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means of obtaining and securing the good opinion of the sovereign people. Any one who would undertake the task of giving rules and forming a system that will assist the aspiring to mount the "ladder of fame," without any risk of tumbling far below the starting place, must be conferring an invaluable favour. Especially as they who look the highest, are such as know the least of human nature,—a melancholy fact, proved by their ig norance of their own characters. Such being so much in want of a guide, it is a great pity that no one better qualified than myself should offer his services. The little, however, that is in the power of the writer, is freely offered without the hope of any other reward, than the consciousness that he merits some lucrative of fice, when any of his scholars shall ascend to political importance by his direction.
Rule 1. If you really, and undoubtedly possess talents, be cautious that they are ever concealed from the public eye. It is a frequent and great mistake, especially of the very young, to think that a display of abilities will gain them friends. Every one is "wise in his own opinion," and is so blinded by his own talents, as not to see the wisdom of his neighbours. Beside, the really stupid will hate you from envy; the common class fear to trust any one who pretends to see farther than themselves.
Rule 2. Be not forever speaking before the sovereign people. If you hold forth ever so much to the point, few will understand you. And those, who do," have views of their own." Beside, it is not seldom that men think they speak much better than the facts will justify. If you are in a situation where a speech is expected, recollect words answer the best without ideas; for then, like a gun with a blank cartridge, you can make a noise without injury to any one.
Rule 3. Be ever before the public in some shape or other, as a secretary to some useless meeting, a committee-man to whom affairs are referred: if of no consequence, so much the better-you will make no enemies by your report.
Rule 4. Avoid all appearance of originality. Act just as your grandfather and mother have done before you.
The zig-zag course of genius has no object. But notoriety, without popularity, is setting yourself up as a mark for the "small rail" of a village, for the mere pleasure of being shot at.
Rule 5. In all your actions have an eye to the gaining of some friend, whose interest it may be to befriend you. Flatter the one, bow to the other, marry this man's daughter, hire that man's house, that he may be your disinterested friend. These will never forsake you. Let every action, ever so trifling, be performed with an eye single to your advancement.
Rule 6. Never meet your antagonist in open battle. Intrigue as much as possible: thus your combats may be carried on without any personal danger. If you are destitute of intriguing talents, there are many schools where this art can be learned.
Rule 7. When before the public, lengthen your face even to stupidity; be careful to do or say nothing that has the appearance of superiour wisdom. Thus you may continue in office for years, as an old hat hangs on a peg, not worth the trouble of moving.
Let these rules be duly studied and the writer will assure any one obtaining and retaining enough popularity to run for any common office in the gift of his fellow citizens.
VI. ART OF CIVILITY.
"We send greeting." PASSIM.
PASSING by a print-shop some two or three years ago, I observed, at the window, the figure of a person, dressed somewhat beyond the fashion, with a look of satisfaction, and air of a connoisseur in small matters, resting one hand on his hip, and holding a quizzing-glass to his eye with the other, presenting altogether the manner and aspect of looking some modest woman out of countenance. Under this figure was inscribed, "the complete I had no sooner seen this likeness of an opinionated, prying beau, than I began to occupy myself with the various modes, not only of putting people downy
and putting them out of countenance, but also by an easy transition, of making or evading a salutation, shaking off a troublesome companion, and putting by an advance. And first of cutting, a practice of great antiquity, as appears from these lines in Dryden's translation of the Eneid."
"Thus much he spoke, and more he would have said,
And cut him."
And also from Falstaff's direction to his page, when the chief justice would have spoken to him.
66 Boy, say I'm deaf.”
It is, as I understand it, the art of avoiding a salutation, or breaking off a conversation which the other party wishes to continue; an accomplishment of no little importance, for as an unskilful carver bespatters the company, and cuts his own fingers, so one who has not the art of cutting his way through the multitude of his acquaintances, is likely to weary them, and be himself cut in the end. He is like an ill-navigated ship, that runs foul of others, and can be disengaged only by loss of time and damage of tackle. This accomplishment is useful only in a town; for in a village, the more important art, is, to delay and spin out a greeting into a dialogue. The people there, happy mortals, know not what it is, to be burthened with acquaintances, and beset with companions. They always greet each other with confiding expectation, and adjusting themselves in some easy sociable posture, shorten the live-long day, by eking out the topics of hardness of the times, scarcity of money, drought, and the raging of the malignant fever in town, till their invention is exhausted, and they have nothing of sociability left but the feeling. Hence, when they come to town, they wonder at the strange alteration that has taken place, in their former acquaintances in the country; for, instead of stopping half an hour, under a shop window, to talk over the news, and make calculations concerning the crops, they only give a nod, or shake of the hand, and hurry on. Well (say they) we know, who are no better than other folks." The art of cutting may be used offensively, like a sword, de
fensively, like a buckler, or for mere convenience and utility, like a bodkin or skewer, and in the last application of it, more skill may be displayed than in either of the others. Any one can stare you in the face, without returning the salutation, that he had, in a manner, invited you to make, which may be called the broad cut, and is of an offensive nature; or pass across the street to avoid you, which may be called the tack, and is of a defensive kind; but to pass through the throng in the street or drawing room, and see every body without appearing to look at any one, requires a steady nerve and practised eye. Few can carry the art to this perfection: with most persons a change of aspect, a motion of the hand or arm, looking at the watch, or the adjusting of some part of the dress, betrays a consciousness that some one is near. I have lately observed that some of my good friends, with whom I keep up a non-intercourse, are in the habit of quieting the peturbation, which my approach excites, by a half-suppressed whistle, or humming of a tune, or sometimes by a hem, merely. is unskillful and shews the person not to be an artist, and is objectionable also, because it betrays that they recog nize me. If one cannot rise to the careless collectedness of an accomplished artist, and pass securely through the thickest dangers of greeting, without being discomfited by the menacing aspects and motions of his acquaintances, he must resort to such expedients and helps, as are within the reach of his capacity. If you are walking or conversing with a friend, you may protect yourself from others, by attending or pretending to attend to him; if alone, you may break the force of the adversary's stare, by interposing your watch chain, handkerchief, &c.; but should you be afraid to trust to these defences, you may, at the crisis, turn, and direct your look to some object beyond the adversary, contriving, if possible, to graze, without fairly striking him. This may be, aptly enough, termed the oversight. Young persons, and those who want address and presence of mind, in attempting to execute this manœuvre, sometimes let the enemy in upon them and receive a point-blank shot, and are compelled to surrender at discretion, If one is
liable to miscarriages of this sort, he must look from the adversary, instead of overlooking him, or he must tack.
All these expedients show a rudeness in the art; but it is not the lot of men to "achieve greatness" in every sort of thing. Two parties moving in different directions, meet on equal terms; but if they are going the same way, it is almost impossible to be guarded against surprise from the rear. You are perhaps passing along the street, ruminating on some unlucky occurrence, or some hopeful project, and before you are aware, some complacent sociable gentleman, who never doubts that every body is as glad to see him, as he is to see every body, has you by the arm, resolved to put and answer a great many questions, about what is new and what is not. If you are not able to cheer up and submit, with a good grace, you can turn at the next corner, and "give effect to your exit," by wishing him a good morning. If he obligingly says he is going the same way, and continues to stick to you, adopt Horace's hint, ask him at the next turn, which direction he takes, and choose the other yourself, at the same time taking leave again. If he replies, that your route will be as near for him, you may resort to the decisive manoeuvre of suddenly recollecting something for which you must go back. An artist, when he is foiled, and all his precautions against a meeting ineffectual, still preserves an unruffled manner, and exchanges salutations with a free air, as a thing of course; whereas, a learner betrays all, by being too cold or too cordial.
You may easily imagine, if you have not felt, the sensation of an angler, who expecting a fish jerks up only his hook; one sometimes experiences a similar motion of the animal spirits on formally saluting another who does not see him; or say you observe a person approaching with the air of being acquainted, a lady perhaps ensconced in a bonnet, or masked by a veil, or looking from behind her handkerchief, and you stare earnestly, expecting to recognize an acquaintance, till, the moment you have passed, it occurs to you, it was a person to whom you was under particular obligations of civility, or to whom you have a particular desire to be