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more than their share of the pud- freeman, and the only course was dings' plums; and agitators began to lower the franchise. to bestir themselves. What were Let us own, too, we were ashamed, the privileges of the higher classes as we had good right to be ashamed, which would sit most gracefully of our old crim. con. law. Foreignon their inferiors ? Naturally we ers, especially Frenchmen, had rung bethought us of their vices. It the changes on our coarse venality was not always so easy to adopt my and corruption; and we had come lord's urbanity, his unassuming to perceive - it took some time, dignity, his well-bred ease ; but though — that moneyed damages one might reasonably aspire to be as were scarcely the appropriate rewicked. Sabbath-breaking had long medy for injured honour. since ceased to be the privilege of the Last of all, free-trade notions had better classes, and so men's minds turned all our heads : we were for reverted to the question of divorce. getting rid of all restrictions on “Let us get rid of our wives !” cried every side ; and we went about rethey; "who knows but the day may peating to each other those wise come when we shall kill wood- saws about buying in the cheapest cocks ?”
and selling in the dearest market, Now the law, in making divorce and having whatever we wanted, a very costly process, had simply and doing whatever we liked with desired to secure its infrequency.
We are, there is no deIt was not really meant to be a nying it, a nation of shopkeepers ; rich man's privilege. What was and the spirit of trade can be sought for was to oppose as many tracked through every relation of obstacles as could be found, to our lives. It is commerce gives throw in as many rocks as possible the tone to all our dealings; and we into the channel, so that only he have carried its enactments into the who was intently bent on navigat- most sacred of all our institutions, ing the stream would ever have the and imparted a limited liability" energy to clear the passage. No- even to marriage. body ever dreamed of making it an Cheapness became the desideraopen roadstead. In point of fact, tum of our age. We insisted on the oft-boasted equality before the cheap gloves and shoes and wine law is a myth. The penalty which and ribbons, and why not cheap a labourer could endure without divorces ? Philosophers tell us that hardship might break my lord's the alternate action of the seasons heart; and in the very case before is one of the purest and most enus of divorce, nothing can possibly during of all sources of enjoyment; be more variable than the estimate that perpetual summer or spring formed of the divorced individuals, would weary and depress; but in according to the class of society the ever-changing aspect of nature, they move in. What would be a and in the stimulation which dilevity here, would be a serious im- versity excites, we find an unfailing morality there ; and a little lower gratification. If, therefore, it be down again, a mere domestic ar- pleasant to be married, it may also rangement, slightly more decorous be agreeable to be unmarried. It and a shade more legal than the takes some time, however, before old system of the halter and the society accommodates itself to these public sale. It was declared, how- new notions. The newly divorced, ever, that this
:”—that is be it man or woman, comes into the popular phrase in such matters the world like a patient after the -should be extended to the poor smallpox - you are not quite cerman. It was decided that the pri- tain whether the period of convilege to get rid of a wife was, as tagion is past, or if it be perfectly Mr Gladstone says of the electoral safe to go up and talk to him. In right, the inalienable claim of a fact, you delay doing so till some
strong-minded friend or other goes of divorce, showing in what classes boldly forward and shakes the con- frailty chiefly prevailed, with the valescent by the hand. Even still relative sexes, and also a glimpse there will be timid people who at the ages ? Imagine what a light know perhaps that their delicacy of the statement would throw on the constitution renders them peculiar- morality of classes, and what an inly sensitive, and who will keep aloof calculable benefit to parents in the after all. Of course, these and simi- choice of a career for their children ! lar prejudices will give way to time. For instance, no sensible father We have our Probate Court; and would select a life of out-door exthe phrase co-respondent is now posure for a weak-chested son, or familiar as a household word. make a sailor of one with an incur
Now, howevertempting the theme, able sea-sickness. In the same way I am not going to inquire whether would he be guided by the character we have done wisely or the reverse of his children as to the perils cerby this piece of legislation; whe- tain careers would expose them to. ther, by instilling certain precepts A passing glance at the lists of of self-control, a larger spirit of ac- divorce shows us that no promocommodation, and a more concilia- vent”—it is a delicate title, and I tory disposition generally, we might like it—no promovent figures ofthave removed some of the diffi- ener than a civil engineer. Now, culties without the heroic remedy how instructive to inquire why! of the decree nisi ; whether, in fact, What is there in embankments it might not have been better to and earthworks and culverts that teach people to swim, or even float, should dispose the wife of him who rather than make this great issue of makes them to infidelity? Why cheap life-belts. I am so practical should a tunnel only lead to domesthat I rather address myself to pro- tic treachery? why must a cutting fit by what is, than endeavour by sever the heart that designs it? I any change to make it better. We do not know; I cannot even guess. live in a statistical age. We are My ingenuity stands stockstill at eternally inquiring who it is wants the question, and I can only re-echo this, who consumes that, who goes Why? to such a place, who is liable to this Next amongst the “predisposed” or that malady. Classification is a come schoolmasters, plasterers, &c. passion with us; and we have bulky What unseen thread runs through volumes to teach us what sorts of the woof of these natures, apparentpeople have chest affections, what ly so little alike? It is the boast are most prone to stomachic dis- of modern science to settle much eases, who have ophthalmia, and who that once was puzzling, and reconthe gout. We are also instructed cile to a system what formerly apas to the kind of persons most dis- peared discordant. How I wish posed to insanity, and we have a some great Babbage-like intellect copious list of occupations given us would bestir itself in this inquiry. which more or less incline those Surely ethical questions are as who profess them to derangement. well worthy of investigation as Even the Civil-Service Examiners purely physical or mechanical ones, have contributed their share to this and yet we ignore them most ignomass of entertaining knowledge, and miniously. We think no expense shown from what parts of the king- too great to test an Armstrong or a dom bad spellers habitually come, Whitworth gun ; we spend thouwhat counties are celebrated for sands to ascertain how far it will cacography, and in what districts carry, what destructive force it posetymology is an unknown thing. sesses, and how long it will resist Would it not, then, be a most in- explosion ;-why not appoint a comteresting and instructive statistic mission of this nature on that would give us a tabular view jugals ;" why not ascertain, if we
can, what is the weak point in ma- “welding” a failure; or, last of all, trimony, and why are explosions so however wounding to our national frequent ? Is the "cast" system a vanity, do “ they understand these bad one, and must we pronounce things better in France” ?
ON CLIMBING BOYS.
With the common fate of all when indolence or weariness sugthings human, it is said that every gested sloth, the stimulus of a little career and walk in life has some one fire underneath, whether a few peculiar disparagement—something lighted straws or a Birmingham that, attaching to the duties of the mass-meeting, was sure to quicken station as a sort of special griev- progress and excite activity. ance, serves to show that none of Again, I make this statement on us, no matter how favoured, are to the faith of Lord Shaftesbury, who imagine there can be any lot ex- pronounced it before their Lordempted from its share of troubles. ships in the Upper House :-“It is Ask the soldier, the sailor, the par- no uncommon thing to buy and sell son, the doctor, the lawyer, or the them. There a regular traffic in actor, and each will give you a them; and through the agency of friendly warning to adopt any other certain women, not the models of career than his own.
their sex, you can get any quantity In most cases the quid ama- of them you want.” Last of all, on rum, the one bitter drop, is to be the same high authority, we are found in the career itself, some- told of their perfect inutility, “since thing that belongs to that one craft there is nothing that they do could or calling; just as the white-lead not be better done by a machine.” colic, for instance, is the fatal mal- I resist, as I say, all temptations ady of painters. There are, how- of this kind, and simply address ever, a few rare cases in which the myself to the one point of similarity detracting element attaches itself to between them which illustrates the the followers and not to the profes- theory with which I have started— sion, as though it would seem there and now to state this as formally as I was a something in the daily work- am able. Let me declare that in all ing of that peculiar craft which the varied employments of life I warped the minds and coerced the have never met with men who have natures of men to be different from the same dread of their possible what temperament and character successors as sweeps and statesmen. should have made of them.
The whole aim and object of each The two classes which most pro- is directed, first of all, to give those minently exbibit what I mean are who do their work as little as possisomewhat socially separated, but ble, well knowing that the time will they have a number of small analo- come when these small creatures gies in common. They are SWEEPS will find the space too confined for and STATESMEN ! It would be them, and set up for themselves. tempting—but I resist the tempta- A volume might be written on tion—to show how many points of the subtle artifices adopted to keep resemblance unite them—how each them “little”—the browbeatings, works in the dark, in a small, nar- the insults, the crushing cruelties, row, confined sphere, without view the spare diet intermixed with ocor outlet ; how the tendency of casional stimulants, the irregular each is to scratch his way upwards hours, and the heat and confineand gain the top, caring wonderfully ment of the sphere they work in. little how black and dirty the pro- Still nature is stronger than all cess bas made him. One might these crafty contrivances. The even go farther, and mark how, little sweep will grow into the big
sweep, and the small under-sec. will in his head. Their great smeltingscratch his way up to the Cabinet. houses and steam-power factories I will not impose on my reader the require big chimneys; and being an burden of carrying along with him overbearing set of self-made vulgar this double load. I will address fellows, they say they ought to be myself simply to one of these ca- a law to all England. You don't reers—the Statesman's. It is a want to make cotton-twist, or broadstrange but a most unquestionable gauge iron; so much the worse for
that no other class of men are you. It is the grandest object of so ill-disposed to those who are the humanity. Providence created men most likely to succeed them—not to manufacture printed cottons and of an Opposition, for that would be cheap penknives. We of Manchesnatural enough, but of their own ter understand what our American party, of their own colour, of their friends call manifest destiny; we own rearing. Let us be just : when know and feel ours will be—to a man has long enjoyed place, pow. rule England. Once let us only er, and pre- eminence, dispensed introduce big chimneys, and you'll honours and pensions and patron- see if you won't take to spinningage, it is not a small trial to discover jennies and mules and treddles ; that one of those little creatures he and there's that climbing boy Gladhas made—whose first scraper and stone declares he'll not leave the brush he himself paid for—I can't business, but go up, no matter how get rid of the sweep out of my head dirty the flue, the day we want —will turn insolently on him and him. declare that he will no longer re- Some shrewd folk, who see farmain a subordinate, but go and set ther into the millstone than their up for himself. This is excessively neighbours, have hinted that this hard, and might try the temper of a same boy is of a crotchety, intriguman even without a fit of the gout. ing type, full of his own ingenuity,
It is exactly what has just hap- and enamoured of his own subtlety; pened ; an apprentice, called Glad- so that make the chimney how stone, having made a sort of great you will, he'll not go up it, connection in Manchester and Bir- but scratch out another flue for mingham, a district abounding in himself, and come out, heaven tall chimneys, has given warning knows where or how. Indeed, they to his master Pam that he will not tell that on one occasion of an sweep any longer. He is a bold, alarm of fire in the house-caused aspiring sort of lad, and he is not by a pantry-boy called Russell burnsatisfied with saying—as many ing some waste-paper instead of others have done that he is getting going up the chimney as he was too broad-shouldered for his work; ordered—this same Will began to but he declares that the chimneys for tell how the Greeks had no chimthe future must be all made bigger neys, and a mass of antiquarian and the flues wider, just because rubbish of the same kind, so that he likes climbing, and doesn't his master, losing patience, exclaimmean to abandon it. There is no ed, “Of all plagues in the world he doubt of it. Manchester and Stock- knew of none to compare with these port and Birmingham have put this 'climbing boys !!”
There are two classes of people ner of games, and the men who not a little thought of, and even speak several languages. I begin caressed, in society, and for whom with the latter, and declare that, I have ever felt a very humble esti- after a somewhat varied experience mate—the men who play all man- of life, I never met a linguist that
was above a third-rate man; and I address itself. Imitation must be, go farther, and aver that I never in one sense or other, the strongchanced upon a really able man hold of the linguist-imitation of who had the talent for languages. expression, of style, of accent, of
I am well aware that it sounds cadence, of tone. The linguist something little short of a heresy must not merely master grammar, to make this declaration. It is but he must manage gutturals. enough to make the blood of Civil. The mimicry must go farther : in Service Commissioners run cold to simulating expression it must affect hear it. It sounds illiberal—and, the sentiment. You are not merely worse, it seems illogical. Why borrowing the clothes, but you are should any intellectual develop- pretending to put on the feelings, ment imply deficiency? Why the thoughts, the prejudices of the should an acquirement argue a
Now, what man with a defect? I answer, I don't know strong nature can merge himself so any more than I know why san- entirely in his fictitious being as guineous people are hot-tempered, not to burst the seams and tear the and leuco-phlegmatic ones are more lining of a garment that only imbrooding in their wrath. If-for pedes the free action of his limbs, I do not ask to be anything higher and actually threatens the very exthan empyrical—if I find that par- tinction of his respiration ? simonious people have generally It is not merely by their greater thin noses, and that the snub is adaptiveness that women are better associated with the spendthrift, I linguists than men; it is by their never trouble myself with the de- more delicate organisation, their monstration, but I hug the fact, and more subdued identity, and their endeavour to apply it.
less obstreperous temperaments, In the same spirit, if I hear a which are consequently less egotisman in a salon change from French tical, less redolent of the one indito German, and thence diverge into vidual self. And what is it that Italian and Spanish, with possibly makes the men of mark or note, a brief excursion into something the cognate signs of human algebra, Scandinavian, or Sclav—at home in but these same characteristics ; not each and all— I would no more think always good, not always pleasant, of associating him in my mind with not always genial, but always asanything responsible in station or sociated with something that decommanding in intellect, than I clares pre-eminence, and pronounces should think of connecting the ser- their owner to be a “representative vant that announced me with the
? last brilliant paper in the 'Quar- When Lord Ward replied to terly.'
Prince Schwartzenberg's flippant No man with a strongly-marked remark on the bad French of Engidentity—and no really able man lish diplomatists by the apology, ever existed without such “that we had not enjoyed the advansubordinate that identity so far as tage of having our
capital cities so to put on the foreigner; and with- often occupied by French troops as out this he never can attain that some of our neighbours," he uttered mastery of a foreign language that not merely a smart epigram_but a makes the linguist. To be able to great philosophical truth. It was repeat conventionalities—bringing not alone that we had not possessed them in at the telling moment, ad- the opportunity to pick up an acjusting phrases to emergencies, as cent, but that we had not subora joiner adapts the pieces of wood dinated our minds and habits to to his carpentry—may be, and is, a French modes and ways of thought, very neat and a very dexterous per- and that the tone and temper of the formance, but it is scarcely the exer- French people had not been beaten cise to which a large capacity will into us by the roll of a French drum.