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sent her to keep company with Hogarth's Merveilleuses in Bedlam, or with Deckar's group of Coquets in the same place. The other parts of the play are a dreary lee-shore, like Cuckold's Point on the coast of Essex, where the preconcerted ship-wreck takes place that winds up the catastrophe of the piece. But this is also characteristic of the age, and serves as a contrast to the airy and factitious character which is the principal figure in the plot. We had made but little progress from that point till Hogarth's time, if Hogarth is to be believed in his description of city-manners. How wonderfully we have distanced it since!

Without going into this at length, there is one circumstance I would mention in which I think there has been a striking improvement in the family economy of modern times and that is, in the relation of mistresses and servants. After visits and finery, a married woman of the old school had nothing to do but to attend to her housewifery. She had no other resource, no other sense of power, but to harangue and lord it over her domestics.

VOL. II.

10

Modern book-education supplies the place of the old-fashioned system of kitchen persecution and eloquence. A well-bred woman now seldom goes into the kitchen to look after the servants :-formerly what was called a good manager, an exemplary mistress of a family, did nothing but hunt them from morning to night, from one year's end to another, without leaving them a moment's rest, peace, or comfort. Now a servant is left to do her work without this suspicious and tormenting interterence and fault-finding at every step, and she does it all the better. The proverbs about the mistress's eye, etc. are no longer held for current. A woman from this habit, which at last became an unconquerable passion, would scold her maids for fifty years together, and nothing could stop her : now the temptation to read the last new poem or novel, and the necessity of talking of it in the next company she goes into, prevent her—and the benefit to all parties is incalculable!

ESSAY XX.

ON ANTIQUITY.

There is no such thing as Antiquity in the ordinary acceptation we affix to the term. Whatever is or has been, while it is passing, must be modern. The early ages may have been barbarous in themselves; but they have become ancient with the slow and silent lapse of successive generations. The“ olden times” are only such in reference to us. The past is rendered strange, mysterious, visionary, awful, from the great gap in time that parts us from it, and the long perspective of waning years. Things gone by and almost forgotten, look dim and dull, uncouth and quaint, from our ignorance of them, and the mutability of customs. But in their day they were fresh, unimpaired, in full vigour, familiar, and glossy. The Children in the Wood, and Percy’s Relics, were once recent productions ; and Auld Robin Gray was, in his time, a very common-place old fellow! The wars of York and Lancaster, while they lasted, were “lively, audible, and full of vent,” as fresh and lusty as the white and red roses that distinguished their different banners, though they have since become a by-word and a solecism in history.

The sun shone in Julius Cæsar's time just as it does now. On the road-side between Winchester and Salisbury are some remains of old Roman encampments, with their double lines of circumvallation (now turned into pasturage for sheep) which answer exactly to the descriptions of this kind in Cæsar's Commentaries. In a dull and cloudy atmosphere, I can conceive that this is the identical spot that the first Cæsar trod; and figure to myself the deliberate movements and scarce perceptible march of close-embodied legions. But if the sun breaks out, making its way though dazzling, fleecy clouds, lights up the blue serene, and gilds the sombre earth, I can no

longer persuade myself that it is the same scene as formerly, or transfer the actual image before me so far back. The brightness of nature is not easily reduced to the low, twilight tone of history; and the impressions of sense defeat and dissipate the faint traces of learning and tradition. It is only by an effort of reason, to which fancy is averse, that I bring myself to believe that the sun shone as bright, that the sky was as blue, and the earth as green, two thousand years ago as it is at present. How ridiculous this seems; yet so it is!

The dark or middle ages, when every thing was hid in the fog and haze of confusion and ignorance, seem, to the same involuntary kind of prejudice, older and farther off, and more inaccessible to the imagination, than the brilliant and well-defined periods of Greece and Rome. A Gothic ruin appears buried in a greater depth of obscurity, to be weighed down and rendered venerable with the hoar of more distant ages, to have been longer mouldering into neglect and oblivion, to be a record and memento of events more wild and

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