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so, and Mr. Canning, by shewing off his rhetorical paces, by his “ambling and lisping and nicknaming God's creatures,” cannot invert that order, efface the history of the past, or arrest the progress of the future.-Public opinion is the result of public events and public feelings; and government must be moulded by that opinion, or maintain itself in opposition to it by the sword. Mr. Canning indeed will not consent that the social machine should in any case receive a different direction from what it has had, “lest it should be hurried over the precipice and dashed to pieces.” These warnings of national ruin and terrific accounts of political precipices put one in mind of Edgar's exaggerations to Gloster: they make one's hair stand on end in the perusal; but the poor old man, like poor Old England, could fall no lower than he
Mr. Montgomery, the ingenious and amiable poet, after he had been shut up in solitary confinement for a year and a half for printing the Duke of Richmond's Letter on Reform, when he first walked out into the narrow path of the adjoining field, was seized with an apprehension that he should fall over it, as if he had trod on the brink of an abrupt declivity. The author of the loyal Speech at the Liverpool Dinner has been so long kept in
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the solitary confinement of his prejudices, and the dark cells of his interest and vanity, that he is afraid of being dashed to pieces if he makes a single false step, to the right or the left, from his dangerous and crooked policy. As to himself, his ears are no doubt closed to any advice that might here be offered him; and as to his country, he seems bent on its destruction. If, however, an example of the futility of all his projects and all his reasonings on a broader scale, “to warn and scare, be wanting,” let him look at Spain, and take leisure to recover from his incredulity and his surprise. Spain, as Ferdinand, as the Monarchy, has fallen from its pernicious height, never to rise again : Spain, as Spain, as the Spanish people, has risen from the tomb of liberty, never (it is to be hoped) to sink again under the yoke of the bigot and the oppressor!
ON VULGARITY AND AFFECTATION.
Few subjects are more nearly allied than these two-vulgarity and affectation. It may be said of them truly that “thin partitions do their bounds divide.” There cannot be a surer proof of a low origin or of an innate meanness of disposition, than to be always talking and thinking of being genteel. One must feel a strong tendency to that which one is always trying to avoid: whenever we pretend, on all occasions, a mighty contempt for any thing, it is a pretty clear sign that we feel ourselves very nearly on a level with it. Of the two classes of people, I hardly know which is to be regarded with most distaste, the vulgar aping the genteel, or the genteel constantly sneering at and endeavouring to distinguish themselves from the vulgar. These two sets of persons are always thinking of one another; the lower of the higher with envy, the more fortunate of their less happy neighbours with contempt. They are habitually