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closet-bred individual, who has nurtured his mind Painful revelations come thick and fast. with high-class Christian morality, and dwelt in young mind, healthily formed and not debauched visions of the heroic and the gentle, is probably by slip-slop talk or inferior reading, woman is alat the steady taken-for-granted regularity with ways an object surrounded by associations of pu. which the great crowd, in whose presence is sad- rity, sanctity, and dignity-an object not to be giddest solitude, seem to adopt as a practical motto, dily spoken of, much less treated with downright the famous “ Every man for bimself, and God for irreverence and wantonness of tongue. What an us all."
amazing shock, then, is experienced when for the It would seem to be invariably assumed by people first time it is seen that large masses of one's nomiin their dealings now-a-days, that all we want is, nally civilised fellow creatures consider womanat any expense, to get as much as possible, and, in so it would appear-to be the most promising and the teeth of any claims, to part with as little as fruitful of topics for coarse and foolish pleasantries. may be. This assumption, undoubtedly, does When the beautiful and gentle sex is the theme, gravest wrong to the generous natures which are a kindly exhilaration, a geniality, nay a wholesome to be found everywhere ; but it is almost universal. playfulness, is natural enough, but guilty is the The only jokes (without exception) that are always tongue which befouls the shrine she holds in the appreciated, always understood, safe for a laugh in bosoms of the young and unsophisticated. Set almost any circle, are such as turn upon a savage aside prudery, which is hateful ; allow handsomely greed, supposed to be the pervading fault of mo- for freer moments, when the most "correct” of dern society; and the prevalence of badinage turn- tongues will revenge itself upon conventiou—and ing upon the “ get as much as you can, and keep it will yet remain true that the current talk of all you get” principle is, at first, by a youthful your man of the world contains an abominable ele. and inexperienced nature, found rather a disgusting ment which good taste alone should be sufficient feature in ordinary chit-chat. In time, however, to exclude. one hears so much of it that the sensibility be- The surprise and agitation with which youthful comes hardened by repetition of the outrage, and inquirers into life discover that in certain spheres, the attention is sure to be diverted to some other and for transient purposes, “ brass " means success, unexpected and yet common characteristic of the is an old topic, but will not be used up till the current social understanding, on the basis of which “crack of doom.” In the same breath, one might things in general keep going, or are supposed to mention another feature in “ society” to which he keep going. For instance, to the common social is long in getting accustomed, ---which is, the preassumption that “interest” can do anything. valence of systematic, vigorous lying. If any inexWhat amazement, what horror await the luckless perienced young man or young woman-suppose person who alights upon the discovery that in this the latter a poor governess—will reckon up at the world, although the cant is that merit makes its end of a year of trial and effort the number of own way, the fact is that “interest” is the imple falsehoods, pure and simple, and wholly inexcusable, ment which every man is understood to be entitled — told him or her during that period, the list will unblushingly to use for the opening of the orbal be found "worth perusal”-as weak critics say of oyster!
new novels. Recovering from his surprise at the extent to I am not speaking without book, or without rewhich “ interest” regulates human affairs, and the ference to specific cases within my own observashameless length to which folks carry the princi- tion, when I say that I fear not a few delicate naples of " kissing goes by favour,” and “hit him tures, with inefficient resistive powers, are lost to hard, he's got no friends !”-one stumbles against society, for all noble uses, from the very shock another discovery; to wit, that it seems also taken which a first descent into “ Vanity Fair ” occafor granted that every one wants (not only to get sions them. “True 'tis pity, pity 'tis true.” Some as much as he can and keep it, but) to do as recover, and grow strong by the reaction. Some little as possible ; that we are all to be treated as are contaminated, and go with the crowd. To the if sbirking labour were a necessary and quite uni- young who, having hitherto only seen "life,” as it versal thing. This, to an active, excitable person, is called, through the sanctities of home and friendready in his " hot youth” for anything right, " be ship, enter suddenly upon an active and exposed tween pitch-and-toss and manslaughter," is really career, it is indeed a hard matter to hold fast the “ a beavy blow and great discouragement." What "dreams of youth." Probably nothing would help next ?-he may well say. Action, cheerful, ener- them so much in that particular difficulty as freer getic action, is to him one of the very joys and and more frequent intercourse than the usages of glories of existence, and lo, in the everyday talk modern society allow with pure-minded and cultiof his fellows, he is doomed to find work for its vated women. But where are the cultivated own sake treated as a very rich joke indeed : he women ? is staggered by the apparently universal assumption that we are all ready to "skulk,” to prefer almost any form of dawdling, frolicking, pottering, to lively industry! Traly, the world is " a curious sight."
HABITS AND RESOLUTIONS.
them, and not be always trying to fag up to some Wuen Paley said man might almost be considered pattern. A healthily developed character ought as "a bundle of habits,” he only gave currency to to make its own “habits”-and character is dea view of human nature, which is too often assumed veloped, not by maxims, but by action, and by as a basis for the formation of character. The communion with the Good, the Beautiful, and the truth is, that man is a bundle of instincts under True, wherever found. If one were to try and turn the limitations of babit. Men with a keen sense a file into a razor, he would probably spoil the file, of what is regular and proper, and possessed with but not produce the blade ; so a man of " resoluthe idea that a wise self-control is a great ingre- tions” and “ habits” sometimes bemiuddles his own dient in happiness—men like Franklin, and Hutton moral and meutal constitution, without arriving at of Birmingham, and we may perhaps include Paley the specific result aimed at. himself—forget what is due to the individual soul, B. is a young man, fast approaching thirty, and and regard education too much as a sort of drilling very uncomfortable in the recollection of the fact, that all must go through, in order to be disciplined because he feels that much of his life has been up to a moral pattern assumed for best in a peda- wasted by his own unwisdom. His capacities are gogic mind. The author of “Sandford and Mer- really good, and he has been creditably self-taught ton," (I think it was he-but it was some one of and self-trained — after a fashion. What that his kidney,) found out, it is said, and found out to fashion is you shall hear. While I was speculating his mortification, that woman is not " a bundle of in his company about a certain want of efficiency habits," when a girl whom he had painstakingly which seemed to me to cling to all he said or did, trained up to be his own wife, eloped with the he drew out a pocket-book, or rather a pocket baker, or something of that sort. The fact is, we memorandum-book, and emphatically asked :have no right to tamper with what has been called “You see that book, sir ? You perceive it is “ the individuality of the individual." It seems nearly half empty-leaf after leaf torn out ? Well, difficult to evade the conclusion that every human sir, I've spent a little fortune in memorandum-books soal must have a proper sphere of action in the like that!" world to which it is sent, and, by consequence, I thought it a curious, but a harmless, fancy, that special varieties of character are to be care- and suggested that buying memorandum.books ad fully considered before we enforce “habits” of a infinitum, for the gratification of tearing out the special kind. It is very easy to pash this to ab- leaves one by one, did not prove, probably, so er. surdity, or to exhibit it in a ludicrous light; but pensive a habit as smoking would have done, and it may be well worth a thought, for all that. Is could scarcely annoy other people so much. it, or is it not, true, that the proper object of moral “No, sir; but there is sometbing important training, exercised by the adult individual on him. connected with my buying and tearing up those self, or on the young under his charge, is, not the little books, beyond the mere cost—which is formation of good habits, but the happy develop. trifling." ment of character, so that its outgrowth shall na- Indeed P” Perhaps he had devoted himself turally be good ?
to squaring the circle, or to the perpetual motion, It is painful to witness the pedantic trifling in and torn out every leaf on which he had inscribed which many young men, bent on "forming" their a fallacious theorem. characters, and well up in maxim-books and man- No; the fact is, B. was a resolution man, uals of duty, waste time and energy during the thoroughly saturated with the idea that be ought most precious period of their lives. This they do, to be a "bundle of habits;" and his expenditure particularly in making, and striving to keep, silly in memorandum books was the consequence! He “ resolutions" to do this, that, or the other. It used to inscribe on a page a solemn “resolution" would be useless, as well as foolish, to condemn to do this, that, or the other-adopt some habit efforts of this nature, directed to the suppression recently recommended to him by a pedantic friend, of bad tendencies, or the cultivation of good ones; or a still more pedautic book; and when he failed, but it is vexing to see an aspirant after usefulness he tore out the leaf, and wrote the same resolution and true glory, bugbearing himself (if one may in fresh terms, on another, with which he thought speak so strangely) with some imaginary formal bis chance of success greater, To impress these standard of moral perfection, and inscribing "re- engagements on his mind, be had resorted to nosolutions” over and over again in his pocket-book merous expedients; he had written them in all -" resolutions” only to be broken ! Such a styles-plain, print, German-text, and what not; person keeps himself necessarily in a state of irri- in all sorts of ink-blue, black, Stephen's “bloetation very unfavourable, he may rely upon it, to black," and red, to resemble blood, and induce a bis general culture, since be cannot escape per- mystical awful appearance. He had almost unipetual dissatisfaction with himself. The path of formily failed, and the register of the last few duty is usually very simple, and he who has “the years of his life might have run somewhat in this root of the matter in him," with regard to any fashion :-Sixteen months, and a dozen memoranparticular quality, does not need to be fussy about dum-books, expended in making, breaking, writing it. I beg to suggest, therefore, to young men, in, and tearing out, useless resolutions, to get up that they should respect themselves as God made early in the morning, the time varying from day
break to the mild compromise of six o'clock; net It is now mid-summer, the " season” for exhi. result, getting up at about seven, like other bitions, and junketings of all sorts. Now, the Christians, with the loss of effort, temper, and the streets look like parterres of light-footed perambucost of the memorandum books. Twelve or lating flowers. Now, every gentleman takes a thirteen months, and memorandum books in pro- lady somewhere, and goes wild when the slipping of portion, devoted to savage efforts to get through a mantle reveals a dainty shoulder, or the bend. the first six books of Euclid ; net result, a limited ing over a catalogue brings his lips close to a kissacquaintace with the axioms and definitions, and able ringlet. Now, in truth, everybody who could the loss of energy and consumption of paper, same afford it would be content to do nothing but take as above. Similar periods of time, with greater out ladies—if there were only, in this unclean or less waste of labour and memorandum books, London, a few places where they (and one's self) devoted to various objects, meant to be compassed might make a toilet in peace at the intervals of rest with mechanical regularity,—such as reading five and quiet refreshment. The discomfort of being pages of the “Decline and Fall," and writing out for a few hours in a great city, in this sweet, twenty lines of poetry before breakfast (!); count happy time of year, without dipping the bands, ing a hundred before speaking when angry ; rising face, and forehead into fresh, cold water, is almost from meals, especially dinner, with an appetite. unbearable by a man, and when shared by
" those Net results on the whole, absurdly disproportionate whom man was born to please,"—(one of Cowto the pains taken, and accompanied by an abid- per's best points was his generous gallantry)—it ing, worrying sense of self-dissatisfaction and is torture. Now, if I were a man with money, I disgust.
would at least make a beginning in this matter. Now, here was an individual, whom nature had The thing should be done. A company might do not “written down an ass,” praiseworthily seeking it now-might dot Londou all over with real reshis own culture ; but, troubled with a manifest taurants—not dry, sulky looking hotels, nor stupidinfirmity of purpose, he was striving to attain that looking pastry-cooks', --but houses of refreshinent minute regularity of conduct which is never found and toilette, where food of a simple character might -except in cases where the mental and moral be taken, and a lady or gentleman might have, upon natures are very nicely balanced, and well liarmo payınent, a dip of water, a touch of odorous soap, nised with the physique. He had signally failed in a nice white towel, and a hair brush. With simwhat he ought never to have attempted. The ple good taste in the appointments, what delightful practical alternative for him was, not that he oases such Toilet Refuges might be made! should have given the reins to his impulses, and One of the hopes I cherished, during the proscrambled aimlessly through life, but that he should gress of the new works at our beautiful Museum bave sought opportunities of vigorous action, Library, was that some provision would be made for with frequent change, quite satisfied that “ habits” what a person who has come several miles may appropriate to his style of character, would grow sometimes require before sitting down to reading naturally out of his relations with stubborn facts which requires a clear head and a nervous system around bim; unless, indeed, he were one of those at rest. The first time I went thither, I saw, someperversely constructed persons who “defy angury” where or other, down a labyrinthine shaft of galfrom the wisest of soothsayers. I believe that vanised iron, an apparatus of washiug-basins which similar cases-similar, though less puerile in their gladdened my expectant eyes. Already I felt the symptoms, are not uncommon; and while I re. beneficent touch of the cold water on my cheeks ! commend to all young persons that steadiness and But the presiding deity of the umbrellas, when I tenaciousness of purpose, and reasonable exacti inquired for a towel, threw cold water on my hopes tude of conduct, which secure true success in (oh ! oh!) by stating that the apparatus was only most undertakings, I would heartily dissuade them for the “officials.” Shame, shame !—I say. Am from tampering with their characters by fussy I not a man and a brother ? Why should the offiresolution-making, and mechanical attempts at cial have bis wash, and the reader not ? Hath not becoming "bundles of habits.”
a reader eyes, hands, organs, affections, dimensions ? If you prick us, do we not bleed ? If you tickle us, do we not laugh ? If we are dusty, do we not enjoy our wash ? If you ask us for our
coppers, should we not give them, as we do at the OBVIOUS THINGS UNDONE.
Crystal Palace ? For myself, I answer, proudly, I The useful things, which, easy to be done, and would even give a silver THREE-PENNY PIECE for remunerative in one kind or another, yet remain un- a wash before squaring myself down to read, away done, constitute one of the ever-present surprises from my own crib. of life. By some inscrutable ordinance of the I do not wish to expose myself to the imputaUpper Powers, it would seem that the ideas of re- tion of ingratitude in this Museum matter. Indeed, forms, and the keen feeling of their necessity, as the swellmobsman says, “ please your worship, should mostly exist in the individuals who are, from I deny the charge in toto.” My heart is touched one cause or another, unable to carry them out, with the handsomeness of the dome and room, the or even to initiate them,
ease with which I can now consult books of refer.
ence, the general drawing-roomy appearance of and easily made tasteful in appearance, and yet to the hall, and, in fine, the luxuries of convenience retain one's social prestige. At present, there i placed at the disposal of a reader in the new place. no medium between broadcloth and corduroyBut some of this I could dispense with. I could which last is a caste material—and shabby-gentility take my own pens, my own ink, my own blotting is the consequence, when a man cannot get broad. pad. But it must be obvious to the meanest capa cloth at will, and velveteen is out of the question. city that I cannot take my own washing-stand. For my part, I think a man never looks better I insist therefore, that the means of performing than in a blouse, with a belt, and with a tasselled a simple toilette be forthwith furnished to every cap on his head; but, oh, ye gods! what would applicant at the Museum Library. This is essen. become of me if I, desirous to set a good example
, tial; it would cost only a bagatelle; the fees were to go about in such a dress ? My burthen might be the perquisites of the attendants—for, would be greater than I could bear. Have I one of course, there would be two, a male party, and friend who would not “cut" me? I believe I have a female party. If, during the summer, a chro. - but it is notorious that, however people may matic fountain were to play twice an hour in the go on against “conventionality,” they all insist on middle of the room (like that in the late lamented " drawing the line somewhere," and that they Panopticon) the effect would be pleasing and re- usually draw it at some minor personal peculiarity. freshing, and the functionaries at the central tri- To sum up about shabby-gentility. It might bune would not be much splashed—or they might be banished by a rational system of dress. There wear macintoshes, while the fountain was playing. are large numbers of people who cannot afford to
There are some obvious reforms in which taking set the example of dressing with cheap good taste. the initiative is not without risk --of ridicule, or But again, there are others who can. What then ? the greater inconvenience which sometimes bangs Why, let them do it! upon ridicale
However we brave it out, we men are a little breed, and even a slight deviation from vulgar routine
THE PASSING SUMMER. will too often be quite enough to get a black mark
SOMEWHERE about the middle of July, a quick placed against a man's name. Now, it is not every
sensibility to natural influences may always catch one who can afford a black mark, while those who
vague mistiness in the moonlight and a faint can afford it are, for the most part, of all other touch of passing-away in the odour of the leaves, classes, the very slaves of convention. I saw,
which speak of the coming autumn. Rich and yesterday, a shabby-genteel man knocking at a golden-bright as is this summer, I was conscious of door. The shabby.genteel man, probably with a begging letter in his pocket, and wondering how the silent prophecy of decay of which I speak, sevehe would be received inside, had no idea what he when the geraniums seem to burn redder. None of
ral evenings ago. It comes with the convolvulases, suggested to my mind as I looked at him from the
our poets has so finely seized the influence I speak box seat of a passing omnibus. My first feeling of as William Allingham, in his “ Therania," was one of disgust; my next, of compassion. But, verses which have always had an extraordinary thought I, how utterly ridiculous that system of charm for me, and can do no less than please you dress which makes shabby-gentility a thing
possible! also : For observe what shabby-gentility is. It is not
O, Unknown Beloved One ! to the mellow season showiness; it is not slovenliness. It is what comes Branches in the lake make drooping bowers ; of the honest effort of a poor fellow to look "re- Vase and plot burn scarlet, gold and azure, spectable." It is all very well for Burlington Honeysuckles wind the tall grey turret, Broadcloath to say that the effort is a culpable And pale passion flowers. blunder. I do not see it. The situation is simple.
Come thon, come thou, to my lonely thought,
O Unknown Belov'd One. A cloth coat will only wear so long; the same may be predicated of a pair of pants ; ditto, ditto,
Now, at evening twilight, dasky dew down-wavers,
Soft stars crown the grove-encircled hill; waistcoat; ditto, ditto, hat, gloves, necktie, boots.
Breathe the new-wown meadows, broad and misty ; Suppose our poor friend has worn them "so long," Through the heavy grass the rail is talking; and has neither money por credit-what is he to
All beside is still. do ? He must go on wearing worn-out things
Trace with me the wandering avende, and going on wearing worn-out things = shabby
O Unknown Belov'd One. gentility, Q.E.D. Mr. Broadcloth says the man How you would injure the beauty of the cadence should not try to ape his betters. Very good there, if you were to substitute any stop for the but what IS HE TO Wear, in the case I have put ? full period after “still." Which question, simple yet incisive, brings us to In the mystic realm, and in the time of visions, the core of the matter. Dress should be such I, thy lover, have no need to woo ; that, though dirtiness, and slovenliness, and open
Then I hold thy hand in mine, thon dearest, saced, unshamed poverty, may be possible, shabby
And thy soul in mine, and feel its throbbing,
Tender, deep and true; gentility shall not be possible. It should be pos- Then my tears are love, and thine are love, sible to dress in cheap materials, easily replaced, Q Unknown Belor'd One.
A XONTH passed. I had left the hotel, and set-fluous, for no description could convey an adequate tled myself in one of the prettiest cottages imagi- idea of her loveliness. Her mother had died when nable, in the St. Peter's Valley. The French win Florence was scarcely twelve months old ; and her dows of the drawing-room opened on to the father, Colonel Glennie, then with his regiment in smoothest of green lawns, which, dotted with flower India, unable to part with this sole remaining link beds, filled with the scarlet and white verbena, of his domestic chain of happiness, had taken her the blue convolvulus, and all other bright and with him to each successive station to which the lovely flowers, looked a very paradise of beauty. regiment had been ordered; confiding her to the
It was evening; and I was sitting in this same care of an Indian nurse, who was guide, mother, garden, and enjoying the calm loveliness of the and friend to the Englishman's motherless child. scene. I had sent my man servant to St. Thus that child grew up-the denizen of an Helier's for my letters, and as he had not returned, English camp- -a half English, half Hindoo girl. I was both impatient and tidgetty. At length he Even her very language was a compound of that came;
and to my disappointment brought me a of the two countries; her dress the same ; for the large registered letter, somewhat resembling a ayah, proud of her charge, regarding her as the manuscript, directed to myself. I say to my dis- most perfect of earth's creatures, loved to deck her appointment, for I knew the letter came in place with the graceful draperies of the East, and to weave of the writer, and I would rather have seen the the gorgeous Indian flowers with the golden hair writer than the letter. There was another in the of the child. This was her life then, until she was same handwriting, which I opened, and read as nearly seventeen, when loss of health compelled follows:
her father to return to England. “Dear Elsie- I cannot get away from England Florence was delighted at the change, but the yet [how tiresome, I exclaimed] ; I may be de poor ayah could not share in her mistress's exultatained some time longer in town ; so, not to dis- tion. “ Come with me, Fazia, come with me to appoint you, I forward the story you bespoke when the new country,” and the fair English face was We sat on the rocks at Gorey, and you listened to laid against the swarthy Indian cbeek. But the the sorrows of the poor · Daisy. At the inevi- ayah looked sad. She thought of the palm groves table risk of being considered a domestic parson, of her native country; of the graceful bamboo ; I beg you to read the accompanying tale, which is of the mountains, and the sky, and the sunshine styled Tinsel.' (Exercise a little more ingenu- of her Indian clime ; and then she remembered the ity than you did in the 'Daisy' case, and see how tales she had heard of the cold British land, the title applies.) It is fiction based on truth. where the snow lay thick upon the grouud, and all Read it attentively, and"
things—aye, even to the human heart—seemed I turned over the page, for I foresaw a lecture, chilled by the freezing atmosphere. But the Enwhich I did not care to have. I only wanted to glish cheek was still pressed to the Indian face ; know when the “ domestic parson” was coming the English arms still clung round the neck of the back. Not another word was there of his return, faithful ayah ; and the English girl still whispered nothing but three pages and a-half of advice ! entreaty after entreaty. I spare the infiction of it to the reader, and break- Nay, dear nursie, I will cling here ever, till ing the seals of the manuscript, lay before him its you promise to go with me; will you send your contents.
child alone to the land you deem too cold for your“ TINSEL."
self? Think how helpless you have made me, A few years since, Florence Glennie was the —why even this long hair would go unbraided, belle of Jersey ; and that is saying something, for if you were far from me, Fazia, and then, in Engin Jersey beauty abounds; but Florence was the land, people would say that the English girl had flower of the parterre. Face and figure, both become little better than a savage in her Indian were exquisite. Any description would be super-home; come, Fazia, promise me;" and she looked