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month." “ Poor girls, don't they find it very dull?"-"Oh no; I left them this morning with • Irving's Four Orations,'and • Southey's History of the Brazils.' Plenty of amusement, that's my maxim! Let me advise you as a friend to follow my example.” Mrs. Chambers was qualified to give all this advice from living in Lower Grosvenor-street, which
gave her much more knowledge of the world (especially on a fine Sunday), than could be possessed by an inhabitant of Upper Harley-street. Mrs. Partington, for the same reason, was bound to take it in seeming thankfulness. Most fortunate was it for the two Misses Partington, that their mamma was “advised as a friend.” But for those soul-revolting expressions, Mrs. Partington might have been induced to call in Doctor Level to bind her daughters' back-bones over to their good behaviour : and the two Misses Partington, in lieu of cantering under the back-wall of Marlborough House, and kicking up as much dust as a couple of countesses, might, at this present writing, have been flat on their backs, in the back drawing-room in Upper Harley-street, like a couple of Patiences on a monument, smiling at a whitewashed ceiling!
The trunk of the family-tree of the Partingtons is not the only part of that venerable fabric destined to be assailed by advice. The branches have suffered considerably by the same tempest. John Partington, the eldest son, is suspected of entertaining a penchant for Fanny Smith, a figurante at the Coburg Theatre. The affair has been long whispered in the family, and his aunt Isabella has lately thought it her duty to give him a little advice. Aunt Isabella lives in Great George-street, Westminster: a celebrated beauty in her day, but that day was not this. The private nickname of Aunt Ísabella in the family, is Aunt Was-a-bella, but this has never come to her ears, as she has money to leave. Aunt Isabella now inserts red paint into the channels of her cheeks. With such an admirable specimen of "the florid gothic" under his very nose, how could Mr. Soane have clapped a Grecian court of justice upon the right flank of Westminster Hall ? “ Nephew John," said aunt Isabella, “ sit down by the fire, but don't put your feet upon that hearth-rug. Is not it pretty? I bought it of Mrs. Fry, who bought it of an interesting young woman in Newgate. John, you know I have your good at heart. John fidgeted, and looked wistfully at his hat, which he had left unluckily out of reach. Mrs. Isabella, after the above stock prelude, poured forth her cornucopia of advice ; which she assured him she should not have given, if she had not been sure of his having too much good sense to feel offended at what she was about to say. She begged to hint to him in confidence that his goings on were no secret : she pointed to Hogarth's “Rake's Progress," a series of delicate engravings that adorned the walls of her boudoir: she then took down a volume of Bell's “British Theatre," which she opened at George Barnwell, and assured him that it was every word true : she proved to his conviction that virtue was a good thing and vice a bad one: and concluded by intimating, that figurantes were, like tetotums, to be looked at, but not touched. John Partington promised amendment; and on the very day following, drove Fanny Smith in his Stanhope to Epsom races, in a white satin pelisse and a Leghorn hat with 'an undulating brim. doing, John Partington, I fear, acted too hastily. He should first have consulted his biographical dictionary, wherein he might surely have found many instances of men who had given up a young mistress,
because desired so to do by an old aunt. No such case occurs to me, off hand, but many are doubtless to be met with in the books.
But of all advisers, commend me to Charles Partington, the youngest son; who, as I before mentioned, is bred to the law. To be sure the young man has suffered advice in his time, about giving up Lord Byron and sticking to the Term Reports, but that is no reason for his inflicting it so unmercifully upon others. Charles always advises his two sisters whom to dance with, and where to buy their white kid gloves and Albums. He advised his aunt Isabella by all means to go to the University Club-house, to meet the Duchess of Gloucester: aunt Isabella complied, with a private hope of meeting a cherry-cheeked fiddler from Oriel, who wrote Mus. Bac. Oxon. after his name: but she lay four hours upon the stairs, and after all missed the fiddler. He also advised his said aunt to go to Cross-street, Hatton-garden, where there is more advice wasted than in all the Metropolis besides. Aunt Isabella complied, but did not much like it. She objected to the phrase of “ a guilty heart striking its fangs into its own proper bosom,” alleging that a heart has no fangs; and that though a bosom has a heart, it by no means follows that a heart has a bosom. I fear she is growing too nice in her metaphors. Charles Partington's last advices are scattered upon his cousin Emily Green, who was courted by Captain Taper. Charles advised her by no means to think of him, and then trotted all over London in quest of proofs. These did not extend beyond shewing the lover to be a swindler, a drunkard, and a debauchee; but they seemed to answer every purpose. Emily cried; and, possessed by her adviser of all the Captain's frailties in a focus, said she was now quite happy: she could never sufficiently thank her cousin Charles for the good advice he had given her: she begged he would take charge of a whole packet of love-letters and deliver them to the Captain, receiving hers in exchange. Charles snatched up the deposit, and ran across the Park to Arabella-row, Pimlico, as hard as he could lay leg to ground. He found the Captain at home, and, after giving him a world of good advice with respect to paying his debts and leaving off wine and women, laid his budget of epistles upon the table. The Captain, with sorrowful solemnity, gave up Emily's letters in return; and as a parting request, urged Charles Partington to deliver a final leavetaking letter to Emily. Charles (with a sagacity which hereafter must make him a Master in Chancery, at least) complied with the lover's request; and on his return, advised Emily as a friend not to read it. Emily said she would not, but told him he might as well leave it on the table. Charles did leave it on the table. (A Master in Chancery? phoo! he will be a Master of the Rolls !) and, in a week, the Morning Post told the world that Captain Taper and Emily Green were man and wife.
With these, and many other examples that might be cited, surely it is high time to have done with advice altogether. Why should not a certain association prefix a syllable to the commodity they aim to crush, and dub themselves the Society for the Suppression of Ad-vice? Or why should not Mr. Rothschild institute a Grand Alliance Advice Company, into which every friend of every family might cast his stock of spare wisdom? This might be afterwards sold in shares. Individuals might apply at the office for advice when they wanted it, and state their respective cases with a fee of three guineas, “ to advise as within," Nothing is worth having that is not paid for!
The VASSAL's LAMENT FOR THE FALLEN TREE. “ Here (at Brereton in Cheshire) is one thing incredibly strange, but attested, as I myself have heard, by many persons, and commonly believed. Before any heir of this family dies, there are seen in a lake adjoining, the bodies of trees swimming on the water for several days."-Camden's Britannia.
Yes! I have seen the ancient Oak
On the dark still water cast,
Or the rush of the sweeping blast ;
By an arrow in the fight,
At the crashing of its might!
For the forest's pride o’erthrown;
To be pour'd for this alone!
And its quick bright-flashing eye-
Too fair a thing to die!
Alone on the fatal sign,
His joyous glance to mine!
By that dark water's side,
But an heir of his fathers died !
Are nerveless and unstrung,
The dust untimely flung?
The falcon from his hand!
A flower in his father's land!
Are warn'd by a meteor's light,
Or a voice on the winds by night.
THE SPIRITS OF THE AGE.-NO. Y,
Lord Elon. LORD ELDON is anexceedingly good-natured man; but this does not prevent him, like other good-natured people, from consulting his own ease or interest. The character of good-nature, as it is called, has, indeed, been a good deal mistaken ; and the present Chancellor is not a bad illustration of the grounds of the prevailing error. It is supposed, when we see an individual whose countenance is “ all tranquillity and smiles;" who is full of good-humour and pleasantry; whose manners are gentle and conciliating ; who is uniformly temperate in his expressions, and punctual and just in his ordinary dealings-we are apt to conclude that under so fair an outside,
“ All is conscience and tender heart" within also, and that such a one would not hurt a fly. And neither would he without a motive. But mere good-nature (or what passes in the world for such) is often no better than indolent selfishness. A person distinguished and praised for this quality will not needlessly offend others, because they may retaliate, and, besides, it ruffles his own temper. He likes to enjoy a perfect calm, and to live in an interchange of kind offices. He suffers few things to irritate or annoy him. He has a fine oiliness in his disposition, which smooths the waves of passion as they rise. He does not enter into the quarrels or enmities of others; he bears their calamities with patience ; he listens to the din and clang of war, the earthquake and the hurricane of the political and moral world, with the temper and spirit of a philosopher; no act of injustice puts bim beside himself, the follies and absurdities of mankind never give him a moment's uneasiness; he has none of the ordinary causes of fretfulness or impatience that torment others from the undue interest they take in the conduct of their neighbours or in the public good. None of those idle or frivolous sources of discontent, that make such havoc with the peace of human life, ever discompose his features, or alter the serenity of his blood. If a nation is robbed of its rights,
“ If wretches hang that Ministers may dine”the laughing jest still collects in his eye, the cordial squeeze of the hand is still the same.
But tread on the toe of one of these amiable and imperturbable mortals, or let a lump of soot fall down the chimney and spoil their dinners, and see how they will bear it. All their patience is confined to the accidents that befall others; all their good-humour is to be resolved into giving themselves no concern about any thing but their own ease and self-indulgence. Their charity begins and ends at home. Their being free from the common infirmities of temper is owing to their indifference to the common feelings of humanity; and if you touch the sore place, they betray more resentment, and break out into greater fractiousness than others, like spoiled children, partly from a greater degree of selfishness, and partly because they are taken by surprise, and mad to think they have not guarded every point against annoyance or attack by a habit of callous insensibility and pampered indolence.
An instance of what we mean occurred but the other day. An allusion was made in the House of Commons to something in the proceed
VOL. XI. NO. XLIII.
ings in the Court of Chancery, and the Lord Chancellor comes to his place in the Court, with the Newspaper in his hand, fire in his eyes, and a direct charge of falsehood in his mouth, without knowing any thing certain of the matter, without making any inquiry into it, without using any precaution or putting the least restraint upon himself, and all on no better authority than a common newspaper report. The thing was (not that we are imputing any strong blame in this case, we merely bring it as an illustration,) it touched himself, his office, the inviolability of his jurisdiction, the unexceptionableness of his proceedings; and the wet blanket of the Chancellor's temper instantly took fire like touchwood ! All the fine balancing was at an end, all the doubts, all the delicacy, all the candour, real or affected, all the chances that there might be a mistake in the report, all the decencies to be observed towards a Member of the House, are overlooked by the blindness of passion; and the wary judge pounces upon the paragraph without mercy, without a moment's delay, or the smallest attention to forms! This was, indeed, serious business; there was to be no trifling here; every instant was an age till the Chancellor had discharged his sense of indignation on the head of the indiscreet interloper on his authority. Had it been another person's case, another person's dignity that had been compromised, another person's conduct that had been called in question, who doubts but that the matter might have stood over till the next term—that the Noble Lord would have taken the newspaper home in his pocket—that he would have compared it carefully with other newspapers—that he would have written in the most mild and gentlemanly terms to the Honourable Member to inquire into the truth of the statement—that he would have watched a convenient opportunity good-humouredly to ask other Honourable Members what all this was about—that the greatest caution and delicacy would have been observed -and that to this hour the lawyers' clerks and the junior counsel would have been in the greatest admiration of the Chancellor's nicety of discrimination, and the utter inefficacy of the heats, importunities, haste, and passions of others, to influence his judgment? This would have been true; yet his readiness to decide and to condemn where he himself is concerned, shews that passion is not dead in him, nor subject to the control of reason; but that self-love is the main-spring that moves it, though on all beyond that limit he looks with the most perfect calmness and philosophic indifference.
“Resistless passion sways us to the mood
Of what it likes or loaths.” All people are passionate in what concerns themselves, or in what they take an interest in. The range of this last is different in different persons; but the want of passion is but another name for the want of sympathy and imagination.
The Lord Chancellor's impartiality, and conscientious exactness, are proverbial; and are, we believe, as inflexible as they are delicate in all cases that occur in the ordinary routine of legal practice. The impatience, the irritation, the hopes, the fears, the confident tone of the applicants, move him not a jot from his intended course; he looks at their claims with the “lack-lustre eye” of professional indifference. Power and inAuence apart, his next strongest passion is to indulge in the exercise of professional learning and skill, to amuse himself with the dry details