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they are stigmatized as mean-spirited and that I own am apt to feel nervous when I meet dastardly. To those who have not witnessed them, in situations where an opportunity of the conduct of bodies of their countrymen in fers for shewing their contempt of foreigners foreign lands, this description may appear and foreign customs. I knew a set of Engovercharged ; but to us who have so fre. lish officers, for example, who were in the quently had occasion to deplore the ill effects habit of going every night to a foreign produced by their impetuousness, I think theatre, where they had a box; and carry. you will decide with me, that it really is ing large sticks in their hands, for the pur. not :--and it is evident, that the gross dis. pose of thumping vehemently on the floor, regard they frequently shew of the customs
the sides of the box, with them, of foreigners, proves very prejudicial to our when they chose to express their approbation national interest.
or discontent; and occasionally calling out “ On onc occasion, I recollect a set of Eng. to their friends in other parts of the house, lish freemasons walking in procession at to the great dismay of the audience.” Lisbon, where freemasonry was prohibited To us, however, the most interest under the heaviest penalties. Such an act ing parts of the present volume are as this we should have loudly condemned, if those in which the author delivers his put in practice by the French in any of the quiet sensible opinions concerning the countries over which they held despotick mode in which Englishmen conduct sway ; yet we think it a good joke to treat our friends in this
themselves at home and among themThe Portuguese
way. government, however, were not inclined to
selves. Of these the chapter on Shyconsider it in that light, and they made a NESS is the first. serious remonstrance to the British minister “ Under this head a vast variety of on the subject ; for the ceremony had caus- extraordinary manner and conduct is coned a considerable degree of agitation in the tained. The general term by which the city. On first observing it, they took it for French designate it (mauvaise honte), I a religious procession, and turned out their think, describes it fairly ; for, whether it guards, with the intention of paying it dirine proceed from a good or a bad motive, it honours, and when they discovered their must be acknowledged à defect, and its remistake, they were highly indignant. moval considered desirable, its visible effects
" At another time, I remember a set of being nearly the same, whatever the cause English officers happened to meet with a may be. It requires, indeed, a great deal table d'Hôte, the situation of which they of discernment, and frequently a long ac. found convenient for dining at. They ac- quaintance with the persons labouring under cordingly resolved to frequent it; but as the this distressing malady, to enable us to de. table was apt to be more crowded than they cide on the real cause that produces it. Fo. found agreeable, they determined to drive reigners, I do not speak of Frenchmen alone, away all those who had been previously ac- accuse us of being all more or less tainted customed to dine there, and this they soon
with this disease. Doubtless they perceive effected, by laughing at, and insulting them, it, or they would not be unanimous, as I in every possible way. The natural conse
believe they are,
in expressing the opinion : quence was, that the landlord became exas. and though we, from closer observation, perated at losing so many of his customers, are apt to discriminate, and to term this and being an Englishman himself, he got man cold and reserved, and another frank drunk one day, and fell to abusing the offi- and sprightly; we may discover, I believe, cers without mercy: and the affair ended if we chuse to look candidly and fairly into with a battle royal, in which the drunken our own minds, that most of us are in some landlord came off worst a second time, and degree influenced by the feelings which give his wife went into hystericks. I fear I must rise to the shy reserve of which foreigners add, that those who committed this outrage, complain. We do not scruple to regard were not uninstructed, raw boys (of which Frerichmen, in a mass, as volatile, loquaci. description many are found in all armies), ous, and impertinent; Germans as blunt but young men of the best families and edu. and phlegmatic ; and Spaniards as pompous, cation. Nor are these instances of brow. haughty, and indolent ; ought we, therebeating insolence uncommon, though pre- fore, to be offended at their describing us dominating more amongst our military, who generally by some of our less favourable are wisely kept in so much restraint at home, characteristics, and representing us as a mothat they are apt to fly out a little in foreign rose, uncivil, uncourteous race ? countries, where the profession of arms is “ Do you recollect, my friend, your compern.itted, in some sort, to take the lead. ing up to me at the Opera in London, some The independent feelings of Englishmen years ago, and telling me you had just discarry them frequently so far in this respect, covered why foreigners disliked us so much ?
• Believe me,' added you, • it is because we
never offer them snuft!' You then described • It is the custom in that, and, I suppose, having placed yourself at the end of one of in all other Roman Catholick countries, for the seats in the pit, where you were greatly the guards to turn out and present arms to incommoded by want of room. Having t'e Host, whenever it passes near their Posto suffered this inconvenience for some time, it
securred to you to offer a pinch of snuff to gentlemen assembled for the same purpose, a foreign gentleman sitting next you. Your but so careful not to intrude on each others stratagem succeeded perfectly. The fo. conversation or even notice, that they have reigner, struck with this uncommon instance retired into separate corners of the room, of politeness, began, the moment he had re- and given themselves up to silent meditaceived it, to shore and bustle about in a tion. I have seen the number encrease polite way, but so effectually, that he soon gradually to twenty or thirty, and though procured you a superabundance of room. the room would not afford a corner for,
** Your observation was founded in a core each, it is whimsical to observe the ingenui.' rect knowledge of human nature. All civic ty with which they contrive to divide the lized beings are gratified by these little at space amongst them, with the same object tentions and civilities; and, however back. evidently in view ; viz. that of shunning Fard we may be to acknowledge it, we are all intercourse with their neighbour. One umcizilized, inasmuch as we are deficient in will seat himself on a table, and earnestly those practices which afford universal satise watch the motion of his swinging leg; faction."
another will turn his back on the rest of
the party, and amuse himself by looking “There is no end to the various ways in out at the window; while a third will place which this failing shews itself. I recollect himself directly, before the fire, and calling some years ago being introduced to an emi. in the aid of his coat skirts to exclude his nent public character. The introduction companions from a sight of it, will remain was proposed to me by an intimate friend with his eyes fixed on vacancy till one side of his, at whose house we met ; there was is well roasted ; and then he will turn the therefore no intrusion on my part. When I other. Many amongst the number doubt. had made my bow, I naturally expected him, less feel as I do on these occasions, and as the greatest man, to speak to me. But no: wish sincerely to break the solemn gloom he stared, blushed like a young girl, seem- by friendly intercourse, but are withheld by ed to make an effort within himself to call the same cause that often deters me, that is, up a word or two; but not succeeding in the fear, perhaps frequently groundless, of his attempt, he stalked away without utter. a repulse ; for a man must be indeed far ing a syllable. This we call shyness; but gone in John Bullism who would absoluteby what cause, or combination of causes, it ly take offence at an overture plainly dic. is produced, it is difficult to determine. It tated by civility, or a desire to be sociál.” is not, however, a manner for imitation."
RESERVE, which our author treats
of in a separate chapter, seems to us “ One man I know, who, if you call on
to be rather a different manifestation him, will probably look frowningly at you, of the same defect. The following rewithout speaking when you are shewn into the room, and then turn his back upon you. marks, however, are highly worthy of But he does not mean to express get out' attention : by this. It is his manner; and he is, in “That which frequently adds to the reother respects, a worthy, excellent man, of serve of our manners, particularly in Lon. gentlemanly feelings and principles. don, is the foolish dread many feel of being
considered either too poor to give entertain“ But without descending to particularments, or not of sufficient importance to be instances of conduct, this feature in our admitted into the dissipation of high life. national character is so obvious as to afford They pretend therefore to engagements abundant ground for general remark It which they have not, and return to pass is well known, for instance, that if two that time uncomfortably at home which English gentlemen meet accidentally, as might be spent more agreeably with their strangers in a room, they do not consider friends, if they could prevail on themselves themselves bound, scarcely even at liberty, to break the ceremonious ice of fashion, to speak to each other ; and if one happens and to be social in spite of so many freeza to have less English coldness than the other, ing examples to the contrary. For though he still fears to address his companion, lest epicurianism is a vice of the age, and it is he should subject himself to a suspicious too much the fashion to talk and think of glance, and a dry monosyllable as his reply. luxurious eating and drinking, doubtless
Sir,' said Dr Johnson (who will not be every one has some friends who will be glad accused of partiality to foreign manners) to visit him for the sake of a social meeting,
this is to be ignorant of the common and not merely for the sake of guttling. rights of humanity.'
Or if a man makes up his mind that he * Any person going to one of the public cannot afford to give dinners of any kind, ofices in London, to obtain an audience of surely it is better for him to tell his friends a great man, will be struck with a strong so frankly, and to request to see them at his esemplification of this unamiable peculi- house after he has gone through the cerearity. It has happened to me several times mony of dining with his family. This, to attend in one of the waiting rooms on you know, is the general style of going on these occasions, and on entering the apart- in foreign countries, and the introduction of ment, I have found, perhaps three or four the custom in London would be delightful, I know I have felt the want of it keenly, which our cold habits of reserve have estas and so must every one in my situation.blished in high life ; of not conceiving our For, as society is constituted at present, selves bound to know a person again whom none but persons of high rank or great con- we may have met a dozen times in society, nections can find their way into it without and conversed with each time ; unless we much labour and difficulty; and, when one happen to have been formally introduced to has attained it, is it worth the trouble ? 1 him. This, to be sure, is in itself extremenever heard any one, except now and then ly unsocial, though, perhaps, in part to be a very young girl, at her first going out, excused, by our invincible disposition to tasay that the mobbing of a London rout was citurnity. But the term cutting cannot fair. any thing but insipid. If a man's connec- ly be applied to this practice. In defining tions enable him, as a thing of course, to it, I should say, that to cut a person, is to fall into this dull routine, he often follows pretend to lose one's memory suddenly, as it because there is nothing more rational tó far as it regards the recollection of that perbe had. But how many hundreds of unfor- son ; and this is manifested, either by turntunate beings there are, who would fain ing the head away, and sneaking by him, think themselves gentlemen, but who are as when we meet him ; or else, if we can musmuch excluded from this senseless amuse- ter assurance enough, by staring full in his ment, even as the Jew boys who carry or- face, without altering a muscle of our own, anges about the streets.
and assuming an expression of unconcern, ** I have often been amused, by being which says, I never saw you before in all told in the country, 'well, I suppose you my life ! This last is considered the cut dewill be very gay in town.' Now my gaiety cisive, and it seldom happens, under these when in London consists in this: 'I walk circumstances, that the acquaintance is ever about the town as much as I please during renewed. the morning, and see all the gay carriages “ It is often difficult to surmise from what and people. I meet such of my friends as cause this and similar acts of incivility prohappen to be out, and after nodding to them ceed. Sometimes, and not unfrequently, I till I am tired, I return to my solitary home. believe it is caused, when it adopts a less I have then the choice of dining at a tavern decisive tone by modest diffidence, which or at my lodging ; atter which, I may either retires from observation and fears repulse. go to the play or the opera, or I may sit at A state of mind unknown in other countries; home alone it I prefer it. Being acquaint, because in them the same sort of repulse is ed with a good many families in London, I not experienced, and therefore not looked make a point, not being fond of a solitary for. But there is no doubt this practice, life, to leave a card at each of their houses. when it assumes the bold insolent forin above Some three or four, perhaps, (who are always described, is occasioned by a haughty vulgar the same, uncongealed even by the atmos- claim to superiority. At least, I do not see phere of London) write me a cordial note, how charity, extended to its utmost limits, and ask when I can give them the pleasure can explain it more favourably. Perhaps, of my company. But, for the most part, for example, you are acquainted with a man no notice is taken of my call for five or six of equal rank with yourself, but who fancies weeks, at the end of which, perhaps the visit himself a person of greater importance, from is returned ; and, if the person is a near re- some accidental circumstance of wealth, conlation or connection, he considers one invita- nection with people of high station, or some tion to meet a family party during my stay such cause. Well, you meet this man in a as very handsome treatment. If he has no quiet corner, where there is no room for dis. such motive, he does not invite me to his play, and you converse together in an easy house at all, but expresses a hope, if I unreserved manner. The following day, chance to meet him in the street, that he perhaps, you fall in with the same gentle. may see more of me next time I come to man again, in a more publick place, when town, and the meeting is adjourned sine die; he will either make you a distant bow, for, perhaps, I am then preparing to leave which marks his claim to superiority, or athe country again for an unlimited period." void you altogether. The letter on cutting is abundantly
“ As this is a trick our countrymen are
not sơ much in the habit of sporting abroad, tranchant.
perhaps from being unaccustomed to it, “Another mostunamiable practice your memory will not serve you to recollect which I obscrve to prevail in this coun. its prevalence in this country. But I assure try more than ever ; I am ashamed to call you, upon my honour, such incidents as the it'a national peculiarity, and yet I fear it is above occur liere every hour, and are there. one ; is that vulgarly known by the term fore not thought remarkable. • cutting And unaccountable as it may "If not so frequent would not this be strange? appear, the example of this gothick custom is set by that class, which in foreign coun.
That 'tis so frequent ; this is stranger still!' tries is justly considered the pattern of po- • What instigates to this brutality (I canliteness and urbanity, though not always, I not term it humanity) of conduct, is, I ima. fear, entitled to the same character in this. gine, the absurd dr:ad felt by the person I am not now speaking of the sort of rule guilty of it, lest his dignity slicu!d be lov. ered by his being seen to converse with one Any species of manner that says de of• fto sort of consequence ;' as poor fellows plainly as words can utter it, “I am greatly like you and I are styled by such as these. superior to you,' must be distressing to the
“ Now, a slight acquaintance with hu- person addressed, and therefore cannot be man nature, as pourtrayed in history, is suf- desirable. As Sir Thomas Browne emphaficient to convince us that some such conduct tically observes, • Think not that mankind as I have above attempted to describe, liveth but for a few, and that the rest are has ever prevailed, more or less, in the world, born but to serve those ambitions, which and we need only turn to the instructive make but flies of men, and wildernesses of pages of Gil Blas to learn, that in other whole nations." countries as well as our own, persons raised " To exemplify the sort of insolence I suddenly from obscurity to an elevated sta- have condemned above, I will mention an tion, are apt to fall into this disgraceful er. anecdote or two.—A friend of mine, by birth rur. But what I contend for is, that with and education a gentleman, and of prepos23 the fault (I might almost call it vice) is sessing and extremely civil manners, hapnot contined to those of the above descrip- pened to be crossing over with his horses tion. In this rich commercial country, in- from Calais to Dover, and finding the mas. stances, of course, abound more than else- ter of the packet inclined to impose on him, here, of sudden accumulations of fortune, he went up to an English gentleman whom and extraordinary changes of situation ; nor he saw standing on the quay, and who, he can we feel much surprize at observing a understood, was going on board the same corresponding change of manners in the per- vessel, and suggested to him, that they sous thus suddenly exalted. Indeed, a
should make a joint arrangement in order Bourgeois gentilhomme, brought at once to avoid being cheated. The gentleman, from the counting-house to the House of who proved afterwards to be a man of rank, Lords, or at least to associate with the Mem- replied with the utmost haughtiness, I do bers of that House, may naturally be ex- not chuse any body, Sir, to interfere with pected to fall into some absurdities; and my arrangements.' though the metamorphosis is not so instan- “ Another friend of mine recently returntaneous, it is nearly as complete with respected from a long residence in a foreign counto his wife and daughters, as that of Nell try, took up his abode in London at one of in the Farce ; therefore, any vagaries they the most fashionable hotels. Going into the give into are easily excused by people of coffee-room one evening in cold weather, candour. But I must own, it has ever been and observing a large table placed before the matter of astonishment to me, that men fire, and a solitary individual seated at one born to high rank, and accustomed from endof it, he forgot the coldness of English etitheir cradles to the sound of titles, and to quette for the moment, and placing a candle the adventitious circumstances of wealth and at the other end of the table, as he had been station, should so far deviate from the dig- accustomed to do abroad, sat down to read nified conduct they are obviously called on the newspaper. His companion, exasperatto exercise, and should lend the authority of ed at so much disrespect, but not deigning their example to a practice alike hateful in to address him, called out immediately, in itself, and prejudicial to the society of their the insolent tone of a man of fashion, • Waitown country.”
er! take away that candle.' My friend quietThe “ Superciliousness of high life" ly told him his mind, gave him his name, is discussed in a manner equally ra
and left the room. The aggressor, after a tional and more fully. But we have little reflection, very properly apologized for
his conduct. room for no more than the following
“ It may be remarked, that an incident passage :
of this kind would not have occurred in a " The air and tone of insolent superiority foreign country, because, sitting down in a too commonly assumed by persons of rank publick room, at the same table with a and fashion in this country is very offensive, stranger, is a custom that prevails generally and, at the same time, very surprising. Info- on the continent. But the complaint, in reign countries, it is always considered the this case, concerns the harshness of manner mark of a • nouveau riche;' but here, I adopted to correct a venial offence; if it can think, it is not unfrequently observable in the be called an offence at all; nor do I believe manners of persons of the oldest and most
a less fashionable man would have paid any respectable families. In short, I am inclined attention to the circumstance. to consider it one of the most striking cha- “ I remember, too, once when I was reracteristicks by which to distinguish high turning from f'rance, on stopping to change rank and station in this country.
horses at a small place near the coast, I was " When evinced in a haughty cold re- taking some refreshment at the inn, when serve, the superciliousness of high life is very
two English travellers, of the higher class, reprehensible; but by far the worst charac- stopped at the house for the same purpose. ter it assumes is that of affected condescen, Seeing they were fresh from England, I nasion. I recollect a fine lady once, whom I turally observed their conduct. On being had not seen for some time before, asking shewn into the public room in which I was, me, by way of great civility, how I had left they strutted in with their hats on, sta my friends in Ireland.--I had never been in
at me, and walked out again, callin Ireland in my life.
pereniprory tone for some cold meu
landlady placed it for them at the further loons by Mr But if they will conend ot' my table, which was so long that we sider the matter fairly, many will find, that should have been separated by a distance of their dislikes are frequently occasioned by several feet. But i foresaw that this ar. causes nearly as trifling, and which have rangement would not do, and therefore fushion for their basis. Indeed, it appears watched their return with some degree of to me, that in spite of our boasted claim to curiosity. Accordingly, when they return independence, there is no people in Europe ed from inspecting their carriage, they were such thorough slaves to fashion and precegreatly disconcerted at finding the refresh. dent as ourselves. A native of a foreign ment they had ordered placed on my table, country may act as he pleases (provided he and immediately called to the waiter with a act with decorum) and 'not subject hiunself look of horrour, to remove it to a distant to observation. If he is poor, he may live corner of the room.
in a poor lodging, in a poor street ; if he “ Now this happened at a very interest. has no carriage of his own, he may get into ing period of publick events, and, as I wore a hackney coach, and take his wife and a red coat, they might naturally conclude I daughters with him ; which few men in this was an English officer, and might have wish. country, above the middling class, dare doa ed to gratify their curiosity, by asking me When prejudices such as these are adverted questions concerning the state of affairs in to, we satisfy ourselves by observing, that the interiour. Any being but an English. in different nations there must be different man would have acted differently under si. customs. It is not the custom here, for milar circumstance. Had I observed any ladies to go about in dirty hackney coaches, thing like diffidence in their manner, I nor for a gentleman to hide his head in a should have assured them, that their sitting miserable shabby place. As far as cleanliat the same table, would be rather agreo- ness interferes, I am ready to allow the conable than troublesome to me ;-but I was sideration to have its due weight. But let convinced, by their style, that any overture a hackney coach be produced, perfectly new on my part would be deemed an intrusion; and clean, and I doubt whether the difficul. and as they gave me no fair opportunity of ty, in many instances, would be removed. addressing them, I left them to entertain It is the dread of being seen in an inferiour cach other in their corner."
situation, that chiefly influences the conduct “ It is mortifying to confess it, but really on these occasions. Now, surely foreigners, the kind of contempt evinced by a man of who are in a great measure free from these distinction or fashion (for there is too much prejudices, enjoy life more thoroughly in resemblance in their unfavourable peculia- consequence; while they act much more rarities) towards the other classes of society, tionally than poor gentlemen in this country, approaches in no very distant degree to the who are constantly striving to rival the rich hatred of the different castes in India to- in all expenses that come at all within their wards each other. In general, a man of fa. means. This spirit is now carried so far shion, however, is conscious only of two amongst us, that young men of scarcely any castes; his own, consisting of a few hundreds; fortune, flock to taverns of the most expenand the people, amounting to several mil. sive kind; and an ensign in the army is not lions. Por, in his estimation, every man, satisfied, unless he pays the same prices for however dignified by wisdom, bravery, or his clothes as a prince of the blood! virtue ;' however distinguished for talent or “ However, let those that chuse it, perestimable qualities, is counted as dross, as severe in a system of life to which custom nothing, unless he happen to have been ini. has habituated them ; but do not let them tiated in the senseless mysteries of fashion. carry their prejudices so far as to despise able absurdity.
foreigners, and those among our own coun“ I recollect being struck with the remark trymen who have courage to act more wisely. of a great wit, who was himself a man of It is really very vulgar to be proud of riches, high family and large fortune, and therefore when we do possess them; but the height as much in the society of the great world as of folly to pretend to them when we possess he chose to be. These fellows,' said he, them not. speaking of men of fashion,. will not condescend to speak to a man, unless he hap
There would be much impudence pens to dine at the same cook-shop! Allud in our hazarding any additional reing to the contempt with which a member marks of our own on these heads.of the club most in vogue speaks of those a We leave our English neighbours to step or two lower in fashionable estimation profit as they chose by the hints of This illiberal, excluding system, I trust, in their firm but gentle castigator. • Hucnces, in its full extent, only the rigid votaries of fashion, who are so immersed in worldly pursuits as to become quite callous to the feelings of their neighbours. Though
• I forbear mentioning the names, for I regret to say, that something of the same fear of betraying my own ignorance.-AUspirii pervades all classes of gentry in this thor's Note. country. Few persons are so absurd as to We ourselves patronize Stulze for our adopt a prejudice against a man, because his coats, and Christie for the nether integu. mat is not made by Mr or his panta. ments. REVIEWER'S NOTE