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the passing life seems a solemn spectacle in which you play a part. How delightful was the morning-room at Beaumanoir, from which gentlemen were not excluded with that assumed suspicion that they can never enter it” but for felonious purposes.
Such a profusion of flowers' such a multitude of books such a various prodigality of writing materials' So many easy chairs too of so many shapes; each in itself a comfortable home; yet nothing crowded. Woman alone can organize a drawing-room; man succeeds sometimes in a library. And the ladies work ; how graceful they look bending over their embroidery frames, consulting over the arrangement of a group or the color of a flower. The panniers and sanciful baskets overflowing with variegated worsted, are gay and full of pleasure to the eye, and give an air of elegant business that is vivifying. Even the sight of employment interests.
Then the morning costume of English women is itself a beautiful work of art. At this period of the day they can find no rivals in other climes. The brilliant complexions of the daughters of the north dazzle in daylight; the illumined saloon levels all distinctions. One should see them in their well-fashioned muslin dresses. What matrons and what maidens ! sull of graceful dignity, fresher than the morn! And the married boy in her little lace cap. Ah! she is a coquette! A charming character at all times; in a country house an invaluable one.
The gathering of the boys at sunset in lounging groups in the Long Walk at Eton, canvassing the exploits and events of the morning:
The sports and matches of the day were over. Criticism had succeeded to action in sculling and in cricket. They talked over the exploits of the morning, canvassed the merits of the competitors, marked the fellow whose play or whose stroke was improving, glanced at another whose promise had not been fulfilled; discussed the pretensions and adjudged the palm. Thus public opinion is formed. Some too might be seen with their books and exer. cises, intent on the inevitable and impending task. Among these some unhappy wight in the remove wandering about with his hat in parochial fashion, seeking relief in the shape of a verse. A hard lot this. To know that you must be delivered of fourteen verses at least in the twenty-four hours, and to be conscious that you are pregnant with none. The lesser boys, urchins of tender years, clustered like flies round the baskets of certain venders of sugar delicacies that rested on the Long Walk wall. The pallid countenance, the lack-lustre eye, the hoarse voice clogged with accumulated phlegm, indicated too surely the unclaimable and hopeless votary of lollypop—the opiumeater of schoolboys.
SEPTEMBER, 1844. 4
The frequent use of the words “fellow, “row,” and the like, and the classical imprecation “by Jove!" scattered freely through the conversation of the students, has a vulgar and tantalizing air, and would greatly perplex any foreigner who might attempt a translation of the work. But the vulgarity of these phrases is not chargeable upon Mr. D'Israeli, but upon that careless and defective system of education which has prevailed in all our principal schools for the last fifty years. ... “By Jove!” is regarded by our youth, for the most part, as rather an elegant and clever affectation.
The picture of Manchester is vivid and powerful. What art was to the ancient world, says the author, science is to the modern. Manchester, rightly understood, is as great a human exploit as Athens. Coningsby explores its wonders with a sense of unspeakable awe.
He entered chambers vaster than are told of in Arabian fable, and peopled with habit. ants more wondrous than Afrite or Peri. For there he beheld, in long continued ranks, those mysterious forms full of existence without life, that perform with facility, and in an instant. what man can fulfil only with difficulty and in days. A machine is a slave that neither brings nor bears degradation: it is a being endowed with the greatest degree of energy, and acting inder the greatest degree of excitement, yet free, at the same time, from all passion and emotion. It is, therefore, not only a slave, but a supernatural slave. And why should one say that the machine does not live? It breathes, for its breath forms the atmosphere of some towns. It moves with more regularity than man. And has it not a voice? Does not the spindle sing like a merry girl at her work, and the steam. engine roar in jolly chorus like a strong artisan handling his lusty tools, and gaining a fair day's wages for a fair day’s work?
Nor should the weaving-room be forgotten, where a thousand or fifteen hundred girls may be observed working like Penelope in the day: time; some pretty, some pert, some graceful and jocund, some àojī. their occupation; a little serious some, few sad. And the cotton you have observed in its rude state, that you may have seen the silent spinner change into thread, and the bustling weaver convert into cloth, you may now watch as in a moment it is tinted with beautiful colors, or printed with fanciful patterns. And yet the mystery of mysteries is to view machines making machines; a spectacle that fills the mind with curious, and even awsul, speculation.
We constantly fall in with capital criticisms upon national character. Here is a passage upon the jealousy which besets us
at every turn, and for which the best prescription is—travel.
How very seldom do you encounter in the world a man of great abilities, acquirements, experience, who will unmask his mind, unbutton his brains, and pour forth in careless and picturesque phrase, all the results of his studies and observation; his knowledge of men. books, and nature. On the contrary, if a man has by any chance what he conceives an original idea, he hoards it as if it were old gold; and rather avoids the subject with which he is most conversant, from fear that you may appropriate his best thoughts. One of the principal causes of our renowned dulness in conversation is our extreme intellectual jealousy. It must be admitted that in this respect authors, but especially poets, bear the palm. They never think they are sufficiently appreciated, and live in tremor lest a brother should distinguish himself. , Artists have the repute of being nearly as bad: and as for a small rising politician, a clever speech by a supposed rival, or suspected candidate for office, destroys his appetite and disturbs his slumbers.
One of the chief delights and benefits of travel is, that one is perpetually meeting men of great abilities, of original mind, and rare acquirements, who will converse without reserve. In these discourses, the intellect makes daring leaps and marvellous advances. The tone that colors our after life is often caught in these chance colloquies, and the bent given that shapes a career.
In every thing that touches upon the poetry, strength, capacity, ambition of youth, our author displays the serious expression of deep and solemn feeling—and out of this Youth—this season of passionate dreams and energetic resolves—is to rise up the regenerating principles of our whole system: its purity is to redeem, its vigor to restore us. Youth is the age of heroes as well as poets. The greatest captains of ancient and modern times, exclaims Sidonia, conquered Italy at five-and-twenty. Gaston de Foix, Gustavus Adolphus, Maurice of Saxony, Bolingbroke, Pitt, were all great when they were young, or died young in the flower of their greatness. But let us escape from these generalities to the development of the particular opinions of which this book is the exponent on behalf of Young England.
It is stated very clearly (iii. 93–9) that the principles of the Exclusive Constitution having been abandoned by the Acts of 1S,27–S-32, a party arose who demanded that political liberalism should be carried to its full extent, by getting rid of all the
fragments that remained of the old constitution. This is the Destructive Party. These are opposed by another party who, having given up Exclusion, embrace only as much liberalism as suits the moment, and who, without an embarrassing promulgation of principles, wish to keep things as they find them as long as they can ; but as a party must have a semblance of principlés, they take the names of the things they have destroyed—the crown, although it is stripped of its prerogatives—the constitution in church and state, although it is defunct—the independence of the upper house latterly dwindled into a court of review. This is the Conservative Party. Into these two divisions, it is contended, the nation is divided. Young England repudiates both. Revolution, in any sense, forms no part of the contemplated policy of Young England. Changes are to be approached cautiously, and only with full and universal warning. “True wisdom,” says Coningsby, “lies in the policy that would effect its ends by the influence of opinion, and yet by the means of eristing forms.” (iii. 103.) The full recognition of the authority of public opinion, the abolition of class legislation, the restoration to the sovereign of the sovereign prerogatives, which, it is alleged, the parliament has gradually usurped, (iii. 101,) enlarged religious freedom, and a system of legislation adaptive and progressive, appear to be the fundamental principles of the new sect. Some of them may require explanation, especially the doctrine of vesting in the sovereign the sole power of government. Coningsby does not consider parliamentary representation necessary to the security of the country. The country goes on when the parliament is not sitting; but it is always represented by the press. Opinion is now supreme, and opinion speaks in print. Parliamentary representation was a device of a rude age—the representation of the press is more complete. He does not contemplate the abolition of parliament, although he evidently regards it as by no means an impossible contingency, but contends that if we are forced into revolutions, we ought to consider the idea of “a free monarchy established on fundamental laws, itself the apex of a vast pile of municipal and local government, ruling an educated people, represented by a free and intellectual press.” (iii., 103.) This is the monarchy Young England proposes when all incumbrances in the way of class interests and factitious
ascendencies shall have been cleared away. Whether it be practicable is not so much the question, as whether we are not now on the direct road that leads to it — although we may never probably reach the end of the journey. The most ominous suggestive features of this work are indicated by the introduction of Mr. Millbank, a manufacturer, Mr. Eustace Lyle, a Roman Catholic, and Sidonia, the great capitalist, a Jew. Here we have three formerly antagonist elements lying down gently and confidingly with Toryism—at least with that section which has separated itself of late from the old body. By the popular influence given to Mr. Millbank, we see the weight conceded by aristocracy itself to industry and capital. “I defy any peer to crush me,” (ii. 41,) exclaims Mr. Millbank. The association of Mr. Lyle with the party of Young England, affords a significant hint of its tendency to Puseyism. “Lyle,” says Henry Sydney, “is of an old Cavalier family, and will not ally himself with anti-monarchists, and democrats, and infidels, and sectarians; at the same time, why should he support a party who pretend to oppose these, but who never lose an opportunity of insulting his religion, and would deprive him, if possible, of the advantages of the very institutions which his family assisted in establishing?” (i. 292.) The argument is cogent and irresistible, and has a heart and brain in it full of promise. The emancipation of the Jews may be gathered as another object, no less desired by Young England. The grounds on which these various extensions of public rights proceed, may be assumed to be no less those of abstract justice, than the wise policy of strengthening public opinion and public confidence. Sidonia states the case of the Jews with an eloquence worthy of the lostiness of the theme. The passage is so grand that we must make room for a part of it. “I contend that if you permit men to accumulate property, and they use that permission to a great extent, power is inseparable from that property, and it is in the last degree impolitic to make it the interest of any powersul class to "Poo the institutions under which they live. The Jews, for example, independent of the capital qualities for citizenship which they possess in their industry, temperance, and energy and vivacity of mind, are a race essentially monarchical, deeply religious, and, shrinking themselves from converts as from a calamity, are ever anxious to see the
religious systems of the countries in which they live, flourish; yet since your society has become agitated in England, and powerful combinations menace your institutions, you find the once loyal Hebrew invariably arrayed in the same ranks as the leveller and the latitudinarian, and prepared to support the policy which may even endanger his life and property, rather than tamely continue under a system which seeks to degrade him. The Tories lose an important election at a critical moment; 'tis the Jews come forward to vote against them. The church is alarmed at the scheme of a latitudinarian university, and learns with relief, that funds are not forthcoming for its establishment; a Jew immediately advances and endows it. Yet the Jews are essentially Tories. Toryism is, indeed, but copied from the mighty prototype which has fashioned Europe. And every generation they must become more powerful and more dangerous to the society which is hostile to them.”
And then he runs on with kindling ardor to show that the race cannot be destroyed —a simple law of nature, which has baffled Egyptian and Assyrian kings, Roman emperors, and Christian inquisitors. The mixed persecuting races disappear—the poor persecuted race survives. At this moment, he continues, in spite of centuries, of tens of centuries of degradation, the Jewish mind—the living Hebrew intellect—exercises a vast influence over the affairs of Europe. The list of Jews wielding authority and influence is astounding. Russian diplomacy in Western Europe is carried on by Jews—the professorial chairs of Germany almost monopolized by Jews— the Russian minister of finance, the son of a Lithuanian Jew—the minister of Spain, a Jew of Arragon—Soult, the son of a French Jew—the Prussian minister, a Prussian Jew; and then there are all the musicians, Rossini, Meyerbeer, Mendlesohn—Pasta, Grisi! The case of the Jews was certainly never put in so captivating a shape before. The roll of Hebrew celebrities, past and present, is magnificent; and the only difficulty we have about the matter is that it includes some famous persons whose descent through “this dark blood” was never before suspected. In music the Hebrews are distinguished in every country in Europe, if not always as composers certainly in the executive department. Moscheles, Braham, and twenty others of equal reputation, might be added to Sidonia's catalogue. But music will not ef. fect an entrance into the legislative chamber. The Orpheus who, in the present
complexion of things, should attempt so!
First IMPREssions of CAPE Town, [From Sam Sly's African Journal.]—The first impression that struck us most on landing was the firm footing, after so long a voyage. The next was the glare and heat of the sun, and in November. Then the number of black faces and hands, and shoeless feet, or “Images of God cut in ebony,” that bespoke an African soil, when in England we had only been accustomed to see a straggler now
and then, out of his element at the road-side, sun-
ON MANNERS, FASHIONS, AND THINGS IN GENERAL.
BY CAPTAIN ORLANDo SABERTASH.
THE SLIDING SCALE OF MANNERS.
From Fraser's Magazine.
It is really curious to observe how long we continue to see customs and usages practised in every society, as a regular matter of course indeed, before we think of giving them just and appropriate names, capable of fully characterizing their merits to the world. This is doubly curious at a period when so many great national measures have been carried, not by the force of argument, but merely by the force of names, and without any effort having been made, or attempted to be made, for the purpose of calmly ascertaining how far the liberal, philanthropic, or reforming title, corresponded with the legislative enactment it was put forward to secure. We have no doubt that many very fashionable members of the fashionable world have long regulated their manners according to the wealth, rank, and station of the persons with whom they chanced to be thrown together; but we have never seen the practice, however open and avowed in these times, reduced to rules and estimated accordingly. We have all occasionally seen well-dressed persons behaving with what seemed perfect courtesy towards a peer, and with the most perfect and polite impertinence to some plain nobody; but though the mischievous laughed, and the good sighed, none ascribed such conduct to the admirable Sliding Scale of Manners, now so generally introduced, and so well adapted to the character of modern and fashionable society.
I cannot, I think, do better than illustrate this point by an extract from a lately published novel, The Fortunes of the Falconars, by Mrs. Gordon, a very charming work, which I recommend every person to read, as I feel confident that none will rise from its perusal without having been deeply interested, and it may be, also, greatly improved.
Eleanor Falconar, the heroine, who is poor, as heroines should be, is on a visit at the house of some wealthy relations of the name of Livingston. All are persons of good family and standing.
“The conversation at table chiefly consisted
of short sentences enunciated by Mr. Livingston and his son, touching the all-important
topics of wines and cookery. Of the female part of the company, Lady Susan from time to time responded in a low voice to questions or remarks addressed to her by the heads of the house, and looked as if the remainder of the party were entirely beneath her notice; the aunts praised and were delighted with everything; Mrs. Livingston was condescendingly agreeable, and Eleanor sat nearly silent, experiencing, in full perfection, the comfortable sensation of being nobody. “Dinner over, the same scene continued to be enacted in the drawing-room, varied only by the arrival of tea and coffee, and of the gentlemen. The ladies collected around a table placed near the fire, and each produced her work. Mrs. Livingston was renowned for her skill in those elegant and useless efforts of female ingenuity, which delude those who exercise their hands upon them into a notion that they are spending their time to advantage; and Lady Susan was an adept in the same species of craft: most part of the conversation, therefore, turned upon this, to the aunts, deeply interesting topic. Mr. Livingston, meanwhile, paced the spacious apartment with long strides, and occasionally sat down for a sew minutes to a newspaper, and his son took up a new number of the Sporting Magazine, and extended himself upon a sofa. “Thus intellectually passed , some part of the endless evening. Then there was a humble request preferred to Lady Susan for some music. This was negatived by her ladyship, “She really could not possibly sing to-night.” Then perhaps she would savor them with an air on the harp 3 No; her ladyship positively could not play to-night; she was satigued, and her music had not been brought down stairs; they must be so good as to excuse her. “Does Eleanor play ? asked Mrs. Livingston of her sister. “‘A little, I believe,” was the reply. “‘ I ain sure Eleanor is no musician,’ observed aunt Annie, looking up from her knitting. is will you give us a little music, my dear?' at last inquired Mrs. Livingston of her niece herself. “‘I am no musician, aunt Livingston,’ said Eleanor, smiling; “but I shall be very happy to play a little if you wish it.” “‘Do so, my dear; music is a necessary of life with us almost, we are so much accustomed to it.” “Eleanor willingly exchanged her position at the work-table for the pianoforte, which was a very fine instrument. It had long been a received opinion amongst her aunts that she could o at all, sounded upon their having heard from her mother during her childhood, that she showed no particular talent for music; and this opinion, like most others, once formed and matured in the minds of the Misses Falconar, was henceforward ineradicable. Yet, notwithstanding this, Eleanor's finger