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aire heroism and talent for port? A Duke of Wellington or two I will grant, though even of these idols a moderate supply will be sufficient. Some years ago a famous and witty French critic was in London, with whom I walked the streets.' I am ashamed to say that I informed him (being in hopes that he was about to write some papers regarding the manners and customs of this country) that all the statues he saw represented the Duke of Wellington That on the arch opposite Apsley House ? the Duke in a cloak, and cocked-hat, on horseback. That behind Apsley House in an airy fig-leaf costume ? the Duke again. That in Cockspur Street ? the Duke with a pigtail-and so on. I showed him an army of Dukes. There are many bronze heroes who after a few years look already as foolish, awkward, and out of place as a man, say at Shoolbred's or Swan and Edgar's. For example, those three Grenadiers in Pall Mall, who have been up only a few months, don't you pity those unhappy household troops, who have to stand frowning and looking fierce there ; and think they would like to step down and go to barracks ? That they fought very bravely there is no doubt ; but so did the Russians fight very bravely; and the French fight very bravely; and so did Colonel Jones and the 99th, and Colonel Brown and the 100th ; and I say again that ordinaire should not give itself port airs, and that an honest ordinaire would blush to be found swaggering so. I am sure if you could consult the Duke of York, who is impaled on his column between the two clubs, and ask his late Royal Highness whether he thought he ought to remain there, he would
A brave, worthy man, not a braggart or boaster, to be put upon that heroic perch must be painful to him. Lord George Bentinck, I suppose, being in the midst of the family park in Cavendish Square, may conceive that he has a right to remain in his place. But look at William of Cumberland, with his hat cocked over his eye, prancing behind Lord George on his Roman-nosed charger; he, depend on it, would be for getting off his horse if he had the permission. He did not hesi. tate about trifles, as we know; but he was a very truth-telling and honorable soldier: and as for heroic rank and statuesque dignity, I would wager a dozen of '20 port against a bottle of pure and sound Bordeaux, at 18s. per dozen (bottles included), that he never would think of claiming any such absurd distinction. They have got a statue of Thomas Moore at Dublin, I hear. Is he on horseback? Some men should have, say, a fifty years' lease of glory. After a while some gentlemen now in brass should go to the melting furnace, and reappear in some
other gentleman's shape. Lately I saw that Melville column rising over Edinburgh ; come, good men and true, don't you feel a little awkward and uneasy when you walk under it? Who was this to stand in heroic places ? and is yon
the man whom Scotchmen most delight to honor ? I must own deferentially that there is a tendency in North Britain to over-esteem its heroes. Scotch ale is very good and strong, but it is not stronger than all the other beer in the world, as some Scottish patriots would insist. When there has been a war, and stout old Sandy Sansculotte returns home from India or Crimea, what a bagpiping, shouting, hurraying, and self-glorification takes place round about him! You would fancy, to hear Mc Orator after dinner, that the Scotch had fought all the battles, killed all the Russians, Indian rebels, or what not. In CuparFife, there's a little inn called the “ Battle of Waterloo,” and what do you think the sign is ? (I sketch from memory, to be sure.) “The Battle of Waterloo " is one broad Scotchman laying about him with a broadsword. Yes, yes, my dear Mac, you are wise, you are good, you are clever, you are handsome, you are brave, you are rich, &c.; but so is Jones over the border. Scotch 'salmon is good, but there are other good fish in the sea. I once heard a Scotchman lecture on poetry in London. Of course the pieces he selected were chiefly by Scottish authors, and Walter Scott was his favorite poet. I whispered to my neighbor, who was a Scotchman (by the way, the audience were almost all Scotch, and the room was AllMac's — I beg your pardon, but I couldn't help it, I really couldn't help it)—“The professor has said the best poet was a Scotchman: I wager that he will say the worst poet was a Scotchman, too." And sure enough that worst poet, when he made his appearance, was a Northern Briton.
And as we are talking of bragging, and I am on my travels, can I forget one mighty republic--one-two mighty republics, u here people are notoriously fond of passing off their claret for port? I am very glad, for the sake of a kind friend, that there is a great and influential party in the United, and, I trust, in the Confederate States,* who believe that Catawba wine is better than the best Champagne. Opposite that famous old White House at Washington, whereof I shall ever have a grate: ful memory, they have set up an equestrian statue of General Jackson, by a self-taught American artist of no inconsiderable genius and skill. At an evening-party a member of Congress seized me in a corner of the room, and asked me if I did not
*Written in July, 1861.
think this was the finest equestrian statue in the world? How was I to deal with this plain question, put to me in a corner? I was bound to reply, and accordingly said that I did not think it was the finest statue in the world. “Well, sir," says the member of Congress,“ but you must remember that Mr. M—had never seen a statue when he made this!" I suggested that to see other statues might do Mr. M- — no harm. Nor was any man more willing to own his defects, or more modest regarding his merits, than the sculptor himself, whom I met subsequently. But oh! what a charming article there was in a Washington paper next day about the impertinence of criticism and offensive tone of arrogance which Englishmen adopted towards men and works of genius in America! “Who was this man, who,” &c., &c.? The Washington writer was angry because I would not accept this American claret as the finest port-wine in the world. Ah me! It is about blood and not wine that the quarrel now is, and who shall fortell its end ?
How much claret that would be port if it could is handed about in every society! In the House of Commons what smallbeer orators try to pass for strong ? Stay: have I a spite against any one? It is a fact that the wife of the Member for Bungay has left off asking me and Mrs. Roundabout to her evening-parties. Now is the time to have a slap at him. I will say that he was always overrated, and that now he is lamentably falling off even from what he has been. I will back the member for Stoke Poges against him; and show that the dashing young member for Islington is a far sounder man than either. Have I any little literary animosities? Of course not. Men of letters never have. Otherwise, how I could serve out a competitor here, make a face over his works, and show that this would-be port is very meagre ordinaire indeed ! Nonsense, man! Why so squeamish? Do they spare you? Now you have the whip in your hand, won't you lay on? You used to be a pretty whip enough as a young man, and liked it too. Is there no enemy who would be the beiter for a little thonging ? No. I have militated in former times, not without glory; but I grow peaceable as I grow old. And if I have a literary enemy, why, he will probably write a book ere long, and then it will be his turn, and my favorite review will be down upon him.
My brethren, these sermons are professedly short ; for I have that opinion of my dear congregation, which leads me to think that were I to preach at great length they would yawn, stamp, make noises, and perhaps go straightway out of church; and yet
with this text I protest I could go on for hours. What multitudes of men, what multitudes of women, my dears, pass off their ordinaire for port, their small beer for strong! In literature, in politics, in the army, the navy, the church, ai the bar, in the world, what an immense quantity of cheap liquor is made to do service for better sorts ! Ask Sergeant Roland his opinion of Oliver, Q. C. “Ordinaire, my good fellow, ordinaire, with a port-wine label ! ” Ask Oliver his opinion of Roland. “ Never was a man so overrated by the world and by himself.” Ask Tweedledumski his opinion of Tweedledeestein's performance.“ A quack, my tear sir ! an ignoramus, I geef you my vort ? He gombose an opera! He is not fit to make dance a bear!” Ask Paddington and Buckmister, those two “swells” of fashion, what they think of each other? They are notorious ordinaire. You and I remember when they passed for very small wine, and now how high and mighty they have become. What do you say to Tomkins' serions? Ordinaire, trying to go down as orthodox port, and very meagre ordinaire too! To Hopkins' historical works ?-to Pumpkin's poetry? Ordinaire, ordinaire again — thin, feeble, overrated; and so down the whole list. And when we have done discussing our men friends, have we not all the women ? Do these not advance absurd pretensions? Do these never give themselves airs ? With feeble brains, don't they often set up to be esprits forts ? Don't they pretend to be women of fashion, and cut their betters? Don't they try and pass off their ordinary-looking girls as beauties of the first order ? Every man in his circle knows women who give themselves airs, and to whom we can apply the port-wine simile.
Come, my friends. Here is enough of ordinaire and port for to-day. My bottle has run out. Will anybody have any more? Let us go up stairs and get a cup of tea from the ladies.
I DARE say the reader has remarked that the upright and independent vowel, which stands in the vowel-list between E and O, has formed the subject of the main part of these essays. How does that vowel feel this morning ?--fresh, good-humored, and lively? The Roundabout lines, which fall from this pen, are correspondingly brisk and cheerful. Has anything, on the contrary, disagreed with the vowel? Has its rest been disturbed, or was yesterday's dinner too good, or yesterday's wine not good enough? Under such circumstances, a darkening, misanthropic tinge, no doubt, is cast upon the paper.
The jokes, if attempted, are elaborate and dreary. The bitter temper breaks out. That sneering manner is adopted, which you know, and which exhibits itself so especially when the writer is speaking about women. A moody carelessness comes over him. He sees no good in anybody or thing: and treats gentlemen, ladies, history, and things in general, with a like gloomy flippancy. Agreed. When the vowel in question is in that mood, if you like airy gayety and tender gushing benevolence-if you want to be satisfied with yourself and the rest of your fellow-beings ; I recommend you, my dear creature, to go to some other shop in Cornhill, or turn to some other article. There are moods in the mind of the vowel of which we are speaking, when it is ill conditioned and captious, Who always keeps good health, and good humor? Do not philosophers grumble? Are not sages sometimes out of temper? and do not angel-women go off in tantrums? To-day my mood is dark. I scowl as I dip my pen into the inkstand.
Here is the day come round-for everything here is done with the utmost regularity :-intellectual labor, sixteen hours; meals, thirty-two minutes ; exercise, a hundred and forty-eight minutes ; conversation with the family, chiefly literary, and about the housekeeping, one hour and four minutes ; sleep, three hours and fifteen minutes (at the end of the month, when the Magazine is complete, I own I take eight minutes more); and the rest for the toilette and the world. Well, I say, the Roundabout Paper Day being come, and the subject long since settled in my mind, an excellent subject-a most telling, lively, and popular subject-- I go to breakfast determined to finish that meal in 934 minutes, as usual, and then retire to my desk and work, when-oh, provoking !-here in the paper is the very subject treated, on which I was going to write! Yesterday another paper which I saw treated it—and of course, as I need not tell you, spoiled it. Last Saturday, another paper had an article on the subject ; perhaps you may guess what it was—but I won't tell you. Only this is true, my favorite subject, which was about to make the best paper we have had for a long time : my bird, my game that I was going to shoot and serve up with such a delicate sauce, has been found by other