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for once in his life, to depend solely on turn of life when the green leaf is beginhimself, docked of his lictors, for whatever ning to get yellow and sickly, and be asamount of respect, or even attention, he sured there is nothing like a plunge into can attract. This is a wholesome and new worlds of human faces for the recov. healthy ordeal; very good for the moral ery of youth, with all its giddy joys and as well as the biliary ducts. It sels a new airy fallacies. and unexpected value upon whatever little But the difficulty is to get an Englishman sense or self-reliance one may really pos. to make this plunge in downright earnest. sess, and makes a man understand his man. Instead of running wild amongst the peohood better in a month than he could have ple of the continent, and giving free vent done in twenty years, through the mirage to whatever youthful mirth has not been of a false position.
quite trampled out of him, he usually runs And no man abandons himself so utterly a muck at them. Instead of gambolling to the intoxication of this new and raptur- with them, he butts and horns them. He ous existence as an Englishman, if once he takes umbrage at every thing. It is imposallows himself to give way to it. He rush- sible to please him. He is resolved not to es at once to the opposite extreme. He be pleased, come what may. Shine or rain, chuckles and screams, like a boy out of it is all the same; he quarrels with every school, like a hound just released from the thing, simply because it is not English. It thong, bounding over fields and ditches, might be supposed he went on an expediand taking every thing at a leap, as if Beel- tion in search of England, he is so disconzebub were dancing mad at his heels. If tented at not finding England at every turn he is only sure that he is not observed, that of the road. It never occurs to him how nobody sees him—for this craven con- much enjoyment and instruction he loses sciousness, and fear of ridicule, haunt him by not trying to discover the points of muday and night—there is nothing too puerile, tual agreement: his whole labor is to dig nothing too gay or riotous for him. He is out the points of difference. He has not no longer forty or fifty, but rampant nine. the least glimmer of a conception how
The sudden enchantment sets him much the former overbalance the latter ; beside himself; he is under the influence how much more there is to admire and imof a spell; no longer starched and tram- itate, than to censure and avoid ; and how melled in frigid responsibilities, his joints much sound feeling and morality, practical begin to move with freedom and elasticity; virtue, and social goodness, there may be he is all eyes, legs, ears. With what curi- in common between people who scowl at osity he peers into shop-windows and ba- each other 'like frowning cliffs apart' upzaars; with what vivacity, wondering se on questions of cookery and ventilation. cretly all the wbile at his miraculous acces. He delights in picking up vexations and sion of gusto, he criticises picture-galleries cross-purposes, and incidents that biot and museums; how vigorously he hunts dislike;' and he snarls at them as a dog through royal parks and palaces to collect does at a bone, which, all unprofitable as it gossip for the table d'hôte; how he climbs is, he takes a sort of surly pleasure in lofty steeples and boasts of his lungs; what growling over. Every step he makes farmountains of ice he devours in the heat of nishes fresh excuses for grumbling and the day ; what torrents of lemonade gazeuse getting out of humor; and the only wodor Seltzer water he swallows; what a din. der is why he ever left home, and why be ner he makes amidst a bewildering chaos does not go back again without delay. of provocations; and how zealously be There is nothing to eat (this is universal); nourishes his emancipated enthusiasm with the wines are vinegar; the lower classes hock and claret, in the exquisite agony of wallow in dirt and superstition; the a profound contempt for gout and indiges- churches are hung all over with theatrical tion.
gewgaws; the people are eaten up by the Verily there is nothing under heaven priests; the stench of the towns is past so thoroughly English, as those things endurance; the women are pert and affect. which are in the very grain of their nature ed, the men all folly and grimace; the few the most thoroughly un-English: so unna. educated people are destitute of the dignitural is the slavery of our habitual self-sup- ty and reserve essential to the maintenance pression, so natural our disfranchisement: of rank and order; there is no distinction and of these extremes are we pieced. O ye of persons; and one cannot go into a public who fold yourselves up in the coil of sour company without having one's Teutonic melancholy, 'like the fat weed that rots on delicacy offended by the levity and grossLethe's stream,' take heed at that critical ness of the conversation. It has been well
said of the English, that their forte is the hereditary dread of scattering and weaken. disagreeable and repulsive.
ing them. He has been brought up in the Is there nothing in England to provoke notion that a Jack of all trades is master of the acerbity of a foreigner, who should take none, and so he sticks to his last, and is pleasure in cataloguing annoyances and obstinately ignorant of every thing else. tantalizing himself" with painful truths ? This description of training makes capital Are we quite sure that we are exempt from mechanics ; but you must not look for any public nuisances and social evils ? Take a power of combination, any reasoning faculstranger into our manufacturing districts, iy, any capacity of comparison or generali. our mines and collieries, our great towns. zation, where the mind has been flattened Is there nothing there to move his compas- down and beaten into a single track. It is sion, to fill him with amazement and hor- this which, in a great degree, communi. ror? No wrong-doing, no oppression, no cates that air of gloom and reserve to the vice? On every side he is smitten to the English peasantry which strikes foreigners heart by the cruelties of our system; by so forcibly on their first coming amongst the hideous contrast of wealth and want, us. Nor is the matter much mended in the plethora and famine; a special class smoth higher circles of society. An English con. ered up in luxuries, and a dense population verzatione is like the Dead March' in struggling wolfishly for the bare means of Saul.' Every body seems to have got insubsistence. Out of all this, drunkenness—to a sort of funereal atmosphere; the deepunknown in his own midsummer clime-est solemnity sits in every face; and the glares upon him at every step. He hears whole affair looks as if it were got up for the cry of despair, the bitter imprecation, any imaginable purpose but that of social the blasphemous oath, as he passes through intercourse and enjoyment. No wonder a the packed and steaming streets. True, we stranger, accustomed to incessant variety, have fine shops and aristocratic houses, and bringing, by the force of habit, his enand macadamized roads, and paved cause- tire stock of spirits to bear upon the occaways and footpaths; but these things, and sion, should be chilled and petrified at a the tone of comfort they inspire, and the scene which presents such a perplexity to ease and prosperity they imply, only make his imagination. He may put up, as grace. the real misery, the corroding depravity, fully as he can, with being cheated and all the more palpable and harrowing. As overcharged and turned into ridicule for to priests—what becomes of our Church in his blunders at hotels and lodging houses; the comparison ? To be sure our priests these are vulgar and sordid vices. But he never walk about the streets—they ride in looks for compensation and sympathy to their carriages: a symptom which is only the upper classes. Is he disappointed ? He an aggravation of the disease. Nor are we is too much a man of the world, too intent so free from superstition as we would have upon making the best of every thing, too the world believe. It is not very long since enjoué, and too ready to appreciate and acSir William Courtenay preached in East knowledge whatever is really praiseworthy Kent; the followers of Johanna Southcote and agreeable, to annoy any body with his form a very thriving little sect; and witch-impressions. The contrast is marked—the es are still accredited in the north. For inference irresistible. credulity we might be matched against any We are so apt to think everything contemporary country—witness our police wrong which does not happen to square reports, our joint-stock bubbles, our emi- with our own usages, that we rarely make gration schemes, and our patent medicines. allowances for the difference of habits and Are we more enlightened as a nation than modes of life. But it ought to be rememour neighbors? Do we treat men of letters bered that some national traits may jar with with more regard? Is our population bet. our customs, and yet harmonize perfectly ter instructed? Do you find anywhere in with the general characteristics and neces. England, as you do in France and Germany, sities of others; and that many of the very the poor way-side man acquainted with his traits we desiderate in them would be tolocal traditions, and proud of his great tally irreconcilable with the whole plan of names in literature and history? Alì this their society-perhaps even with their cli
. sort of refinement is wanted : our popula- mate, which frequently exercises an inflution is bred up in material necessities, and ence that cannot be averted over society has neither leisure nor inclination for intel-itself. One of the things, for example, lectual culture. The workman knows no- which most frets and chafes an English. thing beyond his work, and even locks up man of the common stamp is the eternal his faculties in it, from an instinctive and futter of the continent. He cannot make
Vol. III. No. IV. 31
out how the people contrive to carry on the few moments every chair is occupied. business of life, since they appear to be al. Cheap refuge against ennui, against the ways engrossed in its pleasures. He is not evil misgivings of solitude, the wear and content io 'take the goods the Gods pro tear of conventional hindrances to the free vide,' but must needs know whether they course of the animal spirits! Here are to are honestly come by. To him, the peo- be found every class, from the lord to the ple seem to be perpetually flying from négociant ; noblemen and commoners of the place to place, on the wing for fresh de highest rank and their families; military, lights. It never occurs to him that he is and civilians of all professions; and some making holiday himself; he only thinks it of the resident élite of the locality, who ocextraordinary that they should be doing casionally prefer this mode of living to the the same thing. Yet a moment's reflection dreary details and lonely pomp of a small ought to show him that they must labor household. From this usage, which we for their pleasure as we do; although they deprecate so much because it impinges updo not take their pleasure, as we do, with on our dignity and sullendess, a manifest an air of labor. Pleasure is cheaper on the advantage is gained in the practical educacontinent, as every thing else is, where tion of men for any intercourse with genpeople are not bowed down by an Old Man eral society to which they may be called. at their backs in the shape of a glorious Nor is it of less value in conferring upon National Debt.
them that ease and self-possession and verThis lightness of the heart, joined to the satile command of topics, for which the lightness of the asmosphere, produces that people of the continent are so much more open-air festivity and community of enjoy. distinguished than our countrymen. ment which makes the heavy hypochondri. An implicit and somewhat audacious reacal man stare. He is used to think of tax. liance upon the virtues of money in carryes and easterly winds, and cannot under- ing a traveller through every difficulty, is stand how such crowds of people can go one of the foibles by which we are preout of doors to enjoy themselves. He eminently noted all over the world. Nor wonders they are so improvident of money are we content merely to depend upon the and rheumatism. Little does he suspect weight of our purses, but we must brandish how slight their acquaintance is with either, them ostentatiously in the faces of innkeepand how much satisfaction they have in ers and postilions, till we make them contheir cap and bells and their blue skies not. scious of our superiority, with the insult. withstanding! He goes to an hotel, and ing suggestion in addition, that we think petulantly orders dinner in a private room, them poor and venal enough to be ready to his sense of exclusiveness taking umbrage do any thing for hire. Of course we must at the indiscriminate crush of the salle à pay for our vanity and insolence; and acmanger below. Here again he is at fault. cordingly resentment in kind takes swing. The salle à manger is the absolute fashion ing toll out of us wherever we go. Milor of the place. It is the universal custom of Anglais is the sure mark for pillage and Europe. The Englishman alone cannot re- overcharge and mendacious servility; all concile himself to it. He sees a salon set of which he may thank himself for having out on a scale of such magnificence, that called into existence. We remember fallhe immediately begins to calculate the ex. ing in with an old gentleman at Liege serpenditure, and jumps to a conclusion--al- eral years ago who had travelled all over ways estimating things by his own standard Belgium and up the Rhine into Nassau, -that the speculation must be a dead loss. without knowing one word of any language To be sure, that is no business of his, but except his own native English. His explahe cannot help the instinct. Enter a salon nation of this curious dumb process to a of this description, and observe with what group of his countrymen tickled the whole regal splendor it is appointed ; brilliantly party amazingly. He thought you could lighted up, painted, gilt, draperied with travel anywhere, without knowing any lanoriental pomp; a long table runs down the guage, if you had only plenty of money: centre, perhaps two or three, laid out for he did not know what he had paid at Weisdinner with excellent taste. You wonder baden, or anywhere else: his plan was to by what magic the numerous company is thrust his hand into his pocket, take it out to be brought together for which such an again filled with sovereigns, and let them extensive accommodation is provided; pre- help themselves: he never could make out sently a bell rings; it is followed, after an their bills, they were written in such a bieinterval, by a second and a third peal; then roglyphical hand : what of that? Rhino the guests glide in noiselessly, and in a will carry you anywhere! (an exclamation
enforced by a thundering slap on his built without much method, piled up of all breeches pocket ;) he didn't care about be orders and ages: narrow streets, paved all ing cheated; he had money enough, and over with sharp stones-fantastic and irmore where that came from ; he supposed regular façades--all sorts of roofs and they cheated him, but he could afford it; angles—every color ip the rainbow-dark that was all he looked to ; and much more entries—latticed windows--gullies of wato the same purpose.
We would ask any ter running through the streets like rivureasonable man of any country whether an lets-and crowds of men, women, children, avowed system of this kind, which puts an and horses tramping up and down all day open premium upon knavery, is not calcu- long, as if they were holding a fair. А lated to draw upon those who practise it a comparison of one of these towns with an just measure of obloquy and derision. English town is as much out of the nature
The determination not to see things as of things, as a comparison between the old they are, but to condemn them wholesale Egyptian religion, all grandeur and filth, for not being something else, is another of with a well-swept conventicle. our salient characteristics. And this de- The English who settle on the continent termination generally shows itself most -people who emigrate for good reasons of violently in reference to things which, for their own, but chiefly for one which they the most part, can neither be remedied nor are not always willing to avow-are hardly altered. The physiognomy of the country less inaccessible to reason and generosity. upsets all our previous theories of compact You always find them grumbling and as living and picturesque scenery: tall, crazy murky as thunder-clouds. They never give châteaux-dreary rows of trees-intermin- way to pleasant influences: they are sensiable roads—dull stretches of beet-root and tive only to hard knocks. The crust of mangel-wurzel—no hedge-rows—no busy prejudice never melts: it can only be chiphum of machinery—and such towns! The ped off by repeated blows. And the worst towns are the especial aversion of an Eng. of it is that the location they are driven to Jishman. He compiles in his own mind a select, for its superior convenience on the flattering ideal from the best general fea- score of neighborhood and economy, pitchtures of an English town, and immediately es them amongst a people the very reverse sets about a comparison with the straggling of themselves. The sullen pride of the discordant mass of houses before him. The English and the explosive vanity of the result is false both ways, making the Eng. French make a compound fit for a witch lish town better than it is, and the conti. caldron. They are felicitously illustrated nental town a thousand times worse. This by a story too good to be true. A Frenchprocedure is obviously fallacious, to say man is boasting to an Englishman of the nothing about the prejudice that lurks at battle of Waterloo, a sore subject on both the bottom. We carry away with us only sides, and arrogantly claiming the victory. a few vague pictorial images, rejecting all “How can that be," exclaims the English. the disagreeable details: English neatness, man, "since you left us in possession of English order, whitewash, green verandahs, the field ?" Mon Dieu !" replies the windows buried in roses and honey-suckles, Frenchman, "we won the battle, but you gardens boxed round with fauliless pre. were so obstinate you wouldn't be beaten, cision--and a serene air of contentment and we left the field in disgust!” Frenchover the whole, as if it were a nook in Par. men have the best of such disputes by turnadise. We drop out all the harsh features: ing even their failures into pleasantries. the crushed spirit of the inmates of these English residents in France are drawn pretty houses, who find it so hard to live in thither by the grand motive of cheap living, their aromatic cottages; the haggard, cheap education for their children. A famspeechless things that hang round the door. ily could not exist in England, without un
and road-sides; the brusque manners; dergoing severe privations and severer the masked misery ; the heartless indiffer- humiliation, upon the small sum which will
We not only forget all such items enable them to live well in France. This is on the one hand, but the historical and the magnet which attracts so many people local circumstances on the other, which on narrow incomes to the French shores. might help to reconcile us to the unfavor. At the little town of Dinan, on the Rance, able side of the comparison. Continental there are nearly 300 English residents; at towns are generally of great antiquity, hav- Tours, on the Loire, there are 2000, and ing a remote origin in forts and castles, there were formerly three times that numand becoming gradually enlarged to meet ber, until certain unpleasantnesses broke up new necessities. They are, consequently, I and dispersed the community; Avranches,
St. Malo, St. Servan, swarm with English ; We should like to ask this desolate, but there are 6000 at Boulogne; and they con- well-fed gentleman, what sort of society gregate at Rouen, Caen, Havre, and other he was able to keep at home, or rather, places in proportion. People do not exile whether he was able to keep any society at themselves for mere caprice to a strange all? If so, why did he condemn himself to land, where a strange language is spoken, this miserable banishment ? Why, he knew where they are surrounded by strange cus very well, that the mere cost of putting bimtoms, and separated from familiar faces and self en regle to make and receive visits, old ties and associations; they must have supposing it possible to keep aloof from a strong motive for inaking so many pain the consequent expenses of seeing compaful sacrifices of habit, of friendship within ny, would have swallowed up his whole incall if not within reach of easy intercourse; come. and that motive must be more powerful But the assertion is not true that such than the claims and considerations it over places are destitute of good society; and in rules. At home they are exposed to a not a few instances the best society is too thousand distresses; they cannot sustain intellectual for the common run of econothe position to which their connexions or mists, consisting as it does of the families their tastes invite them; and then there of men of science and letters connected with are children to be cared for, to be educated, the public institutions of the locality. In this and put out in the world. How is all this respect France is essentially different from to be accomplished upon means so limited England, and it is desirable to note the dif. as to keep them in a state of hopeless war- rerence carefully. While the system of cenfare with appearances ? The alternative is tralization renders Paris the culminating to settle in a country where the necessaries point of the political movements of the of life are cheap, where education is cheap, country, and consequently draws into its where they can escape the eyes of Argus, focus much of the wealth, and all the fashand do as they like: a sort of genteel ions of the kingdom ; literature and science, emigration. Who is the wiser whether diffusive in their results, but retired and they do this on £100 or £1000 a year, if silent in their operations, linger lovingly they can do it independently? They are in sequestered retreats, in provincial towns out of the realms of spite and tattle. Let and villages. Almost every town has its col. nobody wonder then at the numbers of lege, or at all events its museum, and its English who settle in France and other public schools, and upon these foundations cheap countries; the real wonder is that several professors are established. These there are not more of them. But let no- are frequently men of a very high order of body, either out of false delicacy or falser talent--antiquaries, good scholars, and arpride, mistake the causes of their settling dent lovers of literature. It is scarcely there. It is not from choice but necessity. necessary to observe that excellent society The question comes home quite as forcibly might be formed out of such materials; but to the English gentleman of £300 per an- this is unfortunately not always the sort of num, who rents a house at Avranches or society the English resident caresto cultiGranville, as to the practical farmer who, vate. The want, however, lies in him, not before he is ground into a pauper by high in the elements around him. The French rents at home, turns his little property into provinces are, in fact, full of a class of readcapital, and transports himself and his fam-ers and writers unknown in England. ily to Van Diemeu's Land. The only im. Every department bas its own capital, portant difference between the two cases is, towards which all its lines of interest conihat the one can return when he pleases, verge, forming a minor system of centraland the other, having embarked his whole ization in every thing that concerns its losubstance in a single venture, must abide cal history, arts, science, and antiquities. the issue.
It must not be supposed that all distinguish. The English resident in France is not sat. ed men of letters in France run up to Paris, isfied, however, with his new mode of life as in England they run up to London. Men after all, and must let off a little ill-humor of fortune do, leaving their chateaux to go upon the people. He exclaims, “Oh! yes, to ruin, while they riot in the salons of you get necessaries cheap enough; but there the metropolis; fashionable novelists, drathe advantage ends. There is no such matists and dreamers in blankverse and phithing as society in such places, and you losophy, fly to Paris as the only place where must make up your mind to a mere state they can obtain encouragement and remuof vegetation. The best you can make of it neration; but historians and antiquaries, a is banishment with plenty to eat and drink.” | very large class, are content with the hum