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IN BAD TASTE.

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IN BAD TASTE. Good taste my not be ranked with the cardinal virtues, but a thing may be in such very bad taste as almost to make it a vice. There are people who would be shocked at the idea of utiug profane language, while they habitually garnish their .speech with words and phrases which are about as repulsive to a delicate ear as a full, well-rounded Oitth. It ia possil)!c that their favourite exple- tives are only a modification of some terrible form of blasphemy, a fact of which they may be ignorant. In certain circles the most prominent feature of conversation is expressed by the word badinage. There i. a eting in evry sentence, an acrid flavour, a tone of sharp personal ridicule, sarcastic side hints intended to hit the raw spots in the bkin of the person addressed, covert attempts to draw him out- .;r.i make him expose his weaknesses and foolish conceits, a tendency to turn everything into ridicule, and a careful avoidance of everything that is earnest and true, Jl other circles it is the absent, and not the present, who are toasted on the gridiron, and who- ever leaves the company first is sure to be vi:itim:sed by thorc who remain behind. There may lie no j-pecial aninio. ity to provoke the unkind criticism, but it gives a little spice to conversation, I and so, perhaps with a snrt of dim consciousness that too person who m-xfc follows him will have to take his turnj they proceed to take him to pieces and <le;cant upon his frailties, and make sport of his dress, and manners, and opinions, and habits, and grammar, and pronunciation. This is iu bad taato. Some persons are very confidential, and have a way of entertaining tneir friends with domestic matters which had better be kept out of sight. Thenmninnl head of the family intimates that the co-ordinate braueh is not as effective in house- keeping as he could v. idh, while the actual head of the i t insinuates that the silent partner intrudes upon her domain when he ought to keep himself out of the way. Parents discuss the pecca- dillos of their children, and children expose the weakness of their parents masters and mistresses complain of the goings-on below stairs, and the ftwfnl expense of housekeeping, and the waste of servants, and the impositions of grocers and butchers, &ud the difficulty in making both ends meet at the close of the month. This is in bad taste. There are people who, at a dinner-table, monopo- Use all the talk, as far as it is possible for them to do Hi), occupying the time with stale stories and feeble attempts at humour, or prosing away in weary platitudes, or enforcing the law in matters where there are likely to be grave differences of opinion, berating this man or that without mercy, i or praising inordinately somebody who deserves little commendation, constantly calling attention to something which they have done, or intend to do, or might have done if they had not been interfered with, until the patience of everybody present is exhausted. This is in bad taste. There are persons who are always asking ill-timed or impertinent or irrelevant questions, inquiring into the particulars of your business, and how this thing is likely to turn out, and how you happened to be entrapped in this or the other speculation, and what is your opinion of your neighbour's solvency, and what you intend to do about voting for. A at the next election, and how you account for Esq. B's conduct, and whether yon wrote the article about him in the last week's paper, and whether you were altogether satisfied with the last Sunday's discourse, and is it true that Mr. C is pac- ing attention to your daughter, and what do you pay for your wife's bonnets, and so on until you are tempted to ask whether he does not regard himself as an interrogation point ?" This is in bad taste. Another man has the habit of writing frequent letters to his friends and acquaintancesâand per- haps to people with whom he is not acquainted at allâletters of advice and caution and information asking favours which he has no right to demand, for an introduction to distinguished personages, for subscriptions and indorsements of objects which are not of the slightest concern to the persons ad- addressed for autographs and photographs, or a copy of the author's last work, or for a statement of his views in full on some controverted ques- tion, or criticising something that he has said or done or left undone, or suggesting some desirable change in his habits and mode of life. This is in bad taste. We speak of many things as in bad taste which might properly be characterised by a much harsher epithet, as, for instance, the miserably low and degrading speeches that are sometimes made, the in antics and ridiculous illustrations in which certain sensational preacnersindulge; thoabsurd obituaries, and still more absurd poetical effusions, in which surviving friends seek to embalm the memory of the departed, the extravagant resolutions in which the services of this or that manâon the occasion of his retiring from office-are eulogised, when it may be that the incumbent has been obliged to take himself out of the way by the pressure of the very individuals who thus usher him into retirement with fulsome adulation. The publishing to the world of private diaries, either by the writer himself or by his friends, dis- playing to the public gaze the most sacred secrets of the soul, or of domestic incidents which should never have been allowed to transpire beyond the domestic circle, or of private letters in which the writer has exposed his strongest personal an tipathies and aversions, and indulged in the freest and most confidential criticisms of his associatesâ of which of late we have had some notable ex- amples-is certainly in very bad taste. Excellent and well-meaning people are some- times so deficient in taste as to make them dis agreeable even to their best friends. They never seem to know when they violate the fitness of things, and are oblivious of the common proprie- ties of life; if they say the right thing, they say it to the wrong person and at the wrong time their counsels are obtrusive, and their sympathy only aggravates our woes. In the excess of their love they tell us many things which we would prefer not to know. There is something aggravating in the verp tones of their voice, in their gestures and manners, and mode of walking, and the way in which they sit, and the way in which they draw in their breath when they are talking, and the way in which they eat and drink. We reproach ourselves for not liking them any better, because there is nothing absolutely bad in their characters, or intentionally offensive in their demeanour, and yet we could not love them if we tried. 0

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