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A MORAL FROM WALMER. ONE whom the voice of the nation the utmost of his ability, at the comproclaims to have been a great man, mand of his King and country. No has just departed from among us. A one doubts that, if he had achieved rare embodiment of qualities, which his military fame on our own soil, recommanded universal admiration, and pelling an invader or crushing rebelthe contemplation of which produced lion, his conquering hand would never something more resembling genuine have grasped at illicit power. No enthusiasm than these times are ac one doubts that, when he met his customed to see or to feel, is dissolved great antagonist, and announced his for ever. Law and order, and those determination “to perish to the last subtle and noble feelings which, from man,” if that antagonist had prevailtheir wide diffusion, have raised Eng- ed, there, on the field of Waterloo, land so high, and are now her princi- would have been found the Duke's pal safeguard against the inroads of dead body. a base material policy, will lose much Mental and moral gifts like his, weight and influence with the vis iner- and in such excess, are scarcely to be tiæ of the great name of Wellington. looked for in two of a nation. But
It is good to find men of all parties the fact of their being recognised as and opinions uniting to point out one worthy of honour by the great body whom they consider truly great and of the people, is a fact full of hope. exalted. Here, escaping from vague It is inconceivable that admiration generalities and intangible assertions, for, and sympathy with, his qualities we have a man whose qualities, being should be so loudly asserted, were ascertained beyond doubt or cavil, the qualities themselves inert or disand capable of being estimated with a appearing. The expression of the confidence and exactness amounting public grief has been marked by a to certainty, are pronounced to be, in great sincerity, which shows that, their singular union of goodness and amid the false gods round whose greatness, worthy of the highest clayey pedestals the nation has dehonour. Let us, then, first_inquire lighted to grovel, here was indeed a what these qualities were. The an- hero, to pay honour to whom was no inswer is plain and easy-as already dignity to the worshippers, and whose said, the qualities have been ascer- loss they might with decency lament. tained, and there are not two opinions For a moment the national heart about the character. Military con seems to beat with a grand simplicity; duct-loyalty unconquerable-a sense for a moment feelings, which if good of duty rather resembling that of in a man are good also in a people, some genius charged with a definite struggle through their sordid casings mission on earth, than the feeble light to the surface; and the chink of gold, that ordinarily glimmers amid the the cry of faction, the din even of bundle of self-interests called man- machinery, seems faint and distant an aristocratic nature—a wonderful amid the deep tones of the universal sincerity, inspiring implicit confidence, wail. and a firmness which gave a sure and This has been called an unheroic solid base for the operation of these age, and called so by those who are such endowments, embodied in the now foremost to proclaim the dead form so familiar, made up the being hero as a model Englishman, a repreknown to us as the Duke of Welling- sentative of the characteristics of the ton. To such an extent do we give people. We will bope he was, and him credit for possessing these quali- that the age was slandered ; we will ties, that we can reason on and deter- hope that, misrepresented, and its mine his line of conduct in imaginary name usurped by vociferous baseness, cases. No one doubts that, if his the national character is unchanged great services had met with ungrate since it directed those tendencies ful denial instead of splendid acknow which produced Wellington: for asledgment, he would still have been, to suredly Wellington was no offspring
of the apparent tendencies of this solemnity of the occasion. A jourlatter time; assuredly self- denial, nalist, applauding the Duke's readisense of duty, loyalty, aristocratic ness to sacrifice even his own dignity feeling, are not among the public pro to the public service, asserted, that fessions of faith which have dis- had he been chosen to take office with tinguished the notorious men of this Mr Cobden for a colleague, he would age. These are no characteristics of have cheerfully consented to the arthe noisy oracles who have been rangement. We apologise to the listened to with such applause. These illustrious shade for repeating the have had but little share in the im- mention of his name in such strange pulses that have changed the nation's company—but perhaps it may serve
to point a moral; and, without disLet us consider what are the oppo- cussing the truth of the assertion, we sites of all these as guides of action. will for a moment consider it to bave A desire to make England one vast been realised. Imagine, then, a point scene of buying and selling-a studied of statesmansbip discussed by these contempt of loyalty-a bitter hatred uncongenial associates-imagine the of the aristocracy-a disavowal of all difficulty which the noble Duke, acfeelings as springs of political action, customed to recognise duty, honour, except those which have bitherto loyalty, as governing principles, would been considered as distinctive of the experience in understanding the, to lower orders of humanity-a loud him, novel doctrines of self-interest, systematic derision of courage, self- of the necessity of sacrificing all devotion, and patriotism-an identi- considerations to the interests of fying of national honour with national trade, and of renunciation of the wealth-a dogged pursuing of self- claims of national honour ! How interest-a habit of considering ease obtuse would he have been to the and comfort as the summum bonum- clinching argument of balance of profit let us consider these as the charac- and loss, so complacently indicated teristics of the loudest of our apostles with unanswerable fore-finger! and their party, and is there no truth how slow to appreciate the vast or reality in the picture ?
boon conferred on the human race Great is the power of impudent in the diffusion of printed cottons ! clamour. Again will the suspended how utterly incredulous that there din of leagues, and peace societies, could be a class of educated men in and rampant democracy, break forth, England quite indifferent as to wheand the presence of Wellington will ther they lived under an English be no longer an example or a reproach. hereditary Sovereign or a French That high mind and heart, and that Emperor, so that they might, unmovast reputation, won, as we have been lested, pursue their beloved traffic ! often reminded, not by industrious with what difficulty receiving the self-seeking-not by any such prin- idea that, to watch over the nation's ciples as buying in the cheapest pocket is the Alpha and Omega of market, and selling in the dearest” statesmanship! And, when these not by throwing off the trammels of ideas were slowly admitted, what a prescription and authority, but by severe and righteous contempt would sustained appliance of all his great wither their advocate! But no-we endowments to the service of his do this Mr Cobden wrong. In that country-will pass away into an his- venerable presence the audacious torical name; and those to whom that Free-Trader would have felt strangely mind, and heart, and reputation, have abashed. A new and generous sentibeen a restraint and à terror, will ment would for a moment have been “ play such fantastic tricks before reflected into his breast, and the high Heaven as will make the angels novel spectacle might have been weer."
witnessed, of the unscrupulous agitaAmid the eulogies which have been tor and clap-trap orator proclaiming, written on the great departed, there with unwilling tongue, a momentary was a passage in one which, wbile allegiance to a policy neither conintended as panegyric, was irresistibly temptible nor debasing. provocative of ideas unbecoming the We do not wish, or intend, to laud
the Duke as an epitome of human ments in the art of existence which excellences. All we insist on is, science has conferred, there comes that, the nation, having declared its this event to test our sincerity. In a sense of those excellences, cannot moment all our fashionable philosophy decently, with the same breath, praise is forgotten. In spite of Manchester their very opposites. The mere con- schooling, we admit that the Duke fession of respect for those qualities was a great man—that there are such which distinguished him must have things as military virtues—that they practically given the lie to many a rank, for the moment, higher than the confident leading article from the science of taking money from your same pen; and to many a eulogistic neighbour's pocket and transferring writer the question must have oc it to your own-that glory is not an curred, Is this veneration, which I empty name, but a splendid reality, and others profess for the man, sin- capable of rousing in us strange feelcere, or is it“ mouth-honour, breath, ings of enthusiasm. There are some which the poor heart would fain deny, who, while lounging pleasantly on but dare not ?"
prize sofas from the Great Exhibition, The Duke's military life is that by and reading the story of the Peninwhich he will chiefly be remembered. sular Campaigns, will envy Sir Arthur His fame was of itself a denial of that his bivouac on the cold ground, with pusillanimous spirit, now so prevalent, hope for a fire, confidence for a pillow. which shudders at the idea of war and Nay, there are, perhaps, some of the personal danger, and loves to prophesy, new school who have so far forgot spite of reason, of history, and of themselves as to feel their cheeks existing facts, its speedy extinction. Alush, and their hearts beat in double “War," say the peaceful brother- time, as they read how the English hood," is an unmixed evil.” So says general routed Soult, or held Masthe husbandman of the tempest which sena in check-who have, for a molevels his crops to the ground ; but ment, thought it would have been the philosopher, nevertheless, admits worth ten years of peaceful life on the necessity of storms. War calls 'Change to have stood beside the great forth qualities whose manifestation is Duke when Napoleon was shattering not too dearly archased at the ex his columns against a living bulwark pense of blood, and what these ami- of Englishmen. And let us say, O able and timorous persons hold dearer unworthy young cotton-spinner, or than any blood, except their own degenerate member of Peace Society ! namely, treasure. (Write treasure that, for once, your impulse is true ! first, as Dogberry says !) What has There would have been more of life the long peace which the virtues of in that hour of Waterloo-more selfWellington earned taught us? Among knowledge-more awakening of noble other things it has taught us to under- faculties in your soul, if it happen to value, decry, and discourage the de- possess any such slumbering inhabitvelopment of those attributes which ants, in one glorious hour, than in a alone can avail in the hour of danger. long and wrinkling course of remuneIt has taught us to express our opinion rative Mammon-worship. as a nation, that swift travelling, sur But these and the like impulses, prising inventions, secure means of roused by the present majestic image money-getting, and assiduous study of the old warrior passing peaceto increase those appliances which oil fully away in his castle of Walmer, the machinery of life, and send us will be short-lived.
The grave smoothly and luxuriously onward to will close over him — his memory the grave, are the only things to be will be not a sound, but an echo sought and admired, and their inven —and we shall return to our engrosstors applauded.
ing pursuits, our beloved ease, and While, as a nation, we are hugging our wallowing in the mire. When ourselves as we think of our pecuniary will another life go out whose extincprosperity, our freedom from any but tion shall, for a space, darken Eogslight molestations, the uninterrupted land, and force us to think nobly, in course and renewed facilities of our spite of surrounding circumstances commerce, and the many improve- and of ourselves ? What sign is there
of the training of future Wellingtons ? spirit of the age. To that spirit no Before his rising, other great lights man ever formed a more antagonistic were shining in the firmament-men embodiment that the Duke. Its yieldwere familiar with heroism, and did ing to expediency—its apathy and unnot then, when a great man died, belief-its love of ease -and, what it turn to one another asking, “When is proudest of, its liberalism—were comes there such another ?” There all repugnant to his sterling nature. was no sign then of sterility in the And it seems to us that the vivid nation--no failure of the necessary contrast afforded by the base, traffickinfluences for producing noble plants. ing, ease-loving, self-seeking doctrines But now!—shall we turn to any of which the unsleeping activity and the approved and popular nurseries of audacity of their assertors have renopinion for the germ that is in time dered popular, is what now proto overshadow us, and beneath which jects the Duke's image in relief so we shall dwell in security? Is there strong as to insure universal recogany indication, or probability, of these nition, and to fill the public eye. To affording one who shall stand up harmonise with that image, a very against a future conqueror of the different back-ground is required, world, ready “to perish to the last whose elements must be sought in
other days than these. The spectacle of this great relic of One glance more before the eternal a past time, vanishing amid a nation's gates close on him. There we have sorrow and regard, is a terrible re assurance of a man! Some there are buke to the self-applause of the age.] who, while not sparing of their ad
For, among its most efficient repre- miration and respect, will take far sentatives and favourite offspring, other models for imitation. Some there is not one who is likely to be there are who will be awakened out pointed at as an example, or remem of their apathy at sight of the funeral bered with reverence and pride. Look- honours paid to one whose spirit was ing at them, fame would seem no so different from that of the time, longer an aspiration of humanity. To which yet has virtue enough to cajol and flatter a mob for their lament him. Whether we shall ever voices to advocate that in public as look upon his like again, we know a principle, which, in private life, not; but of this we may be assured, would be considered a baseness-to that the qualities which, in this geadd house to house, mill to mill, and neration, seem to command success, scrip to scrip—to dwell barely in de and which are ever evincing themcencies for ever-to enjoy ease which selves more obtrusively as their curthey never earned by labour-such rent value is recognised, will never appears to be the sublime ambition of
form a spirit resembling that which such of our public men as claim to be manifested itself, for us and for pospeculiarly the representatives of the terity, as Arthur Duke of Wellington!
VOL. LXXII. -NO. CCCCXLV.
The Holidays! We dont whe thereafter, we have seen him installed ther the word has less attraction for as chairman of a committee, and as the ear of the statesman than for active as a cat in an aviary. Indeed, that of the school-boy-whether the we regard the man, even though he golden time of recreation is most be an adversary, who withbolds his sincerely longed for by the man of vote on such an occasion, with feelbusiness or the urchin of the Latin ings little short of contempt. He class. Work, of course, is a matter has a vote, and he ought to exercise of necessity to most of us; and it one way or another. If he abstains, though we do most confidently be without alleging some intelligible lieve that the majority of mankind reason, you are at liberty to set him have no abstract relish for severe down as a sneak. But such apathy labour, yet the penalties of idleness is not general. On the late occasion are so terrible, that we submit our there was a hard struggle throughout selves, on the whole, with reasonable the kingdom, and not until August fortitude, to the common doom. had succeeded to the reign of July Work, therefore, we perform with did the din of battle cease. What a will for many months of the a beautiful hush of tranquillity was year-some of us making speeches, instantly diffused over the land! others writing articles, divers plead- Men of all denominations and shades ing in the courts of law, and many of opinion united in a cordial thankssweltering in counting-houses—until
, giving that they were fairly rid of the as if by a general impulse, when the nuisance; and nobody but the keeper sweet days of summer arrive, and of a pothouse durst venture an opinion the streets become intolerable through in favour of annual parliaments. The heat, the whole population of the journals, hitherto so fiery, grew town rises in revolt against labour. straightway preternaturally dull. It Railroad, stage-coach, and steamer was no use taking up a newspaper, are put into immediate requisition; for nothing was recorded in its and in a few days the squares are as columns; and the very sight of the deserted as though the inhabitants huge close-printed sheet, among the bad seceded to the diggings.
fresh green hills, made one involunThis year the holidays were some tarily shudder, by recalling the what unusually broken. On the atmosphere of its place of birth. To very verge of, if not in them, came write leaders during the dog-days is the general election, an event which, a worse than Tunisian slavery ; to even at this distance of time, we read them, may not be quite so bad; recall with no pleasurable sensations. but the task required more fortitude To keep out of the turmoil of an than we acknowledge to have fallen election is clearly impossible. You to our share. As well remain in may be a philosopher, but you are town as transport its gossip to the also a Briton; and although you country. were as deadened to humanity as As, however, some people must was Timon of Athens, you must necessarily remain in bondage to necessarily have some preference perform indispensable tasks while when the choice lies between Alci others go free, it is not to be wonderbiades and Apemantus. If you are ed at, considering the frailty of a non-elector, you can, at all events, human nature, if persons so situated bellow-if you have a vote, we defy should envy, and even try to abridge, you to escape the poll. Indeed, it is the short-lived happiness of the rest. wonderful how soon and keenly & Acting on this principle, some un
will warm to a contest. We fortunate London scribes were have heard an old gentleman protest, forgetful of their duties to mankind of a Monday, that no consideration as to suggest that Parliament should upon earth would induce him to immediately assemble, and a new register his vote, and on the Friday era of strife begin, before the echo