« السابقةمتابعة »
to reign in hell than serve in heaven.' * * Satan has been slandered, he never adorned himself with such a piece of pinchbeck sublimity."
“ Kind words from those she loved, were of far more value than kind deeds, an idiosyncrasy common amongst women and children."
“ It is unfortunate, but it generally happens, that people become sensible of our merits at the precise time when it is most a matter of indifference whether they do or not : possibly, to teach us that what we really are is the only essential point, whilst whether we are admired is of very little consequence at all. It is difficult to become indifferent to the sympathy of those around us, it seems like the response of an oracle to sanction what we do ; but, after all, sympathy is a luxury, and not a necessity;
the natural craving we have for it had need to be carefully watched, lest it should degenerate into a sentimental vanity. We must all of us learn to lead our own life, according to the best of our ideas, and the best manner in which we can realise it, whether we have to encounter good report, or evil report. The favour of man bringeth a snare,' as wise King Solomon declared, long ago."
A WOMAN OF THE WORLD.
“ With all her suavity Mrs. Lauriston had a pitiless insight into the shortcomings of others ; her bright grey eyes could penetrate, like those of a cat, into the darkest corners ; and she was not without the velvet paws, armed with sharp claws, to drag all she saw into the light, whilst she tossed and patted and tormented her victims with an air of such irresistible graciousness, that even they were in doubt whether she really meant to be disagreeable. But somehow it always happened that whenever any one, seduced by the tempting softness of her manner, reposed any of their distresses in her gentle bosom, they invariably repented of having done so before the day was done-not that she made any particularly mischievous use of confidences, but there was an unfathomable reserve underneath her friendliness, and her eyes looked absently into space with a sweet smile at the very crisis of the communication. With all her empressement of manner, she had not a grain of enthusiasm ; she was covered all over with a sort of moral glass-case, which kept her precious emotions fresh to the eye, whilst it protected them from all contact with trying realities."
6. A woman ought never to make intimate friendships out of her own family,' replied Mrs. Lauriston ; "there are always family secrets which ooze out to one's “dear friends ;" they are confided in affection, and recollected in revenge, because, sooner or later, the best friends always quarrel ; it is very silly to make confidences, for our “intimate friends” always have it in their power to say the bitterest things against us.'"
“ Alice sank under the weight of a golden leisure, which she had not the energy adequately to employ. Worldly prosperity a much greater drain upon our energies than the most severo adversity ; there is no spring, no elasticity ; it is like walking through life upon a Turkey carpet. Large and noble faculties are required to make a wise use of worldly prosperity ; there is little stimulus in, and no excitement beyond, what the individual can furnish for himself; his days are rounded with security, and softly cushioned against all the harsh realities of life.”
“ It is the being condemned to live with those who lead mechanical lives— lives without significance—who see in the daily routine of household business, in the daily occupation of going to the mill, the counting-house, and the different works of life, nothing but modes of filling up days and weeks, called in the aggregate life,—without an idea of looking round-much less beyond, —it is this which drives passionate souls mad; but if there be one opening through which the air from the everlasting universe of things may breathe upon us, we can feel strong and cheerful-no matter how bare of material comforts our lot may be.”
But we must restrain our extracts, or half the volume will be transferred. We need, we hope, hardly recommend the work to the perusal of all who feel an interest in the progress of right sentiments and noble principles : who wish to escape themselves, or help others to escape, from the mean conventionalities of prejudice or tyranny, that make custom and station the tests of right and wrong, and not merit or utility: Nobler days are undoubtedly dawning on the hardworked, degraded, and despised many. Labour will yet be considered honourable; and, all glory and success to those who aid by their genius so happy and desired a result !
FRANCE AND ENGLAND : A Vision of the Future. By M. DE LAMARTINE.
Translated from the French. New edition, 24mo. H. G. Clarke and Co.
This book will be received and recognised in a very different manner by different classes of readers. The high Conservative who believes, or asserts that he believes, that all things are arranged for the best, and that it is human nature itself that prevents any further improvement in human affairs, will cast away the book as the farrago of an insane, if not an evil-disposed man. • The practical politician," as he styles himself, who has mastered, as he thinks, the formula of public affairs ; whose text-book is Adam Smith, and his guides the successive political economists who have amended or garbled the original work ; who has no faith in philosophy or human nature ; who endeavours to condense the principles that govern human society into arithmetical statements; and whose only remedy for the appalling evils that consume millions of human beings within our “happy land,” is some petty legislation to be wrung from Parliament by threadbare debates ; will pronounce this book the insane dream of a dangerous enthusiast. Far different, however, will be the decision of the thousands of labouring, toiling, suffering men-men who have intelligence to understand the unequal position in which class legislation has placed them. This country now teems with many such. To them the game of politics that has been playing for so many hundred years has but tie significance. They find that they toil more and reap less ; that their energies are being over-taxed ; the natural constitution of their class is degenerating under it; and they have no political means of bettering themselves. To such, and to those more cultivated minds, whose sympathies are not bounded by class, and whose studies and tastes have led them to the consideration of a more equitable system of legislation, this little book will be most welcome. Its lofty views ; its pure and noble sentiments ; its enlarged and penetrating principles; will expand their feelings, and fill with hope and joy every mind that has been anxiously awaiting the dawn of an era promising something like justice to the many. It comes also with double effect, now that the theory is being tested; now that the opening of the prophecy is being so magnificently fulfilled. We read with the same sort of gratified but awful sensation, as when, having calculated an eclipse, we see the great machinery of the heavens realising to the eye the calculations of the brain.
The form of the book, even by some of those who kindle to the principles, may be objected to. It may be thought that the frippery of fiction was not needed to set forth such serious and high matter. But it must be recollected that the work was written five years since, when there was but little prospect, even to the sagacious mind of its author, of any part of the vision being so rapidly realised. For one man who was then sufficiently elevated to perceive the coming events, a hundred thousand may now be reckoned, who are convinced, by the fulfilment of a portion of the theory. The prophet is seldom confided in, though he is deified when the result is perceived.
All classes, however, are interested in the work, as it may be taken as an indication of M. De Lamartine's opinion on many points of social legislation. It is, indeed, an index to the course of his political studies, if not of his present exact opinions. It treats, in his ever masculine and elevated style, of all that can affect the social organisation of the state; and, though of wider meaning and larger scope, must be placed in the category of political allegories. It is of the same class as “Gulliver's Travels,' “ The Adventures of an Atom," “ Erskine's Armata,” and “ Disraeli's Captain Popanilla ;” and all the numerous volumes that have sprung from the Utopia and the Gargantua. The exceeding interest of the political disquisitions, bearing so instantly as they do on impending circumstances, prevents any disquisition on it as a merely literary production. Perhaps it may be justly said that the allegorical machinery is not so cleverly constructed as in the works we have referred to; but then the eloquence of the style in which the political principles are developed, and the remarkable foreknowledge of political events since realised, far outweigh any such trivial deficiencies.
The work is so short and so cheap that we shall not seek to make our article a substitute, but, heartily recommending it to the perusal of every one interested in the great public events of the day, conclude with a few samples of its style and its tone:
“ But the fight is not fought yet, for the injustice is not yet quite repaired; the operative has succeeded the serf and the slave; his labour is so excessive and so ill paid, that it is adverse to the complete and regular maturity of his body, his intellect, and his morals ; however long his work, it does not bring in enough to satisfy his common wants, and à fortiori to provide for his wife and children ; he is therefore exposed, he and his, to penury and brutishness, that is, to all infirmities, physical, intellectual, and moral. In a word, the poor man is used up by the rich ; labour is ground down by the cupidity of capitalists in an unjust, inhuman manner ; because there is violation of the rights and interests of the one to the exclusive profit of the other. Now, wheresoever the relationship between capital and labour are not based in justice, that is on reciprocal advantage, there is ever a struggle; the greater the injustice the more violent the strife.”
UNIVERSAL ENFRANCHISEMENT. “ In the beginning, as always happens when experience is deficient, some temporary embarrassment, some abuses of detail, resulted from this enfranchisement; but the false steps served as practical lessons. Men in power are only to be formed by the management of affairs : the most capable men need to acquire habit, and the most ignorant soon learn to select those most conversant with their interests. Discussion speedily enlightens the masses, and common sense must prevail. The more we engage in everything useful to a common end, the more attached we become to it, and desire its success and conservation. This direct or indirect share in local administration ought then to be as general as possible ; and the freer the decisions, the more their importance is felt. It is that common activity, intelligent and impassioned, which constitutes the inner life of localities, which inculcates in each man the love of his natal soil, and devotion to the country of which he feels himself an integral portion : it is that inner life of all the parts which confers on the body social its vigour, its power of resistance, against the external causes of destruction,"
THE GREATER AND THE LESSER EVIL. “ I lament these calamities as much as yourself. We must deplore private misfortunes, and endeavour to diminish them as much as possible ; but we ought never to lose sight of the general result. There can be no progress without many interests being injured. It is doubtless a hard destiny ; but it is found everywhere inevitable, and inflexible like the laws which govern matter, and in the end great advantage to the greatest number always results from it."
TWIDDLE THUMB TOWN.*
BY DOUGLAS JERROLD.
A SHORT CHAPTER ON CERTAIN MARRIAGES OF TWIDDLETHUMB.
THE MORAL AND THE WARNING OF A LAWFUL WADDED WIFE.
How and when the goose returned to Twiddlethumb-how, ever since it has marched at the head of the troops—how, growing silver
it has seen Duke after Duke of the line of De Bobs, swathed in lead and put aside upon a shelf in a vault of the castle-(the reigning Duke at his dinner must now and then feel a qualm, thinking of that deep, dark, blind hole below the banquet-hall where his grandfathers, very patient in the great certainty, await him)-how the musicians played their gratulations to the teeming Duchess ; how the soldiers having cut the innocent winds with their boastful swords, in honour and glory of the little red baby, lying in the nurse's lap, and moving its lips as though tasting the world, and pinching its cheeks and nose, as though it did not think very highly of the flavour,
How all this happened, the reader-it is our hope--cares not to know. For much of these things is in truth, mere parenthesis, to be omitted for the better brevity of history. Besides,—but come this way.
have an invitation for you, most amenable reader. There is a wedding forward in Twiddlethumb; a most moral and most touching ceremony; a solemnity altogether away from the common marryings of the common wedding-ring world. A solemnity only performed in Twiddlethumb,-the greater the pity.
* Continued from page 291, Vol. VII. NO XLI, VOL, VII.