The style of "Our Special Correspondents "at this time of
year alters sensibly for the worse, owing, we take it, to a relay of
fresh hands, whose eloquence is supposed to pass muster at a time when no critical readers are to be found. Even the Times correspondent at Portsmouth begins his letter in a well-known formula, borrowed from Mr. G. P. R. James—" Just as the setting sun last evening was lighting with its expiring rays the roadstead of Spitlaead, the officers of the French fleet were being rowed to the Duke of Wellington, which is lying inside Portsmouth harbour," — the pictiresque,historioal. The holiday twilit& at Frankfort is, however, even worse. He becomes eloquent on a companion :— " My companion, gentle reader, was a gentleman, if I at all know what ought to be understood by that appellation. The perfect lines of his profile, the thin though not emaciated face, the rich but smooth brown hair, the shaven chin, the bushy whiskers, the small ear, the long white, taper fingers, the almond nails—ell about him spoke of that blood which gives in England a much surer patent of high descent than any golden page in that sacred volume which the good-natured cynic, Thackeray, rather profanely calls 'the British Bible.'" And he adds—" The word 4 nice' seemed to have been coined for his benefit, and he was evidently a man whose keen senses are given to him rather for excruciating pain than for exquisite pleasure,"—which is a manner of writing surely very rarely to be found in the Times, and rather in the rich pomatum style.