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can be assigned against it, that I am aware of. The officers of the army and navy are not thought to be less zealous in the discharge of their duties, because of the liberal rewards of their appointments. It may be said, indeed, that all these classes devote the whole of their time and attention to the discharge of their several duties. But so ought every member of parliament who is faithful to the interests of his constituents; and perhaps no labour can be greater than that which such a trust involves, if it be honestly and zealously discharged. The result, undoubtedly, of the system of gratuitous service in representatives is this : that while it deprives the public of the intelligence and ability of many who are unable to serve them on these terms, it gives to those whom they elect, but do not pay, a perpetual excuse for all their deficiencies, whether for absence or inattention, and in the long run is likely to be found the most expensive, because the least efficient system of the two. The numbers of the Senate are made to depend upon those of the representatives, and these again upon the number of the inhabitants. Every increase of forty thousand in the population of any district adds a new member to the lower house, and for every two members in this, there is one in the Senate. The present number of the representatives is a hundred and four, and of the senators fifty-two. The senators are elected for eight years, and one half of these retire every four years; by which their changes are made to harmonise with those of the other assembly. These small bodies are certainly much more practicable for debate and business, than our unwieldy house of six hundred and fifty-six members; for though, practically, the average number present throughout all the sittings of our session does not exceed two hundred, yet on occasions of great excitement, when more than five hundred members crowd the benches from ten at night till two or three in the morning, each impatient at the speeches of the opposite party, and all anxious for a discussion, the scenes that are enacted and the sounds tbat are uttered, are anything but creditable to the dignity of a legislative assembly."
It is also required that each member be twenty-five at the time of taking his seat, and each senator forty; moreover, no placeman, or pensioner can hold a seat in either chamber. The chambers have the power to accuse the ministers and to bring them before the Court of Cassation for trial.
the whole, the constitution of Belgium is as liberal as we can expect.
After describing very fully everything worthy of note belonging to Belgium, Mr. Buckingham passes on to Aix-la-Chapelle. “We were now," he observes, “in the first Prussian city of our route; and the contrast of many things around us, with similar
So that upon
things in Belgium, was very striking. The language here was wholly German, instead of French and Flemish; the physiognomy of the people was more pleasing and cheerful, betokening great placidity and good temper; they were in general cleaner and better dressed among the lower orders, and not so gay or fashionable in their apparel among the higher. The streets were broader, and there were more fine modern buildings than in any of the Belgian towns, except Brussels. The greatest contrast of all, however, was in the appearance of the troops. In Belgium, the soldiers are small of stature, very loosely dressed with long frock coats, reaching almost to their ancles, apparently encumbered with their arms and belts, and awkward in gait and carriage, as if newly trained. The Prussian troops, on the other hand, were formed of a much finer race of men, larger in stature, and more masculine, and compact. Their uniform clothing fitted well to the limbs, and was sufficiently short and light in make, to present nó impediment to their movements. There was no useless ornament, for mere decoration, about their dress; and they walked and moved as if they had been trained to military exercises from their infancy; in both countries the military are no doubt too numerous, and too important, as in addition to the great expense they must necessarily entail, and the taxation of the productive classes required to maintain them, the possession of a large army offers a constant temptation to the state to call them into action; and their presence in a civil community can never be favourable to the full exercise of liberty; besides which, in no instance are large bodies of men congregated in densely peopled cities, most of them unmarried, with good living, full of health, and much leisure, without their making fearful inroads on female virtue, and breaking the peace of many otherwise happy families.”
With Cologne and its relics, not forgetting the bones of the eleven thousand British virgins, who there are said, (but we rather doubt the story ourselves,) to have met a barbarous fate; with Coblentz, Mayence, Frankfort, our readers must be as familiar as they are with ourselves. At Darmstadt, Mr. Buckingham had the good fortune to fall in with Jenny Lind. His account of her powers we omit, as those who have not been so fortunate as to hear the Swedish nightingale yet have read enough of critiques to understand in what lies her magic charm. His interview with her, he thus narrates :
“As I dreamt of the opera all night, my first impulse on awaking in the morning was to send a note to Mademoiselle Lind, to express my gratitude for the delight which her performance had afforded us, and to ask permission to pay our respects to her in person at the Frauler Hotel, where she had
May, 1848.-voL. LII.–No. ccv.
apartments. A very gracious acquiescence was speedily returned, and soon after noon we waited on her. We were received with the most cordial welcome, and the utmost afl'ability. At this near interview, we had a better opportunity of judging of her person, than under the disguise of dramatic costume. We found her not handsome, but most winningly interesting; of slender form, good figure, and middle stature, with pleasing features, light blue eyes, light brown hair, and a smile of indescribable sweetness. She was dressed as simply as a quaker, with a light morning dress of a dark olive colour, plain white collar and cuffs, and with neck and hands of the most delicate whiteness. She received the expressions of our admiration with great modesty; but when we spoke of the pleasure it must afford her to witness the effect of her powers on others, she said that no one could imagine the pain she suffered from apprehensions of failure: for while singing in one act, she was under frequent dread of failure in the next, and often trembled lest some unexpected accident should mar all the impressions she had made in the past. Her age appeared certainly to be under twenty, and yet she had the self possession and finished manners of one who had been in habitual intercourse with the best society. When I told her that, on being asked by Mrs. Buckingham what were my impressions, I had replied that I held her to be equal to Pasta in acting, and Grisi in singing, with more natural grace and exquisite sweetness than either, she blushed deeply, and her eyes were filled with tears. After a little pause, in which she evidently struggled hard with her feelings, she said that, the repeated calls made for her to come forward between the acts, were always painful for her to obey, and that she could be much more contented if she could be less noticed. All this was uttered with such a look of innocence and truth, as left no doubt on our minds of its perfect genuineness and entire sincerity. She added, that she did not feel happy on the stage, and hoped to leave it soon; to which we could not help rejoining, that though every one would hear with regret of any abrupt termination of her brilliant and triumphant career, yet, it would be the height of ingratitude on the part of those to whom she had given such extreme delight, not to wish that her own gratification, in whatever that might consist, should be preferred to that of all others. We had heard of her being betrothed in marriage to a young protestant clergyman in Stockholm, of humble but respectable parentage, and with slender means; and that in her attachment to this, her first love, she had refused the suit of the son of the Earl of Westmoreland, though backed by the authority and approbation of his father, then ambassador at Berlin. Though this was a subject, on which of
course it would have been impossible, without great indelicacy, to have said a word; yet, we received an impression from some observations that fell from the lady's lips, during our agreeable interview, that a domestic alliance was in all probability the polar star to which her ultimate hopes were directed ; and that the happy object of this hope was well known and determined on. Amongst other things, we expressed our conviction that her appearance on the stage of the Italian Opera in England, would be hailed by an enthusiasm not inferior to that with which she had been received thronghout all Germany; and I proffered my services, if desired, to be the medium of a negotiation with Mr. Lumley, on this subject; which I could not but believe would be entered into, on terms of just liberality on his part. She thanked us for the evidence of our interest in her welfare; but said, she feared there were insuperable obstacles to such an arrangement. Our curiosity was naturally awakened to know what these could be; when she stated that in an unguarded hour, and under the pressure of great importunity, she had consented to an engagement offered her by Mr. Bunn, to perform in English operas at Drury Lane Theatre; having been persuaded by that gentleman, that it would be very easy to acquire a sufficient knowledge of the English language in a very short time, to do this effectually. This was found by her to be much more difficult than it was at first apprehended, and she considered herself, therefore, unable to fulfil the engagement. At this period of the affair, Mr. Lumley had made overtures to her, for the Italian Opera; but Mr. Bunn was inexorable, and would not consent to forego his claim, threatening if she landed in England, to obtain an injunction against her performing anywhere until she had fulfilled her engagement with him. She had offered what her best friends and advisers considered very liberal compensation for Mr. Bunn's disappointment, but all was unavailing; and therefore, she had no hope of being able to visit England, professionally, at all. In addition to all this she said, that when she remembered the splendour of the opera house in London, which she had visited as one of the audience, during a short stay in England some time ago; the first rate talent always there employed, the high rank and critical taste of the habitual visitors of that noble establishment, and the severe critical tribunals of the English press; she felt something like dread at attempting so high a flight, and was hardly sorry that circumstances seemed, for the present, at least to forbid the attempt. In speaking of English persons who had visited Stockholm, her native city, I was glad to find that some friends of mine were well known to Mademoiselle Lind, and were numbered among her most intimate acquaintance; this formed an
additional link in the chain of sympathy, and induced us, as well as enabled us, to prolong our agreeable interview. She said, she liked those of the English she had the good fortune to know, extremely; as tnere was a heartiness, a cordiality, and a simple frankness, which assimilated them in manners to her Swedish countrymen; she liked the German, also, whose honest, real, deep enthusiasm, and boundless kindness had won her gratitude and affection; but after all, she added with the greatest warmth, 'I love my dearest Sweden more than all, and I long for the period of my return to its happy mountains. ' Our visit exceeded an hour in duration : she spoke French with us, and German with Dr. Friese, who accompanied us; and each with equal elegance and Auency; but the interview was so evidently agreeable to all, that we were pressed twice to remain a little longer, after having risen to depart; and our lingering was that of a mutual desire to prolong, as much as was possible, that which was pleasurable. We never remember to have received so favourable an impression of any one, after so short an acquaintance; and when I ventured to kiss her hand at parting, it was the sincere and unaffected homage of a pure and intense admiration for genuine excellence of natural character, and the sweetest affability of manners.”
After thoroughly exploring the valley of the Rhine, our traveller proceeded to Switzerland. Geneva is described with the rest of the Swiss towns, but we have no allusion to the great men who are now labouring there, an omission we somewhat regret. Anything relating to the historian of the Reformation would have been welcome to the majority of English readers. From Switzerland Mr. Buckingham returned by the Rhine to Holland. At the Hague, he had the good fortune to be present at the meeting of the Dutch parliament. “On arriving at the spot,” he writes, “we found a most insignificant building, for the seat of a legislature, far inferior even to the old English House of Commons, and were shown up a steep and narrow flight of steps, to a gallery at an end of the cbamber. The whole room was not more than eighty feet long by thirty wide, with an arched or vaulted ceiling, perfectly plain. At each end of the chamber was a small and narrow gallery, just large enough to hold thirty or forty persons only, and without any seats. of these galleries was for strangers, admissible by orders only; the other had a small space set apart for reporters, and the rest was allotted to diplomatists and visitors of distinction. On one side of the chamber, in the centre, was placed the throne, elevated two steps above the floor, with two chairs on each side for the members of the royal family, the whole covered with a crimson canopy; immediately opposite to this, in the centre of the