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leave no douht, according to him, that she was a very decided republican; that she was subsequently a very devoted Bonapartist; that, receiving six thousand francs pension from the chief of the empire, who had cried on reading the novel of. Madame de la Valliere,'she exclaimed, in-a conversation with the Comtesse de Choiseul, “Napoleon has been my benefactor,--the only one I have had among sovereigns, spontaneously, and without the slightest solicitation on my part:"—why, we say, should we not believe, since she tells us so, that she is now an ardent royalist; that she bewails every day, at the foot of the crucifix, the errors of her passed opinions? Why should we not acknowledge with her, since it is written in her memoirs, that all was lost in France, when the ideas of liberty, drawn from the source of the English constitution, were introduced at Paris ?
In our opinion, Madame de Genlis is perfectly right, when she says, that from the moment that France turned her eyes upon England, to ask her the secret of her wealth, of her industry, of her independence, her ancient glory was tarnished. People began to drink tea, and to eat muffins; they made bets, and established horse-races; they metamorphosed the magnificent avenues in the French gardens into the style of Le Nôtre. Blue paper replaced, on the walls of the salons, the tapestry of the Gobelins, or the silks of Lyons. The use of carpets was introduced. Little girls were no longer dressed up as angels, with blue wings, and rose-coloured petticoats. Children, such as Madlle. Ducrest (Madame de Genlis's maiden name), no longer were able to become, from the age of six, canonesses of the noble chapter of Alix;" and lost the habit of writing novels and plays before they were eight. The young men rode, à l'Anglaise, with shorter stirrups; the old men put on boots. Young ladies gave up whalebone boddices; and children no longer received those fine new-year's gifts, such as the Marquis de Choiseul, and the Marquis de Luxembourg used to give. Painters, who were neither academicians nor associates, hung their works by the side of those who bore titles in the arts. The women adopted gesticulation as they spoke; the men put on braces; whist superseded the venerable piquet; the little fondling names,--such as mon caur, mon ange, mon chou-were suppressed; Voltaire's system of orthography gained many proselytes; ruffles, red heels, and hoops, were exploded, as well as the custom of kissing the hem of the queen's gown, at a presentation; and, above all, nobody continued to look at the incomparable curtesies of Madame la Maréchale de Byron. All the world knows what was the cause of these ancient customs falling into neglect. The revolution caused terrible misfortunes, which were compensated for by very little good. It only, according to Madame de Genlis, gave men the habit of dancing, without hats; while, at the same time, it cured the women of periodical attacks of the spleen.
Let all the journals, from the soporific Moniteur,' to the jesuitical "Gazette;' and from the grave ‘Révue Encyclopédique,' to the light and trifling • Pandore, combine, if they will, to attack Madame de Genlis. Let them say, that her novels present an uncouth mixture of historical facts and of fable; a total absence of kindness of feeling; sour criticisms, allegations false, or, at best, to the last degree doubtful, against the majority of those men of whom France is most proud. Let
them impute to her writings frequent faults of language. Let them represent her in person as long-bodied, stiff, and dry, with her features deeply furrowed with the recollections of the past, and the fears for the future, wrapped up in muslins, lace, frills, and draperies. Let them say,
“ this is Madame de Genlis at eighty; these are the poor productions which have caused her fame." We will reject the portrait ; we will continue to see in our author the amiable, kind, and contented woman, which she is represented in her memoirs. Such criticisms will never prevent our continuing to read, re-read,—nay, if possible, to get by heart her works. Above all, we shall study the · Dictionnaire des Etiquettes,' for it abounds in curious information, and in useful maxims; and we shall diligently observe the following axiom, which appears to us to be full of good sense :- “ A journalist should use irony only when he speaks of a vain and slanderous person, or when he reviews a ridiculous work."
SALMONIA; OR, DAYS OF FLY-FISHING*.
This is an exccedingly pleasant book, written, as we understand, by Sir Humphrey Davy. He has chosen “the conversational manner and discursive style of Walton as his model, and he has very happily caught the quiet simplicity and unpretending elegance of the cheerful patriarch of anglers. The practical directions to the “ Scholar” are interspersed, as in honest Izaak, with reflections on the scenery by which the brethren of the angle are surrounded ; and if the pervading piety of the good old haberdasher of Chancery-lane be not so prominent in the work of the late President of the Royal Society, there is a most agreeable sprinkling of natural history and philosophy_introduced, without any of the parade of superior acquirements. To our minds, one of the greatest charms of Walton's book consists in his vivid picture of the manners of his age. In this merit the ‘Salmonia' is somewhat deficient. The habits of the genteel fly-fishers of 1828 are rather indicated than described ; and we are admitted into no intimate companionship in their convivialities. Enough, however, is shewn of the change of manners, both in anglers and other folks, to make the contrast of times abundantly curious; and for this reason especially we shall turn to the Complete Angler' without ceremony, in the execution of our very laudable design to write a most amusing article, upon what the world is pretty equally divided in believing a virtuous recreation, or a “solitary vice ;” and which we are particularly qualified to discuss, from a sufficient ignorance of all its niceties as an art.
Let us not be taken to assert, that our lives have ingloriously passed away without the ambition of killing a trout; and that we are to be wholly classed amongst those whom Sir Humphrey Davy is pleased to call “ the cockney fishermen, who fish for roach and dace in the
* Salmonia, or Days of Fly-Fishing, in a Series of Conversations; with some Account of the Habits of the Fishes belonging to the Genus Salmo. By an Angler. London. Murray. 1828.
Thames." From the seventh year of our boyhood, till we entered upon man's estate, have we tried every variety of angling, from the whipping for bleak on a warm evening in May, to the trolling for pike on a gray morning in October. We are not ashamed to confess, that, in these pursuits, we were singularly unlucky; and that, consequently, by the time we had reached the discreet age of twenty-one, we came to the conclusion that it was an unprofitable expenditure of leisure for an individual arrived at his full growth, to toil all day and catch no fish ; and from that period have we entertained a lurking suspicion, either that angling is a lost art, or that our southern rivers are so poached, or so preserved, as the case may be, that we, free denizens of nature, who have no acquaintance with the lords of the water, are not the persons to whom old Izaak discourses of a trout “ that will fill six reasonable bellies ;' or for whose edification Sir Humphrey Davy prescribes the reiurn to the stream of all small fish under two pounds.
And yet we look back upon those days of “ hope deferred” with infinite delight. We lived upon the banks of the Thames, and too oft have we wandered, at every hour of a schoolboy's leisure, rod in hand, into secluded nooks, where scarcely sound was ever heard, but the noise of the king-fisher, diving down plumb into the deep ; or we have floated in our little skiff for miles along the crystal current, till the evening's star has warned us that our course must be retraced against a sometimes rapid stream. Often, at that silent hour, have we learnt the secret of the marvellous ill-fortune of we anglers of the unpreserved Thames. Many a time, in the sober twilight, have we seen the riverpoacher busy with his lines and his baskets, under some bank of osiers, looking around with fearful suspicion, as the wind swept along the rippling water, and creeping closer under the shade of the old willow, as the light clouds flew off from the face of the rising moon. must not lay all the blame upon the poacher. The truth is that we were idle fishermen. We had the contentedness and the love of contemplation of the steadiest angler, but not the patience. We would stick the barbel-rod into the bank, and lie down upon the soft grass, far away from the busy world, to gaze upon the shifting rack; or perchance resign our hearts to Spenser or Tasso, while the reel in vain gave notice of the unprofitable bite. Many are the reproofs we have received from our master in the noble art, the Walton of our walks. He was a quiet old bachelor-a great arithmetician-a professor of the mystery of land-surveying. Employment he had little, though his rigid self-denial secured him a competence. He was the oniy proficient in the science of artificial Aymaking whom we ever chanced to become acquainted with; and duly, when the crocus and the snow-drop proclaimed the approach of spring, would he be busy with the hair of spaniel, and badger, and bear, and camel, the fur of squirrel, and the hackles from a cock's neck. Various were his mysteries of ground bait, and of stinking oils, and deeply had he read every practical direction in Walton and Cotton, though he invariably passed over the descriptive and poetical passages. But even he never caught any fish (always excepting roach and dace) in the Thames; and loudly did he complain of the degeneracy of the times, seeing that, in his younger days, he had taken a salmon of twelve
pounds at Datchet-bridge. His misfortunes were an abundant consolation to ourselves, for they convinced us we were not singular in our ill-luck ; till at last we ceased to take any trouble whether we baited with a gentle or a caddis—have used “ the willow-fly" in May, and “ the gray-drake” in September-and have gone home, night after night, without an ounce in our basket, abundantly satisfied to have had an excuse for passing the day
Among the daisies and the violets blue, and little caring for the sport (of the cruelty of which, by the bye, we had always some misgivings),
So we the fields and meadows green might view,
And daily by fresh rivers walk at will. Youth is unquestionably the season for angling, sanctioned as the practice may be in those of maturer age, by the illustrious examples of Trajan and Dr. Paley, of Lord Nelson and Professor Wilson. Sir Humphrey Davy himself says, “I have always found a peculiar effect from this kind of life; it has appeared to bring me back to early times and feelings, and to create again the hopes and happiness of youthful days.” And this is quite true. As a serious pursuit of advanced age, it may do for a few quiet humourists to manufacture flies and floats, to twist silk and horse-hair into lines, to whip a gut upon a hook, and then, with basket over shoulder, to wander forth by the side of the Mole or the Lea, for the chance of a bite in the twenty-four hours. But the agitating and engrossing pursuits of life--the necessity, infinitely stronger than in the days of Walton, to keep our heads above the wave by patient and diligent money-getting-prevent us thinking of systematic recreations, after the season of thoughtlessness is past, and when labour first begins to find its reward. We wish it were not so. We should rejoice to be able to walk out, as the contented old haberdasher did in the times of the Commonwealth, “ stretching our legs up Tottenham-hill," taking our morning-draught at the Thatched house at Hodsden,”-laughing at“poor rich men, that are always busy or discontented,” leading our mates “to an honest alehouse, where we shall find a cleanly room, lavender in the windows, and twenty ballads stuck about the wall"-" rejoicing with brother Peter and his friend, telling tales, or singing ballads, or making a catch, or finding some harnıless sport to content us and pass away a little time, without offence to God or man”--talking sweet compliments “ with a handsome milkmaid, that had not yet attained so much age and wisdom as to load her mind with any fears of many things that will never be”-“ listening to that smooth song which was made by Kit Marlow," or reproving our mettlesome friend, when he offers “ to spoil the milkmaid's voice” (which Sir John Hawkins learnedly interprets“ kissing her,")-rising again to our fishing, as civil and merry as beggars"---making a brave breakfast with a piece of powdered beef, and a radish or two in our fishbags”-supping well again, and sleeping well again“ in lavender sheets,” and then calling the score and adjudging that “ each man drink a pot for his morning draught, and lay down his two shillings,” after a third day's fishing, -- " being still a mile to Tottenham Highcross, as we walk towards it in the cool shade of a sweet honeysuckle hedge, mentioning some of the thoughts and joys that have possessed AUGUST, 1828.
our soul,"—and finishing the sport“ with a bottle of sack, milk, oranges, and sugar, which, all put together, make a drink like nectar ; indeed, too good for any but anglers." This were truly a happy life, but all unattainable in the year of our Lord 1828. There is not a haberdasher on the east or the west of Temple-bar, who wandered thus towards Tottenham High-cross, but would find himself in the Gazette within the twelvemonth. But we have no fear of any such consummation. Izaak Walton will infallibly be voted vulgar, in these our days of carefulness and pretension.
But we have neglected Sir Humphrey Davy, and his more refined mode of going a fishing, much too long. He sets not forth to take his chance in the Lea, or the New River, but issues an invitation to a few worthy friends to meet on the banks of the Colne, at Denham ;_" a light carriage, with good horses, will carry us to the ground”—“ the river is most strictly preserved : not a fish has been killed here since last August." They go from the rapids to the pool, and from the pool to the rapids, and catch their trout at every turn,-a fisherman waits on them to weigh and kill their prey—“ the dinner hour is five,—the dressing-bell rings at half-past four”-and, thus, following the example of their brethren of the battu, they slaughter the trout, and drink the claret of a generous host, as secure of their sport, as if the trout were to be dipped for in Mr. Way's cistern, instead of being tempted out of his river. Now, this is somewhat different from old Izaak's method; and smacks a little of our excellent days of exclusiveness. The uncertainty of the sport~the conviction that the fish are not property, has always appeared to us the great charm of angling. Not so thiuks a most thorough cockney, who has given directions for the sport in a very charming publication, The Boy's Own Book.' He, simple soul, and quite unworthy ever to read Walton, much more to kiss a milk-maid, or taste honest Maudlin's syllabub, tells the young angler, in the most abominable, and anti-poetical style possible, that “ Paddington canal contains roach”_“ Camberwell canal is well stored with jack”—“ at Sydenham there are some pieces of water well stored with fine carp, in which an annual subscription entitles the angler to fish."-" Wellington water is a subscription pond, well stocked with fish, situated between the Bethnal-green, and the Hackney roads” –“ Hornsey-Wood-House pond contains tench ; persons taking refreshment at the tavern, are allowed to angle in this water”—and “ a few small tench may be taken in some pits called the * tench pits,' on Bushy Heath.”—May all the plagues of Egypt light on the Paddington and Camberwell canals,-Sydenham water, and Wellington water,—and Hornsey-Wood-House pond, and the tench pits on Bushy Heath! Does the man think there is nothing in angling but to stand by the side of a canal, or a pond, or a pit, with a stick and a string, even if the fool at the end of it should catch a perch or a little tench? To the Thames in a “buck basket, with all such snivelling, thorough-going cockneys! Sir Humphrey, in spite of his two hours in a light carriage, his preserved grounds, and his dressing for dinner, has a true notion of the thing.–“It carries us," says he, “ into the most wild and beautiful scenery of nature ; amongst the mountain lakes, and the clear and lovely streams that gush from the higher