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Representatives as irresistible as the House of ent would be a change of practice, whereby the Commons. In all civilized countries and govern- President should keep himself, or be kept, always ments there is a ceaseless struggle going on be- in harmony with the majority of his own party in tween the forces of what is, which may be called Congress; and it remains to be proved that even conservative forces, and those of what ought to this would be salutary upon the largest view. be, which may be called progressive, and those In a word, the Constitution of the United of what ought not to be, which may be either States is made up of checks and balances. Harrevolutionary or reactionary. To the first of mony of the different branches of government these political elements in the United States have was not contemplated by its framers. It does been given the Executive veto, which may be not presume upon good understanding. While overcome if the majority in Congress is suffi- providing that the majority shall prevail in the ciently great, and the Senate's veto, which may long run, it provides also for the freest play of be overcome in time, if the majority is sufficiently passions and interests within defined limits. It persistent. To the second and third has been is based upon the philosophy of Hobbes and the given every other weapon in the arsenal of poli- religion of Calvin. It assumes that the natural tics. It is necessary for the advocates of the state of mankind is a state of war, and that the change we are considering to show that it would carnal mind is at enmity with God. It takes into be conducive to the public weal to deprive the consideration, also, a vast diversity of interests minority of the safeguards and barriers mentioned growing out of an extended territory and widely above; for the nearer we come to the realization separated population. It has to deal with the of responsible government, the more completely fact that nearly everybody is a statesman and a do we put in the hands of the majority the means political economist, or capable of becoming such of executing their decrees without hindrance or at the shortest notice. There is no country delay.
where so little respect is paid to acquirements, A third and weighty objection is found in the preparation, and training in the arts of legislapractical or mechanical difficulty of ingrafting tion and government. Lawyers are generally this system upon one so totally different as that preferred for such offices, it is true ; but this is which the Constitution of the United States pro- not because they are learned in the law, but bevides. In the first place, the President is, now- cause their vocation has given them readiness of adays, always elected by a party. The two elec- speech. Moreover, the doctrine of rotation in tions of Washington, and the second election office is too widely prevalent, and it not unfreof Monroe, are the only exceptions to this rule quently happens that an excellent Senator or found in our history. The party which elects Representative is turned out merely because he the President expects, and will always insist, that has held office for the customary period, and anthe Cabinet shall be composed of its own mem- other elected because he has never held office bers, representing and enforcing its policy regard- at all. The claims of locality are so highly reless of the political complexion of Congress. At garded, that not a single instance can be found the present time we have a Republican President of a Representative elected by any other district with a Democratic Congress. In the latter part than that of his domicile; and there is a tacit of Pierce's Administration there was a Democrat- agreement among politicians to divide all the ic President and Senate with a Republican or offices, including the Cabinet, as nearly as possiOpposition House. The indispensable condition ble among geographical divisions. If Mr. Sherof parliamentary government is that the Cabinet man and Mr. Schurz, for instance—the ablest shall be agreeable to the majority of the Legisla- members of Mr. Hayes's Administration-hapture; and there is no way to ring about this pened both to reside in the same State, it would condition of things in America. This difficulty be practically impossible for both to be Cabinet does not exist in the French republic, the Presi- officers at the same time, although the President dent being elected by the Legislature-elected might legally choose his entire Cabinet from one for a fixed period indeed, but having the grace State or one town. The claims of fitness for pubto resign when he finds himself absolutely unable lic employment are thus subordinated to a variety to yield his convictions to those of the Chamber. of other considerations, from which it must not Such a government must exist very much upon be inferred that Congressmen are generally of an good understanding. President MacMahon gave inferior grade of intellectual endowment; but it a heavy wrench, and might have wrecked it only that they might be of a higher range and entirely if he had had the purpose in his heart to type if the rules and practice of the constituendo so. An amendment of the Constitution of the cies were different. United States to bring about this sine qua non The Constitution takes this heterogeneous of parliamentary government is not to be looked governing force, and authorizes it to do its best for. The nearest possible approach to it at pres. or its worst. It undertakes to minimize the evils
which the rule of the majority can bring forth, out sin in it, on account of the obduracy of the while still maintaining the rule of the majority. material in his hands. Considering all the This it accomplishes by a written instrument and toughness of material that the Constitution of an irremovable court of last resort. The late the United States has to deal with, and its sucMr. Mill, in his speculations on Theism, imag- cess in dealing with it thus far, it is, perhaps, ined, among other possibilities, that the Deity the part of wisdom for us to let well enough might not have been able to create a world with- alone.
HORACE WHITE (Fortnightly Review).
CHARLES JAMES MATHEWS*
last few years of an increasing interest in change in passing through the press. For a disthe well-being of the stage in England may be tinct change of style is visible as the writer beadded the welcome that has been accorded to comes used to a form of composition doubtless memorials and biographies of divers leading at the outset unfamiliar to him. In the opening members of that profession. Within ten years, pages of the autobiography there is too much of for example, have appeared a memoir of Charles the conventional and rather forced humor of the Mayne Young, by his son; the autobiography comic author and the after-dinner speech-maker. and journals of Macready; biographies of Ed. But as the writer settles down to his work, and mund Kean and the principal members of the becomes really interested in it, the merely comic Kemble family, including the most interesting vein subsides, and he comes to evince narrative journals of Mrs. Butler; to which may be added power of considerable mark. And certainly, as —though the contribution to the stock is slighter the following rapid abstract of the book may serve in point of bulk-a charming essay in the “Quar- to show, Charles Mathews had no lack of inciterly Review” on Garrick, which we violate no dent and adventure in his life on which to emconfidence in attributing to the genial hand of ploy his skill. Mr. Theodore Martin. And now we have to ac- CHARLES MATHEWS was born as long ago as knowledge a further addition to the number in 1803, and those who saw him the year before the life of the late Charles Mathews, which Mr. last in “My Awful Dad," or some other piece of Charles Dickens has put together, by consent of his older répertoire, might well doubt whether the family, from materials collected by the late the still unflagging spirit was that of a man in comedian with a view to publication. The edi- his seventy-fifth year. The unflagging spirit betor has done his work of arrangement with great gan early, and the first reminiscences that the judgment, and has been only too modest in the writer has to record are those of the scrapes he part he has allotted to himself. His remarks and got into at school through a too early developcriticisms, so far as they go, are so judicious that ment of animal spirits. His father had sent him it makes us the more regret that he had not al- to Merchant Taylors' with a view to a scholarlowed himself greater scope on this head, and ship, the university to follow, and the Church as had not attempted a more formal estimate of the a profession, but he made little or no progress place filled in the past forty years' history of the in his school studies. “The fact is, I was a stage by the distinguished subject of his memoir. dunce; there is no disguising the truth”; and a
The charm of the memoir, however—as we dunce he might have remained but for, literally, are sure Mr. Dickens would be the first to admit a happy accident. -belongs to a feature in which the editor makes For some offense against school-discipline, no appearance at all. The greater part of the involving a broken head, an angry correspondence memoir consists of Mathews's autobiography arose between Mathews's parents and the auand letters, and these have been very properly thorities of the school, which ended in the removal published as they were left by the writer, though of the boy. This led to his being placed at a it is probable that had the writer lived to edit private school at Clapham, kept by the well* The Life of C. J. Mathews, chiefly Autobiographi- tells us, “ in the company of many boys I knew
known lexicographer, Dr. Richardson, where, he cal; with Selections from his Correspondence and Speech
Edited by Charles Dickens. In 2 vols. Macmillan –especially the sons of Charles Kemble, Charles & Co.
Young, Liston, and Terry--I found a more con
genial soil.” The change was in all respects a said, “I suppose,” at the beginning of a sentence, happy one for the boy. Dr. Richardson proved where you ought to have said, “Ah"; and you said, “more like an affectionate friend than a rigid "I believe," where there was nothing to say. I only schoolmaster,” and under this fostering care write these few lines that you may remember another young Mathews seems to have developed that time. taste for literature which the rougher discipline
I remain, sir, your respectful servant, of Merchant Taylors' had failed to bring out.
C. J. MATHEWS. His new master encouraged him to appreciate After four years spent under the roof of Dr. the worth of Horace and Homer for their own Richardson, architecture was chosen as the fusakes, and not merely as tasks to be gone through; ture calling of young Mathews, and through the and furthermore, being then at work upon his introduction of Nash, an old friend of the elder English dictionary, he made use of his more in- Mathews, the boy was articled to the famous telligent pupils in the work of citing from the old Augustus Pugin. "I now set to work," writes English authors, to which Mathews refers with Mathews, “to begin life in earnest. Every day gratitude as having sown the first seed of a taste increased my love for the profession I had adoptfor English literature which remained with him ed. I actually doted on the delightful science of for life." I was one so distinguished," he writes, architecture, and pursued the acquirement of it “and was thus delightfully introduced to the with positive passion." Pugin was “ a delightful study of Chaucer, Gower, Spenser, and all the instructor,” making himself the intimate friend early poets and historians, the honor of whose and companion of his pupils; and Mathews ceracquaintance I had previously been denied, and tainly began his new work under the happiest I imbibed a taste for that style of reading which auspices. But even these fascinations were not I have never lost; and often among the worries to retain an uninterrupted sway over the young of life, when people have thought I was closeted man. Pugin was called by professional duties with my difficulties, engaged, as perhaps I ought to Paris, and his pupils all accompanied him, and to have been, with the battle of figures, I have there Mathews was introduced to all the glories taken down the tall folio of Gower, or the huge of the French theatre: Talma and Mademoiquarto of “Piers Ploughman's Vision,' and let the selle Mars at the Français ; Perlet, Potier, and a world go on without me." The liberal character host of other artists of first-rate mark at the Vaof the education thus received at Dr. Richard- riétés and the Gymnase. Here was another turnson's was unquestionably the turning-point in ing-point in the young man's life. It did not Mathews's life. The associations of his home weaken the affection for his newly-adopted promade all matters connected with the theatre near fession, but it unquestionably fired him with the and dear to him, and the taste for these was in desire to distinguish himself—as an amateur-in no degree weakened by the cultivation of other the actor's art. On his return to London, an tastes by their side. An interest in architecture opportunity soon presented itself, or was made. was silently growing up-Mathews himself hard- A performance was got up at the English Operaly understood how or why—and while the pur- House in the Strand, and a programme of curious suit of this art was to afford him occupation till interest was constructed for the occasion. In a he was over thirty years of age, he never lost that spirit of ingenious bravado two of the pieces were fondness for the actor's art which led him ul- chosen on the very ground that they had been timately to choose the profession by which his unsuccessful elsewhere. One of them was no bread must be made. In his very early youth he less classical a work than Charles Lamb's farce was fond of being taken behind the scenes, and of “Mr. H-" “N. B. — This piece was an exquisitely droll letter written by him to Faw- damned at Drury Lane Theatre," was the cynical cett the actor, after having served as amateur announcement in the play-bill of the evening. prompter on one occasion, is too funny not to be Lamb's hero-originally played by the great Elquoted :
liston—was on this occasion acted by Captain King's Road, July 1, 1813.
Hill, an amateur of some celebrity, who afterward HONORED SIR : Last night I went behind the scenes with my papa, to see Mr. Liston in the chare adopted the stage as a profession with some sucacter of Moll Flaggon, and held the book while Mr.
cess. The farce, under these new circumstances, Glasinton was away, and I found you guilty of sev
proved more fortunate than on its original pereral mistakes, and I mentioned them to my papa
formance, and went off, Mathews relates, “ with mamma, and they said I had better tell you of them, roars.” Probably, as he also remarks with refand I thought so too, because next time somebody in erence to his own performance on the same eventhe front of the theatre might have a book too, and ing of a part in a burlesque on the “Sorrows of find you out, as I did, and then they will hiss you Werther," the fact of its being played by amaoff, which I should be sorry for. You said, “No, no, teur actors before their personal friends had no,” when you ought to have said nothing; and you something to do with the result. “Amateur
acting,” says Mathews, “is always over-praised,” tour he set to work in earnest at his profession. and it is not likely that Lamb's unfortunate play Some one offered him the post of architect to will ever be resuscitated on the strength of this the “Welsh Iron and Coal Mining Company," at one reversal of its original doom.
Coed Talwn, in North Wales, which he promptOn the expiration of his articles with Pugin, ly accepted, and a very amusing chapter of the Mathews was on the point of devoting himself to first volume is occupied with his Welsh expethe practical part of his profession, under Nash, riences. The company in question was one of the famous architect, the creator of Regent Street the many creations of a certain John Wilks, who and the Regent's Park, when Lord Blessington, seems to have been the George Hudson of that an old friend of the Mathews family, having it in day, and, though it proved sounder and longercontemplation to build a castle upon his Irish lived than many of its companions, Mathews estate, offered the work to the young architect, found it impossible to maintain friendly relations the son of his old friend. The proposed scheme with its promoter, and resigned the post after not came to nothing, but it led to an intimate friend- many months of trial. “Workmen's cottages ship between the younger Mathews and the and village alehouses," he says, “ were not conBlessingtons, which was to have important influ- genial to a mind filled with Italian images, and ences on the career of the former. The Bles- panting with desire to execute works of Pallasingtons were on the eve of a tour in Italy, and dian grandeur.” It is clear that besides his natuthe first incident of the new friendship was an ral dislike for the necessary drudgery of the work, invitation to the young man to accompany his he had never yet mastered the more prosaic defriends thither, and mature his architectural de- tails of his profession. His fancies were still signs under the actual eye of his employer. dallying, moreover, with other arts, and the most
A considerable part of the first volume is oc- notable episode of his Welsh sojourn was his cupied with an account of this Italian tour, with authorship of a song destined to enjoy a wide the correspondence maintained with Mathews's and long popularity. parents and other friends in England. Count
During my sojourn at Plas Teg we made a brild'Orsay was also of the party, and an account of liant equestrian expedition to Llangollen. Dean a quarrel between that accomplished aristocrat Roper and his daughter, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Roand Mathews, the termination of which was at per, myself, and the respective grooms, formed an least creditable to both parties, plays a rather imposing cavalcade. After a charming ramble up too important part in Mathews's reminiscences. to Castle Dinas Bran we had a jolly dinner at the It arose out of a criticism of D'Orsay's upon a hotel, and during the repast were entertained by a certain diminution which had appeared in his venerable white-bearded Druid, one of the most young friend's architectural zeal. Young Math- splendid specimens of his craft I ever encountered. ews carried his sketching materials with him, but The old fellow was a noted artist
, and had a fine coldid not sketch, and it may well be understood lection of all the most popular melodies, and among
them one I had never heard before. He said it was that the luxury and brilliancy of his new surroundings were not calculated to help a young It was called “Cader Idris ”; and I made him play
some twenty years since he had first met with it. beginner in the first stages of an arduous profes- it over to me till I had learned it correctly. sion. Indeed, the acquaintance with the Bles
Elated with my discovery, for such it really singtons, though it afforded Mathews advantages seemed to be-none of my friends having heard it of many kinds for the profession he was ultimate- before any more than myself-I lost no time in putly to adopt, was perhaps in some degree answer- ting words to it, and the result was a great success. able also for the less successful portions of his At the picturesque farmhouse at Pontblyddyn, in subsequent career. His parents were at this which I lived, was a pretty little Welsh dairy-maid, time in flourishing circumstances, and did not named Jenny Jones, and a simple plowman, called grudge him the outlay necessary for associating David Morgan. The ballad I then composed to my with companions who moved in a very different newly-discovered national air, bearing the young sphere; but it seems likely that some of the lady's name, has since made the interesting couple tastes thus acquired remained with him through familiar to London ears. They would perhaps be aslife, and fettered his movements. It is clear that tonished to know their history publicly recorded,
and blush to find it fame. Mathews, hard as he worked, and manfully as he fought against difficulties to the very end of his of going upon the stage, and I only mention it in
This, of course, was years before I had any idea career, never possessed a talent for finance, and connection with the mortifying disenchantment that probably a harder discipline at the outset might awaited me. have been of good service to him.
I had been singing my new ballad one evening Certainly, however, he never showed a dispo- at the house of some friends in London to a tolersition to avoid hard work when it stared him in ably large party, when an old gentleman in a volumi. the face, and on the conclusion of the Italian nous white choker and a shiny suit of black, looking
very like a Methodist parson, came up to me with a first volume of these memorials is occupied with very serious face to remonstrate with me, I feared, the journals and letters written by Mathews durfor the levity I had been guilty of, and, to my sur. ing the tour for the benefit of his parents, to prise, said:
whom he was always a considerate and devoted “My dear sir, allow me to express to you the great gratification the perfect little ballad you have
Mathews returned from the trip, by which no just sung has afforded me, and to assure you that I special advantage seems to have been gained, in appreciate the honor you have done me in selecting 1830, and for the next few years was in a state for its illustration an air of my humble composing."
With a look of ineffable pity, I answered the of enforced suspense as to his future calling. poor maniac : "I am sorry, dear sir, to rob you of “During the next few years," writes Mr. Dickso pleasant a delusion, but, unfortunately, the air is ens, “he led a somewhat desultory life. Archione I picked up myself years ago among the Welsh tecture, painting, writing for the stage, traveling, mountains, and is, I flatter myself, quite original, and amateur acting, all in turn occupied his time and hitherto unknown.”
and attention ; but there can be no doubt that “Pardon me, in my turn, dear sir,” said the old very soon after his return from Italy, the slow gentleman, smiling, “ if I inform you that the air in progress he was making toward a position was question was composed by me for the Eisteddfod in gradually drawing him more and more from the 1804, obtaining the prize at that festival. I named profession he had at first so enthusiastically emit‘Cader Idris,' and I shall have great pleasure in braced." It is evident, in short, that the charmsending you the music, published at the time, with ing manners and social qualifications of the young my name attached to it.”
architect were terrible disqualifications for the Patatras ! down went my great antiquarian dis- need of “ roughing it,” which belongs to the outcovery, and I was left desolate.
The old gentleman was John Parry, the Welsh set of any and all professions. We read of him composer, and father of the illustrious John, whose next as the guest of the Duke and Duchess of genius has delighted thousands ; and when, long Bedford, in Scotland, and the life and the soul afterward, I introduced the ballad of “ Jenny Jones" of the party, as he had been in old days with the in my piece of “ He would be an Actor,” and it got Blessingtons. It was not a hopeful period of to be whistled about the streets, he presented me probation for the next post he accepted—that of with a handsome silver cup, with a complimentary district surveyor. This step was taken on the inscription in most elegant Welsh, in commemora- advice of his friend, Samuel Angell, who thought, tion of the event.
wisely or not, that the tonic of a more prosaic
experience of his calling would be of service to The year 1827 found Mathews again in Lon- the young man. “You must study the act of don, working in earnest, and seeing plenty of it, Parliament, superintend the erection of all the in the office of Nash. He retained his own office dwellings in the district, regulate all the party in Parliament Street, and undertook what work walls and flues, and show yourself master of the was sent him, but was all the while working practical part of the science as well as the ornaunder Mr. Nash, in the humble capacity of a mental. Bow and Bethnal Green are both vaclerk. Nash seems to have taken small person- cant. Start at once." “ Here was a bathos," al interest in his pupils, and, in the mean time, adds Mathews, in his autobiography. “From very little work of any profit came to Mathews's Rome and Venice to Bow and Bethnal Green. own office. Theatrical matters still claimed his However, it was to be done, and at it I went.” attention, and were possibly the most real and He went at it boldly, offered himself as candidate deep-seated of his affections. His days were for the surveyorship of Bow, and was elected. spent in much work that was clearly distasteful; The salary was as modest as the duties were his evenings in writing “entertainments " for his unattractive, forty pounds a year, payable by father, articles for the magazines, and comedies “fees,” which had to be collected by the unhapand burlesques for the theatres. It is not sur- py surveyor in person. “At one house I knocked prising that this state of things was not satisfac- humbly after considerable hesitation. The door tory to any party concerned, and, tired of this was opened cautiously, with the chain up, and a enforced idleness as regarded the money-getting stout, suspicious-looking dame, in a pair of nanpart of his profession, Mathews sought and ob- keen stays, asked me if I came “arter the taxes tained his father's permission to make a second or summat ?' 'No, madam,' I said, deferentialtour in the south of Europe, and acquire (as he ly; ‘I am the district surveyor from Cut-throat said) “ that knowledge which is only to be ac- Lane' (Mathews's actual official address at Bow), quired by the investigation of the buildings of 'and I have called for—'" Italy and Greece.” On this tour he set out with “Oh, bother!" said the lady; “summons me a young friend and former fellow pupil under if you like. I'm not going to be humbugged by Pugin, James d'Egville. The remainder of the you."