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"infirm of purpose,” attempted to towards any possible constitution of direct the revolutionary movement in that unity which would appear to be his own states by accepting the call for a the most vague end and aim of the United German Empire, and by placing revolution in Germany. To those himself, although unavowedly, at its who attempt to look into the mist of head, the Austrian Official Gazette the future, and see visions, and dream immediately fulminated a severe, dreams—for, in the present state of damning, and, under the circum the cloudy and wavering political stances, almost cruel manifesto horizon, it would seem that all against the ambitious Prussian mo. political foresight can pretend to no narch ; in Bavaria, the young men of better name than that the nearer of the upper classes burnt his majesty the two alternatives to be deduced in effigy in the public market-place of from Prince Leiningen's manifesto, Munich ; at Stuttgardt, the picture of would appear to be the disunion, the the offending sovereign was as public- total rupture, the civil war. ly hung by the neck to a gallows. The other alternative, however, Southern Germany was indignant at seems not without its chances ; for, the thought that an upstart King of although the old liberals of republican Prussia should attempt to lead the tendencies, the suspected and immovement for a new United Empire prisoned, have now been brought of Germany, and presume even to round, for the most part, into the dream of being its future emperor. ranks of the moderately progressive But when, in the course of events, the party, in the natural course of revoluprovisional head of the newly consti- tionary changes, or even been called tuted central power was chosen by to the councils of the kings and the assembly from among the princes princes who rejected and persecuted of Southern Germany, it was the turn them; yet, on the other hand, the exerof Prussia to exhibit its spite and tions of the moderate party, in spite anger : its jealousy was not to be of the clog that they would now put concealed. The result of the dis- upon the too rapid course of ultraappointed ambition of Prussia was democracy, appear to tend, in the exhibited, as already alluded to, in a efforts made, and the views enterreactionary feeling against that cen- tained respecting the unity of Gertral power, which it would have ac- many, towards the very republican cepted probably with acclamation, institutions which they disavow, and and been the first to applaud and suppose themselves endeavouring to support, had it emanated from its own avoid. The real republicans, at the country. The exhibition of this feel- same time, although without any ing in some violent outbreak was so present weight among the political much dreaded upon the occasion of spirits of the day, are yet composed, the military homage appointed to as elsewhere, of the young, hot-headed, be shown to the Reichs Verweser at reckless, active, stirring elements of Berlin, that the ceremony, as is well the time, and are always ready to known, was obliged to be countermake up, by violence and headlong manded. The feeling is now still precipitation, for what they want in continuing to be shown in a constant importance and experience. They are exhibition of mistrust on the part of aided also in their views by a certain Prussia towards the National Assem- . party of the liberal press, which is bly, and as well as in the counter- always preaching the imitation of accusation of that new and vaguely French institutions and the conduct defined political crime “reaction," of the present leading men in France, laid by the journals of the moderate -as if France and the French did not party, as well as by the ultra-liberals, hold up a lesson and a warning into the charge of Prussia. With all stead of models for imitation-and these conflicting elements at work be consoling Germany with the idea, that tween the various parts of Germany, although it does not possess such and again between these various enviable men or measures, the men parts and the central power, placed must shortly rise upon the political in the hands of the Assembly, it is surface, and that the measures will very difficult to look clearly as yet follow behind them. By a great portion of the press, even that of the that it may find a middle course, and moderate party also, a continual irri- establish its theoretical and vaunted tation of suspicion and mistrust is unity without exciting civil dissension, being kept up against the still reign- or plunging into the depths of repubing sovereigns of Germany; and the licanism. May it prove right in its cry of that very vague accusation as yet uncertain hopes; but certainly 66 reaction,” the name of which alone, the means by which this desired conhowever, is considered sufficiently summation is to be arrived at, are not damning, is constantly raised upon in the least degree visible: it remains every movement, of whatever nature as yet the vaguest of vague fancies it may be, which those sovereigns the how, the where, the when, and may make. The moderate party may even the why, are as yet matters of be acquitted of republican tendencies doubt : not only deeds but principles, in their hearts; but they seem to not only principles but plans, to this ignore the old proverb, "give a dog intent, are as yet utterly absent. In a bad name," and the consequences ; fact our question, after all, remains and they will make " sad dogs" out unanswered ; and, beyond the main of the sovereigns, until at last the point of “unity," to be effected someconsequences will threaten more and how or other, revolutionising Germore nearly.
many seems utterly unable to tell us, Between these two alternatives, as we vainly endeavour to find out however, Germany seems to think definitively, “what it would be at ?"
SAITH Dr Luther, “ When I saw Dr other people, had turned out to be real Gode begin to tell his puddings hang- puddings,-they had always been the ing in the chimney, I told him he eidola, the erscheinungen, the phanwould not live long !"
toms and semblances of puddings. I wish I had copied that passage I question if Uncle Jack knew much from “The Table Talk" in large round about Democritus of Abdera. But he hand, and set it before my father at was certainly tainted with the philobreakfast, the morn preceding that sophy of that fanciful sage. He fatal eve in which Uncle Jack per- peopled the air with images of colossal suaded him to tell his puddings. stature, which impressed all his dreams
Yet, now I think of it, Uncle Jack and divinations, and from whose inhung the puddings in the chimney, fluences came his very sensations and bat he did not persuade my father to thoughts. His whole being, asleep tell them.
or waking, was thus but the reflection Beyond a vague surmise that half of great phantom puddings! the suspended “tomacula" would As soon as Mr Tibbets had possessed furnish a breakfast to Uncle Jack, and himself of the two volumes of the “Histhat the youthful appetite of Pisistratus tory of Human Error," he had neceswould despatch the rest, my father sarily established that hold upon my did not give a thought to the nutri. father which hitherto those lubricate tious properties of the puddings,-in hands of his had failed to effect. He had other words, to the two thousand found what he had so long sighed for in pounds which, thanks to Mr Tibbets, vain, bis point d'appui, wherein to fix dangled down the chimney. So far the Archimedean screw. He fixed it as the great work was concerned, my tight in the "History of Human Error," father only cared for its publication, and moved the Caxtonian world. not its profits. I will not say that he day or two after the conversation might not hunger for praise, but I am recorded in my last chapter, I saw quite sure that he did not care a Uncle Jack coming out of the mabutton for pudding. Nevertheless, it hogany doors of my father's banker; was an infaust and sinister augury for and, from that time, there seemed no Augustine Caxton, the very appear reason why Mr Tibbets should not ance, the very suspension and dangle- visit his relations on week-days as ment of any puddings whatsoever, well as Sundays. Not a day, indeed, right over his ingle-nook, when those passed but what he held long conpuddings were made by the sleek versations with my father. He had hands of Uncle Jack! None of the much to report of his interviews with puddings which he, poor man, had all the publishers. In these conversahis life been stringing, whether from tions he naturally recurred to that his own chimneys, or the chimneys of grand idea of the Literary Times"
VOL. LXIV.--NO. CCCXCVI.
which had so dazzled my poor father's to what interests their readers; the imagination; and having heated the same things do not interest a vast iron, Uncle Jack was too knowing a community which interested half a man not to strike while it was hot. score of monks or bookworms. The
When I think of the simplicity my literary polis was once an oligarchy, wise father exhibited in this crisis of it is now a republic. It is the general his life, I must own that I am less brilliancy of the atmosphere which moved by pity than admiration for prevents your noticing the size of any that poor great-hearted student. We particular star. Do you not see, that have seen that out of the learned with the cultivation of the masses indolence of twenty years, the ambi- has awakened the Literature of the tion which is the instinct of a man Affections ? Every sentiment finds an of genius had emerged ; the serious expositor, every feeling an oracle. Like preparation of the great book for the Epimenides, I have been sleeping in perusal of the world, had insensibly a cave; and, waking, I see those whom restored the charms of that noisy I left children are bearded men; and world on the silent individual. And towns have sprung up in the landtherewith came a noble remorse that scapes which I left as solitary wastes." he had hitherto done so little for his Thence, the reader may perceive species. Was it enough to write the causes of the change which had quartos upon the past history of come over my father. As Robert Human Error? Was it not his duty, Hall says, I think, of Dr Kippis," he when the occasion was fairly presented, had laid so many books at the top of to enter upon that present, daily, his head, that the brains could not hourly, war with Error-which is the move." But the electricity had now sworn chivalry of Knowledge ? St penetrated the heart, and the quickGeorge did not dissect dead dragons, ened vigour of that noble organ enhe fought the live one. And London, abled the brain to stir. Meanwhile, with that magnetic atmosphere which I leave my father to these influences, in great capitals fills the breath of life and to the continuous conversations with stimulating particles, had its of Uncle Jack, and proceed with the share in quickening the slow pulse of thread of my own egotism. the student. In the country, he read Thanks to Mr Trevanion, my habits but his old authors, and lived with were not those which favour friendthem through the gone ages. In the ships with the idle; but I formed city, my father, during the intervals some acquaintances amongst young of repose from the great book, and men a few years older than myself, still more now that the great book had who held subordinate situations in the come to a pause,-inspected the litera- public offices, or were keeping their ture of his own time. It had a pro- terms for the bar. There was no digious effect upon him. He was want of ability amongst these gentleunlike the ordinary run of scholars, men ; but they had not yet settled and, indeed, of readers for that mat- into the stern prose of life. Their ter — who, in their superstitious busy hours only made them more dishomage to the dead, are always will- posed to enjoy the hours of relaxation. ing enough to sacrifice the living. He And when we got together, a very did justice to the marvellous fertility gay, light-hearted set we were! We of intellect which characterises the had neither money enough to be very authorship of the present age. By the extravagant, nor leisure enough to be present age, I do not only mean the very dissipated; but we amused ourpresent day, I commence with the selves notwithstanding. My new century. " What,” said my father friends were wonderfully erudite in all one day in dispute with Trevanion- matters connected with the theatres. “what characterises the literature of From an opera to a ballet, from our time is-its human interest. It is Hamlet to the last farce from the true that we do not see scholars ad- French, they had the literature of the dressing scholars, but men addressing stage at the finger-ends of their strawmen,--not that scholars are fewer, but coloured gloves. They had a pretty that the reading public is more large. large acquaintance with actors and Authors in all ages idress themselves actresses, and were perfect Walpoluli
in the minor scandals of the day. To work-a schoolboy's enjoyment of the do them justice, however, they were hours of play. not indifferent to the more masculine A great contrast to these young knowledge necessary in “this wrong men was Sir Sedley Beaudesert, who world." They talked as familiarly of was pointedly kind to me, and whose the real actors of life as of the sham bachelor's house was always open to ones. They could adjust to a hair me after noon; Sir Sedley was visible the rival pretensions of contending to no one, but his valet, before that statesmen. They did not profess to hour. A perfect bachelor's house it be deep in the mysteries of foreign was, too-with its windows opening cabinets, (with the exception of one on the Park, and sofas niched into the young gentleman connected with the windows, on which you might loll at Foreign Office, who prided himself your ease, like the philosopher in Luon knowing exactly what the Russians cretius,meant to do with India–when they “Despicereunde queas alios, passimque videre, got it!); but to make amends, the Errare,"— majority of them had penetrated the And see the gay crowds ride to and closest secrets of our own. It is true fro Rotten Row - without the fathat, according to a proper subdivi- tigue of joining them, especially if the sion of labour, each took some parti- wind was in the east. cular member of the government for There was no affectation of costlihis special observation ; just as the ness, or what the French and the most skilful surgeons, however pro- upholsterers call recherché, about the foundly versed in the general struc- rooms, but a wonderful accumulation ture of our frame, rest their anato- of comfort. Every patent chair that mical fame on the light they throw on proffered a variety in the art of loungparticular parts of it, -one man taking ing, found its place there; and near the brain, another the duodenum, a every chair a little table, on which third the spinal cord, while a fourth, you might deposit your book or your perhaps, is a master of all the symp- coffee-cup, without the trouble of toms indicated by a pensile finger. moving more than your hand. In Accordingly, one of my friends appro- winter, nothing warmer than the priated to himself the Home Depart- quilted curtains and Axminster carment; another the Colonies; and a pets can be conceived. In summer, third, whom we all regarded as a nothing airier and cooler than the future Talleyrand, (or a de Retz at muslin draperies and the Indian matleast,) had devoted himself to the tings. And I defy a man to know special study of Sir Robert Peel, and to what perfection dinner may be knew, by the way in which that pro- brought, unless he had dined with Sir found and inscrutable statesman threw Sedley Beaudesert. Certainly, if that open his coat, every thought that was distinguished personage had but been passing in his breast! Whether law- an egotist, he had been the happiest yers or officials, they all had a great of men. But, unfortunately for him, idea of themselves-high notions of he was singularly amiable and kindwhat they were to be, rather than hearted. He had the bonne digestion, what they were to do, some day. As but not the other requisite for worldly the king of modern fine gentlemen said felicity—the mauvais cour. He felt of himself, in paraphrase of Voltaire, a sincere pity for every one else who " they had letters in their pockets lived in rooms without patent chairs addressed to Posterity, which the and little coffee tables-whose winchances were, however, that they dows did not look on the Park, with might forget to deliver." Something sofas niched into their recesses. As "priggish" there might be about some Henry IV. wished every man to have of them ; but, on the whole, they his pot au feu, so Sir Sedley Beauwere far more interesting than mere desert, if he could have had his way, idle men of pleasure. There was would have every man served with an about them, as features of a general early cucumber for his fish, and a family likeness, a redundant activity caraffe of iced water by the side of his of life-a gay exuberance of ambition bread and cheese. He thus evinced -a light-hearted earnestness when at on politics a naïve simplicity, which