« VorigeDoorgaan »
has been a great pressure on him to take claims ; but I am not vain enough to up the cause of the Polish insurgents. think that what I hue published as yet, There are the wildest ideas as to the entitles me to the honour of being a political importance of Poland. The war member of the first literary society in party talks of a Poland twice as large as the world. I want somebody to say so Prussia, and one third more populous, for me. You may think that I ought to which is to be the ally of France, and delay my candidature till the Cesar has her citadel, interposed between Russia, appeared. But I know now whom I Austria, and Prussia, a check on them should succeed, and whose dlo:52 I should all. It affirms that it would be an easy have to pronounce. If I delay I may thing to march on Poland by land, and have to make a speech in praise of that the sight of the first French uniform Feuillet or of Victor Hugo, would raise up a Polish population of “You," I said to Mzury, “have read twenty millions.
his Cæsar as far as it has gone. Will it “It associates Poland with the proud give him a claim to the Academy?" est times of the Empire. The Emeutiers “I think," said Maury, “that it will. recollect that the Poles have always It is a work of great and sagicious refought by their sides — have often been search, and contains passages admirably their leaders, and sometimes their exciters. written. It is a wonderful improvement The army is, as it always, is, and perhaps on the Idées Napoléoniennes.” ought to be, furious for war. The Cath- “When Louis Napoleon," I said, "wrote olic party hopes to make a religious war. the Illées Napoléoniennes he wis already It cares not what damage it may do to a practised writer. He had been for years the country if it can do good to the Pope writing in the Pas de Calais journal Le and harm to the Greek Church and to its Progrès. It is seldom that a writer innschismatic head. Though the peasantry proves much after he is fifty. The only of the provinces are pacific, the low town instance of an English writer that I repopulation — and it is the population of collect is that of Dr. Johnson, whose towns, or rather of Paris, that governs best work, the Lives of the Poets, was France - is always warlike. It does not written after he was seventy." suffer, or does not know that it suffers, “That may be the case," answered the miseries of a war, and it delights in Maury, “in England, where you enjoy a the excitement. If the insurrection be language much purer from arbitrary reput down in a couple of months, or with straints and idioms than ours is, and in three months, it will be a fait accompli, where you prefer the substance to the and be forgotten. But if it lasts, if it be form. La forme is our idol. It resemcarried on with heroic vigor on the part bles cookery. The best meat ill cooked of the Poles and with barbarity on the is uneatable. Inferior meat well cooked part of the Russians, a force will be put may be delicious. on him which I doubt his being able to “We have been at work refining our withstand. Again, if the New Chamber style, introducing into it des inalices et should be intolerable — and no one knows des délicatesses, until to write perfect how it may act — he may dissolve it, ap- French is the acquisition of only a long peal to the people in defence of Poland, | life. Our best writers, Voltaire, for inand flatter them by promises of which stance, have gone on improving till they war must be the result. It will be a very died. We spend much of what you dangerous expedient, but he is accus- would call useless labour on it, we omit tomed to rush into dingerous enterprises, ideas worth preserving beciuse we cinand to succeed in them.
not express them with perfect elegance ; “ There is one subject, however, on we are somewhat in the state of a man which he has not decided, and that is the speaking a foreign langunge, qui ne dit time of his candidature for the Academy. pas ce qu'il veut, mais ce qu'il pent; bat Pasquier's vacancy is to be filled up on we have created a literature which will Thursday next. His mind is still set on live, for it is the style, not the matter, pronouncing Pasquier's élore. I wish,' which preserves the book. Good matter he said to me, that I could get some ill expressed is taken possession of by a one to propose me as a candidate. master of style, and reproduced in a
"• That is not the practice,' I said. readable form, and then the first writer 'The candidate presents himself.'
is forgotten." “I am shy,' he answered. “If my [This was Mr. Senior's last conversiCæsar, or even the first volume of it, had tion with Madame R. They never met appeared, I should feel that I had some again. — M. C. M. S.]
From The Saturday Review. I difference in the habitual conduct of life EXTRAVAGANCE.
may depend. He was speaking on behalf LORD DERBY the other day made some of a very praiseworthy Society whose obcharacteristically sensible remarks upon ject it is to make known to the working the importance of thrifty habits for all, classes the advantages offered by the but especially for the working classes. Post Office Saving Banks. The fact Speaking on so well-worn a topic, he that such institutions are at everybody's could of course say nothing very new ; door must be pretty generally known; but he suggested one or two curious but the machinery has never been set in problems. Englishmen, as he remarked, (motion to an adequate degree. There is are distinguished amongst all the races a helpless sluggishness in the human of the earth by their extravagance, or mind which prevents us from stooping to are surpassed by their American cousins pick up a penny, though we are willing alone. He quoted some very pithy re-enough to hold out our hand. It has marks of Defoe, who said nearly the same been found in certain Friendly Societies thing more than a century and a half ago. that the depositors prefer paying a shilThen as now, an Englishman could ling to a collector who calls at their scarcely scramble through life upon an houses rather than walk across a street income which would enable a Dutchman to pay ninepence at the office. The printo grow rich; and then as now it was the ciple is one with which we are familiar pleasant habit of a large number of our enough in everyday life. A man who fellow-countrymen to fill their pockets has given an order to his bankers will with money and then to drink till the cheerfully subscribe to a club for years ; golden tide had ebbed. Lord Derby when, if he had to draw a cheque or to explained this phenomenon, or declined pay the money in hard cash, his zeal to explain it, by appealing to the perma- would have broken down after the first nence of national character. It is always payment. The introduction of a single a puzzling question how far national char- link completes the electric circle ; and acteristics are inherited and how far they the removal of a trifling obstacle sets in are merely the result of the permanence action a whole set of forces which would of certain conditions. Of course it saves otherwise remain in a state of complete a great deal of trouble to say that Eng inertness. The mere difference between lishmen waste their means because, as declaring a regulation to be valid unless Dr. Watts put it, “it is their nature to”; it is vetoed and declaring it to be valid and by that simple device to avoid all in- as soon as it is approved seems often to vestigation of the political and social con- be imperceptible; and yet in practice it ditions by which the habit may have been often determines whether a law shall be fostered. There is indeed no reason to dead or alive. This simple principle lies doubt that Frenchmen may inherit a ten- at the bottom of the theory of frugality, dency to hoard money as a dog inherits a and suggests how small a change may tendency to bury bones ; but, on the sometimes be necessary to convert a other hand, that inheritance is itself the wasteful into a saving people. On which result of the conditions under which pre- side is the burden of proof? The claims vious generations of Frenchmen have of the public-house and the savings banks lived ; and by altering their circumstances may be pretty equally balanced, and a we need not despair of producing an slight difference in accessibility will make English breed with the same peculiari- the whole difference in their popularity. ties. The labours of successive genera- The theory of advertising rests on the tions have developed special instincts in same principle. If the name of Smith various breeds of domestic animals ; and occurs to the minds of a hundred people the saving instinct may be strengthened with ever so little greater facility than in the races which are at present most the name of Brown, that infinitesimal wasteful. Indeed it is probable that saving of trouble will determine them to Englishmen are not so far from posses- go to Smith's shop. To make people do sing this cardinal virtue of the political anything, you must save them the trouble economists as we sometimes persuade of thinking. Mental exertion is the one ourselves. The Lowland Scot belongs to thing to which nearly everybody has an the same race with ourselves ; and yet he ineradicable antipathy; and therefore, if is not generally considered to err on the you can make an ally of intellectual inside of extravagance. Some of the facts dolence, there is nothing which you may mentioned by Lord Derby prove upon | not hope to accomplish. what slight differences of position a great! From another point of view, unluckily,
LIVING AGE. VOL. II. 104
this is the great obstacle in the way of putting it in prac'ice. A certain social preaching thrift. We are extravagant machinery is provided, costly and extrarbecause we find it so easy to act like our agant it may be, but yet with the surpisneighbours. The tendency is generally sing merit that it is there. To provide denounced as a proof of the moral slav- the more reasonable machinery wou.d ishness of mankind. People complain, require an amount of thought and trouble and with some apparent justice, of the which nearly everybody dreads far more tyranny of custom. An English curate than the expense. You would prefer has often a smaller income than an your children to go to schools where they artisan or a coal-miner ; and yet custom would be taught something besides orders him to wear a black hat and a cricket, and would pay fees on a German frock-coat, to have a steady supply of scale of economy; then you must become white neckcloths, and to live up to a cer- an educational reformer yourself, and tain standard of external decency. Cus-convert parents enough to start your ney tom orders the struggling middle classes system. You wish for a house built on to give elaborately bad dinners, to live in more rational principles: you must be separate houses instead of taking modest your own architect, or, in other words, apartments, to send their children to run a risk of going to a lunatic asylum. schools whose only recommendation is in You wish to entertain your friends on the high scale of charges, and generally more economical principles. The chances to spend their income according to an are that you save a very few pounds, and arbitrary code of rules prescribed by the make your hoine unbearable. Simple vague entity called society, instead of meals are perhaps better than bad imitasuiting their mode of life to their realtions of elaborate cookery; but unluckily wants. Moralists and novelists delight simplicity both in food and dress is very in expatiating upon the manifold evils apt to mean expense. You wish to imwhich result, and they have of course no prove your relations to your servants, and difficulty in showing that nine-tenths of you discover that they prefer the conventhe customary rules have very little to tional system, and that you have only say for themselves in the court of pure made them more idle and discontented reason. They infer that all the foolish than before. Reformers in all these matextravagance of English life is due to the ters deserve every praise, and we earinherent snobbishness of our nature. nestly desire their success; but reform in The merchant apes the noble, and the domestic economy, as in everything else, shopkeeper apes the merchant; and the requires an amount of time, thought, and first notion of the poor man who has made energy to which very few people are a few shillings is to dress himself in the equal. costume of the class just above him. We The real objection to living simply fully agree that the standard rate of living and cheaply is that one cannot afford it. has been pitched too high in most rinks A few geniuses can strike out new plans of society; and it is probable enough of life, but most men will find that more that that desire to imitate our betters of trouble is saved by falling in with the which snobbishness is the uglier side stream than by struggling against it. has been at the bottom of it. An Eng- The more favourite method of economy, lish household, as compared with a house- especially with the female mind, is that hold of the corresponding class in most which is generally known as cheese-parContinental countries, is a model schooling. Without descending to a lower in the art of throwing away moner for an platform, it is possible to effect someinadequate return. But when reformers thing by minute attention to details. propose a change, they have to deal not Money may of course be saved by subonly with the spirit of snobbishness, but stituting an omnibus for a cab, by retirwith the more powerful, if less offensive, ing to the cheaper places in a theatre, spirit of general indolence. They invite and by all that painful system of minute us to break our chains; to plan a rational attention which is irritating until it bemode of living, and to carry it out in de- comes a habit. Here, too, one must ask fiance of other people's opinions. Give whether the game is worth the candle. up, they say, all the useless apparatus To keep out of debt is not only the first with which an English family surrounds of duties, but the most essential condiitself, and be simple and independent. tion of happiness, and therefore no sacriThe doctrine is so excellent that we only fice which makes both ends meet should wish it were easier to act on it; but these be grudged. But, though a person who eager persons underrate the difficulty of | pushes his economy to any further point may boast of setting a good example, he come necessity. There have been strugwill scarcely find that he has consulted gles and hot speeches, and some divishis own happiness. The strength of ions ; but, on the whole, the majority is character which enables a man to retire probably satisfied with the measure, which to a hermitage and devote himself to in- lis certainly not characterized by timidity tellectual studies on bread and water will or irresolution. It was decided by a narbring its own reward ; but the man who row majority not to insert a provision tries to divide his allegiance, to remain altogether banishing the Jesuits out of in the world without paying the world's the country; and on one other point there price for it, will generally have little re- was a serious contest, but a majority of ward beyond the trifling satisfaction of a twenty-one supported the Government in good conscience. In one sense it may accepting a reasonable compromise. The almost be said that saving comes easier Government had proposed to recognize to the poor man than to his richer neigh- the existence of the Generals of the monbour. If an appreciable fraction of your astic orders, and of the corporations beincome goes in drink, you can save what is longing to them; and this recognition to you a considerable sum by improving in was such as to insure their existence in sobriety. The advantage, at least, is tangi-perpetuity. These orders number fiftyble, if the temptation to be surmounted is two ; and as in the rest of Italy monastic great. But the rich man who has suc- orders have no recognized existence, it was ceeded by the exertion of much thought constituting a very striking exception that in putting his establishment on a more in the capital fifty-two monastic orders reasonable scale often finds that the ad- should be recognized in perpetuity. Not vantage is rather shadowy and affects only the Opposition, but even many supposterity more than himself. The chains porters of the Cabinet, viewed with the with which we are bound are riveted upon utmost alarm and disapproval so extreme a us with terrible strength. Our bondage concession to the pretensions of the Pacannot be broken by a single good reso-pacy. The Bill and the Ministry were lution, or a mere change of personal alike in jeopardy when Baron Ricasoli habits. Our families, our relatives, and came to the rescue, and made a proposal our acquaintances combine to force us which got the Government out of its diffiinto the regular grooves. And undoubt- culty. It must be confessed that the edly many men who could do better Ministry only retrieved its fortunes by things are forced to miserable hackwork deserting to a great extent the cause of for daily subsistence, and tempted to those whom it had undertaken to befriend. grow daily more commonplace, and plod | The proposal was that the Generals more contentedly along the mill-horse should receive a pension of 16,000l. a round of existence. We would gladly year from the State, and that the present welcome a deliverer, though we can see Generals should during their lifetime, if few signs of his appearance. Society they remained so long in office, be algrows more luxurious ; and even our lowed to occupy part of their present resgood qualities rather tend to increased idences. The pension is to be handed energy in growing rich than to increased over to the Holy See as an increase of judgment in using wealth.
the Pope's endowment, and, until the Vatican will accept the grant, a special board is to be constituted to apply it to the purposes to which it is destined. It
is evident that the orders get something From The Saturday Review. by this arrangement, but what they get is ITALY.
very much less than what the Ministry The final vote on the Religious Corpo-propose to bestow on them. During the rations Bill has been taken, and a major- remainder of their lifetime the present ity of four to one has declared in favour Generals will have a home in such a porof the measure. The resignation of the tion of their residences as the State may Ministry was not without its desired | be willing to relinquish to their use. But, efiect; and when it was found that no as one after another of their heads expire other Ministry could carry a Bill, and the orders will cease to have a local centhat no other Bill than that of the Minis- tre, and their Generals must sink into try could be carried, the habitual shrewd- the position of hangers-on of the Papal ness and moderation of the Italian Par- household. If the Papacy is reconciled liament easily induced it to bow to what to Italy, the Head of the Church will was, to many of its members, an unwel-' have at his disposal the not very consid
erable sum of 16,000l. a year for the founded. In all other Catholic countries maintenance of what has always been de- where a contest is being wiged between clared to be an indispensable part of the the Church and the State there is a machinery of his government. Until this strong clerical party in the bosom of a reconciliation is effected, this pittance hostile Legislature. But in Italy, which will be doled out to the orders at the dis- is still undoubtedly Catholic in its seitcretion of those whom they regard as i gious sentiments, which is attached to their enemies and oppressors. It is a the Papacy by a thousand ties of intimastriking sign of the feelings and attitude cy and tradition, and which would resert of the Italian Parliament towards the ' it as a distinct national grievince if the Papacy that this arrangement has been reigning Pope were not an Italian, there sanctioned by a small and reluctant ma- is no clerical party at all which can make jority as a compromise almost too liberal' its influence felt in the conduct of public in favour of bodies which ought properly affairs. There must be some reason for to have nothing.
this, and the reason is probably to be It is not surprising that the Pope found in the long hostility of the Papaci should have been thrown into unaccus to the national aspirations of Italy. Tie tomed agitation by the decision at which Papacy has been the cordial ally of Austhe Italian Parliament has arrived. He tria and the grudging servant of France, reasonably hoped for better things. For but no living Italian can remember the many months the Italian Government day when the Pope was not willing to use evidently showed that it was somewhat the heel of the foreigner to trample on afraid of him. The inconveniences of an the hopes of Italy. The Pipocy is everyopen and enduring quarrel with the Pa- where influential in proportion as it his pacy press upon those who are charged allied itself with the nation in which it is with the difficult duty of administering working. It is strongest in Ireland, Italian affairs, and it may be remarked where the cause of the people and the that no one has been more forward in Church is the same; it is strong in France endeavouring to conciliate the Pope than and Germany, where at least a numerous Visconti Venosta, who has had greater minority sees in the history of the Papacy opportunities than most Italians for con- something that is bound up with what is sidering the bearings of the religious dearest to it in the history of its own question on the relations of Italy with country; and it is weakest in Italy, where foreign Powers. Until the decision was Pope after Pope has been obliged by the known the Pope was unusually mild, and force of circumstances to eat the bitter affected to regard the leaders of Italian fruits of his temporal power, and to repolicy as good sheep who would never main an alien to the fondest wishes of wander more than a little way from the his kinsmen and fellow-countrymen. true fold. Now that the worst is known, Even if the Pope could see this, and his spiritual wrath has been aroused, and could bring himself to acknowledge its he has broken out into his ordinary luxu-truth, it is not to be supposed that at his riance of anathemas. He has devoted to age he would change his policy and alter the ruin they have invoked those who the habits of a lifetime. But then the have once more dared to insult and rob Pope may die, and his successor may see him. But even in this dark hour of mis- things in a different light, and it is therefortune he has invented a theory which fore of extreme importance to Italy who brings consolation to his aged and this successor is to be. Europe his lateafflicted mind. He has persuaded him- ly rung with the hourly intelligence that self that there are two Italies — the Italy Pius IX. was at the point of death, and a of the faithful, the submissive, and the medical paper has published with revoltdevout, and the Italy of the headstrong, ing accuracy a list of his diseases, which the violent, and the unbelieving; and seem to the lay reader as if they must that the former Italy is numerically far kill any one in the prime of life within the larger of the two. The good are kept twenty-four hours. Still the Pope lives down by the bad, and are for the moment on, and his protracted existence has enaoverpowered by them ; but they are bled him to experience a pleisure which really the stronger party, and will soon some old men would enjoy with the keenshow what their strength is, will prostrate est delight. Lord Brougham is said to themselves at the feet of their good Father, have adopted the coarse expedient of inand will work confusion on his enemies. venting a fatal carriage accident, in order The strange thing is that this theory that he might read his own obituary noshould be to all appearances entirely un-' tices, and see what the world would say