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enthusiasm for virtue, simplicity,-and the Highlands. We must now introduce our readers to the miscellaneous volumes before us.

Their object is to describe the character, manners, and way of life of the Scotch Highlanders-to trace the origin of their peculiarities-and above all, as we take it, to vindicate and extol them, as a race equally noble, ingenuous, and fortunate. Of all the qualities, indeed, that distinguish this publication, the zeal of the author is by far the most remarkable; and half-converted as we ourselves have been by her proofs and her eloquence, we must not, in fairness to the reader, enter upon any abstract of her observations, without warning him of the suspicions we entertain of her partiality. Though it be difficult, however, to keep pace with her enthusiasm in behalf of this singular race, we agree perfectly in her censure of the incurious indifference with which they have been hitherto regarded by the very same philosophers, who think themselves well employed in collecting uncertain notices of far less interesting and less accessible nations. 'Our own literati,' she observes, have bewildered themselves in endless and fruitless researches, regarding the ancient Scythians and modern Tartars, the Belgæ, the Gauls, the Goths, the more modern Danes. I speak at random, and merely repeat a string of names, of which I know very little, and they cannot know very much. In the mean time, their curiosity seems very moderately excited by the greatest of all possible curiositieseven by the remains of the most ancient, unmingled, and original people in Europe, of a people, who, surrounded by strangers, have preserved, for a series of ages which no records can trace, their national spirit, their national language, their national habits, their national poetry, and, above all, their national mode of thinking, and expressing their thoughts, their style of manners, and strain of conversation,-and, still more, their local traditions and family genealogies, in one uninterrupted series.'

The truth is, we believe, that the well informed part of the English public, know much more of the people of Otaheite or Ceylon, than they do of the people of Badenoch or Lochaber. They know that they wear a strange dress and speak a strange language, and have heard, perhaps, that they are divided into clans: But, for any thing beyond these outward characteristics, they take no concern; and are satisfied with regarding them as a kind of savages, more ferocious and illiterate than the peasantry of their own districts. To such readers, Mrs. Grant will probably appear to maintain a very dull and extravagant paradox, when she represents them as being (or at least as having been) far more uniformly polished in their manners and sentiments than the people of any other country-absolutely free from

any taint of vulgarity, even in the very lowest ranks of their society-skilled in all the graces of polite conversation—and almost universally possessed of an extensive knowledge of poetry, and great sensibility to its beauties. We do not know whether all this can be made out to the full extent that is here stated; but Mrs. Grant has certainly gone far to render a great part of it probable ;-and there is not a little which, upon reflection, we should be inclined to admit, even without the aid of her testimony.

Vulgarity is not the vice of uncivilized life,-but of a certain stage of civilization. Its seat is not among mountains and wild pastures, but in comfortable trading towns, and cities of gay manufacturers. The very savage has noble and refined manners, compared with the mechanic or auctioneer: But when the savage habits have been so far put off, as to have mingled the elements of the shepherd and agriculturist, in pretty equal proportions with those of the hunter and warrior, and to have produced a being secure of subsistence, and abounding in leisure, it may perhaps be found that he is more polite and agreeable in society, from the very want of those things that contribute most essentially to its ulterior improvement. It is really curious to see how necessarily vulgarity is the growth of national prosperity, and from what apparent defects and imperfections in the social order politeness seems always to take its rise.

We would not, on any account, incur the danger of defining that terrible thing called vulgarity; but holding, merely, that it is something which makes society disagreeable, and chiefly by means of selfishness, ignorance, and narrowness of mind, we would observe, that, in the earlier and ruder stages of human existence, every individual has a great many more things to do, and most of them more animating things, than fall to the lot of a tradesman in more cultivated times. A man who, in the course of one year, performs the functions of a soldier, a hunter, a shepherd, a fisher, and of twenty different mechanical artists besides, who roams, in the course of his employments, over a great tract of various country, and has occasion to study, however superficially, so many of the laws of nature, the habits of animals, and the characters of men,--must necessarily have his mind more stored with ideas, must be more disposed to communicate them, and must think more highly of himself, than the dull mechanic,who scarcely ever sees the open face of heaven or of earth, but spends his whole life in a dungeon, putting heads on pins, or points on nails, or tossing a shuttle alternately from one hand to the other. The truth is, that this great discovery of the subdivision of labour, upon which national prosperity is almost exclusively founded, has had a sad effect on the character of the lower orders; and

has degraded the bulk of the population far below the average of less wealthy communities. The degradation, too, is more severely felt, from the new elevation that is at the same time communicated to the more fortunate individuals who stand at the head of the extended scale. The tradesman of our own days, is not only actually and absolutely an inferior animal to the hunter peasant of antient times, but he is incomparably farther from being on a level with what is highest in the society around him." In primitive times, men are much more on an equality. If the retainer be utterly without education or booklearning, the chief has but little of either to boast of; and, when distinction is only to be gained by personal gifts or accomplishments which are universally in demand, the probability is, that these will be found as frequently among the poor as the rich. In after times, however, the upper ranks engross all the graces and accomplishments that lead to honour or distinction,--since they alone can command either the means and opportunities of acquiring them, or the occasions for their exercise and display. It is easy to conceive, therefore, that the great body of the people should both feel and appear awkward and degraded in the comparison; and that we should meet no longer, among the poor, with that free and graceful address, that companionable intelligence and air of self-esteem, which is the necessary foundation of all good manners, and all agreeable society.

It is of still greater consequence, however, to remember, that, in the earlier stages of society, the higher and the lower ranks were approximated, not only by a pretty equal participation of such knowledge and accomplishments as the age possessed, but by a far greater degree of mutual dependence than can now be said to unite them. Before the introduction of luxury and manufactures, a chieftain could neither employ nor display his wealth and influence in any other way, than by maintaining a large body of clansmen or retainers; and those who were born poor had no other means of subsistence, but by enrolling themselves among the followers of their chief. The tenure, too, by which the latter held these services, in which his whole consequence and enjoyment consisted, was so slender, that it was necessary for him to secure their attachment by a courteous and condescending demeanour, and by an equal participation of their toils and amusements. The whole society, therefore, was united, as it were, into one company;-the highest and the lowest of its members were mingled in the same fields, and at the same table;-and whatever of grace or dignity,-of refinement of sentiment, or gallantry of feeling, existed in the chief, was very likely to be derived, in some degree, to the whole mass of those whose duty and occupation it thus was to live in his presence, to share his occupations,

and to imitate his manners.-In modern times, it is needless to say how all this has been changed. The rich and the great have scarcely any connexion or intercourse of any sort with persons of inferior condition. A few hired domestics, who are changed every season, supply the place of their old hereditary retainers; and their income is spent in purchasing, from persons who neither know nor feel any obligation to them, such articles as are required for the consumption of their individual families. The lower or ders, being thus cut off from all social intercourse with the higher, and never coming into their presence but on occasions which remind them of their inferiority, naturally come to feel and to be regarded as low, awkward, and degraded beings, and to abandon, in despair, all pretensions to those accomplishments in which they were once allowed to participate with their superiors.

There are still two circumstances to be noticed-and arising, like the preceding, out of what is called the progress and improvement of society-which have depressed the character and manners of the lower orders, far below what they were in times that are considered as comparatively rude and barbarous;-we mean, the individual independence which men have obtained, by means of good laws and a vigilant and active police,-and the little leisure which manufacturing industry has left for the cultivation or exercise of social gifts or talents. A very few words will be sufficient to show the extent of both these sources of degradation.

In the rude and primitive forms of society, when laws are few, feeble and inaccessible, men must depend, in a great measure, on their own efforts for the protection of their persons and property. They cannot go, at every moment, to swear the peace against a neighbour whom they have offended, or to obtain a search-warrant for the cattle they suspect to have been stolen;-they must protect their persons by resolute, but, at the same time, most courteous and circumspect manners,-by cautiously avoiding to give offence, which they know will be avenged, and by maintaining such a carriage, as to deter others from offering any offence to them: And their property they must protect, where there are neither constables, nor watchmen, nor enclosures, by rendering themselves agreeable and respected by all those to whom it is exposed, by maintaining a good understanding with those who are near, and a vigilant observation of those who are at a distance. How much all this must tend to sharpen the intellect, and to improve the manners,-to produce, in short, that union of courage and courtesy, of obligingness and high spirit, which is the true distinction of a gentleman, it is as needless to point out, as to show how all encouragement for the formation of such a character is taken away, by the improvement of laws, and the introduction of a strict police. When a man can at all times enforce his claims

by the sentence of a judge, and defend himself with the arm of a magistrate, it is no longer necessary for him to be either loved or feared as an individual; and, having no pressing occasion for the exercise of popular or of formidable qualities, he is very apt to cease to be either brave or amiable, and to pursue his own sordid gains, or sensual gratifications, without regard to the opinion of his neighbours. Thus, the improvement of law and internal policy, though it promotes, in an incalculable degree, the tranquillity and security of society, has an evident tendency to lower the general standard both of character and of manners; and would injure them still more conspicuously, if it could be carried as far as some great philosophers have supposed it might be carried. A great deal of the spirit and the polish by which the higher ranks are distinguished, is derived, we are persuaded, from the importance they ascribe to things which law has not yet been able to subdue to her authority;-to the practice of duelling-and of proscription from good society for notorious violation of its sanctions. If there were a court in which a gentleman could seek for reparation for his wounded honour, or from which he could despatch an officer to recover satisfaction for his affronts, there would soon be a pretty visible falling off, we fear, in the dignity and refinement of our present manners. It is very remarkable, accordingly, that there is least delicacy and politeness in the commonalty of those nations where there is the best police, and the most ready access to the law;-in Holland, for example, and America, and in some parts of Great Britain.

The want of leisure, too, as well as the uniformity of their labour, is an obvious and prodigious disadvantage in the condition of the lower orders in commercial countries. Their whole time is engrossed by toils that have no remission, and no variety,-which leave them little opportunity for the exercise of social qualifications, and unfit them, in a great degree, for their acquisition. Receiving no new or striking impressions from the eternal recurrence of the same dull occupation, they have but little to communicate in their few hours of relaxation; and, never having tasted the pleasures of animated or diversified conversation, they set no value on its attainment, and take no pains for its cultivation. The little leisure they have, therefore, is spent in the alehouse or the streets, in absolute inactivity, or in brutal dissipation. In ruder times, however, the miscellaneous labours of the peasant have long intervals of repose; and the adventurous nature of his pursuits readily suggests matter for interesting narrative, and animated discussion. During the darkness and inactivity of a long winter, the art of conversation becomes a resource of no slight importance, and is cultivated with proportional care. When this, however, is once made an object of attention, it would mortify a

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