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struments are exclusively of metropolitan manufacture, and in their elegance and accuracy unrivalled.
Silk and Linen manufactures. The value of the whole produce of the former has been stated at € 4,200,000; the latter is at present not so extensive, and both have suffered greatly from the rivalship of cotton.
The Stocking manufacture is chiefly carried on in the counties of Nottingham, Leicester and Derby. In Leicestershire alone more than 20,000 people are employed in producing hosiery to the value of € 1,800,000.
Leather, and the various articles in which it is employed are manufactured to a great extent in this country. Tanneries are common in all parts of the kingdom. The best Marocco leather is manufactured at Bermondsey in the vicinity of London. The value of the various articles, annually made of leather, as shoes, gloves, harness, sadlery &c. has been estimated at € 11,000,000 and the number of people employed in the different operations at 300,000.
The counties of Staffordshire and Worcestershire carry on the manufacture of Earthenware and Porcelain. The principal potteries are at Burslem and Etruria, the latter being the property of Mr. Wedgewood, to whose father the Staffordshire potteries are so much indebted for their celebrity. The annual value of the whole is about two millions, and the number of people employed 50,000.
All kinds of Glass mirrors and cut glass are extensively made in various parts of the kingdom. The annual value of the manufacture is above one million, and the number of people employed is about 50,000.
Paper is made and manufactured in many parts of the kingdom. Great improvements have been made in the construction of carriages, which form an article of export to a large amount. Besides these there are sugar refineries, breweries, soaperies; vitriol, copperas, white lead, and salt-works, roperies and various others spread over the whole country. Gunpowder manufactories, distilleries, with works for making varnish, oil mills, tinworks &c. also contribute to the sum of British industry. The whole number of people employed in these various works throughout England and Wales is above two millions, and the value of the annual produce of their labours about 90 millions sterling.
Fisheries are an extensive source of industry.
The Foreign Commerce of Britain has attained such a colossal magnitude as to embrace every region of the globe, and include every commodity capable of being transported from one clime to another.
Language. The English Language is radically Gothic, but enriched with numerous words and phrases from the Greek, Latin, and French, as well as from the Italian and Spanish, though it differs in its structure from them all. It is, in fact, a compound of various languages, formed and polished at different periods, as new wants arose, and new ideas were introduced by the progress of civilization and science. The oldest dialect of the English Language is the Anglo-Saxon, in which numerous manuscripts still exist in the libraries of the curious. One of its most classic authors was Alfred the Great, whose translations of Bede and Boethius have been published. The Norman conquest, and the desire of the Conqueror to supplant the AngloSaxon by the Norman French, rendered it the language of the court, and of a few persons in the superior classes of society; but very little alteration was effected in the dialect of the country. The con of Edward III., however, and the enlarged intercourse with France during the 14th century, effected the change which the Conqueror had vainly attempted to produce.
The earliest specimens of what may, with propriety, be denominated the English Language, are exhibited by Chaucer in poetry, and the enterprising, but fabulous, Sir John Mandeville, in prose. In the reign of Elizabeth it had acquired a copiousness, a dignity, and a force, which it has never surpassed, for what it has since gained in variety and elegance, it has lost in energy and expression. Sydney's Defence of Poesy is a good specimen of the prose of that age, while a more splendid 'or familiar example of poetry than Shakespeare, cannot be selected. The common translation of the bible affords a noble proof of the simple dignity of the English language in the reign of James I.; and Miltons immortal Paradise Lost, may be regarded as a lofty specimen of a subsequent reign. For the peculiarities in the structure of this language, as well as in its effect when contrasted with other ancient or modern languages, we must refer to works written expressly on the subject.
Poetry. British poetry of subsequent periods iß extremely abundant, and possesses almost every varied excellence, but the prevalence of reading in the present age renders it too familiar to need elucidation.
In the earliest periods, poetry was cultivated by the Druids. Gower and Chaucer enlarged the stores of poetry, while the invention of printing facilitated the interchange of knowledge. Spenser is a perfect master of the picturesque; in his lyrical pieces there breathes all the tenderness of the Idyll, the very spirit of the Troubadours. Shakespeare stood like a magician above the world, penetrating with one glance into all the depths, and mysteries, and perplexities of the human character, and having power to call up into open day the darkest workings of the human passions; he is the master of reality; he sets before us, with a truth that is often painful, man in his degraded state, in that corruption which pervades and contaminates all his being, all that he does and suffers, all the thoughts and aspirations of his fallen spirit. He takes possession of the whole superstitions of the vulgar, and mingles in his poetry not only the gigantic greatness of their rude traditions, but also the fearful, the horrible, and the revolting. The feeling by which he seems to have been most connected with ordinary men, is that of nationality. He has represented the heroic and glorious period of English history, during the conquests in France, in a series of romantic pieces, which possess all the simplicity and liveliness of the ancient chronicles, but approach, in their ruling spirit of patriotism and glory, to the most dignified and effectual productions of the epic muse.
The serious and stately muse of Millon in his Paradise Lost classes him with the first and most sublime votaries of the muse. Pope's translation of Homer contributed to increase the general veneration for that great poet of antiquity, while the original poems of the same author furnish many traces of that thought which has rendered didactic poetry such a favourite subject in England. The gloomy and enthusiastic Young combined didactic poetry with the more poetical elements of passion and melancholy in his Night Thoughts. Thomson expressed his feelings more tastefully and beautifully in descriptive poetry, in his Seasons, so much admired and afterwards imitated by foreigners. The passion for nature was the origin of the national love of Ossian; and although neither the sorrow of Ossian, nor the despair of Young, be every where prevalent, the spirit of serious meditation is certainly much more diffused over the lyric poems of England during the 18th century, than those of France.
Cowper lately, Rogers, Moore, Thomas Campbell, Walter Scott, Lord Byron, in their departments and degrees, prepared a new age of glory for English Poetry, and this being fostered neither by irreligion, nor the spirit of faction, nor licentiousness of manners, is still rich and animated, experiencing nothing of that decline which threatens successively the literature of most other countries in Europe.
The English , romance may be considered as a poetical narration of incidents taken from real life and actual manners; and, in this respect, is doubtless superior to the French productions of the same class. Down to the present period there has been a constant succession of novels and romances written by the most famous authors of both sexes.
Education. The higher and middle classes in this country pay great attention to the Education of their children, though it is to be lamented, especially with respect to the fair sex, that superficial acquirements too often supply the place of solid instruction. The means of tuition are now widely diffused through the country, both in public and private schools, where classical literature, general knowledge, the elements of the sciences, and all the accomplishments of life are successfully taught. The two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, distinguished no less for the liberality of their endowments than venerated for the talents and learning with which they have long been conducted, are the two grand foci from which science and literature are constantly emanating. The public chools of St. Paul's, Harrow, Eaton, Westminster, Winchester and Rugby are admirable institutions for the preparations of those who are intended to complete their education in those two great seats of learning. Each University sends two members to Parliament, and its chancellor and officers have a civil jurisdiction over the students, and all others, during their residence there. Military and naval instruction is also established on a suitable scale at the public expense; and the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, the R. M. Colleges, at Farnham, in Surrey, and at Sandhurst, in Berkshire, the R. Naval College at Portsmouth are all institutions of national importance. The present age has been honourably distinguished by its attention to the education of the poor, and its admirable establishments for that purpose. Sunday, and other schools, upon the plans of Bell and Lancaster &c. supported by the munificence of public liberality, now bring the elements of useful and religious knowledge within the reach of the meanest individual. Their effects in enlightening the minds, improving the morals, and elevating the character of those in humble life are manifest. The removal of ignorance, the diffusion of knowledge, and the increase of human happiness, by implanting in the youthful bosom a veneration for truth, and sowing there the seeds of love to God and man, are the legitimate objects of these institutions,
Manners and Customs. From the era of savage wildness, when our ancestors lived upon the spontaneous fruits of the earth, and the produce of the chase, and by the frequent invasions of foreign intruders, to the present period of luxury and refinement, the Manners and Customs of Britain have experienced a constant mutation.
In their personal appearance, Englishmen are generally of a middle stature, well – formed, with regular features, and florid complexions, but less fair than the northern Germans, the Danes or the Swedes. They are usually more robust and muscular than their continental neighbours on the opposite side of the channel, which has been ascribed to the influence of the climate, in conjunction with a liberal use of animal food and malt liquor. The English females are equally distinguished for their personal and mental charms. Their form, features, and complexion bestow upon them a degree of grace and beauty, which rivals the most elegant foreigners, while the peculiar modesty and neatness pervading all their habits and actions, give them charms which are sought in vain among the fair
of many other nations. In the warmth, delicacy, and strength of their affections, the permanency of their attachments, and the indefatigable discharge of every tender duty, they are unrivelled. The duration of the sorrows caused by the loss of those we love, often absorbs, in England the life of persons by whom they are felt. To die of a broken heart is a very frequent occurrence in this country.
The natural proneness of the English to think before they speak, and their reluctance to enter into familiar converse with strangers, have subjected them to the charge of a reserved and phlegmatic character; but this exists more in appearance than reality and familiarity becomes established only after long acquaintance. Each family has its separate dwelling; and London consists of a vast number of houses, into which it is not easy to penetrate. There are not even many brothers or sisters who go to dine at each others houses without invitation. This formality does not render life very amusing; and in their taste for travelling, the motive is partly a desire to withdraw from the constraints of their customs, partly to avoid the dearness of living at home and to spend much of their time abroad. Travelling never truly injured any one, and it has sensibly meliorated the English character. London is most agreeable from April to June, and the country is less dreary in winter than in most other parts of the world, the verdure being perhaps finer than in the warm months.
The more strangers are acquainted with the English the more they love and esteem them.
The nobility and gentry in the bloom of youth are usually brought up to town, replenished with every thing that can give delight to the sons of men.
Here they meet with many of their own class ready to initiate them into every vice and folly of the age; and though they are naturally ever so well inclined, few have the resolution to resist the importunities of those who already make a part of the beau monde. To these they resign their understanding, as well as their virtue; wine, women, and play alternately employ their time.
The merchants and principal tradesmen, the yeomanry and large farmers, are for the most part a fair, honest and industrious people; and this part of the nation is certainly the happiest. They have houses, horses, servants &c. but no useless ones; none that are unprofitable to themselves or the commonwealth; their time is employed in merchandize, trade, husbandry, or manufactures, that daily bring an increase of wealth to the kingdom, as well as to their own families; they undergo no more labour or hardship than is conducive to their health, and to create them an appetite for their food; and they have time enough to recreate and refresh themselves when the business of the day is over.
The lower class of people, namely, inferior tradesmen, mechanics, cottagers, labourers, and servants enjoy a great share of freedom, and are often arrogant and insolent towards their superiors. They generally get a good livelihood in London, and other populous trading towns, eat and drink well and on Sundays and holidays, when they are not engaged in business, appear very well clothed; and in their own phrase, look upon themselves to be as good as the best, that is, deserve to be treated with respect
The legislature has provided abundance of excellent laws for the maintenance of the poor, and manufactures are sufficient to employ them all; and yet, by indolent management, few nations are more burdened with them, there not being many countries where the poor are in a worse condition.
The Customs, as well as the manners of England, have undergone considerable changes. Her ancient hospitality has been greatly diminished, though it still lingers, in the remote parts of the kingdom, around some of those venerable fabrics which constituted the glory of feudal times.
Hunting, coursing, and horse - racing are favourite diversions, while rowing and sailing are amusements peculiar to the English, and in perfect unison with their insulated situation and maritime character.
The superior classes maintain great simplicity in their dress, except on public occasions, when there is much of elegance, and even magnificence, displayed. The same characteristic neatness usually pervades their houses and equipages, which are seldom distinguished for useless pomp and parade. An enthusiastic love of independence, with a strong attachment to ihe enjoyments of domestic life, are distinguishing traits in the English character, and the servile deference shown by the lower classes to the higher in other countries, is neither paid nor expected in England.
People of other countries have some leisure hours: an Englishman has none. You may know him from all the rest of the world, by his head going before his feet, and by his pushing along, as if going for a wager; all the people in the streets seem as if they were going on an errand, and had been charged to make haste back. Nor is this incessant propensity to activity confined to any particular class of people. It is equally displayed in the garden of the labourer, the field of the farmer, the workshop of the artisan, the counting house of the merchant, and the amusements of the gentleman. It is this active and enterprising spirit, impelled by a ceaseless desire to have, or do, something superior to others, that has given rise to those astonishing improvements in every branch of British industry. The intrepidity displayed in the chase, the swiftness of the race - horse, and the perfection of travelling, no less than the immense stores of the most ingenious and useful manufactures with wbich Britain supplies the rest of the world, are all striking examples of that incessant labour, and that creative faculty, which distinguish her from all other nations. It is the union of those noble qualities that has spread her commerce every nation, and extended her empire into every quarter of the globe. The same union gave victory to her fleets, conquest to her armies, and unprecedented splendour to her national character.
Wales. Commerce that great destroyer of ancient customs, has made considerably fewer inroads in the remote parts of the kingdom, particularly among the mountains of Wales, than in the more frequented and populous districts. It is, therefore, in these secluded districts of the empire, that the habits and manners of life, the innocence and simplicity of character and the native hospitality, which distinguished our forefathers, still linger. The Welsh are, perhaps, a more unmixed race than any other people in Europe. They are generally short and stout limbed. The women have mostly pretty round faces, clear complexions, with dark expressive eyes, and good teeth. The higher class dress like the English, but the lower universally preserve the national costume, which, both for men and women, is composed of home-made woolen cloth. The coat, small - clothes, and stockings of the men, are uniformly blue, and their waistcoats always red. Their shirts are made of blue or red flannel, except in some parts of South - Wales, where they are striped. The common dress of the females is a dark brown or striped linsey-woolsey jacket and petticoat. The elderly women commonly envelope their heads in two or three coloured handkerchiefs, and wear large felt hats, which with a scarlet whittle thrown across their shoulders, complete their dress. They are religious observers
the sabbath. poor cottager and his family, however numerous, are always clean and decent on that day.
The Welsh still retain many of their ancient superstitions, prejudices, and customs, and the idea of witchcraft still hovers among their moun