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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 328, February, 1843
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 328, February, 1843" ***

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Library of Early Journals.





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If any doubt could exist as to the nature of the loss which the
premature death of Dr Arnold has inflicted on the literature of his
country, the perusal of the volume before us must be sufficient to show
how great, how serious, nay, all circumstances taken together, we had
almost said how irreparable, it ought to be considered. Recently placed
in a situation which gave his extraordinary faculties as a teacher still
wider scope than they before possessed, at an age when the vivacity and
energy of a commanding intellect were matured, not chilled, by constant
observation and long experience--gifted with industry to collect, with
sagacity to appreciate, with skill to arrange the materials of
history--master of a vivid and attractive style for their communication
and display--eminent, above all, for a degree of candour and sincerity
which gave additional value to all his other endowments--what but
leisure did Dr Arnold require to qualify him for a place among our most
illustrious authors? Under his auspices, we might not unreasonably have
hoped for works that would have rivalled those of the great continental
writers in depth and variety of research; in which the light of original
and contemporaneous documents would be steadily flung on the still
unexplored portions of our history; and that Oxford would have balanced
the fame of Schlösser and Thierry and Sismondi, by the labours of a
writer peculiarly, and, as this volume proves, most affectionately her

The first Lecture in the present volume is full of striking and original
remarks, delivered with a delightful simplicity; which, since genius has
become rare among us, has almost disappeared from the conversation and
writings of Englishmen. Open the pages of Herodotus, or Xenophon, or
Cæsar, and how plain, how unpretending are the preambles to their
immortal works--in what exquisite proportion does the edifice arise,
without apparent effort, without ostentatious struggle, without, if the
allusion may be allowed, the sound of the axe or hammer, till "the pile
stands fixed her stately height" before us--the just admiration of
succeeding ages! But our modern _filosofastri_ insist upon stunning us
with the noise of their machinery, and blinding us with the dust of
their operations. They will not allow the smallest portion of their
vulgar labours to escape our notice. They drag us through the chaos of
sand and lime, and stone and bricks, which they have accumulated, hoping
that the magnitude of the preparation may atone for the meanness of the
performance. Very different from this is the style of Dr Arnold. We will
endeavour to exhibit a just idea of his views, so far as they regard the
true character of history, the manner in which it should be studied,
and the events by which his theory is illustrated. To study history as
it should be studied, much more to write history as it should be
written, is a task which may dignify the most splendid abilities, and
occupy the most extended life.

Lucian in one of his admirable treatises, ridicules those who imagine
that any one who chooses may sit down and write history as easily as he
would walk or sleep, or perform any other function of nature,

    "Thought, to the man that never thinks, may seem
    As natural as when asleep to dream."

From the remarks of this greatest of all satirists, it is manifest that,
in his days, history had been employed, as it has in ours, for the
purposes of slander and adulation. He selects particularly a writer who
compared, in his account of the Persian wars, the Roman emperor to
Achilles, his enemy to Thersites; and if Lucian had lived in the present
day, he would have discovered that the race of such writers was not
extinguished. He might have found ample proofs that the detestable habit
still prevails of interweaving the names of our contemporaries among the
accounts of former centuries, and thus corrupting the history of past
times into a means of abuse and flattery for the present. This is to
degrade history into the worst style of a Treasury pamphlet, or a daily
newspaper. It is a fault almost peculiar to this country.

We are told in one of these works, for instance, that the "tones of Sir
W. Follett's voice are silvery"--a proposition that we do not at all
intend to dispute; nor would it be easy to pronounce any panegyric on
that really great man in which we should not zealously concur; but can
it be necessary to mention this in a history of the eighteenth century?
Or can any thing be more trivial or offensive, or totally without the
shadow of justification, than this forced allusion to the "ignorant
present time," in the midst of what ought to be an unbiassed narrative
of events that affected former generations? We do not know whether the
author of this ingenious allusion borrowed the idea from the
advertisements in which our humbler artists recommend their productions
to vulgar notice; or whether it is the spontaneous growth of his own
happy intellect: but plagiarized or original, and however adapted it may
be to the tone and keeping of his work, its insertion is totally
irreconcilable with the qualities that a man should possess who means to
instruct posterity. When gold is extracted from lead, or silver from
tin, such a writer may become an historian. "Forget," says Lucian, "the
present, look to future ages for your reward; let it be said of you that
you are high-spirited, full of independence, that there is nothing about
you servile or fulsome."

Modern history is now exclusively to be considered. Modern history,
separated from the history of Greece and Rome, and the annals of
barbarous emigration, by the event which above all others has
influenced, and continues still to influence, after so many centuries,
the fate of Europe--the fall of the Western Empire--the boundary line
which separates modern from ancient history, is not ideal and
capricious, but definite and certain. It can neither be advanced nor
carried back. Modern history displays a national life still in
existence. It commences with that period in which the great elements of
separate national existence now in being--race, language, institutions,
and religion--can be traced in simultaneous operation. To the influences
which pervaded the ancient world, another, at first scarcely
perceptible, for a time almost predominant, and even now powerful and
comprehensive, was annexed. In the fourth century of the Christian era,
the Roman world comprised Christianity, Grecian intellect, Roman
jurisprudence--all the ingredients, in short, of modern history, except
the Teutonic element. It is the infusion of this element which has
changed the quality of the compound, and leavened the whole mass with
its peculiarities. To this we owe the middle ages, the law of
inheritance, the spirit of chivalry, and the feudal system, than which
no cause more powerful ever contributed to the miseries of mankind. It
filled Europe not with men but slaves; and the tyranny under which the
people groaned was the more intolerable, as it was wrought into an
artificial method, confirmed by law, established by inveterate custom,
and even supported by religion. In vain did the nations cast their eyes
to Rome, from whom they had a right to claim assistance, or at least
sympathy and consolation. The appeal was useless. The living waters were
tainted in their source. Instead of health they spread abroad
infection--instead of giving nourishment to the poor, they were the
narcotics which drenched in slumber the consciences of the rich.
Wretched forms, ridiculous legends, the insipid rhetoric of the Fathers,
were the substitutes for all generous learning. The nobles enslaved the
body; the hierarchy put its fetters on the soul. The growth of the
public mind was checked and stunted and the misery of Europe was
complete. The sufferer was taught to expect his reward in another world;
their oppressor, if his bequests were liberal, was sure of obtaining
consolation in this, and the kingdom of God was openly offered to the
highest bidder. But to the causes which gave rise to this state of
things, we must trace our origin as a nation.

With the Britons whom Cæsar conquered, though they occupied the surface
of our soil, we have, nationally speaking, no concern; but when the
white horse of Hengist, after many a long and desperate struggle,
floated in triumph or in peace from the Tamar to the Tweed, our
existence as a nation, the period to which we may refer the origin of
English habits, language, and institutions, undoubtedly begins. So, when
the Franks established themselves west of the Rhine, the French nation
may be said to have come into being. True, the Saxons yielded to the
discipline and valour of a foreign race; true, the barbarous hordes of
the Elbe and the Saal were not the ancestors, as any one who travels in
the south of France can hardly fail to see, of the majority of the
present nation of the French: but the Normans and Saxons sprang from the
same stock, and the changes worked by Clovis and his warriors were so
vast and durable, (though, in comparison with their conquered vassals,
they were numerically few,) that with the invasion of Hengist in the one
case, and the battle of Poictiers in the other, the modern history of
both countries may not improperly be said to have begun. To the student
of that history, however, one consideration must occur, which imparts to
the objects of his studies an interest emphatically its own. It is this:
he has strong reason to believe that all the elements of society are
before him. It may indeed be true that Providence has reserved some yet
unknown tribe, wandering on the banks of the Amour or of the Amazons, as
the instrument of accomplishing some mighty purpose--humanly speaking,
however, such an event is most improbable. To adopt such an hypothesis,
would be in direct opposition to all the analogies by which, in the
absence of clearer or more precise motives, human infirmity must be
guided. The map of the world is spread out before us; there are no
regions which we speak of in the terms of doubt and ignorance that the
wisest Romans applied to the countries beyond the Vistula and the Rhine,
when in Lord Bacon's words "the world was altogether home-bred." When
Cicero jested with Trebatius on the little importance of a Roman jurist
among hordes of Celtic barbarians, he little thought that from that
despised country would arise a nation, before the blaze of whose
conquests the splendour of Roman Empire would grow pale; a nation which
would carry the art of government and the enjoyment of freedom to a
perfection, the idea of which, had it been presented to the illustrious
orator, stored as his mind was with all the lore of Grecian sages, and
with whatever knowledge the history of his own country could supply,
would have been consigned by him, with the glorious visions of his own
Academy, to the shady spaces of an ideal world. Had he, while bewailing
the loss of that freedom which he would not survive, disfigured as it
was by popular tumult and patrician insolence--had he been told that a
figure far more faultless was one day to arise amid the unknown forests
and marshes of Britain, and to be protected by the rude hands of her
barbarous inhabitants till it reached the full maturity of immortal
loveliness--the eloquence of Cicero himself would have been silenced,
and, whatever might have been the exultation of the philosopher, the
pride of the Roman would have died within him. But we can anticipate no
similar revolution. The nations by which the world is inhabited are
known to us; the regions which they occupy are limited; there are no
fresh combinations to count upon, no reserves upon which we can
depend;--there is every reason to suppose that, in the great conflict
with physical and moral evil, which it is the destiny of man to wage,
the last battalion is in the field.

The course to be adopted by the student of modern history is pointed out
in the following pages; and the remarks of Dr Arnold on this subject are
distinguished by a degree of good sense and discrimination which it is
difficult to overrate. Vast indeed is the difference between ancient and
modern annals, as far as relates to the demand upon the student's time
and attention. Instead of sailing upon a narrow channel, the shores of
which are hardly ever beyond his view, he launches out upon an ocean of
immeasurable extent, through which the greatest skill and most assiduous
labour are hardly sufficient to conduct him--

    "Ipse diem noctemque negat discernere coelo,
    Nec meminisse viæ, mediâ Palinurus in undâ."

Instead of a few great writers, the student is beset on all sides by
writers of different sort and degree, from the light memorialist to the
great historian; instead of two countries, two hemispheres are
candidates for his attention; and history assumes a variety of garbs,
many of which were strangers to her during the earlier period of her
existence. To the careful study of many periods of history, not
extending over any very wide portion of time, the labour of a tolerably
long life would be inadequate. The unpublished Despatches of Cardinal
Granvelle at Besançon, amount to sixty volumes. The archives of Venice
(a mine, by the way, scarcely opened) fill a large apartment. For
printed works it may be enough to mention the Benedictine editions and
Munatoris Annals, historians of the dark and middle ages, relating to
two countries only, and two periods. All history, therefore, however
insatiable may be the intellectual _boulimia_ that devours him, can
never be a proper object of curiosity to any man. It is natural enough
that the first effect produced by this discovery on the mind of the
youthful student should be surprise and mortification; nor is it before
the conviction that his researches, to be valuable, must be limited,
forces itself upon him, that he concentrates to some particular period,
and perhaps to some exclusive object, the powers of his undivided
attention. When he has thus put an end to his desultory enquiries, and
selected the portion of history which it is his purpose to explore, his
first object should be to avail himself of the information which other
travellers in the same regions have been enabled to collect. Their
mistakes will teach him caution; their wanderings will serve to keep him
in the right path. Weak and feeble as he may be, compared with the first
adventurers who have visited the mighty maze before him, yet he has not
their difficulties to encounter, nor their perils to apprehend. The clue
is in his hands which may lead him through the labyrinth in which it has
been the lot of so many master-spirits to wander--

    "And find no end, in boundless mazes lost."

But it is time to hear Dr Arnold:--

     "To proceed, therefore, with our supposed student's course of
     reading. Keeping the general history which he has been reading
     as his text, and getting from it the skeleton, in a manner, of
     the future figure, he must now break forth excursively to the
     right and left, collecting richness and fulness of knowledge
     from the most various sources. For example, we will suppose
     that where his popular historian has mentioned that an alliance
     was concluded between two powers, or a treaty of peace agreed
     upon, he first of all resolves to consult the actual documents
     themselves, as they are to be found in some one of the great
     collections of European treaties, or, if they are connected
     with English history, in Rymer's _Foedera_. By comparing the
     actual treaty with his historian's report of its provisions, we
     get, in the first place, a critical process of some value,
     inasmuch as the historian's accuracy is at once tested: but
     there are other purposes answered besides. An historian's
     report of a treaty is almost always an abridgement of it; minor
     articles will probably be omitted, and the rest condensed, and
     stripped of all their formal language. But our object now being
     to reproduce to ourselves so far as it is possible, the very
     life of the period which we are studying, minute particulars
     help us to do this; nay, the very formal enumeration of titles,
     and the specification of towns and districts in their legal
     style, help to realize the time to us, if it be only from their
     very particularity. Every common history records the substance
     of the treaty of Troyes, May 1420, by which the succession to
     the crown of France was given to Henry V. But the treaty in
     itself, or the English version of it which Henry sent over to
     England to be proclaimed there, gives a far more lively
     impression of the triumphant state of the great conqueror, and
     the utter weakness of the poor French king, Charles VI., in the
     ostentatious care taken to provide for the recognition of his
     formal title during his lifetime, while all real power is ceded
     to Henry, and provision is made for the perpetual union
     hereafter of the two kingdoms under his sole government.

     "I have named treaties as the first class of official
     instruments to be consulted, because the mention of them occurs
     unavoidably in every history. Another class of documents,
     certainly of no less importance, yet much less frequently
     referred to by popular historians, consists of statutes,
     ordinances, proclamations, acts, or by whatever various names
     the laws of each particular period happen to be designated.
     _That the Statute Book has not been more habitually referred to
     by writers on English history_, has always seemed to me a
     matter of surprise. Legislation has not perhaps been so busy in
     every country as it has been with us; yet every where, and in
     every period, it has done something. Evils, real or supposed,
     have always existed, which the supreme power in the nation has
     endeavoured to remove by the provisions of law. And under the
     name of laws I would include the acts of councils, which form
     an important part of the history of European nations during
     many centuries; provincial councils, as you are aware, having
     been held very frequently, and their enactments relating to
     local and particular evils, so that they illustrate history in
     a very lively manner. Now, in these and all the other laws of
     any given period, we find in the first place, from their
     particularity, a great additional help towards becoming
     familiar with the times in which they were passed; we learn the
     names of various officers, courts, and processes; and these,
     when understood, (and I suppose always the habit of reading
     nothing without taking pains to understand it,) help us, from
     their very number, to realize the state of things then
     existing; a lively notion of any object depending on our
     clearly seeing some of its parts, and the more we people it, so
     to speak, with distinct images, the more it comes to resemble
     the crowded world around us. But in addition to this benefit,
     which I am disposed to rate in itself very highly, every thing
     of the nature of law has a peculiar interest and value,
     _because it is the expression of the deliberate mind of the
     supreme government of society_; and as history, as commonly
     written, records so much of the passionate and unreflecting
     part of human nature, we are bound in fairness to acquaint
     ourselves with its calmer and better part also."

The inner life of a nation will be determined by its end, that end being
the security of its highest happiness, or, as it is "conceived and
expressed more piously, a setting forth of God's glory by doing his
appointed work." The history of a nation's internal life is the history
of its institutions and its laws. Here, then, it is that we shall find
the noblest lessons of history; here it is that we must look for the
causes, direct and indirect, which have modified the characters, and
decided the fate of nations. To this imperishable possession it is that
the philosopher appeals for the corroboration of his theory, as it is to
it also that the statesman ought to look for the regulation of his
practice. Religion, property, science, commerce, literature, whatever
can civilize and instruct rude mankind, whatever can embellish life in
its more advanced condition, even till it exhibit the wonders of which
it is now the theatre, may be referred to this subject, and are
comprised under this denomination. The importance of history has been
the theme of many a pen, but we question whether it has ever been more
beautifully described than in the following passage:--

     "Enough has been said, I think, to show that history contains
     no mean treasures; that, as being the biography of a nation, it
     partakes of the richness and variety of those elements which
     make up a nation's life. Whatever there is of greatness in the
     final cause of all human thought and action, God's glory and
     man's perfection, that is the measure of the greatness of
     history. Whatever there is of variety and intense interest in
     human nature, in its elevation, whether proud as by nature, or
     sanctified as by God's grace; in its suffering, whether blessed
     or unblessed, a martyrdom or a judgment; in its strange
     reverses, in its varied adventures, in its yet more varied
     powers, its courage and its patience, its genius and its
     wisdom, its justice and its love, that also is the measure of
     the interest and variety of history. The treasures indeed are
     ample, but we may more reasonably fear whether we may have
     strength and skill to win them."

In passing we may observe, after Dr Arnold, that the most important
bearing of a particular institution upon the character of a nation is
not always limited to the effect which is most obvious; few who have
watched the proceedings in our courts of justice can doubt that, in
civil cases, the interference of a jury is often an obstacle, and
sometimes an insurmountable obstacle, to the attainment of justice. Dr
Arnold's remarks on this subject are entitled to great attention:--

     "The effect," he says, "of any particular arrangement of the
     judicial power, is seen directly in the greater or less purity
     with which justice is administered; but there is a further
     effect, and one of the highest importance, in its furnishing to
     a greater or less portion of the nation one of the best means
     of moral and intellectual culture--the opportunity, namely, of
     exercising the functions of a judge. I mean, that to accustom a
     number of persons to the intellectual exercise of attending to,
     and weighing, and comparing evidence, and to the moral exercise
     of being placed in a high and responsible situation, invested
     with one of God's own attributes, that of judgment, and having
     to determine with authority between truth and falsehood, right
     and wrong, is to furnish them with very high means of moral and
     intellectual culture--in other words, it is providing them with
     one of the highest kinds of education. And thus a judicial
     constitution may secure a pure administration of justice, and
     yet fail as an engine of national cultivation, where it is
     vested in the hands of a small body of professional men, like
     the old French parliament. While, on the other hand, it may
     communicate the judicial office very widely, as by our system
     of juries, and thus may educate, if I may so speak, a very
     large portion of the nation, but yet may not succeed in
     obtaining the greatest certainty of just legal decisions. I do
     not mean that our jury system does not succeed, but it is
     conceivable that it should not. So, in the same way, different
     arrangements of the executive and legislative powers should be
     always regarded in this twofold aspect--as effecting their
     direct objects, good government and good legislation; and as
     educating the nation more or less extensively, by affording to
     a greater or less number of persons practical lessons in
     governing and legislating."

History is an account of the common purpose pursued by some one of the
great families of the human race. It is the biography of a nation; as
the history of a particular sect, or a particular body of men, describes
the particular end which the sect or body was instituted to pursue, so
history, in its more comprehensive sense, describes the paramount object
which the first and sovereign society--the society to which all others
are necessarily subordinate--endeavours to attain. According to Dr
Arnold, a nation's life is twofold, external and internal. Its external
life consists principally in wars. "Here history has been sufficiently
busy. The wars of the human race have been recorded when every thing
else has perished."

Mere antiquarianism, Dr Arnold justly observes, is calculated to
contract and enfeeble the understanding. It is a pedantic love of
detail, with an indifference to the result, for which alone it can be
considered valuable. It is the mistake, into which men are perpetually
falling, of the means for the end. There are people to whom the
tragedies of Sophocles are less precious than the Scholiast on
Lycophron, and who prize the speeches of Demosthenes chiefly because
they may fling light on the dress of an Athenian citizen. The same
tendency discovers itself in other pursuits. Oxen are fattened into
plethoras to encourage agriculture, and men of station dress like
grooms, and bet like blacklegs, to keep up the breed of horses. It is
true that such evils will happen when agriculture is encouraged, and a
valuable breed of horses cherished; but they are the consequences, not
the cause of such a state of things. So the disciples of the old
philosophers drank hemlock to acquire pallid countenances--but they are
as far from obtaining the wisdom of their masters by this adventitious
resemblance, as the antiquarian is from the historian. To write well
about the past, we must have a vigorous and lively perception of the
present. This, says Dr Arnold, is the merit of Mitford. It is certainly
the only one he possesses; a person more totally unqualified for writing
history at all--to say nothing of the history of Greece--it is difficult
for us, aided as our imagination may be by the works of our modern
writers, to conceive. But Raleigh, whom he quotes afterwards, is indeed
a striking instance of that combination of actual experience with
speculative knowledge which all should aim at, but which it seldom
happens that one man in a generation is fortunate enough to obtain.

From the sixteenth century, the writers of history begin to assume a
different character from that of their predecessors. During the middle
ages, the elements of society were fewer and less diversified. Before
that time the people were nothing. Popes, emperors, kings, nobles,
bishops, knights, are the only materials about which the writer of
history cared to know or enquire. Perhaps some exception to this rule
might be found in the historians of the free towns of Italy; but they
are few and insignificant. After that period, not only did the classes
of society increase, but every class was modified by more varieties of
individual life. Even within the last century, the science of political
economy has given a new colouring to the thoughts and actions of large
communities, as the different opinions held by its votaries have
multiplied them into distinct and various classes. Modern historians,
therefore, may be divided into two classes; the one describing a state
of society in which the elements are few; the other the times in which
they were more numerous. As a specimen of the first order, he selects
Bede. Bede was born in 674, fifty years after the flight of Mahomet from
Mecca. He died in 755, two or three years after the victory of Charles
Martel over the Saracens. His ecclesiastical history, in five books,
describes the period from Augustine's arrival in Kent, 597.

Dr Arnold's dissertation on Bede involves him in the discussion of a
question on which much skill and ability have been exercised. We allude
to the question of miracles. "The question," says he, "in Bede takes
this form--What credit is to be attached to the frequent stories of
miracles or wonders which occur in his narrative?" He seizes at once
upon the difficulty, without compromise or evasion. He makes a
distinction between a wonder and a miracle: "to say that all recorded
wonders are false, from those recorded by Herodotus to the latest
reports of animal magnetism, would be a boldness of assertion wholly
unjustifiable." At the same time he thinks the character of Bede, added
to the religious difficulty, may incline us to limit miracles to the
earliest times of Christianity, and refuse our belief to all which are
reported by the historians of subsequent centuries. He then proceeds to
consider the questions which suggest themselves when we read Matthew
Paris, or still more, any of the French, German, or Italian historians
of the same period:--

     "The thirteenth century contains in it, at its beginning, the
     most splendid period of the Papacy, the time of Innocent the
     Third; its end coincides with that great struggle between
     Boniface the Eighth and Philip the Fair, which marks the first
     stage of its decline. It contains the reign of Frederick the
     Second, and his long contest with the popes in Italy; the
     foundation of the orders of friars, Dominican and Franciscan;
     the last period of the crusades, and the age of the greatest
     glory of the schoolmen. Thus, full of matters of interest as it
     is, it will yet be found that all its interest is more or less
     connected with two great questions concerning the church;
     namely, the power of the priesthood in matters of government
     and in matters of faith; the merits of the contest between the
     Papacy and the kings of Europe; the nature and character of
     that influence over men's minds which affected the whole
     philosophy of the period, the whole intellectual condition of
     the Christian world."--P. 138.

The pretensions and corruptions of the Church are undoubtedly the chief
object to which, at this period, the attention of the reader must be
attracted. "Is the church system of Innocent III. in faith or government
the system of the New Testament?" Is the difference between them
inconsiderable, such as may be accounted for by the natural progress of
society, or does the rent extend to the foundation? "The first century,"
says Dr Arnold, "is to determine our judgment of the second and of all
subsequent centuries. It will not do to assume that the judgment must be
interpreted by the very practices and opinions, the merits of which it
has to try." As a specimen of the chroniclers, he selects Philip de
Comines, almost the last great writer of his class. In him is
exemplified one of the peculiar distinctions of attaching to modern
history the importance of attending to genealogies.

     "For instance, Comines records the marriage of Mary, duchess
     of Burgundy, daughter and sole heiress of Charles the Bold,
     with Maximilian, archduke of Austria. This marriage, conveying
     all the dominions of Burgundy to Maximilian and his heirs,
     established a great independent sovereign on the frontiers of
     France, giving to him on the north, not only the present
     kingdoms of Holland and Belgium, but large portions of what is
     now French territory, the old provinces of Artois and French
     Flanders, French Hainault and French Luxemburg; while on the
     east it gave him Franche Comté, thus yielding him a footing
     within the Jura, on the very banks of the Saône. Thence ensued
     in after ages, when the Spanish branch of the house of Austria
     had inherited this part of its dominions--the long contests
     which deluged the Netherlands with blood, the campaigns of King
     William and Luxembourg, the nine years of efforts, no less
     skilful than valiant, in which Marlborough broke his way
     through the fortresses of the iron frontier. Again, when Spain
     became in a manner French by the accession of the House of
     Bourbon, the Netherlands reverted once more to Austria itself;
     and from thence the powers of Europe advanced, almost in our
     own days, to assail France as a republic; and on this ground,
     on the plains of Fleurus, was won the first of those great
     victories which, for nearly twenty years, carried the French
     standards triumphantly over Europe. Thus the marriage recorded
     by Comines has been working busily down to our very own times:
     it is only since the settlement of 1814, and that more recent
     one of 1830, that the Netherlands have ceased to be effected by
     the union of Charles the Bold's daughter with Maximilian of
     Austria"--P. 148.

Again, in order to understand the contest which Philip de Comines
records between a Frenchman and a Spaniard for the crown of Naples, we
must go back to the dark and bloody page in the annals of the thirteenth
century, which relates the extinction of the last heir of the great
Swabian race of Hohenstauffen by Charles of Anjou, the fit and
unrelenting instrument of Papal hatred--the dreadful expiation of that
great crime by the Sicilian Vespers, the establishment of the House of
Anjou in Sicily, the crimes and misfortunes of Queen Joanna, the new
contest occasioned by her adoption--all these events must be known to
him who would understand the expedition of Charles VIII. The following
passage is an admirable description of the reasons which lend to the
pages of Philip de Comines a deep and melancholy interest:--

     "The Memoirs of Philip de Comines terminate about twenty years
     before the Reformation, six years after the first voyage of
     Columbus. They relate, then, to a tranquil period immediately
     preceding a period of extraordinary movement; to the last stage
     of an old state of things, now on the point of passing away.
     Such periods, the lull before the burst of the hurricane, the
     almost oppressive stillness which announces the eruption, or,
     to use Campbell's beautiful image--

     'The torrent's smoothness ere it dash below,'--

     are always, I think, full of a very deep interest. But it is
     not from the mere force of contrast with the times that follow,
     nor yet from the solemnity which all things wear when their
     dissolution is fast approaching--the interest has yet another
     source; our knowledge, namely, that in that tranquil period lay
     the germs of the great changes following, taking their shape
     for good or for evil, and sometimes irreversibly, while all
     wore an outside of unconsciousness. We, enlightened by
     experience, are impatient of this deadly slumber; we wish in
     vain that the age could have been awakened to a sense of its
     condition, and taught the infinite preciousness of the passing
     hour. And as, when a man has been cut off by sudden death, we
     are curious to know whether his previous words or behaviour
     indicated any sense of his coming fate, so we examine the
     records of a state of things just expiring, anxious to observe
     whether, in any point, there may be discerned an anticipation
     of the great future, or whether all was blindness and
     insensibility. In this respect, Comines' Memoirs are striking
     from their perfect unconsciousness: the knell of the middle
     ages had been already sounded, yet Comines has no other notions
     than such as they had tended to foster; he describes their
     events, their characters, their relations, as if they were to
     continue for centuries. His remarks are such as the simplest
     form of human affairs gives birth to; he laments the
     instability of earthly fortune, as Homer notes our common
     mortality, or in the tone of that beautiful dialogue between
     Solon and Croesus, when the philosopher assured the king, that
     to be rich was not necessarily to be happy. But, resembling
     Herodotus in his simple morality, he is utterly unlike him in
     another point; for whilst Herodotus speaks freely and honestly
     of all men, without respect of persons, Philip de Comines
     praises his master Louis the Eleventh as one of the best of
     princes, although he witnessed not only the crimes of his life,
     but the miserable fears and suspicions of his latter end, and
     has even faithfully recorded them. In this respect Philip de
     Comines is in no respect superior to Froissart, with whom the
     crimes committed by his knights and great lords never interfere
     with his general eulogies of them: the habit of deference and
     respect was too strong to be broken, and the facts which he
     himself relates to their discredit, appear to have produced on
     his mind no impression."

We now enter upon a period which may be called the modern part of modern
history, the more complicated period, in contradistinction to the more
simple state of things which, up to this moment, has occupied the
student's attention. It is impossible to read, without deep regret, the
passage in which Dr Arnold speaks of his intention--"if life and health
be spared him, to enter into minute details; selecting some one country
as the principal subject of his enquiries, and illustrating the lessons
of history for the most part from its particular experience."

He proceeds, however, to the performance of the task immediately before
him. After stating that the great object, the [Greek: teleiotaton
telos], of history is that which most nearly touches the inner life of
civilized man, he pauses for a while at the threshold before he enters
into the sanctuary, and undoubtedly some external knowledge is requisite
before we penetrate into its recesses: we want some dwelling-place, as
it were, for the mind, some local habitation in which our ideas may be
arranged, some topics that may be firmly grasped by the memory, and on
which the understanding may confidently rest; and thus it is that
geography, even with a view to other purposes, must engross, in the
first instance, a considerable share of our attention. The sense in
which Dr Arnold understands a knowledge of geography, is explained in
the following luminous and instructive commentary:--

     "I said that geography held out one hand to geology and
     physiology, while she held out the other to history. In fact,
     geology and physiology themselves are closely connected with
     history. For instance, what lies at the bottom of that question
     which is now being discussed every where, the question of the
     corn-laws, but the geological fact that England is more richly
     supplied with coal-mines than any other country in the world?
     what has given a peculiar interest to our relations with China,
     but the physiological fact, that the tea-plant, which is become
     so necessary to our daily life, has been cultivated with equal
     success in no other climate or country? what is it which
     threatens the permanence of the union between the northern and
     southern states of the American confederacy, but the
     physiological fact, that the soil and climate of the southern
     states render them essentially agricultural, while those of the
     northern states, combined with their geographical advantages as
     to sea-ports, dispose them no less naturally to be
     manufacturing and commercial? The whole character of a nation
     may be influenced by its geology and physical geography. But
     for the sake of its mere beauty and liveliness, if there were
     no other consideration, it would be worth our while to acquire
     this richer view of geography. Conceive only the difference
     between a ground-plan and a picture. The mere plan geography of
     Italy gives us its shape, as I have observed, and the position
     of its towns; to these it may add a semicircle of mountains
     round the northern boundary to represent the Alps, and another
     long line stretching down the middle of the country to
     represent the Apennines. But let us carry on this a little
     further, and give life and meaning and harmony to what is at
     present at once lifeless and confused. Observe, in the first
     place, how the Apennine line, beginning from the southern
     extremity of the Alps, runs across Italy to the very edge of
     the Adriatic, and thus separates naturally the Italy proper of
     the Romans, from Cisalpine Gaul. Observe again, how the Alps,
     after running north and south, where they divide Italy from
     France, turn then away to the eastward, running almost parallel
     to the Apennines, till they too touch the head of the Adriatic,
     on the confines of Istria. Thus between these two lines of
     mountains there is enclosed one great basin or plain; enclosed
     on three sides by mountains, open only on the east to the sea.
     Observe how widely it spreads itself out, and then see how well
     it is watered. One great river flows through it in its whole
     extent, and this is fed by streams almost unnumbered,
     descending towards it on either side, from the Alps on the one
     side, and from the Apennines on the other. Who can wonder that
     this large and rich and well-watered plain should be filled
     with flourishing cities, or that it should have been contended
     for so often by successive invaders? Then descending into Italy
     proper, we find the complexity of its geography quite in
     accordance with its manifold political division. It is not one
     simple central ridge of mountains, leaving a broad belt of
     level country on either side between it and the sea, nor yet
     is it a chain rising immediately from the sea on one side, like
     the Andes in South America, and leaving room, therefore, on the
     other side for wide plains of table-land, and rivers with a
     sufficient length of course to become at last great and
     navigable. It is a back-bone thickly set with spines of unequal
     length, some of them running out at regular distances parallel
     to each other, but others twisted so strangely that they often
     run for a long way parallel to the back-bone, or main ridge,
     and interlace with one another in a maze almost inextricable.
     And, as if to complete the disorder, in those spots where the
     spines of the Apennines, being twisted round, run parallel to
     the sea and to their own central chain, and thus leave an
     interval of plain between their bases and the Mediterranean,
     volcanic agency has broken up the space thus left with other
     and distinct groups of hills of its own creation, as in the
     case of Vesuvius, and of the Alban hills near Rome. Speaking
     generally then, Italy is made up of an infinite multitude of
     valleys pent in between high and steep hills, each forming a
     country to itself, and cut off by natural barriers from the
     others. Its several parts are isolated by nature, and no art of
     man can thoroughly unite them. Even the various provinces of
     the same kingdom are strangers to each other; the Abruzzi are
     like an unknown world to the inhabitants of Naples, insomuch,
     that when two Neapolitan naturalists, not ten years since, made
     an excursion to visit the Majella, one of the highest of the
     central Apennines, they found there many medicinal plants
     growing in the greatest profusion, which the Neapolitans were
     regularly in the habit of importing from other countries, as no
     one suspected their existence within their own kingdom. Hence
     arises the romantic character of Italian scenery: the constant
     combination of a mountain outline and all the wild features of
     a mountain country, with the rich vegetation of a southern
     climate in the valleys. Hence too the rudeness, the pastoral
     simplicity, and the occasional robber habits, to be found in
     the population; so that to this day you may travel in many
     places for miles together in the plains and valleys without
     passing through a single town or village; for the towns still
     cluster on the mountain sides, the houses nestling together on
     some scanty ledge, with cliffs rising above them and sinking
     down abruptly below them, the very 'congesta manu præruptis
     oppida saxis' of Virgil's description, which he even then
     called 'antique walls,' because they had been the strongholds
     of the primæval inhabitants of the country, and which are still
     inhabited after a lapse of so many centuries, nothing of the
     stir and movement of other parts of Europe having penetrated
     into these lonely valleys, and tempted the people to quit their
     mountain fastnesses for a more accessible dwelling in the

     "I have been led on further than I intended, but I wished to
     give an example of what I meant by a real and lively knowledge
     of geography, which brings the whole character of a country
     before our eyes, and enables us to understand its influence
     upon the social and political condition of its inhabitants. And
     this knowledge, as I said before, is very important to enable
     us to follow clearly the external revolutions of different
     nations, which we want to comprehend before we penetrate to
     what has been passing within."

This introductory discussion is followed by a rapid sketch of the
different struggles for power and independence in Europe during the
three last centuries. The general tendency of this period has been to
consolidate severed nations into great kingdoms; but this tendency has
been checked when the growth of any single power has become excessive,
by the combined efforts of other European nations. Spain, France,
England, and Austria, all in their turns have excited the jealousy of
their neighbours, and have been attacked by their confederate strength.
But in 1793 the peace of Europe was assailed by an enemy still more
dangerous and energetic--still more destructive--we doubt whether in the
English language a more vivid description is to be found of the evil,
its progress, and its termination, than Dr Arnold has given in the
following passage:--

     "Ten years afterwards there broke out by far the most alarming
     danger of universal dominion, which had ever threatened Europe.
     The most military people in Europe became engaged in a war for
     their very existence. Invasion on the frontiers, civil war and
     all imaginable horrors raging within, the ordinary relations of
     life went to wreck, and every Frenchman became a soldier. It
     was a multitude numerous as the hosts of Persia, but animated
     by the courage and skill and energy of the old Romans. One
     thing alone was wanting, that which Pyrrhus said the Romans
     wanted, to enable them to conquer the world--a general and a
     ruler like himself. There was wanted a master hand to restore
     and maintain peace at home, and to concentrate and direct the
     immense military resources of France against her foreign
     enemies. And such an one appeared in Napoleon. Pacifying La
     Vendée, receiving back the emigrants, restoring the church,
     remodelling the law, personally absolute, yet carefully
     preserving and maintaining all the great points which the
     nation had won at the Revolution, Napoleon united in himself,
     not only the power, but the whole will of France; and that
     power and will were guided by a genius for war such as Europe
     had never seen since Cæsar. The effect was absolutely magical.
     In November 1799, he was made First Consul; he found France
     humbled by defeats, his Italian conquests lost, his allies
     invaded, his own frontier threatened. He took the field in May
     1800, and in June the whole fortune of the war was changed, and
     Austria driven out of Lombardy by the victory of Marengo. Still
     the flood of the tide rose higher and higher, and every
     successive wave of its advance swept away a kingdom. Earthly
     state has never reached a prouder pinnacle than when Napoleon,
     in June 1812, gathered his army at Dresden--that mighty host,
     unequalled in all time, of 450,000, not men merely, but
     effective soldiers, and there received the homage of subject
     kings. And now, what was the principal adversary of this
     tremendous power? by whom was it checked, and resisted, and put
     down? By none, and by nothing, but the direct and manifest
     interposition of God. I know of no language so well fitted to
     describe that victorious advance to Moscow, and the utter
     humiliation of the retreat, as the language of the prophet with
     respect to the advance and subsequent destruction of the host
     of Sennacherib. 'When they arose early in the morning, behold
     they were all dead corpses,' applies almost literally to that
     memorable night of frost, in which twenty thousand horses
     perished, and the strength of the French army was utterly
     broken. Human instruments, no doubt, were employed in the
     remainder of the work; nor would I deny to Germany and to
     Prussia the glories of the year 1813, nor to England the honour
     of her victories in Spain, or of the crowning victory of
     Waterloo. But at the distance of thirty years, those who lived
     in the time of danger and remember its magnitude, and now
     calmly review what there was in human strength to avert it,
     must acknowledge, I think, beyond all controversy, that the
     deliverance of Europe from the dominion of Napoleon was
     effected neither by Russia, nor by Germany, nor by England, but
     by the hand of God alone."

The question, whether some races of men possess an inherent superiority
over others, is mooted by Dr Arnold, in his dissertation on military
science. Without laying down any universal rule, it may be stated that
such a superiority can be predicated of no European nation. Frederick
the Great defeated the French at Rosbach, as easily as Napoleon overcame
the Prussians at Jena. If Marlborough was uniformly successful, William
III. was always beaten by Luxembourg, and the Duke of Cumberland by
D'Etrées and Saxe. It seems, therefore, a fair inference, that no
civilized European nation possesses over its neighbours that degree of
superiority which greater genius in the general, or greater discipline
in the troops of its antagonists, will not be sufficient to counteract.
The defeat of the Vendéans in France, by the soldiers of the garrison of
Mentz; and the admirable conduct of our own Sepoys under British
generals, are, no doubt, strong instances to show the prodigious
importance of systematic discipline. Still, we cannot quite coincide
with Dr Arnold's opinion on this subject. We are quite ready to
admit--who, indeed, for a moment would deny?--in military as well as in
all other subjects, the value of professional attainments and long
experience. We cannot, however, consider them superior to those great
qualities of our nature which discipline may regulate and embellish, but
which it can never destroy or supersede. As every man is bound to form
his own opinion on religious matters, though he may not be a priest,
every man is obliged to defend his country when invaded, though he may
not be a soldier. Nor can the miseries which such a state of things
involves, furnish any argument against its necessity. All war must be
attended with misfortunes, which freeze the blood and make the soul sick
in their contemplation; but these very misfortunes deter those who wield
the reins of empire from appealing wantonly to its determination. The
resistance of Saragossa was not the less glorious, it does not the less
fire the heart of every reader with a holy and passionate enthusiasm,
because it was not conducted according to the strict forms of military
tactics, because citizens and even women participated in its fame. The
inextinguishable hatred of the Spanish nation for its oppressor--which
wore down the French armies, which no severities, no violence, no
defeat, could subdue--will be, as long as time shall last, a terrible
lesson to ambitious conquerors. They will learn that there is in the
fury of an insulted nation a danger which the most exquisite military
combinations cannot remove, which the most perfectly served artillery
cannot sweep away, before which all the bayonets, and gunpowder, and
lines of fortification in the world are useless--and compared with which
the science of the commander is pedantry, and strategy but a word. They
will discover that something more than mechanical power, however
great--something more than the skill of the practised officer, or the
instinct of well-trained soldiers, are requisite for success--where
every plain is a Marathon, and every valley a Thermopylæ.

Would to God that the same reproach urged against the Spanish
nation--that they defended their native soil irregularly--that they
fought like freemen rather than like soldiers--that they transgressed
the rules of war by defending one side of a street while the artillery
of the enemy, with its thousand mouths, was pouring death upon them from
the other--that they struggled too long, that they surrendered too late,
that they died too readily, could have been applied to Poland--one
fearful instance of success would have been wanting to encourage the
designs of despotism!

Some of the rights of war are next considered--that of sacking a town
taken by assault, and of blockading a town defended, not by the
inhabitants, but by a military garrison--are next examined;--in both
these cases the penalty falls upon the innocent. The Homeric description
of a town taken by assault, is still applicable to modern warfare:--

     [Greek: andras men kteinoysi, polin de te pyr amathynei
             tekna de t' alloi agoysi, bathyzônoys te gynaikas.]

The unhappy fate of Genoa is thus beautifully related--

     "Some of you, I doubt not, remember Genoa; you have seen that
     queenly city with its streets of palaces, rising tier above
     tier from the water, girdling with the long lines of its bright
     white houses the vast sweep of its harbour, the mouth of which
     is marked by a huge natural mole of rock, crowned by its
     magnificent lighthouse tower. You remember how its white houses
     rose out of a mass of fig and olive and orange trees, the glory
     of its old patrician luxury. You may have observed the
     mountains, behind the town, spotted at intervals by small
     circular low towers; one of which is distinctly conspicuous
     where the ridge of the hills rises to its summit, and hides
     from view all the country behind it. Those towers are the forts
     of the famous lines, which, curiously resembling in shape the
     later Syracusan walls enclosing Epipalæ, converge inland from
     the eastern and western extremities of the city, looking
     down--the western line on the valley of the Polcevera, the
     eastern, on that of the Bisagno--till they meet, as I have
     said, on the summit of the mountains, where the hills cease to
     rise from the sea, and become more or less of a table land,
     running off towards the interior, at the distance, as well as I
     remember, of between two and three miles from the outside of
     the city. Thus a very large open space is enclosed within the
     lines, and Genoa is capable therefore of becoming a vast
     intrenched camp, holding not so much a garrison as an army. In
     the autumn of 1799, the Austrians had driven the French out of
     Lombardy and Piedmont; their last victory of Fossano or Genola
     had won the fortress of Coni or Cunco, close under the Alps,
     and at the very extremity of the plain of the Po; the French
     clung to Italy only by their hold of the Riviera of Genoa--the
     narrow strip of coast between the Apennines and the sea, which
     extends from the frontiers of France almost to the mouth of the
     Arno. Hither the remains of the French force were collected,
     commanded by General Massena; and the point of chief importance
     to his defence was the city of Genoa. Napoleon had just
     returned from Egypt, and was become First Consul; but he could
     not be expected to take the field till the following spring,
     and till then Massena was hopeless of relief from
     without--every thing was to depend on his own pertinacity. The
     strength of his army made it impossible to force it in such a
     position as Genoa; but its very numbers, added to the
     population of a great city, held out to the enemy a hope of
     reducing it by famine; and as Genoa derives most of its
     supplies by sea, Lord Keith, the British naval
     commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, lent the assistance of
     his naval force to the Austrians; and, by the vigilance of his
     cruizers, the whole coasting trade right and left along the
     Riviera, was effectually cut off. It is not at once that the
     inhabitants of a great city, accustomed to the daily sight of
     well-stored shops and an abundant market, begin to realize the
     idea of scarcity; or that the wealthy classes of society, who
     have never known any other state than one of abundance and
     luxury, begin seriously to conceive of famine. But the shops
     were emptied; and the storehouses began to be drawn upon; and
     no fresh supply, or hope of supply, appeared.

     "Winter passed away and spring returned, so early and so
     beautiful on that garden-like coast, sheltered as it is from
     the north winds by its belts of mountains, and open to the full
     rays of the southern sun. Spring returned and clothed the
     hill-sides within the lines with its fresh verdure. But that
     verdure was no longer the mere delight of the careless eye of
     luxury, refreshing the citizens by its liveliness and softness,
     when they rode or walked up thither from the city to enjoy the
     surpassing beauty of the prospect. The green hill-sides were
     now visited for a very different object; ladies of the highest
     rank might be seen cutting up every plant which it was possible
     to turn to food, and bearing home the common weeds of our
     road-sides as a most precious treasure. The French general
     pitied the distresses of the people; but the lives and strength
     of his garrison seemed to him more important than the lives of
     the Genoese, and such provisions as remained were reserved, in
     the first place, for the French army. Scarcity became utter
     want, and want became famine. In the most gorgeous palaces of
     that gorgeous city, no less than in the humblest tenements of
     its humblest poor, death was busy; not the momentary death of
     battle or massacre, nor the speedy death of pestilence, but the
     lingering and most miserable death of famine. Infants died
     before their parents' eyes, husbands and wives lay down to
     expire together. A man whom I saw at Genoa in 1825, told me,
     that his father and two of his brothers had been starved to
     death in this fatal siege. So it went on, till in the month of
     June, when Napoleon had already descended from the Alps into
     the plain of Lombardy, the misery became unendurable, and
     Massena surrendered. But before he did so, twenty thousand
     innocent persons, old and young, women and children, had died
     by the most horrible of deaths which humanity can endure. Other
     horrors which occurred besides during this blockade, I pass
     over; the agonizing death of twenty thousand innocent and
     helpless persons requires nothing to be added to it.

     "Now, is it right that such a tragedy as this should take
     place, and that the laws of war should be supposed to justify
     the authors of it? Conceive having been an officer in Lord
     Keith's squadron at that time, and being employed in stopping
     the food which was being brought for the relief of such misery.
     For the thing was done deliberately; the helplessness of the
     Genoese was known; their distress was known; it was known that
     they could not force Massena to surrender; it was known that
     they were dying daily by hundreds, yet week after week, and
     month after month, did the British ships of war keep their iron
     watch along all the coast; no vessel nor boat laden with any
     article of provision could escape their vigilance. One cannot
     but be thankful that Nelson was spared from commanding at this
     horrible blockade of Genoa.

     "Now, on which side the law of nations should throw the guilt
     of most atrocious murder, is of little comparative consequence,
     or whether it should attach it to both sides equally; but that
     the deliberate starving to death of twenty thousand helpless
     persons should be regarded as a crime in one or both of the
     parties concerned in it, seems to me self-evident. The simplest
     course would seem to be, that all non-combatants should be
     allowed to go out of a blockaded town, and that the general who
     should refuse to let them pass, should be regarded in the same
     light as one who were to murder his prisoners, or who were to
     be in the habit of butchering women and children. For it is not
     true that war only looks to the speediest and most effectual
     way of attaining its object; so that, as the letting the
     inhabitants go out would enable the garrison to maintain the
     town longer, the laws of war authorize the keeping them in and
     starving them. Poisoning wells might be a still quicker method
     of reducing a place; but do the laws of war therefore sanction
     it? I shall not be supposed for a moment to be placing the
     guilt of the individuals concerned in the two cases which I am
     going to compare, on an equal footing; it would be most unjust
     to do so--for in the one case they acted, as they supposed,
     according to a law which made what they did their duty. But,
     take the cases themselves, and examine them in all their
     circumstances; the degree of suffering inflicted--the innocence
     and helplessness of the sufferers--the interests at stake--and
     the possibility of otherwise securing them; and if any man can
     defend the lawfulness in the abstract of the starvation of the
     inhabitants of Genoa, I will engage also to establish the
     lawfulness of the massacres of September."

We rejoice to find that the great authority of Colonel W. Napier--an
authority of which posterity will know the value--is arrayed on the side
of those who think that war, the best school, as after all it must often
be, of some of our noblest virtues, need not be always the cause of
such atrocities.

This enquiry shows us how the centre of external movement in Europe has
varied; but it is not merely to the territorial struggle that our
attention should be confined--mighty principles, Christian truth, civil
freedom, were often partially at issue on one side, or on the other, in
the different contests which the gold and steel of Europe were set in
motion to determine; hence the necessity of considering not only the
moral power, but the economical and military strength of the respective
countries. It requires no mean share of political wisdom to mitigate an
encounter with the financial difficulties by which every contest is
beset. The evils of the political and social state of France were
brought to a head by the dilapidation of its revenues, and occasioned,
not the Revolution itself, but the disorders by which it was
accompanied. And more than half of our national revenue is appropriated
to the payment of our own debt; in other words, every acre of land,
besides the support of its owner and the actual demands of the State, is
encumbered with the support of two or three persons who represent the
creditors of the nation; and every man who would have laboured twelve
hours, had no national debt existed, is now obliged to toil sixteen for
the same remuneration: such a state of things may be necessary, but it
certainly requires investigation.

Other parts of the law of nations, the maritime law especially, require
improvement. Superficial men are apt to overlook the transcendent
importance of error on these subjects by which desolation may be spread
from one quarter of the globe to the other. As no man can bear long the
unanimous disapprobation of his fellows, no nation can long set at
defiance the voice of a civilized world. But we return to history in
military operations. A good map is essential to this study. For
instance, to understand the wars of Frederick the Great, it is not
enough to know that he was defeated at Kolin, Hochkirchen, and
Cunersdorf--that he was victorious at Rosbach, Lowositz, Zorndorf, and
Prague--that he was opposed by Daun, and Laudohn, and Soltikoff--we must
also comprehend the situation of the Prussian dominions with regard to
those of the allies--the importance of Saxony as covering Prussia on the
side of Austria--the importance of Silesia as running into the Austrian
frontier, and flanking a large part of Bohemia, should also be
considered--this will alone enable us to account for Frederick's attack
on Saxony, and his pertinacity in keeping possession of Silesia; nor
should it be forgotten, that the military positions of one generation
are not always those of the next, and that the military history of one
period will be almost unintelligible, if judged according to the roads
and fortresses of another. For instance, St Dizier in Champagne, which
arrested Charles the Fifth's invading army, is now perfectly
untenable--Turin, so celebrated for the sieges it has sustained, is an
open town, while Alexandria is the great Piedmontese fortress. The
addition of Paris to the list of French strongholds, is, if really
intended, a greater change than any that has been enumerated. This
discussion leads to an allusion to mountain warfare, which has been
termed the poetry of the military art, and of which the struggle in
Switzerland in 1799, when the eastern part of that country was turned
into a vast citadel, defended by the French against Suwaroff, is a most
remarkable instance, as well as the most recent. The history by General
Mathieu Dumas of the campaign in 1799 and 1800, is referred to as
containing a good account and explanation of this branch of military

The internal history of Europe during the three hundred and forty years
which have elapsed since the middle ages, is the subject now proposed
for our consideration. To the question--What was the external object of
Europe during any part of this period? the answer is obvious, that it
was engaged in resisting the aggression of Spain, or France, or Austria.
But if we carry our view to the moral world, do we find any principle
equally obvious, and a solution as satisfactory? By no means. We may,
indeed, say, with apparent precision, that during the earliest part of
this epoch, Europe was divided between the champions and antagonists of
religion, as, during its latter portion, it was between the enemies and
supporters of political reformation. But a deeper analysis will show us
that these names were but the badges of ideas, always complex, sometimes
contradictory--the war-cry of contending parties, by whom the reality
was now forgotten, or to whom, compared with other purposes, it was
altogether subordinate.

Take, for instance, the exercise of political power. Is a state free in
proportion to the number of its subjects who are admitted to rank among
its citizens, or to the degree in which its recognised citizens are
invested with political authority? In the latter point of view, the
government of Athens was the freest the world has ever seen. In the
former it was a most exclusive and jealous oligarchy. "For a city to be
well governed," says Aristotle in his Politics, "those who share in its
government must be free from the care of providing for their own
support. This," he adds, "is an admitted truth."

Again, the attentive reader can hardly fail to see that, in the struggle
between Pompey and Cæsar, Cæsar represented the popular as Pompey did
the aristocratical party, and that Pompey's triumph would have been
attended, as Cicero clearly saw, by the domination of an aristocracy in
the shape most oppressive and intolerable. The government of Rome, after
several desperate struggles, had degenerated into the most corrupt
oligarchy, in which all the eloquence of Cicero was unable to kindle the
faintest gleam of public virtue. Owing to the success of Cæsar, the
civilized world exchanged the dominion of several tyrants for that of
one, and the opposition to his design was the resistance of the few to
the many.

Or we may take another view of the subject. By freedom do we mean the
absence of all restraint in private life, the non-interference by the
state in the details of ordinary intercourse? According to such a view,
the old government of Venice and the present government of Austria,
where debauchery is more than tolerated, would be freer than the Puritan
commonwealths in North America, where dramatic representations were
prohibited as impious, and death was the legal punishment of

These are specimens of the difficulties by which we are beset, when we
endeavour to obtain an exact and faithful image from the troubled medium
through which human affairs are reflected to us. Dr Arnold dwells on
this point with his usual felicity of language and illustration.

     "This inattention to altered circumstances, which would make us
     be Guelfs in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries, because
     the Guelf cause had been right in the eleventh or twelfth, is a
     fault of most universal application in all political questions,
     and is often most seriously mischievous. It is deeply seated in
     human nature, being, in fact, no other than an exemplification
     of the force of habit. It is like the case of a settler,
     landing in a country overrun with wood and undrained, and
     visited therefore by excessive falls of rain. The evil of wet,
     and damp, and closeness, is besetting him on every side; he
     clears away the woods, and he drains his land, and he, by doing
     so, mends both his climate and his own condition. Encouraged by
     his success, he perseveres in his system; clearing a country is
     with him synonymous with making it fertile and habitable; and
     he levels, or rather sets fire to, his forests without mercy.
     Meanwhile, the tide is turned without his observing it; he has
     already cleared enough, and every additional clearance is a
     mischief; damp and wet are no longer the evil most to be
     dreaded, but excessive drought. The rains do not fall in
     sufficient quantity; the springs become low, the rivers become
     less and less fitted for navigation. Yet habit blinds him for a
     long while to the real state of the case; and he continues to
     encourage a coming mischief in his dread of one that is become
     obsolete. We have been long making progress on our present
     tack; yet if we do not go about now, we shall run ashore.
     Consider the popular feeling at this moment against capital
     punishment; what is it but continuing to burn the woods, when
     the country actually wants shade and moisture? Year after year,
     men talked of the severity of the penal code, and struggled
     against it in vain. The feeling became stronger and stronger,
     and at last effected all, and more than all, which it had at
     first vainly demanded; yet still, from mere habit, it pursues
     its course, no longer to the restraining of legal cruelty, but
     to the injury of innocence and the encouragement of crime, and
     encouraging that worse evil--a sympathy with wickedness justly
     punished rather than with the law, whether of God or man,
     unjustly violated. So men have continued to cry out against the
     power of the Crown after the Crown had been shackled hand and
     foot; and to express the greatest dread of popular violence
     long after that violence was exhausted, and the anti-popular
     party was not only rallied, but had turned the tide of battle,
     and was victoriously pressing upon its enemy."

The view which Dr Arnold gives of the parties in England during the
sixteenth century--that great epoch of English genius--is remarkable for
its candour and moderation. He considers the distinctions which then
prevailed in England as political rather than religious, "inasmuch as
they disputed about points of church government, without any reference
to a supposed priesthood; and because even those who maintained that one
or another form was to be preferred, because it was of divine
appointment, were influenced in their interpretation of the doubtful
language of the Scriptures by their own strong persuasion of what that
language could not but mean to say."

And he then concludes by the unanswerable remark, that in England,
according to the theory of the constitution during the sixteenth
century, church and state were one. The proofs of this proposition are
innumerable--not merely the act by which the supremacy was conferred on
Henry VIII.--not merely the powers, almost unlimited, in matters
ecclesiastical, delegated to the king's vicegerent, that vicegerent
being a layman--not merely the communion established by the sole
authority of Edward VI.--without the least participation in it by any
bishop or clergyman; but the still more conclusive argument furnished by
the fact, that no point in the doctrine, discipline, or ritual of our
church, was established except by the power of Parliament, and the power
of Parliament alone--nay, more, that they were established in direct
defiance of the implacable opposition of the bishops, by whom, being
then Roman Catholics, the English Church, on the accession of Elizabeth,
was represented--to which the omission of the names of the Lords
Spiritual in the Act of Uniformity, which is said to be enacted by the
"Queen's Highness," with the assent of the Lords and Commons in
Parliament assembled, is a testimony, at once unanswerable and
unprecedented. We have dwelt with the more anxiety on this part of Dr
Arnold's work, as it furnishes a complete answer to the absurd opinions
concerning the English Church, which it has been of late the object of a
few bigots, unconsciously acting as the tools of artful and ambitious
men, to propagate, and which would lead, by a direct and logical
process, to the complete overthrow of Protestant faith and worship.
Such, then, being the state of things "recognized on all hands, church
government was no light matter, but one which essentially involved in it
the government of the state; and the disputing the Queen's supremacy,
was equivalent to depriving her of one of the most important portions of
her sovereignty, and committing half of the government of the nation to
other hands."

At the accession of Henry VIII., the most profound tranquillity
prevailed over England. The last embers of those factions by which,
during his father's reign, the peace of the nation had been disturbed
rather than endangered, were quenched by the vigilance and severity of
that able monarch; during the wars of the Roses, the noblest blood in
England had been poured out on the field or on the scaffold, and the
wealth of the most opulent proprietors had been drained by confiscation.
The parties of York and Lancaster were no more--the Episcopal and
Puritan factions were not yet in being--every day diminished the
influence of the nobles--the strength of the Commons was in its
infancy--the Crown alone remained, strong in its own prerogative,
stronger still in the want of all competitors. Crime after crime was
committed by the savage tyrant who inherited it; he was
ostentatious--the treasures of the nation were lavished at his feet; he
was vindictive--the blood of the wise, the noble, and the beautiful, was
shed, like water, to gratify his resentment; he was rapacious--the
accumulations of ancient piety were surrendered to glut his avarice; he
was arbitrary--and his proclamations were made equivalent to acts of
Parliament; he was fickle--and the religion of the nation was changed to
gratify his lust. To all this the English people submitted, as to some
divine infliction, in silence and consternation--the purses, lives,
liberties, and consciences of his people were, for a time, at his
disposal. During the times of his son and his eldest daughter, the
general aspect of affairs was the same. But, though the hurricane of
royal caprice and bigotry swept over the land, seemingly without
resistance, the sublime truths which were the daily subject of
controversy, and the solid studies with which the age was conversant,
penetrated into every corner of the land, and were incorporated with the
very being of the nation. Then, as the mist of doubt and persecution
which had covered Mary's throne cleared away, the intellect of England,
in all its health, and vigour, and symmetry, stood revealed in the men
and women of the Elizabethan age:--

     "To say," observes Dr Arnold, "that the Puritans were wanting
     in humility because they did not acquiesce in the state of
     things which they found around them, is a mere extravagance,
     arising out of a total misapprehension of the nature of
     humility, and of the merits of the feeling of veneration. All
     earnestness and depth of character is incompatible with such a
     notion of humility. A man deeply penetrated with some great
     truth, and compelled, as it were, to obey it, cannot listen to
     every one who may be indifferent to it, or opposed to it. There
     is a voice to which he already owes obedience, which he serves
     with the humblest devotion, which he worships with the most
     intense veneration. It is not that such feelings are dead in
     him, but that he has bestowed them on one object, and they are
     claimed for another. To which they are most due is a question
     of justice; he may be wrong in his decision, and his worship
     may be idolatrous; but so also may be the worship which his
     opponents call upon him to render. If, indeed, it can be shown
     that a man admires and reverences nothing, he may be justly
     taxed with want of humility; but this is at variance with the
     very notion of an earnest character; for its earnestness
     consists in its devotion to some one object, as opposed to a
     proud or contemptuous indifference. But if it be meant that
     reverence in itself is good, so that the more objects of
     veneration we have the better is our character, this is to
     confound the essential difference between veneration and love.
     The excellence of love is its universality; we are told that
     even the highest object of all cannot be loved if inferior
     objects are hated."

Opinions, in the meanwhile, not very favourable to established authority
in the state, and marked by a rooted antipathy to ecclesiastical
pretensions, were rapidly gaining proselytes in the nation, and even at
the court. But the prudence and spirit of Elizabeth, and, still more,
the great veneration and esteem for that magnanimous princess, which
were for many years the ruling principle--we might almost say, the
darling passion--of Englishmen, enabled her to keep at bay the dangerous
animosities which her miserable successor had neither dexterity to
conciliate nor vigour to subdue. In his time the cravings, moral and
intellectual, of the English nation discovered themselves in forms not
to be mistaken--some more, some less formidable to established
government; but all announcing that the time was come when concession to
them was inevitable. No matter whether it was the Puritan who complained
of the rags of popery, or the judge who questioned the prerogative of
the sovereign, or the patriot who bewailed the profligate expenditure of
James's polluted court, or the pamphleteer whom one of our dramatists
has described so admirably, or the hoarse murmur of the crowd execrating
the pusillanimous murder of Raleigh--whosesoever the voice might be,
whatever shape it might assume, petition, controversy, remonstrance,
address, impeachment, libel, menace, insurrection, the language it spoke
was uniform and unequivocal; it demanded for the people a share in the
administration of their government, civil and ecclesiastical--it
expressed their determination to make the House of Commons a reality.

The observations that follow are fraught with the most profound wisdom,
and afford an admirable exemplification of the manner in which history
should be read by those who wish to find in it something more than a
mere register of facts and anecdotes:--

     "Under these circumstances there were now working together in
     the same party many principles which, as we have seen, are
     sometimes perfectly distinct. For instance the popular
     principle, that the influence of many should not be overborne
     by that of one, was working side by side with the principle of
     movement, or the desire of carrying on the work of the
     Reformation to the furthest possible point, and not only the
     desire of completing the Reformation, but that of shaking off
     the manifold evils of the existing state of things, both
     political and moral. Yet it is remarkable that the spirit of
     intellectual movement stood as it were hesitating which party
     it ought to join: and as the contest went on, it seemed rather
     to incline to that party which was most opposed to the
     political movement. This is a point in the state of English
     party in the seventeenth century which is well worth noticing,
     and we must endeavour to comprehend it.

     "We might think, _a priori_, that the spirit of political, and
     that of intellectual, and that of religious movement, would go
     on together, each favouring and encouraging the other. But the
     Spirit of intellectual movement differs from the other two in
     this, that it is comparatively one with which the mass of
     mankind have little sympathy. Political benefits all men can
     appreciate; and all good men, and a great many more than we
     might well dare to call good, can appreciate also the value,
     not of all, but of some religious truth which to them may seem
     all: the way to obtain God's favour and to worship Him aright,
     is a thing which great bodies of men can value, and be moved to
     the most determined efforts if they fancy that they are
     hindered from attaining to it. But intellectual movement in
     itself is a thing which few care for. Political truth may be
     dear to them, so far as it effects their common well-being; and
     religious truth so far as they may think it their duty to learn
     it; but truth abstractedly, and because it is truth, which is
     the object, I suppose, of the pure intellect, is to the mass of
     mankind a thing indifferent. Thus the workings of the intellect
     come even to be regarded with suspicion as unsettling: we have
     got, we say, what we want, and we are well contented with it;
     why should we be kept in perpetual restlessness, because you
     are searching after some new truths which, when found, will
     compel us to derange the state of our minds in order to make
     room for them. Thus the democracy of Athens was afraid of and
     hated Socrates; and the poet who satirized Cleon, knew that
     Cleon's partizans, no less than his own aristocratical friends,
     would sympathize with his satire when directed against the
     philosophers. But if this hold in political matters, much more
     does it hold religiously. The two great parties of the
     Christian world have each their own standard of truth, by which
     they try all things: Scripture on the one hand, the voice of
     the church on the other. To both, therefore, the pure
     intellectual movement is not only unwelcome, but they dislike
     it. It will question what they will not allow to be questioned;
     it may arrive at conclusions which they would regard as
     impious. And, therefore, in an age of religious movement
     particularly, the spirit of intellectual movement soon finds
     itself proscribed rather than countenanced."

In the extract which follows, the pure and tender morality of the
sentiment vies with the atmosphere of fine writing that invests it. The
passage is one which Plato might have envied, and which we should
imagine the most hardened and successful of our modern apostates cannot
read without some feeling like contrition and remorse. Fortunate indeed
were the youth trained to virtue by such a monitor, and still more
fortunate the country where such a duty was confided to such a man:--

     "I have tried to analyze the popular party: I must now
     endeavour to do the same with the party opposed to it. Of
     course an anti-popular party varies exceedingly at different
     times; when it is in the ascendant, its vilest elements are
     sure to be uppermost: fair and moderate,--just men, wise men,
     noble-minded men,--then refuse to take part with it. But when
     it is humbled, and the opposite side begins to imitate its
     practices, then again many of the best and noblest spirits
     return to it, and share its defeat though they abhorred its
     victory. We must distinguish, therefore, very widely, between
     the anti-popular party in 1640, before the Long Parliament met,
     and the same party a few years, or even a few months,
     afterwards. Now, taking the best specimens of this party in its
     best state, we can scarcely admire them too highly. A man who
     leaves the popular cause when it is triumphant, and joins the
     party opposed to it, without really changing his principles and
     becoming a renegade, is one of the noblest characters in
     history. He may not have the clearest judgment, or the firmest
     wisdom; he may have been mistaken, but, as far as he is
     concerned personally, we cannot but admire him. But such a man
     changes his party not to conquer but to die. He does not allow
     the caresses of his new friends to make him forget that he is a
     sojourner with them, and not a citizen: his old friends may
     have used him ill, they may be dealing unjustly and cruelly:
     still their faults, though they may have driven him into exile,
     cannot banish from his mind the consciousness that with them is
     his true home: that their cause is habitually just and
     habitually the weaker, although now bewildered and led astray
     by an unwonted gleam of success. He protests so strongly
     against their evil that he chooses to die by their hands rather
     than in their company; but die he must, for there is no place
     left on earth where his sympathies can breathe freely; he is
     obliged to leave the country of his affections, and life
     elsewhere is intolerable. This man is no renegade, no apostate,
     but the purest of martyrs: for what testimony to truth can be
     so pure as that which is given uncheered by any sympathy; given
     not against friends, amidst unpitying or half-rejoicing
     enemies. And such a martyr was Falkland!

     "Others who fall off from a popular party in its triumph, are
     of a different character; ambitious men, who think that they
     become necessary to their opponents and who crave the glory of
     being able to undo their own work as easily as they had done
     it: passionate men, who, quarrelling with their old associates
     on some personal question, join the adversary in search of
     revenge; vain men, who think their place unequal to their
     merits, and hope to gain a higher on the opposite side: timid
     men, who are frightened as it were at the noise of their own
     guns, and the stir of actual battle--who had liked to dally
     with popular principles in the parade service of debating or
     writing in quiet times, but who shrink alarmed when both sides
     are become thoroughly in earnest: and again, quiet and honest
     men, who never having fully comprehended the general principles
     at issue, and judging only by what they see before them, are
     shocked at the violence of their party, and think that the
     opposite party is now become innocent and just, because it is
     now suffering wrong rather than doing it. Lastly, men who
     rightly understand that good government is the result of
     popular and anti-popular principles blended together, rather
     than of the mere ascendancy of either; whose aim, therefore, is
     to prevent either from going too far, and to throw their weight
     into the lighter scale: wise men and most useful, up to the
     moment when the two parties are engaged in actual civil war,
     and the question is--which shall conquer? For no man can
     pretend to limit the success of a party, when the sword is the
     arbitrator: he who wins in that game does not win by halves:
     and therefore the only question then is, which party is on the
     whole the best, or rather perhaps the least evil; for as one
     must crush the other, it is at least desirable that the party
     so crushed should be the worse."

Dr Arnold--rightly, we hope--assumes, that in lectures addressed to
Englishmen and Protestants, it is unnecessary to vindicate the
principles of the Revolution; it would, indeed, be an affront to any
class of educated Protestant freemen, to argue that our present
constitution was better than a feudal monarchy, or the religion of
Tillotson superior to that of Laud--in his own words, "whether the
doctrine and discipline of our Protestant Church of England, be not
better and truer than that of Rome." He therefore supposes the
Revolution complete, the Bill of Rights and the Toleration Act already
passed, the authority of King William recognized in England and in
Scotland, while in Ireland the party of King James was still
predominant. He then bids us consider the character and object of the
parties by which Great Britain was then divided; on the side of the
Revolution were enlisted the great families of our aristocracy, and the
bulk of the middle classes. The faction of James included the great mass
of country gentlemen, the lower orders, and, (after the first dread of a
Roman Catholic hierarchy had passed away,) except in a very few
instances, the parochial and teaching clergy; civil and religious
liberty was the motto of one party--hereditary right and passive
obedience, of the other. As the Revolution had been bloodless, it might
have been supposed that its reward would have been secure, and that our
great deliverer would have been allowed to pursue his schemes for the
liberty of Europe, if not without opposition, at least without
hostility. But the old Royalist party had been surprised and confounded,
not broken or altogether overcome. They rallied--some from pure, others
from selfish and sordid motives--under the banner to which they had been
so long accustomed; and, though ultimately baffled, they were able to
place in jeopardy, and in some measure to fling away the advantages
which the blood and treasure of England had been prodigally lavished to

The conquest of Ireland was followed by that terrible code against the
Catholics, the last remnant of which is now obliterated from our
statute-book. It is singular that this savage proscription should have
been the work of the party at whose head stood the champion of
toleration. The account which Mr Burke has given of it, and for the
accuracy of which he appeals to Bishop Burnet, does not entirely
coincide with the view taken by Dr Arnold. Mr Burke says--

     "A party in this nation, enemies to the system of the
     Revolution, were in opposition to the government of King
     William. They knew that our glorious deliverer was an enemy to
     all persecution. They knew that he came to free us from slavery
     and Popery, out of a country where a third of the people are
     contented Catholics, under a Protestant government. He came,
     with a part of his army composed of those very Catholics, to
     overset the power of a Popish prince. Such is the effect of a
     tolerating spirit, and so much is liberty served in every way,
     and by all persons, by a manly adherence to its own principles.
     Whilst freedom is true to itself, every thing becomes subject
     to it, and its very adversaries are an instrument in its hands.

     "The party I speak of (like some amongst us who would disparage
     the best friends of their country) resolved to make the King
     either violate his principles of toleration, or incur the odium
     of protecting Papists. They, therefore, brought in this bill,
     and made it purposely wicked and absurd, that it might be
     rejected. The then court-party discovering their game, turned
     the tables on them, and returned their bill to them stuffed
     with still greater absurdities, that its loss might lie upon
     its original authors. They, finding their own ball thrown back
     to them, kicked it back again to their adversaries. And thus
     this act, loaded with the double injustice of two parties,
     neither of whom intended to pass what they hoped the other
     would be persuaded to reject, went through the legislature,
     contrary to the real wish of all parts of it, and of all the
     parties that composed it. In this manner these insolent and
     profligate factions, as if they were playing with balls and
     counters, made a sport of the fortunes and the liberties of
     their fellow-creatures. Other acts of persecution have been
     acts of malice. This was a subversion of justice from

Whether Dr Arnold's theory be applicable or not to this particular case,
it furnishes but too just a solution of Irish misgovernment in general.
It is, that excessive severity toward conquered rebels, is by no means
inconsistent with the principles of free government, or even with the
triumph of a democracy. The truth of this fact is extorted from us by
all history, and may be accounted for first, by the circumstance, that
large bodies of men are less affected than individuals, by the feelings
of shame and a sense of responsibility; and, secondly, that conduct the
most selfish and oppressive, the mere suspicion of which would be enough
to brand an individual with everlasting infamy, assumes, when adopted by
popular assemblies, the air of statesmanlike wisdom and patriotic
inflexibility. The main cause of the difference with which the lower
orders in France and England regarded the Revolution in their respective
countries, is to be found in the different nature of the evils which
they were intended to remove. The English Revolution was merely
political--the French was social also; the benefits of the Bill of
Rights, great and inestimable as they were, were such as demanded some
knowledge and reflection to appreciate--they did not come home directly
to the business and bosom of the peasant; it was only in rare and great
emergencies that he could become sensible of the rights they gave, or of
the means of oppression they took away: while the time-honoured
dwellings of the Cavendishes and Russells were menaced and assailed,
nothing but the most senseless tyranny could render the cottage
insecure; but the abolition of the seignorial rights in France, free
communication between her provinces, equal taxation, impartial
justice--these were blessings which it required no economist to
illustrate, and no philosopher to explain. Every labourer in France,
whose sweat had flowed for the benefit of others, whose goods had been
seized by the exactors of the Taille and the Gabelle,[1] the fruits of
whose soil had been wasted because he was not allowed to sell them at
the neighbouring market, whose domestic happiness had been polluted, or
whose self-respect had been lowered by injuries and insults, all
retribution for which was hopeless, might well be expected to value
these advantages more than life itself. But when the principles of the
Revolution were triumphant, and the House of Brunswick finally seated on
the throne of this country, it remains to be seen what were, during the
eighteenth century, the fruits of this great and lasting victory. The
answer is a melancholy one. Content with what had been achieved, the
nation seems at once to have abandoned all idea of any further moral or
intellectual progress. In private life the grossest ignorance and
debauchery were written upon our social habits, in the broadest and most
legible characters. In public life, we see chicanery in the law, apathy
in the Church, corruption in Parliament, brutality on the seat of
justice; trade burdened with a great variety of capricious restrictions;
the punishment of death multiplied with the most shocking indifference;
the state of prisons so dreadful, that imprisonment--which might be, and
in those days often was, the lot of the most innocent of mankind--became
in itself a tremendous punishment; the press virtually shackled;
education every where wanted, and no where to be found.

     [1] "_Taille and the Gabelle_." Sully thus describes these
     fertile sources of crime and misery:--"Taille, source
     principale d'abus et de vexations de toute espèce, sans sa
     repartition et sa perception. Il est bien à souhaiter, mais pas
     à espérer, qu'on change un jour en entier le fond de cette
     partie des revenus. Je mets la Gabelle de niveau avec la
     Taille. Je n'ai jamais rien trouvé de si _bizarrement
     tyrannique_ que de faire acheter à un particulier, plus de sel
     qu'il n'en veut et n'en peut consommer, et de lui défendre
     encore de revendre ce qu'il a de trop."

The laws that were passed resemble the edicts of a jealous, selfish, and
even vindictive oligarchy, rather than institutions adopted for the
common welfare, by the representatives of a free people. Turn to any of
the works which describe the manners of the age, from the works of
Richardson or Fielding, to the bitter satire of Churchill and the
melancholy remonstrances of Cowper, and you are struck with the
delineation of a state and manners, and a tone of feeling which, in the
present day, appears scarcely credible. "'Sdeath, madam, do you threaten
me with the law?" says Lovelace to the victim of his calculating and
sordid violence. Throughout the volumes of these great writers, the
features perpetually recur of insolence, corruption, violence, and
debauchery in the one class, and of servility and cunning in the other.
It is impossible for the worst quality of an aristocracy--nominally, to
be sure, subject to the restraint of the law, but practically, almost
wholly exempt from its operation--to be more clearly and more fearfully
represented. The South Sea scheme, the invasion of Scotland, the
disgraceful expeditions on the coast of France; the conduct of Lord
George Sackville at Minden, the miserable attempt on Carthagena, the
loss of Minorca, the convention of Closterseven, the insecurity of the
high-roads, nay, of the public streets in the metropolis itself, all
serve to show the deplorable condition into which the nation was fast
sinking, abroad and at home, when the "Great Commoner" once more aroused
its energies, concentrated its strength, and carried it to a higher
pinnacle of glory than it has ever been the lot even of Great Britain to
attain. Yet this effect was transient--the progress of corruption was
checked, but the disease still lurked in the heart, and tainted the
life-blood of the community. The orgies of Medmenham Abbey, the triumphs
of Wilkes, and the loss of America, bear fatal testimony to the want of
decency and disregard of merit in private as well as public life which
infected Great Britain, polluting the sources of her domestic virtues,
and bringing disgrace upon her arms and councils during the greater part
of the eighteenth century. It is with a masterly review of this period
of our history that Dr Arnold closes his analysis of the three last
centuries. His remaining lecture is dedicated to the examination of
historical evidence--a subject on which it is not our present intention
to offer any commentary.

To trace effects to their causes, is the object of all science; and by
this object, as it is accomplished or incomplete, the progress of any
particular science must be determined. The order of the moral is in
reality as immutable as the laws of the physical world; and human
actions are linked to their consequences by a necessity as inexorable as
that which controls the growth of plants or the motion of the earth,
though the connexion between cause and effect is not equally
discernible. The depression of the nobles and the rise of the commons in
England, after the statutes of alienation, were the result of causes as
infallible in their operation as those which regulate the seasons and
the tides. Repeated experiments have proved beyond dispute, that gold is
heavier than iron. Is the superior value of gold to iron a fact more
questionable? Yet is value a quality purely moral, and absolutely
dependent on the will of man. The events of to-day are bound to those of
yesterday, and those of to-morrow will be bound to those of to-day, no
less certainly than the harvest of the present year springs from the
grain which is the produce of former harvests. When by a severe and
diligent analysis we have ascertained all the ingredients of any
phenomenon, and have separated it from all that is foreign and
adventitious, we know its true nature, and may deduce a general law from
our experiment; for a general law is nothing more than an expression of
the effect produced by the same cause operating under the same
circumstances. In the reign of Louis XV., a Montmorency was convicted of
an atrocious murder. He was punished by a short imprisonment in the
Bastile. His servant and accomplice was, for the same offence at the
same time, broken alive upon the wheel. Is the proposition, that the
angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles, more certain than
the ruin of a system under which such a state of things was tolerated?
How, then, does it come to pass, that the same people who cling to one
set of truths reject the other with obstinate incredulity? Cicero shall
account for it:--"Sensus nostros non parens, non nutrix, non poeta, non
scena depravat; animis omnes tendentur insidiæ." The discoveries of
physical science, in the present day at least, allow little scope to
prejudice and inclination. Whig and Tory, Radical and Conservative,
agree, that fire will burn and water suffocate; nay, no tractarian, so
far as we know, has ventured to call in question the truths established
by Cuvier and La Place. But every proposition in moral or political
science enlists a host of feelings in zealous support or implacable
hostility; and the same system, according to the creed and
prepossessions of the speaker, is put forward as self-evident, or
stigmatized as chimerical. One set of people throw corn into the river
and burn mills, in order to cheapen bread--another vote that sixteen
shillings are equal to twenty-one, in order to support public
credit--proceedings in no degree more reasonable than a denial that two
and two make four, or using gunpowder instead of water to stop a
conflagration. Again, in physical science, the chain which binds the
cause to its effect is short, simple, and passes through no region of
vapour and obscurity; in moral phenomena, it is long hidden and
intertwined with the links of ten thousand other chains, which ramify
and cross each other in a confusion which it requires no common patience
and sagacity to unravel. Therefore it is that the lessons of history,
dearly as they have been purchased, are forgotten and thrown
away--therefore it is that nations sow in folly and reap in
affliction--that thrones are shaken, and empires convulsed, and commerce
fettered by vexatious restrictions, by those who live in one century,
without enabling their descendants to become wiser or richer in the
next. The death of Charles I. did not prevent the exile of James II.,
and, in spite of the disasters of Charles XII., Napoleon tempted fortune
too often and too long. It is not, then, by the mere knowledge of
separate facts that history can contribute to our improvement or our
happiness; it would then exchange the character of philosophy treated by
examples, for that of sophistry misleading by empiricism. The more
systematic the view of human events which it enables us to gain, the
more nearly does it approach its real office, and entitle itself to the
splendid panegyric of the Roman statesman--"Historia, testis temporum,
lux veritatis, vita memoriæ, magistra vitæ, nuntia vetustatis."

But while we insist upon the certainty of those truths which a calm
examination of history confirms, and the sure operation of those general
laws by which Providence in its wisdom has ordained that the affairs of
this lower world shall be controlled--let it not be supposed that we for
a moment doubt the truth which Demosthenes took such pains to inculcate
upon his countrymen, that fortune in human affairs is for a time
omnipotent. That fortune, which "erring men call chance," is the name
which finite beings must apply to those secret and unknown causes which
no human sagacity can penetrate or comprehend. What depends upon a few
persons, observes Mr Hume, is to be ascribed to chance; what arises from
a great number, may often be accounted for by known and determinate
causes; and he illustrates this position by the instance of a loaded
die, the bias of which, however it may for a short time escape
detection, will certainly in a great number of instances become
predominant. The issue of a battle may be decided by a sunbeam or a
cloud of dust. Had an heir been born to Charles II. of Spain--had the
youthful son of Monsieur De Bouillé not fallen asleep when Louis XVI.
entered Varennes--had Napoleon, on his return from Egypt, been stopped
by an English cruizer--how different would have been the face of Europe.
The _poco di piu_ and _poco di meno_ has, in such contingencies, an
unbounded influence. The trade-winds are steady enough to furnish
grounds for the most accurate calculation; but will any man in our
climate venture to predict from what quarter, on any particular day, the
wind may chance to blow?

Therefore, in forming our judgment of human affairs, we must apply a
"Lesbian rule," instead of one that is inflexible. Here it is that the
line is drawn between science, and the wisdom which has for its object
the administration of human affairs. The masters of science explore a
multitude of phenomena to ascertain a single cause; the statesman and
legislator, engaged in pursuits "hardliest reduced to axiom," examine a
multitude of causes to explain a solitary phenomenon. The
investigations, however, to which such questions lead, are singularly
difficult, as they require an accurate analysis of the most complicated
class of facts which can possibly engross our attention, and to the
complete examination of which the faculties of any one man must be
inadequate. The finest specimens of such enquiries which we possess are
the works of Adam Smith and Montesquieu. The latter, indeed, may be
called a great historian. He sought in every quarter for his account of
those fundamental principles which are common to all governments, as
well as of those peculiarities by which they are distinguished one from
another. The analogy which reaches from the first dim gleam of civility
to the last and consummate result of policy and intelligence, from the
law of the Salian Franks to the Code Napoleon, it was reserved for him
to discover and explain. He saw that, though the shape into which the
expression of human thought and will was moulded as the family became a
tribe, and the tribe a nation, might be fantastic and even
monstrous--that the staple from which it unrolled itself must be the
same. Treading in the steps of Vico, he more than realized his master's
project, and in his immortal work (which, with all its faults, is a
magnificent, and as yet unrivalled, trophy of his genius, and will serve
as a landmark to future enquirers when its puny critics are not known
enough to be despised) he has extracted from a chaos of casual
observations, detached hints--from the principles concealed in the
intricate system of Roman jurisprudence, or exposed in the rules which
barely held together the barbarous tribes of Gaul and Germany--from the
manners of the polished Athenian, and from the usages of the wandering
Tartar--from the rudeness of savage life, and the corruptions of refined
society--a digest of luminous and coherent evidence, by which the
condition of man, in the different stages of his social progress, is
exemplified and ascertained. The loss of the History of Louis XI.--a
work which he had projected, and of which he had traced the outline--is
a disappointment which the reader of modern history can never enough

The province of science lies in truths that are universal and immutable;
that of prudence in second causes that are transient and subordinate.
What is universally true is alone necessarily true--the knowledge that
rests in particulars must be accidental. The theorist disdains
experience--the empiric rejects principle. The one is the pedant who
read Hannibal a lecture on the art of war; the other is the carrier who
knows the road between London and York better than Humboldt, but a new
road is prescribed to him and his knowledge becomes useless. This is
the state of mind La Fontaine has described so perfectly in his story of
the "Cierge."

    "Un d'eux, voyant la brique au feu endurcie
    Vaincre l'effort des ans, il eut la même envie;
    Et nouvel Empédocle, aux flammes condamné
        Par sa pure et propre folie,
    Il se lança dédans--ce fût mal raisonné,
    Le Cierge ne savait grain de philosophie."

The mere chemist or mathematician will apply his truths improperly; the
man of detail, the mere empiric, will deal skilfully with particulars,
while to all general truths he is insensible. The wise man, the
philosopher in action, will use the one as a stepping-stone to the
other, and acquire a vantage-ground from whence he will command the
realms of practice and experience.

History teems with instances that--although the general course of the
human mind is marked out, and each succeeding phasis in which it
exhibits itself appears inevitable--the human race cannot be considered,
as Vico and Herder were, perhaps, inclined to look upon it, as a mass
without intelligence, traversing its orbit according to laws which it
has no power to modify or control. On such an hypothesis, Wisdom and
Folly, Justice and Injustice, would be the same, followed by the same
consequences and subject to the same destiny--no certain laws
establishing invariable grounds of hope and fear, would keep the actions
of men in a certain course, or direct them to a certain end; the
feelings, faculties, and instincts of man would be useless in a world
where the wise was always as the foolish, the just as the unjust, where
calculation was impossible, and experience of no avail.

Man is no doubt the instrument, but the unconscious instrument, of
Providence; and for the end they propose to themselves, though not for
the result which they attain, nations as well as individuals are
responsible. Otherwise, why should we read or speak of history? it would
be the feverish dream of a distempered imagination, full of incoherent
ravings, a disordered chaos of antagonist illusions--

        ----"A tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing."

But on the contrary, it is in history that the lessons of morality are
delivered with most effect. The priest may provoke our suspicion--the
moralist may fail to work in us any practical conviction; but the
lessons of history are not such as vanish in the fumes of unprofitable
speculation, or which it is possible for us to mistrust, or to deride.
Obscure as the dispensations of Providence often are, it sometimes, to
use Lord Bacon's language--"pleases God, for the confutation of such as
are without God in the world, to write them in such text and capital
letters that he who runneth by may read it--that is, mere sensual
persons which hasten by God's judgments, and never tend or fix their
cogitations upon them, are nevertheless in their passage and race urged
to discern it." In all historical writers, philosophical or trivial,
sacred or profane, from the meagre accounts of the monkish chronicler,
no less than from the pages stamped with all the indignant energy of
Tacitus, gleams forth the light which, amid surrounding gloom and
injustice, amid the apparent triumph of evil, discovers the influence of
that power which the heathens personified as Nemesis. Her tread, indeed,
is often noiseless--her form may be long invisible--but the moment at
length arrives when the measure of forbearance is complete; the echoes
of her step vibrate upon the ear, her form bursts upon the eye, and her
victim--be it a savage tyrant, or a selfish oligarchy, or a hypocritical
church, or a corrupt nation--perishes.

        "Come quei che va di notte,
    Che porta il lume dietro, _e a se non giova,
    Ma dopo se fa le persone dotte_."

And as in daily life we rejoice to trace means directed to an end, and
proofs of sagacity and instinct even among the lower tribes of animated
nature, with how much greater delight do we seize the proofs vouchsafed
to us in history of that eternal law, by which the affairs of the
universe are governed? How much more do we rejoice to find that the
order to which physical nature owes its existence and perpetuity, does
not stop at the threshold of national life--that the moral world is not
_fatherless_, and that man, formed to look before and after, is not
abandoned to confusion and insecurity?

Fertile and comprehensive indeed is the domain of history, comprising
the whole region of probabilities within its jurisdiction--all the
various shapes into which man has been cast--all the different scenes in
which he has been called upon to act or suffer; his power and his
weakness, his folly and his wisdom, his virtues in their meridian
height, his vices in the lowest abyss of their degradation, are
displayed before us, in their struggles, vicissitudes, and infinitely
diversified combinations: an inheritance beyond all price--a vast
repository of fruitful and immortal truths. There is nothing so mean or
so dignified; nothing so obscure or so glorious; no question so
abstruse, no problem so subtile, no difficulty so arduous, no situation
so critical, of which we may not demand from history an account and
elucidation. Here we find all that the toil, and virtues, and
sufferings, and genius, and experience, of our species have laboured for
successive generations to accumulate and preserve. The fruit of their
blood, of their labour, of their doubts, and their struggles, is before
us--a treasure that no malignity can corrupt, or violence take away. And
above all, it is here that, when tormented by doubt, or startled by
anomalies, stung by disappointment, or exasperated by injustice, we may
look for consolation and encouragement. As we see the same events, that
to those who witnessed them must have appeared isolated and capricious,
tending to one great end, and accomplishing one specific purpose, we may
learn to infer that those which appear to us most extraordinary, are
alike subservient to a wise and benevolent dispensation. Poetry, the
greatest of all critics has told us, has this advantage over history,
that the lessons which it furnishes are not mixed and confined to
particular cases, but pure and universal. Studied, however, in this
spirit, history, while it improves the reason, may satisfy the heart,
enabling us to await with patience the lesson of the great instructor,
Time, and to employ the mighty elements it places within our reach, to
the only legitimate purpose of all knowledge--"The advancement of God's
glory, and the relief of man's estate."

       *       *       *       *       *


No. V.


[This noble lyric is perhaps the happiest of all those poems in which
Schiller has blended the classical spirit with the more deep and tender
philosophy which belongs to modern romance. The individuality of the
heroes introduced is carefully preserved. The reader is every where
reminded of Homer; and yet, as a German critic has observed, _there is
an under current of sentiment_ which betrays the thoughtful _Northern_
minstrel. This detracts from the art of the Poem viewed as an imitation,
but constitutes its very charm as an original composition. Its
inspiration rises from a source purely Hellenic, but the streamlets it
receives at once adulterate and enrich, or (to change the metaphor) it
has the costume and the gusto of the Greek, but the toning down of the
colours betrays the German.]

    The stately walls of Troy had sunken,
      Her towers and temples strew'd the soil;
    The sons of Hellas, victory-drunken,
      Richly laden with the spoil,
    Are on their lofty barks reclin'd
      Along the Hellespontine strand;
    A gleesome freight the favouring wind
      Shall bear to Greece's glorious land;
      And gleesome sounds the chaunted strain,
        As towards the household altars, now,
        Each bark inclines the painted prow--
      For Home shall smile again!

    And there the Trojan women, weeping,
      Sit ranged in many a length'ning row;
    Their heedless locks, dishevell'd, sweeping
      Adown the wan cheeks worn with woe.
    No festive sounds that peal along,
      _Their_ mournful dirge can overwhelm;
    Through hymns of joy one sorrowing song
      Commingled, wails the ruin'd realm.
      "Farewell, beloved shores!" it said,
        "From home afar behold us torn,
        By foreign lords as captives borne--
      Ah, happy are the Dead!"

    And Calchas, while the altars blaze,
      Invokes the high gods to their feast!
    On Pallas, mighty or to raise
      Or shatter cities, call'd the Priest--
    And Him, who wreathes around the land
      The girdle of his watery world,
    And Zeus, from whose almighty hand
      The terror and the bolt are hurl'd.
      Success at last awards the crown--
        The long and weary war is past;
        Time's destined circle ends at last--
      And fall'n the Mighty Town!

    The Son of Atreus, king of men,
      The muster of the hosts survey'd,
    How dwindled from the thousands, when
      Along Scamander first array'd!
    With sorrow and the cloudy thought,
      The Great King's stately look grew dim--
    Of all the hosts to Ilion brought,
      How few to Greece return with him!
      Still let the song to gladness call,
        For those who yet their home shall greet!--
        For them the blooming life is sweet:
      Return is not for all!

    Nor all who reach their native land
      May long the joy of welcome feel--
    Beside the household gods may stand
      Grim Murther with awaiting steel;
    And they who 'scape the foe, may die
      Beneath the foul familiar glaive.
    Thus He[2] to whose prophetic eye
      Her light the wise Minerva gave:--
      "Ah! blest whose hearth, to memory true,
        The goddess keeps unstain'd and pure--
        For woman's guile is deep and sure,
      And Falsehood loves the New!"

    The Spartan eyes his Helen's charms,
      By the best blood of Greece recaptured;
    Round that fair form his glowing arms--
      (A second bridal)--wreathe enraptured.
    "Woe waits the work of evil birth--
      Revenge to deeds unblest is given!
    For watchful o'er the things of earth,
      The eternal Council-Halls of Heaven.
      Yes, ill shall ever ill repay--
        Jove to the impious hands that stain
        The Altar of Man's Hearth, again
      The doomer's doom shall weigh!"

    "Well they, reserved for joy to day,"
      Cried out Oïleus' valiant son,
    "May laud the favouring gods who sway
      Our earth, their easy thrones upon;
    Without a choice they mete our doom,
      Our woe or welfare Hazard gives--
    Patroclus slumbers in the tomb,
      And all unharm'd Thersites lives.
      While luck and life to every one
        Blind Fate dispenses, well may they
        Enjoy the life and luck to day
      By whom the prize is won!

    "Yes, war will still devour the best!--
      Brother, remember'd in this hour!
    His shade should be in feasts a guest,
      Whose form was in the strife a tower!
    What time our ships the Trojan fired,
      Thine arm to Greece the safety gave--
    The prize to which thy soul aspired,
      The crafty wrested from the brave.[3]
      Peace to thine ever-holy rest--
        Not thine to fall before the foe!
        Ajax alone laid Ajax low:
      Ah--wrath destroys the best!"

    To his dead sire--(the Dorian king)--
      The bright-hair'd Pyrrhus[4] pours the wine:--
    "Of every lot that life can bring,
      My soul, great Father, prizes thine.
    Whate'er the goods of earth, of all,
      The highest and the holiest--FAME!
    For when the Form in dust shall fall,
      O'er dust triumphant lives the Name!
      Brave Man, thy light of glory never
        Shall fade, while song to man shall last;
        The Living, soon from earth are pass'd,

    "While silent in their grief and shame,
      The conquer'd hear the conqueror's praise,"
    Quoth Tydeus' son, "let Hector's fame,
      In me, his foe, its witness raise!
    Who, battling for the altar-hearth,
      A brave defender, bravely fell--
    It takes not from the victor's worth,
      If honour with the vanquish'd dwell.
      Who falleth for the altar-hearth,
        A rock and a defence laid low,
        Shall leave behind him, in the foe,
      The lips that speak his worth!"

    Lo, Nestor now, whose stately age
      Through threefold lives of mortals lives!--
    The laurel'd bowl, the kingly sage
      To Hector's tearful mother gives.
    "Drink--in the draught new strength is glowing,
      The grief it bathes forgets the smart!
    O Bacchus! wond'rous boons bestowing,
      Oh how thy balsam heals the heart!
      Drink--in the draught new vigour gloweth,
        The grief it bathes forgets the smart--
        And balsam to the breaking heart,
      The healing god bestoweth.

    "As Niobe, when weeping mute,
      To angry gods the scorn and prey,
    But tasted of the charmed fruit,
      And cast despair itself away;
    So, while unto thy lips, its shore,
      This stream of life enchanted flows,
    Remember'd grief, that stung before,
      Sinks down to Lethè's calm repose.
      So, while unto thy lips, its shore,
        The stream of life enchanted flows--
        Drown'd deep in Lethè's calm repose,
      The grief that stung before!"

    Seized by the god--behold the dark
      And dreaming Prophetess[5] arise!
    She gazes from the lofty bark,
      Where Home's dim vapour wraps the skies--
    "A vapour, all of human birth!
      As mists ascending, seen and gone,
    So fade earth's great ones from the earth,
      And leave the changeless gods alone!
      Behind the steed that skirs away,
        Or on the galley's deck--sits Care!
        To-morrow comes--and Life is where?
      At least--we'll live to-day!"

     [2] Ulysses.

     [3] Need we say to the general reader, that Oileus here alludes
     to the strife between Ajax and Ulysses, which has furnished a
     subject to the Greek tragic poet, who has depicted, more
     strikingly than any historian, that intense emulation for
     glory, and that mortal agony in defeat, which made the main
     secret of the prodigious energy of the Greek character? The
     poet, in taking his hero from the Homeric age, endowed him with
     the feelings of the Athenian republicans he addressed.

     [4] Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles.

     [5] Cassandra.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Hinrichs properly classes this striking ballad (together with the yet
grander one of the "Fight with the Dragon") amongst those designed to
depict and exalt the virtue of Humility. The source of the story is in
Ægidius Tschudi--a Swiss chronicler--and Schiller (who, as Hinrichs
suggests,) probably met with it in the researches connected with the
compositions of his drama, "William Tell," appears to have adhered, with
much fidelity, to the original narrative.]

    At Aachen, in imperial state,
      In that time-hallow'd hall renown'd,
    At solemn feast King Rudolf sate,
      The day that saw the hero crown'd!
    Bohemia and thy Palgrave, Rhine,
    Give this the feast, and that the wine;
        The Arch Electoral Seven,
    Like choral stars around the sun,
    Gird him whose hand a world has won,
        The anointed choice of Heaven.

    In galleries raised above the pomp,
      Press'd crowd on crowd, their panting way;
    And with the joy-resounding tromp,
      Rang out the million's loud hurra!
    For closed at last the age of slaughter,
    When human blood was pour'd as water--
        LAW dawns upon the world![6]
    Sharp Force no more shall right the wrong,
    And grind the weak to crown the strong--
        War's carnage-flag is furl'd!

    In Rudolf's hand the goblet shines--
      And gaily round the board look'd he;
    "And proud the feast, and bright the wines,
      My kingly heart feels glad to me!
    Yet where the lord of sweet desire,
    Who moves the heart beneath the lyre,
        And dulcet Sound Divine?
    Dear from my youth the craft of song,
    And what as knight I loved so long,
        As Kaisar, still be mine."

    Lo, from the circle bending there,
      With sweeping robe the Bard appears,
    As silver, white his gleaming hair,
      Bleach'd by the many winds of years:
    "And music sleeps in golden strings--
    The minstrel's hire, the LOVE he sings;
        Well known to him the ALL
    High thoughts and ardent souls desire!--
    What would the Kaisar from the lyre
        Amidst the banquet-hall?"

    The Great One smiled--"Not mine the sway--
      The minstrel owns a loftier power--
    A mightier king inspires the lay--
      Its hest--THE IMPULSE OF THE HOUR!
    As through wide air the tempests sweep,
    As gush the springs from mystic deep,
        Or lone untrodden glen;
    So from dark hidden fount within,
    Comes SONG, its own wild world to win
        Amidst the souls of men!"

    Swift with the fire the minstrel glow'd,
      And loud the music swept the ear:--
    "Forth to the chase a Hero rode,
      To hunt the bounding chamois-deer:
    With shaft and horn the squire behind:--
    Through greensward meads the riders wind--
        A small sweet bell they hear.
    Lo, with the HOST, a holy man,--
    Before him strides the sacristan,
        And the bell sounds near and near.

    The noble hunter down-inclined
      His reverent head and soften'd eye,
    And honour'd with a Christian's mind
      The Christ who loves humility!
    Loud through the pasture, brawls and raves
    A brook--the rains had fed the waves,
        And torrents from the hill.
    His sandal shoon the priest unbound,
    And laid the Host upon the ground,
        And near'd the swollen rill!

    "What wouldst thou, priest?" the Count began,
      As, marvelling much, he halted there.
    "Sir Count, I seek a dying man,
      Sore hungering for the heavenly fare.
    The bridge that once its safety gave,
    Rent by the anger of the wave,
        Drifts down the tide below.
    Yet barefoot now, I will not fear
    (The soul that seeks its God, to cheer)
        Through the wild wave to go!"

    He gave that priest the knightly steed,
      He reach'd that priest the lordly reins,
    That he might serve the sick man's need,
      Nor slight the task that heaven ordains.
    He took the horse the squire bestrode;
    On to the chase the hunter rode,
        On to the sick the priest!
    And when the morrow's sun was red,
    The servant of the Saviour led
        Back to its lord the beast.

    "Now Heaven forefend," the hero cried,
      "That e'er to chase or battle more
    These limbs the sacred steed bestride,
      That once my Maker's image bore!
    But not for sale or barter given;
    Henceforth its Master is the Heaven--
        My tribute to that King,
    From whom I hold as fiefs, since birth,
    Honour, renown, the goods of earth,
        Life, and each living thing."

    "So may the God who faileth never
      To hear the weak and guide the dim,
    To thee give honour here and ever,
      As thou hast duly honour'd Him!
    Far-famed ev'n now through Switzerland
    Thy generous heart and dauntless hand;
        And fair from thine embrace
    Six daughters bloom--six crowns to bring--
    Blest as the Daughters of a KING--
        The Mothers of a RACE!"

    The mighty Kaisar heard amazed;
      His heart was in the days of old:
    Into the minstrel's eyes he gazed--
      That tale the Kaisar's own had told.
    Yes, in the bard, the priest he knew,
    And in the purple veil'd from view
        The gush of holy tears.
    A thrill through that vast audience ran,
    And every heart the godlike man,
        Revering God, reveres!

     [6] Literally, "_A judge (ein richter)_ was again upon the
     earth." The word substituted in the translation, is introduced
     in order to recall to the reader the sublime name given, not
     without justice, to Rudolf of Hapsburg, viz., "THE LIVING LAW."

       *       *       *       *       *


        Three errors there are, that for ever are found
          On the lips of the good, on the lips of the best;
        But empty their meaning and hollow their sound--
          And slight is the comfort they bring to the breast.
        The fruits of existence escape from the clasp
        Of the seeker who strives but these shadows to grasp--

        So long as Man dreams of some Age in _this_ life
          When the Right and the Good will all evil subdue;
        For the Right and the Good lead us ever to strife,
          And wherever they lead us, the Fiend will pursue.
        And (till from the earth borne, and stifled at length)
        The earth that he touches still gifts him with strength![7]

        So long as Man fancies that Fortune will live,
          Like a bride with her lover, united with Worth;
        For her favours, alas! to the mean she will give--
          And Virtue possesses no title to earth!
        That Foreigner wanders to regions afar,
        Where the lands of her birthright immortally are!

        So long as Man dreams that, to mortals a gift,
          The Truth in her fulness of splendour will shine;
        The veil of the goddess no earth-born may lift,
          And all we can learn is--to guess and divine!
        Dost thou seek, in a dogma, to prison her form?
        The spirit flies forth on the wings of the storm!

        O, Noble Soul! fly from delusions like these,
          More heavenly belief be it thine to adore;
        Where the Ear never hearkens, the Eye never sees,
          Meet the rivers of Beauty and Truth evermore!
        Not _without_ thee the streams--there the Dull seek them;--No!
        Look _within_ thee--behold both the fount and the flow!

     [7] This simile is nobly conceived, but expressed somewhat
     obscurely. As Hercules contended in vain against Antæus, the
     Son of Earth,--so long as the Earth gave her giant offspring
     new strength in every fall,--so the soul contends in vain with
     evil--the natural earth-born enemy, while the very contact of
     the earth invigorates the enemy for the struggle. And as Antæus
     was slain at last, when Hercules lifted him from the earth and
     strangled him while raised aloft, so can the soul slay the
     enemy, (the desire, the passion, the evil, the earth's
     offspring,) when bearing it from earth itself, and stifling it
     in the higher air.

       *       *       *       *       *


    Three Words will I name thee--around and about,
      From the lip to the lip, full of meaning, they flee;
    But they had not their birth in the being without,
      And the heart, not the lip, must their oracle be!
    And all worth in the man shall for ever be o'er
    When in those Three Words he believes no more.

    Man is made FREE!--Man, by birthright, is free,
      Though the tyrant may deem him but born for his tool.
    Whatever the shout of the rabble may be--
      Whatever the ranting misuse of the fool--
    Still fear not the Slave, when he breaks from his chain,
    For the Man made a Freeman grows safe in his gain.

    And VIRTUE is more than a shade or a sound,
      And Man may her voice, in this being, obey;
    And though ever he slip on the stony ground,
      Yet ever again to the godlike way.
    Though _her_ wisdom _our_ wisdom may not perceive,
    Yet the childlike spirit can still believe.

    And a GOD there is!--over Space, over Time,
      While the Human Will rocks, like a reed, to and fro,
    Lives the Will of the Holy--A Purpose Sublime,
      A Thought woven over creation below;
    Changing and shifting the All we inherit,
    But changeless through all One Immutable Spirit!

    Hold fast the Three Words of Belief--though about
      From the lip to the lip, full of meaning they flee;
    Yet they take not their birth from the being without--
      But a voice from within must their oracle be;
    And never all worth in the Man can be o'er,
    Till in those Three Words he believes no more.

       *       *       *       *       *


    A rain-flood from the mountain-riven,
      It leaps, in thunder, forth to Day,
    Before its rush the crags are driven--
      The oaks uprooted, whirl'd away--
    Aw'd, yet in awe all wildly glad'ning,
      The startled wanderer halts below;
    He hears the rock-born waters mad'ning,
      Nor wits the source from whence they go,--
    So, from their high, mysterious Founts along,
    Stream on the silenc'd world the Waves of Song!

    Knit with the threads of life, for ever,
      By those dread Powers that weave the woof,--
    Whose art the singer's spell can sever?
     Whose breast has mail to music proof?
    Lo, to the Bard, a wand of wonder
      The Herald[8] of the Gods has given:
    He sinks the soul the death-realm under,
      Or lifts it breathless up to heaven--
    Half sport, half earnest, rocking its devotion
    Upon the tremulous ladder of emotion.

    As, when the halls of Mirth are crowded,
      Portentous, on the wanton scene--
    Some Fate, before from wisdom shrouded,
      Awakes and awes the souls of Men--
    Before that Stranger from ANOTHER,
      Behold how THIS world's great ones bow--
    Mean joys their idle clamour smother,
      The mask is vanish'd from the brow--
    And from Truth's sudden, solemn flag unfurl'd,
    Fly all the craven Falsehoods of the World!

    So, rapt from every care and folly,
      When spreads abroad the lofty lay,
    The Human kindles to the Holy,
      And into Spirit soars the Clay!
    One with the Gods the Bard: before him
      All things unclean and earthly fly--
    Hush'd are all meaner powers, and o'er him
      The dark fate swoops unharming by;
    And while the Soother's magic measures flow,
    Smooth'd every wrinkle on the brows of Woe!

    Even as a child that, after pining
      For the sweet absent mother--hears
    Her voice--and, round her neck entwining
      Young arms, vents all his soul in tears;--
    So, by harsh custom far estranged,
      Along the glad and guileless track,
    To childhood's happy home, unchanged,
      The swift song wafts the wanderer back--
    Snatch'd from the coldness of unloving Art
    To Nature's mother arms--to Nature's glowing heart!

     [8] Hermes.

       *       *       *       *       *


        Honour to Woman! To her it is given
        To garden the earth with the roses of Heaven!
          All blessed, she linketh the Loves in their choir--
        In the veil of the Graces her beauty concealing,
        She tends on each altar that's hallow'd to Feeling,
          And keeps ever-living the fire!

          From the bounds of Truth careering,
            Man's strong spirit wildly sweeps,
          With each hasty impulse veering,
            Down to Passion's troubled deeps.
          And his heart, contented never,
            Greeds to grapple with the Far,
          Chasing his own dream for ever,
            On through many a distant Star!

        But Woman with looks that can charm and enchain,
        Lureth back at her beck the wild truant again,
          By the spell of her presence beguil'd--
        In the home of the Mother her modest abode,
        And modest the manners by Nature bestow'd
          On Nature's most exquisite child!

          Bruised and worn, but fiercely breasting,
            Foe to foe, the angry strife;
          Man the Wild One, never resting,
            Roams along the troubled life;
          What he planneth, still pursuing;
            Vainly as the Hydra bleeds,
          Crest the sever'd crest renewing--
            Wish to wither'd wish succeeds.

        But Woman at peace with all being, reposes,
        And seeks from the Moment to gather the roses--
          Whose sweets to her culture belong.
        Ah! richer than he, though his soul reigneth o'er
        The mighty dominion of Genius and Lore,
          And the infinite Circle of Song.

          Strong, and proud, and self-depending,
            Man's cold bosom beats alone;
          Heart with heart divinely blending,
            In the love that Gods have known,
          Souls' sweet interchange of feeling,
            Melting tears--he never knows,
          Each hard sense the hard one steeling,
            Arms against a world of foes.

        Alive, as the wind-harp, how lightly soever
        If woo'd by the Zephyr, to music will quiver,
          Is Woman to Hope and to Fear;
        Ah, tender one! still at the shadow of grieving,
        How quiver the chords--how thy bosom is heaving--
          How trembles thy glance through the tear!

          Man's dominion, war and labour;
            Might to right the Statute gave;
          Laws are in the Scythian's sabre;
            Where the Mede reign'd--see the Slave!
          Peace and Meekness grimly routing,
            Prowls the War-lust, rude and wild;
          Eris rages, hoarsely shouting,
            Where the vanish'd Graces smil'd.

        But Woman, the Soft One, persuasively prayeth--
        Of the Senses she charmeth, the sceptre she swayeth;
          She lulls, as she looks from above,
        The Discord whose Hell for its victims is gaping,
        And blending awhile the for-ever escaping,
          Whispers Hate to the Image of Love!

       *       *       *       *       *


    Who comes?--why rushes fast and loud,
    Through lane and street the hurtling crowd,
    Is Rhodes on fire?--Hurrah!--along
    Faster and fast storms the throng!
    High towers a shape in knightly garb--
    Behold the Rider and the Barb!
    Behind is dragg'd a wondrous load;
    Beneath what monster groans the road?
    The horrid jaws--the Crocodile,
      The shape the mightier Dragon, shows--
    From Man to Monster all the while--
      The alternate wonder glancing goes.

    Shout thousands, with a single voice,
    "Behold the Dragon, and rejoice,
    Safe roves the herd, and safe the swain!
    Lo!--there the Slayer--here the Slain!
    Full many a breast, a gallant life,
    Has waged against the ghastly strife,
    And ne'er return'd to mortal sight--
    Hurrah, then, for the Hero Knight!"
    So to the Cloister, where the vow'd
      And peerless Brethren of St John
    In conclave sit--that sea-like crowd,
      Wave upon wave, goes thundering on.

    High o'er the rest, the chief is seen--
    There wends the Knight with modest mien;
    Pours through the galleries raised for all
    Above that Hero-council Hall,
    The crowd--And thus the Victor One:--
    "Prince--the knight's duty I have done.
    The Dragon that devour'd the land
    Lies slain beneath thy servant's hand;
    Free, o'er the pasture, rove the flocks--
      And free the idler's steps may stray--
    And freely o'er the lonely rocks,
      The holier pilgrim wends his way!"

    A lofty look the Master gave,
    "Certes," he said; "thy deed is brave;
    Dread was the danger, dread the fight--
    Bold deeds bring fame to vulgar knight;
    But say, what sways with holier laws
    The knight who sees in Christ his cause,
    And wears the cross?"--Then every cheek
    Grew pale to hear the Master speak;
    But nobler was the blush that spread
      His face--the Victor's of the day--
    As bending lowly--"Prince," he said;
      "His noblest duty--TO OBEY!"

    "And yet that duty, son," replied
    The chief, "methinks thou hast denied;
    And dared thy sacred sword to wield
    For fame in a forbidden field."
    "Master, thy judgment, howsoe'er
    It lean, till all is told, forbear--
    Thy law in spirit and in will,
    I had no thought but to fulfil.
    Not rash, as some, did I depart
      A Christian's blood in vain to shed;
    But hoped by skill, and strove by art,
      To make my life avenge the dead.

    "Five of our Order, in renown
    The war-gems of our saintly crown,
    The martyr's glory bought with life;
    'Twas then thy law forbade the strife.
    Yet in my heart there gnaw'd, like fire,
    Proud sorrow, fed with stern desire:
    In the still visions of the night,
    Panting, I fought the fancied fight;
    And when the morrow glimmering came,
      With tales of ravage freshly done,
    The dream remember'd, turn'd to shame,
      That night should dare what day should shun.

    "And thus my fiery musings ran--
    'What youth has learn'd should nerve the man;
    How lived the great in days of old,
    Whose Fame to time by bards is told--
    Who, heathens though they were, became
    As gods--upborne to heaven by fame?
    How proved they best the hero's worth?
    They chased the monster from the earth--
    They sought the lion in his den--
      They pierced the Cretan's deadly maze--
    Their noble blood gave humble men
      Their happy birthright--peaceful days.

    "'What! sacred, but against the horde
    Of Mahound, is the Christian's sword?
    All strife, save one, should he forbear?
    No! earth itself the Christian's care--
    From every ill and every harm,
    Man's shield should be the Christian's arm.
    Yet art o'er strength will oft prevail,
    And mind must aid where heart may fail!'
    Thus musing, oft I roam'd alone,
      Where wont the Hell-born Beast to lie;
    Till sudden light upon me shone,
      And on my hope broke victory!

    "Then, Prince, I sought thee with the prayer
    To breathe once more my native air;
    The license given--the ocean past--
    I reach'd the shores of home at last.
    Scarce hail'd the old beloved land,
    Than huge, beneath the artist's hand,
    To every hideous feature true,
    The Dragon's monster-model grew.
    The dwarf'd, deformed limbs upbore
      The lengthen'd body's ponderous load;
    The scales the impervious surface wore,
      Like links of burnish'd harness, glow'd.

    "Life-like, the huge neck seem'd to swell,
    And widely, as some porch to hell
    You might the horrent jaws survey,
    Griesly, and greeding for their prey.
    Grim fangs an added terror gave,
    Like crags that whiten through a cave.
    The very tongue a sword in seeming--
    The deep-sunk eyes in sparkles gleaming.
    Where the vast body ends, succeed
      The serpent spires around it roll'd--
    Woe--woe to rider, woe to steed,
      Whom coils as fearful e'er enfold!

    "All to the awful life was done--
    The very hue, so ghastly, won--
    The grey, dull tint:--the labour ceased,
    It stood--half reptile and half beast!
    And now began the mimic chase;
    Two dogs I sought, of noblest race,
    Fierce, nimble, fleet, and wont to scorn
    The wild bull's wrath and levell'd horn;
    These, docile to my cheering cry,
      I train'd to bound, and rend, and spring,
    Now round the Monster-shape to fly,
      Now to the Monster-shape to cling!

    "And where their gripe the best assails,
    The belly left unsheath'd in scales,
    I taught the dexterous hounds to hang
    And find the spot to fix the fang;
    Whilst I, with lance and mailèd garb,
    Launch'd on the beast mine Arab barb.
    From purest race that Arab came,
    And steeds, like men, are fired by fame.
    Beneath the spur he chafes to rage;
      Onwards we ride in full career--
    I seem, in truth, the war to wage--
      The monster reels beneath my spear!

    "Albeit, when first the _destrier_[9] eyed
    The laidly thing, it swerved aside,
    Snorted and rear'd--and even they,
    The fierce hounds, shrank with startled bay;
    I ceased not, till, by custom bold,
    After three tedious moons were told,
    Both barb and hounds were train'd--nay, more,
    Fierce for the fight--then left the shore!
    Three days have fleeted since I prest
      (Return'd at length) this welcome soil,
    Nor once would lay my limbs to rest,
      Till wrought the glorious crowning toil.

    "For much it moved my soul to know
    The unslack'ning curse of that grim foe.
    Fresh rent, mens' bones lay bleach'd and bare
    Around the hell-worm's swampy lair;
    And pity nerved me into steel:--
    Advice?--I had a heart to feel,
    And strength to dare! So, to the deed.--
    I call'd my squires--bestrode my steed,
    And with my stalwart hounds, and by
      Lone secret paths, we gaily go
    Unseen--at least by human eye--
      Against a worse than human foe!

    "Thou know'st the sharp rock--steep and hoar?--
    The abyss?--the chapel glimmering o'er?
    Built by the Fearless Master's hand,
    The fane looks down on all the land.
    Humble and mean that house of prayer--
    Yet God hath shrined a wonder there:--
    Mother and Child, to whom of old
    The Three Kings knelt with gifts, behold!
    By three times thirty steps, the shrine
      The pilgrim gains--and faint, and dim,
    And dizzy with the height, divine
      Strength on the sudden springs to him!

    "Yawns wide within that holy steep
    A mighty cavern dark and deep--
    By blessed sunbeam never lit--
    Rank foetid swamps engirdle it;
    And there by night, and there by day,
    Ever at watch, the fiend-worm lay,
    Holding the Hell of its abode
    Fast by the hallow'd House of God.
    And when the pilgrim gladly ween'd
      His feet had found the healing way,
    Forth from its ambush rush'd the fiend,
      And down to darkness dragg'd the prey.

    "With solemn soul, that solemn height
    I clomb, ere yet I sought the fight--
    Kneeling before the cross within,
    My heart, confessing, clear'd its sin.
    Then, as befits the Christian knight,
    I donn'd the spotless surplice white,
    And, by the altar, grasp'd the spear:--
    So down I strode with conscience clear--
    Bade my leal squires afar the deed,
      By death or conquest crown'd, await--
    Leapt lightly on my lithesome steed,
      And gave to God his soldier's fate!

    "Before me wide the marshes lay--
    Started the hounds with sudden bay--
    Aghast the swerving charger slanting
    Snorted--then stood abrupt and panting--
    For curling there, in coilèd fold,
    The Unutterable Beast behold!
    Lazily basking in the sun.
    Forth sprang the dogs. The fight's begun!
    But lo! the hounds in cowering fly
      Before the mighty poison-breath--
    A yell, most like the jackall's cry,
      Howl'd, mingling with that wind of death!

    "No halt--I gave one cheering sound;
    Lustily springs each dauntless hound--
    Swift as the dauntless hounds advance,
    Whirringly skirrs my stalwart lance--
    Whirringly skirrs; and from the scale
    Bounds, as a reed aslant the mail.
    Onward--but no!--the craven steed
    Shrinks from his lord in that dread need--
      Smitten and scared before that eye
    Of basilisk horror, and that blast
      Of death, it only seeks to fly--
    And half the mighty hope is past!

    "A moment, and to earth I leapt;
    Swift from its sheath the falchion swept;
    Swift on that rock-like mail it plied--
    The rock-like mail the sword defied:
    The monster lash'd its mighty coil--
    Down hurl'd--behold me on the soil!
    Behold the hell-jaws gaping wide--
    When lo! they bound--the flesh is found;
      Upon the scaleless parts they spring!
    Springs either hound;--the flesh is found--
      It roars; the blood-dogs cleave and cling!

    "No time to foil its fast'ning foes--
    Light, as it writhed, I sprang, and rose;
    The all-unguarded place explored,
    Up to the hilt I plunged the sword--
    Buried one instant in the blood--
    The next, upsprang the bubbling flood!
    The next, one Vastness spread the plain--
    Crush'd down--the victor with the slain;
    And all was dark--and on the ground
      My life, suspended, lost the sun,
    Till waking--lo my squires around--
      And the dead foe!--my tale is done."

    Then burst, as from a common breast,
    The eager laud so long supprest--
    A thousand voices, choral-blending,
    Up to the vaulted dome ascending--
    From groined roof and banner'd wall,
    Invisible echoes answering all--
    The very Brethren, grave and high,
    Forget their state, and join the cry.
    "With laurel wreaths his brows be crown'd,
      Let throng to throng his triumph tell;
    Hail him all Rhodes!"--the Master frown'd,
      And raised his hand--and silence fell.

    "Well," said that solemn voice, "thy hand
    From the wild-beast hath freed the land.
    An idol to the People be!
    A foe our Order frowns on thee!
    For in thy heart, superb and vain,
    A hell-worm laidlier than the slain,
    To discord which engenders death,
    Poisons each thought with baleful breath!
    That hell-worm is the stubborn Will--
      Oh! What were man and nations worth
    If each his own desire fulfil,
      And law be banish'd from the earth?

    "_Valour_ the Heathen gives to story--
    _Obedience_ is the Christian's glory;
    And on that soil our Saviour-God
    As the meek low-born mortal trod.
    We the Apostle-knights were sworn
    To laws thy daring laughs to scorn--
    Not _fame_, but _duty_ to fulfil--
    Our noblest offering--man's wild will.
    Vain-glory doth thy soul betray--
      Begone--thy conquest is thy loss:
    No breast too haughty to obey,
      Is worthy of the Christian's cross!"

    From their cold awe the crowds awaken,
    As with some storm the halls are shaken;
    The noble brethren plead for grace--
    Mute stands the doom'd, with downward face;
    And mutely loosen'd from its band
    The badge, and kiss'd the Master's hand,
    And meekly turn'd him to depart:
    A moist eye follow'd, "To my heart
    Come back, my son!"--the Master cries:
      "Thy grace a harder fight obtains;
    When Valour risks the Christian's prize,
      Lo, how Humility regains!"

[In the ballad just presented to the reader, Schiller designed, as he
wrote to Goethe, to depict the old Christian chivalry--half-knightly,
half-monastic. The attempt is strikingly successful; and, even in so
humble a translation, the unadorned simplicity and earnest vigour of a
great poet, enamoured of his subject, may be sufficiently visible to a
discerning critic. "The Fight of the Dragon" appears to us the most
spirited and nervous of all Schiller's ballads, with the single
exception of "The Diver;" and if its interest is less intense than that
of the matchless "Diver," and its descriptions less poetically striking
and effective, its interior meaning or philosophical conception is at
once more profound and more elevated. The main distinction, indeed,
between the ancient ballad and the modern, as revived and recreated by
Goethe and Schiller, is, that the former is a simple narrative, and the
latter a narrative which conveys some intellectual idea--some dim, but
important truth. The one has but the good faith of the minstrel, the
other the high wisdom of the poet. In "The Fight of the Dragon,"
is expressed the moral of that humility which consists in
self-conquest--even merit may lead to vain-glory--and, after vanquishing
the fiercest enemies without, Man has still to contend with his worst
foe,--the pride or disobedience of his own heart. "Every one," as a
recent and acute, but somewhat over-refining critic has remarked, "has
more or less--his own 'fight with the Dragon,'--his own double victory
(without and within) to achieve." The origin of this poem is to be found
in the Annals of the Order of Malta--and the details may be seen in
Vertot's History. The date assigned to the conquest of the Dragon is
1342. Helion de Villeneuve was the name of the Grand Master--that of the
Knight, Dieu-Donné de Gozon. Thevenot declares, that the head of the
monster, (to whatever species it really belonged,) or its effigies, was
still placed over one of the gates of the city in his time.]

     [9] War-horse.

       *       *       *       *       *


Having shown that the standard of Taste is in the Truth of Nature, and
that this truth is in the mind, Sir Joshua, in the Eighth Discourse,
proceeds to a further development of the principles of art. These
principles, whether poetry or painting, have their foundation in the
mind; which by its sensitive faculties and intellectual requirements,
remodels all that it receives from the external world, vivifying and
characterizing all with itself, and thus bringing forth into light the
more beautiful but latent creations of nature. The "activity and
restlessness" of the mind seek satisfaction from curiosity, novelty,
variety, and contrast. Curiosity, "the anxiety for the future, the
keeping the event suspended," he considers to be exclusively the
province of poetry, and that "the painter's art is more confined, and
has nothing that corresponds with, or perhaps is equivalent to, this
power and advantage of leading the mind on, till attention is totally
engaged. What is done by painting must be done at one blow; curiosity
has received at once all the satisfaction it can have." Novelty,
variety, and contrast, however, belong to the painter. That poetry has
this power, and operates by more extensively raising our curiosity,
cannot be denied; but we hesitate in altogether excluding this power
from painting. A momentary action may be so represented, as to elicit a
desire for, and even an intimation of its event. It is true _that_
curiosity cannot be satisfied, but it works and conjectures; and we
suspect there is something of it in most good pictures. Take such a
subject as the "Judgment of Solomon:" is not the "event suspended," and
a breathless anxiety portrayed in the characters, and freely
acknowledged by the sympathy of the spectator? Is there no mark of this
"curiosity" in the "Cartoon of Pisa?" The trumpet has sounded, the
soldiers are some half-dressed, some out of the water, others bathing;
one is anxiously looking for the rising of his companion, who has just
plunged in, and we see but his hands above the water; the very range of
rocks, behind which the danger is shown to come, tends to excite our
curiosity; we form conjectures of the enemy, their number, nearness of
approach, and from among the manly warriors before us form episodes of
heroism in the great intimated epic: and have we not seen pictures by
Rembrandt, where "curiosity" delights to search unsatisfied and
unsatiated into the mysteries of colour and chiaro-scuro, receding
further as we look into an atmosphere pregnant with all uncertain
things? We think we have not mistaken the President's meaning. Mr Burnet
appears to agree with us: though he makes no remark upon the power of
raising curiosity, yet it surely is raised in the very picture to which
we presume he alludes, Raffaelle's "Death of Ananias;" the event, in
Sapphira, is intimated and suspended. "Though," says Mr Burnet, "the
painter has but one page to represent his story, he generally chooses
that part which combines the most illustrative incidents with the most
effective denouement of the event. In Raffaelle we often find not only
those circumstances which precede it, _but its effects upon the_
personages introduced after the catastrophe."

There is, however, a natural indolence of our disposition, which seeks
pleasure in repose, and the resting in old habits, which must not be too
violently opposed by "variety," "reanimating the attention, which is apt
to languish under a continual sameness;" nor by "novelty," making "more
forcible impression on the mind than can be made by the representation
of what we have often seen before;" nor by "contrasts," that "rouse the
power of comparison by opposition."

The mind, then, though an active principle, having likewise a
disposition to indolence, (might we have said repose?) limits the
quantity of variety, novelty, and contrast which it will bear;--these
are, therefore, liable to excesses. Hence arise certain rules of art,
that in a composition objects must not be too scattered and divided into
many equal parts, that perplex and fatigue the eye, at a loss where to
find the principal action. Nor must there be that "absolute unity,"
"which, consisting of one group or mass of light only, would be as
defective as an heroic poem without episode, or any collateral incidents
to recreate the mind with that variety which it always requires." Sir
Joshua instances Rembrandt and Poussin, the former as having the defect
of "absolute unity," the latter the defect of the dispersion and
scattering his figures without attention to their grouping. Hence there
must be "the same just moderation observed in regard to ornaments;" for
a certain repose must never be destroyed. Ornament in profusion, whether
of objects or colours, does destroy it; and, "on the other hand, a work
without ornament, instead of simplicity, to which it makes pretensions,
has rather the appearance of poverty." "We may be sure of this truth,
that the most ornamental style requires repose to set off even its
ornaments to advantage." He instances, in the dialogue between Duncan
and Banquo, Shakspeare's purpose of repose--the mention of the martlets'
nests, and that "where those birds most breed and haunt, the air is
delicate;" and the practice of Homer, "who, from the midst of battles
and horrors, relieves and refreshes the mind of the reader, by
introducing some quiet rural image, or picture of familiar domestic
life. The writers of every age and country, where taste has begun to
decline, paint and adorn every object they touch; are always on the
stretch; never deviate or sink a moment from the pompous and the

     [10] Could Sir Joshua now be permitted to visit his own
     Academy, and our exhibitions in general, he would be startled
     at the excess of ornament, in defiance of his rule of repose,
     succeeding the slovenliness of his own day. Whatever be the
     subject, history, landscape, or familiar life, it superabounds
     both in objects and colour. In established academies, the
     faults of genius are more readily adopted than their
     excellences; they are more vulgarly perceptible, and more easy
     of imitation. We have, therefore, less hesitation in referring
     the more ambitious of our artists to this prohibition in Sir
     Joshua's Discourse. The greater the authority the more
     injurious the delinquency. We therefore adduce as examples,
     works of our most inventive and able artist, his "Macbeth" and
     his "Hamlet"--they are greatly overloaded with the faults of
     superabundance of ornament, and want unity; yet are they works
     of great power, and such as none but a painter of high genius
     could conceive or execute. In a more fanciful subject, and
     where ornament was more admissible, he has been more fortunate,
     and even in the multiplicity of his figures and ornaments, by
     their grouping and management, he has preserved a seeming
     moderation, and has so ordered his composition that the
     wholeness, the simplicity, of his subject is not destroyed. The
     story is told, and admirably--as Sir Joshua says, "at one
     blow." We speak of his "Sleeping Beauty." We see at once that
     the prince and princess are the principal, and they are united
     by that light and fainter fairy chain intimating, yet not too
     prominently, the magic under whose working and whose light the
     whole scene is; nothing can be better conceived than the
     prince--there is a largeness in the manner, a breadth in the
     execution of the figure that considerably dignifies the story,
     and makes him, the principal, a proper index of it. The many
     groups are all episodes, beautiful in themselves, and in no way
     injure the simplicity. There is novelty, variety, and contrast
     in not undue proportion, because that simplicity is preserved.
     Even the colouring, (though there is too much white,) and
     chiaro-scuro, with its gorgeousness, is in the stillness of
     repose, and a sunny repose, too, befitting the "Sleeping
     Beauty." Mr Maclise has succeeded best where his difficulty and
     danger were greatest, and so it ever is with genius. It is not
     in such subjects alone that our artists transgress Sir Joshua's
     rule; we too often see portraits where the dress and
     accessaries obtrude--there is too much lace and too little
     expression--and our painters of views follow the fashion most
     unaccountably--ornament is every where; we have not a town
     where the houses are not "turned out of windows," and all the
     furniture of every kind piled up in the streets; and as if to
     show a pretty general bankruptcy, together with the artist's
     own poverty, you would imagine an auction going on in every
     other house, by the Turkey carpets and odds and ends hanging
     from the windows. We have even seen a "Rag Fair" in a turnpike

Novelty, Variety, and Contrast are required in Art, because they are the
natural springs that move the mind to attention from its indolent
quiescence; but having moved, their duty is performed--the mind of
itself will do the rest; they must not act prominent parts. In every
work there must be a simplicity which binds the whole together, as a
whole; and whatever comes not within that girdle of the graces, is worse
than superfluous--it draws off and distracts the attention which should
be concentrated. Besides that simplicity which we have spoken of--and we
have used the word in its technical sense, as that which keeps together
and makes one thing of many parts--there is a simplicity which is best
known by its opposite, affectation; upon this Sir Joshua enlarges.
"Simplicity, being a negative virtue, cannot be described or defined."
But it is possible, even in avoiding affectation, to convert simplicity
into the very thing we strive to avoid. N. Poussin--whom, with regard to
this virtue, he contrasts with others of the French school--Sir Joshua
considers, in his abhorrence of the affectation of his countrymen,
somewhat to approach it, by "what in writing would be called pedantry."
Du Piles is justly censured for his recipe of grace and dignity. "If,"
says he, "you draw persons of high character and dignity, they ought to
be drawn in such an attitude that the portraits must seem to speak to
us of themselves, and as it were to say to us, 'Stop, take notice of
me--I am the invincible king, surrounded by majesty.' 'I am the valiant
commander who struck terror every where,' 'I am that great minister, who
knew all the springs of politics.' 'I am that magistrate of consummate
wisdom and probity.'" This is indeed affectation, and a very vulgar
notion of greatness. We are reminded of Partridge, and his admiration of
the overacting king. All the characters in thus seeming to say, would be
little indeed. Not so Raffaelle and Titian understood grace and dignity.
Simplicity he holds to be "our barrier against that great enemy to truth
and nature, affectation, which is ever clinging to the pencil, and ready
to drop and poison every thing it touches." Yet that, "when so very
inartificial as to seem to evade the difficulties of art, is a very
suspicious virtue." Sir Joshua dwells much upon this, because he thinks
there is a perpetual tendency in young artists to run into affectation,
and that from the very terms of the precepts offered them. "When a young
artist is first told that his composition and his attitudes must be
contrasted; that he must turn the head contrary to the position of the
body, in order to produce grace and animation; that his outline must be
undulating and swelling, to give grandeur; and that the eye must be
gratified with a variety of colours; when he is told this with certain
animating words of spirit, dignity, energy, greatness of style, and
brilliancy of tints, he becomes suddenly vain of his newly-acquired
knowledge, and never thinks he can carry those rules too far. It is then
that the aid of simplicity ought to be called in to correct the
exuberance of youthful ardour." We may add that hereby, too, is shown
the danger of particular and practical rules; very few of the kind are
to be found in the "Discourses." Indeed the President points out, by
examples from Raffaelle, the good effect of setting aside these
academical rules. We suspect that they are never less wanted than when
they give direction to attitudes and forms of action. He admits that, in
order "to excite attention to the more manly, noble, and dignified
manner," he had perhaps left "an impression too contemptuous of the
ornamental parts of our art." He had, to use his own expression, bent
the bow the contrary way to make it straight. "For this purpose, then,
and to correct excess or neglect of any kind, we may here add, that it
is not enough that a work be learned--it must be pleasing." Pretty much
as Horace had said of poetry,

    "Non satis est pulchra esse poemata, _dulcia_ sunto."

To which maxim the Latin poet has unconsciously given the grace of

    "Et quocunque volent animum auditoris agunto."

He again shows the danger of particular practical rules.--"It is given
as a rule by Fresnoy, that '_the principal figure of a subject must
appear in the midst of the picture, under the principal light, to
distinguish it from the rest._' A painter who should think himself
obliged strictly to follow this rule, would encumber himself with
needless difficulties; he would be confined to great uniformity of
composition, and be deprived of many beauties which are incompatible
with its observance. The meaning of this rule extends, or ought to
extend, no further than this: that the principal figure should be
immediately distinguished at the first glance of the eye; but there is
no necessity that the principal light should fall on the principal
figure, or that the principal figure should be in the middle of the
picture." He might have added that it is the very place where generally
it ought not to be. Many examples are given; we could have wished he had
given a plate from any one in preference to that from Le Brun. Felebein,
in praising this picture, according to preconceived recipe, gives
Alexander, who is in shade, the principal light. "Another instance
occurs to me where equal liberty may be taken in regard to the
management of light. Though the general practice is to make a large mass
about the middle of the picture surrounded by shadow, the reverse may be
practised, and _the spirit of the rule be preserved_." We have marked in
italics the latter part of the sentence, because it shows that the rule
itself must be ill-defined or too particular. Indeed, we receive with
caution all such rules as belong to the practical and mechanical of the
art. He instances Paul Veronese. "In the great composition of Paul
Veronese, the 'Marriage of Cana,' the figures are for the most part in
half shadow. The great light is in the sky; and indeed the general
effect of this picture, which is so striking, is no more than what we
often see in landscapes, in small pictures of fairs and country feasts:
but those principles of light and shadow, being transferred to a large
scale, to a space containing near a hundred figures as large as life,
and conducted, to all appearance, with as much facility, and with
attention as steadily fixed upon _the whole together_, as if it were a
small picture immediately under the eye, the work justly excites our
admiration, the difficulty being increased as the extent is enlarged."
We suspect that _the rule_, when it attempts to direct beyond the words
Sir Joshua has marked in italics, refutes itself, and shackles the
student. Infinite must be the modes of composition, and as infinite the
modes of treating them in light and shadow and colour. "Whatever mode of
composition is adopted, every variety and license is allowable." All
that is absolutely necessary is, that there be no confusion or
distraction, no conflicting masses--in fact, that the picture tell its
tale at once and effectually. A very good plate is given by Mr Burnet of
the "Marriage of Cana," by Paul Veronese. Sir Joshua avoids entering
upon rules that belong to "the detail of the art." He meets with
combatants, as might have been expected, where he is thus particular. We
will extract the passage which has been controverted, and to oppose the
doctrine of which, Gainsborough painted his celebrated "Blue Boy."

"Though it is not my _business_ to enter into the detail of our art, yet
I must take this opportunity of mentioning one of the means of producing
that great effect which we observe in the works of the Venetian
painters, as I think it is not generally known or observed, that the
masses of light in a picture be always of a warm mellow colour, yellow
red or yellowish white; and that the blue, the grey, or the green
colours be kept almost entirely out of these masses, and be used only to
support and set off these warm colours; and for this purpose a small
proportion of cold colours will be sufficient. Let this conduct be
reversed; let the light be cold, and the surrounding colours warm, as we
often see in the works of the Roman and Florentine painters, and it will
be out of the power of art, even in the hands of Rubens or Titian, to
make a picture splendid and harmonious." Le Brun and Carlo Maratti are
censured as being "deficient in this management of colours." The
"Bacchus and Ariadne," now in our National Gallery, has ever been
celebrated for its harmony of colour. Sir Joshua supports his theory or
rule by the example of this picture: the red of Ariadne's scarf, which,
according to critics, was purposely given to relieve the figure from the
sea, has a better object. "The figure of Ariadne is separated from the
great group, and is dressed in blue, which, added to the colour of the
sea, makes that quantity of cold colour which Titian thought necessary
for the support and brilliancy of the great group; which group is
composed, with very little exception, entirely of mellow colours. But as
the picture in this case would be divided into two distinct parts, one
half cold and the other warm, it was necessary to carry some of the
mellow colours of the great group into the cold part of the picture, and
a part of the cold into the great group; accordingly Titian gave Ariadne
a red scarf, and to one of the Bacchantes a little blue drapery." As
there is no picture more splendid, it is well to weigh and consider
again and again remarks upon the cause of the brilliancy, given by such
an authority as Sir Joshua Reynolds. With regard to his rule, even among
artists, "adhuc sub judice lis est." He combats the common notion of
relief, as belonging only to the infancy of the art, and shows the
advance made by Coreggio and Rembrandt; though the first manner of
Coreggio, as well as of Leonardo da Vinci and Georgione, was dry and
hard. "But these three were among the first who began to correct
themselves in dryness of style, by no longer considering relief as a
principal object. As these two qualities, relief and fulness of effect,
can hardly exist together, it is not very difficult to determine to
which we ought to give the preference." "Those painters who have best
understood the art of producing a good effect, have adopted one
principle that seems perfectly conformable to reason--that a part may be
sacrificed for the good of the whole. Thus, whether the masses consist
of light or shadow, it is necessary that they should be compact, and of
a pleasing shape; to this end some parts may be made darker and some
lighter, and reflections stronger than nature would warrant." He
instances a "Moonlight" by Rubens, now, we believe, in the possession of
Mr Rogers, in which Rubens had given more light and more glowing colours
than we recognize in nature,--"it might easily be mistaken, if he had
not likewise added stars, for a fainter setting sun." We stop not to
enquire if that harmony so praised, might not have been preserved had
the resemblance to nature been closer. Brilliancy is produced. The fact
is, the _practice_ of art is a system of compensation. We cannot exactly
in all cases represent nature,--we have not the means, but our means
will achieve what, though _particularly_ unlike, may, by itself or in
opposition, produce similar effects. Nature does not present a varnished
polished surface, nor that very transparency that our colours can give;
but it is found that this transparency, in all its degrees, in
conjunction and in opposition to opaque body of colour, represents the
force of light and shade of nature, which is the principal object to
attain. _The_ richness of nature is not the exact richness of the
palette. The painter's success is in the means of compensation.

This Discourse concludes with observations on the Prize pictures. The
subject seems to have been the Sacrifice of Iphigenia. All had copied
the invention of Timanthes, in hiding the face of Agamemnon. Sir Joshua
seems to agree with Mr Falconet, in a note in his translation of Pliny,
who would condemn the painter, but that he copied the idea from the
authority of Euripides; Sir Joshua considers it at best a trick, that
can only with success be practised once. Mr Fuseli criticises the
passage, and assumes that the painter had better reason than that given
by Mr Falconet. Mr Burnet has added but two or three notes to this
Discourse--they are unimportant, with the exception of the last, wherein
he combats Sir Joshua's theory of the cold and warm colours. He candidly
prints an extract of a letter from Sir Thomas Lawrence, who differs with
him. It is so elegantly written that we quote the passage. Sir Thomas
says,--"Agreeing with you in so many points, I will venture to differ
from you in your question with Sir Joshua. Infinitely various as nature
is, there are still two or three truths that limit her variety, or,
rather, that limit art in the imitation of her. I should instance for
one the ascendency of white objects, which can never be departed from
with impunity, and again, the union of colour with light. Masterly as
the execution of that picture is (viz. the Boy in a blue dress,) I
always feel a never-changing impression on my eye, that the "Blue Boy"
of Gainsborough is a difficulty boldly combated, not conquered. The
light blue drapery of the Virgin in the centre of the "Notte" is
another instance; a check to the harmony of the celestial radiance round
it." "Opposed to Sir Thomas's opinion," says Mr Burnet, "I might quote
that of Sir David Wilkie, often expressed, and carried out in his
picture of the 'Chelsea Pensioners' and other works." It strikes us,
from our recollection of the "Chelsea Pensioners," that it is not at all
a case in point; the blue there not being light but dark, and serving as
dark, forcibly contrasting with warmer light in sky and other objects;
the _colour_ of blue is scarcely given, and is too dark to be allowed to
enter into the question. He adds, "A very simple method may be adopted
to enable the student to perceive where the warm and red colours are
placed by the great colourists, by his making a sketch of light and
shade of the picture, and then touching in the warm colours with red
chalk; or by looking on his palette at twilight, he will see what
colours absorb the light, and those that give it out, and thus select
for his shadows, colours that have the property of giving depth and
richness." Unless the pictures are intended to be seen at twilight, we
do not see how this can bear upon the question; if it does, we would
notice what we have often observed, that at twilight blue almost
entirely disappears, to such a degree that in a landscape where the blue
has even been deep, and the sky by no means the lightest part of the
picture, at twilight the whole landscape comes out too hard upon the
sky, which with its colour has lost its tone, and become, with relation
to the rest, by far too light. It is said that of all the pictures in
the National Gallery, when seen at twilight, the Coreggios retire
last--we speak of the two, the "Ecce Homo" and the "Venus, Mercury, and
Cupid." In these there is no blue but in the drapery of the fainting
mother, and that is so dark as to serve for black or mere shadow; the
lighter blue close upon the neck is too small to affect the power of the
picture. It certainly is a fact, that blue fades more than any colour at
twilight, and, relatively speaking, leaves the image that contains it
lighter. We should almost be inclined to ask the question, though with
great deference to authority, is blue, when very light, necessarily
cold; and if so, has it not an activity which, being the great quality
of light, assimilates it with light, and thus takes in to itself the
surrounding "radiance?" A very little positive warm colour, as it were
set in blue, from whatever cause, gives it a surprising glow. We desire
to see the theory of colours treated, not with regard to their
corresponding harmony in their power one upon the other, nor in their
light and shadow, but, if we may so express it, in their
sentimentality--the effect they are capable of in moving the passions.
We alluded to this in our last paper, and the more we consider the
subject, the more we convinced that it is worth deeper investigation.

       *       *       *       *       *

The NINTH DISCOURSE is short, and general in its character; it was
delivered at the opening of the Royal Academy in Somerset Place, October
16, 1780. It is an elegant address; raises the aim of the artist; and
gives a summary of the origin of arts and their use. "Let us for a
moment take a short survey of the progress of the mind towards what is,
or ought to be, its true object of attention. Man in his lowest state
has no pleasures but those of sense, and no wants but those of appetite;
afterwards, when society is divided into different ranks, and some are
appointed to labour for the support of others, those whom their
superiority sets free from labour begin to look for intellectual
entertainments. Thus, while the shepherds were attending their flocks,
their masters made the first astronomical observations; so music is said
to have had its origin from a man at leisure listening to the strokes of
a hammer. As the senses in the lowest state of nature are necessary to
direct us to our support, when that support is once secure, there is
danger in following them further; to him who has no rule of action but
the gratification of the senses, plenty is always dangerous. It is
therefore necessary to the happiness of individuals, and still more
necessary to the security of society, that the mind should be elevated
to the idea of general beauty, and the contemplation of general truth;
by this pursuit the mind is always carried forward in search of
something more excellent than it finds, and obtains its proper
superiority over the common sense of life, by learning to feel itself
capable of higher aims and nobler enjoyments." This is well said.
Again.--"Our art, like all arts which address the imagination, is
applied to a somewhat lower faculty of the mind, which approaches nearer
to sensuality, but through sense and fancy it must make its way to
reason. For such is the progress of thought, that we perceive by sense,
we combine by fancy, and distinguish by reason; and without carrying our
art out of its natural and true character, the more we purify it from
every thing that is gross in sense, in that proportion we advance its
use and dignity, and in proportion as we lower it to mere sensuality, we
pervert its nature, and degrade it from the rank of a liberal art; and
this is what every artist ought well to remember. Let him remember,
also, that he deserves just so much encouragement in the state as he
makes himself a member of it virtuously useful, and contributes in his
sphere to the general purpose and perfection of society." Sir Joshua has
been blamed by those who have taken lower views of art, in that he has
exclusively treated of the Great Style, which neither he nor the
academicians of his day practised; but he would have been unworthy the
presidential chair had he taken any other line. His was a noble effort,
to assume for art the highest position, to dignify it in its aim, and
thus to honour and improve first his country, then all human kind. We
rise from such passages as these elevated above all that is little.
Those only can feel depressed who would find excuses for the lowness of
their pursuits.

       *       *       *       *       *

The TENTH DISCOURSE.--Sir Joshua here treats of Sculpture, a less
extensive field than Painting. The leading principles of both are the
same; he considers wherein they agree, and wherein they differ.
Sculpture cannot, "with propriety and best effect, be applied to many
subjects." Its object is "form and character." It has "one style
only,"--that one style has relation only to one style of painting, the
Great Style, but that so close as to differ only as operating upon
different materials. He blames the sculptors of the last age, who
thought they were improving by borrowing from the ornamental,
incompatible with its essential character. Contrasts, and the
littlenesses of picturesque effects, are injurious to the formality its
austere character requires. As in painting, so more particularly in
sculpture, that imitation of nature which we call illusion, is in no
respect its excellence, nor indeed its aim. Were it so, the Venus di
Medici would be improved by colour. It contemplates a higher, a more
perfect beauty, more an intellectual than sensual enjoyment. The
boundaries of the art have been long fixed. To convey "sentiment and
character, as exhibited by attitude, and expression of the passions," is
not within its province. Beauty of form alone, the object of sculpture,
"makes of itself a great work." In proof of which are the designs of
Michael Angelo in both arts. As a stronger instance:--"What artist,"
says he, "ever looked at the Torso without feeling a warmth of
enthusiasm as from the highest efforts of poetry? From whence does this
proceed? What is there in this fragment that produces this effect, but
the perfection of this science of abstract form?" Mr Burnet has given a
plate of the Torso. The expectation of deception, of which few divest
themselves, is an impediment to the judgment, consequently to the
enjoyment of sculpture. "Its essence is correctness." It fully
accomplishes its purpose when it adds the "ornament of grace, dignity of
character, and appropriated expression, as in the Apollo, the Venus, the
Laocoon, the Moses of Michael Angelo, and many others." Sir Joshua uses
expression as will be afterwards seen, in a very limited sense. It is
necessary to lay down perfect correctness as its essential character;
because, as in the case of the Apollo, many have asserted the beauty to
arise from a certain incorrectness in anatomy and proportion. He denies
that there is this incorrectness, and asserts that there never ought to
be; and that even in painting these are not the beauties, but defects,
in the works of Coreggio and Parmegiano. "A supposition of such a
monster as Grace begot by Deformity, is poison to the mind of a young
artist." The Apollo and the Discobolus are engaged in the same
purpose--the one watching the effect of his arrow, the other of his
discus. "The graceful, negligent, though animated air of the one, and
the vulgar eagerness of the other, furnish a signal instance of the
skill of the ancient sculptors in their nice discrimination of
character. They are both equally true to nature, and equally admirable."
Grace, character, and expression, are rather in form and attitude than
in features; the general figure more presents itself; "it is there we
must principally look for expression or character; _patuit in corpore
vultus_." The expression in the countenances of the Laocoon and his two
sons, though greater than in any other antique statues, is of pain only;
and that is more expressed "by the writhing and contortion of the body
than by the features." The ancient sculptors paid but little regard to
features for their expression, their object being solely beauty of form.
"Take away from Apollo his lyre, from Bacchus his thyrsus and
vine-leaves, and from Meleager the boar's head, and there will remain
little or no difference in their characters." John di Bologna, he tells
us, after he had finished a group, called his friends together to tell
him what name to give it: they called it the "Rape of the Sabines." A
similar anecdote is told of Sir Joshua himself, that he had painted the
head of the old man who attended him in his studio. Some one observed
that it would make a Ugolino. The sons were added, and it became the
well-known historical picture from Dante. He comments upon the
ineffectual attempts of modern sculptors to detach drapery from the
figure, to give it the appearance of flying in the air; to make
different plans on the same bas-relievos; to represent the effects of
perspective; to clothe in a modern dress. For the first attempt he
reprehends Bernini, who, from want of a right conception of the province
of sculpture, never fulfilled the promise given in his early work of
Apollo and Daphne. He was ever attempting to make drapery flutter in the
air, which the very massiveness of the material, stone, should seem to
forbid. Sir Joshua does not notice the very high authority for such an
attempt--though it must be confessed the material was not stone, still
it was sculpture, and multitudinous are the graces of ornament, and most
minutely described--the shield of Hercules, by Hesiod; even the noise of
the furies' wings is affected. The drapery of the Apollo he considers to
have been intended more for support than ornament; but the mantle from
the arm he thinks "answers a much higher purpose, by preventing that
dryness of effect which would inevitably attend a naked arm, extended
almost at full length; to which we may add, the disagreeable effect
which would proceed from the body and arm making a right angle." He
conjectures that Carlo Maratti, in his love for drapery, must have
influenced the sculptors of the Apostles in the church of St John
Lateran. "The weight and solidity of stone was not to be overcome."

To place figures on different plans is absurd, because they must still
appear all equally near the eye; the sculptor has not adequate means of
throwing them back; and, besides, the thus cutting up into minute parts,
destroys grandeur. "Perhaps the only circumstance in which the modern
have excelled the ancient sculptors, is the management of a single group
in basso-relievo." This, he thinks, may have been suggested by the
practice of modern painters. The attempt at perspective must, for the
same reason, be absurd; the sculptor has not the means for this "humble
ambition." The ancients represented only the elevation of whatever
architecture they introduced into their bas-reliefs, "which is composed
of little more than horizontal and perpendicular lines." Upon the
attempt at modern dress in sculpture, he is severe in his censure.
"Working in stone is a very serious business, and it seems to be scarce
worth while to employ such durable materials in conveying to posterity a
fashion, of which the longest existence scarcely exceeds a year;" and
which, he might have added, the succeeding year makes ridiculous. We not
only change our dresses, but laugh at the sight of those we have
discarded. The gravity of sculpture should not be subject to contempt.
"The uniformity and simplicity of the materials on which the sculptor
labours, (which are only white marble,) prescribe bounds to his art, and
teach him to confine himself to proportionable simplicity of design." Mr
Burnet has not given a better note than that upon Sir Joshua's remark,
that sculpture has but one style. He shows how strongly the ancient
sculptors marked those points wherein the human figure differs from that
of other animals. "Let us take, for example, the human foot; on
examining, in the first instance, those of many animals, we perceive the
toes either very long or very short in proportion; of an equal size
nearly, and the claws often long and hooked inwards: now, in rude
sculpture, and even in some of the best of the Egyptians, we find little
attempt at giving a character of decided variation; but, on the
contrary, we see the foot split up with toes of an equal length and
thickness; while, in Greek sculpture, these points characteristic of man
are increased, that the affinity to animals may be diminished. In the
Greek marbles, the great toe is large and apart from the others, where
the strap of the sandal came; while the others gradually diminish and
sweep round to the outside of the foot, with the greatest regularity of
curve; the nails are short, and the toes broad at the points, indicative
of pressure on the ground." Rigidity he considers to have been the
character of the first epochs, changing ultimately as in the Elgin
marbles, "from the hard characteristics of stone to the vivified
character of flesh." He thinks Reynolds "would have acknowledged the
supremacy of beautiful nature, uncontrolled by the severe line of
mathematical exactness," had he lived to see the Elgin marbles. "The
outline of life, which changes under every respiration, seems to have
undulated under the plastic mould of Phidias." This is well expressed.
He justly animadverts upon the silly fashion of the day, in lauding the
vulgar imitation of the worsted stockings by Thom. The subjects chosen
were most unfit for sculpture,--their only immortality must be in Burns.
We do not understand his extreme admiration of Wilkie; in a note on
parallel perspective in sculpture, he adduces Raffaelle as an example of
the practice, and closes by comparing him with Sir David Wilkie,--"known
by the appellation of the Raffaelle of familiar life,"--men perfect
antipodes to each other! There is a proper eulogy on Chantrey,
particularly for his busts, in which he commonly represented the eye. We
are most anxious for the arrival of the ancient sculpture from Lycia,
collected and packed for Government by the indefatigable and able
traveller, Mr Fellowes.

       *       *       *       *       *

The ELEVENTH DISCOURSE is upon Genius, the particular genius of the
painter in his power of seizing and representing nature, or his subject
as a whole. He calls it the "genius of mechanical performance." This,
with little difference, is enforcing what has been laid down in former
Discourses. Indeed, as far as precepts may be required, Sir Joshua had
already performed his task; hence, there is necessary repetition. Yet
all is said well, and conviction perpetuates the impressions previously
made. Character is something independent of minute detail; genius alone
knows what constitutes this character, and practically to represent it,
is to be a painter of genius. Though it be true that he "who does not at
all express particulars expresses nothing; yet it is certain that a nice
discrimination of minute circumstances, and a punctilious delineation of
them, whatever excellence it may have, (and I do not mean to detract
from it,) never did confer on the artist the character of genius." The
impression left upon the mind is not of particulars, when it would seem
to be so; such particulars are taken out of the subject, and are each a
whole of themselves. Practically speaking, as we before observed, genius
will be exerted in ascertaining how to paint the "_nothing_" in every
picture, to satisfy with regard to detail, that neither its absence nor
its presence shall be noticeable.

Our pleasure is not in minute imitation; for, in fact, that is not true
imitation, for it forces upon our notice that which naturally we do not
see. We are not pleased with wax-work, which may be nearer reality; "we
are pleased, on the contrary, by seeing ends accomplished by seemingly
inadequate means." If this be sound, we ought to be sensible of the
inadequacy of the means, which sets aside at once the common notion that
art is illusion. "The properties of all objects, as far as the painter
is concerned with them, are outline or drawing, the colour, and the
light and shade. The drawing gives the form, the colour its visible
quality, and the light and shade its solidity:" in every one of these
the habit of seeing as a whole must be acquired. From this habit arises
the power of imitating by "dexterous methods." He proceeds to show that
the fame of the greatest painters does not rest upon their high finish.
Raffaelle and Titian, one in drawing the other in colour, by no means
finished highly; but acquired by their genius an expressive execution.
Most of his subsequent remarks are upon practice in execution and
colour, in contradistinction to elaborate finish. Vasari calls Titian,
"giudicioso, bello, e stupendo," with regard to this power. He
generalized by colour, and by execution. "In his colouring, he was large
and general." By these epithets, we think Sir Joshua has admitted that
the great style comprehends colouring. "Whether it is the human figure,
an animal, or even inanimate objects, there is nothing, however
unpromising in appearance, but may be raised into dignity, convey
sentiment, and produce emotion, in the hands of a painter of genius." He
condemns that high finish which softens off. "This extreme softening,
instead of producing the effect of softness, gives the appearance of
ivory, or some other hard substance, highly polished. The value set upon
drawings, such as of Coreggio and Parmegiano, which are but slight, show
how much satisfaction can be given without high finishing, or minute
attention to particulars. "I wish you to bear in mind, that when I speak
of a whole, I do not mean simply _a whole_ as belonging to composition,
but _a whole_ with respect to the general style of colouring; _a whole_
with regard to light and shade; and _a whole_ of every thing which may
separately become the main object of a painter. He speaks of a landscape
painter in Rome, who endeavoured to represent every individual leaf upon
a tree; a few happy touches would have given a more true resemblance.
There is always a largeness and a freedom in happy execution, that
finish can never attain. Sir Joshua says above, that even "unpromising"
subjects may be thus treated. There is a painter commonly thought to
have finished highly, by those who do not look into his manner, whose
dexterous, happy execution was perhaps never surpassed; the consequence
is, that there is "a largeness," in all his pictures. We mean Teniers.
The effect of the elaborate work that has been added to his class of
subjects, is to make them heavy and fatiguing to the eye. He praises
Titian for the same large manner which he had given to his history and
portraits, applied to his landscapes, and instances the back-ground to
the "Peter Martyr." He recommends the same practice in portrait
painting--the first thing to be attained, is largeness and general
effect. The following puts the truth clearly. "Perhaps nothing that we
can say will so clearly show the advantage and excellence of this
faculty, as that it confers the character of genius on works that
pretend to no other merit, in which is neither expression, character,
nor dignity, and where none are interested in the subject. We cannot
refuse the character of genius to the 'Marriage' of Paolo Veronese,
without opposing the general sense of mankind, (great authorities have
called it the triumph of painting,) or to the Altar of St Augustine at
Antwerp, by Rubens, which equally deserves that title, and for the same
reason. Neither of these pictures have any interesting story to support
them. That of Paolo Veronese is only a representation of a great
concourse of people at a dinner; and the subject of Rubens, if it may be
called a subject where nothing is doing, is an assembly of various
saints that lived in different ages. The whole excellence of those
pictures consists in mechanical dexterity, working, however, under the
influence of that comprehensive faculty which I have so often

The power of _a whole_ is exemplified by the anecdote of a child going
through a gallery of old portraits. She paid very little attention to
the finishing, or naturalness of drapery, but put herself at once to
mimic the awkward attitudes. "The censure of nature uninformed, fastened
upon the greatest fault that could be in a picture, because it related
to the character and management of the whole." What he would condemn is
that substitute for deep and proper study, which is to enable the
painter to conceive and execute every subject as a whole, and a finish
which Cowley calls "laborious effects of idleness." He concludes this
Discourse with some hints on method of study. Many go to Italy to copy
pictures, and derive little advantage. "The great business of study is,
to form a mind adapted and adequate to all times and all occasions, to
which all nature is then laid open, and which may be said to possess the
key of her inexhaustible riches."

Mr Burnet has supplied a plate of the Monk flying from the scene of
murder, in Titian's "Peter Martyr," showing how that great painter could
occasionally adopt the style of Michael Angelo in his forms. In the same
note he observes, that Sir Joshua had forgotten the detail of this
picture, which detail is noticed and praised by Algarotti, for its
minute discrimination of leaves and plants, "even to excite the
admiration of a botanist."--Sir Joshua said they were not there. Mr
Burnet examined the picture at Paris, and found, indeed, the detail, but
adds, that "they are made out with the same hue as the general tint of
the ground, which is a dull brown," an exemplification of the rule, "Ars
est celare artem." Mr Burnet remarks, that there is the same minute
detail in Titian's "Bacchus and Ariadne."--He is right--we have noticed
it, and suspected that it had lost the glazing which had subdued it. As
it is, however, it is not important. Mr Burnet is fearful lest the
authority of Sir Joshua should induce a habit of generalizing too much.
He expresses this fear in another note. He says, "the great eagerness to
acquire what the poet calls

        'That voluntary style,
    Which careless plays, and seems to mock at toil,'

and which Reynolds describes as so captivating, has led many a student
to commence his career at the wrong end. They ought to remember, that
even Rubens founded this excellence upon years of laborious and careful
study. His picture of himself and his first wife, though the size of
life, exhibits all the detail and finish of Holbein." Sir Joshua nowhere
recommends _careless_ style; on the contrary, he every where urges the
student to laborious toil, in order that he may acquire that facility
which Sir Joshua so justly calls captivating, and which afterwards
Rubens himself did acquire, by studying it in the works of Titian and
Paul Veronese; and singularly, in contradiction to his fears and all he
would imply, Mr Burnet terminates his passage thus:--"Nor did he
(Rubens) quit the dry manner of Otho Venius, till a contemplation of the
works of Titian and Paul Veronese enabled him to display with rapidity
those materials which industry had collected." It is strange to argue
upon the abuse of a precept, by taking it at the wrong end.

       *       *       *       *       *

The TWELFTH DISCOURSE recurs likewise to much that had been before laid
down. It treats of methods of study, upon which he had been consulted by
artists about to visit Italy. Particular methods of study he considers
of little consequence; study must not be shackled by too much method. If
the painter loves his art, he will not require prescribed tasks;--to go
about which sluggishly, which he will do if he have another impulse, can
be of little advantage. Hence would follow, as he admirably expresses
it, "a reluctant understanding," and a "servile hand." He supposes,
however, the student to be somewhat advanced. The boy, like other
school-boys, must be under restraint, and learn the "Grammar and
Rudiments" laboriously. It is not such who travel for knowledge. The
student, he thinks, may be pretty much left to himself; if he undertake
things above his strength, it is better he should run the risk of
discouragement thereby, than acquire "a slow proficiency" by "too easy
tasks." He has little confidence in the efficacy of method, "in
acquiring excellence in any art whatever." Methodical studies, with all
their apparatus, enquiry, and mechanical labour, tend too often but "to
evade and shuffle off real labour--the real labour of thinking." He has
ever avoided giving particular directions. He has found students who
have imagined they could make "prodigious progress under some particular
eminent master." Such would lean on any but themselves. "After the
Rudiments are past, very little of our art can be taught by others." A
student ought to have a just and manly confidence in himself, "or rather
in the persevering industry which he is resolved to possess." Raffaelle
had done nothing, and was quite young, when fixed upon to adorn the
Vatican with his works; he had even to direct the best artists of his
age. He had a meek and gentle disposition, but it was not inconsistent
with that manly confidence that insured him success--a confidence in
himself arising from a consciousness of power, and a determination to
exert it. The result is "in perpetuum."--There are, however, artists who
have too much self-confidence, that is ill-founded confidence, founded
rather upon a certain dexterity than upon a habit of thought; they are
like the improvisatori in poetry; and most commonly, as Metastasio
acknowledged of himself, had much to unlearn, to acquire a habit of
thinking with selection. To be able to draw and to design with rapidity,
is, indeed, to be master of the grammar of art; but in the completion,
and in the final settlement of the design, the portfolio must again and
again have been turned over, and the nicest judgment exercised. This
judgment is the result of deep study and intenseness of thought--thought
not only upon the artist's own inventions, but those of others. Luca
Giordano and La Fage are brought as examples of great dexterity and
readiness of invention--but of little selection; for they borrowed very
little from others: and still less will any artist, that can distinguish
between excellence and insipidity, ever borrow from them. Raffaelle, who
had no lack of invention, took the greatest pains to select; and when
designing "his greatest as well as latest works, the Cartoons," he had
before him studies he had made from Masaccio. He borrowed from him "two
noble figures of St Paul." The only alteration he made was in the
showing both hands, which he thought in a principal figure should never
be omitted. Masaccio's work was well known; Raffaelle was not ashamed to
have borrowed. "Such men, surely, need not be ashamed of that friendly
intercourse which ought to exist among artists, of receiving from the
dead, and giving to the living, and perhaps to those who are yet unborn.
The daily food and nourishment of the mind of an artist is found in the
great works of his predecessors. 'Serpens nisi serpentem comederit, non
fit draco.'" The fact is, the most self-sufficient of men are greater
borrowers than they will admit, or perhaps know; their very novelties,
if they have any, commence upon the thoughts of others, which are laid
down as a foundation in their own minds. The common sense, which is
called "common property," is that stock which all that have gone before
us have left behind them; and we are but admitted to the heirship of
what they have acquired. Masaccio Sir Joshua considers to have been "one
of the great fathers of modern art." He was the first who gave
largeness, and "discovered the path that leads to every excellence to
which the art afterwards arrived." It is enough to say of him, that
Michael Angelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino, Raffaelle,
Bartolomeo, Andrea del Sarto, Il Rosso, and Pierino del Vaga, formed
their taste by studying his works. "An artist-like mind" is best formed
by studying the works of great artists. It is a good practice to
consider figures in works of great masters as statues which we may take
in any view. This did Raffaelle, in his "Sergius Paulus," from Masaccio.
Lest there should be any misunderstanding of this sort of borrowing,
which he justifies, he again refers to the practice of Raffaelle in this
his borrowing from Masaccio. The two figures of St Paul, he doubted if
Raffaelle could have improved; but "he had the address to change in some
measure without diminishing the grandeur of their character." For a
serene composed dignity, he has given animation suited to their
employment. "In the same manner, he has given more animation to the
figure of Sergius Paulus, and to that which is introduced in the picture
of Paul preaching, of which little more than hints are given by
Masaccio, which Raffaelle has finished. The closing the eyes of this
figure, which in Masaccio might be easily mistaken for sleeping, is not
in the least ambiguous in the Cartoon. His eyes, indeed are closed, but
they are closed with such vehemence, that the agitation of a mind
_perplexed in the extreme_ is seen at the first glance; but what is most
extraordinary, and I think particularly to be admired, is, that the same
idea is continued through the whole figure, even to the drapery, which
is so closely muffled about him, that even his hands are not seen: By
this happy correspondence between the expression of the countenance and
the disposition of the parts, the figure appears to think from head to
foot. Men of superior talents alone are capable of thus using and
adapting other men's minds to their own purposes, or are able to make
out and finish what was only in the original a hint or imperfect
conception. A readiness in taking such hints, which escape the dull and
ignorant, makes, in my opinion, no inconsiderable part of that faculty
of mind which is called genius." He urges the student not even to think
himself qualified to invent, till he is well acquainted with the stores
of invention the world possesses; and insists that, without such study,
he will not have learned to select from nature. He has more than once
enforced this doctrine, because it is new. He recommends, even in
borrowing, however, an immediate recurrence to the model, that every
thing may be finished from nature. Hence he proceeds to give some
directions for placing the model and the drapery--first to impress upon
the model the purpose of the attitude required--next, to be careful not
to alter drapery with the hand, rather trusting, if defective, to a new
cast. There is much in being in the way of accident. To obtain the
freedom of accident Rembrandt put on his colours with his palette-knife;
a very common practice at the present day. "Works produced in an
accidental manner will have the same free unrestrained air as the works
of nature, whose particular combinations seem to depend upon accident."
He concludes this Discourse by more strenuously insisting upon the
necessity of ever having nature in view--and warns students by the
example of Boucher, Director of the French Academy, whom he saw working
upon a large picture, "without drawings or models of any kind." He had
left off the use of models many years. Though a man of ability, his
pictures showed the mischief of his practice. Mr Burnet's notes to this
Discourse add little to the material of criticism; they do but reiterate
in substance what Sir Joshua had himself sufficiently repeated. His
object seems rather to seize an opportunity of expressing his admiration
of Wilkie, whom he adduces as a parallel example with Raffaelle of
successful borrowing. It appears from the account given of Wilkie's
process, that he carried the practice much beyond Raffaelle. We cannot
conceive any thing _very_ good coming from so very methodical a manner
of setting to work. Would not the fire of genius be extinguished by the
coolness of the process? "When he had fixed upon his subject, he thought
upon _all_ pictures of that class already in existence." The after
process was most elaborate. Now, this we should think a practice quite
contrary to Raffaelle's, who more probably trusted to his own conception
for the character of his picture as a whole, and whose borrowing was
more of single figures; but, if of the whole manner of treating his
subject, it is not likely that he would have thought of more than one
work for his imitation. The fact is, Sir David Wilkie's pictures show
that he did carry this practice too far--for there is scarcely a picture
of his that does not show patches of imitations, that are not always
congruous with each other; there is too often in one piece, a bit of
Rembrandt, a bit of Velasquez, a bit of Ostade, or others. The most
perfect, as a whole, is his "Chelsea Pensioners." We do not quite
understand the brew of study fermenting an accumulation of knowledge,
and imagination exalting it. "An accumulation of knowledge impregnated
his mind, fermented by study, and exalted by imagination;" this is very
ambitious, but not very intelligible. He speaks of Wilkie attracting the
attention of admirers and detractors. It is very absurd to consider
criticism that is not always favourable, detraction. The following
passage is well put. "We constantly hear the ignorant advising a student
to study the great book of nature, without being biassed by what has
been done by other painters; it is as absurd as if they would recommend
a youth to learn astronomy by lying in the fields, and looking on the
stars, without reference to the works of Kepler, Tycho Brahe, or of
Newton." There is indeed a world of cant in the present day, that a man
must do all to his own unprejudiced reason, contemning all that has been
done before him. We have just now been looking at a pamphlet on
Materialism (a pamphlet of most ambitious verbiage,) in which, with
reference to all former education, we are "the slaves of prejudice;" yet
the author modestly requires that minds--we beg his pardon, we have _no
minds_--intellects must be _trained_ to his mode of thinking, ere they
can arrive at the truth and the perfection of human nature. If this
training is prejudice in one set of teachers, may it not be in another?
We continually hear artists recommend nature without "a prejudice in
favour of old masters." Such artists are not likely to eclipse the fame
of those great men, the study of whose works has so long _prejudiced_
the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

The THIRTEENTH DISCOURSE shows that art is not imitation, but is under
the influence and direction of the imagination, and in what manner
poetry, painting, acting, gardening, and architecture, depart from
nature. However good it is to study the beauties of artists, this is
only to know art through them. The principles of painting remain to be
compared with those of other arts, all of them with human nature. All
arts address themselves only to two faculties of the mind, its
imagination and its sensibility. We have feeling, and an instantaneous
judgment, the result of the experience of life, and reasonings which we
cannot trace. It is safer to trust to this feeling and judgment, than
endeavour to control and direct art upon a supposition of what ought in
reason to be the end or means. We should, therefore, most carefully
store first impressions. They are true, though we know not the process
by which the first conviction is formed. Partial and after reasoning
often serves to destroy that character, the truth of which came upon us
as with an instinctive knowledge. We often reason ourselves into narrow
and partial theories, not aware that "_real_ principles of _sound
reason_, and of so much more weight and importance, are involved, and
as it were lie hid, under the appearance of a sort of vulgar sentiment.
Reason, without doubt, must ultimately determine every thing; at this
minute it is required to inform us when that very reason is to give way
to feeling." Sir Joshua again refers to the mistaken views of art, and
taken too by not the poorest minds, "that it entirely or mainly depends
on imitation." Plato, even in this respect, misleads by a partial
theory. It is with "such a false view that Cardinal Bembo has chosen to
distinguish even Raffaelle himself, whom our enthusiasm honours with the
name divine. The same sentiment is adopted by Pope in his epitaph on Sir
Godfrey Kneller; and he turns the panegyric solely on imitation as it is
a sort of deception." It is, undoubtedly, most important that the world
should be taught to honour art for its highest qualities; until this is
done, the profession will be a degradation. So far from painting being
imitation, he proceeds to show that "it is, and ought to be, in many
points of view, and strictly speaking, no imitation at all of external
nature." Civilization is not the gross state of nature; imagination is
the result of cultivation, of civilization; it is to this state of
nature art must be more closely allied. We must not appeal for judgment
upon art to those who have not acquired the faculty to admire. The
lowest style of all arts please the uncultivated. But, to speak of the
unnaturalness of art--let it be illustrated by poetry, which speaks in
language highly artificial, and "a construction of measured words, such
as never is nor ever was used by man." Now, as there is in the human
mind "a sense of congruity, coherence, and consistency," which must be
gratified; so, having once assumed a language and style not adopted in
common discourse, "it is required that the sentiments also should be in
the same proportion raised above common nature." There must be an
agreement of all the parts with the whole. He recognizes the chorus of
the ancient drama, and the recitative of the Italian opera as natural,
under this view. "And though the most violent passions, the highest
distress, even death itself, are expressed in singing or recitative, I
would not admit as sound criticism the condemnation of such exhibitions
on account of their being unnatural." "Shall reason stand in the way,
and tell us that we ought not to like what we know we do like, and
prevent us from feeling the full effect of this complicated exertion of
art? It appears to us that imagination is that gift to man, to be
attained by cultivation, that enables him to rise above and out of his
apparent nature; it is the source of every thing good and great, we had
almost said of every virtue. The parent of all arts, it is of a higher
devotion; it builds and adorns temples more worthy of the great Maker of
all, and praises Him in sounds too noble for the common intercourse and
business of life, which demand of the most cultivated that they put
themselves upon a lower level than they are capable of assuming. So
far, therefore, is a servile imitation from being necessary, that
whatever is familiar, or in any way reminds us of what we see and hear
every day, perhaps does not belong to the higher provinces of art,
either in poetry or painting. The mind is to be transported, as
Shakspeare expresses it, _beyond the ignorant present_, to ages past.
Another and a higher order of beings is supposed, and to those beings
every thing which is introduced into the work must correspond." He
speaks of a picture by Jan Steen, the "Sacrifice of Iphigenia," wherein
the common nature, with the silks and velvets, would make one think the
painter had intended to burlesque his subject. "Ill taught reason" would
lead us to prefer a portrait by Denner to one by Titian or Vandyke.
There is an eloquent passage, showing that landscape painting should in
like manner appeal to the imagination; we are only surprised that the
author of this description should have omitted, throughout these
Discourses, the greatest of all landscape painters, whose excellence he
should seem to refer to by his language. "Like the poet, he makes the
elements sympathize with his subject, whether the clouds roll in
volumes, like those of Titian or Salvator Rosa--or, like those of
Claude, are gilded with the setting sun; whether the mountains have
hidden and bold projections, or are gently sloped; whether the branches
of his trees shoot out abruptly in right angles from their trunks, or
follow each other with only a gentle inclination. All these
circumstances contribute to the general character of the work, whether
it be of the elegant or of the more sublime kind. If we add to this the
powerful materials of lightness and darkness, over which the artist has
complete dominion, to vary and dispose them as he pleases--to diminish
or increase them, as will best suit his purpose, and correspond to the
general idea of his work; a landscape, thus conducted, under the
influence of a poetical mind, will have the same superiority over the
more ordinary and common views, as Milton's "Allegro" and "Penseroso"
have over a cold prosaic narration or description; and such a picture
would make a more forcible impression on the mind than the real scenes,
were they presented before us." We have quoted the above passage,
because it is wanted--we are making great mistakes in that delightful,
and (may we not say?) that high branch of art. He pursues the same
argument with regard to acting, and condemns the _ignorant_ praise
bestowed by Fielding on Garrick. Not an idea of deception enters the
mind of actor or author. On the stage, even the expression of strong
passion must be without the natural distortion and screaming voice.
Transfer, he observes, acting to a private room, and it would be
ridiculous. "Quid enim deformius, quum scenam in vitam transferre?" Yet
he gives here a caution, "that no art can be grafted with success on
another art." "If a painter should endeavour to copy the theatrical pomp
and parade of dress and attitude, instead of that simplicity which is
not a greater beauty in life than it is in painting, we should condemn
such pictures, as painted in the meanest style." What will our
academician, Mr Maclise, say of this remark? He then adduces gardening
in support of his theory,--"nature to advantage dressed," "beautiful and
commodious for the recreation of man." We cannot, however, go with Sir
Joshua, who adds, that "so dressed, it is no longer a subject for the
pencil of a landscape painter, as all landscape painters know." It is
certainly unlike the great landscape he has described, but not very
unlike Claude's, nor out of the way of his pencil. We have in our mind's
eye a garden scene by Vander Heyden, most delightful, most elegant. It
is some royal garden, with its proper architecture, the arch, the steps,
and balustrades, and marble walks. The queen of the artificial paradise
is entering, and in the shade with her attendants, but she will soon
place her foot upon the prepared sunshine. Courtiers are here and there
walking about, or leaning over the balustrades. All is elegance--a scene
prepared for the recreation of pure and cultivated beings. We cannot
say the picture is not landscape. We are sure it gave us ten times more
pleasure than ever we felt from any of our landscape views, with which
modern landscape painting has covered the walls of our exhibitions, and
brought into disrepute our "annuals." He proceeds to architecture, and
praises Vanburgh for his poetical imagination; though he, with Perrault,
was a mark for the wits of the day.[11] Sir Joshua points to the façade
of the Louvre, Blenheim, and Castle Howard, as "the fairest ornaments."
He finishes this admirable discourse with the following eloquent
passage:--"It is allowed on all hands, that facts and events, however
they may bind the historian, have no dominion over the poet or the
painter. With us history is made to bend and conform to this great idea
of art. And why? Because these arts, in their highest province, are not
addressed to the gross senses; but to the desires of the mind, to that
spark of divinity which we have within, impatient of being circumscribed
and pent up by the world which is about us. Just so much as our art has
of this, just so much of dignity, I had almost said of divinity, it
exhibits; and those of our artists who possessed this mark of
distinction in the highest degree, acquired from thence the glorious
appellation of divine.

     [11] The reader will remember the supposed epitaph,
             "Lie heavy on him, earth, for he
              Laid many a heavy load on thee."

Mr Burnet's notes to this Discourse are not important to art. There is
an amusing one on acting, that discusses the question of naturalness on
the stage, and with some pleasant anecdotes.

       *       *       *       *       *

The FOURTEENTH DISCOURSE is chiefly occupied with the character of
Gainsborough, and landscape painting. It has brought about him, and his
name, a hornet's nest of critics, in consequence of some remarks upon a
picture of Wilson's. Gainsborough and Sir Joshua, and perhaps in some
degree Wilson, had been rivals. It has been said that Wilson and
Gainsborough never liked each other. It is a well-known anecdote that
Sir Joshua, at a dinner, gave the health of Gainsborough, adding "the
greatest landscape painter of the age," to which Wilson, at whom the
words were supposed to be aimed, dryly added, "and the greatest portrait
painter too." We can, especially under circumstances, for there had been
a coolness between the President and Gainsborough, pardon the too
favourable view taken of Gainsborough's landscape pictures. He was
unquestionably much greater as a portrait painter. The following account
of the interview with Gainsborough upon his death-bed, is touching, and
speaks well of both:--"A few days before he died he wrote me a letter,
to express his acknowledgments for the good opinion I entertained of his
abilities, and the manner in which (he had been informed) I always spoke
of him; and desired that he might see me once before he died. I am aware
how flattering it is to myself to be thus connected with the dying
testimony which this excellent painter bore to his art. But I cannot
prevail upon myself to suppress that I was not connected with him by any
habits of familiarity. If any little jealousies had subsisted between
us, they were forgotten in these moments of sincerity; and he turned
towards me as one who was engrossed by the same pursuits, and who
deserved his good opinion by being sensible of his excellence. Without
entering into a detail of what passed at this last interview, the
impression of it upon my mind was, that his regret at losing life was
principally the regret of leaving his art; and more especially as he now
began, he said, to see what his deficiencies were; which, he said, he
flattered himself in his last works were in some measure supplied." When
the Discourse was delivered, Raffaelle Mengs and Pompeo Batoni were
great names. Sir Joshua foretells their fall from that high estimation.
Andrea Sacchi, and "_perhaps_" Carlo Maratti, he considers the "ultimi
Romanorum." He prefers "the humble attempts of Gainsborough to the works
of those regular graduates in the great historical style." He gives some
account of the "customs and habits of this extraordinary man."
Gainsborough's love for his art was remarkable. He was ever remarking to
those about him any peculiarity of countenance, accidental combination
of figures, effects of light and shade, in skies, in streets, and in
company. If he met a character he liked, he would send him home to his
house. He brought into his painting-room stumps of trees, weeds, &c. He
even formed models of landscapes on his table, composed of broken
stones, dried herbs, and pieces of looking-glass, which, magnified,
became rocks, trees, and water. Most of this is the common routine of
every artist's life; the modelling his landscapes in the manner
mentioned, Sir Joshua himself seems to speak doubtingly about. It in
fact shows, that in Gainsborough there was a poverty of invention; his
scenes are of the commonest kind, such as few would stop to admire in
nature; and, when we consider the wonderful variety that nature did
present to him, it is strange that his sketches and compositions should
have been so devoid of beauty. He was in the habit of painting by night,
a practice which Reynolds recommends, and thought it must have been the
practice of Titian and Coreggio. He might have mentioned the portrait of
Michael Angelo with the candle in his cap and a mallet in his hand.
Gainsborough was ambitious of attaining excellence, regardless of
riches. The style chosen by Gainsborough did not require that he should
go out of his own country. No argument is to be drawn from thence, that
travelling is not desirable for those who choose other walks of
art--knowing that "the language of the art must be learned somewhere,"
he applied himself to the Flemish school, and certainly with advantage,
and occasionally made copies from Rubens, Teniers, and Vandyke. Granting
him as a painter great merit, Sir Joshua doubts whether he excelled most
in portraits, landscapes, or fancy pictures. Few now will doubt upon the
subject--next to Sir Joshua, he was the greatest portrait painter we
have had, so as to be justly entitled to the fame of being one of the
founders of the English School. He did not attempt historical painting;
and here Sir Joshua contrasts him with Hogarth; who did so
injudiciously. It is strange that Sir Joshua should have characterised
Hogarth as having given his attention to "the Ridicule of Life." We
could never see any thing ridiculous in his deep tragedies. Gainsborough
is praised in that he never introduced "mythological learning" into his
pictures. "Our late ingenious academician, Wilson, has, I fear, been
guilty, like many of his predecessors, of introducing gods and
goddesses, ideal beings, into scenes which were by no means prepared to
receive such personages. His landscapes were in reality too near common
nature to admit supernatural objects. In consequence of this mistake, in
a very admirable picture of a storm, which I have seen of his hand, many
figures are introduced in the foreground, some in apparent distress, and
some struck dead, as a spectator would naturally suppose, by lightning:
had not the painter injudiciously, (as I think,) rather chosen that
their death should be imputed to a little Apollo, who appears in the sky
with his bent bow, and that those figures should be considered as the
children of Niobe." This is the passage that gave so much offence;
foolish admirers will fly into flame at the slightest spark--the
question should have been, is the criticism just, not whether Sir Joshua
had been guilty of the same error--but we like critics, the only true
critics, who give their reason: and so did Sir Joshua. "To manage a
subject of this kind a peculiar style of art is required; and it can
only be done without impropriety, or even without ridicule, when we
adopt the character of the landscape, and that too in all its parts, to
the historical or poetical representation. This is a very difficult
adventure, and requires a mind thrown back two thousand years, like that
of Nicolo Poussin, to achieve it. In the picture alluded to, the first
idea that presents itself is that of wonder, at seeing a figure in so
uncommon a situation as that in which Apollo is placed: for the clouds
on which he kneels have not the appearance of being able to support
him--they have neither the substance nor the form fit for the receptacle
of a human figure, and they do not possess, in any respect, that
romantic character which is appropriated to such an object, and which
alone can harmonize with poetical stories." We presume Reynolds alludes
to the best of the two Niobes by Wilson--that in the National Gallery.
The other is villanously faulty as a composition, where loaf is piled
upon loaf for rock and castle, and the tree is common and hedge-grown,
for the purpose of making gates; but the other would have been a fine
picture, not of the historical class--the parts are all common, the
little blown about underwood is totally deficient in all form and
character--rocks and trees, and they do not, as in a former
discourse--Reynolds had laid down that they should--sympathize with the
subject; then, as to the substance of the cloud, he is right--it is not
voluminous, it is mere vapour. In the received adoption of clouds as
supporting figures, they are, at least, pillowy, capacious, and
round--here it is quite otherwise; and Sir Joshua might well call it a
little Apollo, with that immense cloud above him, which is in fact too
much a portrait of a cloud, too peculiar, too edgy, for any subject
where the sky is not to be all in all. We do not say it is not fine and
grand, and what you please; but it is not subordinate, it casts its
lightning as from its own natural power, there was no need of a god's

    "Nec Deus intersit nisi dignus vindice nodus;"

and the action does not take place in a "prepared" landscape. There is
nothing to take us back to a fabled age. Reynolds is not unjust to
Wilson's merits, for he calls it, notwithstanding this defect, "a very
admirable picture;" which picture will, we suspect, in a few years lose
its principal charm, if it has not lost it; the colour is sadly
changing, there is now little aerial in the sky. It is said of Wilson,
that he ridiculed the experiments of Sir Joshua, and spoke of using
nothing but "honest linseed"--to which, however, he added varnishes and
wax, as will easily be seen in those pictures of his which have so
cracked--and now lose their colour. "Honest" linseed appears to have
played him a sad trick, or he to have played a trick upon honest
linseed. Sir Joshua, however, to his just criticism, adds the best
precept, example--and instances two pictures, historical landscape,
"Jacob's Dream"--which was exhibited a year or two ago in the
Institution, Pall-Mall--by Salvator Rosa, and the picture by Sebastian
Bourdon, "The Return of the Ark from Captivity," now in the National
Gallery. The latter picture, as a composition, is not perhaps good--it
is cut up into too many parts, and those parts are not sufficiently
poetical; in its hue, it may be appropriate. The other, "Jacob's Dream"
is one of the finest by the master--there is an extraordinary boldness
in the clouds, an uncommon grandeur, strongly marked, sentient of
angelic visitants. This picture has been recently wretchedly engraved in
mezzotinto; all that is in the picture firm and hard, is in the print
soft, fuzzy, and disagreeable. Sir Joshua treats very tenderly the
mistaken manner of Gainsborough in his late pictures, the "odd scratches
and marks." "This chaos, this uncouth and shapeless appearance, by a
kind of magic at a certain distance, assumes form, and all their parts
seem to drop into their places, so that we can hardly refuse
acknowledging the full effect of diligence, under the appearance of
chance and heavy negligence." The _heavy_ negligence happily describes
the fault of the manner. It is horribly manifest in that magnitude of
vulgarity for landscape, the "Market Cart" in our National Gallery, and
purchased at we know not what vast sum, and presented by the governors
of the institution to the nation. We have a very high opinion of the
genius of Gainsborough; but we do not see it in his landscapes, with
very few exceptions. His portraits have an air of truth never exceeded,
and that set off with great power and artistical skill; and his rustic
children are admirable. He stands alone, and never has had a successful
imitator. The mock sentimentality, the affected refinement, which has
been added to his simple style by other artists, is disgusting in the
extreme. Gainsborough certainly studied colour with great success. He is
both praised and blamed for a lightness of manner and effect possessed
"to an unexampled degree of excellence;" but "the sacrifice which he
made, to this ornament of our art, was too great." We confess we do not
understand Sir Joshua, nor can we reconcile "the _heavy_ negligence"
with this "lightness of manner." Mr Burnet, in one of his notes,
compares Wilson with Gainsborough; he appears to give the preference to
Wilson--why does he not compare Gainsborough with Sir Joshua himself?
the rivalry should have been in portrait. There is a long note upon Sir
Joshua's remarks upon Wilson's "Niobe." We are not surprised at
Cunningham's "Castigation." He did not like Sir Joshua, and could not
understand nor value his character. This is evident in his Life of the
President. Cunningham must have had but an ill-educated classic eye when
he asserted so grandiloquently,--"He rose at once from the tame
insipidity of common scenery into natural grandeur and magnificence; his
streams seem all abodes for nymphs, his hills are fit haunts for the
muses, and his temples worthy of gods,"--a passage, we think, most
worthy the monosyllable commonly used upon such occasions by the manly
and simple-minded Mr Burchell. That Sir Joshua occasionally transgressed
in his wanderings into mythology, it would be difficult to deny; nor was
it his only transgression from his legitimate ground, as may be seen in
his "Holy Family" in the National Gallery. But we doubt if the critique
upon his "Mrs Siddons" is quite fair. The chair and the footstool may
not be on the cloud, a tragic and mysterious vapour reconciling the
bodily presence of the muse with the demon and fatal ministers of the
drama that attend her. Though Sir Joshua's words are here brought
against him, it is without attention to their application in his
critique, which condemned their form and character as not historical nor
voluminous--faults that do not attach to the clouds, if clouds they must
be in the picture (the finest of Sir Joshua's works) of Mrs Siddons as
the Tragic Muse. It is not our business to enter upon the supposed fact,
that Sir Joshua was jealous of Wilson; the one was a polished, the other
perhaps a somewhat coarse man. We have only to see if the criticism be
just. In this Discourse Sir Joshua has the candour to admit, that there
were at one time jealousies between him and Gainsborough; there may have
been between him and Wilson, but, at all events, we cannot take a just
criticism as a proof of it, or we must convict him, and all others too,
of being jealous of artists and writers whose works they in any manner

       *       *       *       *       *

The FIFTEENTH DISCOURSE.--We come now to Sir Joshua's last Discourse, in
which the President takes leave of the Academy, reviews his
"Discourses," and concludes with recommending the study of Michael

Having gone along with the President of the Academy in the pursuit of
the principles of the art in these Discourses, and felt a portion of the
enthusiasm which he felt, and knew so well how to impart to others, we
come to this last Discourse, with a melancholy knowledge that it was the
last; and reflect with pain upon that cloud which so soon interposed
between Reynolds and at least the practical enjoyment of his art. He
takes leave of the Academy affectionately, and, like a truth-loving man
to the last, acknowledges the little contentions (in so softening a
manner does he speak of the "rough hostility of Barry," and "oppositions
of Gainsborough") which "ought certainly," says he, "to be lost among
ourselves in mutual esteem for talents and acquirements: every
controversy ought to be--I am persuaded will be--sunk in our zeal for
the perfection of our common art." "My age, and my infirmities still
more than my age, make it probable that this will be the last time I
shall have the honour of addressing you from this place." This last
visit seemed to be threatened with a tragical end;--the circumstance
showed the calm mind of the President; it was characteristic of the man
who would die with dignity, and gracefully. A large assembly were
present, of rank and importance, besides the students. The pressure was
great--a beam in the floor gave way with a loud crash; a general rush
was made to the door, all indiscriminately falling one over the other,
except the President, who kept his seat "silent and unmoved." The floor
only sunk a little, was soon supported, and Sir Joshua recommenced his

    "Justum et tenacem propositi
    Impavidum ferient ruinæ."

He compliments the Academy upon the ability of the professors, speaks
with diffidence of his power as a writer, (the world has in this respect
done him justice;) but that he had come not unprepared upon the subject
of art, having reflected much upon his own and the opinions of others.
He found in the art many precepts and rules, not reconcilable with each
other. "To clear away those difficulties and reconcile those contrary
opinions, it became necessary to distinguish the greater truth, as it
may be called, from the lesser truth; the larger and more liberal idea
of nature from the more narrow and confined: that which addresses itself
to the imagination, from that which is solely addressed to the eye. In
consequence of this discrimination, the different branches of our art to
which those different truths were referred, were perceived to make so
wide a separation, and put on so new an appearance, that they seemed
scarcely to have proceeded from the same general stock. The different
rules and regulations which presided over each department of art,
followed of course; every mode of excellence, from the grand style of
the Roman and Florentine schools down to the lowest rank of still life,
had its due weight and value--fitted to some class or other; and nothing
was thrown away. By this disposition of our art into classes, that
perplexity and confusion, which I apprehend every artist has at some
time experienced from the variety of styles, and the variety of
excellence with which he is surrounded, is, I should hope, in some
measure removed, and the student better enabled to judge for himself
what peculiarly belongs to his own particular pursuit." Besides the
practice of art, the student must think, and speculate, and consider
"upon what ground the fabric of our art is built." An artist suffers
throughout his whole life, from uncertain, confused, and erroneous
opinions. We are persuaded there would be fewer fatal errors were these
Discourses more in the hands of our present artists--"Nocturnâ versate
manu, versate diurnâ."--An example is given of the mischief of erroneous
opinions. "I was acquainted at Rome, in the early part of my life, with
a student of the French Academy, who appeared to me to possess all the
qualities requisite to make a great artist, if he had suffered his taste
and feelings, and I may add even his prejudices, to have fair play. He
saw and felt the excellences of the great works of art with which we
were surrounded, but lamented that there was not to be found that nature
which is so admirable in the inferior schools,--and he supposed with
Felebien, Du Piles, and other theorists, that such an union of different
excellences would be the perfection of art. He was not aware that the
narrow idea of nature, of which he lamented the absence in the works of
those great artists, would have destroyed the grandeur of the general
ideas which he admired, and which was indeed the cause of his
admiration. My opinions being then confused and unsettled, I was in
danger of being borne down by this plausible reasoning, though I
remember I then had a dawning suspicion that it was not sound doctrine;
and at the same time I was unwilling obstinately to refuse assent to
what I was unable to confute." False and low views of art are now so
commonly taken both in and out of the profession, that we have not
hesitated to quote the above passage; the danger Sir Joshua confesses he
was in, is common, and demands the warning. To make it more direct we
should add, "Read his Discourses." Again, without intending to fetter
the student's mind to a particular method of study, he urges the
necessity and wisdom of previously obtaining the appropriated
instruments of art, in a first correct design, and a plain manly
colouring, before any thing more is attempted. He does not think it,
however, of very great importance whether or not the student aim first
at grace and grandeur before he has learned correctness, and adduces the
example of Parmegiano, whose first public work was done when a boy, the
"St Eustachius" in the Church of St Petronius, in Bologna--one of his
last is the "Moses breaking the Tables," in Parma. The former has
grandeur and incorrectness, but "discovers the dawnings of future
greatness." In mature age he had corrected his defects, and the drawing
of his Moses was equally admirable with the grandeur of the
conception--an excellent plate is given of this figure by Mr Burnet. The
fact is, the impulse of the mind is not to be too much restrained--it is
better to give it its due and first play, than check it until it has
acquired correctness--good sense first or last, and a love of the art,
will generally insure correctness in the end; the impulses often
checked, come with weakened power, and ultimately refuse to come at all;
and each time that they depart unsatisfied, unemployed, take away with
them as they retire a portion of the fire of genius. Parmegiano formed
himself upon Michael Angelo: Michael Angelo brought the art to a
"sudden maturity," as Homer and Shakspeare did theirs. "Subordinate
parts of our art, and perhaps of other arts, expand themselves by a slow
and progressive growth; but those which depend on a native vigour of
imagination, generally burst forth at once in fulness of beauty."
Correctness of drawing and imagination, the one of mechanical genius the
other of poetic, undoubtedly work together for perfection--"a confidence
in the mechanic produces a boldness in the poetic." He expresses his
surprise that the race of painters, before Michael Angelo, never thought
of transferring to painting the grandeur they admired in ancient
sculpture. "Raffaelle himself seemed to be going on very contentedly in
the dry manner of Pietro Perugino; and if Michael Angelo had never
appeared, the art might still have continued in the same style." "On
this foundation the Caracci built the truly great academical Bolognian
school; of which the first stone was laid by Pellegrino Tibaldi." The
Caracci called him "nostro Michael Angelo riformato." His figure of
Polyphemus, which had been attributed to Michael Angelo in Bishop's
"Ancient Statues," is given in a plate by Mr Burnet. The Caracci he
considers sufficiently succeeded in the mechanical, not in "the divine
part which addresses itself to the imagination," as did Tibaldi and
Michael Angelo. They formed, however, a school that was "most
respectable," and "calculated to please a greater number." The Venetian
school advanced "the dignity of their style, by adding to their
fascinating powers of colouring something of the strength of Michael
Angelo." Here Sir Joshua seems to contradict his former assertion; but
as he is here abridging, as it were, his whole Discourses, he cannot
avoid his own observations. It was a point, however, upon which he was
still doubtful; for he immediately adds--"At the same time it may still
be a doubt, how far their ornamental elegance would be an advantageous
addition to his grandeur. But if there is any manner of painting, which
may be said to unite kindly with his (Michael Angelo's) style, it is
that of Titian. His handling, the manner in which his colours are left
on the canvass, appears to proceed (as far as that goes) from congenial
mind, equally disdainful of vulgar criticism. He is reminded of a remark
of Johnson's, that Pope's Homer, had it not been clothed with graces and
elegances not in Homer, would have had fewer readers, thus justifying by
example and authority of Johnson, the graces of the Venetian school.
Some Flemish painters at "the great era of our art" took to their
country "as much of this grandeur as they could carry." It did not
thrive, but "perhaps they contributed to prepare the way for that free,
unconstrained, and liberal outline, which was afterwards introduced by
Rubens, through the medium of the Venetian painters." The grandeur of
style first discovered by Michael Angelo passed through Europe, and
totally "changed the whole character and style of design. His works
excite the same sensation as the Epic of Homer. The Sybils, the statue
of Moses, "come nearer to a comparison with his Jupiter, his demigods,
and heroes; those Sybils and prophets being a kind of intermediate
beings between men and angels. Though instances may be produced in the
works of other painters, which may justly stand in competition with
those I have mentioned, such as the 'Isaiah,' and 'Vision of Ezekiel,'
by Raffaelle, the 'St Mark' of Frate Bartolomeo, and many others; yet
these, it must be allowed, are inventions so much in Michael Angelo's
manner of thinking, that they may be truly considered as so many rays
which discover manifestly the centre from whence they emanated." The
style of Michael Angelo is so highly artificial that the mind must be
cultivated to receive it; having once received it, the mind is improved
by it, and cannot go very far back. Hence the hold this great style has
had upon all who are most learned in art, and upon nearly all painters
in the best time of art. As art multiplies, false tastes will arise, the
early painters had not so much to unlearn as modern artists. Where
Michael Angelo is not felt, there is a lost taste to recover. Sir Joshua
recommends young artists to follow Michael Angelo as he did the ancient
sculptors. "He began, when a child, a copy of a mutilated Satyr's head,
and finished in his model what was wanting in the original." So would he
recommend the student to take his figures from Michael Angelo, and to
change, and alter, and add other figures till he has caught the manner.
Change the purpose, and retain the attitude, as did Titian. By habit of
seeing with this eye of grandeur, he will select from nature all that
corresponds with this taste. Sir Joshua is aware that he is laying
himself open to sarcasm by his advice, but asserts the courage becoming
a teacher addressing students: "they both must equally dare, and bid
defiance to narrow criticism and vulgar opinion." It is the conceited
who think that art is nothing but inspiration; and such appropriate it
in their own estimation; but it is to be learned,--if so, the right
direction to it is of vast importance; and once in the right direction,
labour and study will accomplish the better aspirations of the artist.
Michael Angelo said of Raffaelle, that he possessed not his art by
nature but by long study. "Che Raffaelle non ebbe quest' arte da natura,
ma per longo studio." Raffaelle and Michael Angelo were rivals, but ever
spoke of each other with the respect and veneration they felt, and the
true meaning of the passage was to the praise of Raffaelle; those were
not the days when men were ashamed of being laborious,--and Raffaelle
himself "thanked God that he was born in the same age with that
painter."--"I feel a self-congratulation," adds Sir Joshua, "in knowing
myself capable of such sensations as he intended to excite. I reflect,
not without vanity, that these Discourses bear testimony of my
admiration of that truly divine man; and I should desire that the last
words which I should pronounce in this Academy, and from this place,
might be the name of Michael Angelo." They were his last words from the
academical chair. He died about fourteen months after the delivery of
this Discourse. Mr Burnet has given five excellent plates to this
Discourse--one from Parmegiano, one from Tibaldi, one from Titian, one
from Raffaelle, and one from Michael Angelo. Mr Burnet's first note
repeats what we have again and again elsewhere urged, the advantage of
establishing at our universities, Oxford and Cambridge, Professorships
of Painting--infinite would be the advantage to art, and to the public.
We do not despair. Mr Burnet seems to fear incorrect drawing will arise
from some passages, which he supposes encourages it, in these
Discourses; and fearing it, very properly endeavours to correct the
error in a note. We had intended to conclude this paper with some few
remarks upon Sir Joshua, his style, and influence upon art, but we have
not space. Perhaps we may fulfil this part of our intention in another
number of Maga.

       *       *       *       *       *


        Grief hath been known to turn the young head grey--
        To silver over in a single day
        The bright locks of the beautiful, their prime
        Scarcely o'erpast: as in the fearful time
        Of Gallia's madness, that discrownèd head
        Serene, that on the accursed altar bled
        Miscall'd of Liberty. Oh! martyr'd Queen!
        What must the sufferings of that night have been--
        _That one_--that sprinkled thy fair tresses o'er
        With time's untimely snow! But now no more
        Lovely, august, unhappy one! of thee--
        I have to tell an humbler history;
        A village tale, whose only charm, in sooth,
        (If any) will be sad and simple truth.

        "Mother," quoth Ambrose to his thrifty dame--
        So oft our peasant's use his wife to name,
        "Father" and "Master" to himself applied,
        As life's grave duties matronize the bride--
        "Mother," quoth Ambrose, as he faced the north,
        With hard-set teeth, before he issued forth
        To his day labour, from the cottage door--
        "I'm thinking that, to-night, if not before,
        There'll be wild work. Dost hear old Chewton[12] roar?
        It's brewing up down westward; and look there,
        One of those sea-gulls! ay, there goes a pair;
        And such a sudden thaw! If rain comes on,
        As threats, the waters will be out anon.
        That path by th' ford's a nasty bit of way--
        Best let the young ones bide from school to-day."

        "Do, mother, do!" the quick-ear'd urchins cried;
        Two little lasses to the father's side
        Close clinging, as they look'd from him, to spy
        The answering language of the mother's eye.
        _There_ was denial, and she shook her head:
        "Nay, nay--no harm will come to them," she said,
        "The mistress lets them off these short dark days
        An hour the earlier; and our Liz, she says,
        May quite be trusted--and I know 'tis true--
        To take care of herself and Jenny too.
        And so she ought--she's seven come first of May--
        Two years the oldest: and they give away
        The Christmas bounty at the school to-day."

        The mother's will was law, (alas for her
        That hapless day, poor soul!) _She_ could not err,
        Thought Ambrose; and his little fair-hair'd Jane
        (Her namesake) to his heart he hugg'd again,
        When each had had her turn; she clinging so
        As if that day she could not let him go.
        But Labour's sons must snatch a hasty bliss
        In nature's tend'rest mood. One last fond kiss,
        "God bless my little maids!" the father said,
        And cheerly went his way to win their bread.
        Then might be seen, the playmate parent gone,
        What looks demure the sister pair put on--
        Not of the mother as afraid, or shy,
        Or questioning the love that could deny;
        But simply, as their simple training taught,
        In quiet, plain straightforwardness of thought,
        (Submissively resign'd the hope of play,)
        Towards the serious business of the day.

        To me there's something touching, I confess,
        In the grave look of early thoughtfulness,
        Seen often in some little childish face
        Among the poor. Not that wherein we trace
        (Shame to our land, our rulers, and our race!)
        The unnatural sufferings of the factory child,
        But a staid quietness, reflective, mild,
        Betokening, in the depths of those young eyes,
        Sense of life's cares, without its miseries.

        So to the mother's charge, with thoughtful brow,
        The docile Lizzy stood attentive now;
        Proud of her years and of imputed sense,
        And prudence justifying confidence--
        And little Jenny, more _demurely_ still,
        Beside her waited the maternal will.
        So standing hand in hand, a lovelier twain
        Gainsb'rough ne'er painted: no--nor he of Spain,
        Glorious Murillo!--and by contrast shown
        More beautiful. The younger little one,
        With large blue eyes, and silken ringlets fair,
        By nut-brown Lizzy, with smooth parted hair,
        Sable and glossy as the raven's wing,
        And lustrous eyes as dark.

                               "Now, mind and bring
        Jenny safe home," the mother said--"don't stay
        To pull a bough or berry by the way:
        And when you come to cross the ford, hold fast
        Your little sister's hand, till you're quite past--
        That plank's so crazy, and so slippery
        (If not o'erflowed) the stepping-stones will be.
        But you're good children--steady as old folk,
        I'd trust ye any where." Then Lizzy's cloak,
        A good grey duffle, lovingly she tied,
        And amply little Jenny's lack supplied
        With her own warmest shawl. "Be sure," said she,
        "To wrap it round and knot it carefully
        (Like this) when you come home; just leaving free
        One hand to hold by. Now, make haste away--
        Good will to school, and then good right to play."

        Was there no sinking at the mother's heart,
        When all equipt, they turn'd them to depart?
        When down the lane, she watch'd them as they went
        Till out of sight, was no forefeeling sent
        Of coming ill? In truth I cannot tell:
        Such warnings _have been sent_, we know full well,
        And must believe--believing that they are--
        In mercy then--to rouse--restrain--prepare.

        And, now I mind me, something of the kind
        Did surely haunt that day the mother's mind,
        Making it irksome to bide all alone
        By her own quiet hearth. Tho' never known
        For idle gossipry was Jenny Gray,
        Yet so it was, that morn she could not stay
        At home with her own thoughts, but took her way
        To her next neighbour's, half a loaf to borrow--
        Yet might her store have lasted out the morrow.
        --And with the loan obtain'd, she linger'd still--
        Said she--"My master, if he'd had his will,
        Would have kept back our little ones from school
        This dreadful morning; and I'm such a fool,
        Since they've been gone, I've wish'd them back. But then
        It won't do in such things to humour men--
        Our Ambrose specially. If let alone
        He'd spoil those wenches. But it's coming on,
        That storm he said was brewing, sure enough--
        Well! what of that?--To think what idle stuff
        Will come into one's head! and here with you
        I stop, as if I'd nothing else to do--
        And they'll come home drown'd rats. I must be gone
        To get dry things, and set the kettle on."

        His day's work done, three mortal miles and more
        Lay between Ambrose and his cottage door.
        A weary way, God wot! for weary wight!
        But yet far off, the curling smoke in sight
        From his own chimney, and his heart felt light.
        How pleasantly the humble homestead stood,
        Down the green lane by sheltering Shirley Wood!
        How sweet the wafting of the evening breeze
        In spring-time, from his two old cherry-trees
        Sheeted with blossom! And in hot July
        From the brown moor-track, shadowless and dry,
        How grateful the cool covert to regain
        Of his own _avenue_--that shady lane,
        With the white cottage, in a slanting glow
        Of sunset glory, gleaming bright below,
        And jasmine porch, his rustic portico!

        With what a thankful gladness in his face,
        (Silent heart-homage--plant of special grace!)
        At the lane's entrance, slackening oft his pace,
        Would Ambrose send a loving look before;
        Conceiting the caged blackbird at the door,
        The very blackbird, strain'd its little throat
        In welcome, with a more rejoicing note;
        And honest Tinker! dog of doubtful breed,
        All bristle, back, and tail, but "good at need,"
        Pleasant his greeting to the accustomed ear;
        But of all welcomes pleasantest, most dear,
        The ringing voices, like sweet silver bells,
        Of his two little ones. How fondly swells
        The father's heart, as, dancing up the lane,
        Each clasps a hand in her small hand again;
        And each must tell her tale, and "say her say,"
        Impeding as she leads, with sweet delay,
        (Childhood's blest thoughtlessness!) his onward way.

        And when the winter day closed in so fast,
        Scarce for his task would dreary daylight last;
        And in all weathers--driving sleet and snow--
        Home by that bare, bleak moor-track must he go,
        Darkling and lonely. Oh! the blessed sight
        (His pole-star) of that little twinkling light
        From one small window, thro' the leafless trees,
        Glimmering so fitfully; no eye but his
        Had spied it so far off. And sure was he,
        Entering the lane, a steadier beam to see,
        Ruddy and broad as peat-fed hearth could pour,
        Streaming to meet him from the open door.
        Then, tho' the blackbird's welcome was unheard--
        Silenced by winter--note of summer bird
        Still hail'd him from no mortal fowl alive,
        But from the cuckoo-clock just striking five--
        And Tinker's ear and Tinker's nose were keen--
        Off started he, and then a form was seen
        Dark'ning the doorway; and a smaller sprite,
        And then another, peer'd into the night,
        Ready to follow free on Tinker's track,
        But for the mother's hand that held her back;
        And yet a moment--a few steps--and there,
        Pull'd o'er the threshold by that eager pair,
        He sits by his own hearth, in his own chair;
        Tinker takes post beside, with eyes that say,
        "Master! we've done our business for the day."
        The kettle sings, the cat in chorus purs,
        The busy housewife with her tea-things stirs;
        The door's made fast, the old stuff curtain drawn;
        How the hail clatters! Let it clatter on.
        How the wind raves and rattles! What cares he?
        Safe housed, and warm beneath his own roof-tree,
        With a wee lassie prattling on each knee.

        Such was the hour--hour sacred and apart--
        Warm'd in expectancy the poor man's heart.
        Summer and winter, as his toil he plied,
        To him and his the literal doom applied,
        Pronounced on Adam. But the bread was sweet
        So earn'd, for such dear mouths. The weary feet
        Hope-shod, stept lightly on the homeward way;
        So specially it fared with Ambrose Gray
        That time I tell of. He had work'd all day
        At a great clearing: vig'rous stroke on stroke
        Striking, till, when he stopt, his back seem'd broke,
        And the strong arm dropt nerveless. What of that?
        There was a treasure hidden in his hat--
        A plaything for the young ones. He had found
        A dormouse nest; the living ball coil'd round
        For its long winter sleep; and all his thought
        As he trudged stoutly homeward, was of nought
        But the glad wonderment in Jenny's eyes,
        And graver Lizzy's quieter surprize,
        When he should yield, by guess, and kiss, and prayer,
        Hard won, the frozen captive to their care.

        'Twas a wild evening--wild and rough. "I knew,"
        Thought Ambrose, "those unlucky gulls spoke true--
        And Gaffer Chewton never growls for nought--
        I should be mortal 'mazed now, if I thought
        My little maids were not safe housed before
        That blinding hail-storm--ay, this hour and more--
        Unless, by that old crazy bit of board,
        They've not passed dry-foot over Shallow-ford,
        That I'll be bound for--swollen as it must be ...
        Well! if my mistress had been ruled by me ..."
        But, checking the half-thought as heresy,
        He look'd out for the Home-Star. There it shone,
        And with a gladden'd heart he hasten'd on.

        He's in the lane again--and there below,
        Streams from the open doorway that red glow,
        Which warms him but to look at. For his prize
        Cautious he feels--all safe and snug it lies--
        "Down Tinker!--down, old boy!--not quite so free--
        The thing thou sniffest is no game for thee.--
        But what's the meaning?--no look-out to-night!
        No living soul a-stir!--Pray God, all's right!
        Who's flittering round the peat-stack in such weather?
        Mother!" you might have fell'd him with a feather
        When the short answer to his loud--"Hillo!"
        And hurried question--"Are they come?"--was--"No."

        To throw his tools down--hastily unhook
        The old crack'd lantern from its dusty nook,
        And while he lit it, speak a cheering word,
        That almost choked him, and was scarcely heard,
        Was but a moment's act, and he was gone
        To where a fearful foresight led him on.
        Passing a neighbour's cottage in his way--
        Mark Fenton's--him he took with short delay
        To bear him company--for who could say
        What need might be? They struck into the track
        The children should have taken coming back
        From school that day; and many a call and shout
        Into the pitchy darkness they sent out,
        And, by the lantern light, peer'd all about,
        In every road-side thicket, hole, and nook,
        Till suddenly--as nearing now the brook--
        Something brush'd past them. That was Tinker's bark--
        Unheeded, he had follow'd in the dark,
        Close at his master's heels, but, swift as light,
        Darted before them now. "Be sure he's right--
        He's on the track," cried Ambrose. "Hold the light
        Low down--he's making for the water. Hark!
        I know that whine--the old dog's found them, Mark."
        So speaking, breathlessly he hurried on
        Toward the old crazy foot-bridge. It was gone!
        And all his dull contracted light could show
        Was the black void and dark swollen stream below.
        "Yet there's life somewhere--more than Tinker's whine--
        That's sure," said Mark. "So, let the lantern shine
        Down yonder. There's the dog--and, hark!"

                                      "Oh dear!"
        And a low sob came faintly on the ear,
        Mock'd by the sobbing gust. Down, quick as thought,
        Into the stream leapt Ambrose, where he caught
        Fast hold of something--a dark huddled heap--
        Half in the water, where 'twas scarce knee-deep,
        For a tall man; and half above it, propp'd
        By some old ragged side-piles, that had stopt
        Endways the broken plank, when it gave way
        With the two little ones that luckless day!
        "My babes!--my lambkins!" was the father's cry.
        _One little voice_ made answer--"Here am I!"
        'Twas Lizzy's. There she crouch'd, with face as white,
        More ghastly, by the flickering lantern-light,
        Than sheeted corpse. The pale blue lips, drawn tight,
        Wide parted, showing all the pearly teeth,
        And eyes on some dark object underneath,
        Wash'd by the turbid water, fix'd like stone--
        One arm and hand stretch'd out, and rigid grown,
        Grasping, as in the death-gripe--Jenny's frock.
        There she lay drown'd. Could he sustain that shock,
        The doating father? Where's the unriven rock
        Can bide such blasting in its flintiest part
        As that soft sentient thing--the human heart?

        They lifted her from out her wat'ry bed--
        Its covering gone, the lonely little head
        Hung like a broken snowdrop all aside--
        And one small hand. The mother's shawl was tied,
        Leaving _that_ free, about the child's small form,
        As was her last injunction--"_fast_ and warm"--
        Too well obeyed--too fast! A fatal hold
        Affording to the scrag by a thick fold
        That caught and pinn'd her in the river's bed,
        While through the reckless water overhead
        Her life-breath bubbled up.

                                "She might have lived
        Struggling like Lizzy," was the thought that rived
        The wretched mother's heart when she knew all.
        "But for my foolishness about that shawl--
        And Master would have kept them back the day;
        But I was wilful--driving them away
        In such wild weather!"

                           Thus the tortured heart,
        Unnaturally against itself takes part,
        Driving the sharp edge deeper of a woe
        Too deep already. They had raised her now,
        And parting the wet ringlets from her brow,
        To that, and the cold cheek, and lips as cold,
        The father glued his warm ones, ere they roll'd
        Once more the fatal shawl--her winding-sheet--
        About the precious clay. One heart still beat,
        Warm'd by _his heart's_ blood. To his _only child_
        He turn'd him, but her piteous moaning mild
        Pierced him afresh--and now she knew him not.--
        "Mother!"--she murmur'd--"who says I forgot?
        Mother! indeed, indeed, I kept fast hold,
        And tied the shawl quite close--she can't be cold--
        But she won't move--we slipt--I don't know how--
        But I held on--and I'm so weary now--
        And it's so dark and cold! oh dear! oh dear!--
        And she won't move--if daddy was but here!"

           *       *       *       *       *

        Poor lamb--she wander'd in her mind, 'twas clear--
        But soon the piteous murmur died away,
        And quiet in her father's arms she lay--
        They their dead burthen had resign'd, to take
        The living so near lost. For her dear sake,
        And one at home, he arm'd himself to bear
        His misery like a man--with tender care,
        Doffing his coat her shivering form to fold--
        (His neighbour bearing _that_ which felt no cold,)
        He clasp'd her close--and so, with little said,
        Homeward they bore the living and the dead.

        From Ambrose Gray's poor cottage, all that night,
        Shone fitfully a little shifting light,
        Above--below:--for all were watchers there,
        Save one sound sleeper.--_Her_, parental care,
        Parental watchfulness, avail'd not now.
        But in the young survivor's throbbing brow,
        And wandering eyes, delirious fever burn'd;
        And all night long from side to side she turn'd,
        Piteously plaining like a wounded dove,
        With now and then the murmur--"She won't move"--
        And lo! when morning, as in mockery, bright
        Shone on that pillow, passing strange the sight--
        That young head's raven hair was streak'd with white!
        No idle fiction this. Such things have been
        We know. And _now I tell what I have seen_.

        Life struggled long with death in that small frame,
        But it was strong, and conquer'd. All became
        As it had been with the poor family--
        All--saving that which never more might be--
        There was an empty place--they were but three.


     [12] A fresh-water spring rushing into the sea called Chewton

       *       *       *       *       *



_Sir Oliver_.--How many saints and Sions dost carry under thy cloak,
lad? Ay, what dost groan at? What art about to be delivered of? Troth,
it must be a vast and oddly-shapen piece of roguery which findeth no
issue at such capacious quarters. I never thought to see thy face again.
Prythee what, in God's name, hath brought thee to Ramsey, fair Master

_Oliver_.--In His name verily I come, and upon His errand; and the love
and duty I bear unto my godfather and uncle have added wings, in a sort,
unto my zeal.

_Sir Oliver_.--Take 'em off thy zeal and dust thy conscience with 'em. I
have heard an account of a saint, one Phil Neri, who in the midst of his
devotions was lifted up several yards from the ground. Now I do suspect,
Nol, thou wilt finish by being a saint of his order; and nobody will
promise or wish thee the luck to come down on thy feet again, as he did.
So! because a rabble of fanatics at Huntingdon have equipped thee as
their representative in Parliament, thou art free of all men's houses,
forsooth! I would have thee to understand, sirrah, that thou art fitter
for the house they have chaired thee unto than for mine. Yet I do not
question but thou wilt be as troublesome and unruly there as here. Did I
not turn thee out of Hinchinbrook when thou wert scarcely half the rogue
thou art latterly grown up to? And yet wert thou immeasurably too big a
one for it to hold.

_Oliver_.--It repenteth me, O mine uncle! that in my boyhood and youth
the Lord had not touched me.

_Sir Oliver_.--Touch thee! thou wast too dirty a dog by half.

_Oliver_.--Yea, sorely doth it vex and harrow me that I was then of ill
conditions, and that my name--even your godson's--stank in your

_Sir Oliver_.--Ha! polecat! it was not thy name, although bad enough,
that stank first; in my house, at least.[13] But perhaps there are worse
maggots in stauncher mummeries.

_Oliver_.--Whereas in the bowels of your charity you then vouchsafed me
forgiveness, so the more confidently may I crave it now in this my

_Sir Oliver_.--More confidently! What! hast got more confidence? Where
didst find it? I never thought the wide circle of the world had within
it another jot for thee. Well, Nol, I see no reason why thou shouldst
stand before me with thy hat off, in the courtyard and in the sun,
counting the stones of the pavement. Thou hast some knavery in thy head,
I warrant thee. Come, put on thy beaver.

_Oliver_.--Uncle Sir Oliver! I know my duty too well to stand covered
in the presence of so worshipful a kinsman, who, moreover, hath answered
at baptism for my good behaviour.

_Sir Oliver_.--God forgive me for playing the fool before Him so
presumptuously and unprofitably! Nobody shall ever take me in again to
do such an absurd and wicked thing. But thou hast some left-hand
business in the neighbourhood, no doubt, or thou wouldst never more have
come under my archway.

_Oliver_.--These are hard times for them that seek peace. We are clay in
the hand of the potter.

_Sir Oliver_.--I wish your potters sought nothing costlier, and dug in
their own grounds for it. Most of us, as thou sayest, have been upon the
wheel of these artificers; and little was left but rags when we got off.
Sanctified folks are the cleverest skinners in all Christendom, and
their Jordan tans and constringes us to the averdupoise of mummies.

_Oliver_.--The Lord hath chosen his own vessels.

_Sir Oliver_.--I wish heartily He would pack them off, and send them
anywhere on ass-back or cart, (cart preferably,) to rid our country of
'em. But now again to the point: for if we fall among the potsherds we
shall hobble on but lamely. Since thou art raised unto a high command in
the army, and hast a dragoon to hold yonder thy solid and stately piece
of horse-flesh, I cannot but take it into my fancy that thou hast some
commission of array or disarray to execute hereabout.

_Oliver_.--With a sad sinking of spirit, to the pitch well-nigh of
swounding, and with a sight of bitter tears, which will not be put back
nor staid in anywise, as you bear testimony unto me, uncle Oliver.

_Sir Oliver_.--No tears, Master Nol, I beseech thee! Thou never art more
pery than when it rains with thee. Wet days, among those of thy kidney,
portend the letting of blood. What dost whimper at?

_Oliver_.--That I, that I, of all men living, should be put upon this

_Sir Oliver_.--What work, prythee?

_Oliver_.--I am sent hither by them who (the Lord in his loving-kindness
having pity and mercy upon these poor realms) do, under his right hand,
administer unto our necessities and righteously command us, _by the
aforesaid as aforesaid_ (thus runs the commission) hither am I deputed
(woe is me!) to levy certain fines in this county, or shire, on such as
the Parliament in its wisdom doth style malignants.

_Sir Oliver_.--If there is anything left about the house, never be over
nice: dismiss thy modesty and lay hands upon it. In this county or
shire, we let go the civet-bag to save the weazon.

_Oliver_.--O mine uncle and godfather! be witness for me.

_Sir Oliver_.--Witness for thee! not I indeed. But I would rather be
witness than surety, lad, where thou art docketed.

_Oliver_.--From the most despised doth the Lord ever choose his

_Sir Oliver_.--Then, faith! thou art his first butler.

_Oliver_.--Serving Him with humility, I may peradventure be found worthy
of advancement.

_Sir Oliver_.--Ha! now if any devil speaks from within thee, it is thy
own: he does not sniffle: to my ears he speaks plain English. Worthy or
unworthy of advancement, thou wilt attain it. Come in; at least for an
hour's rest. Formerly thou knewest the means of setting the heaviest
heart afloat, let it be sticking in what mud-bank it might: and my
wet-dock at Ramsey is pretty near as commodious as that over-yonder at
Hinchinbrook was erewhile. Times are changed, and places too! yet the
cellar holds good.

_Oliver_.--Many and great thanks! But there are certain men on the other
side of the gate, who might take it ill if I turn away and neglect them.

_Sir Oliver_.--Let them enter also, or eat their victuals where they

_Oliver_.--They have proud stomachs: they are recusants.

_Sir Oliver_.--Recusants of what? of beef and ale? We have claret, I
trust, for the squeamish, if they are above the condition of
tradespeople. But of course you leave no person of higher quality in the
outer court.

_Oliver_.--Vain are they and worldly, although such wickedness is the
most abominable in their cases. Idle folks are fond of sitting in the
sun: I would not forbid them this indulgence.

_Sir Oliver_.--But who are they?

_Oliver_.--The Lord knows. May-be priests, deacons, and such like.

_Sir Oliver_.--Then, sir, they are gentlemen. And the commission you
bear from the parliamentary thieves, to sack and pillage my
mansion-house, is far less vexatious and insulting to me, than your
behaviour in keeping them so long at my stable-door. With your
permission, or without it, I shall take the liberty to invite them to
partake of my poor hospitality.

_Oliver_.--But, uncle Sir Oliver! there are rules and ordinances whereby
it must be manifested that they lie under displeasure--not mine--not
mine--but my milk must not flow for them.

_Sir Oliver_.--You may enter the house or remain where you are at your
option; I make my visit to these gentlemen immediately, for I am tired
of standing. If thou ever reachest my age,[14] Oliver! (but God will not
surely let this be,) thou wilt know that the legs become at last of
doubtful fidelity in the service of the body.

_Oliver_.--Uncle Sir Oliver! now that, as it seemeth, you have been
taking a survey of the courtyard and its contents, am I indiscreet in
asking your worship whether I acted not prudently in keeping the
_men-at-belly_ under the custody of the _men-at-arms_? This pestilence,
like unto one I remember to have read about in some poetry of Master
Chapman's,[15] began with the dogs and the mules, and afterwards crope
up into the breasts of men.

_Sir Oliver_.--I call such treatment barbarous; their troopers will not
let the gentlemen come with me into the house, but insist on sitting
down to dinner with them. And yet, having brought them out of their
colleges, these brutal half-soldiers must know that they are fellows.

_Oliver_.--Yea, of a truth are they, and fellows well met. Out of their
superfluities they give nothing to the Lord or his Saints; no, not even
stirrup or girth, wherewith we may mount our horses and go forth against
those who thirst for our blood. Their eyes are fat, and they raise not
up their voices to cry for our deliverance.

_Sir Oliver_.--Art mad? What stirrups and girths are hung up in college
halls and libraries? For what are these gentlemen brought hither?

_Oliver_.--They have elected me, with somewhat short of unanimity, not
indeed to be one of themselves, for of that distinction I acknowledge
and deplore my unworthiness, nor indeed to be a poor scholar, to which,
unless it be a very poor one, I have almost as small pretension, but
simply to undertake awhile the heavier office of burser for them, to
cast up their accounts; to overlook the scouring of their plate; and to
lay a list thereof, with a few specimens, before those who fight the
fight of the Lord, that his Saints, seeing the abasement of the proud
and the chastisement of worldlymindedness, may rejoice.

_Sir Oliver_.--I am grown accustomed to such saints and such rejoicings.
But, little could I have thought, threescore years ago, that the hearty
and jovial people of England would ever join in so filching and stabbing
a jocularity. Even the petticoated torch-bearers from rotten Rome, who
lighted the faggots in Smithfield some years before, if more blustering
and cocksy, were less bitter and vulturine. They were all intolerant,
but they were not all hypocritical; they had not always "_the Lord_" in
their mouths.

_Oliver_.--According to their own notions, they might have had at an
outlay of a farthing.

_Sir Oliver_.--Art facetious, Nol? for it is as hard to find that out as
any thing else in thee, only it makes thee look, at times, a little the
grimmer and sourer.

But, regarding these gentlemen from Cambridge. Not being such as, by
their habits and professions, could have opposed you in the field, I
hold it unmilitary and unmanly to put them under any restraint, and so
lead them away from their peaceful and useful occupations.

_Oliver_.--I alway bow submissively before the judgment of mine elders;
and the more reverentially when I know them to be endowed with greater
wisdom, and guided by surer experience than myself. Alas! those
collegians not only are strong men, as you may readily see if you
measure them round the waistband, but boisterous and pertinacious
challengers. When we, who live in the fear of God, exhorted them
earnestly unto peace and brotherly love, they held us in derision. Thus
far indeed it might be an advantage to us, teaching us forbearance and
self-seeking, but we cannot countenance the evil spirit moving them
thereunto. Their occupations, as you remark most wisely, might have been
useful and peaceful, and had formerly been so. Why then did they gird
the sword of strife about their loins against the children of Israel? By
their own declaration, not only are they our enemies, but enemies the
most spiteful and untractable. When I came quietly, lawfully, and in the
name of the Lord, for their plate, what did they? Instead of
surrendering it like honest and conscientious men, they attacked me and
my people on horseback, with syllogisms and centhymemes, and the Lord
knows with what other such gimcracks, such venemous and rankling old
weapons as those who have the fear of God before their eyes are fain to
lay aside. Learning should not make folks mockers--should not make folks
malignants--should not harden their hearts. We came with bowels for

_Sir Oliver_.--That ye did! and bowels which would have stowed within
them all the plate on board of a galloon. Tankards and wassil-bowls had
stuck between your teeth, you would not have felt them.

_Oliver_.--We did feel them; some at least: perhaps we missed too many.

_Sir Oliver_.--How can these learned societies raise the money you exact
from them, beside plate? dost think they can create and coin it?

_Oliver_.--In Cambridge, uncle Sir Oliver, and more especially in that
college named in honour (as they profanely call it) of the blessed
Trinity, there are great conjurors or chemists. Now the said conjurors
or chemists not only do possess the faculty of making the precious
metals out of old books and parchments, but out of the skulls of young
lordlings and gentlefolks, which verily promise less. And this they
bring about by certain gold wires fastened at the top of certain caps.
Of said metals, thus devilishly converted, do they make a vain and
sumptuous use; so that, finally, they are afraid of cutting their lips
with glass. But indeed it is high time to call them.

_Sir Oliver_.--Well--at last thou hast some mercy.

_Oliver_ (_aloud_.)--Cuffsatan Ramsbottom! Sadsoul Kiteclan! advance!
Let every gown, together with the belly that is therein, mount up behind
you and your comrades in good fellowship. And forasmuch as you at the
country-places look to bit and bridle, it seemeth fair and equitable
that ye should leave unto them, in full propriety, the mancipular office
of discharging the account. If there be any spare beds at the inns,
allow the doctors and dons to occupy the same--they being used to lie
softly; and be not urgent that more than three lie in each--they being
mostly corpulent. Let pass quietly and unreproved any light bubble of
pride or impetuosity, seeing that they have not alway been accustomed to
the service of guards and ushers. The Lord be with ye!--Slow trot! And
now, uncle Sir Oliver, I can resist no longer your loving-kindness. I
kiss you, my godfather, in heart's and soul's duty; and most humbly and
gratefully do I accept of your invitation to dine and lodge with you,
albeit the least worthy of your family and kinsfolk. After the
refreshment of needful food, more needful prayer, and that sleep which
descendeth on the innocent like the dew of Hermon, to-morrow at daybreak
I proceed on my journey Londonward.

_Sir Oliver_ (_aloud_.)--Ho, there! (_To a servant_.)--Let dinner be
prepared in the great diningroom; let every servant be in waiting, each
in full livery; let every delicacy the house affords be placed upon the
table in due courses; arrange all the plate upon the side-board: a
gentleman by descent--a stranger, has claimed my hospitality. (_Servant

Sir! you are now master. Grant me dispensation, I entreat you, from a
further attendance on you.

     [13] See Forster's Life of Cromwell.

     [14] Sir Oliver, who died in 1655, aged ninety-three, might, by
     possibility, have seen all the men of great genius, excepting
     Chaucer and Roger Bacon, whom England has produced from its
     first discovery down to our own times. Francis Bacon,
     Shakspeare, Milton, Newton, and the prodigious shoal that
     attended these leviathans through the intellectual deep. Newton
     was but in his thirteenth year at Sir Oliver's death. Raleigh,
     Spenser, Hooker, Elliot, Selden, Taylor, Hobbes, Sidney,
     Shaftesbury, and Locke, were existing in his lifetime; and
     several more, who may be compared with the smaller of these.

     [15] Chapman's _Homer_, first book.

       *       *       *       *       *




The history of my youth is the history of my life. My contemporaries
were setting out on their journey when my pilgrimage was at an end. I
had drained the cup of experience before other men had placed it to
their lips. The vicissitudes of all seasons occurred in one, and, before
my spring had closed, I had felt the winter's gloominess and cold. The
scattered and separated experiences that diversify and mark the passage
of the "threescore years and ten," were collected and thrust into the
narrow period of my nonage. Within that boundary, existence was
condensed. It was the time of action and of suffering. I have passed
from youth to maturity and decline gently and passively; and now, in the
cool and quiet sunset, I repose, connected with the past only by the
adhering memories that will not be excluded from my solitude. I have
gathered upon my head the enduring snow of age; but it has settled there
in its natural course, with no accompaniment of storm and tempest. I
look back to the land over which I have journeyed, and through which I
have been conveyed to my present humble resting-place, and I behold a
broad extent of plain, spreading from my very feet, into the hazy
distance, where all is cloud, mountain, tumult, and agitation. Heaven be
praised, I can look back with gratitude, chastened and informed!

Amongst all the startling and stirring events that crowded into the
small division of time to which I refer, none had so confounded,
perplexed, alarmed, and grieved me, as the discovery of Mr Clayton's
criminality and falsehood. There are mental and moral concussions,
which, like physical shocks, stun and stupify with their suddenness and
violence. This was one of them. Months after I had been satisfied of his
obliquity, it was difficult to _realize_ the conviction that truth and
justice authoritatively demanded. When I thought of the minister--when
his form presented itself to my mind's eye, as it did, day after day,
and hour after hour, it was impossible to contemplate it with the
aversion and distaste which were the natural productions of his own base
conduct. I could see nothing but the figure and the lineaments of him,
whose eloquence had charmed, whose benevolent hand had nourished and
maintained me. There are likewise, in this mysterious state of life,
paroxysms and intervals of disordered consciousness, which memory
refuses to acknowledge or record; the epileptic's waking dream is
one--an unreal reality. And similar to this was my impression of the
late events. They lacked substantiality. Memory took no account of them,
discarded them, and would connect the present only with the bright
experience she had treasured up, prior to the dark distempered season. I
could not hate my benefactor. I could not efface the image, which months
of apparent love had engraven on my heart.

Thrust from Mr Clayton's chapel, and unable to obtain admission
elsewhere, I felt how insecure was my tenure of office. I prepared
myself for dismissal, and hoped that, when the hour arrived, I should
submit without repining. In the meanwhile, I was careful in the
performance of every duty, and studious to give no cause, not the
remotest, for complaint or dissatisfaction. It was not long, however,
before signs of an altered state of things presented themselves to view.
A straw tells which way the wind blows, and wisps began to fly in all
directions. I found at length that I could do nothing right. To-day I
was too indolent; to-morrow, too officious:--now I was too much of a
gentlemen; and now not half gentlemanly enough. The hardest infliction
to bear was the treatment of my new friend and colleague--of him who had
given me kind warning and advice, when mischief was only threatening,
but who, on the first appearance of trouble, took alarm, and deserted my
side. The moment that he perceived my inevitable fate, he decided upon
leaving me alone to fight my hard battle. At first he spoke to me with
shyness and reserve; afterwards coolly, and soon, he said nothing at
all. Sometimes, perhaps, if we were quite alone, and there was no chance
whatever of discovery, he would venture half a word or so upon the
convenient subject of the weather; but these occasions were very rare.
If a superior were present, hurricanes would not draw a syllable from
his careful lips; and, under the eye of the stout and influential Mr
Bombasty, it was well for me if frowns and sneers were the only
exhibitions of rudeness on the part of my worldly and far-seeing friend.
Ah, Jacob Whining! With all your policy and sagacious selfishness, you
found it difficult to protract your own official existence a few months
longer. He had hardly congratulated himself upon the dexterity which had
kept him from being involved in my misfortunes, before _he_ fell under
the ban of _his_ church, like me was persecuted, and driven into the
world a branded and excommunicated outcast. Mr Whining, however, who had
learnt much in the world, and more in his _connexion_, was a cleverer
and more fortunate man than this friend and coadjutor. He retired with
his experience into Yorkshire, drew a small brotherhood about him, and
in a short time became the revered and beloved founder of the numerous
and far-spread sect of _Whiningtonians_!

It was just a fortnight after my expulsion from the _Church_, that
matters were brought to a crisis as far as I was concerned, by the
determined tone and conduct of the gentleman at the head of our society.
Mr Bombasty arrived one morning at the office, in a perturbed and
anxious state, and requested my attendance in his private room. I waited
upon him. Perspiration hung about his fleshy face--he wiped it off, and
then began:

"Young man," said he, "this won't do at all."

"What, sir?" I asked.

"Come, don't be impudent. You are done for, I can tell you."

"How, sir?" I enquired. "What have I done?"

"Where are the subscriptions that were due last Saturday?"

"Not yet collected, sir."

"What money have you belonging to the society?"

"Not a sixpence, sir."

"Young man," continued the lusty president in a solemn voice, "you are
in a woeful state; you are living in the world without _a security_."

"What is the matter, sir."

"Matter!" echoed the gentleman.--"Matter with a man that has lost his
security! Are you positive you have got no funds about you? Just look
into your pocket, my friend, and make sure."

"I have nothing, sir. Pray, tell me what I have done?"

"Young man, holding the office that I hold, feeling as I feel, and
knowing what I know, it would be perfect madness in me to have any thing
to do with a man who has been given over by his security. Don't you
understand me? Isn't that very good English? Mr Clayton will have
nothing more to say to you. The society gives you warning."

"May I not be informed, sir, why I am so summarily dismissed?"

"Why, my good fellow, what is the matter with you? You seem remarkably
stupid this morning. I can't beat about the bush with you. You must go."

"Without having committed a fault?" I added, mournfully.

"Sir," said the distinguished president, looking libraries at me, "when
one mortal has become security for another mortal, and suddenly annuls
and stultifies his bond, to say that the other mortal has committed a
_fault_ is just to call brandy--_water_. Sir," continued Mr Bombasty,
adjusting his India cravat, "that man has perpetrated a crime--a crime
_primy facey--exy fishio_."

I saw that my time was come, and I said nothing.

"If," said Mr Bombasty, "you had lost your intellect, I am a voluntary
contributor, and could have got you chains and a keeper in Bedlam. If
you had broken a limb, I am a life-governor, and it would have been a
pleasure to me to send you to the hospital. But you may as well ask me
to put life into a dead man, as to be of service to a creature who has
lost his security. You had better die at once. It would be a happy
release. I speak as a friend."

"Thank you, sir," said I.

"I hear complaints against you, but I don't listen to them. Every thing
is swallowed up in one remarkable fact. Your security has let you down.
You must go about your business. I speak as the president of this
Christian society, and not, I hope, without the feelings of a man. The
treasurer will pay your salary immediately, and we dispense with your

"What am I to do?" I asked, half aloud.

"Just the best you can," answered the gentleman. "The audience is at an

Mr Bombasty said no more, but drew from his coat pocket a snuff-box of
enormous dimensions. From it he grasped between his thumb and finger a
moderate handful of stable-smelling dust. His nose and India
handkerchief partook of it in equal shares, and then he rang his bell
with presidential dignity, and ordered up his customary lunch of chops
and porter. A few hours afterwards I was again upon the world, ready to
begin the fight of life anew, and armed with fifteen guineas for the
coming struggle. Mr Clayton had kept his word with me, and did not
desert me until I was once more fairly on the road to ruin.

One of the first consequences of my unlooked-for meeting with the
faithful Thompson, was the repayment of the five shillings which he had
so generously spared me when I was about to leave him for Birmingham,
without as many pence in my scrip. During my absence, however, fortune
had placed my honest friend in a new relation to a sum of this value.
Five shillings were not to him, as before, sixty pence. The proprietor
of the house in which he lived, and which he had found it so difficult
to let out to his satisfaction, had died suddenly, and had thought
proper to bequeath to his tenant the bulk of his property, amounting,
perhaps, to five thousand pounds. Thompson, who was an upholsterer by
trade, left the workshop in which he was employed as journeyman
immediately, and began to work upon his own account. He was a prosperous
and a thriving man when I rejoined him. His manner was, as the reader
has seen, kind and straightforward as ever, and the only change that his
wealth had wrought in him, was that which gold may be supposed to work a
heart alive to its duties, simple and honest in its intentions, and
lacking only the means to make known its strong desire of usefulness.
His generosity had kept pace with his success, his good wishes
outstripped both. His home was finer, yet scarcely more sightly and
happier than the one large room, which, with its complement of ten
children, sire and dame, had still a nook for the needy and friendless
stranger. The old house had been made over for a twelvemonth to the
various tenants, free of all charge. At the end of that period it was
the intention of Thompson to pull it down, and build a better in its
place. A young widow, with her three orphans, lodged on the attic floor,
and the grateful prayers of the four went far to establish the buoyancy
of the landlord's spirit, and to maintain the smile that seldom departed
from his manly cheek. Well might the poor creature, whom I once visited
in her happy lodging, talk of the sin of destroying so comfortable a
residence, and feel assured, that "let them build a palace, they would
never equal the present house, or make a sleeping-room where a body
might rest so peacefully and well." Thompson's mode of life had scarcely
varied. He was not idle amongst his men. When labour was suspended, he
was with his children; another had been added to the number, and there
were now eleven to relieve him of the superabundant profits created in
the manufactory. Mrs Thompson was still a noble housewife, worthy of her
husband. All was care, cleanliness, and economy at home. Griping stint
would never have been tolerated by the hospitable master, and virtuous
plenty only was admitted by the prudent wife. Had there been a oneness
in the religious views of this good couple, _Paradise_ would have been a
word fit to write beneath the board that made known to men John
Thompson's occupation; but this, alas! was wanting to complete a scene
that otherwise looked rather like perfection. The great enemy of man
seeks in many ways to defeat the benevolent aims of Providence. Thompson
had remained at home one Sunday afternoon to smoke a friendly pipe with
an old acquaintance, when he should have gone to church. His wife set
out alone. Satan took advantage of her husband's absence, drew her to
chapel, and made her--a _dissenter_. This was Thompson's statement of
the case, and severer punishment, he insisted, had never been inflicted
on a man for Sabbath-breaking.

When I was dismissed by Mr Bombasty, it was a natural step to walk
towards the abode of the upholsterer. I knew his hour for supper, and
his long hour after that for ale, and pipe, and recreation. I was not in
doubt as to my welcome. Mrs Thompson had given me a general invitation
to supper, "because," she said, "it did Thompson good to chat after a
hard day's work;" and the respected Thompson himself had especially
invited me to the long hour afterwards, "because," he added, "it did the
ale and 'baccy good, who liked it so much better to go out of this here
wicked world in company." About seven o'clock in the evening I found
myself under their hospitable roof, seated in the room devoted to the
general purposes of the house. It was large, and comfortably furnished.
The walls were of wainscot, painted white, and were graced with two
paintings. One, a family group, consisting of Thompson, wife, and eight
children, most wretchedly executed, was the production of a slowly
rising artist, a former lodger of my friend's, who had contrived to
compound with his easy landlord for two years and three quarters' rent,
with this striking display of his ability. Thompson was prouder of this
picture than of the originals themselves, if that were possible. The
design had been his own, and had cost him, as he was ready and even
anxious to acknowledge, more time and trouble than he had ever given
before, or meant to give again, to any luxury in life. The artist, as I
was informed, had endeavoured to reduce to form some fifty different
schemes that had arisen in poor Thompson's brain, but had failed in
every one, so difficult he found it to introduce the thousand and one
effects that the landlord deemed essential to the subject. His first
idea had been to bring upon the canvass every feature of his life from
boyhood upwards. This being impracticable, he wished to bargain for at
least the workshop and the private residence. The lodgers, he thought,
might come into the background well, and the tools, peeping from a
basket in the corner, would look so much like life and nature. The
upshot of his plans was the existing work of art, which Thompson
considered matchless, and pronounced "dirt cheap, if he had even given
the fellow a seven years' lease of the entire premises." The situations
were striking certainly. In the centre of the picture were two high
chairs, on which were seated, as grave as judges, the heads of the
establishment. They sat there, drawn to their full height, too dignified
to look at one another, and yet displaying a fond attachment, by a
joining of the hands. The youngest child had clambered to the father's
knee, and, with a chisel, was digging at his nose, wonderful to say,
without disturbing the stoic equanimity that had settled on the father's
face. This was the favourite son. Another, with a plane larger than
himself, was menacing the mother's knee. The remaining six had each a
tool, and served in various ways to effect most artfully the beloved
purpose of the vain upholsterer's heart--viz. the introduction of the
entire workshop. The second painting in the centre of the opposite wall,
represented Mr Clayton. The likeness was a failure, and the colours were
coarse and glaring; but there needed no instruction to know that the
carefully framed production attempted to portray the unenviable man,
who, in spite of his immorality and shameless life, was still revered
and idolized by the blind disciples who had taken him for their guide.
This portrait was Mrs Thompson's peculiar property. There were no other
articles of _virtu_ in the spacious apartment; but cleanliness and
decorum bestowed upon it a grace, the absence of which no idle
decoration could supply. Early as the hour was, a saucepan was on the
fire, whose bubbling water was busy with the supper that at half-past
eight must meet the assault of many knives and forks. John Thompson and
two sons--the eldest--were working in the shop. They had been there with
little intermission since six that morning. The honest man was fond of
work; so was he of his children--yes, dearly fond of _them_, and they
must share with him the evening meal; and he must have them all about
him; and he must help them all, and see them eat, and look with manly
joy and pride upon the noisy youngsters, for whom his lusty arm had
earned the bread that came like manna to him--so wholesome and so sweet!
Three girls, humbly but neatly dressed, the three first steps of this
great human ladder, were seated at a table administering to the
necessities of sundry shirts and stockings that had suffered sensibly in
their last week's struggle through the world. _They_ were indeed a
picture worth the looking at. You grew a better man in gazing on their
innocence and industry. What a lesson stole from their quiet and
contented looks, their patient perseverance, their sweet unity! How
shining smooth the faces, how healthy, and how round, and how impossible
it seemed for wrinkles ever to disturb the fine and glossy surface!
Modesty never should forsake the humble; the bosom of the lowly born
should be her home. Here she had enshrined herself, and given to
simplicity all her dignity and truth. They worked and worked on; who
should tell which was the most assiduous--which the fairest--which the
most eager and successful to increase the happiness of all! And turn to
Billy there, that half-tamed urchin! that likeness in little of his
sire, rocking not so much against his will, as against conviction, the
last of all the Thompsons--a six months' infant in the wicker cradle.
How, obedient to his mother's wish, like a little man at first, he rocks
with all his might, and then irregularly, and at long intervals--by fits
and starts--and ceases altogether very soon, bobbing his curly head, and
falling gently into a deep mesmeric sleep. The older lads are making
wooden boats, and two, still older, stand on either side their mother. A
book is in the hands of each, full of instruction and fine learning. It
was the source of all their knowledge, the cause of all their earliest
woes. Good Mrs Thompson had been neglected as a child, and was
enthusiastic in the cause of early education. Sometimes they looked into
the book, but oftener still they cast attentive eyes upon the fire, as
if "the book of knowledge fair" was there displayed, and not a noisy
saucepan, almost unable to contain itself for joy of the cod's head and
shoulders, that must be ready by John Thompson's supper time. The whole
family were my friends--with the boys I was on terms of warmest
intimacy, and smiles and nods, and shouts and cheers, welcomed me
amongst them.

"Now, close your book, Bob," said the mother, soon after I was seated,
"and, Alec, give me yours. Put your hands down, turn from the fire, and
look up at me, dears. What is the capital of Russia?"

"The Birman empire," said Alec, with unhesitating confidence.

"The Baltic sea," cried Bob, emulous and ardent.

"Wait--not so fast; let me see, my dears, which of you is right."

Mrs Thompson appealed immediately to her book, after a long and private
communication with which, she emphatically pronounced both wrong.

"Give us a chance, mother," said Bob in a wheedling tone, (Bob knew his
mother's weaknesses.) "Them's such hard words. I don't know how it is,
but I never can remember 'em. Just tell us the first syllable--oh, do

"Oh, I know now!" cried Alec. "It's something with a G in it."

"Think of the apostles, dears. What are the names of the apostles?"

"Why, there's Moses," began Bob, counting on his fingers, "and there's
Sammywell, and there's Aaron, and Noah's ark"----

"Stop, my dear," said Mrs Thompson, who was very busy with her manual,
and contriving a method of rendering a solution of her question easy.
"Just begin again. I said--who was Peter--no, not that--who was an

"Oh, I know now!" cried Alec again, (Alec was the sharp boy of the
family.) "It's Peter. Peter's the capital of Russia."

"No, not quite my dear. You are very warm--very warm indeed, but not
quite hot. Try again."

"Paul," half murmured Robert, with a reckless hope of proving right.

"No, Peter's right; but there's something else. What has your father
been taking down the beds for?"

There was a solemn silence, and the three industrious sisters blushed
the faintest blush that could be raised upon a maiden's cheek.

"To rub that stuff upon the walls," said the ready Alec.

"Yes, but what was it to kill?" continued the instructress.

"The fleas," said Bob.

"Worse than that, my dear."

"Oh, I know now," shrieked Alec, for the third time. "_Petersbug's_ the
capital of Russia."

Mrs Thompson looked at me with pardonable vanity and triumph, and I
bestowed upon the successful students a few comfits which I had
purchased on my road for my numerous and comfit-loving friends. The mere
sight of this sweet "reward of merit" immediately inspired the two boys
at work upon the boats with a desire for knowledge, and especially for
learning the capitals of countries, that was most agreeable to
contemplate. The lesson was continued, more to my amusement, I fear,
than the edification of the pupils. The boys were unable to answer a
single question until they had had so many _chances_, and had become so
very _hot_, that not to have answered at length would have bordered on
the miraculous. The persevering governess was not displeased at this,
for she would not have lost the opportunity of displaying her own skill
in metaphorical illustration, for a great deal, I am very sure. The
clock struck eight; there was a general movement. The three sisters
folded their work, and lodged it carefully in separate drawers. The
eldest then produced the table-cloth, knives, forks, and spoons. The
second exhibited bibs and pinafores; and the third brought from their
hiding-places a dozen modest chairs, and placed them round the table.
Bob assured the company "he was _so_ hungry;" Alec said, "so was he;"
and the boatmen, in an under tone, settled what should be done with the
great cod's eyes, which, they contended, were the best parts of the
fish, and "shouldn't they be glad if father would give 'em one a-piece."
The good woman must enquire, of course, how nearly the much-relished
dainty had reached the critical and interesting state when it became
most palatable to John Thompson; for John Thompson was an epicure, "and
must have his little bits of things done to a charm, or not at all."
Half-past eight had struck. The family were bibbed and pinafored; the
easy coat and slippers were at the fire, and warmed through and
through--it was a season of intenseness. "Here's father!" shouted Alec,
and all the bibs and pinafores rushed like a torrent to the door. Which
shall the father catch into his ready arms, which kiss, which hug, which
answer?--all are upon him; they know their playmate, their companion,
and best friend; they have hoarded up, since the preceding night, a
hundred things to say, and now they have got their loving and attentive
listener. "Look what I have done, father," says the chief boatman, "Tom
and I together." "Well done, boys!" says the father--and Tom and he are
kissed. "I have been _l_ocking baby," lisps little Billy, who, in
return, gets rocked himself. "Father, what's the capital of Russia?"
shrieks Alec, tugging at his coat. "What do you mean, you dog?" is the
reply, accompanied by a hearty shake of his long flaxen hair.
"Petersburg," cry Tom and Alec both, following him to the hearth, each
one endeavouring to relieve him of his boots as soon as he is seated
there. The family circle is completed. The flaky fish is ready, and
presented for inspection. The father has served them all, even to little
Billy--their plates are full and smoking. "Mother" is called upon to ask
a blessing. She rises, and assumes the looks of Jabez Buster--twenty
blessings might be asked and granted in half the time she takes--so
think and look Bob, Alec, and the boatmen; but at length she pauses--the
word is given, and further ceremony is dispensed with. In childhood,
supper is a thing to look forward to, and to _last_ when it arrives; but
not in childhood, any more than in old age, can sublunary joys endure
for ever. The meal is finished. A short half-hour flies, like lightning,
by. The children gather round their father; and in the name of all, upon
his knees, he thanks his God for all the mercies of the day. Thompson is
no orator. His heart is warm; his words are few and simple. The three
attendant graces take charge of their brethren, detach them from their
father's side, and conduct them to their beds. Happy father! happy
children! May Providence be merciful, and keep the grim enemy away from
your fireside! Let him not come now in the blooming beauty and the
freshness of your loves! Let him not darken and embitter for ever the
life that is still bright, beautiful, and glorious in the power of
elevating and sustaining thought that leads beyond it. Let him wait the
matured and not unexpected hour, when the shock comes, not to crush, to
overwhelm, and to annihilate, but to warn, to teach, and to encourage;
not to alarm and stagger the untaught spirit, but to bring to the
subdued and long-tried soul its last lesson on the vanity and
evanescence of its early dreams!

It is half-past nine o'clock. Thompson, his wife, and two eldest boys
are present, and, for the first time, I have an opportunity to make
known the object of my visit.

"And so they have turned you off," said Thompson, when I had finished.
"And who's surprised at that? Not I, for one. Missus," continued he,
turning to his wife, "why haven't you got a curtain yet for that ere
pictur? I can't abear the sight of it."

Mrs Thompson looked plaintively towards the painting, and heaved a sigh.

"Ah, dear good man! He has got his enemies," said she.

"Mrs Thompson!" exclaimed her husband, "I have done with that good man
from this day for'ards; and I do hope, old 'ooman, that you'll go next
Sunday to church with me, as we used to do afore you got that pictur

"It's no good talking, Thompson," answered the lady, positively and
firmly. "I can't sit under a cold man, and there's an end of it."

"There, that's the way you talk, missus."

"Why, you know, Thompson, every thing in the church is cold."

"No, not now, my dear--they've put up a large stove. You'll recollect
you haven't been lately."

"Besides, do you think I can sit in a place of worship, and hear a man
say, '_Let us pray_,' in the middle of the service, making a fool of
one, as if we hadn't been praying all the time? As that dear and
persecuted saint says, (turning to the picture,) it's a common assault
to our understandings."

"Now, Polly, that's just always how you go off. If you'd only listen to
reason, that could all be made out right in no time. The clergyman
doesn't mean to say, _let us pray_, because he hasn't been praying
afore;--what he means is--we have been praying all this time, and so
we'll go on praying again--no, not again exactly--but don't leave off.
That isn't what I mean either. Let me see, _let us pray_. Oh, yes!
Why--stay. Where is it he does say, _let us pray_? There, I say,
Stukely, you know it all much better than I do. Just make it right to
the missus."

"It is not difficult," said I.

"Oh no, Mr Stukely, I daresay not!" added Mrs Thompson, interrupting me.
"Mr Clayton says, Satan has got his janysarries abroad, and has a reason
for every thing. It is very proper to say, too, I suppose, that it is an
_imposition_ when the bishops ordain the ministers? What a word to make
use of. It's truly frightful!"

"Well, I'm blessed," exclaimed Thompson, "if I don't think you had
better hold your tongue, old girl, about impositions; for sich oudacious
robbers as your precious brothers is, I never come across, since I was
stopped that ere night, as we were courting, on Shooter's Hill. It's a
system of imposition from beginning to end."

"Look to your Bible, Thompson; what does that say? Does that tell
ministers to read their sermons? There can't be no truth and right
feeling when a man puts down what he's going to say; the vital warmth is
wanting, I'm sure. And then to read the same prayers Sunday after
Sunday, till a body gets quite tired at hearing them over and over
again, and finding nothing new! How can you improve an occasion if you
are tied down in this sort of way."

"Did you ever see one of the brothers eat, Stukely?" asked Thompson,
avoiding the main subject. "Don't you ask one of them to dinner--that's
all. That nice boy Buster ought to eat for a wager. I had the pleasure
of his company to dinner one fine afternoon. I don't mean to send him
another invitation just yet, at all events."

"Yes," proceeded the fair, but stanch nonconformist; "what does the
Bible say, indeed! 'Take no thought of what you should say.' Why, in the
church, I am told they are doing nothing else from Monday morning to
Saturday night but writing the sermon they are going to read on the
Sabbath. To _read_ a sermon! What would the apostles say to that?"

"Why, didn't you tell me, my dear, that the gentleman as set for that
pictur got all his sermons by heart before he preached 'em?"

"Of course I did--but that's a very different thing. Doesn't it all pour
from him as natural as if it had come to him that minute? He doesn't
fumble over a book like a schoolboy. His beautiful eyes, I warrant you,
ain't looking down all the time, as if he was ashamed to hold 'em up.
Isn't it a privilege to see his blessed eyes rolling all sorts of ways;
and don't they speak wolumes to the poor benighted sinner? Besides,
don't tell me, Thompson; we had better turn Catholics at once, if we are
to have the minister dressing up like the Pope of Rome, and all the rest
of it."

"You are the gal of my heart," exclaimed the uxorious Thompson; "but I
must say you have got some of the disgracefulest notions out of that ere
chapel as ever I heard on. Why, it's only common decency to wear a dress
in the pulpit; and I believe in my mind, that that's come down to us
from time immemorable, like every thing else in human natur. What's your
opinion, Stukely?"

"Yes; and what's your opinion, Mr Stukely," added the lady immediately,
"about calling a minister of the gospel--a _priest_? Is that
Paperistical or not?"

"That isn't the pint, Polly," proceeded John. "We are talking about the
silk dress now. Let's have that out first."

"And then the absolution"----

"No, Poll. Stick to the silk dress."

"Ah, Thompson, it's always the way!" continued the mistress of the
house, growing red and wroth, and heedless of the presence of the
eager-listening children; "it's always the way. Satan is ruining of you.
You'll laugh at the elect, and you'll not find your mistake out till
it's too late to alter. Mr Clayton says, that the Establishment is the
hothouse of devils; and the more I see of its ways, the more I feel he
is right. Thompson, you are in the sink of iniquity."

"Come, I can't stand no more of this!" exclaimed Thompson, growing
uneasy in his chair, but without a spark of ill-humour. "Let's change
the topic, old 'ooman; I'm sure it can't do the young un's any good to
hear this idle talk. Let's teach 'em nothing at all, if we can't larn
'em something better than wrangling about religion. Now, Jack," he
continued, turning to his eldest boy, "what is the matter with you? What
are you sitting there for with your mouth wide open?"

"What's the meaning of Paperist, father?" asked the boy, who had been
long waiting to propose the question.

"What's that to you, you rascal?" was the reply; "mind your own
business, my good fellow, and leave the Paperist to mind his'n; that's
your father's maxim, who got it from his father before him. You'll learn
to find fault with other people fast enough without my teaching you. I
tell you what, Jack, if you look well after yourself, you'll find little
time left to bother about others. If your hands are ever idle--recollect
you have ten brothers and sisters about you. Look about you--you are the
oldest boy--and see what you can do for them. Do you mind that?"

"Yes, father."

"Very well, old chap. Then just get out the bottle, and give your father
something to coax the cod down. Poll, that fish won't settle."

The long hour was beginning. That bottle was the signal. A gin and water
nightcap, on this occasion, officiated for the ale. Jack and his brother
received a special invitation to a sip or two, which they at once
unhesitatingly accepted. The sturdy fellows shook their father and
fellow-labourer's hand, and were not loth to go to rest. Their mother
was their attendant. The ruffle had departed from her face. It was as
pleasant as before. She was but half a dissenter. So Thompson thought
when he called her back again, and bade his "old 'ooman give her hobby
one of her good old-fashioned busses, and think no more about it."

Thompson and I were left together.

"And what do you mean to do, sir, now?" was his first question.

"I hardly know." I answered.

"Of course, you'll cut the gang entirely--that's a nat'ral consequence."

"No, Thompson, not at present. I must not seem so fickle and inconstant.
I must not seem so to myself. I joined this sect not altogether without
deliberation. I must have further proof of the unsoundness of its
principles. A few of its professors have been faithless even to their
own position. Of what religious profession may not the same be said? I
will be patient, and examine further."

"I was a-thinking," said Thompson, musingly, "I was a-thinking, 'till
you've got something else to do----but no, never mind, you won't like

"What is it?"

"Why, I was thinking about the young un's. They're shocking back'ard in
their eddication, and, between you and me, the missus makes them
back'arder. I don't understand the way she has got of larning 'em at
all. I don't want to make scholards of 'em. Nobody would but a fool.
Bless 'em, they'll have enough to do to get their bread with sweating
and toiling, without addling their brains about things they can't
understand. But it is a cruelty, mind you, for a parent to hinder his
child from reading his Bible on a Sunday afternoon, and to make him
stand ashamed of himself before his fellow workman when he grows up, and
finds that he can't put _paid_ to a bill on a Saturday night. The boys
should all know how to read and write, and keep accounts, and a little
summut of human nature. This is what I wants to give 'em, and nobody
should I like better to put it into 'em than you, my old friend, if
you'd just take the trouble 'till you've got something better to do."

"Thompson," I answered instantly, "I will do it with pleasure. I ought
to have made the offer. It did not occur to me. I shall rejoice to repay
you, in this trifling way, for all your good feeling and kindness."

"Oh no!" answered my friend, "none of that. We must have an
understanding. Don't you think I should have asked the question, if I
meant to sneak out in that dirty sort of way. No, that won't do. It's
very kind of you, but we must make all that right. We sha'n't quarrel, I
dare say. If you mean you'll do it, I have only just a word or two to
say before you begin."

"I shall be proud to serve you, Thompson, and on any terms you please."

"Well, it is a serving me--I don't deny it--but, mind you, only till you
have dropped into something worth your while. What I wish to say is as
this: As soon as ever my missus hears of what you are going to do, I
know as well what she'll be at as I know what I am talking of now.
She'll just be breaking my heart to have the boys larned French. Now,
I'd just as soon bind 'em apprentice to that ere Clayton. I've seen too
much of that ere sort of thing in my time. I'm as positive as I sit
here, that when a chap begins to talk French he loses all his English
spirit, and feels all over him as like a mounseer as possible. I'm sure
he does. I've seen it a hundred times, and that I couldn't a-bear.
Besides, I've been told that French is the language the thieves talk,
and I solemnly believe it. That's one thing. Now, here's another. You'll
excuse me, my dear fellow. In course you know more than I do, but I must
say that you have got sometimes a very roundabout way of coming to the
pint. I mean no offence, and I don't blame you. It's all along of the
company you have kept. You are--it's the only fault you have got--you
are oudaciously fond of hard words. Don't let the young uns larn 'em.
That's all I have to say, and we'll talk of the pay some other time."

At this turn of the conversation, Thompson insisted upon my lighting a
pipe and joining him in the gin and water. We smoked for many minutes in
silence. My friend had unbuttoned his waistcoat, and had drawn the table
nearer to his warm and hospitable fire. A log of wood was burning slowly
and steadily away, and a small, bright--very bright--copper kettle
overlooked it from the hob. My host had fixed his feet upon the
fender--the unemployed hand was in his corduroys. His eyes were three
parts closed, enjoying what from its origin may be called--a pure
tobacco-born soliloquy. The smoke arose in thin white curls from the
clay cup, and at regular periods stole blandly from the corner of his
lips. The silent man was blessed. He had been happy at his work; he had
grown happier as the sun went down; his happiness was ripening at the
supper table; _now_, half-asleep and half-awake--half conscious and half
dreaming--wholly free from care, and yet not free from pregnant
thought--the labourer had reached the summit of felicity, and was at

A few evenings only had elapsed after this interesting meeting, before
I was again spending a delicious hour or two with the simple-hearted and
generous upholsterer. There was something very winning in these moments
snatched and secured from the hurricane of life, and passed in thorough
and undisturbed enjoyment. My friend, notwithstanding that he had
engaged my services, and was pleased to express his satisfaction at the
mode in which I rendered them, was yet alive to my interests, and too
apprehensive of injuring them by keeping me away from loftier
employment. He did not like my being _thrown out_ of the chapel,
especially after he had heard my determination not to forsake
immediately the sect to which I had attached myself. He was indifferent
to his own fate. His worldly prospects could not be injured by his
expulsion; on the contrary, he slyly assured me that "his neighbours
would begin to think better of him, and give him credit for having
become an honester and more trustworthy man." But with regard to myself
it was a different thing. I should require "a character" at some time or
another, and there was a body of men primed and ready to vilify and
crush me. He advised me, whilst he acknowledged it was a hard thing to
say, and "it went agin him to do it," to apply once more respectfully
for my dismission. "It won't do," he pertinently said, "to bite your
nose off to be revenged on your tongue." I was certainly in a mess, and
must get out of it in the best way that I could. Buster and Tomkins had
great power in _the Church_, and if I represented my case to either or
both of them, he did hope they might be brought to consent not to injure
me, or stand in the way of my getting bread. "In a quarrel," he said, in
conclusion, "some one must give in. I was a young man, and had my way to
make, and though he should despise his-self if he recommended me to do
any thing mean and dirty in the business, yet, he thought, as the father
of a numerous family, he ought to advise me to be civil, and to do the
best for myself in this unfortunate dilemmy."

I accepted his advice, and determined to wait upon the dapper deacon. I
was physically afraid to encounter Buster, not so much on account of
what I had seen of his spiritual pretension, as of what I had heard of
his domestic behaviour. It was not a very difficult task to obtain from
Mrs Thompson the secret history of many of her highly privileged
acquaintances and brethren. She enjoyed, in a powerful degree, the
peculiar virtue of her amiable sex, and to communicate secrets,
delivered to her in strictest confidence, and imparted by her again with
equal caution and provisory care, was the choicest recreation of her
well employed and useful life. It was through this lady that I was
favoured with a glance into the natural heart of Mr Buster; or into what
he would himself have called, with a most unfilial disgust, "HIS OLD
MAN." It appeared that, like most great _actors_, he was a very
different personage before and behind the curtain. Kings, who are
miserable and gloomy through the five acts of a dismal tragedy, and who
must needs die at the end of it, are your merriest knaves over a tankard
at the Shakspeare's Head. Your stage fool shall be the dullest dog that
ever spoiled mirth with sour and discontented looks. Jabez Buster, his
employment being over at Mr Clayton's theatre, his dress thrown aside,
his mask put by, was not to be recognised by his nearest friend. This is
the perfection of art. A greater tyrant on a small scale, with limited
means, never existed than the saintly Buster when his character was
done, and he found himself again in the bosom of his family. Unhappy
bosom was it, and a sad flustration did his presence, nine times out of
ten, produce there. He had four sons, and a delicate creature for a
wife, born to be crushed. The sons were remarkable chiefly for their
hypocrisy, which promised, in the fulness of time, to throw their
highly-gifted parent's far into the shade; and, secondarily, for their
persecution of their helpless and indulgent mother. They witnessed and
approved so much the success of Jabez in this particular, that during
his absence they cultivated the affectionate habit until it became a
kind of second nature, infinitely more racy and agreeable than the
primary. In proportion to their deliberate oppression of their mother
was their natural dread and terror of their father. Mrs Thompson
pronounced it "the shockingest thing in this world to be present when
the young blue-beards were worryting their mother's soul out with
saying, '_I sha'n't_' and '_I won't_' to every thing, and swearing
'_they'd tell their father this_,' '_and put him up to that, and then
wouldn't he make a jolly row about it_,' with hollering out for nothing
at all, only to frighten the poor timid cretur, and then making a
holabaloo with the chairs, or perhaps falling down, roaring and kicking,
just to drive the poor thing clean out of her wits, on purpose to laugh
at her for being so taken in. Well, but it was a great treat, too," she
added, "to hear, in the midst of all this, Buster's heavy foot in the
passage, and to see what a scrimmage there was at once amongst all the
young hypocrites. How they all run in different directions--one to the
fire--one to the table--one out at the back-door--one any where he
could--all of 'em as silent as mice, and afeard of the very eye of the
blacksmith, who knew, good man, how to keep every man Jack of 'em in
order, and, if a word didn't do, wasn't by no means behind hand with
blows. Buster," she continued, "had his faults like other men, but he
was a saint if ever there was one. To be sure he did like to have his
own way at home, and wasn't it natural? And if he was rather overbearing
and cruel to his wife, wasn't that, she should like to know, Satan
warring with the new man, and sometimes getting the better of it? And if
he was, as Thompson had hinted, rayther partial to the creature, and
liked good living, what was this to the purpose? it was an infirmity
that might happen to the best Christian living. Nobody could say that he
wasn't a renewed man, and a chosen vessel, and faithful to his call. A
man isn't a backslider because he's carnally weak, and a man isn't a
saint because he's moral and well-behaved. 'Good works,' Mr Clayton
said, 'was filthy rags,' and so they were. To be sure, between
themselves, there were one or two things said about Buster that she
couldn't approve of. For instance, she had been told--but _this_ was
quite in confidence, and really must _not_ go further--that he
was--that--that, in fact, he was overtaken now and then with liquor, and
then the house could hardly hold him, he got so furious, and, they did
say, used such horrid language. But, after all, what was this? If a
man's elected, he is not so much the worse. Besides, if one listened to
people, one might never leave off. She had actually heard, she wouldn't
say from whom, that Buster very often kept out late at night--sometimes
didn't come home at all, and sometimes did at two o'clock in the
morning, very hungry and ill-tempered, and then forced his poor wife out
of bed, and made the delicate and shivering creature light a fire, cook
beefsteaks, go into the yard for beer, and wait upon him till he had
even eat every morsel up. She for one would never believe all this,
though Mrs Buster herself had told her every word with tears in her
eyes, and in the greatest confidence; so she trusted I wouldn't repeat
it, as it wouldn't look well in her to be found out telling other
people's secrets." Singular, perhaps, to say, the tale did not go
further. I kept the lady's secret, and at the same time declined to
approach Mr Jabez Buster in the character of a suppliant. If his
advocate and panegyrist had nothing more to say for him, it could not be
uncharitable to conclude that the pretended saint was as bold a sinner
as ever paid infamous courtship to religion, and as such was studiously
to be avoided. I turned my attention from him to Tomkins. There was no
grossness about him, no brutality, no abominable vice. In the hour of my
defeat and desertion, he had extended to me his sympathy, and, more in
sorrow than in anger, I am convinced he voted for my expulsion from the
church when he found that his vote, and twenty added to it, would not
have been sufficient to protect me. He could not act in opposition to
the wishes of his friend and patron, Mr Clayton, but very glad would he
have been, as every word and look assured me, to meet the wishes of us
both, had that been practicable. If the great desire of Jehu Tomkins'
heart could have been gratified, he never would have been at enmity with
a single soul on earth. He was a soft, good-natured, easy man; most
desirous to be let alone, and not uneasily envious or distressed to see
his neighbours jogging on, so long as he could do his own good stroke of
business, and keep a little way before them. Jehu was a Liberal too--in
politics and in religion--in every thing, in fact, but the one small
article of _money_, and here, I must confess, the good dissenter
dissented little from the best of us. He was a stanch Conservative in
matters connected with the _till_. For his private life it was
exemplary--at least it looked so to the world, and the world is
satisfied with what it sees. Jehu was attentive to his business--yes,
very--and a business life is not monotonous and dull, if it be relieved,
as it was in this case, by dexterous arts, that give an interest and
flavour to the commonest pursuits. Sometimes a customer would die--a
natural state of things, but a great event for Jehu. First, he would
"improve the occasion" to the surviving relatives--condole and pray with
them. Afterwards he would _improve_ it to himself, in his own little
room, at night, when all the children were asleep, and no one was awake
but Mrs Tomkins and himself. Then he would get down his ledger, and turn
to the deceased's account--

    "----How _long_ it is thou see'st,
    And he would gaze 'till it became _much longer_;"

"For who could tell whether six shirts or twelve were bought in July
last, and what could be the harm of making those eight handkerchiefs a
dozen? He was a strange old gentleman; lived by himself--and the books
might be referred to, and speak boldly for themselves." Yes, cunning
Jehu, so they might, with those interpolations and erasures that would
confound and overcome a lawyer. When customers did not die, it was
pastime to be dallying with the living. In adding up a bill with haste,
how many times will four and four make _nine_? They generally did with
Jehu. The best are liable to errors. It cost a smirk or smile; Jehu had
hundreds at command, and the accident was amended. How easy is it
sometimes to give no bill at all! How very easy to apply, a few months
afterwards, for second payment; how much more easy still to pocket it
without a word; or, if discovered and convicted, to apologize without a
blush for the _mistake_! No, Jehu Tomkins, let me do you justice--this
is not so easy--it requires all your zeal and holy intrepidity to reach
this pitch of human frailty and corruption. With regard to the domestic
position of my interesting friend, it is painful to add, that the less
that is said about it the better. In vain was his name in full, painted
in large yellow letters, over the shop front. In vain was _Bot. of Jehu
Tomkins_ engraven on satin paper, with flourishes innumerable beneath
the royal arms; he was no more the master of his house than was the
small boy of the establishment, who did the dirty work of the place for
nothing a-week and the broken victuals. If Jehu was deacon abroad, he
was taught to acknowledge an _arch_deacon at home--one to whom he was
indebted for his success in life, and for reminding him of that
agreeable fact about four times during every day of his existence. I was
aware of this delicate circumstance when I ventured to the
linen-draper's shop on my almost hopeless mission; but, although I had
never spoken to Mrs Tomkins, I had often seen her in the chapel, and I
relied much on the feeling and natural tenderness of the female heart.
The respectable shop of Mr Tomkins was in Fleet Street. The
establishment consisted of Mrs Tomkins, _première_; Jehu,
under-secretary; and four sickly-looking young ladies behind the
counter. It is to be said, to the honour of Mrs Tomkins, that she
admitted no young woman into her service whose character was not
_decided_, and whose views were not very clear. Accordingly, the four
young ladies were members of the chapel. It is pleasing to reflect,
that, in this well-ordered house of business, the ladies took their
turns to attend the weekly prayer meetings of the church. Would that I
might add, that they were _not_ severally met on these occasions by
their young men at the corner of Chancery Lane, and invariably escorted
by them some two or three miles in a totally opposite direction. Had Mrs
Tomkins been born a man, it is difficult to decide what situation she
would have adorned the most. She would have made a good man of
business--an acute lawyer--a fine casuist--a great divine. Her
attainments were immense; her self-confidence unbounded. She was a woman
of middle height, and masculine bearing. She was not prepossessing,
notwithstanding her white teeth and large mouth, and the intolerable
grin that a customer to the amount of a halfpenny and upwards could
bring upon her face under any circumstances, and at any hour of the day.
Her complexion might have been good originally. Red blotches scattered
over her cheek had destroyed its beauty. She wore a modest and becoming
cap, and a gold eyeglass round her neck. She was devoted to
money-making--heart and soul devoted to it during business hours. What
time she was not in the shop, she passed amongst dissenting ministers,
spiritual brethren, and deluded sinners. It remains to state the fact,
that, whilst a customer never approached the lady without being repelled
by the offensive smirk that she assumed, no dependent ever ventured near
her without the fear of the scowl that sat naturally (and fearfully,
when she pleased) upon her dark and inauspicious brow. What wonder that
little Jehu was crushed into nothingness, behind his own counter, under
the eye of his own wife!

       *       *       *       *       *



In our last, we had occasion to speak sharply of that class of our
aristocratic youth known by the name of fast fellows, and it may be
thought that we characterized their foibles rather pointedly, and
tinctured our animadversions with somewhat of undue asperity. This
charge, however, can be made with no ground of reason or justice: the
fact is, we only lashed the follies for which that class of men are
pre-eminent, but left their vices in the shade, in the hope that the
_raw_ we have already established, will shame the fast fellows into a
sense of the proprieties of conduct due to themselves and their station.

The misfortune is, that these fast fellows forget, in the pursuit of
their favourite follies, that the mischief to society begins only with
themselves: that man is naturally a servile, imitative animal; and that
he follows in the track of a great name, as vulgar muttons run at the
heels of a belwether. The poison of fashionable folly runs comparatively
innocuous while it circulates in fashionable veins; but when vulgar
fellows are innoculated with the virus, it becomes a plague, a moral
small-pox, distorting, disfiguring the man's mind, pockpitting his small
modicum of brains, and blinding his mind's eye to the supreme contempt
his awkward vagaries inspire.

The fast fellows rejoice exceedingly in the spread of their servile
imitation of fashionable folly, this gentlemanly profligacy at
second-hand; and perhaps this is the worst trait in their character, for
it is at once malicious and unwise: malicious, because the contemplation
of humanity, degraded by bad example in high station, should rather be a
source of secret shame than of devilish gratification: unwise, because
their example is a discredit to their order, and a danger. To posses
birth, fashion, station, wealth, power, is title enough to envy, and
handle sufficient for scandal. How much stronger becomes that title--how
much longer that handle--when men, enjoying this pre-eminence, enjoy it,
not using, but abusing their good fortune!

We should not have troubled our heads with the fast fellows at all, if
it were not absolutely essential to the full consideration of our
subject, widely to sever the prominent classes of fashionable life, and
to have no excuse for continuing in future to confound them. We have now
done with the fast fellows, and shall like them the more the less we
hear of them.


The SLOW SCHOOL of fashionable or aristocratic life, comprises those who
think that, in the nineteenth century, other means must be taken to
preserve their order in its high and responsible position than those
which, in dark ages, conferred honour upon the tallest or the bravest.
They think, and think wisely, that the only method of keeping above the
masses, in this active-minded age, is by soaring higher and further into
the boundless realms of intellect; or at the least forgetting, in a fair
neck-and-neck race with men of meaner birth, their purer blood, and
urging the generous contest for fame, regardless of the allurements of
pleasure, or the superior advantages of fortune. In truth, we might
ask, what would become of our aristocratic classes ere long, if they
came, as a body, to be identified with their gambling lords, their
black-leg baronets, their insolvent honourables, and the seedy set of
Chevaliers Diddlerowski and Counts Scaramouchi, who caper on the
platform outside for their living? The populace would pelt these
harlequin horse-jockeys of fashionable life off their stage, if there
was nothing better to be seen inside; but it fortunately happens that
there is better.

We can boast among our nobles and aristocratic families, a few men of
original, commanding, and powerful intellect; many respectable in most
departments of intellectual rivalry; many more laborious, hard-working
men; and about the same proportion of dull, stupid, fat-headed, crabbed,
conceited, ignorant, insolent men, that you may find among the same
given number of those commonly called the educated classes. We refer you
to the aristocracies of other countries, and we think we may safely say,
that we have more men of that class, in this country, who devote
themselves to the high duties of their station, regardless of its
pleasures, than in any other: men who recognize practically the
responsibility of their rank, and do not shirk from them; men who think
they have something to do, and something to repay, for the accidents of
birth and fortune--who, in the senate, in the field, or in the less
prominent, but not less noble, career of private life, act, as they
feel, with the poet:

    "At heros, et decus, et quæ non fecimus ipsi,
    Vix ea nostra voco."

It has been admirably remarked, by some one whose name we forget, that
the grand advantage of high birth is, placing a man as far forward at
twenty-five as another man is at fifty. We might, as a corollary to this
undeniable proposition, add, that birth not only places, but keeps a man
in that advance of his fellows, which in the sum of life makes such vast
ultimate difference in the prominence of their position.

This advantage enjoyed by the aristocracy of birth, of early enrolling
themselves among the aristocracy of power, has, like every thing in the
natural and moral world, its compensating disadvantage: they lose in one
way what they gain in another; and although many of them become eminent
in public life, few, very few, comparatively with the numbers who enter
the arena, become great. They are respected, heard, and admired, by
virtue of a class-prepossession in their favour; yet, after all, they
must select from the ranks of the aristocracy of talent their firmest
and best supporters, to whom they may delegate the heavy
responsibilities of business, and lift from their own shoulders the
burden of responsible power.

One striking example of the force of birth, station, and association in
public life, never fails to occur to us, as an extraordinary example of
the magnifying power of these extrinsic qualities, in giving to the
aristocracy of birth a consideration, which, though often well bestowed,
is yet oftener bestowed without any desert whatever; and that title to
admiration and respect, which has died with ancestry, patriotism, and
suffering in the cause of freedom, is transferred from the illustrious
dead to the undistinguished living.

Without giving a catalogue _raisonné_ of the slow fellows, (we use the
term not disrespectfully, but only in contradistinction to the others,)
we may observe that, besides the public service in which the great names
are sufficiently known, you have poets, essayists, dramatists,
astronomers, geologists, travellers, novelists, and, what is better than
all, philanthropists. In compliment to human nature, we take the liberty
merely to mention the names of Lord Dudley Stuart and Lord Ashley. The
works of the slow fellows, especially their poetry, indicate in a
greater or less degree the social position of the authors; seldom or
never deficient in good taste, and not without feeling, they lack power
and daring. The smooth style has their preference, and their verses
smack of the school of Lord Fanny; indeed, we know not that, in poetry
or prose, we can point out one of our slow fellows of the present day
rising above judicious mediocrity. It is a curious fact, that the most
daring and original of our noble authors have, in their day, been fast
fellows; it is only necessary to name Rochester, Buckingham, and Byron.

Among the slow fellows, are multitudes of pretenders to intellect in a
small way. These patronize a drawing-master, not to learn to draw, but
to learn to talk of drawing; they also study the _Penny Magazine_ and
other profound works, to the same purpose; they patronize the London
University, and the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, as
far as lending their names; for, being mostly of the class of
fashionable _screws_, they take care never to subscribe to any thing.
They have a refined taste in shawls, and are consequently in the
confidence of dressy old women, who hold them up as examples of every
thing that is good. They take chocolate of a morning, and tea in the
evening; drink sherry with a biscuit, and wonder how people _can_ eat
those hot lunches. They take constitutional walks and Cockle's pills;
and, by virtue of meeting them at the Royal Society, are always
consulting medical men, but take care never to offer them a guinea. They
talk of music, of which they know something--of books, of which they
know little--and of pictures, of which they know less; they have always
read "the last novel," which is as much as they can well carry; they
know literary, professional, and scientific men at Somerset House, but,
if they meet them in Park Lane, look as if they never saw them before;
they are very peevish, have something to say against every man, and
always say the worst first; they are very quiet in their manner, almost
sly, and never use any of the colloquialisms of the fast fellows; they
treat their inferiors with great consideration, addressing them, "honest
friend," "my good man," and so on, but have very little heart, and less

They equally abhor the fast fellows and the pretenders to fashion. They
are afraid of the former, who are always ridiculing them and their
pursuits, by jokes theoretical and practical. If the fast fellows
ascertain that a slow fellow affects sketching, they club together to
annoy him, talking of the "autumnal tints," and "the gilding of the
western hemisphere;" if a botanist, they send him a cow-cabbage, or a
root of mangel-wurzel, with a serious note, stating, that they hear it
is a great curiosity in _his line_; if an entomologist, they are sure to
send him away "with a flea in his ear." If he affects poetry, the fast
fellows make one of their servants transcribe, from _Bell's Life_,
Scroggins's poetical version of the fight between Bendigo and Bungaree,
or some such stuff; and, having got the slow fellow in a corner, insist
upon having his opinion, and drive him nearly mad. All these, and a
thousand other pranks, the fast fellows play upon their slow brethren,
not in the hackneyed fashion which low people call "_gagging_," and
genteel people "_quizzing_," but with a seriousness and gravity that
heightens all the joke, and makes the slow fellow inexpressibly

It is astonishing, considering the opportunities of the slow fellows,
that they do not make a better figure; it seems wonderful, that they who
glide swiftly down the current of fortune with wind and tide, should be
distanced by those who, close-hauled upon a wind, are beating up against
it all their lives; but so it is;--the compensating power that rules
material nature, governs the operations of the mind. To whom much is
given of opportunity, little is bestowed of the exertion to improve it.
Those who rely more or less on claims extrinsic, are sure to be
surpassed by those whose power is from within. After all, the great
names of our nation (with here and there an exception to prove the rule)
are plebeian.


In their political capacity, people of fashion, among whom, for the
present purpose, we include the whole of the aristocracy, are the common
butt of envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness.

They are accused of standing between the mass of the people and their
inalienable rights; of opposing, with obstinate resistance, the progress
of rational liberty, and of----but, in short, you have only to glance
over the pages of any democratic newspaper, to be made aware of the
horrible political iniquity of the aristocracy of England.

The aristocracy in England, considered politically, is a subject too
broad, too wide, and too deep for us, we most readily confess; nor is it
exactly proper for a work of a sketchy nature, in which we only skim
lightly along the surface of society, picking up any little curiosity
as we go along, but without dipping deep into motives or habits of
thought or action, especially in state affairs.

Since our late lamented friends, the Whigs, have gone to enjoy a
virtuous retirement and dignified ease, we have taken no delight in
politics. There is no fun going on now-a-days--no quackery, no
mountebankery, no asses, colonial or otherwise. The dull jog-trot
fellows who have got into Downing Street have made politics no joke; and
now that silence, as of the tomb, reigns amongst _quondam_ leaders of
the Treasury Benech--now that the camp-followers have followed the
leader, and the auxiliaries are dispersed, we really have nobody to
laugh at; and, like our departed friends, have too little of the
statesman to be serious about serious matters.

With regard to the aristocracy in their public capacity, this is the way
we always look at them.

In the first place, they govern us through the tolerance of public
opinion, as men having station, power, property, much to lose, and
little comparatively to gain--men who have put in bail to a large amount
for their good behaviour: and, in the second place, they govern us,
because really and truly there are so many outrageously discordant
political quacks, desirous of taking our case in hand, that we find it
our interest to entrust our public health to an accomplished physician,
even although he charges a guinea a visit, and refuses to insure a
perfect cure with a box of pills costing thirteenpence-halfpenny. There
can be no doubt whatever, that the most careful men are the men who have
most to care for: he that has a great deal to lose, will think twice,
where he that has nothing to lose, will not think at all: and the
government of this vast and powerful empire, we imagine, with great
deference, must require a good deal of thinking. In a free press, we
have a never-dying exponent of public opinion, a perpetual advocate of
rational liberty, and a powerful engine for the exposure, which is
ultimately the redress, of wrong: and although this influential member
of our government receives no public money, nor is called right
honourable, nor speaks in the House, yet in fact and in truth it has a
seat in the Cabinet, and, upon momentous occasions, a voice of thunder.

That the aristocracy of power should be in advance of public opinion, is
not in the nature of things, and should no more be imputed as a crime to
them, than to us not to run when we are not in a hurry: they cannot, as
a body, move upwards, because they stand so near the top, that dangerous
ambition is extinguished; and it is hardly to be expected that, as a
body, they should move downwards, unless they find themselves supported
in their position upon the right of others, in which case we have always
seen that, although they descend gradually, they descend at last.

This immobility of our aristocracy is the origin of the fixity of our
political institutions, which has been, is, and will continue to be, the
great element of our pre-eminence as a nation: it possesses a force
corrective and directive, and at once restrains the excess, while it
affords a point of resistance, to the current of the popular will. And
this immobility, it should never be forgotten, is owing to that very
elevation so hated and so envied: wanting which the aristocracy would be
subject to the vulgar ambitions, vulgar passions, and sordid desires of
meaner aspirants after personal advantage and distinction. It is a
providential blessing, we firmly believe, to a great nation to possess a
class, by fortune and station, placed above the unseemly contentions of
adventurers in public life: looked up to as men responsible without hire
for the public weal, and, without sordid ambitions of their own,
solicitous to preserve it: looked up to, moreover, as examples of that
refinement of feeling, jealous sense of honour, and manly independence,
serving as detersives of the grosser humours of commercial life, and
which, filtering through the successive _strata_ of society, clarify and
purify in their course, leaving the very dregs the cleaner for their

A body thus by habit and constitution opposed to innovation, and
determined against the recklessness of inconsiderate reforms, has
furnished a stock argument to those who delight in "going a-head" faster
than their feet, which are the grounds of their arguments, can carry
them. We hear the aristocracy called stumbling-blocks in the way of
legislative improvements, and, with greater propriety of metaphor,
likened to drags upon the wheel of progressive reform; and so on,
through all the regions of illustration, until we are in at the death of
the metaphor. How happens to be overlooked the advantage of this
anti-progressive barrier, to the concentration and deepening of the
flood of opinion on any given subject? how is it that men are apt
altogether to forget that this very barrier it is which prevents the too
eager crowd from trampling one another to death in their haste? which
gives time for the ebullitions of unreasoning zeal, and reckless
enthusiasm, and the dregs of agitation, quietly to subside; and, for all
that, bears the impress of reason and sound sense to circulate with
accumulated pressure through the public mind? Were it not for the
barrier which the aristocracy of power thus interposes for a time, only
to withdraw when the time for interposition is past, we should live in a
vortex of revolution and counter-revolution. Our whole time, and our
undivided energies, would be employed in acting hastily, and repenting
at leisure; in repining either because our biennial revolutions went too
far, or did not go far enough; in expending our national strength in the
unprofitable struggles of faction with faction, adventurer with
adventurer: with every change we should become more changeful, and with
every settlement more unsettled: one by one our distant colonies would
follow the bright example of our people at home, and our commerce and
trade would fall with our colonial empire. In fine, we should become in
the eyes of the world what France now is--a people ready to sacrifice
every solid advantage, every gradual, and therefore permanent,
improvement, every ripening fruit that time and care, and the sunshine
of peace only can mature, to a genius for revolution.

This turbulent torrent of headlong reform, to-day flooding its banks,
to-morrow dribbling in a half-dry channel, the aristocracy of power
collects, concentrates, and converts into a power, even while it
circumscribes it, and represses. So have we seen a mountain stream
useless in summer, dangerous in winter, now a torrent now a puddle,
wasting its unprofitable waters in needless brawling; let a barrier be
opposed to its downward course, let it be dammed up, let a point of
resistance be afforded where its waters may be gathered together, and
regulated, you find it turned to valuable account, acting with men's
hands, becoming a productive labourer, and contributing its time and its
industry to advance the general sum of rational improvement.

From the material to the moral world you may always reason by analogy.
If you study the theory of revolutions, you will not fail to observe
that, wherever, in constructing your barrier, you employ ignorant
engineers, who have not duly calculated the depth and velocity of the
current; whenever you raise your dam to such a height that no flood will
carry away the waste waters; whenever you talk of finality to the
torrent, saying, thus long shalt thou flow, and no longer; whenever you
put upon your power a larger wheel than it can turn--you are slowly but
surely preparing for that flood which will overwhelm your work, destroy
your mills, your dams, and your engines; in a word, you are the remote
cause of a revolution.

This is the danger into which aristocracies of power are prone to fall:
the error of democracies is, to delight in the absolutism of liberty;
but thus it is with liberty itself, that true dignity of man, that
parent of all blessings: absolute and uncontrolled, a tyranny beyond the
power to endure itself, the worst of bad masters, a fool who is his own
client; restrained and tempered, it becomes a wholesome discipline, a
property with its rights and its duties, a sober responsibility,
bringing with it, like all other responsibilities, its pleasures and its
cares; not a toy to be played with, nor even a jewel to be worn in the
bonnet, but a talent to be put out to interest, and enjoyed in the
unbroken tranquillity of national thankfulness and peace.

Another defect in the aristocracy of power is, the narrow sphere of
their sympathies, extending only to those they know, and are familiar
with; that is to say, only as far as the circumference of their own
limited circle. This it is that renders them keenly apprehensive of
danger close at hand, but comparatively indifferent to that which
menaces them from a distance. Placed upon a lofty eminence, they are
comparatively indifferent while clouds obscure, and thunder rattles
along the vale; their resistance is of a passive kind, directed not to
the depression of those beneath them, nor to overcome pressure from
above, but to preserve themselves in the enviable eminence of their
position, and there to establish themselves in permanent security.

As a remedy for this short-sightedness, the result of their isolated
position, the aristocracy of power is always prompt to borrow from the
aristocracy of talent that assistance in the practical working of its
government which it requires; they are glad to find safe men among the
people to whom they can delegate the cares of office, the annoyances of
patronage, and the odium of power; and, the better to secure these men,
they are always ready to lift them among themselves, to identify them
with their exclusive interests, and to give them a permanent
establishment among the nobles of the land.

       *       *       *       *       *


Perhaps we may be expected to say something of the dress of men of
fashion, as it is peculiar, and not less characteristic than their
manner. Their clothes, like their lives, are usually of a neutral tint;
staring colours they studiously eschew, and are never seen with
elaborate gradations of under waistcoats. They would as soon appear out
of doors _in cuerpo_, as in blue coats with gilt buttons, or braided
military frocks, or any dress smacking of the professional. When they
indulge in fancy colours and patterns, you will not fail to remark that
these are not worn, although imitated by others. The moment a dressy man
of fashion finds that any thing he has patronized gets abroad, he drops
the neckcloth or vest, or whatever it may be, and condemns the tailor as
an "unsafe" fellow. But it is not often that even the most dressy of our
men of fashion originate any thing _outré_, or likely to attract
attention; of late years their style has been plain, almost to

Notwithstanding that the man of fashion is plainly dressed, no more than
ordinary penetration is required to see that he is excellently well
dressed. His coat is plain, to be sure, much plainer than the coat of a
Jew-clothesman, having neither silk linings, nor embroidered
pocket-holes, nor cut velvet buttons, nor fur collar; but see how it
fits him--not like cast iron, nor like a wet sack, but as if he had been
born in it.

There is a harmony, a propriety in the coat of a man of fashion, an
unstudied ease, a graceful symmetry, a delicacy of expression, that has
always filled us with the profoundest admiration of the genius of the
artist; indeed, no ready money could purchase coats that we have
seen--coats that a real love of the subject, and working upon long
credit, for a high connexion, could alone have given to the
world--coats, not the dull conceptions of a geometric cutter,
spiritlessly outlined upon the shop-board by the crayon of a mercenary
foreman, but the fortunate creation of superior intelligence, boldly
executed in the happy moments of a generous enthusiasm!

Vain, very vain is it for the pretender to fashion to go swelling into
the _atelier_ of a first-rate coat architect, with his ready money in
his hand, to order such a coat! _Order_ such a coat, forsooth! order a
Raphael, a Michael Angelo, an epic poem. Such a coat--we say it with the
generous indignation of a free Briton--is one of the exclusive
privileges reserved, by unjust laws, to a selfish aristocracy!

The aristocratic trouser-cutter, too, deserves our unlimited
approbation. Nothing more distinguishes the nineteenth century, in which
those who can manage it have the happiness to live, than the precision
we have attained in trouser-cutting. While yet the barbarism of the age,
or poverty of customers, _vested_ the office of trouser-cutter and coat
architect in the same functionary, coats were without _soul_, and
"inexpressibles" inexpressibly bad, or, as Coleridge would have said,
"ridiculous exceedingly." In our day, on the contrary, we have attained
to such a pitch of excellence, that the trouser-cutter who fails to give
expression to his works, is hunted into the provinces, and condemned for
life to manufacture nether garments for clergymen and country gentlemen.

The results of the minute division of labour, to which so much of the
excellence of all that is excellent in London is mainly owing, is in
nothing more apparent than in that department of the fine arts which
people devoid of taste call fashionable tailoring. We have at the West
End fashionable _artistes_ in riding coats, in dress coats, in
cut-aways; one is superlative in a Taglioni, another devotes the powers
of his mind exclusively to the construction of a Chesterfield, a third
gives the best years of his life to the symmetrical beauty of a
barrel-trouser; from the united exertions of these, and a thousand other
men of taste and genius, is your indisputably-dressed man of fashion
turned out upon the town. Then there are constructors of Horse Guards'
and of Foot Guards' jacket, full and undress; the man who contrives
these would expire if desired to turn his attention to the coat of a
marching regiment; a hussar-pelisse-maker despises the hard, heavy style
of the cutters for the Royal Artillery, and so on. Volumes would not
shut if we were to fill them with the infinite variety of these
disguisers of that nakedness which formerly was our shame, but which
latterly, it would seem, has become our pride. With the exception of one
gentleman citywards, who has achieved an immortality in the article of
box-coats, every contriver of men of fashion, we mean in the tailoring,
which is the principal department, reside in the parish of St James's,
within easy reach of their distinguished patrons. These gentlemen have a
high and self-respecting idea of the nobleness and utility of their
vocation. A friend of ours, of whom we know no harm save that he pays
his tailors' bills, being one day afflicted with this unusual form of
insanity, desired the artist to deduct some odd shillings from his bill;
in a word, to make it pounds--"Excuse me, sir," said Snip, "but pray,
let _us_ not talk of pounds--pounds for tradesmen, if you please; but
artists, sir, _artists_ are always remunerated with guineas!"

To return to the outward and visible man of fashion, from whose
peculiarities our dissertation upon the sublime and beautiful in
tailoring has too long detained us. The same subdued expression of
elegance and ease that pervades the leading articles of his attire,
extends, without exception, to all the accessories; or if he is
deficient in aught, the accessorial _toggery_, such as hats, boots,
_choker_, gloves, are always carefully attended to; for it is in this
department that so distinguished a member of the detective police as
ourselves is always enabled to arrest disguised snobbery. You will never
see a man of fashion affect a Paget hat, for example, or a D'Orsayan
beaver: the former has a ridiculous exuberance of crown, the latter a by
no means allowable latitude of brim--besides, borrowing the fashion of a
hat, is with him what plagiarizing the interior furniture of the head is
with others. He considers stealing the idea of a hat low and vulgar, and
leaves the unworthy theft to be perpetrated by pretenders to fashion:
content with a hat that becomes him, he is careful never to be before or
behind the prevailing hat-intelligence of the time. Three hats your man
of fashion sedulously escheweth--a new hat, a shocking bad hat, and a
gossamer. As the song says, "when into a shop he goes" he never "buys a
four-and-nine," neither buyeth he a Paris hat, a ventilator, or any of
the hats indebted for their glossy texture to the entrails of the silk
worm; he sporteth nothing below a two-and-thirty shilling beaver, and
putteth it not on his head until his valet, exposing it to a shower of
rain, has "taken the shine out of it."

In boots he is even more scrupulously attentive to what Philosopher
Square so appropriately called the fitness of things: his boots are
never square-toed, or round-toed, like the boots of people who think
their toes are in fashion. You see that they fit him, that they are of
the best material and make, and suitable to the season: you never see
him sport the Sunday patent-leathers of the "snob," who on week-a-days
proceeds on eight-and-sixpenny high-lows: you never see him shambling
along in boots a world too wide, nor hobbling about a crippled victim to
the malevolence of Crispin. The idiosyncrasy of his foot has always been
attended to; he has worn well-fitting boots every day of his life, and
he walks as if he knew not whether he had boots on or not. As for
stocks, saving that he be a military man, he wears them not; they want
that easy negligence, attainable only by the graceful folds of a well
tied _choker_. You never see a man of fashion with his neck in the
pillory, and you hardly ever encounter a Cockney whose cervical
investment does not convey at once the idea of that obsolete punishment.
A gentleman never considers that his neck was given him to show off a
cataract of black satin upon, or as a post whereon to display
gold-threaded fabrics, of all the colours of the rainbow: sooner than
wear such things, he would willingly resign his neck to the embraces of
a halter. His study is to select a modest, unassuming _choker, fine_ if
you please, but without pretension as to pattern, and in colour
harmonizing with his residual _toggery_: this he ties with an easy,
unembarrassed air, so that he can conveniently look about him. Oxford
men, we have observed, tie chokers better than any others; but we do not
know whether there are exhibitions or scholarships for the encouragement
of this laudable faculty. At Cambridge (except Trinity) there is a
laxity in chokers, for which it is difficult to account, except upon the
principle that men there attend too closely to the mathematics; these,
as every body knows, are in their essence inimical to the higher
departments of the fine arts. There is no reason, however, why in this
important branch of learning, which, as we may say, comes home to the
bosom of every man, one Alma Mater should surpass another; since at both
the intellects of men are almost exclusively occupied for years in tying
their abominable white chokers, so as to look as like tavern waiters as

Another thing: if a gentleman sticks a pin in his choker, you may be
sure it has not a head as big as a potatoe, and is not a sort of Siamese
Twin pin, connected by a bit of chain, or an imitation precious stone,
or Mosaic gold concern. If he wears studs, they are plain, and have cost
not less at the least than five guineas the set. Neither does he ever
make a High Sheriff of himself, with chains dangling over the front of
his waistcoat, or little pistols, seals, or trinketry appearing below
his waistband, as much as to say, "_if you only knew what a watch I have
inside_!" Nor does he sport trumpery rings upon raw-boned fingers; if he
wears rings, you may depend upon it that they are of value, that they
are sparingly distributed, and that his hand is not a paw.

A man of fashion never wears Woodstock gloves, or gloves with double
stitches, or eighteen-penny imitation French kids: his gloves, like
himself and every thing about him, are the real thing. Dressy young men
of fashion sport primrose kids in the forenoon; and, although they take
care to avoid the appearance of snobbery by never wearing the same pair
a second day, yet, after all, primrose kids in the forenoon are not the
thing, not in keeping, not quiet enough: we therefore denounce primrose
kids, and desire to see no more of them.

If you are unfortunate enough to be acquainted with a snob, you need not
put yourself to the unnecessary expense of purchasing an almanac for the
ensuing year: your friend the snob will answer that useful purpose
completely to your satisfaction. For example, on Thursdays and Sundays
he shaves and puts on a clean shirt, which he exhibits as freely as
possible in honour of the event: Mondays and Fridays you will know by
the vegetating bristles of his chin, and the disappearance of the shirt
cuffs and collar. These are replaced on Tuesdays and Saturdays by
supplementary collar and cuffs, which, being white and starched, form a
pleasing contrast with that portion of the original _chemise_, vainly
attempted to be concealed behind the folds of a three-and-six-penny
stock. Wednesdays and Fridays you cannot mistake; your friend is then at
the dirtiest, and his beard at the longest, anticipating the half-weekly
wash and shave: on quarter-day, when he gets his salary, he goes to a
sixpenny barber and has his hair cut.

A gentleman, on the contrary, in addition to his other noble
inutilities, is useless as an almanac. He is never half shaven nor half
shorn: you never can tell when he has had his hair cut, nor has he his
clean-shirt days, and his days of foul linen. He is not merely outwardly
_propre_, but asperges his cuticle daily with "oriental scrupulosity:"
he is always and ever, in person, manner, dress, and deportment, the
same, and has never been other than he now appears.

You will say, perhaps, this is all very fine; but give me the money the
man of fashion has got, and I will be as much a man of fashion as he: I
will wear my clothes with the same ease, and be as free, unembarrassed,
_degagé_, as the veriest Bond Street lounger of them all. Friend, thou
mayest say so, or even think so, but I defy thee: snobbery, like murder,
will out; and, if you do not happen to be a gentleman born, we tell you
plainly you will never, by dint of expense in dress, succeed in "topping
the part."

We have been for many years deeply engaged in a philosophical enquiry
into the origin of the peculiar attributes characteristic of the man of
fashion. A work of such importance, however, we cannot think of giving
to the world, except in the appropriate envelope of a ponderous quarto:
just now, by way of whetting the appetite of expectation, we shall
merely observe, that, after much pondering, we have at last discovered
the secret of his wearing his garments "with a difference," or, more
properly, with an indifference, unattainable by others of the human
species. You will conjecture, haply, that it is because he and his
father before him have been from childhood accustomed to pay attention
to dress, and that habit has given them that air which the occasional
dresser can never hope to attain: or that, having the best _artistes_,
seconded by that beautiful division of labour of which we have spoken
heretofore, he can attain an evenness of costume, an undeviating
propriety of toggery--not at all: the whole secret consists in _never
paying, nor intending to pay, his tailor_!

Poor devils, who, under the Mosaic dispensation, contract for three
suits a-year, the old ones to be returned, and again made new; or those
who, struck with more than money madness, go to a tailor, cash in hand,
for the purpose of making an investment, are always accustomed to
consider a coat as a representative of so much money, transferred only
from the pocket to the back. Accordingly, they are continually labouring
under the depression of spirits arising from a sense of the possible
depreciation of such a valuable property. Visions of showers of rain,
and March dust, perpetually haunt their morbid imaginations. Greasy
collars, chalky seams, threadbare cuffs, (three warnings that the time
must come when that tunic, for which five pounds ten have been lost to
them and their heirs for ever, will be worth no more than a couple of
shillings to an old-clothesman in Holywell Street,) fill them, as they
walk along the Strand, with apprehensions of anticipated expenditure.
They walk circumspectly, lest a baker, sweep, or hodman, stumbling
against the coat, may deprive its wearer of what to him represents so
much ready money. These real and imaginary evils altogether prohibit the
proprietor of a paid-up coat wearing it with any degree of graceful

But when a family of fashion, for generations, have not only never
thought of paying a tailor, but have considered taking up bills, which
the too confiding snip has discounted for them, as decidedly smacking of
the punctilious vulgarity of the tradesman; thus drawing down upon
themselves the vengeance of that most intolerant sect of Protestants,
the Notaries Public; when a young man of fashion, taught from earliest
infancy to regard tailors as a Chancellor of the Exchequer regards the
people at large, that is to say, as a class of animals created to be
victimized in every possible way, it is astonishing what a subtle grace
and indescribable expression are conveyed to coats which are sent home
to you for nothing, or, what amounts to exactly the same thing, which
you have not the most remote idea of paying for, _in secula seculorum_.
So far from caring whether it rains or snows, or whether the dust flies,
when you have got on one of these eleemosynary coats, you are rather
pleased than otherwise. There is a luxury in the idea that on the morrow
you will start fresh game, and victimize your tailor for another. The
innate cruelty of the human animal is gratified, and the idea of a
tailor's suffering is never conceived by a customer without involuntary
cachinnation. Not only is he denied the attribute of integral
manhood--which even a man-milliner by courtesy enjoys--but that
principle which induces a few men of enthusiastic temperament to pay
debts, is always held a fault when applied to the bills of tailors. And,
what is a curious and instructive fact in the natural history of London
fashionable tailors, and altogether unnoticed by the Rev. Leonard
Jenyns, in his _Manual of British Vertebrate Animals_, if you go to one
of these gentlemen, requesting him to "execute," and professing your
readiness to pay his bill on demand or delivery, he will be sure to give
your order to the most scurvy botch in his establishment, put in the
worst materials, and treat you altogether as a person utterly
unacquainted with the usages of polite society. But if, on the contrary,
you are recommended to him by Lord Fly-by-night, of Denman Priory--if
you give a thundering order, and, instead of offering to pay for it,
pull out a parcel of bill-stamps, and _promise_ fifty per cent for a few
hundreds down, you will be surprised to observe what delight will
express itself in the radiant countenance of your victim: visions of
cent per cent, ghosts of post-obits, dreams of bonds with penalties, and
all those various shapes in which security delights to involve the
extravagant, rise flatteringly before the inward eye of the man of
shreds and patches. By these transactions with the great, he becomes
more and more a man, less and less a tailor; instead of cutting patterns
and taking measures, he flings the tailoring to his foreman, becoming
first Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer to peers of
the realm.

With a few more of the less important distinctive peculiarities of the
gentleman of fashion, we may dismiss this portion of our subject. A
gentleman never affects military air or costume if he is not a military
man, and even then avoids professional rigidity and swagger as much as
possible; he never sports spurs or a riding-whip, except when he is upon
horseback, contrary to the rule observed by his antagonist the snob, who
always sports spurs and riding-whip, but who never mounts higher than a
threepenny stride on a Hampstead donkey. Nor does a gentleman ever wear
a _moustache_, unless he belongs to one of the regiments of hussars, or
the household cavalry, who alone are ordered to display that ornamental
exuberance. Foreigners, military or non-military, are recognized as
wearing hair on the upper lip with propriety, as is the custom of their
country. But no gentleman here thinks of such a thing, any more than he
would think of sporting the uniform of the Tenth Hussars.

There is an affectation among the vulgar clever, of wearing the
_moustache_, which they clip and cut _à la Vandyk_: this is useful, as
affording a ready means of distinguishing between a man of talent and an
ass--the former, trusting to his head, goes clean shaved, and looks like
an Englishman: the latter, whose strength lies altogether in his hair,
exhausts the power of Macassar in endeavouring to make himself as like
an ourang-outang as possible.

Another thing must be observed by all who would successfully ape the
gentleman: never to smoke cigars in the street in mid-day. No better
sign can you have than this of a fellow reckless of decency and
behaviour: a gentleman smokes, if he smokes at all, where he offends not
the olfactories of the passers-by. Nothing, he is aware, approaches more
nearly the most offensive personal insult, than to compel ladies and
gentlemen to inhale, after you, the ejected fragrance of your penny Cuba
or your three-halfpenny mild Havannah.

In the cities of Germany, where the population almost to a man inhale
the fumes of tobacco, street smoking is very properly prohibited; for
however agreeable may be the sedative influence of the Virginian weed
when inspired from your own manufactory, nothing assuredly is more
disgusting than inhalation of tobacco smoke at second-hand.

Your undoubted man of fashion, like other animals, has his peculiar
_habitat_: you never see him promenading in Regent Street between the
hours of three and five in the afternoon, nor by any chance does he
venture into the Quadrant: east of Temple Bar he is never seen except on
business, and then, never on foot: if he lounges any where, it is in
Bond Street, or about the clubs of St James's.


     "Their conversation was altogether made up of Shakspeare,
     taste, high life and the musical glasses."--_Vicar of

We will venture to assert, that in the course of these essays on the
aristocracies of London life, we have never attempted to induce any of
our readers to believe that there was any cause for him to regret,
whatever condition of life it had pleased Providence to place him in, or
to suppose, for one moment, that reputable men, though in widely
different circumstances, are not equally reputable. We have studiously
avoided portraying fashionable life according to the vulgar notions,
whether depreciatory or panegyrical. We have shown that that class is
not to be taken and treated of as an integral quantity, but to be
analyzed as a component body, wherein is much sterling ore and no little
dross. We have shown by sufficient examples, that whatever in our eyes
makes the world of fashion really respectable, is solely owing to the
real worth of its respectable members; and on the contrary, whatever
contempt we fling upon the fashionable world, is the result of the
misconduct of individuals of that order, prominently contemptible.

Of the former, the example is of infinite value to society, in refining
its tone, and giving to social life an unembarrassed ease, which, if not
true politeness, is its true substitute; and, of the latter, the
mischief done to society is enhanced by the multitude of low people
ready to imitate their vices, inanities, and follies.

Pretenders to fashion, who hang upon the outskirts of fashionable
society, and whose lives are a perpetual but unavailing struggle to jump
above their proper position, are horrid nuisances; and they abound,
unfortunately, in London.

In a republic, where practical equality is understood and acted upon,
this pretension would be intolerable; in an aristocratic state of
society, with social gradations pointedly defined and universally
recognized, it is merely ridiculous to the lookers-on; to the
pretenders, it is a source of much and deserved misery and isolation.

There are ten thousand varying shades and degrees of this pretension,
from the truly fashionable people who hanker after the _exclusives_, or
seventh heaven of high life, down to the courier out of place, who, in a
pot-house, retails Debrett by heart, and talks of lords, and dukes, and
earls, as of his particular acquaintance, and how and where he met them
when on his travels.

The _exclusives_ are a queer set, some of them not by any means people
of the best pretensions to lead the _ton_. Lady L---- and Lady B---- may
be very well as patronesses of Almack's; but what do you say to Lady
J----, a plebeian, and a licensed dealer in money, keeping her shop by
deputy in a lane somewhere behind Cornhill? Almack's, as every body
knows who has been there, or who has talked with any observing _habitué_
of the place, contains a great many queer, spurious people, smuggled in
somehow by indirect influence, when royal command is not the least
effectual: a surprizing number of seedy, poverty-stricken young men,
and, in an inverse ratio, women who have any thing more than the clothes
they wear: yet, by mere dint of difficulty, by the simple circumstance
of making admission to this assembly a matter of closeting, canvassing,
balloting, black-balling, and so forth, people of much better fashion
than many of the exclusives make it a matter of life and death to have
their admission secured. Admission to Almack's is to a young _débutante_
of fashion as great an object as a seat at the Privy Council Board to a
flourishing politician: your _ton_ is stamped by it, you are of the
exclusive _set_, and, by virtue of belonging to that set, every other is
open to you as a matter of course, when you choose to condescend to
visit it. The room in which Almack's balls are held we need not
describe, because it has been often described before, and because the
doorkeeper, any day you choose to go to Duke Street, St James's, will be
too happy to show it you for sixpence; but we will give you in his own
words, all the information we could contrive to get from a man of the
highest fashion, who is a subscriber.

"Why, I really don't know," said he, "that I have any thing to tell you
about Almack's, except that all that the novel-writers say about it is
ridiculous nonsense: the lights are good, the refreshments not so good,
the music excellent; the women dress well, dance a good deal, and talk
but little. There is a good deal of envy, jealousy, and criticism of
faces, figures, fortunes, and pretensions: one, or at most two, of the
balls in a season are pleasant; the others _slow_ and very dull. The
point of the thing seems to be, that people of rank choose to like it
because it stamps a set, and low people talk about it because they
cannot by any possibility know any thing about it."

Such is Almack's, of which volumes have been spun, of most effete and
lamentable trash, to gratify the morbid appetites of the pretenders to

We must not omit to inform our rural readers, that no conventional rank
gives any one in London a patent of privilege in truly fashionable
society. An old baronet shall be exclusive, when a young peer shall have
no fashionable society at all: a lord is by no means necessarily a man
in what the fashionable sets call good society: we have many lords who
are not men of fashion, and many men of fashion who are not lords.

Professional peers, whether legal, naval, or military, bishops, judges,
and all that class of men who attain by talents, interest, and good
fortune, or all, or any of these, a lofty social position, have no more
to do with the exclusive or merely fashionable sets than you or I. A man
may be a barrister in full practice to-day, an attorney-general
to-morrow, a chief-justice the day after with a peerage: yet his wife
and daughter visit the same people, and are visited by the same people,
that associated with them before. If men of fashion know them, it is
because they have business to transact or favours to seek for, or
because it is part of their system to keep up a qualified intimacy with
all whom they think proper to lift to their own level: but this intimacy
is only extended by the man of birth to the man of talent. His family do
not become people of fashion until the third or fourth generation: he
remains the man of business, the useful, working, practical,
brains-carrying man that he was; and his family, if they are wise, seek
not to become the familiars of the old aristocracy, and if they are
foolish, become the most unfortunate pretenders to fashion. They are too
near to be pleasant; and the gulf which people of hereditary fashion
place between is impassable, even though they flounder up to their necks
in servile mud.

It is the same with baronets, M.P.'s, and all that sort of people. These
handles to men's names go down very well in the country, where it is
imagined that a baronet or an M.P. is, _ex officio_, a man of
consequence, and that, rank being equal, consequence is also equal. In
London, on the contrary, people laugh at the idea of a man pluming
himself upon such distinctions without a difference: in town we have
baronets of all sorts--the "Heathcotes, and such large-acred men," Sir
Watkyn, and the territorial baronetage: then we have the Hanmers, and
others of undoubted fashion, to which their patent is the weakest of
their claims: then we have the military, naval, and medical baronet:
descending, through infinite gradations, we come down to the
tallow-chandling, the gin-spinning, the banking, the pastry-cooking

What is there, what can there be, in common with these widely severed
classes, save that they equally enjoy _Sir_ at the head and _Bart_. at
the tail of their sponsorial and patronymic appellations? Do you think
the landed Bart. knows any more of the medical Bart. than that, when he
sends for the other to attend his wife, he calls him generally "doctor,"
and seldom Sir James: or that the military Bart. does not much like the
naval Bart.? and do not all these incongruous Barts. shudder at the bare
idea of been seen on the same side of the street with a gin-spinning,
Patent-British-Genuine-Foreign-Cognac Brandy-making Bart.? and do not
each and every one of these Barts. from head to tail, even including the
last-mentioned, look down with immeasurable disdain upon the poor Nova
Scotia baronets, who move heaven and earth to get permission to wear a
string round their necks, and a badge like the learned fraternity of

Then as to the magic capitals M.P., which provincial people look upon as
embodying in the wearer the concentrated essence of wisdom, eloquence,
personal distinction, and social eminence. Who, in a country town, on a
market day, has not seen tradesmen cocking their eye, apprentices
glowering through the shop front, and ladies subdolously peeping behind
the window-shutter to catch a glimpse of the "member for our town," and,
having seen him, think they are rather happier then they were before?
The greatest fun in the world is to go to a _cul-de-sac_ off a dirty
lane near Palace Yard, called Manchester Buildings, a sort of senatorial
pigeon-house, where the meaner fry of houseless M.P.'s live, each in his
one pair, two pair, three pair, as the case may be, and give a postman's
knock at every door in rapid succession. In a twinkling, the "collective
wisdom" of Manchester Buildings and the Midland Counties poke out their
heads. Cobden appears on the balcony; Muntz glares out of a second
floor, like a live bear in a barber's window; Wallace of Greenock comes
to the door in a red nightcap; and a long "tail" of the other immortals
of a session. You may enjoy the scene as much as you please; but when
you hear one or two of the young Irish patriotic "mimbers" floundering
from the attics, the wisest course you can take will be incontinently to
"mizzle." These men, however, have one redeeming quality--that they
live in Manchester Buildings, and don't care who knows it; they are out
of fashion, and don't care who are in; they are minding their business,
and not hanging at the skirts of people ever ready and willing to kick
them off.

Then there are the "dandy" M.P.'s, who ride hack-horses, associate with
fashionable actresses, and hang about the clubs. Then there is the
chance or accidental M.P., who has been elected he hardly knows how or
when, and wonders to find himself in Parliament. Then there is the
desperate, adventuring, ear-wigging M.P., whose hope of political
existence, and whose very livelihood, depend upon getting or continuing
in place. Then there is the legal M.P., with one eye fixed on the
Queen's, the other squinting at the Treasury Bench. Then there is the
lounging M.P., who is usually the scion of a noble family, and who comes
now and then into the House, to stare vacantly about, and go out again.
Then there is the military M.P., who finds the House an agreeable
lounge, and does not care to join his regiment on foreign service. Then
there is the bustling M.P. of business, the M.P. of business without
bustle, and the independent country gentleman M.P., who wants nothing
for himself or any body else, and who does not care a turnip-top for the
whole lot of them.

The aggregate distinction, as a member of Parliament, is totally sunk in
London. It is the man, and not the two letters after his name, that any
body whose regard is worth the having in the least regard. There are
M.P.s never seen beyond the exclusive set, except on a committee of the
House, and then they know and speak to nobody save one of themselves.
There are other M.P.s that you will find in no society except Tom
Spring's or Owen Swift's, at the Horse-shoe in Litchborne Street.

These observations upon baronets and M.P.s may be extended upwards to
the peerage, and downwards to the professional, commercial, and all
other the better classes. Every man hangs, like a herring, by his own
tail; and every class would be distinct and separate, but that the
pretenders to fashion, like some equivocal animals in the chain of
animated nature, connect these different classes by copying
pertinaciously the manners, and studying to adopt the tastes and habits
of the class immediately above them.

Of pretenders to fashion, perhaps the most successful in their imitative
art are the

SHEENIES.--By this term, as used by men of undoubted _ton_ with
reference to the class we are about to consider, you are to understand
runagate Jews rolling in riches, who profess to love roast pork above
all things, who always eat their turkey with sausages, and who have
_cut_ their religion for the sake of dangling at the heels of
fashionable Christians. These people are "swelling" upon the profits of
the last generation in St Mary Axe or Petticoat Lane. The founders of
their families have been loan-manufacturers, crimps, receivers of stolen
goods, wholesale nigger-dealers, clippers and sweaters, rag-merchants,
and the like, and conscientious Israelites; but their children, not
having fortitude to abide by their condition, nor right principle to
adhere to their sect, come to the west end of the town, and, by right of
their money, make unremitting assaults upon the loose fish of
fashionable society, who laugh at, and heartily despise them, while they
are as ashes in the mouths of the respectable members of the persuasion
to which they originally belonged.

HEAVY SWELLS are another very important class of pretenders to fashion,
and are divided into civil and military. Professional men, we say it to
their honour, seldom affect the heavy swell, because the feeblest
glimmerings of that rationality of thinking which results from among the
lowest education, preserves them from the folly of the attempt, and, in
preserving from folly, saves them from the self-reproaching misery that
attends it. Men of education or of common sense, look upon pretension to
birth, rank, or any thing else to which they have no legitimate claim,
as little more than moral forgery; it is with them an uttering base
coin upon false pretences. It is generally the wives and families of
professional men who are afflicted with pretension to fashion, of which
we shall give abundant examples when we come to treat of
gentility-mongers. But the heavy swell, who is of all classes, from the
son and heir of an opulent blacking-maker down to the lieutenant of a
marching regiment on half-pay, is utterly destitute of brains,
deplorably illiterate, and therefore incapable, by nature and
bringing-up, of respecting himself by a modest contented demeanour. He
is never so unhappy as when he appears the thing he is--never so
completely in his element as when acting the thing he is not, nor can
ever be. He spends his life in jumping, like a cat, at shadows on the
wall. He has day and night dreams of people, who have not the least idea
that such a man is in existence, and he comes in time, by mere dint of
thinking of nobody else, to think that he is one of them. He acquaints
himself with the titles of lords, as other men do those of books, and
then boasts largely of the extent of his acquaintance.

Let us suppose that he is an officer of a hard-fighting,
foreign-service, neglected infantry regiment. This, which to a soldier
would be an honest pride, is the shame of the Heavy Military Swell. His
chief business in life, next to knowing the names and faces of lords, is
concealing from you the corps to which he has the dishonour, he thinks,
to belong. He talks mightily of the service, of hussars and light
dragoons; but when he knows that you know better, when you poke him hard
about the young or old buffs, or the dirty half-hundred, he whispers in
your ear that "my fellows," as he calls them, are very "fast," and that
they are "all known in town, very well known indeed"--a piece of
information you will construe in the case of the heavy swell to mean,
better known than trusted.

When he is on full pay, the heavy swell is known to the three old women
and five desperate daughters who compose good society in country
quarters. He affects a patronizing air at small tea-parties, and is
wonderfully run after by wretched un-idea'd girls, that is, by ten girls
in twelve; he is eternally striving to get upon the "staff," or anyhow
to shirk his regimental duty; he is a whelp towards the men under his
command, and has a grand idea of spurs, steel scabbards, and flogging;
to his superiors he is a spaniel, to his brother officers an intolerable
ass; he makes the mess-room a perfect hell with his vanity, puppyism,
and senseless bibble-babble.

On leave, or half-pay, he "mounts mustaches," to help the hussar and
light-dragoon idea, or to delude the ignorant into a belief that he may
possibly belong to the household cavalry. He hangs about doors of
military clubs, with a whip in his hand; talks very loud at the "Tiger"
or the "Rag and famish," and never has done shouting to the waiter to
bring him a "Peerage;" carries the "Red Book" and "Book of Heraldry" in
his pocket; sees whence people come, and where they go, and makes them
out somehow; in short, he is regarded with a thrill of horror by people
of fashion, fast or slow, civil or military.

The Civil Heavy Swell affects fashionable curricles, and enjoys all the
consideration a pair of good horses can give. He rides a blood bay in
Rotten Row, but rides badly, and is detected by galloping, or some other
solecism; his dress and liveries are always overdone, the money shows on
every thing about him. He has familiar abbreviations for the names of
all the fast men about town; calls this Lord "Jimmy," 'tother Chess, a
third Dolly, and thinks he knows them; keeps an expensive mistress,
because "Jimmy" and Chess are supposed to do the same, and when he is
out of the way, his mistress has some of the fast fellows to supper, at
the heavy swell's expense. He settles the point whether claret is to be
drank from a jug or black bottle, and retails the merits of a _plateau_
or _epergne_ he saw, when last he dined with a "fellow" in Belgrave

The _Foreigneering_ Heavy Swell has much more spirit, talent, and
manner, than the home-grown article; but he is poor in a like ratio, and
is therefore obliged to feather his nest by denuding the pigeon tribe of
their metallic plumage. He is familiarly known to all the fast fellows,
who _cut_ him, however, as soon as they marry, but is not accounted good
_ton_ by heads of families. He is liked at the Hells and Clubs, where he
has a knack of distinguishing himself without presumption or
affectation. He is a dresser by right divine, and dresses ridiculously.
The fashionable fellows affect loudly to applaud his taste, and laugh to
see the vulgar imitate the foreigneering swell. He is the idol of
equivocal women, and condescends to patronize unpresentable
gentility-mongers. He is not unhappy at heart, like the indigenous heavy
swell, but enjoys his intimacy with the fast fellows, and uses it.

There is an infallible test we should advise you to apply, whenever you
are bored to desperation by any of these heavy swells. When he talks of
"my friend, the Duke of Bayswater," ask him, in a quiet tone, where he
last met the _Duchess_. If he says Hyde-Park (meaning the Earl of) is
an honest good fellow, enquire whether he prefers Lady Mary or Lady
Seraphina Serpentine. This drops him like a shot--he can't get over it.

It is a rule in good society that you know the set only when you know
the women of that set; however you may work your way among the men,
whatever you may do at the Hells and Clubs, goes for nothing--the
_women_ stamp you counterfeit or current, and--

     "Not to know _them_, argues yourself unknown."

       *       *       *       *       *


     The Military Operations at Cabul, which ended in the Retreat
     and Destruction of the British Army, January 1842; with a
     Journal of Imprisonment in Affghanistan. By Lieutenant Vincent
     Eyre, Bengal Artillery, late Deputy-Commissary of Ordnance at
     Cabul. London: John Murray.

This is the first connected account that has appeared of the military
disasters that befell the British army at Cabul--by far the most signal
reverse our arms have ever sustained in Asia. The narrative is full of a
deep and painful interest, which becomes more and more intense as we
approach the closing catastrophe. The simple detail of the daily
occurrences stirs up our strongest feelings of indignation, pity; scorn,
admiration, horror, and grief. The tale is told without art, or any
attempt at artificial ornament, and in a spirit of manly and
gentlemanlike forbearance from angry comment or invective, that is
highly creditable to the author, and gives us a very favourable opinion
both of his head and of his heart.

That a British army of nearly six thousand fighting men--occupying a
position chosen and fortified by our own officers, and having
possession, within two miles of this fortified cantonment, of a strong
citadel commanding the greater part of the town of Cabul, a small
portion only of whose population rose against us at the commencement of
the revolt--should not only have made no vigorous effort to crush the
insurrection; but that it should ultimately have been driven by an
undisciplined Asiatic mob, destitute of artillery, and which never
appears to have collected in one place above 10,000 men, to seek safety
in a humiliating capitulation, by which it surrendered the greater part
of its artillery, military stores, and treasure, and undertook to
evacuate the whole country on condition of receiving a safe conduct from
the rebel chiefs, on whose faith they placed, and could place, no
reliance; and finally, that, of about 4500 armed soldiers and twelve
thousand camp-followers, many of whom were also armed, who set out from
Cabul, only one man, and he wounded, should have arrived at Jellalabad;
is an amount of misfortune so far exceeding every rational anticipation
of evil, that we should have been entitled to assume that these
unparalleled military disasters arose from a series of unparalleled
errors, even if we had not had, as we now have, the authority of Lord
Ellenborough for asserting the fact.

But every nation, and more particularly the British nation, is little
inclined to pardon the men under whose command any portion of its army
or of its navy may have been beaten. Great Britain, reposing entire
confidence in the courage of her men, and little accustomed to see them
overthrown, is keenly jealous of the reputation of her forces; and, as
she is ever prompt to reward military excellence and success, she heaps
unmeasured obloquy on those who may have subjected her to the
degradation of defeat. When our forces have encountered a reverse, or
even when the success has not been commensurate with the hopes that had
been indulged; the public mind has ever been prone to condemn the
commanders; and wherever there has been reason to believe that errors
have been committed which have led to disaster, there has been little
disposition to make any allowances for the circumstances of the case, or
for the fallibility of man; but, on the contrary, the nation has too
often evinced a fierce desire to punish the leaders for the
mortification the country has been made to endure.

This feeling may tend to elevate the standard of military character, but
it must at the same time preclude the probability of calm or impartial
examination, so far as the great body of the nation is concerned; and it
is therefore the more obviously incumbent on those who, from a more
intimate knowledge of the facts, or from habits of more deliberate
investigation, are not carried away by the tide of popular indignation
and invective, to weigh the circumstances with conscientious caution,
and to await the result of judicial enquiry before they venture to
apportion the blame or even to estimate its amount.

     "The following notes," says Lieutenant Eyre in his preface,
     "were penned to relieve the monotony of an Affghan prison,
     while yet the events which they record continued fresh in my
     memory. I now give them publicity, in the belief that the
     information which they contain on the dreadful scenes lately
     enacted in Affghanistan, though clothed in a homely garb, will
     scarcely fail to be acceptable to many of my countrymen, both
     in India and England, who may be ignorant of the chief
     particulars. The time, from the 2d November 1841, on which day
     the sudden popular outbreak at Cabul took place, to the 13th
     January 1842, which witnessed the annihilation of the last
     small remnant of our unhappy force at Gundamuk, was one
     continued tragedy. The massacre of Sir Alexander Burnes and his
     associates,--the loss of our commissariat fort--the defeat of
     our troops under Brigadier Shelton at Beymaroo--the treacherous
     assassination of Sir William Macnaghten, our envoy and
     minister--and lastly, the disastrous retreat and utter
     destruction of a force consisting of 5000 fighting men and
     upwards of 12,000 camp-followers,--are events which will
     assuredly rouse the British Lion from his repose, and excite an
     indignant spirit of enquiry in every breast. Men will not be
     satisfied, in this case, with a bare statement of the facts,
     but they will doubtless require to be made acquainted with the
     causes which brought about such awful effects. We have lost six
     entire regiments of infantry, three companies of sappers, a
     troop of European horse-artillery, half the mountain-train
     battery, nearly a whole regiment of regular cavalry, and four
     squadrons of irregular horse, besides a well-stocked magazine,
     which _alone_, taking into consideration the cost of transport
     up to Cabul, may be estimated at nearly a million sterling.
     From first to last, not less than 104 British officers have
     fallen: their names will be found in the Appendix. I glance but
     slightly at the _political_ events of this period, not having
     been one of the initiated; and I do not pretend to enter into
     _minute_ particulars with regard to even our _military_
     transactions, more especially those not immediately connected
     with the sad catastrophe which it has been my ill fortune to
     witness, and whereof I now endeavour to portray the leading
     features. In these notes I have been careful to state only what
     I know to be undeniable facts. I have set down nothing on mere
     hearsay evidence, nor any thing which cannot be attested by
     living witnesses or by existing documentary evidence. In
     treating of matters which occurred under my personal
     observation, it has been difficult to avoid _altogether_ the
     occasional expression of my own individual opinion: but I hope
     it will be found that I have made no observations bearing hard
     on men or measures, that are either uncalled for, or will not
     stand the test of future investigation."

After the surrender of Dost Mahomed Khan, there remained in Affghanistan
no chief who possessed a dominant power or influence that made him
formidable to the government of Shah Shoojah, or to his English allies;
and the kingdom of Cabul seemed to be gradually, though slowly,
subsiding into comparative tranquillity. In the summer of the year 1841,
the authority of the sovereign appears to have been acknowledged in
almost every part of his dominions. A partial revolt of the Giljyes was
speedily suppressed by our troops. The Kohistan, or more correctly,
Koohdaman of Cabul, a mountainous tract, inhabited by a warlike people,
over whom the authority of the governments of the country had long been
imperfect and precarious, had submitted, or had ceased to resist. A
detachment from the British force at Kandahar, after defeating Akter
Khan, who had been instigated by the Vezeer of Herat to rebel, swept the
country of Zemindawer, drove Akter Khan a fugitive to Herat, received
the submission of all the chiefs in that part of the kingdom, and
secured the persons of such as it was not thought prudent to leave at
large in those districts.

The Shah's authority was not believed to be so firmly established, that
both Sir William Macnaghten, the British envoy at Cabul, who had
recently been appointed governor of Bombay, and Sir Alexander Burnes, on
whom the duties of the envoy would have devolved on Sir W. Macnaghten's
departure, thought that the time had arrived when the amount of the
British force in Affghanistan, which was so heavy a charge upon the
revenues of India, might with safety be reduced, and General Sale's
brigade was ordered to hold itself in readiness to march to Jellalabad,
on its route to India.

Even at this time, however, Major Pottinger, the political agent in
Kohistan, including, we presume, the Koohdaman, thought the force at his
disposal too small to maintain the tranquillity of the district; and the
chiefs of the valley of Nijrow, or Nijrab, a valley of Kohistan Proper,
had not only refused to submit, but had harboured the restless and
disaffected who had made themselves obnoxious to the Shah's government.
But although Major Pottinger had no confidence in the good feelings of
the people of his own district to the government, and even seems to have
anticipated insurrection, no movement of that description had yet taken

Early in September, however, Captain Hay, who was with a small force in
the Zoormut valley, situated nearly west from Ghuznee and south from
Cabul, having been induced by the representations of Moollah Momin--the
collector of the revenues, who was a Barikzye, and a near relation of
one of the leaders of the insurrection, in which he afterwards himself
took an active part--to move against a fort in which the murderers of
Colonel Herring were said to have taken shelter, the inhabitants
resisted his demands, and fired upon the troops. His force was found
insufficient to reduce it, and he was obliged to retire; a stronger
force was therefore sent, on the approach of which the people fled to
the hills, and the forts they had evacuated were blown up. This
occurrence was not calculated seriously to disturb the confident hopes
that were entertained of the permanent tranquillity of the country; but
before the force employed upon that expedition had returned to Cabul, a
formidable insurrection had broken out in another quarter.

     "Early in October," says Lieutenant Eyre, "three Giljye chiefs
     of note suddenly quitted Cabul, after plundering a rich cafila
     at Tezeen, and took up a strong position in the difficult
     defile of Khoord-Cabul, about ten miles from the capital, thus
     blocking up the pass, and cutting off our communication with
     Hindostan. Intelligence had not very long previously been
     received that Mahomed Akber Khan, second son of the ex-ruler
     Dost Mahomed Khan, had arrived at Bameean from Khooloom, for
     the supposed purpose of carrying on intrigues against the
     Government. It is remarkable that he is nearly connected by
     marriage with Mahomed Shah Khan and Dost Mahomed Khan, also
     Giljyes, who almost immediately joined the above-mentioned
     chiefs. Mahomed Akber had, since the deposition of his father,
     never ceased to foster feelings of intense hatred towards the
     English nation; and, though often urged by the fallen ruler to
     deliver himself up, had resolutely preferred the life of a
     houseless exile to one of mean dependence on the bounty of his
     enemies. It seems, therefore, in the highest degree probable
     that this hostile movement on the part of the Eastern Giljyes
     was the result of his influence over them, combined with other
     causes which will be hereafter mentioned."

The other causes here alluded to, appear to be "the deep offence given
to the Giljyes by the ill-advised reduction of their annual stipends, a
measure which had been forced upon Sir William Macnaghten by Lord
Auckland. This they considered, and with some show of justice, as a
breach of faith on the part of our Government."

We presume that it is not Mr Eyre's intention to assert that this
particular measure was ordered by Lord Auckland, but merely that the
rigid economy enforced by his lordship, led the Envoy to have recourse
to this measure as one of the means by which the general expenditure
might be diminished.

Formidable as this revolt of the Giljyes was found to be, we are led to
suspect that both Sir W. Macnaghten and Sir A. Burnes were misled,
probably by the Shah's government, very greatly to underrate its
importance and its danger. The force under Colonel Monteath,[16] which
in the first instance was sent to suppress it, was so small that it was
not only unable to penetrate into the country it was intended to
overawe or to subdue, but it was immediately attacked in its camp,
within ten miles of Cabul, and lost thirty-five sepoys killed and

     [16] 35th Reg. N.I.; 100 sappers; 1 squadron 5th Cav.; 2 guns.

Two days afterwards, the 11th October, General Sale marched from Cabul
with H.M.'s 13th light infantry, to join Colonel Monteath's camp at
Bootkhak; and the following morning the whole proceeded to force the
pass of Khoord-Cabul, which was effected with some loss. The 13th
returned through the pass to Bootkhak, suffering from the fire of
parties which still lurked among the rocks. The remainder of the brigade
encamped at Khoord-Cabul, at the further extremity of the defile. In
this divided position the brigade remained for some days, and both camps
had to sustain night attacks from the Affghans--"that on the 35th native
infantry being peculiarly disastrous, from the treachery of the Affghan
horse, who admitted the enemy within their lines, by which our troops
were exposed to a fire from the least suspected quarter. Many of our
gallant sepoys, and Lieutenant Jenkins, thus met their death."

On the 20th October, General Sale, having been reinforced, marched to
Khoord-Cabul; "and about the 22d, the whole force there assembled, with
Captain Macgregor, political agent, marched to Tezeen, encountering much
determined opposition on the road."

"By this time it was too evident that the whole of the Eastern Giljyes
had risen in one common league against us." The treacherous proceedings
of their chief or viceroy, Humza Khan, which had for some time been
suspected, were now discovered, and he was arrested by order of Shah

     "It must be remarked," says Lieutenant Eyre, "that for some
     time previous to these overt acts of rebellion, the always
     strong and ill-repressed personal dislike of the Affghans
     towards Europeans, had been manifested in a more than usually
     open manner in and about Cabul. Officers had been insulted and
     attempts made to assassinate them. Two Europeans had been
     murdered, as also several camp-followers; but these and other
     signs of the approaching storm had unfortunately been passed
     over as mere ebullitions of private angry feeling. This
     incredulity and apathy is the more to be lamented, as it was
     pretty well known that on the occasion of the _shub-khoon_, or
     first night attack on the 35th native infantry at Bootkhak, a
     large portion of our assailants consisted of the armed
     retainers of the different men of consequence in Cabul itself,
     large parties of whom had been seen proceeding from the city to
     the scene of action on the evening of the attack, and
     afterwards returning. Although these men had to pass either
     through the heart or round the skirts of our camp at Seeah
     Sung, it was not deemed expedient even to question them, far
     less to detain them.

     "On the 26th October, General Sale started in the direction of
     Gundamuk, Captain Macgregor having half-frightened,
     half-cajoled the refractory Giljye chiefs into what proved to
     have been a most hollow truce."

On the same day, the 37th native infantry, three companies of the Shah's
sappers under Captain Walsh, and three guns of the mountain train under
Lieutenant Green, retraced their steps towards Cabul, where the sappers,
pushing on, arrived unopposed; but the rest of the detachment was
attacked on the 2d November--on the afternoon of which day, Major
Griffiths, who commanded it, received orders to force his way to Cabul,
where the insurrection had that morning broken out. His march through
the pass, and from Bootkhak to Cabul, was one continued conflict; but
the gallantry of his troops, and the excellence of his own dispositions,
enabled him to carry the whole of his wounded and baggage safe to the
cantonments at Cabul, where he arrived about three o'clock on the
morning of the 3d November, followed almost to the gates by about 3000

The causes of the insurrection in the capital are not yet fully
ascertained, or, if ascertained, they have not been made public.
Lieutenant Eyre does not attempt to account for it; but he gives us the
following memorandum of Sir W. Macnaghten's, found, we presume, amongst
his papers after his death:--

     "The immediate cause of the outbreak in the capital was a
     seditious letter addressed by Abdoollah Khan to several chiefs
     of influence at Cabul, stating that it was the design of the
     Envoy to seize and send them all to London! The principal
     rebels met on the previous night, and, relying on the
     inflammable feelings of the people of Cabul, they pretended
     that the King had issued an order to put all infidels to death;
     having previously forged an order from him for our destruction,
     by the common process of washing out the contents of a genuine
     paper, with the exception of the seal, and substituting their
     own wicked inventions."

But this invention, though it was probably one of the means employed by
the conspirators to increase the number of their associates, can hardly
be admitted to account for the insurrection. The arrival of Akber Khan
at Bameean, the revolt of the Giljyes, the previous flight of their
chiefs from Cabul, and the almost simultaneous attack of our posts in
the Koohdaman, (called by Lieutenant Eyre, Kohistan,) on the 3d
November--the attack of a party conducting prisoners from Candahar to
Ghuznee--the immediate interruption of every line of communication with
Cabul--and the selection of the season of the year the most favourable
to the success of the insurrection, with many other less important
circumstances, combine to force upon us the opinion, that the intention
to attack the Cabul force, so soon as it should have become isolated by
the approach of winter, had been entertained, and the plan of operations
concerted, for some considerable time before the insurrection broke out.
That many who wished for its success may have been slow to commit
themselves, is to be presumed, and that vigorous measures might, if
resorted to on the first day, have suppressed the revolt, is probable;
but it can hardly be doubted that we must look far deeper, and further
back, for the causes which united the Affghan nation against us.

The will of their chiefs and spiritual leaders--fanatical zeal, and
hatred of the domination of a race whom they regarded as infidels--may
have been sufficient to incite the lower orders to any acts of violence,
or even to the persevering efforts they made to extirpate the English.
In their eyes the contest would assume the character of a religious
war--of a crusade; and every man who took up arms in that cause, would
go to battle with the conviction that, if he should be slain, his soul
would go at once to paradise, and that, if he slew an enemy of the
faith, he thereby also secured to himself eternal happiness. But the
chiefs are not so full of faith; and although we would not altogether
exclude religious antipathy as an incentive, we may safely assume that
something more immediately affecting their temporal and personal
concerns must with them, or at least with the large majority, have been
the true motives of the conspiracy--of their desire to expel the English
from their country. Nor is it difficult to conceive what some of these
motives may have been. The former sovereigns of Affghanistan, even the
most firmly-established and the most vigorous, had no other means of
enforcing their commands, than by employing the forces of one part of
the nation to make their authority respected in another; but men who
were jealous of their own independence as chiefs, were not likely to aid
the sovereign in any attempt to destroy the substantial power, the
importance, or the independence of their class; and although a
refractory chief might occasionally, by the aid of his feudal enemies,
be taken or destroyed, and his property plundered, his place was filled
by a relation, and the order remained unbroken. The Affghan chiefs had
thus enjoyed, under their native governments, an amount of independence
which was incompatible with the system we introduced--supported as that
system was by our military means. These men must have seen that their
own power and importance, and even their security against the caprices
of their sovereign, could not long be preserved--that they were about to
be subjected as well as governed--to be deprived of all power to resist
the oppressions of their own government, because its will was enforced
by an army which had no sympathy with the nation, and which was
therefore ready to use its formidable strength to compel unqualified
submission to the sovereign's commands.

The British army may not have been employed to enforce any unjust
command--its movements may have been less, far less, injurious to the
countries through which it passed than those of an Affghan army would
have been, and its power in the moment of success may have been far less
abused; but still it gave a strength to the arm of the sovereign, which
was incompatible with the maintenance of the pre-existing civil and
social institutions or condition of the country, and especially of the
relative positions of the sovereign and the noble. In the measures we
adopted to establish the authority of Shah Shoojah, we attempted to
carry out a system of government which could only have been made
successful by a total revolution in the social condition of the people,
and in the relative positions of classes; and as these revolutions are
not effected in a few years, the attempt failed.[17]

     [17] The system, unpalatable as it was to the nation, might, no
     doubt, have been carried through by an overwhelming military
     force, if the country had been worth the cost; but if it was
     not intended to retain permanent possession of Affghanistan, it
     appears to us that the native government was far too much
     interfered with--that the British envoy, the British officers
     employed in the districts and provinces, and the British army,
     stood too much between the Shah and his subjects--that we were
     forming a government which it would be impossible to work in
     our absence, and creating a state of things which, the longer
     it might endure, would have made more remote the time at which
     our interference could be dispensed with.

But if the predominance of our influence and of our military power, and
the effects of the system we introduced, tended to depress the chiefs,
it must have still more injuriously affected or threatened the power of
the priesthood.

This we believe to have been one of the primary and most essential
causes of the revolt--this it was that made the insurrection spread with
such rapidity, and that finally united the whole nation against us. With
the aristocracy and the hierarchy of the country, it must have been but
a question of courage and of means--a calculation of the probability of
success; and as that probability was greatly increased by the results of
the first movement at Cabul, and by the inertness of our army after the
first outbreak, all acquired courage enough to aid in doing what all had
previously desired to see done.

But if there be any justice in this view of the state of feeling in
Affghanistan, even in the moments of its greatest tranquillity, it is
difficult to account for the confidence with which the political
authorities charged with the management of our affairs in that country
looked to the future, and the indifference with which they appear to
have regarded what now must appear to every one else to have been very
significant, and even alarming, intimations of dissaffection in Cabul,
and hostility in the neighbouring districts.

But it is time we should return to Lieutenant Eyre, whose narrative of
facts is infinitely more attractive than any speculations we could

     "At an early hour this morning, (2d November 1841,) the
     startling intelligence was brought from the city, that a
     popular outbreak had taken place; that the shops were all
     closed; and that a general attack had been made on the houses
     of all British officers residing in Cabul. About 8 A.M., a
     hurried note was received by the Envoy in cantonments from Sir
     Alexander Burnes, stating that the minds of the people had been
     strongly excited by some mischievous reports, but expressing a
     hope that he should succeed in quelling the commotion. About 9
     A.M., however, a rumour was circulated, which afterwards proved
     but too well founded, that Sir Alexander had been murdered, and
     Captain Johnson's treasury plundered. Flames were now seen to
     issue from that part of the city where they dwelt, and it was
     too apparent that the endeavour to appease the people by quiet
     means had failed, and that it would be necessary to have
     recourse to stronger measures. The report of firearms was
     incessant, and seemed to extend through the town from end to

     "Sir William Macnaghten now called upon General Elphinstone to
     act. An order was accordingly sent to Brigadier Shelton, then
     encamped at Seeah Sung, about a mile and a half distant from
     cantonments, to march forthwith to the _Bala Hissar_, or _royal
     citadel_, where his Majesty Shah Shoojah resided, commanding a
     large portion of the city, with the following troops:--viz. one
     company of H.M. 44th foot; a wing of the 54th regiment native
     infantry, under Major Ewart; the 6th regiment Shah's infantry,
     under Captain Hopkins; and four horse-artillery guns, under
     Captain Nicholl; and on arrival there, to act according to his
     own judgment, after consulting with the King.

     "The remainder of the troops encamped at Seeah Sung were at the
     same time ordered into cantonments: viz. H.M. 44th foot, under
     Lieutenant-Colonel Mackerell; two horse-artillery guns, under
     Lieutenant Waller; and Anderson's irregular horse. A messenger
     was likewise dispatched to recall the 37th native infantry from
     Khoord-Cabul without delay. The troops at this time in
     cantonments were as follows: viz. 5th regiment native infantry,
     under Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver; a wing of 54th native
     infantry; five six-pounder field guns, with a detachment of the
     Shah's artillery, under Lieutenant Warburton; the Envoy's
     body-guard; a troop of Skinner's horse, and another of local
     horse, under Lieutenant Walker; three companies of the Shah's
     sappers, under Captain Walsh; and about twenty men of the
     Company's sappers, attached to Captain Paton,

     "Widely spread and formidable as this insurrection proved to be
     afterwards, it was at first a mere insignificant ebullition of
     discontent on the part of a few desperate and restless men,
     which military energy and promptitude ought to have crushed in
     the bud. Its commencement was an attack by certainly not 300
     men on the dwellings of Sir Alexander Burnes and Captain
     Johnson, paymaster to the Shah's force; and so little did Sir
     Alexander himself apprehend serious consequences, that he not
     only refused, on its first breaking out, to comply with the
     earnest entreaties of the wuzeer to accompany him to the Bala
     Hissar, but actually forbade his guard to fire on the
     assailants, attempting to check what he supposed to be a mere
     riot, by haranguing the attacking party from the gallery of his
     house. The result was fatal to himself; for in spite of the
     devoted gallantry of the sepoys, who composed his guard, and
     that of the paymaster's office and treasury on the opposite
     side of the street, who yielded their trust only with their
     latest breath, the latter were plundered, and his two
     companions, Lieutenant William Broadfoot of the Bengal European
     regiment, and his brother, Lieutenant Burnes of the Bombay
     army, were massacred, in common with every man, woman, and
     child found on the premises, by these bloodthirsty miscreants.
     Lieutenant Broadfoot killed five or six men with his own hand,
     before he was shot down.

     "The King, who was in the Bala Hissar, being somewhat startled
     by the increasing number of the rioters, although not at the
     time aware, so far as we can judge, of the assassination of Sir
     A. Burnes, dispatched one of his sons with a number of his
     immediate Affghan retainers, and that corps of Hindoostanees
     commonly called Campbell's regiment, with two guns, to restore
     order: no support, however, was rendered to these by our
     troops, whose leaders appeared so thunderstruck by the
     intelligence of the outbreak, as to be incapable of adopting
     more than the most puerile defensive measures. Even Sir William
     Macnaghten seemed, from a note received at this time from him
     by Captain Trevor, to apprehend little danger, as he therein
     expressed his perfect confidence as to the speedy and complete
     success of Campbell's Hindoostanees in putting an end to the
     disturbance. Such, however, was not the case; for the enemy,
     encouraged by our inaction, increased rapidly in spirit and
     numbers, and drove back the King's guard with great slaughter,
     the guns being with difficulty saved.

     "It must be understood that Captain Trevor lived at this time
     with his family in a strong _bourge_ or tower, situated by the
     river side, near the Kuzzilbash quarter, which, on the west, is
     wholly distinct from the remainder of the city. Within
     musket-shot, on the opposite side of the river, in the
     direction of the strong and populous village of Deh Affghan, is
     a fort of some size, then used as a godown, or storehouse, by
     the Shah's commissariat, part of it being occupied by Brigadier
     Anquetil, commanding the Shah's force. Close to this fort,
     divided by a narrow watercourse, was the house of Captain
     Troup, brigade-major of the Shah's force, perfectly defensible
     against musketry. Both Brigadier Anquetil and Captain Troup had
     gone out on horseback early in the morning towards cantonments,
     and were unable to return; but the above fort and house
     contained the usual guard of sepoys; and in a garden close at
     hand, called the _Yaboo-Khaneh_, or lines of the
     baggage-cattle, was a small detachment of the Shah's sappers
     and miners, and a party of Captain Ferris's juzailchees.
     Captain Trevor's tower was capable of being made good against a
     much stronger force than the rebels at this present time could
     have collected, had it been properly garrisoned.

     "As it was, the Hazirbash,[18] or King's lifeguards, were,
     under Captain Trevor, congregated round their leader, to
     protect him and his family; which duty, it will be seen, they
     well performed under very trying circumstances. For what took
     place in this quarter I beg to refer to a communication made to
     me at my request by Captain Colin Mackenzie,[19] assistant
     political agent at Peshawur, who then occupied the godown
     portion of the fort above mentioned, which will be found

     "I have already stated that Brigadier Shelton was, early in the
     day, directed to proceed with part of the Seeah Sung force to
     occupy the Bala Hissar, and, if requisite, to lead his troops
     against the insurgents. Captain Lawrence, military secretary to
     the Envoy, was at the same time sent forward to prepare the
     King for that officer's reception. Taking with him four
     troopers of the body-guard, he was galloping along the main
     road, when, shortly after crossing the river, he was suddenly
     attacked by an Affghan, who, rushing from behind a wall, made a
     desperate cut at him with a large two-handed knife. He
     dexterously avoided the blow by spurring his horse on one side;
     but, passing onwards, he was fired upon by about fifty men,
     who, having seen his approach, ran out from the Lahore gate of
     the city to intercept him. He reached the Bala Hissar safe,
     where he found the King apparently in a state of great
     agitation, he having witnessed the assault from the window of
     his palace. His Majesty expressed an eager desire to conform to
     the Envoy's wishes in all respects in this emergency.

     "Captain Lawrence was still conferring with the King, when
     Lieutenant Sturt, our executive engineer, rushed into the
     palace, stabbed in three places about the face and neck. He had
     been sent by Brigadier Shelton to make arrangements for the
     accommodation of the troops, and had reached the gate of the
     _Dewan Khaneh_, or hall of audience, when the attempt at his
     life was made by some one who had concealed himself there for
     that purpose, and who immediately effected his escape. The
     wounds were fortunately not dangerous, and Lieutenant Sturt was
     conveyed back to cantonments in the King's own palanquin, under
     a strong escort. Soon after this Brigadier Shelton's force
     arrived; but the day was suffered to pass without any thing
     being done demonstrative of British energy and power. The
     murder of our countrymen, and the spoliation of public and
     private property, was perpetrated with impunity within a mile
     of our cantonment, and under the very walls of the Bala Hissar.

     "Such an exhibition on our part taught the enemy their
     strength--confirmed against us those who, however disposed to
     join in the rebellion, had hitherto kept aloof from prudential
     motives, and ultimately encouraged the nation to unite as one
     man for our destruction.

     "It was, in fact, the crisis of all others calculated to test
     the qualities of a military commander. Whilst, however, it is
     impossible for an unprejudiced person to approve the military
     dispositions of this eventful period, it is equally our duty to
     discriminate. The most _responsible_ party is not always the
     most culpable. It would be the height of injustice to a most
     amiable and gallant officer not to notice the long course of
     painful and wearing illness, which had materially affected the
     nerves, and probably even the intellect, of General
     Elphinstone; cruelly incapacitating him, so far as he was
     personally concerned, from acting in this sudden emergency with
     the promptitude and vigour necessary for our preservation.

     "Unhappily, Sir William Macnaghten at first made light of the
     insurrection, and, by his representations as to the general
     feeling of the people towards us, not only deluded himself, but
     misled the General in council. The unwelcome truth was soon
     forced upon us, that in the whole Affghan nation we could not
     reckon on a single friend.

     "But though no active measures of aggression were taken, all
     necessary preparations were made to secure the cantonment
     against attack. It fell to my own lot to place every available
     gun in position round the works. Besides the guns already
     mentioned, we had in the magazine 6 nine-pounder iron guns, 3
     twenty-four pounder howitzers, 1 twelve-pounder ditto, and 3
     5-1/2-inch mortars; but the detail of artillerymen fell very
     short of what was required to man all these efficiently,
     consisting of only 80 Punjabees belonging to the Shah, under
     Lieutenant Warburton, very insufficiently instructed, and of
     doubtful fidelity."

     [18] Affghan horse.

     [19] The detachment under Captain Mackenzie consisted of about
     seventy juzailchees or Affghan riflemen, and thirty sappers,
     who had been left in the town in charge of the wives and
     children of the corps, all of whom were brought safe into the
     cantonments by that gallant party, who fought their way from
     the heart of the town.

     [20] "I am sorry to say that this document has not reached me
     with the rest of the manuscript. I have not struck out the
     reference, because there is hope that it still exists, and may
     yet be appended to this narrative. The loss of any thing else
     from Captain Mackenzie's pen will be regretted by all who read
     his other communication, the account of the Envoy's

The fortified cantonment occupied by the British troops was a quadrangle
of 1000 yards long by 600 broad, with round flanking bastions at each
corner, every one of which was commanded by some fort or hill. To one
end of this work was attached the Mission compound and enclosure, about
half as large as the cantonment, surrounded by a simple wall. This space
required to be defended in time of war, and it rendered the whole of one
face of the cantonment nugatory for purposes of defence. The profile of
the works themselves was weak, being in fact an ordinary field-work. But
the most strange and unaccountable circumstance recorded by Lieutenant
Eyre respecting these military arrangements, is certainly the fact, that
the commissariat stores, containing whatever the army possessed of food
or clothing, was not within the circuit of these fortified cantonments,
but in a detached and weak fort, the gate of which was commanded by
another building at a short distance. Our author thus sums up his
observations on these cantonments:--

     "In fact, we were so hemmed in on all sides, that, when the
     rebellion became general, the troops could not move out a dozen
     paces from either gate without being exposed to the fire of
     some neighbouring hostile fort, garrisoned, too, by marksmen
     who seldom missed their aim. The country around us was likewise
     full of impediments to the movements of artillery and cavalry,
     being in many places flooded, and every where closely
     intersected by deep water-cuts.

     "I cannot help adding, in conclusion, that almost all the
     calamities that befell our ill-starred force may be traced more
     or less to the defects of our position; and that our cantonment
     at Cabul, whether we look to its situation or its construction,
     must ever be spoken of as a disgrace to our military skill and

_Nov_. 3.--The 37th native infantry arrived in cantonments, as
previously stated.

     "Early in the afternoon, a detachment under Major Swayne,
     consisting of two companies 5th native infantry, one of H.M.
     44th, and two H.A. guns under Lieutenant Waller, proceeded out
     of the western gate towards the city, to effect, if possible, a
     junction at the Lahore gate with a part of Brigadier Shelton's
     force from the Bala Hissar. They drove back and defeated a
     party of the enemy who occupied the road near the Shah Bagh,
     but had to encounter a sharp fire from the Kohistan gate of the
     city, and from the walls of various enclosures, behind which a
     number of marksmen had concealed themselves, as also from the
     fort of Mahmood Khan, commanding the road along which they had
     to pass. Lieutenant Waller and several sepoys were wounded.
     Major Swayne, observing the whole line of road towards the
     Lahore gate strongly occupied by some Affghan horse and
     juzailchees, and fearing that he would be unable to effect the
     object in view with so small a force unsupported by cavalry,
     retired into cantonments. Shortly after this, a large body of
     the rebels having issued from the fort of Mahmood Khan, 900
     yards southeast of cantonments, extended themselves in a line
     along the bank of the river, displaying a flag; an iron
     nine-pounder was brought to bear on them from our southeast
     bastion, and a round or two of shrapnell caused them to seek
     shelter behind some neighbouring banks, whence, after some
     desultory firing on both sides, they retired.

     "Whatever hopes may have been entertained, up to this period,
     of a speedy termination to the insurrection, they began now to
     wax fainter every hour, and an order was dispatched to the
     officer commanding at Candahar to lose no time in sending to
     our assistance the 16th and 43d regiments native infantry,
     (which were under orders for India,) together with a troop of
     horse-artillery and half a regiment of cavalry; an order was
     likewise sent off to recall General Sale with his brigade from
     Gundamuk. Captain John Conolly, political assistant to the
     Envoy, went into the Bala Hissar early this morning, to remain
     with the King, and to render every assistance in his power to
     Brigadier Shelton."

On this day Lieutenants Maule and Wheeler were murdered at Kahdarrah in
Koohdaman; the Kohistan regiment of Affghans which they commanded,
offering no resistance to the rebels. The two officers defended
themselves resolutely for some time, but fell under the fire of the
enemy. Lieutenant Maule had been warned of his danger by a friendly
native, but refused to desert his post.

On this day also Lieutenant Rattray, Major Pottinger's assistant, was
treacherously murdered at Lughmanee, during a conference to which he had
been invited, and within sight of the small fort in which these two
gentlemen resided. This act was followed by a general insurrection in
Kohistan and Koohdaman, which terminated in the destruction of the
Goorkha regiment at Charikar, and the slaughter of all the Europeans in
that district except Major Pottinger and Lieutenant Haughton, both
severely wounded, who, with one sepoy and one or two followers,
succeeded in eluding the vigilance of the Affghan parties, who were
patrolling the roads for the purpose of intercepting them, and at length
arrived in cantonments, having actually passed at night through the town
and bazars of Cabul. For the details of this interesting and afflicting
episode in Mr Eyre's narrative, we must refer our readers to the work
itself. Major Pottinger appears on this occasion to have exhibited the
same high courage and promptitude and vigour in action, and the same
resources in difficulty, that made him conspicuous at Herat, and
Lieutenant Haughton was no unworthy companion of such a man.

     "_November_ 4.--The enemy having taken strong possession of the
     _Shah Bagh_, or King's Garden, and thrown a garrison into the
     fort of Mahomed Shereef, nearly opposite the bazar, effectually
     prevented any communication between the cantonment and
     commissariat fort, the gate of which latter was commanded by
     the gate of the Shah Bagh on the other side of the road.

     "Ensign Warren of the 5th native infantry at this time occupied
     the commissariat fort with 100 men, and having reported that he
     was very hard pressed by the enemy, and in danger of being
     completely cut off, the General, either forgetful or unaware at
     the moment of the important fact, that upon the possession of
     this fort we were entirely dependent for provisions, and
     anxious only to save the lives of men whom he believed to be in
     imminent peril, hastily gave directions that a party under the
     command of Captain Swayne, of H.M.'s 44th regiment, should
     proceed immediately to bring off Ensign Warren and his garrison
     to cantonments, abandoning the fort to the enemy. A few minutes
     previously an attempt to relieve him had been made by Ensign
     Gordon, with a company of the 37th native infantry and eleven
     camels laden with ammunition; but the party were driven back,
     and Ensign Gordon killed. Captain Swayne now accordingly
     proceeded towards the spot with two companies of H.M.'s 44th;
     scarcely had they issued from cantonments ere a sharp and
     destructive fire was poured upon them from Mahomed Shereef's
     fort which, as they proceeded, was taken up by the marksmen in
     the Shah Bagh, under whose deadly aim both officers and men
     suffered severely; Captains Swayne and Robinson of the 44th
     being killed, and Lieutenants Hallahan, Evans, and Fortye
     wounded in this disastrous business. It now seemed to the
     officer, on whom the command had devolved, impracticable to
     bring off Ensign Warren's party without risking the
     annihilation of his own, which had already sustained so rapid
     and severe a loss in officers; he therefore returned forthwith
     to cantonments. In the course of the evening another attempt
     was made by a party of the 5th light cavalry; but they
     encountered so severe a fire from the neighbouring enclosures
     as obliged them to return without effecting their desired
     object, with the loss of eight troopers killed and fourteen
     badly wounded. Captain Boyd, the assistant commissary-general,
     having meanwhile been made acquainted with the General's
     intention to give up the fort, hastened to lay before him the
     disastrous consequences that would ensue from so doing. He
     stated that the place contained, besides large supplies of
     wheat and attah, all his stores of rum, medicine, clothing,
     &c., the value of which might be estimated at four lacs of
     rupees; that to abandon such valuable property would not only
     expose the force to the immediate want of the necessaries of
     life, but would infallibly inspire the enemy with tenfold
     courage. He added that we had not above two days' supply of
     provisions in cantonments, and that neither himself nor Captain
     Johnson of the Shah's commissariat had any prospect of
     procuring them elsewhere under existing circumstances. In
     consequence of this strong representation on the part of
     Captain Boyd, the General sent immediate orders to Ensign
     Warren to hold out the fort to the last extremity. (Ensign
     Warren, it must be remarked, denied having received this note.)
     Early in the night a letter was received from him to the effect
     that he believed the enemy were busily engaged in mining one of
     the towers, and that such was the alarm among the sepoys that
     several of them had actually made their escape over the wall to
     cantonments; that the enemy were making preparations to burn
     down the gate; and that, considering the temper of his men, he
     did not expect to be able to hold out many hours longer, unless
     reinforced without delay. In reply to this he was informed
     that he would be reinforced by two A.M.

     "At about nine o'clock P.M., there was an assembly of staff and
     other officers at the General's house, when the Envoy came in
     and expressed his serious conviction, that unless Mahomed
     Shereef's fort were taken that very night, we should lose the
     commissariat fort, or at all events be unable to bring out of
     it provisions for the troops. The disaster of the morning
     rendered the General extremely unwilling to expose his officers
     and men to any similar peril; but, on the other hand, it was
     urged that the darkness of the night would nullify the enemy's
     fire, who would also most likely be taken unawares, as it was
     not the custom of the Affghans to maintain a very strict watch
     at night. A man in Captain Johnson's employ was accordingly
     sent out to reconnoitre the place. He returned in a few minutes
     with the intelligence that about twenty men were seated outside
     the fort near the gate, smoking and talking; and, from what he
     overheard of their conversation, he judged the garrison to be
     very small, and unable to resist a sudden onset. The debate was
     now resumed, but another hour passed and the General could not
     make up his mind. A second spy was dispatched, whose report
     tended to corroborate what the first had said. I was then sent
     to Lieutenant Sturt, the engineer, who was nearly recovered
     from his wounds, for his opinion. He at first expressed himself
     in favour of an immediate attack, but, on hearing that some of
     the enemy were on the watch at the gate, he judged it prudent
     to defer the assault till an early hour in the morning: this
     decided the General, though not before several hours had
     slipped away in fruitless discussion.

     "Orders were at last given for a detachment to be in readiness
     at four A.M. at the Kohistan gate; and Captain Bellew,
     deputy-assistant quartermaster-general, volunteered to blow
     open the gate; another party of H.M.'s 44th were at the same
     time to issue by a cut in the south face of the rampart, and
     march simultaneously towards the commissariat fort, to
     reinforce the garrison. Morning had, however, well dawned ere
     the men could be got under arms; and they were on the point of
     marching off, when it was reported that Ensign Warren had just
     arrived in cantonments with his garrison, having evacuated the
     fort. It seems that the enemy had actually set fire to the
     gate; and Ensign Warren, seeing no prospect of a reinforcement,
     and expecting the enemy every moment to rush in, led out his
     men by a hole which he had prepared in the wall. Being called
     upon in a public letter from the assistant adjutant-general to
     state his reasons for abandoning his post, he replied that he
     was ready to do so before a court of enquiry, which he
     requested might be assembled to investigate his conduct; it was
     not, however, deemed expedient to comply with his request.

     "It is beyond a doubt that our feeble and ineffectual defence
     of this fort, and the valuable booty it yielded, was the first
     _fatal_ blow to our supremacy at Cabul, and at once determined
     those chiefs--and more particularly the Kuzzilbashes--who had
     hitherto remained neutral, to join in the general combination
     to drive us from the country."

"_Nov_. 5.--It no sooner became generally known that the commissariat
fort, upon which we were dependent for supplies, had been abandoned,
than one universal feeling of indignation pervaded the garrison. Nor can
I describe," says Lieutenant Eyre, "the impatience of the troops, but
especially of the native portion, to be led out for its recapture--a
feeling that was by no means diminished by seeing the Affghans crossing
and re-crossing the road between the commissariat fort and the gate of
the _Shah Bagh_, laden with the provisions upon which had depended our
ability to make a protracted defence."

That the whole commissariat should have been deposited in a detached
fort is extraordinary and inexcusable, but that the garrison of that
fort should not have been reinforced, is even more unintelligible; and
that a sufficient force was not at once sent to succour and protect it
when attacked, is altogether unaccountable. General Elphinstone was
disabled by his infirmities from efficiently discharging the duties that
had devolved upon him, but he appears to have been ready to act upon the
suggestion of others. What then were his staff about?--some of them are
said to have had little difficulty or delicacy in urging their own views
upon their commander. Did they not suggest to him in time the
importance, the necessity, of saving the commissariat at all hazards?

At the suggestion of Lieutenant Eyre, it was determined to attempt the
capture of Mahomed Shereef's fort by blowing open the gate, Mr Eyre
volunteering to keep the road clear for the storming party with the
guns. "The General agreed; a storming party under Major Swayne, 6th
native infantry, was ordered; the powder bags were got ready, and at
noon we issued from the western gate." "For twenty minutes the guns were
worked under a very sharp fire from the fort;" but "Major Swayne,
instead of rushing forward with his men as had been agreed, had in the
mean time remained stationary, under cover of the wall by the
road-side." The General, seeing that the attempt had failed, recalled
the troops into cantonments.

"_Nov_. 6.--It was now determined to take the fort of Mahomed Shereef by
regular breach and assault." A practicable breach was effected, and a
storming party composed of one company H.M. 44th, under Ensign Raban,
one ditto 5th native infantry, under Lieutenant Deas, and one ditto 37th
native infantry, under Lieutenant Steer, the whole commanded by Major
Griffiths, speedily carried the place. "Poor Raban was shot through the
heart when conspicuously waving a flag on the summit of the breach."

As this fort adjoined the Shah Bagh, it was deemed advisable to dislodge
the enemy from the latter if possible. This was partially effected, and,
had advantage been taken of the opportunity to occupy the buildings of
the garden gateway, "immediate re-possession could have been taken of
the commissariat fort opposite, which had not yet been emptied of half
its contents."

In the mean time, our cavalry were engaged in an affair with the enemy's
horse, in which we appear to have had the advantage. "The officers
gallantly headed their men, and encountered about an equal number of the
enemy who advanced to meet them. A hand-to-hand encounter took place,
which ended in the Affghan horse retreating to the plain, leaving the
hill in our possession. In this affair, Captain Anderson personally
engaged and slew the brother in-law of Abdoolah Khan."

But the Affghans collected from various quarters; the juzailchees,[21]
under Captain Mackenzie, were driven with great loss from the Shah Bagh
which they had entered; and a gun which had been employed to clear that
enclosure was with difficulty saved. Our troops having been drawn up on
the plain, remained prepared to receive an attack from the enemy, who
gradually retired as the night closed in.

     [21] Affghan riflemen.

_Nov_. 8.--An attempt was made by the enemy to mine a tower of the fort
that had been taken, which they could not have done had the gate of the
Shah Bagh been occupied. The chief cause of anxiety now was the empty
state of the granary. Even with high bribes and liberal payment, the
Envoy could not procure sufficient for daily consumption. The plan of
the enemy now was to starve us out, and the chiefs exerted all their
influence to prevent our being supplied.

_Nov_. 9.--The General's weak state of health rendered it necessary to
relieve him from the command of the garrison, and at the earnest request
of the Envoy, Brigadier Shelton was summoned from the Bala Hissar, "in
the hope that, by heartily co-operating with the Envoy and General, he
would strengthen their hands and rouse the sinking confidence of the
troops. He entered cantonments this morning, bringing with him one H.A.
gun, one mountain-train ditto, one company H.M.'s 44th, the Shah's 6th
infantry, and a small supply of attah (flour.)"

     "_November_ 10.--Henceforward Brigadier Shelton bore a
     conspicuous part in the drama, upon the issue of which so much
     depended. He had, however, from the very first, seemed to
     despair of the force being able to hold out the winter at
     Cabul, and strenuously advocated an immediate retreat to

     "This sort of despondency proved, unhappily, very infectious.
     It soon spread its baneful influence among the officers, and
     was by them communicated to the soldiery. The number of
     _croakers_ in garrison became perfectly frightful, lugubrious
     looks and dismal prophecies being encountered every where. The
     severe losses sustained by H.M.'s 44th under Captain Swayne, on
     the 4th instant, had very much discouraged the men of that
     regiment; and it is a lamentable fact that some of those
     European soldiers, who were naturally expected to exhibit to
     their native brethren in arms an example of endurance and
     fortitude, were among the first to loose confidence, and give
     vent to feelings of discontent at the duties imposed on them.
     The evil seed, once sprung up, became more and more difficult
     to eradicate, showing daily more and more how completely
     demoralizing to the British soldier is the very idea of a

     "Sir William Macnaghten and his suite were altogether opposed
     to Brigadier Shelton in this matter, it being in his (the
     Envoy's) estimation a duty we owed the Government to retain our
     post, at whatsoever risk. This difference of opinion, on a
     question of such vital importance, was attended with unhappy
     results, inasmuch as it deprived the General, in his hour of
     need, of the strength which unanimity imparts, and produced an
     uncommunicative and disheartening reserve in an emergency which
     demanded the freest interchange of counsel and ideas."

On the morning of this day, large parties of the enemy's horse and foot
occupied the heights to the east and to the west of the cantonments,
which, it was supposed, they intended to assault. No attack was made;
but "on the eastern quarter, parties of the enemy, moving down into the
plain, occupied all the forts in that direction. ... At this time, not
above two days' provisions remained in garrison; and it was very clear,
that unless the enemy were quickly driven out from their new possession,
we should soon be completely hemmed in on all sides." At the Envoy's
urgent desire, he taking the entire responsibility on himself, the
General ordered a force, under Brigadier Shelton, to storm the
Rikabashee fort, which was within musket-shot of the cantonments, and
from which a galling fire had been poured into the Mission compound by
the Affghans. About noon, the troops assembled at the eastern gate; a
storming party of two companies from each regiment taking the lead,
preceded by Captain Bellew, who hurried forward to blow open the
gate--but missing the gate, he blew open a small wicket, through which
not more than two or three men could enter abreast, and these in a
stooping posture. A sharp fire was kept up from the walls, and many of
the bravest fell in attempting to force their entrance through the
wicket; but Colonel Mackerell of the 44th, and Lieutenant Bird of the
Shah's 6th infantry, with a handful of Europeans and a few sepoys,
forced their way in--the garrison fled through the gate which was at the
opposite side, and Colonel Mackerell and his little party closed it,
securing the chain with a bayonet; but, at this moment, some Affghan
horse charged round the corner--the cry of cavalry was raised--"the
Europeans gave way simultaneously with the sepoys--a bugler of the 6th
infantry, through mistake, sounded the retreat--and it became for a
time, a scene of _sauve qui peut_." In vain did the officers endeavour
to rally the men, and to lead them back to the rescue of their
commanding-officer and their comrades; only one man, private Stewart of
the 44th, listened to the appeal and returned.

"Let me here (says Lieutenant Eyre) do Brigadier Shelton justice: his
acknowledged courage redeemed the day." After great efforts, at last he
rallied them--again advancing to the attack, again they faltered. A
third time did the Brigadier bring on his men to the assault, which now
proved successful; but while this disgraceful scene was passing outside
the fort, the enemy had forced their way into it, and had cut to pieces
Colonel Mackerell and all his little party, except Lieutenant Bird, who,
with one sepoy, was found in a barricaded apartment, where these two
brave men had defended themselves till the return of the troops, killing
above thirty of the enemy by the fire of their two muskets.

Our loss on this occasion was not less than 200 killed and wounded; but
the results of this success, though dearly purchased, were important.
Four neighbouring forts were immediately evacuated by the enemy, and
occupied by our troops: they were found to contain 1400 maunds of grain,
of which about one-half was removed into cantonments immediately; but
Brigadier Shelton not having thought it prudent to place a guard for the
protection of the remainder, it was carried off during the night by the
Affghans. "Permanent possession was, however, taken of the Rikabashee
and Zoolfikar forts, and the towers of the remainder were blown up on
the following day."

It cannot fail to excite surprise, that these forts, which do not seem
to have been occupied by the enemy till the 10th, were not either
occupied or destroyed by the British troops before that day.

_Nov_. 13.--The enemy appeared in great force on the western heights,
where, having posted two guns, they fired into cantonments with
considerable precision. At the entreaty of the Envoy, it was determined
to attack them--a force, under Brigadier Shelton, moved out for that
purpose--the advance, under Major Thain, ascended the hill with great
gallantry; "but the enemy resolutely stood their ground at the summit of
the ridge, and unflinchingly received the discharge of our musketry,
which, strange to say, even at the short range of ten or twelve yards,
did little or no execution."

The fire of our guns, however, threw the Affghans into confusion. A
charge of cavalry drove them up the hill, and the infantry advancing,
carried the height, the enemy retreating along the ridge, closely
followed by our troops, and abandoning their guns to us; but, owing to
the misconduct of the troops, only one of them was carried away, the men
refusing to advance to drag off the other, which was therefore spiked by
Lieutenant Eyre, with the aid of one artilleryman.

     "This was the last success our arms were destined to
     experience. Henceforward it becomes my weary task to relate a
     catalogue of errors, disasters, and difficulties, which,
     following close upon each other, disgusted our officers,
     disheartened our soldiers, and finally sunk us all into
     irretrievable ruin, as though Heaven itself, by a combination
     of evil circumstances, for its own inscrutable purposes, had
     planned our downfall.

     "_November 16th_.--The impression made by the enemy by the
     action of the 13th was so far salutary, that they did not
     venture to annoy us again for several days. Advantage was taken
     of this respite to throw magazine supplies from time to time
     into the Bala Hissar, a duty which was ably performed by
     Lieutenant Walker, with a resalah of irregular horse, under
     cover of night. But even in this short interval of comparative
     rest, such was the wretched construction of the cantonment,
     that the mere ordinary routine of garrison duty, and the
     necessity of closely manning our long line of rampart both by
     day and night, was a severe trial to the health and patience of
     the troops; especially now that the winter began to show
     symptoms of unusual severity. There seemed, indeed, every
     probability of an early fall of snow, to which all looked
     forward with dread, as the harbinger of fresh difficulties and
     of augmented suffering.

     "These considerations, and the manifest superiority of the Bala
     Hissar as a military position, led to the early discussion of
     the expediency of abandoning the cantonment, and consolidating
     our forces in the above-mentioned stronghold. The Envoy himself
     was, from the first, greatly in favour of this move, until
     overruled by the many objections urged against it by the
     military authorities; to which, as will be seen by a letter
     from him presently quoted, he learned by degrees to attach some
     weight himself; but to the very last it was a measure that had
     many advocates, and I venture to state my own firm belief that,
     had we at this time moved into the Bala Hissar, Cabul would
     have been still in our possession.

     "But Brigadier Shelton having firmly set his face against the
     movement from the first moment of its proposition, all serious
     idea of it was gradually abandoned, though it continued to the
     very last a subject of common discussion."

"_Nov_. 18. Accounts were this day received from Jellalabad, that
General Sale, having sallied from the town, had repulsed the enemy with
considerable loss.... The hope of his return has tended much to support
our spirits; our disappointment was therefore great, to learn that all
expectation of aid from that quarter was at an end. Our eyes were now
turned towards the Kandahar force as our last resource though an advance
from that quarter seemed scarcely practicable so late in the year."

The propriety of attacking Mahomed Khan's fort, the possession of which
would have opened an easy communication with the Bala Hissar, was
discussed; but, on some sudden objection raised by Lieutenant Sturt of
the engineers, the project was abandoned.

On the 19th, a letter was addressed by the Envoy to the General, the
object of which seems not to be very apparent. He raises objections to a
retreat either to Jellalabad or to the Bala Hissar, and expresses a
decided objection to abandon the cantonment under any circumstances, if
food can be procured; but, nevertheless, it is sufficiently evident
that his hopes of successful resistance had even now become feeble, and
he refers to the possibility that succours may arrive from Kandahar, or
that "something might turn up in our favour."

The village of Beymaroo, (or Husbandless, from a beautiful virgin who
was nursed there,) within half a mile of the cantonments, had been our
chief source of supply, to which the enemy had in some measure put a
stop by occupying it every morning. It was therefore determined to
endeavour to anticipate them by taking possession of it before their
arrival. For this purpose, a party moved out under Major Swayne of the
5th native infantry; but the Major, "it would seem, by his own account,
found the village already occupied, and the entrance blocked up in such
a manner that he considered it out of his power to force a passage." It
does not appear that the attempt was made. Later in the day there was
some skirmishing in the plain, in the course of which Lieutenant Eyre
was wounded.

"It is worthy of note that Mahomed Akber Khan, second son of the late
Ameer Dost Mahomed Khan, arrived in Cabul this night (22d Nov.) from
Bameean. This man was destined to exercise an evil influence over our
future fortunes. The crisis of our struggle was already nigh at hand."

"_Nov_. 23.--This day decided the fate of the Cabul force." It had been
determined by a council, at the special recommendation of the Envoy,
that a force under Brigadier Shelton should storm the village of
Beymaroo, and maintain the hill above it against any numbers of the
enemy that might appear. At two A.M., the troops[22] moved out of
cantonments, ascended the hill by the gorge, dragging up the gun, and
moved along the ridge to a point overlooking the village. A sharp fire
of grape created great confusion, and it was suggested by Captain Bellew
and others to General Shelton, to storm the village, while the evident
panic of the enemy lasted. To this the Brigadier did not accede.

     [22] Five companies 44th; six companies 5th native infantry;
     six companies 37th native infantry; 100 sappers; 2-1/2
     squadrons cavalry; one gun.

When day broke, the enemy, whose ammunition had failed, were seen
hurrying from the village--not 40 men remained. A storming party, under
Majors Swayne and Kershaw, was ordered to carry the village; but Major
Swayne missed the gate, which was open, and arrived at a barricaded
wicket, which he had no means of forcing. Major Swayne was wounded, and
lost some men, and was ultimately recalled. Leaving a reserve of three
companies of the 37th native infantry, under Major Kershaw, at the point
overhanging Beymaroo, the Brigadier moved back with the rest of the
troops and the gun to the part of the hill which overlooked the gorge.
It was suggested to raise a sungar or breastwork to protect the troops,
for which purpose the sappers had been taken out, but it was not done.
Immense numbers of the enemy, issuing from the city, had now crowned the
opposite hill--in all, probably 10,000 men. Our skirmishers were kept
out with great difficulty, and chiefly by the exertions and example of
Colonel Oliver. The remainder of the troops were formed into two
squares, and the cavalry drawn up _en masse_ immediately in their rear,
and all suffered severely--the vent of the only gun became too hot to be
served. A party of cavalry under Lieutenant Walker was recalled to
prevent its destruction, and a demonstration of the Affghan cavalry on
our right flank, which had been exposed by the recall of Lieutenant
Walker, was repulsed by a fire of shrapnell, which mortally wounded a
chief of consequence. The enemy surrounded the troops on three sides.
The men were faint with fatigue and thirst--the Affghan skirmishers
pressed on, and our's gave way. The men could not be got to charge
bayonets. The enemy made a rush at the guns, the cavalry were ordered to
charge, but would not follow their officers. The first square and the
cavalry gave way, and were with difficulty rallied behind the second
square, leaving the gun in the hands of the enemy, who immediately
carried off the limber and horses. News of Abdoolah Khan's wound spread
amongst the Affghans, who now retired. Our men resumed courage, and
regained possession of the gun; and fresh ammunition having arrived from
cantonments, it again opened on the enemy: but our cavalry would not
act, and the infantry were too much exhausted and disheartened to make a
forward movement, and too few in number. The whole force of the enemy
came on with renewed vigour--the front of the advanced square had been
literally mowed down, and most of the gallant artillerymen had fallen.
The gun was scarcely limbered up preparatory to retreat, when a rush
from the Ghazees broke the first square. All order was at an end, the
entreaties and commands of the officers were unheeded, and an utter rout
ensued down the hill towards the cantonments, the enemy's cavalry making
a fearful slaughter among the unresisting fugitives. The retreat of
Major Kershaw's party was cut off, and his men were nearly all
destroyed. The mingled tide of flight and pursuit seemed to be about to
enter the cantonments together; but the pursuers were checked by the
fire of the Shah's 5th infantry and the juzailchees, and by a charge of
a fresh troop of cavalry under Lieutenant Hardyman, and fifteen or
twenty of his own men rallied by Lieutenant Walker, who fell in that
encounter. Osman Khan, too, a chief whose men were amongst the foremost,
voluntarily halted them and drew them off, "which may be reckoned,
indeed, (says Lieutenant Eyre,) the chief reason why _all_ of our people
who on that day went forth to battle were not destroyed." The gun and
the second limber which had arrived from the cantonments, in attempting
to gallop down hill, was overturned and lost. "Our loss was
tremendous--the greater part of the wounded, including Colonel Oliver,
having been left in the field, where they were miserably cut to

     [23] In Mr Eyre's observations on this disastrous affair, he
     enumerates six errors, which he says must present themselves to
     the most unpractised military eye. "The first, and perhaps the
     most fatal mistake of all, was the taking only one gun;" but he
     admits that there was only one gun ready, and that, if the
     Brigadier had waited for the second, he must have postponed the
     enterprise for a day. This would probably have been the more
     prudent course.

     The second error was, that advantage was not taken of the panic
     in the village, to storm it at once in the dark; but it appears
     from his own account, that there were not more than forty men
     remaining in the village when it was attacked, after daylight,
     and that the chief cause of the failure of that attack, was
     Major Swayne's having missed the gate, a misfortune which was,
     certainly, at least as likely to have occurred in the dark.

     The third was, that the sappers were not employed to raise a
     breastwork for the protection of the troops. This objection
     appears to be well founded.

     The fourth was, that the infantry were formed into squares, to
     resist the distant fire of infantry, on ground over which no
     cavalry could have charged with effect. It appears to be so
     utterly unintelligible that any officer should have been guilty
     of so manifest an absurdity, that the circumstances seem to
     require further elucidation; but that the formation was
     unfortunate, is sufficiently obvious.

     Fifthly, that the position chosen for the cavalry was
     erroneous; and sixthly, that the retreat was too long deferred.
     Both these objections appear to be just.

Thus terminated in disaster the military struggle at Cabul, and then
commenced that series of negotiations not less disastrous, which led to
the murder of the Envoy, to the retreat of the army, and to its ultimate
annihilation. In Lieutenant Eyre's account of their military operations,
we look in vain for any evidence of promptitude, vigour, or decision,
skill or judgment, in the commanders; and we have abundant evidence of a
lamentable want of discipline and proper spirit in the troops,
especially amongst the Europeans. Instances of high personal courage and
gallantry amongst the officers are numerous, and they always will be,
when the occasion requires them; but if the facts of this narrative had
been given without the names, no man would have recognised in it the
operations of a British army.

     "_Nov_. 24.--Our troops (says Eyre) had now lost all
     confidence; and even such of the officers as had hitherto
     indulged the hope of a favourable turn in our affairs, began at
     last reluctantly to entertain gloomy forebodings as to our
     future fate. Our force resembled a ship in danger of wrecking
     among rocks and shoals, for want of an able pilot to guide it
     safely through them. Even now, at the eleventh hour, had the
     helm of affairs been grasped by a hand competent to the
     important task, we might perhaps have steered clear of
     destruction; but, in the absence of any such deliverer, it was
     but too evident that Heaven alone could save us by some
     unforeseen interposition. The spirit of the men was gone; the
     influence of the officers over them declined daily; and that
     boasted discipline, which alone renders a handful of our troops
     superior to an irregular multitude, began fast to disappear
     from among us. The enemy, on the other hand, waxed bolder every
     day and every hour; nor was it long ere we got accustomed to be
     bearded with impunity from under the very ramparts of our

     "Never were troops exposed to greater hardships and dangers;
     yet, sad to say, never did soldiers shed their blood with less
     beneficial result than during the investment of the British
     lines at Cabul."

Captain Conolly now wrote from the Bala Hissar, urging an immediate
retreat thither; "but the old objections were still urged against the
measure by Brigadier Shelton and others," though several of the chief
military, and all the political officers, approved of it. Shah Shoojah
was impatient to receive them.

The door to negotiation was opened by a letter to the Envoy from Osman
Khan Barukzye, a near relation of the new king, Nuwab Mahomed Zuman
Khan, who had sheltered Captain Drummond in his own house since the
first day of the outbreak. He took credit to himself for having checked
the ardour of his followers on the preceding day, and having thus saved
the British force from destruction; he declared that the chiefs only
desired we should quietly evacuate the country, leaving them to govern
it according to their own rules, and with a king of their own choosing.
The General, on being referred to, was of opinion that the cantonments
could not be defended throughout the winter, and approved of opening a
negotiation on the basis of the evacuation of the country. On the 27th,
two deputies were sent by the assembled chiefs to confer with Sir W.
Macnaghten; but the terms they proposed were such as he could not
accept. The deputies took leave of the Envoy, with the exclamation, that
"we should meet again in battle." "We shall at all events meet," replied
Sir William, "at the day of judgment."

At night the Envoy received a letter, proposing "that we should deliver
up Shah Shoojah and all his family--lay down our arms, and make an
unconditional surrender--when they might, perhaps, be induced to spare
our lives, and allow us to leave the country on condition of never

The Envoy replied, "that these terms were too dishonourable to be
entertained for a moment; and that, if they were persisted in, he must
again appeal to arms, leaving the result to the God of battles."

Active hostilities were not renewed till the 1st of December, when a
desperate effort was made by the enemy to gain possession of the Bala
Hissar; but they were repulsed by Major Ewart with considerable
slaughter. On the 4th, they cannonaded the cantonment from the Beymaroo
hills, but did little mischief, and at night they made an unsuccessful
attempt on Mahomed Shereef's fort. On the 5th, they completed, without
opposition, the destruction of the bridge over the Cabul river. On the
6th, the garrison of Mahomed Shereef's fort disgracefully abandoned it,
the men of the 44th apparently being the first to fly; and a garrison of
the same regiment, in the bazar village, was with difficulty restrained
from following their example. On the 7th, this post of honour was
occupied by the 37th native infantry; the 44th, who had hitherto been
intrusted with it, being no longer considered worthy to retain it.

It is but justice to Mr Eyre to give in his own words some remarks which
he has thought it right to make, with reference to what he has recorded
of the conduct of that unhappy regiment:--

     "In the course of this narrative, I have been compelled by
     stern truth to note down facts nearly affecting the honour and
     interests of a British regiment. It may, or rather I fear it
     must, inevitably happen, that my unreserved statements of the
     Cabul occurrences will prove unacceptable to many, whose
     private or public feelings are interested in glossing over or
     suppressing the numerous errors committed and censures
     deservedly incurred. But my heart tells me that no paltry
     motives of rivalry or malice influence my pen; rather a sincere
     and honest desire to benefit the public service, by pointing
     out the rocks on which our reputation was wrecked, the means by
     which our honour was sullied, and our Indian empire endangered,
     as a warning to future actors in similar scenes. In a word, I
     believe that more good is likely to ensue from the publication
     of the whole unmitigated truth, than from a mere garbled
     statement of it. A kingdom has been lost--an army slain;--and
     surely, if I can show that, had we been but true to ourselves,
     and had vigorous measures been adopted, the result might have
     been widely different, I shall have written an instructive
     lesson to rulers and subjects, to generals and armies, and
     shall not have incurred in vain the disapprobation of the
     self-interested or the proud."

The Envoy having again appealed to the General, again received an
answer, stating the impossibility of holding out, and recommending that
the Envoy should lose no time in entering into negotiations. This letter
was countersigned by Brigadiers Shelton and Anquetil, and Colonel

On the 11th December, the Envoy, accompanied by Captains Lawrence,
Trevor, and Mackenzie, and a few troopers, went out by agreement to meet
the chiefs on the plain towards the Seah Sung hills. A conciliatory
address from the Envoy was met by professions of personal esteem and
approbation of the views he had laid before them, and of gratitude for
the manner in which the Ameer Dost Mahomed Khan had been treated. The
Envoy then read to them a sketch of the proposed treaty, which was to
the following effect:--

     "That the British should evacuate Affghanistan, including
     Candahar, Ghuznee, Cabul, Jellalabad, and all the other
     stations absolutely within the limits of the country so called;
     that they should be permitted to return not only unmolested to
     India, but that supplies of every description should be
     afforded them in their road thither, certain men of consequence
     accompanying them as hostages; that the Ameer Dost Mahomed
     Khan, his family, and every Affghan now in exile for political
     offences, should be allowed to return to their country; that
     Shah Shoojah and his family should be allowed the option of
     remaining at Cabul, or proceeding with the British troops to
     Loodiana, in either case receiving from the Affghan Government
     a pension of one lac of rupees per annum; that means of
     transport, for the conveyance of our baggage, stores, &c.,
     including that required by the royal family, in case of their
     adopting the latter alternative, should be furnished by the
     existing Affghan Government: that an amnesty should be granted
     to all those who had made themselves obnoxious on account of
     their attachment to Shah Shoojah and his allies, the British;
     that all prisoners should be released; that no British force
     should be ever again sent into Affghanistan, unless called for
     by the Affghan government, between whom and the British nation
     perpetual friendship should be established on the sure
     foundation of mutual good offices."

After some objections on the part of Mahomed Akber Khan, the terms were
agreed to, and it was further arranged that provisions should be
supplied to our troops, and that they should evacuate the cantonment in
three days.

Preparations were immediately commenced for the retreat. Arms were
ordered to be distributed from the stores, now about to be abandoned, to
some of the camp-followers, and such of the soldiers as might require
them; and a disgraceful scene of confusion and tumult followed, which
showed the fearful extent to which the army was disorganized.

The troops in the Bala Hissar were moved into cantonments, not without a
foretaste of what they had to expect on their march to Jellalabad, under
the safe conduct of Akber Khan.

The demands of the chiefs now rose from day to day. They refused to
supply provisions until we should further assure them of our sincerity,
by giving up every fort in the immediate vicinity of the cantonment. The
troops were accordingly withdrawn, the forts were immediately occupied
by the Affghans, and the cantonment thus placed at their mercy. On the
18th, the promised cattle for carriage had not yet been supplied, and a
heavy fall of snow rendered the situation of the troops more desperate.
On the 19th, the Envoy wrote an order for the evacuation of Ghuznee. On
the 20th, the Envoy had another interview with the chiefs, who now
demanded that a portion of the guns and ammunition should be given up.
This also was agreed to. At this stage of the proceedings, Lieutenant
Sturt of the engineers proposed to the General to break off the treaty,
and march forthwith to Jellalabad; but the proposal was not approved.
The arrangements for giving effect to the treaty were still carried on;
and the Envoy again met Akber Khan and Osman Khan on the plain, when
Captains Conolly and Airey were given up as hostages, and the Envoy sent
his carriage and horses, and a pair of pistols, as presents to Akber
Khan, who further demanded an Arab horse, the property of Captain Grant,
assistant adjutant-general:--

     "Late in the evening of the 22d December," (says Capt.
     Mackenzie, in a letter to Lieut. Eyre,) "Capt. James Skinner,
     who, after having been concealed in Cabul during the greater
     part of the siege, had latterly been the guest of Mahomed
     Akber, arrived in cantonments, accompanied by Mahomed Sudeeq
     Khan, a first cousin of Mahomed Akber, and by Sirwar Khan, the
     Arhanee merchant, who, in the beginning of the campaign, had
     furnished the army with camels, and who had been much in the
     confidence of Sir A. Burnes, being, in fact, one of our
     stanchest friends. The two latter remained in a different
     apartment, while Skinner dined with the Envoy. During dinner,
     Skinner jestingly remarked that he felt as if laden with
     combustibles, being charged with a message from Mahomed Akber
     to the Envoy of a most portentous nature.

     "Even then I remarked that the Envoy's eye glanced eagerly
     towards Skinner with an expression of hope. In fact, he was
     like a drowning man catching at straws. Skinner, however,
     referred him to his Affghan companions, and after dinner the
     four retired into a room by themselves. My knowledge of what
     there took place is gained from poor Skinner's own relation, as
     given during my subsequent captivity with him in Akber's house.
     Mahomed Sudeeq disclosed Mahomed Akber's proposition to the
     Envoy, which was, that the following day Sir William should
     meet him (Mahomed Akber) and a few of his immediate friends,
     viz. the chiefs of the Eastern Giljyes, outside the
     cantonments, when a final agreement should be made, so as to be
     fully understood by both parties; that Sir William should have
     a considerable body of troops in readiness, which, on a given
     signal, were to join with those of Mahomed Akber and the
     Giljyes, assault and take Mahmood Khan's fort, and secure the
     person of Ameenoolah. At this stage of the proposition Mahomed
     Sudeeq signified that, for a certain sum of money, the head of
     Ameenoolah should be presented to the Envoy; but from this Sir
     William shrunk with abhorrence, declaring that it was neither
     his custom nor that of his country to give a price for blood.
     Mahomed Sudeeq then went on to say, that, after having subdued
     the rest of the khans, the English should be permitted to
     remain in the country eight months longer, so as to save their
     _purdah_, (veil, or credit,) but that they were then to
     evacuate Affghanistan, as if of their own accord; that Shah
     Shoojah was to continue king of the country, and that Mahomed
     Akber was to be his wuzeer. As a further reward for his
     (Mahomed Akber's) assistance, the British Government were to
     pay him thirty lacs of rupees, and four lacs of rupees per
     annum during his life! To this extraordinary and wild proposal,
     Sir William gave ear with an eagerness which nothing can
     account for but the supposition, confirmed by many other
     circumstances, that his strong mind had been harassed until it
     had in some degree lost its equipoise; and he not only assented
     fully to these terms, but actually gave a Persian paper to that
     effect, written in his own hand, declaring as his motives that
     it was not only an excellent opportunity to carry into effect
     the real wishes of Government--which were to evacuate the
     country with as much credit to ourselves as possible--but that
     it would give England time to enter into a treaty with Russia,
     defining the bounds beyond which neither were to pass in
     Central Asia. So ended this fatal conference, the nature and
     result of which, contrary to his usual custom, Sir William
     communicated to none of those who, on all former occasions,
     were fully in his confidence, viz. Trevor, Lawrence, and
     myself. It seemed as if he feared that we might insist on the
     impracticability of the plan, which he must have studiously
     concealed from himself. All the following morning his manner
     was distracted and hurried, in a way that none of us had ever
     before witnessed.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "After breakfast, Trevor, Lawrence, and myself were summoned to
     attend the Envoy during his conference with Mahomed Akber Khan.
     I found him alone, when, for the first time, he disclosed to me
     the nature of the transaction he was engaged in. I immediately
     warned him that it was a plot against him. He replied hastily,
     'A plot! let me alone for that--trust me for that!' and I
     consequently offered no further remonstrance. Sir William then
     arranged with General Elphinstone that the 54th regiment, under
     Major Ewart, should be held in readiness for immediate service.
     The Shah's 6th, and two guns, were also warned."

Sir W. Macnaghten, halting the troopers of the escort, advanced about
500 or 600 yards from the eastern rampart of the cantonment, and there
awaited Akber Khan and his party:--

     "Close by where some hillocks, on the further side of which
     from the cantonment a carpet was spread where the snow lay
     least thick, and there the khans and Sir William sat down to
     hold their conference. Men talk of presentiment; I suppose it
     was something of the kind which came over me, for I could
     scarcely prevail upon myself to quit my horse. I did so,
     however, and was invited to sit down among the Sirdars. After
     the usual salutations, Mahomed Akber commenced business by
     asking the Envoy if he was perfectly ready to carry into effect
     the proposition of the preceding night? The Envoy replied, 'Why
     not?' My attention was then called off by an old Affghan
     acquaintance of mine, formerly chief of the Cabul police, by
     name Gholam Moyun-ood-deen. I rose from my recumbent posture,
     and stood apart with him conversing. I afterwards remembered
     that my friend betrayed much anxiety as to where my pistols
     were, and why I did not carry them on my person. I answered,
     that although I wore my sword for form, it was not necessary to
     be armed _cap-à-pie_. His discourse was also full of
     extravagant compliments, I suppose for the purpose of lulling
     me to sleep. At length my attention was called off from what he
     was saying, by observing that a number of men, armed to the
     teeth, had gradually approached to the scene of conference, and
     were drawing round in a sort of circle. This Lawrence and
     myself pointed out to some of the chief men, who affected at
     first to drive them off with whips; but Mahomed Akber observed,
     that it was of no consequence, as they were in the secret. I
     again resumed my conversation with Gholam Moyun-ood-deen, when
     suddenly I heard Mahomed Akber call out, 'Begeer, begeer,'
     (seize! seize!) and, turning round, I saw him grasp the Envoy's
     left hand, with an expression in his face of the most
     diabolical ferocity. I think it was Sultan Jan who laid hold of
     the Envoy's right hand. They dragged him in a stooping posture
     down the hillock; the only words I heard poor Sir William utter
     being, 'Az barae Khooda' (for God's sake!) I saw his face,
     however, and it was full of horror and astonishment. I did not
     see what became of Trevor, but Lawrence was dragged past me by
     several Affghans, whom I saw wrest his weapons from him. Up to
     this moment I was so engrossed in observing what was taking
     place, that I actually was not aware that my own right arm was
     mastered, that my urbane friend held a pistol to my temple, and
     that I was surrounded by a circle of Ghazees, with drawn swords
     and cocked juzails. Resistance was in vain, so, listening to
     the exhortations of Gholam Moyun-ood-deen, which were enforced
     by the whistling of divers bullets over my head, I hurried
     through the snow with him to the place where his horse was
     standing, being despoiled _en route_ of my sabre, and narrowly
     escaping divers attempts made on my life. As I mounted behind
     my captor, now my energetic defender, the crowd increased
     around us, the cries of 'Kill the Kafir' became more vehement,
     and, although we hurried on at a fast canter, it was with the
     utmost difficulty Gholam Moyun-ood-deen, although assisted by
     one or two friends or followers, could ward off and avoid the
     sword-cuts aimed at me, the rascals being afraid to fire lest
     they should kill my conductor. Indeed he was obliged to wheel
     his horse round once, and taking off his turban, (the last
     appeal a Mussulman can make,) to implore them for God's sake to
     respect the life of his friend. At last, ascending a slippery
     bank, the horse fell. My cap had been snatched off, and I now
     received a heavy blow on the head from a bludgeon, which
     fortunately did not quite deprive me of my senses. I had
     sufficient sense left to shoot a-head of the fallen horse,
     where my protector with another man joined me, and clasping me
     in their arms, hurried me towards the wall of Mahomed Khan's
     fort. How I reached the spot where Mahomed Akber was receiving
     the gratulations of the multitude I know not, but I remember a
     fanatic rushing on me, and twisting his hand in my collar until
     I became exhausted from suffocation. I must do Mahomed Akber
     the Justice to say, that, finding the Ghazees bent on my
     slaughter, even after I had reached his stirrup, he drew his
     sword and laid about him right manfully, for my conductor and
     Meerza Bàoodeen Khan were obliged to press me up against the
     wall, covering me with their own bodies, and protesting that no
     blow should reach me but through their persons.

     "Pride, however, overcame Mahomed Akber's sense of courtesy,
     when he thought I was safe, for he then turned round to me, and
     repeatedly said, in a tone of triumphant derision, 'Shuma
     moolk-i-ma me geered!' (_You'll_ seize my country, will
     you!)--he then rode off, and I was hurried towards the gate of
     the fort. Here new dangers awaited me, for Moolah Momin, fresh
     from the slaughter of poor Trevor, who was killed riding close
     behind me--Sultan Jan having the credit of having given him the
     first sabre-cut--stood here with his followers, whom he
     exhorted to slay me, setting them the example by cutting
     fiercely at me himself. Fortunately a gun stood between us, but
     still he would have effected his purpose, had not Mahomed Shah
     Khan at that instant, with some followers, come to my
     assistance. These drew their swords in my defence, the chief
     himself throwing his arm round my neck, and receiving on his
     shoulder a cut aimed by Moollah Momin at my head. During the
     bustle I pushed forward into the fort, and was immediately
     taken to a sort of dungeon, where I found Lawrence safe, but
     somewhat exhausted by his hideous ride and the violence he had
     sustained, although unwounded. Here the Giljye chiefs, Mahomed
     Shah Khan, and his brother Dost Mahomed Khan, presently joined
     us, and endeavoured to cheer up our flagging spirits, assuring
     us that the Envoy and Trevor were not dead, but on the contrary
     quite well. They stayed with us during the afternoon, their
     presence being absolutely necessary for our protection. Many
     attempts were made by the fanatics to force the door to
     accomplish our destruction. Others spit at us and abused us
     through a small window, through which one fellow levelled a
     blunderbuss at us, which was struck up by our keepers and
     himself thrust back. At last Ameenoollah made his appearance,
     and threatened us with instant death. Some of his people most
     officiously advanced to make good his word, until pushed back
     by the Giljye chiefs, who remonstrated with this iniquitous old
     monster, their master, whom they persuaded to relieve us from
     his hateful presence. During the afternoon, a human hand was
     held up in mockery to us at the window. We said that it had
     belonged to an European, but were not aware at the time that it
     was actually the hand of the poor Envoy. Of all the Mahomedans
     assembled in the room discussing the events of the day, one
     only, an old moollah, openly and fearlessly condemned the acts
     of his brethren, declaring that the treachery was abominable,
     and a disgrace to Islam. At night they brought us food, and
     gave us each a postheen to sleep on. At midnight we were
     awakened to go to the house of Mahomed Akber in the city.
     Mahomed Shah Khan then, with the meanness common to all
     Affghans of rank, robbed Lawrence of his watch, while his
     brother did me a similar favour. I had been plundered of my
     rings and every thing else previously, by the understrappers.

     "Reaching Mahomed Akber's abode, we were shown into the room
     where he lay in bed. He received us with great outward show of
     courtesy, assuring us of the welfare of the Envoy and Trevor,
     but there was a constraint in his manner for which I could not
     account. We were shortly taken to another apartment, where we
     found Skinner, who had returned, being on parole, early in the
     morning. Doubt and gloom marked our meeting, and the latter was
     fearfully deepened by the intelligence which we now received
     from our fellow-captive of the base murder of Sir William and
     Trevor. He informed us that the head of the former had been
     carried about the city in triumph. We of course spent a
     miserable night. The next day we were taken under a strong
     guard to the house of Zuman Khan, where a council of the Khans
     were being held. Here we found Captains Conolly and Airey, who
     had some days previously been sent to the hurwah's house as
     hostage for the performance of certain parts of the treaty
     which was to have been entered into. A violent discussion took
     place, in which Mahomed Akber bore the most prominent part. We
     were vehemently accused of treachery, and every thing that was
     bad, and told that the whole of the transactions of the night
     previous had been a trick of Mahomed Akber, and Ameenoollah, to
     ascertain the Envoy's sincerity. They declared that they would
     now grant us no terms, save on the surrender of the whole of
     the married families as hostages, all the guns, ammunition, and
     treasure. At this time Conolly told me that on the preceding
     day the Envoy's head had been paraded about in the court-yard;
     that his and Trevor's bodies had been hung up in the public
     bazar, or _chouk_; and that it was with the greatest difficulty
     that the old hurwah, Zuman Khan, had saved him and Airey from
     being murdered by a body of fanatics, who had attempted to rush
     into the room where they were. Also, that previous to the
     arrival of Lawrence, Skinner, and myself, Mahomed Akber had
     been relating the events of the preceding day to the _Jeerga_
     or council, and that he had unguardedly avowed having, while
     endeavouring to force the Envoy either to mount on horseback or
     to move more quickly, _struck_ him; and that, seeing Conolly's
     eyes fastened upon him with an expression of intense
     indignation, he had altered the phrase and said, 'I mean I
     _pushed_ him.' After an immense deal of gabble, a proposal for
     a renewal of the treaty, not, however, demanding all the guns,
     was determined to be sent to the cantonments, and Skinner,
     Lawrence, and myself were marched back to Akber's house,
     enduring _en route_ all manner of threats and insults. Here we
     were closely confined in an inner apartment, which was indeed
     necessary for our safety. That evening we received a visit from
     Mahomed Akber, Sultan Jan, and several other Affghans. Mahomed
     Akber exhibited his double-barrelled pistols to us, which he
     had worn the previous day, requesting us to put their locks to
     rights, something being amiss. _Two of the barrels had been
     recently discharged_, which he endeavoured in a most confused
     way to account for by saying, that he had been charged by a
     havildar of the escort, and had fired both barrels at him. Now
     all the escort had run away without even attempting to charge,
     the only man who advanced to the rescue having been a Hindoo
     Jemadar of Chuprassies, who was instantly cut to pieces by the
     assembled Ghazees. This defence he made without any accusation
     on our part, betraying the anxiety of a liar to be believed. On
     the 26th, Captain Lawrence was taken to the house of
     Ameenoollah, whence he did not return to us. Captain Skinner
     and myself remained in Akber's house until the 30th. During
     this time we were civilly treated, and conversed with numbers
     of Affghan gentlemen who came to visit us. Some of them
     asserted that the Envoy had been murdered by the unruly
     soldiery. Others could not deny that Akber himself was the
     assassin. For two or three days we had a fellow-prisoner in
     poor Sirwar Khan, who had been deceived throughout the whole
     matter, and out of whom they were then endeavouring to screw
     money. He, of course, was aware from his countrymen, that not
     only had Akber committed the murder, but that he protested to
     the Ghazees that he gloried in the deed. On one occasion a
     moonshee of Major Pottinger, who had escaped from Charekhar,
     named Mohun Beer, came direct from the presence of Mahomed
     Akber to visit us. He told us that Mahomed Akber had begun to
     see the impolicy of having murdered the Envoy, which fact he
     had just avowed to him, shedding many tears, either of
     pretended remorse or of real vexation at having committed
     himself. On several occasions Mahomed Akber personally, and by
     deputy, besought Skinner and myself to give him advice as to
     how he was to extricate himself from the dilemma in which he
     was placed, more than once endeavouring to excuse himself for
     not having effectually protected the Envoy, by saying that Sir
     William had drawn a sword-stick upon him. It seems that
     meanwhile the renewed negotiations with Major Pottinger, who
     had assumed the Envoy's place in cantonments, had been brought
     to a head; for on the night of the 30th, Akber furnished me
     with an Affghan dress, (Skinner already wore one,) and sent us
     both back to cantonments. Several Affghans, with whom I fell in
     afterwards, protested to me that they had seen Mahomed Akber
     shoot the Envoy with his own hand; amongst them Meerza Báoodeen
     Khan, who, being an old acquaintance, always retained a
     sneaking kindness for the English.

     "I am, my dear Eyre, yours very truly,


     "Cabul, 29th July, 1842."

The negotiations were now renewed by Major Pottinger, who had been
requested by General Elphinstone to assume the unenviable office of
political agent and adviser.

     "The additional clauses in the treaty now proposed for our
     renewed acceptance were--1st. That we should leave behind our
     guns, excepting six. 2nd. That we should immediately give up
     all our treasures. 3d. That the hostages should be all
     exchanged for married men, with their wives and families. The
     difficulties of Major Pottinger's position will be readily
     perceived, when it is borne in mind that he had before him the
     most conclusive evidence of the late Envoy's ill-advised
     intrigue with Mahomed Akber Khan, in direct violation of that
     very treaty which was now once more tendered for

A sum of fourteen lacs of rupees, about L.140,000, was also demanded,
which was said to be payable to the several chiefs on the promise of the
late Envoy.

Major Pottinger, at a council of war convened by the General, "declared
his conviction that no confidence could be placed in any treaty formed
with the Affghan chiefs; that, under such circumstances, to bind the
hands of the Government by promising to evacuate the country, and to
restore the deposed Ameer, and to waste, moreover, so much public money
merely to save our own lives and property, would be inconsistent with
the duty we owed to our country and the Government we served; and that
the only honourable course would be, either to hold out at Cabul, or to
force our immediate retreat to Jellalabad."

"This however, the officers composing the council, one and all declared
to be impracticable, owing to the want of provisions, the surrender of
the surrounding forts, and the insuperable difficulties of the road at
the present season." The new treaty was therefore, forthwith accepted.
The demand of the chiefs, that married officers with their families
should be left as hostages, was successfully resisted. Captains
Drummond, Walsh, Warburton, and Webb, were accepted in their place, and
on the 29th went to join Captains Conolly and Airey at the house of
Nuwab Zuman Khan. Lieutenant Haughton and a portion of the sick and
wounded, were sent into the city, and placed under the protection of the
chiefs. "Three of the Shah's guns, with the greater portion of our
treasure, were made over during the day, much to the evident disgust of
the soldiery." On the following day, "the remainder of the sick went
into the city, Lieutenant Evans, H.M. 44th foot, being placed in
command, and Dr Campbell, 54th native infantry, with Dr Berwick of the
mission, in medical charge of the whole. Two more of the Shah's guns
were given up. It snowed hard the whole day."

"_January_ 5.--Affairs continued in the same unsettled state to this
date. The chiefs postponed our departure from day to day on various
pretexts.... Numerous cautions were received from various well-wishers,
to place no confidence in the professions of the chiefs, who had sworn
together to accomplish our entire destruction."

It is not our intention to offer any lengthened comments on these
details. They require none. The facts, if they be correctly stated,
speak for themselves; and, for reasons already referred to, we are
unwilling to anticipate the result of the judicial investigation now
understood to be in progress. This much, however, we may be permitted to
say, that the traces of fatal disunion amongst ourselves will, we fear,
be made every where apparent. It is notorious that Sir William
Macnaghten and Sir Alexander Burnes were on terms the reverse of
cordial. The Envoy had no confidence in the General. The General was
disgusted with the authority the Envoy had assumed, even in matters
exclusively military--and, debilitated by disease, was unable always to
assert his authority even in his own family. The arrival of General
Shelton in the cantonments does not appear to have tended to restore
harmony, cordiality, or confidence, or even to have revived the drooping
courage of the troops, or to have renovated the feelings of obedience,
and given effect to the bonds of discipline, which had been too much
relaxed. But, even after admitting all these things, much more still
remains to be explained before we can account for all that has
happened--before we can understand how the political authorities came to
reject every evidence of approaching danger, and therefore to be quite
unprepared for it when it came. Why no effort was made on the first day
to put down the insurrection: Why, in the arrangements for the defence
of the cantonments, the commisariat fort was neglected, and the other
forts neither occupied nor destroyed: Why almost every detachment that
was sent out was too small to effect its object: Why, with a force of
nearly six thousand men, we should never on any one occasion have had
two thousand in the field, and, as in the action at Beymaroo, only one
gun: Why so many orders appear to have been disregarded; why so few were
punctually obeyed.

     "At last the fatal morning dawned (the 6th January) which was
     to witness the departure of the Cabul force from the
     cantonments in which it had endured a two months' siege.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Dreary indeed was the scene over which, with drooping spirits
     and dismal forebodings, we had to bend our unwilling steps.
     Deep snow covered every inch of mountain and plain with one
     unspotted sheet of dazzling whiteness; and so intensely bitter
     was the cold, as to penetrate and defy the defences of the
     warmest clothing."

Encumbered with baggage, crowded with 12,000 camp-followers, and
accompanied by many helpless women and children, of all ranks and of all
ages--with misery before, and death behind, and treachery all around
them--with little hope of successful resistance if attacked, without
tents enough to cover them, and without food or fuel for the march, 4500
fighting men, with nine guns, set out on this march of death.

At 9 A.M. the advance moved out, but was delayed for upwards of an hour
at the river, having found the temporary bridge incomplete; and it was
noon ere the road was clear for the main column, which, with its long
train of loaded camels, continued to pour out of the gate until the
evening, by which time thousands of Affghans thronged the area of the
cantonment rending the air with exulting cries, and committing every
kind of atrocity. Before the rearguard commenced its march it was night;
but by the light of the burning buildings the Affghan marksmen laid
Lieut. Hardyman, and fifty rank and file, lifeless on the snow. The
order of march was soon lost; scores of sepoys and camp-followers sat
down in despair to perish, and it was 2 A.M. before the rearguard
reached the camp at Bygram, a distance of five miles. Here all was
confusion; different regiments, with baggage, camp-followers, camels,
and horses, mixed up together. The cold towards morning became more
intense, and thousands were lying on the bare snow, without shelter,
fire, or food. Several died during the night, amongst whom was an
European conductor; and the proportion of those who escaped without
frostbites was small. Yet this was but the _beginning_ of sorrows.

_January 7th_.--At 8 A.M. the force moved on in the same inextricable
confusion. Already nearly half the sepoys, from sheer inability to keep
their ranks, had joined the crowd of non-combatants. The rearguard was
attacked, and much baggage lost, and one of the guns having been
overturned, was taken by the Affghans, whose cavalry charged into the
very heart of the column.

Akber Khan said, that the force had been attacked because it had marched
contrary to the wish of the chiefs. He insisted that it should halt, and
promised to supply food, forage, and fuel for the troops, but demanded
six more hostages, which were given. These terms having been agreed to,
the firing ceased for the present, and the army encamped at Bootkhak,
where the confusion was indescribable. "Night again," says Lieutenant
Eyre, "closed over us, with its attendant horrors--starvation, cold,
exhaustion, death."

At an early hour on the 8th the Affghans commenced firing into the camp;
and as they collected in considerable numbers, Major Thain led the 44th
to attack them. In this business the regiment behaved with a resolution
and gallantry worthy of British soldiers. Again Akber Khan demanded
hostages. Again they were given, and again the firing ceased. This seems
to prove that Akber Khan had the power, if he had chosen to exert it, to
restrain those tribes. Once more the living mass of men and animals was
put in motion. The frost had so crippled the hands and feet of the
strongest men, as to prostrate their powers and to incapacitate them for

The Khoord-Cabul pass, which they were about to enter, is about five
miles long, shut in by lofty hills, and by precipices of 500 or 600 feet
in height, whose summits approach one another in some parts to within
about fifty or sixty yards. Down the centre dashed a torrent, bordered
with ice, which was crossed about eight-and-twenty times.

While in this dark and narrow gorge, a hot fire was opened upon the
advance, with whom were several ladies, who, seeing no other chance of
safety, galloped forwards, "running the gauntlet of the enemy's bullets,
which whizzed in hundreds about their ears, until they were fairly out
of the pass. Providentially the whole escaped, except Lady Sale, who was
slightly wounded in the arm." Several of Akber Khan's chief adherents
exerted themselves in vain to restrain the Giljyes; and as the crowd
moved onward into the thickest of the fire, the slaughter was fearful.
Another horse-artillery gun was abandoned, and the whole of its
artillerymen slain, and some of the children of the officers became
prisoners. It is supposed that 3000 souls perished in the pass, amongst
whom were many officers.

     "On the force reaching Khoord-Cabul, snow began to fall, and
     continued till morning. Only four small tents were saved, of
     which one belonged to the General: two were devoted to the
     ladies and children, and one was given up to the sick; but an
     immense number of poor wounded wretches wandered about the camp
     destitute of shelter, and perished during the night. Groans of
     misery and distress assailed the ear from all quarters. We had
     ascended to a still colder climate than we had left behind, and
     we were without tents, fuel, or food: the snow was the only bed
     for all, and of many, ere morning, it proved the
     _winding-sheet_. It is only marvellous that any should have
     survived that fearful night!

     "_January 9th_.--Another morning dawned, awakening thousands to
     increased misery; and many a wretched survivor cast looks of
     envy at his comrades, who lay stretched beside him in the
     quiet sleep of death. Daylight was the signal for a renewal of
     that confusion which attended every movement of the force."

Many of the troops and followers moved without orders at 8 A.M., but
were recalled by the General, in consequence of an arrangement with
Akber Khan. "This delay, and prolongation of their sufferings in the
snow, of which one more march would have carried them clear, made a very
unfavourable impression on the minds of the native soldiery, who now,
for the first time, began very generally to entertain the idea of
deserting." And it is not to be wondered at, that the instinct of
self-preservation should have led them to falter in their fealty when
the condition of the whole army had become utterly hopeless.

Akber Khan now proposed that the ladies and children should be made over
to his care; and, anxious to save them further suffering, the General
gave his consent to the arrangement, permitting their husbands and the
wounded officers to accompany them.

     "Up to this time scarcely one of the ladies had tasted a meal
     since leaving Cabul. Some had infants a few days old at the
     breast, and were unable to stand without assistance. Others
     were so far advanced in pregnancy, that, under ordinary
     circumstances, a walk across a drawing-room would have been an
     exertion; yet these helpless women, with their young families,
     had already been obliged to rough it on the backs of camels,
     and on the tops of the baggage yaboos: those who had a horse to
     ride, or were capable of sitting on one, were considered
     fortunate indeed. Most had been without shelter since quitting
     the cantonment--their servants had nearly all deserted or been
     killed--and, with the exception of Lady Macnaghten and Mrs
     Trevor, they had lost all their baggage, having nothing in the
     world left but the clothes on their backs; _those_, in the case
     of some of the invalids, consisted of _night dresses_ in which
     they had started from Cabul in their litters. Under such
     circumstances, a few more hours would probably have seen some
     of them stiffening corpses. The offer of Mahomed Akber was
     consequently their only chance of preservation. The husbands,
     better clothed and hardy, would have infinitely preferred
     taking their chance with the troops; but where is the man who
     would prefer his own safety, when he thought he could by his
     presence assist and console those near and dear to him?

     "It is not, therefore, wonderful, that from persons so
     circumstanced the General's proposal should have met with
     little opposition, although it was a matter of serious doubt
     whether the whole were not rushing into the very jaws of death,
     by placing themselves at the mercy of a man who had so lately
     imbrued his hands in the blood of a British envoy, whom he had
     lured to destruction by similar professions of peace and

Anticipating an attack, the troops paraded to repel it, and it was now
found that the 44th mustered only 100 files, and the native infantry
regiments about sixty each. "The promises of Mahomed Akber to provide
food and fuel were unfulfilled, and another night of starvation and cold
consigned more victims to a miserable death."

_January_ 10.--At break of day all was again confusion, every one
hurrying to the front, and dreading above all things to be left in the
rear. The Europeans were the only efficient men left, the Hindostanees
having suffered so severely from the frost in their hands and feet, that
few could hold a musket, much less pull a trigger. The enemy had
occupied the rocks above the gorge, and thence poured a destructive fire
upon the column as it slowly advanced. Fresh numbers fell at every
volley. The sepoys, unable to use their arms, cast them away, and, with
the followers, fled for their lives.

     "The Affghans now rushed down upon their helpless and
     unresisting victims sword in hand, and a general massacre took
     place. The last small remnant of the native infantry regiments
     were here scattered and destroyed; and the public treasure,
     with all the remaining baggage, fell into the hands of the
     enemy. Meanwhile, the advance, after pushing through the Tungee
     with great loss, had reached Kubbur-i-Jubbar, about five miles
     a-head, without more opposition. Here they halted to enable the
     rear to join, but, from the few stragglers who from time to
     time came up, the astounding truth was brought to light, that
     of all who had that morning marched from Khoord-Cabul they were
     almost the sole survivors, nearly the whole of the main and
     rear columns having been cut off and destroyed. About 50
     horse-artillerymen, with one twelve-pounder howitzer, 70 files
     H.M.'s 44th, and 150 cavalry troopers, now composed the whole
     Cabul force; but, notwithstanding the slaughter and dispersion
     that had taken place, the camp-followers still formed a
     considerable body."

Another remonstrance was now addressed to Akber Khan. He declared, in
reply, his inability to restrain the Giljyes. As the troops entered a
narrow defile at the foot of the Huft Kotul, they found it strewn with
the dead bodies of their companions. A destructive fire was maintained
on the troops from the heights on either side, and fresh numbers of dead
and wounded lined the course of the stream. "Brigadier Shelton commanded
the rear with a few Europeans, and but for his persevering energy and
unflinching fortitude in repelling the assailants, it is probable the
whole would have been there sacrificed." They encamped in the Tezeen
valley, having lost 12,000 men since leaving Cabul; fifteen officers had
been killed and wounded in this day's march.

After resting three hours, they marched, under cover of the darkness, at
seven P.M. Here the last gun was abandoned, and with it Dr Cardew, whose
zeal and gallantry had endeared him to the soldiers; and a little
further on Dr Duff was left on the road in a state of utter exhaustion.

     "Bodies of the neighbouring tribes were by this time on the
     alert, and fired at random from the heights, it being
     fortunately too dark for them to aim with precision; but the
     panic-stricken camp-followers now resembled a herd of startled
     deer, and fluctuated backwards and forwards, _en masse_, at
     every shot, blocking up the entire road, and fatally retarding
     the progress of the little body of soldiers who, under
     Brigadier Shelton, brought up the rear.

     "At Burik-àb a heavy fire was encountered by the hindmost from
     some caves near the road-side, occasioning fresh disorder,
     which continued all the way to Kutter-Sung, where the advance
     arrived at dawn of day, and awaited the junction of the rear,
     which did not take place till 8 A.M."

_January_ 11.-- ...

     "From Kutter-Sung to Jugdulluk it was one continued conflict;
     Brigadier Shelton, with his brave little band in the rear,
     holding overwhelming numbers in check, and literally performing
     wonders. But no efforts could avail to ward off the withering
     fire of juzails, which from all sides assailed the crowded
     column, lining the road with bleeding carcasses. About three
     P.M. the advance reached Jugdulluk, and took up its position
     behind some ruined walls that crowned a height by the
     road-side. To show an imposing front, the officers extended
     themselves in line, and Captain Grant, assistant
     adjutant-general, at the same moment received a wound in the
     face. From this eminence they cheered their comrades under
     Brigadier Shelton in the rear, as they still struggled their
     way gallantly along every foot of ground, perseveringly
     followed up by their merciless enemy, until they arrived at
     their ground. But even here rest was denied them; for the
     Affghans, immediately occupying two hills which commanded the
     position, kept up a fire from which the walls of the enclosure
     afforded but a partial shelter.

     "The exhausted troops and followers now began to suffer greatly
     from thirst, which they were unable to satisfy. A tempting
     stream trickled near the foot of the hill, but to venture down
     to it was certain death. Some snow that covered the ground was
     eagerly devoured, but increased, instead of alleviating, their
     sufferings. The raw flesh of three bullocks, which had
     fortunately been saved, was served out to the soldiers, and
     ravenously swallowed."

About half-past three Akber Khan sent for Capt. Skinner, who promptly
obeyed the call, hoping still to effect some arrangement for the
preservation of those who survived. The men now threw themselves down,
hoping for a brief repose, but the enemy poured volleys from the heights
into the enclosures in rapid succession. Captain Bygrave, with about
fifteen brave Europeans, sallied forth, determined to drive the enemy
from the heights or perish in the attempt. They succeeded; but the
enemy, who had fled before them, returned and resumed their fatal fire.
At five P.M. Captain Skinner returned with a message from Akber Khan,
requesting the presence of the General at a conference, and demanding
Brigadier Shelton and Capt. Johnson as hostages for the surrender of
Jellalabad. The troops saw the departure of these officers with despair,
feeling assured that these treacherous negotiations "were preparatory to
fresh sacrifices of blood." The General and his companions were received
with every outward token of kindness, and they were supplied with food,
but they were not permitted to return. The Sirdar put the General off
with promises; and at seven P.M. on the 12th, firing being heard, it was
ascertained that the troops, impatient of further delay, had actually
moved off. Before their departure Captain Skinner had been treacherously
shot. They had been exposed during the whole day to the fire of the
enemy--"sally after sally had been made by the Europeans, bravely led by
Major Thain, Captain Bygrave, and Lieutenants Wade and Macartney, but
again and again the enemy returned to worry and destroy. Night came, and
all further delay in such a place being useless, the whole sallied
forth, determined to pursue the route to Jellalabad at all risks."

The sick and the wounded were necessarily abandoned to their fate. For
some time the Giljyes seemed not to be on the alert; but in the defile,
at the top of the rise, further progress was obstructed by barriers
formed of prickly trees. This caused great delay, and "a terrible fire
was poured in from all quarters--a massacre even worse than that of the
Tunga Tarikee[24] commenced, the Affghans rushing in furiously upon the
pent-up crowd of troops and followers, and committing wholesale
slaughter. A miserable remnant managed to clear the barriers. Twelve
officers, amongst whom was Brigadier Anquetil, were killed. Upwards of
forty others succeeded in pushing through, about twelve of whom, being
pretty well mounted, rode on a-head of the rest with the few remaining
cavalry, intending to make the best of their way to Jellalabad."

     [24] Strait of Darkness.

The country now became more open--the Europeans dispersed, in small
parties under different officers. The Giljyes were too much occupied in
plundering the dead to pursue them, but they were much delayed by the
amiable anxiety of the men to carry on their wounded comrades. The
morning of the 13th dawned as they approached Gundamuk, revealing to the
enemy the insignificance of their numerical strength; and they were
compelled, by the vigorous assaults of the Giljyes, to take up a
defensive position on a height to the left of the road, "where they
made a resolute stand, determined to sell their lives at the dearest
possible price. At this time they could only muster about twenty
muskets." An attempt to effect an amicable arrangement terminated in a
renewal of hostilities, and "the enemy marked off man after man, and
officer after officer, with unerring aim. Parties of Affghans rushed up
at intervals to complete the work of extermination, but were as often
driven back by the still dauntless handful of invincibles. At length,
all being wounded more or less, a final onset of the enemy, sword in
hand, terminated the unequal struggle and completed the dismal tragedy."
Captain Souter, who was wounded, and three or four privates, were spared
and led away captive. Major Griffiths and Captain Blewitt, having
descended to confer with the enemy, had been previously led off. Of the
twelve officers who had gone on in advance eleven were destroyed, and Dr
Brydon alone of the whole Cabul force reached Jellalabad.

"Such was the memorable retreat of the British army from Cabul, which,
viewed in all its circumstances--in the military conduct which preceded
and brought about such a consummation, the treachery, disaster, and
suffering which accompanied it--is, perhaps, without a parallel in

       *       *       *       *       *


Since the day when Lord Auckland, by his famous proclamation in October
1838, "directed the assemblage of a British force for service across the
Indus," we have never ceased to denounce the invasion and continued
occupation of Affghanistan as equally unjust and impolitic[25]--unjust,
as directed against a people whose conduct had afforded us no legitimate
grounds of hostility, and against a ruler whose only offence was, that
he had accepted[26] the proffer from another quarter of that support and
alliance which we had denied to his earnest entreaty--and impolitic, as
tending not only to plunge us into an endless succession of ruinous and
unprofitable warfare, but to rouse against us an implacable spirit of
enmity, in a nation which had hitherto shown every disposition to
cultivate amicable relations with our Anglo-Indian Government. In all
points, our anticipations have been fatally verified. After more than
two years consumed in unavailing efforts to complete the reduction of
the country, our army of occupation was at last overwhelmed by the
universal and irresistible outbreak of an indignant and fanatic
population; and the restored monarch, Shah-Shoojah, ("whose popularity
throughout Affghanistan had been proved to the Governor-general by the
strong and unanimous testimony of the best authorities") perished, as
soon as he lost the protection of foreign bayonets, by the hands of his
outraged countrymen.[27]

     [25] See the articles "Persia, Affghanistan, and India," in
     Jan. 1839--"Khiva, Central Asia, and Cabul," in April
     1840--"Results of our Affghan Conquests," in Aug.
     1841--"Affghanistan and India," in July 1842.

     [26] It now seems even doubtful whether the famous letter of
     Dost Mohammed to the Emperor of Russia, which constituted the
     _gravamen_ of the charge against him, was ever really written,
     or at least with his concurrence.--_Vide_ "Report of the
     Colonial Society on the Affghan War," p. 35.

     [27] The particulars of Shah-Shoojah's fate, which were unknown
     when we last referred to the subject, have been since
     ascertained. After the retreat of the English from Cabul, he
     remained for some time secluded in the Bala-Hissar, observing
     great caution in his intercourse with the insurgent leaders;
     but he was at length prevailed upon, by assurances of loyalty
     and fidelity, (about the middle of April,) to quit the
     fortress, in order to head an army against Jellalabad. He had
     only proceeded, however, a short distance from the city, when
     his litter was fired upon by a party of musketeers placed in
     ambush by a Doorauni chief named Soojah-ed-Dowlah; and the king
     was shot dead on the spot. Such was the ultimate fate of a
     prince, the vicissitudes of whose life almost exceed the
     fictions of romance, and who possessed talents sufficient, in
     more tranquil times, to have given _éclat_ to his reign. During
     his exile at Loodiana, he composed in Persian a curious
     narrative of his past adventures, a version of part of which
     appears in the 30th volume of the _Asiatic Journal_.

The tottering and unsubstantial phantom of a _Doorauni kingdom_ vanished
at once and for ever--and the only remaining alternative was, (as we
stated the case in our number of last July,) "either to perpetrate a
second act of violence and national injustice, by reconquering
Affghanistan _for the vindication_ (as the phrase is) _of our military
honour_, and holding it without disguise as a province of our empire--or
to make the best of a bad bargain, by contenting ourselves with the
occupation of a few posts on the frontier, and leaving the unhappy
natives to recover, without foreign interference, from the dreadful
state of anarchy into which our irruption has thrown them." Fortunately
for British interests in the East, the latter course has been adopted.
After a succession of brilliant military triumphs, which, in the words
of Lord Ellenborough's recent proclamation, "have, in one short
campaign, avenged our late disasters upon every scene of past
misfortune," the evacuation of the country has been directed--not,
however, before a fortunate chance had procured the liberation of _all_
the prisoners who had fallen into the power of the Affghans in January
last; and ere this time, we trust, not a single British regiment remains
on the bloodstained soil of Affghanistan.

The proclamation above referred to,[28] (which we have given at length
at the conclusion of this article,) announcing these events, and
defining the line of policy in future to be pursued by the Anglo-Indian
Government, is in all respects a remarkable document. As a specimen of
frankness and plain speaking, it stands unique in the history of
diplomacy; and, accordingly, both its matter and its manner have been
made the subjects of unqualified censure by those scribes of the
Opposition press who, "content to dwell in forms for ever," have
accustomed themselves to regard the mystified protocols of Lord
Palmerston as the models of official style. The _Morning Chronicle_,
with amusing ignorance of the state of the public mind in India,
condemns the Governor-general for allowing it to become known to the
natives that the abandonment of Affghanistan was in consequence of a
change of policy! conceiving (we suppose) that our Indian subjects would
otherwise have believed the Cabul disasters to have formed part of the
original plan of the war, and to have veiled some purpose of inscrutable
wisdom; while the _Globe_, (Dec. 3,) after a reluctant admission that
"the policy itself of evacuating the country _may be wise_," would fain
deprive Lord Ellenborough of the credit of having originated this
decisive step, by an assertion that "we have discovered no proof that a
permanent possession of the country beyond the Indus was contemplated by
his predecessor." It would certainly have been somewhat premature in
Lord Auckland to have announced his ultimate intentions on this point
while the country in question was as yet but imperfectly subjugated, or
when our troops were subsequently almost driven out of it; but the views
of the then home Government, from which it is to be presumed that Lord
Auckland received his instructions, were pretty clearly revealed in the
House of Commons on the 10th of August last, by one whose authority the
_Globe_, at least, will scarcely dispute--by Lord Palmerston himself.
To prevent the possibility of misconstruction, we quote the words
attributed to the late Foreign Secretary. After drawing the somewhat
unwarrantable inference, from Sir Robert Peel's statement, "that no
immediate withdrawal of our troops from Candahar and Jellalabad was
contemplated," that an order had at one time been given for the
abandonment of Affghanistan, he proceeds--"I do trust that her Majesty's
Government will not carry into effect, either immediately or at _any_
future time, the arrangement thus contemplated. It was all very well
when we were in power, and it was suited to party purposes, to run down
any thing we had done, and to represent as valueless any acquisition on
which we may have prided ourselves--it was all very well to raise an
outcry against the Affghan expedition, and to undervalue the great
advantages which the possession of the country was calculated to afford
us--but I trust the Government will rise above any consideration of that
sort, and that they will give the matter their fair, dispassionate, and
deliberate consideration. I must say, I never was more convinced of any
thing in the whole course of my life--and I may be believed when I speak
my earnest conviction--that the most important interests of this
country, both commercial and political, would be sacrificed, if we were
to sacrifice the military possession of the country of Eastern
Affghanistan." Is it in the power of words to convey a clearer
admission, that the pledge embodied in Lord Auckland's manifesto--"to
withdraw the British army as soon as the independence and integrity of
Affghanistan should be secured by the establishment of the Shah"--was in
fact mere moonshine: and the real object of the expedition was the
conquest of a country advantageously situated for the defence of our
Indian frontier against (as it now appears) an imaginary invader? Thus
Napoleon, in December 1810, alleged "the necessity, in consequence of
the new order of things which has arisen, of new guarantees for the
security of my empire," as a pretext for that wholesale measure of
territorial spoliation in Northern Germany, which, from the umbrage it
gave Russia, proved ultimately the cause of his downfall: but it was
reserved for us of the present day, to hear a _British_ minister avow
and justify a violent and perfidious usurpation on the plea of political
expediency. It must indeed be admitted that, in the early stages of the
war, the utter iniquity of the measure met with but faint reprobation
from any party in the state: the nation, dazzled by the long-disused
splendours of military glory, was willing, without any very close
enquiry, to take upon trust all the assertions so confidently put forth
on the popularity of Shah-Shoojah, the hostile machinations of Dost
Mohammed, and the philanthropic and disinterested wishes of the Indian
Government for (to quote a notable phrase to which we have more than
once previously referred) "_the reconstruction of the social edifice_"
in Affghanistan. But now that all these subterfuges, flimsy as they were
at best, have been utterly dissipated by this undisguised declaration of
Lord Palmerston, that the real object of the war was to seize and hold
the country on our own account, the attempt of the _Globe_ to claim for
Lord Auckland the credit of having from the first contemplated a measure
thus vehemently protested against and disclaimed by the late official
leader of his party, is rather too barefaced to be passed over without

     [28] It is singular that this proclamation was issued on the
     fourth anniversary of Lord Auckland's "Declaration" of Oct. 1,
     1838; and from the same place, Simla.

Without, however, occupying ourselves further in combating the attacks
of the Whig press on this proclamation, which may very well be left to
stand on its own merits, we now proceed to recapitulate the course of
the events which have, in a few months, so completely changed the aspect
of affairs beyond the Indus. When we took leave, in July last, of the
subject of the Affghan campaign, we left General Pollock, with the force
which had made its way through the Khyber Pass, still stationary at
Jellalabad, for want (as it was said) of camels and other means of
transport: while General Nott, at Candahar, not only held his ground,
but victoriously repulsed in the open field the Affghan _insurgents_,
(as it is the fashion to call them,) who were headed by the prince
Seifdar-Jung, son of Shah Shoojah! and General England, after his
repulse on the 28th of March at the Kojuck Pass, remained motionless at
Quettah. The latter officer (in consequence, as it is said, of
peremptory orders from General Nott to meet him on a given day at the
further side of the Pass) was the first to resume active operations; and
on the 28th of April, the works at Hykulzie in the Kojuck, which had
been unaccountably represented on the former occasion as most formidable
defences,[29] were carried without loss or difficulty, and the force
continued its march uninterrupted to Candahar. The fort of
Khelat-i-Ghiljie, lying about halfway between Candahar and Ghazni, was
at the sane time gallantly and successfully defended by handful of
Europeans and sepoys, till relieved by the advance of a division from
Candahar, which brought off the garrison, and razed the fortifications
of the place. Girishk, the hereditary stronghold of the Barukzye chiefs,
about eighty miles west of Candahar, was also dismantled and abandoned;
and all the troops in Western Affghanistan were thus concentrated under
the immediate command of General Nott, whose success in every encounter
with the Affghans continued to be so decisive, that all armed opposition
disappeared from the neighbourhood of Candahar; and the prince
Seifdar-Jung, despairing of the cause, of which he had perhaps been from
the first not a very willing supporter, came in and made his submission
to the British commander.

     [29] "The fieldworks _believed to be described_ in the despatch
     as 'consisting of a succession of breastworks, improved by a
     ditch and abattis--the latter being filled with thorns,' turned
     out to be a paltry stone wall, with a cut two feet deep, and of
     corresponding width, to which the designation of ditch was most
     grossly misapplied.... A score or two of active men might have
     completed the work in a few days."--(Letter quoted in the
     _Asiatic Journal_, Sept., p. 107.) On whom the blame of these
     misrepresentations should be laid--whether on the officer who
     reconnoitred the ground, or on the general who wrote the
     despatch--does not very clearly appear: yet the political agent
     at Quettah was removed from his charge, for not having given
     notice of the construction in his vicinity of works which are
     now proved to have had no existence!

During the progress of these triumphant operations in Western
Affghanistan, General Pollock still lay inactive at Jellalabad; and some
abortive attempts were made to negotiate with the dominant party at
Cabul for the release of the prisoners taken the preceding winter. Since
the death of Shah-Shoojah, the throne had been nominally filled by his
third son, Futteh-Jung, the only one of the princes who was on the spot;
but all the real power was vested, with the rank of vizier, in the hands
of Akhbar Khan, who had not only possessed himself of the Bala-Hissar
and the treasure of the late king, but had succeeded in recruiting the
forces of the Affghan league, by a reconciliation with Ameen-ullah
Khan,[30] the original leader of the outbreak, with whom he had formerly
been at variance. All efforts, however, to procure the liberation of the
captives, on any other condition than the liberation of Dost Mohammed,
and the evacuation of Affghanistan by the English, (as hostages for
which they had originally been given,) proved fruitless; and at length,
after more than four months' delay, during which several sharp affairs
had taken place with advanced bodies of the Affghans, General Pollock
moved forward with his whole force, on the 20th of August, against
Cabul. This city had again in the mean time become a scene of tumult and
disorder--the Kizilbashes or Persian inhabitants, as well as many of the
native chiefs, resisting the exactions of Akhbar Khan; who, at last,
irritated by the opposition to his measures, imprisoned the titular
shah, Futteh-Jung, in the Bala-Hissar; whence he succeeded after a time
in escaping, and made his appearance, in miserable plight, (Sept. 1,) at
the British headquarters at Futtehabad, between Jellalabad and
Gundamuck. The advance of the army was constantly opposed by detached
bodies of the enemy, and several spirited skirmishes took place:--till,
on the 13th of September, the main Affghan force, to the number of
16,000 men, under Akhbar Khan and other leaders, was descried on the
heights near Tazeen, (where the slaughter of our troops had taken place
in January,) at the entrance of the formidable defiles called the
Huft-Kothul, or Seven Passes. It is admitted on all hands that in this
last struggle, (as they believed, for independence,) the Affghans fought
with most distinguished gallantry, frequently charging sword in hand
upon the bayonets; but their irregular valour eventually gave way before
the discipline of their opponents, and a total rout took place. The
chiefs fled in various directions, "abandoning Cabul to the _avengers of
British wrongs_," who entered the city in triumph on the 15th, and
hoisted the British colours on the Bala-Hissar. The principal point now
remaining to be effected was the rescue of the prisoners whom Akhbar
Khan had carried off with him in his flight, with the intention (as was
rumoured) of transporting them into Turkestan; but from this peril they
were fortunately delivered by the venality of the chief to whose care
they had been temporarily intrusted; and on the 21st they all reached
the camp in safety, with the exception of Captain Bygrave, who was also
liberated, a few days later, by the voluntary act of Akhbar himself.[31]

     [30] It was this chief whose betrayal or destruction Sir
     William McNaghten is accused, on the authority of General
     Elphinstone's correspondence, of having meditated, on the
     occasion when he met with his own fate. We hope, for the honour
     of the English name, that the memory of the late Resident at
     Cabul may be cleared from this heavy imputation; but he
     certainly cannot be acquitted of having, by his wilful
     blindness and self-sufficiency, contributed to precipitate the
     catastrophe to which he himself fell a victim. In proof of this
     assertion, it is sufficient to refer to the tenor of his
     remarks on the letter addressed to him by Sir A. Burnes on the
     affairs of Cabul, August 7, 1840, which appeared some time
     since in the _Bombay Times_, and afterwards in the _Asiatic
     Journal_ for October and November last.

     [31] The kindness and humanity which these unfortunate
     _detenus_ experienced from first to last at the hands of
     Akhbar, reflect the highest honour on the character of this
     chief, whom it has been the fashion to hold up to execration as
     a monster of perfidy and cruelty. As a contrast to this conduct
     of the Affghan _barbarians_, it is worth while to refer to
     Colonel Lindsay's narrative of his captivity in the dungeons of
     Hyder and Tippoo, which has recently appeared in the _Asiatic
     Journal_, September, December, 1842.

General Nott, meanwhile, in pursuance of his secret orders from the
Supreme Government, had been making preparations for abandoning
Candahar; and, on the 7th and 8th of August, the city was accordingly
evacuated, both by his corps and by the division of General England--the
Affghan prince, Seifdar-Jung, being left in possession of the place. The
routes of the two commanders were now separated. General England, with
an immense train of luggage, stores, &c., directed his march through the
Kojuck Pass to Quettah, which he reached with little opposition;--while
Nott, with a more lightly-equipped column, about 7000 strong, advanced
by Khelat-i-Ghiljie against Ghazni. This offensive movement appears to
have taken the Affghans at first by surprise; and it was not till he
arrived within thirty-eight miles of Ghazni that General Nott found his
progress opposed (August 30) by 12,000 men under the governor,
Shams-o-deen Khan, a cousin of Mohammed Akhbar. The dispersion of this
tumultuary array was apparently accomplished (as far as can be gathered
from the extremely laconic despatches of the General) without much
difficulty; and, on the 6th of September, after a sharp skirmish in the
environs, the British once more entered Ghazni. In the city and
neighbouring villages were found not fewer than 327 sepoys of the former
garrison, which had been massacred to a man (according to report)
immediately after the surrender; but notwithstanding this evidence of
the moderation with which the Affghans had used their triumph, General
Nott, (in obedience, as is said, to the _positive tenor of his
instructions_,) "directed the city of Ghazni, with the citadel and the
whole of its works, to be destroyed;" and this order appears, from the
engineer's report, to have been rigorously carried into effect. The mace
of Mamood Shah Ghaznevi, the first Moslem conqueror of Hindostan, and
the famous sandal-wood portals of his tomb, (once the gates of the great
Hindoo temple at Somnaut,[32]) were carried off as trophies: the ruins
of Ghazni were left as a monument of British vengeance; and General Nott,
resuming his march, and again routing Shams-o-deen Khan at the defiles
of Myden, effected his junction with General Pollock, on the 17th of
September, at Cabul; whence the united corps, together mustering 18,000
effective men, were to take the route for Hindostan through the Punjab
early in October.

     [32] The value still attached by the Hindoos to these relics
     was shown on the conclusion of the treaty, in 1832, between
     Shah-Shoojah and Runjeet Singh, previous to the Shah's last
     unaided attempt to recover his throne; in which their
     restoration, in case of his success, was an express

Such have been the principal events of the brief but brilliant campaign
which has concluded the Affghan war, and which, if regarded solely in a
military point of view, must be admitted to have amply vindicated the
lustre of the British arms from the transient cloud cast on them by the
failures and disasters of last winter.

The Affghan tragedy, however, may now, we hope, be considered as
concluded, so far as related to our own participation in its crimes and
calamities; but for the Affghans themselves, "left to create a
government in the midst of anarchy," there can be at present little
chance of even comparative tranquillity, after the total dislocation of
their institutions and internal relations by the fearful torrent of war
which has swept over the country. The last atonement now in our power to
make, both to the people and the ruler whom we have so deeply injured,
as well as the best course for our own interests, would be at once to
release Dost Mohammed from the unmerited and ignominious confinement to
which he has been subjected in Hindostan, and to send him back in honour
to Cabul; where his own ancient partisans, as well as those of his son,
would quickly rally round him; and where his presence and accustomed
authority might have some effect in restraining the crowd of fierce
chiefs, who will be ready to tear each other to pieces as soon as they
are released from the presence of the _Feringhis_. There would thus be
at least a possibility of obtaining a nucleus for the re-establishment
of something like good order; while in no other quarter does there
appear much prospect of a government being formed, which might be either
"approved by the Affghans themselves," or "capable of maintaining
friendly relations with neighbouring states." If the accounts received
may be depended upon, our troops had scarcely cleared the Kojuck Pass,
on their way from Candahar to the Indus, when that city became the scene
of a contest between the Prince Seifdar-Jung and the Barukzye chiefs in
the vicinity; and though the latter are said to have been worsted in the
first instance, there can be little doubt that our departure will be the
signal for the speedy return of the quondam _Sirdars_, or rulers of
Candahar, (brothers of Dost Mohammed,) who have found an asylum in
Persia since their expulsion in 1839, but who will scarcely neglect so
favourable an opportunity for recovering their lost authority. Yet
another competitor may still, perhaps, be found in the same quarter--one
whose name, though sufficiently before the public a few years since, has
now been almost forgotten in the strife of more mighty interests. This
is Shah Kamran of Herat, the rumours of whose death or dethronement
prove to have been unfounded, and who certainly would have at this
moment a better chance than he has ever yet had, for regaining at least
Candahar and Western Affghanistan. He was said to be on the point of
making the attempt after the repulse of the Persians before Herat, just
before our adoption of Shah-Shoojah; and his title to the crown is at
least as good as that of the late Shah, or any of his sons. It will be
strange if this prince, whose danger from Persia was the original
pretext for crossing the Indus, should be the only one of all the
parties concerned, whose condition underwent no ultimate change, through
all the vicissitudes of the tempest which has raged around him.

Nor are the elements of discord less abundant and complicated on the
side of Cabul. The defeat of Tazeen will not, any more than the
preceding ones, have annihilated Akhbar Khan and his confederate
chiefs:--they are still hovering in the Kohistan, and will doubtless
lose no time in returning to Cabul as soon as the retreat of the English
is ascertained. It is true that the civil wars of the Affghans, though
frequent, have never been protracted or sanguinary:--like the
Highlanders, as described by Bailie Nicol Jarvie, "though they may
quarrel among themselves, and gie ilk ither ill names, and may be a
slash wi' a claymore, they are sure to join in the long run against a'
civilized folk:"--but it is scarcely possible that so many conflicting
interests, now that the bond of common danger is removed, can be
reconciled without strife and bloodshed. It is possible, indeed, that
Futteh-Jung (whom the last accounts state to have remained at Cabul when
our troops withdrew, in the hope of maintaining himself on the musnud,
and who is said to be the most acceptable to the Affghans of the four
sons[33] of Shah-Shoojah) may be allowed to retain for a time the title
of king; but he had no treasure and few partizans; and the rooted
distaste of the Affghans for the titles and prerogatives of royalty is
so well ascertained, that Dost Mohammed, even in the plenitude of his
power, never ventured to assume them. All speculations on these points,
however, can at present amount to nothing more than vague conjecture;
the troubled waters must have time to settle, before any thing can be
certainly prognosticated as to the future destinies of Affghanistan.

     [33] The elder of these princes, Timour, who was governor of
     Candahar during the reign of his father, has accompanied
     General England to Hindostan, preferring, as he says, the life
     of a private gentleman under British protection to the perils
     of civil discord in Affghanistan. Of the second,
     Mohammed-Akhbar, (whose mother is said to be sister of Dost
     Mohammed,) we know nothing;--Futteh-Jung is the third, and was
     intended by Shah-Shoojah for his successor;--Seifdar-Jung, now
     at Candahar, is the youngest.

The kingdom of the Punjab will now become the barrier between
Affghanistan and our north-western frontier in India; and it is said
that the Sikhs, already in possession of Peshawer and the rich plain
extending to the foot of the Khyber mountains, have undertaken in future
to occupy the important defiles of this range, and the fort of
Ali-Musjid, so as to keep the Affghans within bounds. It seems to us
doubtful, however, whether they will be able to maintain themselves
long, unaided, in this perilous advanced post: though the national
animosity which subsists between them and the Affghans is a sufficient
pledge of their good-will for the service--and their co-operation in the
late campaign against Cabul has been rendered with a zeal and
promptitude affording a strong contrast to their lukewarmness at the
beginning of the war, when they conceived its object to be the
re-establishment of the monarchy and national unity of their inveterate
foes. But the vigour of the Sikh kingdom, and the discipline and
efficiency of their troops, have greatly declined in the hands of the
present sovereign, Shere Singh, who, though a frank and gallant soldier,
has little genius for civil government, and is thwarted and overborne in
his measures by the overweening power of the minister, Rajah Dhian
Singh, who originally rose to eminence by the favour of Runjeet. At
present, our information as to the state of politics in the Punjab is
not very explicit, the intelligence from India during several months,
having been almost wholly engrossed by the details of the campaign in
Affghanistan; but as far as can be gathered from these statements, the
country has been brought, by the insubordination of the troops, and the
disputes of the Maharajah and his Minister, to a state not far removed
from anarchy. It is said that the fortress of Govindghur, where the vast
treasures amassed by Runjeet are deposited, has been taken possession
of by the malecontent faction, and that Shere Singh has applied for the
assistance of our troops to recover it; and the _Delhi Gazette_ even
goes so far as to assert that this prince, "disgusted with the perpetual
turmoil in which he is embroiled, and feeling his incapacity of ruling
his turbulent chieftains, is willing to cede his country to us, and
become a pensioner of our Government." But this announcement, though
confidently given, we believe to be at least premature. That the Punjab
must inevitably, sooner or later, become part of the Anglo-Indian
empire, either as a subsidiary power, like the Nizam, or directly, as a
province, no one can doubt; but its incorporation at this moment, in the
teeth of our late declaration against any further extension of
territory, and at the time when the Sikhs are zealously fulfilling their
engagements as our allies, would be both injudicious and unpopular in
the highest degree. An interview, however, is reported to have been
arranged between Lord Ellenborough and Shere Singh, which is to take
place in the course of the ensuing summer, and at which some definitive
arrangements will probably be entered into, on the future political
relations of the two Governments.[34]

     [34] The war in Tibet, to which we alluded in July last,
     between the followers of the Sikh chief Zorawur Singh and the
     Chinese, is still in progress--and the latter are said to be on
     the point of following up their successes by an invasion of
     Cashmeer. As we are now at peace with the Celestial Empire, our
     mediation may be made available to terminate the contest.

The only permanent accession of territory, then, which will result from
the Affghan war, will consist in the extension of our frontier along the
whole course of the Sutlej and Lower Indus--"the limits which nature
appears to have assigned to the Indian empire"--and in the altered
relations with some of the native states consequent on these
arrangements. As far as Loodeana, indeed, our frontier on the Sutlej has
long been well established, and defined by our recognition of the Sikh
kingdom on the opposite bank;--but the possessions of the chief of
Bhawulpoor, extending on the left bank nearly from Loodeana to the
confluence of the Sutlej with the Indus, have hitherto been almost
exempt from British interference;[35] as have also the petty Rajpoot
states of Bikaneer, Jesulmeer, &c., which form oases in the desert
intervening between Scinde and the provinces more immediately under
British control. These, it is to be presumed, will now be summarily
taken under the _protection_ of the Anglo-Indian Government:--but more
difficulty will probably be experienced with the fierce and imperfectly
subdued tribes of Scindians and Belooches, inhabiting the lower valley
of the Indus;--and, in order to protect the commerce of the river, and
maintain the undisputed command of its course, it will be necessary to
retain a sufficient extent of vantage-ground on the further bank, and to
keep up in the country an amount of force adequate to the effectual
coercion of these predatory races. For this purpose, a _place d'armes_
has been judiciously established at Sukkur, a town which, communicating
with the fort of Bukkur on an island of the Indus, and with Roree on the
opposite bank, effectually secures the passage of the river; and the
ports of Kurrachee and Sonmeani on the coast, the future marts of the
commerce of the Indus, have also been garrisoned by British troops.

     [35] Bhawulpoor is so far under British protection, that it was
     saved from the arms of the Sikhs by the treaty with Runjeet
     Singh, which confined him to the other bank of the Sutlej; but
     it has never paid allegiance to the British Government. Its
     territory is of considerable extent, stretching nearly 300
     miles along the river, by 100 miles average breadth; but great
     part of the surface consists of sandy desert.

It has long since been evident[36] that Scinde, by that _principle of
unavoidable expansion_ to which we had so often had occasion to refer,
must eventually have been absorbed into the dominions of the Company;
but the process by which it at last came into our hands is so curious a
specimen of our Bonapartean method of dealing with reluctant or
refractory neutrals, that we cannot pass it altogether without notice.
Scinde, as well as Beloochistan, had formed part of the extensive empire
subdued by Ahmed Shah, the founder of the Doorani monarchy; but in the
reign of his indolent son Timour, the Affghan yoke was shaken off by the
_Ameers_, or chiefs of the Belooch family of Talpoor, who, fixing their
residences respectively at Hydrabad, Meerpoor, and Khyrpoor, defied all
the efforts of the kings of Cabul to reduce them to submission, though
they more than once averted an invasion by the promise of tribute. It
has been rumoured that Shah-Shoojah, during his long exile, made
repeated overtures to the Cabinet of Calcutta for the cession of his
dormant claims to the _suzerainté_ of Scinde, in exchange for an
equivalent, either pecuniary or territorial; but the representations of
a fugitive prince, who proposed to cede what was not in his possession,
were disregarded by the rulers of India; and even in the famous
manifesto preceding the invasion of Affghanistan, Lord Auckland
announced, that "a guaranteed independence, on favourable conditions,
would be tendered to the Ameers of Scinde." On the appearance of our
army on the border, however, the Ameers demurred, not very unreasonably,
to the passage of this formidable host; and considerable delay ensued,
from the imperfect information possessed by the British commanders of
the amount of resistance to be expected; but at last the country and
fortress were forcibly occupied; the seaport of Kurrachee (where alone
any armed opposition was attempted) was bombarded and captured by our
ships of war; and a treaty was imposed at the point of the bayonet on
the Scindian rulers, by virtue of which they paid a contribution of
twenty-seven laks of rupees (nearly £300,000) to the expenses of the
war, under the name of arrears of tribute to Shah-Shoojah,
acknowledging, at the same time, the supremacy, _not of Shah-Shoojah_,
but of the English Government! The tolls on the Indus were also
abolished, and the navigation of the river placed, by a special
stipulation, wholly under the control of British functionaries. Since
this summary procedure, our predominance in Scinde has been undisturbed,
unless by occasional local commotions; but the last advices state that
the whole country is now "in an insurrectionary state;" and it is fully
expected that an attempt will erelong be made to follow the example of
the Affghans, and get rid of the intrusive _Feringhis_; in which case,
as the same accounts inform us, "the Ameers will be sent as
state-prisoners to Benares, and the territory placed wholly under
British administration."

     [36] So well were the Scindians aware of this, that Burnes,
     when ascending the Indus, on his way to Lahore in 1831,
     frequently heard it remarked, "Scinde is now gone, since the
     English have seen the river, which is the road to its

But whatever may be thought of the strict legality of the conveyance, in
virtue of which Scinde has been converted into an integral part of our
Eastern empire, its geographical position, as well as its natural
products, will render it a most valuable acquisition, both in a
commercial and political point of view. At the beginning of the present
century, the East-India Company had a factory at Tatta, (the Pattala of
the ancients,) the former capital of Scinde, immediately above the Delta
of the Indus; but their agents were withdrawn during the anarchy which
preceded the disruption of the Doorani monarchy. From that period till
the late occurrences, all the commercial intercourse with British India
was maintained either by land-carriage from Cutch, by which mode of
conveyance the opium of Malwa and Marwar (vast quantities of which are
exported in this direction) chiefly found its way into Scinde and
Beloochistan; or by country vessels of a peculiar build, with a
disproportionately lofty poop, and an elongated bow instead of a
bowsprit, which carried on an uncertain and desultory traffic with
Bombay and some of the Malabar ports. To avoid the dangerous sandbanks
at the mouths of the Indus, as well as the intricate navigation through
the winding streams of the Delta, (the course of which, as in the
Mississippi, changes with every inundation,) they usually discharged
their cargoes at Kurrachee, whence they were transported sixty miles
overland to Tatta, and there embarked in flat-bottomed boats on the main
stream. The port of Kurrachee, fourteen miles N.W. from the Pittee, or
western mouth of the Indus, and Sonmeani, lying in a deep bay in the
territory of Lus, between forty and fifty miles further in the same
direction, are the only harbours of import in the long sea-coast of
Beloochistan; and the possession of them gives the British the undivided
command of a trade which, in spite of the late disasters, already
promises to become considerable; while the interposition of the now
friendly state of Khelat[37] between the coast and the perturbed tribes
of Affghanistan, will secure the merchandise landed here a free passage
into the interior. The trade with these ports deserves, indeed, all the
fostering care of the Indian Government; since they must inevitably be,
at least for some years to come, the only inlet for Indian produce into
Beloochistan, Cabul, and the wide regions of Central Asia beyond them.
The overland carrying trade through Scinde and the Punjab, in which
(according to M. Masson) not less than 6500 camels were annually
employed, has been almost annihilated--not only by the confusion arising
from the war, but from the absolute want of means of transport, from the
unprecedented destruction of the camels occasioned by the exigencies of
the commissariat, &c. The rocky defiles of Affghanistan were heaped with
the carcasses of these indispensable animals, 50,000 of which (as is
proved by the official returns) perished in this manner in the course of
three years; and some years must necessarily elapse before the chasm
thus made in the numbers of the species throughout North-western India
can be supplied. The immense expenditure of the Army of Occupation, at
the same time, brought such an influx of specie into Affghanistan, as
had never been known since the sack of Delhi by Ahmed Shah
Doorani--while the traffic with India being at a stand-still for the
reasons we have just given, the superfluity of capital thus produced was
driven to find an outlet in the northern markets of Bokhara and
Turkestan. The consequence of this has been, that Russian manufactures
to an enormous amount have been poured into these regions, by way of
Astrakhan and the Caspian, to meet this increasing demand; and the value
of Russian commerce with Central Asia, which (as we pointed out in April
1840, p. 522) had for many years been progressively declining, was
doubled during 1840 and 1841, (_Bombay Times_, April 2, 1842,) and is
believed to be still on the increase! The opening of the navigation of
the Indus, with the exertions of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce to
establish depots on its course, and to facilitate the transmission of
goods into the surrounding countries, has already done much for the
restoration of traffic in this direction, in spite of the efforts of the
Russian agents in the north to keep possession of the opening thus
unexpectedly afforded them; but it cannot be denied that the "great
enlargement of our field of commerce," so confidently prognosticated by
Lord Palmerston, from "the great operations undertaken in the countries
lying west of the Indus," has run a heavy risk of being permanently
diverted into other channels, by the operation of the causes detailed

     [37] Khelat (more properly Khelat-i-Nussear Khan, "the citadel
     of Nussear Khan," by whom it was strongly fortified in 1750,)
     is the principal city and fortress of the Brahooes or Eastern
     Baloochee, and the residence of their chief. It had never been
     taken by any of the Affghan kings, and had even opposed a
     successful resistance to the arms of Ahmed Shah;--but on
     November 13, 1839, it was stormed by an Anglo-Indian force
     under General Wiltshire, and the Khan Mihrab was slain sword in
     hand, gallantly fighting to the last at the entrance of his
     zenana. The place, however, was soon after surprised and
     recaptured by the son of the fallen chief, Nussear Khan, who,
     though again expelled, continued to maintain himself with a few
     followers in the mountains, and at last effected an
     accommodation with the British, and was replaced on the musnud.
     He has since fulfilled his engagements to us with exemplary
     fidelity; and as his fears of compulsory vassalage to the
     nominally restored Affghan monarchy are now at an end, he
     appears likely to afford a solitary instance of a trans-Indian
     chief converted into a firm friend and ally.

Before we finally dismiss the subject of the Affghan war and its
consequences, we cannot overlook one feature in the termination of the
contest, which is of the highest importance, as indicating a return to a
better system than that miserable course of reduction and parsimony,
which, for some years past, has slowly but surely been alienating the
attachment, and breaking down the military spirit, of our native army.
We refer to the distribution, by order of Lord Ellenborough, of badges
of honorary distinction, as well as of more substantial rewards, in the
form of augmented allowances,[38] &c., to the sepoy corps which have
borne the brunt of the late severe campaign. Right well have these
honours and gratuities been merited; nor could any measure have been
better timed to strengthen in the hearts of the sepoys the bonds of the
_Feringhi salt_, to which they have so long proved faithful. The policy,
as well as the justice, of holding out every inducement which may rivet
the attachment of the native troops to our service, obvious as it must
appear, has in truth been of late too much neglected;[39] and it has
become at this juncture doubly imperative, both from the severe and
unpopular duty in which a considerable portion of the troops have
recently been engaged, and from the widely-spread disaffection which has
lately manifested itself in various quarters among the native
population. We predicted in July, as the probable consequence of our
reverses in Affghanistan, some open manifestation of the spirit of
revolt constantly smouldering among the various races of our subjects in
India, but the prophecy had already been anticipated by the event. The
first overt resistance to authority appeared in Bhundelkund, a wild and
imperfectly subjugated province in the centre of Hindostan, inhabited by
a fierce people called Bhoondelahs. An insurrection, in which nearly all
the native chiefs are believed to be implicated, broke out here early
in April; and a desultory and harassing warfare has since been carried
on in the midst of the almost impenetrable jungles and ravines which
overspread the district. The Nawab of Banda and the Bhoondee Rajah, a
Moslem and a Hindoo prince, respectively of some note in the
neighbourhood of the disturbed tracts, have been placed under
surveillance at Allahabad as the secret instigators of these movements,
"which," (says the _Agra Ukhbar_) "appear to have been regularly
organized all over India, the first intimation of which was the Nawab of
Kurnool's affair"--whose deposition we noticed in July. The valley of
Berar, also, in the vicinity of the Nizam's frontier, has been the scene
of several encounters between our troops and irregular bands of
insurgents; and the restless Arab mercenaries in the Dekkan are still in
arms, ready to take service with any native ruler who chooses to employ
them against the _Feringhis_. In the northern provinces, the aspect of
affairs is equally unfavourable. The Rohillas, the most warlike and
nationally-united race of Moslems in India, have shown alarming symptoms
of a refractory temper, fomented (as it has been reported) by the
disbanded troopers of the 2d Bengal cavalry,[40] (a great proportion of
whom were Rohillas,) and by Moslem deserters from the other regiments in
Affghanistan, who have industriously magnified the amount of our
losses--a pleasing duty, in which the native press, as usual, has
zealously co-operated. One of the newspapers printed in the Persian
language at Delhi, recently assured its readers that, at the forcing of
the Khyber Pass, "six thousand Europeans fell under the sharp swords of
the Faithful"--with other veracious intelligence, calculated to produce
the belief that the campaign must inevitably end, like the preceding, in
the defeat and extermination of the whole invading force. The fruits of
these inflammatory appeals to the pride and bigotry of the Moslems, is
thus painted in a letter from Rohilcund, which we quote from that
excellent periodical the _Asiatic Journal_ for September:--"The
Mahomedans throughout Rohilcund hate us to a degree only second to what
the Affghans do, their interest in whose welfare they can scarcely
conceal.... There are hundreds of heads of tribes, all of whom would
rise to a man on what they considered a fitting opportunity, which they
are actually thirsting after. A hint from their moolahs, and the display
of the green flag, would rally around it every Mussulman. In March last,
the population made no scruple of declaring that the _Feringhi raj_
(English rule) was at an end; and some even disputed payment of the
revenue, saying it was probable they should have to pay it again to
another Government! They have given out a report that Akhbar Khan has
disbanded his army for the present, in order that his men may visit
their families; but in the cold weather, when our troops will be
weakened and unfit for action, he will return with an overwhelming
force, aided by every Mussulman as far as Ispahan, when they will
annihilate our whole force and march straight to Delhi, and ultimately
send us to our ships. The whole Mussulman population, in fact, are
filled with rejoicing and _hope_ at our late reverses."

     [38] By a general order, issued from Simla October 4, all
     officers and soldiers, of whatever grade, who took part in the
     operations about Candahar, the defence of Khelat-i-Ghiljie, the
     recapture of Ghazni or Cabul, or the forcing of the Khyber
     Pass, are to receive a silver medal with appropriate
     inscriptions--a similar distinction having been previously
     conferred on the defenders of Jellalabad. _What is at present
     the value of the Order of the Doorani Empire_, with its showy
     decorations of the first, second, and third classes, the last
     of which was so rightfully spurned by poor Dennie?

     [39] The following remarks of the _Madras United Service
     Gazette_, though intended to apply only to the Secunderabad
     disturbances, deserve general attention at present:--"We
     attribute the lately-diminished attachment of the sepoys for
     their European officers to _a diminished inclination for the
     service_, the duties whereof have of late years increased in
     about the same proportion that its advantages have been
     reduced. The cavalry soldier of the present day has more than
     double the work to do that a trooper had forty years ago;...
     and the infantry sepoy's garrison guard-work has been for years
     most fatiguing at every station, from the numerical strength of
     the troops being quite inadequate to the duties.... These
     several unfavourable changes have gradually given the sepoy a
     distaste for the service, which has been augmented by the
     stagnant state of promotion, caused by the reductions in 1829,
     when one-fifth of the infantry, and one-fourth of the cavalry,
     native commissioned and non-commissioned officers, became
     supernumerary, thus effectually closing the door of promotion
     to the inferior grades for years to come. Hopeless of
     advancement, the sepoy from that time became gradually less
     attentive to his duties, less respectful to his superiors, as
     careless of a service which no longer held out any prospect of
     promotion. Still, however, the bonds of discipline were not
     altogether loosened, till Lord W. Bentinck's abolition of
     corporal punishment; and from the promulgation of that
     ill-judged order may be dated the decided change for the worse
     which has taken place in the character of the native soldiery."

     [40] This corps, it will be remembered, was broken for its
     misconduct in the battle of Purwan-Durrah, against Dost
     Mohammed, November 2, 1840.

It may be said that we are unnecessarily multiplying instances, and that
these symptoms of local fermentation are of little individual
importance; but nothing can be misplaced which has a tendency to dispel
the universal and unaccountable error which prevails in England, as to
the _popularity of our sway in India_. The signs of the times are
tolerably significant--and the apprehensions of a coming commotion which
we expressed in July, as well as of the quarter in which it will
probably break out, are amply borne out by the language of the
best-informed publications of India. "That the seeds of discontent" says
the _Delhi Gazette_--"have been sown by the Moslems, and have partially
found root among the Hindoos, is more than conjecture"--and the
warnings of the _Agra Ukhbar_ are still more unequivocal. "Reports have
reached Agra that a general rise will erelong take place in the Dekkan.
There have already been several allusions made to a very extensive
organization among the native states[41] against the British power, the
resources of which will, no doubt, be stretched to the utmost during the
ensuing cold season. Disaffection is wide and prevalent, and when our
withdrawal from Affghanistan becomes known, it will ripen into open
insurrection. With rebellion in Central India, and famine in Northern,
Government have little time to lose in collecting their energies to meet
the crisis." The increase of means which the return of the army from
Affghanistan will place at the disposal of the Governor-General, will
doubtless do much in either overawing or suppressing these
insurrectionary demonstrations; but even in this case the snake will
have been only "scotched, not killed;" and the most practical and
effectual method of rendering such attempts hopeless for the future,
will be the replacing the Indian army on the same efficient footing, as
to numbers and composition, on which it stood before the ill-judged
measures of Lord William Bentinck. The energies of the native troops
have been heavily tasked, and their fidelity severely tried, during the
Affghan war; and though they have throughout nobly sustained the high
character which they had earned by their past achievements, the
experiment on their endurance should not be carried too far. Many of the
errors of past Indian administrations have already been remedied by Lord
Ellenborough; and we cannot refrain from the hope, that the period of
his Government will not be suffered to elapse without a return to the
old system on this point also--the vital point on which the stability of
our empire depends.

     [41] The Nawab of Arcot, one of the native princes, whose
     fidelity is now strongly suspected, assured the Resident, in
     his reply to the official communication of the capture of
     Ghazni in 1839, that from his excessive joy at the triumph of
     his good friend the Company, his bulk of body had so greatly
     increased that he was under the necessity of providing himself
     with a new wardrobe--his garments having become too strait for
     his unbounded stomach! A choice specimen of oriental bombast.

Such have been the consequences, as far as they have hitherto been
developed, to the foreign and domestic relations of our Eastern empire,
of the late memorable Affghan war. In many points, an obvious parallel
may be drawn between its commencement and progress, and that of the
invasion of Spain by Napoleon. In both cases, the territory of an
unoffending people was invaded and overrun, in the plenitude of (as was
deemed by the aggressors) irresistible power, on the pretext, in each
case, that it was necessary to anticipate an ambitious rival in the
possession of a country which might be used as a vantage ground against
us. In both cases, the usurpation was thinly veiled by the elevation of
a pageant-monarch to the throne; till the invaded people, goaded by the
repeated indignities offered to their religious and national pride, rose
_en masse_ against their oppressors at the same moment in the capital
and the provinces, and either cut them off, or drove them to the
frontier. In each case the intruders, by the arrival of reinforcements,
regained for a time their lost ground; and if our Whig rulers had
continued longer at the helm of affairs, the parallel might have become
complete throughout. The strength and resources of our Indian empire
might have been drained in the vain attempt to complete the subjugation
of a rugged and impracticable country, inhabited by a fierce and bigoted
population; and an "Affghan _ulcer_." (to use the ordinary phrase of
Napoleon himself in speaking of the Spanish war) might have corroded the
vitals, and undermined the fabric, of British domination in the East.
Fortunately, however, for our national welfare and our national
character, better counsels are at length in the ascendant. The triumphs
which have again crowned our arms, have not tempted our rulers to resume
the perfidious policy which their predecessors, in the teeth of their
own original declarations, have now openly avowed, by "retaining
military possession of the countries west of the Indus;" and the candid
acknowledgement of the error committed in the first instance, affords
security against the repetition of such acts of wanton aggression, and
for adherence to the pacific policy now laid down. The ample resources
of India have yet in a great measure to be explored and developed, and
it is impossible to foresee what results may be attained, when (in the
language of the _Bombay Times_) "wisdom guides for good and worthy ends,
that resistless energy which madness has wasted on the opposite. We now
see that, even with Affghanistan as a broken barrier, Russia dares not
move her finger against us--that with seventeen millions sterling thrown
away, we are able to recover all our mischances, if relieved from the
rulers and the system which imposed them upon us!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The late proclamation of Lord Ellenborough has been so frequently
referred to in the foregoing pages, that for the sake of perspicuity we
subjoin it in full.

"Secret Department, Simla,

"Oct. 1, 1842.

"The Government of India directed its army to pass the Indus, in order
to expel from Affghanistan a chief believed to be hostile to British
interests, and to replace upon his throne a sovereign represented to be
friendly to those interests, and popular with his former subjects.

"The chief believed to be hostile became a prisoner, and the sovereign
represented to be popular was replaced upon his throne; but after events
which brought into question his fidelity to the Government by which he
was restored, he lost, by the hands of an assassin, the throne he had
only held amidst insurrections, and his death was preceded and followed
by still existing anarchy.

"Disasters, unparalleled in their extent, unless by the errors in which
they originated, and by the treachery by which they were completed, have
in one short campaign been avenged upon every scene of past misfortune;
and repeated victories in the field, and the capture of the cities and
citadels of Ghazni and Cabul, have again attached the opinion of
invincibility to the British arms.

"The British army in possession of Affghanistan will now be withdrawn to
the Sutlej.

"The Governor-General will leave it to the Affghans themselves to create
a government amidst the anarchy which is the consequence of their

"To force a sovereign upon a reluctant people, would be as inconsistent
with the policy, as it is with the principles, of the British
Government, tending to place the arms and resources of that people at
the disposal of the first invader, and to impose the burden of
supporting a sovereign without the prospect of benefit from his

"The Governor-General will willingly recognize any government approved
by the Affghans themselves, which shall appear desirous and capable of
maintaining friendly relations with neighbouring states.

"Content with the limits nature appears to have assigned to its empire,
the Government of India will devote all its efforts to the establishment
and maintenance of general peace, to the protection of the sovereigns
and chiefs its allies, and to the prosperity and happiness of its own
faithful subjects.

"The rivers of the Punjab and the Indus, and the mountainous passes and
the barbarous tribes of Affghanistan, will be placed between the British
army and an enemy from the west, if indeed such an enemy there can be,
and no longer between the army and its supplies.

"The enormous expenditure required for the support of a large force in a
false military position, at a distance from its own frontier and its
resources, will no longer arrest every measure for the improvement of
the country and of the people.

"The combined army of England and of India, superior in equipment, in
discipline, in valour, and in the officers by whom it is commanded, to
any force which can be opposed to it in Asia, will stand in unassailable
strength upon its own soil, and for ever, under the blessing of
Providence, preserve the glorious empire it has won, in security and in

"The Governor-General cannot fear the misconstruction of his motives in
thus frankly announcing to surrounding states the pacific and
conservative policy of his Government.

"Affghanistan and China have seen at once the forces at his disposal,
and the effect with which they can be applied.

"Sincerely attached to peace for the sake of the benefits it confers
upon the people, the Governor-General is resolved that peace shall be
observed, and will put forth the whole power of the British Government
to coerce the state by which it shall be infringed."

       *       *       *       *       *


There are few things more painful connected with the increase of years
in an established periodical like our own, than to observe how "friend
after friend departs," to witness the gradual thinning of the ranks of
its contributors by death, and the departure, from the scene, of those
whose talents or genius had contributed to its early influence and
popularity. Many years have not elapsed since we were called on to
record the death of the upright and intelligent publisher, to whose
energy and just appreciation of the public taste, its origin and success
are in a great degree to be ascribed. On the present occasion another of
these melancholy memorials is required of us; the accomplished author of
"Cyril Thornton," whose name and talents had been associated with the
Magazine from its commencement, is no more. He died at Pisa on the 7th
December last.

Mr Hamilton exhibited a remarkable union of scholarship, high breeding,
and amiability of disposition. To the habitual refinement of taste which
an early mastery of the classics had produced, his military profession
and intercourse with society had added the ease of the man of the world,
while they had left unimpaired his warmth of feeling and kindliness of
heart. Amidst the active services of the Peninsular and American
campaigns, he preserved his literary tastes; and, when the close of the
war restored him to his country, he seemed to feel that the peaceful
leisure of a soldier's life could not be more appropriately filled up
than by the cultivation of literature. The characteristic of his mind
was rather a happy union and balance of qualities than the possession of
any one in excess; and the result was a peculiar composure and
gracefulness, pervading equally his outward deportment and his habits of
thought. The only work of fiction which he has given to the public
certainly indicates high powers both of pathetic and graphic
delineation; but the qualities which first and most naturally attracted
attention, were rather his excellent judgment of character, at once just
and generous, his fine perception and command of wit and quiet humour,
rarely, if ever, allowed to deviate into satire or sarcasm, and the
refinement, taste, and precision with which he clothed his ideas,
whether in writing or in conversation. From the boisterous or
extravagant he seemed instinctively to recoil, both in society and in

Of his contributions to this Magazine it would be out of place here to
speak, further than to say that they indicated a wide range and
versatility of talent, embraced both prose and verse, and were
universally popular. "Cyril Thornton," which appeared in 1827, instantly
arrested public attention and curiosity, even in an age eminently
fertile in great works of fiction. With little of plot--for it pursued
the desultory ramblings of military life through various climes--it
possessed a wonderful truth and reality, great skill in the observation
and portraiture of original character, and a peculiar charm of style,
blending freshness and vivacity of movement with classic delicacy and
grace. The work soon became naturally and justly popular, having reached
a second edition shortly after publication: a third edition has recently
appeared. The "Annals of the Peninsular Campaign" had the merit of clear
narration, united with much of the same felicity of style; but the size
of the work excluded that full development and picturesque detail which
were requisite to give individuality to its pictures. His last work was
"Men and Manners in America," of which two German and one French
translations have already appeared; a work eminently characterized by a
tone of gentlemanly feeling, sagacious observation, just views of
national character and institutions, and their reciprocal influence, and
by tolerant criticism; and which, so far from having been superseded by
recent works of the same class and on the same subject, has only risen
in public estimation by the comparison.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul's Work_.

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