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MONTHLY COMMENTARY.

Exportation of Women-The Philosophy of Mourning-Design in Manufactures— The Gentlemen of the Press-Affair of Honour-Duties on Wines-Dumont's Recollections of Mirabeau.-Information against the Literary Gazette Unstamped-University Honours-The Cholera in Paris-Badness of the Opera-State of Manchester.

EXPORTATION OF WOMEN.-The cry for the fair sex from our brethren of the Antipodes, has been long and loud. The unnatural disproportion between the sexes in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, has caused the most serious distress to prevail in those colonies. The Colonial Office has been appealed to in various ways, but has always turned an official ear to the complaint. A Quaker—a “friend” of posterity-has been more compassionate than Secretaries of State, and has actually freighted a ship with this light material—a cargo of bliss-What an argumentum ad hominem! launched, too, from the breeches-pocket of a Quaker! The arrival at Hobart's Town will evermore be marked in the Fasti Tasmanii with red letters: poɛterity will keep "holiday" on the anniversary of the event to which they will owe their existence. The Chronicler thus records the sailing of this Pandora's box :

"The Princess Royal, Captain Young, sailed from Deptford on Thursday morning for Hobart's Town, Van Diemen's Land, and has taken out from 200 to 300 females, widows and spinsters, four clergymen (we have not heard of what order), one surgeon, and assistants. Not the least curious part of this new system' of export is, that a Friend' (an old tea-dealer) is stated to be the shipper. This is a new discovery, and no doubt will not only be safer but much more prolific than the old mines,' even the Real del Monte,' which

were discovered in 1825.

"We hear there are hundreds and hundreds more to be sent from other ports of England and Ireland.

"There are commissioners appointed for this new work,' and in order to entice our fair country women to emigrate, they give a bounty of 81. to each, from the age of 18 to 30 years, so that Old England will still have the privilege of retaining the old ladies and children."

This is, indeed, transportation; not for the prevention of crime, but for the propagation of happiness-and not, we see, without benefit of clergy. But why such a large proportion of the church? Women are always more reverentially disposed than men; and it is probably supposed that the voyage will present a fine opportunity to the clerical gentlemen, for the exercise of their sacred functions.

We regret that the reporter has been so brief in his detail of the arrangements of this singular expedition: we should like to know how the young women were selected; what conditions they have entered into; and how the exporter proposes to procure the return of his capital? what liberty in the choice of a companion will be left to the ladies on their arrival? Are the gentlemen of Van Diemen's Land to come aboard, and, after examining the cargo, throw the handkerchief, like Turks? or how is it to be? Does the Quaker accompany his venture in the capacity of chief eunuch? We should be greatly afraid, unless he bestows his personal superintendence, of

avanie: but, probably the four clergymen are joint speculators, and may have embarked a part of their capital in the concern by way of bottomry, in which case all will be right. There seems to be a due supply of surgeons, and the voyage is only five months.

We should like to know whether any thing has been done at Lloyd's on the Princess Royal; and if so, at what rate of insurance? Of the demand for this species of cargo our readers may judge by perusing the following extract of "a Letter from Sydney."

"Know then, that, in this British colony, open, naked, broad-day prostitution is as common as in Otaheite. Are there not societies in England, which have expended millions in sending men and books to the heathen? Why do not they send some women to this abandoned community of their fellow-christians? Are not those devout persons surrounded by unfortunates, who become prostitutes for want of bread? Tell them that, here prostitution is owing solely to the want of women, and that there is abundance of bread for any number of poor creatures that they might mercifully send to us. Tell them, moreover, that if they will equalize the sexes, we offer a husband, plenty, and a virtuous life, to every one of the miserable beings whom they may charitably withdraw from sin and misery. Can they, though, be ignorant of the depravity that reignshere? For what do they combine and subscribe? For the promotion of religion and morality all over the world! Are they not intimately acquainted with the vices of savages in obscure regions, to which none but their own active missionaries can penetrate? If you think they do not know the condition of these their fellowsubjects, inform them of it. Tell them in plain terms, so as to leave them without the excuse of ignorance, that every female child in this colony, not defended by parents of some influence, is sure to be hunted by a dozen roaring lions, and that her destruction is almost inevitable; that the frequency of early corruption has already established a general licence of manners; that mothers are not ashamed to sell their own daughters, even before the young creatures know what chastity means; that husbands make a market of their wives, that early prostitution occasions barrenness; and that the origin of all this evil-the inequality of the sexes-is partly maintained by the evil itself."-A letter from Sydney, edited by R. Gouger.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF MOURNING.

"Many women with little wooden figures of children on their heads passed us in the course of the morning,-mothers, who having lost a child, carry such rude imitations of them about their persons for an indefinite time as a symbol of mourning. None of them could be induced to part with one of these little affectionate memorials.

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"The mortality of children must be immense indeed here, for almost every woman we met with on the road, had one or more of these little wooden images. Whenever the mothers stopped to take refreshment, a small part of their food was invariably presented to the lips of these inanimate memorials."-Lander's Niger.

This seems ridiculous. But all nations seem to agree in establishing some custom by which Nature may be assisted in prolonging the memory of the dead; the appendage of a little wooden doll means precisely the same as a suit of black, or weepers of crape; it is a contrivance for exhibiting public respect, and private sorrow. It would be in vain for an African lady to attempt to put herself into deeper black than has been already done by Nature; she therefore applies to the carpenter, instead of the haberdasher, for her signs of

woe.

Monarchs mourn in violet, the Romans mourned in white, and for our mourning, yellow would be as appropriate as black. May.-VOL. XXXIV. NO. CXXXVII.

2 K

The selection of black seems to be simply a trick of the imagination; because dark places are gloomy, dark dresses are held to be sorrowful.

DESIGN IN MANUFACTURES.-Mr. Haydon has written a huge letter to "The Times," on occasion of some remarks from Sir Robert Peel and Mr. Hume, on the subject of design applied to the manufactures of the country. His text is as follows:

"Besides this, the interests of manufactures required that every encouragement should be held out to the Fine Arts of this country; for though England was superior to any other country for her manufactures as connected with machinery, yet in pictorial designs, a most important feature in manufacture, England was not equally successful, nor indeed could she cope with her rivals.”—Sir Robert Peel's Speech, April 13, in the House of Commons.

"Mr. Hume added, 'that the only point in which the French excelled was design, which was owing to the schools of design in France; and Coventry must sink without similar advantages. Large sums had been expended for less beneficial objects.""

Sir Robert Peel is a very accomplished man, and may be considered a good authority in "pictorial designs;" and the admission of Mr. Hume that money ought to be spent, implies a strong case. But we are at a loss to understand how or why it is that Mr. Haydon happens to be the standing representative of art in this country. He is an artist of talent, certainly; but his productions are not of that preeminent character to entitle him to lecture all the rest of his profession. He is a villainous portrait-painter, and therefore very naturally despises the most lucrative branch of his art; but inasmuch as purchasers for his historicals, whether by raffle or sale, are slow to come in, he presumes to lecture all England, on every decent occasion, on the score of their sottish stupidity as to his-(torical) pictures, and their culpable preference of the things that please them.

Mr. Haydon is the only man in England who can draw. If the fact be doubted, read what is here stated.

"Would any man believe, that all the whole-length portraits that have ever been painted since the death of Reynolds, by the most eminent English portrait painters, have stood on their toes, from their ignorance of design? And would any man further believe, that when a portrait was sent with the feet properly in perspective, so corrupt were the eyes from long habit of all the eminent painters, that they cried out 'The man stands on his heels!' (Raeburn's works, the head of the Scotch school, must all be excepted.) This is one of the most curious anecdotes of English art, but a fact.

"The figures before Masaccio never stood more on their toes than do, and have done, all the portraits that have been painted for 40 years in England.”

He moreover tells us as a secret in commerce and the arts, that

"At the end of the war, our Manchester cottons were returned from Italy wholesale, from the tasteless nature of their designs; and the great manufacturers were obliged to employ the first artists to make them: after this had been done, the cottons were purchased abroad with avidity.”

Is any one so ignorant of the reign of fashion as to believe this? in what country has tastelessness of design ever stood in the way of a curious fabric? Should we not long ago have rejected the chintzes which have given a character to English prints? Should we not have

condemned the cabinets of Japan for their want of perspective, and the ludicrous absurdity of their designs, if designs had had any decided influence in such matters? Yes! but Mr. Haydon will still maintain in the columns of every newspaper of the empire that there is nothing like leather.

We should like to see good pictures used instead of the Red Lion and the Dun Cow; we should be glad if every inn parlour contained specimens of art, and that grocers and shoemakers preferred a piece of history or taste to the portraits of Mr. A. in snuff-colour, and Mrs. A. in green and scarlet; but this will neither come through Mr. Haydon's lectures in Birmingham, nor his letters in "The Times." We ask once more, why he alone of all the artists of Britain makes such a fuss about the taste of the age.

"Before the reformation in religion, historical design was the predominant taste of all classes. The very bed-rooms of all classes had their walls covered; and at that time English artists were equal in design to any artists existing. But the Reformation destroyed the only source of public patronage to the arts,-viz. religious patronage; and let it be the glory of the present time to revive public patronage, unconnected with superstition, unconnected with any prostitution of motive or intent."

This may be true, though not to its extent. The taste then flourishing grew out of the temper and circumstances of the age; when artists know how to imbibe and represent the spirit of the day, in some form, whether in a caricature or an oil-painting, the eagerness to possess their works will be commensurate with their excellence. But this is not to paint either classicals or biblicals, Eucles or Lazarus, which is a mere imitation and servile following of other people and other times. The only picture in which Mr. Haydon ever consulted the genius of his generation was in the Mock Election: when he was driven from his classical models and associations to a wrestle with real life. The Caraccis looked but one way to the Church, for both bread and ideas.

THE GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS.-Among the classes enumerated by Lord Lyndhurst, as favourers of the Reform measure, is the periodical press. He is quite right: the great majority of the men, who write in newspapers and other periodical publications, are warm advocates of the Bill-but the reason given by the Ex-Chancellor is curious:

"A formidable and active body, to wit, the periodical press, the greater portion of which support this measure for reasons that are sufficiently apparent. They prosper in agitation, and they think that the carrying the Bill will perpetuate agitation. Besides, looking to what has occurred in France and Belgium, these conductors of the press see a new road opened to their personal ambition. They believe that they will be enabled to take a station in society, and to assume a power which, five or six years ago, never entered their minds."

Writers for the press, then, are professional agitators—they are also ambitious of a high station in society-it is to be presumed, therefore, they only agitate until they have shaken themselves into a good place. Thus it may be said of a lawyer, he is a turbulent fellow, a bitter Radical, until he is made a judge, when, from his new elevation, he takes that commanding view of things which enables him to see that every thing is placed exactly where it ought to be.

If the writers for the press live on agitation, there is little reason that they should despair. The elements of confusion are pretty numerous; the Reform Bill is, however, far more likely to reduce them into some order than to "perpetuate agitation."

If periodical writers have assumed a position in Belgium and France since their respective revolutions, the reason is pretty plain. When affairs are thrown out of their ordinary routine, it requires something more than rank and fortune to restore the state-machine to equilibrium; crises of this nature always call forth men of talent, and cast into the shade men of straw. Who are so likely to understand the public interests as those who have for years been daily discussing them, with the whole country for an audience?

Periodical writers either are, or ought to be, publicists; they ought to be familiar with all the interests of the country, and the constant habit of examining questions connected with its great interest, generally ends in qualifying them for giving advice in most national questions. We will not contrast with this the usual education of sucking statesmen.

It is curious to observe how writing has had to struggle against power. At first the feudal baron was ashamed of being able to write, and the signing his name was like putting on his armour, a service to be done by an inferior; however, writing became general, and barons were obliged to learn to write in self-defence. (It may be remarked they still write worse than any body else.)

The next stage was printing: it was long ungenteel to have printed a book; a kind of blemish on nobility, and indulged in by the youth, apologized for by the old: but at length printing became universal, the people felt it a weapon of their own. To print a large book was, however, less a crime than a small work, and the fewness of the audience calculated upon was a recommendation.

The next stage was printing small books, and then, periodically: we are in this stage now-the aristocratic prejudice is strong, but the tide is against them; they "believe and tremble." Periodicals have become a sort of necessity even to them; but still to write in them is defilement, and to depreciate those who do, acceptable. This is passing away. The organs of public communication will soon take their due place amongst other useful and powerful means of influencing the governing will; and the men who, by the gifts of nature and the accidents of education, are most capable of employing these engines for the increase and preservation of the general happiness, will take that "station in society" which they deserve, and from which a lawadventurer would endeavour to drive them—in vain. Such men do not guide the destinies of nations.

Our correspondent has, with his usual ability, touched on a subject of high importance, and which, at our leisure, we propose to treat at greater length. There is no doubt that in England literary men, so far from enjoying at present their legitimate power, have not hitherto assumed the station that belongs to them. Look at the difference in France! The main cause here is obvious-the great want of union among literary men. We have serious thoughts of proposing a Brotherhood, which we will venture to say shall be more powerful than any political or masonic, or even priestly body ever established. Who have so clear a right to possess power as those who diffuse knowledge ?-ED.

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