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swell his breast on entering his own the same, for if you are not as comdoor, or, it may be, his outer en fortable with your friend, at your trenchment of stately wall or elegant own table or at his, as you can pospalisade, are more real and perma- sibly be alone, you know not the nent than the triumphs of a Cæsar. great charm of domestic life in LonIt is more obviously unnecessary to don); give me a dinner, cheering, tell you, that the income is respect- not piquant; let the other sex, in able and sure, varying in amount the name of sentiment, form an equal from £500 to £5000, and generally part of the company; give me the increasing. I find more difficulty in best inadeira and port, without engiving you correct information as to croaching on the other supplies for the accompaniments of wives and the year: give me these things in children. I can tell you, that I London, and I consent to live a cenknow gentlemen who are in the full tury in purgatory for every dinner I enjoyment of all-no-of enough of take in a tavern, save when I travel the joys of life, without the partici- in the country. In summer, a walk pation of the source and soother of in the garden or the Park-music,
I can tell you, that I reading, or botanical trifling, is the know but few who possess philo- favourite and best pastime. In winsophy or sense to regulate wisely the ter, the purest domestic enjoyment anxiety of parents to get their sons forms an alliance with cards. Cowper, promoted and their daughters mar the highest authority on the subject ried. Yet, the happiest families I of domestic bliss, says, indeed, have ever known had wives with infants in their arms, and daughters Cards were superfluous here, with all the
tricks marriageable. Having disposed of these preliminaries, I now proceed to
That idleness has ever yet contriv'd,
To fill the void of an unfurnish'd brain, mention the peculiarities which constitute the comforts and enjoyments
To palliate dullness, and give time a shove. of the happiest of mortals.
But Cowper on this point is wrong, To begin with the positive advan- and his error contributed in no slight tages of London : there your house degree to aggravate his malady, and is more comfortably furnished, and darken the close of his life. your table more comfortably supplied, give time a shove," so as to make it than in any spot on the face of this move forwards innocently and inour globe. It is true, that philosophy sensibly, is the true secret of happimay go far to reconcile us to defects
Cards have all the advanin those homely comforts, but it is tages, and none of the evils of intoxia far nobler office for philosophy to cation. regulate and adorn their use. I con The second positive peculiarity is fess, that in the cold months of win- of an intellectual nature. In Lonter, I find my philosophy greatly im- don, literary gratification of all kinds proved by the fish, plum-pudding, is accessible without effort and withand port of London, enjoyed in a out expectation. Literature, to a private house, and within a domestic certain extent, is indispensable to circle. Dr Johnson preferred a tavern, our existence. The profound details but then his housekeeper was blind, of science are neither necessary nor and felt with her finger the elevation interesting to the comfortable gentleof the beverage “ that cheers, but not man or intelligent lady; but their inebriates." A tavern is delightful results and general principles elevate to all who are uncomfortable at home, the tone and confidence of the mind, and have money to spend ;—it is de- banish ignorant wonder, and establightful to the lovers of the tumul- lish a serene atmosphere, for the extuous riot of bacchanalian excess ; cursions of the fancy, and the exerit is delightful to the reckless plun- cise of the judgment. The thousands derers of short-lived relief from
eat of popular volumes which contribute ing cares ;"—it is delightful those to inspire right views of life and who know not the meaning of com nature, are accessible in other places fort. But set me down regularly as as well as in London ; but the famithe clock strikes four, either at my liarity with authors, publishers, and own table or a friend's, (it is quite the scenes and circumstances of pub
lication, which belong in a peculiar tion become extinct for ever. In manner to London, give a clearer London it burst long since, and comprehension of the mysteries of it can no more generate than “ an learning, and at least afford a satis- " alligator stuffed.” Slander can faction and a sense of elevated place no more attempt to embrace Lonin our day and generation well worth don society, than a mouse can appreciating. But it is the epheme- make an effort to swallow a whale. ral literature of London which forins The thing is as much under every the proudest enjoyment of its com- man's power as his domestic cat. fortable citizens : temporary poems,
He is a fool who suffers from its conplays, and pamphlets ; reviews, ma- tinued malignity. This, Mr Editor, gazines, and caricatures; the de- is a blessing on which I could enbates in parliament, the latest fa- large with triumphant fulness of shions from France, and the freshest heart, for a richer theme of rejoicing mode of renovating society-all ap- is not presented in human society, pear, smoking on the table, as regular- always excepting a rarer blessingly as the hot-rolls for breakfast. These civil liberty. things may not be missed where they Civil liberty is in London almost have never been enjoyed; but little complete. Little prejudices, and lo else is missed where they are enjoyed cal authorities, are nearly innocuand valued. It is a new and high ous. Glorious to London was the state of existence, unknown to times choice of Leicester for the scene of of prouder name and greater cele Sir Francis Burdett's trial. Even brity.
the judges, those privileged lecturers There are moreover negative ad- de omnibus rebus & quibusdam aliis
, vantages of no mean consideration. never venture to swagger and bully The comfortable classes of London within the atmosphere of London, are altogether free from the vexations unless, perchance, the name belong to and persecutions of theological fac the poet of an association of whose tions. They are not obliged to as due epithet I will not be recorder. sume more solemnity of manners or The attempt, should it ever be made, habits than they feel, or think right; would create ineffable derision, and they establish not an extensive reli the performer would feel like a pig gious circumvallation, which must in an exhausted receiver. This, Sir, be guarded by masked batteries, ar is a consciousness that may well fill tificial turrets, and showers of occa the Londoner's soul with joy. It is sional bitterness and slander. Reli a proud lot, and I trust it will be gion is a sublime and pure enjoy- perpetual. ment, and becomes the very reverse It is difficult to refrain from dwellof its hallowed nature, when dressed ing long on this picture, which really up in the gaudy“ fooleries of priests is presented in London. This world craft and ambition.” In London you of ours has enough of evil and sufcan enjoy it heaven-descended and fering, as you can perhaps suppose ; unalloyed.
but here is truly a goodly portion of Still more marked is the freedom human happiness. Life on such of the metropolitan, from the imper: terms is well worth enjoying, and tinent curiosity and endless slander many do honestly enjoy it. of friendly neighbours. The prin. So glide my life away! and so, at last, ciple of evil never appears so irre
My share of duties decently fulfil'd, pressibly operative as in the mali
May some disease, not tardy to perform cious inquiries and pernicious atten Its destin'd office, yet with gentle stroke, tions of a circumscribed congregation Dismiss me weary to a safe retreat, of worthy mortals. No invention of Beneath the turf that I have often trod ! genius or policy, not even the subtlest subdivisions of parish bills, from the constitutional wisdom of the
The Splendid Circles. Marquis of Londonderry, can coun You must have already remarked, teract this pregnant principle. Its that I confine not my bird's-eye view only antidote is an excess of food. within the technical barriers of LonWhen supplied to excess, it will don, but that I extend my attention burst, and its power of genera to the whole range of the bills of
mortality. Here, then, you have putation to be acquired or preserved, splendid pageants yeleped the higher without submitting to trammels more orders. Of them, purpose I to say galling to a vigorous intellect than but little, because little interest can those of laborious poverty. Not one be excited in any human heart by moment of real enjoyment, 'of honest, their endless rotations of insipidity. free, and unrestrained relaxation, is A flock of geese marching home from felt by him who is but a part, though a common, is regular and graceful; the principal part, of an unwieldy but I prefer to mark the activity and machinery. That bold and daring industry of the unceremonious bee. spirits should occasionally burst from Among the metropolitan nobility, or, the dreary uniformity of these circles rather, the nobility while in the me may be regretted, and ought to be tropolis, the most striking circum- censured, but cannot excite surprise. stance that presents itself, is their In arbitrary and oppressive governentire subjection to a discipline more ments, revolts are most frequent. rigorous and irksome than military Under the umnatural restraints of duty in an enemy's country. The monkery, or puritanism, the grossest peer, encumbered with wealth and immoralities spring up. If frequent pomp, has less freedom of action revolts from the laws and ranks of than his groom. He must lie down nobility do not astonish the multiand rise up, visit abroad and return tude, and disturb the regular order home, promenade and dance quad- of society, it is because the spirit, rilles, with as complete subserviency temperament, and intellectual chaas the raw recruit marches and coun racter of the nobility, are naturally termarches, in the bird-cage walk, to disposed to bear unreasonable authon the tune of “ right, left, right, left.” rity. Of necessity, from the very -Man, associated and leagued with man
nature of their existence, those “born By regal warrant, or self-join'd by bond, great,"
and trained, not to make exa For interest sake
periments, or to achieve any deeds Like flowers selected from the rest, and of personal distinction, but to fill bound
niches on a stage, niches from which And bundled close, to fill some crowded
their predecessors drop to make room vase,
for them, and from which they will Pades rapidly, and, by compression marr'd, drop in their turn to make room for Contracts defilement not to be endur'da similar successors;—from the very
condition of their existence, such In the clustered bunches of
grace, and fashion, and dignity in London, persons must be, like the senators of every manly sentiment is suffocated. imperial Rome, ad servitutem paThe movements of the human mind; lute authority. Instead of gaping,
ratos disposed to submit to absoin this situation, are as subdued and therefore, with planet-struck amazeinsipid, but not so innocent as those of misses in a boarding-school. In ment, at the devious excursions of the country, and at their family- rather to view them as the natural
a Byron or a Cochrane, we ought mansions, their situation is not so disastrous, for there they are not
effect of perverse encumbrances on chained to the wheels of fashion, and heroic Jewish youth chose rather to
and determined minds. The
strong obliged to run for ever in the same
encounter the uncircumcised with his dull routine. But the load of great sling and his scrip, than to be encumness which makes them but units in bered with a helmet of brass upon his a system, clings to them as his philo- head, and armed with a coat of mail
. sophy to Tully. They cannot detach A mind conscious of personal vigour, themselves from it, they must bear it, and prowess will not readily bear the And, in the silent watches of the night, trammels of mere fashion, or perAnd through the scenes of toil-renewing form a prescribed part in canting light,
and gossiping. The social walk, or solitary ride,
In this radica age, it may be proKeep still the dear companion at their per to assure the sensitive alarmist, side.
that my remarks have no political In this splendid province of life allusion. I merely mention the phethere is no respectability, and no re nomena which are obvious to all, and
the branch of philosophical causation day, or a wedding-day, is supplied to which they may be referred. It with sauces which the amount of the is no enemy to nobility who points national debt could not purchase for out their miseries ; nor is it one who an alderman. Your national bard would abolish the higher orders, that keenly appretiated, and most happily endeavours to show the inferior described, in a thousand forms, this classes that they have no cause for spirit of extacy known only to the envy. To be stagnant, insipid, joy- poor. Take one example, a vivid less, is as characteristic of the privi- one: leged orders, as to be restless, dissa See the smoking bowl befyre us, tisfied, and intemperate, is charac Mark our jovial ragged ring! teristic of the laborious poor.
Round and round take up the chorus,
And in raptures let us sing.
What is title? What is treasure ?
What is reputation's care ? UNDER this title I include not the If we tead a life of pleasure, Life Guards, the Oxford Blues, or "Tis no matter how or where! the oft-devoted Forty-Second ; but under the military image, I would
Does the train-attended carriage,
Through the country lighter rove? represent all the portion of the me
Does the sober bed of marriage tropolitan population, who wage per
Witness brighter scenes of love ? petual war with poverty, fortune, and the thousand strongholds of adversity. It is not merely the humane ingenuiIf the comfortable classes can look up ty of the moralist, or the pious zeal to the splendid circles as Epicurean of the preacher, that can discover gods, strangers alike to the joys of this magical treasure of the poor; hope and the activity of fear, un
the severe impartiality of the philomoved and unblessed :
sopher must admit its existence and
its value. Its unbounded and thrilNam privata dolore omni, privata periclis, ling sensations, unfrequent as they Ipsa suis pollens opibus, niliil indiga must be, are perhaps more than a
nostri, Nec bene promeritis capitur, nec tangitur distresses of the poor. It seems på.
compensation for all the cares and ira.
radoxical to say, that a stinted and If they can look up to their supe- precarious income, requiring many riors, as thus dozing in eternal slum- anxious cares and painful privations, bers, they may look down on the and affording few, though fervid warfaring classes as struggling in the pleasures, can be happier than the hard conflicts of the field, some dying uniform enjoyment of well-secured beneath the cruel assaults of the foe, affluence and all its gratifications. soine lying wounded and forsaken, Perhaps it is a paradox, and a and some victorious over fate and foolish one. But the supporter of fortune :
the affirmative might question the Suave etiam belli certamina magna tuerigive a fair decision. There are cases
competency of the human mind to Per campos instructa, tua sine parte indisputably in which nature impels pericli.
us to decide in favour of her purThe characteristic and intense en poses, and against our own interests. joyments of the soldier belong to this What lover, if his wishies could be department of London society. A granted, would be a day unmarried, plentiful and well-dressed dinner de- after having obtained the plighted rives infinite spicery from the reflec vows of his charmer? Yet it is untion that it may be the last. Dum deniable, that the warmest transports vivimus, vivamus. The same source of love, and the dearest delights of of penetrating gratification is opened, the heart, arise from the delays, the when the mechanic, the labourer, or anticipations, and the anxieties, of the humble trader, sits snugly wit accepted, but unwedded love. Burns his friend, and on some reputable affords á ready illustration. Willie pretence, drinks more freely than his would have unquestionably decided income can often permit. An enter- in favour of marriage, the instant tainment at Christmas, on a birth, his Nancy consented; but what
would whole years of wedded life gloriously merry with gin-punch, all weigh against the few moments thus for one shilling and sixpence. The celebrated in the heart's own lan- chequered sunshine thus enjoyed, guage?
who would exchange for the eternal I thought upon the banks of Coil, glare of Africa ? There are many I thought upon my Nancy ;
bitter afflictions, indeed, in this lot, I thought upon her witching smile, but they are not without correspond
That caught my youthfu' fancy. ing relief. If a casual fire consumes At length I reach'd the bonny glen
all your little furniture, the hand of Where early life I sported ;
Charity is prompt and liberal to supI pass'd the mill, and trysting thorn,
ply it. Where Nancy aft I courted :
But, strange as it may sound in
your ears, the greatest distinction of Wha spied I but my ain dear maid, this class in London is their politi
Down by her mither's dwelling? cal activity, and their political power. I turn'd me round to hide the flood A Scotchman would say, that they That in my e'en was swelling.
who have no independent and secure The coolest examination of the sub- property, are not fit to have any part ject would probably lead to this con in the great and complex machinery clusion, that the lover has keener of the state. But England owes pleasures than the husband, the poor much of her political advantages, than the rich; but that for the lover and all her political celebrity, to the not to feel anxious to become the thousands, especially in the metrohusband, for the poor not to feel polis, who have little property, and no anxious to become rich, would be a political functions. Think you, that subversion of all the principles from they are the livery of London who, which the pleasures of the lover and with the force and authority of thun. the poor are derived. But enough of der, applaud and reprobate at the metaphysics.
hustings in Guildhall? or that they The pleasures of the poor are pe were electors of Westminster who, at culiarly numerous and unalloyed in the hustings in Covent Garden, causLondon. Money circulates there as ed the words of Mr Hobhouse to float frequently and certainly as the sea on poised pinions, and those of Mr ebbs and flows. The humbler classes Lamb to drop like plummets ? No are not obliged to obtain credit till idea could be more unfounded. & distant day of payment. Their Trust me, the electors would neither ready wages for labour, or ready be so decisive nor so correct. The money for goods, enables them to persons who do this great good are purchase the best food, and at the not the solid structares in the politilowest price. When a decisive rea- cal city, but the vanes that are eleson for merry-making presents itself, vated beyond the influence of the they are not obliged to purchase their low currents in the streets--that are luxuries at the extravagant terms of not restrained in their movements, the rich. Their alternative is not to by their own importance, or the presdine at the London Tavern, on ruin sure of adjoining materials—and that ous terms, or to drink gin in a low fairly indicate the truth and fair hovel, without variety of gratifica- bearing of political agitations. I tion, or accommodation suited to their confess to you, that I felt great surdesire and their expenditure. In prise, and even some indignation, to London, the great demand provides find by a case reported in the Times, an ample supply. Every article of that an English judge, Mr Justice food, and every exhilarating liquor, Holroyd, showed himself, in Carlisle, of the best quality, can be got at so grossly ignorant of the philosophy the lowest price, and in the smallest of politics, as to consider a poor man quantity There you can dine to who had no vote as entitled to no your heart's desire, and indulge in redress for false imprisonment, in the incommunicable beverage of consequence of eagerly pressing forLondon-her inimitable porter, for ward to hear the result of the poll. one shilling. You may have two "Is it thus a judge reads the English sumptuous courses for half-a-crown. constitution ? Is this the judge, too, I have dined comfortably, and got who soon afterwards pronounced it a