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rjPHE " question whether or not we are to have a repetition of the -I- great experiment of 1851 in the coming-year / which concludes the decade that will have elapsed since the May morning when our Sovereign welcomed all the nations of the earth beneath the crystal span of Paxton ' s Palace , was practically answered in the affirmative when the Society of Arts pledged itself to the success of the undertaking-. It is to that Society the credit belongs of having- originated and conducted to such a prosperous termination the magnificent idea of a Great International Exhibition of the Industrial Arts ,
So far back as the time of the First Consul , France had recognised the advantage of national exhibitions , as affording an opportunity for ascertaining the progress and status of arts and manufactures , and at the same time supplying the incentive to advance which einillation and competition are sure to supply . These exhibitions , however ( which were repeated at quinquennial and decennial periods in an almost unbroken line down to the present time ) were exclusively confined to native talent , and , great as must have been the benefits of such opportunities for extending experience and guaging results , they are not for a . moment to be coinpared with that greater idea which included a ¦ . competition between nations instead of- men . Whether it will be desirable to repeat that vast experiment after
an interval sO comparatively brief as ten years , is a question which has occupied many minds . ' We have considered the subject in most , if not all its bearings , sind freely admit that there is much to be said on -both sides ; though , in our opinion , the balance of advantage is decidedly in favour "of the scheme . Some of our own * manufacturers ( whose concurrence is so vitally important to the working out of the matter ) have objected that-they . do not see how they are benefited by such exhibitions loan extent at all proportionate with the expense and trouble they incur . This is an objection worthy of consideration , not only because it conies from a body whose aid is of so niuch importance , but also , because it . is one of those practical criticisms businessOf these facturers
which "o to the rout of the . course manu are entitled to the credit of understanding their own aftairs , and when they tell us that they have received no pecuniary benefit to compensate them for the expense and trouble they incurred m lHol , it is impossible for us to contradict them ; but we may perhaps be permitted to ask whether it is not possible that they may have been indirectly benefited in a manner not exactly tangible to Cocker , and vet none tire less surely beneficial a d profitable f Has Spitalfields or MaCclesiieid gained nothing by being brought into juxta-position wjlh Lyons ? Did Glasgow learn nothing horn Switzerland , nor liellast from Courtrm i ? Were the hardwares oi Liege and Solingeu exhibited to Birmingham in vain P Did I-iurvleni examine the delicate porcelains of Limoges and gam no knowledge t Lancashire their bands
Will the manufacturers of North lay upon their hearts , and seriously tell us that the lessons brought to them from Rouen , Toureoigu , and the Haufe llhin , haye not profited themP If so , then the Great Exhibition of 1851 was entirely thrown away ; but that it was not so—that , on the contrary , a vast improvement has taken place in the taste exhibited in our manufactures , is a fact too obvious to be ignored . That the foreigners have , in their turn , also gnincd-something is nob less clear . In return fo ^ their' inventive ingenuity , their artistic fancy , we have perchance returned complotor and cheaper methods of manufacture , and machinery more perfect and duruble . This , however , is nothing but that fair principle of give-and-take which the projectors of tho scheme contemplated , and wo fully believe that m most cases the English manufacturers got , in this way at least , their pennyworth for their
Aifa ' this brings us to another class of objectors-rthose who believe that these exhibitions tend to unveil the ' secre t * of their trade , lo theae we reply that there are really no such things as trade secrets . If a secret bo worth finding out it is sure to be discovered , A he patent laws prevent the use of certain processes for a definite period , within the jurisdiction of the English Inw ; but no power on earth can proven ' t a foreign immufiictiirer from discovering any modus vporandi worth time and money . Everywhere in the manufacturing diatriots there are French and German youths who have been went to complete their education an men of business in thu luctorioH ana workshops of England . Is if , to bo supposed that any process however occultly kept , can omimjo the notice oi these P ° j ™»» ** A J tho sumo time , we know perfectly well that many munuiuoluror » do vainly innwino that they can Hueoussfully guard those processes upon ... i : « f . fi ... v « ,. s , ift ilmiiisi'lvosi and wo ourselves , on applying , or
, 7 d 3 ilon Wo noof tho mewt celebrated - fhetOrioa of texti e , abncH In YorkJhlJq . were curtly told ^ that none but ladies and ¦ ^ W »« J » (" women and parsons " was tho exact , phrase employed ) ye oO ^ idmitted-tho » e being Hupposed lo be the pqrsons most" » able o , all any rate moat uivfil « . 'ly , to avail themselves of any JilnUi uwy ^ fi'lddRG ? . K B ! i fiil « . lo « thoro ' «» . i . n . to bo muy other
• i Madame Bonhkuk , with your smiling face , do you not punch your children and "bully your servants at home ? " So on , ad nauseam , the phrases of social scepticism ., . sopn grow stale j and the satirist , < * r wlio perpetually grinds over the slune dull tune ,, enervates and debases rather than reforms . But therejte a nobler use for the weapon than this : the true satirist , if he shows vice her own image , will also contrast it with virtue , that the form of the latter will be seen also . Like Jacques in the play , he will remember , that the point of satire is its truth , and his aim will ever be , by his sharp physic to " Purge the foul body of th' infected world . "
and finally slew his hecatomb at the altar of Satire in the Dim-• • "' Wod and mild Cowi'EH followed too inuch in the wale of . You * u-- to give piquancy to his verses . Sound am ] admirable ; is they are , smartly . us they hit tho : free | lnnker and" the debauchee , they are never personal . The satirist lashed only the vices , and his example i * now generally followed . Pjjtku Pjkjjah , Chukchi ^ ., and Gn- - - 1-ojid created some amusement in their day . Peter was personal eiiowli ,- but " lie said rude things , and practised invective rather than Satire , It is not satirical to assert that of Sir Joseph Banks , " that strange to utter , he , when a very httle boy at school , ate spiders spread upon his bread and butter ; it is not satirical to expose the poor old mad king in his conversations AVith Whitbiu : vi > , or his questions about the apple dumpling . All these are Within the boundaries of clever sarcasm , and that often very unscrupulous . Peter Pindae Wolcot could do better than this , and has done better , and has humour and satiric power , too , m abund-Tlie days of strong versified abuse are , however , gone . Almost every writer is now a satirist ; some are of the very mildest possible description , but literary scalp-hunters are few . Articles savage and slaughterly appear occasionally , but their appearance is hailed with disapprobation , and the satirist contents himself with exposing , the club-foot of the limping exquisite , or showing the rouge pot and wrinkles of the old beau . The ¦ ¦ " dear wicked satiric creatures , as the ladies cull them , are very strong upon Indus' hats and . crinoline ; upon puor old women who are weak enough to wish to keep their precious youth : upon the ugly women who try to look pretty ; upon the vulgar who wish to be fashionable ; or the poor little city gent , who rising from a lower form of life , tries to ape the dress and behaviour of his betters . All these are legitimate objects ot satire , but the wrath expended upon them is not very God-like . It is easy to cru « h a butterfly upon a wheel , but the frivolous occupation will not add to one ' s strength . The mildness , meekness , and perfect propriety under which the writers of l uurh manage to rein their esprit muuaeur may be , and are , conducive to calm language , but certainly do not give rise to any vigour of thought . Ue doubt '' -whether the whole nation i . s not weakened by the proceeding- ; and it is but lately , When certain incompetent generals lost us whole brigades , and starved inen and horses by the troop , that the dead level wif English feeling showed- itself . Indhjnatiif fiu-U versus ; possiblv , but the scorn and hatred at such proceedings . were not divine enough for poetry , and iio indignant wife * branded llio fouls and imbeciles to all eternity ; the latter , therefore , escaping the satire , quietly have kept their places , and have even received honours ( P ) . ^ '¦ ¦ ' ., : ¦ . ,, Strong , sound satire , such as : Qixvucutiuh could have penned would have done us service ; but our nearest approach to CflfWHU-L was Jekhold , a man of a very capable but limited spirit , whose best sarcasms were so polished and suc-cesst' ul that he . himself and others thought him a satirist . When he . told a IVieud , who vu-ged that both being litterateurs they rowed " in the same boat ; \; es , but ' ¦ ' not with the same skulls , " he merely vented what rhetoricians call an alitanaclasis , and unscholastic people a pun with a - sarcastic turn .-He was often offensively bitter , and he earned for hinwelt that which he did not deserve— the reputation of an uviknidly man , lins he was not , but lie was so continually empioYeu in making up sharp sayings that he could not stay to pick and choose the persons upon whom to vent them . His best sayings are in his comedies . His books of satire , read even , at this short distance of time , are excessively ponderous and heavy . Itisone thing to iittack a man with a tomahawk , another to prick him with a lancet . Jkkkold and his school ( bought that a man could not be touched unless his brains were knocked out . His intention was always qvident , whereas satire should be like summer lightning , visible \ o i \\\ , but fatal only to the venum and noxious insects . . . The M « a ¦/«« Apollo in satire at present , every one will say , is Mr . Twao ' kehay ; indeed , his most recent writing , Zoiyl , the , Wiihwcr , seems to promise but a collocation of sly things whispered ( into the qiir of society by its satiric monitor . But it seems to us that j his power in this wa . y is much inferior to that of his muster , Fusing , —ov even to that of Dickkns . When the latter tolls us of a certain Germau baron , who being visited with conscientious qualms of a murder , seized upon certain wood and stone belonging to u weaker Baron , and built a chapel with them , thereby hoping to , propitiate Heaven , the satire is so true and pungent that wo all feel touched by it . Our oft ' erings also are too often polluted , and by the picture we gain a deeper knowledge of ourselves . A > lien Mr . Punch in Ms earlier days-used , as a pendant to the descriptions of fashionable parties , to describe the supper of Mr . Brown the sweep and Hoggins the costennongor , upon whoso tablo broad amd cheese , and onions and other delicacies of the season were o > served , the satire was so true and keen , although gentle , that the Murnhnr Pout and Ootwt Jutt-rnal were considerably amended thereby , and grow less eloquent upon the sujinors of hoiuu modern Luouu , us in his Apollo chumbcr . But tho author of Vaitifi / Fair owns no such gentle touches . Satyr-like , he takes his crook for tho purpono of lilting » 1 > the . skirts of wouk'ty , and exhibiting her day feet ; lie writon , and has . written , chapter » vffcor chapter on the . pillaring landliulio . s BWiiggoring eaptaniB , clownish baronets , and clubiou « iinstocracy : wo Jeel tliat our neighbours are hit rather than ourrtulv . es , and wo go on uur way rejoicing . This kind of satiro does no good . It makes us regard all around us with a cynic sneer , and pornotuiilly-cry out , i 11 Ah 1 it is all very well , saintly Miss Dash and good Mr , Ulnnk , but you have u skeleton in your cupboard us well as the . roat ; and you ,
Jan . 7 , I 860 . ] The Leader and SaturdayrAnalyst . 13
The O He At. Exhibition- Of 1-8-61,
THE GltEAT EXHIBITION OF 1861 .
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 7, 1860, page 13, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2328/page/13/