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that eye which beams with a languishing lustre through the dark lashes that overshadow it; like the April sun, when he sheds his watery beams through the light clouds which partially obscure his brilliancy. It is here that Cupid, all armed, has placed the throne of his dominion, and has endued it with the fabled fatality of the basilisk, and the irresistible fascination of the rattle-snake. It is there the antic sits, the arbiter of happiness and misery, of life and death ; one beaming glance of affection can raise the soul in rapture; one frown from that eyebrow can plunge it in the abyss of despair.
A truce to all mawkish sensibility, and let us look upon our favourite eye, the Eye of Fun. Those who have seen Grimaldi will know exactly what I mean ; to those who have not, I fear it will be impossible to describe the roguish leer, the inimitable roll, the laughterloving wink, that prefaces every joke, and inspirits every motion ; the perfect independence of one another that is seen in his two eyes, as if they were determined never to act in unison: the vivacity and expression of the eye at one moment contrasted with its lack-lustre tameness at the next; all these together form a combination of ludicrous effects, at which he who looks must laugh, though he be Heraclitus himself.
TO A YOUNG LADY COMING OUT.
There is a magic in thy smile,
I shall not feel again,
Like music's mournful strain,
Among the many ways which fortune has pointed out, as enabling a man to live comfortable and independent, there is, perhaps, none more pleasant, and at the same time more convenient, than that of putting your hand into your neighbour's pocket, and easing him of what you are willing to believe he can do without. It must, however, be confessed, that this is a somewhat dangerous practice, and often attended with some little inconveniences; though professors in the art have declared, that to get hold of a very necessary thing“ audacity,” and to be regardless of a very unnecessary one
reputation,” is all that is desirable to qualify a man for this undertaking. Let him but regard himself, disregard others, consider law as a thing only to be talked of, right and wrong as unmeaning words, look upon all judges, constables, &c. with contempt, and comfort himself with the pleasing anticipation of a rope, as the very acmè of happiness, and the only fair and just reward of his honest labours. Much as this noble and honourable science (for such I must consider it) has been depreciated ; much as the gentlemen who have made it their profession have been stigmatized with the appellation of “thieves,” by the generality of mankind, it is difficult to deny that it offers a life of ease and independence, and enables the practitioner to obtain many comforts, of which he must otherwise necessarily be deprived. Mankind, indeed, have perhaps to regret, that more encouragement has not been given to an art, which produces such inestimable benefits. He who has been fortunate enough to have received an early initiation into the mysteries of the science, and equally so in not having felt any unpleasant tickling about his neck, proceeding from something which might check him in his career, has, from his long practice, obtained so extensive a knowledge, as to have no difficulty in finding means sufficiently calculated for the attainment of his object. Indeed, so well does this art appear to
answer the hopes and expectations of every man, so admirably adapted to the gratification of his pocket and himself, so well calculated to procure him every thing he wants (for I know of few things which cannot be either lawfully or unlawfully obtained) that I must confess I am surprised that no one has undertaken to reduce it to a system, or at least to convert those motley assemblies, denominated gangs, into some respectable and regularly established institution. But, in addition to the many advantages arising from this art, the simplicity and facility of execution, and the certainty of constant employment, cannot, I think, be looked upon as any inconsiderable recommendations; as it is an established Hibernian doctrine, that as long as people do not go naked they must wear clothes, while it is almost as certain, that as long as they wear clothes they will have pockets, which may be open for secret examination. Now, could any thing be more pleasant, or more comfortable, than the assurance of perpetual employment, and inexhaustible resources ? Here is the prospect of a life of little trouble and constant amusement, which, by the accidental, though convenient, mistaking of another man's pocket for your own, may be rendered easy and independent. Who is there, but would feel some sensations of pity on seeing any unfortunate man, who having by the most indefatigable industry obtained some little recompence for his exertions, has suddenly been deprived of the fruits of his labour, and plunged into the abyss of poverty and despair? Who, on the other hand is there, that does not admire the dexterity, and secretly envy the facility, with which an ingenious practitioner of this art is able to acquire that which has cost another such labour to attain ? But it may be hinted to me by the more serious part of my readers, that there is a piece of wood called the Gallows,” which, though it may not be considered as any reasonable objection to the practice of this art, yet still has such a formidable appearance, that one has considerable difficulty in reconciling the mind to the prospect of encountering it.
it. I am aware that this is calculated to create some unpleasant reflections, and to cause some little inconvenience, though, perhaps, it is better to look upon it in the words of the famous Richard Turpin, as a mere matter of form, and to consider it as a reward rather than a punishment. Many, indeed, has been the miserable fellow, who, from an unfortunate connection, or more unfortunate circumstances, has been compelled to suffer under an unjust condemnation ; while the thief, though he may find the gallows equally formidable, and the rope equally inconvenient, may at any rate comfort himself with the pleasing reflection that he has deserved it.
If, however, we take into consideration the various branches of this science, and the various manners in which the ingenuity of its professors enable them to practise it, I own I am not without my suspicions, that we shall find that the generality of mankind, in all ranks and stages of life, from the accomplished gentleman to the professional pickpocket, are, if not theoretically, at least practically, acquainted with the benefits arising from it. Pardon me, gentle reader (for I adhere to the estąblished maxim of supposing, at least hoping, my reader to be of a gentle disposition) I do not mean to insinuate