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French and Austrian Courts.
sauces, and in most things that minister to personal luxury and sensuous gratification; but in the simple, the solid, and the useful, England has done more for the real wants of her people, and for the necessities of the world, we are proud to think, than any one among the nations of the earth. The French are accustomed, since the days of Napoleon, to call us a nation of shopkeepers; but to any one who observes the arrangement of the French court, it will be apparent that the French are, in all their little arrangements of packing and stowing, much more of a nation of shopkeepers than the English. Observe how neatly their gloves and ladies' shoes are sorted, how artistically their fans, fancy jewellery, and filagree work are disposed; how classically their shawls are draped and folded on dummies, and how dexterously the cards and makers' names of the articles are affixed. If ever there was a nation boutiquiere on earth it is, par excellence, the French. We are a great trading nation, a nation of merchants; but the French are, in every sense, a nation of shopkeepers, and of small shopkeepers. There is no language spoken in 'their' court but French, at which, unlike M. Assolant, we express no surprise. Every educated person in England understands French, tant bien que mal; but few, indeed, are the French who understand English, and still fewer those who speak it. Our Gallic exhibitors, with whom on every occasion we conversed, are, for the most part, a good-humoured and good-natured set, gay and galliard, bearing philosophically their momentary expatriation from their brilliant metropolis; but their refrain always is, like the character in Les Précieuses of Molière, regret for their beloved Paris. C'est un admirable lieu que Paris; il s'y passe cent choses tous les jours, qu'on ignore à Londres, quelque spirituelle qu'on puisse être.' Every one of the 5,495 French exhibitors would say, in the words of Mascarille, 'Pour moi je tiens que hors Paris, il n'y a point de salut pour les honnêtes gens.'
Next to the French court in interest undoubtedly comes the Austrian. It invites attention by the excellence and the variety of its products. There are about 1,500 exhibitors. The strength of the Austrian court lies chiefly in the multiplicity of raw products. The display of wines is an important feature, as the annual produce of Austria reaches 412,000,000 of imperial gallons. Austria also comes out well in crystal candelabra, of which a magnificent pair is placed on the steps of the court, and at the entrance is a superb collection of silver-frosted glass from Bohemia. The paintings on the Austrian porcelain are well deserving of notice for their tone and colour, and the beauty of the drawing. There are also some admirably made gold chains,
some fine specimens of artistic bookbinding, some beautifully cut glass, and one of the finest collections of maps and charts. The musical instruments, too, are very fine, particularly the monster brass instruments.
In the Zollverein our countrymen will chiefly be arrested by the Dresden china, which five-and-thirty or forty years ago was considered unique. Now our British workmen surpass it. There are in the Saxon court some fine looking-glasses, with china frames, and a set of drawers with china doors, ornamented with small paintings.
Russia does not come out so well in this Exhibition as might be expected. One of the finest works in the nave is the ebony cabinet, sent by the Empress of Russia. Near is a small table, the top of which is of lapis-lazuli, and an immense candelabra in jasper, which it took ten years to work up and polish. In a glass case on the right is the golden Bible from the Izak Church, printed in old Sclavonic. It is bound in the precious metals, and studded over with turquoises, amethysts, and diamonds. In the Italian court there is abundant evidence of art and taste. Some of the mosaics are very admirable.
The Roman court is separate from that of Italy, and it has been daily crowded by fervent Romanists and supporters of the Pope's temporal authority from every part of the three kingdoms. At the entrance is a bust, presenting the coarse and vulgar features of Cardinal Wiseman, somewhat toned down by the flattering and too favourable sculptor. There is also a breviary, with its ebony case, which also forms a reading desk, a present from the Pope to the Cardinal. Mr. Storey, an American sculptor, has sent two fine groups from his studio at Rome, one a Cleopatra, the other a Sibyl. In the Classical temple, decorated by Mr. Owen Jones, in the Roman department, there are shown some tinted works of sculpture. Into the vexata questio of colouring statues we have not here space to enter; but notwithstanding the beauty of Mr. Gibson's Venus, our own bias, and all the traditions of art, incline us to prefer untinted marble. In taking leave of the Roman court we may, in passing, remark that there seems no very cordial feeling, which is not to be wondered at, between the exhibitors in the general Italian department and the 50 exhibitors in the Roman court. The purely Italian court, as contradistinguished from the Roman, is looked on with a fond and sympathising partiality, because we identify it with the unity and independence of Italy. Here may be found busts of Victor Emmanuel, of Garibaldi, of Cavour, of Cialdini, and of other patriots and national soldiers. Over these all classes of our countrymen and countrywomen fondly
The Refreshment Rooms.
linger. The courts of Spain and Portugal scarcely represent the productive power of these lands; but, on the other hand, there is much to see in the courts of Holland, Switzerland, and Denmark, and something even to observe in the court devoted to Turkey. It is now necessary that we should say a few words as to what the correspondent of the Patrie, M. Busquet, calls 'the Refreschment Roums.' The English room is under the superintendence of Mr. Morrish. In this we ventured on a ham sandwich and a glass of what was by complaisance called sherry. The sandwich, a single one, appeared to have been cut for twenty-four hours. The bread was tough and dough-baked, and the ham hard, salt, and coriaceous. As to the so-called sherry it was the vilest of compounds, somewhat resembling methylated spirits of wine. For this miserable fare 9d. was charged. In the refreshment-room of M. Viellard there is more pretension. He is a Frenchman, who obtains his vegetables daily from Paris, his filets de bœuf from Frankfort, and his wines from the Continent. It is said in the guide-books that hot soup and a cold dinner are supplied at half-a-crown a head at this, the French department. The fact is not so. The writer of these lines, accompanied by a friend, applied for such a dinner on the 17th of June, but was informed that nothing hot was served, and that he could only dine by the carte. A galantine de volaille was then ordered for two, which was so dry and flavourless, that, after tasting a mouthful, the writer's friend could not proceed further. Chicken and ham were ordered instead, which were tolerable, and ultimately a mayonnaise of lobster, which was passable. The charge for this lunch was 8s. 8d., 3s. of which were for a bottle of ordinary Burgundy, which was not placed on the table for a quarter of an hour after the cold meat, though ordered at the same time. The attendance was indifferent, and there was a scarcity of knives, forks, and plates.
And now, having given this bird's-eye view of the building, and some of its principal contents, we cannot choose but come to the conclusion that all the nations will, at the close of 1862, have learned something from each other, and each will have gained more or less by this second World's Show, where the whole circle of the habitable globe is represented. One thing is clear, that in the industry of utility the pre-eminence of England is undoubted, whilst in the industry of luxury and taste, and of the highest art, our country also occupies the highest place. For the demonstration of this truth we are indebted to one whose removal from our midst we all mourn!
OUR American cousins are sinking deeper in debt and deeper in trouble. Long since, bitter peace-the peace that comes from conquest-was said to be at hand. But though many thousand families have put on mourning, and property to be reckoned by millions has been given to the sea or the flames, the prospect still seems to be, that more blood will be shed, and more property will be destroyed.
So is it, and so will it ever be, where material prosperity is accepted as the most certain index of social elevation. It is a decree more stable than the laws which govern the heavens or the earth, that the power which brings happiness to nations shall be at its base a moral and religious power. The strength which is not that kind of strength may flourish for a while, but there is a Nemesis that will surely be upon its track. To such communities Providence has given much, and much is expected from them. Wisely to use their gifts would be truly wise. To misuse them is to contract a signal guilt, and to ensure a signal retribution. True-all nations are
at fault in this respect. But it is from this cause that so few nations have rest. We do not judge our kinsmen. But we cannot conceal from ourselves that the temper which has originated, and which still sustains this conflict, is not a temper compatible with tranquillity. While it continues, no domestic, no foreign relation, can be safe.
The United States have not only been known as Christian States, but their Christianity has been largely of the Puritan type. Recent events, however, have shown that other elements have found their home and place of rule among the American people. The vine was a goodly vine when planted there, but the soil about it has changed greatly since that day.
Such, at least, are our unwelcome impressions. Most earnestly, for the sake of liberty, humanity, and religion, do we long to see an end to this war, in which the very language spoken should suffice to suspend hostilities, by reminding the combatants of their common stock and brotherhood. Let them not suppose that the civilised world is bestowing any admiration on their achievements. It is not doing anything of the sort. To all right-minded men it is a spectacle which is simply painful.
From this topic we pass to one of less gravity. Cambridge has just been distinguishing herself, but, like many other folk who get upon a stump to blow their own trumpet, not in very honourable fashion. The Bishop of Chester, the preacher in connection with
Epilogue on Affairs.
221 the installation of the said Chancellor, after descanting at length upon the wonderful fitness of the said Chancellor, turned the attention of his auditory to the no less marvellous liberality of the University itself, in admitting, by its late reforms, all classes of her Majesty's subjects to compete for honours, without reference to creed. Now, the Bishop of Chester, as the late head of Christ's, ought to know that the recent reforms have not made an atom of difference in this respect. Twenty years ago, as well as now, both Jew and Dissenter could compete for these barren honours; and now, as well as twenty years ago, the unfortunate wight who has scrambled to the top of the pole is obliged to come down as empty-handed as when he went up, if he cannot declare himself a member of the Established Church. Of course he has the merit of being fairly entitled to the stakes; but what does that avail him, when he is passed over, and the stakes are conferred upon some inferior competitor who is not fit to tie his shoe-strings? These statements of the Bishop of Chester are provokingly cool at a time when two out of the last three senior wranglers have been excluded from fellowships and tutorships on the ground of religious conviction. Because one gentleman is a Baptist, and the other a member of the Scotch Church, the University withholds the usual rewards, and their colleges will not even assign them a place at the table of the men whom they are fit to teach. With what face, then, can it turn round in a place dedicated to the service of God, at a great public gathering, and declare itself the most liberal university in the world? The Bishop of Chester knows, as well as any one else, that beyond the mere degree, the Dissenting graduate has no more chance of succeeding to any office of trust, power, or emolument in the University than he has of being appointed Queen's Almoner, or Comptroller of Her Majesty's Household.
All this undue blowing of trumpets has, however, induced Mr. Bouverie to endeavour to keep the University to its word. He has given notice of his intention to move the admission of Dissenters to fellowships. Mr. Newdegate, by way of taking the ground from under his feet, answered in the old strain, 'Dissenters cannot be 'fellows, because fellows govern colleges, and colleges are, for the 'most part, religious foundations connected with the Established 'Church.' Now, fellows, by any rights they exercise as fellows, do not govern colleges. It is true the governing board is selected from their body; but each, upon his election, is obliged to qualify himself by declaring that he is in communion with the Establishment. Mr. Newdegate might have used the same argument to exclude Dissenters from degrees. Dissenters cannot be graduates, because graduates govern colleges.' The plea is as monstrous as the intolerance it would defend. We hope Mr. Bouverie's motion will have the effect of making the conduct of the University square with its professions. If so, the Bishop of Chester will not have preached his sermon in vain.