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condemned, should silently and privately waste themselves away in the prison, rather than to grace them, and amuse others, with the solemnity of a public execution, which in popular judgments usurped the honour of a persecution. Fuller's Church History.

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SUGGESTED BY THE FIRST FOUR LINES OF THE VENETIAN AIR, BEGINNING

SE MONECA TI FAT.

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THE INDICATOR.

There he arriving round about doth flie,
And takes survey with busie curious eye:
Now this, now that, he tasteth teuderly.

SPENSER

No. LXVI.--WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10th, 1821.

AGAINST FANTASTICAL SCRUPLENESS.

Play thou the good fellow! seek none to misdeem ;
Disdain not the honest, though merry they seem ;
For oftentimes seen, no more very a knave,
Than he that doth counterfeit most to be grave.”

Tusser's Five Hundred Good Points of Husbandry. I am an old man, Mr. Indicator, and, what is worse, an oldfashioned one, and fond of old times; as Mr. Hardcastle says, 61 like every thing that is old-old friends, old wines, old books;" and as I have no old wife to love, I like old customs when they are kindly ones; and, by the way, I like my old friend Goldsmith's comedy as well as any one that has been written since. To let you into a secret, I liked Quick as well in Tony, as Mr. Bar or Mr. Ln, who have played that character latterly. I cannot say as much for Bulkeley's Miss Hardcastle : I think Jordan and Duncan are her equals both as women and actresses; but that may be only a foolish fondness I have for the sex, which inclines me to think well of them alỊ. But this is digressive, and altogether from the purpose. It is my opinion, Mr. Indicator, that you likewise are fond of old customs, since, if my memory do not fail me (which may be the case at my age), you, or some one of your name, wrote in praise of; and recommending the revival of several neglected ancient usages practised by our forefathers. I remember now it was in the Examiner; but as my man Robin is not in the way to reach down the volume (for I bind the Examiners yearly), I cannot refer to the date. It was probably some ancient person of your house, who, like myself, knew and rejoiced in the Christmas practices some fifty or sixty years back: but be that as it

may, much pleased with these papers; and several of my friends admired them also, and practised them in part, substituting a round game for whist, increasing the number of youthful visitors at their parties, and

VOL. II.

I was

occasionally allowing the young people a dance: but still, Mr. In. dicator, it was nothing like the olden times, when every heart in the house was exhilirated by kindness and festivity. It was in vain they directly or indirectly told me that mine was merely the fastidiousness of age, which thinks nothing of the present day at all comparable to that, which having occurred while hope and pleasure were strong and new with us, is for that reason remembered with fond regret. I felt there was something wanting-something of the cordiality, the ease of former times, when every one, content to appear in his own station, was freed from the painful endeavour of shewing off as a superior person, either in riches, knowledge, or polite etiquette ; which said shewing off generally spoils the society of the present day. If an old man like myself, for instance, visits in a large respectable family, he is eternally teased with well-meant excuses from the lady of the house for giving him nothing but a plain dinner, although that is precisely what he likes, and which he knows to be fittest for a large family, who cannot be fed upon French dishes and nicknacks. Then, if you ask your old friend's child to get you a glass of wine, or a piece of bread, at dinner, you are thought little better than a vulgarian, and your request, instead of being chearfully complied with, and drawing from the pleased old man, in return, a gallant wish, or good-humoured chuck of the chin, is forwarded to the servant with a haughty-"Robert, don't you see Mr. So and So wants bread!" You are likewise expected to be deeply read in ancient and modern literature (at least as far as Reviews go), and a critic of course, upon authors, players, &c. &c.--the merits of whom every one can discuss with infinite ease and promptitude, who has read the fashionable novels: as to an old story, or an anecdote of one's youth, it is considered past endurance in all polite companies. But the greatest dread of all persons of the present day, is to commit themselves in any way that might be deemed vulgar, under which name most of the Christmas games and pastimes are stigmatised and abolished. Now, Mr. Inėlicator, I should not heed thuis affectation in persons, who, having sprung from a low origin by the mere weight of a purse, set up for Gentry, and stylish people those who with Goldsmith's bear-leader “ hates every thing as is low;' but for persons who are ell educated, and of an honest, kindly parentage, to indulge in this vanity, I am really ashamed of them: and this brings me to the grievance which caused me to trouble you with so long a letter, for they will mind what you say, because it appears in a modern publication ; whereas if I quote from the Spectator or Tatler, I am reminded that these are writers whose notions are gone by, that manners have changed as well as fashions, and that it would be as ridiculous to copy the usages of those times, as it would be to appear at the Opera in a wig like Sir Richard Steele's, or in a petti. coat such as the one under which he sat in judgment, as described in the paper No. 116 of the Tatler. This provokes me more than any thing, because the cases are not parallel ; and the sophisticating rogues are sure to have the laugh all on their side of the question. The young men rub up their well-looking unpowdered heads, and the

girls glance with conscious exultation at their fine shapes, no longer concealed by whalebone fences,--for there's no denying that the present dress is infinitely more becoming to a pretty woman, although the trimness of the waist in 1765, and the snowy tucker, had its attractions. But I am eternally wandering, and not to tire you, my only resource is to plunge at once into the subject of my particular complaint. You must know then, I am intimate with a very amiable family, who, before monied men were preferred to small landholders, held a higher rank in society than they do now, but who are still rich enough to enjoy all the domestic comforts of rational independence. Well, Sir, I generally pass a few days with my old friend and his family every Christmas, and in the evening, installed in an arm chair by the chimney-corner, my friend and I discourse of friends and beauties faded from all but our memories, though I have the advantage over him in that respect, as my heart palpitated for half the reigning toasts before he had quitted school. While the younger children gather round trie, place their little stool for my feet, and if I nod in my chair, the rogues will sometimes play me sly tricks; and little Fanny, who knows she is a favourite, will climb on my knee, and wake me with a soft kiss, entreating me to tell the story about Robin Hood, or of the childien whom the redbreast “ painfully did corer o'er with leaves :"—this, to my mind, Mr. Indicator, is to be delightfully situated. Sir, there is nothing like it for an old man; and should you live to my age, I trust you may think so too. Then, Sir, on these occasions I love to set the elder boys and girls at some innocent fun or cheerful pastime, and as there was no music to which they could dance the other night, I proposed blindman's-buff, or a game at forfeits, demanding at the same time where was the old ensignia of Christmas, the misletoe; accusing the girls with having neglected the ancient British custom of paying tribute under its peal-blossomed boughs—but I was stopped short by

Dear Sir, it is so vulgar, no one suffers it now but in the kitchen.” The mother assured me that she herself had never thought any harm of the bough, but that several very genteel families of her acquaintance had assured her it was very unbecoming, and that forfeits were fit for none but country hoydens and old-fashioned folk; but that she always had one in the kitchen, for the sake of keeping up old customs.

Now, Mr. Indicator, do you pray inform them, that they are doing great injustice to this druidical symbol; that the fashion of decorating with it the parlour or drawing-room is not so vulgar as their would-befine friends insiduate, but is of high and grave origin; that the girls disliking forfeits and their consequences is all a pretence, for youth will be youth still. You might likewise hint to mothers, that if the kitchen is the only place where misletoe is to be allowed, their sons, and even their husbands, may be found there oftener than may be agreeable to these over-delicate matrons. It is far from my intention to quarrel with any real refinement in female conduct, but for heaven's sake let us not have the caut of Puritauis among us again, destroying that which is innocent and gay, and substituting hypocrisy and gross

a

ness in its stead. If parents will not countenance the innocent pastimés of their offspring, rendering home dull and distasteful, depend upon it the young people will seek amusements elsewhere, probably of a more dangerous tendency. Now do, Mr. Indicator, use your powerful influence with your readers, and prevent any future cause of complaint on this subject from your friend and admirer, Brompton, Jan. 5, 1821.

FRANK EVERGREEN.

« FUIMUS TROES. THE TRUE TROJANS. Being a Story of Britains' valour at the Romans' first Invasion.Printed 1633.

Author unknown. Intermixed with a great deal of false thought and affected pathos, this old play abounds in passages of unequivocal beauty and enthusiasm. Its opening scene, or prologue, spoken by Mercury, has a fine line which Pope appears to have been not insensible to:

As in the vaults of this big-bellied earth
Are dungeons, whips, and chains, for wicked ghosts;
So fair Elysian fields, where spotless souls
Do bathe themselves in bliss. Among the rest,
Two pleasant groves by two sorts are possest.
One by true lovers crown'd with myrtle boughs,
Who hand in hand sing pæans of their joy ;
Brave soldiers hold the second, clad in steel,
Whose glittering arms brighten those gloomy shades

In lieu of starry lights *. Those splendid lines in Comus, “ Beauty is Nature's brag,”' &c. are clearly traceable to the following fantastical ones in this play :

The Court a wardrobe is of living slapes: t
And ladies are the tissue-spangled suits,

Which Nature wears on festival bigli days. As this drama has escaped the notice of the Editor of the 6 Dramatic Specimens,” a few more extracts may not be disagreeable to the poetical readers of the Indicalor.

SONG OF THE DRUIDS.
Draw near ye heavenly powers,
Who dwell in starry bowers;
And ye who in the deep
On mossy pillows sleep;
And

ye who keep the center, Where never light did enter;

By the heroes' armed shades,
Glittering through the gloomy glades.

Ode on St. Cecilia's Day.
Dresses.

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