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I am assuming that I am writing to a Christmas boxes, pit, and gallery: who do not think the Play-House a chief dependancy of the Gentleman in Black—the pit, a bottomless one—and the whole merry rabble, who wring our hearts or make our sides ache, a sanhedrim of imps, with hoofs and horns and tails (not property ones, who breathe sulphur, and could not—did the trick draw ever so large a “half-price,”—be got across the threshold of a eonsecrated building. But, besides these, there is a large and an honest Christmas public, who do believe such dismal things implicitly, and who will think themselves the worse for listening for a simplefive minutes while Columbine is talked about. Now, what will these good souls, belonging to The Reverend Mr. Scrupler's congregation, say,+When I call their attention to an impropriety worse than the Actress at The Pope's toe—namely, to Spiritual Pride and Immaculate Purity at the feet of the Actor—that Child of Perdition? When did ever Hospital Committee, or Dorcas Committee, or Committee for making jails as comfortable as private houses, or Committee for raising cheap Prejudice Schools—refuse the proceeds of a “theatrical benefit” as tainted money?—or send back the ten-pound-note of the Pasta, or the Jenny Lind, because it was “the wages of sin f '' My Mrs. Bell, Sir, who has much to do with the Charities—has let out such tales of efforts made by zealous and economical ladies to press these iniquitous and to-beshunned people into “the good cause,” as would make me smile, if they did not make me sick!—sick, at the Pharisaical pretension —sick, at the want of common sense and charity—sick, at Scruple one moment seeking for the strongest magnifier it can find; and the next blinding its own eyes, that it may not see the mud of the gutter it is stepping over ! I do not know how other people manage to reconcile themselves to it, but to me there is no sight so fearful, as that of Righteousness cheating The ! This is not the old monkish view of the matter, Sir, I am aware: but the days of monkery are over—save for the harmless bit of play in which the Pugins and the Puseys must work out their dramatic propensities. A St. Senanus would be no longer countenanced for throwing the most persecuting of Ladies into the Lake. Camaldolese Friars make up beds, 'tis true, (beyond their holy precincts) for tired Mrs. Trollopes, who ride on ass-back to see, with their own Tory eyes, what wicked things monasteries can be:—and The Pope has spoken with Columbine!
Let us turn these things in our minds, Sir. There are some
places I have read of, in which it is the pretty custom for people who have quarrelled, to shake hands and make friends on New Year's Day. Surely, Christmas is not the worst time of the year for the reconsideration of old prejudices. At least, don't let us feed them, and clothe them, and fill their wallets for another twelve months' ramble among Men—and Women' And, thus, if any one chooses to take umbrage at the thoughts of Columbine at Court—why, let him stay away from it himself " * And I have only to add Mrs. Bell ! which of you has drunk up my punch : The glass was three-parts full when I dropped asleep!
Now merry Justice held her sides
BY ANGUS. B. REACH.
TheRE is one dress for the people of the nineteenth century, and another dress for the statues of the people of the nineteenth century. Flesh and blood wear English costumes—stone and bronze, Roman. Coats and trowsers are quite good enough for actual breathing humanity—togas and buskins must be employed to set off its more valuable and honoured effigies. A man is not felt to be degraded by a waistcoat and a standing shirt-collar—a statue is. The statue, being the more exalted thing of the two, claims the greatest cares of the costumier. Anything is good enough for an existing original—hardly anything is good enough for a metallic portraiture. The tailor is thought to be sufficient to clothe the man—the artist must drape the statue. Happy statues—miserable men' Who would not be bronze rather than human,—sculptured by man rather than formed by Nature?
We generally take our notions of the dress and personal appearance of an age from the statues and coins which come down to us. Paper and canvass moulder away while stone and metal remain. The moth may leave nothing of the picture save the frame. Rust is at worst but a metallic cutaneous disease, and bronze bids it defiance. Imagine then, ages after this, when England shall be England, but living England no more—when the tide of civilisation shall have flowed away as it has flowed towards us—when the governing isles of the earth shall be the coral-reared clusters of southern seas—and when the Thames shall flow at midday as silently as the Thames flows at midnight now. Imagine, centuries after some great convulsion of the world's society—when the learned of a thousand years hence shall take to disinterring our past history and habits in antiquarian works on England in the nineteenth century—imagine, I say, the luminous notions they will obtain of our costumes from such of the now existing statues of London as may be dug up from tumuli, or perhaps fished up out of the reedy waters of our river. If our great men, they will say, had little Roman virtue, they, at all events, made up for it by seizing every opportunity of aping Roman attire. Historians have not recorded of George IV, the character of a Cato or a Cincinnatus. But at all events—our antiquarians will urge—he seems, as clearly appears by his statue, to have been made up for either part. It will be infallibly demonstrated—vide eopies of their counterfeit bronze presentments—that Pitt and Fox and Canning were in the habit of addressing the House of Commons in togas; and as it will not be contended that the great men of a country in the state of civilisation to which we had arrived, would probably have decorated their persons in quite a different style from that adopted by the multitude, the natural presumption will or ought from the guiding statues to be, that the people of England in the nineteenth century wore the dress assumed by the people of Rome some 2,000 years further back still ; that the tailors of the banks of the Thames worked by the same patterns as the tailors of the banks of the Tiber; and that the crowd on Lord Mayor's day hurried along, to all appearance, exactly a similar congregation to that which might have greeted a triumphing Caesar, depositing his spoils in the Capitol. And yet what have we to do with ancient Rome or ancient Romans? Can we not dress the statues of Englishmen as Englishmen 2 Cannot we leave memorials of our time and generation as our time and generation existed : We rear the statue—now of a good great man, anon a bad, paltry king—so be it; but give them to us as they were. Let them be not the “brief,” but the