Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

the removal of mere mechanical difficulties shame it is that such composts and such in the way of such recording will not be stenches should exist!” The obvious reply sufficient to melt the stereotyped surface of to our moraliser of the sewers would be that Asiatic society. The Orientals might if they by such existences he derives bis living, and liked have kept all the knowledge they ac- that his duty is simply to clear them away quired in writing, as the Benedictines pretty and make as little noise about it as possihonestly tried to do. Something more must ble. There is a decided nauseous absurdity be born among them, a wish to husband about our kennel philosopher protesting experience; but we know that education against the dirtiness of his own profession; evokes this

among classes as stereotyped as and this absurdity is exaggerated when be they are, the British husbandmen, and why takes to denouncing the dirtiness of other not among them? Little has been done as people. When the chiffonier calls out inyet, no doubt; but, after all, the first native dignantly, “What a disgrace to cleanliness type was cast in the lifetime of men still liv- is yonder chimney-sweep! how can you ing, and already we have Sindhia, that is, suffer him to enter your house ? " the natua Hindoo Prince, who calmly suggests a ral answer is, “My friend, I would much crude and imperfect, but still distinct and rather be compelled to sit at table with him philosophical, explanation of the reason why than with you." he has to take orders from a white invader, Now there are among the public teachers a native who reasons on a matter of tran- permitted by our press laws a few daily scendental politics, if not with the acumen, and weekly journals who flourish by an art at least in the spirit, of Mr. Mill. As yet similar to that employed by the rag-pickers the majority are using the new knowledge and dust contractors and various assorters they are husbanding chiefly upon the old of the refuse of our homes. Their profit is problem, “Whence comes he, whither goes made, not by clearing off the superincumhe?” and “experience” acts mainly as a bent dirt of daily topics, but by separating religious solvent; but then this was the case it, classifying it, and bringing it back into also in the European Renaissance. The public view. And the difference of utility Reformation succeeded the importation of in the two callings is this, that whereas the the Greek literature, but preceded the rise material rubbish can generally be turned to of the philosophy of induction. From Gut- good account, the moral rubbish can very enberg's Bible to Bacon's Essays there was rarely be so turned. The press chiffonier a space of 147 years.

thrives by stirring it round and round, and raising an odour which sundry debased nostrils find piquant. And he does so in a spirit of the highest virtue and decency.

But he is peculiarly indignant when anyFrom The Leader.

body else does the same; fearing, doubtTHE DEVIL TURNED PRECISIAN.

less, rivalry in his craft. An exhibition of THERE is, as somebody once said, an this last idiosyncrasy is furnished in the egregious cant which cants against cant; latest number of the Saturday Review. As there is equally a peculiar indecency which everybody more or less knows, the Saturloves to denounce indecency. Natures of day Review has for the last twelvemonth a certain constitution are never happy save signalised itself and gained a certain repuwhen they are raking together the garbage tation among the class which loves the of life. We suppose it is a natural selec- sensationalism of slander and suggestive tion of occupation, analogous to the selec- naughtiness, by a series of foul-mouthed tion of species, which gives us our chiffo- attacks upon women. It was a notion niers and nightmen. Like tends to like; worthy of the greatest sensation-monger and as by the law of race certain creatures of the age, this dragging through the dirt choose their fittest mates, equally do con- what all chivalry and all Christianity have stitutions of a dirty order gravitate towards elevated into a religion among us — our bedirty work. We have nothing to object to lief in the purity of womanhood, typified by the law, which indeed is highly necessary. our sisters, and mothers, and wives. Only The scavenger is as useful to society as the an indecent and unscrupulous mind could savant, and in his class may be commended; have hit on this newest piquancy, which all we ask is that the scavenger do not per- even the scepticism and wickedness of the petually obtrude his person and calling upon eighteenth century left alone. The new society's notice - - do not bring into our draw- idea culminated perhaps, though it did not ing-rooms the produce of the gutter, with end, in that well-known article called “The the virtuous claim, See what tilthiness I Girl of the Period,” wherein the writer am cleansing from your houses; what al openly preached the superiority of harlotry to the ethics of our modern English girls. assimilate in manner to the unfortunates of “Let us have,” exclaimed the writer, " the the higher class! In fact, a Saturday Requeens of St. John's Wood in their unblush- vier number without an allusion to the ing honesty rather than their imitators and demi-monde is an egg without salt. Nomake-believes in Bayswater and Belgravia." thing pleases our friend so much as the opAnd again, * If some fashional devergondée portunity of painting a frowsy picture in en evidence is reported to have come out the most glaring of colours. A tirade with her dress below her shoulder-blades which we do not care to quote in full about and a gold strap for all the sleeve thought flaccid cheeks” and “displayed busts, as necessary, the girl of the period follows suit if beauty was to be measured by cubic next day. :. The girl of the period inches," and "lustreless eyes blackened envies the queens of the demi monde far round the lids,” and “no drapery of lace or more than she abhors them." It should be gauze to conceal the breadth of her robust remembered of this and many parallel pas- maturity ” — is a sufficient indication of sages that at the time when these nasty in- what can be done by an unscrupulous pen sinuations were penned the expression, in the way of suggestive indecency. “Girl of the Period," did not mean what, Each journalist to his métier. But the by a natural latitude it has now come to phenomenon reaches the aspect of a good signify, but simply meant the ordinary Eng joke when the Saturday Review, of all jourlish girl

, pur sang, whom we are accustomed nals, turns round and abuses the daily press to see in our homes.

for what it is pleased to call Newspaper The lampoon, as may be imagined, did Sewage” in its last number. The daily not stop at the young girls. Young and papers last week reported -- omitting its old, married and unmarried, all womankind worst details — a criminal action containing was dragged through the gutter. The name certain shocking allegations; and the reof English woman, we are told in the Satur- port of this case has outraged the fine senday Review of August 8th,“ too often sibilities of the Saturday Review. After means a woman who is not ashamed to sup-gasping out his repugnance to * inbuman plement her husband with a lover, but who lusts and unspeakable horrors,” our philosis unwilling to become the honest mother ophical traducer of women and essayist of of that busband's children." The well-bred the Divorce Court thus formularises conwoman of our age acts Potiphar's wife to cerning his daily brethren :— “Perfectly the family physician. “His influence over conscious that there was a good market for that idle woman is unlimited; and if he their nastiness, with great care and circumchooses to abuse it and turn it to evil issue, spection they provided their nastiness ache can.” “ The unnatural feeling against cordingly. They have their reward in the maternity existing among fashionable wo-consciousness of having done their best to men is one of the worst mental signs of corrupt public morals, to violate all feeltheir state, as their frequent inability to be ings of decency in decent people, to make mothers at all is one of the worst physical bad worse, to encourage the innocent to sin, results.” So far the married women; of and to render our boasted civilisation and her who, not getting married, gets old, we our pretended care for morality a scorn and are told that she * began her career of disgrace in the estimation of even savages.” flirtation with the son of a duke, and ends The Saturday Review could not more it with the son of a shopkeeper, having be- succinctly have summed up its own princitween these two terms spanned all the several ples and the result of its own practice. It degrees of degradation which lie between has for some months pandered to the prugiving and buying." In plain English, this rience of profligates and sceptics, knowing should mean that she dishonours herself in there was a good market for nastiness." the first instance freely, but is at last com- It has also achieved the end of “violating pelled to purchase paramours at a price. all feelings of decency in decent people, But none of the Saturday Review's articles and of "rendering our pretended care for are complete without the touch of Holy- morality a scorn in the estimation" of the well-street art. On August 1st it wrote heathen; for a native paper of India transupon“ Spoilt Women ”- surely an innocent lated the “Girl of the Period,” and pointed enough subject, comprising ths enfants to this type as the self-confessed outcome gatées of our drawing-rooms. But even of British Christianity. What cared the here we get the inevitable spice of nasti- Saturday Review as long as the market for ness; the demi-monde is violently dragged nastiness was supplied? But now,

the marin; and we are assured that our pretty ket being overstocked, the Saturday Review wayward beauties who ask a man to put cries out against that which may shock down a teacup, or get up and ring the bill, / “ unpolluted women” and “the susceptible innocence of boys and girls.” Never was It seems to be thought in some quarters judgment more fittingly self-applied; never that we have given him a cordial welcome was the old tu quoque sentence more forci- because he is a Southerner and a Democrat, bly brought home - Mutato nomine de te ) and, as such, opposed to the policy which fabula narratur.

the Republican party deem necessary for stamping out the embers of rebellion in the Southern States — that, in point of fact, our hospitality is nothing but a fresh outbreak

of sympathy with the defunct Confederation. From The Leader, 19 Dec.

Of course nothing can be more untrue or THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR.

more absurd than this notion. It is natural The career of Mr. Reverdy Johnson since enough that reminiscences of the great civil he has been Minister of the United States war should still exercise an overpowering in England has been pleasant to us and influence on the American mind. But to us must have been very agreeable to him. He who have not the same reason for rememhas appeared without reserve at our social bering it, that contest is past and done with. gatherings. He has complimented us and To us the Southern Confederation is, in our institutions, and all that belongs to us, Transatlantic phraseology, a thing utterly in the most flattering way. He has made “burst up;” and its short existence bas himself popular amongst us by his genial completely ceased to influence our course of inanners and his graceful courtesy; and he action in regard to the United States. We has given us a still further and more solid have never regarded Mr. Johnson in any ground for satisfaction by the conciliatory other light than as the accredited represenmode in which he has applied himself to the tative of a people with whom we desire to settlement of a very troublesome dispute, be on friendly terms; and, as one of the and by the emphatic assurances he has re- most respectable of the New York journals peatedly given us that every cause of quar- has had the candour to point out, we have rel between ourselves and the United States every right to regard him in that light, conhad been removed through the negotiations sidering the manner in which his appointcarried on between himself and Lord Stan- ment was unanimously, one might alınost ley. On the other hand, we have done our say enthusiastically, endorsed by the Senbest to give him a hospitable reception, in ate. Whatever may happen, our conscience the full belief that any attentions paid to is clear on this point; and we cannot help him would be received by the people he rep- thinking that, in their calmer moments, the resents as an indication of our friendship to Americans will themselves admit that, wards them; and it is certainly not a little against us at any rate they have no ground annoying and discomfiting to find that there for complaint. They may not, however, is some ground for apprehension that we forgive Mr. Johnson so readily, nor is it, may, after all, have been living for the last indeed, so clear that from their point of few weeks in a sort of a fool's paradise. It view they have no cause for annoyance at is difficult to form any accurate estimate of bis conduct. It is all very well for us to the real amount or intensity of the irritation say " let bygones be bygones, bury the past which is said to have been caused in the in oblivion, and let us shake hands all round United States by Mr. Johnson's conduct in and say no more about it.” But then we England. The newspapers of that country are not the party who is or thinks himself do not to anything like the same extent as aggrieved. Most of us are now of opinion those of England represent the opinions of that we failed, and very foolishly failed, the really intluential classes. They are far to discharge the duties of our neutral posimore apt than our own journals to make tion during the civil war; that we shall have themselves the organs of superficial feelings, to pay damages for our default; and that to appeal to the most excitable part of the the sooner we do it, and get the matter population, to express temporary and tran- over, the better for us. Mr. Johnson's besient impulses rather than settled convictions haviour has gilded the pill we have to swaland intentions, and, in a word, to give them- low, and we are properly grateful to him selves up to a “sensational” treatment of for this. The people of the United States, any topic that may come to hand. Still, on the other hand, are firmly convinced that after making every deduction on that score, they have not only suffered material loss, we can hardly doubt that a good deal of but that they have endured at our hands genuine resentment is entertained towards outrage and insult. Their real “ Alabama us, and that we are held to have added to Claim” is not so much compensation for the our previous offences by helping him to hu- loss of the vessels that Captain Semmes miliate his own country.

sent to the bottom, as a solatium of some

kind for the wound inflicted on their na- sharing to some extent the opinions of those tional pride, by our apparent assumption who point out that the main obstacles which that the great Republic could not deal with have arisen — if any have arisen — to the its rebels, but was destined at the first shock settlement of the questions in dispute have to split up into separate and hostile States. grown out of the imprudent balf-revelations They have been humiliated, and they want which have been made during its progress. to humiliate us. This desire may not be Open diplomacy is a very catching cry. generous, but no one can wonder at it; and But when the feelings of one or both of the that such a desire does in fact exist is evi- two parties to a quarrel are strongly excited, dent from the persistent way in which they we suspect that it will not be found conhave sought to obtain a formal condemna- ducive to a pacific issue to invite their prestion of our recognition of the belligerent ence and assistance during the deliberations rights of the South. Entertaining these of the plenipotentiaries. There are many feelings and views we can readily, imagine arrangements, as every one knows, which a that they may and indeed must feel sore at man is willing to accept as a whole, although the easy and off-hand way in which Mr. John- he might find a good deal to say against son has treated the matters in dispute be- each separate item. It is the duty of diplotween the two nations; at his readiness not matists to discuss details; it is the province only to meet us half way, but even to ren- of the Government, as the organ of the peoder it easy and pleasant for us to come the ple, to say, ay” or “ no" to the scheme other half; and at the manner in which he or proposition in which these preliminary has in their belief surrendered, or at all discussions result. If we invite the public events compromised, the attitude they have to assist at the first stage, it may well be hitherto maintained in respect to the point that such an excitement of popular feelings of national honour. Then, again, his wil- and passions may be occasioned as will eflingness to shake hands with Mr. Laird, fectually prevent our arriving at the second. Lord Wharncliffe, and Mr. Roebuck, may Mr. Johnson seems to us to have erred on be very gracious, and quite wise and right the side of a dangerous frankness. But from the highest point of view. But as long whatever faults his own countrymen may as men are men, there will be unwillingness find with him, Englishmen have no cause of on the part of those who have been injured complaint. He is earnestly desirous to proto behave with magnanimity towards those motē not only peace, but cordial friendship who have injured them, until the latter have between the two countries; and he certaineither been soundly beaten or have made ly entertains towards us in a very high deatonement. The Northerners can afford to gree the sentiments which we seek to inculforgive the Southern leaders because they cate. Under these circumstances it should have defeated them; but the Confederate bave been impossible for any Englishman to sympathisers in England do not stand in treat him with rudeness or disrespect. So anything like an analogous position, and we long, however, as we have the Reform are therefore not surprised to find that League and its associates amongst us, no American generosity is hardly equal to the breach of decency or of the rules which regtask of taking these men to their hearts. ulate the conduct of gentlemen can be con

The confident manner in which, no later sidered out of the question. If any one had than Tuesday evening, Mr. Johnson assert- entertained a doubt on that point it must ed that peace between England and the have been removed by the recent conduct United States is assured, warrants us in be- of Messrs. Beales, Coningsby, and their lieving that, in spite of all the popular hos- friends. To ask a man to dinner and then tility which he has provoked in his own withdraw the invitation is bad enough; but country, the arrangement which he has ne- to accompany the latter step by a direct ingotiated with Lord Stanley has the sanction sult is a refinement of bad manners, of which of his Government, and will receive the sup- few save the person in question could posport of the requisite majority of the Senate. sibly be guilty. Mr. Johnson may rest asBut it is impossible not to entertain some sured that, although no one is astonished, doubt whether this consummation, so de- nearly every one is indignant at the treatvoutly to be wished for, has not been seri- ment he has received from the obscure clique ously' imperilled by the manner in which who represent the working classes, exactly with the best intentions, the American in the same way as the three tailors of Minister has set about the work of recon- Tooley street spoke for the people of Engciling the two nations. Nor can we help land.

NOTES ON Pain. — When we speak of death This absence of pain after wounds which would from “shock,” it is the pain which, inducing otherwise entail suffering of the most intense the shock to the nervous system, must be looked character is often remarked upon the field of upon as the destroying agent. Hence we are battle. Dr. Livingstone's account of his renconnaturally led to consider the treatment of pain, tre with the lion, when his arm was fractured, and cannot fail to see the importance of sound illustrates this fact. He writes : “I saw the views as to its origin and nature. If pain were lion in the act of springing on me. I was on a due to an “excess of life,” then it might be a little height, he caught my shoulder as he sprang, right practice to attack it with lowering reme- and we both came to the ground below together. dies; but since it is really dependent on deteri- Growling horribly close to my ear, he shook me oration of the vital process, our aim must be to as a terrier dog does a rat. The shock produced restore rather than to destroy, to build up rather a stupor like that which seems to fall on a mouse than to pull down. On the first suggestion of after the first shake of the cat. It caused & pain, our impulse is at once to fly to the nearest sort of dreaminess, in which there was no sense remedy — that which shall the most speedily and of pain nor feeling of terror, though quite coneffectually secure to us the much desired relief. scious of all that was happening. It was like It may be interesting to point out the action of what patients partially under the influence of some of the means usually adopted to attain this chloroform describe, who see all the operation end; and a word of warning against their abuse but feel no knife. This singular condition was may not be out of place. The power of tea and not the result of any mental process. The coffee in relieving nerve pain is particularly shake annihilated fear, and allowed no sense of striking, and the influence of quinine and strych- horror in looking round at the beast.” This nine is, in a certain sense, analogous. The for- peculiar state is probably felt in all animals mer as well as the latter class of remedies may killed by the carnivora; and if so, is a merciful be taken in poisonous doses. Brandy and other provision by our benevolent Creator, for lessenpowerful stimulants often act by a sort of re- ing the pain of death. vulsive influence. Since one form of disease

The People's Magazine. may counterbalance and counteract another, it is sometimes justifiable to develop an artificial source of disturbance, and it is upon this principle that blisters, setons, and issues, &c., act.

HUSH! Chloroform, like cold or galvanism, causes contraction of vessels, renders the brain pale, and “I Can scarcely hear,” she murmured, thus destroys consciousness. Narcotics, opium,

“For my heart beats loud and fast, tobacco, and the like, retard oxygenation, and But surely, in the far, far distance, check vital processes. Local anæsthetics, as

I can hear a sound at last.” içe or ether spray, by freezing the part to be

“It is only the reapers singing, operated upon, deaden its sensibility; and though As they carry home their sheaves ; thus annihilating pain, they yet leave the pa

And the evening breeze has risen, tient fully conscious and alive to the feelings of

And rustles the dying leaves." horror consequent upon his seeing the operation

“ Listen ! there are voices talking." in progress. Other means of temporarily destroying the sensibility of the nerves to pain Yet her voice grew faint and trembling.

Calmly still she strove to speak, there are, such as opiates taken internally, or

And the red flushed in her cheek. syringed under the skin of the painful part, and

“ It is only the children playing they are of great value. But it must be borne in mind that the removal pain is not neces

Below, now their work is done, sarily the removal of the disease. The deaden

And they laugh that their eyes are dazzled ing of pain by opiates may gain for the doctor

By the rays of the setting sun." the delighted applause of the sufferer, although Fainter grew her voice, and weaker, not unfrequently the benumbing of sensation is

As with anxious eyes she cried, the first step in the course of hopeless retrogres “ Down the avenue of chestnuts, sion. It is this benumbing influence of sedatives

I can hear a horseman ride." which makes them often so injurious; they in- “ It is only the deer that were feeding duce an artificial calm, and say, “ Peace, peace, In the herd on the clover-grass, when there is no peace.” It is as unwise thus

They were startled and fled to the thicket to silence the voice of nature, as to deal heed- As they saw the reapers pass.” lessly with the complaints of the body. By a merciful provision, it frequently happens that Now the night arose in silence, Nature herself supplies the means whereby the Birds lay in their leafy nest, sufferer is enabled to bear up though enduring And the deer couched in the forest the most racking pain. Under the influence of And the children were at rest : intense excitement, or mental emotion, the bal- There was only a sound of weeping ance of the nervous system is sometimes so com

From watchers around a bed, pletely destroyed that, during great injury of But Rest to the weary spirit, sensitive structures, no pain is experienced. Peace to the quiet Dead !

« FöregåendeFortsätt »