Page images

pose of his labour? It will be acknowledged, it is more difficult for the mechanic to adjust his labour to the demand, than it is for the manufacturer to regulate his supply by the state of the market, but this is a distinct consideration : the Framework-knitters' Fund is contrived with a view to obviate this difficulty; it has already done it to a great degree, and nothing but a more general co-operation of the workmen, and of parishes, is wanted to enable them to surmount it 'altogether.' p. 8, 9.

Mr. Cobbett had urgently recommended to the Frameworkknitters to abandon their fund, and to depend upon the poocrates. To this it is forcibly replied :

• If the Framework-knitters' Union is dissolved, it is universally allowed, wages will sink still lower, nor can any limits be assigned, to which they may not descend. Before its formation, nearly half the subsistence of the workmen was drawn from the parishes, or, in other words, from the public. But what more monstrous can be conceived, than a manufacture carried on at the public expense, but not for the public benefit, where all the profits are appropriated to one description of persons, while the public are taxed to an enormous amount to ensable a few individuals to secure to themselves those advantages ? Is there an anomaly in the social system more prodigious than this, or more pregnant with the most alarming consequences? Is it a greater enormity, let me ask, to be compelled to support a numerous hierd of sinecurists, pensioners, and “ eaters of taxes," to use the elegant phraseology of Mr. Cobbett, than to pay half the wages of an extensive manufacture, without deriving from it one farthing of profit, while it wells out a putrid stream of pauperism which overflows the land ? Mr. Cobbett perhaps sees nothing in such a state repugnant to his feelings : in the despair of the poor, and the utter incapacity of the parishes to relieve their wants, he seems to exult, as the infallible prognostic of some great convulsion ; but there are those, and I hope not a few, who will contemplate such a prospect with horror.'

pp. 14, 15.

After baving repelled the various arguments brought forward against the Union from different quarters, the Writer of the present tract turns upon Cobbett himself in the following language, than which we know of nothing more eloquent and impressive in the Philippics or the Catilinarians.

• These, and such like extravagancies, will be quite sufficient to satisfy the reader, that he is a popular declaimer, not a philosopher ; a firebrand, not a luminary. He emits fire and smoke in abundance, like a volcano, but the whole effect is to desolate, not to enlighten. His principal artifice consists in the exhibition of a few specious and bold generalities, which he illustrates and confirms by a few prominent facts, culled for his purpose, without the slightest attempt at that patient induction and inquiry, which alone lead to solid and useful results. Shrewd, intemperate, presumptuous, careless of the truth of his representations, and indifferent to their consequences, provided they make an impression, he is well qualified, it must be confessed, by

his faglig no less than his talents, by his inflammatory style and incendiary spirit, for the office he assumes, to scatter delusion, to.excite insurrection, the Polyphemus of the Mob, “ the one-eyed monarch of the blind.” His strictures, however, on the topic under consideration are pregnant with instruction it was not his design to communicate. Whatever the inhabitants of this County may think of the Framework-knitters' Union, he plainly foresees in the consequences of its failure, the materials of ferocious delight; he sees without the aid of inspiration an inundation of miseries to follow, paupers crowding by thousands to the doors of overseers, parishes dismayed and perplexed, the poor clamouring for bread which cannot be given them, and rushing upon the point of the bayonet to avoid a more cruel and lingering death; the commencement of that tempest, in a word, which he boasts having crossed the Atlantic to witness, which is to shake all that is stable, to prostrate all that is great, and to accumulate a pile for the elevation of future demagogues.

Rome trembled when Cataline rejoiced. Let the friends of peace and order then, let the landed proprietor especially, take warping: they stand upon the brink of a precipice, from which if they suffer themselves to be precipitated, it will be no small aggravation of their calamity to perceive the ease with which it might have been prevented ; together with the contemptible agency, and the flimsy sophistry, which accelerated their overthrow. If it is some consolation to the fallen to have perished by a noble hand, the indignity of being baffled and deluded by the Author of the Political Register, must be more humiliating than words can express.'

pp. 25-27. Though we reluctantly abstain, we can afford room for but - one extract more, in which Mr. Hall avows his undiminished

attachment to the cause which he so eloquently advocated at the commencement of his public life.

• If he should be thought to have treated Mr. Cobbett with too much severity, he wishes it to be clearly understood, that his censure is in no degree founded on the professed attachment of that Writer to the cause of reform. Educated in the principles of Mr. Fox, and in those of the earliest and best days of Mr. Piti, to which advancing years and experience bave increased his attachment, it is impossible he should entertain a doubt that an important reform in our representation, is essentially connected with the freedom, the glory, and the happiness of the British Empire.' p. 29.

On the whole, though we greatly prefer Mr. Hall's theology 8 to his economics, it is not that we like the latter, less, but the by former more: and if he cannot be prevailed ou to gratify, our

wishes by taking a right view of what appear to us his bigher responsibilities, we shall endeavour to be grateful for a humbler dole. Vol. XYI. N.S.

2 B



Art. IX. First Impressions on a Tour upon the Continent, in the

Summer of 1818, through Parts of Italy, Switzerland, the Bora ders of Germany, and a part of French Flanders. By Marianne

Baillie, 8vo. pp. 375. London, 1819. THIS

is, on the whole, a pleasant volume, carrying the reader without fatigue, an agreeable post-chaise tour through Paris, Lyons, Turin, Milan, the Simplon, Geneva, Berne, Nancy, Rheims, Calais, Dover, home. In general, it is written with simplicity and ease, but there is an occasional attempt at vivacity and airiness, which usually misses its object, and excites an extremely uncomfortable sensation in the perusal. Now and then, too, we meet with a lofty and dashing allusion to points of theology, commonly accompanied with a damnatory reference to Calvin and his followers. These obnoxious sectaries will, however, recover from their consternation when we assure them, that the lady has not the smallest knowledge of the subject on wbich she writes so flippantly; and they will probably agree with us io wondering at the ingenuity which could contrive to exhibit among the first impressions of a Continental tour, the signs of a spappish disposition to quarrel with her neighbours on the score of their religious creed. We would fain hope that reflecaltion and right feeling may hereafter dictate to Mrs. Baillie, a language less tinctured with virulence and self-complacency. But, not satisfied with the indulgence of this unaccountable tendency to vituperate Calvinism, she avails herself of a visit made by a friend of hers, the purest and most romantic child

of nature,' to a set of 'ignorant and unsophisticated' mountaineers, blessed with the singular virtues, innocence,' and

customary et ceteras of such people, to make a triumphant ati tack on the doctrine of Original Sin.

« The advocates for the doctrine of original depravity, and who deny that man is rendered vicious chiefly by circumstances, might have been somewhat staggered in this plain tale,' so truly calculated to put them down.'

We are unwilling to say barsh things to a lady, and sball. therefore abstain from treating this delectable sequitur as it deserves; but we shall take leave to intimate, that infidelity, as well as hypocrisy, may have its cant, and that sundry passages in the presept volume may serve to prove, that a sectarian teinper is not confined to the admirers of Calvinism.

The scepery, manners, and costume, on the road from Calais to Paris, are slightly but agreeably described, and the little rencontres between the travellers and interesting or common-place hostesses and filles de chambre, are amusingly sketched. The height of the buildings, the narrowness of the streets, the want

of accommodation for pedestrians, and the villagous' and various congregation of foul smells,' gave Mrs. Baillie a feeling of disgust towards Paris, which all its novelties and exhibitions were insufficient to remove. After a short stay in the Capital, her party quitted it for Lyons. At Saulieu,

· Two very pretty, modest, rustic lasses waited upon us, named Marie and Lodine. "Lodine was a brunette, with an arch, dimpled, comical little face, (round as an apple, and equally glowing) teeth white as snow, and regular as a set of pearls ; but I rather preferred the opposite style of Marie, who was slighter in her person, graver, and whose large dark eyes and penciled brows alone gave lustre and expression to an oval face, and a pale, yet clear and fine-grained skin : those eyes, however, were not so often illuminated by bright flashes of innocent gaiety as those of Lodine, but they made amends by the length and beauty of their soft black lashes. Lodine's admiration was prodigiously excited by my English ear-rings and rings, &c. She took them up one by one to examine, and exclaimed frequently that she had never seen such beautiful things in her life.'.

Mrs. B. and her friends reached Lyons in time to witness the rejoicings on the féte de St. Louis, • which is always celebrated with particular pomp and splendour. It was also the great jubilee of the Lyonnese peruquiers, who went in "procession to high mass, and from thence to an entertainment prepared for them. The jouteurs (or plungers in water) likewise made a - very magnificent appearance. They walked two and two round the town, and after a famous dinner (laid out for them in a lower apartment of our hotel) proceeded to exhibit a sort of aquatic tournament, . in boats upon the river....... The dress of the combatants (among whom were several young boys of eight and five years old) was very handsome and fanciful, entirely composed of white linen, ornamented with knots of dark-blue riband. They had white kid leather shoes, tied with the same colours, caps richly ornamented with gold, and fur. nished with gold tassels. In their hands they carried blue and gold oars, and long poles, and upon their breasts a wooden sort of shield or breast-plate, divided into square compartments, and strapped firmly on like armour....... Against this they pushed with the poles as hard as possible, endeavouring to jostle and overturn their opponents ; the vanquished, falling into the water, save themselves by swimming, while the victors carry off a prize.'

If Mrs. Baillie means that plungers in water,' is the meaning of jouteurs, she is much mistaken ; the word means tilters combatants at a joust or tournament. Some good description occurs of the mountain of Savoy, and ample evidence is given of the admirable arrangements made by Napoleon for the safe and commodious passage of these elevated regions. On Mont Cenis, the party noticed the Hospice occupied by a set of kind and attentive monks.

We passed by the Hospice, originally built by Charlemagne and re-established by Bonaparte, who really put us in mind of the Marquis of Carrabas, in the fairy tale of · Puss in Boots ;' for if we saw any road better than another, any house particularly well caleulated for the relief of travellers, any set of guides whose attendance was unusually convenient and well-ordered, or any striking improvement, in short, of whatever nature, and were induced to inquire, by whom all had been done,' the answer was invariably, Napoleon Napoleon ! Napoleon !

At Turin, Mrs. B. was sadly annoyed by the effluvia of garlic, a universal ingredient in the cookery. In the neighbourhood, she met the king of Sardioia taking his evening ride. He is de scribed as a little thin man, apparently about fifty-five, with a countenance expressive of good nature. The prince and princess of Carignano are spoken of as universally beloved.

While at the Opera, Mr. B., feeling something tickle his forehead, pat up

his hand, and caught hold of a monstrous black spider, at « least four inches in circumference.'

In the journey through Switzerland, the party followed a route which, though well described by Mrs. Baillie, does not offer any other than well-known objects. Some particulars are stated of the singular habits of the idiot artist Mind: he was a Cretin, and did not appear in any respect superior to that miserable race, but in every thing not immediately relating to his art, exhibited every symptom of confirmed imbecility. His apimals, however, are said to be painted with great force and truth. He lived in the midst of a menagerie.of cats, and from his skill in representing that species, has acquired the mock-heroic distihction of le Raffaelle des chats. - A few plates, not remarkable for excellence, accompany the volume.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »