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would fancy ought to accompany the sleep of ogres. Nay, this giant had quite a small appetite, (unless, to be sure, he went forward and ate a sheep or two in private with his horrid knife -oh, the dreadful thought !--but in public, I say, he had quite a delicate appetite,) and was also a tea-totaller. I don't remember to have heard the lady's voice, though I might, not unnaturally, have been curious to hear it. Was her voice a deep, rich, magnificent bass; or was it soft, fluty, and mild ? I shall never know now. Even if she comes to this country, I shall never go and see her. I have seen her, and for nothing.
You would have fancied that, as after all we were only some half-dozen on board, she might have dispensed with her red handkerchief, and talked, and eaten her dinner in comfort : but in covering her chin there was a kind of modesty. That beard was her profession : that beard brought the public to see her: out of her business she wished to put that beard aside as it were : as a barrister would wish to put off his wig. I know some who carry theirs into private life, and who mistake you and me for jury-boxes when they address us: but these are not your modest barristers, not your true gentlemen.
Well, I own I respected the lady for the modesty with which, her public business over, she retired into private life. She respected her life, and her beard. That beard having done its day's work, she puts it away in a handkerchief ; and becomes, as far as in her lies, a private ordinary person. All public men and women of good sense, I should think, have this modesty. When, for instance, in my small way, poor Mrs. Brown comes simpering up to me, with her album in one hand, a pen in the other, and says, “ Ho, ho, dear Mr. Roundabout, write us one of your amusing," &c., &c., my beard drops behind my handkerchief instantly. Why am I to wag my chin and grin for Mrs. Brown's good pleasure? My dear madam, I have been making faces all day. It is my profession. I do my comic business with the greatest pains, seriousness, and trouble : and with it make, I hope, a not dishonest livelihood. If you ask Mons Blondin to tea, you
have a rope stretched from your garret window to the opposite side of the square, and request Monsieur to take his tea out on the centre of the rope ? I lay my hand on this waistcoat, and declare that not once in the course of our voyage together did I allow the Kentucky Giant to suppose I was speculating on his stature, or the Bearded Lady to surmise that I wished to peep under the handkerchief which muffled the lower part of her face.
“ And the more fool you,” says some cynic. (Faugh, those cynics, I hate 'em!) Don't you know, sir, that a man of genius is pleased to have his genius recognized ; that a beauty likes to be admired ; that an actor likes to be applauded; that stout old Wellington himself was pleased, and smiled when the people cheered him as he passed? Suppose you had paid some respectful elegant compliment to that lady ? Suppose you had asked that giant, if, for once, he would take anything at the liquor-bar? you might have learned a great deal of curious knowledge regarding giants and bearded ladies, about whom you evidently now know very little. There was that little boy of three years old, with a fine beard already, and his little legs and arms, as seen out of his little frock, covered with a dark down. What a queer little capering satyr! He was quite good-natured, childish, rather solemn. He had a little Norval dress, I remember : the drollest little Norval.
I have said the B. L. had another child. Now this was a little girl of some six years old, as fair and as smooth of skin, dear madam, as your own darling cherubs. She wandered about the great cabin quite melancholy. No one seemed to care for her. All the family affections were centred on Master Esau yonder. His little beard was beginning to be a little fortune already, whereas Miss Rosalba was of no good to the family. No one would pay a çent to see her little fair face. No wonder the poor little maid was melancholy. As I looked at her, I seemed to walk more and more in a fairy tale, and more and more in a cavern of ogres. Was this a little foundling whom they had picked up in some forest, where lie the picked bones of the queen, her tender mother, and the tough old defunct monarch, her father? No. Doubtless they were quite good-natured people, these. I don't believe they were unkind to the little girl without the mustaches. It may have been only my fancy that she repined because she had a cheek no more bearded than a rose's.
Would you wish your own daughter, madam, to have a smooth cheek, a modest air, and a gentle feminine behavior, or to be-I won't say a whiskered prodigy, like this Bearded Lady of Kentucky-but a masculine wonder, a virago, a female personage of more than female strength, courage, wisdom? Some authors, who shall be nameless, are, I know, accused of depict. ing the most feeble, brainless, namby-pamby heroines, forever whimpering tears and prattling commonplaces. You would have the heroine of your novel so beautiful that she should charm the captain (or hero, whoever he may be) with her appearance ; surprise and confound the bishop with her learning :
outride the squire and get the brush, and, when he fell from his horse, whip out a lancet and bleed him ; rescue from fever and death the poor cottager's family whom the doctor had given up; make 21 at the butts with the rifle, when the poor captain only scored 18; give him twenty in fifty at billiards and beat him ; and draw tears from the professional Italian people by her exquisite performance (of voice and violoncello) in the evening ;-I say, if a novelist would be popular with ladiesthe great novel-readers of the world—this is the sort of heroine who would carry him through half a dozen editions. Suppose I had asked that Bearded Lady to sing ? Confess, now, miss, you would not have been displeased if I had told you that she had a voice like Lablache, only ever so much lower.
My dear, you would like to be a heroine ? You would like to travel in triumphal caravans; to see your effigy placarded on city walls; to have your levées attended by admiring crowds, all crying out, “ Was there ever such a wonder of a woman? You would like admiration ? Consider the tax you pay for it. You would be alone were you eminent. Were you so distinguished from your neighbors- I will not say by a beard and whiskers, that were odious—but by a great and remarkable intellectual superiority--would you, do you think, be any the happier ? Consider envy. Consider solitude. Consider the jealousy and torture of mind which this Kentucky lady must feel, suppose she should hear that there is, let us say, a Missouri prodigy, with a beard larger than hers? Consider how she is separated from her kind by the possession of that wonder of a beard? When that beard grows gray, how lonely she will be, the poor old thing! If it falls off, the public admiration falls off too ; and how she will miss it—the compliments of the trumpeters, the admiration of the crowd, the gilded progress of the car. I see an old woman alone in a decrepit old caravan, with cobwebs on the knocker, with a blistered ensign flapping idly over the door. Would you like to be that deserted person ? Ah, Chloe! To be good, to be simple, to be modest, to be loved, be thy lot. Be thankful thou are not taller, nor stronger, nor richer, nor wiser than the rest of the world!
ON LETTS'S DIARY.
Mine is one of your No. 12 diaries, three shillings cloth boards; silk limp, gilt edges, three-and-six ; French morocco, tuck ditto, four-and-six. It has two pages, ruled with faint lines for memoranda, for every week, and a ruled account at the end, for the twelve months from January to December, where you may set down your incomings and your expenses. I hope yours, my respected reader, are large; that there are many fine round sums of figures on each side of the page : liberal on the expenditure side, greater still on the receipt. I hope, sir, you will be “a better man,” as they say, in ’62 than in this moribund ’61, whose career of life is just coming to its terminus. A better man in purse? in body? in soul's health ? Amen, good sir, in all. . Who is there so good in mind, body or estate, but bettering won't still be good for him ? ( unknown Fate, presiding over next year, if you will give me better health, a better appetite, a better digestion, a better income, a better temper in ’62 than you have bestowed in '61, I think your servant will be the better for the changes. For instance, I should be the better for a new coat. This one, I acknowledge, is very old. The family says so. My good friend, who amongst us would not be the better if he would give up some old habits ? Yes, yes. You agree with me. You take the allegory? Alas! at our time of life we don't like to give up those old habits, do we? It is ill to change. There is the good old loose, easy, slovenly bedgown, laziness, for example. What man of sense likes to Aling it off and put on a tight guindé prim dress-coat that pinches him? There is the cozy wraprascal, self-indulgence—how easy it is! How warm! How it always seems to fit! You can walk out in it; you can go down to dinner in it. You can say of such what Tully says of his books: Pernoctat nobiscum, peregrinatur, rusticatur. It is a little slatternly --it is a good deal stained-it isn't becoming-it smelis of cigar-smoke; but, allons donc ! let the world call me idle and sloven. I love my ease better than my neighbor's opinion. I live to please myself ; not you, Mr. Dandy, with your supercilious airs. I am a philosopher. Perhaps I live in my tub, and don't make any other use of it- - We won't pursue further this unsavory metaphor; but, with regard to some of your old habits, let us say
1. The habit of being censorious, and speaking ill of your neighbors.
2. The habit of getting into a passion with your man-servant, your maid-servant, your daughter, wife, &c.
3. The habit of indulging too much at table. 4. The habit of smoking in the dining-room after dinner.
5. The habit of spending insane sums of money in bric-àbrac, tall copies, binding, Elzevirs, &c. ; '20 Port, outrageously fine horses, ostentatious entertainments, and what not ? or,
6. The habit of screwing meanly, when rich, and chuckling over the saving of half a crown, whilst you are poisoning your friends and family with bad wine.
7. The habit of going to sleep immediately after dinner, instead of cheerfully entertaining Mrs. Jones and the family: or,
8. LADIES! The habit of running up bills with the milliners, and swindling paterfamilias on the house bills.
9. The habit of keeping him waiting for breakfast.
10. The habit of sneering at Mrs. Brown and the Miss Browns, because they are not quite du monde, or quite so genteel as Lady Smith.
1. The habit of keeping your wretched father up at balls till five o'clock in the morning, when he has to be at his office at eleven.
12. The habit of fighting with each other, dear Louisa, Jane, Arabella, Amelia.
13. The habit of alway's ordering John Coachman threequarters of an hour before you want him.
Such habits, I say, sir or madam, if you have had to note in your diary of '61, I have not the slightest doubt you
will enter in
your pocket-book of ’62. There are habits Nos. 4 and 7, for example. I am morally sure that some of us will not give up those bad customs, though the women cry out and grumble, and scold ever so justly. There are habits Nos. 9
I feel perfectly certain, my dear young ladies, that you
will continue to keep John Coachman waiting ; that you will continue to give the most satisfactory reasons for keeping him waiting : and as for (9), you will show that you once (on the ist of April last, let us say,) came to breakfast first, and that you are always first in consequence.
Yes; in our ’62 diaries, I fear we may all of us make some of the '61 entries. There is my friend Freehand, for instance. (Aha! Master Freehand, how you will laugh to find yourself here !) F. is in the habit of spending a little, ever so little, more than his income. He shows you how Mrs. Freehand works,