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was not more than eight inches long without his tail, these lively gifts frightened him at first a good deal by twisting round his neck when he seized them. His carnivorous nature, however, prevailed, and, without a well-sanded band, he soon mastered and ate them.
M. F. Cuvier had an opportunity of observing their domestic arrangements in a conjugal state. He had a pair who were blest with three young ones; but it seems to have been the Lady Sanglain's first accouchement, and she had no experienced female friend to direct her : so after regarding her interesting progeny, she proceeded to bite off the head of one of them; the other two in the mean time took to the breast, and the moment the mother felt them she was all affection. The papa was even more affectionate than the mamma, and assiduously assisted in the nursery. The favourite position of the young ones was upon the back or bosom of the mother; and, when she was tired of nursing, she would come up to her mate with a shrill cry, which said as plainly as cry could speak, "Here! do take the children.” He, like a good-natured father, immediately stretched forth his hands and placed his offspring upon his back or under his body, where they held on while he carried them about, till they became restless for want of that which he could not give them ; and then he handed them back to his partner, who, after satisfying their hunger, again turned them over to their papa.
Cuvier seems to think that their intelligence is inferior to that of many of the smaller monkeys ; that their attachment to each other is sometimes great, the following anecdote, related by a lady who kept a couple of them, and who could never tell the story unmoved, will prove :-These playful Sanglains had not, indeed, any family, but they were very happy and were all in all each other. One of them, unfortunately, died. The other seemed to be unwilling to believe the change that had taken place, and continued to caress the body until it became absolutely necessary to remove it. Everything was done to console the survivor that its fond and distressed mistress could think of; but, as soon as its mate was taken away, the poor widowed Sanglain pressed its little hands to its eyes, refused to be comforted, and remained pining in that attitude till death relieved it from its sufferings.
WHO ARE THE POOR ?
Paupertatis pudor et fuga.”—Horat.
Amidst the many puzzling questions raised by the too rapid growth of society, making all its opinions and prejudices sit upon it like a schoolboy's last year's clothes-questions which, so far from being idle, are busily setting mankind by the ears from Lisbon to Moscow, there is not one more difficult of solution, or more ticklish to deal with, than that of the poor.
Talk of high church and low church, of a church by law established, and no church at all, talk of Conservative and Radical, of the movement and the extinguisher, what are these, in point of embarrassment and confusion, to the great point of dealing with those who have no share of nature's table-cloth ?
Poverty is quite another guess sort of affair. Opinions may be tough morsels enough to digest; but poverty is a material fact, and facts admit of no compromise. Do not be alarmed, good reader, whether you are a Malthusian, or an anti-Malthusian, whether you are for workhouses or playhouses, whether you are for doing something with the poor, or simply doing for them, it is not our present intention to tread on the corns of your hypothesis. Not that we have not plenty to advance, and that, too, we flatter ourselves rather to the purpose; but sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Let the poor-law question, therefore, await a fitter opportunity: our present design is to deal with a preliminary matter.
Before we can decide as to what is to be done with anything, it is of logical necessity that we should first be satisfied as to its existence. Let us then begin by inquiring if there are indeed any such persons in the community as the poor ; or whether the poor-law disputants, like Tom Thumb, have not“ made the giants first, and then ” disposed of them. For our parts we believe with Macbeth that “ there's no such thing." If poverty be properly defined destitution, an inability to satisfy the first wants of nature, those who know the world best would find the greatest difficulty in producing instances of such a condition. Among our own most numerous acquaintance, we could not cite you a man, however “ sujet de nature à une maladie, qu'on appellait en ce temps là faute d'argent*,” who could be justly considered as so circumstanced. In the olden times, indeed, sub Jove nondum barbato, it might have been, that when a man was without money, or money's worth, when he was without trade, profession, pension, or sinecure, he might have been subjected to some slight personal inconveniences, as Mr. Samuel Weller would call them; but in these, our better days, on a changé tout cela; and none, now, eat, drink, or sleep more luxuri. ously, or are clothed more comfortably, than this very class of persoas, Nor is this so difficult to explain. They who have money, and pay for what they get, are necessarily limited in their supplies by the extent of their purse; whereas, that inore creditable part of the community who dispense with a metallic currency, have their supplies bounded only by their desires. It is their own faults, therefore, if they do things by halves, and if they do not always " eat and drink of the best.”
The younger children of great families must be set down as wholly unprovided for; yet are they never in want. Have they not, in Paddy's parlance, the “best of good eating and drinking” at their command ? and have they not their cab, cob, and cub,” pacing up and down before the club-house door, in as good a style as the richest young banker of them all ? As for dress, too, you would not know them from their estated elders, but by their array being more smart in its cut, and fresher in its material. By the by, we never yet could fully understand how tailors manage to get on--so universal is the halit of not paying their bills. Except, indeed, it be the returning a borrowed umbrella, there is not a more flagrant overt act of honesty than the discharging an account of this description. Tailors, then, it anybody, must be scandalously poor; yet have they their town-houses, and their country-houses, and entertain like lords ! Once again, theirs is no “ case of distress.”
If the condition of the younger child be, at first sight, bad enough with the males, it would appear utterly desperate with the women : as long as papa and mamna live, they have, it is true, the run of the paternal mansion ; and while they continue young enough to have a chance of matrimony, they are treated with considerable care and tenderness; but the convicted old maid, or the spinster sister quartered upon her brother, will rarely fail of finding themselves de trop. Yet the manner in which the Lady Janes and Honourable Harriets get on in life is truly “ prodigious.” They cannot, we admit, figure in the first line, and maintain a high place in London society; but they may dine out every day in the week, ad libitum, by quartering themselves on the Bakerstreet part of the town; while they can get"a set down” at night from some friendly distiller's or stock-jobber's wife, who has a daughter to bring out, and pass their summers in comfort with a divorced duchess, or any
person whose reputation is a trifle the worse for But if they, who never had any property are not poor, neither are they who have run through their estates. The town swarms with men, who, if they have not brought their last acre to the hammer, are mortgaged over head and ears; yet do they want for nothing, and if they have but privilege of Parliament, may stare down a creditor, as if he had done them some serious injury. How stringent must be the force of principle in our two Houses of Legislature, to arrange their majorities so firmly on the side of gold against paper, seeing that so many Honourable and Right Honourable Members have little personal experience to back their opinions; and carry on the business of life, very frequently without so much as a shilling of ready cash in their pockets.
Equally fortunate are those who have not yet “ come into their estates," wards in statu pupillari, and sons dependent upon parental bounty. Nay, the very boys at Eton know as little of real want as their seniors;
and find the means of hunting, shooting, drinking, gaming, &c. &c. as readily and as abundantly as if they had the Bank of England at their disposition. And here we cannot withhold our testimony of esteem and respect for that amiable and charitable class of men, the confiding tradesmen who give credit, and those much reviled, but patient sufferers, the dealers in post-obits. t is the vice of old age to be avaricious, and, as Falstaff complains, “ to hate us youth.” Parents, too, have an odd crotchet, that premature extravagance and dissipation are somewhat at odds with Homer and Virgil. Were it not, therefore, for liberal tradesmen, the boys might leave school as ignorant of the ways of the world as they came to it; instead of being, as at present, far too knowing to be taken in by the arrantest leg, or money-dealer, in Christendom, -nay, infinitely more likely" to do,” than “to be done.” When so much is said against our collegiate education, and its stullus labor ineptiarum, this practical tuition is entirely overlooked, merely because the professors of credit are not placed with the other professors upon the books of the establishment. To the post-obit gentlemen, moreover, the world is indebted for the small share of filial affection which still subsists, where estates are in the question. They considerably abate the intensity of desire with which the heir waits for his turn; not merely by blinding him to the stinginess of “the governor," who may perlaps foolishly insist on going halves with his son in the property; but by diminishing in a still greater degree the advantages of succession. We once heard a young peer openly congratulated by some young ladies of fashion, on the death of his parent (!!!), and I could not help saying to myself, “ If you knew, girls, how much he has to pay in consequence, and what trouble he must encounter, you would not think the matter quite so pleasant.' We need only point to the case of the late unfortunate Mr. Barnwell, to convince our readers of this truth. If that interesting victim of the tender passion, instead of murdering his uncle, like a plebeian as he was, had confided his personals to his other uncle, or signed for a round sum with the usurers, payable on the good man's decease, he would not have met so melancholy a fate, and the world had escaped from the most odious and detestable drama on the English stage. But give a dog an ill name, and you know the consequence. Usury was obnoxious to landed legislators, who, though they like borrowing money, can't abide the paying of it; and they who profess the trade must be nulla virtute redempti.
Not, however, to confine our inquiries in search of the poor to the privileged classes, let us take a turn into the city, and there, too, we shall find no sign of poverty. Diogenes, with fifty lanterns to aid him, would not discover a poor man,
“ within two miles of the Royal Eschange:" and, indeed, it would be a sin and a shame if any man went without his little turtle and claret, for want of a trifle of ready cash, in a place where the whole commerce of the greatest mart in the world is Tased on a liberal system of credits. No man with a grave exterior and a tolerable address need doubt of obtaining in London an assignment of I nens, woollens, crockery, or hardware," on the usual credit," and to the amount of five or ten thousand pounds; why then should he want those“ unconsidered trifles," the first necessaries of life?
Accordingly, bankruptcy, so far from being equivalent to poverty, is usually considered as a stepping-stone to fortune, and stopping payment a favourable opportunity for purchasing an estate. So also the becoming a lame duck does not imply the putting down an equipage, or parting with the family plate; while there is no retail shop more extravagantly decorated nor graced with more enormous plates of glass in its windows than that which is opened by a tradesman fresh from the gazette. Then, again, the non-reality of this bugbear, poverty, must be evident from a bare inspection of the proceedings of insolvent courts. Compare the amoumt of the schedules with that of the debts discharged, and you might be apt to suspect that ruin must rest somewhere. But how is the fact ? The debtor comes out of court " whitewashed,” and is manifestly none the worse for the operation ; and as for the creditor, if he were seriously injured, he would not be so ready to encounter the loss at every turn. This is so inconceivable a result, that any hypothesis seems good which explains it; and we have been tempted at times to imagine that it must be the attorneys who pay for all. That, however, has only been in our after-dinner speculations. Upon an attentive examination of a vast number of insolvents, including many men of family and some peers, we have not been able to detect the smallest diminution of their“ swelling port,” or any appearance in their persons of that care-worn pallor which is said to accompany a state of want. They, therefore, are not poor.
Passing, too, from masters to apprentices and clerks, so far are they from wanting any of the necessaries of life, that they form the great body of those who fill the lobbies of theatres, the hells, and the finishes, keep snug lodgings out of sight, and drive their “ gal" on Sundays in a tim-whiskey, filling half the village Sabbatical retreats within six miles round the metropolis. To do such things on fifty or a hundred pounds a-year is “ quite impossible and can't be done;" and though certain little anecdotes are occasionally whispered at Bow-street, and other similar scandal-shops, to the disadvantage of these “young gentlemen," which might seem to throw light on their means of supply, still the number of such cases is too small to build an inference on, or to impeach our conclusion that poverty has nothing whatever to do with the business.
Why, however, should we cramp our genius and waste the time of our readers in searching for any more particular instances to maintain our thesis withal ? Have we not the evidence of an entire nation formally abandoning the use of money, and going on all the better for it? And herein the Yankees have shown themselves a much greater people than the Lacedemonians. The latter maintained their exchanges with iron money, because they knew no better; whereas the former have acted on experience and like rational philosophers. Observe, also, in point of liberty, the Lacedemonians acted only in servile obedience to Lycurgus; but the Americans agreed upon kiting it, at the very moment when their governors were endeavouring to establish a metallic currency. America having been thoroughly ruined, she is accordingly now doing better than ever; and though we should say that it is England which pays the piper, we should not alter the case. We had a bit of a smash, it is true; but what does that signify? The steam is up again; the looms are in motion as lively as ever; the men are in full work, and the masters ready to round off their fortunes with another plumb or so, by going through the same process all over again.
Thus have we shown, by the process of exhaustion, that poverty is a mere chimera. There are, to be sure, par ci par lù, as Figaro says,