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Among the many vices and follies must become too universal for réto which human nature is prone, mark. Yet we do not find it so : there is not one which shows its we see people make a great effort to imperfection and inconsistency in so appear easy and natural; but effort glaring a light as that of affecta- only leads them farther from nature, tion. If men only affected such and even simplicity must be the qualities as they might reasonably effect of habit. We often hear a be desirous of possessing, this failing man of good education say coarse, might not be without its use : the blunt things; or a woman who can habit of assuming an appearance of speak rationally, chatter the most virtue and good sense, would, per- puerile nonsense, in order to pass haps, lead to the possession of them, for a natural character ; forgetting or at least engender a certain de- that the propensities natural to one gree of respect for all that is worthy mind are foreign to another; and and estimable ; and many people debasing the nobler nature, to affect would doubtless discover this very that which is mean and insipid. It useful fact, that the attainment of should be remembered that, by long excellence is easier than the affec- habit, that which was at first assumed tation of it, which can seldom be becomes natural ; that the drawl, practised with complete success. the swagger, the foolish lisp, or the But, unfortunately, few take the vulgar idiom, adopted at the age of pains to affect those endowments twenty, will be unconquerable at which, if really possessed, would do twenty-five ; that common sense, them credit. It is to the most child- however deeply implanted, will not ish, the most contemptible habits, thrive without cultivation, and that that affectation commonly leads ; he who neglects to use his reason in and many a person assumes imper- youth, may be pretty sure of becomfections and weaknesses that are far ing a mere driveller before his hairs from belonging to his character, and are grey. At the first view it which, if he thought seriously on the appears totally unaccountable how aubject, he would hasten to disclaim. such a vice as affectation can exist, To be free from all pretence, and to since we see no inducement that maintain, as it is usually termed, a any one can have for rendering natural character, is considered with himself, in any respect, more imperapproval in either sex ; and one fect than nature has already made would therefore suppose, that a him. But a moment's reflection commendation so easily deserved will show as, that the main-spring would be very generally laid claim of this as well as of many other to, and that perfect simplicity, that errors, is self-love, which, if not is, the absence of all affectation, carefully checked, engenders a con
22 ATHENEUM, VOL. 5, 3d series.
stant desire to attract notice, no strong a light. A person with only matter by what means; an effort to just sense enough to be quiet, will shine, without ceasing ; and a total always make a better figure than he forgetfulness of a rule admitting of who, in his anxiety to obtain apvery few exceptions—that the most plause, suffers his efforts to degenebeautiful objects lose a part of their rate into affectation, and, intolerant of attraction by being placed in too neglect, cannot fail to incur ridicule.
ROYAL PATRONAGE OF LITERATURE.
It must be allowed that the French d'hôte, and all the “vignettes, do showy things in the most showy views, inscriptions," original,-froni style of any nation of Europe. One the print-shops. of their old merits was the patronage
On these brilliant productions of Literature. From Louis the even the thimbles of the Czar NiFourteenth down to Napoleon, they cholas were thrown away ; and the had the honorable ambition of struy- imperial liberality being fairly exgling for the precedence in every hausted some time since, and finding class of literary fame ; and the al- that no European fame redounded lowable dexterity of flattering the to it from the labors of “illustrileading writers of all countries into ous men” (unknown in any country a regard for France. They gave but their own, and there known only little distinctions, little medals, little to be laughed at), has prohibited pensions, and little titles to the little “ All men by these presents," in men of academies in all lands, and future to dedicate book, or send reaped the full harvest of those do- print, or transmit sleeve-button, and nations in praise.
above all to insult it with poetry. The Russians, always imitators of The Russian ambassador has receisthe Grande Nation, and extremely ed strict orders, on pain of the knout, anxious to play the same part on not to transmit any further beggar's the continent, whether with the pen petition of this kind to his Imperial or the pike, the cannon or the cor- Majesty ; and notice has been given don rouge ; have been for some to contributors in general that, years trying the same plan, and giv- though Siberia is but a month's jouring rings, like thimbles, set with ney from St. Petersburg, the Czar diamonds that certainly have a vil- is about locating a new settlement lainous likeness to Bristol stones ; for their benefit within sight of the but those rings were given to all Pole. sorts of people for all sorts of things: Louis Philippe, however, is befor a new pattern of a joint-stool, ginning on a better plan, much more for a five-shilling compilation of bar- useful to the world, and which will barous poetry, for a pair of breeches repay France much more steadily cut out of the living bear, for a te- in praise (to this we have no objectotum on a new and infallible con- tion) than money lavished on such struction, “ warranted to spin,” for slippery personages as the mob of a print of the features of some grim authorship. We are informed that Slavonic ancestor, some Count of “The King of the French has given Wolfania, or Duke of Saberland, ta- instructions to a distinguished littéken from the original carving in the rateur to obtain for him a correct Church of our Holy Mother of list of all the literary and scientific Kasan, or for a quarto of Travels bodies in Europe, with a precise through Russia, with all the anec account of their charitable institudotes, from the newspapers, all the tions, in order that he may subscribe discoveries, from the road-books, to those which he considers the all the history, from the tables most deserving of support. It is
stated that at present the king be upon each of his children patronisstows nearly one million of francs ing works of art to an extent justifi-' per annum, directly, or indirectly, ed by the pecuniary means which in the encouragement of literature he has placed at their disposal.” and science ; and that he insists This is manly, and kingly too.
MARGARET Burnside was an or- her lot, becomes poor in spirit as in phan. Her parents, who had been estate, and either vegetates like an the poorest people in the parish, almost worthless weed that is carehad died when she was a mere lessly trodden on by every foot, or child; and as they had left no near if by nature born a flower, in time relatives, there were few or none to loses her lustre, and all her dayscare much about the desolate crea- not long-leads the life not so much ture, who might be well said to of a servant as of a slave. have been lefi friendless in the Such, till she was twelve years world. True, that the feeling of old, had been the fate of Margaret charity is seldom wholly wanting Burnside. Of a slender form and in any heart ; but it is generally weak constitution, she had never but a cold feeling among hard- been able for much work ; and thus working folk, towards objects out of from one discontented and harsh the narrow circle of their own fa- master and mistress to another, she mily affections, and selfishness has had been transferred from house to a ready and strong excuse in ne- house-always the poorest-till she cessity. There seems, indeed, to came to be looked on as an encumbe a sort of chance in the lot of the brance rather than a help in any orphan offspring of paupers. On family, and thought hardly worth 8one the eye of Christian benevo- her bread. Sad and sickly she sat lence falls at the very first moment on the braes herding the kine. It of their uttermost destitution--and was supposed that she was in a contheir worst sorrows, instead of be- sumption—and as the shadow of ginning, terminate with the tears death seemed to lie on the neglectshed over their parents' graves. ed creature's face, a feeling someThey are taken by the hands, as thing like love was awakened to890. as their hands have been wards her in th3 heart of pity, for stretched out for protection, and which she showed her gratitude by admitted as inmates into households, still attending to all household tasks whose doors, had their fathers and with an alacrity beyond her strength. mothers been alive, they would ne. Few doubted that she was dyingser have darkened. The light of and it was plain that she thought so comfort falls upon them during the herself; for the Bible, which, in glnom of grief, and attends them all her friendlessness, she had always taeir days. Others, again, are read more than other children, who overlooked at the first fall of afflic- were too happy to reflect often on rion, as if in some unaccountable the Word of that Being from whom fatality; the wretchedness with their happiness flowed, was now, which all have become familiar, no when leisure permitted, seldom or one very tenderly pities ; and thus never out of her hands, and in lonethe orpáan, reconciled herselfto the ly places, where there was no huextreme hardships of her condition, man ear to hearken, did the dying lives on uncheered by those sympa- girl often support her heart when thies out of which grow both happi- quaking in natural fears of the ness and virtue, and yielding by de- grave, by singing to herself hymns grees to the constant pressure of and psalms. But her hour was not
yet come—though by the inscruta- sent for two years to a superior ble decrees of Providence doomed school, where she was taught all to be hideous—and sad with almost things useful for persons in humble inexpiable guilt. As for herself— life--and while yet scarcely fifteen, she was innocent as the linnet that returning to her native parish, was sang beside her in the broom, and appointed teacher of a small school innocent was she to be up to the of her own, to which were sent all last throbbings of her religious heart. the female children that could be When the sunshine fell on the spared from home, from those of leaves of her Bible, the orphan parents poor as her own had been, seemed to see in the holy words, up to those of the farmers and small brightening through the radiance, proprietors, who knew the blessings assurances of forgiveness of all her of a good education—and that withsins—small sins indeed—yet to her out it, the minister may preach in humble and contrite heart exceed- vain. And thus Margaret Burning great—and to be pardoned on- side grew and blossomed like the ly by the intercession of Him who lily of the field—and every eye died for on the tree. Often, blessed her and she drew her when clouds were in the sky, and breath in gratitude, piety, and blackness covered the Book, Hope peace. died away from the discolored page Thus a few happy and useful —and the lonely creature wept and years passed by—and it was forgotsobbed over the doom denounced ten by all—but herself—that Maron all who sin and repent not— garet Burnside was an orphan. whether in deed or in thought. But to be without one near and And thus religion became with her dear blood-relative in all the world, an awful thing—till, in her resigna- must often, even to the happy heart tion, she feared to die. But look of youthful innocence, be more than on that flower by the hill-side path, a pensive-a painful thought ; and withered, as it seems, beyond the therefore, though Margaret Burnpower of sun and air, and dew and side was always cheerful among rain, to restore it to the beauty of her little scholars, and wore a sweet life. Next day, you happen to re- smile on her face, yet in the retireturn to the place, its leaves are of ment of her own room (a pretty a dazzling green, its blossoms of a parlor, with a window looking indazzling crimson, and its joyful to a flower-garden), and on her beauty is felt over all the wilderness. walks among the braes, her mien So was it with this Orphan. Na- was somewhat melancholy, and her ture, as if kindling towards her in eyes wore that touching expression, sudden love, not only restored her which seems doubtfully to denotein a few weeks to life—but to per- neither joy nor sadness—but a habit fect health ; and erelong she, whom of soul which, in its tranquillity, few had looked at, and for whom still partakes of the mournful, as if still fewer cared, was acknowledged memory dwelt often on past sorto be the fairest girl in all the par- rows, and hope scaroely ventured ish—and the most beautiful of any to indulge in dreams of future rewhile she continued to sit, as she pose. That profound orphan-feelhad always done from very child- ing embued her whole character ; hood, on the poor's form in the lob- and sometimes when the young Laby of the kirk. Such a face, such dies from the castle smiled praises a figure, and such a manner, in one upon her, she retired in unenduraso poorly attired, and so meanly ble gratitude to her chamber-and placed, attracted the eyes of the wept. young Ladies in the Patron's Gal Among the friends at whose houses lery. Margaret Burnside was ta- she visited were the family at ken under their especial protection, Moorside, the highest hill-farm in
the parish, and on which her father all neighborly kindness and services had been a hind. It consisted of with all the family at Moorside. the master, a man whose head was His son, though somewhat wild and grey, his son and daughter, and a unsteady, and too much addicted to grandchild, her scholar, whose pa- the fascinating pastimes of flood and rents were dead.
Gilbert Adamson field, often so ruinous to the sons of had long been a widower-indeed labor, and rarely long pursued his wife had never been in the pa- against the law without vitiating the rish, but had died abroad. He had whole character, was a favorite with been a soldier in his youth and all the parish. Singularly handprime of manhood ; and when he some, and with manners above his came to settle at Moorside, he had birth, Ludovic was welcome wherebeen looked at with no very friend- ver he went, both with young and ly eyes ; for evil runors of his old. No merry-making could decharacter had preceded his arrival serve the name without him, and at there--and in that peaceful pastoral all meetings for the display of feats parish, far removed from the world's of strength and agility, far and wide, strife, suspicions, without any good through more counties than one, he reason perhaps, had attached them- was the champion. Nor had he reselves to the morality and religion ceived a mean education. All that of a man, who had seen much for- the parish schoolmaster could teach eign service, and had passed the he knew ; and having been the darbest years of his life in the wars. ling companion of all the gentleIt was long before tirese suspicions men's sons in the Manse, the faculfaded away, and with some they still ties of his mind had kept pace with existed in an invincible feeling of theirs, and from them he had caught, dislike, or even aversion. But the too, unconsciously, that` demeanor natural fierceness and ferocity so far superior to what could have which, as these peaceful dwellers been expected from one in his humamong the hills imagined, had at ble condition, but which, at the first, in spite of his efforts to control same time, seemed 30 congenial them, often dangerously exhibited with his happy nature, as to be reathemselves in fiery outbreaks, ad- dily acknowledged to be one of its vancing age had gradually sub lued; original gifts. Of his sister, Alice, Gilbert Adamson had grown a hard- it is sutlicient to say, that she was working and industrious man; af- the bosom-friend of Margaret Burnfected, if he followed it not in sin- side, and that all who saw their cerity, even an austerely religious friendship felt that it was just. The life ; and as he possessed more than small parentless grand-daughter was common sagacity and intelligence, also dear to Margaret-more than he had acquired at last, if not won, perhaps her heart knew, because a certain ascendancy in the parish, that, like herself, she was an oreven over many whose hearts never phan. But the creature was also a opened nor warmed towards him- merry and a madcap child, and her so that he was now an elder of the freakish pranks, and playful perkirk—and, as the most unwilling versenesses, as she tossed her goldwere obliged to acknowledge, a just en. head in untameable glee, and steward to the poor. His grey hairs went dancing and singing, like a were not honored, but it would not bird on the boughs of a tree, all day be too much to say that they were long, by some strange sympathies respected. Many who had doubt- entirely won the heart of her who, ed him before came to think they throughout all her own childhood, had done him injustice, and sought had been familiar with grief, and a to wipe away their fault by regard- lonely shedder of tears. And thus ing him with esteem, and showing did Margaret love her, it might be themselves willing to interchange said, even with a very mother's