house, and her party more numerous than mine too." Upon inquiry, I learnt that these accurate numbers had reference to the dishes with which the table was covered. All the infinite combinations of the kaleidoscope are produced by the same few materials; and on peeping into the heart of an Englishman, it will be found that all the disguises, changes, and varieties, of which we have been endeavouring to afford a partial glimpse, are but new modifications of the old element-pride.
Misfortunes never come single. Taxation and luxury had no sooner laid their benumbing hands on our social system, than fashion introduced late dinner-hours; and these, as if to give the death-blow to all that remained of genuine unsophisticated sociability, exploded suppers. Suppers,-those unpretending, economical parties, which could be often afforded, and yet never seemed to be sufficiently frequent, those only meals to which women, by their continued presence, imparted a thousand charms,
substituting the Muses and the Graces for the worship of Bacchus, uniting decorum with hilarity, compelling their male associates to forego the eternal discussion of politics and business, and condescend, for once, to be unanimous in the determination to be vivacious and happy. Then was it that the song went round, and the hastily-prepared dance, doubly delightful because unpremeditated, afforded sufficient gratification to the most resolute votaries of Terpsichore, and yet allowed them to seek their beds in sober time, without injuring their health or encroaching upon the next day's duties. I am old enough to remember when these truly festive entertainments were common as the flowers in May; and vulgar enough to regret the temperate bowl of punch which in many families was duly administered, when the party was not sufficiently numerous to justify more vigorous demonstrations of enjoyment. Routs, ices, and sour negus, are miserable substitutes for these noctes cænæque Deum. They have passed away, and with them has fled the soul of all gallant and hilarious sociality.
Even in our domestic circles we resemble the asymptotical lines, which perpetually approach without ever effecting a complete union. We have little family cordiality after we become old enough to set up a pride of our own. Sons will not marry until they can maintain a separate establishment; they would hold it a degradation to bring their wives under the paternal roof; and as they cannot afford to gratify their anti-social feelings without a con
siderable independence, many, of course, remain unmarried. Hence the number of profligate young men, and disappointed and unhappy young women inevitably destined to become old maids. In France, the married sons and daughters are frequently collected together in the large old family mansion; and in those patriarchal establishments I have often found a harmony and domestic happiness, for which I have looked in vain in the disunited union by which the different branches of an English family are flimsily held together. By the arrangement that prevails abroad, the venerable parents of the society ensure solace and protection until they die, in the midst of their descendants; while in England their offspring fly from them one by one, until they are left, in the utmost social need of their old age, lonely and desolate. Affection in the one country seems to be centripetal, while with us it is centrifugal. Pride, churlishness, and hauteur, are equally perceptible in our demeanour towards inferiors and domestics, as compared with the frank benignity and condescension which they invariably experience upon the Continent." Surely," exclaims some starch personifica tion of cold pride and ignorant prejudice, "surely you would not recommend familiarity with servants!" Familiarity, thou most rigid formalist, is a comparative term. My old schoolmaster used often to tell me that there were many degrees of intermediate solidity between a Westphalia ham and a whipsyllabub; so are there between the familiarity that breeds contempt and that which generates an un
reserved but respectful attachment. How often have I seen Italians shrug up their shoulders, and utter exclamations of surprise, when an English barouche passed them, with its broad-shouldered owner lolling at his ease inside, while the lady's maid was tanning in the sun, or biding the pelting of the storm, in the dickey outside. Their respect for the sex knows not these paltry distinctions of rank: theirs is the genuine gallantry of feeling; ours is the spurious one of manners and externals. Proofs crowd upon me: but I
feel that I have established my assertion. I have weighed thee, John Bull, in the scale of nations; I have tried thee by a foreign test, and of pride and unsociableness thou art finally convicted.
WALKS IN THE GARDEN.-No. IV.
My garden takes up half my daily care,
IT was said of Burke, that no one could stand under the same gateway with him, during a shower of rain, without discovering that he was an extraordinary man,―a very consolatory assertion to the inhabitants of London, who were not, perhaps, previously aware that any discovery could be made or pleasant association awakened during that most irksome period, when they are huddled with strange companions under the shelter of a low arch, gazing listlessly at the
rushing and wrangling kennel, or walking to the back of the covered way to exchange weeping looks with the sky. In that ten minutes of London's suspended animation, all is desolation and gloom; the deserted street is a wide waste of bubbles and mud; from the unimbibing flag-stones the discoloured drops scramble into the gutter to disembogue themselves into a feculent and stercoraceous receptacle, whither the imagination refuses to follow them:-now and then the loud pattering on an umbrella announces the approach of some sturdy pedestrian who hurries by, and the cheerless prospect is again confined to mud and stones, until a hackney-coach rattles past with its lame and dripping cattle, while the flap-hatted driver holds his head on one side to avoid the pelting of the storm, utterly indifferent to the upheld fingers of the shopand-alley-imprisoned women, or the impatient calls of appointment-breaking men; signals to which, but half an hour before, he would have been all eye, all ear. No delectable associations, either natural or literary, spring up to alleviate the tedium of such a detention as we have been describing; for even the recollection of Swift's imitative description of a cityshower will but aggravate the annoyances of our situation, by the fidelity with which he has pourtrayed the scene. How different the effect of a shower in the country! We have already noticed the air of enjoyment with which the trees droop down their branches to be fed, and the silent satisfaction with which the thirsty earth drinks in the refreshing mois