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tiousness. He approaches almost to Cynicism. " It is a cur,” said Cobb,“ that will worry when he can, but if he cannot worry he will bark. He spares no man; and he is of the greatest use in being set at new members, or candidates for admission; for his attack, if patiently borne, is the surest criterion of the most passive and serene temperament, that the Beef-Steaks requires in its members.” Introduced by the Duke of Norfolk into the Society, at a somewhat earlier age than usual, he soon became a sort of spoiled child there; and, by a mistake incident to inexperience, imagined that the indulgence shown to youthful petulance, was the homage paid to superiority of talent. In this he is, indeed, far from being deficient; but it is of the kind which Nature serves out in wholesale quantities; a tolerably sound, but every-day understanding.
It is no easy matter to brush Harry Stephenson off when he assails you; for it is an insect that makes up for feebleness of sting by reiteration of attack, and is, for that reason, rather troublesome than hurtful. Harry's coarseness on one occasion lost an excellent and worthy member—an eminent physician, and a man of great classical erudition. In a gross perversion of the humour of the Society, and a misconception equally gross of the convivial habits of polished life, Harry gave him the odious and annoying name of Doctor E-, the most hateful combination of letters that has ever been chalked on the walls of London and her suburbs. The adhesiveness of any nickname is proverbial. The mortification was too much, and he left us. Yet, in many other respects, Harry is by no means wanting in discretion. In the household of the Duke of Sussex, where he has for some years acted as comptroller, he has been of incalculable service to his royal friend and master; having nearly, if not wholly, liberated that excellent Prince from the encumbrances into which a generous nature, and the exigencies of his elevated rank, had unwarily, and almost necessarily, misled him. Well managed by others, or influenced by a sterner self-restraint, Harry would be a most invaluable member of our board. As it is, his place could not be supplied.
From these portraitures, which are, and must be imperfect, and curtailed of many of their just lineaments and proportions, by the respect due both to dead and to living names, some idea, at least, may be formed of the Beef-Steak groupe.
But there are many others in this galaxy of convivial spirits, who shine, perhaps, with a more temperate radiance ;-men who, though they do not much contribute to the festivity of the social hour, by sparkling sallies of wit, or successful exertions of banter, keep alive the union, the harmony, the good-will of the board, by the softer qualities, and the gentler manners, that render private life at once pleasant and secure ;-men who, to use the beautiful phrase of Burke, are “the soft green of the soul,” on which we linger with delight. One of these has for some years been lost to us. He was a man of cultivated taste; a passionate idolater of music; and endued with a genuine, though somewhat eccentric, style of humour; and this seemed chastened and rebuked by a certain melancholy, that was more germane to his feelings, and tinged, in some degree, his mirth. Domestic misfortune weighed heavily upon him. He stood condemned by the
rash sentence of a world, that always misjudges those whom it does not know. No appeal lay from it but to the inward suffrage of his own bosom, and to the very few friends who were acquainted with that tale of sorrow. It is of the late Lord Viscount Kirkwall that I speak. He assured me one evening, that the few happy moments that his fate seemed not to grudge him, were passed with us at the Beef-Steaks.
In this class, also, may be placed Rowland Stephenson, the most respectable of bankers. Never did a clearer head, and a better heart, meet together; nor does the heart wait, as it does, in ordinary cases, a cold and calculating lesson from the head; but the most spontaneous and generous impulses of the one, are ratified by the cool decisions of the other. “Never," as Hamlet says, were the blood and judgment so well commingled.”
At the same table, too, sits Dennison, the worthy member for Surrey; a man of cheerful gravity, an excellent companion, admirable as a BeefSteaker, and amiable in every other human relation. Commerce never boasted of a brighter ornament. Well might she silence the foolish gabble of those, who think that commerce implies, necessarily, narrowness of heart, or a sordid selfcentered appetency of gain, or an indifference to the calamities and sufferings of the whole race of man-by bringing forward to shame and refute it, such a man as Dennison. Nor is he less to be venerated in the other aspect, in which you may contemplate his character;—that of the country gentleman; the kind and liberal landlord; the upright magistrate ; the lover and protector of the cottager and the peasant!
Such is this renowned and ancient Society, whose elements are so curiously mixed, and in the nicest and most exquisite proportions; interposing amidst the vexations of existence, the feverish pursuits of ambition, and its fretful dis. appointments, a few hours of unmingled pleasaunce, for the heart to repose from its burdens, and to pour out, amidst wine, and song, and merriment, the unrebuked, unfettered effusions of its gladness. Such a Society, of high antiquity, compared with the thousand ephemeral combinations called CLUBS, unites, within itself the perpetual animation of youth, and the adult strength