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Our expenses increase (without drinking French wines),
When the poor stupid husband is weary and starving,
I sigh for the good times of sewing and spinning,
LATEST INTELLIGENCE OF OUR WATER
At a “ Meeting of the Waters,” supplied by the various Companies of this Metropolis, Thames, Esq. in the Decanter, the question of Government interference in their concerns was ably and clearly discussed. The President, in a full, luminous, and transparent manner, and with a classicality of allusion that reminded us of Mr. Shiel, opened the business of the day. He deplored the officious intermeddling of certain innovators; he poured several drops over their common degeneracy. He talked of the Falls of Tivoli, and the dignity of the Deluge; he reminded his honourable friends of Deucalion and Ogyges. Such were their glories when it was declared rednosov pesv údwe; but they were now a milk-and-water generation; and the poor privileges which they enjoyed were about to be wrested from them. He said nothing of ice and snow, London milk and the ocean; for he would not state the case in an exceptionable way. They had for some time enjoyed rights which were dear to them, and they would not be defrauded without resistance. The worthy gentleman then raised himself in the decanter, removed the stopper, and was commencing the perusal of certain resolutions, when a visitor, seated in one of the farthest tumblers, interrupted him.
We believe he came from the Colne. He protested he had no wish to cause any unpleasant effervescence, but that really the course pursued seemed to him very preposterous and heated. He claimed an enjoyment of their immunities, and with equal right was denied even a moiety of them. He was about to be relieved by the liberality of Parliament, and this licensed party steps in to prevent him.
No Monopolies ! was his maxim.—Let the Vicomte Garonne or Ali Mohammed Niger himself, if possible, have free rights of common and pasturage upon the gullets of Englishman. No Game Laws !—Let him and them shoot, snare, or poison whomsoever Abernethy had left for them. No Customs and Excise ! -Let them bring their whole family, baggage, and furniture along with them. No Sanitary Laws !-Let them not be distrusted. The body he had the honour to represent was as pure and meritorious as any now protected by the sanction of the public; the aristocratic government of the other honourable parties might be more admired than the republican form that prevailed in his own country, but he would urge again, a better conducted river did not exist than that of the Colne.
Mr. New River rose in much perturbation. A considerable quantity of fixed air burst from the tumbler, and the bubbles proclaimed him choleric. · He kicked and swung restlessly to and fro for some time, and his neighbours had fears that he might fall over, but settling at last, he thus replied to the last speaker ;
“ Mr. Thames, Messrs. East London, West Middlesex, Chelsea, and Grand Junction, a stranger has come amongst us to disturb our unanimity, to make us Water parted.' I would move for his being
ducked, but that I think I had better first out-argue and then punish him,—though, in the mean time, I cannot tell you how heartily I spit upon him for having thrown unnecessary cold water upon our proceedings. The noble stream in the decanter disclosed to you our intentions in a flood of eloquence, and a pellucid brevity. Why should I attempt to enforce what has been so admirably recommended ? Were more required, I should entreat the aid of the same oratory, and exclaim with a great bard :- Flow on Thou-shining River! But this interloper sneaks into our councils, and attempts to counteract our best purposes. What is his logic-his appeals to nature—his boisterous theories to us? Is it not old custom that we appeal to,—and would we incautiously listen to the voice of the innovator ? But more
e-do we not advocate our own good,--and is his in the balance of any weight? He talked of his purity: my friends and streamlets, this I thought was the weakest of exploded fallacies. We give up the purity
-we stand on no such flimsy recommendations-we are the authorized, patronized, habituated, old, infallible patentees;-on this ground let him try to meet us, and, like other water, he will soon find his level. Is not the dirty ditch that surrounds the Papal capital the same lovely apostrophized Tiber?-and Euphrates, is it not still the Great River?—but shall we alone change our position, and yield our blessings to another?-Forbid it, dropsy and all other lymphatic authorities! We will retain our constitution as by committees established; and to show our abhorrence of the conduct of this interloper, we will have it as a standing order that every one, upon meeting with him or his fellows, be instantly seized with hydrophobia.”
Much jingling and applause followed this address. The visitor-a sort of Mr. Hunt-in vain attempted to obtain a hearing; they descended from their tumblers, as in a cataract, upset the unfortunate deputy, sprawled about, and jostled each other. That water is compressible was here sufficiently proved; but the heat of the room was so great as to carry off inuch,—and the luckless malcontent into the bargain, who escaped by evaporation. The Resolutions were then read, which were to the following effect :
1. That a petition be presented to the House of Commons, begging for securities against encroachments on the rights of Messr :: Thames, New River, East London, West Middlesex, Chelsea, and Grand Junction.
2. That this Meeting discovers no reason why they should be interfered with. If they have a partiality for dead dogs, sewers, and draindrippings in the way of private eating, it can surely be no business of the honourable House of Parliament.
3. That they are in all respects as good as their neighbours.
4. That in this metropolis the other elements are not by any means elemental. That fire is gas or air, –air is smoke, the result of fire; that earth is M‘Adam,—and they cannot see why water should be so strictly water.
5. That they will not be filtered.
diversely by the names of Tea, Milk, Table-Beer, Gruel, Broth, and Bouilli. That further innovation is therefore unreasonable.
9. That they will freeze and thaw in this persuasion, So help them Hyades !
10. That these Resolutions be communicated to their correspondents in the Bedford Fen, Irish Bogs, and Northern Lakes.
Thanks were voted to the Thames for his able conduct in the decanter, and the mists dispersed.
THE RELIGIOUS WORLD DISPLAYED,
IN A SERIES OF SKETCHES CHIEFLY FROM THE LIFE.
The age we live in is, we believe, generally considered one of the most religious we have had for a long while; and it is certainly one in which Religion makes no little noise and uproar. She is now at least decidedly the fashion ; which is a strange change of fortunes, to be sure, for her who was so long the companion merely of our peasants and “ rude mechanicals," and left, as if by the consent of every body, to the humble hospitalities of labour and poverty. For those, -if any there be,who trade in the commodity, this patronage of it by the higher ranks is undoubtedly a very lucky circumstance.
Being ourselves neither clergymen nor secretaries to bible societies, we are not disposed to congratulate religion very obstreperously on her being thus promoted “to dwell in king's palaces" and sit as a guest with those who “fare sumptuously every day.”
This same fashion never gets hold of any thing which it does not spoil. A hundred times, tired of the frivolity of its own exclusive pursuits and amusements, has it tried to steal and appropriate to itself some enjoyment of the people, the truth and heart of which, however, it has never yet succeeded in making its own. What merry pastime of our villagers, which high life, as it calls itself, has attempted to imitate, has ever given out, either in the gilded drawing-room, or on the welltrimmed lawn, any thing like the same fine intoxication wherein it will oftentimes drown a group of rustic gambollers around the cottage hearth, or under the greenwood tree! See what has befallen dancing, and music, and even poetry, as soon as fashion has transplanted them, as it were, from their native wilds to her garden of artificial light, and lifeless splendour ? Whither has gone their blooms and their fragrance—that which was wont to be to each its essence and sustaining soul? The mazy figure, and the difficult embellishment, and the polished rhyme—however pretty of their kind-have, in truth, but little to do with those glowing and exuberant affections whereof dance and song were originally born, and are but poor substitutes for that intense though sublimated passion, the expression of which is their natural end and meaning. Yet, in so far as these arts have become the associates or handmaidens of Fashion, to such cold trifling have they been perverted. Nay, have not even love itself and the endearments of courtship been desecrated by this relentless destroyer, into a
mere dead and unaffecting show, whenever she has laid upon them her petrifying touch? What was your age of chivalry, with its orders and its tournaments, and its parliaments of love, but a miserable burlesque, after all, on the holiest sanctities of Nature—a vain mimicry of her mysteriousness and unutterable beauty, which a crew of imbeciles attempted to carry on by an apparatus of glittering and fantastic ceremonies, and the shallow jugglery of a mode of expression more ridicu. lously extravagant than was ever prompted by any other species of human insanity? And now we have the same heartlessness which formerly strove so stoutly to fall in love, toiling as hard to become religious. Some people may think the change of taste an improvement; for our own parts, we hold it very much a matter of indifference whether the mockery of the divine or of the human passion be the order of the day.
As the whim of the time, however, this new caprice ought not to remain unchronicled. All history hitherto has been very much that of the revolutions of the world of fashion-which, narrow, even to insignificance, as it really is in comparison with that of humanity in general, is yet in truth seldom agitated without affecting the whole face of society. Separated as it is from the great congeries of the people, and suspended, in a manner, over their heads in an atmosphere of its own, it is certainly rather advantageously placed for raining down upon them its opinions and prejudices, which, indeed, in their situation, they can scarcely avoid getting occasionally a little soiled withal, in spite of all the care they can well take in carrying their umbrellas about with them ;-to say nothing of those who actually enjoy the shower, and desire nothing better than a good drenching. It is the wealth, however, of our people of fashion, that chiefly gives to all their movements so much interest in the eyes of the multitude, and makes them be responded to with so quick a sympathy. The caprices of this class are, in fact, the sustenance of vast numbers of those below them, by whom accordingly every shifting shade of the favourite freak or humour of the hour is watched with the most sensi, tive vigilance. From these various causes it happens that even the popular tastes and manners take from this source in a great measure their complexion and character. We find here, therefore, no small part of the real history of the age.
The Christianity of the present day is, as we have said, distinguished, in so far as this country is concerned, from that of former periods, chiefly by the patronage which its name at least has found in the fashionable world, and the effect which this circumstance has produced upon the manner in which it is preached and professed in general. We propose to lay before our readers a few sketches, partly in illustration of these points of distinction, and partly with a view to the elucidation of certain other peculiarities belonging to the history and existing condition of the several varieties of religious opinions and practices at present to be found among us. In an honest and fearless pursuit of these objects, we shall sometimes have to expose the character of an individual, sometimes that of a community. Our task in either case shall be that of inquisitorial and unsparing dissection of the subject, in so far as the public may have a right to its exposure.