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thusiasm which inspired the pikemen of Cromwell—the patriotic ardor, the thirst of glory, the devotion to a great leader, which inflamed the Old Guard of Napoleon. But, in all the mechanical parts of the military calling, the Prussians were as superior to the English and French troops of that day as the English and French troops to a rustic militia.
Though the pay of the Prussian soldier was small, , though every rixdollar of extraordinary charge was scrutinized by Frederick with a vigilance and suspicion such as Mr. Joseph Hume never brought to the examination of an army estimate, the expense of such an establishment was, for the means of the country, enormous. In order that it might not be utterly ruinous, it was neces
sary that every other expense should be cut down to the 12 lowest possible point. Accordingly Frederick, though
his dominions bordered on the sea, had no navy. He neither had nor wished to have colonies. His judges, his fiscal officers, were meanly paid. His ministers at foreign courts walked on foot, or drove shabby old carriages till the axle-trees gave way. Even to his highest diplomatic agents, who resided at London and Paris, he allowed less than a thousand pounds sterling a year. The royal household was managed with a frugality unusual in the establishments of opulent subjects-unexampled in any other palace. The King loved good eating and drinking, and during great part of his life took pleasure in seeing his table surrounded by guests; yet the whole
charge of his kitchen was brought within the sum of two 13 thousand pounds sterling a year.
He examined every extraordinary item with a care which might be thought to suit the mistress of a boarding house better than a great prince. When more than four rixdollars were asked of him for a hundred oysters, he stormed as if he
had heard that one of his generals had sold a fortress to the Empress-Queen. Not a bottle of champagne was uncorked without his express order. The game of the royal parks and forests, a serious head of expenditure in most kingdoms, was to him a source of profit. The whole was farmed out; and, though the farmers were almost ruined by their contract, the king would grant them no remission. His wardrobe consisted of one fine gala dress, 14 which lasted him all his life; of two or three old coats fit for Monmouth Street, of yellow waistcoats soiled with snuff, and of huge boots embrowned by time. One taste alone sometimes allured him beyond the limits of parsimony-nay, even beyond the limits of prudence—the taste for building. In all other things his economy was such as we might call by a harsher name, if we did not reflect that his funds were drawn from a heavilytaxed people, and that it was impossible for him, without excessive tyranny, to keep up at once a formidable army and a splendid court.
EFFECT OF HISTORICAL READING. WHAT CONSTI
TUTES A PERFECT HISTORY.
Lord Macaulay here sets forth his ideal of a perfect history. This extract should be compared with the extract from Carlyle's “Essay on Boswell's Life of Johnson,” Croker's edition. A perfect history is the exhibition of an age in miniature.” It strives to portray the inner life of a nation, to show what men actually were, in different ages and under varying conditions. Macaulay has striven to realize this ideal in his “ History of England," and has entirely re
versed the ancient modes of historical composition. His method has been imitated by many late writers, so that he may be said to have founded a rew historical school. 1
The effect of historical reading is analogous in many respects to that produced by foreign travel. The student, like the tourist, is transported into a new state of society. He sees new fashions. He hears new modes of expression. His mind is enlarged by contemplating the wide diversities of laws, of morals, and of manners. But men may travel far, and return with minds as contracted
as if they had never stirred from their own market-town. 2 In the same manner men may know the dates of many
battles, and the genealogies of many royal houses, and yet be no wiser. Most people look at past times as princes look at foreign countries. More than one illustrious stranger has landed on our island amid the shouts of a mob, has dined with the king, has hunted with the master of the stag-hounds, has seen the Guards reviewed, and a knight of the garter installed; has cantered along Regent Street; has visited St. Paul's, and noted down its
dimensions, and has then departed, thinking that he has 3 seen England. He has, in fact, seen a few public build
ings, public men, and public ceremonies. But of the vast and complex system of society, of the fine shades of national character, of the practical operation of government and laws, he knows nothing. He who would understand these things rightly must not confine his observations to palaces and solemn days. He must see ordinary men as they appear in their ordinary business and in their ordinary pleasures. He must mingle in the crowds of the exchange and the coffee-house. He must obtain admittance to the convivial table and the domestic hearth. He must bear with vulgar expressions. He must not shrink from exploring even the retreats of
misery. He who wishes to understand the condition of 4 mankind in former ages must proceed on the same principle. If he attends only to public transactions, to wars, congresses, and debates, his studies will be as unprofitable as the travels of those imperial, royal, and serene sovereigns who form their judgment of our island from having gone in state to a few fine sights, and from having held formal conferences with a few great officers.
The perfect historian is he in whose work the charac- 5 ter and spirit of an age is exhibited in miniature. He relates no fact, he attributes no expression to his characters, which is not authenticated by sufficient testimony. But by judicious selection, rejection, and arrangement, he gives to truth those attractions which have been usurped by fiction. In his narrative a due subordination is observed; some transactions are prominent, others retire. But the scale on which he represents them is increased or 6 diminished, not according to the dignity of the persons concerned in them, but according to the degree in which they elucidate the condition of society and the nature of
He shows us the court, the camp, and the senate. But he shows us also the nation. He considers no anecdote, no peculiarity of manner, no familiar saying, as too insignificant for his notice, which is not too insignificant to illustrate the operation of laws, of religion, and of education, and to mark the progress of the human mind. Men will not merely be described, but will be made intimately known to us. The changes of manners will be indicated, not merely by a few general phrases, or a few extracts from statistical documents, but by appropriate images presented in every line.
If a man such as we are supposing should write the 7 history of England, he would assuredly not omit the battles, the sieges, the negotiations, the seditions, the min
isterial changes. But with these he would intersperse the details which are the charm of historical romances. At Lincoln Cathedral there is a beautiful, painted window, which was made by an apprentice out of the pieces of glass which had been rejected by his master. It is so far superior to every other in the church that, according
to the tradition, the vanquished artist killed himself from 8 mortification. Sir Walter Scott, in the same manner, has
used those fragments of truth which historians have scornfully thrown behind them in a manner which may well excite their envy. He has constructed out of their gleanings works which, even considered as histories, are scarcely less valuable than theirs. But a truly great historian would reclaim those materials which the novelist has appropriated. The history of the government and the history of the people would be exhibited in that mode in which alone they can be exhibited justly, in inseparable conjunction and intermixture. We should not then have to look for the wars and votes of the Puritans in Clarendon, and for their phraseology in “Old Mortality”; for one half of King James in Hume, and for the other half in the
“ Fortunes of Nigel.” 9 The early part of our imaginary history would be rich
with coloring from romance, ballad, and chronicle. We should find ourselves in the company of knights such as those of Froissart, and of pilgrims such as those who rode with Chaucer from the Tabard. Society would be shown from the highest to the lowest from the royal cloth of state to the den of the outlaw; from the throne of the legate to the chimney-corner where the begging friar regaled himself. Palmers, minstrels, crusaders; the stately monastery, with the good cheer in its refectory, and the high-mass in its chapel; the manor-house, with its hunting and hawking; the tournament, with the heralds and