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They remunerate themselves by a profit on their drugs. Five or six vials dearly charged for, and filled with remedies of all colours, boxes of pills, ointments, &c., pass from the shop of the apothecary into the chamber, sometimes into the stomach, but oftener out of the window, of the patient. This is a matter of small moment, provided the apothecary receives the remuneration for his visit and medical advice.
'Energetic remedies form the substratum of the prescriptions of English practitioners. Alcohol enters into the greater part of the preparations and always in the least rational manner. I have seen it administered in large doses to a patient hastening to the tomb through a confirmed consumption. It is a part of the treatment prescribed when the patient is convalescent. The abuse of this drug is carried to inconceivable lengths. I know a lady who drinks a pint of brandy a day by the advice of her physician; and wonderful to tell, this regimen has already lasted for six years. Nowhere is the healing art exercised with a more sovereign contempt of the most common rules, with a more absolute disregard of reasoning and common sense, than in England.'—p. 242-244..
We will not waste time in detailed refutation of such scandalous ignorance;—it is enough to quote it. The English physician is undoubtedly, in general, thoroughly learned in his profession, elegantly accomplished out of it, in manners a gentleman, the most valued friend of the families to whom he ministers, and the unwearied benefactor of the poor. If more can be said for his French brethren,'tis well. Just as correct is the Baron's description of the English clergy—
'The reply to the question—What is a clergyman in England ?— would be as follows. An English clergyman is a man of distinguished birth, surrounded by a numerous family, provided with a rich benefice, living in luxury, participating in every pleasure, in all the enjoyments of the world, playing, hunting, dancing, attending the theatres—neither grave nor serious, unless nature has made him so: he is one who hoards his emoluments in order to settle his children; who spends his fortune in wagering, in horses, in dogs, sometimes (when he is thoughtless and devoid of foresight) with a mistress; in any event, giving little to the poor, and leaving their case, and the fulfilment of duties which he disdains, to some unfortunate curate, who for a miserable stipend is obliged to exhibit the virtues and to fulfil the duties which the incumbent despises and neglects. This portrait of the English clergy is perfectly true'—pp. 246, 247. We, on the contrary, assert that it is perfectly false.
But his picture even of the unfortunate curate is equally unfavourable:—
'There are very few of them who know the number, the names, or the wants of the poor of the parish. They are not seen leaving their dwellings to sit by the bed of the sick, or to carry to the chamber of death the consolations of religion. These charitable offices might
M 2 render render them subject to the attacks of some contagious disorder.'—p. 252.
We have already seen how superficial and ignorant M. d'Haussez is; but we really did not think it possible that any man, not absolutely blind and deaf, could have, after a year's residence amongst us, written anything so notoriously false, as these and most of his other observations on our clergy,—as false, as a general description, as if some English bigot were to say that all the French parochial clergy lead a life of dissolute concubinage, because some of them have nieces and even grand-nieces living in their parsonages. In truth, we believe the clergy of the two countries— differing in some essential points of doctrine, but agreeing in the practical creed of Christianity, and rivalling each other in charity aud conduct—are the two most exemplary classes of their respective nations. M. d'Haussez has evidently had his information from two sources—the bigotry of our obscure Catholic priests, and the calumnies of our radical dissenters—classes that, we know, lie in wait for foreigners, and, with every plausible art and every malignant artifice, endeavour to create an unfavourable impression of the established church.
On almost every other subject he is equally ignorant, although not so offensive. Can one believe it possible that a person, once a cabinet minister of a country so near us as Fiance, could give such an account as the following of our poor-laws?—
'In many of the parishes, the poor are the objects of a singular speculation. For the receipt of a much larger sum than would suffice for an intelligent and well-directed charity, a sort of contractor or overseer undertakes, if not to provide for the wants, at least to stop the complaints of the indigent. It is of little moment whether they are properly relieved, provided they are kept from complaining; and the poor are obliged to submit to this discipline, lest they should find a redoubled severity and harshness on the part of the speculator, into whose hands the relief of their condition has fallen by contract, with little hope of adequate redress from the neighbouring magistrate, to whom they might prefer their complaints. In those parts of England where the poor-rates are administered without the aid of a contractor, they are very much diminished in amount, as well as in efficacy, by the deductions in the form of salaries to parish officers, as well as by the inherent vice of their distribution. Idleness is relieved in as great a degree as industry, and simple distress in the same manner as complete destitution. An inquiry is made as to how many individuals compose the family, and the money is thrown to them, without ascertaining whether there is one of the number who can contribute to his own subsistence and to that of his parents.'—pp. 271, 272.
Every one in England knows that this is false from beginning to end. Articles are generally, aud ought always to be, supplied to
the the parish workhouses by contract; and this we suppose M. d'Haussez mistakes for farming (,ut to speculators the maintenance of the English poor—and ' the poor are plundered and oppressed with impunity by this contractor or overseer' (M. d'Haussez imagines them to be the same person), 4 because the neighbouring magistrate will afford no redress:' now it is one of the greatest grievances alleged against the present administration of the poor-laws, that the magistrates are too much disposed to side with the poor complainant against the overseer. But where the poor are not thus farmed out, 'the amount of relief is much diminished' by deductions in form of salaries to the parish officers—no salary being paid to any parish officer in England, and no deduction for any purpose whatsoever being made from the sum required for the actual relief of the poor! Is it worth while to proceed to expose such a writer? If he were not an ex-minister, and one who has some small reputation for civil administration and statistical information in his own country, we should long since have shut up the most paltry book —except perhaps one—it has ever been our lot to open on the subject of ' England and the English.'
M. d'Haussez must be a man of very light and shallow mind— grave and really important subjects he hurries over with equal haste and inaccuracy—but trivial topics he labours, if not with more accuracy, at least with more pains. He was minister of the Marine, and his account of the British Navy is comprised in less than four pages, with as much information as might fill half-a-page; but en revanche—a ball occupies six pages—a radical procession eight—cockfighting nine—horse-racing, with a steeple-chase, nineteen, and so on—and he dwells on these cock-fights and steeplechases, as if they were matters of daily occurrence and general interest.
Then he gives a most elaborate description of the English mail and stage coaches, which he says are very elegant carriages; he is enraptured with the fleetness of the horses, the brightness of the harness, and, above all, the excellence of the roads: yet he adds—
'It has been remarked that the horses used for the stage coaches in England go more quickly than those devoted to the same service in France, and that, nevertheless, our carriages lake no more time in performing a given distance. This anomaly is explained by the difference in the respective arrangements. In England, whether it be to satisfy the taste for frequent meals, or to favour the longing of coachmen and guards for beer and strong liquors, the relays are more frequent.'—vol. ii., p. 73.
Even in these small matters, which require no judgment, M. d'Haussez shows that he is very ill informed, not only as to England, land, but as to France. He asserts that the relays—changes of horses—are more frequent here than there, and adds to his statement of the fact his own explanatory reason. Now, in the first place, relays or changes of horses are not more frequent in England than in France. They are here generally about ten miles —which M. d'Haussez equals to four leagues, (vol. ii., p. 71) Now we believe that this will be found not more—and, on the contrary, rather less—frequent, on the average, than the changes in France. In both countries, generally speaking, the mails and best stagecoaches change at the ordinary posting stages. Now, for instance, Calais is, by Beauvais, sixty-five leagues from Paris, about one hundred and sixty miles: there are twenty-two relays on that line. Shrewsbury is about one hundred and sixty miles from London, and there are only fourteen relays on the road. If on some roads in England the stages driven by the public carriages are shorter, it is not for the superficial cause assigned by the author, of 'favouring eating and drinking,' but because the horses being slight and going a great pace, it has been found advantageous to shorten the stage; and as to the loitering for the sake of • beer and strong liquors,' it is notorious that there is at least twice as much time expended in stoppages in France as in England. But then, it may be asked, if the speed be greater, as M. dTIaussez admits, and the stoppages shorter, as we assert—how is M. d'Haussez' fact of the journeys being accomplished in equal times to be dealt with? Why simply by utterly denying his fact, and proving its falsity.
Let us take a few examples from the greatest travelling lines in the two countries. Dijon is seventy-eight leagues, or, according to M. d'Haussez' calculation, one hundred and ninety miles, from Paris; the best diligences perform the journey in about forty-two hours, considerably under five miles an hour. Lyons is one hundred and nineteen leagues, or two hundred and ninety miles, from Paris; the Diligence takes, we are informed, three days and three nights, or seventy-two hours, to perform this journey, about four miles an hour. And these are journeys made under the most favourable circumstances, and in the allotted time; but you are fairly told at the Diligence office when you undertake a long journey, that the exact time of arrival depends on the state of the roads, and we see by the foregoing statement, that as the journey lengthens, so the rate of progress diminishes.
Now the English stage-coaches reach Bath, one hundred and nine miles, in eleven hours and a half—Shrewsbury, one hundred and sixty miles, in less than seventeen hours—Liverpool, two hundred and two miles, in twenty-one hours—all between nine and ten miles an hour—including (as on the other side) stoppages, pages, about double the French rate! What then becomes of M. d'Haussez's accuracy (we are unwilling to say veracity) in cases in which arithmetical certainty is within every man's reach? But M. d'Haussez is not content with one general statement of this enormous error; he produces it a second time, and adduces an individual instance to prove it—
'All doubt would cease on this head, if people considered that the malle-poste from Paris to Bordeaux takes no longer to perform the journey than the English mail to travel from London to Edinburgh, (the distance between these four points is the same,) and that the French horses have, nevertheless, to surmount greater difficulties, owing to the bad state of the roads, the shape and weight of the carriages, and the mode of harnessing.'—pp. 88, S9.
M. d'Haussez avoids stating the exact distances and times; we shall endeavour to supply that omission as well as we can. Bordeaux is one hundred and fifty-four leagues, or three hundred and eighty miles from Paris, and M. d'Haussez is for once right in saying it is about the same distance as Edinburgh from London: but he is right no further—nay, he is grossly, and we fear purposely, deceptive. We are not able, indeed, to state from our own information the exact time of the malle-poste from Paris to Bordeaux, but we can adduce some examples of the general rates of the malle-poste, from other lines of road with which we happen to be acquainted—for instance, we know that to Brest, which is one hundred and fifty leagues, (ten miles less than Bordeaux,) it takes at the least sixty hours, being at the rate of a little more than six miles an hour. To Lyons, the rate is a fraction over, and to Dijon a fraction under six miles, an hour; while the London mail reaches Edinburgh in forty-two hours, being above nine miles an hour; and the Liverpool, Manchester, Carlisle, and Devonport mails go still faster. We should suppose that the mail to Calais is likely to be as well served as any. By the mail-toad the distance is one hundred and seventy miles—this is done from Paris to Calais in twenty-eight hours, something above six miles the hour; but the return time from Calais to Paris is no less than thirty-two hours, considerably under six miles per hour. This difference between what we should call the up and the down mails exists on every road that we know in France, and is sometimes very great; and as we have only calculated the shortest times, this circumstance aggravates very seriously M. d'Haussez' misstatement.
Now in M. d'Haussez' mistakes about England we were willmg to suppose ignorance; but when he makes such a downright misrepresentation about his own country on a subject which, if he knows anything, he must have known—the time in which the daily despatches from the various sea-ports reached his bureau; and