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reply, provisionally and with limitation, that
he has met him? Asterisk knows as well as
I do, that he has no acquaintance with Sir
Giles Scroggins; why does he hesitate to say
so, point blank? A man may not even know
Sir Giles Scroggins by sight, yet be a man for
a' that. A man may distinguish himself,
without the privity and aid of Sir Giles
Scroggins. It is even supposed by some that
a man may get to Heaven without being
introduced by Sir Giles Scroggins. Then why
not come out with the bold declaration, "I
really do not know Sir Giles Scroggins, and
I have never found that eminent person
in the least necessary to my existence ? "

When I go to the Play, why must I find
everything conventionally donereference to
nature discharged, and reference to stage-
usage the polar star of the dramatic art ?
Why does the baron, or the general
or the venerable steward, or the amiable
old farmer, talk about his chee-ilde?
He knows of no such thing as a chee-ilde
anywhere else; what business has he with a
chee-ilde on the boards alone? I never knew
an old gentleman to hug himself with his left
arm, fall into a comic fit of delirium tremens,
and say to his son, " Damme, you dog, will you
marry her? " Yet, the moment I see an old
gentleman on the stage with a small cape to
his coat, I know of course that this will
infallibly happen. Now, why should I be
under the obligation to be always entertained
by this spectacle, however refreshing, and
why should I never be surprised?

Why have six hundred men been trying
through several generations to fold their
arms? The last twenty Parliaments have
directed their entire attention to this graceful
art. I have heard it frequently declared by
individual senators that a certain ex-senator
still producible, " folded his arms better than
any man in the house." I have seen aspirants
inflamed with a lofty ambition, studying
through whole sessions the folded arms on
the Treasury Bench, and trying to fold their
arms according to the patterns there
presented. I have known neophytes far more
distracted about the folding of their arms
than about the enunciation of their political
views, or the turning of their periods. The
injury inflicted on the nation by Mr. Canning,
when he folded his arms and got his portrait
taken, is not to be calculated. Every member
of Parliament from that hour to the present
has been trying to fold his arms. It is a
graceful, a refined, a decorative art; but, I
doubt if its results will bear comparison
with the infinite pains and charges bestowed
upon its cultivation.

Why are we so fond of talking about
ourselves as " eminently a practical people ? "
Are we eminently a practical people ? In
our national works, for example ; our public
buildings, our public places, our columns, the
lines of our new streets, our monstrous
statues ; do we come so very practically out
of all that? No, to be sure; but we have
our railroads, results of private enterprise,
and they are great works. Granted. Yet, is
it very significant of an eminently practical
people that we live under a system which
wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds
in law and corruption, before an inch of those
roads could be made! Is it a striking proof
of an eminently practical people having
invested their wealth in making them, that in
point of money return, in point of public
accommodation, in every particular of comfort
profit, and management, they are at a heavy
discount when compared with the railways
on the opposite side of a sea-channel five and
twenty miles across, though those were made
under all the disadvantages consequent upon,
unstable governments and shaken public
confidence? Why do we brag so ? If an
inhabitant of some other sphere were to light
upon our earth in the neighbourhood of
Norwich, were to take a first-class ticket to
London, were to attend an Eastern Counties'
Railway meeting in Bishopsgate Street, were
to go down from London Bridge to Dover,
cross to Calais, travel from Calais to
Marseilles, and be furnished with an accurate
statement of the railway cost and profit
on either side of the water (having compared
the ease and comfort for himself), which
people would he suppose to be the eminently
practical one, I wonder!

Why, on the other hand, do we adopt, as
a mere matter of lazy usage, charges against
ourselves, that have as little foundation as
some of our boasts? We are eminently a
money-loving people. Are we? Well, we are
bad enough; but, I have heard Money more
talked of in a week under the stars and
stripes, than in a year under the union-jack.
In a two hours' walk in Paris, any day, you
shall overhear more scraps of conversation
that turn upon Money, Money, Money,
Money, than in a whole day's saunter between
Temple Bar and the Royal Exchange. I go
into the Théâtre Français, after the rising of
the curtain; fifty to one the first words I
hear from the stage as I settle myself in my
seat, are fifty thousand francs; she has a
dowry of fifty thousand francs; he has an
income of fifty thousand francs; I will bet
you fifty thousand francs upon it, my dear
Emile; I come from winning at the Bourse,
my celestial Diane, fifty thousand francs. I
pass into the Boulevard theatres one by one.
At the Variétés, I find an old lady who must be
conciliated by two opposing nephews, because
she has fifty thousand francs per annum. At
the Gymnase, I find the English Prime Minister
(attended by his faithful servant Tom Bob), in
a fearful predicament occasioned by
injudicious speculation in millions of francs. At
the Porte St. Martin, I find a picturesque
person with a murder on his mind, into
which he has been betrayed by a pressing
necessity for a box containing fifty thousand
francs. At the Ambigu, I find everybody