+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

remarkable for their domestic habits, and their household
virtues and affections. They are, now,
beginning to be universally respected by
intelligent foreigners who visit this country, for
their unobtrusive politeness, their good-
humour, and their cheerful recognition of all
restraints that really originate in consideration
for the general good. They deserve this testimony
(which we have often heard, of late, with
pride) most honorably. Long maligned and
mistrusted, they proved their case from the
very first moment of having it in their power
to do so; and have never, on any single
occasion within our knowledge, abused any public
confidence that has been reposed in them. It
is an extraordinary thing to know of a people,
systematically excluded from galleries and
museums for years, that their respect for such
places, and for themselves as visitors to them,
dates, without any period of transition, from
the very day when their doors were freely
opened. The national vices are surprisingly
few. The people in general are not gluttons,
nor drunkards, nor gamblers, nor addicted to
cruel sports, nor to the pushing of any amusement
to furious and wild extremes. They are
moderate, and easily pleased, and very sensible
to all affectionate influences. Any knot of
holiday-makers, without a large proportion
of women and children among them, would
be a perfect phenomenon. Let us go into any
place of Sunday enjoyment where any fair
representation of the people resort, and we
shall find them decent, orderly, quiet, sociable
among their families and neighbours. There
is a general feeling of respect for religion, and
for religious observances. The churches and
chapels are well filled. Very few people who
keep servants or apprentices, leave out of
consideration their opportunities of attending
church or chapel; the general demeanour
within those edifices, is particularly grave and
decorous; and the general recreations without,
are of a harmless and simple kind. Lord
Brougham never did Henry Brougham more
justice, than in declaring to the House of
Lords, after the success of this motion in the
House of Commons, that there is no country
where the Sabbath is, on the whole, better
observed than in England. Let the constituency
of Whitened Sepulchres ponder, in a
Christian spirit, on these things; take care
of their own consciences; leave their Honorable
Member to take care of his; and let
well alone.

For, it is in nations as in families. Too
tight a hand in these respects, is certain to
engender a disposition to break loose, and to run
riot. If the private experience of any reader,
pausing on this sentence, cannot furnish many
unhappy illustrations of its truth, it is a very
fortunate experience indeed. Our most notable
public example of it, in England, is just
two hundred years old.

Lord Ashley had better merge his Pariahs
into the body politic; and the Honorable
Member for Whitened Sepulchres had better
accustom his jaundiced eyes to the Sunday
sight of dwellers in towns, roaming in green
fields, and gazing upon country prospects. If
he will look a little beyond them, and lift up
the eyes of his mind, perhaps he may observe
a mild, majestic figure in the distance, going
through a field of corn, attended by some
common men who pluck the grain as they
pass along, and whom their Divine Master
teaches that he is the Lord, even of the


ANTOINE DE CHAULIEU was the son of a
poor gentleman of Normandy, with a long
genealogy, a short rent-roll, and a large
family. Jacques Rollet was the son of a
brewer, who did not know who his grand-
father was; but he had a long purse and only
two children. As these youths flourished in
the early days of liberty, equality, and
fraternity, and were near neighbours, they
naturally hated each other. Their enmity
commenced at school, where the delicate and
refined De Chaulieu being the only gentil-
homme amongst the scholars, was the favorite
of the master (who was a bit of an aristocrat
in his heart) although he was about the worst
dressed boy in the establishment, and never
had a sou to spend; whilst Jacques Rollet,
sturdy and rough, with smart clothes and
plenty of money, got flogged six days in the
week, ostensibly for being stupid and not
learning his lessons–––which, indeed, he did
not–––but, in reality, for constantly quarrelling
with and insulting De Chaulieu, who had not
strength to cope with him. When they left
the academy, the feud continued in all its
vigour, and was fostered by a thousand little
circumstances arising out of the state of the
times, till a separation ensued in consequence
of an aunt of Antoine de Chaulieu's undertaking
the expense of sending him to Paris
to study the law, and of maintaining him
there during the necessary period.

With the progress of events came some
degree of reaction in favour of birth and
nobility, and then Antoine, who had passed
for the bar, began to hold up his head and
endeavoured to push his fortunes; but fate
seemed against him. He felt certain that if
he possessed any gift in the world it was that
of eloquence, but he could get no cause to
plead; and his aunt dying inopportunely,
first his resources failed, and then his health.
He had no sooner returned to his home, than,
to complicate his difficulties completely, he
fell in love with Mademoiselle Natalie de
Bellefonds, who had just returned from Paris,
where she had been completing her education.
To expatiate on the perfections of Mademoiselle
Natalie, would be a waste of ink and
paper; it is sufficient to say that she really
was a very charming girl, with a fortune
which, though not large, would have been a
most desirable acquisition to De Chaulieu,