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how it happened that once he was in command of a small sloop of war at the mouth of an African river, whose banks were inhabited by a colony of Jews, a race of most strange and mysterious origin, but yet to be found there. Amongst these there was one, a very venerable-looking old fellow, who supplied the sloop with yams and sweet potatoes, and such other produce; "and with him," said the officer, "I had frequent discussions, some of them on religious topics. He interested me at last to that degree that I began to wish I could convert him, though really, from my ignorance of polemics, I did not know exactly how to set about it; and at the same time I was discouraged by hearing that, of the supposed converts made by missionaries on the coast, there was not one who had not relapsed.
"While I thus hesitated and pondered, I received sudden orders to sail. I went on shore to settle some matters of the ship's accounts, and seeing that Moses was on board I offered him a passage in my gig, to have a few last words with him. We started a religious discussion at once; but I found my friend, long trained to argue with the missionaries, rather more than my match. He knew far more than I did, and employed his knowledge more skilfully. In my embarrassment I grew angry. I was foiled so often that my men had hard work to keep from laughing, and this overcame me completely. So I just seized him by the collar and chucked him into the sea; and after keeping him down for a second or two, I said, 'Will you be a Christian now?'
"No,' said he 'never.' Down he went again, and for a little longer, when I asked, 'Will you now?'
"No,' said he, 'for nothing on earth.'
"I put him under again, ladies and gentlemen; and, I am obliged to own, I kept him almost a minute, so that when he did come up he was very red in the face, and nearly suffocated.
"What do you say now? Will you be a Christian?'
Yes,' said he, with a gulp. 'Then you shan't relapse any. way,' said I; and so, ladies and gentlemen, I put him down again, and held him there quite long enough to prevent accidents; and that was the only Jew I ever heard of who didn't recant."
The lieutenant may have been unlucky; but are we more fortunate in our experiences of the ticket-o'-leavers who are the prize - men of our jails? Are not the convictions we daily read of, all, or nearly all, of men well known to the police-" old offenders"?
The almost certainty of detection is your true reformer. Show the thief that it "won't pay." Let the burglar learn that housebreaking, like landlordism, has its responsibilities, ay, and that they are sure to be imposed; and when you have done this, the profession will become unpopular.
Strengthen your police and scrutinise your magistrates, and, take my word, you may practise a wise economy in jail reformers and pri son disciplinists; and if, besides this, you make jails uncomfortable, there will be no more to do than 66 rest and be thankful."
SOME PROS AND CONS OF LIFE ABROAD.
Ever since that letter of Mrs O'Dowd's asking me for the name of the town abroad where, with an exquisite climate and a charming
society, one can live for half nothing, I have been revolving in my mind the delusions of the people who come abroad for cheapness.
Some years ago, doubtless, the Continent was cheap-one reason, and a great one, of the cheapness being, that you consented to live abroad without many things you would have judged to be indispensable at home; and so, instead of a house, you lived in part of one. In lieu of a regular establishment, your household consisted of two or three " grand utilities;" and your butler was a hairy rascal, who cleaned the windows, polished the parquet, and very possibly coifféed your wife. You slept on
sackcloth and ate out of earthenware; and the only bit of carpet in your salon warmed the legs of a small round table in the middle of the room, upon which, under a glass bell, stood a miniature tea-service.
All these were very cheap enjoyments, but would you have had them at any price in your own country? Of late, however, the Continent, except in some remote and little-visited spots, has become pretty much like England, and the consequence is, just as dear.
Paris is far more costly as a residence than London, St Petersburg double Paris, and Vienna about half-way between the two. Madrid is expensive, but it does not much matter-nobody would live there who was not paid for it.
Brussels is fast treading on the heels of Paris in point of expense; Rome is twice as costly as it was ten years ago; and so, too, might we say of Florence. Dresden is dearer also: and now I am at the end of places to live in; for as to Geneva and the Rhine towns, I have no sympathy with those who inhabit them, or a word of counsel to give them. The best cities to sojourn in are Paris and Rome. They are richer in objects of interest, more varied in aspect, and broader socially; and, for the latter reason, there is more personal independence than elsewhere. In speaking thus, I reject all considerations of government and administration. I have tried a great many govern
ments, and I never found one too bad to live under. I am sure they did not abandon the knout during my visit to Moscow, and I strongly suspect that the Pope would have kidnapped a Jew child even while I prolonged my stay at Rome; but I can aver with a safe conscience I was never molested by either Cossack or Cardinal; and I came away from each of these places with a whole skin and an uninvaded faith. The smaller cities are not, it is true, devoid of social freedom; but, of course, there is more gossip, more neighbourly comment, than in wider circles. They are certainly cheaper too; that is, all fortunes are smaller, and the life of the highest class is no question of tens of thousands.
I have passed so much of my life abroad that I only take my home statistics from what my friends are so good as to tell me, and what I can glean from books and newspapers. From these sources I am led to conclude that there is very little difference in cost between England and the Continent generally; and that if we were to draw out a scale of equivalents-taking London, for instance, to rank with Paris, Bath with Baden, Edinburgh with Berlin, and Dublin with, let us say, Grätz in Styria—we should find the cost of living pretty equal.
The great difference between life in England and life abroad I take to be, that in England our effort is to do a great many things at the smallest possible cost; and abroad, to do without one-half of them.
Money is such a standard with us in England, not alone of solvency, but of social claim and personal worth, that a man is continually on the watch lest he should be detected in an economy. He must be liberal in all subscriptions, a free giver in fifty ways, no matter by what petty pinchings at home he must readjust the balance of expenditure,-unless, indeed, he be very rich, when all his shortcomings will be set down to eccentricity.
Be only eccentric in England, and there is nothing you may not do with impunity short of a murder. Now, money abroad is only money. Do not imagine I say this disparagingly; Cornelius O'Dowd has had too many experiences of the minus sign in his life's algebra to speak disrespectfully of the plus emblem! I simply desire to say, that Continental people do not accept money as station, rank, education, good manners, and good connections; and for this reason no part of a man's income need be devoted abroad to the object of "imposing." In a word, you may keep all your saltpetre to make gunpowder, and never spend an ounce of it in fireworks. And, oh dear, what fireworks do we let off socially at home! What squibs and crackers of déjeûners and luncheons! what Catharine-wheels of stupid dinners! what Roman candles of routs and evening parties!-breaking our hearts and burning our fingers, all that our rockets may go up a little higher than our neighbours', and burst more gracefully!
I suspect that, at our very best, we are not a very social people, and we utterly swamp ourselves by overlaying all intercourse by costliness. We must eat that we may talk, and drink before we can laugh. They manage this better in France.
Twenty people can assemble of an evening where there may be a cup of tea, or, as often, some eau sucrée, and yet go home neither calling down the infernal gods on the host's shabbiness, nor inveighing against their own folly. They can come and go pleasantly, easily, and socially, discussing what there may be of passing interest, and not putting into mere light conversation that terrible earnestness that makes English small-talk like the discussion of a railway dividend; for it is true-unhappily, too—we neither understand light soup nor lighter small-talk. We put such a deal of substance into either, that when we have tasted we are filled.
Now, I ask, is there any excuse short of a fire would palliate a man dropping into a friend's house of an evening in England? For my own part, I should as soon think of sauntering down to the Old Bailey to pass an hour, as I would of calling upon the man I know best in any capital of Great Britain. We have our set periods for company as we have for church, and we are just as solemn in the one as the other. The very fact that an amusement is inexpensive, stamps it with us as undesirable.
Now, apply these instincts to our lives abroad, and you will see that we do not derive from foreign sojourn those benefits of economy we go in search of. Not that we are too free-handed or too liberal-far from it. Our little facility of speech in the languages of the Continent inspires us with perpetual distrust, which we discount into shabbiness.
"We killed our goose" abroad, or we might have enjoyed golden eggs for many a year. We overdid cheapness. We showed the foreigner that we had come abroad for economy so palpably, as to imply that for no other possible consideration Iwould we have consented to his company. Now, this was not civil, but it was worse, it was impolitic. We put "Mussoo" on his mettle to show us that, besides being fifty times as brilliant, Paris could be as costly as London; and the " confounded foreigner" took an especial pride in exhibiting the rich Milor' as one of the hardest bargainers and craftiest dealers of Europe.
The flood of Americans over the Continent of late years has raised the cost of living, and, what I like even less, damaged us much as a nation— they are so constantly mistaken by foreigners for English. The effect is precisely like that produced in the mercantile world by some large issue of false scrip; people grow frightened, and sell out of the concern altogether.
Over and over again has it been my fortune to hear severe comment
on English habits, derived from an unlucky experience of the popular customs of Kansas, or "the last new thing in politeness " from Ohio. How vain to tell the German or the Italian that he had been imposed on —that he had not been dealing with the "Old House," but with a new establishment of reckless traders, who, by puffing placards and lying advertisements, were trying to kidnap our customers!
False trade-marks are a terrible fraud in commerce, and we have suffered sorely of late years from those whom by some extraordinary figure of speech we call our Transatlantic cousins. When a wellknown leader of the bar on an English circuit, presuming on the circumstance that he had begun life as a midshipman, once took upon him to return thanks at a public dinner for the toast of the navy, the explanation of a friend was, that he thought it was spelt with a K. Now if these connections of ours would allow us to call them 66 Cozens," we might admit the relationship more easily. Not that I include all Americans in this sweeping judgment, for there is a rough unvarnished Yankee that I like much. I like his self-reliance, his vigour, his daring earnestness, and I don't dislike his intense acuteness, and I forgive his ill-humour with England. It is your travelled Philadelphian, your literary gentleman from Boston, or your almighty swaggerer from Broadway, that I cannot stomach. This be-ringed and gold-chained masticator is positively odious to me. His imitation of the usages of society is at once so close and so remote, as to afford a cruel mockery of our actual civilisation; and I long to read my Darwin backwards, and fancy the time when he will go
back to his native woods and prairies, and be as wildly fantastic and barbarous as Nature intended him. These people are not the nation; they are not even like it. They are the offshoots of an over-wealthy and purse-proud society, who, not daring to exhibit their impertinences where they are known, come over to Europe to display themselves in all the extravagance of a mistaken culture.
"When a good American dies he goes to Paris," it is said; and I am almost tempted to wish that he would wait for his immortality on his own side of the Atlantic.
Such people have helped to make the Continent dear, and done very little to make it pleasanter; and next to these come Russians.
No man mourned the death of the late Emperor more sincerely than myself, for with him expired that admirable law which forbade Russians to leave their country without a formal and especial permission from the Czar himself. The Emperor was a wise man, and he thoroughly appreciated what the first Napoleon said about washing one's sale linge at home. The present head of the nation has revoked the edict, and we have Scythians everywhere-in the Tuileries, in the Vatican, up Vesuvius, on Mont Blanc.
If the Russian be better "plated” than the American, the metal beneath is vastly inferior; and once that the outward scale comes off, the vulgar material appears in all its atrocity; and the most polished production from the banks of the Neva is little better than a naked savage with a gold snuff-box.
Where, with ingredients like these afloat, Mrs O'D. is to find her cheap and pleasant residence, is more than I know of.
THE IRISH VICEROYALTY.
In the name of all the Lords-inWaiting, what is this balderdash
they are getting up against the Irish Viceroyalty? Are the English
habitually too kind to us-are we over-complimented in Parliament, or over-flattered in the Press? Are we too much distinguished by Court favour, or has the Chancellor of the Exchequer reserved for us any especial benefits in the Budget? In one word, have we so much that they will not leave us this-this one remnant that recalls a time when we used to fancy ourselves a people?
The great ground of attack limits itself to calling the Viceroyalty a mockery. Now I certainly do not see this. Is the Viceroy more a mockery when deputed by her Majesty to represent her, than the Lord-Chancellor when he has been delegated to open or prorogue Parliament? It may be a more solemn office, certainly, to convene Englishmen than to kiss Irish women; but I think I can guess which is pleasanter. At all events, nobody can call it a mockery. I am not very sure what great substantial reality appertains to any Court ceremonial. I opine that there be many things in these displays that a chastened wisdom and a refined taste might demur to; the reflex, therefore, need not be too closely scrutinised, nor too severely judged.
But take it to be a mockery, reduce it as low as you like in the category of reasonable things, we in Ireland like it: it amuses us; we accept it, not perhaps as the best to have, but the best we can get; and surely you might be pleased with our humility, even if you laugh at our childishness.
Half the things men attach value to in life are mere symbols-sometimes not very intelligible ones. Often are they types of what has passed away, never to return. Thus, for instance, the rich gold cord, the aiguillette of a general, was taken from a Flemish regiment which went into battle with the halter round their necks, so that, if defeated, they should be hanged; and yet men are proud enough to display a decoration whose origin was
certainly not flattering. Why, therefore, might not we Irish like to wear as an honour what was instituted as a penalty, and exhibit from pride what took its rise in repression?
It is certainly not as a boon for our countrymen that we seek to maintain the office, since in four hundred years but seven Viceroys have been Irish. Not that I complain of this. I am well satisfied with the sort of men her Majesty has sent over to rule us. They have generally been men of mark; always distinctively impressed with the great traits of their great country.
These men, whatever their political leanings, have conferred great benefits upon us. They have displayed to our over-impulsive natures the spectacle of a more measured judgment, a calmer tone, a more patient spirit of inquiry into things new or difficult, than are to be found generally amongst ourselves; and I am certain that the personal characters of English Viceroys have done much to raise the estimate of England amongst all classes of Irishmen. The Viceroy was able to do what would have been very difficult, if not impossible, for any other. He could bring together at his table men the most antagonistic and opposed. These men, fierce enemies till they had met, learned to acquire in social intercourse a very different estimate of each other, and parted very frequently, if not friends, at least with sentiments of respect and esteem.
The violence of party is always in the inverse ratio of the squares of the distance it is exercised in; and Dublin being so much narrower than London, men were proportionately more bitter in their dislikes. It was, then, an inestimable boon that there was one house in Ireland where men of opposing sides might sit down together, and learn, if not to settle their differences, to subdue their prejudices.
When, as was often the case, the Viceroy was a man of tact, the