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look to their shop, like others, but possess, but even those they ought, they don't sell sanctity to the public. but do not possess.
The physicians are skilful, but As for the smoke of London, he dear. The lawyers honest, but ex cannot easily forget it; and he depensive : for the law is a noble pro- scants eloquently on its well-known fession, and must be nobly paid. qualities. He dwells on its denseThe only wrong perpetrated by ness; its everlasting nature ; its judges is, that of wearing a wig, weight; its smell; its viscous without which adjunct, it appears, greasiness which causes it to stripe justice cannot be fairly administered the human countenance with beau
Artists are worthy as men, indif- tisul black lines; contrary to atmoferent as artists. Workmen work, spheric air, it is both ponderable and drink rum when they can get it, and visible, and its unique virtues if not, gin. They prefer dying of should be celebrated by a poet. It is hard drink, rather than of hard work. like a thick veil which disguises the They are not lazy, but they would face of nature, but it does not rather see the whole world perish heighten its charms like those of a before them than hammer a nail on veiled beauty. The only advantage Sunday.
of it is, that a man may wear a drab The mob is mob; tolerably de- hat in summer, which by the time cent, not too rough, and never winter comes round, becomes so exbrutal.
tensively black as to save the cost Drunkards are numerous, and two of a new purchase for the season,
or three days spent in a drinking Any individual who does not wish about are followed by two or three to appear a coalheaver, is bound to hry days spent in a lock-up. Then they change linen twice daily in London.
are compelled to work, for board Nevertheless, thanks to the launand lodging are not gratuitous. No- dresses and to soap and lime, nothing is given for nothing in England where is there such a personal dis-no work no dinner, even in prison. play of clean linen as in London. Beggars are scarce. A few old men Our author admires the streets of and women, with a broom in their London : they are not disproportionhands, lean against a wall, waiting to ately wide as those of Vienna, nor receive the charity of the soft-hearted. are they country roads spoilt, like If it is not given, they do not send the Paris Boulevards. Some of the curses after the wayfarers, neither principal London thoroughfares have do they send more striking argu a grand character similar to that of ments in the shape of stones, as has the best streets of Milan, Florence, been witnessed in Calabria.
Rome, Naples, and Palermo. There Rogues are not fools, and their is, however, too much family resemoperations are carried on with pru- blance between them, and when we dence; for there are stringent laws, have seen one we have seen all. The and there are vigorous adminis- footpaths are wide and well paved, trators of them. Those who are and by dint of appealing to policecaught breaking them are carried men, a foreigner can manage not to away without ceremony, and sub- lose himself. There are no porticoes jected to ignominious punishment. in London under which to take
The institution of the Police at- refuge when it rains. As for the sun, tracts the unqualiñed admiration of one need not run away from it, for our author ; who depicts the mem- for two hundred days in the year, bers of “the force," in, we fear, it sleeps under its blankets; for a somewhat too glowing colours. He hundred more it is sick, and for the sees in them, not only the many remaining sixty-five it is in a state of admirable qualities they really do convalescence, being pale and weak
and constrained to rise iate and to with the Boulevards in Paris, the retire betimes.
Toledo at Naples, the Corso at In order to cross the streets one Milan, the Via di Po at Turin, or - unless able to take a flying leap the Via Calzajuoli at Florence. Our across the pavement--must make up foreign friend did not know of the his mind to wade in mire up to the early-closing movement, nor did he knees. The Londoners appear to
pause to inquire into its causes. possess a special liking for mud; He described effects with more or when by chance it does not rain, less accuracy, and that was all he tons of water are poured into the intended. highways, rendering them all but The sights of the milkman's cans impassable.
left at the doors ; of men rushing In Italy it is said, “ Tell me with frantically with black bags in their whom you associate, and I will tell hands towards the City; of others you what you are.” In England, running after omnibuses and then ihe first question you are asked is climbing on the roofs, by a feat of where you live, and from the name gymnastics requiring considerable of the locality depends the opinion practice; the curioushabit of coachformed of you, and your reputation, men driving to the left instead of the If you reside in certain regions you right, as is done everywhere else are fashionable, and you may be in- excepting Rome, where everything vited to good houses; if you reside was done the wrong way; the numin any of the remaining others, how- ber of children drawn about in the ever respectable you may be, your footpaths singly or in couples, in existence must be ignored. These diminutive carriages by nursery distinctions may appear arbitrary to maids ; the plurality of ladies gaily foreigners, but it is their own fault dressed, with artificial smiles, deal if they do not conform with them. ing doubtfully enticing looks, and
Our author seems to have made words, and pinches, to wondering a special study of the streets of Lon- strangers—all these strange specdon. He was struck at the, to him, tacles afforded him amusement, or unaccountably strange habit of the at least food for much reflection. late opening and early closing of At all events, he did not contemthe shops. From his chamber at the piate what he had often contemplated Langham Hotel, he walked, at seven in his own country. He did not see o'clock in the morning, on the ist heaps of filth, or newly-washed linen, July, towards the Victoria Station, hanging from the windows ; or ragvainly seeking for a cab. He met ged and tattered tramps sleeping four drunken men and two women, over the footpaths ; or lazy and inbut at eight o'clock he could not solent beggars importuning way procure a cup of coffee for love or farers for alms ; or bold flower-girls money; and even at a large foreign forcing their stale commodity on establishment just opening, he was strangers; or dirty coachmen driving answered by a surprised countryman dirtier vehicles than themselves, and of his, “What ! coffee at this hour.” torturing poor starving horses; or On the other hand, like Charles lottery - ticket offices, encouraging Lamb, who made up for his late the worst spirit of gambling in the arrivals at the East India House by multitude. his early departures, so the London
After giving a lively account of our shops are in a hurry to close at shops and our gin-palaces, the aunight, leaving the principal thorough- thor makes his comments on our fares gloomy and deserted. Any public gardens and squares, which one who knows the Continent must he most unfavourably contrasts with contrast Regent or Oxford Streets those in his own land. The squares
are wildernesses with grass and architecture; and, anyhow, it is always trees; the gardens and parks are better to imitate good examples than larger squares with a vast expanse of to originate bad ones. grass and gigantic trees. As for The churches of London ornamental gardens with marble really fine temples, and, blasphemy fountain, cascades, grottoes, basins though it may seem, the exterior of of water, fish ponds, groves, mazes, St. Paul's--the exterior only be it hot houses, flower-walks, belvederes, understood—is more architecturally vineries
, alleys rendered delighful perfect in its proportions and general to the ear by the melodious song of outlines than St. Peter's of Rome ; birds, to the nostrils by the sweet whilst Westminster Abbey is superior fragrance of luxurious flowers, and in beauty, both externally and interto the eye by their lovely variegated nally, to the Church of Notre Dame forms,--they are only conspicuous of Paris. The church steeples are for their absence in London. Kew, remarkably curious, being frequently evidently he did not know; the like inverted cones ending in a Crystal Palace was the nearest ap- point ; and it must be noticed that proach to his ideas, and on this sub- there are churches that have the ject more will be said anon.
appearance of private residences, Let us hear his opinions on pub- and private residences that have lic buildings. They are so numer the appearance of churches.
The ous in London, that could only one royal palaces are not fairy habitahalf of them be gathered in one tions, like that whence the Bourbons spot, they would suffice to form by of Naples were expelled, still they themselves an entire city of monu. are worthy of being the seats of a ments. But they are utterly lost, great monarch. The Houses of for they are scattered and disposed Parliament are a handsome and imamong miles of dingy, mean, and mense Gothic edifice, having an imutterly tasteless houses, and they are posing appearance from the river ; moreover spoilt by the effects of the but it contains many faults of detail. smoke which darkens their exterior, The salient parts throw the rest out and gives them a gloomy and for- of proportion; the towers are too bidding appearance. Further, most lofty; the gilding on their top reof the splendid edifices of London semble so many looking-glass frames, are so hemmed in, and surrounded and has an ineffective and mereby paltry constructions, that their tricious look; whilst the cropped effect is quite marred.
It is a won
grass and balloon lights on the der that so intelligent and enterpris- frontage, give that space the aspect ing a nation as the English, should of a rural churchyard. The clubs not have invented some plan for are sumptuous mansions,—and the counteracting the ill effects of smoke, Athenæum--which was frequented and thus changing London from an by the writer-contains among its oppressively dismal and dreary city, vast saloons, an excellent restaurant, into one lively and gay.
a choice library, and a luxurious As for the architecture, it is very smoking-room. The hotels are small much like the coat of Harlequin, cities—witness the Langham, where being made up of patches, and it is you are carried up to your chamber by no means infrequent to observe in a travelling apartment, where you Corinthian columns with Tuscan wander among grand halls, magnifibases, Egyptian capitals, Doric cor cent staircases, and wide galleries; nices; the whole surmounted by a where you have a post-office and á roof in the Rennaissance Greek telegraph-station, and where every style. Thus, at least, London can traveller is mulcted pretty heavily, show specimens of every style of to contribute, it may be supposed,
towards a sinking fund for the enor in a given area there are two ways. mous outlay incurred.
The one is to build a large house, As for the theatres, the English with five horizontal divisions or flats, are the best-tempered audiences on each intended to harbour one family, the face of the earth. A visitor is and complete in itself in all domestic expected to wear a ball dress : he offices; the other is, to divide the must hire a carriage, and he must space into five vertical compartpay for leaving his overcoat; for the mentst, giving to each home, a long use of an opera-glass; for a pro- slit all to itself. The former system is gramme ; for a libretto; for being adopted in most continental cities, admitted into his seat, and, of course, Paris, Milan, Vienna, &c. The for any refreshment he may need ; latter is followed in London and therefore the performance costs him Venice. Our writer does not preabout 50 francs-£2, which is forty- tend to decide which of the two seven francs more than in Italy; plans is in the abstract superior, but and whatever he sees he applauds. he certainly does not admire our If the impresario stretches or cuts residences. The basements remind down the operas according to his re- him of caverns, and the area railings quirements ; if the tenor or prima- of cages for wild beasts. Air, light
, donna fails, and a gentleman or lady and space are mostly wanting. The in black is sum
mmoned, and, with rooms are narrow and cramped, and music in hand, he or she makes love being built of wood and covered to, or upbraids a hero or heroine at- with carpets and ornamented with tired in Roman robes ; if a Mario at curtains, there is every facility given sixty-six takes it into his head to for fire to consume them, a facility court Lucia di Lammamoor with no of which that element frequently more voice than a statue; or if avails itself
. Everything is Lilliputian Adelina Patti thinks fit to improve in these houses; doors, staircases, upon Rossini, and invent a new
apartments, gardens; the only obRosina, who leads astray Almaviva, jects worthy of imitation are the who drags with him Figaro, who is pretty porcelain boxes full of flowers followed by Don Bartolo, and Don on the window sills. Basilio, until confusion worse con Due admiration is expressed for founded arises, and the shade of the British and Kensington MuRossini looks on with sorrow and seums, whose only faults are that dismay,—if any or all these events they are too rich and too vast to occur, the audience is satisfied, and be duly appreciated. The Turner whatever happens is greeted by the drawings form a curious study, and same monotonous applause.
ought to be preserved, but not in an Drury Lane is a pale reflection of institution that should be devoted to Covent Garden. There are many the teaching of real art to those English theatres mostly named after who are desirous of learning. Queens, Princes, and Princesses; Nature one day placed all its gifts in and the Alhambra, with its intoxica
an urn, which it shook well, and then ting sights and sensuous dances, proceeded to open it and to distritransport one into . . . a harem. bute them at random. To England Our author considers that, accord- fell the love of labour, steadiness
, ing to Pliny, the chief desiderata in perseverance, respect to the laws, human habitations are solidity,con- and earnestness in business pursuits. venience, and beauty. In describing This is enough to satisfy any nation. London dwellings, he finds them, But as to seeking supremacy in the according to his standard, entirely Fine Arts, it is really looking for deficient in all these qualifications. the impossible; it is endeavouring In order to shelter five families with to struggle against nature and circum
stances. True it is that industry, dows, are they a fine sight? I will ug bort study, and perseverance, do much tell you. If to plan that edifice re
towards expunging the term impos- quired the daring of genius; if to (scsible from the vocabulary of man, construct it required special know
but they cannot infuse the divine ledge, to beautify it required the cisze spark of genius. Sculptors are more highest ingenuity, and its monotony
promising than painters, and the was broken by judicious expedients 101 time may soon be expected when .... And what was the original
the great men who in bronze and use of that curious and gigantic con-
The description given by our au from every side, you move it to a
thor of the Crystal Palace is so vivid small table close to the window. 5 and graphic, that we cannot forbear Have you never remarked in gal
giving some extracts from it in his leries how many pictures are under own terms ;
a false light, and how many objects in " Picture yourself as the possessor, museums are against the light? Therein the midst of your garden-if you fore, having many pictures, works of do possess a house and a garden art, and numerous varied articles, --of a certain number of rare plants, large and small, to display, to prowhich bloom in the bright summer tect from dust and rain, and to be sun, and perish in the cold winter examined before ample and wellwinds. To preserve exotics without diffused light, what better could be removing them, you summon to your devised than a Crystal Palace ? .... assistance an architect whom we
“But when the Exhibition was conwill call Paxton. He measures the cluded, what could be done with space occupied by your plants ; he that immense transparent edifice ?” places in the four corners, as many
After relating how the palace was cast - iron columns; he connects transplanted to the slopes of Sydenthem with cast-iron frames, which ham, our author proceeds in lively are filled up with glass; he covers
strains thus : the four transparent walls with a “And what was done with the small cupola of iron and glass ; he Palace at Sydenham ? paints the iron-work blue, and be
“I will tell you. The great nave hold there is a miniature Crystal was embellished with magnificent Palace
. If you say, "Now that I am fountains, and basins, and aquatic about it, I may as well have it made plants, and statues, and vases, and larger, so that I may enclose more monuments, and life-size models of plants or have a sheltered promenade ancient races and distinct types of where I may lounge safe from wind man, and it was converted into a or rain, you have only to order beautiful promenade, unique in the your architect to add more glass and world. Laterally to the right and more iron, and to make the building
to the left were created so many larger and loftier.
. With courts, with porticos and saloons, this system you may cover a space each serving as an example of all as long as the Corso of Rome, as the different orders of architecture wide as the Piazza San Pietro, as and styles of decoration, that were lofty as the cupola of that church, followed by different nations at the and call it the Crystal Palace --pre different periods in which they cisely like that of Sydenham.
flourished. Moreover, a succession " But those rows of glass win of different halls connected toge