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or Swedish, or Dutch, or Spanish, or, it may be Portuguese soldiers, are invincible. From which it may be confessed, that it is unfortunate that the bayonet is so seldom used that the point can hardly be decided; and also that one or other of these assertions must be false. I have a suspicion, founded partly on my own consciousness, and partly on avowals not often made in print, that the real contest on a battle-field is one not of courage but of cowardice. I believe that military history is really what all history has been declared to be, a conspiracy to conceal the truth. There is every inducement to enormous lying about battles, and nobody has any interest in giving us the plain facts without the gloss, as the smoke and the roar of cannons conceal

are alike unreasonable, it follows that we ought not to like our own. We ought to be graceful cosmopolites, acknowledging no ties of country, free from all vulgar prejudices, and regarding the kingdoms of the world, and their intrigues and squabblings, in the spirit with which we should look upon the doings in another planet. International prejudices, from this point of view, may be a folly, and patriotism must be a vice. I confess that I am inclined to accept the conclusion. Patriots, as a general rule, seem to me to be a very hotheaded and noxious set of people; and their favourite virtue to be a convenient cloak for all the most mischievous prejudices that are current in the world. Why should I "glory in the name of Briton ?" Is there any particular satisfaction in being for a time half the horrors of the occasion. the inhabitant of an island to which nobody denies a good many virtues, but which certainly has as many faults as it can conveniently manage to get along with? People tell me that this, and that, and the other thing is grossly wrong; that our prevailing beliefs are narrow and provincial, that our government is a muddle, that our education is contemptible, that our politics are petty, and, after saying a great deal more of the same kind, and much more, indeed, than I believe to be true, they turn round upon me with immense indignation, if I venture to sum up all these criticisms in one, and say that Englishmen are no better than their neighbours, and that they ought not to give themselves airs as if they were. We may find fault with every particular detail in the country, and be praised for doing it; but the inference that the whole is faulty, is regarded as a crime against patriotism and as an unpardonable sin. If we put the criticism with any force, we are finally assured, by way of an unanswerable condemnation, that our views are un-English. Yet, as an honest man, I can't avoid certain conclusions. Every national commonplace has its counterpart. We boast, or used to boast, that when a slave put his foot on English soil his chains dropped off. When a similar question was argued in France a hundred years ago it was met by a similar sentiment. "Dès qu'un esclave est entré en France," said the lawyers, "il y devient libre." Is England or France the land of liberty? Every nation, again, in Europe, so far as I know, asserts with a unanimous voice that, whatever other faults it may possess, its soldiers are the bravest in the world. In other matters they may have their equals, but once let them come to the bayonet, and then it will be seen that English, or French, or German, or Russian,

The bombastic rhetoric of military historians conceals the cowardice, and the meanness, and the brutality by which these horrors are produced. Whenever I have had an opportunity of seeing men in dangerous positions, I have remarked that even animal courage, so far from being common, is one of the rarest of qualities. Our instinct, whatever we may say, is to look another way when we hear cries of murder, and to be unavoidably occupied in important business when there is likely to be a row in the streets. Discipline works wonders in a crowd of cowards, by providing them with as good motives for standing still as for running away, and by forming an artificial instinct for obeying orders in moments of confusion. But I never met a brave man who did not confess to being terribly frightened in his first action, whilst it is a wellknown truth that the more you see of such things the less you like them. From all which I infer that the prevailing opinion of the courage of each particular race must be a measure as much of its powers of lying as of its natural disposition to fight. I would rather not stake my patriotic feelings on the existence of a quality which is the chosen subject for the most monstrous self-deception. Take any set of men, dress them in one colour, and accustom them to stand in a row, and they will, in all probability, be more afraid of running away than of anything else. Their merit will depend on the intelligence with which they are combined much more than on any intrinsical pugnacity. What is generally called patriotism leads us to sink these notorious facts, and to brag intolerably about the most doubtful of all merits. And consequently our politics too often resemble the behaviour of a couple of cowardly dogs, who growl at each other with every hair bristling by way

of concealing their real state of mind, till at last one of them bites the other from sheer nervous irritability. It will be long before we venture to tell the truth about our extreme unwillingness to be shot, and we shall continue to boast of the patriotism involved in keeping up a childish game of brag. Often as the absurdity of the proceeding may be exposed, it will not be really weakened till the spirit of patriotism is more or less sapped at its base.

lives to their improvement without believing that they are one bit better or cleverer than their neighbours. Being an Englishman, I rceognize the duties which my position imposes upon me, and am yet satisfied that Englishmen are full of the grossest faults and stupidities. I don't think that they are in any serious degree the superiors of any of the nations with which they come in contact; but practically, it may be, I would do as much to improve them as those who talk the greatest nonsense about their supposed good qualities, and especially, I should be willing to do them the proverbially unpleasant service of exposing their faults; but whenever I come in contact with any specially notorious evil, I am put down with solemn appeals to local self-government, or the British Constitution, or the interests of this great empire, or some other idol to which we have been accustomed to pay a blind reverence. I am bound to swear by

Of course, I might be easily answered by a long string of statements about the beneficial results which patriotism has at different times produced. I would willingly admit every one of them; but they only prove, what no sensible man denies, that many false opinions have been of essential service to mankind. The great majority of the existing race of mankind still believes in religious creeds which we know to be false; yet it would be an incalculable evil if they were deprived of those creeds, without re-every abuse, and to defend every possible ceiving anything better in their place. The inhabitants of a certain small island, known by the nickname of Bimshire, believe, I am told, that they are the very cream of the world. They exclaim, "Bimshire, with all thy faults we love thee still!" They think that Bimshire could, if it liked, rule the main; and that after the decay of other nations, Bimshire will flourish, great and free, the dread and envy of them all. If the effect of these opinions is to make the Bims more energetic and reforming than they would otherwise be, it would be a poor service to Bimshire to prove to its inhabitants, in the clearest way, that other nations possess nearly as much virtue and talent as they do themselves. Indeed, to take a more limited circle, everybody knows families which have been much benefited by the belief that there never were such people in the world as the Browns, or Joneses, or Robinsons. It is a good thing that a man should stick by his brother, even when his brother has been convicted of picking pockets; and if his fraternal affection is kept up by the belief that the pickpocket is a perfect character in spite of his little failings, we need not be too anxious to dispel so pleasant an illusion. But this does not prove that we might not be at once wiser and better, that we might not get rid of the illusion without sacrificing the good feeling. We have been placed for good or for evil in a certain small island and brought into the closest connection with its inhabitants; we may surely be profoundly attached to them and willing to devote our

misconduct at home or abroad, so long as it
can be brought under one of these sacred
principles, or to be described as, in some
sense, the act of the collective people. This
is the obligation which I altogether repudi-
ate, for the simple reason that we know, as
clearly as we know anything, that neither
our institutions nor our character are, as a
whole, better than those of our neighbours,
The duties which are imposed upon us in
the name of patriotism might be urged,
with at least equal force, on the ground
that we are specially stupid and immoral;
and though I consider such an assertion to
be as erroneous as its opposite, I should
not try to howl down anybody who made
it. We suffer grievously from a supposed
necessity of omniscience in such matters.
The number of people who can really form
any judgment as to the comparative merits
of English and foreign nations might be
reckoned almost on one's fingers. The
number of people who make the most con-
fident and dogmatic assertions about it, and
who fancy that they are specially virtuous
for so doing, is almost incalculable. Of all
European countries England is probably
that where the most utter ignorance pre-
vails as to the history, statistics, institu-
tions, and politics of every other country;
and, therefore, I don't see the virtue of
cherishing opinions which can only be veri-
fied or refuted by an amount of investiga-
tion which is scarcely within human capac-
ity, and most unequivocally beyond our

From The Grocer.


set out in the evening. They light their torches and go about a couple of leagues out to sea, upon the spots where they think the fish are likely to be most numerous. Behind them comes noiselessly and in the shadow the boat which carries the net. This boat, which has four or five men on board, is called the rissollier, after the net used for the purpose. The fastiers, which is the name also of the boat with the torches, keep at a certain distance apart, about 150 or 200 yards, and when they see that the anchovies, collected together by the illumination, are in great numbers, they make a s gnal to the rissollier, which approaches gradually and cautiously, until the fishermen can slip their nets into the water around the fastiers. Then, when this is done, at a given signal all the torches are extinguished, the fishermen lash the water, at the same time making as much noise as possible. The anchovies, frightened, and endeavouring to escape, dash heedlessly into the meshes of the nets, in which their heads are transfixed. It it only necessary then to haul in the nets to secure the catch, and proceed to a distance and renew the same operation if the night be sufficiently Į dark.

IN former times our own coasts were able to supply occasional delicacies to grace the banquets of the patricians of ancient Rome. Since then the commerce of the world has changed its basis to these small islands, and we in our turn have laid other countries under tribute. The Mediterranean is said to swarm with fish of all kinds, and amongst others the anchovy has long been known and appreciated by the Italians, and of late years has been exported in increasing quantities to this country. Like the herring, the sardine, and the sprat, the shoals appear at certain seasons of the year, when the catching and curing give occupation to a large number of people. The best descriptions are taken not far distant from the port of Leghorn, near the island of Gorgona, where the population are all engaged in these fisheries. The anchovy is caught off the islands of Elba and Corsica, and lower down around the coasts of Sicily, also at Antibes, Fréjus, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Martigues, along the coast of France. It is to be found in the Baltic and the North Sea, although of a larger and coarser kind, and unfitted for the table. The season lasts from May to July, the ar- The curing of the anchovy takes place in rival of the shoals being heralded and made brine, and not in oil like the sardine. The known by the appearance of the porpoise, heads, gills, and entrails are separated from the dog-fish, and other scavengers of the the bodies, which are salted, and arranged deep. The powers of increase must be pro- in circular boxes called drums, varying digious which can survive all the modes from 5lb to 20lb weight. Messrs. Burgess & of attack, and yet return again in innumer- Sons, 107, Strand, have been for many able swarms, coming one knows not from years large importers of the real Gorgona whence or whither bound. Formerly, it is anchovy, and any one who desires to besaid, they were very abundant along the come acquainted with the mode of curing shores of Brittany, and in one month up- and packing cannot do better than visit wards of a million were taken off the town their establishment. The essence of anof Douarnenez. These were smaller than chovy was first introduced by this firm so usual, and mixed with the sprats, the wives long ago as the year 1760. At the present and children of the fishermen being em- time their consumption of the Gorgonas is ployed in picking them out from the nets. between 200 and 300 gross monthly. These As many as 100,000 were taken at a single are sold in labelled bottles, in the original cast of the net, and, although these have brine in which they are cured, also prepared disappeared, the sardine has since been in oil like the sardine, and in vinegar. cured like the anchovy, and sold under pre-paste, for toast and sandwiches, is also tence of being the same fish. We have, well-known for its piquant flavour. The therefore, a guarantee, when dealing with demand has increased so much of late, that certain well-known firms, that we are purchasing the real Gorgona anchovies.

The mode in which they are taken is somewhat peculiar and deserving of mention. It is customary to select a cloudy night for the purpose, when three or four boats, each manned by two or three men,


it is difficult to obtain the requisite supplies from Gorgona, and other houses are importing from different parts of France, with a view to supply the public with an article which they claim to be almost equal to the Italian anchovy.

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Some months ago we had ready for THE LIVING AGE, a translated article upon French Living Poets. In some mysterious way the manuscript has disappeared. It is possible that by mistake we sent it to some contributor, whose MS. was not suited to our pages. If it were so, he is respectfully requested to send it to this office at our expense.


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From The Groc


IN former times our own coasts able to supply occasional delicacies to the banquets of the patricians of Rome. Since then the commerce world has changed its basis to the islands, and we in our turn have countries under tribute. The A nean is said to swarm with fish of and amongst others the anchov been known and appreciated ians, and of late years has been increasing quantities to this co the herring, the sardine, and shoals appear at certain season: when the catching and curing tion to a large number of best descriptions are taken from the port of Leghorn, 1 of Gorgona, where the popu gaged in these fisheries. caught off the islands of F and lower down around the also at Antibes, Fréjus Cannes, Martigues, alor France. It is to be fou and the North Sea, alt: and coarser kind, and un The season lasts from rival of the shoals being known by the appeara the dog-fish, and othe deep. The powers of digious which can S. of attack, and yet ret able swarms, coming whence or whither said, they were ver shores of Brittany, wards of a million of Douarnenez. usual, and mixed and children of : ployed in pickin As many as 100, cast of the net disappeared, th cured like the a tence of being therefore, a gr certain well-kn chasing the re

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