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very coolly, I was satisfied with a single view of these monuments : I was as fort a time about it as possible.' We believe you, Mr. Grosley :-But though a share of national pride might forbid his paying a particular attention to these trophies and monuments, he Thould remember that, as they have their foundation in truth, they are honourable to Great Britain : his country has been remarkable for a parade in celebrating their succesies, and sometimes even defeats under the name of victories : beside which, he himself produces instances in. which the French dramatic writers have freely ridiculed the Englibh ; and he also acknowledges that · Lewis the Fourteenth is the firit modern sovereign who insulted foreign nations by standing monuments of this kind; but, says he, they have fince paid him in his own coin.
The English melancholy is a subject on which this Writer dwells for a considerable time: Notwithstanding, says he, all the involuntary and premeditated efforts of the English to dispel the melancholy, which so predominates in their constitution, Poft equitem sedet atra cura; it produces among them a thousand effects as well general as particular.' The causes of it he finds in the fogs which envelop the kingdom, in animal food, beer, wine, and the smoke of fea-coal fires; beside these phyfical reasons, he supposes there are moral ones which continue and heighten what the others began.
Education, religion, public diversions, and the works of authors in vogue, he tells us, seem to have no other end but to feed and propagate this diftemper.-The English, says he, find no relief from reflection, except in reflection itself; they have no other means of amusing themselves; and gaming gives them pleasure, only by affording them an opportunity to rehect. I never saw more than one scene of gaiery in England, which was the more remarkable as it was quite misplaced: this was the second day of Lord Byron's trial at Westminster-hall. A well dresled man was very inconveniently feated upon the highest step of that part of the amphitheatre, where I happened to be placed. An hour before the peers entered, this man rose, and began to prate to every body that stood near him : he spoke very loud, and his words were accompanied and enforced by the gestures of a mountebank : they were interrupted by the audience with loud peals of laughter, in which he himself joined; and this lasted till the peers entered. I thought he was in liquor ; but a gentleman told me he was a member of the House of Commons, of a very facetious disposition, and that he fometimes exhibited scenes of the same droll nature in the senate-house.
· Setting afide a few exceptions, which confirm the general rule, as they are in but a very small number, melancholy prevails in London in every family, in circles, in assemblies, at public and private entertainments ; so that the English nation, which fees verified in ito self the populun late regem of Virgil, offers to the eyes of strangers only populum late trijiem.
Here All per
Here let us add what this Foreigner obferves in another place, when describing Ranelagh and Vauxhall, which places he admires :
• The English affert, he remarks, that such entertainments as these can never sublist in France, on account of the levity of the people. Certain it is, that those of Vauxhall and Ranelagh, which are guarded only by outward decency, are conducted without that tomult and disorder, which often disturb the public diversions of France. I do not know, whether the English are gainers thereby : the joy, which they seem in search of at these places, does not beam through their countenances; they look as grave at Vauxhall and Ranelagh, as at the Bank, at church, or a private club. sons there seem to say, what a young English nobleman said to his governor, Am. I as joyous as I should be
Among many other things upon this subject it is farther said, 'I am not ignorant, that, in all countries, in proportion to the size of their towns, the inhabitants are prevented, by interest, by vanity, by indolence, by fatiety, and by the continual clashing of a thoasand inferior passions; are prevented, I say, from having that free and easy chearfulness of temper, which is to be found in country places, under a mild and moderate government;
Extrema per illos Lætitia excedens terris veftigia fixit. • But in England the peasant, well-fed, well-lodged, and at his epse, has as serious and melancholy an air, as those wretched hinds in other countries, who are persecuted and harrassed by thousands, whose business it is, and who are even sworn, to defend and protect them.'
The English, as well as other people, have, no doubt, certain characteristic marks belonging to them, and may from thence furnish some subjects for ridicule. That the melancholy which this Writer talks so much about is prevalent among us, in too great a degree, we will not wholly deny, and it is not at all surprizing that the appearances of this kind should strongly impress a Frenchman, who, whatever may be his own particular temper, is accustomed to the greater vivacity of his countrymen, in general : of whose light and airy difpofition, we may observe, by the way, that it is, without doubt, a great means of keeping them in submission to an oppressive and arbitrary government, which, did they generally think more, they would probably regard as intolerable; and for this cause their levity and thoughtlessness may be politically encouraged.
But in respect of the Englith melancholy, allowing it to have too large a share in forming the national character, let us observe, that there are among us, as in every country, a great variety of dispositions, and frequently a strange mixture in the fame person ; and this Author, who has certainly imbibed many mistaken notions concerning us, might be greatly misled allo in observations of this kind. Though a Frenchman may posfibly think that a man cannot be easy and happy without giving fome evident external indications of it, yet a serious air does by no means always imply any inward uneasiness, or a want of sensibility to what is really agreeable or diverting.
But we find some consolation in what this philosophical Traveller farther remarks, that, ' from this gloomy disposition result several effects, the combination of which is the basis of the English character.' Plutarch, after Aristotle, has said, That none but great geniuses are subject to melancholy *. Hence therefore, our Author concludes, arises the aptitude of the Eng, lish for the sciences; hence also their national pride.
• The impetuosity, and the perseverance, says he, with which melancholy dwells upon such objets as interest and engage it, are the principles, which induce the English to concern themselves so much about public affairs. -Whatever does honour to the English nation, at the same time, throws a lustre upon each citizen ; those men, therefore, whofe services, knowledge, and abilities, have contributed to raise the glory of England meet with all that refpe&, veneration, and homage, 'which were the greatest rewards and chief hope of the most renowned heroes of antiquity : a homage paid with a warmth unknown to those men, who, being the abject Daves of money or worldly prosperity, can neither form a just estimate of actions, nor a judgment of characters, which their weak eyes dare not to contemplate steadily.
• This ardour, which warmed Rome and Greece, is to be found in England, and must necessarily produce the same fruits in that kingdom. The British Museum, the palaces of great noblemen, the cabinets of the curious, the houses of citizens, those dark and folitary grottos which people of fortune consecrate to melancholy in their country retirements, the taverns and inns, the houses where people meet for public diverfions, are all adorned with figures painted or engraved, and with busts of all sizes, made of all sorts of materials, of Bacon, Shakespeare, Milton, Locke, Addison, Newton, and even Cromwell himself: I could not without astonishment fee a fire bult of the latter fill a distinguished place in the British Museum.'
From this source, also, of melancholy, and national pride, Mons. Grofley derives our many public and private undertakings for the general good, together with numerous acts of munificence, and instances of what he calls patriotic magnificence.
Military glory, which, in the annals of ancient chivalry, adds this Foreigner, had placed King Arthur, and the Knights of the Round Table, in the first class of heroes ; and the great exploits, which, in ages more enlightened, have preserved that glory to the inhabitants of Great Britain, had likewise their fource in the national character of the English, and in that melancholy which is its predominant principle.' He here cites a few historical authorities in support of his affertion, that melancholy, and the uneasiness it occasions, may have a great
Plut. Life of Lysander.
influence upon valour, considered as arising from the contempt of life; and that they may have had some thare in the most brilliant actions of the English, as well in their ancient expeditions against France, as in their civil wars.' Among the few inftances of this kind, here inserted, he gives us that of his own countryman, the Chevalier Bayard ; who, for seven years, was troubled with a quartan ague. Now this, we are told,
was the very time which established his reputation as an hero.
It is highly probable that there have been occasions in which a disgust of life, arising from different causes, may have prompted particular persons to hazardous and desperate undertakings, that they might be delivered from the burthen : but if this Writer intends, by his observations, to depreciate the valour of the English, or to intimate that their fortitude and heroism are generally to be traced to the spring of melancholy and discontent, his hypothesis is too evidently ungenerous and puerile to require any formal refutation.
Our Traveller, however, is not, perhaps, greatly mistaken, in attributing suicide, fanaticism, fuperftition, and lunacy (evils which are to be found in every country) to the above cause : on each of these he bestows some proper reflections ; after which he proceeds to propose a remedy for this epidemical direase, the English melancholy; and what should this be, but the free importation of French wines !
• If any one, says he, should defire this change (in the English character) it is the King of England, who no longer finds among his people that submission and dutiful docility which they paid to the Edwards and the Henrys. But in the days of those princes the vine was cultivated in England; all the ports of the kingdom were open to French, Spanish, and Italian wines; the monalteries and the chapter houses had their cellars; in a word, the juice of the grape was in such general use, and the people, who are always in extremes
, abufed it to such a degree, that King Henry V. by an express law, forbad every Englishman to drink wine without water.'
He observes farther, that France has not a moment to Jose, but should immediately put itself in a condition, by a reduction of the duties upon wines intended for English consumption, of refifting a dangerous rivalship, which may fhortly arise from the colonies of Carolina and Georgia, where vines are said to grow spontaneously, and where the planters have for sometime past applied themselves to the cultivation of them.
« The use of wine (proceeds our Foreigner) being refored in England, whether by France or America ; the English grown more tractable and less speculative, more gay, and lefs addicted to dispute and wrangling, more friends to fociety, and less saturnine, more submissive, and less occupied with state affairs, less profound in their, fpeculations, and more religious; the English, I say, will then have no fault to find with the change in their manner of living, unless
they should imitate that ridiculous Athenian, who, being cured by, the care of his friends of a hypochondriac disorder, exclaimed,
Pol me occidiftis, amici, Dum demptus per vim mentis gratissimus error.' . It is not entirely clear whether this ingenious empiric is grave or ludicrous in his prescription, since there appears some mixture of each. However he concludes with observing, that all he has been saying upon this subject is only a homily or commentary upon a maxim consecrated by the authority of holy writ. Date vinum iis qui amaro funt animo, et bibant. Proverbs xxxi. 6. Give wine to those that be of heavy hearts, let them drink.'
We shall now make a few extrads from the account which this Frenchman gives of the Fair inhabitants of our island.
• That sex, says he, is, in its present state, just such as one could with it to be, in order to form the felicity of wedlock. The share which the women have in the seriousness and melancholy of the nation, by rendering them sedentary, attaches them to their husbands, to their children, and the care of their houses. They, for the most part, nurse their own children themselves ; and this custom, which gains ground every day, is a new tie of affection to the mothers.
The Englih women are by no means indifferent about public affairs, Their interesting themselves in these, gives a new pleasure to social life: the husband always finds at home somebody to whom he can open himself, and converse as long and as earnestly as he thinks proper, upon those subjects which he has molt at heart. At an assembly composed of both sexes, a lady asked me, Whether I fill had many curiosities and objects of observation to visit in London ? I made answer, That there was ftill one of great importance left for me to know, and that she and her company could give me all the information I desired: this was, Whether, in England, the husband or the wife governed the house? My question being explained to all the ladies present, they discussed it, amused theinselves with it; and the answer which they agreed should be returned to me was, that husbands alone could resolve me. I then proposed it to the husbands, who with one voice declared, that they durit not decide.
• The perplexity discovered by those gentlemen gave me the folution I desired. In fact, the English ladies and wives, with the most mild and gentle tone, and with an air of indifference, coldness, and languor, exercise a power equally despotic over both husbands and lovers : a power so much the more permanent, as it is establihed and supported by a complaisance and submissiveness from which they farely depart.
• This complaisance, this fubmiffion, and this mildness, are happy virtues of conititution, which Nature, has given them, to serve as a fort of mak to all that is most haughty, proud, and impetuous, in the English character.
"To the gifts of Nature, add the charms of beauty; which is very common in England. With regard to graces, the English women have those which accompany beauty, and not those artificial graces that cannot fupply its place; thole transient graces, which are not