Sketches Of Young Gentlemen

TO THE YOUNG LADIES
OF THE
UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND;
ALSO
THE YOUNG LADIES
OF
THE PRINCIPALITY OF WALES,
AND LIKEWISE
THE YOUNG LADIES
RESIDENT IN THE ISLES OF
GUERNSEY, JERSEY, ALDERNEY, AND SARK,
THE HUMBLE DEDICATION OF THEIR DEVOTED ADMIRER,

SHEWETH, –

THAT your Dedicator has perused, with feelings of virtuous
indignation, a work purporting to be ‘Sketches of Young Ladies;’
written by Quiz, illustrated by Phiz, and published in one volume,
square twelvemo.

THAT after an attentive and vigilant perusal of the said work, your
Dedicator is humbly of opinion that so many libels, upon your
Honourable sex, were never contained in any previously published
work, in twelvemo or any other mo.

THAT in the title page and preface to the said work, your
Honourable sex are described and classified as animals; and
although your Dedicator is not at present prepared to deny that you
ARE animals, still he humbly submits that it is not polite to call
you so.

THAT in the aforesaid preface, your Honourable sex are also
described as Troglodites, which, being a hard word, may, for aught
your Honourable sex or your Dedicator can say to the contrary, be
an injurious and disrespectful appellation.

THAT the author of the said work applied himself to his task in
malice prepense and with wickedness aforethought; a fact which,
your Dedicator contends, is sufficiently demonstrated, by his
assuming the name of Quiz, which, your Dedicator submits, denotes a
foregone conclusion, and implies an intention of quizzing.

THAT in the execution of his evil design, the said Quiz, or author
of the said work, must have betrayed some trust or confidence
reposed in him by some members of your Honourable sex, otherwise he
never could have acquired so much information relative to the
manners and customs of your Honourable sex in general.

THAT actuated by these considerations, and further moved by various
slanders and insinuations respecting your Honourable sex contained
in the said work, square twelvemo, entitled ‘Sketches of Young
Ladies,’ your Dedicator ventures to produce another work, square
twelvemo, entitled ‘Sketches of Young Gentlemen,’ of which he now
solicits your acceptance and approval.

THAT as the Young Ladies are the best companions of the Young
Gentlemen, so the Young Gentlemen should be the best companions of
the Young Ladies; and extending the comparison from animals (to
quote the disrespectful language of the said Quiz) to inanimate
objects, your Dedicator humbly suggests, that such of your
Honourable sex as purchased the bane should possess themselves of
the antidote, and that those of your Honourable sex who were not
rash enough to take the first, should lose no time in swallowing
the last,-prevention being in all cases better than cure, as we are
informed upon the authority, not only of general acknowledgment,
but also of traditionary wisdom.

THAT with reference to the said bane and antidote, your Dedicator
has no further remarks to make, than are comprised in the printed
directions issued with Doctor Morison’s pills; namely, that
whenever your Honourable sex take twenty-five of Number, 1, you
will be pleased to take fifty of Number 2, without delay.

And your Dedicator shall ever pray, &c.

THE BASHFUL YOUNG GENTLEMAN

We found ourself seated at a small dinner party the other day,
opposite a stranger of such singular appearance and manner, that he
irresistibly attracted our attention.

This was a fresh-coloured young gentleman, with as good a promise
of light whisker as one might wish to see, and possessed of a very
velvet-like, soft-looking countenance. We do not use the latter
term invidiously, but merely to denote a pair of smooth, plump,
highly-coloured cheeks of capacious dimensions, and a mouth rather
remarkable for the fresh hue of the lips than for any marked or
striking expression it presented. His whole face was suffused with
a crimson blush, and bore that downcast, timid, retiring look,
which betokens a man ill at ease with himself.

There was nothing in these symptoms to attract more than a passing
remark, but our attention had been originally drawn to the bashful
young gentleman, on his first appearance in the drawing-room above-
stairs, into which he was no sooner introduced, than making his way
towards us who were standing in a window, and wholly neglecting
several persons who warmly accosted him, he seized our hand with
visible emotion, and pressed it with a convulsive grasp for a good
couple of minutes, after which he dived in a nervous manner across
the room, oversetting in his way a fine little girl of six years
and a quarter old-and shrouding himself behind some hangings, was
seen no more, until the eagle eye of the hostess detecting him in
his concealment, on the announcement of dinner, he was requested to
pair off with a lively single lady, of two or three and thirty.

This most flattering salutation from a perfect stranger, would have
gratified us not a little as a token of his having held us in high
respect, and for that reason been desirous of our acquaintance, if
we had not suspected from the first, that the young gentleman, in
making a desperate effort to get through the ceremony of
introduction, had, in the bewilderment of his ideas, shaken hands
with us at random. This impression was fully confirmed by the
subsequent behaviour of the bashful young gentleman in question,
which we noted particularly, with the view of ascertaining whether
we were right in our conjecture.

The young gentleman seated himself at table with evident
misgivings, and turning sharp round to pay attention to some
observation of his loquacious neighbour, overset his bread. There
was nothing very bad in this, and if he had had the presence of
mind to let it go, and say nothing about it, nobody but the man who
had laid the cloth would have been a bit the wiser; but the young
gentleman in various semi-successful attempts to prevent its fall,
played with it a little, as gentlemen in the streets may be seen to
do with their hats on a windy day, and then giving the roll a smart
rap in his anxiety to catch it, knocked it with great adroitness
into a tureen of white soup at some distance, to the unspeakable
terror and disturbance of a very amiable bald gentleman, who was
dispensing the contents. We thought the bashful young gentleman
would have gone off in an apoplectic fit, consequent upon the
violent rush of blood to his face at the occurrence of this
catastrophe.

From this moment we perceived, in the phraseology of the fancy,
that it was ‘all up’ with the bashful young gentleman, and so
indeed it was. Several benevolent persons endeavoured to relieve
his embarrassment by taking wine with him, but finding that it only
augmented his sufferings, and that after mingling sherry,
champagne, hock, and moselle together, he applied the greater part
of the mixture externally, instead of internally, they gradually
dropped off, and left him to the exclusive care of the talkative
lady, who, not noting the wildness of his eye, firmly believed she
had secured a listener. He broke a glass or two in the course of
the meal, and disappeared shortly afterwards; it is inferred that
he went away in some confusion, inasmuch as he left the house in
another gentleman’s coat, and the footman’s hat.

This little incident led us to reflect upon the most prominent
characteristics of bashful young gentlemen in the abstract; and as
this portable volume will be the great text-book of young ladies in
all future generations, we record them here for their guidance and
behoof.

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