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THE VANILLE OF SOCIETY.
Ан, you flavour everything; you are the vanille of society.
SEWING FOR MEN.
I WISH I could sew. I believe one reason why women are so much more cheerful, generally, than men, is because they can work, and vary more their employments. Lady - used to teach her sons carpet-work. All men ought to learn to sew.
No, I don't like dogs; I always expect them to go mad. A lady asked me once for a motto for her dog Spot. I proposed, "Out, damned Spot!" but she did not think it sentimental enough. You remember the story of the French marquise, who, when her pet lap-dog bit a piece out of her footman's leg, exclaimed, “ Alı, poor little beast! I hope it won't make him sick." I called one day on Mrs. ——, and her lap-dog flew at my leg and bit it. After pitying her dog, like the French marquise, she did all she could to comfort me, by assuring me the dog was a Dissenter, and hated the Church, and was brought up in a Tory family. But whether the bite came from madness or Dissent, I knew myself too well to neglect it; and went on the instant to a surgeon and had it cut out, making a mem. on the way to enter that house no more.
MANNERS are often too much neglected: they are most important to men, no less than to women. I believe the English are the most disagreeable people under the sun; not so much because Mr. John Bull disdains to talk, as that the respected individual has nothing to say, and because he totally neglects manners. Look at a French carter; he takes off his hat to his neighbour carter, and inquires after "La santé de madame," with a bow that would not have disgraced Sir Charles Grandison; and I have often seen a French soubrette with a far better manner than an English duchess. Life is too short to get over a bad manner; besides manners are the shadows of virtue.
UP-TAKERS- - CLEARERS.
FURNITURE OF A COUNTRY-HOUSE.
I THINK no house is well fitted up in the country without people of all ages. There should be an old man or woman to pet; a parrot, a child, a monkey; something, as the French say, to love and to despise. I have just bought a parrot, to keep my servants in good-humour.
TOWN AND COUNTRY.
THE charm of London is that you are never glad or sorry for ten minutes together: in the country you are the one and the other for weeks.
TEA AND COFFEE.
AT the tea-table: "Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? how did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea. I can drink any quantity when I have not tasted wine; otherwise I am haunted by blue-devils by day, and dragons by night. If you want to improve your understanding, drink coffee. Sir James Mackintosh used to say, he believed the difference between one man and another was produced by the quantity of coffee he drank.
CLASSES OF SOCIETY.
I HAVE divided mankind into classses. There is the Noodlevery numerous, but well known. The Affliction-woman -a valuable member of society, generally an ancient spinster, or distant relation of the family, in small circumstances: the moment she hears of any accident or distress in the family, she sets off, packs up her little bag, and is immediately established there, to comfort, flatter, fetch, and carry. The Up-takers-a class of people who only see through their fingers' ends, and go through a room taking up and touching everything, however visible and however tender. The Clearers who begin at the dish before them, and go on picking or tasting till it is cleared, however large the company, small the supply, and rare the contents. The Sheep-walkers
years. We never failed to attend the sessions at Northampton, and we never could find out how we had missed this remarkable dog case."
AN argument arose, in which my father observed how many of the most eminent men of the world had been diminutive in person, and after naming several among the ancients, he added, “Why, look there, at Jeffrey; and there is my little friend —, who has not body enough to cover his mind decently with; his intellect is improperly exposed."
WHEN I took my Yorkshire servants into Somersetshire, I found that they thought making a drink out of apples was a tempting of Providence, who had intended barley to be the only natural material of intoxication.
A NEW ZEALAND ATTORNEY.
THERE is a New Zealand attorney arrived in London, with 6s. 8d. tattooed all over his face.
HAVE you heard of Niebuhr's discoveries? All Roman history reversed; Tarquin turning out an excellent family man, and Lucretia a very doubtful character, whom Lady - would not have visited.
How bored children are with the wisdom of Telemachus! they can't think why Calypso is so fond of him.
YES, he has spent all his life in letting down empty buckets, into empty wells; and he is frittering away his age in trying to draw them up again.
Ar a large dinner party the death of Mr. Dugald Stewart was announced. The news was received with so much levity by a lady of rank, who sat by Sydney Smith, that he turned round and said, "Madam, when we are told of the death of so great a man as Mr. Dugald Stewart, it is usual, in civilized society, to look grave for at least the space of five seconds."
BEAUTY OF THE STYLE OF THE BIBLE.
"WHAT is so beautiful as the style of the Bible? what poetry in its language and ideas!" and taking it down from the bookcase behind him, he read, with his beautiful voice, and in his most impressive manner, several of his favourite passages; among others I remember-"Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of an old man ;" and part of that most beautiful of Psalms, the 139th: "O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me; yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee”— putting the Bible again on the shelf.
NEVER neglect your fireplaces; I have paid great attention to mine, and could burn you all out in a moment. Much of the cheerfulness of life depends upon it. Who could be miserable with that fire? What makes a fire so pleasant is, I think, that it is a live thing in a dead room.
NEVER give way to melancholy; resist it steadily, for the habit will encroach. I once gave a lady two-and twenty receipts against
SHAM SYDNEY SMITHS.
those who never deviate from the beaten track, who think as their fathers have thought since the flood, who start from a new idea as they would from guilt. The Lemon-squeezers of society-people who act on you as a wet blanket, who see a cloud in the sunshine, the nails of the coffin in the ribands of the bride, predictors of evil, extinguishers of hope; who, where there are two sides, see only the worst people whose very look curdles the milk, and sets your teeth on edge. The Let-well-aloners-cousins-german to the Noodle, yet a variety; people who have begun to think and to act, but are timid, and afraid to try their wings, and tremble at the sound of their own footsteps as they advance, and think it safer to stand still. Then the Washerwomen-very numerous, who exclaim, "Well! as sure as ever I put on my best bonnet, it is certain to rain," etc. There are many more, but I forget them.
Oh, yes! there is another class, as you say; people who are always treading on your gouty foot, or talking in your deaf ear, or asking you to give them something with your lame hand, stirring up your weak point, rubbing your sore, etc.
I NEVER go to tragedies, my heart is too soft. There is too much real misery in life. But what a face she had! The gods do not bestow such a face as Mrs. Siddons's on the stage more than once in a century. I knew her very well, and she had the good taste to laugh heartily at my jokes; she was an exellent person, but she was not remarkable out of her profession, and never got out of tragedy even in common life. She used to stab the potatoes; and said, "Boy, give me a knife!" as she would have said, "Give me the dagger!"
SHAM SYDNEY SMITHS.
I HAVE heard that one of the American ministers in this country was so oppressed by the numbers of his countrymen applying for introductions, that he was obliged at last to set up sham Sydney Smiths and false Macaulays. But they can't have been good counterfeits; for a most respectable American, on his return home, was heard describing Sydney Smith as a thin, grave, dull old fellow;