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upon to be every thing (he really is. If you will take her word, she detests scandal from her heart; yet, if a young lady happens to be talked of as being too gay, with a significant stirug of her shoulders, and shake of her head, she confesses, ** It is too true, and the '* whole town fays the fame thing." She is the most compassionate creature living, and is ever pitying one person, and sorry for another. She is a great dealer in huts, and ifi, and half sentences, and does.more mischief with a may be, and I'll fay no more, than she could do by speaking out. She confirms the truth of ariy story more by her fears and doubts, than if she had given proof positive; though she always concludes with a "Let us hope otherwise."
One principal business of a mighty good fort of woman is the regulation of families; and she extends a visitatorial power over all her acquaintance. She is the umpire in all differences between man and wife, which she is sure to foment and increase by pretending to settle them; and her great impartiality and regard for both leads her always to side with one against the other. She has a most penetrating and difcerningeye into the faults of the family, and takes care to pry into all their secrets, that she may reveal them. If a man happens to stay out too late in the evening, she is sure to rate him handsomely the next time she fees him, and take special care to tell him in the hearing of his wife, what a bad husband he is: or if the lady goes toRanelagh, or is engaged in a party at cards, she will keep the poor husband company, that he might not be dull, and entertains him all the while with the imperfections of his wife. She has also the entire disposal of the children in her own hands, and can disinherit them, provide for them, marry them, or confine them to a state of celibacy, just as she pleases: she sixes the lad's pocket.money at school, and allowance at the university; and has sent many an untoward boy to sea for education. But the young ladies are more immediately under her eye, and, in the grand point of matrimony, the choice or refusal depends solely upon her. One gentleman ii too young,
another too old; one will run out his fortune, another has too little; one is a professed rake, another a sly sinner; and she frequently tells the girl, "'Tis "time enough to marry yet," till at last there is nobody will have her. But the most favourite occupation of a mighty good sort of woman is, the superintendence os the servants : sheprotests, there is not a good one to be got; the men are idle, and thieves, and the maids are sluts, and good-for-nothing hussies. In her own family she takes care to separate the men from the maids, at night, by the whole height of the ■hoafe; these are lodged in the garret, while John takes up his roosting-place in the kitchen, or is stuffed into the turn-up feat in the passage, close to the street-door. She rises at five in the summer, and at day-light in the winter, to detect them in giving away broken victuals, coals, candles, &c, and her own footman is employed the whole morning in carrying letters of information to the masters and mistresses, wherever she sees, or rather imagines, this to be practised. She has caused manv a man-servant to lose his place for romping in the kitchen; and many a maid has teen turned away, upon her account, for drcjjing at the men, as she calls it, looking out at the window, or standing at the street-door, in a summer's evening. I am acquainted with three maiden-sisters, all mighty good fort of women, who, to prevenp any ill consequences, will not keep a footman at al) ; and it is at the risk of their place, that the maids have any comers after them, nor will, on any account, a brother, or a male cousin, bt suffered to visit them.
A distinguishing mark of a mighty good sort of woman is, her extraordinary pretensions to religion: she never misses church twice a-day, in order to take note of th»fe who are absent; and she is always lamenting the decay of piety in these days. With some of them the good Dr. Whitefield, or the good IJr. Romaine, is ever in their mouths 5 and they look upon the whole bench of bishops to be very Jews in compa> ison of these saints. The mighty good sort of woman ii also very chari
3*i * tablff
It is no less common than extraordinary, to meet a nobleman in London, who stares you full in the face, and seems quite a stranger to it; with whom you have spent the preceding summer at Harwich or Brighthclmstone; with whom you have ot:en dined ; who has often singled you out, and taken you under his arm, to accompany him with a tele a tete walk ; who has accosted you, all the summer, by your surname, but, in the winter, does not remember either your name, or any feature in your face.
I shall not attempt to describe the pain such right honourable behaviour, at first meeting it, gives to a man of sensibility and sentiment, nor the contempt he must conceive for such en. nobled beings. Another class of these right honourable intimates are indeed so far condescending, as to submit to own you a little, if it be in a corner of the street; or even in the Park, if it be at a distance from any real good company. Their porters will even let you into their houses, if my lord has no company; and they themselves will receive you very civilly, but will (hun you a few hours after, at court, as a pick-pocket (though you be a man of good fense, good family, and good character) for having no other blemish than that your modesty or diffidence perhaps has occasioned your being a long time in the army, without attaining the rank of a general, or at the law, without '. ,ing called within the bar. I could recite many instances of this kind of polite high-breeding, that every man of little station, who has been a quality-broker, has often experienced; but I shall wave that, and conclude by shewing you, how certainly to avoid such contempt, and even decoy his lordship out of his walk to take notice of you, who would not have known you had you continued in his.
The method is this: suppose we see my lord coming towards Spring-garden, under Marlborouph.g.irjen-walk; instead of meeting him, approach so near only, that you are certain, from the convexity of his eye (for they are all
very near-sighted) that he fees yon, and that he is certain you fee and know him. This done, walk deliberately to the other fide of the Mall, and, my life for it, his lordship either trots over to you, or calls you, by your surname, to him. His pride is alarmed ; he cannot conceive the reason, why one, he has all along considered would be proud of the least mark of his countenance, should, avoid taking an even chance for so great an honour as a bow or a nod.—But I would not be understood, that his lordsliip is not much offended at you, though he make you a visit the next day, and never did before, in order to drop you for ever after, lest you should him. This is not conjecture, but what I have often put in practice with success, if any success it is to be so noticed; and as a further proof of it, I do assure you, I had once the honour of being sometimes known to, and by, several lords, and lost all their friendship, because I would not let them know me at one time very intimately, at another, not at all—for which loss I do not at all find myself the worse.
I am your humbh' servant.
§ 137. On the Arrogance of younger Bro-
He that has pride, not (hewing that he'l proud,
one may also affirm, with truth, of the British nobility, that he who has no pride at all cannot shew less than they do. They treat the meanest subject with the greatest affability, and take pains to make every person they converse with forget the distance that there is between him and them.
As the younger brothers, and other near relations of the nobility, have the fame education, and the fame examples
3 E 3 . ever ever bisore their eyes, one might expect to fee in them the fame affable behavioufj the fame politeness. But, strange as it is, nothing is more different than the behaviour of my lord, and my lord's brother. The latter you generally fee proud, insolent, and overbearing, as if he possessed all the wealth and honourof the family. Onemightimagine from his behaviour, that the pride of the family, like the estates in some boroughs, always descended to the younger brother. I have known one of these young noblemen, with no other fortune than this younger brother's inheritance, above marrying a rich merchant's daughter, because he ■would not disgrace himself with a plebeian alliance; and rather choose to give his hand to a lady Betty, or a lady Charlotte, with nothing but her title for Tier portion,
I know a younger brother in a noble family, who, twelve years ago, was so regardless of his birth, as to desire my lord his father to fend him to a merchant's counting-house for his educations but, though he has now one of the best houses of business of any in Leghorn, and is already able to buy his father's estate, his brothers and sifters will not acknowledge him as a relation, and do not scruple to deny his
They think the rut) of their father's of their brother's kitchen a more genteet means of subsistence than what is afforded by any calling or occupation whatsoever, except the army or the navy; as if nobody was deserving enough of the honour to cut a Frenchman's throat, but persons of the first rank and distinction.
As I live so far from the polite end os' the town as Bedford-row, I undergo much decent raillery on that account, whenever I have the honour of a visit from one of these younger brothers ot quality: he wonders who makes my wigs, mv cloaths, and my liveries: he praises the furniture of my house, and allows my equipage to be handsome) but declares he discovers more of ex* pence than taste in either: he can discover that Hallet is not my upholsterer* and that my chariot was not made by Butler: in short, I find he thinks one might as wellcompare the Banquettinghouse at Whitehall with the Mansionhouse for elegance, as to look for that in Bedford - row, which can only be found about St. James's. He will not touch any thing at my table but a piece of mutton: he is so cloyed with made dishes, that a plain joint is a rarity: my claret too, though it comes from Mess. Brown and Whitefoord, and no
being their brother, at the expence of otherwise differs from my lord's than in
their lady-mother's reputation.
It always raises my mirth to hear with what contempt these younger brothers of quality speak of persons in the three learned professions, even those at the top of each. The bench of bishops
being bought for ready money, is put by for my port. Though he politely hobs or nobs with my wise, he does it as if I had married my cook; and (he it further mortified with seeing her carpet treated with as little ceremony as if it
are never distinguished by them with was an oil-cloth. If, after dinner, one
any higher appellation, than — those parsons: and when they speak of the judges, and those who hold the first places in the courts of justice, to a gentleman at the bar, they fay—your lawyers: and the doctors Heberden, Addington, and Askew, are, in their genteel dialect, called—these physical people. Trade is such a disgrace, that thereis no difference with them between the highest and lowest that are concerned in it; they rank the greatest merchants among common tradesmen, as they can see no difference between a coanting-house and a chandlw's ihop.
of her damask chairs has the honour of his lordly breech, another is indulged with the favour of raising his leg. To any gentleman who drinks to this man of fashion, he is his most obedient humble servant, without bending his body, or looking to see who does him this honour. If any person, even under the degree of a knight, speaks to him, he will condescend to say Yes or No; bu,t he is as likely as Sir Francis Wronghead to fay the one when he should fay the other. If I presume to talk about any change in the ministry before him, he discovers great sorprisc at my igno.
ranee, ranee, and wonders that we, at this end of the town, should differ so much from the people about Grosvenor.square. We are absolutely, according to him, as little alike as if we were not of the fame species; and I find, it is as much impossible for us to know what passes at court, as if we lived at Rotherhithe Or Wapping. I have very frequent opportunities of contemplating the different treatment I receive from him and his elder brother. My lord, from whom I have received many favours, behaves to me as if he was the person obliged; while his lordship's brother, who has Conferred no favour on me but borrow. ing my money, which he never intends to pay, behaves as if he was the creditor, and the debt was a forlorn one.
The insolence which is so much complained of among noblemen's servants, is not difficult to account for : ignorance, idleness, high-living, and a consciousness of the dignity of the notle person they serve, added to the example of my lord's brother, whom they find no less dependent in the family than themselves, will naturally make them arrogant and proud. But this conduct in the younger brother must for ever remain unaccountable. I have been endeavouring to solve this phenomenon to myself, ever since the following occurrence happened to me.
When I came to settle in town, about five-and-twenty years ago, I was strongly recommended to a noble peer, who promised to assist me. On my arrival, I waited upon his lordship, and was told by the porter, with an air of great indifference, that he was not at home; and I was very near receiving the door in my face, when 1 was going to acquaint this civil person, that I had a letter in my pocket for his lord: upon my producing it, he said I might leave it; and immediately snatched it from me. I called again the next day, and found, to my great surprise, a somewhat better reception from my friend the porter, who immediately, as I heard afterwards, by order from his lord, introduced me into the library. When I entered, I saw a gentleman in an armed chair reading a pamphlet, whom, as I 4i J not know him, I took for my lord
himself, especially as he did not rise from his chair, or so much as offer to look towards me, on my entering. I immediately addressed myself to him
with "My lord"—but was instantly
told by him, without taking his eye* from the pamphlet, thathis brotherwas dressing: he read on, and left me to contemplate the situation I was in, that if I had been treated with so much contempt from the porter and my lord's brother, what must I expect from my noble patron f While I was thus reflecting, in comes a gentleman, running up tome, and, taking me cordially by the hand, said, he was heartily glad to fee me. I was greatly distressed to know how to behave. I could not imagine this to be his lordship who was so affable and courteous, and I could not suppose it was any body who meant to insult me. My anxiety was removed by his pulling out the letter I had left, and saying, " He was very happy that it "was in his power to comply with the "con ten tsof it; "at the fame time introducing me to his brother, as a gentleman he was happy to know. This younger brother arose from his chair with great indifference; and, taking me coolly by the hand, said, "He "should be proud of so valuable an. "acquaintance;" and, resuming his seat, proceeded to finish his pamphlet. Upon taking leave, my lord renewed his former declaration; but his brother was too intent on his reading to observe the bow made to him by the valuable acquaintance he a sew minutes before professed himself so proud of.
I am not ignorant, however, that there are many younger brothers to peers, who acknowledge, with much concern, the truth of what has been said, and are ready to allow, that, in too many families of distinction, the younger brother is not the finer gentleman.
I am your humble servant, &c.
§ 138. Persons os Quality provtd to bt Traders.
I always reflect with pleasure, that strong as the fondness of imitating the French has been among people of
3 E 4 fashion,