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kneel down in this age to ask his papa's blessing on leaving town for Brighton or Bath would be felt by himself to be making a theatrical display of filial duty, such as would be painful to him in proportion as his feelings were sincere. All this would have been evident to the learned editor in any case but one which regarded the Puritans: they were at any rate to be molested: in default of any graver matter, a mere fanciful grievance is searched out. Still, however, nothing was effected; fanciful real, the grievance must be connected with the Puritans: here lies the offence, there lie the Puritans: it would be very agreeable to find some means of connecting the one with the other: but how shall this be done? Why, in default of all other means the learned editor assumes the connexion. He leaves the reader with an impression that the Puritans are chargeable with a serious wound to the manners of the nation in a point affecting the most awful of the household charities: and he fails to perceive that for this whole charge his sole ground is-that it would be very agreeable to him if he had a ground. Such is the power of the esprit de corps to palliate and recommend as colorable the very weakest logic to a man of acknowledged learning and talent!-In conclusion I must again disclaim any want of veneration and entire affection for the Established Church: the very prejudices and injustice, with which I tax the English clergy, have a ge
nerous origin: but it is right to point the attention of historical students to their strength and the effect which they have had. They have been indulged to excess; they have disfigured the grandest page in English history; they have hid the true descent and tradition of our constitutional history; and, by impressing upon the literature of the country a false conception of the patriotic party in and out of Parliament, they have stood in the way of a great work,—a work which, according to my ideal of it, would be the most useful that could just now be dedicated to the English public-viz. a philosophic record of the revolutions of English History. The English Constitution, as proclaimed and ratified in 1688-9, is in it's kind, the noblest work of the human mind working in conjunction with Time, and what in such a case we may allowably call Providence. Of this chef d'œuvre of human wisdom it were desirable that we should have a proportionable history: for such a history the great positive qualification would be a philosophic mind: the great negative qualification would be this [which to the established clergy may now be recommended as a fit subject for their magnanimity]; viz. complete conquest over those prejudices which have hitherto discolored the greatest æra of patriotic virtue by contemplating the great men of that æra under their least happy aspect-namely, in relation to the Established Church.
FALSIFICATION OF ENGLISH HISTORY BY HUME.
Now that I am on the subject of English History, I will notice one of the thousand mis-statements of Hume's which becomes a memorable one from the stress which he has laid upon it, and from the manner and situation in which he has introduced it. Standing in the current of a narrative, it would have merited a silent correction in an unpretending note: but it occupies a much more assuming station; for it is introduced in a philosophical essay; and being relied on for a particular purpose with the most unqualified confidence, and being alleged in opposition to the very highest authority
[viz. the authority of an eminent person contemporary with the fact] it must be looked on as involving a peremptory defiance to all succeeding critics who might hesitate between the authority of Mr. Hume at the distance of a century from the facts and Sir William Temple speaking to them as a matter within his personal recollections.--Sir William Temple had represented himself as urging in a conversation with Charles the II, the hopelessness of any attempt on the part of an English king to make himself a despotic and absolute monarch, except indeed through the affections of his
people.* This general thesis he had supported by a variety of arguments; and, amongst the rest, he had described himself as urging this-that even Cromwell had been unable to establish himself in unlimited power, though supported by a military force of eighty thousand men. Upon this Hume calls the reader's attention to the extreme improbability which there must beforehand appear to be in supposing that Sir W. Temple, speaking of so recent a case, with so much official knowledge of that case at his command, uncontradicted moreover by the king whose side in the argument gave him an interest in contradicting Sir William's statement, and whose means of information were paramount to those of all others, could under these circumstances be mistaken. Doubtless, the reader will reply to Mr. Hume, the improbability is extreme, and scarcely to be invalidated by any possible authority-which, at best, must terminate in leaving an equilibrium of opposing evidence. And yet, says Mr. Hume, Sir William was unquestionably wrong, and grossly wrong: Cromwell never had an army at all approaching to the number of eighty thousand. Now here is a sufficient proof that Hume had never read lord Clarendon's account of his own life: this book is not so common as his "History of the Rebellion"; and Hume had either not met with it, or had neglected it. For, in the early part of this work, lord Clarendon, speaking of the army which was assembled on Blackheath to welcome the return of Charles II., says that it amounted to fifty thousand men: and, when it is remembered that this army was exclusive of the troops in
garrison-of the forces left by Monk in the North-and above all of the entire army in Ireland,-it cannot be doubted that the whole would amount to the number stated by Sir William Temple.-Indeed Charles II. himself, in the year 1678 [i. e. about four years after this conversation] as Sir W. Temple elsewhere tells us, "in six weeks' time raised an army of twenty thousand men, the compleatest-and in all appear ance the bravest troops that could be any where seen, and might have raised many more; and it was confest by all the Foreign Ministers that no king in Christendom could have made and compleated such a levy as this appeared in such a time." William III. again, about eleven years afterwards, raised 23 regiments with the same ease and in the same space of six weeks. It may be objected indeed to such cases, as in fact it was objected to the case of William III. by Howlett in his sensible Examination of Dr. Price's Essay on the Population of England, that, in an age when manufactures were so little extended, it could never have been difcult to make such a levy of menprovided there were funds for paying and equipping them. But, considering the extraordinary funds which were disposable for this purpose in Ireland, &c. during the period of Cromwell's Protectorate, we may very safely allow the combined authority of Sir William Temple-of the king
and of that very prime minister who disbanded Cromwell's army to outweigh the single authority of Hume at the distance of a century from the facts. Upon any question of fact, indeed, Hume's authority is none at all.
X. Y. Z.
* Sir William had quoted to Charles a saying from Gourville (a Frenchman whom the king esteemed, and whom Sir William himself considered the only foreigner he had ever known that understood England) to this effect: "That a king of England, who will be the man of his people, is the greatest king in the world; but, if he will be something more, by G- he is nothing at all."
THE PARISIAN ARISTOCRACY.
IN noticing in our last number the new work of M. Benjamin Constant, and in describing the circumstances out of which it arose, and the purposes which it was intended to answer, we had occasion to speak of La Haute Société de France. This
society is very curiously composedand as its constitution is not very generally known in England, and as it is an odd state of things arising from the remarkable changes that have of late taken place in the neighbouring country-it may be worth while to
say a few words more of it, which we shall still do in reference to M. Benjamin Constant. The Aristocracy of France is divided virtually into three classes.-1. We have the Aristocratie ultra of the fauxbourg St. Germain.-2. The Aristocracy of MM. de Broglie, St. Aulaire, De Staël, who wish to make their class of Aristocracy exactly what the Les Milords Anglais are in London.-3. The Aristocratie Lafitte, De Lessert, Perier, &c. whose object it is to make the millions a sufficient title to consideration. These three classes are all just now of a religious cast, for Christianity happens to be at this moment in Paris an engine of power, and a means of triumph; and, for the interests of the respective classes, nothing must be done which is likely to cast a slur upon their several reputations. For instance, a great male leader of the class No. 2. Lately lived with a noble female leader of the same class, whom he has quitted within two months, lest the scandal might injure his party. For the last ten years the upper classes have been unjust to the reputation of M. Constant. The reason of this injustice is that he is poor. Opinion in France permits all kinds of meanness to a man, provided always that he is rich enough to keep a carriage, and has his but ton holes decorated with a cross or two. These two points attended to, the authority of the noble society of Paris ordains that he shall be considered honnête homme. Now M. Constant has neither got a carriage nor a cross. The low estimation in which he felt himself held. has, in our opinion, driven Benjamin Constant to the only bad thing he ever did-the publication of his De la Religion. M. Constant has more than any other man in France, contributed to teach his countrymen what is meant by a Constitutional Government. He is not eloquent, but he is smart, epigrammatic, and subtle; his talent resembles very much that of La Bruyere, the celebrated author of the Caractères. By the aid of this talent, Constant has made Frenchmen, almost without their knowledge, fully comprehend the constitutional regime. French vanity is such that a man of thirty docs not like to be taught a Frenchman is intimately
persuaded that he knows tout ce qu'il est convenable qu'il sache. Now M. Benjamin Constant has published
from 1814 to 1819-a number of amusing pamphlets; the Frenchman says he reads them à cause de leur esprit; all the while, however, he is being instructed. The ultra party, led by the Jesuits, a subtle race, easily saw that the royalist pamphlets were dull and stupid by the side of those of Constant—which, and that was worst of all, not only amused, but instructed. They therefore set themselves to calumniate him, and they have had abundance of
On the return of Napoleon from the Isle of Elba, in 1815, M. Benjamin Constant, not having an army in his pocket to drive him from the palace of the Thuilleries, accepted the place of Conseiller d'Etat : not being able to repel the tyrant, he wished, as much as was in his power, to diminish the evil which he was about to inflict. The mere presence in the Conseil d'Etat, of a dialectician so dexterous and epigrammatic as M. Benjamin Constant, was enough to seal up the mouths of such men as Regnault de St. Jean d'Angely, Maret, and the other valets of Napoleon. Well-since Constant is poor, the Aristocracy will not see any thing in this action really beneficial to France, but the desire of ensuring to himself some appointments to the amount of a thousand a-year. Constant has felt this injustice very deeply. The calumnies of the Ultra party have caused him to be neglected by the liberal part of the middle classes, the real majority of France. He was a year without being re-elected into the chamber; and this has put the finishing stroke to his demoralization. He sees that France is not worthy of having a disinterested defender, and to the bottom of his heart he is sold to the Aristocratical party. By the word sold, we do not mean that he has taken money, but he has hoped that by publishing a book which should flatter the views of the first class of society in Paris, that he should be recompensed by its praise and its consideration. Madame la Duchesse de Broglie has written twelve pages on Bible Societies-this little circumstance is a key to the noble society of
Paris. She envies the consideration which our Aristocracy has obtained all over the nation. The sole end at this moment of one great class of the nobility of Paris is to acquire the precise existence of the English Peerage. The middle class have, however, both too much talent and too much vanity ever to permit this success. The liberal peers of France perceive that the spread of education, of the kind which has been spreading in France of late years, is the most likely thing in the world to prevent the attainment of their darling object-the life of the English Peer -and they have consequently joined with the Ultra Peers to commit education into the hands of the Jesuits, or, at least, to the religious corporations. MM. de Broglie, de Sainte Aulaire, de Staël, and the other chiefs of the class of pretended liberals, have actually made up to M. le Cardinal de Lafare, M. de Talaru, and the other Ultra peers. The view of the two parties is the same-to found l'Aristocratie nobiliaire. The only difference is this-that the party of M. de Broglie has more intellect than that of M. de Talaru, and comprehends the limits of their power, and understands that all that it is possible to acquire is the state of the English nobility. M. de Taleru, who is a man of a narrower mind, fancies that they can go beyond that-and become again the insolent GRANDS-SEIGNEURS of the reign of Louis XIV. Constant has bound himself to the least blind of these two parties-but even these despise both his motive and his book, and that which is most particularly mortifying to him is, that he sees them following up all his ideas to the letter, without everdeigning to mention his work. The Broglies, the Staëls, and the Saint
Aulaires have formed a powerful club, called the Society of Christia n Morals. This plan is evidently tha t which poor Benjamin Constant point s out in his book, and yet in this society de la Morale Chretienne he is never talked about; we doubt even whether he is a member.
In the meanwhile, the book has entirely ruined Constant with the class of rich merchants and bankers, and the great monied men of Paris; headed by the MM. Lafitte, de Lessert, and Perier. This class never reads, but in this act of the deputy of the Seine (M. Constant has been re-elected some months) it sees a piece of servility towards the party of the Aristocratie nobiliaire. The monied men have therefore spread abroad a report, that Constant is sold to the minister Villêle, and at this moment this is the general opinion in Paris. This evil action, this bad book, this sad piece of hypocrisy, has made the poor man despised by the nobles, and punished by the bankers.
The end of the monied Aristocracy to make stock a fair title to admission among the noble Aristocracy, will, in all probability, be gained. In the course of ten years, it is likely that every man with five millions of francs (about 200,000l. sterling) will be as good a noble as a duke. At the present, however, the noble Aristocracy make every effort to prevent this assimilation-and strive to corrupt education by the Jesuits, and bring this back as near as possible to the ancient regime. All the principles of Constant's book are likewise in action, he nevertheless has the pain to see his book forgotten, and himself despised. This is, however, unjust. We regard him as a good man, and a useful citizen, who has made one false step.
THEATRICALS THE "great" theatres have opened for the season. If their greatness is to be estimated by the number of bricks in each building, it is indisputable. And to the name of theatres, in its primitive sense, they have nearly as undoubted pretensions as any "Orama" in the metropolis, being little more than permanent and enormous show-boxes. At pre
OF THE DAY.
sent indeed they are rather menagerial exhibitions, similar to those at Exeter Change and Bartholomew Fair, than any thing else: they are almost equally well calculated (with the help of outlandish music and orchestras more than commonly uproarious) to amuse the eye and distress the ear. The Germans have monopolized one house for the whole
by-gone month, and the Equestrians the other: monsters and quadrupeds! O wise, erudite, intellectual, and refined People of England! What a feast of reason do we not partake of every night when a stage-full of toads, serpents, crocodiles, hellhounds, hobgoblins, foul birds and unclean beasts of every indescribable description are served up to us by way of refreshment after a two hours' auscultation of dull dialogue and mad music! What a flow of soul may we not indulge every night when we behold a gentleman in a black mask and a blood-red mantle sweep across our eye-sight, " fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell," crying fee-fa-fum!-and another unlucky personage exclaiming Donner und blitzen! as he is shot askew with a charmed bullet! Who dares say after this that the drama is no more, that the stage has degenerated, that John Bull has not more taste for theatricals than Bully Bottom (when his ass's head is on) for a bottle of hay or a peck of provender? I .would fain see that fellow.-And the quadrupeds too! Ay: it is here that we of all modern civilized nations, we alone imitate and excel that brave and brutal people,- the people of old Rome. We do not only go to see quadrupeds exhibit in an open arena, but we bring them into the room with us, teaching them to mince their footsteps and walk as gingerly over the boards as if they were endeavouring to caper over a field of corn or to dance upon a floor of eggs without bending the one or breaking the other. Look !-it is better than any farce, though a melancholy one- look at the grave, phlegmatic, taciturn, suicidal Englishman when the quadrupeds enter! Behold one of the most thinking people on earth,-the profound and sagacious islander, the national brother of Newton and Bacon,-the consummation of sublunary wisdom, behold him in the middle of the pit when the snort and the tramp, the clang and the clatter, announce the ingress of a herd of equestrians! His right hand furnished with the symbol of solemnity-a snuff-box, and his nose bestridden by a pair of owl-eyed spectacles, behold him how he stretches his apoplectic neck totowards the proscenium, and while
drops of the animal oil course oneanother down his "piteous nose," groans or rather whinnies with delight as the fourfooted objects of his anxiety make their appearance! Hark'ee: how far eminent does he rise, think you, above the poor dumb brutes whom he contemplates? Why, forsooth, he can laugh at them, whilst they by the parsimony of their natures cannot return the salutation. See how the lax muscles of his visage run into an indistinguishable jelly at the awkward gambols of Roscius on all-four! how his eyes and mouth simultaneously broaden into an expression of dumb-stricken wonder at heavy-heeled Esop scampering up a wooden staircase into the regions of thunder, and the sound of his gravid hoof vibrating through the carpentry of a play-house! O for a pompion to feature out idiotcy in extatics! What anxiety, what amazement, what pleasure, and what praise! To see incogitative matter, hoofed, highmaned, long-eared, and mounted upon four legs, stand on the stage instead of in the stable! To see a bona fide living and long-tailed quadruped, by the mere force of underhand exercise and eternal custom, lie down in a proper place, or bite a biped in tune,
to see him cutting lavoltas and capricoles to the admonition of the rowel, as long as the "great babies" in the house are pleased to applaud him!-Astonishment! Surely God works a miracle now-a-days, making reasonable creatures of horses, and asses of reasonable creatures! Listen, countrymen and lovers: Suppose that there were two roads from the millrace to the clover-field, and that Giles were accustomed to lead Dobbin by one and the same of these roads every day to and from pasture; would any one stand agape if Dobbin upon being left to himself were to go by the customary road rather than the other?-But in the theatre it is quite another thing: here incessant pains are taken to inure the animal to one routine of action, yet it is perfectly admirable that he should persist in this on the stage as well as at the riding-house,-and in the presence of a greater number of fools than his masters! But it comes to this: the wonder that Nature makes anything whatever but men and blind matter, or that the inferior