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Mrs Pringle to Miss Mally Glencairn. DEAR Miss MALLY,—Trully, it may
You will see by the newspapers be said, that the croun of England is that ther's a lection going on for parupon the downfall, and surely we are liament. It maks my corruption to all seething in the pot of revolution, rise to hear of such doings, and if I for the scum is mounting uppermost. was a government as I'm but a woLast week, no farther gone than on man, I woud put them doon with the Mononday, we to our new strong hand, just to be revenged on house her in Baker Street, but its the proud stomaks of these het and nather to be bakit nor brewt what I fou English. hav sin syne suffert.
You no my
We have gotten our money in the way, and that I like a been house, but pesents put into our own name, but I no wastrie, and so I needna tell yoo, have had no peese since, for they have that we hav had good diners; to be fallen in price three eight parts, sure, there was not a meerakle left to which is very near a half, and if the fill five baskets every day, but an go at this rate, where will all our leabundance, with a proper kitchen of gacy soon be? I have no goo of the of breed, to fill the bellies of four du- pesents ; so we are on the look out mesticks. Howsomever, lo and be for a landed estate, being a shure hold, what was clecking doon stairs. thing. On Saturday morning as we were site Captain Saber is still sneking after ting at our breakfast, the doctor read- Rachel, and if she were awee perfited ing the newspapers, who shoud com in her accomplugments, its no saying intil the room but Andrew's grum, what might happen, for he's a fine follo't by the rest, to give us warning lad, but she's o'er young to be the that they were all going to quat our
heed of a family. Howsomever, the sairvice, becas they were starvit. I Lord's will maun be done, and if thocht that I would hav fentit cauld there is to be a match, she'll no have deed, but the doctor, who is a consie- to fight for gentility with a straitent derat man, inquairt what made them circumstance. starve, and then their was such an As for Andrew, I wish he was weel approbrious cry about cold meet and settlt, and we have our hopes that bare bones, and no beer. It was an he's beginning to draw up with Miss evendoun resurection-a rebellion war Argent, who will have, no doobt, a than the forty five. In short, Miss great fortune, and is a treasure of a Mally, to make a leettle of a lang tail, creeture in herself, being just as simthey woud have a hot joint day and ple as a lamb ; but, to be sure, she has day aboot, and a tree of yill to stand had every advantage of edication, on the gauntrees for their draw and being brought up in a most fashondrink, with a cock and a pail; and ible boarding-school. we were obligated to evacuate to their I hope you have got the box I sent terms, and to let them go to their by the smak, and that you like the wark with flying colors, so you see patron of the goon-So no more at how dangerous it is to live among present, but remains, dear Miss this piple, and their noshans of li- Mally, your sinsaire friend, berty.
JANET PRINGLE. " The box,” said Miss Mally, “ that Mrs Pringle speaks about, came last night. It contains a very handsome present to me and to Miss Bell Todd. The gift to me is from Mrs P. herself, and Miss Bell's from Rachel ; but that ettercap, Becky Glibbans, is flying through the town like a spunky, mis-likening the one and misca’ing the other: every body, however, kens, that it's only spite that gars her speak. It's a great pity that she cou'd na be brought to a sense of religion like her mother, who, in her younger days, they say, was na to seek at a clashing.
Mr Snodgrass expressed his surprise at this account of the faults of that exemplary lady's youth ; but he thought of her holy anxiety to sift into the circumstances of Betty, the elder's servant, becoming in one day Mrs Craig, and
the same afternoon sending for the midwife, and he prudently made no other comment; for the characters of all preachers were in her hands, and he had the good fortune to stand high in her favour, as a young man of great promise. In order, therefore, to avoid any discussion respecting moral merits, he read the following letter from Andrew Pringle.
LETTER XXIII. Andrew Pringle Esq. to the Rev. Charles Snodgrass. MY DEAR FRIEND,-London un- things of universal ridicule; but the doubtedly affords the best and the sin, though in a less gross form, perworst specimens of the British charac. vades the whole of that sinister system ter; but there is a certain townish by which much of the superiority of something about the inhabitants in this vast metropolis is supported. The general, of which I find it extremely state of the periodical press, that great difficult to convey any idea. Com- organ of political instruction-the unpared with the English of the coun- ruly tongue of liberty, strikingly contry, there is apparently very little dif- firms the justice of this misanthropic ference between them; but still there remark. is a difference, and of no small im.
had the kindness, by way portance in a moral point of view. of a treat to me, to collect, the other The country peculiarity is like the day, at dinner, some of the inost emi- ! bloom of the plumb, or the down of nent editors of the London journals. the peach, which the fingers of infancy I found them men of talent, certainly, cannot touch without injuring ; but and much more men of the world than !! this felt but not describable quality of “ the cloistered student from his palthe town character, is as the varnish ing lamp;" but I was astonished to which brings out more vividly the co find it considered, tacitly, as a sort of lours of a picture, and which may be maxim among them, that an interme. freely and even rudely handled. The diate party was not bound by any obwomen, for example, although as chaste ligation of honour to withhold, farther in principle as those of any
other com than his own discretion suggested, any munity, possess none of that innocent information of which he was the acci- t untempted simplicity, which is more dental depositary, whatever the consethan half the grace of virtue ; many of quences might be to his informant, ori them, and even young ones too, « in to those affected by the communicathe first freshness of their virgin beau- tion. In a word, they seemed all to ty," speak of the conduct and vocation care less about what might be true of “the erring sisters of the sex,” in than what would produce effect, and a manner that often amazes me, and that effect for their own particular adhas, in more than one instance, excit- vantage. It is impossible to deny, that ed unpleasant feelings towards the fair if interest is made the criterion by satirists. This moral taint, for I can which the confidences of social interconsider it as nothing less, I have course are to be respected, the persons heard defended, but only by men who who admit this doctrine will have but are supposed to have had a large expe- little respect for the use of names, or rience of the world, and who, pere deem it any reprehensible delinquency i haps, on that account, are not the best to suppress truth, or to blazon false judges of female delicacy. “Every hood. In a word, man in London is woman, as Pope says, may be “at not quite so good a creature as he is heart a rake;" but it is for the intere out of it. The rivalry of interests is ests of the domestic affections, which here too intense ; it impairs the affecare the very elements of virtue, to tions, and occasions speculations both cherish the notion, that women, as in morals and in politics, which, I they are physically more delicate than much suspect, it would puzzle a casumen, are also so morally.
ist to prove blameless. Can any thing, But the absence of delicacy, the for example, be more offensive to the bloom of virtue, is not peculiar to the calm spectator, than the elections females, it is characteristic of all the which are now going on? Is it possivarieties of the metropolitan mind. ble that this country, so much smaller The artifices of the medical quacks are in geographical extent than France,
and so inferior in natural resources, mon grammar in the most atrocious restricted too by those ties and obliga. way, and his tropes and figures are so tions which were thrown off as fetters distorted, hashed, and broken-such a by that country during the late war, patch-work of different patterns, that could have attained, in despite of her, you are bewildered if you attempt to such a lofty pre-eminence-become the make them out ; but the earnestness of foremost of all the world had it not his manner, and a certain fitness of been governed in a manner congenial character, in his observations a kind to the spirit of the people, and with of Shaksperian pithiness, redeem all great practical wisdom. It is absurd this. Besides, his manifold blunders to assert, that there are no corruptions of syntax do not offend the taste of in the various modifications by which those audiences where he is heard with the affairs of the British empire are the most approbation. administered ; but it would be difficult Hobhouse speaks more correctly, to show, that, in the present state of but he lacks in the conciliatory advanmorals and interests among mankind, tages of personal appearance ; and his corruption is not a necessary evil
. I physiognomy, though indicating condo not mean necessary, as evolved from siderable strength of mind, is not so those morals and interests, but neces- prepossessing. He is evidently a man sary to the management of political of more education than his friend, trusts. I am afraid, however, to in- that is, of more reading, perhaps also sist on this, as the natural integrity of of more various observation, but he your own heart, and the dignity of has less genius. His tact is coarser, your vocation, will alike induce you to and though he speaks with more vehecondemn it as Machiavellian. It is, mence, he seldomer touches the sensihowever, an observation forced on me bilities of his auditors. He may have by what I have seen here.
observed - mankind in general more It would be invidious, perhaps, to extensively than Sir Francis, but he is criticise the different candidates for the far less acquainted with the feelings representation of London and West- and associations of the English mind. minster very severely. I think it There is also a wariness about him, must be granted, that they are as sin- which I do not like so well as the ima cere in their professions as their op- prudent ingenuousness of the baronet. ponents, which at least bleaches away He seems to me to have a cause in much of that turpitude of which their hand-Hobhouse versus Existing Cir. political conduct is accused by those cumstances and that he considers the who are of a different way of think- multitude as the jurors on whose deing. But it is quite evident, at least cision his advancement in life depends. to me, that no government could exist -But in this I may be uncharitable. a week, managed with that subjection I should, however, think more highly to public opinion to which Sir Francis of his sincerity as a patriot, if his stake Burdett and Mr Hobhouse apparently in the country were greater ; and yet I submit; and it is no less certain, that doubt, if his stake were greater, if he no government ought to exist a single is that sort of man who would have day that would act in complete defi- cultivated popularity in Westminster. ance of public opinion.
He seems to me to have qualified him. I was surprised to find Sir Francis self for Parliament as others do for the Burdett an uncommonly mild and bar, and that he will probably be congentlemanly-looking man. I had pic- sidered in the house for some time tured somehow to my imagination a merely as a political adventurer. But dark and morose character ; but, on the if he has the talent and prudence recontrary, in his appearance, deporte quisite to ensure distinction in the line ment, and manner of speaking, he is of his profession, the mediocrity of his eminently qualified to attract popular original condition will reflect honour applause. His style of speaking is on his success, should he hereafter acnot particularly oratorical, but he has quire influence and consideration as a the art of saying bitter things in a statesman. Of his literary talents I sweet way. In his language, howe know you do not think very highly, nor ever, although pungent and sometimes am I inclined to rank the powers of his even eloquent, he is singularly incor- mind much beyond those of any comrect. He cannot utter a sequence of mon well-educated English gentleman. three sentences without violating com But it will soon be ascertained whe.
ther his pretensions to represent West- pale countenance, that puzzles me exminster be justified by a sense of con- ceedingly. In common parlance I scious superiority, or only prompted would call him an empty vain creaby that ambition which overleaps it- ture; but when I look at that indeself.
scribable spirit, which indicates a Pretension, or presumption rather, strange and out-of-the-way manner of , seems to be an essential ingredient in thinking, I humbly confess that he is the qualifications of a parliamentary no common man. He is evidently a : candidate, and the city candidates af- person of no intellectual accomplishford a striking illustration of this cir- ments; he has neither the language 1 cumstance. It is deplorable to think, nor the deportment of a gentleman, in that London should be represented by the usual understanding of the term ; such a man as Alderman Waithman. and yet there is something that I Of his personal character I have heard would almost call genius about him. nothing objectionable, and in the con It is not cunning, it is not wisdom, it dition of a common council man, he is far from being prudence, and yet it filled his proper sphere. But that a is something as wary as prudence, as mere fluency in stringing assertions effectual as wisdom, and not less sinisand truisms together should be deemed ter than cunning. I would call it insufficient qualifications for a legislator, tuitive skill, a sort of instinct, by is an absurdity that sickens common which he is enabled to attain his ends
The returning of this weak in defiance of a capacity naturally intoxicated individual to parliament, narrow, a judgment that topples with must have destroyed his character as vanity, and an address at once mean a patriot among the reflecting portion and repulsive. To call him a great of his friends. Had he possessed any man, in any possible approximation of true public spirit, and not been actu- the word, would be ridiculous ; that ated by vanity in the part he has so he is a good one, will be denied by long taken in politics, he would not those who envy his success, or hate have allowed himself to be so set for his politics; but nothing, save the ward. In the Common Halls of the blindness of fanaticism, can call in city he was respectable, sometimes in- question his possession of a rare and trepid; but in the House of Com- singular species of ability, let it be mons, he can never be otherwise than excited in what cause it may.--But impudent.
my paper is full, and I have only room Of Wood, who was twice Lord to subscribe myself, faithfully, yours, Mayor, I know not what to say.
A, PRINGLE. There is a queer and wily cast in his
" It appears to us," said Mr Snodgrass, as he folded up the letter to return it to his pocket, " that the Londoners, with all their advantages of information, are neither purer nor better than their fellow-subjects in the country.” “ As to their betterness," replied Miss Mally, “ I have a notion that they are far waur ; and I hope you do not think that earthly knowledge of any sort has a tendency to make mankind, or womankind either, any better ; for was not Solomon, who had more of it than any other man, a type and testification, that knowledge without grace is but vanity.” The young clergyman was somewhat startled at this application of a remark on which he laid no particular stress, and was thankful in his heart that Mrs Glibbans was not present. He was not aware that Miss Mally had an orthodox corn, or bunyan, that could as little bear a touch from the royne-slippers of philosophy, as the inflamed gout of polemical controversy, which had gumfiated every inental joint and member of that zealous prop of the Relief Kirk. This was indeed the tender point of Miss Mally's character; for she was left unplucked on the stalk of single blessedness, owing entirely to a conversation on this very
subject with the only lover she ever had, Mr Dalgliesh, formerly helper in the neighbouring parish of Dintonknow. He happened incidentally to observe, that education was requisite to promote the interests of religion. But Miss Mally, on that occasion, jocularly maintained, that education had only a tendency to promote the sale of books. This, Mr Dalgliesh thought, was a sheer at himself, he having some time before unfortunately published a short tract, entitled, “ The moral union of our temporal and eternal interests considered,
with respect to the establishment of parochial seminaries," and which fell stillborn from the press. He therefore retorted with some acrimony, until, from less to more, Miss Mally ordered him to keep his distance ; upon which he bounced out of the room, and they were never afterwards on speaking terms. Saving, however, and excepting this particular dogma, Miss Mally was on all other topics as liberal and beneficent as could be expected from a maiden lady, who was obliged to eke out her stinted income with a nimble needle and a close-clipping economy. The conversation with Mr Snodgrass was not, however, lengthened into acrimony; for immediately after the remark which we have noticed, she proposed that they should call on Miss Isabella Todd to see Rachel's letter ; indeed this was rendered necessary by the state of the fire, for after boiling the kettle she had allowed it to fall low. It was her nightly practice after tea, to take her evening seam, in a friendly way, to some of her neighbours' houses, by which she saved both coal and candle, while she acquired the news of the day, and was occasionally invited to stay supper.
On their arrival at Mrs Todd's, Miss Isabella understood the purport of their visit, and immediately produced her letter, receiving, at the same time, a perusal of Mr Andrew Pringle's. Mrs Pringle's to Miss Mally she had previously seen.
LETTER XXIV. MY DEAR Bell--Since my last we as Young, the poet, says, "the things have undergone great changes and vi unseen do not deceive us.” I have cissitudes. Last week we removed to seen more beauty at an Irvine ball, our present house, which is exceeding- than all the fashionable world could ly handsome and elegantly furnished; bring to market at my Lady and on Saturday there was an insur- emporium for young ladies, for indeed rection of the servants, on account of i can consider it as nothing else. my mother not allowing them to have I went with the Argents; the halltheir dinners served up at the usual door was open, and filled with the hour for servants in other genteel servants in their state liveries ; but houses. We have also had the legacy although the door was open, the porin the funds transferred to my father, ter, as each carriage came up, rung a and only now wait the settling of the peal upon the knocker, to announce to final accounts, which will yet take all the square the successive arrival of some time.
On the day that the the guests. We were shewn up stairs transfer took place, my mother made to the drawing-rooms. They were me a present of a twenty pound note, very well, but neither so grand nor so to lay out in any way I thought fit, great as I expected. As for the comand in doing so, I could not but think pany, it was a suffocating crowd of fat of you; I have, therefore, in a box elderly gentlewomen, and misses that which she is sending to Miss Mally stood in need of all the charms of their Glencairn, sent you an evening dress fortunes. One thing I could notice from Mrs Bean's, one of the most for the press was so great, little could fashionable and tasteful dressmakers be seen it was, that the old ladies in town, which I hope you will wear wore rouge.
The white satin sleeve with pleasure for my sake. I have of my dress was entirely ruined by got one exactly like it, so that when coming in contact with a little, round, you see yourself in the glass, you will dumpling duchess's cheek-as vulgar behold in what state I appeared at a body as could well be. She seemed Lady's route.
to me to have spent all her days beAh! my dear Bell, how much are hind a counter smirking thankfulness our expectations disappointed! How to bawbee customers. often have we, with admiration and When we had been shewn in the longing wonder, read the descriptions drawing-rooms to the men for some in the newspapers of the fashionable time, we then adjourned to the lower parties in this great metropolis, and apartments, where the refreshments thought of the Grecian lamps, the ot were set out. This, I suppose, is arrangtomans, the promenades, the orna ed to afford an opportunity to the beaux mented floors, the cut glass, the coup to be civil to the belles, and thereby d'oiul, and the tout ensamble. Alas! to scrape acquaintance with those VOL. VIII.