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between the sexes, in a certain rank, and at a certain time of life, in which both find their account equally.
I shall be even disposed to rank it among the salutary fictions of life, when in polite circles I shall see the same attentions paid to age as to youth, to homely features as to handsome, to coarse complexions as to clear—to the woman, as she is a woman, not as she is a beauty, a fortune, or a title.
I shall believe it to be something more than a name when a welldressed gentleman in a well-dressed company can advert to the topic of female old age without exciting and intending to excite a sneer; —when the phrases "antiquated virginity,” and such a one has “overstood her market,” pronounced in good company, shall raise immediate offence in man, or woman, that shall hear them spoken.
Joseph Paice, of Bread Street Hill, merchant, and one of the Directors of the South Sea Company—the same to whom Edwards, the Shakspeare commentator, has addressed a fine sonnet-was the only pattern of consistent gallantry I have met with. He took me under his shelter at an early age, and bestowed some pains upon
I owe to his precepts and example whatever there is of the man of business (and that is not much) in my composition. It was not his fault that I did not profit more. Though bred a Presbyterian, and brought up a merchant, he was the finest gentleman of his time. He had not one system of attention to females in the drawing-room, and another in the shop, or at the stall. I do not mean that he made no distinction. But he never lost sight of sex, or overlooked it in the casualties of a disadvantageous situation. I have seen him stand bareheaded-smile, if you please-to a poor servant girl, while she has been inquiring of him the way street-in such a posture of unforced civility as neither to embarrass her in the acceptance, nor himself in the offer of it. He was no dangler, in the common acceptation of the word, after women: but he reverenced and upheld, in every form in which it came before him, womanhood. I have seen him-nay, smile not-tenderly escorting a market-woman, whom he had encountered in a shower, exalting his umbrella over her poor basket of fruit, that it might receive no damage, with as much carefulness as if she had been a countess. To the reverend form of Female Eld he would yield the wall. (though it were to an ancient beggar-woman) with more ceremony than we can afford to show our grandams. He was the Preux Chevalier of Age; the Sir Calidore, or Sir Tristan, to those who have no Calidores or Tristans to defend them. The roses, that had long faded
ence, still bloomed for him in those withered and yellow cheeks.
He was never married, but in his youth he paid his addresses to the beautiful Susan Winstanley-old Winstanley's daughter of Clapton-who, dying in the early days of their courtship, confirmed in him the resolution of perpetual bachelorship. It was during their short courtship, he told me, that he had been one day treating his mistress with a profusion of civil speeches-the common gallan
tries—to which kind of thing she had hitherto manifested no repugnance—but in this instance with no effect. He could not obtain from her a decent acknowledgment in return. She rather seemed to resent his compliments. He could not set it down to caprice, for the lady had always shown herself above that littleness. When he ventured on the following day, finding her a little better humoured, to expostulate with her on her coldness of yesterday, she confessed, with her usual frankness, that she had no sort of dislike to his attentions; that she could even endure some high-flown compliments; that a young woman placed in her situation had a right to expect all sorts of civil things said to her; that she hoped she could digest a dose of adulation, short of insincerity, with as little injury to her humility as most young women: but that–a little before he had commenced his compliments-she had overheard him by accident, in rather rough language, rating a young woman who had not brought home his cravats quite to the appointed time, and she thought to herself, “ As I am Miss Susan Winstanley, and a young lady—a reputed beauty, and known to be fortune-I can have my choice of the finest speeches from the mouth of this very
fine gentleman who is courting me—but if I had been poor Mary Such-aone (namingthe milliner) and had failed of bringing home the cravats to the appointed hour—though perhaps I had sat up half the night to forward them—what sort of compliments should I have received then ? And my woman's pride came to my assistance, and I thought that if it were only to do me honour, a female, like myself, might have received handsomer usage: and I was determined not to accept any fine speeches to the compromise of that sex the belonging to which was, after all, my strongest claim and title to them.'
I think the lady discovered both generosity, and a just way of thinking, in this rebuke which she gave her lover; and I have sometimes imagined, that the uncommon strain of courtesy which through life regulated the actions and behaviour of my friend towards all of womankind indiscriminately, owed its happy origin to this seasonable lesson from the lips of his lamented mistress.
I wish the whole female world would entertain the same notion of these things that Miss Winstanley showed. Then we should see something of the spirit of consistent gallantry; and no longer witness the anomaly of the same man-a pattern of true politeness to a wife-of cold contempt, or rudeness, to a sister—the idolator of his female mistress—the disparager and despiser of his no less female aunt, or unfortunate-still female-maiden cousin. Just so much respect as a woman derogates from her own sex, in whatever condition placed-her handmaid or dependent—she deserves to have diminished from herself on that score; and probably will feel the diminution, when youth, and beauty, and advantages, not inseparable from sex, shall lose of their attraction. What a woman should demand of a man in courtship, or after it, is first—respect for her as she is a woman;-and next to that—to be respected by him above all other women. But let her stand upon her female character as upon a foundation; and let the attentions incident to individual
Lessons of Creation.
61 preference, be so many pretty additaments and ornaments—as many, and as fanciful, as you please—to that main structure. Let her first lesson be—with sweet Susan Winstanley—to reverence her sex.
12.—LESSONS OF CREATION.
[See page 39.] It has always appeared to me that there was, even in healthy mountain districts, a certain degree of inevitable melancholy; nor could I ever escape from the feeling that here, where chiefly the beauty of God's working was manifested to men, warning was also given, and that to the full, of the enduring of His indignation against sin.
It seems one of the most cunning and frequent of self-deceptions to turn the heart away from this warning, and refuse to acknowledge anything in the fair scenes of the natural creation but beneficence. Men in general lean towards the light, so far as they contemplate such things at all, most of them passing “by on the other side," either in mere plodding pursuit of their own work, irrespective of what good or evil is around them, or else in selfish gloom, or selfish delight, resulting from their own circumstances at the moment. Of those who give themselves to any true contemplation, the plurality, being humble, gentle, and kindly-hearted, look only in nature for what is lovely and kind; partly, also, God gives the disposition to every healthy human mind in some degree to pass over or even harden itself against evil things, else the suffering would be too great to be borne; and humble people, with a quiet trust that everything is for the best, do not fairly represent the facts to themselves, thinking them none of their business. So, what between hard-hearted people, thoughtless people, busy people, humble people, and cheerfully-minded people-giddiness of youth, and preoccupations of age-philosophies of faith, and cruelties of folly-priest and Levite, masquer and merchantman, all agreeing to keep their own side of the way—the evil that God sends to warn us gets to be forgotten, and the evil that he sends to be mended by us gets left unmended. And then, because people shut their eyes to the dark indisputableness of the facts in front of them, their faith, such as it is, is shaken or uprooted by every darkness in what is revealed to them. In the present day it is not easy to find a well-meaning man among our more earnest thinkers, who will not take upon himself to dispute the whole system of redemp
ion, because he cannot unravel the mystery of the punishment of sin. But can he unravel the mystery of the punishment of no sin ? Can he entirely account for all that happens to a cab-horse? Has he ever looked fairly at the fate of one of those beasts as it is dying -measured the work it has done, and the reward it has got, put his
the bloody wounds through which its bones are piercing, and so looked up to Heaven with an entire understanding
of Heaven's ways about the horse ? Yet the horse is a fact-no dreamno revelation among the myrtle-trees by night; and the dust it dies
upon, and the dogs that eat it, are facts—and yonder happy person, whose the horse was, till its knees were broken over the hurdles; who had an immortal soul to begin with, and wealth and peace to help forward his immortality; who has also devoted the powers of his soul, and body, and wealth, and peace, to the spoiling of houses, the corruption of the innocent, and the oppression of the poor; and has, at this actual moment of his prosperous life, as many curses waiting round about him in calm shadow, with their death-eyes fixed upon him, biding their time, as ever the poor cab-horse had launched at him in meaningless blasphemies, when his failing feet stumbled at the stones—this happy person shall have no stripes shall have only the horse's fate of annihilation; or, if other things are indeed reserved for him, Heaven's kindness or omnipotence is to be doubted therefore.
We cannot reason of these things. But this I know-and this may by all men be known—that no good or lovely thing exists in this world without its corresponding darkness; and that the universe presents itself continually to mankind under the stern aspect of warning, or of choice, the good and the evil set on the right hand and the left, and in this mountain gloom, which weighs so strongly upon the human heart that in all time hitherto, as we have seen, the hill defiles have been either avoided in terror or inhabited in
penance, there is but the fulfilment of the universal law, that where the beauty and wisdom of the Divine working are most mani. fested; there also are manifested most clearly the terrorof God's wrath, and inevitableness of His power. Nor is this gloom less wonderful so far as it bears witness to the error of human choice, even when the nature of good and evil is most definitely set before it. The trees of Paradise were fair; but our first parents hid themselves from God "in medio ligni Paradisi,” in the midst of the trees of the garden. The hills were ordained for the help of man: but, instead of raising his eyes to the hills, from whence cometh his help, he does his idol sacrifice
upon every high hill and under every green tree.” The mountain of the Lord's house is established above the hills; but Nadab and Abihu shall see under His feet the body of heaven in his clearness, yet go down to kindle the censer against their own souls. And so to the end of time it will be; to the end, that cry will still be heard along the Alpine winds, Hear, 0 ye mountains, the Lord's controversy!" Still their gulfs of thawless ice, and unretarded roar of tormented waves, and deathful falls of fruitless waste, and unredeemed decay, must be the image of the souls of those who have chosen the darkness, and whose cry shall be to the mountains to fall on them, and to the hills to cover them; and still, to the end of time, the clear waters of the unfailing springs, and the white pasture-lilies in their clothed multitude, and the abiding of the burning peaks in their nearness to the opened heaven, shall be the types, and the blessings, of those who have chosen light, and of whom it is written, “The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills righteousness.”
(From “ Modern Painters.” By permission of Messrs. Smith and Elder.)
The Story of Le Fevre.
govern not it.
13.—THE STORY OF LE FEVRE.
[See page 50.] It was some time in the summer of that year in which Dendermond was taken by the Allies, which was about seven years before my father came into the country, and about as many after the time that my uncle Toby and Trim had privately decamped from my father's house in town, in order to lay some of the finest sieges to some of the finest fortified cities in Europe, when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard. I say sitting, for in consideration of the corporal's lame knee, which sometimes gave him exquisite pain, when my uncle Toby dined or supped alone, he would never suffer the corporal to stand ; and the poor fellow's veneration for his master was such, that, with a proper artillery, my uncle Toby could have taken Dendermond itself with less trouble than he was able to gain this point over him; for many a time, when my
uncle Toby supposed the corporal's leg was at rest, he would look back and detect him standing behind him with the most dutiful respect. This bred more little squabbles betwixt them than all other causes for five-and-twenty years together; but this is neither here nor there-why do I mention it ? Ask my pen—it governs me-I
He was one evening sitting thus at his supper, when the landlord of a little inn in the village came into the parlour with an empty phial in his hand, to beg a glass or two of sack. “'Tis for a poor gentleman-I think of the army,” said the landlord, “who has been taken ill at my house four days ago, and has never held up his head since, or had a desire to taste anything, till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass of sack and a thin toast. I think, says he, taking his hand from his forehead, it would comfort me.' If I could neither beg, borrow, nor buy such a thing,” added the landlord, “I would almost steal it for the poor gentleman, he is so ill. I hope in God he will still mend,” continued he; we are all of us concerned for him.”
“Thou art a good-natured soul, I will answer for thee,” cried my uncle Toby; "and thou shalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glass of sack thyself; and take a couple of bottles with my service, and tell him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more if they will do him good."
Though I am persuaded,” said my uncle Toby, as the landlord shut the door," he is a very compassionate fellow, Trim, yet I cannot help entertaining a high opinion of his guest too: there must be something more than common in him that in so short a time should win so much upon the affections of his host.” " And of his whole family,” added the corporal; “for they are all concerned for him.” “Step after him," said my uncle Toby; “do, Trim; and ask if he knows his name.”