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ship, of fashion, of what people will do to be in the fashion ! Poor Mrs. Hornby comes into her fortune, and says to her old friends and family, “My good people, I am going to cut every one of you. You were very well as long as we were in the country, where I might have my natural likings and affections. But henceforth I am going to let Lady Fugleman choose my friends for me. I know nothing about you any more. I have no objection to you, but if you want to know me you must ask Lady Fugleman: if she says yes, I shall be delighted ; if no, Bon jour.

This strange business goes on daily in London. Honest people do it, and think not the least harm. The proudest and noblest do not think they demean themselves by crowding to Mrs. Goldcalf's parties, and strike quite openly a union between her wealth and their titles, to determine as soon as the former ceases. There is not the least hypocrisy about this at any rate the terms of the bargain are quite understood on every hand.

But oh, Bob! see what an awful thing it is to confess, and would not even hypocrisy be better than this daring cynicism, this open heartlessness — Godlessness I had almost called it?. Do you mean to say, you great folks, that your object in society is not love, is not friendship, is not family union and affection - is not truth and kindness ; is not generous sympathy and union of Christian (pardon me the word, but I can indicate my meaning by no other) — of Christian men and women, parents and children, — but that you assemble and meet together, not caring or trying to care for one another, without a pretext of good-will — with a daring selfishness openly avowed? I am sure I wish Mrs. Goldcalf or the other lady no.harm, and have never spoken to, or set eyes on either of them, and I do not mean to say, Mr. Robert, that you and I are a whit better than they are, and doubt whether they have made the calculation for themselves of the consequences of what they are doing. But as sure as two and two make four, a person giving up of his own accord his natural friends and relatives, for the sake of the fashion, seems to me to say, I acknowledge myself to be heartless ; I turn my back on my friends, I disown my relatives, and I dishonor my father and mother.


ENGLISH Society, my beloved Bob, has this eminent advantage over all other that is, if there be any society left in the wretched distracted old European continent. that it is above all others a dinner-giving society. A people like the Germans, that dines habitually, and with what vast appetite I need not say, at one o'clock in the afternoon like the Italians, that spends its evenings in opera-boxes — like the French, that amuses itself of nights with eau sucrée and intrigue — cannot, believe me, understand Society rightly. I love and admire my nation for its good sense, its manliness, its friendliness, its morality in the main — and these, I take it, are all expressed in that noble institution, the dinner.

The dinner is the happy end of the Briton's day. We work harder than the other nations of the earth. We do more, we live more in our time, than Frenchmen or Germans. Every great man amongst us likes his dinner, and takes to it kindly. I could mention the most august names of poets, statesmen, philosophers, historians, judges, and divines, who are great at the dinner-table as in the field, the closet, the senate, or the bench. Gibbon mentions that he wrote the first two volumes of his history whilst a placeman in London, lodging in St. James's, going to the House of Commons, to the Club, and to dinner every day. The man flourishes under that generous and robust regimen; the healthy energies of society are kept up by it; our friendly intercourse is maintained ; our intellect ripens with the good cheer, and throws off surprising crops, like the fields about Edinburgh, under the influence of that admirable liquid, Claret. The best wines are sent to this country therefore ; for no other deserves them as ours does.

I am a diner-out, and live in London. I protest, as I look back at the men and dinners I have seen in the last week, my mind is filled with manly respect and pleasure. How good they have been ! how admirable the entertainments ! how worthy the men ! Let

me, without divulging names, and with a cordial gratitude, mention a few of those whom I have met and who have all done their duty.

Sir, I have sat at table with a great, a world-renowned statesman. I watched him during the progress of the banquet - I am at liberty to say that he enjoyed it like a man.

On another day, it was a celebrated literary character. It was beautiful to see him at his dinner: cordial and generous, jovial and kindly, the great author enjoyed himself as the great statesman-may he long give us good books and good dinners !

Yet another day, and I sat opposite to a Right Reverend Bishop. My Lord, I was pleased to see good thing after good thing disappear before you ; and think no man ever better became that rounded episcopal apron. How amiable he was ! how kind! He put water into bis wine. Let us respect the moderation of the Church.

And then the men learned in the law : how they dine! what hospitality, what splendor, what comfort, what wine! As we walked away very gently in the moonlight, only three days since, from the 's, a friend of my youth and myself, we could hardly speak for gratitude : “ Dear sir,” we breathed fervently, “ ask us soon again.” One never has too much at those perfect banquets no hideous headaches ensue, or horrid resolutions about adopting Revalenta Arabica for the future — but contentment with all the world, light slumbering, joyful waking to grapple with the morrow's work. Ah, dear Bob, those lawyers have great merits. There is a dear old judge at whose family table if I could see you seated, my desire in life would be pretty nearly fulfilled. If you make yourself agreeable there, you will be in a fair way to get on in the world. But you are a youth still. Youths go to balls : men go to dinners.

Doctors, again, notoriously eat well; when my excellent friend Sangrado takes a bumper, and saying, with a shrug and a twinkle of his eye, “Video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor,” tosses off the wine, I always ask the butler for a glass of that bottle.

The inferior clergy, likewise, dine very much and well. I don't know when I have been better entertained, as far as creature comforts go, than by men of very Low Church principles ; and one of the very best repasts that ever I saw in my life was at Darlington, given by a Quaker.

Some of the best wine in London is given to his friends by a poet of my acquaintance. All artists are notoriously fond of dinners, and invite you, but not so profusely. Newspapereditors delight in dinners on Saturdays, and give them, thanks to the present position of Literature, very often and good. Dear Bob, I have seen the mahoganies of many men.

Every evening between seven and eight o'clock, I like to

look at the men dressed for dinner, perambulating the western districts of our city. I like to see the smile on their countenances lighted up with an indescribable self-importance and good-humor; the askance glances which they cast at the little street-boys and foot-passengers who eye their shiny boots ; the dainty manner in which they trip over the pavement on those boots, eschewing the mud-pools and dirty crossings; the refreshing whiteness of their linen ; the coaxing twiddle which they give to the ties of their white chokers the caress of a fond parent to an innocent child.

I like walking myself. Those who go in cabs or broughams, I have remarked, have not the same radiant expression which the pedestrian exhibits. A man in his own brougham has anxieties about the stepping of his horse, or the squaring of the groom's elbows, or a doubt whether Jones's turn-out is not better; or whether something is not wrong in the springs; or whether he shall have the brougham out if the night is rainy. They always look tragical behind the glasses. A cab diner-out has commonly some cares, lest his sense of justice should be injured by the overcharge of the driver (these fellows are not uncommonly exorbitant in their demands upon gentlemen whom they set down at good houses) ; lest the smell of tobacco left by the last occupants of the vehicle (five medical students, let us say, who have chartered the vehicle, and smoked cheroots from the London University to the play-house in the Haymarket) should infest the clothes of Tom Lavender who is going to Lady Rosemary's ; lest straws should stick unobserved to the glutinous lustre of his boots his shiny ones, and he should appear in Dives's drawing-room like a poet with a tenui avenâ, or like Mad Tom in the play. I hope, my dear Bob, if a straw should ever enter a drawing-room in the wake of your boot, you will not be much disturbed in mind. Hark ye, in confidence; I have seen * in a hack-cab. There is no harm in employing one. There is no harm in anything natural, any more.

I cannot help here parenthetically relating a story which occurred in my own youth, in the year 1815, at the time when I first made my own entrée into society (for everything must have a beginning, Bob; and though we have been gentlemen long before the Conqueror, and have always consorted with gentlemen, yet we had not always attained that haute volée of fashion which has distinguished some of us subsequently); I

* Mr. Brown's MS. here contains a name of such prodigious dignity out of the “P—r-ge,” that we really do not dare to print it.

recollect, I say, in 1815, when the Marquis of Sweetbread was good enough to ask me and the late Mr. Ruffles to dinner, to meet Prince Schwartzenberg and the Hetman Platoff. Ruffles was a man a good deal about town in those days, and certainly in very good society.

I was myself a young one, and thought Ruffles was rather inclined to patronize me: which I did not like. “I would have you to know, Mr. Ruffles,” thought I, “ that, after all, a gentleman can but be a gentleman ; that though we Browns have no handles to our names, we are quite as well-bred as some folks who possess those ornaments ” — and in fine I determined to give him a lesson. So when he called for me in the hackney-coach at my lodgings in Swallow Street, and we had driven under the porte-cochère of Sweetbread House, where two tall and powdered domestics in the uniform of the Sweetbreads, viz. a spinach-colored coat, with waistcoat and the rest of delicate yellow or melted-butter color, opened the doors of the hall what do you think, sir, I did ? In the presence of these gentlemen, who were holding on at the door, I offered to toss up with Ruffles, heads or tails, who should pay for the coach ; and then purposely had a dispute with the poor Jarvey about the fare. Ruffles's face of agony during this transaction I shall never forget. Sir, it was like the Laocoon. Drops of perspiration trembled on his pallid brow, and he flung towards me looks of imploring terror that would have melted an ogre. A better fellow than Ruffles never lived he is dead long since, and I don't mind owning to this harmless little deceit.

A person of some note a favorite Snob of mine - I am told, when he goes to dinner, adopts what he considers a happy artifice, and sends his cab away at the corner of the street; so that the gentleman in livery may not behold its number, or that the lord with whom he dines, and about whom he is always talking, may not be supposed to know that Mr. Smith came in a hack-cab.

A man who is troubled with a shame like this, Bob, is unworthy of any dinner at all. Such a man must needs be a sneak and a humbug, anxious about the effect which he is to produce : uneasy in his mind: a donkey in a lion's skin: a small pretender - distracted by doubts and frantic terrors of what is to come next. Such a man can be no more at ease in his chair at dinner than a man is in the fauteuil at the dentist's (unless indeed he go to the admirable Mr. Gilbert in Suffolk Street, who is dragged into this essay for the benefit of mankind alone, and who, I vow, removes a grinder with so little

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