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stimulate them into action. Writers will no longer be confined to the middle and higher classes, but will start up from the mighty mass, eloquent with their wrongs, their neglects, the hopes and aspirations, which will become the heritage of the whole social family, as they have hitherto been that of the wealthier portion.

But we look for still higher influences from this quarter. We look to the people as they become more intellectual, for the renovation of our literature ; for the infusion of new and more healthful blood into the literary system; for a more manly and more expansive growth of human sentiment and sympathy. The wealthier classes of this country are living under the constant pressure of most enervating and pernicious influences. Luxury, rivalry in splendor and expenses, the soothing amenities of the flatteries which everywhere follow affluence and rank, the distractions of an almost incessant dissipation, these causes cannot and do not fail to soften the sinews and the frame of aristocracy, both physically and mentally; and to destroy that stern and simple taste which distinguished our fathers. The first striking consequence of this state of things is the establishment of social maxims, and an etiquette which shall ward off painful knowledge, and prevent the rude snapping of the Sybaritic dream of pleasure. Hence the universally accepted principle, as the basis of social life, that nothing shall be said which can possibly disturb the equanimity of any person present. The conversation in any circle of what is termed good society, is avowedly so lowered as to meet every intellect except the high and healthy ones, and to accord with the most depraved taste. This condition of society has even been highly applauded by an American writer, Mr. Willis, in his 'Pencillings by the Way, as the very perfection of social existence. But thus, they whom Lord Byron justly and from experience termed

Minions of splendour shrinking from distress,

are doomed to remain so, unless hastily startled from without. In this country, rent by so many contending interests, so fearfully artificial in its position, and with millions of desperate people clammering for change-no voice, were it not for the press, but that of adulation, could penetrate the brilliant saloons of the titled. But the press, again is made a second barrier against the intrusion of truth. It has set up its own champions to defend the silken slumbers of affluence, and the daring proclaimers of the actual state of things abroad are looked on as vulgar and seditious democrats, are carefully shut out, and journals and books with the requisite and only admissible imprimatur, are to be found on the breakfast and drawing-room tables of fashion. It were to be wished that the spirit of the middle classes was sufficient to counteract this evil, and that the mass of writers who are of the middle class, would pour into the libraries and boudoirs of the aristocracy sound knowledge and healthy sentiment; but unfortunately, the middle classes are desperately infected with the mania of the circles above them. The whole tendency of society is upwards, not in the quest of truth, but in quest of ton. There is no truer axiom of political economy, than that the demand of a market will regulate the supply; and unluckily the writers who have to supply books, find the best market amongst the wealthy. Hence the great circulation of the Quarterly Review, hence the daily outpouring of fashionable novels from the manufacturers of Colburn and Bentley, hence the miserable exposures of domestic broils in *Cheveley's,” Men of Honour,' and Women of Honour.' It is not possible to describe a more fearful and disgusting condition of popular literature than that of England at the present moment -the literature by which the multitude of the wealthy and idle is daily fed. The gin-palaces of the poor are dreadful, but the literary gin-palaces of the rich are ten-fold more so. And whence is the remedy to come? There is no hope but from the education and the growing spirit of the people. They are freed from all these influences. Except in the dense and corrupted throngs of cities and manufacturing towns, and even there for the greater part -a simple taste-a healthy feeling, an undepraved moral sense still continues. Every one who has had occasion to address large bodies, knows how promptly and how truly the working classes respond to generous and just sentiments. It is from these classes, and from the middle classes backed and supported by these, and in some degree even reformed and saved by them from the deleterious influences we have just recounted, that the salvation of English literature and English morals must come. When the people are once educated, they will be a mighty majority, a majority that will be felt through all society in their applause of virtue and honest talent, and in their censure of evil.

What we have therefore to do is to give all possible impetus to the general education of the people, and to take by the hand its writers as they rise.

It is with this feeling that we have taken up the present volume of Mr. Miller. With talents which need no reference to their origin or progress, in order to make their way, he has always had the manly sense to announce himself as of the people. He has told the world that it was while working as a journeyman basketmaker, that he became ambitious of distinguishing himself as an author; and it must, we think, considerably heighten the interest of the reader, as he goes through this book, that it is the production of such a man. The pictures of country life in this work, we can assure our city friends, are the life themselves, and such only stimulate them into action. Writers will no longer be confined to the middle and higher classes, but will start up from the mighty mass, eloquent with their wrongs, their neglects, the hopes and aspirations, which will become the heritage of the whole social family, as they have hitherto been that of the wealthier portion.

But we look for still higher influences from this quarter. We look to the people as they become more intellectual, for the renovation of our literature ; for the infusion of new and more healthful blood into the literary system; for a more manly and more expansive growth of human sentiment and sympathy. The wealthier classes of this country are living under the constant pressure of most enervating and pernicious influences. Luxury, rivalry in splendor and expenses, the soothing amenities of the flatteries which everywhere follow affluence and rank, the distractions of an almost incessant dissipation, these causes cannot and do not fail to soften the sinews and the frame of aristocracy, both physically and mentally; and to destroy that stern and simple taste which distinguished our fathers. The first striking consequence of this state of things is the establishment of social maxims, and an etiquette which shall ward off painful knowledge, and prevent the rude snapping of the Sybaritic dream of pleasure. Hence the universally accepted principle, as the basis of social life, that nothing shall be said which can possibly disturb the equanimity of any person present. The conversation in any circle of what is termed good society, is avowedly so lowered as to meet every intellect except the high and healthy ones, and to accord with the most depraved taste. This condition of society has even been highly applauded by an American writer, Mr. Willis, in his Pencillings by the Way,' as the very perfection of social existence. But thus, they whom Lord Byron justly and from experience termed

• Minions of splendour shrinking from distress,

are doomed to remain so, unless hastily startled from without. In this country, rent by so many contending interests, so fearfully artificial in its position, and with millions of desperate people clammering for change-no voice, were it not for the press, but that of adulation, could penetrate the brilliant saloons of the titled. But the press, again is made a second barrier against the intrusion of truth. It has set up its own champions to defend the silken slumbers of affluence, and the daring proclaimers of the actual state of things abroad are looked on as vulgar and seditious democrats, are carefully shut out, and journals and books with the requisite and only admissible imprimatur, are to be found on the breakfast and drawing-room tables of fashion. It were to be wished that the spirit of the middle classes was sufficient to counteract this evil, and that the mass of writers who are of the middle class, would pour into the libraries and boudoirs of the aristocracy sound knowledge and healthy sentiment; but unfortunately, the middle classes are desperately infected with the mania of the circles above them. The whole tendency of society is upwards, not in the quest of truth, but in quest of ton. There is no truer axiom of political economy, than that the demand of a market will regulate the supply; and unluckily the writers who have to supply books, find the best market amongst the wealthy. Hence the great circulation of the Quarterly Review, hence the daily outpouring of fashionable novels from the manufacturers of Colburn and Bentley, hence the miserable exposures of domestic broils in 'Cheveley's,'. Men of Honour,' and Women of Honour.' It is not possible to describe a more fearful and disgusting condition of popular literature than that of England at the present moment --the literature by which the multitude of the wealthy and idle is daily fed. The gin-palaces of the poor are dreadful, but the literary gin-palaces of the rich are ten-fold more so. And whence is the remedy to come? There is no hope but from the education and the growing spirit of the people. They are freed from all these influences. Except in the dense and corrupted throngs of cities and manufacturing towns, and even there for the greater part -a simple taste-a healthy feeling, an undepraved moral sense still continues. Every one who has had occasion to address large bodies, knows how promptly and how truly the working classes respond to generous and just sentiments. It is from these classes, and from the middle classes backed and supported by these, and in some degree even reformed and saved by them from the deleterious influences we have just recounted, that the salvation of English literature and English morals must come. When the people are once educated, they will be a mighty majority, a majority that will be felt through all society in their applause of virtue and honest talent, and in their censure of evil. What we have therefore to do is to give all possible impetus to the general education of the people, and to take by the hand its writers as they rise.

It is with this feeling that we have taken up the present volume of Mr. Miller. With talents which need no reference to their origin or progress, in order to make their way, he has always had the manly sense to announce himself as of the people. He has told the world that it was while working as a journeyman basketmaker, that he became ambitious of distinguishing himself as an author; and it must, we think, considerably heighten the interest of the reader, as he goes through this book, that it is the production of such a man. The pictures of country life in this work, we can assure our city friends, are the life themselves, and such only as a man born and brought up in a village could have given us. To us who know something of the people and dialect of the district more particularly referred to, they bring many pleasing recollections of primitive manners, modes of thinking, and of speaking too. The contemplation of the homely virtues and trials of our cottage life must be good for all, and the assurance that so much kindliness amongst the rural poor, as this volume supposes is yet in existence, is consoling to our best feelings. We will take as our first extract, a passage or two from the very opening of the yolume:

HOME REVISITED.

As a long-parted mother with her child
Plays fondly with her tears, and smiles in meeting,
So weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my home.

SHAKSPEARE.

line was

• The commonest objects become endeared to us by absence; things which we before scarcely deigned to notice, are then found to possess strange charms, bringing to the memory many a forgotten incident, and to the heart many an old emotion, to which they had been dormant for years. Never did these thoughts and feelings come upon me more strongly than when, a few months ago, I left London to visit my native home; to place my feet upon the very hearthstone by which I had sat when a boy.

no affected feeling, no imaginary delight, but a mad, wild eagerness to look upon the old woods and green hills which had been familiar to me from childhood, and to which my mind had so often sailed on the dreamy wings of pleasure, asleep or awake, just as fancy wandered.

• The old house was still the same, and everything it contained seemed to stand in the very position that it occupied twenty years ago; there was no change, saving that they appeared to look older, somehow more venerable ; but the alteration was more in myself than the objects I looked upon.

* I gazed upon the old clock, and fancied that the ancient monitor had undergone a great change since my boyish days; it seemed to have lost that clear, sharp clicking with which it saluted mine ears when a child, and when it told the hour, it spoke in a more solemn tone than that of former years. I looked upon the brass figures which ornament the old clock face, until fancy began to trace a resemblance between myself and them. In former days they looked bright and gladsome ; they seemed not to bend under the huge load they supported; but now they have a care-worn look about them, and what they seemed once to bear with a playful grace, now hangs upon them like a burden ; their brows too seemed heavy, as if they had passed away long years in painful thought. The gilt balls which decorate the tall case, were tarnished; the golden worlds into which my fancy had so often conjured

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