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I have often remarked, that young gentlemen of this description are, in general, good-natured, pleasant, facetious sort of human beings; and have as often lamented that such a career, commenced in pure folly, should have terminated in nothing better than the possession of a few guineas for the sale of the last dog and gun-which, a gambling debt, incurred the preceding evening, has instantly swept away! When I see these dashing Beaux, skimming, like summer swallows, along life's surface, I only hope that they have neither mothers nor sisters--one can bear to see folly severely chastised, but who can bear to see a heart of sensibility and virtue cut in twain !
7. The Jolly Beau is a gentleman who frequents taverns and coffee-houses, and is emphatically known as a lover of good eating and drinking. It would astonish a rational man, who is accustomed to dine in a quiet way with his family, at a table illuminated with two good mould candles, to see one of these jolly Beaux sitting down by himself, at seven o'clock in the evening, to dinner, barricadoed by four thick wax candles, and hemmed in by a bottle of each, fish sauces, and six smoking covers! What a brilliant triumph must that be, where the only spectators are a grinning waiter and a waggish butler ! To be sure, there is a consolation in reflecting that some one knows how one's money goes.
8. The Dressy Beau is a gentleman of measured step, swinging gait, bright boots, trimmed whiskers, and composed features; this is his morning costume. In the evening, he puts on a thinner dress because it is colder; the tip of his handkerchief hangs out of his pocket, and under his arm is preserved, with the same care that a mother protects her infant, a thin, semicircular, elongated, black, beaver ornament, projecting about six inches beyond each side of the profile of the body. This is meant for a hat, but is rarely used as such: or, when it assumes its natural character, has an appearance as monstrous and grotesque as any part of the dress of a gentleman of the Sandwich or Friendly Islands. The dressy Beau is an harmless animal; he rarely bites--or, when he does, the bite is not attended with the same pain as is that of the literary or political Beau.
9. The Old Beau. We come now to the ninth and last class, into which the modern Beau has been divided. This gentleman is instantly recognised as well by his faded looks
as by his dirty finery, and affected sprightliness. The aged Beau is the most incorrigible of his species : he has become old in crime, and infirm from debauchery, Tottering from one rendezvous to another, he makes an effort (like the sun gleaming through the purple clouds of evening_though the simile is much too good for him) to shine with his wonted splendour, and congratulates himself that he still succeeds. He enters into all the wild schemes of youth, but executes them with the indecision of age: he meets with contempt, where he expected applause. His heart, however, still beats at the call of pleasure-his pulse still flutters at the prospect of some novel gratification—but he dies ere it be realised-he is stretched in his grave ere bis morrow of happiness arrive ! No sculptured bible decorates his tomb; no flattering epitaph-not even a stone marks where his ashes rest.
. “ Alive, ridiculous, and dead, forgot.”
BELLES OF MODERN TIMES.
]. The Sprightly Belle has an incessant flow of spirits ; and whether in the park, at an assembly, or a rout, still runs on in the same lively and enviable strain of conversation. Her features are never saddened with melancholy : the funeral of a statesman, or the concert of a duchess, equally witness the smiling complacency of her countenance. Whether she springs into her carriage, or parades out of church, a skilful observer may discover, that at heart she is all whim, humour, and glee. Ladies of this description are in general harmless; the only mischief they produce is to themselves; for, as years roll on, and infirmity advances, they find upon reflection, that a few hours devoted in their former days to reading and meditation, would have made them much more sprightly at sixty, than does a retrospect of their gaieties and amusements. . . . . !
2. The Funny Belle is, in my grave estimation, a very troublesome sort of creature; and I confess if I were a bachelor and disposed to change my state for that of a Benedick, I should almost choose any Belle but a funny one. Ladies of this description go much beyond the sprightly belles in their absurdities; and I have known some very modest young men, well charged with the classical wisdom of a college, ab
solutely looked and talked out of countenance by one of this loquacious and facetious tribe. If, during the impressive warbling of Miss Stephens, or the pathetic tones of Miss O'Neill, you should hear a tittering or a loud laugh in the boxes, depend upon it the interruption proceeds from a funny belle. The only thing devoutly to be wished' is, that ladies of this stamp would oblige the sober part of the public by communicating only to their dressing and waiting maids all the funny things they have to say. It too often happens, that the perpetration of a little mischief mingles in the reflections of these funny creatures, and when the happiness of a family is completely destroyed, it is, to be sure, a very comfortable compensation to be told, that ' nothing serious was meant.
3. The Witty Belle is grave in the morning, but facetious in the evening ; because, during the former part of the day, she is treasuring up a quantity of bon mots, mixed with a few sarcasms and puns. When all her artillery of wit is played off at once, it is absolutely stunning; and reminds one. if small things may with great compare' of the roar of cannon and flash of red hot shot and mortars, on the memorable sortie from Gibraltar. The worst of it is, that, with these ladies, wit is mistaken for wisdom; and a cutting retort is considered more creditable than a grave and sensible remark. I dined the other day with a young Templar, who had invited, along with his relations, two or three of these witty Belles to meet me. On my right hand sat a pleasant and well-informed lady, to whom I was anxious to shew every attention, for she had read and travelled much to the purpose; but all in vain—these witty ladies laughed and talked, and at length disagreed so lustily, that I thought it prudent. to make my retreat, urging that I wished to attend an evening lecture at the Royal Institution by Dr. Crotch. I con'fess there was more harmony in this latter place than at the. table of my friend the Templar. Wit is a dangerous weapon to manage in the hands of a man, but it is much more so in those of a woman. It may be rationally doubted, whether a purely witty creature ever secured a bosom friend : admiration and occasional fear are not the ingredients of a permanent friendship. Moreover, there is oftentimes a danger of indulging sceptical opinions amongst this sparkling tribe; novelty is sometimes amusing, but good sense alone
is substantial. I once knew a witty young lady, who, on being asked whether she had ever read Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity, replied, that she understood it was first published in the 17th century, and contained all the false metaphysics of that age!
4. The Charming Bell is the counterpart of the Delightful Beau ; she talks, she sings, she plays charmingly; she looks charmingly at a concert, but more charmingly in the dress of a Spanish Count at a masquerade. There is, however, occasionally, a mixture of gravity in these charming Belles; for a pensive and meditative air sometimes heightens the expression of a beautiful face. The principal wish of them is, to be thought, in every respect, charming creatures: at their devotions, or during their studies, they hope equally to charm; though it oftentimes happens that they fail to charm the heart, and to secure, what they are most anxious to obtain, an amiable and excellent gentleman for a partner through life.
5. The Smart Belle I would designate as a young lady always anxious for the reputation of being dressed in the very pink of fashion-so that she may be considered as a model for others, and, in consequence, a sort of standard of taste-about which philosophers have so ridiculously wrangled. These smart Belles, however, are not free from a portion of vanity and conceit; and if nature has been kind enough to form them in one of her choicest moulds, they take care to convince us of their sense of such a favour, by walking, sitting, or reclining in the most gracefully-studied attitudes. The foot is sure to project beyond the usual limits, under the Grecian bordered flounce of a transparent gown; and the eye is constantly at work, like a wheel turno ing on its axis, to discover to what part of their dress the attention of the by-standers is directed. I question whether a young lady of this description does not experience ten times more anxiety and mortification, than does the most homely-featured Miss in his Majesty's united kingdoms.
6. The Captivating Belle seems formed of quite etherial matter. She neither talks, nor looks, nor conducts herself as an ordinary human being. She is far beyond the charming Belle, inasmuch as downright captivation exceeds a mere charm. She carries every thing by assault and storm-and while others are pursuing the usual quiet routine of courtship,
she is determined to conquer her lover by a coup de main neither parleys nor delays are granted. Women of this de-. scription live in a constant state of flutter and alarm-they are perpetually dreading a rival—some fresh constellation in the hemisphere of fashion, which is to shine with brighter rays, and to excite a more general admiration. Of domestic duties they entertain very limited and imperfect notions - they are born for a larger sphere of action, for a wider range among the follies, and absurdities of the world. Their chief excellence consists in playing and singing-and in these departments they captivate beyond expression : but the worst of it is, mankind like to be captivated with qualifcations a little more substantial--for the remembrance of these, die away almost as soon as the sounds which are produced.
7. The Accomplished Belle. It is difficult to do justice to this species of the fair sex,-for it comprehends a vast vari. ety, and includes a very general description of young la. dies. The word “ accomplished' has, in regard to this subject, a very particular meaning: it is not solely confined to the improvements of the mind or the virtues of the heart, it has no exclusive reference to domestic duties to the needle, or the book, but comprehends rather those attainments which arise from dress, from playing, from singing, and from dancing. Thus, the daughter of a tradesman is as ac. complished as the daughter of a nobleman; and the sounds of the piano or the harp are as frequently heard to proceed from behind the shop, as from the splendid drawing-room above. In regard to dress, we oftenimes see the former young lady as fashionably attired as the latter--for muslin is muslin, and rouge is rouge, apply them as you please. Money purchases accomplishments: it is a mistaken notion, to imagine that intellectual pursuits, or domestic virtues, produce the accomplished Belle. The music master, and the dancing master, and the charming shops in Bond Street, with a little dash of confidence and colloquial fluency-these are the chief sources from which I would recommend all young ladies to make themselves accomplished.
8. The Aged Belle is immediately known by an affected air and studied sprightliness of demeanour. She talks much more than either of the foregoing of her class, and puts on a greater superabundance of ornaments. Her cheeks glow