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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844
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 55, No. 343, May 1844" ***

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to the end of each article.


    RHINE AND RHINELANDERS                                             546
    MARSTON; OR, THE MEMOIRS OF A STATESMAN. PART XI.                  561
    INDIAN AFFAIRS--GWALIOR                                            579
    THE FREETHINKER                                                    593
    THE SNOW. BY DELTA                                                 617
    LOVE IN THE WILDERNESS                                             620
    IRELAND--THE LANDLORD AND TENANT QUESTION                          638

       *       *       *       *       *


NO. 1.


Among the many causes of anxiety which the present state of society in
the British empire must occasion to every thoughtful or reflecting
mind--one of the most extraordinary and alarming is, the _constant and
uninterrupted increase of crime_. The Liberals shut their eyes to this,
because it affords a sad illustration of the effect of their favourite
theories, which for a quarter of a century have been, under the
direction of his Majesty's Ministry or his Majesty's Opposition, in
almost ceaseless operation. The selfish and inconsiderate (and they form
the vast majority of men) give themselves no sort of trouble about the
matter: they care not though their neighbours are murdered or robbed,
plundered or swindled, so as they escape unscathed themselves; and
without either thinking on the subject, or suggesting one remedy for its
evils, interfere only, with stentorian lungs, to resist any project to
arrest them having the remotest tendency to terminate in an assessment.
Their principle is to take of civilisation only its fruits, and steadily
to withstand the concomitant evils; and the simple way by which they
think this is to be effected--is quietly, and without saying a word, to
reap the benefit of manufacturing industry in the doubling or tripling
of their incomes; but to roar out like madmen if the smallest per
centage is proposed to be laid on them, to arrest or mitigate the evils
which that industry brings in its train. Government meanwhile, albeit
fully aware of the danger, is not sufficiently strong to do any thing to
avert it; its own majority is paralysed by the inherent selfishness of
mankind; and nothing but some great and stunning public calamity can, it
is universally felt, awaken the country to a sense of the evils growing
out of its greatness, but threatening in the end to endanger its
existence. Thus nothing is done, or at least nothing effectual is done,
to avert the dangers: every one shuts his eyes to them, or opens them
only to take measures to avert an assessment; and meanwhile crime
advances with the steps of a giant, sweeping whole classes of society
into its vortex, and threatening to spread corruption and vice, in an
incredible manner, through the densest and most dangerous classes of the

Authentic and irrefragable evidence of the magnitude of this danger
exists in the statistical tables of committals which have now, for a
very considerable time, been prepared in all parts of the British
empire. Since the year 1805, when regular tables of commitments first
began to be kept in England, commitments have increased _sixfold_: they
have swelled _from five to thirty-one thousand_. During the same period
population has advanced about sixty per cent: in other words, detected
Unwilling as we are to load our pages with statistical tables--which,
attractive to the thinking few, are repulsive to the unthinking many--we
must yet request our readers to cast their eyes to the bottom of the
pages, where these appalling truths are demonstrated by the
parliamentary returns. In Scotland and Ireland the returns of
commitments have not been kept, until within the last twenty years, with
such accuracy as can be relied on; but they exhibit an increase still
more alarming. Ireland, as might be expected, exhibits a growth of crime
which has fully kept pace with that of England during the same period:
but Scotland exhibits a change which fairly outstrips all the others in
the race of iniquity. In 1803, Lord Advocate Hope said in Parliament,
that more crime was tried at one Quarter Sessions at Manchester than
over all Scotland in a whole year; and the proceedings of the criminal
courts to the north of the Tweed, at that period, amply demonstrated the
truth of his assertion. In the year 1805, eighty-nine criminals were
brought before the whole tribunals, supreme and inferior, in Scotland;
but in the year 1842, the committals for serious offences were nearly
four thousand--in other words, serious crime, in less than forty years,
had augmented in Scotland above THIRTY-SIX FOLD. During the same period
population has advanced about fifty per cent, viz. from 1,800,000 to
2,660,000; so that in moral, staid, and religious Scotland, serious
crime, during the last forty years, has risen TWENTY-FIVE TIMES as fast
as the number of the people.[1]

Overlooked as this prodigious change has been, as all things are which
arise gradually in this country, it has yet attracted, as well it might,
the astonishment of writers on the Continent. Nine yeas ago, M. Moreau
observed, speaking of the increase of crime in Scotland--"In the year
1805, the criminal commitments in Scotland were eighty-nine: they are
now 2864--that is, they have increased in thirty years thirty-fold. It
would appear that Scotland, in becoming a manufacturing state, has in a
great degree lost the virtue and simplicity of character by which she
was formerly distinguished."[2]

What renders this prodigious increase of crime in so short a period,
in all parts of the British Empire, in a peculiar manner extraordinary
and alarming, is, that it has taken place at the very time when
unheard-of efforts were made, in every part of the country, for the
moral and religious instruction of the people. We are very far indeed
from saying that enough has been done in this way: no one is better
aware that the vast debt, which the prosperous wealth of Britain owes in
this respect to its suffering indigence, is still in great part
undischarged, and that till it is taken up and put on a proper footing
_by the state_, it never can be completely liquidated;--still, more has
been done to discharge it during the last thirty years, than in the
whole previous centuries which have elapsed since the Reformation. The
churches of England and Scotland, during that period, have improved to
an astonishing degree in vigour and efficiency: new life, a warmer
spirit, a holier ambition, has been breathed into the Establishment; the
dissenters of all denominations have vied with them in zeal and
effort; churches and chapels have been built and opened in every
direction; and though they have by no means, in the manufacturing
districts, kept pace with the increase of population, yet they have
advanced with a rapidity hitherto unheard of in British history. The
laity of all denominations have made extraordinary efforts to promote
the cause of education. In this great and good work, persons of all
descriptions have, though from very different motives, laboured
together; but much remains to be done. We well know how many tens and
hundreds of thousands, in the manufacturing districts, are now wandering
in worse than heathen darkness in the midst of a Christian land;--we
well know what insurmountable obstacles mere voluntary zeal and exertion
meet with in the most praiseworthy efforts, from the selfish resistance
of property and the reckless dissipation of indigence. But still, no one
acquainted with the subject can deny, that during the last thirty years,
incomparably more has been done to promote education among the poor than
in the preceding three centuries. Yet this period of anxious solicitude,
awakened fear, and general effort to stem, by all the known methods, the
deluge of profligacy and depravity with which the country has been
flooded, has been characterized by an increase of crime, and a general
loosening of morals among the labouring classes, hitherto unprecedented
in the country--certainly not equaled during the same period in any
other European state, and, so far as we know, without an example in the
previous history of mankind.

Struck with astonishment at this extraordinary and painful phenomenon,
and wholly at a loss to explain it on any of the principles to which
they have been accustomed to give credit, the Liberals have generally
endeavoured to deny its existence. They say that the returns of
commitments do not afford a correct measure of the crime that really
exists in the country; that a police force is now more generally
established, and is incomparably more vigilant than heretofore; that
crimes are classified in a different way from what they formerly were;
and that though the figures do not err, yet the results to which they
point are not the real ones. There is some truth in these observations.
It is true that a police force is more extensively established, and is
more efficient than it formerly was;--it is true that crimes are now
differently classified, and enter different columns, and appear in
different returns from what they formerly did;--it is true that there
are specialties in the case;--but it is not true that those specialties
tend to make the returns of crime appear greater than the reality; on
the contrary, they all tend the other way. They show that the returns as
now constructed, and the police force as it at present exists, do not by
any means exhibit the growth of crime in its true colours; that it is in
reality _incomparably greater_ than these returns or this agency has
brought to light; and that, great as the evil appears from an
examination of the Parliamentary returns, it is in truth far more
colossal and alarming.

How is a police force established in any part of Great Britain? If we
except the metropolis, where the vast concourse from all parts of the
empire unavoidably forced upon government, fourteen years ago, the
establishment of a central police, since found to be attended with such
admirable effects, it is every where set on foot by the _voluntary act_
of the inhabitants, or a certain portion of them, in a peculiar manner
cognizant of the necessity which exists for such an addition to the
means of public defence. In boroughs, it is generally the magistrates,
elected by a suffrage little superior to household suffrage, who
introduce such a measure. In counties, it can only be proposed by the
justices of peace in England, or commissioners of supply in
Scotland--both of which bodies are thoroughly imbued with, and fairly
represent, the general voice of the community. In all cases, whether in
the metropolis or in the provinces, a police imposes _an immediate and
heavy burden on all householders_. In London L40,000 a-year is given by
government to aid in the support of the police; but the whole remainder
of the cost, amounting to four times as much, falls on the ratepayers.
In the provinces the whole cost of every police force falls on the
householders; and our readers need not be told how heavy it sometimes
is, and how universally it is every where complained of.

Now, if there is any one peculiarity more than another by which this
generation is distinguished, it is aversion to assessment. People may
differ in other respects as to the designation by which the age should
be characterized; but we believe all will agree that it is a _tax-hating
age_. What did this nation first do on being liberated from danger by
the battle of Waterloo? Throw off the income-tax. What alone induced
them to submit to it again on the modified scale of three per cent? The
disasters in Affghanistan; the perils of our Indian empire; the rocking
of Britain to its foundation. When therefore, in such a country and in
such an age, we see numerous bodies of men--popularly elected in some
cases, in all swayed by the popular voice--concurring, in a great many
places, in the taxation of themselves for the establishment of a police,
we may rely upon it that some very general and grinding sense of
necessity has been at work to produce the effect. Nothing but this could
overcome, in men really and practically invested in this particular with
the power of self-government, the universal and almost invincible
repugnance to assessments. Rely upon it, for every crime which is
brought to light, and made the subject of commitment and trial by the
institution of a police force, ten previously existed, undetected and
unpunished, before men were driven to the _flebile remedium_, the
_ultimum malum_, of taxing themselves for the establishment of a force
to repress them.

To illustrate the strength of this resistance, and the important bearing
it has upon the present question, we shall refer only to two
instances--one in England, and one in Scotland. It is well known what a
scene of confusion and disorder South Wales has for years past been. The
bloodshed at Merthyr-Tydvil, the strikes in Glamorganshire, the attack
on Newport, and the Rebecca riots, had for a series of years fixed the
attention of all parts of the empire upon this, as one of the most
inflammable and dangerous portions of the community. Nor did these
disorders appear surprising to those who were practically acquainted
with the state of the country, overrun as it is in many places by vast
iron-works, which have brought together a great and reckless population,
and inhabited in all by a discontented and ill-instructed peasantry.
Population had advanced with unexampled rapidity--having increased, from
1831 to 1841, _thirty-six and a tenth_ per cent in Monmouthshire; the
greatest increase during the same period of any county in the British
empire.[3] Here then, if anywhere, it might have been expected that a
general feeling of insecurity, the sense of an overbearing necessity,
would have overcome the general repugnance of men towards local
assessment, and led to the establishment of a police force in all the
counties of South Wales, on a scale adequate to the magnitude of the
danger with which they were threatened. Was it so? Had the counties
taken the requisite steps to avoid the calamity? Quite the reverse; the
aversion to a police assessment was so strong, that nothing whatever
had been done. Glamorganshire had only established one on a small scale,
after repeated and earnest efforts on the part of its able and
public-spirited lord-lieutenant, the Marquis of Bute; and the Rebecca
riots surprised the adjoining counties without any preparation whatever.
And even after those disgraceful disorders had continued several weeks,
and rendered South Wales the scandal of the empire, and the astonishment
of Europe; still the repugnance to assessment was such, that it was only
after a severe struggle, and by no small exertions, that it was at
length carried; and the public-spirited member for the county, who to
his infinite credit brought forward the measure, stated at the county
meeting on the subject, that he was aware he endangered his seat by so

The Scotch have shown themselves not a whit behind their southern
compatriots in repugnance to a police assessment. In Lanarkshire, as it
is well known, the iron and coal trades have made unexampled progress
during the last ten years. Its population, in consequence, has
enormously increased; having risen from 316,000 to 434,000 in ten years,
from 1831 to 1841--an increase of thirty-six per cent in that short
time--the next to Monmouthshire of the whole empire. Crime had, of
course, enormously increased. In 1835, the committals for serious
offences were 401: in 1842, they had risen to 696--being an increase of
seventy-five per cent in seven years.[4] Serious crime, therefore, so
far as detected, was doubling in ten years, while population was
doubling in thirty--in other words, detected crime was increasing _three
times as fast as the numbers of the people_. Disturbances, as a matter
of course, of a very serious nature had arisen. In 1837, the great
cotton-spinners' conspiracy, which led to the memorable trial, had kept
above twenty thousand persons in Lanarkshire, for four months, in a
state of compulsory destitution. In 1842, the colliers' strike threw a
still greater number into a state of idleness for five months, which led
to a general system of plunder, and forcible seizure of the farmers'
produce in the fields; only repressed, with infinite difficulty, by the
introduction of a large military force, aided by the yeomanry of the
county, who were on permanent duty for six weeks, and the establishment
for a few months, by subscription, of a powerful police. In October
1842, twenty policemen, who had some prisoners in charge for combination
offences, were assaulted by a furious mob of two thousand persons on the
streets of Airdrie, in the centre of the mining district of the county,
the house in which they had taken refuge set on fire, and the prisoners
by main force rescued from the hands of the law.[5] These facts were
known to the whole county, and the terror which, in consequence,
pervaded the agricultural inhabitants of the mining districts was so
great, that in a petition to government praying for protection, they
stated--that they would be better if law were altogether abolished, and
every man were allowed to defend himself by fire-arms, than they were
now; for that, if they used lethal weapons in defence of their property,
they ran the risk of being transported for culpable homicide--if they
did not, they were certain of being plundered by the combined workmen.
And what did the county do to arrest this disgraceful and perilous
system of outrage and plunder? Why, in the full knowledge of all these
facts, they passed a solemn resolution at Lanark, on 30th April 1843,
that _they never would again, on any occasion, or under any
circumstances of necessity whatever, sanction the employment of any
police or defensive force raised at their expense_.

We do not suppose that the inhabitants of South Wales or the banks of
the Clyde are particularly short-sighted or selfish, or more inclined to
resist assessment for objects of public utility or necessity than those
of other parts of the empire. On the contrary, we know that they are in
a remarkable degree the reverse; and that in no part of the world are
undertakings in public improvement or charity entered into with more
alacrity, and supported with more liberality. We suppose the Scotch and
Welsh are what other men are--neither better nor worse. We adduce these
facts, not as tending to fasten any peculiar charge on them, but as
indicating the general character of human nature, and the universal
repugnance to taxation, which, when men are really and practically, and
not in form only, invested with the power of self-government, appears
the moment that any proposition of subjecting them to assessment for the
purpose of local defence and protection, even under the most aggravating
circumstances, is brought forward. How great, then, must have been the
mass of experienced, but undetected and unpunished, crime which pervades
the state, when this all but invincible repugnance has been generally
overcome, and men in so many cities and counties have been induced to
submit to the certainty of the visit of the tax-gatherer, rather than
the chance of a visit from the thief or the burglar!

And for decisive evidence that the new establishment of a police force
is not, by the crimes which it is the means of binging to light, the
cause of the prodigious increase of crime of late years in the British
empire, we refer to the contemporary examples of two other countries, in
which a police force on a far more extensive scale has been established,
and has been found the means of effecting a signal _diminution_ of crime
and commitment. In Hindostan, as is well known, a most extensive and
admirably organized system of police has been found absolutely
indispensable to repress the endless robberies of which its fertile
plains had long been the theatre; and the force employed, permanently or
occasionally, in this way amounts to _a hundred and sixty thousand_! The
consequence has been a _diminution_ of crime and commitments, during the
last forty years, fully as remarkable as this simultaneous increase in
the British islands. The official reports which have been compiled in
India by the British authorities, exhibit of late years the pleasing
prospect of a decrease of serious crime to a third or fourth part of its
former amount.[6]

Look at France during the same period. That there is in that great
country a numerous and well-organized police force, will not probably be
denied by those who know any thing, either of its present circumstances
by observation, or its past from history. Unlike Great Britain, it is
universally established and raised, not by separate acts of Parliament,
local effort, and contribution, but by a _general_ assessment, under the
name of "Centimes Additionels," yet varying in particular districts,
according to the necessity and amount of the defensive force, but, in
all, imposed by the authority and levied by the officers of government.
And what has been the result? Is it that crime, from being generally
brought to light, evinces the same steady and alarming increase which is
conspicuous in all parts of the British islands? Quite the reverse:
criminal law and a powerful system of police appear there in their true
light, as checking and deterring from crime. Population is advancing
steadily though slowly in that country, crime is stationary or
declining;[7] and while the most powerful and efficient police in Europe
only bring to light about 7000 serious criminals annually out of
34,000,000 souls--that is, 1 in 6700--in Great Britain, out of a
population, including England and Scotland, of 18,000,000 in round
numbers, there were in 1842 no less than 34,800 persons charged with
serious crimes before the criminal tribunals, or 1 in 514--in other
words, serious crime is _fourteen times_ as prevalent in Great Britain
as it is in France. Nothing can more clearly demonstrate the deplorable
fallacy of those who ascribe the present extraordinary frequency and
uninterrupted growth of crime in this country, as attested by the
criminal returns, to the vigilance of the police in bringing it to

In truth, so far from its being the case that crime is now better looked
after, and therefore more frequently brought to light than formerly, and
that it is that which swells our criminal returns, the fact is directly
the reverse. So weak, feeble, and disjointed, are the efforts of our
various multiform and unconnected police establishments over the country
generally,[8] that we assert, without the fear of contradiction by any
person practically acquainted with the subject, that the amount of
undetected and unpunished crime is rapidly on the increase, and is now
greater than it was in any former period. We would recommend any person
who doubts this statement, to go to any of the criminal establishments
in the country, and compare the list of informations of serious crimes
lodged with those of offenders committed; he will find the latter are
scarcely ever so much as a third of the former. These facts do not
appear in the criminal returns, because they are not called for; and the
police-officers are in no hurry to publish facts which proclaim the
insufficiency of the means of repressing crime at their disposal. But
occasionally, and under the pressure of immediate danger, or a strong
sense of duty on the part of the public functionaries, they do come out.
For example, it was stated by Mr Millar, the head of the Glasgow police,
(a most able and active officer,) in a letter read at the county meeting
of Lanarkshire on 21st January 1843, on the subject of a police for the
rural district of that and the adjoining counties, that in the three
months immediately preceding that date, _ninety-one_ cases of theft,
chiefly by housebreaking, had been reported at the Glasgow
police-office, committed in the neighbourhood of Glasgow, but beyond the
police bounds; and that from his own information, and that of the other
officers of his establishment, this number, great as it was, was not _a
third_ of the crimes of that description which had actually been
committed during that period. On the other hand, it was stated by the
sheriff of the county at the same meeting, that in only fourteen of
these ninety-one cases had any trace whatever been got of the
delinquents. In other words, the number of instances in which any clue
was obtained to the criminals was only fourteen out of 273, or _one in
twenty nearly_. And yet this miserable driblet of one in twenty,
exhibits in the criminal returns for Lanarkshire an increase of 75 _per
cent_ in seven years, or a duplication in ten. This instance, to which
hundreds of others might be added from all parts of the country, shows
how extreme is the illusion of those who lay the flattering unction to
their souls, that serious crime is not now more prevalent than it was
formerly, but only better brought to light.

In truth, it has long been known, that in consequence of the relaxation
of the severity of our criminal code, and the astonishing increase of
serious crimes which cannot be passed over, a vast number of criminals
are now disposed of in the police courts, and never appear in the
criminal returns at all, who, twenty years ago, were deemed felons of
the very highest class, and visited often with death, always with
transportation. It was stated in parliament as a subject of complaint
against the Lancashire magistrates, that during the insurrection of 1842
in that county, nearly ten thousand persons were imprisoned, and let go
after a short confinement, without ever being brought to trial. During
the disturbances in the same year, in Lanarkshire and many other
counties of Scotland, (especially Ayrshire, Fife, and Mid-Lothian,) the
accumulation of prisoners was so great, that not only were none detained
for trial but those against whom the evidence was altogether conclusive;
but that great numbers were remitted for trial before the summary
tribunals, and escaped with a month or two of imprisonment, who had
committed capital crimes, and a few years before would infallibly have
been transported for fourteen years. We are getting on so fast, that
nothing is more common now than to see hardened criminals, both in
England and Scotland, disposed of by the police magistrates, and for
capital crimes receive a few months imprisonment. Their names and crimes
never appear in the returns at all. There is no fault attached to any
one for this seeming laxity. The thing is unavoidable. If the class of
cases were all sent to the higher tribunals which formerly were
considered privative to them, the judges, were they twice as numerous as
they are, would sit in the criminal courts from one year's end to
another, and the jails would still be choked up with untried criminals,
numbers of whom would linger for years in confinement.

The Liberal party, in the beginning of the present century, were
unanimous in imputing the vast increase of crime to the defects of our
criminal law. The nominal severity of that system, it was said, and said
justly, with its uncertain punishments and frequent opportunities of
escape, afforded in fact a bounty on the commission of crime. Injured
parties declined to give information for fear of being bound over to
prosecute; witnesses were reluctant to give evidence, judges caught at
legal quibbles, juries violated their oaths, in order to save the
accused from a punishment which all felt was disproportioned to the
offence; and thus the great object of criminal jurisprudence, certainty
of punishment, was entirely defeated. There was much truth in these
observations, but much fallacy in the hope that their removal would
effect any reduction in the number of offences. The object sought for
was carried. Humane principles were triumphant. The labours of Sir
Samuel Romilly and Sir James Mackintosh, aided by the cautious wisdom
and experienced ability of Sir R. Peel, produced a total revolution in
our criminal jurisprudence. The old stain has been removed: we need no
longer fear a comparison With the laws of Draco. For the last fifteen
years so many offences, formerly capital, have had that dreadful penalty
removed, that the law in Great Britain, as now practically administered,
is probably the mildest in Europe. Death is scarce ever inflicted except
for murder; in cases of housebreaking, even when attended with personal
violence, it is never thought of. The executions in Great Britain now
range from twenty-five to thirty-five only a-year, instead of a hundred
and fifty or two hundred, which they formerly were. And what has been
the result? Has the promised and expected diminution of crime taken
place, in consequence of the increased certainty of punishment, and the
almost total removal of all reasonable or conscientious scruples at
being concerned in a prosecution? Quite the reverse. The whole
prophecies and anticipations of the Liberal school have been falsified
by the result. Crime, so far from declining, has signally increased; and
its progress has never been so rapid as during the last fifteen years,
when the lenity of its administration has been at its maximum. An
inspection of the returns of serious crimes already given, will
completely demonstrate this.

Next, it was said, that education would lay the axe to the root of
crime; that ignorance was the parent of vice; and, by diffusing the
school-master, you would extinguish the greater part of the wickedness
which afflicted society; that the providing of cheap, innocent, and
elevating amusements for the leisure hours of the working-classes, would
prove the best antidote to their degrading propensities; and that then,
and then only, would crime really be arrested, when the lamp of
knowledge burned in every mechanic's workshop, in every peasant's
cottage. The idea was plausible, it was seducing, it was amiable; and
held forth the prospect of general improvement of morals from the
enlarged culture of mind. The present generation is generally, it may
almost be said universally, imbued with these opinions; and the efforts
accordingly made for the instruction of the working-classes during the
last twenty-five years, have been unprecedented in any former period of
our history. What have been the results? Has crime declined in
proportion to the spread of education? Are the best instructed classes
the least vicious? Has eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge
diminished the power of the Tempter? So far from it, the consequences,
hitherto at least, have been melancholy and foreboding in the extreme.

The criminal returns of Great Britain and Ireland for the last twenty
years, demonstrate that the uneducated criminals are about a third of
the whole: in other words, the educated criminals are to the uneducated
as two to one.[9] In Scotland, the educated criminals, are about _four
times_ the uneducated; in England, just double; in Ireland, they are
nearly equal. Nay, what is still more remarkable, while the number of
uneducated criminals, especially in Scotland, is yearly diminishing,
that of educated ones is yearly increasing.[10] In France, the criminal
returns have for long demonstrated that the amount of crime, in all the
eighty-four departments of the monarchy, is just in proportion to the
number of educated persons which each contains; a fact the more
remarkable, as three-fifths of the whole inhabitants of the country have
received no education whatever.[11] Of the criminals actually brought
before the Courts of Assize, which correspond to our Old Bailey and
Circuit Courts, it appears that about four-sevenths are educated, and
three-sevenths destitute of any instruction; which gives a greater
proportion of criminals to the educated than the uneducated class, as
three-fifths of the people are wholly uninstructed.[12] But what is most
marvellous of all, the criminal returns of Prussia, the most universally
educated country in Europe, where the duty of teaching the young is
enforced by law upon parents of every description, and entire ignorance
is wholly unknown, the proportion of criminals to the entire population
is TWELVE TIMES greater than in France, where education of any sort has
only been imparted to _two-fifths_ of the community.[13] These facts are
startling--they run adverse to many preconceived ideas--they overturn
many favourite theories; but they are not the less facts, and it is by
facts alone that correct conclusions are to be drawn in regard to human
affairs. In America too, it appears from the criminal returns, many of
which, in particular towns and states, are quoted in Buckingham's
_Travels_, that the educated criminals are to the uneducated often as
three, generally as two, to one. These facts completely settle the
question; although, probably, the whole present generation must descend
to their graves before the truth on the subject is generally

But to any one who reflects on the principles of human nature, and the
moving powers by which it is impelled, whether towards virtue or vice,
such a result must appear not only intelligible but unavoidable. It is
our desires which are our tempters. All the statistical returns prove
that the great majority of educated persons, generally at least
three-fourths of the whole, have received an _imperfect_ education. They
have just got knowledge enough to incur its dangers; they have not got
enough either to experience its utility or share in its elevation. Their
desires are inflamed, their imaginations excited, their cravings
multiplied by what they read; but neither their understandings
strengthened, their habits improved, nor their hearts purified. The
great bulk of mankind at all times, and especially in all manufacturing
communities, can only receive an imperfect education. It is not in the
age of twelve hours' labour at factories, and of the employment of
children without restraint in coal and iron mines, that any thing
approaching to a thorough education can be imparted to the working
classes, at least in the manufacturing districts. The conclusion to be
drawn from this is, not that education is hopeless and should be
abandoned, in relation to the great bulk of men--for we every day, in
detached instances, have proof of its immense and blessed influence; the
conclusion is, that it is by the active, not the intellectual powers,
the desires, not the understanding, that the great majority of men are
governed; that it is the vast addition civilisation and commerce make to
the wants and passions of men, which constitutes the real cause of its
demoralizing influence; and that these dangers never will be obviated
till means are discovered of combating sin with its own weapons, and by
desires as extensively felt as its passions. We must fight it, not only
with the armour of reason, but the fire of imagination. It is by
_enlisting the desires on the side of virtue and order_, that we can
alone generally influence mankind.

It is astonishing how many ways men will turn before they can be brought
to admit the simple truth unfolded in the book of Jeremiah and enforced
in every page of the gospel, that the heart is "deceitful above all
things, and desperately wicked." Driven from the chimeras of mild
punishment and general education as antidotes against the antagonist
power of sin, philanthropists have at last taken refuge in the
infallible effects of _solitary confinement_. Punishment, it was said,
is the real demoralizer of society; it is our jails which are the
hotbeds and nurseries of crime. Reform them--separate the hardened
criminal from the apprentice to crime--let solitary confinement teach
its impressive lessons, and confer its regular habits; and vice, with
all its concomitant evils, will disappear from the land. At the same
time a great impression was made on the legislature by a graphic, and,
in some respects, just description of the suffering in the penal
colonies of New South Wales; and the result has been a general adoption,
over the whole empire, of the system of long imprisonment instead of
transportation, to an extent previously unknown since the system of
forced convict-labour in the colonies was introduced. All persons
practically acquainted with the subject were aware of the result in
which their experiment would terminate, and the fearful multiplication
of irreclaimable criminals to which it would lead in the heart of the
empire. But unfortunately the persons practically acquainted with the
subject had scarcely a voice in the legislature--the current ran strong
in favour of lengthened imprisonment, and the abolition, except in very
bad cases, of transportation. The judges gave ample scope to the new
system, and it received in every point of view a fair experiment.
Highway robbers, housebreakers, and habitual thieves, received, in great
numbers of cases, sentences of imprisonment, instead of transportation
for life or fourteen years. The jails at the same time were every where
improved; a general system of prison discipline was adopted and
enforced; and solitary confinement, with hard labour, became almost
universal. And what has been the result? Why, that it has been now
demonstrated by experience, that even the longest imprisonments, and the
best system of prison discipline, have no effect, or scarce any, in
reclaiming offenders; and that the only effect of the new system has
been, to crowd the jails with convicts and the streets with thieves; to
load the counties with assessments and the calendars with prisoners; to
starve New South Wales for want of compulsory labour, and oppress Great
Britain by the redundance of hardened idleness. We speak of a matter the
subject of universal notoriety: ample proof of it will be furnished in a
future Number.

But, what is most alarming of all, it has now been completely
demonstrated, that we are not to look even to the general spread of
religious instruction for any immediate or even rapid diminution of
crime, or amelioration of the habits of the labouring classes. We say
_immediate or rapid_, because none can be more sensible than we are,
that it is thus alone that crime in the end is to be arrested, and that
the efforts now making in this respect in all parts of the British
empire, are laying the only foundation whereon in future times the
superstructure of a moral and orderly society are to be laid. But, as
every system must be tested by its fruits, and these fruits in the
present forced and artificial state of society are so rapidly brought
forth--it is worse than useless to go on encouraging expectations of an
_early_ reformation of society from the extension of church
establishments, the zeal of dissenters, or the efforts of clerical
instructors. Depend upon it, half a century must elapse before these
praiseworthy and philanthropic efforts produce any _general_ effect on
the frame of society. We shall be fortunate indeed, if in a whole
century the existing evils are in any material degree lessened, and
society has gone on so long without one of those terrible convulsions,
like the French Revolution, which at once destroy the prospects of the
present generation and the hopes of the next.

The reason is, that degraded and sensual men have an instinctive
aversion to religious truth, and a still greater distaste for religious
restraint. The carnal man is at war with God. When will this great
truth, so loudly proclaimed in every page of the gospel, be practically
acknowledged and acted upon? To those who are acquainted with the
anatomy of crime, and who see exemplified in real life the courses of
the wicked, its truth becomes not only evident, but of overwhelming
importance. The strength of the world consists in its pleasures and
enjoyments. It is the vehemence of the desire for these pleasures and
enjoyments, which constitutes the fearful force of its temptations. The
whole progress of society, the whole efforts of man, the whole
accumulations of wealth are directed, in its later stages, to augment
these desires. Necessities in a large portion of society being provided
for, pleasures only are thought of. Civilisation increases them, for it
augments enjoyment: commerce, for it multiplies the wealth by which it
is purchased: ingenuity, for it adds to the instruments of luxury:
knowledge, for it spreads an ardent, and often exaggerated picture of
its gratifications. The whole efforts of man in civilized life are
directed to the increase of human enjoyment, the incitement of human
desire. Need we wonder, then, if religion, which prescribes an
_abstinence_ from the pleasures of sin, which enjoins continence to the
sensual, sobriety to the drunkard, reflection to the unheeding,
gentleness to the irascible, restraint to the voluptuous, probity to the
avaricious, punishment to the profligate, meets in such an age with very
few votaries? Some, doubtless, will always be found, who, disgusted with
the profligacy with which they are surrounded, are led only the more
rapidly to a life of rectitude and duty by such vice; but how many are
they amidst the crowd of sensual and unreflecting? Perhaps one in
twenty. The great mass pass quietly by on the other side; they do not
say there is no God, but they live altogether without God in the world.
In vain are efforts made to reclaim the vicious, to bring up their
children in the way they should go, in the hope that when they are old
they will not desert it. The grown-up will not go to church; in
manufacturing towns they will not even put on Sunday's clothes, but
revel in intoxication or sloth in their working-dresses all the Lord's
day; except when softened by misfortune, or roused by calamity, they
will not listen, even at home, to the voice of religious counsel.
Children may learn their catechism, and repeat their responses at
school; but when they become men and women, will they resist the
temptations by which they are surrounded? Numerous congregations are
often suddenly formed by the planting of an eloquent and earnest divine
into a densely peopled and neglected locality; but where does the
congregation in general come from? Go into the thinned or deserted
churches or chapels in its vicinity, and you will find you have only
_transferred_ the serious and Christian community from one place of
worship to another.

Nor let it be said that these dangers affect only a limited portion of
the community, and that, provided only society holds together, and
property is upon the whole secure, it is of little consequence to the
great bulk of the nation whether its criminals are doubling or tripling
every ten years, whether its convicts are hanged, imprisoned, or
transported. Doubtless that is the view taken by the majority of men,
and which ever makes them resist so strenuously any measures calculated
to arrest the general evils by a forced contribution from all classes of
the state. But is such a view of so very serious a matter either
justified by reason, or warranted by a durable regard to self-interest?
Considered in reference only to immediate advantage, and with a view to
avert the much-dreaded evil of an assessment, is it expedient to allow
crime to go on increasing at the fearful rate which it has done in this
country during the last forty years? Can we regard without disquietude
the appalling facts demonstrated by the Parliamentary returns of
population and commitments--that the people are augmenting three times
as fast in the manufacturing as the agricultural districts--that
detected and punished crime is multiplying in the former three times as
fast as the people--and crime really committed three times as much as
that which is brought to light? What can be expected from a state in
which crime, in the manufacturing districts, is thus increasing
TWENTY-SEVEN TIMES _as fast as mankind in the rural_? From what sources
does this overflowing stream of recklessness, profligacy, and misery,
which overflows our workhouses and fills our jails, mainly spring, but
from this prodigious and unrestrained increase of crime and depravity
among the working classes in the manufacturing districts? Must not such
a state of things lead to a constant augmentation of poor-rates, county
rates, and jail assessments? And how short-sighted is the policy which
allows these oppressive burdens to go on constantly increasing, merely
from terror of incurring additional expense in striving to arrest them,
and hopes to avoid danger, like the partridge, by putting its head in
the bush, and ceasing to look it in the face?

But most of all, in a public and political view, is this extraordinary
increase of crime in our manufacturing districts, a subject of serious
and anxious consideration to all classes in the state. It is in vain to
seek to conceal, it is folly to attempt to deny, that in the dense
masses of the manufacturers the real danger of Great Britain is to be
found. Though not amounting, upon the whole, to more than a tenth part
of the nation, they are incomparably the most alarming from their close
proximity to each other, the fierce passions which the revolutionary
press has long nourished among them, and the perfect organization which,
under the direction Of the leaders of their trades' unions, they have
long attained. The insurrection in the manufacturing districts of
England, and violent strikes in Scotland in 1842, may warn us of the
danger of such an outbreak, especially when combined, as the next will
almost certainly be, with a general rebellion of the Irish Repealers.
Infinite local mischief, incredible destruction of life and property,
would inevitably follow any serious and general insurrection among them;
even though crushed, as in the end it certainly would be, by an united
effort of the other classes in the state. But is the shock to credit,
the destruction of capital, the breaking of the bread of hundreds of
thousands, nothing in a national point of view? And what can augment the
dangers of such local insurrections so much as the acknowledged fact,
that crime is making unprecedented progress amongst them; that so
general have the causes of dissoluteness become, that whole masses are
brought up in depraved and reckless habits, on the verge of, if not
actually committing crime; and that "_les classes dangereuses_" are
daily receiving additional accessions on the depraved, the dissolute,
and abandoned from all the other ranks in the state.

Let us therefore no longer deceive ourselves, or attempt to deceive
others. Crime is making extraordinary and unprecedented progress amongst
us; it is advancing with a rapidity unparalleled in any other European
state: if not arrested, it will come to render the country unbearable;
and will terminate in multiplying to such an extent "_les classes
dangereuses_," as they have been well denominated by the French, as, on
the first serious political convulsion, may come to endanger the state.
It has advanced with undeviating and fearful rapidity through all the
successive delusions which have been trusted to in the country to check
its progress. With equal ease it has cast aside the visions of Sir
Samuel Romilly and the advocates of lenient punishment--the dreams of
Lord Brougham and the supporters of general education--the theories of
the Archbishop of Dublin and the enemies of transportation--the hopes of
Lord John Russell and the partizans of improved prison discipline at
home. Even the blessed arm of the gospel has hitherto failed in checking
its advance amongst us; and it nowhere appears in more appalling colours
than in the districts where the greatest and most strenuous efforts have
been made for the moral and religious instruction of the people. "Nous
avons donnés à penser," as the French say. Ample subject for serious
reflection has been furnished to our readers till a future occasion,
when the cause of this general failure, and the means requisite for the
diminution of crime, will be considered.


[1] Table showing the progress of crime in the British islands since
1805, in so far as can be ascertained.

  Years.    England.    Scotland.    Ireland.
   1805        4605          89        3600
   1806        4346         101        3781
   1807        4446          97        3522
   1808        4735         124        3704
   1809        5330       Chasm.       3641
   1810        5146                    3799
   1811        5337                    4162
   1812        6576                    4286
   1813        7164                   Chasm.
   1814        6390
   1815        7818
   1816        9091
   1817      13,932
   1818      13,567
   1819      14,254
   1820      13,710       1486
   1821      13,115       1522
   1822      12,241       1691       13,251
   1823      12,263       1733       14,632
   1824      13,698       1802       15,258
   1825      14,437       1876       15,515
   1826      16,164       1999       16,318
   1827      17,924       2116       18,031
   1828      16,564       2024       14,683
   1829      18,675       2063       15,271
   1830      18,107       2329       15,794
   1831      19,647       2451       16,192
   1832      20,829       2431       16,056
   1833      20,072       2564       17,819
   1834      22,451       2691       24,381
   1835      20,731       2867       21,205
   1836      20,984       3922       23,891
   1837      23,612       3126       24,804
   1838      23,094       3418       25,723
   1839      24,443       3409       26,392
   1840      27,187       3872       23,833
   1841      27,760       3562       20,796
   1842      31,309       3884

  --PORTER's _Progress of the Nation_, iii. 172, 227.

[2] MOREAU, _Stat. de la Grande Bretagne_, vol. ii. p. 317.

[3] Census of 1841.

[4] PORTER'S _Parliamentary Tables_.

[5] These facts were all proved in the subsequent trial of the leaders
of the riot, at Edinburgh.

[6] Table showing the diminution of crime in British India:--

                  CIRCUIT COURT OF BENGAL.

             Burglary.   Cattle-stealing. Fraud. Larceny. Total.
  1816 to 1818   2853          203          150     1516     3722
  1825 to 1827   1036           31           49      223     1339

      LOWER           WESTERN
          Sentenced.         Gang Robberies.    Murder.
  1816     13,869        1807    1481            406
  1827       8075        1824     234             30

  --MARTIN'S _British Colonies_. 12mo, Edin. IX. 322, 329

[7] Table showing the persons accused at the Assize Courts of France in
the under mentioned years:--

  1828--6922     1832--7565     1836--6289     1840--6117
  1829--7359     1833--6694     1837--7164     1841--
  1830--6962     1834--6952     1838--6872     1842--
  1831--7604     1835--6371     1839--6271

  --PORTER'S _Parl. Tables_, vi. 346.

[8] We except the police of London, which is admirable, and also that of
Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, and Edinburgh; where, though there is
great room for improvement, much has been done in this way to repress

[9] Table showing the instruction of criminals over the British Empire
in 1841.

  Neither read                                           Total.
  nor write.      Imperfectly.  Well.  Superior.  Educated.  Uneducated.

  England   9220     13,732     2,253     126      18,171       9,220
  Scotland   696      2,248       554      42       2,834         696
  Ireland   7152      3,084     5,631       0       8,733       7,152
          ------    -------    ------   -----     -------     -------
          17,068     19,064     8,438     168      29,738      17,068

  --PORTER'S _Progress of the Nation_, iii. 201, 214, 215, 232.

[10] Table showing the centesimal proportion of crime in relation to
education in the under-mentioned years.

      to read                                    Not
      or write.  Imperfectly.  Well.  Superior.  ascertained.   Total.

  1836   33.52        52.53      10.36     0.91        2.68        100
  1837   35.85        52.08       9.45     0.43        2.18        100
  1838   34.42        53.41       9.77     0.34        2.08        100
  1839   33.53        53.48      10.07     0.32        2.60        100
  1840   33.32        55.57       8.29     0.37        2.45        100
  1841   33.21        56.67       7.10     0.43        2.27        100
  1842   32.33        58.52       6.77     0.22        2.34        100

  --_Parl. Papers_, 5th May 1843. M'CULLOCH, _Stat. of Great Britain_, i.

[11] See GUERRY'S _Stat. Tables of France_.

[12] Uneducated. Imperfectly educated. Good do. Superior do. Total educated.

  1828    4,116            1,858               780         118          2,756
  1831    4,600            2,047               767         190          3,004
  1834    4,080            2,061               608         203          2,872

  --PORTER'S _Parl. Tables_, ii. 346.

[13] In France and Prussia there were in 1826.--

                                    Prussia.         France.
  Crimes against the person       1 in 34.122     1 in 32.411
      Do.          property       1 in    597     1 in  9.392
      Do.       on the whole      1 in    587     1 in  7.285


"On the Rhine, I am never more than twenty years old!" says the Countess
Ida Hahn Hahn, in her _Erinnerungen_. "There only do I feel myself
quite at home. Whether arriving from the Baltic or the Guadalquivir, I
have always a recurrence of the same nameless home-feeling, which
renders me at once happy and tranquil. O, the Rhine! the Rhine! What are
other rivers--your Seine, and Garonne, and Tagus--compared with him? But
small and secondary streams beside the mighty Rhine. There are certain
rivers which represent nations, and ideas, and periods of history--the
Scamander for instance, bringing to our thoughts the days of Grecian
heroism; when men fought with gods, and in so doing seemed to wrest from
them a portion of their supernatural strength and beauty--the Nile, the
priestly Nile, mysterious as a dogma, but rich in blessings as the
agency of a divine spirit; concealed in its source, but manifest in its
operation--then the Jordan, the stream of revelation, on whose banks is
heard the rushing of the wings of the dove, while a voice, other than
that of man, murmurs over the waters--and the Tiber, a small and muddy
stream, but the gigantic and sparkling reflex of Rome's immortal
turrets. But the Rhine, that heroic river, which nations never cross
without buckling on their armour for the fight; and yet, on whose banks
life is so free, so safe, and so delightful. Hark to the clatter of
wine-cups, the echoes of music, the whispered legends, and the clash of
weapons! while the old river flows on so cheerily, murmuring as he goes
words of encouragement to his children.

    "I embrace thee, O Rhine! and wherever I go I will not cease to love

       *       *       *       *       *

    "When I pass in review all the beautiful scenes I have visited, and
    then ask myself the question, Where I would fain see the sun set for
    the last time? the answer is unhesitating and heartfelt, and
    invariably the same--'Behind Stobzenfels, on the Rhine.'"

It would be difficult better to illustrate German veneration and
affection for the Rhine, than by the above passages from one of the most
intellectual female writers of the day--a writer whose works will bear
comparison with those of George Sand for genius and masculine vigour of
style, (exempt, however, from much that is objectionable in the
French-woman;) while for elegance, taste, and a fine feeling for art and
poetry, they may be placed on the same line with those of our own
"Ennuyée." What the Countess Hahn Hahn feels and expresses with all the
fervour of a poetical imagination--the sort of exhilarating and exulting
love for the most classical stream of modern story--is felt in a greater
or less degree by all intellectual classes of Germans. Their veneration
for the old river that waters one of the sunniest and fairest districts
of the Vaterland, is profound; their admiration of the natural beauties,
and of the vestiges of days gone by, that abound upon its banks,
unceasing. German patriotism is comprehensive: it hails as one country
all the wide lands in which the Teuton tongue is spoken; and in nearly
all those lands is the Rhine thought and talked of with an admiration
amounting to enthusiasm. By a contradiction, however, of not unfrequent
occurrence, the people who seem least capable of sharing this feeling,
are those who ought to be most under its influence--the inhabitants of
the Rhine-country itself. The well known and often quoted passage of
Jean Jacques, applied by him to the dwellers on the shores of Lake
Leman, is equally applicable to the denizens of the Rhineland. "Je
dirois volontiers à ceux qui ont du goût et sont sensibles--allez à
Vevey, visitez le pays, examinez les sites, promenez vous sur le lac; et
dites si la nature n'a pas fait ce beau pays pour une Julie, pour une
Claire, et pour un St Preux; mais---- ne les y cherchez pas." In like
manner we would say--Visit the Rhine, not as most tourists do, by
rushing in a steam-boat from Rotterdam or Cologne to Basle or Baden, but
deliberately, on shore as well as on the water, climbing the mountains
and strolling through the valleys, seeking out the innumerable and
enchanting points of view, and contemplating them by sunset and sunrise,
in the broad glare of noon and by the subdued evening light; and then
say whether such a country is not worthy of different inhabitants from
the mongrel race, part German, part Flemish, part French, which it now
possesses--a population which, when it has consumed its five or six
heavy meals, smoked a dozen or two pipes, and slept its long sleep of
repletion, considers it has done its duty to God and man, and troubles
itself little with such intangible matters as poetical reveries or
mental cultivation.

But we are running away from our subject, and losing sight of the
intention we had in commencing this paper, which was, to hook ourselves
on to the dexter arm of that indefatigable rambler, M. Alexander Dumas,
and accompany him in an excursion up the Rhine. He thinks proper to
proceed thither by way of Belgium, and we must conform to his
arrangements. In due time we shall return to our Rhenish friends.

M. Dumas's earliest care, on arriving at Brussels, was to deliver to
King Leopold a letter of recommendation with which he had provided
himself for that monarch; and he hastened to the palace, where he
obtained admission, he tells us, more easily than he could have done at
Paris at the house of a second-rate banker. We were not aware that the
French _bureaucratie_ of the day were of such difficult access, and
would strongly advise them, since it is so, to take pattern by his
Belgian majesty; who in this instance, however, was not at Brussels at
all, but at his country palace of Lacken, whither M. Dumas proceeds.
Here he is immediately ushered into the king's presence.

"After a quarter of an hour's conversation," says our traveller, "which
his Majesty was pleased to put at once upon a footing of familiar chat,
I became convinced that I was speaking with the most philosophical king
who had ever existed, not excepting Frederick the Great."

We congratulate M. Dumas sincerely upon the exquisite keenness of
perception which enabled him to make this discovery, and from so decided
an opinion in the course of a quarter of an hour's familiar chat. At the
same time we cannot repress a fear, that he is apt to be a little
dazzled by the sparkling halo that surrounds a diadem. This we do not
say so much with reference to the King of the Belgians, who may be a
very philosophical, as he has proved himself to be a very judicious
sovereign; but it has struck us more than once, during the perusal of M.
Dumas's wanderings in various lands, that he exhibits a slight, an
inconceivably small, tendency to tuft-hunting, hardly consistent with
his ultra-liberal principles, and difficult to reconcile with the
cynical tone that he habitually adopts in speaking of most existing
governments and institutions. To say the truth, we have conceived a
great affection for our friend Alexander, and feel every disposition to
glide lightly over his faults and exalt his virtues; to treat him
tenderly, in short, even as one we love. We do not expect perfection
from him, although we are anxious to believe that he approaches as near
to that angelic state as it is given to a child of clay to do. We would
pardon his recording in some detail the gracious words spoken to him by
the King of this, and the Prince of that--showing how he was treated on
a footing of perfect equality and familiarity by the mighty ones of the
earth--how they caressed and complimented him, and wore out the boots of
their aides-de-camp and chamberlains by sending after him--and how they
told him to "Venez me demander à diner," or in other words, to go and
take a chop with them whenever he could make it convenient. At all these
interesting and carefully recorded incidents we should indulgently
smile, were they narrated by any one but our much-esteemed
Alexander--the confirmed democrat, the political Utopian, the declared
disciple of the subversive school, the worthy representative, when he
gets upon the chapter of politics, of that recently discovered
zoological curiosity, the _tigre-singe_. It is the inconsistency of the
thing that strikes and afflicts us.

Of M. Dumas's very ultra views on political subjects, we have abundant
proof in the section headed "Waterloo," which is an amusing specimen of
the rabid style. The tone is pretty much the same as that of the most
violent of the French democratic and anti-English journals. We should
like to extract it all, but it is too lengthy, and we must content
ourselves with the last ten lines. Here they are, breathing saltpetre
and bayonets:--

    "A quarter of a century has elapsed since that date, (June 1815,)
    and France is only now beginning to understand that the defeat of
    Waterloo was necessary for the liberty of Europe; but she not the
    less cherishes at the bottom of her heart a poignant grief and rage
    at having been marked out for a victim. On that plain where so many
    Spartan-like warriors fell for her sake--where the pyramid of the
    Prince of Orange, the tomb of Colonel Gordon, and the monument of
    the Hanoverians, serve as mementoes of the fight--no stone, or
    cross, or inscription recalls the name of France. But the day shall
    come when God will bid her (France) recommence the work of universal
    liberation--the work begun by Bonaparte and interrupted by Napoleon;
    then, when that work is done, we will turn the lion of Nassau with
    its head towards Europe, _et tout sera dit_."

As this rather high-flown passage might not be generally intelligible to
our readers, we will put it into plain English. It will then run thus:--

    "When France shall again become a republic, or when she shall find a
    king mad or wicked enough to give in to her worst propensities, she
    will pour her legions across every frontier, sweep all opposition
    before her, revolutionize and emancipate Europe, and hoist the
    triumphant and blood-stained tricolor over the ashes of
    sovereignties, and the ruins of every old and time-honoured

It is strange to see a man of undoubted talent, and who ought to be
amongst the enlightened ones of his country and his age, indulging in
such absurd visions and insane prophecies. Rhapsodies of this kind would
be merely laughable, were it not for the weight which they
unquestionably have with the younger and less reflecting classes of
Frenchmen, especially when proceeding from a writer of M. Dumas's
abilities and reputation. It is by this style of writing, which abounds
in French periodical literature, and in the works of some, fortunately a
minority, of the clever _littérateurs_ of the day, that the attacks of
war fever, to which France is subject, are aggravated, if not frequently
brought on.

We do not intend following M. Dumas step by step through Belgium, to
which country he devotes a volume. We prefer passing at once to the
Rhine, which he ascends from Cologne to Strasburg, making continual
pauses, and enlivening the description of what he sees by agreeable and
spirited versions of what he has read and heard. Much of what he tells
us has been already printed in the numerous tours and guide-books,
which, in conjunction with steam-boats and railways, have familiarized
most Englishmen with the Rhine and its legends. It acquires a fresh
charm, however, from the present narrator's agreeable and pointed style,
and from his calling in the aid of his imagination to supply any little
deficiencies; rounding and filling up stories that would otherwise be
angular and incomplete. He also gives some agreeable caricatures, if
caricatures they may be called, of certain German eccentricities. Yet we
should have thought that so keen an observer of men and manners, might
have made more than he has done of the peculiarities of German society
and habits; but unfortunately M. Dumas appears to understand little, if
any, of the language, and this has doubtless been a great hindrance to
him, and has prevented him from making his book as characteristic as his
Italian sketches. Nevertheless he is piquant enough in some places. We
will give his droll account of his entrance into Rhenish Prussia. After
being robbed by the innkeeper at Liege, he gets into the Aix-la-Chapelle
diligence; and, on reading the printed ticket that has been given to him
at the coach-office, finds that he has the fourth seat, and that he is
forbidden to change places with his neighbours, even by mutual consent.

"This military sort of strictness, still more than the abominable jargon
of the postilion, made me aware that I was about to enter the dominions
of King Frederick William. As I had a corner of the coach, the tyranny
of his Prussian majesty was tolerably endurable, and I soon fell fast
asleep. About three in the morning, just as day was breaking, I awoke,
and found that the diligence was standing still. I at first thought
there was an accident, and put my head out of the window to see what was
the matter. No accident had happened; no other coach was near--the road
was excellent. We were alone and motionless. I took my ticket out of my
pocket, read it from one end to the other, and having satisfied myself
that it was not forbidden to _speak_ in the diligence, I asked my
neighbour if we had been standing there long.

"'About twenty minutes,' was the answer.

"'And pray,' continued I, 'can you tell me what we are doing here?'

"'We are waiting.'

"'Ah! we are waiting. And for what?'

"'For the time.'

"'What time?'

"'The time at which we are allowed to arrive.'

"'There is a time fixed for arriving, then?'

"'Every thing is fixed in Prussia.'

"'And if we arrived before the time?'

"'The conductor would be punished.'

"'And if after?'

"'He would also be punished.'

"'Ah! that is very well arranged.'

"'Every thing is well arranged in Prussia.'

"I bowed assentingly. Not for worlds would I have contradicted a
gentleman possessed of such an exalted opinion of his country and its
institutions, and who answered my questions so courteously and
laconically. My acquiescence appeared to gratify him. I felt encouraged,
and continued my enquiries.

"'Pardon me, sir, but at what hour ought the diligence to arrive at

"'At twenty-five minutes to five.'

"'But if the conductor's watch were slow?'

"'His watch can never be slow.'

"'Indeed! And why so?'

"'Opposite to where he sits, and under lock and key, there is a watch
which is regulated before starting by the clock at the coach-office. The
conductor knows at what hour he should pass through each town and
village on his route, and he makes the postilions hurry or slacken their
pace accordingly, so as to arrive at Aix-la-Chapelle exactly at the
right time.'

"'But with those precautions, how is it that we are obliged to wait upon
the road?'

"'The conductor has doubtless followed your example, and slept, and the
postilions have taken advantage of that to go quicker.'

"'Well, since we have still some time to remain here, I will get out and
stretch my legs a little.'

"'It is not allowed to get out of the diligence in Prussia.'

"'Indeed! That is very agreeable. I wished particularly to look at that
castle on the other side of the road.'

"'That is Emmaburg. It is the scene of the famous legend of _Eginhard
and Emma_.'

"'Really! Be so obliging as to change places with me for a moment, that
I may look at it through the window.'

"'I should be most happy, sir; but in Prussia it is not allowed to
change places.'

"'True, true! How could I forget it? I beg your pardon, sir.'

"'These tamned Frenchmans, they do noting but shatter and talk!' said a
fat German sitting opposite to me, opening his mouth for the first time
since we had left Liege, but still keeping his eyes shut.

"'You were saying, sir----?' said I, not particularly gratified by the

"'I say noting--I shleep.'

"'_Shleep_ as much as you like, but try not to dream aloud, eh? Or, if
you dream, dream in your mother tongue.'

"The German began to snore.

"'Postilion, _vorwarts!_' shouted the conductor.

"We were off at a gallop. I put my head out of the window to try to get
a view of the ruins, but it was vain; they had disappeared behind an
angle of the road. At twenty-five minutes to five, not a second later or
earlier, we drove into the coach-yard at Aix-la-Chapelle."

At Cologne M. Dumas pauses, and fills a hundred pages with the
cathedral, and the legend attaching to it. Most of our readers are
probably aware that the above-named church was commenced by an architect
whose name has been forgotten, and who procured the design for the
building from Satan himself, upon the usual condition of giving a
promissory note for his soul. A certain Father Clement, however, a very
knowing priest, of whom the arch-tempter stood in almost as great awe as
he had ever done of St Dunstan of nose-pulling celebrity, came to the
assistance of the builder, and put him up to a stratagem, by which he
avoided signing away his spiritual part, although he still obtained
possession of the plan for the cathedral. Satan confessed himself
outwitted, but prophesied that the building should never be finished,
and that its builder's name should not go down to posterity. The latter
part of the prediction has been accomplished; but as the present King of
Prussia has declared his intention of finishing the work that has been
so magnificently begun, it seems probable Beelzebub may prove mistaken
in one portion of his prophecy.

Cologne being a large city, somewhat Frenchified in its ways, M. Dumas
manages pretty well as regards eating and drinking; but, as he ascends
the river, matters get worse. He arrives at Bonn at the hour of the one
o'clock meal, called the first dinner, and we find him expatiating on
the subject of German appetites and feeding.

    "The Germans eat from morning till night. On opening their eyes, at
    seven o'clock in the morning, they take their coffee--at eleven,
    breakfast--at one, the little dinner, (a sort of luncheon)--at
    three, dinner--at five, another meal, nondescript, nameless, and
    abundant--at nine, a tremendous supper, preparatory to going to bed.
    Tea, cakes, and sandwiches, fill up the intervals."

This is really only a moderate exaggeration on the part of M. Dumas.
Five meals a-day, three of them solid, meat-devouring, wine-bibbing
feeds, are the regular allowance of every well-conditioned, well-to-do,
comfortable Rhinelander. We do not consider Frenchmen small eaters,
whatever they may consider themselves--if they eat little of each dish,
they eat of a vast number; but for examples of positive voracity,
commend us to a German table-d'hôte. A coachful of French _commis
voyageurs_, assembled, after a ten hours' fast, round the luxurious
profusion and delicacies of a Languedocian dinner, would appear mere
babes and sucklings in the eating way, compared to a party of Germans at
their one o'clock feed. The difference is nearly as great as between the
Lady Amine eating rice with a bodkin, and the same fair one battening
ghoulishly upon the cold meat in the cemetery. Nothing can equal the
persevering industry with which a German crams himself at a public
table, where, having to pay a fixed sum for his dinner, he always seems
desirous to get as much as he can for his money. The _obligato_ bowl of
soup is followed by sundry huge slices of boiled beef, sufficient of
themselves for an ordinary man's dinner, but by no means sufficing for a
German's; then come fowl and meat, fish, puddings and creams, and meat
again; sweet, sour, and greasy--greasy, sweet, and sour, alternating and
following one another in inextricable and interminable confusion. Every
body eats of every thing largely and voraciously, and the short pauses
between the appearance of the dishes are filled up by nibblings at such
salutary and digestible _extremets_ as raw hams and herrings, pickled
cucumbers, and pickled grapes! German cookery is famous for odd
mixtures. M. Dumas is rather amusing on this head.

    "At Bonn, the dinner they served me consisted of an unintelligible
    sort of soup, full of round balls of a pasty substance; beef stewed
    with prunes, hare dressed with preserves, wild boar with cherries;
    it was impossible to take more pains to spoil things which
    separately, would have been very commendable eating. I tasted them
    each in turn, and each time sent away my plate. When I sent away the
    wild boar, the waiter could stand it no longer.

    "'Does not monsieur like wild boar with cherries?'

    "'I detest it!'

    "'That is singular; a great poet like monsieur.'

    "'You are mistaken, my man: I make verses perhaps; but that is no
    reason for calling me a great poet, nor for ruining the coats of my
    stomach with your infernal fricassees. Besides, supposing I were a
    great poet, what has poetry got to do with pig and cherry sauce?'

    "'Our great Schiller adored that dish.'

    "'Our tastes differ, then. I have no objection to William Tell or
    Wallenstein, but---- take away your pig.'

    "The waiter carried off the wild boar: meantime I tasted the beef
    and prunes, but, to do more than taste it, was out of the question;
    and, when the man returned, I bid him change my plate. His
    astonishment was greater than ever.

    "'What!' cried he, 'does not monsieur like beef and prunes?'


    "'M. Goethe was passionately addicted to it.'

    "'I am sorry not to have the same addictions as the author of Faust.
    Make me an omelet.'

    "In a few minutes back came the waiter with the omelet. It looked
    uncommonly nice, and I was uncommonly hungry. Nevertheless, I could
    not swallow the first mouthful.

    "'What the devil have you put into your omelet? An omelet should be
    made with butter, eggs, salt, and pepper.'

    "'Certainly, sir. It _is_ made with butter, eggs, salt, and pepper.'

    "'And what else?'

    "'A little flour.'

    "'And besides?'

    "'A little cheese.'

    "'Go on.'

    "'Some saffron.'

    "'And then?'

    "'Cloves, nutmeg, and a little thyme.'

    "'Enough, enough! Take away your omelet.'"

The master of the hotel, who is an intelligent personage, now makes his
appearance, and M. Dumas at last finds that, by ordering a dinner _à la
Française_, he can get something eatable. Encouraged by this success, he
ventures, when bedtime comes, to petition for a bed in which a Frenchman
can sleep. This requires a little explanation, which will be best given
in his own words.

    "In France we are pretty much accustomed to sleep in a bed; that is
    to say, on a couch consisting of a frame some three and a half or
    four feet wide, and some six or six and a half feet long. On this
    frame or bedstead we place two or three mattresses and a feather
    bed, a pair of sheets, a counterpane, a pillow and bolster; we then
    tuck in the edges of these coverings, the person for whom the bed is
    intended slips in between the sheets, and if his health is good and
    his conscience clear, and he has not been drinking too much green
    tea or strong coffee, he goes to sleep. In a bed of this description
    any body can sleep, whether German, Spaniard, Italian, Hindoo, or
    Chinese, unless he makes up his mind not to do so. But in Germany
    things are very different. A German bed is composed as follows:--

    "First, a bedstead two or two and a half feet wide, and five to five
    and a half feet long. Procrustes must decidedly have been a German.
    On the bedstead they place a sack of shavings, on the sack of
    shavings an enormous feather bed, and then a sheet, shorter and
    narrower than the feather bed, and which we should call a towel.
    Upon this sheet or towel comes a quilted coverlet of the same size,
    and a sort of cushion stuffed with feathers. Two or three pillows,
    piled up at the head of the bed, complete this singular edifice.

    "When a Frenchman gets into a bed of this kind, as he does not think
    of taking any particular precautions, in about five minutes the
    pillows fall on one side, the coverlet on the other; the sheet rolls
    itself up and disappears; so that the aforesaid Frenchman finds
    himself with one side of his body uncovered and frozen, and the
    other side sunk in the feather bed and perspiring profusely. This
    arises, say the Germans, from the circumstance of the French being
    so impetuous and lively. With a calm and phlegmatic German the case
    is quite different. The latter raises the counterpane very
    cautiously, creeps underneath, and places himself with his back
    against the pillows, and his feet against the bottom of the bed,
    screwing himself up into the shape of the letter Z: he then draws
    the covering over his knees, shuts his eyes, goes to sleep, and
    awakes the next morning in the same position. To do this it is
    necessary to be a German, and as I am not one, I had not slept a
    wink since I had been in the country; I was growing as thin as a
    lath, and I had a cough that seemed to tear my chest open. This is
    why I asked for a bed _à la Française_. Mine host had fortunately
    six of them. When I heard that, I could have embraced him with

The villages of Winnebourg and Metternich near Coblentz, the former the
birthplace, the latter the property, of Prince Metternich, lead M. Dumas
into a little digression on the subject of the celebrated diplomatist.
The family name, we are informed, was originally Metter, but received
the addition of the last syllable in the following manner:--

    "In one of the great battles of the fifteenth century, the emperor
    of Germany saw an entire regiment take to flight with the exception
    of one man, who stood his ground and defended himself gallantly,
    till he fell covered with wounds. The emperor enquired his name. It
    was Metter."

That night at supper the emperor said, talking of the regiment in
question--"They all fled, but Metter _nicht_." Every body knows that
"nicht" is the German for not. The family adopted the additional
syllable, and hence the origin of the name of Metternich.

M. de Metternich, it appears, is a great collector of autographs, and of
course his position has facilitated the gratification of this taste. His
collection is rich in royal, imperial, and princely letters; nor is
there any lack of odes from German poets, and sonnets from Italian
_improvisatori_. One day, however, it occurred to him that, now the
public press had become a power in many countries, he ought to have the
autographs of a few journalists, in order to complete his collection;
and as in Italy and Germany, thanks to the censorship, there are plenty
of journals but no journalists, he was obliged to send to France.
Amongst others, M. Jules Janin (one of the editors of the _Journal des
Debats_) received a most polite request for an autograph from the rival
of M. de Talleyrand. Janin immediately took up his pen, and wrote as

     "Received from his Excellency Prince Metternich, twenty-four
     bottles of Johannisberg, first quality.

     "Paris, 15th May 1838."

A month afterwards there arrived at Paris the twenty-four bottles of
wine, of which Janin, with a confidence that the prince no doubt knew
how to appreciate, had acknowledged receipt beforehand. M. de Metternich
has preserved Janin's witty autograph with the greatest care. I doubt
very much if Janin has preserved M. de Metternich's wine.

M. Dumas finds some compensation for the badness of German beds in the
excellence of German roads. His soundest sleep is always obtained in the
diligence. He takes a nap from Mayence to Frankfort; but on entering the
latter city is shaken out of his slumbers by an Austrian soldier, who
demands his passport. In consequence of an incident that had lately
occurred, the soldiery were particularly on the alert with regard to
passports. M. Dumas relates the anecdote in his usual pointed and
effective manner.

    "The free city of Frankfort, which, in its capacity of a free city,
    is garrisoned by an Austrian and a Prussian regiment, had been laid
    under contribution during the spring fair by a most expert
    pickpocket, whom the police had in vain endeavoured to detect and
    capture. The fair was nearly at an end; and, in order that the thief
    might not escape, the sentries at the gates were directed to allow
    no man to leave the town without sending him into the guard-house to
    have his passport examined, and to see if his height, features, and
    appearance corresponded with the description on the paper. This
    order given, the authorities did not trouble their heads any more
    about the matter, feeling quite certain that the offender could not

    "On the other hand, the unfortunate thief felt very uncomfortable.
    Nature had endowed him with rather a remarkable physiognomy, and it
    was difficult to find a passport to fit him unless it were made on
    purpose; so that out of five or six which he had in his possession,
    not one would do. At last he made up his mind to walk out of the
    town without a passport, as if he were one of the town's-people
    going for a stroll. He accordingly took a cane in his hand, and
    lounging along with an affectation of great indifference, approached
    a gate at which the Austrians were on guard. But the sentry had his
    orders, and when the stranger drew near--

    "'Who goes there?' he vociferated.

    "'A friend,' answered the thief.

    "'Advance, friend!' said the sentry with a significant rattle of his
    musket--a sort of intimation that non-compliance might be rewarded
    by a bullet.

    "The thief walked up to the soldier.

    "'Your passport,' demanded the latter.

    "'My passport!' repeated the thief in tone of infinite astonishment,
    'I have none.'

    "'All the better for you,' said the sentry, shouldering his musket.
    'If you had _had_ one I should have been obliged to send you into
    the guard-house to have it examined, and that would have detained
    you a good half hour. But since you have no passport you can't show
    one, so you may pass.'

    "And the intelligent warrior recommenced his monotonous promenade;
    while the thief, profiting by his obliging permission, walked out of
    the town."

Mannheim, the scene of Kotzebue's death, and his assassin's execution,
could hardly fail to detain M. Dumas. At Frankfort he applies to a
friend for an introduction to some person likely to give him details
concerning Kotzebue and Sand, and his friend procures him a letter
addressed to Mr Widemann, surgeon, Heidelberg. He has no letter for any
body at Mannheim, and after visiting Kotzebue's house, leaves that town
to proceed to Heidelberg. Just outside Mannheim he causes the postilion
to stop, while he contemplates the place of the mad student's execution,
which goes by the name of "_Sand's Himmelfahrtwiese_," or the meadow of
Sand's ascension to heaven. It is a green meadow intersected by a
rivulet, and situated within a few hundred yards of the town. While
gazing at this field, and trying to conjecture the exact spot where the
scaffold had stood, a stranger approaches of whom our traveller makes an
enquiry. They fall into conversation, and the newcomer proves to be the
governor of the prison in which Sand had been confined. Delighted at
this rencontre, M. Dumas turns back and stops a day or two longer at
Mannheim, copying some letters of Sand's, and collecting materials which
fill several chapters of his book. He learns from his new friend that
the Mr Widemann at Heidelberg, for whom he has a letter, is not only a
surgeon but also the public executioner, although as yet his services
have not been called into request in the latter capacity. It was his
father who decapitated Sand. The Heidelberg executioner is noble by
right of descent. The origin of his family's nobility is given by M.
Dumas as follows:--

    "The evening of the day on which King Louis of Bavaria was crowned
    emperor, there was a splendid ball at the town-hall, at which the
    empress was present. Amongst the guests was a cavalier dressed
    entirely in black, and having his face covered with a black mask. He
    invited the empress to dance: she accepted, and, whilst they were
    dancing together, another mask approached the emperor and asked him
    if he knew who his wife's partner was. 'No,' replied the emperor,
    'but I suppose it is some sovereign prince.'

    "'Lower than that,' said the mask.

    "'Some nobleman then--a count or baron.'

    "'Lower than that.'

    "'Perhaps with a knight.'

    "'Lower still.'

    "'With an esquire?'

    "'Less than that.'

    "'A page?'

    "'You have not guessed it--lower still.'

    "The emperor flushed crimson with anger.

    "'A groom?' "'If that were all!' answered the unknown with a strange

    "'But who is it then?' cried the emperor.

    "'Tear off his mask and you will see.'

    "The emperor approached the sable cavalier, and tore off his mask.
    It was the headsman.

    "'Miscreant!' shouted the emperor, as his sword flashed from the
    scabbard, 'commend thy soul to God before thou diest.'

    "'Sire!' replied the headsman, falling on his knees, 'you may kill
    me if you will; but the empress has not the less danced with me, and
    the dishonour, if dishonour there be, is already incurred. Do better
    than that: knight me; and if any one dares to speak evil of her
    majesty, the same sword that executes justice shall vindicate her

    "The emperor reflected for a moment.

    "'The advice is good,' said he at last. 'Henceforward you shall no
    longer be called the headsman, but the last of the judges.' Then,
    giving him three blows on the shoulder with his sword flat,

    "'Rise!' he continued; 'from this hour you are the lowest among
    nobles, and the first amongst burghers.'

    "And accordingly since that day, in all public processions and
    ceremonies, the executioner walks by himself, in rear of the nobles
    and in front of the commoners."

Truly a most fantastical history, and one which leaves us in some doubt
whether it be a genuine legend of Heidelberg, or one of M. Dumas's
dreams in the diligence after dining upon pig and cherry sauce. At any
rate, if not true it is _ben trovato_.

Heidelberg, whither M. Dumas next proceeds, is to our mind one of the
pleasantest places near the Rhine, from which river it is now, thanks to
the railroad, within half an hour's journey. The country around is
delightful, and the town itself, owing to its possessing an university,
and to the vast number of strangers who visit and pass through it during
the summer months, is far more lively than most small German towns. The
kind of liveliness, however, caused by the presence of seven or eight
hundred students, is not always of the most agreeable character. It has
been the fashion in England to talk and write a vast deal about German
universities; and sundry well filled, or at least bulky tomes have been
devoted to accounts of the students' mode of life, their duels and
drinkings, and peculiarities of all kinds. Friend Howitt favoured us a
year or two ago with a corpulent volume--translated in part from the
MSS. of some _studiosus emeritus_--a sort of life in Heidelberg,
entering into great detail concerning university doings, and with
illustrations of a very sportive description; wherein mustached and
bespurred cavaliers are slashing at each other with broad swords, or
cantering over the country mounted upon gallant steeds, and looking
something between Dick Turpins and field-marshals in muftee. 'Tis a sad
thing to have too much imagination--it tempts a man to mislead his
neighbours; and no one who has read friend William's picturesque
descriptions of _Student Leben_, but would feel grievously disappointed
when he came to investigate the subject for himself. Nothing can be more
puerile and absurd, and in many instances disgusting, than the habitual
pastimes and amusements of the students; or at least of that large
majority of them who attend no lectures and study, nothing that they can
possibly avoid, but look upon their residence at the university as three
or four years to be devoted to smoking, beer-drinking, and scratching
one another's faces in duels. These duels, by the by, are pieces of the
most intense humbug that can be imagined. They take place now in the
large room of the inn at Ziegelhausen, a village on the banks of the
Neckar, about two miles from Heidelberg, and are fought with straight
swords, square but sharp at the extremity, and having guards as big as a

Before the fight begins, the combatants don their defensive arms,
consisting of a strong and broad-brimmed hat protecting the head and
eyes, an immense leathern breastplate defending the chest and stomach, a
padded case, also of leather, which shields the arm from wrist to
shoulder, and an impenetrable cravat which protects the neck up to the
ears. The nose, and a bit of each cheek, is all that can be possibly
wounded. Thus equipped the heroes set to work, slashing away at each
other, (it is forbidden to thrust,) shaving off pieces of their padded
armour, and looking exceeding fierce and valiant the while; until,
after a greater or less time, according as the combatants are equal in
skill or not, one of them gets a scratch across the nose, or small
eyelet hole in the cheek, which terminates this caricature of a duel.
Since "young Germany" finds amusement in so harmless a practice, it
might very well be allowed them; provided they afterwards, like good
boys, took their books and learned their lessons. But such a proceeding
would be by no means consistent with the _Burschen-Freiheit_--the
academic freedom of which these hopeful youths make their boast. To
celebrate the valour of the victory, and show sympathy with the
sufferings of the vanquished--whose wound is by this time dressed with
an inch of sticking plaster--the party repairs to a tavern to breakfast;
and there the morning is killed over beer and Rhine wine till one
o'clock, by which time some of them are usually more than half tipsy.
They then repair to the table-d'hôte, dine, drink more, and finally
stagger home to sleep off their libations. We have more than once, in
German university towns, seen students reeling-drunk at four in the

About seven in the evening, the _kneipes_ or drinking-houses begin to
fill. In all of these there are rooms set apart for the different clubs
of students to assemble in; and in those sanctuaries they put on the
caps and colours of their communities, which they have of late years
been forbidden to wear in public. On the ribands which they wear round
their necks, are inscribed the date of their various duels. A barrel of
beer is now broached, pipes are loaded and lighted, and they sit the
whole evening, sotting, smoking, and singing songs about the Rhine,
liberty, and fatherland, with ear-splitting and interminable choruses of
_Viva lera lera_. A German student's song generally consists of couplets
of two lines, with a chorus that lasts a quarter of an hour.

The quantity of beer consumed by some of these heroes is almost
incredible. They become actually bloated with it. One of the most
important and respected persons at a German university is the Beer King,
who ought to be able to drink, not any given quantity, but an unlimited
one; to be perpetually drinking, in short. M. Dumas tells us, that the
reigning monarch of malt at Heidelberg is able to absorb twelve
schoppens of beer, or six of wine, while the clock strikes twelve. A
Heidelberg schoppen is very nearly an English bottle. This is rather
hard to swallow, M. Dumas. Either the drinker is very fast, or the clock
very slow. We can vouch, however, for the scarcely less astonishing
fact, of there being drinkers at the universities who will imbibe
twenty-five bottles of beer at a sitting. The German beer is, of course,
not of a very intoxicating nature.

From beer to tobacco the transition is natural enough; and we cannot
conclude our gossip about the Rhine without a word or two as to the
frightful abuse made by the Germans of the Indian weed. We are not of
the number of those who condemn the moderate use of tobacco, but, on the
contrary, know right well how to appreciate its soothing and cheering
effects; but the difference is wide between a limited enjoyment of the
habit, and the stupefying, besotting excess to which it is carried by
the Germans. The dirty way, too, in which they smoke, renders the custom
as annoying to those who live amongst them, as it must be unwholesome
and detrimental to themselves. It is possible to smoke much, and yet
cleanly: take the Spaniard for instance--unquestionably a great smoker;
yet the difference between smoking on the Rhine or Elbe, and on the
Manzanares or Ebro, is immense--the one the gluttony and abuse, the
other the refinement of the practice. While Don Español, with his
fragrant _puro_, or straw or paper covered cigarrito, smoketh cleanly,
spitteth not, uses his tobacco, as he uses most things, like a
gentleman; the _werther Deutscher_ takes his huge pipe, rarely cleaned
and with the essence of tobacco oozing from every joint, and filling it
from a bag, or rather sack, of coarse and vile-smelling tobacco, puffs
forth volumes of smoke, expectorating _ad nauseam_ at intervals of a
minute or less. No considerations of place or person hinder him from
indulging in his favourite pastime. In steam-boats, in diligences, in
the public walks and promenades, into the dining-rooms of hotels, every
where does the pipe intrude itself; carried as habitually as a
walking-cane; and even when not in actual use, emitting the most evil
odour from the bowl and tube, saturated as they are with tobacco juice.

However unpleasant all this may be to foreigners, especially to English
ladies accustomed to the more cleanly habits of their own countrymen,
the German dames are perfectly reconciled to it. Had we to draw a
picture of domestic felicity on the Rhine, we would sketch it thus:--a
summer evening--a flower garden--a table with tea or coffee--a dozen
chairs occupied by persons of both sexes--the women big-feeted,
blue-eyed, placid creatures, knitting stockings--the men heavy and
awkward, each with a monstrous signet-ring on the dirty forefinger of
his right hand, smoking unceasingly, and puffing the vapour into the
faces of their better halves, who heed it not, and occasionally may even
be seen replenishing with their own delicate digits the enormous
porcelain or meerschaum bowls of the pipes. If you doubt the accuracy of
our description, reader, go and judge for yourself. The distance is
short, and summer is at hand. Put yourself on board a steamboat, whisk
over to Ostend or Antwerp, and thence rail and rattle it down to the
Rhine. You shall not be three days on German soil without encountering a
score such groups as the one we have just sketched.



Be under no apprehension, gentle public, that you are about to be kept
in suspense touching the moral of our argumentation, as too often in the
pamphlets addressed in Johnsonian English to Thompsonian understandings,
wherein a pennyworth of matter is set forth by a monstrous quantity of
phrase. We mean to speak to the point; we mean to enlighten your
understanding as by the smiting of a lucifer-match. Refrain, therefore,
from running your eye impatiently along the page, as you are doing at
this moment, in hopes of discovering, italicized, the secret of the
enigma; for we have no intention of keeping you another moment ignorant
that the monster-misery of literature is--guess! Which of you hath hit
it? The monster-misery of literature is--THE CIRCULATING LIBRARY!

In this devout conviction, devote we to the infernal gods the memory of
the Athenian republic--the first keeper of a circulating library. Every
tyro is aware that this Sams or Ebers of antiquity lent out to Ptolemy
of Egypt, for a first-rate subscription of fifteen talents, the works of
Euripides, Eschylus, and Sophocles; thereby affording a precedent for
the abominable practice, fatal to bookmakers and booksellers, which has
converted the waters of Castalia into their present disgraceful puddle!

Every scribbler of the day who has a Perryian pen in hand, is pleased to
exercise it on the decline of the drama; one of the legitimate targets
of penny-a-liners. But how inadequately are the goose quills, and
ostrich quills, phoenix quills, and roc quills, of the few standard
critics of the age, directed towards the monstrous abuse of public
patience which will render the Victorian age the sad antithesis of the
Elizabethan, in the literary history of the land! Content so long as
they can get a new work, _tale quale_, as a peg whereon to hang the
rusty garments of their erudition, not a straw care they for the
miserable decline and fall of the great empire of letters; an empire
overrun by what Goths--what Huns--what Vandals!--by the iniquitous and
barbarous hosts of circulating libraries!

It has been agreed for some centuries past, that the only modern Mæcenas
is the publisher. The days of patrons are past; and the author is
forced to look for the reward of his labour to the man who, by selling
the greatest number of copies to the public, can bestow the greatest
number of pounds upon his pains. In order to augment this amount, the
bibliopole naturally consults the taste of his customers; and nearly the
sole remaining customers of the modern bookseller are--the circulating
libraries. For what man in his senses who, for an annual mulct of
half-a-dozen sovereigns, commands the whole range of modern literature,
would waste his substance in loading his house with books of doubtful
interest? Who that, by a message of his servant into Bond Street,
procures the last new novel cut and dry, instead of wet from the press,
and demanding the labour of the paper-knife, would proceed to the
extremity of a purchase? And the result is, that Messrs Folio and
Duodecimo, in order to procure satisfactory orders from the circulating
libraries of the multitudinous cities of this deluded empire, issue
orders to their helots, Mr Scribblescrawl and Mrs Wiredrawn, requiring
them to produce per annum so many sets of three volumes, adapted to the
atmosphere wherein they are fated to flourish.

It is an avowed fact, that the publishers of the day will purchase the
copyrights of only such works as "the libraries will take;" which
libraries, besotted by the mystic charm of three volumes, immutable as
the sacred triad of the Graces or Destinies, would negative without a
division such a work as the "Vicar of Wakefield" were it now to undergo
probation. "Robinson Crusoe" or "Paul and Virginia" would be returned
unread to their authors, with a civil note of "extremely sorry to
decline," &c. "The Man of Feeling" would be made to feel his
insignificance. "Thinks I to Myself" might think in vain; and the
"Cottagers of Glenburnie" retain their rural obscurity. So much for the
measure of the maw of the circulating library. Of its taste and palate
it is difficult to speak with moderation; for those of Caffraria or
Otaheite might be put to the blush.

The result, however, of this fatal ascendancy is, that not a publisher
who has the fear of the _Gazette_ before his eyes, presumes to hazard a
guinea on speculations in the belles-lettres. Poetry is seldom, if ever,
published except at the cost of the poet; and the foreman of one of the
leading London houses is deputed to apprize aspiring rhymesters, that
"his firm considers poetry a mild species of insanity"--_Anglice_, that
it does not suit the appetite of the circulating library! For behold!
this despot of bookmakers must have length, breadth, and thickness, to
fill the book boxes dispatched to its subscribers in the country, as
well as satisfy in town the demands of its charming subscriber, Lady
Sylvester Daggerwood, and all her daughters.

It happens that the said Lady Sylvester does not like Travels, unless
"nice little ladylike books of travels," such as the Quarterly informed
us last year, in a fit of fribbledom, were worthy the neat little
crowquills of lady-authors. Nor will she hear of Memoirs, unless light,
sparkling, and scandalous, as nearly resembling those of Grammont as
decency will allow. Essays she abominates; nor can she exactly
understand the use of quartoes, unless, as Swift describes the merit of

    "A Chrysostom to smooth his band in"--

to serve for flattening between the leaves her rumpled embroidery or

Now you are simply and respectfully asked, beloved public, what must be
the feelings of a man of genius, or of any sensible scholarly
individual, when, after devoting years of his life to a work of standard
excellence--a work such as in France would obtain him access to the
Academy, or in Russia or Prussia a pension and an order of merit--he is
told by the publisher, who in Great Britain supplies the place of these
fountains of honour and reward, that "the public of the present day has
no taste for serious reading;" for Messrs Folio and Duodecimo cannot, of
course, afford to regard a few dons of the universities, or a few county
bookclubs, parsonically presided, as representatives of the public! What
the disappointed man, thus enlightened, must think of "glorious Apollo"
when he goes to bed that night, we should be sorry to conjecture!

"The public of the present day"--_Ang._ the subscribers to the
circulating libraries--constitute, to his cultivated mind, a world
unknown. The public _he_ has been wasting his life to address, is such a
public as was addressed by Addison, by Swift, by Steele, or by the
greater writers of the days of Elizabeth. "Bless his fine wits," we
could laugh at his misconception, were we not rather inclined to cry! In
instances easy to be cited, (but that there were miching malecho in the
deed,) insult has been added to injury, and the anguish depicted in the
face of the mortified man of letters been assuaged by friendly advice to
"try his hand at something more saleable--something in the style of
Harrison Ainsworth or Peter Priggins!"

O ye Athenians! to what base uses have we come, by the influence of your
malpractices of old!

But all this is far from the blackest side of the picture. You have seen
only the fortunes of the rejected of the circulating libraries; wait
till you have studied the fate of their favourites--victims whom, like
the pet-dogs of children, the publishers force to stand on their
hind-legs, and be bedizened in their finery; or pet pussy-cats, whom
they fondle into wearing spectacles and feeding on macaroones, instead
of pursuing their avocations as honest mousers. The favourite author of
the circulating libraries has a great deal to envy in the treadmill!

In the days when there existed a reading, in place of a skimming
public--in the days when circulating libraries were not--the writer who
followed his own devices in the choice of the subject, plot, title,
treatment, and extent of his book, and made his labour a labour of love,
had some chance of being cherished as the favourite of the fireside;
installed on the shelf, and taken down, like Goldsmith or Defoe or
Bunyan, for an hour's gossip; cried over by the young girl of the
family, diverting the holiday of the schoolboy, and exercising the
eyesight of the good old grandmother. But how is this ever to be
achieved nowadays? Who will be ever thumbed over and spelled over as
these have been?

"Invent another Vicar or another Crusoe," say the critics, "and you will

We should NOT see! No bookseller would publish them, because "no
circulating library would take them;" for these bibliopoles know to a
page what will be taken. Several of them have got, and several others
have had, the conduct of a circulating library on their hands; and so
far from venturing to present a single-volumed or double-volumed work to
their subscribers, they would insist upon the dilution of the genius of
Oliver or Daniel into the adequate number of pages ere they risked paper
and print. O public! O dear, ingenuous public! Think how you might have
ceased to delight in even the cosmogony-man, if his part had been a
hundred times rehearsed in your ears; or what the matchless Lady Blarney
and the incomparable Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs (I love, as
old Primrose says, to repeat the whole name) might have become, as the
"light conversationists" of three octavo volumes! Shakspeare was forced
to kill Mercutio early in the play, lest Mercutio should kill _him_. We
feel a devout conviction that Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs
would have burked Goldsmith!

And then the incomparable Robinson! Conceive the interlarding of a funny
Mrs Friday to eke out the matter, with a comical king of the Cannibal
islands "to lighten the story"--according to circulating library demand!
Unhappy Defoe! thy standing in the pillory had been as nothing compared
with such a condemnation!

We beseech you, therefore, deluded public, when assured by critical
misleadment that such writers no longer exist, do, as you are often
requested to do by letters in the newspapers--from parties remanded by
the police-offices for some hanging matter--"suspend your judgment," or
you will deserve credit for very little. We promise you that there _are_
giants on the earth in these days, ay, and famous giants of their
cubits! But when a giant is made to drivel, his drivelings are very
little better than those of a pigmy. And we swear to you, (under
correction from the parish vestry, which is entitled to half-a-crown an
oath,) that the circulating libraries would make a driveler of Seneca!
Under the circulating library tyranny, Johnson himself would have been
forced to break up his long words into smaller pieces, to supply due
volume for three volumes.

Above all, we have no hesitation in declaring that the circulating
libraries are indictable for manslaughter, in the matter of the death of
Scott. They killed him, body and soul! In better times, when books were
bought, not hired, the sale of the first half dozen of his mighty novels
would have sufficed both the public and the author for thrice as many
years. They would have been purchased by all people of good condition,
as the works of Richardson were purchased, and read, and conned, and got
by heart. But behold! the circulating libraries "wanted novelty." It
suited them better to invest their capital in half a dozen new and
trashy books--such as extend their catalogue from No. 2470 to
2500--instead of half a dozen copies of the one sterling work, which
increases their stock in trade and diminishes their stock in consols,
but leaves the catalogue, which is the advertisement of their
perfections, halting at No. 2470.

Now, as it happened that the same boss of constructiveness which has
endowed our language with such a world of creations from the pen of
Scott, betrayed him also into inventiveness _per_ force of brick and
mortar--just as the same bent of genius which created the _Castle of
Otranto_, created also that other colossus of lath and plaster,
_Strawberry Hill_--the author of the Scotch novels was fain to sacrifice
to the evil genius of the times; and behold! as the assiduous slave of
the circulating libraries, he extinguished one of the greatest spirits
of Great Britain. But for the hateful factory system of the twice three
volumes per annum, he would have been still alive among us--happy and
happy-making, in a green old age--watching over the maturity of his
grandchildren, and waited upon by the worship of the land.

Therefore again we say, as we said a short time ago,--O ye Athenians!
what have ye not to answer for in the consequence of your malpractices
of old!

The only great success of the day in works of fiction, (for the laurels
of Bulwer have been spindled among the rest by the factitious atmosphere
of the circulating libraries), is that of Boz. And we attribute, in a
great measure, the enormous circulation of his early works, to their
having set at defiance the paralysing influence of the monster-misery.
Shilling numbers were as the dragon's teeth. They rose up like armed
men, and slew the circulating librarians. People were forced to buy them
if they wanted to read them; and they were bought. Those who desired to
read "Night and Morning," were not forced to purchase it, and it was not
bought; and the circulation of the two works consequently remains as
2000 to 35,000 copies.

The state and prospects of authors, however, concerns you less, dear
public, than the state and prospects of literature. You are a
contemplative body of men, and can see into a millstone as far as most
nations. You make leagues and anti-leagues for the sake of your morsel
of bread; and teach the million to sing to your own tune; and, weary of
keeping your heads above water, tunnel your way below it; nor will you
allow the suffering shirtmakers of your metropolis to be put upon, nor
Don Carlos, nor Queen Pomaré, nor any other victim of oppression. You
applauded Alice Lowe, and shook hands with Courvoisier at the gallows;
and it is clear you stand no nonsense, and bear no malice.

Be so good, therefore, as seriously to consider what sort of figure you
will cut in the eyes of posterity, if this kind of thing is suffered to
go on.

There is not one publisher in the three kingdoms (we throw down the
gauntlet) who would give an adequate sum of money for any new historical
work. There is not one publisher in the three kingdoms who would give
even a moderate sum for a poem. We state the case liberally; for our
conviction is, that they would refuse one poor half-crown. So much for
the _prospects_; for, without a premium production is null.

As regards the state of literature, take out your pencils, (you all
carry pencils, to calculate either the long odds or the odds on
'Change,) and make out a list of the works published during the last
five years, likely to be known, _even by name_, a hundred years hence!
It is some comfort to feel, that _by sight_ they cannot be known--that
few of them will survive to disgrace us--that the circulating libraries
possess the one merit of wear and tear for the destruction of their
filthy generation, like Saturn of old; for it would grieve us to think
of even the trunks of the two thousandth century being lined with what
lines the brains of our contemporaries. So that in the year of grace two
thousand and forty-four, we shall have the Lady Blarney of Kilburn
Square (the Grosvenor Square of that epoch,) enquiring of the Miss
Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs of Croydon Place (the Belgium
Square)--"My dear soul, what _could_ those poor people do to amuse
themselves? They had positively _no_ books! After Scott's time till the
middle of the nineteenth century not a single novelist; after the death
of Byron, not a poet! I believe there was an historian of the name of
Hallam, not much heard of; and the other day, at a book-stall, I picked
up an odd volume of an odd writer named Carlyle. But it is really
curious to consider how utterly the belles-lettres were in abeyance."

To which, of course, Miss C. W. A. S.--(even Dr Panurge could not get
through the whole name again!)--"My dear love! they had Blackwood's
Magazine, which, like the Koran after the burning of the Alexandrian
library, supplied the place of ten millions of volumes!"

But, alas! some Burchell may be sitting by, to exclaim "FUDGE!"
Some groper into archives will bring forth one of those
never-to-be-sufficiently-abominated catalogues of Bond and other
streets, showing that, on a moderate calculation, twenty books were
published per diem, which, at the end of three months, possessed the
value of so many bushels of oyster-shells!

And then, pray, what will you have to say for yourselves, O public! from
your tombs in Westminster Abbey or your catacombs at Kensal Green? Which
among you will dare come forward, with blue lights in his hand and
accompanied by a trombone, like the ghost of Ninus in Semiramide, and
say--"We warned these people to write for immortality. We told them it
was their duty to stick in a few oaks for posterity, as well as their
Canada poplars and Scotch firs. It was not our fault that they chose to
grow nothing but underwood. It was the fault of the circulating
libraries, which, instead of allowing the milk of human genius to set
for cream, diluted it with _malice prepense_, and drenched us with milk
and water even to loathing!"

No, dear public! you will put your hand in your breeches' pocket like a
crocodile, as you do now, and say nothing. Yon are fully aware how much
of the fault is your own; but you are stultified and hardened to shame.
With the disgrace of your National Gallery, and National Regency
Buildings, and Pimlico Palace, and all your other vulgarisms and
trivialities on your shoulders, you bully your way out of your disgrace
of duncehood, like Mike Lambourne on forgetting his part in the
Kenilworth pageant. "For your part, you can do very well without
book-learning. You've got Shakspeare, and if with that a nation can't
face the literature of Europe, the deuce is in it! With Cocker's
arithmetic and Shakspeare, any public that knows what it's about, may
snap its fingers at the world!"

Such, such are the demoralizing results of the ascendancy of the
circulating libraries! Such is the monster-misery of literature!

Again, therefore, we say, confound those fifteen talents! What have ye
not to answer for, O ye Athenians! in the consequences of your
malpractices of old!



  "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 Heavens artillery thunder in the skies?
  Have I not in the pitched battle heard
  Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets clang?"


Our procession had more than the usual object of those dreadful
displays: it was at once an act of revenge and an act of policy. During
the period while the gates of the convent shut out the living world from
us, a desperate struggle had been going on between the two ruling
factions. In this contest for life and death, the more furious, of
course, triumphed; such is the history of rabble revolution in all ages.
The Girondist with his eloquence naturally fell before the Jacobin with
his libel; the Girondist, affecting a deference for law, was trampled by
the Jacobin, who valued nothing but force; the tongue and the pen were
extinguished by the dagger; and this day was the consummation. A debate
in the Convention, of singular talent and unexampled ferocity, had
finished by the impeachment of the principal Girondists. Justice here
knew nothing of the "law's delay;" and the fallen orators now headed our
melancholy line, bound, bareheaded, half naked, and more than half dead
with weariness, shame, and the sense of ruin;--there could scarcely be
more in the blow which put an end to all their perturbations on this
side of the grave.

We had frequent halts, and I had full leisure to gaze around; for,
rapidly as the guillotine performed its terrible task, our procession
had been extended by some additional victims from every prison which we
passed; and we passed so many that I began to think the city one vast
dungeon. What strange curiosity is it that could collect such myriads to
look upon us? Every street was crowded with a living mass; every
casement was filled; every roof presented a line of eyes straining for a
glance below. Instead of the crowd of a populous city, I could have
believed that I saw the population of a kingdom poured in and compressed
into the narrow streets through which we wound our slow way. From time
to time a shout arose, as some conspicuous member of the Convention made
his appearance in the vehicle of death: then execrations, scoffs, and
insults, of every bitterness, were poured upon the unfortunate being;
who seldom attempted to retaliate, or make any other return but a
gesture of despair, or a supplication to be suffered to die in peace.
Yet all was not cruelty nor insensibility. I saw instances, where
friends, bold enough to brave the vengeance of the government, rushed
forward to take a last grasp of the hand that must so soon be cold; and
my heart was wrung by partings between still dearer objects and the
condemned;--wives rushing forward through the multitude; children held
up to their father's arms; beautiful and graceful young women, forcing
their wild way through the line of troops, to take a last look, and
exchange a last word, with those whom they would have rejoicingly
followed to the tomb.

Our progress lasted half the day, and the sun was already near its
setting, when the waggon in which I sat turned into the Place de Grève.
But I must, I dare, describe no more. I shall not say what I saw in that
general receptacle of the day of horror--the range of low biers which
lay surrounding the scaffold, now the last resting-place of men who had
but a few hours before flourished in the full possession of every
faculty of our being; and, still more, with all those faculties in the
full ardour of public life--with brilliant ambition to stimulate, with
prospects of boundless power to reward, and with that most exhilarating
and tempting spell of human existence, popular acclamation, resounding
in their ears. I had known some of them, I had seen then all; and now I
saw those highly gifted, vigorously practised, and fiery-souled men,
shaken down in an instant like a shock of corn; swept to death as if
they were but so many weeds; extinguished in a moment, and in another
moment flung aside, a heap of clay, to make room for other dead. And
this was Republicanism--this the reign of knowledge, the triumph of
freedom, the glory of political regeneration! Even in that most trying
moment, when I saw the waggon, in which I remained the last survivor but
one, give up my unfortunate companion to the executioner, my parting
words to him, as I shook his cold hand, were--"Better the forest and the
savage than republicanism! Doubly cursed be murder, when it takes the
name of freedom!"

I then resolved to see and hear no more; gave a brief and still a fond
recollection to England; and, committing my spirit to a still higher
care, I bowed my forehead on my hands, like one laying down his head for
the final blow!

But while I was still thus absorbed I heard a sudden shout, the
trampling of cavalry, and the sound of trumpets. I again raised my eyes.
A strong body of French troopers, covered with the dust of the
high-road, and evidently exhausted by a long journey, were passing along
the _quai_ which bordered the scene of execution. In the midst of these
squadrons were seen Austrian standards surmounted by the tricolor, and
evidently carried as trophies. The rumour now ran quickly through the
spectators, that Flanders had been entered, that the enemy had been
routed, and that a column of Austrian prisoners was passing through the
streets, of which those squadrons formed the escort.

What could now detain the multitude? The public curiosity would probably
have defied grape-shot; with one burst they poured from the square. When
the populace went, why should the National Guard stay behind?--were they
not as much entitled to satisfy their curiosity? Three-fourths of the
guard instantly piled their muskets, leaving them in care of their less
zealous or more lazy fellow warriors, and ran after the multitude. The
executioners were like other men; equally touched by their "country's
glory," and fond of a spectacle. They dropped by twos and threes quietly
from the sides of the scaffold, and made their way to the _quai_. In the
mean time I was left disregarded; but I was still fettered, or I should
have jumped from the waggon, and taken my chance for escape. All had
evidently come to a full stop, and even that horrible machine, above my
head, had ceased to clank and crush; for what is a spectacle in France
without an audience? The chief headsman, with two or three of his
assistants, true to their post, alone remained--waiting for the return
of the people; yet even they cast many a lingering glance towards the
pageant, whose plumes, flags, and kettledrums, passing across the
entrance of the square, made their patriotism more difficult from minute
to minute. At length the trumpets died away, and, to my renewed
despondency, I saw the crowd again thicken towards me and the few
remaining vehicles, which that day, now sinking into twilight, was to
empty of their victims.

But I was again respited. While I awaited the summons to mount the fatal
steps, a party of dragoons rode into the square, seized every waggon
without a moment's delay, and ordered the whole to be driven out for the
reception of a column of wounded, both French and Austrians; who, having
been brought to the city gates, now waited the means of transport to the
great military hospital at Vincennes.

In this country of expedients, the first suggestion is always the best.
The colonel of dragoons in charge of the column, had applied to the
government for the means of carriage; they referred him to the
municipality, who referred him to the staff of the National Guard; who
referred him to the subprefect; who referred him to his subordinate
functionaries; who knew nothing on the subject; until the colonel,
indignant at the impertinences of office, accidentally heard that the
requisite conveyances were to be seen in front of the Hotel de Ville.
Regarding it as the natural right of the soldier to be first served in
all cases, he sent off a squadron at full speed to make his seizure.
Nothing could be more complete. The affair was settled at once. The
remonstrances of the civil officers against our being thus withdrawn
from their grasp, were answered by bursts of laughter at their
impudence, and blows with the flat of the sabre for their presumption;
for, next to the open reprobation of the army for the civic cruelties,
was their scorn of the civic functionaries. The National Guard made some
feeble display of resistance, but soon showed that they had no wish to
try their bayonets against those expert handlers of the sword; and the
event was, that the whole train of fifty or sixty waggons, of which
about a tenth remained full, were hurried away at full gallop down to
the Boulevard, leaving the scaffold a sinecure. At the barrier a new
arrangement took place; the wounded were piled into the carriages along
with us, and the whole were marched under escort to the grand depot of
the garrison of Paris.

I had seen Vincennes before, and under trying circumstances; its
frowning physiognomy had not been altered, nor, as a prison, was it more
congenial to my feelings than before. Yet, on hearing the hollow tread
of our horses' feet over its drawbridge, and seeing myself actually
within its massive walls, I experienced a feeling of satisfaction which
I had never expected to enjoy within bolts and bars. In this world
contrast is every thing. I had been so fevered with alternate peril and
escape, so sick of doubt, and so perplexed with the thousand miseries of
flight; that, to find myself secure from casualty for the next
twenty-four hours, and relieved from the trouble of thinking for myself,
or thinking of any thing, was a relief which amounted almost to a
pleasure. I never laid myself down to sleep with greater thankfulness,
than when, stretched on the wooden guard-bed of the barrack-room, where
the whole crowd of prisoners were packed together, I listened to the
beat of the night-drum and the changing of the guard. They told me that,
for once at least, I might sleep without a police-officer, to bid me,
like Master Barnardine, "arise and be hanged."

Time in a garrison is the most lingering of all conceivable things,
except time in a prison. I had it, loaded with the double weight. There
was no resource to be found in the fractured and bandaged portion of
human nature round me. The Austrians were brave boors, who spoke nothing
but Styrian or Carinthian, or some border dialect, which nothing but
barbarism had ever heard of, and which nothing but Austrian organs could
have ever pronounced. The French recruits were from provinces which had
their own "beloved patois," and which, to the Parisian, held nearly the
same rank of civilized respect as the Kingdom of Ashantee. Besides, it
was to be remembered, that all round me was a scene of suffering--the
dismal epilogue of a field of battle; or rather the dropping of the
curtain on the royal stage, when the glitter and the noise were gone by,
and the actors reduced from their pomps and vanities, and sent home to
the shivering necessities of poor human existence.

Life to me was now as stagnant as the ditch round the fortress; all
feeling was as languid as the heavy air of our casemates. The mind lost
all curiosity relative to the external world; and, beyond the casual
knowledge which dropped, with all official mystery, from the lips of our
worthy governor, and which told us that the war still continued, and
that the armies of the Republic were "invincible beyond all power of
human resistance;" we could not have been much more separated from
sympathy, even with the capital itself, if we had been transported to
one of the belts of Jupiter.

But a new alarm now seized me. The extreme indifference with which I had
begun to regard all things, at length struck the eye of one of the
military surgeons, who had been sent from Paris in consequence of the
influx of prisoners. He seemed to take some interest in my consumptive
visage and lack-lustre eye; asked me whether "some of my family had not
died early in life," and offered to dictate my pursuits and regimen. The
French are by nature a kindly people, with this one proviso, that,
though every Frenchman on earth is more or less a _persifleur_, you must
never practise the art upon himself. M. Rossignol Perigord Pantoufle
would have been an incomparable subject for the exercise, for he was
eccentricity from top to toe. But the state of my spirits prevented my
taking any share in the burlesque which too frequently befell this
worthy person; and he attached himself to me as a sort of refuge from
the sly, but stinging, persecution of his fellow-officers. When the
hen-wife plucks the goose's bosom it makes her nestle more closely to
her goslings. It was the calamity of my friend Pantoufle to be born with
what the novelists call a "too feeling heart;" he was always in love
with some one or another, and always jilted. But misfortune was thrown
away upon him; he was still a complete sensitive plant, shivering and
shrinking at every new touch: a dish of _blancmange_ could not have
shaken with a slighter impulse, nor a shape of jelly more easily
dissolved. He was now past fifty; and, never much indebted to nature in
his youth, time, the foe to beauty, had been more than a foe to the
doctor. I never recollect to have seen a figure or physiognomy less
fitted to disturb the female soul. But he made me the confidant of his
woes; and if I did not, like Desdemona, "to him seriously incline," at
least I never laughed, amusing as were his agonies, and diverting as was
his despair. I had either the presence of mind, or the feebleness of
pulse, to look and listen;--the art has succeeded in higher places than

Yet all was not sentimentality with him. He was an honest and
high-spirited man in the main. He questioned me--and no question could
then be a bolder one at the time--in what manner he could best serve me.
My answer was immediate--"Find out the commercial house of Elnathan, and
tell the head of the family that I am here." The service was done, and I
received for answer, on my friend's return from his ride to the Rue
Vivienne--"That the firm kept no account with any person of my name; and
that they had no desire to have any further application on the subject."
The doctor, too, had been received with such gathering of black brows,
and such murmurs between indignation and astonishment; that if Rabbi
Elnathan had not been deemed altogether beneath the vengeance of "an
officer in the service of the Republic," the consequence would have been
a proposal to choose his own time to be run through the body in the
Champs Elysées.

It was late when my ambassador had returned, and I had begun to feel
some alarm for his peril by other than the shafts of Cupid in the
rashness of exposing him to the jealous eye of his government, or
perhaps to the denunciation of the Jewish firm, who, to screen
themselves, might hasten with the intelligence to the first
police-office. And I had an uneasy walk of a couple of hours, gazing
from the ramparts, for every movement in the direction of the capital.
The night was calm, and the glow of the lamps in the streets strikingly
marked their outline; when on a sudden the sky was filled with flame of
every colour, shot up in all directions, the cannon round the barriers
began to roar, and Montmartre was in a perpetual blaze. It was plain
that some extraordinary event had occurred; but whether this were the
fall of the triumvirate or of their enemies, a new revolution or a new
monarch, was beyond our knowledge; we were all hermetically sealed up in
Vincennes; and if Paris had been buried in its own catacombs at the
moment, the news would have been doled out to us only in the segments
which suited the dignity of the governor.

But Pantoufle for once was popular in the fortress. If he had brought
nothing to raise my spirits, his tidings threw the garrison into
ecstasy. The Republic "had gained a great victory," whose value was
enhanced by the previous disasters of the campaign. The favourite of the
French armies, too, had gained that victory. This was another feature of
the rejoicing. Dumourier was one of the people; "no noble, no
aristocrat, no son of landed wealth, no lord of forests and feeder on
privileges." He had been a simple captain of engineers; he was now
conqueror of those Austrian provinces on which France had cast an eager
eye for centuries. That prize, which all the monarchs of France, with
all their titled marshals, had never been able to seize, "the Republic,
with a republican army and a republican general, had won in the first
month of her first invasion."

The garrison, of course, had its fireworks, its salute from the
ramparts, and its _feu de joie_. But, in the midst of the festivity, I
observed Pantoufle's countenance loaded with some mighty secret. He
broke it to me with the air of a man revealing a conspiracy. Taking me
on one side, while the ramparts were blazing with blue-lights, and every
man, woman, and child of the garrison were chattering, huzzaing, and
waltzing round us; he communicated to me the solemn fact, that his heart
had been pierced again. This execution had been done while he was
waiting in Elnathan's counting-house: a young Rachel or Rebecca had
accidentally glanced across his sight, with such inimitable eyes, that
his fate was decided for life. The world was valueless without her; and
my particular advice was requested as to the way in which he was to make
his approaches. I advised a sonnet. He smiled, and acknowledged that he
had anticipated my advice, and had spent an hour of that twilight, dear
to love and the muses, during which he had kept me in all the
discomforts of suspense, devoting all the energies of his soul to the
composition of a song to the beauties of the irresistible Israelite.
Boileau has told the world, that a poet once insisted on his listening
to an ode of his composition, while they were kneeling together at high
mass. Our situation might not be quite as solemn, but the doctor was
quite as pressing; and seated on the corner of a bastion, while the guns
were roaring above our heads, I listened to an effusion in the most
established style of sexagenarian poetry.

  "Rachel est sans désirs,
    C'est un bouton de rose,
    Que la nature arrose,
  Et dispose à s'ouvrir.

  Dans son cour sans detour,
    Il n'est pas jour encore;
    Il attend pour eclore
  Un rayon de l'amour!"

I listened without a laugh, and won the eternal gratitude of the writer.
Nothing could be clearer than that, whatever the effusion might owe to
the inspiration of Cupid, Apollo had no share in its charm. On my part,
it would probably have been an act of the truest friendship, to have bid
him burn his tablets, forswear poetry for ever, and regard himself as
forbidden the temptations of the maids of Parnassus. But I should have
broken his heart. I took the simpler but more effectual cure--I bade him
find out this idol, and marry her. Before I forget him and his sorrows,
let me mention, that he took my advice, and that, on my return to the
Continent some years after, I found the poet transferred into the
benedict, with a pretty wife at his side, and a circle of lively
children at his knee--an active, thriving, and rational member of the
community. I always quote the doctor, for the superiority of the
soothing system. The vinegar of criticism would have festered the wounds
of his vanity; the art of (must I call it) flattery healed them. It left
a scar, I acknowledge; for the doctor still wrote verses, and still had
a lurking propensity for climbing the slippery slope of poetic renown.
But the realities of life are fortunate correctives to this passion,
and, like Piron, luckily

  "Il ne fut rien
  Pas même academician."

But on this night our "intercourse of souls" was interrupted by one of
those painful evidences of the renewal of hostilities which shows war in
its truest aspect. A long column of vehicles, which we had seen moving
for some time across the plain, and whose movement, by the torches of
the escort, looked from the ramparts like the trailing of an immense
phosphoric serpent, approached the gates. The announcement was soon made
that it was a large detachment of prisoners and wounded, who had arrived
from the desperate but decisive battle in Flanders. All the medical
officers of the garrison were immediately in requisition; and the sights
which I saw, even when standing at the gate, as the carts and cars
rolled over the drawbridge, were sufficient to startle feelings more
used to such terrible demonstrations of the folly or the frenzy of the
world. But this was no time to indulge indolent sensibilities. Of
course, I have no desire to enter into the startling details of that
spectacle. But mastering myself so far, as to volunteer my attendance
for the time in the hospital, the thought often occurred to me, that
there could be no better lesson for the love of conquest than a walk
through a military hospital after the first battle.

This anxious service lasted during the greater part of the night; for
the wounded amounted to little less than a thousand, both French and
foreign. But as I was returning to my mattress, I recollected the
countenance of a prisoner standing at the door of one of the chambers
set apart for officers of the higher rank. The man put his hand to his
shako, and addressed me in German;--he was one of the squadron of Hulans
whom I had commanded in the Prussian retreat, and who had rejoined his
regiment after the skirmish with the French dragoons. He expressed great
delight in finding that I was a survivor. But "on whom was he now in
attendance?" "On Major-General Count Varnhorst." He told me that the
general had volunteered to join the Austrian army in the Netherlands,
and taking the Hulan with him, had been wounded in covering the retreat,
been found on the field, and was now in the hands of the surgeons in
that chamber!

I pass briefly over this scene. I found my brave friend apparently at
the point of death; he had been wounded by the sabre, trampled under
horses' hoofs, and crushed in every imaginable way, in the course of the
desperate defence which he made against an overwhelming force of the
enemy's cavalry. The officers of the escort were loud in reports of his
almost frantic gallantry; but he was now so exhausted by the length of
the march as to be almost insensible: he knew no one; and his case,
after a day or two, was pronounced beyond all cure. It was then that I
obtained permission to watch over him, and at least provide that he
should not be disturbed in his closing hours. Care is often more than
science, and care succeeded in this instance, against all the ominous
looks of the medical staff. I so much delighted Pantoufle, by having
thus overthrown the authority of a pragmatical _confrère_, who had been
peculiarly stern in his prognostics; that he made the proposal to me of
joining him in the chances of his profession. "I shall fix myself in
Paris," said he; "fame will be the inevitable consequence, and fortune
will follow; here you shall be my successor." I fought off the prospect
as well as I could, and pleaded my want of professional knowledge. His
countenance, at the words, would have been an incomparable study of
mingled burlesque and scorn. He instanced a whole crowd of leading men,
whom he unceremoniously designated as having made fortunes, not by
knowledge, but simply by its absence. "Their ignorance," said he, "gives
them effrontery, and effrontery is the grand secret of fame. You are an
Englishman and a philosopher,"--the latter expression uttered with a
curl of the lip and an elevation of the brow, which evidently translated
the word, a fool. "You take things circuitously, while success lies in
the straight line; thus you fail, we triumph."

I admitted the rapidity of his countrymen.

"In France," said he, or rather exclaimed, "two things conduct to
renown; and but two--to stop at nothing, and never to admit ignorance in
any thing; in medicine, to cure or kill without delay; in surgery, to
operate at all risks. If the patient dies, there are fifty reasons for
it; if the surgeon hesitates, the public will allow of but one. Politics
are not within my line, and the subject is just now a delicate one; but
you see that the secret of renown is, to run on the edge of the
scaffold. In soldiership the principle is the same--always to fight,
whenever you can find any body to fight with; you will deserve to be
famous, or deserve to be guillotined.'

"Perhaps both," I remarked.

"Nothing more probable. But still something is done; inaction does
nothing. Look at Dumourier; he has had no more necessity for fighting
this battle, than for jumping from the parapet of Notre-Dame. But he has
fought, he has conquered; and, instead of throwing himself from the
parapet of Notre-Dame, which he probably would have done in the next
fortnight's _ennui_ in Paris, all Paris is placarded with his

"But he _might_ have been beaten; he might have been ruined, or brought
to trial for rashness; or to an Austrian prison, like La Fayette."

"Of course he might. But the question is of the fact--let prophets deal
with the future. He _has_ beaten the Austrians; he _has_ conquered
Flanders; he _has_ made himself the first man of France by the act, for
which, if he had been an Austrian general, he would have been brought to
a court-martial, his victory pronounced contrary to rule, his bravery a
breach of etiquette, and the rest of his days, if he was not shot on the
ramparts of Vienna, spent in a dungeon in Prague. Take my advice; dash
at every thing; risk is the grand talent--adventure, the philosopher's
stone. So, listen to me; you shall be admitted to the Hotel Dieu as an
_élève_; become my assistant, and make your fortune."

I stared at this sudden explosion of the doctor's rhetoric; but I should
have remembered, that he was under the double inspiration of new-born
love and reluctant rhyme.

Varnhorst at length attempted to walk as far as the ramparts, and I was
enjoying the pride of being able to exhibit my patient to the garrison;
when, just as we were issuing from the long and chill corridors into the
fresh air and sunshine, I observed the commandant coming towards me with
a peculiar air of gravity, attended by several of his officers. Bowing
to Varnhorst with military etiquette, he took him aside and communicated
to him a few words, which made his pale countenance look paler still.
"My friend is brave," was the Prussian's reply, turning a glance to
where I stood. "I have seen him in the field. I am satisfied that,
wherever he is, he will do his duty."

The commandant now walked up to me, and with an air of embarrassment put
a sealed letter into my hands. It was from the minister of foreign
affairs, and was marked _secret and immediate_. I opened it, and I shall
not say with what feelings I saw--an order for my attendance at the
office of the minister, signed ROBESPIERRE.

If the grim majesty of death had put his signature in person to this
order, it would not have borne a more mortal aspect. It was a pang! yet
the pang did not continue long. Inevitable things are not the hardest to
be borne. At all events, there was no time for pondering on the subject.
The carriage which had brought the order and the government _huissier_,
was at the gate. Varnhorst gave me one grasp of his honest hand as I
left him; the commandant wished me "good fortune." I hurried into the
carriage, and we flew on the road to Paris.

On reaching the barrier, we turned off to the quarter of the Luxembourg,
and stopped at the gate of a moderate-sized house, where my conductor
and I entered. I was shown into a small and simple room; where I found a
man advanced in years, and of a striking aspect. He said not a word; I
had no inclination to speak. The one or two hesitating syllables which I
addressed to him were answered only by a bow and a look, as if he did
not understand the language; and I awaited the approach of the terror of
France, the horror of Europe, during half an hour, which seemed to me
interminable. The door at last opened, a valet came in, and the name of
"Robespierre" thrilled through every fibre; but, instead of the frowning
giant to which my fancy had involuntarily attached the name, I saw a
slight figure, highly dressed, and even with the air of a fop on the
stage. Holding a perfumed handkerchief in one hand, which he waved
towards his face like one indulging in the fragrance, and a diamond
snuff-box in the other, he advanced with a sliding step; and after a
sallow smile to me, and a solemn bow to the old man, congratulated
himself on the "honour of the acquaintance, which he had been indebted
to his friend Elnathan for making, in my person." I was all
astonishment: I had come in expectation of receiving my death-warrant--I
had a reception like an ambassador. I now perplexed myself with the
idea, that I had been mistaken for some stranger in the foreign
diplomacy; but I was instantly set right by his pronouncing my name, and
making some allusions to "the influence of my family in the British

Yet, I was still in the tiger's den, and I expected to feel the talons.
I was happily disappointed; the claw was sheathed in velvet. A slight
refection was brought in by an embroidered domestic, and it was
evidently the wish of this tremendous demagogue to appear the man of
refinement, at least in my instance.

"My friend Elnathan," said he, "has informed me that you wish to return
to England?"

This was pronounced in the meekest tone of interrogatory; and, with eyes
scarcely raised to either of us, he awaited my confirmation of his idea.

It was given unhesitatingly; and my glance at the countenance of the old
man was answered by another, which told me that I saw the correspondent
of my friend Mordecai.

"The circumstances are simply these," said the dictator in the same
delicate tone; "the government has occasion to arrange some matters of
importance with the British cabinet. The successes of the Republic have
raised jealousies, which it is for the advantage of human nature that we
should reconcile if possible. France and England are the only free
countries: their hostility can only be injurious to freedom."

He paused, and his cold grey eye, after traversing the floor, was slowly
raised to me.

I admitted my perfect agreement in the opinion, that "wherever national
conflict could be avoided, it was the business of all rational men to
maintain peace." I saw a grim smile pass over his sallow features,
probably at having found another dupe. Elnathan sat in profound silence,
without a muscle moved.

Robespierre, rising, took from a portfolio a letter, and put it into the
Jew's hand. He now had got over that strange embarrassment with which
his habitual nervousness had marked his first address, and spoke
largely, and with a considerable expression of authority.

"The English government," said he, "have expressed some unnecessary
uneasiness at the progress of opinion in Europe. The late victory, which
has decided the fate of the Austrian Netherlands, will probably increase
that uneasiness. Communications through the usual channels are slow,
imperfect, and open to espionage on all sides. I have, therefore,
applied to my friend Elnathan to point out some individual in whom he
has perfect confidence, and through whom the communication can be made.
He has named you."

Elnathan, with his huge hands clasped on his breast, and his bushy brows
drawn deep over his eyes, bent forward with almost oriental affirmation.

"When will you be ready to set out for Calais?"

"This moment," was my willing answer.

"No, we are not quite prepared." He walked for a while about the room,
pondering on the subject; then, turning to Elnathan, he directed the Jew
to get ready some papers connected with the financial dealings which his
English brethren were then beginning to carry on extensively throughout
Europe. Those were to be arranged by next day, and for those I must

"You shall be under the care of Elnathan," said the master of my fate.
"He will obtain your passports from the Foreign Office, and you will
leave Paris to-morrow evening at furthest. We must avoid all suspicion,
Elnathan," said he, turning to the Jew. "Paris is a hot-bed of spies.
Apropos, where do you propose to spend the evening?"

My mind glanced at Vincennes, and his eye, cold as it was, caught my
startled conception.

"No, your return to-night to the fortress would only set all the tongues
of Paris in motion to-morrow. You must be seen in public to-night, at
the opera, the theatre, or where you will. You must figure as an
Englishman travelling at his pleasure and his leisure--_a Milor_."

"Madame Roland gives a soiree to-night," humbly interposed the Jew.

"Ha!--that is the best of all. You must go there. You will be seen by
all the world. Elnathan will introduce you to the 'philosophic lady' of
the circle." He then resumed his pacing round the room. I could observe
the vulpine expression of his visage, the twitching of his hands, the
keen sidelong look of a man living in perpetual alarm. We prepared to
take our leave; but he now suddenly resumed the _petit-maître_,
flourished his perfumed handkerchief again, gave a passing smile at the
mirror, and offered me the honours of his snuff-box with the affectation
of the stage. But, as we reached the door of the apartment, he made a
long, single stride, which brought him up close to me. "Remember, sir,"
said he, in a stern voice, wholly unlike the past--"You have it in
charge from me to inform the government of your country of the actual
feeling of France. It is true that there are madmen among
us--Brissotins, Girondists, and other enthusiasts--who talk of war. I
tell you that they _are_ madmen, and that _I_ will have no war.--There
may be conspirators, who think to shake the existing _régime_ of the
republic, and look to war as the means of raising themselves on its
ruins.--_I_ tell you, and you may tell your cabinet, that they will not
accomplish their objects here; and that, if they accomplish them, it
will be the fault and the folly alone of England. Impress those truths
on the minds of your countrymen: the Republic desires no war; her
principle is peace, her purpose is peace, her prosperity is peace. There
will be, there shall be, there _can_ be, no war." He folded his arms,
and stood like a pillar till we withdrew.

I happened to ascertain shortly afterwards, that on this very day
Robespierre had presided at a council which has sent off orders to
Dumourier to open the Scheldt, the notorious and direct preliminary to
war with England. Such is the sincerity of diplomacy!

I remained during the rest of the day with Elnathan. His hotel was
splendid, and all that surrounded him gave the impression of great
opulence; but it was obvious that he lived like a man in a gunpowder
magazine. He had several sons and daughters, whom, in the terrors of the
time, he had contrived to send among his connexions in Germany; and he
now lived alone, his wife having been dead for some years. All his
wealth could not console him for the anxiety of his position; and
doubtless he would have perished long before, in the general massacre of
the opulent, except for the circumstance of being the chief channel of
moneyed communication between the government and Germany. In the course
of our lonely but most _recherché_ dinner, he explained to me slightly
the means of my recent preservation. The police-officer had acquainted
him with my being the bearer of a letter from Mordecai. The intelligence
reached him just in time to save me, by a daring claim of my person as
an agent of the English ministry. He had then lost sight of me, and
began to think that I had perished; when the application of my friend
the doctor told him where I was to be found. The message of the head of
the Republic, requiring a confidential bearer of documents, struck him
as affording an opportunity of my liberation; and though the palpable
absurdity of my worthy friend Pantoufle prevented any communication with
_him_, no time was lost in proposing my name to authority.

"And now," said my entertainer, after drinking my safe arrival in a
bumper of imperial tokay, "En avance, for Madame Roland."

We drove to a splendid mansion in the Rue de la Revolution. The street
in front was crowded with equipages, and it was with some difficulty
that we could make our way through the long and stately suite of rooms.
The house had belonged to the Austrian ambassador; and on the
declaration of war it had been taken possession of by the Republic
without ceremony.

I observed to Elnathan, that "to judge from the pomp of the furniture,
republicanism was not republican every where."

"Nowhere but in the streets, or the prisons," was his reply in a
whisper. "Since the Austrian left it, the whole hotel has been furnished
anew at the most profuse expense, which I had the honour of supplying.
Roland is a great personage, an honest nobody, a mill-horse at the wheel
of office. He is probably drudging over his desk at this moment; but
Madame is of another mould. "La voilà!" He turned suddenly, and made a
profound bow to a very showy female, who had advanced from a group for
the purpose of receiving the Jew and the stranger. I had now, for the
first time, the honour of seeing this remarkable personage. Her figure
was certainly striking, and her physiognomy conveyed a great deal of
her character for intelligence and decision. She had evidently dressed
herself on the model of the _classique_; and though not handsome enough
for a Venus, nor light enough for a nymph, she might have made a
tolerable Minerva. She had probably some thoughts of the kind; for
before we had time to make our bows, she threw herself into an attitude
of the Galerie des Antiques, and, with her eyes fixed profoundly on the
ground, awaited our incense. But when this part was played, the idol
condescended to become human, and she spoke with that torrent of
language which her clever countrywomen have at unrivaled command. She
was "delighted, charmed, enchanted, to make my acquaintance. She had
owed many marks of friendship to M. Elnathan; but this surpassed them
all--she admired the English--they were always the friends of
liberty--France was now beginning a race in the arena of freedom. The
rivalry was brilliant, the prize was inestimable." I could only bow.
Again, "she was enraptured to see an Englishman; the countryman of
Milton and Wilkes, of Charles Fox and William Tell--she had been lately
studying English history, and had wept floods of tears over the
execution of William III.--_Enfin_, she hoped that Shakspeare, 'ce beau,
ce superbe Shakspeare,' was in good health, and meant to give the world
many, many more charming tragedies."

She had now discharged her first volley, and she wheeled back upon a
group of members of the Convention, grim and sullen-looking sages, with
wild hair hanging over their shoulders, and the genuine Carmagnole
physiognomy. With those men she was evidently plunged in vehement
discussion, and her whole volume of politics was flung at their heads
with as little mercy as her literary stores had been poured upon me.

But the crowd pressed towards another object of curiosity, and I
followed it, under the guidance of my Asmodeus, to a music room,
splendidly fitted up, and filled with the most select orchestra of the
capital. But it was an amateur that was there to attract all eyes and
ears. "Madame de Fontenai," whispered the Jew, as he glanced towards a
woman of a remarkably expressive countenance and statue-like form, half
sitting, half reposing, on a sofa--surrounded by a group soliciting her
for a "few notes, a suspiration, a _soupçon_"--of, as Elnathan observed,
"one of the most delicious voices which had ever crossed the Pyrenees,"
and the Jew had all the habitual connoisseurship of his nation. At last
the siren consented, and a harp was brought and placed before her, with
the same homage which might have attended an offering to the Queen of
Cyprus, in her own island, three thousand years ago; and rather letting
her hand drop among the strings, than striking them, and rather
breathing out her feelings, than performing any music of mortal
composition, she sang one of the fantastic, but deep, reveries of
passion of "the sweet south."


  "Tus ojos y los mios
      Se miran y hablan.
  Pero los Corazones
        No se declaran.
        Mas te prevengo
  Que si tu no te explicas,
  Yo no te entiendo.

  "Las dudas de un amante
        No han de saberse,
  Que al decirlas se sabe.
        Que desmerecen.
        No--en el silencio
  No son pensamientos
  D'el mas aprecio."[14]

The song closed in a burst of plaudits, as general and marked as if they
had been given to a _prima donna_ in a theater, and she received them as
if she was in a theatre.

"You should be presented to Madame de Fontenai," was my guide's
suggestion. "She is our reigning _célébrité_ at present, as Madame
Roland is our _publicité_. You see we are nice in our distinctions.--I
shall probably to-night show you another, a very handsome creature
indeed, without half the talents of either, but with more admirers than
both; who has obtained the title of our _felicité_."

"I shall be delighted to be made known to her, but give me the _carte du
pays_. Who or what is she?"

"The daughter of Cabarus, the Spanish ambassador here some years ago.
She is now a widow, rich, giving the most _recherché_ suppers, followed
by all the world, and, as she declares, _persecuted_ by M. Tallien; who,
as perseverance is nine-tenths of success in every thing, will probably
succeed in making her Madame Tallien."

I had now the honor of being presented, and was received with very
flattering attention. This I probably owed to the Jew, who seemed to
have the key to every one's smiles, as he had to most of their
escrutoires. She was certainly a person of most distinguished
appearance. Not handsome, so far as beauty depends on feature; for she
had the olive tinge of her country, Spain, and she had the _not_ Spanish
"petit nez retroussé." She required distance for fascination. But her
figure was fine, and never was any costume more studied to exhibit it in
all its graces. Accustomed as I had become to foreign life, I must
acknowledge that I was a little surprised at the unhesitatingly
_classical_ development of her form;--arms naked to the shoulder, or
clasped only with golden serpents; a robe _à la Diane_, and succinct as
ever huntress wore; silver sandals, a jeweled cestus, and a tunic of
white satin deeply embroidered with gold, depending simply to the knee!
But when she placed me on the sofa beside her, and entered into
conversation, every thing was forgotten but her incomparable elegance of
manner. She had singular brilliancy of eye; it almost spoke, it
perpetually flashed, and it filled up the pauses when she ceased to
speak, with a meaning absolutely mental. Her language was animated and
intelligent; sometimes in a tone of gentle and touching confidence,
which made the hearer almost think that he was looking at her soul
through her vivid countenance. Before a few minutes had elapsed, I could
fully comprehend her title to the renown of the most captivating
conversationist of Paris.

As I at length relinquished this enviable and envied position, to give
way to the crowd who brought their tribute to the _fateuil_, or rather
the shrine, of this dazzling woman--"You have still," said my companion,
"to see another of our sovereigns; for, as we have a triumvirate in the
Tuileries, the world of taste is ruled by three rivals; and they are
curiously characteristic of the classes from which they have sprung. The
lady of the mansion, you must have perceived to be republican in every
sense of the word--clever undoubtedly, but as undoubtedly bourgeoise;
intelligent in no slight degree, but too much in earnest for elegance;
perpetually taking the lead on those desperate subjects, in which women
can only be, and ought to be, smatterers; and all this to the infinite
amusement of her hearers, and the unbounded terror of her meek and very
helpless husband."

I remarked, "that she had, at least, the important merit of giving very
splendid entertainments."

"Yes, and of also possessing as honest a heart as she possesses a rash
brain. She is kind, generous, and even rational, where she has not a
revolution to make or to ruin. But, suffer her to touch on politics, and
you might as well bring a lunatic into the full moon."

"But that singular being, to whom we have just been listening, and whose
song I shall hear to-night in my dreams--can she be a politician, a
republican? I have never seen a countenance more likely to be
contemptuous of the _canaille_!"

"You are perfectly in the right. She has a sphere of her own, which has
no more to do with our world than if she lived in the evening-star. She
exists simply to enjoy homage, and to reward it, as you have seen, by a
song or a smile; yet she has been on the verge of the scaffold. Some of
our most powerful political characters are contending for her influence,
her fortune, or her hand; and whether the contest will end in raising M.
Tallien to the head of the Republic, or extinguishing him within the
week, is a question which chance alone can decide.--She may yet be a

"She seems fitter to be a Circe, or a Calypso. Or if a queen, she would
be a Cleopatra."

"No," said Elnathan, with the only laugh which I had seen on his solemn
visage during the night. "She has known too much of courts to endure
royalty. She reigns as the widow of M. de Fontenai. If Tallien falls,
she will have the power of choosing from all his successors. When old
age comes at last, and conquests are hopeless, she will turn _devote_,
fly to her native Spain, abjure the face of man, spend her money on
wax-dolls and cockle-shells; and after being worshipped by the multitude
as a saint, and panegyrized by the monks as a miracle, will die with her
face turned to Paris after all, as good Mussulmen send their last breath
in the direction of Mecca."

We now plunged into the centre of a circle of men in military costume,
full of the war, and criticising Dumourier's campaign with the utmost
severity. As I listened; with some surprise at the multiplicity of
errors which the most successful general of France had contrived to
squeeze into a single month of operations, I observed a man, of a pale
thin visage, like one suffering from ill health or excessive mental
toil, but of a singularly intellectual expression; standing at a slight
distance from the group of tacticians with a quiet smile.

"Let me have the honour of presenting M. Marston to the minister at
war," was my introduction to the celebrated Carnot; with whom Elnathan
seemed to be on peculiar terms of intimacy. The minister entered at
once, and good-humouredly, into conversation.

"You must not think our favourite general," said he, "altogether the
military novice which those gentlemen of the National Guard have decided
him to be. I feel an additional interest in the question, because I had
a little official battle to fight to place him at the head of the army
of Flanders. But I saw that he had military talent, and that, with a
republic, cancels all sins."

I made some passing remark on the idleness of disputing the ability of
an officer who answered cavils by conquest, observing, that the only
rational altar raised by the Romans, a people of warriors, was to "Good

"Ah yes, you think, in the Choiseul style, that the first question to be
asked in choosing a general was, 'is he lucky?' I must own,
notwithstanding, that our city warriors have been of the opinion"--and a
slight movement curled his lip--"that General Dumourier has fought his
battle against principle. But they do not perceive, that _there_ lies
the very merit for which the Republic must uphold him. His troops were
in an exhausted country; they had but provisions for two days. He must
fight at once or retreat. Another general might have retreated; and made
his apology by the state of his haversacks. Dumourier took the other
alternative: he fought; and the general who fights is the only general
who gains victories."

One of the tacticians at whom he had indulged in a sneer, Santerre, the
commandant of the city horse, a huge and heavy hero with enormous
jackboots and a clattering sabre, now strode up to us, and pronounced
that the campaign had been hitherto "against all rule."

"You mistake, my good friend," said the now half-angry minister--"you
mistake acting above rule for acting against rule. Our war is new, our
force is new, our position is new; and we must meet the struggle by new
means every where. Follow the routine, and all is lost. Invent, act,
hazard, strike, and we shall triumph as Dumourier has done--France is
surrounded with enemies. To conquer, we must astonish. If we wait to be
attacked, we must feel the weakness of defence--the spirit of the French
soldier is attack. Within the frontier he is a bird in a cage; beyond it
he is a bird in the air. Why has France always triumphed in the
beginning of a war? because she has always invaded. The French soldier
must march, he must fight, he must feel that he hazards every thing,
before he rises to that pitch of daring, that ardour, that _elan_, by
which he gains every thing. Let him, like the Greek, burn his ships
behind him, and from that moment he is invincible."

I listened with speechless interest to this development of the
principles on which the great war of Europe was to be sustained. The
speaker uttered his oracular sentences with a glow, which left his
hearers almost as breathless as himself. I could imagine that I saw
before me the living genius of French victory.

While we were standing, silenced by this burst; an incident occurred, as
if to give demonstration to his theory; an aide-de-camp entered the
room, bringing despatches from the army of Flanders. He had but just
arrived in Paris, and not finding the war-minister at his bureau, had
followed him here. Of course, the strongest conceivable curiosity
existed; but not a syllable was to be learned from the official mystery
of the aide-de-camp. He made his advance to the minister, deposited the
despatch in his hands, and then drew up his stately figure, impervious
to all questioning. Carnot retired to an alcove to read the missive, and
in the mean time the general anxiety was an absolute fever. The dance
ceased, the tables of loto and faro were deserted, the whole business of
life was broken up, and five hundred of the handsomest, the most
brilliant, and the best dressed of the earth, were standing on tiptoe in
an agony of suspense. It would have justified a counter-revolution.

At length Carnot, probably wholly forgetting the scene of suffering
which he had left behind, came forward with the important despatch open
in his hand. When he read the date, and pronounced the words
"Headquarters, Brussels," all was known, and all was rapture. The French
deserve good news beyond all other people of the globe, for none ever
enjoy it so much. I thought that they would have embraced the little
minister to death; no living man certainly was ever nearer being pressed
into Elysium. Absolute shouts of _Vive la Republique_! and plaudits from
innumerable pairs of the most delicate hands, echoed through the whole
suite of _salons_. Madame, the lady of the mansion, made a set speech to
him, at the conclusion of which she rushed on him with open arms, and
kissed him on both cheeks, "_Au nom de la Republique_." Even the
ethereal Madame de Fontenai condescended so far to stoop to human
feelings, as to move from her couch, advance, drooping her fine eyes,
and, with her hand on her bosom, like a sultana bend her magnificent
head in silent homage before him. I watched the pantomime of this
matchless creature, with a full acknowledgment of its beauty. A single
word would have impaired it; but she did not utter a syllable. On
retiring, she slowly raised her expressive countenance, fixing her eyes
above, as if she thanked some visionary protector of France for this
crowning triumph; and then, with hands clasped, and step by step, sank
back into the crowd.

Supper was announced, and we were led into a new suite of rooms, filled
with all the luxuries and hospitalities of a most sumptuous
entertainment. Carnot, now doubly popular, was surrounded by the _élite_
of name and beauty. But, whether from the politeness with which even the
Republicans of former rank were desirous of distinguishing themselves
from the _roturier_, or for the purpose of making his opinions known in
that country which had been always the great tribunal of European
opinion, and always will be; he made _me_ sit down at his side.

He now talked largely of continental interest, and continually reverted
to the advantages of a closer alliance of England with France. "The two
countries," said he, "are made for combination; combined, they could
conquer the globe; France for the empire of the land, England for the
empire of the sea. Nature has divided between them the sceptre of the

I observed that, when the conquest was achieved, the victors, like
Augustus and Antony, might quarrel at last.

"Well, then, even if they did, the combat would finish in a day what it
would have taken centuries of the tardy wars of old times to decide. Six
hours at Pharsalia settled the civil wars of Rome, and pacified the
world for five hundred years."

"But which side would be content to be the beaten one?" I asked.

"Neither," replied a restless, but remarkably broad-foreheaded and
deep-browed personage at the opposite side of the table. "The combat
would be eternal, or must end in mutual ruin. An universal empire would
be beyond the government of man by law, or his control by the sword. I
prefer enlightening the people until they shall want no control."

"But will they buy your lamp?" said Carnot, with a smile.

"At least they have done so pretty extensively, if I am to believe the
public. It was but this day, that I received a notice that there had
been sent forth the hundred thousandth copy of my 'Qu'est ce que le
Tiers Etat.'"

"That was not a lamp, but a firebrand," said a hollow voice at a
distance down the table; which reminded me of the extraordinary orator
whom I had heard in the Jacobin Club. Carnot looked round to discover
this strange accuser, and added, in a loud and stern tone--

"Whether lamp or firebrand, I pronounce to all good Frenchmen that it
was a great gift to France. It was the grammar of a new language, the
language of liberty! It was the sound of a trumpet, the trumpet of
revolution! Still M. de Siêyes," said he, turning to the author of this
celebrated performance, "all things have their time, and yours is not
yet come. I cannot give up the soldier. I am for no tardy movement, when
the country is in peril; the field must be cleared before it can be
cultivated. You must sweep war from your gates, and faction from your
streets, before you can sit down to teach a people. Even then the task
is not easy. To know nothing, or to know something badly, are two kinds
of ignorance which will always tempt the majority of mankind."

"Is there not a third kind of ignorance more dangerous still--that of
knowing more than one _ought_ to know?" interposed another speaker,
whose countenance had already struck me as one of the most problematical
that I had ever seen. His composed yet keen physiognomy, strongly
reminded me of the portraits of the Italian Conclave--some of the
cardinals of Giorgione and Titian; at once subtle and dignified.

Carnot smiled, and said to me in a low tone, "That is a touch at Siêyes.
Those two men never meet without a fencing-match. One of them has been a
bishop, and cannot forgive the loss of his mitre. Siêyes has been
nothing, but intends to be more than a bishop yet--if he can. Talleyrand
and he hate each other with the hatred of rival beauties."

It was evident that Siêyes was stung, though I could not tell how. I saw
his powerful countenance flush to the forehead. But he merely
said--"Pray, Monsieur, what is a vizard?"

All eyes were now directed to the combatants, and a faint laugh ran
round the table. But there was not the slightest appearance of
perturbation in the manner or look of his antagonist, as he answered--

"Monsieur, I shall have the honour to inform you. A vizard is a
contrivance for concealment, whether in silk and pasteboard or in an
inflexible visage--whether in a woman who wants to disguise her
features, or in a man who wants to hide his heart--whether in a
masquerader or an assassin. For example, when I hear a hypocrite talk of
his honesty, an intriguer of his conscience, a renegade of his candour,
and a pensioner of his patriotism, I do not require to look at him--I
say at once, that man wears a vizard." He paused a moment. "This," said
he, "is the vizard in public life. In private, it is the impartiality of
authors to their own performances, the justice of partizans, the
originality of plagiaries, and the principle of _pamphleteers_."

This daring delivery of sentiment hit so many, that it could be resented
by none; for no one could have assailed it without making himself
responsible to the charge. Silence fell upon the table. However, lapses
of this order are not fatal in France, and the topic of the war was too
recent not to press still. Various anecdotes of the gallantry of the
troops were detailed, and the conversation was once more led by the
minister. "These instances of heroism," said he, "show us the spirit
which war, and war alone, can kindle in a people. In peace, the lower
qualities take the lead; in war, the higher--intrepidity, perseverance,
talent, and contempt of difficulties. The man must then be
shown--deception can have no place there. All the stronger qualities of
our nature are called into exercise; the mind grows muscular like the
frame; the spirit glows with the blood; a nobler career of eminence
spreads before the nation, cheered by rewards, at once of a more
splendid rank, and distributed on a loftier principle. We shall no more
have a Pompadour, or a Du Barry, giving governments and marshals'
batons. The character of the nation will become, like its swords, at
once bright, sharp, and solid; the reign of corruption is gone already,
the reign of dupery cannot long survive. France will set an example
which the world will be proud to imitate, or must be forced to follow."

"You remind me, Monsieur le Ministre, of the Spartans, who, when they
returned from beating the enemy, found their slaves in possession of
their households. You conquer Prussians and Austrians on the frontier,
and leave monks at home. But, as long as you spare the spiders, you must
not complain of cobwebs. Crush intriguers, an you will put an end to
intrigue," said the bold ex-bishop.

"The man insults the Republic who charges her citizens with intrigue,"
was the whispered, and very formidable, menace of Siêyes. "Monsieur, you
have yet to learn what _is_ a constitution."

The Abbé had incurred some ridicule by his readiness in proposing
constitutions. His antagonist, like a hornet, instantly fixed his sting
upon the naked spot.

"No, Monsieur, I perfectly know what is a modern constitution--it is the
credit of a charlatan--it is the stock of a political pedlar, made only
for sale to simpletons--it is an umbrella, to be taken down when it
rains--it is a surtout in summer, and nakedness in winter. It is, in
short, a contrivance, to make a reputation for a sciolist, and to govern
mankind on the principles of a reverie."

"This is the language of faction," exclaimed Siêyes, indignantly rising.

"Pardon me," said his imperturbable antagonist; "the language of faction
is the language of quacks to dupes; it is the language learned in the
clubs and taught in the streets--the language which takes it for
granted, that the hearer is as destitute of brains, as the speaker is of
principle." All eyes were turned on the parties.

But his hearer simply said, yet with a glance of fire--

"Monseigneur, you should remember, that you are not in our diocese,
haranguing your chaplains. You forget also, that in France the age of
quackery is over. There are no more dupes--have _you_ your passports

This produced not even a sneer on the marble countenance of the

"Monsieur de Siêyes," was the ready reply, "let me not hear _you_ talk
of despair. Quackery will never be at an end in France. The true quack
is a polypus; cut him into a thousand pieces, he only grows the
faster;--he is a fungus, give him only a stone to cling to, and he
covers it;--he is the viper, even while he hides in his hole, he is only
preparing to bite in the sunshine; and when all the world think him
frozen for life, he is only concocting venom for his summer exploits.
Quacks will live, as long as there are dupes--as leeches will live, as
long as there are asses' heels to hang on." He then rose, making a
profound bow, with "Bon soir, Monsieur l'Abbé--never fear--dupes will be

This produced some confusion and consternation among the friends of
Siêyes. But a new scene of the night was announced, and all flowed
towards the private theatre.

I was yet to see more of this daring talker; but I was not surprised to
hear next day, that he had left Paris at midnight, and was gone, no one
knew whither. The capital might have been hazardous for him. Siêyes was
probably above revenge; but there were those who would have readily
taken the part upon themselves, and a _cidevant_ bishop would have made
a showy victim. How he escaped even so far, is among the wonders of a
life of wonder. I afterwards saw the fugitive, at the head of European
councils, a prince and a prime minister; the restorer of the dynasty
under which he fell, the overthrower of the dynasty under which he rose;
bearing a charmed life, and passing among the havoc of factions, and
even escaping from the wrecks of empire, more like an impalpable spirit
than a man.

But the change of his style was scarcely less remarkable than the change
of his fortunes. He was then no longer the hot and heady satirist; he
had become the sly and subtle scorner. No man said so many cutting
things, yet so few of which any one could take advantage: he anatomized
human character without the appearance of inflicting a wound; he had all
the pungency of wit without its peril, and reigned supreme by a terror
which every one pretended _not_ to feel. The change, after all, was only
one of weapons; in the first period it was the knife, in the second the
razor--and perhaps the latter was the more deadly of the two.

The theatre was fitted up with the taste of a people more essentially
theatrical than any other in the world. For not merely the eye, but the
tongue, is theatrical; and not merely the stage, but every portion of
private life. Every sentiment, every sound, is theatrical; and the stage
itself is the only natural thing in the country, from Calais to Bayonne.

As we took our seats in the little gilded box, which was made only for
two; though probably for _tête-à-têtes_ of a more romantic order than
ours, Elnathan observed to me, "You will now see two of the most
remarkable _artistes_ in France--Talma, beyond all comparison our first
actor; and another, an amateur, whom I think altogether one of the
finest women in existence. You may pronounce, that she ought to be
younger for perfection; but there is beauty in the fruit as well as in
the flower, and not the less beautiful though it is of a different kind.
But you shall see."

The curtain now drew up, and we saw the commencement of the little
_drame_ of _Paul et Virginie_. St Pierre's charming story has since been
worn out on all the boards of Europe; but it was then new to the stage,
and the audience gazed and listened, smiled and wept, with all the
freshness of delicious novelty. All the earlier portions of the
performance were what we have since so repeatedly seen them; we had the
scenery of the Mauritius, painted with habitual French skill, the
luxuriant vegetation, the rosy sky, and the deep purple of the ocean.
The negro-dances were exhibited, by _ballerine_ from the opera; and all
was in suspense for the appearance of the two stars of the night. Paul's
_entré_ was received with unbounded plaudits; he was so simply dressed,
and looked so completely the young wanderer of the groves, that I could
not conceive him to be the grand pillar of tragedy in France. He was
incomparably the handsome peasant of the tropics; yet, as his part
advanced, I could discover in his deep eye and powerful tone, the actor
capable of reaching the heights of dramatic passion. He was scarcely
above the middle size, with features whose magic consisted in neither
their strength nor beauty, but in their flexibility. I had never seen a
countenance so capable of change, and in which the change was so
instantaneous and so total. From the most sportive openness, a word
threw it into the most indignant storm, or the most incurable despair.
From wild joy, it was suddenly clouded with a weight of sorrow that
"refused to be comforted." His accents were singularly sweet, yet clear;
and, like his change of countenance, capable of the most rapid change
from cheerfulness to the agonies of a breaking heart. His charm was
reality; the power to carry away the audience with him into the scene of
the moment. I had not been five minutes looking at him, when I was as
completely in the Mauritius, as if I had been basking in its golden
sunshine, and imbibing the breeze from fair palms.

But his fascination and ours was complete when Virginie appeared.
Nothing could be less artificial than her costume; the simple dress of
Bengalese blue cloth, a few cowrie shells round her neck, and a shell
comb fastening up the braids of profusion of raven hair. She came
floating rather than walking down the mountain path; and her first few
words, when Paul rushed forward and knelt to kiss her feet, and the half
playful, half fond air with which she repelled him, seemed to me the
most exquisite of all performances. I observed, too, that her style had
more nature in it than that of Talma. I had till then forgotten that he
was an actor; but, placed beside her, I could have almost instinctively
pronounced that Paul was a Frenchman and Virginie a Creole. I whispered
the remark to Elnathan, who answered, "that I was right in point of
fact; for the representative of Virginie, though not a native of the
Mauritius, was of tropical birth, the widow of a French noble, who had
married her in the colonies and who had been one of the victims of the

"And yet an amateur actress?"

"Yes; but we never ask such questions in France. Every body does the
same. You should see one of our 'bals à la victime,' in which the
express qualification for a ticket is having lost a relative by the

"But who is this charming woman?"

"A woman of birth and fortune, of charming talents, and supposed at this
moment to exercise the highest influence with the most influential
personage of the government;--even the bewitching Madame de Fontenai has
given way to her supremacy."

I observed, "That though neither could compete with English beauty in
point of features, there was a singular fascination in both--their
countenances seemed remarkably connected with the play of their minds.

"There is still a distinction," said Elnathan, after a long and calm
look through his _lorgnette_--in the style of that inspection which an
artist might give to a picture of acknowledged renown; or perhaps which
a Mahometan dealer might fix on an importation from Circassia; "but one
which," said he, dropping his glass, "I find it difficult to define."

"You have already," said I, "given Madame Roland her place at the head
of Republicans, let us suppose Madame de Fontenai the fine and
fastidious aristocrat. While this lovely being's elegance of manner, and
mixture of grace and dignity, would make an admirable figure at the head
of a French court, if such a thing were not now beyond all possibility."

"Are you aware," said the Jew, with sudden seriousness, "that a
prediction, or at least some extraordinary conjecture on the subject,
has gone the round of the circles. The tale is, that while she was still
a girl in the West Indies, one of the negro dispensers of fortune, an
Obi woman, pronounced that she should ascend a throne. I must, however,
add the _finale_ to qualify it--that she should die in an hospital."

"The scale," said I, "goes down too suddenly in that case: she had
better remain the beautiful and happy creature that she is. Yet a being
formed in this expressive mould was not meant either to live or die like
the rest of the world."

"True, in other countries," said Elnathan, with a glance round, as if a
_huissier_ was at his elbow; "but here the affair is different--or
rather, the course of nature is the scaffold. That beautiful woman has
lately had the narrowest escape from the Revolutionary committee; and I
can tell you that it is utterly impossible to know what to-morrow may
bring even to her. She is too lovely not to be an object of rivalry; and
a word may be death."

Such was my first sight of Josephine de Beauharnais.

This charming performance proceeded with infinite interest. But it
differed from the course which I have since seen it take. The scene next
showed Virginie in France. She was in the midst of all the animation of
Parisian life--no longer the simple and exquisite child of nature, but
the conscious beauty; still in all the bloom of girlhood, but exhibiting
the graces of the woman of fashion. Surrounded by the admiration and
adulation of the glittering world, she had given herself up to its
influence, until her early feelings were beginning to fade away. The
scene opened with a ball. Virginie, dressed in the perfection of
Parisian taste, was floating down the dance, radiant with jewels and
joy, the very image of delight, when her eye dropped upon the figure of
a stranger, standing in a recess of the superb apartment, with arms
folded, a moody brow, and a burning gaze fixed upon her. A pang shot
through her heart. In her exquisite acting, a single gesture, a single
glance, showed that all the recollections of her native isle had
returned. She was the child of nature and of sensibility once more. She
tottered from the dance, tremblingly approached the stranger, and fell
at his feet. That stranger was Paul; and Talma, in his finest tragedy,
never displayed more profound emotion, nor produced more enthusiastic
applause, than when he raised her up, and with one look, and one word,
"Virginie,"--forgot all and forgave all.

But we were spared the catastrophe, which would certainly have been an
ill return for the profusion of sighs and tears which the fair
spectators gave to the performance. The ruling genius of the night, the
minister's wife, officially inspired to do honour to the triumphs of the
State, had employed the talents of her _decorateurs_ actively during our
stay at the supper-table; and when the curtain rose for the third act,
instead of "a stormy sea and the horrors of shipwreck," according to the
stage directions, we saw a stage Olympus, in which the whole _élite_ of
the Celestials escorted a formidable Bellona-like figure, the cuirassed
and helmed Republic, in triumphal procession, to an altar covered with
laurels and flaming with incense, inscribed "_à la Liberté_." Some
stanzas, more remarkable for their patriotism than their poetry, were
chanted by Minerva, Juno, and the rest of the Olympians, IN HONOUR of
the "jour magnifique de victoire, Jemappes." A train of _figurantes_,
the monarchies of Europe, came forward, dancing and depositing their
crowns and sceptres at the foot of the altar, (a sign, at least,
tolerably significant;) the whole concluding with an exhibition of the
bust of Dumourier, on which Madame laid a chaplet of laurel, accompanied
with a speech in the highest republican style--bust, speech, and Madame,
being all alike received with true Gallic rapture.

On that night, to have doubted the "irresistible, universal, and
perpetual" triumph of the Republic, would have been high-treason to
taste, to hospitality, and the ladies; and for that night our belief was
unbounded. All had made up their minds that a new era of human felicity
had arrived; that "all the world was a stage," in the most dancing and
delightful sense of the words; and that feasting and fêtes were to form
the staple of life for every future age. We were to live in a rosebud
world. I heard around me in a thousand whispers, from some of the
softest politicians that ever wore a smile, the assurance, that France
was to become a political Arcadia, or rather an original paradise, in
which toil and sorrow had no permission to be seen. In short, the world,
from that time forth, was to be changed; despotism was extinguished; man
was regenerated; balls and suppers were to be the only rivalry of
nations; Paris was, of course, to lead France; France, of course, to
lead the globe;--all was to be beauty, _bonhommie_, and _bonbons_! And,
under the shade of the triumphant tricolor, all nations were to waltz,
make epigrams, and embrace for ever!



  "Silence is the true love-token;
      Passion only speaks in sighs;
  Would you keep its charm unbroken,
      Trust the eloquence of eyes.
          Ah no!
          Not so.

  From my soul all doubts remove;
  _Tell_ me, _tell_ me--that you love.

  "Looks the heart alone discover,
      If the tongue its thoughts can tell,
  'Tis in vain you play the lover,
      You have never _felt_ the spell.
          Ah no!
          Not so.
  Speak the word, all words above;
  _Tell_ me, _tell_ me--that you love."


The painful interest with which the arrival of every Indian mail was
looked for in England during the continuance of the Affghan war with its
alternations of delusive triumphs and bloody reverses, has now almost
wholly died away: the public mind, long accustomed to sup full of the
horrors of the Khoord-Cabul pass, and the atrocities of the "arch-fiend"
Akhbar Khan, has subsided into apathy, and hears with indifference of
the occasional defeat and dethronement of rajahs and nawabs with
unpronounceable names--an employment which seem to be popularly
considered in this country the ordinary duty of the servants of the
Company. Yet the intelligence received during the last year from our
eastern empire, whether viewed in connexion with past events, or with
reference to those which are now "casting their shadows before," might
furnish abundant matter for speculation, both from the "moving incidents
by field" which have marked its course, and the portents which have
appeared in the political horizon. In Affghanistan all things seem
gradually returning to the same state in which the British invasion
found them. The sons of Shah Shoojah have proved unable to retain the
royal authority, which they attempted to grasp on the retirement of the
invaders; and Dost Mahommed, released from captivity, (as we expressed
in Feb. 1843 the hope that he would be,) once more rules in Cabul--there
destined, we trust, to end his days in honour after his unmerited
misfortunes--and has shown every disposition to cultivate a good
understanding with the government in India. Akhbar Khan is again
established in his former government of Jellalabad; and it is said that
he meditates availing himself of the present distracted state of the
Sikh kingdom, to make an attempt for the recovery of the Peshawar--the
refusal of his father to confirm which, by a formal cession to Runjeet
Singh, was one of the causes, it will be remembered, of the Affghan war.
There are rumours of wars, moreover, in Transoxiana, where the King of
Bokhara has subdued the Uzbek kingdom of Kokan or Ferghana, (once the
patrimony of the famous Baber,) and is said to meditate extending his
conquests across the Hindoo-Koosh into Northern Affghanistan--a measure
which might possibly bring him within reason of British vengeance for
the wrongs of the two ill-fated envoys, Stoddart and Conolly, who, even
if the rumours of their murder should prove unfounded, have been
detained for years, in violation of the rights of nations, in hopeless
and lingering bondage.[15] The Barukzye sirdars have repossessed
themselves of Candahar, whence they are believed to be plotting with the
dispossessed Ameer of Meerpoor in Scinde against the British; while at
Herat, the very _fons et origo mali_, the sons of Shah Kamran have been
expelled after their father's death, by the wily vizier Yar Mohammed,
who has strengthened himself in his usurpation by becoming a voluntary
vassal of Persia! Thus has the Shah acquired, without a blow, the city
which became famous throughout the world by its resistance to his arms;
and the preservation of which, as a bulwark against the designs of
Russia, was the primary object which led the British standards, in an
evil hour, across the Indus. Such has been the result of all the
deep-laid schemes of Lord Auckland's policy, and the equivalent obtained
for the thousands of lives, and millions of treasure, lavished in
support of them;--failure so complete, that but for the ruins of
desolated cities, and the deep furrows of slaughter and devastation,
left visible through the length and breadth of the land, the whole might
be regarded as a dream, from which the country had awakened, after the
lapse of five years, to take up the thread of events as they were left
at the end of 1838. But the connexion of our eastern empire with
trans-Indian politics has also fortunately subsided once more to its
former level; and, satisfied with this brief summary, we shall turn to
the consideration of those points in which our own interests are more
nearly implicated.

Our anticipations last year, as to the ultimate fate of Scinde and its
rulers, have been verified almost to the letter. The Ameers (to borrow a
phrase of Napoleon's germane to the matter) "have ceased to reign," and
their territory has formally, as it already was virtually, incorporated
with the Anglo-Indian empire. In our Number for February 1843, we gave
some account of the curious process of political alchemy by which a
dormant claim for tribute, on the part of Shah Shoojah, had been
transmuted into an active assertion of British supremacy over the Indus
and its navigation, and the appropriation of the port of Kurrachee at
the mouth, and the fortified post of Sukkur on the higher part of the
stream, of the river. To this arrangement the Ameers, from the first,
submitted with a bad grace, which it was easy to foresee would lead,
according to established rule in such cases in India, to the forfeiture
of their dominions. And such has been the case; but the transfer has not
been effected without an unexpected degree of resistance, in which the
heroism of Sir Charles Napier, and the handful of troops under his
command, against fearful numerical odds, alone prevented the repetition,
on a smaller scale, of the Affghan tragedy. The proximate cause of the
rupture was the refusal of the Ameers to permit the clearing away of
their _shikargahs_, or hunting-grounds, which were guarded with a rigid
jealousy, paralleled only by the forest laws of William the Conqueror,
and extended for many miles along the banks of the Indus, in a broad
belt of impenetrable jungle, at once impeding the navigation by
preventing the tracking of boats, and presenting dangerous facilities
for ambush. To these cherished game-preserves the Ameers clung with a
desperate pertinacity, which might have moved the sympathy of an English
sportsman--"admitting" (says the _Bombay Times_) "that we might strip
them of their territory, occupy Hydrabad, or seize their persons without
difficulty; but maintaining that they will never consent to become
parties to the act of degradation we insist upon, or give their enemies
the pretext for charging them with having made over to us by treaty, on
any consideration whatever, the most valued portion of their territory."
A force under Sir Charles Napier was at length moved from Sukkur towards
Hydrabad, with a view of intimidating them into submission; and on
February 14, 1843, they affixed their seals to the draught of an
agreement for giving up the _shikargahs_. But this apparent concession
was only a veil for premeditated treachery. On the 15th, the Residency
at Hydrabad was attacked by 8000 men with six guns, headed by one of the
Ameers; and the resident, Major Outram, after defending himself with
only 100 men for four hours, forced his way through the host of his
assailants, and reached Sir Charles Napier's camp. The Ameers now took
the field with a force estimated at 22,000 men; but were attacked on the
17th at Meeanee, a town near the Indus above Hydrabad, by 2800 British
and Sepoys, and completely routed after a desperate conflict, in which
the personal prowess of the British general, and his officers, was
called into display in a manner for which few opportunities occur in
modern warfare. The effect of the victory was decisive: the Ameers
surrendered themselves prisoners of war, and were shortly afterwards
sent to Bombay; the British flag was hoisted at Hydrabad; and a
proclamation of the Governor-general was published at Agra, March 5,
declaring the annexation to our empire of "the country on both sides of
the Indus from Sukkur to the sea."

The subjugation of the new province was not yet, however, complete, as
another Talpoor chief, Ameer Shere Mohammed of Meerpoor, still remained
in arms; and a second sanguinary engagement was fought, March 24, in the
neighbourhood of Hydrabad, in which 20,000 Beloochees were again
overthrown, with great slaughter, by 6000 Sepoy and English troops. The
town of Meerpoor and the important fortress of Oomerkote, on the
borders of the Desert, were shortly after taken; and Shere Mohammed,
defeated in several partial encounters, and finding it impossible to
keep the field in Scinde after the loss of his strongholds, retired with
the remainder of his followers up the Bolan Pass towards Candahar; and
is believed, as mentioned above, to be soliciting the aid of the
Barukzye chiefs of that city. It is not impossible that he may erelong
give us more trouble, as he will be assured of support from all the
Affghan and Belooch tribes in his rear, who would gladly embrace the
opportunity of striking a covert blow against the Feringhis; while the
fidelity of the only Belooch chief who still retains his possessions in
Scinde, Ali Moorad of Khyrpoor, is said to be at least doubtful. For the
present, however, the British may be considered to be in undisturbed
military possession of Scinde; and commerce is beginning to revive on
the Indus, under the protection of the armed steamers which navigate it.
But the great drawback to the value of this new acquisition is the
extreme unhealthiness of the climate from the great heat, combined with
the malaria generated by the vast alluvial deposits of the river; the
effects of which have been so deleterious, that of 9870 men, the total
force of the Bombay troops under Sir Charles Napier's command, not fewer
than 2890, at the date of the January letters, were unfit for duty from
sickness; and apprehensions were even entertained of a design on the
part of the sirdars of Candahar, in conjunction with Shere Mohammed, to
take advantage of the weakness of the garrison of Shikarpoor from
disease, to plunder the town by a sudden foray. There is, indeed, a
Hindostani proverb on this point, expressed in tolerably forcible
language--"If Scinde had previously existed, why should Allah have
created hell?" and so strong is this feeling among the sepoys, that of
the Bengal and Madras regiments lately ordered to relieve those
returning from Scinde, one (the Bengal 64th) absolutely refused to
march, and has been sent down to Benares to await an investigation; and
formidable symptoms of mutiny have appeared in several others. The
Bombay troops, however, who are proud of the conquest effected by their
own arms, are so far from sharing in this reluctance, that one regiment
has even volunteered for the service; and a report is prevalent, that it
is in contemplation to increase the strength of the Bombay army by
raising twelve or fourteen new regiments--so as to enable them to hold
Scinde without too much weakening the home establishment, or drawing
troops from the other presidencies.

The court of Lahore has lately been the scene of a tragedy, or rather
succession of tragedies, in which "kings, queens, and knaves," were
disposed of in a style less resembling any thing recorded in
matter-of-fact history than the last scene in the immortal drama of Tom
Thumb--a resemblance increased by the revival, in several instances, of
personages whose deaths had been reported in the last batch of murders.
It appears that the Maharajah, Shere Singh, had at length become jealous
of the unbounded influence exercised by his all-powerful minister, Rajah
Dhian Singh, who had not only assumed the control of the revenue, but
had more than once reproached the sovereign, when all the chiefs were
present in full _durbar_, with his habitual drunkenness and debauchery.
A quarrel ensued, and Dhian Singh retired from court to the hereditary
possessions of his family among the mountains, where he could set Shere
Singh at defiance; but an apparent reconciliation was effected, and in
July he returned to Lahore, and made his submission. His efforts were,
however, now secretly bent to the organization of a conspiracy against
the life of the Maharajah, in which the Fakir Azeer-ed-deen, a personage
who had enjoyed great influence under Runjeet, and many of the principal
sirdars, were implicated; and on Sept. 15th Shere Singh was shot dead on
the parade-ground by Ajeet Singh, a young military chief who had been
fixed upon for the assassin. The murder of the king was followed by that
of the Koonwur, or heir-apparent, Pertab Singh, with all the women and
children in their zenanas, even to an infant born the night before;
while Dhuleep Singh, a boy ten years old, and a putative son of Runjeet,
was brought out of the palace and placed on the throne. But Dhian Singh
was not destined to reap the fruits of his sanguinary treason. In his
first interview with Ajeet after the massacre, he was stabbed by the
hand of his accomplice; who was cut off in his turn the following day,
with many of the sirdars of his party, by Heera Singh, the son of Dhian,
who was commander-in-chief of the army, and had immediately entered the
city with his troops to avenge the death of his father.[16] Heera Singh
now assumed the office of vizier, leaving the title of king to the
puppet Dhuleep, in whose name he has since administered the government,
with the assistance of his father's elder brother Goolab Singh, a
powerful hill chief, who came to Lahore in November with 20,000 of his
own troops, to keep the mutinous soldiers of the regular regiments in
order. Meanwhile disorder and confusion reigns throughout the Punjab,
which is traversed in all directions by plundering bands of Akalees, (a
sort of Sikh fanatics,) and deserters or disbanded soldiers from the
army; while General Ventura and the other European officers have
consulted their own safety by quitting the country; and the remainder of
the vast treasures amassed by Runjeet, are lavished by Heera Singh in
securing the support of the soldiery to sustain him in his perilous
elevation. He is said to have sent off to the mountain strongholds of
his family the famous _koh-i-noor_ diamond, with great part of the royal
treasure; and it was so generally supposed that he meditated ridding
himself of the pageant king Dhuleep, in order to assume in his own
person the ensigns of royalty, that the uncles of the young prince had
made an attempt (which was, however, discovered and frustrated) to carry
him off from Lahore, and place him under British protection. A strong
party also exists in favour of Kashmeer Singh, who is said to be an
illegitimate son of Runjeet; and there were prevalent rumours that
dissensions had broken out between Heera Singh and his uncle; and,
though every care was said to be taken to prevent intelligence from
Lahore reaching the British, there can be little doubt that the country
is now on the eve of another revolution. It is obvious that this state
of things can end only in British intervention, whether rendered
necessary for the security of our own provinces, or called in by one of
the contending parties--which, in either case, must lead either to the
Punjab being taken wholly into our own hands, or occupied and coerced
(like the Nizam's country) by a subsidiary force, under British
officers, supporting on the throne a sovereign bound by treaty to our
interests. An army has been assembled on the Sutlej to watch the
progress of events; but the Sikhs have hitherto cautiously abstained
from giving any pretext for our interference; and, as long as their
disorders are confined within their own frontier, such an act would bear
the aspect of wanton aggression. But though the appropriation of the
Punjab, in whatever form effected, cannot be long delayed, "the pear"
(to use a Napoleonic phrase) "is not yet ripe;" and as we intend to
return to the subject at no distant period, we shall dismiss it for the
present; while we turn to the consideration of the recent occurrences at
Gwalior--events of which the full import is little understood in
England, but which involve no less consequences than the virtual
subjugation of the last native state in India which retained the
semblance of an independent monarchy, and which, scarce forty years
since, encountered the British forces on equal terms at once in
Hindostan and the Dekkan.

The fortunes of the mighty house of Sindiah were founded by Ranajee, who
was a menial servant early in the last century in the household of the
Peshwah, Bajee Rao; and is said to have first attracted his master's
notice by the care with which he was found clasping to his breast,
during his sleep, the slippers which had been left in his charge. He
subsequently distinguished himself under the Peshwah in the famous
campaigns of 1737-8 against the Mogul emperor, Mohammed Shah: and on the
cession of Malwa to the Mahrattas in 1743, he received the government of
that province as a _jaghir_ or fief, which he transmitted at his death
to his son Mahdajee. The life of this daring and politic chief would be
almost identical with the history, during the same period, of Central
and Upper India, in which he attained such a degree of authority as had
not been held by any prince since Aurungzeeb; but we can here only
briefly trace his career through the labyrinth of war and negotiation.
In the disastrous defeat of Paniput, (1761,) where the united forces of
the Mahratta confederacy were almost annihilated by the Affghans under
Ahmed Shah Doorauni, he received a wound which rendered him lame for
life; but he soon resumed his designs on Hindostan, and in 1771 became
master for a time of Delhi and the person of the Mogul emperor, Shah
Alim. In the war with the English which followed, he conciliated the
esteem of the cabinet of Calcutta, by his generosity to the troops who
submitted at the disgraceful convention of Worgaom, in January 1779: and
at the peace of Salbye, in 1782, his independence was expressly
recognised by the British government, with which he treated as mediator
and plenipotentiary for the Peshwah and the whole Mahratta nation. He
had now, by the aid of a Piedmontese soldier of fortune, named De
Boigne, succeeded in organizing a disciplined force of infantry and
artillery, directed principally by European officers, with which no
native power was able to cope; and in 1785, after defeating
Gholam-Khadir the Rohilla, once more possessed himself of Delhi and its
titular sovereign, who became his pensioner and prisoner, while Sindiah
exercised in his name supreme sway from the Ganges to the Gulf of
Camboy, and from Candeish to the Sutlej. In 1790 he entered the Dekkan,
and was with difficulty prevented by Nana Furnavees, the able minister
of the youthful Peshwah, Madhoo Rao, from usurping the guardianship of
that prince, which would have given him the same ascendancy in the
Dekkan as he already held in Hindostan. But though thus at the summit of
power and prosperity, he constantly affected the humility befitting the
lowly origin of his house; and when at the court of Poonah in 1791,
placed himself below the hereditary nobles of the Mahratta empire, with
a bundle of slippers in his hand, saying, "This is my place, and my
duty, as it was my father's." In the words of Sir John Malcolm,
(_Central India_, i. 122,) "he was the nominal slave, but the rigid
master, of the unfortunate Shah Alim; the pretended friend, but the
designing rival, of the house of Holkar; the professed inferior in
matters of form, the real superior and oppressor, of the Rajpoot princes
of Central India; and the proclaimed soldier, but actual plunderer, of
the family of the Peshwah."

Mahdajee Sindiah died at Poonah in 1794, in the fifty-second year of his
age; and, leaving no issue, bequeathed his extensive dominions to his
nephew and adopted son, Dowlut Rao Sindiah. The prince at his accession
found himself master of an army of seventy-five disciplined battalions,
mostly commanded by French officers, and forming an effective force of
45,000 men, with 300 well-equipped guns, and a vast host of irregular
cavalry, armed and appointed in the native fashion; and his territories
included the so-deemed impregnable fortress of Gwalior, as well as
Ahmednuggur, Aurungabad, Broach, and other strong places of minor note.
His influence was paramount at the court of Poonah; and while by the
possession of Cuttack, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, he
interrupted the communication by land between Calcutta and Madras, his
frontier on the Nerbudda pressed, on the north, the then narrow limits
of the Bombay presidency, which as surrounded on all other sides by the
states of his Mahratta confederates. A prince holding this commanding
position seemed qualified to become the arbiter of India; but Dowlut
Rao, though deficient neither in military capacity nor talent for
government, was only fourteen at the death of his predecessor; and his
inexperience made him a tool in the hands of an unprincipled minister,
Shirzee Rao Ghatka, who directed all his efforts to undermine, by force
or intrigue, the ascendency of the upright and patriotic Nana Furnavees
at Poonah. The young Peshwah, Madhoo Rao, had perished in 1795 by a
fall from the roof of his palace; and the reign of his successor, Bajee
Rao, was a constant scene of confusion and bloodshed; till, after the
death of Nana in 1800, he fell completely under the control of Sindiah,
who thus became the virtual head of the Mahratta confederacy. But in an
attempt to crush the rising power of Jeswunt Rao Holkar, the united
forces of Sirdiah and the Peshwah received a complete defeat near
Poonah, in Oct. 1802;--and Bajee Rao, driven from his capital, sought
shelter from the British, with whom he concluded, in December of the
same year, the famous treaty of Bassein, by which he bound himself, as
the price of his restoration to his dominions, to conform to the English
political system, and admit a subsidiary force for the protection of his

These stipulations amounted, in fact, to the sacrifice of Mahratta
independence; and the war, which from that moment became inevitable,
broke out early in the following year. Sindiah, who had not been
consulted on the treaty of Bassein, from the first refused to be bound
by its conditions; and after some fruitless attempts at negotiation,
took the field (July 1803) in conjunction with Rhagojee Bonsla, the
Rajah of Berar, against the Peshwah and the English. The five months'
campaign which followed, rivaled Napoleon's Prussian warfare of 1806, in
the rapidity with which a great military power was struck down, by (in
the words of Alison) "an uninterrupted series of victories, which
conducted our eastern empire to the proud pre-eminence which it has ever
since retained." Perron, who on the return of De Boigne in 1796 to
Europe, had succeeded him in the government of Hindostan, and the
command of Sindiah's regular troops in that quarter, was defeated by
Lake at Allighur, (Aug. 29,) and soon after quitted India and returned
to his native country; and a second decisive victory under the walls of
Delhi, (Sept. 11,) opened the gates of the ancient Mogul capital to the
British, and released the blind old emperor, Shah Alim, from the long
thraldom in which he had been held by the French and Mahrattas. Agra,
with all the arsenals and military stores, was taken Oct. 17; and the
desperate conflict of Laswarree, (Nov. 1,) consummated the triumphs of
Lake by the almost total annihilation of Sindiah's regulars--seventeen
battalions of whom, with all their artillery, were either destroyed or
taken on the field of battle. The whole of Sindiah's possessions in
Hindostan thus fell into the power of the British--whose successes in
the Dekkan were not less signal and rapid. On the 23d Sept., the
combined army of 50,000 men, commanded in person by Sindiah and the
Rajah of Berar, including 10,000 regular infantry and 30,000 horse, with
upwards of 100 guns, was attacked at ASSYE by 4500 British and Sepoys
under General Wellesley--and the glorious event of that marvellous
action at once effectually broke the power of the confederates, and for
ever established the fame of WELLINGTON.[17] A last appeal to arms at
Argaom, (Nov. 28,) was attended with no better fortune to the Mahrattas;
and Sindiah and his ally were compelled to sue for peace, which was
concluded with the latter on the 17th, and with the former on the 30th
December. By this treaty the imperial cities of Delhi and Agra, with the
protectorate of the Mogul emperor, and the whole of the _Dooab_, or
territory between the Jumna and Ganges, were ceded to the British; who
also acquired Cuttack on the eastern coast, and Broach on the western,
with Aurungabad, Ahmednuggur, and extensive territories in the Dekkan.
Sindiah, moreover, agreed to receive a British resident at his court--an
office first filled by Major, afterwards Sir John Malcolm--and engaged
to conform in his foreign policy to the views of the British
government; ceding, at the same time, certain districts for the
maintenance of a subsidiary force, which, however, was not to be
encamped on his territories.

During the contest with Holkar and the Bhurtpore rajah in the following
year, Sindiah showed strong symptoms of hostility to the British, and
had even put his troops in motion with the view of relieving Bhurtpore;
but the speedy termination of the war saved him from committing himself
by any overt act; and a new treaty was signed, Nov. 1805, in
confirmation of the former, with an express stipulation that the
perfidious Ghatka should be excluded from his councils. He never
afterwards broke with the British government; and though he was known to
have maintained a correspondence with Nepaul during the war of 1815, he
observed a prudent neutrality in the great Mahratta and Pindarree war of
1817-18, which terminated in the total overthrow of all the other
Mahratta princes. This catastrophe left him the only sovereign in India
possessed of any degree of substantial independence, and with a
territory which, after all the cessions, was still of great extent,
though much scattered and intersected by the possessions of Holkar and
other rulers; so that, as Bishop Heber describes it in 1825, "not even
Swabia or the Palatinate can offer a more checkered picture of
interlaced sovereignties than Maywar and indeed all Malwa.... Scarcely
any two villages belong to the sane sovereign." His frontier extended on
the north to the Chumbul, and on the south reached Boorhanpoor and the
Taptee, almost enveloping the remaining dominions of Holkar, and
bordering westward on the Guikwar's country near Baroda.

The whole superficies comprehended, in a very irregular shape, about
40,000 square miles, with a revenue supposed to exceed L2,000,000; and
the army kept on foot (independent of garrisons and the British
contingent) amounted to 20,000 regular infantry, with from 15,000 to
20,000 horse, and a park of 300 guns. The maintenance of this large
military establishment was a grievous burden to the country, and
frequently involved him in great pecuniary embarrassment; but to the end
of his life it continued to be his chief care. Gwalior, where the
headquarters had been fixed since 1810, became the royal residence; and
the _bushkur_, or camp, as it was called, gradually swelled into a great
city. The condition of his states in the latter years of his reign, is
thus characterized by the amiable prelate already quoted:--"Sindiah is
himself a man by no means deficient in talents or good intentions, but
his extensive and scattered territories have never been under any
regular system of control; and his Mahratta nobles, though they too are
described as a better race than the Rajpoots, are robbers almost by
profession, and only suppose themselves to thrive when they are living
at the expense of their neighbours. Still, from his well-disciplined
army and numerous artillery, his government has a stability which
secures peace, at least to the districts under his own eye; and as the
Pindarrees feared to provoke him, and even professed to be his subjects,
his country has retained its wealth and prosperity to a greater degree
than most other parts of Central India."

Dowlut Rao died at Gwalior, March 21, 1827, leaving no male issue; and
with him expired the direct line of Ranajee Sindiah: but he had
previously empowered his widow, the Baiza Baee, (a daughter of the
notorious Ghatka,) in conformity with a practice sanctioned by the
Hindoo law, to adopt a son and successor for him, after his decease,
from the other branches of the Sindiah family. Her choice fell on a
youth eleven years of age, named Mookt Rao, then in a humble rank of
life, who was eighth in descent from the grandfather of Ranajee; and he
was accordingly installed, June 18, by the title of Jankojee Sindiah, in
the presence of the British Resident and the chiefs of the army,
espousing at the same time a granddaughter of his predecessor. The
regency was left, in pursuance of the last injunctions of Dowlut Rao, in
the hands of the Baiza Baee, whose administration was marked by much
prudence and ability; but the young Maharajah speedily became so
impatient of the state of tutelage in which he found himself retained,
that Lord William Bentinck, then governor-general, found it expedient to
visit Gwalior as a mediator, in December 1832, in order to reconcile him
to the control of his benefactress, in whom the government for life was
considered to have been vested by the will of her late husband.[18] The
remonstrances of the governor-general produced, however, but little
effect. On the 10th of July 1833, a revolt, fomented by the young
prince, broke out among the soldiery, whose pay had imprudently been
suffered to fall into arrear; and the Baiza Baee, after a fruitless
attempt at resistance, was compelled to quit the Gwalior territory. The
British authorities, though they had previously shown themselves
favourable to her cause, declined any direct interference on her behalf;
and after remaining for some time on the frontier with a body of troops
which had continued faithful to her, in the hope of recovering her power
by a counter-revolution, she eventually fixed her residence at Benares,
leaving her ungrateful _protégé_ in undisturbed possession of the
government. This was administered in the manner which might have been
expected from a youth suddenly raised from poverty to a throne, and
destitute even of the _modicum_ of education usually bestowed on Hindoos
of rank. The revenues of the state were wasted by the Maharajah in low
debauchery, while the administration was left almost wholly in the hands
of his maternal uncle, who bore the title of Mama-Sahib; but his
influence was far from adequate to repress the feuds of the refractory
nobles, and the mutinies of the turbulent and ill-paid troops, who
frequently made the capital a scene of violence and bloodshed. The
relations with the cabinet of Calcutta continued, however, friendly; and
Lord Auckland, when on his return on his famous tour to the Upper
Provinces, paid a visit to Gwalior in January 1840, and was received
with great pomp by the Maharajah. But the frame of Jankojee Sindiah was
prematurely undermined by his excesses; and he died childless, February
7, 1843, not having completed his twenty-seventh year.

The ceremony of adopting a posthumous heir, which had taken place at the
death of Dowlut Rao, was now repeated; and a boy nine years old, the
nearest kinsman of the deceased sovereign, was placed on the musnud,
under the name of Jeeahjee Rao Sindiah, by the _Maha-rane Baee_, or
queen-dowager; who, though herself only twelve years of age, assumed the
regency in conjunction with the Mama-Sahib. But little permanence could
be expected in a state so constituted from the government of a child,
and a man without adherents or influence, though they were recognized as
regents by the British authorities:--and the catastrophe was hastened by
an imprudent investigation, which the Mama-Sahib instituted, into the
peculations of the Daola-Khasjee, the minister of the late Maharajah.
The deficit is said to have amounted to not less than three crores of
rupees, (L3,000,000,) which had probably been employed in corrupting the
troops; and on the night of July 16, a general mutiny broke out. The
Resident, finding all interference unavailing, quitted Gwalior with the
Mama-Sahib, and repaired to Dholpoor near the frontier:--while the whole
sovereign power was usurped by the Khasjee, who had succeeded in
bringing over the young Baee to his interests, and who even sent troops
and artillery to the banks of the Chumbul, to dispute, if necessary, the
passage of the English. The cabinet of Calcutta now, however,
considered, that the attitude of hostility which had been assumed, as
well as the expulsion of a minister who was in some measure under
British guarantee, justified a departure from the principle of
non-intervention which had hitherto been invariably acted upon with
regard to the internal affairs of the state of Gwalior. A considerable
force, under the title of an army of exercise, was assembled at Agra,
where the commander-in-chief, Sir Hugh Gough, arrived Oct. 21, and was
joined, Dec. 11, by the governor-general himself, who appears to have
regarded the settlement of the once-mighty realm of Sindiah as a
"dignus vindice divo nodus" requiring his immediate presence. The
Gwalior _durbar_, meanwhile, presented a scene of mingled tumult and
panic--some of the officers having formed a party hostile to the
usurping Khasjee, while the mutinous soldiery loudly clamored against
submission; and letters were dispatched to the Rajpoot and Boondela
chiefs, soliciting their aid to repel the threatened invasion of the
Feringhis. At a council held Dec. 7, the most warlike sentiments
prevailed; and some of the military leaders proposed that the British
should be suffered to pass the Chumbul and besiege Gwalior, while the
Mahrattas, getting round their rear, were to pour down on Agra and
Delhi, and raise the Hindoo population! But the news of the
governor-general's arrival struck them with consternation, and vakeels
were sent to Agra, to learn on what terms a pacification might yet be
effected. The envoys had an audience of the governor-general on the
13th; but the march of the troops had commenced the day before, and was
not countermanded even on the surrender of the Khasjee, who was brought
in chains to Dholpoor on the 17th--the military chiefs opposed to him
having persuaded or compelled the Baee to give him up--and he was
immediately sent off as a state-prisoner to Agra.

The army meanwhile, had entered the Gwalior territory, and a
proclamation was issued, declaring that it appeared "not as an enemy,
but as a friend to the Maharajah, bound by treaty to protect his
highness's person, and to maintain his sovereign authority against all
who are disobedient and disturbers of the peace." The insurgent chiefs,
who appear to have confidently expected that the British would withdraw
as soon as the Khasjee was given up, now made fresh attempts at
negotiation; and matters were apparently so far arranged, that
preparations were made for the reception of the Baee, in camp, on the
28th. But it was soon evident that these overtures had been made only
for the sake of gaining time; and after a halt of five days, which had
been actively employed by the Mahrattas, the troops resumed their
advance upon Gwalior, accompanied by the governor-general in person. On
the 29th of December, the two divisions under the commander-in-chief and
General Grey, moving on separate lines of march, found the enemy drawn
up in well-chosen positions at Maharajpoor and Punniar, and prepared to
resist their progress. The British and Sepoy effective strength was
about 14,000 men, with forty guns, and a small body of cavalry: the
Mahratta infantry was nearly equal in number; but they had 3000 horse,
and all the advantages of a strong position, on heights protected in
front by difficult ravines, and defended by a hundred pieces of
excellently served artillery. The conflict appears to have been the
severest which had been seen in India since Laswarree and Assye. The
Mahrattas, (as described in the official accounts of Sir Hugh Gough, who
admits that he "had not done justice to the gallantry of his
opponents,") after their intrenchments and batteries had been carried by
the bayonet, with severe loss to the assailants, "received the shock
without flinching; and fought, sword in hand, with the most determined
courage." But they were at last driven from their ground, with great
carnage, by the superior prowess of the Anglo-Indian troops, whose
double victory was dearly purchased by the loss of more than 1000 killed
and wounded, including an unusual proportion of officers. All resistance
was now at an end: Gwalior, the Gibraltar of the East, was entered
without opposition; and a treaty was concluded, Jan. 10, ratified by the
governor-general and the restored regent, "for securing the future
tranquillity of the common frontier of the two states, establishing the
just authority of the Maharajah's government, and providing for the
proper exercise of that authority during his highness's minority." The
defeated army was to be in great part disbanded, and an additional
contingent force levied, of seven regiments of infantry and two of
cavalry, with twenty guns--a proportionate extent of territory, we
presume, being ceded for its maintenance, as usual in such cases:
exchanges were further made of certain frontier districts, for the
mutual convenience of the two contracting powers; and last, not least,
the expenses of the campaign were to be disbursed forthwith from the
Gwalior treasury. Every thing being thus settled satisfactorily, at
least to one party, the troops were to retire, without loss of time,
within the British frontier, leaving the internal administration in the
hands of the Mama-Sahib and the Baee; and the governor-general was to
set out from Gwalior on the 17th of January, on his return to Calcutta.
Thus the expedition, both in a diplomatic and military point of view,
was crowned with complete success. We must now proceed to examine it in
its political bearings.

The proclamation of British supremacy over India by the Marquis of
Hastings, after the conclusion, in 1818, of the war with the Mahrattas
and Pindarrees, amounted to an assumption on the part of the Company of
the same position relative to the native powers, as had been held by the
monarchs of the house of Timoor--who, from the conquest of Delhi by
Baber, adopted the title of Padishah or emperor, as lords-paramount of
India, and lost no opportunity of enforcing the _imperial_ rights, thus
asserted, against the other Hindoo and Moslem princes among whom the
country was divided; till after a century and a half of incessant
aggressive warfare, Aurungzeeb succeeded in uniting under his rule the
whole of Hindostan and the Dekkan, from the Himalaya to Cape Comorin.
Less than half that period sufficed for the establishment of the
Anglo-Indian empire on a far firmer basis than that of the Moguls had
ever attained; and if the same claim of indefeasible _suzerainté_, which
was set forward by their Moslem predecessors, had been openly advanced
and avowed as a principle, as it has long been acted upon _de facto_, it
would have been at once far more candid, and far more intelligible to
the natives, than the course which has been pursued, of grounding every
aggression on some pretended infraction of a compulsory treaty. The
recent case of Gwalior affords a strong illustration of the point which
we are endeavouring to establish, as the relations of that state with
the supreme government have hitherto been different from those of the
Indian sovereignties in general.[19] While the other native princes
(with the exception only of the Rajpoot chiefs of Bikaneer, Jesulmeer,
&c., who lay beyond what might till lately be considered the British
boundary) had surrendered the military possession of their territories,
almost entirely, to subsidiary corps under the control of the Company,
the dynasty of Sindiah alone (though British influence had been more
sensibly exercised under the feeble rule of Jankojee than during the
life of Dowlut Rao) still preserved its domestic independence almost
untouched, and kept on foot a powerful army, besides the contingent[20]
which it was bound by treaty to maintain--the only other mark of
dependence being the obligation not to contract alliances hostile to
British interests. If we are to regard the late transactions in this
point of view, it will be difficult to justify the invasion of an
_independent_ and friendly state on no other ground than our
disapprobation of a change of ministry, accompanied, though it may have
been, with the tumult and violence which are the usual concomitants of
an Asiatic revolution. But if the Company (as we conceive to be the
_practical_ aspect of the question) are held to be at the present day
the recognized, as well as the _de facto_, representatives of the Mogul
monarchs, there can be no doubt that, on the death of Jankojee Sindiah,
his dominions might fairly have been annexed to the Anglo-Indian empire
as a lapsed fief which had reverted to the suzerain by the failure of
heirs--a rule which would have been equally applicable to the case of
the rival Mahratta house of Holkar, the male line of which also became
extinct last year, and was replaced on the musnud of Indore by a boy
seven years old, a _adopted_ son of Hurry Rao Holkar. From the death of
Dowlut Rao Sindiah, indeed, the Gwalior state had presented a scene of
anarchy and misgovernment, to which allusion is made in the proclamation
of the governor-general;[21] and which, from the impunity it afforded to
the remnant of the Pindarrees and other marauders, and the consequent
insecurity of life and property both in the interior and on the
frontier, was intolerable alike to its neighbours and to its own
subjects. Under these circumstances, the acquiescence of the cabinet of
Calcutta in a second adoption of a child, to fill the throne of a
kingdom already brought to the verge of ruin by the vices and incapacity
of the former occupant, can be regarded in no other light than as an
injudicious stretch of forbearance, injurious to our own interests, and
uncalled for by those of the state thus subjected to a continuance of
misrule; and it is to be regretted, that our late victories have not
been followed up by the formal occupation of the country, and the
establishment of the order and strong government to which it has long
been a stranger. No other result can be anticipated from the half
measures which have been adopted, than the creation of a state of
confusion and resistance to authority, similar to that which prevails in
the distracted kingdom of Oude--ending inevitably, though perhaps at the
expense of a fresh contest, in its incorporation with the dominions of
the Company. Meanwhile, (as observed in the _Times_ of March 8th,) "we
have roused the passions of the Mahrattas against their sovereign and
against ourselves; but we have not taken that opportunity which the
moment of victory gave us, of effectuating a government essentially
strong and beneficial to the governed. The time therefore, we may
expect, will come, when a second interference will be demanded, both by
the recollection of our present conquest and the incompleteness of its
consequences; and we shall be doomed to find, that we have won two
hard-fought battles merely to enforce the necessity of a third."

The late campaign, short as it has fortunately been, becomes important,
if viewed with reference to a subject to which we have more than once
before alluded,[22] but which cannot be too often or too prominently
brought before the British public, who should never be suffered to lose
sight of the great truth, that it is _by our military power alone_ that
we hold our Indian empire. It is evident from all the circumstances, not
less than from the candid confession of Sir Hugh Gough himself, that the
determined resistance opposed by the Gwalior troops, (whom of late years
it has been the fashion in the Indian army to speak of as "Sindiah's
rabble,") and the discipline and valour shown in the defence of their
positions, were wholly unexpected by their assailants. But the prowess
and unflinching resolution displayed at Maharajpoor and Punniar, under
all the disadvantages of a desperate cause and inefficient commanders,
were worthy of the troops of De Boigne and Perron in their best days,
and amply prove that the Mahrattas of the present day have not
degenerated from their fathers, whose conduct at Assye won the praise of
the great Duke himself.[23] The defeat of British force in a pitched
battle on the soil of India, would be a calamity of which no man could
calculate the consequences; yet such a result would not have been
impossible, if the contempt of our commanders for the enemy had brought
them to the encounter with inadequate numbers; and the rulers of India
have reason to congratulate themselves that this underrated force
remained quiescent during our Affghan disasters, when intrigue and
difficulties were at their height among both Hindoos and Moslems, and
every disposable regiment was engaged beyond the Indus, in a warfare, of
the speedy termination of which there then appeared little prospect;
while the Moslems, both of the north and south, in Rohilcund and the
Dekkan, were on the verge of insurrection, the Rajah of Sattarah, the
representative of the former head of that great Mahratta confederacy, of
which Sindiah was then the only member retaining any degree of
independence, was busied in conspiracies, the absurdity of the proposed
means for which was not[24] (as some of his advocates in England
attempted to maintain) a proof of their non-existence. Had the old
Mahratta spirit been then alive in the breast of the degenerate
successor of Dowlut Rao, the appearance in the field of 20,000 troops
with a considerable share of discipline, and a numerous and excellent
artillery, might at once have given the signal, and formed a nucleus,
for a rising which would have comprehended almost every man who could
bear arms, and would have shaken to the centre, if not overthrown
utterly, the mighty fabric of our Eastern empire. It is true that the
indolent and sensual character of Jankojee Sindiah gave no grounds for
apprehension at the time; and the period of danger has now passed away;
nor is it probable that the Gwalior army, even if left at its present
strength, can ever again be in a situation to give trouble to our
government. But it is not less true, that when our difficulties were
greatest, a disciplined force did exist, in a position the most central
in India, which might have turned the quivering beam, if it had been
thrown into the scale against us in the moment of extreme peril.[25]

It is, therefore, with far different feelings from those expressed by
some of the newspaper scribes, both in India and England, that we heard
the declaration ascribed to the present governor-general, on his arrival
in India, "that the army should be his first care;"[26] and have
witnessed the spirit in which it has since been acted upon. "India,"
again to quote his own words on a late public occasion, "was won by the
sword;" yet the military spirit of the army, on which the preservation
of our empire depends, had been damped, and its efficiency wofully
impaired, by the injudicious reductions introduced by Lord William
Bentinck and persevered in by his successor; and the reverses and losses
of the Affghan war, following close in the train of these ill-advised
measures, had produced a disaffection for the service, and deterioration
in the _morale_ of the sepoys, from which evil auguries were drawn by
those best acquainted with the peculiar temperament of the native
soldiery.[27] The efforts of Lord Ellenborough have been from the first
directed to remove this unfavourable impression of neglect from the
minds of the troops; and the heroism displayed by the sepoys under his
own eye, in the late desperate encounters before Gwalior, must have
brought home to his mind the gratifying conviction that his efforts had
not been in vain. We noticed with satisfaction last year, the
well-deserved honours and rewards distributed to the corps, by whose
exploits the transient cloud thrown over our arms in Affghanistan had
been cleared away; and the same course has been worthily followed up in
the decorations cast from the captured Mahratta cannon, and conferred,
without distinction of officers or men, British or Sepoys, on the
victors of Maharajpoor and Punniar; as well as in the triumphal
monuments to be erected by Bombay for the victories in Scinde, and at
Calcutta for those before Gwalior. But while we render full justice to
the valour, patience, and fidelity of the sepoy infantry, now deservedly
rewarded by participation in those honours from which they have been too
long excluded, the truth remains unchanged of that of which Lake, and
many others since Lake of those who best knew India, have in vain
striven to impress the conviction on the authorities at home--the
paramount importance of a large intermixture of _British_ troops. "I am
convinced that, _without King's troops_, very little is to be expected
... there ought always to be at least one European battalion to four
native ones: this I think necessary." And again, in his despatch to the
Marquis Wellesley, the day after the arduous conflict at Laswarree--"The
action of yesterday has convinced me how impossible it is to do any
thing without British troops; and of them there ought to be a very great
proportion." It is true that the regulation lately promulgated by the
Duke of Wellington, that the heavy cavalry regiments shall in future
take their turn of Indian service, will in some measure remedy the evil
in that branch where it is most felt; and will at once increase their
military strength in India, and diminish the length of absence of the
different corps from Europe. The misconduct of the native regular
cavalry, indeed, on more than one occasion during the late Affghan war,
has shown that they are not much to be depended upon when resolutely
encountered. They are ill at ease in the European saddles, and have no
confidence in the regulation swords when opposed to the trenchant edge
of the native _tulwars_; while, on the other hand, the laurels earned by
Skinner's, Hearsay's, and other well-known corps of irregular horse,
might almost have induced the military authorities in India to follow
the example of the Mahrattas, who never attempted to extend to their
cavalry the European discipline which they bestowed on their infantry.
The sepoy infantry has ever been _sans peur et sans reproche_; yet,
though some of the most distinguished regiments of the Bengal army were
in the field before Gwalior, the honour of storming the death-dealing
batteries of Maharajpoor, was reserved for the same gallant corps which
led the way to victory under Clive at Plassey--her Majesty's 39th--and
which has now once more proved its title to the proud motto emblazoned
on its standards, _Primus in Indis_! The words of Lord Lake, (to refer
to him once more,) in his account of the battle of Delhi, might have
been adopted without variation by Lord Ellenborough in describing the
late actions. "The sepoys have behaved excessively well; but from my
observations on this day, as well as every other, it is impossible to do
great things in a gallant and quick style without Europeans;" and we
trust that, whenever the time shall arrive for the return of the present
governor-general to Europe, he will not fail to avail himself of the
weight which his personal experience will give him in the councils of
the nation, to enforce the adoption of a measure which, sooner or later,
will inevitably become one of absolute necessity.

No former governor-general of India entered on his office--at all times
the most arduous under the British crown--under such unfavourable
auspices, and with such a complicated accumulation of difficulties to
combat, as Lord Ellenborough; few, if any, of his predecessors have had
their actions, their motives, and even their words, exposed to such an
unsparing measure of malicious animadversion and wilful misconstruction;
yet none have passed so triumphantly through the ordeal of experience.
Many of his measures may now be judged of by their fruits; and those of
the Calcutta press who were loudest in their cavils, compelled to admit
the success which has attended them, are reduced to aim their censures
at the alleged magniloquence of the governor-general's proclamations;
which, it should always be remembered in England, are addressed to a
population accustomed to consider the bombast of a Persian secretary as
the _ne plus ultra_ of human composition, and which are not, therefore,
to be judged by the European standard of taste. Much of the hostility
directed against Lord Ellenborough, is, moreover, owing to his resolute
emancipation of himself from the bureaucracy of secretaries and members
of council, who had been accustomed to exercise control as "viceroys
over" his predecessors, and who were dismayed at encountering a man
whose previously acquired knowledge of the country which he came to
govern, enabled him to dispense with the assistance and dictation of
this red-tape camarilla. Loud were the complaints of these gentry at
what they called the despotism of the new governor-general, on finding
themselves excluded from that participation in state secrets in which
they had long reveled, in a country where so much advantage may be
derived from knowing beforehand what is coming at headquarters. But much
of the success of Lord Ellenborough's government may be attributed to
the secrecy with which his measures were thus conceived, and the
promptitude with which his personal activity and decision enabled him to
carry them into effect--success of which the merit is thus due to
himself alone, and to the liberty of action which he obtained by shaking
off at once the etiquettes which had hitherto trammeled the Indian
government. In July 1842 we ventured to pronounce, that "on the course
of Lord Ellenborough's government will mainly depend the question of the
future stability, or gradual decline, of our Anglo-Indian empire; and
if, at the conclusion of his viceroyalty, he has only so far succeeded
as to restore our foreign and domestic relations to the same state in
which they stood ten years since, he will merit to be handed down to
posterity by the side of Clive and Hastings." The task has been nobly
undertaken and gallantly carried through; and though time alone can show
how far the present improved aspect of Indian affairs may be destined to
permanency, Lord Ellenborough is at least justly entitled to the merit
of having wrought the change, as far as it rests with one man to do so,
by the firm and fearless energy with which he addressed himself to the


[15] It is to be regretted that the British government has never
requested the Porte to dispatch a mission to ascertain the fate of these
unfortunate officers. The Turkish Sultan is reversed at Bokhara as the
legitimate Commander of the Faithful, and his rescript would be treated
as a sacred mandate.

[16] Portraits of most of the actors in this bloody drama will be found
in Osborne's _Court and Camp of Runjeet Singh_.

[17] A note of Grant Duff, (_History of the Mahrattas_, iii. 239,)
relative to this period in the life of the British hero, is worth
quoting--"I have had occasion to observe how well the Duke of Wellington
must have known the Mahrattas, from having read his private letters to
Sir Barry Close (then Resident at Poonah) during the war of 1803.
Without being acquainted with their language, and, one would have
supposed, with little opportunity of knowing the people or their
history, his correct views of the Mahratta character and policy are very
remarkable. As the letters in question were shown to me confidentially
in 1817, in the course of my official duties, I may be only authorized
to state that, in some instances, his opinion of individuals,
particularly of Bajee Rao, was correctly prophetic." These letters are
now before the public, in the first and third volumes of Gurwood's

[18] See _Asiatic Journal_, May 1834. P. 7, Part II.

[19] See Montgomery Martin's _British Colonies_, i. p. 49, &c.

[20] The Gwalior contingent was called into the field on the occasion of
the late disturbances in Bundelkund, and did good service.

[21] "The want of cordial co-operation on the part of the officers of
the Gwalior state, in the maintenance of order on the frontier, had long
been a subject of just remonstrance, and various orders had been issued
by the late Maharajah, in accordance with the representations of the
British resident. These orders had but too often remained without due
execution; but in consideration of the long illness of his highness, and
the consequent weakness of his administration, the British government
had not pressed for satisfaction with all the rigour which the
importance of the subject would have warranted."

[22] See _Maga_, Aug. 1841, p. 174; July 1842, p. 110, &c.; and Feb.
1843, p. 75.

[23] "Our action on the 23d Sept. was the most severe battle that I have
ever seen, or that I believe has been fought, in India. The enemy's
cannonade was terrible, but the result shows what a small number of
_British troops_ will do."--_The Duke of Wellington to Colonel Murray,
Gurwood's Despatches_, i. 444. "It was not possible for any man to lead
a body into a hotter fire than he did the picquets that day at
Assye."--_Letter to Colonel Munro_, _ib._ 403.

[24] See our Number for July 1842, p. 108.

[25] The strength of the Mahratta army, at the time of Lord Auckland's
visit, was estimated at 35,000 men of all arms, including 15,000
irregular cavalry and 250 guns, besides the _Ekhas_, or body-guard of
500 nobles, privileged to sit in the sovereign's presence, who were
subsequently disbanded by Jankojee for disaffection. The infantry was
divided into four brigades, and consisted of thirty-four regular
regiments of 600 men each, and five regiments of irregular foot, or
_nujeebs_. A few of Dowlut Rao's French officers still survived; the
remainder were their sons and grandsons, and adventurers from all parts
of the earth. Not fewer than 25,000 troops, with nearly all the
artillery, were generally at headquarters in the _bushkur_, or camp, of
Gwalior.--See _Asiatic Journal_, May 1840.

[26] "We see much more of Toryism than of truth in this opinion,"
observes the _Eastern Star_, as quoted in the _Asiatic Journal_ for
December; "and we believe the man who entertains it, the last who should
ever be entrusted with power in this empire. It is as dangerous a
delusion as it would be to imagine we could do without an army at

[27] See an extract from the _Madras United Service Gazette_, in our
Number for Feb. 1843, p. 275, note.


  "With us ther was a DOCTOUR OF PHISIKE
  In all this world ne was ther non him like
  To speke of phisike and of surgerie:
       *       *       *       *       *
  He knew the cause of every maladie,
  Were it of cold, or hote, or moist, or drie,
  And wher engendered, and of what humour,
  He was a veray parfite practioner--
       *       *       *       *       *
  His studie was but litel on the Bible."


It was in the year 18-- that I completed my professional education in
England, and decided upon spending in Paris the two years which had
still to elapse, before my engagement with my guardians would require me
to present myself for examination and approval at the Royal College of
Surgeons in London. The medical schools and hospitals of Paris were
then, as now, famous for their men of science, and for the useful
discoveries which clinical instruction--bedside ingenuity and
industry--is morally certain to carry along with it. Whatever may be
said of the French practitioners as a body--and my professional
brethren, I know, bring against them, as a national reproach, the charge
of inefficiency in the _treatment_ of disease, (remarkable for acuteness
and truth as their _diagnosis_ is allowed to be)--still I think it will
not be denied, that chiefly to the Parisian physicians, and to the
untiring energy of particular individuals amongst them, whom it would
not be difficult to name, are we indebted at this moment for some of the
most important knowledge that we possess--knowledge, be it understood,
derived altogether from investigations diligently pursued at the
patient's bedside, and obtained with the greatest judgment, difficulty,
and pains. As I write, the honourable and European reputation of _Louis_
occurs to my mind--an instance of universal acknowledgment rendered to
genius and talents wholly or principally devoted to the alleviation of
human suffering, and to the acquisition of wisdom in the form and by the
method to which I have adverted.

A mere attempt to refer to the many and various obligations which the
continental professors of medicine have laid upon mankind during the
last half century, would fill a book. They were well known and spoken of
in my youth, and the names of many learned foreigners were at that
period associated in my bosom with sentiments of awe and veneration. It
was some time after I had once resolved to go abroad, before I fixed
upon Paris as my destination. _Langanbeck_, the greatest operator of his
day, the _Liston_ of Germany, was performing miracles in Hanover.
_Tiedemann_, a less nimble operator, but a far more learned surgeon, had
already made the medical schools of Heidelberg famous by his lectures
and still valued publications; whilst the lamented and deeply
penetrating _Stromeyer_--the tutor and friend of our own amiable and
early-lost Edward Turner--had established himself already in
_Göttingen_, and drawn around him a band of enthusiastic students who
have since done honour to their teacher, and in their turn become
eminent amongst the first chemists of the day. With such and similar
temptations from many quarters, it was not easy to arrive at a steady
determination. I had hardly thought of Paris, when--as it often
happens--a thing of a moment relieved me from difficulty and doubt, and
helped me at once to a decision. A letter one morning by the post
induced me to set out for the giddiest and yet most fascinating of
European cities. James M'Linnie--who, by the way, died only the other
day of dysentery at Hong-Kong, a few hours after landing with the troops
upon that luckless island--was an old hospital acquaintance, and, like
me, _cutting and hewing_ his way to fame and fortune. He had
distinguished himself at Guy's, and quitted that school with every
reasonable prospect of success in his profession. He had not only passed
muster before the high and mighty court of examiners, but had received
on the occasion the personal warm congratulations of Abernethy and Sir
Astley Cooper; the former of whom, indeed, before he asked M'Linnie a
question, gave him confidence in his peculiar way, by requesting him
"not to be a frightened fool, for Mr. Abernethy was not the brute the
world was pleased to make him out;" and after a stiff and rough
examination shook the student heartily by the hand, and pronounced him
"not an ass, like all the world, but a sensible shrewd fellow, who,
instead of muddling his head with books, had passed his days, very
properly, where real life was only to be met with"--_videlicet_, in the

James M'Linnie was, at the time of which I speak, himself in Paris, and
enthusiastic in his devotion to the indefatigable and highly-gifted
teachers amongst whom he lived. He wrote to me, in the letter to which I
have above adverted--the first I received from him after his departure
from England--in the most glowing terms respecting them; and conjured me
by the love I bore our glorious profession--by my ardent aspirations
after fame, and by the strong desire which, he believed, I entertained
with himself and the majority of men, to serve and benefit my
fellow-creatures--not to waste my precious hours in England, but to join
him instantly "in the finest field of _operations_ that the world
presented." "We are pigmies in London," he continued in his own ardent
fashion--"boys, children, infants--they are _giants_ here. Such
anatomists! such physicians! Fancy one of our first men, C---- for
instance, standing for nearly one hour at the bedside of a labouring
man, and tracing the fellow's history step by step, patiently and
searchingly, in order to arrive at the small beginnings of disease, its
earliest indications, and first causes. I saw it done yesterday by one
to whom C---- could not hold a candle--a man whose reputation is
continental--whose practice does not leave him a moment in the day for
personal recreation--who is loaded with honours and distinctions. The
students listen to him as to an oracle; and with cause. He leaps to no
conclusions--his sterling mind satisfies itself with nothing but truth,
and is content to labour after mere glimpses and intimations, which it
secures for future comparison and study. Remind me when you come
out--for come out you must--of the story of the baker. I will tell it
you then in full. It is a capital instance of the professor's acuteness
and ability. A patient came into the hospital a month ago; his case
puzzled every one; nothing could be done for him, and he was about to be
discharged. The professor saw him, visited him regularly for a
week--watched him--noted every trifling symptom--prescribed for him;--in
vain. The man did not rally--and the professor could not say what ailed
him. One morning the latter came to the patient's bedside, and said,
'You tell me, _mon enfant_, that you have been a porter. Were you never
in any other occupation?' 'Yes,' groaned the poor fellow; 'I drove a
cabriolet for a year or two'---- 'Go on,' said the professor
encouragingly. 'And then,' continued the man, 'and then I was at a
boot-maker's; afterwards at a saddler's--and at last a porter.' 'You
have never worked at any other trade?' 'Never, sir.' 'Think again--be
quite sure.' 'No--never, sir.' Have you never been a baker?' 'Oh yes,
sir--that was twenty years ago--and only for a few months; but I was so
ill at the oven that I was obliged to give it up.' 'That will do, _mon
enfant_--don't tire yourself, try and go to sleep.' In the lecture-room
afterwards, the professor addressed the students thus: 'Gentlemen--once
in the course of my practice, I have met with the case of the porter,
and only once. It is now eighteen years since. The patient was a
baker--and I examined the subject after death. This man will die.' The
lecturer then proceeded to describe minutely and lucidly the seat of the
disease, its nature, and best treatment. He told them what might be done
by way of alleviation, and directed them to look for such and such
appearances after death. The man lingered for a few days, and then
departed. At the _post mortem_, the professor was found to be correct in
every particular. What say you to this by way of memory and quick
intelligence?" The letter went on to speak of the facility of procuring
subjects--as cheap and plentiful, to use M'Linnie's phrase, "as herrings
in England;" of the daily exhibition in the dissecting room of disease
of all kinds, in all stages; of the enthusiastic natures of both
teachers and pupils; of the earnest and inspiring character of hospital
practice; and at last, wound up its flattering history with a
peroration, that extinguished in an instant every spark of hesitation
that lingered in my mind. In less than a fortnight after M'Linnie's
summons, I was one of a mixed party in a diligence and eight, galloping
over the high-road to Paris, at the rate of five statute miles an hour.

I had taken care to carry abroad with me an introduction to _one_
influential member of the profession. I say _one_, because I refused,
with deliberation, to _encumber_ myself, as Doctor Johnson has it, with
more help than was actually necessary to my well-doing. A travelling
student, with a key to the confidence of one man of power and kindred
spirit, has all that he can desire for every professional purpose. If
his happiness depend upon social enjoyments, and he must needs journey
with a messenger's bag, or be utterly miserable, let him by all means
save his travelling expenses, and visit his natural acquaintances. My
letter of credit was obtained from my friend H----, who at the time
filled the anatomical chair at Guy's, and to whom I am grateful for more
acts of real kindness than he is willing to allow. To this letter of
credit, and to the acquaintance formed by its means, the reader is
indebted for the curious history I am about to relate. That the former
was likely to lead to something original and unusual, I certainly
suspected when H---- placed the document in my hands, with his last
words of caution and advice. I could hardly dream of half that was to

"Pray, take care of yourself, Mr Walpole," said my good friend; "you are
going to a very dangerous and seductive city, and you will require all
your firmness and good principles to save you from the force of evil
example. Don't be led away--don't be led away--that is all I beg of

"I shall be careful, sir."

"You will see in the medical students of Paris a different set of men to
that which you have been accustomed to mix with here. There are some
fine fellows amongst them--hard-working, bold, enterprising young men;
but they are a strange body taken as a while. Don't cotton too quickly
with any one of them."

"Very well, sir."

"I am afraid you will find many highly improper notions prevalent
amongst them--immoral, shocking, disgraceful. Pray, don't assume the
manners of a Frenchman, Mr Walpole--much less his vices. There are very
few medical students in Paris who do not lead, I am sorry to say, a very
disreputable life; and make it a boast to live in open shame. You must
not learn to approve of conduct in Paris which you would have no
hesitation in pronouncing criminal in London."[28]

"Certainly not, sir."

"And let me, as a friend, entreat you, my dear sir, at no time to forget
that you are a Christian and a Protestant gentleman. Be sober and
rational, and, if there be any truth in religion at all, do not make a
mockery of it, by converting the Lord's day into a monstrous Saturnalia.
Here is your letter."

I took the document, bowed, and read the superscription. It was
addressed to Baron F----, chief surgeon at the Hotel Dieu, &c. &c. &c.

"I introduce you, Mr Walpole," continued the anatomist, "to one of the
most extraordinary men in Europe--and, what is more to the purpose, to
one of the best. Warmer benevolence, a more eager anxiety to relieve and
benefit his fellow-mortals, never burned in the heart of man. He is,
unquestionably, incontestably the first surgeon of the day; as a man of
science he is appealed to by the whole learned world--his practice is
enormous, and the fortune he has amassed by his unwearied industry and
perseverance immense; especially considered in reference to the career
of the most successful surgeons in Paris, who, if I mistake not, have
lived and died comparatively poor. Looked up to, however, as he is by
the learned and the great, you will, I think, when you know him, agree
with me in regarding his kindness to the helpless--his earnest
solicitude for the disabled poor who come under his care--his
unremitting attention to their complaints and wants--as constituting the
worthy baron's chief excellance. We are old friends; and for my sake I
am sure he will receive you well, and afford you all the assistance and
information in his power. He will put you on your mettle; and you must
be no lie-a-bed if you would profit by his instruction. At six in the
morning you will find him daily at his post in the hospital; and, whilst
sluggards are turning in their beds, he has prescribed for a hundred
sick, and put them in spirits for the day by his words of tenderness and

"Did you study under the baron?" I enquired.

"I attended his lectures some years ago with the greatest advantage. I
never in my life was more struck by the amount of knowledge possessed by
one man. I attached myself to the professor, and he was pleased to admit
me to his friendship. I have lately been surprised to hear his manners
pronounced rough and even brutal, and his temper morose. For my own
part--and I watched him closely--I saw nothing but gentleness, and an
active disposition to do good at all times. The poor women and children
in the hospital loved him as a father, and I have seen their pale cheeks
flush, and dull eyes glisten as he approached their beds. This, I
thought, bespoke any thing but roughness and brutality in the surgeon.
What say you?"

"It would seem so."

"Well--I have written the baron a long letter concerning myself and my
own pursuits, believing that it will serve your interests better than a
mere formal letter of introduction. He will, I am sure, be pleased to
see you. Remember, Mr Walpole, an opportunity like the present may never
occur to you again. Be wise, and make the most of it."

Thus spoke my friend, and thus I received from him my credentials. My
only object in Paris was the ostensible one for which I came; and
accordingly, therefore, having secured a comfortable home with Madame
Bichat, a worthy motherly person residing in the "_Rue Richelieu,
vis-à-vis le Palais Royal_"--and having spent one long and gossiping
evening with my ancient chum M'Linnie--I buckled at once to my work.
Postponing all recreation and amusement until the time should arrive
which would make them lawful and give them zest, I left my lodgings the
second morning after my appearance in Paris, and made my way straight to
the dwelling-house of my future patron. It was eleven o'clock, the hour
at which the baron usually returned from the Hotel Dieu; five hours,
viz. from six till eleven A.M., being, as M'Linnie assured me, the time
allotted daily to the poor by the conscientious and distinguished

The baron was a bachelor, and he lived in first-rate style; that is to
say, he had magnificent apartments, in which it was his delight to
collect occasionally the united wit and learning of the capital, and a
handsome table for his friends at all times; for his hospitality was
unbounded. And yet his own daily habits were as simple and primitive as
might be. When at home, he passed his hours in the library, and slept in
the small bedroom adjoining it. The latter, like all dormitories in
France, was without a carpet, and altogether no better furnished than a
private ward in an English hospital. There was a small iron bedstead
just large enough for a middle-sized bachelor in one corner--a washing
apparatus in another--and a table and two chairs at some distance from
both. The naked and even uncomfortable aspect of this apartment had an
absolutely chilling effect upon me, as I passed through it on my way to
the great man himself; for, strange to say, the only road to the library
was through this melancholy chamber. Great men as well as small have
their "whims and oddities." The baron was reported to have taken pains
to make, what appeared to me, a very incommodious arrangement. A door
which had conducted to the library upon the other side of it had been
removed, and the aperture in which it had stood blocked up, whilst the
wall on this side had been cut away in order to effect an entrance. And
what was the reason assigned for so much unnecessary labour? The baron
had risen from nothing--had spent his early days in poverty and even
misery; and he wished to perpetuate the remembrance of his early
struggles, lest he should grow proud in prosperity, and forgetful of his
duties. The frequent sight of the few articles of furniture which had
been his whole stock twenty years before, was likely more than any thing
else to keep the past vividly before his eyes, and he placed them
therefore, to use his own words as attributed to him by my informant,
"between the flattery of the dazzling world without, and the silence of
his chamber of study and meditation." They no doubt answered their
object, in rendering the possessor at times low-spirited, since they
were certainly likely to have that effect even upon a stranger. On the
day of my introduction, however, I had little time for observation. My
name had been announced, and I passed rapidly on to the _sanctum

There is an aristocracy of MIND as well as an aristocracy of wealth and
social station; and, unless you be a soulless Radical, you cannot
approach a distinguished member of the order without a glow of loyal
homage, as honourable to its object as it is grateful to your own
self-respect. I entered the library of the far-famed professor with a
reverend step; he was seated at a large table, which was literally
covered with books, _brochures_, and letters opened and sealed. He was
dressed very plainly, wearing over a suit of mourning a dark coloured
dressing-gown, which hung loosely about him. He was, without exception,
the finest man I had ever seen, and I stopped involuntarily to look at
and admire him. As he sat, I judged him to be upwards of six feet in
height--(I afterwards learned that he stood six feet two,)--he was stout
and well-proportioned--his chest broad and magnificent--his frame
altogether muscular and sinewy. The face was full of authority and
command--every feature handsome, including even the well drawn lip, in
which there seemed to lurk scorn enough to wither you, if roused. The
brow was full, prominent, and overhanging--the eye small, blue, and
beaming with benevolence. Nature was mischievous when she brought that
eye and lip in company for life. A noble forehead, made venerable by the
grey hairs above it--grey, although the baron was hardly in the vale of
years--completed the picture which presented itself to my eye, and which
I noted in detail in less time than I have drawn it here--imperfectly
enough. The baron, who had received my letter of introduction on the
preceding day, rose to welcome me. His first enquiries were concerning
my friend H----, the next were in reference to my own plans--and he had
much to say of the different professors of London, with whose works and
merits he appeared thoroughly acquainted. I remained an hour with him;
and, some time before we parted, I felt myself quite at home with my new
acquaintance. During the conversation that took place upon this
memorable morning, the name of Z---- occurred. The baron praised him
highly: "his attainments as a surgeon," he said, "were very great;" and,
in other respects, he looked upon him as one of the most original and
wisest men of the age. It will be remembered by my professional readers
that Z----, although esteemed in England one of her first surgeons,
acquired an unenviable notoriety through the publication of certain
physiological lectures, in which the doctrines of materialism and
infidelity were supported, it must be allowed, with all the eloquence
and power of a first-rate mind. With my own settled views of
Christianity, early inculcated by a beloved mother--now, alas! no
more--I could not but regard the highly gifted Z---- as an enemy to his
species, who had unhappily abused the talents which Providence had given
him for a better purpose. Such being the case, it was with some pain and
great surprise that I listened to the encomiums from the lips of the
baron; and I ventured to hint that the speaker had, in all probability,
not heard of the infamous publication which had given so much sorrow and
alarm to all well-governed minds in England.

"Le voilà!" said the baron in reply, taking up a book from the
table--"The noblest work of the age! Free from prejudice and bigotry of
every kind--I found my opinion of the man upon this book. Had he done
nothing else, he would have immortalized his name. Philosophy and
Science have hitherto borne him out in all his theories--will continue
to bear him out, and eventually compel posterity to regard him as
nothing short of the prophet and seer of nature. You may rely upon it,
Z---- has, by the very force of intellect, arrived at conclusions which
the discoveries of centuries will duly make good and establish."

I speak the simple truth when I aver, that these words of the baron gave
me infinite distress, and for a moment deprived me of speech. I hardly
knew what to say or do. At first I suspected that I had made some
unaccountable mistake, and brought my letter to the wrong individual.
H----, who was almost a Puritan in religious matters, could ever have
spoken of his friend in such favourable terms, if he had been aware of
the views which he so unscrupulously supported. A little reflection,
however, convinced me that a mistake was impossible. There is nothing in
this world more embarrassing than to sit in the presence of a superior,
and be compelled to listen to statements which you feel to be false, and
yet know not how with propriety to repel. My own youth, and the baron's
profound learning and attainments, were barriers to the free expression
of my thoughts; and yet I was ashamed to remain silent, and, as it were,
a consenting party to the utterance of sentiments which I abhorred.

"I cannot hope," I managed to say at last, "that science will ultimately
uphold his arguments, and prevent our relying as strongly as ever on our
old foundations."

"And why?" replied the baron quickly. "Why should we always be timid and
blind followers of the blind? Is it a test of wisdom to believe what is
opposed to reason upon the partial evidence of doubtful witnesses? Is it
weakness to engage all the faculties of the mind in the investigation of
the laws by which this universe is governed? And if the perception of
such immutable add eternal laws crushes and brings to nothing the fables
of men whom you are pleased to call _writers by inspiration_, are we to
reject them because our mothers and fathers, who were babes and
sucklings at the breast of knowledge, were ignorant of their existence?"

"Newton, sir," I ventured to answer, "made great discoveries, and he
revered these fables."

"Bah! Newton directed his gaze upwards into a mighty and stupendous
region, and he was awe-stricken--as who shall not be?--by what he there
beheld. He worshipped the unseen power, so does this man; he believed in
Revelation, so does he; but with him--it is the revelation which is made
in that wondrous firmament above, and in the earth beneath, and in the
glories that surround us. What knowledge had Newton of geology? what of
chemistry? what of the facts which they have brought to light?"

"Little perhaps--yet"----

"My good friend," continued the surgeon, interrupting me. "In the days
of your grand _philosophe_--would that he were alive now!--there were no
physical phenomena to reduce an ancient system of cosmogony to a mere
absurdity--no palpable evidences of the existence of this earth
thousands of years prior to its formation--you perceive?"

"I hear you, sir," I answered, gaining courage; "but I should, indeed,
be sorry to adopt your views."

"Of course you would!" said the baron, curling his inauspicious lip,
and giving expression to a feeling that looked very like one of contempt
or ridicule. "You come from the land of melancholy and bile--where your
holidays are fasts, and your day of rest is one of unmitigated toil. You
would be sorry to forego, no doubt, the prospect of everlasting torture
and eternal condemnation. Mr Z---- is too far advanced for you, I am

At this moment there was a knock at the door leading into the
bed-chamber. The servant-man of the baron presented himself, and
announced a patient.

"Admit him," said the surgeon, and at the same time I rose to depart.

"Adieu!" said the baron with another unpleasant smile; "we shall be very
good friends notwithstanding your piety. I shall look after you.
Remember six o'clock to-morrow morning at the Hotel Dieu. Be punctual,
and do you hear, Mr Walpole, think of me in your prayers."

This last expression, accompanied as it was by a very significant look,
amounted to a positive insult, and I quitted the library and house of
the baron, fully resolved never to set foot in either of them again.
What an extraordinary delusion did poor H----labour under, in respect of
the character of his friend! Here was a Mentor to form the opinions and
regulate the conduct of a young gentleman stepping into life! Great as
were his talents and acquirements, and much as I might lose by
neglecting to cultivate his friendship, I resigned gladly every
advantage rather than purchase the greatest, with the sacrifice of the
principles which had been so anxiously implanted in my bosom, even from
my cradle. I was hurt and vexed at the result of my interview. Every
thing had promised so well at first. I had been won by the appearance of
the baron, I had been charmed with his discourse, and gratified by the
terms in which he spoke of my future studies, and the help he hoped to
afford me in the prosecution of them. Why had this unfortunate Mr Z----,
and his still more unfortunate book, turned up to discompose the
pleasant vision? But for the mention of his name, and the introduction
of his book, I might have remained for ever in ignorance of the
atheistical opinions which, in my estimation, derogated materially from
the grace which otherwise adorned the teacher's cultivated mind. It is
impossible for communion and hearty fellowship to subsist between
individuals, whose notions on life's most important point lie "far as
the poles asunder." I did not expect, desire, or propose to seek that
they should.

In the evening I joined M'Linnie at his lodgings, and gave him an
account of the meeting.--He laughed at me for my scruples.

"I knew all about it," said Mac, "but hardly thought it worth while to
let you know it. H---- was quite right, too: the baron is not the man
to-day that he was a dozen years ago. He is a rank infidel now; he makes
no secret of the thing, but boasts of it right and left: it is his great
fault. He is an inconsistent fellow. If any one talks about religion, no
matter how proper and fitting the time, he is down upon him at once with
a sneer and a joke; and yet he drags in his own opinions by the neck, at
all seasons, on all occasions, and expects you to say _amen_ to every
syllable he utters."

"He must be very weak," said I.

"Must he?--very well. Then wait till you see him cut for _calculus_, or
perform for _hernia_. Sit with him at the bedside, and hear him at his
lectures. If you think him weak then, you shall be good enough to tell
me what you call _strong_.

"But his principles"----

"Are certainly not in accordance with the Thirty-nine Articles; but the
baron does not profess to teach theology--nor did I come here to take
his creed. So long as he is orthodox in surgery, I make no complaint
against him. I have my own views; and if they are relaxed and out of
order now and then, why, the parson is the man to apply to, and not the
baron. I must say one requires a dose of steel now and then, to keep
right and tight in this bewitching capital."

There was worldly wisdom in the remarks of M'Linnie; and before I
quitted him I was satisfied of the propriety of paying every attention
to the professional instruction of the surgeon, without committing
myself, by visiting him as a friend, to an approval of his detestable
principles; and accordingly, at two minutes to six o'clock, I presented
myself at the hospital on the following morning. Many students were
already in attendance, and precisely at six o'clock the baron himself
appeared. He bowed to the students as a body and honoured me with a
particular notice.

"Eh bien, jeune Chrêtien!" he said, shaking me by the hand, "have you
prayed for my reformation? It is very remiss of you if you have not done
so. You know I made you yesterday my father confessor."

There was immediately a general laugh from the students--medical
students being, it should be known, the most unblushing parasites on

These words were spoken under the low portico of the building which
forms, with its long ascent of steps, one side of the square in which
the Cathedral of Notre Dame has its principal entrance, and is certainly
not one of the least interesting adjuncts of that magnificent edifice.
We passed without further speech through the range of buildings within,
the professor in our van, and in a minute or two found ourselves in a
spacious, clean, and well-filled ward.

The surgeon took his seat at the foot of the first bed in the sick
chamber, and the students crowded eagerly around him, evidently anxious
not to lose a syllable that should fall from his lips. I shall never
forget the lesson of that morning. The judgment, the penetration, the
unflinching collectedness, and consummate skill of the surgeon,
compelled my warmest admiration. I forgot our ground of disagreement in
the transcendent ability that I beheld. His heart, and mind, and soul,
were given up to his profession, and his success was adequate to the
price paid for its purchase. The baron was, however, a mass of
contradiction. I discovered this before we had been an hour in the ward.
It was clear that he had risen by the sheer strength of great natural
genius, and that he was lamentably wanting in all the agreeable
qualities which spring from early cultivation and sound training. He was
violent, sudden, and irregular in his temper and mode of speaking--when
his temper and speech were directed against any but his patients. He had
no regard to the feelings of men of his own rank; and his language
towards them was rather emphatic, than delicate or well chosen. In his
progress round the ward, he came to the bed of a man suffering from a
diseased leg. He removed the bandage from the part, and asked, "what
fool had tied it up so clumsily;" _the fool_, as he well knew, being the
house surgeon at his side. Again, another practitioner at the hospital
had recommended a particular treatment in a particular case. This
gentleman, the baron's colleague, was referred to as--"a child who had
yet to learn the alphabet of surgery--who would have been laughed at,
twenty years ago, had he prescribed such antiquated nostrums--a weak
child--a mere baby, gentlemen."----"How much," I exclaimed mentally,
time after time, "must this man have altered since H---- parted with him
as his respected friend!" And yet in some regards he was not altered at
all. There was the same consideration for the poor sufferers--the same
attention to their many complaints and wants--the same tenderness and
kind disposition to humour and pacify them, which H---- had dwelt upon
with so much commendation. There was no hurrying from case to case--no
sign of impatience at the reiterated unmeaning queries of the
patients--no coarse jest at _their_ expense--not a syllable that could
wound the susceptibility of the most sensitive. Did one poor fellow
betray an anxiety to take up as little of the baron's time as possible,
and, speaking hurriedly, almost exhaust his little stock of feeble
breath, it was absolutely touching to mark the happy mode in which the
surgeon put the flurried one at ease. Had these creatures, paupers as
they were, been rich and noble--had they, strangers as they were, been
brothers every one, he could not have evinced a tenderer interest on
their behalf--a stronger disposition to do them service. In spite of
myself, I loved the baron for his condescending to these men of low

It will not be necessary to dwell upon the proceedings of the place: I
could extract from my note-book pages that would delight the medical
reader, necessarily dry and tedious to the uninitiated. Suffice it to
say, that many hours were spent in the surgical wards by this
indefatigable surgeon: every individual case received his best
attention, and was prescribed for as carefully as though a noble fee
waited upon each. The ceremony being at an end, I was about to retire,
agreeably surprised and gratified with all that I had seen.

"Arrêtez donc," said the baron, noticing my movement, and touching me
upon the arm. "You are not fatigued?"

"Not in the least," I answered.

"Come with me, then."

The baron, full of life and spirits, and with the air of a man whose
day's work was only about to commence, bowed to the students, and
tripped quickly down stairs. I followed as commanded, and the next
moment I was in the baron's cabriolet, driving with that gentleman
rapidly through the streets of Paris.

"Have you courage?" enquired the baron suddenly.

"For what, sir?" I replied.

"To see an operation."

"I have been present at many, sir," said I--"some bad enough, too; and,
I confess, I have been less womanish and weak beholding them than I felt
this morning, witnessing your kindness to those poor creatures."

"Ah, poor creatures, indeed!" repeated the baron in a softer tone than
any I had heard him use. "The poor need kindness, Mr Walpole. It is all
we can do for them. God help them! it is little of that they get.
Poverty is a frightful thing, sir."

There were two circumstances that especially struck me in the delivery
of this short speech. One was, that the eyes of an intrepid operator
filled with tears whilst he adverted to a very commonplace subject; the
other, that a confirmed atheist was inconsistent enough to invoke the
Deity whose very existence he denied.

We drove on, and arrived at the hotel of one of the richest and most
influential noblemen of France. The cabriolet stopped, and the gates of
the hotel were thrown open at the same instant. A lackey, in the hall of
the mansion, was already waiting for the baron, and we were bowed with
much ceremony up the gilded staircase; we reached at last a sumptuously
furnished chamber, where we found three gentlemen in earnest
conversation. They were silent upon our entrance, and advanced, one and
all, with great cordiality to greet the baron. The latter returned their
salute with a distant and haughty politeness, which I thought very

"We were thinking"---- began one of the party.

"How is the patient?" asked the baron, suddenly interrupting him.

The other shook his head despondingly, and the baron, as it were
instinctively, unlocked a case of instruments, which he had brought into
the room with him from his cabriolet.

"The inflammation has not subsided, then?"


"All the symptoms as before?"


"Let us see him."

The gentleman and the baron opened a door and passed into another room.
As the door closed after them, I heard a loud and dismal groan. One of
the two remaining gentlemen then asked me if I had been long in Paris.

I told him.

"Ah, you haven't seen the new opera, then?" said he--just as we should
say, when put to it for conversation--What frightful, or what beautiful
weather this is! Before I could reply, there was another fearful groan
from the adjoining room, but my new acquaintance proceeded without
noticing it.

"You have nothing like our _Académie_ in London, I believe?"

I was about to vindicate the Italian Opera, when the two surgeons again
appeared. The baron in a few words said, that there was nothing to be
done but to operate, and at once, if the life of the patient were to be
spared at all. The three practitioners--for such they were--bowed in
acquiescence, and the baron prepared his instruments.

It is the fashion to speak of medical men slightingly, if not
reproachfully; to accuse them of practising solemn impositions, and of
being, at the best, but so many legalized charlatans. It is especially
the mode of speaking amongst those who will give "the doctor" no rest,
and are not satisfied until they make that functionary the most constant
visitor at their abodes. No one would have dared to breathe one syllable
of disrespect against the surgeon's sacred office, who could have seen
as I did, the operation which the baron performed this day. It has been
done successfully three times within the memory of man; twice by
himself, who first attempted it. It was grand to mark his calm and
intellectual face--to see the hand--armed with the knife that cut for
life or death--firm and unshaken as the mind that urged, the eye that
followed, its unerring course. I could understand the worship that was
paid to this incomparable master, by all that knew his power. Within
five minutes by the clock, and in the sight of men whose breathless
admiration made them oblivious of the throes of the poor sufferer, the
process was completed, and the endangered life restored. The baron left
the fainting invalid, retired for a few seconds, and prescribed. He
returned and felt his pulse--and then, turning to the man with whom he
had first spoken, said--

"Should any thing arise, sir, you will acquaint me with it."

"Unquestionably. He will do well?"

"No doubt of it. Good-morning."

"Good-morning, baron," said the gentleman obsequiously. "His excellency
bore it wonderfully."

"Pretty well for an excellency. We don't notice these things in
paupers--Now, Mr Walpole."

And thereupon the baron turned upon his heels with such manifest
disdain, that he lost half the credit which he had gained by his
previous performance.

We sat for some time silent in the cabriolet. I was bursting to praise
the baron, and yet fearful to speak, lest I should be insulted for my
pains. At last, I became so excited that I could hold out no longer.

"Baron," said I, "I beg your pardon--it was the grandest thing I ever

"I have seen a grander," said the surgeon frowning, and pursing those
unhappy lips of his again, "much grander, Mr Walpole. I have seen a
nobleman rolling in riches, flattered by his dogs, renowned for his
Christian piety, refusing the supplications of a poor boy, who asked
only for a few coins to carry him through a cold and killing winter. The
refusal might have been the lad's death--but he was refused. It was, as
you say, a grand thing, but the lad has had his revenge to-day."

The baron drove to his own home. At his request I entered his library
with him. He placed some books in my hand, which he believed would be of
service to me; and, as we parted, he said kindly--

"Don't mind my rough ways, Mr Walpole; I was educated in a rough school.
I shall be glad to see you often. I have been disturbed. The father of
that man, whose life, I verily believe, I have saved this day, hunted me
many years ago from his door when I begged from him--condescended to beg
from him--alms which his meanest servant would not have missed, and
which I wanted, to save me from absolute starvation. I have never
forgotten or forgiven him for the act--but I have had my revenge. The
great man's son owes his life to the beggar after all. A good revenge,
_n'est ce pas_?"

I was very much disposed to consider the baron subject to fits of
temporary derangement; but I was wise enough to do nothing more than nod
my head in answer to this appeal, leaving my questioner to interpret the
action as he in his madness might think proper.

There was a hearty shake of the hand, another general invitation to his
house, and a particular invitation to the hospital, where, as the baron
very reasonably observed, "All the knowledge that could serve a man in
after life was hoarded up"--and then I made my bow and took my

Three months passed like so many days, in the midst of occupation at
once the most inspiriting and satisfactory; and during the whole of that
period, I am bound to acknowledge the treatment of the baron towards me
to have been most generous and kind. In spite of my own resolutions, I
had attached myself to the professor by a feeling of gratitude, which it
was not easy to extinguish or control. His wish to advance me in the
knowledge and understanding of my profession was so earnest, the pains
he took to communicate the most important results of his own hard-earned
experience so untiring, that, had I not felt a heavy debt of
obligation, I must have been a senseless undeserving wretch indeed. The
baron was manifestly well-disposed towards me, and in spite (it might
have been with so strange a character, by very reason) of our religious
differences, he lost no opportunity of bringing me to his side, and of
loading me whilst there with precious gifts. I attended the professor at
the hospital, at the houses of his patients, in his own private study.
He was flattering enough to say that he liked to have me about him--that
he was pleased with my straightforward character--and with the
earnestness with which I worked. I trust it was not his good opinion
alone that induced me, in opposition to my first resolution, by degrees
to associate with the baron, until at length we became intimate and
almost inseparable friends. I would not acknowledge this to my own
conscience, which happily never suffered me to violate a principle, or
yield an inch of righteous ground. The baron persevered in his attacks
upon our sacred religion. I, grown bolder by long familiar acquaintance,
acted as firmly upon the defensive: and I must do myself the justice to
assert, that the soundness of fair argument suffered no injury from the
light weapons of wit and ridicule which my friend had ever at command.

It was a fine morning in the early spring, and I sat with the baron as
usual in his library. On this occasion I was helping him in the
completion of a series of plates, which he was about to publish, in
connexion with a work on cancer--a book that has since made a great
sensation upon the Continent. The engraver had worked from the
professor's preparations under the eye of the latter; but a few slight
inaccuracies had crept into the drawings, and the baron employed me in
the detection of them. We were both fully occupied; I with the
engravings; he with his lecture of the day--and we were both very
silent, when we heard a loud ringing of the porter's bell. The baron at
the same time looked at his watch, and resumed his pen. A note was then
brought to him by his servant. It was read, and an answer given.

"Say I will be there at four o'clock."

"I beg your pardon, sir," said the servant, "but the prince's chasseur
who gave me the note, desired me to add that the prince wished to see
you immediately."

"Very well, sir," answered the baron haughtily. "He has delivered his
master's message--do you deliver mine. I am busy, very busy--and cannot
see the prince till four o'clock. That is the answer."

The servant knew his master, and left the room immediately.

"These insufferable nobles!" exclaimed the baron; "they imagine that
mankind was invented for their pleasure and amusement--to be their
footballs. Does this man think we have nothing better to do than to
humour his fancies, and attend to every ailment that waits upon his
gross appetite. He makes a god of his belly, is punished for his
idolatry, and then whines by the hour to his doctor."

"Is he not ill, then?" I enquired.

"He may be--but that is no reason why my students are to be neglected
for a prince. He must come in his turn, with all the rest. I allow no
distinctions in my practice. Suffering is suffering--the pain of the
peasant is as acute as the smart of the king. Proceed with the drawings,
Mr Walpole."

In less than a quarter of an hour, there was a fresh disturbance. The
servant knocked softly at the door, and entered timidly.

"Here is a dirty woman at the gate, sir," began the man. "I have told
her that you were engaged and couldn't speak to her, but she would not
move until I had brought you this letter. She is a dirty creature, sir."

"Well, you have said that once before," answered the baron taking the
note--if a soiled strip of paper, with blots, erasures, and illegible
characters may deserve that title. The baron endeavoured to read it; but
failing, requested François to show the poor woman up.

She appeared, and justified the repetition of François. She was indeed
very far from being clean; she had scarcely a rag upon her back--and
seemed, in every way, much distressed.

"Now, my good woman," said the professor very tenderly, "tell me what
it is you want, as quickly as you are able to do it, and I will help you
if it be in my power."

The woman, bursting into tears, proceeded to say that "she resided in
the Quartier St Jacques--that her husband was a water-carrier."

"A what?" asked the professor quickly, as if he had missed the word.

"A water-carrier, sir."

"Go on."

That he had come from Auvergne--had fallen into a dreadful state of
disease through want of nourishment and fuel during the winter--that he
was now lying without a crust of bread or a particle of fire--and that
she was sure he must die, leaving her and her children to be thrown into
the world. She filled up her short narrative with many harrowing
details, and finished by imploring the surgeon to come and save her
husband if he could. "We will pay you, sir, all that we are able--if he
gets to work again: and if he shouldn't, God, I am sure, will not listen
to your prayers the less because you have helped the unfortunate and the

Before the woman had told her story, the cheeks of the baron were as
pale as her own--his eyes scarcely less moist. He had put his hand to
his pocket, and when the woman ceased--he drew it out again, and
presented her with a crown-piece.

"Go home," said he "with that. Buy bread and fuel. I will be at your
lodging this afternoon."

The woman was about to exclaim.

"Not a syllable!" said her benefactor, preventing her. "If you thank me,
I will do nothing for you. Go your ways now. I cannot accompany you--for
you see I am very busy; but before the day is out, I will prescribe for
your goodman.--Good-by to you--good-by."

The woman went away without another word.

Before she reached the bottom of the stairs, the baron spoke.

"Mr Walpole--pray be kind enough to call her back!"

She came.

"You must not think me harsh now," proceeded the baron, by way of
apology, "I did not wish to be so. I shall do all I can for you, and
your husband will no doubt be soon quite well again. There, keep your
spirits up, and go home and cheer the good fellow. I shall see you
by-and-by--_Adieu, ma chère_."

The professor continued his lecture; but not for five minutes before he
appeared to be very uneasy at his work. He put his pen down, and sat for
a time full of thought; then he rose and paced the room, and then took
up his pen again; at last, he started from his chair and pulled the

"François," said he to the servant, "let the cabriolet be here
immediately. Yes," he continued, as if speaking to himself, "it will be
better to go at once; the man may be seriously ill. His life may be in
danger. It can be done in an hour--there is plenty of time still for the
lecture. We must go and see this poor fellow, Mr Walpole," added the
professor, addressing me. "Come, you shall give me your opinion of the

And the lecture and the engravings were neglected, and we dashed through
the streets towards the Quartier St Jacques, with every chance of
breaking our own necks as well as that of the spirited animal that flew
before the whip of the excited practitioner.

"Well," said I to myself as we alighted, "it may be, Monsieur le Baron,
as you state it, '_the pain of the peasant is as acute as the smart of a
king_.' It is, however, very certain that you do not hold to the
converse of the proposition."

The water-carrier was in truth alarmingly ill, and he was not likely to
remain so much longer, if left to himself; for it was already the
eleventh hour with him. He was living in a filthy hole--lying on a bed
of straw, without the commonest necessaries of life. The man had become
diseased through want and confinement--that cause and origin of half the
complaints to which the human frame is subject; lack of wholesome food
and pure air. The baron perceived instantly that nothing could be done
for the unhappy fellow in his present abode, and he therefore insisted
upon his being removed at once to a _maison de santé_.

"I can't walk," said the man gruffly.

"No, but you can be carried in a coach, I suppose," replied the baron in
a similar tone, "if I wish it." "Let him be dressed," he continued,
turning to the wife. "I will send a coach for him in half an hour--and
take charge of him until he is better. That will buy you some bread for
the present," and he gave another crown and hastened away. In the
afternoon the baron attended the patient again at the _maison de santé_.
He ordered him a bath, and prescribed medicines. For a month he visited
him daily; and he did not quit him until he was convalescent. Nor
then--for upon the day of the poor fellow's discharge, he presented him
with a horse and water-cart, and a purse containing five louis-d'or.

"Take care of the money," said the charitable donor, "do not be
extravagant. If you are ill--come to me always."

The water-carrier--a bluff, sturdy fellow in his way--would have thanked
the baron could he have kept quiet; but he stood roaring like a child,
perfectly overcome with the kindness he had received. It was some months
afterwards that François announced two visitors. When they appeared, I
recognised my old acquaintance the water-carrier, grown hale and hearty,
accompanied by a stranger, of the same condition in life as himself, and
looking very ill.

"_Ah, mon ami_!" exclaimed the baron, shaking him by the hand, "how does
the world use you?"

"Look at me," answered the carrier--"just look at me."

"Ay, ay," said the baron. "Flesh enough upon you now! Who is your

"Ah, it's about him I came! He is very ill, isn't he? He is a
water-carrier, too. He was going to another doctor, but I wouldn't allow
it. No, no--that wouldn't have been the thing after all you have done
for me. I hope I know better. He is very bad, and hasn't got a sixpence
in the world."

I could not help smiling, at this original display of gratitude--and the
baron laughed outright; his heart grew glad within him as he answered,
pressing the honest carrier's hardy hand--

"Right--right--quite right! _Mon enfant_, bring them all to me!"

M'Linnie, who was not honoured by the baron's confidence, seemed to be
well acquainted with his peculiarities. I mentioned to him his
extraordinary treatment of the water-carriers, and attributed it all,
without hesitation, to downright insanity.

"Not that exactly," said Mac. "It is caprice, and the inconsistency of
human nature. He is strongly attached to all _Auvergnats_, and to
water-carriers in particular. His predilection that way is well known in
Paris. Perhaps his father was a water-carrier--or his first love a girl
from Auvergne. Who can tell what gave rise to the partiality in a mind
that is full of bias and contradiction!"

Contradiction indeed! I had remarked enough, and yet nothing at all in
comparison with that which was to follow. Up to the present time I had
been only puzzled and amused by the frolics and irregularities of the
baron. I had yet to be staggered and confounded by the most palpable and
barefaced act of inconsistency that ever lunatic conceived and executed.
The winter and spring had passed, and summer came, placing our time more
at our disposal. Summer is the dissector's long vacation. I permitted
myself to take recreation, and to seek amusement in the many public
resorts of this interesting capital. One morning I attended the baron at
the hospital, and returned with him to his abode. We sat together for an
hour, and I distinctly remember that on this occasion the unbeliever was
even more witty than usual on the subject which he was ever ready to
introduce, with, I am sorry to say, no better object than that of
turning it into ridicule and contempt. I left him, irritated and annoyed
at his behaviour, and tried to forget it in the crowds of people who
were thronging the gay streets on one of the gayest mornings of the
year. I hardly know why I directed my steps towards the _Place St
Sulpice_, or why, having reached it, I lingered, gazing at the church
which has its site there. I had a better reason for quitting it with
precipitation; for whilst I stood musing, I became suddenly aware of the
presence of my friend the baron. He did not see me, and I was not
anxious to begin _de novo_ the disagreeable discussion of the morning.
As I turned away from the church, however, I looked instinctively back,
and was much surprised to behold the baron glancing very suspiciously
about him, and appearing most anxious to avoid public observation. I was
mentally debating whether such was really the fact, or whether the idea
was suggested by my own clandestine movement, when to my unaffected
astonishment the baron put an end to all doubt by making one rapid march
towards the church, and then rushing in--looking neither to the right
nor left--behind nor before him. This was truly too extraordinary a
circumstance to witness without further enquiry. I immediately retraced
my steps, and followed the atheist into the house, where surely _he_
could have no lawful business to transact. If my surprise had been great
without the sacred edifice, what was it within, and at that particular
portion of it known by the designation of _the Chapel of the Virgin
Mary_, at which I beheld, questioning my own senses, my unaccountable
friend, this exceedingly erratic baron--upon his knees--in solemn
prayer! Yes, kneeling in low humility, and praying audibly, with a
devotion and an awful earnestness that could not be surpassed. He
remained upon his knees, and he persevered in his prayers until the
conclusion of the service, and then he bestowed his alms--performing all
things with an expression of countenance and gravity of demeanour, such
as I knew him to wear only at the table upon which he had achieved the
most celebrated of his surgical victories.

"Mad, mad!" I exclaimed aloud, "nothing short of it." Why, such glaring
wholesale hypocrisy had not been committed since Satan first introduced
the vice into Paradise. What atrocity, what barefaced blasphemy! It was
the part of a Christian and a friend to attribute the extravagant
proceedings of the baron to absolute insanity, and to nothing else; and
I did so accordingly, alarmed for the safety of the unfortunate
professor, and marvelling what unheard-of act would next be perpetrated,
rendering it incumbent upon society to lock the lunatic up for life.
Why, his lips were hardly relieved of the pollution which had fallen
from them in my presence; and could he in his senses, with his reason
not unhinged, dare to offend his Maker doubly by the mockery of such
prayers as _he_ could offer up! What was his motive--what his end? That
he was anxious for concealment was evident. Had he courted observation,
I might have supposed him actuated by some far-sighted scheme of policy;
and yet his rash and straightforward temperament rendered him incapable
of any stratagem whatever. No, no--look at the thing as I would, there
was no accounting for this most perplexing anomaly except on the ground
of mental infirmity. Alas, poor baron!

When the service was at an end, I took up a position in the street near
the church, in order to observe the next movement of the devotee, quite
prepared for any thing that might happen. I was disappointed. The baron,
looking very cheerful and very happy, made his appearance from the
temple which he had so recently profaned, and walked steadily and
quietly away. I followed him, and in the excitement of the moment was
about to approach and accost him, when he suddenly turned into a narrow
lane, and I lost sight of him.

Before I saw the baron again, I had made up my mind to keep my own
counsel, and to give him no hint of my having discovered and watched
him. The reasons for silence were twofold. First, I hoped, by keeping my
eye upon the professor, to learn more of his character than I yet knew;
and, in the second place, I did not wish to be regarded as a spy by an
individual of violent passions, whom I could not conscientiously
consider responsible for his actions.

It so happened that, on the evening of this very day, the baron held a
_conversazione_ in his rooms, to which the first people of Paris, both
in rank and talent, were invited. I, who had the _entrée_, was present
of course, and I was likewise amongst the first of the arrivals. With
me, the chief physician of the Hotel Dieu entered the _salon_.

The surgeon and the physician shook hands; and, after a word or two, the
latter asked abruptly--

"By the way, baron, what were you doing at St Sulpice this morning? I
saw you quitting the church."

"Oh!" said the baron, without changing colour or moving a muscle,
although I blushed at his side to my very forehead; "Oh! a sick priest,
placed under my care by the Duchess d'Angoulême--nothing more."

"Well, I could hardly believe that you had turned saint--that is the

"Not yet--not yet!" added the baron, laughing out. "This is to be the
saint," he continued, tapping me on the shoulders. "St Walpole! That
will look very fine in the calendar! However, my friend, if they attempt
to canonize you whilst I live, I'll act the part of devil's advocate,
and contest your right of admission, if it is only to punish you for
your opposition to me in this world. So take care of yourself, and read
up your divinity."

And with these words the unmitigated hypocrite, chuckling at my apparent
confusion, advanced to the door, and welcomed his crowding visitors.

Upon the following day I repaired to St Sulpice--but I did not see the
baron. I went again and again, with no better success. For a week I
attended the service daily--still no baron. Afterwards I went twice
a-week. At the end of two months I contented myself with one visit
weekly--still no baron. I did not like to give up the watch. I could not
tell _why_ I felt sure of meeting with him again; yet so I felt, and I
was curious to know how far he carried his madness, and what object he
proposed to himself in the prosecution and indulgence of his monomania.
Three months elapsed, and I was at length paid for my perseverance. For
a second time I saw the baron enter the church--assist devoutly at the
celebration of mass at the chapel of the Virgin Mary--repeat his
prayers, and offer up his alms. There was the same solemnity of bearing
during the ceremony, the same cheerful self-possession at its
completion. A more methodical madness there could not be! I was
determined this time not to lose sight of my gentleman, without
obtaining at least a clue to his extraordinary behaviour. As soon as the
service as over, he prepared for his departure. Before he could quit the
church, however, I crossed it unperceived by him, and walked straight up
to the sacristan.

"Who is that gentleman?" I asked, pointing to the surgeon.

"Monsieur F----," he answered readily enough--so readily, that I hardly
knew what to ask next. "A regular attendant, sir," the sacristan
continued, in an impressive tone of approbation.

"Indeed!" said I.

"Ay. I have been here twelve years next Easter, and four times regularly
every year has monsieur come to hear this mass."

"It is very strange!" I said, speaking to myself.

"Not at all," said the sacristan. "It is very natural, seeing that he is
himself the _founder of it_!"

Worse and worse! The inconsistency of the reviler of things sacred, was
becoming more barefaced and unpardonable. "Let him taunt me again!" I
exclaimed, walking homeward; "let him mock me for my weak and childish
notions, as he calls them, and attempt to be facetious at the expense of
all that is holy, and good, and consolatory in life. Let him attempt it,
and I will annihilate him with a word!" When, however, I grew more
collected, I began to understand how, by such proceeding, I might shoot
very wide of my mark, and give my friend an advantage after all. He had
explained his presence at the church to his colleague by attributing it
to a visit paid to a sick priest there. He should have no opportunity to
prevaricate if I once challenged him. Now, he might have the effrontery
to deny what I had seen with my own eyes, and could swear to. By lying
in wait for him again, and accosting him whilst he was in the very act
of perpetrating his solemn farce, I should deprive him of all power of
evasion and escape. And so I determined it should be.

In the meanwhile I kept my own counsel, and we went on as usual. I
learned from the sacristan when the baron was next expected at the mass,
and, until that day, did not present myself again at the Place St
Sulpice. Before that time arrived, there arose a touching incident,
which, as leading to important consequences, deserves especial notice.

It was growing late one evening of this same summer--the surgeon was
fatigued with the labours of the day--I was on the point of leaving
him--he of retiring to rest, when François announced a stranger. An old
man appeared. He was short, and very thin; his cheeks were pale--his
hair hoary. Benignity beamed in his countenance, on which traces of
suffering lingered, not wholly effaced by piety and resignation. There
was an air of sweetness and repose about the venerable stranger, that at
the first sight gained your respect, if not regard. When he entered the
apartment he bowed with ceremony--and then waited timidly for
countenance from the baron.

"What is the matter with you?" asked the surgeon roughly.

"Allow me to be seated," said the stranger, drawing his breath with
difficulty, and speaking with a weak and tremulous voice. "I am very

The baron, as if rebuked, rose instantly, and gave his visitor a chair.

"I am very old," continued the latter, "and my poor legs are weary."

"What ails you?"

"Permit me," said the stranger. "I am the priest of a small village very
far from Paris."

"Humph!" ejaculated the surgeon.

"Two years ago I had a swelling in my neck, which the doctor of our
village thought of no importance; but it burst at last, and for a long
time I was kept to my bed a useless idle man. With four parishes and no
assistant; there lay a heavy weight upon my conscience--but God is good,

"Show me your throat!" exclaimed the baron, interrupting him.

"And my people, too," proceeded the old man, preparing to obey the
surgeon's command--"my people were very considerate and kind. When I got
a little better, they offered, in order to lighten my labours, to come
to one church every Sunday. But it was not fair, sir. They are working
men, and have much to do, and Sunday is their only day of rest. It was
not right that so many should resign their comfort for the sake of one;
and I could not bear to think of it."

All this was uttered with such perfect natural simplicity, that it was
impossible not to feel at once great interest in the statement of the
speaker. My attention was riveted. Not so the baron's, who answered with
more impatience than he had ever used towards the water-carriers--

"Come to the point, sir."

"I was coming, sir," replied the old priest mildly; "I trust I don't
fatigue you. Whilst I was in doubt as to what it was best to do, a
friend strongly recommended me to come to Paris, and to consult you. It
was a thing to consider, sir. A long journey, and a great expense! We
have many poor in our district, and it is not lawful to cast away money
that rightfully belongs to them. But, when I became reduced as you see
me, I could not regard the money as thrown away on such an errand; and
so I came. I arrived only an hour ago, and have not delayed an instant."

The surgeon, affecting not to listen to the plaintive recital of the
priest, proceeded very carefully to examine his disease. It was an
alarming one; indeed, of so aggravated a character, that it was
astonishing to see the sufferer alive after all that he must have
undergone in its progress.

"This disease must kill you," said the baron--brutally, I thought,
considering the present condition of the man, his distance from home,
friends, and all the natural ties that render calamity less frightful
and insupportable. I would gladly have said a word to soften the pain
which the baron had inflicted; but it would have been officious, and
might have given offence.

The old priest, however, expressed no anxiety or regret upon hearing the
verdict pronounced against him. With a firm and quiet hand he replaced
the bandages, and he then drew a coarse bag from his pocket, from which
he extracted a five franc piece.

"This is," he said calmly, "a very trifling fee, indeed, for the opinion
of so celebrated a surgeon; but, as I have told you, sir, the
necessities of my poor are great. I cannot afford to spend more upon
this worthless carcass. I an very grateful to you for your candour, sir.
It will be my own fault now, if I die unprepared."

"It is the profession of a priest," said the baron, "to affect stoicism.
You do not feel it."

"I do not, sir," replied the man respectfully. "I did not hear the awful
truth you just now told me as a stoic would. Pardon me for saying, that
it might have been communicated less harshly and abruptly to a weak old
man; I do not wish to speak offensively."

The baron blushed for shame.

"I am a human being, sir," continued the priest, "and must feel as other
men. Death is a terrible abyss between earth and heaven; but the land is
not the less lovely beyond it."

"You speak as you were taught?" said the baron.


"And as you teach?"


"And you profess to feel all this?"

"I profess to be a humble minister of Christ--imperfect enough, Heaven
knows, sir! I ask your pardon for complaining at your words. They did
not shock me very much. How should they, when I came expecting them?
Farewell, sir; I will return to Auvergne, and die in the midst of my

"Stay!" exclaimed the baron, touched and softened by the one magical
word. "Come back! I admire your calmness--I respect your powers of
endurance. Can you trust them to the end?"

"I am frail, and very weak, sir," replied the priest. "I would bear much
to save my life. I do not wish to die. I have many things unfinished

"Listen to me. There is but one means of saving you; and mark--that
perhaps may fail--a long, painful, and, it may be, unsuccessful
operation. Are you prepared to run the risk?"

"Is there a chance, sir?"

"Yes--but a remote one. Were I the priest of Auvergne I would take that

"It is enough, sir," said the old man. "Let it be done. I will undergo
it, with the help of God, as their pastor should, for the sake of my
dear children in Auvergne."

The baron sat at his desk, and wrote a few lines--

"Present this note," said he, "at the _Salle St Agnes_ in the _Hotel
Dieu_. Go at once. The sisters there will take care that you want for
nothing. Take rest for a day or two, and I will see what afterwards may
be done for you."

The priest thanked the baron many times for his kindness--bowed
respectfully, and retired. The free-thinking surgeon sat for a few
minutes after his departure, silent and thoughtful.

"Happy man!" he exclaimed at last, sighing as the words escaped him.

"Happy, sir?" said I enquiringly.

"Yes! happy, Mr Walpole. False and fabulous as the system is on which he
builds, is he not to be envied for the faith that buoys him up so well
through the great sea of trouble, as your poet justly calls this
pitiable world! Could one _purchase_ this all-powerful faith, what price
would be too dear for such an acquisition? Who would not give all that
he possesses here to grasp that hope and anchor?"

"And yet, sir, you might have it. The gift is freely offered, and you
spurn it."

"No such thing!" replied the surgeon hastily. "I may NOT have it. This
weak yet amiable priest is content to take for granted what every
rational mind rejects without fair proofs. He receives as a postulate
that which I must have demonstrated. I try to solve the problem, and the
first links of the argument lead to an absurdity."

"The weak man, then, has reason to be thankful?" said I.

"Ay, ay! I grant you that. He cannot tell how much!"

"How differently, sir, do things appear to different men! The very
endurance of this old man, founded as it is upon his faith, is to me
proof sufficient of the truth and heavenly origin of that faith."

"You talk, Mr Walpole, like a schoolboy, who knows nothing of religion
out of his catechism--and nothing of the world beyond his school walls.
If the ability to bear calamity with fortitude shall decide the
genuineness of the creed, there is your North American Indian or Hindoo
nearer to truth and heaven than the Christian. So much for your '_proof
sufficient_' as you term it."

This discussion, like all the rest, for all useful purposes ended as it
began, leaving us both just where it had found us--our tempers rather
than our views suffering in the conflict. Two or three times I was
tempted to rattle out a volley of indignation at his amazing and
unparalleled effrontery, and of calling him to account for his
turpitude; but my better judgment withheld me, bidding me reserve my
blows until they should fall unerringly and fatally upon his defenceless

In the meanwhile the good old priest carried his mild and resigned
spirit with him into the hospital. He was received with kindness, and
treated with especial care, chiefly on account of the recommendation of
the baron, who was interested in the unfortunate pastor to a
greater extent than he cared to acknowledge. The day for the
operation--postponed from time to time--at length arrived. It was
performed. The process was long and painful, but the patient never
uttered a complaint: his cries were wrung from him in the extremity of
torture and physical helplessness. The result was successful. One knew
not which to admire most--the Christian magnanimity of the patient, or
the triumphant skill of the operator: both were perfect. When the
anxious scene was over, the surgeon shook the priest by the hand
tenderly and encouragingly, and with his handkerchief wiped the
sweat-drops from his aged brow. He saw him afterwards carefully removed
to his bed, and for half an hour watched at his side, until, exhausted,
the sufferer fell to sleep. During the slow recovery of the invalid,
_his_ bed was the first visited by the surgeon in his daily rounds. He
lingered there long after his services were needed, and listened with
the deepest attention to the accounts which the priest gave of his mode
of life, and of the condition of his dear flock, far away in Auvergne.
When at length the convalescent man was able to quit his bed, the baron,
to the surprise of all who knew him, would take him by the arm, and give
him his support, as the enfeebled creature walked slowly up and down the
ward. It was the feeling act of an affectionate son. Then the surgeon
made eager enquiries, which the priest as eagerly answered; and they
grew as friendly as though they had been well acquainted from their
infancy. Weeks passed away; the priest was at last discharged, cured;
and, with prayers mingling with tears of gratitude, he took leave of his
benefactor, and returned in joy to his native village.

It was exactly a week after his departure, that the day arrived upon
which the sacristan led me to expect a meeting with the baron at the
church of Saint Sulpice. Resolved to confront this incarnation of
contradiction at the very scene of his unseemly vagaries, I did not fail
to be punctual. As I entered the street, I espied the baron a few yards
before me, walking briskly towards the entrance of the sacred building.
I followed him. He hurried into the church, and took his accustomed
place. I kept close upon him; and, with a fluttering heart, seated
myself at his side. My cheek burned with nervous agitation, but I did
not look towards my adversary. His eye, however, was upon me. I felt it,
and was sensible of his steady, long, and, as it seemed, passionless
gaze. He did not move, or betray any symptom of surprise. As on the
previous occasions, he proceeded solemnly to prayer; and when the
ceremony was completed, he, as usual, offered up his alms. As the
service drew to its close, my own anxiety became intense, and my
situation almost insupportable. He rose--I did the same;--he walked
leisurely away--I, giddy with excitement reeled after him. I was not to
be shaken from my purpose, and I accosted him on the church's threshold.

"Baron!" I exclaimed.

"Mr Walpole!" he replied, perfectly unmoved.

"I am surprised to see you here, sir."

"You are NOT," answered the baron, still most placidly; "you came
expressly to meet me; you have been here twice before. Why do you desire
to hide that fact? Can a Christian, Mr Walpole, play the hypocrite as
well as other men?"

"I cannot understand you," I said, bewildered by his imperturbable
coolness; "you laugh at religion--you mock me for respecting it, and yet
you come here for prayer. You do not believe in God, and you assist
devoutly at mass!"

"It is a lovely morning, Mr Walpole--we have half an hour to spare--give
me your arm!"

Perfectly puzzled and confounded by the collected manner of the baron, I
placed my arm mechanically in his, and suffered him to conduct me
whethersoever he would. We walked in silence for some distance, passed
into the meanest quarter of the city, and reached a miserable and
squalid street. The baron pointed to the most wretched house in the
lane, and bade me direct my eye especially to its sixth story.

"Mark it well," said he, "you see a window there to which a line is
fixed with recently washed linen?"

"I do," I answered.

"In the room--the small close hole to which that window hardly brings
air and light, I passed months of my life. The mass at which you have
three times watched me, is connected with it, and with occurrences that
had their rise there. I was the occupant of that garret--it seems but
yesterday since I wanted bread there."

The surgeon was unmanned. He kept his eye upon the melancholy window
until emotion blinded it, and permitted him to see no longer. He stood
transfixed for a second or two, and then spoke quickly.

"Mr Walpole, poverty is horrible! I have courage for any extremity but
that. Pain I have borne--shrieks and moans I have listened to unmoved,
whilst I stood by labouring to remove them; but when I recall the
moments in which I have languished for a crust of bread, and known
mankind to be my enemy--as though, being poor, I was a felon--all hearts
steeled against me--All hearts, did I say?" added the speaker suddenly
checking himself--"I lie; had it been so, I should not have been here to
tell the tale."

The baron paused, and then resumed.

"High as the rank is, Mr Walpole, to which I have attained; brilliant as
my career has been, and I acknowledge my success with gratitude--believe
me, there is not a famished wretch who crawls through the sinks of this
overgrown metropolis, that suffers more than I have suffered, has
bitterer hours than I have undergone. In this city of splendour and
corruption, at whose extremes are experienced the most exquisite
enjoyment and the most crushing and bitter endurance, I have passed
through trials which have before now overborne and killed the stoutest
hearts, and would have annihilated mine, but for the unselfish love of
him whose business took me to the church this day. Misery, in all its
aggravated forms, has been mine. Want of money--of necessary
clothing--hunger--thirst; such things have been familiar to me. In that
room, and in the depth of the hard winter, I have for hours given warmth
to my benumbed fingers with the breath which absolute want enabled me to
draw only with difficulty and pain."

"Is it possible!" I involuntarily exclaimed.

"You believe that human strength is unequal to such demands. It is
natural to think so; and yet I speak the truth. My parents, Mr Walpole,
humble and poor, but good and loving, sent me to Paris with all the
money they could afford for my education. I was ambitious, and deemed it
more than enough for my purpose. When half my time was spent here,
unhappily for me both father and mother were carried off by a malignant
fever. It was heavy blow, and threatened my destruction; threatened it,
however, but for a moment. I had determined to arrive at eminence; and
when does the determination give way in the breast of him who feels and
knows his power equal to his aim? I had a brother, to whom I wrote,
telling him of my situation, and asking him for the loan of a few
louis-d'or until my studies were completed, when I promised to repay the
debt with interest. He sent me the quarter of the sum for which I had
begged, with a long cold letter of remonstrance, bidding me give up my
profession, and apply myself to the humbler pursuits of my family. I
returned to my brother both money and letter, and the day on which I did
so saw me without a meal. I had not a farthing in the world. Had not a
woman who lodged in a room below given me a crust of bread, I must have
committed crime to assuage the cries of nature. How I existed for days,
I no longer remember. But I remember well hearing of a rich nobleman,
renowned for his wealth and piety, and for all the virtues which the
world confers upon the possessor of vast estates. In a moment of
enthusiasm and mistaken reliance, I sat down and penned a petition to
this great personage. I spoke as an intellectual man to an intellectual
man; as one working his difficult way through obscurity and trouble to
usefulness and honour--and requiring only a few crumbs from the rich
man's table to be at ease, and happy at his toil. I begged in abject
humility for those crumbs, and received a lying and cold-blooded excuse
instead of them. I crouched at his gate with a spirit worn by anxiety
and apprehension, and his slaves hunted me away from it. You have passed
through that same gate with me; you were witness of my triumph at the
bedside of his child!"

"You mean his excellency--the operation?"

"I do."

"How little the rich," said I, "know of the misery, the privations,
endured by those who in poverty acquire the knowledge that is to benefit
mankind so largely. How ignorant are they of their trials!"

"If you would know of the ignorance, the folly, and the vice of the
rich," proceeded the baron, always at home upon this his favourite
subject, "you must listen to an endless tale. Ever willing and eager to
detract from the merits of the man of science, and to attribute to him
the assumption of powers beyond human grasp--and ever striving to drag
down the results of his long and patient study to the level of their own
brutish ignorance--they are made the sport, the tools, and playthings of
every charlatan and trickster, as they should be. You shall be
satisfied, Mr Walpole, when you see the men who treat you with scorn and
contumely, pulled like puppets by a wire, and made to dance to any tune
the piper listeth. Hope nothing from the rich."

"And from the poor, sir?"

"Every thing," said the baron, almost solemnly. "From their hearts shall
spring the gratitude that will cheer you in your course, and solace you
in your gloom. Fame, and the grateful attachment of my humble friends,
have furnished me with a victory which the gold of the king could not
purchase. But we forget Saint Sulpice. I am not a hypocrite, as you
judge me, Mr Walpole. Be witness yourself if my presence there this day
has proved me one. Refused and cast away by this nobleman, I had nothing
to do but to dispose for a trifle of a few articles of linen which were
still in my possession. I sold them for a song, and believing failure to
be impossible, still struggled on. In that room I dwelt, living for days
upon nothing richer than bread and water, and regarding my little money
with the agony of a miser, as every demand diminished the small store.
From morn till night I laboured. I almost passed my life amongst the
dead. Well was it for me, as it proved, that my necessities drove me to
the dead-house to forget hunger, and obtain eleemosynary warmth.
Dismissed at dusk from this temporary home, I returned to the garret for
my crust, and carried the book which I had borrowed to the common
passage of the house, from whose dim lamp I received the glimmer that
served me to read, and to sustain the incensed ambitious spirit that
would not quell within me. The days glanced by quicker than the
lightning. I could not read enough; I could not acquire knowledge
sufficient, in that brief interval of days, between the acquisition of
my little wealth and the spending of my last farthing. The miserable
moment came. I was literally penniless, and without the means of
realizing any thing. For a week I retained possession of my room through
the charity of my landlord, and I was furnished with two loaves by a
good fellow who lived in the same house, and who proffered his
assistance so kindly, so generously, and well, that I received his
benefaction only that I might not give him pain by a refusal. The second
week of charity had already begun, when, entering my cold and hapless
room in my return from the hospital, I was detained at the door by
hearing my name pronounced in a loud and angry tone. I listened with a
sickening earnestness and recognized the voice of my landlord and that
of the good neighbour in high discussion. Something had been said which
much offended the latter; for the words which I caught from him were
those of remonstrance and reproach.

"'For shame, for shame!' said he, 'you have children of your own, and
they may need a friend one day. Think of them before you do so hard a

"'I do think of them,' replied the landlord sharply; 'and, that they
mayn't starve, I must keep my matters straight.'

"'Give him another week or two. You will not feel it. I'll undertake to
_keep_ him. It isn't much, Heaven knows! that I can do for him; but at a
pinch, man should make shift for man. Say you'll do it!'

"'I have told you he must go. I do not say one thing and mean another.'

"'Yes, you do, Lagarde,' continued the persevering lodger. 'You say your
prayers daily and tell Heaven how thankful you are for all it does for
you. Now, _that_ you cannot mean, if you turn a helpless brother from
your doors, who must die of want if you and I desert him. Come, think
again of it. Recollect how the poor lad works--how he is striving and
striving day after day. He will do well at last, and pay us back for

"There was no doubt as to the individual--the subject of this argument.
He stood listening to his doom, and far, far more grateful to the good
creature who pleaded his cause than distressed by the obstinacy which
pronounced his banishment. I was not kept long in suspense. I retreated
to my den, and sat down in gloomy despair. A loud knock at the door
roused me, and the indignant pride which possessed me melted at once
into humility and love when I beheld the faithful Sebastian--my
sympathizing neighbour.

"'You are to go,' he said bluntly; 'you are to leave this house

"'I know it,' I answered; 'I am prepared to go this instant.'

"'And whither?'

"'Into the street,' said I; 'any where--it matters not.'

"'Oh yes! it matters much,' replied my visitor; 'it would not matter to
me, or to your landlord. We are but day-labourers, whom nobody would
miss. You have great things before you: you will do, if you are not
crushed on the way. I am sure of it, and you shall not be deserted.'

"'What do you mean?' I asked.

"'Listen to me. Don't be offended. I am a poor man, and an ignorant one;
but I respect learning, and feel for the distressed. You leave this
house to-morrow; so do I. You seem to have no friends; I am friendless
too. I am a foundling. I never knew either father or mother. I am a
water-carrier, and I come from Auvergne. That is my history. Why should
we not seek a lodging together? You don't regret leaving this place; no
more do I. I won't disturb you. You shall study as long as you like, and
have me to talk to when you are tired: that is--if it is quite
agreeable, and you won't be ashamed of me.'

"'You know,' said I, 'that I am in a state of beggary.'

"'I know,' he answered, 'that you are not flush of capital just now; but
I have a little in my pocket, and can work for more. If you are not too
proud to borrow a trifle from me now, I sha'n't be too proud to have it
back again when you get rich. Don't let me prate, for I am rough and
unhandy at it; but give me your hand like an honest man, and say,
"Sebastian, I will do as you wish me.'"

"My heart glowed with a streaming fire, and I grasped the extended palm
of my preserver. 'Sebastian,' I exclaimed, 'I will do as you wish me. I
will do more. I will make you independent. I will slave to make you
happy. It can be done--I feel it can--and you may trust me.'

"'You'll do your best, I know,' he answered; 'and you'll do wonders, or
I am much mistaken.'

"Upon the following morning we wandered through the city, and before
nightfall obtained shelter. To this unselfish creature, and to the
sacrifices which he made for me, I owe every thing. We had been together
but a few days when he drew from me a statement of my position and
future prospects--drew it with a delicacy and tenderness that looked
lovely indeed from beneath his ragged robes. Now this poor fellow, like
me--like all of us--had his ambition, and a darling object in the far
distance to attain. He had for months stinted himself of many comforts,
that he might add weekly to a sum which he had saved for the purchase of
a horse and water-cart. He was already master of a few hundred francs;
and his earnings, small as they were, permitted him to keep up the hope
which had supported him through many hardships. No sooner, however, did
he gather from my words the extent of my necessities, than he determined
to forego the dearest wish of his life in order to secure my advancement
and success. I remonstrated with him; but I might as well have spoken to
stone. He would not suffer me to speak; but threatened, if I refused
him, to throw his bag of savings without delay into the _Seine_. I
ceased to oppose him, accepted his noble offer, and vowed to devote
myself from that time forward to the raising up of my deliverer. The
money of Sebastian supplied me with books, enabled me to pass my
examinations. Be sure I did not slacken in my exertions. Idleness was
fraud while the sweat from the brow of the water-carrier poured so
freely for my sake. I revered him as a father, not before I had myself
become the object of his affections--the recipient of the love which he
had never been conscious of before, foundling that he was, and without
another human tie! He grew proud of me, prouder and prouder every day--I
must be well dressed--I must want for nothing; no, though he himself
wanted all things. He was assured of my future eminence, and this was
enough for him; and my spirit well responded to his own. I knew my
capacity; I felt my strength. I was aware of the ability that floated in
the world, and did not fear to bring my own amongst it. What could a
mind undertake from which mine would shrink? What application could be
demanded to which I was not equal--prepared--eager to submit? Where lay
my difficulty? I saw none: or if I did for an instant, it was
exterminated before the imperious resolution I had formed to exalt and
enrich my beloved and loving benefactor. Tender as a parent to me, this
incomparable man was at the same time diligent and attentive as a
domestic. He would permit me to do nothing to impede the easy and
natural course of study. He shamed me by his affectionate assiduity, but
silenced me ever by referring to the _Future_, when he looked, he
confessed, for a repayment for all his care and love. What could I say
of do in answer to this appeal? What but reiterate the vow which I had
taken, never to desert him, and to fight my way upwards that he might
share the glory he had earned. A day arrived when I was compelled for a
time to leave him; for I had been received as _interne_ at the Hotel
Dieu. It was hard parting, especially for the poor water-carrier, who
dreaded losing sight of me for ever. I gave him an assurance of my
constancy; and consoled him by the information that another and last
examination yet awaited me, for which a certain sum of money would be
required. He promised to have it ready by the hour, and conjured me to
take all care of myself--and to learn to love religion; for I must tell
you, Sebastian was a pious man--a conscientious Christian.

"Once at the hospital, I sought profitable employment, and obtained it.
In the course of a few months I had earned a sum--dearer, more valuable
to me than all I have since acquired. It was insignificant in itself,
but it purchased for my Sebastian his long wished-for treasure--the
horse and water-cart. I took it to him; and when I approached him, I had
not a word to say, for my grateful heart was in my throat strangling my
utterance. He threw his arms about my neck, cried, laughed, thanked,
scolded, blessed, and reproached me, all in the wildness and delirium of
his delight. 'Why did you do it?' said he, 'oh it was kind and loving
in you!--very kind and foolish--and wrong, and generous, and
extravagant--dear, good, naughty boy! I am very angry with you; but I
love you for it dearly. How you are getting on! I knew you would. I said
so from the first. You will do wonders--you will be rich at last. You
want no man's help--you have done it all yourself.'

"'No, Sebastian!' I exclaimed, 'you have done it for me.'

"'Don't deceive me--don't flatter me,' he answered. 'I have been able to
do very little for you--not half what I wished. You would have been
great without me. I have looked upon you, and loved you as my own boy,
and all that was selfishness.'

"We dined and spent the evening of the day together. Life has had no
hours like those before or since. They were real, fresh,
substantial--such as youth remembers vividly when death and suffering
have shaken the foundations of the world, and covered the past with
mistiness and cloud. The excitement of the time, or the privations of
former years--or I know not what--threw the good Sebastian shortly after
this day upon a bed of sickness. He never rose from it again. He was not
rewarded as he should have been for all his sacrifices--for all the love
he had expended upon his grateful foster-child. He did not live to
witness my success--he did not see the completion of the work he had
begun. In spite of all my efforts to save his precious life, he sank,
and drew his latest breath in these devoted arms. I lost more than a

The baron paused, his lips were borne down by a tremulous motion: he
took my arm, and urged me gently from the spot. We walked for some
distance in silence. Collecting himself again, he proceeded:--

"Sebastian, as I have told you, was a pious man. In truth, his faith was
boundless. He worshipped and adored the Virgin Mary as he would have
loved his own natural mother, had he known her. He was aware of my
unbelief, and had often spoken to me on the subject as a father might,
in accents of entreaty and regret. Whilst he was ill he gave me all the
money he had, and earnestly requested me to spare nothing to secure for
him the consolations of the Church. I obeyed him. I caused masses to be
said for him. I procured for him the visits of his priest. I left
nothing undone to give him peace and joy. Would it not have been
monstrous had I acted otherwise? He was morbidly anxious for the future:
he, righteous man, who was as pure in spirit, as guileless, as an
infant! I alone followed him to the grave; and after I had seen his
sacred dust consigned to earth, I crawled home with a heart almost
broken with its grief. I hid myself in my room for the day; and before I
quitted it again, devised a mode of testifying my gratitude to the
departed--one most acceptable to his wishes, had he lived to express
them. I remembered that he had neither friend nor relation--that I lived
his representative. He had spoken during his illness of the masses which
are said for the repose of the souls of the dead--spoken of them with a
solemn belief as to their efficacy and power. His gentle humanity
forbade his imposing upon me as a duty that which I might not easily
perform. My course was clear. I saved money sufficient for the purpose,
and then I founded the masses which are celebrated four times yearly in
the church of Saint Sulpice. The fulfilment of his pious desire, is the
only offering I can make to the memory of my dear foster-father. Upon
the days on which the masses are said I attend, and in his name repeat
the prayers that are required. This is all that a man with my opinions
can undertake; and this is no hypocrisy, nor can the Omniscient--if that
great spirit of nature be indeed capable of human passions--feel anger
at the act, when I solemnly declare that all I have on earth--and more
than I could wish of earthly happiness--I would this instant barter for
the meek inviolable faith of Jean Sebastian."

The words were spoken at the door of the baron's residence, which we had
already reached. My hand was in that of the speaker. He had taken it in
the act of wishing me farewell. I grasped his palm affectionately, and

"Why then, my friend, should you not possess this enviable blessing?"

"Because I cannot struggle against conviction: because _faith_ is not
subject to the _will_: because I know too little and too much: because I
cannot grasp a shadow, or palpably discern by day an evanescent, albeit
a lovely, dream of night. These are my reasons. Let us dismiss the

And the subject _was_ dismissed never to be taken up again. From this
time forward, our theological disputations ceased. The baron forbore his
wit, and the good Cause was spared my feeble advocacy. Whether the baron
suspected that, after all, there might be inconsistency in continuing to
laugh at all religion whilst he persevered in visiting the church, or
whether the seeds of a new and better growth of things began already to
take root within him, I cannot take upon me to decide. To my relief and
comfort, the solemn argument was never again profaned by ribaldry and
unbecoming mirth; and, to my unfeigned delight, the teacher and the
pupil were without one let or hinderance to their perfect sympathy and

A year has elapsed since, in the manner shown, I received the key to so
many of the baron's seeming inconsistencies--when, as we were passing
one morning into the _Salle St Agnes_ at the _Hotel Dieu_, we were
surprised to find, standing at the door of the ward--the venerable and
humble minister of Auvergne. His face brightened at the approach of the
baron, and he bowed respectfully in greeting him.

"What brings you here again, old friend?" enquired the surgeon; "no
relapse, I trust?"

"Gratitude," replied the priest. A large basket was on his arm--his
shoes were covered with dust--he had journeyed far on foot. "It is a
year since I left this roof with my life restored to me, under God's
blessing, by you. I could not let the anniversary slip away without
paying you a visit, and bringing you a trifling present. It is scarcely
worth your acceptance--but it is the best my grateful heart can offer,
and I though you would receive it kindly. A few chickens from the
poultry-yard, and a little fruit from the orchard."

The baron received the gift with a better grace than I had seen him
accept a much handsomer fee. He invited the priest to his house,
detained him there for some hours, and dismissed him with many presents
for the poor amongst his flock at Auvergne.

And thus stood matters when the last stroke of my two years was sounded,
and I was summoned home. I left the baron, need I say, with real regret;
he was not pleased at my departure. I engaged to write to him, and to
pay another visit to Paris as soon as my affairs permitted me. I have
never trode French soil since; I never saw the baron afterwards. My
curiosity, however, did not suffer me to be in ignorance of my friend's
proceedings; and what I have now to add is gathered from a
communication, received shortly after the baron's death, from his
faithful and attached _François_.

For seven years the priest came annually with his gifts to the Hotel
Dieu, and on each occasion was the baron's visitor; at first for a day
or two, but afterwards for a week--and then longer still. During the
second visitation, it was discovered that the minister was related
distantly to the baron's former friend _Sebastian_. As soon as this was
known, the surgeon offered the good man a home and an annuity. The
former he modestly declined: the latter he accepted, distributing it in
alms amongst the needy who abounded in his parish. The surgeon and the
priest became great friends and frequent correspondents. The temper of
the baron altered. He grew less morose--less violent--less
self-indulgent--less bigoted. He reconciled a proper respect for the
rich with a feeling regard for the poor. He became the pupil of the
simple priest, and profited by his instruction and example. Seven years
after my departure from Paris, the baron fell ill--and the priest of
Auvergne, summoned to his bedside, ministered there, and gave his
blessing to a meek, obedient child. He died, and the priest, shedding
tears of sorrow and of joy commingled, closed his glassy eyes. What
passed between them in his latest moments may not be repeated.
_François_ heard but a sentence as he knelt at his master's pillow. It
was amongst the last he uttered.

"François, love the Auvergnats: they have saved your poor master--body
and soul!"

That body was borne to the grave by the students of the _Hotel
Dieu_--the greyheaded priest following in the train; and the
_soul_--Heaven in its infinite mercy hath surely not forgotten.


[28] It was not until a few weeks after my arrival in Paris that I
became acquainted with the fact, thus delicately pointed at by my modest
friend Mr H----. It would appear that no Parisian student of medicine
can pursue his studies at home without assistance. A female friend,
tutor, or whatever else she may be called, graced the lodgings of every
one of my hospital friends.




  The snow! the snow! 'tis a pleasant thing
    To watch it falling, falling
  Down upon earth with noiseless wing,
    As at some spirit's calling:
  Each flake seems a fairy parachute,
    From mystic cloudland blown,
  And earth is still, and air is mute,
    As frost's enchanted zone.


  The shrubs bend down--behold the trees
    Their fingery boughs stretch out
  The blossoms of the sky to seize,
    As they duck and drive about;
  The bare hills plead for a covering,
    And ere the grey twilight
  Around their shoulders broad shall cling
    An arctic cloak of white.


  With clapping hands, from drifted door
    Of lonely shieling, peeps
  The imp, to see thy mantle hoar
    O'erspread the craggy steeps.
  The eagle round its eyrie screams;
    The hill-fox seeks the glade;
  And foaming downwards rush the streams,
    As mad to be delay'd.


  Falling white on the land it lies,
    And falling dark in the sea;
  The solan to its island flies,
    The crow to the thick larch-tree;
  Within the penthouse struts the cock,
    His draggled mates among;
  While black-eyed robin seems to mock
    The sadness with his song.


  Released from school, 'twas ours to wage,
    How keenly! bloodless war--
  Tossing the balls in mimic rage,
    That left a gorgeous scar;
  While doublets dark were powder'd o'er,
    Till darkness none could find;
  And valorous chiefs had wounds before,
    And caitiff churls behind.


  Comrades, to work!--I see him yet,
    That piled-up giant grim,
  To startle horse and horseman set,
    With Titan girth of limb.
  Snell Sir John Frost, with crystal spear,
    We hoped thou wouldst have screen'd him;
  But Thaw, the traitor, lurking near,
    Soon cruelly guillotined him!


  The powdery snow! Alas! to me
    It speaks of far-off days,
  When a boyish skater mingling free
    Amid the merry maze.
  Methinks I see the broad ice still;
    And my nerves all jangling feel,
  Blent with the tones of voices shrill,
    The ring of the slider's heel.


  A scene of revelry! Soon night
    Drew his murky curtains round
  The world, while a star of lustre bright
    Peep'd from the blue profound.
  Yet what cared we for darkening lea,
    Or warning bell remote?
  With rush and cry we scudded by,
    And seized the bliss we sought.


  Drift on, ye wild winds! leave no traces
    Of dim and danky earth:
  While eager faces fill their places
    Around the blazing hearth.
  Then let the stories of the glories
    Of our sires be told;
  Or tale of knight, who lady bright
    From thraldom saved of old.


  Or let the song the charms prolong,
    In music's haunting tone,
  Of shores where spring's aye blossoming,
    And winter is unknown;
  Where zephyrs, sick with scent of flowers,
    Along the lakelets play;
  And lovers, wand'ring through the bowers,
    Make life a holiday.


  Sunset and snow! Lo, eve reveals
    Her starr'd map to the moon,
  And o'er hush'd earth a radiance steals
    More bland than that of noon:
  The fur-robed genii of the Pole
    Dance o'er our mountains white,
  Chain up the billows as they roll,
    And pearl the caves with light.


  The moon above the eastern fells
    Holds on a silent way;
  The mill-wheel, sparr'd with icicles,
    Reflects her silver ray;
  The ivy-tod, beneath its load,
    Bends down with frosty curl;
  And all around seems sown the ground
    With diamond and with pearl.


  The groves are black, the hills are white,
    And, glittering in the sheen,
  The lake expands--a sheet of light--
    Its willowy banks between;
  From the dark sedge that skirts its edge,
    The startled wild-duck springs,
  While, echoing far up copse and scaur,
    The fowler's musket rings.


  From cove to cove how sweet to rove
    Around that fairy scene,
  Companion'd, as along we move,
    By things and thoughts serene;--
  Voiceless--except where, cranking, rings
    The skater's curve along,
  The demon of the ice, who sings
    His deep hoarse undersong.


  In days of old, when spirits held
    The air, and the earth below,
  When o'er the green were, tripping, seen
    The fays--what wert thou, Snow?
  Leave eastern Greece its fabled fleece,
    For Northland has its own--
  The witches of Norway pluck their geese,
    And thou art their plumes of down.


  The snow! the snow! It brings to mind
    A thousand happy things,
  And but one sad one--'tis to find
    Too sure that Time hath wings!
  Oh, ever sweet is sight or sound
    That tells of long ago;
  And I gaze around, with thoughts profound,
    Upon the falling snow!

Love in the Wilderness.

My father intended me for the church; but as it did not seem likely that
any body intended a church for me, I considered, from my earliest youth,
that all the education he gave me was thrown away. My tutors were
probably of the same opinion, and did not bestow much care on a person
who had no chance of being a bishop; and finally, the head of St John's,
in the most open and independent manner imaginable, wrote a letter to my
anxious parent, putting an end to any hopes he might have entertained of
my being senior wrangler, or even the wooden spoon, by informing him
that he considered I was qualified--if I devoted my energies entirely to
the subject--to plant cabbages; but with regard to Euclid, it was quite
out of the question. Whether I might have arrived at any eminence in the
praiseworthy pursuit alluded to by the learned Head, I do not know, as
horticulture never was my taste; but his observations on the subject of
Euclid were undeniably correct. I never got up to the asses' bridge, and
certainly could not have passed it if I had; so, in a very disconsolate
frame of mind, I took leave of the university after two terms'
residence, and returned to Rayleigh Court--an old dilapidated
manor-house, which had been in possession of our family even since it
began to fall into disrepair; which, judging from the crooked walls and
tottering chimneys, must have been some time in the reign of the
Plantagenets. I was an only son, and my father spoiled me--not, as only
sons are usually spoiled, by too much indulgence, but by the most
persevering and incessant system of bullying that ever made a poor
mortal miserable. He first cowed and terrified me into nervousness, and
called me a coward; then he thrashed and threatened me into stupidity,
and called me a fool: so that at eighteen there are few young persons of
these degenerate days who have so humble and true an opinion of
themselves, as I had had dinned into me from my earliest years.

I slunk about the old court-yard of the house, or lay behind stacks in
the farm-yard, or sat whole days in a deserted attic, and never went
willingly near my father--the only other inhabitant of the mansion--and
was never enquired after by him. If I saw him, I trembled--if I heard
his voice, I felt inclined to fly to the other end of the house; and at
last, if I heard any one else speak a little louder than ordinary, I was
fain to betake me to some distant room, or even hide in a tangled
plantation called the Wilderness, at the other end of the park. The
house was immensely large, or rather the property was immensely small;
farm after farm had been sold by great-grandfathers and grandfathers;
but as they had not the sense to pull down a side of the mansion for
every estate they parted with, it had at last grown an encumbrance.
There was a residence fit for a man of ten thousand a-year, and a rental
of about eight hundred--the helmet of Otranto on the head of Sir
Geoffrey Hudson.

If I could have been a bishop, or even a dean, and laid by four or five
thousand a-year--such were my father's views of me, and of
ecclesiastical preferment--I might buy back some of the ancient land and
repair the house, and that was the reason he determined I should go into
the church; for it is to be observed, that fathers have extraordinary
eyes when directed to the future fortunes of their sons. They seem to
have no power of seeing small curacy-houses filled with twelve children,
and butchers and bakers walking down the avenue in a melancholy and
despairing manner at Christmas time; but have pertinaciously before
their sight a superb mansion in James's Square, with a steady old coach
and two fat horses at the door; or a fine old turreted palace at
Lambeth, with five or six chaplains contesting the honour of the last
lick of the plate. Not a glimpse can they discover of the cold
rides--miserable scenes among the dying, the idle, the dissolute--hope
deferred--strength decaying--the proud man's contumely, the rich
vulgarian's scorn--struggle, struggle! toil and trouble! Blessings, say
I, on the outspoken head of St John's, and the impenetrability of
Euclid, that kept a blue coat on my back, and disappointed my father's
expectation of seeing me Lord Bishop of Durham. I should have been
chaplain to a poor-house to a certainty, and have envied my
parishioners; but I doubt very much, in the mean time, if the chaplain
of a poor-house would have envied me, imprisoned and pauperized in
Rayleigh Court.

Luckily there were books--whole shelves of them--loaded with rich
morocco bindings, and pecks enough of dust (if distributed through the
month of March) to have ransomed all the Pharaohs. I passed over the
Dugdales, and even the Gwyllins, in despair; and lay whole days on the
floor, surrounded by _Faery Queens_ and other anti-utilitarian
publications, sometimes fancying myself a Red-Cross knight--though
considerably at a loss to devise a substitute for the heavenly Una. But
by some strange caprice of fortune, a hoard was opened to me in one of
the lower shelves, beside the oriel window, which was more valuable than
Potosi and Golconda--a complete set of the Waverley Novels: there they
were--all included--from the great original to _Castle Dangerous_. As my
father's retiring habits prevented me from knowing a human being in the
neighbourhood, I made up to my heart's content for the want of living
friends, by forming the most enthusiastic attachments to Dandie Dinmont,
and Henry Morton, and Jonathan Oldbuck; not forgetting the excessive
love I entertained for Rose Bradwardine, Di Vernon, and a few others; so
that altogether, I think I may say, that no young man of my age was ever
blessed with such a large and enchanting circle of "friends and
sweethearts." In the mean time the external world was moving on,
troubling itself, in all likelihood, as little about me as I did about
it. We had a newspaper once a-week; but I never saw it. I knew that our
gracious sovereign lady, Queen Victoria, had just succeeded to our
gracious sovereign lord, King William--but to that great and important
fact in constitutional history my knowledge of temporary politics was
limited. What did I care about Peels or Melbournes, when I could enter
the council-chamber of Louis the Eleventh, or pass a pleasant morning
with Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth Castle? My father lay--like a snake
surrounded by fire--in the centre of what had once been his family
estate; with purchasers gathering closer and closer round, till, like
the snake of the above similitude, he was inclined to sting himself to
death to avoid the increasing horror of his situation. From strange
muttered growls and deep imprecations when we met, I gathered that the
last fagot had been lighted, in the shape of a proposition by some
Eastern nabob, that he should sell the remaining portion of the land.
He, Rayleigh of Rayleigh Court--to sell to a stranger the park, the
fields, the house! He would have died first. And the reason for wishing
to buy, which was assigned by the intending purchaser, was worst of all;
that he had already made himself owner of every other farm which had
once belonged to the Rayleigh manors, and desired the family mansion to
make the estate complete--and his name was Jeeks--Jeeks of Rayleigh
Court! My father would have shot him if he had come within his reach;
but as Mr Jeeks kept at a respectable distance, the over-charge of
indignation was poured forth upon me; and the opinion, so obligingly
given of my abilities and probable success in life by the Master of St
John's, was never for an hour forgotten. It was very evident that there
was no hope of family restoration to be founded on so profound a
blockhead--an ass that could not get into the church--that moped and
wandered about the woods--that trembled when he was spoken to; and so
far from pushing his way in the world, and acquiring a fortune by
running off with an heiress, had not courage enough to look a milkmaid
in the face. I kept out of his sight more than ever, and read _Ivanhoe_
for the fifteenth time. Oh, Friar Tuck! Oh, Brian de Bois Guilbert! What
did I care for Mr Jeeks and his offers for Rayleigh Court?

I was now twenty years of age, with the figure of a grenadier and the
courage of a boarding-school girl; and every day my father's indignation
seemed to increase, when he saw such a fund of marketable qualities
lying useless--my quietness and decorum would have done for the church;
my height and broad shoulders would have qualified me for Gretna Green.
But such a chicken-hearted fellow, he well knew, would sooner die than
mention a postchaise; and so the old gentleman, having ceased for some
years to express his contempt for me with the aid of his walking stick,
and a profusion of epithets unheard of in Johnson's _Dictionary_, took
now to the easier method of a dignified and unbroken silence. It was a
charming change, and I was as happy as Robinson Crusoe in the desert
island before Friday made his appearance. One day in June--"it was the
poet's leafy month of June"--I took my way, as was my Wont, through the
park to the Wilderness. The shadows of the broad thick-foliaged oaks lay
in gigantic masses on the smooth turf, (of which the gardeners were a
few relics of the former herds of deer, in the shape of wide-antlered
stags and dappled roes;) all the sights and sounds of summer beauty were
united in that solitary greensward; and for the first time in my life I
felt a regret pass over me that the grandeur of my family had decayed,
and a faint fluttering became perceptible to me, round my heart, of a
wish to restore our fortunes. But the intense appreciation of my own
deficiencies in which I had been educated, soon dispelled any pleasing
illusions that the self-love of twenty years of age might have excited;
and I fell into the opposite extreme, and rejoiced to think that in me
the family tree would lose its last branch, and that the old house would
crumble into actual ruins, instead of holding forth the false
appearances of solidity and strength which led to the expectation that
it was still capable of repair. I felt like Wilfred of Ivanhoe, when he
resolved to leave his home for ever; and if there had been any crusade
going on in 1838, and an Isaac of York willing to furnish me with horse
and harness, I should have been very glad to try my chance against the
Saracens, and prove myself a true Red Cross knight; for even at that
time, I felt assured that against any body but my father I could hold up
my head like a man; or on any subject but my stupidity--(which I was
willing to concede, as it came guaranteed under the hand and seal of the
master of a college)--I could have maintained my ground with the courage
of a Front-de-Boeuf. I took a bolder step and manlier bearing as I
passed along in the sunshine, and saw defined on the grass before me the
shadow of a gigantic being, elongated in the slanting rays to about
twelve feet high, with limbs and shoulders certainly a little attenuated
by the same solar deception, but still not quite such thread-papers as I
have since seen do duty in ball-rooms, to the evident satisfaction of
then possessors. The Wilderness was reached at last: and here I must
premise that the aristocratic appearances of bucks and roes entirely
ceased; for the said Wilderness was appropriated to the feeding of
certain animals of unpoetic figures, and even prosaic names, but which,
when well cooked and duly supplied with a condiment of beans, furnish by
no means a contemptible dinner to a hungry sportsman. The man who
despises beans and bacon is uniformly a puppy. I will, therefore, now
venture on the vulgar word, and say the Wilderness was used for feeding
swine, and all the long days the frisky quadrupeds went wiggling their
curly tails, and snorting among the oak-trees, with enormous
satisfaction. On reaching the centre of this umbrageous feeding-ground,
I was surprised to see my usual place of meditation occupied by a
stranger. It was a young girl, exhausted apparently by the heat of the
day, resting on the mossy turf and leaning against the trunk of a fine
old tree. Her bonnet was on the ground beside her; her hair was gently
moved to and fro by the wandering breeze; and on her lap lay a
work-basket, which she had evidently laid down to give herself more
entirely to repose. She was sound asleep, and I need scarcely say, as my
experience of the fair sex was extremely limited, that she was the most
captivating specimen I had ever seen; but shyness and awkwardness
overcame my desire to make her acquaintance. I looked at her for a
moment, saw the finely cut features, the beautifully complexioned
cheeks, the smiling lips and graceful figure, and turned away angry at
myself, at the same time that I could not summon courage to address her.
Before I had gone far I heard a dreadful scream a little to my right,
and in an agony of terror a fair-haired young child, of six or seven
years old, rushed towards the sleeper, pursued apparently by one of the
largest of the grunting flock. It was evidently only in the excessive
buoyancy of its porcine spirits that it caracolled, and snuffed, and
galloped in such an imposing manner; but the terror of the little flyer
was as sincere as if it had been a royal Bengal tiger. In a moment I
sprang forward, gave the huge animal a kick with all my might, in a spot
which must have materially improved the tenderness of the ham--and took
the almost fainting child in my arms. The sleeper started up, and was no
little astonished to behold the feat I performed. I muttered a few
confused words, and tried in vain to still the terrors of my young
charge; but in a few minutes our united efforts had the desired effect,
and the elder sister thanked me for my chivalrous interference, and said
she would never forget my kindness.

"It's nothing at all," I said--"I almost wish it had been a bonassus,
and I had had a rifle."

"Oh! a pig, I assure you, is quite enough for us: isn't it, Amy?" Amy
seemed to consider a pig a great deal too much, and looked round in
alarm every time she heard a rustle among the branches.

"It would have enabled me," I said, "to be really useful--like the
master of Ravenswood, I added, when he shot the wild bull."

"But you wouldn't surely wish to see Amy and me in real danger, merely
to have the glory of delivering us from it. That would be too selfish."

"Not selfish if I was certain of saving you; and, besides, it would be
such an excellent introduction."

"But we have already told you, that we are as much indebted for your
interference as if you had put a whole herd of furious cattle to death.
For my part, I am perfectly satisfied with the introduction as it is."

"Then we may consider ourselves friends?" I enquired, gradually becoming
less embarrassed by the manner of the unknown.

"Certainly--I tell you we shall never forget your gallant interference.
It is strange we never met with such an adventure before; for Amy and I
come very often here."

"Indeed?--It is certainly very strange that I have never seen you
before; for _I_ am here almost every day."

"Why, if you keep your eyes constantly on the ground, you have no great
chance of seeing any thing but the grass. We have seen you often."

"And you know my name, of course?"

"Henry Rayleigh, of Rayleigh Court. Oh! we know all about you."

"And I--I am ashamed to say, I have not the same advantage with regard
to your style and title--I feel sure it must be a beautiful name."

"You had better guess."

"Flora? Edith? Rebecca?"

"We must go home now," said the little one.

"Isabella? Brenda? Minna?"

"No--you will never find it out."

"Then you will surely tell me."

"Oh no!--that would spoil the romance of our acquaintance."

"And am I never to find out who you are?"

"Probably not, if you bury yourself in the woods all your life. I have
been your neighbour for half a year, and you have never seen me."

"My eyes must have been blinded; but I will bury myself no more. Do tell
me your name, and where you live, for I am very ill qualified to be a

"I shall certainly not destroy the charm of mystery. Let it be enough
that you know me by sight. The name is of no consequence--but if you
really wish to know it"----

"I do indeed."

"Call me Lucy Ashton, and that will remind you of the service you did me
to-day. In the mean time do not follow us. I should wish this meeting
kept a secret--come, Amy."

And so saying, and taking her sister by the hand, she walked rapidly
away, leaving me with the pleasing expression which is commonly
attributed to a stuck pig, gazing at her graceful motion, and half
inclined to consider the whole interview a delusion of the fancy, or at
least a dream.

Lucy Ashton!--a charming idea!--and I the master of Ravenswood! My
neighbour for half a year--and often in the Wilderness! Then of course
she will come often here again. I will find out who she is. I will sit
no longer in the deep recess of an old pew at church, which is hidden
from all the rest of the congregation. I will even go down and call on
the clergyman. He must surely have observed the most beautiful girl in
the world. He can't have been such a mole as I have been. I will find
out all about her; and astonish her next time we meet, by telling her
the result of my enquiries.

On these exploratory thoughts intent, I took my homeward way. The old
turrets of the house rose before me, more distressingly symptomatic of
poverty and decay than ever. I crossed the noble quadrangle, which was
overgrown with grass, and betook myself to the great dark-wainscoted old
library, utterly disgusted at the folly or extravagance of my ancestors,
in having reduced me to such a condition. I began to think that my
father was not so much to blame in lamenting our fallen state as
before;--and that night I fell asleep, wondering if Lucy Ashton's father
was a governor of the Bank of England, or if she was as poor and
portionless a being as myself.


Next day I walked down to the parsonage. It was in Rayleigh village, and
the living had once belonged to our family, but among the diminishing
possessions was the first to be disposed of. It was held by Mr Dobble,
to whom I was hardly known except by sight--and the reverend gentleman
was no little astonished when my name was announced. He was a little
short man, about fifty years of age, very polite and very talkative; but
who seemed always to recollect something or other in the middle of a
speech, and end on quite a different subject from what he had begun.

"My dear sir," he began, "I am truly glad to see you. By the by, I don't
think I have ever seen you in the parsonage before."

"I have lived very retired--we never move from home--my father sees no

"Ah, very true--the more's the pity! I shall always be delighted if you
will come in at any time. By the by, are you fond of fishing?"

"Yes, I sometimes fish."

"Your father keeps you a great deal too much boxed up for a young man of
your time of life. You should be forming a stock of friends just now, to
last you your lifetime. By the by, are you a judge of wine?"

"No, I never taste it."

"No?--for I was going to observe that a young man should act like a
young housekeeper--lay in his friends as the other does his cellar; and
always keep up the stock--particularly pleasant men and port-wine. They

"My stock is certainly very limited," I said.

"You should enlarge it at once. By the by, there are a great many new
residents in this parish since I was inducted."

"So I believe."

"Ah, just so!--never called on them, of course--By the by, will you have
any lunch?"

"No, I thank you. I have never called on any of the new-comers. I don't
even know their names."

"That's odd! But it isn't of so much consequence now, for they are all
getting bought out. By the by, would you like to see the repairs in the

"No, I thank you. Are they getting bought out?"

"Not a doubt of it. All the old farms and manor-houses, which had been
converted into comfortable modern dwelling-houses by the different
proprietors, are nearly all in one owner's hands again--as they used to
be, in ancient times, in your ancestors' hands. The whole estate nearly
is reunited, and the purchaser is restoring things as much as he can to
their ancient condition. He gave Mr Juffles thirty thousand pounds for
the Grange about six months ago; and all the Juffles family is to be off
in six weeks. By the by, you are not acquainted with the
Juffleses?--they haven't been here more than five years."

"No, I don't know them--are they a numerous family?"

"Sons and daughters by the dozen. By the by, weren't you at college for
some time?"

"Yes, for a few terms. How many sons has Mr Juffles?"

"Seven or eight--John, Thomas, Abraham, Alexander, George, Hookey, and
another; but whether his name is Richard or Robert I don't recollect. By
the by, was it Oxford or Cambridge?"

"And the daughters?" I said, not attending to his question--"he has many
daughters, you said, as well as sons."

"Oh, seven or eight of them too--Susan, Martha, Elizabeth, a younger
one, I don't recollect her name, Anne, Sophia, and some little ones. By
the by, the Indian mail is very interesting--have you seen the news?"

"No, I never see a newspaper. Is there a young lady among Mr Juffles's
family of the pretty name of Amy?"

"Amy?--Amy?--'pon my word I don't recollect. And yet I think I do. I
think I have heard the governess call one of the children Amy. By the
by, we have had charming weather of late."

"Charming. How old is the governess?"

"A young person--too young, I should say, for such a charge; seventeen,

"And you are sure you have heard her call one of them Amy?"

"Yes, I think I may say I am sure. By the by, the French seem very
unsteady. I admire Louis Philippe."

"Is the governess pretty?"

"I should say so--yes, I should say decidedly pretty. By the by, he
seems inclined to dismiss M. Thiers."

"Blue eyes, beautiful mouth, sweet smile, and musical voice?"

"Who, my good sir?--Louis Philippe and M. Thiers? By the by, weren't you
asking me about Mr Juffles's----? Ah! now I recollect. The
governess--yes, she has blue eyes, and sings beautifully."

"And walks out with Amy?"

"Of course. By the by, do you hunt?"

"No, I have no horse. And how old are Mr Juffles's other daughters?"

"All ages, from twenty-three downwards. By the by"----

"Is there one about seventeen?"

"Yes, I should say the pretty one--I forget her name, Elizabeth, I
think--was just about that age. You should be introduced. But, by the
by, it would be of little use. They leave the Grange in a few weeks, if
indeed they are not gone already; for they were to be ready at a day's
notice, and I haven't seen them since Sunday week. By the by, Russia
seems very discontented. Do you think they meditate an invasion?"

"I never read politics. Are any of the other neighbours about to remove

"Oh yes! Mr Poggs, the rich West Indian who bought Hartley Mead, that
used to be a part of your park a hundred years ago, and fitted up the
Gothic cottage at such an immense expense. He's bought out--fifteen
thousand pounds for two hundred acres, and he is to remove next
Michaelmas. By the by, which style of architecture do you prefer?"

"I know nothing of the subject. Has Mr Poggs a family?"

"Two daughters, but I scarcely know them. Old Poggs is half a dissenter.
By the by"----

"How old are the daughters?"

"'Pon my word, my young friend, you would do for an inquisitor."

"I have a very particular reason for asking these questions."

"Ah I see!" said Mr Dobble, "young men will be curious about their
neighbours' children. By the by, have you seen the Bishop of London's

"No, I see nothing new. How old are Mr Poggs's daughters?"

"One, the eldest, a tall handsome girl, I should say about seventeen;
the other six or seven."

"Do you know the younger one's name?"

"No, I don't think I ever heard it. Do you know the young ladies?"

"I have told you already, that I have not the happiness of knowing any
of the neighbours;--and I regret very much to hear that they are going
away before I have had the opportunity of making their acquaintance."

"Oh no, not all! They are not all going. Mr Jeeks himself will be
constantly resident. By the by, are you fond of shooting?"

"Has he any family?"

"A son--yes, I know he has a son, but I am not sure of any daughters. In
fact, between ourselves, I don't think he has any daughters,--and it is
no great loss it they were any thing like the son. No, I know he has no
daughters. By the by, he talks of coming home from college this month."

"How old is the son?"

"About one or two and twenty. Very stupid or very idle, I am afraid. He
can't take his degree."

I got up to go away. I felt that the object of my mission was

"Don't go, my dear sir; don't go. 'Pon my word I did not mean any thing
in what I said. He may be very clever, and very admirable in every
respect, though he does not take his degree. By the by, did you see
Brougham's speech on the poor-law? He should be called the poor-lawyer
_par excellence_, as the French say. You'll call on me soon again, I
hope. By the by, are you fond of tulips? I have a beautiful bed just in

O Poggs!--O Juffles!--O nameless governess! which of you all was Lucy
Ashton?--I waited all that day in the Wilderness, but nobody came. The
long shadows began to point eastward; the pigs were all driven in; the
world was left to silence and to me; and I walked slowly and
disconsolately home.

On getting inside the great door of the court-yard, I heard
voices--loud, angry voices. I recognized my father's tones, and was
about to go round by the inner wall, when, hurrying rapidly towards me,
I saw three persons--my father was one of them. The elder of the others
was a man about sixty years of age--brown, almost black in the
complexion, with nankin trousers a world too large for his long legs; an
immense broad-brimmed straw-hat on his head, and a large gold-headed
cane in his hand. The other was a little sharp-eyed, thin-featured man,
about my own age, but with the appearance of twenty times the shrewdness
I could ever muster--one of the prematurely sagacious youths who seem as
if they had been born attorneys, and are on the look-out for sharp

"I have already told you, sir, that your intrusion is insulting," said
my father: "relieve me of your presence."

"Jist as you like, that's matter of course," said the old man; "but the
time will come when you'll repent this here unpoliteness. I never see
sich a thing from a real gentleman to another in all my born days."

"It's because he ain't master of the philosophy of good manners,"
squeaked the younger.

"Why, what in hearth," continued the senior, "is there to be angry
about? I want to buy your land--it ain't any sich enormous property ater
all--and offer you about three times the vallyation of a respectable
surveyor; what's that to set up your back about? Come now, there's a
good gentleman, think better over it. The money is all ready at the

"Do you wish to drive me to violent measures--to throw you into the
river?" asked my father in a voice of concentrated passion that made me
feel very uncomfortable.

"By no manner of means--by no means whatsomever."

"As to that," interposed the shrill voice of the youth, "two can play at
that game; but it ain't philosophical to talk of sich matters--father
makes you a fair offer."

"And I make you another," I said; "namely, one minute's time to leave
this house. If you are found one instant beyond the minute, by Heaven,
you and your father make but one step from this spot into the centre of
the brook!"

"Oh! ha! who are you, sir?" the youth began, but paused when he saw some
convulsive twitching taking possession of my hands; and an expression
far removed from either philosophy or politeness spreading around my

"This here is young Rayleigh," said the old man, "and p'r'aps he'll be
more open to reason and twenty-seven thousand five hundred pounds."

"Thirty seconds are elapsed," I said, going forward to the young man;
"you have but thirty more." My hand advanced, but, luckily before the
thirty seconds were exhausted, the door had closed on the hateful
presence, and my father held out his hand.

"Thank you, Henry--I am obliged to you, Henry," he said; and I had never
heard him call me by my name since the memorable character bestowed on
me by the head of St John's. He looked me all over, as he spoke, from
head to foot: he seemed surprised and pleased at the result of his

"They are vulgar people," he said, "and have irritated me past endurance
by their insulting offers. They have never ventured to present
themselves here till now; and, from the reception we have given them, I
hardly think they will repeat their visit."

"I am sorry, sir, you allowed them to chafe you."

"I will not do so in future. You will be beside me, Henry; the father
and son together can offer a bold face to the world in spite of these
crumbling walls. We can despise the dross of that vile Croesus, and
keep the Rayleigh mansion-house in the Rayleigh name."

"Who is he?"

"The possessor of every other portion of the estate but this; his name
is Jeeks, and the young fellow is his son--his only child, I
believe--very rich, and very disgusting. Let us think of them no more."

That evening we had a long and confidential talk; and I perceived that,
though he had finally given up all intention of getting me into the
church, in the hopes of patching up the holes in the old roof with a
mitre, he had fully made up his mind on the subject of a widow. I
rejoiced that Mrs Coutts was already disposed of. He talked a long time
of jointures, three per cents, India stock; and I--O youth! O hope!--I
mused all the time on the beautiful eyes and sweet smiles of my unknown
enchantress, and made pious resolutions to betake myself, like some
ancient anchorite, to the Wilderness, for the purpose of worship and


Lucy Ashton was under the tree--Amy, like a sensible child, busily
employed at a little distance gathering flowers; the sun shining, the
bees humming, the birds chirruping.

"You made me wretched all yesterday," I said.

"Indeed! had the worthy Caleb no device to cheer the young master's

"Impossible, even for Caleb's ingenuity, to supply the want of society
as he contrives to hide the absence of silver plate. Ah, why did you not

"I don't recollect having promised to expose poor Amy again to the
assaults of a wild boar."

"Or yourself to the conversation of a person like me."

"Oh! I have told you, over and over again, I am delighted to have seen
you; and I like your conversation amazingly: you are very different
indeed from what I expected."

"In Heaven's name, what did you expect?" I said. "Who ever spoke of me
to you, that knew me?"

"Nobody that knew you; but you are a good deal spoken of,
notwithstanding. I was curious to see if they were correct."

"And what did they say? I will endeavour to correct them if they are

"They said you and your father moped so continually in the old house,
that you had grown (like Quasimodo) to have a resemblance to brick and
mortar yourselves. I expect to see you like a gable-end, with a couple
of mullioned windows for eyes, and a mouth. I was astonished to see you
so nearly human."

"Ah! you will humanize me still more if you laugh at me as you do; do
take pity on me, and don't let me settle down into a wall."

"With all my heart, for I have no turn for architecture; and, by all the
descriptions I hear of the old court, you don't seem to be Palladios."

"There may be other reasons besides a want of skill and inclination," I
said, with a sad feeling of the anti-architectural condition of our

"Oh! you mean poverty. Then, why don't you sell the old place?"

"It would kill my father to think of it."

"But it would not have so dreadful an effect on you? I know you could
get it sold if you like."

"An old impudent fellow of the name of Jeeks wishes to force us into a
sale. I will see him and all his race at the bottom of the Red Sea

"Would you sell it then?" she said.

"No--but, fair Lucy Ashton, why do you ask?"

"Because if you parted with one brick of the old house, one blade of
grass of the old park, one leaf of one old tree in the old wood, our
acquaintance would end as rapidly as it began."

"Then it shall suffer no decay," I said, and took her hand, which she
held out to me with honest warmth; "and now let me find out, if I can,
who it is that gives me such admirable advice. I called on Mr Dobble

"He told you a great many things, by the by, did he?" she said.

"You know him, I see, and he knows _you_." As I said this, I looked with
the air of a man who has discovered a portentous secret; but she bore my
look with the same celestial open smile as ever.

"What a happy man he must be in knowing so first-rate a parishioner. Did
he boast much of our acquaintance?"

"He seemed to know more of your brothers and sisters," I said.

"Oh, which of them did he like best? How many did he say I had?"

This was a puzzler; for I was quite undecided whether to consider her a
daughter of the house of Juffles with fourteen children, or Poggs with
only two.

"Amy seemed a great favourite," I replied.

"But, my brothers--what did he say of my brothers?"

"He said--but perhaps it was in confidence--so I will not mention all he
told me. He spoke highly of the whole family of Mr Poggs."

"And very properly too. We are all pleasant people in this
neighbourhood; and, indeed, I wonder he can make any distinction in the
degrees of amiability between the Poggses, Juffleses, Higginsons,
Jeekses, Wilcoxes, and all the late and present occupiers of the
Rayleigh estates."

"Higginsons? Wilcoxes? he never mentioned them; but as to the Jeekses,
pray don't speak of those detestable wretches. I hope you despise young
Jeeks as heartily as I do."

"Not quite, perhaps."

"No?" I looked at her. Gracious powers! is it possible this beautiful
creature can be so blinded by the fortune of the wretched animal, as to
look upon him without disgust. "Are you intimate with him?" I enquired.

"Oh yes! we are all very social down here; no ceremony between
neighbours. He is a great sportsman."

"Oh, then, it must be your brothers that are his friends, not you!"

"I certainly don't go out shooting with him--in fact, I have no time. I
am engaged educating Amy so many hours, that I could not practise enough
to be able to hit a bonassus, like a celebrated marksman of my
acquaintance; far less a partridge."

"And you educate Amy? and yet you have brothers? and don't despise young
Jeeks? and know every body?"

"And like them all," she added.

"All equally?" I enquired.

"With a difference, as a body may say."

"And Amy is your sister?"

"We call ourselves so."

"Then, by Heavens, you are Miss Poggs!"

"Well, is that any thing to swear about? There have been Misses Poggs in
the world before, I suppose."

"But you talked of educating her; devoting your time to her."

"So I do."

"Then you are the governess in Mr Juffles' family."

"Why not? You don't think worse of a person for being able to give a
little information to a little girl of seven years old, do you?"

"Think worse of her? Ah, Lucy Ashton! I could not think worse of you, if
you were able to teach the Head of a college."

"You could not think _worse_ of me? Do you mean worse of me than you
think already? In that case I must retire."

"No, no; don't go! I have not found out yet who you are."

"I thought you had found out I was two. You can't surely be wrong in

"I suspect I am. You spoke of your brothers. Now, I make a guess you
have seven. I could tell you their names."

"You mistake your rôle, or rather confuse it. You are the master of
Ravenswood, not Frank Osbaldistone. I am not Di Vernon."

"You are a puzzle; an Urganda the unknown."

"That means that you are the Bel Tenebroso. You will perhaps be
disenchanted soon."

"Only if you leave the country."

"Why, won't you have the Poggses, Jeekses, Juffleses, though I find
another situation? you can make their acquaintance whenever you please.
You will be re-enchanted again, I assure you."

"By Heavens, I believe you are making a fool of me all this time! You
are the third Miss Juffles yourself."

"Swearing again? What would Mr Dobble say, by the by? I never denied
that I was either the third or fourth Miss Juffles. Are you happy now?"
she said with a smile.

"I can't be any thing else so near to Lucy Ashton."

"Oh, cry you mercy; you are back again at Wolf's Crag! And I assure you,
I like you better in the character of its inhabitant than as the
Inquisitor-general and particular too--which you have acted all to-day.
Let there be a truce between us in question and answer, and all will be
delightful. We have hitherto been like Mrs Marcet's chemistry, all
_whys_ and _becauses_."

The truce was signed, and an hour passed away, composed of sixty minutes
of enjoyment, as if it had all been one second; and I felt that there
was only one woman in the whole world that could ever keep me from being
wretched; and that was a beautiful young girl in a straw bonnet--name,
parentage, and every thing about her, totally unknown.

At the end of the time she took Amy's hand and left me. I did not follow
her--I had promised I would not; but I had exacted a promise in return,
that she would meet me again. And so she did again and again. I never
asked who she was; I did not even care to know. Five weeks passed on,
and I was as irrecoverably in love as if I had known she was a duchess,
with fortune enough to buy back the whole estate.

All this time my father was very kind in his manner; and was constantly
dwelling on the advantages of a wealthy match. My heart bled for him
when I reflected how bitter would be his disappointment when he found
out the dreadful truth, that every woman in existence was hateful to me
except one poor penniless girl; at the best, one of fourteen children,
and perhaps a governess without a _sou_. But I would not destroy his
dreams before there was occasion--and sat silent and unresisting, as he
poured forth his matrimonial schemes for my aggrandizement.

But Lucy at last was unpunctual in her visits to the Wilderness. One day
I had waited from an early hour, and had strained my eyes to catch the
first glimpse of her glorious figure as she tripped among the trees. I
had at last sat down beneath the accustomed oak, and was fancying all
manner of reasons for her not making her appearance, when all of a
sudden I heard a rustle at my side, and, starting up, saw before me the
pragmatical visage of young Mr Jeeks.

"Servant, sir," he squeaked in his shrill unmusical tones, "Oho! this is
the philosophy of it--is it?"

"What do you mean, sir, and what do you want here? Are you aware that
this forms as yet no part of your father's land."

"It will soon, p'r'aps--but I want just to say a few words. I hope not
to lose my temper, as I unfortunately did last time I dropped in to see
you and your governor; for why should gentlemen quarrel? It ain't

"I should think what _gentlemen_ do, whether they quarrel or not, is a
matter in which you can have no personal experience. Say on, sir."

"I am just agoing to begin; and I only hope I shall not get exasperated,
and misbehave myself, as I certainly feel I did the last time we had a

"Go on; I don't think you'll get exasperated, whatever else may happen
to you."

"You think, p'r'aps, that your goings on, young Mr Rayleigh, ar'n't
known; but they are though."

"In what respect, sir? What do you allude to?"

"Petticoats--that's what I allude to; and I come just to give you a
friendly warning, that the seven young Juffleses are all six feet high."

"Your information is totally undesired."

"I know it is--it's uncommon unpleasant information; and, if I was you,
I would give up the chase. She's certainly a very pretty girl is Betsy
Juffles--but not fit for you or me, you know. She has no blood."

"As I don't know whom you allude to, of course I can give you no answer;
but, as you seem to be giving me advice, I will favour you with a very
decided piece of it in return; which is, to hold your tongue on any
subject connected with me, or the consequences to yourself will be such
as you will hardly like."

"Thank ye for your friendliness--I am rather fond of advice than
otherwise, though it's certainly one of the things that it's more
blessed to give than to receive; and I will just give you a hint that
may do you good--Betsy's a very good-natured girl, but fickle--very."


"Oh yes!--she is indeed--she made great advances to me once; but I
rather checked her. A very clever girl too--and speaks French; but she
has no philosophy. She went to the last assizes, and fell in with some
dragoon officers at a ball. She's all for the redcoats now, or at least
was till lately--but since then she"----

Here the little animal winked.

"Oh!" I said, willing to hear what the creature would say.

"I have scarcely spoke to her for a long time; but I hear some of her
proceedings," he continued.

"You do?--from whom, pray?"

"Why, it can't be supposed I never hear Amy talking about how often she
goes out with Betsy. I'm very much against Amy seeing her at all. Her
steady stupid sister would be a far safer companion than such a wild
sort of girl as Betsy Juffles."

"You say she once made advances to you," I said, with a horrid suspicion
at my heart that I had been an egregious fool.

"Didn't she? You should have seen her looks. She always sat a little
behind her mother's chair, so as to be out of the old lady's eye, and
did cast such preternatural glances across the room to me, and smiled,
and smirked, and sidled, and shook her curls--it was wonderful to
behold, but she had no philosophy, and I looked cold"----

"And chilled her?"

"Exactly. I could have tumbled her into the railway, and been off to
Gretna, by only holding up my finger--but I wouldn't. She bore it pretty
well, considering the disappointment; and first consoled herself by
flirting at a ball with a set of ensigns and cornets, and then took to

"To me? I don't understand you, Mr Jeeks."

"You do!"

"You are an insolent jackanapes"----

"I'm not--come, I am trying to keep my temper; but p'r'aps you think
Betsy a good speck? Bah! she'll not have five hundred pounds; and your
bumptious old governor won't buy back many of the old acres with a
dribble like that."

This time I did not give him a minute's grace: my hand was on his collar
in a moment; I shook him till his teeth rattled audibly, like dice in a
box; I kicked him, pushed him, and, as the gratification grew with what
it fed on, at one dread reckoning I paid off the horror I experienced
from his account of the girl I had worshipped, and his insolent mention
of my father. I took a fiendish delight in prolonging his agonies.
Another minute's indulgence in the punishment would have raised the
tiger that lies sleeping, but always awakable, in every man's heart, and
I might have killed him outright; but luckily we got near the boundary
hedge. It was of strong old thorns, very thick and high, and very wide
at top. I seized my victim with both hands, and swung him on to the
summit of the hedge, where, after wriggling a short time in every
variety of ridiculous contortions, and squeaking as he sank deeper and
deeper among the thorns, he threw himself by a great effort to the other
side, and rolled into the ditch.

Some people seem to take naturally to a thrashing, as others do the
small-pox. In a few minutes I perceived him emerge from the ditch and
walk--though rather stiffly--across the field. "Thank Heaven," I said,
"if I have been a dupe I am not a murderer!"


Next day I waited again--and the next, and the next; and no Lucy Ashton,
or rather no Betsy Juffles, came. The next day was Friday--my birthday.
I had much to do; my father was resolved to celebrate the great event by
a solemn dinner _tête-à-tête_, during which he was to communicate his
final decision with respect to my future pursuits. I hurried to the
Wilderness in the morning--no success--and in despair betook myself once
more to Mr Dobble. That gentleman's dovetailed observations were by no
means elucidatory on the point I came to clear up. He did not know the
names of all the members of any of the families--he had never heard of
any persons of the name of Higginson or Wilcox--he knew nothing of the
colour of people's eyes--and did not recollect whether any one member of
his flock had red hair or black. How difficult to take the commonest
observations in the cold northern latitude of forty-five! But one thing
at last I discovered; the Juffleses were to leave on the following
day--the Poggses had been gone since Tuesday.

"By the by," he said, after this information; "you are much indebted to
your cousin, young Jeeks--I never knew till lately he had the honour to
be a relation."

"I never knew it, sir; and certainly make no claim."

"But you ought, my good sir, after the service he did you on Monday"----

"What service, sir? I am not aware of any."

"Indeed? That's most extraordinary! I understood he interfered, and
saved you from a personal assault."


"Yes! And he certainly bears marks of his efforts on your behalf. By the
by, the Ministry seems tottering."

"I thought you said, Mr Dobble, this Mr Jeeks pretends to be my
relation. Did he ever tell you by what means, or in what degree?

"Yes; but I am no herald. Some old lady long ago married a person who
had a daughter, who had another daughter, who had a son who is the
father of old Mr Jeeks, who made an immense fortune at Canton. Opium, I
am afraid--more opium than tea."

"It does not seem alarmingly near, at all events; and I beg to assure
you that the interference he talks of on my behalf, was of such a
nature, that it is of my gratitude he bears the emblems which he
attributes to his friendly zeal."

I hurried from the parsonage. I had not an hour to spare; but an
irresistible attraction drew me to the wood--and there, in the rural
seat, was Lucy Ashton once more! She saw some change in my countenance,
and spoke in a different tone from what I had ever heard her before.

"I am afraid I have been very imprudent, Mr Rayleigh, in carrying on our
acquaintance so long; but I am come to bid you farewell--probably for

I looked at the moistening eyes of the fair speaker--but steeled my
heart against her arts.

"You have tried to break me in to the loss of your society by degrees;
you have not come here for three days."

"I was busy--disagreeable things occurred at home--I had no opportunity.
But it is better as it is--we must now part, and I hope you will forget

"Forget you! That is impossible. But I shall try to find methods of
enduring the separation."

"I trust you will--I did not mean to part from you in unkindness: your
voice is altered--your eyes are changed"----

"Because I am Edgar Ravenswood no longer; nor you Lucy Ashton. You made
me know, for the first time in my life, what it was to have a true and
absorbing attachment. I worshipped you with the fervour of a boy--I
loved you with the sincerity of a man. You played me off for the
gratification of your paltry triumph over affections that were too
valuable to be wasted on a flirt. I have heard of the assize ball--I
have heard of young Jeeks--I have unmasked you, and you are Betsy

A glance--bright and sparkling, but instantly subdued--appeared for a
moment in her eyes, which now swam in tears.

"Be it so, then. If I were to stay longer in this part of the world, I
might perhaps try to set myself right in your eyes; but as it is"----she
paused, and sighed.

"You go then soon?"

"I go to-morrow."

There could no longer be a doubt. Mr Dobble had told me the Juffleses
removed on Saturday. I saw what a consummate actress I was opposed to,
and hardened my heart more and more. We had come by this time to the
gate into the field; I held it open for her as she passed, but said not
a word: I then rushed back to the place we had so often met, threw
myself on the ground, and cursed Poggses, Jeekses, and Juffleses, with
as much earnest devotion as my father himself could have required.

But in the midst of all these maledictions rose up every now and then a
doubt--was she Betsy Juffles?--was she a flirt?--had she ogled young
Jeeks?--had she made a fool of me?--or was she indeed the bright pure
captivating Lucy Ashton I had known, the clever, the warm-hearted, the
good? Oh, if she was, and I had cast her off, and made myself a cold
iron-hearted brute, at the whisper of a wretch like Jeeks! I made a vow
that, if I found he had deceived me, I would finish the sacrifice
commenced on Monday, and tear him limb from limb. That night and many
nights--a month, a quarter of a year--passed in earnest consultations
with my father. I read, but no longer the Waverley Novels: I attended to
the farm--I was busy--useful; I felt I could get over Euclid if I chose,
but I hated him and all his propositions. The winter came: I worked
hard; I had found my deficiencies in conversation with my fascinating
deceiver--and the more my mind enlarged, the more it dwelt on the
thousand charms of thought and expression that had passed unheeded at
the time. I could recall every look, every smile, every tone; and when
the early leaves began to bud, when the grass was green again, and the
snow had disappeared from the highest hills, I had made up my mind that
without Betsy Juffles, flirt or no flirt, life was not worth having;
and I resolved to find her out, wherever she was, and tell her so. Mr
Dobble informed me that Mr Juffles resided in a bow-windowed villa near
Bushy Park, called Verbena Lodge; and thither I determined to go. My
father wished me to go to London to make arrangements for beginning the
study of the law, and in the early weeks of March I found myself in the
great city; but though I saw St Paul's, Westminster Abbey, and the
Temple and the Tower, with my bodily eyes, my thoughts dwelt for ever on
the bow-windowed villa near Bushy Park. I left the smoke, the noise, and
all chances of the wealth of modern Rome, behind me, and installed
myself in a comfortable lodging at Hampton Wick. I became one of the
rangers of Bushy Park, without the queen's signature to my appointment.
I passed and repassed Verbena Lodge, but saw nobody at the windows; I
meditated even on the expediency of making my way into the house, on
pretence of a message from Mr Dobble; when----once upon a time in the
merry month of May, beneath a stately tree, musing and alone, I say, in
the heart of Bushy Park, the unmistakable figure--the unmistakable face
of Lucy Ashton, radiant, smiling, beautiful as of old.

"I thought you wouldn't forget me quite," she said, and held out her

"I was an ass--a fool!" I began.

"But you have grown wiser now?" she enquired.

"Yes, wise enough to despise balls, Jeekses, officers--and throw myself
at once and for ever at the feet of Lucy Ashton."

"What will Betsy Juffles say?"

"I hope she'll say _yes_."

"Well, perhaps I may answer for her--I don't see what right _she_ has to
object to any thing that pleases _me_."

"She's a charming girl, and I hope you will be guided by her in every

"Such as?"--she asked with a smile that made us feel we had never
quarreled, never parted, but were at home in the Wilderness. I need not
tell the answer. I had got quit of my bashfulness on the subject of
Gretna Green and postchaises with a vengeance; and then and there I
suggested a trip to that delectable region, and scorned all the
objections she attempted to make about our respective fathers, and
family quarrels, and all the chimeras that disappear before the breath
of true love like mists before the sun. We met every day for a week, and
I so surprisingly improved in eloquence, that I should certainly have
forced my way to the woolsack if I had employed one half of it at the
bar. At all events, I succeeded in my object with Lucy Ashton so far,
that she agreed to accept me for better or worse; and then, for the
first time, it occurred to me, I ought to make my father acquainted with
the great step I intended to take in prosecution of my legal studies.

"Ah, Edgar, don't write letters! half an hour's conversation will
explain every thing better than twenty reams of paper. Go down to
Rayleigh, and tell him all."

"All what? you forget I have nothing to tell."

"Tell him you are resolved to marry a girl who will make you happy."

"And your family?" I said; "he can't endure the very name of Juffles."

"Say nothing about them. Ask leave for me to go down and see him: I feel
sure he will like me, and forgive you all."

I resolved to obey; and with infinite regret tore myself away, and
seated myself in the railway carriage. I was only to be absent two days;
but two days in such circumstances are a century. The bell rang, the
train began imperceptibly to move, when two tardy passengers jumped into
the coach; and in the first I recognised my friend, young Mr Jeeks. If I
had had it in my power, I would have left the carriage; for I was in no
frame of mind to be pestered by a popinjay.

"Goodness me! how odd!" he said; "Quite a family party this is. My
cousin Mr Rayleigh, Mr Shookers--Mr Shookers, my cousin Mr Rayleigh.
It's quite pleasant to be among one's relations."

The other man, answering to the name of Mr Shookers, bowed at this
introduction, and showed his teeth and a large portion of the gums in
the amplitude of his smile. He was a short stout man, with a very broad
face, which was still further distended by a forest of red whiskers on
each cheek. I took no notice of his salutation, but looked as
indignantly as I could at the insufferable Jeeks.

"You don't seem very friendly, which is highly against the rules or
philosophy," he continued; "but p'r'aps you don't know much of your own
genealogical tree. My friend Shookers has studied heraldry, and knows
very well how nearly related we are."

"Did you address any of your observations to me, sir?"

"Didn't I? to be sure I did. There was a certain Arabella Rayleigh in
_Temp. Geo. Prim._, that means in the time of George I. or II., I forget
which--but it is ages ago--that married Martin Hicks, and had a
daughter, who married in _Temp._ of another of the _Geos_ John Smith,
and had a daughter; which married James Brown, and had a daughter; which
married grandfather, Thomas Jeeks, in _Temp. Geo. Tert._--which makes us
cousins; and that's the reason why father thinks it so hard your old
governor won't part with the rest of the lands. Isn't it too bad, Mr

"It seems very unfriendly in old Rayleigh to keep such a hold on the
property, when Mr Jeeks is willing to buy him off."

"Are you aware, sir, in whose presence you allow yourself such vulgar
and insulting language? I am Mr Rayleigh's son."

"Well, and I'm his cousin," interposed young Jeek; "and it's rather hard
if a man can't stand a word or two about his relations. I don't care
what Shookers may say about my cousin. I have too much philosophy to

Mr Shookers, however, took the hint, and made no further observation on
the subject. I looked out of the window, and endeavoured to abstract my
thoughts from the conversation of my companions; but it was impossible.
I kept my looks turned to the window; but I soon began to listen with
all my ears.

"You'll find it uncommon hot at Singapore," said Mr Jeeks. "It's always
the dog-days there; but all the Juffleses can stand fire like reg'lar
bricks, as they are."

"I like it," replied Mr Shookers; "and I am very much obligated to your

"He's a trump, is the old fellow--he's out of business himself--wound
all up at Canton; but his interest will do great things for you at

"Oh! I consider my fortune made; and I am sure we shall both be grateful
to him till the end of time."

"Ah, you're a lucky chap to get such a girl persuaded to go with you so
far! But I always said Betsy had all the pluck of the family."

I half looked round--and Mr Jeeks favoured me with a wink, which implied
that he would keep the secret of my acquaintance with the Juffles's
family a secret from his friend.

"She's full of spirit," replied Mr Shookers.

"And so clever, too," added Mr Jeeks; "so sentimental and all that. No
end of walks in woods. I wonder she hasn't tired poor Amy to death.
She's taken to it as bad as ever lately again, and takes no end of
rambles in Bushy Park. You're a lucky fellow, Shookers; for I'm sure
she's thinking of you all the time she's pacing up and down among the

"She had better take as much as she can of the trees," answered the
lover; "there's no great temptation to ramble in Singapore. She won't
have much more of it, for we must sail in the next ship."

"I always said Betsy Juffles would make a good marriage after
all--though she's such a comical girl, I shouldn't be surprised if she
carried on her jokes to the very last, and pretended to care about some
of her old admirers even now."

"She's very welcome," said Mr Shookers; "it's reg'lar good fun seeing
her trot out a spoony. How she makes us laugh, to be sure!"

The two gentlemen seemed so overcome with the facetiousness of their
recollections, that they broke into a laugh that lasted nearly a mile.

I felt somewhat in the situation of Scrub. "Could they be laughing at
me? Was I again the victim of a consummate actress?"

"Old Juffles comes it handsome, I hope?" said Mr Jeeks.

"I'm perfectly satisfied at all events," replied his friend. "He gives
me a trifle on the wedding-day, and makes a good settlement besides."

"When is the wedding?"

"It is fixed for this day month, the fourteenth of May. We embark on the
next day, and drop down to Gravesend. Aren't you asked to attend?"

"Oh, we're all coming--governor and all! I don't see why my cousin
opposite should not get an invite too. But he has been looking out of
the window so hard, he hasn't heard a word of what we've said. Oh, of
course not!"

"If you would like to come to it, sir," said Mr Shookers, who sat on the
same side with me, _vis-à-vis_ with his friend, "I shall be very glad;
and I feel sure I can answer for Betsy too, sir."

"Don't be too sure of that," interrupted Mr Jeeks. "It takes a deal of
philosophy to do things of the kind."

"You seem to be asking me to some meeting, sir. May I beg you to
understand, once for all, that I have nothing whatever to say to this
most contemptible poltroon, Mr Jeeks, nor to any of his friends."

"I was going to ask you to my marriage, sir; and if you had been a
gentleman, or behaved as such"----

I felt my hands clutching with an irrepressible desire to seize Mr
Shookers by the throat; but I had no time. Before he had an opportunity
to complete his speech, a sound, as of an avalanche and earthquake, all
in one, was heard--a shock, as of contending thunderbolts, shook the
train, and the last thing I saw was the head and body of Mr Jeeks
propelled, with the force and velocity of a rocket, against the
expansive countenance of Mr Shookers. My own forehead was dashed against
the opposite side, and I was insensible. There had been a collision
between two trains. I recollect no more.


When I recovered my consciousness, I was in my own room at Rayleigh
Court. I looked round, and gradually a recollection of all that had
happened dawned upon me. I thought of my journey down--the conversation
between Mr Jeeks and Shookers--the new light that had been thrown on the
behaviour of the once cherished, but now, for the second time, detested
Lucy Ashton; and I turned round on the bed, and wished to relapse into
insensibility for ever. A light step at the side of the couch attracted
my notice. "Thank God," I heard a voice say, "my boy will live!" It was
my father. I turned round, and opened my eyes. He took my hand, and
looked at me a long, long time, with an expression of interest and
affection that I had not seen for many years.

"You are better, Henry, but don't exert yourself to speak. The slightest
effort may be fatal; therefore, for my sake, for all our sakes, be

He sat down, and put his finger on his lips.

"In a day or two, now that your health has taken a favourable turn, you
will be able to able as many questions as you choose. In the mean time
be perfectly composed, and all will be well."

My father was in mourning.

"You are dressed in black," I whispered.

"We have lost a relation," he answered, "a distant relation; and we must
pay him the compliment of a black coat--but hush! my dear boy; if you
utter another word I must leave the room."

Under the care and uninterrupted attentions of my father, I rapidly got
well. In a week I could sit up; in a fortnight I moved into the library.
The sun was clear and warm. I sat at the open window, and looked out
upon the park, and beyond it to the tops of the trees in the Wilderness.
It gave me a blow that I could scarcely bear. I rose up and tottered to
the sofa. The weekly newspaper was lying on the table. I took it up, and
the first paragraph that met my eyes was this--"Married at Verbena
Lodge, on Wednesday last, Alfred Shookers, Esq. of Singapore, to
Elizabeth, third daughter of Jeremiah Juffles, Esq., late of Ryleigh

I thought I had banished her from my heart for ever; but the suddenness
of the announcement was too much for me. The paper fell from my hand,
and I fainted.

"Poor boy, the change is too much for him!" I heard my father say. "He
must not leave his room again till he is stronger."

I soon returned to my senses, and by a great effort recovered my spirits
at the same time. I laughed and talked, and listened well pleased to my
father's glowing picture of the possibility of our retrieving our
fortunes by a marriage. I promised him I would sacrifice myself on the
hymeneal altar for the good of my family; that I would marry the
ugliest, oldest widow he could fix on; that I was anxious to be a
benedict on favourable terms; and at all my protestations my father
laughed aloud, and patted me on the shoulder. I could not believe it was
the same man who had snubbed and bullied me all my life. All of a sudden
he looked at his watch.

"Excuse me, my dear boy," he said, "I have engaged to dine with poor
Jeeks at five o'clock."

"With whom?" I asked, shuddering at the sound of the name.

"With our neighbour, poor Jeeks," he said. "He has had a terrible
dispensation, and is very much softened and improved."

"What dispensation?"

"Ah! I forgot: I was not to let you know. His poor son! he never
recovered the accident. Two or three of Mr Shookers's teeth fastened in
his head. He has been dead these five weeks: a most promising young

I was amazingly shocked at the intelligence.

"Is it for him we are in mourning?" I enquired.

My father nodded.

"Then he was our cousin, after all?"

"There certainly seems to have been a relationship in the _Temp._ of
some of the _Geos._, as he called it. At all events the acknowledgment
of it does not cost much, and poor old Jeeks is delighted. Good-by. Take
care of yourself."

And so saying, he left me to my cogitations.

When once a favourable crisis, as it is called, takes place, the
amendment in the health of a man of twenty-two is very speedy. I was
aided also by seeing my father in such spirits. From day to day I picked
up strength, and at the end of a week I felt I could venture out.

It was June again--the poet's leafy month of June--the anniversary of
the very day on which I had so heroically enacted the part of the Master
of Ravenswood against the pigs. I sauntered through the park; a fate was
upon me; and I directed my steps, by some secret impulse against which I
struggled in vain, to the Wilderness. "I may as well see the spot where
I was so deluded," I thought, and recognized every object--alas! with
what different feelings--as I drew near the trysting-tree.

"It was there," thought, "I saw Amy for the first time, as she was
flying for protection; it was there I rushed forward to save her; it was
there, under the oak"----As I directed my eyes to the spot, my heart
leaped as if I had seen a spirit; for there, on the identical turf, with
a work-basket on her lap, sat Lucy Ashton, or rather Mrs Shookers.

"So you've come at last!" she said. "Well, better late than never.
Here's your seat all ready. I have expected you a long time."

"Are you a woman, or a fiend in human shape?" I began.

"Oh! a fiend by all means, if you like; but what has kept you all this
time from Bushy Park? I am afraid your father won't give his consent;
you would have come to me sooner if he had. But come, sit down and tell
me all."

So saying, she went on with her knitting. She was lovelier than ever.
She was dressed in a black silk gown, and wore a long black mantilla
over her head. I had never heard any thing so musical as her voice, nor
seen any thing so beautiful as her smile.

"I shall certainly not be your dupe any longer," I said; "and, believe
me, the coquetry that might be captivating in Miss Elizabeth Juffles, is
simply disgusting in Mrs Shookers of Singapore."

"Had not you better send out your opinion by the next India mail? Betsy
has sailed by this time, and will just get out in time to receive your

"Then, if you are not Betsy Juffles, tell me, in Heaven's name, who and
what you are?"

"I'm a young girl of nineteen, who promised once to accept the hand of a
young gentleman of the name of Rayleigh, who told me a hundred times he
did not care about my family--that it was myself only he cared for: and
he even went down to tell his father of the resolution he had taken,
without making enquiry as to either my birth, parentage, or education. A
wild young man he was, and rather changeable; for sometimes he would
have made sonnets to my eyebrows, if he had had the gift of verse;
sometimes he would have stabbed me to the heart, if he had had a dagger;
sometimes I was his adorable Lucy Ashton; then his tantalizing Miss
Poggs; then his hated Betsy; whereas, all the time, I was nothing but
the selfsame anonymous but fascinating creature, who under all these
names, and in spite of all these variations in his humour, loved him
very truly, and has no doubt whatever of being his wife."

"You!--it would be safer to marry an incarnate demon!"

"Ah, safer perhaps; but not so respectable! Come, do sit down; what's
the use of ceremony among friends and neighbours? Has your father
consented to the match?"

"Do you think I asked him?"

"Why not? you don't like Gretna Green better, do you?"

"By no means--my intentions are changed."

"But you forget that I am neither Betsy Juffles nor Miss Poggs; I am
nothing but Lucy Ashton."

"I wish you had never been any thing else," I said, beginning to soften;
for who could resist such a voice and such eyes?

"Well, I tell you I am _not_ changed--will that not satisfy you? Imagine
that all that has passed since we parted here is a dream; that Verbena
Lodge has no existence, and that Mr Dobble is an ass! Won't you sit down
beside me, Edgar?"

I threw myself upon the turf, and she went on.

"I grant I have been a little capricious, Edgar, but there were reasons
for it, believe me."

"What reason could there be for all these mysteries?"

"Why, in the first place, it was very amusing; in the next place, you
did not know your own mind; in the next place, it was romantic; in the
next place, I wanted to try you if your love was really sincere."

"And you found it wanting," I said in a tone of self-reproach.

"Not a bit," she replied, with a look that showed she knew my heart a
great deal better than I did myself.

"At this moment I believe your affection for me rises triumphant above
the horrors of Betsy Juffles or Miss Poggs; and so I think I shall
reward you at last with an open explanation of who I am."

"No, dearest Lucy Ashton!" I said, taking her hand, "not before I swear
that it is yourself only I care for--that I love you more than words can

"Then you'll marry the gal of course," said a voice; and at the same
moment the head of old Mr Jeeks was popped round from the other side of
the tree. I sprang to my feet in a moment; and beside Mr Jeeks, scarcely
able to restrain his laughter, stood my father.

"Matters have certainly gone too far," he said in his usual grave and
sombre tones, "for either party to recede."

"Nobody wants it, I'm sure," replied old Jeeks.

"And I have no wish of the kind," returned my father.

"Then, if the young ones are agreed, I don't see what there is to forbid
the bans," remarked Mr Jeeks.

"The sooner the better," returned the other; while, in a state of
intense wonder, I looked at the speakers.

"What is the meaning of all this?" I asked Lucy Ashton, who had returned
very sedulously to her knitting.

"The truth is this, Henry," said my father; "my friend and relative, Mr
Jeeks, having lost his only son, has determined on making his eldest
daughter Harriet, the young lady before you, the heiress of his house.
By marrying her to you, the object of his ambition--the reunion, namely,
of the divided portions of our ancestral estate--is gained; and as it
appears you have no personal objection to the fair Harriet herself, I
don't see why the addition of the Rayleigh manors should make her

A month settled every thing to the satisfaction of all parties. Mr Jeeks
has settled himself in London; my father resides in Hartley Mead; and
every day my wife and I go over to see the progress of the alterations
and improvements we are making in the old house, which we are restoring
to its original grandeur under the superintendence of Mr Barry.


Unfortunately for the cause of truth, and the welfare of that country,
Ireland has lately become the stock in trade of every political writer:
"monster pamphlets" and "monster paragraphs" succeed each other with
astonishing rapidity--all alike remarkable for the "monstrous"
assertions they contain, and for the "monstrous" ignorance they display
of the subject on which they profess to enlighten us.

English tourists, Scotch agents, and German adventurers, flock like
birds of prey, and swarm over the devoted country. They go there, not
for the purpose of enquiring into the real state of things, or the real
causes of the admitted misery of the people; but in order to write what
will be most productive to themselves--not with the philanthropic or
patriotic motive of endeavouring to elucidate a subject of so much
importance; but with the determination to compile as many pages as they
can, in as short a given period as possible. They draw the most absurd
caricatures; and, pandering to the prevailing public opinion, they
relate only what tends to strengthen it in its errors, and to misdirect
and mislead those who consult them for information, or rely on them as
authorities. Their numerous errors are detected and pointed out by the
newspapers, according as they tell against the political interests of
their respective parties. There is but one topic on which they are all
agreed--that is, in their unanimous and unsparing abuse of the Irish
landlords; and, however much they may be condemned as disentitled to
belief on other subjects, on this their assertions are taken, by all
parties, as authorities "true as holy writ."

It requires no witch to tell us that Ireland is in a condition in which
she ought not to be; but it does require some industry, and an intimate
knowledge of the habits and character of the people, to assign this
state of things to the proper causes. In their love for the marvellous,
most writers on Ireland have overlooked facts; they have not
condescended to enquire into particulars, or to use that unquestionable
information which is actually in existence. We therefore propose to
supply this omission, and to state the case of the landlord and tenant
question as it really is; and, although many acts of oppression and
harshness may have been perpetrated by individuals, we trust we shall be
able to show, from authentic documents, that nothing can be more unjust
than the exaggerated charges brought against the present Irish landlords
as regards the exorbitance of their rents, and nothing more fallacious
than to attribute the misery of the people to the want of tenure, or due
security in the occupation of their lands. The last census, taken by the
police under the direction of government, gives us the actual rental of
Ireland as returned by the occupiers themselves. This information is
therefore derived from a source on which little doubt can be thrown; and
although we may justly suspect (from the desire of the Irish peasant to
make the most of his miseries) that the rent may have been in many
instances exaggerated, we may rest perfectly assured that in no instance
was it underrated. Founded on the results of this enquiry, a very useful
and instructive sheet (entitled _Ireland at a Glance_) has been compiled
and published, in which, amongst other statistical information, the
average rent of land in each county is given, and on the correctness of
which we may safely rely. Had the conduct of the Irish aristocracy, some
forty or fifty years ago, attracted but a small portion of the public
attention that has latterly been bestowed upon it, no doubt great good
would have been effected. _Then_, unquestionably, the landlord could do
almost any thing; _then_, no doubt, he could with impunity set the law
at defiance. The Catholic, degraded as he was, durst not complain; but
the establishment of the petty sessions courts, and the agitation which
preceded emancipation, altered the matter altogether. The Catholic
Association employed active and intelligent attorneys. Those men were
everywhere: the petty sessions courts were regularly attended by them;
for the slightest transgression of the law the magistrate was hauled up;
and the poor man was shown that he had only to bring his case fairly
before the tribunals to obtain justice. While the Association existed,
he was fully protected at its expense: by the time it was dissolved, he
had acquired a thorough knowledge of his own rights; and he had ready
agents in the country attorneys, who were always at hand, and always but
too happy, for their own interest, to undertake any cause in which they
anticipated success. This, so far as the administration of justice was
concerned, the publicity of their proceedings, and the unwillingness of
men to expose themselves to actions for the misconduct of some members
of their body, effectually checked magisterial delinquency: where any
violation of the law did occur, there could be no doubt as to the

Had the conduct of the Irish proprietors (in their character of
landlords) been taken to task at the same period, no question they were
deeply to be condemned. _Then_, and always before, the practice of the
landlord was--to lease large tracts at an easy rent to the most solvent
person he could find, or to set in copartnership, (that is, by creating
a joint tenancy in all the inhabitants of any particular town-land,
making the rich accountable for the debt of the poor.) His only object
was to secure his income; so that was accomplished, he cared little for
the welfare of the inhabitants, or the cultivation of the estate. The
peace came--prices fell,--the middlemen not occupying, were in most
cases unable to pay their rents when they could not enforce them from
those in possession, whom they had ruined by their extortion; the
consequence was, they were too happy to abandon their interests, and
leave the landlord to deal with the paupers they had created. In a few
years after the peace, the middleman system had ceased to exist; the
owner of the soil, coming into immediate contact with the tenantry, saw
the monstrous injustice and the destructive tendencies of the
copartnership plan--and it was discontinued. Yet such is the passion for
legislation, that both systems are now about to be disinterred, to be
taken from the oblivion to which their own iniquities long since
consigned them, and to be set up in the preamble of an act of
Parliament, in order that Mr Sharman Crawfurd may have the opportunity
of again prostrating them by legislative enactments. We are certain
that, for the last ten years, no instance can be shown in which any
landlord set, or any tenant took, land on determinable leases, for the
purpose of subletting; or any single instance in which the landlords
practised, or permitted, the copartnership system on their estates; and
yet the public time is to be wasted, and the public attention to be
occupied, by the introduction of laws to restrain practices which are no
longer in operation. It is true, some of those leases where the
middleman held on very easy terms, and was able to pay the rent himself
during the great depression, are still in existence; but they are daily
dropping out: and it is the treatment of those properties, when they
come upon the owners' hands, that has latterly attracted so much
attention. From 1818, a total revolution in the management of land took
place in Ireland: the proprietors became in most instances the managers
of their own estates; and, as each year advanced, the necessity of
attending strictly to their duties became more manifest to them. From
1830 to 1843, more was done, and is still continuing to be done, in
improving or in endeavouring to improve, the condition of the people,
than was ever done before. The large owners of land employed Scotch
stewards to instruct their tenantry in the most improved system of
husbandry; and their neighbours profited by the example. Green-cropping
increased in a most astonishing degree; agricultural societies were
formed in almost every county; and the country was advancing steadily
and rapidly in the march of prosperity, when the baneful agitation again
started into existence. To disconnect the peasantry from the landlords,
who could not be induced to join in the senseless and mischievous cry
for Repeal, now became the object of the agitators: the most unjust
charges were made against the gentry; and even their exertions to
promote the growth of turnips, or to teach the people the proper mode of
cultivation, were turned into ridicule and treated with contempt, in the
public speeches of some of the Roman Catholic bishops. The floodgates of
abuse were thrown open; the most incredible acts of violence and
atrocity were imputed to them; generalities were dealt in--except in a
few instances, in which it was fondly believed the facts would have
borne out the assertions. But when investigation fully exonerated the
accused from the charges brought against them, still the agitators
persevered: the accusations being general, it was not the duty of any
individual to contradict them. From their frequent reassertion, the
English press accorded them credit; the English newspapers became the
advocates of those they believed to be oppressed; no story was too
ridiculous to obtain insertion; anonymous correspondents heaped obloquy
on the best and most pains-taking landlords; while any attempt at their
vindication was sure to be discountenanced--a tyrannical act of one man
was seized on, and blazoned forth as proof positive of the guilt of all.

The conduct of the Irish landlords was assailed just at the time when it
was commencing to become meritorious; and they were almost literally
deprived (by public opinion) of all control, just at the period when
(for the first time) they were exercising the influence which their
position ought to give them, for the benefit and the advantage of the

From the manner in which the laws regulating the connexion between
landlord and tenant in Ireland are spoken of, and from the frequent
demands made for their alteration and improvement, one would naturally
suppose that they differed essentially from those which regulate the
connexion between the same parties in this country. Yet such is not the
fact: so far as the law goes, it is the same on both sides the Channel.
By law, the Irish landlord can only eject a tenant holding by lease
after he owes a year's rent; and then the tenant has six months for
redemption. He can only put out a tenant-at-will by giving him six
months' notice, (the six months to expire on or before the day on which
the tenancy commenced;) and afterwards by ejecting him, if he refuse to
give up possession. He can only distrain after the rent becomes due.
Those powers the law also gives to the English landlord: so far as
legislative enactments go, the landlords of both countries stand
precisely in the same position. But the English proprietor can do much
which the Irish one durst not attempt: he may prevent the fences on his
estate from being torn down, or the trees and hedge-rows he has planted
from being cut: he may prevent his land from being damaged by bad
husbandry, or a succession of the same crops being taken from it until
it is rendered useless;--all this he may do by enforcing his covenants,
and no one blames him. An Irish landlord may put the most stringent
clauses in his leases; but he cannot use the power which their
enforcement would give him: public opinion, (always in favour of the
delinquent,) and the dread of the assassin, restrain him. The late Mr
Hall let a farm in fine condition: the tenant, contrary to his
engagements, tore up the land, burned it, and set it in con-acre. The
unfortunate gentleman endeavoured to prevent this violation of an
agreement. He went to the ground and threatened to put his covenant in
force; and, for doing so, he was murdered in the open day in the
presence of numbers of people: the assassins were allowed quietly to
walk off; and it was only when one of the hired murderers, tempted by a
large reward, peached on his accomplices in crime, that any of them were
brought to justice.

There is an act of Parliament in force in Ireland for the prevention of
burning land, which imposes heavy penalties; yet it cannot stop this
mischievous practice--and why? Because, by having recourse to it, the
tenant (until he quite exhausts the soil) can raise better crops with
more ease to himself; it is a much less troublesome process than that of
collecting manure from the scourings of his ditches or his moor land, or
burning lime; and it enables him to spend the winter months in idleness
and amusement, when he ought to be providing for his next year's crops.
If an English tenant cannot meet his engagements, he surrenders his land
as a matter of course: if an Irish tenant be turned out, even after
owing many years' rent, he considers himself an ill-used man, (and so do
his neighbours too;) and no man complains so loudly of the extortion of
his landlord as he who pays no rent at all. The Irish landlord has the
advantage of being able to bring his ejectment at the courts of
quarter-sessions, and at less expense than it can be done in this
country, provided the rent be under L50 a-year. But this may be
considered, and with justice, of equal benefit to the tenant: if he
redeem within the six months allowed by law, the costs the landlord can
put upon him will only amount to L2, 10s; whereas, with the superior
courts, it would be at least L14. Yet some of the patriotic Irish
journals have required, as an improvement in the law, that ejectment at
quarter-sessions should be abolished, and that the landlord should, in
every case, be sent to the superior courts for redress. To make such an
alteration in the law would be unjust towards the landlord--as it would
compel him to expend a large sum in regaining possession of his land, in
addition to the loss of his rent, (if he had a pauper to deal with;) and
it would be injurious to the interests of the tenant, as t would give a
tyrannical and oppressive landlord the power of overwhelming the poor
but honest man, who only wanted time to redeem, by the load of law-costs
he would be enabled to put upon him.

Having shown that the law gives the Irish landlord no power incompatible
with justice, or unnecessary for the due maintenance of his rights--in
fact that, in respect of it, he is much more restricted than the
mercantile man--we are at a loss to see how the law can be altered, and
at the same time the rights of property be preserved. It may be said,
the Irish tenant has no claim at the termination of his lease for any
improvements he may have effected; neither has the English tenant, if he
possess a lease. Although, in point of fact, so far as the small Irish
farmer is concerned, this is quite an ideal grievance; for he never
makes any improvement, or if he does, and pays his rent, he is never
disturbed--still an amendment in the law in this respect, may stimulate
to industry, and may be effected with advantage to all parties. Against
the gentlemen farmers, injustice of this kind may sometimes be
perpetrated, and therefore legislation on the subject would be of use;
but the poor man who meets his engagements, is never, unless under
extraordinary circumstances, removed; and where such is the case, he is
almost invariably amply remunerated. Solitary instances of contrary
conduct pursued towards him, may no doubt be adduced; but they are too
few in any way to account for the present state of dissatisfaction so
universally prevalent.

The Irish landlord, then, has no power which he can legally employ for
the oppression of his tenant, which is not possessed by all other
British landlords. If he violate the law, of course the legal tribunals
will afford redress. And are we to be told that that redress would not
be sought for; that the wardens and priests, the leading agitators, or
the people themselves, would not report their sufferings; and that the
power, and influence, and money of the Association, would not be used in
their defence?

The outcry raised by Mr O'Connell and his supporters against the
landlords, on account of the number of persons "turned out, and left to
die by the road-side,"[30] will, we have no doubt, turn out (if
possible) to be more unfounded than even his other assertions. The
present Commission has ample powers to ascertain this fact at least: and
we will venture to assert, that not one instance of starvation will have
been proven before it; and that out of the hundreds of thousands who
were reported to have been mercilessly turned adrift to perish at the
backs of ditches, forty-nine fiftieths will be found well and hearty,
and in the occupation of those lands from which they were said to have
been expelled. That ejectment-processes were served, and decrees
obtained, which, if followed up and enforced, would have put many
persons out of possession, we do not deny; but nine-tenths of those are
compromised by the payment of part of the rent before the day of trial
comes on, and of the decrees obtained, the great majority are never put
in execution. Accurate information on this point can easily be obtained
from the sheriffs and clerks of the peace for the different counties;
those officers have been amongst the first witnesses examined before
Lord Devon. We would only ask the public to suspend its judgment, and
those well-meaning but mistaken individuals, who, though they reject Mr
O'Connell and the priests as authorities on most other subjects, take
their assertions on this as proven facts, to reserve their indignation
and wrath until the result of this testimony can be known.
Ejectment-processes are the most effective and the cheapest means by
which the landlord can enforce the payment of the rent due, and as such
they are generally had recourse to: before they can be acted on, _at
least three months_ must have elapsed after the year's rent (which is
the least sum they can be issued for) has become due.

Perhaps nothing has contributed more to foment, certainly nothing has
assisted more to continue, the agrarian disturbances in Ireland, than
the statements, made so flippantly by journalists and pamphleteers, of
the great excess of rent exacted in Ireland over that paid by the
English tenantry. Those writers have invariably assumed the truth of the
assertions made in this particular; yet nothing can be further from the

There is no statistical account of England recently published, that we
can discover, which would give us any correct idea of the present
average rent of land in this country;[31] but we think, from all the
information we have been able to acquire, by enquiries directed to
competent and well-informed persons, that it cannot be set down at less
than 25s. an acre. From the last Irish census we learn, that Ireland
contains 20,399,608 statute acres, and that the estimated rental is
L12,715,478--yielding a trifle over 12s. as the average rent.[32] When
it is taken into consideration that the English tenant pays
tithes--which, in many localities, amount to more than the entire
average rent produced by Irish ground; that he pays the poor-rates, and
that he is heavily taxed with turnpikes and other local assessments: and
that the Irish tenant pays no tithe, and only half the poor-rates; that
no turnpikes exist, except solitary ones in the neighbourhood of cities
or very large towns; that, in fact, the only tax he pays is the county
cess, varying in different counties from tenpence to one and sixpence
the acre half-yearly; and that this assessment is being considerably
reduced by the new grand-jury enactments, under which the towns and
gentlemen's houses are valued and taxed;--when, we say, all those things
are taken into consideration, and besides, that the land in Ireland is
naturally better and more productive than the English soil, we think we
have satisfactorily disposed of one grave charge against the Irish
landlords; and that we have shown that it cannot be the exorbitance of
the pecuniary burdens under which he groans, that causes the vast
difference between the social condition of the Irish and the English

It will no doubt be said--"Ah, but the English tenant is housed, and his
farm kept in repair, by the landlord, while the Irishman is obliged to
do all this himself!" This is true; but certainly the outlay of the
Irish tenant on his farm, makes but a small addition to his other
engagements. Gates and fences he has, comparatively speaking, none; and,
if they be erected for him, they are soon suffered to go to ruin. He
requires few outhouses; for in the poor and disturbed districts (and it
is those which we are now attending to) he uses his domicile as a
receptacle for his pig and his cow, as a matter of choice; we say as a
matter of choice--for, if he had the inclination, _all_ writers admit he
has abundance of unoccupied time to construct habitations for them. Now,
though it is a just cause of regret that we do not see better homesteads
and better fences in Ireland, still we cannot admit that the tenant's
being obliged to keep such as exist in repair, can be any great hardship
in a pecuniary point of view, as he lays out scarcely any thing on them:
he does not even expend his own labour on their improvement; and his
time, which might be profitably occupied in this way, is wasted in
useless idleness, in swelling the train, or cheering the ferocious
sentiments, of some mercenary agitator.

Having shown, as correctly as it is possible to do, the relative amount
of rents paid in England and in Ireland, let us compare the amount of
rents paid in each of the Irish provinces. For this purpose we shall
take a maritime and an inland county from each.

             Maritime.        L  s. d.                  Inland. L s. d.

  Ulster--Down, average rent, 0 16  0    Tyrone, average rent, 0 14  6
  Munster--Clare,  do.  do.   0 11  0    Tipperary,  do.  do.  0 17  8-1/2
  Leinster--Wexford,    do.   0 14  0    Longford,   do.  do.  0 12  3
  Connaught--Mayo,      do.   0  8  6    Roscommon,       do.  0 13  0

It is well known that the quality of the land in the north of Ireland is
far inferior to that in either of the other provinces: yet we see, in
the maritime counties, that the rich and fertile lands of Clare and
Wexford are let much cheaper than the northern counties; and that Mayo,
inhabited by unquestionably the poorest and most miserable population in
Ireland, is rented at nearly half the amount paid by the independent
yeomanry of Down; while, amongst the inland counties, the splendid
plains of Roscommon, and the productive lands of Longford, yield less
income than the cold and, comparatively speaking, sterile soil of
Tyrone. Now, it is not too much (indeed it is under the mark) to say,
that _two acres_ in any of those counties we have quoted, in Leinster,
Munster, or Connaught, will feed more cattle, and grow more corn, than
_three acres_ in either of the northern ones; and yet the tenantry in
the north, who pay those comparatively high rents, are contented, and
the landlords are considered good.[34] Those statements are founded not
on our own opinions, but on incontrovertible facts; and, after having
read them, we would ask any dispassionate man if the disturbed condition
of the west and south of Ireland can be, with any justice, attributed to
the rents imposed by the landlords. In the north, where the highest
rents are charged, the people are well housed and well clothed, the
ground well tilled, and the rents as well paid as in any part of
England. Here, if a tenant wishes to dispose of his right in even a
tenancy-at-will, he gets some ten or twelve years' purchase for it; and
the answers to Lord Devon's enquiries were, in many instances, that the
interference of the commission was not required. While in the south and
west, from whence the loudest complaints against the landowners proceed;
where the peasant exists in rags, and the gentlemen in a state of
semi-starvation; where the people are idle, and their ground untilled;
where squalid misery offends the eye and merciless murders shock the
feelings; where the terror of the assassin supersedes the power of the
landlord, and protects the tenant against all law; there, in the
counties so overwhelmed with poverty and debased by crime, the lands
are held on terms (the relative value being taken into consideration) by
_the half easier_ than in the prosperous and peaceable province of

Dublin, Limerick, Meath, and Tipperary, do average a trifle more than
the northern counties; but the one is the metropolitan county, and the
quality of the land in the others is so superior to any in England or
Ireland, that even at the small advance of two shillings an acre, they
may justly be considered as more cheaply rented than any other counties.

To understand a people properly, their national character must be
attentively studied; and this can only be done by a long residence and a
close connexion with them. We cannot therefore be much surprised, that
those who undertake to write on a country which they have never seen, or
to prescribe remedies for the defects in the social condition of a
people amongst whom they have never resided, should be led into grievous
mistakes, and that they should be unsafe guides to direct the enquiries
of others. Employment, hard work, large wages, and good living, form the
objects of the Englishman and the Scotchman's ardent desire; while
coarse food, bad lodging, and half clothing, are quite agreeable to the
Irishman, if they be combined with independence--in other words, if by
using them he may avoid labour, and enjoy those amusements to which he
is passionately addicted, and in which he indulges unrestrainedly. We
firmly believe, that if a choice of roast beef and loaf bread,
accompanied by the labour necessary to earn them, were offered to "Pat"
at home, or potatoes and milk, with liberty to frequent the horse-races,
cock-fights, and dances, in his neighbourhood, he would unhesitatingly
accept the latter. This may seem strange to an Englishman; but there is
no accounting for taste. That the potato is coarse food, cannot be
doubted; that it is wholesome, is abundantly proved by the stalwart men
who subsist on it, and by the ruddy health of the chubby, merry urchins
who have, perhaps, never tasted any thing else. Pity it is that the
former should be so negligent of, or so indifferent to, their own
advantage; or that the latter should have been (until lately) suffered
to grow up in that ignorance which almost secures a continuance in the
same courses which proved the bane and misfortune of their fathers. No
peasant in Europe devotes so much of his time to amusement as does the
Irishman. Go to the places of public amusement, or to the fairs and
markets, in the busiest and most hurried seasons, and how many thousands
will you see, who have no earthly business there but to meet their
friends, to laugh and to chat, and (before Father Mathew reformed them)
to drink and to fight!

To suppose, as some influential writers here do, that there is no
alternative between the possession of land and absolute starvation, is
one of those imaginary fictions often conjured up by those who wish to
indulge in what they believe to be powerful, and wish to be pathetic,
appeals to the feelings; but it betrays great ignorance of the subject
on which they propound their opinions. The condition of the rural
labourer, constantly employed by the gentleman or wealthy farmer, is
generally _much_ superior to that of the small landholder. Those men are
bound by agreements which they must fulfill--they work continually; and
although their wages are in some instances nominally very low, and in
all much lower than we could wish, still their allowances--in
house-rent, grazing, and con-acre--enable them not only to live
comfortably, but sometimes to amass considerable sums of money. You
always see good pigs, and very often more than two good cows, at their
doors. It may not be amiss to say, that, in _all_ instances, they get
the feeding of those cows for a rent varying from one guinea per year,
when the nominal wages are low, to three shillings a-year, when tenpence
a-day is given; thus, at the very highest price, getting for three
shillings that accommodation for which Mr Cobden charges his workman
twelve pounds! Yet the great object of those men is to get land and
become farmers, although they almost invariably suffer by the change.
They were before compelled to work to meet their engagements; having
become their own masters, they in very many instances neglect their
business, and devote the time which ought to be employed in the
cultivation of their farms, to the discussion of politics and to the
attendance on popular assemblies.

To say that the Irish are unemployed, not from inclination, but from
necessity, is absurd;[35] this may sometimes be the case in the towns
where the worst class of agricultural labourers reside--men who will not
be employed while others can be had. A stranger meets able-bodied men
walking about; he is told, and he sees, that there are no resident
gentry in the neighbourhood to afford them work; he compassionates their
condition; concocts a paragraph, and imputes the misery he witnesses to
absenteeism. Let them accompany the idler to his home, and inspect his
farm: he will find, out of a holding of from three to four Irish acres,
perhaps an acre on which there was no attempt made at all to raise a
crop, independent of untilled headlands, amounting to at least fifth of
the ground under cultivation in each field. Why does he not employ
himself on this land? If he has a lease, there can be no excuse; but
even supposing him but tenant-at-will, it can in this instance be no
justification. The land unused is not waste land, requiring an
expenditure of labour and money, for which he might afterwards reap no
advantage from the cupidity of his landlord. This is no such land: it is
good, sound, arable land--perhaps the very best he has; and waste,
purely and solely for the want of expending on it the labour necessary
to prepare it for crop. He pays for it--yet he won't work it: he
complains of want of employment, and he walks about with plenty to
engage him beneficially for his own interests at home: he takes
con-acre, for which he pays high, while he could raise his food on his
own farm, if he only took the trouble of collecting manure, or devoting
his time to its improvement.

Adjoining mountains and bogs, where the poorest class of the population
generally reside, and where there is abundance of ground attached
rent-free to each farm, and capable of being rendered profitable at a
very little expense--in fact, without any other outlay than the labour
required to open drains, and level it--we see scarcely any efforts made
at improvement. A Scotchman, or an Englishman, would consider the
possession of the land rent-free for three or five years, according to
the difficulty of the undertaking, as a sufficient recompense for his
trouble; although his time is much more valuable, on account of the
higher rate of wages paid him. But an Irishman will consider a
twenty-one years' lease as too short a tenure, to justify him in
expending the time which he wastes gossiping with his neighbours, or
sunning himself at the backs of the ditches, in the profitable
employment of adding to what ought to be, if he had industry, his
already too small holding. Here is a case in which we conceive
legislation might operate much good. If every man who reclaimed ground
which did not before pay rent, was guaranteed its possession by law for
ten years after the first crop, at a nominal rent of one shilling the
acre, it might be an inducement to the tenant to labour: it could be no
loss to the landlord, as, if still left in a state of nature it would be
useless to him, and after the expiration of the time guaranteed the
tenant as remuneration for his trouble, the benefit would be his
exclusively. In the case of a tenant-at-will, an arrangement could
easily be effected, by which the tenant, if removed from the farm before
the expiration of the stipulated term, might receive a just and
reasonable compensation for the improvements which he had effected, or
an allowance for the loss of the crops which, had he remained, he would
still have been entitled to: and thus, without any government outlay,
encouragement would be given for the reclamation of that part of the
Irish waste lands which would be worth the trouble or expense of

We are gravely told, in well-rounded and high-sounding sentences, that
"in Ireland famine urges men to take land at any price--they must have
it or die;" and that, "when a piece of ground falls out of lease, it
becomes a bone of contention amongst some twenty or thirty miserable
competitors, who outbid each other, to the great delight and profit of
the ruthless and exulting landlord, and to their own utter ruin." If any
one takes time to reflect on what he reads in every day's newspaper, he
must at once perceive that this statement can have no foundation in
fact; if a landlord remove a tenant for non-payment of rent, he finds it
difficult to get another to succeed him, (in the disturbed districts it
is almost impossible to get any man to do so.) Such is the dread of
taking land, from the occupation of which others have been expelled,
even on account of owing the most unreasonable arrears, that farms
frequently remain waste for years, without any person daring to bid for
them. Now if public opinion, and the dread of the punishment which is
sure to follow, operate so powerfully in favour of the really blamable
person, as to keep his land untenanted, how much more influence will
they possess in restraining any man from seeking to obtain the land of
another, if that other be unobjectionable in character, solvent in
circumstances, and still in possession? Such a thing is never heard of.
The landlord, if he were bad enough, might try to induce men to act so;
but he could not effect it. If death pursue the man who undertakes to
rent unoccupied ground, as in most instances it does, how much more
certain would it be to overtake him whose conduct was the means of
driving from his home a solvent and industrious person? If a landlord
distrain for rent, he can find no bidders for the crops or cattle; how
much more difficult will it be for him to obtain bidders for land? We
have frequently heard the bad cultivation of the land in Ireland
attributed to the constant shifting of the tenantry: we are quite
convinced the result of the enquiry now instituted will show how
unfounded this supposition is, and that the shifting or removal of the
tenants, will be found to be a matter of much more rare occurrence in
Ireland than in England. That scarcity and want are periodically
experienced in Ireland, is but too true. Those visitations (which, thank
God, are not frequent) arise from the failure of the potato crops, and
generally occur in those districts most densely populated, and
consequently worst tilled; in fact, they are greatly to be attributed to
the neglect of the people themselves; who will not take the trouble of
using those precautions against rot, which ought always to be adopted on
a moist soil or in a mountainous country: but to talk of persons dying
in Ireland of starvation is absurd, and bespeaks an utter ignorance of
the national character. There are poor-houses; and besides, in Ireland,
the hungry man may enter without hesitation, and share without apology
in the meal of his more wealthy neighbour; and lodging, humble though it
be, is never denied to the houseless or the destitute. Those who accuse
Irishmen, of any class or party, of hard-heartedness or inhumanity, had
better look at home. In _their_ country we never hear of verdicts of
"death from starvation" being returned by coroners' juries; or of the
weak and the unfortunate being compelled to seek for shelter in the
hollows of decayed trees, or to sleep like brute beasts in the open
parks, exposed to the cold and the inclemency of winter. The gentry may
neglect their duties in other respects: as regards the performance of
charitable acts, they are faultless; the middleman may be exacting--but
he is hospitable; and the men who make those groundless charges, would
be not a little astonished did they see the multitudes that are still
fed (poor-laws notwithstanding) at the BIG House of the Irish gentleman.
We have said that failures of the crops, and scarcity, occur much more
frequently in the densely populated parts of the country than in any
others, and that those failures arise in a great measure from the
neglect of the people themselves. Parts of Mayo, Galway, and Donegal,
are the localities most subject to those visitations. In those counties
the most miserable class of the peasantry exist; and nothing, we think,
can prove more conclusively, that their misfortunes and their
wretchedness cannot with justice be attributed to the misconduct of
their landlords, but rather to their own, _than the undisputed fact,
that in those districts in which the people are worst off, the land is
set at the lowest rent; and that where the greatest quantity of waste
land is unreclaimed, and where that which is under cultivation is worst
managed and least attended to, there, invariably, is to be found the
greatest amount of unemployed labourers_. It may be said they know no
better mode of cultivation than what they practise. They do; those are
the very men who go, and have from their youth been in the habit of
going, to England and Scotland, where they see the benefits arising from
a good system of agriculture. They fully appreciate, but won't practise
it. The truth is--and this is one of the great sources of Irish
misery--that by the constant agitation of which (under one shape or
another) he is almost always the victim, the Irish peasant is induced to
consider himself as the worst treated of God's creatures; by it he is
kept in a continual state of dependence on anticipated events, which
leads him to expect the amelioration of his condition by means of
political convulsions, rather than by patient and persevering industry.

We need scarcely say how much the sympathy expressed for his situation,
and the abuse heaped on his landlord, tend to confirm the Irish peasant
in his bad habits. Articles from the English press, and not extracts
from the gospel, form the texts of the sermons which are delivered for
his instruction: the object of the preacher is not to remove his
prejudices, or to eradicate his faults; but to excite his animosities,
and to extract his shillings: when peace and mercy are inculcated, it is
not because they are commanded, but because they may be expedient.

In those parts in which there are no resident gentry to employ them, to
set them an example, and to enforce a respect for the laws, the
peasantry indulge in idleness, and engage in politics. They work at home
only when it suits their convenience or inclination, and from others
they can only procure work (at prices for which they will work) in the
harvest and spring. In summer, after they have planted their crops, and
made their turf, and set the milk of their cow, (if they have one,) they
shut up their houses, send their wives and their families to beg, and
betake themselves to England or Scotland to reap the harvest. There,
until of late years, they earned the almost incredible sums of L16,
sometimes of L20--latterly, competition and other causes have reduced
the amount to, on the average, between L4 and L5. Out of this, on their
return, they pay the rent of the con-acre which they have taken, while a
third of their own holding is waste. With the balance and their oats
they pay the landlord, in those cases in which he is so fortunate as to
get any rent; and having secured an abundance of potatoes, they sit down
to enjoy themselves for the winter. During the night they play cards for
geese, turkeys, and herrings; attend dances, where they are enrolled and
sworn into secret societies; and devote some hours to the wrecking of
the houses, or the castigation of the persons, of those who are
obnoxious to them. In the daytime, you find them at the places of public
resort or amusement, or lazily and listlessly strolling about those
miserable abodes--in whose floors you frequently find stepping-stones to
carry you from the entrance to the space occupied by the fire, and
before whose doors are those stagnant pools and heaps of filth, so
disgusting to every traveller. Could they not remove those? Is it the
landlord's fault that they don't? Does he wish their houses to be in
such a condition, or encourage them to keep their own persons and those
of their children in such a state of dirt and nastiness? Not at all. He
does his best to prevail on them to adopt a different system; but his
interference in their domestic matters is always looked on as an
unjustifiable intrusion; in short, as a sort of minor grievance, and a
petty act of oppression. Perhaps it is to be attributed to their
poverty? Water, at least, is cheap and abundant in Ireland.

Such is a true and accurate account of the "tenor of those men's lives"
and habits; and it is a continuance of this state of things that those
who attack the Irish landlords so indiscriminately are, in reality,

Now, let us suppose that a tract of two thousand acres, set perhaps by
the grandfather of the preset owner, and inhabited by a class of
tenantry such as we have described, comes on a landlord's hands. It has
been let and relet--tied up in settlements--and, until the termination
of the lease, there may have been three or four intermediate landlords
between the occupant and the proprietor. The present possessor comes to
deal with an estate, ruined and almost worthless from mismanagement,
over which he could exercise no control, and peopled by a pauper and
surplus tenantry, for whose creation he is in noways accountable. This
is exactly the condition of those estates, and the position of those
landlords, whose treatment and whose acts have been latterly so much
commented on. And we will now ask those who blame others so much,
candidly to tell us what they would advise to be done--what, if placed
in such a situation, they would do themselves. They will, no doubt, at
once say, "Remove some, give them the means of going to the colonies,
and make the rest comfortable." Why, that is exactly what the landlords
have been endeavouring to do, and for which they have been denounced.
This is just what Lord Lorton, Colonel Windham, and others, did; and for
doing which they were designated "miscreants." If the tenantry were
removed, even to better their own condition, the dues of the priest, and
the physical force at the command of the agitator, would be
lessened--and this would never answer. "Well, then, if this mode of
management be not popular, leave all on the land, build them comfortable
houses, and insist on a proper mode of cultivation. In Belgium and
France men live on smaller portions of land in comfort, why should they
not in Ireland? Lay out money in affording them employment, pay them for
draining and sewering--the benefit will be ultimately yours." The answer
is obvious. It would require more money than the property is worth to
build good houses for all; and, if built, they would soon go to ruin
from the habits of the people. If they possessed the land in fee, the
occupants, from their numbers, could not exist upon it. The landlord
cannot make them emulate the Belgian or the Frenchman in industry. The
produce of the orchards he may plant will be stolen, and the trees
broken and destroyed, to obtain the fruit. They will not exert
themselves to raise many things which are sources of profit to the poor
man in this and other countries; or if they did, they would have no
market--they would obtain no price for them. And why? Because their own
misconduct prevents the establishment of any manufactures, or the outlay
of any money amongst them. Who will carry his machinery to a country
where--though he may be a good master and a kind friend, though he may
give occupation to hundreds and diffuse wealth among thousands--his
spindles may be stopped at the beck of a priest, and his machinery left
to rust at the dictate of Mr O'Connell. Independent men do not wish to
lose all self-control--to sacrifice all right of private judgment; and
he who dares to assert his own opinions, or to defy the behests of the
"Liberator," has no business to betake himself to Ireland. As to giving
employment in sewering and draining--which would benefit the estate--it
is not every man who can afford to set his land at a cheap rate, and
afterwards to expend his income for the immediate benefit of the
occupier. But even this has been attempted. Lord Lansdowne tried to
accomplish it on his Irish estate; but the steward he sent to
superintend the work was noticed to quit, and driven out of the country,
by the very persons for whose benefit those improvements were
planned--by the very men who were to be paid for their execution. Under
such circumstances as we have stated, in many instances the fear of
death compels the landlord to abandon all idea of improvement. He must
submit to sacrifice his rent, because those in possession can't or won't
pay him; and, if he removes them, he can find no one to succeed them:
and, in addition to his other consolations, he has the pleasure of
seeing himself described as a monster more ruthless than any Russian
despot; while some hut, the erection of which he _dared not have
prevented_, is described, perhaps sketched and stuck in a book, as an
incontrovertible proof of the miserable condition to which his rapacity
and neglect have reduced his unhappy dependents.

No direct legislation can affect the social condition of Ireland; before
you can hope to benefit the country, _you must establish tranquillity,
and inspire the peasantry with a due respect for the law, and a just
estimate of the rights of private property_. The question is--by what
means are those things to be accomplished? You may give land at a lower
price than it now brings, but you will not thereby cause any perceptible
change in the habits of the people. They may be wealthier, but they will
not be cleanlier. Their rents may be better paid, but the peasant will
still live on the potato. The filthy cabin will exist, and the cow and
the pig will feed at the same board, and occupy the same apartment as
the owner, until you elevate the moral and social feelings of the man,
and teach him to require as a necessary what he now looks on as a
superfluous luxury.

Much of the poverty of the Irish peasantry has been attributed to the
con-acre system. But if this system were not found, by the persons who
practise it, to be more beneficial, and less laborious, than raising
crops from their own land, it would not be persevered in. In those
counties in which con-acres are scarce, the cry is, that the people are
starved, because they can't have them. Where they are abundant, they are
impoverished by the prices they pay for them. The Terryalt system, in
the south, originated in the gentlemen farmers refusing to break up
their land, and in the people assembling in mobs, digging the ground,
thereby rendering it unfit for pasture, and compelling the owners to let
it for potatoes. It may be said, how could they avoid doing this? They
had no land to raise potatoes on, and they must have them or die. This
is not the case. The only persons who could be so circumstanced are the
day-labourers; and to them it must, personally, be a matter of
indifference what land was, or was not broken: for, by their agreements,
those gentlemen and farmers who employ them, are bound to provide them
with potato land; consequently they would not risk their lives to
procure what was already guaranteed them. Those agrarian disturbances
originated with small farmers, whose own farms were not half cultivated;
or tradesmen, who would not have been so anxious to procure con-acres,
if they did not find them in general a much cheaper mode of procuring
their staple commodity than by having recourse to the markets. The first
use a servant boy or girl makes of their earnings, is to plant
con-acres, not for subsistence, but for sale. Half an acre of potatoes
is generally the foundation of the fortune. The rent paid for potato
ground has been enormously magnified. Mr Wiggins sets it down at L12 per
acre. It may let for this price (the _plantation acre_) in the immediate
vicinity of Dublin, Belfast, or some other large cities; where, from the
contiguity of the market, the produce of a good acre will be worth from
L40 to L60, according to the rate of prices. But, in the rural
districts, such a price is never heard of; and it is only by the prices
in those districts that the condition of the people can be affected.
From L5 to L7 and L8 will be found the usual prices; and we should be
glad to know what English farmer would give upwards of _one acre three
roods_ of his best land, well tilled and highly manured, at such a
price, the renter only holding it for one crop, and paying no taxes
whatever. The average produce per acre of good con-acre will be, at
least, twenty tons of eating or marketable potatoes, independent of a
large quantity fit for seed, and for the feeding of pigs; the value of
those latter will greatly over-pay the expense of seed, planting, and
digging. And taking the price at 1s. per 112 lbs., the renter will have
L20 worth of potatoes for L8; a clear profit of L12 on the acre. It, of
course, occasionally does occur, that from failure of the seed, rot, or
other casualties, the crop may not be worth the rent; in this case an
abatement, sufficient to satisfy him, is made to the holder, or it is
left on the landlord's hands. Potatoes being a perishable crop, and a
species of food which cannot be preserved beyond a season, their price
fluctuates more than that of any other kind of provisions. Last year the
price in this "country of famine" was 4d. for 112 lbs.; in general the
prices vary from 1s. (seldom less) to 2s., and sometimes 3s., the 112

In Ireland, good con-acres are looked on by the peasantry as a certain
source of wealth; here they are considered as a main cause of their
poverty. Who are the best judges--the people who use, or those who read
about them? But whatever may be the merit or demerit of the con-acre
system, (and we are none of its advocates,) it is unjust to charge its
practice on the landlords. They have nothing whatever to do with it; it
is a mode of dealing between one class of tenantry and another. The
assertion in the "Cry from Ireland," that the peasant _gives his manure,
and pays 18s. an acre besides_, is too ridiculous to require

But suppose the rents in Ireland were exorbitant, who would be to
blame?--the landlords who accepted them, or the people who _swore_ to
their extraordinary moderation? Let us look to the registry

     "There the landlords were found opposing the admission of their
     tenantry to the register, and stating on oath that they considered
     the rents received by them as the full value of the land--_while
     the tenants, and their neighbours, and the liberal 'valuators,'
     were proving 'that it was let by those rack-renting and heartless
     men' grossly under its value_. And indeed, when the small extent of
     the farms whose occupiers claimed the right to vote is taken into
     consideration, this must appear true; for it sometimes required _to
     prove the land worth thirty shillings the acre more than the rent
     paid, to bring the annual profit up to the requisite ten pounds_.

     "That the rents were not considered as too high, we have not only
     the testimony of the freeholders themselves, but of other
     _'competent persons,' employed by the registry association, who,
     before the claimant was placed on the register, were obliged
     solemnly to swear, in public court, 'that the land was in most
     instances worth, and that a solvent tenant could afford to pay for
     it_, DOUBLE THE RENT _imposed on the occupier by the landlord.'_ We
     say, in almost every instance, _double the rent_; for when it is
     considered that many have registered from seven to eight acres, it
     would be necessary to do so in order to bring the value up to the
     required L10; and yet those men who have so sworn, and those
     leaders who have encouraged and induced them so to swear, and who
     have procured and paid others to corroborate their testimony on
     oath, are the persons who so lustily proclaim the extortion of the
     landlords! _If what they have sworn, and what their priests have
     encouraged them to swear, be true, their landlords must be
     indulgent and merciful indeed._ If the contrary, not only have they
     been guilty of perjury for their own injury; but those who assisted
     and abetted them must have been aware that they were encouraging
     them to commit a grievous sin."

_At that time_ it was Mr O'Connell's object to attain political power,
by proving the lands were set at a _cheap_ rate; _now_ it is his object
to obtain popularity, by declaring that they are set at a rate far too
dear. Which of his assertions are we to believe?

It may be said that only a few, comparatively speaking, of the
landholders registered their votes; and that, from the value of the
holdings of a few, it would be unfair to draw a conclusion as to the
terms on which the land was held by the bulk of the people. This
objection could only be urged by a person unacquainted with Ireland; for
any man who attended the quarter-sessions there, must know that, if all
the persons for whom the priests and liberal clubs served notice, and
whose qualifications they were prepared to support, had come forward to
claim and establish their rights to the franchise, the number on the
register would have been quite as great as (if it did not exceed) that
of the old forty-shilling freeholders. If the claims of those who did
apply, and who, although rejected, were most vigorously sustained by the
agitators, had been substantiated, the constituency would have been
quite as numerous as the most ardent patriot could desire.

From whatever causes the wretched condition of Ireland may arise, want
of tenure cannot be included amongst them; for if length of tenure
secured prosperity, Ireland should have been prosperous indeed. In no
country were such long leases heretofore given: from three lives and
thirty-one years to three lives and sixty-one years, were the terms
usually granted; and at this moment there are many leases still in
existence, in all parts of the country, made towards the close of the
last century, and held directly from the owners. And although the lands
held under these are at a rent very much below even the present
depressed value, and of course greatly under what they would have
fetched in the time of the war, still we do not find their possessors
generally comfortable or independent; but, on the contrary, they are in
most instances in a worse condition than those tenants whose rent has
varied with the times, and been influenced by the rise or fall in the
value of agricultural produce. Seeing, then, that men placed in the most
favourable circumstances, both as regards the moderation of their rents
and the length of their tenures, are generally more wretched in the
appearance of their dwellings, and more neglectful of the cultivation of
their farms, than those at the mercy of landlords, represented to be the
most tyrannical on earth--we must seek the cause of the degraded state
of the people elsewhere than at the door of the owners of the soil.
Until within the last few years, (and those are the years in which the
landlords have most exerted themselves, and in which the tenantry, who
would be influenced by them, have most improved,) leases of _at least_
twenty-one years, and one life, were always given, which not
unfrequently prolonged the tenure to sixty or seventy years. And nothing
can be more erroneous than to suppose that the refusal to grant leases,
latterly practised by some Irish landlords, has been the cause of any
hardship or suffering to the people. The contrary is the fact; and no
men know this better than those who so loudly exclaim against the
practice. It is a great mistake to imagine that leases are in no
instance granted: the truth is, that they are still very generally
given; and that in a great majority of those instances where they are
withheld, they are so withheld, not with the intention of taking
advantage of the tenant's improvements, or depriving him of his
political rights, (as the English people are led to believe,) but for
the purpose of compelling him to improve and to live comfortably, in
spite of his own predilections. On the best managed estates in Ireland,
and those where green-cropping has been most generally brought into
operation, there are no leases; yet on those properties the tenantry are
invariably the most independent and contented. On the estates of the
Earl of Gosford, and other proprietors in the north, under the able
superintendence of Mr Blacker, (whose conduct is the theme of universal
approbation,) no leases are given until the tenant shows, by his
industry and his exertions, that he deserves one; and then, after he has
for some years cultivated his farm in a proper manner, and is taught to
estimate the value of an improved system, he gets his lease as the
reward of his industry, without the slightest advance in his rent. From
the bad feelings implanted in the minds of the peasantry, they generally
prefer living in comparative misery, and allowing their land to remain
in a state of nature, whether they have leases or not, rather than make
any improvements which might tend to the landlords' ultimate advantage,
even though these improvements would produce immediate benefit to
themselves; and this bad feeling is actually supported by the
undisguised enmity, which unfortunately, of late years, subsists
between the gentry and the priests. We are far from saying that acts of
oppression and injustice may not sometimes be perpetrated by landlords
and agents. Amongst so numerous a body, there must be bad men: and if an
instance, lately mentioned by Mr O'Connell, be true--namely, that of an
agent who set a farm occupied by an industrious and well-behaved
tenantry, who owed no rent, to an extensive grazier, at a rent of four
pounds a year _less_ than the resident tenants offered to secure--we
must at once admit that nothing could be more heartless or cruel. But
then we are bound in justice to state, that the agent so accused was the
bosom friend of the great agitator himself, and a leading member of the
Repeal Association, which has constituted itself the protector, _par
excellence_, of the Irish people. May we not fairly suppose that, when
Mr O'Connell denounces his friends, he would not hesitate to drag his
political opponents to the bar of public opinion; and that the paucity
of _facts_ which he is able to adduce against the landed gentry, is a
proof that they have not neglected the duties of their station, in so
flagrant a manner as his wholesale denunciations would lead us to

How can we be surprised at Irish absenteeism? Can we expect that any man
who can avoid it, will willingly expose the lives of himself and his
family, by taking up his residence amongst the "Thugs" of Tipperary? If
an absentee comes to reside personally to superintend the improvement of
his property, and takes part of his own estate to make a demesne and
build a mansion, he must dispossess someone--_and, like Lord Norbury, he
is shot_. Should he escape his fate, his motives are misrepresented, and
his anxious endeavours to give occupation and employment to the people,
are converted into the worst crimes; because they can only be carried
into effect by changing the condition of men from pauper and idle
tenants to that of regularly worked and well paid labourers. And what
object can he have, in risking death in the cause of those who suffer
themselves to be so misdirected and misled? Local influence he can have
none--that will be monopolized by the priest; political importance he
cannot expect, in a country where the representation is placed
exclusively in the hands of the Roman Catholic bishops.[37]

Mr Waller resided, and employed the labourers in his neighbourhood; but
he took a part of his own land into his own hands--he ejected tenants
who were unable or unwilling to pay their rents, and he gave them
compensation, and to such as remained employment. What of that? He dared
to occupy his own property, and for this he suffered years of
persecution. His own expenditure, and his wife's charities, were no
protection; and at length, while enjoying the comforts of his home, he
and the amiable and unoffending females of his family, were cruelly
butchered on his own hearth: and though, in the conflict, their
assailants must have been wounded and marked, they have not as yet been
discovered. May we not ask why is this? How comes it that, in a
Christian country, murder is tolerated, nay openly approved? that the
assassin is protected and concealed, instead of being delivered up, and
made amenable to the offended laws of his country?[38] Can the ministers
of that religion professed by the vast majority of the people, have
faithfully discharged their sacred obligations, if men be found,
professing the religion of Christ and understanding its precepts,
willing to enrol themselves as the hired bravoes of a "Black Sheep
Society," and to butcher their neighbours for a petty reward? The Roman
Catholic religion condemns murder as strongly as the Protestant
religion; yet how happens it, that a whole community professing that
faith winks at the crimes of the guilty? This total demoralization we
look on as the worst feature of the case. There are, and always must be,
bad men in every society; but how the great mass of the people could be
brought to tolerate the commission of crimes amongst them, which cry
aloud to Heaven for vengeance, is more than we can comprehend. Had the
priests devoted that time which they spent in exciting the passions and
misleading the judgment of their flocks, in the inculcation of the
divine precept of brotherly love--had they exercised that influence
which they undoubtedly possess in calming the passions and enlightening
the minds of their people--the condition of their country would now be
widely different from what it is; and surely their bishops might have
been better employed in remedying the neglect of their subordinates,
than in attending political meetings, and delivering postprandial
orations, savouring more of the braggart boastings of a drunken drumboy,
than of the deliberate opinions of a dignified ecclesiastic. In their
zeal as politicians, the Roman Catholic clergy have forgotten their
duties as priests; and they are now beginning to get a foretaste of the
consequences: they became mob leaders at elections and popular
meetings--they rode the whirlwind, "can they direct the storm?" The
ruffian tasting blood in beating the electors, soon undertook business
on his own account. The step from savage assault to actual murder, is
but ideal. The man who encouraged, or connived at, the lesser crime,
could scarcely expect to prevent the perpetration of the greater and the
"boy" who commenced by applying "gentle force" to a reluctant voter,
became in the fulness of his crimes the avowed assassin. The priest used
him as "the bully"--he may repudiate, but he dare not denounce, him as
"the murderer."

In the late debate, two publications on the state of Ireland were
recommended to special attention; the one, "A Cry from Ireland," by Lord
John Russell--the other, Mr Wiggins's book, by the Marquis of Normanby.
The first we should scarcely have noticed, (the noble lord mentioned it
with so much diffidence,) but for the impression it seems subsequently
to have made on the mind of Sir R. Peel; but when we found a noble
ex-lord-lieutenant recommending, as trustworthy and instructive, a book
written on a subject which engrosses much of the public attention, we
felt it our duty at once to apply to his "fountain of knowledge."

We cannot say that we have "read with attention" the whole of this
whimsical production: few there are, we believe, who could command
patience enough to wade through such a mass of contradictory absurdity;
but we have selected such parts as we could find at all bearing on the
subject Mr Wiggins professes to write upon; and we shall transcribe some
few passages, if not for the benefit, at least for the amusement, of our
readers; merely premising, that this gentleman gives us no data on which
to found our opinions, and no guarantee for the truth of his statements
but his own assertion. First, as regards the amount of rent charged in
the north and south, Mr Wiggins says--

     "In accordance with this view of the case, we find, in practice,
     that the rents are far higher in proportion to the produce of the
     land in those parts of Ireland where Romanism prevails, than in
     other parts, where Protestantism is professed by a considerable
     portion of the population."

We refer to our previous statements, founded on unquestionable
authority, to show how perfectly erroneous this "view of the case" is.
The direct contrary is the fact; land is set for at least one third more
in the Protestant and peaceable north, than in the Roman Catholic and
turbulent south. As a specimen of our author's style when he becomes
jocose, and of his veracity when he describes the conduct of Irish
landlords, we give a graphic sketch, representing the mode of letting
land in the sister country--

     "Fancy a 'lord of the soil' (a petty one 'tis true) walking with a
     bevy of bidders _humbly_ following him, after obtaining a bid of
     money far beyond the value from one, exciting the others to outbid
     in duty rent, thus:--'Well, Mich, you hear what Pat bids; now, what
     will _you_ advance?'--'Why, yer honer, God knows it's more than
     the value, but I'll give yer honer three days
     turf-drawing.'--'Three days is it, my lad, when you know well
     enough that my turf-stack takes a month's fine weather to get
     in?'--'Och! then,' says Denis, 'but I'll not grudge your honer a
     week.'--'By the powers now,' says Larry, 'I'd give yer honer two
     weeks, if the place and the rint would kape a horse, or a mule, or
     a donkey, in the way of drawing; but I'll bring yer honer a fat pig
     any how, and pay the rint of four pounds an acre as punctually as
     _any other_ man.'--'Larry, the land is yours, my boy, and a mighty
     chape bargain too! Ted Sullivan promised me five pounds an acre
     plantation; but I was rather doubtful of his manes--I'll only ask
     ye to cut and save me a few slane, according to times, as you
     cannot draw it.'"

L4 the acre!!! this certainly beats any thing we ever heard of before;
and until now we thought it a service of danger for any man to bid for
another's holding, or even to take an unoccupied one; but Mr Wiggins has
made many discoveries which are new to us, and not the least
extraordinary is, that "_Lycurgus gave laws to the Athenians._"!!!

One of the great panaceas of Lord Normanby's _protégé_ is, that the land
should be "set at full rents, on _sensible leases_"--which he proceeds
to describe as leases for not less than twenty-one years. We have heard
of many _longer_ leases than those of twenty-one years, we never heard
of any _shorter_ being granted; and as the usual course is also to add a
life--which may, and not unfrequently does, prolong the tenure to sixty
or seventy years--we think that, if "sensible" leases had any effect,
Ireland would have been long since contented.

Lord Normanby is reported to have stated as facts, on the authority of
Mr Wiggins, "that in Ireland, where the saleable produce of a farm was
L150, the share of the landlord in rent was L100; while on the other
hand, in England, if the produce was L300, the share of the landlord was
still L100." Mr Wiggins, in his "_able work_," also shows, that in the
shape of county cess the charge was nearly double in Ireland what it was
in England. It is difficult to form any accurate idea of the relative
amount of the county cess paid in Ireland, and of the local taxes in
England, as in both countries they vary in each different locality. In
Ireland, the exact amount of county cess levied in each barony, can be
easily ascertained by reference to the respective county books; but in
England, as the local taxation is in a great measure put on by vestry,
it would be an arduous task to strike an average.

In Ireland, the county cess varies in every barony, according to the
amount of public works executed in each, or according to the state of
crime in each district. In _peaceable_ counties, and those which do not
border on the Shannon, the county cess will vary from tenpence to one
shilling an acre, half-yearly; while in disturbed districts, and in
those counties adjoining the Shannon, it will amount to much more. In
the first, because of the large sums obliged to be levied off them, as
compensation to those whose cattle were maliciously houghed, or whose
houses were burned; and in the latter, because of the great boon (the
grant to improve the river) bestowed on Ireland by that government of
which Lord Normanby was a prominent member. In the former case, those
who pay highly have only themselves to blame; if they were well
conducted, and discouraged the commission of crime, as all well-disposed
men ought to do, they would not have to bear those additional burdens.
In the latter, the grand-juries have no control; they must assess to
repay the principal of the money advanced to them, and discharge the
interest. Here we may be permitted to remark, that we believe, since
publicity was given to their adjudications on fiscal matters, there is
quite as little jobbing in Ireland as in this country. As a proof of the
disposition of the gentry to reduce the expenditure to the lowest
possible amount, we will state, what every gentleman serving on
grand-juries in Ireland must be cognisant of--namely, _that not more
than one-third of the presentments approved of by the rate-payers, are
ever passed by the grand-juries_; and yet road sessions, at which the
principal rate-payers have power to vote, were instituted to check the
extravagance of the proprietors.

The difficulty in ascertaining the proportion of the produce of the soil
taken as rent by the landlords in either country, exists principally as
regards the large holdings; because in England a great proportion of the
farms are under tillage, while in Ireland, if not the whole, by far the
greater part of all the extensive farms are under grass; and the profits
of the grazier vary so much, that it is hard to form any correct
estimate of the proportion of the produce taken by the landlord as rent,
and that left to the tenant as interest for the money employed in the
purchase of stock. But in the smaller class of holdings, we can have no
difficulty in coming pretty near the truth; and as it is the grievances
of the class of men by whom those small farms are held which require
examination, the amount taken from them as rent, and left to then as
remuneration for their labours, is what is most requisite to be
ascertained. Let us, then, take a farm of twelve Irish acres, at 30s. an

According to the Irish mode of cultivating, it will be cropped and
stocked as follows:--
                           Acres. R. P.                             produce
  Landlord's rent, L18  0  0     1  2  0  Potatoes, at L18 per acre,  L27  0  0
  County cess,       1  4  0     3  0  0  Oats, at L7 per do.          21  0  0
  Poor-rates,        0  7  0     1  2  0  Meadow, at L4 per do.         6  0  0
                   ---------     6  0  0  Under pasture, feeds four cows
  Rent and taxes,  L19  11  O              which produce 8 firkins of
                                           butter, at L2, 10s. each,   20  0  0
                                          Profit on calves,             6  0  0
                                          Probable profit on pigs,     10  0  0
                                                                      L90  0  0
                             Amount of rent and taxes paid by tenant,  19 11  0
                             Surplus left to tenant as remuneration
                               for labor                              L70  9  0

This is but a rough calculation, and an underrated one as regards the
profits of the tenant; but it serves our purpose sufficiently, and shows
that, instead of taking two-thirds of the produce, the landlord takes
not one-fourth--much less than the amount assumed to be taken in
England. But when we consider the additional imposts which the English
farmer has to pay in tithes, poor-rates, turnpikes, &c., we must at once
perceive how very much less the Irish tenant is charged in comparison to
what he is subject to. But if the farm, stocked and cropped as we have
above described it, (and it is the usual mode,) were cultivated as it
ought to be--if, instead of having one-half under natural pasture, it
were tilled after the Scotch or English system, and one-half or
two-thirds of what is now comparatively unproductive pasture, were under
green crops--we need not say how much the saleable produce would be
increased; and consequently, how much the tenant's profits would be
augmented. Yet surely that it is not so cultivated, is not the
landlord's fault. If he has given a lease, he has no control further
than to exact his rent; if he supply instruction, it may not be
received; if he set a good example, it may not be followed. If the
tenant will not consult his own interests, the landlord is not to be
held as responsible for the consequences of his neglect. The fair way to
calculate in this particular would be, not to take the saleable produce
_at what it is_, raised under a deficient system and negligent
cultivation; but _at what it might be_, if the tenant had but industry,
and would but do his duty.

In an article on the Irish fisheries, in the _Quarterly Review_ for
September last, (page 475,) we find it stated, that "the agricultural
produce of Ireland was, in 1832, estimated at L36,000,000 per annum,
issuing out of 14,603,473 acres of land--_a return nearly one-half less
than that rendered by an equal number of English acres; and this with
five labourers employed in Ireland, where two only are required in
England_." The rental of Ireland is ascertained to be above
L12,000,000; and thus we see that in fact the Irish landlord only
receives the one-third of the saleable produce, raised by his slothful
and negligent tenant, as rent. Let the produce be made equal to that of
England, (and with common industry this might be made to exceed it,) and
the share of the produce extracted as rent would only be about
one-sixth. Yet Lord Normanby "burkes" this correct information, and
clutches on the vague and unfounded assertions of Mr Wiggins, merely for
the purpose of damaging the character of a body of men, who had already
been sufficiently injured by the consequences of his misgovernment.

We shall briefly advert to a few more of the items in the catalogue of
Irish tenants' grievances.

     "In England, the markets are near, and the cost of conveyance
     thereto seldom exceeds five per cent on value. In Ireland, the cost
     of preparing for and marketing, is ten and fifteen to twenty per
     cent on the value of the produce, and often more."

In Ireland the saleable produce consists almost generally of oats,
butter, potatoes, and pigs; for which there is a ready market in every
village and town. As those markets are very seldom more than four or
five miles apart; and as, moreover, horse-hire and human labour are at
least fifty per cent cheaper in Ireland than in England--we are at a
loss to discover how "the cost of preparing, and taking to market," can
be fifteen per cent _more in the cheaper than in the dearer_ country.

Mr Wiggins makes _one_ statement founded on truth, and we willingly give
Lord Normanby the benefit of it. "In England, labour is effectual, and
men skilful: in Ireland, three men are required for one in England." And
we would respectfully ask his lordship who is to be blamed for this. Is
it the landowner?--who, though he nominally pay _less_, in reality pays
_more wages_ than the Englishman for the cultivation of a given quantity
of ground, and who would, if he could, for his own sake remedy the evil.
Or does the blame lie at the door of Lord Normanby's own _protégés_, the
priests and agitators?--those men who held the reins of power, and the
keys of prisons, during his administration; and who, by their pestilent
conduct, have raised the minds of the peasantry from their natural
occupation, and taught them to hope for affluence and independence from
other sources than industry and employment. Those labourers, when
working on task in England or Scotland, are found to be quite equal to
English or Scotch labourers: why are they not so when at home? Lord
Normanby's "unquestionable authority" is so very contradictory in his
assertions, that, had he not received the sanction of his lordship's
approbation, his own conflicting statements must have effectually
destroyed his credibility, but for the encomiums passed on it. In one
passage he condemns the landlords for the exorbitance of their rents;
while in the next he makes it a matter of pride and gratification that
he has _himself_, during his management, _raised_ the rental of the
property under his control _at least one-third_--while the adjoining
estate is much more favourably circumstanced, and much more cheaply let,
though by no means so prosperous.

When a nobleman, so long and so intimately connected with the country
whose interests are under discussion, as Lord Normanby was with Ireland,
and who, from the position which he occupied and the opportunities which
he possessed, ought to be particularly well informed on the question at
issue, solemnly assures us, from his place in Parliament, and in a
debate which he himself has originated, that the landlord and tenant
question is one on which the most profound ignorance exists in this
country, and that there never was a government which had so little local
knowledge as the present, and which, consequently, was so ill fitted to
legislate on the subject--when he laments other men's ignorance, and
glorifies himself on his own particular knowledge--when, we say, a
nobleman so circumstanced as the Marquis of Normanby, does all this, and
at the same time recommends a guide, by whom the ignorant may be
enlightened and the blind led, we are bound to believe that he has
accurately ascertained the trustworthiness of the person under whose
guidance he now would place us; and that he has maturely considered, and
carefully proved, the correctness of those statements on which he would
found legislation, by the test of his own experience. We are bound to
believe (and we do) that the noble lord is firmly convinced of the
accuracy of Mr Wiggins's views and principles, because they are exactly
similar to those on which, during his government, he always acted.
During his rule, the cause of the mob was every thing, and the cause of
the gentry was nothing. Can we, then, be surprised at the state in which
we find Ireland, and the difficulty experienced in hitting off the
measures requisite for the emergency--when we see "the most beloved and
popular viceroy that ever administered the government," and the one "who
was said, beyond all others, to be best acquainted with the wants and
wishes of that country," so profoundly ignorant of its most simple
statistics--simple, it is true, but still bearing most importantly on a
great and momentous question?

We fear that, in his viceregal "progresses," the noble marquis was too
much excited by the hearty cheers which greeted him, and too much
engaged by the brilliant eyes that beamed upon him, to attend to the
more ostensible and more serious duties of his office; and that he
devoted the time which, if properly employed, might have enabled him to
arrive at the truth, in chucking the chins and patting the heads of the
pretty frail ones, to whom he addressed valedictory admonitions as he
released them from those dungeons to which the over-strict laws of their
country had (no doubt unjustly) consigned them.

In the observations which we shall make on the pamphlet entitled "A Cry
from Ireland," we wish to be distinctly understood--we do not undertake
the task of showing up its glaring and wilful falsehoods for the purpose
of exculpating Mr Shee, the principal person whose conduct is arraigned
in it. He is openly, and boldly assailed; and if he be either unable or
unwilling to defend his character, he is unworthy of sympathy or
support. We undertake this duty, from higher and more important motives
than the exculpation of any individual. The conduct of the Irish gentry
is assailed through Mr Shee; and we wish to show that no landlord,
however ill inclined he may be, _could_ practise such legal tyranny as
is imputed to this man. The administration of justice has been
impugned--we wish to show how unjustly; and this we shall be able to do,
even from the statements made by this wholesale libeller himself. The
conduct of the government has been vilified, because they are accused of
supplying Mr Shee with a police force, under whose protection, and _by
whose assistance_, he is said to perpetrate the most glaring felonies in
the open day--we leave the defence of their participation in Mr Shee's
enormities to her Majesty's ministers, when they are called to account,
as no doubt they will be, for allowing a force, paid for the protection
of her Majesty's subjects, to be employed as the author of this pamphlet
states them to be, in the following instance:--

     "In one case, that of a tenant named Bushe, of whom with many other
     sufferers I have not yet spoken, the landlord resolved on an
     ejectment; but Bushe owing no rent, he could only proceed as he had
     done against Pat Ring, or by some other process of a like kind. He
     took a shorter one. It so happened that, though Bushe had paid his
     rent in order to keep the house above his head--a very good house
     it was, to judge from the size and worth of the substantial walls
     which, in most parts, were still standing when I was there--he had
     not paid every man in the county to whom he was indebted. He owed
     one person, residing at a distance, a sum of money more, as it soon
     appeared, than he could pay at once. This man the landlord found
     out, through some of his agents appointed for such purposes, and
     purchased from him the debt which Bushe owed him. This account
     being legally conveyed to the landlord, he at once proceeded
     against his tenant the debtor, threw him into prison, and as soon
     as he got him there, went and took the roof off his house, turning
     out his wife and six young children upon the open highway. There
     they remained without shelter and without food, until some of the
     people of the adjoining village assisted them. The father was in
     prison, and could neither resist the spoliation of the house which
     he himself had built nor could he do any thing, by work or
     otherwise, for his family's subsistence. In every respect, the
     proceeding was illegal on the part of the landlord, but, though the
     lawyers urged Bushe to prosecute, and assured him of ultimate
     success, he was too far gone to listen to them. He was heartbroken.
     He had no confidence in any redress the law might give: he had seen
     a rich man set the law at defiance; and the ruin of his roofless
     house--_every piece of timber from which, and every handful of
     thatch, as also the doors and windows, had been carried away by
     orders of the landlord, and b the assistance of the constabulary,
     who are located on the estate at the express request of the
     landlord, and by sanction of the government_."

Here we have it asserted that an undoubted and most audacious felony has
been committed, and that the police force not only protected the
aggressors, _but actually assisted_ in the perpetration of the crime.
Surely this is a case in which immediate punishment must have followed,
if an appeal lad been made to the law. It admitted of no excuse. A man,
without a shadow of right, destroys and carries of the materials of
another man's house. The police force not only do not prevent, _but they
assist him_. There is a stipendiary magistrate, but he does not
interfere; a petty sessions court, but no recourse is had to it; and,
strange to say, there is Daniel O'Connell, to whom every thing is known,
and he is silent; the two Messrs Butler, the members for the county, and
they are mute; Lord J. Russell assails the conduct of the ministry
towards Ireland--here was a case more flagrant than any he brought
forward; he knows it, for he recommends the book in which it is
stated--he dares not bring it forward, for no doubt he enquired, and
found it was untrue. To have it refuted, would not answer his purposes
or those of O'Connell, his ally. He recommends the book as an authority
to those who wish to see how the Irish are treated by their landlords;
and, receiving his sanction, it gets into circulation, and obtaius
belief for, others in addition to the many calumnies already propagated
against the Irish gentry. The author tells us--

     "The writer of the following pages has personally visited many of
     the towns and rural districts of Ireland; and, _in obedience to
     those who instructed him to perform the task_, has drawn up a plain
     statement of facts, for the benefit of persons interested in the
     welfare of Ireland, and who cannot visit that country personally to
     judge for themselves."

And right clumsily has he performed the duty assigned to him. Had his
cunning been equal to his malignity, he would have acted with more
prudence. He would not have recklessly asserted in one place what his
own admissions refute in another. He would not have charged the most
talented, distinguished, and impartial law-officers of the crown with
having strained the law to protect a delinquent because he was a
Protestant--and afterwards shown that the conduct of this man was
condemned by those very persons accused of partiality towards him; and
that his illegal acts were punished by those very tribunals to which (he
asserts) no poor man need think of applying for redress. He, however,
does his best to cover those glaring inconsistencies. He breaks the
thread of his narrative, and intersperses his stories in such a manner,
that a casual reader, who has not time or inclination to examine or
compare them, may easily be deceived and misled. For the purpose of
showing the reliance to be placed on Lord John Russell's authority, we
shall take up one case, (that of Patrick Ring,) and follow it out to its

     "The first proceeding was against Patrick Ring, a tenant, who held
     on a lease of thirty-one years and a life, and who owed no arrears
     up to 1842; the proceedings against him began in March 1841, and
     have given rise to a complicated variety of actions at law, ending
     with his ejectment and utter beggary.

     "As he owed no rent, and as no possible reason for getting rid of
     him as a tenant could be assigned, nor was ever offered until long
     after proceedings had begun, a bold stroke to make a beginning was
     absolutely requisite, and it was struck. The lease specified a
     certain day in May and in November, as that on which the
     half-yearly rent would fall due. Those days had been strictly
     adhered to, and no one knew this better than the landlord. But in
     1841 he obtained a warrant of distraint,[39] and seized on Ring on
     the 26th of March, for rent alleged to be due on the 25th. It might
     have been a hard enough misfortune to be distrained on the day
     following that of the rent being due in any case, especially in
     spring, when the cattle and implements of labour, as also the
     seed-corn, and potatoes, the articles distrained, are required for
     the peculiar duties of that most important season, seed-time. But
     when such a distraint was made on such articles, so indispensable
     in their uses even for a day, to say nothing of weeks, and no rent
     nor debt of any kind owing, the case is peculiarly a hard one on
     the tenant.

     "Patrick Ring caused a replevin to be entered with the
     sheriff--that is, he gave security that he would pay the rent, if
     rent was due, as soon as a trial at quarter-sessions or assizes
     could be had--that he might in the mean time get the use of the
     property upon which the distraint lay. He accordingly proved by his
     lease that he owed nothing--that no rent was due until May. But
     before that was done, May had come, and the rent was due. He paid
     it punctually, and proceeded against the landlord for damages, or
     rather for the costs to which he had been exposed. This being
     opposed, occupied much time; and before it was settled, the
     landlord once more distrained for rent alleged to be due on the
     29th of September. Again Patrick Ring replevined, and proved his
     rent-days to be in November and May, and not in September and
     March. The case of costs and trespass came to trial in respect of
     both seizures, and was decided in Ring's favour. Thus a jury and a
     judge certified by their decision that the tenant was right, and
     the landlord wrong. The damages awarded were very moderate, only
     L12 and costs; but the tenant looked on the verdict as most
     important, in respect of its setting, as he thought, the validity
     of his lease and the period of his rent-days at rest. But that the
     damages were too moderate as regarded the landlord was manifest
     from the fact, that he again distrained in March for rent not due
     until May.

     "He now, it being again seed-time, took a more effectual way of
     crippling the tenant than before. He seized on the farm implements
     and stock, of which the dunghill was in his eyes the most important.
     He had it, without a legal sale, carried away to his own farm-yard,
     even to the very rakings and sweepings of the road and the yard near
     which it lay. This he did that Ring might have no manure for his
     potato ground, knowing that crops so planted would not easily afford
     the rent; and that, when no rent was forthcoming, an ejectment would
     soon follow. Other things--a plough, and a horse, and some
     furniture--were sold, and Ring was once more involved in litigation.
     These things were bought in with his own money, save the dung-heap,
     which the landlord would not give him a chance of buying in; and
     thus Ring was obliged to pay his rent before it was due, with all
     the expenses of a distraint and sale--the most expensively conducted
     of any distraints and sales under the British crown. He thought to
     recover damages for all this loss; but he was not able to pay his
     rent in addition to all this, when it became due; and thus, by some
     hocus-pocus of the law, the two cases became so mingled together as
     to be inextricable."

From this statement it would appear that this Mr Shee distrained
illegally, that the tenant sought the protection of the law, and that he
obtained damages to the amount of L12. This may appear an inconsiderable
sum; but when it is considered that an officer entitled a "replevinger,"
resides in almost every town, that the stock or implements were not
removed from the premises, and that Ring, if he exerted himself, could
not be deprived of their use for a _second day_--we must admit it was a
fair remuneration for his trouble. Well--but this Mr Shee, with the
knowledge of his former misconduct, and its punishment before him, again
seizes: and this time he commits a _felony_, as well as an illegal act;
for he carries off the tenant's manure, and appropriates it to his own
use, without going through any legal form whatever. The tenant obtained
justice before; but now (with a still stronger case) he refuses to bring
his action, which, in the quarter-sessions court, would have cost him
2s. 6d. He is quite aware of his rights, for he defended them
successfully before; yet for some reason or another, _studiously
concealed_, he now remains inactive.[40]

       *       *       *       *       *

Is every person so silly as to believe that this Mr Shee, who was more
than once successfully prosecuted for assaults and illegal acts, would
not again be brought to justice for such a serious breach of the law as
that of forcibly carrying off another man's property. The criminal
prosecution would only have cost one shilling; and can we believe he
would a _third_ time subject himself to an action for illegal distress,
with the rent-days specified in the lease well known to him?

But all the assertions of this paid maligner sink into insignificance
compared with what follows. We know not which to be most amazed at--the
recklessness, or the stupid ignorance of the man.

     "It would be too tedious to give a detailed account of every
     lawsuit that now followed; but from that time, _the summer of 1842,
     up to the summer assizes of 1843_, the landlord proceeded in the
     courts for a warrant of ejectment against Ring _nine times_. On the
     first eight cases he was defeated; but he succeeded on the ninth.
     He had thirteen other lawsuits of various kinds with the same
     defendant, during which he sold his furniture five times and his
     horse twice. In all, _he had twenty auctions of sale previous to
     midsummer of this year_. Part of the furniture was in several of
     these instances only bought back by the agent, Mr James Coyne,
     handing money privately to Ring to pay for it. This is the agent
     formerly spoken of, who at last gave up his situation out of sheer
     disgust at the odious work he was called on to perform.

     "The crop of 1842 was seized on and sold at seven different times.
     It was much more than sufficient to pay the rent, even though the
     manure was carried away in the spring by the landlord; but those
     seven different seizures, with seven different sales, with a number
     of men receiving at each of the seven seizures 2s. 4d. a-day, as
     keepers to watch the crop from the day of distraint to the day of
     sale--those seven seizures on a crop which might have been all
     seized and sold at one time, with only one set of
     expenses--resulted, as they were intended to do, in nearly doubling
     the rent. Moreover, the crop being distrained on while growing, was
     cut down by people whom the landlord employed, although the tenant
     and his family were standing unemployed; and to such work-people the
     landlord can give any wages he chooses, to be deducted from the
     tenant, up to 2s. 6d. a-day! even though the harvest wages of the
     district be 8d. or 10d. a-day![41]--even though the tenant, who is
     thus not allowed to give his own labour to his own farm, may, to
     avoid starvation, be compelled to work to another employer for the
     fourth part, to wit, 7-1/2d. a-day, of what the law obliges him to
     pay for workmen on his own farm.

     "It will give some proof of the exertions made by the tenant to pay
     his way when I state, that, notwithstanding all the extraordinary
     expenses of the seizures, and of the protracted and complicated
     litigation, _the rent was paid by the autumn of 1842_. There as
     nothing owing by Ring save a sum of L1 and odds, connected with the
     expenses of a summons which had been decided against him on some
     technical point of law."

Here it is stated, in the first place, _that from the summer assizes
1842, to the same period in 1843, Ring was nine times proceeded against
by ejectment_. Now the landlord could only proceed by ejectment in the
quarter-sessions' court, or in the superior courts. The
quarter-sessions' courts are held but _four times_ in the year, namely,
in January, April, July, and October. The sessions were only held _three
times_ within the period during which Ring is said to have been _nine
times_ sued by ejectment; and consequently, if Mr Shee were even
inclined, it would be impossible for him to have proceeded more than
_three times_ against him in the sessions court. But if he instituted
his suit in the superior courts, (if defence were taken, as clearly was
the case,) he could only have proceeded twice, "for the ejectment served
at November should be tried at the spring assizes, and the one served
subsequently at the summer assizes;" and the production of any process
from the superior courts, or the proof that such was had recourse to,
would effectually bar the landlord from proceeding in the inferior
courts. He could not proceed in both at the same time; and thus we see
that it would be impossible for any landlord, however oppressive, _to
have proceeded by ejectment more than three times within the period in
which this veracious compiler of grievances positively asserts Shee
proceeded nine times_. Next, he says, "the crop of 1842 was sold seven
different times," and "altogether he had _twenty auctions of sale_
before midsummer of 1843." Now, any proceeding by distress, pending the
progress of the ejectment, would have vitiated it and upset it; for the
law does not allow two different modes of proceeding for the same debt
at the same time; and in no courts is such scrupulous regard paid to the
rights of the tenant as in the quarter-sessions courts. But no decree
can be granted in ejectment cases until _a clear year's rent_ shall have
been proved to be due; and yet we find this man, Patrick Ring, who, it
is asserted, _owed no arrears of rent up to 1842, and the sale of whose
crops and stock paid his rent up to autumn 1842_, evicted in summer
1843, when only _half a year's rent could have accrued due_; and this,
too, by a Roman Catholic assistant barrister, (Mr O'Gorman,) a judge
above any suspicion, and who, if we are to believe the statement
contained in Ring's own letter, was not at all partial to his

To show how tyrannically men may act with impunity, (if they be
landlords,) he quotes the case of O'Driscoll, who struck a boy with his
horsewhip; yet he is obliged to admit, that for doing so he was fined
L3 by his brother magistrates, and dismissed from the commission of the
peace by the lord-chancellor. To create the desired degree of prejudice
against the Irish landlords, it is necessary to impugn the
administration of justice; for people here would naturally enough say,
when they read of such atrocities, "why don't those men so injured have
recourse to the law?" Therefore it must be shown (at any risk) that the
law is no impediment in the way of a tyrannical landlord. The falsehoods
may not be immediately detected; and in the mean time the object may be
achieved. Accordingly we find that a landlord can thus summarily dispose
of an obnoxious tenant. This Mr Shee was fired at: our author has his
doubts--although it appears, by his own account of the trial, that slugs
were lodged in his hand, and that his hat was perforated--and he adds--

     "But, if really fired at, and therefore much frightened, as he
     doubtless would be, _it was not a loss to him_. With the facility
     which the law in Ireland gives him as a landlord, he at once threw
     those tenants into jail with whom he had been involved in
     litigation. Consequently, before they could prosecute him for
     damages, or before they could be witnesses in another case, they
     had themselves to be tried for attempted murder!

     "Patrick Ring was one of those arrested; and though several
     hundreds of people, some of them gentlemen of rank and property,
     knew that he had been in the Catholic chapel for an hour before and
     an hour after the time the shot was alleged to have been fired, and
     that at the distance of two miles, yet he was kept in prison, in
     solitary confinement, not allowed to see any friend, nor even a
     lawyer, for several weeks. He was not even examined before a
     magistrate. This last fact in the administration of the law is, I
     believe, peculiar to Ireland only. Whether it is consistent with,
     or contrary to law, I cannot say. In England we consider it but
     justice to the accused and the accuser, to bring them face to face
     before a magistrate at the earliest opportunity. But in this case,
     the landlord (_and I am told such a thing is quite common in all
     such cases_) put Pat Ring in prison, kept him there three weeks in
     close confinement, apart even from a legal adviser, and then
     allowed him to go out without even taking him before a magistrate,
     or offering any evidence against him.

     "We may easily conceive circumstances which would warrant the
     landlord to suspect this man, so as to have him taken up, and which
     might ultimately turn out to be so weak as to prevent the
     production of any evidence whatever. Had the landlord merely put
     Pat Ring in prison, and let him out again after finding, through a
     period of three weeks, that he could get no evidence against him,
     there would be little to complain of, save that the law should not
     compel the magistrates to bring the accused up for examination, or
     that the prison authorities should not let the prisoner have an
     interview with a legal adviser; but the landlord did much more.
     _While Pat Ring was in jail, the landlord sent and made a wreck of
     his house and farm; took the roof, thatch, and wood off the barn,
     stable, and dwelling-house, save in one small portion of the
     latter; and every handful of the thatch and wood so pulled down
     was carried away to the landlord's own premises._ The doors and
     windows he also carried away; pulled down the gates of the
     farm-yard and the garden, and the garden-wall. These gates were
     iron, and had been erected by the tenant a few years before at
     considerable expense. The houses were also all of his own erection;
     the thatch and timber of the roof, carried away by the landlord,
     was Pat Ring's own property; _and all was taken away, and the whole
     place wrecked, without any warrant whatever for so doing; without
     any right whatever, save the right which, by the laxity of the law
     and the dominancy of a faction, a landlord, belonging to that
     dominant faction, may create for himself; without any authority
     whatever, save the power of his own high hand, against which the
     law is powerless_.

     "Pat Ring, after being kept in prison for three weeks, apart from
     every friend and adviser, and apart from every human creature, save
     the spies with which every prison in Ireland abounds--(persons who
     are kept there at the public expense, and who are put to sleep with
     such men as Pat Ring; and who, pretending to make a confidant of
     the fresh prisoner, tell tales of the assaults and murders which,
     as a trap, they profess to have been concerned in--they urging the
     new prisoner to confess all, to split on his accomplices, and take
     the reward of L100 at once,--except such companions as these, some
     of whom I saw produced as witnesses for the Crown at the Kilkenny
     assizes, thus learning from their own mouths the nature of their
     diabolical employment)--excepting these, to whom, as Pat Ring
     declares, he indignantly answered again and again that he had
     nothing to confess, he saw no human being during his
     incarceration--was liberated, and went joyfully home; but when he
     went there, alas! his home was a ruin."

We suppose we need scarcely point out the absurdity of such a statement
as this. Some magistrate _must_ have committed this man; the jailer
could not receive him without a committal, nor set him at large[42]
without a discharge; although, from the account given, the inference may
be easily drawn that, on his own will, Shee had thrown Ring into prison.
If falsely imprisoned, he had his action against the magistrate who
committed him. The committal, which the jailer holds for his own
security, would discover the person who had acted so illegally. If any
man acted as Shee is said to have done in this instance, the law is not
to be blamed--for it forbids such conduct: the government officers who
permitted it to be violated, are the really guilty parties. And here
again we may ask--why were not the government called on to explain the
conduct of their officials, by Lord John Russell, who read and
recommended the book to the attention of Sir Robert Peel? But in
addition to the necessity of having Ring thrown into jail, to exhibit
the power of the landlords, it was necessary, for our author's purposes,
that he should be put out of the way, in order to account for an apology
given by the editor of a local newspaper to this Mr Shee.

     "An action was brought against the proprietor of the journal for a
     malicious libel, in calling this gentleman a 'notorious landlord.'
     A man who had, in two years and a half, had above two hundred
     disputes with his peasantry, not half of which I have yet even
     alluded to, but all of which, alluded to and related, had occurred
     previous to that time--such a man, to prosecute for being called
     'notorious,' had good confidence.

     "But he had also a good case. It would be scouted out of
     Westminster Hall, but it was a good case in _Ireland_. An English
     judge, after hearing evidence for the defence in such a
     case--evidence in justification--would not sum up to the jury, or,
     if he began his summary, the jury would stop him with an intimation
     that their minds were made up! _But to the Irish jury--the special
     jury of landlords before whom this case was about to be
     brought_--the proprietor of the Irish newspaper looked forward with
     a certainty of being convicted on a criminal charge, the punishment
     of which would have probably been one or two years' imprisonment
     and a heavy fine.

     "He might have hoped for a verdict in his favour had the case stood
     for a common jury, or for a special jury in any of the counties
     where he was known, or where his paper circulated. When it was
     intimated to him that the trial would not take place in Kilkenny,
     he urged that the venue might be laid in Waterford, or Tipperary,
     or Wexford, or Carlow, or in the Queen's County, where something
     was known of each of the parties; but no, the venue was laid in the
     county of Dublin, where the gentlemen who would form the special
     jury were all of the landlord class, and nearly all belonging to
     the dominant church-and-state party. _In that county nothing was
     known of either plaintiff or defendant_, save that the first was a
     distinguished Protestant partisan and that the other was a
     Catholic, and proprietor of a liberal newspaper. Of their private
     characters nothing was known.

     "Still the defendant resolved to go to trial, and justify the
     epithet 'notorious' as applied to the landlord. He intended taking
     several of the worst-used tenants up as witnesses; and he also
     obtained the official records of the petty sessions, quarter
     sessions, and assize courts, to put in as evidence to show the
     overwhelming amount of litigation carried on by the landlord with
     his tenantry. He resolved on doing all this, _though sure of being
     condemned to imprisonment and a fine by the special jury_; he
     judged, from the well-known reputation of that class of men, and
     from what he had seen other newspaper proprietors receive at their
     hands for publishing the oppressive conduct of landlords; but he
     resolved on justifying by evidence, in the hope that a public
     trial, at which such witnesses as the persecuted tenants of
     plaintiff would appear, would draw public attention to their
     unfortunate condition. _He had chosen Patrick Ring and John Ryan,
     the worst-used of the tenants, and one or two others_, as
     witnesses; but what was his dismay when he found Patrick Ring once
     more thrown into jail, as also the
     others, at the instance of the landlord, on the charge of
     attempting to shoot him!

     "Thus, without his witnesses, the defendant, after incurring the
     expense of about L100 in preparing his defence, was glad to get out
     of the case in any shape. He made a public and most humble apology,
     paid all expenses, and the prosecution was dropped. As soon as this
     was effected, Patrick Ring, but for whose imprisonment on an
     accusation of murder the trial would have gone on, 'was again
     allowed to walk out of jail, without having undergone any
     examination--without having had any evidence produced against

The juries of the county Dublin are certainly the most independent, and
least likely to be prejudiced in favour of a landlord, that can be
found. They are in a great measure composed of wealthy merchants, who
reside in the neighbourhood of the city; and every one knows that a
judge's summons would have procured the attendance of Ring at the trial;
but it was necessary to find an excuse for this abject apology.

We cannot, in the present instance, impute the conduct of this
truth-telling authority to ignorance; we must attribute it to his wish
to make the British public believe that all those civil bill processes
were at the suit of landlords against tenants--to the desire or the
necessity he felt himself under of sacrificing all principle to the
objects for the accomplishment of which he was employed. He _must know_
that nineteen-twentieths of those civil bills are actions for debts
brought by shopkeepers against their customers, or by one peasant
against another--for money lent, or for the price of provisions sold
them: he _must know_ (if he knows any thing) that perhaps not fifty, out
of the whole 4318, are for rent; and that, where rent is at all sued for
by process, it is only in cases where the landlord takes the tenant's I
O U, in order to give him more time for what was long since due. The
landlord _can at any time distrain_ for his rent; what object, then,
would he have in incurring expense, and encountering delay, to procure a
decree, which, when obtained, would _only restrict his former power_?
All this does he know; and yet he quotes the number of processes issued
by the most litigious people on earth against each other, as a proof of
the tyranny of the landlords, and as the fruitful source of poverty and

We have to apologise for the length of our remarks on those two
productions. The one contains, we doubt not, the sincere opinions of a
well-meaning, but very silly gentleman; while the other bears upon its
unprincipled statements the stamp of premeditated dishonesty. Yet it is
upon authorities such as these that the Irish gentry are to be
condemned, and their estates confiscated; upon authorities such as these
that the interests of men, whose greatest crime is attachment to British
connexion, are to be sacrificed to greedy agitators, and a ferocious and
idle people. Sir Robert Peel may, _perhaps_, without danger, give an
extension of the franchise--the corporations are all, with one solitary
exception, (Belfast,) as revolutionary as they can be made; and the
Roman Catholic bishops may not be able to obtain political ascendancy
over any more counties than those already subject to their sway; but we
would call on him to pause and consider well before he disgusts the best
friends of England, by lending attention to the unfounded statements of
revolutionary priests, promulgated by mercenary writers; or the
legislative quackeries of a disappointed, dishonest, and despicable


[29] Ireland--The Landlord and Tenant Question--Lord Normanby's
Speech--Mr Wiggins's Book, "A Cry from Ireland."

[30] One would think there were no poor-houses.

[31] Scotland has been more favoured in this respect. Ample details on
the point mentioned, and on every other relating to its physical, moral,
and economical state, may be found in the New Statistical Account--a
work which places the country under great obligations to the clergy of
the Established Church, who have furnished the accounts of their
parishes, and which display, in general, a range of intelligence in the
highest degree creditable to their order.

[32] Taken from the last census. Average rent of land per acre[32] in
each county of Ireland.

  Antrim       L0 16 0
  Armagh        0 11 8
  Cavan         0 13 7-1/2
  Donegal       0  6 0
  Down          0 16 0
  Fermanagh     0 13 7
  Londonderry   0 12 2-1/2
  Monaghan      0 13 3-1/2
  Tyrone        0 14 6

  Carlow         L0 15 0
  Dublin          0 18 0
  Kildare         0 13 0
  Kilkenny        0 17 0
  King's County   0 12 0
  Longford        0 12 3
  Louth           0 16 0
  Meath           0 18 0
  Queen's County  0 14 0
  Westmeath       0 13 7
  Wexford         0 14 0
  Wicklow         0 12 0

  Clare        L0 11 0
  Cork          0 13 7
  Kerry         0  6 1
  Limerick      0 18 8
  Tipperary     0 17 8-1/2
  Waterford     0 12 0

  Galway       L0 12 1
  Leitrim       0 10 7-1/2
  Mayo          0  8 6
  Roscommon     0 13 0
  Sligo         0 10 8

[33] The plantation acre, containing more than 1:3:0 statute.

[34] In a letter, signed "an Irishman," published by the _Times_, the
writer adduces as a proof of the _extortion_ of Irish landlords, that he
has known a tenant in the north, whose lease was about to expire,
receive L270 for his interest in fourteen acres of land.

[35] We read in the _Times_ a few days since, that the men employed in
opening the navigation of the Shannon at Rooskey had struck for an
advance in wages--they had 1s. a-day, and demanded 2s. Those who were
willing to continue were forced by armed men to abandon their work, and
threatening notices were served on the contractors; yet in this very
neighbourhood it is stated in the poor-law report that able-bodied men
were willing to work for 6d. a-day, but could not procure employment. It
is always thus:--when there is no employment, it is an excuse for their
idleness, when there is, they won't work but at the most extravagant
wages. To show that 1s. a-day was fair wages, we shall give an account
of the quantity of provisions which can be purchased at Rooskey for one

  14 lbs. of potatoes,     0 1-1/2
  2   do.    oatmeal,      0 2
  2   do.    bacon,        0 7-1/2
  3 quarts of milk,        0 1
      Total,               1 0

[36] _Irish Landlords, Rents, and Tenures, &c._ Published by Murray,
Albemarle Street.

[37] Doctor M'Hale declared publicly, that, if it so pleased him, he
would place two _cow-boys_ in the representation of Mayo.

[38] At the trial of the men for the murder of Mr Brian the other day,
at the Wexford assizes, the people cheered so loudly when the witnesses
hesitated or doubted, that a woman, the principal evidence, declared
"she would tell nothing more." The judge was obliged to order the
court-house to be cleared, and the accused were acquitted.

[39] A landlord requires no such warrant--he can distrain without any

[40] In case of replevin, the valuation of the stock or crop seized is
left to the _tenant himself_, so that sometimes he may value stock worth
50s. at only 20s., and they _must_ be restored to him, on giving
security for what he sets them down as worth. The landlord cannot

[41] The law never allows the landlord _more_ than the wages paid in the
neighbourhood, in case he is obliged to employ men to save the crop.

[42] A man committed can only be discharged on bail, or by the bills
being ignored by the grand jury.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MAP _of_ AFRICA from the Equator to 13.° North Lat: and
from 31.° to 51 E. Longitude _Constructed from the latest and best
authorities_ by James Macqueen Esq.

_London, March 15th, 1844_]

_Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul's Work._

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844" ***

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