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dal, or this be real friendship, it would be impertinence in me to decide. Who is a good friend ? Ask the gourmand and
regular diner-out. His answer will be,“ the man who gives good and frequent dinners.” That man is indeed an invaluable friend; but let him reform his establishment, and dismiss his man-cook, and, in the opinion of many, all his good qualities will vanish : without his piquant dishes, his wit will no longer please, and he himself will be voted a bore. Who is the statesman's friend? The man who supports him in every measure ;
whose voice is still his patron's own;" who looks up to him as the sun of the political system from whom all the surrounding satellites are to receive light and benefit. While in this mind, he is a friend; but let him disagree with the minister on a single measure--let him for once have an opinion of his own—and the severe taunts he will undergo will scarcely be palliated by the honied appellation of my honourable friend.
It would be almost impossible to describe the qualifications necessary to obtain the friendship of the man of the world; an honour as easily to be lost as gained. His superior in rank and public estimation is to be courted, while he whose wit and ridicule are objects of dread, must be encouraged. He regulates, however, his choice of friends, as well as his dress, by fashion ; and while he follows those whom the general voice pronounces worthy intimates, he would blush to be seen with a man whom, to use his own phraseology, nobody knows. If, by rank, wealth, or any other qualification, he acquires sufficient notoriety to influence the opinions of others,
he may then be at liberty to choose his own friends ; but this is a distinction which few are permitted to attain ; and the man of the world must generally be regulated in every thing by the authority of the fortunate individual to whom it has been allotted to become what the Morning Post would term a distingué. An old proverb says,
Friendship cannot be bought for money.” The truth of this I, for one, doubt; and think few can deny that friends are to be bought in some of those towns which, enjoying what they call their rights and privileges, rail at rotten boroughs, and exult in the profits of a free representation.
6 Gentlemen,” says the member, “I think I
all my friends.” He may, indeed, for what a man has bought belongs to him ; and we all must admire this universal and indiscriminate philanthropy which buys friends, like sheep, at so much a head. Romantic friendship age may, and the dictates of common sense must, dissolve; the detected back-biter can no longer be a friend; opposition will alienate the minister, and reason disgust the man of the world; but while you continue to be the best bidder, you will ever be considered a friend by a corrupt and shameless populace.
There is nothing more commonly shunned than the character of a pedant; and from that very reason, there is nothing more commonly misapplied, or more commonly misunderstood; so much so, that we frequently have occasion to consider those who value themselves principally on their total abhorrence of that dreadful and undefined being, to be more uselessly and finically pedantic than any scholiast who ever thundered forth his anathemas against an inadmissible note of interrogation, or execrated the stupidity of a commentator for eradicating a favoured particle, whether it be de, ye, or te. It is true, indeed, that the most common and received opinion is, that a pedant must of necessity be a scholar, which those who seek excuses for their ignorance have conveniently interpreted (by the aid of a certain figure which, if I were one of the proscribed class, I should call metathesis), that a scholar must of nécessity be a pedant. But before we grant even the first proposition, let us consider what constitutes pedantry; is it the knowledge, or the absurd display of that knowledge for the gratification of your vanity, in the sense of your superior acquirements ? Most decidedly, the display; and why, then, should the imputation of pedantry be confined to the display of classical knowledge ? why is not my friend Francis Jermyn a pedant, when, in answer to the agonized inquiry of some novice (who has been unwisely induced to risk his last half-crown) whether the horse which he has backed is a good one, receives in answer, the pedigree up to king Herod, and the consoling assurance that he is well bred; who interrupts a discussion on the Catholic question with an account of the entry for the St. Leger, and answers the breathless inquiry of his brother politicians upon the fate of a bill with, “Oh, it was carried in a canter-none of the opposition made any play;" who drowns the conversation on the death of the emperor Alexander with the performances of Smolensko, and ruins a debate on the Slave-trade with the triumphs of Mulatto. This is pedantry of another sort, equally foolish, and more dangerous; there is the same vanity in displaying his knowledge of the “Racing Calendar," the same “boast of heraldry,” though it be but the heraldry of horses, as in the man who is proudly conscious of having rectified the punctuation of a Greek chorus, and of knowing every coat of arms which was used under the walls of Thebes. What, then, can be said for the politician who would tell you the name of every member who voted in the majority or minority of any question that was ever brought before the House, from the emancipation of the Catholics to the formation of a road, or the establishment of a turnpike ; who numbers in his library more political pamphlets than his brother pedant does sporting magazines, and discusses the trivial questions which may arise, with all the ceremony, and nearly all the eloquence, of Parliament. Does not this arise from the same feeling as would have produced, if directed that way, an elaborate treatise on the metres of Æschylus, and unanswerable arguments about the Cretic foot ?
Is not the man who can talk upon pictures, lights, shadows, back-grounds, &c. for hours, and yet, when forced to abandon this fertile subject, must remain as silent as a statue-is not he a pedant, and a pedant fit for nothing but to sell catalogues under the windows of the British Gallery ? is not the soldier who never opens his mouth but to talk of battles; the sailor who can speak of nothing but his own ship-are not these pedants
in their line as great, or greater, than any man who ever quoted Greek? Why, then, is the person who is obliged to listen to these, and such as these, till his head turns round, and the answering monosyllables flow out without order or direction, why is the suffering person denied the gratification of branding him with the mark of pedantry in return, as well as the poor man whom destiny or inclination has unfortunately directed to the acquisition of the Classics ?
AN ELECTION DINNER.
Si te propositi nondum pudet, atque eadem est mens,
Quamvis jurato, metuam tibi credere testi.
Is it still thus? And have you still no shame,
you still barter rights that make you free,
Fain would I try to think a ten-pound note