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neighbours all discuss the prospects of the Continent:
not saying anything at all about the British
Constitution. "Has he observed the English
heart put into all this talk over the work of
foreigners; the unstinted sympathy that fastens
on a brave Italian as surely as if he had been
born within sound of Bow bellsthat hails with
delight every chance there may appear to be of
the advance of another nation to enjoyment of
what Englishmen enjoy. But our reserve is
very English, aud long may it be so. Men
measure their words who mean them seriously. The
very quickness of the Englishman's impulse to
sympathy, has made him sensitive, and, for many
a good honest reason, slow to express all he

I don't agree, therefore, with Limpet that
the strong interest felt by a great seafaring,
world-pervading nation, in what passes in
all corners of the world is un-English. It
is quite true that at home as well as abroad,
our sphere of sympathy is larger than our
sphere of action, and that we are guilty,
by omission, of many of the sins which are
committed wilfully by tyrants whom we hate.
It is true, also, that as a stateselfish and
insular as we are said to bewe should do more
for ourselves if we thought less about our
neighbours; yet, perhaps, our national life is the
stronger, and we are more thoroughly English,
when our thoughts take a wide range.

What it is to be "un-English," except it be to
be cold-hearted or idly dependent upon others, I
have never yet succeeded in discovering. We
have been content to wear our clothes, and
trim our hair, and regulate our dinners, at all
times in accordance with the customs of all
nations under the sun. We have had our days
of Star Chambers, of bear-baitings, of assassinations;
we have drunk our share of the lees, as
well as of the wine, of civilisation; and if we
have not more short-comings than our neighbours,
we confess to ourselves more, and like
proud as we areto hold up any excellence we
see in others as example for ourselves. Our
pride helps to keep us honest, for it is the pride
that sustains, not the vanity that weakens. We
are an utterly earnest nation of incorrigible
jokers; but the jokes we relish best, always rest
on a basis of substantial interest in the affairs of
life. Perhaps the active sense of right and
dutynational reserve almost restrains us from
saying a religious senseis the quality that we
should like best to see traced through our
history as a nation, and regarded as the source of
all the liberty of opinion and energy of action,
wholesome in the aggregate, that has made
England strong. John Limpet, the British
Resident, and Jack Sprat, who has seen the world,
agree over their wine upon one point that never
enters into their discussion. Quietly they
illustrate by their lives the true national mind
expressed by Nelson in his watchword, "England
expects every man to do his duty." To
be thoroughly English is, therefore, to find
compatriots among true men of every race under
the sun.

The sum, then, of all I urge on Limpet, is,
that in language, dress, habits of civilisation,
and so forth, there is very little to be found
among us that can be called thoroughly English
or un-English; but that the soul of the national
life is a principle recognised widely, not only
among ourselves. Wherever it is active, it
engages English sympathies. A man, or race of
men, known to be fearlessly doing right, whatever
the nation, has the heart of the people of
England, and is not parted from them in their
minds by the faintest line of a provincial


IT has been written by Mr. Carlyle that a
Gothic cathedral is a stone epic. This recurs to
me as I come again and again to read that other
poem, which in its rich warm marble dress, its
colours and its gold, becomes, for me, an epic
Virgilian Saint Paul's elder sister.

The new beauties that come out with every
new readingthe glosses, the comments, the
shifting lights and tonesare positively
inexhaustible. As I stretch back, with an inexpressible
fondness, in that direction, the clouds seem
to part, and soft pictures, quivering at first like
dissolving views, stand out dimly on the coloured
background, then fade out, and give place to

                         FIRST PICTURE,

She has flashed out in the sun of that morning
of palms, superb and with a grand festivity,
richly dight in her pale grey blue kirtle and
pink incrustations and yellow gold-besprinkled
bodice. Brightest sun lights up these
glorious harmoniesthe holiday multitude has
drifted, has spread like an inundation over the
pavement, and has been scattered againthe
gorgeous parti-coloured cord, with its gold and
scarlet and violet threads, has been twining and
twining for hoursthe eye has been sated with
soft contrasts of tone. It is enough to fill with
grief and spite, the heart of that poor younger
sister, neglected Cinderella yonder on Ludgate-hill,
all blackened with coal and soot from minding
the fires, with her coarse clothing; while her
elder sister comes abroad gorgeous in her superb
finery. It is a high festival day, but it is the
festivity that comes before sorrowa supper for
the Girondinsa merry cheerful breakfast when
the young novice comes in as a bride, with
nuptial veil and flowers, and laughs and is glad
with her relatives for the last time. But a few
days more and the clouds have fallen. Thursday
of that holy week has come round, and Saint
Paul's elder sister mourns. The amber robe
looks dull and browned, the harmonious blues
and pinks have faded out, gaunt shadows hang
between the arches, the great pillars and archings
stand out bare and unadorned. There is a
sense of awful desertion and desolation abroad,
and the footsteps echo hollowly as I walk up
the great nave. The lone pavement spreads
awayimmeasurable acreage of vast moorland;