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cunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi.” I have another friend who usually lies in the future tense, who will talk largely of what he intends doing, will threaten to astonish the world with some new equipage, and to keep I don't know how many horses. Mark the result; three months hence you see him drive down Piccadilly in a hired gig; and upon commenting upon his extraordinary propensity, are answered on all sides by “Oh, he is a good sort of fellow, but you should never believe a word he says.” Upon these considerations, what, I ask, would be more conducive to the welfare of all rising Munchausens, than some few rules, which, by curbing their power of lying, might enable them to practise on our credulity with some chance of success? And if I, Bartholomew Bouverie, were at any future election to supplant Mr. Ramsbottom, and sit for his majesty's loyal borough of Windsor, the first act of my power should be to move, “That, whereas the noble art of shooting with the long-bow has, from the use of excessive and unnatural exaggeration, so far degenerated, that few of his majesty's subjects practising the same, can obtain credit, a special committee be appointed for the purpose of taking into consideration certain regulations, with a view to ordering the same, that it may no longer be an object of disgust and ridicule at all. And that whereas the most marvellous stories are usually those of gentlemen continually engaged in field-sports, any person or persons alleging that he or they have individually killed more than—-head of game, or have broken a neck oftener than three times in a fox-chase, be declared unworthy of credit, and be punished as the act may direct.”
I have always considered affectation to be little more than an ill-regulated emulation, an attempt at imitating those qualities, or manners, which appear graceful and natural in another person, by engrafting them on our own dispositions. I shall at present confine myself to the affectation of originality, or rather, what the Ladies call “ naïveté.” Now, what the precise meaning of this word may be, I will not pretend to say, as I am almost inclined to think that it is a quality of nature, merely created that it might be awkwardly imitated by the votaries of art. As far, however, as I do understand it, it appears to be a sort of guileless simplicity, which is naturally inherent in some people (particularly in the heroine of a novel), and is therefore frequently adopted, to captivate insidiously, much in the same way as the elegance of a studied dishabille is frequently preferred to the splendor of a full dress. However, it is but just, to hear what the naïve ladies will say. If you were to ask Laura (in the “Palace of Truth, of course), she would tell you, that it consisted in being gracefully ungraceful; in running into a room full of company like a race-horse that has just bolted; in throwing herself violently into an arm-chair, and sitting cross-legged [N. B. Laura has a very pretty foot and ankle]; in short, in every species of infantine simplicity; yet Laura has been married several years : and is it possible that this frail charm, this ephemeral halo, which is represented as gilding seventeen, can have survived this protracted intercourse with the world ?-Certainly not: and as Laura is a woman of sense and talent, I cannot conceive why she persists in this course, unless she hopes, by continual practice, to verify the proverb, “Habit is second nature." Now, from what I know of Laura's character, and hear of the character of naïveté, if it come at all, it will come only with second childhood : yet, as Laura is a very pretty woman, I am afraid it will be difficult to convince her that the continued agitation of a light and symmetrical figure, and the display of a pretty foot is not naïveté. Indeed, had I the same advantages, I too would shut my ears against conviction, and be like her, in spite of nature; however, as my masterly arguments have convinced all persons with thick ankles or club feet, that Laura is not naïve, we will proceed. The next species is an affected modesty, and a retiring timidity, which is exceedingly graceful, and must interest every body who admires the delicacy of the sex ; it is, moreover, easier than the first, and requires only a quick eye and a quantum sufficit of impudence. Being, however, easier and less hazardous than the first, it is of course less brilliant, and indeed is generally used as an ornamental appendage to it. We will therefore pass on to the third class ; this consists in saying every thing you think, or, more properly, in going out of your way to say rude things. If you were to ask one of the lady professors of this branch, in the same palace, the definition would be short, but emphatic—to be regularly, systematically, actively, ill-bred. So much for the naïveté of candour. I cannot forbear noticing in conclusion the affectation of resignation in public, though it does not exactly belong to naïveté, in which a person is continually making a pretence of misfortune, to be pitied for her sorrows, and admired for her patience: this, however, is never successful, nor would I recommend it, for it is very soon discovered that a young lady who is perpetually in the dismals, however pretty it may be for a time, infallibly becomes neither more nor less than a dismal bore.
Again my cares and labours cease,
prow, And felt the mild and prosp'ring gale Urge on my course, and fill
Such was the scene of joy on earth,
But some there were whose kinder heart More genial feeling could impart: Some could discern a trembling lyre, A glimm'ring of the poet's fire, Take Mercy's wand for Judgment's rod, And favour and acceptance nod; And these were many: and to these Again may artless Numbers please; Again may pardon'd errors lie Conceal'd in dark obscurity, Again may boyhood's efforts raise The shout of undeserved praise.
But, hark! I hear a thund'ring cry
Go, Zoilus! I fear not thee,
Not yet defunct, I roam on earth,