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the stage; — that is to say, with the the winner is seizing his money. air of knowing that he is the object of all popular vices, gaming is the of general remark.
most odious and deadly: it is op" Leaving these scenes where posed to all social feelings,-it Pleasure puts on her gayest trap- renders even extravagance selfish, pings, and appears in all her smiles and improvidence mean ;-it stifles and fascinations, you may enter kindness in proportion as it enothers where ber attire is coarser, courages hope ;-it gives to the and she has assumed more of the disposition a sharp, edgy, conlouring, jaded, desperate look of tracted charaeter, and, while it vice. The Café Montensier was a ruins the circumstances more fatally theatre during the revolutionary and surely than any other illicit period, and it still continues to be pursuit, it throws neither pomp divided into galleries and pit:- nor pathos around the downfall. the stage is covered with a vast About these hellisb tables, balfbouquet of flowers. Here the pay officers, private soldiers, clerks, company
is understood to be of a and ex-employés, are seen in a loose description : the men are desperate contention with treacher, chiefly military. They go lounging ous fortune :- the expression of about, from below to above, and the face, as the trembling hand from above to below; and the large puts down the piece of money, is proportion which their profession awful;-one piece follows another, forms of all public assemblages, -gold is succeeded by silver, and, and their reckless, irregular, pro- from five franc coins, the unfortufligate carriage, open one's eyes to nate wretch is reduced to the risk the blessings of a military popula- of a single franc. He loses it, and tion, and to the prudence and leaves the room with a face that patriotism of those who would bespeaks him drained and desper make military badges be regarded rate. For what atrocity is he not as objects of the Mghest ambition, now prepared ?—The appearance by holding them forth as the most of women at these tables is still hovourable indications of desert. more horrible :-their sex, which
“ The gambling rooms consti- is so susceptible of lovely appear. tute spectacles purely shocking. ances, natural and moral, seems They are licensed and inspected by equally calculated to display the the government, and therefore they features of deformity in their most are orderly and regular on the revolting aspects. surface of their arrangements and “ There is yet much more that behaviour; but they are licensed belongs to the Palais Royal,- but by the government, and therefore I believe I have described all that they destroy the foundations of will bear description. Prostitution order, morals, honour, and loyalty. dwells in its splendid apartments, If a father debauches his children, parades its walks, starves in its is his family likely to be noted for garrets, and haunts its corners. It subordination and respectability?” is not, certainly, so riotous in its
“On entering these horrid places, manner as in England; but it is you are first startled by the prepara- easy to see, that its profligacy is of tion of taking from you your hat a deeper, fouler, more nauseous and stick in the antichamber:-when kind. you proceed into the rooms where « Such is the Palais Royal;they play, your heart is withered vanity fair; a
mart of sin and by anxious looks, and a heated seduction !
Open, not on one stillness, rendered more impressive day of festival, or on a few holiby the small interruptions given to days; but every day of the week. it by the sudden sharp click of a Every day does it present stimubit of wood, which intimates that lants and opportunities to profii
gacy and extravagance,--to waste, the most illustrious public virtues and riot, and idleness. It is there will but rarely be found.” —always ready to receive the inclined, to tempt the irresolute, to I think it will be generally adconfirm bad habits, and dispel mitted that the description given good resolutions. It is there--as by Mr. Scott, of the state of Paris, a pestilential focus of what is dan- presents to the eye an awful picture gerous and depraved,--a collection of moral deformity. If there are of loose and desperate spirits, iu those who can contemplate it unthe heart of a luxurious capital, -- moved, I envy not their feelings. as a point of union for every thing It was natural to expect that the that is evil,---where Pleasure, in late signal deliverance which France all her worst shapes, exists, in experienced would have some efreadiness to be adapted to every fect in checking the torrent of provariety of disposition, and to en- figacy which has overspread this slave and corrupt the heart by guilty city. But how painful to making the senses despotic. There the Christian observer must it have is but one Palais Royal in the been to perceive that the only world, say the Parisians; and it is marked change consisted in the well for the world that there is but revival of many superstitions which one.
had fallen into disuse, and that, “ Besides the amusements here while open infidelity was less visible, alluded 10, there are ten theatres true piety was not more apparent. in Paris open every night, and every if the crime which hurried Louis night crowded. The Boulevardes XVI. to the scaffold, began to be are full of coffee-houses, such as viewed in its true character, it was have been described as belonging not the less revolting to the feelings to the Palais Royal. At several of of Christians, to learn that a body these, petite plays are performed: of priests were fixed at St. Denis, there are also public dancing- whose peculiar office it was to pray rooms, public gardens, and exhi- for the soul of the departed mobitions without number. The peo- narch! If the French people, and ple increase this enormous amount especially their king, might have of amusement for themselves ;-in been expected to refer to the proall the public walks, in fine weather, per source the astonishing events they are to be seen dancing in par- which gave peace to them, and ties. The waltz is the predomina- restored to him the throne of bis ting figure, and the women of Paris fathers, what astonishment of all ranks, grisettes as well as excited by tinding these ascribed duchesses, delight in it to madness, to the blessed Virgin? If the and exercise it with skill and grace. French government could so far
“ The whole neighbourhood of render homage to virtue, as Paris, within the circle of six miles, recognize in the treaty of Paris the is crowded with similar places of injustice of the Slave Trade, was entertainment; adding rural enjoy- it to be expected that in the very ments to those of the town: and all same public aci, she should delithese places, in country and in city, berately proclaim herself the reare well supported. A more im- storer of all the guilt and misery, portant feature of pational charac- the unexampled pertidy and atroter than this excessive fondness city of such a commerce; or that for revelry and public entertain- the first use which the nation was ment, cannot be imagined. It never anxious to make of the peace and can exist amongst a people who are freedom so miruculously restored deeply attached to their homes; to her, should be to forge chains and ainongst a people who are not for the Haytians, and to carry war deeply attached to their homes, and desolution into their borders ?
If again, in the same short period Let any English husband, or father, of repose, Louis XVIII. sought in or brother, after considering the vain to convince his people of the state of Parisian manners, ask himobligations of the Christian Sabbath, self whether this is a condition of what does this argue, but a total being for rational and immortal insensibility on the part of that creatures. Let him, then, contrast people to one of the most impera- with such a state of things, the tive duties and the highest privileges very superior tone of society in of Christianity? It is not a little England; and let him honestly remarkable, that one of the first inquire whether the distinction is addresses to the · Usurper, who not to be ascribed to our purer faith. lately resumed bis precarious seat But if our moral and religious on the throne of France, contained advantages have been greater, an express congratulation to that our gratitude should be propornation on having regained her tionate; for of this we may be undoubted right to profane the assured, that in proportion to our sacred day!
superior light will be our increased I am naturally led by this re- responsibility. And had not these mark, to advert to the extra- observations been already so far ordinary spectacle which France extended, I think it would not be has recently presented to the difficult to shew that we have cause astonished world by the perjury enough for apprehension with reand infamy which have accompa- ference to England; and that it is nied the recal of its blood-stained more than probable, that the storm Chief. The demoralizing influence which may burst in all its fury over of iufidel principles is as evidently France, may also reach ourselves seen in the conduct of the French under some milder form of visitaarmy now, as in that of the French tion, and cause us to feel that if people from the beginning of the the tower should fall in Siloam, revolutionary period. The bands
The bands and wrath descend upon the Gaof the Fauxbourg St. Antoine, in the lileans, yet, except we repent, we early times of the Revolution, and shall likewise perish. the present troops of the French
I am, &c. nation, appear to be characterised
LAICUS*. by the same desire of invading the property of others; the same revolting apathy in carrying on the
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. trade of death; the same contempt I wish some of your corresponof God; and the same disregard of dents would write a paper against man. Rapacious, cruel, and un- bigotry and prejudice.-i bave been relenting; perjured to the Deity, reading a work, full of demonstraand hating his image in his crea- tions, by the Rev. Mr. Norris, tures, at once the adoration and which, if men would listen to reason, terror of a nation wbich fosters and could not fail to put an end to one fears it, the French army is the of the most dangerous and widescourge of its friends, no less than spreading mischiefs thatever threatof its enemies; and perhaps it is ened to overturn the fabric of sohardly possible to conceive a more cial order, and to destroy the founproper instrument of retributive dation of all good morals. vengeance to a people
" that delight in war,” than an army so
* We received the above communi. constituted and so commanded.
cation about two months ago, but were I have been led into these re
prevented by the press of matter from flections from considering the de- since occurred are certainly not cal
inserting it. The events which have plorable and abject condition of culated to lessen the interest of Mr. France in a moral point of view. Scott's too-faithful portrait.
I allude, sir, to the circulation of my author alludes, were committed the Bible: and as you have (from before the establishment of the Bipure ignorance, I trust,) contribut. ble Society in that quarter. Well, ed to the evil, let me counsel you sir, if then the mere prospect of without delay to make what repa- the distribution of Bibles was such ration you can for the calamities and so horrible as to induce men which you have helped to bring to murder one another beforehand, upon the world. You will tell me, what, I ask, will be the effect when perhaps, that I must not rely with the Bibles are actually circulated ? faith too implicit upon the state- I challenge the boldest of you to meots of Mr. Norris. Sir, I do not come forth and reply. It is plain feel it necessary to rely upon his to demonstration, that if the poor statements: I have got facts of my are suffered to have Bibles, it must own. It is to his demonstrations, end in civil wars and general bloodsir, that I appeal, and to the testi- shed.- I know that some there be, mony of the newspapers, in evidence who sneer at an argument of antiof their unimpeachable and unas- cipation, and smile when you talk saiiable truth. Listen, I beseech of the authority of Mr. Norris; but you, and perpend. He demonstrates my argument is not an argument of that the word of God, if put indis- anticipation. My facts have not criminately into the hands of the been proved fictitious. Do you repoor, can do no good, and must do member the establishment of Assoharm. With respect to saving souls ciations in London for the purchase from perdition, he demonstrates of this same Bible? Are you aware that the Bible Society, of which that young persons were invited to the sole object is to distribute Bi- give a penny a week, in order to probles, “is baneful in its operations," cure it? Well, sir, mark the result. (p. 53); that its perfect work is Has not every newspaper, which to produce, even among the better we have lately read, told us of cominformed, “indifference to every binations among the boys of the religious opinion,” (p. 223); that metropolis to rob and destroy? It the wideness of the circulation of cannot be denied: were these things the Scripture is the most baueful ever heard of till this circulation of property of the Society, (p. 46); Bibles ? No.—Take another fact : that the Bible is despised, because it “A great number of burglaries and is cheap, (ib.); that the facility of robberies have lately been commitobtaining it bas caused one woman ted in Hertfordshire, particularly to tell a lie, (p. 77); and a second in the neighbourhood of Hockeril to abuse her hostess for not telling and Bishopstortford.” (Times, Feb. one (ib.); it has enabled Jew boys 1.) And was not a Bible Society --thieves to a proverb—to sell established last year at BishopstortChristian Scriptures, (p. 46); has ford ?-Look a little further. A furnished the means of drunkenness well-meaning writer in the Times to the lovers of gin, (p. 47); and of of January 31st, under the signature wicked profauation to the dealers of “ Publicola,” calls the attention in cheese, (ib.)
of the public to ginshops, as the " The murders committed within origin of all manner of crimes: his the period have been both more statement is true, as far as it goes ; in number, and more horrid in the but he has not reached the bottom circumstances attending them, than of the case.-What carries people have disgraced the annals of the to the ginshop? Is it not the Bible? kingdom for a long series of years,” What gives them facilities for pro&c. (p. 373.)
curing it? Has not Mr. Norris told Some persons pretend to say that you-the Bible? Did Publicola the murders at Shadwell, to which complain of ginshops before the
3 M 2
tablishment of the Society? I would be troublesome; and then in evil be glad of an answer to that ques. hour-alas! for their simplicity!tion, sir. If the poor contribute the venerable institution deterto Bible Associations, they will all mined to set to work in good earget Bibles; and what then can be nest; and they, to be sure, must the result, as my author has de- have their auxiliaries, and their filiclaratively demonstrated, but an ations, and their branches too, increasing indifference to religion, under some name or other. Who an increasing contempt for the then can wonder, while two such Scriptures, an accession of liars, a engines are in motion to subvert harvest of Jew boys, and robbery, the morals of the people, that we and drunkenness, and profana- should witness a period so dreadtion, and mountains of clieese, and fully prolific in crime! oceans of gin?
I have thought much about a The saive causes will universally cure for the evil; but I can see no be followed by the same effects. effcctual mode of procedure, exIf the Bible produce crimes in cept by complete and radical exEngland, it will produce them in tirpation. Would you play with France. “It would seem,” says the canine madness? Would you trifle Times, Jan. 30, “ that Paris is at with the plague ? My remedies are present as much annoyed by juve- these :- First, Take from the poor nile depredators as London. The all the Bibles which they possess ;-Gazette de France tells us, that the those persons alone excepted, who Paris court of assizes was engaged can prove, to the satisfaction of my in a trial of twenty-one thieves, most author and myself, that they have of whom were only from twenty to made a good use of them; that is, twenty-two years of age.” The have never read them without a Bible-Society again! Was not an comment, nor presumed to open edition of the ew Testament cir- them but with the consent of the culated last winter in Paris? I su
curate. spect, indeed, some connection be
Secondly, Hang upon one galtween this fact and the return of lows, the higher the better, all the Napoleon.
presidents, vice-presidents, and I know that some will object to committees, whether districtor these demonstrations, under the diocesan of both societies, and of idle pretext that the Society for all their auxiliaries and branches: promoting Christian Knowledge has some of them will never cease from been employed in the same sort their nefarious doings so long as of work for a century, and yet we they are permitted to live. had none of these liorrible murders
Thirdly, Transport to Botany and robberies, and Jew boys and Bay, for ihe term of natural life, all gin shops, till within the last few their comforters and abettors. years. But this appeal confirms
Fourthly, To prevent the posmy argument: that society was ne
sible recurrence of mischief, make ver guilty of too extended a circu- it felony forlaymen to read or lation: they distributed the Bible write, with the most laudable and exemplary caution: they did it so quiet. Thanne ful mery wol the day be for ly and so sparingly, that if we may
olde Englelond believe one of their own number, Whan lewed men ne rede ne wis to un: many even of the clergy knew not derstonde: of their existence: the poor, com- When ilke text they hold not worth ap paratively speaking, had few Bibles
oistre till this mischievous excrescence, Til ytaughte belike by the monk of the called the Bible Society, began to