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had been only ten days in London when he wrote the sentence. The population of London, unless it was then very differently composed, could certainly have furnished no quota of the armies which in my Uncle Toby's time swore so terribly in Flanders. We have a faint idea that the accomplishment is not altogether forgotten at the present day, but
be mistaken ; indeed, on second thoughts, we feel we must be so, for Mr. Colman tells us, a little further on, that “good manners are here evidently a universal study."
But although an outward decorum is preserved, dissipation has taken deep root in the soil. “ The business-shops close at ten, in general ; but the ale and wine shops, the saloons, and the druggists' shops, I believe, are open all night ; and the fire of intemperance, I should infer, was nourished as faithfully as the vestal fire at Rome, and never permitted to go out or to slacken."
Our inference from this passage is, that those who don't or won't drink malt or sherry, indulge in intemperate draughts of spirits of wine at the druggists' shops, or they would hardly be included in the same category with the ale and wine shops.
Yet again Mr. Colman finds an opportumity of excepting in favour of the Londoners : “ I have scarcely seen a smoker; and as to a tobacco-chewer, not one." It is possible, we conceive, for a person to chew tobacco without being discovered-unless he is an American; but we will not insist on this point, as we are not acquainted with any one who indulges in this luxury; but we had fancied that the “smokers" of London were 66 as plenty as blackberries.” But in this also, it seems, we are wrong, or Mr. Colman's eyesight is on a par with his faculty of hearing. What he says of the ladies is, without doubt, equally true: .“ They have another practice which I equally admire. They seldom wear false curls.” We have heard of “fronts” as a not very uncommon article of feminine coiffure; but Mr. Colman has of course tested his opinion by a closer inspection than we have been able to bestow, and therefore we yield in this point, as in all others, most willingly. When he speaks of the costume of the bench and the bar, the Blue-coat boys and the court, our doubts for a moment have the mastery over our belief, but they presently subside before Mr. Colman's better knowledge.
“The judges and the lawyers wear wigs, as they did centuries ago. The charity boys wear leather-breeches, blue or yellow yarn stockings, shoes with buckles, long coats and bands, which I presume was the dress of two hundred years ago,
So the court-dress in which you are to be presented at the levees, is the same that was worn in the days of Queen Elizabeth.”
We had a notion-an erroneous one of course—that the court-dress of the present day rather resembled the age of George the Second than that of Elizabeth ; and had no idea, until we read the above passage, of the antediluvian antiquity of the lawyers' wigs.
Historical accuracy is evidently one of the strong points of our travelled American; he rarely allows an opportunity to escape without adding something to our previous impressions. As, for instance, when speaking of Melrose Abbey, he tells us that it contains the tomb of Michael Bruce, the celebrated wizard" (a fact which Walter Scott would have given a great deal to know); and that "the marks of the balls from Cromwell's guns—the first Cromwell, who destroyed the Abbeys in England—are shown upon the walls.” By “the first Cromwell” we presume is meant the vicar-general of Henry
the Eighth, under whose authority the English monasteries were suppressed, but we were not aware, till Mr. Colman told us, that he used cannon for the purpose ; or, if he did, that Melrose Abbey in Scotland came under his jurisdiction. But there is nothing like information picked up on the spot. The broken walls of Melrose were there to attest that somebody battered them; and as the merit of the act was to be given to a Cromwell, the first perhaps has as good a claim to it as the second. Mr. Colman, however, is not a person to take everything upon trust that he is told, for when he visited Abbotsford he was shown “ a Roman kettle, said to be 2000 years old, quite like our modern cast-iron pots. This age struck me as apocryphal.” We cannot sufficently commend our author's caution. He would make an excellent commentator on Layard.
But to return from these generalities, and describe what is far more interesting-the particular experiences of Mr. Colman in that domestie intercourse which has given him so clear an insight into “ European life and manners ;" though, in doing so, our course must be as erratic as his.
Ostensibly bent on an agricultural mission, and armed with " piles of letters of introduction,” which make him acquainted at once with Earl Spencer, who told him that “it was not necessary to have brought any credentials;" with Lord Ashburton, who "writes a civil note,” saying he is anxious to serve him “ in any practicable way;" with Lord Morpeth, who is “ very attentive;" with Mr. Bates, who takes him “to his beautiful villa six miles from London to pass Sunday with him ;" with the Earl of Hardwicke, who is anxious to render him “every attention ;" and with a host of gentlemen, “members of Parliament and others, who have been polite” to him ;-having all these facilities, and many more in the background, which are brought forward in due course, he sets out on his voyage of discovery to the new Society Islands.
Mr. Colman's first visit was to Earl Spencer at Althorpe, where, he says, he “received every polite attention.” As this is a favourite phrase with Mr. Colman, we may as well define it at once in his own words.
You will (he says) be glad to hear something of the manner of living in these places; and in this rambling letter I will tell you that, in respect to convenience, comfort, and ease, it is near perfection. As soon as you arrive at the house, your name is announced, your portmanteau is immediately taken to your chamber, which the servant shows you, with every requisite convenience and comfort. At Lord Spencer's the watch opens your door in the night to see if all is safe [How if the door is bolted ?], as his house was once endangered by a gentleman's reading in bed ; and if he should find your light burning after you had retired, excepting the night-taper, or you reading in bed, without a single word he would stretch out a long extinguisher and put it out.
A very ghostly visitation this, and fit for the Castle of Otranto. In the morning, a servant comes in to let you know the time, in season for you to dress for breakfast
. At half-past nine you go in to family-prayers, if you find out the time. They are happy to have the guests attend, but they are never asked. The servants are all assembled in the room fitted for a chapel. They all kneel, and the master of the house, or a chaplain, reads the morning service. As soon as it is over they all wait until he and his guests retire, and then the breakfast is served. At breakfast there is no ceremony whatever. You are asked by the servant what you will have, tea or coffee; or you get up and help yourself. Dry toast, boiled eggs, and bread-and-butter are on the table; and on the side-board you will find cold ham, tongue, beef, &c., to which you carry your own plate and help yourself, and come back to the breakfust-table and sit as long as you please. All letters or notes addressed to you are laid by your plate ; and letters
to be sent by mail are put in the post-box in the entry, and are sure to g. The arrangements for the day are then made, and parties are formed; horses and carriages for all the guests are found at the stables, and each one follows the bent of his inclination. When he returns at noon, he finds a side-table with an abundant lunch upon it, if he chooses; and when he goes to his chamber for preparation for dinner, he finds his dress clothes brushed and folded in the nicest manner, and cold water, and hot water, and clean napkins, in the test abundance.
We have no disposition to question the truth of a word of this elaborate statement ; not even of the existence of that mysterious place "the entry,” to which Mr. Colman is so fond of referring: like the rest of his revelations, it is too circumstantial to admit of a doubt; but what we want to know is, How many of these " polite attentions” are omitted in American country houses? Do the servants there—we beg pardon, we mean the “ helps"—not announce your arrival? do they not carry your portmanteau up-stairs for you, call you in the morning, bring your letters, brush your clothes, and supply you with cold water, hot water, and clean napkins? We should imagine not, or Mr. Colman would scarcely have been at the pains to tell his countrymen what English servants do; and the conclusion we are compelled to arrive at is, that when a stranger pays a visit in the United States, he is necessarily his own porter, his own watchman, and his own shoeblack, and that if he washes his face at all he does it at his own cost and contrivance. Nothing in England seems to have impressed Mr. Coleman more forcibly that the manners and proceedings of that useful class of persons whom the Scotch call “ funkies." He
says: Servants are without number. I have never dined out yet, even in a private untitled family, with less than three or four, and at several places eight or nine even, for a party hardly as numerous; but each knows his place; allure in full dress—the liveried servants in livery, and the upper servants in plain gentlemanly dress, but all with white cravats, which are likewise mostly worn by the gentlemen in dress. The servants not in livery are a higher rank than those in livery, never even associating with them. The livery is of such a description as the master chooses: the Duke of Richmond's were all in black, on account of mourning in the family; the others various, of the most grotesque description, sometimes with and sometimes without wigs, and always in shorts and white silk or white cotton stockings. [We foresee a tremendous social revolution in Boston after this.] Many persons request you not to give any gratuity to the servants; others forbid them accepting any, under pain of dismissal; and at the house of a nobleman of high rank I found a printed notice on my dressing-table to this effect : “ The guests are particularly requested to give no gratuities to the servants."
We hope, as Mr. Colman seems in general rather solicitous about his personal expenditure, that he profited by this hint.
A round of visits ensues, to Lord Hatherton's, Lord Hardwicke's, and other titled and untitled Amphitryons; the former having the call” with our republican friend. But before he sets out, “ Mrs. P-" (whom we strongly suspect from the context to be Mrs. Pendarves) takes him “in her carriage to see the most fashionable millinery store and the largest jewelry store in the world.”
In the letter announcing this fact, Mr. Colman very nearly “ forgot to mention” that he was also taken by Mrs. P--" to see the wedding gear of the Princess Augusta :" luckily, however, he recollects it in the postscript, and enlightens the Bostonians by informing them that "it cost more than a thousand dollars," and was made “ of silver and silk interwoven, and covered with Brussels lace."
We next find Mr. Colman domiciliated in the house of a Member of Parliament,” while attending the cattle-show at Doncaster ; and the chief
''s not a very
thing we learn from this visit is embodied in the form of a maxim, as follows:
As direct introductions seldom take place, you are expected, in such visits, to put yourself in polite communication with those who are near you. That our traveller acted up to his own rule is evident when he says:
There are some gentlemen here with whom I have had long conversations, and who have asked me repeatedly to visit then, whose names I do not know. The value of these invitations is, however, somewhat diminished by their vagueness, it being difficult to pay a visit to an anonymous host.
We have said that Mr. Colman is careful in matters of personal expense. He illustrates this in Edinburgh, where, there being no nobleman's house convenient, out of the numbers placed at his disposition, he gets into “excellent quarters at nine shillings per week” for his lodgings, —a price which we trust secured for him “cold water and clean towels. “ Travelling in coaches,” he says, “is very expensive ; and though I never ride inside when I can ride out, yet one gets to the bottom of one's purse constantly much sooner than you expect it.” He has an expedient for avoiding this expense, which he appears to have practised successfully on one occasion. “ I have walked to-day about twelve miles, and to save two miles had to ford the Tweed, with my trousers and shoes in my hands,” (like Cæsar and his fortunes); “ not a very pleasant operation, upon stones of all angles and shapes, which the water, though constantly flowing over them, had done little to soften.” Certainly pleasant operation,” nor one that, we think, it would be desirable for him to repeat very often, at all events on this side of the Tweed. In Scotland, Melrose and Abbotsford claim, as we have shown, some portion of his time; but the relics of the Wizard of the North (not Michael Bruce), the memorials of Mary Stuart and John Knox, and the monuments of Edinburgh, soon give place to a description of the ménage of Lambton Castle, “the seat of the late Lord Durham." Here Mr. Colman is completely at home.
In houses of this kind it is usual to have from forty to fifty servants. The servants' establishment is quite an affair by itself. The steward is at the head; he provides everything, and purchases all the supplies; he oversees all the other servants, and puts on, and where the party is not large, takes everything off from the table, the other servants standing by and waiting upon him. He has a room to himself, well fitted up, and has a large salary. Next to him comes the butler, who takes care of all the wines, fruit, glasses, candlesticks, lamps, and plate, and has an under-butler for his adjunct. Next, in equal authority with the steward, and having also an elegant parlour, is the housekeeper; she has all the care of the chambers, the linen, and the female servants. Then comes, next in authority, and perfectly despotic in his own domain, the cook, who is generally French or Italian, and his subalterns. Then come the coachman, the footman, and the ostlers, who, the last, I believe, seldom come into the house. Then there is the porter, who in London houses always sits in the entry, and there either has an office by the door, or else a table, with pen, ink, paper, &c.; who receives and delivers messages, but does not leave his place, having always servants at hand to wait upon him. Then each gentleman in the house has his own private valet, and each lady her own maid, who has all the cast off clothes of the luuly. The ladies, it is reported, never wear a pair of white satin shoes or white gloves more than once; and some of them, if they find, on going into society, another person of inferior rank wearing the same dress as themsclves, the dress upon being taken off is at once thrown aside, and the lady's maid perfectly understands lier perquisite.
There are two difficulties to be got over in this arrangement: first, to discover a person of inferior rank moving in the same society with you ;
Sept.--VOL. LXXXVII, NO. cccxly.
and next, to find that person actually wearing the clothes which
have got on your back. The last-named state of the case seems to belong to the category of Sir Boyle Roche's bird, which was in two places at the same time; but as Mr. Colman is satisfied about its practicability, we shall not venture to express our incredulity. Great truths cannot be too often repeated; and Mr. Colman is unable to part with Lambton Castle without telling how the guests make it out in noblemen's establishments in general, even at the risk of repetition.
In most families the hour of breakfast is announced to you before retiring, and the breakfast is entirely without ceremony. Your letters are brought to you in the morning, and the mail goes out every day. The postage of letters is always prepaid by those who write them, who paste double or single stamps upon them; and it is considered an indecorum to send a letter unpaid, or only sealed with a wafer. Any expense incurred for you, if it be only a penny upon a letter, is at once mentioned to you, and you of course pay it. At breakfast the arrangements are made for the day.
Here follows an account similar to that given at Lord Spencer's. He then continues :
At eleven o'clock there is always a candle for each guest, placed on the sideboard or in the entry, with allumettes alongside of them; and at your pleasure you light your own candle and bid good night. In a Scotch family you are expected to shake hands, on retiring, with all the party, and on meeting in the morning.
Not always a very safe practice in Scotland, if the popular belief be true. The English are a little more reserved, though, in general, the master of the house shakes hands with you. On a first introduction, no gentlemen shake hands, but simply bow to each other. In the morning you come down in undress, with boots, trousers of any colour, frock coat, &c. At dinner you are always expected to be in full dress; straight coat, black satin or white waistcoat, silk stockings and pumps, but not gloves; and if you dine abroad in London you keep your hat in your hand until you go in to dinner, when you give it to a servant, or leave it in an ante-room. The lady of the house generally claims the arm of the principal stranger, or the gentleman of the highest rank; she then assigns the other ladies and gentlemen by name, and commonly waits until all her guests precede her in to dinner-though this is not invariable. The gentleman is expected to sit near the lady whom he hands in. Not, as in the Mississippi steamboats, all huddled together.
Grace is almost always said by the master, and it is done in the shortest possible way. Sometimes no dishes are put upon the table until the soup is done with, but at other times there are two covers besides the soup. The soup is various; in Scotland it is usually what they call hodge-podge, a mixture of vegetables with some meat. After sour, the fish cover is removed, and this is commonly served round without any vegetables, but certainly not more than one kind. After fish come the plain joints, roast or boiled, with potatoes, peas or beans, and cauliflowers. Then sherry wine is handed by the servants to every one. German wine is offered to those who prefer it; this is always drank (drunk] in green glasses; then come the entrées, which are a variety of French Dishes and hashes; then champagne is offered; after this remove come ducks, or partridges, or other game; after this, the bonbons, puddings, tarts, sweetmeats, blancmange; then cheese and bread and a glass of strong ale is handed round; then the removal of the upper cloth, and oitentimes the most delicious fruit and confectionery follow, such as grapes, peaches, melons, apples, dried fruits, &c., &c. After this is put upon the table, a small bottle of Constantia wine, which is deemed very precious, and handed round in mall wine-glasses, or noyeau, or some other cordial. Finger-glasses are always furnished, though in some cases I have seen a deep silver plate filled with rose water presented to each guest, in which he dips the corner of his napkin to wipe his lips or fingers. No cigars or pipes are ever offered; and soon after the removal of the cloth the ladies retire to the drawing-room, the gentlemen close up at the table, and after sitting as long as you please, you go into the drawing-room to have coffee and then tca.