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ing leaves. How can I escape the phantom throng? How return to the starting-post, and recall the ardent emotions with which youth sprang forth to the goal? To write fitting Preface to this work, which, if not my first, was the first which won an audience and secured a reader, I must myself become a phantom, with the phantom crowd. It is the ghost of my youth that I must call up. What we are, alone hath flesh and bloodwhat we have been, like the what we shall be, is an idea; and no more! An idea how dim and impalpable! This our sense of identity, this "I" of ours, which is the single thread that continues from first to last-single thread that binds flowers changed every day, and withered every night—how thin and meagre is it of itself-how difficult to lay hold of! When we say "I remember," how vague a sentiment we utter! how different it is to say, "I` feel!" And when in this effort of memory we travel back all the shadowland of years—when we say "I remember," what is it we retain, but some poor solitary fibre in the airy mesh of that old gossamer, which floated between earth and heaven-moist with the dews and sparkling in the dawn? -Some one incident, some one affection we recall, but not all the associations that surrounded it, all the companions of the brain or the heart, with which it formed one of the harmonious contemporaneous ring. Scarcely even have we traced and seized one fine filament in the broken web, ere it is lost again. In the inextricable confusion of old ideas, many that seem of the time we seek to grasp again, but were not so, seize and distract us. From the clear effort we sink into the vague reverie; the Present hastens to recall and dash us onward, and few, leaving the actual world around them when they say "I remember," do not wake as from a dream, with a baffled sigh, and murmur "No, I forget." And therefore, if a new Preface to a work written twenty years ago, should contain some elucidation of the aims and objects with which it was composed, or convey some idea of the writer's mind at that time, my pen might well rest long over the blank page;-and houses and trees, and profile sketches of men, nightmares and chimeras, and whole passages scrawled and erased might well illustrate the barren travail of one who sits down to say "I remember!"

What changes in the outer world since this book was written! What changes of thrones and dynasties! Through what cycles of hope and fear has a generation gone! And in that inner world of Thought what old ideas have returned to claim the royalty of new ones! What new ones (new ones then) have receded out of sight, in the ebb and flow of the human mind, which, whatever the cant phrase may imply, advances in no direct stedfast progress, but gains here to lose there;—a tide, not a march. So, too, in that slight surface of either world, "the manners," superficies alike of the action and the thought of an age, the ploughshares of twenty years have turned up a new soil.

The popular changes in the Constitution have brought the several classes more intimately into connection with each other; most of the old affectations of fashion and exclusiveness are out of date. We have not talked of equality, like our neighbours the French, but insensibly and naturally, the tone of manners has admitted much of the frankness of the principle, without the unnecessary rudeness of the pretence. I am not old enough yet to be among the indiscriminate praisers of the past, and therefore I recognise cheerfully an extraordinary improvement in the intellectual and moral features of the English world, since I first entered it as an observer. There is a far greater earnestness of purpose, a higher culture, more generous and genial views, amongst the young men of the rising generation than were common in the last. The old divisions of party politics remain ; but among all divisions there is greater desire of identification with the people. Rank is more sensible of its responsibilities, Property of its duties. Amongst the clergy of all sects, the improvement in zeal, in education, in active care for their flocks, is strikingly noticeable; the middle class have become more instructed and refined, and yet, (while fused with the highest in their intellectual tendencies, reading the same books, cultivating the same accomplishments)-they have extended their sympathies more largely amongst the humblest. And, in our towns especially, what advances have been made amongst the operative population! I do not here refer to that branch of cultivation which comprises the questions that belong to political inquiry, but to the general growth of more refined and less polemical knowledge. Cheap books have come in vogue as a fashion during the last twenty years-books addressed, not as cheap books were once, to the passions, but to the understanding and the taste-books not written down to the supposed level of uninformed and humble readers, but such books as refine the gentleman and instruct the scholar. The arts of design have been more appreciated—the Beautiful has been admitted into the pursuits of labour as a principle—Religion has been regaining the ground it lost in the latter half of the last century. What is technically called education (education of the school and the schoolmaster), has made less progress than it might. But that inexpressible diffusion of oral information which is the only culture the old Athenians knew, and which in the ready transmission of ideas, travels like light from lip to lip, has been insensibly educating the adult generation. In spite of all the dangers that menace the advance of the present century, I am convinced that classes amongst us are far more united than they were in the latter years of George the Fourth. A vast mass of discontent exists amongst the operatives, it is true, and Chartism is but one of its symptoms; yet that that discontent is more obvious than formerly, is a proof that men's eyes and men's ears are more open to

acknowledge its existence-to examine and listen to its causes. Thinking persons now occupy themselves with that great reality-the People; and questions concerning their social welfare, their health, their education, their interests, their rights, which philosophers alone entertained twenty years ago, are now on the lips of practical men, and in the hearts of all. It is this greater earnestness-this profounder gravity of purpose and of view, which forms the most cheering characteristic of the present time; and though that time has its peculiar faults and vices, this is not the place to enlarge on them. I have done, and may yet do so, elsewhere. This work is the picture of manners in certain classes of society twenty years ago, and in that respect I believe it to be true and faithful. Nor the less so, that under the frivolities of the hero, it is easy to recognise the substance of those more serious and solid qualities which Time has educed from the generation and the class he represents. Mr. Pelham studying Mills on Government and the Political Economists, was thought by some an incongruity in character at the day in which Mr. Pelham first appeared-the truth of that conception is apparent now, at least to the observant. The fine gentlemen of that day were preparing themselves for the after things, which were already fore-shadowed; and some of those, then best known in clubs and drawing-rooms, have been since foremost and boldest, nor least instructed, in the great struggles of public life.

I trust that this work may now be read without prejudice from the silly error that long sought to identify the author with the hero.

Rarely indeed, if ever, can we detect the real likeness of an author of fiction in any single one of his creations. He may live in each of them, but only for the time. He migrates into a new form with every new character he creates. He may have in himself a quality, here and there, in common with each, but others so widely opposite, as to destroy all the resemblance you fancy for a moment you have discovered. However this be, the author has the advantage over his work-that the last remains stationary, with its faults or merits, and the former has the power to improve. The one remains the index of its day-the other advances with the century. That in a book written in extreme youth, there may be much that I would not write now in mature manhood, is obvious; that in spite of its defects, the work should have retained to this day the popularity it enjoyed in the first six months of its birth, is the best apology that can be made for its defects.

E. B. L.

LONDON, 1848.

PELHAM;

OR,

ADVENTURES OF A GENTLEMAN.

CHAPTER I.

Où peut-on être mieux qu'au sein de sa famille ? *-French Song.

My father | of singular merit," whispered my mother "but so shy!" Fortunately, the bailiff was abashed, and by losing his impudence he kept the secret. At the end of the week, the diamonds went to the jeweller's, and Lady Frances wore paste.

I AM an only child. was the younger son of one of our oldest earls, my mother the dowerless daughter of a Scotch peer. Mr. Pelham was a moderate whig, and gave sumptuous dinners; Lady Frances was a woman of taste, and particularly fond of diamonds and old china.

I think it was about a month afterwards that a sixteenth cousin left my mother twenty thousand pounds. "It will just pay off our most importunate creditors, and equip me for Melton," said Mr. Pelham.

"It will just redeem my diamonds, and refurnish the house," said Lady ;Frances.

Vulgar people know nothing of the necessaries required in good society, and the credit they give is as short as their pedigree. Six years after my birth, there was an execution in our house. My mother was just setting off on a visit to the Duchess of Dshe declared it was impossible to go without her diamonds. The chief of the bailiffs declared it was impossible to trust them out of his sight. The matter was compromised-the bailiff went with my mother to C- and was introduced as my tutor. "A man

The latter alternative was chosen. My father went down to run his last horse at Newmarket, and my mother received nine hundred people in a Turkish tent. Both were equally fortunate, the Greek and the Turk; my father's horse lost, in consequence of which he pocketed five thousand

* Where can one be better than in the pounds; and my mother looked so bosom of one's family ? charming as a Sultana, that Seymour

No. 41.

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Conway fell desperately in love with her.

Mr. Conway had just caused two divorces; and of course all the women in London were dying for himjudge then of the pride which Lady Frances felt at his addresses. The end of the season was unusually dull, and my mother, after having looked over her list of engagements, and ascertained that she had none remaining worth staying for, agreed to elope with her new lover.

The carriage was at the end of the square. My mother, for the first time in her life, got up at six o'clock. Her foot was on the step, and her hand next to Mr. Conway's heart, when she remembered that her favourite china monster, and her French dog, were left behind. She insisted on returning -re-entered the house, and was coming down stairs with one under each arm, when she was met by my father and two servants. My father's valet had discovered the flight (I forget how), and awakened his master.

When my father was convinced of his loss, he called for his dressinggown-searched the garret and the kitchen-looked in the maid's drawers and the cellaret-and finally declared he was distracted. I have heard that the servants were quite melted by his grief, and I do not doubt it in the least, for he was always celebrated for his skill in private theatricals. He was just retiring to vent his grief in his dressing-room, when he met my mother. It must altogether have been an awkward encounter, and, indeed, for my father, a remarkably unfortunate occurrence; since Seymour Conway was immensely rich, and the damages would, no doubt, have been proportionably high. Had they met

each other alone, the affair might easily have been settled, and Lady Frances gone off in tranquillity ;those confounded servants are always in the way!

I have observed that the distinguishing trait of people accustomed to good society, is a calm, imperturbable quiet, which pervades all their actions and habits, from the greatest to the least: they eat in quiet, move in quiet, live in quiet, and lose their wife, or even their money, in quiet; while low persons cannot take up either a spoon or an affront without making such an amazing noise about it. To render this observation good, and to return to the intended elopement, nothing farther was said upon that event. My father introduced Conway to Brookes's and invited him to dinner twice a week for a whole twelve-month.

Not long after this occurrence, by the death of my grandfather, my uncle succeeded to the title and estates of the family. He was, as people rather justly observed, rather an odd, man: built schools for peasants, forgave poachers, and diminished his farmers' rents; indeed, on account of these and similar eccentricities, he was thought a fool by some, and a madman by others. However, he was not quite destitute of natural feeling; for he paid my father's debts, and established us in the secure enjoyment of our former splendour. But this piece of generosity, or justice, was done in the most unhandsome manner: he obtained a promise from my father to retire from whist, and relinquish the turf; and he prevailed upon my mother to conceive an aversion to diamonds, and an indifference to china monsters.

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