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enjoyment of trifles; a bustle of serious business amidst the most insignificant concerns. The bringing forward of little things to the rank of great ones, is the true burlesque in character, as well as in style ; yet such characters are not uncommon, even among men who have acquired some estimation in the world. In this particular, the world is easily deceived; dulness may
ape solemnity, and arrogate importance, where brighter talents would have drawn but little regard ; as objects are magnified by mists, and made awful by darkness.
Of a character of this sort I received, some time ago, the following sketch from a young lady, who sometimes honours me with her correspondence, whose vivacity can give interest to trifles, and entertainment to absurdity.
You made me promise, on leaving town, that I would write to you whenever the country afforded any thing worth writing about. The country, at present, merely as country, presents no landscape, but one undistinguished tract of snow; vegetation is locked up in frost, and we are locked
within doors; but something might be traced within doors, had I a good pencil for the purpose.—Mine host, of whom you have heard a good deal, is no bad subject ; suppose I make him sit for his picture.
Believe me, he is not quite the sensible intelligent man we were told he was.So much the better, I like oddities--even now and then in town, still better in the country ; but in frost and snow, and all
the dreary confinement of winter,-Oh! your
battledore and shuttlecock are a joke to them.
You remember a long while ago, (so long, that I have forgot every part of the book but the name,) we read Nature Displayed together. You then told me of a certain Mr Leuwenhock, I think you called him, whose microscope shewed the circulation of frog's blood, the scales of the scales of fishes, the bristles of mites, and every other tiny thing in the world. Now, my worthy landlord, Mr G. R. has always such a glass as Leuwenhock's in his noddie; 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 everything 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 lave hitherto escaped much censure on this score: luckily I have attracted the regard of Mr R.'s youngest sister, a grave, considerate, orderly young lady. I don't
I know how it is, but I have often got into 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 won't do, I laugh, as is my way; Mr R. calls me rattleskull; says, he shall bring me into order by and bye, 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
But his brain, poor man! was like a gauze searce, it admitted 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