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"No eyes those rocks discover
That lurk beneath the deep,
To wreck the wretched lover,
And give the maid to weep."

The Captain had hitherto eaten with considerable caution. It would have been a breach of manners had he lifted to his eye the glass which hung at his bosom. But, as he was not really short-sighted, a single glance of his naked optics was sufficient to inform him that the veal olives, the patties, and the curry, were best admired at a distance. But the lemon-cream threw him off his guard. He expressed himself decidedly partial to lemon-cream. "Lemon-cream, madam," said he, turning to the Lady President," is a standing dish at the United Service: so it is at Count Stuffenough's, the Ambassador from Hungary : so it is at Lady Sarah Surfeit's; I eat it there twice a week. I wonder the Duke of Doublecourse never has it: I frankly told him, last Wednesday, that I would not dine with him again if he had it not. Miss Culpepper, pray help me bountifully, and then I shall not incur the malediction poured by Brummel upon the heads of those who are helped twice." Clara cast a conscious look at her father, who winked his left eye, in token of secresy and compliance. Thus urged, the unhappy girl deposited about one eighth of the contents of the dish upon the Captain's plate, which, thus freighted, was re-delivered by Jane over the wrong shoulder of the gorgeous gourmand. A table-spoon, large enough for the jaws of Grimaldi, lay before him; with this he tilted a tolerable lump of the lemon-cream into his mouth; when, lo! in lieu of that soft, melting, and lemon-shaded sweetness, which his fond imagination had anticipated, all the mines of Poland seemed to descend upon his palate. Regurgitation was impracticable. The false solid had, like a quicksand, become liquid, and he was forced to gulp it down "with what appetite he might." His throat swelled, during the process, like that of the sword-digesting juggler; and it was full three quarters of a minute before the sacker of cities had regained breath sufficient to ejaculate " Geud Gad!" At this eventful moment, Mr. Culpepper's foot-boy rushed into the room with a letter, addressed to his Young Master. The youth opened it, and exclaimed with delight, "Five Tickets for Tom and Jerry! Five Tickets for Tom and Jerry!" "What night?" inquired Clara.-" To-morrow," answered George."It is a rule with me," said the father, "to go any where, provided I get in for nothing. Your mother, Clara, and yourself, George, will make four; and, Captain, I hope you'll make the fifth."" With great pleasure," answered the latter, who had just swallowed a whole tumbler of water, "provided there is no lemon-cream in the bills." The party was forthwith arranged; and I conclude with re-echoing the wish of Gilpin's Bard, "May I be there to see!"


To the Editor of the New Monthly Magazine.

MR. EDITOR-For thirty years I manfully resisted the temptations of London, though I had lived there from my birth to the latest period of my bachelorship. They say, a wife makes a strange alteration in a man; and so it was with me. After my wedding-day I led a new life, and neither balls, masquerades, circulating libraries, theatres, nor even our weekly club, were attractions for me;-all these things, said I, like Acres' "damns," (with my own to boot,)" have had their day." While in Pembrokeshire, for I retired to that county, I never desired to visit the Metropolis, except for the sake of its exhibitions of painting and sculpture, and to witness the progress of the arts, which, the magazines and newspapers constantly affirmed, were hastening to perfection so fast, that in a year or two more, (such was their yearly prophecy,) there would be an end to all criticism on the subject. I knew the rogues too well to confide in their sublimated hopes; yet it was with difficulty I conquered my yearning after the glorious works they described, and sorely regretted (fool that I was!) I could not pay the expense of a trip to town and my quarter's rent at the same time. Still my love of the country, my wife, and my books, together with the straitness of my income, compelling me to live in a cheap part of the kingdom, and remain quietly at home, kept me tolerably contented. Perhaps you are thinking of an old common-place against me—that there is no virtue in yielding to necessity.-Well, be it so. ever, my two sons being now out in the world, my daughter having lately picked up a thriving husband, and the expenses of housekeeping being so much reduced, while my income still continued the same, I began to suspect it was indolence, or old age, or avarice, and not prudence, that withheld me from putting my long-wished-for journey into execution. The fact is, I believe I did ponder too deeply on stagecoach fares, the extravagance of inns, and the necessity of sporting a new coat on the occasion. But, while in this wavering mood, a neighbour lent me an Essay on the Elgin Marbles, and there appeared to be such unanimity of opinion, not only as to their intrinsic excellence, but as to their being models for our Artists, and the sure and certain means of correcting and refining our national taste, that I hesitated not a moment to pay them a visit, and witness the grand effect they had on my countrymen.


Accordingly, a letter to my cousin in Queen Square was immediately written, apprising him of my intention; and, before the ink was dry, I called in my wife, and read it to her with that sort of resolute frown which a man puts on when he expects his lordly will and pleasure to be combated by a thousand objections and entreaties. Then, (for even in the happy connubial state a little manoeuvring is indispensable, for the sake of peace and quietness,) before she had time to utter a word, I took her gently by the hand, suddenly changing my frown into a smile, and said-" Why my dear, I shall be back again in five days. Besides, it will not cost much. John Davis will take me in his cart as far as Cardiff,—a trifle carries me to Bristol,—and an outside place on the coach cannot ruin us." To my surprise, she was delighted at the idea, promising herself, as I quickly discovered, argu

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ment for a twelvemonth on London wonders and London novelties, first to be carried on between ourselves, and afterwards retailed among her neighbours, severally and collectively, " a happiness that often woman hits on." I began to rub my beard, for a suspicion darted across my mind, that she looked forward, as a matter of course, to taking the jaunt with me. With great prudence, therefore, I broached the subject beforehand, that I might possess the right of arguing it down by degrees, and at last give my reto, if necessary, with a better grace. Ah, my dear old girl," said I, can't contrive to bear me company? I have been thinking, all this time, if you could not somehow or another manage it. What say you?" She instantly put on a serious face, and deliberated much too long for my entire satisfaction; but how-. ever at last she told me, with a profusion of thanks for such kindness from the best of husbands, (and she never had any reason to complain,) that she really did not know how it was possible to leave the house by itself; and then again the cow had just calved,-and it was the busiest season of the year with her poultry,-and, moreover, she doubted if the old Poland hen would be set by any one but herself. So it was settled I should go to town "without incumbrance," as the advertisements have it, and yesterday forenoon I arrived at the Saracen's Head.

Do not imagine I am come here as a professed connoisseur in painting and sculpture. I merely like to look at them because they give me pleasure; and even that pleasure, for the most part, arises from a consideration of their effect on society. Of what importance would it be, that certain excellent works adorn the galleries of the rich, if their influence never extended beyond the walls? But this is not the case: and they are, or ought to be, multiplied, in engravings and casts, over the whole country. This is a natural consequence wherever the fine arts may be said to flourish:-I am afraid they are on the decline among us. Had the Elgin Marbles been inscribed, after the manner of the golden apple, " dentur digniori," they could never have reached London, at least according to the judgment of Paris. I have been here only a few hours, yet I have seen enough to prove our unworthiness. In coming to this conclusion, I do not inquire into the number of our artists, nor how many pictures they paint, nor what sums of money are given for them: I simply look for an elegance, a purity of taste, among the better classes of the inhabitants; and if I find them deficient in these, nothing can persuade me they have a true feeling for the art, or that any thing beyond portrait-painting is really encouraged. When we call to mind the large and flowing wigs of our grandfathers, intended to look like the flaxen curls of Arcadian swains-the buttons on their coats embroidered with lambkins-their walking-sticks tipped with a crook-and their pastoral compliments to our grandmothers, in hooppetticoats, with their hair plastered up two feet above the head, surmounted by a shepherdess' cap; and that these fantastical ladies and gentlemen addressed each other by the names of Corydon and Phyllis, Philander and Amaryllis,-I say when we recollect that such was the fashion of the day, we cease to wonder at the hard struggle of the fine arts against shell-work, filigree, samplers, and Chelsea china. garth, in his " Marriage à la mode," places, as ornaments on a nobleman's chimney-piece, a hideous collection of disproportionate and discordant prodigies; and the satire sufficiently marks the character of


the time, without being told that this very work, the master-piece of his genius, was neglected by his contemporaries. Now, Mr. Editor, I contend we are not a jot better than our forefathers. It is true we do not wear wigs, unless from necessity-lawyers and divines excepted; and we have, thanks to the great Mr. Pitt, left off hair-powder; yet I am convinced our national taste has been retrograding for the last thirty years. In my younger days, though in many respects we were ridiculous and uncouth, there were few of those violations of sentiment, so prevalent at the present time, in transformations of every article of furniture and dress into its contrary, and thus creating unpleasant, if not painful associations. Nothing can be more unpardonable, more barbarous; and woe unto the artists, if they possess merit, who live among such a people. I foresee that nothing great can be done in England. This utter disregard of taste is proof palpable of our incivilization. Those monstrous metamorphoses, towards which I always felt the most feverish antipathy, stare me in the face at every turn. What! I find you still make your tables for backgammon, that noisy game for idlers, in the shape of two quiet-looking studious folios; do you not blush at such an everlasting enormity? And you have not yet forsworn that old sin, a pine-apple cheese: how, in the name of hot-beds and dairies, can you reconcile so juicy a fruit to that thirsty accompaniment to ale and 'porter? No, never will I forgive such perverse crimes. I knew a lady, estimable in other respects, who, on a sultry summer's day, began, in my presence, to ventilate herself with a fan, whereon was painted an eruption of Mount Vesuvius-what a sudorific! Before my honey-moon was half over, I nearly quarrelled with my wife about her pincushion; it was in the shape of a heart, and it made my blood run cold to see her stick pins and needles in it, and that too with so unconcerned a countenance. But these are trifles to what I endured yesterday; and as once I made a vow, in the event of my travelling on the Continent, never to visit Madrid, on account of its gridiron-palace, so I now solemnly promise never to return to London, and its wilful discrepances.

Within half an hour after the coach had set me down, I sallied forth, in my new coat, and with a clean cravat, to my cousin's in Queen Square. Now, though he had called on me in Wales, and stayed with me nearly three days, yet, as that took place nine years ago, I could not drive from my mind a suspicion that I might not be well received. In the midst of these doubts I arrived at his door,-when lo! a head of a maniac grinned at me from the knocker, as if placed there to scare away both friends and relations. This shocked me not a little. I am aware it is the office of a gentleman always to give a loud flourishing rap; nevertheless, under the circumstances, I preferred ringing the bell, and entered the house with a gloom upon my face, extremely unsuitable to the occasion. However I experienced a more cordial welcome than is generally bestowed by a rich man on his poor relation, though I instantly perceived there was a snake in his bosom, which he wore as a brooch. After a round of inquiries and compliments, I was asked to sit near the fire; when my attention was directed towards the figure of a negro, in the middle of the mantle-piece, bearing on his back a basket, on the side of which appeared a time-piece. I ventured to give an opinion that old father Time, with his scythe and

hour-glass, would be more appropriate; when my cousin laughed at my antique notions, and called this new idea "a very pretty one and uncommonly droll." To this I returned no answer, but got up for the purpose of examining into some more "pretty ideas" to the right and left of the negro. There I found castles with hyacinths growing out of the turrets, an ink-stand like a cottage, with pens thrust into the chimney-pots, two Cupids with candle-sockets jammed into their brains, and ships for card-racks, where a Mrs. Thompson was hanging from the yard-arm, and a Reverend Mr. Somebody lying upside down in the stern. I was astounded, and looking round the room, saw death-doing spears and Egyptian mummies about the window curtains, the pattern of a comfortable carpet in imitation of cold marble, and a tiger on the hearth-rug. You may imagine my sufferings, and will give me credit for forbearance, for hitherto I said nothing, but bit my lips, and fumed inwardly. As a temporary relief, I began to play with the eldest boy, and this familiarity induced him to shew me papa's present, a knife in the shape of a greyhound. It struck me it was an emblematic reward for his skill in running-hand, but still I thought it a silly conceit ;-worse and worse! the boy was not out of round-hand. My notice of the greyhound was the occasion of his younger brother's pulling out his knife, which was offered to my admiration in the shape of a fish. I quitted the urchins with disgust, and sat down by the side of their sister, who was busy at needle-work. The beauty of this girl banished all disagreeable reflections, until I discovered that the little cat upon the table was her pincushion. Just at that moment the father invited me to take a pinch of snuff, and, turning round suddenly, I was horror-struck to see a double-barrelled pistol presented at my body! Soon afterwards he produced his handkerchief, and sneezed on the battle of Waterloo. The more to exasperate me, I was compelled to listen to his account of the Elgin Marbles, telling me I should be enraptured, and lauding them to the skies with a mawkish pretence at enthusiasm. When dinner was served up, the soup tureen was a goose, the butter-boats a pair of ducks, the salt-cellars foot-tubs, with handles, staves, and hoops, all cut in glass; and I observed, among other animals on my blue-and-white plate, a pig feeding out of a trough. After the cloth was removed, I began to expostulate, at some length, with my cousin upon his bad taste, enumerating the many deplorable evidences of it, and entreating him, in the mildest manner in the world, to throw them behind the fire. To my astonishment he let me know they were quite the fashion every where, and expressed so much displeasure at my comments, which I could not but treat with contempt, that our conversation was fast fretting itself into a quarrel. We were interrupted by the lady of the house, who, swayed by an awkward feeling of politeness, made a show of taking my side of the question. I knew her to be insincere, because she wore, as ear-rings, a couple of puppies curiously carved in cornelian; but her interference so angered the husband, that I got a reprieve from his tongue at her expense. A dead silence ensued; and, collecting all my philosophy, I determined not to provoke him farther, seeing it was of no avail, and remained quiet till tea-time. Heavens! what a display! The milk-pot was a cow, and the tea-pot a dragon, from whose horrid mouth the "smoking tide" was to gush forth; the urn

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