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were the sufferer; and you are still to suffer for your affectation, in expecting an invitation ; and the Pluckless are to suffer, for not promoting a great public dinner ; and the public itself shall suffer, for not being loyal spontaneously, and without either jog from Maga or pluckless patronage. No, no! We shall not let you all be loyal ex post facto at our expense; and the record of that dinner shall ever remain deeply impressed on the memories of those who ate it--but there alone shall it be treasured, a precious deposit, a reward for their meritorious forwardness in the good cause, and a subject for pleasing and lasting reflection and endless triumph.
You, however, (although you have committed the pluckless vice of blaming others, while not fully doing your own duty,) shall next year, on the KING'S DAY, hear some particulars in private, in consideration of the remains of good feeling indicated in your mode of spending the day, and upon your paying certain penalties. Even the public may, at some future day, be admitted to a partial knowledge of the events of that merryfication. But this must be when the Pluckless are no more consummation devoutly to be wished—a period which shall soon arrive-viz. before the publication of No. VI. of this series of papers.-C. N.
THE GENERAL QUESTION.
that the flesh is weak; to be hooted at The Liberal is dished. The Cock in the impotent perpetration of despineys have proved themselves more cable vice; to be ducked in the slough intense idiots than knaves general- of despond by the base crew you have ly are, and are now dumb in their been trying to exasperate against an impotence. There is much wicked- honest householder ; to be put into the ness in and about London, and else- stocks by the very profligates to whom where ; a gross appetite for slander and you have been offering cheap, irreliindecency is craving and aching to be gious, and obscene tracts ; to be haulfed, and yet these caterers have been ed down from the barrel-head on which incapable of supplying garbage. All you have been playing your mounte, that was necessary for their work was bank tricks before “ the low earth,” a slight smattering of erroneous infor- and elevated to the pillory by the gang mation, as much cleverness as belongs you have sickened at the picture of to a second-rate bagman, the liveliness their own corruption; to be sent into of an under-waiter in a suburban ta- solitary confinement, lest you should vern, the grace of a street-walker, not pollute the operation of the tread-mill; yet utterly battered, the philosophy of and finally, admitted, with a hesitaan itinerant lecturer on Reform, the ting hand, to the rites of burial in the eloquence of an unemployed barrister's vaults of the Pozzi, among the very clerk, the wit of an editor of the fif- scum and refuse and excrements of tieth Incarnation of Joe, the man- mortality. ners of a run-away London tailor's ap- We are decided enemies to everyprentice, and the morals of a retired thing bordering upon exaggeration ; so bagnio-keeper, ruralizing beyond East- that the above
will no doubt appear to end-Yet in all these qualifications many but a feeble sketch of the chahave they been found wanting; and racter and catastrophe of the Liberal. unable to pick up a dishonest subsist- Two or three dozen men and women ence, they are now starving on unpaid laid their heads together to produce an small-beer, and parsnips taken on tick. effect-a sensation to make hits
to It is a sad business, indeed, to be preyed kick up a row-to startle the cits to upon by a longing desire for all sorts set the gutters on fire-to pull old orof low and dirty wickedness, and yet thodox gentlemen by their pig-tailsto find, although the spirit is willing, to laugh outright in the faces of mo
dest females, and whisper indecencies moping and mowing, each pushing on into their ears, as they walked in fa- the other with his paw on posterior, mily parties to church to grimace the and the whole array at their wits' end parsons—to patronize prostitutes, and at the novelty of their situation. Into employ the Sabbath-day in penning stead of going to work forthwith among panegyrics on vices which occupied the porcelain, the apery betook itself them during the whole week. The to plunder. Hop goes one little bleardevil is in it, thought they, if we do eyed hero, with scurvy and excoriated not become distinguished characters. hips, and the manifest mark of the “ There goes a Liberal,” will every chain encircling his neck in blue ruin, voice exclaim; “ how beautiful his into a vase, in search of cheese or a bag yellow breeches !”—“ Behold Apol- of nuts, every now and then grinning lar!" But, o Gemini, what is this ? over the rim, disappointed in his scruA madness has seized upon the people. tiny, but delighted, nevertheless, with Spitting, hissing, hooting, cursing, the originality of his own inventive gecuffing, kicking, are the order of the nius. A bolder baboon, mounting a day. King, Condé, and Grandee, are tripod, clutches a china shepherdess hauled to the horse-pond-goose and from a shelf, and mumbles her all over gander stand aloof on the green in with the loathsome slime and slaver breathless astonishment, as splash af- of his hideous brute-endearment. The ter splash, squash after squash, goes hard-bosomed nymph resists, and the Cockney upon Cockney into the liquid hairy sibyl letting her drop on the element. Peter Bell's ass, now the pro- floor, hurkles round and round the perty of a Hampstead huckster, brays shivered fragments of his love, in the forth Balaam ; a huge Newfoundland blind rage of his animal desire, and dog leaps into the pool with suspicious the dim perplexity of a nature unashumanity, and brings out l'ims by the sisted by reason to distinguish living nape of the neck, who is instanter
spun flesh from the potter's clay. A merback by a tall man in the crowd, re- rier monkey—a fellow of most rare cognized to be ODoherty. Pygmalion wit and infinite fancy, rises with a having crawled to the bank, is betray- chance looking-glass, and, like Narcised by the pimple of his nose, just peer- sus of old, is desperately enanioured ing through the mud, to the ven- of his own fair proportions. The love"geance of that much-injured tailor, sick youth hangs his head consideraand gets forthwith measured for a suit bly to the one side like a puppy weighof mourning. King Leigh is drooping ed down by the dew, and acts in a like a water-lily, and weeping like a manner to attract the decided disapcrocodile, with his hands in the pock- probation of the secretary to the Soets of his yellow-breeches. The infe- ciety for the Suppression of Vice, acrior rout keep puddling to and fro, un- cidentally taking a peep into the windistinguishable from frogs and pow. dow. An ouran-outang addicts himheads; and from shore to shore of that self to study, and sits as solemn as small Mediterranean is heard a gurg- Solomon at the Ledger, chewing a ling croak, that says, or seems to say, piece of Indian-rubber, and tasting a “ The kingdom of Cockaigne is sunk little of the ink, as a liquor hitherto into the bosom of the mighty deep!” unknown. Meanwhile the main body
But, Mr President, to lay aside fi- and both wings are filching-when gure and allegory, I ask you, a well. Messrs English and Co. coming into informed, tolerably well-behaved mem- their shop, employ the moments immeber of a Christian community, if ever, diately succeeding their first surprise, throughout the experience of a life, in securing Pan, Narcissus, and Solonow apparently, from the cut of your mon. A general hullybaloo pursues jib, verging on threescore, you read, the scampering imitation-men on their or heard, or dreamt of such an utter retreat, most of whom are taken priand inutterable set of blockheads as soners. Some are sent to Pidcock-a these Liberals ? Why, at first, they score or two are distributed among the proclaimed of themselves, that they had small travelling bear-proprietors-a made up their minds to behave like so few fall into the service of elderly virmany bulls in a china-shop. A stra- gins at Bath and Cheltenham,—and mash was expected. But instead of perhaps from a dozen to twenty go the Bulls of Bashan, who should make stuffed to the British Museum and their appearance but a quantity of apes, Private Collections.
Why, my good sir, it is not the The pursy fellow has not run three blackguardism of the Cockney-wri- lines, till there he is at a full stop, ters that is most offensive to the pre- blowing like a nag in the farcy. Try sent, and also every absent company. his rhymes, and he does not know a - I mean, sir, to say, that blackguard- vowel from a consonant, although ism, quâ blackguardism, may not only surely no two things can be more unbe tolerated, butenjoyed, --witness the like; watch him narrowly, and you former extensive circulation of the detect his hand in another man's Edinburgh Review, and the present pocket, uniformly stealing trash, and popularity of the preaching of the knowing no difference between a grape Reverend Edward Irving. But on and a grozet; pale, puffing, swinkt, being introduced to a blackguard, you sweating, sick even to vomiting with surely never expect to see him sitting hobbling over the flat, he is as badly in a small and rather tidy parlour, on
off at the fag-end of his sonnet, as if a settee, with pastoral imagery darned he had just descended from an hour at all over the back, with yellow cuisses the Tread-mill. Now, Mr President, on his thighs, smelling at a nosegay, I maintain that this be a true bill, and and perhaps reading at Petrarch. You that no Cockney can be produced to were not prepared for a display of do a sonnet, which seems to me rareMiss-Molly-ism, in an advocate for ly to exceed fourteen lines, and which, the abolition of the Slave Trade, in his case, I am perfectly willing to known by the name of Marriage ; a reduce to eleven, in four hours and a demand for universal suffrage should half, with refreshments
, allowing a not be effeminately lisped out with reasonable latitude in rhymes, and not uncertain aspirates; you are unrea- being too severe upon him on the score sonable enough to expect that he who of grammar, syntax, and so forth, would abolish all public grievances which would prove encumbrances to shall not include grammar in the num- his speed. I bet Glengarry's kilt to ber; in short, you will on no account Leigh Hunt's yellow breeches, (the whatever permit one and the same in- long odds) that such a feat shall not dividual to be at once blackguard and be performed by any native of Cockblockhead, a “ ne'er-do-weel” and a aigne before the next meeting of Parninny; bad qualities must not be joined liament. with false quantities; a hardened heart Mr President, I am sorry to interand a soft head are unpardonable ; rupt you ; but, sir, you are fast asleep. and it is not to be endured to see a Sir, I was observing, that, after all the Cockney picking his steps to eternal efforts of the Radicals, of all descripperdition, just as if he were merely tions, to work mischief, little or none going to eat hot muffins at Mother has been done. The people of Great BriRed-cap's. He who would brave the tain are really most excellent people indevil, should not fear to soil his yellow deed, and know whom and what to breeches ; and we lose all patience despise. They do not, by any means, with a dapper deist, who talks of Ell like to hear religion abused or sneered as if he had just come out of a band- at; and all those jokes against parbox, who, were he ever to go thither, sons, which make the round of the would be as perfectly unintelligible Whig periodical press, laughed at, perto well-educated people as he had been haps, as something very funny, over a on earth, and calculated to throw an horn of ale, leave no favourable imair of absurdity over the regions of pression on the minds of village todespair. Yes, Mr President, I vow pers, with regard to the character of and protest that I am ready, this bless- the wits. At their own firesides, when ed moment, to pardon, forgive, over- their comely wives and their chubby look, all the wickedness of the Cock- children are by, and the door locked neys. I think nothing of it. But for the night, their thoughts and feelnever, never can I pardon their mon- ings take another turn; the better strous and unnatural stupidity. If part of their nature has the ascendanthey could do any one thing well, con- cy, and they look forward to the cofound me but I would ask North to ming Sabbath with satisfaction. They give them a farewell kick or two, and are uncorrupted by the poison that is leave them to their own paltry passions. worked off with the malt; and if askBut nothing but bungling?' Take a ed their real, sober, serious opinion of Cockney and start him upon a sonnet: thc press-gang, they would tell you,
that they were a set of heartless scamps The plots of their plays are rarely, if altogether, and strove to cheat poverty ever, interesting, and no great moral out of its contentment. They would is left stamped upon the heart. They rather have a kind visit from their give us bursts of passion, and that is “Parson,” than make part of a depu- all,-bright images now and then, and tation to wait on some factious free- occasionally charming versification. thinker; and if they had a daughter But the texture of their works is mi. to send out to service, they would ra- serable patch-work; their bombast, ther see her drowned or dead in any fustian, extravagance, exaggeration, honest fashion, than exposed to seduc- and violation of nature, is beyond all tion and desertion in the house of a bounds and what is the consequence? Patriot and Friend of the people. When why, that not one of them all, in they hear that Mr Such-a-one has spite of new editions, dissertations, esbeen hanged, after all his fine ha- says, and critiques, has taken any hold rangues, they are noways surprised, on the English mind. They never had but seem prepared for the event, and any strong hold upon it, and never will chuckle at the idea of his execution have ; for our poetry is now diviner, more heartily than they ever did at his deeper far; and a play no better than keenest jokes. They know better than one of Massinger's or Ford's would any demagogue can tell them what are damn an author for ever to the middle the real hardships and evils of their order. condition, and they also know that But, Mr President, few subjects are the power by which they must be en- of more importance than the choice of dured lies in their own souls. The ut- a profession. Shall I make my son a ter baseness and helpless debility of Scotch minister? He is a preacher ; character exhibited at all times by those and hangs on from year to year, in who set themselves against religion hopes of a manse. He is thirty-five and social order, escape not their no- years of age, but still he has no manse. tice ; comfort, and quiet, and peace, do, At last he is offered a kirk, in a reon the whole, fall to the lot of the mote, cold, moorish part of the world, loyal citizen, while a ragged offspring, with a mean name, as bare of all asa cold hearth, and a famished board, sociations as the pavement of a sunk are the concomitants of disaffection flat. Stipend small; manse indifferent ; and turbulence. No fire makes the glebe scranky; only one gentleman's pot boil so well as one stirred by the house in the parish, and that uninhahand of content ; and a mechanic will bited. Our Sandy accepts ; marries think that fare a luxury which he eats Miss Susie Simpson, somewhere about after six hours' labour at the loom, the middle of seven sisters. Susie, bewhile the reformer growls over his ing come of a prolific family, breeds mess of pottage with an appetite poi. yearly, and even produces twins-gets soned by anger, and forgetful of the fat, lazy, and both red and broad in hand that feeds him. But, thank God, the face, but dresses well, and likes a all is yet sound at the core of the Eng- how-towdy. Now and then a cow lish heart: and the great body of the dies, and the sheep take the sturdy. people know who are their friends and Meal is a drug, and the fiars sink like who are their enemies. There is not quicksilver in rainy weather. Sons one man in Britain who does not know and daughters must be clothed and that Bristol Hunt is a despicablescoun- educated -and fed ; perhaps about a drel, or would hold a hot potato one dozen, and the question is, How is all moment from his mouth, on receiving that to be accomplished? Now, Mr sudden intelligence of his being found President, considering the very narrow dead in a jakes.
income of the Scottish clergy, do not Now, Mr President, I cannot see you think that they should be brought much sense in those tine disquisitions back to celibacy? A bachelor might which have been served up so plenti- live and grow fat on a stipend that at fully to us of late in magazines, re- present keeps a large family in starvaviews, &c. on the great superiori- tion. I never could see any hardship ty of the ancient over the modern in celibacy. Take bachelors and mardrama. Put Shakspeare aside, and ried men by the lump, and I verily bewho are the great old dramatists of this lieve that the former are much better country? Very imperfect workmen, I for clergymen, in a country where can assure you. Not one of them all there are no rich endowments. If has drawn a single natural character. young men think it hard to be prevented from marrying, let them go in- tented spirit, that, with such limitation to the army, and enjoy the luxury of as human infirmities impose, prevails a wife and four children, attached to over the peasantry of our land. Blamea marching regiment; or let the ram- less mirth, wit without gall, fancy that pant young gentleman go to the bar, sheds a cheerful light over meetings and support a family on the salary of assembled even for sacred purposes, a sheriffship, or on the princely in- humour that plays and dallies with the come of an advocate-depute. A cler- harmless oddities and contrasted temgyman should have nothing to do but peraments of men all zealous in the attend to his flock; no married man good cause ; the joke, the jest, and the can do that so regularly and rigorous- jibe, free from all ribaldry, and the ly as a Cælebs. I defy him—and that pungent anecdote that will bear repeis the point at issue. A married cler- tition a thousand times, because speakgyman, on a scanty income, may be ing to the experience and illustrative a good family-man, notwithstanding of the heart. Where can all these be his many
discomforts; but I say that found more fresh, vigorous, and racy, I defy him to write such good ser- than among the ministers of our estamons as a bachelor, ceteris paribus ; blishment? he will not even be able to deliver them It has been asked, what they have so well; for who can commit to me- done in science, in philosophy, in hismory in a manse crawling with chil- tory, in poetry? Much in all. But it dren?
is not their business-it is not their Pardon such light remarks, my dear duty to strive or to excel in such President, on a serious subject. Sure things. Let each clergyman take care I am, that they would be taken in good of his parish ; and if he does so, it is part at a Presbytery dinner, and would all that man can require of him, or give no offence to the excellent and need be recorded on his tomb-stone. admirable clergy of Scotland. Excel- Eminent, distinguished, illustrious, lent and admirable clergy indeed ; and immortal names, according to the judgsince my plan is not perhaps soon to ment of this world, are not wanting in be adopted, may their Manse mean- the annals of the Scottish church;
but while swarm with offspring, and the hundreds of men, greater than they, honest howdy be familiar with its have gone to their graves with perishwhite-painted gate. Our ministers are able and forgotten names, although indeed the guardians of national cha. their voices were heard only by a small racter. Themselves frequently the congregation, and the sphere of their sons of peasants, they know well the usefulness was but a parish with two or annals of the poor ; and methinks that three glens and pastoral hill-sides, that the doctrines of Christianity come with shone at night with cottage-hearths like a peculiar grace from the lips of men, a few sprinkled stars. Let the sense, the who, in their youth, slept in lowly moderation, the intelligence, and the huts, and who, in after life, are sepa- piety of our peasantry, speak for their rated, even in condition, by no high pastors, both the dead and the living, barriers from the humble ones of the and let those who may be disposed to earth. They know more than their overrate both the magnitude and the brethren around; they have seen some- influence of their own attainments in thing of the character and spirit of stir- the various departments of human ring life, without having their feelings knowledge, consider what would have deadened, or hardened, or frittered been the country which they now digaway by much participation in its am- nify and adorn, without the men who, bitious concerns. The meek and sim- for centuries, have ministered at the ple religion which they teach, brings humble altars of our national faith, and them back willingly, and with plea- have so long preserved, by doctrine, sure, to the joys and sorrows of the precept, and example, that moral and poor man's lot; and from the pulpit religious spirit, without which the they see the narrow pew in which they prosperity of a country is hollow, and sat when children ; and now and tben all her knowledge unable either to enhave a vision of the grey head, gone lighten or elevate. Religion, not phidown into the grave, that used, in other losophy, has made us, as a people, what days, to be turned reverentially to- we are; and, with all our defects, faults, wards the preacher of the word. Their vices, and sins, we possess much that ordinary pursuits in the week-day true science could not give, nor false world, partake of the quiet and con- take away; something too high for the