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world. Now, my worthy landlord, Mr. G. R. has always such a glass as Leeuwenhoek's in his noddle; every little thing is so great to him, and he does little things, and talks of little things, with an air of such importance !....but I hate definitions; pictures are ten times better: and now for a few sketches of my winter-quarters, and of the good man under whose government I live.
I discovered, on my first entry into his house, that every thing was in exact order, and every place inviolably appropriated to its respective use. The gentlemen were to put their hats and sticks in one corner, and the ladies their clogs in another. The very day of my arrival, I heard the family-apothecary get a severe rebuke for violating the chastity of the clog-corner with his rattan. I have hitherto esaped much censure on this score: luckily I have attracted the regard of Mr. R.'s youngest sister, a grave, considerate, orderly young lady. I do not know how it is, but I have often got in favour with those grave ladies....God knows, I little deserve it.....Miss Sophia R. therefore keeps me right in many important particulars, or covers my deviations with some apology; or, if all will not do, I laugh, as is my way; Mr. R. calls me Rattleskull; says he shall bring me into order by and by, and there's an end on't.
By that attention to trifles, for which, from, his earliest days, he was remarkable, Mr. R. made himself commodious to some persons of considerable influence, and procured many advantages, to which neither from birth nor fortune he was any wise entitled. He travelled in company with a gentleman of very high rank and distinguished abilities, by whose means he procured an introduction to many eminent men in foreign countries; and when he returned from abroad, was often in the society of the eminent men of our own. But his brain, poor man! was like a gauze searce, it admit
ted nothing of any magnitude: amidst great men and great things, it took in only the dust that fell from them.
He was reading in the newspapers, the other morning of the marriage of the Honourable Miss W........ to Sir H. S....... "Ah," said he, "to think "how time passes! I remember her grandfather "Lord W....... well; a great man, a very great man. "We met at Naples, and afterwards went to Parma "together. I gave him the genuine receipt for the "Parmesan cheese, which I went purposely to pro"cure, while he was examining some statues and "ancient manuscripts. We were ever afterwards "on the most friendly footing imaginable. I was "with him a few mornings before the marriage " of Lord C. W...................., this very Miss W.......'s fa❝ther. I remember it well;....it was at breakfast; "....I often breakfasted with him before he went to "the house ;....he always eat butter'd muffins; but "when I was there, he used to order dry toast; I "always eat dry toast....The bride was with us; I "was intimately acquainted with her too; she let me "into the whole secret of the courtship. Her fa"ther's principal inducement to the match,....it was (6 a long affair,....the B....... estate was to be settled "on the young folks at the marriage; no not all.... "part of the B....... estate, with the manor in Lin
colnshire..... But, as I was saying, we were at "breakfast at Lord W........'s. His son and the "bride were by; Lord C. had velvet breeches, and "gold clocks to his stockings; the question was, "whether this was proper? I put it to the bride : "I made her blush, I warrant you; she was a fine "woman, a prodigious fine woman; she always "used my wash-ball: I wrote out the receipt for
her; it was given me at Vienna by Count O....... ; a very great man count О......., and knew more of "the affairs of the empire than any man in Germa
"ny.....From him I first learned with certainty, that "the Duchess of Lorraine's two fore-teeth were "false ones. I remember he had an old grey mon"key.....Sister Mary, you have heard me tell the "story of count O.......'s monkey."....But here it pleased Heaven that William called his master out of the room, and saved us from the Count and his old grey monkey.
This superficial knowledge of great men, and accidental acquaintance with some of the vocables of state-business, has given him a consequential sort of phraseology, which he applies, with all the gravity in the world, to the most trifling occurrences. When he orders the chaise for his eldest sister, himself and me, the white pad for Sophy, and the old roan mare for her attendant, he calls it, " regu"lating the order of the procession." When he gives out the wine from the cellar, and the groceries from the store room (for he does both in person,) he tells us, he has been "granting the supplies ;" the acceptance, or offer of a visit, he lays before "a committee of the whole house;" and for the killing of the fat ox this Christmas, he called the gentlemen three successive mornings to a "grand "council of war."
It were well if all this were only matter of amusement; but some of us find it a source of very serious distress. Your managing men are commonly plagues; but Mr. R. manages so much to a hair'sbreadth, that he is a downright torment to the other members of his family. It was but yesterday we had the honour of a ceremonious visit from some great folks, as we think them, who came lately from your town to eat their mince pies in the country. After a wonderful ringing of bells, calling of servants, and trampling upon the stairs all the morning, Mr. R. came down to the drawng-room at a quarter before three, with all his
usual fiddle-faddlation, but, as I thought, in a very good humour. He had on his great company wig, and his round set shoe-buckles. The servants had their liveries new white-ball'd, and the best China was set out, with the large silver salvers, and the embossed porter-cups on the side board. The covers were stripped from the worked chair-bottoms, and his grandmother's little diced carpet was taken off the roller, and laid, like a patch, on the middle of the floor, the naked part of which was all shining with bees-wax. The company came at their hour; the beef was roasted to a turn; dinner went on with all imaginable good order and stupidity; supper was equally regular and sleepy; in short, every thing seemed quite as it should be: yet, next morning, I perceived foul weather in all the faces of the family; Mr. R. and his sister scarce spoke to one another, and he talked, all the time of breakfast, of female carelessness and inattention. Miss Sophia explained it to me when we were left alone. "Oh! do you know," said she, "a sad affair happened last night: my bro"ther and sister had such a tiff! You must un"derstand, before the company arrived yesterday, "he had, as usual, adjusted the ceremonial of "their different apartments; but he discovered, on "attending them to their rooms at night, that my "sister had put the gilt-china bottle and bason into "the callico bed-chamber, and the ordinary blue "and white into the pink damask."....It is lucky this man is no guardian of mine; where he to watch me as he does his sisters, and see all the odds and ends about me....But what has he to do to be a guardian? Yet nature, perhaps, meant him for something, if fortune had allowed it, he might have been excellently employed in a pin-shop, in sticking the rows in a pin-paper.
I fancy you have quite enough of my landlord. You used to say I was the best of your philosophers, your Democritus in petticoats. If I have an inch of philosophy about me, it is without my knowledge, I assure you; you are welcome to it, however, such as it is. Other folks may give you what I have heard you call the great views of nature and life; it is enough for me if I can enrich your collection with a paper of insects.
Your most truly,
No. XCIV. SATURDAY, APRIL 1.
AMONG the other privileges of an anonymous periodical author, is that of writing letters in praise of himself, which he is now and then, obliged to insert on account of their merit, however offensive they may be to his modesty. This sort of correspondence which I suppose is a very pleasant one, I have not ventured to indulge in. The correspondents whom I have personated, always talk of themselves instead of the Mirror; and, on the other hand, several of the papers I have received, are written in the person of the author, a character in which it were improper to praise him, and which, when assumed, gives, perhaps, no great inclination to do it. Of this last sort is the first of two communications to which I devote the paper of to-day; the second, containing one of the very few compliments which the Mirror has exhibited of itself, is a genuine letter from London, written by a gentleman in the very situation, the feelings of which he so naturally describes.