Page images
PDF
EPUB

ance.

62

SKETCH AT BRIGHTON. patra on the Cydnus. Thus our athletic beaux demonstrate that they might, if they thought proper, be of considerable usc to the community on their return to the metropolis : they could ply as watermen on the Thames, instead of wasting their precious time in ftrutting through the streets.

As to the other amusements of Brighton—the Arsembly-room, which is capacious and elegant, is provided for the reception of the young and the gay who with to share the delights of music and dancing. The toy-shops present a variety of trinkets to the eye of the man of fashion and his fair friend; by which the can evince her taste in the selection, and afford him a most favourable opportunity to shew his gallantry by purchasing whatever the deems worthy of her accept

The billiard-table alfo displays its attractions to allore the unwary, who are taken in the toils by artfu) black-legs.

Indeed Brighton may be confidered as one of the best places in Europe for the accommodation of any gentleman who is solicitous to be difencumbered of fue perfluous cash; the modish price of lodgings, neceffaries, and luxuries—the moderate charges at the livery-stables --the money paid for boats and boatmen-subscrip tions, circulating libraries, and assemblies--afford 'fo many happy modes of displaying a dignified contempt of economy, that a young fellow of fpirit may difencumber himself of an iron chest full of money in a few weeks at Brighton.

Few 'individuals of the lower claffes venture to intrude into the polished circles at this place, though fometimes a Cit appears in masquerade. The other day I stumbled upon Jack Wick, the tallow-chandler, in my morning walk along the Stein. « What! mỹ dear fellow !" cried 'I, « are you here? 'I thought you were busied behind your counter in Bithopfgate

Street;

Street; fo, Mr. Wick, you are come to light at Brighton?” He hastily interrupted me, whispering, “ Are you mad, Charles? Don't betray me, you had dog! I'm here incog, and have passed for a Peer of the new creation.” Saying this, he familiarly leaned on my arm as we fauntered down the walk; and, to thew his taste, exclaimed, « They have destroyed all the beauty of this celebrated place by them there houses, which prevents us from seeing the adjacent country.”

Affcctation of easy manners, a paffion for intrigue, and a defire to be confpicuous in frivolous amusements, actuate the minds of the fashionable and idle train who visit this town. Here the sharper assumes the character of a gentleman; the kept mistress affects a

Quaker like fimplicity, in order to allure; or rises to the extreme of effrontery, and with Amazonian agility mounts her charger

-Scours the plain, Flies o'er th' unbending grafs, or skims along the main."

Meanwhile her favourite Chevalier pursues her, to the no fmall admiration of equestrian heroes and heroines, who daily amble along the shore.

THE PETITION OF THE COATS.

[From the fame) Molt humbly sbeweth, THAT your petitioners have patiently endured in

numerable grievances in filence, and without fceking redress. That they have submitted to all the caprices and whims of fashion without a single murmur. They have allowed their collars to be exalted to such a height as 10 render it doubtful whether their wearers had any head; and to be thrown half-way down the back, by way of diseovering the graceful and elegant 'fall of the thoulders. Their fleeves have been at one 64 ON THE ART OF SCRATCHING THE HEAD. time sufficiently large to admit the arnı of a Hercules, and at others scarcely wide enough for a modern beau. They have been sometimes paid for, and often not. They have unrepiningly palled through the various gradations of a new coat, an old coat, a shabby coat, and a turn-coat :-nay, fo far has their patience carried them, that, for the accommodation of their wearers, they have suffered then felves to be beaten most unmercifully. They have been bafted by tailors, and dufted by lacquies; they have been Niced by foeers, and pricked with needles. Sometimes they have covered a peer-sometimes a poet;- now a judge then a highwayman; and have been in habits of intimacy with the best and most profligate characters in the kingdom.-All this have they done; and now-“ Quis credat q(your petitioners have learnt Latin by protecting the back of a schoolmaster) by way of reward for their services, an ediæ has passed the mouth of Fathion, that they shall be deprived of half their dimenfions, and the respectable name of coat dwindle into the infignificant term jucket.

This infult baş soused their indignation ; and they therefore entreat your paper to apprize the youths of ton of the inconveniences the change will fubje&t them to; such as getting their jackets trimmed, &C.--that a coat afford's fome protection againft a kicking, but a jacket_none,-and that though they have thought proper to crop their heads, there is no immediate neceffity for docking their tails!

AN EXAMINATION OF THE ART OF
SCRATCHING THE HEAD.

[From a Paris Paper.) THE faculty of thinking is almost infeparably conthis reason that Champfort faid, "I have no great

opinion

opinion of people with well-dressed and powdered hair, because they cannot venture to rub their hands round their heads.” The thoughts which flow to the brain produce a frequent titillation in the neighbouring region; and therefore i he man of reflection must scratcli hiinfelf often. The blockhead who wishes to pass for a man of wit scratches himself fill more ; and the woman who has something to do more important than that of thinking, scratches very feldoın. The manner of satisfying fo univerfal a want onght to have been an object worthy of attention and emulation among men. But I fee with regret that I must go back to antiquity, in order to find out the traces of this most fimple and convenient practice. In the free cities, which contained as many rivals as citizens, an attentive observation of each other was the great art of life, and the fcience of phyfiognomy formed an entire part of the fudy of public jurifprudence. Barbarians judged of a hero exactly as they found him, but fubtle republicans examined him more closely, and wished to know why they admired him. I have read Tacitus, Machiavel, Comte d'Avaux, and Cardinal de Retz, and I have not found in them any thing that can be compared to the policy of Alcibiades, when he caused the tail of his dog to be cut off, in order to confound the prating idlers of Athens. It is to be presumed that he was the person who invented the mode of fcratching the head with the point of the finger. This elegant exercise was in unison with the lisping which diftinguifhed that great and accomplished man.

The practice palled from Athens to Rome, where it made such progrefs, that it became proverbial to describe men of delicate research in the following words qui digito fcalpunt uno eaput. I alk pardon of my young fellow.citizens for making nfe of expressions unknown to theni; but juvenal, from whom I have taken the

passage,

66 ON THE ART OF SCRATCHING THE HEAD. passage, was such a pedant, that he never knew how to write a word of French.

Licinius Calvus has left us an epigram in which he asked a young man who was fcratching with the point of his finger, if he was not louking for a husband, But this was only idle talk on the part of a poet jealous of those who were good fcratchers; because he himself was bald, as his name imports.

If there is any fact authenticated in history it is this, that Pompey, who was oftener called the handsome than the great, never used more than one finger in scratching his head. For this lze has been done justice to by the tribune of Claudius, by Seneca the elder, Ammianus Marcellinus, and the Emperor Julian.

Julius Cæfar, another Roman still more illustrious, fignalized himself in a fimilar manner, as we learn from Cicero and Plutarch. It is really worthy of remark, that the empire of the world was then contested for by two men who were the best scratchers of their age; and for the honour of the gods, I would willingly believe that at Pharfalia they decided in favour of him who had brought the art to the highest degree of perfection.

There can be no doubt but that for the last ten years we have inherited this fashion froni the Greeks and Romans; and all our young heads, rounded after the manner of the ancients, are so many proofs of the fact. Is it not, therefore, grievous to behold those pretty black heads scratched with such barbarous rusticity? I am ready to faint away, when, in the midst of a faloon, or in the most elegant company, an Alcibiades or an Antinous opens his hands like two great combs, places them behind his ears, and in that form drives them from the bottom to the top of his head, leaving ten furrows in his hair to bear testimony to their passage.

What

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »