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Poor gentleman! it must be strange to see him in such a strait; following, and smiling, and weeping, and recovering again, and pausing. Here is a reviewer with a heart, with fine sensibilities; when will any of our graceless crew have to say that they “weep and recover again,” faint and come to, over their reading. By the way that same “magician," the author of the Story of a Life, has to answer for a marvellously silly book* on Germany, surfeitingly crammed with cant. The writer is always turning up his eyes to heaven like a duck in thunder. There is something profane in this publication of piety. It offends one like the mummery on the stage; when a man in a doublet, with a patch of red paint between his eyes, and a white wig on his head, comes to the foot lights, sinks on his knces to solemn music, clasps his hands, looks up at the pilaster boxes, and turns the very deity to stage effect.
“ What will ye lay it's a lie?”
“ At a dinner lately given in Portsmouth to Lord Melville and John Wilson Croker, Esq., who had been inspecting the fortifications, naval stores, &c. of that arsenal, by the admiral and other officers of the station, Mr. Croker, with his usual tact and desire to show his inferiors on what familiar footing he stands with the peerage, took an opportunity, in the course of the entertainment, to hail the first lord with the familiar exclamation of “ Melville, some wine. The naval gentlemen looked, some of them surprised at Mr. Croker's familiarity, and others deeply impressed with the sense of his importance—the great landlord's brow lowered a little at being thus cavalierly addressed by a mere secretary, and swallowed his wine with as much hauteur as possible. But his revenge was to come. A young midshipman who had escorted Mr. Croker over the works, very much tickled by this hailfellow well-met style of doing business, after waiting for about a minute, and before the surprise had yet subsided, exclaimed, with the utmost pitch of his voice, from the bottom of the table> Croker, some wine;' and on the secretary very reluctantly complying with the request, by pouring the smallest quantity possible in his glass, added -No skylights, my lad-Secs and Middies always take bumpers here.'- In the laugh that followed, none joined more heartily than Lord Melville.-Morning Chronicle.
This is an extremely vulgar fabrication, which no one, acquainted either with the customs of society or the rules of naval etiquette, can for one moment believe; but it has passed current, and been copied from paper to paper, merely because Mr. Croker is an unpopular man. We all dislike Mr. Croker, but it cannot be denjed that Mr. Croker fills the station of a gentleman, and it may fairly be supposed he is on the freest terms of intimacy with Lord Melville ; in which case, unless Lord Melville is a consummate ass indeed, he could not take umbrage at being addressed by him as described, though at a formal dinner the familiarity is improbable, and certainly would not be hazarded for the reason vulgarly assigned by a man whose place in society is so perfectly known as that of Croker. As for the story of the midshipman, it can only be credited by those who are utterly ignorant of what a midshipman is in the presence of his superiors. In the army there is no rank off duty. An ensign may meet a general officer on equal terms across a dinner-table. But this is not the case in the navy; and it is indeed ludicrous to observe the deference which an officer, even of superior rank, pays to one who is still his superior. We have seen the post-captain, who has played the great man before the lieutenant, sink into a cypher on the entrance of an admiral. As for a midshipman, he is dumb in the presence of dons; and we would undertake to eat the middy who cracked jokes on Mr. Secretary Croker before the awe-inspiring personages of a grand naval dinner party.
* As we pique ourselves on being just, we must on consideration qualify this description. The book cannot be properly called a silly book, though there is an abundance of silliness in it; for there are occasionally good thoughts, and shrewd, and even critically nice observations; and moreover, indications of more intelligence in the writer than he developes. Notwithstarding all this, however, the bad preponderates; there is some vice in the work which pervades and spoils the whole. We strongly suspect it is cant-an affectation of twaddling goodness supposed to be acceptable to our pattern people. Among his nonsenses, the author falls into a dreadful lamentation, because he saw a Sclavonian, “ a very old man," oh! oh! oh! -eat-the quarter of a ready dressed goose without the aid—“we weep” as we write it, “ and recover again,' " and pause and wonder”-without the aid of a knife and fork!!! Alack! alack !-or the Christian comfort of a plate. They dance and sing, he confesses, but, oh! eat the legs of goose without the assistance of cutlery! Wretched Sclavonians is the reflection of the author; happy is he that dineth on goose—is ours. Eat goose, ye people of the earth, “recte si posses, si non quocunque
goose. Which being translated, signifies, eat goose in a mannerly style if you can ; if not, tear it to pieces with your bugers.
11th. It has just now been asked why Fox dinners have been discontinued; and some writers have taken the trouble to explain the discontinuance on any but the best grounds. The truth is, that it is high time that such fooleries should be at an end; and people show their good sense by abandoning them. As things have occupied the public mind, names have lost their importance. It is very well for twaddling old whigs to fill their glasses to the name of Fox ; but we question whether people in general associate the idea of any one sound political principle with it. It does not stand for any distinct object, but simply and solely for the head of a party, and party is happily out of vogue.
The papers announce that Lord Maryborough is confined to his bed, as some have it, from the gout; others say from a ducking in a wet ditch, while the Chronicle insists that sympathy with his son is the cause of his lordship's indisposition. Here are three common causes sufficient to account for one consequence, confinement to bed-gout, wet ditch, or parental affection. According to Euclid, things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other; therefore, a wet ditch is, though less sentimental, an agent on his lordship's constitution equivalent to paternity.
13th. A clergyman, the Reverend Mr. Worthington, of Saint Sepulchre's, in giving evidence at Guildhall, in favour of a gentleman's coachman, who had merely driven over an old woman, said, that “the coachman's conduct was plain and straightforward.” That is, we suppose, he drove straightforward over the lady. Clergymen, we often observe, seem to have a knack of viewing things quite unlike the rest of the world. A Mr. Barstow having interfered to secure the offender in this case, Mr. Worthington, who beheld the scene from his drawingroom window, desired vehemently to apprehend him, because he excited the feelings of the mob; and a man who excites the feelings of the mob, is more dangerous than he who runs over an old woman, as there is no knowing where the feelings of the mob will stop, when they are once excited—they might pull down St. Sepulchre's church itself, in such moments of exaltation. When an old woman is run over in the street, by a genteel carriage, it is the part of a good subject, in the language of my Uncle Toby,“ to wipe her up, and say nothing about it,” and not to excite the feelings of that horrid monster, a mob, by acting as if a wrong had been done to a helpless creature. A pretty pass we are come to, if a gentleman's neat yellow chariot cannot he driven over a stupid old woman, without a disturbance! Happy is it for us, that we have yet some curates who have leisure to look out of window, and judgment enough to discern the prudence of causing the apprehension of meddling individuals, who would give mobs to imagine that it was wrong in gentlemen's coachmen to run over foot passengers. In Mr. Worthington, the perception of error appears to have been remarkably fine—at least in the one case, that of the person who interfered—for he seems to have discovered nothing amiss in the“ straightforward” driving of the Jehu. When called upon to describe the exciting doings of Mr. Barstow, he was sorely perplexed to state the precise acts, though he had so clearly and readily come to the conclusion, that they would have warranted his apprehension. Thus it is, that some of us have the faculty of seeing, at a glance, the proper punishment, though we cannot, for the life of us, make out the crime.
14th. The circumstances of the following action are curious—they let us into the secrets of a part of the press; and also show what a fund of sensitiveness there must be in those who affect the loftiest indifference to newspaper strictures, and yet are ready to hazard their money on the mere chance of their being protected from them.
“ BERKELEY v. FAIRMAN. This was an action for money lent and advanced to the defendant. The defendant had borrowed the sum of one hundred pounds, for the purpose of supporting a newspaper, from which he seemed to imagine that Colonel Berkeley would derive some benefit. The proof on the part of the plaintiff was opened by a letter written in May, 1825, in which the defendant, addressing the plaintiff in the politest terms, took occasion to inform liim, that, . for the purpose of defending from the attacks of the mercenary press, those gentlemen who are often selected for its victims,' he had commenced a paper, The Palladium, which he found to be very expensive; which he expected would ultimately succeed ; but which then wanted some assistance to go on. Without that assistance, the defendant expressed his belief that it must fail; and added, “I fear from the line of conduct it has pursued, this would prove a great gratification to the least respectable part of the press. The letter concluded by obserying, that these statements were made in confidence, and by requesting a loan of money, which the defendant offered to secure by acceptances, payable at his banker's. The plaintiff sent an order to Drummond and Co., his own bankers, for one hundred pounds, which was paid in two notes of fifty pounds each, into the house of Cockburn and Co., the defendant's bankers."
There are, doubtless, many who have acted as Colonel Berkeley has done, in their eagerness to avail themselves of any protection offered by the press; and this may account for the existence of the number of contemptible Sunday newspapers that rise and fall-we cannot go on, Aourish, and decay. It is odd, however, that men of the world should think it worth while to give money for the use of such very despicable tools. And Colonel Berkeley, who risked his hundred pounds as above stated, on the mere blind speculation of services, is not only a man of the world, but one of an extremely good head. His intellect, though it may want schooling and discipline, is naturally of a superior order-strong, but unmanageable. His faith in The Palladium was a fine farce. Did he really imagine that a type of Minerva had dropped from the clouds, to protect a beleaguered aristocracy?
15th. The conduct of some rioters, accused of parliamentary proceedings, in Whitecross-street prison, has shocked the constitutional ideas of that Solomon of the age, the Recorder of London. From the evidence it appears, that the rogues in Whitecross-street, moved by the instinct of their collective knavery, naturally formed themselves into a parliament, and have proceeded, as rogues will
do, to tax and oppress the unhappy people in their power. When the Recorder heard that a body of thieves were in the habit of thus robbing poor wretches, by levying imposts, he immediately saw a striking likeness, and exclaimed, “ Bless me! here is another House of Commons !” But we will give his exact words, as we find them in the report.
“The Recorder asked the witness who dispensed the money [extorted by the rioters from all new comers]?-Witness: The steward [obviously the speaker].
“ The Recorder: Who chooses the steward?-Witness: He is chosen by the voice of the ward. Every thing is done there by election.
"The Recorder: Then it is a parliament which imposes taxes ? -Witness: Exactly so, my lord.
“ The Recorder; I never heard before of more than one parliment in this realm, and I never knew it to enforce taxes in this manner.
“Mr Spencer, the governor of the prison, was called; and he stated, that he heard a noise in the prison-he thought it was the election of the twelver. When he went all was silent, and he could not tell from what ward the noise came.
“The Recorder answered him with great severity for not having acted with more energy to prevent the outrage, and said the court expected of him that he would be more vigilant in future.
« Mr. Spencer; I will use my utmost endeavours, my lord; but it was a custom, and
“The Recorder: A custom, sir! do not let the court hear such a defence. Robbery on the highway, and picking pockets, have been customary from time immemorial. The public will not hear of taxes levied except by authority of parliament, or of any taxes levied in such a manner.”
True, oh king! Robbery on the highway, and picking pockets, have been customary from time immemorial ; and, as you very properly observe, the public will not hear of robbery and picking pockets, except by authority of parliament—what are we writing ?--for robbery and picking pockets, read, taxes levied.
We agree entirely with the learned Recorder, that the power of raising taxes cannot be tolerated in every body of rogues. The vagabonds have obviously fallen into a mistake. The right of levying imposts does not attach, as they imagine, to collective knavery. Granted that rogues in one place raise taxes, it does not follow that rogues collected in another, have the same privilege. The roguery is very probably consequential on the tax-raising power, but the taxraising power is not consequential on the roguery. otherwise, to confound coincidence with cousequence, is to fall into the error of a learned Irish judge, who, when living in a small retired French village, had his clothes made by the postman, and on going to Paris, having occasion for a suit, went straight to the post office, and requested the director to take his measure for a coat, waistcoat, and breeches in the newest mode.
16th. Petitions for and against the Corn Laws have been as abundant as might be expected. In presenting one to the lords, Lord King declared his opinion, “that there was no good reason for the opposition of the Landed Interest, for the repeal of the Corn Laws would ultimately benefit them. He said this as a landowner, for the greater part of his property consisted in land; but if he thought the repeal of the laws would injure the landed interest, he should hope that he would be found not so wanting to his duty as to oppose a measure that was for the good of the great mass of the people."
This modest expression of a sentiment of political integrity will lose nothing by contrast with the language of Sir Francis Burdett on the same subject last session.
“ He was not,” said the baronet, “so disinterested as not to feel for himself and those belonging to him; and if, as a gentleman of England, possessing a landed estate, he could feel that the measure in question was likely to be seriously injurious to him, he should oppose it."
We respect the general tenor of Sir Francis Burdett's public life; we admire for the most part his political conduct; but we do not hesitate to declare that a more unprincipled avowal than that which we have just quoted, was never made in the walls even of the House of Commons, and that no iniquity has ever been acted in that House, which might not be justified according to the doctrine laid down by the honourable baronet. This, we are ry to say, cannot be imagined a slip of the tongue; the same doctrine was stated by Sir Francis, in substance, three or four times. We trust that on the agitation of the Corn Question, he will see the propriety of retracting the dangerous sanction he has thus given to every kind of political profligacy. The worst we can urge against any political character, is, that he would sacrifice the welfare of millions to his own little private interests. There are, as Bacon says, men who are such extreme self-lovers, that they would roast their eggs on the embers of their neighbours' houses. There are country gentlemen who would enrich their land with the vitals of the people, who would make the country rot to furnish them manure.
17th. The case of Colonel Bradley has been again brought under the consideration of Parliament, as respects the House of Commons, with little success; but as to the more important point of convincing