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those of some dozen months old, may not be unwelcome, in illustration of that kind, tender, simple, loving nature, which is ever correcting the possible tendencies of satire per se, by some whispered "aside” of pathos, that in artless truth, goes straight to as straight as it came from—the heart.

Take Fitz-boodle's description of Sir George Thrum's old, tall, dingy house, furnished in the reign of George III., his beloved master, and not much more cheerful now than a family vault-the awfully funereal look of its last-century ornaments—the grey gloom that hangs over the stairs in all such houses-the dull-coloured old carpet that winds its way up the same, growing thinner, duller, and more threadbare, as it mounts to the bedroom floors. There is something awful, says Mr. Fitz-boodle, in a reverie over his wine at Sir George's, in the bedroom of a respectable old couple of sixty-five: he bids us think of the old feathers, turbans, bugles, petticoats, pomatum-pots, spencers, white satin shoes, false fronts, the old flaccid boneless stays tied up in faded riband, the dusky fans, the old forty years old baby-linen.

The letters of Sir George when he was young, poor Murza’s doll, who died in 1803, Frederick’s first corduroy breeches, and the newspaper which contains the account of his distinguishing himself at the siege of Seringapatam. All these lie somewhere damp and squeezed down into glum old presses and wardrobes. At that glass the wife has sat many times these fifty years; in that old morocco bed her children were born. Where are they now? Fred, the brave captain, and Charles, the saucy colleger; there hangs a drawing of him done by Mr. Beechey, and that sketch by Conway, was the very likeness of Louisa before.

“Mr. Fitz-boodle! for Heaven's sake come down. What are you doing in a lady's bedroom?"

“The fact is, madam, I had no business there in life, but, having had quite enough wine with Sir George, my thoughts had wandered up-stairs into the sanctuary of female excellence, where your ladyship nightly reposes. You do not sleep so well now as in old days, though there is no patter of little steps to wake

you

overhead." What truth and beauty in such an obiter dictum as this (and there is no stint of such) in “ Esmond :"

Gracious God! who was he, weak and friendless creature, that such a love should be poured out on him! Not in vain, not in vain has he lived-hard and thankless should he be to think som —that has such a treasure given him. What is ambition compared to that ?--but selfish vanity. To be rich--to be famous ? What do these profit a year hence, when other names sound louder than yours ; when you lie hidden away under ground, along with the idle titles engraven on your coffin? But only true love lives after you, follows your memory with secret blessing, or precedes you, and intercedes for you. Non omnis moriar-if dying, I yet live in a tender heart or two; nor am lost and hopeless living, if a sainted departed soul still loves and prays for me.

Take, again, an instance from the author's latest fiction. The veteran Thomas Newcome sees his niece Ethel, and is sadly reminded, by her sweet young looks, of a first love of his own :

There was no point of resemblance, and yet a something in the girl's look, voice, and movements, which caused his heart to thrill, and an image out of the past to rise up and salute him. The eyes which had brightened his youth (and which he saw in his dreams and thoughts for faithful years afterwards, as though they looked at him out of heaven), seemed to shine upon him after five-and

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thirty years. He remembered such a fair bending neck and clustering hair, such a light foot and airy figure, such a slim hand lying in his own, and now parted from it with a gap of ten thousand long days between. It is an old saying, that we forget nothing; as people in fever begin suddenly to talk the language of their infancy: we are stricken by memory sometimes, and old affections rush back on us as vivid as in the time when they were our daily talk, when their presence gladdened our eyes, when their accents thrilled in our ears, when with passionate tears and grief we flung ourselves upon their hopeless corpses. Parting is death, at least as far as life is concerned. A passion comes to an end; it is carried off in a coffin, or, weeping in a post-chaise, it drops out of life one way or other, and the earth-clods close over it, and we see But it has been part of our souls, and it is eternal. Does a mother not

а love her dead infant ? a man his lost mistress? with the fond wife nestling at his side-yes, with twenty children smiling round his knee? No doubt, as the old soldier held the girl's hand in his, the little talisman led him back to Hades, and he saw Leonora.

And there abruptly the scene shifts, from Dreamland, fresh with the dew of life's morning, five times-seven years ago; and the grey

elder drops the talisman, and is back in common life again, amid the din of his younger brother's children. There is a time for all things, and the time for such reveries is short. Not in the gamesome presence of prattlers each intent on Uncle's undivided attention, is the time

To weep afresh love's long-since cancell'd woe,

And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight. Often enough are the “sessions of sweet silent thought” thus hastily and sine die adjourned.

A long-ago letter of Clive Newcome's to his father, when Clive began to see the world, and the world was all before him, suggests to Clive's biographer, as he looks at it, these true, sweet, solemn thoughts, on longago letters in general, -speaking home to each of us in particular :

In the faded ink, on the yellow paper that may have crossed and recrossed oceans, that has lain locked in chests for years, and buried under piles of family archives, while your friends have been dying and your head has grown whitewho has not disinterred mementoes like these- from which the past smiles at you sadly, shimmering out of Hades an instant but to sink back again into the cold shades, perhaps with a faint, faint sound as of a remembered tone-a ghostly echo of a once familiar laughter? I was looking of late at a wall in the Naples museum, whereon a boy of Herculaneum eighteen hundred years ago had scratched with a nail the figure of a soldier. I could fancy the child turning round and smiling on me after having done his etching. Which of us that is thirty years old has not had his Pompeii ? Deep under ashes lies the Life of Youth, -the careless Sport, the Pleasure and Passion, the darling Joy. You open an old letter-box and look at your own childish scrawls, or your mother's letter to you when you were at school; and excavate your heart. O me for the day when the whole city shall be bare and the chambers unroofed—and every cranny visible to the Light above, from the Forum to the Lupanar !

Colonel Newcome (clarum et venerabile nomen !) sacrifices many a personal wish, resolutely and in cheery silence, for his son's welfare. And the self-sacrifice of father for son is thus commented on:

The young fellow, I dare say, gave his parent no more credit for his long selfdenial, than many other children award to theirs. We take such life-offerings as our due commonly. The old French satirist avers that in a love affair there is usually one person who loves, and the other, qui se laisse aimer; it is only in

The ears may

later days, perhaps, when the treasures of love are spent, and the kind hand cold which ministered them, that we remember how tender it was; how soft to soothe; how eager to shield; how ready to support and caress. no longer hear, which would have received our words of thanks so delightedly. Let us hope those fruits of love, though tardy, are yet not all too late ; and though we bring our tribute of reverence and gratitude, it may be to a gravestone, there is an acceptance even there for the stricken heart's oblation of fond remorse, contrite memories, and pious tears. I am thinking of the love of Clive Newcome's father for him (and, perhaps, young reader, that of yours and mine for ourselves); how the old man lay awake, and devised kindnesses, and gave his all for the love of his son; and the young man took, and spent, and slept, and made merry. Did we not say at our tale's commencement that all stories were old ? Careless prodigals and anxious elders have been from the beginning; and so may love, and repentance, and forgiveness endure even to the end.

To find room for morceaux of this kind, omission may be made, without much compunction, of comment on the novelist's salient points as satirist and humorist of the first order. Page after page too might (but must not) be filled with notes upon minor particulars for which he is note-worthy; his unique talent for imitating female correspondence; his skill in the home-manufacture of broken English; his truthful portraiture of children to the life”-so different from the boy and girl idealities typified in Mrs. Stowe's preterperfect Eva, and Miss Yonge's preterplu. perfect Johnnie; his almost intuitive interpretation of the real life that underlies the factitious, in good society; his familiarity with the carte of a Russell-square dinner, and the et cætera of a Belgrave belle's full dress; his

But hark! Methought I heard a voice cry, Write no more. Askest thou, curious reader, the whence and why of that abrupt warning ? "Tis the imprecation (deprecation I mean) of the evil ayyedos of the press

I the loud and long-drawn-out suspirium, de profundis (from the bottom of the staircase I mean), of that “sad boy," the Printer's Devil. No other summons, gentlest of gentle readers, could or should avail at this juncture to separate so rudely 'twixt thee and me; but there is demoniac agency in the case.

I hear a voice you cannot hear,
Which says

I must not stay-
I see a hand you cannot see

Which beckons me awaythe voice being that of the husky, dusky imp aforesaid, and the hand his outstretched, unsightly, unwashed, ink-and-dust-and-dirt-begrimed paw. The one hoarsely bawls “ Time's up!"—the other is inexorably held out for “copy.”

“ Welcome, little stranger!" smiles one reader. “ Don't keep him waiting,” sneers a second. “ Better late than never," snores a third.

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6

DIPLOMACY-FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

BY CYRUS REDDING.

To the monarch who laid the foundation of the French Revolution, in attempting to realise dreams of false grandeur under grievous popular oppression, are we indebted for the perfecting of what is called “ diplomacy. " Under the present advanced state of the popular mind this system of strategic action in negotiation, established in the early part of the eighteenth century, remains little altered throughout Europe. The evil genius of the age, with false pleas of its convenience and long usage, has not suffered it wholly to depart with other relics of the time of Louis XIV., however desirable for the sake of common honesty in political affairs. It should have perished with the downfal of the race to which it owed its existence. The deformities of diplomacy, or the wiles and stratagems of the art, in their ripeness under the house of Bourbon, so far from exciting reprobation, were esteemed clever methods to win advantages over opponents of integrity and plain dealing. The art did not affect to tolerate knavery unless the knave was of its own selection. It had recourse to truth most frequently when it would aid a profitable falsehood. Born of chicane and nurtured by deception, it yet exists, almost the only remnant of a period in modern history for which humanity has cause to blush.

We indulge the hope that our own diplomatists, while they find it inconvenient to abandon the past to the letter,—in other words, to say "yea” and “ nay" in replication where the matter is clear as the noonday sun, practising evasion for its own sake, and qualified negation for the sake of delay, if with no other object, fully justified by precedent and custom, connived at, although not exactly tolerated by sound moral principle,—we indulge the hope that our own diplomatists make use at present only of the fragments of the original system, though we confess we do not know how this is to be achieved where the gift of speech is not alone given to conceal the thoughts, but to falsify them. may be otherwise ; every era has its marvels.

Why should negotiation between nations be clothed in ambiguity and plain dealing be shunned? Why should the transactions which involve the fortune of empire remain closet affairs, to be resolved only in the memoirs of courtiers or ministers of state at periods when the actors in the farces or tragedies, whichever they may happen to be, can neither hear their own praises nor the anathemas that blacken their dust?

In England, it is true, parliament demands the public documents between courts. We are speaking of diplomacy in general; but even here all is mystery till it is too late to administer à remedy to an error. We cannot imagine why the ministers of any country cannot, taking time for consideration, decide definitively in council how far it becomes them to advance or recede upon any negotiable question, and, in place of a wearisome waste of words and reams of correspondence, state their resolve and have done with it. Protocols and perplexing documents, ambiguity and cypher, are the artillery of diplomacy. Now as to cypher. If we wanted a picture of the mode of debating, corresponding, delaying, concealing, and mystifying in state affairs with foreign courts, that of the cypher would represent in itself the peculiar graces and leading features of the art in the foreign department of every European country. It would be a worthy representative of the whole art, its secrecy, hidden correspondence, duplicity, and violations of public and private confidence. So essential is it to political curiosity to discover secrets, that it is not without precedent to practise revolting crimes for the purpose, by waylaying the envoys of neighbouring states, butchering them, and carrying off their despatches. This was done by Austria at Radstadt, within remembrance. Whether an open policy would not be safer and more useful to nations, we shall not attempt to discuss; that it would be more honourable, moral, and becoming the rulers of enlightened and powerful empires, cannot be doubted. It is from the natural tendency of Englishmen to speak their minds boldly, a habit generated by a free constitution, that they are so often outwitted by their neighbours in their negotiations.

We have just observed that the practice of communicating by cypher is a true picture of diplomacy, not merely with the view of simple concealment, but of mystification. Decent Řoman letters could be read, so could German, or Greek, or Arabic characters. Recourse is had, therefore, to cyphers, or to characters. It is not enough that communications are conveyed by special messengers, and delivered hand to hand, the entire verbiage of the instructions and documents must be written in cypher, and the cypher be continually changed. This might be useful to puzzle the post-offices in which there is an establishment for the dishonest purpose of opening letters, reading, copying, and resealing them, when there is any suspicion about their contents-steam being used for wafers, dry heat for wax, the impression of the seal being first taken by a peculiar process. Nothing is thought of the delay of a single post should it occur, which it does not, unless there is pressure upon the employés at the moment. Those to whom letters are addressed little think their epistles are read, and, perhaps, copied for the police. Letters in cypher render the delay greater in private correspondence, but decipherers are kept to read them. The Foreign Office documents are sent by messengers in England, so called; or in France and Germany by couriers, besides being in cypher. Expresses are called estafettes on the Continent when thus despatched. The use of the cypher amid scenes of warfare is obvious—but we must not dilate. Referring, therefore, to the Foreign Office. Upon the departure of an ambassador he takes from the office, for the purpose of mystification and secret correspondence, three documents. One of these is divided into columns, marked with the letters of the alphabet adopted, and the syllables, words

, or phrases most likely to be used in the course of the negotiation with which he is entrusted. To these are also affixed the names of the sovereigos, kingdoms, or republics, and principal ministers of each. The last or third column contains the secret writing of the Foreign Office, designating the numbers of the cyphers or characters used, by being attached to each letter, word, or phrase, as their signification. Cyphers sometimes stand for letters, words, or whole phrases; the key being in the hands of the corresponding parties. Tables of nouns,

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