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vidual metropolitan experience and study the mind, as regards the forming an ac—to call forth from the recesses of me- quaintance with London, appears to be mory, some part of the world of associ- generally this :--Its first sensation, on ations respecting London, which such a coming into contact with such a compliresidence and such an experience have cated multiplicity of exciting objects, is necessarily accumulated; and to give a stunning one-a moral bewilderment, them additional force and comprehensive- much resembling the physical one expeness, by the aid of passing observation rienced on suddenly emerging from the and historical retrospect.
long dark staircase upon the summit To the numerous country subscribers of the Monument or St. Paul's. In to this periodical, I conceive that little both cases, the first feeling on lookapology or explanation can be requisite ing around you is, “ I shall never make in commencing a series of sketches and all this out. But the discouragement illustrations of a subject which must so of the eye in the one case, is more transiconstantly, so largely, and so variously tory than that of the mind is in the impress their imaginations and excite other; and I am persuaded that many a their curiosity. But as it may be fairly casual visitor of the metropolis has left presumed, that a large proportion of the it with feelings of disgust and disappointreaders of “ The Parterre” are them- ment, solely because he has not staid selves metropolitan residents, it is possi- long enough to learn to understand it,ble that the question may be hastily in which case it can appear little more to asked by some, "What can Londoners any visitor than “a piece of dry” though be told about London that they do not vast “machinery, noisy and wearisome.” already know ? " My own experience But when the mind has once begun to and observation, and those of others single out the various objects and relawhom I have consulted, must furnish my tions, it takes courage, grows sanguine, answer.
and begins to think it shall soon embrace In order to make this explanation the the mighty whole with perfect knowmore clearly intelligible, I must be per- ledge. After some time, however, the mitted to class the adult inhabitants of course of its experience undeceives it London, as regards the period and pro- again of this mistake; and it settles cess of their acquaintance with it, under down in the conviction, that all that it two distinct heads, viz., those who, hav- can ever attain by the longest and steaing been born in the metropolis, or diest observation, is to know a great deal brought to it in their early infancy, have about London; but that to know all or grown up within its precincts,—and those nearly all which it would be interesting who, having been brought up in the to know about this amazing epitome of country, have been settled in London for the human world, is within the compass some length of time. These two descrip- of no single capacity. tions will be found to comprise, in nearly Such, then, being the case, even with equal portions, the great bulk of those who those whose occupations lead, or whose may be properly denominated Londoners. leisure permits them to study a great va
Now, as regards the earlier associa- riety of the objects that crowd this imtions contracted in their minds respect- mense capital; can it be expected that ing the metropolis, there is one remark- they whose avocations confine them able difference between these two classes. chiefly to one locality or to objects of The former, brought up in close contact one particular class, should acquire any with such a variety of grand and mo- general and comprehensive acquaintance mentous objects, find them, under cer- with the overwhelming mass of other intain aspects, for the most part superficial, teresting objects around them? It canso familiarly interwoven with the whole not be--it is morally, it is even physimass of their earliest-formed and most cally impossible. deeply impressed ideas, that they not It is, therefore, mere thoughtlessness, only find nothing striking in those ob- or disingenuousness, to charge the great jects now, but they have no recollection mass of Londoners, so intelligent in that ever they were struck by them. If those matters which they have studied, “familiarity,” in this case, has not “bred with wilful ignorance respecting so many contempt,” it has at least induced disre- of the objects amongst which they are gard, and lulled curiosity, or rather, continually moving.
It is not mere perhaps, I should say, prevented it from proximity to an object, that suffices to ever being awakened.
put a man in the way of becoming acBut with the other class of residents, quainted with it. It is stimulus and lei. those bred in the country, the course of sure to examine it, that are above all
things requisite. The busiest inhabitants of fashion-its temples and its theatres and frequenters of the metropolis have -its repositories of science, and its galabundant opportunities of seeing a great leries of art – its courts of justice, its proportion of the objects of general in- houses of legislature, and, if permitted, terest which it contains. What they its abodes of royalty. Nor, when dazneed is, to be prompted and instructed zled by the splendour of its thousand to read them to penetrate their meaning palaces and its ten thousand equipages, -by those who possess the leisure, de- on the one hand, or elated, on the other, nied to the majority, for learning how to by contemplating around him the vast penetrate it by themselves.
and countless monuments of industry, This is not to be done by “ Pictures wealth, and power, let him shrink from of London" - by mere topographical examining the unprosperous side of the sketches and external descriptions
from visiting the homes of highly useful as such publications are. squalid misery, of unwilling idleness, To become really acquainted with the and of careless or hopeless guilt. Nor metropolis, a person must be led (if I let his steps recoil from the threshold may be allowed the expression) to con- even of the hospital or the madhouse. verse with the objects. They must not He who would know mankind-he who form a mere dead, painted panorama. would know himself-should see someThey must take life and breath, and thing of all these. speak, in many voices, of the past as well Not that I propose to add myself to as the present—of their remoter affinities the number of those who have preferred as well as of their nearer relations. to dwell on the unfavourable view of the
Ą field of the best, as well as most subject. Far from it. There is more entertaining instruction, would thus be good than evil in London after all. found within the circuit of London and And it has advantages, attractions for its environs, such as no other spot upon every cultivated mind, for every mind the globe can boast. The paucity of desirous of cultivation, which no other general ideas, which has been observed locality in the empire affords. It is not in so many of the habitual residents in in anger, but in sorrow, that I shall London, not only as regards the world have to advert to the more painful class at large, but as regards that epitome of of associations regarding it — not in it, their own famed city, has led many to gloomy despairingness, but in confident suppose that the multiplicity of objects in hope that this majestic city will amply the metropolis was itself an obstacle to share in-as the steady exertions of its the acquisition of knowledge. But, growing intelligence are importantly however it may be with the knowledge contributing to—the general advanceof books, certain it is, that for the great ment of human happiness. study of all-the study of man in all his Far be that species of licensed falsevarious relations and his active exertions hood, called satire, from my pen. Far -of his powers and his passions—his be it from me to see, like Johnson, might and his weakness - his endless in his true imitation of Juvenal, nothing varieties of taste, habit, opinion, and in “ London” but pursuit - even his diversities of race, language, and costume-London pre
“ The needy villain's general home, sents, beyond all comparison, the most
The common sewer of Paris and of
Rome.” profitable school.
To acquire comprehensiveness of I could better reconcile myself to the knowledge, solidity of judgment, and sentiment of Thomson, in his verses on soundness of taste, the examination and Solitude, where he sayscomparison of a multiplicity of objects is absolutely necessary; and the smaller “ Perhaps, from Norwood's oak-clad the territorial limits within which they
hill, are included, the more conveniently can
When meditation has her fill, this examination and comparison be
I just may cast my careless eyes made. Let the man, then -- let the
Where London's spiry turrets rise, Englishman, at least—who would acquire
Think of its cares, its woes, its pain, the truest knowledge—that derived from
Then shield me in the woods again." nen and things-study London. Let But better still I like the feeling exhim contemplate the vast city and its pressed in the following lines of one of inhabitants, under every view-physical, my living countrywomen, conveying the moral, and picturesque. Let him fre- gentlest, but at the same time, the most quent its marts of trade and its haunts decisive reproof to the spirit of satire,
which is well defined to be the spirit of ral, that “ extremes meet,” it is particufault-finding :
larly so in a mind that has once been led “ They who love on faults to dwell,
to study contrast. This habit renders And tales of dull unkindness tell,
transitions quite natural to a writer, Are like that one, if such there be,
which the reader may be apt to think
violent, until he has this key to the opeWho loves not sun but clouds to see ;
rations of the writer's mind. In the preWho, when he walks in Nature's
sent case, therefore, he thinks it as well bowers, Will choose the weeds and leave the
to give the key beforehand. flowers."
In the next weekly number of “The
Parterre,” with the editor's permission, If, then, in the course of my rambles, I shall commence my rambles by drag. I do not always throw aside the weeds ging the reader with me, “ in spite of as even from weeds some wholesome dis- wind and weather,” or of frost and fog, tilment is sometimes to be made--at to the top of St. Paul's, in order to take least, I promise not to “ leave the flow
a cursory survey of the vast field which No—I promise to gather them, we are proposing to explore. Being no notwithstanding the gravity of the demon, I cannot promise to unroof the foregoing preamble-and all introduc- buildings, as Asmodeus did those of Mations are proverbially stupid affairs,—I drid for the entertainment and edificapromise to gather them with a free and tion of his Spanish friend Don Cleofas, often a sportive hand; for, moralist as although I may venture to hazard, here I may seem disposed to be, I heartily and there, a mere human conjecture as concur in the sentiment expressed in a to what the people are doing within.recent publication, that “philosophy is Being no genius, I shall not exhibit so at best but a meagre skeleton, when animated and picturesque a panorama as unfed and unwarmed by poetry.” Lov- Victor Hugo has shewn us from the ing what I understand to
towers of Notre-Dame. But the writer nuine poetry, I am a lover of strong will do what he can, and the reader “shall but not forced contrast, of rapid but see what he shall see!” natural transition. I am therefore resolved that these metropolitan rambles THE LAST SCENE OF A on paper shall be as unconfined as the MISER'S TRAGEDY. bodily rambles of the writer, who, when he has a specific point to reach, likes a or THE FALSE MEDIUM,” &c. straight, well-trodden road, as well as any
(For the Parterre). man; but who, when recreation is his object, to use the mild expression of a THERE was an old miser of Flanders, gentle friend of his, “ hates, detests, and who carried his passion so far, as to abhors ” a rectilinear, beaten track. deny himself sufficient food for the crav
So that, although, when some object ings of nature. He used to lie in a or some contemplation of absorbing or truss of straw, well bound together with continuous interest presents itself, it will osier thongs; and in the middle of this be dwelt upon at length, but he trusts he made a hole, into which he crept like not lengthily; yet when such shall not be a badger. Time was to him little better the case, the reader must not be surprised than a pause; for his hopes had scarcely should he find himself, by some sudden any progression, his chief purpose in freak of the writer's fancy, plunged head- life now being to take care of what he long from the upper gallery of St. Paul's, had got. His house contained his world; or some other elevated point, “ inundated his bundle of straw was his only luxury. with light and air,” into the damp, close And here in this grub-like state he lay cavern of the Rotherbithe tunnel, with naked all the day; but when the dusk of the Thames and its ships rolling over him, evening came on, he would slowly crawl and threatening him with an inundation from his musty nest, and, huddling on a of a more substantial kind-or haply few ragged clothes, stalk out into the hurried away from a crowded soirée, or fields at bottom of his weed-grown garfrom a full Italian Opera-house, blazing, den, or into the roads and lanes, to see dazzling, jewelled, plumed, and melo- what he could find. Dry leaves to make dious-to some lone, silent, heathy spot, tea with, bits of turf or rotten wood for in a dark, moonless night, where some his seldom-kindled fire, were the chief half-dozen savage figures glare upon you object of these rambles ; and he was once with supernatural aspect, by the red light seen carrying home a dead crow for his of a gipsies' fire. If it be true, in gene- Christmas dinner.
He had been originally a tradesman took his gold, by a piece at a time, to of middling degree, and even these cir- the bottom of his garden, where a long cumstances he was only just able to cave had been constructed many years maintain by the most incessant attention ago, in the time of warfare, and depoboth early and late. Yet somehow it sited it in a large earthen jar. When the happened, that beyond this he could jar was at length full, he stood gazing at never rise, though he pursued the same. it immoveably several hours; then, with course upwards of fifty years. Perhaps a heavy heart and inward groans, he buthis was occasioned by his whole atten- ried it—as a man would bury all he tion and endeavours being employed loved, and with it all his hopes! This upon the minutest points of gain, so done, he felt death coming fast upon that when any great opportunity, or one him, and closing the trap-door of the beyond his ordinary habit of mind, oc- cave, and casting earth over it, he crawlcurred, he either let it slip unobserved, ed back to his room, and got into his by never raising his eyes from the dust, truss of straw to await his last moment, or else stood wavering between astonish- and be buried also. ment and fear, till fortune had flown her Thrice he extended his long fleshless kite over his head.
arm over the floor, with a bit of chalk in At length a change occurred in the his bony fingers, as though to write a current of trade, whereby, without the few words to his son; and as often withnecessity of making any venture, his drew it. After a pause he dropped it, profits began rapidly to increase. This and broke into the following solilovery circumstance, instead of giving him quy:a real sense of pleasure, only served to
No-let him work for his own redouble his avarice and his cares. He gold—he shall not know of mine! With grew silent, absorbed, distrustful, and unceasing pain and care, and by slow meanly suspicious of every body around gradations, did I acquire it ; and shall him; from that moment, becoming also it be dispersed away with ease and pleaso penurious in his domestic habits, that sure, and rapid as a summer shower ? his son was obliged to quit the house, He would not endure the privations and travel to France, in order to engage which I, though less able by reason of in some business apart from him. my years, did most constantly sustain;
The old man continued the same and he left me to contend alone against course till he grew so infirm, as to be the trading and pacious world, to purunable to give the requisite attention; sue his private interest in another coun: and being too distrustful quietly to suffer try. Be it so: if he is industrious, he any one else to manage his affairs, would may do well; if the opposite, he shall have died in the alternation of the two not come here to play the spendthrift agonizing endeavours, when a relative with my groans. Has not my thrift chancing to leave him a small house near been close attended with pangs of body Ghent, he disposed of his business ad- and mind ? Have I not denied sleep to vantageously, and repaired thither forth- my age~warmth to my infirmity—mewith.
dicine to my ailments—and have I not He sold the furniture, and he sold the continually endured the slow and gnawfixtures; he sold the fruit trees, and he ing pangs of hunger ? Ay, ay, beyond sold the garden tools; he sold the yard words—they can convey no tangible idea dog, with his kennel, collar, chain, and of it; and if they did, it would be bewater-pan. The house he could not sell, yond belief. No matter--it suffices for because it was to go to his son after his my conscience.decease; but he did what he could with " Yet wherefore this extreme endurit : he sold his chance of the house in ance?' say the world; "was it not thine case his son happened to die first; and own will? Then no compassion can be for this he got something.
given; more especially as it was without All these preliminaries of desolation purpose or rational end, since you now being settled, he installed himself in die without making any use of that the innermost apartment of the house, which has cost you such extremities to and let every thing fall to ruin about acquire.'— True; and if men never fell him.
into any engrossing passion without first Having stalked about several years in finding reasonable grounds for it, then the miserable way of life described above, do I deserve to be lemned as an exhe at length became conscious that his ception. Let philosophers shew that the worn-out frame must shortly give way to cravings of avarice, and the hoarding up Cold age and constant privations. So he of wealth, is mistaking the means for
THE WAR OF THE PINS.
the end. I admit it. But does this either above reason, or else the highest apply to me alone? Is it not compara- degree of it), convinces us the more tively universal? Is ambition-hope- strongly, by beholding a true picture of or love, ever satisfied or happy? Is glory evil or pure selfishness, that nothing is -rank-power, ever satisfied or happy? really good for us which does not in Is malice satisfied ?
some way conduce to the good of anmorse-despair? Death alone sets a other.
R. H. H. limit to real passion. But if all this reasoning be no better than the sophis
MISCELLANIES. try of self-love, and that I have indeed mistaken the right end of life's efforts, which others find, then have I discovered In the anecdote which Bourrienne the error too late. Man's will, long im- tells us of the conception of Marengo, plicated in any cause, cannot return and there is felicity of combination as well face wisdom with a humble bow. My as felicity of execution. This is the last page is now being scanned by the story which Bourrienne calls the guerre rapid moments !-I am upon the edge des epingles : the picture is admirable. of time!-the abyss of thought and con- “ The 17th of March, in a moment of fused imaginings are before me-all this gaiety and humour, he (Buonaparte) stage and scene are fast vanishing into told me to unrol the great map of Italy, nought! My only object of life is bu- by Chauchard. He stretched himself ried; I care no longer for myself. Men upon it, and made me put myself by his will execrate my memory according to side. He then, with great seriousness, their own poverty.
Let them. A began to prick here and there numerous wretch—a rag—a starved dog-a creep- pins, with heads of black and red sealing thing-a miser !—No matter. Let ing wax. I observed him in silence, my son come to my house and say, like and waited the result of his inoffensive an ogre, Where is his gold?' He shall campaign. When he had finished but find the tools that worked for it- placing the enemy's troops, and arranged my bones! Let all posterity, or any his own in the positions in which he pinch of human dust, rail at my life, and hoped to lead them, he said to me, ' Now, at this last act; I would say to them where do you think I intend to beat Mefrom my grave, if wretchedness has been las ?' (the Austrian general). • The my means of gain, it was my choice and devil take me,' said I, if I understand my sufferance—which injured no one. any thing about it.'
You are an ass,' If my gain was no real end or enjoyed said Buonaparte, look here a little. Meobject to me, the grieved or care-worn las is at Alexandria, his head-quarters; getter,—why should it be to you, the mere he will remain there till Genoa surrenopen-mouthed? If desolation has been ders. At Alexandria, he has magazines, my companion, I so willed it; if starva- his hospitals, his artillery, his reserves. tion has been my day-fiend and my long Passing the Alps here (pointing out the night's vulture, I bore it for my passion; great St. Bernard), I fall upon Melasand, therefore, have I hidden my gold, I cut off his communications with Ausfor ye shall not riot with my life's tria, and I meet him here in the plains misery !”
of Scrivia,' (placing a red-headed pin at So saying, the miser sank down into San Juliano) Observing that I conhis straw, and, after a few gasps, died sidered this manœuvre of pins as a paswithout a struggle. His demise being time, he commenced his round of little discovered in a few weeks, he was buried abusive apostrophes (such as nais, nigand, at the expense of the parish.
béte, imbecile, &c. &c.) which were with It is shewn in the above soliloquy how him nothing but a kind of affectionate be justified his conduct to himself. As familiarity, and then set to work again he was all-enduring and entire in his with his pins. We rose from the map devotedness to his passion, however mean after about a quarter of an hour-I a one it was, we have not, after the rolled it up, and thought no more of the fashion of modern novelists, compro
But when, four months after, mised him in his last moments to a con- I found myself at San Juliano, with his ventional moral. The real moral, in all portfolio and his dispatches, which I was cases of misdirected passion, must be obliged to gather up in the confusion of looked for in the most generous and dis- the day; and when, the same evening, interested feelings of our unbiassed na- at Torre-di-Galifolio, which is but a ture, which, with that sense of benevo- league thence, I wrote, under his dictalence implanted in the heart (a thing tion, the bulletin of the battle-1 frankly