« AnteriorContinua »
Julia being engaged with her uncle Jackson, I spent the evening alone by my own fire-side ; very bilious and hippish. Dr. Johnsun is quite right; a married man has many cares, but a single one has no pleasures. What a solitary forlorn wretch is the
a latter in misery and sickness! Some years ago there was an account in the papers of a respectable old bachelor, in Gray's inn, who after several months' disappearance was found dead in his chambersy half eaten up by blue-bottle flies. Conceive the idea of a man's being forgotten by his friends and remembered by the blue-bottles! I never see one of these flying Benedict-eaters without wishing myself fairly married; their buzzing in my ear seems to ecco the epithalamium of Manlius to my Julia's namesake
lo, hymen hymenae, io !
To, hymen hymenae! Next week my adorable Julia is to become mine for ever, and if I know any thing of myself, Jack Egerton will be the happiest man in the world. Can't say I like the ceremonial--rather lugubrious and solemn. Parents looking dolorous--sisters and cousins crying--bride ready to faint--nobody comfortable but the clergyman and clerk. Compton says, it is very like going to be hanged, and observes, tliat there is only the difference of an aspirate beiween alter and halter--a bad joke, like all the other sorry witticisms launched against women and marriage. Satirists of the sex either disappointed men, or fools, or mere inventors of calumny. Pope confesses, in the advertisement to his satires, that none of the characters are drawn from real life. He that lives single, says St. Paul, does well, but he that marries does better. St. Paul was a wise man.
Heigho! Three months elapsed without a single entry in my journal. What an idle fellow I have
become, or rather what a busy one, for I have been in a perpetual bustle ever since the expiration of the honey-moon. By the by, nothing can be more ill judged than our custom of dedicating that period to rural sequestration, that we may do nothing but amuse one another, while it generally ends in our tiring one another to death. Remember reading of a pastrycook, who always gave his apprentices a surfeit of tarts, when first they came, to insure their subsequent indifference. Very well for him, but a dangerous conjugal experiment. Godwin mentions in his Memoirs of Mary, that they alienated themselves from one another every morning, that instead of mutually exhausting their minds, they might have almost always something new to impart, by which means they met with pleasure and parted with regret. Most people reverse the process. In England, if a man is seen with his wife perpetually dangling on his arm, it is a dispensation from all other observances ; let him do what he will, he has a reputation for all the cardinal virtues. In France it is the extreme of mauvais ton. Many hints might be advantageously borrowed from our Gallic neighbours.
Tired to death of people wishing one joy: there is an impertinence about the salutation ; it conveys a doubt at best, and, as some people express themselves, look very like a
Received seven epistolary congratulations, which, from their great similarity of phrase and sentiment, I suspect to be all plagiarisms from the Polite Letter Writer. Paid them in their own coin by writing a circular reply.
Sat next to Lady Madeleine at a dinner-party. What a remarkable fine woman she is ! quite majestic, after one has been accustomed to dwarfs and puppets, After all, there is nothing so feminine and lovely as a fair complexion, especially when accompanied with that Corinthian air-that natural pobility, (if I may so express myself,) which at
once stamps the high born and high bred woman of quality. If her hand alone were shown to me, I should swear that it belonged to a person of rank. A complexion of this sort testifies the station of its possessor. One sees Olives and Brunettes trundling mops and crying mackerel ; but no inenial ever possessed Lady Madeleine's soft and delicate tints. What a charm, too, in that gentle and modest demeanour, forming so happy a medium between rustic reserve and London flippancy !
Finding ourselves alone and the time hanging rather heavy, I began reading aloud Milton's Lycidas; but, before I had accomplished three pages, observed Julia fast asleep! Waked her, to remind her of her former declaration that she doated upon poetry. “So I do," was the reply, “but I like '"
" something funny: have you got Peter Pindar, or Dr. Syntax's Tour?” Heavens! what a taste ! Requested her to play me one of Haydn's canzonets ; found her harp was thrown aside with seven broken strings, and the piano so much out of tune that she had not touched it for weeks.
Am assured, however, that she is passionately fond of music when it is played by any one else; on the faith of which I subscribed to six concerts, and my
wife actually went to one. By love of the country I learn that she means Bath, Brighton, and Cheltenham, in their respective seasons ; but as to the rural, the romantic, and the picturesque, she protests that she has no particular penchant for “a cow on a common, or a goose on a green,” and is even uninfluenced by the combined attractions of “ doves, dung, ducks, dirt, dumplings, daisies, and daffidowndillies.' Flippancy is not wit. Sorry to find a difference in our sentiments upon many essential points, and compelled to acknowledge that she is by no means a woman of that invariable good sense for which I had given her credit.
Compton and Harvey have quite become strangers. Could not understand the meaning-questioned the former upon the subject, when he asked me if I recollected one of the Miseries of Human Life" Going to dine with your friend upon the Strength of a general invitation, and finding by the countenance of his wife you had much better have waited for a particular one. I don't mind a cold
. dinner,” he continued, “but I cannot stand cold looks; and Harvey is too much in request to go where he is considered, even by silent intimation, as 'un de trop.'" Expostulated with Mrs. Egerton upon this subject, when she denied the fact of any incivility, but confessed her wonder that I should associate with such a rattling fellow as Compton, who had nothing in him. Nothing in him ! no more has soda water; its attraction consists in its effervescence and volatility. Compton is an honest fellow, and loves good eating and drinking. He has vivacity, edacity, and bibacity ;-what the deuce would she have ?
By the by, those odious Jacksons positively haunt the house. It is lucky the old nabob is worth money, for he is worth nothing else. The bore ! he has now given me five different receipts for bile, and I have been six times in at the death of that cursed tiger that he shot near Calcutta. Another dip would have made his fat wife a negress. Let no man offer to hand her down stairs, unless he can carry three hundred weight, and listen to a ten mi. nutes' wheezing. Absurd to wear two diamond necklnces, where not one of them could be seen for her three double chins. The daughter, whom they
, call.handsome (!!!) squints; the clever one is a Birmingham blue-stocking; the youngest is good tempered but quite a fool. As to “dear cousin Patty,” she seems to have taken up her residence with us, though she has nothing to do but flatter
my wife and wash the lap-dog. I thought it was against the canon law to marry a whole family.
Shooting season-nothing to do at home-devilish dull-Compton drove me in his tilbury to Hertfordshire-lent me my old Joe Manton--never shot better in my life-missed nothing. Accepted an invitation from Sir Mark Manners to pass a fortnight with him in Norfolk, upon the strength of which bought a new patent percussion gun, and promise myself famous sport." Got a letter from Harvey, at Melton--the hunt was never kept up in such prime style ; ran down just for one day so much delighted that I purchased a famous hunter for only three hundred guineas, and was out every morning till it was time to start across the country for Sir Mark's shooting box in Norfolk.
Returned from Sir Mark’sm-never spent a pleasanter fortnight in my life--famous preserves-my gun did wonders. Mrs. Egerton thought proper to object to the great expense of my recommencing a hunting-establishment, while she tormented me to death at the same time to give her a box at the opera. In all that regards my amusements, I cannot accuse her of any want of economy; but in every thing that has reference to her own freaks and fancies, she is perfectly regardless of cost. She is of the Hudibrastic quality, and
“Compounds for sins she is inclined to,
By damning those she has no mind to.”