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with them, but look on at the pantomime of friendship while it lasts or is agreeable.
There are (I may add here) a happy few, whose manner is so engaging and delightful, that injure you how they will, they cannot offend you. They rob, ruin, ridicule
and you cannot find in your heart to say a word against them. The late Mr. Sheridan was a man of this kind. He could not make enemies. If any one came to request the repayment of a loan from him, he borrowed more. A cordial shake of his hand was a receipt in full for all demands. He could coin his smile for drachmas," cancelled bonds with bon mots, and gave jokes in discharge of a bill. A friend of his said, “ If I pull off
hat to him in the street, it costs me fifty pounds, and if he speaks to me, it's a hundred!”
Only one other reflection occurs to me on this subject. I used to think better of the world than Ido. I thought its great fault, its original sin, was barbarous ignorance and want, which would be cured by the diffusion of civilization and letters. But I find (or fancy I do) that as selfishness is the vice of unlettered periods and nations, envy is the bane of more refined and intellectual ones. Vanity springs out of the
of sordid self-interest. Men were formerly ready to cut
friends from you.
one another's throats about the gross means of subsistence, and now they are ready to do it about reputation. The worst is, you are no better off, if you fail than if you succeed. You are despised if you do not excel others, and hated if you do. Abuse or praise equally weans your
We cannot bear eminence in our own department or pursuit, and think it an impertinence in any other. Instead of being delighted with the proofs of excellence and the admiration paid to it, we are mortified with it, thrive only by the defeat of others, and live on the carcase of mangled reputation. By being tried by an ideal standard of vanity and affectation, real objects and common people become odious or insipid. Instead of being raised, all is prostituted, degraded, vile. Every thing is reduced to this feverish, importunate, harassing
I'm heartily sick of it, and I'm sure I have reason if any one has.
ON THE OLD AGE OF ARTISTS.
MR. NOLLEKENS died the other day at the age of eighty, and left 240,000 pounds behind him, and the name of one of our best English sculptors. There was a great scramble among the legatees, a codicil to a will with large be. quests unsigned, and that last triumph of the dead or dying over those who survive—hopes raised and defeated without a possibility of retaliation, or the smallest use in complaint. The king was at first said to be left residuary legatee. This would have been a fine instance of romantic and gratuitous homage to Majesty, in a man who all his life-time could never be made to comprehend the abstract idea of the distinction of ranks or even of persons. He would go up to the Duke of York, or Prince of Wales (in spite of warning), take them familiarly by the button like common acquaintance, ask them how their father did; and express pleasure at hearing he was well, saying, “when he was gone, we should