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methods, which incessantly co-operate | people insular and maritime, especially to furnish body and mind with all with such a sea and such coasts; their which they need,-such are henceforth painters, not very gifted, perceive in the leading and special features of this spite of all, its alarming and gloomy people. To constrain themselves and aspect; up to the eighteenth century, to provide for themselves, to govern amidst the elegance of French culture, themselves and nature, to consider and under the joviality of Flemish life as moralists and economists, like a tradition, we will find in Gainsborough close garment, in which people must the ineffaceable stamp of this great senwalk becomingly, and like a good gar- timent. In pleasant moments, in the fine ment, the best to be had, to be at calm summer days, the moist fog once respectable and comfortable: stretches over the horizon its pearl'nese two words embrace all the main-gray veil; the sea has a pale slate springs of English actions. Against this limited good sense, and this pedantic austerity, a revolt broke out. With the universal renewal of thought and imagination, the deep poetic source which flowed in the sixteenth century, seeks anew an outlet in the nineteenth, and a fresh literature springs up; philosophy and history infiltrate their doctrines into the old establishment; the greatest poet of the time shocks it incessantly with his curses and sarcasms; from all sides, to this day, in science and letters, in practice and theory, in private and in public life, the most powerful minds endeavor to open up a new channel to the stream of continental ideas. But they are patriots as well as innovators, conservative as well as revolutionary; if they touch religion and constitution, manners and doctrines, it is to widen, not to destroy them: England is made; she knows it, and they know it. Such as this country is, based on the whole national history and on all the national instincts, it is more capable than any other people in Europe of transforming itself without recasting, and of devoting itself to its future without renouncing its past.
I began to perceive these ideas when I first landed in England, and I was singularly struck how they were corroborated by observation and history; it seemed to me that the present was completing the past, and the past explained the present.
At first the sea troubles and strikes a man with wonder; not in vain is a
color; and the ships, spreading their
Yet there are charming and touch ing beauties here-those, to wit, of a well-watered land. When, on a partly clear day, we take a drive into the country and reach an eminence, our eyes experience a unique sensation, and a pleasure hitherto unknown. the far distance, wherever we look on the horizon, in the fields, on the hills, spreads the always visible verdure, plants for fodder and food, clover, hops; lovely meadows overflowing with high thick grass; here and there a cluster of lofty trees; pasture lands hemmed in with hedges, in which the heavy cows ruminate in peace. The mist rises insensibly between the trees and in the distance float luminous vapors. There is nothing sweeter in the world, nor more delicate, tha these tints; we might pause for hour together gazing on these pearly clouds this fine aerial down, this soft trans parent gauze which imprisons the rays of the sun, dulls them, and lets them reach the ground only to smile on it and to caress it. On both sides of our carriage pass before our eyes incessant
sleeve. Here we are at Newhaven, | rich, provide against an evil day, sur then at London; the sky disgorges round himself with comfort, become a rain, the earth returns her mist, the Protestant, a manufacturer, a politi mist floats in the rain; all is swamped: cian; in short, capable of activity and Looking round us, we see no reason resistance; and in all the ways open why it should ever end. Here, truly, to men, endure and strive. is Homer's Cimmerian land: our feet splash, we have no use left for our eyes; we feel all our organs stopped up, becoming rusty by the mounting damp; we think ourselves banished from the breathing world, reduced to the condition of marshy beings dwelling in dirty pools: to live here is not life. We ask ourselves if this vast town is not a ceinetery, in which dabble busy and wretched ghosts. Amidst the deluge of moist soot, the muddy stream with its unwearying iron ships, like black insects which take on board and land shades, makes us think of the Styx. As there is no light, they create it. Lately, in a large square in London, in the finest hotel, it was necessary to leave the gas alight for five days running. We become melancholy; we are disgusted with others and with ourselves. What can people do in this sepulchre? To remain at home without working is to gnaw one's vitals, and to prepare one's self for suicide. To go out is to make an effort, to care neither for damp nor cold, to brave discomfort and unpleasant sensations. Such a climate pre-ly meadows each more lovely than the scribes action, forbids sloth, develops energy, teaches patience. I was looking just now on the steam-boat at the sailors at the helm,-their tarpaulins, their great streaming boots, their sou'westers, so attentive, so precise in their movements, so grave, so self-contained. I have since seen workmen at their looms, calm, serious, silent, economizing their efforts, and persevering all day, all the year, all their life, in the same regular and monotonous struggle of mind and body: their soul is suited to their climate. Indeed it must be so in order to live; after a week, we feel that here a man must renounce refined and heartfelt enjoyment, the happiness of careless life, complete idleness, the easy and harmonious expansion of artistic and animal nature; that here he must marry, bring up a houseful of children, assume the cares and importance of a family man, grow
last, in which buttercups, meadow-sweet, Easter-daisies, are crowded in succession with their dissolving hues ; a sweet. ness almost painful, a strange charm, breathes from this inexhaustible and transient vegetation. It is too fresh, it cannot last; nothing here is staid, stable and firm, as in the South; all is fleeting, springing up, or dying away, hovering betwixt tears and joy. The rolling water-drops shine on the leaves like pearls; the round tree-tops, the widespread foliage, whisper in the feeble breeze, and the sound of the falling tears left by the last shower never ceases. How well these plants thrive in the glades, spread out wantonly, ever renewed and watered by the moist air! How the sap mounts in these plants, refreshed and protected against the weather! And how sky and land seem made to guard their tissue and refresh their hues! At the
least glimpse of sun they smile with children. The piquant, the agreeable delicious charm; we would call them are not a necessity to him. The weak delicate and timid virgins under a veil ness of his sensitive impulses contrib about to be raised. Let the sun for utes to the force of his moral impulses. an instant emerge, and we will see His temperament makes him argumenthem grow resplendent as in a ball tative; he can get on without police dress. The light falls in dazzling men; the shocks of man against man sheets; the lustrous golden petals shine do not here end in explosions. He can with a too vivid color; the most splen- discuss in the market-place aloud, redid embroideries, velvet starred with ligion and politics, hold meetings, form diamonds, sparkling silk seamed with associations, rudely attack men in office pearls, are not to be compared to this say that the Constitution is violated, leep hue; joy overflows like a brim- predict the ruin of the State: there is ming cup. In the strangeness and the no objection to this; his nerves are rarity of this spectacle, we understand calm; he will argue without cutting for the first time the life of a humid throats; he will not raise revolutions; land. The water multiplies and soft- and perhaps he will obtain a reform. ens the living tissues; plants increase, Observe the passers-by in the streets; and have no substance: nourishment in three hours we will see all the visiabounds, and has no savor; moisture ble features of this temperament: light fructifies, but the sun does not fertilize. hair, in children almost white; pale Much grass, much cattle, much meat; eyes, often blue as Wedgwood-ware, large quantities of coarse food: thus red whiskers, a tall figure, the motions an absorbing and phlegmatic tempera- of an automaton; and with these other ment is supported; the human growth, still more striking features, those which like the animal and vegetable, is power- strong food and combative life have ful, but heavy; man is amply but coarse- added to this temperament. Here the ly framed; the machine is solid, but it enormous guardsman, with rosy comturns slowly on its hinges, and the hinges plexion, majestic, slightly bent, who generally creak and are rusty. When we struts along twirling a little cane in his look at the people closer, it seems that hand, displaying his chest, and showing their various parts are independent, at a clear parting between his pomaded least that they need time to let sensa hair; there the over-fed stout man. tions pass through them. Their ideas short, sanguine, like an animal fit for do not at first break out in passions, the shambles, with his startled, dazed, gestures, actions. As in the Fleming yet sluggish air; a little further on the and the German, they dwell first of all country gentleman, six feet high, stout in the brain; they expand there, they and tall, like the German who left his rest there; man is not shaken by them, forest, with the muzzle and nose of a he has no difficulty in remaining motion- bull-dog, tremendous savage-looking less, he is not rapt: he can act wisely, | whiskers, rolling eyes, apoplectic face; uniformly; for his inner motive power these are the excesses of coarse blood is an idea or a watchword, not an emo- and food; add to which, even in the tion or an attraction. He can bear women, the white front teeth of a cartedium, or rather he does not weary nivorous arimal, and big feet solidly hi nself; his ordinary course consists shod, excellent for walking in the mud. of dull sensations, and the insipid mo- Again, look at the young men in a notony of mechanical life has nothing cricket match or picnic party; doubtwhich need repel him. He is accus- less mind does not sparkle in their eyes, tomed to it, his nature is suited for it. but life abounds there; there is someWhen a man has all his life eaten thing of decision and energy ir their turnips, he does not wish for oranges. whole being; healthy and active, ready He will readily resign himself to hear for motion, for enterprise, these are the fifteen consecutive discourses on the words which rise involuntarily to our same subject, demanding for twenty lips when we speak of them. Many years the same reform, compiling statis-look like fine, slender harriers, sniffing tics, studying moral treatises, keeping the air, and in full cry. A life passed Sunday schools, bringing up a dozen in gymnastic exercises or in venture
some deeds is honored in England; | round him.
His whole existence i
they must move their body, swim, throw directed to a single end; he must in the ball, run in the damp meadow, row, cessantly exert himself to the utmost. breathe in their boats the briny sea-practice the same exertion, a profitable vapor, feel on their foreheads the rain-one; he has become a machine. This drops falling from the large oak trees, is especially visible in workmen; perleap their horses over ditches and severance, obstinacy, resignation, are gates; the animal instincts are intact. depicted on their long bony and dull They still relish natural pleasures; faces. It is still more visible in women precocity has not spoiled them. Noth of the lower orders: many are thin, ing can be simpler than the young consumptive, their eyes hollow, their English girls; amidst many beautiful nose sharp, their skin streaked with things, there are few so beautiful in the red patches; they have suffered tor world; slim, strong, self-assured, so fun- much, have had too many children, damentally honest and loyal, so free from have a washed-out, or oppressed, or coquetry! A man cannot imagine, if submissive, or stoically impassive air; he has not seen it, this freshness and we feel that they have endured much innocence; many of them are flowers, and can endure still more. Even in the expanded flowers; only a morning rose, middle or upper class this patience and with its transient and delicious color, sad hardening are frequent; we think with its petals drenched in dew, can when we see them of those poor beasts give us an idea of it; it leaves far be- of burden, deformed by the harness, hind the beauty of the South, and its which remain motionless under the precise, stable, finished contours, its falling_rain without thinking of shelwell-defined outlines; here we per- ter. Verily the battle of life is harsher ceive fragility, delicacy, the continual and more obstinate here than elsebudding of life; candid eyes, blue as where; whoever gives way, falls. Beperiwinkles, looking at us without think-neath the rigor of climate and competi ing of our look. At the least stirring of the soul, the blood rushes in purple waves into these girls' cheeks, neck, and shoulders; we see emotions pass over these transparent complexions, as the colors change in the meadows; and their modesty is so virginal and sincere, that we are tempted to lower our eyes from respect. And yet, natural and frank as they are, they are not languishing or dreamy; they love and endure exercise like their brothers; with flowing locks, at six years they ride on horseback and take long walks. Active life in this country strengthens the phlegmatic temperament, and the heart is kept more simple whilst the body grows healthier. Another obserration: far above all these figures one type stands out, the most truly English, the most striking to a foreigner. Post yourself for an hour, early in the morning, at the terminus of a railway, and observe the men above thirty who come to London on business: the features are drawn, the faces pale, the eyes steady, preoccupied; the mouth open and, as it were, contracted; the man is tired, worn out, and hardened by too much work; he runs without looking
tion, amidst the strikes of industry, the weak, the improvident, perish or are degraded; then comes gin and does its work; thence the long files of wretched women who sell themselves by night in the Strand to pay their rent; thence those shameful quarters of London, Liverpool, all the great towns, those spectres in tatters, gloomy or drunk, who crowd the dram-shops, who fill the streets with their dirty linen, and their rags hung out on ropes, who lie on a soot-heap, amidst troops of wan children; horrible shoals, whither descend all whom their wounded, idle, or feeble arms could not keep on the surface of the great stream. The chances of life are tragic here, and the punishment of improvider cruel. We soon understand why, un der this obligation to fight and grow hard, fine sensations disappear; why taste is blunted, how man becomes ungraceful and stiff; how discords, exag gerations, mar the costume and the fashion; way movements and forms become fina.ly energetic and discord ant, like the motions of a machine If the man is German by race, tem perament, and mind, he has been com
pelled in process of time to fortify, alter, altogether turn aside his original nature; he is no longer a primitive animal, but a well-trained animal; his body and mind have been transformed by strong food, by bodily exercise, by austere religion, by public morality, by political strife, by perpetuity of ef fort; he has become of all men the most capable of acting usefully and powerfully in all directions, the most productive and effectual laborer, as his ox has become the best animal for food, his sheep the best for wool, his horse the best for racing
Indeed, there is no greater spectacle than his work; in no age or amongst no nation on the earth, I believe, has matter ever been better handled and utilized. If we enter London by water, we see an accumulation of toil and work which has no equal on this planet. Paris, by comparison, is but an elegant city of pleasure; the Seine, with its quays, a pretty, serviceable plaything. Here all is vast. I have seen Marseilles, Bordeaux, Amsterdam, but I had no idea of such a mass. From Greenwich to London the two shores are a continuous wharf: merchandise is always being piled up, sacks hoisted, ships moored; ever new warehouses for copper, beer, ropework, tar, chemicals. Docks, timber-yards, calking-basins, and shipbuilders' yards, multiply and encroach on each other. On the left there is the iron framework of a church being finished, to be sent to India. The Thames is a mile oroad, and is but a populous street of vessels, a winding workyard. Steam boats, sailing vessels, ascend and descend, come to anchor in groups of two, three, ten, then in long files, then in dense rows; there are five or six thousand of them, at anchor. On the right, the docks, like so many intricate, maritime streets, disgorge or store up the vessels. If we get on a height, we see vessels in the distance by hundreds and thousands, fixed as if on the land: their masts in a line, their slender rigging, make a spider-web which girdles the horizon. Yet on the river itself, towards the west, we see
an inextricable forest of masts, yards and cables; the ships are unloading fastened to one another, mingled with chimneys, amongst the pulleys of the storehouses, cranes, capstans, and all the implements of the vast and ceaseless teil. A foggy smoke, penetrated by the sun, wraps them in its russet veil; it is the heavy and smoky air of a big hot-house; soil and man, light and air, all is transformed by work If we enter one of these docks, the impression will be yet more overwhelming: each resembles a town; always ships, still more ships, in a line, show ing their heads; their wide sides, their copper chests, like monstrous fishes under their breastplate of scales. When we are on the ground, we see that this breastplate is fifty feet high; many ships are of three thousand or four thousand tons. Clippers three hundred feet long are on the point of sailing for Australia, Ceylon, America. A bridge is raised by machinery; it weighs a hundred tons, and only one man is needed to raise it. Here are the wine stores-there are thirty thou sands tuns of port in the cellars; here the place for hides, here for tallow, here for ice. The store for groceries extends as far as the eye can see, colossal, sombre as a picture by Rembrandt, filled with enormous vats, and crowded with many men, who move about in the flickering shade. The universe tends to this centre. Like a heart, to which blood flows, and from which it pours, money, goods, business arrive hither from the four quarters of the globe, and flow thence to the distant poles. And this circulation seems natural, so well is it conducted. The cranes turn noiselessly; the tuns seem to move of themselves; a little car rolls them at once, and without effort; the bales descend by their own weight on the inclined planes, which lead them to their place. Clerks, without flurry, call out the numbers; men push or pull without confusion, calmly, hus banding their labor; whilst the stolid master, in his black hat, gravely, with spare gestures, and without one word, directs the whole.
Now let us take rail and go to Glas gow, Birmingham, Liverpool, Man chester, to see the ind istry. As we