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INSULARITIES.

IT is more or less the habit of every
countrymore or less commendable in every
caseto exalt itself and its institutions
above every other country, and be vain-
glorious. Out of the partialities thus engendered
and maintained, there has arisen a great
deal of patriotism, and a great deal of
public spirit. On the other hand, it is of
paramount importance to every nation that
its boastfulness should not generate prejudice,
conventionality, and a cherishing of
unreasonable ways of acting and thinking,
which have nothing in them deserving of
respect, but are ridiculous or wrong.

We English people, owing in a great
degree to our insular position, and in a small
degree to the facility with which we have
permitted electioneering lords and gentlemen
to pretend to think for us, and to
represent our weaknesses to us as our strength,
have been in particular danger of contracting
habits which we will call for our
present purpose, Insularities. Our object in this
paper, is to string together a few examples.

On the continent of Europe, generally,
people dress according to their personal
convenience and inclinations. In that capital
which is supposed to set the fashion in
affairs of dress, there is an especial independence
in this regard. If a man in Paris
have an idiosyncracy on the subject of any
article of attire between his hat and his
boots, he gratifies it without the least idea
that it can be anybody's affair but his; nor
does anybody else make it his affair. If,
indeed, there be anything obviously
convenient or tasteful in the peculiarity, then it
soon ceases to be a peculiarity, and is adopted
by others. If not, it is let alone. In the
meantime, the commonest man in the streets
does not consider it at all essential to his
character as a true Frenchman, that he
should howl, jeer, or otherwise make
himself offensive to the author of the
innovation. That word has ceased to be Old
Boguey to him since he ceased to be a serf,
and he leaves the particular sample of
innovation to come in or go out upon its
merits.

Our strong English prejudice against
anything of this kind that is new to the eye,
forms one of our decided insularities. It
is disappearing before the extended
knowledge of other countries consequent upon
steam and electricity, but it is not gone
yet. The hermetically-sealed, black, stiff,
chimney-pot, a foot and a half high, which
we call a hat, is generally admitted to be
neither convenient nor graceful; but, there
are very few middle-aged men within
two hours' reach of the Royal Exchange,
who would bestow their daughters on wide-
awakes, however estimable the wearers.
Smith Payne and Smith, or Ransom and Co.,
would probably consider a run upon the
house not at all unlikely, in the event of
their clerks coming to business in caps, or
with such felt-fashions on their heads as
didn't give them the head-ache, and as they
could wear comfortably and cheaply. During
the dirt and wet of at least half the year
in London, it would be a great comfort and
a great saving of expense to a large class
of persons, to wear the trousers gathered
up about the leg, as a Zouave does, with
a long gaiter belowto shift which, is to
shift the whole mud-incumbered part of
the dress, and to be dry, and clean directly.
To such clerks, and others with much
out-door work to do, as could afford it,
Jack-boots, a much more costly article,
would, for similar reasons, be excellent wear.
But what would Griggs and Bodger say to
Jack-boots? They would say, "This sort of
thing, sir, is not the sort of thing the house
has been accustomed to, you will bring the
house into the Gazette, you must ravel out
four inches of trousers daily, sir, or you must
go."

Some years ago, we, the writer, not being
in Griggs and Bodger's, took the liberty of
buying a great coat which we saw exposed
for sale in the Burlington Arcade, London,
and which appeared to be in our eyes the
most sensible great coat we had ever seen.
Taking the further liberty to wear this great
coat after we had bought it, we became a sort
of Spectre, eliciting the wonder and terror of
our fellow creatures as we flitted along the
streets. We accompanied the coat to
Switzerland for six months;  and, although it was
perfectly new there, we found it was not
regarded as a portent of the least importance.
We accompanied it to Paris for another six

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