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men who never flattered them, but, on the contrary, very freely told them their faults, obtained their esteem and confidence, and were employed by them on all important occasions.
Of the number of these was the excellent Phocion, who indeed was re. markable for his professed contempt of the popular ppinion; yet his being above forty times appointed to the command of the Athenian armies, is a proof that the people were not so light and irrational ąs to reject the seryices of an able and virtuous man, Þecause he spoke harshly to them. His unmerited fate, indeed, was a lamentable instance of the effect of popular rage under the impression of mistake and passion; yet the circumstances of the time, when Athens was in the dying agonies of her liberty, together with a false step really made by Phocion through his over, confidence in the Macedonian general, may be pleaded in ex, tenuation of the cruel and disgraceful act:--and what passionata despot has not done as much or more ?
Aristides owed to his reputation for that virtue which conferred on him his surname of the Just, the popular esteem which rạised him to the first offices of the state; and surely the public con. sidence was never more nobly placed, or more faithfully sepaid. His banishment, and that of many other eminent Athenians, by the sentence of ostracism, has often been adduced in proof of the inconstancy and ingratitude of a popular government; but it was, in fact, the mildest mode of getting rid for a time of an influence which, in a constitution without checks and balances, (the radical defect of a purę democracy), was continuaļly endangering the public liberty. A single tyrant kills when he suspects.
The popularity of political characters is commonly the result of exertions to resist those encroachments and abuses which may always be expected from uncontrouled power in whatever hand, Under the weight of monarchical or aristocratical oppression, the body of people have always looked up to men who were willing and able to assume the part of their protectors; and there have never been wanting in mixed governments, persons of the superior. classes, who have thought the popularity thus acquired as worthy an object of pursuit as the approbation of a court or a senate, The Poplicolas of Rome were for several generations revered as the patrons of the people ; and in our own country, families might be named which have established hereditary claims to popular attachment. Now, there seems to be no reason why, on one hand, the people should be vilified for honouring the defenders of their rights; or, on the other, why patriots should be censured for taking pleasure in that public applause which they have well merited. The people give the most valuable thing they have to þestow, in giving their hearts; and the patriot receives that reward of his labours which, to say no more, costs his country the least, A accepting the demonstrations of their affection and esteem.
They who wish to depreciate popularity are fond of producing instances in which it has been conferred upon vicious characters. It wers, indeed, much to be wished that public and private virtue should always be found in conjunction; but such is the imper, fection of human nature that this is not the case; and when they present themselves apart, we must make the best compromise with each that we are able. It is not, however, true that moral character weighs nothing in the scale of popularity. In this country, private virtue scarcely ever fails of its due estimation with the people, when they are made acquainted with it; and es. amples might easily be pointed out in which that alone has obtained more credit for a public character than it deserved. On the other hand, when a man has taken a part in public life which accords with the wishes of his fellow-citizens, and sustains it with spirit and ability, it would be neither just nor wise to refuse him the meed due to him as a patriot, because his conduct as the master of a family has been exceptionable. And why should the people be more delicate in this respect than their rulers, who never scruple to engage and remunerate the services of one whose talents may be useful to them, whatever be his moral defects? If the favourites of the people have sometimes been profligate, what have been those of kings and princes ?* It is true, the patriotism which has not virtue for its base is not confidently to be relied upon; yet there is a kind of honour, which, however artificial, will sometimes keep a man steady to the cause he has espoused, notwithstanding the temptations of interest, though he may be incapable of resisting the allurements of pleasure and fashionable dissipation. At least, such persons are often more to be trusted than those who, confiding in the reputation they have acquired from observing the ordinary decencies of life, feel no restraint from public opinion when they make themselves the tools of a court or a minister.
The good will of the vulgar, it must be acknowledged, is sometimes gained by arts which experience and reflection would from the first discern to be unworthy and contemptible-by vehement and empty declamation against every exertion of authority ; by personal abuse, and imputations thrown at random upon the characters and designs of men in power; by aggravated pictures of public distress, and pathetic lamentations over unavoidable evils. But there must be some real causes of discontent before much credit can be obtained by such practices; some misgovernment, the effects of which håve entrenched upon the comforts of life in every class of society. The public in an ill humour may be misled both as to their friends and their enemies, though the ill-humour itself may be justly founded.
* When Wilkes was under prosecution for the Essay on Woman, there were in the House of Lords, aod even in the King's Household and Cabinet, persons who formed a conspicuous part of that abandoned society in which the obooxious piece took its origio.
Another species of popularity which well deserves both the contempt and abhorrence of every well-disposed member of the community, is that sometimes consequent upon lavish profusion employed for purposes of corruption, or for the indulgence of those propensities to idleness and debauchery which characterise the lowest and most dissolute of the populace. When a people are so debased that they think of nothing but panem et Circenses, -largesses and shows,--they will bestow their affections upon the vilest of mankind who provide liberally for those wants ; thus the very worst of the Roman emperors were favourites with the sol. diery and the mob of Rome. But the candidates for this popularity cannot be less than princes or fortunate commanders, and there is little danger that they should be mistaken for patriots.
A kind of ridicule has been attached to popularity in consequence of the modes in which the vulgar sometimes display their regard. When the biped takes the place of the quadruped in drawing the carriage of the hero of the day, it is scarcely possible to restrain a sarcasm at such a voluntary degradation of those whose acclamations constitute the chief honour of the exhibition ; though, it is to be observed, the greatest contemners of the mob are well enough pleased to enjoy this distinction when it serves
But here the difference between people and populace displays itself. It is the populace who chair and draw the candidate, and break windows and heads in his cause; but it is the people who associate to secure the election of the tried patriot, and to rescue themselves from a corrupt and overbearing influence. No wise man will value himself upon the shouts of the first; but the noblest spirit may take pride in the zealous attach. ment of the last. Ile who is indifferent to the approbation of his fellow-citizens is no fit member of a free state.
affect to despise the emptiness of popular fame; but if the more solid objects which captivate his mind are a title or a ribbon, he as little merits the esteem of the philosopher, as the confidence of his country.
ART. III.- On the Privileges of a Pedestrian.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE REFLECTOR.
I readily acknowledge myself to be one of that large class in society who find the maintenance of a number of human beings a sufficient task in these times, without adding to it that of keeping other expensive animals. Exclusively, therefore, of a cat, my domestic establishment consists entirely of my own species. I confess, also, that there have been moments in which the easy chariot, the smart gig or curricle, and the sprightly hunter, have excited in me enotions, not of envy, but of an unsatisfied desire. But as nothing is more injurious to happiness than broosling over wants and wishes which we are unable to gratify, I have accustomed myself to turn my view upon what I possess, rather than upon what I am without; and as I am of necessity a pedestrian, I feel a satisfaction in reflecting upon the comparative advantages that attend this mode of walking the world.
I must premise, that though somewhat declined into the vale of years, and sensible that they have robbed me of some things I should have been glad to have kept, yet I can say with Cowper
Th? elastic spring of an unwearied foot
Mine have not pilfer'd yet,
por yet impaird
I shall not take up much time in descanting on the peculiar galubrity of walking exercise. That it is the natural mode of conveyance from place to place, and indeed the only one which can be practised by a great majority of the human species, forms a reasonable presumption in its favour; to whicha medical theorist would probably add, that it affords the most equable and general action to all parts of the body, and is not liable to the sudden
shocks and partial pressures consequent upon riding on horseback. As to lolling in a bolstered carriage upon patent springs on a smooth road, it is such an apology for exercise, that Indolence herself might blush to give it the name, and we need not wonder" at the pallid faces and languid bloated figures that we often see painfully alighting from a morning ride at the doors of a fashion: able street or square. They pay a high price for health and spirits which the very purchase prevents them from acquiring, and which they might have gratuitously, if they could condescend to share the boon with their inferiors. The ancients, who were particularly attentive to gymnastic medicine, had their ambulacra, or walking places, always attached to a great mansion; sensible that no mode of exercise which luxury could invent, would produce the bene ficial effects of one which nature seems to have appropriated to mankind.
of the other advantages of a pedestrian, I shall first mention his independence. Instead of being the slave of a groom or & coachman, who, when his master calls for his horse or carriage, may come with a long face and say, Sir, the grey mare is lames and the gelding has taken physic; or, one of the coach wheels is Joose, and the harness is gone to be mended, (miscries well known to the opulent), the pedestrian, at the first gleam of sunshine in a dubious day, or the instant of laying aside business, buttons on his gaiters, snatches up his hat and umbrella, and sallies forth without a question to any body. On his way he has nothing to attend to but himself, and nothing to consult but his own, volition. The most absolute authority over another, either man or beast, is not exerted without some effort, some hesitation as to the propriety of the command, and the resistance it may possibly encounter; a horse may be restive, or a servant sulky, and to stop or turn a carriage is a matter requiring some consideration; but when the mind has only to convey a command to the legs, the order and its execution are simultaneous. This feeling of independence is a delightful thing to those who have experienced it, and would not readily be exchanged for the constraint of luxurious indulgence.
Connected with this privilege is the feeling of perfect security with which the walker proceeds, who has not to watch the motions of a stumbling or a starting horse, or continually to keep a lookout lest his wheels should be 'entangled, or his carriage driven into a ditch, by some furious Phaeton. How many are there who from apprehensions of this kind lose all the pleasure of a ride, and are never at their easę till they dismount or are set down in safety at their own house! The walker, from the foot-way, surveys all the bustle and confusion of a much travelled road as one not at all concerned in it, and what is terror to those in the midst of it, is only amusement to him.