idea struck me as very sensible; and we all, generally having the fact
before our eyes that _we_ were invited to breakfast, approved the
"Yes," said Macaulay, "depend upon it; if a man is a bore he never
gets an invitation to breakfast."
"Rather hard on the poor bores," said a lady.
"Particularly," said Macaulay, laughing, "as bores are usually the
most irreproachable of human beings. Did you ever hear a bore
complained of when they did not say that he was the best fellow in the
world? For my part, if I wanted to get a guardian for a family of
defenceless orphans, I should inquire for the greatest bore in the
vicinity. I should know that he would be a man of unblemished honor
The conversation now went on to Milton and Shakspeare. Macaulay made
one remark that gentlemen are always making, and that is, that there
is very little characteristic difference between Shakspeare's women.
Well, there is no hope for that matter; so long as men are not women
they will think so. In general they lump together Miranda, Juliet,
Desdemona, and Viola,
"As matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
And best distinguished as black, brown, or fair."
It took Mrs. Jameson to set this matter forth in her Characteristics
of Women; a book for which Shakspeare, if he could get up, ought to
make her his best bow, especially as there are fine things ascribed to
him there, which, I dare say, he never thought of, careless fellow
that he was!