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AFFAIR OF HONOUR.-A man had his nose pulled the other day; he was offered an apology; he alleged he was too poor to accept that species of satisfaction. When a poor man is injured in the nose, he looks for a physical satisfaction that shall be equivalent to the physical pain; a sting in the ear, nose, or other prominent and available organ, is exchangeable with a pot of porter or a crown piece; but how different are the feelings of a gentleman, or thoroughly civilized person, when his nose has been wrung, or his person otherwise violated! the pain is not in the part affected, the agony is not felt where the fingers or the toes are applied, it instantly removes to the sensorium of honour, the imagination; though the feature (fundamental or proboscal,) may be tingling, and the eyes absolutely overflowing with the evidence of bodily suffering, still the mischief is referred to quite another part of the constitution. Hence the difficulty of settling these matters. With the poor man his appendages have all a kind of ad valorem duty -a tariff of insult and offence; but the gentleman is a perfect Draco; he must not only have more, but it must be of a different kind: the wound has been inflicted on the flesh, but he feels it in the soul, and must expiate it in blood.
It is impossible not to see that this is the very perfection of reason and good sense; nevertheless we like the easy way in which poor people settle these things.
MANSION HOUSE.-" Ebenezer Coker, a Billingsgate porter, was called upon to show cause why he should not be punished according to law for having amused himself by pulling the nose of John Dixon, without the owner's leave. "John Dixon deposed that he knowed nothink on the defendant, and the defendant knowed nothink on him, no furder than being tosticated he squeezed his nose with sitch wengeance that he was obligated to call a hofficer.
Why,' said his Lordship, addressing Coker, you promised me faithfully, the last time you were here, you would not get drunk again.'
"Me drunk,' said Coker, vy I aint been able to yarn wittles, leave alone drink; and as for being drunk yesterday, vy all I had was a pot o' porter at my first turn, with some gin, and afterwards a little more gin, with a pint o' coffee for breakfast. As for the assault as is charged on me, this here good man desarved vot he got. I vent into a public-house to sell my srimps, vitch are precious dear now, and while my back was turned I seed him put his hand into my basket in a unbecoming sort o' vay. Sis I, I don't call this hacting like a gentleman to go for to prig a poor man's srimps, and he told me to give him none o' my sarse, for he warnt à going to be scandalised in no sitch vay. Howsomever, as I know'd he'd been guilty of the crime, ve got into a hargument, ven I might just have touched him on the nose.'
"Well,' said the Lord Mayor to the complainant, I suppose you will be satisfied with an apology?'
Complainant (scratching his head)-'I can't afford to take a pology, as I'm only a poor man, unless he stands a bit o' summut to eat and a drop 0' summut to drink, and a little summut for myself.'
"The defendant having consented to give the complainant sixpence, the Lord Mayor allowed them to settle the other summuts by dismissing the complaint."
If this affair had happened between persons of a higher rank of life, how different would have been the story! Friends must have been called in-cabs and hackney-coaches would have been put in requisition-bachelors would have sate up at each other's lodgings, and an attorney or two would have had a job. Then, in case of an apology,
what stickling for a word, or a degree of comparison! how much paper wasted in rough drafts! what a struggle between saving of bacon and saving of honour! and, lastly, how big the affair would have looked next day in the columns of the Courier, and how the pros and cons would have been canvassed at the clubs! what sneers would have slurred over the flincher, and how many eulogies would have been spent upon the most obstinate or the most bloodthirsty of the party! On the other hand, imagine it an affair which there appeared to be no means of "settling without a meeting;" then comes Battersea and a fumbling among the wet grass, blue countenances, and a most forlorn night-cappish style of chivalry-ground measured three times over to conceal bungling, and, at last, a pop or two, and no mischief. For the first time in the day the gentlemen are themselves again, shake hands, mount their vehicles, and return to breakfast as buoyant as their rolls, with the idea of having behaved with honour in
"affair of extreme difficulty and delicacy." Then comes the Courier again, with another turn to the business, and the Sunday papers, with half the alphabet in initials, and ultimately a correspondence between the seconds, correcting some error in the reports; for instance, the gentlemen did not fight at six but sixteen paces, and, so far from the business terminating in an unsatisfactory manner," they return to town in the same barouche." We may be wrong, but still we cannot help thinking that the "summut to eat" and the "summut to drink" of the poor man, with the Lord Mayor for witness, is perhaps as good a mode of settling the matter.
The sense of honour is a luxury of civilization; moralists would endeavour to give it, as economists desire to communicate a taste beyond potatoes; a dash of bacon in a dish of vegetables is considered by politicians a step farther from savagery. Just so the niceness of the honourable feelings indicate the class of social life in which a man is bred; a man may be too poor to keep a conscience-too low to keep a sense of honour; generally speaking, however, penury, and conscience, and honour, are inconsistent terms; and incompatible qualities.
DUTIES ON WINES.-We should like to see a good reason why all the common kinds of French wines should be virtually prohibited in this country. Why is it that the Government says to the lovers of the poorer wine growths of France, you shall either drink the highest price wines or none at all? A man may not be able to afford the dear wines, and he may like to consume the cheap wines. What is then to be said? nothing, except that it saves our public officers and over-paid custom-house boards trouble, to charge the same high duty on wine of all kinds. This duty on many wines most pleasant, refreshing and economical to drink, such as ordinary Bordeaux, Medoc, Touraine, St. Gilles, Roussillon, and Renaison, &c. (from 37. to 107. per hogshead of 47 imperial gallons,) is a prohibition, amounting to from
THREE HUNDRED to ELEVEN HUNDRED PER CENT.
DUMONT'S RECOLLECTIONS OF MIRABEAU. Thus are kings led to the scaffold! exclaimed Mirabeau, early in the revolution, on occasion of some unprincipled trickery in the court party. The whole of M. Dumont's excellent book may be considered as an illustration of this text.
The author is chiefly known to the British public, by his connexion with Mr. Bentham; whose writings he interpreted into French, re-arranged, and indeed recast. This service was a work of love, and like such labours, great has been its increase. It has been the means of spreading the most essential knowledge to the farthest corners of the earth: and it thus stimulated the farther exertions of the philosopher, and abounded in honour and satisfaction to the amiable and disinterested interpreter. It is singular, that the same man who in England supplied language to Bentham, in France should be called upon to find matter for Mirabeau. The French orator had every thing but knowledge; Dumont had knowledge, judgment, and taste; and Mirabeau saw the advantage of such a partnership, seized the opportunity, and reaped the benefits of it for a considerable period. Many of Mirabeau's most famous outbreaks of eloquence were the production of the calm study of another person; Mirabeau was an insatiable mouth-piece-a kind of speaking trumpet, who could have kept half-a-dozen writers at work, to supply him now with argument, now with imagery; he himself furnished epigram, a kind of sauce piquante, with which he served up every thing, and thus stimulated the apathetic palate of the noisy philosophers of the National Assembly. Mirabeau was a mere self-seeker of great physical qualifications: his moral ones, laid upon a broad foundation of impudence and vanity.
The anecdotes of the other leaders of the French revolution are equally interesting to the historian; for at this crisis every thing depended upon personal qualities, prejudices, and views; and thus persons acquire an importance, which they scarcely possess at another epoch. They who are fond of running parallels between the French revolution and the present demands of England, will do well to consider this observation of Dumont, made upon the spot, about the time of the destruction of the Bastille.-"I am certain, that at this period, the creditors of the state, a very numerous and active body, were allpowerful at Paris, were acting in direct opposition to the court, because they perceived too plainly, that if the government declared a national bankruptcy, the deficit would be thought no more of, and the words states-general, constitution, and sovereignty of the people, totally forgotten." p. 86. Thus the French people were so little prepared to value the boon of a free and representative government, that they were ready to sell their chance for a remission of taxes. The revolution was, in fact, an affair of bankruptcy. The States-general was a meeting of creditors and constituents; occasion was taken to teach the bankrupt a better mode of administering his affairs, and to put him under the check of a sort of assignees, or committee; but the royal trader was ill advised, and turned restive, the creditors quarrelled among themselves, the bankrupt was cast into prison, the estate got into confusion, and fell for a time into the hands of a set of harpies. How utterly unlike is this to the position of England! The able writers, and the men of talent, were numerous, about the time of the States-general: but their legislative knowledge may almost be said to have been puerile, and in the art of managing or guiding the helm of a popular state, there was not a man that was not inferior to the humblest chairman of the smallest political club in England. In the assembling of the States-general, nothing more seems to to have
been thought necessary, than to decree that it should be done: the manner and the means were left to be found out. The fact is strikingly enough illustrated by the incident which befel M. Dumont and his friend, as they were travelling from Calais to Paris. On their arrival at Montreuil, they found the town in a quandary: they had orders to elect some representatives, but did not know how, until the travellers drew up a set of regulations for them, when they proceeded immediately. When the travellers arrived in Paris, they found the community of Montreuil lauded to the skies for the promptitude and spirit with which they had proceeded. The host of the Black Lion was considered a demigod, because he had entertained Dumont and Duroverai, and they had given him a list of rules.
INFORMATION AGAINST THE LITERARY GAZETTE UNSTAMPED.— It would be a great saving, but a vast advantage, if the people of England, who for a long time have not chosen their own House of Commons, had appointed a Committee, or Board, well paid and endowed by subscription, to examine and report upon the Bills brought into Parliament. This would have been the next best thing to a Reform. However good may be the objects and principle of an Act, it often follows that a clause introduced into the Bill in Committee, or some defect in the arrangement for working, converts the intended measure into a nuisance. Interested persons watch while others sleep; and Members of Parliament, as business is now managed, have so much upon their hands, that it often happens they sanction provisions which go to ruin the very end they are aiming at. If the House did not appoint a Board of Examination, the nation ought to have done so ; and ten thousand a year, raised by subscription, would have been excellently well employed.
It appears from the Information that has been laid against the Literary Gazette, brought for the purpose of trying the question, that the Stamp regulations respecting newspapers cannot be enforced by public information. The proceeding must be commenced by the Attorney-General, or the Stamp office; which means, that whether the law of the country shall be executed, or lie a dead letter in the Statute-book, rests entirely with the Government. The uses or abuses to which such a strange privilege might be applied, are so obvious, that they do not need pointing out.
The object of this information was to lead to a rectification of the enormous inequality of duty now existing in the article of newspapers: we hope, however, that the question will be set at rest more equitably, than by making one party pay for the general injustice and impolicy of the law.
UNIVERSITY HONOURS.-Lord Tenterden is said to have stated in the House of Lords, as his opinion, and he was corroborated by the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, that, "no worse criterion could be selected of general competency, or fitness for the office of pastor, than the circumstance of a candidate's having obtained honours at the University."
This declaration has surprised the good people amazingly, who imagined that the Universities were the regular clerical manufactories, and that honours and distinctions were established in them, to
ascertain the quality of the fabrique; just as at Birmingham the manufacturers of fire-arms have trial-rooms, in order to ascertain how much their pieces will carry. The statement of this opinion had no such effect on us, who happened to know something of the matter: we only doubt as to the fitness of the expression-the "worst criterion,"-we think there may be worse-such, for instance, as wealth, rank, and fashionable or powerful connexions. Honours at the University are in favour of ability of a particular kind, at least, though they have no direct relation to piety-neither has a family living, nor the fact of being nephew to a Bishop, or a remote connexion with a Minister of State University Honours argue no call to the cure of souls; but, at the same time, cæteris paribus, a good scholar, or a mathematician, is as likely to make a tolerable clergyman as the person who has not been able to succeed either in scholarship or in science.
But if success in University life is so poor a criterion of a candidate's merit, why are men, before they are qualified to become candidates, almost compelled to have passed through this same life? For the difficulty in passing as a literate is well known!
Now if University honours are no criterion of fitness for the office of pastor, what sort of a criterion is a University life, which is made nearly a sine qua non ? To have a degree is a criterion, it seems, judging by the uniform practice of the bishops, but to have obtained the degree with distinction is no criterion at all.
The grand qualification for the office of pastor, which a young man gets at the University, is the exhaustion that attends a few years of vice and debauchery. This "sowing of the wild oats" was no part of the original intention in founding a university. It is like the breaking in of a wild colt, save that the one is done by discipline, and the other by the total absence of it. After the dissipation of a three or four years' failure and expenditure at the University, a youth is greatly subdued, and, as meekness is a necessary clerical endowment, the experience may be beneficial.
THE CHOLERA IN PARIS.-The intensity of this pest in Paris, and its mildness here, or rather the far greater number of persons attacked in that capital than in this, deserves the consideration of those who have opportunities of investigating its causes. One fact is clear, that the disease is the same, and is not more virulent in its nature than the disease of London. The difference in result must therefore arise from facilities it meets with in Paris of germinating rapidly, that is to say, a more convenient medium through which to pass, or, from a superior aptitude or liability of the Parisians to receive its impressions. We have all been living either amidst the Cholera, or in the next layer of atmosphere that contained it. The virus either did not pass from one locality to another, or it passed and was turned from us like a weapon upon armour of too fine a temper to be penetrated. The causes affecting Paris may be connected both with easy transmission through the air, and aptitude to receive its impressions. Paris has always been considered a strong city; it is impossible to walk its streets without being conscious that the air is loaded with impurities of various kinds. The state of its cloace is wretched, and in matters essential to health and comfort, though imitators of the