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ern essayist unavoidably restricted to a mere repetition of the sentiments of the dead. By what proselytes the instructers of antiquity were followed, or how extensively their humbler representatives are regarded, it would deservedly occasion the community a blush to relate. That so much labour has been employed, and so little achieved, will be a circumstance of humiliation to the vanity of undertaking; and the calculating portion ef mankind, after an intimacy with society, will rather accept a professorship for the regulation of the winds, than fatigue their constitutions with lecturing the insane. To those unread in the weaknesses of human nature, these sentiments may appear the offspring of misanthropy ; too prematurely delivered to be correct, and too distorted to pretend, in any degree, to a relationship with truth. That any should prefer uproar to rule, quarrel to quiet, anxiety to ease, supposes an eccentricity in choice, too unnatural. for belief. Admitting, as moralists have degradingly asserted, that selfishness is the principle of action ; few, among the provident, would sacrifice their comfort for the limited satisfaction of disturbing their neighbours, or the whimsical diversion of appearing disagreeable. Were the feelings of an individual illustrative of \ the whole, I could conscientiously cite myself on the occasion, as an authority in point; for, so wedded am I to conveniency, that I never draw on my boots after dinner, or stoop down to buckle my shoe, but I reflect, that I am abridging the amount of my days. Quietude is the essence of being ; and he is poor in the good things of this world, who has never rested his legs against the jambs of the fireplace, or wiped his forehead in the

shade, after the fatigues of a promenade. The period of modern existence is contracted to threescore and ten, and they, who imbitter the trifle, are equally cruel and mad. Yet, on this theme, the voice of fact is as melancholy as decisive, and it will be discovered, that the Remarker, far from aggravating the disagreeable, has rather qualified the harsh. There are some spirits that appear to agree in nothing but to disagree, and the moment you fall within their influence, you must be possessed of the , equanimity of Democritus not to be disturbed in the economy of your temper. They seem, as it were, born beneath a tempestuous quarter of the moon, when the maligner aspects of the firmament were ascendant, and, like the distempered period of their nativity, to be propitious to commotion and portentous of ill. The more you sacrifice to their arrogance, the more their perverseness increases, and not to struggle with the stream is to be buried in the foulness of its bottom. No sense of propriety, no feeling for delicacy, no observance of custom ever characterizes their carriage. The polish of etiquette, the gentleness of modesty, the sweetness of affability, with all the tender courtesies of intercourse, are wasted on them, like the refinements of the Houyhnhnms on the coarseness of the Yahoos. “Let Hercules himself do what he may, The cat will mew, the dog will have his day.” They remind you of those quadrupeds, that are too desperate to be domesticated, too wild for an interchange of reliance, that are turned forth to howl and to depredate in the shadow of the wilderness. In truth, though the persuasion may seem fanciful, they further appear peculiarly illustrative of the doctrine of transmigrat tion, and many, less credulous than Jenyns, might be readily persuaded, that some, that now travel to and fro on two legs, seeking whom they may annoy, were, in aforetime, assisted on similar excursions, by the accommodating number and celerity of four. I remember not, whether the system of transformation of beings supposes the passage of higher natures into lower, or lower into higher, or both ; but that the personages in question are rapidly accomplishing themselves for that which is here conceived their primitive condition, none will deny, and none will regret. Violect visitations become tolerable from the probability of their shortness, and these antidotes to enjoyment are only endured, for the present, thro’ the soothing expectation of their returning to their origin. Such are the wayward spirits that rejoice in disturbance ; whose home, like the Sisterhood’s of the Heath, is in the tempests they engender. But every principal has its subordinate, and, though we have exposed the leaders of the mischief, their accessaries remain to be noticed. That delicacy, which excuses petty offences, is unworthy the fidelity of the moralist; for great vices originate from trivial misdemeanours, and the calm of society may be ruffled by a whisper. Connected with the characters described, there are secondary malcontents, who, wanting the courage for open attack, gratify their malignity by sly innuendo and faint givings-out. They are remarkably skilful at a sneer, and can satirize with a compliment. They never smile but they wound, and never wound but they smile. The import of their speech is a sarcasm, and the expression of their countenances a bitter. There is something in the atmosphere of these beings more disconsolate than winter, and as you approxi


mate the chilness of their latitudes, you perceive your mercury subsiding to the point of congelation. In their presence, the stream of conversation stiffens as it flows, and the reluctant observation is chilled in the delivery. Should circumstances deny them an opportunity to annoy you, they sit folded in an angle, hatching the solitary egg of ill-nature ; perfecting mischief in embryo for the occasions of spleen. They listen to falsehood, and lay in wait to gather scandal; they delight in the narrative of disappointments, and are chagrined at the report of success. Suspicious of the narrowness of their capacities, the perfection of another cometh home like a censure ; and the more perfect the character exhibited, the more radical their hate. Were they endued with resolution to execute what their malignancy concerts, their station would be paramount on the file of vexations; but to torture the malevolent with the mortifications of impotence is the agency of providence for the security of the virtuous. They accordingly contrive snares, that they want courage to spread; they construct engines for disturbance, that they fear to discharge, ** and live” like “cowards” in their “ own co

tesm, Letting I dare not, wait upon I would,

Like the poor cat i' the adage.”

These constitute the secondary denomination of malcontents ; beings, less destructive in their tendency than their principals, but equally distorted in disposition and grain. If, by the moral code, the projection of an injury be alike culpable with the performance, they incur the consequences of a crime,without the pleasure of committing it. They sow seed, whose only produce is disappointment and shame. They fill their bosoms with bitterness, and waste themselves with cursing in pri

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and many examples, more pat than the present, might be exhibited of the felicities of chance. There are trains of reflection extending through every intelligence, and when a spark is imparted they hurry to explosion. The incident alluded to may be understood from what follows. Several evenings ago I received a note from Mrs. Equinox, and my yesterday was devoted to meeting her wishes. Many months had elapsed, since I last darkened her doors, and many years, perhaps, may revolve ere I repeat my respects. As we had heretofore parted without a tear, we again even encountered without a smile. To me the coalition was as memorable as an eclipse, and the gloom that attended it not dissimilar to that of the phenomenon. There are people, who arrive and depart without exciting a reflection; there are some, whom we gaze after from the window,till they fade into

nothing ; there are others too, that we escort to the threshold with a sensation of relief. To which des scription of visitors Mrs. Equinox considered me as pertaining, I have not the curiosity to inquire ; the opinions of the disagreeable are generally less distressing,than their presence. But, such is my regard for the lady, if accident conducts her to my door, I shall feel little compunction in securing its bolts.

It is thought, that no character is sufficiently corrupt to be devoid of a virtue ; that some truth may reside even in the midst of depravity. In support of the sentiment I can quote the lady in question, for, to do justice to impudence, she is above deception. No cover is employed to secrete her deformities, no polish attempted to soften her rudeness ; she is equally negligent of appearances or arts, and commits outrages on society without apology or shame. If there is any pleasure in exciting alarm,she is rarely destitute, too, of amusement ; for every one, who ventures within her influence, is generally afflicted with an ague. Terroris considered, I believe, as apart of the sublime, and, as it is proper to feel what we mean to impress, I would recommend Mrs.Equinox to the cultivators of rhetorick. If, after a lecture or so from her ladyship, any one should be deficient in representing the grand, he may be a much better member of society, but is unquestionably no poet. I have, myself, for some time had a tragedy upon the stocks, which, owing to the incompleteness of its infernal machinery, I have hitherto delayed presenting the publick; but, since the visit aforenamed, I feel so adequate to every thing tremendous, that I now calculate on a representation in the course of the season. The act concluding with a concert of furies, which retarded at first the progress of my muse, will infallibly command the applause of the house ; for the principal infernal of the dramatis personae is immediately taken from my ferocious entertainer. If the performers are not remiss in conceiving their author, my number of nights is as certain as day. One character, well defined, has supported a play, and I challenge all the fallen to parallel mine. The countenance is considered by some as a preface to the character. How far the doctrine of jeatures is fallacious or firm, the inquisitive or idle may decide for themselves ; neither capacity, nor leisure, promote my remarks. However, as many of my readers are perhaps students of the exteriour, a rough sketch of the lady’s physiognomy may be somewhat appropriate, though ever so imperfect. Attend, then, and tremble ! Quamguam animus meminisse horret, luctuque refugit; incipiam. Between two opticks, more fiery than intelligent, imagine a thin partition of nostril, more censorious than wise ; to a mouth, rather extravagant than liberal,an expression more ferocious than brave ; to an elevated forehead, more wrinkles than imagination ; to an acuminated chin, more severity than decision ; imagine features to frighten children from their playthings, or convert dairies to curdle ; imagine that which you wish least to behold, and her portraiture is yours. But the history of her deformities concludes not with her countenance. Nature, in every passage of its performance, is incomparably uniform ; and her ladyship is as unique in ugliness, as the Graces in beauty. To extend then this head-size to a full-length ; conceive of a figure, nearly five feet eleven, skinny, faded, and coarse, angular Vol. III. No. 2. K

in its outline as a diagram in trigonometry, and as uncomfortable to contact as the edges of a bureau ; conceive of something between a woman and a man, with the roughness of the one and the sex of the other ; a being whom the women must disown and the men disavow ; and, should you still fail of her likeness, call up, to assist your conception, the weird sisters of Shakespeare ; for, like them, she is indebted to a petticoat for the testimony of her sex. In fine, imagine a woman, every property of whose nature is at enmity with love, who, in a scarcity of her kind, would be the most puzzled for a partner, and, though you believe me romancing, you will possess Mrs. Equinox to the nicety of a fraction. Thus much for the disposition and appearance of this uncomfortable lady, my interview with whom remains to be decribed. To discuss the enormities of society is the office of the essayist, in the performance of which, accommodation is delinquency. To employ lenitives as a recipe for abuse, or to solicit violence by entreaty, is like indulging a diseased man to facilitate his cure. Should the Remarker be considered therefore as too profuse of his caustick, let the tender-hearted be instructed, that more are injured by forbearance than correction. This affecting to do something, and executing nothing, is relinquishing the rod to the children, and making a mockery of discipline. But to the lady. On approaching the mansion of Mrs. Equinox, agreeably to her note and disagreeably to my wishes, I experienced a foreboding, resembling that of a truant returning to his tutor, and involuntarily performed several evolutions about

the premises, without arriving at her door. But, finally recollecting that there was no avoiding the visit, and feeling that the apprehension of difficulty was worse than the encountér, I sufficiently rallied my spirits to elevate the knocker. The noise of its fall was like the knell of my joys. The morning was cold and blue, and the winds sang mournfully in the key-hole. I felt as if attending, in the character of chief mourner, the funeral of the whole family of the Agreeables. Luckily, at my entrance, no one was in the parlour, and, remembering that genuine courage derived accessions from reason, I was beginning to argue myself into magnanimity, when Mrs. Equinox appeared. What before has been hinted of our mecting I will not enlarge upon ; suffice it that we encountered without a smile, for we had parted without a tear. To love or hate at first sight is accounted whimsical, yet niuch of a character may be gathered from a glance. Of the correctness of prepossession, I could produce Mrs. Equinox as an instance, for in a moment you are persuaded that she is possessed with a familfar. The composure of her first salutation resembles that tranquillity in the heavens, which is the precursor of a tempest, and you Inay read, even in her countenance at rest, the inclemeney of her temperament. The day of my visit, unfortunately, was rather dirty under foot, and, forgetting in my agitation to make use of the scraper, I unwittingly traced the carpet with mud, from the entry to the fire-place. From ladies less punctilious in their household than my hostess, such a clownish manoeuvre might have produced a reproof, and to one of her susceptibility the 4-facement of a kidderminster was

ample matter for invective, Ace cordingly, with features divided between simpers and frowns, and tones set at variance by raillery and spite, concealing and betraying a desire of revenge, she immediately proceeded to open an attack. “You have been particularly unfortunate in selecting your road, sir, or the ways are much fouler than I was led to suppose. Why, you are lumbered with mud like a wheel from the mire, and your heels are as heavy as a ploughman's in spring. Here, Mary,

Mary, for the love of neatness,

come hither, or we shall be buried alive. The gentleman, I believe, imagines that we were created merely to rub and to clean. Here have I been slaving and driving to make things as they should be, and the first recompence of my industry is dirt and disgrace.” Unlmekily, the tongue of Mrs. Equinox being suspended in the middle, her vocal abilities were just double her neighbours, and, on occasions as interesting to hussies as the present, her utterance reminded you of the running down of a jack. Sensible that apologies would only aggravate her cloquence, I was silently about retiring to disencumber my boots, when my ears were accosted by the full pathos of her pipe. “For goodness-cake, stand still, sir, or return in your track; your shifting about only widens the grievance. Because the room is a dirt-heap, Imust you make it a kennel 2 I protest, such proceedings would put a saint out of patience. H will say, since the commencement of my housekeeping, I never witnessed the like, and, if this be the consequence of receiving a visit, I desire, for the future, to meet company abroad.” Thankful that any track was yet sayourable for re

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