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necessarily reflected from power, from birth, from wealth, or from talent-has already had its day, and is waning to its decline. The great and stirring questions which agitate all society have invaded also the monotonous stillness of the Exclusive circles. The agencies which heaved the ocean have been felt on the surface of the garden-fountain. Fashion was in much the creation of a perverted ambition. The old parliamentary system, under the lethargic rule of the Tory principles, failed to excite a very general ardour for, or a very general attention to, public life. Things seemed to the believers in the general creed of 'whatever is, is right,' so safe and secure-and schemes of popular government appeared so vague and distant-that the members of those classes who toil not, neither do they spin, naturally surrendered themselves to the pursuit of frivolous objects and small distinctions. Young men, who, unless born to large fortunes, or blest with parliamentary connexions, could scarcely aspire to the expensive luxury of a seat in Parliament, at the cost of L.1200 a-year, directed their aspirations towards easier roads to notoriety. Even those who were in Parliament, undisturbed by the vigilance of constituents, and unstimulated by constant struggles for party power-had not their minds engrossed by the rare field-nights which demanded attendance, or proffered occasion for display. The management of debates was left to half-a-dozen experienced leaders-and, save when some periodical party question was brought forward, the speakers were few, and the attendance thin. It was of the old unreformed House of Commons that it was said, that 'It was the best Club in London.' This, by the majority of its members, was the easy and pleasant light in which that assembly, now so animated-so laborious-was considered. The close of the long continental war, which seemed to establish Tory government on an imperishable throne, and to give the wealthier and higher classes an excuse to surrender themselves to a life of ease and pleasure-gave a wonderful impulse to Fashion. Then was Almack's established—and then were 'Exclusives' first heard of. In the absence of more energetic and universal excitementthe desire of small distinctions became prevalent and contagious. The wealthier sons of commerce, sensible of the importance they had acquired, and were daily augmenting, naturally wished to carry their political importance into the social relations. Hence the vying and emulation between wealth and birth-the forwardness of some-the haughtiness of others. It was in society that the struggle for equality first commenced. From the date of the Peace to the carrying of the Catholic Question, was the flourishing period of Fashion. The success of that question stirred society
to its depth-new interests of masculine and majestic order were created-coming events cast their shadows before,'—conversation took a more earnest tone-political ambition began to invade the conventional-and, the two aristocratic parties of the state being more evenly balanced, hopes and fears of a nature very different from those which depended on the fiat of lady patronesses, were called into stirring existence. Hitherto there had not been any keen animosity between the sections contending for power. The strength of the one was so great,-the weakness of the other was so evident, that the conflicts appeared rather holiday diversions than, as we see them now, the ardent enforcement of opposing principles of action. But with the concession of those mighty theories connected with Catholic emancipation, the demarcations between the aristocratic portion of society became deep and wide. Each took in new recruits, and looked to more extended circles for new allies. Exclusiveness tottered-Fashion received a mortal blow. The agitation and final victory of the Reform Bill completed the revolution; and since that period, society in London has taken a much more vigorous, healthy, and catholic character. Young men, formerly contented with the honours acquired from horses and hats, and the golden opinions of club-window loungers, have caught the political fervour that pervades the working classes themselves. Parliament presents a cheaper opening and a more exciting field than heretofore. Politics is no longer a thing apart from the ordinary pursuits and occupations of society; it enters into the ideas, it pervades the conversation, it colours the opinions of whole classes of men, who, ten years ago, would have voted all politics a bore.' In the recent election for Westminster, les jeunes élégans were the most active canvassers; and nightly in Parliament they are the loudest cheerers' and the most bustling whippers-in.' One great and most invariable advantage of increasing, under wise limitations, the popular power, is in stimulating the intellect of the national aristocracy. This consequence did not escape the sagacity of Machiaveli, who has well observed, that the Roman patricians owed much of their characteristic vigour of mind to being compelled by the constitution to court the favour of the commonalty. The illustration is yet more remarkable in the case of the Athenians, among whom it is noticeable that the large proportion of eminent men were Eupatirds,-Solon, Pericles, Cimon, Aristides, Alcibiades, in action,-Æschylus, Sophocles, Thucydides, in literature. And, indeed, it may be universally observed, that the freer the countries, the more intellectual the aristocracies; while in despotic states the men who struggle to
celebrity generally rise from the most subordinate classes;-a fact which tends to show that much which appears to weaken the ostensible, advances the moral, power of an aristocracy. Whereever politics form an habitual and universal theme of interest and discussion, it cannot fail to brace the mind even of the idlest disputants to masculine objects, and to diffuse knowledge at once various and useful. For politics, while often a war of persons, is not the less the investigation of principles; and men who would seek any conventional reputation derived from their discussion, must not only be able to praise the oratory of Sir Robert Peel, or to ridicule the calculations of Mr Hume, but they must show some acquaintance with the great subjects which oratory adorns or calculations illustrate. Any person living much in London during the last ten or twelve years, must have observed the great improvement in general society,—the gradual disappearance of the old apathy and fopperies, the more miscellaneous materials of which societies and coteries are composed,--and the more instructive and intellectual topics upon which conversation falls. Still, however, Literature and its influences are not sufficiently mixed up with the general concerns of men. Authors still too much form a class apart and the revolution that has invigorated the social system has not, as yet, refined it. Perhaps there is no greater criterion of the polish of a nation than the sociability of its men of letters: genius is not contagious, but its tastes are. It was not to Dukes and Princes that the old régime of France owed that refinement and brilliancy of manner which gave example and model to all the courts of Europe: it was to that close connexion between rank and genius, in which the first felt it necessary for conventional reputation to borrow some of the attributes of the last;-the graceful compliment-the pointed repartee-the vivacious impromptu-the delicate persiflage;-these were the offspring of literature, though they made the characteristics of a court. We do not say that it is best for genius itself to mix habitually with the professional votaries of indolence and pleasure. It is often at some expense of its own dignity, and some prostitution of its own powers, that intellect refines the coarse, raises the low, or animates the dull. Nor do we mean in these general remarks to advance the doctrine that men of letters should be the necessary clients of men of rank; or that fine society is the atmosphere in which they should move, and breathe, and have their being. All that we advocate is this, that literature should endeavour to be social, and that society in every class should welcome literature,-not as an unfrequent guest, still less as an unwelcome interloper, but as a genial
and beloved friend. Both gain by interchange; the one becomes more practical, the other more ideal. As long as the world lasts, men wholly absorbed in the business of the day will be too apt to look upon those who speculate on the subtler qualities of the mind, or the higher destinies of their species, as theorists and dreamers; while, in turn, the conductors of the working'day-world' will be regarded by poets and philosophers as beings of limited views and prejudiced opinions. But the more each are brought in contact with the other, the more undue prejudices and prepossessions will vanish; and the more chance is there of that compromise between both, in which true wisdom consists. We think that a dim understanding of this philosophy is already at work. Whilst some of our most eminent men of letters are devoting their capacities and attainments to practical ends and social purposes, there is growing up amongst the great masses of the Public a juster appreciation of the influences of literature upon political amelioration, and the daily progress of human destinies. The desire of the working classes for knowledge-the spread of Institutes and Book Clubs—the deepening attention towards the elegancies of public art-the common tendency to unite intellectual attainments with liberal opinions-are all lessening the ancient demarcation between the market-place and the closet. In proportion as that demarcation vanishes, shall we approach towards the perfection of that noblest of all national characters, which unites with a hardy and masculine understanding in practical affairs, an appreciation of whatever is noble in sentiment, or beautiful in art.
ART. III.-1. Miscellaneous Works aud Correspondence of the Rev. JAMES BRADLEY, D.D., F.R.S., Astronomer-Royal, Savilian Professor of Astronomy in the University of Oxford. 4to. Oxford: 1832.*
2. Supplement to Dr Bradley's Miscellaneous Works, with an account of Harriot's Astronomical Papers. Oxford: 1833.
T is a singular fact in the history of English science, and a striking proof of the national indifference to the higher efforts of scientific genius, that England has provided no place of record for an account of the lives and labours of her most distinguished philosophers. Those who have presided over our public institutions, who have conducted their affairs with disinterested zeal,or who have adorned their transactions with the finest researches and discoveries, are allowed to sink unnoticed into the grave, without any eulogium pronounced upon their name, and without any permanent memorial of their history or their achievements. Need we mention, in proof of this, the names of Newton and of Bradley, in the last century, or those of Herschel, of Maskelyne, and of Watt, in the present age? And must we add the painful counterpart, that a rival nation has paid to British genius the honours denied it at home? The biographers of Newton and Bradley have been obliged to resort for information to their Eloges in the Memoirs of the French Academy of Sciences;' while those of Herschel and Maskelyne and Watt, must have recourse to the Memoirs of the National Institute' of France!
In the popular departments of literature and science, or in those rare cases, such as that of Sir Humphry Davy, where a philosopher has been able to engraft upon an immortal name a popular and contemporary reputation, public curiosity demands and receives its gratification;-but in the abstract departments of historical and antiquarian research, as well as in the profound enquiries of mathematics and physics, where powerful minds are struggling unseen, the public take no interest, and the nation provides no remedy.†
*We ought to have given an earlier notice of this interesting work; but the delay has been attended with the advantage of placing the account of the Life and Discoveries of Bradley in its proper chronological order, after our articles on the Lives of Newton and Hampsteed.
Among the improvements which have been introduced into the