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person in these circumstances, to take it as an hint, that the parties have a mind to be alone, and leave the room without further ceremony.
A friend of mine happened to be engaged in a visit to one of these loving couples. He sat still for some time, without interrupting the little endearments that passed between them. Finding them at length quite lost in nods, whispers, ogles, and in short, wholly taken up with each other, he rang the bell, and desired the servant to send in my lady's woman.
When sbe came, he led her very gravely to the settee, and began to indulge himself in certain freedoms, which provoked the damsel to complain loudly of his rude
The lady flew into a violent passion, and rated him severely for his monstrous behaviour. My friend begged her pardon with great politeness, hoped she was not offended, for that he thought there had been no harm in amusing himself a little while with Mrs. Betty, in the same manner as her ladyship and sir John had been diverting themselves these two hours.
This behaviour, though at all times improper, may in some sort be excused, where perhaps the match had been huddled up by the parents, and the young people are such new acquaintance, that they scarce ever saw each other till their marriage. A pair of loving turtles may be indulged in a little amorous billing at their first coming together; yet this licence should expire with the honey-moon, and even in that period be used but sparingly.
But if this conduct is blameable in young people, how very absurd is it in those advanced in years! who can help laughing, when he sees a worn-out beau and belle, practising at three-score the very fullies, that are ridiculous at sixteen? I could wish that such a pair of antiquated loves were delineated by the pencil of an Hogarth. How humorously would he represent twoemaciated wrinkled figures, with eyes sunk into their heads, lank cheeks, and toothless gums, affecting to leer, smile, and languish at each other! but this affectation is still more remarkable, when a liquorish old fool is continually fondling a young wife : though perhaps the sight is not so disgusting to a stranger, who may reasonably suppose it to be the overflowings of a father's tenderness for his daugh
It sometimes happens, that one of the parties perceives the folly of his behaviour. I have seen a sen, sible man quite uneasy at the indiscreet marks of kindness shewn by his lady. I know a clergyman in the country, who is often put to the blush by the strange familiarities, which his wife's love induces her to take with him. As she has had but an indif. ferent education, you would often be at a loss to know whether she is very kind, or very rude. If he dines abroad, she always sees him get on horseback, and before he has got twenty yards from the door, hollows after him, “ be at home in time, my dear soul, do.” I have known her almost quarrel with him for not buttoning his coat in the middle of summer; and she once had the good-nature to burn a very valuable collection of Greek manuscripts, lest the poring over those horrid crooked letters should put her dear Jack's eyes out. Thus does she torment the poor parson with her violent affection for him, and according to the common phrase, kills him with kindness.
Before I conclude, I cannot but take notice of those luscious love-scenes, that have so great a share in our modern plays; which are rendered still more fulsome by the officiousness of the player, who takes every opportunity of heightening the expression by kisses and embraces. In a comedy, nothing is more relished by the audience than a loud smack, which echoes through the whole house; and in the most passionate scenes of a tragedy, the hero and heroine are continually flying into each others arms. For my part
I am nerer present at a scene of this kind, which produces a conscious simper from the boxes, and an hearty chuckle of applause from the pit and galleries, but I am ready to exclaim with old Renault....“ I like not these huggers."
I would recommend it to all married people, but especially to the ladies, not to be so sweet upon their dears before company : but I would not be understood to countenance that coldness and indifference, which is so fashionable in the polite world. Nothing is accounted more ungenteel, than for a husband and wife to be seen together in public places; and if they should ever accidentally meet, they take no more notice of each other, than if they were absolute strangers. The gentleman may lavish as much gallantry as he pleases on other women, and the lady give encouragement to twenty pretty fellows without censure: but they would either of them blush at being surprised in shewing the least marks of a regard for each other.
I am, Sir, T
Your humble servant, &c.
No. VIII. THURSDAY, MARCH 21.
O quanta species cerebrum non habet !
In outward shew so splendid and so vain,
I MUST acknowledge the receipt of many letters containing very lavish encomiums on my works. Among the rest a correspondent whom I take to be a bookseller, is pleased to compliment me on the goodness of my print, and paper; but tells me, that he is very sorry not to see something expressive of my undertaking, in the little cut that I carry in front. It is true, indeed, that my printer, and publisher, held several consultations on this subject; and I am ashamed to confess, that they had once prevailed on me to suffer a profile of my face to be prefixed to each number. But when it was finished, I was quite mortified to see what a scurvy figure I made in wood : nor could I submit to be hung out like Broughton, at my own door, or let my face serve like the canvas before a booth, to call people into the show.
I hope it will not be imputed to envy or malevolence, that I here remark on this part of the production of Mr. Fitz-Adam. When he gave his paper the title of The World, I suppose he meant to intimate his design of describing that part of it, who are known to account all other persons nobody, and are therefore emphatically called The World. If this was to be pictured out in the headpiece, a lady at her toilette, a party at whist, or the jovial member of the Dilettanti tapping the World for Champagne, had been the most natural and obvious hieroglyphics. But when we see the portrait of a philosopher poring on the globe, instead of observations on modern life, we might more naturally expect a system of geography, or an attempt towards a discovery of the longitude.
The reader will smile perhaps at a criticism of this kind; yet certainly even here propriety should be observed, or at least all absurdities avoided. But this matter being usually left to the printer or bookseller, it is often attended with strange blunders and misapplications. I have seen a sermon ushered in with the representation of a shepherd and shepherdess sporting on a bank of flowers, with two little Cupids smiling over head; while perhaps an epithalamium, or an ode for a birth-day, has becn introduced with death's heads and cross-marrow bones.
The inhabitants of Grub-street are generally very studious of propriety in this point. Before the halfpenny account of an horse-race, we see the jockies whipping, spurring, jostling, and the horses straining within sight of the post. The last dying speech, character, and behaviour of the malefactors presents us with a prospect of the place of execution; and the history of the London prentice exhibits the figure of a lad standing between two lions, and ramming his hands down their throats. A due regard has been paid to this article, in the several elegies from that quarter on the death of Mr. Pelham. They are encompassed with dismal black lines, and all the sable emblems of death: nor can we doubt, but that an author, who takes such care to express a decent sorrow on the outside of his work, has infused a great deal of the pathetic into the piece itself.
These little embellishments were originally designed to please the eye of the reader; as we tempt children to learn their letters by disposing the alphabet into pictures. But, in our modern compositions, they are not only ornamental, but useful. An angel or a flower-pot at the beginning and end of every chapter or section, enables the bookseller to spin out a novel, without plot or incident, to a great number of volumes; and by the help of these decorations, properly disposed, I have known a little piece swell into a duodecimo, which had scarce matter enough for a six-penny pamphlet.
In this place I might also take notice of the several new improvements in the business of Typography. Though it is reckoned ungenteel to write a good hand, yet every one is proud of appearing in a beautiful print; and the productions of a man of quality come from the press in a very neat letter, though perhaps the manuscript is hardly legible. Indeed, our modern writers seem to be more solicitous about outward elegance, than the intrinsic merit of their composi