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of our famous Protestant reformers, and their management of the gynocephalocoptic propensities of Henry the Eighth, that procured for England the manifold blessings of its religion, "as by law established ?" It was the cunning of a British minister in shifting taxation from the shoulders of the mother-country upon those of the Yankee tea-drinkers, that gave the world the example of American freedom; and the cunning of the French king in taking advantage of the circumstance, was the happy means of inoculating all Europe with a love of liberty. I say nothing of Darius and his cunning horsedealer's trick to get at the throne; because the story has something of an apocryphal air; and because we have known princes, nearer our own times, who would have beat the Persian "out and out," in this branch of horsemanship. But why do I talk of princes? What are the mysteries of kingcraft to the mysteries of Capel-court, the true headquarters of cunning? or to the scarcely less profound policy of the Corn Exchange, that key which opens or shuts the ports of Great Britain to foreign grain, in spite of the dunderheaded agriculturists, in their own estimation "the cunningest little Isaacks" in all Christendom.

When I mention the word diplomacy, I speak of the very abstraction of cunning, an art from which cunning has banished even the pretence of wisdom. Yet how vast are the benefits, which diplomacy confers upon mankind! How stupendous the intellectual powers put forth by those patriotic citizens, who, educated and accomplished for the task by instinct, go forth into foreign courts to lie, for the good of their country, for the poor consideration of an income not much more than twice as great as that of the President of the United States ! Really when I reflect on these things, when I compare the tortuous intrigue of the means, with the dignity and importance of the ends, in all public affairs, I cannot but wonder that the Liturgy has not long ago been changed; and that instead of praying to endow the Privy Council "with grace, wisdom, and understanding," we do not in one comprehensive term ask for them the more necessary blessing of cunning.

Whichever way I turn my thoughts, the influence of this quality upon humanity is equally striking. What, for instance, can be more imposing and majestic than that happy union of church and state which triumphs in the Protestant ascendancy of Ireland, and lays six millions of Catholics prostrate at the feet of a handful of imbecile fainéans, who disdain all honest employment? Yet is this suberb union of incompatibles, this happy amalgamation of all that is holy with all that is selfish and cruel, upheld entirely by cunning, and in the very teeth, as it were, of every dictate of political wisdom. Again, what can be more incomprehensible than that other anomaly in government, that imperium in imperio, the dominion of the Leadenhall (I was going to say Leaden-headed) merchants over fifty millions of Hindoos ? or that other stupendous monopoly, the Bank of England, which hangs at least one man for forgery every six weeks, and breaks a private bank once a quarter? Who can contemplate these curious modifications of social order without ecstasies at the omnipotence of cunning?

But the favourite arena of cunning is Westminster-hall, and law, in all its departments, its chosen study. What in fact could be imagined in this genre, superior to the system of legal fictions with all the subor

dinate contrivances to convert justice into a lottery, and to render property as insecure, as if it rested on a quicksand? Then listen to the pleadings of lawyers, the art with which they cross-examine, the ingenuity with which they cite inapplicable cases, and forge analogies without any parallelism! Or if we descend from generals to particulars, what can transcend the cunning of the game laws, the artful traps for litigation in the poor laws, the ingenious enactments for encouraging smuggling of the Excise laws? Can it be said that the smallest grain of wisdom animates any of these codes? Then again how admirable is the cunning of the law of libel, which avoids all definitions, in order to embrace all possible offences; and this too in the chosen land of freedom! Consider also the manner in which this law is administered and applied to the multiplication of infidelity and the manufacture of disloyalty. Yet who shall say that these are not the works of great men? But if no other proof were at hand to maintain my thesis, the triumphs of cunning would stand manifest in Jeremy Bentham's book of fallacies, which is a running commentary upon the cunning of orators and statesmen, and a record of all their feats. The superiority of cunning over wisdom is however, after all, most evident in the intercourse of the sexes. Cunning, from the beginning of time, has been the attribute of females, while man shines conspicuous in wisdom: at least all authors have agreed to say so; and as they are, almost to a man, of the male sex, they certainly ought to know something of the matter. Yet, after all, the cleverest husbands are but arrant nincompoops when they are weak enough to set their wits against their wives. When did wisdom indeed wear the breeches, if cunning but took a fancy to keep them for her own use?

The utility and practical applicability of cunning is endless; let us turn, therefore, without more loss of time, to its pleasures. Oh! the exquisite delights of cunning, in all its departments, from a fraud to a hoax! From the boy who cheats at marbles, to the statesman who undermines his colleague, the pleasure afforded by the triumph of the intellect is at least as great as the profit, a pleasure cheaply purchased by a clout on the head, or a pistol bullet. This is a point well worthy of the consideration of the legislature; for unless the laws lean heavier on swindling offences than on those committed with force and infraction, the superior temptation will be irresistible. In love and in angling by far the greatest part of the sport lies in the cunning; witness the transports of delight with which the fisherman and the rake "fight all their battles o'er again." Hence the ridicule which haunts an unfortunate cuckold, who, instead of being pitied for his domestic misfortunes, is despised as a dupe. Ask any loose "fellow upon town" of your acquaintance the question, and he will own that there is much more fun in marrying his cast mistress to a friend, than in the triumph over her virtue while on the other hand, that honour which has resisted all the assaults of the tender passion, has many a time fallen the victim of a husband's jealousy; so superior are the transports of cunning in outwitting a suspicious coxcomb, even to those of our most natural appetites. Wisdom, the object of admiration with your transcendental dreamers, is not for every man's market. In fact nothing can be more rare. "Que les gens d'esprit sont bêtes,” says Figaro; how few of those who make the proudest display of parts and genius, can soar above the

muddy atmosphere of prejudice, and view great questions in that wholeness and purity which is essential to wisdom in thought and action. Cunning, on the contrary, is within every body's reach. It requires but that greatness in little things, which a strong volition can give to the most ordinary mortals. The most ignorant slut of a kept mistress will lead a man of sense and feeling to the very devil, if she can but once bring her cunning to play on him; and a slatternly cookwench will wheedle even a judge into matrimony, if she has only got the length of his foot. Not but that there are degrees in this as in all other qualities. There are those whose cunning is so superfine that they outwit themselves; just as the Catholic saint helped the invoking cavalier in mounting so potently as to fling him over on the other side of his horse. But this is a bastard sort of cunning, no more like the real thing than Dovey's paste is to real diamond. The true exercise of cunning consists in escaping detection; unless indeed, as in the case of the Ferdinands, the Francises, and the Louises, the artist is too powerful to suffer by it; and then the slightest film of decency is sufficient to save appearances. Thus a bishop may flatter the vices of the great, in his search of promotion, more openly than a curate; and an “unpaid magistrate" may fall foul of frailty in rags in a manner that would be quite unconstitutional in one of meaner degree.

The same reason will likewise excuse the coarseness of that artifice with which a certain assembly sought to pass off a one pound note and a shilling for a guinea, at a moment when no one in his senses would part with the coin under six and twenty shillings. It is, however, high time to stop, the amplitude of the subject is too vast for the compass of a single paper. But I forgot, "Tresca con i fanti et lasciar star i santi," is a wholesome proverb; and so no more at present from your humble servant, M.


"I bless the happy moment, says Petrarch, that directed my heart to Laura. She led me to see the path of virtue, to detach my heart from base and grovelling objects: from her I am inspired with that celestial flame which raises my soul to Heaven, and directs it to the Supreme Cause, as the only source of happiness." Mrs. Dobson's Life of Petrarch, vol. i. p. 37.

No! let my wreath be entwined and hid,
Till around my brow in Heaven it glows,
Where the living lily respires amid

The bower of the bright immortal rose.
And wave the leaves of the Paradise-tree
In the silver winds of Eternity!

I will not seek for an earthly wreath,

To entwine my brow with its fading light ;
There is nought that shines, in this world beneath,

With a smile that lasts in the death-wind's blight:
Then be mine a wreath from the blissful tree,
Over which the zephyrs of Eden flee!

Yet, oh pardon, Heaven! if one pure flower

I would bind and braid in the wreath divine-
If the fairest rose in an earthly bower

I would make, in the Land of the Tearless, mine:
Alas! without it there scarce would be
A charm in the garland of life for me!



HAD I my choice, I would pass my summer in Switzerland, my spring on the banks of the Loire, and my winter in Portugal or Italy; but I know no autumn that I would put in competition with that amidst the woods of Upper Canada. The pleasures of a Canadian autumn, it is true, must seem poor and insipid to those who have never lived out of society, for they can be felt only by him who delights in contemplating the various aspect of Nature in the changes of the year. Nowhere are the changes of season so sudden and so wonderful as in the Western world. To behold them, to enjoy them in all their glory, one must be secluded wholly in the woods, with leisure to take interest in the ever-varying face of creation, and with so much philosophy (or the art of inding enjoyment in every object presented by a bountiful Providence) as to seize with avidity every novelty of appearance. The change from summer to autumn comes upon us gently, gradually, and delightfully, while spring bursts out from the gloom of winter like the sun from behind a cloud. One week all is bare, barren, and desolate; the next, the fields are covered with verdure and flowers, the trees of the forest have put on their mantle of leaves, all living creatures seem to awake to light and life, and all is novelty, animation, and delight. Another week passes on, and we enjoy the splendid vegetation, feel the invigorating warmth of the torrid zone. Words cannot express the suddenness of the change-it must be felt and seen to be adequately conceived. It is, in fact, as if we were in a moment to be transported from the snows of Siberia to the genial shores of the Dardanelles.

"So breaks on the traveller, faint and astray,
The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn."

Autumn, on the other hand, approaches with slow and timid steps. While the ardour of the sun's rays is abated, the parched fields and drooping maize are revived by the grateful shower. The wild vines present their fruit along every path that threads the woods: and the orchard, the solace of the settler, offers to him its almost spontaneous bounty, as if it had enjoyed the watchful attention of a more industrious patron. In the wilderness of woods-the grand feature of the Western hemisphere-part of the trees retain their original verdure ; while others, according to their respective natures, present every hue of vegetable life, and render their variegated aspect delightful to the observer. If spring were a perfect and almost instantaneous creation, autumn seems a pleasing repose after the over excitation of summer. Animal and vegetable life, in the New World, proceeds by bounds, not by slow gradations, as in Europe: it is lively, vigorous, uncontrolled, rising rapidly to its highest perfection-and "lo! 'tis gone!" Rapid maturity indicates an equally rapid decay-or, as the geometrician would express it," the angle of inflection is always equal to the angle of incidence."

To the dweller in crowded cities, and even to the inhabitants of the smiling fields of France and England, every thing in Canada must seem solitary and forlorn,-the dazzling brightness of summer equally with the frozen aspect of winter; but to the emigrant living far from the "busy hum of men," the autumnal season presents peculiar advantages and peculiar pleasures. Depending upon his own exertions

during other seasons of the year, he must at this join in good fellowship with his brother settlers, that he and they may profit by the bounties of nature. When a corn-field is to be cleared, houses to be erected, fields to be inclosed, any thing to be done that requires speedy execution, the neighbouring farmers are invited to a frolic. Young and old, maid and matron, they muster to the "gathering." While the men are engaged in their hospitable labours, their wives and daughters are busy in preparing the plentiful repast that forms the commencement of the evening fête. Dancing, and music succeed; noise and gaiety make the hours pass unperceived along; and more than all, youths and maidens form matches with a rapidity most enviable to the spinsters of Europe, for here both look forward (as to a certain conquest) to the well-stocked farm, the smiling family, and that total absence of care unknown to other lands. Four or five years clearing of the woods gives every one the means, and almost the right, of passing the remainder of his days in ease and abundance, with luxuriant fields and a never-failing orchard to supply his wants, and a healthful progeny rising round him to follow in the steps of their father. Greater equality of ranks prevails here than even among our republican neighbours. Though the subjects of a monarchy, and sprung from a people amongst whom the aristocratical leaven is very widely diffused, the Canadian settler has launched out to an extreme of equality and independence that scarcely prevails amongst the hunters of the Missouri. Accustomed to live in a dependent situation in Europe, forced by circumstances and prevailing habits to pay respect to the feelings of those around him, he here bursts at once the bonds of dependence, of courtesy, and of civilization :-become a landed proprietor (an "estated gentleman," as the Irish emigrants term it), he loses those social feelings produced and fostered by crowded communities, looks to himself alone for aid or counsel, and, like the rude Indian, follows "the desires of his own heart, with none to control him." Let it not be thought that I blame the boisterous freedom of the Canadians, since it is, in fact, but the natural consequence of their situation. But they have other peculiarities not equally excusable. If, perchance, some unfortunate merchant should settle amongst them, some time-worn officer, who has seen life in all its chequered forms, he is not only not received with the same good neighbourship as his countrymen of lowlier origin, but is hated, envied, persecuted,-because he was a gentleman. Knowing how obsequious they were wont to be to their superiors in Europe, they revenge themselves by insolence towards him in America. Knowing they are possessed of equal rights, and landholders like himself, they make him atone for his invidious superiority in birth and education by the petty contrivances of ignorance and envy. This hateful feeling prevails only (as far as I have seen) among the emigrants from Europe. Those who have come from the American side of the Lakes (who form the most industrious, enterprising, and successful of the settlers) possess all the equality of freemen, but none of the insolence of emancipated slaves. This difference of manners arises from a very obvious cause, though the extent of its effects is little credited in Europe,-I mean the universal diffusion* of

As this must be understood in a general sense to be limited to reading and writing, it affords a very pleasing illustration of the benefits of instruction, to silence the anti-educationists.

Vol. IX. No. 50.-1825.


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