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Joseph Miller—that they are paid for their incessant attendance on our caprices. True though this is : it is truth seized by a wrong handle. And let it be recollected, that—inasmuch as there can be in a Club none of that home-feeling, which, I hope every Head of a household desires to extend to all within its pale, and which gives a certain charm and interest to service-we are bound as men, and fellow-citizens, to consider the estate of those who minister to our enjoyment of luxuries we could not have at home. Further : it is not in the possibility of events that our servants can be of as high a class as those belonging to more costly establishments : all the more need is there, then, that they should have the helping hand of cultivation and indulgence extended to them—their librarytheir holidays: all the more need that we should abstain from tormenting them by immoderate requisitions, as religiously, as we should abstain from breaking the Club bow-window, or spoiling the Club carpets in the bad fashion which much smoking is apt to engender. If we are only to be made comfortable by the training and maintaining of an army of white slaves, the principle of our existence is belied : and our establishment deserves to be closed, so far as the contempt of every lover of progress can close it.
But, of all points of Behaviour, the one most needful to be watched in our Cheap Club, is the demeanour of men towards
Here again, Considerateness—but not Conventionalism ! as much civility as you please—but no sycophancy. We shall never, I think, err on the side of Bashaw-like callousness. have got, thank God! past the sensual folly of considering our wives as merely cooks and menders of linen,-and our friends, as only friends, in proportion as we are disposed to make love to them, or to excite a peculiar interest by narrating the wonders of our lives and characters, while, in open-mouthed silence, they sit to listen. Heaven forbid that we should, in any shape, see reproduced, that German domesticity which allows the Man and the House-friend to sit grandly enjoying themselves and their mystical palavers, while the fervent woman is ever on her feet to feed them—to wait on them—taking a pride in playing the handmaid. But the enervating civilities, by which alone some men show their consciousness of Woman's presence, are to me almost as unpleasing, because arguing a state of degradation, admitted, and to be compensated for. Theirs is no case of Mortal and Goddess, (one respects one's Divinities !) but of Woman and Master, -ór, what is less agreeable, of Man and Mistress ! A thousand considerations mix
themselves with the question which here it would be impossible to state, or to follow out : enough to say, that, at that very time in France when women had the most supremacy as petites maîtresses, men were the most cruel. It was in an Arcadian bower, such as Watteau or Boucher would have been proud to paint, that the powdered, and laced, and patched, and rouged, and tinselled Brute of title stamped with his sharp-heeled shoe upon the ungloved hand of the Beauty sitting at his feet on the grass—" to see,” he said, “whether her face would be disfigured by the expression of pain!” Yet that was the age of handings-out and bowings-low : and of compliments studied in the Académie : and of Courts where a Fan seemed the sceptre! In our Club, if women are really to frequent it : not merely to be made a show of-when Mrs. Howitt comes down to make tea, and Miss Rainforth to sing, or some other Lady (titled by genius) to read us a scene from Shakspeare we must respect their independence. A mincing over-deference would become as vulgar, and leads to as much restraint and difficulty, as a hectoring and coarse disregard. Women are made exigent, in large part, by the folly and baseness of men. Were our courtesies to the other sex more simple and dignified—less contemptuously exclusive in being addressed only to Youth and Beauty, we should hear of less teasing, less exaction among women, in their spring and early summer-less sourness and selfishness in their autumn. Those who spoil the child, have no right to complain of her childishness! Those who live in a perpetual atmosphere of softnesses,—fit only for the love-making into which we all fall, blessedly, once in a lifetime,-ought not to breathe a word of complaint if perpetual love-making is expected from them, and the most eagerly when it comes the most sparingly. That any woman could be put to the blush, in our Cheap Club, it would be impossible, for one instant, to imagine ; but, let her sayings and doings, her ways and her fancies, be an object of tender observation or cynical impatience, and she will take her share simply, naturally, and—I hope and trust—without often rolling the apple of discord on the floor to make a scramble among rival candidates.
But enough : and some will say more than enough—of remarks, to the truth of each one whereof some person will bear witness, to the connection and combination of which, as a whole, possibly no one will subscribe. Be they good or bad—sound discretion or silly drivelling, I feel assured that there is a self-consistency and a harmony among them : that as illustrations of the principle * For all and for each," they are crotchets which (as the musicians would say) make up a phrase which has a character and a meaning of its own. To be canvassed then, for agreement, for objection, or for rectification, I leave them honestly and heartily. May the Institution in whose cause they were undertaken, prosper : and it will : so long as it is based upon real principles of liberalitywhich imply, at once, something of strictness on the part of each member to himself, and of generosity to others—in the administration of, or participation in, the details of daily life and conversation.
THE EGYPTIAN COQUETTE.
Bright flowers round the gloomy tombs! A gay bird blithely singing on the pyramids' eternal lieight! Seated by the side of the priest of Cneph, and laughing in the eyes of the stern Isiac hierophant, winning from his gravity the Hermesian philosopher, and calling back to life, and love, and joy, the worshippers of the ineffable Eicton ; behold the bright flower of life—the gay young bird of love—the beautiful coquette of Mizraim *! We could not spare thee, child of laughter! Thou art not of the noble_but thou art of the beautiful of humanity ; and Nature cradles the babe and the hero, the forest oak and the flaunting tulip, with the same love as though they were equals lying together upon her mighty bosom. The earth is wide enough for the daisy and the buttercup to find a place within its garners, though corn and fruits are treasured there ; and our hearts may not be so strait that they cannot love the unlike—that they cannot give to the one honour and reverence, and to the other, an admiration which can best speak in jests, and a love that has nought deeper than mirth for its interpreter. Our coquette is young
and fair ; and this is an excuse for every fault that is not crime ! Youth is imperfection's best pleader, and rarely does it lose its cause. From the petty waywardness of the froward child, nestling, like a cherub lost from Heaven's courts, in
its mother's arms, to the innocent vanities, and pretty affectations of the spoilt beauty, whose life is the pole-star of hundreds—and whose love has been deified beyond humanity-youth excuses its own faults. For, indeed, that which is called virtue, but which is often only a part, not the whole, of good, is neither so amiable nor so lovely as much which falls under the censure of the severe. The fault of the moralist consists in his excluding grace and beauty from the circle of his virtues. They are virtues ; gifts from Heaven, pure and direct! Why should they be scorned because they are not temperance, or fortitude, or courage ? Is the rose unworthy because it is not the grape ? Shall the lark be unheard because it is not the eagle? To each, its place,-to each its honour !
To all women, love!
We repeat this. To all women, love! To the chaste matron -to the tender mother—to the pure virgin sitting alone in her maiden's modesty, unseen and unregarded—to all, honour—aye, and reverence, as to incorporations, in their degree, of the Divine Spirit. And, still further :-to you, gay and thoughtless oneyou child, rich in health and joy-rich in love, in place, and friends -she, whose smooth brow was never furrowed by thought-whose heart has never known distress--to the bright-eyed bird fleeing through its cloudless heaven, and for ever chirping its merry note -to the young coquette, the giddy flirt, the thoughtless, mindless beauty-even to her, love and admiration! Out upon the cynic who would deny it! Shame upon the virtue that would reject her ! She hath her place, yon thoughtless one, and nor sage nor priest may spurn her from it ! Carved out by Nature's own hand, her niche stands in the temple of Perfection ; and, without her, the world would be incomplete as the hedgerows in the summer, were no flowers blooming there—no birds disporting.
In the past, the Graces were of the rough Latin religion ; the Charites were the gems of the Hellenic ; the Apsoras haunt the sleep of the Hindu, and their prototypes, in earthly womanhood, still live on Egyptian walls. Though ages have passed into the gulf of time—though kings and heroes have been laid in the dustthough the mighty ones have perished, and the strength of the morning has become weakness-still lives on the sweet memory of fragile beauty! The tombs hold back the
of book of lore and mystery, for which the world would pay
down gold as it were sea-sand ; myths, arts, faith, and knowledge,
many a dark
these have faded away, while the stern tablet which has registered not poetry, and has hidden the secrets of science, has preserved, fresh and vivid, the record of woman's loveliness ! The emerald table of Hermes has become one of the mystic juggleries of the alchemist ; but the metal mirror, in which beauty smiled to see herself reflected, is among the hoarded treasures of time. The mysterious compounds, unknown to us, by which such brilliant effects in art were produced, have crumbled away into dust, and their individuality reincorporate with the universal life ; but the jetty dye wherewith the maiden deepened the lustre of her languishing eyes, and lighted up the torch which should consume the happiness of the Egyptian youth, still exists to teach the sweet women of earth one other grace by which they may become the sole rulers of that earth.
Nay, start not! In the grim case* thou seest there—yon shapeless mass swathed in painted wrappers—yon crumbling skeleton, grinning in mockery at the care which would have preserved its life through mouldering cerecloths and precious balms -was once the home and the form of beauty, youth, and love. And, beneath the shadow of the eternal pyramids—laving her fair feet in the splashing waters of the mighty Nile—standing by the gigantic pylon † of the dread temple, while the holy train sweeps past and fills her foolish heart, so light and vain, with solemn thoughts and wondering awe-in Egypt, the land which gave birth to the sphynx, and shadowed out such grand, such glorious, but overwhelming truths—even there, bloomed the gentle flower of woman's beauty and woman's coquetry, Come! we will wave the wand of life, the mystic Tau f, once more over that crumbling skeleton ; once more the rattling bones shall be indued with life, and the spirit shall reanimate the dead, and snatch its prey from the tomb, and rescue his victim from the hands of the Dread Judge ll.
Burst thy cerecloths, Maid of Egypt ! Arise from thy narrow place in the sterile valley of the tombs, and come forth before our
Every one knows that the corpse, or mummy, after the embalming process, was swathed in linen bandages, painted and gilded, &c. then placed in a wooden case.
† The gateway which led into the propyleum, or court of a teinple. # The Cross, an emblem held by every Egyptian god, as a token of life.
§ Osiris as Onnofre, or Judge of Amenti. Amenti is the Egyptian Hades, or Hell, the place of the departed, where Osiris Onnofre, the Dread Unnameable, sits as judge, and awards the degree of Metempsychosis.