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cess, according to the modern standard, with your common people. Are you a success with your middle class? They have the power now; what have they made of themselves ? what sort of a life is theirs? A life more natural, more rational, fuller of happiness, more enviable, therefore, than the life of the middle classes on the Continent? Yes, you will say, because the English middle class is the most industrious and the richest. But it is just here that you go a great deal too fast, and so deceive yourselves.

"What brings about, or rather tends to bring about, a natural, rational life, satisfying the modern spirit? This: the growth of a love of industry, trade, and wealth; the growth of a love of the things of the mind; and the growth of a love of beautiful things. There are body, intelligence, and goal all taken care of. Of these three factors of modern life, your middle class has no notion of any but one, the first. Their love of industry, trade, and wealth is certainly prodigious; and their example has done us a great deal of good: we too are beginning to get this love, and we wanted it. But what notion have they of anything else? Do but look at them, look at their lives. Some of us know your middle class very well, — a great deal better than your own upper class in general knows them. Your middle class is educated, to begin with, in the worst schools of your country, and our middle class is educated in the best of ours. What becomes of them after that? The fineness and capacity of a man's spirit is shown by his enjoyments; your middle class has an enjoyment in its business, we admit, and gets on well in business and makes money; but beyond that? Drugged with business, your middle class seems to have its sense blunted for any stimulus besides, except religion; it has a religion narrow, unintelligent, repulsive. All sincere religion does something for the spirit, raises a man out of the bondage of his merely bestial part, and saves him; but the religion of your middle class is the very lowest form of intelligential life which one can imagine as saving.

"What other enjoyments have they? The newspapers, a sort of eating and drinking which are not to our taste, a literature of books almost entirely religious or semi-religious, books utterly unreadable by an educated class anywhere, but which your middle class consumers, they say, by the hundred thousand; and in their evenings, for a great treat, a lecture on teetotalism or nunneries. Can any life be imagined more hideous, more dismal, more unenviable? Compare it with the life of our middle class as you hare seen it on the Rhine this summer, or at Lausanne, or Zurich. The world of enjoyment, so liberalizing and civilizing, belongs to the middle classes there, as well as the world of business; the whole world is theirs, they possess life; in England the highest class seems to have the monopoly of the world of enjoyment, the middle class enjoys itself, as your Shakespeare would say, in hugger-mugger,

they are not solving its problem. They cannot see the" way the world is going, and the future does not belong to them. Talk of the present state of development and civilization of England, meaning England as they represent it to us! Why, the capital, pressing danger of England, is the barbarism of her middle class; the civilization of her middle class is England's capital, pressing want."

"Well, but," said I, still catching at Mr. Lowe's powerful help, "the Parliament of this class has performed exploits unrivalled not merely in the six centuries during which Parliament has existed, but in the whole history of representative assemblies. The exploits are there: all the reforms we have made in the last five-and-thirty years."

"Let us distinguish," replied the envious foreigners, "let us distinguish. We named three powers — did we not ? — which go to spread that rational humane life which is the aim of modern society: the love of wealth, the love of intelligence, the love of beauty. Your middle class, we agreed, has the first; its commercial legislation, accordingly, has been very good, and in advance of that of foreign countries. Not that free-trade was really brought about by your middle class: it was brought about, as important reforms always are, by two or three great men. However, let your middle class, which had the sense to accept free-trade, have the credit of it. But this only brings us a certain way. The legislation of your middle class in all that goes to give human life more intelligence and beauty, is Do better than was to be expected from its own want of both. It is nothing to say that its legislation in these respects is an improvement upon what YOU had before; that is not the question; you are hold- ing up its achievements as absolutely admirable, as unrivalled, as a model to us.

"You may have done — for you — much for re- ligious toleration, social improvement, public inftrartion, municipal reform, law reform; but the Frw>;4 Revolution and its consequences hare <k<*?. the Continent, a great deal more. Soft * as your Irish Church Establishment vcc oafl>:* in France or Germany. Your Irish I you hardly dare to face,— Stein settle: ing a land-question in Prussia. Of the your middle class we have alre*iJy *«*••* these schools are what they are.

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and possesses life only by reading in the newspapers,
which it does devoutly, the doings of great people.
Well then, we do not at all want to be as your mid-
dle class; we want to learn from it to do business _, —

and to get rich, and this we are learning a great I betttr'-
deal faster than you think ; but we do not; like your
middle class, fix our consummation here: we have a
notion of a whole world besides not dreamed of io
your middle class's philosophy; so they too. like vew i
common people, seem to us no success. Therm**'
be the masters of the modern time with roi. he

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cess, according to the modern standard, with your common people. Are you a success with your middle class? They have the power now; what have they made of themselves? what sort of a life is theirs? A life more natural, more rational, fuller of happiness, more enviable, therefore, than the life of the middle classes on the Continent? Yes, you will say, because the English middle class is the most industrious and the richest. But it is just here that you go a great deal too fast, and so deceive yourselves.

"What brings about, or rather tends to bring about, a natural, rational life, satisfying the modern spirit? This: the growth of a love of industry, trade, and wealth; the growth of a love of the things of the mind; and the growth of a love of beautiful things. There are body, intelligence, and soul all taken care of. Of these three factors of modern life, your middle class has no notion of any but one, the first. Their love of industry, trade, and wealth is certainly prodigious; and their example has done us a great deal of good: we too are beginning to get this love, and we wanted it. But what notion have they of anything else? Do but look at them, look at their lives. Some of us know your middle class very well, — a great deal better than your own upper class in general knows them. Your middle class is educated, to begin with, in the worst schools of your country, and our middle class is educated in the best of ours. What becomes of them after that? The fineness and capacity of a man's spirit is shown by his enjoyments; your middle class has an enjoyment in its business, we admit, and gets on well in business and makes money; but beyond that? Drugged with business, your middle class seems to have its sense blunted for any stimulus besides, except religion; it has a religion narrow, unintelligent, repulsive. All sincere religion does something for the spirit, raises a man out of the bondage of his merely bestial part, and saves him; but the religion of your middle class is the very lowest form of intclligential life which one can imagine as saving.

"What other enjoyments have they? The newspapers, a sort of eating and drinking which are not to our taste, a literature of books almost entirely religious or semi-religious, books utterly unreadable by an educated class anywhere, but which your middle class consumes, they say, by the hundred thousand; and in their evenings, for a great treat, a lecture on teetotalism or nunneries. Can any life be imagined more hideous, more dismal, more unenviable? Compare it with the life of our middle class as you have seen it on the Rhine this summer, or at Lausanne, or Zurich. The world of enjoyment, so liberalizing and civilizing, belongs to the middle classes there, as well as the world of business ; the whole world is theirs, they possess life; in England the highest class seems to have the monopoly of the *world of enjoyment, the middle class enjoys itself, * your Shakespeare would say, in hugger-mugger, and possesses life only by reading in the newspapers, »which it does devoutly, the doings of great people. Well then, we do not at all want to be as your middle class; we want to learn from it to do business tad to get rich, and this we are learning a great deal faster than you think ; but we do not; like your middle class, fix our consummation here: we have a notion of a whole world besides not dreamed of in Tout middle class's philosophy; so they too, like your common people, seem to us no success. They may be the masters of the modern time with you, but

they are not solving its problem. They cannot see the way the world is going, and the future does not belong to them. Talk oi the present state of development and civilization of England, meaning England as they represent it to us! Why, the capital, pressing danger of England, is the barbarism of her middle class ; the civilization of her middle class is England's capital, pressing want."

"Well, but," said I, still catching at Mr. Lowe's powerful help, "the Parliament of this class has performed exploits unrivalled not merely in the six centuries during which Parliament has existed, but in the whole history of representative assemblies. The exploits are there: all the reforms we have made in the last five-and-thirty years."

"Let us distinguish," replied the envious foreigners, "let us distinguish. We named three powers — did we not ? — which go to spread that rational humane life which is the aim of modern society: the love of wealth, the love of intelligence, the love of beauty. Your middle class, we agreed, has the first; its commercial legislation, accordingly, has been very good, and in advance of that of foreign countries. Not that free-trade was really brought about by your middle class: it was brought about, as important reforms always are, by two or three

great men. However, let your middle class, which ad the sense to accept free-trade, have the credit of it. But this only brings us a certain way. The legislation of your middle class in all that goes to give human life more intelligence and beauty, is no better than was to be expected from its own want of both. It is nothing to say that its legislation in these respects is an improvement upon what you had before; that is not the question; you are holding up its achievements as absolutely admirable, as unrivalled, as a model to us.

"You may have done — for you — much for religious toleration, social improvement, public instruction, municipal reform, law reform; but the French Revolution and its consequences have done, upon the Continent, a great deal more. Such a spectacle as your Irish Church Establishment you cannot find in France or Germany. Your Irish land-question you hardly dare to face,— Stein settled as threatening a land-question in Prussia. Of the schools for your middle class we have already spoken; while these schools are what they are, while the schools for your poor are maintained in the expensive, unjust, irrational way they are, England is full of endowments and foundations, capable by themselves, if properly applied, of putting your public education on a much better footing. In France and Germany all similar funds are thus employed, having been brought under public, responsible management; in England they are left to private, irresponsible management, and are, in nine cases out of ten, wasted. You talk of municipal reform; and cities, and the manner of life in them have, for the modern business of promoting a more rational and humane life in the great body of the community, incalculable importance. Do you suppose we should tolerate in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, your London corporation and London vestries, and London as they make it? In your provincial towns you do better; but even there, do the municipalities show a tenth part either of the intelligence or the care for the ends, as we have laid them down, of modern society, that our municipalities show?

"Your middle-class man thinks it the highest pitch of development and civilization when his letters are canned twelve times a day from Islington to Camberwell, and from Camberwell to Islington, and if railway-trains run to and fro between them every quarter of an hour. He thinks it is nothing that the trains only carry him from an illiberal, dismal life at Islington to an illiberal, dismal life at Camberwell; and the letters only tell him that such is the life there. A Swiss burgher takes Heaven knows how many hours to go from Berne to Geneva, and his trains are very few; this is an extreme on the other side; but compare the life the Swiss burgher finds or leaves at Berne or Geneva with the life of the middle class in your English towns. Or else you think to cover everything by saying: 'We are free! we are free! Our newspapers can say what they like!' Freedom, like industry, is a very good horse to ride, — but to ride somewhere. You seem to think that you have only got to get on the back of your horse Freedom, or your horse Industry, and to ride away as hard as you can, to be sure of coming to the right destination. 'If your newspapers can say what they like, you think you are sure of being well advised. That comes of your inaptitude for ideas, and aptitude for clap-trap; you can never see the two sides of a question; never perceive that every human state of tnings, even a good one, has its inconveniences. We can see the conveniences of your state well enough; and the inconveniences of ours, of newspapers not free, and prefects over-busy; and there are plenty of us who proclaim them. You eagerly repeat after us all we say that redounds to your own 1ionOr and glory; but you never follow our exatnplc yourselves. You are full of acutcness to perceive the ill influence of our prefects on us; but if any one says to you, in your turn, 'The English system of a great landed aristocracy keeps your lower class a lower class forever, and materializes and vulgarizes your whole middle class,' you stare vacantly at the speaker, you cannot even take in his ideas; you can only blurt forth, in reply, some clap-trap or other about a ' system of such tried and tested efficiency as no other country was ever happy enough to possess since the world was a world.'"

I have observed in my travels, that most young gentlemen of our highest class go through Europe, from Calais'to Constantinople, with one sentence on their Hps, and one idea in their minds, which suffices, apparently, to explain all that they see to them: Foreigner! don't wash. No doubt, thought I to myself, my friends have fallen in with some distinguished young Britons of this sort, and had their feelings wounded by them; hence their rancor against our aristocracy. And as to our middle class, foreigners have no notion how much this class, with us, contains; how many shades and gradations in it there are, and how little what is said of one part of it will apply to another. Something of this sort I could not help urging aloud. "You do not know," I said, "that there is broken off, as one may say, from the top of our middle class a large fragment, which receives the best education the country can give, the same education as our aristocracy; which is perfectly intelligent and which enjoys life perfectly. These men do the main part of our intellectual work, write all our best newspapers; and cleverer people, I assure you, are nowhere to be found."

"Clever enough," was the answer, " but they show not much intelligence, in the true sense of the word, — not much intelligence of the way the world is going. Whether it is that they must try to hit your current public opinion, which is not intelligent; whether it is that, having been, as you say, brought

up with your aristocracy, they have been too much influenced by it, have taken, half insensibly, an aristocracy's material standard, and do not believe in ideas; certain it is that their intelligence has no ardor, no plan, leads them nowhere; it is ineffectual. Your intellect is at this moment, to an almost unexampled degree, without influence on the intellect of Europe."

While this was being said, I noticed an Italian, who was one of our party, fumbling with his pocketbook, from whence he presently produced a number of gray newspaper slips, which I could see were English. "Now just listen to me for a moment," he cried, " and I will show you wliat makes us say, on the Continent, that you English have no sense for logic, for ideas, and that your praise and blame, having no substantial foundation, are worth very little. You remember the famous French pamphlet before our war began in 1859: Napoleon lite Tliard and Italy. The pamphlet appealed, in the French way, to reason and first principles; the upshot of it was this: 'The treaties which bind governments would be invariable only if the world was immovable. A power which should intrench itself behind treaties in order to resist modifications demanded by general feeling, would have doubtless on her side an acquired right, but she would have against her moral right and universal conscience.'

"You English, on the other hand, took your stand on things as they were: 'If treaties are made,1 said your Times, 'they must be respected. Tear one, and all are waste paper.' Very well; this is a policy, at any rate, an aristocratical policv; much may be said for it. The Times was full of contempt for the French pamphlet, an essay, as it called it, 'conveying the dreams of an agitator expressed in the language of an academician. It said: 'No one accustomed to the pithy comments with which liberty notices passing history, can read such a production without complacency that he does not live in the country which produces it. To see the heavy apparatus of an essay brought out to solve a question on which men have corresponded and talked and speculated in the funds, and acted in the most practical manner possible for a month past, is as strange as if we beheld some spectral review,' and so on. Still very well; there is the strong, practical man despising theories and reveries. 'The sentiment of race is just now threatening to be exceedingly troublesome. It is to a considerable extent in our days a literary revival.' That is all to the same effect. Then came a hitch in our affairs, and fortune seemed as if she was ^oing to give, as she often does give, the anti-theorists a triumph. 'The Italian plot,' cried The Times, 'has failed. The Emperor and his familiars knew not the moral strength which ia still left in the enlightened communities of Europe. To the unanimous and indignant reprobation of English opinion is duo the failure of the imperial plots. While silence and fear reign everywhere abroad, the eyes and ears of the Continent are turned continually to these Islands. English opinion has been erected into a kind of Areopagus."

"Our business went forward again, and your English opinion grew very stern indeed. 'Sardinia," said The Times, 'is told very plainly that she has deserted the course by which alone she could hope either to be happy or great, and abandoned herself to the guidance of fatal delusions, which are luring her on to destruction. By cultivating the arts of peace she would have been solving, in the only po»

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sible way, the difficult problem of Italian independence. She has been taught by France to look instead to the acquisition of fresh territory by war and conquest. She nas now been told with perfect truth by the warning voice of the British Parliament that she has not a moment to lose in retracing her steps, if indeed her penitence be not too late." Well, to make a long story short, we did not retrace our steps; we went on, as you know; we succeeded; and now let us n.ake a jump from the spring to the autumn. Here is your unanimous English opinion, here is your Areopagus, here is your Times, in October: 'It is very irregular (Sardinia's course), it is contrary to all diplomatic forms. Francis the Second can show a thousand texts of international law against it. Yes; but there are extremities beyond aU law, and there are laws which existed before even society was formed. There are laws which are implanted in our nature, and which form part of the human mind,' and so on. Why, here you have entirely boxed the eompass, and come round from the ftristocratical programme to the programme of the French pamphlet, 'the dreams of an agitator in the language of the rhetorician 1' And you approved not only our present, but our past, and kindly took off your ban of reprobation issued in February.

"' How great a change has been effected by the wisely courageous policy of Sardinia! The firmness and boldness which have raised Italy from degradation form the enduring character of a ten years' policy. King Victor Emmanuel and his sagacious counsellor have achieved success by remembering that fortune favors the bold." There you may see why the mind of France influences the Continent so much and the mind of England so little. France has intelligence enough to perceive the ideas that are moving, or are likely to move, the world; she believes in them, sticks to them, and shapes her course to suit them. You neither perceive them nor believe in them, but you play with them like counters, taking them up and laying them down at random, and following really some turn of vour imagination, some gust of liking or disliking. \Vhen I heard some of your countrymen complaining of Italy and her ingratitude for English sympathy, I made, to explain it, the collection of those extracts and of a good many more. They are all at your service; I have some here from the Saturday Review, which you will find exactly follow suit with those from The Times." "No, thank you," I answered, " The Times is enough. My relations with the Saturday Review are rather tight-stretched, as you say here, already; make me a party to none of your quarrels with them."

After this my original tormentor once more took u[> his parable. "You see now what I meant," he said, " by saying that you did better in the old time, in the day of aristocracies. An aristocracy has no ideas, but it has a policy, — to resist change. In this policy it believes, it sticks to it; when it is beaten in it, it holds its tongue. This is respectable, at any rate. But your great middle class, as you call it, your present governing power, having no policy, except that of doing a roaring trade, does not know what to be at in great affairs, — blows hot and cold by turns, — makes itself ridiculous in short. It was a good aristocratical policy to have helped Austria in the Italian war; it was a good aristocratical policy to have helped the South m the American war. The days of anstocratical policy are over for you; with your new middle-class public opinion you cut, in Italy, the figure our friend hero has just

shown you; in America you scold right and left, you get up a monster memorial to deprecate the further effusion of blood; you lament over the abridgment of civil liberty by people engaged in a struggle for life and death, and meaning to win; and when they turn a deaf ear to you and win, you say,' O, now let us be one great united Anglo-Saxon family and astonish the world.' This is just of a piece with your threatening Germany with the Emperor of the French. Do you not see that all these blunders dispose the Americans, who are very shrewd, and who have been succeeding as steadily as you have been failing, to answer: 'We have got the lead, no thanks to you, and we mean to astonish the world without you.'

"Unless you change, unless your middle class grows more intelligent, you will toll upon the world less and less, and end by being a second Holland. We do not hold you cheap for saying you will wash your hands of all concerns but your own, that you do not care a rush for influence in Europe; though this sentence of your Lord Bolingbroke is true: 'The opinion of mankind, which is fame after death, is superior strength and power in life.' We hold you cheap because you show so few signs, except in the one department of industry, of understanding your time and its tendencies, and of exhibiting a modern life which shall be a signal success. And the reaction is the stronger because after 1815 we believed in you as now-a-days we are coming to believe in America. You had won the last game, and we thought you had your hand full of trumps, and were going to win the next. Now the game has begun to be played, and we have an inkling of what your cards are; we shrewdly suspect you have scarcely any trumps at all."

I am no arguer, as is well known, "and every puny whipster gets my sword." So instead of making bad worse by a lame answer, I held my tongue, consoling myself with the thought that these foreigners get from us, at any rate-, plenty of Rolands for any stray Oliver they may have the luck to give us. I have since meditated a good deal on what was then said, but I cannot profess to be yet quite clear about it. However, all due deductions made for envy, exaggeration, and injustice, enough stuuk by me of these remarks on our logic, criticism, and love of intelligence, to determine me to go on trying (taking care, of course, to steer clear of indecency) to keep my mind fixed on these, instead of singing hosannahs to our actual state of development and civilization. The old recipe, to think a little more and bustle a little less, seemed to me still the best recipe to follow. So I take comfort when I find the Guardian reproaching me with having no influence; for I know what influence means, — a party, practical proposals, action; and I say to myself: "Even suppose 1 could get some followers, and assemble them, brimming with affectionate enthusiasm, in a committee-room at some inn; what on earth should I say to them? what resolutions could I propose? I could only propose the old Socratic commonplace, Know thyself; and how blank they all would look at that!

No; to inquire, perhaps too curiously, what that present state of English development and civilization is, which according to Mr. Lowe is so perfect that to give votes to the working class is stark madness; and, on the other hand, to be less sanguine about the divine and saving effect of a vote on its possessor than my friends in the committeeroom at the "Spotted Dog," — that is my inevi

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