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THE PORT FOLIO.
CONDUCTED BY OLIVER OLDSCHOOL, ESQ.
VARIOUS, that the mind
Of desultory man, studious of change
And pleased with novelty, may be indulged.-CoWPER.
ART. I Pleasant and Unpleasant People.
Are there balance here to weigh the flesh ?-Merchant of Venice.
I HAVE no desire to jostle people out of their good self-opinion, or the good opinion of others, but to ascertain their real worth, to separate their vices from their virtues, and to have a little more equal dealing in our ordinary judgment of men. Steele, I think, in the Tatler, has in his brief way, given an able judgment on this very subject; and Mr. Hazlitt, some years since, wrote an Essay expressly on it. Possibly little more was wanting; but two blows are always better than one; and as in a question of morality, or any other, where men's interests do not compel them to act or decide, twenty are often insufficient, the second, though infinitely weaker, may have some consequence.
By a pleasant fellow, I mean a man universally accounted so; for in certain moods of the mind, and in particular societies, we all answer to the description :-where opinions are all in agreement-where a mad speculation is kept in decent countenance, or one common-place seconded by another-where our prejudices are humoured, our likes and dislikes nursed and cherished, -where men clap hands to the same song, and join in the same chorus, there is a nest of pleasant fellows, though they may be wise men or madmen, honest men or knaves.
But the pleasant fellow I mean is equally a pleasant fellow in all companies, and on all occasions; has a spare bed in every other man's house, a knife and fork at their table, a good welVOL. II. NO. 3