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WHEN my reader is told that these Rambling Notes are the casual fruits of five weeks first visit to Paris, in the dead of winter, two questions must suggest themselves : -What can be learnt of Paris during five weeks ? And as to a first visit, does any man with a sounder mind than the Author look at this time of day for more information from a first visit to Paris than from a Cockney's maiden tour to the latitude of St. James ? Quid dignum tanto feret promissor hiatu ?
After the many ponderous chronicles of most veracious tourists which have been written on the wonders and gaieties of the French metropolis, it will readily be allowed that any attempt to excite interest by a new volume on the subject, is sufficiently unpromising, and worse than unpromising,
likely to be very un-performing. The two or three graver topics which occupy so disproportioned a space, are no doubt sadly out of keeping with what we look for in a traveller's journal—that cæna dubia where the mere number and variety of the dishes are sufficient to make up for a very moderate cookery.
But as I know of no canon by which such sort of compositions are regulated, I should humbly hope, notwithstanding what I have said of the Church, that it will be considered at least a clergyable offence to let the whole stand together as it first came forth, for the writer's amusement, the month before last, in the bustle of Rue Caumartin.
Since my return, and while these sheets were in the press, I have added some further observations on the professions of Divinity and Physic as they are practised in our own Country, conceiving it some small service, if I might only make it appear
how these professions are liable to be abused with impunity by persons more regardful of their interests than their professional duties.
Of legal ethics I have said nothing, or next to nothing. If there be any crafty advantages practised in the higher branch of this vocation, they cannot, I presume, be very numerous.
The learned department of the law differs from its sister professions - in one most paramount and essential re
spect; namely, that there is a direct and indissoluble connexion between ability and success : while, in the other, absolutely no more than between the value of the parsonage and the piety of its owner — the length of the Doctor's bill, and the modesty that drew it up. I speak here of the Doctor in his full generic comprehension, as the usage is in this Country, extending to the Apothecary's deputy. Physic, properly so called, draws up no bills, though it will sometimes take a handsome fee. I do not mean to say, however, that the Lawyer is always an immaculate character, or that he might not find it possible to do some profitable business, by now and then decoying a client, for his own ends, to try his luck in the lottery of the
of the “ glorious uncertainty." Still, it must be seldom that so hazardous an experiment is attempted, since one such trick discovered inevitably gravels him for life, or at least makes the gulls uncommonly shy for the future. But what is this 66 glorious un-certainty,” in comparison with the never-ceasing profits of the daily, ay hourly, “ glorious certainties" of the Doctor? A joke. — In respect to the Church, his Reverence, to be sure, may not have the same means of ingeniously augmenting his revenues; but need I ask what earthly connexion there is between the promotion and fat livings of his Reverence and the pious exertions by which they have been obtained ?
As to Physic, can any one who has given the least thought to the subject be ignorant how far a bulimy for fees may be indulged safely, most wantonly indulged, at the expense of confiding credulity, not only without loss of fame or profit, but with a considerable accession of both? And beside other advantages, we are not quite to forget “ qu'il y a parmi les morts une honnêteté et une discretion la plus grande du monde, et jamais on ne veut se plaindre du médecin qu'il a tué.”* My reader, I hope, will not mistake me by supposing it is the broad quackery of our Brodums or Eadys, or even our Solomons in all their glory, that I am alluding to as fraught with these peculiarly profitable facilities—the Venus vulgaris who despatches her mercury and her message to decoy the passing stranger. No, no. This lady daubs too high, and is much too meretricious, to repay the pains of notice. The craft of which I deem it patriotic to present a section, is that of your plausible artist, with a small measure of learning, and a much larger measure of cunning; in comparison of whose prowess
in making a harvest of ingenuity, your straightforward charlatan, who does not mince the matter, but talks boldly of his infallibility, like the Pope, is an absolute infant.
Of the Clergy, as a body, I would be understood to speak with the utmost reverence. Several most worthy clergymen, in every rank, both in and out of the pale of the Establishment, are of my acquaintance, or among my respected friends; and these, I am sure, are the very last who would be displeased