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not being. The demon of Gentility or Ungentility haunted her in city and in field ; when she sat in the house, and when she walked by the way, alone, or in company, Sunday, and week-day-nothing could equal the torment of this merciless pursuer. From the most frivolous amusement, to the most important of duties, there was nothing it did not meddle with.
Julia had too much mind to care for dress. She had not the smallest pleasure in it for its own sake. But then the dread of being ungenteel : one must conform to the society one lives in. Her allowance zan short: she could not bear to see it thus expended: she hated the selfish and useless purchases but what could she do? She must be dressed
gens teelly, and be like her Companions. I saw her one day in a perdicament upon this matter. She went to buy a bonnet. She had but two guineas in the world, and one was reserved for some nore important purposes.
There were two bonnets; they were alike in shape, equally tasteful, and equally becoming. But one was of straw, and the other of Leg. horn; the one was a guinea,* the other exceeded two. She had really no choice between them. But almost any body could get straw—it was so common -it was so ungenteel—all her friends wore the Leghorn, and she was obliged to have it; though it left her in arrears, deprived her of a real gratification in the expenditure of the second guinea, and obliged her to fail in a promise she had given.
Julia was invited to visit one of her school-fellows at a distance from home. This she would have delighted in—but how to get there? Her father had no carriage; he could not afford to let her travel
* Four dollars sixty-six cents.
post. Coaches passed the door; but then how ungenteel! She could not possibly arrive at Lady B.'s in a stage coach. None of her acquaintance would do so. A similar feeling kept her at home on another occasion. To Sir Peter Paulett's balls and fashionable parties, the principles of Julia's parents did not allow of her going. But Sir Peter was, in these parts, the patron of every thing. For a county ball, he filed his house with dancers; for an assize, with judges; and for a Bible-meeting, with saints, as he called them—and valued them all alike. It was on one of these latter occasions, that certain distinguished persons were to be there; distinguished, it is true, bo rank and talent, but more distinguished for active charity and holy devotedness to God. This was a party to which Julia Aruut might come, and she was kindly pressed. Her heart panted to be among persons whose naines she had heard and reverenced so long. But, poor child! what could she do?
There was nobody to fetch her home but John, the cowherd, a decent and trusty man, the only one her father kept. How very ungenteel it would be for him to appear among the footmen of Lord R. and the Marquis of C.! The thing was impossible: one must have respect to the decencies of life, were it only for the sake of one's genteel connexions.
Julia was an active, healthy girl, and had as good an appetite as other ladies; but this besetting demon could not, some way or other, let her perform in peace even these vulgar functions of humanity. There were certain things at her father's table very good and pleasing to the
taste, which it was ungenteel to eat; but what I was going to notice is, that her parents, being elderly, and of country habits, liked to dine at one o'clock. Julia's appetite had no objection to this whatever, for it was used to
nothing else. The first few days I was with them, I could not think why the fidgets seized upon her from the time the cloth was laid till it was removed; why she bolted her food like a cat that fears a surprise; why she sat edgewise on her chair to watch the window; and why she recovered her ease as soon as dinner was over, like one escaped from purgatory. It was because it was so ungenteel
' to dine at one o'clock. Suppose the Miss Pauletts should come in—what would they think? They must see the dinner as they passed the window; or, if not, the house was so small they must smell it. I have reason to believe this perpetual uneasiness during the progress of mastication, subjected the young lady to frequent fits of indigestion.
There happened to be two churches in the town of W as there are in many towns. Both had the service performed with propriety, and both were filled by people of education and character. But for some reason, fully understood only to Julia and her evil spirit, though others might by possibility guess at it, both were not equally genteel. Julia's parents attended at St. Paul's, because they there heard the boldest and the purest truth. Julia, from education and from principle, preferred it too. The Rector of St. Paul's was the more learned and more eloquent preacher; but still St. Peter's was the more fashionable church. With umbrella and clogs as she hastened to the one, Julia passed the carriages going to the other, and hung down her head for shame. As she passed through the crowd of poor that lined the aisles, she had an involuntary sense of degradation. She was not ashamed of her principles, or of the doctrine she went to hear, but she was ashamed of the congregation. She would not have blushed to hear it said, none but Methodists VOL. II.
went to St. Paul's; but she was ashamed when it was said, none but vulgar people frequented it. I do not say she therefore left her church–I hope she never will; but she went not to the service with an undisturbed and tranquil mind.
One day, I found the young lady in the parlour, in deep, and seemingly sad consideration, with a parcel before her on the table. “I cannot tell what to do," she said to me. 6 Dame Wenham is very ill-she has nothing to eat, and they want flannel to wrap her in. I have things here ready for her, but John is gone to market, and Sarah is washing, and I have nobody to take them.”—“ Take them yourself,” I replied: " it is no farther than your usual walk, and this parcel is of no great weight.”—“ This is what I was thinking of,” taking up the bundle, " the woman is suffering—perhaps dying I would not mind carrying it three times as far; but, laying it down again, “ it is so ungenteel to carry parcels—I cannot be sure of not meeting anybody.” I offered to go with her, and bear the obnoxious burden through the town, but was surprised to see she still hesitated. • Well, Julia, what is the matter now? We are losing time, and you say man is suffering."_“I am thinking,” she repliedI am glad to say, blushing for herself the while “I am thinking, if any body see us, it will be quite as ungenteel to be walking with you and the parcel in your hand, as if I carried it myself.”—“Then ring for your footman, Julia,” I replied, half angrily. “Indeed, I wish I had one," she said, half angry too. “ And why have you not one? It is very ungenteel.”—“We cannot afford it ; you know we are not rich.” “ but then, how came you not to be rich ? Your friends at the Hall.”
-Julia now perceiving my bearing-she saw I wanted her to
say that Providence had assigned it otherwise :she blushed, and was silent. “My dear girl," I said, “ examine your heart, and see if it is not in actual rebellion against Heaven for the portion assigned you upon earth. And what a portion is it! You have not a single want but those of vanity ; you have not a single difficulty, a single care, but those you have created for yourself. And this is the beneficent allotment of which you
dare to be ashamed. And
you hesitate in the act of duty, lest people should observe that you are—where God has placed you !"
These were the outward appearances of Julia's besetting misery: few, doubtless, in comparison with its actings in her own bosom. I appeal to any lady, similarly possessed with the demon of gentility, without adequate means, to say
many pleasant moments it imbitters, how many duties it suspends, how much falsehood and subterfuge it induces, and how much of sinful passion kindles in the heart: my tale runs long, and my time is running short.
It may be said that I have painted only the disadvantages of keeping good company; which, admitting there be some, are yet overbalanced by the gain. Julia, with her friends, sharing their advantages, and enjoying their society, might feel herself repaid for occasional difficulties at home.
In case any young lady should not know what sort of happiness she misses, by keeping her station and associating with her equals, it would be worth while to describe it. I wish I could. I would measure the moments in which Julia's vanity was gratified, against those in which it was mortified; the hours in which she enjoyed the good society, against those in which she endured it because it was so called; the times of gratitude to Heaven for the