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are only used for sleeping in, are often in bad repair, and oftener very poorly furnished. Where, on the contrary, domestic life is all in all, it is natural to think of rendering it pleasant; hence the reciprocal respect, the docility, the agreement of the members of a family, the punctuality of service, the universal neatness, and the excellence of the furniture - convenient, self-moving, and obedient, almost as though it were endowed with life, like the ancient manufactures of Vulcan.'
13-21. ' But the most beautiful sun of England,' exclaims the exiled Count, 'is Liberty: this is its cornucopia !'- Next to the scarcity of sun in England, he was struck, on his entry into London, with the extreme contrast which the British metropolis presents to that of Naples, for instance, in another respect; the comparative silence which reigns among its dense population.
• Some people are quite thunderstruck at the silence which prevails among the inhabitants of London. But how could one million four hundred thousand persons live together without silence ? The torrent of men, women, and children, carts, carriages, and horses, from the Strand to the Exchange, is so strong, that it is said that in winter there are two degrees of Fahrenheit difference between the atmosphere of this long line of street, and that of the West End. I have not ascertained the truth of this; but from the many avenues there are to the Strand, it is very likely to be correct. From Charing Cross to the Royal Exchange is an encyclopædia of the world.
An apparent anarchy prevails, but without confusion or disorder. The rules which the poet Gay lays down for walking with safety along this tract of about three miles, appear to me unnecessary.
The habit of traversing this whirlpool renders the passage easy to every one, without disputes, without accidents, without punctilio, as if there were no obstacle what ever. I suppose it is the same thing at Pekin. The silence then of the passengers is the consequence of the multiplicity of business. I do not say it by way of epigram, but, if Naples should ever have a population of a million and a half, it would be necessary for even Neapolitan windpipes to put themselves under some restraint! It is only in Spain that silence is the companion of idleness This is perhaps the perfection of idleness ; idleness at its ne plus ultra.
* In London I have often risen early, in order to be present at the spectacle of the resurrection of a million and a half of people. This great monster of a capital, like an immense giant awaking, shows the first signs of life in the extremities. Motion begins at the circum. ference, and, by little and little, goes on getting strength, and pushing towards the centre, till at ten o'clock commences the full hubbub, which goes on continually increasing till four o'clock, the 'Change hour. It seems as if the population followed the laws of the tide until this hour; it now continues Aowing from the circumference to the Exchange: at half-past four, when the Exchange is shut, the ebb begins; and currents of people, coaches, and horses, rush from the Exchange to the circumference.
Among an industrious nation, incessantly occupied, panting for VOL. IX.--N.S.
riches, man, or physical force, is a valuable commodity. Man is dear, and it is therefore expedient to be very economical of him. It is not as in the countries of indolence, where the man and the earth alike have little or no value. A Turkish Effendi, or gentleman, always walks about with a train of useless servants at his heels. In the same manner a Polish nobleman, or a grandee of Spain, consumes a great quantity of men, who are otherwise unproductive. I was told, that the Duke of Medina Celi has in his pay four hundred servants, and that he goes to the Prado in a carriage worse than a Parisian patache. It was the same in England when there was no foreign commerce, and no home manufactures. Not knowing in what way to consume their surplus revenues, the old English landowner used to maintain a hundred, and, in some cases, even a thousand followers. At the present day, the greatest houses have not more than ten or twelve servants; and, setting aside the wealthy, who are always an exception in every nation, and taking the greatest number, it cannot be denied that in England, and especially in London, there is a very great saving, both of time and of servants. But how can this be reconciled with the loudly-vaunted comfort of the English? Thus: the milk, the bread, the butter, the beer, the fish, the meat, the newspaper, the letters,—all are brought to the house every day, at the same hour, without fail, by the shopkeepers and the postmen. It is well known that all the street-doors are kept shut, as is the custom in Florence and the other cities of Tuscany. In order that the neighbourhood should not be disturbed, it has become an understood thing for these messengers to give a single rap on the knocker, or a single pull at the bell, which communicates with the underground kitchen, where the servants are. There is another conventual sign for visits, which consists in a rapid succession of knocks, the more loud and noisy according to the real or assumed consequence or fashion of the visiter. On this system, Parini makes his hero talk in public in a high and discordant voice, that every one may hear him, and
pay the same respect to his accents as to those of “the great Thunderer”. Even in London, the magnanimous heroes of fashion announce themselves to the obtuse senses of the vulgar with “echoing blows”, like those of the hammer of Bronte.
• This custom requires punctuality in servants, and an unfailing attendance at their posts. The price of every thing is fixed, so that there is no room for haggling, dispute, or gossip. All this going and coming of buyers and sellers is noiseless. Many bakers ride about London in vehicles so rapid, elastic, and elegant, that an Italian dandy would not disdain to appear in one of them at the Corso. The butchers may be frequently met with, conveying the meat to their distant customers, mounted on fiery steeds, and dashing along at full gallop. A system like this requires inviolable order, and a scrupulous division of time. For this reason there are clocks and watches everywhere,-on every steeple, and sometimes on all the four sides of a steeple; in the pocket of every one; in the kitchen of the lowest journeyman. This is a nation working to the stroke of the clock, like an orchestra playing to the "time" of the leader, or a regiment marching to the sound of the drum. pp. 35–41.
One shopman, therefore, in London, supplies the place of forty or fifty servants. . . . By this system, the servants remain at home with nothing to divert them from their occupations . . It follows, also, that an English family has no need of keeping any great store of provisions in the house: there in consequence, less occupation of room, and less occasion for capital, less cure, less waste, less smell, and less wear and tcar.'
Our Count finds the English Sunday, of course, 'supremely dull and wearisome '; and in Scotland, where the religion of 'the ferocious Calvin prevails', the Sunday, he was told, 'is still
more silent and gloomy.' Gloomy to an Italian, because silent; and to a Roman Catholic, because unenlivened by spectacle or opera. Yet, had Count Pecchio met with Grahame's “Sabbath”, or with Struthers's “Poor Man's Sabbath”, his good sense would have led him to infer, that, although a holiday is lost upon the idle, to the industrious, reposc is enjoyment; and that Sunday, the dull Protestant Sunday, ranks in England among the wants of
the heart and the intellect', or rather, ministers to those wants. Would to God that the first sentence in the ensuing extract were quite true!
* Sunday is, if possible, observed by the English, wherever they may be. On that day, the silence even board ship is still more gloomy than ever; every one is shaved, every one puts on a clean shirt, every one endeavours to display more neatness than usual in his dress. Some read a few pages in the Bible ; religion is a comfort to their minds, rather than a terror. The Englishman has no other intercessor with the Supreme Being than his own prayers. He hopes for no other miracles than those which spring from his own courage, and the discharge of his duty. In a storm, the Spaniard, and even the Greek, although a good sailor, throw themselves on their knees before some image, to which a light is continually burning, and in the meantime the sails and the vessel are under the control of the winds and waves ; the sighs and signs of contrition of the devotees only serving to increase the confusion and dismay. The Englishman, on the other hand, fulfils his duty, displays all his firmness of mind and strength of body, struggles with death even to the last moment, and only when he has exhausted in vain all the resources of his skill, and all the energies of his frame, gives himself up to his fate, raises his eyes to heaven, and bows to the will of Providence. They are not indeed so thoroughly devoid of prejudice as a philosopher of the eighteenth century; some believe in ghosts, in hobgoblins, and prophetic voices which rise from the hollow of the deep,-but in the hour of danger they no longer recollect these illusions, and see nothing but the reality before them, and see it without affright.” pp. 110–112.
*We reproach the English', remarks this intelligent Observer, with being downcast and melancholy; but we ought to add, that they are not querulous. They labour indefatigably to better their condition, without whining and whimpering, and at the
same time draw from their present condition, all the profits and pleasures it can afford.' A few pages further, we meet with some discriminating strictures on the two sides of the picture of society given by Cowper and Crabbe. Both', he remarks, are ex
aggerators; but poetry is not history. The value set upon time in England, is another circumstance that forcibly strikes a foreigner; and more especially one that has resided in Spain. The contrast between the two countries in this respect, is forcibly described.
• Idleness is the luxury of the Spaniards, and a great luxury it is, for it is all waste. It is a universal luxury, which is enjoyed by all, from the highest grandee to the most miserable water-carrier. "The luxury, however, consists in the spending of an article of little or no value in Spain. The Castilian, who keeps so religiously to his word when his honour is in question, is never punctual to an appointment; because an hour more or less, in the life of a Spaniard, is only an hour less or more in eternity. If you propose to a Spaniard to set his hand to a thing at once, he answers you, however he may be interested in it, “ To-morrow." Fatal lo-morrow, which is repeated so often from day to day, till your patience is worn out! Fatal to-morrow, that has reduced the kingdom, once seated on a throne of gold, and crowned with precious stones, to rags and a dunghill! The very mantle in which the Spaniards wrap themselves up, and which impedes every motion but that of sleeping, displays their indolence, and the little value they set on time, as the laziness of the Turks is shown by their wide trowsers and loose slippers. When the Spaniards are better taught, more industrious, and less prejudiced, they will wear the mantle no longer. Superstition is usually the companion of sloth. An active people cannot afford to pray away whole days at church, or throw them away on processions and pilgrimages. An industrious people prefer growing their “ daily bread” with their own hands, to asking it thirty or forty times a day as alms from Heaven. When I was first in Spain I was surprised to see, that none of the lower classes, and but few of the more respectable, had watches : yet it is natural that it should be so. What has he who has no occasion for the division of time, to do with the measure of it ?'' pp. 209-12.
On the contrary, in England, Time is a revenue, a treasure, an estimable commodity. The Englishman is not covetous of money, he is supremely covetous of time. It is wonderful how exactly the English keep to their appointments. They take out their watch, regulate it by that of their friend, and are punctual at the place and hour. English pronunciation itself seems invented to save time: they eat the letters, and whistle the words. Thus Voltaire had some reason
“ The English gain two hours a day more than we do, by eating their syllables.” The English use few compliments, because they are a loss of time, their salute is a nod, or at the most a corrosion of the four monosyllables “ How d'ye do?” The ends of their letters always show more simplicity than ceremony: they have not “the honour to repeat the protestations of their distinguished regurd and profound consideration” to his “most illustrious lordship,” whose
most humble, most devoted, and most obsequious servants" they “have the honour to be.” Their very language seems to be in a hurry; since it is in a great part composed of monosyllables, and two of them, again, are often run into one : the great quantity of monosyllables looks like an abridged way of writing, a kind of short-hand. The English talk little, I suppose, that they may not lose time: it is natural, therefore, that a nation which sets the highest value upon time, should make the best chronometers, and that all, even among the poorer classes, should be provided with watches. The mail-coach guards have chronometers worth eighty pounds sterling, because they must take care never to arrive tive minutes past the hour appointed. At the place of their destination, relations, friends, and servants, are already collected to receive passengers and parcels. When a machine is so complicated as England is, it is essential for everything to be exact, or the confusion would be ruinous.'
213.16. * Double an Englishman's time, and you double his riches." How fine a compliment to the national industry.' These specimens will shew that Count Pecchio has studied the English character with no unfavourable result. Some of his observations bespeak even a strong partiality as well as no ordinary penetration. Our fair countrywomen have pleased him so well, that he has married an English lady. He praises highly the English system of education, that which prevails among the better classes ; objecting only, against the excess of reading which leaves the mind no time to digest its food, and the use of stays! "The
young women of England ', remarks the Count, under a stormy and inconstant sky, have bearts and minds peaceful and serene, always equable and always docile: My amiable countrywomen, ' under a heaven perpetually smiling, have minds and hearts
always in a tempest.'' He speaks from the opportunities he has had, of judging of the manners of that class of society which in • England is the best informed, the most hospitable, the most “ beneficent, and the most virtuous of all; and which, being there 'immeasureably more numerous than in any other country, forms,
so to speak, the heart of the nation'. As to the higher classes, he adds, they almost every where have a strong resemblance to
each other and model themselves on the same code of caprice, 'etiquette, prejudice, and nothingness.' Their manners may be learned from Parini, “ Don Juan", or “ Almack's”. May the pestilence of foreign manners never descend lower !
The Author's observations on the Opposition in the House of Commons, do credit to his discernment. At first, he was led, he says, to regard the exertions of the opposition members as the mere professorship of eloquence. But a person who studies the national organization of England', soon changes his opinion.
• In the first place, he perceives that if the opposition does not conquer, it at least hinders the enemy (whoever he may be, liberal or not)