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and rules of art."-What pity it is, that there was only one gentleman in this worthy family ! who, to cut short his history, as he lived an extravagant, so he died a bankrupt; to the very sincere affliction of his ungentlemen brethren.
Thus far of men liberally born, and liberally educated: but there are others, who, though neither the one nor the other, yet parade and figure in the shape of gentlemen; and, in this money-getting age, are by far the commonest character of the two. I heard one of these pieces of mechanism observe, with much affectation, that his misfortune was to have a taste; that this misfortune had been increased, by keeping too much good company, and seeing too much of life upon the large scale; and that what still added to his expences, were the obligations he lay under to cultivate the little people (so this upstart called them) about his villa : for it will easily be imagined, that he was not without the low ambition of being popular. Now who, do you think, this extraordinary person was? I will tell you.
He was the son of a cockney in low life, who, by cowkeeping and the help of a milk-board, had scraped together enough to leave him independent of trade; but who, retaining the spirit and manners of his original meanness, which is often the case with those who rise to sudden riches, gave him no education above that of the vulgar. Coming however to his inheritance, he determined to be a gentleman; and, first, he applied to Pearce, a taylor of prime and fashionable goût, who made him at once a gentleman in dress : which, by the way, is no small advance; for this, with the es triplex frontis, that " front of threefold brass,” in which this pupil was singularly happy, will procure admission to the first personages of the kingdom, and no questions asked. Then he applied to tradesmen, manufacturers, artists: who, from their several departments, made him a gentleman in houses, furniture, and apparatus of every kind: and then he got the whole bespangeled with pictures and vertů.--I had almost forgot to mention, what is a very capital article in the construction of these new gentlemen; and that is, a library *. For this he applied to P; and P-made him a gentleman, with regard to books. P- talked to him of original standard authors, which he must not be without ; of rare and curious copies, in the finest preservation, and most elegant bindings; and thus at length furnished him with a collection, in all languages, of far from inconsiderable value. They might, if properly painted, as well have been of wood; for their possessor had no more pretensions to learning, than he had to taste-or than a mere observer of rites and ceremonies has to religion. In short, he knew no language but his own; and that no better than the women who swept his roomst.
* Fielding, in his Voyage to Lisbon, mentions one Boyce, a blacksmith at Gosport, who, by smuggling and other honest arts, becamę
Did not I rightly call this ape of elegance and magnificence a piece of mechanism ? and are not many fine gentlemen thus mechanically formed ?
Not for himself he sees, or hears, or eats;
To be sure: the artists furnish the taste, as well as the object of it. Mean while, this destination of men to situations and objects, for which they are unfit, is no small detriment as well as nuisance to society. Many of these fine gentlemen, who are at least useless burdens to the earth they encumber, might have done good service in the menial offices and arts of life. The only service they do, under this forced and unnatural character, is the transferring of property, which by prodigality they sometimes abuse, into the hands of men, who may rightly use it; and thus justifying Providence, whose ways are constantly to educe good from evil.
I am not sure, that my upstart is equal to the purchase
possessed of 40,000). This accomplished person, after procuring abundance of tine things, concluded with having a library; and, accordingly, sent an order to a bookseller in London, for 500l. worth of his handsomest books.
+ Lucian considered this taste for book-buying, as so sure a symptom of an illiterate fellow, that he joins the two characters together. These book-gentry should seem to think, like the man who bought Orpheus's harp, that it would make admirable music of itself, without any skill or knowledge in a performer; or him, who purchased Epictetus's lamp at a vast sum, in hopes of having with it Epictetus's wisdom; or, lastly, like those wild Indians, who believe, that they inherit not only the spoils, but the abilities of any great enemy, they have the luck to kill.
of a borough: else I should have mentioned a seat in parliament as one of the qualifications, by which these gentry rise to greatness. The Herald's Office, however, was not neglected, a coat of arms having been his first acquisition; and we are just informed, that, to render his name illustrious after death, he hath ordered his funeral to be in the style and manner of the late R- - REsq.-5001. for a monument, and 41, yearly to have it brushed by the sexton.
Chacun à son gout.
Riding out one morning in the Strand near Dublin, he met with a parishioner of his well inounted, and began to pay him some compliments on his horse, &c. 6 All this may
Mr. Dean,” said the man; “but still he is not equal to yours," “ To mine!” returned the Dean in surprise : “ why, this is but a mere pad, which I keep for exercise.”-“ Aye, but notwithstanding that," replied the other, “he carries the best head of any horse in Ireland.”
A Clergyman in Essex, not much celebrated as a preacher, used to wear boots generally on duty; and gave as a reason for it, that “the roads were so deep in some places, that he found them more convenient than shoes."
Yes,” said Foote, “and, I dare say, equally convenient in the pulpit; for there the Doctor is generally out of his depth too.
INTUITION, AND SAGACITY. Of the difference between those two qualities (the one being immediate in its effect, and the other acquiring a
circuitous process) Foote said, “the former was the eye. the latter the nose, of the mind.”
THE CAUSE OF A PLAY BEING DAMNED.
A foreigner being present at a musical piece which was damned the first night of its performance, asked Foote who the author was. Being told that his name was St. Jokn, he asked again, “St. Jean, St. Jean, quel St. Jean? (St. John, St. John, what St. John ?")"Oh, Monseieur! cried Foote ; le gentilhomme sans la tête. (Oh, Sir, the gentleman without a head)."
CONSTANTIA GRIERSON, OF THE COUNTY OF KILKENNY, IN IRELAND; DIED 1733,
AGED 27 ;
Was allowed, long before, to be an excellent scholar, not only in Greek and Roman literature, but in history, divinity, philosophy, and mathematics. She gave a proof of her knowledge in the Latin tongue, by her dedication of the Dublin edition of Tacitus to the Lord Carteret, and by that of Terence to his son, to whom she likewise wrote a Greek epigram. She wrote several fine poems in English, on which she set so little value, that she neglected to leave copies, but of very few, behind her.
She is said to have exemplified that tine saying of a French author : “ That a great genius should be superior to his own abilities.”
When Lord Carteret was lord-lieutenant of Ireland, he obtained a patent for Mr. Grierson, her husband, to be king's printer; and to distinguish and reward her uncommon merit, had her life inserted in it.
The foregoing account is entirely transcribed from Mrs. Barber's preface prefixed to her poems. To this we shall add some particulars, which Mrs. Pilkington has recorded. She tells us “ that when about eighteen years of age, she was brought to her father to be instructed in mid? wifery; that she was mistress of Hebrew, Greek, Latin and French, understood mathematics as well as most men; and what made these extraordinary talents yet more surprising, was, that her parents were poor illiterate country people ; so that her learning appeared like the gist,
poured out on the apostles, of speaking all languages without the pains of study.” Mrs. Pilkington enquired of her, where she had gained this prodigious knowledge ? to which Mrs. Grierson answered, “that she received some little instruction from the minister of the parish, when she could spare time from her ueedle-work, to which she was closely kept by her mother.” Mrs. Pilkington adds, “ that she wrote elegantly both in verse and prose ; that her turn was chiefly to philosophical or divine subjects ; that her piety was not inferior to her learning; and that some of the most delightful hours she herself had ever passed, were in the conversation of this female philosopher."
She wrote an Abridgement of the History of England. There are many particular circumstances of her life which do her honour, and are a noble example to the living, particularly as a wife and mother. She was patronized by the late Lord Granville, and was the editor of several of the classics. Her son, who was his majesty's printer at Dublin, and instructed by her, was a man of uncommon learning, great wit and vivacity. He died in Germany, at the age of twenty-seven. Dr. Johnson highly respected his abilities, and often observed, that he possessed more extensive knowledge than any man of his years he had ever known. His industry was equal to his talents, he particularly excelled in every species of philological learning, and was perhaps the best critic of the time.
POPERY. At the beginning of the long Parliament, a cry of “No Popery," was heard in this kingdom. One of the oddest espressions of aların was the following, simile of Pym. " Popery,” said he, “ may be compared to the dry bones of Ezekiel; which first came together from afar, then sinews and flesh grew upon them, afterwards the skin covered them, and lastly, breath and life were put into them.” The comparison is yet more applicable now, Popery is indeed become a heap of dry bones; and the very priests are at a loss which to select as worthy to become the skeletons of a reanimated church. Sinews and flesh will not grow upon them, without long industry and governmental patronage. The eventual re-creation must assume a bew, a glossy and glorified skin. And the whole apprehended process resembles more the imagery of a visionary than the foresight of a prophet.