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of war, in not securing the presence of weary our readers, if we were to a larger number of troops in Paris, attempt to review the various speeches before the insurrection broke out, there he has made in his place in the Nacan be no doubt that his conduct in tional Assembly, or to pass a judgthose days of terror, his unflinching ment on the various measures he has bravery and his great coolness amid thought it right to introduce for the the fire of the barricades, as well as better government of France; suffice the prudent military measures he took it to say, that although General after the insurrection had broken out, Cavaignac is not an orator, he has evinced consummate judgment, and succeeded in commanding the attensaved civilised Paris from the horrors of tion of the National Assembly, not anarchy and confusion. General Ca- only out of deference to the high office vaignac, on the third day of the insur- which he holds, but by the evident rection, was appointed chief of the honesty of intention, and by the executive power of France, and was straightforward, though blunt, maninvested by the National Assembly ner in which he expresses his opi. with dictatorial powers. It has been nions. His military occupations have thought by many, that in abolishing probably prevented him from becomthe liberty of the press, in imprisoning ing so well versed in the science of an editor of a newspaper, and in repress- politics, as other members of the Na. ing the right of meeting at political tional Assembly, who have made it clubs, he carried too far his dictato
more particularly their study ; but rial powers, and trampled on the liber- the singleness of purpose he has ties of the people ; but it should not be shewn during a most trying period forgotten that when he was appointed of political excitement, has earned chief of the executive power, anarchy for him the well-merited reputation prevailed in France, the authority of of being an honest Republican, and of the executive commission had been being, on all occasions, actuated by a set at nought; and that since he has sincere desire to promote the welfare been at the head of the government, and well-being of France. Eugene order has been re-established both in Cavaignac is in person rather above Paris and in the departments of France, the middle height, and bears a dig. and that he has himself discontinued nified expression of deep thought, and the harsh measures which he at first of high command, on his countenance; thought it necessary to adopt.
in private life he has the polished deWe have now stated the principal meanour of a well-bred gentleman, events in the life of Eugene Ča- while at the same time his appearance vaignac; it would extend this article is that of a man accustomed to the to too great a length, and, perhaps, sternness of military discipline.
TO THE INFANT SON OF AN OLD FRIEND (T. D.).
Features well formed, soft hands together pressed
O’er the calm heavings of thy little breast,
Transient but true, a stranger's gaze might rest,
And one fond prayer be, by strange lips, addressed
Array'd, which streams from many a passèd year ;
In earliest friends of mine, a smile or tear;
Dear to thee yet—to me, long since, how dear!
W. R. H.
THE TOWN, ITS MEMORABLE CHARACTERS AND EVENTS.*
" Here we go up, up, up,
And here we go down, down, downy:
And heigh for London towny."
This is almost the pleasantest of Leigh have as grey hairs as any of his critics, Hunt's many pleasant books. It is he yet seems
a young man, and a quite astonishing to contemplate the young man he certainly is in heart and originality which he has the power of affections. diffusing over subjects treated of by It is not very easy to give an acso many writers. The materials of count of this book. We have said such a work as this before us, are neces- that Hunt's style, in some of his works, sarily drawn from a thousand antiqua- is not free from something which, rian writers, some of them the most however natural, is not unlikely to be leaden-headed of men, yet in the vo- regarded by readers unfamiliar with lumes there is not one dull page-not his manner, as affectation. From this one chapter which does not carry the fault, a serious one, and which has reader on to the end. It is a book done much to restrict the number of which so enchains the attention, that it his readers, these volumes are wholly is absolutely difficult to lay it aside. free. Nothing can be more perfectly In many of Mr. Hunt's works there English than the style is throughout. are passages addressed to peculiarities A few phrases, differing by their col. of taste which could not be sympathised loquial plaidness from the ordinary with by those living beyond the con- language of the printed books of the ventional wishes which were appealed present period, tell occasionally of the to. The grotesque and the whimsical old writers, among whose works his were, it would so seem, affected. We favourite studies seem to lie ; but this were not disposed to be reminded of occurs not half as much, nor to our Montaigne or of Addison, as often as tastes, half as pedantically, as in the our author wished to call them to our works of Southey. Hunt's is a graceremembrance. Mr. Hunt, too, often ful, natural style for the most partseemed to be thinking not of his sub- resembling spoken rather than written ject, but of the way in which others language. In short, the book is a would treat it. The reader was in cordial, chatty, winter fireside book. earnest while his author seemed to be We do not so much walk through jesting, and this provoked momentary London with him as listen to him impatience. Still there was every- telling of his walks. His sympathies where such exuberant good-nature, are with the great men who have such fulness of heart, such a determi. lived in London rather than with Lonnation to be pleased with everything don itself. The descriptions of buildand everybody, that each successive ings please us less than the associawork added to the number of Hunt's tions of persons, often with the humfriends ; for it is impossible to think blest lanes and thoroughfares; and of him as a stranger, whether it so Mr. Hunt's book is very rich in this happens that his readers may have sort of interest. The changes of manmet him or not. For the last few ners from the earliest times to the peyears his publications, at least such of riod of which Mr. Hunt was personthem as we have seen, have been for ally a witness, are here very amusingly the most part reprints of his contribu- shown. If the book has a fault, and tions to periodical works; and to this, one must be almost a reviewer to find in part, perhaps, is to be ascribed the one, it is that the thread of association, feeling, that although he must now which in this book unites topics most
*“The Town, its Memorable Characters and Events." By Leigh Hunt. London: Smith, Elder and Co. 1848.
VOL. XXXII.-NO. CXCII.
remote from each other, is their acci- surely, among the best things we know, dental connexion with some London is the tender judgment with which he street. Men that you never have regarded all error and all frailty, thought of are presented naturally the defences which he perpetually enough together to the mind of one made for his friends, whose outward who knows London well, by the acci- acts were not exactly squared by condent of having been born, or lived at ventional standards. Of this a hun. intervals, perhaps of centuries—in the dred instances might be given. We same locality ; but to all persons who take one from Boswell, with Mr. know little of the great Babel, this Hunt's comment on the biographer. link of association is one that does not "Campbell," said Johnson, « is a ever suggest itself; and hence, the good man, a pious man. I am afraid contrasts are often very abrupt. The he has not been in the inside of a execution of Lord Russell, for instance, church for many years ; but he never prepares us but ill for an election pro- passes a church without pulling off mise of the Duke of Newcastle, and his hat. This shows that he has good the extraordinary accident by which it principles." « On this” (we quote was kept. A very affecting passage from Hunt), “ says Boswell, in a note, I “Burnet's History,” and “ Lady Rus. am inclined to think he was missell's Letters," harmonise little with “ informed as to this circumstance. I laughable and true story," connected own I am jealous for my worthy friend, with the Duke of Newcastle, told in a Dr. John Campbell. For though curious miscellany, entitled “ TheLoun- Milton could, without remorse, absent ger's Commonplace Book.” These, himself from public worship, I canhowever, if faults, are the faults of not." Now, Hunt, like Johnson, Mr. Hunt's subject, not his own; and teaches us to sympathise with allwe doubt, indeed, whether they are to think a man may be religious who faults at all. " There are," says
goes to church, and another who stays Goldsmith, “a hundred faults in this
away,—to feel that there may be a thing, and a hundred things might be good deal of stern independence besaid to prove them beauties.' This coming a great man, in Penn refusing was an author's preface to one of the to take off his bat, or honour, with most charining works ever written, bonnet-worship, his father, the old we speak of the “ Vicar of Wakefield,” admiral; and nevertheless imagine the of which we never saw one of the hun- old admiral by no means wrong in dred faults, till pointed out by criti. thinking this peculiarity of manners a cism, and in spite of the criticism we very absurd one, and not the less abforget them whenever we read the surd “ for being elevated into theolobook, which we have done again and gical importance." The quaker, re. again, and which we shall do again fusing to take off his hat in a court of and again. Yet how easy would it be justice may, if judged of by the to write a review of it, exhibiting its thoughts actuating him in resistance, impossibilities and incongruities, and be easily a more fitting subject of addealing with fiction as if it were fact, miration, than the beadle, who removes and as if the writer who had addressed it from the refractory disputant's head. the imagination were to weave his tale The latter, however, represents $0on the supposition that there was no ciety, seeking to maintain the desuch faculty in his reader—as if all cencies of life, and the value of Mr. these difficulties which disturb the pe- Hunt's catholic taste, is this, that he destrian critic, were difficulties or in. exhibits the inner principle, justifying terruptions at all to the winged fa- each. Men are happier-men are culty which overflies them altogether. better-men are more forbearingWe envy in Mr. Hunt the genial more charitable to each other—from sympathies which make him think of the influence of such books as this. every thing in its true human aspect, There is a pleasant poem of Leigh which make him see even in the most Hunt's, in which he gives us a little vicious states of society, such good as story, from D'Herbelot, which illusis in them-finding man, after all, trates happily the train of thought everywhere, not a devil, but which his present book suggests. We “ damaged archangel.” Of Johnson, may as well transcribe it :
“ Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase),
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
The volumes before us contain, liest, and which we have known to intewith some new matter, a good deal rest very grave and even great men, that Mr. Hunt had, some thirteen
there is a pleasant chapter entitled Eyes years ago, published under the title of and no Eyes, or the Art of Seeing. The ir The Streets of London," in succes.
two heroes of it come home successively
from a walk in the same road, one of sive monthly supplements to “ Leigh
them baving seen only a heath and a hill, Hunt's London Journal ;" and the
and the meadows by the water-side, and, publishers, who it seems look for a therefore, having seen nothing, — the more extensive work by the same other expatiating on his delightful ramauthor, have thought it desirable to ble, because the heath presented him reprint this account of that part of with curious birds, and the hill with the London, which extends from St. remains of a camp, and the meadows Paul's to St. James's. To the with reeds, and rats, and herons, and volumes describing this portion of king-fishers, and sea-shells, and a man London, the name of “ The Town” is
catching eels, and a glorious sunset. given, and we are told that“
" In like manner people may walk * The author
through a crowded city, and see nothing may be encouraged, by the reception
but the crowd. A man may go from which the present venture may meet, Bond-street to Blackwall, and unless to complete his account of London, he has the luck to witness an accident, by extending his researches east, west, or get a knock from a porter's burthen, north, and south; making the whole may be conscious, when he has returned, circuit of the town, and advancing of nothing but the names of those two with its streets into the very suburbs.
places, and of the mud through which he The book is ornamentally printed,
has passed. Nor is this to be attributed
to dulness. with a great number of illustrations,
He may, indeed, be dull. for the most part views of buildings, like bad spectacles, which no brightening
The eyes of his understanding may be and with fancifully-designed initial would enable to see much. But he may letters and tail-pieces. The very bind- be only inattentive. Circumstances may ing is extremely beautiful. Binding have induced a want of curiosity, to is becoming one of the fine arts, and which imagination itself shall contribute, the cover of the book is advertised as if it has not been taught to use its eyes. “ designed by W. Harry Rogers.” This is particularly observable in childWe may as well give the opening of hood, when the love of novelty is strong
est. the work. One page exemplifies as
A boy at the Charter-House, or
Christ-Hospital, probably cares nothing well as another the exceedingly happy
for his neighbourhood, though stocked conversational style in which the whole
with a great deal that might entertain -for a few exceptions are not worth him. He has been too much accustomed noticing—is written :
to identify it with his school-room. We
remember the time ourselves when the “ In one of those children's books only thought we had in going through which contain reading fit for the man- the metropolis was, how to get out of it ;
*" Hunt's Poetical Works." Moxon, 1846.
how to arrive, with our best speed, at Mr. Hunt. We have nothing of the the beautiful vista of home. And long
matter-of-fact imagination which could after this, we saw nothing in London but
“ feel as if Shakspeare, Milthe book-shops."
ton, Pope, Gay, Arbuthnot, the Club There is a passage in Boswell, at the Mermaid, and the Beauties at quoted by Hunt, in which he describes Whitehall were our next-door neighthe amusement afforded him by the bours ;" but we admit that there is contemplation of what a different thing much of truth in this pleasant exagge. London is to different people. The ration of the pleasurable feeling, and politician thinks of it but as the seat we listen with delight to the eloquent of government in its many depart- conversation of our gentle guide, who ments; the grazier as the great cat- could work this wonder if any one tle-market; the merchant as the place
could. where the business of the world is We must place ourselves among the done; the lover of the drama as the scenes, as we best can, and contemplace where the great theatres are, plate them shifting, under the spell of and so forth; " but the intellectual the magician, Time:man,” and here Bozzy rises high above
“ Ancient British London was a mere his ordinary self, “is struck with it as comprehending the whole of human
space in the woods, open towards the life in all its variety, the contemplation
river, and presenting circular cottages
on the hill and slope, and a few boats of which is inexhaustible."
on the water. As it increased, the Leigh Hunt's London is intended
cottages grew more numerous, and comto touch on all these subjects of inte- merce increased the number of sails. rest. The book is to be everybody's
“ Roman London was British London, book. The grazier is here told of interspersed with the better dwellings of great graziers who lived in former the conquerors, and surrounded by a days ; “ of Bakewell, who had an ani.
wall. It extended from Ludgate to the mal that produced him in one season
Tower, and from the river to the back
of Cheapside. eight hundred guineas ; of Fowler,
“ Saxon London was Roman London, whose borned cattle sold for a value
despoiled, but retaining the wall, and equal to that of the fee-simple of his ultimately growing civilised with Chris
. farm ;" the money-lover is told of the tianity, and richer in commerce. The miser of old, who, after spending thou- first humble cathedral church then arose, sands at the gaming-table, would hag- where the present one now stands. gle for a shilling at Smithfield. In
“Norman London was Saxon and Redescribing St. Paul's School we are
man London, greatly improved, thickreminded that there Milton was edu.
ened with many houses, adorned with cated; in passing Johnson's-court we
palaces of princes and princely bishops, are told of the fine old man amusing
sounding with minstrelsy, and glittering himself, during his residence there,
with the gorgeous pastimes of knight
hood. This was its state through the by imitating, for Boswell's edifica- Anglo-Norman and Plantagenet reigns. tion, the language of the Scottish The friar then walked the streets in his heads of families, and proudly desig- cowl (Chaucer is said to have beaten one nating himself Johnson of that ilk. in Fleet-street), and the knights rode The very names of the streets have with trumpets in gaudy colours to their their interests. Who, till reminded of
tournaments in Smithfield. it now, remembers when walking in
"* In the time of Edward I.houses were Fleet-street the river Fleet. There
still built of wood, and roofed with straw,
sometimes even with reeds, which gave is not a sight or sound in London that
rise to numerous fires. The fires brought this book does not aid us in connecting the brooks into request ; and an impor, with additional associations; and we tance which has since been swallowed have no doubt that our next visit to up in the advancement of science, was the “ Babylon of the Anglicans" will be then given to the River of Wells (Bagrendered a pleasanter one, through
nigge, Sadler's, and Clerkenwell), to the the hundred incidents which this little
oid Bourne (the origin of the name of book links together by the tie of place.
Holborn), to the little river Fleet, the We have no hope of realising objects
Wall-brook, and the brook Langto ourselves to the extent that years
bourne, which last still gives its name of residence in London and the neigh
to a ward. The conduits, which were
large leaden cisterns, twenty in numbourhood have rendered possible to
ber, were under the special care of the