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one, and old mother such a one, the old girl, the old maid, and that Mr. Such a one, or that man, or Miss Such a one, or that Tom so and so, or Mary so and so, and that thingimy such a one, thingumbob, or that what's the man's name, or that what's the woman's name? or the quiz, and other lowering expressions, which, whenever or by whomsoever uttered, are uttered, I venture to assert, in the true spirit of detraction. It may be objected, that some of these expressions, especially the terms “ mother such a one,” and “old mother such a one,” are too vulgar to be used by any one in a decent situation in life; but I have heard them from the lips of those who would indignantly repel the charge of vulgarity; but let their rank in society be ever so high, all persons who are under the influence of bad temper, and the wish to indulge in petty detraction, are, for the time being at least, reduced to the level of the vulgar, and liable to indulge in vulgar phraseology:

There is nothing absolutely vulgar in the use of the relative * that before a name; but I know no word so applied more detracting and contemptuous. There is nothing defined in the idea which it gives; it is only censure by implication; still, I can conceive no surer way of lowering the person spoken of, and at a very cheap rate, as it costs the person speaking no expenditure of wit, judgment, power of reasoning, or discrimination. It may also be considered as a throwing down of the satirical gauntlet, and as the provoker to detraction in

others and a that before a name is almost as degrading as an alias after it, except that the first is a sort of indistinct degradation, and the other conveys a charge of specific delinquency. “ The fellow” also bespeaks a decided sense of superiority in the person speaking to the person spoken of; and though a wicked fellow, and a good for nothing fellow are terms of a more seriously calumniating inference, yet they are not so contemptuous as the simple expression of “the fellow,if spoken otherwise than in pleasantry; and if one changes the “the” for the “ that” a'very easy and common change, language has scarcely a combination of words more capable of giving a severe wound to a fellow-creature's respectability. “Ah! he is a sad chap! and he is quite a quiz!” are two phrases much used in the grammar

of detraction, and are common all over England, in the vulgar tongue, though neither “chap” nor “ quiz" are words in the dictionary. I know not the origin of either word from any good authority; but, as calling a man a chap implies usually that he is but a sorry fellow, I am inclined to believe it is derived from the French word, échappé, escaped, meaning a man who has narrowly escaped hanging; and I think un échappé du diable is a French phrase, equivalent to our scape grace. A quiz, or a person of ludicrous and particular appearance and manners, is a word of recent invention, and I should suppose that it is a jumble of queer and exquis, or exquisite; however, be that as it may, neither chap nor quiz, any m

than quizzer or quizzing, should have been mentioned here, had they not been, beyond a doubt, words of frequent use in the mouths of detractors, and common weapons in the mean, useless, mischievous, unintellectual, heartless, and never-ending warfare of detraction.

I must now add in recapitulation, that I have given the Vocabulary of Detraction, or words used by detractors; and that I have found it useful to watch the effect of my own words and tones on myself, in speaking of others.




HAVING now described the different classes of detractors and their vocabulary, I shall point out some of the most prominent OBJECTS OF DETRACTION; and though all persons who venture from the safe circles of private life into public competition, are liable to provoke envy and severity of observation, still, I believe that AUTHORESSES and BLUE-STOCKINGS are amongst the most favourite subjects of detraction in the private circles in which they move. I shall endeavour to pass as lightly as possible over the former subject, as I feel I am treading on difficult and dangerous ground; yet I must hazard a few observations.

An authoress I am, and must remain so; but, unlike the fox in the fable, who having lost his tail endeavoured to persuade his brother foxes to cut off theirs, on the false plea that he had found this loss a great convenience, I must frankly declare that had I known the pains and dangers which awaited me when I became a public authoress, nothing but a strong sense of duty, or the positive want of bread, could have induced me to encounter them.

“Never,” said a highly-gifted though misguided French woman of mournful celebrity,

never had I the slightest intention of becoming an author. I perceived very early in life, that a woman who gained this title lost a great deal more than she acquired; men do not love her and women criticise: if her works be bad, she is ridiculed, and not without reason; if good, her right to them is disputed.” I believe what she has here stated, to be a general rule, to which there are few exceptions. And what follows from the same enlightened mind, I would commend to the attention of those women of talents, who as yet, though strongly tempted, may not have ventured into the arena of public authorship. “Happy in hav. ing it in their power to improve their understanding, women are not bound to communicate what they acquire; what could they say that others do not know better than they? Their sex and their duties keep them equally under a veil, where they more certainly find happiness than in the midst of the illusions which lead them to show themselves. Illusions indeed! if the object of the female writer be to increase her social happiness; for in no possible way can an increase of that be the result of her authorship.

If her object be to maintain the beloved relations dependent on her by the exertion of her pen, even then, though a sense of duty well fill

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