페이지 이미지

I think I cannot more appropriately conclude this anecdote than by adding the excellent, and excellently expressed advice of Polonius to his son, on his departure for a foreign country. The precepts are admirably adapted to form a man of the world and a gentleman, in the best sense of the terms; and in my opinion are well worth committing to memory by those whom they concern.

Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware
Of entrance into quarrel! but, being in,
Bear it, that the opposer may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice :
Take each man's censnre, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy ; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all-to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.


Amid the varied scenes of this vast metropolis, there is probably none so striking as an interior view of an execution at the Old Bailey. . Being desirous to witness the effect of the punishment of death, I once accompanied one of the sheriffs on a cold winter's morning, to see three men executed. We

arrived between seven and eight o'clock, and were shown into the press room, a low, gloomy chamber. Two of the men, having attempted to escape, were heavily ironed. Each placed his foot upon an anvil, whilst a smith with a large hammer and great force, drove the rivets out. The sound was awful. One of the criminals, who had confessed to a hundred burglaries, I had myself committed for trial. He was a finelooking man of nine-and-twenty, but so altered, that I could scarcely trace his former features; and I was informed that, even in the most hardened, nature generally gives way in the last four-and-twenty hours, and suffers dreadful wreck. When the three were pinioned, the procession set slowly forward along the dark and narrow passages, a bell dismally knolling, and the Ordinary reading portions of the burial service. A few minutes after the drop fell, we retired, as is the custom, to breakfast in what is called the Lord Mayor's parlour. The Ordinary presided in full canonicals, and kept our attention alive by anecdotes connected with the occasion. On his right sat the city marshal in military uniform. The Sheriffs wore their massive gold chains, and the two undersheriffs were in court dresses, contrasted with whom, was a gentleman of peculiarly primitive appearance and attire—a constant attendant. The group, the time of day, the occasion, formed a combination altogether singular. After the lapse of an hour, the sheriffs were summoned to see the bodies cut down, and I was surprised to find the countenances as placid as after natural death.

Notice. In consequence of different requests I shall in my next number begin to fulfil my promise to treat of the Art of attaining high health, from experience.








No. III.] WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 1835. [PRICE 3d.


It was my intention, in entering into the details of parish government, to have written an original article ; but in looking into a sketch on the subject, which I published in January, 1834, I think it advisable to begin with that, in a corrected form, and to supply its deficiencies hereafter.

It seems to me that the first in order and most important of all reforms, is the Reform of Parochial Government--that is, the adaptation to pri sent circumstances of the English principle of SELF-GOVERNMENT BY SMALL COMMUNITIES.

Parochial government is the very element upon which all other government in England depends, and as long as it is out of order, every thing must be out of order-representation, legislation-police. Hence instead of a House of Commons of men of practical wisdom and distinct views in matters of government, saying little and doing much, a House of Commons as it is. The choosers and the chosen are alike vague in the knowledge of their duties. They have had no proper training; they have not begun at the beginning-GOVERNMENT

Hence also a confused mass of laws, and a flood of




At pre

It is by

vice and crime. Hence demagogues, adventurers, theorists, and quacks, the tormentors of the public peace; and mobs, and combinations, and visionary schemes. Let each portion of the country be thoroughly governed, and the soundness of the whole will make those evils necessarily vanish. sent all is, as it were, chaotic, offering a fertile field to the wild and selfish, whilst the wise and good are discouraged and dismayed.

It is by the principle alone of self-government by small communities that a nation can be brought to enjoy a vigorous moral health, and its consequence-real prosperity. the same principle alone that the social feelings can be duly called into action, and that men, taken in the mass, can be noble, generous, intelligent, and free. It has been from neglect of this principle that England, with all her advantages, has not made greater progress; and it will be only to its abandonment, and the substitution of a heartless system of generalization and mercenaries, that she can ever owe her decay and become fit for despotism. Put the administration of justice throughout the land, the police, the poor laws, the roads, into the hands of mere Officials placed over extended districts, with which they are to have little or no community-take from men of business and of fortune every thing but their business and their fortunes, and on the one hand will be created a race of traders in public affairs, and on the other, of selfish besotted individuals, with a government relying for its strength on an all-pervading patronage; and, in the proportion that this is done, evil will arise, and good be prevented.

It is true that every thing connected with parish government has long been, with the ignorant and unthinking, as well as with many who ought to have known better, the object of ridicule and abuse; and that those whose duty it especially was to have taken office upon themselves, have diverted their attention and their efforts to private channels, or to those public institutions which at best are but inefficient expedients for well-organized local government. They have had an excuse for their neglect in the difficulty of effecting good, and the feeling that it could only be temporary; and most of those who have made any attempt at reform, have rather furnished a warning than an example for imitation, because the machinery was too defective to work well for any length of time. There have been some general acts of parliament and many local ones for the better government of parishes ; but they have been called forth only to remedy evils become intolerable, and have either been in abandonment of true principles, or have very inadequately enforced them. The ancient courts too, with their inquests and fines, have fallen into disuse, and their place has not been supplied by local institutions better fitted to the times, and absolutely necessary to well ordered communities.

It is a melancholy truth that at this moment no small portion of the population through the land may be said to be out of the pale of government, unless when their crimes, the consequences of neglect, draw down its vengeance upon their heads. It is pitiable to see wretches brought before the tribunals of justice, who never had any chance of well-doing ; and the only marvel is, that with so many temptations and so little care, there is not far more of disorder and outrage. Not only in the metropolis, but in every town, nearly in every parish in the kingdom, there is a neglected population, sunk in ignorance, filth, and vice, which almost unseen, festers in the body politic, and more or less infects the health of all. It is not by the efforts of individuals, or of any combinations of individuals, that this evil can be remedied, but by an improved local organization proceeding from the state--an organization required for the moral elevation and the well being of all classes, as well the governing as the governed.

The mode of reform I think desirable is briefly this. As the parishes throughout the kingdom vary so much in extent,

« 이전계속 »