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certain share of it is hardly to be dispensed with. Few people can afford to be quite unaffected. At any rate do not put your worst qualities foremost. Do not seek to distinguish yourself by being ridiculous; nor entertain that miserable ambition to be the sport and butt of the company. By aiming at a certain standard of behaviour or intellect, you will at least show your taste and value for what is excellent. There are those who blurt out their good things with so little heed of what they are about, that no one thinks any thing of them; as others by keeping their folly to themselves gain the reputation of wisdom. Do not, however, affect to speak only in oracles, or to deal in bon-mots : condescend to the level of the company, and be free and accessible to all persons. Express whatever occurs to you, that cannot offend others or hurt yourselt. Keep some opinions to yourself. Say what you please of others, but never repeat what you hear said of them to themselves. If you have nothing to offer yourself, laugh with the witty, assent to the wise; they will not think the worse of you for it. Listen to information on subjects you are unacquainted with, instead of always striving to lead the conversation to some favourite one of your own. By the last method you will shine, but will not improve. I am ashamed myself ever to open my lips on any question I have ever written upon. It is much more difficult to be able to converse on an equality with a number of persons in turn, than to soar above their heads, and excite the stupid gaze of all companies by bestriding some senseless topic of your own, and confounding the understandings of those who are ignorant of it. Be not too fund of argument. Indeed, by going much into company. (which I do not, however, wish you to do) you will be weaned from this practice, if you set out with it. Rather suggest what remarks may have occurred to you on a subject than aim at dictating your opinions to others, or at defending yourself at all points. You will learn more by agreeing in the main with others, and entering into their trains of thinking, than by contradicting and urging them to extremities. Avoid singularity of opinion as well as of every thing else. Sound conclusions come with practical knowledge, rather than with speculative refinements: in what we really understand, we reason but little. Long-winded disputes fill up the place of common sense and candid inquiry. Do not imagine that you will make people friends by showing your superiority over them: it is what they will neither admit nor forgive, unless you have a high and acknowledged reputation beforehand, which renders this sort of petty vanity more inexcusable. Seek to gain the good-will of others, rather than to extort their applause; and to this end, be neither too tenacious of your own claims, nor inclined to press 100 hard on their weaknesses."
“I would not, however, have you run away with a notion that the rich are knaves or that lords are fools. They are, for what I know, as honest and as wise as other people. But it is a trick of our self-love, supposing that another has the decided advantage of us in one way, có strike a balance by taking it for granted (as a moral antithesis) that he must be as much beneath us in those qualities on which we plume ourselves, and which we would appropriate almost entirely to our own use. It is hard, indeed, if others are raised above us not only by the gifts of fortune, but of understanding too. It is not to be credited. People have an unwillingness to admit that the house of lords can be equal in talent to the house of commons. So in the other sex, if a woman is handsome, she is an idiot, or no better than she should be: in ours, if a man is worth a million of money, he is a miser, a fellow that cannot spell his own name, or a poor creature in some way, to bring him to our level.
This is malice, and not truth. Believe all the good you can of every one. Do not measure others by yourself. If they have advantages which you have not, let your liberality keep pace with their good fortune. Envy no one, and you need envy no one. If you have but the magnanimity to allow merit wherever you see it-understanding in a lord, or wit in a cobbler—this temper of mind will stand you instead of many accomplishments. Think no man too happy. Raphael died young. Milton had the misfortune to be blind. If any one is vain or proud, it is from folly or ignorance. Those who pique themselves excessively on some one thing, have but that one thing to pique themselves upon, as languages, mechanics, &c. I do not say that this is not an enviable delusion where it is not liable to be disturbed; but at present knowledge is too much diffused, and pretensions come too much into collision, for this to be long the case; and it is better not to form such a prejudice at first than to have it to undo all the rest of one's life. If you learn any two things, though they may put you out of conceit one with the other, they will effectually cure you of any conceit you might have of yourself, by showing the variety and scope there is in the human mind beyond the limits you had set to it.”
Though our extracts have been already copious, we cannot abstain from copying Hazlitt's views upon love and marriage, which are contained in this same letter of advice. The reader must bear in mind, that our author had been unfortunate in his married state, and his remarks show that this circumstance had embittered his views, and deadened his perceptions of happiness, from a source which was peculiarly intended to minister to man's felicity here. The deep feeling which the concluding portion of our extract evinces, will not, we are sure, be lost upon the reader.
“ If you ever marry, I would wish you to marry the woman you like. Do not be guided by the recommendation of friends. Nothing will atone for or overcome an original distaste. It will only increase from intimacy; and if you are to live separate, it is better not to come together. There is no use in dragging a chain through life, unless it binds one to the object we love. Choose a mistress from among your equals. You will be able to understand her character better, and she will be more likely to understand yours. Those in an inferior station to yourself will doubt your good intentions, and misapprehend your plainest expressions. All that you swear is to them a riddle, or downright nonsense. cannot by possibility translate your thoughts into their dialect. They will be ignorant of the meaning of half you say, and laugh at the rest. As mistresses, they will have no sympathy with you; and as wives, you can have none with them. But they will do all they can to thwart you, and to retrieve themselves in their own opinion by trick and low cunning. No woman ever married into a family above herself that did not try to make all the mischief she could in it. Be not in haste to marry, nor to engage your affections, where there is no probability of a return. Do not fancy every woman you see the heroine of a romance, a Sophia Western, á Clarissa, or a Julia; and yourself the potential hero of it, Tom Jones, Lovelace, or St. Preux. Avoid this error as you would shrink back from a precipice. All your fine sentiments and romantic notions will (of themselves) make no more impression on one of these delicate creatures than on a piece of marble. Their soft bosoms
are steel to your amorous refinement, if you have no other pretensions. It is not what you think of them that determines their choice, but what they think of you. Endeavour, if you would escape lingering torments and the gnawing of the worm that dies not, to find out this, and to abide by the issue. We trifle with, make sport of, and despise those wbo are attached to us, and follow those that fly from us. We hunt the wind, we worship a statue, cry aloud to the desert. Do you, my dear boy, stop short in this career, if you find yourself setting out in it, and make up your mind to this, that if a woman does not like you of her own accord, that is, from involuntary impressions, nothing you can say or do or suffer for her sake will make her, but will set her the more against you. So the song goes
'Quit, quit for shame; this will not move:
íf of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her; the devil take her! “Your pain is her triumph; the more she feels you in her power, the worse she will treat you: the more you make it appear you deserve her regard, the more she will resent it as an imputation on her first judgment. Study first impressions above all things; for every thing depends on them, in love especially. Women are armed by nature and education with a power of resisting the importunity of men, and they use this power according to their discretion. They enforce it to the utmost rigour of the law against those whom they do not like, and relax their extreme severity proportionably in favour of those that they do like, and who in general care as little about them. Hence we see so many desponding lovers and forlorn damsels. Love in women (at least) is either vanity, or interest, or fancy. It is merely a selfish feeling. It has nothing to do (I am sorry to say it) with friendship, or esteem, or even pity. I once asked a girl, the pattern of her sex in shape and mind and attractions, whether
she did not think Mr. Coleridge had done wrong in making the heroine of his beautiful ballad story of Genevieve take compassion on her hapless lover
When on the yellow forest-leaves
A dying man he layAnd whether she believed that any woman ever fell in love through a sense of compassion ? and she made answer—'Not if it was against her inclination! I would take the lady's word for a thousand pounds, on this point. Pain holds antipathy to pleasure; pity is not akin to love; a dying man has more need of a nurse than of a mistress. There is no forcing liking. It is as little to be fostered by reason and good-nature, as it can be controlled by prudence or propriety. It is a mere blind, headstrong impulse. Least of all, flatter yourself that talents or virtue will recommend you to the favour of the sex, in lieu of exterior advantages. Oh! no. 'Women care nothing about poets, or philosophers, or politicians. They go by a man's looks and manner. Richardson calls them an eye-judging sex;' and I am sure he knew more about them than I can pretend to do. If you run away with a pedantic notion that they care a pin's point about your head or your heart, you will repent it too late. Some blue-stocking may have her vanity Aattered by your reputation, or be edified by the solution of a metaphysical problem, or a critical remark, or a dissertation on the state of the nation, and fancy that she has a taste for intellect, and is an epicure in sentiment. No true woman ever regarded any thing but her lover's person and address. Gravity will here answer all the same purpose without understanding,
gaiety without wit, folly without good-nature, and impudence without any other pretension. The natural and instinctive passion of love is excited by qualities not peculiar to artists, authors, and men of letters. It is not the jest but the laugh that follows, not the sentiment but the glance that accompanies it, that tells-in a word, the sense of actual enjoyment that imparts itself to others, and excites mutual understanding and inclination. Authors, on the other hand, feel nothing spontaneously. The common incidents and circumstances of life with which others are taken
make no alteration in them, nor provoke any of the common expressions of surprise, joy, admiration, anger, or merriment. Nothing stirs their blood, or accelerates their juices, or tickles their veins. Instead of yielding to the first natural and lively impulses of things, in which they would find sympathy, they screw themselves up
to some farfetched view of the subject in order to be unintelligible. Realities are not good enough for them, till they undergo the process of imagination and reflection. If you offer them your hand to shake, they will hardly take it; for this does not amount to a proposition. If you enter their room suddenly they testify neither surprise nor satisfaction: no new idea is elicited by it. Yet if you suppose this to be a repulse, you are mistaken. They will enter into your affairs, or combat your ideas with all the warmth and vehemence imaginable, as soon as they have a subject started. But their faculty for thinking must be set in motion, before you can put any soul into them. They are intellectual dram-drinkers; and without their necessary stimulus, are torpid, dead, insensible to every thing. They have great life of mind, but none of body. They do not drift with the stream of company or of passing occurrences, but are straining at some hyperbole, or striking out a by-path of their own. Follow them who list. Their minds are a sort of Herculaneum, full of old, petrified images ;-are set in stereotype, and little fitted to the ordinary occasions of life.
“What chance, then, can they have with women, who deal only in the. pantomime of discourse, in gesticulation and the Alippant by-play of the senses, 'nods and winks and wreathed smiles; and to whom to offer a remark is an impertinence, or a reason an affront? The only way in which I ever knew mental qualities or distinction tell was in the clerical character; and women do certainly incline to this with some sort of favourable regard. Whether it is that the sanctity of pretension piques curiosity, or that the habitual submission of their understandings to their spiritual guides subdues the will, a popular preacher generally has the choice among the elite of his female flock. According to Mrs. Inchbald, (see her ‘Simple Story,') there is another reason why religious courtship is not without its charms! But as I do not intend you for the church, do not, in thinking to study yourself into the good graces of the fair, study yourself out of them, millions of miles. Do not place thought as a barrier between you and love: do not abstract yourself into the regions of truth, far from the smile of earthly beauty. Let not the cloud sit upon your brow: let not the canker sink into your heart. Look up, laugh loud, talk big, keep the colour in your cheek and the fire in your eye, adorn your person, maintain your health, your beauty, and your animal spirits, and you will pass for a fine man. But should you let your blood stagnate in some deep metaphysical question, or refine too much in your ideas of the sex, forgetting yourself in a dream of exalted perfection, you will want an eye to cheer you, a hand to guide you, a bosom to lean on, and will stagger into your grave, old before your time, unloved and unlovely. If you feel that you have not the necessary advantages of person, confidence, and manner, und that it is up-hill work with you to gain the ear
of beauty, quit the pursuit at once, and seek for other satisfactions and consolations.
“A spider, my dear, the meanest creature that crawls or lives, has its mate or fellow : 'but a scholar has no mate or fellow. For myself, I had courted thought, I had felt pain; and Love turned away his face from me. I have gazed along the silent air for that smile which had lured me to my doom. I no more heard those accents which would have burst upon me like a voice from heaven. I loathed the light that shone on my disgrace. Hours, days, years, passed away; and only turned false hope to fixed despair.' And as my frail bark sails down the stream of time, the god of love stands on the shore, and as I stretch out my hands to him in vain, claps his wings, and mocks me as I pass !"
Hazlitt died on the 18th of September, 1830, from an attack of cholera, a disorder to which he had been subject, his peace of mind, too, having been much disturbed by pecuniary embarrassments. Though his unwearied yet erratic literary efforts yielded him annually a considerable sum of money, (£600, near $3000) yet his want of economy always rendered him needy. This fact of the amount of his income derived from the labours of his pen, speaks volumes for the encouragement accorded to literary men in England. And it is much to her praise. Unfortunately for the cause of letters with us, it would take the aggregate of the receipts of many mere contributors to periodicals here, to equal this amount. We believe this not to arise from any deficiency of talent in American writers, but from the want of a general literary spirit and taste, which would induce those who have the means to encourage publishers to extend sufficient inducement for the exercise of native powers.
The want of money which poor Hazlitt so often felt, was selected by him as a theme upon which to indite an essay. He succeeded most happily, and produced what we consider as decidedly the best of his lighter writings. It is much in the style of Lamb, (whom and Goldsmith we regard as the princes among essayists,) and possesses no small share of his admirable humour and feeling. If our readers have never seen it, they will thank us for presenting it to them. Of course our limits will allow the extraction of but a part.
“ It is hard to be without money. To get on without it is like traveling in a foreign country without a passport--you are stopped, suspected, and made ridiculous at every turn, besides being subjected to the most serious inconveniences. The want of money I here allude to is not altogether that which arises from absolute poverty—for where there is a downright absence of the common necessaries of life, this must be remedied by incessant hard labour, and the least we can receive in return is a supply of our daily wants—but that uncertain, casual, precarious mode of existence, in which the temptation to spend remains after the means are exhausted, the want of money joined with the hope and possibility of getting it, the intermediate state of difficulty and suspense between the last guinea or shilling and the next that we may have the good luck to encounter. This gap, this unwelcome interval constantly recurring,