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famous for patience, every now and then an insurrection or a rebellion adds to the desolation of that land of oppression.
It is impossible to turn a steady eye upon society without being convinced that to live at the expense of the community (that is, of the working classes,) is the great object of all the world, that the various debates which are maintained respecting liberty, free-trade, funding, currency, corn-laws, and Catholics, are all but so many modifications of the one great question of who shall work and who enjoy. Neither can it escape remark that fraud and hypocrisy are the two great instruments for complicating the discussion; and that popular ignorance is the raw material of political fortunes. If the people understood their own interests, being as they are the strongest, the cannibal propensities of the few would be kept in a decent check; but the blindness and incapacity of the multitude compel them to assist in their own degradation, by forcing those who would guide them right, if not to absolute silence, at least to a disgraceful compromise with the whole truth. The man of sense, who disdains to join the conspiracy against his species, is not more disgusted with the knavery, than with the dupery by which he is surrounded. Whichever way he turns, he is encompassed by a circumvallation of common-places; and the pert self-sufficiency, with which the confiding multitude repeat them as undeniable truths, is at least as provoking, as the easy impudence of the clever rogues, who scarcely take the pains of concealing the machinery of their phantasmagoria, or of affecting to believe the doctrines they preach. In such a case, what is to be done, “ when to be grave exceeds all power of face?" To preserve silence, is to sacrifice the dignity of personal character; while to speak out is to be misapprehended, misrepresented, calumniated, and traduced. The honestest and the boldest man must hide a good half of his thoughts, if he would not be interdicted ab aqua et igni ; for the sake of peace and quiet he must refrain from telling, by implication, every third man he meets, that he is a fool or a rascal, and making him feel that in his eagerness to defraud others he is himself the dupe of his own stratagems. There are certain conventional bases upon which all questions of morals, politics, metaphysics, and religion, must be argued, if you would escape stoning. No matter how false, absurd, or inconsistent with each other they may be,--to dispute them, is to resign all chance of a hearing, all hope of a character for virtue or common sense, to offer yourself as the butt for all the malice of all who live and fatten on the popular lie, and to be spurned and assaulted by the very people for whose sake you have made the sacrifice. He who has not the courage to encounter this mass of evil, must pass through life with a bridle perpetually on his tongue. He must hear with a becoming gravity the words honour and patriotism proceeding from the lips of pollution ; he must hold law to be synonymous with justice, persecution with tolerance, the doctrine of libel with the liberty of the press, universal pauperism with national prosperity, priestcraft with piety, and plunder with loyalty and religion. He must not attempt to disturb the solemn plausibility which gives to vice the exterior of honesty. When disappointed in all his hopes for the species, cured of his enthusiastic estimates of individual character, he must remain convinced of the hollowness of all around him without betraying by a word or look, by a smile or a sneer, his knowledge of the falsehood.
Nor is it alone on great questions that sincerity is perilous. There is a “commune quoddam vinculum,” that binds the great and the little lies together, and you can never know when you are treading upon dangerous ground. It occurred to ourselves to have lost caste for an entire evening, and to have passed for no better than atheists, for venturing to deny that Kean should be banished from the stage, while others, equally frail, were applauded to the skies. To doubt even the sanctity of a Wolf, or to question the “ forty parson power” of Messrs. Gordon and Pope, would render the speaker suspected of being suspicious. By long learning, however, we have in part mastered this difficulty; we have been trained to stand by, without wincing, while the second reformation is alleged to advance. We can bear the mention of Mr. Peel's candour, and of Lord Bathurst's high-mindedness. We have suppressed all temptation to laugh at the men who set up the Pope in Italy, and tremble at him in Ireland ; and nothing can exceed the demure composure with which we look on, when prayers are offered to “ endow the lords of the council with grace, wisdom, and understanding." But can this self-abnegation be practised without grief, indignation, and disgust? Is it not better, a thousand times better, to shut ourselves for ever in a garret, with the few authors who have dared to write after their conscience, than to be compelled eternally to wear a mask, to associate without sympathy, and to bow the head to successful imposture and triumphant folly? A dog, a cat, a mouse, a spider is a better companion than the sycophant who will not trust his own reason, or who, beholding the truth, belies his own conscience to howl with the wolves.
But then it may be said that the fond of society is somewhat redeemed by its forms; that a man may be a very competent rogue, or a pretty tolerable fool, without being wholly unamiable, and that there are subjects upon which all the world are agreed. It is quite true that the largest part of conversation turns upon eating and drinking, the weather, the vices and follies of our neighbours, and a thousand other trifles that lead not to dispute ; and it must be admitted that it is bad companionship to be eternally canvassing the greater interests of life, and forcing upon society opinions upon things in general. There are, indeed, themes in plenty which belong to the neutral ground of debate; but it is very pitiable that they should so ill bear repetition. All the world, if they dared avow as much, are heartily tired of them. Like cursing and swearing, they are merely unmeaning expletives to supply the lack of sense, to gain time, and to give a man the satisfaction of sometimes hearing his own voice. With all the assistance of cards, music, dancing, and champagne, society is at best but a dreary business, and it requires no little animal spirits to undergo the infliction with decency. Are you admitted on terms of familiarity to the domestic hearth of your friend, that privilege confers on you the opportunity of becoming intimately acquainted with the faults of his servants, and (what is worse) with the merits of his children.
A dinner of ceremony is a funeral without a legacy; an assembly is a mob, and a ball a compound of glare, tinsel, noise, and dust. However amusing in their freshness, after a few repetitions, they are only rendered endurable by the prospect of some collateral gain, or the gratification of personal vanity. To exhibit the beauty of a young wife,
or the diamonds of an old one; to be able to say the best thing that is uttered ; to sport a red ribbon or a Waterloo medal in their first novelty; to carry a point with a great man, or to borrow money
from rich one, may pass off an evening very well, with those who happen to be interested in such speculations ; but, these things apart, the arrantest tritter in the circle must get weary at last, and be heartily rejoiced when the conclusion of the season spares him all farther reiteration of the mill-horse operation. It is this insipidity of society that forces so many of its members upon desperate adventures of gallantry, and upon deep play. Any thing, everything is good to escape from the languor and listlessness of a converse from which whatever interests is banished. Many a woman loses her character, and many a man incurs a verdict for ruinous damages, in the simple search of that rarest of all rare things in society-a sensation. Neither is the matter much mended, if, barring the insipidity of bon-ton company, you plunge into the formal gravity of the middle classes, or into the noisy, empty mirth of the lower. The man of sense and feeling, wherever he goes, will find himself in a minority, in which few will speak his language or comprehend his ideas. He will seldom return to his home without a weary sense of the “stale, flat, and unprofitable" nothings he has been compelled to entertain in his intercourse with the world --without the recollection of some outrage on his independence, some dogmatism that he dared not question, some impertinence that he dared not confute. With his ears ringing with blue-stocking literature, threadbare sophistries, forms erected into im. portant principles, mediocrity elevated into consideration, and the preeminence of the vain, the ignorant, and the contemptible, he will shut himself up in his solitude, and say with the Englishman at Paris Jc m'ennuis très bien ici. Against the recurrence of these annoyances, day after day renewed, what nerves can hold out? As life advances, time becomes precious, every moment is counted, every enjoyment is-computed ; and while the effort necessary for pleasing and being pleased becomes greater, the motive for making that exertion grows less. When the sources of physical gratification are dried up, and the illusions of life are dissipated, there remains nothing for enjoyment but a tranquil fireside, and the mastery of our own ideas and of our own habits in the privacy of home. But then, to enjoy these, you must not have a methodist wife, and you must have a porter who can lie with a good gráce, a fellow who could say “not at home,” though death himself knocked at the door. Neither should you read the newspapers, nor walk the streets. The times are long gone by since“ wisdom cried out there.” Folly, impertinence, sheer impertinence, has exclusive possession of the king's highway; and a dog with a tin-kettle at his tail has as good a chance as the wretch who dares to tread the pavement without partaking of the ruling insanity. Oh! Mr. Brougham, Mr. Brougham! your schoolmaster has a great deal yet to do: pray Heaven his rods and his fools' caps may hold out!
July. - VOL. XXIII. NO. XC).
THE SOLDIER'S BRIDE.
Yes, ye may pay your thoughtless duty,
Vain throng ! to Glory's distant star; And ye may smile when blooming Beauty
Rewards the gallant Son of War; For me, I sigh to think that sorrow
May soon that gentle heart betide,
May dawn upon the Soldier's Bride.
Pourtray'd by ardent Fancy's ray ;
When Glory's pictured charms decay;
And crown the dreams of youthful pride, Then might ye smile, ye thoughtless numbers,
Then greet with joy the Soldier's Bride. But when dismay'd by threatening dangers,
And doom'd in distant scenes to roam, To meet the chilling glance of strangers,
And vainly mourn her peaceful home ;
The fears her bosom once defied,
Desert the Soldier's weeping Bride.
Greets from afar her shuddering ear,
Her hero meets an early bier ; Condemn'd in hopeless grief to languish,
She yields to Sorrow's gushing tide, And tears express, in silent anguish,
The sadness of the Soldier's Bride. What then avails the wreath of Glory?
The victor it should crown is fled, The din of fame, the martial story,
Reach not the mansions of the dead; She
greets with sighs the dear-bought treasure,
That seems her sadness to deride, And shuns the mimic gleam of pleasure,
That mocks the Soldier's widow'd Bride. To me, her flowery crown of gladness
Seems like the drooping cypress wreath; Her nuptial throng-a train of sadness;
Her minstrel band—the dirge of death. Ah! soon may Grief those blossoms sever,
Despoil that cheek with blushes dyed, And cloud with dark despair for ever,
The triumph of the Soldier's Bride!
SOCIETY IN INDIA, NO. IV. The climate of India, which alarms us so much in England, loses nearly all its terrors when you arrive there. The valetudinaries, who are for ever taking up arms against it, and with the fear of diseased livers incessantly haunting them, and Buchan for their daily orderlybook, sacrifice themselves to the lean and sallow abstinence, in spite of the kindly intimations of Nature, that the hourly wastes of the machine demand hourly reparation,-are generally the first victims of a hot climate. Health in India may be won-but do not woo her too assiduously. Woe to the ascetic, who attempts the Pythagorean system. As in other parts of the globe, she is best propitiated by a regimen not too indulgent nor too abstemious. The longer you diet with the gods, if spare fast is your theory, the sooner you will be diet for the worms, or rather for the Jackals, who in that country take precedency of the worms.
It will fare still worse with you if you abstain from wine. The lifeless torpor of the spirits, the trembling languor of the frame, the appalling visitations of the foul hag Hysteria, with her wonted train of the very bluest devils,-that dreadful sinking at the heart, which neither poetry nor prose can describe-by these you will be convinced, and probably too late, of the foolishness of your doctrine. No. A few glasses of generous Madeira, a bottle, or more than a bottle, of Carbonel's fine hermitaged claret, or of the lighter growth from Adamson,
“ To life so friendly, and so cool to thirst,-" these are the few pleasing penalties you will have to pay for a tolerably vigorous existence in that country. As to the other nepenthe so highly esteemed there,-Hodgson's pale ale-he who can quaff it in safety must be a young military man, who is in the saddle from morn till night, or worked at morning and evening drills by some old kilndried lieutenant-colonel, who would rather renounce his Bible than hiz. Dundas. To the bilious or the sedentary, to him who knows no exercise but the indolent agitation of the palanquin, a bottle of ale should be like that closed with the seal of Soliman. If he opens it without due warrant, a giant will arise out of it to destroy him. But at the period of which I am striving to collect a few memorials, now indeed somewhat in the rear-ward abyss of time,' Carbonel, and Paxton, and Adamson, and Hodgson, flowed most copiously at Madras. Then flourished George Keble, and Cecil Smith, the brother of Bobus, and old Ben Roebuck. They were all high in the civil service; and they devoted ungrudgingly no small portion of their liberal salaries to the social enjoyments of the place. "No men in their generation, for it has passed away, took a greater delight in the diffusion of gaiety and goodhumour around them. There was a chair at their tables for the friendless cadet, or unintroduced ensign, whom they hospitably translated from the sordid hotels of the Black Town, half consumed by musquitoes and tavern-bills, to a plenteous board, and a snug bungalow in the compound.* They gave them, moreover, good counsel, as well as good cheer; and all this with a kindness that almost repaired, in a
An enclosed garden.