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had been softened down by age or affliction; and all that is delightful in the kind, alacrity and delicacy in little attentions, &c., remained, and without bustle, gesticulation, or disproportionate eagerness. His demeanor exhibited the minute philanthropy of a polished Frenchman, tempered by the sobriety of the English character disunited from its reserve. There is something strangely attractive in the character of a gentleman when you apply the word emphatically, and yet in that sense of the term which it is more easy to feel than to define. It neither includes the possession of high moral excellence, nor of necessity even the ornamental graces of manner. I have now in my mind's eye a person whose life would scarcely stand scrutiny even in the court of honor, much less in that of conscience; and his manners, if nicely observed, would of the two excite an idea of awkwardness rather than of elegance and yet every one who conversed with him felt and acknowledged the gentleman. The secret of the matter, I believe to be this-we feel the gentlemanly character present to us, whenever, under all the circumstances of social intercourse, the trivial not less than the important, through the whole detail of his manners and deportment, and with the ease of a habit, a person shows respect to others in such a way, as at the same time implies in his own feelings an habitual and assured anticipation of reciprocal respect from them to himself. In short, the gentlemanly character arises out of the feeling of Equality acting, as a Habit, yet flexible to the varieties of Rank, and modified without being disturbed or superseded by them. This description will perhaps explain to you the ground of one of your own remarks, as I was englishing to you the interesting dialogue concerning the causes of the corruption of eloquence. "What perfect gentlemen these old Romans must have been! I was impressed, I remember, with the same feeling at the time I was reading a translation of Cicero's philosophical dialogues and of his epistolary correspondence while in Pliny's letters I seemed to have a different feeling—he gave me the notion of a very fine gentleman." You uttered the words as if you had felt that the adjunct had injured the substance and the increased degree altered the kind. Pliny was the courtier of an absolute monarch -Cicero an aristocratic republican. For this reason the character of gentleman, in the sense to which I have confined it, is frequent in England, rare in France, and found, where it is found,
in age or the latest period of manhood; while in Germany the character is almost unknown. But the proper antipode of a gentleman is to be sought for among the Anglo-American demo
I owe this digression, as an act of justice to this amiable Frenchman, and of humiliation for myself. For in a little controversy between us on the subject of French poetry, he made me feel my own ill-behavior by the silent reproof of contrast, and when I afterwards apologized to him for the warmth of my language, he answered me with a cheerful expression of surprise, and an immediate compliment, which a gentleman might both make with dignity and receive with pleasure. I was pleased, therefore, to find it agreed on, that we should, if possible, take up our quarters in the same house. My friend went with him in search of an hotel, and I to deliver my letters of recommendation.
I walked onward at a brisk pace, enlivened not so much by any thing I actually saw, as by the confused sense that I was for the first time in my life on the continent of our planet. I seemed to myself like a liberated bird that had been hatched in an aviary, who now, after his first soar of freedom, poises himself in the upper air. Very naturally I began to wonder at all things, some for being so like, and some for being so unlike the things in England-Dutch women with large umbrella hats shooting out half a yard before them, with a prodigal plumpness of petticoat behind-the women of Hamburg with caps plaited on the caul with silver, or gold, or both, bordered round with stiffened lace which stood out before their eyes, but not lower, so that the eyes sparkled through it—the Hanoverian women with the fore part. of the head bare, then a stiff lace standing up like a wall perpendicular on the cap, and the cap behind tailed with an enormous quantity of ribbon which lies or tosses on the back:
"Their visnom.ies seem'd like a goodly banner
Spread in defiance of all enemies."
The ladies all in English dresses, all rouged, and all with bad teeth which you notice instantly from their contrast to the almost animal, too glossy mother-of-pearl whiteness and the regularity of the teeth of the laughing, loud-talking country. women and servant-girls, who, with their clean white stockings
and with slippers without heel quarters, tripped along the dirty streets, as if they were secured by a charm from the dirt with a lightness, too, which surprised me, who had always considered it as one of the annoyances of sleeping in an Inn, that I had to clatter up stairs in a pair of them. The streets narrow; to my English nose sufficiently offensive, and explaining at first sight the universal use of boots; without any appropriate path for the foot-passengers; the gable ends of the houses all towards the street, some in the ordinary triangular form and entire, as the botanists say; but the greater number notched and scolloped with more than Chinese grotesqueness. Above all, I was struck with the profusion of windows, so large and so many, that the houses look all glass. Mr. Pitt's window tax, with its pretty little additionals sprouting out from it like young toadlets on the back of a Surinam toad, would certainly improve the appearance of the Hamburg houses, which have a slight summer look, not in keeping with their size, incongruous with the climate, and precluding that feeling of retirement and self-content, which one wishes to associate with a house in a noisy city. But a conflagration would, I fear, be the previous requisite to the production of any architectural beauty in Hamburg: for verily it is a filthy town. I moved on and crossed a multitude of ugly bridges, with huge black deformities of water wheels close by them. The water intersects the city everywhere, and would have furnished to the genius of Italy the capabilities of all that is most beautiful and magnificent in architecture. It might have been the rival of Venice, and it is huddle and ugliness, stench and stagnation. The Jungfer Stieg (that is, Young Ladies' Walk), to which my letters directed me, made an exception. It was a walk or promenade planted with treble rows of elm-trees, which, being yearly pruned and cropped, remain slim and dwarf-like. This walk occupies one side of a square piece of water, with many swans on it perfectly tame, and, moving among the swans, showy pleasure-boats with ladies in them, rowed by their husbands or lovers. *
(Some paragraphs have been here omitted.)
*** thus embarrassed by sad and solemn politeness, still more than by broken English, it sounded like the voice of an old friend when I heard the emigrant's servant inquiring after me. He had come for the purpose of guiding me to our hotel. Through
streets and streets I pressed on as happy as a child, and, I doubt not, with a childish expression of wonderment in my busy eyes, amused by the wicker wagons with movable benches across them, one behind the other (these were the hackney-coaches); amused by the sign-boards of the shops, on which all the articles sold within are painted, and that too very exactly, though in a grotesque confusion (a useful substitute for language in this great mart of nations); amused with the incessant tinkling of the shop and house-door bells, the bell hanging over each door, and struck with a small iron rod at every entrance and exit;—and finally, amused by looking in at the windows, as I passed along; the ladies and gentlemen drinking coffee or playing cards, and the gentlemen all smoking. I wished myself a painter, that I might have sent you a sketch of one of the card parties. The long pipe of one gentleman rested on the table, its bowl half a yard from his mouth, fuming like a censer by the fish-pool-the other gentleman, who was dealing the cards, and of course had both hands employed, held his pipe in his teeth, which hanging down between his knees, smoked beside his ankles. Hogarth himself never drew a more ludicrous distortion both of attitude and physiognomy, than this effort occasioned nor was there wanting beside it one of those beautiful female faces which the same Hogarth, in whom the satirist never extinguished that love of beauty which belonged to him as a poet, so often and so gladly introduces, as the central figure, in a crowd of humorous deformities, which figure (such is the power of true genius!) neither acts, nor is meant to act as a contrast; but diffuses through all, and over each of the group, a spirit of reconciliation and human kindness; and, even when the attention is no longer consciously directed to the cause of this feeling, still blends its tenderness with our laughter and thus prevents the instructive merriment at the whims of nature or the foibles or humors of our fellow-men from degenerating into the heart poison of contempt or hatred.
Our hotel DIE WILDE MAN (the sign of which was no bad likeness of the landlord, who had ingrafted on a very grim face a restless grin, that was at every man's service, and which indeed, like an actor rehearsing to himself, he kept playing in expectation of an occasion for it)—neither our hotel, I say, nor its landlord were of the genteelest class. But it has one great advantage for a stranger, by being in the market-place, and the next neigh
bor of the huge church of St. Nicholas a church with. shops and houses built up against it, out of which wens and warts its high massy steeple rises, necklaced near the top with a round of large gilt balls. A better pole-star could scarcely be desired. Long shall I retain the impression made on my mind by the awful echo, so loud and long and tremulous, of the deep-toned clock within this church, which awoke me at two in the morning from a distressful dream, occasioned, I believe, by the feather-bed, which is used here instead of bed-clothes. I will rather carry my blanket about with me like a wild Indian, than submit to this abominable custom. Our emigrant acquaintance was, we found, an intimate friend of the celebrated Abbé de Lisle and from the large fortune which he possessed under the monarchy, had rescued sufficient not only for independence, but for respectability. He had offended some of his fellow-emigrants in London, whom he had obliged with considerable sums, by a refusal to make further advances, and in consequence of their intrigues had received an order to quit the kingdom. I thought it one proof of his innocence, that he attached no blame either to the alien act, or to the minister who had exerted it against him; and a still greater, that he spoke of London with rapture, and of his favorite niece, who had married and settled in England, with all the fervor and all the pride of a fond parent. A man sent by force out of a country, obliged to sell out of the stocks at a great loss, and exiled from those pleasures and that style of society which habit had rendered essential to his happiness, whose predominant feelings were yet all of a private nature, resentment for friendship outraged, and anguish for domestic affections interrupted—such a man, I think, I could dare warrant guiltless of espionage in any service, most of all in that of the present French Directory. He spoke with ecstacy of Paris under the Monarchy and yet the particular facts, which made up his description, left as deep a conviction on my mind, of French worthlessness, as his own tale had done of emigrant ingratitude. Since my arrival in Germany, I have not met a single person, even among those who abhor the Revolution, that spoke with favor, or even charity, of the French emigrants. Though the belief of their influence in the organization of this disastrous war (from the horrors of which, North Germany deems itself only reprieved, not secured), may have some share in the general aversion with which they are regarded