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Fathers, who forget their own youth, still frown on the fredaines of their younger Hopefuls. Opera-dancers, Hermitage, patent-leather boots and kid gloves, are still expensive; and
the blessed narcotic, which Hudson kindly supplies to soothe the sorrows of Detrimentals, has not only to be smoked, but to be paid for. Fathers, I must affirm, are unconscionable beings. There are indeed some respectable progenitors, who are never weary of paying—whose ears are always open to the Detrimental's distress, and their pockets to the Detrimental's duns ; but these are “rare birds, and uncommonly like black swans.
I have no compassion for a “ Governor," and I consider all paternal grievances as originating in the “ paternity” himself. If chance and time are to make the fool, perhaps the knave, of the family, an opulent Dives, and the lord of countless acres, while talent and virtue in the junior branches must starve on an ensigncy or a village curacy, for Heaven's sake, let the
elder Dives, and the younger Lazarus, be educated according to their several destinies; let the distinction so rationally, naturally, and equitably laid down by the system of “ primogeniture" be, for the sake of consistency at the least, put into practice from the very cradle.
Let the first-born feed, learn, and live with reference to the situation he will one day fill, and the fortune he will one day enjoy; and let the younger Pariah be trained, from his youth upwards, to the toil and comparative starvation he is doomed to undergo. An Eldest Son requires but little energy or intellect to fill his place ; while, without talent and perseverance, the younger will often be compelled to dine with “ Duke Humphrey.” The Eldest Son has nothing to do but to slip quietly and cosily into his father's shoes and his father's acres, while the Younger will perhaps find it a hard matter to pay for the boots he wears, or the garret which he rents. The Eldest Son, with scarcely the trouble of asking, will find Beauty and Elegance ready to drop into his arms, and may almost throw the handkerchief for a highborn and fascinating bride ; the "course” of his “love” always "runs smooth,” and he dawdles through life to his gilded coffin, having previously taken care to leave behind him an eldest son of his own, to feast, and one or more younger sons to starve, like his own brothers.
The Younger Son, is shunned as a pest by fashionable mothers, and frowned upon by marriageable heiresses; and if he does follow the voice of nature and affection if he does shun the “strange woman,” and induce some fair and gentle girl to share his lot—all, and especially “ those of his own father's house,” cry shame upon his folly and imprudence. In such a case, if the “imprudent” marriage should end in poverty and a prison, the world, like the considerate jury, who were trying a man for murdering his wife, would coolly and piously
pronounce that it “served ” him “right.' In the name, then, of common sense- –nay,
of humanity-let the coat be cut according to the cloth. Let the eldest son be reared in the affluence to which he will one day succeed; and the younger learn privations and the wholesome lessons of scanty fare by times. Let the one be clothed by Stultz, the other by Moses; let the one have his cabriolet, his figurante, and his dinner at Crockford's ; while the other, unused to such a system of indulgence, luxuriates over a rumpsteak at the “Cheshire Cheese,” and trudges on foot through the muddy or dusty streets, according to the pleasing varieties of the seasons, to his scantily furnished third floor in “ Arundel Street, Strand." Till this state of things comes to pass ; till “ Governors sense; or till the privileges of “primogeniture are abolished, Duns will continue to flourish, nd Debtors to hide.
Go, then, my little Book, and may the profits of your sale supply for once the blessings of a
» learn turtle and venison dinner, and a bottle of Lafitte, to your Author,