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offered, when not wanted; and when wanted, is perhaps not to be had till long waited for. It is dreary to observe two guests, glass in hand, waiting the butler's leisure to be able to take wine together, and then perchance being helped in despair to what they did not ask for; and it is still more dreary to be one of the two yourself. How different, where you can put your hand upon a decanter at the moment you want it! I could enlarge upon, and particularize these miseries at great length; but they must be only too familiar to those who dine out, and those who do not, may congratulate themselves on their escape. I have been speaking hitherto of attendance in its most perfect state; but then comes the greater inconvenience, and the monstrous absurdity of the same forms with inadequate establishments. Those who are overwhelmed with an establishment, are, as it were, obliged in self defence to devise work for their attendants, whilst those, who have no such reason, ape an example, which under the most appropriate circumstances is a state of restraint and discomfort, but which, when followed merely for fashion's sake, becomes absolutely intolerable. I remember once receiving a severe frown from a lady at the head of her table, next to whom I was sitting, because I offered to take some fish from her, to which she had helped me, instead of waiting till it could be handed to me by her one servant; and she was not deficient, either in sense, or good breeding, but when people give into such follies they know no mean. of the evils of the present day, that every body strives after the same dull style—so that where comfort might be expected, it is often least to be found. State, without the machinery of state, is of all states the worst. In conclusion of this
of my subject, I will observe, that I think the affluent would render themselves and their country an essential service, if they were to fall into the simple, refined style of living, discarding every thing incompatible with real enjoyment ; and I believe, that if the history of overgrown luxury were traced,
It is one
it has always had its origin from the vulgar-rich-the very last class worthy of imitation. Although I think a reduction of establishment would often conduce to the enjoyment of life, I am very far from wishing to see any class curtailed in their means of earning their bread; but it appears to me that the rich might easily find more profitable and agreeable modes of employing the industrious, than in ministering to pomp and parade.
I had written thus far for my last number, according to my promise in my last but one; but there was not even space enough to notice the omission. I now wish to add about a page, and as like other people I suppose, I can write most easily upon what is freshest in my mind, I will give you, dear reader, an account of a dinner I have ordered this very day at Lovegrove's, at Blackwall, where if you never dined, so much the worse for you. This account will serve as an illustration of my doctrines on dinner-giving, better than a long abstract discourse. The party will consist of seven men beside myself, and every guest is asked for some reason-upon which good fellowship mainly depends, for people, brought together unconnectedly, had, in my opinion, better be kept separate. Eight I hold to be the golden number, never to be exceeded without weakening the efficacy of concentration. The dinner is to consist of turtle, followed by no other fish but white-bait, which is to be followed by no other meat but grouse, which are to be succeeded simply by apple fritters and jelly ; pastry on such occasions being quite out of place. With the turtle of course there will be punch, with the whitebait champagne, and with the grouse claret: the two former I have ordered to be particularly well iced, and they will all be placed in succession upon the table, so that we can help ourselves as we please. I shall permit no other wines, unless, perchance, a bottle or two of port, if particularly wanted, a I hold variety of wines a great mistake. With respect to the adjuncts, I shall take care that there is cayenne, with lemons
cut in halves, not in quarters, within reach of every one, for the turtle, and that brown bread-and-butter in abundance is set upon the table for the white-bait. It is no trouble to think of these little matters beforehand, but they make a vast difference in convivial contentment. The dinner will be followed by ices, and a good dessert, after which coffee and one glass of liqueur each, and no more ; so that the present may be enjoyed rationally without inducing retrospective regrets. If the master of a feast wishes his party to succeed, he must know how to command, and not let his guests run riot, each according to his own wild fancy. Such, reader, is my idea of a dinner, of which I hope you approve; and I cannot help thinking that if parliament were to grant me 10,0001. a year, in trust, to entertain a series of worthy persons, it would promote trade and increase the revenue more than any huggermugger measure ever devised.
I am strongly of opinion that sick wives are very interesting for a short time, and very dull for a long one. It is of great importance that females of all classes should reflect
this distinction, and not abuse a privilege most readily granted them, if exercised within the bounds of moderation. Nothing is so tedious as uniformity; and as, under the bright sky of Italy, one sometimes sighs for a cloud, so in long-continued health a slight ailment now and then is not without its advantages. In a wife it naturally calls forth the attentions of the husband, and freshens the delicacy of his affections, which gratifying effects, it is to be feared, tend frequently, in minds not well disciplined or strongly constituted, to generate habits of selfishness, and a sort of sickly appetite for indulgence. I
seem to have observed that husbands, after a certain duration of ill-health in their wives, begin to manifest something of impatience, afterwards of indifference, and lastly of weariness, however much they may keep up their attentions, and try to disguise their feelings; and I am sure there are not a few, who begin to calculate and look out, before they are lawfully entitled so to do. I would not for the world mention these horrid truths, but from a conviction that those who are ill all their lives, might be well all their lives, if they took due care, or put proper restraints upon themselves. Finding illness answer, in the first instance, they are too apt to neglect, or even encourage it, till it becomes a habit, and then the rest of their habits become conformable—to the metamorphosis of the unfortunate husband's home into an hospital. Perhaps the husband may in part thank himself for his state, for not having shown firmness soon enough; and I would advise, that when things seem to be hastening on to this course, under the auspices of some silky medical attendant, he be as speedily as possible replaced by one of rougher mould, by way of experiment. When a course of treatment long tried produces no benefit, but rather the reverse, it is good to try a change, and therefore, if uninterrupted indulgence cannot effect a cure, if every request complied with, every wish anticipated, only aggravates the evil, probably a dose or two of privation might be of service. If business neglected, and pleasure foregone have been in vain, why should not a round of engagements be called in aid ? A party of pleasure with a few agreeable female friends might produce a turn in a long-standing disorder, when nothing else could, and, being repeated at proper intervals, might effect a permanent cure. I admit this is a strong remedy, a sort of mineral poison, likely in the first instance to cause an access of malady; but anger is a strong stimulant, and tears often afford great relief, and a desire to witness what is going forward, hath a wonderful efficacy in rousing to exertion. I have the more faith in such medicines, because I have often known a sick wife completely cured for a time by the serious illness of her husband, or her children, or by any exciting event, either of joy or grief.
This is a subject of great importance, for it concerns the well-being of so many homes, the comfort and morals of so many men, the good training of so many children, and the peaceable enjoyments of so many dependents. The instances of habitual illness, which could not have been prevented by care at first, or by prudence and resolution afterwards, must be too few to have much effect on domestic enjoyment, and when they do occur, they ought to meet with unceasing consideration, especially as they are almost ever borne with an instructive patience and resignation. But it is far otherwise with the ill health I mean, which has its origin and its continuance, one or both, in mismanagement; and those who suffer themselves to be the victims of it, ordinarily exact, under one guise or other, a very annoying degree of sacrifice from all about them. The sooner the evil is put out of fashion, the better.
Nature is the true guide in our application of ornament. She delights in it, but ever in subserviency to use. Men generally pursue an opposite course, and adorn only to encumber. With the refined few, simplicity is the feature of greatest merit in ornament. The trifling, the vulgar-minded, and the ignorant, prize only what is striking and costlysomething showy in contrast, and difficult to be obtained. Nothing can more severely, or more truly satirize this taste, than the fancy of the Negro chief in the interior of Africa, who received an Englishman's visit of ceremony in a drum