Imatges de pÓgina
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So much as a warning to power : and now a word of counsel to men of letters. They are in a false position, in a painful state of transition; they have ceased to be the servants of the aristocracy, whilst the great public, whom they are about to serve, seems as yet not aware that it owes a return, a certain degree of protection and respect. Whilst in France men step from the professor's chair to the Ministry, from the editor's desk to the legislature--in England, the word author draws after it a kind of lenient and good-natured oblo-i quy, more detrimental than even hate to the respectability and interests of the tribe. This prejudice is no doubt traditional, but the habits of most men of letters sanction it. English writers of the day are generally mere caterers to amusement, light, superficial, men of current pens and fugacious thoughts-novel-writers, in fact, and cultivators of imagination. Even in their handling of serious subjects, there is a want of depth, and maturity, and conscientiousness, not a little disgraceful to us. This, no doubt, is in part produced by a false system of education, which teaches us that trifles are the most im- ? portant points of study, and leaves us ignorant of the knowledge of public life until long after chance feelings or connexions have enlisted us in party, and given us a creed without reason, and passions with little more than personal hate for their basis.

In this respect, the French are infinitely our superiors. Their education, suited to the wants and habits of the day--gives more knowledge of the world, and less of the cloister. But, above all, the union, of literary and political studies and habits of writing has the happy effect of giving solidity and high aim to the lighter pursuits, and at the same time dignifying, and adorning, and elevating that part of the press devoted to politics. In England, unfortunately, there has been not only disunion, but war, betwixt the writers of the daily press and their brethren. The latter have been in some instances, and in some of their works, prodigal of contempt, meanly and narrowly founded. The feeling has been returned; and this absurd quarrel has been, we have no doubt, the chief cause why the late dispensionment of the Royal ten Associates met with rather exultation than sympathy on the part of some able provincial diurnals. This poor source of spite and disunion ought to be for ever forgotten and extinguished.

Union, as far as literary interests are concerned, should henceforth be the duty of every literary man, whilst it should be the task of every individual to join solid information and principles to powers of light and imaginative writing. Political acquirements and knowledge should in no case be neglected. If other classes have hitherto monopolized influence and patronage, let us recollect it has been principally because they also monopolized political knowledge. For such, knowledge, according to the maxim, is power. Those who possess it, can never as a body be slighted; for this other maxim is no less, true, that, in order to be respected, one must be feared.

WHERE IS THE MOB ? I SHOULD very much like to know where the mob is to be found when there is no mob. Mob is a noun of multitude, puzzling to the grammarian as to the matter of singular or plural ; equally puzzling is it to the metaphysician as to the matter of posse and esse. We talk glibly enough about the mob, as if we could at all times see it and define it; as if it had as definite an existence as a Lord Mayor or a Court of Common Council. This said mob is a kind of political unicorn—a beast of many pictures, but no original. Where is it, what is it, and what has it done, that it should be so vituperated ? Odi profanum vulgus, said Horace, and one in our day, who has received from his godfathers and godmothers the same name, expresses the same sentiment. But, as no man of valour could gain much reputation in fighting with a shadow, so no man of consequence can have much gratification of his pride in turning up his nose at he knows not what. Odi profanum vulgusI hate the mob, says the man of superfine sentiments. me, then, thou man of nice discernment and of most fastidious taste, and let us see what it is thou hatest ;—where, and what is that mob which moveth thee so atrabiliously? All below a certain class may be regarded as the mob. Good; but is there, in the bright blue sky above us, with its myriadseeming, eye-deceiving lights of distant suns, or in the earth beneath us, with its cloud-shadowed, flower-besprinkled lawns, or in the waters under the earth, with all their dancing waves, and shining, slimy, slippery, unhookable tenants, aught so uncertain as a certain line that marks a certain class ? Thou that hast hob-a-nobbed with princes, and hast perspired, if that be not too gross a term, in perfumed drawing-rooms, with many a son and daughter of Adam, every one of whom is too superb to be called by his or her own name e-wilt thou set down as a component part of the mob every individual who bears not a title? How comprehensive, then, must be thy hatred, and how widely spread must be thy abomination ! No, no ; title will not draw the line, nor will affinity to title draw it. Many a one, who boasts no other appellatives than his birth and his baptism have given him, may, for his wealth, his wit, and wondrous courtesy, claim not unsuccessfully to rank within the uncertain certain class. Down drops below nobility the line which separates between the respectable part of the community and the mob. Peradventure it might suit the Horatian theory to place the line of vulgarity immediately above the men of commerce, were it not that from that class legislators have been selected. We must seek for it then a little lower still, among the retail dealers, who wash their hands with Windsor soap, and eat ducks and green peas in little back parlours behind the shop. But even here the shadow flees, and even here may be seen the haughty airs of aristocracy, the self-sufficient denunciations of vulgarity, and a terrible shudder at the dreadful inundation of democracy which is threatened by the admission of ten pound voters. And more than this ; for here may be found minds well informed, manners well regulated, morals well ordered, and a capability and actuality of all that makes man respectable and decent. Come, then, we must go deeper than this. What shall we say to the mechanic, to him who worketh Sept.-VOL. XXXII. NO. CXXIX.

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with his own hands? Here sitteth one at the loom art

thou one of the mob? Mark the curvature of the man's spine, the roundness of his shoulders, the still monotony of his employment, the pallor of his countenance. Art thou one of the mob? Dost thou hate kings, and priests, and nobles ? Wouldst thou imbue thine hands exultingly in patrician blood ? Art thou gross as the untamed beast of the forest, stupid and brutish as the beaten ass? He answers not ; but “a faint smile comes o'er his faded countenance, like moonlight on a marble monument." Listen, and when the surprise at your rude interrogatory shall have passed away, he will give you a history of his days. Mark the man, and, spite of your discourtesy, he bows before he speaks. “I have worked at this loom for twenty years. In the summer time the sun and I have begun our work together ; but I have stopped to dine, which the sun has not, and therefore I have sometimes finished my day's labour an hour later than he. And in winter I have shortened the darkness by a taxed candle, and would have alleviated the bitterness of the cold by taxed coals, but food was the greater necessary of the two. I have, by the labour of this loom, fed and clothed myself, and wife, and five children. On Sunday, I have sometimes worshipped God with the help of a priest, and sometimes without that help. I have occasionally endeavoured to enjoy the luxury of beneficence; I have found it an expensive luxury, but still it was a luxury. I am proud of my children, for they are dutiful and affectionate ; and, thank God, we have never been burdensome to the parish, and I hope and trust we never shall.” A mob is not composed of materials like this: here is industry working for itself and its own; here is religion, here is generosity, here is independence. There is nothing hateful in this. But where is the mob, that profane and hateful thing ? Which is the class that all good, orderly, respectable, religious people must hate with a perfect hatred ? Find we the elements of the mob among domestic servants, the portly butler, the jolly coachman, the skilful cook, the graceful valet, the haughty porter? Not one in a dozen of these gentry can be found, who does not regard his lordly master with as much selfappropriation of importance as did a loyal Frenchman under the old regime regard the Grand Monarque. But where is the mob, the profane and the hateful ? Does it sit by the way-side begging? Is it to be sought among the halt and the maimed, the lame and the blind? Poor helpless ones, when did ye overturn states and empires, and usurp thrones, and hurl nobles in the dust, and trample priests in the mire ? Is there, then, no mob? Yes, there are many, many actual and many possible. See, there is a mob, almost ten miles long. “ Six to four on Jem Ward.”_“ Done!" See, there is another, not more than fifteen feet square. What, in the church ? No, in the vestry—“ Gentlemen, will you hear me?"_“I protest that I”—“Sir, I don't believe.”—“Will you ?”—“Two and ninepence.”+ “ Most scandalous !"-—“Mr. Gubbins.”—“ Order, Mr. Dickinson !"“Upwards of a thousand.”—“ Unprincipled scoundrels !”—“For the good of the parish.”—“I say, Sir, it is a most infernal lie !”—“I deny it in toto !”—- I will be heard !"_“You didn't!" What I respectable merchants, professional gentlemen, and even the Rev. !

Hist! Let us look into a larger building. What do I hear?

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An utter Babel"; "a noise not less cacophonous than the screaming of an universe of frightened geesel And what a venerable building is this in which the túmultuous uproar is heard! There stand two gigantic figures, Gog and Magog, who look like the deities worshipped by the outrageous and furious multitude, madder than the priests of Bacchus. What is the meaning of this tumult? A Common Hall, and an unpopular gentleman is attempting to make himself heard, and the people will not hear him; they are better pleased to hear themselves. Mob law. Any more mobs ? Walk this way; a little to the east. Beauty and fashion, gas-lights and jewellery; hackney and other coaches in profuse abundance; much swearing among the coachmen; much bullying among the gentlemen ; much tossing of heads and sneering among the ladies; rouge outblushed by fury, and carmine rendered superfluous by indignation ; ribs and elbows in most inconvenient juxtaposition ; fiddling, and much clattering of cups, and spilling of coffee; the unsuccessful almost cursing the successful.- Where is the mob ? What better can you expect in the City ? Nothing. We will leave the City and its mobs, and will go to the west :-region of refinement, dwelling of the China-ware part of human crockery! Is it possible? Can these be people of rank and fashion ? Mark you, how they rush by one another, heedless of the demolition of drapery, and the martyrdom of splendid decoration! . Here is as much rushing and rudeness, and noisy crowding to see dancing in the West, as there was to perpetrate dancing in the East. A new fiddler is come to town, and he must be heard. High words pass between these two gentlemen; we must not call it low language. Will they strip and fight? No, they will fight to-morrow morning. They are ungovernably angry, and know not what they say, nor what they have said.-Any symptoms of mob? Strong symptoms, it must be confessed; for here is fury, here is selfishness, here is violence, here is blindness, here is the very essence of mob, unbridled humanity, ungoverned passion, instinct run mad, total absence of reflection, and plentiful food for after penitence. Where is the line that separates the mob from the respectable part of the community ? We have been looking for it, but we have not found it. We have been searching for the mob downwards, downwards, downwards, and it has eluded our observation : we have turned round again, and have sought for it upwards, upwards, upwards, and have met with it everywhere. Shall we go farther? How much farther shall we or can we go? The poet talked of the freaks of imagination, which, in its humours, would present to the mind

A court of cobblers and a mob of kings." We shall come to that at last. Not quite, but as near as may be. Follow, now, to the stranger's gallery. Ah! is wisdom always noisy when collective ? Are these sounds the ebullitions of understanding? Do I hear the fermentation of sagacity and the boisterous outpourings of prudence ? What does that honourable gentleman mean by clenching his fist? See, see! part them, or there will be bloodshed! I cannot understand a word they say: but are they swearing at one another ?' No, not in words. But why so many speaking at

once ? There was a look of meekness and an aspect of courtesy, but it is gone in a moment, as soon as the lips are opened and the tongue is let loose. And what violent gesticulations! Do they call this deliberating? Did they hear prayers read before they commenced deliberations ? “ Hear, hear, hear !”-“Question, question !"_" There is no question.”—“ The honourable gentleman”—“ Chair, chair, chair!” “Oh, sad confusion! These gentleman are violently angry with each other, and know not what they say. But they are not hereditary legislators, they have not been cradled in sagacity, and were not born to guide the state. There is a tincture of plebeianism among them. Potwallopers have chosen some of them. They are representatives of mobs: the spirit of tumult is in them, and will occasionally break forth. Yet who would have thought or expected to find a mob

Let us go into a serener atmosphere-a milder clime—a less tempestuous region—a more venerable assembly; we shall find the flower of courtesy in the legislative conservatory. We are out of the mob at last ; we are But why speak two at once ? -why three ?—why scowl ?—why threaten ?

Pray * * * * * * please to moderate

The rancour of your tongue ;
Why Aash those sparks of fury from your eyes?
Remember, when the judgment 's weak

The prejudice is strong." Hush !—hush !-silence !--the King is coming !—When shall we get away from the mob ?

S.

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HOBBS AND DOBBS. Adrian. Your jest is somewhat of the oldest, Master Giles. Giles. Tush! do you think I would offer a new joke, any more than new wine, to your Worship ?—The Unknown.

Love in a village, where the parties revel

In all the neighbourly civility
Of cheerful, social amiability,

Is vastly pleasant;-
But hatred in a village is the devil!

Because each peasant
Is ever meeting in that narrow circle
The very man on whom he longs to work ill.
How sad the pity that our beau ideal

Is never real ;-
That envy, hatred, jealousy, and malice

Should hold their chalice
Up to the lips of rustics, who were meant
By Nature to be innocent,
And harmless as the household dove,

That type of love!
After this pretty bit of Aummery,

Or moral sentimental proem,

(An apt exordium to my poem,) .
I must be quick, concise, and summary,
And without any more preparative,

Commence my narrative.
At Oakley, in the Western Riding

Of Yorkshire, were two men residing,
Named Hobbs and Dobbs, whose constant quarrels,

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