« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
calls his children about him, the flatterer has a pocket full of appies for them, which he distributes among them with a great deal of fondness; wo ders to see so many fine boys; and turning about to the father, tells him they are all as like him as they can stare.
When he is invited to a feast, he is the first man that calls for a glass of wine, and is wonderfully pleased with the deliciousness of the flavor; gets as pear as possible to the man of the house. and tells him, with much con." cern, that he eats nothing himself. He singles out some particular dish and recommends it to the rest of the com. pany for a rarity. He desires the master of the feast to sit in a warmer part of the room, begs him to take more care of his health, and advises him to put on a sopernumerary garment in this cold weather." He is in a close whisper with bim during the whole entertainment, and has neither eyes nor ears for any one else in the com. pany.
If a man shows him his house, he extols the architect, admires the gardens, and expatjates upon the furniture. If the owner is grossly flattered in a picture, he outflatters the painter; and though he discovers a great likeness in it, can by no means allow that it does justice to the original. In short, his whole business is to ingratiate himself with those who hear him, and to wheedle them out of their senses.
IX.-The Absent Man.-SPECTATOR. ENACLES comes down in the morning ; opens his
door to go out; but shuts it again, because he perceives he has his nightcap on; and examining himself fur. ther, finds that he is but halfshaved, that he has stuck his sword on bis right side, that his stockings are about his heels, and that his shirt is over his breeches.
When he is dressed, he goes to court; comes into the drawing room ; and, walking upright under a branch of candlesticks, his wig is caught up by one of them, and hangs dangling in the air. All the courtiers fall a laughing ; bnt Menacles laughs louder than any of them, and looks about for the person that is the jest of the company. Coming down to the court gate, he finds a coach; which taking for his owo, he wbips into it; and the
coachman drives off, not doubting but he carries his master. As soon as he stops, Menacles throws himself out of the coash, crosses the court, ascends the staircase, and runs through all the chambers with the greatest familiarity, reposes himself on a couch, and fancies himself at home. The master of the house at last comes in. Menacles arises to receive him, and desires him to sit down He talks, muses, and then talks again. The gentle man of the house is tired and amazed.. Menacles is no less so ; but is every moment in hopes that his in. pertinent guest will at last end his tedious visit. Night comes on, when Menacles is hardly convinced.
When he is playing at backgammon, he calls for a full glass of wine and water. It is his turn to throw. He has the box in one hand, and his glass in the other; and, being extremely dry, and unwilling to lose time, he swallows down both the dice, and at the same time throws bis wine into the tables. He writes a letter and Alings the cand into the inkbottle. He writes a second, and mistakes the superscription. A nobleman receives one of them, and upon opening it reads as follows ;-" I would have you, honest Jack, immediately upon the receipt of this, take in bay enough to serve the winter." His farmer receives the other, and is amazed to see in it, - My Lord, I receive your grace's commands."
If he is at an entertainment, you may see the pieces of bread continually multiplying round his plate; 'tis true, the company want it, as well as their knives and forks, which Menacles does not let them keep long. Some. times, in a morning, he puts his whole family in a hurry, and at last goes out withont being able to stay for his coach or breakfast; and for that day you may see him in every part of the town, except the very place where be had appointed to be upon business of importance.
You wouid often take him for every thing that he is not. - For a fellow quite stupid, for he hears nothing; for a fool, for he talks to himself, and has a bundred grimaces and motions with his head, which are aliogether involuntary; for a proud man, for he looks full upon you, and takes no notice of your saluting him. The trich of it is, his eyes are open, but he makes no use of them, and neither sees you, nor any man, nor any thing else. He came once from his country house, and his own footmen undertook to rob him and succeeded. They held a flambeau to his throat, and bid bim deliver his purse: He did so; and coming home, told his friends he had been robbed. They desired to know the particulars.5 Ask my servants," said Menacles; “ for they were with me."
X. - The Monk.-STERNE.
the room, to beg something for his convent. The moment I cast my eyes upon him, I was determined not to give him a single sous; and accordingly I put my purse into my pocket-buttoned it up-set myself a little more upon may centre, and advanced up gravely to him; there was something, I fear, forbidding in my look: I have his picture this moment before my eyes, and think there was that in it, which deserved better.
The Monk, as I judged from the 'break of his tonsure, a few scattered white hairs upon his temples being all that remained of it, might be about seventy—but from his eyes, and that sort of fire which was in them, which seemed more tempered by courtesy than years, could be no more than sixty.—Truth might lie between. He was certainly sixty-five ; and the general air of bis countenance, notwithstanding something seemed to have been planting wrinkles in it before their time, agreed to the account.
It was one of those heads which Guido has often painted-mild, pale, penetrating; free from all common place ideas of fat contented ignorance, looking downwards upon the earth.
It looked forward; but looked as if it looked at something beyond this world. How one of his order came by it, heaven above, who let it fati vpon a Monk's shoulders, best knows; but it would have suited a Bramin ; and had I met it upon the plains of Indostan, I had reverenced it.
The rest of his outline may be given in a few strokes; one might put it into the hands of any one to design ; for it was neither elegant nor otherwise, but as character and expression made it so. It was a thin, spare form, something above the common size, if it lost not the dis
tinction by a bend forward in the figure-but it was the attitude of entrealy; and as it now stands present to my imagination, it gained more than it lost by it.
When he had entered the room three paces, be stood still; and laying his left hand upon bis breast (a slender white staff with which he journeyed being in his right) when I had got close up to him, he introduced himseif with the little story of the wants of his convent, and the poverty of his order--and did it with so simple a grace, and such an air of deprecation was there in the whole cast of his look and figure - I was bewitched not to have been struck with it.
A better reason was, I had predetermined not to give him a single sous.
'Tis very true, said I, replying to a cast upwards with his eyes, with which he had concluded his address--it is very true and heaven be their resources, who have no other but the charity of the world; the stock of which, I fear, is no way sufficient force many great claims which are hourly made upon it.
As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a slight glance with his eye downwards upon the sleeve of his tunic-I felt the full force of the appeal-I acknowl. edge it, said 1-a coarse habit, and that but once in three years, with a meagre diet--are no great matters ; but the true point of pity is, as they can be earned in the world with so little industry, that your order shon!d wish to procure them by pressing upon a fund, which is the property of the lame, the blind, the aged and the infirm;
- the captive, who lies down counting over and over again, in the days of his affliction, languishes also for his share of it; and had you been of the order of mercy, instead of the order of St. Francis, poor as I am, continued I, pointing at my portmanteau, full cheerfully sbould it have been opened to you, for the ransom of the unfor. tunate. The Monk made me a bow. But, resumed I, the unfortunate of our own country, surely have the first rights; and I have left thousands in distress upon the English shore. The Monk gave a cordial wave with his head-as much as to say, No doubt; there is misery enough in every corner of the world, as well as within our convent. But we distinguish, said I, laying my hand upon the sleeve of his tunic, in retorn for his appeal-we distinguish, my good father, betwixt those who wish only to eat the bread of their own labor-and those who eat the bread of other people, and have no other plan in life, but to get through it in sloth and ignorance, for the love of God.
The poor Franciscan made no reply ; a hectic of a moment passed across bis cheek, but he could not tarry, -Nature seemed to have done with her resentments in him. He showed none-but letting his staff fall within his arm, he pressed both his hands with resignation on his breast, and retired.
My heart smote me the moment he shut the door. Pshaw ! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several times. But it would not do; every ungracious syllable I had uttered, crowded back in my imagination. I reflec. ted I had no right over the poor Franciscan, but to deny him ; and that the punishment of that was enough to the disappointed, without the acedition of unkind language-1 considered his grey hairs, his courteous figure seemed to re-enter, and gently ask me what injury he had done me, and why I could use him thus ?- I would have given twenty livres for an advocate-1 bave bebaved very ill, said I, within myself; but I have only just set out upon py travels, and shall learn better manners as I get along,
XI.-On the Headdress of the Ladies.-SPECTATOR.
headdress; within my own memory, I have known it rise and fall above thirty degrees. About ten years ago, it shot up to a very great height, insomuch that the female part of our species were much taller than the
The women were of such an enormous stature, that “we appeared as grasshoppers before them." At present, the whole sex is in a manner dwarfed, and shrunk into a race of beauties, that seem almost another species. I remember several ladies who were once very near seven feet high, that at present want some inches of five : How they came to be thus curtailed, I cannot learn; whether the whole sex be at present under any penance which we kgow nothing of, or whether they have cast their headdresses, in order to surprize us with