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some of those ties are formed, which link the inhabitants of less favoured regions to the heaths and mountains of their native land. In cultivated society, this sentiment of home cherishes the useful virtues of dometic life; it opposes, to the tumultuous pleasures of dissipation and intemperance, the quiet enjoyments of sobriety, economy, and family affection ; qualities which, though not attractive of much applause or admiration, are equally conducive to the advantage of the individual, and the welfare of the community.

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No. 64. SATURDAY, December 18, 1779.

Populumque falsis

Uti vocibus.


The science of manners, for manners are a science, cannot easily be reduced to that simplicity in its elements of which others admit. Among other particulars, the terms employed in it are not, like those of arithmetic, mathematics, algebra, or astronomy, perfectly and accurately defined. Its subjects are so fleeting, and marked with shades so delicate, that wherever a general denomination is ventured, there is the greatest hazard of its being misapplied, or misunderstood.

In a former paper I endeavoured to


analyse the term, A Man of Fashion ; in this I am enabled, by an ingenious correspondent, to trace the meaning of another phrase, to wit, Good Company, which, as it is nearly connected with the former, is, I believe, as doubtful in its signification. The following letter is a practical treatise on the subject, which I shall lay before my readers in the precise terms in which I received it.



I AM at that time of life when education, formerly confined to the study of books, begins to extend itself to the study of men. Having lately arrived in town, I was anxious to be introduced into good company

rank and denomination; and, in virtue of some family-connections, assisted by the kindness of some college-friends and acquaintances, I flattered myself I should succeed in my purpose.

of every

My strong bent for letters induced me first to procure an introduction into the good company of the learned ; and I went to a dinner where several of the literati were to be assembled, full of the hopes of having my mind enlightened with knowledge, expanded with sentiment, and charmed with the atticism of elegant conversation.

During our meal, there was a more absolute suspension of discourse, than I expected in a society of spirits so refined as those with whom I was associated. The ordinary functions of eating and drinking made no part of my idea of a learned man; and I could observe in my fellowguests an attention to the dishes before them, which I thought did not quite correspond with the dignity of that character. This, however, was but a small de


viation from my picture, and I passed it over as well as I could, in expectation of that mental feast with which I was to be regaled when the table should be uncovered.

Accordingly, when the cloth was removed, the conversation, which I expected with so much impatience, began. I had too humble an opinion of myself to take

any other part than that of a hearer; but I very soon discovered, that I was the only person in the company who had an inclination to listen. Every one seemed impatient of his neighbour's speech, and eager to have an opportunity of introducing his own. You, I think, Mr Mirror, have compared conversation to a favourite dish at an entertainment ; here it was carried on like a dinner at one of those hungry ordinaries, where Quin used wittily to call for a basket-hilted sword to help himself with : in a short time, every one, except your correspondent, endea.

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