Sunday, March 26, 2006

Letter from Mr. Gosport

Mr. Seal,

Since polite society has almost always divided itself into two, it is not a surprise to learn that the blogosphere ( My word, the trangressions the modern world has visited upon the English language are reprehensible) has divided into two :

"The TON misses, as they are called, are in two divisions, the SUPERCILIOUS, like Miss Leeson, are silent, scornful, languid, and affected, and disdain all converse but with those of their own set : the VOLUBLE, like Miss Larolles, are flirting, communicative, restless, and familiar, and attack without smallest ceremony, every one they think worthy their notice, But this they have in common, that at home they think of nothing but dress, abroad, of nothing but admiration, and that every where they hold in supreme contempt all but themselves."

Now the task for a modern man like yourself is to steer yourself carefully around the two parties without falling prey to that third group, the most notorious of all; the Insensibilists :

"Do pray now," cried Miss Larolles, "observe Mr. Meadows! only just see wher he has fixed himself!* in the very best place in the room, and keeping the fire from everybody! I do assure you that's always his way, and it's monstrously provoking, for if one's ever so cold, he lollops so, that one's quite starved.* But you must know there's another thing he does that is quite bad, for if he gets a seat, he never offers to move, if he sees one sinking with fatigue. And besides, if one is waiting for one's carriage two hours together, he makes it a rule never to stir a step to see for it. Only think how monstrous!" "These are heavy complaints, indeed," said Cecilia, looking at him attentively; "I should have expected from his appearance a very different account of his gallantry, for he seems dressed with more studied elegance than anybody here." "O yes," cried Miss Larolles, "he is the sweetest dresser in the world; he has the most delightful taste you can conceive, nobody has half so good a fancy. I assure you it's a great thing to be spoke to by him: we are all of us quite angry when he won't take notice of us." "Is your anger," said Cecilia, laughing, "in honour of him or his coat?" "Why , Lord, don't you know all this time that he is an ennuye?" "I know, at least," answered Cecilia, "that he would soon make one of me." "O but one is never affronted with an ennuye, if he is ever so provoking, because one always knows what it means." "Is he agreeable?" "Why to tell you the truth,- but pray now don't mention it, - I think him most excessive disagreeable! He yawns in one's face every time one looks at him. I assure you sometimes I expect to see him fall asleep while I am talking to him, for he is so immensely absent he don't hear one half that one says; only conceive how horrid!" "But why, then, do you encourage him? why do you take any notice of him?" "O, every body does, I assure you, else I would not for the world; but he is so courted you have no idea. However, of all the things let me advise you never to dance with him; I did once myself, and I declare I was quite distressed to death the whole time, for he was taken with such a fit of absence he knew nothing he was about, sometimes skipping and jumping with all the violence in the world, just as if he only danced for exercise, and sometimes standing quite still, or lolling against the wainscoat and gaping,* and taking no more notice of me than if he had never seen me in his life!"

Now go forth into the blogosphere with the confident stride of a young man heading towards the City.

Your faithful servant,

Mr. Gosport

Thank you so very much, Mr. Gosport...I plan to heed your advice this season, because the only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about. -Basil