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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843" ***

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generously made available by The Internet Library of Early
Journals.)



BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCXXXVIII. DECEMBER, 1843. VOL. LIV.

Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved
to the end of each article.



                          CONTENTS.


        LECTURES AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY.                         691
        SOMETHING ABOUT MUSIC.                                 709
        THE PURPLE CLOAK; OR, THE RETURN OF SYLOSON TO SAMOS.  714
        LOVE AND DEATH.                                        717
        THE BRIDGE OVER THE THUR.                              717
        THE BANKING-HOUSE. A HISTORY IN THREE PARTS. PART II.  719
        COLLEGE THEATRICALS.                                   737
        LINES WRITTEN IN THE ISLE OF BUTE.                     749
        TRAVELS OF KERIM KHAN. CONCLUSION.                     753
        NOTES ON A TOUR OF THE DISTURBED DISTRICTS IN WALES.   766
        ADVENTURES IN TEXAS. NO. II.                           777
        DEATH FROM THE STING OF A SERPENT.                     798
        GIFTS OF TÉREK.                                        799
        MARSTON; OR, THE MEMOIRS OF A STATESMAN. PART VI.      801

        INDEX TO VOL. LIV.                                     815

       *       *       *       *       *



LECTURES AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY.

HENRY FUSELI.


At a time when the eye of the public is more remarkably, and we trust
more kindly, directed to the Fine Arts, we may do some service to the
good cause, by reverting to those lectures delivered in the Royal
Academy, composed in a spirit of enthusiasm honourable to the
professors, but which kindled little sympathy in an age strangely dead
to the impulses of taste. The works, therefore, which set forth the
principles of art, were not read extensively at the time, and had little
influence beyond the walls within which they were delivered. Favourable
circumstances, in conjunction with their real merit, have permanently
added the discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds to the standard literature
of our country. They have been transferred from the artist to the
scholar; and so it has happened, that while few of any pretension to
scholarship have not read the "The Discourses," they have not, as they
should have, been continually in the hands of artists themselves. To
awaken a feeling for this kind of professional reading--yet not so
professional as not to be beneficial--reflectingly upon classical
learning; indeed, we might say, education in general, and therefore more
comprehensive in its scope--we commenced our remarks on the discourses
of Sir Joshua Reynolds, which have appeared in the pages of Maga. There
are now more than symptoms of the departure of that general apathy which
prevailed, when most of the Academy lectures were delivered. It will be,
therefore, a grateful, and may we hope a useful, task, by occasional
notices to make them more generally known.

The successors of Reynolds labour under a twofold disadvantage; they
find that he has occupied the very ground they would have taken, and
written so ably and fully upon all that is likely to obtain a general
interest, as to leave a prejudice against further attempts. Of
necessity, there must be, in every work treating of the same subject,
much repetition; and it must require no little ingenuity to give a
novelty and variety, that shall yet be safe, and within the bounds of
the admitted principles of art. On this account, we have no reason to
complain of the lectures of Fuseli, which we now purpose to notice. Bold
and original as the writer is, we find him every where impressed with a
respect for Reynolds, and with a conviction of the truth of the
principles which he had collected and established. If there be any
difference, it is occasionally on the more debatable ground--particular
passages of criticism.

In the "Introduction," the student is supplied with a list of the
authorities he should consult for the "History and Progress of his Art."
He avoids expatiating on the books purely elementary--"the van of which
is led by Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Durer, and the rear by Gherard
Lavresse--as the principles which they detail must be supposed to be
already in the student's possession, or are occasionally interwoven with
the topics of the lectures;" and proceeds "to the historically critical
writers, who consist of all the ancients yet remaining, Pausanias
excepted." Fortunately, there remain a sufficient number of the
monuments of ancient art "to furnish us with their standard of style;"
for the accounts are so contradictory, that we should have little to
rely upon. The works of the ancient artists are all lost: we must be
content with the "hasty compilations of a warrior," Pliny, or the
"incidental remarks of an orator," (rhetorician,) Quintilian. The former
chiefly valuable when he quotes--for then, as Reynolds observed, "he
speaks the language of an artist:" as in his account of the glazing
method of Apelles; the manner in which Protogenes embodied his colours;
and the term of art _circumlitio_, by which Nicias gave "the line of
correctness to the models of Praxiteles;" the foreshortening the bull by
Pausias, and throwing his shade on the crowd--showing a forcible
chiaroscuro. "Of Quintilian, whose information is all relative to style,
the tenth chapter of the XII.th book, a passage on expression in the
XI.th, and scattered fragments of observations analogous to the process
of his own art, is all that we possess; but what he says, though
comparatively small in bulk, with what we have of Pliny, leaves us to
wish for more. His review of the revolutions of style in painting, from
Polygnotus to Apelles, and in sculpture, from Phidias to Lysippus, is
succinct and rapid; but though so rapid and succinct, every word is
poised by characteristic precision, and can only be the result of long
and judicious enquiry, and perhaps even minute examination." Still less
have we scattered in the writings of Cicero, who, "though he seems to
have had little native taste for painting and sculpture, and even less
than he had taste for poetry, had a conception of nature; and with his
usual acumen, comparing the principles of one art with those of another,
frequently scattered useful hints, or made pertinent observations. For
many of these he might probably be indebted to Hortensius, with whom,
though his rival in eloquence, he lived on terms of familiarity, and who
was a man of declared taste, and one of the first collectors of the
time." He speaks somewhat too slightingly of Pausanias,[1] as "the
indiscriminate chronicler of legitimate tradition and legendary trash,"
considering that he praises "the scrupulous diligence with which he
examined what fell under his own eye." He recommends to the epic or
dramatic artist the study of the heroics of the elder, and the Eicones
or Picture Galleries of the elder and younger Philostratus.

"The innumerable hints, maxims, anecdotes, descriptions, scattered over
Lucian, Oelian, Athenaeus, Achilles Tatius, Tatian Pollux, and many
more, may be consulted to advantage by the man of taste and letters, and
probably may be neglected without much loss by the student." "Of modern
writers on art Vasari leads the van; theorist, artist, critic, and
biographer, in one. The history of modern art owes, no doubt, much to
Vasari; he leads us from its cradle to its maturity with the anxious
diligence of a nurse; but he likewise has her derelictions: for more
loquacious than ample, and less discriminating styles than eager to
accumulate descriptions, he is at an early period exhausted by the
superlatives lavished on inferior claims, and forced into frigid
rhapsodies and astrologic nonsense to do justice to the greater. He
swears by the divinity of M. Agnolo. He tells us that he copied every
figure of the Capella Sistina and the stanze of Raffaelle, yet his
memory was either so treacherous, or his rapidity in writing so
inconsiderate, that his account of both is a mere heap of errors and
unpardonable confusion, and one might almost fancy he had never entered
the Vatican." He is less pleased with the "rubbish of his
contemporaries, or followers, from Condior to Ridolfi, and on to
Malvasia." All is little worth "till the appearance of Lanzi, who, in
his 'Storia Pittorica della Italia,' has availed himself of all the
information existing in his time, has corrected most of those who wrote
before him, and, though perhaps not possessed of great discriminative
powers, has accumulated more instructive anecdotes, rescued more
deserving names from oblivion, and opened a wider prospect of art, than
all his predecessors." But for the valuable notes of Reynolds, the idle
pursuit of Du Fresnoy to clothe the precepts of art in Latin verse,
would be useless. "The notes of Reynolds, treasures of practical
observation, place him among those whom we may read with profit." De
Piles and Felibien are spoken of next, as the teachers of "what may be
learned from precept, founded on prescriptive authority more than on the
verdicts of nature." Of the effects of the system pursued by the French
Academy from such precepts, our author is, perhaps, not undeservedly
severe.

"About the middle of the last century the German critics, established at
Rome, began to claim the exclusive privilege of teaching the art, and to
form a complete system of antique style. The verdicts of Mengs and
Winkelmann, become the oracles of antiquaries, dilettanti, and artists,
from the Pyrenees to the utmost north of Europe, have been detailed, and
are not without their influence here. Winkelmann was the parasite of the
fragments that fell from the conversation or the tablets of Mengs--a
deep scholar, and better fitted to comment on a classic than to give
lessons on art and style, he reasoned himself into frigid reveries and
Platonic dreams on beauty. As far as the taste or the instruction of his
tutor directed, he is right when they are; and between his own learning
and the tuition of the other, his history of art delivers a specious
system, and a prodigious number of useful observations." "To him Germany
owes the shackles of her artists, and the narrow limits of their aim."
Had Fuseli lived to have witnessed the "revival" at Munich, he would
have appreciated the efforts made, and still making, there. He speaks of
the works of Mengs with respect. "The works of Mengs himself are, no
doubt, full of the most useful information, deep observation, and often
consummate criticism. He has traced and distinguished the principles of
the moderns from those of the ancients; and in his comparative view of
the design, colour, composition, and expression of Raffaelle, Correggio,
and Tiziano, with luminous perspicuity and deep precision, pointed out
the prerogative or inferiority of each. As an artist, he is an instance
of what perseverance, study, experience, and encouragement can achieve
to supply the place of genius." He then, passing by all English critics
preceding Reynolds, with the petty remark, that "the last is undoubtedly
the first," says--"To compare Reynolds with his predecessors, would
equally disgrace our judgment, and impeach our gratitude. His volumes
can never be consulted without profit, and should never be quitted by
the student's hand but to embody, by exercise, the precepts he gives and
the means he points out." It is useful thus to see together the
authorities which a student should consult, and we have purposely
characterized them as concisely as we could, in our extracts, which
strongly show the peculiar style of Mr Fuseli. If this introduction was,
however, intended for artists, it implies in them a more advanced
education in Greek and Latin literature than they generally possess. Mr
Fuseli was himself an accomplished scholar. How desirable is it that the
arts and general scholarship should go together! The classics, fully to
be enjoyed, require no small cultivation in art; and as the greater
portion of ancient art is drawn from that source, Greek mythology, and
classical history and literature, such an education would seem to be the
very first step in the acquirements of an artist. We believe that in
general they content themselves with Lempriere's Dictionary; and that
rather for information on subjects they may see already painted, than
for their own use; and thus, for lack of a feeling which only education
can give, a large field of resources is cut off from them. If it be said
that English literature--English classics, will supply the place, we
deny it; for there is not an English classic of value to an artist, who
was not, to his very heart's core, embued with a knowledge and love of
the ancient literature. We might instance but two, Spenser and
Milton--the statute-books of the better English art--authors whom, we do
not hesitate to say, no one can thoroughly understand or enjoy, who has
not far advanced in classical education. We shall never cease to throw
out remarks of this kind, with the hope that our universities will yet
find room to foster the art within them; satisfied as we are that the
advantages would be immense, both to the art and to the universities.
How many would then pursue pleasures and studies most congenial with
their usual academical education, and, thus occupied, be rescued from
pursuits that too often lead to profligacy and ruin; and sacrifice to
pleasures that cannot last, those which, where once fostered, have ever
been permanent!

       *       *       *       *       *

The FIRST LECTURE is a summary of ancient art--one rather of research
than interest--more calculated to excite the curiosity of the student
than to offer him any profitable instruction. The general matter is well
known to most, who have at all studied the subject. Nor have we
sufficient confidence in any theory as to the rise and growth of art in
Greece, to lay much stress upon those laid down in this lecture. We
doubt if the religion of Greece ever had that hold upon the feelings of
the people, artists, or their patrons, which is implied in the
supposition, that it was an efficient cause. A people that could listen
to the broad farce of Aristophanes, and witness every sort of contempt
thrown upon the deities they professed to worship, were not likely to
seek in religion the advancement of art; and their licentious
liberty--if liberty it deserved to be called--was of too watchful a
jealousy over greatness of every kind, to suffer genius to be free and
without suspicion. We will not follow the lecturer through his
conjectures on the mechanic processes. It is more curious than useful to
trace back the more perfect art through its stages--the "Polychrom," the
"Monochrom," the "Monogram," and "Skiagram"--nor from the pencil to the
"cestrum." Polygnotus is said to be the first who introduced the
"essential style;" which consisted in ascertaining the abstract, the
general form, as it is technically termed the central form. Art under
Polygnotus was, however, in a state of formal "parallelism;" certainly
it could boast no variety of composition. Apollodorus "applied the
essential principles of Polygnotus to the delineation of the species, by
investigating the leading forms that discriminate the various classes of
human qualities and passions." He saw that all men were connected
together by one general form, yet were separated by some predominant
power into classes; "thence he drew his line of imitation, and
personified the central form of the class to which his object belonged,
and to which the rest of its qualities administered, without being
absorbed." Zeuxis, from the essential of Polygnotus and specific
discrimination of Apollodorus, comparing one with the other, formed his
ideal style. Thus are there the three styles--the essential, the
characteristic, the ideal.

Art was advanced and established under Parrhasius and Timanthes, and
refined under Eupompus, Apelles, Aristides, and Euphranor. "The
correctness of Parrhasius succeeded to the genius of Zeuxis. He
circumscribed the ample style, and by subtle examination of outline,
established that standard of divine and heroic form which raised him to
the authority of a legislator, from whose decisions there was no appeal.
He gave to the divine and heroic character in painting, what Polycletus
had given to the human in sculpture by his Doryphorus, a canon of
proportion. Phidias had discovered in the nod of the Homeric Jupiter the
characteristic of majesty, _inclination of the head_. This hinted to him
a higher elevation of the neck behind, a bolder protrusion of the front,
and the increased perpendicular of the profile. To this conception
Parrhasius fixed a maximum; that point from which descends the ultimate
line of celestial beauty, the angle within which moves what is inferior,
beyond which what is portentous. From the head conclude to the
proportions of the neck, the limbs, the extremities; from the Father to
the race of gods; all, the sons of one, Zeus; derived from one source of
tradition, Homer; formed by one artist, Phidias; on him measured and
decided by Parrhasius. In the simplicity of this principle, adhered to
by the succeeding periods, lies the uninterrupted progress and the
unattainable superiority of Grecian art."

In speaking of Timanthes as the competitor with Parrhasius, as one who
brought into the art more play of the mind and passions, the lecturer
takes occasion to discuss the often discussed and disputed propriety of
Timanthes, in covering the head of Agamemnon in his picture of the
sacrifice of Iphigenia. He thinks it the more incumbent on him so to do,
as the "late president" had passed a censure upon Timanthes. Sir Joshua
expressed his _doubt_ only, not his censure absolutely, upon the
delivery of the prize at the Academy for the best picture painted from
this subject. He certainly dissents from bestowing the praise, upon the
supposition of the intention being the avoiding a difficulty. And as to
this point, the well-known authorities of Cicero, Quintilian, Valerius
Maximus, and Pliny, seem to agree. And _if_, as the lecturer observes in
a note, the painter is made to waste expression on inferior actors at
the expense of a principal one, he is an improvident spendthrift, not a
wise economist. The pertness of Falconet is unworthy grave criticism and
the subject, though it is quoted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. He assumes that
Agamemnon is the principal figure. Undoubtedly Mr Fuseli is
right--Iphigenia is the principal figure; and it may be fairly admitted,
that the overpowering expression of the grief of the father would have
divided the subject. It might be more properly a separate picture. Art
is limited; nothing should detract from the principal figure, the
principal action--passion. Our sympathy is not called for on behalf of
the father here: the grief of the others in the picture is the grief in
perfect sympathy with Iphigenia; the father would have been absorbed in
his own grief, and his grief would have been an unsympathetic grief
towards Iphigenia. It was his own case that he felt; and it does appear
to us an aggravation of the suffering of Iphigenia, that, at the moment
of her sacrifice, she saw indeed her father's person, but was never
more--and knew she was never more--to behold his face again. This
circumstance alone would justify Timanthes, but other concurrent reasons
may be given. It was no want of power to express the father's grief, for
it is in the province of art to express every such delineation; but
there _is_ a point of grief that is ill expressed by the countenance at
all; and there is a natural action in such cases for the sufferer
himself to hide his face, as if conscious that it was not in agreement
with his feelings. Such grief is astounding: we look for the expression
of it, and find it not: it is better than receive this shock to hide the
face. We do it naturally; so that here the art of the painter, that
required that his picture should be a whole, and centre in Iphigenia,
was mainly assisted by the proper adoption of this natural action of
Agamemnon. Mr Fuseli, whose criticism is always acute, and generally
just and true, has well discussed the subject, and properly commented
upon the flippancy of Falconet. After showing the many ways in which the
painter might have expressed the parent's grief, and that none of them
would be _decere, pro dignitate, digne_, he adds--'But Timanthes had too
true a sense of nature to expose a father's feelings, or to tear a
passion to rags; nor had the Greeks yet learned of Rome to steel the
face. If he made Agamemnon bear his calamity as a man, he made him also
feel it as a man. It became the leader of Greece to sanction the
ceremony with his presence: it did not become the father to see his
daughter beneath the dagger's point: the same nature that threw a real
mantle over the face of Timoleon, when he assisted at the punishment of
his brother, taught Timanthes to throw an imaginary one over the face of
Agamemnon; neither height nor depth, _propriety_ of expression was his
aim.' It is a question whether Timanthes took the idea from the text of
Euripides, or whether it is his invention, and was borrowed by the
dramatist. The picture must have presented a contrast to that of his
rival Parrhasius, which exhibited the fury of Ajax.

Whether the invention was or was not the merit of Euripides, certainly
this is not the only instance wherein he has turned it to dramatic
advantage. No dramatist was so distinct a painter as Euripides; his mind
was ever upon picture. He makes Hecuba, in the dialogue with Agamemnon,
say, "Pity me, and, standing apart as would a painter, look at me, and
see what evils I have,"

     [Greek: Oichteiron hêmas, os grapheus t apostatheis,
     Ida me chanathrêson, oi echô chacha.]

And this Hecuba, when Talthybius comes to require her presence for the
burial of Polyxena, is found lying on the ground, _her face covered_
with her robe:--

     [Greek: Autê pelas sou, nôt echous epi chthoni,
     Talthubie, keitai, sugchechleismenê peplois.]

And in the same play, Polyxena bids Ulysses to cover her head with a
robe, as he leads her away, that she might not see her mother's grief.

     [Greek: Komiz, Odysseu, m'amphitheis peplois chara.]

But in the instance in question, in the Iphigenia, there is one
circumstance that seems to have been overlooked by the critics, which
makes the action of Agamemnon the more expressive, and gives it a
peculiar force: the dramatist takes care to exhibit the more than common
parental and filial love; when asked by Clytemnestra what would be her
last, her dying request, it is instantly, on her father's account, to
avert every feeling of wrath against him:--

     [Greek: Patera ge ton emon mê stugei, posin te son.]

And even when the father covers his face, she is close beside him,
_tells him that she is beside him_, and her last words are to comfort
him. Now, whether Timanthes took the scene from Euripides or Euripides
from Timanthes, it could not be more powerfully, more naturally
conceived; for this dramatic incident, the tender movement to his side,
and speech of Iphigenia, could not have been imagined, or at least with
little effect, had not the father first covered his face. Mr Fuseli has
collected several instances of attempts something similar in pictures,
particularly by Massaccio, and Raffaelle from him; and he well
remarks--"We must conclude that Nature herself dictated to him this
method, as superior to all he could express by features; and that he
recognized the same dictate in Massaccio, who can no more be supposed to
have been acquainted with the precedent of Timanthes than Shakspeare
with that of Euripides, when he made Macduff draw his hat over his
face." From Timanthes Mr Fuseli proceeds to eulogize Aristides; whom
history records as, in a peculiar excellence, the painter of the
passions of nature. "Such, history informs us, was the suppliant whose
voice you seemed to hear, such his sick man's half-extinguished eye and
labouring breast, such Byblis expiring in the pangs of love, and, above
all, the half-slain mother shuddering lest the eager babe should suck
the blood from her palsied nipple."--"Timanthes had marked the limits
that discriminate terror from the excess of horror; Aristides drew the
line that separates it from disgust." Then follows a very just criticism
upon instances in which he considered that Raffaelle himself and Nicolo
Poussin had overstepped the bounds of propriety, and averted the
feelings from their object, by ideas of disgust. In the group of
Raffaelle, a man is removing the child from the breast of the mother
with one hand, while the other is applied to his nostrils. Poussin, in
his plague of the Philistines, has copied the loathsome action--so,
likewise, in another picture, said to be the plague of Athens, but
without much reason so named, in the collection of J. P. Mills, Esq. Dr
Waagen, in his admiration for the executive part of art, speaks of it as
"a very rich masterpiece of Poussin, in which we are reconciled by his
skill to the horrors of the subject."

In the commencement of the lecture, there are offered some definitions
of the terms of art, "nature, grace, taste, copy, imitation, genius,
talent." In that of nature, he seems entirely to agree with Reynolds;
that of beauty leaves us pretty much in the dark in our search for it,
"as that harmonious whole of the human frame, that unison of parts to
one end, which enchants us. The result of the standard set by the great
masters of our art, the ancients, and confirmed by the submissive
verdict of modern imitation." This is unphilosophical, unsatisfactory;
nor is that of grace less so--"that artless balance of motion and
repose, sprung from character, founded on propriety, which neither falls
short of the demands, nor overleaps the modesty of nature. Applied to
execution it means that dexterous power which hides the means by which
it was attained, the difficulties it has conquered." We humbly suggest,
that both parts of this definition may be found where there is little
grace. It is evident that the lecturer did not subscribe to any theory
of lines, as _per se_ beautiful or graceful, and altogether disregarded
Hogarth's line of beauty. Had Mr Hay's very admirable short works--his
"Theory of Form and Proportion"--appeared in Mr Fuseli's day, he would
have taken a new view of beauty and grace. By taste, he means not only a
knowledge of what is right in art, but a power to estimate degrees of
excellence, "and by comparison proceeds from justness to refinement."
This, too, we think inadequate to express what we mean by taste, which
appears to us to have something of a sense, independent of knowledge.
Using words in a technical sense, we may define them to mean what we
please, but certainly the words themselves, "copy" and "imitation," do
not mean very different things. He thinks "precision of eye, and
obedience of hand, are the requisites for copy, without the least
pretence to choice, what to select, what to reject; whilst choice,
directed by judgment or taste, constitutes the essence of imitation, and
alone can raise the most dexterous copyist to the noble rank of an
artist." We do not exactly see how this judgment arises out of his
definition of "taste." But it may be fair to follow him still closer on
this point. "The imitation of the ancients was, _essential_,
_characteristic_, _ideal_. The first cleared nature of accident, defect,
excrescence, (which was in fact his definition of nature, as so
cleared;) the second found the _stamen_ which connects character with
the central form; the third raised the whole and the parts to the
highest degree of unison." This is rather loose writing, and not very
close reasoning. After all, it may be safer to take words in their
common acceptation; for it is very difficult in a treatise of any
length, to preserve in the mind or memory the precise ideas of given
definitions. "Of genius, I shall speak with reserve; for no word has
been more indiscriminately confounded. By genius, I mean that power
which enlarges the circle of human knowledge, which discovers new
materials of nature, or combines the known with novelty; whilst talent
arranges, cultivates, polishes the discoveries of genius." Definitions,
divisions, and subdivisions, though intended to make clear, too often
entangle the ground unnecessarily, and keep the mind upon the stretch to
remember, when it should only feel. We think this a fault with Mr
Fuseli; it often renders him obscure, and involves his style of
aphorisms in the mystery of a riddle.

       *       *       *       *       *

SECOND LECTURE.--This lecture comprises a compendious history of modern
art; commencing with Massaccio. If religion gave the impulse to both
ancient and modern, so has it stamped each with the different characters
itself assumed. The conceptions the ancients had of divinity, were the
perfection of the human form; thus form and beauty became godlike. The
Christian religion wore a more spiritual character. In ancient art,
human form and beauty were triumphant; in modern art, the greater
triumph was in humility, in suffering; the religious inspiration was to
be shown in its influence in actions less calculated to display the
powers, the energies of form, than those of mind. Mere external beauty
had its accompanying vices; and it was compelled to lower its
pretensions considerably, submit to correction, and take a more
subordinate part. Thus, if art lost in form it gained in expression, and
thus was really more divine. Art in its revival, passing through the
barbarity of Gothic adventurers, not unencumbered with senseless
superstitions, yet with wondrous rapidity, raised itself to the noblest
conceptions of both purity and magnificence. Sculpture had, indeed,
preceded painting in the works of Ghiberti Donato and Philippo
Brunelleschi, when Massaccio appeared. "He first perceived that parts
are to constitute a whole; that composition ought to have a centre;
expression, truth; and execution, unity. His line deserves attention,
though his subjects led him not to investigation of form, and the
shortness of his life forbade his extending those elements, which
Raffaelle, nearly a century afterwards, carried to perfection." That
great master of expression did not disdain to borrow from him--as is
seen in the figure of "St Paul preaching at Athens," and that of "Adam
expelled from Paradise." Andrea Mantegna attempted to improve upon
Massaccio, by adding form from study of the antique. Mr Fuseli considers
his "taste too crude, his fancy too grotesque, and his comprehension too
weak, to advert from the parts that remained to the whole that inspired
them; hence, in his figures of dignity or beauty, we see not only the
meagre forms of common models, but even their defects tacked to ideal
torsos." We think, however, he is deserving of more praise than the
lecturer was disposed to bestow upon him, and that his "triumphs," the
processions, (at Hampton Court,) are not quite justly called "a copious
inventory of classic lumber, swept together with more industry than
taste, but full of valuable materials." Yet when it is said, that he was
"not ignorant of expression," and that "his Burial of Christ furnished
Raffaelle with composition, and even "some figures and attitudes," the
severity of the opinion seems somewhat mitigated. Luca Signorelli, more
indebted to nature than the study of the antique, "seems to have been
the first who contemplated with a discriminating eye his object; saw
what was accidental, and what essential; balanced light and shade, and
decided the motion of his figures. He foreshortened with equal boldness
and intelligence." It was thought by Vasari, that in his "Judgment,"
Michael Angelo had imitated him. At this period of the "dawn of modern
art, Leonardo da Vinci broke forth with a splendour which distanced
former excellence; made up of all the elements that constitute the
essence of genius; favoured by education and circumstances--all ear, all
eye, all grasp; painter, poet, sculptor, anatomist, architect, engineer,
chemist, machinist, musician, man of science, and sometimes empiric, he
laid hold of every beauty in the enchanted circle, but without exclusive
attachment to one, dismissed in her turn each." "We owe him chiaroscuro,
with all its magic--we owe him caricature, with all its incongruities."
His genius was shown in the design of the cartoon intended for the
council-chamber at Florence, which he capriciously abandoned, wherein
the group of horsemen might fairly rival the greatness of Michael Angelo
himself; and in the well-known "Last Supper," in the refectory of the
Dominicans at Milan, best known, however, from the copies which remain
of it, and the studies which remain. Fra Bartolomeo, "the last master of
this period, first gave gradation to colour, form and masses to drapery,
and a grave dignity, till then unknown, to execution." His was the merit
of having weaned Raffaelle "from the meanness of Pietro Perugino, and
prepared for the mighty style of Michael Angelo Buonarotti." Mr Fuseli
is inspired by his admiration of that wonderful man, as painter,
sculptor, and architect.

"Sublimity of conception, grandeur of form, and breadth of manner, are
the elements of Michael Angelo's style. By these principles, he selected
or rejected the objects of imitation. As painter, as sculptor, as
architect, he attempted--and above any other man, succeeded--to unite
magnificence of plan, and endless variety of subordinate parts, with the
utmost simplicity and breadth. His line is uniformly grand. Character
and beauty were admitted only as far as they could be made subservient
to grandeur. The child, the female, meanness, deformity, were by him
indiscriminately stamped with grandeur. A beggar rose from his hand the
patriarch of poverty; the hump of his dwarf is impressed with dignity;
his women are moulds of generation, his infants teem with man; his men
are a race of giants. This is the 'terribile via' hinted at by Agostino
Caracci; though, perhaps, as little understood by the Bolognese as by
the blindest of his Tuscan adorers, with Vasari at their head. To give
the appearance of perfect ease to the most perplexing difficulty, was
the exclusive power of Michael Angelo. He is the inventor of epic in
painting, in that sublime circle of the Sistine chapel which exhibits
the origin, the progress, and the final dispensations of theocracy. He
has personated motion in the groups of the cartoon of Pisa; embodied
sentiment on the monuments of St Lorenzo; unraveled the features of
meditation in the prophets and sibyls of the Sistine chapel; and in the
'Last Judgment,' with every attitude that varies the human body, traced
the master trait of every passion that sways the human heart. Though, as
sculptor, he expressed the character of flesh more perfectly than all
who went before or came after him, yet he never submitted to copy an
individual--Julio the Second only excepted; and in him he represented
the reigning passion rather than the man. In painting, he contented
himself with a negative colour, and as the painter of mankind, rejected
all meretricious ornament. The fabric of St Peter's scattered into
infinity of jarring parts by Bramante and his successors, he
concentrated; suspended the cupola, and to the most complex, gave the
air of the most simple of edifices. Such, take him for all in all, was
Michael Angelo, the salt of art; sometimes, no doubt, he had his moments
of dereliction, deviated into manner, or perplexed the grandeur of his
forms with futile and ostentatious anatomy; both met with armies of
copyists, and it has been his fate to have been censured for their
folly." This studied panegyric is nevertheless vigorous--emulous as that
of Longinus, of showing the author to be--

     "Himself, the great sublime he draws."

It hurries away the mind of the reader till it kindles a congenial
enthusiasm, we have the more readily given the quotation, as it is not
an unfair specimen of Mr Fuseli's power, both of thought and language.
Our author is scarcely less eloquent in his eulogy of Raffaelle which
follows. He has seized on the points of character of that great painter
very happily. "His composition always hastens to the most necessary
point as its centre, and from that disseminates, to that leads back, as
rays, all secondary ones. Group, form, and contrast are subordinate to
the event, and common-place ever excluded. His expression, in strict
unison with, and inspired by character; whether calm, agitated,
convulsed, or absorbed by the inspiring passion, unmixed and pure, never
contradicts its cause, equally remote from tameness and grimace: the
moment of his choice never suffers the action to stagnate or expire; it
is the moment of transition, the crisis, big with the past, and pregnant
with the future."

It is certainly true--the moment generally chosen by Raffaelle, is not
of the action completed, the end--but that in which it is doing. You
instantly acknowledge the power, while your curiosity is not quenched.
For instance, in the cartoon of the "Beautiful Gate," you see the action
at the word is just breaking into the miracle--the cripple is yet in his
distorted infirmity--but you see near him grace and activity of limb
beautifully displayed, in that mother and running child; and you look to
the perfection which, you feel sure, the miracle will complete. This is
by no means the best instance--it is the case in all his compositions
where a story is to be told. It is this action which, united with most
perfect character and expression, makes the life of Raffaelle's
pictures. We think, however, that even in so summary a history of art as
this, the object of which seems to be to mark the steps to its
perfection, the influence of Pietro Perugino should not have been
omitted. He is often very pure in sentiment, often more than bordering
on grace, and in colour perhaps superior to Raffaelle. Notwithstanding
Mr Fuseli's eulogy of Raffaelle, we doubt if he fully entered into his
highest sentiment. This we may show when we comment on another lecture.
While Rome and Tuscany were thus fostering the higher principles of art,
the fascination of colour was spreading a new charm to every eye at
Venice, from the pencils of Giorgione, and of Titian. Had not Titian
been a colourist, his genius was not unequal to the great style; perhaps
he has admitted of that style as much as would suit the predominant
character of his colouring. He worked less with chiaroscuro than colour,
which he endowed with all the sentiment of his subject. Mr Fuseli
considers landscape to have originated with Titian.

"Landscape, whether it be considered as the transcript of a spot, or the
rich combination of congenial objects, or as the scene of a phenomenon,
dates its origin from him:" so of portrait, he says--"He is the father
of portrait painting, of resemblance with form, character with dignity,
and costume with subordination." The yet wanting charm of art--perfect
harmony, was reserved for Correggio. "The harmony and grace of Correggio
are proverbial; the medium which, by breadth of gradation, unites two
opposite principles, the coalition of light and darkness, by
imperceptible transition, are the element of his style." "This unison of
a whole predominates in all that remains of him, from the vastness of
his cupolas to the smallest of his oil pictures. The harmony of
Correggio, though assisted by exquisite hues, was entirely independent
of colour; his great organ was chiaroscuro in its most extensive
sense--compared with the expanse in which he floats, the effects of
Leonardi da Vinci are little more than the dying ray of evening, and the
concentrated flash of Giorgione discordant abruptness. The bland,
central light of a globe, imperceptibly gliding through lucid demi-tints
into rich reflected shades, composes the spell of Correggio, and affects
us with the soft emotions of a delicious dream." Here terminates the
great, the primal era. Such were the patriarchs of modern art. Here, it
may be said, terminated the great discoverers. Mr Fuseli pauses here to
observe, that we should consider the characteristic of each of these
painters, not their occasional deviations; for not unfrequently did
Titian rise to the loftiness of conception of Michael Angelo, and
Correggio occasionally "exceeded all competition in expression in the
divine features of his _Ecce Homo_." If Mr Fuseli alludes to the _Ecce
Homo_ now in our National Gallery, we cannot go along with him in this
praise--but in that picture, the expression of the true "Mater dolorosa"
was never equaled. Art now proceeds to its period of "Refinement." The
great schools--the Tuscan, the Roman, the Venetian, and the
Lombard--from whatever cause, separated. Michael Angelo lived to see his
great style polluted by Tuscan and Venetian, "as the ostentatious
vehicle of puny conceits and emblematic quibbles, or the palliative of
empty pomp and degraded luxuriance of colour." He considers Andrea del
Sarto to have been his copyer, not his imitator. Tibaldi seems to have
caught somewhat of his mind. As did Sir Joshua, so does Mr Fuseli
mention his Polypheme groping at the mouth of his cave for Ulysses. He
expresses his surprise that Michael Angelo was unacquainted with the
great talent of Tibaldi, but lavished his assistance on inferior men,
Sebastian del Piombo and Daniel of Volterra. We think he does not do
fair justice to the merits of these undoubtedly great men. We shall have
occasion hereafter to notice his criticism on the great work of
Sebastian, in our National Gallery. We are surprised that he should
consider Sebastian del Piombo deficient in ideal colour, and that the
lines of Daniel of Volterra are meagre and sterile of idea--his
celebrated Descent from the Cross being in its lines, as tending to
perfect the composition, and to make full his great idea, quite
extraordinary. Poor Vasari, who can never find favour with our author,
is considered the great depravator of the style of Michael Angelo.

At the too early death of Raffaelle, his style fell into gradual decay.
Still Julio Romano, and Polidoro da Carravaggio, "deserted indeed the
standard of their master, but with a dignity and magnitude of compass
which command respect."

The taste of Julio Romano was not pure enough to detach him from
"deformity and grimace" and "ungenial colour." Primaticcio and Nicolo
dell Abate propagated the style of Julio Romano on the Gallic side of
the Alps, in mythologic and allegoric works. These frescoes from the
Odyssea at Fontainbleau are lost, but are worthy admiration, though in
the feeble etchings of Theodore van Fulden. The "ideal light and shade,
and tremendous breadth of manner" of Michael Angelo Amerigi, surnamed
Il Caravaggi, are next commended. "The aim and style of the Roman school
deserve little further notice here, till the appearance of Nicolo
Poussin." His partiality for the antique mainly affected his style. "He
has left specimens to show that he was sometimes sublime, and often in
the highest degree pathetic." Mr Fuseli takes occasion, by contrasting
"the classic regularity" of Poussin with the "wildness of Salvator
Rosa"--we think unnecessarily, because there seems to be no true point
of comparison, and unjustly to censure that great, we may say, that
original painter. We have noticed occasionally a capricious dislike in
our author to some artists, for which we are at a loss to account. That
Salvator should "hide by boldness of hand his inability of exhibiting
her (Nature) impassioned," is a sentence that will scarcely meet with an
assenting critic. The wealth and luxury of Venice soon demanded of art,
to sacrifice the modesty of nature to ostentation. The principle of
Titian was, however, followed by Tintoretto, Bassan, Paul Veronese, and
then passed to Velasquez the Spaniard, in Italy. From him "Rubens and
Vandyck attempted to transplant it to Flanders, France, and England,
with unequal success." The style of Correggio scarcely survived him, for
he had more imitators of parts than followers of the whole. His grace
became elegance under the hand of Parmegiano. "That disengaged play of
delicate forms, the 'saltezza' of the Italians, is the prerogative of
Parmegiano, though nearly always obtained at the expense of proportion."
We cannot agree with the lecturer, that the Moses of Parmegiano--if he
speaks of _the_ Moses referred to in the Discourses of Sir Joshua, of
which Mr Burnet, in his second edition, has given a plate--loses "the
dignity of the lawgiver in the savage." Such was the state of art to the
foundation of the Eclectic School by the Caracci--an attempt to unite
the excellences of all schools. The principles are perpetuated in a
sonnet by Agostino Caracci. The Caracci were, however, in their practice
above their precepts. Theirs, too, was the school of the "Naturalists."
Ludovico is particularly praised for his solemnity of hue, most suited
to his religious subjects--"that sober twilight, the air of cloistered
meditation, which you have so often heard recommended as the proper tone
of historic colour." If the recommendation has at our Academy been often
heard, it has entirely lost its influence; our English school is--with
an ignorance of the real object of colour, or with a very bad taste as
to its harmony--running into an opposite extravagance, destructive of
real power, glaring and distracting where it ought to concentrate
through vision the ideas of the mind. Annibal Caracci had more power of
execution, but not the taste of Agostino. In their immediate scholars,
the lecturer seems little disposed to see fairly their several
excellences. They are out of the view of his bias. They are not Michael
Angelesque. His judgment of Domenichino--a painter who greatly restored
the simplicity and severity of the elder schools, and greatly surpassed
his masters--is an instance of blindness to a power in art which we
would almost call new, that is very strange to see. "Domenichino, more
obedient than the rest to his masters, aimed at the beauty of the
antique, the expression of Raphael, the vigour of Annibal, the colour of
Ludovico; and mixing something of each, fell short of all." Nor do we
think him just with regard to Guercino, or even at all describing his
characteristic style, when he speaks of his "fierceness of chiaroscuro,
and intrepidity of hand." We readily give up to him "the great but
abused talents of Pietro da Cortona," a painter without sentiment, and
the "fascinating but debauched and empty facility of Luca Giordano."

The German schools here come under consideration, which, simultaneously
with those of Italy, and without visible communication, spread the
principles of art. "Towards the decline of the fifteenth century, the
uncouth essays of Martin Schön, Michael Wolgemuth, and Albrecht
Altorfer, were succeeded by the finer polish and the more dexterous
method of Albert Durer." His well-known figure of "Melancholy" would
alone entitle him to rank. The breadth and power of his wood engravings
are worthy of admiration. Mr Fuseli thinks "his colour went beyond his
age, and as far excelled, in truth and breadth of handling, the
oil-colour of Raphael, as Raphael excels him in every other quality.
His influence was not unfelt in Italy. It is visible in the style of
even the imitators of Michael Angelo--Andrea del Sarto, particularly in
the angular manner of his draperies. Though Albert Durer had no
scholars, he was imitated by the Dutch Lucas of Leyden. Now it was that
the style of Michael Angelo, spread by the graver of Giorgio Mantuano,
brought to Italy "those caravans of German, Dutch, and Flemish students,
who, on their return from Italy, at the courts of Prague and Munich, in
Flanders and the Netherlands, introduced the preposterous manner, the
bloated excrescence of diseased brains, which, in the form of man, left
nothing human; distorted action and gesture with insanity of
affectation, and dressed the gewgaws of children in colossal shapes."
But though such as Golzius, Spranger, Heyntz, and Abach, "fed on the
husks of Tuscan design, they imbibed the colour of Venice, and spread
the elements of that excellence which distinguished the succeeding
schools of Flanders and of Holland." So it was till the appearance of
Rubens and Rembrandt--"both of whom, disdaining to acknowledge the usual
laws of admission to the temple of Fame, boldly forged their own keys,
entered, and took possession, each of a most conspicuous place, by his
own power." Rubens, with many advantages, acquired in his education at
Antwerp, and already influenced by the gorgeous pomp of Austrian and
Spanish superstition, arrived in Italy rather as the rival than pupil of
the masters whom he travelled to study. Whatever he borrowed from the
Venetian school--the object of his admiration--he converted into a new
manner of florid magnificence. It is just the excellence of Rubens--the
completeness, the congruity of his style--that has raised him to the
eminence in the temple of fame which he will ever occupy. A little short
of Rubens is intolerable: the clumsy forms and improprieties of his
imitators are not to be endured. Mr Fuseli excepts Vandyck and Abraham
Drepenbeck from the censure passed upon the followers of Rubens. As
Drepenbeck is not so well known, we quote the passage respecting
him:--"The fancy of Drepenbeck, though not so exuberant, if I be not
mistaken, excelled in sublimity the imagination of Rubens. His
Bellerophon, Dioscuri, Hippolytus, Ixion, Sisyphus, fear no competitor
among the productions of his master." Rembrandt he considers a genius of
the first class in all but form. Chiaroscuro and colour were the
elements, in fact, in which Rembrandt reveled. In these he was the
poet--the maker. He made colour and chiaroscuro throw out ideas of
sublimity: that he might throw himself the more into these great
elements of his art, and depend solely on their power, he seems
purposely not to have neglected form, but to have selected such as,
without beauty to attract, should be merely the objects of life, the
sensitive beings in his world of mystery. That such was his intention we
cannot doubt; because we cannot imagine the beautiful but too attractive
figures of the Apollo or the Venus adopted into one of his pictures.
Excepting in a few instances, we would not wish Rembrandt's forms other
than they are. They appear necessary to his style. Mr Fuseli speaks very
favourably of art in Switzerland; but says there are only two painters
of name--Holbein, and Francis Mola. The designs of the Passion and Dance
of Death of the former, are instanced as works of excellence. Mola, we
are surprised to find ranked as Swiss; for he is altogether, in art,
Italian. The influence of the school and precepts of the Caracci,
produced in France an abundant harvest of mediocrity. In France was the
merit of Michael Angelo first questioned. There are, however, names that
rescue France from the entire disgrace of the abandonment of the true
principles of art: Nicolo Poussin, Le Sueur, Le Brun, Sebastian Bourdon,
and Pierre Mignard. The Seven Works of Charity, by Seb. Bourdon, teem
with surprising, pathetic, and always novel images; and in the Plague of
David, by Pierre Mignard, our sympathy is roused by energies of terror
and combinations of woe, which escaped Poussin and Raphael himself." Of
Spanish art he says but little, but that "the degree of perfection
attained by Diego Velasquez, Joseph Ribera, and Murillo, in pursuing the
same object by means as different as successful, impresses us with deep
respect for the variety of their powers." Art, as every thing else, has
its fashion. The Spanish school have, of later years, been more eagerly
sought for; and a strange whim of the day has attached a very
extraordinary value to the works of Murillo--a painter in colour
generally monotonous, and in form and expression almost always vulgar.

Art in England is the next subject of the lecture. He takes a view of it
from the age of Henry VIII. to our own. No great encouragement was here
given to art till the time of Charles I.: Holbein, indeed, and Zucchero,
under Elizabeth, were patronized, but "were condemned to Gothic work and
portrait painting." The troubles and death of Charles I. were a sad
obstacle to art. "His son, in possession of the Cartoons of Raphael, and
with the magnificence of Whitehall before his eyes, suffered Verio to
contaminate the walls of his palaces, or degraded Lely to paint the
Cymons and Iphigenias of his court; whilst the manner of Kneller swept
completely what might yet be left of taste under his successors. Such
was the equally contemptible and deplorable state of English art, till
the genius of Reynolds first rescued from the mannered depravation of
foreigners his own branch; and, soon extending his view to the higher
departments of art, joined that select body of artists who addressed the
ever open ear, ever attentive mind, of our royal founder with the first
idea of this establishment." After this little parade of our artists as
a body, but four are mentioned by name--"Reynolds, Hogarth,
Gainsborough, and Wilson."

We are surprised that, in this summary history of art, no notice has
been taken of Van Eyck, and the influence of his discovery on art. Nor
are we less surprised that so important a branch as landscape painting
should have been omitted; Claude and Gaspar Poussin not mentioned; yet,
in the English school, Wilson is spoken of, whose sole merit rested upon
his landscape. He should more distinctly have stated his purpose to
treat only of high and historical art.

       *       *       *       *       *

THIRD LECTURE.--In the commencement, there is an unnecessary, and rather
affectedly written disquisition of the old question, or rather
comparison between poetry and painting, from which nothing is to be
learned; nor does it suggest any thing. Nor do we now-a-days want to
read pages to tell us what invention is, and how it differs from
creation--nor is it at all important in matters of art, that we should
draw any such distinction at all. It is far better to go at once "in
medias res," and take it for granted that the reader both knows and
feels, without metaphysical discussion, what that invention is which is
required to make a great painter. Nor are we disposed to look upon
otherwise than impertinent, while we are waiting for didactic rules, the
being told that "he who discovers a gold mine, is surely superior to him
who afterwards adapts the metal for use;" especially when it is paraded
with comparisons between "Colombo" and "Amerigo Vespucci," and a
misplaced panegyric on Newton. And much of this is encumbered with
language that fatigues and makes a plain matter obscure. There is a
little affectation sometimes in Mr Fuseli's writing of Ciceronic
_ambages_, that is really injurious to the good sense and just thoughts,
which would without this display, come free, open, and with power. Some
pages, too, are taken up with a preliminary argument--"_whether it be
within the artist's province or not, to find or to combine a subject
from himself, without having recourse to tradition, or the stores of
history and poetry_." We have a display of learning to little purpose,
quotations from Latin and Greek, really "nihil ad rem;" the "[Greek:
phantasias]" of the Greek, and "visiones" of the Romans. Who that ever
saw even one work of Hogarth, the "Marriage à la Mode," would for a
moment think the question worth a thought. "The misnamed gladiator of
Agasias," seems forced into this treatise, for the sole purpose of
showing Mr Fuseli's reading, and after all, he leaves the figure as
uncertain as he finds it. He _once_ thought it might have been an
Alcibiades rushing from the flames, when his house was fired; but is
more satisfied that "it might form an admirable Ulysses bestriding the
deck of his ship to defend his companions from the descending fangs of
Scylla, or rather, with indignation and anguish, seeing them already
snatched up, and writhing in the mysterious gripe." In such fanciful
humours, it might be made to mean any thing or any body. And we are,
after all, quite at a loss to know whether the _conjecture_ is offered
as a specimen of "_invention_." He considers the cartoon of Pisa "the
most striking instance, of the eminent place due to this _intuitive
faculty among the principal organs of invention_"--we mark these words
in italics, not quite certain of their meaning. The work is engraved for
Foster, by Schiavonetti; and a wonderful work it is--the work of Michael
Angelo begun in competition with Leonardo da Vinci. The original is said
to have been destroyed by Baccio Bandinelli; still there are the ancient
prints and drawings which show the design, and there is a small copy at
Holkham. Benvenuto Cellini--and could there be a better
authority?--denies that the powers afterwards exerted in the Capella
Sistina, arrive at half its excellence. Mr Fuseli's description is so
good, that we give it entire. "It represents an imaginary moment
relative to the war carried on by the Florentines against Pisa; and
exhibits a numerous group of warriors, roused from their bathing in the
Arno, by the sudden signal of a trumpet, and rushing to arms. This
composition may, without exaggeration, be said to personify with
unexampled variety, that motion which Agasias and Theon embodied in
single figures. In imagining this transient moment from state of
relaxation to a state of energy, the ideas of motion, to use the bold
figure of Dante, seem to have showered into the artist's mind. From the
chief, nearly placed in the centre, who precedes, and whose voice
accompanies the trumpet, every age of human agility, every attitude,
every feature of alarm, haste, hurry, exertion, eagerness, burst into so
many rays, like sparks flying from the hammer. Many have reached, some
boldly step, some have leaped on the rocky shore; here two arms emerging
from the water, grapple with the rock, there two hands cry for help, and
their companions bend over or rush on to assist them: often imitated,
but inimitable, is the ardent feature of the grim veteran, whose every
sinew labours to force over the dripping limbs his clothes, whilst
gnashing, he pushes the foot through the rending garment. He is
contrasted by the slender elegance of a half-averted youth, who, though
eagerly buckling the armour to his thigh, methodizes haste; another
swings the high-raised hauberk on his shoulder; whilst one, who seems a
leader, mindless of his dress, ready for combat, and with brandished
spear, overturns a third, who crouched to grasp a weapon; one, naked
himself, buckles on the mail of his companion, and he, turned toward
the enemy, seems to stamp impatiently the ground. Experience and rage;
old vigour, young velocity; expanded or contracted, vie in exertions of
energy. Yet in this scene of tumult, one motive animates the
whole--eagerness to engage, with subordination to command. This
preserves the dignity of the action, and from a strangling rabble,
changes the figures to men, whose legitimate contest interests our
wishes." Another example is given--Raffaelle's "Incendio del Borgo"--a
good description follows: "the enraged elements of _wind_ and fire," we
do not see in the original, not even in the drapery of the woman with
her back to us in the foreground. Speaking of this power of "invention,"
he says--after having, as we conceive, mistaken the aim of Raffaelle in
his Madonnas, and Holy families, which was somewhat beyond even the
"charities of father, son, and mother"--"Nor shall I follow it in its
more contaminated descent, to those representations of local manners and
national modifications of society, whose characteristic discrimination
and humorous exuberance, for instance, we admire in Hogarth, but which,
like the fleeting passions of the day, every hour contributes something
to obliterate, which soon become unintelligible by time, or degenerate
into caricature, the chronicle of scandal, the history-book of the
vulgar." It seems, strangely enough, to have been the fashion among the,
in comparison with Hogarth, puny academicians of that day, to underrate
that great painter, that moral painter. We really should pity the
infatuated prejudice of the man, who could see in the deep tragedy, the
moral tragedy, "Marriage à la Mode," any _humorous_ exuberance; or not
understand that the passions set forth, and for a moral end, are not
"the fleeting passions of the day," but as permanent as human
nature--who could see, in such series of pictures, any "caricature," or
that their object is to "chronicle scandal." That it is the "history of
the vulgar," we dispute not. For it is drama of the vulgar as of the
unvulgar--a deep tragedy of human nature; alas! time has not made
"_unintelligible_" these _not_ "fleeting passions of the day." As long
as man is man, will Hogarth be true to nature; and nothing in art is
more strange, than that such opinions should emanate from an Academy,
and be either ventured upon or received _ex cathedra_.

Invention, according to Mr Fuseli, receives its subjects from poetry or
tradition--"they are _epic_ or sublime, _dramatic_ or impassioned,
_historic_ or circumscribed by truth. The first _astonishes_, the second
_moves_, the third _informs_." We confess ourselves weary of this sort
of classification. They only tend to hamper the writer, painter, and
critic. It is possible for a work to admit all three, and yet preserve
its unity. And such we believe to be the case with Homer. He is epic and
dramatic in one, and certainly historic. It is more ingenious than
unquestionable, that Homer's purpose was to "impress one forcible idea
of war--its origin, its progress, and its end." Nor will the "Iliad" be
read with greater delight, by the reader's reception of such an idea.
The drawing forth the purpose of Michael Angelo's design--his invention,
in the series of frescoes in the Sistine Chapel--is more happy. That
theocracy is the subject--the dispensations of Providence to man--the
Creation--life and adoration in Adam and Eve, their sin, their
punishment, their separation from God--justice and grace in the Deluge
and covenant with Noah--prophets, sibyls, herald the Redeemer--and the
patriarchs--the Son of Man--the brazen serpent--and the Fall of
Haman--the giant subdued by the stripling in Goliah and David--and the
conqueror destroyed by female weakness in Judith, are types of his
mysterious progress, till Jonah pronounces him immortal. The Last
Judgment, and the Saviour the Judge of man, complete the whole--and the
Founder and the race are reunited. Such is the spirit of the general
invention. "The specific invention of the pictures separate, as each
constitutes an independent whole, deserves our consideration next: each
has its centre, from which it disseminates, to which it leads back all
secondary points, arranged, hid, or displayed, as they are more or less
organs of the inspiring plan; each rigorously is circumscribed by its
generic character." The more particular criticism on this great work of
Michael Angelo, is very good, and we earnestly refer the reader to it.
He thinks the genius of Michael Angelo more generic in its aim--that of
Raffaelle more specific. That as M. Angelo's aim was the "destiny of
man, simply considered as the subject of religion, faithful or
rebellious," admitting only a "general feature of the passions;" so, in
the hands of Raffaelle, the subject would have teemed with a choice of
imagery to excite our sympathies; "he would have combined all possible
emotions with the utmost variety of probable or real character; all
domestic, politic, religious relations--whatever is not local in virtue
and in vice; and the sublimity of the greatest events would have been
merely the minister of sympathies and passions." The latter mode of
representing the subject, that of Raffaelle, he considers dramatic. The
distinction is, however, doubtful: we do not see why the mode of M.
Angelo may not be held to be equally dramatic. The criticism on the
comparison between Raffaelle's and Michael Angelo's Adam and Eve, if not
quite just, is striking. "The elevation of Michael Angelo's soul,
inspired by the operation of creation itself, furnished him at once with
the feature that stamped on human nature its most glorious prerogative;
whilst the characteristic subtility, rather than sensibility, of
Raffaelle's mind, in this instance, offered nothing but a frigid
succedaneum--a symptom incident to all, when, after the subsided
astonishment on a great and sudden event, the mind, recollecting itself,
ponders on it with inquisitive surmise. In Michael Angelo, all
self-consideration is absorbed in the sublimity of the sentiment which
issues from the august presence that attracts Eve; 'her earthly,' in
Milton's expression, 'by his heavenly overpowered,' pours itself in
adoration; whilst, in the inimitable cast of Adam's figure, we trace the
hint of that half-conscious moment, when sleep began to give way to the
vivacity of the dream inspired. In Raffaelle, creation is complete--Eve
is presented to Adam, now awake; but neither the new-born charms, the
submissive grace, and virgin purity, of the beauteous image; nor the
awful presence of her Introductor, draw him from his mental trance, into
effusions of love or gratitude; at ease reclined, with fingers pointing
at himself and his new mate, he seems to methodize the surprising event
that took place during his sleep, and to whisper the words--'flesh of my
flesh.'" Not subscribing to any criticism which concludes insensibility
of mind to Raffaelle, and which is rather inconsistent with the judgment
made by Mr Fuseli, that he was the painter of expression, from the
utmost conflict of passions, to the enchanting round of gentler emotion,
and the nearly silent hints of mind and character--we look to the object
of the painter in this his series of works called his Bible. The first
five pictures represent only the act of creation--the Deity, the
Creator--all nature, is as yet passive--even adoration, the point chosen
by Michael Angelo, might be said scarcely to have begun--the plan is
developed, not put in action. As yet, the Deity is all in all--Eve, his
gift to Adam, is the last of this division of the series. As in Genesis,
there is the bare, short statement, grand from its simplicity, and our
knowledge of its after consequences; but in the words unimpassioned--so
Raffaelle, that he might make his pictorial language agree with the
written book, with utmost forbearance, lest he should tell more, and
beyond his authority, in this portion of the series manifestly avoids
expression, or the introduction of any feeling that would make the
creatures more than the most passive recipients of the goodness of their
Maker. Nor is there authority to show, that as _yet_ they were fully,
perfectly conscious of the nature of the gifts of life and
companionship; and we certainly do not agree with Mr Fuseli, that it was
a moment for Adam to show his sensibility to the personal charms of
Eve--the pure Adam--nor was he--the as yet untransgressing Adam--to feel
fear, in "the awful presence of the Introductor." Raffaelle's aim seems
to have been, to follow the text in its utmost simplicity, that the
unlettered might read--and this justifies in him the personality of the
Creator, and the apparently manual act of his creation, corresponding
with the words--"God _made_." The "allegoric drama" of the Church
empire, that fills the stanzas of the Vatican, is praised by Mr Fuseli,
with a full understanding of the purpose of the painter, and feeling for
its separate parts. He does not cavil, as some have done, at the
anachronisms. "When," says an able, reflecting, and very amusing
author,[2] "Aristotle, Plato, Leo X., and Cardinal Bembo, are brought
together in the school of Athens, every person must admit, that such
offences as these, against truths so obvious, if they do not arise from
a defect of understanding, are instances of inexcusable carelessness."
Here we think this writer has missed the key of explanation. The very
picture is the history of the progress of mind, through science and
philosophy, to the acknowledgment of an immortal being. The very subject
amalgamates, in one moral idea, times, epochs, localities. It treats of
that which passes over time, and embodies only its results. Mr Fuseli
notices not these anachronisms, but says aptly of the picture--"What was
the surmise of the eye and wish of hearts, is gradually made the result
of reason, in the characters of the school of Athens, by the researches
of philosophy, which, from bodies to mind, from corporeal harmony to
moral fitness, and from the duties of society, ascends to the doctrine
of God and hopes of immortality." The very entertaining author whom we
have quoted above, we must here, somewhat out of place, observe, has,
with Mr Fuseli, mistaken the character of Hogarth's works. He
says--"Hogarth has painted comedy!" and what is very strange, he seems
to rank him as a comedian with "Pope, Young and Crabbe"--the last, the
most tragic in his pathos of any writer. The invention in the Cartoons
comes next under Mr Fuseli's observation. "In whatever light we consider
their invention, as parts of _one whole_, relative to each other, or
independent _each of the rest_, and as single subjects, there can be
scarcely named a beauty or a mystery, of which the Cartoons furnish not
an instance or a clue; _they are poised between perspicuity and
pregnancy of moment_." We believe we understand the latter sentence; it
is, however, somewhat affected, and does not rightly balance the
_perspicuity_. We must go back, however, to a passage preceding the
remarks on the Cartoons; because we wish, above all things, to vindicate
the purest of painters from charges of licentiousness. He sees in Cupid
and Psyche a voluptuous history: this may or may not be so--we think it
is far from being such; but when he adds, "the voluptuous history of his
(Raffaelle's) own _favourite passion_," he is following a prejudice, an
unfounded story--one which we think, too, has in no slight degree
influenced his general criticism and estimation of Raffaelle. We would
refer the reader to "Passavant's Life of Raffaelle," where he will see
this subject investigated, and the tale refuted. It is surprising, but
good men affect to speak of amorous passion as if it were a crime; by
itself it may disgust, but surely coldness is not the better nature.
Insensibilities of all kinds must be avoided, even where "Amor," as Mr
Fuseli calls him, and Psyche are the subjects. It is the happiest genius
that shall signify without offence the necessary existence of passion,
and leave purity in its singleness and innocence. How exquisitely is
this done by Shakspeare in his "Romeo and Juliet!" He keeps the lovers
free from every grosser particle of love, while he throws it all upon
the subordinate characters, particularly the nurse, whose part in the
drama, in no small degree, tends to naturalise to our sympathy the
youth, the personal beauty, and whole loveliness, of the unhappy Romeo
and Juliet.

The differences of manner in which the same subject, "the Murder of the
Innocents," has been represented by several painters, according to the
genius of each, are well noticed. "History, strictly so called, follows
the drama; fiction now ceases, and invention consists only in selecting
and fixing with dignity, precision, and sentiment, the moments of
_reality_." He instances, by a given subject, that were the artist to
choose the "Death of Germanicus," he is never to forget that he is to
represent "a Roman dying amidst Romans," and not to suffer individual
grief to un-Romanize his subject. "Germanicus, Agrippina, Caius,
Vitellius, the Legates, the Centurions at Antioch, the hero, the
husband, the father, the friend, the leader--the struggles of nature and
sparks of hope, must be subjected to the physiognomic character and
features of Germanicus, the son of Drusus, the Caesar of Tiberius.
Maternal, female, connubial passion, must be tinged by Agrippina, the
woman absorbed in the Roman, less lover than companion of her husband's
grandeur. Even the bursts of friendship, attachment, allegiance, and
revenge, must be stamped by the military ceremonial, and distinctive
costume of Rome." For an instance of this propriety of invention in
history, reference is made, we presume as much, to Mr West's "Death of
Wolfe." Undoubtedly, this is Mr West's best picture. The praise from Mr
Fuseli was, in all probability, purely academic; he frequently showed
that he did not too highly estimate the genius of the painter. Having
given these outlines of general and specific invention in the epic,
dramatic, and historic branches of art, he admits that there is not
always a nice discrimination of their limits: "and as the mind and fancy
of man, upon the whole, consist of mixed qualities, we seldom meet with
a human performance exclusively made up of epic, dramatic, or pure
historic materials." This confession, as it appears to us, renders the
classification useless to a student, and shows a yet incomplete view of
arrangement, and specification of the power, subjects, and means of art.

Indeed Mr Fuseli proceeds to instances wherein his epic assumes the
dramatic, the dramatic the epic, and the historic both. There does seem
something wanting in an arrangement which puts the _Iliad_ and
_Odyssey_, two works essentially different, in the same category. We do,
therefore, venture the opinion, that such distinctions are, more
particularly in painting, not available. With Sir Joshua, he considers
borrowing justifiable, and that it does not impair the originality of
invention. The instances given of happy adoption are the "Torso of
Apollonius," by Michael Angelo; of the figure of "Adam dismissed from
Paradise," by Raffaelle, borrowed from Massaccio, as likewise the figure
of "Paul at Athens;" and for figures of Michael Angelo's, Raffaelle,
Parmegiano, Poussin, are all indebted to the cartoon of Pisa. The
lecture concludes with some just remarks upon the "Transfiguration," and
a censure upon the coldness of Richardson, and the burlesque of the
French critic Falconet, who could not discover the point of contact
which united the two parts of this celebrated picture. "Raphael's design
was to represent Jesus as the Son of God, and, at the same time, the
reliever of human misery, by an unequivocal fact. The transfiguration on
Tabor, and the miraculous cure which followed the descent of Jesus,
united, furnished the fact. The difficulty was, how to combine two
successive actions in one moment. He overcame it, by sacrificing the
moment of cure to that of the apparition, by implying the lesser miracle
in the greater. In subordinating the cure to the vision, he obtained
sublimity; in placing the crowd and patient on the foreground, he gained
room for the full exertion of his dramatic powers. It was not necessary
that the demoniac should be represented in the moment of recovery, if
its certainty could be expressed by other means. It is implied, it is
placed beyond all doubt, by the glorious apparition above; it is made
nearly intuitive by the uplifted hand and finger of the apostle in the
centre, who, without hesitation, undismayed by the obstinacy of the
demon, unmoved by the clamour of the crowd, and the pusillanimous
scepticism of some of his companions, refers the father of the maniac,
in an authoritative manner, for certain and speedy help to his Master on
the mountain above, whom, though unseen, his attitude at once connects
with all that passes below. Here is the point of contact; here is that
union of the two parts of the fact in one moment, which Richardson and
Falconet could not discover."

It is with diffidence that we would suggest any thing upon a work that
has so nearly exhausted criticism; but we will venture an observation,
and if we are correct, the glory of the subject is heightened by its
adoption. It has ever appeared to us to have purposed showing at one
view, humanity in its highest, its divinely perfected state, the manhood
taken into Godhead; and humanity in its lowest, its most forlorn, most
degraded state, in the person of a demoniac: and this contrast seems
acknowledged--abhorrently felt, by the reluctant spirit within the
sufferer, whose attitude, starting from the effulgence and the power
which is yet to heal him, being the strong action of the lower part of
the picture, and one of suffering, throws the eye and mind of the
spectator at once and permanently from earth to the heavenly vision, to
ascending prophets, and that bright and central majesty, "whose
countenance," Mr. Fuseli observes, "is the only one we know expressive
of his superhuman nature." This idea of transformation to a higher
nature is likewise kept up in the figures of the ascending prophets, and
the apostles below.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Fourth Lecture is in continuation of the subject--Invention; but we
have left little space for further remarks. In another number of Maga we
shall resume our review of the lectures.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Perhaps the author of the lectures received this ill
opinion of Pausanias from Julius Caesar Scaliger, who treats him as an
impostor; but he is amply vindicated by Vossius. He lived in the second
century, and died very old at Rome. In his account of the numerous
representations of the [Greek: Charites], he seems to throw some light
upon a passage in Xenophon's Memorabilia, which, as far as we know, has
escaped the notice of the commentators. It is in the dialogue between
Socrates and the courtesan Theodote. She wishes that he would come to
her, to teach her the art of charming men. He replies, that he has no
leisure, being hindered by many matters of private and public
importance; and he adds, "I have certain mistresses which will not allow
me to be absent from them day nor night, on account of the spells and
charms, which learning, they receive from me"--[Greek: eisi de kai
philai moi, ai oute hemeras oute nuktos aph autôn easousi me apienai,
philtra te manthanousai par emon kai epôdas.] Who were these [Greek:
philai]? Had he meant the virtues or moral qualities, he would have
spoken plainer, as was his wont; but here, where the subject is the
personal beauty, the charms of Theodote, it is more in the Socratic vein
that he refers to other _personal_ charms, which engage his thoughts
night and day, and keep him at home. Now, it appears too, that Socrates
was taken to see her, on account of the fame of her beauty, and goes to
her when she is sitting, or rather standing, to a painter; and it is
evident from the dialogue, that she did not refuse the exhibition of her
personal charms. It seems, then, not improbable, that Socrates was
induced to go to her as the painter went, for the advantage of his art
as a sculptor, and that the art was that one at home, the [Greek: tis
philôtera sou endon]. Be that as it may, it is extremely probable that
the [Greek: philai] were some personifications of feminine beauty, upon
which he was then at work. Are there, then, any such recorded as from
his hand? Pausanias says there were. "Thus Socrates, the son of
Sophroniscus, made for the Athenians statues of the Graces, before the
vestibule of the citadel," And adds the curious fact, that after that
time the Graces were represented naked, and that these were clothed.
[Greek: Sôkratês te o Sôphrotonischon pro tês es tên akropolin esodon
Charitôn eirgasato agalmata Athênaiois. Kai tauta men estin homoiôs
apanta en esthêti. Oi de usteron, ouk oida eph hotô, metabeblêkasi to
schêma autais. Charitas goun, oi kat eme eplasson te kai egraphon
gumnas]. Did not Socrates allude to these his statues of the
Graces?--_Pausanias_, cap. xxxv. lib. 9.

[2] _The Literary Conglomerate, or Combination of Various
Thoughts and Facts._ Oxford: 1839. Printed by Thomas Combe.



SOMETHING ABOUT MUSIC.


Gentle Christians, pity us! We are just returned from a musical
entertainment, and, with aching head and stunned ears, sit down and try
to recover our equanimity, sorely disturbed by the infliction which, we
regret to say, we have survived. Had we known how to faint, we had done
so on the spot, that ours might have been the bliss of being carried out
over the heads and shoulders of the audience ere the performance had
well begun--a movement that would have insured us the unfeigned thanks
of all whom we had rescued from their distressing situation under
pretence of bearing us off, splashing us with cold water, causing doors
to bang impressively during our exit, and the various other _petit
soins_ requisite to the conducting a "faint" with dignity.

But it could not be accomplished. We made several awkward attempts, so
little like, that their only result was our being threatened with a
policeman it we made any more disturbance; so, after a hasty glance
round had assured us of the impracticability of making our escape in any
more everyday style, we sat down with a stern resolution of
endurance--lips firmly compressed, eyes fixed in a stony gaze on the
orchestra, whence issued by turns groans, shrieks, and screams, from
sundry foully-abused instruments of music; accompanied by equally
appalling sounds from flat, shrill signorinas, quavering to distraction,
backed by gigantic "basses," (double ones surely,) who, with voices like
the "seven devils" of the old Grecian, bellowed out divers
sentimentalisms about dying for love, when assuredly their most
proximate danger was of apoplexy.

Well, the affair came to an end, as, it is to be hoped, will every other
evil in this wicked world; in a spasm of thankfulness we extricated
ourselves from the crush, and reached our home, where, under the genial
influence of quiet and a cup of coffee, we can afford to laugh at the
past, (our own vehement indignation included,) and ruminate calmly on
the "how" and the "why" of the nuisance, which appears to us as well
worthy of being put down by act of parliament, as the ringing of muffin
bells and crying "sweep!"

It is a perfect puzzle to us by what process the standard of music has
become so lowered, as to make what is ordinarily served up under that
name be received as the legitimate descendant of the harmony divine
which erst broke on the ear of the listening world, when "the morning
stars sang together;" and, in the first freshness of its
creation--teeming with melody--angels deigned to visit this terrestrial
paradise, nor turned an exile's gaze to that heaven whose strains were
chanted in glad accordance with the murmuring stream, and music of the
waving forest--which, in its greenness and beauty, seemed but "a little
lower" than its celestial archetype, for

     "Earth hath _this_ variety from heaven."

(Blessings on the poet for that line! We have a most firm belief in
Milton, and receive his representations of heaven as we would those of a
Daguerreotype.)

But it is even so. There is but one step from the sublime to the
ridiculous, and this entrancing art, it seems, has taken it; sorely
dislocating its graceful limbs, and injuring its goodly proportions in
the unseemly escapade. There--we have played over a simple air, one that
thrills through our heart of hearts; and as the notes die on our ears,
soothing though the strain be, we feel our indignation increase, and
glow still more fiercely against this--music, as it is by courtesy
called, for Heaven knows it has no legitimate claim to the name!--till
it reaches the crusading point, and we rush headlong to a war of
extermination against bars, rests, crotchets, quavers--undaunted even by
"staves," and formidable inflated semibreves.

We hate your crashing, clumsy chords, and utterly spit at and defy
chromatic passages from one end of the instrument to the other, and back
again; flats, sharps, and most appropriate "naturals," splattered all
over the page. The essential spirit of discord seems let loose on our
modern music, tainted, as it were, with the moral infection that has
seized the land; it is music for a democracy, not the stately, solemn
measure of imperial majesty. Music to soothe! the idea is obsolete,
buried with the ruffs and farthingales of our great-grandmothers; or, to
speak more soberly, with the powdered wigs and hoops of their daughters.
There is music to excite, much to irritate one, and much more to drive a
really musical soul stark mad; but none to soothe, save that which is
drawn from the hiding-places of the past.

We should like to catch one of the old masters--Handel, for
instance--and place him within the range of one of our modern
executioners, to whose taste(!) _carte-blanche_ had been given. We think
we see him under the infliction. Neither the hurling of wig, nor yet of
kettle-drum, at the head of the performer, would relieve his outraged
spirit: he would strangle the offender on the spot, and hang himself
afterwards; and the jury would, in the first case, return a verdict of
justifiable homicide, and, in the second, of justifiable suicide, with a
deodand of no ordinary magnitude on the musical instrument that had led
to the catastrophe.

There is no repose, no refreshment to the mind, in our popular
compositions; they are like Turner's skies--they harass and fatigue,
leaving you certainly wondering at their difficulty, but, as certainly,
wishing they had been "impossible." There is to us more of touching
pathos, heart-thrilling expression, in some of the old psalm-tunes,
feelingly played, than in a whole batch of modernisms. The strains go
_home_, and the "fountains of the great deep are broken up"--the great
deep of unfathomable feeling, that lies far, far below the surface of
the world-hardened heart; and as the unwonted, yet unchecked, tear
starts to the eye, the softened spirit yields to their influence, and
shakes off the moil of earthly care; rising, purified and spiritualized,
into a clearer atmosphere. Strange, inexplicable associations brood over
the mind,

     "Like the far-off dreams of paradise,"

mingling their chaste melancholy with musings of a still subdued, though
more cheerful character. How many glad hearts in the olden time have
rejoiced in these songs of praise--how many sorrowful ones sighed out
their complaints in those plaintive notes, that steal sadly, yet
sweetly, on the ear--hearts that, now cold in death, are laid to rest
around that sacred fane, within whose walls they had so often swelled
with emotion! Tell us not of neatly trimmed "cemeteries," redolent of
staring sunflowers, priggish shrubs, and all the modern coxcombry of the
tomb; with nicely swept gravel walks, lest the mourner should get "wet
on's feet," and vaults numbered like warehouses, where "parties may
bring their own minister," and be buried with any form, or no form, if
they like it better. No, give us the village churchyard with its sombre
yew-trees, among which

     "The dial, hid by weeds and flowers,
     Hath told, by none beheld, the solitary hours;"

its grassy hillocks, and mouldering grave-stones, where haply all record
is obliterated, and nought but a solitary "resurgam" meets the enquiring
eye; its white-robed priest reverently committing "earth to earth," in
sure and certain hope "of a joyful resurrection" to the slumbering clay,
that was wont to worship within the grey and time-stained walls, whence
the mournful train have now borne him to his last rest; while on the
ivy-clad tower fall the slanting golden beams of an autumnal sun, that,
in its declining glory, seems to whisper of hope and consolation to the
sorrowful ones, reminding them that the night of the tomb shall not
endure for ever, but that, so surely as the great orb of day shall
return on the wings of the morning to chase away the tears of the
lamenting earth, so surely shall the dust, strewed around that temple,
scattered though it may be to the winds of heaven, "rise again" in the
morning of the Resurrection, when death "shall be swallowed up in
victory."

     "'Tis fit his trophies should be rife
     Around the place where he's subdued;
     The gate of death leads forth to life."

But we are wandering sadly from our subject; it is perhaps quite as well
that we have done so, for we should have become dangerous had we dwelt
much longer on it. We were on the point of wishing (Nero-like) that our
popular professors of the tuneful art had but one neck, that we might
exterminate them at a blow, or hang them with one gigantic
fiddle-string; but now, thanks to our episode, our exacerbated feelings
are so far mollified, that we will be content with wishing them
sentenced to grind knives on oil-less stones with creaking axles, till
the sufferings of their own shall have taught them consideration for the
ears of other people.

But music, real music--not in the harsh, exaggerated style now in the
ascendant, but simple, pure, melodious, such as might have entranced the
soul of a Handel, when, in some vision of night, sounds swept from
angelic harps have floated around him, the gifted one, in whose liquid
strains and stately harmonies fall on our ravished ears the echoes of
that immortal joy--such we confess to be one of our idols, before whose
shrine we pay a willing, gladsome homage; though now, alas! it must be
in dens and caves of the earth, since _modern_ heresy has banished it
from the temple of Apollo.

See how Toryism peeps out even in the fine arts! _Even_ did we say? They
are its legitimate province; "The old is better," is inscribed in
glowing character on the portals of the past. Old Painting! See the
throbbing form start from the pregnant canvass--the "Mother of God"
folding her Divine Son to her all but celestial arms--the Son of God
fainting beneath a load of woe, not his own. Old Poetry! Glorious old
Homer, with his magic song; and sturdy, oak-like in his strength, as in
his verdure, old Chaucer. Old Music! Hail, ye inspired sons of the lyre!
A noble host are ye, enshrined in the hearts of all loyal worshippers of
the tuneful god. And yet (we grieve to confess it) we, even we, spite of
all our enthusiasm, have been seen laughing at "old music," the aspiring
psalmody of a country church singing-pew.

Oh, to see the row of performers, the consequential choir, transcending
in importance (in their own eyes) the clerk, the curate, the rector, and
even the squire from the great hall, majestic and stern though he be,
with his awful wig and gold-headed cane! There are the fubsy
boys--copied apparently from cherubim--who, with glowing, distended
cheeks, are simpering on the ceiling, _doing_ the tenor, with wide open
mouths that would shame e'er a barn-door in the village; their red,
stumpy fingers sprawling over the music which they are (not) reading.
The pale, lantern-jawed youths, in yellow waistcoats and tall
shirt-collars, who look as if they were about to whistle a match, are
holloing out what is professionally, and in this instance with most
distressing truth, termed counter. "Counter" it is with a vengeance; and
not only so, but it is a neck-and-neck race between them and the urchins
aforesaid, which shall have done first. The shock-headed man, with chin
dropped into his neckerchief, and mouth twisted into every
_un_imaginable contortion, as though grinning through a horse-collar,
has the bass confided to his faithful keeping; and emits a variety of
growls and groans truly appalling, though evidently to his own great
comfort and satisfaction. The bassoon, the clarinet, the flute--but
how shall we describe them! Suffice it to say, that they appeared
to be suffering inexpressible torments at the hands of their
apoplectic-looking performers; who were all at the last gasp, and all
determined to die bravely at their posts. And then the entranced
audience, with half-shut eyes and quivering palms! Oh, it was too much;
we lost our character typo irretrievably that day; half suppressed
titters from the squire's pew were not to be borne. In that unhappy
moment we sinned away some quarter of a century's unrivalled reputation
for good manners and musical taste. Old Fiddlestrings never forgave us,
never did he vouchsafe us another anthem, spite of our entreaties and
protestations, and the thousand and one apologies for our ill-timed
merriment, which our fruitful brain invented on the spot. To his dying
day he preserved the utmost contempt for our judgment, not only in this
department of the fine arts, but also on every other subject. Not to
admire his music, was condemnation in every thing--an unpardonable
offence. We, who had been his great friend, patron, (or rather he was
ours,) to whom he had so often condescended on the Saturday evening to
hum, whistle, and too-too over the tune--of his own composing--that was
to be the admiration of the whole parish on the succeeding day--we were
henceforth to be as the uninitiated, and left to find out, and follow,
as we best might, the very eccentric windings of his Sunday's asthmatic
performance; which always went at the rate of three crotchets and a
cough, to the end of the psalm, which he took care should be an especial
long one.

Poor old man! we see him now, with his unruly troop of Sunday scholars
(in training for some important festival, to the due celebration of
which their labours were essential) singing, bawling we should say, out
of time and tune, to the utter discomfiture of his irritable temper,
(there is nothing like a false note for throwing your musical man into a
perfect tantrum,) and the bringing down on their unlucky heads a smart
tap with the bow of his violin, which led the harmony. There they stood
with their brown cheeks and white heads, fine specimens of the
agricultural interest; each one of them looking as if he could bolt a
poor, half-starved factory child at a mouthful--but certainly no
singers. It was beyond the power even of the accomplished old clerk
himself to make then such--an oyster, with its mouth full of sand, would
have sung quite as well; but still he laboured on with might and
main--with closed eyes, and open mouth--delightedly beating time with
his head, as long as matters went on not intolerably; for David's
musical soul supplied the deficiency in the sounds that entered his
unwearied ears. And then he sang so loud himself, that he certainly
could hear no one else, his voice being as monopolizing as the drone of
a bagpipe--or as a violent advocate for free trade! Happy urchins when
this was the case! for they were sure to be dismissed with the most
flattering encomiums on their vocal powers, when, if truth must be told,
the good old man had not heard a note.

But he is gathered to his fathers, and now sleeps beneath the sod in the
quiet churchyard of----. We well remember his funeral. 'Twas a lovely
day in spring when the long, lifeless trees and fields were bursting
into all the glory of May--for May was spring then, and not, as now,
cousin-german to winter; while the gay sunbeams played lovingly, like
youth caressing age, on the low church-tower, gilding the ivy that waved
in wild luxuriance around it. Slowly moved on the lowly train that bore
to the "house appointed for all living" the mortal remains of one whom
they well loved, and whose removal from among them--essential as he had
always seemed to the very identity of the village--was an event they had
never contemplated and which they now, in its unexpectedness, sorely
lamented. The village choir preceded it, singing those strains which
poor David's voice had so often led; and surely, for once, the spirit of
the old man rested on his refractory pupils; for rarely have I heard
sweeter notes than those that swelled on the balmy air, as the dusky
procession wound its way across the heath, waving with harebells, and
along the narrow lane, whose hedges were beginning to show the first
faint rose, till it reached the church porch, where the good rector
himself was waiting to pay the last token of respect to his humble
friend; while groups of villagers were loitering around to witness the
simple rites. Entering within the church, again was the voice of melody
heard, and again was as sweetly chanted that mournful psalm, which is
appointed, with such affecting appropriateness, for the burial of the
dead. "I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I offend not in my
tongue; I will keep my mouth, as it were, with a bridle, while the
ungodly is in my sight." Then came the dull, hollow sound of "earth to
earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes;" and so, amid many tears, (and we
confess our eyes were not dry,) closed the grave over one who, despite
some innocent, though mirth-provoking failings, was honoured by all who
knew him for the stern, unbending integrity of his character, and the
strictness with which he fulfilled all the duties of life. David was an
_honest_ man, one whose "word was as good as his bond," who "promised to
his hurt, and changed not." Would that as much might be said of many who
move in a higher sphere, and make far larger professions of sanctity
than he did! But he shall be remembered, when their names are blotted
out for ever.

        "Only the actions of the just
     Smell sweet in death, and blossom in the dust."

The music which we hear in our social intercourse, is too generally--we
say it in grief, but in truth--detestable. "Like figures on a
dial-plate," sit the four-and-twenty Englishmen and Englishwomen, who
have been drawn together to receive their friend's hospitality; till the
awful silence convinces the host that some desperate effort must be made
to break the spell, and that the best thing is some music to set them
a-talking. Some _mimini-pimini_ Miss is in consequence selected as the
victim, (or rather, the victimizer,) and requested to "pain" the
company. She fidgets, bridles, and duly declines, at the same time
vigorously pulling off one of her gloves in evident preparation for the
attack. After much pressing, she reluctantly yields to what she had from
the first made up her mind to do; takes her seat at a grand pianoforte,
behind a couple of candles and an enormous music-book, and--crash go the
keys in a thundering prelude, (the pedal, and every other means of
increasing the noise being unscrupulously resorted to,) which, after
superhuman exertions, lands her in what, to our affrighted and stunned
ears, is evidently the key of Z flat! Who would have thought those
delicate hands could thus descend with the vigour of a pavior's hammer
on the unhappy ivories, that groan and shriek beneath the infliction, as
though fully sensible of the surpassing cruelty with which they are
treated.

But hark! she sings--"Romè, Romè, thou art _n'more_," (_sic_)--a furious
scramble on the keys, with a concluding bang--"On thy seven hills thou
satt'st of yore,"--another still more desperate and discordant flourish,
which continues alternating with her "most sweet voice," till she has
piped through the whole of her song: when the group around, apprehensive
of a repetition of the torture to which they have been subjected,
overwhelm her with thanks and expressions of admiration, under cover of
which they hurry her to her seat. Such is the stuff palmed off on us,
varied as it is by glees, screamed out by four voices all in different
keys; solos, squeaked out by stout gentlemen, and roared by pale lanky
lads of eighteen; duets by young ladies, who accidentally set out on
discordant notes, and don't find out the mistake till they come to the
finale; with occasionally a psalm crooned by worthy sexagenarians,
guiltless alike of ear and voice, but who, seeming to think it a duty to
add their mite to the inexpressible dissonance, perform the same to the
unmixed dismay of all their hearers.

We would far rather hear an unpretending street organ than such
abominations; and, indeed, some of the itinerant music is, to our
unsophisticated ears, sweet beyond expression, especially when
accompanied, as it is sometimes, by a rich Italian or reedy German
voice; for whose sake we can forgive the tuneless squalls that too often
greet our ears from ambulatory minstrels, be they of the Madonna, or
fishy, Dutch-swamp style of beauty. A sweet-toned street organ, heard in
the distance, when all around is still, is not a thing to be despised,
by those who have music enough in their souls to respond to the
slightest touches of Apollo's lyre. If the heart be but attuned to
harmony, it will vibrate to the simplest notes, faint though they be, as
by the wafting of the evening breeze among the chords of a neglected
harp, sadly hung upon the willows; it will cherish the feeblest idea,
and nurture it into perfect melody. As love begets love, so does harmony
beget its kind in the heart of him who can strike the keynote of nature,
and listen to the wild and solemn sounds that swell from her mysterious
treasure-house, and echo among her "eternal hills," while the celestial
arch concludes and re-affirms the wondrous cadence. But these are
secrets revealed to none but her loving worshipper; he who, with a
reverential homage, seeks the hidden recesses of her temple, to bend in
awe before her purest shrine. From him who lingers heedlessly in her
antechamber with faint loyalty, they are deeply veiled, and the glowing
revelations of her favoured ones seem but as the recital of a dream to
his cold heart: for "to _love_ is to know."

But surely of all instruments, the violin, first-rately played, is the
most--yes, we will say it--heavenly. Hark! to the clear, vocal melody,
now rapturously rising in one soul-exalting strain, anon melting away in
the saddest, tenderest lament, as though the soft summer breeze sighed
forth a requiem over the dying graces of its favourite flower; then
bursting forth in haughty, triumphant notes, swept in gusts from the
impassioned strings, as though instinct with life, and glowing with
disdain. Any one may see that painters are no musicians, else had they
furnished their angels not with harps--beautiful and sparkling as the
sea-foam, as are their most graceful chords--but with this, of all
instruments the most musical, whose tones admit of more variety than
any, (the Proteus organ alone excepted,) and whose delicious long-drawn
notes must entrance every one not absolutely soulless. Oh, they are
excruciatingly delightful! And yet you shall hear this identical violin,
in the hands of an everyday performer, emit such squeals and screams as
shall set your teeth on edge for a twelvemonth, curdle your whole frame,
and make you vehemently anathematize all benevolent institutions for the
relief of deafness.

Verily your violin is an exclusive instrument, and approachable by none
but the eldest born of Apollo, who, in all the majesty of hereditary
prerogative, calmly sway the dominions of their sire; while usurpers (as
is the meed of all who grasp unrighteous rule) are plunged in utter
confusion and ruin.

Warming with our theme, and impatient to manifest our royal descent, in
a paroxysm of enthusiasm we clutch our Cremona, clasp him lovingly to
our shoulder, and high waving in air our magical bow, which is to us a
sceptre, bring it down with a crash, exulting in the immortal harmony
about to gush, like a mountain torrent, from the teeming strings; when
lo! to our unmitigated disgust, it glides noiselessly along its hitherto
resounding path, for--ye gods and little fishes!--some murderous wretch,
at the instigation of we know not what evil sprite, has _greased_ the
horsehair, for which we solemnly devote him to the "bowstring," the
first time he is caught napping.

Well, it is over now, and we find ourselves once more on earth, after
knocking our head gainst the stars; and, ---- ---- bless us! we have sat
the fire out, having precisely one inch of candle left to go to bed by.

Good night, dearest reader. Can you find your way in the dark?

M. J.



THE PURPLE CLOAK; OR, THE RETURN OF SYLOSON TO SAMOS.

HEROD. III. 139.


  I.

  The king sat on his lofty throne in Susa's palace fair,
  And many a stately Persian lord, and satrap proud, was there:
  Among his councillors he sat, and justice did to all--
  No supplicant e'er went unredrest from Susa's palace-hall.

  II.

  There came a slave and louted low before Darius' throne,
  "A wayworn suppliant waits without--he is poor and all alone,
  And he craves a boon of thee, oh king! for he saith that he has done
  Good service, in the olden time, to Hystaspes' royal son."

  III.

  "Now lead him hither," quoth the king; "no suppliant e'er shall wait,
  While I am lord in Susa's halls, unheeded at the gate;
  And speak thy name, thou wanderer poor, pray thee let me know
  To whom the king of Persia's land this ancient debt doth owe."

  IV.

  The stranger bow'd before the king--and thus began to speak--
  Full well, I ween, his garb was worn, and with sorrow pale his cheek,
  But his air was free and noble, and proudly flash'd his eye,
  As he stood unknown in that high hall, and thus he made reply--

  V.

  "From Samos came I, mighty king, and Syloson my name;
  My brother was Polycrates, a chief well known to fame;
  That brother drove me from my home--a wanderer forth I went--
  And since that hour my weary soul has never known content!

  VI.

  "Methinks I need not tell to thee my brother's mournful fate;
  He lies within his bloody grave--a churl usurps his state--
  Moeandrius lords it o'er the land, my brother's base born slave;
  Restore me to that throne, oh king! this, this, the boon I crave.

  VII.

  "Nay, start not; let me tell my tale! I pray thee look on me,
  And, prince, thou soon shalt know the cause that I ask this gift of thee;
  Round Persia's king a bristling ring of spearmen standeth now,
  But when Cambyses wore the crown--a wanderer poor wast _thou_!

  VIII.

  "Remember'st not, oh king! the day when, in old Memphis town,
  Upon the night ye won the fight, thou wast pacing up and down?
  The costly cloak that then I wore, its colours charm'd thy eye--
  In sooth it was a gorgeous robe, of purple Tyrian dye--

  IX.

  "Let base-born peasants buy and sell, I gave that cloak to thee!
  And for that gift on thee bestow'd, grant thou this boon to me--
  I ask not silver, ask not gold--I ask of thee to stand
  A prince once more on Samos' shore--my own ancestral land!"

  X.

  "Oh! best and noblest," quoth the king, "thou ne'er shalt rue the day,
  When to Cambyses' spearman poor thou gav'st thy cloak away;
  The faithless eye each well-known form and feature may forget,
  But the deeds of generous kindness done--the heart remembers yet.

  XI.

  "To-day thou art a wanderer sad, but thou shalt sit, erelong,
  Within thy fair ancestral hall, and hear the minstrel's song;
  To-day thou art a homeless man--to-morrow thou shalt stand--
  A conqueror and a sceptred king--upon thy native land.

  XII.

  "A cloud is on thy brow to-day--thy lot is poor and low,
  To all who gaze on thee thou seem'st a man of want and wo;
  But thou shalt drain the bowl erelong within thy own bright isle,
  A wreath of roses round thy head, and on thy brow a smile."

  XIII.

  And he called the proud Otanes, one of the seven was he
  Who laid the Magian traitor low, and set their country free;
  And he bade him man a gallant fleet, and sail without delay,
  To the pleasant isle of Samos, in the fair Icarian bay.

  XIV.

  "To place yon chief on Samos' throne, Otanes, be thy care,
  But bloodless let thy victory be, his Samian people spare!"
  For thus the generous chieftain said, when he made his high demand,
  "I had rather still an exile roam, than waste my native land."

       *       *       *       *       *

PART II.

  I.

  Oh, "monarchs' arms are wondrous long!"[3] their power is wondrous great,
  But not to them 'tis given to stem the rushing tide of fate.
  A king may man a gallant fleet, an island fair may give,
  But can he blunt the sword's sharp edge, or bid the dead to live?


  II.

  They leave the strand, that gallant band, their ships are in the bay,
  It was a glorious sight, I ween, to view that proud array;
  And there, amid the Persian chiefs, himself he holds the helm,
  Sits lovely Samos' future lord--he comes to claim his realm!

  III.

  Moeandrius saw the Persian fleet come sailing proudly down,
  And his troops he knew were all too few to guard a leaguer'd town;
  So he laid his crown and sceptre down, his recreant life to save--
  Who thus resigns a kingdom fair deserves to be a slave.

  IV.

  He calls his band--he seeks the strand--they grant him passage free--
  "And shall they then," his brother cried, "have a bloodless victory?
  No--grant me but those spears of thine, and I soon to them shall show,
  There yet are men in Samos left to face the Persian foe."

  V.

  The traitor heard his brother's word, and he gave the youth his way;
  "An empty land, proud Syloson, shall lie beneath thy sway."
  That youth has arm'd those spearmen stout--three hundred men in all--
  And on the Persian chiefs they fell, before the city's wall.

  VI.

  The Persian lords before the wall were sitting all in state,
  They deem'd the island was at peace--they reck'd not of their fate;
  When on them came the fiery youth[4]--with desperate charge he came--
  And soon lay weltering in his gore full many a chief of fame.

  VII.

  The outrage rude Otanes view'd, and fury fired his breast--
  And to the winds the chieftain cast his monarch's high behest.
  He gave the word, that angry lord--"War, war unto the death!"
  Then many a scimitar flash'd forth impatient from its sheath.

  VIII.

  Through Samos wide, from side to side, the carnage is begun,
  And ne'er a mother there is seen, but mourns a slaughter'd son;
  From side to side, through Samos wide, Otanes hurls his prey,
  Few, few, are left in that fair isle, their monarch to obey!

  IX.

  The new-made monarch sits in state in his loved ancestral bow'rs,
  And he bids his minstrel strike the lyre, and he crowns his head
    with flow'rs;
  But still a cloud is on his brow--where is the promised smile?
  And yet he sits a sceptred king--in his own dear native isle.

  X.

  Oh! Samos dear, my native land! I tread thy courts again--
  But where are they, thy gallant sons? I gaze upon the slain--
  "A dreary kingdom mine, I ween," the mournful monarch said,
  "Where are my subjects good and true? I reign but o'er the dead!

  XI.

  "Ah! woe is me--I would that I had ne'er to Susa gone,
  To ask that fatal boon of thee, Hystaspes' generous son.
  Oh, deadly fight! oh, woeful sight! to greet a monarch's eyes!
  All desolate--my native land, reft of her children, lies!"

  XII.

  Thus mourn'd the chief--and no relief his regal state could bring.
  O'er such a drear unpeopled waste, oh! who would be a king?
  And still, when desolate a land, and her sons all swept away,
  "The waste domain of Syloson," 'tis call'd unto this day!

FOOTNOTES:

[3] Greek proverb.

[4] "The fiery youth, with desperate charge,
 Made for a space an opening large."--MARMION.



LOVE AND DEATH.


  O strong as the Eagle,
    O mild as the Dove!
  How like, and how unlike,
    O Death and O Love!

  Knitting Earth to the Heaven,
    The Near to the Far--
  With the step on the dust,
    And the eyes on the star!

  Interweaving, commingling,
    _Both_ rays from God's light!
  Now in sun, now in shadow,
    Ye shift to the sight!

  Ever changing the sceptres
    Ye bear--as in play;
  Now Love as Death rules us,
    Now Death has Love's sway!

  Why wails so the New-born?
    Love gave it the breath.
  The soul sees Love's brother--
    Life enters on Death!

  Why that smile the wan lips
    Of the dead man above?
  The soul sees Death changing
    Its shape into Love.

  So confused and so blending
    Each twin with its brother,
  The frown of one melts
    In the smile of the other.

  Love warms where Death withers,
    Death blights where Love blooms;
  Death sits by our cradles,
    Love stands by our tombs!

Edward Lytton Bulwer.

Nov. 9, 1843.



THE BRIDGE OVER THE THUR.

FROM THE GERMAN.--GUSTAV SCHWAB.


 Spurning the loud THUR'S headlong march,
 Who hath stretcht the stony arch?
 That the wayfarer blesses his path!
 That the storming river wastes his wrath!

 Was it a puissant prince, in quelling
 This watery vassal, oft rebelling?--
 Or earthly Mars, the bar o'erleaping,
 That wrong'd his war of its onward sweeping?

 Did yon high-nesting Castellan
 Lead the brave Street, for horse and man?
 And, the whiles his House creeps under the grass,
 The Road, that he built, lies fair to pass?

 Nay! not for the Bridge, which ye look upon,
 Manly hest knit stone with stone.
 The loved word of a woman's mouth
 Bound the thundering chasm with a rocky growth.

 She, in turret, who sitteth lone,
 Listing the broad stream's heavier groan,
 Kenning the flow, from his loosen'd fountains,
 From the clouds, that have wash'd a score of mountains.

 A skiff she notes, by the shelvy marge,
 Wont deftly across to speed its charge;
 Now jumping and twisting, like leaf on a lynn,
 Wo! if a foot list cradle therein!

 Sooner, than hath she THOUGHT her FEELING,
 With travellers twain is the light plank reeling.
 Who are they?... Marble watcher! Who?
 Thy beautiful, youthful, only two!

 Coming, glad, from the greenwood slaughter,
 They reach the suddenly-swollen water;
 But the nimble, strong, and young,
 Boldly into the bark have sprung.

 The game in the forest fall, stricken and bleeding;
 Those river-waves are of other breeding!
 And the shriek of the mother helpeth not,
 At seeing turn upwards the keel of the boat.

 Whilst her living pulses languish,
 As she taketh in her anguish,
 By the roar, her soul which stuns,
 On the corses of her sons.

 Needs must she upon the mothers think,
 Who yet may stand beholding sink,
 Under the hastily-roused billow,
 Sons, upthriven to be their pillow.

 Till, in her deeply-emptied bosom,
 There buds a melancholy blossom,
 Tear-nourisht:--the will the wo to spare
 To others, which hath left her bare.

 Ere doth her sorrow a throe abate,
 Is chiseling and quarrying, early, late.
 The hoarse flood chafes, with straiten'd tides:
 Aloft, the proud Arch climbs and strides.

 How her eyes, she fastens on frolicsome boys,
 O'er the stone way racing, with careless noise.
 Hark!--hark!--the wild Thur, how he batters his rocks!
 But YE gaze, laugh, and greet the gruff chider, with mocks.

 Or, she vieweth with soft footfall,
 Mothers, following their children all.
 A gleam of pleasure, a spring of yearning,
 Sweetens her tears, dawns into her mourning.

 And her pious work endureth!
 And her pain a slumber cureth!
 Heareth not yonder torrent's jars!
 Hath her young sons above the stars!

Fontainbleau, 1843.



THE BANKING-HOUSE.

A HISTORY IN THREE PARTS. PART II.

CHAPTER I.

A NEGOTIATION.


It is vastly amusing to contemplate the activity and perseverance which
are exhibited in the regard shown by every man for his individual
interests. Be our faults what they may--and our neighbours are not slow
to discover them--it is very seldom indeed that we are charged with
remissness in this respect. So far from this being the case, a moralist
of the present day, in a work of no mean ability, has undertaken to
prove that selfishness is the great and crying evil of the age. Without
venturing to affirm so wholesale a proposition, which necessarily
includes in its censure professors and professions _par excellence_
unsecular and liberal, we may be permitted in charity to express our
regret, that the rewards apportioned to good men in heaven are not
bestowed upon those in whom the selfish principle is most rampant,
instead of being strictly reserved for others in whom it is least
influential; since it is more pleasing to consider celestial joys in
connexion with humanity at large, than with an infinitesimal minority of
mortals.

Whilst Michael Allcraft coolly and designedly looked around him, in the
hope of fixing on the prey he had resolved to find--whilst, cautious as
the midnight housebreaker, who dreads lest every step may wake his
sleeping victim, he almost feared to do what most he had at heart, and
strove by ceaseless effort to bring into his face the show of
indifference and repose;--whilst he was thus engaged, there were many,
on the other hand, eager and impatient to crave from him, as for a boon,
all that he himself was but too willing to bestow. Little did Michael
guess, on his eventful wedding-day, as his noble equipage rattled along
the public roads, what thoughts were passing in the minds of some who
marked him as he went, and followed him with longing eyes. His absorbing
passion, his exhilaration and delight, did not suffer him to see one
thin and anxious-looking gentleman, who, spyglass in hand, sat at his
cottage window, and brought as near as art allowed--not near enough to
satisfy him--the entranced and happy pair. That old man, with nine times
ten thousand pounds safe and snug in the stocks, was miserable to look
at, and as miserable in effect. He was a widower, and had a son at
Oxford, a wild, scapegrace youth, who had never been a joy to him, but a
trial and a sorrow even from his cradle. Such punishments there are
reserved for men--such visitations for the sins our fathers wrought, too
thoughtless of their progeny. How the old man envied the prosperous
bridegroom, and how vainly he wished that his boy might have done as
well; and how through his small grey eye, the labouring tear-drops
oozed, as he called fresh to mind again all that he had promised himself
at the birth of his unhappy prodigal! What would he not give to recover
and reform the wayward boy? The thought occurred to him, and he dallied
with it for his pleasure. "If I could but settle him with this young
Allcraft! Why should it not be done? I will give him all I have at once,
if necessary, and live in a garret, if it will save my poor Augustus. I
will speak to him on his return. What a companion and example for my
boy! Open and straightforward--steady as a rock--as rich as Croesus.
Most certainly I'll see him. I knew his father. I'll not grudge a few
thousands to establish him. Stick him to business, and he shall do yet."
The equipage rolled on as unconscious of the old man's dreams as were
its animated inmates; and in due time it passed a massive lodge, which
led through green and winding paths to the finest park and mansion in
the parish. Close to the lodge's porch there stood a tall and
gloomy-looking man, neatly dressed--alone. His arms were folded, and he
eyed the carriage thoughtfully and seriously, as though he had an
interest there, known to himself, and to no one else. He was a very
proud man that--the owner of this vast estate, master of unnumbered
acres, and feared rather than loved by the surrounding people. Wealth is
the most royal of despots--the autocrat of all the world. Men whose
sense of liberty forbids them to place their worst passions under wise
control, will crawl in fetters to lick the basest hand well smeared with
gold. There was not an individual who could say a good word for the
squire behind his back. You would hardly believe it, if you saw
individual and squire face to face. And there he stood, with as
ill-omened a visage as ever brought blight upon a party of pleasure. He
watched the panting horses out of sight--opened his gate, and walked the
other way. He, like the old man, had his plans, and an itching for a
share in Michael Allcraft's fortune. How he, so wealthy and respected,
could need a part of it, remains a mystery at present. The squire knew
his business. He went straightway to the banking-house, and made enquiry
respecting Allcraft's destination. He gained intelligence, and followed
him at once. They met abroad--they returned home in company. They became
great friends, and within three months--PARTNERS. And the old man had
been, as he threatened to be, very busy likewise. He had fought his
son's battle very hardly and very successfully, as he believed, and with
twenty thousand pounds had purchased for him a junior partner's interest
in the estate. The hopeful boy was admitted into the concern during his
residence in Oxford. He had never been seen, but his father was a man of
substance, well known and esteemed. The character which he gave with his
son was undeniable. Its truth could not be questioned, backed as it was
by so liberal an advance.

Let it not be supposed that Michael, in his anxiety to involve other men
in his own fearful responsibility, was injudicious enough to act without
all forethought and consideration. Not he. He had inherited from his
sire the valuable faculty of detecting the wishes and views of men in
their external evidences. On the countenances of men he read their
hearts. It did not take long to discover that the venerable Mr Brammel
and the haughty Mr Bellamy were bent upon the partnership, and would
secure it at any cost. Satisfied of this, like a lazy and plethoric fish
he kept within sight of his bait, close upon it, without deigning for a
time as much as a nibble. It was his when he chose to bite. But there
were deep enquiries to make, and many things to do, before he could
implicate himself so far. In every available quarter he sought
information respecting the one partner, and the father of the other, and
of both; the intelligence that he received well repaid his trouble.
Nothing could be more promising and satisfactory. Nor did he content
himself with such arms against the selfishness of gentlemen, who, he was
shrewd enough to know, were seeking only their own advantage in their
earnest desire of a union with him. He had an eye to the balance of
power. Two men, united and active, in the firm, pulling together on all
occasions, might, not by one blow perhaps, but in the course of time,
and by accumulating force and skill, oust him from his present elevated
and natural position. Once admit them to authority, and the limits of
their dominion must be prescribed by their own sense of honour, or by
the opportunities afforded them of supremacy and independent action.
Michael the impulsive saw and felt this most acutely, and took occasion,
from their eagerness, to insure a proper equilibrium of the forces
before permitting them to coalesce. There lived in the same city with
Michael, and within a quarter of a mile of the banking-house, an
individual to whom he turned his thoughts in his emergency. Mr Planner
was his name, and his character is worth more than a mere passing
observation. He was a study for an artist--a lesson for mankind. He was
a man of surprising abilities, ill directed, and badly educated; at any
period of his life capable of any thing--to the last moment of his
existence accomplishing nothing. From a child he had displayed a love of
admiration and applause, a craving after superiority and distinction, a
burning ambition for fame. He had the body of a giant, and a giant's
mental apparatus. But with all his gifts, physical and spiritual, all
his energies and aims, he arrived at middle life a melancholy spectacle
of failure and incompetency. There was no one object which he could
pursue with steadiness and patience--no single mark to which he could
perseveringly apply the combined powers of his gifted intellect. He
frittered his faculties upon a hundred trifles, never concentrated them
upon a worthy purpose once. Pride, emulation, and the internal
consciousness of strength, led him, year after year, and day after day,
into difficulties and trials, and carried him through them only to drag
him into deeper. There was no one man whom he would allow to perform any
one thing so skilfully as himself. There was no branch of knowledge into
which he did not grope his way, and from which he would not manage to
extract sufficient learning to render his conceit intolerable, and his
opposition dangerous to a more erudite antagonist. He could build a
church--dam a river--form a company--warm a house--cool a room--one and
all he would undertake at a minute's notice, and engage to execute
better than any person living. He asserted it with confidence, and you
believed him when he spoke with all the earnestness of self-conviction
and of truth. He despised all works--all theories but his own; and these
were unapproachable, inimitable. He wrote with his own invented pen,
used his own ink, sat on his own chair, made with his own incomparable
tools. Men were ignorant, behind their age--burdened with superstitions,
clogged by false principles. This was a text from which he never ceased
to preach. As a youth he was engaged in profitable business. Before he
reached his thirtieth year he had realized a handsome competency. He
retired from his occupation, and went abroad to found a city across the
ocean, with views that were unknown to man, and which, well carried out,
must prove infallible. He chose a spot removed from civilized
society--lived for three years amongst a tribe of savages, and came home
at last without a farthing in his scrip--beggared but not depressed. He
had dwelt for many months in a district of swamps, and he had discovered
a method of draining lands cheaper and more effectual than any hitherto
attempted. He contracted to empty some thousand acres--began his work,
succeeded for a time, and failed at last, from having falsely calculated
his expenses, and for lack of means to carry out his plans. There were
few public matters in which Mr Planner did not meddle. He wrote
pamphlets, and "hints," and "original views" by dozens. His articles on
the currency and corn-laws were full of racy hits and striking
points--his criticisms on the existing state of art worthy of the
artist's best attention. The temper of Mr Planner was such as might be
expected from such a mass of arrogance and conceit. A man who, in the
easiness of his heart, would listen humbly, patiently, approvingly to Mr
Planner, must pronounce the ardent character an angel. The remarkable
docility which Mr Planner evinced under such treatment, was only to be
equalled by the volubility and pleasure with which he communicated his
numerous and ingenious ideas. Sceptics--nay, men who had ventured only
to contend for the soundness of their preconceived ideas, and who had
been met with a torrent of vituperation and reproach in consequence--did
not hesitate to call Mr Planner--the devil incarnate. Such as he was, he
had become an agent and a tool in the hands of Allcraft's father.
Michael had been his friend for years, and Planner liked the boy who had
ever regarded him with awe and veneration. The youth had been taught by
his parent to note the faults and inconsistencies of his character; but
these had not rendered him insensible to the talents which had commanded
even that discerning parent's respect and admiration. It was this
personage, for some years the hanger-on at the bank, and the traveller
and negotiator of many things for Allcraft senior, whose name suggested
to Michael the means of providing against the encroachments of his
future brethren. Planner could be relied upon. The smallest possible
interest in the business would excite in him a corresponding interest in
its prosperity, and secure his steadiness and good behaviour. Why not
offer it then, and make his entrance into the firm a _sine qua non_ in
the bargain with Bellamy and Brammel? He revolved the matter, and saw no
real objection to it. Planner was reputed a first-rate accountant; his
services would be important, no remuneration could be too great,
provided he would settle down, and fix his energies upon the one great
object of advancing the welfare of the establishment. His friendship was
secured, and a word or two would suffice to gain his faithful support
and co-operation. So far from his becoming burdensome and useless in the
bank, his talents would be in every way desirable. A coadjutor, such as
he might be, firm and trusty, was invaluable. And why should he not be?
A day had been fixed for accepting or rejecting the propositions of the
gentlemen. The time was drawing on, when Michael visited his friend to
sound him on his purpose.

Planner lived in a very humble part of a very humble house, in a very
humble street. The two-pair back was his domain, and his territory was
less adorned than crowded with the evidences of his taste and handiwork.
In the remote corner of his unclean apartment was a lathe for turning
ivory--near it the material, a monstrous elephant's tusk. Shelves,
carried round the room, supported bottles of various sizes, externally
very dirty, and internally what you please; for eyes could not penetrate
so far, and determine the contents. A large label, crowning all,
announced them to be "samples." Books were strewed every
where--manuscripts met you at every turn. The walls were filled with
charts and drawings, one of the former representing the field of
Waterloo, dissected and intersected, with a view to prove Lord
Wellington guilty of winning a battle, which, in conformity with every
law of strategy, he should have lost. One drawing was a rough sketch of
his unhappy swamp; another, the elaborate delineation of a hydraulic
pump. In the niche corresponding to that in which the lathe was fixed,
there was a small iron bedstead; and in this, although it was nearly
noon when Michael paid his friendly visit, Mr Allcraft caught sight of
Mr Planner when he opened the door, in obedience to the very sharp and
loud voice which invited him to "walk in." The ingenious gentleman had
breakfasted. The tea things were on a stool at his side. He wore his
nightcap, and he was busy in examining a crimson liquid, which he held
in a glass close to his eyes. "That man was murdered, Allcraft!"
exclaimed Mr Planner after the briefest possible salutation. "Murdered,
as I am a living Christian!"

"What man?" asked Allcraft.

"Him they hanged last week for poisoning his father. What was the
evidence? Why, when they opened the body, they found a grain or two of
arsenic. Hang a man upon that! A pretty state of things--look here,
sir--look here!"--and he pointed triumphantly to his crimson liquid.

"What is that, Mr Planner?" inquired the visitor.

"What? My blood, sir. I opened a vein the very day they hanged him. I
suspected it all along, and there it is. There is more arsenic there,
sir, than they found in the entire carcass of that man. Arsenic! Why,
it's a prime ingredient in the blood. This it is to live in the clouds.
Talk of dark ages--when shall we get light?"

"I was not aware, Mr Planner,"----

"Of course you were not. How should you be? It is the interest of the
ruling powers to darken the intellect of society. Why am I kept down?
Why don't I prosper? Why don't my works sell? Ah, Allcraft--put that
small pamphlet in your pocket--there it is--under the model--take care
what you are about--don't break it--there, that's right! What is it
called?"

"Popular delusions."

"Ah, true enough!--put it into your pocket and read it. If Pitt could be
alive to read it!---- Well, never mind! I say, Allcraft, how does that
back room flue get on--any smoke now?"

"None."

"No. I should think not. Michael, I must say it, though the old
gentleman is dead, he was one of the hardest fellows to move I ever met.
He would have been smoke-dried--suffocated, years ago, if it hadn't been
for me. I was the first man that ever sent smoke up that chimney. Nobody
could do it, sir. A fellow came from London, tried, and failed."

"It is a pity, Mr Planner, that, with abilities like yours, you have not
been more successful in life. Pardon me if I say that success would have
made you a quieter and a happier man."

"Ah, Michael, so your father used to say! Well, I don't know--people are
such fools. They will not think for themselves, and they are ready to
crush any one who offers to think for them. It has ever been so. Men in
advance of their generation have always fared badly. Ages ago they were
put to death cruelly and violently. Now they are left to starve, and
die. The creatures are ignorant, but they are worse than that; they are
selfish and jealous, and will rather sit in gloom, than owe light, and
confess they owe it, to a fellow mortal and a superior spirit."

"I am afraid, Mr Planner, after such an observation, that you will
hardly give me credit for the feeling which has induced me to visit you
this morning."

"You are a good fellow, Michael. You were always a generous-hearted
lad--an exception to the general rule. When you were five years old, you
used to share your biscuits with me. It was a fine trait in your
character. Proceed."

"You are aware, Mr Planner, that through my father's death increased
responsibilities have come upon me."

"You may say that. He never would take my advice about the bank-notes.
Stop--remind me before you go, of the few hints to bankers, which I drew
up. You will do well to look at them. You'll see the advantages of my
system of paper issues. Your father, sir, was stone-blind to his own
interests---- but I am interrupting you."

"I have for some time past determined to associate with me in the bank,
two gentlemen of noble fortunes and the first respectability. I would
not willingly carry on the concern alone, and the accession of two such
gentlemen as I describe, cannot but be in every way desirable."

"Humph--go on."

"Now Mr Planner, you are a very, very old friend of my father's, and I
know he valued your advice as it deserved to be."

"The old gentleman was good in the main, Michael."

"Had he been aware of my position, he would have recommended the step
which I am about to adopt. Mr Planner, I am young, and therefore
inexperienced. These gentlemen are very worthy persons no doubt; indeed,
I am assured they are; still, they are comparatively strangers to me,
and I am certain you would advise me to be most cautious."

"Proceed."

"What I feel to want is the constant presence of a friend--one who, from
personal attachment, may have my welfare and interest at heart, and form
as it were a second self at all times--let me be present or absent--and
absent I must be very often--you perceive?"

"Precisely."

"A sort of counterpoise to the opposite weight, in fact, if I may be
allowed to call it so. Now, I can sincerely affirm that I know no
person, Mr Planner, in whom I could rely so entirely and unreservedly as
yourself; and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to serve a man
so highly gifted, so long connected with our family by the closest
friendship. If you think the occupation of a banker suitable to your
present tastes, I believe that I can offer you an appointment worthy
your serious consideration."

Mr Planner rose in his bed, and grasped firmly the hand of Mr Michael
Allcraft. The latter sat at the bedside until past three o'clock, and
then retired, leaving his friend in a state of great mental excitement.
When Michael, upon taking his departure, reached the street door, he
stopped short, and retraced his steps. Entering the apartment for a
second time, he discovered Mr Planner in his night clothes, standing
before a looking glass, and repeating one of his own compositions in a
voice of thunder, and with the most vehement gesticulation.

"I beg your pardon. You told me to remind you, Planner, of your hints to
bankers. Have you the book handy?"

"It is here, Michael. Read it attentively, my boy--trust to me. I'll
make the house's name ring throughout the country. Don't forget what I
have said. We must have a new façade to the old building after a while.
I have such a plan for it!"


CHAPTER II.

A LULL.

_Allcraft, Bellamy, Brammel, and Planner_. It was a goodly ship that
bore the name, and fair she looked at the launching; her sails well set,
her streamers flying, and the music of men's voices cheering her on her
career. Happy and prosperous be her course! We think not of winter's
cold in the fervent summer time, and wreck and ruin seem impossible on
the smooth surface of the laughing sea; yet cold and winter come, and
the smiling, sweet-tempered ripple can awaken from slumber, and battle
and storm with the heavens. Never had bark left haven with finer
promises of success. We will follow her from the port, and keep
watchfully in the good ship's wake.

Michael formed a just conclusion when he reckoned upon increase of
business. His own marriage, and the immense wealth of his lady, had
inspired the world with unbounded confidence. The names of two of his
partners were household words in the county, and stood high amongst the
best. A convulsion of nature may destroy the world in half an hour, as
love, it is said, _may_ transform a man into an oyster; but either of
these contingencies was as remote as the possibility of Allcraft's
failure. Silently and successfully the house went on. For a quarter of a
year the sun shone brightly, and profit, and advantage, and honour,
looked Michael in the face. Thriving abroad, happy at home, what did he
need more? His spirit became buoyant--his heart carefree and light. He
congratulated himself upon the prudence and success of his measures, and
looked for his reward in the brilliant future which he had created for
himself and earned. His soul was calmed; and so are the elements,
fearfully and oppressively, sometimes an hour before the tempest and the
storm.

At the end of three months, Michael deemed it necessary to go abroad.
The heaviest of his father's debts had been contracted with a house in
Lyons, and notices as to payment had been conveyed to him--notices as
full of politeness as they were of meaning. The difficulties in which he
had found himself at the death of his parent--the seriousness of his
engagements--and the wariness which he had been compelled to
exercise--had gone far to sober down the impetuous youth, and to endue
him with the airs and habits of a man of business. He had attended to
his duties at the banking-house faithfully and punctually. He had
entered into its affairs with the energy and resolution of a practical
and working mind. He had given his heart to the work, and had put his
shoulder to the wheel, honestly and earnestly. Whatsoever may have been
his faults previously to his connexion with his partners, it is due to
him to say that he was no sluggard afterwards, and that he grudged
neither time nor labour that could be in any way productive to the
house--could add a shilling to its profits, or a breath of reputation to
its name. To pay his father's debts from the earnings of the bank--to
keep those debts a secret--and to leave the fortune of his wife
untouched, were the objects for which he lived, and soon began to slave.
Believing that a favourable arrangement could be effected with his
father's creditors, he determined to visit them in person. He had not
been absent from the bank even for a day; and now, before he could quit
it with comfort, he deemed it necessary to have a few parting words with
his right hand and factotum, Planner.

Planner was the only member of the firm who lived in the establishment.
His specimens, his bottles, his maps, and drawings, had been removed to
a spacious apartment over the place of business, and he rejoiced in the
possession of an entire first floor. His bed-room had now a distinct
existence. He had not enjoyed it for a week, before the water with which
he performed his daily ablutions was insinuated by a cunning contrivance
through the ceiling, and dismissed afterwards, as cleverly, through the
floor. Hot water came through the wall at any hour of the day, and a
constant artificial ventilation was maintained around his bed by night
and day. There was no end to the artifices which the chamber exhibited.
Michael, although he lived at a considerable distance from the bank, was
always the first at his post, after Planner himself. He arrived
unusually early on the day fixed for his visit to the Continent. Planner
and he sat for an hour together, and in the course of their
conversation, words to the following effect escaped them:--

"You will be careful and attentive, Planner. Let me hear from you by
every post. Do not spare ink and paper."

"Trust me. I shall not forget it. But don't you miss the opportunity,
Allcraft, of doing something with those mines. Your father wouldn't
touch them--but he repented it. I tell you, Michael, if we bought them,
and worked them ourselves, we might coin money! I'd go abroad and see
the shafts sunk. I could save a fortune in merely setting them to
rights."

"It is rather strange, Planner, that Brammel is so long absent. He
should come home, and settle down to work. It isn't well to be away. It
hasn't a fair appearance to the world. You saw his father yesterday.
What said he?"

"Oh, that young Brammel had a good many things to arrange in Oxford and
in the neighbourhood, and would soon be back now. But never mind him,
Allcraft. Between ourselves, he is better where he is; he is a horrible
ass."

"Hush. So he is, Planner, but he must not run wild. We must keep him at
home. He has been a rackety one, and I fear he is not much better now. I
question whether I should have received him here, if I had known as much
of him at first as I have heard lately. But his father deceived me."

"Queer old man that, Michael! How he takes the boy's part always, and
how frightened he seems lest you should think too badly of him. Young
Brammel will have every farthing of the old man's money at his death. A
pretty sum, too. A hundred thousand pounds, isn't it?"

"Well, Planner, let me know when he returns. That was a curious report
about his marriage. Can it be true?"

"His father denies it, but you mustn't trust the old sinner when he
talks about his son. He'll lie through thick and thin for him. They do
say he lived with the girl at the time he was at college, and married
her at last because her brother threatened to kick him."

"Nonsense, Planner."

"Why nonsense? More than half the marriages you hear of are scarcely a
whit better. What are the rules for a correct match? Who obeys them?
Where do you ever hear, now-a-days, of a proper marriage? People are
inconsistent in this respect as in other things. A beauty marries a
beast. A philosopher weds a fool. They can't tell you why, but they do
it. It's the perversity of human nature."

"I shall look sharp after Brammel."

"Take my advice, Michael, and look after the mines. Brammel can take
care of himself, or his wife and brother-in-law can do it. The timber on
the property will realize the purchase money."

"Well, we shall see; but here is Mr Bellamy. Mind you write to me, and
be explicit and particular."

"I shall do it, Michael."

"And mark, Planner; prudence--prudence."

And so saying, Michael advanced to Bellamy with a smiling countenance.
An hour afterwards, both he and his lovely bride were comfortably seated
in a post-chaise and four, admiring the garden-land of Kent, and
speeding to Dover fast as their horses could carry them.


CHAPTER III.

A SWEET COUPLE.

The very emphatic and somewhat vulgar expression of Mr Planner, was by
no means ill-chosen to express the character of Augustus Theodore
Brammel. He had been lovingly spoiled from his cradle--humoured and
ruined with the most praiseworthy care and perseverance. His
affectionate parents had studiously neglected the few goodly shoots
which the youth had brought into the world with him, and had embarked
all their energies in the cultivation of the weeds that grew noxious and
numerous around the unhappy boy's heart. His mother lived to see her
darling expelled from Eton--the father to see much worse, and yet not
the worst that the hopeful one was doomed to undergo. Gross vices, if
not redeemed, are rendered less hideous by intellectual power and
brilliancy. Associated with impotency and ignorance, they are disgusting
beyond expression. Augustus Brammel was the most sensual and
self-engrossed of men--the most idle and dissipated; and, as if these were
not enough to render him an object of the deepest aversion, he was as
self-willed, thick-headed, overbearing a dunce as ever moved a man to
that contempt "which wisdom holds unlawful ever;" and Brammel was not
only a fool, but a conceited, upstart, irritating fool. He considered
himself the shrewdest of mortals, and presumed to dictate, to be
impertinent, to carry matters with a high hand and a flourish. As for
modesty, the word was not in his dictionary. He had never known its
meaning; and therefore, perhaps, in justice is not to be blamed for the
want of it. Augustus, being a great blusterer, was of course a low
coward. He bullied, oppressed, and crushed the helpless and the weak,
who were avenged as often as he cowered and sneaked beneath the look of
the strong and the brave. The companions and friends of such creatures
as Brammel, are generally selected from the lower grades of life. The
tone of feeling found amongst the worst members of these classes,
harmonizes with their own. They think the like thoughts, talk the same
language. They are led to them by the true Satanic impulse, for it is
their triumph to reign in hell--their misery to serve in heaven.
Flattered by the dregs and refuse of society, they endeavour to forget
that they are avoided, spurned, trodden on, by any thing higher. Just
when it was too late to profit by the discovery, old Brammel found out
his mistake; and then he sagaciously vowed, that if his time were to
come over again, he would educate his boy in a very different manner.
His first attempt had certainly been a failure. Augustus had been
rusticated at the university; he had run away from his home; he had
committed all kinds of enormity. He had passed weeks in the sinks of
London, and had been discovered at last by his heartbroken parent
amongst the stews of Shadwell, in a fearful state of disease and
destitution. Years were passed in proceedings of this nature, and every
attempt at recovery proved abortive and useless. His debts had been
discharged a dozen times, and on every occasion under a solemn
engagement that it should be the last. When Brammel senior signed the
deed of partnership on behalf of his son, the latter, as I have already
said, was in Oxford, having returned to the university only a month
before, at the termination of his period of banishment. Whilst the
father was engaged in publishing the imaginary virtues of his son to
most admiring listeners, the promising youth himself was passing his
days in the very agreeable society of Miss Mary Anne Waters, the eldest
daughter of the cook of his college--a young lady with some pretension
to beauty, but none whatever to morality, being neither more nor less
than Mr Augustus Brammel's very particular and _chère amie_. The letter
which arrived with the unwelcome intelligence of the arrangement, found
the charming pair together. A specimen of their discourse at the time,
will show the temper with which the communication was received.

"I sha'n't go," ejaculated the youth. "I can't be nailed down to a desk.
What business had the old man to do any thing without me? Why can't he
mind his own affairs? He's old and ugly enough. It's cursed impudence in
him, and that's a fact."

"Oh ducky!" interposed Miss Mary Anne, with a rueful face, "I know how
it will be. You'll have to go home for good, and you won't think of me
no more."

"Don't you bother yourself. I sha'n't do any thing of the kind. If I go
home, Molly, you go with me."

"Do you mean it, dear bless-ed?"

"Don't I? that's all. I say it is blasted impertinent in the old man,
and I shall tell him so. I shall have blunt enough when his toes are up.
What is the good of working for more?"

"Oh dear me, bless-ed!"

"What is the matter, old girl?"

"If you should ever forget me!"

"Don't you fear."

"I should hang myself up to the bedpost with my garters. I know I
should. Don't leave me, there's a dear ducky."

"Well, haven't I said I won't?"

"Ah, you think you won't, dear bless-ed!"

"I tell you I won't."

"Yes, but when they get you up, they'll just be trying to marry you to
some fine rich woman; and I am sure she won't know how to take care of
you as I do. They ain't brought up to air and mend linen, to darn
stockings, and to tack on shirt-buttons. They'll never suit you, ducky."

"Catch me marrying a fine woman, Moll!"

"Ha, won't you though, bless-ed? Oh, dear me!" Mary Anne burst into
tears.

"What's the matter, Moll, now?"

"Oh, dear ducky! I wish I was an honest woman. I might go every where
with you, and not be ashamed of it either; and I do love you so. I shall
die if you leave me--I know I shall!"

"But I won't leave you."

"Oh, there's a ducks! But you know what you promised me, Tiddy dear?"

"Yes, I know, Molly, and I'll keep my word with you. If father makes a
partner of me, he shall make partners of both of us."

"No, do you mean it though?"

"Haven't I said it, you stupid?"

"Yes, you dear ducks of diamonds! You do look so handsome this morning!
And when shall it be? If you are to go to this business, the sooner the
better, you know, darling. Oh, I shall be so happy!"

Happy or not, the lady was at least successful. In the course of a week
Mary Anne Waters became extinct, and from her ashes rose the
surprizingly fine, and surpassingly vulgar, Mrs Augustus Brammel.
Augustus, notwithstanding his vapoury insubjection, visited his father
and the partners in the bank, leaving his bride in snug lodgings at a
respectable distance from all. He remained a few days at the
banking-house, and then absented himself on the plea of finally
arranging his incompleted affairs in Oxford and elsewhere. He had
engaged to return to business at the end of a month. Nearly three had
passed away, and no tidings whatever had been heard of him. Allcraft, as
it has been seen, grew anxious--less perhaps for his partner's safety,
than for the good name and credit of the firm. He had heard of his
precious doings, and reports of his inauspicious marriage were already
abroad. No wonder that the cautious and apprehensive Michael trembled
somewhat in his state of uncertainty. As for Mr Augustus Brammel
himself, the object of his fears, he, in conformity with general custom,
and especially in compliance with the wishes of his wife, had quitted
England on a wedding tour. With five hundred pounds in his purse--a sum
advanced by his father to liquidate his present outstanding
liabilities--he steamed from Dover on the very day that he was supposed
to have reached Oxford for his final arrangements. From Boulogne, he,
his wife, and suite, proceeded to Paris; and there they were, up to
their eyes in the dissipation of that fascinating city, when Allcraft
started on their track, followed them, unwittingly enough, from town to
town, and came upon them at length in the great city itself, and in the
very hotel in which they lodged. It was at night that Michael first
caught sight of the runaway. And where? In a gaming-house, the most
fashionable of the many legalized haunts of devils in which, not many
years since, Paris abounded. Allcraft had entered upon the scene of
iniquity as into a theatre, to behold a sight--the sight of human nature
in its lowest, most pitiable, and melancholy garb; in its hour of
degradation, craziness, and desperation. He had his recreation in such a
spectacle, as men can find their pleasure in the death-struggle of a
malefacter on the gibbet. He came, not to join the miserable throng that
crowded round the tables, exhibiting every variety of low, unhealthy
feeling; nor did he come, in truth, prepared to meet with one in whose
affairs and conduct he had so deep an interest. It was with
inexpressible astonishment and horror that he beheld his colleague, busy
and active amongst the busiest of the crew, venturing rouleau after
rouleau, losing stake upon stake, and growing more reckless and madder
with every new defeat. For a time Michael would not, could not, believe
his own eyes. It was one of the curious resemblances which we meet every
now and then in life: it was any thing but what he dreaded it to be--the
actual presence of Augustus Brammel. Michael retreated to a distant part
of the room, and watched his man. The latter spoke. He used a disgusting
English oath, and flung his last rouleau across the table like a drunken
fiend. The heart of Allcraft grew sick, but still he kept his eye upon
the gamester. Losing his stake, Brammel quitted the apartment, and
retired to a spacious saloon, splendidly furnished. He called for
champagne--drank greedily--finished the bottle--returned to the
gaming-room flushed and feverish--looked at the players savagely, but
sottishly, for a few moments, and then left the house altogether.
Michael was on his heels. The worthy Brammel stopped at many small
public-houses on his road, in each drank off a glass of brandy, and so
went on. Michael had patience, and kept to his partner like a leech. It
was midnight when he found himself once more before his hotel.

Brammel had rung at the porter's bell, and gained admittance. A quarter
of an hour afterwards Allcraft followed his example. Before he retired
to rest he learnt that Brammel and himself were inmates of the same
house. About eleven o'clock on the following morning, Augustus quitted
his dressing-room. Michael had been waiting some hours for this
operation. A few minutes afterwards Mr Brammel's servant announced a
visitor. Great was the consternation of Augustus Brammel when Mr Michael
Allcraft looked him in the face. First the delinquent turned very white,
like a guilty man--then his colour returned to him, and he tried to
laugh like an innocent and careless one; but he was not so happy in the
second instance. As a third experiment, he smoothed his hair with his
fingers--pointed to a chair--and held out his hand. Mrs Brammel was at
the breakfast table, reading an English newspaper.

"Ah! Mr Allcraft--glad to see you--glad to see you. Out on the same
business, eh? Nothing like it--first weeks of marriage are
delightful--there's nothing like a honey-moon on the Continent to my
thinking. Mrs Brammel, my wife--Mr Allcraft, my partner, my dear."

Mrs Brammel looked up from her newspaper and giggled.

"I cannot tell you, Mr Brammel," said Allcraft in a serious tone, "how
surprised I am to find you here. Are you aware, sir, that neither your
father, nor any one of your partners, have the least knowledge of your
movements. You were supposed to be in England. You gave your word to
return to business within a month of your departure. You have not
written or given the slightest account of yourself."

"Come, that's very good, Mister. Given an account of myself, indeed!
Pray, whom am I accountable to?"

"To those, sir," replied Allcraft, quickly and angrily, "with whom you
are associated in business, and who have an interest in your good
conduct--who suffer by your acts, and will be blamed for your folly and
indiscretion."

"Come, I say, that's all very fine in you, Mr Allcraft; but what brings
you here, I should like to know? Haven't I as much right to bring my
wife to Paris as you have? Give and take, if you please"----

"No, bless-ed," sagely and sarcastically interposed Mrs Brammel, "I
ain't so rich as Mrs Allcraft; I can't dress so fine; we ain't sich
gentle-folks"----

"Mr Brammel, pray let us have no more recrimination. I have met you here
by the merest chance. It is my duty to speak to you at once, and very
seriously, on your position. You are mistaken if you suppose that my own
pleasure has brought me here; business--important, weighty business--is
the sole cause, I can assure you."

"_Ally--ally_," answered Brammel with a knowing leer, attempting a
little _facetiae_ in French.

"I tell you the truth, sir," continued Michael, reddening with anger,
"and I warn you in good time to look to yourself, and to your course of
conduct. You may bring infamy upon yourself, as you have brought sorrow
and anguish upon the head of your aged father; but you shall not with
impunity involve and disgrace others who are strangers to you, although
unfortunately connected with you by their occupation. Depend upon it,
you shall not."

"My aged father, as you call him, didn't stump up all that money, I'm
thinking, Mr Allcraft, to bind me apprentice. Perhaps you'd like to kick
me next. I am as much a partner in that concern as you are; and if I
think proper to take my lady abroad, I am at liberty to do it as well as
you. You ain't the first man because you married a rich widow, and
because your name begins with A. Certainly not, monsweer."

"In course not, bless-ed. Besides, ducky, your name begins with B--and
that's A's next door neighbour."

"You shall take your own course, sir," proceeded Michael; "but it shall
be at your own peril, and with your eyes opened. It is my part to give
you good counsel. I shall do so. You may act as you then think fit."

"I haven't done any thing to disgrace you, as you call it. It is cursed
impudent in you to say so."

"You have. You disgraced yourself and me, and every one associated with
you, only last night, when you were pleased to exhibit to the world as a
public gamester. (Augustus Theodore changed colour.) You see that your
actions are observed; they will become more so. The house shall not lose
its good name through your misconduct, sir. Assure yourself of that.
There are means to rid ourselves of a nuisance, and to punish severely,
if we choose to use them."

"What do you mean by punish?" asked Augustus, unfeignedly alarmed by his
partner's threat, and yet not liking to be bullied. "Don't you insult
me, sir, in my own room; better not, I can tell you."

"Pshaw, you are an idiot;" exclaimed Michael most contemptuously.

"I'll just thank you to go, sir, and not call my husband names," said
Mrs Brammel, rising from her chair. "You are a nasty ill-bred fellow,
I'm sure. Talk of high people! I never see sich airs in all my life. If
your wife ain't no better behaved, there's a nice pair of you, I don't
think. Never mind him, ducky dear--don't you fret. We are as good as
them any day. Let's go up stairs, there's a bless-ed. Call the
_garsoon_."

Poor Michael knew not what step to take, what language to employ, in
order to effect his purpose. He could not think of quitting Paris,
leaving his partner behind him, open to the seductions of the city, and
eager to avail himself of every license and indulgence. He had hoped to
frighten him into better behaviour, and perhaps he would have succeeded
but for the presence of the lady, whose appearance and demeanour, more
than any thing else, confounded and annoyed him. He remained silent for
a few seconds, and then, in a quieter tone, he asked Brammel when he
really thought of getting back to business.

"Why, very soon," replied the youth, himself reduced to civility by
Michael's more peaceful aspect; "and I should have been back before now,
if I hadn't been bothered about a lot of things. If you hadn't come in
blustering, I should have told you so. I shall be all right enough,
don't you fear, when I get home. I promised father I should settle, and
so I mean--but a wedding trip is a wedding trip, and ladies mustn't be
baulked."

"Certainly not," answered Allcraft, grateful for as much as this--"then,
when do you think of reaching home?"

"Oh, before you, I'll wager! We haven't got much more to see. We went to
the Jordan de Plants yesterday. We are going to the Pantheon to-morrow.
We shall soon get done. Make your mind easy."

"As soon as you have visited these places, I am to understand, then,
that you return to business?"

"Exactly so."

"And may I venture to intreat you to abstain from visiting the
gambling-house again?"

"Oh, don't you worry yourself! If you had only spoken at first like a
gentleman, I should have promised you without being asked."

"Both you and Mrs Brammel must see, I am sure, the very great propriety
of avoiding all such scenes."

"Yes," answered Mary Anne; and then repeating her husband's words, "but
if you had only spoken at first like a gentleman!"

"Perhaps I was too hasty, madam. It is a fault that I have. We shall
understand one another much better for the future. You will be at home
in about--ten days we'll say, from the present time, at latest."

"Oh, don't fix days, I never could bear it! We shall be all right. Will
you stay breakfast?"

Michael excused himself, and, having done all that was permitted him,
departed. With a sad spirit he encountered his lady, and with gloomy
forebodings his mind was filled that day. Augustus Brammel was destined
to be his thorn, his trial, and his punishment. He could see it already.
His house, otherwise so stable, so promising, and so prosperous, would
receive a mortal blow from this one threatening point. It must be warded
off. The hurtful limb must by degrees be got away. He must, from this
time forward, engage himself in its removal. It was, after all, a
consolation to have met the pair, and to have succeeded so far in
frightening them home again, as he fully believed he had. For a time at
least, he conceived that Brammel was still safe. This conviction gave
him courage, and carried him on his road to Lyons, with a heart not
altogether ill at ease, and without good hope. In the meanwhile Mrs
Brammel had inveighed, in the most unmeasured terms, against the
insolent behaviour of Mr Allcraft, the pride and arrogance of his wife,
whom she had never seen--the marked, unpardonable insult she had offered
her in not accompanying Allcraft on his visit; and had succeeded, in
short, in effectually driving from her husband's mind the little good
effect which had been produced by the partner's just remonstrance.
Ignorant and vulgar as she was, the woman had unbounded influence and
power. How much, may be guessed from the fact, that before Michael
Allcraft was ten miles on his journey to Lyons, she had prevailed upon
her husband to draw his first cheque upon his house to the tune of
L.500, and to prolong their holiday by visiting in succession the south
of France, Switzerland, and Italy. The fool, after an inane resistance,
consented; his cheque was converted to money--the horses were
ordered--and on they dashed.


CHAPTER IV.

A SPECULATION.

"When the cat is away, the mice begin to play." It is an old and a true
saying, and Michael, had he been an experienced mouser, would have
remembered it to his advantage, when he thought of leaving the
banking-house to the tender mercies of his colleagues. His confidence in
Planner was very great, and I will not say undeserved; still some
account should have been taken of his previous habits, and the positive
abiding infirmity of human nature. It was surely dangerous to surround a
man so fickle, and so easily led by the delusions of his sanguine
spirit, with every temptation to walk astray, and to remove every check
that had hitherto kept down the capricious movements of his most
unsteady will. The daily, almost hourly presence of Allcraft, his
vigorous and immediate superintendence of affairs, had subdued the
speculative soul of Planner, and rendered him a useful man of business.
He was, in truth, a good accountant, ardent in his pursuits, a faithful
friend, an honest man. With the needful restraints upon him, he proved,
as Allcraft had believed he would, a warm and active partisan. Had those
restraints been continued for any time--had he been trained, and so
reconciled and accustomed to his yoke, all might have prospered and been
well with him. His own happiness might have been secured, and the hopes
of his friend and patron would not have been blasted. It was the
misfortune of Allcraft, with all his long-sightedness, not to see far
enough. He was to blame, deeply to blame, for the desertion of a man
whom he knew to be at the mercy of his own wayward spirit, and utterly
incapable of self-defence. Yet, called abroad, what could he do? It is
the fate of cunning, as it is of suspicion and other mortal weaknesses,
to fall into toils of its own weaving. Michael too soon was called to
pay the penalty. Allcraft had been in France a fortnight, when Planner
received a fatal visit at the bank from a very old friend and stanch
ally--a creature as excitable and sanguine as himself, as full of
projects, and as unsuccessful. They had known each other in the early
and distant days of their prosperity--they had grown poor together--they
were united by the uniformity of their fortunes as by the similarity of
their natures. They had both for years regarded themselves as the
persecuted and injured of society--and both were satisfied of their
ability to achieve miracles, time and the occasion serving. It is not
for speculative spirits to be disheartened by failure, but rather to be
encouraged by ill success to fresh extravagance, else had the poor
result of all their schemes long since extinguished the fire at work
within them. Not one of their innumerable plans had shown a gleam, a
spark, of reality and life. One morning, about five years before the
present visit, Mr William Wedge rose from bed with the pleasing notion
that he would ruin all the public gaming-houses in the world. He had
suddenly discovered the secret of their success--the cause of their
enormous gains--and had arranged, with minutest care and skill, a
systematic course of play to bring against them. It was with difficulty
that he contained himself until he mentioned his good fortune to his
friend. They met time after time in secret, grew fearfully
mysterious--closed their windows in the open day--played cards from
morning till night, and sometimes through the night--with no other eye
upon them than the very feeble, faint-glimmering one of their farthing
rushlight;--they carried directions in their pocket--learnt them
off--repeated them until they grew familiar as their oaths, and more
familiar than their prayers. To realize between them a standing capital
of five pounds, a sum essential to their operations, they pawned all the
available clothing they possessed; and on the very night that they
obtained the cash, they sallied forth to carry devastation and affright
throughout the camps of innocent and unsuspecting blacklegs. As might be
expected, it took about as many minutes as they had pounds to effect the
ruin of the adventurers. Did they despond? Not they; a flaw existed in
their calculations. They looked for it with care, and were torn from
their employment only by the exigencies of the time, and the pressing
demands of nature for immediate bread. Mr Wedge had from this period
struggled on, living as he knew how, and nobody could tell, until
Planner's unexpected good fortune and ascent provided him with an
allowance and a quiet mind to follow out his views. Since Planner's
introduction into the bank, he had behaved faithfully and well to his
ancient crony; in addition to a pension, paid weekly and in advance, he
gave him a right of entrée to his rooms after the hours of business, a
certain supper three times a-week, and an uncertain quantity of brandy
and water on the same occasions. One stipulation only he deemed
necessary for his protection. He had given his word to Allcraft to avoid
all trading unconnected with the bank--to abstain from speculation. Weak
at the best of times, he knew himself to be literally helpless with the
_ignis fatuus_ of a hopeful project before his eyes; and he made a
condition of Wedge's visits--his silence upon matters of business,
private or public. It was a wise resolution, nobly formed, and for a
season well carried out. Wedge promised to be cautious, and did not
break his word. Peace of mind, a regular diet, and a full stomach, were
such extraordinary circumstances in the daily doings of the latter, that
the restraint upon his tongue was, in the first month or two of the new
excitement, scarcely felt as an inconvenience. Planner himself, with the
eye of Allcraft upon him, kept his natural inclination safely in the
rear of _his_ promise, and so the days and nights passed pleasantly. On
the evening above alluded to--that is to say, just a fortnight after
Michael's departure--Wedge came as usual for his supper, grog, and
conversation. The clock had just struck eleven--the friends were sitting
together, their feet upon the fender, their hands upon their tumblers.
As was usual with them, they discussed the doings of the nation, and
called in question the proceedings of the existing government. One
subject after another was dismissed--politics, law, love, and
religion--they abused every thing, and agreed marvellously. It was
getting very near midnight, the hour at which, it is said, devils are
let loose upon earth for mischief--when a rascally little imp crawled up
to Planner's ear, and put it into his head to talk about the amusements
of the poor, and their effects upon the rising generation.

"They will be sorry for it, Wedge--mark my words. All this stabbing and
killing comes from too much work and no play. Jack's at his tools for
ever--gets a dull boy--and then stabs and cuts about him for the sake of
getting lively. Government should have playgrounds in every parish. They
would save the expense in the rapid diminution of the standing army. I
wrote a letter once to the prime minister"----

Wedge sighed.

"What do you mean by that, Wedge? Ah, quite right--I see! You are a good
fellow, Wedge. You have kept the compact. I won't be the first to break
it. Let us change the subject. I burnt all my letters and papers the day
I got here. What was the good of keeping them? This is an ungrateful
country, Wedge!"

Wedge sipped his grog, and sighed again.

"What is the matter, boy?" enquired his patron. "Speak your
mind--relieve your heart."

"No, I won't, Planner--I won't be the first. You sha'n't say it is me. I
don't mean to be blamed, that's a fact--but if I dared, oh, that's all!"

"Is it any thing very good?"

"Good! Good, did you say? Well, an agreement's an agreement, Planner. It
isn't for me to introduce the subject; but I could tell you something,
if we were differently situated, that would be a fortune to you. Ah,
Planner, I sha'n't be a burden upon you long! I have hit upon a thing at
last--I am a made man!"

"Now I tell you what, Wedge," said Planner, pulling out his watch, and
looking very serious, "we'll have just five minutes' private
conversation on this matter, and then have done with it. Only five
minutes, mind you, by the watch. If we mutually agree to lay aside our
compact for a minute or so, there's no great harm done, provided it
isn't made a precedent. I should like to see you set a-going, Wedge. You
may open your mind to me, and be sure of good advice. It's now seven
minutes to twelve. Till twelve, Wedge, you are at liberty to talk on
business."

"What were you saying just now about amusements, Planner? Do you
recollect."

"I do."

"I have thought about it for the last six months. We have formed a
company."

"A company!"

Wedge was as full of mystery as an Oxford tractman. He rose on tiptoe
from his chair, proceeded to the passage, listened on the stairs,
returned as carefully, closed the door, resumed his seat.

"A company!" repeated Planner.

"Such an undertaking!" proceeded the ungagged and self-deluded Wedge.
"It's the finest thing that has been thought of for these hundred years.
I _am_ surprised it never once occurred to you. Your mind, Planner,
should have grasped it."

"What can it be?"

"We mean to call it the _Pantamorphica_, because it takes all shapes. We
are in treaty now for a hundred acres of land within three miles of
London. We are to have a race-course--public gardens with fountains and
promenades--a gymnasium for callisthenic and other exercises--boating--a
menagerie--a library--lecture-rooms--conservatories"----

"By Jove, I see!" ejaculated Planner. "Capital!--a universal playground;
trust me, I have thought of it before. Go on."

"These are for the daylight. At night we have a concert-room--a
theatre--saloons for dancing--halls for refreshment--museums for
_converzatione_. In the centre of the public walks we have a synagogue,
a church, and chapel for Sabbath visitors. Then we shall have
aviaries--apiaries--caves--alpine scenery"----

"Upon my soul, Wedge, it's a grand conception!" There was a large clock
at the bottom of the stairs which struck twelve, loud enough to awake
the sleeping household; but, strange to say, neither Planner nor his
friend heard a single chime. "Who are your men?" continued Planner.

"Oh, first-rate men! Three of the first London bankers, two of the chief
architects, the richest capitalist in England"----

"What, have you got them all?"

"No, but we mean to ask them to take shares, and to take part in the
direction. They'll jump, sir, at the offer."

"Ah, that they will! What's your capital?"

"Half a million--five thousand shares of a hundred each. It's nothing at
all!"

"No, nothing really. What is your appointment?"

"I am secretary; and I am to have a bonus of five thousand pounds when
the thing is fairly started."

"You well deserve it, Wedge. Ah, sir, I have dreamt of this before!"

"No--have you?"

"It must do, Wedge. It can't help itself. People will be amused--people
will pay for it. Amuse them from morning till night--change the scene
every hour of the day--vary the pleasures. Wedge, you are a national
benefactor."

"It is past twelve," said Wedge hesitatingly, looking at the watch.

"No--is it?" asked Planner, looking at it likewise. "There must be some
mistake. Have you heard the clock strike?"

"No."

"Nor I; my watch is out of order--too fast a great deal. Let us go by
the big clock. Now, when that strikes twelve, Wedge, you shall go home,
and I'll to bed--an understanding is an understanding, Wedge."

"And so you like it, Planner--eh?"

"Like it, sir"----

It was exactly a quarter to four o'clock when Planner put out his
bedroom candle, and Wedge tucked himself up as well as he could on the
hard horsehair sofa in Planner's sitting-room. Having enlarged upon the
_Pantamorphica_ speculation until the above unreasonable hour, it was
not deemed respectable for Mr Wedge to quit the banking-house on the
dark side of sunrise. The latter gentleman had worked himself up to such
a pitch of excitement in blowing out his bubble, that it was very nearly
six o'clock before he could be pronounced in a condition to say his
prayers like a rational being, and go to sleep. As for Planner, he had
heard too much to be quiet. He tossed his head on his pillow--turned
from side to side--sat up and lay down again at intervals, until the
break of day. He had resolved to take an active interest in this
glorious undertaking. Nothing should hinder him. Its returns must
necessarily be immense. He had promised Allcraft to enter into no
business foreign to the banking-house. But what of that? He should be
without an excuse for his blindness if he closed his eyes to the
advantages which stared him in the face. He would not be selfish.
Allcraft should share in the reward. He, who had acted so friendly a
part to him, should be repaid for his noble conduct. "Share and share
alike," should be his motto. And he would not hesitate or postpone his
intentions. He would look thoroughly into the affair at once, and go
boldly forward. It should be his pleasure and his pride to greet and
surprise his partner with the unexpected news the instant he returned.
Sweet are the visions of life, sleeping or waking. It is the substance
and the truth that pass like iron to the soul, and kill it. Poor
Planner!


CHAPTER V.

A LANDED PROPRIETOR.

After Michael had spent a month in France, he discovered that he must
still travel on, and still sacrifice time and exertion, if he hoped to
bring his unfortunate parent's affairs to a satisfactory issue. Many
things had happened since his arrival to give him great pain and
annoyance. In the first place, he had learned, with a sickening heart,
that the private debts of his father considerably exceeded in amount
those which had appeared in the testamentary memorandum. He had seen
with his own eyes his father's acknowledgment of liabilities, the
existence of which was thus revealed to him for the first time. In his
immediate and violent disgust, he burned to expose his parent's cupidity
and dishonesty, and to rid himself of the burden which he had
voluntarily taken as his own; but pride, shame, and other low
incentives, came between him and the fulfilment of a rash resolution,
and he had nothing to do but to look his difficulty fully and bravely in
the face. In addition to this trial, he found it necessary to proceed
without delay as far eastward as Vienna; for thither his chief creditor
had taken himself on urgent business, which threatened to detain him on
the spot until the following year. Nor was this all; a Lyonese merchant,
who held old Allcraft's note of hand for a considerable sum, advanced
under assurances of early payment, had grown obstinate and restive with
disappointment and anxiety. He insisted upon the instant discharge of
his claim, and refused to give another hour's grace. To rid himself of
this plague, Michael had not hesitated to draw upon his house for a sum
somewhat greater than five thousand pounds. The act had not been
committed without some distress of mind--some murmurings of conscience;
but the necessity was great--the compulsion not to be avoided. To put an
end to all further and importunate demands, he posted into Austria fast
as he could be conveyed. The chief creditor was destined to be Michael's
chief misery. He was an obdurate, unyielding man, and, after days of
negotiation, would finally listen to nothing but the chink of the gold
that was due to him. And how much that was, Michael dared not trust
himself to think. Now, what was to be done? To draw again upon the
bank--to become himself, to his partners, an example of recklessness and
extravagance, was out of the question. He had but one course before him,
and it was one which he had solemnly vowed never to adopt. To beg a loan
from his wife so early in the morning of their union, seemed a thing
impossible--at least it seemed so in the outset, when the thought first
blushed upon him, and there remained a chance, a hope, of escaping from
the miserable alternative. But as the creditor got clamorous, and every
prospect of satisfying his demand--every means save one--grew dim, and
shadowy, and blank, the wrongfulness, the impropriety of making an
appeal to her, whose heart was willing as her hand was able to release
him from despair, became less evident, and by degrees not evident at
all. It would have been well for Allcraft, and for Margaret too, had the
latter resisted his demand, or opposed it with one kind word of
remonstrance. Michael was prepared for this, and the gentlest opposition
would have saved them both. But what did Margaret possess, which she
wished not to share with him who was her idol--dearer to her than her
life--the joy and light of life! He hinted his request; she hardly
suffered him to hint it. She placed her substance at his command, and
bade him use it. Like a guilty man--one guilty of his first but heavy
fault--blushing and faltering, Allcraft thanked his Margaret for the
loan, promised speedy payment, and vowed that he would beg no more. Fond
Margaret! she kissed the vow away, and bade him clear his brow, smile,
and be happy. It was a woman's part, who loves not wisely, but too well.
The day that gave him the means of satisfying the claims of one great
creditor, bound Allcraft more seriously to another; but he rejoiced at
his success, which brought him temporary ease, and he congratulated
himself upon his deliverance from failure and exposure. There was little
to do. The lady's broker was written to; the legal adviser of the
gentleman, at Michael's own request, prepared an instrument to secure
repayment of the loan; the money came--the debts of Allcraft senior to
the last farthing were discharged, and scarcely discharged before
Michael, eager and anxious to be at home, quitted Vienna, ready to
travel by night and day, and longing to feel his footing safely in the
banking-house again.

It is now proper to state, that on the very day that Michael's draft of
five thousand pounds applied for honourable reception at the counter of
his most respectable establishment, by a curious coincidence another
demand for double that amount appeared there likewise; not in the shape
of cheque or written order, but in that of a request, personal and oral,
proceeding from the proud and high-born lips of Walter Bellamy, Esquire,
lord of the manor--gentleman and banker. Mr Bellamy was not the first
man, by a great number, who has attempted to clothe and conceal real
poverty in the stately apparel of arrogance and offensive
self-sufficiency. He, man of the world, knew well enough, that, thus
disguised, _necessity_ need never fear discovery--might look and laugh
in secret at mankind--might feed and thrive upon its faults and
weaknesses. How comparatively easy it is to avoid the shoals and rocks
of life--to sail smoothly and pleasantly on its waters, when we take for
our rudder and our guide the world's great axiom, "RICHES ARE
VIRTUE--POVERTY IS VICE." "Assume the _virtue_, if you have it not;"
assume its shows and appearances, its tricks, its offences, and its
crimes, rather than confess your nakedness. Be liberal and prodigal, if
it must be, with the crown you need to pay your necessary lodging; adorn
with velvet and with silk the body that grows sick for lack of wholesome
food; bribe, beyond their expectation, the pampered things in livery
that stand between you and the glory you aspire to--bribe them, though
to part with money is to lose your meal. Upon this broad principle it
was, that Walter Bellamy existed--in virtue of it he held lands, and by
its means he had become a partner in the bank, an active one, as very
soon he proved himself to be. His property was estimated by shrewd
calculators at a hundred thousand pounds--that, at the very least. And
Bellamy chuckled at his fireside--no one being by--at the universal
gullibility of man. A hundred thousand pounds! Why, he could not--at any
one period during the last twenty years, command as many farthings. What
right had strangers to calculate for him? What right had Allcraft to
depend upon such calculations? We may well ask the question, since Mr
Bellamy did so, when he endeavoured, as the worst of us will do, to
justify bad conduct to an unfaithful conscience. Why, what was he? a
simple _locum tenens_ of a dozen mortgagees, who had advanced upon the
estate a great deal more money than it would ever realize, if forced to
sale--a haughty, overbearing man, (though very benevolent to postboys
and other serving men,) a magistrate, and a great disciplinarian. This
was the amount of his pretensions, and yet men worshipped him. It was
surely not the fault of Mr Bellamy, but rather his good fortune; and if
he chose to make the most of it, he was a wise and prudent personage.
When it is borne in mind that the possessions of Mr Bellamy were
involved beyond their actual worth--that for some time he had lived in a
perpetual dread of exposure and utter ruin--that for years he had looked
abroad for some kind friend, who, if not altogether willing, might still
be prevailed upon to release him from his difficulties--it will be easy
to understand his very great desire to confer on Michael Allcraft all
the advantages of his own position and high character.

The part which Bellamy had taken in the business of the house, was very
inconsiderable until Michael's departure. Up to that time, he came to
the bank in his carriage with much ceremony--spoke to the dependents
there with becoming _hauteur_, and took his leave, on all occasions, as
a rich man should, with abundant fuss, scarcely troubling himself with
the proceedings of the day. "He had," he was always repeating the words,
"he had the greatest confidence in Allcraft. It was unbounded. He felt
that he could trust to him entirely and unreservedly." Gratefully did
such expressions fall upon the flattered ear of Michael, applauding
himself ever upon his victory--upon the acquisition of such a man. Of
what service he would be to him in his well-laid plans! Of what use was
his name already--and how much more serviceable than all would be the
noble sum of money which he had _promised_ to bring into the bank at the
close of the year! Michael, in his moments of chivalry, standing in the
presence of Bellamy, looked upon him almost with an eye of pity and
self-reproach. Whilst he himself could only plead guilty to a most
refined and cunning policy, his innocent partner was but too full of
trust; too simple and too unsuspecting. Somebody remarks, that God
reserves unto himself that horrid sight--a naked, human heart. Had
Allcraft and Bellamy, during one of their early interviews, suddenly
stripped, and favoured each other with reciprocal glances--one or both
would have been slightly startled by the unexpected exhibition. Planner
had always looked upon Mr Bellamy as a very great man indeed--had
contemplated him with that exact admixture of awe and admiration, that
was pleasing and acceptable to the subject of it. Mr Bellamy, in his
turn, conducted himself towards the schemer with much cordiality and
kindness. Proud men never unbend until their supremacy is acknowledged
through your servility. Your submission turns their gall to
honey--converts their vinegar to milk--to the very cream of human
complaisance. Mr Bellamy acted his part in this respect, as in every
other--well; a tiger to such as would not cringe, he could become a
playful lamb to all who were content to fawn. Planner and he were on the
best possible terms. Looking into what is called the nature of things,
we shall think it very natural on the part of Mr Bellamy, when he found
himself so agreeably situated in regard to the circulating medium, if he
took an early opportunity to help himself of the abundance by which he
was surrounded. The truth is, that some time before the visit of
Allcraft to the Continent, he had entertained a very serious intention
of drawing out of the concern the anticipatory profits of a few years,
in order to relieve himself and fine estate from certain engagements
which pressed inconveniently on both--but his object had not, for many
reasons, been carried into effect. In the first place, a moderate degree
of actual shame withheld him--and again, he had begged for time from his
creditor, and obtained it. Allcraft absent, the sense of shame
diminished; before he could return to England, the grateful respite was
at an end. It was a fine bright morning when Mr Bellamy's grand carriage
drew up in state before the banking-house, and the highly respectable
proprietor descended from it with his accustomed style and dignity. Mr
Planner was, at the moment, at his desk, very busy with the prospectus
of the _Pantamorphica_ Association, in which he had just completed some
very striking additions--but perceiving his respected colleague, he
jumped from his seat, and hastened to give him greeting.

"Don't let me disturb you, my dear friend," said the gracious Mr
Bellamy. "I beg you'll prosecute your labours."

"Don't mention it, I pray--so like you, Mr Bellamy--always considerate
and kind."

"Busy, Mr Planner--eh?--a deal to do now in the absence of our good
friend?"

"Enough, enough sir, I assure you--but business, sir, is pleasure to the
active mind."

"Very true--we feel your worth, sir--the house acknowledges your
ability, Mr Planner."

"Dear Mr Bellamy--you are very flattering."

"No--not at all. Have you any engagement, Mr Planner, for this evening?
Can you find time to dine with us at the Hall? I am positively angry
with you for your repeated excuses."

"I shall be too proud, sir--business hitherto"----

"Ay--ay--but, my good sir, we must not sacrifice ourselves to business.
A little recreation is absolutely necessary."

"So it is, sir--so it is--and you, sir, with your splendid fortune and
superior taste"----

"Ah, ah--_apropos_! have you heard from Mr Allcraft lately?"

"This morning, sir."

"When does he return, pray?"

"In about a week from this. He writes he leaves Vienna this very day."

"Dear me, how very inconvenient, how very vexing!"

"What is it, may I ask, sir?"

"Oh, a trifle, Mr Planner. Dear me--dear me--it is annoying too!"

"Is it nothing that we can do, sir? Any thing the bank can offer?"

"Why--my dear sir--it is rather awkward, certainly. I have engaged to
complete a purchase, and it must be done to-morrow. What cash have we in
the house? There can be no impropriety in withdrawing a few thousand
pounds for a short time. What do you think--Mr Allcraft being away?"

Now, Planner himself, during the last few days, had been very busy with
the cash-box, in order to meet the expenses of certain preliminaries
essential to the success of the infant _Pantamorphica_--into which
speculation, by the way, he had entered heart and soul--and it was quite
a relief and a joy to him to find his partner turning his attention to
the same quarter; so true it is, that no pleasure is so sweet to a
sinner, as the wickedness and companionship of a brother criminal.

"Impropriety, sir!" exclaimed the schemer. "Certainly not. Draw your
cheque, sir. If we have not the money here, we have a heavy purse in
London--and I beg you will command it."

"You think, then, that until our friend's return"----

"I am perfectly satisfied, Mr Bellamy," said Planner, with an emphasis
on every word, as men will sometimes use, feeling and believing all that
they assert. "I am thoroughly convinced that nothing would give Mr
Allcraft greater pain than to know you had needed a temporary loan, and
had not availed yourself of every opportunity that the bank affords you.
I entreat you not to hesitate one instant. How much may you require?"

"Well, my dear sir--you will dine with us this evening. We will talk the
matter over. Don't be late. Upon consideration, it may be quite as well,
perhaps, to draw upon the bank."

"Much better, sir, I am sure, in every way. Will you walk into the
private room? You'll find pen, ink, and paper there. We can accommodate
you, sir--no doubt."

"Thank you, Mr Planner, thank you."

How very few of the numerous clients of Messrs Allcraft, Bellamy,
Brammel, and Planner, in their worst dreams that night, dreamt of the
havoc which was making with their beloved and hard-earned cash!



COLLEGE THEATRICALS.


It wanted but two or three weeks to the Christmas vacation, and we--the
worshipful society of under-graduates of ---- College, Oxford--were
beginning to get tired of the eternal round of supper parties which
usually marked the close of our winter's campaign, and ready to hail
with delight any proposition that had the charm of novelty. A three
weeks' frost had effectually stopped the hunting; all the best tandem
leaders were completely screwed; the freshmen had been "larked" till
they were grown as cunning as magpies; and the Dean had set up a
divinity lecture at two o'clock, and published a stringent proclamation
against rows in the Quad. It was, in short, in a particularly
uninteresting state of things, with the snow falling lazily upon the
grey roofs and silent quadrangle, that some half dozen of us had
congregated in Bob Thornhill's rooms, to get over the time between lunch
and dinner with as little trouble to our mental and corporal faculties
as possible. Those among us who had been for the last three months
promising to themselves to begin to read "next week," had now put off
that too easy creditor, conscience, till "next term." One alone had
settled his engagements of that nature, or, in the language of his
"_Testamur_"--the prettiest bit of Latin, he declared, that he ever
saw--"_satisfecit examinatoribus_." Unquestionably, in his case, the
examiners must have had the rare virtue of being very easily satisfied.
In fact, Mr Savile's discharge of his educational engagements was rather
a sort of "whitewashing" than a payment in full. His passing was what is
technically called a "shave," a metaphor alluding to that intellectual
density which finds it difficult to squeeze through the narrow portal
which admits to the privileges of a Bachelor of Arts. As Mr S. himself,
being a sporting man, described it, it was "a very close run indeed;"
not that he considered that circumstance to derogate, in any way, from
his victory; he was rather inclined to consider, that, having shown the
field of examiners capital sport, and fairly got away from them in the
end without the loss of his brush, his examination had been one of the
very best runs of the season. In virtue whereof he was now mounted on
the arm of an easy-chair, with a long _chibouque_, which became the
gravity of an incipient bachelor better than a cigar, and took upon
himself to give Thornhill (who was really a clever fellow, and
professing to be reading for a first) some advice as to his conducting
himself when his examination should arrive.

"I'll tell you what, Thornhill, old boy, I'll give you a wrinkle; it
doesn't always answer to let out all you know at an examination. That
sly old varmint, West of Magdalen, asked me who Hannibal was.
'Aha!'--said I to myself--'that's your line of country, is it? You want
to walk me straight into those botheration Punic Wars, it's no go,
though; I sha'n't break cover in that direction.' So I was mute. 'Can't
you tell me something about Hannibal?' says old West again. 'I can,'
thinks I, 'but I won't.' He was regularly flabbergasted; I spoilt his
beat entirely, don't you see? so he looked as black as thunder, and
tried it on in a fresh place. If I had been fool enough to let him dodge
me in those Punic Wars, I could have been run into in no time. Depend
upon it, there's nothing like a judicious ignorance occasionally."

"Why," said Thornhill, "'when ignorance is bliss,' (_i. e._ when it gets
through the schools,) 'tis folly to be wise.'"

"Ah! that's Shakspeare says that, isn't it? I wish one could take up
Shakspeare for a class! I'm devilish fond of Shakspeare. We used to act
Shakspeare at a private school I was at."

"By Jove!" said somebody from behind a cloud of smoke--whose the
brilliant idea was, was afterwards matter of dispute--"why couldn't we
get up a play?"

"Ah! why not? why not? Capital!"

"It's such a horrid bore learning one's part," lisped the elegant Horace
Leicester, half awake on the sofa.

"Oh, stuff!" said Savile, "it's the very thing to keep us alive! We
could make a capital theatre out of the hall; don't you think the little
vice principal would give us leave?"

"You had better ask for the chapel at once. Why, don't you know, my dear
fellow, the college hall, in the opinion of the dean and the vice, is
held rather more sacred of the two? Newcome, poor devil, attempted to
cut a joke at the high table one of the times he dined there after he
was elected, and he told me that they all stared at him as if he had
insulted them; and the vice (in confidence) explained to him that such
'levity' was treason against the '_reverentia loci_!'"

"Ay, I remember when that old villain Solomon, the porter, fined me ten
shillings for walking in there with spurs one day when I was late for
dinner; he said the dean always took off his cap when he went in there
by himself, and threatened to turn off old Higgs, when he had been scout
forty years, because he heard him whistling one day while he was
sweeping it out! Well," continued Savile, "you shall have my rooms; I
sha'n't trouble them much now. I am going to pack all my books down to
old Wise's next week, to turn them into ready _tin_; so you may turn the
study into a carpenter's shop, if you like. Oh, it can be managed
famously!"

So, after a few _pros_ and _cons_, it was finally settled that Mr
Savile's rooms should become the Theatre Royal, ---- College; and I was
honoured with the responsible office of stage-manager. What the play was
to be was a more difficult point to settle. Savile proposed _Romeo and
Juliet_, and volunteered for the hero; but it passed the united strength
of the company to get up a decent _Juliet_. _Richard the Third_ was
suggested; we had "six _Richards_ in the field" at once. We soon gave up
the heroics, and decided on comedy; for, since our audience would be
sure to laugh, we should at least have a chance of getting the laugh in
the right place. So, after long discussion, we fixed on _She Stoops to
Conquer_. There were a good many reasons for this selection. First, it
was a piece possessing that grand desideratum in all amateur
performances, that there were several parts in it of equal calibre, and
none which implied decided superiority of talent in its representative.
Secondly, there was not much _love_ in it; a material point where, as an
Irishman might say, all the ladies were gentlemen. Thirdly, the scenery,
dresses, properties, and decorations, were of the very simplest
description: it was easily "put upon the stage." We found little
difficulty in casting the male characters; old Mrs Hardcastle, not
requiring any great share of personal attractions, and being considered
a part that would tell, soon found a representative; but when we came to
the "donnas"--_prima_ and _secunda_--then it was that the manager's
troubles began. It was really necessary, to ensure the most moderate
degree of success to the comedy, that Miss Hardcastle should have at
least a lady-like deportment. The public voice, first in whispers, then
audibly, at last vociferously, called upon Leicester. Slightly formed,
handsome, clever and accomplished, with naturally graceful manners, and
a fair share of vanity and affectation, there was no doubt of his making
a respectable heroine if he would consent to be made love to. In vain
did he protest against the petticoats, and urge with affecting
earnestness the claims of the whiskers which for the last six months he
had so diligently been cultivating; the chorus of entreaty and
expostulation had its effect, aided by a well-timed compliment to the
aristocratically small hand and foot, of which Horace was pardonably
vain. Shaving was pronounced indispensable to the due growth of the
whiskers; and the importance of the character, and the point of the
situations, so strongly dwelt upon, that he became gradually reconciled
to his fate, and began seriously to discuss the question whether Miss
Hardcastle should wear her hair in curls or bands. A freshman of
seventeen, who had no pretensions in the way of whiskers, and who was
too happy to be admitted on any terms to a share in such a "fast idea"
as the getting up a play, was to be the Miss Neville; and before the
hall bell rang for dinner, an order had been despatched for a dozen
acting copies of "She Stoops to Conquer."

Times have materially changed since Queen Elizabeth's visit to
Christ-Church; the University, one of the earliest nurses of the infant
drama, has long since turned it out of doors for a naughty child; and
forbid it, under pain of worse than whipping, to come any nearer than
Abingdon or Bicester. Taking into consideration the style of some of the
performances, in which under-graduates of some three hundred years ago
were the actors, the "Oxford Theatre" of those days, if it had more wit
in it than the present, had somewhat less decency: the ancient
"moralities" were not over moral, and the "mysteries" rather Babylonish.
So far we have had no great loss. Whether the judicious getting
up of a tragedy of Sophocles or Aeschylus, or even a comedy of
Terence--classically managed--as it could be done in Oxford--and well
acted, would be more unbecoming the gravity of our collected wisdom, or
more derogatory to the dignity of our noble "theatre," than the
squalling of Italian singers, masculine, feminine, and neuter--is a
question which, when I take my M.A., I shall certainly propose in
convocation. Thus much I am sure of, if a classical play-bill were duly
announced for the next grand commemoration, it would "draw" almost as
well as the Duke; the dresses might be quite as showy, the action hardly
less graceful, than those of the odd-looking gentlemen who are dubbed
doctors of civil law on such occasions; and the speeches of Prometheus,
Oedipus, or Antigone, would be more intelligible to the learned, and
more amusing to the ladies, than those Latin essays or the Creweian
oration.

However, until I am vice-chancellor, the legitimate drama, Greek, Roman,
or English, seems little likely to revive in Oxford. _Our_ branch of
that great family, I confess, bore the bar-sinister. The offspring of
our theatrical affections was unrecognized by college authority. The
fellows of ---- would have done any thing but "smile upon its birth."
The dean especially would have burked it at once had he suspected its
existence. Nor was it fostered, like the former Oxford theatricals to
which we have alluded, by royal patronage; we could not, consistently
with decorum, request her Majesty to encourage an illegitimate.
Nevertheless--spite of its being thus born under the rose--it grew and
prospered. Our plan of rehearsal was original. We used to adjourn from
dinner to the rooms of one or other of the company; and there, over our
wine and dessert, instead of quizzing freshmen and abusing tutors, open
each our copy, and, with all due emphasis and intonation, go regularly
through the scenes of "She Stoops to Conquer." This was all the study we
ever gave to our parts: and even thus it was difficult to get a muster
of all the performers, and we had generally to play dummy for some one
or more of the characters, or "double" them, as the professionals call
it. The excuses for absenteeism were various. Mrs Hardcastle and Tony
were gone to Woodstock with a team, and were not to be waited for;
Diggory had a command to dine with the principal; and once an
interesting dialogue was cut short by the untoward event of Miss
Neville's being "confined"--in consequence of some indiscretion or
other--"to chapel." It was necessary in our management, as much as in Mr
Bunn's or Mr Macready's, to humour the caprices of the stars of the
company: but the lesser lights, if they became eccentric at all in their
orbits, were extinguished without mercy. Their place was easily
supplied; for the moment it became known that a play was in
contemplation, there were plenty of candidates for dramatic fame,
especially among the freshmen: and though we mortally offended one or
two aspiring geniuses by proffering them the vacant situations of Ralph,
Roger, and Co., in Mr Hardcastle's household, on condition of having
their respective blue dress coats turned up with yellow to represent the
family livery, there were others to whom the being admitted behind the
scenes, even in these humble characters, was a subject of laudable
ambition. Nay, unimportant as were some parts in themselves, they were
quite enough for the histrionic talent of some of our friends. Till I
became a manager myself, I always used to lose patience at the wretched
manner in which some of the underlings on the stage went through the
little they had to say and do: there seemed no reason why the "sticks"
should be so provokingly sticky; and it surprised me that a man who
could accost one fluently enough at the stage door, should make such a
bungle as some of them did in a message of some half dozen words "in
character." But when I first became initiated into the mysteries of
amateur performances, and saw how entirely destitute some men were of
any notion of natural acting, and how they made a point of repeating two
lines of familiar dialogue with the tone and manner, but without the
correctness of a schoolboy going through a task--then it ceased to be
any matter of wonder that those to whom acting was no joke, but an
unhappily earnest mode of getting bread, should so often make their
performance appear the uneasy effort which it is. There was one man in
particular, a good-humoured, gentlemanly fellow, a favourite with us
all; not remarkable for talent, but a pleasant companion enough, with
plenty of common sense. Well, "he would be an actor"--it was his own
fancy to have a part, and, as he was "one of us," we could not well
refuse him. We gave him an easy one, for he was not vain of his own
powers, or ambitious of theatrical distinction; so he was to be "second
fellow"--one of Tony's pot-companions. He had but two lines to speak;
but, from the very first time I heard him read them, I set him down as a
hopeless case. He read them as if he had just learned to spell the
words; when he repeated them without the book, it was like a clergyman
giving out a text. And so it was with a good many of the rank and file
of the company; we had more labour to drill them into something like a
natural intonation than to learn our own longest speeches twice over. So
we made their attendance at rehearsals a _sine qua non_. We dismissed a
promising "Mat Muggins" because he went to the "Union" two nights
successively, when he ought to have been at "The Three Pigeons." We
superseded a very respectable "landlord" (though he had actually been
measured for a corporation and a pair of calves) for inattention to
business. The only one of the supernumeraries whom it was at all
necessary to conciliate, was the gentleman who was to sing the comic
song instead of Tony, (Savile, the representative of the said Tony, not
having music in his soul beyond a view-holloa.) He was allowed to go and
come at our readings _ad libitum_, upon condition of being very careful
not to take cold.

When we had become tolerably perfect in the words of our parts, it was
deemed expedient to have a "dress rehearsal"--especially for the ladies.
It is not very easy to move safely--let alone gracefully--in petticoats,
for those who are accustomed to move their legs somewhat more
independently. And it would not have been civil in Messrs Marlow and
Hastings to laugh outright at their lady-loves before company, as they
were sure to do upon their first appearance. A dress rehearsal,
therefore, was a very necessary precaution. But if it was difficult to
get the company together at six o'clock under the friendly disguise of a
wine-party, doubly difficult was it to expect them to muster at eleven
in the morning. The first day that we fixed for it, there came a not
very lady-like note, evidently written in bed, from Miss Hardcastle,
stating, that having been at a supper-party the night before, and there
partaken of brandy-punch to an extent to which she was wholly
unaccustomed, it was quite impossible, in the present state of her
nervous system, for her to make her appearance in character at any
price. There was no alternative but to put off the rehearsal; and that
very week occurred a circumstance which was very near being the cause of
its adjournment _sine die_.

"Mr Hawthorne," said the dean to me one morning, when I was leaving his
rooms, rejoicing in the termination of lecture, "I wish to speak with
you, if you please." The dean's communications were seldom of a very
pleasing kind, and on this particular morning his countenance gave token
that he had hit upon something more than usually _piquant_. The rest of
the men filed out of the door as slowly as they conveniently could, in
the hope, I suppose, of hearing the dean's fire open upon me, but he
waited patiently till my particular friend, Bob Thornhill, had picked up
carefully, one by one, his miscellaneous collection of note-book,
pencil, penknife, and other small wares, and had been obliged at length
to make an unwilling exit; when, seeing the door finally closed, he
commenced with his usual--"Have the goodness to sit down, sir."

Experience had taught me, that it was as well to make one's-self as
comfortable as might be upon these occasions; so I took the easy-chair,
and tried to look as if I thought the dean merely wanted to have a
pleasant half-hour's chat. He marched into a little back-room that he
called his study, and I began to speculate upon the probable subject of
our conference. Strange! that week had been a more than usually quiet
one. No late knocking in; no cutting lectures at chapel; positively I
began to think that, for once, the dean had gone on a wrong scent, and
that I should repel his accusations with all the dignity of injured
innocence; or had he sent for me to offer his congratulations on my
having commenced in the "steady" line, and to ask me to breakfast? I was
not long to indulge such delusive hopes. Re-enter the dean, O. P., as
our stage directions would have had it, with--a pair of stays!

By what confounded ill-luck they had got into his possession I could not
imagine; but there they were. The dean touched them as if he felt their
very touch an abomination, threw them on the table, and briefly
said--"These, sir, were found in your rooms this morning. Can you
explain how they came there?"

True enough, Leicester had been trying on the abominable articles in my
bedroom, and I had stuffed them into a drawer till wanted. What to say
was indeed a puzzle. To tell the whole truth would, no doubt, have ended
the matter at once, and a hearty laugh should I have had at the dean's
expense; but it would have put the stopper on "She Stoops to Conquer."
It was too ridiculous to look grave about; and blacker grew the
countenance before me, as, with a vain attempt to conceal a smile, I
echoed his words, and stammered out--"In my rooms, sir?"

"Yes, sir, in your bed-room." He rang the bell. "Your servant, Simmons,
most properly brought them to me."

The little rascal! I had been afraid to let him know any thing about the
theatricals; for I knew perfectly well the dean would hear of it in half
an hour, for he served him in the double capacity of scout and spy.
Before the bell had stopped, Dick Simmons made his appearance, having
evidently been kept at hand. He did look rather ashamed of himself, when
I asked him, what business he had to search my wardrobe?

"Oh dear, sir! I never did no sich a thing; I was a-making of your bed,
sir, when I sees the tag of a stay-lace hanging out of your topmost
drawer, sir--("I am a married man, sir," to the dean apologetically,
"and I know the tag of a stay-lace, sir")--and so I took it out, sir;
and knowing my duty to the college, sir, though I should be very sorry
to bring you into trouble, Mr Hawthorne, sir"----

"Yes, yes, Simmons, you did quite right," said the dean. "You are bound
to give notice to the college authorities of all irregularities, and
your situation requires that you should be conscientious."

"I hope I am, sir," said the little rascal; "but indeed I am very sorry,
Mr Hawthorne, sir"----

"Oh! never mind," said I; "you did right, no doubt. I can only say those
things are not mine, sir; they belong to a friend of mine."

"I don't ask who they belong to, sir," said the dean indignantly; "I
ask, sir, how came they in your rooms?"

"I believe, sir, my friend (he was in my rooms yesterday) left them
there. Some men wear stays, sir," continued I, boldly; "it's very much
the fashion, I'm told."

"Eh! hum!" said the dean, eyeing the brown jean doubtingly. "I have
heard of such things. Horrid puppies men are now. Never dreamt of such
things in my younger days; but then, sir, _we_ were not allowed to wear
white trousers, and waistcoats of I don't know what colours; we were
made to attend to the statutes, sir. '_Nigri aut suspici_,' sir, Ah!
times are changed--times are changed, indeed! And do you mean to say,
sir, you have a friend, a member of this university, who wears such
things as these?"

I might have got clear off, if it had not been for that rascal Simmons.
I saw him give the dean a look, and an almost imperceptible shake of the
head.

"But I don't think, sir," resumed he, "these can be a man's stays--eh,
Simmons?" Simmons looked diligently at his toes. "No," said the dean,
investigating the unhappy garment more closely--"no, I fear, Simmons,
these are female stays!"

The conscientious Simmons made no sign.

"I don't know, sir," said I, as he looked from Simmons to me. "I don't
wear stays, and I know nothing about them. If Simmons were to fetch a
pair of Mrs Simmons's, sir," resumed I, "you could compare them."

Mrs Simmons's figure resembled a sack of flour, with a string round it;
and, if she did wear the articles in question, they must have been of a
pattern almost unique--made to order.

"Sir," said the dean, "your flippancy is unbecoming. I shall not pursue
this investigation any further; but I am bound to tell you, sir, this
circumstance is suspicious--very suspicious." I could not resist a smile
for the life of me. "And doubly suspicious, sir, in your case. The eyes
of the college are upon you, sir." He was evidently losing his temper,
so I bowed profoundly, and he grew more irate. "Ever since, sir, that
atrocious business of the frogs, though the college authorities failed
in discovering the guilty parties, there are some individuals, sir,
whose conduct is watched attentively. Good-morning, sir."

The "business of the frogs," to which the dean so rancorously alluded,
had, indeed, caused some consternation to the fellows of----. There had
been a marvellous story going the round of the papers, of a shower of
the inelegant reptiles in question having fallen in some part of the
kingdom. Old women were muttering prophecies, and wise men acknowledged
themselves puzzled. The Ashmolean Society had sat in conclave upon it,
and accounted so satisfactorily for the occurrence, that the only wonder
seemed to be that we had not a shower of frogs, or some equally
agreeable visitors, every rainy morning. Now, every one who has strolled
round Christ-Church meadows on a warm evening, especially after rain,
must have been greeted at intervals by a whole gamut of croaks; and, if
he had the curiosity to peer into the green ditches as he passed along,
he might catch a glimpse of the heads of the performers. Well, the joint
reflections of myself and an ingenious friend, who were studying this
branch of zoology while waiting for the coming up of the boats one
night, tended to the conclusion, that a very successful imitation of the
late "Extraordinary Phenomenon" might be got up for the edification of
the scientific in our own college. Animals of all kinds find dealers and
purchasers in Oxford. Curs of lowest degree have their prices. Rats,
being necessary in the education of terriers, come rather expensive. A
pole-cat--even with three legs only--will command a fancy price.
Sparrows, larks, and other small birds, are retailed by the dozen on
Cowley Marsh to gentlemen under-graduates who are aspiring to the
pigeon-trap. But as yet there had been no demand for frogs, and there
was quite a glut of them in the market. They were cheap accordingly; for
a shilling a hundred we found that we might inflict the second plague of
Egypt upon the whole university. The next evening, two hampers,
containing, as our purveyor assured us, "very prime 'uns," arrived at my
rooms "from Mr S----, the wine merchant;" and, by daylight on the
following morning, were judiciously distributed throughout all the
come-at-able premises within the college walls. When I awoke the next
morning, I heard voices in earnest conversation under my window, and
looked out with no little curiosity. The frogs had evidently produced a
sensation. The bursar, disturbed apparently from his early breakfast,
stood robed in an ancient dressing-gown, with the _Times_ in his hand,
on which he was balancing a frog as yellow as himself. The dean, in cap
and surplice, on his way from chapel, was eagerly listening to the
account which one of the scouts was giving him of the first discovery of
the intruders.

"Me and my missis, sir," quoth John, "was a-coming into college when it
was hardly to say daylight, when she, as I reckon, sets foot upon one of
'em, and was like to have been back'ards with a set of breakfast chiney
as she was a-bringing in for one of the fresh gentlemen. She scritches
out in course, and I looks down, and then I sees two or three a' 'oppin
about; but I didn't take much notice till I gets to the thoroughfare,
when there was a whole row on 'em a-trying to climb up the bottom step;
and then I calls Solomon the porter, and"----

Here I left my window, and, making a hasty toilet, joined a group of
under-graduates, who were now collecting round the dean and bursar. I
cast my eyes round the quadrangle, and was delighted with the success of
our labours. There had been a heavy shower in the night, and the frogs
were as lively as they could be on so ungenial a location as a gravelled
court. In every corner was a goodly cluster, who were making ladders of
each other's backs, as if determined to scale the college walls. Some,
of more retiring disposition, were endeavouring to force themselves into
crevices, and hiding their heads behind projections to escape the gaze
of academic eyes; while a few active spirits seemed to be hopping a
sweepstakes right for the common-room door. Just as I made my
appearance, the principal came out of the door of his lodgings, with
another of the fellows, having evidently been summoned to assist at the
consultation. Good old soul! his study of zoology had been chiefly
confined to the class edibles, and a shower of frogs, authenticated upon
the oaths of the whole Convocation, would not have been half so
interesting to him as an importation of turtle. However, to do him
justice, he put on his spectacles, and looked as scientific as any body.
After due examination of the specimen of the genus _Zana_ which the
bursar still held in captivity, and pronouncing an unanimous opinion,
that, come from where he would, he was a _bona fide_ frog, with nothing
supernatural about him, the conclave proceeded round the quadrangle,
calculating the numbers, and conjecturing the probable origin of these
strange visitors. Equally curious, if not equally scientific, were the
under-graduates who followed them; for, having strictly kept our own
secret, my friend and myself were the only parties who could solve the
mystery; and though many suspected that the frogs were unwilling
emigrants, none knew to whom they were indebted for their introduction
to college. The collected wisdom of the dons soon decided that a shower
of full-grown frogs was a novelty even in the extraordinary occurrences
of newspapers; and as not even a single individual croaker was to be
discovered outside the walls of ----, it became evident that the whole
affair was, as the dean described it, "another of those outrages upon
academic discipline, which were as senseless as they were disgraceful."

I daresay the dean's anathema was "as sensible as it was sincere;" but
it did not prevent our thoroughly enjoying the success of the
"_outrage_" at the time; nor does it, unfortunately, suffice at this
present moment to check something like an inward chuckle, when I think
of the trouble which it cost the various retainers of the college to
clear it effectually of its strange visitors. Hopkins, the old butler,
who was of rather an imaginative temperament, and had a marvellous tale
to tell any one who would listen, of a departed bursar, who, having
caught his death of cold by superintending the laying down of three
pipes of port, might ever afterwards be heard, upon such interesting
occasions, walking about the damp cellars after nightfall in pattens.
Hopkins, the oracle of the college "tap," maintained that the frogs were
something "off the common;" and strengthened his opinion by reference to
a specimen which he had selected--a lank, black, skinny individual,
which really looked ugly enough to have come from any where. Scouts,
wives, and children, (they always make a point of having large families,
in order to eat up the spare commons,) all were busy, through that
eventful day, in a novel occupation, and by dinnertime not a frog was to
be seen; but long, long afterwards, on a moist evening, fugitives from
the general prescription might be seen making their silent way across
the quadrangle, and croakings were heard at night-time, which might (as
Homer relates of _his_ frogs) have disturbed Minerva, only that the
goddess of wisdom, in chambers collegiate, sleeps usually pretty sound.

The "business of the stays," however, bid fair to supersede the business
of the frogs, in the dean's record of my supposed crimes; and as I fully
intended to clear myself, even to his satisfaction, of any suspicion
which might attach to me from the possession of such questionable
articles so soon as our theatre closed for the season, I resolved that
my successful defence from this last imputation would be an admirable
ground on which to assume the dignity of a martyr, to appeal against all
uncharitable conclusions from insufficient premises, and come out as the
personification of injured innocence throughout my whole college career.

When my interview with the dean was over, I ordered some luncheon up to
Leicester's rooms, where, as I expected, I found most of my own "set"
collected, in order to hear the result. A private conference with the
official aforesaid seldom boded good to the party so favoured; the dean
seldom made his communications so agreeable as he might have done. In
college, as in most other societies, La Rochefoucauld's maxim holds
good--that "there is always something pleasant in the misfortunes of
one's friends;" and, whenever an unlucky wight did get into a row, he
might pretty confidently reckon upon being laughed at. In fact,
under-graduates considered themselves as engaged in a war of stratagem
against an unholy alliance of deans, tutors, and proctors; and in every
encounter the defeated party was looked upon as the deluded victim of
superior ingenuity--as having been "done," in short. So, if a lark
succeeded, the authorities aforesaid were decidedly done, and laughed at
accordingly; if it failed, why the other party were done, and there was
still somebody to laugh at. No doubt, the jest was richer in the first
case supposed; but, in the second, there was the additional gusto, so
dear to human philanthropy, of having the victim present, and enjoying
his discomfiture, which, in the case of the dons being the sufferers,
was denied us. It may seem to argue something of a want of sympathy to
find amusement in misfortunes which might any day be our own; but any
one who ever witnessed the air of ludicrous alarm with which an
under-graduate prepares to obey the summons, (capable of but one
interpretation,)--"The dean wishes to see you, sir, at ten
o'clock"--which so often, in my time at least, was sent as a whet to
some of the assembled guests at a breakfast party; whoever has been
applied to on such occasions for the loan of a tolerable cap, (that of
the delinquent having its corners in such dilapidated condition as to
proclaim its owner a "rowing man" at once,) or has responded to the
pathetic appeal--"Do I look _very_ seedy?"--any one to whom such absurd
recollections of early days occur--and if you, good reader, are a
university man, as, being a gentleman, I am bound in charity to conclude
you are, and yet have no such reminiscences--allow me to suggest that
you must have been a very slow coach indeed;--any one, I say once more,
who knows the ridiculous figure which a man cuts when "hauled up" before
the college Minos, or Radamanthus, will easily forgive his friends for
being inclined to laugh at him.

However, in the present case, any anticipations of fun at my expense,
which the party in Leicester's rooms might charitably entertain, were
somewhat qualified by the fear, that the consequences of any little
private difference between the dean and myself might affect the
prosperity of our unlicensed theatre. And when they heard how very
nearly the discovery of the stays had been fatal to our project,
execrations against Simmons's espionage were mingled with admiration of
my escape from so critical a position.

The following is, I apprehend, an unique specimen of an Oxford bill--and
the only one, out of a tolerably large bundle which I keep for the sake
of the receipts attached, (a precaution by no means uncalled for,) which
I find any amusement in referring to.

     ---- Hawthorne, Esq.,

                       To M. Moore.

     2 pr. brown jean corsets,        8  0
     Padding for do., made to order,  2  6
                                     -----
                                     10  6
             Rec'd. same day, M. M.

(Savile, when I showed it to him, said the receipt was the only one of
the kind he had seen in the course of a long experience.) Very much
surprised was the old lady, of whom I made the purchase in my capacity
of stage-manager, at so uncommon a customer in her line of business; and
when, after enjoying her mystification for some time, I let her into the
secret, so delighted was she at the notion, that she gave me sundry
hints as to the management of the female toilet, and offered to get made
up for me any dresses that might be required. So I introduced Leicester
and his fellow-heroines to my friend Mrs Moore, and by the joint
exertions of their own tastes and her experience, they became possessed
of some very tolerable costumes. There was a good deal of fun going on,
I fancy, in fitting and measuring, in her back parlour; for there was a
daughter, or a niece, or something of the sort, who cut out the dresses
with the prettiest hands in the world, as Leicester declared; but I was
too busy with carpenters, painters, and other assistants, to pay more
than a flying visit to the ladies' department.

At last the rehearsal did come on. As Hastings, I had not much in the
way of dress to alter; and, having some engagement in the early part of
the morning, I did not arrive at the theatre until the rest of the
characters were already dressed and ready to begin. Though I had been
consulted upon all manner of points, from the arranging of a curl for
Miss Neville to the colour of Diggory's stockings, and knew the costume
of every individual as well as my own, yet so ludicrous was the effect
of the whole when I entered the room, that I threw myself into the
nearest chair, and laughed myself nearly into convulsions. The figure
which first met my eyes was a little ruddy freshman, who had the part of
the landlord, and who, in his zeal to do honour to our preference, had
dressed the character most elaborately. A pillow, which he could
scarcely see over, puffed out his red waistcoat; and his hair was cut
short, and powdered with such good-will, that for weeks afterwards, in
spite of diligent brushing, he looked as grey as the principal. There he
stood--his legs clothed in grey worsted, retreating far beyond his
little white apron, as if ashamed of their unusual appearance,

     "The mother that him bare,
     She had not known her son."

Every one, however, had not been so classical in their costume. There
was Sir Charles Marlow in what had been a judge's wig, and Mr Hardcastle
in a barrister's; both sufficiently unlike themselves, at any rate, if
not very correct copies of their originals. Then the women! As for Mrs
Hardcastle, she was perfection. There never was, I believe, a better
representation of the character. It was well dressed, and turned out a
first-rate bit of acting--very far superior to any amateur performance I
ever saw, and, with practice, would have equalled that of any actress on
the stage. Her very curtsy was comedy itself. When I recovered my breath
a little, I was able to attend to the dialogue which was going on, which
was hardly less ridiculous than the strange disguises round me. "Now,
Miss Hardcastle," (Marlow _loquitur_,) "I have no objection to your
smoking cigars during rehearsal, of course--because you won't do that on
Monday night, I suppose; but I must beg you to get out of the practice
of standing or sitting crosslegged, because it's not lady-like, or even
barmaid-like--and don't laugh when I make love to you; for if you do, I
shall break down to a certainty." "Thornhill, do you think my waist will
do?" said the anxious representative of the fair Constance. "I have worn
these cursed stays for an hour every evening for the last week, and
drawn them an inch tighter every time; but I don't think I'm a very good
figure after all--just try if they'll come any closer, will you?" "Oh!
Hawthorne, I'm glad you are come," said Savile, whom I hardly knew, in a
red wig; "now, isn't there to be a bowl of real punch in the scene at
the Three Pigeons--one can't _pretend_ to drink, you know, with any
degree of spirit?" "Oh! of course," said I; "that's one of the
landlord's properties: Miller, you must provide that, you know--send
down for some cold tankards now; they will do very well for rehearsal."
At last we got to work, and proceeded, with the prompter's assistance,
pretty smoothly, and mutually applauding each other's performance, going
twice over some of the more difficult scenes, and cutting out a good
deal of love and sentiment. The play was fixed for the next Monday
night, playbills ordered to be printed, and cards of invitation issued
to all the performers' intimate friends. Every scout in the college, I
believe, except my rascal Simmons, was in the secret, and probably some
of the fellows had a shrewd guess at what was going on; but no one
interfered with us. We carried on all our operations as quietly as
possible; and the only circumstances likely to arouse suspicion in the
minds of the authorities, was the unusual absence of all disturbances of
a minor nature within the walls, in consequence of the one engrossing
freak in which most of the more turbulent spirits were engaged.

At length the grand night arrived. By nine o'clock the theatre in
Savile's rooms was as full as it could be crammed with any degree of
comfort to actors and audience; and in the study and bedroom, which,
being on opposite sides, served admirably for dressing-rooms behind the
scenes, the usual bustle of preparation was going on. As is common in
such cases, some essential properties had been forgotten until the last
moment. No bonnet had been provided for Mrs Hardcastle to take her walks
abroad in; and when the little hairdresser, who had been retained to
give a finishing touch to some of the coiffeurs, returned with one
belonging to his "missis," which he had volunteered to lend, the roar of
uncontrollable merriment which this new embellishment of our disguised
friend called forth, made the audience clamorous for the rising of the
curtain--thinking, very excusably, that it was quite unjustifiable to
keep all the fun to ourselves.

After some little trial of our "public's" patience, the play began in
good earnest, and was most favourably received. Indeed, as the only
price of admission exacted was a promise of civil behaviour, and there
were two servants busily employed in handing about punch and "bishop,"
it would have been rather hard if we did not succeed in propitiating
their good-humour. With the exception of two gentlemen who had been
dining out, and were rather noisy in consequence, and evinced a strong
inclination occasionally to take a part in the dialogue, all behaved
wonderfully well, greeting each performer, as he made his first
entrance, with a due amount of cheering; rapturously applauding all the
best scenes; laughing, (whether at the raciness of the acting or the
grotesque metamorphoses of the actors, made no great difference,) and
filling up any gap which occurred in the proceedings on the stage, in
spite of the prompter, with vociferous encouragement to the "sticket"
actor. With an audience so disposed, each successive scene went off
better and better. One deserves to be particularized. It was the second
in the first act of the comedy; the stage directions for it are as
follow:--"Scene--An ale-house room.--Several shabby fellows with punch
and tobacco; Tony at the head of the table, &c., discovered." Never
perhaps, in any previous representation, was the _mise en scène_ so
perfect. It drew three rounds of applause. A very equivocal compliment
to ourselves it may be; but such jolly-looking "shabby fellows" as sat
round the table at which our Tony presided, were never furnished by the
supernumeraries of Drury or Covent-garden. They were as classical, in
their way, as Macready's Roman mob. Then there was no make-believe
puffing of empty pipes, and fictitious drinking of small-beer for punch;
every nose among the audience could appreciate the genuineness of both
liquor and tobacco; and the hearty encore which the song, with its
stentorian chorus, was honoured with, gave all the parties engaged time
to enjoy their punch and their pipes to their satisfaction. It was quite
a pity, as was unanimously agreed, when the entrance of Marlow and
Hastings, as in duty bound, interrupted so jovial a society. But "all
that's bright must fade"--and so the Three Pigeons' scene, and the play,
too, came to an end in due course. The curtain fell amidst universal
applause, modified only by the urgent request, which, as manager, I had
more than once to repeat, that gentlemen would be kind enough to
restrain their feelings for fear of disturbing the dons. The house
resolved itself into its component elements--all went their ways--the
reading men probably to a Greek play, by way of afterpiece--sleepy ones
to bed, and idle ones to their various inventions--and the actors, after
the fatigues of the night, to a supper, which was to be the "finish." It
was to take place in one of the men's rooms which happened to be on the
same staircase, and had been committed to the charge of certain parties,
who understood our notions of an unexceptionable spread. And a right
merry party we were--all sitting down in character, Mrs Hardcastle at
the top of the table, her worthy partner at bottom, with the "young
ladies" on each side. It was the best _tableau_ of the evening; pity
there was neither artist to sketch, nor spectators to admire it! But,
like many other merry meetings, there are faithful portraits of
it--proof impressions--in the memories of many who were present; not yet
obliterated, hardly even dimmed, by time; laid by, like other valuables,
which, in the turmoil of life, we find no time to look at, but not
thrown aside or forgotten, and brought out sometimes, in holidays and
quiet hours, for us to look at once more, and enjoy their beauty, and
feel, after all, how much what we have changed is "_calum non animum_."
I am now--no matter what. Of my companions at that well-remembered
supper, one is a staid and orthodox divine; one a rising barrister; a
third a respectable country gentleman, justice of the peace, "and
quorum;" a fourth, they tell me, a semi Papist, but set us all down
together in that same room, draw the champagne corks, and let some Lethe
(the said champagne, if you please) wash out all that has passed over us
in the last five years, and my word on it, three out of four of us are
but boys still; and though much shaving, pearl powder, and carmine,
might fail to make of any of the party a heroine of any more delicate
class than Meg Merrilies, I have no doubt we could all of us once more
smoke a pipe in character at "The Three Pigeons."

Merrily the evening passed off, and merrily the little hours came on,
and song and laugh rather grew gayer than slackened. The strings of the
stays had long ago been cut, and the tresses, which were in the way of
the cigars, were thrown back in dishevelled elegance. The landlord found
his stuffing somewhat warm, and had laid aside half his fleshy
incumbrance. Every one was at his ease, and a most uproarious chorus had
just been sung by the whole strength of the company, when we heard the
ominous sound of a quiet double rap at the outer door.

"Who's there?" said one of the most self-possessed of the company.

"I wish to speak to Mr Challoner," was the quiet reply.

The owner of the rooms was luckily in no more _outré_ costume than that
of Sir Charles Marlow; and having thrown off his wig, and buttoned his
coat over a deep-flapped waistcoat, looked tolerably like himself as he
proceeded to answer the summons. I confess I rather hoped than
otherwise, that the gentleman, whoever he was, would walk in, when, if
he intended to astonish us, he was very likely to find the tables
turned. However, even college dons recognize the principle, that every
man's house is his castle, and never violate the sanctity of even an
under-graduate's rooms. The object of this present visit, however, was
rather friendly than otherwise; one of the fellows, deservedly popular,
had been with the dean, and had left him in a state of some excitement
from the increasing merriment which came somewhat too audibly across the
quadrangle from our party. He had called, therefore, to advise
Challoner, either to keep his friends quiet, or to get rid of them, if
he wished to keep out of the dean's jurisdiction. As it was towards
three in the morning, we thought it prudent to take this advice as it
was meant, and in a few minutes began to wend our respective ways
homewards. Leicester and myself, whose rooms lay in the same direction,
were steering along, very soberly, under a bright moonlight, when
something put it into the heads of some other stragglers of the party to
break out, at the top of their voices, into a stanza of that immortal
ditty--"We won't go home till morning." Instantly we could hear a
window, which we well knew to be the dean's, open above us, and as the
unmelodious chorus went on, his wrath found vent in the usual
strain--"Who is making that disturbance?"

No one volunteering an explanation, he went on.

"Who are those in the quadrangle?" Leicester and I walked somewhat
faster. I am not sure that our dignity did not condescend to run, as we
heard steps coming down from No. 5, at a pace that evidently portended a
chase, and remembered for the first time the remarkable costume, which,
to common observers, would indicate that there was a visitor of an
unusual character enjoying the moonlight in the quadrangle. When we
reached the "thoroughfare," the passage from the inner to the outer
quadrangle, we fairly bolted; and as the steps came pretty fast after
us, and Leicester's rooms were the nearest, we both made good our
retreat thither, and sported oak.

The porter's lodge was in the next number; and hearing a knocking in
that quarter, Leicester gently opened the window, and we could catch the
following dialogue:--

"Solomon! open this door directly--it is I--the dean."

"Good, dear sir!" said Solomon, apparently asleep, and fumbling for the
keys of the college gates--"let you out? Oh yes! sir, directly."

"Listen to me, Solomon: I am not going out. Did you let any one out just
now--just before I called you?"

"No, sir, nobody whatsomdever."

"Solomon! I ask you, did you not, just now, let a _woman_ out?"

"Lawk! no, sir, Lord forbid!" said Solomon, now thoroughly wakened.

"Now, Solomon, bring your light, and come with me, this must be enquired
into. I saw a woman run this way, and, if she is not gone through the
gate, she is gone into this next number. Whose rooms are in No. 13?"

"There's Mr Dyson's, sir, on the ground floor."

Mr Dyson was the very fellow who had called at Challoner's rooms.

"Hah! well, I'll call Mr Dyson up. Whose besides?"

"There's Mr Leicester, sir, above his'n."

"Very well, Solomon; call up Mr Dyson, and say I wish to speak with him
particularly."

And so saying, the dean proceeded up stairs.

The moment Leicester heard his name mentioned, he began to anticipate a
domiciliary visit. The thing was so ridiculous that we hardly knew what
to do.

"Shall I get into bed, Hawthorne? I don't want to be caught in this
figure?"

"Why, I don't know that you will be safe there, in the present state of
the dean's suspicions. No; tuck up those confounded petticoats, clap on
your pea-jacket, twist those love-locks up under your cap, light this
cigar, and sit in your easy-chair. The dean must be 'cuter than usual,
if he finds you out as the lady he is in search of."

Leicester had hardly time to take this advice, the best I could hit upon
at the moment, when the dean knocked at the door.

"Who are you? Come in," said we both in a breath.

"I beg your pardon, Mr Leicester," said the dean in his most official
tone; "nothing but actually imperative duty occasions my intrusion at
this unseasonable hour, but a most extraordinary circumstance must be my
excuse. I say, gentlemen--I saw with my own eyes," he continued, looking
blacker as he caught sight of me, and remembering, no doubt, the little
episode of the stays--"I saw a female figure pass in this direction but
a few minutes ago. No such person has passed the gate, for I have made
enquiry; certainly I have no reason to suppose any such person is
concealed here, but I am bound to ask you, sir, on your honour as a
gentleman--for I have no wish to make a search--is there any such person
concealed in your apartments?"

"On my honour, sir, no one is, or has been lately here, but myself and
Mr Hawthorne."

Here Dyson came into the room, looking considerably mystified.

"What's the matter, Mr Dean?" said he, nodding good-humouredly to us.

"A most unpleasant occurrence, my dear sir; I have seen a woman in this
direction not five minutes back. Unfortunately, I cannot be mistaken.
She either passed into the porter's lodge or into this staircase."

"She is not in my rooms, I assure you," said he, laughing; "I should
think you made a mistake: it must have been some man in a white
mackintosh."

I smiled, and Leicester laughed outright.

"I am not mistaken, sir," said the dean warmly. "I shall take your word,
Mr Leicester; but allow me to tell you, that your conduct in lolling in
that chair as if in perfect contempt, and neither rising, nor removing
your cap, when Mr Dyson and myself are in your rooms, is neither
consistent with the respect due from an under-graduate, or the behaviour
I should expect from a gentleman."

Poor Leicester coloured, and unwittingly removed his cap. The chestnut
curls, some natural and some artificial, which had been so studiously
arranged for Miss Hardcastle's head-dress, fell in dishevelled
luxuriance round his face, and as he half rose from his previous
position in the chair, a pink silk dress began to descend from under the
pea-jacket. Concealment was at an end; the dean looked bewildered at
first, and then savage; but a hearty laugh from Dyson settled the
business.

"What, Leicester! you're the lady the dean has been hunting about
college! Upon my word, this is the most absurd piece of
masquerading!--what on earth is it all about?"

I pitied Leicester, he looked such an extraordinary figure in his
ambiguous dress, and seemed so thoroughly ashamed of himself; so
displaying the tops and cords in which I had enacted Hastings, I
acknowledged my share in the business, and gave a brief history of the
drama during my management. The dean endeavoured to look grave: Dyson
gave way to undisguised amusement, and repeatedly exclaimed, "Oh! why
did you not send me a ticket? When do you perform again?"

Alas! never. Brief, as bright, was our theatrical career. But the memory
of it lives in the college still: of the comedy, and the supper, and the
curious mistake which followed it: and the dean has not to this hour
lost the credit which he then gained, of having a remarkably keen eye
for a petticoat.



LINES WRITTEN IN THE ISLE OF BUTE.

BY DELTA.


 I.

 Ere yet dim twilight brighten'd into day,
 Or waned the silver morning-star away,
 Shedding its last, lone, melancholy smile,
 Above the mountain-tops of far Argyle;
 Ere yet the solan's wing had brush'd the sea,
 Or issued from its cell the mountain bee;
 As dawn beyond the orient Cumbraes shone,
 Thy northern slope, Byrone,
 From Ascog's rocks, o'erflung with woodland bowers,
 With scarlet fuschias, and faint myrtle flowers,
 My steps essay'd; brushing the diamond dew
 From the soft moss, lithe grass, and harebell blue.
 Up from the heath aslant the linnet flew
 Startled, and rose the lark on twinkling wing,
 And soar'd away, to sing
 A farewell to the severing shades of night,
 A welcome to the morning's aureate light.
 Thy summit gain'd, how tranquilly serene,
 Beneath, outspread that panoramic scene
 Of continent and isle, and lake and sea,
 And tower and town, hill, vale, and spreading tree,
 And rock and ruin tinged with amethyst,
 Half-seen, half-hidden by the lazy mist,
 Volume on volume, which had vaguely wound
 The far off hills around,
 And now roll'd downwards; till on high were seen,
 Begirt with sombre larch, their foreheads green.


 II.

 There, save when all, except the lark, was mute,
 Oh, beauty-breathing Bute
 On thee entranced I gazed; each moment brought
 A new creation to the eye of thought:
 The orient clouds all Iris' hues assumed,
 From the pale lily to the rose that bloom'd,
 And hung above the pathway of the sun,
 As if to harbinger his course begun;
 When, lo! his disk burst forth--his beams of gold
 Seem'd earth as with a garment to enfold,
 And from his piercing eye the loose mists flew,
 And heaven with arch of deep autumnal blue
 Glow'd overhead; while ocean, like a lake,
 Seeming delight to take
 In its own halcyon-calm, resplendent lay,
 From Western Kames to far Kilchattan bay.
 Old Largs look'd out amid the orient light,
 With its grey dwellings, and, in greenery bright,
 Lay Coila's classic shores reveal'd to sight;
 And like a Vallombrosa, veil'd in blue,
 Arose Mount Stuart's woodlands on the view;
 Kerry and Cowall their bold hill-tops show'd,
 And Arran, and Kintire; like rubies glow'd
 The jagged clefts of Goatfell; and below,
 As on a chart, delightful Rothesay lay,
 Whence sprang of human life the awakening sound,
 With all its happy dwellings, stretching round
 The semicircle of its sunbright bay.


 III.

 Byrone, a type of peace thou seemest now,
 Yielding thy ridges to the rustic plough,
 With corn-fields at thy feet, and many a grove
 Whose songs are but of love;
 But different was the aspect of that hour,
 Which brought, of eld, the Norsemen o'er the deep,
 To wrest yon castle's walls from Scotland's power,
 And leave her brave to bleed, her fair to weep;
 When Husbac fierce, and Olave, Mona's king,[5]
 Confederate chiefs, with shout and triumphing,
 Bade o'er its towers the Scaldic raven fly,
 And mock each storm-tost sea-king toiling by!--
 Far different were the days,
 When flew the fiery cross, with summoning blaze,
 O'er Blane's hill, and o'er Catan, and o'er Kames,
 And round thy peak the phalanx'd Butesmen stood,[6]
 As Bruce's followers shed the Baliol's blood,
 Yea! gave each Saxon homestead to the flames!


IV.

 Proud palace-home of kings! what art thou now?
 Worn are the traceries of thy lofty brow!
 Yet once in beauteous strength like thee were none,
 When Rothesay's Duke was heir to Scotland's throne;[7]
 Ere Falkland rose, or Holyrood, in thee
 The barons to their sovereign bow'd the knee:
 Now, as to mock thy pride
 The very waters of thy moat are dried;
 Through fractured arch and doorway freely pass
 The sunbeams, into halls o'ergrown with grass;
 Thy floors, unroof'd, are open to the sky,
 And the snows lodge there when the storm sweeps by;
 O'er thy grim battlements, where bent the bow
 Thine archers keen, now hops the chattering crow;
 And where the beauteous and the brave were guests,
 Now breed the bats--the swallows build their nests!
 Lost even the legend of the bloody stair,
 Whose steps wend downward to the house of prayer;
 Gone is the priest, and they who worshipp'd seem
 Phantoms to us--a dream within a dream;
 Earth hath o'ermantled each memorial stone,
 And from their tombs the very dust is gone;
 All perish'd, all forgotten, like the ray
 Which gilt yon orient hill-tops yesterday;
 All nameless, save mayhap one stalwart knight,
 Who fell with Graeme in Falkirk's bloody fight--
 Bonkill's stout Stewart,[8] whose heroic tale
 Oft circles yet the peasant's evening fire,
 And how he scorn'd to fly, and how he bled--
 He, whose effigies in St Mary's choir,
 With planted heel upon the lion's head,
 Now rests in marble mail.
 Yet still remains the small dark narrow room,
 Where the third Robert, yielding to the gloom
 Of his despair, heart-broken, laid him down,
 Refusing food, to die; and to the wall
 Turn'd his determined face, unheeding all,
 And to his captive boy-prince left his crown.[9]
 Alas! thy solitary hawthorn-tree,
 Four-centuried, and o'erthrown, is but of thee
 A type, majestic ruin: there it lies,
 And annually puts on its May-flower bloom,
 To fill thy lonely courts with bland perfume,
 Yet lifts no more its green head to the skies;[10]
 The last lone living thing around that knew
 Thy glory, when the dizziness and din
 Of thronging life o'erflow'd thy halls within,
 And o'er thy top St Andrew's banner flew.


 V.

 Farewell! Elysian island of the west,
 Still be thy gardens brighten'd by the rose
 Of a perennial spring, and winter's snows
 Ne'er chill the warmth of thy maternal breast!
 May calms for ever sleep around thy coast,
 And desolating storms roll far away,
 While art with nature vies to form thy bay,
 Fairer than that which Naples makes her boast!
 Green link between the High-lands and the Low--
 Thou gem, half claim'd by earth, and half by sea--
 May blessings, like a flood, thy homes o'erflow,
 And health--though elsewhere lost--be found in thee!
 May thy bland zephyrs to the pallid cheek
 Of sickness ever roseate hues restore,
 And they who shun the rabble and the roar
 Of the wild world, on thy delightful shore
 Obtain that soft seclusion which they seek!
 Be this a stranger's farewell, green Byrone,
 Who ne'er hath trod thy heathery heights before,
 And ne'er may see thee more
 After yon autumn sun hath westering gone;
 Though oft, in pensive mood, when far away,
 'Mid city multitudes, his thoughts will stray
 To Ascog's lake, blue-sleeping in the morn,
 And to the happy homesteads that adorn
 Thy Rothesay's lovely bay.

ASCOG LODGE, EAST BAY, ROTHESAY,
September 1843.

FOOTNOTES:

[5] Rothesay Castle is first mentioned in history in connexion
with its siege by Husbac the Norwegian, and Olave king of Man, in 1228.
Among other means of defence, it is said that the Scots poured down
boiling pitch and lead on the heads of their enemies; but it was,
however, at length taken, after the Norwegians had lost three hundred
men. In 1263, it was retaken by the Scots after the decisive battle of
Largs.

[6] This bid was the scene of a conflict between the men of
Bute and the troops of Lisle, the English governor, in which that
general was slain, and his severed head, presented to the Lord High
Steward, was suspended from the battlements of the castle.

[7] In 1398, Robert the Third constituted his eldest son Duke
of Rothesay, a title still held by every male heir-apparent to the
British crown. It was the first introduction of the ducal
dignity--originally a Norman one--into Scotland.

[8] The walls forming the choir of the very ancient church
dedicated to the Holy Virgin are still nearly entire, and stand close to
the present parish church of Rothesay. Within a traceried niche, on one
side, is the recumbent figure of a knight in complete armour, apparently
of the kind in use about the time of Robert the Second or Third. His
feet are upon a lion couchant, and his head upon a faithful watch-dog,
with a collar, in beautiful preservation, encircling its neck. The
coat-of-arms denotes the person represented to have been of royal
lineage. Popular tradition individualizes him as the "Stout Stewart of
Bonkill" of Blind Harry the minstrel, who fell with Sir John the Grahame
at the battle of Falkirk--although that hero was buried near the field
of action, as his tombstone there in the old churchyard still records.

Sir John Stewart of Bonkill was uncle and tutor to the then Lord High
Steward, at that time a minor.

A female figure and child recumbent, also elaborately sculptured in
black marble, adorn the opposite niche, and under them, in alto-relievo,
are several figures in religious habits. Another effigies of a knight,
but much defaced, lies on the ground-floor of the choir--the whole of
which was cleaned out and put in order by the present Marquis of Bute in
1827.

[9] On the 4th of April 1406, this unfortunate prince,
overwhelmed with grief for the death of his eldest son, David, Duke of
Rothesay and Earl of Carrick, who miserably perished of hunger in
Falkland Castle; and the capture, during a time of truce, of his younger
son, Prince James, by the English--died in the Castle of Rothesay of a
broken heart. The closet, fourteen feet by eight, in which he breathed
his last, is still pointed out, in the south-east corner of the castle.

[10] In the court of the castle is a remarkable thorn-tree,
which for centuries had waved above the chapel now in ruins; and which,
at the distance of a yard from the ground, measures six feet three
inches in circumference. In 1839, it fell from its own weight, and now
lies prostrate, with half its roots uncovered, but still vigorous in
growth.



TRAVELS OF KERIM KHAN.

CONCLUSION.


While tracing the progress of our friend the Khan through the various
scenes of amusement and festivity at which he assisted rather as a
spectator than an actor, we had omitted to notice in its proper place an
incident of some interest--his presence at the opening of the
Parliamentary session of 1841, on the 26th of January, by the Queen in
person. By the kindness of one of his friends, who was a member of the
royal household, he had succeeded in obtaining a ticket of admission to
the House of Lords, and was placed in a position which afforded him an
excellent view of the brilliant multitude assembled to receive their
sovereign. "When I had sufficiently recovered from the first impression
of all the magnificence around me, I could compare it only to the Garden
of Trem[11]--nay, it appeared even more wonderful than that marvellous
place. At twelve o'clock, twenty-one peals of artillery announced the
approach of the Queen, who shortly after entered with Prince Albert,
followed by her train-bearers, &c. All rose as she advanced; and when
the Lords were again seated, the _cadhi-ab-codhat_ (Lord Chancellor) put
a piece of paper in her hands, and placed himself on the right of the
throne, while the grand-vizir stood on the left. Shortly after, the
gentlemen of the House of Commons entered, when the Queen read with a
loud voice from the paper to the following effect." We need not,
however, follow the Khan through the details of the royal speech, or the
debate on the address which succeeded, though, in the latter, he appears
to have been thunderstruck by the freedom of language indulged in by a
certain eccentric ex-chancellor, remarking, "that under the emperors of
Delhi such latitude of speech, in reference to the sovereign, would
inevitably have cost the offender his head, or at least have ensured his
spending the remainder of his life in disgrace and exile at Mekka." On
the dignified bearing and self-possession of our youthful sovereign, the
Khan enlarges in the strain of eulogy which might be expected from one
to whom the sight of the ensigns of sovereignty borne by a female hand
was in itself an almost inconceivable novelty, declaring, that "the
justice and virtues of her Majesty have obliterated the name of
Nushirvan from the face of the earth!" But the remarks of the
simple-minded Parsees on the same subject will be found, from their
honest sincerity, we suspect, more germane to the matter--"We saw in an
instant that she was fitted by nature for, and intended to be, a queen;
we saw a native nobility about her, which induced us to believe that she
could, though meek and amiable, be firm and decisive; ... that no man or
set of men would be permitted by her to dictate a line of conduct; and
that, knowing and feeling that she lived in the hearts and affections of
her people, she would endeavour to temper justice with mercy; and we
thought that if no unforeseen event (which God forbid) arose to dim the
lustre of her reign, that the period of her sway in Britain would be
quoted as the golden age."

After this introduction, the Khan appears to have become an occasional
attendant in the gallery of the House of Commons, and was present at a
debate on the admission of foreign corn, in which Lord Stanley, Sir
Robert Peel, and Lord John Russell took part--"These three being the
most eloquent of the speakers, and the chiefs of their respective
parties, though several other members spoke at great length either for
or against the motion, according as each was attached to one or other
of the great factions which divide the House of Commons, and hold the
destinies of the people in their hands." Of the speeches of these three
leaders, and the arguments adduced by them, he accordingly attempts to
give an abstract; though as his information must have been derived, we
imagine, principally through the medium of an interpreter, this first
essay at Parliamentary reporting is not particularly successful; and if
we are to conclude, from his constant use of the phrase _zemindars_ to
denote the landed interest, that he considered the estates of the
English proprietors to be held by _zemindarry_ tenures similar to those
in Bengal, his notions on the subject of the debate must have been
considerably perplexed. "At length, however, as the debate had already
been protracted to a late hour, and there was no probability of a speedy
termination to this war of words, I left the House with no unfavourable
impression of what I had heard. This eternal wrangling between the two
factions is inherent, it appears, in the nature of the constitution.
With us, two wise men never dispute; yet every individual member of the
legislature is supposed to possess a certain share of wisdom--so that
here are a thousand wise men constantly disputing. One would think no
good could result from such endless differences of opinion; but the fact
is the reverse--for from these debates result those measures which mark
the character of the English for energy and love of liberty."

But though thus constantly alluding to the two great political parties
which divide the state, the Khan nowhere attempts to give his readers a
definition of the essential differences which separate them; and, for a
statement of the respective tenets of Whigs and Tories, as represented
to an oriental, we must once more have recourse to the journal of Najaf
Kooli, who has apparently taken great pains to make himself acquainted
with this abstruse subject. "The Tories," says the Persian prince,
"argue as follows:--'Three hundred years ago we were wild people, and
our kingdom ranked lower than any other. But, through our wisdom and
learning, we have brought it to its present height of honour, and, as
the empire was enlarged under our management, why should we now _reform_
and give up our policy which has done all this good?' To which the Whigs
reply--'It is more prudent to go according to the changes of time and
circumstances. Moreover, by the old policy, only a few were benefited;
and, as government is for the general good, we must observe that which
is best for the whole nation, so that all should be profited.'" The
Shahzadeh's description of the ceremony of opening Parliament, and his
summary of the usual topics touched upon in the royal speech, are marked
by the same amusing _naïveté_--"When all are met, the king, arrayed in
all his majestic splendour and state, with the crown on his head, stands
up with his face to the assembly, and makes a speech with perfect
eloquence as follows:--'Thank God that my kingdom is in perfect
happiness, and all the affairs, both at home and abroad, are in good
order. All the foreign badishahs (kings and emperors) have sent to me
ambassadors, assuring me of their friendship. The commerce of this
empire is enjoying the highest prosperity; and all these benefits are
through your wise ordination of affairs last session. This year also I
have to request you again to meet in your houses, and to take all
affairs into the consideration of your high skill and learning, and
settle them as you find best. Should there be any misunderstanding in
any part which may require either war or peace to be declared, you will
thereupon also take the proper measures for settling it according to the
welfare and interests of the kingdom.' Then they receive their
instructions, the king leaves them, and they meet every day, Sunday
excepted, from one o'clock in the afternoon till four hours after
sunset. They take all things into consideration, and decide all
questions; and when there is a difference of opinion there will arise
loud voices and vehement disputes."

But we must now return to the movements of the Khan, after the Lord
Mayor's dinner, described in our last Number, in the world of amusement
which surrounded him in London. His next visit, when he recovered from
the fit of meditation into which he was thrown by the sight of the
marvellous banquet aforesaid, was to the Colosseum; but his account of
the wonders of this celebrated place of resort, perhaps from his
faculties still being in some measure abstracted, is less full than
might have been expected. The ascending-room (which the Persian prince
describes as "rising like an eagle with large wings into the atmosphere,
till, after an hour's time, it stopped in the sky, and opened its beak,
so that we came out") he merely alludes to as "the talismanic process by
which I was carried to the upper regions;" and though the panoramic view
of London is pronounced to be, "of all the wonders of the metropolis the
most wonderful," it is dismissed with the remark that "it is useless to
attempt to describe it in detail. After this," continues the Khan, "I
passed under ground among some artificial caves, which I at first took
for the dens of wild beasts; and that people should pay for seeing such
places as these, does seem a strange taste. By going a short distance
out of Delhi, a man may enter as many such places as he pleases, bearing
in mind, at the same time, that he runs the greatest chance in the world
of encountering a grinning hyaena, or some such beast; and it was with
some such feeling that I entered these grottoes, not being exactly
acquainted with their nature."

The Khan had now nearly exhausted the circle of places of public
entertainment; but one yet remained to be visited, and that, perhaps,
the most congenial of all to oriental tastes in the style of its
decorations, brilliant lights, and multifarious displays--Vauxhall. "A
large garden! a paradise!"--such is the rapturous description of the
Persian princes--"filled with roses of various hues, with cool waters
running in every direction on the beautiful green, and pictures painted
on every wall. There were burning about two millions of lamps, each of a
different colour; and we saw here such fire-works, as made us forget all
others we had already seen. Here and there were young moon-faces selling
refreshments; and in every walk there were thousands of Frank _moons_
(ladies) led by the hand, while the roses grew pale with admiring their
beautiful cheeks." The Khan, though less ardent and enthusiastic than
the grandsons of Futteh Ali Shah, does ample justice to the splendour of
the illumination; "thousands of lights distributed over the gardens,
suspended on the trees, and arranged in numberless fanciful devices, so
as to form flowers, names, &c.; and when it became dark, one blaze of
bright light was presented, extending over a vast space." He was
fortunate, moreover, in making his visit to the gardens on the evening
of a balloon ascent, "and thus I witnessed the most wonderful sight I
ever saw--a sight which a hundred millions of people in India consider
to be a _Feringhi_ fiction, an incredible fable; for though a Frenchman
made an ascent at Lucknow some years ago, nobody believes it who did not
see it, and many even who were present, believed that their senses had
been beguiled by magic.... A car in the shape of a _howdah_ was swung by
ropes beneath the balloon, in which six individuals seated themselves,
besides the aeronaut; and when it was filled with the gas and ready to
start, the latter tried to prevail on me to take a seat, telling me he
had performed nearly three hundred aerial voyages, and that, if any
accident should happen, he himself would be the first to suffer. I
certainly had a wish to satisfy my curiosity, by ascending to the skies,
but was dissuaded by the friends who accompanied me, who said it was
safer to remain on _terra firma_, and look on at the voyagers; and
accordingly I did so."

Though it would appear that the Khan had already paid more than one
visit to the treasures of art and nature collected within the walls of
the British Museum, his description of that institution, "one like which
I had never before heard of," is reserved almost to the last in the
catalogue of the wonders of London; and his remarks on the numberless
novel objects which presented themselves at every turn to his gaze, form
one of the most curious and interesting passages in his journal. The
brilliant plumage of the birds in the gallery of natural history, and
particularly of the humming birds "from the far isles of the Western
Sea," the splendour of which outshone even the gorgeous feathered tribes
of his native East, excited his admiration to the highest
degree--"animals likewise from every country of the earth were placed
around, and might have been mistaken for living beings, from the gloss
of their skins and the brightness of their eyes." The library,
"containing, as I was told, 300,000 volumes, among which were 20,000
Arabic, Persian, and Turkish manuscripts," is briefly noticed; and the
sight of the mummies in the Egyptian collection sets the Khan
moralizing, not in the most novel strain, on these relics of bygone
mortality. The sculptures were less to his taste--the Egyptian colossi
are alluded to as "the work in former days, I suppose, of some of the
mummies up stairs;" and the Grecian statues "would appear, to an
unbiassed stranger, a quantity of useless, mutilated _idols_,
representing both men and monsters; but in the eyes of the English, it
is a most valuable collection, said to have cost seven _lakhs_ of
rupees, (L.70,000,) and venerated as containing some of the finest
sculptures in the world. I cannot understand how such importance can be
attached in Europe to this art, since the use of all images is as
distinctly forbidden by the _Tevrat_, (Bible,) as it is by our own
law ... But the strangest sight was in one of the upper rooms, which
contains specimens of extinct monsters, recently discovered in the
bowels of the earth in a fossil state, and supposed to be thousands of
years old. Many men of science pass their whole lives in inventing names
for these creatures, and studying the shape of a broken tooth supposed
to have belonged to them; the science to which this appertains, being a
branch of that relating to minerals, of which there is in the next room
a vast collection ranged in well-polished cases, with the names written
on them.... Among these, the most extraordinary were some stones said to
have fallen from the sky, one of which was near 300 lbs. in weight, and
with regard to the origin of which their philosophers differ. The most
generally received opinion is, that they were thrown from volcanoes in
the moon, thus assuming, first, the existence of volcanoes there;
secondly, their possessing sufficient force to throw such masses to a
distance, according to their own theory, of between 200,000 and 300,000
miles; and this through regions, the nature of which is wholly unknown.
This hypothesis cannot be maintained according to the Ptolemaic system;
indeed, it is in direct contravention to it."

The perverse abandonment by the Feringhis of the time-honoured system of
Ptolemy, in favour of the new-fangled theories of Copernicus, by which
the earth is degraded from its recognised and respectable station in the
centre of the universe, to a subordinate grade in the solar system,
seems to have been a source of great scandal and perplexity to the Khan;
"since," as he remarks, "the former doctrine is supported by their own
Bible, not less than by our Koran." These sentiments are repeated
whenever the subject is referred to; and particularly on the occasion of
a visit to the Observatory at Greenwich, where he was shown all the
telescopes and astronomical apparatus, "though, owing to the state of
the weather, I had not the opportunity of viewing the heavens to satisfy
myself of the correctness of the statements made to me. I was told,
however, that on looking through these instruments at the moon,
mountains, seas, and other signs of a world, are distinctly visible."
After satisfying his curiosity on these points, the Khan proceeded to
inspect the hospital, where he saw the pensioners at dinner in the great
hall; "most of these had lost their limbs, and those who were not maimed
were very old, and nearly all of them had been severely wounded; indeed,
it was a very interesting spectacle, and reflected great credit on the
English nation, which thus provides for the old age of those who have
shed their blood in her defence." To the charitable institutions of the
country, indeed, we find the Khan at all times fully disposed to do
justice; "there is no better feature than this in the national
character, for there is scarcely a disease or deformity in nature for
which there is not some edifice, in which the afflicted are lodged, fed,
and kindly treated. Would that we had such institutions in Hindustan!"
In pursuance of this feeling, we now find him visiting the Blind Asylum
and the Deaf and Dumb School; and the circumstantial details into which
he enters of the comforts provided for the inmates of these
establishments, and the proficiency which many of them had attained in
trades and accomplishments apparently inconsistent with their
privations, sufficiently evidences the interest with which he regarded
these benevolent institutions. Another spectacle of the same character,
which he had an opportunity of witnessing about this period, was the
annual procession of the charity children to St Paul's:--"I obtained a
seat near the officiating _imam_ or high priest, and saw near ten
thousand children of both sexes, belonging to the different eleemosynary
establishments, which are deservedly the pride of this country, all
clothed in an uniform dress, while every corner was filled with
spectators. After the _khotbah_ (prayer) was read, they began to sing,
not in the ordinary manner, but, as I was given to understand, so as to
involve a form of prayer and thanksgiving. I was told that they belonged
to many schools,[12] and are brought here once a year, that those who
contribute to their support may witness the progress they have made, as
well as their health and appearance."

The military college at Addiscombe, for the education of the cadets of
the East India Company's army, would naturally be to the Khan an object
of peculiar interest; and thither he accordingly repaired, in company
with several of his friends, apparently members of the Indian direction,
on the occasion of the examination of the students by Colonel
Pasley.[13] "After partaking of a sumptuous luncheon, we went to the
students' room, where they were examined in various branches of the
military science, as mathematics, fortification, drawing, &c., besides
various languages, one of which was the Oordoo."[14] After the close of
the examination, and the distribution of prizes to the successful
candidates,[15] the company repaired to the grounds, where the Khan was
astonished by the quickness and precision with which the cadets took to
pieces and reconstructed the pontoons, and went through other operations
of military engineering; and still more by a subaqueous explosion of
powder by the means of the voltaic battery--"a method by which Colonel
Pasley was engaged near Portsmouth in raising a vessel which had sunk
there." It would be hardly fair to surmise the probable tendency of the
Khan's secret thoughts on thus witnessing the care bestowed on the
training of those destined hereafter to maintain the Feringhi yoke on
his native country; but he expressed himself highly gratified by all
that he saw; and we find him, shortly after, in attendance at a
spectacle more calculated than any thing he had yet witnessed, to
impress him with an adequate idea of British power--the launch of a
first-rate man-of-war at Woolwich.[16] "The sight was extremely
exhilarating, from the fineness of the day, and the immense crowds of
people, of all ages and both sexes, generally well dressed, who were
congregated on the land and the water, expecting the arrival of the
Queen. Her majesty appeared at one o'clock, and proceeded to the front
of the great ship, where a place, covered with red cloth, was prepared
for her; I had a seat quite close, and saw it all very well.... The
ceremony of _christening_ a ship is taken from that of christening a
child, which, as practised in the Nazarene churches, consists in
throwing water in its face, and saying a prayer; but here a bottle of
wine hung before her majesty, and opposite to it a piece of iron,
against which she pushed the bottle and broke it, and the wine was
sprinkled over the ship, which then received its name.... In a short
time the slips were drawn, and she glided nobly into the stream of the
Thames amidst the shouts of the spectators, and anchored at a short
distance. I went on board this immense floating castle, but observed
that she was not ready for sea, and I was told that she would require
some time to be rigged, provisioned, &c. Our party then returned to
Greenwich; and after my friends had dined, with whom I partook of a
delicate little fish now in season, (whitebait,) drove back to town."

The Khan had no leisure, on this occasion, to inspect the wonders of the
_top-khana_, or arsenal; but he paid a second visit for the purpose a
few days later, duly armed with an order from the Master-General of the
Ordnance, which is indispensable for the admission of a foreigner. His
sensations, on entering this vast repository of arms, were not unlike
those attributed to a personage whose fictitious adventures, though the
production of a _Feringhi_ pen, present one of the most faithful
pictures extant of the genuine feelings of an oriental on Frank
matters:--"When we came to the guns," says the eximious Hajji Baba, "by
my beard, existence fled from our heads! We saw cannons of all sizes and
denominations, enough to have paved the way, if placed side by side,
from Tehran to Tabriz--if placed lengthways, Allah only knows where they
would have reached--into the very grave of the father of all the
Russians, perhaps!" "The cannon distributed over the whole place," says
the graver narrative of the Khan, "are said to amount to 40,000! all
ready for use in the army, navy, or fortresses; and, as if these were
not sufficient for the destruction of the human race, other pieces are
constantly casting by a process the reverse of that in India, where the
guns are cast in moulds--whereas here a solid cylinder is cast, and
afterwards bored, shaped, and finished by steam power.... There are,
moreover, a considerable number taken from enemies in battle, two of
which, taken from Tippoo Sultan at Seringapatam, have their muzzles in
the form of a lion's mouth, and are very well cast and elaborately
ornamented; having their date, with the weight of powder and ball they
carry, expressed in Persian characters about the mouth. There are also
three from Bhurtpore, and three others from Aden, the inscriptions on
which denote that they were cast by order of the Turkish emperor,
_Mahmood_[17] Ibn Soliman." After leaving the arsenal, the Khan
proceeded to the dockyard, of which he merely enumerates the various
departments; but the proving of the anchors and chain-cables by means of
the hydraulic press, impressed him, as it must do every one who has
witnessed that astonishing process, with the idea of almost illimitable
power. "On the ground lay a huge anchor which had been broken a few days
before in the presence of Prince Albert, and when I was there four men
were trying the strength of a chain by turning a wheel, the force
produced by which was more than sufficient to break it; for just as I
arrived it began to give way, when they desisted. The force here
produced by means of this single wheel must have been equal to that of
some 200,000 elephants, which might perhaps have pulled till doomsday
without effecting it. Such is the wonderful effect of this agent
(steam,) the results of which I meet with in so many different places,
and under so many different circumstances!" After visiting the
convict-hulk, and seeing the anchor-founderies in operation, the Khan
crossed to Blackwall, and returned to town by the railway, his first
conveyance when he landed in England. His increased experience in
steam-travelling had now, however, enabled him to detect the difference
between the mode of propulsion by engines on the other railroads, and
the "immense cables made of iron wires" by which the vehicles are drawn
on this line; the construction of which, as well as the
electro-telegraph, ("a process for which we have no phrase in
Oordoo,") by which communication is effected between the two ends of
the line, he soon after paid another visit to inspect. "This railway is
carried partly over houses and partly under ground; and as the price of
the ground was unusually high, I was told that it cost, though only
three miles and a half in length, the enormous sum of a crore of rupees,
(L.1,000,000!")

With this notice of the Blackwall railway, the personal narrative of the
Khan's residence in England is brought to an abrupt conclusion; leaving
us in the dark as to the time and circumstances of his return to his
native land, which we believe took place soon after this period. The
remainder of his work is in the nature of an appendix, consisting
chiefly of dissertations on the manners, institutions, &c., of Great
Britain, as compared with those of Hindustan. He likewise gives an
elaborate retrospect of English history, from the Britons downwards;
excepting, however, the four centuries from the death of William the
Conqueror to the accession of Henry VIII.--an interval which he perhaps
considers to have been sufficiently filled up by his disquisitions on
the struggles for power between the crown and the barons, and the
consequent origin and final constitution of parliament, related in a
previous part of his work. His object in undertaking this compilation
was, as he informs us, "for the benefit of those in Hindustan, who are
to this day entirely ignorant of English history, and indifferent as to
acquiring any knowledge whatever of a people whose sway has been
extended over so many millions of human beings, and whose influence is
felt in the remotest corners of the globe." The manner in which the Khan
has performed his self-imposed task, is highly creditable to his
industry and discrimination, and strongly contrasts, in the accuracy of
the facts and plain sense of the narration, with the wild extravagances
in which Asiatic historiographers are apt to indulge; the Anglo-Saxon
part of the history, on which especial pains appears to have been
bestowed, is particularly complete and well written--unless (as, indeed,
we are almost inclined to suspect) it be a translation _in toto_ from
some popular historical treatise. The Khan's acquired knowledge of
English history, indeed, is sometimes more accurate than his
acquaintance with the annals of his own country; as when, in comparing
Queen Elizabeth with the famous Queen of Delhi, Raziah Begum, he speaks
of the latter princess as "daughter of Behlol Khan, the Pathan Emperor
of Delhi;" whereas a reference to Ferishta, or any other native
historian, will inform us that Raziah died A.D. 1239, more than 200
years before the accession of Behlol Lodi. No such errors as this,
either in fact or chronology, disfigure the Khan's sketch of English
history; but as it would scarcely present so much novelty to English
readers as it may possibly do to the Hindustani friends of the author
for whom it is intended, we shall give but a few brief notices of it.
His favourite hero, in the account of the Saxon period, is of course
Alfred, and he devotes to the events of his reign more than half the
space occupied by the history of the dynasty;[18] thus summing up his
character:--"To describe all the excellent qualities, intellectual and
moral, attributed to this prince by English historians, would be to
condense in a single individual the highest perfections of which the
human species is capable. Qualities contradictory in their natures, and
which are possessed only by men of different characters, and scarcely
ever by one man, seem to have been united in this monarch; he was
humane, prudent, and peaceful, yet brave, just, and impartial; affable,
and capable of giving and receiving counsel. In short, he was a man
especially endowed by the Deity with virtue and intelligence to benefit
the human race!"

The story of Edwy and Elgiva, and the barbarities which the beautiful
queen suffered at the hands of Dunstan, are related with fitting
abhorrence by the Khan, who seems to entertain, on all occasions, a
special aversion to the ascendancy of the Romish priesthood. The loves
of Edgar and Elfrida, and the punishment of the faithless courtier who
deceived his sovereign by a false report of the attractions of the lady,
are also duly commemorated; as well as the fall of the Saxon kingdom
before the conquering swords of the Danes, during the reign of Ethelred
the Unready, the son of the false and cruel Elfrida. But the intrusive
monarch Canute "was looked upon, in those times of ignorance, as a very
extraordinary man, and supposed to be the greatest king of the world,
the sovereign of the seas and the land." The well-known story of his
pretending to command the waves, as related by the Khan, differs
considerably from the usually received version, and perhaps may be
better adapted to the notions prevalent in the East, where success by
stratagem is always considered preferable to a manly avowal of
incompetency. "One day he was seated on the sea-shore, when the waves
reached his chair. Canute commanded them to retire; and as the tide
happened to be actually ebbing at the time, the waters retreated to the
ocean. Then turning to his courtiers, he exclaimed, that the king whose
mandates were obeyed by the billows of the sea, as well as by the
children of men, was truly the monarch of the earth. Ever after this he
was regarded by the ignorant multitude with a sort of religious awe, and
was called Canute _the Great_, as we should say _Sahib-i-kiran_,"
(the Lord of the Conjunction, implying a man born under a peculiar
conjunction of planetary influences which predestines him to
distinguished fortunes.)

But of all the English monarchs whose reigns are noticed by the Khan,
the one who appears to stand highest, as a pious and patriotic king, in
his estimation--a distinction which he not improbably owes to his zeal
as an iconoclast, the use of images in worship being abhorred by the
Moslems--is no other than Henry VIII. No hint of the "gospel light that
beamed from Boleyn's eyes," or of the doom which overtook more than one
of his consorts, is allowed to interfere with the lustre of his
achievements; such allusions, indeed, would probably be regarded by the
Khan as unwarrantable violations of the privacy of the zenana. But in
order to set in a stronger light the difficulties which he had to
encounter, we have a circumstantial account of the rise of the Papal
power, and the exorbitant prerogatives assumed for some centuries
previously, by the Pope. "This personage was the monarch of Christendom,
something analogous to our holy khalifs, who were the heads of Islam and
the Mohammedan world; and from him the princes of Christendom received
investiture, as did our Mohammedan sovereigns from the khalifs of
Bagdad. The ecclesiastics every where gave out that the pontiff was the
vicegerent of God, and that every one who died without his blessing and
forgiveness would suffer endless torments hereafter. Moreover, if the
king of any country did aught contravening the Pope's pleasure, his
people were excommunicated, and anathemas published against them to the
whole of Europe. Thus were the nations led by the nose like a string of
camels." He then proceeds to state how Henry, by holding forth to his
nobles the prospect of participation in the rich possessions of the
church, induced them to join him in the enterprize of destroying the
papal ascendency. "He then commanded the name of the Pope to be expunged
from the _khotbah_, and his own to be substituted as head of the church;
while the _idols_ and pictures were removed from the churches, and not
allowed to be again used in worship; and the confiscated property was
divided into three parts, one of which he reserved for himself, the
second he gave to the nobles who had assisted him, and distributed the
third among the clergy of the new or reformed religion.

"The Pope's wrath was kindled at these proceedings, and he
excommunicated the king, who trampled the edict under his feet. The Pope
then wrote to the princes of Christendom, exhorting them all to
undertake a _holy war_ against Henry, who was not only a heretic, but an
infidel; adding, that if they did not, fire would be rained on them from
heaven as a punishment for their neglect. Some of the Christian
monarchs, as the King of Spain, declared war accordingly against Henry,
and sent ships to the coast of England; but all their attempts failed;
and the King of Denmark and other potentates, perceiving that the
Pope's threats were not accomplished, and that no fire fell from heaven,
followed Henry's example in expelling the Pope's clergy from their
dominions, and adopted measures of reform similar to his. From this time
the Pope's power began to decline in all the countries of Europe, so
that at the present day his name is read in the _khotbah_ only in the
city of Rome and the small territory which is yet left him in its
neighbourhood; and the old practice of excommunication seems to have
entirely ceased; while the reformed religion introduced by Henry, and
which is so different from the ancient faith, has existed in England
ever since, a period of above three hundred years."

We need not pursue further our extracts from the Khan's speculations on
English history, of which the passages already given afford a sufficient
specimen; but we may notice that he mentions James I. as the first
English monarch who sent an ambassador (Sir Thomas Roe) to the court of
Delhi, and refers to the history of Ferishta for an account of his
reception by the Emperor Jehanghir. He next proceeds to describe the
climate, productions, and statistics of the country, its division into
_zillahs_ or counties, the law of primogeniture as regards succession to
landed property, &c.; and enters into minute details on the laws
regulating the succession to the throne, the responsibility of
ministers, the election of the members of the House of Commons, and the
mutual dependence of the three branches of the legislature; but his
remarks on these subjects, though creditable from their general
accuracy, possess little originality; and may be left without comment
for the edification of his friends in Hindustan, for whose benefit it is
to be presumed they were intended. The doctrine of the responsibility of
ministers, (which the Khan in a former part of his narrative, as we had
occasion to remark, seemed either to have been unacquainted with, or to
have lost sight of,) is here stated with a full appreciation of its
practical bearings; and is pronounced to be "the best law which the
English ever made for the government of the people, by imposing a check
on the absolute will of the sovereign; resembling the similar restraint
on the power of our monarchs which prevails in Islam, though with us the
check is still more powerful and effectual, as the judge is empowered by
the Koran to demand satisfaction from the sovereign himself!" The
details of the British finances are briefly touched upon, with a special
denunciation of "that most extraordinary tax laid on the light of the
sun when it comes through a window:"--but the Khan contents himself with
stating the amount of the national debt, and the interest annually paid
to the public creditors, without offering any scheme for its extinction,
like that of his countryman Mirza Abu-Taleb, who with perfect gravity
and good faith proposes that the fundholders should be summoned before
Parliament, and informed by the minister, that since the pressure of the
taxes necessary to meet the interest must inevitably, erelong, produce a
revolution, in which the whole debt would be cancelled, it would be far
better for them at once to relinquish with a good grace great part of
their claim, and accept payment of the balance by instalments. Of the
feasibility, as well as equity of this plan, the Mirza does not appear
to entertain the smallest doubt:--"and thus," he triumphantly concludes,
"in twenty or thirty years, the whole of the debt would be liquidated;
some of the most oppressive taxes might be immediately abolished, and
others gradually relinquished; provisions would become cheaper, and the
people be rendered happy, and grateful to the government."

"When in Hindustan," says the Khan, "I had heard, like millions of
others, of something in connexion with the Feringhi rulers, called
_Company_; but no one knew whether this was a man, or a medicine, or a
weapon, or a horse, or a ship, or any thing else. The most prevalent
notion was, that it was an old woman; but as the oldest among us, and
their fathers before them, had always heard it spoken of in exactly the
same terms, they were further puzzled to account for her preternatural
longevity." A well-directed course of enquiry in England, speedily
enabled the Khan to unravel the mystery; and he has enlightened his
countrymen with full details on the composition of the venerable Begum,
with the Court of Directors, the Board of Control, &c.; but in the
prosecution of these researches, he was surprised by finding that
_Company_ was so far from being one and indivisible, that _Companies_
"exist by thousands for multifarious objects--many even for speculation
in human life. The most recent is the Victoria, composed of twelve
directors, and other officers. A man puts a value on his life, and on
this sum they put a per centage, varying according to his age and state
of health, which he pays, and when he dies his heirs receive the money.
People of the middle classes generally resort to this method of
providing, by small annual contributions, for the support of their
families after their decease--and consequently the man's own relations
often rejoice when he dies, while strangers (the Insurance Company)
grieve."

On the important subject of the domestic usages and manners of the
English, the Khan enters less at length than might have been expected.
Of country life, indeed, from which alone correct ideas on such subjects
can be derived, he saw absolutely nothing, his knowledge of the country
being apparently limited to the prospect from the windows of a railway
carriage; and his acquaintance with London manners was drawn more from
ballrooms and crowded soirées, than from the private circles of family
réunions. With these limited opportunities of observation, his remarks
on the mass of the people are necessarily confined, in a great measure,
to their outdoor habits; in which nothing appears to have surprised him
more than the small number of horsemen (as he considers) to be seen in
the streets of London; "the generality of these, too, are extremely bad
riders, though this, perhaps, may be owing to the uncouth and awkward
saddles they use:" a libel on our national character for horsemanship,
into which we must charitably hope that the Cockney cavaliers who crowd
the Regent's Park on Sundays, are responsible for having misled him. The
important point of the comparative deference paid to women, and the
amount of liberty and privileges enjoyed by them, in the social systems
of Mohammedan and Christian countries respectively, is taken up by the
Khan in behalf of the former, with as much warmth as in past years by
his compatriot Mirza Abu-Taleb,[19] and in much the same line of
argument--to the effect that the dowery which the eastern husband is
bound by law to pay over in money to his wife in the event of a
separation, is a far more effectual protection to the wife from the
fickleness and caprice of her partner, ("whose _interest_ it thus
becomes, setting affection wholly out of the question, to remain on good
terms with her,") than any remedy afforded by the laws of England; where
a wife, though bound by ties less easily dissolved than under the
Mohammedan system of divorces, may still be driven, without misconduct
on her part, from her husband's house, and left to seek redress by the
slow process of litigation. The Khan assures us that several ladies with
whom he conversed on these interesting topics, and who had passed many
years of their lives in India, were utterly unacquainted with these
protective rights of Hindustani wives; and were obliged to confess, that
if they were correctly stated, "the ladies in India are far better off
than ourselves. For (said they) the dowery we receive from our fathers
on our marriage goes to our husbands, who may squander it in one day if
they like; and even the dresses we wear are not our own property, but
are given us by our husbands." But if we allow the Khan all due credit
for the adroitness and success with which he maintained on this occasion
the cause of his fair countrywomen, we can scarcely acquit him of
something like disingenuousness in a discussion with "another lady,"
apparently one who had _not_ been in India, and who lamented the hard
fate (as she believed) of the Indian widows, who could not marry again
after the death of their first husband, and were at the mercy of the
priests, who filled their heads with terrors of a future state to
prevent their doing so. "With regard to this last idea, it is so
utterly groundless, that there is no word in our language corresponding
with 'priest;' and of all religions in the world, Islam is the least
influenced by spiritual meddlers of any sort. It is, besides, expressly
enjoined in the Koran, that widows should marry; they may do so as often
as they like, if they survive their husbands; and if they do not, it is
their own choice." Now, though this vehement denial of the Khan's is
perfectly true as regards _Moslem_ law and _Moslem_ widows, he must have
been well aware that the lady's error arose from her considering as
common to all the natives of India, Hindustanis as well as Hindus, those
customs and restrictions which are peculiar to the Hindus alone. Among
the latter, as is well known, both the priestcraft of the Brahmins, and
the impediments to the marriage of a widow,[20] exist in full force at
this day; and it would have been more candid on the part of the Khan,
even at the expense of a little of his Moslem pride, to have set his
fair opponent right on these points, than to have triumphed over her
ignorance, without showing her wherein lay her error.

But however deeply the Khan may have commiserated the unprotected
condition of English wives, as compared with the security of rights
enjoyed by the more fortunate dames of Hindustan, we find him at all
times disposed to do ample justice to the social qualifications and
accomplishments of our countrywomen, and the beneficial influence
exercised by them in smoothing the asperities of society. The masculine
portion of the community, indeed, find little favour in the eyes of the
Khan, who accuses them of being prone to indulge in inveterate enmity
and ill-feeling on slight grounds, while instances of real friendship,
on the contrary, are extremely rare: and he is wearied and disgusted by
the endless disputes which occur at all times and all places, from the
collision of individuals of adverse political sentiments. "They dispute
in parliament, they dispute in their social circles, they dispute in
steam-boats, on railroads, in eating and drinking; and I verily believe
that, but for some slight feeling of religion, they would dispute even
in their churches. But in the same proportion as the men were hostile to
each other, did the women seem united: the more there were of these fair
creatures, the pleasanter did they make the party by their smiles and
good-humour: with the men, the more there were collected together, the
more wrangling always ensued. In qualities of the mind and heart, as
well as in the social virtues, the women far surpass the men--they are
more susceptible of friendship, more hospitable to strangers, less
reserved, and, I must say, generally better informed. Wherever I have
been conversing with gentlemen in society, if a difficulty occurred on
any topic, the men would invariably turn to their wives or sisters, and
ask for an explanation, thus tacitly admitting the superior attainments
of the ladies: and I have always found that I obtained from the latter a
more satisfactory answer to any of my enquiries on national customs and
institutions. Nor must it be supposed that this superiority was only
apparent, and arose from the desire the men might have to display the
accomplishments of their ladies by referring so constantly to them: it
is the real state of the case, as far as I can judge from the manners of
the people."

We cannot better close our extracts from the Khan's remarks on English
manners and society, than with this spontaneous tribute to the merits
and attractions of our countrywomen, the value of which is enhanced by
its coming, as it does, from an acute observer of a social system in
which every thing was wholly at variance with his preconceived habits
and ideas, and from one, moreover, totally unacquainted with that
routine of compliment, which serves gentlemen in the regions of
Franguestan, to use the words of Die Vernon, "like the toys and beads
which navigators carry with them to propitiate the inhabitants of
newly-discovered lands." But the impression produced on the Khan by the
contemplation of the institutions and resources of England has yet to be
viewed in another light--in its relations to the government of India
under Feringhi rule, and the comparative benefits conferred on the
people at large, by the sway respectively of the English, and of their
old Mohammedan rulers. The Khan's opinions on these subjects will
doubtless be read with surprise by that numerous and respectable class
of the community, who hold as an article of faith, (to use the words of
our author,) that in Mohammedan countries "every prince is a tyrant;
every court of justice full of corruption; and all the people sunk in
depravity, ignorance, and misery:" and who cling to the comfortable
delusion that we have succeeded, by the equity of our civil government,
in attaching to our rule the population of India. As a view of this
important subject _from the other side of the question_, taken by one,
however, by no means indisposed to do justice to what he considers as
the meritorious features of the English administration, the Khan's
comparative summary, though not wholly devoid of prejudice, possesses
considerable interest: and it must be admitted, that with respect to the
internal improvement of the country, his strictures have hitherto had
but too much foundation, though the schemes of the present
governor-general, if carried into effect, will go far to remove the
stigma from the Anglo-Indian rulers. After contrasting, in a
conversation with an English friend, the expedition of legal proceedings
under the Moslem rule, with the slow process of the English courts in
India, to be finally remedied only by the endless and generally
ineffectual course of appeal to the privy-council at home, (in which,
according to the Khan's statement, not a single individual of the number
who have undertaken the long voyage from India has ever succeeded,) he
proceeds--

"Historical facts seem to be wholly lost sight of by those who talk of
the conduct of Mohammedan rulers in India, who, as I could prove by many
instances, were constantly solicitous of the happiness of their
subjects. Shah-Jehan constructed a road from Delhi to Lahore, a distance
of 500 miles, with guard-houses at intervals of every three miles, and
at every ten or twelve miles a caravanserai, where all travellers were
fed and lodged at the Emperor's expense. Besides this, canals were dug,
and public edifices built, at the expense of millions, without taxing
the people to pay for them as here; and these edifices still stand, and
will endure for many years, as monuments of the munificence of the
monarchs who erected them. During the seventy years of the English
dominion in India, what has been done which would remind the people
fifty years hence, if they should retire from the country, that such a
nation had ever held sway there? The only memorials they would leave,
would be the numerous empty bottles scattered over the whole empire, to
indicate what has been done _in_, if not _for_ India! In some cases
also, they have squandered millions without benefit either to the people
or themselves. The money spent in three years on the insane war in
Cabul, if expended on the construction of railroads or canals, or the
extension of steam navigation on our great rivers, would have employed
thousands of men for twenty years, returned an immense profit to
government, and have gained them a good name among the people. But it is
the misfortune of India, that notwithstanding the high qualities of
energy and enterprise, united with superior education and intelligence,
unquestionably possessed by its masters, they display so lamentable and
apathetic an indifference to the amelioration of the country. Since I
have had such opportunities of observing the proofs of English art and
skill which I see every where and in every department, I cannot but the
more deeply regret that these wonderful discoveries, and strange and
unheard-of inventions, in every branch of science and art, are likely to
remain unknown to the people of India. If I were to relate on my return
all the wonders I have seen, no one would believe me: and to what could
I appeal in evidence of the truth of what I say? Are there any
establishments where these things can be shown to the people on any
thing like an adequate scale? If such institutions had been established,
the people would have some tangible proof of the real intellectual
superiority of their English rulers: but in the lapse of seventy years,
nothing has been done. Again, if seminaries had been founded on the
principle of those built and endowed by the emperors, they might have
produced men eminent in various faculties: but though it is true that
schools were built by the Company some fifteen years since, in various
parts of the empire, in which some thousands of children, both Hindoo
and Moslem, have received education, they have never turned out a single
man of superior attainments in any department of literature there
taught:--and it is remarkable that not an instance exists, as far as I
am aware, of a man thus educated in the Company's own schools having
been selected for the high judicial offices of _Sadr-ameen_, and
principal _Sadr-ameen_ (judges in the local courts;) but that these
functionaries have invariably been chosen from those educated in the
native method. Is not this strange, that Government should have
established schools professing to give superior instruction to the
people; and that not one so trained should have been found eligible to
fill any of the judicial or fiscal offices of their own government? and
how can it be accounted for, except by these institutions having been
conducted on an erroneous principle? When I return to India, I must be
like the free-masons, silent and reserved, unless when I meet one who
has been, like myself, in England, and with whom I can converse on the
wonders we have both witnessed in that marvellous country, and which, if
I venture to narrate them in public, or even among my own immediate
friends and relatives, would draw on me such disbelief, that I would
certainly die from grief of heart."--Here leave we Kerim Khan; not
without a hope, that in spite of the apprehensions expressed in the
passage just quoted, of incurring the reproach to which "travellers'
tales" are supposed to be sometimes obnoxious, he has not eventually
persisted in withholding from his countrymen a narrative which, both
from the opportunities of observation enjoyed by the writer, and the
ability and good judgement with which he has availed himself of these
advantages, is better calculated to dispel the incredulity which he
anticipates, than the Travels of Mirza Abu-Taleb, (the text of which has
been printed at Calcutta,) or indeed than any work with which we are
acquainted. Trusting, then, that the Khan's patriotic aspirations for
the welfare of his country may be realized by the speedy introduction of
all those Feringhi appendages to high civilization, the want of which he
so feelingly deplores, and that he may live a thousand years in the full
fruition of all the advantages therefrom resulting, we now take leave
of him.

FOOTNOTES:

[11] The palace constructed, in the early ages of the world, by
the giant-king Sheddad, as a rival to the heavenly paradise, and
supposed still to exist, though invisible to mortal eyes, in the
recesses of the Desert--See LANE'S _Thousand and One Nights_, vol, ii.
p. 342.

[12] The Persian princes imagine these children to be collected
from all parts of the United Kingdom, for the purpose of this
procession!

[13] The Khan never gives dates; but on investigation we find
that this must have been on the 11th of June 1841; as among the list of
visitors on that day occur the names of _Kurreen_ Khan, Mohabet Khan,
and, singularly enough, the Parsee poet, Manackjee Cursetjee, who will
be well remembered as a lion of the London drawing-rooms during that
season.

[14] The _polite_ dialect of Hindustani, which differs
considerably from that in use among the lower orders. The phrase is
derived from _Oorda_, the court, or camp, of the sovereign--whence our
word _horde_.

[15] "One hundred and fifty-three of the students," he adds,
"were fixed upon for commissions, who were to be sent out to India;" but
the Khan must have been strangely misinformed here, as the number
actually selected was only thirty-one.

[16] This must have been the Trafalgar of 120 guns, which was
launched June 21, 1841; but the Khan is mistaken in supposing that the
Queen personally performed the ceremony of _christening_ the ship, since
that duty devolved on Lady Bridport, the niece of Nelson, who used on
the occasion a bottle of wine which had been on board the Victory when
Nelson fell.

[17] This must be a slip of the pen for _Selim_, or perhaps for
Soliman Ibn Selim, (Soliman the Magnificent.)

[18] "At this epoch," adds the Khan in a note, "reigned the
great Harun-al-Rashid, the khalif and supreme head of Islam; and
Charles the Great was Emperor of the Franks."

[19] The Mirza even went so far as to write during his stay in
England a treatise, entitled "Vindication of the Liberties of the
Asiatic Women," which was translated by Captain Richardson, and
published first in the _Asiatic Annual Register_ for 1801, and again as
an Appendix to the Mirza's Travels. It is a very curious pamphlet, and
well worth perusal.

[20] Great efforts have of late been made, among the more
enlightened Hindus, to get rid of this prejudice. Baboo Motee Loll Seal,
a wealthy native of Calcutta, offered 20,000 rupees, a year or two
since, to the first Hindu who would marry a widow, and we believe the
prize has been since claimed:--and in the _Asiatic Journal_ (vol.
xxxviii. p. 370,) we find the announcement of the establishment, in
1842, of a "Hindu widow re-marrying club" at Calcutta!



NOTES ON A TOUR OF THE DISTURBED DISTRICTS IN WALES.

BY JOSEPH DOWNES.

Author of "The Mountain Decameron."


Llangaddock, Carmarthenshire,
September 9.

"And this is the '_disturbed district!_'--this is the seat of war!--the
'_Agrarian civil war!_'--the headquarters of the '_Rebecca rebels!_" I
soliloquized, about the hour of one A.M. on the night of September 9,
1843--a night of more than summer beauty, sultry and light as day--while
thrusting my head from the window of "mine inn" the Castle, in this
pretty picturesque little village-town, to coin a term. The shadows of
the rustic houses, and interspersed corn-stacks, trees, and orchards,
stretched across the irregular street, without a causeway, in unbroken
quiet; not a sound was heard but the voice of an owl from a "fold" in
the very heart of "the town," and the low murmur of the river chafing
against the buttresses of an antique bridge at the end of the said
"street;" while an humble bow window of a shop, where at nightfall I had
observed some dozens of watches (_silver_, too!) displayed, without a
token of "Rebecca" terrorism appearing, was seen jutting into the road,
only hidden, not defended, by such a weak apology for a shutter, as
would not have resisted a burglar of ten years' old.

It was now Sunday morning, and the clean-swept neatness of the sleeping
village, whose inhabitants we had seen busily engaged in this pleasing
preparation for the day of rest, as we strolled there at twilight,
confirmed the assurance of profound and fearless peace; for only in that
happy condition of society could the mind be supposed disengaged enough
to regard those minute decencies of rural English life. With a smile of
well-pleased wonder at the exaggerations of the press, which were
persuading the Londoners that the "dogs of war" were really "let slip"
among these our green mountains and pastoral valleys, after enjoying
this prospect of a village by moonlight at the foot of the majestic
_Mynydd Du_, (black mountain,) whose range is seen by day, towering at a
few miles' distance, and hugging myself in the security of life and
purse, which warriors (if they would cross-question their own great
hearts) do really prize as much as I do, I returned to bed, (the heat of
which had first driven me forth to this air-bath of half an hour.) "And
_this_ is the seat of insurrection!" I reiterated sarcastically against
all English and all Welsh purveyors of "news" for terror-loving readers.

I have a huge deal of patriotism in my composition--also, a great love
of rural quiet, joined to some _trifling_ degree of cowardice, as my
family pretend; but that I impute to my over-familiarity with them. "No
man is great to his valet," has been remarked. The domestics of
Alexander wondered what the world found to wonder at, in the little man
their master. However this may be, I confess it was very pleasant to me
to find peace unbroken in these my old haunts. Here I had many a summer
night enacted, as recorded in my "Mountain Decameron," the
amateur-gipsy, "a long while ago," _bivouacking_ in their wildest
solitudes, between some wood and water, on moonlight greensward, or
reading at our tents' mouth by a lamp, while two boys, my sons, slept
soundly within; and in the blindness of human nature, thus sneering
against the "gentlemen of the press," sneered myself to sleep, "shut up
in measureless content."

"Most lame and impotent conclusion!" The peace of nature in that sweet
night was weak assurance of any kindred feeling in the bosom of man. It
so happened (as I afterwards learned) that felony--_bloody_ felony--was
at that very time busy, at no great distance; that murder, that arson in
its direst character, were stamping their first damnable characters on a
province noted, through ages, for innocence and simple piety; that the
first victim to rebellion was, at that moment, bleeding to death under
the hands of those wearing the shapes of men; that victim innocent,
helpless, and--a woman!!

But of this in the course of my narrative. Sunday, September 10.

As I proceeded from Llangaddock this afternoon, in company with my son,
we found no slackness in the attendance on the chapels, which keep
rising in all directions in the principality. The groups issuing from
them, survey us with surly eyes, as _Sabbath-breakers_, for travelling
on the "Lord's day." It is curious to reflect that these very persons
who have just been listening to the preachers of a gospel of peace, with
white upturning eyes and inward groans, who present countenances deeply
marked, as it seems to us, with the spirit of severe sanctity, betrayed
by their sour looks at us, and not rarely vested in two or three
expressions _at_ us among themselves--I say, how curious a fact in the
_pathology_ of minds does it present, that these very men will (some of
them) reappear in a few hours, or days, in the characters of _felons_,
midnight rebels to law and order, redressing minor wrongs committed by a
few against themselves, by a tenfold fouler wrong against all men,
against society itself. For a _system_ which consists in defying the
laws, is a systematic waging of war against the very element that binds
men in society--it is a casting off of civilization, a return to
miserable dependence on animal strength alone, on brutish cunning, or
midnight hiding in the dark, for all we enjoy. It seems well known that
the farmers themselves are the Rebeccaites, aided by their servants, and
that _the_ Rebecca is no other than some forward booby, or worse
character, who ambitiously claims to _act_ the leader, under the unmanly
disguise of a female, yielding his post in turn to other such petticoat
heros. The "Rebecca" seems no more than a living figure to give _effect_
to the drama, as boys dress up an effigy and parade it as _the_ Guy
Fawkes.

It is curious to witness the chop-fallen aspect of the poor
toll-collectors. The "looking for" of a dark hour is depicted on the
_female_ faces, at least, and a certain constrained civility mixed with
sullenness, marks the manners of the male portion near large towns; for
elsewhere, humble civility has _always_ met the traveller in this class
of Welsh cottagers. The frequent appearance of dragoons, the clatter of
their dangling accoutrements of war, and grotesque ferocity of hairy
headgear, and mock-heroic air of superiority to the more quietly
grotesque groups of grey-coated men, and muffled up Welsh women gives a
new feature to our tour in this hitherto tranquil region, where a
soldier used to be a monster that men, women, children, all alike, would
run to the cottage door to look at. A very different sort of look than
that of childish curiosity now greets these gallant warriors, at least
from the farmers. "'Becca" is the beloved of their secret hearts--'Becca
has already given them roads without paying for them! 'Becca is longed
for by every _honest_ farmer of them all, whenever he pays a toll-gate.
And these fellows are come sword in hand, to hunt down poor innocent
'Becca! Well may the Welshman's eyes lower on them, whatever may be the
looks of the Welsh women.

We have now rode through several toll-gates, the ruins of the
toll-houses only remaining, and rode scatheless! No toll asked--no
darting forth of a grim figure from his little castle, at the shake of
the road by tramp of horses--like the spider showing himself at his
hole, on the trembling of his web to the struggle of a luckless fly.
Nothing appeared but a shell of a house, with blackened remains of
rafters, or a great heap of stones, not even a wall left--and huge
stumps of gate-posts, and not a hand extended, or voice raised to demand
payment for our use of a road!--that payment which the laws of the land
had formally pronounced due! Had new laws been passed? Had a new mode
arisen of discharging the debt we had incurred by the purchase of the
use of so much road for two horses? Nothing of the kind! A mob at
midnight had thrown down the barrier law had built; and law dared not,
or neglected to--erect it again! "Rebecca," like Jack Cade, had
pronounced _her_ law--"sic volo, sic jubeo"--and we rode through, by
virtue of her most graceless Majesty's absolute edict--cost free. It was
really a very singular feeling we experienced on the first of these
occasions. I assure thee, my reader; believe me, my pensive public! I
never was transported--never held up hand at the Old Bailey, or
elsewhere; am not conscious of any sinister sort of projections about
my skull that phrenologists might draw ugly conclusions on; yet I
confess, that after an eloquent burst of Conservative wrath against this
strange triumph of anarchy--after looking down on these works of mob
law, unreversed, tamely endured--after fancying I saw the prostrate
genius of social order there lying helpless--the dethroned majesty of
British law there grovelling among the black ruins, insulted,
unrestored--left to be trampled over with insolent laughter, by
refractory boors, ignorant as savages of that law's inestimable
blessing--I say, after all these hurried thoughts and feelings--let me
whisper thee, my reader, that a certain scandalous pleasure _did_ creep
up from these finger-ends, instinctively groping the pocket for the
pre-doomed "thrippence," yea, quite up to this lofty, reasoning, and
right loyal sensorium, on leaving the said sum in good and lawful money,
snug and safe in my own pocket, instead of handing it over to a toll
collector. Let us not expect too much from poor human nature! I defy any
man--Aristides Redivivus himself, to ride _toll free_ through, or rather
over, a turnpike defunct in this manner, and not feel a pernicious
pleasure at his heart, a sort of slyly triumphing satisfaction, spite of
himself, as of a dog that gets his adversary undermost; in
short--without becoming for the moment, under the Circean chink of the
saved "coppers," a rank Rebeccaite! The Lord and the law forgive me, for
I surely loved 'Becca at _heart_ at that moment!

My son being a young man about returning to college, it was highly
important to conceal this backsliding within; so I launched out the more
upon the monster character of this victory of brawny ignorance and
stupid rebellion over the spirit of laws--but it wouldn't do. "But you
don't _look_ altogether so angry about it as you speak, father," said
he, though what he could see to betray any inward chuckling, I am not
aware. If the casual saving of a toll could thus operate upon ME, who
should, perhaps, never pass there again, can it be wondered at that
farmers, to whom this triumph must prove a great annual gain, are
Rebeccaites _to the backbone_, and to a man? I fear they must be more
than man, not to cry secretly to this levelling lady "God speed!" And
this leads me to more serious reflection on the incomprehensible and
fatal conduct of the local authorities _in the first instance_, in not
_instantly_ re-erecting the toll-gates, or fixing chains _pro tempore_,
protecting at whatever expense some persons to demand compliance with
the laws, that not for a week, a day, an hour, the disgraceful and
dangerous spectacle should be exhibited, of authority completely
down-trodden, law successfully defied. Surely the first step in
vindication of the dignity of legal supremacy could not be difficult. By
day, at least, surely a constabulary force might have compelled
obedience. A few military at _first_, stationed near the gates, would
have awed rustic rebels. It is the _impunity_ which this unheard-of
palsy of the governing strong hand so long ensured to them, which has
fostered riot into rebellion, and rebellion into incendiarism and
murder. Is it possible for a thinking man to see these poor and (truth
to tell) most money-loving people, saving two or three shillings every
time they drive their team to market or lime, by the prostration of a
gate, and be at a loss to discover the secret of this midnight work
spreading like wildfire? Why, every transit which a farmer makes cost
free, is a spur to his avarice, a tribute of submission to his lawless
will, a temptation to his ignorant impatience of _all_ payments to try
his hand against all. The quiet acquiescence in refusal to pay--the
vanishing of toll-house and toll-takers without one magisterial
edict--the mere submission to the mob, seems to cry "_peccavi_" too
manifestly, and affords fresh colour to indiscriminate condemnation of
all. A _bonus_ in the shape of a toll for horse or team remitted, is
thus actually presented, many times a-day, to the rioter, the rebel, the
midnight incendiary of toll-houses, for this good work, by the supine,
besotted, or fear-palsied local authorities. Shall a man look on while a
burglar enters his house, ransacks his till, let him depart, and then,
in despair, leave the door he broke open, open still all night for his
entrance, and then wonder that burglary is vastly on the increase? The
wonder, I think, is that one gate remains; and that wonder will not
exist long, if government do not do something more than send down _a_
gentleman to ask the Welsh what they please to want? The temptation
forced upon the eyes and minds of a poverty-stricken and greedy people,
by this shocking spectacle of the mastery of anarchy over order, in the
annihilation of an impost by armed mountain peasants, is in itself a
great cruelty; for in all Agrarian risings the state has triumphed at
last, inasmuch as wealth and its resources are an over-match for
poverty, however furious or savage; hence blood will flow under the
sword of justice ultimately, which early vigilance on her part might
have wholly spared. "Knock down that toll-house--fire its
contents--murder its tenant," seems the voice of such sleepy justice to
pronounce, "and neither I, nor my myrmidons will even _ask_ you again
for toll! Do this, and you shall not pay!!"

Such was the tacit invitation kindly presented by the _first_ torn down
toll-gate that remained in ruins, to every Welsh farmer. The farmer has
accepted it, and "justice"--justice keeps her promise religiously, for
no toll is demanded. If the law had been violated by trustees, we have a
body called parliament strong enough to reform, ay, and punish them, as
they, some of them perhaps, richly deserve; but was that a reason for
the laws to be annulled, and lawlessness made the order of the day, in
so important a matter as public roads, by the very men who are to profit
by it, self-erected into judges in their own cause?

       *       *       *       *       *

Llandilo Vaur. Evening, Sept. 10.
Sunday.

A scene to turn even a "commercial traveller" (_vulgo_ a bagman) into a
"sentimental" one, if any thing could! Clouds that had overcast our ride
of the last few miles, kindly "flew diverse" as we reached the bridge
over the Towey, that flows at the foot of the declivity on which this
romantic town stands. The sun broke forth, and all at once showed, and
burnished while it showed, one of the noblest landscapes in South
Wales--not the less attractive for being that which kindled the muse of
Dyer--on which the saintly eye of a far greater poet had often
reposed--the immortal _prose-poet_ bishop, Jeremy Taylor, a refugee here
during the storm of the Civil Wars. Golden Grove, his beautiful retreat,
with its venerable trees, was in our sight, the green mountain meadows
between literally verifying its name by the brilliance of their sunshiny
rich grass, where "God had showered the landscape;" to a fantastic
fancy, giving the idea of the quivering of the richest leaf gold on a
ground of emerald. The humbler Welsh Parnassus of the painter poet,
Grongar Hill, towered also in distance. We traced the pastoral yet noble
river, winding away in long meanders, up-flashing silver, through a
broad mountain valley, dotted with white farms, rich in various foliage,
marked as a map by lines, with well-marked hedge-rows; harvest fields
full of sheaves, yellowing all the lofty slopes that presented these
beautiful farms and folds full to the descending sun; those slopes,
surmounted by grand masses of darkness, solemnly contrasted with the gay
luxuriance all below; that darkness only the shade of woods, nodding
like the black plume over the golden armour of some giant hero of fable,
"magna componere parvis."

Nearer, rose directly from the river a noble park, with all the charm of
the wild picturesque, from its antique look, its romantic undulations
and steepness, its woody mount and ivied ruin of a castle, "bosomed high
in tufted trees," half-hidden, yet visible and reflected in the
now-placid mirror of a reach of the river.

Being Sunday, a moral charm was added to those of this exquisite natural
panorama, from which the curtain of storm-cloud seemed just then drawn
up, as if to strike us the more with its flashing glory of sunshine,
water, and a whole sky become cerulean in a few minutes. No Sabbath
bells chimed, indeed; but the hushed town, and vacant groups come abroad
to enjoy the return of that Italian weather we had long luxuriated in,
impressed, equally with any music, the idea of Sabbath on the mind. It
was hard to believe, revolting to be forced to believe, that this fine
scene of perfect beauty and deep repose, as presented to the eye,
directed to nature only--to the mind's eye rolling up to nature's
God--was also the (newly transfigured) theatre of man's worst and
darkest passions; that the _army_--that odious, hideous, necessary curse
of civilization, the severe and hateful guardian of liberty and peace,
(though uncongenial to both)--was at that moment evoked by all the
lovers of both for their salvation; was even then violating the ideal
harmony of the hour, by its foul yet saving presence; was parading those
green suburbs, and the sweet fields under those mountain walls, with
those clangours so discordant to the holy influences of the hour and
scene--emerging in their gay, shocking costume, (the colour of blood,
and devised for its concealment,) from angles of rocks, and mouths of
bowered avenues, where the mild fugitive from civil war, and faithful
devotee of his throneless king, had often wandered, meditating on "Holy
Dying"--of "Holy Living" himself a beautiful example--where even still,
nothing gave outward and visible sign of incendiarism and murder lurking
among those hermitages of rustic life; yet were both in active, secret
operation!

In that very park of _Dynevor_, whose beauty we were admiring from the
bridge, a little walk would have led us to--a _grave!_--no consecrated
one, but one dug ready to receive a corpse; _dug, in savage threatening
of slaughter, for the reception of one yet living_--the son of the noble
owner of that ancient domain--dug in sight of his father's house, in his
own park, by wretches who have warned him to prepare to fill that grave
in October! The gentleman so threatened, being void of all offence save
that of being a magistrate--a sworn preserver of the public peace!

Equally abhorrent to rational piety, if less shocking, is that air of
sourest sanctity which the groups now passing us bring with them out
from the meeting-houses.

Ask a question, and a nasal noise between groan and snort seems to
signify that they ask to be asked again, a sort of _ha--a--h?_ "long
drawn out." The human face and the face of nature, at that hour, were as
an east of thunder fronting a west of golden blue summer serenity. The
Mawworms of Calvinistic Methodism have made a sort of monkery of all
Wales, as regards externals at least. To think a twilight or noonday
walk for pleasure a sin, involves the absurdest principle of ascetic
folly, as truly as self-flagellation, or wearing horsehair shirts. Not
that these ministers set their flocks any example of self-mortification.
The greater number of preachers show excellent "condition," the poorest
farmers' wives vying with each other in purveying "creature comforts"
for these spiritual comforters. Preparing hot dinners, it seems, is not
working on the Lord's Day when it is for the preacher; though to save a
field of corn, which is in danger of being spoiled if left out, as in
some seasons, would be a shocking desecration of that day. Yet, to
observe the abstracted unearthly carriage of these men, who seem
"conversing with the skies" while walking the streets, one wonders at
the contrast of such burly bodies and refined spirits.

To return to the flock from these burly shepherds of souls--this
outbreak of a devilish spirit--this crusade against law and order, tolls
and tithes, life and property, is a damning evidence against these
spiritual pastors and masters, for such they are to the great body of
the Welsh common people, in the fullest sense. The _Times_ newspaper has
ruffled the whole "Volscian" camp of Dissent, it appears, by thundering
forth against them a charge of inciting their congregations to midnight
crime. "John Joneses, and David Reeses, and Ap Shenkinses, have sprung
up like the men from the dragon's teeth, to repel this charge. It is
probable that it was not well founded, for the simple reason, that such
daring subornation of crime would have brought _themselves_ into
trouble. But what sort of defence is this, even if substantiated? You
did not _excite_ your followers to rebellion and arson! _You_, with your
unlimited command of their minds, and almost bodies, why did you not
allay, resist, put down the excitement, by whomever raised? That is the
gravamen of the charge against you! You who make then weep, make then
tremble, puff them with spiritual conceit, or depress them with terrors
of damnation just as you please, how comes it that you are powerless all
at once in deterring them from wild and bad actions--you, who are
all-powerful in inciting them to any thing, since to refrain from
violence is easier than to commit it?

The increase of these outrages proves, that not the power, but will, is
wanting on your part, to put down this spirit of revenge and revolt. You
perceive the current of their ignorant minds setting strongly in toward
rapine and rebellion, (the _feeler_ put forth being the toll grievance,)
and you basely, wickedly, pander to their passions, by a discreet
silence in your rostra, an unchristian apathy; while deeds are being
done under your very eyes--in your daily path--which no good man can
view without horror; no bold good man in the position which you hold, of
public instructors in human duties, could see, without denouncing! And
as your boldness, at least, is pretty apparent, whatever your goodness
may be, other motives than fear must be sought for this unaccountable
suspension of your influence--and I find it in _self-interest_--love of
"filthy lucre." You are "supported by voluntary contribution," and to
thwart the passions of your followers, and stem the tide of lawless
violence, though your most sacred spiritual duty, is not the way to
conciliate--is not compatible with that "voluntary principle" on which
your bread depends, and which too often places your duty and your
interest in direct opposition."

       *       *       *       *       *

Llanon, Carmarthenshire.

The good woman of our inn in this village has just been apologizing for
the almost empty state of her house, the furniture being chiefly sent
away to Pembree, whither she and her family hoped to follow in a few
days. The cause of her removal was _fear of the house being set fire
to_, it being the property of Mr Chambers, a magistrate of Llanelly, and
the "Rebecca's company" had warned all his tenants to be prepared for
their fiery vengeance. His heinous offence was heading the police in
discharge of his duty, in a conflict that has just occurred at
Pontardulais gate, near this place, in which some of the 'Beccaites were
wounded. [Since this, farm-houses and other property of this gentleman
have been consumed, his life has been threatened, and his family have
prevailed on him to abandon his home and native place.] The wounded men,
now prisoners, were of this village, the _focus_ of this rebellion that
dares not face the day. It is here that the murderous midnight attack
was made on the house of a Mr Edwards, when the wretches fired volleys
at the windows, where his wife and daughter appeared _at their command_.
They escaped, miraculously it might be said, notwithstanding. The poor
old hostess complained, as well she might, of the hardship of being thus
put in peril, purely in hostility to her landlord. We slept, however,
soundly, and found ourselves alive in the morning; whether through
evangelical Rebecca's scruples about burning us out (or _in_) on a
"Lord's Day" night, or her being engaged elsewhere, we knew not.

And here also we rode through a crowd, murmuring hymns, pouring from the
chapel, where, no doubt, they had heard some edifying discourse about
the "sweet Jesus," and "sweet experiences," and "new birth," the
omnipotence of faith to salvation, and all and every topic but a _man's_
just indignation, and a religious man's most solemn denunciation against
the bloody and felonious outrages just committed by those very
villagers--against the night-masked assassins, who had just before
wantonly pointed deadly weapons against unoffending women--against the
chamber of a sick man, a husband, and a father!

       *       *       *       *       *

Llanelly, Sept. 11, Monday.

The headquarters of vindictive rebellion, arson, and spiritual oratory!
An ugly populous town near the sea, now in a ferment of mixed fear and
fury, from recent savage acts of the Rebeccaites against a most
respectable magistrate, resident in the town, Mr W. Chambers, jun., the
denounced landlord of our old Welsh hostess at Llanon. Two of his
farm-houses have been burned to the ground, and his life has been
threatened. His grievous offence I stated before. Soldiers are seen
every where; and verily, the mixture of brute-ignorance and
brute-ferocity, depicted in the faces of the great mass of "operatives"
that we meet, seem to hint that their presence is not prematurely
invoked. Their begrimed features and figures, caused by their various
employments, give greater effect to the wild character of the coatless
groups, who, in their blue check shirt-sleeves, congregate at every
corner to _cabal_, rather than to _dispute_, it seems; for, fond as they
are of dissent, (though not one in fifty could tell you _from_ what
they dissent, or _to_ what they cleave in doctrine,) there seems no
leaning to dissent from the glorious new Rebecca law of might (or
midnight surprisals) against right.

In this neighbourhood, our Welsh annals will have to record--_the first
dwelling-house_, not being a toll-house, _was laid in ashes; the first
blood was shed_ by "Rebecca's company," as they call the rioters here.
And _here_ resides, rants, prays, and preaches, and scribbles sedition,
an illiterate fanatic, who is recognised as an organ of one sect of
Methodists, Whitfieldites publishing a monthly inflammatory Magazine,
called Y Diwygiwr, (the "_Reformer!_")--God bless the mark!

This little pope, within his little circle of the "great unwashed," is
very oracular, and his infallibility a dogma with his followers and
readers. How much he himself and his vulgar trash of prose run mad,
stand in need of that wholesome reform which some of his English
brother-firebrands have been taught in Coldbathfields and Newgate, let
my reader judge from the following extract. The _Times_ newspaper did
good service in _gibbeting_ this precious morceau, supplied by its
indefatigable reporter, in its broad sheet. How great was the neglect of
_Welsh_ society, and every thing Welsh, when this sort of war-cry of
treason could be raised, this trump of rebellion sounded, and, as it
were, from the pulpit "Evangelical," with perfect impunity to the
demagogue, thus prostituting religion itself to the cause of anarchical
crime!--

"We cannot regard these tumults, with their like in other parts, but as
the effects of Tory oppression. Our wish is to see _Rebecca and her
children arrayed by thousands, for the suppression of Toryism_. These
are the only means to remove the burden from the back of the country....
Resolve to see the sword of reason plunged in oppression's heart." He
goes on to say, "_there must be a hard-blowing storm_ before the high
places in State and Church can be levelled," &c. &c. There is the usual
twaddle about "_moral_ force," forsooth, under which saving periphrasis,
now-a-days, every rebel ranter in field, or tub, or conventicle,
insinuates lawless violence without naming it. Jack Cade would have made
it the rallying cry of his raggamuffins, so would Wat Tyler, had it been
hit upon in his day. The _array_ of _thousands_ is intelligible "to the
meanest capacity." The dullest Welsh "copper-man," or collier, or wild
farm cultivator, could not miss the meaning. But as to this magical
weapon, "moral force," which they are to handle when so arrayed--the
brightest capacity must be at a loss to know what it means. How absurd
(if he pretends such a thing) to expect that enlightened statesmen will
stand reformed, restrained, stricken through, with a new light in
politics by the exhibition of these smutty patriots' _minds_ alone!--by
the force of conviction, wrought by ascertaining _their_ convictions,
(the _illuminati_ of Llanelly coal-works, of Swansea copper-works, of
Carmarthen farm-yards,) will instantly _tack_--put the vessel of State
right about, and bring her triumphant into the placid haven of
Radicalism! And why _physical_ "array" to wield such shadowy arms as
"_moral_" force? This favourite stalking-horse of incendiary politics is
but the secret hiding-place of retreat from the "force of government."
The peace, the forbearance it breathes, is like the brief silence
maintained--the holding of the breath--by those snugly ensconced within
that other horse of famous memory, the _Trojan_, which served admirably
to lay vigilance asleep, and evade the defensive _force_ of the
garrison, till the hour came to leap from its protection, and fire the
citadel. This "moral force" covert of revolt, is every whit as hollow,
as treacherous, as fatal, if trusted to. Inflame, enrage, and then
gather together "thousands" of the most ignorant of mankind, pointing to
a body, or a class, or a government, as the sole cause of whatever they
suffer or dislike, and then--_tell_ them to be moral! peaceable! not to
use those tens of thousands of brawny arms, inured to the sledge-hammer;
oh, no! tell them that _force_ means to stand still--or disperse--or
gabble--any thing but to--_fight!_ And such vile "juggling with us in a
double sense" as this, is evangelical morality!

In justice to the Liberal party, I shall add that it does not sanction
the ravings of this hypocrite, but laughs at his illiterate pretensions
to the character of a public writer. As evidence of this, the editor of
the _Welshman_, a Liberal journal, published at Carmarthen, has ably
castigated this sedition-monger, who has exposed his own ignorance in
venting his wrath at the infliction.

       *       *       *       *       *

Pontardulais. Monday Evening.

It was pleasant to emerge from that dingy seat of fanaticism and fury,
pseudo religion and moral violation of religion's broad principles. Its
aspect almost recalled the description of one of Rome's imperial
monsters, equally in physionomy and nature--"a mixture of dirt and
blood." The day was superb, and the adjacent country, though rather tame
_for Wales_, improved in rural beauty as we approached a crossway very
near to this village, Pontardulais. Two cottages appeared in a green,
quiet, dingle we were descending to, watered by a small river, and
surrounded by sloping meadows, now yellowed by the evening sun, and well
inhabited by their proper population, sheep and cows, now beginning
their homeward course at the call of the milkmaid; the only other motion
in this simply beautiful landscape, being a scattered gleaner or two,
with her load, and the rather thick volume of blue smoke curling up from
one of those cots, which, standing so close, without any other near,
prompted the idea of some rustic old couple in conjugal quietude,
smiling out life's evening, by themselves, apart from all the world.
Such was the perfect calm of scene, and the day in which summer heat was
joined to the golden serenity of autumn.

We were beginning to dismiss ugly Rebeccaism from our thoughts,
meditating where we should find one of those Isaac Waltonian hostelries,
with a sign swinging from an old tree, which we delight to make our
evening quarters; for Pontardulais, we knew, was too lately a little
battle-field to afford hope of this tranquil bliss, for here had
occurred the first conflict, in which men had been wounded and prisoners
made. The advance of evening, with its halcyon attributes of all kinds,
had the effect of a lullaby on the mind, disturbed at every stage by
some hurrying dragoon, some eager gossiping group, or fresh "news" of
some farm "burned last night," or rumours of "martial law" being
actually impending over us poor rebels of South Wales.

Reaching the little houses in their lonely crossway, we were startled by
the appearance of a gutted house; the walls alone having remained to
present to us, on the higher ground, the semblance of a white cottage.
The old thatch, fallen in, and timber, were still smouldering visibly,
though the house was fired about one A.M. yesterday morning.

Before the near adjoining cottage a quiet crowd of some twenty persons
appeared, and a few rustic articles of furniture on the roadside. Where
was their owner? Dismounting, we entered this cottage, that had looked
all peaceful security so lately to our eyes. It had not been injured,
but was all dismantled and in confusion; and stretched on some low sort
of bench or seat, lay the murdered owner of that smoking ruin--the Hendy
toll-house. Her coffin had been already made, (the coffin-plate giving
her age, 75,) and stood leaning against the wall, but the body was
preserved just as it fell, for the inspection of the jury. (The jury! a
British jury! Is there a British _man_, incapable of perjury, of
parricide, of bloody and blackest felony, _himself_, who will ever
forget, who will ever cease to spurn, spit upon in thought,
execrate in words, that degraded, wretched, most wicked knot of
murder-screeners--_the Hendy Gate jury?_)

There was nothing in this dismal spectacle for a poet to find there food
for fancy. All was naked, ugly horror. An old rug just veiled the
corpse, which, being turned down, revealed the orifice, just by the
nipple, of a shot or slug wound, and her linen was stiff and saturated
with the blood which had flowed. Another wound on the temple had caused
a torrent of blood, which remained glued over the whole cheek. The
retracted lips of this poor suffering creature, gave a dreadful grin to
the aged countenance, expressing the strong agony she must have endured,
no doubt from the filling up of the breast with those three pints of
blood found there by the surgeons. The details of this savage murder
have been too fully given in all the papers to need repetition here.
Suffice it to say, that to any one _viewing_ the body as we thus
happened to do, the atrocity of this heartless treason against society
and the injured dead becomes yet more striking; it seeming wonderful
that the piteousness of the sight--the mute pleading of that mouth full
of cloated blood--the arousing ocular evidence of the unprovoked
assassin's cruelty--the helplessness of the aged woman--her
innocence--all should not have kindled humanity in their hearts, (if all
principle was dead in their dark minds,) just enough to dare to call a
foul murder "murder"--to turn those twelve Rebecca-ridden, crouching
slaves into _men_! Some of them, probably, had old helpless mothers at
home; did no flying vision of her white hairs all blooded, and the
breast, where they had lain and fed, full of blood also, cross the
conscience of one of them, when, by their conspiracy, protection for
life was to be denied to her, to all, by their unheard-of abuse of the
only known British protective power--trial by jury? It is almost an
apology for them to imagine, that one or more of them were actually part
of the gang. Self-preservation, under _instant_ danger, (involved in a
just verdict,) is less revolting than the less urgent degree of the same
natural impulse, implied in the hypothesis of pure selfish and most
dastardly dread of some remoter evil to self from the ill-will of those
impugned by a righteous verdict.

The verdict, it will be remembered, was, that Sarah Williams died from
effusion of blood, _but from what cause is to this jury unknown!!!_ The
designed _trick_--the sly juggle concocted by these men, sworn before
Almighty God to tell truth respecting the cry of blood then rising to
his throne, evidently was to leave a loop-hole for a doubt whereby
justice might be defeated--a possibility, so they flattered themselves,
that, just in the nick of time, a bloodvessel burst, or fright destroyed
her, or any thing but the bloody hand of "Rebecca." Though, as the slugs
were actually found _in_ the lungs, the hope they "dressed themselves
in" was as "drunk," as swinishly stupid, as their design was unmanly,
inhuman, and devilish--to wink at this horror! to huddle up this murder,
and hurry into the earth a murdered woman, as if she had lived out her
term!

Whatever was the prompting feeling of this monster-jury, let us hope
that the arm of the law will reach them yet, for this double crime
against bleeding innocence and against their country. It would be a
fitting punishment to them, to pronounce every individual an outlaw--to
deny him all benefit of those laws he has done his best to defeat, and
leave the craven traitor to his kind--to adopt his beloved "'Becca's"
disguise for ever, skulk about the land that disowns him in petticoats,
and blush out his life (if shame be left him;) and let his name be fixed
up, as a scarecrow to deter such evil doers, on the wall of every court
of justice:--"To the infamous memory of A. B., one of the perjured
protectors of murder--The Hendy Gate Jury!"

Most revolting was the _betrayed_ bias of almost all we spoke with,
toward palliation of this dark act. "_Didn't she die in a fit; or of
fright; or something?_" was a frequent question, even from those near
the scene of this tragedy. "_What did ail the old creture to go near
'em? Name of goodness! didn't they order her not?_" Even from her own
sex, a disgusting lack of warm-hearted pity and indignation was most
palpable. Truly, morality and the meeting-house have a deep gulf between
them, if these are the morals of the people. The regular church is
really so little prized here, that we can only turn to the _dissenting_
ministers of religious instruction, for the lower orders. And seeing
these doings and sentiments in the flocks, one turns with astonishment
to those professing _teachers_ of the Welsh, and is ready to
exclaim--"What is it that you _do_ teach?" Only the _mechanical_ part of
religion, only the necessary outer _mummery_, I shall venture to say,
which, perhaps, all revealed religions require, to maintain a hold on
the reverence of the common people. It seems impossible that the voice
of _true_ religion can have reached hearts that a slight pecuniary
interest, the abatement of a turnpike toll, or the like, can sear
against the death-shriek of murdered woman; the cry of blood out of the
earth; the fear of God's judgement against perjury, and connivance at
murder!

       *       *       *       *       *

Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Sept. 12.

Riding from Llanelly to this place, by a road skirting the coast, we,
for the first time, heard the horn of Rebecca sounded, and replied to
from among the darkling hills, the night being one of dusky moonlight.
We at first believed it the signal of some persons in the collieries,
but learned that "'Becca's company" had been out round Kidwelly that
night, and an incendiary fire was the "good work" accomplished. It being
near ten o'clock at night, and our road wild and solitary, we felt
rather pleased to gain the covert of this usually most quiet little
town, with its air of antiquity and dead repose, as agreeable to a
sentimental traveller, as unwelcome to its few traders and dwellers.

The innkeepers and shopkeepers, _being much injured in their trades by_
the terrifying effect of Rebeccaism on strangers, who have kept aloof
all the summer, lift up the voice (but cautiously) against this terrible
lady. Hardly an expression of regret for the poor victim at Hendy Gate
reaches our ears; but rather, they seem to visit on her the anticipated
severity of future dealing with the rioters, which they foresee.

We see already posted placards, offering L.500 for the discovery of the
actual perpetrator of the murder of the poor toll-collector. It is
headed "Murder," in the teeth of the audacious, solemn declaration by
the jury, of their ignorance of the cause of death. _Query_, Was a
coroner warranted in receiving such a verdict? Was he not
empowered--required--to send the jury back to learn common sense?

       *       *       *       *       *

Inn between Carmarthen and Llandilo.

Just as we were sauntering in the rural road, admiring the placidity of
the night, about ten o'clock, and the twilight landscape of the banks of
the Towey, a sudden light opened up to us the whole night prospect,
where the farther side of this broad vale rises finely covered with
woods, round Middleton Hall, and soon learned the nature of this sudden
illumination and pyramidal fire, being the conflagration of extensive
property belonging to its owner, Mr Adams, close to the mansion.

The terror of the female inhabitants may be imagined, there being, I
believe, not any male inmates but servants at home, and the incendiaries
doing their work at that early hour in the most daring manner, firing
guns, blowing horns, &c. Mr Adams drove in just as the fire was at its
height, (having, indeed, believed the house to be in flames while he
approached,) and found the goods and moveables all brought out in fear
of its catching fire; but it escaped--so did the Rebeccaites, of course.

Not to extend too far these hasty Notes, I shall throw together the
heads of a few made on the spot. Our "sentimental journey" occupied
about three weeks, and brought us to almost every part infested by the
disturbers. Having put up at an inn in the outskirts of a town in
Cardiganshire for the night, leaving the horses, we walked to the town.
As we returned, the night being rather dark, I was not conscious of any
one being on the same road behind, and was talking to my son, rather
earnestly, of the iniquitous verdict of the Hendy Gate assassin jury,
when a voice behind asked in English, saucily, if _I_ was going to
attend the future trial of the "Hugheses, and them of the Llanon
village, then in Swansea jail?" The tone clearly indicated how alien to
the Welshman's feelings were those I was expressing, though but those of
common humanity. Giving the voice in the dark such short answer,
refusing to satisfy him, as the question deserved, and with responsive
bluffness, we left the man behind, who, it proved, was bound to our inn.
We found our parlour filled with farmers, who instantly became _mum_ as
we entered, but their eyes suspiciously surveyed us. It was near eleven
o'clock, so we retired to our double-bedded chamber, which happened to
be situated over the parlour. The inn (whose owners were _ultra_
"Welshly," speaking English very badly,) was well situated for holding a
midnight council of (Rebecca) war, being lonely, at the confluence of
two roads, and this proved to be the nature of this late assemblage. We
were just in bed, (having _secured the door as well as we could_,) when
we heard through the imperfect flooring a very animated _mêlée_ of Welsh
tongues all astir at once, and I fancied I recognized the voice of the
pious Christian in the dark, who had been moved by the spirit (of
religion of course) to hint or betray his dissent from the Saxon
"stranger's" rebuke of perjury and murder-screening. A few minutes
after, several hurried out, and three or four discharges of guns
followed in front of the house, but nothing more. I was pleased to
think that the said house and windows were "mine host's," and not mine,
otherwise a little hail of shot might have followed the "short thunder;"
but as it was, nothing more than this warning bravado (as I imagine it
to have been) occurred.

A great deal of _solo_ spouting, by orators in orderly succession, went
on till near two in the morning--_Sunday_. At least, falling asleep, I
left this little patriot parliament sitting, and found it in full tongue
on awaking at that hour. I suppose this sitting in judgment on
toll-houses (and possibly _other_ houses) of these anti-landlord
committees, are _not_ breaches of the observance of the Sabbath.

On the whole, we may remark, that neither Poor-Law, nor Tory, nor Whig,
nor right rule, nor misrule, nor politics, nor party, had the slightest
influence in this astounding moral revolution among an agricultural
people. Utterly false is almost all that the London Press broached and
broaches, implicating ministers in the provocation of this outbreak.
Twenty years of residence, and leisure for observation among them,
allows me to positively deny that any feeling of discontent, any sense
of oppression, any knowledge of "Grievances," now so pompously heading
columns of twaddle--ever existed before the _one_ daily, weekly spur in
their side, goaded this simple people to a foolish mode of resistance to
it.

Why, not one in ten of the farmers has yet heard of Sir Robert Peel's
accession to office! and I doubt if one in twenty knows whether they
live under a Whig or Tory administration. Nor does one in a hundred
_care_ which, or form one guess about their comparative merits.

The only idea they have of Chartists, is a vague identification of them
with "_rebels_," as they _used_ to call _all_ sorts of rioters, not
dreaming of their forming any party with definite views, unless that of
seizing the good things of the earth, and postponing, _sine die_, the
day of payment.

Judge what chance the brawling apostles of Chartism would have here
among them, especially under the difficulty of haranguing them through
interpreters!

The Poor-Law they certainly hate, but from no pity for paupers. The
dislike arises from a wide spread belief, that the host of "officers"
attached to it swallows up great part of what they pay for the poor.
They grudged the poor-rate before, even when their own overseer paid it
away to poor old lame Davy or blind Gwinny; but now that it reaches them
by a more circuitous route, and in the altered form of loaves or
workhouse support, they seem to lose sight of it, and fancy that it
stops _by the way_, in the pockets of these "strange" new middlemen, as
we may call them, thrust in between the farmers and their poor and
worn-out labourers.

The prevalence of the Welsh language perpetuates the ignorance which is
at the root of the mischief. Of their _native_ writers, I have given a
specimen from the monthly magazine published at Llanelly, and the evil
of these is uncorrected by English information.

The work of mounting heavenward was, we are told, defeated by a
confusion of tongues--the advance of civilization (which we may
designate a progress toward a divine goal, that of soul-exalting and
soul-saving wisdom) is as utterly prevented by this non-intercourse
system between the civilized and the _half_ civilized; which, with all
deference to the ancient Britons, I must venture to consider them.
Camden, the antiquary, has preserved a tradition, that "certain
Brittaines" (Britons) going over into Armorica, and taking wives from
among the people of Normandy, "_did cut out their tongues_," through
fear that, when they should become mothers, they might corrupt the Welsh
tongue of the children, by teaching them that foreign language! The love
of their own tongue thus appears to be of very old standing, if we are
to believe this agreeable proof of it. I believe the extirpation of
Welsh, as a spoken language, would pioneer the way to knowledge,
civilization, and _religion_ here, of which last blessing there is a
grievous lack, judging from the morals of the people.



ADVENTURES IN TEXAS.

NO. II.

A TRIAL BY JURY.


When I recovered from my state of insensibility, and once more opened my
eyes, I was lying on the bank of a small but deep river. My horse was
grazing quietly a few yards off, and beside me stood a man with folded
arms, holding a wicker-covered flask in his hand. This was all I was
able to observe; for my state of weakness prevented me from getting up
and looking around me.

"Where am I?" I gasped.

"Where are you, stranger? By the Jacinto; and that you are _by_ it, and
not _in_ it, is no fault of your'n, I reckon."

There was something harsh and repulsive in the tone and manner in which
these words were spoken, and in the grating scornful laugh that
accompanied them, that jarred upon my nerves, and inspired me with a
feeling of aversion towards the speaker. I knew that he was my
deliverer; that he had saved my life, when my mustang, raging with
thirst, had sprung head-foremost into the water; that, without him, I
must inevitably have been drowned, even had the river been less deep
than it was; and that it was by his care, and the whisky he had made me
swallow, and of which I still felt the flavour on my tongue, that I had
been recovered from the death-like swoon into which I had fallen. But
had he done ten times as much for me, I could not have repressed the
feeling of repugnance, the inexplicable dislike, with which the mere
tones of his voice filled me. I turned my head away in order not to see
him. There was a silence of some moments' duration.

"Don't seem as if my company was over and above agreeable," said the man
at last.

"Your company not agreeable? This is the fourth day since I saw the face
of a human being. During that time not a bit nor a drop has passed my
tongue."

"Hallo! That's a lie," shouted the man with another strange wild laugh.
"You've taken a mouthful out of my flask; not _taken_ it, certainly, but
it went over your tongue all the same. Where do you come from? The beast
ain't your'n."

"Mr Neal's," answered I.

"See it is by the brand. But what brings you here from Mr Neal's? It's a
good seventy mile to his plantation, right across the prairie. Ain't
stole the horse, have you?"

"Lost my way--four days--eaten nothing."

These words were all I could articulate. I was too weak to talk.

"Four days without eatin'," cried the man, with a laugh like the
sharpening of a saw, "and that in a Texas prairie, and with islands on
all sides of you! Ha! I see how it is. You're a gentleman--that's plain
enough. I was a sort of one myself once. You thought our Texas prairies
was like the prairies in the States. Ha, ha! And so you didn't know how
to help yourself. Did you see no bees in the air, no strawberries on the
earth?"

"Bees? Strawberries?" repeated I.

"Yes, bees, which live in the hollow trees. Out of twenty trees there's
sure to be one full of honey. So you saw no bees, eh? Perhaps you don't
know the creturs when you see 'em. Ain't altogether so big as wild-geese
or turkeys. But you must know what strawberries are, and that _they_
don't grow upon the trees."

All this was spoken in the same sneering savage manner as before, with
the speaker's head half turned over his shoulder, while his features
were distorted into a contemptuous grin.

"And if I had seen the bees, how was I to get at the honey without an
axe?"

"How did you lose yourself?"

"My mustang--ran away"--

"I see. And you after him. You'd have done better to let him run. But
what d'ye mean to do now?"

"I am weak--sick to death. I wish to get to the nearest house--an
inn--anywhere where men are."

"Where men are," repeated the stranger, with his scornful smile. "Where
men are," he muttered again, taking a few steps on one side.

I was hardly able to turn my head, but there was something strange in
the man's movement that alarmed me; and, making a violent effort, I
changed my position sufficiently to get him in sight again. He had drawn
a long knife from his girdle, which he clutched in one hand, while he
ran the fore finger of the other along its edge. I now for the first
time got a full view of his face, and the impression it made upon me was
any thing but favourable. His countenance was the wildest I had ever
seen; his bloodshot eyes rolled like balls of fire in their sockets;
while his movements and manner were indicative of a violent inward
struggle. He did not stand still for three seconds together, but paced
backwards and forwards with hurried irregular steps, casting wild
glances over his shoulder, his fingers playing all the while with the
knife, with the rapid and objectless movements of a maniac.

I felt convinced that I was the cause of the struggle visibly going on
within him, that my life or death was what he was deciding upon. But in
the state I then was, death had no terror for me. The image of my
mother, sisters, and father, passed before my eyes. I gave one thought
to my peaceful happy home, and then looked upwards and prayed.

The man had walked off to some distance. I turned myself a little more
round, and, as I did so, I caught sight of the sane magnificent
phenomenon which I had met with on the second day of my wanderings. The
colossal live oak rose in all its silvery splendour, at the distance of
a couple of miles. Whilst I was gazing at it, and reflecting on the
strange ill luck that had made me pass within so short a distance of the
river without finding it, I saw my new acquaintance approach a
neighbouring cluster of trees, amongst which he disappeared.

After a short time I again perceived him coming towards me with a slow
and staggering step. As he drew near, I had an opportunity of examining
his whole appearance. He was very tall and lean, but large-boned, and
apparently of great strength. His face, which had not been shaved for
several weeks, was so tanned by sun and weather, that he might have been
taken for an Indian, had not the beard proved his claim to white blood.
But his eyes were what most struck me. There was something so
frightfully wild in their expression, a look of terror and desperation,
like that of a man whom all the furies of hell were hunting and
persecuting. His hair hung in long ragged locks over his forehead,
cheeks, and neck, and round his head was bound a handkerchief, on which
were several stains of a brownish black colour. Spots of the same kind
were visible upon his leathern jacket, breeches, and mocassins; they
were evidently blood stains. His hunting knife, which was nearly two
feet long, with a rude wooden handle, was now replaced in his girdle,
but in its stead he held a Kentucky rifle in his hand.

Although I did my utmost to assume an indifferent countenance, my
features doubtless expressed something of the repugnance and horror with
which the man inspired me. He looked loweringly at me for a moment from
under his shaggy eyebrows.

"You don't seem to like the company you've got into," said he. "Do I
look so very desperate, then? Is it written so plainly on my face?"

"What should there be written upon your face?"

"What? What? Fools and children ask them questions."

"I will ask you none; but as a Christian, as my countryman, I beseech
you"----

"Christian!" interrupted he, with a hollow laugh. "Countryman!" He
struck the but of his rifle hard upon the ground. "That is my
countryman--my only friend!" he continued, as he examined the flint and
lock of his weapon. "That releases from all troubles; that's a true
friend. Pooh! perhaps it'll release you too--put you to rest."

These last words were uttered aside, and musingly.

"Put him to rest, as well as---- Pooh! One more or less--Perhaps it
would drive away that cursed spectre."

All this seemed to be spoken to his rifle.

"Will you swear not to betray me?" cried he to me. "Else, one touch"----

As he spoke, he brought the gun to his shoulder, the muzzle pointed
full at my breast.

I felt no fear. I am sure my pulse did not give a
throb the more for this menace. So deadly weak and helpless as I lay, it
was unnecessary to shoot me. The slightest blow from the but of the
rifle would have driven the last faint spark of life out of my exhausted
body. I looked calmly, indifferently even, into the muzzle of the piece.

"If you can answer it to your God, to your and my judge and creator, do
your will."

My words, which from faintness I could scarcely render audible, had,
nevertheless, a sudden and startling effect upon the man. He trembled
from head to foot, let the but of his gun fall heavily to the ground,
and gazed at me with open mouth and staring eyes.

"This one, too, comes with his God!" muttered he. "God! and your and my
creator--and--judge."

He seemed hardly able to articulate these words, which were uttered by
gasps and efforts, as though something had been choking him.

"His and my--judge"--groaned he again. "Can there be a God, a creator
and judge?"

As he stood thus muttering to himself, his eyes suddenly became fixed,
and his features horribly distorted.

"Do it not!" cried he, in a shrill tone of horror, that rang through my
head. "It will bring no blessin' with it. I am a dead man! God be
merciful to me! My poor wife, my poor children!"

The rifle fell from his hands, and he smote his breast and forehead in a
paroxysm of the wildest fury. It was frightful to behold the
conscience-stricken wretch, stamping madly about, and casting glances of
terror behind him, as though demons had been hunting him down. The foam
flew from his mouth, and I expected each moment to see him fall to the
ground in a fit of epilepsy. Gradually, however, he became more
tranquil.

"D'ye see nothin' in my face?" said he in a hoarse whisper, suddenly
pausing close to where I lay.

"What should I see?"

He came yet nearer.

"Look well at me--_through_ me, if you can. D'ye see nothin' now?"

"I see nothing," replied I.

"Ah! I understand, you can see nothin'. Ain't in a spyin' humour, I
calkilate. No, no, that you ain't. After four days and nights fastin',
one loses the fancy for many things. I've tried it for two days myself.
So, you are weak and faint, eh? But I needn't ask that, I reckon. You
look bad enough. Take another drop of whisky; it'll strengthen you. But
wait till I mix it."

As he spoke, he stepped down to the edge of the river, and scooping up
the water in the hollow of his hand, filled his flask with it. Then
returning to me, he poured a little into my mouth.

Even the bloodthirsty Indian appears less of a savage when engaged in a
compassionate act, and the wild desperado I had fallen in with, seemed
softened and humanized by the service he was rendering me. His voice
sounded less harsh; his manner was calmer and milder.

"You wish to go to an inn?"

"For Heaven's sake, yes. These four days I have tasted nothing but a bit
of tobacco."

"Can you spare a bit of that?"

"All I have."

I handed him my cigar case, and the roll of _dulcissimus_. He snatched
the latter from me, and bit into it with the furious eagerness of a
wolf.

"Ah, the right sort this!" muttered he to himself. "Ah, young man, or
old man--you're an old man, ain't you? How old are you?"

"Two-and-twenty."

He shook his head doubtingly.

"Can hardly believe that. But four days in the prairie, and nothin' to
eat. Well, it may be so. But, stranger, if I had had this bit of tobacco
only ten days ago--A bit of tobacco is worth a deal sometimes. It might
have saved a man's life!"

Again he groaned, and his accents became wild and unnatural.

"I say, stranger!" cried he in a threatening tone. "I say! D'ye see
yonder live oak? D'ye see it? It's the Patriarch, and a finer and
mightier one you won't find in the prairies, I reckon. D'ye see it?"

"I do see it."

"Ah! you see it," cried he fiercely. "And what is it to you? What have
you to do with the Patriarch, or with what lies under it? I reckon you
had best not be too curious that way. If you dare take a step under that
tree."--He swore an oath too horrible to be repeated.

"There's a spectre there," cried he; "a spectre that would fright you to
death. Better keep away."

"I will keep away," replied I. "I never thought of going near it. All I
want is to get to the nearest plantation or inn."

"Ah! true, man--the next inn. I'll show you the way to it. I will."

"You will save my life by so doing," said I, "and I shall be ever
grateful to you as my deliverer."

"Deliverer!" repeated he, with a wild laugh. "Pooh! If you knew what
sort of a deliverer--Pooh! What's the use of savin' a life, when--yet I
will--I will save yours, perhaps the cursed spectre will leave me then.
Will you not? Will you not?" cried he, suddenly changing his scornful
mocking tones to those of entreaty and supplication, and turning his
face in the direction of the live oak. Again his wildness of manner
returned, and his eyes became fixed, as he gazed for some moments at the
gigantic tree. Then darting away, he disappeared among the trees, whence
he had fetched his rifle, and presently emerged again, leading a ready
saddled horse with him. He called to me to mount mine, but seeing that I
was unable even to rise from the ground, he stepped up to me, and with
the greatest ease lifted me into the saddle with one hand, so light had
I become during my long fast. Then taking the end of my lasso, he got
upon his own horse and set off, leading my mustang after him.

We rode on for some time without exchanging a word. My guide kept up a
sort of muttered soliloquy; but as I was full ten paces in his rear, I
could distinguish nothing of what he said. At times he would raise his
rifle to his shoulder then lower it again, and speak to it, sometimes
caressingly, sometimes in anger. More than once he turned his head, and
cast keen searching glances at me, as though to see whether I were
watching him or not.

We had ridden more than an hour, and the strength which the whisky had
given me was fast failing, so that I expected each moment to fall from
my horse, when suddenly I caught sight of a kind of rude hedge, and
almost immediately afterwards the wall of a small blockhouse became
visible. A faint cry of joy escaped me, and I endeavoured, but in vain,
to give my horse the spur. My guide turned round, fixed his wild eyes
upon me, and spoke in a threatening tone.

"You are impatient, man! impatient, I see. You think now, perhaps"----

"I am dying," was all I could utter. In fact, my senses were leaving me
from exhaustion, and I really thought my last hour was come.

"Pooh! dyin'! One don't die so easy. And yet--d----n!--it might be
true."

He sprang off his horse, and was just in time to catch me in his arms as
I fell from the saddle. A few drops of whisky, however, restored me to
consciousness. My guide replaced me upon my mustang, and after passing
through a potato ground, a field of Indian corn, and a small grove of
peach-trees, we found ourselves at the door of the blockhouse.

I was so utterly helpless, that my strange companion was obliged to lift
me off my horse, and carry me into the dwelling. He sat me down upon a
bench, passive and powerless as an infant. Strange to say, however, I
was never better able to observe all that passed around me, than during
the few hours of bodily debility that succeeded my immersion in the
Jacinto. A blow with a reed would have knocked me off my seat, but my
mental faculties, instead of participating in this weakness, seemed
sharpened to an unusual degree of acuteness.

The blockhouse in which we now were, was of the poorest possible
description; a mere log hut, consisting of one room, that served as
kitchen, sitting-room, and bedchamber. The door of rough planks swung
heavily upon two hooks that fitted into iron rings, and formed a clumsy
substitute for hinges; a wooden latch and heavy bar served to secure it;
windows, properly speaking, there were none, but in their stead a few
holes covered with dirty oiled paper; the floor was of clay, stamped
hard and dry in the middle of the hut, but out of which, at the sides of
the room, a crop of rank grass was growing, a foot or more high. In one
corner stood a clumsy bedstead, in another a sort of table or counter,
on which were half a dozen drinking glasses of various sizes and
patterns. The table consisted of four thick posts, firmly planted in the
ground, and on which were nailed three boards that had apparently
belonged to some chest or case, for they were partly painted, and there
was a date, and the three first letters of a word upon one of them. A
shelf fixed against the side of the hut supported an earthen pot or two,
and three or four bottles, uncorked, and apparently empty; and from some
wooden pegs wedged in between the logs, hung suspended a few articles of
wearing apparel of no very cleanly aspect.

Pacing up and down the hut with a kind of stealthy cat-like pace, was an
individual, whose unprepossessing exterior was in good keeping with the
wretched appearance of this Texian shebeen house. He was an undersized,
stooping figure, red-haired, large mouthed, and possessed of small,
reddish, pig's eyes, which he seemed totally unable to raise from the
ground, and the lowering, hang-dog expression of which, corresponded
fully with the treacherous, panther-like stealthiness of his step and
movements. Without greeting us either by word or look, this personage
dived into a dark corner of his tenement, brought out a full bottle, and
placing it on the table beside the glasses, resumed the monotonous sort
of exercise in which he had been indulging on our entrance.

My guide and deliverer said nothing while the tavern-keeper was getting
out the bottle, although he seemed to watch all his movements with a
keen and suspicious eye. He now filled a large glass of spirits, and
tossed it off at a single draught. When he had done this, he spoke for
the first time.

"Johnny!"

Johnny made no answer.

"This gentleman has eaten nothing for four days."

"Indeed," replied Johnny, without looking up, or intermitting his
sneaking, restless walk from one corner of the room to the other.

"I said four days, d'ye hear? Four days. Bring him tea immediately,
strong tea, and then make some good beef soup. The tea must be ready
directly, the soup in an hour at farthest, d'ye understand? And then I
want some whisky for myself, and a beefsteak and potatoes. Now, tell all
that to your Sambo."

Johnny did not seem to hear, but continued his walk, creeping along with
noiseless step, and each time that he turned, giving a sort of spring
like a cat or a panther.

"I've money, Johnny," said my guide. "Money, man, d'ye hear?" And so
saying, he produced a tolerably full purse.

For the first time Johnny raised his head, gave an indefinable sort of
glance at the purse, and then springing forward, fixed his small,
cunning eyes upon those of my guide, while a smile of strange meaning
spread over his repulsive features.

The two men stood for the space of a minute, staring at each other,
without uttering a word. An infernal grin distended Johnny's coarse
mouth from ear to ear. My guide seemed to gasp for breath.

"I've money," cried he at last, striking the but of his rifle violently
on the ground. "D'ye understand, Johnny? Money; and a rifle too, if
needs be."

He stepped to the table and filled another glass of raw spirits, which
disappeared like the preceding one. While he drank, Johnny stole out of
the room so softly that my companion was only made aware of his
departure by the noise of the wooden latch. He then came up to me, took
me in his arms without saying a word, and, carrying me to the bed, laid
me gently down upon it.

"You make yourself at home," snarled Johnny, who just then came in
again.

"Always do that, I reckon, when I'm in a tavern," answered my guide,
quietly pouring out and swallowing another glassful. "The gentleman
shall have your bed to-day. You and Sambo may sleep in the pigsty. You
have none though, I believe?"

"Bob!" screamed Johnny furiously.

"That's my name--Bob Rock."

"For the present," hissed Johnny, with a sneer.

"The same as yours is Johnny Down," replied Bob in the same tone. "Pooh!
Johnny, guess we know one another?"

"Rayther calkilate we do," replied Johnny through his teeth.

"And have done many a day," laughed Bob. "You're the famous Bob from
Sodoma in Georgia?"

"Sodoma in Alabama, Johnny. Sodoma lies in Alabama," said Bob, filling
another glass. "Don't you know that yet, you who were above a year in
Columbus, doin' all sorts of dirty work?"

"Better hold your tongue, Bob," said Johnny, with a dangerous look at
me.

"Pooh! Don't mind him, he won't talk, I'll answer for it. He's lost the
taste for chatterin' in the Jacinto prairie. But Sodoma," continued Bob,
"is in Alabama, man! Columbus in Georgia! They are parted by the
Chatahoochie. Ah! that was a jolly life we led on the Chatahoochie. But
nothin' lasts in this world, as my old schoolmaster used to say. Pooh!
They've druv the Injuns a step further over the Mississippi now. But it
was a glorious life--warn't it?"

Again he filled his glass and drank.

The information I gathered from this conversation as to the previous
life and habits of these two men, had nothing in it very satisfactory or
reassuring for me. In the whole of the south-western states there was no
place that could boast of being the resort of so many outlaws and bad
characters as the town of Sodoma. It is situated, or was situated, at
least, a few years previously to the time I speak of, in Alabama, on
Indian ground, and was the harbour of refuge for all the murderers and
outcasts from the western and south-western parts of the Union. Here,
under Indian government, they found shelter and security; and frightful
were the crimes and cruelties perpetrated at this place. Scarcely a day
passed without an assassination, not secretly committed but in broad
sunlight. Bands of these wretches, armed with knives and rifles, used to
cross the Chatahoochie, and make inroads into Columbus; break into
houses, rob, murder, ill-treat women, and then return in triumph to
their dens, laden with booty, and laughing at the laws. It was useless
to think of pursuing them, or of obtaining justice, for they were on
Indian territory; and many of the chiefs were in league with them. At
length General Jackson and the government took it up. The Indians were
driven over the Mississippi, the outlaws and murderers fled, Sodoma
itself disappeared; and, released from its troublesome neighbours,
Columbus is now as flourishing a state as any in the west.

The recollections of their former life and exploits seemed highly
interesting to the two comrades; and their communications became more
and more confidential. Johnny filled himself a glass, and the
conversation soon increased in animation. I could understand little of
what they said, for they spoke a sort of thieves' jargon. After a time,
their voices sounded as a confused hum in my ears, the objects in the
room became gradually less distinct, and I fell asleep.

I was roused, not very gently, by a mulatto woman, who poured a spoonful
of tea into my mouth before I had well opened my eyes. She at first did
not appear to be attending to me with any great degree of good-will; but
by the time she had given me half a dozen spoonsful her womanly
sympathies began to be awakened, and her manner became kinder. The tea
did me an infinite deal of good, and seemed to infuse new life into my
veins. I finished the cup, and the mulatto laid me down again on my
pillow with far more gentleness than she had lifted me up.

"Gor! Gor!" cried she, "what poor young man! Berry weak. Him soon
better. One hour, massa, good soup."

"Soup! What do you want with soup?" grumbled Johnny.

"Him take soup. I cook it," screamed the woman.

"Worse for you if she don't, Johnny," said Bob.

Johnny muttered something in reply, but I did not distinguish what it
was, for my eyes closed, and I again fell asleep.

It seemed to me as if I had not been five minutes slumbering when the
mulatto returned with the soup. The tea had revived me, but this gave me
strength; and when I had taken it I was able to sit up in my bed.

While the woman was feeding me, Bob was eating his beefsteak. It was a
piece of meat that might have sufficed for six persons, but the man
seemed as hungry as if he had eaten nothing for three days. He cut off
wedges half as big as his fist, swallowed them with ravenous eagerness,
and, instead of bread, bit into some unpeeled potatoes. All this was
washed down with glass after glass of raw spirits, which had the effect
of wakening him up, and infusing a certain degree of cheerfulness into
his strange humour. He still spoke more to himself than to Johnny, but
his recollections seemed agreeable; he nodded self-approvingly, and
sometimes laughed aloud. At last he began to abuse Johnny for being, as
he said, such a sneaking, cowardly fellow--such a treacherous,
false-hearted gallows-bird.

"It's true," said he, "I am gallows-bird enough myself, but then I'm
open, and no man can say I'm a-fear'd; but Johnny, Johnny, who"----

I do not know what he was about to say, for Johnny sprang towards him,
and placed both hands over his mouth, receiving in return a blow that
knocked him as far as the door, through which he retreated, cursing and
grumbling.

I soon fell asleep again, and whilst in that state I had a confused sort
of consciousness of various noises in the room, loud words, blows, and
shouting. Wearied as I was, however, I believe no noise would have fully
roused me, although hunger at last did.

When I opened my eyes I saw the mulatto woman sitting by my bed, and
keeping off the mosquitoes. She brought me the remainder of the soup,
and promised, if I would sleep a couple of hours more, to bring me a
beefsteak. Before the two hours had elapsed I awoke, hungrier than ever.
After I had eaten all the beefsteak the woman would allow me, which was
a very moderate quantity, she brought me a beer-glass full of the most
delicious punch I ever tasted. I asked her where she had got the rum and
lemons, and she told me that it was she who had bought them, as well as
a stock of coffee and tea; that Johnny was her partner, but that he had
done nothing but build the house, and badly built it was. She then began
to abuse Johnny, and said he was a gambler; and, worse still, that he
had had plenty of money once, but had lost it all; that she had first
known him in Lower Natchez, but he had been obliged to run away from
there in the night to save his neck. Bob was no better, she said; on the
contrary--and here she made the gesture of cutting a man's throat--he
was a very bad fellow, she added. He had got drunk after his dinner,
knocked Johnny down, and broken every thing. He was now lying asleep
outside the door; and Johnny had hidden himself somewhere.

How long she continued speaking I know not, for I again fell into a deep
sleep, which this time lasted six or seven hours.

I was awakened by a strong grasp laid upon my arm, which made me cry
out, more, however, from surprise than pain. Bob stood by my bedside;
the traces of the preceding night's debauch plainly written on his
haggard countenance. His bloodshot eyes were inflamed and swollen, and
rolled with even more than their usual wildness; his mouth was open, and
the jaws stiff and fixed; he looked as if he had just come from
committing some frightful deed. I could fancy the first murderer to have
worn such an aspect when gazing on the body of his slaughtered brother.
I shrank back, horror-struck at his appearance.

"In God's name, man, what do you want?"

He made no answer.

"You are in a fever. You've the ague!"

"Ay, a fever," groaned he, shivering as he spoke; "a fever, but not the
one you mean; a fever, young man, such as God keep you from ever
having."

His whole frame shuddered while he uttered these words. There was a
short pause.

"Curious that," continued he; "I've served more than one in the same
way, but never thought of it afterwards--was forgotten in less than no
time. Got to pay the whole score at once, I suppose. Can't rest a
minute. In the open prairie it's the worst; there stands the old man, so
plain, with his silver beard, and the spectre just behind him."

His eyes rolled, he clenched his fists, and, striking his forehead
furiously, rushed out of the hut.

In a few minutes he returned, apparently more composed, and walked
straight up to my bed.

"Stranger, you must do me a service," said he abruptly.

"Ten rather than one," replied I; "any thing that is in my power. Do I
not owe you my life?"

"You're a gentleman, I see, and a Christian. You must come with me to
the squire--the Alcalde."

"To the Alcalde, man! What must I go there for?"

"You'll see and hear when you get there; I've something to tell
him--something for his own ear."

He drew a deep breath, and remained silent for a short time, gazing
anxiously on all sides of him.

"Something," whispered he, "that nobody else must hear."

"But there's Johnny there. Why not take him?"

"Johnny!" cried he, with a scornful laugh; "Johnny! who's ten times
worse than I am, bad as I be; and bad I am to be sure, but yet open and
above board, always, till this time; but Johnny! he'd sell his own
mother. He's a cowardly, sneakin', treacherous hound, is Johnny."

It was unnecessary to tell me this, for Johnny's character was written
plainly enough upon his countenance.

"But why do you want me to go to the Alcalde?"

"Why does one want people before the judge? He's a judge, man; a Mexican
one certainly, but chosen by us Americans; and an American himself, as
you and I are."

"And how soon must I go?"

"Directly. I can't bear it any longer. It leaves me no peace. Not an
hour's rest have I had for the last eight days. When I go out into the
prairie, the spectre stands before me and beckons me on, and if I try to
go another way, he comes behind me and drives me before him under the
Patriarch. I see him just as plainly as when he was alive, only paler
and sadder. It seems as if I could touch him with my hand. Even the
bottle is no use now; neither rum, nor whisky, nor brandy, rid me of
him; it don't, by the 'tarnel.--Curious that! I got drunk
yesterday--thought to get rid of him; but he came in the night and drove
me out. I was obliged to go. Wouldn't let me sleep; was forced to go
under the Patriarch."

"Under the Patriarch? the live oak?" cried I, in astonishment.--"Were
you there in the night?"

"Ay, that was I," replied he, in the same horribly confidential tone;
"and the spirit threatened me, and said I will leave you no peace, Bob,
till you go to the Alcalde and tell him"----

"Then I will go with you to the Alcalde, and that immediately," said I,
raising myself up in bed. I could not help pitying the poor fellow from
my very soul.

"Where are you going?" croaked Johnny, who at this moment glided into
the room. "Not a step shall you stir till you've paid."

"Johnny," said Bob, seizing his less powerful companion by the
shoulders, lifting him up like a child, and then setting him down again
with such force, that his knees cracked and bent under him;--"Johnny,
this gentlemen is my guest, d'ye understand? And here is the reckonin',
and mind yourself, Johnny--mind yourself, that's all."

Johnny crept into a corner like a flogged hound; the mulatto woman,
however, did not seem disposed to be so easily intimidated. Sticking her
arms in her sides, she waddled boldly forward.

"You not take him 'way, Massa Bob?", screamed she. "Him stop here. Him
berry weak--not able for ride--not able for stand on him foot."

This was true enough. Strong as I had felt in bed, I could hardly stand
upright when I got out of it.

For a moment Bob seemed undecided, but only for one moment; then,
stepping up to the mulatto, he lifted her, fat and heavy as she was, in
the same manner as he had done her partner, at least a foot from the
ground, and carried her screaming and struggling to the door, which he
kicked open. Then setting her down outside, "Silence!" roared he, "and
some good strong tea instead of your cursed chatter, and a fresh
beefsteak instead of your stinking carcass. That will strengthen the
gentleman; so be quick about it, you old brown-skinned beast, you!"

I had slept in my clothes, and my toilet was consequently soon made, by
the help of a bowl of water and towel, which Bob made Johnny bring, and
then ordered him to go and get our horses ready.

A hearty breakfast of tea, butter, Indian corn bread, and steaks,
increased my strength so much, that I was able to mount my mustang. I
had still pains in all my limbs, but we rode slowly; the morning was
bright, the air fresh and elastic, and I felt myself getting gradually
better. Our path led through the prairie; the river fringed with wood,
on the one hand; the vast ocean of grass, sprinkled with innumerable
islands of trees, on the other. We saw abundance of game, which sprang
up under the very feet of our horses; but although Bob had his rifle, he
made no use of it. He muttered continually to himself, and seemed to be
arranging what he should say to the judge; for I heard him talking of
things which I would just as soon not have listened to, if I could have
helped it. I was heartily glad when we at length reached the plantation
of the Alcalde.

It seemed a very considerable one, and the size and appearance of the
framework house bespoke comfort and every luxury. The building was
surrounded by a group of China trees, which I should have thought about
ten years of age, but which I afterwards learned had not been planted
half that time, although they were already large enough to afford a very
agreeable shade. Right in front of the house rose a live oak, inferior
in size to the one in the prairie, but still of immense age and great
beauty. To the left was some two hundred acres of cotton fields,
extending to the bank of the Jacinto, which at this spot made a sharp
turn, and winding round the plantation, enclosed it on three sides.
Before the house lay the prairie, with its archipelago of islands, and
herds of grazing cattle and mustangs; to the right, more cotton fields;
and in rear of the dwelling, the negro cottages and out-buildings. There
was a Sabbath-like stillness pervading the whole scene, which seemed to
strike even Bob. He paused as though in deep thought, and allowed his
hand to rest for a moment on the handle of the lattice door. Then with a
sudden and resolute jerk, bespeaking an equally sudden resolution, he
pushed open the gate, and we entered a garden planted with orange,
banana, and citron trees, the path through which was enclosed between
palisades, and led to a sort of front court, with another lattice-work
door, beside which hung a bell. Upon ringing this, a negro appeared.

The black seemed to know Bob very well, for he nodded to him as to an
old acquaintance, and said the squire wanted him, and had asked after
him several times. He then led the way to a large parlour, very
handsomely furnished for Texas, and in which we found the squire, or
more properly speaking, the Alcalde, sitting smoking his cigar. He had
just breakfasted, and the plates and dishes were still upon the table.
He did not appear to be much given to compliments or ceremony, or to
partake at all of the Yankee failing of curiosity, for he answered our
salutation with a laconic "good-morning," and scarcely even looked at
us. At the very first glance, it was easy to see that he came from
Tennessee or Virginia, the only provinces in which one finds men of his
gigantic mould. Even sitting, his head rose above those of the negro
servants in waiting. Nor was his height alone remarkable; he had the
true West-Virginian build; the enormous chest and shoulders, and
herculean limbs, the massive features and sharp grey eyes; altogether an
exterior well calculated to impose on the rough backwoodsmen with whom
he had to deal.

I was tired with my ride, and took a chair. The squire apparently did
not deem me worthy of notice, or else he reserved me for a later
scrutiny; but he fixed a long, searching look upon Bob, who remained
standing, with his head sunk on his breast.

The judge at last broke silence.

"So here you are again, Bob. It's long since we've seen you, and I
thought you had clean forgotten us. Well, Bob, we shouldn't have broke
our hearts, I reckon; for I hate gamblers--ay, that I do--worse than
skunks. It's a vile thing is play, and has ruined many a man in this
world, and the next. It's ruined you too, Bob."

Bob said nothing.

"You'd have been mighty useful here last week; there was plenty for you
to do. My step-daughter arrived; but as you weren't to be found, we had
to send to Joel to shoot us a buck and a couple of dozen snipes. Ah,
Bob! one might still make a good citizen of you, if you'd only leave off
that cursed play!"

Bob still remained silent.

"Now go into the kitchen and get some breakfast."

Bob neither answered nor moved.

"D'ye hear? Go into the kitchen and get something to eat. And,
Ptoly"--added he to the negro--"tell Veny to give him a pint of rum."

"Don't want yer rum--ain't thirsty"--growled Bob.

"Very like, very like," said the judge sharply. "Reckon you've taken too
much already. Look as if you could swallow a wild cat, claws and all.
And you," added he, turning to me--"What the devil are you at, Ptoly?
Don't you see the man wants his breakfast? Where's the coffee? Or would
you rather have tea?"

"Thank you, Alcalde, I have breakfasted already."

"Don't look as if. Ain't sick, are you? Where do you come from? What's
happened to you? What are you doing with Bob?"

He looked keenly and searchingly at me, and then again at Bob. My
appearance was certainly not very prepossessing, unshaven as I was, and
with my clothes and linen soiled and torn. He was evidently considering
what could be the motive of our visit, and what had brought me into
Bob's society. The result of his physiognomical observations did not
appear very favourable either to me or my companion. I hastened to
explain.

"You shall hear how it was, judge. I am indebted to Bob for my life."

"Your life! Indebted to Bob for your life!" repeated the judge, shaking
his head incredulously.

I related how I had lost my way in the prairie; been carried into the
Jacinto by my horse; and how I should inevitably have been drowned but
for Bob's aid.

"Indeed!" said the judge, when I had done speaking. "So, Bob saved your
life! Well, I am glad of it, Bob, very glad of it. Ah! if you could only
keep away from that Johnny. I tell you, Bob, Johnny will be the ruin of
you. Better keep out of his way."

"It's too late," answered Bob.

"Don't know why it should be. Never too late to leave a debauched,
sinful life; never, man!"

"Calkilate it is, though," replied Bob sullenly.

"You calculate it is?" said the judge, fixing his eyes on him. "And why
do you calculate that? Take a glass--Ptoly, a glass--and tell me, man,
why should it be too late?"

"I ain't thirsty, squire," said Bob.

"Don't talk to me of your thirst; rum's not for thirst, but to
strengthen the heart and nerves, to drive away the blue devils. And a
good thing it is, taken in moderation."

As he spoke he filled himself a glass, and drank half of it off. Bob
shook his head.

"No rum for me, squire. I take no pleasure in it. I've something on my
mind too heavy for rum to wash away."

"And what is that, Bob? Come, let's hear what you've got to say. Or
perhaps, you'd rather speak to me alone. It's Sunday to-day, and no
business ought to be done; but for once, and for you, we'll make an
exception."

"I brought the gentleman with me on purpose to witness what I had to
say," answered Bob, taking a cigar out of a box that stood on the table,
and lighting it. He smoked a whiff or two, looked thoughtfully at the
judge, and then threw the cigar through the open window.

"It don't relish, squire; nothin' does now."

"Ah, Bob! if you'd leave off play and drink! They're your ruin; worse
than ague or fever."

"It's no use," continued Bob, as if he did not hear the judge's remark;
"it must out. I fo't agin it, and thought to drive it away, but it can't
be done. I've put a bit of lead into several before now, but this
one"----

"What's that?" cried the judge, chucking his cigar away, and looking
sternly at Bob. "What's up now? What are you saying about a bit of lead?
None of your Sodoma and Lower Natchez tricks, I hope? They won't do
here. Don't understand such jokes."

"Pooh! they don't understand them a bit more in Natchez. If they did, I
shouldn't be in Texas."

"The less said of that the better, Bob. You promised to lead a new life
here; so we won't rake up old stories."

"I did, I did!" groaned Bob; "but it's all no use. I shall never be
better till I'm hung."

I stared at the man in astonishment. The judge, however, took another
cigar, lighted it, and, after puffing out a cloud of smoke, said, very
unconcernedly"--

"Not better till you're hung! What do you want to be hung
for? To be sure, you should have been long ago, if the Georgia and
Alabama papers don't lie. But we are not in the States here, but in
Texas, under Mexican laws. It's nothing to us what you've done yonder.
Where there is no accuser there can be no judge."

"Send away the nigger, squire," said Bob. "What a free white man has to
say, shouldn't be heard by black ears."

"Go away, Ptoly," said the judge. "Now, then," added he, turning to Bob,
"say what you have to say; but mind, nobody forces you to do it, and
it's only out of good will that I listen to you, for to-day's Sunday."

"I know that," muttered Bob; "I know that, squire; but it leaves me no
peace, and it must out. I've been to San Felipe de Austin, to Anahuac,
every where, but it's all no use. Wherever I go, the spectre follows me,
and drives me back under the cursed Patriarch."

"Under the Patriarch!" exclaimed the judge.

"Ay, under the Patriarch!" groaned Bob. "Don't you know the Patriarch;
the old live oak near the ford, on the Jacinto?"

"I know, I know!" answered the Judge. "And what drives you under the
Patriarch?"

"What drives me? What drives a man who--who"----

"A man who"---- repeated the judge, gently.

"A man," continued Bob, in the same low tone, "who has sent a rifle
bullet into another's heart. He lies there, under the Patriarch, whom
I"----

"Whom you?" asked the judge.

"_Whom I killed!_" said Bob, in a hollow whisper.

"Killed!" exclaimed the judge. "You killed him? Whom?"

"Ah! whom? Why don't you let me speak? You always interrupt me with your
palaver," growled Bob.

"You are getting saucy, Bob," said the judge impatiently. "Go on,
however. I reckon it's only one of your usual tantrums."

Bob shook his head. The judge looked keenly at him for a moment, and
then resumed in a sort of confidential, encouraging tone.

"Under the Patriarch; and how did he come under the Patriarch?"

"I dragged him there, and buried him there," replied Bob.

"Dragged him there! Why did you drag him there?"

"Because he couldn't go himself, with more than half an ounce of lead in
his body."

"And _you_ put the half ounce of lead into him, Bob? Well, if it was
Johnny, you've done the country a service, and saved it a rope."

Bob shook his head negatively.

"It wasn't Johnny, although---- But you shall hear all about it. It's
just ten days since you paid me twenty dollars fifty."

"I did so, Bob; twenty dollars fifty cents, and I advised you at the
same time to let the money lie till you had a couple of hundred dollars,
or enough to buy a quarter or an eighth of Sitio land; but advice is
thrown away upon you."

"When I got the money, I thought I'd go down to San Felipe, to the
Mexicans, and try my luck; and, at the same time, see the doctor about
my fever. As I was goin' there, I passed near Johnny's house, and
fancied a glass, but determined not to get off my horse. I rode up to
the window, and looked in. There was a man sittin' at the table, havin'
a hearty good dinner of steaks and potatoes, and washin' it down with a
stiff glass of grog. I began to feel hungry myself, and while I was
considerin' whether I should 'light or not, Johnny came sneakin' out,
and whispered to me to come in, that there was a man inside with whom
somethin' might be done if we went the right way to work; a man who had
a leather belt round his waist cram-full of hard Jackson; and that, if
we got out the cards and pretended to play a little together, he would
soon take the bait and join us.

"I wasn't much inclined to do it," continued Bob; "but Johnny bothered
me so to go in, that I got off my horse. As I did so the dollars chinked
in my pocket, and the sound gave me a wish to play.

"I went in; and Johnny fetched the whisky bottle. One glass followed
another. There were beefsteaks and potatoes too, but I only eat a
couple of mouthfuls. When I had drank two, three, ay, four glasses,
Johnny brought the cards and dice. 'Hallo, Johnny!' says I; 'cards and
dice, Johnny! I've twenty dollars fifty in my pocket. Let's have a game!
But no more drink for me; for I know you, Johnny, I know you'----

"Johnny larfed slyly, and rattled the dice, and we sat down to play. I
hadn't meant to drink any more, but play makes one thirsty; and with
every glass I got more eager, and my dollars got fewer. I reckoned,
however, that the stranger would join us, and that I should be able to
win back from him; but not a bit of it: he sat quite quiet, and eat and
drank as if he didn't see we were there. I went on playin' madder than
ever, and before half an hour was over, I was cleaned out; my twenty
dollars fifty gone to the devil, or what's the same thing, into Johnny's
pocket.

"When I found myself without a cent, I _was_ mad, I reckon. It warn't
the first time, nor the hundredth, that I had lost money. Many bigger
sums than that--ay, hundreds and thousands of dollars had I played
away--but they had none of them cost me the hundredth or thousandth part
of the trouble to get that these twenty dollars fifty had; two full
months had I been slavin' away in the woods and prairies to airn them,
and I caught the fever there. The fever I had still, but no money to
cure it with. Johnny only larfed in my face, and rattled my dollars. I
made a hit at him, which, if he hadn't jumped on one side, would have
cured him of larfin' for a week or two.

"Presently, however, he came sneakin' up to me, and winkin' and
whisperin'; and, 'Bob!' says he, 'is it come to that with you? are you
grown so chicken-hearted that you don't see the beltful of money round
his body?' said he, lookin' at it. 'No end of hard coin, I guess; and
all to be had for little more than half an ounce of lead.'"

"Did he say that?" asked the judge.

"Ay, that did he, but I wouldn't listen to him. I was mad with him for
winning my twenty dollars; and I told him that, if he wanted the
stranger's purse, he might take it himself, and be d----d; that I
wasn't goin' to pull the hot chestnuts out of the fire for him. And I
got on my horse, and rode away like mad.

"My head spun round like a mill. I couldn't get over my loss. I took the
twenty dollars fifty more to heart than any money I had ever gambled. I
didn't know where to go. I didn't dare go back to you, for I knew you'd
scold me."

"I shouldn't have scolded you, Bob; or, if I had, it would only have
been for your good. I should have summoned Johnny before me, called
together a jury of twelve of the neighbours, got you back your twenty
dollars fifty, and sent Johnny out of the country; or, better still, out
of the world."

These words were spoken with much phlegm, but yet with a degree of
feeling and sympathy, which greatly improved my opinion of the worthy
judge. Bob also seemed touched. He drew a deep sigh, and gazed at the
Alcalde with a melancholy look.

"It's too late," muttered he; "too late, squire."

"Perhaps not," replied the judge, "but let's hear the rest."

"Well," continued Bob, "I kept riding on at random, and when evenin'
came I found myself near the palmetta field on the bank of the Jacinto.
As I was ridin' past it, I heard all at once the tramp of a horse. At
that moment the queerest feelin' I ever had came over me; a sort of cold
shiverin' feel. I forgot where I was; sight and hearin' left me; I could
only see two things, my twenty dollars fifty, and the well-filled belt
of the stranger I had left at Johnny's. Just then a voice called to me.

"'Whence come, countryman, and whither going?' it said.

"'Whence and whether,' answered I, as surly as could be; 'to the devil
at a gallop, and you'd better ride on and tell him I'm comin'.'

"'You can do the errand yourself,' answered the stranger larfin'; 'my
road don't lie that way.'

"As he spoke, I looked round, and saw, what I was pretty sure of before,
that it was the man with the belt full of money.

"'Ain't you the stranger I see'd in the inn yonder?' asked he.

"'And if I am,' says I; 'what's that to you?'

"'Nothin',' said he; 'nothin', certainly.'

"'Better ride on,' says I; 'and leave me quiet.'

"'Will so, stranger; but you needn't take it so mighty onkind. A word
ain't a tomahawk, I reckon,' said he. 'But I rayther expect your losin's
at play ain't put you in a very church-goin' humour; and, if I was you,
I'd keep my dollars in my pocket, and not set them on cards and dice.'

"This put me in a rile to hear him cast my losin's in my teeth that way.

"'You're a nice feller,' said I, 'to throw a man's losses in his face. A
pitiful chap _you_ are,' says I.

"I thought to provoke him, and that he'd tackle me. But he seemed to
have no fancy for a fight, for he said quite humble like--

"'I throw nothin' in your face; God forbid that I should reproach you
with your losses! I'm sorry for you, on the contrary. Don't look like a
man who can afford to lose his dollars. Seem to me one who airns his
money by hard work.'

"We were just then halted at the further end of the cane brake, close to
the trees that border the Jacinto. I had turned my horse, and was
frontin' the stranger. And all the time the devil was busy whisperin' to
me, and pointin' to the belt round the man's waist. I could see where it
was, plain enough, though he had buttoned his coat over it.

"'Hard work, indeed,' says I; 'and now I've lost every thing; not a cent
left for a quid of baccy.'

"'If that's all,' says he; 'there's help for that. I don't chew myself,
and I ain't a rich man; I've wife and children, and want every cent I've
got, but it's one's duty to help a countryman. You shall have money for
tobacco and a dram.'

"And so sayin', he took a purse out of his pocket, in which he carried
his change. It was plenty full; there may have been some twenty dollars
in it; and as he drew the string, it was as if the devil laughed and
nodded to me out of the openin' of the purse.

"'Halves!' cried I.

"'No, not that,' says he; 'I've wife and child, and what I have belongs
to them; but half a dollar'----

"'Halves!' cried I again; 'or else'----

"'Or else?' repeated he: and, as he spoke, he put the purse back into
his pocket, and laid hold of the rifle which was slung on his shoulder.

"'Don't force one to do you a mischief,' said he. 'Don't' says he; 'we
might both be sorry for it. What you're thinkin' of brings no blessin'.'

"I was past seein' or hearin'. A thousand devils from hell were
possessin' me.

"'Halves!' I yelled out; and, as I said the word, he sprang out of the
saddle, and fell back over his horse's crupper to the ground.

"'I'm a dead man!' cried he; as well as the rattle in his throat would
let him. 'God be merciful to me! My poor wife, my poor children!'"

Bob paused; he gasped for breath, and the sweat stood in large drops
upon his forehead. He gazed wildly round the room. The judge himself
looked very pale. I tried to rise, but sank back in my chair. Without
the table I believe I should have fallen to the ground.

There was a gloomy pause of some moments' duration. At last the judge
broke silence.

"A hard, hard case!" said he. "Father, mother, children, all at one
blow. Bob, you are a bad fellow; a very bad fellow; a great villain!"

"A great villain," groaned Bob. "The ball was gone right through his
breast."

"Perhaps your gun went off by accident," said the judge anxiously.
"Perhaps it was his own ball."

Bob shook his head.

"I see him now, judge, as plain as can be, when he said, 'Don't force me
to do you a mischief. We might both be sorry for it.' But I pulled the
trigger. His bullet is still in his rifle.

"When I saw him lie dead before me, I can't tell you what I felt. It
warn't the first I had sent to his account; but yet I would have given
all the purses and money in the world to have had him alive agin. I must
have dragged him under the Patriarch, and dug a grave with my huntin'
knife; for I found him there afterwards."

"You found him there?" repeated the judge.

"Yes. I don't know how he came there. I must have brought him, but I
recollect nothin' about it."

The judge had risen from his chair, and was walking up and down the
room, apparently in deep thought. Suddenly he stopped short.

"What have you done with his money?"

"I took his purse, but buried his belt with him, as well as a flask of
rum, and some bread and beef he had brought away from Johnny's. I set
out for San Felipe, and rode the whole day. In the evenin', when I
looked about me, expectin' to see the town, where do you think I was?"

The judge and I stared at him.

"Under the Patriarch. The ghost of the murdered man had driven me there.
I had no peace till I'd dug him up and buried him again. Next day I set
off in another direction. I was out of tobacco, and I started across the
prairie to Anahuac. Lord, what a day I passed! Wherever I went, _he_
stood before me. If I turned, _he_ turned too. Sometimes he came behind
me, and looked over my shoulder. I spurred my mustang till the blood
came, hopin' to get away from him, but it was all no use. I thought when
I got to Anahuac I should be quit of him, and I galloped on as if for
life or death. But in the evenin', instead of bein' close to the
salt-works as I expected, there I was agin, under the Patriarch. I dug
him up a second time, and sat and stared at him, and then buried him
agin."

"Queer that," observed the judge.

"Ay, very queer!" said Bob mournfully. "But it's all no use. Nothin'
does me any good. I sha'n't be better--I shall never have peace till I'm
hung."

Bob evidently felt relieved now, he had in a manner passed sentence on
himself. Strange as it may appear, I had a similar feeling, and could
not help nodding my head approvingly. The judge alone preserved an
unmoved countenance.

"Indeed!" said he, "indeed! You think you'll be no better till you're
hung."

"Yes," answered Bob, with eager haste. "Hung on the same tree under
which _he_ lies buried."

"Well, if you will have it so, we'll see what can be done for you. We'll
call a jury of the neighbours together to-morrow."

"Thank ye, squire," murmured Bob, visibly comforted by this promise.

"We'll summon a jury," repeated the Alcalde, "and see what can be done
for you. You'll perhaps have changed your mind by that time."

I stared at him like one fallen from the clouds, but he did not seem to
notice my surprise.

"There is, perhaps, another way to get rid of your life, if you are
tired of it," he continued. "We might, perhaps, hit upon one that would
satisfy your conscience."

Bob shook his head. I involuntarily made the same movement.

"At any rate, we'll hear what the neighbours say," added the judge.

Bob stepped up to the judge, and held out his hand to bid him farewell.
The other did not take it, and turning to me, said--"_You_ had better
stop here, I think."

Bob turned round impetuously.

"The gentleman must come with me."

"Why must he?" said the judge.

"Ask himself."

I again explained the obligations I was under to Bob; how we had fallen
in with one another, and what care and attention he had shown me at
Johnny's.

The judge nodded approvingly. "Nevertheless," said he, "you will remain
here, and Bob will go alone. You are in a state of mind, Bob, in which a
man is better alone, d'ye see; and so leave the young man here. Another
misfortune might happen; and, at any rate, he's better here than at
Johnny's. Come back to-morrow, and we'll see what can be done for you."

These words were spoken in a decided manner, which seemed to have its
effect upon Bob. He nodded assentingly, and left the room. I remained
staring at the judge, and lost in wonder at these strange proceedings.

When Bob was gone, the Alcalde gave a blast on a shell, which supplied
the place of a bell. Then seizing the cigar box, he tried one cigar
after another, broke them peevishly up, and threw the pieces out of the
window. The negro whom the shell had summoned, stood for some time
waiting, while his master broke up the cigars, and threw them away. At
last the judge's patience seemed quite to leave him.

"Hark ye, Ptoly!" growled he to the frightened black, "the next time you
bring me cigars that neither draw nor smoke, I'll make your back smoke
for it. Mind that, now;--there's not a single one of them worth a rotten
maize stalk. Tell that old coffee-coloured hag of Johnny's, that I'll
have no more of her cigars. Ride over to Mr Ducie's and fetch a box.
And, d'ye hear? Tell him I want to speak a word with him and the
neighbours. Ask him to bring the neighbours with him to-morrow morning.
And mind you're home again by two o'clock. Take the mustang we caught
last week. I want to see how he goes."

The negro listened to these various commands with open mouth and staring
eyes, then giving a perplexed look at his master, shot out of the room.

"Where away, Ptoly?" shouted the Alcalde after him.

"To Massa Ducie."

"Without a pass, Ptoly? And what are you going to say to Mr Ducie?"

"Him nebber send bad cigar again, him coffee-cullud hag. Massa speak to
Johnny and neighbours. Johnny bring neighbours here."

"I thought as much," said the judge with perfect equanimity. "Wait a
minute, I'll write the pass, and a couple of lines for Mr Ducie."

This was soon done, and the negro dispatched on his errand. The judge
waited till he heard the sound of his horse's feet galloping away, and
then, laying hold of the box of despised cigars, lit the first which
came to hand. It smoked capitally, as did also one that I took. They
were Principes, and as good as I ever tasted.

I passed the whole of that day _tête à tête_ with the judge, who, I soon
found, knew various friends of mine in the States. I told him the
circumstances under which I had come to Texas, and the intention I had
of settling there, should I find the country to my liking. During our
long conversation, I was able to form a very different, and much more
favourable estimate of his character, than I had done from his interview
with Bob. He was the very man to be useful to a new country; of great
energy, sound judgment, enlarged and liberal views. He gave me some
curious information as to the state of things in Texas; and did not
think it necessary to conceal from me, as an American, and one who
intended settling in the country, that there was a plan in agitation for
throwing off the Mexican yoke, and declaring Texas an independent
republic. The high-spirited, and, for the most part, intelligent
emigrants from the United States, who formed a very large majority of
the population of Texas, saw themselves, with no very patient feeling,
under the rule of a people both morally and physically inferior to
themselves. They looked with contempt, and justly so, on the bigoted,
idle, and ignorant Mexicans, while the difference of religion, and
interference of the priests, served to increase the dislike between the
Spanish and Anglo-American races.

Although the project was as yet not quite ripe for execution, it was
discussed freely and openly by the American settlers. "It is the
interest of every man to keep it secret," said the judge; "and there can
be nothing to induce even the worst amongst us to betray a cause, by the
success of which he is sure to profit. We have many bad characters in
Texas, the offscourings of the United States, men like Bob, or far worse
than him; but debauched, gambling, drunken villains though they be, they
are the men we want when it comes to a struggle; and when that time
arrives, they will all be found ready to put their shoulders to the
wheel, use knife and rifle, and shed the last drop of their blood in
defence of their fellow citizens, and of the new and independent
republic of Texas. At this moment, we must wink at many things which
would be severely punished in an older and more settled country; each
man's arm is of immense value to the State; for, on the day of battle,
we shall have, not two to one, but twenty to one opposed to us."

I was awakened the following morning by the sound of a horse's feet;
and, looking out of the window, saw Bob dismounting from his mustang.
The last twenty-four hours had told fearfully upon him. His limbs
seemed powerless, and he reeled and staggered in such a manner, that I
at first thought him intoxicated. But such was not the case. His was the
deadly weariness caused by mental anguish. He looked like one just taken
off the rack.

Hastily pulling on my clothes, I hurried down stairs, and opened the
house door. Bob stood with his head resting on his horse's neck, and his
hands crossed, shivering, and groaning. When I spoke to him, he looked
up, but did not seem to know me. I tied his horse to a post, and taking
his hand, led him into the house. He followed like a child, apparently
without the will or the power to resist; and when I placed him in a
chair, he fell into it with a weight that made it crack under him, and
shook the house. I could not get him to speak, and was about to return
to my room to complete my toilet, when I again heard the tramp of
mustangs. This was a party of half a dozen horsemen, all dressed in
hunting shirts over buckskin breeches and jackets, and armed with rifles
and bowie-knives; stout, daring looking fellows, evidently from the
south-western states, with the true Kentucky half horse half alligator
profile, and the usual allowance of thunder, lightning, and earthquake.
It struck me when I saw them, that two or three thousand such men would
have small difficulty in dealing with a whole army of Mexicans, if the
latter were all of the pigmy, spindle-shanked breed I had seen on first
landing. These giants could easily have walked away with a Mexican in
each hand.

They jumped off their horses, and threw the bridles to the negroes in
the usual Kentuckian devil-may-care style, and then walked into the
house with the air of people who make themselves at home every where,
and who knew themselves to be more masters in Texas than the Mexicans
themselves. On entering the parlour, they nodded a "good-morning" to me,
rather coldly to be sure, for they had seen me talking with Bob, which
probably did not much recommend me. Presently, four more horsemen rode
up, and then a third party, so that there were now fourteen of them
assembled, all decided-looking men, in the prime of life and strength.
The judge, who slept in an adjoining room, had been awakened by the
noise. I heard him jump out of bed, and not three minutes elapsed before
he entered the parlour.

After he had shaken hands with all his visitors, he presented me to
them, and I found that I was in the presence of no less important
persons than the Ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin; and that two of
my worthy countrymen were corregidors, one a procurador, and the others
_buenos hombres_, or freeholders. They did not seem, however, to prize
their titles much, for they addressed one another by their surnames
only.

The negro brought a light, opened the cigar box, and arranged the
chairs; the judge pointed to the sideboard, and to the cigars, and then
sat down. Some took a dram, others lit a cigar.

Several minutes elapsed, during which the men sat in perfect silence, as
if they were collecting their thoughts, or, as though it were
undignified to show any haste or impatience to speak. This grave sort of
deliberation which is met with among certain classes, and in certain
provinces of the Union, has often struck me as a curious feature of our
national character. It partakes of the stoical dignity of the Indian at
his council fire, and of the stern, religious gravity of the early
puritan settlers in America.

During this pause Bob was writhing on his chair like a worm, his face
concealed by his hands, his elbows on his knees. At last, when all had
drank and smoked, the judge laid down his cigar.

"Men!" said he.

"Squire!" answered they.

"We've a business before us, which I calculate will be best explained by
him whom it concerns."

The men looked at the squire, then at Bob, then at me.

"Bob Rock! or whatever your name may be, if you have aught to say, say
it!" continued the judge.

"Said it all yesterday," muttered Bob, his face still covered by his
hands.

"Yes, but you must say it again to-day. Yesterday was Sunday, and Sunday
is a day of rest, and not of business. I will neither judge you, nor
allow you to be judged, by what you said yesterday. Besides, it was all
between ourselves, for I don't reckon Mr Rivers as any thing; I count
him still as a stranger."

"What's the use of so much palaver, when the thing's plain enough?" said
Bob peevishly, raising his head as he spoke.

The men stared at him in grave astonishment. He was really frightful to
behold, his face of a sort of blue tint; his cheeks hollow, his beard
wild and ragged; his blood-shot eyes rolling, and deep sunk in their
sockets. His appearance was scarcely human.

"I tell you, again," said the judge, "I will condemn no man upon his own
word alone; much less you, who have been in my service, and eaten of my
bread. You accused yourself yesterday, but you were delirious at the
time--you had the fever upon you."

"It's no use, squire," said Bob, apparently touched by the kindness of
the judge, "You mean well, I see; butt though you might deliver me out
of men's hands, you couldn't rescue me from myself. It's no use--I must
be hung--hung on the same tree under which the man I killed lies
buried."

The men, or the jurors, as I may call them, looked at one another, but
said nothing.

"It's no use," again cried Bob, in a shrill, agonized tone. "If he had
attacked me, or only threatened me; but no, he didn't do it. I hear
his words still, when he said, 'Do it not, man! I've wife and child.
What you intend, brings no blessin' on the doer.' But I heard
nothin' then except the voice of the devil; I brought the rifle
down--levelled--fired."

The man's agony was so intense, that even the iron featured jury seemed
moved by it. They cast sharp, but stolen glances at Bob. There was a
short silence.

"So you have killed a man?" said a deep bass voice at last.

"Ay, that have I!" gasped Bob.

"And how came that?" continued his questioner.

"How it came? You must ask the devil, or Johnny. No, not Johnny, he can
tell you nothing; he was not there. No one can tell you but me; and I
hardly know how it was. The man was at Johnny's, and Johnny showed me
his belt full of money."

"Johnny!" exclaimed several of the jury.

"Ay, Johnny! He reckoned on winning it from him, but the man was too
cautious for that; and when Johnny had plucked all my feathers, won my
twenty dollars fifty"----

"Twenty dollars fifty cents," interposed the judge, "which I paid him for
catching mustangs and shooting game."

The men nodded.

"And then because he wouldn't play, you shot him?" asked the same
deep-toned voice as before.

"No--some hours after--by the Jacinto, near the Patriarch--met him down
there and killed him."

"Thought there was something out o' the common thereaway," said one of
the jury; "for as we rode by the tree a whole nation of kites and turkey
buzzards flew out. Didn't they, Mr Heart?"

Mr Heart nodded.

"Met him by the river, and cried, halves of his money," continued Bob
mechanically. "He said he'd give me something to buy a quid, and more
than enough for that, but not halves 'I've wife and child,' said he"----

"And you?" asked the juror with the deep voice, which this time,
however, had a hollow sound in it.

"Shot him down," said Bob, with a wild hoarse laugh.

For some time no word was spoken.

"And who was the man?" said a juror at last.

"Didn't ask him; and it warn't written on his face. He was from the
States; but whether a hosier, or a buckeye, or a mudhead, is more than I
can say."

"The thing must be investigated, Alcalde," said another of the jury
after a second pause.

"It must so," answered the Alcalde.

"What's the good of so much investigation?" grumbled Bob.

"What good?" repeated the Alcalde. "Because we owe it to ourselves, to
the dead man, and to you, not to sentence you without having held an
inquest on the body. There's another thing which I must call your
attention to," continued he, turning to the jury; "the man is half out
of his mind--not _compos mentis_, as they say. He's got the fever, and
had it when he did the deed; he was urged on by Johnny, and maddened by
his losses at play. In spite of his wild excitement, however, he saved
that gentleman's life yonder, Mr Edward Nathanael Rivers."

"Did he so?" said one of the jury. "That did he," replied I, "not only
by saving me from drowning when my horse dragged me, half dead and
helpless, into the river, but also by the care and attention he forced
Johnny and his mulatto to bestow upon me. Without him I should not be
alive at this moment."

Bob gave me a look which went to my heart. The tears were standing in
his eyes. The jury heard me in deep silence.

"It seems that Johnny led you on and excited you to this?" said one of
the jurors.

"I didn't say that. I only said that he pointed to the man's money bag,
and said---- But what is it to you what Johnny said? I'm the man who did
it. I speak for myself, and I'll be hanged for myself."

"All very good, Bob," interposed the Alcalde; "but we can't hang you
without being sure you deserve it. What do you say to it, Mr Whyte?
You're the procurador--and you, Mr Heart and Mr Stone? Help yourselves
to rum or brandy; and, Mr Bright and Irwin, take another cigar. They're
considerable tolerable the cigars--ain't they? That's brandy, Mr Whyte,
in the diamond bottle."

Mr Whyte had got up to give his opinion, as I thought, but I was
mistaken. He stepped to the sideboard, took up a bottle in one hand and
a glass in the other, every movement being performed with the greatest
deliberation.

"Well, squire," said he, "or rather _Alcalde_"----

After the word _Alcalde_, he filled the glass half full of rum.

"If it's as we've heard," added he, pouring about a spoonful of water on
the rum, "and Bob has killed the man"--he continued, throwing in some
lumps of sugar--"murdered him"--he went on, crushing the sugar with a
wooden stamp--"I rather calkilate"--here he raised the glass--"Bob ought
to be hung," he concluded, putting the tumbler to his mouth and emptying
it.

The jurors nodded in silence. Bob drew a deep breath, as if a load were
taken off his breast.

"Well," said the judge, who did not look over well pleased; "if you all
think so, and Bob is agreed, I calculate we must do as he wishes. I tell
you, though, I don't do it willingly. At any rate we must find the dead
man first, and examine Johnny. We owe that to ourselves and to Bob."

"Certainly," said the jury with one voice.

"You are a dreadful murderer, Bob a very considerable one," continued
the judge; "but I tell you to your face, and not to flatter you, there
is more good in your little finger than in Johnny's whole hide. And I'm
sorry for you, because, at the bottom, you are not a bad man, though
you've been led away by bad company and example. I calculate you might
still be reformed, and made very useful--more so, perhaps, than you
think. Your rifle's a capital good one."

At these last words the men all looked up, and threw a keen enquiring
glance at Bob.

"You might be of great service," continued the judge encouragingly, "to
the country and to your fellow-citizens. You're worth a dozen Mexicans
any day."

While the judge was speaking, Bob let his head fall on his breast, and
seemed reflecting. He now looked up.

"I understand, squire; I see what you're drivin' at. But I can't do
it--I can't wait so long. My life's a burthen and a sufferin' to me.
Wherever I go, by day or by night, he's always there, standin' before
me, and drivin' me under the Patriarch."

There was a pause of some duration. The Judge resumed.

"So be it, then," said he with a sort of suppressed sigh. "We'll see the
body to-day, Bob, and you may come to-morrow at ten o'clock."

"Couldn't it be sooner?" asked Bob impatiently.

"Why sooner? Are you in such a hurry?" asked Mr Heart.

"What's the use of palaverin'?" said Bob sulkily. "I told you already
I'm sick of my life. If you don't come till ten o'clock, by the time
you've had your talk out and ridden to the Patriarch, the fever'll be
upon me."

"But we can't be flying about like a parcel of wild geese, because of
your fever," said the procurador.

"Certainly not," said Bob humbly.

"It's an ugly customer the fever, though, Mr Whyte," observed Mr Trace;
"and I calculate we ought to do him that pleasure. What do you think,
squire?"

"I reckon he's rather indiscreet in his askin's," said the judge, in a
tone of vexation. "However, as he wishes it, and if it is agreeable to
you," added he, turning to the Ayuntamiento; "and as it's you, Bob, I
calculate we must do what you ask."

"Thankee," said Bob.

"Nothing to thank for," growled the judge. "And now go into the kitchen
and get a good meal of roast beef, d'ye hear?" He knocked upon the
table. "Some good roast beef for Bob," said he to a negress who entered;
"and see that he eats it. And get your self dressed more decently,
Bob--like a white man and a Christian, not like a wild redskin."

The negress and Bob left the room. The conversation now turned upon
Johnny, who appeared, from all accounts, to be a very bad and dangerous
fellow; and after a short discussion, they agreed to lynch him, in
backwoodsman's phrase, just as cooly as if they had been talking of
catching a mustang. When the men had come to this satisfactory
conclusion, they got up, drank the judge's health and mine, shook us by
the hand, and left the house.

The day passed more heavily than the preceding one. I was too much
engrossed with the strange scene I had witnessed to talk much. The
judge, too, was in a very bad humour. He was vexed that a man should be
hung who might render the country much and good service if he remained
alive. That Johnny, the miserable, cowardly, treacherous Johnny, should
be sent out of the world as quickly as possible, was perfectly correct,
but with Bob it was very different. In vain did I remind him of the
crime of which Bob had been guilty--of the outraged laws of God and
man--and of the atonement due. It was of no use. If Bob had sinned
against society, he could repair his fault much better by remaining
alive than by being hung; and, for anything else, God would avenge it in
his own good time. We parted for the night, neither of us convinced by
the other's arguments.

We were sitting at breakfast the next morning, when a man, dressed in
black, rode up to the door. It was Bob, but so metamorphosed that I
scarcely knew him. Instead of the torn and bloodstained handkerchief
round his head, he wore a hat; instead of the leathern jacket, a decent
cloth coat. He had shaved off his beard too, and looked quite another
man. His manner had altered with his dress; he seemed tranquil and
resigned. With a mild and submissive look, he held out his hand to the
judge, who took it and shook it heartily.

"Ah, Bob!" said he, "if you had only listened to what I so often told
you! I had those clothes brought on purpose from New Orleans, in order
that, on Sundays at least, you might look like a decent and respectable
man. How often have I asked you to put them on, and come with us to
meeting, to hear Mr Bliss preach? There is same truth in the saying, the
coat makes the man. With his Sunday coat, a man often puts on other and
better thoughts. If that had been your case only fifty-two times in the
year, you'd have learned to avoid Johnny before now."

Bob said nothing.

"Well, well! I've done all I could to make a better men of you. All that
was in my power."

"That you have," answered Bob, much moved. "God reward you for it!"

I could not help holding out my hand to the worthy judge; and as I did
so I thought I saw a moistness in his eye, which he suppressed, however,
and, turning to his breakfast table, bade us sit down. Bob thanked him
humbly, but declined, saying that he wished to appear fasting before his
offended Creator. The judge insisted, and reasoned with him, and at last
he took a chair.

Before we had done breakfast our friends of the preceding day began to
drop in, and some of them joined at the meal. When they had all taken
what they chose, the judge ordered the negroes to clear away, and leave
the room. This done, he seated himself at the upper end of the table,
with the Ayuntamiento on either side, and Bob facing him.

"Mr Whyte," said the Alcade, "have you, as procurador, any thing to
state?"

"Yes, Alcalde," replied the procurador. "In virtue of my office, I made
a search in the place mentioned by Bob Rock, and there found the body of
a man who had met his death by a gunshot wound. I also found a belt
full of money, and several letters of recommendation to different
planters, from which it appears that the man was on his way from
Illinois to San Felipe, in order to buy land of Colonel Austin, and to
settle in Texas."

The procurador then produced a pair of saddle-bags, out of which he took
a leathern belt stuffed with money, which he laid on the table, together
with the letters. The judge opened the belt, and counted the money. It
amounted to upwards of five hundred dollars, in gold and silver. The
procurador then read the letters.

One of the corregidors now announced that Johnny and his mulatto had
left their house and fled. He, the corregidor, had sent people in
pursuit of them; but as yet there were no tidings of their capture. This
piece of intelligence seemed to vex the judge greatly, but he made no
remark on it at the time.

"Bob Rock!" cried he.

Bob stepped forward.

"Bob Rock, or by whatever other name you may be known, are you guilty or
not guilty of this man's death?"

"Guilty!" replied Bob, in a low tone.

"Gentlemen of the jury, will you be pleased to give your verdict?"

The jury left the room. In ten minutes they returned.

"Guilty!" said the foreman.

"Bob Rock," said the judge solemnly, "your fellow-citizens have found
you guilty; and I pronounce the sentence--that you be hung by the neck
until you are dead. The Lord be merciful to your soul!"

"Amen!" said all present.

"Thank ye," murmured Bob.

"We will seal up the property of the deceased," said the judge, "and
then proceed to our painful duty."

He called for a light, and he and the procurador and corregidors sealed
up the papers and money.

"Has any one aught to allege why the sentence should not be put in
execution?" said the Alcalde, with a glance at me.

"He saved my life, judge and fellow-citizens," cried I, deeply moved.

Bob shook his head mournfully.

"Let us go, then, in God's name," said the judge.

Without another word being spoken, we left the house and mounted our
horses. The judge had brought a Bible with him; and he rode on, a little
in front, with Bob, doing his best to prepare him for the eternity to
which he was hastening. Bob listened attentively for some time; but at
last he seemed to get impatient and pushed his mustang into so fast a
trot, that for a moment we suspected him of wishing to escape the doom
he had so eagerly sought. But it was only that he feared the fever might
return before the expiration of the short time he yet had to live.

After an hour's ride, we came to the enormous live oak distinguished as
_the Patriarch_. Two or three of the men dismounted, and held aside the
heavy moss-covered branches which swept the ground, and formed a
complete curtain round the tree. The party rode through the opening thus
made, and drew up in a circle beneath the huge leafy dome. In the centre
of this ring stood Bob, trembling like an aspen-leaf, and with his eyes
fixed on a small mound of fresh earth, partly concealed by the branches,
and which had escaped my notice on my former visit to the tree. It was
the grave of the murdered man.

A magnificent burial-place was that: no poet could have dreamt or
desired a better. Above, the huge vault, with its natural frettings and
arches; below, the greenest, freshest grass; around, an eternal half
light, streaked and varied, and radiant as a rainbow. It was imposingly
beautiful.

Bob, the judge, and the corregidors, remained sitting on their horses,
but several of the other men dismounted. One of the latter cut the lasso
from Bob's saddle, and threw an end of it over one of the lowermost
branches; then uniting the two ends, formed them into a strong noose,
which he left dangling from the bough. This simple preparation
completed, the Alcalde took off his hat and folded his hands. The others
followed his example.

"Bob!" said the judge to the unfortunate criminal, whose head was bowed
on his horse's mane; "Bob! we will pray for your poor soul, which is
about to part from your sinful body."

Bob raised his head. "I had something to say," exclaimed he, in a
wondering and husky tone. "Something I wanted to say."

"What have you to say?"

Bob stared around him; his lips moved, but no word escaped him. His
spirit was evidently no longer with things of this earth.

"Bob!" said the judge again, "we will pray for your soul."

"Pray! pray!" groaned he. "I shall need it."

In slow and solemn accents, and with great feeling, the judge uttered
the Lord's Prayer. Bob repeated every word after him. When it was
ended--

"God be merciful to your soul!" exclaimed the judge.

"Amen!" said all present.

One of the corregidors now passed the noose of the lasso round Bob's
neck, another bound his eyes, a third person drew his feet out of the
stirrups, while a fourth stepped behind his horse with a heavy
riding-whip. All was done in the deepest silence; not a word was
breathed; not a footfall heard on the soft yielding turf. There was
something awful and oppressive in the profound stillness that reigned in
the vast enclosure.

The whip fell. The horse gave a spring forwards. At the same moment Bob
made a desperate clutch at the bridle, and a loud "Hold!" burst in
thrilling tones from the lips of the judge.

It was too late, Bob was already hanging. The judge pushed forward,
nearly riding down the man who held the whip, and seizing Bob in his
arms, raised him on his own horse, supporting him with one hand, while
with the other he strove to unfasten the noose. His whole gigantic frame
trembled with eagerness and exertion. The procurador, corregidors, all,
in short, stood in open-mouthed wonder at this strange proceeding.

"Whisky! whisky! has nobody any whisky?" shouted the judge.

One of the men sprang forward with a whisky-flask, another supported the
body, and a third the feet, of the half-hanged man, while the judge
poured a few drops of spirits into his mouth. The cravat, which had not
been taken off, had hindered the breaking of the neck. Bob at last
opened his eyes, and gazed vacantly around him.

"Bob," said the judge, "you had something to say, hadn't you, about
Johnny?"

"Johnny," gasped Bob; "Johnny."

"What's become of him?"

"He's gone to San Antonio, Johnny."

"To San Antonio!" repeated the judge, with an expression of great alarm
overspreading his features.

"To San Antonio--to Padre José," continued Bob; "a Catholic. Beware!"

"A traitor, then!" muttered several.

"Catholic!" exclaimed the judge. The words he had heard seemed to
deprive him of all strength. His arms fell slowly and gradually by his
side, and Bob was again hanging from the lasso.

"A Catholic! a traitor!" repeated several of the men; "a citizen and a
traitor!"

"So it is, men!" exclaimed the judge. "We've no time to lose," continued
he, in a harsh, hurried voice; "no time to lose; we must catch him."

"That must we," said several voices, "or our plans are betrayed to the
Mexicans."

"After him immediately to San Antonio!" cried the judge with the same
desperately hurried manner.

"To San Antonio!" repeated the men, pushing their way through the
curtain of moss and branches. As soon as they were outside, those who
were dismounted sprang into the saddle, and, without another word, the
whole party galloped away in the direction of San Antonio.

The judge alone remained, seemingly lost in thought; his countenance
pale and anxious, and his eyes following the riders. His reverie,
however, had lasted but a very few seconds, when he seized my arm.

"Hasten to my house," cried he; "lose no time, don't spare horse-flesh.
Take Ptoly and a fresh beast; hurry over to San Felipe, and tell Stephen
Austin what has happened, and what you have seen and heard."

"But, judge"----

"Off with you at once, if you would do Texas a service. Bring my wife
and daughter back."

And so saying, he literally drove me from under the tree, pushing me out
with hands and feet. I was so startled at the expression of violent
impatience and anxiety which his features assumed, that, without
venturing to make further objection, I struck the spurs into my mustang
and galloped off. Before I had got fifty yards from the tree, I looked
round. The judge had disappeared.

I rode full speed to the judge's house, and thence on a fresh horse to
San Felipe, where I found Colonel Austin, who seemed much alarmed by the
news I brought him, had horses saddled, and sent round to all the
neighbours. Before the wife and step-daughter of the judge had made
their preparations to accompany me home, he started with fifty armed men
in the direction of San Antonio.

I escorted the ladies to their house, but scarcely had we arrived there,
when I was seized with a fever, the result of my recent fatigues and
sufferings. For some days my life was in danger, but at last a good
constitution, and the kindest and most watchful nursing, triumphed over
the disease. As soon as I was able to mount a horse, I set out for Mr
Neal's plantation, in company with his huntsman Anthony, who, after
spending many days, and riding over hundreds of miles of ground in quest
of me, had at last found me out.

Our way led up past the Patriarch, and, as we approached it, we saw
innumerable birds of prey, and carrion crows circling round it, croaking
and screaming. I turned my eyes in another direction; but, nevertheless,
I felt a strange sort of longing to revisit the tree. Anthony had ridden
on, and was already hidden from view behind its branches. Presently I
heard him give a loud shout of exultation. I jumped off my horse, and
led it through a small opening in the leafage.

Some forty paces from me the body of a man was hanging by a lasso from
the very same branch on which Bob had been hung. It was not Bob,
however, for the corpse was much too short and small for him.

I drew nearer. "Johnny!" I exclaimed "That's Johnny!"

"It _was_," answered Anthony. "Thank Heaven, there's an end of him!"

I shuddered. "But where is Bob?"

"Bob?" cried Anthony. "Bob!"

He glanced towards the grave. The mound of earth seemed to me larger and
higher than when I had last seen it. Doubtless the murderer lay beside
his victim.

"Shall we not render the last service to this wretch, Anthony?" asked I.

"The scoundrel!" answered the huntsman. "I won't dirty my hands with
him. Let him poison the kites and the crows!"

We rode on.



DEATH FROM THE STING OF A SERPENT.

 As when a monstrous snake, with flaming crest,
 Some wretch within its glittering folds has press'd--
 He vainly struggles to escape its fangs,
 The reptile triumphs, and the victim hangs
 His head in agony, and bending low,
 Feels the cursed venom through his life-blood flow.
 On through his veins the burning poison speeds,
 Drinks up his spirit--on his vitals feeds,
 Till, tortured life extinct, the senseless clay
 In hideous dissolution melts away.

M. J.



GIFTS OF TÉREK.

TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN OF LERMONTOFF. BY T. B. SHAW.

 Térek[21] bellows, wildly sweeping
 Past the cliffs, so swift and strong;
 Like a tempest is his weeping,
 Flies his spray like tears along.
 O'er the steppe now slowly veering--
 Calm but faithless looketh he--
 With a voice of love endearing
 Murmurs to the Caspian sea:

 "Give me way, old sea! I greet thee;
 Give me refuge in thy breast;
 Far and fast I've rush'd to meet thee--
 It is tine for me to rest.
 Cradled in Kazbék, and cherish'd
 From the bosom of the cloud,
 Strong am I, and all have perish'd
 Who would stop my current proud.
 For thy sons' delight, O Ocean!
 I've crush'd the crags of Dariál,
 Onward my resistless motion,
 Like a flock, hath swept them all."

 Still on his smooth shore reclining,
 Lay the Caspian as in sleep;
 While the Térek, softly shining,
 To the old sea murmur'd deep:--

 "Lo! a gift upon my water--
 Lo! no common offering--
 Floating from the field of slaughter,
 A Kabárdinetz[22] I bring.
 All in shining mail he's shrouded--
 Plates of steel his arms enfold;
 Blood the Koran verse hath clouded,
 That thereon is writ in gold:
 His pale brow is sternly bended--
 Gory stains his wreathed lip dye--
 Valiant blood, and far-descended--
 'Tis the hue of victory!
 Wild his eyes, yet nought he noteth;
 With an ancient hate they glare:
 Backward on the billow floateth,
 All disorderly, his hair."

 Still the Caspian, calm reclining,
 Seems to slumber on his shore;
 And impetuous Térek, shining,
 Murmurs in his ear once more:--

 "Father, hark! a priceless treasure--
 Other gifts are poor to this--
 I have hid, to do thee pleasure--
 I have hid in my abyss!
 Lo! a corse my wave doth pillow--
 A Kazáichka[23] young and fair.
 Darkly pale upon the billow
 Gleams her breast and golden hair;
 Very sad her pale brow gleameth,
 And her eyes are closed in sleep;
 From her bosom ever seemeth
 A thin purple stream to creep.
 By my water, calm and lonely,
 For the maid that comes not back,
 Of the whole Stanilza,[24] only
 Mourns a Grébenskoi Kazák.

 "Swift on his black steed he hieth;
 To the mountains he is sped.
 'Neath Tchetchén's kinjál[25] now lieth,
 Low in dust, that youthful head."

 Silent then was that wild river;
 And afar, as white as snow,
 A fair head was seen to quiver
 In the ripple, to and fro.

 In his might the ancient ocean,
 Like a tempest, 'gan arise;
 And the light of soft emotion
 Glimmer'd in his dark-blue eyes;

 And he play'd, with rapture flushing,
 And in his embraces bright,
 Clasp'd the stream, to meet him rushing
 With a murmur of delight.

FOOTNOTES:

[21] A river which, rising on the eastern side of the ridge of
the Caucasus, falls, after a rapid and impetuous course, into the
Caspian, near Anápa.

[22] A mountaineer of the tribe of Kabárda.

[23] A Kazák girl.

[24] Village of Kazáks.

[25] Kinjál, a large dagger, the favourite weapon of the
mountain tribes of the Caucasus, among which the Tchetchénetzes are
distinguished for bravery.



MARSTON; OR, THE MEMOIRS OF A STATESMAN.

PART VI.

 "Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
 Have I not heard the sea, puft up with wind,
 Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
 Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
 And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
 Have I not in the pitched battle heard
 Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets clang?"

SHAKSPEARE.


My first questions to Lafontaine, when I had his wound looked to, were
of course for those whom he had left in England.

"Ah, ha!" said he with a laugh, which showed the inextinguishable
Frenchman, "are you constant still? Well, then, Madame la Comtesse is
constant too; but it is to her boudoir, or the gaieties of Devonshire
House, or perhaps to her abhorrence of Monsieur le Mari."

"Le Mari!" I repeated the words with an involuntary start.

"Bah! 'tis all the same. She is affianced, and among us that tie is
quite as legitimate as marriage, and, our libellers say, a little
stronger. But they certainly are _not_ married yet, for Mademoiselle
Clotilde either is, or affects, the invalid; and considering the
probability that she abhors the man and the match, I think, on the
whole, that she acts diplomatically in informing the vainest colonel, in
or out of France, that she is sick of any thing rather than of him."

"But your Mariamne--how go on your interests there?" The question
brought a smile and a sigh together, before he could find an answer.

"How she is, what she is doing, or intends to do, or even what she is,
are matters that I can no more answer than I can why the wind blows. She
torments me, and takes a delight in tormenting me. I have been on the
point of throwing up my commission a hundred times since I saw you, and
flying to America, or the world's end. She controls me in every thing,
insists on knowing all my movements from hour to hour, finds them out
when I attempt to conceal them as matter of duty, tortures me for the
concealment, and then laughs at me for the confession. She is
intolerable."

"And yet you have obtained a lengthening of your chain, or how come
here? How long have you been in Paris?"

"Just two days; and busy ones, or I should have found you out before.
Yes, I had Mariamne's full permission to come; though to this moment I
cannot account for the change. I had received a sudden order from
Montrecour, who is deep in the emigrant affairs, to set out with letters
which could not be sent by the courier. But I dared not leave London
without asking _her_ permission; and I acknowledge asking her at the
same time to run away with me, and give herself a lawful title to be my
tyrant for life. Applying to Mordecai was out of the question. Her
answer was immediate; contemptuous in the extreme as to my proposal, yet
almost urgent on me to accept the mission, and lose no time between
London and Paris. Her postscript was the oddest part of all. It was a
grave recommendation to discover _you_, in whatever height or depth of
the capital you might exist; whether you figured in the court or the
cloister; were the idol of the maids of honour, or the model of the
monks of La Trappe; to remind you that you had forgotten every body on
the other side of the Channel who was worth remembering, including
herself; and commending _me_, as a truant and a trifler, to your
especial, grave, and experienced protection. Apropos! She sent me a
letter, to be delivered to you with my own hands. But for yourself it
had nearly failed in the delivery."

He gave me the letter. It was, like the writer, a pretty _melange_;
trifles gracefully expressed; strong sense expressed like trifles;
feeling carried off with a laugh; and palpable and fond anxiety for
Lafontaine couched in the most merciless badinage. While I gave this
missive a second, and even a third perusal--for it finished with some
gentle mention of the being whose name was a charm to my wearied
spirit--my eyes accidentally fell on Lafontaine. His were fixed on me
with an expression of inconceivable distress. At length his generous
nature broke forth.

"Marston, if I were capable of jealousy, I should be jealous of _you_
and of Mariamne. What _can_ be the caprice which dictated that letter?
what _can_ be the interest which you evidently take in it? I wish that
the bullet which laid me at your door this evening had finished its
work, and put an end to an existence which has been a perpetual fever. I
shall not ask _what_ Mariamne has said to you--but _I_ am miserable."

"Yes, but you _shall_ ask, and shall have all you ask," said I, giving
him the letter. "It is the language of the heart, and of a heart
strongly attached to _you_. I can see affection in every line of it. Of
course she mingles a little coquetry with her sentiment; but was there
ever a pretty woman, who was not more or less a coquette? She is a gem:
never think it the less pure because it sparkles. Rely upon your little
Mariamne."

"Then _you_ have no sincere regard for her--no wish to interfere with my
claims?" said my pallid friend, dubiously extending his hand towards me.

"Lafontaine, listen to me, and for the last time on the subject. I have
a very sincere regard for her." (My sensitive auditor started.) "But, I
have also a perfect respect for your claims. It is impossible not to
acknowledge the animated graces of the lady on whom you have fixed your
affections. But mine are fixed where I have neither hope to sustain
them, nor power to change.--Those matters have nothing to do with
choice. They are effects without a cause, judgments without a reason,
influences without an impulse--the problems of our nature, without a
solution since the beginning of the world."

"But, Marston, you will only laugh at me for all my troubles."

"Lafontaine, I shall do no such thing. Those pains and penalties have
been the lot of some of the noblest hearts and most powerful minds that
the earth has ever seen; and have been most keenly felt by the noblest
and the most powerful. The poet only tells the truth more gracefully
when he says--

     "'The spell of all spells that enamours the heart,
       To few is imparted, to millions denied;
     'Tis the brain of the victim that poisons the dart,
       And fools jest at that by which sages have died.'

"But now, my friend, let us talk of other things. We must not sink into
a pair of sentimentalists; these are terrible times. And now, tell me
what brought you out of quiet England among our madmen here?"

"I may now tell all the world," was the reply, "for the evil is done
beyond remedy. I was sent by our friends in London, to carry the last
warning to the royal family of all that has happened this day. My papers
contained the most exact details, the names of the leaders, their
objects, their points of assembling, and even their points of attack.
Those were furnished, as you may conceive, by one of the principal
conspirators; a fellow whom I afterwards saw on horseback in front of
the Tuileries, and whom, I think, I had the satisfaction of dismounting
by a shot from my carbine."

I mentioned the fruitlessness of my own efforts to awake the ministry.

"Ah," said he, with a melancholy smile, "my friend, if you had been
admitted into the palace, or into the council-chamber itself, you would
have had precisely the same tale to tell. All was infatuation. I was
ushered into the highest presence last midnight. My despatches were
read. I was complimented on my zeal, and then was told that every thing
was provided for. I was even closeted for two hours with the two
individuals who, of all France, or of all mankind, had the largest stake
in the crisis, and was again told that there was no crisis to be feared.
I even offered to take a squadron of dragoons, and arrest the
conspirators at the moment with my own hand. I saw the eyes of the
noblest of women fill with tears of grief and indignation at the
hopelessness of my appeal, and the answer, 'that though Frenchmen might
hate the ministers, they always loved their king.' I saw that all was
over."

"Still," said I, "I cannot comprehend how the mere mob of Paris could
have succeeded against the defenders of the palace."

"If you had seen it as I did, the only wonder is, how the Tuileries held
out so long. After passing a night on guard at the Pavilon de Flore, I
was summoned at daybreak to attend his majesty. What a staff for a
reviewing monarch! The queen endeavouring to support the appearance of
calmness; Madame Elizabeth, that human angel, following her, dissolved
in tears; the two royal children, weeping and frightened, making their
way through the crowd of nobles, guardsmen, domestics who had gathered
promiscuously in the chambers and corridors, armed with whatever weapons
they could find, and all in confusion. From the windows there was
another scene; and the only time when I saw the queen shudder, was when
she cast her eye across the Place du Carrousel, and saw it covered with
the dense masses of the multitude drawn up in battle-array. A more
gloomy sight never met the eye. From time to time the distant discharge
of cannon was heard, giving us the idea that some treachery was
transacting in the remoter parts of the city, every discharge answered
by a roar of--'Down with the King'--'Death to Marie Antoinette'--'The
lamp-iron to all traitors.' While, as I glanced on those around me, I
saw despair in every countenance; the resolution perhaps to die, but the
evident belief that their death must be in vain. You now know all."

I still expressed my strong anxiety to know what had been the events
within the palace.

"Marston, I cannot think of them. I cannot speak of them. I see nothing
but a vision of blood, shame, folly, wretchedness. There never was a
cause more fatally abandoned. Every thing that could be done to ruin a
monarchy was done. I was standing beside the royal group, when a
deputation from the National Assembly made its appearance. At its head
was a meagre villain, whom one might have taken for the public
executioner. He came up, cringing and bowing, to the unfortunate king;
but with a look which visibly said--We have you in our power. I could
have plunged my sword in the triumphant villain's heart. I had even
instinctively half drawn it, when I felt the gentle pressure of a hand
on mine. It was the queen's. 'Remember the king's presence. We must owe
nothing to violence,' were her words. And at this instant she looked so
heart-broken, yet so noble, that I could have worshipped her. The
deputation pressed the necessity of 'taking shelter,' as they phrased
it, 'in the bosom of the faithful Assembly.' The words, 'assembly of
traitors,' burst from my lips. A shout of approbation arose on all
sides. But I was more rewarded by a sorrowing smile from the queen. She
was indignant at the proposal. 'No; never shall I leave this spot but by
the king's command!' she exclaimed. 'I would rather be chained to the
walls.' As the guard pressed round her at the words, she suddenly
stopped, took a pistol from one of the Garde du Corps, and forcing it on
the king--'Now,' said the heroine--'now is the time to show yourself a
king of France!' An universal cry of enthusiasm arose, and hundreds of
swords were brandished in the air. The deputation, evidently expecting
to be massacred, made an effort to reach the door, and the monarchy was
on the point of being saved; when the leader of the party glanced back
at the royal circle. There stood unfortunate Louis, hesitating, with the
pistol in his hand. On such moments all depends. The villain crept up to
the king, and whispered in his ear--'Would you have all your family put
to death? In the Assembly all are safe.'--'Well, then, we shall go,' was
the simple answer. He might have added--'To the scaffold.' The queen
pressed her hands on her eyes, and wept bitterly. All were silent. In a
few minutes more our sad procession was crossing the garden to the door
of the Assembly, amid a roar, which could not have been fiercer or more
triumphant had we been going to execution."

It was already twilight; the fine summer's day, as if it had been
dimmed by the desperate scenes of which it was witness, set in sudden
clouds; and the distant shoutings of the populace seemed to be answered
by the voice of a storm. Lafontaine's wound began to bleed afresh by the
agitation of his story, and to find medical assistance, was my first
object. Having seen him conveyed to my bed, and leaving him in charge of
my valet, I hastened towards the residence of the physician to the
embassy. In doing this, I had to cross the Rue St Honoré. But there my
course was stopped. I shrink from alluding to those horrid scenes and
times. The scene which there met my eyes has scarcely left them since.

The populace were returning from the conquest and plunder of the palace
to the Palais Royale, the headquarters of all convulsion; and they had
arranged their ranks into something like a triumphal procession on the
stage. The dead bodies of the brave Swiss were carried on boards or
biers, preceded by banners of all kinds; the plundered ornaments of the
Tuileries were borne on the heads of men; the horses from the royal
stables, caparisoned for the occasion, drew hearses, in which the bodies
of the mob who had fallen were deposited. Brief as the time for
decoration had been, wreaths of artificial flowers, taken from the shops
of the _marchandes de modes_, and theatrical shawls and mantles from the
stores of the _fripiers_, covered the biers; and the whole, surrounded
and followed by a forest of pikes and bayonets, plumes and flags, had no
other light than the lurid and shifting blaze of thousands of torches
tossing in the wild and howling wind.

The train seemed endless; shocked and sickened, I had made repeated
efforts to cross the column, but was repeatedly driven back. If all the
dead criminality of Paris had risen to join all the living, it could
scarcely have increased my astonishment at the countless thousands which
continued to pour on before me; nor scarcely, if the procession had
started from the grave, could it have looked more strange, squalid,
haggard, and woebegone. In the rear came the cannon, which had achieved
this melancholy victory. And they, again, were sometimes converted into
the carriage of the dead, sometimes of the plunder, and, in every
instance, were surmounted by women, female furies, drinking, shouting,
and uttering cries of unspeakable savageness and blasphemy against
priests, nobles, and kings; and, mingled with all this, were choruses of
bacchanal songs, accompanied with shouts of laughter. It was now near
midnight; and my anxiety for the condition of my unfortunate friend at
last urged me to make a desperate attempt to force my way through the
mass of pikes and daggers. After being swept far along with the stream,
I reached the street in which the physician lived. He set out with me
immediately, and, by his superior knowledge of the route, we were
enabled to make our way unimpeded through streets, that looked like dens
of robbers, to my hotel.

But there a new and still more alarming disappointment awaited me. I
found the porter and all the attendants of the establishment gathered on
the stairs in terror. Lafontaine was gone! Whether, frenzied by the
insults and yells of the populace, who continued to pass in troops from
time to time, or anxious for my safety, he had started from his bed, put
on his sword, and rushed into the street; without the possibility of
being restrained, and without uttering a word of explanation.

Exhausted as I was by fatigue, and still more by the sights and scenes
through which I had just passed, this intelligence was a severe blow.
The fate of a young enthusiast, and a foreigner, whom I had known but so
lately, and of whom I knew so little, might not have justified much
personal sacrifice. But the thought of the heart that would be broken by
his falling into the hands of the barbarians, who were now masters of
every thing, smote keenly upon me. Mariamne would die; and though I was
by no means a lover of Mariamne, yet, where I had seen so much that was
loveable, I might have a regard next in degree. There may, and does
often, exist the tenderness of love without the flame. I could have
looked on this pretty and animated creature as the wife of Lafontaine,
or of any other object of her choice, without the slightest pang; but I
could not have looked upon her pining away in hopelessness, wasting in
silent sorrow, or with her gay and gentle existence clouded by a loss
which nothing could repair, without thinking every effort of mine to
avert evil from her, due on every principle of common feeling.

While I pondered, a note was brought to me, written by Lafontaine before
he had sallied from his chamber, and evidently written under the wildest
emotion. It told me, in a few scarcely legible words, that he felt life
a burden to him, and thanked Heaven for the opportunity now offered of
dying for his king and the glory of France. That the monarchy had
perished beyond redemption. But that, though the royal family were
surrounded by the poniards of assassins, it was his determination to
follow and find them, rescue them, or die at their feet. This strange
production closed with--"You shall hear of me within twenty four hours,
living or dead. If I fall, remember me to my affianced wife; and
vindicate my character to the world."

This was so like insanity, that it perplexed me more and more; but, on
second thoughts, it appeared to offer some clue to his pursuit.--He had
gone to die in presence of the royal family. If they were to be found by
him at all, they must be found in the Assembly. I immediately went to
the garden of the Tuileries, where they met until their new legislative
palace should be erected. The multitude had now partially retired, for
it was midnight; and the entrance was comparatively clear. A strong
force of the National Guard still kept the drunken rabble at a distance;
and the five franc piece, with which I tempted the incorruptibility of a
peculiarly ferocious-looking patriot, admitted me without delay.

What a scene there presented itself to my eyes! The "Salle" was large
and showy; and when I had attended it in former debates, it exhibited
the taste and skill which the French, more than any other people on
earth, exhibit in temporary things. Nothing could exceed the elegance
with which the Parisian decorators had fitted up this silk and tinsel
abode, which was to be superseded, within a few months, by the solid
majesty of marble. But, on this memorable and melancholy night, the
ornaments bore, to me, the look of those sad frivolities with which
France is fond of ornamenting her tombs. The chandeliers burned dim; the
busts and statues looked ghostlike; the chief part of the members had
thrown themselves drowsily on the benches; and the debate had languished
into the murmurs of a speech, to which no one listened. If the loaded
table, with its pile of petitions and ordonnances, in the midst of the
hall, could have been imagined into a bier; the whole had the aspect of
a _chapelle ardente_; there, indeed, lay in state the monarchy of
France. My unlucky friend, of course, was not there; but I saw, in a
narrow box, on the right of the president, a group, from which, when
once seen, I found it impossible to withdraw my gaze--the first and most
exalted victims of the Revolution, the king and his family. All but one
were apparently overcome with fatigue; for they had sat there fifteen
hours. But that one sat with a steady eye and an erect front, as if
superior to all suffering. I had seen Marie Antoinette, the most
splendid figure, in all the splendours of her court. I had seen her
unshaken before vast popular assemblages, in which any rash or ruffian
hand might have taken her life at the instant; but she now gave me an
impression of a still higher order. Sitting in calm resignation and
unstained dignity, her stately form and countenance, pale and pure as
marble, looked like some noble statue on a tomb; or rather, sitting in
that chamber of death, like some pure spirit, awaiting the summons to
ascend from the relics of human guilt, infirmity, and passion before
her.

But the slumbers of the Assembly were soon to be broken. A tumult, and
the tramping of many feet, was heard at the door. It was followed by the
thunder of clubs and hammers breaking it in; the bars gave way; the
huissiers and other attendants rushed through the body of the hall, and
took refuge behind the chair of the president in affright; the sleepers
started from their seats; and, with a roar which spoke the true
supremacy of the new power in France, the mob poured in. They announced
themselves a deputation from the Municipality, and instantly took
possession of the benches. Men, women, and even children, composed this
barbarian invasion; like all that I had seen, half intoxicated; but
evidently trained by higher hands for more determined evil. A chosen
set of orators, in Roman robes, probably plundered from some suburb
theatre, moved forward to the table, and took their seats round it in as
much solemnity as conscript fathers. The chief speaker then advanced
from the door, preceded by the head of one of the murdered Swiss on a
pike, a hideous spectacle, and, drawing from his belt a dagger,
commenced a furious harangue against every thing that bore the shape of
authority in the kingdom. The Assembly did not escape in the general
outpouring of its bitterness. They were charged with want of zeal, with
want of honesty, and, most formidable of all, want of patriotism. I saw
many a member cower at the word; for it was the countersign of
Jacobinism; and the man, on whom that charge was personally fastened,
was sure to fall by pistol or dagger. But the rage of the harangue was
levelled at the royal family. "There sits the tyrant!" he exclaimed,
pointing with his poniard to the meekest of monarchs and of men. "The
vengeance of the people calls for victims. How long shall it be
insulted? If justice is blind, tear the bandage from her eyes. How long
shall the sword of the people rust in its sheath! Liberty sitting on her
altar demands new sacrifices to feed the flame. The blood of tyrants is
the only incense worthy to be offered by a regenerated people!"

At every pause of those fierce interjections, the crowd burst into yells
of applause, drew knives and daggers from their bosoms, flourished them
in the air, and echoed the words. The Assembly were evidently held in
terror of their lives. The president made some faint attempts to restore
order. A few of the members made faint attempts at speeches. But the mob
were masters; and a night of such horrors passed, as I had never dreamed
of before. At daybreak the orator demanded that a decree should be
instantly passed, suspending the king, the ministry, and even the
Assembly, in the midst of which he stood. Of all the extravagances ever
conceived--of all the insolences of power--of all the licenses of
popular licentiousness, this was the most daring, unrivalled, and
unimagined; and yet this was carried, with scarcely a voice raised
against it. The trembling president, with the dagger at his throat, put
the motion for extinguishing the throne, the cabinet, and calling a new
Assembly! From that hour the monarchy was no more.

During this tremendous discussion, I had not ventured to raise my eyes
towards the royal family; but, as all were now about to retire, I dared
a single glance. The king was slowly leaving the box, leading the
dauphin by the hand; the Princess Elizabeth was carrying the sleeping
dauphiness in her arms; the queen stayed behind, alone, for a moment,
sitting, as she had done for hours, with her eyes fixed on vacancy, and
her countenance calm, but corpselike. At length she seemed to recollect
that she was alone, and suddenly started up. Then nature had its way;
she tottered, and fainted. From that night forth, that glorious creature
never saw the light of day but through the bars of a prison. From the
Feuillans, the royal family were consigned to the cells of the Temple,
from which Louis and Marie Antoinette never emerged but to the grave!

This night taught me a lesson, which neither time nor circumstance has
ever made me forget. It cured me of all my republican fantasies at once,
and for ever. I believe myself above the affectation of romantic
sensibility. But it would not be less affectation to deny the feelings
to which that awful scene of human guilt and human suffering gave birth.
If the memory of the popular atrocities made me almost abhor human
nature, the memory of that innocent and illustrious woman restored my
admiration of the noble qualities that may still be found in human
nature. "If I forget thee even in my mirth," the language of the
Israelite to his beloved city, was mine, in scarcely a less solemn or
sacred spirit, in those hours of early experience. Let the hearts and
eyes of others refuse to acknowledge such feelings. I am not ashamed to
say, that I have shed many a tear over the fate of the King and Queen of
France. In the finest fictions of genius, in the most high-wrought
sorrows of the stage, I have never been so deeply touched, I have never
felt myself penetrated with such true and irresistible emotion, as in
reading, many a year after, the simplest record of the unhappy Bourbons.
What must it be, to have witnessed the last agonies of their hearts and
throne!

On returning to my chamber, shuddering and wretched, I found a despatch
on my table. It was from Downing Street; an order, that within twelve
hours after its receipt, I should set out from Paris, and make my way,
with the utmost secrecy, to the headquarters of the Austrian and
Prussian army; where further orders would be waiting for me.

This command threw me into new perplexity. It had been my purpose to
find my unfortunate friend, if he was not already in the bosom of the
Seine, or a victim to some of the popular violences. But my orders were
peremptory. I, however, did all that was in my power. I spent the day in
looking for him through all the hotels and hospitals; and, after a
hopeless search, gave my man of mystery, Mendoza, a commission--paid for
at a rate that made him open his hollow eyes wide with incredulity on
the coin--to discover and protect him, wherever he was to be found.

But I had now another difficulty which threatened to nip my diplomatic
honours in the bud. The news had just arrived, that the allied armies
had passed the frontier, and were sweeping all before them with fire and
sword. A populace is always mad with courage, or mad with cowardice; and
the Parisians, who, but yesterday, were ready to have made a march round
the globe, now thought the wells and cellars of the city not too deep,
or too dark to hold them. They would have formed a camp in the
catacombs, if they could. All was sudden terror. The barriers were shut.
Guards were posted tenfold at all the gates. Men were ranged on the
heights round the city, to make signals of the first approach of the
Prussian hussars; and the inhabitants spent half the day on every house
top that commanded a view of the country, waiting for the first glimpse
of their devourers. To escape from this city of terror now became next
to impossible. All my applications were powerless. The government were
themselves regarded as under lock and key; the populace, as if
determined that all should share a common massacre, were clustered at
the barriers, pike in hand, to put all "emigrants" to death; the
ambassador was, as ambassadors generally are in cases of real
difficulty, a cipher; and yet I _must_ leave Paris within twelve hours,
or be cashiered.

It at length occurred to me to avail myself of my Jewish spy, and I
found him listening to a midnight harangue in the midst of a Jacobin
crowd, in the Palais Royal. He considered the matter for a while; and I
walked about, leaving him to his free invention, while I contrasted the
brilliant blaze of the gaming and dancing-rooms above me with the
assassin-like darkness of the galleries below. At length he turned to
me. "There is but one way. Have you any objection to be arrested?"

"The greatest imaginable," was my answer.

"Just as you please," he replied; "but I have here an order for the
seizure of one of the emigrant agents, a Chevalier Lafontaine, lately
arrived in Paris. He has been seen in the palace, but we have missed him
for the last twelve hours. The order is for Vincennes. Will you take his
place?"

I naturally looked all surprise, and peremptorily refused.

"Do as you will," said my intractable adviser; "but there is no other
way to pass the gates. I shall take you to Vincennes as a state
prisoner; I have influence there. In short, if you trust me, you shall
be safe, and on your road by daybreak. If you do not, here your life is
uncertain; you are known, watched, and the first order that I receive
to-morrow, may be one for your apprehension."

All this was likely enough; there was but a moment to deliberate, and I
got into the first cabriolet, and drove with him to the barrier. The
streets still exhibited scattered bands, who questioned us from time to
time, but the words, "By order of the Municipality," which were enough
to terrify the stoutest hearts, and the display of his badge, carried us
through. We passed the guard at the gate, after a slight examination of
the order, and galloped to Vincennes.

At the sight of the frowning fortress my blood chilled, and I refused to
go further. "In that case," said my conductor, "_I_ am compromised, and
_you_ are ruined; the first patrol will seize you, while I shall be
shot. I pledge myself, that here you shall not remain; but I must be
acquitted to the head of the police. You shall be M. le Chevalier
Lafontaine for the night; and, if such a man exists, you will probably
be the means of saving his life. To-morrow I shall bring proofs of my
mistake, and then you will be outside the walls of Paris, and free to go
where you please."

The name of Lafontaine decided me. Even the risk seemed less serious
than before, and we drove over the drawbridge. The interior of the
fortress formed a striking contrast to the scenes which I had just left
behind me. All was still stern, and noiseless.

"Give me your papers," said Mendoza; "they will be safer in my hands
than in yours."

I had but time to give him my despatch, as we passed through the court
which led to the governor's apartments. I was searched in the presence
of that important functionary, a meagre old captain of invalids, who had
been roused from his bed, and was evidently half asleep. I stoutly
denied my being "the criminal who had offended the majesty of the
people." But as the governor himself, on gazing at me with his purblind
eyes, was perfectly satisfied of my identity, there was no use in
contesting the point. A couple of sentinels were placed at the door of
my cell, and I was left, like himself, to my slumbers. Before the door
closed, I grasped my guide by the throat. The thought that I had been
entrapped, actually agonized me.

"Am I betrayed?" I asked, in a whisper of fury.

The only answer was, "Mordecai."

I felt security in the word, and, without a further pang, heard his
tread echoing along the distant corridor.

Time rolls on, whether we are happy or miserable. Morning came, and
found me feverish from a thousand dreams. Noon came, and my impatience
grew with the hour. Evening came, and yet no symptom of my liberation.
If, "hope deferred maketh the heart sick," confidence duped, and
blindly, weakly, rashly duped, turns to torture.

Why trust a known agent of the police? Why put my liberty into his
hands? Why, above all, make him master of my papers? I was overwhelmed
with shame. I writhed with remorse. As hour after hour dragged into slow
length along, I sank from dejection to dejection, or burst from rage to
rage. But at last, when the drums of the garrison were making their
final flourish for the night, the key turned in the door of my cell, and
the Jew entered. I almost sprang upon him, and his life would have been
worth little, but for the words--"You may now leave the fortress." He
told me, further, that my absence was fortunate, for a domiciliary visit
had been paid to my apartments by direction of the municipality; my
trunks examined, and my doors sealed. My absence was imputed to flight;
and, as jails were then the only safe residences in France, I had
escaped actual imprisonment simply by my volunteer detention; to watch
the event, had been the source of his delay. All was speedily settled
with the old commandant, who was now as perfectly "convinced, on his own
knowledge," that I was not the chevalier, as he had been convinced on
the night before that I was. Mendoza's proofs were registered in due
form; and with unspeakable delight I once again mounted his cabriolet,
and heard the chains of the drawbridge rattle behind me.

My Jew had been true to his pledge. I found horses provided for me at a
lonely cabaret, a league off. With the minute foresight which men of his
trade learn, he had provided for me a couple of disguises--the garb of a
peasant, which I was to use when I passed among the soldiery; and the
uniform of an aide-de-camp, with which I was to keep down enquiries when
I came among the peasantry. But I was weary of disguise. It had never
thriven with my temperament. I was determined, at all events, now to
trust to chance and my proper person; and if I must fail, have the
satisfaction of failing after my own style. The only recompense which my
magnanimous police-officer would receive, was a promise that I should
mention his conduct to Mordecai; and, gathering up his rejected
wardrobe, he departed.

Fortunately I found disguises unnecessary, though at any other time they
might have been essential. The country was all in a state of flight, and
every man was too much employed in securing himself, to think of laying
hold of others. Thus galloped I through hill and dale, through bush and
brier, unquestioned and almost unseen; until, on the evening of the
fourth day, as I plunged into a forest, which for the last half hour I
had been imagining into a scene of fairyland, a bower where a pilgrim
might finish his journey for life, or a man, "crazed by care, or crossed
in hopeless love," might forget woman and woe together--I was awakened
to the realities of things by the whistle of a bullet, which struck off
a branch within an inch of my head, followed by a fierce howl for the
countersign. By all the laws of war, the howl should have come first;
but these were not times for ceremony. A troop of Hulans rushed round
me, sabre in hand. I stood like a stoic; and, of course, attempted to
tell who I was. But my German was unintelligible to my captors, and my
French, a suspicious language on a Prussian outpost, only confirmed
their opinion that I was born to be stripped. Accordingly one demanded
my watch, another my purse, and I was in a fair way of entering the
Prussian lines in a state of pauperism, or of being "left alone in my
glory" by shot or sabre, when an officer rode up, whom I had casually
known in some Parisian circle. To him I could explain myself, and to him
I exhibited the envelope of my letter, inscribed with the words, "Grand
Quartier General." My new friend bowed to this awful address like a Turk
to the firman of the padisha, poured out a volley of wrath on the troop,
ordered the instant and very reluctant restitution of my property, and
with a couple of the squadron at our heels, took me under his escort, to
deliver my papers in person.

After an hour's gallop through rocks, rivulets, and brambles, which
seemed without end, and totally uninhabited, except by an occasional
patrol of the irregulars of the Austrian and Prussian forces--barbarians
as savage-looking as ever were Goth or Hun, and capital substitutes for
the wolves and wild-boars which they had ejected for the time--a sudden
opening of the forest brought us within view of the immense camp of the
combined armies.

All the externals of war are splendid; it is the interior, the
consequences, the operation of that mighty trampler of man that are
startling. This was my first sight of that most magnificent of all the
atrocious inventions of human evil--an army. The forces of the two most
warlike monarchies of Europe were spread before me; nearly a hundred and
fifty thousand troops, with all the numberless followers of a host in
the field, covering a range of low hills which circled the horizon.
While we were still at a considerable distance, a gun was fired from the
central hill, answered by others from the flanks. The rolling of drums
set the vast line in motion, and just at the moment when the sun was
lying on the edge of the west, the brigades, descending each from its
height, halted on the slope. The whole vast manoeuvre was executed
with the exactness of a single mind. The blaze of the sun on the arms,
the standards, and the tents crowning the brow of the hills, was
magical. "Are they marching to battle?" was my amazed question to my
companion. His only answer was to check his charger, take off his shako,
and bend his forehead to his saddle-bow. A burst of universal harmony,
richer than I had ever yet conceived, explained the mystery. It was the
evening prayer. The fine bands of the regiments joined the voices of the
soldiery, and I listened, in unbroken rapture and reverence, until its
close. In court or cathedral, in concert or shrine, I had never before
so much felt the power of sound. It finished in a solemn chorus, and
accumulation of music. I could have almost imagined it ascending,
embodied, to heaven.

The fire of cannon announced the conclusion of the service; we put spurs
to our horses, and soon entered the lines; and, on the strength of my
credentials, I had distinguished quarters assigned to me.

I now, for the first time since I left England, began to feel the
advantages of birth. In London every man is so submerged in the
multitude, that he who can hold his head high enough out of the living
surge to be known, must have something of remarkable buoyancy, or
peculiar villany, about him. Even Parliament, except to a few of the
leaders, is no distinction. The member for the shire is clipped of all
his plumage at the moment of his entering that colossal poultry-yard,
and must take his obscure pickings with other unnoticeable fowl. In
Paris, once the Mahometan paradise of stars and garters, the central
herald's office of the earth, the royal region of the Parliament
aristocracy, where the beggar with a _cordon_ on his breast outshone the
banker with millions in his pocket-book, the world was changed; and to
be the son or brother of a peer might have been only a speedier passport
to the lamp-post. But, in Germany, the land of pedigrees, to be an
"honourable" was to be one on whom the sun shone with double beams; the
sex, young and old, smiled with double softness and the whole host of
Serenities were doubly serene. In camp, nothing could be more hospitable
or distinguished than my reception; for the soldier is always
good-humoured under canvass, and the German is good-humoured every
where. Perhaps he has rather too high an opinion of his descent from
Goth and Vandal, but he makes allowance for the more modern savagery of
Europe; and although the stranger may neither wear spectacles, nor smoke
cigars, neither muzzle his visage with mustaches, nor speak the most
formidable tongue on earth, the German will good-naturedly admit, that
he may be a human being after all.

But the man with whom my mission brought me most immediately into
contact, and to whom I was most indebted for courtesy, would have been a
remarkable personage in any country of Europe; that man was the Duke of
Brunswick.

On my arrival, I found two letters forwarded from London, and in the
hands of an aide-de-camp of the generalissimo. The first which I opened
was from the Foreign Office, a simple statement of the purpose for which
I was sent--namely, to stimulate the activity of the Prussian councils,
and to urge on the commander of the army an immediate march on the
French capital; with a postscript, directing me, in case of tardiness
being exhibited at headquarters, instantly to transmit a despatch home,
and return to my post in Paris. The second letter--which I must, however
undiplomatically, admit that I opened with much stronger interest--was
from Mordecai. I glanced over it for some mention of the "ane braw
name," and bitterly laughed at my own folly in expecting to find such
communications in the letter of the hard-headed and busy Jew. All was
brief and rapid.

"If this shall find you in the Prussian camp, you will have no more time
for me than I have for you. Let me not clip your diplomatic hopes; but
this I forewarn you, you will not obtain a single object of your
journey; except, perhaps, showing that you can gallop a hundred miles in
the four-and-twenty hours, and can make your way through a country of
lunatics without being piked or sabred.

"The campaign is over already--over before it was begun. The battle was
fought in the council at Berlin, and the allies were beaten. The duke,
within the next fortnight, will be deciding on the merits of the ballet
in Brunswick, and the French will be madder than ever with triumphs
which they never won, preparing for conquests which are already gained,
and knocking down thrones, the owners themselves supplying the pickaxes
and hammers. You will see the two best armies of the Continent running
away from their own shadows; the old councillors of Frederick and Maria
Theresa baffled by cabinets of cobblers and tinkers; grey-beard
generals, covered with orders, hunted over the frontier by boys, girls,
and old women; and France, like a _poissarde_ in a passion, with her
hair flying about her ears, a knife in her hand, and her tongue in full
swing, scampering half naked over Europe, to the infinite wonder of the
wearers of velvet, Mechlin lace, and diadems,--ha, ha, ha!"

While I was trying to decipher this riddle, which was rather too
contemptuous for my new views of things, but which I referred to the
habitual feelings of a strong-headed man in humble life, brought just
close enough to higher to feel his exclusion, an officer was announced
as Count Varnhorst, on the staff of the duke. His countenance struck me
at first sight, as one which I had seen before; and I soon discovered,
that when I was a boy at Eton, he had been on a visit of a few days at
Mortimer castle, in the suite of one of the Prussian princes. We had
been thus old friends, and we now became young ones within the first
quarter of an hour. His countenance was that of a humourist, and his
recollections of the Great Frederick rendered him sarcastic on all
things of the later generation.

"The duke has sent me for you," said he, "with his apology for keeping
you out of bed; but he has appointed midnight for the delivery of your
despatches. The truth is, that hitherto we have all slept so soundly,
that we must make up for lost time by turning night into day now, just
as we have turned day into night for the last twelvemonth."

"But what can you tell me of the duke?"

"Oh! a great deal; but you know that I am on his staff, and therefore
bound to keep his secrets."

"Yet, count, remember that we have sworn an eternal friendship within
the last five minutes. What can he or I be the worse for my knowing his
great and good qualities?"

"My dear young friend, when you are as old as I am, you will see the
improprieties of such questions."

"Well, then, to come to the point; is he a great general?"

"He speaks French better than any other prince in Germany."

"Is he an able politician?"

"You must see him on horseback; he rides like a centaur."

"Well, then, in one sentence, will he fight the French?"

"That wholly depends on whether he turns his horse's head towards Paris
or Berlin."

"Count, but one question more, which you may answer without a riddle. Do
you think that he will receive my mission cordially?"

"He speaks your language; he wears your broad cloth; he loves your
porter; and he has married one of your princesses."

"All my difficulties are answered. I am ready; but what shall I find him
doing at this extraordinary hour?"

"If asleep, dreaming of the opera at Brunswick; if awake, dreaming of
the opera at Paris."

His diamond repeater, which he had laid on the table between us, struck
twelve as he spoke; and, wrapping ourselves in our cloaks, we sallied
forth into one of the most starry nights of autumn, and made our way,
through long ranges of patrols and videttes, to the quarters of the
generalissimo.

The mansion was an old chateau, evidently long abandoned to loneliness
and decay one of those huge edifices; whose building had cost one
fortune, and whose support had exhausted another. But the struggle had
been over for the last fifty years, and two or three shrivelled
domestics remained to keep out the invasion of the bats and owls. But at
this period the chateau exhibited, of course, another scene;
aides-de-camp, generals, orderlies, couriers--all the clang and clamour
of the staff of a great army--rang through the wild old halls, and
echoed up the long ghostly corridors. Every apartment was a blaze of
light, and filled with groups of officers of the Prussian and Austrian
guards; all was billiard-playing, talking, singing in chorus, and
carousing in all the noisy gaiety of the soldier in good quarters.

"All this is tempting enough," said the old count, as we hastened along
a gallery that seemed endless, but on which the open doors of the
successive apartments threw broad illumination. "I dare say, Mr Marston,
that you would prefer taking your seat among those lively fellows, to
the honour of a ducal conference; but my orders are, that you must not
be seen until the duke gives you _carte blanche_ to appear among human
beings again."

The count now opened the door of an apartment, which appeared to have
been more lately tenanted than the rest, yet which exhibited signs of
the general desertion; a marble table, covered with a decaying drapery,
a Carrara alabaster of Niobe and her children on the mantelpiece, a huge
mirror, and a tapestry of one of the hunts of Henri Quatre, showed that
Time had been there, and that the Prussians had not; but the indistinct
light of the single chandelier left me but little opportunity of
indulging my speculations on the furniture. The count had left me, to
ascertain when the duke should be at leisure to receive me; and my first
process was, like a good soldier, to reconnoitre the neighbouring
territory. The first door which I opened led into a conservatory, filled
with the remnants of dead foliage, opening on the gardens of the
chateau, which, wild as they now were, still sent up a fragrance doubly
refreshing, after the atmosphere of meershaums, hot brandy, and Rhine
beer, which filled the galleries. The casement distantly overlooked the
esplanade in front of the chateau; and the perpetual movements of the
couriers and estafettes, arriving and departing every moment, the
galloping of cavalry, and the march of patrols, occupied me until a
valet of the duke came to acquaint me that supper was served, by his
highness's commands, in the apartment which I had lately quitted, and
that he would be present in a few minutes.

I returned of course; and found the chamber which I had left so dark and
dilapidated, changed, as if by a fairy wand, into pomp and elegance. The
duke was renowned for splendid extravagance, and the table was covered
with rich plate, the walls glittered with a profusion of gilt lamps, and
all round me had the look of regal luxury. But one object suddenly
caught my gaze, and left me no power to glance at any other. In a
recess, which had hitherto been obscure, but over which now blazed a
brilliant girandole, hung a full-length portrait of a nun, which, but
for the dress, I should have pronounced to be Clotilde; the same Greek
profile, the same deep yet vivid eye, the same matchless sweetness of
smile, and the same mixture of melancholy and enthusiasm, which had made
me think my idol fit to be the worship of the world. I stood wrapped in
astonishment, delight, pain, a thousand undefined feelings, until I
could have almost imagined that the canvass before me lived. I saw its
eye all but glisten, its lips all but open to speak; the very marble of
its cheek begin to glow; when I was awakened by a lively voice, saying,
in French--"Ah, Mr Marston, I perceive that you are a connoisseur." I
turned, and saw the speaker, a man somewhat above the middle size; a
remarkably noble-looking personage; in full dress even at that hour,
powdered and perfumed, and altogether a court figure; his hands loaded
with jewels, and a diamond star of the order of the garter upon his
breast. It required no introducer to tell me that I was in the presence
of the Duke of Brunswick.

"Come," said he, "we have no time for etiquette, nor indeed for any
thing else to-night--we must sup first, and then talk of your mission."

We sat down; a double file of valets, in liveries, loaded with
embroidery, attended at the table; though the party consisted of but
four; Varnhorst, and a Colonel Guiseard, chief of the secret diplomacy,
a pale Spanish-featured officer--to whom his highness did me the honour
of introducing me, as the son of one of his old friends.

"You remember Marston," said he, "at Brunswick, five-and-twenty years
ago, in his envoyship--a capital horseman, a brilliant dresser, and a
very promising diplomatist. I augured well of his future career,
but" ----the infinite elevation of the ducal shoulders, and the infinite
drooping of the ducal eyes, completed the remainder of my unfortunate
parent's history; but whether in panegyric or censure, I was not
sufficiently versed in the science of saying nothing and implying all
things, to tell. Guiseard fixed his deep sallow eye on me, without a
word: at that moment he reminded me exactly of one of the
Inquisitors--the deep, dark-visaged men whom the matchless pencil of
Velasquez has immortalized.

Varnhorst burst out into a laugh.

"What, Guiseard," said he, "are you reconnoitring the ground before you
make the attack? Your royal highness, I think we ought to vindicate our
country to this English gentleman, by assuring him that the colonel is
not a cardinal in disguise."

The colonel merely smiled, which seemed an effort for his cloistered
physiognomy; the duke laughed, and began a general conversation upon all
possible topics--England forming the chief; the royal family--the
court--the theatres--parliament--the people--all whirled over with the
ease and rapidity of one turning the leaves of an album; here a verse
and there a portrait--here a sketch of a temple, and there an outline of
a cottage--the whole pretty, and as trifling as pretty, and cast aside
at the first moment when any thing better worth thinking of occurred.

In the midst of our gaiety, in which the duke had completely laid down
his sceptre, and taken his full share, the great clock of the chateau
tolled one. The table was instantly swept of supper--the valets
withdrew. I heard the tread of a sentinel at the door of the apartment;
and the duke, instantly changing from the man of fashion to the
statesman, began to enter into the questions then so deeply disturbing
all the cabinets of Europe.

I found the duke a very superior man to what I had conceived of him. He
was frank and free, spoke of the intentions of the Allies in the most
open manner, and censured the errors which they had already committed,
with a plainness which I had not expected to find out of London. He had
evidently made himself master of a great variety of knowledge, and with
the happy but most unusual power of rendering it all applicable to the
point in question. My impressions of him and his order, imbibed among
the prejudices of England and the libels of France, was that of
frivolity and flutter--an idle life and a stagnant understanding. I
never was more surprised at the contrast between this conception and the
animated and accomplished prince before me. He seemed to know not merely
the persons of all the leading men of Europe--which might have naturally
been the case with one who had visited every capital--but to be
acquainted with their characters, their abilities, and even their modes
of thinking. He seemed to me a man born to rule. It was in later days
that the habits of a voluptuary, of which his peculiar love of dress
might have been slightly symptomatic, produced their effect, in
enfeebling a mind made for eminence. I saw him afterwards, broken with
years and misfortune. But on this night I could only see a man on whom
the destinies of Europe were rightly reposed. I pay this tribute of
honour to his memory.

He spoke a great deal, in our conference, on the necessity of a strong
European combination against France, and flatteringly addressed to me a
strong panegyric on my country.

"If we can obtain," said he, "the cordial co-operation of the English
people, I see no difficulty before us. We already have the Ministry with
us; but I know the Englishman's hatred of a foreign war, his horror of
public expenditure on continental interests, and his general distrust of
the policy of foreign courts. And until we can give the people some
evidence, not only that our intentions are sincere, but that our cause
is their own, we shall never have the nation on our side."

My remark was, "that the chief difficulty with the nation would be, to
convince them that the Allied Powers were not influenced by personal
motives; I said that the seizure of territory, while the French remained
in their defenceless state, would probably excite strong public
displeasure in England; and plainly stated, that the only thing which
could engage the public spirit in the war, would be a conviction of its
absolute justice and stern necessity."

The conversation was here interrupted by the arrival of a staff-officer
with despatches from Berlin. A number of papers were laid on the table,
and handed over to Varnhorst and Guiseard to read. They proved chiefly
notes and orders relative to the advance of the army. One paper,
however, the duke read with evident interest, and marked with his pencil
down the margin.

"I am delighted," said he, "that this paper has reached us at last. Mr
Marston will now see what my real advice has been from the beginning.
The French journals have attacked me furiously for the declaration
issued at our entrance on the frontier. The journals of England have
partly echoed the French, and I am held up to the world as the author of
the _Declaration of Pilnitz_. This paper, which Mr Marston will do me
the honour to send at daybreak to his court by a special messenger, will
clear my character with his countrymen at once--with the rest of Europe,
I am content to wait a little longer."

He then read the paper in his hand; and it was a long and striking
protest against the idea of partitioning France, or having any other
intention in the movement of the troops than the security of the French
throne. This document had been sent to the Council at Berlin, and been
returned by them for revision by the duke, and the softening of its
rather uncourtly decisiveness of expression. It stated, that even the
conquest of France, if it could be effected, must be wholly useless
without the conciliation of the people: that it must be insecure, that
it never could be complete, and that even the attempt might rouse this
powerful people to feel its own force, and turn its vast resources to
war. The first measure ought, therefore, to be an address to the nation,
pronouncing, in the clearest language, an utter abjuration of all local
seizure.

The paper thus returned, and containing the observations of the council,
was given to Varnhorst, to be copied. "And now," said the duke,
"gentlemen, I think we may retire for the night; for we have but three
hours until the march in the morning."

I said some common-place thing, of the obligations which Europe must owe
to a sovereign prince, exposing himself to such labours, honourable as
they were.

"No," he smilingly replied; "they are part of our office, the routine of
the life of princes, the vocation of men born for the public, and living
for the public alone. The prince must be a soldier, and the soldier must
make the camp his home, and the palace only his sojourn. It is his
fortune, perhaps his misfortune, that but one profession in life is left
open to him, whether it be the bent of his temperament or not--while
other men may follow their tastes in the choice, serve their fellows in
a hundred different ways, and raise a bloodless reputation among
mankind. And now, good-night. To-morrow at five the _advance_ moves. At
six I shall be on horseback, and then--Well! what matter for the
_then_? We shall sleep at least to-night; and so, farewell."



INDEX TO VOL. LIV.


Aberdeen, Lord, remarks on his church bill, 545.

Adventures in Louisiana, No. I., The Prairie and the Swamp, 43
  --No. II., The Blockhouse, 234.

Adventures in Texas, No. I., A Scamper in the Prairie of Jacinto, 551
  --No. II., A Trial by Jury, 777.

Ahmed-Kiuprili, career of, 175.

Anti-corn-law League, proceedings of the, 539.

Ancient Towns, a plea for, against railways, 398.

Aristocracy of England, the, 51.

Armada, the, from Schiller, 143.

Armansperg, Count, administration of, in Greece, 348.

Arne the composer, 26.

Art, British, present state of, 188.

Athens, population, institutions, &c., of, 352.

Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, on the best means of establishing a
communication between the, 658.

Austria, commerce, &c., of, 251.

Ballads of Schiller, the. _See_ Schiller.

Balzac, M., Two Dreams, a sketch by, 672.

Banking-house, the, a history in three parts. Part I. Chap. I.,
Prospective, 576
  --Chap. II., Retrospective, 578
  --Chap. III., The beginning of the end, 582
  --Chap. IV., Miching mallecho, it means mischief, 585
  --Chap. V., Matters of course, 588
  --Chap. VI., A discovery, 592
  --Chap. VII., The end of the beginning, 594.
  Part II. Chap. I., A negotiation, 719
  --Chap. II., A lull. 723
  --Chap. III., A sweet couple, 725
  --Chap. IV., A speculation, 730
  --Chap. V., A landed proprietor, 733.

Bankruptcy of the Greek kingdom, the, 345
  --means of averting it, 361.

Barrett, Elizabeth B., Cry of the Children, by, 260.

Bavarian government of Greece, effects of the, 345.

Bennett's Ceylon and its capabilities, review of, 622.

Blockhouse, the, an adventure in Louisiana, 234.

Bridge over the Thur, the, from the German of Gustav Schwab, 717.

British institution, exhibition at the, 203.

Brownrigg, Sir Robert, conquest of Kandy, by, 632.

Bulwer, Sir Edward Lytton, Bart., translation of the poems and ballads
of Schiller, by. Part the last, 139.
  --Love and Death, by, 717.

Bute, lines written in, by Delta, 749.

Byrd, the composer, 24.

Cabinet, the Greek, construction and powers of the, 350.

Canadian corn bill, the, 543.

Canal, proposed between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, 658.

Carlyle's Past and Present, review of, with notices of his other works,
121.

Ceylon and its capabilities, by Bennett, review of, 622
  --its climate, 626
  --sketch of its history, 627.

Chapters of Turkish History; No. X. The Second Siege of Vienna, 173.

Charles Edward at Versailles on the Anniversary of the Battle of
Culloden, a poem, 107.

Chronicles of Paris--the Rue St Denis, 524.

Cinghalese, character of the, 627.

Cobden, Mr, refutation of his statements regarding the colonies, 407, 637
  --his misrepresentations on the corn question, 539.

College Theatricals, a tale, 737.

Colonies, the, examination of Cobden's statements regarding, 409, 637.

Commencement of the New Century, the, from the German of Schiller, 151.

Commercial Intercourse between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, on the
best means of establishing, 658.

Commercial Policy, Europe, 243
  --ships, colonies, and commerce, 406
  --the same continued, 637.

Comparison of the protective and free-trade
systems, 243, 406, 637.
Conflict, the, on the German of Schiller, 144.

Continental nobility, comparison of with the British, 56.

Corn-law Question, the, 539.

Council of State, the Greek, 350.

Creswick, Mr, remarks on the style of, 188.

Cry of the Children, the, 260.

Darien company, the, 661.

Davie, Major, conduct of, in Ceylon, 628.

Death from the Sting of a Serpent, lines on, 798.

Delta, a Vision of the World by, 343
  --Lines written in the Isle of Bute by, 749.

Devil's Frills, the, a Dutch illustration of the water cure,
  --Chap. I. 225
  --Chap. II. ib.
  --Chap. III. 227
  --Chap. IV. 228
  --Chap. V. 230
  --Chap. VI. 232.

Disturbed Districts of Wales, notes on a tour in the, by Joseph Downes,
766.

Downes, Joseph, tour in the disturbed districts of Wales by, 766.

Dutch, landing of the, in Ceylon, 627.

Early English Musicians, notices of, 23.

Early Greek Romances, the Ethiopics of Heliodorus, 109.

Education, institutions for, in Greece, 357.

Education, the government scheme of, 548.

Emma, lines to, from the German of Schiller, 150.

England, the aristocracy of, 51.

English music and musicians, 23.

Epigram on Dr Toe, &c., 263.

Erigena, letter from, to Christopher North, 263.

Ethiopics of Heliodorus, account of the, 109.

Europe, commercial policy of, 243.

Exhibitions, notices of--the Royal Academy's, 188
  --the Suffolk Street gallery, 199
  --paintings in water-colours, 201
  --the British Institution, 203.

Factory bill, the, 548.

Fanariotes, character of the, 351.

Farewell to the Reader, from the German of Schiller, 152.

Fate of Polycrates, the, 483.

France, conduct of, towards Greece, 359.

Frederick Schlegel, review of the works and character of, 311.

Free-trade and protective systems, comparison of the, 248.

French academy, 519.

French and German works of fiction, comparison between, 672.

Fuseli's Lectures at the Royal Academy: his introduction, 691
  --Lecture I., 694
    --II., 697
    --III., 703.

Game up with the repeal agitation, the, 679.

German and French literature, comparison between, 672.

Gibbons the composer, 24.

Gifts of Térek the, translated from the Russian of Lermontoff, by J. B.
Shaw, 799.

Gods of Greece, the, from the German of Schiller, 146.

Goethe, remarks by, on the Schlegels, 311.

Great Britain, proceedings of, towards Greece, 359.

Greece, present state and prospects of, 345
  --peculiarities of its inhabitants, 350
  --its present revenues and expenditure, 361.

Guizot, M., opinion of, on the union of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans,
659.

Heliodorus, the Ethiopics of, 109.

Heber, Bishop, the Whippiad, a poem, by. Canto I., 100
  --Canto II., 102
  --Canto III., 104.

Hendia, the history of, 479.

Hullah's method of teaching, strictures on, 37.

Humboldt, M., on uniting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, 659.

Hymn to Joy, from the German of Schiller, 142.

Inscription on the foundation stone of the new dining-hall, &c., 79.

Invincible Armada, the, from the German of Schiller, 143.

Irish arms bill, the, 549.

Jacinto, a scamper in the prairie of, 521.

Jack Stuart's bet on the Derby, and how he paid his losses, 67.

Jolly Father Joe, a tale from the Golden Legend, 255.

Joy, hymn to, from the German of Schiller, 142.

Jury trial in Texas, a, 777.

Kandy, description of the district of, 627
  --its conquest by the British, 632.

Kerim Khan, travels of. Part I., 453
  --Part II., 564
  --Part III., 753.

King Arthur, Purcell's opera of, and its revival, 25.

Last Session of Parliament, review of the, 538
  --the corn question, 539
  --the Canadian corn bill, 543
  --the Scotch church bill, 545
  --the factory bill, 548
  --the Irish arms bill, 549.

Letter to Christopher North, 263.

Lectures at the Royal Academy--Henry Fuseli, 691.

Lines written in the Isle of Bute, by Delta, 749.

Lloyd, Mr, report by, on uniting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, 663.

Locke, Mathew, the composer, 25.

Logic, Mill's elements of, reviewed, 415.

Louisiana, adventures in; the Prairie and the Swamp, 43
  --No. II., the Blockhouse, 234.

Love and Death, by Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer, 717.

M'Dowall, General, proceedings of, in Ceylon, 628.

Maclise, Mr, remarks on the style of, 188.

Mainzer and Hullah, comparison of the methods of, 37.

Marston; or, Memoirs of a Statesman. Part II., 1
  --Part III., 207
  --Part IV., 325
  --Part V., 608
  --Part VI., 801.

Maurer, M., administration of, in Greece, 348.

Meeting, the, from the German of Schiller, 149.

Memoir on the best means of establishing a communication between the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans, 658.

Mill's elements of logic, review of, 415.

Minstrels of Old, the, from the German of Schiller, 152.

Modern painters, their superiority in the art of landscape painting to
the old masters, review of, 485.

Municipal institutions of Greece, the, 352.

Music, something about, 709.

Music and musicians, English, 23
  --present state of, in England, 33.

My country neighbours, a tale, 431.

Napier's (Colonel) reminiscences of Syria, review of, 476.

Nobility of England, characteristics of the, 56.

Non-intrusionism, remarks on, and on the proceedings of the party, 545.

Notes on a tour in the disturbed districts in Wales, by Joseph Downes, 766.

O'Connell, Mr, present position of, 264
  --proceedings of the government against, and their consequences, 685.

Otho, King, state of Greece on his accession to the throne, 345
  --effects of his government, 348.

Over-production, effects of, 243.

Pacific and Atlantic oceans, proposed communication between the, 658.

Panama, the isthmus of, its advantages for a communication between the
two oceans, 658
  --description of the town, 665.

Paris, chronicles of--the Rue St Denis, 524.

Parliament, last session of, review of its measures, 538
  --the corn-law question, 539
  --Canadian corn-bill, 543
  --Scotch church bill, 545
  --Factory bill, 548
  --the Irish arms bill, 549.

Past and Present, by Thomas Carlyle, review of, 121.

Patent law, effects of the, 519.

Peel, Sir Robert, review of his speech on the Irish question, 270.

Persian princes, notices of the narrative of the, 453.

Philhellenic drinking-song, by B. Simmons, 41.

Physical science in England, state and prospects of, 514.

Plea for ancient towns against railways, a, 398.

Poems and ballads of Schiller, the. _See_ Schiller.

Poetry--Philhellenic drinking-song, by B. Simmons, 41
  --inscription on the foundation stone of the new dining-hall, &c., 79
  --the Whippiad, a satirical poem, by Bishop Heber, Canto I., 100
    --Canto II., 102
    --Canto III., 104
    --Charles Edward at Versailles on the anniversary of the battle of
      Culloden, 107
  --Poems and Ballads of Schiller; Part the Last, 139
  --Jolly Father Joe, a tale from the Golden Legend, 255
  --the Cry of the Children, by Elizabeth B. Barrett, 260
  --a Vision of the World, by Delta, 343
  --the Fate of Polycrates, 483
  --Lines written in the Isle of Bute, by Delta, 749
  --Death from the sting of a serpent, 798
  --the Purple Cloak, or the return of Syloson to Samos, 714
  --Love and Death, 717
  --the Bridge over the Thur, from the German, ib.
  --Gifts of Térek, the, 799.

Polycrates, the Fate of, a poem, 483.

Poole, Mr, critique on his painting, "Solomon Eagle," &c., 189.

Portugal, the French invasion of, causes of its success, 53.

Prairie and the Swamp, the, an adventure in Louisiana, 43.

Protective and free-trade systems, comparison of the, 243, 406, 637.

Puppet-show of Life, the, from the German of Schiller, 150.

Purcell the composer, revival of his opera King Arthur, and remarks on
it, 25.

Purple Cloak, the, or the return of Syloson to Samos, 714
  --Part II., 715.

Railroad, proposed, across the isthmus of Panama, 658.

Railways, a plea for ancient towns against, 398.

Reading party during the long vacation, a, 153.

Rebeccaites in Wales, the, 766.

Reminiscences of Syria, 476.

Repeal agitation, the, 264
  --game up with, 679.

Resignation, from the German of Schiller, 145.

Reviews.--Scrope's Days and nights of salmon fishing, 80
  --Carlyle's Past and Present, 121
  --the works of Frederick Schlegel, 311
  --Woman's rights and duties, 373
  --Mill's elements of logic, 415
  --Colonel Napier's reminiscences of Syria, 476
  --Modern painters, their superiority in the art of landscape painting to
    the old masters, 485
  --Bennett's Ceylon and its capabilities, 622.

Roads, deficiency of, in Greece, 336.

Royal Academy, exhibition of the, 188
  --Fuseli's Lectures at the, 691.

Royal salute, the, a tale, 504.

Royal Society of London, the, 518.

Rue St Denis, chronicles of the, 524.

Russia, conduct of, towards Greece, 359.

Salmon fishing, Scrope's days and nights of, reviewed, 80.

Scamper in the prairie of Jacinto, a, 521.

Schiller, the poems and ballads of, translated, Part the Last,
introduction, 139
  --remarks on those of the second period, 140
  --hymn to joy, 142
  --the invincible armada, 143
  --the conflict, 144
  --resignation, 145
  --the gods of Greece, 146
  --the meeting, 149
  --to Emma, 150
  --to a young friend devoting himself to philosophy, ib.
  --the puppet-show of life, ib.
  --the commencement of the new century, 151
  --the minstrels of old, 152
  --farewell to the reader, ib.

Schlegel, Frederick, review of the works of, 311.

Schwab, Gustav, the Bridge over the Thur, by, translated, 717.

Scotch Church, remarks on the bill for the settlement of the, 544.

Scrope on salmon fishing, review of, 80.

Second siege of Vienna, the, a chapter of Turkish history, 173.

Senses, a speculation on the, 650.

Simmons, B., Philhellenic drinking-song, by, 41.

Singers, English, notices of, 31.

Singhalese, character of the, 627.

Sketch in the tropics, a, from a super-cargo's log, 362.

Sobieski, John, deliverance of Vienna, by, 184.

Society of British artists, exhibition of the, 199.

Something about Music, 709.

Spain, effects of the want of an aristocracy in, 52.

Speculation on the senses, a, 650.

Stahrenberg, Count, defence of Vienna by, 181.

Statesman, memoirs of a. Part II., 1
  --Part III., 207
  --Part IV., 325
  --Part V., 608
  --Part VI., 801.

Suffolk street gallery, exhibition at the, 199.

Supercargo's log, sketch from a, 362.

Switzerland, commercial policy, &c., of, 248.

Syloson's return to Samos, 714
  --Part II., 715.

Syria, Colonel Napier's reminiscences of, 476.

Tallis, the English musician, notices of, 23-24.

Taprobane of the Romans, the, 623.

Taxation, pressure of, in Greece, 358.

Texas, adventures in. No. I., a scamper in the prairie of Jacinto, 551
  --No. II., a trial by jury, 777.

Thirteenth, the, a tale of doom, 465.

To a young friend devoting himself to philosophy, from the German of
Schiller, 150.

Travels of Kerim Khan. Part I., 453
  --Part II., 564
  --conclusion, 753.

Trial by jury, a; an adventure in Texas, 777.

Tropics, a sketch in the, from a super-cargo's log, 362.

Turkish history, chapters of. No. X., the second siege of Vienna, 173.

Turner, J. W., strictures on the works of, 497.

Two dreams, from the French of Balzac, 672.

University of Athens, the, 358.

Vienna, the second siege of, a chapter of Turkish history, 173.

Vision of the world, a, by Delta, 343.

Wales, notes on a tour in the disturbed districts of, 766.

Water-colour paintings, exhibitions of, 201.

"We are all low people there," a tale of the assizes. Chapter I., 273
  --Chapter II., 288.

Whewell's philosophy of the inductive sciences, remarks on, 422.

Whippiad, the, a satirical poem, by Bishop Heber. Canto I., 100
  --Canto II., 102
  --Canto III., 104
  --Letter relating to, 263.

Woman's rights and duties, review of, 373.

Women, the wrongs of, 597.

Wood-paving for locomotives, advantages of, 398.

World, a vision of the, by Delta, 343.

Wrongs of women, the, 597.

Young, A., on the habits of the Salmon, 82.


END OF VOL. LIV.


_Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul's Work._





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