Imágenes de páginas

who like sugary wines, who prefer sweet the combinations of colour and form and perport to the most velvety claret, and very fume which nature presents in such endless sweet champagne to very dry.

variety. Besides, it cannot be admitted Anybody of full sensibility will like the that a man only puts into a landscape what mountains and the vast views as much as was in himself before. It may be so, if he his neighbours or more, but then he has an only looks and then looks away again; if eye for ever so much besides which is to he surveys the scene for five minutes or them insipid, wearisome, or even disgusting. half an hour, and then forthwith passes on A wide heathy down, for example, they to his concerns, or to the next view put find monotonous, unsuggestive, and abso- down in the programme of the guide-book. lutely ugly. They will prefer an honest But this is to do justice neither to the Essex landscape, with no rise and fall to scenery nor to himself. To realize the true speak of, but fat and green, rich with pro- enjoyment and instruction of landscape one mise of corn and mutton, and redolent of must brood over it, placing oneself pasgood augury for the markets. This is at sively and often in the midst of it, as the least something which recalls mankind. landscape itself seems to shimmer passively The wild and barren heath recalls nothing under the noonday sun. You must learn to them, suggests nothing save a mean and the moods of your landscape and watch its profitless desolation. They do not care for, transformations, and in time it becomes as because they hardly notice, its manifold good and profitable as a friend when face fragrance under the hot midday sun, or in answereth to face. the fresh south-west wind; they forget to It may be said that a passion for inaniwatch its changes of shade and colour, from mate scenery, for heath and hill and long grey in the morning to brown at noon, and stretching down with the sea at its feet, from brown to purple at evening, with its may well engender some coolness towards a intermittent hours and days of deepest man's fellows, and that in acquiring a love black. Yet, to one who studies his land for the stillness, the subtle responsiveness, scape as a critic studies the picture of it, and the beauty of nature, one grows someall this and much more discloses itself. what fastidious in the face of the turmoil He can collect, too, an anthology of ever- and distraction, the uproar and seeming growing moral impressions and images, vulgarity, of ordinary human life. Consuch as more than anything else but the full trasted with the steadfastness of nature play of his social affections enrich the char- here, the existence of the crowd wears a acter of a man.

| look of meanness, as of straws and dust And so in other points where the un- | blown hither and thither by horrid winds. trained mind finds all barren and unpleas- After all, however, what is this but to say ing. A man with the requisite sense sees that, because you love Turner and Gainsas many things and has as much delight in borough, you shall detest your Hogarth ? a grassy bottom with the hawthorn showing It is true that in Wordsworth one may dehere and there, or in a dell studded with tect some tendency of this kind. The abyew and wild juniper, as one with less im- sorption in which external nature held him pressionable soul experiences amongst Ital- engendered an air of coldness, if not quite ian lakes or at Sorrento. It may be said of apathy, about the accidents of humanity. that this difference of susceptibility arises He certainly never cared as much about from original and irremovable differences men as he did about mountains; never was as of subjective quality ; that men only trans- deeply stirred by thoughts of the one as of fer into landscapes, as into symphonies and the other; did not find in the former the sonatas, what was in their own minds; that stimulus to sympathy and expansion which the landscape is only the instrument and he found in the latter. Wordsworth's nastimulus which sets all this a-working within. ture, however, was exceptional in this reOf course this may be true enough as far as spect, as it was in amount of genius. In it goes. There are as many internal differ- the majority of men with any pretence to a ences in the minds of men as there are fine moral temper there is an instinctive among landscapes, but then these differ- effusion of feeling for their own kind. The ences are capable of illimitable modification, study and companionship of external beauty and the habit of a nice and accurate analysis ought to strengthen rather than weaken this. of the impressions which scenery makes on The pitilessness of nature, displayed just as one is, or may be made, a peculiarly effect- much in her beauty and calm as in her storm ive agent in this process. It will not make and fury, is the fact which above all others men more alike, except in making them all inspires pity and sense of fellowship, by conmore able to extract a measure of inspira- vincing us that men are in the presence of tion, more or less, higher or lower, from all forces which are absolutely indifferent to their sufferings and endeavours. Perhaps leaving the children to guess why such an no one furnishes so striking an example of | unintelligent process has been performed in this order of sentiment as Victor Hugo. any given instance. We should deprive Nobody is so sensible as he of the ruthless- ourselves of the pleasantest of all rights, ness of nature even while she smiles, and the right to quote. It is true that when we nobody is so alive as he is to the miseries enter into the details of Mr. Eastwick's of man, and to the fact that our only re- work, we are bound to point out one or two source is humane union and constant mu- faults of construction. We cannot altotual helpfulness. He perhaps has dwelt gether pass over the strange composition of more strongly than is altogether wholesome the book, made up as it is of the painful exupon the iinpassive serenity of nature.perience of the Financial Commissioner for This is not her only side. If she sometimes the General Credit Company, of the quick derides you by looking her loveliest when observation and acute remarks of the real you are plunged in bitterness, let it be said Mr. Eastwick, and of the imaginary advenalso that by and by her steadfastness and tures of some one rather like Mr. Eastwick permanence of relation begin to restore a who was settled at Valencia and bad read serenity which is of the highest kind because Lever's novels. The financial part of the it is the least narrowly egotistic. There book is too dry and documentary. Some are, no doubt, two sorts of men - one of the lighter sketches are too fanciful. A whom external nature in beauty or in horror more judicious mixture of the several parts most keenly touches, and the other whose of the book might have excluded the Irish spmpathies are most directly reached and major, who seems to have desired to perpetmost generously stirred by the drama of uate Sir Lucius O'Trigger among the Spanbusy human life. There are men who love ish South Americans. But an authentic their kind in the abstract, but flee from record of what Mr. Eastwick did, fused up them in the concrete; there are others to completely with pictures of what he saw, whom nature is cold and unsuggestive and would have made the Loan of 1864 memoinhospitable. You have Wordsworth, and rable in the history of letters, and would alyou have Dr. Johnson or Charles Lamb, most have consoled the bondholders for rewho loves the tide of life that flows at Char-pudiation. They will now have the pleasing Cross. Perhaps it goes without saying ure of thinking that their Commissioner has that the best and happiest man is he who brought Venezuela to Europe, and that owunites in himself a particle of either tem- ing to their loss we have seen as with our perament — who is content or glad to be own eyes the harbours of St. Thomas and alone with the external world, and is not | La Guaira, the towns of Caracas and Vatoo fastidious nor too loftily cloudy to en- lencia. Yet, perhaps, so great is the perjoy the life and spectacle of the crowd. versity of human and of investing nature,

these sketches will seem dearly bought, No such sentence could have been passed on

the book which, judging from the one now From The Spectator.

before us, we say Mr. Eastwick might and MR. EASTWICK'S VENEZUELA.*

ought to have written. The reviewer's task is pleasant indeed! Beginning with the voyage out, Mr. Eastwhen he has nothing more to do than to wick gives a dreary sketch of St. Thomas. read such a book as this, and give the pub- He calls it the nest of yellow fever, diffilic a general idea of its contents. All he

cult and dangerous of access, swarming can say is, “ Read, for I have read it; ap

with sharks, fearfully depressing, and prove, for I have approved it.” Of course wholly destitute of fresh water. The drive the public has so much confidence in its out of the town leads past the cemeteries chosen critics as will authorize it to act on of all religions. Apparently the only such a statement. But after all, there would amusement to be had is a shark hunt. Mr. be something meagre and unsatisfactory in Eastwick and a friend rowed to the mouth the look of our columns if we made no of the harbour towing a dead horse at the more use of Mr. Eastwick's admirable stern of the boat. No back fins were visisketches. We should be too much like ble, but, when the rowers were checked for those representative parents who are always a moment, several dark lines were seen just being described as placing books in the astern of the horse, and the instant the hands of their children. and apparently boat stopped five monstrous sharks darted

at the carcass. Four bullets through the # Venezuela; or, Sketches of Life in a South Amer. ican Republic, with the History of the Loan of 1864. By Edward B. Eastwick, (B, F.R.S. With a Map. London: Chapman and Hall. 1868. lonce, and when it was towed to the beach



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765 it was found to measure more than sixteen I was a guest, the gentleman who cleaned the feet in length by nearly six feet in circum- | boots always came into my room with his hat on ference. The other sharks had pulled the and a cigar in his mouth; and another gentle horse under water, “ and we could only tell man whom I had engaged to assist Juan, left me by the bubbles and bloody foam what a the day after his arrival, on being refused the worry was going on below." If the choice custody of my keys and purse, which he canof such a place as St. Thomas for a mail

didly stated was the only duty he felt equal to. station perplexed Mr. Eastwick, he was

At dances, as soon as the music strikes up in the still more astonished at the open roadstead

drawing-room, the servants begin to waltz in the

passages and ante-rooms, and as entertainments of La Guaira being the port for the capital

are almost alwayson the ground floor, and generof Venezuela. The place is picturesque ally in rooms looking into the streets, the great when viewed froin the sea, but there is no unwashed' thrust their naked arms and greasy shelter for shipping, and the town is consid- faces between the bars of the windows and critered the hottest in the world. “Perhaps icize the dancing with much spirit. I have seen the best way of conveying to a European a gentleman in rags leaning into a window from an idea of the heat, is to say that the mean the streets with his bare arms almost touching temperature in the coldest month is four de those of a beautifully dressed lady, while his grees of centigrade higher than that of the most sweet breath fanned her tresses. On anhottest month in Paris. If it be added that other occasion I was talking to some ladies at an there are no appliances whatever to make evening party, when a worthy sansculotte jerked things bearable — no good houses, no ice,

in his head so suddenly to listen to our converno cold water, no shade, and no breeze

sation, that I stopped, on which he called out,

• Oh, these are the aristocrats we have here, who it will be possible to arrive at a faint notion

' won't talk to any one but their own set !· On of the reality." The temperature of Mr. | Eastwick's book

my sitting down to play chess with the wife of is throughout that of the president of one of the States, half-a-dozen Dante's Inferno. We must add that the female servants, of every shade, from tawny twidescriptions are equally vivid. The pictures light to black night, surrounded the table and of the bridle road from La Guaira to Car- began to watch the game." ácas, of the town of Caracas itself, of the town and neighbourhood of Valencia, and One of the least agreeable features of of the general configuration of the country, Venezuelan society is that lunatics are sufmay be cited as specimens of Mr. East- fered to go about freely. No one ever wick's art. But we shall find better things heard of their doing any harm. One into quote when we come to the manners and deed came into a room in the middle of a customs of the people.

dinner party, walked round the table murThe republican equality that prevails muring broken sentences, and finally took everywhere except among the sentries im- up a knife from the sideboard. In another pressed Mr. Eastwick more strongly than minute he had cut himself rather severely, favourably. The whole nature of the Ven- the blood was trickling from his wrist, he ezuelans, he says, is soured as soon as they was muttering faster than ever, and his eyes put on a red uniform. Yet a negro who glittered like sparks. Fortunately, one of acts as a sort of permanent official of a the company had the presence of mind to lower grade at the Government House in fill a glass of wine and offer it to the madCaracas was allowed to say very sharp things man, or the Venezuelan experience of the to his superiors. He was once on the bal- harmlessness of such people would have cony with a general, when some students been unpleasantly contradicted. Apropos began to utter seditious cries, and exclaim, of dinners, Mr. Eastwick gives the bill of “Down with the negroes! Down with the fare of an entertainment offered to him by brigands !” The General asked his com- the Minister of Public Works. The order panion sneeringly if he heard what was said of the meal was: -“ A brimming plateful about him. “Your excellency,” he replied, of turtle soup, good in quality, and indif“I hear. They are calling out Down with ferently cooked; a large fruit of the custardthe negroes!' meaning, of course, me; and apple genus ; prawns, párga fish, and oys• Down with the brigands!' wbich, as no ters; several fruits of the cactus; turkcy, one else is present, must refer, I suppose, boned, and the inside filled with a kind of to your excellency." Of 'the general free- stuffing redolent of garlic; a plate of cherdom of manners which prevails among the ries; a fricandeau of some unknown meat; servants Mr. Eastwick gives the following several slices of pine-apple; a dish, name sketch:

unknown, the chief ingredient being the

flesh of the land tortoise; grapes of various “ The doctrine of perfect equality is so well kinds; and an infinite series of other trifles." carried out that, in one of the best houses where In this repast there was not as much garlic

as usual. Mr. Eastwick tells of a friend soldiers as a guard of honour. Every now and who was so sick of constant garlic that he then the host is elevated, and down go the peoat last resolved to live on eggs. He found ple on their knees, and anon guns and rockets to his horror that the small end of each egg are discharged, and the use even of squibs and was perforated, and some of the national crackers is sanctified on such occasions.” condiment infused into it. Mr. Eastwick is in most respects an enthu

In other places, too, Mr. Eastwick is not

a little tantalizing with his praises of the siastic admirer of the Venezuelan ladies.

Creole beauties. His imaginative sketches They are too refined to go to bull-fights, so

swarm with black eyes, profuse locks, rosy that Mr. Burgess could not lay them under

chceks, oval faces, and teeth of dazzling contribution for a South American “ Bravo,

whiteness. Thinking that it was Mr. Easttoro!” But it is as well that magnificent

wick himself who was asked by a bewilderfaces should not be associated with the pas

ing beauty whether he was married, and who sion of cruelty, and the Venezuelans are to

replied with embarrassment “ sometimes," be seen at their windows, in the streets, or

we blushed for the credit of the General at the churches. Here is one of the scenes

Credit Company, and felt for the feelings which ought to have made amends for any

of Messrs, Baxter, Rose, and Norton. But amount of heat and garlic:

we soon found out our error, and saw that “ The Catholic year at Carácas is made up of

the Financial Commissioner had not been feasts and fasts, and fasting or feasting, the in

i betrayed into any such indiscretions. The habitants are forever ringing the bells, discharg- / Company may safely send him out again ing holy squibs and rockets, and walking in tu- whenever there are loans to be negotiated, multuous processions. I lived weeks amid this and if the result of a second mission is at din, and never cculd get accustomed to it, nor all like that of the first, the sooner Mr. enjoy that hearty sound slumber which Sancho Eastwick carries out another box of gold apostrophizes as the best of wrappers. But, in the better for English readers. fairness, it must be added that fiestas have their attractions for strangers as well as their disagreeables. On these days, especially on notable holidays, such as that of Nuestra Senora de la

From The Saturday Review, 8 Aug. Merced, the fair sex come forth in their gayest

AMERICA. attire, and walk in bevies to the churches. It is then, if you are an impartial Paris, that you THE United States have no reason to will resolve to bestow your golden apple on the fear the financial difficulties which trouble Creole Venus in preference to all other beauties, nearly all the Governments of Continental so lovely are the faces that shine upon you from Europe. English experience shows that a under the coquettish mantilla, and so graceful great landed family can scarcely be permathe figures that undulate along the streets. nently ruined, even when it has the bad forThere may, indeed, be rosier cheeks and fairer tune of being represented for two or three skins elsewhere, but not such large black eyes, venero teeth of such dazzling whiteness, such taper

$; generations by unprincipled spendthrifts. waists, and faultless feet and ankles, as belong:

A country of unbounded natural wealth ento the Venezuelan ladies. As for any devout !

joys, for similar reasons, a more complete feeling. that, of course, is entirely out of the immunity ; nor can perversity of taxes, of question. The women come forth to be looked | tariffs, or of bad faith, seriously impair the at, and the men stand in groups on the church vast resources of America. The most zealsteps, or cluster inside, to look at them. All ous Protectionists never think of interfering round the churches are pictures, usually sad with perfect free-trade throughout the large daubs, and a profusion of wax dolls, represent- section of the continent which extends from ing the Virgin at various periods of her life. the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Anything more contrary to common sense, to great lakes to the Gulf of Mexico; and alsay nothing of good taste and devotional feeling, most all Americans, though not one citizen than these images, it is impossible to conceive. in ten thousand understands the rudiments Among the absurd groups of dolls I was partic- of political economy, would on fit opportuularly struck with one at the Merced fiesta, in ni which the Virgin, dressed in all the frippery im

mnity gladly extend the political and comaginable, was kneeling beside a gigantic crucifix,

mercial frontier to the Arctic Circle and to while a six-year-old angel fluttered above the th

the Isthmus of Panama. The old-fashioned cross, dressed in silver-embroidered trunk hose, restrictions which, down to the days of and tartan leggings of the Royal Stuart pattern. TURGOT, separated every French province About the middle of the day, when the heat is from its neighbours, have, through the formost trying, there is generally a procession, and tunate arrangement which gave Congress the image or picture of the saint is carried about control over indirect taxation, never divided amid a train of ecclesiastics, and with a body of the American States. A protective policy which only impedes commercial intercourse of taxation was not unlike Pitt's early exbetween great countries is less injurious periments, and it was at first accepted with than the isolation of petty districts, as the remarkable docility; but in the course of great national conflicts of modern times in three or four years the taxpayers have natterfere with the comfort of life less than urally become impatient, and one internal the private feuds of the middle ages, or the impost after another has been removerl, hostilities of the cities of Greece. Econo- while the Customs duties have been inmists must be surprised, while they are creased to an excessive and unremuneragratified, by a crucial demonstration of the tive amount. It is not, in fact, wise, in truth of their doctrines, when they observe the circumstances of the United States, to the deleterious results of an exclusive poli- raise a surplus revenue for the discharge ey on the trade and industry of a country of debt. The immediate pressure on inwhich is a world in itself. America could dustry is more injurious than a fixed burden, perhaps afford to discourage foreign im- which, if it remained nominally the same, ports if the tariff had not the collateral ef-would under the influence of two different fect of reacting on domestic skill and enter- causes constantly become less onerous. prise. The manufacturers and shipbuilders The fall in the value of gold yearly reduces who have persuaded the community to sub- the real amount of the debt, while the rapsidize them at an enormous cost naturally id increase of population and wealth alters become more careless and more indifferent the proportion of the mortgaged property to improvement, and their workmen are to the charge. For the last year the atconstantly claiming a share in their unprof- tempts to reduce the debt which once exitable monopoly. The unprincipled legisla- cited Nr. GLADSTONE's exaggerated adtion for the restriction of labour by which miration have been almost entirely disconCongress has prepared for the Presidential tinued. But for the high rate of interest election is closely connected with the pro- which corresponds to the questionable good tective system, as well as with the political faith of the American community, there institutions which entrust supreme power to would be no need for heavy taxation. ignorance and selfishness. American trade Among many material felicities, the and production are heavily weighted, but, United States are exempt from the real or as long as millions of acres of unexhausted supposed necessity of maintaining the vast land are successively brought into cultiva- naval and military establishments which tion, no stupidity of politicians can prevent weigh down European finances. The the population from flourishing.

Americans can never be engaged in war exThe fiscal arrangements, properly so cept at their own pleasure; and in case of called, of the United States, are more rea- need they have found that they can extemsonable than the commercial system. At porise an army, though perhaps not a navy. the close of the war, which was necessarily During the four years of the civil war the conducted with borrowed money, Congress Northern States raised two millions of men, imposed large and indiscriminate taxes on and there were times at which they mainevery article of consumption, and on al- tained a quarter of that number in the field. most every ordinary transaction. At that The army of recruits was of course far intime it was supposed that none but a rebel, ferior in proportional efficiency to a force or a supporter of rebellion, could meditate more carefully and slowly organized; but repudiation; and, in the utter ignorance numbers more than made up for all defiof financial and economical science which ciencies, and General GRANT was able to prevails throughout the States, it was popu- expend, in his Richmond campaign, much larly imagined that the debt might in a more than the whole force of the enemy, short interval be paid off from the produce and to win at last by outliving the weaker of the taxes, not where they would do least belligerent. No war has ever been nearly damage, but where commodities could be so costly, but it was cheaper to finish the intercepted on their way from the producer contest in four years than to spread it over to the consumer; and their successors even a dozen campaigns. As soon as the war in the present day are partly guided by was over, it became unnecessary to prothe same consideration. After the Ameri- vide pay or pension except for those who ean war, Pitt acquired his first fame as a had been disabled, and for distressed widfinancial Minister by imposing with a lav- ows and orphans. The unlimited demand ish hand on almost innumerable articles of for all kinds of labour was the best pension consumption the duties which were long af- fund, and within a year or two the bulk of terwards removed, with equal credit to the great Federal army had been reabsorbed their reputation, by Sir ROBERT PEEL and by civil life. Generals and colonels are Mr. GLADSTONE. The American system i practising law, keeping shops, or teaching

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