should be had in remembrance. The Catholics were not emancipated-the Corporation and Test Acts were unrepealed-the Game Laws were horribly oppressiveSteel Traps and Spring Guns were set all over the country-Prisoners tried for their Lives could have no Counsel - Lord Eldon and the Court of Chancery pressed heavily upon mankind-Libel was punished by the most cruel and vindictive imprisonments-the principles of Political Economy were little understood-the Law of Debt and of Conspiracy were upon the worst possible footing-the enormous wickedness of the Slave Trade was tolerated a thousand evils were in existence, which the talents of good and able men have since lessened or removed; and these effects have been not a little assisted by the honest boldness of the Edinburgh Review.


"The good of ancient times let others state,
I think it lucky I was born so late."


It is of some importance at what period a man is born. A young man, alive at this period, hardly knows to what improvements of human life he has been introduced; and I would bring before his notice the following eighteen changes which have taken place in England since I first began to breathe in it the breath of life-a period amounting now to nearly seventy-three years.

Gas was unknown: I groped about the streets of London in all but the utter darkness of a twinkling oil lamp, under the protection of watchmen in their grand climacteric, and exposed to every species of depredation and insult.

I have been nine hours in sailing from Dover to



Calais before the invention of steam. It took me nine hours to go from Taunton to Bath, before the invention of railroads, and I now go in six hours from Taunton to London! In going from Taunton to Bath, I suffered between 10,000 and 12,000 severe contusions, before stone-breaking Macadam was born.

I paid 157. in a single year for repairs of carriagesprings on the pavement of London; and I now glide without noise or fracture, on wooden pavements.

I can walk, by the assistance of the police, from one end of London to the other, without molestation; or if tired, get into a cheap and active cab, instead of those cottages on wheels, which the hackney coaches were at the beginning of my life.

I had no umbrella! They were little used, and very dear. There were no waterproof hats, and my hat has often been reduced by rains into its primitive pulp.

I could not keep my smallclothes in their proper place, for braces were unknown. If I had the gout, there was no colchicum. If I was bilious, there was no calomel. If I was attacked by ague, there was no quinine. There were filthy coffee-houses instead of elegant clubs. Game could not be bought. Quarrels about uncommuted tithes were endless. The corruption of Parliament, before Reform, infamous. There were

no banks to receive the savings of the poor. The Poor Laws were gradually sapping the vitals of the country; and whatever miseries I suffered, I had no post to whisk my complaints for a single penny to the remotest corners of the empire; and yet, in spite of all these privations, I lived on quietly, and am now ashamed that I was not more discontented, and utterly surprised that all these changes and inventions did not occur two centuries ago.




I forgot to add, that as the basket of stage coaches, in which luggage was then carried, had no springs, your clothes were rubbed all to pieces; and that even in the best society one third of the gentlemen at least were always drunk. — [Memoir.]


Ir requires a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch understanding. Their only idea of wit, or rather that inferior variety of this electric talent which prevails occasionally in the North, and which, under the name of WUT, is so infinitely distressing to people of good taste, is laughing immoderately at stated intervals. They are so imbued with metaphysics that they even make love metaphysically. I overheard a young lady of my acquaintance, at a dance in Edinburgh, exclaim, in a sudden pause of the music, "What you say, my Lord, is very true of love in the aibstract, but-" here the fiddlers began fiddling furiously, and the rest was lost. No nation has so large a stock of benevolence of heart: if you meet with an accident, half Edinburgh immediately flocks to your door to inquire after your pure hand or your pure foot, and with a degree of interest that convinces you their whole hearts are in the inquiry. You find they usually arrange their dishes at dinner by the points of the compass; "Sandy, put the gigot of mutton to the south, and move the singet sheep's head a wee bit to the nor-wast." If you knock at the door, you hear a shrill female voice from the fifth flat shriek out, "Wha's chapping at the door?" which is presently opened by a lassie with short petticoats, bare legs, and thick ankles. My Scotch servants bargained they were not to have salmon more than three times a week, and always pulled off their stockings, in spite of my repeated


objurgations, the moment my back was turned. Their temper stands anything but an attack on their climate. They would have you even believe they can ripen fruit; and, to be candid, I must own in remarkably warm summers I have tasted peaches that made most excellent pickles; and it is upon record that at the siege of Perth, on one occasion, the ammunition failing, their nectarines made admirable cannon balls. Even the enlightened mind of Jeffrey cannot shake off the illusion that myrtles flourished at Craig Crook. In vain I have represented to him that they are of the genus Carduus, and pointed out their prickly peculiarities. In vain I have reminded him that I have seen hackney coaches drawn by four horses in the winter, on account of the snow; that I had rescued a man blown flat against my door by the violence of the winds, and black in the face; that even the experienced Scotch fowls did not venture to cross the streets, but sidled along, tails aloft, without venturing to encounter the gale. Jeffrey sticks to his myrtle illusions, and treats my attacks with as much contempt as if I had been a wild visionary, who had never breathed his caller air, nor lived and suffered under the rigour of his climate, nor spent five years in discussing metaphysics and medicine in that garret of the earth-that knuckle-end of England-that land of Calvin, oat-cakes, and sulphur.-[Memoir.]


I NOW consider the war between France and England no longer as an occasional quarrel or temporary dispute, but as an antipathy and national horror, after the same kind as subsists between the kite and the crow, or the churchwarden and the pauper, the weasel and the rat,



the parson and the Deist, the bailiff and the half-pay captain, etc. etc., who have persecuted each other from the beginning of time, and will peck, swear, fly, preach at, and lie in wait for each other till the end of time.[Memoir.]


Ir it be visionary to suppose the grandeur and safety of the two nations as compatible and co-existent, we have the important (though the cruel) consolation of reflecting, that the French have yet to put together the very elements of a civil and political constitution; that they have to experience all the danger and all the inconvenience which result from the rashness and the imperfect views of legislators, who have everything to conjecture, and everything to create; that they must submit to the confusion of repeated change, or the greater evil of obstinate perseverance in error; that they must live for a century in that state of perilous uncertainty in which every revolutionised nation remains, before rational liberty becomes feeling and habit, as well as law, and is written in the hearts of men as plainly as in the letter of the statute; and that the opportunity of beginning this immense edifice of human happiness is so far from being presented to them at present, that it is extremely problematical whether or not they are to be bandied from one vulgar usurper to another, and remain for a century subjugated to the rigour of a military government, at once the scorn and the scourge of Europe.*- [E. R. 1803.]

* All this is, unfortunately, as true now as it was when written thirty years ago.-(S. S.) And not less true after the lapse of another period of nearly thirty years in 1860.

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