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Caution is with some only a softer term for sloth ; and circumspectness is not unfrequently construed into cowardice. That every measure that they have brought forward has been vigorously pursued with a boldness which conscious rectitude only can inspire, we dare not and need not affirm; but we fearlessly assert that their conduct on the whole has been such as to deserve the confidence of the nation. We have, it is true, looked on the Reform bill as “ the means to an end”—as the beginning of better things,-an era from which the English people may date their legislative existence; and perhaps the ends to which we look are higher than those presented to some of his late Majesty's ministers. Still we are willing to merge all minor differences-all disputes about detail :-we contend only for the general principle of civil, POLITICAL and religIOUS LIBERTY, in the most extensive sense that these terms admit with a due regard to the happiness, peace and wealth of the greatest number. These principles we believe to have actuated the present advisers of the Crown;* and this impression has induced us to defend the line of conduct, to which the Roebucks and the Molesworths have raised so many objections and directed so much vituperation. These gentlemen, whose talents are far more estimable than their judgment, are honest and well intentioned; but their violent and outrageous castigations of the more moderate section of reformers can only have one effect,—that of retarding rather than forwarding the cause which they profess to support. Perhaps we think with them on many points ; but we abide in silence a more convenient season. The Ministry have lately made the strongest demonstrations of their desire to step forth boldly and without hesitation on the path, which their pledges and principles equally call on them to pursue; and so long as this line of conduct is maintained, they deserve and will possess the confidence of the nation. That such ministers should have so long enjoyed the confidence of the Sovereign also, is a fact, which of itself is a higher eulogium to his character, than the choicest compliments or the most courtly flatteries that could be paid to our Patriot King.
The Sovereign of these realms never dies. The third son of George III. is numbered with the dead; but we have still a monarch ; and long may we continue to enjoy a government, which has shed so many blessings on our country. We love the CONSTITUTION; and, however much we desire to expose and root out abuses, we adhere to the general principles on which the framework of the government is founded,-a Monarchy guided by, responsible advisers, and limited by the two other branches of Parliament, the hereditary and elective houses of legislature. William the Fourth is dead, and liveth only in one of the brightest pages of English history ; but Queen VICTORIA is our present monarch, and to this our youthful and accomplished sovereign, we, like every dutiful subject, pay homage due. Her Majesty
We must except the Canada business; for there cannot be two opinions about the conduct of the Colonial department of the administration in the mind of any honest reformer. It was unjust, cruel and oppressive to the colonists, and totally inconsistent with the general principles, by which the government professed to be quided.
ascends the throne with the best wishes of her subjects and their most fervent prayers for her welfare. She stands on high 'vantage ground; and it only rests with her to decide whether she shall become a foil to display more visibly the late king's excellent qualities, or the noblest Queen that ever sat on the English throne. The reign of Elizabeth has been lauded by shallow historians, who regard outward splendour as of more importance than the prosperity of the greatest number in the country; but the liberty of the subject was little, if at all, understood and regarded, and the arts of peace were only in their infancy : -the patronage which this proud princess extended to literary genius, which was more fertile in her day than in that of any subsequent monarch, is but a poor recompence for the haughtiness and supercilious contempt with which she treated the great mass of the English people. Queen Anne's reign has by others been celebrated as the brightest era of English history :- let those, who read of bloody wars, accumulating debts, never-ceasing court intrigues, and a parasitical literature, decide for themselves whether this period is entitled to the praise so lavishly bestowed on it. No:
:-wars at best are but appeals to the physical part of our composition, when all moral influence has ceased to operate. Let us hope that the times, when we measured our national importance by the victories that we had gained and the quantity of blood that we had spilt, have entirely passed away, and that henceforward we shall reckon our advances in greatness and prosperity, not by our military or naval triumphs, but by the progress that we shall make in the arts of peace, and in the establishment of our national reputation as the happiest, wealthiest, and most extensively useful people in modern Europe. We have already won for ourselves the high reputation of being the greatest manufacturing and commercial people in the world, and in practical science scarcely any nation can vie with our own. Enjoying the blessings of a free government and of religious toleration we stand on a proud eminence and can look down on every other state in Europe. Much has been done of late years to rectify abuses and to promote the happiness and comfort of the greatest number of the English people; the march of reform so auspiciously begun in the late reign must be judiciously persevered in. Violence is not needed; but firmness and decision are absolutely necessary in the Monarch as well as in the advisers of the Crown. Queen Victoria ascends the throne with brighter prospects than any of her royal predecessors-long may she live to realise our hopes and expectations.
CITY SKETCHES.-BY AN OLD CITIZEN.
The owner of the name which is to serve as a text for our present discourse, and which stands immediately above, resided, nay, I believe, still resides in Botolph Lane, and was, or is, an orange merchant. I would not have the thoughtless and exclusive reader imagine that Botolph Lane is altogether without the pale of civilization and refinement, or that orange merchants are not human, rational, and respectable beings. On the contrary, that narrow lane—it may almost be called an orange grove-running, or rather, limping from Eastcheap into Lower Thames Street—that lane, I say, contains not only a fair proportion of wealth and gentility, but rejoices in men whose minds are of an expansive turn. “Souls made of fire and children of the sun” (although their father never comes to see them) inhabit there. One of such children was Mr. Eugenius Garwood.
From his earliest infancy Eugenius Garwood had been accustoined to the sight of multitudinous chests of oranges, and immense limber baskets of Barcelona nuts. He had been born and nurtured in Botolph Lane, and for many years his thoughts never travelled further. In due time he was despatched every morning to a commercial academy in Little Tower Street, where he received a good plain sound education; that is to say, having mastered Dilworth, he was instigated to grapple with Lindley Murray, and at length sat down under his academical laurels with a gilt-calf prize copy of Enfield's Speaker at his feet. Nay, this was not all. He imbibed from the works of a modern Cocker the knowledge of figures, their uses and infinite combinations; and Addition, Multiplication, the Rule of Three, Practice, Barter, and Profit and Loss, were at his fingers' ends before they were an inch and a half long. Having been thus taught the use of figures, he was removed from school; and his father impressed upon him the absolute necessity, during life, of taking care of number one, and died a few years afterwards in the perfect conviction that he would do so.
The extensive reputation which men of genius sometimes enjoy, even in their own time, it is gratifying to reflect, nay, and to dwell upon. I am sorry that “my limits” will not permit me to expatiate upon this topic. The fame of Byron, when Eugenius Garwood was about two-and-twenty years of age, was in its zenith. Some notion of the extent of that fame may be formed when I state that it reached Botolph Lane. Every body was crazy about Byron; it was disgrace, it was infamy, not to have read his last new poem, not to be able to recite long passages from “The Giaour” and “The Bride of Abydos.” But the craziest of the crazed were sober and fastidious critics com
pared with Eugenius Garwood. The last new poem was “devoured
Miss Curtis, of Pudding Lane, a lady of unquestionable taste and discrimination, had once remarked it. Eugenius was short of stature to be sure, but Byron was not tall; and the partial baldness of the former was a very good substitute for a high forehead; and then the features of Eugenius were what is termed finely chiselled," although, to say the truth, if Nature had chiselled them much longer he would have been left utterly without those items of the human face. He only wanted the club-foot : it was a hardship, certainly, a great hardship, and he did not altogether like putting his foot out of joint, in order to qualify for a thick wooden shoe; but he felt how delightful it would have been to denounce Nature for her unkindness, her cruelty, her barbarous treatment of him.
But although Eugenius had been imbued, permeated, saturated with the sable decoctions of the poet's genius, it must not be concluded that he neglected his business. Paternal precepts had taken too deep a root in his bosom to be eradicated even by the magic fingers of the Muse. He sold oranges to a world which he despised, as heretofore; and it was in his leisure, after business hours, when he had glanced over his banker's book, that he communed with himself upon the vanity, the nothingness of all human affairs, the selfishness and unfeeling and sordid views of mankind, and his own crushed and broken spirit. Wherever he went he found no sympathy; none could make him out, none could appreciate him, none appeared to care a button about him. The Castle in Mark Lane, which he frequented, offered to his society a set of grovelling worldlings; the Ship in Water Lane could boast no better specimens; and he became thoroughly disgusted with men whom-but why should a mind like his be compelled to do such things ?—he had taken no pains to conciliate.
There was a craving void in his bosom which required to be filled up by some congenial spirit. It was the one yearning wish of his life to meet with some fair creature, some lone Egeria, towards whom his poisoned and wounded feelings might be carried for relief and healing. None, however, could he find. The article was not to be met with, it was not in the market, but in its stead were a wretched assortment of soulless girls, who ate and drank, and laughed and cried, and were contented to possess merely human feelings.
It is impossible, and perhaps it were needless, to describe the mingled sentiments of scorn and contempt with which he regarded the young ladies who promenaded the parade in front of the Custom House, to which, on summer evenings (for the fresh breeze from the water cooled his feverish brain), he was accustomed to resort. Good heavens! how unlike the glowing beauties whom Byron had delighted to paint! There was only one amongst them whom his eye could for a moment tolerate. Louisa Halibut, the daughter of the fish-salesman at Billingsgate, was a fine girl, certainly, and had given unequivocal proofs of her attachment to him ; but she had no devotion, no passion, no fervour of idolatry. She might have been -and Eugenius sighed when he reflected upon what she might have been-born under an Italian sky, or in one of the isles of Greece. But the vile English education had spoiled her. She had been sacrificed to base conventional forms; she was the slave of decorum. And then, her eyes were something like those of a human being : she had not the dark eye of the gazelle,—at least, Eugenius strongly suspected as much, being in a kind of perplexed ignorance as to what kind of animal a gazelle might be.
Chance frequently effects that for a man which his own prolonged exertions would have failed of bringing about; and chance now stepped forward to slake the sentimental thirst of Eugenius Garwood. He was requested to take a ticket for a concert to be given at the London Tavern by Miss Spilsbury, a musical lady whose professional talents had been for many years devoted to the sacred duty of supporting an aged father and a large family of younger brothers and sisters; whom, by the bye,-for genteel people in distress are invariably proud, and keep out of the way,—nobody had ever seen.
Eugenius, besides that he was a man of exquisitely fine feelings and sympathies, was extremely fond of music. It soothed the ferment of his soul, and brought him down to the level of humanity. He availed himself, therefore, of his ticket.
When he entered the concert room, although he had taken care to be in good time, it was crowded, and it was with some small difficulty that he obtained a seat near the entrance. Delighted, enchanted as he was, shortly after, by a brilliant fantasia on the pianoforte performed by Miss Spilsbury, who pounced upon the keys like a cat in deadly sport with a mouse, and with a face of similarly inischievous gravity,-entranced, I say, as he was by that effort of skill, he was in no situation to observe that two ladies had entered the room during its accomplishment, and were now standing by his side. A pause, however, having ensued, Eugenius Garwood turned suddenly with the view of expressing his rapture to his next neighbour, and as he murmured“ beautiful,” his eyes encountered those of the younger lady, to whom he forthwith mentally transferred the rapturous adjective. She was, indeed, beautiful : all that the fancy of Eugenius had ever previously conceived, or could imagine for the time to come. The elder lady—her mother, of course—was by no means so attractive a person, unless a rusty-iron-coloured front, a nose like a strawberry, and a retiring chin could make her so. She, nevertheless, betrayed, I must rather say, disclosed the perfect lady. Eugenius could see this with half an eye; for the moiety of that and the whole of the other were fixed upon the fascinating daughter.
Eugenius Garwood, I have said, was a man of fine feelings. He could not permit ladies to stand whilst he was furnished with a seat. He accordingly set to work in good earnest, and by dint of persuasive eloquence, enforced by the prompt use of his elbows, he con