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divinity, the two usual topics of social meals, are not expressly prohibited. But yet we seldom hear of them. The subjects of conversation, to be derived from the sources of antient and modern literature, from the moral and intellectual classes of the fine arts, from natural history, and from theoretic and .experiinental philosophy, are so various and inexhaustible, so instructive and entertaining, that we require no laws to ex. clude disputative and disagreeable topics, to which nothing but the want of other subjects could give credit or currency.
Of our regulations the most questionable is that, which (with the exception always to be admitted in favour of the fair sex, but yet extending to only one additional visitor) excludes the admission of more than two guests from the same family. Cases may, and will hap, pen, where we might wish the rule to be dispensed with; but in the great majority of instances it has proved useful,
A very embarrassing circumstance, which lately occurred in our neighbourhood, was the cause of this rule being adopted. Mr. Daw, his brother, and the four Miss Daws, accompanied Sir Daniel and my lady to a private, select, dinner party, to which only Miss Daw and her father and mother had been invited. The reason assigned, of their being unwilling to separate their family party, was not accredited. It was the general opinion that the real cause was that they had just received from town a fashionable convertible barouche, on an entire new construction, to carry eight.
În our hours, we consult pleasure and convenience; and we do not, in the shortest days, continue in bed till the transient gleam of a winter's day is passed by, nor do we linger two or three candlelight hours before dinner, in order to have the reputation of dining at eight o'clock.
PUNISHMENTS are very little known among us; being inflicted only on atrocious and wilful offences;--such as interrupting the remark of another,--telling a long story,-laughing at one's own joke,-narrating with a smirk,-- and the like. For these, and other crimes which strike at the foundation of social intercourse, the penalty is severe, being an exclusion from the next meeting of the society.
I am, Sir, &c.
This subject may be proper for consideration in some future paper. The division and arrangement of time seem to be important not only to the welfare of man, but to his utility and moral character. Those of the antients we know pretty correctly; and find them, generally speaking, to have been regular and conformable to nature. In the present age the diversity of hours adopted in different countries is as great as that of climatè. There seems to have been also
a considerable variety in the arrangement of the day in the less civilized ages of modern Europe. Froissart mentions that the supper of the magnificent Count de Foix was not served until midnight * and yet we find in the same historian, that at the same period, when Richard the Second seized on the person of his uncle the Duke of Gloucester (who was murdered soon after at Calais) he arrived at the Duke's house at five o'clock in the afternoon, when he found that the Duke had just done supper-t. That these early hours were not peculiar to England, will appear by a circumstance which he relates respecting the Count de Nevers and the other French noblemen, who were defeated and made prisoners by Bajazet in 1396. He tells us that, about ten o'clock in the morning, when the princes were seated at dinner, an account was brought of the approach of the enemy. They instantly
arose, pushed the tables aside, and demanded their horses and armour. They were (Froissart observes) somewhat heated with wine, and hastened to the field as well as they could.Those hours, at the present day, appear incredible. If these facts were not confirmed by similar instances, we should suspect that it was ten at night when the princes were at dinner, and five in the morning when they had
I now purpose closing the account of the Harleian Library, which has occupied the two preceding articles of Bi. bliographiana.' In the last, I concluded with that division of the books which comprehended works upon Sculpture, Architecture, doc.
I proceed with,