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THE PLEASURES OF BRIGHTON.
A new Song by the Civic Visitants.
Here's fine Mrs. Hoggins from Aldgate,
Miss Dobson and Deputy Dump,
Miss Potts, Mr. Grub, Mrs. Keats,
Audit's O! what will become of us?
Dear 1 the Vapours and Blue-
This here, ma'am, is Sally, my daughter,
And they tell me, a dip in salt water
Mr. Banter assured Mrs. Mumps,
That the camel that bathes with two humps,
'Very often comes out with but one.
And here is my little boy Jacky,
Whose godfather gave me a hint,
Would cure his unfortunate squint.
It isn't the jaundice, I hope;
And let him take plenty of soap.
And it's 01 &c.
Your children torment you to jog 'em
On donkeys that stand in a row,
The more the cross creatures won't go:
And my darling roar'd louder than me,
Had bedraggled me up to the knee!
At Ireland's I just took a twirl in
The swing, and walk'd into the Maze,
I tumbled all manner of ways.
To Tupper's and Walker's would go,
So monstrously vulgar and low 1
On the Downs you are like an old jacket,
In the towu you are all in a racket, With donkey-cart, whiskey, and fly. vOL. XI. NO. XLv. Q
We.bave seen the Chain Pier, Devil's Dykcj
The Chalybeate Spring, Rottingdean,
Those beclaub'd on a tea-board or screen!
We have pored on the sea till we 're weary.
And lounged up and down on the shore
And taking our pleasure a bore.
We cry as we 're scampering down,
For it's O! what will become of us,
Dear! the Vapours and Blue-
If we have nothmg to do. H.
LIFE IN LONDON.
"Thekk is no living in London," quoth I, buttoning up the pockets of my pantaloons, in which the smoothness of a "soldier's thigh" was disturbed by few folds save those of the tailor's manufacture. "There 's no living out of London," replied my wife as she placed the fourth card of invitation for the current evening on the chimney-piece.— As is very often the case in disputes (matrimonial or non-matrimonial) both parties were right in their own sense; for if London is the place to get money's worth for money, there is no place in the world where it is more impossible to enjoy life without a due intimacy with Plutus. London is, indeed, the paradise of the rich, in which respect it far exceeds Paris (with all its despotism): but then, as it is the purgatory of hackney coach-horses, so it is the hell of a poor man, with its eternal excitements to expense and its everlasting drains upon the purse. Entering the great city from Westminster bridge, and leaving it by the Regent's Park, you pass through a line of streets the opulence of which is disfigured by no note of abject and squalid misery: entering it through Tooley-street, you might imagine it a vast lazar house. How different are the aspects of " Life in London," presented under these various points of view! On the one hand', pleasure in all its endless varieties, ease, comfort, order, propriety; on the other, close, filthy, foggy tenements, excluding light and air, and a dense population of dirty and unhealthy wretches, bespeaking a state of existence many degrees below the most abject penury of a country cottage, from which the beauty and the healthfulness of nature cannot be excluded. Yet for all this there is scarcely a workman who has drawn his first breath within the sound of Bow-bell, who does not pride himself upon being "born a native of London," and look down with infinite pity and contempt upon the stray country put, who, as he passes along the street is not like Brigetina Bother'em,* above turning his eyes upon the shoe
• In '' Modern Philosophers."
buckles and tea-urns, in the shop-windows. It is in vain that languor and disease prey on his being, that rheumatism gnaws, or palsy withers his limbs, or that coming age beckons him on to his destined hospital or workhouse: still he looks upon the hale countenance and sturdy sinews of the man of fields with indifference, and cries to the peasant as Pan to Jupiter—
He 's a fool if he thinks
Not only the rich, but those who are tormented with the desire to be rich, flock up to London; and unquestionably there are modes of exercising industry and of practising economy unknown to the village, or the inhabitant of a country town. The truth however is, that all such advantages notwithstanding, the labour of existence in the metropolis is beyond comparison more severe than in smaller communities. The struggle to grapple with fortune, and to extort the wretched meal which is grasped at by hundreds of competitors, is so arduous among those who are placed in immediate dependence upon their labour for subsistence, as to render living in London any thing but life. The small London tradesman, in particular, feels this pressure more even than those immediately below him. The exterior of this class in society may in some instances be imposing; they may perhaps occupy handsome houses ; but then all the better apartments are let to lodgers, whose weekly payments just serve to stop the mouths of the landlord and the tax-gatherer.
But if the poor tradesman's lot in the metropolis is hard to bear, that of the struggling professional man is scarcely less oppressive. The necessity for making an appearance in the hope of making money, and the obligation of dissipating those sums in equipage and show, which taste and good feeling would consecrate to the comfort of the domestic hearth, are bitter aggravations of the ordinary ills of poverty. Pride and vanity also find frequent sources of mortification in the contrast arising from the close juxtaposition of professional men to the really opulent, with whom their education and habits of life intimately connect them; and their self-love is perpetually wounded by the ostentation of upstart nouveaux rickes their contemporaries, who in the more money-getting branches of industry have thriven, precisely because they have wanted the higher order of intellect on which professional men found their hopes of success. "Let him draw a bill in Greek or in Latin, and see if it will be honoured,'' says an old hunks in one of our farces; and the thought illustrates the habitual sentiments of the mere plodding money-makers for those talents, which, not possessing themselves, they are not able to appreciate in others. Even when success begins to repay his exertions, the life of the professional man and his family is no object of envy. If the practising barrister be traced from his early attendance at Westminster Hall till dinner, and again at his chambers from seven in the evening till bed-time, it is scarcely possible to conceive an existence of more uninterrupted and harassing toil. The practising physician in like manner knows no repose from his labour, and the hours which others devote to rest, are not with him exempt from the calls of duty. With the women also the matter is not mended; for hours employed in active occupations, are at least freed from the curse of ennui; and the business of making money is more invigorating and refreshing than the unamiable soul-narrowing processes of saving it. To the professional man marriage, if not a necessity, is at least a convenience; and he too frequently lays the foundation of a large family long before he has laid the foundation of a large fortune. The wives of young practitioners are therefore of necessity condemned to practices of economy, and to a close attention to domestic duties, which are incompatible with much intellectual and imaginative indulgence. Shut up within four walls, with no better prospect than the opposite side of a gloomy street, the females in this walk of life pass their time in a solitude, occupied chiefly with the needle, and rarely broken save by the conversation of cooks and nursery maids. They read little, and often think less. In the very hours of social converse, the men avoid their society; and linger over the bottle to shorten the interval of insipidity, which occurs between dinner and bed-time. The females, thus left to themselves, are rarely conversational; their ideas roll in a small circle, and they are essentially bad company. Years roll on in the practice of duties eminently respectable, and of virtues truly praiseworthy, but in habits closely allied to torpor and totally divested of that excitement which is supposed to make the charm of a metropolitan existence—of a " Life in' London." In the exact opposite scale, but equally removed from real enjoyment, is the life of a class of beings not quite so respectable or so useful; who, possessed of an easy fortune, are yet tormented with the itch of living in what they conceive to be good company; and who inflict upon themselves all the ills of poverty and dependence, in order to cultivate those who are above themselves in the hierarchy of fashion. The thorough-going representative of this class will enter into a deeper diplomacy to entrap a Baronet, or a nabob, into her visiting list, than would go to recognizing the independence of South America; and she will be more miserable, if, in balancing her account at the end of the season, she has not crept on a step in great life, than if her whole family were laid up with the scarlet fever. A rheumatic hypochondriac watches not with a more trembling anxiety the variations of the barometer than this sensitive being follows (at a respectful distance) the changes of the bon ton. All h:T efforts go to be at the proper place in the proper time, and to be seen in those rendezvous of resort, which though open to all, are sometimes frequented by people of fashion. The fashionable movements in the corners of the London papers, are to her the law and the gospel. Her dinner parties are so arranged, not as that agreeable persons, and such as mutually understand each other, shall meet, but so as that certain persons, seeing others of their own description at her table, may infer that she is indeed one of themselves, and fairly entitled to partake in all the privileges of the coterie. The fear of being left out in any party forces her to accept of every invitation; and the nightly drudgery of working her passage from assembly to assembly is harder work than that of a coal-porter. Like the hind wheel of a chariot, however rapid her movements, or great the dust she raises, she must always lag in the race; and though she ruin her fortunes, her health, and her peace of mind in the effort, she will never win her way into the exclusive assemblies of an aristocracy, all whose energies are exerted to keep themselves safe from the approaches of intruders, and to maintain the quiet order of the gods undisturbed by the "fumum, opes, strepitusque" of commercial prosperity.
Another class of metropolitan strugglers, who "let ' I cannot' wait upon ' I would,' like the poor cat i' th' adage," is found in the numerous club-houses which of late years have so extensively multiplied in the vicinity of Pall Mall. The devotee to this species of existence is ordinarily a man addicted to sensual indulgence, and ambitious of figuring in the gay circles, but by some peculiar circumstance of birth, parentage, education, or fortune, is precluded from "carrying on the war" on the grand scale, or of pushing his way in good company. Not that there is wanting a sufficient number of club-going men of real bun ton to give an air of high fashion to such establishments: but these only use the club-house as a relief to their other pleasures, to dine there when not better engaged, or to drop in for an hour in the course of their other amusements. Such men are not the main props and stays of the institution. The true club-man is one who looks to the club rather as an ordinary where he can dine better and cheaper than at home. To this description of person (the balloting-box once passed) a club-house operates like a patent washing-machine. It saves coals, saves candles, saves (no, it does what is better, it loses) time, saves labour, to say nothing of pens, ink, and paper, coffee-house expenses, and gratuities to waiters, which last are happily in the club-house "strictly forbidden." Thus can a man rub his skirts against lords and members of parliament (in the language of a tailor's advertisement), " in the most fashionable style and at the lowest prices," and keep himself constantly in evidence without the charges of ostentation. To all this there is but one objection; namely, that to a man of any sensibility a club is in the long run —a dead bore. Life without affections, dissipation without amusement, isolation of heart without the tranquillity and independence of solitude, are not congenial to the English character. The fashion, therefore, of this mode of" Lite in London" will most likely prove but of ephemeral duration.
The true possessors of " Life in London" are those who in their class and sphere can avail themselves of the superior civilization and concentrated advantages of the capital. In London, literature, science, and art have fixed their head-quarters; and from the Royal Society to the "free and easy songsters," associations subsist for the culture of every modification of taste, and the enjoyment of every variety of pleasure. The substantial and opulent inhabitants, sua si bona norint, have the command of luxuries, facilities, and comforts, of which the proudest emperors of antiquity had no notion; and the splendid harems of the East, the marble palaces of Rome, were poor and unprovided in all that respects actual enjoyment, when compared with the boudoir of a London lady of fashion. Not even in Paris, the metropolis of all Europe, is to be found such a constellation of genius and talent as illumines the horizon of the polished circles of the British capital; and the freedom of the political atmosphere in England, more than compensates for the better tact of the Parisians in the arrangements and forms of society. But to enjoy " Life in London" in all its intensity, riches alone will not suffice. How few of those who can command whatever is best in London are capable of relishing its real pleasures. How few are there to whom its intellectual resources are not a matter even of terror, and who do not exclaim "blue stocking" at the bare mention of an eminent name. Even that spiritual converse which would naturally arise out of the high average of attainment in the upper classes, is suppressed beneath an affected languor and indifference. No strong expression of feeling