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above the share it would have supposing a state nearer equality.
But then, it may be answered, the question is not about the many, but regards only examples, without considering number. Human plants may be exhibited of extraordinary culture and beauty-beauty that must be seen and admired-and, if so, imitated; and this law of imitation will draw in the many, in process of time, to improvement. Very true, Eusebius; and in a race naturally energetic, this imitation-while, on the whole, it will improve general manners-creates a social vice, affectation-which is vulgarity. The example of our AngloSaxon race is to the point-of wondrous energy, but in no race under the sun is vulgarity so conspicuous. If, then, the condition which forces all the human faculties to exertion be that of civilising tendency, does it follow that it is one of the greatest happiness? The history of the world says manifestly that it is not one of peace, of quietness, of content, of simplicity-alas! shall we say of honesty? For it must be confessed civilisation acts upon the mixed character which every man has, and therefore gives progression both to vice and virtue. Man is only made great by trials; difficulties promote energies. It is the law of preparation for this world and for the next. Long, steep, and arduous is the way to excellence. The verse of Hesiod brings to mind a passage of greater authority. The smooth and broad way, and ever-ready way, is not so good.
“ Τῆς δ' ἀρετῆς ιδρῶτα Σεοὶ προπάριο εν
Καὶ τρηχὸς πρῶτον επην δ' εις ἄκρον ἵκηται
Here we have toil, trouble, and a rough road.
Now for a little entanglement of the subject. Who will sit for this aspirant for all the virtues-for civilisation? I look up to the portrait of the Chinese lady, who first set my thoughts upon this speculation. Surely she never got that placid do-nothing look from any long habit of toil and trouble; she never worked hard. I
confess, Eusebius, as I question her, she does look a little more silly than I thought her. She never went the up-hill rough road. How should she? she was never shod for it; nay, were the truth told-for the painter has judiciously kept it out of sight—she had no proper feet to walk withal. They had been pinched to next to nothing. She never could have danced; would have been a sorry figure in a European ball-room; and in the way she must have stood, would have made but (as Goldsmith calls it) "a mutilated curtsey." It is hard to give up a first idea. I proposed her as an emblem of civilisation—and why not? She does not represent civilisation in its progress-in its work; but in its result its perfection. For look at her, she stands not up with a bold impudence, like Luxury in the "Choice of Hercules," puffed up and enlarged in the fat of pride, and redder and whiter than nature-a painted Jezebel. Quite the reverse. She is most delicately slender; her substance is of the purity of the finest China tea-cup. In fact, she seems to have been set up as the work of a whole nation's toil,--as a sign, a model, of their civilisation. They who imagined such a creature, and set her upon her legs-yet I can hardly say that, considering the feet-must have made many after the same model, or seen many; and exquisite must have been the manners of such a piece of life-porcelain.
Indeed, Eusebius, we have greatly mistaken these people, the Chinese. I will believe their own account of themselves, and that they were a polished people when the ancient Britons went naked, and painted themselves with woad. Besides, here is another picture at hand, clearly showing them to have been, as probably they are still, a sensible people, for they evidently agree with the wisest man who said, "Spare the rod and spoil the child." Here they have pictured a school, and the pedagogue is flogging a boy, and he has a very legitimate rod. If this is not a mark of civilisation-for it certainly leaves one, giving, as it were, a bottomry bond of future wisdom-I should like to know what is. Birch-buds are the smart-money of education, and won
derfully improve the memory without touching the head, but reaching the brain by a harmless and distant sympathy. I am sure the Chinese must be a people well worth studying; and, with all our national conceit, we may learn a good deal from them. If we scatter them about with our artillery, and stick them upon bayonets, and despise them because they are innocent, or have been till recently, in the arts of destruction, who are the most savage the slaughtered or the slaughterers? Are we to call war, civilisation? Perhaps it may be the "rough way" it has to pass. Ask the Czar to answer the question. He will undoubtedly say, that it is cutting the throats of the Turks and filching their property; and he will show you one undoubted proof of the highest civilisation of modern times, consummate hypocrisy committing murder by wholesale in the name of religion.
Shall I advance a seeming paradox? Civilisation is impeded by knowledge -that is, by the modern demand for it. The memory becomes crammed, till there be no room in the brain for legitimate thought to work in. Hence a bewilderment, a confusion of other men's ideas, and none of our own; a general perplexity, and little agreement among people in sentiment, for they have no time left to consider upon their differences. The world is overstocked with the materials of knowledge, and yet there is ever a demand for more. The time of man's best wisdom was when he was not overburthened with books. Happy are scholars that so many of the classics are lost. Were all that have been written extant, the youth that should graduate in honours would be the miracle of a short time, and an idiot the remainder of his life. Then our own literature: it is frightful to see the bulky monthly catalogue of publications. Had I to begin the world, I should throw down the list in de spair, and prefer being a literary fool, with a little common sense. Besides, the aspirant in education must learn all modern languages also. What a quantity! I made a note from a paper published, November 1851. Here is a quotation. A letter from Leipsic says "The catalogue for the book fair of St Michael has been just pub
lished. It results from it that during the short space of time which has elapsed since the fair of Easter last, not fewer than three thousand eight hundred and sixty new books have been published in Germany, and that one thousand one hundred and fifty others are in the press. More than one-half of these works are on scientific subjects." Mercy on the brains of the people!-they will be inevitably addled. What with all this learning and reading, summing and analysing, and making book-shelves of themselves, they are retrograding in natural understanding, which ought to be the strong foundation of civilisation. And there is the necessity growing up of reading all the daily papers beside. Better, Eusebius, that the human plant should grow, like a cucumber, to belly, and run along the common ground, than shoot out such head-seed as is likely to come out of such a hotbed under a surfeit of dry manure. Verily it must shortly come to pass, that Ignoramus will be the wisest if not the knowingest among us. He may have common sense, a few flights of imagination unchoked with the dust of learning, or many wholesome prejudices, a great deal of honest feeling, and with these homespun materials keep his morals and religion pure, and, walking in humbleness, reach unawares the summit of civilisation. If you think him an imaginary being, wed him to the Chinese Purity in the japan frame, and no one will write the epithalamium so happily as my friend Eusebius. I might here have ended my letter, rather expecting to receive a solution to the great question than pretending to offer one. But having written so far, and about to add a concluding sentence, I received a visit from our matter-of-fact friend B., whom people hereabout call the Economist General: he is a professed statist, great in all little things. He is alway at work, volunteering unacceptable advices and schemes to boards of guardians and the Government. I told him I was writing to you, and the subject of my letter, "Then," said he, "I can assist you. The census newly come out is the thing. In that you will learn everything. You will, in fact, find civilisation depicted scientifically. I will send it to you." We conversed an hour;
I promised to read his census return in the course of the day. He smiled strangely, but said nothing. I soon understood what the smile meant, when I saw a labouring man take out of a little cart a huge parcel, which upon opening I found to contain the Census in nineteen volumes or books, varying in shapes and sizes, some of which being very bulky, I judged to contain heavy matter. The idea of reading over and digesting the Census in an afternoon appeared now so ridiculous that I could not refrain from laughing myself. Nineteen books to examine in an afternoon! It was evident there would be six months' toil, and as many hands as Briareus wanted to turn over the leaves; to say nothing of the number of heads to hold the matter. What horsepower engine in the brain to work up a digested process equal to the task! I was, however, being somewhat idle, curious to see what could have made our friend such an enthusiast; I therefore looked into some of the books became interested - read more and more, though in a desultory manner. It is wonderful to see society so daguerreotyped in all its phases. What could have given rise to so much varied ingenuity? What schemes, what contrivances for getting at everything!-the commissioners must have been Titans in ingenuity. Was it the necessity of the case that induced so much elaboration? I have read that the cost of the Census exceeds £120,000. That accounts for it, Eusebius; such a sum is not to be clutched without some inventive powers. Our friend thinks the Census will help to solve the question of civilisation; so pray borrow the volumes of an M.P. If you cannot get at the marrow of the thing you want, you will find much for after speculation. There is something frightful, Eusebius, in the idea that no class of men, no individuals, can henceforth escape the eye of this
Great Inquisitor-General-a Census commission. There is no conceivable thing belonging to man, woman, or child that may not come under the inspection, and be in the books, of this great Gargantuan Busybody. In truth, he was born a gigantic infant in 1801. Hermes, in the Homeric hymn, leaped out of his cradle upon mischievous errands almost as soon as born: so did our big Busybody. Ere he was six months old he took to knocking at people's doors, and running* away. He soon grew bolder, stood to his knock, and asked if Mr Thompson did not live there. Then he had the trick of getting into houses like the boy Jones, and counted the skillets in the scullery, the pap-dishes in the nursery, turned over the beds in the garrets, and booked men and maids who slept in them before they could put their clothes on. With a thirst for domestic knowledge, he insisted upon knowing who were married and who not. He would burst in upon a family at their prayers, and note what religion they were of. He would know every one's age, condition, business, and be very particular as to sex female, why they married or why they lived single; he could tell to a day when any would lie in. The most wonderful thing was the paper case he carried with him wherever he went. It would have made Gargantua himself stare with astonishment, for it is said, upon competent authority, to have weighed "nearly forty tons." This paper case contained particulars noted down of every one's possible concerns. He had another at home, in which he kept circulars for distribution, demanding further information. It was said to be bigger still;+ as he grew robust and bold, of course it took more to feed Busybody. It is almost incredible what a number of the people's loaves he ate up in one year; but that there is the baker's bill to vouch for it, no one would believe it. The quantity of food required for
There was an attempt to enforce returns upon religious and educational statistics, but, in the words of the Report, "It was, however, considered doubtful whether, upon a rigid construction, the Census Act rendered it compulsory upon parties to afford information upon these particulars; and the inquiry was, therefore, pursued as a purely voluntary investigation."-Report, No. 1.
"The weight of the schedules, blank enumeration-books, and other forms despatched from the Central Office, exceeded fifty-two tons."-Report, No. 1.
himself and his numerous retainers has already made him look about with some anxiety to foist upon the country a scheme for sure agricultural statistics, to ascertain the number of loaves to the acre. It cannot be said of him, as of many, that his eye is bigger than his belly, for the former cannot as yet see "bread-stuffs enough to fill the latter. Besides, he has quite an army to maintain of officials, enumerators, and registrars, who all, after the manner of benchers, must eat their way into the universal knowledge required of them. Such is Busybody. In my afternoon nap, I have dreamed of him, Eusebius, and offer you this description of him-his birth, life, habits, and manners—as by a dreaming intuition I received them. What think you of the monster? As perilous a beast as the Wooden Horse of Troy.
"Inspectura domos, venturaque desuper urbi." It would not be surprising if Irish mothers, when they find that all their babes are registered, age and sex noted down, were to take into their heads that they are to be fattened; and Swift's scheme, which a popular author has unwisely characterised as serious cannibalism, is at length to be realised, and thus Bigmouth of the old fair and puppet-show will appear as BusybodyGeneral. Perhaps the "King of the Cannibal Islands," since we have taught him to read and write, will avail himself of this new registration system; for with him all is alike meat in the market. I have been reading an account of such a people's doings, and find the only difference between human and other is, that the former is sold as "long pig," the other short pig.
I mentioned the ingenuity displayed in the Census-turn to the maps and diagrams. You will see a map of England and Wales, shaded so that the depth of colour shall denote the density of the population: there are figures also to tell the number of persons to a square mile, and towns and cities are represented by round dots, larger or smaller, according to the number of inhabitants. It is a very curious and pretty plaything; but of what imaginable use? It is like the shadowing on the maps of the moon. London looks awful-a horrible black
pit-and must give children, who will be delighted with the plaything, a notion that our great metropolis must be a sink of iniquity. Cobbett's notion of the "great wen" was by no means agreeable; to make it such a black pit of destruction is far less flattering. There are diagrams also showing, by the closeness of dots, the density of population at various periods. It was certainly a very ingenious contrivance of the inventor, for the enlargement and continuance of his work and employment; in a matter, too, where, at first view, so little was required to be done. If not more profitable, it at least provides as much amusement as Diogenes afforded when he rolled his tub about, to show that he must be busy. The inventor was, however, wiser than the philosopher; for the philosopher aimed at satire only, the inventor of the maps and diagrams at pay and profit. Everything should nowadays be turned into the channel of education; it might be suggested to the educational purveyors, and to masters and inspectors of schools, who stand a chance of wanting something to teach, to have these maps and diagrams printed cheaply on thick or board paper, that, even in their recreation hours, the scholars may learn something, and the favourite " game of goose," of ominous name, be profitably superseded. The two diagrams of London, the one for the year 1801, the other 1851, may serve quite as well as the "Chinese puzzle" to exercise growing or dull memories, having a like advantage of not burthening the mind, already too full, with any useful knowledge whatever. For instance, it will be quite sport to learn by heart that, as to density of London in 1801, on an average, there were nearly 394 square yards of land to every person, 2784 square yards to every inhabited house." As to proximity in 1801, that, on an average, the mean distance from house to house (inhabited) was nearly 57 yards; from person to person 21 yards." That, as to density in 1851, on an average, there were nearly 160 square yards of land to every person; 1234 square yards to every inhabited house." As to proximity, that in 1851, "on an average, the mean distance from house to house
(inhabited) was nearly 38 yards; from person to person 14 yards." So that every person is approaching his neighbour in person, but not probably in love or liking, so rapidly, as that he has already seven yards of the area of his liberty taken from him since 1801. It will be comfortably and philosophically answered, that most of those who enjoyed that liberty in 1801, more than half a century ago, cannot complain, for they are now silent, and in less space, that of six feet by four; and that the present generation easily accommodate themselves in less space, having the better liberty of making more noise. These are the trifles, the games, and the plays that amuse children six feet high. Let them by all means roll about their tub in the streets, if they will remain contented with their sport and their wages. They have, however, we may both of us surmise and fear, done far less innocent work. It is not pleasant to know that the pure, chaste secresy of your house has been invaded, taken possession of, and is no longer exclusively yours; that you are in name or in number, as No. 1 or No. 2, put away in a pigeon-hole somewhere in that black pit you have seen in the map, to be drawn out, one of these days, at the will of any impertinent official, and further questioned, perhaps, as the phrase is, squeezed, when anything is to be got out of you. You may have a commission sent down to your house, and take possession of it, for some scrutiny or other, while you are taking your morning walk; on your return, you will find two or three commissioners have coolly taken your joint off the spit, and are politely drinking your health out of your choicest sherry; and as an excuse of extraordinary business, question you about the age and property of your great-grandmother deceased. How do you or I know what use will be made of all these registered particulars about us? It would be far pleasanter to be let alone. I have an antipathy to curious questioning people. Dr Franklin, when he came to a strange place, knowing the inquisitive disposition of the people, used to say at once, "My name is Benjamin Franklin; I come from such a place, and am going to such a place;
age so and so, and on such business and now let me have out a horse." I should for one like to compound with this scrutinising government, on condition of exemption from place in their books, to put out weekly posted to my door the names, ages, and sex of every inmate, with a diary of their employments the six days; requesting not to be called to account for my time on the hallowed seventh. There is no chance of such a composition being accepted on their part; for you will see, Eusebius, there is nothing they are so busy about as to know what religion you are of. There is a separate book for this very purpose; nay, they go farther they have superseded all known authorities in these matters, and have dictated what shall be your creed, giving you only a latitude of "Churches"-such they call every denomination in their Report presented to Parliament, and her Majesty, who as yet happily has recognised but one Church of England, in which matter the Report is undoubtedly at variance with the fundamental law of the Constitution, and passes a kind of insulting suggestion upon her Majesty's highest prerogative, her very crown and dignity. This is a matter for other consideration; the religious Report must be examined; I only see at present, and note the fact, that the Church of England is put down as but one of the sects.
"Increase and multiply" was at the beginning, and from the beginning to this day is, the Divine command. Some would infer that there must be a blessing attending obedience to it, others would in part abrogate the law, and, with Malthus, admit no crowding at the bountiful table which nature supplies. The presumption fairly is, that as security to life and happiness is the main cause of increase; viewing this world only, such increase must be a great good, and it implies advancement in civilisation, which possibly may not be ill defined as the art of promoting life and happiness. It includes moral advancement. But the beneficence of our Maker allows us to look beyond this world. Hence, the awful thought, and the responsibility incur red by its increase of population, is an increase of immortal souls. There is a depth in this argument beyond my