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tionary rehearsal before he performs in public : I am persuaded it will not be amiss if he first runs over a few of his airs and graces by himself in his own closet: Let him examine himself from head to foot in his glass, and if he finds himself no handsomer, no stronger, no taller than all the rest of his fellow-creatures, he may venture without risque to conclude that he like them is a man, and nothing more: Having settled this point, and taken place in the human creation, he may next proceed to consider what that place ought to be; for this purpose he may consult his pedigree and his rent-roll, and if upon a careful perufal of these documents he shall find, (as most likely he will) that he is not decidedly the noblest and the richest man in the world, perhaps he will see no good cause, why he should strut over the face of it, as if it was his own: I would then have him go back to his glass, and set his features in order for the very proudest and most arrogant look he can put on; let him knit his brow, stretch his nostrils and bite his lips with all the dignity he can summon, and after this, when he has reversed the experiment by softening them into a mild complacent look, with as much benignity as he can find in his heart to bestaw upon them, let him ask himself honestly and fairly, which character best becomes him, and whether he does not look more like a man with some humanity than without it: I would in the next place have him call his understanding to a short audit, and upon cafting up the fum total of his wit, learning, talents and accomplishments, compute the balance between others and himself, and if it shall turn out that his stock of all these is not the prodigious thing it ought to be, and even greater than all other men's, he will do well to husband it with a little frugal humility: The last thing he must do, (and if he does nothing else I should hope it would be sufficient) is to take down his bible from the shelf, and look out for the parable of the Pharisee and Publican; it is a short story and soon read, but the moral is so much to his purpose, that he may depend upon it, if that does. not correct his 'pride, his pride is incorrigible, and all the Observers in the world will be but waste paper in his service.
Non erat his locus,
HERE is a certain delicacy in some
men's nature, which though not absolutely to be termed a moral attribute, is nevertheless fo grateful to society at large and so recommendatory of those who possess it, that even - the best and worthiest characters cannot be truly pleasing without it: I know not how to describe it better than by saying it consists in a happy discernment of times and seasons.
Though this engaging talent cannot positively be called a virtue, yet it seems to be the result of many virtuous and refined endowments of the mind, which produces it; for when we see any man so tenderly considerate of our feelings, as to, put aside his own for our accommodation and repose, and to consult opportunities with a respectful attention to our ease and leisure, it is natural to us to think favorably of such a disposition, and although much of his discernment may be the effect of a good judgment and proper knowledge of the world, yet there must be a great proportion of sensibility, candor, difi
dence and natural modesty in the composition of a faculty so concikáting and fo graceful. A man may have many good qualities, and yet if he is unacquainted with the world, he will rarely be found to understand those apt and happy moments, of which I am now speaking; for it is a knowledge not to be gained without a nice and accurate observation of mankind, and even when that observation has given it, men, who are wanting in the natural good qualities above dea fcribed, may indeed avail themselves of such occasions to serve a purpose of their own, but without a good heart no man will apply his experience to general practice.
But as it is not upon theories that I wish to employ these papers, I shall now devote the remainder of my attention to such rules and observations as occur to me upon the subject of the times and seasons.
Men, who in the fashionable phrase live out of the world, have a certain awkwardness about them, which is for ever putting them out of their place in society, whenever they are occasionally drawn into it. If it is their studies which have sequestered them from the world, they contract an air of pedantry, which can hardly be endured in any mixed company without exposing the object of it to ridicule ; for the
very effence of this contracted habit consists in an utter ignorance of times and seasons. Most of that class of men who are occupied in the education of youth, and not a few of the young men themselves, who are educated by them, are of this description: We meet with many of Jack Lizard's cast in the Spectator, who will learnedly maintain there is no heat in fire. There is a disputatious precision in these people, which kets nothing pass in free conversation, that is not mathematically true; they will confute a jest by fyllogifm, canvass a merry tale by cross-examination and dates, work every common calculation by X the unknown quantity, and in the festive fallies of imagination convict the witty speaker of false grammar, and nonsuit all the merriment of the table.
The man of form and ceremony, who has shaped his manners to the model of what is commonly called The Old Court, is another grand defaulter against times and seasons : His entrances and exits are to be performed with a ftated regularity; he measures his devoirs with an exactitude that bespeaks him a correct interpreter of The Red Book; pays his compliments with a minuteness, that leaves no one of your family unnamed, enquires after the health of your child who is dead, and desires to be kindly remem