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THE ART OF VISITING.
Visits few, and far between.-Milton.
THERE is no need of descanting Oh! well may we hope, when this short long upon the advantages of Friend
life is gone, ship. That, indeed, would be to guard
To meet in some world of more permaa title that was rich before. How
nent bliss ; friendship may best be preserved is Por a smile, or a grasp of the hand
. hast'ning on, the present question; and a question
Is all we enjoy of each other in this. that is hardly the more easy to de termine, for having long and often Perhaps there is somewhat of poeti. been agitated. Since the object of cal exaggeration in this stanza, as this Essay is to promote a friendly applied to real friendships,-to the intercourse among mankind, it may, union of hearts that is best Wor to some readers, appear that the fit
of such a name ; but it admirably test method of succeeding would be
describes the casual exchange of to point out, in the first place, what good feeling, which, from recurring means are most conducive to the ori between the greatest number of inginal production of friendly feelings,
dividuals, may be suspected to conand afterwards to propose measures
tribute an equal, if not a superior for securing their duration. But there share, of the pleasure supplied by is no paucity of friendships in the sociality upon the whole. It is to world, and if they were but as last regulate, then, the introduction of ing as they are numerous, we should
this smile, this grasp of the hand, have no cause to complain. Nature which the poet instances, that the begins with us, and expediency goes
remarks now commencing are put on on, ever urging us to seek some fel
paper. We may leave the parent low-travellers in life, who may bear and the child, the brother and the a part of our burden, and beguile sister, the lover and his beloved, withthe weary way with their kindliness. out a doubt of their extracting irom Even at the very close of our mortal
each other's society all the good it existence, we cannot bear the thought
can bestow, and in the most natural, of venturing quite alone into the un
and, therefore, successful manner. It tried hereafter; but must needs be at is those many, and yet fragile ties, tended with the prayers, the wishes, which are entwined by an occasional and the reinembrances of those we
greeting, that require to be strength. are leaving
ened. In a more homely phrase,On some fond breast the parting soul
it is not he who dines or sups with
his friend by invitation, or without relies,
invitation ; it is not the inmate of Some pious drops the closing eye re.
the same house, or the daily free quires ; Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature
quenter of the same place, that ought cries,
to be circumspect in guiding his she Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted
cial conduct; it is the unfrequent, it fires.
is the morning visitor.
The true morning visitor has ne It is clear that we are none of us ver been asked for the evening, and indifferent to the kindness of our probably he never will be. He is not fellow-creatures; it is unlikely that known enough to be admitted into we shall always be without it, how the family circle at a time when all thèn, when caught, can it be kept ? hearts are opened by the genial itThe fewness of those occasions on fluence of dinner, and of an escape which we are brought into personal from the business of the day; or commerce with those whom we most it may be, that he is known 100 regard, and the unsatisfactory result well. Perhaps he has not sense of such meetings, are beautifully enough to please the father of the noticed by Moore.
family, or staidness enough to satisfy
the mother: perhaps, too, he is want. the propriety of telling lies to a ing in compliments for the daugh- morning visitor. But let the reters, or has too much amiability for jected be sure to make his speedy his limited income. Very likely he re-appearance at the same door ; for bas none of these great disqualifica. there is nothing people like so much tions, but has merely never been in as to have their knockers always vited, and therefore is never remem- busy, unless to have their pockets bered in the invitation-cards. In all always full, and, moreover, to keep probability, the fact is, that he has themselves always idle. None but a not in his character a sufficient sym. very Goth, a Vandal, a Baotian, will pathy with that of those whom he think of paying a morning visit bevisits, and has, nevertheless, nothing fore one o'clock, or after four ; unin him repulsive enough to make less, indeed, on a Sunday, when he him altogether unwelcome. It may hopes to find the family not within ; occur, that he has some particular in this case, a quarter to one will be purpose to achieve, which forbids him no bad hour; provided the people of to drop the acquaintance, inasmuch the house are religious, or are deas a time may come when the nature sirous of being considered so. Not of it will, as it were, spontaneously after four, however, on any day in undergo a favourable change. A the week ; for if he smells dinner, morning visitor will leave his card, he is undone. There are few things although he has found his way up to men so reluctantly or so seldom forthe drawing-room ; for he knows his give, as the forcing them to ask you only hope of being remembered in to dine, when they would rather have absence, he knows it to lie chiefly you supping with Pluto. If they are in his power of contributing a ray to people of importance, it is ten to one the gold-edged glories of the card. that you are not worthy of a chair at rack; he knows when the last new their table ; and, if otherwise, they style of engraving is grown old. in all probability have to lament over fashioned, and when the antique the want of a suitable repast for you. black-letter is held a brilliant no There is nothing in the house to-day velty. But this catalogue of charac. but the fag-end of yesterday's joint; teristics must be cut short here ; or, or a dish of hash, with a bull's heart ; instead of describing the morning a yard of tripe, or a stale mackarel, visitor as he is, we shall be prema to make up. No: let the morning turely advising him what he ought visitor avoid the discovery of these to be ; and, after all, what he ought culinary derelictions; let him turn to be is the gist of this brief paper; his back on them, or let him never so that there can be no harm in com- look his friends in the face. ing at once to the point proposed, . There is a time of year more fit though we should scorn to do it by than any other for morning visits ; surprise.
but it is difficult to ascertain, in this If a man, not connected with those variable climate, at what time that he visits by any close bands of rela- time of year occurs. It is when tionship, whether in blood, or through people are not frozen in their fingers marriage, or of friendship, whether and toes, for then it is hard to be affectionate or reverential, -if such a under the necessity of taking one's man would have his visits agreeable feet off the fender, and one's hands to the visited, let him remember the off the bars. It is when the heat of rule ne quid nimis. Let him go not the weather is not so excessive, as that too often, for that is wearying ; nor the entrance of another warm-bloodtoo seldom, for that is 'negligent. ed biped makes the drawing-room Let him stay not too long, for the perceptibly more like Tartarus. It also he is a bore ; nor hurry away is when town is not quite empty ; too soon, for fear of seeming a brute. for then there would be no gaining If it should happen that Mrs Bull is admittance: and mere card-leavers not at home when he calls, let him are not morning visitors. They pay avoid pressing the maid-servant too their respects to the rapper, to the elosely. The New Monthly Maga- door, to the house, to the servant ; zine has sufficiently well established or perhaps, it may be said, to the family, speaking abstractedly ; but But he inust hope for the future, not to the individuals who compose that no such offence will again be it. If one calls in full season, one chargeable to him. Then there is third of those who are visited have sure to be some absent relative or not yet escaped from the grasp of acquaintance to be enquired after. Morpheus; another third will not Such a subject may lead to the most acknowledge that they are up; and important results, perhaps the octhe remainder will certainly be shop. cupation of a full ten minutes out of ping, or sewing, or strutting, or the time a morning visitor is allow. stewing, for some fashionable pur ed. In the event of this consumma. pose or other. There is a time when, tion, so devoutly to be wished, not after the labour of Christmas parties occurring, there is always a corps de and Christmas pantomimes, all som reserve. Talk of the theatres that ciety, with one accord, seems to rest are open or that are shut; of the upon its oars; and as the preparations places you have lately seen, or bare for a Summer tour, or the health. never but heard of; talk of books preserving walk, are not immediately that you tried to get through, but to be undertaken, the worthy gentry could not; or of illnesses that you are well disposed, in that languid thought you never would get through, calon which succeeds tumultuous en and yet did : say Mrs Blank is joyment, for listening patiently to grown thinner ; but if she don't unthe vapid compliments, objectless derstand that you mean to call her enquiries, and stale news, of that interesting, bolster up your observamigratory class of persons whose tion, by remarking a great purity of habits are now under considera, health in her complexion. "Put on tion,
a grave face on an occasion like this, There is another little green spot, that you may be thought to speak too, which your morning visitor may medically, and not from gallantry, pasture on, between the return to Society is become far too scientific town in November, and the com, now, for any thing like feeling to be mencernent of hostilities, against good thought decent. We must speak of hours and good order, in the month female beauty as though it were a ensuing. But it needs a very scan, fossil, and be animated only in de dalous turn of wit to satisfy the in- scribing the inanimate kingdom. If ordinate appetite of those who have a dandy would eulogise a lady's lips, just been buried for a long Summer, his only way is to hint that a certain quite away from all lies and lions, flower is like them, and to burst Even those who can but sport their forth into a rapturous echo of the Autumn week at Brighton, Margate, praises which the said flower receivor Worthing, have but little taste, on ed at the last botanical lecture. their return, for receiving balf-hour Science, however, must for a long calls, from half-strangers, unless time be touched on but lightly, by they be of the most patient order of the unintimate morning visitor. Peolisteners. Indeed, there is so much ple would rather admit him into hazard in determining upon any their family secrets, than acquaint particular month in the year, as most him witb their peculiarities of fitted for the purposes of the morn. thought on points of erudition. It ing visitor, that he must be left to is in the evening coterie alone that his own discretion, or, if he has none, such hallowed topics are broached; to that experience which will soon and it is inconceivable what profunsupply him with a quantum suff, of dities of speculation some will de
scend to, at “the genial hour for Only this let him observe. His burning," and among congenial conversation, on entering the draw. souls. I heard a noted blue, after ing-room, must infallibly turn upon applying vinegar-cloths to her head, the immensity of time since he last to lower the pride of some impudent had the honour of paying his re- champaign that had found its way spects there. Indeed, his negligence, there, I heard her assert,-hear it, he must own, does admit of no ex. ye chemists !-that she believed cold cuse; it is altogether unpardonable to have a positive existence!
But we are giving our morning make his bow within half-a-minute visitor a broad hint to take up his at most after having said or heard a hat and be off. Well, let him go. good thing ; by doing so, he goes He can hardly quit the stage too away welcome ; for he leaves his soon, if he hopes to appear on it host in a good humour with him, or often again. Let him, of all things, with himself.
MADAME DE GENLIS' ESTIMATE OF THE INTELLECT OF WOMEN.
"Oh, yes! Bobby shall be Captain, and Jack shall be Colonel, and I'll be the General, and we'll have no common soldiers at all." - The Playground.
MADAME DE Genlis' auto-bio. ostensible pre-eminence, the exubera graphy has already been quite ance of bodily strength, which Proenough noticed in the periodicals of vidence has bestowed upon the lords the day. Every one who has any of the creation, are facts that no sogreat anxiety for information, as to phistry can elude. But the inferthe manners and private characters ence to be drawn from them is not of those whose literary productions of a nature to call forth the indignaare the glory of this age, will long tion of the fair sex. before now have sated his curiosity,
sity, Order is Heav'n's first law, and, this con
O by perusing those six lively volumes.
fest, But there is at the conclusion of the sixth an interpolation, quoted from
Some are, and must be, greater than the
rest. a previous work of the same author's, that appears to us more interesting Yet while this is aknowledged, it than most of the new matter it is must be confessed, at the same time, annexed to. The passage alluded to that the greater share of that nobleis an examination of the claim pre ness of mind, and that dignity of ferred by men to a mental superiori- purpose, by which man is characterty over the fair sex. This kind of ised, has origin in the relation he dispute may at first sight appear not bears to his less-aspiring partner ; only idle, but reprehensible ; for it and, accordingly, the difference at has been said, with much propriety, first implied dwindles away to a and admitted on all hands, that since mere nominal distinction; since it man and woman are both of them becomes apparent, that whatever indispensably necessary to each other's great qualities woman may want, existence and enjoyment, there is she still is able to produce them all something highly injudicious in any in man. Here, then, let the great attempt to set one over the other, so bone of contention be removed ; or as to produce in either a sense of in- let us rather say, it is here equally feriority or of independence, which parted between the combatants; and, might damp emulation or lull activi- therefore, requiescant in pace ; they ty. Yet the question which Madame are “ Arcades ambo." de Genlis has discussed, and, as will The Countess de Genlis, much to be shown, not quite satisfactorily, is the credit of her candour, since she one which by no means can include herself is an authoress of no mean a general consideration of the com- pretensions, freely owns that the acparative worth and rank of the tually existing superiority which men two sexes. Her remarks have re- of letters have over female authors, ference only to the power which men is perfectly evident and indisputand women respectively possess, of able; but she strangely shrinks exhibiting those intellectual displays back from the inference which nawhich constitute what is termed turally follows this admission. She literature. Perhaps to say thus much owns that men do write better than is a little over-interpreting her ; but women ; nay, she owns that it is not if her meaning be otherwise than as expedient, or, at least, not necessary, here stated, it can hardly be reason that the case should be otherwise : able or modest. The station, the yet still she rigidly perseveres in atVOL. XVIII.
tributing to her sex a capacity which its mental inferiority; but to refute has not been evinced, and which this thread.paper argument, one need there is no reason for wishing to only refer to man's proud dominion have been so. " Genius," she says, over the brute, and the relative and of course she means what is powers of muscle and of mind will usually known by the name, “is be shewn in the clearest possible composed of all the qualities women light. If the wild beast of the foare admitted to possess, and which rest, with all his gigantic strength, they may be endowed with in the is unable to lord it over us dimihighest degree,-fancy, sensibility, nutive, unarmed, and soft-skinned and elevation of soul. The want of creatures of human mould, it is utstudy and education having at all terly ridiculous to suppose that times kept women apart from the either sex could ever secure a per. career of literature, they have shewn manent elevation over the other by their greatness of soul, not by de- any means but intellectual ones. The scribing historical facts in their writ- truth is, that the disposition of woings, or by bringing forth ingenious man herself has tended fully as much fictions of fancy, but by real actions, as the opinion of her natural guide they have done better than describe, and protector, to keep her secluded they have often, by their conduct, from the proud and boisterous confurnished the models of sublime tests for literary fame. There ape heroism. Now, though the com- pears, and the generality of women ponent parts of genius may exist in in all ages have thought so, a degree the female mind, it is by no means of forwardness and immodesty in a a necessary consequence that genius female's heart pouring forth its aritself is to be found there. The in- dour, and discovering its inmost regredient will form a given compound cesses, before the whole wide-staring only when mixed in due quantities, world. That women have the power and under certain favourable circum of instructing by their literary effustances. There is no need for us to siops there is no doubt; but they deny that the quality exists ; but, may do far more service of the same for the sake of logic, or right reason- kind, and far more consistently with ing, it must be denied, that the ex the innate mildness and delicacy istence of that quality has been that belongs to them, by limiting proved. Proceeding upon the argu- their precept to conversation, and ment urged above, it may be remark- enforcing those precepts by example, ed, that the very same constituents instead of by argument. They are as form the air we breathe, are capa- born to give life, and to live among ble of conbining into a body altoge- the beings they give birth to. All ther inimical to animal life; so that ethical writers of any worth have it is not always the matter, but agreed in assigning their offices to sometimes the mode, which is most them, and many have prescribe! to be considered. The circumstance these alone. Certain it is, however, of women's having at all times been that so soon as any other kinds of kept apart froin the career of litera- employment have weaned a woman's ture, affords a strong presumption regard from the performance of dothat they are not culculated to enter mestic duties, a departure has been on it. The want of study and educa- made from propriety, and, as usual, tion is in itself a fact sufficiently man with a certain loss of enjoyment. nifesting a natural unfitness for pur- The Countess de Genlis seems to be suits to which they are indispensable. virtually of the same opinion as here Few universal customs, few general expressed, for she notices the merit ones, are founded in error. Voz po- of her sex, in most commonly pre puli, vox Dei, is certainly not an ex- ferring actions to words. ** Thet pression that can be called vox et have done better," she says, "than præterea nihil. What is generally describe ; they have often, by the approved of, is generally beneficial. conduct, furnished the models of Some women have gone the strange sublime heroism." This is perfect length of asserting, that it is only by ly true; yet there still is one grea the superior bodily force of man that fault in the sentenice. It is worded the softer sex has been subdued into (making all ineet allowances fer