The Genus Bore13 Mar 2020
Richard Drilling, Esquire, was a lawyer of much ambition, as was manifest from the scrupulous care with which he decorated the outer man. He thought that a shabbily-dressed person was a shabby fellow; and as he wished to be thought any thing rather than shabby, his wardrobe was a miracle of taste. Two rival passions burned on the altar of his bosom, viz: to marry the most beautiful girl in town, and to become a model for gentlemen of well-dressing propensities. This latter desire was on the eve of consummation, at the period under consideration. As he glanced at his proportions in the glass, he was most sincerely of opinion that he was irresistibly handsome. He was nearly six feet high, and slender and symmetrical. His leg was as straight as an arrow, and his waist was the envy of many belles. Light hair, and a small foot, were the alpha and the omega of his personal fascinations. Now fancy this entity, with its chin cocked up on a huge stock, white vest, silk gloves, rattan, a little hat hanging on a lock of hair over the left ear, taking the air, with a genteel step, on the shady side of the street, and you have a very tolerable conception of what Richard Drilling resembled.
Richard considered himself a great favorite with the sex. He was careful not to distress them with conversation on theology, philosophy, or poetry; but much more sensibly entertained them with dissertations on the important subjects of marriage rumors, moving accidents, German waltzes, and Parisian fashions. Moreover, he was the most obedient servant whom the ladies had in their employ, and was always willing to sacrifice cash or convenience to their happiness. If a lady hinted a wish to take a ride, he made a proposition to gratify her, instanter; if she talked of the theatre, he would offer her the honor of his escort; or if she burned for ice-cream, of a summer night, he took good care that she should be gradually cooled down to a state of comfort. In fine, Richard and the girls had but one heart between them: whatever they wanted, he desired; and wherever they happened to be going, he was lucky in being on his way to the same place. He was as indispensable to every female establishment as a pin, which article he greatly resembled, as he was tolerably brazen, not very sharp, and was seen sticking about the ladies on all occasions. A very comfortable stock of vanity assured him, that the girls were always looking out for him; that he could wed whomsoever he considered eligible to that honor; and that he carried himself with the most genteel swagger that had been seen in the street, in church aisles, or at operas, since the days of the everlasting Beau Brummel.
Richard was universally called Dick, and so, for the salvation of space, we beg leave to name him. Well, Dick’s parents were early emigrants to the west, at which time they were almost dollarless. By enterprise, his father had amassed a fortune; which Dick thought extracted the plebeian taint from his blood, and enrolled his name on the list of the aristocracy. Indeed, on a certain occasion, when asked if his grandfather was not on terms of daily intimacy with lap-boards, shears, and needles, Dick indignantly denied the charge, and asserted that he never had such an ancestor. Thereupon, it was supposed that Dick’s family was of miraculous origin, having sprung up after the manner of mushrooms, quite spontaneously.
Possessing a pecuniary competency, Dick had read law, not for the purpose of practice, but merely to recreate his mind, and flourish an attorney’s shingle. Having acquired thus much, to use his own elegant language, ‚he didn’t care a tinker’s d—n for any thing else;‘ and he was henceforth regarded by himself as a gentleman of learned leisure, who, from motives of the purest benevolence, gratified his numerous friends, male and female, by throwing the charms of his conversational powers over the tedium of their otherwise wretched hours. Such was Dick Drilling; an inflated intellectual pauper, whom I never encounter, that I do not instantly call to mind the lines of the poet.