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The characteristics of the highest departments of art are, it is true, that works of that order appeal to the general and immutable dispositions of our nature, and that they do not rest their influence upon those secondary and local interests with which the meaner departments content themselves. This is true to a certain extent only, none of the greatest works of art exist, the effects of which are not improved and exalted by a more exteņsive knowledge, and, consequently, of associations.
This thought, Gentlemen, Members of our Association, is highly encouraging to us, it calls on us loudly to pursue our course of study and improvement. We may not always find the labor agreeable, we may think it sometimes but ill repays itself; but, depend upon it, these views are partial and untrue. We are not only gratifying our present tastes, but are laying up stores of information and materials which shall one day repay us by combinations beautiful and new. Every discussion in which we take part, every idea we gain, is making sure, though perhaps slow, progress.
in fact, gradually fitting ourselves to become a proper audience for poets, and more refined and discriminating judges of the arts; and we shall, at no distant time, certainly prove, as our reward, that while the igporant and uncultivated mind can extract no beauty from literature or morals, much less the arts, there are few things which, to a mind well conditioned and regulated, have not the power to recall and excite emotions of quiet, but deeply seated, pleasure.
THE MAN OF THE WORLD.
There are divers kinds of things dignified with the appellation of portraits, which warrant it in every thing but in the resemblance they are supposed to represent. A lover describes his mistress as a creature of unearthly perfection, “she moves a goddess, and she looks a queen.”.
Her eyes are more beauteous than the stars gemming heaven's peaceful canopy of blue when night iş enjoying her
repose. Her ringlets are wanton as the tendrils of the vine; they fall languishingly on her brow of snow as the latter creeps round the lattice. Her lips are like the opening of ripening rose-buds; and, in her whole shape and person, she is as enchanting as the Paphian queen just sprung from her frothy birth, and sailing on the oceanspray: and this is a portrait: one that eyeless Love draws. We must point out one contrary method before we commence our own intended portraits. Mark a jealous and an ugly woman describe a rival. She is unprincipled and adverse to all that is sexual and decorous; ungenerous, uninformed, and evasive; arch, designing, and cold-hearted---because she is likely to be preferred. Her manners are assumed with art and supported with difficulty; her language is
harsh, dissonant, and inexpressibly unwomanly; all her ideas are borrowed, and she claims no kindred with the tenderest offsprings of female character. Her temper is morose and crabbed, changeful as the breeze, and displeasing as the noxious vapor. She is vain and haughty, captious when not admired, and conceited when she is. She is partial in the discovery of her own failings, and delighted in exposing those of others. And as for her person- for herself she could never rank her among her selection of beauties; although there were some whose bad taste complimented her personal charms-and this is a portrait! In the foriner, fondness was the painter; in the latter, an undisguised enmity. Now we utterly disclaim all sympathy with hatred or indiscriminate affection; and, in all our future graphic descriptions it is to be understood, that candor guides the pen, however satirical may be its movements. We shall begin with a general character, one that every body affects to contemn, and most are inclined to resemble--the Worldling, or Man of the World.
Whatever be the rank of a worldling, his cynosure is selfaggrandizement: this is the life-spring of all his actions, and he will not hesitate, occasionally, to risk the salvation of his soul to benefit his condition. A worldling, from his nature, must be a weather-cock; turns wherever the breeze blows most prosperously; bis independence consists in the pursuit of gain, and making this independent of all other operations. He is, strictly speaking, no character, but any character, and shifts his garb with more agility than the most active barlequin. He has bows for one, and scrapes for another; a smirk for this man, and a well-contrived grin for that: he knows where the magnet points, and adapts every thing accordingly. But there is this marked difference in his deportment, he is fawning to his superiors, and haughty and peering to his inferiors: servility to the former is repaid by his disdain for the latter :-his inferiors must be understood as regards worldly fortune, for this, with him, constitutes the primum mobile. His parasitical conduct will be archly displayed, and as cunningly modified. The worldling, if a man of middling respectability, simpers round his patron ;-suppose a young “ bit of blood," with a faming title, for instance, “ My Lord,” will be eternally thrilling on his tongue; his ancient ancestry will be often alluded to, and the grandeur pertaining to patrician birth will be duly magnified. He will be bis spaniel, and crawl as caninely before his will, as the other before his master's feet. If my lord is a wit, he will atticise it, and shake his sides before half the joke is uttered: will be his fidus Achates to the meanest abortion of a budding punster. If the lord find it requisite to support his title by turning gambler and a first-rate corinthian, there will be none more alive to the interest of the dice-box, and the romantic beauties of a watch-house. The scenic-like scenes to be witnessed and enjoyed in the metropolitan haunts, will be painted in bewitching colors. Especially will the worldling note all his patron's whims, likes, and dislikes. Does he love a fine pointer? he will never permit one casually to pass in his presence without eloquising on its graces :-and be careful, in particular, to twirl the
- VOL. II.
tail of his lordship's own pointer, with a pleasurable satisfaction. Does the young patrician admire horses and prize-fighters? The man of the world acquires the vocabulary of the jockey, and descants with the pertinacity of an old frequenter at Tattersall's, on the “fine throw of Miss Biddy," and the “ knees of Betsy.” The heroje image his lordship makes on horseback will not be unremembered. For the prize-fighters the worldling immediately entertains a great respect; he admires the valor of an Englishman, and the muscular symmetry of a well-formed arm. Pugilism helps to support the national character, and it prevents the native hardness of our countrymen from degenerating---and, therefore, prize-fighting is a noble custom ; quite worthy his lordship's encouragement.
The worldling not only succumbs to his patron's fancies, but learns to discover the state of his feelings from the expression of his features, as we prophesy on the weather from the situation of quicksilver in the thermometers and barometers. In the study of a patron's temper and prejudices, lies the worldling's most considerable efforts. Nothing flatters more than that kindness which anticipates our wants, and contrives to supply, before the tongue has expressed the heart's desire. He, therefore, draws conclusions from the arching of a frown and the wrinkle of a brow; a scowling eye enables him to deduce displeasure, and a fallen lip has more effect on his imagination than Irving's prophetical discourses. He will study sighs as attentively as Locke did Ethics, and shapes his phrases to the hour and humor :— the face of the man he courts is the dial of his conduct. There is an immense deal of stoicism in a true worldling, although it be of the most degrading kind. No slight encroachment from a superior will provoke resentment, and the harshest presumption will meet with a very qualified opposition. With him, interest is more important than consequence; prosperity procured, may be enjoyed, although it was a sacrifice that reached it. Why should he resent a small injustice, if a patient endurance will hereafter be repaid? Is the pleasure of resentment more valuable than the pleasure of growing wealthy? Humility may be aggrandized, when the independence of pride is overwhelmed with obscurity.
Two of the principal characteristics of the worldling are, his partiality for calculation, and the scrupulous exercise of a selfish foresight, amiably denominated by him, prudence. Joyce bimself is not better skilled in the doctrine of “ Chances." He reckons them as carefully as the superstitious and duped Roman Catholic does the beeds on her rosary. He never engages until he minutely investigates, nor permits a sanguine expectation to weaken his caution. The worldling is never careless, but in determining matters unconnected with his own advantages: it is then that the spirit of Bidder forsakes him, and he is as reckless of others, as he is calculating for himself. Of his foresight he is exceedingly vain: if a tradesman, he stands behind his counter with a philosophic grin, winks his eye, gropes his breeches' pocket, and, with a jerk of his person, joyfully exclaims, " that's just what I foresaw.” Foresaw what? Nothing of moment,
reader; his neighbour, perchance, has taken a seat in the King's Bench to become accomplished, or he has been cheated in his goods, his wife has departed, or his customers are speedily deserting, and “ prime cost” whitens his window panes; nothing more, only foresaw it.” He is a prophet by practice, and unrolls the future as easily as he does bales of cloth. The fall and rise of articles is always predicted by him, and when it happens, “hè certainly may admire his foresight."
Worldlings are always men of broad principles; perhaps, more frequently for the sake of avarice than for the love they bear them. Their broadest principle is, to cheat seldom, but machinate always. They dare not boldly cheat, since, as published cozeners they would at once be scouted. But to machinate, plan deeply, and speciously filch by greedy arts,-oh! that's perfectly harmless; every body, of course, must regard himself first. Thorough men of the world are mostly hard-hearted from the pertinacity with which they apply to their beloved object: compassion seldom reaches to charity, or pity to relief; tears become a woman's eye, and not those who are “men of business," who have a certain goal to reach; whose speed would be interrupted by an attention to soft solicitations of misery. Earth is their only paradise, and riches their celestial bliss: their enjoyment is the ambrosial perfections of well-filled purses, and “ laying by” is beyond the anticipations of bible-storied glories. Among worldlings, there certainly are sectarists, but they are universally marked as the followers of a common object. They are proud to be denominated “matter-of-fact men,” i.e. men who subscribe to no creed but that of selfishness, and whose cold imagination feeds on the gain that is to come. It is impossible for a few pages to develop all the beauties of a man of the world; but this is certain, he is the venal tool of degrading avarice, a parasite by profession, and who is honest because he knows “ honesty is the best policy,” and who prefers the certain emoluments of stealthy maneuvering, to the riskful operations of bare-faced dishonesty. Reader, art thou a worldling?-go thou and be converted!
A RUSTICATION IN LONDON.
BY AN EXPATRIATED EXCLUSIVE.
At this melancholy season of the year, when London is shunned as a pestilence by every one who can pay for an outside place to Brighton, or a steerage passage to Margate, the few that are left under its smoky canopy, seem to skulk along the forsaken pavement, with a full conviction on their countenances of the atrocity they are perpetrating. From July to December, London may be compared to a member of the animal kingdom, which, at a peculiar season of the year, relapses into a lethargy, till it wakes into life again, and with brighter and gayer colors, takes a new lease of existence. During
the interval, our metropolis is, to all intents and purposes, defunct; its functions seem suspended; it rolls itself into a chrysalis, and becomes a mass of dead life. Unless you choose to yawn for the bundredth and fiftieth time through the never-ending Paul Pry, or wonder, at the other House, why Mr. Thorne and Miss Hamilton are allowed to disturb the repose of respectable people, you have no theatre; every place of christian-like resort is abandoned. If you are bold enough to risk detection, and turn out for an airing in Bond-street, you are frightened into a nervous fever by the fetch of your tailor, who forms a shrewd guess of your staying in town, when Cheltenham, Brighton, and Leamington, are not overflowing, and he draws his conclusions accordingly. If you venture a drive, under that commendable screen against duns and country cousins-your cabriolet, to Kensington Gardens, you may make up your mind of being unmolested, save by some hapless creditor, to whom you have been out of town” for the last three months. Your man servánt begins to look sentimental, and your poodle becomes melancholy, while your landlady refreshes your memory, by sending you up a small note regularly with your breakfast. In a fit of desperation, you fly to Boodle's, and find it as empty as an alderman's cranium, or your own pockets. There's nobody at White's, save some bilious East India contractor, who talks of Rajahs, pagodas, natives, and “loll shraub :" nor at the Union, nor Army and Navy, save some superannuated commodore, or sentimental subaltern, who has made himself useful at every friend's seat, till he is wanted no longer. The Alfred has no one but the waiters, looking as blank as the tables, and as melancholy as the empty benches, or a midshipman on half pay. Suicides ought, therefore, to be charitably overlooked at this season of the year, as a man would be justified in hanging himself, or blowing bis brains out, by way of creating a change.
Would you console yourself with the newspapers, you may despatch the seven daily, and five evening, with as little ceremony, and less time, than you would despatch your morning rolls and coffee.In opposition to the consumptive nature of the Editor's resources, every paragraph appears to be laboring under a dropsy, being swelled to its utmost magnitude. A murder that would have “ blush'd unseen,” a few months since, under that general catalogue of calamities, “accidents and offences,” in these seasons of scarcity, when casualties are all that can be depended upon in a newspaper office, now greets the eye, under the awful form of “most horrid occurrence," or “Thurtle revived,” in the best part of a page. A fire, which, at one time, would have been discovered and extinguished in five lines and a hall, now presents itself to your notice in three columns; a respectable manslaughter is a prize; a fight, a real blessing'-not' to mothers,' but to Editors; and a gentleman having his pocket picked, a thing not to be sneezed at. With what an innocent joy the heart of the Editor boundeth within him, at the full particulars of a bona-fide seduction ! Unpublished poems of Lord Byron are laid on the shelf, and anecdotes of Sheridan, for a while, cease being manufactured.Recollections of Dr. Parr are left, till the doleful cry is heard of