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began to spread their pallets, and when they had compleated The Spectator, nobody will dispute their having given a very finished pourtrait of the age they lived in. Where they stop tradition may begin; so that I think an observing man, with all these aids and no short experience of his own to help them out, may form a pretty close comparison in his own thoughts upon the subject.
Here I must remind the reader that I am speaking of manners as they respect society. Now we can readily refer to certain times past, when the manners of men in this country were insufferably boisterous and unpolished; we can point to the period, when they were as notoriously reserved, gloomy, dark and fanatical ; we know when profligacy threw off all appearances, and libertinism went naked as it were into all societies; we can tell when pedantry was in general fashion, when duelling was the rage, and the point of honour was to be defined by a chain of logic that would have puzzled Aristotle ; we can turn to the time, when it was reputable to get drunk, and when the fine gentleman of the comedy entertains his mistress with his feats over the bottle, and recommends himself to her good graces by swearing, blustering, and beating up
the watch: We know there are such words in the language as fop and beau, and some can
remember them in daily use; many are yet living, who have had their full-bottomed wigs brought home in a chair, and many an old lady now crowds herself into a corner, who once hooped herself in a circle hardly less than Arthur's round table: Here I may be told that dress is not manners; but I must contend that the manners of a man in a full-bottomed wig must partake something of the stiffness of the barber's buckle; nor do I see how he can walk on foot at his ease, when his wig goes in a chair. How many of us can call to mind the day, when it was a mark of good-breeding to cram a poor surfeited guest to the throat, and the most social hours of life were thrown away in a continual interchange of solicitations and apologies ? What a stroke upon the nerves of a modeft man was it then to make his first approaches, and perform his awkward reverences to a solemn circle all rising on their legs at the awful moment of his entry! and what was his condition at departing, when, after having performed the fame tremendous ceremonies, he saw his retreat cut off by a double row of guards in livery, to every one of whom he was to pay a toll for free passage! A man will now find his superiors more accessible, his equals more at their ease, and his inferiors more mannerly than in any time past. The effects of public
education, travel and a general intercourse with mankind, the great influx of foreigners, the variety of public amusements, where all ranks and degrees meet promiscuously, the constant resort to bathing and water - drinking places in the fummer, and above all the company of the fair fex, who mix so much more in fociety than heretofore, have with many other conspiring causes altogether produced such an ease and suavity of manners throughout the nation, as have totally changed the face of society, and levelled all those bars and barriers, which made the approaches to what was called good company fo troublesome, and obstructed the intercourse between man and man. Here then I shall conclude
this topic, and pass to the Arts, which I said were the ornaments of society.
As I am persuaded my argument will not be contested in this quarter, I need spend few words upon so clear a point. If ever this country faw an age of artists, it is the present; Italy, Spain, Flanders and France have had their turn, but they are now in no capacity to dispute the palm, and England stands without a rival; her painters, fculptors and engravers are now the only schools, properly so called, in Europe ; Rome will bear witness that the English artists are as superior in talents as they are in numbers to those of all nations besides. I reserve the mention of her architects as a separate class, that I may for once break in upon my general rule by indulging myself in a prediction, (upon which I am willing to stake all my credit with the reader) that when the modest genius of a Harrison shall be brought into fuller display, England will have to boast of a native architect, which the brightest age of Greece would glory to acknowledge.
Μακάριος όστις ουσίαν και νούν έχει:
« Abundance is a blessing to the wise ;
“ In a fool's pocket is a heavy curse." THE
HERE are so many striking advantages in
the possesion of wealth, that the inheritance of a great estate, devolving upon a man in the vigour of mind and body, appears to
the eye of speculation as a lot of singular felicity.
There are some countries, where no subject can properly be said to be independant; but in a constitution so happily tempered as our's, that blessing seems peculiarly annexed to affluence. The English landed gentleman, who can set his foot upon his own foil, and say to all the world -This is my freehold; the law'defends my right: Touch it who dare !-is surely as independant as any man within the rules of society can be, fo long as he encumbers himself by no exceedings of
expence beyond the compass of his income: If a great estate therefore gives a' man independance, it gives him that, which all, who do not poffefs it, seem to figh for.
When I consider the numberless indulgencies, which are the concomitants of a great fortune, and the facility it affords to the gratification of every generous paflion, I am mortified to find how few, who are possessed of these advantages, avail themselves of their fituation to any worthy purposes : That happy temper, which can preserve a medium between diffipation and avarice, is not often to be found, and where I meet one man, who can laudably acquit himself under the test of prosperity, I could instance numbers, who deport themselves with honour under the visita