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coercive kind: but we apprehend no country has been more attentive to provide for the security of life and property than our own: the laws may sometimes be negligently executed ; and all just laws will allow of self-defence : but to say, as in the above account, that the striker would have had no reason to fear a prosecution had the man been killed, is a mistake, which a little observation of what passes among us will sufficiently expose *.
However defective our police may be, this Author, himself, foon afterward observes, that London is the only great city in Europe where neither murders nor assassinations happen :-destirute, he adds, of troops, guards, and a patrole of any fort, peopled by unarmed men (for few wear swords except physicians, and officers when they are in their regimentals) reduced in the night to the superintendancy of old men without arms, it is guarded only by the divine commandment, non occides, thou fhalt not kill, and by laws enacted against murder, severe and rigidly observed, without diftinction of rank or persons, whether it be that the law has had some infuence upon the character of the people, or that the national cha: racter facilitates the observance of the law.'
We will here insert another passage connected with the above account, which is very and we hope jutly favourable to the English.
• Even in the most violent disturbances, fays our Author, when I was in the midst of the mob, I have seen them threaten weakly, plunder some houses obnoxious to them, throw a few stones, and, Though surrounded by troops, remain in a kind of awe, as well as the foldiers, through mutual fear of the effusion of blood.
In a word, the people of London, though haughty and ungovernable, are in themselves good-natured and humane: this holds even amongit those of the lowest rank. This appears from the great care which they take to prevent the frays almolt unavoidable, amidit the eternal pairing and repassing of carriages in the most frequented ftreets, some of which are exceeding narrow, lf, notwithitanding the great care of the coachmen and carmen to avoid them, there arises fome confusion and perplexity, their readiness to turn aside, to retire, to open, to lend each other a hand, if there be occasion, prevents this confusion from degenerating into one of those bloody frays which so often happen at Paris. Let us even add, to the honour of English coachmen, that I have seen four hundred coaches together at Ranelagh, which placed themfelves in a file, pafled each other, and were always ready at the firit word, without either guards or directors to keep them to order.
• At public festivals, and all ceremonies which attract a crowd, let it be ever so great, children, and persons low in nature, are seen to meet with tender treatment; all are eager to make room for
Postibly the Author only meant to fay that the gentleman would have had nothing to fear from a prosecution, had the man died of the blow; if so, we have only his translator to blame; but we have not Mr. Grofley's original at hand to confult,
them, and even to lift sher. up in their arms, that they may have an opportunity of feing. The paffages and doors of the lace where the festival is celebrated are guarded by persons, who have no guns, paruifans, or halberts for their arms, but long hollow staves, which, when they make use of them, a case that happens very rarely, make a great noise, and do but little hurt.'
But after honestly paying this tribute to English humanity, he elsewhere enlarges upon the rudeness and incivility in the behaviour of the lower people towards foreigners, especially to the French, from which, he says, even the better fort of Londoners are not exempt. The porters, failors, chairmen, and the dav-labourers who work in the streets, he describes to be as insolent a rabble as can be met with in countries without law or police. He relates several occurrences of this kind, and observes that the English themselves are not secure from the infolence of the London mob. We wish we could entirely defend the lower classes of our countrymen from the charge, which is here, and has been frequently on other occasions, brought against them. However, we must say in their behalf, that, though rough, they are commonly honest in their intentions ; and while they depise what is cringing and servile, we generally find them dispo ed to do a good-natured action, even when first appearances are very unpromising. Some there are, no doubt, among our common people, both in town and coun. try, of an insensible and brutal difpofition, in whose defence nothing can be offered ; but it would be unjust, from a few such instances, to characterize the whole. The London rabble may sometimes divert themselves very improperly in remarking upon persons or things, while they intend nothing that is really injurious to any one. We often see foreigners walking in our streets without receiving the least incivility, and even without attracting any particular notice, notwithstanding any peculiar fashion of their dress : yet we think it not unlikely that frangers, unacquainted with our language and manners, may have imagined themselves the subjects of ridicule and diversion to some of our English mobility, who, nevertheless, have intended nothing of the kind; and poflibly by fome improper tokens of resentment such foreigners may have exposed themfelves to the very insults they wished to avoid. When M. de la Condamine traversed the itreets of London with a great tin tube at his ear, and an unfolded map of the city in his hand, paufing at every turning, and gazing at every new object, it is not very wonderful if curiolity and impertinence should draw Some idle people about him (which might, perhaps, as naturally be the case at Paris, or any other city): but as the fight became more familiar, he walked about, Mr. Grolley confesses, without any interruption. N 3
But however offended Mons. Grosley might be, by the beha viour of the very lowest of the people, he freely acknowledges the different and more pleasing manners which he observed among those of superior rank. The politeness, the civility, and the officiousness, he says, of people of good breeding, whom we meet in the streets, as well as the obliging readiness of the citizens and shopkeepers, even of the inferior fort, sufficiently indemnify and console us for the insolence of the mob, as I have often experienced.' He relates 'many agreeable instances of this kind which occurred to him during his stay in London: among other things he observes, that at any public places those who did not understand his language were eager to look for somebody that did. And here he gives us a proof how çasily strangers in any country might mistake for incivility or Tudeness what is indeed a testimony of respect : « It must, says he, be observed, that this obliging behaviour is not accompanied with all those external demonstrations of civility, which are customary upon such occasions in France. If an Englishman, who did not understand me, went in quest of an interpreter, he rose, and quitted me with an air, which seemed rather to be that of a whimsical humourist, than of a gentleman going to do a polite action: and I saw no more of him.! In another place he remarks that, many particulars connected with the English manners and customs might be mistaken for. the effects of rudeness and animosity though they are quite foreign to it, however observers may be imposed upon by first appearances. • Of this nature, he adds, was the abrupt manner, in which people rose and quitted me, to seek for a person that spoke French : this was the heighth of politeness; but before I became used to it, I considered it only as an instance of surliness and ill-humour, arising from the antipathy between the two nations.'
Mr. Grösley does not appear to have greatly relished the provisions for the table in England. The bread he acknowledges is very good, and very fine. He had heard much of the excellence of the meat in England; but after having used it, he says, in all the different shapes in which it is served up to tables, he could find in it neither the consistence, the juice, nor the exquisiteness of that of France. Our fowls, we are told, are foft and flabby; the veal has all the imperfections of fefh not complcatly formed; the mutton has nothing to recommend it but its fat, which is so much the more disgusting, as the butchers do not take off the tallow * ; and the beef is a Jess compact fleth, and more easily divided than that of
• This is a mistake. The butchers never refuse to take off the tallows, and fuperfluous far, when required,
France, and of consequence more easily chewed and digested; and it is only by that circumstance, and its excessive fatness, be adds, that it could deceive those Frenchmen who prefer it to that of their own country. He was foon reconciled, it is said, to the use of milk, beer, and tea, but could never accustom himself to the wine of London. Our garden-stuff, he thinks, not much better than other commodities : « All that grow about London being impregnated with the smoke of seacoal, which fills the atmosphere of that town, have a very diragreeable taste. I ate nothing good of this sort, he says; in London, but some asparagus, which doubtless * grew at a good distance from the capital. It is farther to be remarked, that the constant mildness of the climate of England supersedes most of those precautions which the French gardeners are obliged to observe. They low almost every thing in unprepared ground, more or less covered with rich mould. I saw no hot-beds, except at the country. seats of gentlemen, whose gardens are kept in the most elegant manner.'
The English reader will make allowance for the different taste as to food and vegetables which prevails in different climates and countries, but he will find it difficult to acquit this Writer of prejudice in the above account as well as others, and will certainly charge him with a great mistake in his intimation that there are no hot beds used in England, except in gentlemen's gardens : a mistake like that which led him to aver that English paviours make but little use of the rammer; that the ftatue of Queen Anne, in St. Paul's church-yard represents her in a hoop petticoat; and that Mr. Pope has no monument in Westminster-abbey because he was a Papist.
We may not improperly insert here, as a farther specimen of his too hasty conclusions concerning the temper and manners of the inhabitants of this country, the following paragraph :
"Every Englishman almost, whether artisan, merchant, or fars mer, that has raised a fortune by his induitry, or lives upon his paternal estate, takes a pride in dying rich, in having a pompous
• If Monf. G did not know that the asparagus grew at a confiderable distance from the metropolis, the word doubtless is here but of very doubtful import; since the London markets are supplied with great quantities of that vegetable from the fame neighbouring grounds which produce the other kinds of smoaky garden stuff, of which our Author so much complains. We imagine that Mons. Grosley's palate may be rather nicer than ordinary, as we have never observed thai his countrymen, or other foreigners, are apt to lose their appetites on their coming to England; but, on the contrary, that they can make a tolerable shift to dine among us, notwithstar.c. ing our fowls are so fiabby, our mutton is so fat, and our vegetables, have to disagreeable a taste.'
funeral, and in making a will, which, by the extraordinary manner of bequeathing his fortune, may spread far and wide, in the public papers, the fame of his opulence: this is their way of enjoying it. During my stay in England, the whole kingdom rung with the report of a legacy of a very considerable amount, left to Mr. Pitt, by a country gentleman, Sir Robert Piosent, who, though no way related to that minister, gave this mark of regard for his political abilities.'
How ridiculous is this ! To infer that, because Sir Robert Pinsent's legacy to Mr. Pitt, which was attended with several remarkable circumstances, was much talked of in England, it is the general turn of its inhabitants to bequeath their fortunes if they have any, in such a manner as may spread far and wide the fame of their opulence !
Monf. Grolley employs some pages in accounting for the prejudice which he conceives the English generally entertain, to the disadvantage of the French. Some visionary people, says he, maintain, that this antipathy runs in the blood of the English : Littora littoribus contraria, fluctibus undas; but it is. easy to discover other causes of it, which, though they do not justify, render it, in some measure, supportable to the French.? The principal causes which this Author alligns are, the obstic, nate wars which have been maintained between the two nations, religious disputes, together with the persecutions to which they have given rise, and the refuge which French bankrupts, criminals, and contumacious persons Aying from punishment in their native country, have found in England : beside which he imagines that a crowd of French sharpers and adventurers have helped to compleat the disgust; the English having, from such fpecimens, been disposed to form their judgment of the nation in general: to these reasons he adds iwo others ; viz. the ridicule of the French which our dramatic authors' sometimes infert in their performances, and the several public monuments intended to perpetuate the memory of our victories over that people. ? The ancients, says this Writer, notwithstanding all their pride and haughtiness, thought and acted very differently in this respect: such was their regard to humanity, that the trophies of their victories were only transient monuments ; it was not till the civil wars that they used marble and , brass in them. England abounds with monuments of the latter fort.' Mons. Grosley seems to complain of the English in this respect; but it is to be considered that these monuments are erected, not so much to disgrace his nation, as with a view to honour our own : it is natural for all countries to establish some memorials of great and important events, and to raise trophies in honour of commanders who have signalized themselves in, particular engagements and expeditions. Our Traveller says