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the saving of the nation. Now, in this branch of the Appeal he seems to us to deal largely in vague generalities, assumption and assertion, and above all in a sort of rudderless speculation. He shows, at any rate, that it is much easier to utter strong words about what ought to be, than to point out how the desirable or the absolutely needful can be brought to pass. The speculator ought to deal with mankind as he finds them, and as they have ever proved themselves to be, before we can place much reliance upon his dreams of what is possible or of the way in which alone it is to be realised. For example, he has his notions with regard to the popular errors of the day ; concerning education; the subdivision of parishes for more effec. tual pastoral superintendence; the direction and the extent to which Parliament should exert its arm; and many other points which, even admitting they were happily chosen and soundly contemplated, require to be developed in a clearer and more forcible manner than is here done.
It is also very well to describe what the dignitaries of the Church should be, and what the clergy should do; and much ardent counsel may be addressed to magistrates, to members of the learned professions, and to womankind about the nature of their incumbent duties, and the great scope for their activity. Accordingly our author is as usual very unmeasured in these parts of his appeal, without appearing to have much idea of practicability or of promise. Still, we are far from thinking that his book is not calculated to work some immediate good, were it but by its indignant denunciations and heated descriptions-arresting the attention of a portion of the influential classes addressed; although, we believe that exaggeration in most cases, when a man assumes the office of a lecturer and expounder defeats its purpose and weakens the general effect. We quote one of the most striking and alarming passages of the work:
So far, the removable causes of fatal disease are external to the habitations of the poor : we must now look into their dwellings. These, of course, vary in different places, but generally they may be said to consist of tenements two or three stories high: the first, or keeping room, opening into the street, with a bed-room over it, and another above that. Sometimes the houses are double; and sometimes they rise to a greater height; but in most cases, where the nature of the soil will admit of it, they have a cellar, unconnected with the interior of the house, entered from the street, by a flight of steps-which also affords the only mode of ingress for light and air --rented out, either by the landlord or the occupier, of the dwelling, to some family, a grade lower in destitution. From this abode of misery there constantly arises a steam of exhalations--of coal and tobacco-smoke, the fumes of spirituous liquor, and every description of animal effluvia. Very rarely are these dens paved; the ground in its natural state is their floor; and soaking up innumerable liquids thrown upon it, sends them back in fætid damps to saturate the bedding, hang upon the walls, and slowly strug
gle out at the narrow opening which, at night, necessarily encloses, as in & box, the heterogeneous contents of the cellar; including fever and asthma; consumption, measles, and small pox; the lying-in woman and the drunken man, just as chance may order the assemblage for the night. These cellars are mostly always open to temporary lodgers, the price demanded varying from twopence a night to fourpence; and it is a common thing to find as many as twelve or fourteen human beings, generally strangers to each other, stowed in three or four wretched beds, or on trusses of straw; and not unfrequently a corpse among them. The rooms above certainly enjoy an advantage in point of ventilation, such as it is ; but they receive, as well through the broken flooring as by the door and window, a full share of all that ascends from the subterranean apartment. The intense heat engendered by the crowding together of so many human beings, together with the process of cooking for them, as in summer it tends to produce the worst kind of fevers, so in winter it renders the abrupt transition of the half-clad lodgers, from such a temperature into the cold rain or biting frost of the streets, the prolific source of ague, of rheumatic affections, and consumption. Be it also remembered, that it is no matter of choice to the wayfaring man, whether he will take up his temporary abode in such pest houses; or if there be an alternative, it lies between this and the open air, where he would be seized as a vagrant; for it is made penal to prefer the clear vault of heaven to the low ceiling of a crowded cellar. The poor wretch who has not the means of paying for better accommodation, must avail himself of this; and very often, amongst the most necessitous of all poor, the Irish, a shelter so gratuitously afforded him who has not wherewith to pay. The penniless stranger, who would not be permitted to rest for a moment on the step of a rich man's door, is received by those whose daily bread depends on what they can get for their wretched accommodations, invited to share the scanty meal, and to repose, rent-free, in the corner that a more profitable tenant might otherwise occupy. Munificence like this is frequently practised, in the dreariest dens of misery: and often does the poor traveller communicate to, or bear away from the hospitable cellar, the seeds of some contagious disease, to ravage many a home ere its deadly progress be stayed.
We saw the Asiatic Cholera introduced into a healthy rural district, through the gratuitous harbouring, in a very humble cottage, by some of his own country. people, of a poor creature who had slept the preceding night in an infected cellar. He died in a few hours, and the neighbourhood lay for some weeks under the visitation, with great loss of life.
Another constant generator of disease in the houses of the labouring poor is their bedding. Anything better than a straw palliasse is rarely met with, and this is a luxury. Loose straw, damp, mouldy, decomposed, and swarming with vermin, is the general substitute for a bed, with very rarely a blanket to hold it together; for blankets are convertible into money, and many wants more urgent than that of a warm covering at night press for its sacrifice. It has been ascertained that multitudes make the ground their bed, with nothing under them or over them except the clothing worn throughout the day, which is not laid aside at night. We are no levellers; we would guard with jealous care the distinction of ranks that God has evidently established : we would not take from the man of property his lands,
tenements, or possessions of any kind; but we must say, that after dwelling for a while on this faint picture of realities that wa have often contemplated in the centre of London, and in many towns and villages of the land, we regard as somewhat worse than mere wanton luxuries, the down beds, the damask hangings, the gilded cornices, the sparkling lustres, the costly services, and jewelled apparel of another class. The impartial eye of God looks down on both : at the same moment lie open before Himthe crowded saloon of the noble, the luxurious board of the wealthy citizen, the expensive elegancies of more retired life,-and the loathsome dens where unchecked vice riots in all the grossness, unalleviated disease gnaws the gaunt frame of poverty, and starvation itself looks out from the straining eyeballs of those who, either on a happy or a horrible equality, must be throughout eternity the companions of their now unapproachable brethren. He sees it all!
Unquestionably the appalling description now quoted is accurate as respects multitudes of localities and dwellings throughout the land; and very probably to a much greater extent in regard to prevalence and individual virulence than our author has been able to paint. And yet, we think, that an exaggerating spirit pervades part of the colouring; while we are firmly convinced, a falseness enters into the doctrine put forth in the last sentences of the extract. Surely it would be easy to show that were the wealthy utterly shorn and denuded of their luxuries to-morrow,--were they denied the liberty of expending money on downy beds and gilded cornices, not merely would the infringement involve and introduce a principle entirely at variance with many of the most valued priveleges of the poor as well as the rich, but would inevitably abridge the labouring man's resources, and his too often already limited comforts. It is a vulgar as well as a narrow notion to think, were all the trappings and luxrious adornments of rank brought to the hammer to day, the gold and silver plate distributed amongst the poor, that the donation would be of service for more than the shortest assignable period, if not in many cases positively pernicious,-not to speak of the prostration of all enterprise, the cutting off of innumerable branches of mechanical and manual labour, which would accompany the annihilation and permanent restriction referred to. It were indeed well that the lavish tastes and transactions of the aristocracy were confined to the luxuries mentioned by our author, and that countenance were lent not to more questionable and ruinous expenditure; for then many a halfstarving and virtuous being, many a man of honest and industrious principle that is at this moment not only needy, but disgusted with the heartlessness of the rich, and wronged by their profligacy, would have his hand full of work, and his hearth warm and clean.
We must cite one other passage which is illustrative of the author's unguardedness of statement; for the management of Drury Lane, at least, has not under Mr. Macready presented the features described ; neither is it true that these features are peculiar to the age,
or nearly so offensive as they were wont in what our author perhaps would pronounce to be the good old times :
Another of the most frightful features of the age, one that cannot be palliated by any species of sophistry when taken in connexion, we will not say with the profession of national Christianity, but, with an ordinary regard to such public morality as heathens may be expected to enforce, is the system now prevaling at the theatres.
In vain has the scene of depravity been repeatedly wrapped in consuming flames, and the whole fabric reduced to a heap of smoking ruins: still have we beheld the temple of obscenity again rearing its head, with extended facilities for guilt, and an outlay of increased amount ventured on to render the wages of shame more indispensable towards its reimbursement. If a moral man, ignorant as some men really are, of these practices in the bosom of refined English society, were to hear the thing described, in connexion with some heathen people in the uttermost parts of the earth, he would call for' missionaries to proceed thither and enlighten the wretched inhabitants, by supplying them with the purifying knowledge of Christianity. But tell him that the place is London, the responsible parties gentlemen who perhaps roll by in their carriages to share the hospitality of some nobleman high in place; that the chief agents are those haggard girls, not yet adorned for the decoy, who sicken him as they cross his path; and their intended paramours the young men, ay, and the old men too, who now pass them heedlessly or scornfully by—the father with the son, the husband with the brothers of those virtuous females who either do not know, or will not consider to what they expose their male companions, when encouraging them to venture within the poisoned atmosphere of the theatre-tell him all this, what must be his dismay!
“In vain has the scene of depravity been repeatedly wrapped in consuming flames :" but we forbear, having shown and said enough to mark how and where the author's zeal gets the mastery of sound judgment, and his fierce piety perverts philosophy and fact. Not that we would have people avert their gaze from the miseries which congregate and the wrath that exasperates to the most imminent peril of the nation. These evils have reached far beyond the point at which party politics can safely be played with, paltry measures be found sufficient to stem the current, or mere expediency be able to confront the whirlwind fury of necessity. The whole empire is beset with an unprecedented complexity and bitterness of misery and malady. We might refer to the ecclesiastical disruption in Scotland as grimly threatening to the Church establishment in that country, and as perhaps big with events in the social and political condition; or we might find in the theological dissensions on the southern side of the Tweed, matter for dreadful prediction. The Repeal question in Ireland, both from the combined front presented and the excitability of the people takes the attitude of a still nearer struggle ; where the victory, on whatever side it may take place, cannot in imagination be contemplated with other than shuddering emotion. But may there not be more awful signs in the horizon
produced by causes in a still more vital quarter than either of England's sisters can furnish; for do not the commerce, the industrial interests, the revenue of the great arm of the British Union, the poverty, pauperism, destitution, and scowls of the people announce that these things have reached so approximately to a climax that the wisest amongst us cannot foresee how soon the entire fabric of the state may be made to totter, or how surely anarchy may be the only term applicable to the rule that will bear sway. The author of the Perils of the Nation may not be qualified to name the remedies to be applied; nor may his representations of evils and dangers be the most sensible or sober. Nevertheless inasmuch as he often pictures these things with startling effect, and points to the principles and practice of Christianity as the only lasting source of hope, we must welcome the book as a well-timed appeal to the nation's fears and interests, trusting that it will not be resultless of good.
ART. XIII.- The Rhone, the Darro, the Gaudalquivir; a Summer
Ramble in 1842. By Mrs. Romer. 2 vols. Bentley. Mrs. Romer started from Paris, and took for her principal halting places, Avignon, Arles, and Marseilles, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Granada, Cadiz, and Seville. Much of the ground trodden by the clever writer, who is evidently quite sensible too of her clevei ne s, has been oft beaten, and when we mention that she also stopped at Fontainbleau, at Vauclause, and other spots not less noted, -all of which have the bestowment of a considerable amount of description and not less of sentiment of a smart character, -being consequently as instructive as it is amusing,—our readers will require little more at our hands than a snatch here and there, in order to afford them a competent notion of her quality, and to supply them with a few of her pictures and pertnient remarks. We should mention when giving an outline of her ramble that it embraced a sail up the coast past Alicant and Carthagena; and short visits to Gibraltar, Tetuan, and Malta. It is besides proper to state that her observations relative to institutions and other public matters are sometimes valuable; and also that several of her stories, while they convey capital sketches of character, are strikingly romantic.
The first place at which we halt with Mrs. Romer, is Fontainebleau, that we may obtain a view of the apartment and the table where Napoleon signed his abdication. Her reflection on the pitiful and absurd assertion of the Bourbon is such as every person will be ready to utter ; but the Stuarts did not use expressions, or bear thenselves after the Protectorate, with a particle of more manliness and truth. It appears that the room and the piece of furniture remain exactly as the emperor
left them : VOL. 11. (1813) NO. IN.