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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 329, March, 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. 329, March, 1843" ***

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Library of Early Journals.



BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE

NO. CCCXXIX.   MARCH, 1843.   VOL. LIII.



CONTENTS.


    AMMALÁT BEK. A TRUE TALE OF THE CAUCASUS FROM THE RUSSIAN OF MARLÍNSKI
    POEMS AND BALLADS OF SCHILLER.--NO. VI.
    CALEB STUKELY. PART XII.
    IMAGINARY CONVERSATION. BY WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR. SANDT AND KOTZEBUE
    THE JEWELLER'S WIFE. A PASSAGE IN THE CAREER OF EL EMPECINADO
    THE TALE OF A TUB:
        AN ADDITIONAL CHAPTER--HOW JACK RAN MAD A SECOND TIME
    PAUL DE KOCKNEYISMS, BY A COCKNEY
    THE WORLD OF LONDON. SECOND SERIES. PART III.
    THE LOST LAMB. BY DELTA
    COMTE

       *       *       *       *       *



AMMALÁT BEK.

A TRUE TALE OF THE CAUCASUS.

TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN OF MARLÍNSKI. BY THOMAS B. SHAW, B.A. OF
CAMBRIDGE, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE IN THE IMPERIAL
LYCEUM OF TSARSKOË SELO.


THE TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

The English mania for travelling, which supplies our continental
neighbours with such abundant matter for wonderment and witticism, is of
no very recent date. Now more than ever, perhaps, does this passion seem
to possess us:

    "----tenet insanabile multos
    _Terrarum_ [Greek: kakoithes], et ægro in corde senescit:"

when the press groans with "Tours," "Trips," "Hand-books," "Journeys,"
"Visits."

In spite of this, it is as notorious as unaccountable, that England
knows very little, or at least very little correctly, of the social
condition, manners, and literature of one of the most powerful among her
continental sisters.

The friendly relations between Great Britain and Russia, established in
the reign of Edward V., have subsisted without interruption since that
epoch, so auspicious to both nations: the bond of amity, first knit by
Chancellor in 1554, has never since been relaxed: the two nations have
advanced, each at its own pace, and by its own paths, towards the
sublime goal of improvement and civilization--have stood shoulder to
shoulder in the battle for the weal and liberty of mankind.

It is, nevertheless, as strange as true, that the land of Alfred and
Elizabeth is yet but imperfectly acquainted with the country of Peter
and of Catharine. The cause of this ignorance is assuredly not to be
found in any indifference or want of curiosity on the part of English
travellers. There is no lack of pilgrims annually leaving the bank of
Thames,

    "With cockle hat and staff,
      With gourd and sandal shoon;"

armed duly with note-book and "patent Mordan," directing their wandering
steps to the shores of Ingria, or the gilded cupolas of Moscow. But a
very short residence in the empire of the Tsar will suffice to convince
a foreigner how defective, and often how false, is the information given
by travellers respecting the social and national character of the
Russians. These abundant and singular misrepresentations are not, of
course, voluntary; and it may not be useless to point out their
principal sources.

The chief of these is, without doubt, the difficulty and novelty of the
language, and the unfortunate facility of travelling over the beaten
track--from St Petersburg to Moscow, and from Moscow, perhaps, to Nijny
Nóvgorod, without any acquaintance with that language. The foreigner may
enjoy, during a visit of the usual duration, the hospitality for which
the higher classes are so justly celebrated; but his association with
the nobility will be found an absolute obstacle to the making even a
trifling progress in the Russian language; which, though now regaining a
degree of attention from the elevated classes,[1] too long denied to it
by those with whom their native tongue _was_ an unfashionable one--he
would have no occasion at all to speak, and not even very frequent
opportunities of hearing.

     [1] There is, strictly speaking, no middle class in Russia; the
     "bourgeoisie," or merchants, it is true, may seem to form an
     exception to this remark, but into their circles the traveller
     would find it, from many reasons, difficult, and even
     impossible, to enter.

But even in those rare cases where the stranger united to a
determination to study the noble and interesting language of the
country, an intention of remaining here long enough to learn it, he was
often discouraged by the belief, that the literature was too poor to
repay his time and labour. Besides, the Russian language has so little
relation to the other European tongues--it stands so much alone, and
throws so little direct light upon any of them, that another obstacle
was thrown into his way.

The acquisition of any one of that great family of languages, all
derived, more or less remotely, from the Latin, which extends over the
whole south and west of Europe, cannot fail to cast a strong light upon
the other cognate dialects; as the knowledge of any one of the Oriental
tongues facilitates, nay almost confers, a mastery over the thousand
others, which are less languages of distinct type than dialects of the
same speech, offshoots from the same stock.

Add to this, the extraordinary errors and omissions which abound in
every disquisition hitherto published in French, English, and German
periodicals with regard to Russian literature, and deform those wretched
rags of translation which are all that has been hitherto done towards
the reproduction, in our own language, of the literature of Russia.
These versions were made by persons utterly unacquainted with the
country, the manners, and the people, or made after the Russian had been
distilled through the alembic of a previous French or German
translation.

Poetry naturally forces its way into the notice of a foreign nation
sooner than prose; but it is, nevertheless, rather singular than
honourable to the literary enterprise of England, that the present is
the first attempt to introduce to the British public any work of Russian
Prose Fiction whatever, with any thing like a reasonable selection of
subject and character, at least _directly_ from the original language.

The two volumes of Translations published by Bowring, under the title of
"Russian Anthology," and consisting chiefly of short lyric pieces, would
appear at first sight an exception to that indifference to the
productions of Russian genius of which we have accused the English
public; and the popularity of that collection would be an additional
encouragement to the hope, that our charge may be, if not ill-founded,
at least exaggerated.

We are willing to believe, that the degree--if we are rightly informed,
no slight one--of interest with which these volumes were welcomed in
England, was sufficient to blind their readers to the extreme
incompetency with which the translations they contained were executed.

It is always painful to find fault--more painful to criticise with
severity--the work of a person whose motive was the same as that which
actuates the present publication; but when the gross unfaithfulness[2]
exhibited in the versions in question tends to give a false and
disparaging idea of the value and the tone of Russian poetry, we may be
excused for our apparent uncourteousness in thus pointing out their
defects.

     [2] In making so grave a charge, proof will naturally be
     required of us. Though we might fill many pages with instances
     of the two great sins of the translator, commission and
     omission, the _poco piu_ and _poco meno_, we will content
     ourselves with taking, _ad aperturam libri_, an example. At
     page 55 of the Second Part of Bowring's Russian Anthology, will
     be found a short lyric piece of Dmítrieff, entitled "To Chloe."
     It consists of five stanzas, each of four very short lines. Of
     these five stanzas, three have a totally different meaning in
     the English from their signification in the Russian, and of the
     remaining two, one contains an idea which the reader will look
     for in vain in the original. This carelessness is the less
     excusable, as the verses in question present nothing in style,
     subject, or diction, which could offer the smallest difficulty
     to a translator. Judging this to be no unfair test, (the piece
     in question was taken at random,) it will not be necessary to
     dilate upon minor defects, painfully perceptible through
     Bowring's versions; as, for instance, a frequent disregard of
     the Russian metres--sins against _costume_, as, for example,
     the making a hussar (a _Russian_ hussar) swear by his _beard_,
     &c. &c. &c.

It will not, we trust, be considered out of place to give our readers a
brief sketch of the history of the Russian literature; the origin,
growth, and fortunes of which are marked by much that is peculiar. In
doing this we shall content ourselves with noting, as briefly as
possible, the events which preceded and accompanied the birth of letters
in Russia, and the evolution of a literature not elaborated by the slow
and imperceptible action of time, but bursting, like the armed Pallas,
suddenly into light.

In performing this task, we shall confine our attention solely to the
department of Prose Fiction, looking forward meanwhile with anxiety,
though not without hope, to a future opportunity of discussing more
fully the intellectual annals of Russia.

In the year of redemption 863, two Greeks of Thessalonika, Cyril[3] and
Methodius, sent by Michael, Emperor of the East, conferred the precious
boon of alphabetic writing upon Kostisláff, Sviatopólk, and Kótsel, then
chiefs of the Moravians.

     [3] Cyril was the ecclesiastical or claustral name of this
     important personage, his real name was Constantine.

The characters they introduced were naturally those of the Greek
alphabet, to which they were obliged, in order to represent certain
sounds which do not occur in the Greek language,[4] to add a number of
other signs borrowed from the Hebrew, the Armenian, and the Coptic. So
closely, indeed, did this alphabet, called the Cyrillian, follow the
Greek characters, that the use of the aspirates was retained without any
necessity.

     [4] For instance, the _j_, (pronounced as the French _j_), _ts,
     sh, shtsh, tch, ui, yä_. As the characters representing these
     sounds are not to be found in the "case" of an English
     compositor, we cannot enter into their Oriental origin.

These characters (with the exception of a few which are omitted in the
Russian) varied surprisingly little in their form,[5] and perhaps
without any change whatever in their vocal value, compose the modern
alphabet of the Russian language; an examination of which would go far,
in our opinion, to settle the long agitated question respecting the
ancient pronunciation of the classic languages, particularly as Cyril
and his brother adapted the Greek alphabet to a language totally foreign
from, and unconnected with, any dialect of Greek.

     [5] Not to speak of the capitals, the [Greek: gamma, delta,
     zeta, kappa, lambda, mu, omicron, pi, rho, sigma, phi, chi,
     theta], have undergone hardly the most trifling change in form;
     [Greek: psi, xi, omega], though they do not occur in the
     Russian, are found in the Slavonic alphabet. The Russian
     pronunciation of their letter B, which agrees with that of the
     modern Greeks, is V, there being another character for the
     _sound_ B.

In this, as in all other languages, the translation of the Bible is the
first monument and model of literature. This version was made by Cyril
immediately after the composition of the alphabet. The language spoken
at Thessalonika was the Servian: but from the immense number of purely
Greek words which occur in the translation, as well as from the fact of
the version being a strictly literal one, it is probable that the
Scriptures were not translated into any specific spoken dialect at all;
but that a kind of _mezzo-termine_ was selected--or rather formed--for
the purpose. What we have advanced derives a still stronger degree of
probability from the circumstance, that the Slavonic Bible follows the
Greek _construction_. This Bible, with slight changes and corrections
produced by three or four revisions made at different periods, is that
still employed by the Russian Church; and the present spoken language of
the country differs so widely from it, that the Slavonian of the Bible
forms a separate branch of education to the priests and to the upper
classes--who are instructed in this _dead_ language, precisely as an
Italian must study Latin in order to read the Bible.

Above the sterile and uninteresting desert of early Russian history,
towers, like the gigantic Sphynx of Ghizeh over the sand of the Thebaid,
one colossal figure--that of Vladímir Sviatoslávitch; the first to
surmount the bloody splendour of the Great Prince's bonnet[6] with the
mildly-radiant Cross of Christ.

     [6] The crown was not worn by the ancient Russian sovereigns,
     or "Grand Princes," as they were called; the insignia of these
     potentates was a close skull-cap, called in Russian shápka,
     bonnet; many of which are preserved in the regalia of Moscow.
     This bonnet is generally surrounded by the most precious furs,
     and gorgeously decorated with gems.

From the conversion to Christianity of Vladímir and his
subjects--passing over the wild and rapacious dominion of the Tartar
hordes, which lasted for about 250 years--we may consider two languages,
essentially distinct, to have been employed in Russia till the end of
the 17th century--the one the written or learned, the other the spoken
language.

The former was the Slavonian into which the Holy Scriptures were
translated: and this remained the learned or official language for a
long period. In this--or in an imitation of this, effected with various
degrees of success--were compiled the different collections of Monkish
annals which form the treasury whence future historians were to select
their materials from among the valuable, but confused accumulations of
facts; in this the solemn acts of Government, treaties, codes, &c., were
composed; and the few writings which cannot be comprised under the above
classes[7] were naturally compiled in the language, emphatically that of
the Church and of learning.

     [7] For instance, sermons, descriptions, voyages and travels,
     &c. Two of the last-mentioned species of works are very curious
     from their antiquity. The Pilgrimage to Jerusalem of Daniel,
     prior of a convent, at the commencement of the 12th century;
     and the Memoirs of a Journey to India by Athanase Nikítin,
     merchant of Tver, made about 1470.

The sceptre of the wild Tartar Khans was not, as may be imagined, much
allied to the pen; the hordes of fierce and greedy savages which
overran, like the locusts of the Apocalypse, for two centuries and a
half the fertile plains of central and southern Russia, contented
themselves with exacting tribute from a nation which they despised
probably too much to feel any desire of interfering with its language;
and the dominion of the Tartars produced hardly any perceptible effect
upon the Russian tongue.[8]

     [8] The only traces left on the _language_ by the Tartar
     domination are a few words, chiefly expressing articles of
     dress.

It is to the reign of Alexéi Mikháilovitch, who united Little Russia to
Muscovy, that we must look for the germ of the modern literature of the
country: the language had begun to feel the influence of the Little
Russian, tinctured by the effects of Polish civilization, and the spirit
of classicism which so long distinguished the Sarmatian literature.

The impulse given to this union, of so momentous an import to the future
fortunes of the empire, at the beginning of the year 1654, would
possibly have brought forth in course of time a literature in Russia
such as we now find it, had not the extraordinary reign, and still more
extraordinary character, of Peter the Great interposed certain
disturbing--if, indeed, they may not be called in some measure
impeding--forces. That giant hand which broke down the long impregnable
dike which had hitherto separated Russia from the rest of Europe, and
admitted the arts, the learning, and the civilization of the West to
rush in with so impetuous a flood, fertilizing as it came, but also
destroying and sweeping away something that was valuable, much that was
national--that hand was unavoidably too heavy and too strong to nurse
the infant seedling of literature; and the command and example of Peter
perhaps rather favoured the imitation of what was good in other
languages, than the production of originality in his own.

This opinion, bold and perhaps rash as it may appear to Russians, seems
to derive some support, as well as illustration, from the immense number
of foreign words which make the Russian of Peter's time

     "A Babylonish dialect;"

the mania for every thing foreign having overwhelmed the language with
an infinity of terms rudely torn, not skilfully adapted, from every
tongue; terms which might have been--have, indeed, since
been--translated into words of Russian form and origin. A review of the
literary progress made at this time will, we think, go far to establish
our proposition; it will exhibit a very large proportion of
translations, but very few original productions.

From this period begins the more immediate object of the present note:
we shall briefly trace the rise and fortunes of the present, or
vernacular Russian literature; confining our attention, as we have
proposed, to the Prose Fiction, and contenting ourselves with noting,
cursorily, the principal authors in this kind, living and dead.

At the time of Peter the Great, there may be said to have existed (it
will be convenient to keep in mind) three languages--the Slavonic, to
which we have already alluded; the Russian; and the dialect of Little
Russia.

The fact, that the learned are not yet agreed upon the exact epoch from
which to date the origin of the modern Russian literature, will probably
raise a smile on the reader's lip; but the difficulty of establishing
this important starting-point will become apparent when he reflects upon
the circumstance, that the literature is--as we have stated--divisible
into two distinct and widely differing regions. It will be sufficiently
accurate to date the origin of the modern Russian literature at about a
century back from the present time; and to consider Lomonósoff as its
founder. Mikháil Vassílievitch Lomonósoff, born in 1711, is the author
who may with justice be regarded as the Chaucer or the Boccacio of the
North: a man of immense and varied accomplishments, distinguished in
almost every department of literature, and in many of the walks of
science. An orator and a poet, he adorned the language whose principles
he had fixed as a grammarian.

He was the first to write in the spoken language of his country, and, in
conjunction with his two contemporaries, Soumarókoff and Kheráskoff, he
laid the foundations of the Russian literature.

Of the other two names we have mentioned as entitled to share the
reverence due from every Russian to the fathers of his country's
letters, it will be sufficient to remark, that Soumarókoff was the first
to introduce tragedy and opera, and Kheráskoff, the author of two epic
poems which we omit to particularize, as not coming within our present
scope, wrote a work entitled "Cadmus and Harmonia," which may be
considered as the first romance. It is a narrative and metaphysical
work, which we should class as a "prose poem;" the style being
considerably elevated above the tone of the "Musa pedestris."

The name of Emín comes next in historical, though not literary,
importance: though the greater part of his productions consists of
translations, particularly of those shorter pieces of prose fiction
called by the Italians "novelle," he was the author of a few original
pieces, now but little read; his style bears the marks, like that of
Kheráskoff, of heaviness, stiffness, and want of finish.

The reputation of Karamzín is too widely spread throughout Europe to
render necessary more than a passing remark as to the additions made by
him to the literature of his country in the department of fiction: he
commenced a romance, of which he only lived to finish a few of the first
chapters.

Naréjniy was the first to paint the real life of Russia--or rather of
the South or Little Russia: in his works there is a good deal of
vivacity, but as they are deformed by defects both in style and taste,
his reputation has become almost extinct. We cannot quit this division
of our subject, which refers to romantic fiction anterior to the
appearance of the regular historical novel, without mentioning the names
of two, among a considerable number of authors, distinguished as having
produced short narratives or tales, embodying some historical
event--Polevói and Bestónjeff--the latter of whom wrote, under the name
of Marlínski, a very large number of tales, which have acquired a high
and deserved reputation.

It is with Zagóskin that we may regard the regular historical
novel--viewing that species of composition as exemplified in the works
of Scott--as having commenced.

With reference to the present state of romance in Russia, the field is
so extensive as to render impossible, in this place, more than a cursory
allusion to the principal authors and their best-known works: in doing
which, we shall attend more exclusively to those productions of which
the subject or treatment is purely national.

One of the most popular and prolific writers of fiction is Zagóskin,
whose historical romance "Yoúriy Milosláffskiy," met with great and
permanent success. The epoch of this story is in 1612, a most
interesting crisis in the Russian history, when the valour of Mínin
enabled his countrymen to shake off the hated yoke of Poland. His other
work, "Roslavleóff," is less interesting: the period is 1812. We may
also mention his "Iskonsítel"--"the Tempter"--a fantastic story, in
which an imaginary being is represented as mingling with and influencing
the affairs of real life.

Of Boulgárin, we may mention, besides his "Ivan Vuíjgin," a romance in
the manner of "Gil Blas," the scenery and characters of which are
entirely Russian, two historical novels of considerable importance. "The
False Dimítri," and "Mazeppa,"--the hero of the latter being _a real
person_, and not, as most readers are aware, a fictitious character
invented by Byron.

Next comes the name of Lajétchnikoff, whose "Last Page" possesses a
reputation, we believe, tolerably extensive throughout Europe. The
action passes during the war between Charles XII. and Peter the Great,
and Catharine plays a chief part in it, as servant of the pastor Glück,
becoming empress at the conclusion. The "House of Ice," by the same
writer, is perhaps more generally known than the preceding work. The
last-named romance depicts with great spirit the struggle between the
Russian and foreign parties in the reign of Anna Ivánovna. But perhaps
the most remarkable work of Lajétchnikoff is the romance entitled
"Bassourmán," the scene of which is laid under Iván III., surnamed the
Great.[9] Another Polevói (Nikolái) produced a work of great
merit:--"The Oath at the Tomb of Our Lord," a very faithful picture of
the first half of the fifteenth century, and singular from the
circumstance that love plays no part in the drama. Besides this, we owe
to Polevói a wild story entitled "Abbaddon." Veltman produced, under the
title of "Kostshéi the Deathless," a historical study of the manners of
the twelfth century, possessing considerable merit. It would be unjust
to omit the name of a lady, the Countess Shíshkin, who produced the
historical novel "Mikháil Vassílievitch Skópin-Shúisky," which obtained
great popularity.

     [9] The non-Russian reader must be cautioned not to confuse
     Iván III. (surnamed Velíkiy, or the Great) with Ivan IV., the
     Cruel, the latter of whom is to foreigners the most prominent
     figure in the Russian history. Iván III. mounted the throne in
     1462, and his terrible namesake in 1534; the reign of Vassíliy
     Ivánovitch intervening between these two memorable epochs.

The picturesque career of Lomonósoff gave materials for a romantic
biography of that poet, the work of Xenophónt Polevói, resembling, in
its mixture of truth and fiction, the "Wahrheit und Dichtung" of Goethe.

Among the considerable number of romances already mentioned, those
exhibiting scenes of private life and domestic interest have not been
neglected. Kaláshnikoff wrote "The Merchant Jáloboff's Daughter," and
the "Kamtchadálka," both describing the scenery and manners of Siberia;
the former painting various parts of that wild and interesting country,
the latter confined more particularly to the Peninsula of Kamtchátka.
Besides Gógol, whose easy and prolific pen has presented us with so many
humorous sketches of provincial life, we cannot pass over Begitchéff,
whose "Khólmsky Family" possesses much interest; but the delineations of
Gógol depend so much for their effect upon delicate shades of manner,
&c., that it is not probable they can ever be effectively reproduced in
another language.

Mentioning Peróffsky, whose "Monastírka" gives a picture of Russian
interior life, we pass to Gretch, an author of some European reputation.
His "Trip to Germany" describes, with singular piquancy, the manners of
a very curious race--the Germans of St Petersburg; and "Tchérnaia
Jénstchina," "the Black Woman," presents a picture of Russian society,
which was welcomed with great eagerness by the public.

The object of these pages being to invite the attention of British
readers to a very rich field, in a literature hitherto most
unaccountably neglected by the English public, the present would not be
a fit occasion to enter with any minuteness into the history of Russian
letters, or to give, in fact, more than a passing allusion to its chief
features; the translator hopes that he will be excused for the
meagreness of the present notice.

He will be abundantly repaid for his exertions, by the discovery of any
increasing desire on the part of his countrymen to become more
accurately acquainted with the character of a nation, worthy, he is
convinced, of a very high degree of respect and admiration. How could
that acquaintance be so delightfully, or so effectually made, as by the
interchange of literature? The great works of English genius are read,
studied, and admired, throughout the vast empire of Russia; the language
of England is rapidly and steadily extending, and justice, no less than
policy, demands, that many absurd misapprehensions respecting the social
and domestic character, no less than the history, of Russia, should be
dispelled by truth.

The translator, in conclusion, trusts that it will not be superfluous to
specify one or two of the reasons which induced him to select the
present romance, as the first-fruit of his attempt to naturalize in
England the literature of Russia.

It is considered as a very good specimen of the author's style; the
facts and characters are all strictly true;[10] besides this, the author
passed many years in the Caucasus, and made full use of the
opportunities he thus enjoyed of becoming familiar with the language,
manners, and scenery of a region on which the attention of the English
public has long been turned with peculiar interest.

     [10] The translator recently met in society a Russian officer,
     who had served with distinction in the country which forms the
     scene of "Ammalát Bek." This gentleman had intimately known
     Marlínski, and bore witness to the perfect accuracy of his
     delineations, as well of the external features of nature as of
     the characters of his _dramatis personæ_. The officer alluded
     to had served some time in the very regiment commanded by the
     unfortunate Verkhóffsky. Our fair readers may be interested to
     learn, that Seltanetta still lives, and yet bears traces of her
     former beauty. She married the Shamkhál, and now resides in
     feudal magnificence at Tarki, where she exercises great sway,
     which she employs in favour of the Russian interest, to which
     she is devoted.

The picturesqueness as well as the fidelity of his description will, it
is hoped, secure for the tale a favourable reception with a public
always "_novitatis avida_," and whose appetite, now somewhat palled with
the "Bismillahs" and "Mashallahs" of the ordinary oriental novels, may
find some piquancy in a new variety of Mahomedan life--that of the
Caucasian Tartars.

The Russian language possessing many characters and some few sounds for
which there is no exact equivalent in English, we beg to say a word upon
the method adopted on the present occasion so to represent the Russian
orthography, as to avoid the shocking barbarisms of such combinations as
_zh_, &c. &c., and to secure, at the same time, an approach to the
correct pronunciation. Throughout these pages the vowels _a, e, i, o,
y_, are supposed to be pronounced as in French, the diphthong _ou_ as in
the word _you_, the _j_ always with the French sound.

With respect to the combinations of consonants employed, _kh_ has the
gutteral sound of the _ch_ in the Scottish word _loch_, and _gh_ is like
a rather rough or coarse aspirate.

The simple _g_ is invariably to be uttered hard, as in _gun_ or _gall_.

To avoid the possibility of errors, the combination _tch_, though not a
very soft one to the eye, represents a Russian sound for which there is
no character in English. It is, of course, uttered as in the word
_watch_.

As a great deal of the apparent discord of Russian words, as pronounced
by foreigners, arises from ignorance of the place of the accent, we have
added a sign over every polysyllable word, indicating the part on which
the stress is to be laid.

The few preceding rules will, the translator hopes, enable his
countrymen to _attack_ the pronunciation of the Russian names without
the ancient dread inspired by terrific and complicated clusters of
consonants; and will perhaps prove to them that the language is both an
easy and a melodious one.

     _St Petersburg, November_ 10, 1842.



CHAPTER I.


    "Be slow to offend--swift to revenge!"
      _Inscription on a dagger of Daghestán._

It was Djoumá.[11] Not far from Bouináki, a considerable village of
Northern Daghestán, the young Tartars were assembled for their national
exercise called "djigítering;" that is, the horse-race accompanied by
various trials of boldness and strength. Bouináki is situated upon two
ledges of the precipitous rocks of the mountain: on the left of the road
leading from Derbend to Tarki, rises, soaring above the town, the crest
of Caucasus, feathered with wood; on the right, the shore, sinking
imperceptibly, spreads itself out into meadows, on which the Caspian Sea
pours its eternal murmur, like the voice of human multitudes.

     [11] Djoumá answers to our Sabbath. The days of the Mahomedan
     week are as follows: Shambi, Saturday; Ikhshambá, Sunday;
     Doushambá, Monday; Seshambá, Tuesday; Tchershambá, Wednesday;
     Pkhanshambá, Thursday; Djoumá, Friday.

A vernal day was fading into evening, and all the inhabitants, attracted
rather by the coolness of the breeze than by any feeling of curiosity,
had quitted their sáklas,[12] and assembled in crowds on both sides of
the road. The women, without veils, and with coloured kerchiefs rolled
like turbans round their heads, clad in the long chemise,[13] confined
by the short arkhaloúkh, and wide toumáns,[14] sat in rows, while
strings of children sported before them. The men, assembled in little
groups, stood, or rested on their knees;[15] others, in twos or threes,
walked slowly round, smoking tobacco in little wooden pipes: a cheerful
buzz arose, and ever and anon resounded the clattering of hoofs, and the
cry "katch, katch!" (make way!) from the horsemen preparing for the
race.

     [12] Sákla, a Circassian hut.

     [13] A species of garment, resembling a frock-coat with an
     upright collar, reaching to the knees, fixed in front by hooks
     and eyes, worn by both sexes.

     [14] The trowsers of the _women_: those worn by the men, though
     alike in form, are called shalwárs. It is an offence to tell a
     man that he wears the toumán; being equivalent to a charge of
     effeminacy; and _vice versâ_.

     [15] It is the ordinary manner of the Asiatics to sit in this
     manner in public, or in the presence of a superior.

Nature, in Daghestán, is most lovely in the month of May. Millions of
roses poured their blushes over the crags; their odour was streaming in
the air; the nightingale was not silent in the green twilight of the
wood, almond-trees, all silvered with their flowers, arose like the
cupolas of a pagoda, and resembled, with their lofty branches twined
with leaves, the minarets of some Mussulman mosque. Broad-breasted oaks,
like sturdy old warriors, rose here and there, while poplars and
chenart-trees, assembled in groups and surrounded by underwood, looked
like children ready to wander away to the mountains, to escape the
summer heats. Sportive flocks of sheep--their fleeces speckled with
rose-colour; buffaloes wallowing in the mud of the fountains, or for
hours together lazily butting each other with their horns; here and
there on the mountains noble steeds, which moved (their manes floating
on the breeze) with a haughty trot along the hills--such is the frame
that encloses the picture of every Mussulman village. On this Djoumá,
the neighbourhood of Bouináki was more than usually animated. The sun
poured his floods of gold on the dark walls of the flat-roofed sáklas,
clothing them with fantastic shadows, and adding beauty to their forms.
In the distance, crawling along the mountain, the creaking arbas[16]
flitted among the grave-stones of a little burial-ground ... past them,
before them, flew a horseman, raising the dust along the road ... the
mountain crest and the boundless sea gave grandeur to this picture, and
all nature breathed a glow of life.

     [16] A kind of rude cart with two wheels.

"He comes, he comes!" was murmured through the crowd; all was in motion.
The horsemen, who till now had been chattering with their acquaintance
on foot, or disorderedly riding about the meadow, now leaped upon their
steeds, and dashed forward to meet the cavalcade which was descending to
the plain: it was Ammalát Bek, the nephew of the Shamkhál[17] of Tarki,
with his suite. He was habited in a black Persian cloak, edged with
gold-lace, the hanging sleeves thrown back over his shoulders. A Turkish
shawl was wound round his arkhaloúkh, which was made of flowered silk.
Red shalwárs were lost in his yellow high-heeled riding-boots. His gun,
dagger, and pistol, glittered with gold and silver arabesque work. The
hilt of his sabre was enriched with gems. The Prince of Tarki was a
tall, well-made youth, of frank countenance; black curls streamed behind
his ears from under his cap--a slight mustache shaded his upper lip--his
eyes glittered with a proud courtesy. He rode a bright bay steed, which
fretted under his hand like a whirlwind. Contrary to custom, the horse's
caparison was not the round Persian housing, embroidered all over with
silk, but the light Circassian saddle, ornamented with silver on a black
ground; and the stirrups were of the black steel of Kharamán, inlaid
with gold. Twenty noúkers[18] on spirited horses, and dressed in cloaks
glittering with lace, their caps cocked jauntily, and leaning affectedly
on one side, pranced and sidled after him. The people respectfully stood
up before their Bek, and bowed, pressing their right hand upon their
right knee. A murmur of whispered approbation followed the young chief
as he passed among the women. Arrived at the southern extremity of the
ground, Ammalát stopped. The chief people, the old men leaning upon
their sticks, and the elders of Bouináki, stood round in a circle to
catch a kind word from the Bek; but Ammalát did not pay them any
particular attention, and with cold politeness replied in monosyllables
to the flatteries and obeisances of his inferiors. He waved his hand;
this was the signal to commence the race.

     [17] The first Shamkháls were the kinsmen and representatives
     of the Khalifs of Damascus: the last Shamkhál died on his
     return from Russia, and with him finished this useless rank.
     His son, Suleiman Pacha, possessed his property as a private
     individual.

     [18] The attendants of a Tartar noble, equivalent to the
     "henchman" of the ancient Highlanders. The noúker waits behind
     his lord at table, cuts up and presents the food.

Twenty of the most fiery horsemen dashed forward, without the slightest
order or regularity, galloping onward and back again, placing themselves
in all kinds of attitudes, and alternately passing each other. At one
moment they jostled one another from the course, and at the same time
held in their horses, then again they let them go at full gallop over
the plain. After this, they each took slender sticks, called djigidís,
and darted them as they rode, either in the charge or the pursuit, and
again seizing them as they flew, or picking them up from the earth.
Several tumbled from their saddles under the strong blows; and then
resounded the loud laugh of the spectators, while loud applauses greeted
the conqueror; sometimes the horses stumbled, and the riders were thrown
over their heads, hurled off by a double force from the shortness of
their stirrups. Then commenced the shooting. Ammalát Bek had remained a
little apart, looking on with apparent pleasure. His noúkers, one after
the other, had joined the crowd of djigíterers, so that, at last, only
two were left by his side. For some time he was immovable, and followed
with an indifferent gaze the imitation of an Asiatic combat; but by
degrees his interest grew stronger. At first he watched the cavaliers
with great attention, then he began to encourage them by his voice and
gestures, he rose higher in his stirrups, and at last the warrior-blood
boiled in his veins, when his favourite noúker could not hit a cap which
he had thrown down before him. He snatched his gun from his attendants,
and dashed forward like an arrow, winding among the sporters. "Make
way--make way!" was heard around, and all, dispersing like a rain-cloud
on either side, gave place to Ammalát Bek.

At the distance of a verst[19] stood ten poles with caps hanging on
them. Ammalát rode straight up to them, waved his gun round his head,
and turned close round the pole; as he turned he stood up in his
stirrups, turned back--bang!--the cap tumbled to the ground; without
checking his speed he reloaded, the reins hanging on his horse's
neck--knocked off another, then a third--and so on the whole ten. A
murmur of applause arose on all sides; but Ammalát, without stopping,
threw his gun into the hands of one of his noúkers, pulled out a pistol
from his belt, and with the ball struck the shoe from the hind foot of
his horse; the shoe flew off, and fell far behind him; he then again
took his gun from his noúker, and ordered him to gallop on before him.
Quicker than thought both darted forward. When half-way round the
course, the noúker drew from his pocket a rouble, and threw it up in the
air. Ammalát raised himself in the saddle, without waiting till it fell;
but at the very instant his horse stumbled with all his four legs
together, and striking the dust with his nostrils, rolled prostrate. All
uttered a cry of terror; but the dexterous horseman, standing up in the
stirrups, without losing his seat, or even leaning forward, as if he had
been aware that he was going to fall, fired rapidly, and hitting the
rouble with his ball, hurled it far among the people. The crowd shouted
with delight--"Igeed, igeed! (bravo!) Alla valla-ha!" But Ammalát Bek,
modestly retiring, dismounted from his steed, and throwing the reins to
his djilladár, (groom,) ordered him immediately to have the horse shod.
The race and the shooting was continued.

     [19] 3500 English feet--three quarters of a mile.

At this moment there rode up to Ammalát his emdjék,[20] Saphir-Ali, the
son of one of the poor beks of Bouináki, a young man of an agreeable
exterior, and simple, cheerful character. He had grown up with Ammalát,
and therefore treated him with great familiarity. He leaped from his
horse, and nodding his head, exclaimed--"Noúker Mémet Rasoúl has knocked
up the old cropped[21] stallion, in trying to leap him over a ditch
seven paces wide." "And did he leap it?" cried Ammalát impatiently.
"Bring him instantly to me!" He went to meet the horse--and without
putting his foot in the stirrup, leaped into the saddle, and galloped to
the bed of a mountain-torrent. As he galloped, he pressed the horse with
his knee, but the wearied animal, not trusting to his strength, bolted
aside on the very brink, and Ammalát was obliged to make another turn.
The second time, the steed, stimulated by the whip, reared up on his
hind-legs in order to leap the ditch, but he hesitated, grew restive,
and resisted with his fore-feet. Ammalát grew angry. In vain did
Saphir-Ali entreat him not to force the horse, which had lost in many a
combat and journey the elasticity of his limbs. Ammalát would not listen
to any thing; but urging him with a cry, and striking him with his drawn
sabre for the third time, he galloped him at the ravine; and when, for
the third time, the old horse stopped short in his stride, not daring to
leap, he struck him so violently on the head with the hilt of his sabre,
that he fell lifeless on the earth.

     [20] Foster-brother; from the word "emdjek"--suckling. Among
     the tribes of the Caucasus, this relationship is held more
     sacred than that of nature. Every man would willingly die for
     his emdjek.

     [21] This is a celebrated race of Persian horses, called Teke.

"This is the reward of faithful service!" said Saphir-Ali,
compassionately, as he gazed on the lifeless steed.

"This is the reward of disobedience!" replied Ammalát, with flashing
eyes.

Seeing the anger of the Bek, all were silent. The horsemen, however,
continued their djigítering.

And suddenly was heard the thunder of Russian drums, and the bayonets of
Russian soldiers glittered as they wound over the hill. It was a company
of the Kourínsky regiment of infantry, sent from a detachment which had
been dispatched to Akoúsh, then in a state of revolt, under Sheikh Ali
Khan, the banished chief of Derbend. This company had been protecting a
convoy of supplies from Derbend, whither it was returning by the
mountain road. The commander of the company, Captain -----, and one
officer with him, rode in front. Before they had reached the
race-course, the retreat was beaten, and the company halted, throwing
aside their havresacks and piling their muskets, but without lighting a
fire.

The arrival of a Russian detachment could have been no novelty to the
inhabitants of Daghestán in the year 1819; and even yet, it must be
confessed, it is an event that gives them no pleasure. Superstition made
them look on the Russians as eternal enemies--enemies, however, vigorous
and able; and they determined, therefore, not to injure them but in
secret, by concealing their hatred under a mask of amity. A buzz spread
among the people on the appearance of the Russians: the women returned
by winding paths to the village, not forgetting, however, to gaze
secretly at the strangers. The men, on the contrary, threw fierce
glances at them over their shoulders, and began to assemble in groups,
discussing how they might best get rid of them, and relieve themselves
from the podvód[22], and so on. A multitude of loungers and boys,
however, surrounded the Russians as they reposed upon the grass. Some of
the Kekkhoúds (starosts[23]) and Tehaoúshes (desiátniks[24]) appointed
by the Russian Government, hastily advancing to the Captain, pulled off
their caps, after the usual salutation, "Khot ghialdi!" (welcome!) and
"Yakshimoúsen, tazamoúsen, sen-ne-ma-moúsen," (I greet you,) arrived at
the inevitable question at a meeting of Asiatics, "What news?"--"Na
khaber?"

     [22] The being obliged to transport provisions.

     [23] The chief of a village.

     [24] The subordinates of the atarost.

"The only news with me is, that my horse has cast a shoe, and the poor
devil is dead lame," answered the Captain in pretty good Tartar: "and
here is, just _ápropos_, a blacksmith!" he continued, turning to a
broad-shouldered Tartar, who was filing the fresh-shod hoof of Ammalát's
horse. "Kounák! (my friend,)--shoe my horse--the shoes are ready--'tis
but the clink of a hammer, and 'tis done in a moment!"

The blacksmith turned sulkily towards the Captain a face tanned by his
forge and by the sun, looked from the corners of his eyes at his
questioner, stroked the thick mustache which overshadowed a beard long
unrazored, and which might for its bristles have done honour to any
boar; flattened his arákshin (bonnet) on his head, and coolly continued
putting away his tools in their bag.

"Do you understand me, son of a wolf race?" said the Captain.

"I understand you well," answered the blacksmith,--"you want your horse
shod."

"And I should advise you to shoe him," replied the Captain, observing on
the part of the Tartar a desire to jest.

"To-day is a holiday: I will not work."

"I will pay you what you like for your work; but I tell you that,
whether you like it or not, you must do what I want."

"The will of Allah is above ours; and he does not permit us to work on
Djoumá. We sin enough for gain on common days, so on a holiday I do not
wish to buy coals with silver."[25]

     [25] Go to the devil.

"But were you not at work just now, obstinate blockhead? Is not one
horse the same as another? Besides, mine is a real Mussulman--look at
the mark[26]--the blood of Karabákh."

     [26] The Asiatics mark their horses by burning them on their
     haunch with a hot iron. This peculiar mark, the [Greek: stigma]
     or [Greek: kotpa] of the Greeks is called "távro."

"All horses are alike; but not so those who ride them: Ammalát Bek is my
aga (lord.)"

"That is, if you had taken it into your head to refuse him, he would
have had your ears cropped; but you will not work for me, in the hope
that I would not dare to do the same. Very well, my friend! I certainly
will not crop your ears, but be assured that I will warm that orthodox
back of yours with two hundred pretty stinging nogaikas (lashes with a
whip) if you won't leave off your nonsense--do you hear?"

"I hear--and I answer as I did before: I will not shoe the horse--for I
am a good Mussulman."

"And I will make you shoe him, because I am a good soldier. As you have
worked at the will of your Bek, you shall work for the need of a Russian
officer--without this I cannot proceed. Corporals, forward!"

In the mean time a circle of gazers had been extending round the
obstinate blacksmith, like a ring made in the water by casting a stone
into it. Some in the crowd were disputing the best places, hardly
knowing what they were running to see; and at last more cries were
heard: "It is not fair--it cannot be: to-day is a holiday: to-day it is
a sin to work!" Some of the boldest, trusting to their numbers, pulled
their caps over their eyes, and felt at the hilts of their daggers,
pressing close up to the Captain, and crying "Don't shoe him, Alékper!
Do nothing for him: here's news, my masters! What new prophets for us
are these unwashed Russians?" The Captain was a brave man, and thoroughly
understood the Asiatics. "Away, ye rascals!" he cried in a rage, laying
his hand on the butt of his pistol. "Be silent, or the first that dares
to let an insult pass his teeth, shall have them closed with a leaden
seal!"

This threat, enforced by the bayonets of some of the soldiers, succeeded
immediately: they who were timid took to their heels--the bolder held
their tongues. Even the orthodox blacksmith, seeing that the affair was
becoming serious, looked round on all sides, and muttered "Nedjelaim?"
(What can I do?) tucked up his sleeves, pulled out from his bag the
hammer and pincers, and began to shoe the Russian's horse, grumbling
between his teeth, "_Vala billa beetmi eddeem_, (I will not do it, by
God!)" It must be remarked that all this took place out of Ammalát's
presence. He had hardly looked at the Russians, when, in order to avoid
a disagreeable rencontre, he mounted the horse which had just been shod,
and galloped off to Bouináki, where his house was situated.

While this was taking place at one end of the exercising ground, a
horseman rode up to the front of the reposing soldiers. He was of
middling stature, but of athletic frame, and was clothed in a shirt of
linked mail, his head protected by a helmet, and in full warlike
equipment, and followed by five noúkers. By their dusty dress, and the
foam which covered their horses, it might be seen that they had ridden
far and fast. The first horseman, fixing his eye on the soldiers,
advanced slowly along the piles of muskets, upsetting the two pyramids
of fire-arms. The noúkers, following the steps of their master, far from
turning aside, coolly rode over the scattered weapons. The sentry, who
had challenged them while they were yet at some distance, and warned
them not to approach, seized the bit of the steed bestridden by the
mail-coated horseman, while the rest of the soldiers, enraged at such an
insult from a Mussulman, assailed the party with abuse. "Hold hard! Who
are you?" was the challenge and question of the sentinel. "Thou must be
a raw recruit if thou knowest not Sultan Akhmet Khan of Avár,"[27]
coolly answered the man in mail, shaking off the hand of the sentry from
his reins. "I think last year I left the Russians a keepsake at Báshli.
Translate that for him," he said to one of his noúkers. The Aváretz
repeated his words in pretty intelligible Russian.

     [27] The brother of Hassan Khan Djemontái, who became Khan of
     Avár by marrying the Khan's widow and heiress.

"'Tis Akhmet Khan! Akhmet Khan!" shouted the soldiers. "Seize him! hold
him fast! down with him! pay him for the affair of Báshli[28]--the
villains cut our wounded to pieces."

     [28] The Russian detachment, consisting on this occasion of
     3000 men, was surrounded by 60,000. These were, Ouizmi
     Karakaidákhsky, the Aváretzes, Akoushínetzes, the Boulinétzes
     of the Koi-Soú, and others. The Russians fought their way out
     by night, but with considerable loss.

"Away, brute!" cried Sultan Akhmet Khan to the soldier who had again
seized the bridle of his horse--"I am a Russian general."

"A Russian traitor!" roared a multitude of voices; "bring him to the
Captain: drag him to Derbend, to Colonel Verkhóffsky."

"'Tis only to hell I would go with such guides!" said Akhmet, with a
contemptuous smile, and making his horse rear, he turned him to the
right and left; then, with a blow of the nogaik,[29] he made him leap
into the air, and disappeared. The noúkers kept their eye on the
movements of their chief, and uttering their warcry, followed his steps,
and overthrowing several of the soldiers, cleared a way for themselves
into the road. After galloping off to a distance of scarce a hundred
paces, the Khan rode away at a slow walk, with an expression of the
greatest _sang-froid_, not deigning to look back, and coolly playing
with his bridle. The crowd of Tartars assembled round the blacksmith
attracted his attention. "What are you quarrelling about, friends?"
asked Akhmet Khan of the nearest, reining in his horse.

     [29] The whip of a Kazak.

In sign of respect and reverence, they all applied their hands to their
foreheads when they saw the Khan. The timid or peaceably disposed among
them, dreading the consequences, either from the Russians or the Khan,
to which this rencontre might expose them, exhibited much discomfiture
at the question; but the idle, the ruffian, and the desperate--for all
beheld with hatred the Russian domination--crowded turbulently round him
with delight. They hurriedly told him what was the matter.

"And you stand, like buffaloes, stupidly looking on, while they force
your brother to work like a brute under the yoke!" exclaimed the Khan,
gloomily, to the bystanders; "while they laugh in your face at your
customs, and trample your faith under their feet! and ye whine like old
women, instead of revenging yourselves like men! Cowards! cowards!"

"What can we do?" cried a multitude of voices together; "the Russians
have cannon--they have bayonets!"

"And ye, have ye not guns? have ye not daggers? It is not the Russians
that are brave, but ye that are cowards! Shame of Mussulmans! The sword
of Daghestán trembles before the Russian whip. Ye are afraid of the roll
of the cannon; but ye fear not the reproach of cowardice. The fermán of
a Russian prístav[30] is holier to you than a chapter of the Koran.
Siberia frightens you more than hell. Did your forefathers act, did your
forefathers think thus? They counted not their enemies, they calculated
not. Outnumbered or not, they met them, bravely fought them, and
gloriously died! And what fear ye? Have the Russians ribs of iron? Have
their cannon no breach? Is it not by the tail that you seize the
scorpion?" This address stirred the crowd. The Tartar vanity was touched
to the quick. "What do we care for them? Why do we let them lord it over
us here?" was heard around. "Let us liberate the blacksmith from his
work--let us liberate him!" they roared, as they narrowed their circle
round the Russian soldiers, amidst whom Alékper was shoeing the
captain's horse. The confusion increased. Satisfied with the tumult he
had created, Sultan Akhmet Khan, not wishing to mix himself up in an
insignificant brawl, rode out of the crowd, leaving two noúkers to keep
alive the violent spirit among the Tartars, while, accompanied by the
remainder, he rode rapidly to the ootakh[31] of Ammalát.

     [30] A superintendent.

     [31] The house, in Tartar, is "ev;" "outakh," mansion; and
     "sarái," edifice in general; "haram-khanéh," the women's
     apartments. For palace they employ the word "igarát." The
     Russians confound all these meanings in the word "sákla,"
     which, in the Circassian language, is house.

"Mayest thou be victorious," said Sultan Akhmet Khan to Ammalát Bek, who
received him at the threshold. This ordinary salutation, in the
Circassian language, was pronounced with so marked an emphasis, that
Ammalát as he kissed him, asked, "Is that a jest or a prophecy, my fair
guest?"

"That depends on thee," replied the Sultan. "It is upon the right heir
of the Shamkhalát[32] that it depends to draw the sword from the
scabbard."

     [32] The father of Ammalát was the eldest of the family, and
     consequently the true heir to the Shamkhalát. But the Russians,
     having conquered Daghestán, not trusting to the good intentions
     of this chief, gave the power to the younger brother.

"To sheath it no more, Khan? An unenviable destiny. Methinks it is
better to reign in Bouináki, than for an empty title to be obliged to
hide in the mountains like a jackal."

"To bound from the mountains like a lion, Ammalát; and to repose, after
your glorious toils, in the palace of your ancestors."

"To repose? Is it not better not to be awakened at all?

"Would you behold but in a dream what you ought to possess in reality?
The Russians are giving you the poppy, and will lull you with tales,
while another plucks the golden flowers of the garden."[33]

     [33] A _jeu-de-mots_ which the Asiatics admire much;
     "kizil-gulliár" means simply roses, but the Khan alludes to
     "kizíl," ducats.

"What can I do with my force?"

"Force--that is in thy soul, Ammalát!... Despise dangers and they bend
before you.... Dost thou hear that?" added Sultan Akhmet Khan, as the
sound of firing reached them from the town. "It is the voice of
victory!"

Saphir-Ali rushed into the chamber with an agitated face.

"Bouináki is in revolt," he hurriedly began; "a crowd of rioters has
overpowered the detachment, and they have begun to fire from the
rocks."[34]

     [34] The Tartars, like the North American Indians, always, if
     possible, shelter themselves behind rocks and enclosures, &c.,
     when engaged in battle.

"Rascals!" cried Ammalát, as he threw his gun over his shoulder. "How
dared they to rise without me! Run, Saphir-Ali, threaten them with my
name; kill the first who disobeys."

"I have done all I could to restrain them," said Saphir-Ali, "but none
would listen to me, for the noúkers of Sultan Akhmet Khan were urging
them on, saying that he had ordered them to slay the Russians."

"Indeed! did my noúkers say that?" asked the Khan.

"They did not say so much, but they set the example," said Saphir-Ali.

"In that case they have done well," replied Sultan Akhmet Khan: "this is
brave!"

"What hast thou done, Khan!" cried Ammalát, angrily.

"What you might have done long ago!"

"How can I justify myself to the Russians?"

"With lead and steel.... The firing is begun.... Fate works for you ...
the sword is drawn ... let us go seek the Russians!"

"They are here!" cried the Captain, who, followed by two men, had broken
through the disorderly ranks of the Tartars, and dashed into the house
of their chief. Confounded by the unexpected outbreak in which he was
certain to be considered a party, Ammalát saluted his enraged
guest--"Come in peace!" he said to him in Tartar.

"I care not whether I come in peace or no," answered the Captain, "but I
find no peaceful reception in Bouináki. Thy Tartars, Ammalát, have dared
to fire upon a soldier of mine, of yours, a subject of our Tsar."

"In very deed, 'twas absurd to fire on a Russian," said the Khan,
contemptuously stretching himself on the cushions of the divan, "when
they might have cut his throat."

"Here is the cause of all the mischief, Ammalát!" said the Captain,
angrily, pointing to the Khan; "but for this insolent rebel not a
trigger would have been pulled in Bouináki! But you have done well,
Ammalát Bek, to invite Russians as friends, and to receive their foe as
a guest, to shelter him as a comrade, to honour him as a friend! Ammalát
Bek, this man is named in the order of the commander-in-chief; give him
up."

"Captain," answered Ammalát, "with us a guest is sacred. To give him up
would be a sin upon my soul, an ineffaceable shame upon my head; respect
my entreaty; respect our customs."

"I will tell you, in your turn--respect the Russian laws. Remember your
duty. You have sworn allegiance to the Tsar, and your oath obliges you
not to spare your own brother if he is a criminal."

"Rather would I give up my brother than my guest, Sir Captain! It is not
for you to judge my promises and obligations. My tribunal is Allah and
the padishah! In the field, let fortune take care of the Khan; but
within my threshold, beneath my roof, I am bound to be his protector,
and I will be!"

"And you shall be answerable for this traitor!"

The Khan had lain in haughty silence during this dispute, breathing the
smoke from his pipe: but at the word "traitor," his blood was fired, he
started up, and rushed indignantly to the Captain.

"Traitor, say you?" he cried. "Say rather, that I refused to betray him
to whom I was bound by promise. The Russian padishah gave me rank, the
sardar[35] caressed me--and I was faithful so long as they demanded of
me nothing impossible or humiliating. But, all of a sudden, they wished
me to admit troops into Avár--to permit fortresses to be built there;
and what name should I have deserved, if I had sold the blood and sweat
of the Aváretzes, my brethren! If I had attempted this, think ye that I
could have done it? A thousand free daggers, a thousand unhired bullets,
would have flown to the heart of the betrayer. The very rocks would have
fallen on the son who could betray his father. I refused the friendship
of the Russians; but I was not their enemy--and what was the reward of
my just intentions, my honest counsels? I was deeply, personally
insulted by the letter of one of your generals, whom I had warned. That
insolence cost him dear at Báshli ... I shed a river of blood for some
few drops of insulting ink, and that river divides us for ever."

     [35] The commander-in-chief.

"That blood cries for vengeance!" replied the enraged Captain. "Thou
shalt not escape it, robber!"

"Nor thou from me!" shouted the infuriated Khan, plunging his dagger
into the body of the Captain, as he lifted his hand to seize him by the
collar. Severely wounded, the officer fell groaning on the carpet.

"Thou hast undone me!" cried Ammalát, wringing his hands. "He is a
Russian, and my guest!"

"There are insults which a roof cannot cover," sullenly replied the
Khan. "The die is cast: it is no time to hesitate. Shut your gate, call
your people, and let us attack the enemy."

"An hour ago I had no enemy ... there are no means now for repulsing
them ... I have neither powder nor ball ... The people are dispersed."

"They have fled!" cried Saphir-Ali in despair. "The Russians are
advancing at full march over the hill. They are close at hand!"

"If so, go with me, Ammalát!" said the Khan. "I rode to Tchetchná
yesterday, to raise the revolt along the line ... What will be the end,
God knows; but there is bread in the mountains. Do you consent?"

"Let us go!" ... replied Ammalát, resolvedly.... "When our only safety
is in flight, it is no time for disputes and reproaches."

"Ho! horses, and six noúkers with me!"

"And am I to go with you?" said Saphir-Ali, with tears in his
eyes--"with you for weal or woe!"

"No, my good Saphir-Ali, no. Remain you here to govern the household,
that our people and the strangers may not seize every thing. Give my
greeting to my wife, and take her to my father-in-law, the Shamkhál.
Forget me not, and farewell!"

They had barely time to escape at full gallop by one gate, when the
Russians dashed in at the other.



CHAPTER II.


The vernal noon was shining upon the peaks of Caucasus, and the loud
voices of the moollahs had called the inhabitants of Tchetchná to
prayer. By degrees they came forth from the mosques, and though
invisible to each other from the towers on which they stood, their
solitary voices, after awaking for a moment the echoes of the hills,
sank to stillness in the silent air.

The moollah, Hadji Suleiman, a Turkish devotee, one of those
missionaries annually sent into the mountains by the Divan of Stamboul,
to spread and strengthen the faith, and to increase the detestation felt
by the inhabitants for the Russians, was reposing on the roof of the
mosque, having performed the usual call, ablution, and prayer. He had
not been long installed as moollah of Igáli, a village of Tchetchná; and
plunged in a deep contemplation of his hoary beard, and the circling
smoke-wreaths that rose from his pipe, he gazed from time to time with a
curious interest on the mountains, and on the defiles which lay towards
the north, right before his eyes. On the left arose the precipitous
ridges dividing Tchetchná from Avár, and beyond them glittered the snows
of Caucasus; sáklas scattered disorderly along the ridges half-way up
the mountain, and narrow paths led to these fortresses built by nature,
and employed by the hill-robbers to defend their liberty, or secure
their plunder. All was still in the village and the surrounding hills;
there was not a human being to be seen on the roads or streets; flocks
of sheep were reposing in the shade of the cliffs; the buffaloes were
crowded in the muddy swamps near the springs, with only their muzzles
protruded from the marsh. Nought save the hum of the insects--nought
save the monotonous chirp of the grasshoppers indicated life amid the
breathless silence of the mountains; and Hadji Suleiman, stretched under
the cupola, was intensely enjoying the stillness and repose of nature,
so congenial to the lazy immobility of the Turkish character. Indolently
he turned his eyes, whose fire was extinguished, and which no longer
reflected the light of the sun, and at length they fell upon two
horsemen, slowly climbing the opposite side of the declivity.

"Néphtali!" cried our Moollah, turning towards a neighbouring sákla, at
the gate of which stood a saddled horse. And then a handsome
Tchetchenetz, with short cut beard, and shaggy cap covering half his
face, ran out into the street. "I see two horsemen," continued the
Moollah; "they are riding round the village!"

"Most likely Jews or Armenians," answered Néphtali. "They do not choose
to hire a guide, and will break their necks in the winding road. The
wild-goats, and our boldest riders, would not plunge into these recesses
without precaution."

"No, brother Néphtali; I have been twice to Mecca, and have seen plenty
of Jews and Armenians every where. But these riders look not like Hebrew
chafferers, unless, indeed, they exchange steel for gold in the mountain
road. They have no bales of merchandise. Look at them yourself from
above; your eyes are surer than mine; mine have had their day, and done
their work. There was a time when I could count the buttons on a Russian
soldier's coat a verst off, and my rifle never missed an infidel; but
now I could not distinguish a ram of my own afar."

By this time Néphtali was at the side of the Moollah, and was examining
the travellers with an eagle glance.

"The noonday is hot, and the road rugged," said Suleiman; "invite the
travellers to refresh themselves and their horses: perhaps they have
news: besides, the Koran commands us to show hospitality."

"With us in the mountains, and before the Koran, never did a stranger
leave a village hungry or sad; never did he depart without tchourek,[36]
without blessing, without a guide; but these people are suspicious: why
do they avoid honest men, and pass our village by by-roads, and with
danger to their life?"

     [36] A kind of dried bread.

"It seems that they are your countrymen," said Suleiman, shading his
eyes with his hand: "their dress is Tchetchná. Perhaps they are
returning from a plundering exhibition, to which your father went with a
hundred of his neighbours; or perhaps they are brothers, going to
revenge blood for blood."

"No, Suleiman, that is not like us. Could a mountaineer's heart refrain
from coming to see his countrymen--to boast of his exploits against the
Russians, and to show his booty? These are neither avengers of blood nor
Abreks--their faces are not covered by the báshlik; besides, dress is
deceptive. Who can tell that those are not Russian deserters! The other
day a Kázak, who had murdered his master, fled from Goumbet-Aoúl with
his horse and arms.... The devil is strong!"

"He is strong in them in whom the faith is weak, Néphtali;--yet, if I
mistake not, the hinder horseman has hair flowing from under his cap."

"May I be pounded to dust, but it is so! It is either a Russian, or, what
is worse, a Tartar Shageed.[37] Stop a moment, my friend; I will comb
your zilflárs for you! In half-an-hour I will return, Suleiman, either
with them,--or one of us three shall feed the mountain berkoots
(eagles.)"

     [37] The mountaineers are bad Mussulmans, the Sooni sect is
     predominant; but the Daghestánetzes are in general Shageeds, as
     the Persians. The sects hate each other with all their heart.

Néphtali rushed down the stairs, threw the gun on his shoulders, leapt
into his saddle and dashed down the hill, caring neither for furrow nor
stone. Only the dust arose, and the pebbles streamed down after the bold
horseman."

"Alla akbér!" gravely exclaimed Suleiman, and lit his pipe.

Néphtali soon came up with the strangers. Their horses were covered with
foam, and the sweat-drops rained from them on the narrow path by which
they were climbing the mountain. The first was clothed in a shirt of
mail, the other in the Circassian dress: except that he wore a Persian
sabre instead of a sháshka,[38] suspended by a laced girdle. His left
arm was covered with blood, bound up with a handkerchief, and supported
by the sword-knot. The faces of both were concealed. For some time he
rode behind them along the slippery path, which overhung a precipice;
but at the first open space he galloped by them, and turned his horse
round. "Salám aleikom!" said he, opposing their passage along the rugged
and half-built road among the rocks, as he made ready his arms. The
foremost horseman suddenly wrapped his boúrka[39] round his face, so as
to leave visible only his knit brows: "Aleikom Salám!" answered he,
cocking his gun, and fixing himself in the saddle.

     [38] The Circassian sabre.

     [39] A rough cloak, used as a protection in bad weather.

"God give you a good journey!" said Néphtali. repeating the usual
salutation, and preparing, at the first hostile movement, to shoot the
stranger.

"God give you enough of sense not to interrupt the traveller," replied
his antagonist, impatiently: "What would you with us, Kounák?"[40]

     [40] Friend, comrade.

"I offer you rest, and a brother's repast, barley and stalls for your
horses. My threshold flourishes by hospitality: the blessing of the
stranger increaseth the flock, and giveth sharpness to the sword of the
master. Fix not the seal of reproach on our whole village. Let them not
say, 'They have seen travellers in the heat of noon, and have not
refreshed them nor sheltered them.'"

"We thank you for your kindness; but we are not wont to take forced
hospitality; and haste is even more necessary for us than rest."

"You ride to your death without a guide."

"Guide!" exclaimed the traveller; "I know every step of the Caucasus. I
have been where your serpents climb not, your tigers cannot mount, your
eagles cannot fly. Make way, comrade: thy threshold is not on God's
high-road, and I have no time to prate with thee."

"I will not yield a step, till I know who and whence you are!"

"Insolent scoundrel, out of my way, or thy mother shall beg thy bones
from the jackall and the wind! Thank your luck, Néphtali, that thy
father and I have eaten one another's salt; and often have ridden by his
side in the battle. Unworthy son! thou art rambling about the roads, and
ready to attack the peaceable travellers, while thy father's corse lies
rotting on the fields of Russia, and the wives of the Kazáks are selling
his arms in the bazar. Néphtali, thy father was slain yesterday beyond
the Térek. Dost thou know me now?"

"Sultan Akhmet Khan!" cried the Tchetchenetz, struck by the piercing
look and by the terrible news. His voice was stifled, and he fell
forward on his horse's neck in inexpressible grief.

"Yes, I am Sultan Akhmet Khan! but grave this in your memory,
Néphtali--that if you say to any one, 'I have seen the Khan of Avár,' my
vengeance will live from generation to generation."

The strangers passed on, the Khan in silence, plunged, as it seemed, in
painful recollections; Ammalát (for it was he) in gloomy thought. The
dress of both bore witness to recent fighting; their mustaches were
singed by the priming, and splashes of blood had dried upon their faces;
but the proud look of the first seemed to defy to the combat fate and
chance; a gloomy smile, of hate mingled with scorn, contracted his lip.
On the other hand, on the features of Ammalát exhaustion was painted. He
could hardly turn his languid eyes; and from time to time a groan
escaped him, caused by the pain of his wounded arm. The uneasy pace of
the Tartar horse, unaccustomed to the mountain roads, renewed the
torment of his wound. He was the first to break the silence.

"Why have you refused the offer of these good people? We might have
stopped an hour or two to repose, and at dewfall we could have
proceeded."

"You think so, because you feel like a young man, dear Ammalát: you are
used to rule your Tartars like slaves, and you fancy that you can
conduct yourself with the same ease among the free mountaineers. The
hand of fate weighs heavily upon us;--we are defeated and flying.
Hundreds of brave mountaineers--your noúkers and my own--have fallen in
fight with the Russians; and the Tchetchenetz has seen turned to flight
the face of Sultan Akhmet Khan, which they are wont to behold the star
of victory! To accept the beggar's repast, perhaps to hear reproaches
for the death of fathers and sons, carried away by me in this rash
expedition--'twould be to lose their confidence for ever. Time will
pass, tears will dry up; the thirst of vengeance will take place of
grief for the dead; and then again Sultan Akhmet will be seen the
prophet of plunder and of blood. Then again the battle-signal shall echo
through the mountains, and I shall once more lead flying bands of
avengers into the Russian limits. If I go now, in the moment of defeat,
the Tchetchenetz will judge that Allah giveth and taketh away victory.
They may offend me by rash words, and with me an offence is
ineffaceable; and the revenge of a personal offence would obstruct the
road that leads me to the Russians. Why, then, provoke a quarrel with a
brave people--and destroy the idol of glory on which they are wont to
gaze with rapture? Never does man appear so mean as in weakness, when
every one can measure his strength with him fearlessly: besides, you
need a skilful leech, and nowhere will you find a better than at my
house. To-morrow we shall be at home; have patience until then."

With a gesture of gratitude Ammalát Bek placed his hand upon his heart
and forehead: he perfectly felt the truth of the Khan's words, but
exhaustion for many hours had been overwhelming him. Avoiding the
villages, they passed the night among the rocks, eating a handful of
millet boiled in honey, without the mountaineers seldom set out on a
journey. Crossing the Koi-Soú by the bridge near the Asheért, quitting
its northern branch, and leaving behind them Andéh, and the country of
the Boulinétzes of the Koi-Soú, and the naked chain of Salataóu. A rude
path lay before them, winding among forests and cliffs terrible to body
and soul; and they began to climb the last chain which separated them on
the north from Khounzákh or Avár, the capital of the Khans. The forest,
and then the underwood, had gradually disappeared from the naked flint
of the mountain, on which cloud and tempest could hardly wander. To
reach the summit, our travellers were compelled to ride alternately to
the right and to the left, so precipitous was the ascent of the rocks.
The experienced steed of the Khan stepped cautiously and surely from
stone to stone, feeling his way with his hoofs, and when they slipped,
gliding on his haunches down the declivities: while the ardent fiery
horse of Ammalát, trained in the hills of Daghestán, fretted, curveted,
and slipped. Deprived of his customary grooming, he could not support a
two days' flight under the intense cold and burning sunshine of the
mountains, travelling among sharp rocks, and nourished only by the
scanty herbage of the crevices. He snorted heavily as he climbed higher
and higher; the sweat streamed from his poitrel; his large nostrils were
dry and parched, and foam boiled from his bit. "Allah berekét!"
exclaimed Ammalát, as he reached the crest from which there opened
before him a view of Avár: but at the very moment his exhausted horse
fell under him; the blood spouted from his open mouth, and his last
breath burst the saddle-girth.

The Khan assisted the Bek to extricate himself from the stirrups; but
observed with alarm that his efforts had displaced the bandage on
Ammalát's wounded arm, and that the blood was soaking through it afresh.
The young man, it seemed, was insensible to pain; tears were rolling
down his face upon the dead horse. So one drop fills not, but overflows
the cup. "Thou wilt never more bear me like down upon the wind," he
said, "nor hear behind thee from the dust-cloud of the race, the shouts,
unpleasing to the rival, the acclamations of the people: in the blaze of
battle no more shalt thou carry me from the iron rain of the Russian
cannon. With thee I gained the fame of a warrior--why should I survive,
or it, or thee?" He bent his face upon his knee, and remained silent a
long time, while the Khan carefully bound up his wounded arm: at length
Ammalát raised his head: "Leave me!" he cried, resolutely: "leave,
Sultan Akhmet Khan, a wretch to his fate! The way is long, and I am
exhausted. By remaining with me, you will perish in vain. See! the eagle
soars around us; he knows that my heart will soon quiver beneath his
talons, and I thank God! Better find an airy grave in the maw of a bird
of prey, than leave my corse beneath a Christian foot. Farewell, linger
not."

"For shame, Ammalát! you trip against a straw....! What the great harm?
You are wounded, and your horse is dead. Your wound will soon healed,
and we will find you a better horse! Allah sendeth not misfortunes
alone. In the flower of your age, and the full vigour of your faculties,
it is a sin to despair. Mount my horse, I will lead him by the bridle,
and by night we shall be at home. Time is precious!"

"For me, time is no more, Sultan Ahkmet Khan ... I thank you heartily
for your brotherly care, but I cannot take advantage of it ... you
yourself cannot support a march on foot after such fatigue. I repeat ...
leave me to my fate. Here, on these inaccessible heights, I will die
free and contented ... And what is there to recall me to life! My
parents lie under the earth, my wife is blind, my uncle and
father-in-law the Shamkhál are cowering at Tarki before the Russians ...
the Giaour is revelling in my native land, in my inheritance; and I
myself an a wanderer from my home, a runaway from battle. I neither can,
nor ought to live."

"You ought _not_ to talk such nonsense, dear Ammalát:--and nothing but
fever can excuse you. We are created that we may live longer than our
fathers. For wives, if one has not teazed you enough, we will find you
three more. If you love not the Shamkhál, yet love your own
inheritance--you ought to live, if but for that; since to a dead man
power is useless, and victory impossible. Revenge on the Russians is a
holy duty: live, if but for that. That we are beaten, is no novelty for
a warrior; to-day luck is theirs, to-morrow it falls to us. Allah gives
fortune; but a man creates his own glory, not by fortune, but by
firmness. Take courage, my friend Ammalát.... You are wounded and weak;
I am strong from habit, and not fatigued by flight. Mount! and we may
yet live to beat the Russians."

The colour returned to Ammalát's face ... "Yes, I will live for
revenge!" he cried: "for revenge both secret and open. Believe me,
Sultan Akhmet Khan, it is only for this that I accept your generosity!
Henceforth I am yours; I swear by the graves of my fathers.... I am
yours! Guide my steps, direct the strokes of my arm; and if ever,
drowned in softness, I forget my oath, remind me of this moment, of this
mountain peak: Ammalát Bek will awake, and his dagger will be
lightning!"

The Khan embraced him, as he lifted the excited youth into the saddle.
"Now I behold in you the pure blood of the Emírs!" said he: "the burning
blood of their children, which flows in our veins like the sulphur in
the entrails of the rocks, which, ever and anon inflaming, shakes and
topples down the crags." Steadying with one hand the wounded man in the
saddle, the Khan began cautiously to descend the rugged croft.
Occasionally the stones fell rattling from under their feet, or the
horse slid downward over the smooth granite, so that they were well
pleased to reach the mossy slopes. By degrees, creeping plants began to
appear, spreading their green sheets; and, waving from the crevices like
fans, they hung down in long ringlets like ribbons or flags. At length
they reached a thick wood of nut-trees; then came the oak, the wild
cherry, and, lower still, the tchinár,[41] and the tchindár. The
variety, the wealth of vegetation, and the majestic silence of the
umbrageous forest, produced a kind of involuntary adoration of the wild
strength of nature. Ever and anon, from the midnight darkness of the
boughs, there dawned, like the morning, glimpses of meadows, covered
with a fragrant carpet of flowers untrodden by the foot of man. The
pathway at one time lost itself in the depth of the thicket; at another,
crept forth upon the edge of the rock, below which gleamed and murmured
a rivulet, now foaming over the stones, then again slumbering on its
rocky bed, under the shade of the barberry and the eglantine. Pheasants,
sparkling with their rainbow tails, flitted from shrub to shrub; flights
of wild pigeons flew over the crags, sometimes in an horizontal troop,
sometimes like a column, rising to the sky; and sunset flooded all with
its airy purple, and light mists began to rise from the narrow gorges:
every thing breathed the freshness of evening. Our travellers were now
near the village of Aki, and separated only by a hill from Khounzákh. A
low crest alone divided them from that village, when the report of a gun
resounded from the mountain, and, like an ominous signal, was repeated
by the echoes of the cliffs. The travellers halted irresolute: the
echoes by degrees sank into stillness. "Our hunters!" cried Sultan
Akhmet Khan, wiping the sweat from his face: "they expect me not, and
think not to meet me here! Many tears of joy, and many of sorrow, do I
bear to Khounzákh!" Unfeigned sorrow was expressed in the face of Akhmet
Khan. Vividly does every soft and every savage sentiment play on the
features of the Asiatic.

     [41] Tchinár, the palmated-leaved plane.

Another report soon interrupted his meditation; then another, and
another. Shot answered shot, and at length thickened into a warm fire.
"'Tis the Russians!" cried Ammalát, drawing his sabre. He pressed his
horse with the stirrup, as though he would have leaped over the ridge at
a single bound; but in a moment his strength failed him, and the blade
fell ringing on the ground, as his arm dropped heavily by his side.
"Khan!" said he, dismounting, "go to the succour of your people; your
face will be worth more to them than a hundred warriors."

The Khan heard him not; he was listening intently for the flight of the
balls, as if he would distinguish those of the Russian from the Avárian.
"Have they, besides the agility of the goat, stolen the wings of the
eagle of Kazbéc? Can they have reached our inaccessible fastnesses?"
said he, leaning to the saddle, with his foot already in the stirrup.
"Farewell, Ammalát!" he cried at length, listening to the firing, which
now grew hotter: "I go to perish on the ruins I have made, after
striking like a thunderbolt!" At this moment a bullet whistled by, and
fell at his feet. Bending down and picking it up, his face was lighted
with a smile. He quietly took his foot from the stirrup, and turning to
Ammalát, "Mount!" said he, "you shall presently find with your own eyes
an answer to this riddle. The Russian bullets are of lead; but this is
copper[42]--an Aváretz, my dear countryman. Besides, it comes from the
south, where the Russians cannot be."

     [42] Having no lead, the Aváretzes use balls of copper, as they
     possess small mines of that metal.

They ascended to the summit of the crest, and before their view opened
two villages, situated on the opposite sides of a deep ravine; from
behind them came the firing. The inhabitants sheltering themselves
behind rocks and hedges, were firing at each other. Between them the
women were incessantly running, sobbing and weeping when any combatant,
approaching the edge of the ravine, fell wounded. They carried stones,
and, regardless of the whistling of the balls, fearlessly piled them up,
so as to make a kind of defence. Cries of joy arose from one side or the
other, as a wounded adversary was carried from the field; a groan of
sorrow ascended in the air when one of their kinsmen or comrades was
hit. Ammalát gazed at the combat for some time with surprise, a combat in
which there was a great deal more noise than execution. At length he
turned an enquiring eye upon the Khan.

"With us these are everyday affairs!" he answered, delightedly marking
each report. "Such skirmishes cherish among us a warlike spirit and
warlike habits. With you, private quarrels end in a few blows of the
dagger; among us they become the common business of whole villages, and
any trifle is enough to occasion them. Probably they are fighting about
some cow that has been stolen. With us it is no disgrace to steal in
another village--the shame is, to be found out. Admire the coolness of
our women; the balls are whizzing about like gnats, yet they pay no
attention to them! Worthy wives and mothers of brave men! To be sure,
there would be eternal disgrace to him who could wound a woman, yet no
man can answer for a ball. A sharp eye may aim it; but blind chance
carries it to the mark. But darkness is falling from heaven, and
dividing these enemies for a moment. Let us hasten to my kinsmen."

Nothing but the experience of the Khan could have saved our travellers
from frequent falls in the precipitous descent to the river Ouzén.
Ammalát could see scarcely any thing before him; the double veil of
night and weakness enveloped his eyes; his head turned: he beheld, as it
were in a dream, when they again mounted an eminence, the gate and
watch-tower of the Khan's house. With an uncertain foot he dismounted in
a courtyard, surrounded by shouting noúkers and attendants; and he had
hardly stepped over the grated threshold when his breath failed him--a
deadly paleness poured its snow over the wounded man's face; and the
young Bek, exhausted by loss of blood, fatigued by travel, hunger, and
anguish of soul, fell senseless on the embroidered carpets.

       *       *       *       *       *



POEMS AND BALLADS OF SCHILLER.

No. VI.


THE LAY OF THE BELL.

     "Vivos voco--Mortuous plango--Fulgura frango."

      Fast, in its prison-walls of earth,
        Awaits the mould of bakèd clay.
      Up, comrades, up, and aid the birth--
        THE BELL that shall be born to-day!
            And wearily now,
            With the sweat of the brow,
    Shall the work win its grace in the master's eye,
    But the blessing that hallows must come from high.

    And well an earnest word beseems
      The work the earnest hand prepares;
    Its load more light the labour deems,
      When sweet discourse the labour shares.
    So let us ponder--nor in vain--
      What strength has wrought when labour wills;
    For who would not the fool disdain
      Who ne'er can feel what he fulfills?
    And well it stamps our Human Race,
      And hence the gift TO UNDERSTAND,
    When in the musing heart we trace
      Whate'er we fashion with the hand.

      From the fir the fagot take,
        Keep it, heap it hard and dry,
      That the gather'd flame may break
        Through the furnace, wroth and high.
            Smolt the copper within--
            Quick--the brass with the tin,
    That the glutinous fluid that feeds the Bell
    May flow in the right course glib and well.

    What now these mines so deeply shroud,
      What Force with Fire is moulding thus,
    Shall from yon steeple, oft and loud,
      Speak, witnessing of us!
    It shall, in later days unfailing,
      Rouse many an ear to rapt emotion;
    Its solemn voice with Sorrow wailing,
      Or choral chiming to Devotion.
    Whatever sound in man's deep breast
      Fate wakens, through his winding track,
    Shall strike that metal-crownèd crest,
      Which rings the moral answer back.

       *       *       *       *       *

      See the silvery bubbles spring!
        Good! the mass is melting now!
      Let the salts we duly bring
        Purge the flood, and speed the flow.
            From the dross and the scum,
            Pure, the fusion must come;
    For perfect and pure we the metal must keep,
    That its voice may be perfect, and pure, and deep.

    That voice, with merry music rife,
      The cherish'd child shall welcome in;
    What time the rosy dreams of life,
      In the first slumber's arms begin.
    As yet in Time's dark womb unwarning,
      Repose the days, or foul or fair;
    And watchful o'er that golden morning,
      The Mother-Love's untiring care!

      And swift the years like arrows fly--
      No more with girls content to play,
      Bounds the proud Boy upon his way,
      Storms through loud life's tumultuous pleasures,
      With pilgrim staff the wide world measures;
      And, wearied with the wish to roam,
      Again seeks, stranger-like, the Father-Home.
      And, lo, as some sweet vision breaks
        Out from its native morning skies,
      With rosy shame on downcast cheeks,
        The Virgin stands before his eyes.
      A nameless longing seizes him!
        From all his wild companions flown;
      Tears, strange till then, his eyes bedim;
        He wanders all alone.
      Blushing, he glides where'er she move;
        Her greeting can transport him;
      To every mead to deck his love,
        The happy wild flowers court him!
      Sweet Hope--and tender Longing--ye
        The growth of Life's first Age of Gold;
      When the heart, swelling, seems to see
        The gates of heaven unfold!
    O Love, the beautiful and brief! O prime,
    Glory, and verdure, of life's summer time!

       *       *       *       *       *

      Browning o'er the pipes are simmering,
        Dip this fairy rod within;
      If like glass the surface glimmering,
        Then the casting may begin.
            Brisk, brisk to the rest--
            Quick!--the fusion to test;
    And welcome, my merry men, welcome the sign,
    If the ductile and brittle united combine.

    For still where the strong is betrothed to the weak,
    And the stern in sweet marriage is blent with the meek,
      Rings the concord harmonious, both tender and strong:
    So be it with thee, if for ever united,
    The heart to the heart flows in one, love-delighted;
      Illusion is brief, but Repentance is long.

    Lovely, thither are they bringing,
      With her virgin wreath, the Bride!
    To the love-feast clearly ringing,
      Tolls the church-bell far and wide!
    With that sweetest holyday,
      Must the May of Life depart;
    With the cestus loosed--away
      Flies ILLUSION from the heart!
        Yet Love lingers lonely,
          When Passion is mute,
        And the blossoms may only
          Give way to the fruit.

        The Husband must enter
          The hostile life,
          With struggle and strife,
          To plant or to watch,
          To snare or to snatch,
          To pray and importune,
        Must wager and venture
          And hunt down his fortune!
      Then flows in a current the gear and the gain,
      And the garners are fill'd with the gold of the grain,
      Now a yard to the court, now a wing to the centre!
        Within sits Another,
          The thrifty Housewife;
        The mild one, the mother--
          Her home is her life.
        In its circle she rules,
        And the daughters she schools,
          And she cautions the boys,
        With a bustling command,
        And a diligent hand
          Employ'd she employs;
        Gives order to store,
        And the much makes the more;
    Locks the chest and the wardrobe, with lavender smelling,
    And the hum of the spindle goes quick through the dwelling;
    And she hoards in the presses, well polish'd and full,
    The snow of the linen, the shine of the wool;
    Blends the sweet with the good, and from care and endeavour
    Rests never!
      Blithe the Master (where the while
      From his roof he sees them smile)
        Eyes the lands, and counts the gain;
      There, the beams projecting far,
      And the laden store-house are,
      And the granaries bow'd beneath
        The blessings of the golden grain;
      There, in undulating motion,
      Wave the corn-fields like an ocean.
      Proud the boast the proud lips breathe:--
      "My house is built upon a rock,
      And sees unmoved the stormy shock
        Of waves that fret below!"
      What chain so strong, what girth so great,
      To bind the giant form of Fate?--
        Swift are the steps of Woe.

       *       *       *       *       *

      Now the casting may begin;
        See the breach indented there:
      Ere we run the fusion in,
        Halt--and speed the pious prayer!
          Pull the bung out--
          See around and about
    What vapour, what vapour--God help us!--has risen?--
    Ha! the flame like a torrent leaps forth from its prison!

    What, friend, is like the might of fire
    When man can watch and wield the ire?
    Whate'er we shape or work, we owe
    Still to that heaven-descended glow.
    But dread the heaven-descended glow,
    When from their chain its wild wings go,
      When, where it listeth, wide and wild
      Sweeps the free Nature's free-born Child!
      When the Frantic One fleets,
        While no force can withstand,
      Through the populous streets
        Whirling ghastly the brand;
      For the Element hates
      What Man's labour creates,
        And the work of his hand!
      Impartially out from the cloud,
        Or the curse or the blessing may fall!
      Benignantly out from the cloud
        Come the dews, the revivers of all!
      Avengingly our from the cloud
        Come the levin, the bolt, and the ball!
      Hark--a wail from the steeple!--aloud
      The bell shrills its voice to the crowd!
        Look--look--red as blood
          All on high!
        It is not the daylight that fills with its flood
          The sky!
        What a clamour awaking
        Roars up through the street,
        What a hell-vapour breaking
          Rolls on through the street,
        And higher and higher
        Aloft moves the Column of Fire!
        Through the vistas and rows
        Like a whirlwind it goes,
        And the air like the steam from a furnace glows.
      Beams are crackling--posts are shrinking--
      Walls are sinking--windows clinking--
        Children crying--
        Mothers flying--
    And the beast (the black ruin yet smouldering under)
    Yells the howl of its pain and its ghastly wonder!
    Hurry and skurry--away--away,
    And the face of the night is as clear as day!
        As the links in a chain,
        Again and again
      Flies the bucket from hand to hand;
        High in arches up rushing
        The engines are gushing,
    And the flood, as a beast on the prey that it hounds,
    With a roar on the breast of the element bounds.
      To the grain and the fruits,
      Through the rafters and beams,
    Through the barns and the garners it crackles and streams!
    As if they would rend up the earth from its roots,
      Rush the flames to the sky
      Giant-high;
    And at length,
    Wearied out and despairing, man bows to their strength!
    With an idle gaze sees their wrath consume,
    And submits to his doom!
        Desolate
      The place, and dread
      For storms the barren bed.
      In the deserted gaps that casements were,
      Looks forth despair;
      And, where the roof hath been,
      Peer the pale clouds within!

      One look
        Upon the grave
        Of all that Fortune gave
      The loiterer took--
    Then grasps his staff. Whate'er the fire bereft,
    One blessing, sweeter than all else, is left--
    _The faces that he loves_! He counts them o'er--
    And, see--not one dear look is missing from _that_ store!

       *       *       *       *       *

      Now clasp'd the bell within the clay--
        The mould the mingled metals fill--
      Oh, may it, sparkling into day,
        Reward the labour and the skill!
          Alas! should it fail,
          For the mould may be frail--
    And still with our hope must be mingled the fear--
    And, even now, while we speak, the mishap may be near!

      To the dark womb of sacred earth
        This labour of our hands is given,
      As seeds that wait the second birth,
        And turn to blessings watch'd by heaven!
      Ah seeds, how dearer far than they
        We bury in the dismal tomb,
      Where Hope and Sorrow bend to pray
      That suns beyond the realm of day
        May warm them into bloom!

        From the steeple
          Tolls the bell,
        Deep and heavy,
          The death-knell!
      Measured and solemn, guiding up the road
      A wearied wanderer to the last abode.
        It is that worship'd wife--
        It is that faithful mother![43]
    Whom the dark Prince of Shadows leads benighted,
    From that dear arm where oft she hung delighted.
    Far from those blithe companions, born
    Of her, and blooming in their morn;
    On whom, when couch'd, her heart above
    So often look'd the Mother-Love!

    Ah! rent the sweet Home's union-band,
      And never, never more to come--
    She dwells within the shadowy land,
      Who was the Mother of that Home!
    How oft they miss that tender guide,
      The care--the watch--the face--the MOTHER--
    And where she sate the babes beside,
      Sits with unloving looks--ANOTHER!

       *       *       *       *       *

    While the mass is cooling now,
      Let the labour yield to leisure,
    As the bird upon the bough,
      Loose the travail to the pleasure.
        When the soft stars awaken,
        Each task be forsaken!

    And the vesper-bell lulling the earth into peace,
    If the master still toil, chimes the workman's release!

    Gleesome and gay,
    On the welcoming way,
    Through the wood glides the wanderer home!
    And the eye and ear are meeting,
    Now, the slow sheep homeward bleating--
    Now, the wonted shelter near,
    Lowing the lusty-fronted steer;
    Creaking now the heavy wain,
    Reels with the happy harvest grain.
    Which with many-coloured leaves,
    Glitters the garland on the sheaves;
    And the mower and the maid
    Bound to the dance beneath the shade!
    Desert street, and quiet mart;--
    Silence is in the city's heart;
    Round the taper burning cheerly,
    Gather the groups HOME loves so dearly;
    And the gate the town before
    Heavily swings with sullen roar!

      Though darkness is spreading
        O'er earth--the Upright
      And the Honest, undreading,
        Look safe on the night.
      Which the evil man watching in awe,
      For the Eye of the Night is the Law!
        Bliss-dower'd: O daughter of the skies,
    Hail, holy ORDER, whose employ
    Blends like to like in light and joy--
    Builder of Cities, who of old
    Call'd the wild man from waste and wold.
    And in his hut thy presence stealing,
    Roused each familiar household feeling;
      And, best of all the happy ties,
    The centre of the social band,--
    _The Instinct of the Fatherland!_

    United thus--each helping each,
      Brisk work the countless hands for ever;
    For nought its power to strength can teach,
    Like Emulation and Endeavour!
    Thus link'd the master with the man,
      Each in his rights can each revere,
    And while they march in freedom's van,
      Scorn the lewd rout that dogs the rear!
    To freemen labour is renown!
      Who works--gives blessings and commands;
    Kings glory in the orb and crown--
      Be ours the glory of our hands.

    Long in these walls--long may we greet
    Your footfalls, Peace and concord sweet!
    Distant the day, Oh! distant far,
    When the rude hordes of trampling War
      Shall scare the silent vale;
      And where,
      Now the sweet heaven when day doth leave
      The air;
      Limns its soft rose-hues on the veil of Eve;
    Shall the fierce war-brand tossing in the gale,
    From town and hamlet shake the horrent glare!

       *       *       *       *       *

      Now, its destined task fulfill'd,
        Asunder break the prison-mould;
      Let the goodly Bell we build,
        Eye and heart alike behold.
          The hammer down heave,
          Till the cover it cleave.
    For the Bell to rise up to the freedom of day,
    Destruction must seize on the shape of the clay.

    To break the mould, the master may,
      If skilled the hand and ripe the hour;
    But woe, when on its fiery way
      The metal seeks itself to pour.
    Frantic and blind, with thunder-knell,
      Exploding from its shattered home,
    And glaring forth, as from a hell,
      Behold the red Destruction come!
    When rages strength that has no reason,
    _There_ breaks the mould before the season;
    When numbers burst what bound before,
    Woe to the State that thrives no more!
    Yea, woe, when in the City's heart,
      The latent spark to flame is blown;
    And Millions from their silence start,
      To claim, without a guide, their own!
    Discordant howls the warning Bell,
      Proclaiming discord wide and far,
    And, born but things of peace to tell,
      Becomes the ghastliest voice of war:
    "Freedom! Equality!"--to blood,
      Rush the roused people at the sound!
    Through street, hall, palace, roars the flood,
      And banded murder closes round!
    The hyæna-shapes, that women were!
      Jest with the horrors they survey;
    They hound--they rend--they mangle there--
      As panthers with their prey!
    Nought rests to hallow--burst the ties
      Of life's sublime and reverent awe;
    Before the Vice the Virtue flies,
      And Universal Crime is Law!
    Man fears the lion's kingly tread;
      Man fears the tiger's fangs of terror;
    And still the dreadliest of the dread,
      Is Man himself in error!
    No torch, though lit from Heaven, illumes
      The Blind!--Why place it in his hand?
    It lights not him--it but consumes
      The City and the Land!

       *       *       *       *       *

      Rejoice and laud the prospering skies!
        The kernel bursts its husk--behold
      From the dull clay the metal rise,
        Clear shining, as a star of gold!
          Neck and lip, but as one beam,
          It laughs like a sun-beam.
    And even the scutcheon, clear graven, shall tell
    That the art of a master has fashion'd the Bell!

    Come in--come in
    My merry men--we'll form a ring
    The new-born labour christening;
      And "CONCORD" we will name her!--
    To union may her heart-felt call
      In brother-love attune us all!
    May she the destined glory win
      For which the master sought to frame her--
    Aloft--(all earth's existence under,)
      In blue-pavilion'd heaven afar
    To dwell--the Neighbour of the Thunder,
      The Borderer of the Star!
    Be hers above a voice to raise
      Like those bright hosts in yonder sphere,
    Who, while they move, their Maker praise,
      And lead around the wreathèd year!
    To solemn and eternal things
      We dedicate her lips sublime!--
    To fan--as hourly on she swings
      The silent plumes of Time!--
    No pulse--no heart--no feeling hers!
      She lends the warning voice to Fate;
    And still companions, while she stirs,
      The changes of the Human State!
    So may she teach us, as her tone
      But now so mighty, melts away--
    That earth no life which earth has known
      From the Last Silence can delay!

    Slowly now the cords upheave her!
      From her earth-grave soars the Bell;
    Mid the airs of Heaven we leave her
      In the Music-Realm to dwell!
        Up--upwards--yet raise--
        She has risen--she sways.
    Fair Bell to our city bode joy and increase,
    And oh, may thy first sound be hallow'd to--PEACE![44]

     [43] The translation adheres to the original, in forsaking the
     rhyme in these lines and some others.

     [44] Written in the time of French war.

       *       *       *       *       *


VOTIVE TABLETS.

    What the God taught me--what, through life, my friend
      And aid hath been,
    With pious hand, and grateful, I suspend
      The temple walls within.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE GOOD AND THE BEAUTIFUL.

    Foster the Good, and thou shalt tend the Flower
      Already sown on earth;--
    Foster the Beautiful, and every hour
      Thou call'st new flowers to birth!

       *       *       *       *       *


TO ----.

    Give me that which thou know'st--I'll receive and attend;--
    But thou giv'st me _thyself_--pri'thee spare me, my friend.

       *       *       *       *       *


GENIUS.

    That which hath been can INTELLECT declare,
      What Nature built--it imitates or gilds--
    And REASON builds o'er Nature--but in air--
      _Genius_ alone in Nature--Nature builds.

       *       *       *       *       *


CORRECTNESS--(Free translation.)

    The calm correctness where no fault we see
    Attests Art's loftiest--or its least degree;
    Alike the smoothness of the surface shows
    The Pool's dull stagnor--the great Sea's repose!

       *       *       *       *       *


THE IMITATOR.

    Good out of good--_that_ art is known to all--
    But Genius from the bad the good can call--
    Thou, mimic, not from leading strings escaped,
    Work'st but the matter that's already shaped!
    The already shaped a nobler hand awaits--
    All matter asks a spirit that creates.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE MASTER.

    The herd of Scribes by what they tell us
    Show all in which their wits excel us;
    But the true Master we behold
    In what his art leaves--just untold!

       *       *       *       *       *


TO THE MYSTIC.

    That is the real mystery which around
      All life, is found;--
    Which still before all eyes for aye has been,
      Nor eye hath seen!

       *       *       *       *       *


ASTRONOMICAL WORKS.

    All measureless, all infinite in awe,
      Heaven to great souls is given--
    And yet the sprite of littleness can draw
      Down to its inch--the Heaven!

       *       *       *       *       *


THE DIVISION OF RANKS.

    Yes, there's a patent of nobility
      Above the meanness of our common state;
    With what they _do_ the vulgar natures buy
      Its titles--and with what they _are_, the great!

       *       *       *       *       *


THEOPHANY.

    When draw the Prosperous near me, I forget
      The gods of heaven; but where
    Sorrow and suffering in my sight are set,
      The gods, I feel, are there!

       *       *       *       *       *


THE CHIEF END OF MAN.

    What the chief end of Man?--Behold yon tree,
      And let it teach thee, Friend!
    _Will_ what that will-less yearns for;--and for thee
      Is compass'd Man's chief end!

       *       *       *       *       *


ULYSSES.

    To gain his home all oceans he explored--
    Here Scylla frown'd--and there Charybdis roar'd;
    Horror on sea--and horror on the land--
    In hell's dark boat he sought the spectre land,
    Till borne--a slumberer--to his native spot
    He woke--and sorrowing, knew his country not!

       *       *       *       *       *


JOVE TO HERCULES.

    'Twas not my nectar made thy strength divine,
    But 'twas thy strength which made my nectar thine!

       *       *       *       *       *


THE SOWER.

    See, full of hope, thou trustest to the earth
      The golden seed, and waitest till the spring
    Summons the buried to a happier birth;
      But in Time's furrow duly scattering,
    Think'st thou, how deeds by wisdom sown may be,
      Silently ripen'd for Eternity?

       *       *       *       *       *


THE MERCHANT.

    Where sails the ship?--It leads the Tyrian forth
    For the rich amber of the liberal North.
    Be kind ye seas--winds lend your gentlest wing,
    May in each creek, sweet wells restoring spring!--
    To you, ye gods, belong the Merchant!--o'er
    The waves, his sails the wide world's goods explore;
    And, all the while, wherever waft the gales,
    The wide world's good sails with him as he sails!

       *       *       *       *       *


COLUMBUS.

    Steer on, bold Sailor--Wit may mock thy soul that sees the land,
    And hopeless at the helm may drop the weak and weary hand,
    YET EVER--EVER TO THE WEST, for there the coast must lie,
    And dim it dawns and glimmering dawns before thy reason's eye;
    Yea, trust the guiding God--and go along the floating grave,
    Though hid till now--yet now, behold the New World o'er the wave!
    With Genius Nature ever stands in solemn union still,
    And ever what the One foretels the Other shall fulfil.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE ANTIQUE TO THE NORTHERN WANDERER.

    And o'er the river hast thou past, and o'er the mighty sea,
    And o'er the Alps, the dizzy bridge hath borne thy steps to me;
    To look all near upon the bloom my deathless beauty knows,
    And, face to face, to front the pomp whose fame through ages goes--
    Gaze on, and touch my relics now! At last thou standest here,
    But art thou nearer now to me--or I to thee more near?

       *       *       *       *       *


THE ANTIQUE AT PARIS.

    What the Grecian arts created,
    May the victor Gaul, elated,
      Bear with banners to his strand.[45]
    In museums many a row,
    May the conquering showman show
      To his startled Fatherland!

    Mute to him, they crowd the halls,
    Ever on their pedestals
      Lifeless stand they!--He alone
    Who alone, the Muses seeing,
    Clasps--can warm them into being;
    The Muses to the Vandal--stone!

     [45] To the shore of the Seine.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE POETRY OF LIFE.

    "Who would himself with shadows entertain,
    Or gild his life with lights that shine in vain,
    Or nurse false hopes that do but cheat the true?
    Though with my dream my heaven should be resign'd--
    Though the free-pinion'd soul that now can dwell
    In the large empire of the Possible,
    This work-day life with iron chains may bind,
    Yet thus the mastery o'er ourselves we find,
    And solemn duty to our acts decreed,
    Meets us thus tutor'd in the hour of need,
    With a more sober and submissive mind!
    How front Necessity--yet bid thy youth
    Shun the mild rule of life's calm sovereign, Truth."

    So speak'st thou, friend, how stronger far than I;
    As from Experience--that sure port serene--
    Thou look'st; and straight, a coldness wraps the sky,
    The summer glory withers from the scene,
    Scared by the solemn spell; behold them fly,
    The godlike images that seem'd so fair!
    Silent the playful Muse--the rosy Hours
    Halt in their dance; and the May-breathing flowers
    Pall from the sister-Graces' waving hair.
    Sweet-mouth'd Apollo breaks his golden lyre,
    Hermes, the wand with many a marvel rife;--
    The veil, rose-woven by the young Desire
    With dreams, drops from the hueless cheeks of Life.
    The world seems what it _is_--A Grave! and Love
    Casts down the bondage wound his eyes above,
    And _sees_!--He sees but images of clay
    Where he dream'd gods; and sighs--and glides away.
    The youngness of the Beautiful grows old,
    And on thy lips the bride's sweet kiss seems cold;
    And in the crowd of joys--upon thy throne
    Thou sitt'st in state, and harden'st into stone.

       *       *       *       *       *



CALEB STUKELY.

PART XII.

THE PARSONAGE.


It was not without misgiving that I knocked modestly at the door of Mr
Jehu Tomkins. For himself, there was no solidity in his moral
composition, nothing to grapple or rely upon. He was a small weak man of
no character at all, and but for his powerful wife and active partner,
would have become the smallest of unknown quantities in the respectable
parish that contained him. Upon his own weak shoulders he could not have
sustained the burden of an establishment, and must inevitably have
dwindled into the lightest of light porters, or the most aged of
errand-boys. Nothing could have saved him from the operation of a law,
as powerful and certain as that of gravitation, in virtue of which the
soft and empty-headed of this world walk to the wall, and resign,
without a murmur, their places to their betters. As for the deaconess, I
have said already that the fact of her being a lady, and the possessor
of a heart, constituted the only ground of hope that I could have in
reference to her. This I felt to be insecure enough when I held the
knocker in my hand, and remembered all at once the many little tales
that I had heard, every one of which went far to prove that ladies may
be ladies without the generous weakness of their sex,--and carry hearts
about with them as easily as they carry bags.

My first application was unsuccessful. The deacon was not at home. "Mr
Tomkins and his lady had gone _to hear_ the Reverend Doctor
Whitefroth,"--a northern and eccentric light, now blazing for a time in
the metropolis. It is a curious fact, and worthy to be recorded, that Mr
Tomkins, and Mr Buster, and every non-conformist whom I had hitherto
encountered, never professed to visit the house of prayer with any other
object than that of _hearing_. It was never by any accident to worship
or to pray. What, in truth was the vast but lowly looking building, into
which hundreds crowded with the dapper deacon at their head, sabbath
after sabbath--what but a temple sacred to vanity and excitement,
eloquence and perspiration! Which one individual, taken at random from
the concourse, was not ready to declare that his business there that day
was "to hear the dear good man," and nothing else? If you could lay
bare--as, thank Heaven, you cannot--your fellow-creature's heart,
whither would you behold stealing away the adoration that, in such a
place, in such a time, is due to one alone--whither, if not to Mr
Clayton? But let this pass.

I paid a second visit to my friend, and gained admittance. It was about
half-past eight o'clock in the evening, and the shop had been closed
some twenty minutes before. I was ushered into a well-furnished room
behind the shop, where sat the firm--Mrs Jehu and the junior partner.
The latter looked into his lady's face, perceived a smile upon it, and
then--but not till then, he offered me his hand, and welcomed me with
much apparent warmth. This ceremony over, Mr Tomkins grew fidgety and
uneasy, and betrayed a great anxiety to get up a conversation which he
had not heart enough to set a going. Mrs Tomkins, a woman of the world,
evinced no anxiety at all, sat smiling, and in peace. I perceived
immediately that I must state at once the object of my visit, and I
proceeded to the task.

"Mrs Tomkins," I commenced.

"Sir?" said that lady, and then a postman's knock brought us to a stop,
and Jehu skipped across the room to listen at the door.

"That's him, my dear Jemima," exclaimed the linen-draper, "I know his
knock," and then he skipped as quickly to his chair again.

The door of the apartment was opened by a servant girl, who entered the
room alone and approached her mistress with a card. Mrs Tomkins looked
at it through her eye-glass, said "she was most happy," and the servant
then retired. The card was placed upon the table near me, and, as I
believe, for my inspection. I took it up, and read the following words,
"_Mr Stanislaus Levisohn_." They were engraven in the centre of the
paper, and were surrounded by a circle of rays, which in its turn was
enveloped in a circle of clouds. In the very corner of the card, and in
very small characters, the words "_general merchant_" were written.

There was a noise of shoe-cleaning outside the door for about five
minutes, then the door was opened again by the domestic, and a
remarkable gentleman walked very slowly in. He was a tall individual,
with small cunning eyes, black eye-brows, and a beard. He was rather
shabbily attired, and not washed with care. He had thick boorish hands,
and he smelt unpleasantly of tobacco smoke; an affected grin at variance
with every feature, was planted on his face, and sickened an
unprejudiced observer at the very first gaze. His mode of uttering
English betrayed him for a foreigner. He was a native of Poland. Before
uttering a syllable, the interesting stranger walked to a corner of the
room, turned himself to the wall, and muttered a few undistinguishable
words. He then bowed lowly to the company, and took a chair, grinning
all the while.

"Is that a Polish move?" asked Mr Tomkins.

"It vos de coshtom mit de anshent tribes, my tear sare, vor alles tings,
to recommend de family to de protection of de hevins. Vy not now mit all
goot Christians?"

"Why not indeed?" added Mrs Tomkins. "May I offer you a glass of raisin
wine?"

"Tank you. For de shtomack's sake--yase."

A glass was poured out. It was but decent to offer me another. I paid my
compliments to the hostess and the gentlemen, and was about to drink it
off, when the enlightened foreigner called upon me in a loud voice to
desist.

"Shtay, mein young friend--ve are not de heathen and de cannibal. It is
our privilege to live in de Christian society mit de Christian lady. Ve
most ask blessing--alvays--never forget--you excuse--vait tree minutes."

It was not for me to protest against so pious a movement, albeit it
presented itself somewhat inopportunely and out of place. Mr Levisohn
covered his face with one hand, and murmured a few words. The last only
reached me. It was "Amen," and this was rather heaved up in a sigh, than
articulately expressed.

"Do you like the wine?" asked Jehu, as if he thought it superfine.

"Yase, I like moch--especially de sherry and de port."

Jehu smiled, but made no reply.

Mrs Tomkins supposed that port and sherry were favourite beverages in
Poland, but, for her part, she had found that nothing agreed so well
with British stomachs as the native wines.

"Ah! my lady," said the Pole, "ve can give up very moch so long ve got
British religions."

"Very true, indeed," answered Mrs Tomkins. "Pray, Mr Levisohn, what may
be your opinion of the lost sheep? Do you think they will come into the
fold during our time?"

Before the gentleman replies, it may be proper to state on his behalf,
that he had never given his questioner any reason to suppose that he was
better informed on such mysterious subjects than herself. The history of
his introduction into the family of the linen-draper is very short. He
had been for some years connected with Mr Tomkins in the way of
business, having supplied that gentleman with all the genuine foreign,
but certainly English, perfumery, that was retailed with considerable
profit in his over-nice and pious establishment. Mrs Tomkins, no less
zealous in the cause of the church than that of her own shop, at length,
and all on a sudden, resolved to set about his conversion, and to
present him to the chapel as a brand plucked with her own hand from the
burning. As a preliminary step, he was invited to supper, and treated
with peculiar respect. The matter was gently touched upon, but
discussion postponed until another occasion. Mr Levisohn being very
shrewd, very needy, and enjoying no particular principles of morality
and religion, perceived immediately the object of his hostess, met her
more than half-way in her Christian purposes, and accepted her numerous
invitations to tea and supper with the most affectionate readiness.
Within two months he was received into the bosom of the church, and
became as celebrated for the depth and intensity of his belief as for
the earnestness and promptitude with which he attended the meetings of
the brethren, particularly those in which eating and drinking did not
constitute the least important part of the proceedings. Being a
foreigner, he was listened to with the deepest attention, very often
indeed to his serious annoyance, for his ignorance was awful, and his
assurance, great as it was, not always sufficient to get him clear of
his difficulties. His foreign accent, however, worked wonders for him,
and whenever too hard pressed, afforded him a secure and happy retreat.
An unmeaning grin, and "_me not pronounce_," had saved him from
precipices, down which an Englishman, _cæteris paribus_, must
unquestionably have been dashed.

"Vill dey come?" said Mr Levisohn, in answer to the question. "Yase,
certainly, if dey like, I tink."

"Ah, sir, I fear you are a latitudinarian," said the lady.

"I hope Hevin, my dear lady, vill forgive me for dat, and all my
wickedness. I am a shinner, I shtink!"

I looked at the converted gentleman, at the same moment that Mrs Jehu
assured him that it would be a great thing if they were all as satisfied
of their condition as he might be. "Your strong convictions of your
worthlessness is alone a proof," she added, "of your accepted state."

"My lady," continued the humble Stanislaus, "I am rotten, I am a tief, a
blackguard, a swindler, a pickpocket, a housebreak, a sticker mit de
knife. I vish somebody would call me names all de day long, because I
forget sometime dat I am de nashty vurm of de creation. I tink I hire a
boy to call me names, and make me not forget. Oh, my lady, I alvays
remember those fine words you sing--

    'If I could read my title clear
      To manshions in de shkies,
    I say farevell to every fear,
      And vipe my veeping eyes.'"

"That is so conscientious of you. Pray, my dear sir, is there an
Establishment in Poland? or have you Independent churches?"

"Ah, my dear lady, we have noting at all!"

"Is it possible?"

"Yase, it is possible--it is true."

"Who could have thought it! What! nothing?"

"Noting at all, my lady. Do not ask me again, I pray you. It is
frightful to a goot Christian to talk dese tings."

"What is your opinion of the Arminian doctrine, Mr Stanislaus?"

"Do you mean de doctrine?" enquired Stanislaus, slowly, as though he
found some difficulty in answering the question.

"Yes, my dear sir."

"I tink," said the gentleman, after some delay, "it vould he very goot
if were not for someting."

"Dear me!" cried Mrs Jehu, "that is so exactly my opinion!"

"Den dere is noting more to be said about dat," continued Stanislaus,
interrupting her; "and I hope you vill not ask dese deep questions, my
dear lady, vich are not at all proper to be answered, and vich put me
into de low spirits. Shall ve sing a hymn?"

"By all means," exclaimed the hostess, who immediately made preparations
for the ceremony. Hymn-books were introduced, and the servant-maid
ordered up, and then a quartet was performed by Mr Levisohn, Mrs
Tomkins, her husband, and Betsy. The subject of the song was the
courtship of Isaac. Two verses only have remained in my memory, and the
manner in which they were given out by the fervent Stanislaus will never
be forgotten. They ran thus:--

    "Ven Abraham's servant to procure
      A vife for Isaac vent,
    He met Rebekah, tould his vish,
      Her parents gave conshent.

    'Shtay,' Satan, my old master, cries,
      'Or force shall thee detain.'
    'Hinder me not, I vill be gone,
      I vish to break my chain.'"

This being concluded, Mr Tomkins asked Mr Levisohn what he had to say in
the business line, to which Mr Levisohn replied, "Someting very goot,
but should he not vait until after soppare?" whereupon Mr Tomkins gave
his lady a significant leer, and the latter retired, evidently to
prepare the much desired repast. Then did little Jehu turn
confidentially to Stanislaus, and ask him when he meant to deliver that
ere _conac_ that he had promised him so long ago.

"Ven Providence, my tear dikkon, paremits--I expect a case of goots at
de cushtom-house every day; but my friend vot examins de marchandis, and
vot saves me de duties ven I makes it all right mit him, is vary ill, I
am sorry for to say, and ve most vait, mit Christian patience, my dear
sare, till he get well. You see dat?"

"Oh, yes; that's clear enough. Well, Stanny, I only hope that fellow
won't die. I don't think you'd find it so easy to make it _all right_
with any other chap; that's all!"

"I hope he vill not die. Ve mosht pray dat he live, my dear dikkon. I
tink it vill be vell if der goot Mr Clayton pray mit der church for him.
You shall speak for him."

"Well, what have you done about the _Eau de Cologne_?" continued Jehu
Tomkins. "Have you nailed the fellow?"

"It vos specially about dis matter dat I vish to see you, my dear sare.
I persvade der man to sell ten cases. He be very nearly vot you call in
der mess. He valk into de Gazette next week. He shtarve now. I pity him.
De ten cases cost him ten pounds. I give fifty shilling--two pound ten.
He buy meat for de childs, and is tankful. I take ten shillings for my
trouble. Der Christian satisfied mit vary little."

"Any good bills in the market, Stanny?"

Stanislaus Levisohn winked.

"Ho--you don't say so," said the deacon. "Have you got 'em with you?"

"After soppare, my dear sare," answered Stanislaus, who looked at me,
and winked again significantly at Jehu.

Mrs Tomkins returned, accompanied by the vocal Betsy. The cloth was
spread, and real silver forks, and fine cut tumblers, and blue plates
with scripture patterns, speedily appeared. Then came a dish of fried
sausages and parsley--then baked potatoes--then lamb chops. Then we all
sat round the table, and then, against all order and propriety, Mrs Jehu
grossly and publicly insulted her husband at his own board, by calling
upon the enlightened foreigner to ask a blessing upon the meal.

The company sat down; but scarcely were we seated before Stanislaus
resumed.

"I tank you, my tear goot Mrs Tomkins for dat shop mit der brown, ven it
comes to my turn to be sarved. It look just der ting."

Mrs Jehu served her guest immediately.

"I vill take a sossage, tear lady, also, if you please."

"And a baked potato?"

"And a baked potato? Yase."

He was served.

"I beg your pardon, Christian lady, have you got, perhaps, der littel
pickel-chesnut and der crimson cabbage?"

"Mr Tomkins, go down-stairs and get the pickles," said the mistress of
the house, and Tomkins vanished like a mouse on tiptoe.

Before he could return, Stanislaus had eaten more than half his chop,
and discovered that, after all, "it was _not_ just the ting." Mrs Jehu
entreated him to try another. He declined at first; but at length
suffered himself to be persuaded. Four chops had graced the dish
originally; the remaining two were divided equally between the lady and
myself. I begged that my share might be left for the worthy host, but
receiving a recommendation from his wife "not to mind _him_," I said no
more, but kept Mr Stanislaus Levisohn in countenance.

"I hope you'll find it to your liking, Mr Stukely," said our hostess.

"Mishter vat?" exclaimed the foreigner, looking quickly up. "I tink
I"----

"What is the matter, my dear sir?" enquired the lady of the house.

"Noting, my tear friend, I tought der young gentleman vos a poor
unconverted sinner dat I met a long time ago. Dat is all. Ve talk of
someting else."

Has the reader forgotten the dark-visaged individual, who at the
examination of my lamented father before the Commissioners of Bankruptcy
made his appearance in company with Mr Levy and the ready Ikey? Him I
mean of the vivid imagination, who swore to facts which were no facts at
all, and whom an unpoetic jury sentenced to vile imprisonment for wilful
perjury? _There he sat_, transformed into a Pole, bearded and whiskered,
and the hair of his head close clipped, but in every other regard the
same as when the constable invited him to forsake a too prosaic and
ungrateful world: and had Mr Levisohn been wise and guarded, the
discovery would never have been made by me; for we had met but once
before, then only for a short half hour, and under agitating
circumstances. But my curiosity and attention once roused by his
exclamation, it was impossible to mistake my man. I fixed my eye upon
him, and the harder he pulled at his chop, and the more he attempted to
evade my gaze, the more satisfied was I that a villain and an impostor
was seated amongst us. Thinking, absurdly enough, to do my host and
hostess a lasting service, I determined without delay to unmask the
pretended saint, and to secure his victims from the designs he purposed.

"Mr Levisohn," I said immediately, "you have told the truth--we have met
before."

"Nevare, my tear friend, you mistake; nevare in my life, upon my vurd."

"Mrs Tomkins," I continued, rising, "I should not be worthy of your
hospitality if I did not at once make known to you the character of that
man. He is a convicted criminal. I have myself known him to be guilty of
the grossest practices." Mr Levisohn dropped his chop, turned his greasy
face up, and then looked round the room, and endeavoured to appear
unconcerned, innocent, and amazed all at once. At this moment Jehu
entered the room with the pickles, and the face of the deaconess grew
fearfully stern.

"Were you ever in the Court of Bankruptcy, Mr Levisohn?" I continued.

"I have never been out of London, my good sare. You labour under de
mistake.--I excuse you. Ah!" he cried our suddenly, as if a new idea had
struck him very hard; "I see now vot it is. I explain. You take me for
somebody else."

"I do not, sir. I accuse you publicly of having committed perjury of the
most shameless kind, and I can prove you guilty of the charge. Do you
know a person of the name of Levy?"

Mr Stanislaus looked to the ceiling after the manner of individuals who
desire, or who do not desire, as the case may be, to call a subject to
remembrance. "No," he answered, after a long pause; "certainly not. I
never hear dat name."

"Beware of him, Mrs Tomkins," I continued, "he is an impostor, a
disgrace to mankind, and to the faith which he professes."

"What do you mean by that, you impertinent young man?" said Mrs Tomkins,
her blood rising to her face, herself rising from her chair. "I should
have thought that a man who had been so recently expelled from his
church would have had more decency. A pretty person you must be, to
bring a charge of this kind against so good a creature as that."

"No, do not say dat," interposted Stanny; "I am not goot. I am a brute
beast."

"Mr Tomkins," continued the lady, "I don't know what object that person
has in disturbing the peace of our family, or why he comes here at all
to-night. He is a mischief-making, hardened young man, or he would never
have come to what he has. Well, I'm sure--What will Satan put into his
head next!"

"I vould vish you be not angry. Der young gentleman is, I dare say, vary
goot at heart. He is labouring under de deloosions."

"Mr Levisohn, pardon me, I am not. Proofs exist, and I can bring them to
convict you."

"Do you hear that, Mr Tomkins. Were you ever insulted so before? Are you
master in your own house?"

"What shall I do?" said Jehu, trembling with excitement at the door.

"Do! What! Give him his hat, turn him out."

"Oh, my dear goot Christian friends," said Mr Levisohn, imploringly; "de
booels of der Christian growls ven he shees dese sights; vot is de goot
of to fight? It is shtoopid. Let me be der peacemaker. Der yong man has
been drink, perhaps. I forgive him from te bottom of my heart. If ve
quarrel ve fight. If ve fight ve lose every ting.

    'So Samson, ven his hair vos lost,
    Met the Philistines to his cost,
    Shook his vain limbs in shad shurprise,
    Made feeble fight, and lost his eyes.'"

"Mr Tomkins," I exclaimed, "I court inquiry, I can obtain proofs."

"We want none of your proofs, you backslider," cried the deaconess.

"Madam, you"----

"Get out of the house, ambassador of Satan! Mr Tomkins, will you tell
him instantly to go?"

"Go!" squealed Tomkins from the door, not advancing an inch.

I seized my hat, and left the table.

"You will be sorry for this, sir," said I; "and you, madam"----

"Don't talk to me, you bad man. If you don't go this minute I'll spring
the rattle and have up the watchmen."

I did not attempt to say another word. I left the room, and hurried from
the house. I had hardly shut the street door before it was violently
opened again, and the head of Mr Levisohn made itself apparent.

"Go home," exclaimed that gentleman, "and pray to be shaved, you
shtoopid ass."

It was not many days after the enacting of this scene, that I entered
upon my duties as the instructor of the infant children of my friend. It
was useless to renew my application to the deacon, and I abandoned the
idea. The youngest of my pupils was the lisping Billy. It was my honour
to introduce him at the very porch of knowledge--to place him on the
first step of learning's ladder--to make familiar to him the simple
letters of his native tongue, in whose mysterious combinations the
mighty souls of men appear and speak. The lesson of the alphabet was the
first that I gave, and a heavy sadness depressed and humbled me when, as
the child repeated wonderingly after me, letter by letter, I could not
but feel deeply and acutely the miserable blighting of my youthful
promises. How long was it ago--it seemed but yesterday, when the sun
used to shine brightly into my own dear bed-room, and awake me with its
first gush of light, telling my ready fancy that he came to rouse me
from inaction, and to encourage me to my labours. Oh, happy labours!
Beloved books! What joy I had amongst you! The house was silent--the
city's streets tranquil as the breath of morning. I heard nothing but
the glorious deeds ye spoke of, and saw only the worthies that were but
dust, when centuries now passed were yet unborn, but whose immortal
spirits are vouchsafed still to elevate man, and cheer him onward. How
intense and sweet was our communion; and as I read and read on, how
gratefully repose crept over me; how difficult it seemed to think
unkindly of the world, or to believe in all the tales of human
selfishness and cruelty with which the old will ever mock the ear and
dull the heart of the confiding and the young. How willing I felt to
love, and how gay a place was earth, with her constant sun, and
overflowing lap, and her thousand joys, for man! And how intense was the
fire of _hope_ that burned within me--fed with new fuel every passing
hour, and how abiding and how beautiful _the future_! THE FUTURE! and it
was here--a nothing--a dream--a melancholy phantasm!

There are seasons of adversity, in which the mind, plunged in
despondency and gloom, is startled and distressed by pictures of a
happier time, that travel far to fool and tantalize the suffering heart.
I sat with the child, and gazing full upon him, beheld him not, but--a
vision of my father's house. There sits the good old man, and at his
side--ah, how seldom were they apart!--my mother. And there, too, is the
clergyman, my first instructor. Every well-remembered piece of furniture
is there. The chair, sacred to my sire, and venerated by me for its age,
and for our long intimacy. I have known it since first I knew myself.
The antique bookcase--the solid chest of drawers--the solemn sofa, all
substantial as ever, and looking, as at first, the immoveable and
natural properties of the domestic parlour. My mother has her eyes upon
me, and they are full of tears. My father and the minister are building
up my fortunes, are fixing in the sandy basis of futurity an edifice
formed of glittering words, incorporeal as the breath that rears it. And
the feelings of that hour come back upon me. I glow with animation,
confidence, and love. I have the strong delight that beats within the
bosom of the boy who has the parents' trusty smile for ever on him. I
dream of pouring happiness into those fond hearts--of growing up to be
their prop and staff in their decline. I pierce into the future, and
behold myself the esteemed and honoured amongst men--the patient,
well-rewarded scholar--the cherished and the cherisher of the dear
authors of my life--all brightness--all glory--all unsullied joy. The
child touches my wet cheek, and asks me why I weep?--why?--why? He knows
not of the early wreck that has annihilated the unhappy teacher's peace.

We were still engaged upon our lesson, when John Thompson interrupted
the proceeding, by entering the apartment in great haste, and placing in
my hands a newspaper. "He had been searching," he said, "for one whole
fortnight, to find a situation that would suit me, and now he thought
that he had hit upon it. There it was, 'a tutorer in a human family,' to
teach the languages and the sciences. Apply from two to four. It's just
three now. Send the youngster to his mother, and see after it, my
friend. I wouldn't have you lose it for the world." I took the journal
from his hands, and, as though placed there by the hand of the avenger
to arouse deeper remorse, to draw still hotter blood from the lacerated
heart, the following announcement, and nothing else, glared on the
paper, and took possession of my sight.

"UNIVERSITY INTELLIGENCE. After a contest more severe than any known for
years, MR JOHN SMITHSON, _of Trinity College, Cambridge_, has been
declared THE SENIOR WRANGLER of his year. Mr Smithson is, we understand,
the son of a humble curate in Norfolk, whose principal support has been
derived from the exertions of his son during his residence in the
University. The honour could not have been conferred on a more deserving
child of Alma Mater."

A hundred recollections crowded on my brain. My heart was torn with
anguish. The perseverance and the filial piety of Smithson, so opposite
to my unsteadiness and unnatural disloyalty, confounded and unmanned me.
I burst into tears before the faithful Thompson, and covered my face for
very shame.

"What is the matter, lad?" exclaimed the good fellow, pale with
surprise, his eye trembling with honest feeling. "Have I hurt you? Drat
the paper! Don't think, Stukely, I wished to get rid of you. Don't think
so hard of your old friend. I thought to help and do you service; I know
you have the feelings of a gentleman about you, and I wouldn't wound
'em, God knows, for any thing. There, think no more about it. I am so
rough a hand, I'm not fit to live with Christians. I mean no harm,
believe me. Get rid of you, my boy! I only wish you'd say this is your
home, and never leave me--that would make me happy."

"Thompson," I answered, through my tears, "I am not deserving of your
friendship. You have not offended me. You have never wronged me. You are
all kindness and truth. I have had no real enemy but myself. Read that
paper."

I pointed to the paragraph, and he read it.

"What of it?" he asked.

"Thompson," listen to me; "what do you say of such a son?"

"I can guess his father's feelings," said my friend. "Earth's a heaven,
Stukely, when father and child live together as God appointed them."

"But when a child breaks a parent's heart, Thompson--what then?"

"Don't talk about it, lad. I have got eleven of 'em, and that's a side
of the picture that I can't look at with pleasure. I think the boys are
good. They have gone on well as yet; but who can tell what a few years
will do?"

"Or a few months, Thompson," I answered quickly, "or a few days, or
hours, when the will is fickle, principles unfixed, and the heart
treacherous and false. That Smithson and I, Thompson, were fellow
students. We left home together--we took up our abode in the University
together--we were attached to the same college--taught by the same
master--read from the same books. My feelings were as warm as his. My
resolution to do well apparently as firm, my knowledge and attainments
as extensive. If he was encouraged, and protected, and urged forward by
the fond love of a devoted household--so was I. If parental blessings
hallowed his entrance upon those pursuits which have ended so
successfully for him--so did they mine. If he had motive for exertion, I
had not less--we were equal in the race which we began together--look at
us now!"

"How did it happen, then?"

"He was honest and faithful to his purpose. I was not. He saw one object
far in the distance before him, and looked neither to the right nor
left, but dug his arduous way towards it. He craved not the false
excitement of temporary applause, nor deemed the opinion of weak men
essential to his design. He had a sacred duty to perform, which left him
not the choice of action, and he performed it to the letter. He had a
feeling conscience, and a reasoning heart, and the home of his youth,
and the sister who had grown up with him, the father who had laboured,
the mother who had striven for him, visited him by night and by day--in
his silent study, and in his lonely bed, comforting, animating, and
supporting him by their delightful presence."

"And what did you do?"

"Just the reverse of this. I had neither simplicity of aim, nor
stability of affection. One slip from the path, and I hadn't energy to
take the road again. One vicious inclination, and the virtuous resolves
of years melted before it. The sneer of a fool could frighten me from
rectitude--the smile of a girl render me indifferent to the pangs that
tear a parent's heart. Look at us both. Look at him--the man whom I
treated with contemptuous derision. What a return home for him--his
mission accomplished--HIS DUTY DONE! Look at me, the outcast, the
beggar, the despised--the author of a mother's death, a father's
bankruptcy and ruin--with no excuse for misconduct, no promise for the
future, no self-justification, and no hope of pardon beyond that
afforded to the vilest criminal that comes repentant to the mercy throne
of God!"

"Well--but, sir--Stukely--don't take the thing to heart. You are
young--look for'rads. Oh, I tell you, it's a blessed thing to be sorry
for our faults, and to feel as if we wished to do better for the time to
come. I'm an older man than you, and I bid you take comfort, and trust
to God for better things, and better things will come, too. You are not
so badly off now as you were this time twelvemonth. And you know I'll
never leave you. Don't despond--don't give away. It's unnatural for a
man to do it, and he's lost if he does. Oh, bless you, this is a life of
suffering and sorrow, and well it is; for who wouldn't go mad to think
of leaving all his young 'uns behind him, and every thing he loves, if
he wasn't taught that there's a quieter place above, where all shall
meet agin? You know me, my boy; I can't talk, but I want to comfort you
and cheer you up--and so, give me your hand, old fellow, and say you
won't think of all this any more, but try and forget it, and see about
settling comfortably in life. What do you say to the advertisement? A
tutorer in a human family, to teach the languages and the sciences. Come
now, that's right; I'm glad to see you laugh. I suppose I don't give the
right pronunciation to the words. Well, never mind; laugh at your old
friend. He'd rather see you laugh at him than teaze your heart about
your troubles."

Thompson would not be satisfied until I had read the advertisement, and
given him my opinion of its merits. He would not suffer me to say
another word about my past misfortunes, but insisted on my looking
forward cheerfully, and like a man. The situation appeared to him just
the thing for me; and after all, if I had wrangled as well as that 'ere
Smithson--(though, at the same time, _wrangling_ seemed a very
aggravating word to put into young men's mouths at all)--perhaps I
shouldn't have been half as happy as a quiet comfortable life would make
me. "I was cut out for a tutorer. He was sure of it. So he'd thank me to
read the paper without another syllable." The advertisement, in truth,
was promising. "The advertiser, in London, desired to engage the
services of a young gentleman, capable of teaching the ancient
languages, and giving his pupils 'an introduction to the sciences.' The
salary would be liberal, and the occupation with a humane family in the
country, who would receive the tutor as one of themselves. References
would be required and given."

"References would be required and given," I repeated, after having
concluded the advertisement, and put the paper down.

"Yes, that's the only thing!" said Thompson, scratching his honest ear,
like a man perplexed and driven to a corner. "We haven't got no
references to give. But I'll tell you what we've got though. We've got
the papers of these freehold premises, and we've something like two
thousand in the bank. I'll give 'em them, if you turns out a bad 'un.
That I'll undertake to do, and shan't be frightened either. Now, you
just go, and see if you can get it. Where do you apply?"

"Wait, Thompson. I must not suffer you"----

"Did you hear what I said, sir? where do you apply?"

"At X.Y.Z." said I, "in Swallow street, Saint James's."

"Then, don't you lose a minute. I shouldn't be surprised if the place is
run down already. London's overstocked with tutorers and men of larning.
You come along o' me, Billy, and don't you lose sight of this 'ere
chance, my boy. If they wants a reference, tell 'em I'll be glad to wait
upon 'em."

Three days had not elapsed after this conversation, before my services
were accepted by X.Y.Z.--and I had engaged to travel into Devonshire to
enter at once upon my duties, as teacher in the dwelling-house of the
Reverend Walter Fairman. X.Y.Z. was a man of business; and, fortunately
for me, had known my father well. He was satisfied with my connexion,
and with the unbounded recommendation which Thompson gave with me. Mr
Fairman was incumbent of one of the loveliest parishes in England, and
the guardian and teacher of six boys. My salary was fifty pounds per
annum, with board and lodging. The matter was settled in a few hours,
and before I had time to consider, my place was taken in the coach, and
a letter was dispatched to Mr Fairman, announcing my intended departure.
Nothing could exceed the joy of Thompson at my success--nothing could be
kinder and more anxious than his valuable advice.

"Now," he said as we walked together from the coach-office, "was I wrong
in telling you that better things would turn up? Take care of yourself,
and the best wrangler of the lot may be glad to change places with you.
It isn't lots of larning, or lots of money, or lots of houses and
coaches, that makes a man happy in this world. They never can do it; but
they can do just the contrarery, and make him the miserablest wretch as
crawls. _A contented mind_ is 'the one thing needful.' Take what God
gives gratefully, and do unto others as you would that they should do
unto you. That's a maxim that my poor father was always giving me, and,
I wish, when I take the young 'uns to church, that they could always
hear it, for human natur needs it."

The evening before my setting out was spent with Thompson's family. I
had received a special invitation, and Thompson, with the labouring
sons, were under an engagement to the mistress of the house, to leave
the workshop at least an hour earlier than usual. Oh, it was a sight to
move the heart of one more hardened than I can boast to be, to behold
the affectionate party assembled to bid me farewell, and to do honour to
our leave-taking. A little feast was prepared for the occasion, and my
many friends were dressed, all in their Sunday clothes, befittingly.
There was not one who had not something to give me for a token. Mary had
worked me a purse; and Mary blushed whilst her mother betrayed her, and
gave the little keepsake. Ellen thought a pincushion might be useful;
and the knitter of the large establishment provided me with comforters.
All the little fellows, down to Billy himself, had a separate gift,
which each must offer with a kiss, and with a word or two expressive of
his good wishes. All hoped I would come soon again, and Aleck more than
hinted a request that I would postpone my departure to some indefinite
period which he could not name. Poor tremulous heart! how it throbbed
amongst them all, and how sad it felt to part from them! Love bound me
to the happy room--the only love that connected the poor outcast with
the wide cold world. This was the home of my affections--could I leave
it--could I venture once more upon the boisterous waters of life without
regret and apprehension?

Thompson kindly offered to accompany me on the following morning to the
inn from which I was destined to depart, but I would not hear of it. He
was full of business; had little time to spare, and none to throw away
upon me. I begged him not to think of it, and he acquiesced in my
wishes. We were sitting together, and his wife and children had an hour
or two previously retired to rest.

"Them's good children, ain't they, Stukely?" enquired Thompson, after
having made a long pause.

"You may well be proud of them," I answered.

"It looked nice of 'em to make you a little present of something before
you went. But it was quite right. That's just as it should be. I like
that sort of thing, especially when a man understands the sperrit that a
thing's given with. Now, some fellows would have been offended if any
thing had been offered 'em. How I do hate all that!"

"I assure you, Thompson, I feel deeply their kind treatment of their
friend. I shall never forget it."

"You ain't offended, then?"

"No, indeed."

"Well, now, I am so happy to hear it, you can't think," continued
Thompson, fumbling about his breeches pocket, and drawing from it at
length something which he concealed in his fist. "There, take that," he
suddenly exclaimed; "take it, my old fellow, and God bless you. It's no
good trying to make a fuss about it."

I held a purse of money in my hand.

"No, Thompson," I replied, "I cannot accept it. Do not think me proud or
ungrateful; but I have no right to take it."

"It's only twenty guineas, man, and I can afford it. Now look, Stukely,
you are going to leave me. If you don't take it, you'll make me as
wretched as the day is long. You are my friend, and my friend mustn't go
amongst strangers without an independent spirit. If you have twenty
guineas in your pocket, you needn't be worrying yourself about little
things. You'll find plenty of ways to make the money useful. You shall
pay me, if you like, when you grow rich, and we meets again; but take it
now, and make John Thompson happy."

In the lap of nature the troubled mind gets rest; and the wounds of the
heart heal rapidly, once delivered there, safe from contact with the
infectious world; and the bosom of the nursing mother is not more
powerful or quick to lull the pain and still the sobs of her distressed
ones. It is the sanctuary of the bruised spirit, and to arrive at it is
to secure shelter and to find repose. Peace, eternal and blessed,
birthright and joy of angels, whither do those glimpses hover that we
catch of thee in this tumultuous life, weak, faint, and transient though
they be, melting the human soul with heavenly tranquillity? Whither, if
not upon the everlasting hills, where the brown line divides the sky, or
on the gentle sea, where sea and sky are one--a liquid cupola--or in the
leafy woods and secret vales, where beauty lends her thrilling voice to
silence? How often will the remembrance only of one bright spot--a
vision of Paradise rising over the dull waste of my existence--send a
glow of comfort to my aged heart, and a fresh feeling of repose which
the harsh business of life cannot extinguish or disturb! And what a fair
history comes with that shadowy recollection! How much of passionate
condensed existence is involved in it, and how mysteriously, yet
naturally connected with it, seem all the noblest feelings of my
imperfect nature! The scene of beauty has become "a joy for ever."

I recall a spring day--a sparkling day of the season of youth and
promise--and a nook of earth, fit for the wild unshackled sun to skip
along and brighten with his inconstant giddy light. Hope is everywhere;
murmuring in the brooks, and smiling in the sky. Upon the bursting trees
she sits; she nestles in the hedges. She fills the throat of mating
birds, and bears the soaring lark nearer and nearer to the gate of
Heaven. It is the first holiday of the year, and the universal heart is
glad. Grief and apprehension cannot dwell in the human breast on such a
day; and, for an hour, even _Self_ is merged in the general joy. I reach
my destination; and the regrets for the past, and the fear for the
future, which have accompanied me through the long and anxious journey,
fall from the oppressed spirit, and leave it buoyant, cheerful,
free--free to delight itself in a land of enchantment, and to revel
again in the unsubstantial glories of a youthful dream. I paint the
Future in the colours that surround me, and I confide in her again.

It was noon when we reached the headquarters of the straggling parish of
Deerhurst--its chief village. We had travelled since the golden sunrise
over noble earth, and amongst scenes scarcely less heavenly than the
blue vault which smiled upon them. Now the horizon was bounded by a
range of lofty hills linked to each other by gentle undulations, and
bearing to their summits innumerable and giant trees; these, crowded
together, and swayed by the brisk wind, presented to the eye the figure
of a vast and supernatural sea, and made the intervening vale of
loveliness a neglected blank. Then we emerged suddenly--yes,
instantaneously--as though designing nature, with purpose to surprize,
had hid behind the jutting crag, beneath the rugged steep--upon a world
of beauty; garden upon garden, sward upon sward, hamlet upon hamlet, far
as the sight could reach, and purple shades of all beyond. Then, flashes
of the broad ocean, like quick transitory bursts of light, started at
intervals, washing the feet of a tall emerald cliff, or, like a lake,
buried between the hills. Shorter and shorter become the intermissions,
larger and larger grows the watery expanse, until, at length, the mighty
element rolls unobstructed on, and earth, decked in her verdant leaves,
her flowers and gems, is on the shore to greet her.

The entrance to the village is by a swift, precipitous descent. On
either side are piled rude stones, placed there by a subtle hand, and
with a poet's aim, to touch the fancy, and to soothe the traveller with
thoughts of other times--of ruined castles, and of old terrace walks.
Already have the stones fulfilled their purpose, and the ivy, the brier,
and the saxifrage have found a home amongst them. At the foot of the
declivity, standing like a watchful mother, is the church--the small,
the unpretending, the venerable and lovely village church. You do not
see a house till she is passed. Before a house was built about her, she
was an aged church, and her favoured graves were rich in heavenly clay.
The churchyard gate; and then at once, the limited and quiet village,
nestling in a valley and shut out from the world: beautiful and
self-sufficient. Hill upon hill behind, each greener than the last--hill
upon hill before, all exclusion, and nothing but her own surpassing
loveliness to console and cheer her solitude. And is it not enough? What
if she know little of the sea beyond its voice, and nothing of external
life--her crystal stream, her myrtle-covered cottages, her garden plots,
her variegated flowers and massive foliage, her shady dells and scented
lanes are joys enough for her small commonwealth. Thin curling smoke
that rises like a spirit from the hidden bosom of one green hillock,
proclaims the single house that has its seat upon the eminence. It is
the parsonage--my future home.

With a trembling heart I left the little inn, and took my silent way to
the incumbent's house. There was no eye to follow me, the leafy street
was tenantless, and seemed made over to the restless sun and dissolute
winds to wanton through it as they pleased. As I ascended, the view
enlarged--beauty became more beauteous, silence more profound. I reached
the parsonage gate, and my heart yearned to tell how much I longed to
live and die on this sequestered and most peaceful spot. The
dwelling-house was primitive and low; its long and overhanging roof was
thatched; its windows small and many. A myrtle, luxuriant as a vine,
covered its entire front, and concealed the ancient brick and wood. A
raised bank surrounded the green nest, and a gentle slope conducted to a
lawn fringed with the earliest flowers of the year. I rang the loud
bell, and a neatly dressed servant-girl gave me admittance to the house.
In a room of moderate size, furnished by a hand as old at least as the
grandsires of the present occupants, and well supplied with books, sat
the incumbent. He was a man of fifty years of age or more, tall and
gentlemanly in demeanour. His head was partly bald, and what remained of
his hair was grey almost to whiteness. He had a noble forehead, a marked
brow, and a cold grey eye. His mouth betrayed sorrow, or habitual deep
reflection, and the expression of every other feature tended to
seriousness. The first impression was unfavourable. A youth, who was
reading with the minister when I entered the apartment, was dismissed
with a simple inclination of the head, and the Rev. Walter Fairman then
pointed to a seat.

"You have had a tedious journey, Mr Stukely," began the incumbent, "and
you are fatigued, no doubt."

"What a glorious spot this is, sir!" I exclaimed.

"Yes, it is pretty," answered Mr Fairman, very coldly as I thought. "Are
you hungry, Mr Stukely? We dine early; but pray take refreshment if you
need it."

I declined respectfully.

"Do you bring letters from my agent?"

"I have a parcel in my trunk, sir, which will be here immediately. What
magnificent trees!" I exclaimed again, my eyes riveted upon a stately
cluster, which were about a hundred yards distant.

"Have you been accustomed to tuition?" asked Mr Fairman, taking no
notice of my remark.

"I have not, sir, but I am sure that I shall be delighted with the
occupation. I have always thought so."

"We must not be too sanguine. Nothing requires more delicate handling
than the mind of youth. In no business is experience, great discernment
and tact, so much needed as in that of instruction."

"Yes, sir, I am aware of it."

"No doubt," answered Mr Fairman quietly. "How old are you?"

I told my age, and blushed.

"Well, well," said the incumbent, "I have no doubt we shall do. You are
a Cambridge man, Mr Graham writes me?"

"I was only a year, sir, at the university. Circumstances prevented a
longer residence. I believe I mentioned the fact to Mr Graham."

"Oh yes, he told me so. You shall see the boys this afternoon. They are
fine-hearted lads, and much may be done with them. There are six. Two of
them are pretty well advanced. They read Euripides and Horace. Is
Euripides a favourite of yours?"

"He is tender, plaintive, and passionate," I answered; "but perhaps I
may be pardoned if I venture to prefer the vigour and majesty of the
sterner tragedian."

"You mean you like Æschylus better. Do you write poetry, Mr Stukely? Not
Latin verses, but English poetry."

"I do not, sir."

"Well, I am glad of that. It struck me that you did. Will you really
take no refreshment? Are you not fatigued?"

"Not in the least, sir. This lovely prospect, for one who has seen so
little of nature as I have, is refreshment enough for the present."

"Ah," said Mr Fairman, sighing faintly, "you will get accustomed to it.
There is something in the prospect, but more in your own mind. Some of
our poor fellows would be easily served and satisfied, if we could feed
them on the prospect. But if you are not tired you shall see more of it
if you will. I have to go down to the village. We have an hour till
dinner-time. Will you accompany me?"

"With pleasure, sir."

"Very well." Mr Fairman then rang the bell, and the servant girl came
in.

"Where's Miss Ellen, Mary?" asked the incumbent.

"She has been in the village since breakfast, sir. Mrs Barnes sent word
that she was ill, and Miss took her the rice and sago that Dr Mayhew
ordered."

"Has Warden been this morning?"

"No, sir."

"Foolish fellow. I'll call on him. Mary, if Cuthbert the fisherman
comes, give him that bottle of port wine; but tell him not to touch a
drop of it himself. It is for his sick child, and it is committing
robbery to take it. Let him have the blanket also that was looked out
for him."

"It's gone, sir. Miss sent it yesterday."

"Very well. There is nothing more. Now, Mr Stukely, we will go."

I have said already that the first opinion which I formed of the
disposition of Mr Fairman was not a flattering one. Before he spoke a
word, I felt disappointed and depressed. My impression after our short
conversation was worse than the first. The natural effect of the scene
in which I suddenly found myself, had been to prepare my ever too
forward spirit for a man of enthusiasm and poetic temperament. Mr
Fairman was many degrees removed from warmth. He spoke to me in a sharp
tone of voice, and sometimes, I suspected, with the intention of mocking
me. His _manner_, when he addressed the servant-girl, was not more
pleasing. When I followed him from the room, I regretted the haste with
which I had accepted my appointment; but a moment afterwards I entered
into fairyland again, and the passing shadow left me grateful to
Providence for so much real enjoyment. We descended the hill, and for a
time, in silence, Mr Fairman was evidently engaged in deep thought, and
I had no wish to disturb him. Every now and then we lighted upon a view
of especial beauty, and I was on the point of expressing my unbounded
admiration, when one look at my cool and matter-of-fact companion at
once annoyed and stopped me.

"Yes," said Mr Fairman at length, still musing. "It is very
difficult--very difficult to manage the poor. I wonder if they are
grateful at heart. What do you think, Mr Stukely?"

"I have nothing to say of the poor, sir, but praise."

Mr Fairman looked hard at me, and smiled unpleasantly.

"It is the scenery, I suppose. That will make you praise every thing for
the next day or so. It will not do, though. We must walk on our feet,
and be prosaic in this world. The poor are not as poets paint them, nor
is there so much happiness in a hovel as they would lead you to expect.
The poets are like you--they have nothing to say but praise. Ah, me!
they draw largely on their imaginations."

"I do not, sir, in this instance," I answered, somewhat nettled. "My
most valued friends are in the humblest ranks of life. I am proud to say
so. I am not prepared to add, that the most generous of men are the most
needy, although it has been my lot to meet with sympathy and succour at
the hands of those who were much in want of both themselves."

"I believe you, Mr Stukely," answered the incumbent in a more feeling
tone. "I am not fond of theories; yet that's a theory with which I would
willingly pass through life; but it will not answer. It is knocked on
the head every hour of the day. Perhaps it is our own fault. We do not
know how to reach the hearts, and educate the feelings of the ignorant
and helpless. Just step in here."

We were standing before a hut at the base of the hill. It was a low
dirty-looking place, all roof, with a neglected garden surrounding it.
One window was in the cob-wall. It had been fixed there originally,
doubtless with the object of affording light to the inmates; but light,
not being essential to the comfort or happiness of the present tenants,
was in a great measure excluded by a number of small rags which occupied
the place of the diamond panes that had departed many months before. A
child, ill-clad, in fragments of clothes, with long and dirty hair,
unclean face, and naked feet, cried at the door, and loud talking was
heard within. Mr Fairman knocked with his knuckle before he entered, and
a gruff voice desired him to "come in." A stout fellow, with a surly
countenance and unshaven beard, was sitting over an apology for a fire,
and a female of the same age and condition was near him. She bore an
unhappy infant in her arms, whose melancholy peakish face, not
twelve-months old, looked already conscious of prevailing misery. There
was no flooring to the room, which contained no one perfect or complete
article of furniture, but symptoms of many, from the blanketless bed
down to the solitary coverless saucepan. Need I add, that the man who
sat there, the degraded father of the house, had his measure of liquor
before him, and that the means of purchasing it were never wanting,
however impudently charity might be called upon to supply the starving
family with bread?

The man did not rise upon our entrance. He changed colour very slightly,
and looked more ignorantly surly, or tried to do so.

"Well, Jacob Warden," said the incumbent, "you are determined to brave
it out, I see." The fellow did not answer.

"When I told you yesterday that your idleness and bad habits were
bringing you to ruin, you answered--_I was a liar_. I then said, that
when you were sorry for having uttered that expression, you might come
to the parsonage and tell me so. You have not been yet--I am grieved to
say it. What have I ever done to you, Jacob Warden, that you should
behave so wickedly? I do not wish you to humble yourself to me, but I
should have been glad to see you do your duty. If I did mine, perhaps, I
should give you up, and see you no more, for I fear you are a hardened
man."

"He hasn't had no work for a month," said the wife, in a tone of
upbraiding, as if the minister had been the wilful cause of it.

"And whose fault is that, Mrs Warden? There is work enough for sober and
honest men in the parish. Why was your husband turned away from the
Squire's?"

"Why, all along of them spoons. They never could prove it agin him,
that's one thing--though they tried it hard enough."

"Come, come, Mrs Warden, if you love that man, take the right way to
show it. Think of your children."

"Yes; if I didn't--who would, I should like to know? The poor are
trodden under foot."

"Not so, Mrs Warden, the poor are taken care of, if they are deserving.
God loves the poor, and commands us all to love them. Give me your
Bible?" The woman hesitated a minute, and then answered--

"Never mind the Bible, that won't get us bread."

"Give me your Bible, Mrs Warden."

"We have'nt got it. What's the use of keeping a Bible in the house for
children as can't read, when they are crying for summat to eat?"

"You have sold it, then?"

"We got a shilling on it--that's all."

"Have you ever applied to us for food, and has it been denied you?"

"Well, I don't know. The servant always looks grumpy at us when we come
a-begging, and seems to begrudge us every mouthful. It's all very well
to live on other persons' leavings. I dare say you don't give us what
you could eat yourselves."

"We give the best we can afford, Mrs Warden, and, God knows, with no
such feeling as you suppose. How is the child? Is it better?"

"Yes, no thanks to Doctor Mayhew either."

"Did he not call, then?"

"Call! Yes, but he made me tramp to his house for the physic, and when
he passed the cottage the other day, I called after him; but devil a bit
would he come back. We might have died first, of course: he knows, he
isn't paid, and what does he care?"

"It is very wrong of you to talk so. You are well aware that he was
hurrying to a case of urgency, and could not be detained. He visited you
upon the following day, and told you so."

"Oh yes, the following day! What's that to do with it?"

"Woman" exclaimed Mr Fairman, solemnly, "my heart bleeds for those poor
children. What will become of them with such an example before their
eyes? I can say no more to you than I have repeated a hundred times
before. I would make you happy in this world if I could; I would save
you. You forbid me. I would be your true friend, and you look upon me as
an enemy. Heaven, I trust, will melt your heart! What is that child
screaming for?"

"What! she hasn't had a blessed thing to-day. We had nothing for her."

Mr Fairman took some biscuits from his pockets, and placed them on the
table. "Let the girl come in, and eat," said he. "I shall send you some
meat from the village. Warden, I cannot tell you how deeply I feel your
wickedness. I did expect you to come to the parsonage and say you were
sorry. It would have looked well, and I should have liked it. You put it
out of my power to help you. It is most distressing to see you both
going headlong to destruction. May you live to repent! I shall see you
again this evening, and I will speak to you alone. Come, Mr Stukely, our
time is getting short."

The incumbent spoke rapidly, and seemed affected. I looked at him, and
could hardly believe him to be the cold and unimpassioned man that I had
at first imagined him.

We pursued our way towards the village.

"There, sir," said the minister in a quick tone of voice, "what is the
beautiful prospect, and what are the noble trees, to the heart of that
man? What have they to do at all with man's morality? Had those people
never seen a shrub or flower, could they have been more impenetrable,
more insolent and suspicious, or steeped in vice much deeper? That man
wants only opportunity, a large sphere of action, and the variety of
crime and motive that are to be found amongst congregated masses of
mankind, to become a monster. His passions and his vices are as wilful
and as strong as those of any man born and bred in the sinks of a great
city. They have fewer outlets, less capability of mischief--and there is
the difference."

I ventured no remark, and the incumbent, after a short pause, continued
in a milder strain.

"I may be, after all, weak and inefficient. Doubtless great delicacy and
caution are required. Heavenly truths are not to be administered to
these as to the refined and willing. The land must be ploughed, or it is
useless to sow the seed. Am I not perhaps, an unskilful labourer?"

Mr Fairman stopped at the first house in the village--the prettiest of
the half dozen myrtle-covered cottages before alluded to. Here he tapped
softly, and a gentle foot that seemed to know the visitor hastened to
admit him.

"Well, Mary," said the minister, glancing round the room--a clean and
happy-looking room it was--"where's Michael?"

"He is gone, sir, as you bade him, to make it up with Cousin Willett. He
couldn't rest easy, sir, since you told him that it was no use coming to
church so long as he bore malice. He won't be long, sir."

Mr Fairman smiled; and cold as his grey eye might be, it did not seem so
steady now.

"Mary, that is good of him; tell him his minister is pleased. How is
work with him?"

"He has enough to do, to carry him to the month's end, sir."

"Then at the month's end, Mary, let him come to the parsonage. I have
something for him there. But we can wait till then. Have you seen the
itinerary preacher since?"

"It is not his time, sir. He didn't promise to come till Monday week."

"Do neither you nor Michael speak with him, nor listen to his public
preachings. I mean, regard him not as one having authority. I speak
solemnly, and with a view to your eternal peace. Do not forget."

Every house was visited, and in all, opportunity was found for the
exercise of the benevolent feelings by which the incumbent was
manifestly actuated. He lost no occasion of affording his flock sound
instruction and good advice. It could not be doubted for an instant that
their real welfare, temporal and everlasting, lay deeply in his heart. I
was struck by one distinguishing feature in his mode of dealing with his
people; it was so opposed to the doctrine and practice of Mr Clayton,
and of those who were connected with him. With the latter, a certain
degree of physical fervour, and a conventional peculiarity of
expression, were insisted upon and accepted as evidences of grace and
renewed life. With Mr Fairman, neither acquired heat, nor the more
easily acquired jargon of a clique, were taken into account. He rather
repressed than encouraged their existence; but he was desirous, and even
eager, to establish rectitude of conduct and purity of feeling in the
disciples around him: these were to him tangible witnesses of the
operation of that celestial Spirit before whose light the mists of
simulation and deceit fade unresistingly away. I could not help
remarking, however, that in every cottage the same injunction was given
in respect of the itinerant; the same solemnity of manner accompanied
the command; the same importance was attached to its obedience. There
seemed to me, fresh from the hands of Mr Clayton, something of bigotry
and uncharitableness in all this. I did not hint at this effect upon my
own mind, nor did I inquire into the motives of the minister. I was not
pleased; but I said nothing. As if Mr Fairman read my very thoughts, he
addressed me on the subject almost before the door of the last cottage
was closed upon us.

"_Bigoted_ and _narrow-minded,_ are the terms, Mr Stukely, by which the
extremely liberal would characterize the line of conduct which I am
compelled by duty to pursue. I cannot be frightened by harsh terms. I am
the pastor of these people, and must decide and act for them. I am their
shepherd, and must be faithful. Poor and ignorant, and unripe in
judgment, and easily deceived by the shows and counterfeits of truth as
the ignorant are, is it for me to hand them over to perplexity and risk?
They are simple believers, and are contented. They worship God, and are
at peace. They know their lot, and do not murmur at it. Is it right that
they should be disturbed with the religious differences and theological
subtleties which have already divided into innumerable sects the
universal family of Christians whom God made one? Is it fair or merciful
to whisper into their ears the plausible reasons of dissatisfaction,
envy, and complaining, to which the uninformed of all classes but too
eagerly listen? I have ever found the religious and the political
propagandist united in the same individual. The man who proposes to the
simple to improve his creed, is ready to point out the way to better his
condition. He succeeds in rendering him unhappy in both, and there he
leaves him. So would this man, and I would rather die for my people,
than tamely give them over to their misery."

A tall, stout, weather-beaten man, in the coarse dress of a fisherman,
descending the hill, intercepted our way. It was the man Cuthbert,
already mentioned by Mr Fairman. He touched his southwester to the
incumbent.

"How is the boy, Cuthbert?" asked the minister, stopping at the same
moment.

"All but well, sir. Doctor Mayhew don't mean to come again. It's all
along of them nourishments that Miss Ellen sent us down. The Doctor says
he must have died without them."

"Well, Cuthbert, I trust that we shall find you grateful."

"Grateful, sir!" exclaimed the man. "If ever I forget what you have done
for that poor child, I hope the breath----" The brawny fisherman could
say no more. His eyes filled suddenly with tears, and he held down his
head, ashamed of them. He had no cause to be so.

"Be honest and industrious, Cuthbert; give that boy a good example.
Teach him to love his God, and his neighbour as himself. That will be
gratitude enough, and more than pay Miss Ellen."

"I'll try to do it, sir. God bless you!"

We said little till we reached the parsonage again; but before I
re-entered its gate the Reverend Walter Fairman had risen in my esteem,
and ceased to be considered a cold and unfeeling man.

We dined; the party consisting of the incumbent, the six students, and
myself. The daughter, the only daughter and child of Mr Fairman, who was
himself a widower, had not returned from the cottage to which she had
been called in the morning. It was necessary that a female should be in
constant attendance upon the aged invalid; a messenger had been
despatched to the neighbouring village for an experienced nurse; and
until her arrival Miss Fairman would permit no one but herself to
undertake the duties of the sick chamber. It was on this account that we
were deprived of the pleasure of her society, for her accustomed seat
was at the head of her father's table. I was pleased with the pupils.
They were affable and well-bred. They treated the incumbent with marked
respect, and behaved towards their new teacher with the generous
kindness and freedom of true young gentlemen. The two eldest boys might
be fifteen years of age. The remaining four could not have reached their
thirteenth year. In the afternoon I had the scholars to myself. The
incumbent retired to his library, and left us to pass our first day in
removing the restraint that was the natural accompaniment of our
different positions, and in securing our intimacy. I talked of the
scenery, and found willing listeners. They understood me better than
their master, for they were worshippers themselves. They promised to
show me lovelier spots than any I had met with yet; sacred corners,
known only to themselves, down by the sea, where the arbute and
laurustinus grew like trees, and children of the ocean. Then there were
villages near, more beautiful even than their own; one that lay in the
lap of a large hill, with the sea creeping round, or rolling at its feet
like thunder, sometimes. What lanes, too, Miss Fairman knew of! She
would take me into places worth the looking at; and oh, what drawings
she had made from them! Their sisters had bought drawings, and paid very
dearly for them too, that were not half so finely done! They would ask
her to show me her portfolio, and she would do it directly, for she was
the kindest creature living. It was not the worst trait in the
disposition of these boys, that, whatever might be the subject of
conversation, or from whatever point we might start in our discourse,
they found pleasure in making all things bear towards the honour and
renown of their young mistress. The scenery was nothing without Miss
Fairman and her sketches. The house was dull without her, and the
singing in the church, if she were ill and absent, was as different as
could be. There were the sweetest birds that could be, heard warbling in
the high trees that lined the narrow roads; but at Miss Fairman's window
there was a nightingale that beat them all. The day wore on, and I did
not see the general favourite. It was dusk when she reached the
parsonage, and then she retired immediately to rest, tired from the
labours of the day. The friend of the family, Doctor Mayhew, had
accompanied Miss Fairman home; he remained with the incumbent, and I
continued with my young companions until their bedtime. They departed,
leaving me their books, and then I took a survey of the work that was
before me. My duties were to commence on the following day, and our
first subject was the tragedy of _Hecuba_. How very grateful did I feel
for the sound instruction which I had received in early life from my
revered pains-taking tutor, for the solid groundwork that he had
established, and for the rational mode of tuition which he had from the
first adopted. From the moment that he undertook to cultivate and inform
the youthful intellect, this became itself an active instrument in the
attainment of knowledge--not, as is so often the case, the mere idle
depositary of encumbering _words_. It was little that he required to be
gained by rote, for he regarded all acquisitions as useless in which the
understanding had not the chiefest share. He was pleased to communicate
facts, and anxious to discover, from examination, that the principles
which they contained had been accurately seen and understood. Then no
labour and perseverance on his part were deemed too great for his pupil,
and the business of his life became his first pleasure. In the study of
Greek, for which at an early age I evinced great aptitude, I learnt the
structure of the language and its laws from the keen observations of my
master, whose rules were drawn from the classic work before us--rather
than from grammars. To this hour I retain the information thus obtained,
and at no period of my life have I ever had greater cause for
thankfulness, than when, after many months of idleness and neglect, with
a view to purchase bread I opened, not without anxiety, my book again,
and found that time had not impaired my knowledge, and that light shone
brightly on the pages, as it did of old. Towards the close of the
evening, I was invited to the study of Mr Fairman. Doctor Mayhew was
still with him, and I was introduced to the physician as the teacher
newly arrived from London. The doctor was a stout good-humoured
gentleman of the middle height, with a cheerful and healthy-looking
countenance. He was, in truth, a jovial man, as well as a great
snuff-taker. The incumbent offered me a chair, and placed a decanter of
wine before me. His own glass of port was untouched, and he looked
serious and dejected.

"Well, sir, how does London look?" enquired the doctor, "are the folks
as mad as they used to be? What new invention is the rage now? What
bubble is going to burst? What lord committed forgery last? Who was the
last woman murdered before you started?"

I confessed my inability to answer.

"Well, never mind. There isn't much lost. I am almost ashamed of old
England, that's the truth on't. I have given over reading the
newspapers, for they are about as full of horrors as Miss
What's-her-name's tales of the Infernals. What an age this is! all crime
and fanaticism! Everyman and everything is on the rush. Come, Fairman,
take your wine."

Mr Fairman sat gazing on the fire, quietly, and took no notice of the
request. "People's heads," continued the medical gentleman, "seem turned
topsy-turvy. Dear me, how different it was in my time! What men are
about, I can't think. The very last newspaper I read had an
advertisement that I should as soon have expected to see there when my
father was alive, as a ship sailing along this coast keel upwards. You
saw it, Fairman. It was just under the Everlasting Life Pill
advertisement; and announced that the Reverend Mr Somebody would preach
on the Sunday following, at some conventicle, when the public were
invited to listen to him--and that the doors would be opened half an
hour earlier than usual to prevent squeezing. That's modern religion,
and it looks as much like ancient play-acting as two peas. Where will
these marching days of improvement bring us to at last?"

"Tell me, Mayhew," said Mr Fairman, "does it not surprise you that a
girl of her age should be so easily fatigued?"

"My dear friend, that makes the sixth time of asking. Let us hope that
it will be the last. I don't know what you mean by '_so easily_'
fatigued. The poor girl has been in the village all day, fomenting and
poulticing old Mrs Barnes, and if it had been any girl but herself, she
would have been tired out long before. Make your mind easy. I have sent
the naughty puss to bed, and she'll be as fresh as a rose in the
morning."

"She must keep her exertions within proper bounds," continued the
incumbent. "I am sure she has not strength enough to carry out her good
intentions. I have watched her narrowly, and cannot be mistaken."

"You do wrong, then, Fairman. Anxious watching creates fear, without the
shadow of an excuse for it. When we have anything like a bad symptom, it
is time to get uneasy."

"Yes, but what do you call a bad symptom, Doctor?"

"Why, I call your worrying yourself into fidgets, and teazing me into an
ill temper, a shocking symptom of bad behaviour. If it continue, you
must take a doze. Come, my friend, let me prescribe that glass of good
old port. It does credit to the cloth."

"Seriously, Mayhew, have you never noticed the short, hacking cough that
sometimes troubles her?"

"Yes; I noticed it last January for the space of one week, when there
was not a person within ten miles of you who was not either hacking, as
you call it, or blowing his nose from morning till night. The dear child
had a cold, and so had you, and I, and everybody else."

"And that sudden flush, too?"

"Why, you'll be complaining of the bloom on the peach next! That's
health, and nothing else, take my word for it."

"I am, perhaps, morbidly apprehensive; but I cannot forget her poor
mother. You attended her, Mayhew, and you know how suddenly that came
upon us. Poor Ellen! what should I do without her!"

"Fairman, join me in wishing success to our young friend here. Mr
Stukely, here's your good health; and success and happiness attend you.
You'll find little society here; but it is of the right sort, I can tell
you. You must make yourself at home." The minister became more cheerful,
and an hour passed in pleasant conversation. At ten o'clock, the horse
of Doctor Mayhew was brought to the gate, and the gentleman departed in
great good-humour. Almost immediately afterwards, the incumbent himself
conducted me to my sleeping apartment, and I was not loth to get my
rest. I fell asleep with the beautiful village floating before my weary
eyes, and the first day of my residence at the parsonage closed
peacefully upon me.

It was at the breakfast table on the succeeding morning that I beheld
the daughter of the incumbent, the favourite and companion of my pupils,
and mistress of the house--a maiden in her twentieth year. She was
simply and artlessly attired, gentle and retiring in demeanour, and
femininely sweet rather than beautiful in expression. Her figure was
slender, her voice soft and musical; her hair light brown, and worn
plain across a forehead white as marble. The eye-brows which arched the
small, rich, hazel eyes were delicately drawn, and the slightly aquiline
nose might have formed a study for an artist. With the exception,
however, of this last-named feature, there was little in the individual
lineaments of the face to surprise or rivet the observer. Extreme
simplicity, and perfect innocence--these were stamped upon the
countenance, and were its charm. It was a strange feeling that possessed
me when I first gazed upon her through the chaste atmosphere that dwelt
around her. It was degradation deep and unaffected--a sense of shame and
undeservedness. I remembered with self-abhorrence the relation that had
existed between the unhappy Emma and myself, and the enormity and
disgrace of my offence never looked so great as now, and here--in the
bright presence of unconscious purity. She reassured and welcomed me
with a natural smile, and pursued her occupation with quiet cheerfulness
and unconstraint. I did not wonder that her father loved her, and
entertained the thought of losing her with fear; for, young and gentle
as she was, she evinced wisdom and age in her deep sense of duty, and in
the government of her happy home. Method and order waited on her doings,
and sweetness and tranquillity--the ease and dignity of a matron
elevating and upholding the maiden's native modesty. And did she not
love her sire as ardently? Yes, if her virgin soul spoke faithfully in
every movement of her guileless face. Yes, if there be truth in tones
that strike the heart to thrill it--in thoughts that write their meaning
in the watchful eye, in words that issue straight from the fount of
love, in acts that do not bear one shade of selfish purpose. It was not
a labour of time to learn that the existence of the child, her peace and
happiness, were merged in those of the fond parent. He was every thing
to her, as she to him. She had no brother--he no wife: these natural
channels of affection cut away, the stream was strong and deep that
flowed into each other's hearts. My first interview with the young lady
was necessarily limited. I would gladly have prolonged it. The morning
was passed with my pupils, and my mind stole often from the work before
me to dwell upon the face and form of her, whom, as a sister, I could
have doated on and cherished. How happy I should have been, I deemed, if
I had been so blessed. Useless reflection! and yet pleased was I to
dwell upon it, and to welcome its return, as often as it recurred. At
dinner we met again. To be admitted into her presence seemed the reward
for my morning toil--a privilege rather than a right. What labour was
too great for the advantage of such moments?--moments indeed they were,
and less--flashes of time, that were not here before they had
disappeared. We exchanged but few words. I was still oppressed with the
conviction of my own unworthiness, and wondered if she could read in my
burning face the history of shame. How she must avoid and despise me,
thought I, when she has discovered all, and how bold and wicked it was
to darken the light in which she lived with the guilt that was a part of
me! Not the less did I experience this when she spoke to me with
kindness and unreserve. The feeling grew in strength. I was conscious of
deceit and fraud, and could not shake the knowledge off. I was taking
mean advantage of her confidence, assuming a character to which I had no
claim, and listening to the accents of innocence and virtue with the
equanimity of one good and spotless as herself. In the afternoon the
young students resumed their work. When it was over, we strolled amongst
the hills; and, at the close of a delightful walk, found ourselves in
the enchanting village. Here we encountered Miss Fairman and the
incumbent, and we returned home in company. In one short hour we reached
it. How many hours have passed since _that_ was ravished from the hand
of Time, and registered in the tenacious memory! Years have floated by,
and silently have dropped into the boundless sea, unheeded, unregretted;
and these few minutes--sacred relics--live and linger in the world, in
mercy it may be, to lighten up my lonely hearth, or save the whitened
head from drooping. The spirit of one golden hour shall hover through a
life, and shed glory where he falls. What are the unfruitful,
unremembered years that rush along, frightening mortality with their
fatal speed--an instant in eternity! What are the moments loaded with
passion, intense, and never-dying--years, ages upon earth! Away with the
divisions of time, whilst one short breath--the smallest particle or
measure of duration, shall outweigh ages. Breathless and silent is the
dewy eve. Trailing a host of glittering clouds behind him, the sun
stalks down, and leaves the emerald hills in deeper green. The lambs are
skipping on the path--the shepherd as loth to lead them home as they to
go. The labourer has done his work, and whistles his way back. The
minister has much of good and wise to say to his young family. They hear
the business of the day; their guardian draws the moral, and bids them
think it over. Upon my arm I bear his child, the fairest object of the
twilight group. She tells me histories of this charmed spot, and the
good old tales that are as old as the gray church beneath us: she
smiles, and speaks of joys amongst the hills, ignorant of the tearful
eye and throbbing heart beside her, that overflow with new-found bliss,
and cannot bear their weight of happiness.

Another day of natural gladness--and then the Sabbath; this not less
cheerful and inspiriting than the preceding. The sun shone fair upon the
ancient church, and made its venerable gray stones sparkle and look
young again. The dark-green ivy that for many a year has clung there,
looked no longer sad and sombre, but gay and lively as the newest of the
new-born leaves that smiled on every tree. The inhabitants of the
secluded village were already a-foot when we proceeded from the
parsonage, and men and women from adjacent villages were on the road to
join them. The deep-toned bell pealed solemnly, and sanctified the vale;
for its sound strikes deeply ever on the broad ear of nature. Willows
and yew-trees shelter the graves of the departed villagers, and the
living wend their way beneath them, subdued to seriousness, it may be,
by the breathless voice that dwells in every well-remembered mound.
There is not one who does not carry on his brow the thoughts that best
become it now. All are well dressed, all look cleanly and contented. The
children are with their parents, their natural and best instructors.
Whom should they love so well? To whom is honour due if not to them? The
village owns no school to disannul the tie of blood, to warp and weaken
the affection that holds them well together.

All was quietness and decorum in the house of prayer. Every earnest eye
was fixed, not upon Mr Fairman, but on the book from which the people
prayed, in which they found their own good thoughts portrayed, their
pious wishes told, their sorrow and repentance in clearest form
described. Every humble penitent was on his knees. With one voice, loud
and heartfelt, came the responses which spoke the people's acquiescence
in all the pastor urged and prayed on their behalf. The worship over, Mr
Fairman addressed his congregation, selecting his subject from the
lesson of the day, and fitting his words to the capacities of those who
listened. Let me particularly note, that whilst the incumbent pointed
distinctly to the cross as the only ground of a sinner's hope, he
insisted upon good works as the necessary and essential accompaniment of
his faith. "Do not tell me, my dear friends," he said, at the conclusion
of his address--"do not tell me that you believe, if your daily life is
unworthy a believer. I will not trust you. What is your belief, if your
heart is busy in contrivances to overreach your neighbour? What is it,
if your mind is filled with envy, malice, hatred, and revenge? What if
you are given over to disgraceful lusts--to drunkenness and debauchery?
What if you are ashamed to speak the truth, and are willing to become a
liar? I tell you, and I have warrant for what I say, that your conduct
one towards another must be straightforward, honest, generous, kind, and
affectionate, or you cannot be in a safe and happy state. You owe it to
yourselves to be so; for if you are poor and labouring men, you have an
immortal soul within you, and it is your greatest ornament. It is that
which gives the meanest of us a dignity that no earthly honours can
supply; a dignity that it becomes the first and last of us by every
means to cherish and support. Is it not, my friends, degrading, fearful
to know that we bear about with us the very image of our God, and that
we are acting worse than the very brutes of the field? Do yourselves
justice. Be pure--pure in mind and body. Be honest, in word and deed. Be
loving to one another. Crush every wish to do evil, or to speak harshly;
be brothers, and feel that you are working out the wishes of a
benevolent and loving Father, who has created you for love, and smiles
upon you when you do his bidding." There was more to this effect, but
nothing need be added to explain the scope and tendency of his
discourse. His congregation could not mistake his meaning; they could
not fail to profit by it, if reason was not proof against the soundest
argument. As quietly as, and, if it be possible, more seriously than,
they entered the church, did the small band of worshippers, at the close
of the service, retire from it. Could it be my fancy, or did the wife in
truth cling closer to her husband--the father clasp his little boy more
firmly in his hand? Did neighbour nod to neighbour more eagerly as they
parted at the churchyard gate--did every look and movement of the many
groups bespeak a spirit touched, a mind reproved? I may not say so, for
my own heart was melted by the scene, and might mislead my judgment.
There was a second service in the afternoon. This concluded, we walked
to the sea-beach. In the evening Mr Fairman related a connected history
from the Old Testament, whilst the pupils tracked his progress on their
maps, and the narrative became a living thing in their remembrances.
Serious conversation then succeeded; to this a simple prayer, and the
day closed, sweetly and calmly, as a day might close in Paradise.

The events of the following month partook of the character of those
already glanced at. The minister was unremitting in his attendance upon
his parishioners, and no day passed during which something had not been
accomplished for their spiritual improvement or worldly comfort. His
loving daughter was a handmaid at his side, ministering with him, and
shedding sunshine where she came. The villagers were frugal and
industrious; and seemed, for the most part, sensible of their
incumbent's untiring efforts. Improvement appeared even in the cottage
of the desperate Warden. Mr Fairman obtained employment for him. For a
fortnight he had attended to it, and no complaint had reached the
parsonage of misbehaviour. His wife had learned to bear her imagined
wrongs in silence, and could even submit to a visit from her best friend
without insulting him for the condescension. My own days passed smoothly
on. My occupation grew every day more pleasing, and the results of my
endeavours as gratifying as I could wish them. My pupils were attached
to me, and I beheld them improving gradually and securely under their
instruction. Mr Fairman, who, for a week together, had witnessed the
course of my tuition, and watched it narrowly, was pleased to express
his approbation in the warmest terms. Much of the coldness with which I
thought he had at first encountered me disappeared, and his manner grew
daily more friendly and confiding. His treatment was most generous. He
received me into the bosom of his family as a son, and strove to render
his fair habitation my genuine and natural home.

Another month passed by, and the colour and tone of my existence had
suffered a momentous change. In the acquirement of a fearful joy, I had
lost all joy. In rendering every moment of my life blissful and
ecstatic, I had robbed myself of all felicity. A few weeks before, and
my state of being had realized a serenity that defied all causes of
perturbation and disquiet. Now it was a sea of agitation and disorder;
and a breath, a nothing had brought the restless waves upon the quiet
surface. Through the kindness of Mr Fairman, my evenings had been almost
invariably passed in the society of himself and his daughter. The lads
were early risers, and retired, on that account, at a very early hour to
rest. Upon their dismission, I had been requested to join the company in
the drawing-room. This company included sometimes Doctor Mayhew, the
neighbouring squire, or a chance visitor, but consisted oftenest only of
the incumbent and his daughter. Aware of the friendly motive which
suggested the request, I obeyed it with alacrity. On these occasions,
Miss Fairman used her pencil, whilst I read aloud; or she would ply her
needle, and soothe at intervals her father's ear with strains of music,
which he, for many reasons, loved to hear. Once or twice the incumbent
had been called away, and his child and I were left together. I had no
reason to be silent whilst the good minister was present, yet I found
that I could speak more confidently and better when he was absent. We
conversed with freedom and unrestraint. I found the maiden's mind well
stored--her voice was not more sweet than was her understanding clear
and cloudless. Books had been her joy, which, in the season of
suffering, had been my consolation. They were a common source of
pleasure. She spoke of them with feeling, and I could understand her. I
regarded her with deep unfeigned respect; but, the evening over, I took
my leave, as I had come--in peace. Miss Fairman left the parsonage to
pay a two-days' visit at a house in the vicinity. Until the evening of
the first day I was not sensible of her absence. It was then, and at the
customary hour of our reunion, that, for the first time, I experienced,
with alarm, a sense of loneliness and desertion--that I became
tremblingly conscious of the secret growth of an affection that had
waited only for the time and circumstance to make its presence and its
power known and dreaded. In the daily enjoyment of her society, I had
not estimated its influence and value. Once denied it, and I dared not
acknowledge to myself how precious it had become, how silently and
fatally it had wrought upon my heart. The impropriety and folly of
self-indulgence were at once apparent--yes, the vanity and
wickedness--and, startled by what looked like guilt, I determined
manfully to rise superior to temptation. I took refuge in my books; they
lacked their usual interest, were ineffectual in reducing the ruffled
mind to order. I rose and paced my room, but I could not escape from
agitating thought. I sought the minister in his study, and hoped to
bring myself to calm and reason by dwelling seriously on the business of
the day--with him, the father of the lady, and _my master_. He was not
there. He had left the parsonage with Doctor Mayhew an hour before. I
walked into the open air restless and unhappy, relying on the freshness
and repose of night to be subdued and comforted. It was a night to
soften anger--to conquer envy--to destroy revenge--beautiful and bright.
The hills were bathed in liquid silvery light, and on their heights, and
in the vale, on all around, lay passion slumbering. What could I find on
such a night, but favour and incitement, support and confirmation,
flattery and delusion? Every object ministered to the imagination, and
love had given that wings. I trembled as I pursued my road, and fuel
found its unobstructed way rapidly to the flame within. Self-absorbed, I
wandered on. I did not choose my path. I believed I did not, and I
stopped at length--before the house that held her. I gazed upon it with
reverence and love. One room was lighted up. Shadows flitted across the
curtained window, and my heart throbbed sensibly when, amongst them, I
imagined I could trace her form. I was borne down by a conviction of
wrong and culpability, but I could not move, or for a moment draw away
my look. It was a strange assurance that I felt--but I did feel it,
strongly and emphatically--that I should see her palpably before I left
the place. I waited for that sight in certain expectation, and it came.
A light was carried from the room. Diminished illumination there, and
sudden brightness against a previously darkened casement, made this
evident. The light ascended--another casement higher than the last was,
in its turn, illumined, and it betrayed her figure. She approached the
window, and, for an instant--oh how brief!--looked into the heavenly
night. My poor heart sickened with delight, and I strained my eyes long
after all was blank and dark again.

Daylight, and the employments of day, if they did not remove, weakened
the turbulence of the preceding night. The more I found my passion
acquiring mastery, with greater vigour I renewed my work, and with more
determination I pursued the objects that were most likely to fight and
overcome it. I laboured with the youths for a longer period. I undertook
to prepare a composition for the following day which I knew must take
much thought and many hours in working out. I armed myself at all
points--but the evening came and found me once more conscious of a void
that left me prostrate. Mr Fairman was again absent from home. I could
not rest in it, and I too sallied forth, but this time, to the village.
I would not deliberately offer violence to my conscience, and I shrunk
from a premeditated visit to the distant house. My own acquaintances in
the village were not many, or of long standing, but there were some half
dozen, especial favourites of the incumbent's daughter. To one of these
I bent my steps, with no other purpose than that of baffling time that
hung upon me painfully and heavily at home. For a few minutes I spoke
with the aged female of the house on general topics; then a passing
observation--in spite of me--escaped my lips in reference to Miss Ellen.
The villager took up the theme and expatiated widely. There was no end
to what she had to say of good and kind for the dear lady. I could have
hugged her for her praise. Prudence bade me forsake the dangerous
ground, and so I did, to return again with tenfold curiosity and zest. I
asked a hundred questions, each one revealing more interest and ardour
than the last, and involving me in deeper peril. It was at length
accomplished. My companion hesitated suddenly in a discourse, then
stopped, and looked me in the face, smiling cunningly. "I tell you what,
sir," she exclaimed at last, and loudly, "you are over head and ears in
love, and that's the truth on't."

"Hush, good woman," I replied, blushing to the forehead, and hastening
to shut an open door. "Don't speak so loud. You mistake, it is no such
thing. I shall be angry if you say so--very angry. What can you mean?"

"Just what I say, sir. Why, do you know how old I am? Seventy-three. I
think I ought to tell, and where's the harm of it? Who couldn't love the
sweetest lady in the parish--bless her young feeling heart!"

"I tell you--you mistake--you are to blame. I command you not to repeat
this to a living soul. If it should come to the incumbent's ears"--

"Trust me for that, sir. I'm no blab. He shan't be wiser for such as me.
But do you mean to tell me, sir, with that red face of your'n, you
haven't lost your heart--leave alone your trembling? ah, well, I hopes
you'll both be happy, anyhow."

I endeavoured to remonstrate, but the old woman only laughed and shook
her aged head. I left her, grieved and apprehensive. My secret thoughts
had been discovered. How soon might they be carried to the confiding
minister and his unsuspecting daughter! What would they think of me! It
was a day of anxiety and trouble, that on which Miss Fairman returned to
the parsonage. I received my usual invitation; but I was indisposed, and
did not go. I resolved to see her only during meals, and when it was
impossible to avoid her. I would not seek her presence. Foolish effort!
It had been better to pass hours in her sight, for previous separation
made union more intense, and the passionate enjoyment of a fleeting
instant was hoarded up, and became nourishment for the livelong day.

It was a soft rich afternoon in June, and chance made me the companion
of Miss Fairman. We were alone: I had encountered her at a distance of
about a mile from the parsonage, on the sea-shore, whither I had walked
distressed in spirit, and grateful for the privilege of listening in
gloomy quietude to the soothing sounds of nature--medicinal ever. The
lady was at my side almost before I was aware of her approach. My heart
throbbed whilst she smiled upon me, sweetly as she smiled on all. Her
deep hazel eye was moist. Could it be from weeping?

"What has happened, Miss Fairman?" I asked immediately.

"Do I betray my weakness, then?" she answered. "I am sorry for it; for
dear papa tells all the villagers that no wise man weeps--and no wise
woman either, I suppose. But I cannot help it. We are but a small family
in the village, and it makes me very sad to miss the old faces one after
another, and to see old friends dropping and dropping into the silent
grave."

As she spoke the church-bell tolled, and she turned pale, and ceased. I
offered her my arm, and we walked on.

"Whom do you mourn, Miss Fairman?" I asked at length.

"A dear good friend--my best and oldest. When poor mamma was dying, she
made me over to her care. She was her nurse, and was mine for years. It
is very wrong of me to weep for her. She was good and pious, and is
blest."

The church-bell tolled again, and my companion shuddered.

"Oh! I cannot listen to that bell," she said. "I wish papa would do away
with it. What a withering sound it has! I heard it first when it was
tolling for my dear mother. It fell upon my heart like iron then, and it
falls so now."

"I cannot say that I dislike the melancholy chime. Death is sad. Its
messenger should not be gay."

"It is the soul that sees and hears. Beauty and music are created
quickly if the heart be joyful. So my book says, and it is true. You
have had no cause to think that bell a hideous thing."

"Yet I have suffered youth's severest loss. I have lost a mother."

"You speak the truth. Yes, I have a kind father left me--and you"--

"I am an orphan, friendless and deserted. God grant, Miss Fairman, you
may be spared my fate for years."

"Not friendless or deserted either, Mr Stukely," answered the young lady
kindly; "papa does not deserve, I am sure, that you should speak so
harshly."

"Pardon me, Miss Fairman. I did not mean to say that. He has been most
generous to me--kinder than I deserve. But I have borne much, and still
must bear. The fatherless and motherless is in the world alone. He needs
no greater punishment."

"You must not talk so. Papa will, I am sure, be a father to you, as he
is to all who need one. You do not know him, Mr Stukely. His heart is
overflowing with tenderness and charity. You cannot judge him by his
manner. He has had his share of sorrow and misfortune; and death has
been at his door oftener than once. Friends have been unfaithful and men
have been ungrateful; but trial and suffering have not hardened him. You
have seen him amongst the poor, but you have not seen him as I have; nor
have I beheld him as his Maker has, in the secret workings of his
spirit, which is pure and good, believe me. He has received injury like
a child, and dealt mercy and love with the liberality of an angel. Trust
my father, Mr Stukely."--

The maiden spoke quickly and passionately, and her neck and face
crimsoned with animation. I quivered, for her tones communicated
fire--but my line of conduct was marked, and it shone clear in spite of
the clouds of emotion which strove to envelope and conceal it--as they
did too soon.

"I would trust him, Miss Fairman, and I do," I answered with a faltering
tongue. "I appreciate his character and I revere him. I could have made
my home with him. I prayed that I might do so. Heaven seemed to have
directed my steps to this blissful spot, and to have pointed out at
length a resting place for my tired feet. I have been most happy
here--too happy--I have proved ungrateful, and I know how rashly I have
forfeited this and every thing. I cannot live here. This is no home for
me. I will go into the world again--cast myself upon it--do any thing. I
could be a labourer on the highways, and be contented if I could see
that I had done my duty, and behaved with honour. Believe me, Miss
Fairman, I have not deliberately indulged--I have struggled, fought, and
battled, till my brain has tottered. I am wretched and forlorn--but I
will leave you--to-morrow--would that I had never come----." I could say
no more. My full heart spoke its agony in tears.

"What has occurred? What afflicts you? You alarm me, Mr Stukely."

I had sternly determined to permit no one look to give expression to the
feeling which consumed me, to obstruct by force the passage of the
remotest hint that should struggle to betray me; but as the maiden
looked full and timidly upon me, I felt in defiance of me, and against
all opposition, the tell-tale passion rising from my soul, and creeping
to my eye. It would not be held back. In an instant, with one
treacherous glance, all was spoken and revealed.

       *       *       *       *       *



    By that dejected city, Arno runs,
    Where Ugolino clasps his famisht sons.
    There wert thou born, my Julia! there thine eyes
    Return'd as bright a blue to vernal skies.
    And thence, my little wanderer! when the Spring
    Advanced, thee, too, the hours on silent wing
    Brought, while anemonies were quivering round,
    And pointed tulips pierced the purple ground,
    Where stood fair Florence: there thy voice first blest
    My ear, and sank like balm into my breast:
    For many griefs had wounded it, and more
    Thy little hands could lighten were in store.
    But why revert to griefs? Thy sculptured brow
    Dispels from mine its darkest cloud even now.
    What then the bliss to see again thy face,
    And all that Rumour has announced of grace!
    I urge, with fevered breast, the four-month day.
    O! could I sleep to wake again in May.

    WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.

      *       *       *       *       *



IMAGINARY CONVERSATION. BY WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.

SANDT AND KOTZEBUE.


_Sandt_.--Generally men of letters in our days, contrary to the practice
of antiquity, are little fond of admitting the young and unlearned into
their studies or their society.

_Kotzebue_.--They should rather those than others. The young _must_
cease to be young, and the unlearned _may_ cease to be unlearned.
According to the letters you bring with you, sir, there is only youth
against you. In the seclusion of a college life, you appear to have
studied with much assiduity and advantage, and to have pursued no other
courses than the paths of wisdom.

_Sandt_.--Do you approve of the pursuit?

_Kotzebue_.--Who does not?

_Sandt_.--None, if you will consent that they direct the chase, bag the
game, inebriate some of the sportsmen, and leave the rest behind in the
slough. May I ask you another question?

_Kotzebue_.--Certainly.

_Sandt_.--Where lie the paths of wisdom? I did not expect, my dear sir
to throw you back upon your chair. I hope it was no rudeness to seek
information from you?

_Kotzebue_.--The paths of wisdom, young man, are those which lead us to
truth and happiness.

_Sandt_.--If they lead us away from fortune, from employments, from
civil and political utility; if they cast us where the powerful
persecute, where the rich trample us down, and where the poorer (at
seeing it) despise us, rejecting our counsel and spurning our
consolation, what valuable truth do they enable us to discover, or what
rational happiness to expect? To say that wisdom leads to truth, is only
to say that wisdom leads to wisdom; for such is truth. Nonsense is
better than falsehood; and we come to that.

_Kotzebue_.--How?

_Sandt_.--No falsehood is more palpable than that wisdom leads to
happiness--I mean in this world; in another, we may well indeed believe
that the words are constructed of very different materials. But here we
are, standing on a barren molehill that crumbles and sinks under our
tread; here we are, and show me from hence, Von Kotzebue, a discoverer
who has not suffered for his discovery, whether it be of a world or of a
truth--whether a Columbus or a Galileo. Let us come down lower: Show me
a man who has detected the injustice of a law, the absurdity of a tenet,
the malversation of a minister, or the impiety of a priest, and who has
not been stoned, or hanged, or burnt, or imprisoned, or exiled, or
reduced to poverty. The chain of Prometheus is hanging yet upon his
rock, and weaker limbs writhe daily in its rusty links. Who then, unless
for others, would be a darer of wisdom? And yet, how full of it is even
the inanimate world? We may gather it out of stones and straws. Much
lies within the reach of all: little has been collected by the wisest of
the wise. O slaves to passion! O minions to power! ye carry your own
scourges about you; ye endure their tortures daily; yet ye crouch for
more. Ye believe that God beholds you; ye know that he will punish you,
even worse than ye punish yourselves; and still ye lick the dust where
the Old Serpent went before you.

_Kotzebue_.--I am afraid, sir, you have formed to yourself a romantic
and strange idea, both of happiness and of wisdom.

_Sandt_.--I too am afraid it may be so. My idea of happiness is, the
power of communicating peace, good-will, gentle affections, ease,
comfort, independence, freedom, to all men capable of them.

_Kotzebue_.--The idea is, truly, no humble one.

_Sandt_.--A higher may descend more securely on a stronger mind. The
power of communicating those blessings to the capable, is enough for my
aspirations. A stronger mind may exercise its faculties in the divine
work of creating the capacity.

_Kotzebue_.--Childish! childish!--Men have cravings enow already; give
them fresh capacities, and they will have fresh appetites. Let us be
contented in the sphere wherein it is the will of Providence to place
us; and let us render ourselves useful in it to the utmost of our power,
without idle aspirations after impracticable good.

_Sandt_.--O sir! you lead me where I tremble to step; to the haunts of
your intellect, to the recesses of your spirit. Alas! alas! how small
and how vacant is the central chamber of the lofty pyramid?

_Kotzebue_.--Is this to me?

_Sandt_.--To you, and many mightier. Reverting to your own words; could
not you yourself have remained in the sphere you were placed in?

_Kotzebue_.--What sphere? I have written dramas, and novels, and
travels. I have been called to the Imperial Court of Russia.

_Sandt_.--You sought celebrity.--I blame not that. The thick air of
multitudes may be good for some constitutions of mind, as the thinner of
solitudes is for others. Some horses will not run without the clapping
of hands; others fly out of the course rather than hear it. But let us
come to the point. Imperial courts! What do they know of letters? What
letters do they countenance--do they tolerate?

_Kotzebue_.--Plays.

_Sandt_.--Playthings.

_Kotzebue_.--Travels.

_Sandt_.--On their business. O ye paviours of the dreary road along
which their cannon rolls for conquest! my blood throbs at every stroke
of your rammers. When will ye lay them by?

_Kotzebue_.--We are not such drudges.

_Sandt_.--Germans! Germans! Must ye never have a rood on earth ye can
call your own, in the vast inheritance of your fathers?

_Kotzebue_.--Those who strive and labour, gain it; and many have rich
possessions.

_Sandt_.--None; not the highest.

_Kotzebue_.--Perhaps you may think them insecure; but they are not lost
yet, although the rapacity of France does indeed threaten to swallow
them up. But her fraudulence is more to be apprehended than her force.
The promise of liberty is more formidable than the threat of servitude.
The wise know that she never will bring us freedom; the brave know that
she never can bring us thraldom. She herself is alike impatient of both;
in the dazzle of arms she mistakes the one for the other, and is never
more agitated than in the midst of peace.

_Sandt_.--The fools that went to war against her, did the only thing
that could unite her; and every sword they drew was a conductor of that
lightening which fell upon their heads. But we must now look at our
homes. Where there is no strict union, there is no perfect love; and
where no perfect love, there is no true helper. Are you satisfied, sir,
at the celebrity and the distinctions you have obtained?

_Kotzebue_.--My celebrity and distinctions, if I must speak of them,
quite satisfy me. Neither in youth nor in advancing age--neither in
difficult nor in easy circumstances, have I ventured to proclaim myself
the tutor or the guardian of mankind.

_Sandt_.--I understand the reproof, and receive it humbly and
gratefully. You did well in writing the dramas, and the novels, and the
travels; but, pardon my question, who called you to the courts of
princes in strange countries?

_Kotzebue_.--They themselves.

_Sandt_.--They have no more right to take you away from your country,
than to eradicate a forest, or to subvert a church in it. You belong to
the land that bore you, and were not at liberty--(if right and liberty
are one, and unless they are, they are good for nothing)--you were not
at liberty, I repeat it, to enter into the service of an alien.

_Kotzebue_.--No magistrate, higher or lower, forbade me. Fine notions of
freedom are these!

_Sandt_.--A man is always a minor in regard to his fatherland; and the
servants of his fatherland are wrong and criminal, if they whisper in
his ear that he may go away, that he may work in another country, that
he may ask to be fed in it, and that he may wait there until orders and
tasks are given for his hands to execute. Being a German, you
voluntarily placed yourself in a position where you might eventually be
coerced to act against Germans.

_Kotzebue_.--I would not.

_Sandt_.--Perhaps you think so.

_Kotzebue_.--Sir, I know my duty.

_Sandt_.--We all do; yet duties are transgressed, and daily. Where the
will is weak in accepting, it is weaker in resisting. Already have you
left the ranks of your fellow-citizens--already have you taken the
enlisting money and marched away.

_Kotzebue_.--Phrases! metaphors! and let me tell you, M. Sandt, not very
polite ones. You have hitherto seen little of the world, and you speak
rather the language of books than of men.

_Sandt_.--What! are books written by some creatures of less intellect
than ours? I fancied them to convey the language and reasonings of men.
I was wrong, and you are right, Von Kotzebue! They are, in general, the
productions of such as have neither the constancy of courage, nor the
continuity of sense, to act up to what they know to be right, or to
maintain it, even in words, to the end of their lives. You are aware
that I am speaking now of political ethics. This is the worst I can
think of the matter, and bad enough is this.

_Kotzebue_.--You misunderstand me. Our conduct must fall in with our
circumstances. We may be patriotic, yet not puritanical in our
patriotism, not harsh, nor intolerant, nor contracted. The philosophical
mind should consider the whole world as its habitation, and not look so
minutely into it as to see the lines that divide nations and
governments; much less should it act the part of a busy shrew, and take
pleasure in giving loose to the tongue, at finding things a little out
of place.

_Sandt_.--We will leave the shrew where we find her: she certainly is
better with the comedian than with the philosopher. But this
indistinctness in the moral and political line begets indifference. He
who does not keep his own country more closely in view than any other,
soon mixes land with sea, and sea with air, and loses sight of every
thing, at least, for which he was placed in contact with his fellow men.
Let us unite, if possible, with the nearest: Let usages and
familiarities bind us: this being once accomplished, let us confederate
for security and peace with all the people round, particularly with
people of the same language, laws, and religion. We pour out wine to
those about us, wishing the same fellowship and conviviality to others:
but to enlarge the circle would disturb and deaden its harmony. We
irrigate the ground in our gardens: the public road may require the
water equally: yet we give it rather to our borders; and first to those
that lie against the house! God himself did not fill the world at once
with happy creatures: he enlivened one small portion of it with them,
and began with single affections, as well as pure and unmixt. We must
have an object and an aim, or our strength, if any strength belongs to
us, will be useless.

_Kotzebue_.--There is much good sense in these remarks: but I am not at
all times at leisure and in readiness to receive instruction. I am old
enough to have laid down my own plans of life; and I trust I am by no
means deficient in the relations I bear to society.

_Sandt_.--Lovest thou thy children? Oh! my heart bleeds! But the birds
can fly; and the nest requires no warmth from the parent, no cover
against the rain and the wind.

_Kotzebue_.--This is wildness: this is agony. Your face is laden with
large drops; some of them tears, some not. Be more rational and calm, my
dear young man! and less enthusiastic.

_Sandt_.--They who will not let us be rational, make us enthusiastic by
force. Do you love your children? I ask you again. If you do, you must
love them more than another man's. Only they who are indifferent to all,
profess a parity.

_Kotzebue_.--Sir! indeed your conversation very much surprises me.

_Sandt_.--I see it does: you stare, and would look proud. Emperors and
kings, and all but maniacs, would lose that faculty with me. I could
speedily bring them to a just sense of their nothingness, unless their
ears were calked and pitched, although I am no Savonarola. He, too, died
sadly!

_Kotzebue_.--Amid so much confidence of power, and such an assumption of
authority, your voice is gentle--almost plaintive.

_Sandt_.--It should be plaintive. Oh, could it be but persuasive!

_Kotzebue_.--Why take this deep interest in me? I do not merit nor
require it. Surely any one would think we had been acquainted with each
other for many years.

_Sandt_.--What! should I have asked you such a question as the last,
after long knowing you?

_Kotzebue_, (_aside_.)--This resembles insanity.

_Sandt_.--The insane have quick ears, sir, and sometimes quick
apprehensions.

_Kotzebue_.--I really beg your pardon.

_Sandt_.--I ought not then to have heard you, and beg yours. My madness
could release many from a worse; from a madness which hurts them
grievously; a madness which has been and will be hereditary: mine, again
and again I repeat it, would burst asunder the strong swathes that
fasten them to pillar and post. Sir! sir! if I entertained not the
remains of respect for you, in your domestic state, I should never have
held with you this conversation. Germany is Germany: she ought to have
nothing political in common with what is not Germany. Her freedom and
security now demand that she celebrate the communion of the faithful.
Our country is the only one in all the explored regions on earth that
never has been conquered. Arabia and Russia boast it falsely; France
falsely; Rome falsely. A fragment off the empire of Darius fell and
crushed her: Valentinian was the footstool of Sapor, and Rome was buried
in Byzantium. Boys must not learn this, and men will not. Britain, the
wealthiest and most powerful of nations, and, after our own, the most
literate and humane, received from us colonies and laws. Alas! those
laws, which she retains as her fairest heritage, we value not: we
surrender them to gangs of robbers, who fortify themselves within walled
cities, and enter into leagues against us. When they quarrel, they push
us upon one another's sword, and command us to thank God for the
victories that enslave us. These are the glories we celebrate; these are
the festivals we hold, on the burial-mounds of our ancestors. Blessed
are those who lie under them! blessed are also those who remember what
they were, and call upon their names in the holiness of love.

_Kotzebue_.--Moderate the transport that inflames and consumes you.
There is no dishonour in a nation being conquered by a stronger.

_Sandt_.--There may be great dishonour in letting it be stronger; great,
for instance, in our disunion.

_Kotzebue_.--We have only been conquered by the French in our turn.

_Sandt_.--No, sir, no: we have not been, in turn or out. Our puny
princes were disarmed by promises and lies: they accepted paper crowns
from the very thief who was sweeping into his hat their forks and
spoons. A cunning traitor snared incautious ones, plucked them, devoured
them, and slept upon their feathers.

_Kotzebue_.--I would rather turn back with you to the ancient glories of
our country than fix my attention on the sorrowful scenes more near to
us. We may be justly proud of our literary men, who unite the suffrages
of every capital, to the exclusion of almost all their own.

_Sandt_.--Many Germans well deserve this honour, others are manger-fed
and hirelings.

_Kotzebue_.--The English and the Greeks are the only nations that rival
us in poetry, or in any works of imagination.

_Sandt_.--While on this high ground we pretend to a rivalship with
England and Greece, can we reflect, without a sinking of the heart, on
our inferiority in political and civil dignity? Why are we lower than
they? Our mothers are like their mothers; our children are like their
children; our limbs are as strong, our capacities are as enlarged, our
desire of improvement in the arts and sciences is neither less vivid and
generous, nor less temperate and well-directed. The Greeks were under
disadvantages which never bore in any degree on us; yet they rose
through them vigorously and erectly. They were Asiatic in what ought to
be the finer part of the affections; their women were veiled and
secluded, never visited the captive, never released the slave, never sat
by the sick in the hospital, never heard the child's lesson repeated in
the school. Ours are more tender, compassionate, and charitable, than
poets have feigned of the past, or prophets have announced of the
future; and, nursed at their breasts and educated at their feet, blush
we not at our degeneracy? The most indifferent stranger feels a pleasure
at finding, in the worst-written history of Spain, her various kingdoms
ultimately mingled, although the character of the governors, and perhaps
of the governed, is congenial to few. What delight, then, must overflow
on Europe, from seeing the mother of her noblest nation rear again her
venerable head, and bless all her children for the first time united!

_Kotzebue_.--I am bound to oppose such a project.

_Sandt_.--Say not so: in God's name, say not so.

_Kotzebue_.--In such confederacy I see nothing but conspiracy and
rebellion, and I am bound, I tell you again, sir, to defeat it, if
possible.

_Sandt._--Bound! I must then release you.

_Kotzebue_.--How should you, young gentleman, release me?

_Sandt_.--May no pain follow the cutting of the knot! But think again:
think better: spare me!

_Kotzebue_.--I will not betray you.

_Sandt_.--That would serve nobody: yet, if in your opinion betraying me
can benefit you or your family, deem it no harm; so much greater has
been done by you in abandoning the cause of Germany. Here is your paper;
here is your ink.

_Kotzebue_.--Do you imagine me an informer?

_Sandt_.--From maxims and conduct such as yours, spring up the brood,
the necessity, and the occupation of them. There would be none, if good
men thought it a part of goodness to be as active and vigilant as the
bad. I must go, sir! Return to yourself in time! How it pains me to
think of losing you! Be my friend!

_Kotzebue_.--I would be.

_Sandt_.--Be a German!

_Kotzebue_.--I am.

_Sandt_, (_having gone out_.)--Perjurer and profaner! Yet his heart is
kindly. I must grieve for him! Away with tenderness! I disrobe him of
the privilege to pity me or to praise me, as he would have done had I
lived of old. Better men shall do more. God calls them: me too he calls:
I will enter the door again. May the greater sacrifice bring the people
together, and hold them evermore in peace and concord. The lesser victim
follows willingly. (_Enters again_.)

Turn! die! (_strikes_.)

Alas! alas! no man ever fell alone. How many innocent always perish with
one guilty! and writhe longer!

Unhappy children! I shall weep for you elsewhere. Some days are left me.
In a very few the whole of this little world will lie between us. I have
sanctified in you the memory of your father. Genius but reveals
dishonour, commiseration covers it.

      *       *       *       *       *



THE JEWELLER'S WIFE.

A PASSAGE IN THE CAREER OF EL EMPECINADO.


When the Empecinado, after escaping from the Burgo de Osma, rejoined his
band, and again repaired to the favourite skirmishing ground on the
banks of the Duero, he found the state of affairs in Old Castile
becoming daily less favourable for his operations. The French overran
the greater part of the province, and visited with severe punishment any
disobedience of their orders; so that the peasantry no longer dared to
assist the guerillas as they had previously done. Many of the villages
on the Duero had become _afrancesados_, not, it is true, through love,
but through dread of the invaders, and in the hope of preserving
themselves from pillage and oppression. However much the people in their
hearts might wish success to men like the Empecinado, the guerillas were
too few and too feeble to afford protection to those who, by giving them
assistance or information, would incur the displeasure of the French.
The clergy were the only class that, almost without an exception,
remained stanch to the cause of Spanish independence, and their purses
and refectories were ever open to those who took up arms in its defence.

Noways deterred by this unfavourable aspect of affairs, the Empecinado
resolved to carry on the war in Old Castile, even though unaided and
alone. He established his bivouac in the pine-woods of Coca, and sent
out spies towards Somosierra and Burgos, to get information of some
convoy of which the capture might yield both honour and profit.

It was on the second morning after the departure of the spies, and a few
minutes before daybreak, that the little camp was aroused by a shot from
a sentry, placed on the skirt of the wood. In an instant every man was
on his feet. It was the Empecinado's custom, when outlying in this
manner, to make one-half his band sleep fully armed and equipped, with
their horses saddled and bridled beside them; and a fortunate precaution
it was in this instance. Scarcely had the men time to untether and
spring upon their horses, when the sentry galloped headlong into the
camp.

"_Los Franceses! Los Franceses_!" exclaimed he, breathless with speed.

One of the Empecinado's first qualities was his presence of mind, which
never deserted him even in the most critical situations. Instantly
forming up that moiety of his men which was already in the saddle, he
left a detachment in front of those who were hastily saddling and
arming, and with the remainder retired a little to the left of the open
ground on which the bivouac was established. Almost before he had
completed this arrangement, the jingling of arms and clattering of
horses' feet were heard, and a squadron of French cavalry galloped down
the glade. The Empecinado gave the word to charge, and as Fuentes at the
head of one party advanced to meet them, he himself attacked them in
flank. The French, not having anticipated much opposition from a foe
whom they had expected to find sleeping, were somewhat surprized at the
fierce resistance they met. A hard fight took place, rendered still more
confused by the darkness, or rather by a faint grey light, which was
just beginning to appear, and gave a shadowy indistinctness to
surrounding objects. The Spaniards were inferior in number to their
opponents, and it was beginning to go hard with them, when the remainder
of the guerillas, now armed and mounted, came up to their assistance. On
perceiving this accession to their adversaries' force, the French
thought they had been led into an ambuscade, and retreating in tolerable
order to the edge of the wood, at last fairly turned tail and ran for
it, leaving several killed and wounded on the ground, and were pursued
for some distance by the guerillas, who, however, only succeeded in
making one prisoner. This was a young man in the dress of a peasant, who
being badly mounted, was easily overtaken. On being brought before the
Empecinado, the latter with no small surprize recognized a native of
Aranda, named Pedro Gutierrez, who was one of the emissaries he had sent
out two days previously to get information concerning the movements of
the enemy.

With pale cheek and faltering voice, the prisoner answered the
Empecinado's interrogatories. It appears that he had been detected as a
spy by the French, who had given him his choice between a halter and the
betrayal of his countrymen and employers. With the fear of death before
his eyes, he had consented to turn traitor.

The deepest silence prevailed among the guerillas during his narrative,
and remained unbroken for a full minute after he had concluded. The
Empecinado's brow was black as thunder, and his features assumed an
expression which the trembling wretch well knew how to interpret.

"_Que podia hacer, señores_?" said the culprit, casting an appealing,
imploring glance around him. "The rope was round my neck; I have an aged
father and am his only support. Life is very sweet. What could I do?"

"_Die_!" replied the Empecinado, in his deep stern voice--"Die like a
man _then_, instead of dying like a dog _now_!"

He turned his back upon him, and ten minutes later, the body of the
unfortunate spy was dangling from the branches of a neighbouring tree,
and the guerillas marched off to seek another and a safer bivouac.

A few days after this incident the other spies returned, and after
receiving their report, and consulting with his lieutenant, Mariano
Fuentes, the Empecinado broke up the little camp, and led his band in
the direction of the _camino réal_.

Along that part of the high-road, from Madrid to the Pyrenees, which
winds through the mountain range of Onrubias, an escort of fifty French
dragoons was marching, about an hour before dusk, on an evening of early
spring. Two carriages, and three or four heavily-laden carts, each drawn
by half-a-dozen mules, composed the whole of the convoy; the value of
which, however, might be deemed considerable, judging from the strength
of the escort, and the precautions observed by the officer in command to
avoid a surprise--precautions which were not of much avail; for, on
reaching a spot where the road widened considerably, and was traversed
by a broad ravine, the party was suddenly charged on either flank by
double their number of guerillas. The dragoons made a gallant
resistance, but it was a short one, for they had no room or time to form
in any order, and were far overmatched in the hand-to-hand contest that
ensued. With the very first who fled went a gentleman in civilian's
garb, who sprang out of the most elegant of the two carriages, and
mounting a fine Andalusian horse led by a groom, was off like the wind,
disregarding the shrieks of his travelling companion, a female two or
three-and-twenty years old, of great beauty, and very richly attired.
The cries and alarm of the lady thus deserted were redoubled, when an
instant later a guerilla of fierce aspect presented himself at the
carriage-door.

"Have no fear, señora," said the Empecinado, "you are in the hands of
honourable men, and no harm shall be done you." And having by suchlike
assurances succeeded in calming her terrors, he obtained from her some
information as to the contents of the carts and carriages, as well as
regarding herself and her late companion.

The man who had abandoned her, and consulted his own safety by flying
with the escort, was her husband, Monsieur Barbot, jeweller and diamond
merchant to the late King Charles the Fourth. Alarmed by the unsettled
state of things in Spain, he was hastening to take refuge in France,
with his handsome wife and his great wealth--of the latter of which no
inconsiderable portion was contained in the carriage, in the shape of
caskets of jewellery, diamonds, and other valuables.

Repairing to the neighbouring mountains, the guerillas proceeded to
examine their booty, which the Empecinado permitted them to divide among
themselves, with the exception of the carriage and its contents,
including the lady, which he reserved for his own share.

On the following day came letters from the French military governor of
Aranda del Duero, and from Monsieur Barbot, who had taken refuge in that
town, and offered a large sum as ransom for his wife. To this
application the Empecinado did not vouchsafe any answer, but marched off
to his native village of Castrillo, taking with him jewels, carriage,
and lady. The latter he established in the house of his brother Manuel,
recommending her to the care of his sister-in-law, and commanding that
she should be treated with all possible respect, and her wishes attended
to on every point.

The Empecinado's exultation at the success of his enterprize was great,
but he little foresaw all the danger and trouble that his rich capture
was hereafter to occasion him. He had become violently enamoured of his
fair prisoner, and in order to have leisure to pay his court to her, he
sent off his partida on a distant expedition under the command of
Fuentes, and himself remained at Castrillo, doing his utmost to find
favour in the eyes of the beautiful Madame Barbot. He was then in the
prime of life, a remarkably handsome man, and notwithstanding that the
French affected to treat him as a brigand, his courage and patriotism
were admitted by the unprejudiced among all parties, and his bold and
successful deeds had already procured him a degree of renown that was an
additional recommendation of him to the fair sex. It may not, therefore,
be deemed very surprising that, after the first few days of her
captivity were passed, and she had become a little used to the novelty
of her position, the lady began to consider the Empecinado with some
degree of favour, and seemed not altogether disposed to be inconsolable
in her widowhood. He on his part spared no pains to please her. His very
nature seemed changed by the violence of his new passion; and so great
was the metamorphosis that his best friends scarcely recognized him for
the same man. He seemed totally to have forgotten the career to which he
had devoted himself, and the hatred and war of extermination he had
vowed against the French. The restless activity and spirit of enterprize
which formed such distinguishing traits in his character, were
completely lulled to sleep by the charms of the fair Barbot. Nor was the
change in his external appearance less striking. Aware that the rude
manners and attire of a guerilla were not likely to please the
fastidious taste of a town-bred dame, he hastened to discard them. His
rough bushy beard and mustaches were carefully trimmed and adjusted by
the most expert barber of the neighbourhood; his sheepskin jacket, heavy
boots, and jingling double-roweled spurs thrown aside, and in their
place he assumed the national garb, so well adapted to show off a
handsome person, and which, although now almost disused throughout
Spain, far surpasses in elegance the prevailing costumes of the
nineteenth century: a short light jacket of black velvet, and waistcoat
of the richest silk, both profusely decorated with gold filigree
buttons; purple velvet breeches fastened at the knee with bunches of
ribands; silk stockings, and falling boots of chamois leather, by the
most expert maker in Cordova; a crimson silk sash round his waist, and
round his neck a silk handkerchief, of which the ends were drawn through
a magnificent jewelled ring. A green velvet cap, ornamented with sables
and silver, and an ample cloak trimmed with silver lace, the spoil of a
commandant of French gendarmes, completed this picturesque costume.

Thus attired, and mounted on a splendid horse, the Empecinado escorted
the object of his new flame to all the fêtes and merry-makings of the
surrounding country. Not a _romeria_ in the neighbouring villages, not a
fair or a bull-fight in all the valley of the Duero, but were graced by
the presence of Martin Diez and his dulcinea, whose fine horse and
gallant equipment, but more especially the beauty of the rider, inspired
universal admiration. As might be expected, many of those who had known
the Empecinado a poor vine-dresser, became envious of his good fortune,
and others who envied him not, were indignant at seeing him waste his
time in such degrading effeminacy, instead of following up the career
which he had so nobly begun. There was much murmuring, therefore, to
which, however, he gave little heed; and several weeks had passed in the
manner above described, when an incident occurred to rouse him from the
sort of lethargy in which he was sunk.

A despatch reached him from the Captain-General, Don Gregorio Cuesta,
requiring his immediate presence at Ciudad Rodrigo, there to receive
directions concerning the execution of a service of the greatest
importance, and which was to be intrusted to him.

This order had its origin in circumstances of which the Empecinado was
totally ignorant. The jeweller Barbot, finding that neither large offers
nor threats of punishment had any effect upon the Empecinado, who
persisted in keeping his wife prisoner, made interest with the Duke of
Infantado, then general of one of the Spanish armies, and besought him
to exert his influence in favour of the captive lady, and to have her
restored to her friends. The duke, who was a very important personage at
the court of Charles the Fourth, and the favourite of Ferdinand the
Seventh at the beginning of his reign, entertained a particular
friendship for Barbot; and, if the _chronique scandaleuse_ of Madrid
might be believed, a still more particular one for his wife. He
immediately wrote to General Cuesta, desiring that the lady might be
sent back to her husband without delay, as well as all the jewels and
other spoil that had been seized by the Empecinado.

With much difficulty did the guerilla make up his mind to abandon the
inglorious position, and to go where duty called him. Strongly
recommending his captive to his brother and sister-in-law, he set out
for Ciudad Rodrigo, escorted by a sergeant and ten men of his partida.
They had not proceeded half a mile from Castrillo, when, from behind a
hedge bordering the road, a shot was fired, and the bullet slightly
wounded the Empecinado's charger. Two of the escort pushed their horses
through the hedge, and immediately returned, dragging between them a
grey-haired old man, seventy years of age, who clutched in his wrinkled
fingers a rusty carbine that had just been discharged.

"He is surely mad!" exclaimed the Empecinado, gazing in astonishment at
the venerable assassin. "_Dime, viejo_; do you know me? And why do you
seek my life?"

"_Si, si, te conozes_. You are the Empecinado--the bloody Empecinado.
Give me back my Pedro, whom you murdered. _Ay di me! mi Pedrillo, te han
matado!_"

And the old man's frame quivered with rage, as he glared on the
Empecinado with an expression of unutterable hate.

One of the guerillas stepped forward--

"'Tis old Gutierrez, the father of Pedro, who was hung in the Piñares de
Coca, for betraying us to the French."

"Throw his carbine into yonder pool, and leave the poor wretch," said
the Empecinado; "his son deserved the death he met."

"He missed his aim to-day, but he may point truer another time," said
one of the men, half drawing a pistol from his holster.

"Harm him not!" said the Empecinado sternly, and the party rode on.

"_Maldito seas_!" screamed the old man, casting himself in the dust of
the road, in a paroxysm of impotent fury. "_Maldito! Maldito! Ay de mi!
mi Pedrillo!_"

And his curses and lamentations continued till the guerillas were out of
hearing.

On arriving at Ciudad Rodrigo, the Empecinado went immediately to
General Cuesta, who, although he did not receive him unkindly, could not
but blame him greatly for the enormous crime he had committed in
carrying off a lady who was distinguished by so mighty a personage as
the Duke of Infantado. He told him it was absolutely necessary to devise
some plan by which the Duke's anger might be appeased. Murat also had
sent a message to the central junta, saying, that if satisfaction were
not given, he would send troops to lay waste the whole district of
Penafiel, in which Castrillo was situated; and it was probable, that if
he had not done so already, it was because a large portion of the
inhabitants of that district were believed to be well affected to the
French. Without exactly telling him what he must do, the old general
gave him a despatch for the _corregidor_ of Penafiel, and desired him to
present himself before that functionary, and concert with him the
measures to be taken.

The Empecinado took his leave, and was quitting the governor's palace
when he overtook at the door an _avogado_, who was a countryman of his,
and whom he had left at Castrillo when he set out from that place. The
sight of this man was a ray of light to the Empecinado, who immediately
suspected that his enemies were intriguing against him. He proposed to
the lawyer that they should walk to the inn, to which the latter
consented. They had to traverse a lonely place, known by the name of San
Francisco's Meadow, and on arriving there, behind the shelter of some
walls, the Empecinado seized the advocate by the collar, and swore he
would strangle him if he did not instantly confess what business had
brought him to Ciudad Rodrigo, as well as all the plans or plots against
the Empecinado to which he might be privy.

The lawyer, who had known Diez from his childhood, and was fully aware
of his desperate character and of his own peril, trembled for his life,
and besought him earnestly to use no violence, for that he was willing
to tell all he knew. Thereupon the Empecinado loosened his grasp, which
had wellnigh throttled the poor avogado, and cocking a pistol, as a sort
of warning to the other to tell the truth, bade him sit down beside him
and proceed with his narrative.

The lawyer informed him that the _ayuntamiento_ or corporation of
Castrillo, and those of all the towns and villages of the district,
found themselves in great trouble on account of the convoy he had
intercepted, and more particularly of the lady whom he kept prisoner,
and whose friends it appeared were persons of much influence with both
contending parties, for that the junta and the French had alike demanded
her liberty; and while the latter were about to send troops to put the
whole country to fire and sword, the former, as well as the Spanish
generals, had refused to afford them any protection against the
consequences of her detention, and accused the ayuntamiento and the
priests of encouraging the Empecinado to hold her in captivity. He
himself had been sent to Ciudad Rodrigo to beg General Cuesta's advice,
and the general had declared himself unable to assist them, but
recommended them to restore the lady and treasure, if they did not wish
the French to lay waste the country, and take by force the bone of
contention.

The Empecinado, suspecting that General Cuesta had not used all due
frankness with him in this matter, handed to the lawyer the letter that
had been given him for the corregidor of Penafiel, and compelled him,
much against his will, to open and read it. Its contents coincided with
what the avogado had told him; the general advising the corregidor to
use every means to compromise the matter, rather than wait till the
French should do themselves justice by the strong hand.

Perceiving that, from various motives, every body was against him in
this matter, the Empecinado bethought himself how he should get out of
the scrape.

"As an old friend and countryman, and more especially as a lawyer," said
he to the avogado, "you are the most fitting man to give me advice in
this difficulty. Tell me, then, what I ought to do, in order that our
native town, which is innocent in the matter, should suffer no
prejudice."

"You speak now like a sensible man," replied the other, "and as a friend
will I advise you. Let us immediately set off to Penafiel, deliver the
general's letter to the corregidor, and take him with us to Castrillo.
There, for form's sake, an examination of your conduct in the affair can
take place. You shall give up the jewels, the carriage, and the lady,
and set off immediately to join your partida."

"To the greater part of that I willingly agree," said the Empecinado.
"The jewels are buried in the cellar, and the carriage is in the stable.
Take both when you list. But as to the lady, before I give her up, I
will give up my own soul. She is my property; I took her in fair fight,
and at the risk of my life."

"You will think better of it before we get to Castrillo," replied the
lawyer.

The Empecinado shook his head, but led the way to the inn, where they
took horse, and the next day reached Penafiel, whence they set out the
following morning for Castrillo, which is a couple of leagues further,
accompanied by the corregidor, his secretary, and two alguazils. The
Empecinado was induced to leave his escort at Penafiel, in order that
the sort of _pro formâ_ investigation which was to be gone through might
not appear to have taken place under circumstances of intimidation. The
avogado started a couple of hours earlier than the rest of the party, to
have things in readiness, so that the proceedings might be got through
as rapidly as possible.

It was about eight o'clock on a fine summer's morning that the
Empecinado and his companions reached Castrillo. As they entered the
town, an old mendicant, who was lying curled up like a dog in the
sunshine under the porch of a house, lifted his head at the noise of the
horses. As his eyes rested upon Diez, he made a bound forward with an
agility extraordinary in one of his years, and fell almost under the
feet of the Empecinado's horse, making the startled animal spring aside
with a violence and suddenness sufficient to unhorse many a less
practised rider than the one who bestrode him. The Empecinado lifted his
whip in anger, but the old man, who had risen to his feet, showed no
sign of fear, and as he stood in the middle of the road, and immediately
in the path of the Empecinado, the latter recognized the wild features
and long grey hair of old Gutierrez.

"_Maldito seas_!" cried the old man, extending his arms towards the
guerilla. "Murderer! the hour of vengeance is nigh. I saw it in my
dreams. My Pedrillo showed me his assassin trampled under the feet of
horses. _Asesino! Venga la hora de tu muerte!_"

And the old man, who was half crazed by his misfortunes, relapsed into
an incoherent strain of lamentations for his son, and curses upon him
whom he called his murderer.

The Empecinado, who, on recognizing old Gutierrez, had lowered his
riding-whip, and listened unmoved to his curses and predictions, rode
forward, explaining as he went, to the astonished corregidor, the scene
that had just occurred. A little further on he separated from his
companions, giving them rendezvous at ten o'clock at the house of the
ayuntamiento. Proceeding to his brother's dwelling, he paid a visit to
Madame Barbot, breakfasted with her, and then prepared to keep his
appointment. He placed a brace of pistols and a poniard in his belt, and
taking a loaded _trabuco_ or blunderbuss, in his hand, wrapped himself
in his cloak so as to conceal his weapons, and repaired to the
town-hall.

He found the tribunal already installed, and every thing in readiness.
Saluting the corregidor, he began pacing up and down the room without
taking off his cloak. The corregidor repeatedly urged him to be seated,
but he refused, and continued his walk, replying to the questions that
were put to him, his answers to which were duly written down. About a
quarter of an hour had passed in this manner, when a noise of feet and
talking was heard in the street, and the Empecinado, as he passed one of
the windows that looked out upon the _plaza_, saw, with no very
comfortable feelings, that a number of armed peasants were entering the
town hall. He perceived that he was betrayed, but his presence of mind
stood his friend, and with his usual promptitude, he in a moment decided
how he should act. Without allowing it to appear that he had any
suspicion of what was going on, he walked to the door of the audience
chamber, and before any one could interfere, shut and locked it. Then
stepping up to the corregidor, he threw off his cloak, and presented his
trabuco at the magistrate's head.

"Señor Corregidor," said he, "this is not our agreement, but a base act
of treachery. Commend yourself to God, for you are about to die."

The corregidor was so dreadfully terrified at these words, and at the
menacing action of the Empecinado, that he swooned away, and fell down
under the table--the escribano fled into an adjoining chamber, and
concealed himself under a bed--while the alguazils, trembling with fear,
threw themselves upon their knees, and petitioned for mercy. The
Empecinado, finding himself with so little trouble master of the field
of battle, took possession of the papers that were lying upon the table,
and, unlocking the door, proceeded to the principal staircase, which he
found occupied by inhabitants of the town, armed with muskets and
fowling-pieces. Placing his blunderbuss under his arm, with his hand
upon the trigger, "Make way!" cried he; "the first who moves a finger
may reckon upon the contents of my trabuco." His menace and resolute
character produced the desired effect; a passage was opened, and he left
the house in triumph. On reaching the street, however, he found a great
crowd of men, women, and even children, assembled, who occupied the
plaza and all the adjacent streets, and received him with loud cries of
"Death to the Empecinado! _Muera el ladron y mal Cristiano_!" The armed
men whom he had left in the town-house fired several shots at him from
the windows, but nobody dared to lay hands upon him, as he marched
slowly and steadily through the crowd, trabuco in hand, and casting
glances on either side that made those upon whom they fell shrink
involuntarily backwards.

On the low roof of one of the houses of the plaza, that formed the angle
of the Calle de la Cruz, or street of the cross, old Gutierrez had taken
his station. With the fire of insanity in his bloodshot eyes, and a grin
of exultation upon his wasted features, he witnessed the persecution of
the Empecinado, and while his ears drank in the yells and hootings of
the multitude, he added his shrill cracked voice to the uproar. When the
shots were fired from the town-hall, he bounded and capered upon the
platform, clapping his meagre fingers together in ecstasy; but as the
Empecinado got further from the house, and the firing was discontinued,
an expression of anxiety replaced the look of triumph that had lighted
up the old maniac's face. Diez still moved on unhurt, and was now within
a few paces of the house on which Gutierrez had perched himself. The old
man's uneasiness increased. "Va a escapar!" muttered he to himself;
"they will let him escape. Oh, if I had a gun, my Pedrillo would soon be
avenged!"

The Empecinado was passing under the house. A sudden thought struck
Gutierrez. Stamping with his foot, he broke two or three of the tiles on
which he was standing, and snatching up a large heavy fragment, he
leaned over the edge of the roof to get a full view of the Empecinado,
who was at that moment leaving the plaza and entering the Calle de la
Cruz. In five seconds more he would be out of sight. As it was, it was
only by leaning very far forward that Gutierrez could see him, walking
calmly along, and keeping at bay the angry but cowardly mob that yelped
at his heels, like a parcel of village curs pursuing a bloodhound, whose
look alone prevents their too near approach.

Throwing his left arm round a chimney, the old man swung himself
forward, and with all the force that he possessed, hurled the tile at
the object of his hate. The missile struck the Empecinado upon the
temple, and he fell, stunned and bleeding, to the ground.

"_Viva_!" screamed Gutierrez; but a cry of agony followed the shout of
exultation. The chimney by which the old man supported himself was loose
and crumbling, and totally unfit to bear his weight as he hung on by it,
and leaned forward to gloat over his vengeance. It tottered for a
moment, and then fell with a crash into the street. The height was not
great, but the pavement was sharp and uneven; the old man pitched upon
his head, and when lifted up was already a corpse.

When the mob saw the Empecinado fall, they threw themselves upon him
with as much ferocity as they had previously shown cowardice, and beat
and ill-treated him in every possible manner. Not satisfied with that,
they bound him hand and foot, and pushed him through a cellar window,
throwing after him stones, and every thing they could find lying about
the street. At last, wearied by their own brutality, they left him for
dead, and he remained in that state till nightfall, when the corregidor
and the ayuntamiento proceeded to inspect his body, in order to certify
his death, and have him buried. When he was brought out of the cellar,
however, they perceived he still breathed, and sent for a surgeon, and
also for a priest to administer the last sacraments. They then carried
him upon a ladder to the _posito_, or public granary, a strong building,
where they considered he would be in safety, and put him to bed, bathed
in blood and covered with wounds and bruises.

The corregidor, fearing that the news of the riot, and of the death of
the Empecinado, would reach Penafiel, and that the escort which had been
left there, and the many partizans that Diez had in that town, would
come over to Castrillo to avenge his death, persuaded one of the curés
or parish priests of the latter place, to go over to Penafiel in all
haste, and, counterfeiting great alarm, to spread the report that the
French had entered Castrillo, seized the Empecinado, and carried him off
to Aranda. This was accordingly done; and the Empecinado's escort being
made aware of the vicinity of the French and the risk they ran,
immediately mounted their horses and marched to join Mariano Fuentes,
accompanied by upwards of fifty young men, all partizans of the
Empecinado, and eager to revenge him. This matter being arranged, the
corregidor had the jewels that were buried in the cellar of Manuel Diez
dug up, and having taken possession of them, and installed Madame Barbot
with all due attention in one of the principal houses of the town, he
forwarded a report to General Cuesta of all that had occurred. The
general immediately sent an escort to conduct the lady and the treasure
to Ciudad Rodrigo, and ordered that as soon as the Empecinado was in a
state to be moved, he should also be sent under a strong guard to that
city.

Meanwhile, the Empecinado's vigorous constitution triumphed over the
injuries he had received, and he was getting so rapidly better, that for
his safer custody the corregidor thought it necessary to have him
heavily ironed. Deeming it impossible he should escape, and there being
no troops in the village, no sentry was placed over him, so that at
night his friends were able to hold discourse with him through the
grating of one of the windows of the posito. In this manner he contrived
to send a message to his brother Manuel, who, having also got into
trouble on account of Madame Barbot's detention, had been compelled to
take refuge in the mountains of Bilbuena, three leagues from Castrillo.
Manuel took advantage of a dark night to steal into the town in
disguise, and to speak with the Empecinado. He informed him that the
superior of the Bernardine Monastery, in the Sierra de Balbuena, had
been advised that it was the intention of the Empecinado's enemies to
deliver him over to the French, in order that they might shoot him. The
Empecinado replied, that he strongly suspected there was some such plot
in agitation, and desired his brother to seek out Mariano Fuentes, and
order him to march his band into the neighbourhood of Castrillo, and
that on their arrival he would send them word what to do.

Eight days elapsed, and the Empecinado was now completely cured of his
wounds, so that he was in much apprehension lest he should be sent off
to Ciudad Rodrio before the arrival of Fuentes. On the eighth night,
however, his brother came to the window, and informed him that the
partida was in the neighbourhood, and only waited his orders to march
upon Castrillo, rescue him, and revenge the treatment he had received.
This the Empecinado strongly enjoined them not to do, but desired his
brother to come to his prison door at two o'clock the next morning with
a led horse, and that he had the means to set himself at liberty. Manuel
Diez did as he was ordered, wondering, however, in what manner the
Empecinado intended to get out of the posito, which was a solidly
constructed edifice with a massive door and grated windows. But the next
night, when the guerilla heard the horses approaching his prison, he
seized the door by an iron bar that traversed it on the inner side, and,
exerting his prodigious strength, tore it off the hinges as though it
had been of pasteboard. His feet being fastened together by a chain, he
was compelled to sit sideways upon the saddle; but so elated was he to
find himself once more at liberty that he pushed his horse into a
gallop, and with his fetters clanking as he went, dashed through the
streets of Castrillo, to the astonishment and consternation of the
inhabitants, who knew not what devil's dance was going on in their
usually quiet town.

At Olmos, a village a quarter of a league from Castrillo, the fugitives
halted, and roused a smith, who knocked off the Empecinado's irons.
After a short rest at the house of an approved friend they remounted
their horses, and a little after daybreak reached the place where
Fuentes had taken up his bivouac. The Empecinado was received with great
rejoicing, and immediately resumed the command. He passed a review of
his band, and found it consisted of two hundred and twenty men, all well
mounted and armed.

Great was the alarm of the inhabitants of Castrillo when they found the
prison broken open and the prisoner gone; and their terror was increased
a hundred-fold, when a few hours later news was brought that the
Empecinado was marching towards the town at the head of a strong body of
cavalry. Some concealed themselves in cellars and suchlike
hiding-places, others left the town and fled to the neighbouring woods;
but the majority, despairing of escape by human means from the terrible
anger of the Empecinado, shut themselves up in their houses, closed the
doors and windows, and prayed to the Virgin for deliverance from the
impending evil. Never had there been seen in Castrillo such a counting
of rosaries and beating of breasts, such genuflexions, and mumbling of
aves and paters, as upon that morning.

At noon the Empecinado entered the town at the head of his band,
trumpets sounding, and the men firing their pistols and carbines into
the air, in sign of joy at having recovered their leader. Forming up the
partida in the market-place, the Empecinado sent for the corregidor and
other authorities, who presented themselves before him pale and
trembling, and fully believing they had not five minutes to live.

"Fear nothing!" said the Empecinado, observing their terror. "It is
certain I have met foul treatment at your hands; and it was the harder
to bear coming from my own countrymen and townsfolk. But you have been
misled, and will one day repent your conduct. I have forgotten your ill
usage, and only remember the poverty of my native town, and the misery
in which this war has plunged many of its inhabitants."

So saying, he delivered to the alcalde and the parish priests a hundred
ounces of gold for the relief of the poor and support of the hospital,
and ten more to be spent in a _novillada_, or bull-bait and festival for
the whole town. Cutting short their thanks and excuses, he left
Castrillo and marched to the village of Sacramenia, where he quartered
his men, and, accompanied by Mariano Fuentes, went to pay a visit to a
neighbouring monastery. The monks received him with open arms and a
hearty welcome, hailing him as the main prop of the cause of
independence in Old Castile. They sat down to dinner in the refectory;
and the conversation turning upon the state of the country, the
Empecinado expressed his unwillingness to carry on the war in that
province, on account of the little confidence he could place in the
inhabitants, so many of whom had become _afrancesados_; and as a proof
of this, he related all that had occurred to him at Castrillo. Upon
hearing this the abbot, who was a man distinguished for his talents and
patriotism, recommended Diez to lead his band to New Castile, where he
would not have to encounter the persecutions of those who, having known
him poor and insignificant, envied him his good fortune, and sought to
throw obstacles in his path. He offered to get him letters from the
general of the order of San Bernardo to the superiors of the various
monasteries, in order that he might receive such assistance and support
as they could give, and he might chance to require.

"No one is a prophet in his own country," said the good father; "Mahomet
in his native town of Medina met with the same ill-treatment that you,
Martin Diez, have encountered in the place of your birth. Abandon, then,
a province which does not recognize your value, and go where your
reputation has already preceded you, to defend the holy cause of Spain
and of religion."

Struck by the justice of this reasoning, the Empecinado resolved to
change the scene of his operations, and the next morning marched his
squadron in the direction of New Castile.

      *       *       *       *       *



THE TALE OF A TUB: AN ADDITIONAL CHAPTER.

HOW JACK RAN MAD A SECOND TIME.


After Jack and Martin parted company, you may remember that Jack, who
had turned his face northward, got into high favour with the landlord of
the North Farm Estate, who, being mightily edified with his discourses
and sanctimonious demeanour, and not aware of his having been mad
before, or being, perchance, just as mad himself--took him in, made much
of him, gave him a cottage upon his manor to live in, and built him a
tabernacle in which he might hold forth when the spirit moved him. In
process of time, however, it happened that North Farm and the Albion
Estates came into the possession of one proprietor, Esquire Bull, in
whose house Martin had always been retained as domestic chaplain--at
least, ever since that desperate scuffle with Lord Peter and his crew,
when he tried to land some Spanish smugglers on the coast, for the
purpose of carrying off Martin, and establishing himself in Squire
Bull's house in his stead. Squire Bull, who was a man of his word, and
wished to leave all things on North Farm as he found them, Jack and his
tabernacle included, undertook at once to pay him a reasonable salary,
with the free use of his house and tabernacle to him and his heirs for
ever. But knowing that on a previous occasion, (which you may
recollect,[46]) Jack's melancholy had gone so far that he had hanged
himself, though he was cut down just before giving up the ghost, and by
dint of bloodletting and galvanism, had been revived; and also that,
notwithstanding his periodical fits and hallucinations, he could beat
even Peter himself, who had been his instructor, for cunning and
casuistry, he took care that, before Jack was allowed to take possession
under his new lease, every thing should be made square between them. So
he had the terms of their indenture all written out on parchment,
signed, sealed, and delivered before witnesses, and even got a private
Act of Parliament carried through, for the purpose of making every thing
between them more secure. And well it was for the Squire that he
bethought himself of his precaution in time, as you will afterwards
hear.

     [46] John Bull, Part IV. ch. ii.

This union of the two entailed properties in the Bull family, brought
Jack and Martin a good deal more into one anothers' company than they
had formerly been; and 'twas clear, that Jack, who had now got somewhat
ashamed of his threadbare raiment, and tired of his spare oatmeal diet,
was mightily struck with the dignified air and comfortable look of
Martin, and grudged him the frequency with which he was invited to
Squire Bull's table. By degrees, he began to conform his own uncouth
manner to an imitation of his. He wore a better coat, which he no longer
rubbed against the wall to take the gloss from off it; he ceased to
interlard all his ordinary speech with texts of Scripture; his snuffle
abated audibly; he gave up his habit of extempore rhapsody, and lost, in
a great measure, his aversion to Christmas tarts and plum-pudding. After
a time, he might even be seen with a fishing-rod over his shoulder; then
he contrived sundry improvements in gun-locks and double-barrels, for
which he took out a patent, and in fact did not entirely escape the
suspicion of being a poacher. He held assemblies in his house, where at
times he allowed a little singing; nay, on one occasion, a son of
his--for he had now a large family--was found accompanying a psalm-tune
upon the (barrel) organ, and it was rumoured about the house, that Jack,
though he thought it prudent to disclaim this overture, had no great
objection to it. Be that as it may, it is certain, that instead of his
old peaked hat and band, Jack latterly took to wearing broad-brimmed
beavers, which he was seen trying to mould into a spout-like shape, much
resembling a shovel. And so far had the transformation gone, that the
Vicar of Fudley, meeting him one evening walking to an assembly arrayed
in a court coat, with this extraordinary hat upon his head, and a pair
of silver buckles in his shoes, pulled off his hat to him at a little
distance, mistaking him for a near relation of Martin, if not for Martin
himself.

There was no great harm you will think in all these whims, and for my
own part, I believe that Jack was never so honest a fellow as he was
during this time, when he was profiting by Martin's example. He kept his
own place, ruling his family in a quiet and orderly way, without
disturbing the peace of his neighbours: and seemed to have forgotten his
old tricks of setting people by the ears, and picking quarrels with
constables and justices of the peace. Howbeit, those who knew him
longest and best, always said that this was too good to last: that with
him these intervals of sobriety and moderation were always the prelude
to a violent access of his peculiar malady, and that by-and-bye he would
break out again, and that there would be the devil to pay, and no pitch
hot.

It so happened that Squire Bull had a good many small village schools on
his Estate of North Farm, to which the former proprietors had always
been in the custom of appointing the ushers themselves; and much to
Jack's annoyance, when Squire Bull succeeded, the latter had taken care
in his bargain with him, to keep the right of appointment to these in
his own hand. But, at the same time, he told Jack fairly, that as he had
no wish to dabble in Latin, Greek, or school learning himself, he left
him at full liberty to say whether those whom he appointed were fit for
the situation or not--so that if they turned out to be ignoramuses,
deboshed fellows, or drunken dogs, Jack had only to say so on good
grounds, and they were forthwith sent adrift. Matters went on for a time
very smoothly on this footing. Nay, it was even said that Jack was
inclined to carry his complaisance rather far, and after a time seldom
troubled himself much about the usher's qualifications, provided his
credentials were all right. He might ask the young fellow, who presented
John's commission, perhaps, what was the first letter of the Greek
alphabet? what was Latin for beef and greens? or where Moses was when
the candle was blown out?--but if the candidate answered these questions
correctly, and if there were no scandal or _fama clamosa_ against him,
as Jack in his peculiar jargon expressed it, he generally shook hands
with him at once, put the key of the schoolhouse in his hand, and told
him civilly to walk up-stairs.

The truth was, however, that in this respect Jack had little reason to
complain; for though the Squire, in the outset, may not have been very
particular as to his choice, and it was said once or twice gave an
ushership to an old exciseman, on account of his skill in mensuration of
fluids, he had latterly become very particular, and would not hear of
settling any body as schoolmaster on North Farm, who did not come to him
with an excellent character, certified by two or three respectable
householders at least. But, strangely enough, it was observed that just
in proportion as the Squire became more considerate, Jack became more
arrogant, pestilent, and troublesome. Now-a-days he was always
discovering some objection to the Squire's appointments: one usher, it
seemed, spoke too low, another too loud, one used an ear-trumpet,
another a pair of grass-green spectacles; one had no sufficient gifts
for flogging; another flogged either too high or too low--(for Jack was
like the deserter, there was no pleasing him as to the mode of
conducting the operation;) and, finally, another was rejected because he
was unacquainted with the vernacular of Ossian--to the great injury and
damage, as was alleged, of two Highland chairmen, who at an advanced
period of life were completing their education in the school in
question. At first Squire Bull, honest gentleman, had given in to these
strange humours on the part of Jack, believing that this new-born zeal
on his part was in the main conscientious, though he could not help
thinking it at times sufficiently whimsical and preposterous. He had
even gone so far, occasionally, as to send Jack a list of those to whom
he proposed giving the usherships, accompanied with a polite note, in
some such terms as these, "Squire Bull presents his respects, and begs
his good friend Jack will read over the enclosed list, and take the
trouble of choosing for himself;" a request with which Jack was always
ready to comply. And, further, as Jack had always a great hankering
after little-goes and penny subscriptions of every kind, and was
eternally trumpeting forth some new nostrum or _scheme_ of this kind, as
he used to call it, the Squire had been prevailed upon to purchase from
him a good many tickets for these schemes from time to time, for which
he always paid in hard cash, though I have never heard that any of them
turned up prizes, except it may have been to Jack himself.

Jack, as we have said, grew bolder as the Squire became more complying,
thinking that, in the matter of these appointments, as he had once got
his hand in, it would be his own fault if he could not contrive to
wriggle in his whole body. It so happened, too, that just about the very
time that one of John's usherships became vacant, one of those
atrabilious and hypochondriac fits came over Jack, with which, as we
have said, he was periodically afflicted, and which, though they
certainly unsettled his brain a little, only served, as in the case of
other lunatics, to render him, during the paroxysm, more cunning,
inventive, and mischievous. After moving about in a moping way for a day
or two--mumbling in corners, and pretending to fall on his knees, in his
old fashion, in the midst of the street, he suddenly got up, flung his
broad-brimmed beaver into the kennel, trampled his wig in the dirt, so
as to expose his large ears as of old, ran home, pulled his rusty black
doublet out of the chest where it had lain for years, squeezing it on as
he best could--for he had got somewhat corpulent in the mean time--and
thus transfigured, he set out to consult the village attorney, with whom
it was observed he remained closeted for several hours, turning over
Burns' Justice, and perusing an office-copy of his indenture with the
Squire--a planetary conjunction from which those who were astrologically
given boded no good.

What passed between these worthies on this occasion--whether the
attorney really persuaded Jack that, if he set about it, he would
undertake to find him a flaw in his contract with Squire Bull, which
would enable him to take the matter of the usherships into his own hand,
and to do as he pleased; or whether Jack--as he seemed afterwards to
admit in private--believed nothing of what the attorney told him, but
was resolved to take advantage of the Squire's good-nature, and to run
all risks as to the result, 'tis hard to say. Certain it was, however,
that Jack posted down at once from the attorney's chamber to the village
school, which happened to be then vacant, and gathering the elder boys
about him, he told them he had reason to believe the Squire was about to
send them another usher, very different from the last, who was a mortal
enemy to marbles, pitch-and-toss, chuck-farthing, ginger-bread, and half
holydays; with a corresponding liking to long tasks and short commons;
that the use of the cane would be regularly taught, along with that of
the globes, accompanied with cuts and other practical demonstrations;
that the only chance of escaping this visitation was to take a bold
line, and show face to the usher at once, since otherwise the chance
was, that at no distant period they might be obliged to do the very
reverse.

Jack further reasoned the matter with the boys learnedly, somewhat in
this fashion--"That as no one could have so strong an interest in the
matter, so no one could be so good a judge of the qualifications of the
schoolmaster as the schoolboy; that the close and intimate relation
between these parties was of the nature of a mutual contract, in the
formation of which both had an equal right to be consulted; so that,
without mutual consent, or, as it were, a harmonious call by the boys,
there could be no valid ushership, but a mere usurpation of the power of
the tawse, and unwarrantable administration of the birchen twig; that,
further, this latter power involved a fundamental feature, in which they
could not but feel they had all a deep interest--and which, he might
say, lay at the bottom of the whole question; that he himself perfectly
remembered that, in former days, the schoolboys had always exercised
this privilege, which he held to be equally salutary and constitutional;
and that he would, at his leisure, show them a private memorandum-book
of his own, in which, though he had hitherto said nothing about it, he
had found an entry to that effect made some thirty years before. In
short, he told them, if they did not wish to be rode over rough-shod,
they must stand up boldly for themselves, and try to get all the schools
in the neighbourhood to join them, if necessary, in a regular
barring-out, or general procession, in which they were to appear with
flags and banners, bearing such inscriptions as the following: "_Pro
aris et focis_"--"Liberty is like the air we breathe," &c. &c., and,
lastly, in large gilt capitals--"_No usher to be intruded into any
school contrary to the will of the scholars in schoolroom assembled_."
And, in short, that this process was to be repeated until they succeeded
in getting quit of Squire Bull's usher, and getting an usher who would
flog them with all the forbearance and reserve with which Sancho
chastised his own flesh while engaged in the process of disenchanting
Dulcinea del Toboso. At the same time, with that cunning which was
natural to him, Jack took care to let the scholars know that _his_ name
was not to be mentioned in the transaction; and that, if they were asked
any questions, they must be prepared to say, nay, to swear, for that
matter, that they objected to John's usher from no personal dislike to
the man himself, and without having received fee or reward, in the shape
of apples, lollypops, gingerbread, barley-sugar, or sweetmeats
whatever--or sixpences, groats, pence, halfpence, or other current coin
of the realm.

It will be readily imagined that this oration of Jack, pronounced as it
was with some of his old unction, and accompanied with that miraculous
and subtle twist of the tongue which we have described in a former
chapter,[47] produced exactly the effect upon his audience which might
be expected. The boys were delighted--tossed up their caps--gave Jack
three cheers, and told him if he stood by them they would stand by him,
and that they were much mistaken if they did not contrive to make the
schoolhouse too hot for any usher whom Squire Bull might think fit to
send them.

     [47] Tale of a Tub. Sect. xi.

It happened not long after, as Jack had anticipated, that one morning a
young man called upon with a letter from the Squire, intimating that he
had named him to the vacant ushership; and requesting Jack to examine
into his qualifications as usual. Jack begged him to be seated, and
(having privately sent a message to the schoolboys) continued to
entertain him with enquiries as to John's health and the state of the
weather, till he heard, by the noise in the court, that the boys had
arrived. In they marched accordingly, armed with horn-books, primers,
slates, rulers, Gunter's-scales, and copy-books, taking up their station
near the writing-desk. The young usher-elect, though he thought this a
whimsical exhibition, supposed that the urchins had been brought there
only to do honour to his examination, and accordingly begged Jack, as he
was in a hurry, to proceed. "Fair and softly, young man," said Jack, in
his blandest tones; "we must first see what these intelligent young
gentlemen have got to say to that. Tom, my fine fellow, here is a
gentleman sent by Squire Bull to be your usher. What do you say to him?"
"I don't like him," said Tom. "May I venture to ask why?" said the
usher, putting in a word. "Don't like him," repeated Tom. "Don't like
him neither," said Dick. "And no mistake," added Peter, with a grin,
which immediately circulated round the school. "It is quite impossible,"
said Jack, "under existing circumstances, that the matter can proceed
any further; it is plain the school can never be edified by such an
usher. But, stop, that there may be no misconception on the subject.
Here you, Smith--do you really mean to say, on soul and conscience, you
don't think this respectable gentleman can do you any good?" Of course,
Smith stated that his mind was quite made up on the subject. "Come here,
Jenkins," said Jack, beckoning to another boy; "tell the truth
now--honour bright, remember. Has any body given or promised you any
apples, parliament, or other sweetmeat unknown, to induce you to vote
against the usher?" Jenkins, who had just wiped his lips of the last
remains of a gingerbread cake, which somehow or other had dropped into
his pocket by accident, protested, on his honour, that he was quite
above such a thing, and was, in fact, actuated purely by a conscientious
zeal for the cause of flogging all over the world. "The scruples of
these intelligent and ingenuous youths," said John, turning to the
usher, "must, in conscience, receive effect; the law, as laid down in my
copy of Squire Bull's own contract, is this--'That noe ushere be
yntruded intoe anie schoole against ye wille of ye schooleboys in
schoole-roome assembled.' So, with your permission, we will adjourn the
consideration of the case till the Greek Calends, or latter Lammas, if
that be more convenient." And, so saying, he left John's letter lying on
the table, and shut the schoolroom door in the face of the astonished
usher.

Squire Bull, as may be imagined, was not a little astonished and
mortified at hearing from the usher, who returned looking foolish and
chop-fallen, of this outbreak on the part of Jack, for whom he had
really begun to conceive a sort of sneaking kindness; but knowing of old
his fantastical and melancholic turn, he attributed this sally rather to
the state of his bowels, which at all times he exceedingly neglected,
and which, being puffed up with flatulency and indigestion to an
extraordinary degree, not unfrequently acted upon his brain--generating
therein strange conceits and dangerous hallucinations--than to any
settled intention on Jack's part to pick a quarrel with him or evade
performance of the conditions of their indenture, so long as he was not
under the influence of hypochondria. And having this notion as to Jack's
motives, and knowing nothing of the private confab at the village
lawyer's, he could not help believing that, by a brisk course of
purgatives and an antiphlogistic treatment--and without resorting to a
strait-waistcoat, which many who knew Jack's pranks at once recommended
him to adopt--he might be cured of those acrid and intoxicating vapours,
which, ascending into the brain, led him into such extravagant vagaries.
"I'faith," said the Squire, "since the poor man has taken this mad fancy
into his head as to the terms of his bargain, the best way to restore
him to his senses is to bring the matter, as he himself seemed to desire
it, before the Justices of the Peace at once: 'Tis a hundred to one but
he will have come to his senses long before they have come to a
decision; at all events, unless he is madder than I take him to be, when
he finds how plain the terms of the indenture are, he will surely submit
with a good grace.'"

So thought the Squire; and, accordingly, by his direction, the
usher-elect brought his case before the Justices at their next sittings,
who forthwith summoned Jack before them to know why he refused
performance of his contract with the Squire. Jack came on the day
appointed, attended by the attorney--though for that matter he might
have safely left him behind, being fully as much master of all
equivocation or chicanery as if he had never handled anything but quills
and quirks from his youth upward. This, indeed, was probably the effect
of his old training in Peter's family, for whose hairsplitting
distinctions and Jesuistical casuistries, notwithstanding his dislike to
the man himself, he had a certain admiration, founded on a secret
affinity of nature. Indeed it was wonderful to observe how, with all
Jack's hatred to Peter, real or pretended, he took after him in so many
points--insomuch that at times, their look, voice, manner, and way of
thinking, were so closely alike, that those who knew them best might
very well have mistaken them for each other. The usher having produced
the Squire's copy of the indenture, pointed out the clause by which Jack
became bound to examine and admit to the schools on North Farm any
qualified usher whom the Squire might send--as the condition on which he
was to retain his right to the tabernacle and his own mansion upon the
Farm--at the same time showing Jack's seal and signature at the bottom
of the deed. Jack, being called upon by the justices to show cause,
pulled out of his pocket an old memorandum-book--very greasy, musty, and
ill-flavoured--and which, from the quantity of dust and cobwebs with
which it was overlaid, had obviously been lying on the shelf for half a
century at least. This he placed in the hands of his friend Snacks the
attorney, pointing out to him a page or two which he had marked with his
thumb nail, as appropriate to the matter in hand. And there, to be sure,
was to be found, among a quantity of other nostrums, recipes, cooking
receipts, prescriptions, and omnium-gatherums of all kinds, an entry to
this effect:--"That no ushere be yntruded intoe anie schoole against ye
wille of ye schooleboys in schoole-roome assembled." Whereupon the
attorney maintained, that, as this memorandum-book of Jack's was plainly
of older date than the indenture, and had evidently been seen by the
Squire at or prior to the time of signing, as appeared from some of the
entries which it contained being incorporated in the deed, it must be
presumed, that its whole contents, though not to be found in the
indenture _per expressum_, or _totidem verbis_, were yet included
therein _implicitly_, or in a latent form, inasmuch as they were not
_per expressum_ excluded therefrom;--this being, as you will recollect,
precisely the argument which Jack had borrowed from Peter, when the
latter construed their father's will in the question as to the
lawfulness of their wearing shoulder-knots; and very much of the same
kind with that celebrated thesis which Peter afterwards maintained in
the matter of the brown loaf. And though he was obliged to admit (what
indeed from the very look of the book he could not well dispute) that no
such rule had ever been known or acted upon--and on the contrary that
Jack, until this last occasion, had always admitted the Squire's ushers
without objection whatsoever; yet he contended vehemently, that now that
his conscience was awakened on the subject, the past must be laid out of
view; and that the old memorandum-book, as part and parcel of the
indenture itself, must receive effect; and farther, that whether he,
Jack, was right or wrong in this matter, the Justices had no right to
interfere with them.

But the Justices, on looking into this antiquated document, found that,
besides this notandum, the memorandum-book contained a number of other
entries of a very extraordinary kind--such, for instance, as that Martin
was no better than he should be, and ought to be put down speedily: that
Squire Bull had no more right to nominate ushers than he had to be Khan
of Tartary: that that right belonged exclusively to Jack himself, or to
the schoolboys under Jack's control and direction: that Jack was to have
the sole right of laying down rules for his own government, and of
enforcing them against himself by the necessary compulsitors, if the
case should arise; thus, that Jack should have full powers to censure,
fine, punish, flog, flay, banish, imprison, or set himself in the stocks
as often as he should think fit; but that whether Jack did right or
wrong, in any given case, Jack was himself to be the sole judge, and
neither Squire Bull nor any of his Justices of the Peace was to have one
word to say to him or his proceedings in the matter: on the contrary,
that any such interference on their part, was to be regarded as a high
grievance and misdemeanour on their part, for which Jack was to be
entitled at the least to read them a lecture from the writing-desk, and
shut the schoolroom door in their own or their children's face.

There were many other whimsical and extravagant things contained in this
private note-book, so much so, that it was evident no man in his senses
could ever have intended to make them part of his bargain with Jack. But
the matter was put beyond a doubt by the usher producing the original
draft of the indenture, on which some of these crotchets, including this
fancy about the right of the schoolboys to reject the usher if they did
not like him, had been _interlined_ in Jack's hand: but all of which the
Squire, on revising the deed, had scored out with his own pen, adding in
the margin, opposite to the very passage, the words, in italics--"_See
him damned first.--J.B._" And as it could not be disputed that Jack and
the Squire ultimately subscribed the deed, omitting all this
nonsense--the Justices had no hesitation in holding, that Jack's private
memorandum-book, even if he had always carried it in his breeches
pocket, and quoted it on all occasions, instead of leaving it--as it was
plain he had done--for many a long year, in some forgotten corner of his
trunk or lumber-room, could no more affect the construction of the
indenture between himself and Squire, or afford him any defence against
performance of his part of that indenture, than if he had founded on the
statutes of Prester John, on the laws of Hum-Bug, Fee-Faw-Fum, or any
other Emperor of China for the time being. And so, after hearing very
deliberately all that the attorney for Jack had to say to the contrary,
they decided that Jack must forthwith proceed to examine the usher, and
give him possession, if qualified, of the schoolhouse and other
appurtenances; or else make up his mind to a thundering action of
damages if he did not.

The Justices thought that Jack, on hearing the case fairly stated, and
their opinion given against him, with a long string of cases in point,
would yield, and give the usher possession in the usual way; but no: no
sooner was the sentence written out than Jack entered an appeal to the
Quarter-sessions. There the whole matter was heard over again, at great
length, before a full bench; but after Jack and his attorney had spoken
till they were tired, the Quarter-sessions, without a moment's
hesitation, confirmed the sentence of the Justices, with costs.

Jack, who had blustered exceedingly as to his chances of bamboozling the
Quarter-sessions, and quashing the sentence of the Justices, looked
certainly not a little discomfited at the result of his appeal. For some
days after, he was observed to walk about looking gloomy and
disheartened, and was heard to say to some of his family, that he began
to think matters had really gone too far between him and his good friend
the Squire, to whom he owed his bread; that, on second thoughts, he
would give up the point about intruding ushers on the schools, and see
whether the Squire might not be prevailed on to arrange matters on an
amicable footing; and that he would take an opportunity, the next time
he had an assembly at his house, of consulting his friends on the
subject. And had Jack stuck to this resolution, there is little doubt
that, by some device or other, he would have gained all he wanted; for
the Squire, being an easy, good-natured man, and wishing really to do
his duty in the matter of the ushership, would probably, if Jack had
yielded in this instance with a good grace, have probably allowed him in
the end to have things very much his own way. But to the surprise of
everybody, the next time Jack had a party of friends with him, he rose
up, and putting on that peculiarly sanctimonious expression which his
countenance generally assumed when he had a mind to confuse and mystify
his auditors by a string of enigmas and Jesuitical reservations, made a
long, unintelligible, and inconsistent harangue, the drift of which no
one could well understand, except that it bore that "both the Justices
and the Quarter-sessions were a set of ignoramuses who could not
understand a word of Jack's contract, and knew nothing of black-letter
whatever; but that, nevertheless, as they had decided against him, he,
as a loyal subject, must and would submit;--not, however, that he had
the least idea of taking the Squire's usher, or any other usher
whatsoever, on trials, contrary to the schoolboys' wishes; _that_, he
begged to say, he would never hear of:--still he would obey the law by
laying no claim himself to the usher's salary, nor interfering with the
usher's drawing it; and yet that he could not exactly answer for others
not doing so;"--Jack knowing all the time, that, claim as he might, he
himself had no more right to the salary than to the throne of the
Celestial Empire; while, on the other hand, by locking up the
schoolroom, and keeping the key in his pocket, he had rendered it
impossible for the poor wight of an usher to recover one penny of
it--the legal condition of his doing so being his actual possession of
the schoolhouse itself, of which Jack, by this last manoeuvre, had
contrived to deprive him. But, as if to finish the matter, and to prove
the knavish spirit in which this protestation was made, he instantly got
a _private_ friend and relative of his own, with whom the whole scheme
had been arranged beforehand, to come forward and bring an action on the
case, in which the latter claimed the whole fund which would have
belonged to the unlucky usher--in terms, as he said, of some old
arrangement made by the Squire's predecessor as to school-salaries
during vacancy; to be applied, as the writ very coolly stated it, "for
behoof of Jack's destitute widow, in the event of his decease, and of
his numerous and indigent family."

Many of Jack's own family, who were present on this occasion,
remonstrated with him on the subject, foreseeing that if he went on as
he had begun and threatened to proceed, he must soon come to a rupture
with the Squire, which could end in nothing else than his being turned
out of house and hall, and thrown adrift upon the wide world, without a
penny in his pocket. But the majority--who were puffed up with more than
Jack's own madness and had a notion that by sheer boldness and bullying
on their part, the Squire would, after a time, be sure to give way,
encouraged Jack to go on at all hazards, and not to retract a hair's
breadth in his demands. And Jack, who had now become mischievously
crazed on the subject, and began to be as arrogant and conceited of his
own power and authority, as ever my Lord Peter had been in his proudest
and most pestilential days, was not slow to follow their advice.

'Twas of no consequence that a friend of the Squire's, who had known
Jack long, and had really a great kindness towards him, tried to bring
about an arrangement between him and the Squire upon very handsome
terms. He had a meeting with Jack;--at which he talked the matter over
in a friendly way--telling him that though the Squire must reserve in
his own hands the nomination of his own ushers, he had always been
perfectly willing to listen to reason in any objections that might be
taken to them; only some reason he must have, were it only that Jack
could not abide the sight of a red-nosed usher:--let that reason, such
as it was, be put on paper, and he would consider of it; and if, from
any peculiar idiosyncracy in Jack's temperament and constitution, he
found that his antipathy to red noses was unsuperable, probably he would
not insist on filling up the vacancy with a nose of that colour. Jack,
who was always more rational when alone than when he had got the
attorney and the more frantic members of his family at his elbow,
acknowledged, as he well might, that all this seemed very reasonable;
and that he really thought that on these terms the Squire and he would
have little difficulty in coming to an agreement. So they parted,
leaving the Squire's friend under the impression that all was right, and
that he had only to get an agreement to that effect drawn out, signed
and sealed by the parties.

Next morning, however, he received a letter by the penny-post, written
no doubt in Jack's hand, but obviously dictated by the attorney, in
these terms:--

     "Honoured Sir--Lest there should be any misconception between
     us as to our yesterday's conversation, I have put into writing
     the substance of what was agreed on between us, which I
     understand to be this: that there shall be no let or impediment
     to the Squire's full and absolute right of naming an usher in
     all cases of vacancy; that I shall have an equally full right
     to object to the said usher for any reasons that may be
     satisfactory to myself, and thereupon to exclude him from the
     school; leaving it to the Squire, if he pleases, to send
     another, whom I shall have the right of handling in the same
     fashion, with this further proviso, that if the Squire does not
     fill up the office to my satisfaction within half-a-year, I
     shall be entitled to take the appointment into my own hands. I
     need hardly add that no Justices of the Peace are to take
     cognizance of anything done by me in the matter, be it good,
     bad, or indifferent. Hoping that this statement of our mutual
     views will be found correct and satisfactory--I remain, your
     humble servant,

     "JACK."

The moment the Squire's friend perused this missive, he saw plainly that
all hope of bringing Jack to his senses was at an end; and that under
the advice of evil counsellors, lunatic friends, and lewd fellows of the
baser sort, Jack would shortly bring himself and his family to utter
ruin.

And now, as might be expected, Jack's disorder, which had hitherto been
comparatively of the calm and melancholy kind, broke out into the most
violent and phrenetic exhibitions. He sometimes raved incoherently, for
hours together, against the Squire; often, in the midst of his speeches,
he was assailed with epileptic fits, during which he displayed the
strangest contortions and most laughable gestures; he threw entirely
aside the decent coat he had worn for some time back, and habitually
attired himself in the old and threadbare raiment, which he had worn
after he and Martin had been so unceremoniously sent to the right-about
by Lord Peter, and even ran about the streets with his band tied round
his peaked beaver, bearing thereon the motto--"_Nemo me impune
lacessit_." If his madness had only led him to make a spectacle and
laughing-stock of himself, by these wild vagaries and mountebank
exhibitions, all had been well, but this did not satisfy Jack; his old
disposition for a riot had returned, and a riot, right or wrong, he was
determined to have. So he set to work to frighten the women of the
village with stories, as to the monsters whom the Squire would send
among them as ushers, who would do nothing but teach their children
drinking, chuck-farthing, and cock-fighting; to the schoolboys
themselves, talked of the length, breadth, and thickness, of the usher's
birch, which he assured them was dipped in vinegar every evening, in
order to afford a more agreeable stimulus to the part affected; he plied
them with halfpence and strong beer; exhorted them to insurrections and
barrings-out; taught them how to mock at any usher who would not submit
to be Jack's humble servant; and by gibes and scurril ballads, which he
would publish in the newspapers, try to make his life a burden to him.
He also instructed them how best to stick darts into his wig, cover his
back with spittle, fill his pockets with crackers, burn assafoetida in
the fire, extinguish the candles with fulminating powder, or blow up the
writing-desk by a train of combustibles. Above all, he counselled the
urchins to stand firm the next time that John sent an usher down to that
quarter, and vehemently to protest for the doctrine of election as to
their own usher, and reprobation as to the Squire's; assuring them, that
provided they took his advice, and followed the plan which he would
afterwards impart to them in confidence at the proper time, he could
almost take it upon himself to say, that in a short time, no tyrannical
usher, or cast-off tutor of the Squire, should venture to show his face,
with or without tawse or ferule, within the boundaries of North Farm.

It was not long before an opportunity offered of putting these precious
schemes in practice; for shortly afterwards, the old usher of a school
on the northermost boundary of the North Farm estates having died, the
ushership became vacant, and John, as usual, appointed a successor in
his room. Being warned this time by what had taken place on the last
occasion, the Squire took care to apply beforehand to the Justices of
the Peace--got a peremptory _mandamus_ from them, directing Jack to
proceed forthwith, and, after the usual trials, to put the usher in
possession of the schoolhouse by legal form, and without re-regard to
any protest or interruption from any or all of the schoolboys put
together. So down the usher proceeded, accompanied by a posse of
constables and policemen of various divisions, till they arrived at the
schoolhouse, which lay adjacent to the churchyard, and then demanded
admittance. It happened that in this quarter resided some of Jack's
family, who, as we have already mentioned, differed from him entirely,
thinking him totally wrong in the contest with the Squire and being
completely satisfied that all his glosses upon his contract were either
miserable quibbles or mere hallucinations, and that it was his duty, so
long as he ate John's bread, and slept under John's roof, to perform
fairly the obligations he had come under:--and so, on reading the
Justices' warrant, which required them, on pain of being set in the
stocks, and forfeiture of two shillings and sixpence of penalty, besides
costs, to give immediate possession to the Squire's usher, they at once
resolved to obey, called for the key of the schoolhouse, and proceeded
to the door, accompanied by the usher and the authorities, for the
purpose of complying with the warrant and admitting the usher as in
times past. But on arriving there, never was there witnessed such a
scene of confusion. The churchyard was crowded with ragamuffins of every
kind, from all the neighbouring parishes; scarcely was there a sot or
deboshed fellow within the district who had not either come himself or
found a substitute; gipsies, beggarwomen, and thimbleriggers were thick
as blackberries; while Jack himself--who, upon hearing of what was going
forward, had come down by the night coach with all expedition--was
standing on a tombstone near the doorway, and holding forth to the whole
bevy of rascals whom he had assembled about him. It was evident from his
tones and gestures that Jack had been exciting the mob in every possible
way; but as the justices and the constables drew near, he changed the
form of his countenance, pulled a psalm-book out of his pocket, and,
with much sanctity and appearance of calmness, gave out the tune; in
which the miscellaneous assemblage around him joined, with similar
unction and devotion. When the procession reached the door, they found
the whole inside of the schoolhouse already packed with urchins and
blackguards of all kinds, who, having previously gained admission by the
window, had forcibly barricaded the door against the constables, being
assisted in the defence thereof by the mob without, who formed a double
line, and kept hustling the poor usher and the constables from side to
side, helping themselves to a purse or two in passing, and calling out
at the same time, "take care of pickpockets"--occasionally amusing
themselves also by playfully smashing the beaver of some of the justices
of the peace over their face, to the tune of "all round my hat," sung in
chorus, on the Mainzerian system, amidst peals of laughter.

Meantime Jack was skipping up and down upon the tombstone, calling out
to his myrmidons--"Good friends! Sweet friends! Let me not stir your
spirits up to mutiny. Though that cairn of granite stones lies very
handy and inviting, I pray you refrain from it. Touch it not. I humbly
entreat my friend with the dirty shirt not to break the sconce of the
respectable gentleman whom I have in my eye, with that shillelah of
his--though I must admit that he is labouring under strong and just
provocation." "For mercy's sake, my dear sir!" he would exclaim to a
third--"don't push my respected friend the justice into yonder
puddle--the one which lies so convenient on your right hand there;
though, to be sure, the ground _is_ slippery, and the thing _might_
happen, in a manner without any one's being able to prevent it." And so
on he went, taking care to say nothing for which the justices could
afterwards venture to commit him to Bridewell; but, in truth, stirring
up the rabble to the utmost, by nods, looks, winks, and covert speeches,
intended to convey exactly the opposite meaning from what the words
bore.

At last by main force, and after a hard scuffle, the constables
contrived to force the schoolhouse door open, and so to make way for the
justices, the usher, and those of Jack's family who, as we have seen
already, had made up their minds to give the usher possession, to enter.
But having entered, the confusion and bedevilment was ten times worse
than even in the churchyard itself. The benches were lined with a pack
of overgrown rascals in corduroy vestments, and with leather at the
knees, from all the neighbouring villages; in a gallery at one end sat a
Scotch bagpiper, flanked by a blind fiddler, and an itinerant performer
on the hurdygurdy, accompanied by his monkey--who in the course of his
circuit through the village, had that morning received a special
retainer, in the shape of half a quartern of gin, for the occasion;
while in the usher's chair were ensconced two urchins of about fourteen
years of age, smoking tobacco, playing at all fours, and drinking purl,
with their legs diffused in a picturesque attitude along the
writing-desk. One of the justices tried to command silence--till the
Squire's commission to the usher should be read; but no sooner had he
opened his mouth than the whole multitude burst forth as if the
confusion of tongues had taken place for the first time; twenty spoke
together, ten whistled, as many more sang psalms and obscene songs
alternately; the bagpiper droned his worst; the fiddler uttered notes
that made the hair of those who heard them stand on end; while the
hurdygurdy man did his utmost to grind down both his companions, in
which task he was ably assisted by the grinning and chattering of the
honourable and four-footed gentleman on his left. Meantime stones,
tiles, and rafters, pewter pint-pots, fragments of slates, rulers, and
desks, were circulating through the schoolhouse in all directions, in
the most agreeable confusion.

One of the justices tried to speak, but even from the first it was all
dumb show; and scarcely had he proceeded through two sentences, when his
oration was extinguished as suddenly and by the same means as the
conflagration of the Royal Palace at Lilliput. After many attempts to
obtain a hearing, it became obvious that all chance of doing so in the
schoolhouse was at an end; and so the usher, the justices, and the rest,
adjourned to the next ale-house, where they had the usher's commission
quietly read over in presence of the landlord and the waiter, and handed
him over the keys of the house before the same witnesses; of all which,
and of their previous deforcement by a mob of rapscallions, they took
care to have an instrument regularly drawn out by a notary-public.
Thereafter they ordered a rump and dozen, being confident that as the
day was bitterly cold, and the snow some feet deep upon the ground, the
courage of the rioters would be cooled before they had finished dinner;
and so it was, for towards evening, the temperature having descended
considerably beneath the freezing point, the mob, who had now exhausted
their beer and gin, and who saw that there was no more fun to be
expected for the day, began to disperse each man to his home, so that
before nightfall the coast was clear; on which the justices, with the
_posse comitatus_, escorted the usher to the schoolhouse, opened the
door, put him formally in possession, and, wishing him much good of his
new appointment, departed.

But how did Jack, you will ask, bear this rebuff on the part of his own
kin? Why, very ill indeed; in truth, he became furious, and seemed to
have lost all natural feelings towards his own flesh and blood. He
summoned such of his family as had given admission to the usher before
him, called a sort of court-martial of the rest of his relations to
enquire into their conduct; and, notwithstanding the accused protested
that they had the highest respect and regard for Jack, were his humble
servants to command in all ordinary matters, and only acted in this
instance in obedience to the justices' warrant, (the which, if they had
disobeyed, they were certain to have been at that moment cooling their
heels in the stocks,) Jack, who was probably worked up to a kind of
frenzy by his more violent of his inmates, kicked them out of the room,
and sent a set of his myrmidons after them, with instructions to tear
their coats off their backs, strip them of their wigs and small-clothes,
and turn them into the street. Against this the unlucky wights appealed
to the justices for protection, who, to be sure, sent down some
policemen, who beat off the mob, and enabled them to make their doors
fast against Jack and his emissaries. But beyond that they could give
them little assistance; for though Jack and his abettors could not
actually venture upon a trespass by forcing their way within doors, they
contrived to render the very existence of all who were not of their way
of thinking miserable. If it was an usher who, in spite of all their
efforts to exclude him, had fairly got admittance into the schoolhouse,
they set up a sentry-box at his very door, in which a rival usher held
forth on Cocker and the alphabet; they drew off a few stray boys from
the village school, and this detachment, recruited and reinforced by all
the idlers of the neighbourhood, to whom mischief was sport, was
studiously instructed to keep up a perpetual whistling, hooting,
howling, hissing, and imitations of the crowing of a cock, so as to
render it impossible for the usher and boys within the school to hear or
profit by one word that was said. If the scholars within were told to
say A, the blackguards without were bellowing B; or if the usher asked
how many three times three made, the answer from the outside would be
"ten," or else that "it depended upon circumstances." Every week some
ribald and libellous paragraph would appear in the county newspaper,
headed "Advertisement," in such terms as the following:--"We have just
learned from the best authority, that the usher of a school not a
hundred miles off from Hogs-Norton, has lately been detected in various
acts of forgery, petty larceny, sedition, high treason, burglary, &c.
&c. If this report be not officially contradicted by the said usher
within a fortnight, by advertisement, duly inserted and paid for in this
newspaper, we shall hold the same to be true." Or sometimes more
mysteriously thus:--"Delicacy forbids us to allude to the shocking
reports which are current respecting the usher of Mullaglass. Christian
charity would lead us to hope they were unfounded, but Christian verity
compels us to state that we believe every word of them." And though Jack
and his editor sometimes overshot their mark, and got soused in damages
at the instance of those whom they had libelled, yet Jack, who found
that it answered his ends, persevered, and so kept the whole
neighbourhood in hot water.

You would not believe me were I to tell you of half the tyrannical and
preposterous pranks which he performed about this period; but some of
them I can't help noticing. He had picked up some subscriptions, for
instance, from charitable folks in the neighbourhood, to build a school
upon a remote corner of North Farm, where not a single boy had learned
his alphabet within the memory of man; and what, think ye, does he do
with the money, but insists on clapping down the new school exactly
opposite the old school in the village, merely to spite the poor usher,
against whom he had taken a dislike--though there was no more need to
build a school there than to ship a cargo of coals for Newcastle. Again,
having ascertained that one of his servants had been seen shaking hands
with some of Jack's family with whom he had quarrelled as above
mentioned, he refused to give him a character, though the poor fellow
was only thinking of taking service somewhere in the plantations.

Notwithstanding all Jack's efforts, however, it sometimes happened that
when an usher was appointed he could not get up a sufficient cabal
against him, and that even the schoolboys, knowing something of the man
before, had no objection to him. In such cases Jack resorted to various
schemes in order to cast the candidate upon his examinations. Sometimes
he would shut him up in a small closet, telling him he must answer a
hundred and fifty questions, in plane and spherical trigonometry, within
as many minutes, and that he would be allowed the assistance of
Johnson's Dictionary, and the _Gradus ad Parnassum_, for the purpose. At
other tines he would ask the candidate, with a bland smile, what was his
opinion of things in general, and of the dispute between him (Jack) and
the Squire in particular; and if that question was not answered to his
satisfaction, he remitted him to his studies. When no objection could be
made to the man's parts, Jack would say that he had scruples of
conscience, because he doubted whether his commission had been fairly
come by, or whether he had not bribed the Squire by a five-pound note to
obtain it. At last he did not even take the trouble of going through
this farce, but would at once, if he disliked the look of the man's
face, tell him he was busy at the moment;--that he might lay the
Squire's letter on the table, and call again that day six months for an
answer. He no longer pretended, in fact, to any fairness or justice in
his dealings; for though those who sided with him might be guilty of all
the offences in the calendar, Jack continued to wink so hard, and shut
his ears so close, as not to see or hear of them; while as to the
unhappy wights who differed from him, he had the eyes of Argus and the
ear of Dionysius, and the tender mercies of a Spanish inquisitor,
discovering _scandalum magnatum_ and high treason in ballads which they
had written twenty years before, and in which Jack, though he received a
presentation copy at the time, had never pretended, up to that moment,
to detect the least harm.

The last of these freaks which I shall here mention took place on this
wise. Jack had never been accustomed to invite any one to his assemblies
but the ushers who had been appointed by the Squire, and it was always
understood that they alone had a vote in all vestry matters. But when
John quarrelled with his family, as above mentioned, and a large part of
the oldest and most respectable of his relatives drew off from him, it
occurred to Jack that he could bring in a set of new auxiliaries, upon
whose vote he could count in all his family squabbles, or his deputes,
with Squire Bull; and the following was the device he fell upon for that
end.

Here and there upon North Farm, where the village schools were crowded,
little temporary schoolhouses had been run up, where one or two of the
monitors were accustomed to teach such of the children as could not be
accommodated in the larger school. But these assistants had always been
a little looked down upon, and had never been allowed a seat at Jack's
board. Now, however, he began to change his tone towards them, and to
court and flatter them on all occasions. One fine morning he suddenly
made his appearance on the village green, followed by some of his
hangers on, bearing a theodolite, chains, measuring rods, sextants,
compasses, and other instruments of land-surveying. Jack set up his
theodolite, took his observations, began noting measurements, and laying
down the bases of triangles in all directions, then, having summed up
his calculations with much gravity, gave directions to those about him
to line off with stakes and ropes the space which he pointed out to
them, and which in fact enclosed nearly half the village. In the course
of these operations, the usher, who had witnessed these mathematical
proceedings of Jack from the window, but could not comprehend what the
man would be at, sallied forth, and accosting Jack, asked him what he
meant by these strange lines of circumvallation. "Why," answered Jack,
"I have been thinking for some time past of relieving you of part of
your heavy duties, and dividing the parish-school between you and your
assistant; so in future you will confine yourself to the space outside
the ropes, and leave all within the inclosure to him." It was in vain
that the usher protested he was quite equal to the duty; that the boys
liked him, and disliked his assistant; that if the village was thus
divided, the assistant would be put upon a level with him, and have a
vote in the vestry, to which he had no more right than to a seat in the
House of Commons. Jack was not to be moved from his purpose, but gave
orders to have a similar apportionment made in most of the neighbouring
villages, and then inviting the assistants to a party at his house, he
had them sworn in as vestrymen, telling them, that in future they had
the same right to a seat at his board as the best of John's ushers had.
Here again, however, he found he had run his head against a wall, and
that he was not the mighty personage he took himself for; for, on a
complaint to the justices of the peace, a dozen special constables were
sent down, who tore up the posts, removed the ropes, and demolished all
Jack's inclosures in a trice.

These frequent defeats rendered Jack nearly frantic. He now began to
quarrel even with his best friends, not a few of whom, though they had
gone with him a certain length, now left his house, and told him plainly
they would never set foot in it again. He burst forth into loud
invectives against Martin, who had always been a good friend to his
penny subscriptions, and more than once had come to his assistance when
Jack was hard pressed by Hugh, a dissenting schoolmaster, between whom
and Jack there had long been a bloody feud. Jack now denounced Martin in
set terms; accused him of being in the pay of Peter, with whom he said
he had been holding secret conferences of late at the Cross-Keys; and of
setting the Squire's mind against him (Jack)--whereas poor Martin, till
provoked by Jack's abuse to defend himself, had never said an unkind
word against him. Finding, however, that, with all his efforts, he did
not make much way with the men, Jack directed his battery chiefly
against the women, who were easily caught by his sanctimonious air, and
knowing nothing earthly of the subject, took for gospel all that Jack
chose to tell them. He held love-feasts in his house up to a late hour,
at which he generally harangued on the subject of the persecutions which
he endured. He vowed the justices were all in a conspiracy against him;
that they were constantly intruding into his grounds, notwithstanding
his warnings that spring-guns were set in the premises; that on one
occasion a tall fellow of a sheriff's officer had made his way into his
house and served him with a writ of _fieri facias_ even in the midst of
one of his assemblies, a disgrace he never could get over; that he could
not walk ten yards in any direction, or saunter for an instant at the
corner of a street, without being ordered by a policeman to move on; in
short, that he lived in perpetual terror and anxiety--and all this
because he had done his best to save them and their children from the
awful scourge of deboshed and despotical ushers. At the conclusion of
these meetings he invariably handed round his hat, into which the silly
women dropped a good many shillings, which Jack assured them would be
applied for the public benefit, meaning thereby his own private
advantage.

Jack, however, with all his craze, was too knowing not to see that the
women, beyond advancing him a few shillings at a time, would do little
for his cause so far as any terms with Squire Bull was concerned; so,
with the view of making a last attack upon the Squire, and driving him
into terms, he began to look about for assistance among those with whom
he had previously been at loggerheads. It cost him some qualms before he
could so far abase his stomach as to do so; but at last he ventured to
address a long and pitiful letter to Hugh, in which he set forth all his
disputes with John, and dwelt much on his scruples of conscience; begged
him to forget old quarrels, and put down his name to a Round Robin,
which he was about to address to the Squire in his own behalf. To this
epistle Hugh answered as follows:--"Dearly beloved,--my bowels are
grieved for your condition, but I see only one cure for your scruples of
conscience. Strip off the Squire's livery, and give up your place, as I
did, and your peace of mind will be restored to you. In the mean time, I
do not see very well why I should help you to pocket the Squire's wages,
and do nothing for it. Yours, in the spirit of meekness and
forgiveness--HUGH." After this rebuff, Jack, you may easily believe, saw
there was little hope of assistance from that quarter.

As a last resource, he called a general meeting of his friends, at which
it was resolved to present the proposed Round Robin to John, signed by
as many names as they could muster; in which Jack, who seemed to be of
opinion that the more they asked the greater was their chance of getting
something at least, set forth the articles he wanted, and without which,
he told John, he could no longer remain in his house; but that he and
his relatives and friends would forthwith, if this petition was
rejected, walk out, to the infinite scandal of the neighbourhood,
leaving the Squire without a teacher or a writing-master within fifty
miles to supply their place. They demanded that the Squire should give
up the nomination of the ushers entirely, though in whose favour they
did not explain; and that Jack was in future to be a law unto himself,
and to be supreme in all matters of education, with power to himself to
define in what such matters consisted. On these requests being conceded,
they stated that they would continue to give their countenance to the
Squire as in times past; otherwise the whole party must quit possession
incontinently. Jack prevailed on a good many to sign this
document--though some did not like the idea of walking out, demurred,
and added after the word _incontinently_, "i.e. when convenient,"--and
thus signed, they put the Round Robin under a twopenny cover, and
dispatched it to "John Bull, Esquire"--with haste.

If they really thought the Squire was to be bullied into these terms by
this last sally, they found themselves consumedly mistaken; for after a
time down came a long and perfectly civil letter from the Squire's
secretary, telling them their demands were totally out of the question,
and that the Squire would see them at the antipodes sooner than comply
with them.

Did Jack then, you will ask, walk out as he had threatened, when he got
the Squire's answer? Not he. He now gave notice that he intended to
apply for an Act of Parliament on the subject: and that, in the
meantime, the matter might stand over. Meantime, and in case matters
should come to the worst, he is busily engaged begging all over the
country, for cash to erect a new wooden tenement for him, in the event
of his having to leave his old one of stone and lime. Some say even that
he has been seen laying down several pounds of gunpowder in the cellar
of his present house, and has been heard to boast of his intention to
blow up his successor when he takes possession; but for my own part, and
seeing how he has shuffled hitherto, I believe that he is no nearer
removing than he was a year ago. Indeed he has said confidentially to
several people, that even if his new house were all ready for him, he
could not, with his asthmatic tendency, think of entering it for a
twelvemonth or so, till the lath and plaster should be properly
seasoned. Of all this, however, we shall hear more anon.

      *       *       *       *       *



PAUL DE KOCKNEYISMS.

BY A COCKNEY.


When any one thinks of French literature, there immediately rises before
him a horrid phantasmagoria of repulsive objects--murders, incests,
parricides, and every imaginable shape of crime that horror e'er
conceived or fancy feigned. He sees the whole efforts of a press,
brimful of power and talent, directed against every thing that has
hitherto been thought necessary to the safety of society, or the
happiness of domestic life--marriage deliberately written down, and
proved to be the cause of all the miseries of the social state: and
strange to say, in the crusade against matrimony, the sharpest swords
and strongest lances are wielded by women. Those women are received into
society--men's wives and daughters associate with them--and their books
are noticed in the public journals without any allusions to the
Association for the prevention of vice, but rather with the praises
which, in other times and countries, would have been bestowed on works
of genius and virtue. The taste of the English public has certainly
deteriorated within the last few years; and popularity, the surest index
of the public's likings, though not of the writer's deservings, has
attended works of which the great staple has been crime and
blackguardism. A certain rude power, a sort of unhealthy energy, has
enabled the writer to throw an interest round pickpockets and murderers;
and if this interest were legitimately produced, by the exhibition of
human passions modified by the circumstances of the actor--if it arose
from the development of one real, living, thinking, doing, and suffering
man's heart, we could only wonder at the author's choice of such a
subject, but we should be ready to acknowledge that he had widened our
sphere of knowledge--and made us feel, as we all do, without taking the
same credit for it to ourselves that the old blockhead in France does,
that being human, we have sympathies with all, even the lowest and
wickedest of our kind. But the interest those works excite arises from
no such legitimate source--not from the development of our common
nature, but from the creation of a new one--from startling contrasts,
not of two characters but of one--tenderness, generosity in one page;
fierceness and murder in the next. But though our English _tastes_ are
so far deteriorated as to tolerate, or even to admire, the records of
cruelty and sin now proceeding every day from the press--our English
_morals_ would recoil with horror from the deliberate wickedness which
forms the great attraction of the French modern school of romance. The
very subjects chosen for their novels, by the most popular of their
female writers, shows a state of feeling in the authors more dreadful to
contemplate than the mere coarse raw-head-and-bloody-bones descriptions
of our chroniclers of Newgate. A married woman, the heroine--high in
rank, splendid in intellect, radiant in beauty--has for the hero a
villain escaped from the hulks. There is no record of his crimes--we are
not called upon to follow him in his depredations, or see him cut
throats in the scientific fashion of some of our indigenous rascals. He
is the philosopher,--the instructor--the guide. The object of _his_
introduction is to show the iniquity of human laws--the object of _her_
introduction is to show the absurdity of the institution of marriage.
This would never be tolerated in England. Again, a married woman is
presented to us--for the sympathy which with us attends a young couple
to the church-door, only begins in France after they have left it: as a
child she has been betrothed to a person of her own rank--at five or six
incurable idiocy takes possession of her proposed husband--but when she
is eighteen the marriage takes place--the husband is a mere child still;
for his intellect has continued stationary though his body has reached
maturity--a more revolting picture was never presented than that of the
condition of the idiot's wife--her horror of her husband--and of course
her passion for another. The most interesting scenes between the lovers
are constantly interrupted by the hideous representative of matrimony,
the grinning husband, who rears his slavering countenance from behind
the sofa, and impresses his unfortunate wife with a sacred awe for the
holy obligations of marriage.

Again, a dandy of fifty is presented to us, whose affection for his ward
has waited, of course, till she is wedded to another, to ripen into
love. He still continues her protector against the advances of others;
for jealousy is a good point of character in every one but the husband,
and there it is only ridiculous. The husband in this case is another
admirable specimen of the results of wedlock for life--he is a
chattering, shallow pretender--a political economist, prodigiously dull
and infinitely conceited--an exaggerated type of the Hume-Bowring
statesman--and, as is naturally to be expected, our sympathies are
awakened for the wretched wife, and we rejoice to see that her beauty
and talents, her fine mind and pure ideas, are appreciated by a dashing
young fellow, who outwits our original friend the dandy of fifty and the
philosophical deputé; the whole leaving a pleasing impression on the
reader's mind from the conviction that the heroine is no longer
neglected.

From the similarity of these stories--and they are only taken at random
from a great number--it will be seen that the spirit of almost all of
them is the same. But when we go lower in the scale, and leave the class
of philosophic novels, we find their tales of life and manners still
more absurd in their total untrueness than the others were hateful in
their design. There is a novel just now appearing in one of the most
widely-circulated of the Parisian papers, so grotesquely overdone, that
if it had been meant for a caricature of the worst parts of our own
hulk-and-gallows authors, it would have been very much admired; but
meant to be serious, powerful, harrowing, and all the rest of it, it is
a most curious exhibition of a nation's taste and a writer's audacity.
The _Mysteries of Paris_, by Eugene Sue, has been dragging its slow
length along for a long time, and gives no sign of getting nearer its
denouement than when it began. A sovereign prince is the hero--his own
daughter, whom he has disowned, the heroine; and the tale commences by
his fighting a man on the street, and taking a fancy to his unknown
child, who is the inhabitant of one of the lowest dens in the St Giles'
of Paris! The other _dramatis personæ_ are convicts, receivers of stolen
goods, murderers, intriguers of all ranks--the aforesaid prince,
sometimes in the disguise of a workman, sometimes of a pickpocket,
acting the part of a providence among them, rewarding the good and
punishing the guilty. The English personages are the Countess Sarah
McGregor--the lawful wife of the prince--her brother Tom, and Sir Walter
Murph, Esquire. These are all jostled, and crowded, and pushed, and
flurried--first in flash kens, where the language is slang; then in
country farms, and then in halls and palaces--and so intermixed and
confused, that the clearest head gets puzzled with the entanglements of
the story; and confusion gets worse confounded as the farrago proceeds.
How M. Sue will manage ever to come to a close is an enigma to us; and
we shall wait with some impatience to see how he will distribute his
poetic justice, when he can't get his puppets to move another step.
Horror seems the great ingredient in the present literary fare of
France, and in the _Mystères de Paris_ the most confirmed glutton of
such delicacies may sup full of them. In the midst of such depraved and
revolting exhibitions, it is a sort of satisfaction, though not of the
loftiest kind, to turn to the coarse fun and ludicrous descriptions of
Paul de Kock. And, after all, our friend Paul has not many more sins
than coarseness and buffoonery to answer for. As to his attempting, of
set purpose, to corrupt people's morals, it never entered into his head.
He does not know what morals are; they never form any part of his idea
of manners or character. If a good man comes in his way, he looks at him
with a strange kind of unacquaintance that almost rises into respect;
but he is certainly more affectionate, and on far better terms, with men
about town--amative hairdressers, flirting grisettes, and the whole
genus, male and female, of the epiciers. It would no doubt be an
improvement if the facetious Paul could believe in the existence of an
honest woman; but such women as come in his way he describes to the
life. A ball in a dancing-master's private room up six pairs of stairs,
a pic-nic to one of the suburbs, a dinner at a restaurateur's, or a
family consultation on a proposal of marriage, are far more in Paul's
way than tales of open horror or silk-and-satin depravity. One is only
sorry, in the midst of so much gaiety and good-humour, to stumble on
some scene or sentiment that gives on the inclination to throw the book
in the fire, or start, like Cæsar, on the top of the diligence to pull
the author's ears. But the next page sets all right again; and you go on
laughing at the disasters of my neighbour Raymond, or admiring the
graces or Chesterfieldian politeness of M. Bellequeue. French nature
seems essentially different from all the other natures hitherto known;
and yet, though so new, there never rises any doubt that it is _a_
nature, a reality, as Thomas Carlyle says, and not a sham. The
personages presented to us by Paul de Kock can scarcely, in the strict
sense of the word, be called human beings; but they are French beings of
real flesh and blood, speaking and thinking French in the most decided
possible manner, and at intervals possessed of feelings which make us
inclined to include them in the great genus _homo_, though with so many
inseparable accidents, that it is impossible for a moment to shut one's
eyes to the species to which they belong. But such as they are in their
shops, and back-parlours, and ball-rooms, and _fêtes champêtres_, there
they are in Paul de Kock--nothing extenuated, little set down in
malice--vain, empty, frivolous, good-tempered, gallant, lively, and
absurd. Let us go to the wood of Romainville to celebrate the
anniversary of the marriage of M. and Madame Moutonnet on the day of St
Eustache.

"At a little distance from the ball, towards the middle of the wood, a
numerous party is seated on the grass, or rather on the sand; napkins
are spread on the ground, and covered with plates and cold meat and
fruits. The bottles are placed in the cool shade, the glasses are filled
and emptied rapidly; good appetites and open air make every thing appear
excellent. They make plates out of paper, and toss pieces of paté and
sausage to each other. They eat, they drink, they sing, they laugh and
play tricks. It seems a struggle who shall be funniest. It is well known
that all things are allowable in the country; and the cits now assembled
in the wood of Romainville seem fully persuaded of the fact. A jolly old
governor of about fifty tries to carve a turkey, and can't succeed. A
little woman, very red, very fat, and very round, hastens to seize a
limb of the bird; she pulls at one side, the jolly old governor at the
other--the leg separates at last, and the lady goes sprawling on the
grass, while the gentleman topples over in the opposite direction with
the remainder of the animal in his hand. The shouts of laughter
redouble, and M. Moutonnet--such is the name of the jolly old
governor--resumes his place, declaring that he will never try to carve
any thing again. 'I knew you would never be able to manage it,' said a
large woman bluntly, in a tone that agreed exactly with her starched and
crabbed features. She was sitting opposite the stout gentleman, and had
seen with indignation the alacrity with which the little lady had flown
to M. Moutonnet's assistance.

"'In the twenty years we have been married,' she continued, 'have you
ever carved any thing at home, sir?'

"'No, my dear, that's very true;' replied the stout gentleman in a
submissive voice, and trying to smile his better half into good-humour.

"'You don't know how to help a dish of spinach, and yet you attempt a
dish like that!'

"'My dear--in the country, you know----'

"'In the country, sir, as in the town, people shouldn't try things they
can't perform.'

"'You know, Madame Moutonnet, that generally I never attempt any
thing--but to day'----

"'To day you should have done as you do on other days,' retorted the
lady.

"'Ah, but, my love, you forget that this is Saint Eustache----'

"'Yes, yes, this is Saint Eustache!' is repeated in chorus by the whole
company, and the glasses are filled and jingled as before.

"'To the health of Eustache; Eustache for ever!'

"'To yours, ladies and gentlemen,' replied M. Moutonnet graciously
smiling--'and yours, my angel.'

"It is to his wife M. Moutonnet addresses himself. She tried to assume
an amiable look, and condescends to approach her glass to that of M.
Eustache Moutonnet. M. Eustache Moutonnet is a rich laceman of the Rue
St Martin; a man highly respected in trade; no bill of his was ever
protested, nor any engagement failed in. For the thirty years he has
kept shop he has been steadily at work from eight in the morning till
eight at night. His department is to take care of the day-book and
ledger; Madame Moutonnet manages the correspondence and makes the
bargains. The business of the shop and the accounts are confided to an
old clerk and Mademoiselle Eugenie Moutonnet, with whom we shall
presently become better acquainted.

"M. Moutonnet, as you may perhaps already have perceived, is not
commander-in-chief at hone. His wife directs, rules, and governs all
things. When she is in good-humour--a somewhat extraordinary
occurrence--she allows her husband to go and take his little cup of
coffee, provided he goes for that purpose to the coffee-house at the
corner of the Rue Mauconseil--for it is famous for its liberal allowance
of sugar, and M. Moutonnet always brings home three lumps of it to his
wife. On Sundays they dine a little earlier, to have time for a
promenade to the Tuileries or the Jardin Turk. Excursions into the
country are very rare, and only on extraordinary occasions, such as the
fête-day of M. and Madame Moutonnet. That regular life does not hinder
the stout lace-merchant from being the happiest of men--so true is it
that what is one man's poison is another man's meat. M. Moutonnet was
born with simple tastes--she required to be led and managed like a
child. Don't shrug your shoulders at this avowal, ye spirited gentlemen,
so proud of your rights, so puffed up with your merits. You! who think
yourselves always masters of your actions, you yield to your passions
every day! they lead you, and sometimes lead you very ill. Well, M.
Moutonnet has no fear of that--he has no passions--he knows nothing but
his trade, and obedience to his spouse. He finds that a man can be very
happy, though he does not know how to carve a turkey, and lets himself
be governed by his wife. Madame Moutonnet is long past forty, but it is
a settled affair that she is never to be more than thirty-six. She never
was handsome, but she is large and tall, and her husband is persuaded
she is superb. She is not a coquette, but she thinks herself superior to
every body else in talents and beauty. She never cared a rush about her
husband, but if he was untrue to her she would tear his eyes out. Madame
Moutonnet, you perceive, is excessively jealous of her rights. A
daughter is the sole issue of the marriage of M. Eustache Moutonnet and
Mademoiselle Barbe Desormeaux. She is now eighteen years old, and at
eighteen the young ladies in Paris are generally pretty far advanced.
But Eugenie has been educated severely--and although possessed of a good
deal of spirit, is timid, docile, submissive, and never ventures on a
single observation in presence of her parents. She has cleverness,
grace, and sensibility, but she is ignorant of the advantages she has
received from nature--her sentiments are as yet concentrated at the
bottom of her heart. She is not coquettish--or rather she scarcely
ventures to give way to the inclination so natural to women, which leads
them to please and to be pretty. But Eugenie has no need of those little
arts, so indispensable to others, or to have recourse to her mirror
every hour. She is well made, and she is beautiful; her eyes are soft
and expressive, her voice is tender and agreeable, her brow is shadowed
by dark locks of hair, her mouth furnished with fine white teeth. In
short, she has that nameless something about her, which charms at first
sight, which is not always possessed by greater beauties and more
regular features. We now know all the Moutonnet family; and since we
have gone so far, let us make acquaintance with the rest of the party
who have come to the wood of Romainville to celebrate the Saint
Eustache.

"The little woman who rushed so vigorously to the assistance of M.
Moutonnet, is the wife of a tall gentleman of the name of Bernard, who
is a toyman in the Rue St Denis. M. Bernard plays the amiable and the
fool at the same time. He laughs and quizzes, makes jokes, and even
puns; he is the wit of the party. His wife has been rather good-looking,
and wishes to be so still. She squeezes in her waist till she can hardly
breathe, and takes an hour to fit her shoes on--for she is determined to
have a small foot. Her face is a little too red; but her eyes are very
lively, and she is constantly trying to give them as mischievous an
expression as she can. Madame Bernard has a great girl of fifteen, whom
she dresses as if she were five, and treats occasionally to a new doll,
by way of keeping her a child. By the side of Madame Bernard is seated a
young man of eighteen, who is almost as timid as Eugenie, and blushes
when he is spoken to, though he has stood behind a counter for six
months. He is the son of a friend of M. Bernard, and his wife has
undertaken to patronize him, and introduce him to good society.

"A person of about forty years of age, with one of those silly
countenances which there is no mistaking at the first glance, is seated
beside Eugenie. M. Dupont--such is his name--is a rich grocer of the Rue
aux Ours. He wears powder and a queue, because he fancies they are
becoming, and his hairdresser has told him that they are very
aristocratic. His coat of sky-blue, and his jonquil-coloured waistcoat,
give him still more the appearance of a simpleton, and agree admirably
with the astonished expression of his gooseberry eyes. He dangles two
watch-chains, that hang down his nankeen trowsers, with great
satisfaction, and seems struck with admiration at the wisdom of his own
remarks. He thinks himself captivating and full of wit. He has the
presumption of ignorance, propped up by money. Finally, he is a
bachelor, which gives him great consideration in all the families where
there are marriageable daughters. M. and Madame Gerard, perfumers in the
Rue St Martin, are also of the party. The perfumer enacts the gallant
gay Lothario, and in his own district has the reputation of a prodigious
rake, though he is ugly, and ill-made, and squints. But he fancies he
overcomes all these drawbacks by covering himself with odours and
perfumes--accordingly, you smell him half an hour before he comes in
sight. His wife is young and pretty. She married him at fifteen, and has
a boy of nine, who looks more like her brother than her son. The little
Gerard hollos and jumps about, breaks the glasses and bottles, and makes
as much noise as all the rest of the company put together. 'He's a
little lion,' exclaims M. Gerard; 'he's exactly what I was. You never
could hear yourselves speak wherever I was, at his age. People were
delighted with me. My son is my perfect image.'

"M. Gerard's sister, an old maid of forty-five, who takes every
opportunity of declaring that she never intends to marry, and sighs
every tine M. Dupont looks at her, is next to M. Moutonnet. The old
clerk of the laceman--M. Bidois--who waits for Madame Moutonnet's
permission before he opens his mouth, and fills his glass every time she
is not looking--is placed at the side of Mademoiselle Cecile Gerard;
who, though she swears every minute that she never will marry, and that
she hates the men, is very ill pleased to have old M. Bidois for her
neighbour, and hints pretty audibly that Madame Bernard monopolizes all
the young beaux. A young man of about twenty, tall, well-made, with
handsome features, whose intelligent expression announces that he is
intended for higher things than perpetually to be measuring yards of
calico, is seated at the right hand of Eugenie. That young man, whose
name is Adolphe, is assistant in a fashionable warehouse where Madame
Moutonnet deals; and as he always gives good measure, she has asked him
to the fête of St Eustache. And now we are acquainted with all the party
who are celebrating the marriage-day of M. Moutonnet."

We are not going to follow Paul de Kock in the adventures of all the
party so carefully described to us. Our object in translating the
foregoing passage, was to enable our readers to see the manner of people
who indulge in pic-nics in the wood of Romainville, desiring them to
compare M. Moutonnet and _his_ friends, with any laceman and _his_
friends he may choose to fix upon in London. A laceman as well to do in
the world as M. Moutonnet, a grocer as rich as M. Dupont, and even a
perfumer as fashionable as M. Gerard, would have a whitebait dinner at
Blackwall, or make up a party to the races at Epsom--and as to admitting
such a humble servitor as M. Bidois to their society, or even the
unfriended young mercer's assistant, M. Adolphe, they would as soon
think of inviting one of the new police. Five miles from town our three
friends would pass themselves off for lords, and blow-up the waiter for
not making haste with their brandy and water, in the most aristocratic
manner imaginable. In France, or at least in Paul de Kock, there seems
no straining after appearances. The laceman continues a laceman when he
is miles away from the little back shop; and even the laceman's lady has
no desire to be mistaken for the wife of a squire. Madame Moutonnet
seems totally unconscious of the existence of any lady whatever,
superior to herself in rank or station. The Red Book is to her a sealed
volume. Her envies, hatreds, friendships, rivalries, and ambitions, are
all limited to her own circle. The wife of a rich laceman, on the other
hand, in England, most religiously despises the wives of almost all
other tradesmen; she scarcely knows in what street the shop is situated,
but from the altitudes of Balham or Hampstead, looks down with supreme
disdain on the toiling creatures who stand all day behind a counter. The
husband, in the same way, manages to cast off every reminiscence of the
shop, in the course of his three miles in the omnibus, and at six or
seven o'clock you might fancy they were a duke and duchess, sitting in a
gaudily furnished drawing-room, listening to two elegant young ladies
torturing a piano, and another still more elegant young lady severely
flogging a harp. The effect of this, so far as our English Paul de Kocks
are concerned, is, that their linen-drapers, and lacemen, and rich
perfumers, are represented assuming a character that does not belong to
them, and aping people whom they falsely suppose to be their betters;
whereas the genuine Paul paints the Parisian tradesmen without any
affectation at all. Ours are made laughable by the common farcical
attributes of all pretensions, great or small; while real
unsophisticated shopkeeping (French) nature is the staple of Paul's
character-sketches, and they are more valuable, and in the end more
interesting, accordingly. Who cares for the exaggerated efforts of a
Manchester warehouseman to be polished and gentlemanly? It is only
acting after all, and gives us no insight into his real character, or
the character of his class, any more than Mr Coates' anxiety to be Romeo
enlightened us as to his disposition in other respects. The Manchester
warehouseman, though he fails in his attempt at fashionable parts, may
be a very estimable and pains-taking individual, and, with the single
exception of that foible, offers nothing to the most careful observer to
distinguish him from the stupid and respectable in any part of the
world. And in this respect, any one starting as the chronicler of
citizen life among us, would labour under a great disadvantage. Whether
our people are phlegmatic, or stupid, or sensible--all three of which
epithets are generally applicable to the same individual--or that they
have no opportunities of showing their peculiarities from the domestic
habits of the animal--it is certain that, however better they may be
qualified for the business of life than their neighbours, they are far
less fitted for the pages of a book. And the proof of it is this, that
wherever any of our novelists has introduced a tradesman, he has either
been an invention altogether, or a caricature. Even Bailie Nicol Jarvie
never lived in the Saut Market in half such true flesh and blood as he
does in _Rob Roy_. At all events, the inimitable Bailie is known to the
universe at large by the additions made to his real character by the
prodigal hand of his biographer, and the ridiculous contrasts in which
he is placed with the caterans and reivers of the hills. In the city of
Glasgow he was looked upon, and justly, as an honour to the gude
town--consulted on all difficult matters, and famous for his knowledge
of the world and his natural sagacity. Would this have been a fit
subject for description? or is it just to think of the respectable
Bailie in the ridiculous point of view in which he is presented to us in
the Highlands? How would Sir Peter Laurie look if he had been taken long
ago by Algerine pirates, and torn, with all his civic honours thick upon
him, from the magisterial chair, and made hairdresser to the ladies of
the harem--threatened with the bastinado for awkwardness in combing, as
he now commits other unfortunate fellows to the treadmill for crimes
scarcely more enormous? Paul de Kock derives none of his interest from
odd juxtapositions. He knows nothing about caves and prisons and
brigands--but he knows every corner of coffee-houses, and beer-shops,
and ball-rooms. And these ball-rooms give him the command of another set
of characters, totally unknown to the English world of fiction, because
non-existent in England. With us, no shop-boy or apprentice would take
his sweetheart to a public hop at any of the licenced music-houses. No
decent girl would go there, nor even any girl that wished to keep up the
appearance of decency. No flirtations, to end in matrimony, take their
rise between an embryo boot-maker and a barber's daughter, in the course
of the _chaine Anglaise_ beneath the trees of the Green Park, or even at
the Yorkshire Stingo. Fathers have flinty hearts, and the
above-mentioned barber would probably increase the beauty of his
daughter's "bonny black eye," by giving her another, if she talked of
going to a ball, whether in a room or the open air. The Puritans have
left their mark. Dancing is always sinful, and Satan is perpetual M.C.
But let us follow the barber, or rather hairdresser--for the mere
gleaner of beards is not intended by the name--into his own amusements.
In Paul de Kock he goes to a coffee-house, drinks a small cup of coffee,
and pockets the entire sugar; or to a ball, where he performs all the
offices of a court chamberlain, and captivates all hearts by his
graceful deportment. His wife, perhaps, goes with him, and flirts in a
very business-like manner with a tobacconist; and his daughter is
whirled about in a waltz by Eugene or Adolphe, the young confectioner,
with as much elegance and decorum as if they were a young marquis and
his bride in the dancing hall at Devonshire House. Our English friend
goes to enjoy a pipe, or, if he has lofty notions, a cigar, and gin and
water, at the neighbouring inn. Or when he determines on having a night
of real rational enjoyment, he goes to some tavern where singing is the
order of the evening. A stout man in the chair knocks on the table, and
being the landlord, makes disinterested enquiries if every gentleman has
a bumper. He then calls on himself for a song, and states that he is to
be accompanied on the piano by a distinguished performer; whereupon, a
tall young man of a moribund expression of countenance, and with his
hair closely pomatumed over his head, rises, and, after a low bow, seats
himself at the instrument. The stout man sings, the young man plays, and
thunders of applause, and various fresh orders for kidneys and strong
ale, and welch rabbits and cold-without, reward their exertions.
Drinking goes on for some time, and waiters keep flying about with
dishes of all kinds, and the hairdresser becomes communicative to his
next neighbour, a butcher from Whitechapel, and they exchange their
sentiments about kidneys and music in general, and the kidneys and music
now offered to them in particular. In a few minutes, a gentleman with a
strange obliquity in his vision, seated in the middle of the
coffee-room, takes off his hat, and after a thump on the table from the
landlord's hammer, commences a song so intensely comic, that when it is
over, the orders for supper and drink are almost unanimous. The house is
now full, the theatres have discharged their hungry audiences, and a
distinguished guinea-a-week performer seats himself in the very next box
to the hairdresser. That worthy gentleman by this time is stuffed so
full of kidneys, and has drank so many glasses of brandy and water, that
he can scarcely understand the explanations of the Whitechapel butcher,
who has a great turn for theatricals, and wishes to treat the dramatic
performer to a tumbler of gin-twist. Another knock on the table produces
a momentary silence, and a little man starts off with an extempore song,
where the conviviality of the landlord, and the goodness of his suppers,
are duly chronicled. The hairdresser hears a confused buzz of
admiration, and even attempts to join in it, but thinks it, at last,
time to go. He goes, and narrowly escapes making the acquaintance of Mr
Jardine, from his extraordinary propensity to brush all the lamp-posts
he encounters with the shoulder of his coat; and gets home, to the great
comfort of his wife and daughter, who have gone cozily off to sleep, in
the assurance that their distinguished relative is safely locked up in
the police-office. The Frenchman, on the other hand, never gets into
mischief from an overdose of _eau sucrée_, though sometimes he certainly
becomes very rombustious from a glass or two of _vin ordinaire_; and
nothing astonishes us so much as the small quantities of small drink
which have an effect on the brains of the steadiest of the French
population. They get not altogether drunk, but decidedly very talkative,
and often quarrelsome, on a miserable modicum of their indigenous small
beer, to a degree which would not be excusable if it were brandy. We
constantly find whole parties at a pic-nic in a most prodigious state of
excitement after two rounds of a bottle--jostling the peasants, and
talking more egregious nonsense than before. And when they quarrel, what
a Babel of words, and what a quakerism of hands! Instead of a round or
two between the parties, as it would be in our own pugnacious
disagreements, they merely, when it comes to the worst, push each other
from side to side, and shout lustily for the police; and squalling
women, and chattering men, and ignorant country people, and elegant
mercers' apprentices, and gay-mannered grocers, hustle, and scream, and
swear, and lecture, and threaten, and bluster--but not a single blow!
The guardian of the public peace appears, and the combatants evanish
into thin air; and in a few minutes after this dreadful _mêlée_, the
violin strikes up a fresh waltz, and all goes "gaily as a
marriage-bell." We don't say, at the present moment, that one of these
methods of conducting a quarrel is better than the other, (though we
confess we are rather partial to a hit in the bread-basket, or a tap on
the claret-cork)--all we mean to advance is, that with the materials to
work upon, Paul de Kock, as a faithful describer of real scenes, has a
manifest advantage over the describer of English incidents of a parallel
kind.

The affectations of a French cit, when that nondescript animal
condescends to be affected, are more varied and interesting than those
of their brethren here. He has a taste for the fine arts--he talks about
the opera--likes to know artists and authors--and, though living up five
or six pairs of stairs in a narrow lane, gives _soirées_ and
_conversazionés_. More ludicrous all this, and decidedly less
disgusting, than the assumptions of our man-milliners and fishmongers.
There is short sketch by Paul de Kock, called a _Soirée Bourgeoise_,
which we translate entire, as an illustration of this curious phase of
French character; and we shall take an early opportunity of bringing
before our readers the essays of the daily feuilletonists of the
Parisian press, which give a clearer insight into the peculiarities of
French domestic literature than can be acquired in any other quarter.


A CIT'S SOIREE.

Lights were observed some time ago, in the four windows of an apartment
on the second floor of a house in the Rue Grenetat. It was not quite so
brilliant as the Cercle des Etrangers, but still it announced something.
These four windows, with lights glancing in them all, had an air of
rejoicing, and the industrious inhabitants of the Rue Grenetat, who
don't generally go to much expense for illumination, even in their
shops, looked at the four windows which eclipsed the street lamps in
their brilliancy, and said, "There's certainly something very
extraordinary going on this evening at M. Lupot's!" M. Lupot is an
honest tradesman, who has retired from business some time. After having
sold stationary for thirty years, without ever borrowing of a neighbour,
or failing in a payment, M. Lupot, having scraped together an income of
three hundred and twenty pounds, disposed of his stock in trade, and
closed his ledger, to devote himself entirely to the pleasures of
domestic life with his excellent spouse, Madam Felicité Lupot--a woman
of an amazingly apathetic turn of mind, who did admirably well in the
shop as long as she had only to give change for half-crowns, but whose
abilities extended no further. But this had not prevented her from
making a very good wife to her husband, (which proves that much talent
is not required for that purpose,) and presenting him with a daughter
and a son.

The daughter was the eldest, and had attained her seventeenth year; and
M. Lupot, who spared nothing on her education, did not despair of
finding a husband for her with a soul above sticks of sealing-wax and
wafers--more especially as it was evident she had no turn for trade, and
believed she had a decided genius for the fine arts--for she had painted
her father as a shepherd with his crook, when she was only twelve, and
had learned a year after to play "Je suis Lindore" by ear on the piano.
M. Lupot was proud of his daughter, who was thus a painter and a
musician; who was a foot taller than her papa; who held herself as
upright as a Prussian grenadier; who made a curtsy like Taglioni, who
had a Roman nose three times the size of other people's, a mouth to
match, and eyes so arch and playful, that it was difficult to discover
them. The boy was only seven; he was allowed to do whatever he chose--he
was so very young; and Monsieur Ascanius availed himself of the
permission, and was in mischief from morning to night. His father was
too fond of him to scold him, and his mother wouldn't take the trouble
to get into a passion.

Well, then, one morning M. Lupot soliloquized--"I have a good fortune, a
charming family, and a wife who has never been in a rage; but all this
does not lead to a man's being invited, courted, and made much of in the
world. Since I have cut the hotpress-wove and red sealing-wax, I have
seen nobody but a few friends--retired tradesmen like myself--who drop
in to take a hand at _vingt-et-un_, or loto; but I wish more than
that--my daughter must not live in so narrow a circle; my daughter has a
decided turn for the arts; I ought to have artists to my house. I will
give soirées, tea-parties--yes, with punch at parting, if it be
necessary. We shall play _bouillote_ and _écarte_, for my daughter can't
endure loto. Indeed, I wish to set people talking about my re-unions,
and to find a husband for Celanire worthy of her." M. Lupot was seated
near his wife, who was seated on an elastic sofa, and was caressing a
cat on her knee. He said to her--

"My dear Felicité, I intend to give soirées--to receive lots of company.
We live in too confined a sphere for our daughter, who was born for the
arts--and for Ascanius, who, it strikes me, will make some noise in the
world."

Madame Lupot continued to caress the cat, and replied, "Well, what have
I to do with that? Do I hinder you from receiving company? If it doesn't
cause me any trouble--for I must tell you first of all, you musn't count
on me to help you"--

"You will have nothing at all to do, my dear Felicité, but the honours
of the house."

"I must be getting up every minute"--

"You do it so gracefully," replied the husband--"I will give all the
orders, and Celanire will second me."

Mademoiselle was enchanted with the intention of her sire, and threw her
arms round his neck.

"Oh yes! papa," she said, "invite as many as you can, I will learn to
play some country-dances that we may have a ball, and finish my head of
Belisarius--you must get it framed for the occasion."

And the little Ascanius whooped and hollo'd in the middle of the room.
"I shall have tea and punch and cakes. I'll eat every thing!"

After this conversation M. Lupot had set to work. He went to his friends
and his friends' friends--to people he hardly knew, and invited them to
his party, begging them to bring any body with them they liked. M. Lupot
had formerly sold rose-coloured paper to a musician, and drawing pencils
to an artist. He went to his ancient customers, and pressed them to come
and to bring their professional friends with them. In short, M. Lupot
was so prodigiously active that in four days he had run through nearly
the whole of Paris, caught an immense cold, and spent seven shillings in
cab hire. Giving an entertainment has its woes as well as its pleasures.

The grand day, or rather the grand evening, at last arrived. All the
lamps were lighted, and they had even borrowed some from their
neighbours; for Celanire had discovered that their own three lamps
did not give light enough both for the public-room and the
supper-room--(which on ordinary occasions was a bed-chamber.) It was the
first time that M. Lupot had borrowed any thing--but also it was the
first time that M. Lupot gave a soirée.

From the dawn of day M. Lupot was busy in preparation: He had ordered in
cakes and refreshments; bought sundry packs of cards, brushed the
tables, and tucked up the curtains. Madame Lupot had sat all the time
quietly on the sofa, ejaculating from time to time, "I'm afraid 'twill
be a troublesome business all this receiving company."

Celanire had finished her Belisarius, who was an exact likeness of Blue
Beard, and whom they had honoured with a Gothic frame, and placed in a
conspicuous part of the room. Mademoiselle Lupot was dressed with
amazing care. She had a new gown, her hair plaited _à la Clotilde_. All
this must make a great sensation. Ascanius was rigged out in his best;
but this did not hinder him from kicking up a dust in the room, from
getting up on the furniture, handling the cards, and taking them to make
houses; from opening the cupboards, and laying his fingers on the cakes.

Sometimes M. Lupot's patience gave way, and he cried, "Madame, I beg
you'll make your son be quiet." But Madame Lupot answered without
turning her head, "Make him quiet yourself, M. Lupot--You know very well
it's _your_ business to manage him."

It was now eight o'clock, and nobody was yet arrived. Mademoiselle
looked at her father, who looked at his wife, who looked at her cat. The
father of the family muttered every now and then--"Are we to have our
grand soirée all to ourselves?" And he cast doleful looks on his lamps,
his tables, and all his splendid preparations. Mademoiselle Celanire
sighed and looked at her dress, and then looked in the mirror. Madame
Lupot was as unmoved as ever, and said, "Is this what we've turned every
thing topsy-turvy for?" As for little Ascanius, he jumped about the
room, and shouted, "If nobody comes, what lots of cakes we shall have!"
At last the bell rang. It is a family from the Rue St Denis, retired
perfumers, who have only retained so much of their ancient profession,
that they cover themselves all over with odours. When they enter the
room, you feel as if a hundred scent-bottles were opened at once. There
is such a smell of jasmine and vanille, that you have good luck if you
get off without a headache. Other people drop in. M. Lupot does not know
half his guests, for many of them are brought by others, and even these
he scarcely knows the names of. But he is enchanted with every thing. A
young fashionable is presented to him by some unknown third party, who
says, "This is one of our first pianists, who is good enough to give up
a great concert this evening to come here." The next is a famous singer,
a lion in musical parties, who is taken out every where, and who will
give one of his latest compositions, though unfortunately labouring
under a cold. This man won the first prize at the Conservatory, an
unfledged Boildieu, who will be a great composer of operas--when he can
get librettos to his music, and music to his librettos. The next is a
painter. He has shown at the exhibition--he has had wonderful success.
To be sure nobody bought his pictures, because he didn't wish to sell
them to people that couldn't appreciate them. In short, M. Lupot sees
nobody in his rooms that is not first-rate in some way or other. He is
delighted with the thought--ravished, transported. He can't find words
enough to express his satisfaction at having such geniuses in his house.
For their sakes he neglects his old friends--he scarcely speaks to them.
It seems the new-comers, people he has never seen before, are the only
people worthy of his attentions. Madame Lupot is tired of getting up,
curtsying, and sitting down again. But her daughter is radiant with joy;
her husband goes from room to room, rubbing his hands, as if he had
bought all Paris, and got it a bargain. And little Ascanius never comes
out of the bed-room without his mouth full. But it is not enough to
invite a large party; you must know how to amuse them; it is a thing
which very few people have the art of, even those most accustomed to
have soirées. In some you get tired, and you are in great ceremony; you
must restrict yourself to a conversation that is neither open, nor
friendly, nor amusing. In others, you are pestered to death by the
amphitryon, who is perhaps endowed with the bump of music, and won't
leave the piano for fear some one else should take his place. There are
others fond of cards, who only ask their friends that they may make up a
table. Such individuals care for nothing but the game, and don't trouble
themselves whether the rest of their guests are amused or not. Ah! there
are few homes that know how to receive their company, or make every body
pleased. It requires a tact, a cleverness, an absence of self, which
must surely be very unusual since we see so few specimens of them in the
soirées we attend.

M. Lupot went to and fro--from the reception-room to the bed-chamber,
and back again--he smiled, he bowed, and rubbed his hands. But the
new-comers, who had not come to his house to see him smile and rub his
hands, began to say, in very audible whispers, "Ah, well, do people pass
the whole night here looking at each other? Very delightful--very!"

M. Lupot has tried to start a conversation with a big man in spectacles,
with a neckcloth of great dimensions, and who makes extraordinary faces
as he looks round on the company. M. Lupot has been told, that the
gentleman with the large neckcloth is a literary man, and that he will
probably be good enough to read or recite some lines of his own
composition. The ancient stationer coughs three times before venturing
to address so distinguished a character, but says at last--"Enchanted to
see at my house a gentleman so--an author of such----"

"Ah, you're the host here, are you?--the master of the house?"--said the
man in the neckcloth.

"I flatter myself I am--with my wife, of course--the lady on the
sofa--you see her? My daughter, sir--she's the tall young lady, so
upright in her figure. She designs, and has an excellent touch on the
piano. I have a son also--a little fiend--it was he who crept this
minute between my legs--he's an extraordinary clev----"

"There is one thing, sir," replied the big man, "that I can't
comprehend--a thing that amazes me--and that is, that people who live in
the Rue Grenetat should give parties. It is a miserable street--a horrid
street--covered eternally with mud--choked up with cars--a wretched part
of the town, dirty, noisy, pestilential--bah!"

"And yet, sir, for thirty years I have lived here."

"Oh Lord, sir, I should have died thirty times over! When people live in
the Rue Grenetat they should give up society, for you'll grant it is a
regular trap to seduce people into such an abominable street. I"----

M. Lupot gave up smiling and rubbing his hands. He moves off from the
big man in the spectacles, whose conversation had by no means amused
him, and he goes up to a group of young people who seem examining the
Belisarius of Mademoiselle Celanire.

"They're admiring my daughter's drawing," said M. Lupot to himself; "I
must try to overhear what these artists are saying." The young people
certainly made sundry remarks on the performance, plentifully intermixed
with sneers of a very unmistakable kind.

"Can you make out what the head is meant for?"

"Not I. I confess I never saw any thing so ridiculous."

"It's Belisarius, my dear fellow."

"Impossible!--it's the portrait of some grocer, some relation, probably,
of the family--look at the nose--the mouth--"

"It is intolerable folly to put a frame to such a daub."

"They must be immensely silly."

"Why, it isn't half so good as the head of the Wandering Jew at the top
of a penny ballad."

M. Lupot has heard enough. He slips off from the group without a word,
and glides noiselessly to the piano. The young performer who had
sacrificed a great concert to come to his soirée, had sat down to the
instrument and run his fingers over the notes.

"What a spinnet!" he cried--"what a wretched kettle! How can you expect
a man to perform on such a miserable instrument? The thing is
absurd--hear this A--hear this G--it's like a hurdygurdy--not one note
of it in tune!" But the performer stayed at the piano notwithstanding,
and played incessantly, thumping the keys with such tremendous force,
that every minute a chord snapped; when such a thing happened--he burst
into a laugh, and said, "Good! there's another gone--there will soon be
none left."

M. Lupot flushed up to the ears. He felt very much inclined to say to
the celebrated performer, "Sir, I didn't ask you here to break all the
chords of my piano. Let the instrument alone if you don't like it, but
don't hinder other people from playing on it for our amusement."

But the good M. Lupot did not venture on so bold a speech, which would
have been a very sensible speech nevertheless; and he stood quietly
while his chords were getting smashed, though it was by no means a
pleasant thing to do.

Mademoiselle Celanire goes up to her father. She is distressed at the
way her piano is treated; she has no opportunity of playing her air; but
she hopes to make up for it by singing a romance, which one of their old
neighbours is going to accompany on the guitar.

It is not without some difficulty that M. Lupot obtains silence for his
daughter's song. At sight of the old neighbour and his guitar a
smothered laugh is visible in the assembly. It is undeniable that the
gentleman is not unlike a respectable Troubadour with a barrel organ,
and that his guitar is like an ancient harp. There is great curiosity to
hear the old gentleman touch his instrument. He begins by beating time
with his feet and his head, which latter movement gives him very much
the appearance of a mandarin that you sometimes see on a mantelpiece.
Nevertheless Mademoiselle Lupot essays her ballad; but she can never
manage to overtake her accompanier, who, instead of following the
singer, seems determined to make no alteration in the movement of his
head and feet. The ballad is a failure--Celanire is confused, she has
mistaken her notes--she loses her recollection; and, instead of hearing
his daughter's praises, M. Lupot overhears the young people
whispering--"It wouldn't do in a beer-shop."

"I must order in the tea," thought the ex-stationer--"it will perhaps
put them into good-humour."

And M. Lupot rushes off to give instructions to the maid; and that old
individual, who has never seen such a company before, does not know how
to get on, and breaks cups and saucers without mercy, in the effort to
make haste.

"Nannette, have you got ready the other things you were to bring in with
the tea?--the muffins--the cakes?"

"Yes, sir"--replied Nannette--"all is ready--every thing will be in in a
moment."

"But there is another thing I told you, Nannette--the sandwiches."

"The witches, sir?--the sand?"--enquired the puzzled Nannette.

"It is an English dish--I explained it to you before--slices of bread
and butter, with ham between."

"Oh la, sir!" exclaimed the maid--"I have forgotten that ragoût--oh
dear!"

"Well--make haste, Nannette; get ready some immediately, while my
daughter hands round the tea and muffins--you can bring them in on a
tray."

The old domestic hurries into the kitchen grumbling at the English
dainty, and cuts some slices of bread and covers them with butter; but
as she had never thought of the ham, she cogitates a long time how she
can supply the want of it--at last, on looking round, she discovers a
piece of beef that had been left at dinner.

"Pardieu," she says, "I'll cut some lumps of this and put them on the
bread. With plenty of salt they'll pass very well for ham--they'll drive
me wild with their English dishes--they will."

The maid speedily does as she says, and then hurries into the room with
a tray covered with her extempore ham sandwiches.

Every body takes one,--for they have grown quite fashionable along with
tea. But immediately there is an universal murmur in the assembly. The
ladies throw their slices into the fire, the gentlemen spit theirs on
the furniture, and they cry--"why the devil do people give us things
like these?--they're detestable."

"It's my opinion, God forgive me! the man means to feed us with scraps
from the pig-trough," says another.

"It's a regular do, this soirée," says a third.

"The tea is disgustingly smoked," says a fourth.

"And all the little cakes look as if they had been fingered before,"
says the fifth.

"Decidedly they wish to poison us," says the big man in the neckcloth,
looking very morose.

M. Lupot is in despair. He goes in search of Nannette, who has hidden
herself in the kitchen; and he busies himself in gathering up the
fragments of the bread and butter from the floor and the fireplace.

Madame Lupot says nothing; but she is in very bad humour, for she has
put on a new cap, which she felt sure would be greatly admired; and a
lady has come to her and said--

"Ah, madame, what a shocking head-dress!--your cap is very
old-fashioned--those shapes are quite gone out."

"And yet, madame," replies Madame Lupot, "I bought it, not two days ago,
in the Rue St Martin."

"Well, madame--Is that the street you go to for the fashions? Go to
Mademoiselle Alexina Larose Carrefous Gaillon--you'll get delicious caps
there--new fashions and every thing so tasteful: for Heaven's sake,
madame, never put on that cap again. You look, at least, a hundred."

"It's worth one's while, truly," thought Madame Lupot, "to tire one's
self to death receiving people, to be treated to such pretty
compliments."

Her husband, in the meanwhile, continued his labours in pursuit of the
rejected sandwiches.

The big man in spectacles, who wondered that people could live in the
Rue Grenetat, had no idea, nevertheless, of coming there for nothing. He
has seated himself in an arm-chair in the middle of the room, and
informs the company that he is going to repeat a few lines of his own to
them.--The society seems by no means enchanted with the announcement,
but forms itself in a circle, to listen to the poet. He coughs and
spits, wipes his mouth, tales a pinch of snuff, sneezes, has the lamps
raised, the doors shut, asks a tumbler of sugar and water, and passes
his hand through his hair. After continuing these operations for some
minutes, the literary man at last begins. He spouts his verses in a
voice enough to break the glasses; before he has spoken a minute, he has
presented a tremendous picture of crimes, and deaths, and scaffolds,
sufficient to appal the stoutest hearts, when suddenly a great crash
from the inner room attracts universal attention. It is the young
Ascanius, who was trying to get a muffin on the top of a pile of dishes,
and has upset the table, with muffin, and dishes, and all on his own
head. M. Lupot runs off to ascertain the cause of the dreadful cries of
his son; the company follow him, not a little rejoiced to find an excuse
for hearing no more of the poem; and the poet, deprived in this way of
an audience, gets up in a furious passion, takes his hat, and rushes
from the room, exclaiming--"It serves me right. How could I have been
fool enough to recite good verses in the Rue Grenetat!"

Ascanius is brought in and roars lustily, for two of the dishes have
been broken on his nose; and as there is no chance now, either of poetry
or music, the party have recourse to cards--for it is impossible to sit
all night and do nothing.

They make up a table at _bouillote_, and another at _ecarté_. M. Lupot
takes his place at the latter. He is forced to cover all the bets when
his side refuses; and M. Lupot, who never played higher than shilling
stakes in his life, is horrified when they tell him--"You must lay down
fifteen francs to equal our stakes."

"Fifteen francs!" says M. Lupot, "what is the meaning of all this?"

"It means, that you must make up the stakes of your side, to what we
have put down on this. The master of the house is always expected to
make up the difference."

M. Lupot dare not refuse. He lays down his fifteen francs and loses
them; next game the deficiency is twenty. In short, in less than half an
hour, the ex-stationer loses ninety francs. His eyes start out of his
head--he scarcely knows where he is; and to complete his misery, the
opposite party, in lifting up the money they have won, upset one of the
lamps he had borrowed from his neighbours, and smashed it into fifty
pieces.

At last the hour of separation comes. The good citizen has been anxious
for it for a long time. All his gay company depart, without even wishing
good-night to the host who has exerted himself so much for their
entertainment. The family of the Lupots are left alone; Madame, overcome
with fatigue, and vexed because her cap had been found fault with;
Celanire, with tears in her eyes, because her music and Belisarius had
been laughed at; and Ascanius sick and ill, because he has nearly burst
himself with cakes and muffins; M. Lupot was, perhaps, the unhappiest of
all, thinking of his ninety francs and the broken lamp. Old Annette
gathered up the crumbs of the sandwiches, and muttered--"Do they think
people make English dishes to have them thrown into the corners of the
room?"

"It's done," said M. Lupot; "I shall give no more soirées. I begin to
think I was foolish in wishing to leave my own sphere. When people of
the same class lark and joke each other, it's all very well; but when
you meddle with your superiors, and they are uncivil, it hurts your
feelings. Their mockery is an insult, and you don't get over it soon. My
dear Celanire, I shall decidedly try to marry you to a stationer."

      *       *       *       *       *



THE WORLD OF LONDON. SECOND SERIES. PART III.

THE ARISTOCRACIES OF LONDON LIFE.

OF GENTILITY-MONGERING.


The HEAVY SWELL was recorded in our last for the admiration and
instruction of remote ages. When the nineteenth century shall be long
out of date, and centuries in general out of their _teens_, posterity
will revert to our delineation of the heavy swell with pleasure
undiminished, through the long succession of ages yet to come; the
macaroni, the fop, the dandy, will be forgotten, or remembered only in
our graphic portraiture of the heavy swell. But the heavy swell is,
after all, a harmless nobody. His curse, his besetting sin, his
_monomania_, is vanity tinctured with pride: his weak point can hardly
be called a crime, since it affects and injures nobody but himself, if,
indeed, it can be said to injure him who glories in his vocation--who is
the echo of a sound, the shadow of a shade.

The GENTILITY-MONGERS, on the contrary, are positively noxious to
society, as well particular as general. There is a twofold or threefold
iniquity in their goings-on; they sin against society, their families,
and themselves; the whole business of their lives is a perversion of the
text of Scripture, which commandeth us, "in whatever station we are,
therewith to be content."

The gentility-monger is a family man, having a house somewhere in
Marylebone, or Pancras parish. He is sometimes a man of independent
fortune--how acquired, nobody knows; that is his secret, his mystery. He
will let no one suppose that he has ever been in trade; because, when a
man intends gentility-mongering, it must never be known that he has
formerly carried on the tailoring, or the shipping, or the
cheese-mongering, or the fish-mongering, or any other mongering than the
gentility-mongering. His house is very stylishly furnished; that is to
say, as unlike the house of a man of fashion as possible--the latter
having only things the best of their kind, and for use; the former
displaying every variety of extravagant gimcrackery, to impress you with
a profound idea of combined wealth and taste, but which, to an educated
eye and mind only, conveys a lively idea of ostentation. When you call
upon a gentility-monger, a broad-shouldered, coarse, ungentlemanlike
footman, in Aurora plushes, ushers you to a drawing-room, where, on
tables round, and square, and hexagonal, are set forth jars, porcelain,
china, and delft; shells, spars; stuffed parrots under bell-glasses;
corals, minerals, and an infinity of trumpery, among which albums,
great, small, and intermediate, must by no means be forgotten.

The room is papered with some _splendacious_ pattern in blue and gold; a
chandelier of imposing gingerbread depends from the richly ornamented
ceiling; every variety of ottoman, lounger, settee, is scattered about,
so that to get a chair involves the right-of-search question; the
bell-pulls are painted in Poonah; there is a Brussels carpet of flaming
colours, curtains with massive fringes, bad pictures in gorgeous frames;
prints, after Ross, of her Majesty and Prince Albert, of course; and
mezzotints of the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel, for whom the
gentility-monger has a profound respect, and of whom he talks with a
familiarity showing that it is not _his_ fault, at least, if these
exalted personages do not admit him to the honour of their acquaintance.

In fact, you see the drawing-room is not intended for sitting down in,
and when the lady appears, you are inclined to believe she never sits
down; at least the full-blown swell of that satin skirt seems never
destined to the compression of a chair. The conversation is as
usual--"Have you read the morning paper?"--meaning the Court Circular
and fashionable intelligence; "do you know whether the Queen is at
Windsor or Claremont, and how long her Majesty intends to remain;
whether town is fuller than it was, or not so full; when the next
Almacks' ball takes place; whether you were at the last drawing-room,
and which of the fair _debutantes_ you most admire; whether Tamburini is
to be denied us next year?" with many lamentations touching the possible
defection, as if the migrations of an opera thrush were of the least
consequence to any rational creature--of course you don't say so, but
lament Tamburini as if he were your father; "whether it is true that we
are to have the two Fannies, Taglioni and Cerito, this season; and what
a heaven of delight we shall experience from the united action of these
twenty supernatural pettitoes." You needn't express yourself after this
fashion, else you will shock miss, who lounges near you in an agony of
affected rapture: you must sigh, shrug your shoulders, twirl your cane,
and say "divine--yes--hope it may be so--exquisite--_exquisite_." This
naturally leads you to the last new songs, condescendingly exhibited to
you by miss, if you are _somebody_, (if _nobody_, miss does not appear;)
you are informed that "_My heart is like a pickled salmon_" is dedicated
to the Duchess of Mundungus, and thereupon you are favoured with sundry
passages (out of Debrett) upon the intermarriages, &c., of that
illustrious family; you are asked whether Bishop is the composer of "_I
saw her in a twinkling_," and whether the _minor_ is not fine? Miss
tells you she has transposed it from G to C, as suiting her voice
better--whereupon mamma acquaints you, that a hundred and twenty guineas
for a harp is moderate, she thinks; you think so too, taking that
opportunity to admire the harp, saying that you saw one exactly like it
at Lord (any Lord that strikes you) So-and-So's, in St James's Square.
This produces an invitation to dinner; and with many lamentations on
English weather, and an eulogium on the climate of Florence, you pay
your parting compliments, and take your leave.

At dinner you meet a claret-faced Irish absentee, whose good society is
a good dinner, and who is too happy to be asked any where that a good
dinner is to be had; a young silky clergyman, in black curled whiskers,
and a white _choker_; one of the meaner fry of M.P.'s; a person who
_calls himself_ a foreign count; a claimant of a dormant peerage; a
baronet of some sort, not above the professional; sundry propriety-faced
people in yellow waistcoats, who say little, and whose social position
you cannot well make out; half-a-dozen ladies of an uncertain age,
dressed in grand style, with turbans of imposing _tournure_; and a
young, diffident, equivocal-looking gent who sits at the bottom of the
table, and whom you instinctively make out to be a family doctor, tutor,
or nephew, with expectations. No young ladies, unless the young ladies
of the family, appear at the dinner-parties of these gentility-mongers;
because the motive of the entertainment is pride, not pleasure; and
therefore prigs and frumps are in keeping, and young women with brains,
or power of conversation, would only distract attention from the grand
business of life, that is to say, dinner; besides, a seat at table here
is an object, where the expense is great, and nobody is asked for his or
her own sake, but for an object either of ostentation, interest, or
vanity. Hospitality never enters into the composition of a
gentility-monger: he gives a dinner, wine, and a shake of the hand, but
does not know what the word _welcome_ means: he says, now and then, to
his wife "My dear, I think we must give a dinner;" a dinner is
accordingly determined on, cards issued three weeks in advance, that you
may be premeditatedly dull; the dinner is gorgeous to repletion, that
conversation may be kept as stagnant as possible. Of those happy
surprize invitations--those unexpected extemporaneous dinners, that as
they come without thinking or expectation, so go off with _eclat_, and
leave behind the memory of a cheerful evening--he has no idea; a man of
fashion, whose place is fixed, and who has only himself to please, will
ask you to a slice of crimped cod and a hash of mutton, without
ceremony; and when he puts a cool bottle on the table, after a dinner
that he and his friend have really enjoyed, will never so much as
apologize with, "my dear sir, I fear you have had a wretched dinner," or
"I wish I had known: I should have had something better." This affected
depreciation of his hospitality he leaves to the gentility-monger, who
will insist on cramming you with fish, flesh, and fowls, till you are
like to burst; and then, by way of apology, get his guests to pay the
reckoning in plethoric laudation of his mountains of victual.

If you wait in the drawing-room, kicking your heels for an hour after
the appointed time, although you arrived to a _minute_, as every
Christian does, you may be sure that somebody who patronizes the
gentility-monger, probably the Honourable Mr Sniftky, is expected, and
has not come. It is vain for you to attempt to talk to your host,
hostess, or miss, who are absorbed, body and soul, in expectation of
Honourable Sniftky; the propriety-faced people in the yellow waistcoats
attitudinize in groups about the room, putting one pump out, drawing the
other in, inserting the thumb gracefully in the arm-hole of the yellow
waistcoats, and talking _icicles_; the young fellows play with a sprig
of lily-of-the-valley in a button-hole--admire a flowing portrait of
miss, asking one another if it is not very like--or hang over the back
of a chair of one of the turbaned ladies, who gives good evening
parties; the host receives a great many compliments upon one thing and
another, from some of the professed diners-out, who take every
opportunity of paying for their dinner beforehand; every body freezes
with the chilling sensation of dinner deferred, and "curses, not loud
but deep," are imprecated on the Honourable Sniftky. At last, a
prolonged _rat-tat-tat_ announces the arrival of the noble beast, the
lion of the evening; the Honourable Sniftky, who is a junior clerk in
the Foreign Office, is announced by the footman out of livery, (for the
day,) and announces himself a minute after: he comes in a long-tailed
coat and boots, to show his contempt for his entertainers, and mouths a
sort of apology for keeping his betters waiting, which is received by
the gentility-monger, his lady, and miss, with nods, and becks, and
wreathed smiles of unqualified admiration and respect.

As the order of precedence at the house of a gentility-monger is not
strictly understood, the host desires Honourable Sniftky to take down
miss; and calling out the names of the other guests, like muster-master
of the guards, pairs them, and sends them down to the dining-room, where
you find the nephew, or family doctor, (or whatever he is,) who has
inspected the arrangement of the table, already in waiting.

You take your place, not without that excess of ceremony that
distinguishes the table of a gentility-monger; the Honourable Sniftky,
_ex-officio_, takes his place between mamma and miss, glancing vacancy
round the table, lest any body should think himself especially honoured
by a fixed stare; covers are removed by the mob of occasional waiters in
attendance, and white soup and brown soup, thick and heavy as judges of
assize, go circuit.

Then comes hobnobbing, with an interlocutory dissertation upon a
_plateau, candelabrum_, or some other superfluous machine, in the centre
of the table. One of the professed diners-out, discovers for the
twentieth time an inscription in dead silver on the pedestal, and
enquires with well-affected ignorance whether that is a _present_; the
gentility-monger asks the diner-out to wine, as he deserves, then enters
into a long apologetical self-laudation of his exertions in behalf of
the CANNIBAL ISLANDS, ABORIGINES, PROTECTION, AND BRITISH SUBJECT
TRANSPORTATION SOCIETY, (some emigration crimping scheme, in short,) in
which his humble efforts to diffuse civilization and promote
Christianity, however unworthy, ("No, no!" from the diner-out,) gained
the esteem of his fellow-labourers, and the approbation of his own
con----"Shall I send you some fish, sir?" says the man at the foot of
the table, addressing himself to the Honourable Sniftky, and cutting
short the oration.

A monstrous salmon and a huge turbot are now dispensed to the hungry
multitude; the gentility-monger has no idea that the biggest turbot is
not the best; he knows it is the _dearest_, and that is enough for him;
he would have his dishes like his cashbook, to show at a glance how much
he has at his banker's. When the flesh of the guests has been
sufficiently fishified, there is an _interregnum_, filled up with
another circuit of wine, until the arrival of the _pièces de
resistance_, the imitations of made dishes, and the usual _etceteras_.
The conversation, meanwhile, is carried on in a _staccato_ style; a
touch here, a hit there, a miss almost every where; the Honourable
Sniftky turning the head of mamma with affected compliments, and
hobnobbing to himself without intermission. After a sufficiently tedious
interval, the long succession of wasteful extravagance is cleared away
with the upper tablecloth; the dowagers, at a look from our hostess,
rise with dignity and decorously retire, miss modestly bringing up the
rear--the man at the foot of the table with the handle of the door in
one hand, and a napkin in the other, bowing them out.

Now the host sings out to the Honourable Sniftky to draw his chair
closer and be jovial, as if people, after an oppressively expensive
dinner, can be jovial _to order_. The wine goes round, and laudations go
with it; the professed diners-out enquire the vintage; the Honourable Mr
Sniftky intrenches himself behind a rampart of fruit dishes, speaking
only when he is spoken to, and glancing inquisitively at the several
speakers, as much as to say, "What a fellow you are, to talk;" the host
essays a _bon-mot_, or tells a story bordering on the _ideal_, which he
thinks is fashionable, and shows that he knows life; the Honourable
Sniftky drinks claret from a beer-glass, and after the third bottle
affects to discover his mistake, wondering what he could be thinking of;
this produces much laughter from all save the professed diners-out, who
dare not take such a liberty, and is _the_ jest of the evening.

When the drinkers, drinkables, and talk are quite exhausted, the noise
of a piano recalls to our bewildered recollections the ladies, and we
drink their healths: the Honourable Sniftky, pretending that it is
foreign-post night at the Foreign Office, walks off without even a bow
to the assembled diners, the gentility-monger following him submissively
to the door; then returning, tells us that he's sorry Sniftky's gone,
he's such a good-natured fellow, while the gentleman so characterized
gets into his cab, drives to his club, and excites the commiseration of
every body there, by relating how he was bored with an old _ruffian_,
who insisted upon his (Sniftky's) going to dinner in Bryanston Square;
at which there are many "Oh's!" and "Ah's!" and "what could you
expect?--Bryanston Square!--served you right."

In the mean time, the guests, relieved of the presence of the Honourable
Sniftky, are rather more at their ease; a baronet (who was lord mayor,
or something of that sort) waxes jocular, and gives decided indications
of something like "how came you so;" the man at the foot of the table
contradicts one of the diners-out, and is contradicted in turn by the
baronet; the foreign count is in deep conversation with a hard-featured
man, supposed to be a stockjobber; the clergyman extols the labours of
the host in the matter of the Cannibal Islands' Aborigines Protection
Society, in which his reverence takes an interest; the claimant of the
dormant peerage retails his pedigree, pulling to pieces the
attorney-general, who has expressed an opinion hostile to his
pretensions.

In the mean time, the piano is joined by a harp, in musical solicitation
of the company to join the ladies in the drawing-room; they do so,
looking flushed and plethoric, sink into easy-chairs, sip tea, the
younger beaux turning over, with miss, Books of Beauty and Keepsakes: at
eleven, coaches and cabs arrive, you take formal leave, expressing with
a melancholy countenance your sense of the delightfulness of the
evening, get to your chambers, and forget, over a broiled bone and a
bottle of Dublin stout, in what an infernal, prosy, thankless,
stone-faced, yellow-waistcoated, unsympathizing, unintellectual,
selfish, stupid set you have been condemned to pass an afternoon,
assisting, at the ostentatious exhibition of vulgar wealth, where
gulosity has been unrelieved by one single sally of wit, humour,
good-nature, humanity, or charity; where you come without a welcome, and
leave without a friend.

The whole art of the gentility-mongers of all sorts in London, and _à
fortiori_ of their wives and families, is to lay a tax upon social
intercourse as nearly as possible amounting to a prohibition; their
dinners are criminally wasteful, and sinfully extravagant to this end;
to this end they insist on making _price_ the test of what they are
pleased to consider _select society_ in their own sets, and they
consequently cannot have a dance without guinea tickets nor a _pic-nic_
without dozens of champagne. This shows their native ignorance and
vulgarity more than enough; genteel people go upon a plan directly
contrary, not merely enjoying themselves, but enjoying themselves
without extravagance or waste: in this respect the gentility-mongers
would do well to imitate people of fashion.

The exertions a gentility-monger will make, to rub his skirts against
people above him; the humiliations, mortifications, snubbing, he will
submit to, are almost incredible. One would hardly believe that a
retired tradesman, of immense wealth, and enjoying all the respect that
immense wealth will secure, should actually offer large sums of money to
a lady of fashion, as an inducement to procure for him cards of
invitation to her _set_, which he stated was the great object of his
existence. Instead of being indignant at his presumption, the lady in
question, pitying the poor man's folly, attempted to reason with him,
assuring him with great truth that whatever might be his wealth, his
power or desire of pleasing, he would be rendered unhappy and
ridiculous, by the mere dint of pretension to a circle to which he had
no legitimate claim, and advising him, as a friend, to attempt some more
laudable and satisfactory ambition.

All this good advice was, however, thrown away; our gentility-monger
persevered, contriving somehow to gain a passport to some of the _outer_
circles of fashionable life; was ridiculed, laughed at, and honoured
with the _soubriquet_ (he was a pianoforte maker) of the _Semi-Grand_!

We know another instance, where two young men, engaged in trade in the
city, took a splendid mansion at the West End, furnished it sumptuously,
got some desperate knight or baronet's widow to give parties at their
house, inviting whomsoever she thought proper, at their joint expense.
It is unnecessary to say, the poor fellows succeeded in getting into
good society, not indeed in the _Court Circular_, but in the--_Gazette_.

There is another class of gentility-mongers more to be pitied than the
last; those, namely, who are endeavouring to "make a connexion," as the
phrase is, by which they may gain advancement in their professions, and
are continually on the look-out for introductions to persons of quality,
their hangers-on and dependents. There is too much of this sort of thing
among medical men in London, the family nature of whose profession
renders connexion, private partiality, and personal favour, more
essential to them than to others. The lawyer, for example, need not be a
gentility-monger; he has only to get round attorneys, for the
opportunity to show what he can do, when he has done this, in which a
little toadying, "_on the sly_," is necessary--all the rest is easy. The
court and the public are his judges; his powers are at once appreciable,
his talent can be calculated, like the money in his pocket; he can now
go on straight forward, without valuing the individual preference or
aversion of any body.

But a profession where men make way through the whisperings of women,
and an inexhaustible variety of _sotto voce_ contrivances, must needs
have a tendency to create a subserviency of spirit and of manner, which
naturally directs itself into gentility-mongering: where realities, such
as medical experience, reading, and skill, are remotely, or not at all,
appreciable, we must take up with appearances; and of all appearances,
the appearance of proximity to people of fashion is the most taking and
seductive to people _not_ of fashion. It is for this reason that a
rising physician, if he happen to have a lord upon his sick or visiting
list, never has done telling his plebeian patients the particulars of
his noble case, which they swallow like almond milk, finding it an
excellent _placebo_.

As it is the interest of a gentility-monger, and his constant practice,
to be attended by a fashionable physician, in order that he may be
enabled continually to talk of what Sir Henry thinks of this, and how
Sir Henry objects to that, and the opinion of Sir Henry upon t'other, so
it is the business of the struggling doctor to be a gentility-monger,
with the better chance of becoming one day or other a fashionable
physician. Acting on this principle, the poor man must necessarily have
a house in a professional neighbourhood, which usually abuts upon a
neighbourhood fashionable or exclusive; he must hire a carriage by the
month, and be for ever stepping in and out of it, at his own door,
keeping it purposely bespattered with mud to show the extent of his
visiting acquaintance; he must give dinners to people "who _may_ be
useful," and be continually on the look-out for those lucky accidents
which have made the fortunes, and, as a matter of course, the _merit_,
of so many professional men.

He becomes a Fellow of the Royal Society, which gives him the chance of
conversing with a lord, and the right of entering a lord's (the
president's) house, which is turned into sandwich-shop four times a-year
for his reception; this, being the nearest approach he makes to
acquaintance with great personages, he values with the importance it
deserves.

His servants, with famine legibly written on their bones, are assiduous
and civil; his wife, though half-starved, is very genteel, and at her
dinner parties burns candle-ends from the palace.[48]

     [48] In a wax-chandler's shop in Piccadilly, opposite St.
     James's Street, may be seen stumps, or, as the Scotch call
     them, _doups_ of wax-lights, with the announcement "Candle-ends
     from Buckingham Palace." These are eagerly bought up by the
     gentility-mongers, who burn, or it may be, in the excess of
     their loyalty, _eat_ them!

If you pay her a morning visit, you will have some such conversation as
follows.

"Pray, Mr ----, is there any news to-day?"

"Great distress, I understand, throughout the country."

"Indeed--the old story, shocking--very.--Pray, have you heard the
delightful news? The Princess-Royal has actually cut a tooth!"

"Indeed?"

"Yes, I assure you; and the sweet little royal love of a martyr has
borne it like a hero."

"Positively?"

"Positively, I assure you; Doctor Tryiton has just returned from a
consultation with his friend Sir Henry, upon a particularly difficult
case--Lord Scruffskin--case of elephantiasis I think they call it, and
tells me that Sir Henry has arrives express from Windsor with the news."

"Indeed!"

"Do you think, Mr ----, there will be a general illumination?"

"Really, madam, I cannot say."

"_There ought to be_, [with emphasis.] You must know, Mr ----, Dr
Tryiton has forwarded to a high quarter a beautifully bound copy of his
work on ulcerated sore throat; he says there is a great analogy between
ulcers of the throat and den--den--den--something, I don't know
what--teething, in short. If nothing comes of it, Dr Tryiton, thank
Heaven, can do without it; but you know, Mr ----, it may, on a future
occasion, be _useful to our family_."

If there is, in the great world of London, one thing more spirit-sinking
than another, it is to see men condemned, by the necessities of an
overcrowded profession, to sink to the meannesses of pretension for a
desperate accident by which they may insure success. When one has had an
opportunity of being behind the scenes, and knowing what petty shifts,
what poor expedients of living, what anxiety of mind, are at the bottom
of all this empty show, one will not longer marvel that many born for
better things should sink under the difficulties of their position, or
that the newspapers so continually set forth the miserably unprovided
for condition in which they so often are compelled to leave their
families. To dissipate the melancholy that always oppresses us when
constrained to behold the ridiculous antics of the gentility-mongers,
which we chronicle only to endeavour at a reformation--let us contrast
the hospitality of those who, with wiser ambition, keep themselves, as
the saying is, "_to themselves_;" and, as a bright example, let us
recollect our old friend Joe Stimpson.

Joe Stimpson is a tanner and leather-seller in Bermondsey, the architect
of his own fortune, which he has raised to the respectable elevation of
somewhere about a quarter of a million sterling. He is now in his
seventy-second year, has a handsome house, without and pretension,
overlooking his tanyard. He has a joke upon prospects, calling you to
look from the drawing-room window at his tanpits, asking you if you ever
saw any thing like that at the west end of the town; replying in the
negative, Joe, chuckling, observes that it is the finest prospect _he_
ever saw in his life, and although he has been admiring it for half a
century, he has not done admiring it yet. Joe's capacity for the
humorous may be judged of by this specimen; but in attention to business
few can surpass him, while his hospitality can command a wit whenever he
chooses to angle for one with a good dinner. He has a wife, a venerable
old smiling lady in black silk, neat cap, and polished shoes; three
daughters, unmarried; and a couple of sons, brought up, after the London
fashion, to inherit their father's business, or, we might rather say,
_estate_.

Why the three Miss Stimpsons remain unmarried, we cannot say, nor would
it be decorous to enquire; but hearing them drop a hint now and then
about visits, "a considerable time ago," to Brighthelmstone and Bath, we
are led, however reluctantly in the case of ladies _now_ evangelical, to
conclude, their attention has formerly been directed to
gentility-mongering at these places of fashionable resort; the tanyard
acting as a repellent to husbands of a social position superior to their
own, and their great fortunes operating in deterring worthy persons of
their own station from addressing them; or being the means of inducing
them to be too prompt with refusals, these amiable middle-aged young
ladies are now "on hands," paying the penalty of one of the many curses
that pride of wealth brings in its train. At present, however, their
"affections are set on things above;" and, without meaning any thing
disrespectful to my friend Joe Stimpson, Sarah, Harriet, and Susan
Stimpson are certainly the three least agreeable members of the family.
The sons are, like all other sons in the houses of their fathers,
steady, business-like, unhappy, and dull; they look like fledged birds
in the nest of the old ones, out of place; neither servants nor masters,
their social position is somewhat equivocal, and having lived all their
lives in the house of their father, seeing as he sees, thinking as he
thinks, they can hardly be expected to appear more than a brace of
immature Joe Stimpsons. They are not, it is true, tainted with much of
the world's wickedness, neither have they its self-sustaining trials,
its hopes, its fears, its honest struggles, or that experience which is
gathered only by men who quit, when they can quit it, the petticoat
string, and the paternal despotism of even a happy home. As for the old
couple, time, although silvering the temples and furrowing the front, is
hardly seen to lay his heavy hand upon the shoulder of either, much less
to put his finger on eyes, ears, or lips--the two first being yet as
"wide awake," and the last as open to a joke, or any other good thing,
as ever they were; in sooth, it is no unpleasing sight to see this jolly
old couple with nearly three half centuries to answer for, their
affection unimpaired, faculties unclouded, and temper undisturbed by the
near approach, beyond hope of respite, of that stealthy foe whose
assured advent strikes terror to us all. Joe Stimpson, if he thinks of
death at all, thinks of him as a pitiful rascal, to be kicked down
stairs by the family physician; the Bible of the old lady is seldom far
from her hand, and its consolations are cheering, calming, and assuring.
The peevish fretfulness of age has nothing in common with man or wife,
unless when Joe, exasperated with his evangelical daughters' continual
absence at the class-meetings, and love-feasts, and prayer-meetings,
somewhat indignantly complains, that "so long as they can get to heaven,
they don't care who goes to ----," a place that Virgil and Tasso have
taken much pains in describing, but which the old gentleman sufficiently
indicates by one emphatic monosyllable.

Joe is a liberal-minded man, hates cant and humbug, and has no
prejudices--hating the French he will not acknowledge is a prejudice,
but considers the bounden duty of an Englishman; and, though fierce
enough upon other subjects of taxation, thinks no price too high for
drubbing them. He was once prevailed upon to attempt a journey to Paris;
but having got to Calais, insisted upon returning by the next packet,
swearing it was a shabby concern, and he had seen enough of it.

He takes in the _Gentleman's Magazine,_ because his father did it before
him--but he never reads it; he takes pride in a corpulent dog, which is
ever at his heels; he is afflicted with face-ache, and swears at any
body who calls it _tic-douloureux._

When you go to dine with him, you are met at the door by a rosy-checked
lass, with ribands in her cap, who smiles a hearty welcome, and assures
you, though an utter stranger, of the character of the house and its
owner. You are conducted to the drawing-room, a plain, substantial,
_honest_-looking apartment; there you find the old couple, and are
received with a warmth that gives assurance of the nearest approach to
what is understood by _home_. The sons, released from business, arrive,
shake you heartily by the hand, and are really glad to see you; of the
daughters we say nothing, as there is nothing in _them_.

The other guests of the day come dropping in--all straightforward,
business-like, free, frank-hearted fellows--aristocrats of wealth, the
best, because the _unpretending_, of their class; they come, too,
_before_ their time, for they know their man, and that Joe Stimpson
keeps nobody waiting for nobody. When the clock--for here is no
_gong_--strikes five, you descend to dinner; plain, plentiful, good, and
well dressed; no tedious course, with long intervals between; no
oppressive _set-out_ of superfluous plate, and what, perhaps, is not the
least agreeable accessory, no piebald footmen hanging over your chair,
whisking away your plate before you have done with it, and watching
every bit you put into your mouth.

Your cherry-cheeked friend and another, both in the family from
childhood, (another good sign of the house,) and looking as if they
really were glad--and so they are--to have an opportunity of obliging
you, do the servitorial offices of the table; you are sure of a glass of
old sherry, and you may call for strong beer, or old port, with your
cheese--or, if a Scotchman, for a dram--without any other remark than an
invitation to "try it again, and make yourself comfortable."

After dinner, you are invited, as a young man, to smoke a cigar with the
"boys," as Joe persists in calling them. You ascend to a bed-room, and
are requested to keep your head out o' window while smoking, lest the
"Governor" should snuff the fumes when he comes up stairs to bed: while
you are "craning" your neck, the cherry-cheeked lass enters with brandy
and water, and you are as merry and easy as possible. The rest of the
evening passes away in the same unrestrained interchange of friendly
courtesy; nor are you permitted to take your leave without a promise to
dine on the next Sunday or holiday--Mrs Stimpson rating you for not
coming last Easter Sunday, and declaring she cannot think "why young men
should mope by themselves, when she is always happy to see them."

Honour to Joe Stimpson and his missus! They have the true _ring_ of the
ancient coin of hospitality; none of your hollow-sounding _raps_: they
know they have what I want, _a home_, and they will not allow me, at
their board, to know that I want one: they compassionate a lonely,
isolated man, and are ready to share with him the hearty cheer and
unaffected friendliness of their English fireside: they know that they
can get nothing by me, nor do they ever dream of an acknowledgment for
their kindness; but I owe them for many a social day redeemed from
cheerless solitude; many an hour of strenuous labour do I owe to the
relaxation of the old wainscotted dining-room at Bermondsey.

Honour to Joe Stimpson, and to all who are satisfied with their station,
happy in their home, have no repinings after empty sounds of rank and
shows of life; and who extend the hand of friendly fellowship to the
homeless, _because they have no home_!


THE ARISTOCRACY OF TALENT.

     "There is a quantity of talent latent among men, ever rising to
     the level of the great occasions that call it forth."

This illustration, borrowed by Sir James Mackintosh from chemical
science, and so happily applied, may serve to indicate the undoubted
truth, that talent is a _growth_ as much as a _gift_; that circumstances
call out and develop its latent powers; that as soil, flung upon the
surface from the uttermost penetrable depths of earth, will be found to
contain long-dormant germs of vegetable life, so the mind of man, acted
upon by circumstances, will ever be found equal to a certain sum of
production--the amount of which will be chiefly determined by the force
and direction of the external influence which first set it in motion.

The more we reflect upon this important subject, we shall find the more,
that external circumstances have an influence upon intellect, increasing
in an accumulating ratio; that the political institutions of various
countries have their fluctuating and contradictory influences; that
example controls in a great degree intellectual production, causing
after-growths, as it were, of the first luxuriant crop of masterminds,
and giving a character and individuality to habits of thought and modes
of expression; in brief, that great occasions will have great
instruments, and there never was yet a noted time that had not noted
men. Dull, jog-trot, money-making, commercial times will make, if they
do not find, dull, jog-trot, money-making, commercial men: in times when
ostentation and expense are the measures of respect, when men live
rather for the world's opinion than their own, poverty becomes not only
the evil but the shame, not only the curse but the disgrace, and will be
shunned by every man as a pestilence; every one will fling away
immortality, to avoid it; will sink, as far as he can, his art in his
trade; and _he_ will be the greatest genius who can turn most money.

It may be urged that true genius has the power not only to _take_
opportunities, but to make them: true, it may make such opportunities as
the time in which it lives affords; but these opportunities will be
great or small, noble or ignoble, as the time is eventful or otherwise.
All depends upon the time, and you might as well have expected a Low
Dutch epic poet in the time of the great herring fishery, as a Napoleon,
a Demosthenes, a Cicero in this, by some called the nineteenth, but
which we take leave to designate the "_dot-and-carry-one_" century. If a
Napoleon were to arise at any corner of any London street, not five
seconds would elapse until he would be "_hooked_" off to the
station-house by Superintendent DOGSNOSE of the D division, with an
exulting mob of men and boys hooting at his heels: if Demosthenes or
Cicero, disguised as Chartist orators, mounting a tub at Deptford, were
to Philippicize, or entertain this motley auditory with speeches against
Catiline or Verres, straightway the Superintendent of the X division,
with a _posse_ of constables at his heels, dismounts the patriot orator
from his tub, and hands him over to a plain-spoken business-like justice
of the peace, who regards an itinerant Cicero in the same unsympathizing
point of view with any other vagabond.

What is become of the eloquence of the bar? Why is it that flowery
orators find no grist coming to their mills? How came it that, at
Westminster Hall, Charles Philips missed his market? What is the reason,
that if you step into the Queen's Bench, or Common Pleas, or Exchequer,
you will hear no such thing as a speech--behold no such animal as an
orator--only a shrewd, plain, hard-working, steady man, called an
attorney-general, or a sergeant, or a leading counsel, quietly talking
over a matter of law with the judge, or a matter of fact with the jury,
like men of business as they are, and shunning, as they would a
rattlesnake, all clap-trap arguments, figures, flowers, and the obsolete
embroidery of rhetoric?

The days of romantic eloquence are fled--the great constitutional
questions that called forth "thoughts that breathe, and words that
burn," from men like Erskine, are _determined_. Would you have men
oratorical over a bottomry bond, Demosthenic about an action of trespass
on the case, or a rule to compute?

To be sure, when Follett practised before committees of the House of
Commons, and, by chance, any question involving points of interest and
difficulty in Parliamentary law and practice came before the Court,
there was something worth hearing: the _opportunity_ drew out the _man_,
and the _orator_ stepped before the _advocate_. Even now, sometimes, it
is quite refreshing to get a topic in these Courts worthy of Austin, and
Austin working at it. But no man need go to look for orators in our
ordinary courts of law; judgment, patience, reading, and that rare
compound of qualities known and appreciated by the name of _tact_, tell
with judges, and influence juries; the days of _palaver_ are gone, and
the talking heroes extinguished for ever.

All this is well known in London; but the three or four millions (it may
be _five_) of great men, philosophers, poets, orators, patriots, and the
like, in the rural districts, require to be informed of this our
declension from the heroics, in order to appreciate, or at least to
understand, the modesty, sobriety, business-like character, and division
of labour, in the vast amount of talent abounding in every department of
life in London.

London overflows with talent. You may compare it, for the purpose of
illustration, to one of George Robins' patent filters, into which pours
turbid torrents of Thames water, its sediment, mud, dirt, weeds, and
rottenness; straining through the various _strata_, its grosser
particles are arrested in their course, and nothing that is not pure,
transparent, and limpid is transmitted. In the great filter of London
life, conceit, pretension, small provincial abilities, _pseudo_-talent,
_soi-disant_ intellect, are tried, rejected, and flung out again. True
genius is tested by judgment, fastidiousness, emulation, difficulty,
privation; and, passing through many ordeals, persevering, makes its way
through all; and at length, in the fulness of time, flows forth, in
acknowledged purity and refinement, upon the town.

There is a perpetual onward, upward tendency in the talent, both high
and low, mechanical and intellectual, that abounds in London:

     "Emulation hath a thousand sons,"

who are ever and always following fast upon your heels. There is no time
to dawdle or linger on the road, no "stop and go on again:" if you but
step aside to fasten your shoe-tie, your place is occupied--you are
edged off, pushed out of the main current, and condemned to circle
slowly in the lazy eddy of some complimenting clique. Thousands are to
be found, anxious and able to take your place; while hardly one misses
you, or turns his head to look after you should you lose your own: you
_live_ but while you _labour_, and are no longer remembered than while
you are reluctant to repose.

Talent of all kinds brings forth perfect fruits, only when concentrated
upon one object: no matter how versatile men may be, mankind has a wise
and salutary prejudice against diffused talent; for although _knowledge_
diffused immortalizes itself, diffused _talent_ is but a shallow pool,
glittering in the noonday sun, and soon evaporated; _concentrated_, it
is a well, from whose depths perpetually may we draw the limpid waters.
Therefore is the talent of London concentrated, and the division of
labour minute. When we talk of a lawyer, a doctor, a man of letters, in
a provincial place, we recognize at once a man who embraces all that his
opportunities present him with, in whatever department of his
profession. The lawyer is, at one and the same time, advocate, chamber
counsel, conveyancer, pleader; the doctor an accoucheur, apothecary,
physician, surgeon, dentist, or at least, in a greater or less degree,
unites in his own person, these--in London, distinct and
separate--professions, according as his sphere of action is narrow or
extended; the country journalist is sometimes proprietor, editor,
sub-editor, traveller, and canvasser, or two or more of these
heterogeneous and incompatible avocations. The result is, an obvious,
appreciable, and long-established superiority in that product which is
the result of minutely divided labour.

The manufacture of a London watch or piano will employ, each, at least
twenty trades, exclusive of the preparers, importers, and venders of the
raw material used in these articles; every one of these tradesmen shall
be nay, _must_ be, the best of their class, or at least the best that
can be obtained; and for this purpose, the inducements of high wages are
held out to workmen generally, and their competition for employment
enables the manufacturer to secure the most skilful. It is just the same
with a broken-down constitution, or a lawsuit: the former shall be
placed under the care of a lung-doctor, a liver-doctor, a heart-doctor,
a dropsy-doctor, or whatever other doctor is supposed best able to
understand the case; each of these doctors shall have read lectures and
published books, and made himself known for his study and exclusive
attention to one of the "thousand ills that flesh is heir to:" the
latter shall go through the hands of dozens of men skilful in that
branch of the law connected with the particular injury. So it is with
every thing else of production, mechanical or intellectual, or both,
that London affords: the extent of the market permits the minute
division of labour, and the minute division of labour reacts upon the
market, raising the price of its produce, and branding it with the signs
of a legitimate superiority.

Hence the superior intelligence of working men, of all classes, high and
low, in the World of London; hence that striving after excellence, that
never-ceasing tendency to advance in whatever they are engaged in, that
so distinguishes the people of this wonderful place; hence the
improvements of to-day superseded by the improvements of to-morrow;
hence speculation, enterprize, unknown to the inhabitants of less
extended spheres of action.

Competition, emulation, and high wages give us an aristocracy of talent,
genius, skill, _tact_, or whatever you like to call it; but you are by
no means to understand that any of these aristocracies, or better
classes, stand prominently before their fellows _socially_, or, that one
is run after in preference to another; nobody runs after anybody in the
World of London.

In this respect, no capital, no country on the face of the earth,
resembles us; every where else you will find a leading class, giving a
tone to society, and moulding it in some one or other direction; a
predominating _set_, the pride of those who are _in_, the envy of those
who are _below_ it. There is nothing of this kind in London; here every
man has his own set, and every man his proper pride. In every set,
social or professional, there are great names, successful men, prominent;
but the set is nothing the greater for them: no man sheds any lustre
upon his fellows, nor is a briefless barrister a whit more thought of
because he and Lyndhurst are of the same profession.

Take a look at other places: in money-getting places, you find society
following, like so many dogs, the aristocracy of 'Change: every man
knows the worth of every other man, that is to say, _what_ he is worth.

A good man, elsewhere a relative term, is _there_ a man good for _so_
much; hats are elevated and bodies depressed upon a scale of ten
thousand pounds to an inch; "I hope you are well," from one of the
aristocracy of these places is always translated to mean, "I hope you
are solvent," and "how d'ye do?" from another, is equivalent to "doing a
bill."

Go abroad, to Rome for example--You are smothered beneath the petticoats
of an ecclesiastical aristocracy. Go to the northern courts of
Europe--You are ill-received, or perhaps not received at all, save in
military uniform; the aristocracy of the epaulet meets you at every
turn, and if you are not at least an ensign of militia, you are nothing.
Make your way into Germany--What do you find there? an aristocracy of
functionaries, mobs of nobodies living upon everybodies; from Herr Von,
Aulic councillor, and Frau Von, Aulic councilloress, down to Herr Von,
crossing-sweeper, and Frau Von, crossing-sweeperess--for the women there
must be _better_-half even in their titles--you find society led, or, to
speak more correctly, society _consisting_ of functionaries, and they,
every office son of them, and their wives--nay, their very curs--alike
insolent and dependent. "Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart, see they bark at
_me_!" There, to get into society, you must first get into a place: you
must contrive to be the _servant_ of the public before you are permitted
to be the _master_: you must be paid by, before you are in a condition
to despise, the _canaille_.

Passing Holland and Belgium as more akin to the genius of the English
people, as respects the supremacy of honest industry, its independent
exercise, and the comparative insignificance of aristocracies,
conventionally so called, we come to FRANCE: there we find a provincial
and a Parisian aristocracy--the former a servile mob of placemen, one in
fifty, at least, of the whole population; and the latter--oh! my poor
head, what a _clanjaffrey_ of _journalistes, feuilletonistes, artistes_,
dramatists, novelists, _vaudivellistes_, poets, literary ladies, lovers
of literary ladies, _hommes de lettres, claqueurs, littérateurs,
gérants, censeurs, rapporteurs_, and _le diable boiteux_ verily knows
what else!

These people, with whom, or at least with a great majority of whom,
common sense, sobriety of thought, consistency of purpose, steady
determination in action, and sound reasoning, are so sadly eclipsed by
their vivacity, _empressement_, prejudice, and party zeal, form a
prominent, indeed, _the_ prominent aristocracy of the _salons_: and only
conceive what must be the state of things in France, when we know that
Paris acts upon the provinces, and that Paris is acted upon by this
foolscap aristocracy, without station, or, what is perhaps worse,
enjoying station without property; abounding in maddening and exciting
influences, but lamentably deficient in those hard-headed,
_ungenius-like_ qualities of patience, prudence, charity, forbearance,
and peace-lovings, of which their war-worn nation, more than any other
in Europe, stands in need.

When, in the name of goodness, is the heart of the philanthropist to be
gladdened with the desire of peace fulfilled over the earth? When are
paltry family intrigues to cease, causing the blood of innocent
thousands to be shed? When will the aristocracy of genius in France give
over jingling, like castanets, their trashy rhymes "_gloire_" and
"_victoire_," and apply themselves to objects worthy of creatures
endowed with the faculty of reason? Or, if they must have fighting, if
it is their nature, if the prime instinct with them is the thirst of
human blood, how cowardly, how paltry, is it to hound on their
fellow-countrymen to war with England, to war with Spain, to war with
every body, while snug in their offices, doing their little best to
bleed nations with their pen!

Why does not the foolscap aristocracy rush forth, inkhorn in hand, and
restore the glories (as they call them) of the Empire, nor pause till
they mend their pens victorious upon the brink of the Rhine.

To resume: the aristocracies of our provincial capitals are those of
literature in the one, and lickspittling in the other: mercantile towns
have their aristocracies of money, or muckworm aristocracies: Rome has
an ecclesiastical--Prussia, Russia, military aristocracies: Germany, an
aristocracy of functionaries: France has two, or even three, great
aristocracies--the military, place-hunting, and foolscap.

Now, then, attend to what we are going to say: London is cursed with no
predominating, no overwhelming, no _characteristic_ aristocracy. There
is no _set_ or _clique_ of any sort or description of men that you can
point to, and say, that's the London set. We turn round and desire to be
informed what set do you mean: every _salon_ has its set, and every
pot-house its set also; and the frequenters of each set are neither
envious of the position of the other, nor dissatisfied with their own:
the pretenders to fashion, or hangers-on upon the outskirts of high
life, are alone the servile set, or spaniel set, who want the proper
self-respecting pride which every distinct aristocracy maintains in the
World of London.

We are a great firmament, a moonless azure, glowing with stars of all
magnitudes, and myriads of _nebulæ_ of no magnitudes at all: we move
harmoniously in our several orbits, minding our own business, satisfied
with our position, thinking, it may be, with harmless vanity, that we
bestow more light upon earth than any ten, and that the eyes of all
terrestrial stargazers are upon us. Adventurers, pretenders, and quacks,
are our meteors, our _auroræ_, our comets, our falling-stars, shooting
athwart our hemisphere, and exhaling into irretrievable darkness: our
tuft-hunters are satellites of Jupiter, invisible to the naked eye: our
clear frosty atmosphere that sets us all a-twinkling is prosperity, and
we, too have our clouds that hide us from the eyes of men. The noonday
of our own bustling time beholds us dimly; but posterity regards us as
it were from the bottom of a well. Time, that exact observer, applies
his micrometer to every one of us, determining our rank among celestial
bodies without appeal and from time to time enrolling in his _ephemeris_
such new luminaries as may be vouchsafed to the long succession of ages.

If there is one thing that endears London to men of superior order--to
true aristocrats, no matter of what species, it is that universal
equality of outward condition, that republicanism of everyday life,
which pervades the vast multitudes who hum, and who drone, who gather
honey, and who, without gathering, consume the products of this gigantic
hive. Here you can never be extinguished or put out by any overwhelming
interest.

Neither are we in London pushed to the wall by the two or three hundred
great men of every little place. We are not invited to a main of small
talk with the cock of his own dung-hill; we are never told, as a great
favour, that Mr Alexander Scaldhead, the phrenologist, is to be there,
and that we can have our "bumps" felt for nothing; or that the Chevalier
Doembrownski (a London pickpocket in disguise) is expected to recite a
Polish ode, accompanying himself on the Jew's harp; we are not bored
with the misconduct of the librarian, who _never_ has the first volume
of the last new novel, or invited to determine whether Louisa Fitzsmythe
or Angelina Stubbsville deserves to be considered the heroine; we are
not required to be in raptures because Mrs Alfred Shaw or Clara Novello
are expected, or to break our hearts with disappointment because they
didn't come: the arrival, performances, and departure, of Ducrow's
horses, or Wombwell's wild beasts, affect us with no extraordinary
emotion; even Assizes time concerns most of us nothing.

Then, again, how vulgar, how commonplace in London is the aristocracy of
wealth; of Mrs Grub, who, in a provincial town, keeps her carriage, and
is at once the envy and the scandal of all the Ladies who have to
proceed upon their ten toes, we wot not the existence. Mr Bill Wright,
the banker, the respected, respectable, influential, twenty per cent
Wright, in London is merely a licensed dealer in money; he visits at
Camberwell Hill, or Hampstead Heath, or wherever other tradesmen of his
class delight to dwell; his wife and daughters patronize the Polish
balls, and Mr Bill Wright, jun., sports a stall at the (English) opera;
we are not overdone by Mr Bill Wright, overcome by Mrs Bill Wright, or
the Misses Bill Wright, nor overcrowed by Mr Bill Wright the younger: in
a word, we don't care a crossed cheque for the whole Bill Wrightish
connexion.

What are carriages, or carriage-keeping people in London? It is not
here, as in the provinces, by their carriages shall you know them; on
the contrary, the carriage of a duchess is only distinguishable from
that of a _parvenu_, by the superior expensiveness and vulgarity of the
latter.

The vulgarity of ostentatious wealth with us, defeats the end it aims
at. That expense which is lavished to impress us with awe and
admiration, serves only as a provocative to laughter, and inducement to
contempt; where great wealth and good taste go together, we at once
recognize the harmonious adaptation of means and ends; where they do
not, all extrinsic and adventitious expenditure availeth its disbursers
nothing.

What animal on earth was ever so inhumanly preposterous as a lord
mayor's footman, and yet it takes sixty guineas, at the least, to make
that poor lick-plate a common laughing-stock?

No, sir; in London we see into, and see through, all sorts of
pretension: the pretension of wealth or rank, whatever kind of quackery
and imposture. When I say _we_, I speak of the vast multitudes forming
the educated, discriminating, and thinking classes of London life. We
pass on to _what_ a man _is_, over _who_ he is, and what he _has_; and,
with one of the most accurate observers of human character and nature to
whom a man of the world ever sat for his portrait--the inimitable La
Bruyere--when offended with the hollow extravagance of vulgar riches, we
exclaim--"_Tu te trompes, Philemon, si avec ce carrosse brillant, ce
grand nombre de coquins qui te suivent, et ces six bêtes qui te
trainent, tu penses qu'on t'en estime d'avantage: ou ecarte tout cet
attirail qui t'est étranger, pour pénétrer jusq'a toi qui n'es qu'un
fat_."

In London, every man is responsible for himself, and his position is the
consequence of his conduct. If a great author, for example, or artist,
or politician, should choose to outrage the established rules of society
in any essential particular, he is neglected and even shunned in his
private, though he may be admired and lauded in his public capacity.
Society marks the line between the _public_ and the _social_ man; and
this line no eminence, not even that of premier minister of England,
will enable a public man to confound.

Wherever you are invited in London to be introduced to a great man, by
any of his parasites or hangers-on, you may be assured that your great
man is no such thing; you may make up your mind to be presented to some
quack, some hollow-skulled fellow, who makes up by little arts, small
tactics, and every variety of puff, for the want of that inherent
excellence which will enable him to stand alone. These gentlemen form
the Cockney school proper of art, literature, the drama, every thing;
and they go about seeking praise, as a goatsucker hunts insects, with
their mouths wide open; they pursue their prey in troops, like Jackals,
and like them, utter at all times a melancholy, complaining howl; they
imagine that the world is in a conspiracy not to admire them, and they
would bring an action against the world if they could. But as that is
impossible, they are content to rail against the world in good set
terms; they are always puffing in the papers, but in a side-winded way,
yet you can trace them always at work, through the daily, weekly,
monthly periodicals, in desperate exertion to attract public attention.
They have at their head one sublime genius, whom they swear by, and they
admire him the more, the more incomprehensible and oracular he appears
to the rest of mankind.

These are the men who cultivate extensive tracts of forehead, and are
deeply versed in the effective display of depending ringlets and
ornamental whiskers; they dress in black, with white _chokers_, and you
will be sure to find a lot of them at evening parties of the middling
sort of doctors, or the better class of boarding-houses.

This class numbers not merely literary men, but actors, artists,
adventuring politicians, small scientifics, and a thousand others, who
have not energy or endurance to work their way in solitary labour, or
who feel that they do not possess the power to go alone.

Public men in London appear naked at the bar of public opinion; laced
coats, ribands, embroidery, titles, avail nothing, because these things
are common, and have the common fate of common things, to be cheaply
estimated. The eye is satiated with them, they come like shadows, so
depart; but they do not feed the eye of the mind; the understanding is
not the better for such gingerbread; we are compelled to look out for
some more substantial nutriment, and we try the inward man, and test his
capacity. Instead of measuring his bumps, like a landsurveyor, we
dissect his brain, like an anatomist; we estimate him, whether he be
high or low, in whatever department of life, not by what he says he can
do, or means to do, but by what he _has_ done. By this test is every man
of talent tried in London; this is his grand, his formal difficulty, to
get the opportunity of showing what he can do, of being put into
circulation, of having the chance of being tested, like a shilling, by
the _ring_ of the customer and the _bite_ of the critic; for the
opportunity, the chance to edge in, the chink to _wedge_ in, the
_purchase_ whereon to work the length of his lever, he must be ever on
the watch; for the sunshine blink of encouragement, the April shower of
praise, he must await the long winter of "hope deferred" passing away.
Patience, the _courage_ of the man of talent, he must exert for many a
dreary and unrewarded day; he must see the quack and the pretender lead
an undiscerning public by the nose, and say nothing; nor must he exult
when the too-long enduring public at length kicks the pretender and the
quack into deserved oblivion. From many a door that will hereafter
gladly open for him, he must be content to be presently turned away.
Many a scanty meal, many a lonely and unfriended evening, in this vast
wilderness, must he pass in trying on his armour, and preparing himself
for the fight that he still believes _will_ come, and in which his
spirit, strong within him, tells him he must conquer. While the night
yet shrouds him he must labour, and with patient, and happily for him,
if, with religious hope, he watch the first faint glimmerings of the
dawning day; for his day, if he is worthy to behold it, will come, and
he will yet be recompensed "by that time and chance which happeneth to
all." And if his heart fails him, and his coward spirit turns to flee,
often as he sits, tearful, in the solitude of his chamber, will the
remembrance of the early struggles of the immortals shame that coward
spirit. The shade of the sturdy Johnson, hungering, dinnerless, will
mutely reproach him for sinking thus beneath the ills that the
"scholar's life assail." The kindly-hearted, amiable Goldsmith, pursued
to the gates of a prison by a mercenary wretch who fattened upon the
produce of that lovely mind, smiling upon him, will bid him be of good
cheer. A thousand names, that fondly live in the remembrance of our
hearts, will he conjure up, and all will tell the same story of early
want, and long neglect, and lonely friendlessness. Then will reproach
himself, saying, "What am I, that I should quail before the misery that
broke not minds like these? What am I, that I should be exempt from the
earthly fate of the immortals?"

Nor marvel, then, that men who have passed the fiery ordeal, whose power
has been tried and not found wanting, whose nights of probation,
difficulty, and despair are past, and with whom it is now noon, should
come forth, with deportment modest and subdued, exempt from the insolent
assumption of vulgar minds, and their yet more vulgar hostilities and
friendships: that such men as Campbell and Rogers, and a thousand others
in every department of life and letters, should partake of that quietude
of manner, that modesty of deportment, that compassion for the
unfortunate of their class, that unselfish admiration for men who,
successful, have deserved success, that abomination of cliques,
coteries, and _conversazionés_, and all the littleness of inferior fry:
that such men should have parasites, and followers, and hangers-on; or
that, since men like themselves are few and far between, they should
live for and with such men alone.

But thou, O Vanity! thou curse, thou shame, thou sin, with what tides of
_pseudo_ talent hast thou not filled this ambitious town? Ass, dolt,
miscalculator, quack, pretender, how many hast thou befooled, thou
father of multifarious fools? Serpent, tempter, evil one, how many hast
thou seduced from the plough tail, the carpenter's bench, the
schoolmaster's desk, the rural scene, to plunge them into misery and
contempt in this, the abiding-place of their betters, thou unhanged
cheat? Hence the querulous piping against the world and the times, and
the neglect of genius, and appeals to posterity, and damnation of
managers, publishers, and the public; hence cliques, and _claqueurs_,
and coteries, and the would-if-I-could-be aristocracy of letters; hence
bickerings, quarellings, backbitings, slanderings, and reciprocity of
contempt; hence the impossibility of literary union, and the absolute
necessity imposed upon the great names of our time of shunning, like a
pestilence, the hordes of vanity-struck individuals who would tear the
coats off their backs in desperate adherence to the skirts. Thou, too, O
Vanity! art responsible for greater evils:--Time misspent, industry
misdirected, labour unrequited, because uselessly or imprudently
applied: poverty and isolation, families left unprovided for, pensions,
solicitations, patrons, meannesses, subscriptions!

True talent, on the contrary, in London, meets its reward, if it lives
to be rewarded; but it has, of its own right, no _social_ pre-eminence,
nor is it set above or below any of the other aristocracies, in what we
may take the liberty of calling its private life. In this, as in all
other our aristocracies, men are regarded not as of their set, but as of
themselves: they are _individually_ admired, not worshipped as a
congregation: their social influence is not aggregated, though their
public influence may be. When a man, of whatever class, leaves his
closet, he is expected to meet society upon equal terms: the scholar,
the man of rank, the politician, the _millionaire_, must merge in the
gentleman: if he chooses to individualize his aristocracy in his own
person, he must do so at home, for it will not be understood or
submitted to any where else.

The rewards of intellectual labour applied to purposes of remote, or not
immediately appreciable usefulness, as in social literature, and the
loftier branches of the fine arts, are, with us, so few, as hardly to be
worth mentioning, and pity 'tis that it should be so. The law, the
church, the army, and the faculty of physic, have not only their fair
and legitimate remuneration for independent labour, but they have their
several prizes, to which all who excel, may confidently look forward
when the time of weariness and exhaustion shall come; when the pressure
of years shall slacken exertion, and diminished vigour crave some haven
of repose, or, at the least, some mitigated toil, with greater security
of income: some place of honour with repose--the ambition of declining
years. The influence of the great prize of the law, the church, and
other professions in this country, has often been insisted upon with
great reason: it has been said, and truly said, that not only do these
prizes reward merit already passed through its probationary stages, but
serve as inducements to all who are pursuing the same career. It is not
so much the example of the prize-holder, as the _prize_, that stimulates
men onward and upward: without the hope of reaching one of those
comfortable stations, hope would be extinguished, talent lie fallow,
energy be limited to the mere attainment of subsistence; great things
would not be done, or attempted, and we would behold only a dreary level
of indiscriminate mediocrity. If this be true of professions, in which,
after a season of severe study, a term of probation, the knowledge
acquired in early life sustains the professor, with added experience of
every day, throughout the rest of his career, with how much more force
will it apply to professions or pursuits, in which the mind is
perpetually on the rack to produce novelties, and in which it is
considered derogatory to a man to reproduce his own ideas, copy his own
pictures, or multiply, after the same model, a variety of characters and
figures!

A few years of hard reading, constant attention in the chambers of the
conveyancer, the equity craftsman, the pleader, and a few years more of
that disinterested observance of the practice of the courts, which is
liberally afforded to every young barrister, and indeed which many enjoy
throughout life, and he is competent, with moderate talent, to protect
the interests of his client, and with moderate mental labour to make a
respectable figure in his profession. In like manner, four or five years
sedulous attendance on lectures, dissections, and practice of the
hospitals, enables your physician to see how little remedial power
exists in his boasted art; knowing this, he feels pulses, and orders a
recognized routine of draughts and pills with the formality which makes
the great secret of his profession. When the patient dies, nature, of
course, bears the blame; and when nature, happily uninterfered with,
recovers his patient, the doctor stands on tiptoe. Henceforward his
success is determined by other than medical sciences: a pillbox and
pair, a good house in some recognized locality, Sunday dinners, a bit of
a book, grand power of head-shaking, shoulder-shrugging, bamboozling
weak-minded men and women, and, if possible, a religious connexion.

For the clergyman, it is only necessary that he should be orthodox,
humble, and pious; that he should on no occasion, right or wrong, set
himself in opposition to his ecclesiastical superiors; that he should
preach unpretending sermons; that he should never make jokes, nor
understand the jokes of another: this is all that he wants to get on
respectably. If he is ambitious, and wishes one of the great prizes, he
must have been a free-thinking reviewer, have written pamphlets, or made
a fuss about the Greek particle, or, what will avail him more than all,
have been tutor to a minister of state.

Thus you perceive, for men whose education is _intellectual_, but whose
practice is more or less _mechanical_, you have many great,
intermediate, and little prizes in the lottery of life; but where, on
the contrary, are the prizes for the historian, transmitting to
posterity the events, and men, and times long since past; where the
prize of the analyst of mind, of the dramatic, the epic, or the lyric
poet, the essayist, and all whose works are likely to become the
classics of future times; where the prize of the public journalist, who
points the direction of public opinion, and, himself without place,
station, or even name, teaches Governments their duty, and prevents
Ministers of State becoming, by hardihood or ignorance, intolerable
evils; where the prize of the great artist, who has not employed himself
making faces for hire, but who has worked in loneliness and isolation,
living, like Barry, upon raw apples and cold water, that he might
bequeath to his country some memorial worthy the age in which he lived,
and the art _for_ which he lived? For these men, and such as these, are
no prizes in the lottery of life; a grateful country sets apart for them
no places where they can retire in the full enjoyment of their fame;
condemned to labour for their bread, not in a dull mechanical routine of
professional, official, or business-like duties, but in the most severe,
most wearing of all labour, _the labour of the brain_, they end where
they begun. With struggling they begin life, with struggling they make
their way in life, with struggling they end life; poverty drives away
friends, and reputation multiplies enemies. The man whose thoughts will
become the thoughts of our children, whose minds will be reflected in
the mirror of _his_ mind, who will store in their memories his household
words, and carry his lessons in their hearts, dies not unwillingly, for
he has nothing in life to look forward to; closes with indifference his
eyes on a prospect where no gleam of hope sheds its sunlight on the
broken spirit; he dies, is borne by a few humble friends to a lowly
sepulchre, and the newspapers of some days after give us the following
paragraph:--

"We regret to be obliged to state that Dr ----, or ---- ----, Esq. (as
the case may be) died, on Saturday last at his lodgings two pair back in
Back Place, Pimlico, (or) at his cottage (a miserable cabin where he
retired to die) at Kingston-upon-Thames. It is our melancholy duty to
inform our readers that this highly gifted and amiable man, who for so
many years delighted and improved the town, and who was a most strenuous
supporter of the (Radical or Conservative) cause, (_it is necessary to
set forth this miserable statement to awaken the gratitude of faction
towards the family of the dead_,) has left a rising family totally
unprovided for. We are satisfied that it is only necessary to allude to
this distressing circumstance, in order to enlist the sympathies, &c.
&c., (in short, _to get up a subscription_)."

We confess we are at a loss to understand why the above advertisement
should be kept stereotyped, to be inserted with only the interpolation
of name and date, when any man dies who has devoted himself to pursuits
of a purely intellectual character. Nor are we unable to discover in the
melancholy, and, as it would seem, unavoidable fates of such men,
substantial grounds of that diversion of the aristocracy of talent to
the pursuit of professional distinction, accompanied by profit, of which
our literature, art, and science are now suffering, and will continue to
suffer, the consequences.

In a highly artificial state of society, where a command, not merely of
the essentials, but of some of the superfluities of life are requisite
as passports to society, no man will willingly devote himself to
pursuits which will render him an outlaw, and his family dependent on
the tardy gratitude of an indifferent world. The stimulus of fame will
be inadequate to maintain the energies even of _great_ minds, in a
contest of which the victories are wreaths of barren bays. Nor will any
man willingly consume the morning of his days in amassing intellectual
treasures for posterity, when his contemporaries behold him dimming with
unavailing tears his twilight of existence, and dying with the worse
than deadly pang, the consciousness that those who are nearest and
dearest to his heart must eat the bread of charity. Nor is it quite
clear to our apprehension, that the prevalent system of providing for
merely intellectual men, by a State annuity or pension, is the best that
can be devised: it is hard that the pensioned aristocracy of talent
should be exposed to the taunt of receiving the means of their
subsistence from this or that minister, upon suppositions of this or
that ministerial assistance which, whether true or false, cannot fail to
derogate from that independent dignity of mind which is never
extinguished in the breast of the true aristocrat of talent, save by
unavailing struggles, long-continued, with the unkindness of fortune.

We wish the aristocracy of power to think over this, and so very
heartily bid them farewell.

      *       *       *       *       *



THE LOST LAMB.

BY DELTA.

    A shepherd laid upon his bed,
    With many a sigh, his aching head,
    For him--his favourite boy--on whom
    Had fallen death, a sudden doom.
    "But yesterday," with sobs he cried,
    "Thou wert, with sweet looks, at my side,
    Life's loveliest blossom, and to-day,
    Woes me! thou liest a thing of clay!
    It cannot be that thou art gone;
    It cannot be, that now, alone,
    A grey-hair'd man on earth am I,
    Whilst thou within its bosom lie?
    Methinks I see thee smiling there,
    With beaming eyes, and sunny hair,
    As thou were wont, when fondling me,
    To clasp my neck from off my knee!
    Was it thy voice? Again, oh speak,
    My boy, or else my heart will break!"

    Each adding to that father's woes,
    A thousand bygone scenes arose;
    At home--a field--each with its joy,
    Each with its smile--and all his boy!
    Now swell'd his proud rebellious breast,
    With darkness and with doubt opprest;
    Now sank despondent, while amain
    Unnerving tears fell down like rain:
    Air--air--he breathed, yet wanted breath--
    It was not life--it was not death--
    But the drear agony between,
    Where all is heard, and felt, and seen--
    The wheels of action set ajar;
    The body with the soul at war.
    'Twas vain, 'twas vain; he could not find
    A haven for his shipwreck'd mind;
    Sleep shunn'd his pillow. Forth he went--
    The noon from midnight's azure tent
    Shone down, and, with serenest light,
    Flooded the windless plains of night;
    The lake in its clear mirror show'd
    Each little star that twinkling glow'd;
    Aspens, that quiver with a breath,
    Were stirless in that hush of death;
    The birds were nestled in their bowers;
    The dewdrops glitter'd on the flowers;
    Almost it seem'd as pitying Heaven
    A while its sinless calm had given
    To lower regions, lest despair
    Should make abode for ever there;
    So tranquil--so serene--so bright--
    Brooded o'er earth the wings of night.

    O'ershadow'd by its ancient yew,
    His sheep-cot met the shepherd's view;
    And, placid, in that calm profound,
    His silent flocks lay slumbering round:
    With flowing mantle, by his side,
    Sudden, a stranger he espied,
    Bland was his visage, and his voice
    Soften'd the heart, yet bade rejoice.--
    "Why is thy mourning thus?" he said,
    "Why thus doth sorrow bow thy head?
    Why faltereth thus thy faith, that so
    Abroad despairing thou dost go?
    As if the God who gave thee breath,
    Held not the keys of life and death!
    When from the flocks that feed about,
    A single lamb thou choosest out,
    Is it not that which seemeth best
    That thou dost take, yet leave the rest?
    Yes! such thy wont; and, even so,
    With his choice little ones below
    Doth the Good Shepherd deal; he breaks
    Their earthly bands, and homeward takes,
    Early, ere sin hath render'd dim
    The image of the seraphim!"

    Heart-struck, the shepherd home return'd;
    Again within his bosom burn'd
    The light of faith; and, from that day,
    He trode serene life's onward way.

      *       *       *       *       *



COMTE.

     _Cours de Philosophie Positive_, par M. Auguste Comte.


It is pleasant to find in some extreme, uncompromising, eccentric work,
written for the complete renovation of man, a new establishment of
truth, little else, after all its tempest of thought has swept over the
mind, than another confirmation of old, and long-settled, and temperate
views. Our sober philosophy, like some familiar landscape seen after a
thunder storm, comes out but the more distinct, the brighter, and the
more tranquil, for the bursting cloud and the windy tumult that had
passed over its surface. Some such experience have we just had. Our
Conservative principles, our calm and patient manner of viewing things,
have rarely received a stronger corroboration than from the perusal or
the extraordinary work of M. Comte--a work written, assuredly, for no
such comfortable purpose, but for the express object (so far as we can
at present state it to our readers) of re-organizing political society,
by means of an intellectual reformation amongst political thinkers.

We would not be thought to throw an idle sneer at those generous hopes
of the future destiny of society which have animated some of the noblest
and most vigorous minds. It is no part of a Conservative philosophy to
doubt on the broad question of the further and continuous improvement of
mankind. Nor will the perusal of M. Comte's work induce, or permit, such
a doubt. But while he leaves with his reader a strong impression of the
unceasing development of social man, he leaves a still stronger
impression of the futile or mischievous efforts of those--himself
amongst the number--who are thrusting themselves forward as the peculiar
and exclusive advocates of progress and improvement. He exhibits himself
in the attitude of an innovator, as powerless in effect as he is daring
to design; whilst, at the same time, he deals a _crashing_ blow (as upon
rival machinators) on that malignant party in European politics, whether
it call itself liberal or of the movement, whose most distinct aim seems
to be to unloose men from the bonds of civil government. We, too,
believe in the silent, irresistible progress of human society, but we
believe also that he is best working for posterity, as well as for the
welfare of his contemporaries, who promotes order and tranquil effort in
his own generation, by means of those elements of order which his own
generation supplies.

That which distinguishes M. Comte's work from all other courses of
philosophy, or treatises upon science, is the attempt to reduce to
the _scientific method_ of cogitation the affairs of human
society--morality, politics; in short, all those general topics which
occupy our solitary and perplexed meditation, or sustain the incessant
strife of controversy. These are to constitute a new science, to be
called _Social Physics_, or _Sociology_. To apply the Baconian, or, as
it is here called, the positive method, to man in all phases of his
existence--to introduce the same fixed, indissoluble, imperturbable
order in our ideas of morals, politics, and history, that we attain to
astronomy and mechanics, is the bold object of his labours. He does not
here set forth a model of human society based on scientific conclusions;
something of this kind is promised us in a future work; in the present
undertaking he is especially anxious to compel us to think on all such
topics in the scientific method, _and in no other_. For be it known,
that science is not only weak in herself, and has been hitherto
incompetent to the task of unravelling the complicate proceedings of
humanity, but she has also a great rival in the form of theologic
method, wherein the mind seeks a solution for its difficulties in a
power above nature. The human being has contracted an inveterate habit
of viewing itself as standing in a peculiar relation to a supreme
Architect and Governor of the world--a habit which in many ways, direct
and indirect, interferes, it seems, with the application of the positive
method. This habit is to be corrected; such supreme Architect and
Governor is to be dismissed from the imagination of men; science is to
supply the sole mode of thought, and humanity to be its only object.

We have called M. Comte's an extraordinary book, and this is an epithet
which our readers are already fully prepared to apply. But the book, in
our judgment, is extraordinary in more senses than one. It is as
remarkable for the great mental energy it displays, for its originality
and occasional profundity of thought, as it is for the astounding
conclusions to which it would conduct us, for its bold paradoxes, and
for what we can designate no otherwise than its egregious errors. As a
discipline of the mind, so far as a full appreciation is concerned of
the scientific method, it cannot be read without signal advantage. The
book is altogether an anomaly; exhibiting the strangest mixture that
ever mortal work betrayed of manifold blunder and great intellectual
power. The man thinks at times with the strength of a giant. Neither
does he fail, as we have already gathered, in the rebellious and
destructive propensities for which giants have been of old renowned.
Fable tells us how they could have no gods to reign over them, and how
they threatened to drive Jupiter himself from the skies. Our
intellectual representative of the race nourishes designs of equal
temerity. Like his earth-born predecessors, his rage, we may be sure,
will be equally vain. No thunder will be heard, neither will the hills
move to overwhelm him; but in due course of time he will lie down, and
be covered up with his own earth, and the heavens will be as bright and
stable as before, and still the abode of the same unassailable Power.

For the _style_ of M. Comte's work, it is not commendable. The
philosophical writers of his country are in general so distinguished for
excellence in this particular, their exposition of thought is so
remarkably felicitous, that a failure in a Frenchman in the mere art of
writing, appears almost as great an anomaly as any of the others which
characterize this production. During the earlier volumes, which are
occupied with a review of the recognized branches of science, the vices
of style are kept within bounds, but after he has entered on what is the
great subject of all his lucubrations, his social physics, they grow
distressingly conspicuous. The work extends to six volumes, some of them
of unusually large capacity; and by the time we arrive at the last and
the most bulky, the style, for its languor, its repetitions, its
prolixity, has become intolerable.

Of a work of this description, distinguished by such bold features,
remarkable for originality and subtlety, as well as for surprising
hardihood and eccentricity of thought, and bearing on its surface a
manner of exposition by no means attractive, we imagine that our readers
will not be indisposed to receive some notice. Its errors--supposing we
are capable of coping with them--are worthy of refutation. Moreover, as
we have hinted, the impression it conveys is, in relation to politics,
eminently Conservative; for, besides that he has exposed, with peculiar
vigour, the utter inadequacy of the movement, or liberal party, to
preside over the organization of society, there is nothing more
calculated to render us content with an _empirical_ condition of
tolerable well-being, than the exhibition (and such, we think, is here
presented to us) of a strong mind palpably at fault in its attempt to
substitute, out of its own theory of man, a better foundation for the
social structure than is afforded by the existing unphilosophical medley
of human thought. Upon that portion of the _Cours de Philosophie
Positive_ which treats of the sciences usually so called, we do not
intend to enter, nor do the general remarks we make apply to it. Our
limited object is to place our reader at the point of view which M.
Comte takes in his new science of Sociology; and to do this with any
justice to him or to ourselves, in the space we can allot to the
subject, will be a task of sufficient difficulty.

And first, as to the title of the work, _Philosophie Positive_, which
has, perhaps, all this while been perplexing the reader. The reasons
which induced M. Comte to adopt it, shall be given in his own words;
they could not have been appreciated until some general notion had been
given of the object he had in view.

     "There is doubtless," he says, in his _Avertissement_, "a close
     resemblance between my _Philosophie Positive_, and what the
     English, especially since the days of Newton, understand by
     _Natural Philosophy_. But I would not adopt this last
     expression, any more than that of _Philosophy of the Sciences_,
     which would have perhaps been still more precise, because
     neither of these has yet been extended to all orders of
     phenomena, whilst _Philosophie Positive_, in which I comprehend
     the study of the social phenomena, as well as all others,
     designs a uniform manner of reasoning applicable to all
     subjects on which the human mind can be exerted. Besides which,
     the expression _Natural Philosophy_ is employed in England to
     denote the aggregate of the several sciences of observation,
     considered even in their most minute details; whereas, by the
     title of _Philosophie Positive_, I intimate, with regard to the
     several positive sciences, a study of them only in their
     generalities, conceiving them as submitted to a uniform method,
     and forming the different parts of a general plan of research.
     The term which I have been led to construct is, therefore, at
     once more extended and more restricted than other
     denominations, which are so far similar that they have
     reference to the same fundamental class of ideas."

This very announcement of M. Comte's intention to comprehend in his
course of natural philosophy the study of the several phenomena, compels
us to enquire how far these are fit subjects for the strict application
of the scientific method. We waive the metaphysical question of the free
agency of man, and the theological question of the occasional
interference of the Divine Power; and presuming these to be decided in a
manner favourable to the project of our Sociologist, we still ask if it
be possible to make of the affairs of society--legislation and politics,
for instance--a department of science?

The mere multiplicity and complication of facts in this department of
enquiry, have been generally regarded as rendering such an attempt
hopeless. In any social problem of importance, we invariably feel that
to embrace the whole of the circumstances, with all their results and
dependencies, is really out of our power, and we are forced to content
ourselves with a judgment formed on what appear to us the principal
facts. Thus arise those limited truths, admitting of exceptions, of
qualification, of partial application, on which we are fain to rely in
the conduct of human affairs. In framing his measures, how often is the
statesman, or the jurist, made aware of the utter impossibility of
guarding them against every species of objection, or of so constructing
them that they shall present an equal front on every side! How still
more keenly is the speculative politician made to feel, when giving in
his adherence to some great line of policy, that he cannot gather in
under his conclusions _all_ the political truths he is master of! He
reluctantly resigns to his opponent the possession, or at least the
usufruct, of a certain class of truths which he is obliged to postpone
to others of more extensive or more urgent application.

But this multiplicity and complication of facts may merely render the
task of the Sociologist extremely difficult, not impossible; and the
half truths, and the perplexity of thought above alluded to, may only
prove that his scientific task has not yet been accomplished. Nothing is
here presented in the nature of the subject to exclude the strict
application of _the method_. There is, however, one essential,
distinctive attribute of human society which constitutes a difference in
the nature of the subject, so as to render impossible the same
scientific survey and appreciation of the social phenomena of the world
that we may expect to obtain of the physical. This is the gradual and
incessant _developement_ which humanity has displayed, and is still
displaying. Who can tell us that that _experience_ on which a fixed and
positive theory of social man is to be formed, is all before us? From
age to age that experience is enlarging.

In all recognized branches of science nature remains the same, and
continually repeats herself; she admits of no novelty; and what appears
new to us, from our late discovery of it, is as old as the most palpable
sequence of facts that, generation after generation, catches the eye of
childhood. The new discovery may disturb our theories, it disturbs not
the condition of things. All is still the same as it ever was. What we
possessed of real knowledge is real knowledge still. We sit down before
a maze of things bewildering enough; but the vast mechanism,
notwithstanding all its labyrinthian movements, is constant to itself,
and presents always the same problem to the observer. But in this
department of humanity, in this sphere of social existence, the case is
otherwise. The human being, with hand, with intellect, is incessantly at
work--has a progressive movement--_grows_ from age to age. He discovers,
he invents, he speculates; his own inventions react upon the inventor;
his own thoughts, creeds, speculations, become agents in the scene. Here
_new facts_ are actually from time to time starting into existence; new
elements are introduced into society, which science could not have
foreseen; for if they could have been foreseen, they would already have
been there. A new creed, even a new machine, may confound the wisest of
speculations. Man is, in relation to the science that would survey
society, a _creator_. In short, that stability in the order of events,
that invariable recurrence of the same linked series, on which science
depends for its very existence, here, in some measure, fails us. In such
degree, therefore, as humanity can be described as progressive, or
developing itself, in such degree is it an untractable subject for the
scientific method. We have but one world, but one humanity before us,
but one specimen of this self developing creature, and that perhaps but
half grown, but half developed. How can we know whereabouts _we are_ in
our course, and what is coming next? We want the history of some
extinguished world in which a humanity has run its full career; we need
to extend our observation to other planets peopled with similar but
variously developed inhabitants, in order scientifically to understand
such a race as ours.

What, for example, could be more safely stated as an eternal law of
society than that of property?--a law which so justly governs all our
political reasonings, and determines the character of our political
measures the most prospective--a law which M. Comte has not failed
himself to designate as fundamental. And yet, by what right of
demonstration can we pronounce this law to be inherent in humanity, so
that it shall accompany the race during every stage of its progress?
That industry should be rewarded by a personal, exclusive property in
the fruits of industry, is the principle consecrated by our law of
property, and to which the spontaneous passions of mankind have in all
regions of the earth conducted. Standing where we do, and looking out as
far as our intellectual vision can extend, we pronounce it to be the
basis of society; but if we added that, as long as the world lasts, it
must continue to be the basis of society, that there are no elements in
man to furnish forth, if circumstances favoured their development, a
quite different principle for the social organization, we feel that we
should be overstepping the modest bounds of truth, and stating our
proposition in terms far wider and more absolute than we were warranted.
Experiments have been made, and a tendency has repeatedly been
manifested, to frame an association of men in which the industry of the
individual should have its immediate reward and motive in the
participated prosperity of the general body--where the good of the whole
should be felt as the interest of each. _How_ such a principle is to be
established, we confess ourselves utterly at a loss to divine; but that
no future events unforeseen by us, no unexpected modification of the
circumstances affecting human character, shall ever develop and
establish such a principle--this is what no scientific mind would
venture to assert. Our knowledge is fully commensurate to our sphere of
activity, nor need it, nor _can_ it, pass beyond that sphere. We know
that the law of property now forms the basis of society; we know that an
attempt to abrogate it would be the signal for war and anarchy, and we
know this also, that _at no time_ can its opposite principle be
established by force, because its establishment will require a wondrous
harmony in the social body; and a civil war, let the victory fall where
it may, must leave mankind full of dissension, rancour, and revenge. Our
convictions, therefore, for all practical purposes, can receive no
confirmation. If the far future is to be regulated by different
principles, of what avail the knowledge of them, or how can they be
intelligible to us, to whom are denied the circumstances necessary for
their establishment, and for the demonstration of their reasonableness?

"The great Aristotle himself," says M. Comte, speaking of the
impossibility of any man elevating himself above the circumstances of
his age--"The great Aristotle himself, the profoundest thinker of
ancient times, (_la plus forte tête de toute l'antiquité_,) could not
conceive of a state of society not based on slavery, the irrevocable
abolition of which commenced a few generations afterwards."--Vol. iv.
p.38. In the sociology of Aristotle, slavery would have been a
fundamental law.

There is another consideration, not unworthy of being mentioned, which
bears upon this matter. In one portion of M. Comte's work, (we cannot
now lay our hand upon the passage,) the question comes before him of the
comparative _happiness_ of the savage and the civilized man. He will not
entertain it, refuses utterly to take cognizance of the question, and
contents himself with asserting the fuller _development_ of his nature
displayed by the civilized man. M. Comte felt that science had no scale
for this thing happiness. It was not ponderable, nor measurable, nor was
there an uniformity of testimony to be collected thereon. How many of
our debates and controversies terminate in a question of this kind--of
the comparative happiness of two several conditions? Such questions are,
for the most part, practically decided by those who have to _feel_; but
to estimate happiness by and for the feelings of others, would be the
task of science. Some future Royal Society must be called upon to
establish a _standard measure_ for human felicity.

We are speaking, it will be remembered, of the production of a science.
A scientific discipline of mind is undoubtedly available in the
examination of social questions, and may be of eminent utility to the
moralist, the jurist, and the politician--though it is worthy of
observation that even the habit of scientific thought, if not in some
measure tempered to the occasion, may display itself very inconveniently
and prejudicially in the determination of such questions. Our author,
for instance, after satisfying himself that marriage is a fundamental
law of society, is incapable of tolerating any infraction whatever of
this law in the shape of a divorce. He would give to it the rigidity of
a law of mechanics; he finds there should be cohesion here, and he will
not listen to a single case of separation: forgetful that a law of
society may even be the more stable for admitting exceptions which
secure for it the affection of those by whom it is to be reverenced and
obeyed.

With relation to the _past_, and in one point of view--namely, so far as
regards the development of man in his speculative career--our
Sociologist has endeavoured to supply a law which shall meet the
peculiar exigencies of his case, and enable him to take a scientific
survey of the history of a changeful and progressive being. At the
threshold of his work we encounter the announcement of a _new law_,
which has regulated the development of the human mind from its rudest
state of intellectual existence. As this law lies at the basis of M.
Comte's system--as it is perpetually referred to throughout his work--as
it is by this law he proceeds to view history in a scientific
manner--as, moreover, it is by aid of this law that he undertakes to
explain the _provisional existence_ of all theology, explaining it in
the past, and removing it from the future--it becomes necessary to enter
into some examination of its claims, and we must request our readers'
attention to the following statement of it:--

     "In studying the entire development of the human intelligence
     in its different spheres of activity, from its first efforts
     the most simple up to our own days, I believe I have discovered
     a great fundamental law, to which it is subjected by an
     invariable necessity, and which seems to me capable of being
     firmly established, whether on those proofs which are furnished
     by a knowledge of our organization, or on those historical
     verifications which result from an attentive examination of the
     past. The law consists in this--that each of our principal
     conceptions, each branch of our knowledge, passes successively
     through three different states of theory: the _theologic_, or
     fictitious; the _metaphysic_, or abstract; the scientific, or
     _positive_. In other terms, the human mind, by its nature,
     employs successively, in each of its researches, three methods
     of philosophizing, the character of which is essentially
     different, and even radically opposed; at first the theologic
     method, then the metaphysical, and last the positive method.
     Hence three distinct philosophies, or general systems of
     conceptions on the aggregate of phenomena, which mutually
     exclude each other; the first is the necessary starting-point
     of the human intelligence; the third is its fixed and definite
     state; the second is destined to serve the purpose only of
     transition.

     "In the _theologic_ state, the human mind, directing its
     researches to the intimate nature of things, the first causes
     and the final causes of all those effects which arrest its
     attention, in a word, towards an absolute knowledge of things,
     represents to itself the phenomena as produced by the direct
     and continuous action of supernatural agents, more or less
     numerous, whose arbitrary intervention explains all the
     apparent anomalies of the universe.

     "In the _metaphysic_ state, which is, in its essence, a
     modification of the former, the supernatural agents are
     displaced by abstract forces, veritable entities (personified
     abstractions) inherent in things, and conceived as capable of
     engendering by themselves all the observed phenomena--whose
     explanation, thenceforth, consists in assigning to each its
     corresponding entity.

     "At last, in the _positive_ state the human mind, recognizing
     the impossibility of obtaining absolute notions, renounces the
     search after the origin and destination of the universe, and
     the knowledge of the intimate causes of phenomena, to attach
     itself exclusively to the discovery, by the combined efforts of
     ratiocination and observation, of their effective laws; that is
     to say, their invariable relations of succession and of
     similitude. The explanation of things, reduced now to its real
     terms, becomes nothing more than the connexion established
     between the various individual phenomena and certain general
     facts, the number of which the progress of science tends
     continually to diminish.

     "The _theologic_ system has reached the highest state of
     perfection of which it is susceptible, when it has substituted
     the providential action of one only being for the capricious
     agency of the numerous independent divinities who had
     previously been imagined. In like manner, the last term of the
     _metaphysic_ system consists in conceiving, instead of the
     different special entities, one great general entity, _nature_,
     considered as the only source of all phenomena. The perfection
     of the _positive_ system, towards which it unceasingly tends,
     though it is not probable it can ever attain to it, would be
     the ability to represent all observable phenomena as particular
     cases of some one general fact; such, for instance, as that of
     gravitation."--Vol. I. p. 5.

After some very just, and indeed admirable, observations on the
necessity, or extreme utility, of a theologic hypothesis at an early
period of mental development, in order to promote any systematic thought
whatever, he proceeds thus:--

     "It is easily conceivable that our understanding, compelled to
     proceed by degrees almost imperceptible, could not pass
     abruptly, and without an intermediate stage, from the
     _theologic_ to the _positive_ philosophy. Theology and physics
     are so profoundly incompatible, their conceptions have a
     character so radically opposed, that before renouncing the one
     to employ exclusively the other, the mind must make use of
     intermediate conceptions of a bastard character, fit, for that
     very reason, gradually to operate the transition. Such is the
     natural destination of metaphysical conceptions; they have no
     other real utility. By substituting, in the study of phenomena,
     for supernatural directive agency an inseparable entity
     residing in things, (although this be conceived at first merely
     as an emanation from the former,) man habituates himself, by
     degrees, to consider only the facts themselves, the notion of
     these metaphysical agents being gradually subtilized, till they
     are no longer in the eyes of men of intelligence any thing but
     the names of abstractions. It is impossible to conceive by what
     other process our understanding could pass from considerations
     purely supernatural, to considerations purely natural, from the
     theologic to the positive _régime_."--P. 13.

We need hardly say that we enter our protest against the supposition
that theology is not the _last_, as well as the _first_, of our forms of
thought--against the assertion that is here, and throughout the work,
made or implied, that the scientific method, rigidly applied in its
appropriate field of enquiry, would be found incompatible with the great
argument of an intelligent Cause, and would throw the whole subject of
theology out of the range of human knowledge. It would be superfluous
for us to re-state that argument; and our readers would probably be more
displeased to have presented before them a hostile view of this subject,
though for the purpose only of controversy, than they would be edified
by a repetition of those reasonings which have long since brought
conviction to their minds. We will content ourselves, therefore, with
this protest, and with adding--as a fact of experience, which, in
estimating a law of development, may with peculiar propriety be insisted
on--that hitherto no such incompatibility has made itself evident.
Hitherto science, or the method of thinking, which its cultivation
requires and induces, has not shown itself hostile to the first great
article of religion--that on which revelation proceeds to erect all the
remaining articles of our faith. If it is a fact that, in rude times,
men began their speculative career by assigning individual phenomena to
the immediate causation of supernatural powers, it is equally a fact
that they have hitherto, in the most enlightened times, terminated their
inductive labours by assigning that _unity_ and _correlation_ which
science points out in the universe of things to an ordaining
intelligence. We repeat, as a matter of experience, it is as rare in
this age to find a reflective man who does not read _thought_ in this
unity and correlation of material phenomena, as it would have been, in
some rube superstitious period, to discover an individual who refused to
see, in any one of the specialities around him, the direct interference
of a spirit or demon. In our own country, men of science are rather to
blame for a too detailed, a puerile and injudicious, manner of treating
this great argument, than for any disposition to desert it.

Contenting ourselves with this protest, we proceed to the consideration
of the _new law_. That there is, in the statement here made of the
course pursued in the development of speculative thought, a measure of
truth; and that, in several subjects, the course here indicated may be
traced, will probably, by every one who reads the foregoing extracts, be
at once admitted. But assuredly very few will read it without a feeling
of surprise at finding what (under certain limitations) they would have
welcomed in the form of a general observation, proclaimed to them as a
_law_--a scientific law--which from its nature admits of no exception;
at finding it stated that every branch of human knowledge must of
necessity pass through these three theoretic stages. In the case of some
branches of knowledge, it is impossible to point out what can be
understood as its several theologic and metaphysic stages; and even in
cases where M. Comte has himself applied these terms, it is extremely
difficult to assign to them a meaning in accordance with that which they
bear in this statement of his law; as, for instance, in his application
of them to his own science of social physics. But we need not pause on
this. What a palpable fallacy it is to suppose, because M. Comte find
the positive and theologic methods incompatible, that, historically
speaking, and in the minds of men, which certainly admit of stranger
commixtures than this, they should "mutually exclude each other"--that,
in short, men have not been all along, in various degrees and
proportions, both _theologic_ and _positive_.

What is it, we ask, that M. Comte means by the _succession_ of these
several stages or modes of thinking? Does he mean that what is here
called the positive method of thought is not equally _spontaneous_ to
the human mind as the theological, but depends on it for its
development? Hardly so. The predominance of the positive method, or its
complete formation, may be postponed; but it clearly has an origin and
an existence independent of the theological. No barbarian ever deified,
or supernaturalized, every process around him; there must always have
been a portion of his experience entertained merely _as experience_. The
very necessity man has to labour for his subsistence, brings him into a
practical acquaintance with the material world, which induces
observation, and conducts towards a natural philosophy. If he is a
theologian the first moment he gives himself up to meditation, he is on
the road to the Baconian method the very day he begins to labour. The
rudest workman uses the lever; the mathematician follows and calculates
the law which determines the power it bestows; here we have industry and
then science, but what room for the intervention of theology?

Or does M. Comte mean this only--which we presume to be the case--that
these methods of thought are, in succession, predominant and brought to
maturity? If so, what necessity for this _metaphysic_ apparatus for the
sole purpose of _transition_? If each of these great modes, the positive
and theological, has its independent source, and is equally
spontaneous--if they have, in fact, been all along contemporary, though
in different stages of development, the function attributed to the
metaphysic mode is utterly superfluous; there can be no place for it;
there is no transition for it to operate. And what can be said of _a law
of succession_ in which there is no relation of cause and effect, or of
invariable sequence, between the phenomena?

Either way the position of M. Comte is untenable. If he intends that his
two great modes of thought, the theologic and the positive, (between
which the metaphysic performs the function of transition,) are _not_
equally spontaneous, but that the one must in the order of nature
precede the other; then, besides that this is an unfounded supposition,
it would follow--since the mind, or _organization_, of man remains from
age to age the same in its fundamental powers--that, at this very time,
no man could be inducted into the positive state of any branch of
knowledge, without first going through its theologic and metaphysic.
Truth must be expounded through a course of errors. Science must be
eternally postponed, in every system of education, to theology, and a
theology of the rudest description--a result certainly not contemplated
by M. Comte. If, on the other hand, he intends that they _are_ equally
spontaneous in their character, equally native to the mind, then, we
repeat, what becomes of the elaborate and "indispensable" part ascribed
to the _metaphysic_ of effectuating a transition between them? And how
can we describe that as a scientific _law_ in which there is confessedly
no immediate relation of cause and effect, or sequency, established? The
statement, if true, manifestly requires to be resolved into the law, or
laws, capable of explaining it.

Perhaps our readers have all this while suspected that we are acting in
a somewhat captious manner towards M. Comte; they have, perhaps,
concluded that this author could not have here required their assent,
strictly speaking, to a _law_, but that he used the term vaguely, as
many writers have done--meaning nothing more by it than a course of
events which has frequently been observed to take place; and under this
impression they may be more disposed to receive the measure of truth
contained in it than to cavil at the form of the statement. But indeed
M. Comte uses the language of science in no such vague manner; he
requires the same assent to this law that we give to any one of the
recognized laws of science--to that of gravitation for instance, to
which he himself likens it, pronouncing it, in a subsequent part of his
work, to have been as incontrovertibly established. Upon this law, think
what we may of it, M. Comte leans throughout all his progress; he could
not possibly dispense with it; on its stability depends his whole social
science; by it, as we have already intimated, he becomes master of the
past and of the future; and an appreciation of its necessity to him, at
once places us at that point of view from which M. Comte contemplates
our mundane affairs.

It is his object to put the scientific method in complete possession of
the whole range of human thought, especially of the department, hitherto
unreduced to subjection, of social phenomena. Now there is a great rival
in the field--theology--which, besides imparting its own supernatural
tenets, influences our modes of thinking on almost all social questions.
Theology cannot itself be converted into a branch of science; all those
tenets by which it sways the hopes and fears of men are confessedly
above the sphere of science: if science, therefore, is to rule
absolutely, it must remove theology. But it can only remove by
explaining; by showing how it came there, and how, in good time, it is
destined to depart. If the scientific method is entirely to predominate,
it must explain religion, as it must explain every thing that exists, or
has existed; and it must also reveal the law of its departure--otherwise
it cannot remain sole mistress of the speculative mind. Such is the
office which the law of development we have just considered is intended
to fulfil; how far it is capable of accomplishing its purpose we must
now leave our readers to decide.

Having thus, as he presumes, cleared the ground for the absolute and
exclusive dominion of the positive method, M. Comte proceeds to erect
the _hierarchy_, as he very descriptively calls it, of the several
sciences. His classification of these is based on the simplest and most
intelligible principle. We think that we rather add to, than diminish
from, the merits of this classification, when we say, that it is such as
seems spontaneously to arise to any reflective mind engaged in a review
of human knowledge. Commencing with the most simple, general, and
independent laws, it proceeds to those which are more complicated, which
presume the existence of other laws; in such manner that at every stage
of our scientific progress we are supporting ourselves on the knowledge
acquired in the one preceding.

     "The positive philosophy," he tells us, "falls naturally into
     five divisions, or five fundamental sciences, whose order of
     succession is determined by the necessary or invariable
     subordination (estimated according to no hypothetical opinions)
     of their several phenomena; these are, astronomy, mechanics,
     (_la physique_,) chemistry, physiology, and lastly, social
     physics. The first regards the phenomena the most general, the
     most abstract, the most remote from humanity; they influence
     all others, without being influenced by them. The phenomena
     considered by the last are, on the contrary, the most
     complicated, the most concrete, the most directly interesting
     to man; they depend more or less on all the preceding
     phenomena, without exercising on them any influence. Between
     these two extremes, the degrees of speciality, of complication
     and personality, of phenomena, gradually increase, as well as
     their successive dependence."--Vol. I. p. 96.

The principle of classification is excellent, but is there no rank dropt
out of this _hierarchy_? The metaphysicians, or psychologists, who are
wont to consider themselves as standing at the very summit--where are
they? They are dismissed from their labours--their place is occupied by
others--and what was considered as having substance and reality in their
proceedings, is transferred to the head of physiology. The phrenologist
is admitted into the hierarchy of science as an honest, though hitherto
an unpractised, and not very successful labourer; the metaphysician,
with his class of internal observations, is entirely scouted. M. Comte
considers the _mind_ as one of those abstract entities which it is the
first business of the positive philosophy to discard. He speaks of man,
of his organization, of his thought, but not, scientifically, of his
_mind_. This entity, this occult cause, belongs to the _metaphysic_
stage of theorizing. "There is no place," he cries, "for this illusory
psychology, the last transformation of theology!"--though, by the way,
so far as a belief in this abstract entity of mind is concerned, the
_metaphysic_ condition of our knowledge appears to be quite as old,
quite as primitive, as any conception whatever of theology. Now, whether
M. Comte be right in this preference of the phrenologist, we will not
stay to discuss--it were too wide a question; but thus much we can
briefly and indisputably show, that he utterly misconceives, as well as
underrates, the _kind of research_ to which psychologists are addicted.
As M. Comte's style is here unusually vivacious, we will quote the whole
passage. Are we uncharitable in supposing that the prospect of
demolishing, at one fell swoop, the brilliant reputations of a whole
class of Parisian _savans_, added something to the piquancy of the
style?

     "Such has gradually become, since the time of Bacon, the
     preponderance of the positive philosophy; it has at present
     assumed indirectly so great an ascendant over those minds even
     which have been most estranged from it, that metaphysicians
     devoted to the study of our intelligence, can no longer hope to
     delay the fall of their pretended science, but by presenting
     their doctrines as founded also upon the observation of facts.
     For this purpose they have, in these later times, attempted to
     distinguish, by a very singular subtilty, two sorts of
     observations of equal importance, the one external, the other
     internal; the last of which is exclusively destined for the
     study of intellectual phenomena. This is not the place to enter
     into the special discussion of this sophism. I will limit
     myself to indicate the principal consideration, which clearly
     proves that this pretended direct contemplation of the mind by
     itself, is a pure illusion.

     "Not a long while ago men imagined they had explained vision by
     saying that the luminous action of bodies produces on the
     retina pictures representative of external forms and colours.
     To this the physiologists [query, the _physiologists_] have
     objected, with reason, that if it was _as images_ that the
     luminous impressions acted, there needed another eye within the
     eye to behold them. Does not a similar objection hold good
     still more strikingly in the present case?

     "It is clear, in fact, from an invincible necessity, that the
     human mind can observe directly all phenomena except its own.
     For by whom can the observation be made? It is conceivable
     that, relatively to moral phenomena, man can observe himself in
     regard to the passions which animate him, from this anatomical
     reason, that the organs which are the seat of them are distinct
     from those destined to the function of observation. Though each
     man has had occasion to make on himself such observations, yet
     they can never have any great scientific importance; and the
     best means of knowing the passions will be always to observe
     them without; [_indeed_!] for every state of passion very
     energetic--that is to say, precisely those which it would be
     most essential to examine, are necessarily incompatible with
     the state of observation. But as to observing in the same
     manner intellectual phenomena, while they are proceeding, it is
     manifestly impossible. The thinking individual cannot separate
     himself in two parts, of which the one shall reason, and the
     other observe it reasoning. The organ observed and the organ
     observing being in this case identical, how can observation be
     carried on?

     "This pretended psychological method is thus radically absurd.
     And only consider to what procedures profoundly contradictory
     it immediately conducts! On the other hand, they recommend you
     to isolate yourself as much as possible from all external
     sensation; and, above all, they interdict you every
     intellectual exercise; for if you were merely occupied in
     making the most simple calculation, what would become of your
     _internal_ observation? On the other hand, after having thus,
     by dint of many precautions, attained to a perfect state of
     intellectual slumber, you are to occupy yourself in
     contemplating the operations passing in your mind--while there
     is no longer any thing passing there. Our descendants will one
     day see these ludicrous pretensions transferred to the
     stage."--P. 34.

They seem transferred to the stage already--so completely burlesqued is
the whole process on which the psychologist bases his results. He does
not pretend to observe the mind itself; but he says, you can remember
previous states of consciousness, whether of passion or of intellectual
effort, and pay renewed attention to them. And assuredly there is no
difficulty in understanding this. When, indeed, M. Cousin, after being
much perplexed with the problem which Kant had thrown out to him, of
objective and subjective truth, comes back to the public and tells them,
in a second edition of his work, that he has succeeded in discovering,
in the inmost recesses of the mind, and at a depth of the consciousness
to which neither he nor any other had before been able to penetrate,
this very sense of the absolute in truth of which he was in
search--something very like the account which M. Conte gives, may be
applicable. But when M. Cousin, or other psychologists, in the ordinary
course of their investigations, observe mental phenomena, they simply
pay attention to what memory brings them of past experiences;
observations which are not only a legitimate source of knowledge, but
which are continually made, with more or less accuracy, by every human
being. If they are impossible according to the doctrines of phrenology,
let phrenology look to this, and rectify her blunder in the best way, as
speedily as she can. M. Comte may think fit to depreciate the labours of
the metaphysician; but it is not to the experimental philosopher alone
that he is indebted for that positive method which he expounds with so
exclusive an enthusiasm. M. Comte is a phrenologist; he adopts the
fundamental principles of Gall's system, but repudiates, as consummately
absurd, the list of organs, and the minute divisions of the skull, which
at present obtain amongst phrenologists. How came he, a phrenologist, so
far and no further, but from certain information gathered from his
consciousness, or his memory, which convicted phrenology of error? And
how can he, or any other, rectify this erroneous division of the
cranium, and establish a more reasonable one, unless by a course of
craniological observations directed and confirmed by those internal
observations which he is pleased here to deride?

His hierarchy being erected, he next enters on a review of the several
received sciences, marking throughout the successful, or erroneous,
application of the positive method. This occupies three volumes. It is a
portion of the work which we are restricted from entering on; nor shall
we deviate from the line we have prescribed to ourselves. But before
opening the fourth volume, in which he treats of social physics, it will
not be beside our object to take a glance at the _method_ itself, as
applied in the usual field of scientific investigation, to nature, as it
is called--to inorganic matter, to vegetable and animal life.

We are not here determining the merits of M. Comte in his exposition of
the scientific method; we take it as we find it; and, in unsophisticated
mood, we glance at the nature of this mental discipline--to make room
for which, it will be remembered, so wide a territory is to be laid
waste.

Facts, or phenomena, classed according to their similitude or the law of
their succession--such is the material of science. All enquiry into
causes, into substance, into being, pronounced impertinent and nugatory;
the very language in which such enquiries are couched not allowed,
perhaps, to have a meaning--such is the supreme dictate of the method,
and all men yield to it at least a nominal submission. Very different is
the aspect which science presents to us in these severe generalities,
than when she lectures fluently before gorgeous orreries; or is heard
from behind a glittering apparatus, electrical or chemical; or is seen,
gay and sportive as a child, at her endless game of unwearying
experiment. Here she is the harsh and strict disciplinarian. The
museful, meditative spirit passes from one object of its wonder to
another, and finds, at every pause it makes, that science is as
strenuous in forbidding as in satisfying enquiry. The planet rolls
through space--ask not how!--the mathematician will tell you at what
rate it flies--let his figures suffice. A thousand subtle combinations
are taking place around you, producing the most marvellous
transformations--the chemist has a table of substances, and a table of
proportions--names and figures both--_why_ these transmutations take
place, is a question you should be ashamed to ask. Plants spring up from
the earth, and _grow_, and blossom at your feet, and you look on with
delight, and an unsubduable wonder, and in a heedless moment you ask
what is _life?_ Science will generalize the fact to you--give you its
formula for the expression of _growth, decomposition, and
recomposition_, under circumstances not as yet very accurately
collected. Still you stand gazing at the plant which a short while since
stole through a crevice of the earth, and taking to itself, with such
subtle power of choice, from the soil or the air, the matter that it
needed, fashioned it to the green leaf and the hanging blossom. In vain!
Your scientific monitor calls you from futile reveries, and repeats his
formula of decomposition and recomposition. As _attraction_ in the
planet is known only as a movement admitting of a stated numerical
expression, so _life_ in the plant is to be known only as decomposition
and recomposition taking place under certain circumstances. Think of it
as such--no more. But, O learned philosopher! you exclaim, you shall
tell me that you know not what manner of thing life is, and I will
believe you; and if you add that I shall never discover it, I will
believe you; but you cannot prevent me from knowing that it is something
I do not know. Permit me, for I cannot help it, still to wonder what
life is. Upon the dial of a watch the hands are moving, and a child asks
why? Child! I respond, that the hands _do_ move is an ultimate fact--so,
represent it to yourself--and here, moreover, is the law of their
movement--the longer index revolves twelve times while the shorter
revolves once. This is knowledge, and will be of use to you--more you
cannot understand. And the child is silent, but still it keeps its eye
upon the dial, and knows there is something that it does not know.

But while you are looking, in spite of your scientific monitor, at this
beautiful creature that grows fixed and rooted in the earth--what is
this that glides forth from beneath its leaves, with self-determined
motion, not to be expressed by a numerical law, pausing, progressing,
seeking, this way and that, its pasture?--what have we here?
_Irritability and a tissue._ Lo! it shrinks back as the heel of the
philosopher has touched it, coiling and writhing itself--what is this?
_Sensation and a nerve._ Does the nerve _feel_? you inconsiderately ask,
or is there some sentient being, other than the nerve, in which
sensation resides? A smile of derision plays on the lip of the
philosopher. _There is sensation_--you cannot express the fact in
simpler or more general terms. Turn your enquiries, or your microscope,
on the organization with which it is, in order of time, connected. Ask
not me, in phrases without meaning, of the unintelligible mysteries of
ontology. And you, O philosopher! who think and reason thus, is not the
thought within thee, in every way, a most perplexing matter? Not more
perplexing, he replies, than the pain of yonder worm, which seems now to
have subsided, since it glides on with apparent pleasure over the
surface of the earth. Does the organization of the man, or something
else within him, _think_?--does the organization of that worm, or
something else within it, _feel_?--they are virtually the same
questions, and equally idle. Phenomena are the sole subjects of science.
Like attraction in the planet, like life in the vegetable, like
sensation in the animal, so thought in man is an ultimate fact, which we
can merely recognize, and place in its order in the universe. Come with
me to the dissecting-room, and examine that cerebral apparatus with
which it is, or _was_, connected.

All this "craves wary walking." It is a trying course, this _method_,
for the uninitiated. How it strains the mind by the very limitations it
imposes on its outlook! How mysterious is this very sharp, and
well-defined separation from all mystery! How giddy is this path that
leads always so close over the unknowable! Giddy as that bridge of
steel, framed like a scimitar, and as fine, which the faithful Moslem,
by the aid of his Prophet, will pass with triumph on his way to
Paradise. But of our bridge, it cannot be said that it has one foot on
earth and one in heaven. Apparently, it has no foundation whatever; it
rises from cloud, it is lost in cloud, and it spans an inpenetrable
abyss. A mist, which no wind disperses, involves both extremities of our
intellectual career, and we are seen to pass like shadows across the
fantastic, inexplicable interval.

We now open the fourth volume, which is emblazoned with the title of
_Physique Social_. And here we will at once extract a passage, which, if
our own remarks have been hitherto of an unattractive character, shall
reward the reader for his patience. It is taken from that portion of the
work--perhaps the most lucid and powerful of the whole--where, in order
to demonstrate the necessity of his new science of Sociology, M. Comte
enters into a review of the two great political parties which, with more
or less distinctness, divide every nation of Europe; his intention being
to show that both of them are equally incompetent to the task of
organizing society. We shall render our quotation as brief as the
purpose of exposition will allow:--

     "It is impossible to deny that the political world is
     intellectually in a deplorable condition. All our ideas of
     _order_ are hitherto solely borrowed from the ancient system of
     religious and military power, regarded especially in its
     constitution, catholic and feudal; a doctrine which, from the
     philosophic point of view of this treatise, represents
     incontestably the _theologic_ state of the social science. All
     our ideas of _progress_ continue to be exclusively deduced from
     a philosophy purely negative, which, issuing from
     Protestantism, has taken in the last age its final form and
     complete development; the doctrines of which constitute, in
     reality, the _metaphysic_ state of politics. Different classes
     of society adopt the one or the other of these, just as they
     are disposed to feel chiefly the want of conservation or that
     of amelioration. Rarely, it is true, do these antagonist
     doctrines present themselves in all their plenitude, and with
     their primitive homogeneity; they are found less and less in
     this form, except in minds purely speculative. But the
     monstrous medley which men attempt in our days of their
     incompatible principles, cannot evidently be endowed with any
     virtue foreign to the elements which compose it, and tends
     only, in fact, to their mutual neutralization.

     "However pernicious may be at present the theologic doctrine,
     no true philosophy can forget that the formation and first
     development of modern societies were accomplished under its
     benevolent tutelage; which I hope sufficiently to demonstrate
     in the historical portion of this work. But it is not the less
     incontestably true that, for about three centuries, its
     influence has been, amongst the nations most advanced,
     essentially retrograde, notwithstanding the partial services it
     has throughout that period rendered. It would be superfluous to
     enter here into a special discussion of this doctrine, in order
     to show its extreme insufficiency at the present day. The
     deplorable absence of all sound views of social organization
     can alone account for the absurd project of giving, in these
     times, for the support of social order, a political system
     which has already been found unable to sustain itself before
     the spontaneous progress of intelligence and of society. The
     historical analysis which we shall subsequently institute of
     the successive changes which have gradually brought about the
     entire dissolution of the catholic and feudal system, will
     demonstrate, better than any direct argument, its radical and
     irrevocable decay. The theologic school has generally no other
     method of explaining this decomposition of the old system than
     by causes merely accidental or personal, out of all reasonable
     proportion with the magnitude of the results; or else, when
     hard driven, it has recourse to its ordinary artifice, and
     attempts to explain all by an appeal to the will of Providence,
     to whom is ascribed the intention of raising a time of trial
     for the social order, of which the commencement, the duration,
     and the character, are all left equally obscure."...--P.14

     "In a point of view strictly logical, the social problem might
     be stated thus:--construct a doctrine that shall be so
     rationally conceived that it shall be found, as it develops
     itself, to be still always consistent with its own principles.
     Neither of the existing doctrines satisfies this condition,
     even by the rudest approximation. Both display numerous and
     direct contradictions, and on important points. By this alone
     their utter insufficiency is clearly exhibited. The doctrine
     which shall fulfil this condition, will, from this test, be
     recognized as the one capable of reorganizing society; for it
     is an _intellectual reorganization_ that is first wanted--a
     re-establishment of a real and durable harmony amongst our
     social ideas, disturbed and shaken to the very foundation.
     Should this regeneration be accomplished in one intelligence
     only, (and such must necessarily be its manner of
     commencement,) its extension would be certain; for the number
     of intelligences to be convinced can have no influence except
     as a question of time. I shall not fail to point out, when the
     proper opportunity arrives, the eminent superiority, in this
     respect, of the positive philosophy, which, once extended to
     social phenomena, will necessarily combine the ideas of men in
     a strict and complete manner, which in no other way can be
     attained."--P. 20.

M. Comte then mentions some of the inconsistencies of the theologic
school.

     "Analyze, for example, the vain attempts, so frequently renewed
     during two centuries by so many distinguished minds, to
     subordinate, according to the theologic formula, reason to
     faith; it is easy to recognize the radical contradiction this
     attempt involves, which establishes reason herself as supreme
     judge of this very submission, the extent and the permanence of
     which is to depend upon her variable and not very rigid
     decisions. The most eminent thinker of the present catholic
     school, the illustrious _De Maistre_, himself affords a proof,
     as convincing as involuntary, of this inevitable contradiction
     in his philosophy, when, renouncing all theologic weapons, he
     labours in his principal work to re-establish the Papal
     supremacy on purely historical and political reasonings,
     instead of limiting himself to command it by right divine--the
     only mode in true harmony with such a doctrine, and which a
     mind, at another epoch, would not certainly have hesitated to
     adopt."--P. 25.

After some further observations on the theologic or retrograde school,
he turns to the _metaphysic_, sometimes called the anarchical, sometimes
_doctrine critique_, for M. Comte is rich in names.

     "In submitting, in their turn, the _metaphysic_ doctrine to a
     like appreciation, it must never be overlooked that, though
     exclusively critical, and therefore purely revolutionary, it
     has not the less merited, for a long time, the title of
     progressive, as having in fact presided over the principal
     political improvements accomplished in the course of the three
     last centuries, and which have necessarily been of a _negative_
     description. If, when conceived in an absolute sense, its
     dogmas manifest, in fact, a character directly anarchical, when
     viewed in an historical position, and in their antagonism to
     the ancient system, they constitute a provisional state,
     necessary to the introduction of a new political organization.

     "By a necessity as evident as it is deplorable, a necessity
     inherent in our feeble nature, the transition from one social
     system to another can never be direct and continuous; it
     supposes always, during some generations at least, a sort of
     interregnum, more or less anarchical, whose character and
     duration depend on the importance and extent of the renovation
     to be effected. (While the old system remains standing, though
     undermined, the public reason cannot become familiarized with a
     class of ideas entirely opposed to it.) In this necessity we
     see the legitimate source of the present _doctrine critique_--a
     source which at once explains the indispensable services it has
     hitherto rendered, and also the essential obstacles it now
     opposes to the final reorganization of modern societies....

     "Under whatever aspect we regard it, the general spirit of the
     metaphysic revolutionary system consists in erecting into a
     normal and permanent state a necessarily exceptional and
     transitory condition. By a direct and total subversion of
     political notions, the most fundamental, it represents
     government as being, by its nature, the necessary enemy of
     society, against which it sedulously places itself in a
     constant state of suspicion and watchfulness; it is disposed
     incessantly to restrain more and more its sphere of activity,
     in order to prevent its encroachments, and tends finally to
     leave it no other than the simple functions of general police,
     without any essential participation in the supreme direction of
     the action of the collective body or of its social development.

     "Approaching to a more detailed examination of this doctrine,
     it is evident that the absolute right of free examination
     (which, connected as it is with the liberty of the press and
     the freedom of education, is manifestly its principal and
     fundamental dogma) is nothing else, in reality, but the
     consecration, under the vicious abstract form common to all
     metaphysic conceptions, of that transitional state of unlimited
     liberty in which the human mind has been spontaneously placed,
     in consequence of the irrevocable decay of the theologic
     philosophy, and which must naturally remain till the
     establishment in the social domain of the positive method.[49]
     ... However salutary and indispensable in its historical
     position, this principle opposes a grave obstacle to the
     reorganization of society, by being erected into an absolute
     and permanent dogma. To examine always without deciding ever,
     would be deemed great folly in any individual. How can the
     dogmatic consecration of a like disposition amongst all
     individuals, constitute the definitive perfection of the social
     order, in regard, too, to ideas whose finity it is so
     peculiarly important, and so difficult, to establish? Is it not
     evident, on the contrary, that such a disposition is, from its
     nature, radically anarchical, inasmuch as, if it could be
     indefinitely prolonged, it must hinder every true mental
     organization?

     "No association whatever, though destined for a special and
     temporary purpose, and though limited to a small number of
     individuals, can subsist without a certain degree of reciprocal
     confidence, both intellectual and moral, between its members,
     each one of whom finds a continual necessity for a crowd of
     notions, to the formation of which he must remain a stranger,
     and which he cannot admit but on the faith of others. By what
     monstrous exception can this elementary condition of all
     society be banished from that total association of mankind,
     where the point of view which the individual takes, is most
     widely separated from that point of view which the collective
     interest requires, and where each member is the least capable,
     whether by nature or position, to form a just appreciation of
     these general rules, indispensable to the good direction of his
     personal activity. Whatever intellectual development we may
     suppose possible, in the mass of men it is evident, that social
     order will remain always necessarily incompatible with the
     permanent liberty left to each, to throw back every day into
     endless discussion the first principles even of society....

     "The dogma of _equality_ is the most essential and the most
     influential after that which I have just examined, and is,
     besides, in necessary relation to the principle of the
     unrestricted liberty of judgment; for this last indirectly
     leads to the conclusion of an equality of the most fundamental
     character--an equality of intelligence. In its bearing on the
     ancient system, it has happily promoted the development of
     modern civilization, by presiding over the final dissolution of
     the old social classification. But this function constitutes
     the sole progressive destination of this energetic dogma, which
     tends in its turn to prevent every just reorganization, since
     its destructive activity is blindly directed against the basis
     of every new classification. For, whatever that basis may be,
     it cannot be reconciled with a pretended equality, which, to
     all intelligent men, can now only signify the triumph of the
     inequalities developed by modern civilization, over those which
     had predominated in the infancy of society....

     "The same philosophical appreciation is applicable with equal
     ease to the dogma of the _sovereignty of the people_. Whilst
     estimating, as is fit, the indispensable transitional office of
     this revolutionary dogma, no true philosopher can now
     misunderstand the fatal anarchical tendency of this
     metaphysical conception, since in its absolute application it
     opposes itself to all regular institution, condemning
     indefinitely all superiors to an arbitrary dependence on the
     multitude of their inferiors, by a sort of transference to the
     people of the much-reprobated right of kings."

     [49] "There is," says M. Comte here in a note, which consists
     of an extract from a previous work--"there is no liberty of
     conscience in astronomy, in physics, in chemistry, even in
     physiology; every one would think it absurd not to give credit
     to the principles established in these sciences by competent
     men. If it is otherwise in politics, it is because the ancient
     principles having fallen; and new ones not being yet formed,
     there are, properly speaking, in this interval no established
     principles."

As our author had shown how the _theologic_ philosophy was inconsistent
often with itself, so, in criticising the _metaphysics_, he exposes here
also certain self-contradictions. He reproaches it with having, in its
contests with the old system, endeavoured, at each stage, to uphold and
adopt some of the elementary principles of that very system it was
engaged in destroying.

     "Thus," he says, "there arose a Christianity more and more
     simplified, and reduced at length to a vague and powerless
     theism, which, by a strange medley of terms, the metaphysicians
     distinguished by the title of _natural religion_, as if all
     religion was not inevitably _supernatural_. In pretending to
     direct the social reorganization after this vain conception,
     the metaphysic school, notwithstanding its destination purely
     revolutionary, has always implicitly adhered, and does so,
     especially and distinctly, at the present day, to the most
     fundamental principle of the ancient political doctrine--that
     which represents the social order as necessarily reposing on a
     theological basis. This is now the most evident, and the most
     pernicious inconsistency of the metaphysic doctrine. Armed with
     this concession, the school of Bossuet and De Maistre will
     always maintain an incontestable logical superiority over the
     irrational detractors of Catholicism, who, while they proclaim
     the want of a religious organization, reject, nevertheless, the
     elements indispensable to its realization. By such a concession
     the revolutionary school concur in effect, at the present day,
     with the retrograde, in preventing a right organization of
     modern societies, whose intellectual condition more and more
     interdicts a system of politics founded on theology."

Our readers will doubtless agree with us, that this review of political
parties (though seen through an extract which we have been compelled to
abbreviate in a manner hardly permissible in quoting from an author)
displays a singular originality and power of thought; although each one
of them will certainly have his own class of objections and exceptions
to make. We said that the impression created by the work was decidedly
_conservative_, and this quotation has already borne us out. For without
implying that we could conscientiously make use of every argument here
put into our hands, we may be allowed to say, as the lawyers do in
Westminster Hail, _if this be so_, then it follows that we of the
retrograde, or as we may fairly style ourselves in England--seeing this
country has not progressed so rapidly as France--we of the stationary
party are fully justified in maintaining our position, unsatisfactory
though it may be, till some better and more definite system has been
revealed to us, than any which has yet made its advent in the political
world. If the revolutionary, metaphysic, or liberal school have no
proper office but that of destruction--if its nature be essentially
transitional--can we be called upon to forego this position, to quit our
present anchorage, until we know whereto we are to be transferred? Shall
we relinquish the traditions of our monarchy, and the discipline of our
church, before we hear what we are to receive in exchange? M. Comte
would not advise so irrational a proceeding.

But M. Comte has himself a _constructive_ doctrine; M. Comte will give
us in exchange--what? The Scientific Method!

We have just seen something of this scientific method. M. Comte himself
is well aware that it is a style of thought by no means adapted to the
multitude. Therefore there will arise with the scientific method an
altogether new class, an intellectual aristocracy, (not the present race
of _savans_ or their successors, whom he is particularly anxious to
exclude from all such advancement,) who will expound to the people the
truths to which that method shall give birth. This class will take under
its control all that relates to education. It will be the seat of the
moral power, not of the administrative. This, together with some
arguments to establish what few are disposed to question, the
fundamental character of the laws of property and of marriage, is all
that we are here presented with towards the definite re-organization of
society.

We shall not go back to the question, already touched upon, and which
lies at the basis of all this--how far it is possible to construct a
science of Sociology. There is only one way in which the question can be
resolved in the affirmative--namely, by constructing the science.

Meanwhile we may observe, that the general consent of a cultivated order
of minds to a certain class of truths, is not sufficient for the
purposes of government. We take, says M. Comte, our chemistry from the
chemist, our astronomy from the astronomer; if these were fixed
principles, we should take our politics with the same ease from the
graduated politician. But it is worth while to consider what it is we do
when we take our chemistry from the chemist, and our astronomy from the
astronomer. We assume, on the authority of our teacher, certain facts
which it is not in our power to verify; but his reasonings upon these
facts we must be able to comprehend. We follow him as he explains the
facts by which knowledge has been obtained, and yield to his statement a
rational conviction. Unless we do this, we cannot be said to have any
knowledge whatever of the subject--any chemistry or astronomy at all.
Now, presuming there were a science of politics, as fixed and perfect as
that of astronomy, the people must, at all events, be capable of
understanding its exposition, or they could not possibly be governed by
it. We need hardly say that those ideas, feelings, and sentiments, which
can be made general, are those only on which government can rest.

In the course of the preceding extract, our author exposes the futility
of that attempt which certain churchmen are making, as well on this side
of the Channel as the other, to reason men back into a submission of
their reason. Yet, if the science of Sociology should be above the
apprehension of the vulgar, (as M. Comte seems occasionally to presume
it would be,) he would impose on his intellectual priesthood a task of
the very same kind, and even still more hopeless. A multitude once
taught to argue and decide on politics, must be reasoned back into a
submission of their reason to political teachers--teachers who have no
sacred writings, and no traditions from which to argue a delegated
authority, but whose authority must be founded on the very
reasonableness of the entire system of their doctrine. But this is a
difficulty we are certainly premature in discussing, as the true
Catholic church in politics has still itself to be formed.

We are afraid, notwithstanding all his protestations, M. Comte will be
simply classed amongst the _Destructives_, so little applicable to the
generality of minds is that mode of thought, to establish which (and it
is for this we blame him) he calls, and so prematurely, for so great
sacrifices.

The fifth volume--the most remarkable, we think, of the whole--contains
that historical survey which has been more than once alluded to in the
foregoing extracts. This volume alone would make the fortune of any
expert Parisian scribe who knew how to select from its rich store of
original materials, who had skill to arrange and expound, and, above
all, had the dexterity to adopt somewhat more ingeniously than M. Comte
has done, his abstract statements to our reminiscences of historical
facts. Full of his own generalities, he is apt to forget the concrete
matter of the annalist. Indeed, it is a peculiarity running through the
volume, that generalizations, in themselves of a valuable character, are
shown to disadvantage by an unskilful alliance with history.

We will make one quotation from this portion of the work, and then we
must leave M. Comte. In reviewing the theological progress of mankind,
he signalizes three epochs, that of Fetishism, of Polytheism, and of
Monotheism. Our extract shall relate to the first of these, to that
primitive state of religion, or idolatry, in which _things themselves_
were worshipped; the human being transferring to them immediately a
life, or power, somewhat analogous to its own.

     "Exclusively habituated, for so long a time, to a theology
     eminently metaphysic, we must feel at present greatly
     embarrassed in our attempt to comprehend this gross primitive
     mode of thought. It is thus that fetishism has often been
     confounded with polytheism, when to the latter has been applied
     the common expression of idolatry, which strictly relates to
     the former only; since the priests of Jupiter or Minerva would,
     no doubt, have as justly repelled the vulgar reproach of
     worshipping images, as do the Catholic doctors of the present
     day a like unjust accusation of the Protestants. But though we
     are happily sufficiently remote from fetishism to find a
     difficulty in conceiving it, yet each one of us has but to
     retrace his own mental history, to detect the essential
     characters of this initial state. Nay, even eminent thinkers of
     the present day, when they allow themselves to be involuntarily
     ensnared (under the influence, but partially rectified, of a
     vicious education) to attempt to penetrate the mystery of the
     essential production of any phenomenon whose laws are not
     familiar to them, they are in a condition personally to
     exemplify this invariable instinctive tendency to trace the
     generation of unknown effects to a cause analogous to life,
     which is no other, strictly speaking, than the principle of
     fetishism....

     "Theologic philosophy, thoroughly investigated, has always
     necessarily for its base pure fetishism, which deifies
     instantly each body and each phenomenon capable of exciting the
     feeble thought of infant humanity. Whatever essential
     transformations this primitive philosophy may afterwards
     undergo, a judicious sociological analysis will always expose
     to view this primordial base, never entirely concealed, even in
     a religious state the most remote from the original point of
     departure. Not only, for example, the Egyptian theocracy has
     presented, at the time of its greatest splendour, the
     established and prolonged coexistence, in the several castes of
     the hierarchy, of one of these religious epochs, since the
     inferior ranks still remained in simple fetishism, whilst the
     higher orders were in possession of a very remarkable
     polytheism, and the most exalted of its members had probably
     raised themselves to some form of monotheism; but we can at all
     times, by a strict scrutiny, detect in the theologic spirit
     traces of this original fetishism. It has even assumed, amongst
     subtle intelligences, the most metaphysical forms. What, in
     reality, is that celebrated conception of a soul of the world
     amongst the ancients, or that analogy, more modern, drawn
     between the earth and an immense living animal, and other
     similar fancies, but pure fetishism disguised in the pomp of
     philosophical language? And, in our own days even, what is this
     cloudy pantheism which so many metaphysicians, especially in
     Germany, make great boast of, but generalized and systematized
     fetishism enveloped in a learned garb fit to amaze the
     vulgar."--Vol. V. p. 38.

He then remarks on the perfect adaptation of this primitive theology to
the initial torpor of the human understanding, which it spares even the
labour of creating and sustaining the facile fictions of polytheism. The
mind yields passively to that natural tendency which leads us to
transfer to objects without us, that sentiment of existence which we
feel within, and which, appearing at first sufficiently to explain our
own personal phenomena, serves directly as an uniform base, an absolute
unquestioned interpretation, of all external phenomena. He dwells with
quite a touching satisfaction on this child-like and contented condition
of the rude intellect.

     "All observable bodies," he says "being thus immediately
     personified and endowed with passions suited to the energy of
     the observed phenomena, the external world presents itself
     spontaneously to the spectator in a perfect harmony, such as
     never again has been produced, and which must have excited in
     him a peculiar sentiment of plenary satisfaction, hardly by us
     in the present day to be characterized, even when we refer back
     with a meditation the most intense on this cradle of humanity."

Do not even these few fragments bear out our remarks, both of praise and
censure? We see here traces of a deep penetration into the nature of
man, coupled with a singular negligence of the historical picture. The
principle here laid down as that of fetishism, is important in many
respects; it is strikingly developed, and admits of wide application;
but (presuming we are at liberty to seek in the rudest periods for the
origin of religion) we do not find any such systematic procedure amongst
rude thinkers--we do not find any condition of mankind which displays
that complete ascendancy of the principle here described. Our author
would lead us to suppose, that the deification of objects was uniformly
a species of explanation of natural phenomena. The accounts we have of
fetishism, as observed in barbarous countries, prove to us that this
animation of stocks and stones has frequently no connexion whatever with
a desire to explain _their_ phenomena, but has resulted from a fancied
relation between those objects and the human being. The _charm_ or the
_amulet_--some object whose presence has been observed to cure diseases,
or bring good-luck--grows up into a god; a strong desire at once leading
the man to pray to his amulet, and also to attribute to it the power of
granting his prayer.[50]

     [50] Take, for instance, the following description of fetishism
     in Africa. It is the best which just now falls under our hand,
     and perhaps a longer search would not find a better. Those only
     who never read _The Doctor_, will be surprised to find it
     quoted on a grave occasion:--

     "The name Fetish, though used by the negroes themselves, is
     known to be a corrupt application of the Portuguese word for
     witchcraft, _feitiço_; the vernacular name is _Bossum_, or
     _Bossifoe_. Upon the Gold Coast every nation has its own, every
     village, every family, and every individual. A great hill, a
     rock any way remarkable for its size or shape, or a large tree,
     is generally the national Fetish. The king's is usually the
     largest tree in his country. They who choose or change one,
     take the first thing they happen to see, however worthless--a
     stick, a stone, the bone of a beast, bird, or fish, unless the
     worshipper takes a fancy for something of better appearance,
     and chooses a horn, or the tooth of some large animal. The
     ceremony of consecration he performs himself, assembling his
     family, washing the new object of his devotion, and sprinkling
     them with the water. He has thus a household or personal god,
     in which he has as much faith as the Papist in his relics, and
     with as much reason. Barbot says that some of the Europeans on
     that coast not only encouraged their slaves in this
     superstition, but believed in it, and practised it
     themselves."--Vol. V. p. 136.

We carry on our quotation one step further, for the sake of illustrating
the impracticable _unmanageable_ nature of our author's generalizations
when historically applied. Having advanced to this stage in the
development of theologic thought, he finds it extremely difficult to
extricate the human mind from that state in which he has, with such
scientific precision, fixed it.

     "Speculatively regarded, this great transformation of the
     religious spirit (from fetishism to polytheism) is perhaps the
     most fundamental that it has ever undergone, though we are at
     present so far separated from it as not to perceive its extent
     and difficulty. The human mind, it seems to me, passed over a
     less interval in its transit from polytheism to monotheism, the
     more recent and better understood accomplishment of which has
     naturally taught us to exaggerate its importance--an importance
     extremely great only in a certain social point of view, which I
     shall explain in its place. When we reflect that fetishism
     supposes matter to be eminently active, to the point of being
     truly alive, while polytheism necessarily compels it to an
     inertia almost absolute, submitted passively to the arbitrary
     will of the divine agent; it would seem at first impossible to
     comprehend the real mode of transition from one religious
     _régime_ to the other."--P. 97.

The transition, it seems, was effected by an early effort of
generalization; for as men recognized the similitude of certain objects,
and classified them into one species, so they approximated the
corresponding Fetishes, and reduced them at length to a principal
Fetish, presiding over this class of phenomena, who thus, liberated from
matter, and having of necessity an independent being of its own, became
a god.

     "For the gods differ essentially from pure fetishes, by a
     character more general and more abstract, pertaining to their
     indeterminate residence. They, each of them, administer a
     special order of phenomena, and have a department more or less
     extensive; while the humble fetish governs one object only,
     from which it is inseparable. Now, in proportion as the
     resemblance of certain phenomena was observed, it was necessary
     to classify the corresponding fetishes, and to reduce them to a
     chief, who, from this time, was elevated to the rank of a
     god--that is to say, an ideal agent, habitually invisible,
     whose residence is not rigorously fixed. There could not exist,
     properly speaking, a fetish common to several bodies; this
     would be a contradiction, every fetish being necessarily
     endowed with a material individuality. When, for example, the
     similar vegetation of the several trees in a forest of oaks,
     led men to represent, in their theological conceptions, what
     was _common_ in these objects, this abstract being could no
     longer be the fetish of a tree, but became the god of the
     forest."--P. 101.

This apparatus of transition is ingenious enough, but surely it is
utterly uncalled for. The same uncultured imagination that could animate
a tree, could people the air with gods. Whenever the cause of any
natural event is _invisible_, the imagination cannot rest in Fetishism;
it must create some being to produce it. If thunder is to be
theologically explained--and there is no event in nature more likely to
suggest such explanation--the imagination cannot animate the thunder; it
must create some being that thunders. No one, the discipline of whose
mind had not been solely and purely _scientific_, would have created for
itself this difficulty, or solved it in such a manner.[51]

     [51] At the end of the same chapter from which this extract is
     taken, the _Doctor_ tells a story which, if faith could be put
     in the numerous accounts which men relate of themselves, (and
     such, we presume, was the original authority for the anecdote,)
     might deserve a place in the history of superstition.

     "One of the most distinguished men of the age, who has left a
     reputation which will be as lasting as it is great, was, when a
     boy, in constant fear of a very able but unmerciful
     schoolmaster; and in the state of mind which that constant fear
     produced, he fixed upon a great spider for his fetish, and used
     every day to pray to it that he might not be flogged."

      *       *       *       *       *





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