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First Impressions of England and its People
By Hugh Miller (1851)


TO THE READER

Times have changed since our earlier British Novelists, when they sought to make the incidents lie thick in their fictions, gave them the form of a journey, and sent their heroes a travelling over England. The one-half of “Tom Jones,” two-thirds of “Joseph Andrews,” not a few of the most amusing Chapters in “Roderick Random” and “Launcelot Greaves,” and the whole of “Humphrey Clinker,” are thrown into this form. They are works of English travels; and the adventures with which they are enlivened arise by the wayside.

It would be rather a difficult matter, in these later times, to make a novel out of an English tour. The country, measured by days’ journeys, has grown nine-tenths smaller than it was in the times of Fielding and Smollett. The law has become too strong for Captain Macheath the highwayman, and the public too knowing for Mr. Jenkinson the swindler. The journeyer by moonlight, who accidentally loses his “road, stumbles on no “Hermit of the Hill,” wrapped up in a grotesque dress of skins; but merely encounters, instead, some suspicious gamekeeper, taking his night-rounds in behalf of the Squire’s pheasants. When mill-dams give way during the rains, honest Mat Brambles do not discover, in consequence their affinity to devoted Humphrey Clinkers: there is merely a half-hour’s stoppage of the train, barren of incident, save that the male passengers get out to smoke, while the ladies sit still. And as for the frequent tragedy of railway collision accidents, it has but little of the classic about it, and is more appropriately recorded in newspaper columns, struck off for the passing day, than in pages of higher pretensions, written for to-morrow. England has become a greatly less fertile field of adventure than when, according to the Anglic Metropolis for 1690, the “weekly wagon of Richard Hamerslythe carrier” formed the sole conveyance, for passengers who did not ride horses of their own, between Brumegham and the capital.

But though the age of personal adventure has to a certainty gone by, the age which has succeeded is scarcely less fertile in incident on a larger scale, and of a greatly more remarkable character. It would seem as if the same change which has abridged the area of the country had given condensation to its history. We are not only travelling, but also, as a people, living fast; and see revolutions which were formerly the slow work of ages matured in a few brief seasons. Opinion, during the last twenty years, has accomplished, though in a reverse order, the cycle of the two previous centuries. From the Reformation to the Revolution, the ecclesiastical reigned paramount in men’s minds: from the Revolution to the breaking out of the first American war, — a quiet time in the main, — governments managed their business much through the medium of individual influence, little personal interests carried the day, and monarchs and ministers bulked large in the forefront of the passing events : from the first American war till the rise of Napoleon, the hot political delirium raged wide among the masses, and even statesmen of the old school learned to recognize the people as a power. Now, such, in effect, has been the cycle of the last twenty years. The reign of George the Fourth was also that of personal and party influence. With the accession of William the political fever again broke out, and swept the country in a greatly more alterative and irresistible form than at first. And now, here, in the times of Victoria, are we scarce less decidedly enveloped in the still thickening ecclesiastical element than our ancestors of the sixteenth century. If there be less of personal adventure in the England of the present day than in that of Queen Anne and the two first Georges, there is, as if to make amends, greatly more of incident in the history of the masses. It has been remarked by some students of the Apocalypse, that the course of the predicted events at first moves slowly, as, one after one, six of the seven seals are opened ; that, on the opening of the seventh seal, the progress is so considerably quickened that the seventh period proves as fertile in events, — represented by the sounding of the seven trumpets, — as the foregoing six taken together ; and that, on the sounding of the seventh trumpet, so great is the further acceleration, that there is an amount of incident condensed in this seventh part of the seventh period, equal, as in the former case, to that of all the previous six parts in one.

There are three cycles, it has been said, in the scheme, — cycle within cycle ; the second comprised within a seventh portion of the first, and the third within a seventh portion of the second. Be this as it may, we may at least see something that exceedingly resembles it in that actual economy of change and revolution manifested in English history for the last two centuries. It would seem as if events, in their downward course, had come under the influence of that law of gravitation through which falling bodies increase in speed, as they descend, according to the squares of the distances.

Though there may be little to encounter in such a state of society, there must, of necessity, be a good deal to observe: the traveller may have few incidents to relate, and yet many appearances to describe. He finds himself in the circumstances of the mariner who sits listlessly in the calm and sunshine of a northern summer and watches the ever-changing aspect of some magnificent iceberg, as its sun-gilt pinnacles sharpen and attenuate, and its deep fissures widen and extend, and the incessant rush of the emancipated waters is heard to reecho from amid the green light of the dim twilight caverns within. Society in England, in the present day, exists, like the thawing iceberg, in a transition state, and presents its consequent shiftings of aspect and changes of feature; and such is the peculiar degree of sensitiveness at which the government of the country has arrived, — partly, it would seem, from the fluctuating nature of the extended basis of representation on which it now rests, — that, like some nervous valetudinarian, open to every influence of climate and the weather, there is scarce a change that can come over opinion, or affect the people in even their purely physical concerns, which does not more or less fully index itself in the statute-book. The autumn of 1845, in which I travelled over England, was ungenial and lowering, and I saw wheaten fields deeply tinged with brown, — an effect of the soaking rains, — and large tracts of diseased potatoes. A season equally bad, however, twenty years ago would have failed to influence the politics of the country. Its frequent storms might have desolated the fruits of the earth, but they would have made no impression on the Statutes at Large. But the storms of 1845 proved greatly more influential. They were included in the cycle of rapid change, and annihilated at once the Protectionist policy and party of the empire. And amid the fermenting components of English society there may be detected elements of revolution in their first causes, destined, apparently, to exercise an influence on public affairs at least not less considerable than the rains and tempests of the Autumn of Forty-Five. The growing Tractarianism of the National Church threatens to work greater changes than the bad potatoes ; and the semi-infidel liberalism of the country, fast passing into an aggressive power, than the damaged corn.

The reader will find in the following pages, as from these remarks be may be led to anticipate, scarce any personal anecdote or adventure : they here and there record a brief dialogue by the way-side, or in some humble lodging-house, and here and there a solitary stroll through a wood, or a thoughtful lounge in a quarry; but there is considerably more of eye and ear in them, — of things seen and heard, — than of aught else. They index, however, not much of what he might be led equally to expect,—those diagnostic symptoms impressed on the face of society, that indicate the extensive changes, secular and ecclesiastical, which seem so peculiarly characteristic of the time. The journey of which they form a record was undertaken purely for purposes of relaxation, in that state of indifferent health, and consequent languor, which an over-strain of the mental faculties usually induces, and in which, like the sick animal that secludes itself from the herd, man prefers walking apart from his kind, to seeking them out in the bustle and turmoil of active life, there to note peculiarities of aspect or character, like an adventurous artist taking sketches amid the heat of a battle. They will, however, lead the reader who accompanies me in my rambles considerably out of the usual route of the tourist, into sequestered corners, associated with the rich literature of England, or amid rocks and caverns, in which the geologist finds curious trace of the history of the country as it existed during the long cycles of the bygone creations. I trust I need scarce apologize to the general reader for my frequent transitions from the actual state of things to those extinct states which obtained in what is now England, during the geologic periods. The art, so peculiar to the present age, of deciphering the ancient hieroglyphics sculptured on the rocks of our country, is gradually extending from the few to the many: it will be comparatively a common accomplishment half a generation hence ; and when the hard names of the science shall have become familiar enough no longer to obscure its poetry, it will be found that what I have attempted to do will be done, proportionally to their measure of ability, by travellers generally. In hazarding the prediction, I build on the fact, that it is according to the intellectual nature of man to delight in the metaphor and the simile, — in pictures of the past and dreams of the future, — in short, in whatever introduces amid one set of figures palpable to the senses another visible but to the imagination, and thus blends the ideal with the actual, like some fanciful allegorist, sculptor, or painter, who mixes up with his groups of real personages qualities and dispositions embodied in human form,—angelic virtues with wings growing out of their shoulders, and brutal vices furnished with tails and claws. And it is impossible, such being the mental constitution of the species, to see the events of other creations legibly engraved all around, as with an iron pen, on the face of nature, without letting the mind loose to expatiate on those historic periods to which the record so graphically refers. The geologist in our own country feels himself in exactly the circumstances of the traveller who journeys amid the deserts of Sinai, and sees the front of almost every precipice roughened with antique inscriptions of which he has just discovered the key,—inscriptions that transport him from the silence and solitude of the present, to a darkly remote past, when the loneliness of the wilderness was cheered by the white glitter of unnumbered tents, and the breeze, as it murmured by, went laden with the cheerful hum of a great people.

It may be judged, I am afraid, that to some of the localities I devoted too much, and to some too little time, in proportion to the degree of interest which attached to them. The Leasowes detained me considerably longer than Stratford-on-Avon ; and I oftener refer to Shenstone than to Shakspeare. It will, I trust, be found, however, that I was influenced in such cases by no suspicious sympathy with the little and the mediocre ; and that, if I preferred at times the less fertile to the richer and better field, it has been simply, not because I failed to estimate their comparative values, but because I found a positive though scanty harvest awaiting me on the one, and on the other the originally luxuriant swathe cut down and carried away, and but a vacant breadth of stubble left to the belated gleaner. Besides, it is not in his character as a merely tasteful versifier, but as a master in the art of developing the beauties of landscape, that I have had occasion to refer to Shenstone. He is introduced to the reader as the author of the Leasowes, — a work which cost him more thought and labor than all his other compositions put together, and which the general reader, who has to prosecute his travels by the fire-side, can study but at second hand, — as it now exists in sketches such as mine, or as it existed, at the death of its author, in the more elaborate description of Dodsley. It is thus not to a minor poet that I have devoted a Chapter or two, but to a fine rural poem, some two or three hundred acres in extent, that cannot be printed, and that exists nowhere in duplicate.

It does matter considerably in some things that a man’s cradle should have been rocked to the north of the Tweed ; and as I have been at less pains to suppress in my writings the peculiarities of the Scot and the Presbyterian than is perhaps common with my country folk and brother Churchmen, the Englishman will detect much in these pages to remind him that mine was rocked to the north of the Tweed very decidedly. I trust, however, that if he deem me in the main a not ill-natured companion, he may feel inclined to make as large allowances for the peculiar prejudices of my training as he sees me making on most occasions for the peculiar prejudices of his ; that he may forgive me my partialities to my own poor country, if they do not greatly warp my judgment nor swallow up my love for my kind; that he may tolerate my Presbyterianism, if he find it rendering a reason for its preferences, and not very bigoted in its dislikes ; and, in short, that we may part friends, not enemies, if he can conclude, without over-straining his charity, that I have communicated fairly, and in no invidious spirit, my First Impressions of England and its People.

CONTENTS

Chapter I.
Led to convert an intended Voyage to Orkney into a Journey to England.— Objects of the Journey.—Carter Fell.—The Border Line. — Well for England it should have been so doggedly maintained by the weaker Country. — Otterburn. — The Mountain Limestone in England, what it is not in Scotland, a true Mountain Limestone. — Scenery changes as we enter the Coal Measures. — Wretched Weather. — Newcastle.— Methodists. — Controversy on the Atonement. — The Popular Mind in Scotland mainly developed by its Theology. — Newcastle Museum ; rich in its Geology and its Antiquities; both branches of one subject. — Geologic History of the Roman Invasion. — Durham Cathedral. — The Monuments of Nature greatly more enduring than those of Man. — thophyllum Fhingites. — The Spotted Tubers, and what they indicated.— The Destiny of a Nation involved in the Growth of a minute Fungus.

Chapter II.
Weather still miserably bad; suited to betray the frequent Poverty of English Landscape. — Gloomy Prospects of the Agriculturist. — Corn-Law League. — York; a true Sacerdotal City. — Cathedral; noble Exterior j Interior not less impressive; Congreve’s sublime Description. — Unpardonable Solecism. — Procession. — Dean Cockbum ; Crusade against the Geologists. — Cathedral Service unworthy of the Cathedral. — Walk on the City Ramparts. — Flat Fertility of the surrounding Country. — The more interesting Passages in the History of York supplied by the Makers.— Robinson Crusoe. — Jeanie Deans. — Trial of Eugene Aram. — Aram’s real Character widely different from that drawn by the Novelist.

Chapter III.
Quit York for Manchester. — A Character. — Quaker Lady. — Peculiar Feature in the Husbandry of the Cloth District. — Leeds. — Simplicity manifested in the Geologic Framework of English Scenery. — The Denuding Agencies almost invariably the sole Architects of the Landscape. — Manchester; characteristic Peculiarities ; the Irwell; Collegiate Church; light and elegant Proportions of the Building; its grotesque Sculptures; these indicative of the Scepticism of the Age in which they were produced. — St. Bartholomew’s Day. — Sermon on Saints’ Day. — Timothy’s Grandmother. — The Puseyite a High Churchman become earnest. — Passengers of a Sunday Evening Train. — Sabbath Amusements not very conducive to Happiness. — The Economic Value of the Sabbath ill understood by the Utilitarian. — Testimony of History on the point.

Chapter IV.
Quit Manchester for Wolverhampton. — Scenery of the New Red Sandstone ; apparent Repetition of Pattern. — The frequent Marshes of England ; curiously represented in the National Literature; Influence on the National Superstitions. — Wolverhampton. —Peculiar Aspect of the Dudley Coal-field ; striking Passage in its History. — The Rise of Birmingham into a great Manufacturing Town an Effect of the Development of its Mineral Treasures.—Upper Ludlow Deposit; Aymestry Limestone ; both Deposits of peculiar Interest to the Scotch Geologist. — The Lingula Lewisii and Terebratula Wilsoni. — General Resemblance of the Silurian Fossils to those of the Mountain Limestone. — First-born of the Vertebrata yet known. — Order of Creation. — The Wren’s Nest. —Fossils of the Wenlock Limestone ; in a State of beautiful Keeping. — Anecdote. — Asaphus Caudatus; common, it would seem, to both the Silurian and Carboniferous Rocks. — Limestone Miners. — Noble Gallery excavated in the Hill.

Chapter V.
Dudley; significant Marks of the_Mining Town. — Kindly Scotch Landlady. — Temperance Coffee-house. — Little Samuel the Teetotaller. — Curious Incident. — Anecdote. — The Resuscitated Spinet. — Forbearance of little Samuel. — Dudley Museum ; singularly rich in Silurian Fossils. — Megalichthys Hibberti. — Fossils from Mount Lebanon; very modern compared with those of the Hill of Dudley. — Geology peculiarly fitted to revolutionize one’s Ideas of Modern and Ancient. — Fossils of extreme Antiquity furnished by a Canadian Township that had no name twenty years ago. — Fossils from the Old Egyptian Desert found to be comparatively of Yesterday.—Dudley Castle and Castle-hill.— Cromwell’s Mission. — Castle finds a faithful Chronicler in an old Serving-maid. — Her Narrative. — Caves and Fossils of the Castle-hill. — Extensive Excavations. — Superiority of the Natural to the Artificial Cavern. — Fossils of the Scottish Grauwacke. — Analogy between, the Female Lobster and the Trilobite.

Chapter VI.
Stourbridge. — Effect of Plutonic Convulsion on the surrounding Scenery. — Hagley; Description in the "Seasons.” — Geology the true Anatomy of Landscape. — Geologic Sketch of Hagley. — The Road to the Races. — The old Stone-cutter. — Thomson’s Hollow. — His visits to Hagley. — Shenstone’s Urn. — Peculiarities of Taste founded often on a Substratum of Personal Character. — Illustration. — Rousseau. — Pope’s Haunt. — Lyttelton’s high Admiration of the Genius of Pope. — Description. — Singularly extensive and beautiful Landscape; drawn by Thomson. — Reflection. — Amazing Multiplicity of the Prospect illus trative of a Peculiarity in the Descriptions of the “Seasons.” — Addison’s Canon on Landscape ; corroborated by Shenstone.

Chapter VII.
Hagley Parish Church. — The Sepulchral Marbles of the Lytteltons. — Epitaph on the Lady Lucy. — The Phrenological Doctrine of Hereditary Transmission; unsupported by History, save in a way in which History can be made to support anything. — Thomas Lord Lyttelton ; his Moral Character a strange Contrast to that of his Father. — The Elder Lyttelton ; his Death-bed. — Aberrations of the Younger Lord. — Strange Ghost Story; Curious Modes of accounting for it. — Return to Stourbridge. — Late Drive. — Hales Owen.

Chapter VIII.
Abbotsford and the Leasowes.—The one place naturally suggestive of the other. — Shenstone. — The Leasowes his most elaborate Composition. — The English Squire and his Mill. — Hales Owen Abbey ; interesting, as the Subject of one of Shenstone’s larger Poems.—The old anti-Popish Feeling of England well exemplified by the Fact. — Its Origin and History. — Decline. — Infidelity naturally favorable to the Resuscitation and Reproduction of Popery. — The two Naileresses. — Cecilia and Delia. — Skeleton Description of the Leasowes. — Poetic filling up. — The Spinster. — The Fountain.

Chapter IX.
Detour. — The Leasowes deteriorated wherever the Poet had built, and improved wherever he had planted. — View from the Hanging Wood. — Stratagem of the Island Screen. — Virgil’s Grave. — Mound of the Hales Owen and Birmingham Canal; its sad Interference with Shenstone’s Poetic Description of the Infancy of the Stour. — Vanished Cascade and Root-house.— Somerville’s Urn.— “To all Friends round the Wrekin.”— River Scenery of the Leasowes; their great Variety. — Peculiar Arts of the Poet; his Vistas, when seen from the wrong end, Realizations of Hogarth’s Caricature. — Shenstone the greatest of Landscape Gardeners. — Estimate of Johnson. — Goldsmith’s History of the Leasowes ; their after History.

Chapter X.
Shenstone’s Verses.— The singular Unhappiness of his Paradise. — English Cider. — Scotch and English Dwellings contrasted. — The Nailers of Hales Owen ; their Politics a Century ago. — Competition of the Scotch Nailers; unsuccessful, and why. — Samuel Salt, the Hales Owen Poet. — Village Church. — Salt Works at Droitwich; their great Antiquity. — Appearance of the Village. — Problem furnished by the Salt Deposits of England; various Theories. — Rock Salt deemed by some a Volcanic Product; by others the Deposition of an overcharged Sea; by yet others the Produce of vast Lagoons. — Leland. — The Manufacture of Salt from Sea-water superseded, even in Scotland, by the Rock Salt of England.

Chapter XI.
Walk to the Clent Hills. — Incident in a Fruit Shop. — St. Kenelm’s Chapel. — Legend of St. Kenelm. — Ancient Village of Clent; its Appearance and Character. — View from the Clent Hills. — Mr. Thomas Moss. — Geologic Peculiarities of the Landscape; Illustration. — The Scotch Drift. — Boulders; these transported by the Agency of Ice Floes. —Evidence of the Former Existence of a broad Ocean Channel.—The Geography of the Geologist. — Aspect of the Earth ever Changing. — Geography of the Palaeozoic Period; of the Secondary; of the Tertiary. — Ocean the great Agent of Change and Dilapidation.

Chapter XII.
Geological Coloring of the Landscape. — Close Proximity in this Neighborhood of the various Geologic Systems. — The Oolite; its Medicinal Springs; how formed. — Cheltenham. — Strathpefier. — The Saliferous System; its Organic Remains and Foot-prints. — Record of Curious Passages in the History of the Earlier Reptiles. — Salt Deposits. — Theory. — The Abstraction of Salt from the Sea on a large Scale probably necessary to the continued Existence of its Denizens. — Lower New Red Sandstone. — Great Geologic Revolution.—Elevation of the Trap. — Hills of Clent; Era of the Elevation. — Coal Measures ; their three Forests in the Neighborhood of Wolverhampton. — Comparatively small Area of the Birmingham Coal-field. — Vast Coal-fields of the United States. — Berkeley’s Prophecy. —Old Red Sandstone. —Silurian System. — Blank.

Chapter XIII.
Birmingham; incessant Clamor of the Place. — Toy-shop of Britain ; Serious Character of the Games in which its Toys are chiefly employed. — Museum. — Liberality of the Scientific English. — Musical Genius of Birmingham. — Theory. — Controversy with the Yorkers. — Anecdote. — The English Language spoken very variously by the English; in most cases spoken very ill. — English Type of Person. —Attend a Puseyite Chapel. — Puseyism a feeble Imitation of Popery. — Popish Cathedral. — Popery the true Resting-place of the Puseyite. — Sketch of the Rise and Progress of the Puseyite Principle; its purposed Object not attained ; Hostility to Science.—English Funerals.

Chapter XIV.
Drive from Birmingham to Stratford rather tame. — Ancient Building in a modern-looking Street; of rude and humble Appearance. — “The Immortal Shakspeare born in this House.” — Description of the Interior. — The Walls and Ceiling covered with Names. — Albums. — Shakspeare, Scott, Dickens; greatly different in their Intellectual Stature, but yet all of one Family. — Principle by which to take their Measure.— No Dramatist ever draws an Intellect taller than his own. — Imitative Faculty.— The Reports of Dickens. — Learning of Shakspeare. — New Place. — The Rev. Francis Gastrall. — Stratford Church. — The Poet’s Grave; his Bust; far superior to the idealized Representations. — The Avon. — The Jubilee, and Cowper’s Description of it. — The true Hero Worship. — Quit Stratford for Olney. — Get into bad Company by the way. — Gentlemen of the Fancy. — Adventure.

Chapter XV.
Cowper; his singular Magnanimity of Character; Argument furnished by his latter Religious History against the Selfish Philosophy. — Valley of the Ouse. — Approach to Olney. — Appearance of the Town. — Cowper’s House ; Parlor; Garden. — Pippin-tree planted by the Poet. — Summer-house written within and without. —John Tawell. — Delightful Old Woman. — Weston-Underwood. — Thomas Scott’s House. — The Park of the Throckmortons. — Walk described in “The Task.” — Wilderness. — Ancient Avenue. — Alcove; Prospect which it commands, as drawn by Cowper. — Colonnade. — Rustic Bridge. — Scene of the “Needless Alarm.” — The Milk Thistle.

Chapter XVI.
Yardley Oak; of immense Size and imposing Appearance. — Cowper’s Description singularly illustrative of his complete Mastery over Language.— Peasant’s Nest. — The Poet’s Vocation peculiarly one of Revolution. — The School of Pope; supplanted in its unproductive Old Age by that of Cowper. — Cowper’s Coadjutors in the Work. — Economy of Literary Revolution. — The old English Yeoman. — Quit Olney. — Companions in the Journey. — Incident. — Newport Pagnell. — Mr. Bull and the French Mystics. — Lady of the Fancy. — Champion of all England. — Pugilism. — Anecdote.

Chapter XVII.
Cowper and the Geologists. — Geology in the Poet’s Days in a State of great Immaturity. — Case different now. — Folly of committing the Bible to a False Science. — Galileo. — Geologists at one in all their more important Deductions; vast Antiquity of the Earth one of these. — State of the Question. — Illustration. — Presumed Thickness of the Fossiliferous Strata.—Peculiar Order of their Organic Contents; of their Fossil Fish in particular, as ascertained by Agassiz. — The Geologic Races of Animals entirely different from those which sheltered with Noah in the Ark.—Alleged Discrepancy between Geologic Fact and the Mosaic Record not real. — Inference based on the opening Verses of the Book of Genesis.—Parallel Passage adduced to prove the Inference unsound. — The Supposition that Fossils may have been created such examined: unworthy of the Divine Wisdom; contrary to the Principles which regulate Human Belief; subversive of the grand Argument founded on Design. — The profounder Theologians of the Day not Anti-Geologists. — Geologic Fact in reality of a kind fitted to perform important Work in the two Theologies, Natural and Revealed ; subversive of the “Infinite-Series" Argument of the Atheist; subversive, too, of the Objection drawn by Infidelity from an Astronomical Analogy. — Counter-objection. — Illustration.

Chapter XVIII.
The Penny-a-mile Train and its Passengers. — Jonathan. — London by Night. — St. Paul’s ; the City as seen from the Dome. —The Lord Mayor’s Coach. — Westminster Abbey. — The Gothic Architecture a less exquisite Production of the Human Mind than the Grecian. — Poets’ Corner. — The Mission of the Poets. —The Tombs of the Kings. — The Monument of James Watt. — A humble Coffee-house and its Frequenters.— The Woes of Genius in London. — Old 110, Thames-street.— The Tower.—The Thames Tunnel. — Longings of the True Londoner for Rural Life and the Country; their Influence on Literature.—The British Museum; its splendid Collection of Fossil Remains. — Human Skeleton of Guadaloupe. — The Egyptian Room. — Domesticities of the Ancient Egyptians. — Cycle of Reproduction. — The Mummies.

Chapter XIX.
Harrow-on-the-Hill.— Descent through the Formations from the Tertiary to the Coal Measures. — Journey of a Hundred and Twenty Miles Northwards identical, geologically, with a journey of a Mile an4 a Quarter Downwards. — English very unlike Scottish Landscape in its Geologic Framework. — Birmingham Fair. — Credulity of the Rural English; striking Contrast which they furnish, in this Respect, to their Countrymen of the Knowing Type. — The English Grades of Intellectual Character of Immense Range; more in Extremes than those of the Scotch. — Front Rank of British Intellect in which there stands no Scotchman; probable Cause. —A Class of English, on the other Hand, greatly lower than the Scotch ; naturally less Curious; acquire, in Consequence, less of the Developing Pabulum. — The main Cause of the Difference to be found, however, in the very dissimilar Religious Character of the two Countries. — The Scot naturally less independent than the Englishman ; strengthened, however, where his Character most needs Strength, by his Religion. — The Independence of the Englishman subjected at the present Time to two distinct Adverse Influences, — the Modern Poor Law and the Tenant-at-will System. —Walsall. —Liverpool. — Sort of Lodging-houses in which one is sure to meet many Dissenters.

Chapter XX.
Dissent a Mid-formation Organism in England. —-Church of Englandism strong among the Upper and Lower Classes: its Peculiar Principle of Strength among the Lower; among the Upper. — The Church of England one of the strongest Institutions of the Country. — Puseyism, however, a Canker-worm at its Root; Partial Success of the Principle. — The Type of English Dissent essentially different from that of Scotland; the Causes of the Difference deep in the Diverse Character of the two Peoples.—Insulated Character of the Englishman productive of Independency. — Adhesive Character of the Scotch productive of Presbyterianism.—Attempts to legislate for the Scotch in Church Matters on an English Principle always unfortunate.—Erastianism; essentially a different thing to the English Churchman from what it is to the Scot. — Reason why. — Independent Scotch Congregation in a Rural District. — Rarely well based; and why. — Conclusion.


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