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GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.
ANTE AND POST-NUPTIAL JOURNAL.
“When I said I would die a Bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married. “A miracle !-here's our own hands against our hearts."
Much Ado about Nothing. Some people have not the talent, some have not the leisure, and others do not possess the requisite industry, for keeping a private diary or journal; and yet there is probably no book which a man could consult with half so much advantage as a record of this sort, if it presented a faithful transcript of the writer's fluctuating feelings and opinions. If, instead of comparing our own mind with others, which is the
process of common reading, we were to measure it with itself at different periods, as exhibited in our memorandum book, we should learn a more instructive humility, a more touching lesson of distrust in ourselves and indulgence towards our neighbours, than could be acquired by poring over all the ethics and didactics that ever were penned. As a mere psychological curiosity, it must be interesting to observe the advancement of our own mind; still more so to trace its caprices and contrasts. Changes of taste and opinion are generally graduated by such slow and imperceptible progressions, that we are unconscious of the process, and should hardly believe that our former opinions were diametrically opposed to our present, did not our faithful
journal present them to our eyes on the incontestable evidence of our own hand writing. Personal identity has been disputed on account of the constant renewal of our component atoms: few people, I think, will be disposed to maintain the doctrine of mental identity, when I submit them the following alter et idem, being a series of extracts from the same journal, registered in perfect sincerity of heart at the time of each inscription, and the whole not spread over a wider space of time than a few consecutive months. Into the cause of my perpetual and glaring discrepancies, it is not my purpose to enter ; this is a puzzle that may serve to exercise the ingenuity of your readers.
ANTE-NUPTIAL. I hate Blondes; white-faced horses and women are equally ugly; the “blue-eyed daughters of the North," like the other bleached animals of the same latitude, are apt to be very torpid, sleepy, and insipid, rarely exhibiting much intellect or piquancy. They remind one of boiled mutton without capersauce, or water-gruel without wine or brandy. Every one thought the Albinos frightful, and yet people pretend to admire fair women. Brunettes are decidedly handsomer-what is a snow scene compared to the rich and various colouring of an autumnal landscape! They have a moral beauty about them; their eyes sparkle with intelligencethey possess fire-vivacity-genius. A Brunette Sawney is as rare as a tortoise-shell tom-cat. There is, however, a species of complexion which nature accomplishes in her happier moods, infinitely transcending all others. I mean a clear transparent olive, through whose soft and lucid surface the blood may be almost seen coursing beneath, while the mind seems constantly shining through and irradiating the countenance. It is generally found accompanied by dark silky hair, small regular features,
and a sylph-like form, approximating somewhat to the Lascar?-No. To the Spanish ?-No: but to the description which Ovid gives us of Sappho, and to the species of beauty that imagination assigns to the fascinating Cleopatra. My dear Julia exactly represents this kind of loveliness. I am certainly a lucky fellow in having secured the promise of her hand. She possesses animation and briskness, without any of that unamiable tendency to domineer which so many lively females exhibit, and has a good portion of reading and talent without affecting the blue-stocking. It is a bad thing to be over-wifed, like poor Frank Newhenham, who has nothing to do with the laws of his own house but to obey them. Better to have no appointment than get a place under petticoat government.
Determined on sending in my resignation to Brookes's and Arthur's, as well to the Alfred and Union. Hercules gave up his club when he married Dejanira, and all good husbands should follow his example. The increase of these establishments a bad sign : our wives and hotel keepers must associate together, for they seem to be deserted by the rest of the world.' Astonishing that men should prefer politics and port-wine in a club-room, to the converse of a beautiful woman at home. Substituting Julia for Lesbia, I am ready to exclaim with Catullus, in his imitation of Sappho,
Ille mi par esse Deo videtur,
Spectat, et audit Dulce ridentem. Saw Lady Madeleine at the opera, looking fat, florid, and sphynx-like. It is the fashion to call her a fine creature--so is the prize ox: for the inodesty which others assign to her, read mauvaise honte. If people admire by the square foot, they can hardly over-rate her. merits ; but for my own
part I would rather marry a Patagonian milkmaid.
Went to Richmond-sat upon the grass in front of the house formerly belonging to Whitshed Keene, and gazed upon the moon, thinking all the while of Julia, until I became so melancholy, romantic, and poetical, as actually to perpetrate the following
Sweet is the sadness of the night,
And dear her silent reign,
To those who love in vain.
To yon pale moon that o'er me soars,
Which dim through tears I see,
Her fervent vows for me.
The breeze, whose plaints from yonder glade
In whispering murmurs rise,
And breathes my Julia's sighs.
By day her fancied presence seems
To chase each tear away
Stay, dearest vision, stay! Why I should describe myself as loving in vain, and looking through tears, making Julia, who was that night engaged to a ball at Almack's, sympathize in my distress, may seem odd; but I recollected that all great poets are melancholy, and that "the course of true love never does run smooth,” when you are soliloquizing the moon. I protest I think the lines very mellifluous and heart-rending, and altogether Lady's Magazinish. My darling Julia tells me she doats upon poetry ; so do I, especially the elegiac, when hit off by a master's Land. Mem.: show her my verses to-morrow.
My dear Julia, I am happy to find, is equally fond of the country, and devoted to music and do
mestic pleasures. In fact her taste and opinions seem generally to agree with mine. She is certainly a woman of superior good sense. Delighted to observe that she is so much pleased with my rattling friend Compton, and thinks Harvey a gentlemanly good looking man. It is always pleasant when one's bachelor companions prove acceptable to one's wife.
Was introduced to my beloved Julia's uncle, Mr. Jackson, a nabob, who gave me a receipt for bile, and told me a famous story of a tiger hunt at Calcutta ; a pleasant chatty man. His wife rather in the style of the Hottentot than the Medici Venus, but genteel in her manners; the three daughters pleasing interesting girls, and one of them good, looking
Sent Nimrod to Tattersal's as I mean to giye up hunting. Bad enough for bachelors to risk their necks by galloping after a poor inoffensive hare ; preposterous in married men. Sold my Joe Manton and patent percursion gun to Compton, as I flatter myself I shall be better employed in the society of my amiable Julia, than in wading through mud and snow to destroy partridges and pheasants. Besides, going out with a friend upon these occasions by no means implies your returning with him, as he is very apt to miss the birds and shoot you. If you go alone, two alternatives await you: in getting over a stile a twig unfortunately catches the lock of your piece, and lodges its contents in your kidneys; or your favourite spaniel makes a point-of putting his paw upon your trigger, and in the ardour of his fondling blows out your brains. Sportsmen should really devise some new mode of of death ; these are quite hackneyed. Julia much pleased when I told her my intentions: she particularly objected to hunting, on account of its expense. She is decidedly economical, which is a great comfort.