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If we wish to contemplate the insipidity of fashionable life, let us visit the squares and streets inhabited by the nobility and gentry. There their coaches and lacqueys attend before their doors every morning with all the ostentation of pride. Footmen strut, proud of the badges of their servitude, like the bird with borrowed feathers, The clown, who was usefully employed at the plough or cart in the country, is here metamorphosed into a beau, and attends the steps of his lady with an air of self-conceit.. Perhaps a few traces of his former. rustic bashfulness remain, but he will soon learn to suppress his feelings, and glory in his progress to depravity.
The mansions of the nobility may, indeed, be called the empire of affectation. Here the waitingmaid imitates the ridiculous airs of her lady; and the valet assumes the insolent authority of his master over the nienial gradations of servility below him. Throughout these receptacles of pride, no hospitable door is opened to admit the necessitous stranger, no accommodations for the weary sojourner, no shelter for the houseless wretch; all is formality and forbidding grandeur, while the social passions långuish here in lethargic torpor.
Let us now take a cursory view of what is called a liberal education, such as is generally bestowed on a youth born to the inheritance of titles and a large estate. From his earliest years our young nobleman's wants are administered to with servile attention; he is not permitted to learn " ore earthly thing of use :” for how is it possible that
Lord can ever be under the necessity of exerting his facul. ties? The years of infancy elapsed, he is commit
ted to the care of a tutor, who too often studies his disposition with a view to his own future emolument, rather than the improvement of his pupil. Hence the youth grows up with a mind confused by an imperfect attainment of the learned languages, and his person is improved by practising the gymnastic arts usually taught in our public seminaries.
The natural transition from school is to college, where, by the magic influence of gold, even the wrinkled brow of philosophy is smoothed to complacency, and learning greats him with smiles. Here the noble youth lives perfectly at his ease :--some needy and ingenious young student will gladly supply him with themes for a few pieces ; and while he receives the praise of ingenuity without exertion, he passes the pleasurable and inglorious hours in dalliance with some frail fair-one, or at the tavern or gaming table.
His studies being finished with ease and credit, through the connivance of sage professors, our accomplished scholar sets out on his tour. After driving with Jehu-like career, over the most beautiful countries of Europe, he returns inflated with selfimportance, the natural effects of travel misapplied.
Our Phaeton now ascends the chariot of his ancestors with a determination to illumine the fashionable world. Emulous to excel his youthful competitors in extravagance, his dress, conversation, and demeanour, are under the influence of affectation, The ladies give his mind the finishing polish of polite education, by initiating him in all the modish follies of the day. These fairinstructors teach theirlively pupilto deride religion asthe old fashioned superstition of our
fusty ancestors. He cagerly imbibes their sublime principles, learns their peculiar phrases, and, as a reward, is received by the complacent smiles of beauty in every fashionable circle.
He now keeps a mistress, and becomes a regular man of fashion ; or, in other words, he lives not in conformity to the dictates of reason, but under the capricious influence of every change in dress, taste, or principles, however egregious, if sanctioned by the ladies.
During winter he riots in every species of indulgence which the metropolis can afford, and passes the summer at some fashionable watering-place.
It may be asserted by the moralist, that this mode of life is at once abominable in itself, and pernicious to society; and that it would be more pitriotic in men of fortune to reside on their estates, and encourage agriculture and manufactures among their tenåntry. But though building and peopling towns, and encouraging the arts were considered as god-like achievements by the ancients, our modern nobility in general are actuated by very different ideas. The turf, the gaming-table, and the brothel, occupy the attention and drain the coffers of those who prefer present enjoyments, however grovelling, to the reversionary glories of fame, or even the prospect of eternal happiness.
But, perhaps, this apparent degeneracy of so many of our nobility and gentry, originatez in nobler motives than mere self-gratification. Wisely reflecting, that if they circulated their money among their tenants, the consequences might be injurious ti agriculture, as farmers might grow too rich and neglect their business, our patriotic landholders
draw the superfluous cash from the country to promote the prosperity of the metropolis. Thus they preserve the agricultural body in health and activity, as the sanity of the animal frame is promoted by insensible perspiration.
Were persons of quality unanimous in promoting virtue and decency, we might soon hope to see a favourable change in the manners of the people. But where are those magnanimous individuals, who will, with a noble fortitude and self-denial, begin the work of public reformation by their example ? Where is that gigantic mind, that, rising superior to the derision of fashionable vanity, and contemning the childish vagaries of a disordered imagination, wisely prefers the approbation of the Deity, and “ the sunshine of the breast," to the fantastic joys of effeminacy and profligacy Let such truly great minds shine on the world of fashion liko light rising out of chaos, and by their brightness expose the deformity of vice and the misery of dissipation,
Her women insolent and self-caress'd,
SUCH were the ladies of Jerusalem, as described by a sublime poet: but can their levity, by a parity of circumstances, be applied to our more beautiful and perhaps more luxurious countrywomen? In
many respects the similarity is striking; but we might as well think to describe the various convolutions and grotesque developements of a cloud driven by the wind, as to give an accurate description of the various forms assumed by fashion. Every gradation of hue has been successively exhibited to allure the beau. When we behold the most beau. tiful female forms gliding along the public walks, robed in white, and with the most lovely necks decorated with chains of gold---apt emblems of their power of captivation--
---we can scarcely forbear exclaiming, - Really, ladies, this is too much, to attack us at once with the united attractions of gold and beauty, the two most powerful objects of man's desire ; for pity's sake divest yourselves of those