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" " I'm very sorry for it, but you cannot sleep here to-night.”

I will sleep here to-night ; l've engaged my bed, and refuse it me your peril,” said Mr Curtis, thrusting his right hand into the breast of his waistcoat, and assuming an aspect of offended dignity.

6- It's impossible ; it's impossible ; it cannot be,” observed the landlady of the Three Cups, with great eagerness and emphasis.

Why, madam ? I should like to know the reason why ?” taking off his glasses, and buttoning his coat.

I'll pay the price of your bed in any other place, if you'll only go and sleep somewhere else," was the only answer of the relict of the late Mir Boniface.

"" No, ma'am," said Mr Curtis, with an edifying energy, the brilliant indignation of his eye proclaiming with expressive eloquence the spirit with which he resented the affront offered to him, “No, ma'am, I insist on my rights as a public man; I have a duty to perform to-morrow.” As he spoke, he took three or four hasty paces through the room.

“ It's all true. He says he's a public man, and that he has a duty to perform,” were words which every person in the room exchanged in suppressed whispers with each other.

The waiter now stepped up to Mr Curtis, and taking him aside, said - The reason why Missus won't give you no bed, is because you're the executioner;" and, as he uttered the words, he drew himself back from Mr Curtis, as if the latter had been a walking cholera. Mr Curtis was on the first announcement of the thing somewhat astounded; but in a few moments he laughed heartily at the mistake. 66 I'll soon convince you of your error, ma'am,” said Mr Curtis, walking out of the house. He returned in about ten minutes with a respectable gentleman of the place, with whom he was acquainted; and the gentleman having spoken to the fact of bis identity being different from what had been supposed, the landlady made a thousand apologies for the mistake, and as the only reparation she could make him, she gave him the best bed in the Three Cups Tavern.

This was, in all conscience, a sufficiently awkward mistake; but it was nothing to one which was made on another occasion. I have already mentioned the zest with which he enjoyed the luxury of sleeping in Corder's bed. That, however, was not enough; nor did it satisfy him to spend night after night with him in prison. He accompanied Corder to his trial, and stood up close behind lim at the bar all the time the trial lasted. A limner had been sent from ipswich to take a a portrait of Corder, for one of the newspapers of that place. And what did he do ? Nobody, I am sure, would guess. Why, the stupid animal, as Mr Curtis justly calls him, actually took a sketch of Mr Curtis himself, mistaking him for Corder; and in the next number of the provincial print, Mr Curtis ligured at full length as the murderer of Maria Martin! Mr Curtis regards this as one of the most amusing incidents in his life ;

and I speak seriously when I say, that while expressing his anxiety that I would omit none of those adventures of his which I have here given, he was particularly solicitous that this incident should have a place. I promised I would attend to his wishes. I have kept my word.'

Our author appears to us to show good sense and a proper philosophy in the passage we subjoin from his chapter on NewVOL. LXV. NO, CXXXII.


gate, which appropriately enough follows that on the Old Bailey :

• There lives not the man who can more cordially venerate than I do, those philanthropic individuals who spend so much of their time in endeavouring to enlighten the minds of those in Newgate who are standing on the verge of eternity, in matters of a spiritual kind. But I am afraid that their good offices are sometimes deficient in Christian prudence. I confess it has always appeared to me a matter which ought to be one of deep concern to Christians, that almost all the culprits who are executed, mount the scaffold with the most entire persuasion, that all is safe as regards their future destinies. In most cases they have had only a few conversations with their spiritual advisers, before they seem to be as much satisfied that their absence from the earth will be their presence in heaven, as that they are about to close their connexion with all things below for ever. This is a matter of such general occurrence; that it has become a daily remark, that if a man wishes to make sure of the way to heaven, he has only to go by the gallows. I am aware that the abuse of a thing is no argument against the thing itself; and that though some men were on this account to think lightly of the commission of crimes against society, that would be no reason for not communicating spiritual instruction, and administering, within proper limits, spiritual consolation to persons condemned to death. But I much fear that when the cases are so numerous in which men who have been guilty of the grossest crimes, both against the Deity and their fellow-men, thus ascend the scaffold, with so entire a confidence in a happy hereafter, there must be something injudicious in the way in which the duties of a spiritual monitor are discharged.

Of the character of these volumes our readers will now form a pretty unanimous judgment. As a treatise upon the society, interests, employments, and characteristic phenomena of the good people of London, its whole pretensions, as we before intimated, consist in its title. On a considerable proportion of the matter he selects, our author exhibits as much ignorance as if he had been treating of Timbuctoo; while on others, in regard to which his opportunities of information are more favourable, he displays much shrewdness, natural humour, and a vein of good-natured caricature, which redeem many blunders in detail; and make us hope that we may meet with him again upon ground not quite so rashly entered, and so utterly unknown to him.

We cannot conclude this very slight notice without a few remarks, which certain portions, and, still more, certain omissions of the work suggest to us.

London presents many features in the existing relations between society and literature, peculiar to itself, and also to the time. That rank within rank which has furnished inspiration to so many of our novelists, and is called . Fashion'-a rank not

necessarily reflected from power, from birth, from wealth, or from talent-has already had its day, and is waning to its decline. The great and stirring questions which agitate all society have invaded also the monotonous stillness of the Exclusive circles. The agencies which heaved the ocean have been felt on the surface of the garden-fountain. Fashion was in much the creation of a perverted ambition. The old parliamentary system, under the lethargic rule of the Tory principles, failed to excite a very general ardour for, or a very general attention to, public life. Things seemed to the believers in the general creed of 'what• ever is, is right, so safe and secure—and schemes of popular government appeared so vague and distant—that the members of those classes who toil not, neither do they spin, naturally surrendered themselves to the pursuit of frivolous objects and small distinctions. Young men, who, unless born to large fortunes, or blest with parliamentary connexions, could scarcely aspire to the expensive luxury of a seat in Parliament, at the cost of L.1200 a-year, directed their aspirations towards easier roads to notoriety. Even those who were in Parliament, undisturbed by the vigilance of constituents, and unstimulated by constant struggles for party power-had not their minds engrossed by the rare field-nights which demanded attendance, or proffered occasion for display. The management of debates was left to half-a-dozen experienced leaders-and, save when some periodical party question was brought forward, the speakers were few, and the attendance thin. It was of the old unreformed House of Commons that it was said, that. It was the best Club in London.' This, by the majority of its members, was the easy and pleasant light in which that assembly, now so animated-so laborious—was considered. The close of the long continental war, which seemed to establish Tory government on an imperishable throne, and to give the wealthier and higher classes an excuse to surrender themselves to a life of ease and pleasure--gave a wonderful impulse to Fashion. Then was Almack's established-and then were · Exclusives' first heard of. In the absence of more energetic and universal excitementthe desire of small distinctions became prevalent and contagious. The wealthier sons of commerce, sensible of the importance they had acquired, and were daily augmenting, naturally wished to carry their political importance into the social relations. Hence the vying and emulation between wealth and birth-the forwardness of some—the haughtiness of others. It was in society that the struggle for equality first commenced. From the date of the Peace to the carrying of the Catholic Question, was the flourishing period of Fashion. The success of that question stirred society to its depth-new interests of masculine and majestic order were created-coming events cast their shadows before,' - conversation took a more earnest tone-political ambition began to invade the conventional-and, the two aristocratic parties of the state being more evenly balanced, hopes and fears of a nature very different from those which depended on the fiat of lady patronesses, were called into stirring existence.Hitherto there had not been any keen animosity between the sections contending for power. The strength of the one was so great,—the weakness of the other was so evident,—that the conflicts appeared rather holiday diversions than, as we see them now, the ardent enforcement of opposing principles of action. But with the concession of those mighty theories connected with Catholic emancipation, the demarcations between the aristocratic portion of society became deep and wide. Each took in new recruits, and looked to more extended circles for new allies. Exclusiveness tottered—Fashion received a mortal blow. The agitation and final victory of the Reform Bill completed the revolution; and since that period, society in London has taken a much more vigorous, healthy, and catholic character. Young men, formerly contented with the honours acquired from horses and hats, and the golden opinions of club-window loungers, have caught the political fervour that pervades the working classes themselves. Parliament presents a cheaper opening and a more exciting field than heretofore. Politics is no longer a thing apart from the ordinary pursuits and occupations of society; it enters into the ideas, it pervades the conversation, it colours the opinions of whole classes of men, who, ten years ago, would have voted all politics 'a bore.' In the recent election for Westminster, les jeunes élégans were the most active canvassers; and nightly in Parliament they are the loudest cheerers' and the most bustling whippers-in.' One great and most invariable advantage of increasing, under wise limitations, the popular power, is in stimulating the intellect of the national aristocracy. This consequence did not escape the sagacity of Machiaveli, who has well observed, that the Roman patricians owed much of their characteristic vigour of mind to being compelled by the constitution to court the favour of the commonalty. The illustration is yet more remarkable in the case of the Athenians, among whom it is noticeable that the Jarge proportion of eminentmen were Eupatirds,-Solon, Pericles, Cimon, Aristides, Alcibiades, in action,-Æschylus, Sophocles, Thucydides, in literature. And, indeed, it may be universally observed, that the freer the countries, the more intellectual the aristocracies; while in despotic states the men who struggle to


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celebrity generally rise from the most subordinate classes; fact which tends to show that much which appears to weaken the ostensible, advances the moral, power of an aristocracy. Whereever politics form an habitual and universal theme of interest and discussion, it cannot fail to brace the mind even of the idlest disputants to masculine objects, and to diffuse knowledge at once various and useful. For politics, while often a war of persons, is not the less the investigation of principles; and men who would seek any conventional reputation derived from their discussion, must not only be able to praise the oratory of Sir Robert Peel, or to ridicule the calculations of Mr Hume, but they must show some acquaintance with the great subjects which oratory adorns or calculations illustrate. Any person living much in London during the last ten or twelve years, must have observed the great improvement in general society,—the gradual disappearance of the old apathy and fopperies,—the more miscellaneous materials of which societies and coteries are composed, ---and the more instructive and intellectual topics upon which conversation falls. Still, however, Literature and its influences are not sufficiently mixed up with the general concerns of men. Authors still too much form a class apart--and the revolution that has invigorated the social system has not, as yet, refined it. Perhaps there is no greater criterion of the polish of a nation than the sociability of its men of letters: genius is not contagious, but its tastes are. It was not to Dukes and Princes that the old régime of France owed that refinement and brilliancy of manner which gave example and model to all the courts of Europe: it was to that close connexion between rank and genius, in which the first felt it necessary for conventional reputation to borrow some of the attributes of the last;—the graceful compliment--the pointed repartee-the vivacious impromptu—the delicate persiflage ;-these were the offspring of literature, though they made the characteristics of a court. We do not say that it is best for genius itself to mix habitually with the professional votaries of indolence and pleasure. It is often at some expense of its own dignity, and some prostitution of its own powers, that intellect refines the coarse, raises the low, or animates the dull. Nor do we mean in these general remarks to advance the doctrine that men of letters should be the necessary clients of men of rank; or that fine society is the atmosphere in which they should move, and breathe, and have their being. All that we advocate is this, that literature should endeavour to be social, and that society in every class should welcome literature,-not as an unfrequent guest, still less as an unwelcome interloper, but as a genial


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