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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 330, April 1843
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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. 330, April 1843" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


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No. CCCXXX.   APRIL, 1843.   VOL. LIII.

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_To whom Communications (post-paid) may be addressed_.


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Skilful practice is applied science. This fact is illustrated in
every chapter of the excellent and comprehensive work now before us

In a previous article, (see the number for June 1842,) we
illustrated at some length the connexion which now exists, and which
hereafter must become more intimate, between practical agriculture
and modern science. We showed by what secret and silent steps the
progress and gradual diffusion of modern scientific discoveries had
imperceptibly led to great improvements in the agriculture of the
present century--by what other more open and manifest applications
of science it had directly, and in the eyes of all, been
advanced--to what useful practical discussions the promulgation of
scientific opinions had given rise--and to what better practice such
discussions had eventually led. Above all, we earnestly solicited
the attention of the friends of agriculture to what science seemed
not only capable of doing, but anxious also to effect, for the
further advance of this important art--what new lessons to give, new
suggestions to offer, and new means of fertility to place in the
hands of, the skilful experimental farmer.

It is but a comparatively short time since that article was written,
and yet the spread of sound opinion, of correct and enlightened views,
and of a just appreciation, as well of the aids which science is
capable of giving to agriculture, as of the expediency of availing
ourselves of all these aids, which within that period has taken
place among practical men, has really surprised us. Nor have we been
less delighted by the zeal with which the pursuit of scientific
knowledge, in its relations to agriculture, has been entered upon in
every part of the empire--by the progress which has been made in the
acquisition of this knowledge--and by the numerous applications
already visible of the important principles and suggestions embodied
in the works then before us, (JOHNSTON's _Lectures and Elements of
Agricultural Chemistry and Geology_.) But on this important topic we
do not at present dwell. We may have occasion to return to the
subject in a future number, and in the mean time we refer our
readers to the remarks contained in our previous article.

The truly scientific man--among those, we mean, who devote themselves
to such studies as are susceptible of important applications to the
affairs and pursuits of daily life--the truly scientific man does
not despise the _practice_ of any art, in which he sees the
principles he investigates embodied and made useful in promoting the
welfare of his fellow-men. He does not even undervalue it--he rather
upholds and magnifies its importance, as the agent or means by which
his greatest and best discoveries can be made to subserve their
greatest and most beneficent end. In him this may possibly arise
from no unusual liberality of mind; it may spring from a selfish
desire to see the principles he has established or made his own
carried out to their legitimate extent, and their value established
and acknowledged--_for it is the application of a principle that
imparts to it its highest value_.

[Footnote 1: THE BOOK OF THE FARM. By Henry Stephens.]

Science is to practical skill in the arts of life as the soul is to
the body. They are united as faith and works are in concerns of
higher moment. As both, though separately good, must yet be united
in the finished Christian, so the perfection of husbandry implies
the union of all the lights of existing theoretical knowledge with
all the skill of the most improved agricultural practice.

Though such is the belief of those scientific men who are able and
willing to do the most for practical agriculture, who see most
clearly what _can_ be done for it, and the true line along
which agricultural improvement may now most hopefully direct
her course--yet with this opinion the greater part of practical
men are still far from sympathizing. Some voices even--becoming
every day more feeble, however, and recurring at more distant
intervals--continue to be raised against the utility and the
applications of science; as if practice with _stationary_ knowledge
were omnipotent in developing the resources of nature; as if a man,
in a rugged and partially explored country, could have too much
light to guide his steps.

In the history of maritime intercourse there was a time when the
timid seaman crept from port to port, feeling his cautious and wary
way from headland to headland, and daring no distant voyage where
seas, and winds, and rocks, unknown to him, increased the dangers of
his uncertain life. Then a bolder race sprung up--tall ships danced
proudly upon the waves, and many brave hearts manned and guided them;
yet still they rarely ventured from sight of land. Men became
bewildered still, perplexed, and full of fear, when sea and sky
alone presented themselves. But a third period arose--and in the same
circumstances, men not more brave appeared collected, fearless, and
full of hope. Faith in a trembling needle gave confidence to the
most timorous, and neither the rough Atlantic nor the wide Pacific
could deter the bold adventurer, or the curious investigator of

And yet it was not till this comparatively advanced stage of the
nautical art--when man had obtained a faithful guide in his most
devious and trackless wanderings--when he was apparently set free
from the unsteady dominion of the seas and of the fickle winds--and
amid his labyrinthine course could ever and at once turn his face
towards his happy and expectant home;--it was not till this period
that science began to lend her most useful and most extensive aids,
and that her value in the advancement of the sailor's art began to
be justly appreciated. The astronomer forthwith taught him more
accurately to observe the heavens, and compiled laborious tables for
his daily use. Geography and hydrography obtained higher estimation,
and harbour-engineering and ship-building were elevated into more
important separate arts, chiefly from their applications to his use.
Nautical schools and nautical surveys, and lighthouse boards, with
all their attendant scientific researches, and magnetic observations,
and voyages of discovery all sprung up--at once the causes and the
consequences of the advancement of his art towards perfection; and
latest, though yet far from being the last, all the new knowledge
that belongs to steam-navigation has been incorporated in the vast
body of nautical science. _The further an art advances, the more
necessary does science become to it_.

Thus it is with agriculture. It cannot be denied that the tillage of
the soil, with almost every other branch of husbandry, has made
large strides among us--that we have more productive and better
cultivated provinces, and more skilful farmers, than are to be found
in any other part of the world in which equal disadvantages of
climate prevail. Any one will readily satisfy himself of this, who,
with an agricultural eye, shall visit the other parts of Europe to
which the same northern sky is common with ourselves. And it is
because we have reached this pitch of improvement--at which many
think we ought to be content to stop--because we have dismissed our
frail and diminutive boats, and sail now in majestic and decorated
ships, provided with such abundant stores that we need not, night by
night, to seek the harbour for new supplies--that we begin to feel
the want of some directing principle--to look about for some
favouring star to guide our wanderings upon the deep. To the
tremblirg needle of science we must now turn to point our way.
Feeble and uncertain it may itself appear--wavering as it directs
us--and therefore by many may be depreciated and despised--yet it
will surely lead us right if we have faith in its indications. Let
the practical man then build his ships skilfully and well after the
best models, and of the soundest oak--let their timbers be Kyanized,
their cables of iron, their cordage and sails of the most approved
make and material--let their sailors be true men and fearless, and
let stores be providently laid in for the voyage; but let not the
trembling needle of science be forgotten; for though the distant
harbour he would gain be well known to him--without the aid of the
needle he may never be able to reach it.

In thus rigging out his ship--in other words, in fitting up his farm
and doing all for it, and upon it, which experience and skilful
practice can suggest--he cannot have a better guide than the book
now before us.

THE BOOK OF THE FARM is not a mere didactic treatise on practical
agriculture, of which we already possess several of deserved
reputation; nor yet a laborious compilation, systematically arranged,
of every thing which, in the opinion of the author, it should
interest the farmer to know. Of such Cyclopædias, that of Loudon
will not soon find a rival. But, as its name implies, The _Book of
the Farm_ contains a detail of all the operations, the more minute
as well as the greater, which the husbandman will be called upon to
undertake upon his farm--in the exact order in point of time in
which they will successively demand his attention. Beginning at the
close of the agricultural year, when the crops are reaped and housed,
and the long winter invites to new and peculiar, and, as they may be
called, preparatory labours, the reader is taught what work in each
succeeding month and season should be undertaken--why at that season
for what purpose it is to be done-in what way it can best be
performed--how at the least cost of money and the smallest waste of
time--and _how the master may at all times ascertain if his work has
been efficiently performed_.

We confess that we have been much struck with the wide range of
_practical_ subjects on which the author gives, in such a way a to
show that he is himself familiar with them, the most minute
directions for the guidance at once of the master farmer himself,
and for the direction of those who are under his orders. We have
satisfied ourselves that by carefully _examining_ the contents of
this one book, we should be prepared not merely to pass an
examination, but actually to undertake the office of public examiner
in any or all of the several crafts and mysteries of the farm-builder,
the weather-seer, the hedge-planter, the ditcher, the drainer, the
ploughman, the cattle-feeder, the stock-buyer, the drover, the
pig-killer, the fat cattle seller, the butcher, the miller, and the
grieve or general overseer of the farm. We know not what other
gentle crafts the still unpublished parts of the work may hereafter
teach us; but so faithfully and so minutely, in general so clearly,
and with so much apparent enjoyment, does the author enter into the
details of all the above lines of life, that we have been deceived
(we suppose) into the persuasion that Mr. Stephens must, in his
lifetime, have "played many parts"--that he has himself, as occasion
offered, or as work fell in his way, engaged in every one of these
as well as of the other varied occupations it falls in his way to

How, otherwise, for instance, should he so well understand the
duties and habits, and sympathize with the privations and simple
enjoyments of the humble and way-worn drover?--

"A drover of sheep should always be provided with a dog, as the
numbers and nimbleness of sheep render it impossible for one man to
guide a capricious flock along a road subject to many casualties;
not a young dog, who is apt to work and bark a great deal more than
necessary, much to the annoyance of the sheep--but a knowing
cautious tyke. The drover should have a walking stick, a useful
instrument at times in turning a sheep disposed to break off from
the rest. A shepherd's plaid he will find to afford comfortable
protection to his body from cold and wet, while the mode in which it
is worn leaves his limbs free for motion. He should carry provision
with him, such as bread, meat, cheese or butter, that he may take
luncheon or dinner quietly beside his flock, while resting in a
sequestered part of the road; and he may slake his thirst in the
first brook or spring he finds, or purchase a bottle of ale at a
roadside ale-house. Though exposed all day to the air, and even
though he feel cold, he should avoid drinking spirits, which only
produce temporary warmth, and for a long time after induce chilliess
and languor. Much rather let him reserve the allowance of spirits he
gives himself until the evening, when he can _enjoy it in warm toddy
beside a comfortable fire_, before retiring to rest for the night."
--Vol. ii. p. 89.

Then how knowingly he treats of the fat upon the sheep:--

"The formation of fat in a sheep commences in the inside, the
_net_ of fat which envelopes the intestines being first formed.
After that, fat is seen on the outside, and first upon the end of
the rump at the tail head, which continues to move on along the back,
on both sides of the spine to the bend of the ribs, to the neck. Then
it is deposited between the muscles, parallel with the cellular
tissue. Meanwhile it is covering the lower round of the ribs,
descending to the flanks until the two sides meet under the belly,
from whence it proceeds to the brisket or breast in front and the
shaw behind, filling up the inside of the arm-pits and thighs. The
spaces around the fibres of the muscles are the last to receive a
deposition of fat, but after this has begun, every other part
simultaneously receives its due share, the back and kidneys
receiving the most--so much so that the former literally becomes
_nicked_, as it is termed; that is, the fat is felt through the
skin to be divided into two portions. When all this has been
accomplished, the sheep is said to be _fat_ or _ripe_."--Vol. ii. p.

But the enjoyment of tracing the accumulating fat is not enough for
our author--as soon as his sheep is ripe, he forthwith proceeds to
slaughter it; and though he describes every part of this process
accurately, and with true professional relish, coolly telling us,
that "the _operation_ is unattended with cruelty;" yet we must be
content to refer our readers to the passage (vol. ii. p. 96) as an
illustration of his skill in this interesting branch of farm-surgery.
He is really an amiable sheep-operator, our author--what placid
benevolence and hatred of quackery appear in his instructions--
"Learn to slaughter _gently_, dress the carcass neatly and cleanly,
in as plain a manner as possible, and without _flourishes_."--p. 167.

But whisky-toddy and fat mutton are not the only things our author
relishes. He must have been a farm-servant, living in a bothy, at
least as long as he drove on the road or practised surgery in the
slaughter-house. After describing the farm-servant's wages and mode
of living, he thus expands upon the subject of Scottish brose:--

"The oatmeal is usually cooked in one way, as _brose_. A pot of
water is put on the fire to boil--a task which the men (in the bothy)
take in turns; a handful or two of oatmeal is taken out of the small
chest with which each man provides himself, and put into a wooden
bowl, which also is the ploughman's property; and, on a hollow being
made in the meal, and sprinkled with salt, the boiling-water is
poured over the meal, and the mixture receiving a little stirring
with a horn-spoon, and the allowance of milk poured over it, the
brose is ready to be eaten; and, as every man makes his own brose,
and knows his own appetite, he makes just as much as he can consume." [2]

[Footnote 2: "The fare is simple, and is as simply made, but it must be
wholesome, and capable of supplying the loss of substance occasioned
by hard labour; for I believe that no class of men can endure more
bodily fatigue for ten hours every day, than those ploughmen of
Scotland who subsist on this brose three times a-day."--Vol. ii. p.

But if the _life_ of the ploughman is familiar to our author, the
_work_ he has to do, and the mode of doing it well, and the reason
why it should be done one way here, and another way there, are no
less so. The uninitiated have no idea of the complicated patterns
which the ploughman works, according to the nature of the soil and
the season of the year in which he labours. He may be "gathering
up--crown-and-furrow ploughing--casting, or yoking, or coupling
ridges--casting ridges with gore furrows--cleaving down ridges with
or without gore furrows--ploughing two-out-and-two-in--ploughing in
breaks--cross-furrowing--angle-ploughing, ribbing, and drilling--or
he may be preparing the land by feering or striking the ridges."--
(Vol. i. p. 464.) All these methods of turning up the land are
described and illustrated by wood-cuts, and we are sure quite as
effectually done upon paper as if the author had been explaining
them upon his own farm, guiding one of his own best ploughs, and
strengthened by a basin of good brose made from his own meal-chest.

But the practical skill of Mr. Stephens is not confined to the lower
walks of the agricultural life. The ploughman sometimes qualifies
himself to become a steward, that he may rid himself of the drudgery
of working horses. He has then new duties to perform, which are thus
generally described.

"The duty of the _steward_ or _grieve_, as he is called in some
parts of Scotland, and _bailiff_ in England, consists in receiving
general instructions from his master, the farmer, which he sees
executed by the people under his charge. He exercises a direct
control over the ploughmen and field-workers.... It is his duty to
enforce the commands of his master, and to check every deviation
from rectitude he may observe in the servants against his interests.
It is not generally understood that he has control over the shepherd,
the hedger, or the cattleman, who are stewards, in one sense, over
their respective departments of labour.... He should always deliver
the daily allowance of corn to the horses. _He should be the first
person out of bed in the morning, and the last in it at night_. On
most farms, he sows the seed in spring, superintends the
field-workers in summer, tends the harvest-field and builds the
stacks in autumn, and thrashes the corn with the mill, and cleans it
with the winnowing-machine in winter. He keeps an account of the
workpeople's time, and of the quantity of grain thrashed, consumed
on the farm, and delivered to purchasers."--Vol. i. p. 221.

The practical man who reads the above detail of the steward's duties,
will see at once that it must have been written by "one of themselves;"
and, by its correctness, will be able to judge of the full faith
which may be placed in the numerous other details upon every branch
of practical farming with which the work now before us is so full.

We have brought prominently forward the above extracts in relation to
the _minutiae_ of the farmer's life--to the detailed practical
knowledge which is so valuable to him, as being those upon which it
appeared to us that a writer who was capable of getting up a book at
all, much more such a book as this professes to be, in reference to
the higher branches of the farmers' art, was most likely to fail.
But these parts of the work are written not only knowingly and well,
but with an evident relish for the subject. Let us turn, therefore,
to the more intellectual part of the book, and see how far this part
of the task has been satisfactorily accomplished.

_The Book of the Farm_ is mainly intended as a manual for the
master-farmer, accompanying him every where, and at every season of
the year, counselling, guiding, and directing him in all his
operations. But it has a higher and more useful aim than merely to
remind the practical agriculturist of what he already knows. It is
fitted, without other aid, to teach the beginner nearly every thing
which it is necessary for him to know in order to take his place
among the most intelligent practical men; and to teach it precisely
at the time, and in the order, in which it is most easy, most useful,
and most interesting for him to learn it.

The beginner is supposed by Mr. Stephens to have undergone a previous
course of instruction under a practical man, and to enter upon a
farm of his own in the beginning of winter. This farm is a more or
less naked and unimproved piece of land, without a farm-stead or
farm-house, with few hedge-rows, and wholly undrained. On entering
the farm, also, he has servants to engage, stock to buy, and
implements to select. In all these difflculties, _The Book of the
Farm_ comes to his aid. The most useful, approved, and economical
form of a farm-steading is pointed out. The structure of barns,
stables, cow-houses, piggeries, _liquid-manure tanks_, poultry-yards,
and every other appendage of the farm-house, and, finally, the most
fitting construction of the farm-house itself, according to the size
and situation of the farm, are discussed, described, and explained.
Plans and estimates of every expense are added, and woodcuts
illustrative of every less known suggestion. These are not only
sufficient to guide the intelligent young farmer in all the
preliminary arrangements for his future comfort and success, but will,
we are sure, supply hints to many older heads for the reconstruction
or improvement of farm-steadings, heretofore deemed convenient and
complete. The following chapter aids him in the choice of his
servants, and describes distinctly the duties and province of each.

And now, having concluded his domestic arrangements, [3] he must
learn to know something of the weather which prevails in the
district in which he has settled, before he can properly plan out or
direct the execution of the various labours which are to be
undertaken upon his farm during the winter. A chapter of some length,
therefore, is devoted to the "weather in winter," in which the
principles by which the weather is regulated in the different parts
of our islands, and the methods of foreseeing or predicting changes,
are described and illustrated _as far as they are known_. This is the
first of those chapters of _The Book of the Farm_ which illustrates
in a way not to be mistaken, the truth announced at the head of this
article, that _skilful practice is applied science_.

[Footnote 3: Hesiod considered one other appendage to the homestead
indispensable, to which Mr. Stephens does not allude, perhaps from
feeling himself incompetent to advise.]

To some it may appear at first sight that our author has indulged in
too much detail upon this subject; but he is not a true practical
farmer who says so. The weather has always been a most interesting
subject to the agriculturist--he is every day, in nearly all his
movements, dependant upon it. A week of rain, or of extraordinary
drought, or of nipping frost, may disappoint his most sanguine and
best founded expectations. His daily comfort, his yearly profit, and
the general welfare of his family, all depend upon the weather, or
upon his _skill in foreseeing its changes_, and availing himself of
every moment which is favourable to his purposes. Hence, with
agricultural writers, from the most early times, the varied
appearances of the clouds, the nature of the winds, and the changing
aspects of the sun and moon, and their several significations, have
formed a favourite subject of description and discussion. Thus of
the sun Virgil says--

  "Sol quoque, et exoriens et quum se condet in undas,
  Signa dabit; solem certissima signa sequuntir.
  Et quae mane refert, et quae surgentibus astris."

And then he gives the following _prognostics_, as unerring guides to
the Latian farmer:--

  "Ille ubi nascentem maculis variaverit ortum,
  Conditus in nubem, medioque refugerit orbe;
  Suspecti tibi sint imbres....
  Caeruleus pluviam denuntiat, igneus Euros.
  At si quum referetque diem condit que relatum
  Lucidus orbis erit: frustra terrebere nimbis
  Et claro silvas cernes aquilone moveri."

Mr. Stephens recognises similar solar indications in the following

  "If the sun in red should set,
  The next day surely will be wet;
  If the sun should set in grey,
  The next will be a rainy day."

And again--

  "An evening red, or a morning grey,
  Doth betoken a bonnie day;
  In an evening grey and a morning red,
  Put on your hat, or ye'll weet your head."

In his next edition we recommend to Mr. Stephens's notice the Border
version of the latter:--

  "An evening red and a morning grey,
  Send the shepherd on his way;
  An evening grey and a morning red
  Send the shepherd wet to bed."

The most learned meteorologists of the present day believe the moon
to influence the weather--the practical farmer is sure of it--and we
have known the result of the hay crop, in adjoining farms, to be
strikingly different, when upon the one the supposed influence of
the time of change was taken into account and acted upon, while in
the other it was neglected. Mr. Stephens gives as true proverbs--

       *       *       *       *       *

  "In the wane of the moon,
  A cloudy morning bodes a fair afternoon."


  "New moon's mist
  Never dies of thirst."

But Virgil is more specific--

  "Ipsa dies alios alio dedit ordine Luna
  Felices operum; quintam fuge....
  Septuma post decumam felix et ponere vitem,
  Et prensos domitare boves."

And in these warnings he only imitates Hesiod--

  [Greek: Pempias de hexaleasthai, hepei chalepai te chai ainai.]


  [Greek: Maenos de isamenou trischaidecha taen haleasthai,
  Spezmatos azxasthai phuta de henthzepsasthai arisa.]

But the vague prognostics of old times are not sufficient for the
guidance of the skilful and provident farmer of our day. The
barometer, the thermometer, and even the hygrometer, should be his
companions and guides, or occasional counsellors. To the description
and useful indications of these instruments, therefore, a sufficient
space is devoted in the book before us. We do not know any other
source from which the practical farmer can draw so much
meteorological matter specially adapted to his own walk of life, as
from this chapter upon the weather.

All this our young farmer is not supposed to sit down and master
before he proceeds with the proper business of his new farm; it will
be a subject of study with him in many future months, and winters too.
But after a most judicious recommendation, to observe and _record_
whatever occurs either new or interesting in his field of
labour--without which record he will not be able to contribute, as
he may hereafter do, to the extension of agricultural knowledge--he
is taught next, in an able chapter "upon soils and sub-soils,"
to study the nature of his farm more thoroughly; to ascertain
its natural capabilities--the improvements of which it is
susceptible--the simplest, most efficacious, and most economical
means by which this improvement may be effected--and the kind of
implements which it will be most prudent in him to purchase for
tilling the kind of land of which his farm consists, or for bringing
it into a more fertile condition. This chapter also draws largely,
especially upon geological and chemical science, and affords another
illustration of what, I trust, Mr. Stephens's book will more and
more impress upon our working farmers, that _skilful practice is
applied science_. We have not room for any extracts, but when we
mention that in the chemical part of it the author has been assisted
by Dr. Madden, readers of the _Quarterly Journal of Agriculture_
will be able to form an estimate of the way in which this chapter
has been got up.

Having now satisfied himself of the nature of his farm as to soil
and capabilities, he sees that new enclosures and shelter will be
necessary--that some fields must be subdivided, others laid out
anew--that old hedge-rows must be rooted out or straightened, and
new ones planted in their room. Of what all this may be made to
accomplish for his farm, and of how the work itself may be done,
even to the minutest details, the chapters on "enclosures and shelter,"
and on "planting of farm hedges," will fully inform him. The
benefits of shelter on our elevated lands, are not half understood.
Thousands upon thousands of acres are lying in comparative barrenness,
which, by adequate shelter, might be converted into productive fields.
The increase of mean temperature which results from skilful
enclosures, is estimated at 5° to 8° Fahrenheit; while in regard to
the increased money value, Mr. Thomas Bishop gives the following

"Previous to the division of the common moor of Methven in Perthshire,
in 1793, the venerable Lord Lynedoch and Lord Methven had each
secured their lower slopes of land adjoining the moor with belts of
plantation. The year following I entered Lord Methven's service, and
in 1798 planted about sixty acres of the higher moor ground, valued
at 2s. per acre, for shelter to eighty or ninety acres set apart for
cultivation, and let in three divisions to six individuals. The
progress made in improving the land was very slow for the first
fifteen years, but thereafter went on rapidly, being aided by the
_shelter derived from_ the growth of the plantations; and the
whole has now become fair land, bearing annually crops of oats,
barley, peas, potatoes, and turnips. In spring 1838, exactly forty
years from the time of putting down the plantation, I sold four
acres of larch and fir (average growth) standing therein, for L.220,
which, with the value of reserved trees and average amount per acre
of thinnings sold previously, gave a return of L.67 per acre."--Vol.
i, p. 367.

We are satisfied that in localities with which we are ourselves
acquainted, there are tens of thousand of acres which, by the simple
protection of sheltering plantations, would soon be made to exhibit
an equal improvement with either the moor of Methven, or the lands
upon Shotley Fell, which are also referred to in the work before us.
At a time when such strenuous endeavours are making to introduce and
extend a more efficient drainage among our clay lands, the more
simple amelioration of our cold uplands by judicious plantations,
ought neither to be lost sight of, nor by those who address
themselves to the landlords and cultivators, be passed by without
especial and frequent notice.

Did space permit, we could have wished to extract a paragraph or two
upon the mode of planting hedges, and forming ditches, for the
purpose of proving to our readers that Mr. Stephens is as complete a
_hedger_ and _ditcher_, as we have seen him to be cunning as a
drover and a cattle surgeon. But we must refer the reader to the
passages in pp. 376 and 379. Even in the planting of thorn hedges he
will find that science is not unavailing, for both mathematics and
botany are made by Mr. Stephens to yield their several contributions
to the chapters we are now considering.

But the fields being divided and the hedges planted, or while those
operations are going on, a portion of the land must be subjected to
the plough. Next in order, therefore, follows a chapter upon this
important instrument, in which the merits and uses of the several
best known--especially of the Scotch swing-ploughs--are explained
and discussed. Here our young farmer is taught which variety of
plough he ought to select for his land, _why_ it is to be preferred,
and _how_ it is to be used, and its movable parts (plough-irons)
_tempered_ and adjusted, according to the effect which the workman
is desirous of producing. We are quite sure that the writer of such
parts of this chapter as refer to the practical use of the plough,
must himself have handled it for many a day in the field.

The part of this chapter, again, which relates to the theoretical
construction--to the history of the successive improvements, and to
the discussion of the relative merits of the numerous varieties of
ploughs which have lately been recommended to notice--is drawn up by
Mr. James Slight, curator of the museum of the Highland Society, a
gentleman whose authority on such subjects stands deservedly high.
To this monograph, as we may call it, upon the plough, we may again
refer as another illustration of the union between agriculture and
science. Mechanism perfects the construction of instruments,
chemistry explains the effects which they are the means of producing
in the soil--says also to the mechanic, if you could make them act
in such and such a way, these effects would be more constantly and
more fully brought about, and returns them to the workshop for
further improvement. Thus each branch of knowledge aids the other,
and suggests to it means of still further benefitting practical

One of the most interesting, and not the least important, of those
practical discussions which have arisen since the establishment of
the Royal Agricultural Society of England, has been in regard to the
relative merits and lightness of draught of the Scottish
swing-ploughs, and of certain of the wheel-ploughs made and
extensively used, especially in the southern counties. It is admitted,
we believe, on all hands, that a less skilful workman will execute
as presentable a piece of work with a wheel-plough, as a more
skilful ploughman with a Scotch swing-plough. This is insisted upon
by one party as a great advantage, while the other attaches no
weight to it at all, saying, that they find no difficulty in getting
good ploughmen to work with the swing-plough, and therefore it would
be no advantage to them to change. Still this greater facility in
using it is a true economical advantage, nevertheless; since that
which is difficult to acquire will always be purchased at a dearer
rate; and in an improving district, it is some gain, that it is
neither necessary to import very skilful ploughmen, nor to wait till
they are produced at home.

But it is also conceded, we believe, that the swing-plough, in
skilful hands, is more easily or quickly managed than a wheel-plough;
that it _turns more readily_, and when doing the same kind of work,
will go over the ground quicker, and consequently do more work in a
day. Theoretically, this seems undeniable, though it does not appear
to be as yet clearly established in what precise proportion this
theoretical acceleration ought to increase the extent of ground gone
over by a diligent ploughman in the ten hours of his daily labour.
It is said that, with the wheel-plough, three-fourths of an acre is
an average day's work, while with a swing-plough, an acre is the
ordinary and easy work of an active man on soil of average tenacity.
The _pace_, however, must depend considerably both upon the horses
and their driver; and to whatever extent such a difference may
really exist--and opinions differ upon the subject--it is clearly an
argument in favour of the swing-plough.

But a third and equally important element in the discussion, is the
relative draught of the swing and wheel-ploughs. This element has
been lately brought more prominently forward, in consequence of some
interesting experiments, made first, we believe, by Mr. Pusey, and
since repeated by others, as to the relative draught of different
ploughs in the same circumstances, as measured by the dynamometer.
This, as well as the other parts of this question, is taken up, and
ably discussed, by Mr. Slight; and he has, we think, satisfactorily
shown, that no wheel-plough (or plough with a foot) can be lighter
in draught, _merely because it is wheeled_--that, on the contrary,
its draught must be in some small degree increased, other things
being equal, (vol. i. p. 463.) This, we think, is probable, on other
grounds besides those stated by Mr. Slight; yet there appears
satisfactory reason for believing, that some of the wheel-ploughs
which have been made the subject of experiment, have actually been
lighter in draught, when doing the same work, than any of the
swing-ploughs that have been opposed to them. But this does not show
that, in _principle_, the swing-plough is not superior to the
wheel-plough--it only shows that, in _construction_, it is still
capable of great emendations, and that, in this respect, some of the
wheel-ploughs have got the start of it. But the Scotch makers, who
first so greatly improved the plough, are capable still of competing
with their southern rivals; and from their conjoined exertions,
future ploughmen are destined to receive still further aid.

When the ploughs are brought home, and while the winter ploughing is
going on, an opportunity presents itself for laying out, and probably,
as the weather permits, of cutting a portion of the intended drains.
Upon this important subject, Mr. Stephens treats with more even than
his usual skill. How true is the following passage:--

"Land, however, though it does not contain such a superabundance of
water as to obstruct arable culture, may nevertheless, by its
inherent wetness, prevent or retard the luxuriant growth of useful
plants, as much as decidedly wet land. The truth is, that deficiency
of crops on apparently dry land is frequently attributed to
unskilful husbandry, when it really arises from the baleful
influence of _concealed_ stagnant water; and the want of skill is
shown, not so much in the management of the arable culture of the
land, as in neglecting to remove the true cause of the deficiency of
the crop, namely, the concealed stagnant water. Indeed, my opinion is,
and its conviction has been forced upon me by long and extensive
observation of the state of the soil over a large part of the
country--that this is the _true cause of most of the bad farming to
be seen_, and that _not one farm_ is to be found throughout the
kingdom that _would not be much the better for draining_."
--Vol. i. p. 483.

Draining is now truly regarded as a great national work, involving
considerations of the highest moment, and bearing upon some of the
most vital questions of our national policy. It is a subject,
therefore, the practical discussion of which is of the greatest
importance, especially in reference to the mode in which it can be
most _efficiently_ and most _cheaply_ done. Into these points,
Mr. Stephens enters minutely, and the course he prescribes is, we
think, full of judgment. He explains the Elkington mode of draining,
and he gives due praise to the more recent improvements of Mr. Smith
of Deanston.

Every one knows how difficult it is to persuade our practical men to
adopt any new method; but even after you have satisfied them that the
adoption of it will really do good to their farms, it is almost as
difficult to persuade them, that a partial adoption of the method,
or some alteration of it--as they fancy some _improvement_ of
it--will not best suit their land, or the circumstances in which
they are placed. Thus, one thinks, that a drain in each alternate
furrow is enough for his soil--that his drains need not be above
twelve(!) or eighteen inches deep--or that on his clay, the use of
soles is a needless expense. On all these points, the book before us
gives confident opinions, with which we entirely coincide.

In regard to the depth of drains, it is shown, that in order that
they may _draw_, they should never be shallower than thirty inches,
and should always leave a depth of eighteen inches clear of the
draining materials, in order that the subsoil and trench plough may
have full freedom of action, without risk of injury to the drain;
while of the use of soles he says--

"I am a strenuous advocate for drainsoles _in all cases_; and even
when they may really prove of little use, I would rather use too many,
than too few precautions in draining; because, even in the most
favourable circumstances, we cannot tell what change may take place
beyond our view, in the interior of a drain, which we are never again
permitted, and which _we have no desire to see_."

This passage expresses the true principle of safety, by which, in
the outlay of large sums of money for improvements, the landowner,
and the holder of an improving lease, ought to be actuated. Though
great losses have already been incurred by shallow drains, and by
the rejection of soles, the practice, especially in the more
backward districts, still goes on, and thousands of pounds are still
expended upon the principles of a false economy, in repetition of
the same faulty practice. We know of drainings now going on to a
great extent, which will never permit the use of the subsoil plough;
and of the neglect of soles, upon soils generally of clay, but here
and there with patches of sand, into which the tiles must inevitably
sink. When a person drains his own land, of course reason is the
only constraint by which he can be withheld from doing as he likes
with his own; or where a yearly tenant drains part of his farm at
his own expense, the risk is exclusively his, and his landlord, who
perhaps refuses to give any effectual aid, can have no right to
dictate as to the mode in which the draining is to be performed; but
when the landlord contributes either directly or indirectly to the
expense, he, or his agent--if he has one who is skilful
enough--should insist upon every thing being done according to the
most improved, which, in reality, are also ultimately the most
economical principles.

While the draining thus proceeds on the best and most economical
principles, the ploughing is supposed to be still in progress.
Indeed the arrangements for the two operations, the selection and
purchase of the implements for both, may go on simultaneously. The
plough, indeed, is sometimes used as a draining implement for making
a deep furrow, in which, with more or less emendation from the spade,
the tiles or other draining materials may subsequently be laid. But
in this case, the draught is excessive, and many horses must often
be yoked into the same plough, in order to drag it through the ground.
Here, therefore, the young farmer must learn a new art--the art of
harnessing and yoking his horses, in such a way as to obtain the
greatest possible effect, at the least expense, or with the smallest
waste of animal strength. This is a very important subject for
consideration, and it is one which the author who is best acquainted
with the practice, and with the state of knowledge regarding it,
over a great part of our island, will feel himself most imperatively
called upon to treat of in detail. This is done, accordingly, in the
chapter upon the "Yoking and Harnessing of the Plough," in which, by
the able assistance of Mr. Slight, the principles upon which these
processes should be conducted, as well as the simplest, strongest,
and most economical methods, in actual practice among the most
skilful farmers, are illustrated and explained.

To this follows a chapter upon "Ploughing stubble and lea ground,"
in which, with the aid of his two coadjutors, the practical and
scientific questions involved in the general process of ploughing
such land, are discussed with equal skill and judgment. We have been
particularly pleased with the remarks of Mr. Slight upon
ploughing-matches, (Vol. i. p. 651,) in reference especially to the
general disregard among judges, of the nature of the _underground_
work, on which so much of the good effects of ploughing in reality
depends. They will, we doubt not, have their due weight, at future
ploughing-matches, among those--and we hope they will be many--into
whose hands the work before us may come.

Second in importance to draining only, are the subjects of "subsoil
and trench ploughing," operations which are also to be performed at
this season of the year--and a chapter upon which concludes the
first volume of Mr. Stephens's work. Those who are acquainted with
the writings of Mr. Smith of Deanston, and with the operations of
the Marquis of Tweeddale at Yester, will duly estimate the importance,
not merely to the young farmer himself, but to the nation at large,
of proper instruction in regard to these two important operations--in
the mode of economically conducting them--in the principles upon
which their beneficial action depends--and in the circumstances by
which the practical man ought to be regulated in putting the one or
the other, or the one _rather_ than the other, in operation upon his
own land. Our limits do not permit us to discuss the relative merits
of subsoil and trench ploughing, which by some writers have unwisely
been pitted against each other--as if they were in reality methods
of improving the land, either of which a man may equally adopt in
any soil and under all circumstances. But they, in reality, agree
universally only in this one thing--_that neither process will
produce a permanently good effect unless the land be previously
thorough-drained_. But being drained, the farmer must then exercise
a sound discretion, and Mr. Stephens's book will aid his judgment
much in determining which of the two subsequent methods he ought to
adopt. The safer plan for the young farmer would be to try one or
two acres in each way, and in his after procedure upon the same kind
of land to be regulated by the result of this trial. Mr. Stephens
expresses a decided opinion in favour of trench-ploughing in the
following passages:--

"I have no hesitation in expressing my preference of trench to
subsoil ploughing: and I cannot see a single instance, with the sole
exception of turning up a very bad subsoil in large quantity, in
which there is any advantage attending subsoil, that cannot be
enjoyed by trench ploughing: and for this single drawback of a very
bad subsoil, trenching has the advantage of being performed in
perfect safety, where subsoil ploughing could not be, without
previous drainage.

"But whilst giving a preference to trench ploughing over subsoil, I
am of opinion that it should not be generally attempted under any
circumstances, however favourable, without previous thorough-draining,
any more than subsoil ploughing; but when so drained, there is no
mode of management, in my opinion, that will render land so soon
amenable to the means of putting it in a high degree of fertility as
trench ploughing."--Vol. i. p. 664.

We confess that, in the first of the above passages, Mr. Stephens
appears to us to assume something of the tone of a partizan, which
has always the effect of lessening the weight of an author's opinion
with the intelligent reader who is in search of the truth only. What
is advanced as the main advantage of trench-ploughing in the first
passage--that it can be safely done without previous draining, is in
the second wholly discarded by the advice, _never to trench-plough
without previous draining_. At the same time it is confessed, that
in the case of a bad subsoil, trench-ploughing may do much harm.
Every practical man in fact knows that bringing up the subsoil in
any quantity, he would in some districts render his fields in a great
measure unproductive for years to come. On the other hand, we believe
that the use of the subsoil-plough can never do harm upon drained
land. We speak, of course, of soils upon which it is already
conceded that either the one method or the other ought to be adopted.
The utmost evil that can follow in any such case from the use of the
subsoil-plough, is that the expense will be thrown away--the land
cannot be rendered more unfruitful by it. Subsoiling, therefore, is
the _safer_ practice.

But in reality, there ought, as we have already stated, to be no
opposition between the two methods. Each has its own special uses
for which it can be best employed, and the skill of the farmer must
be exercised in determining whether the circumstances in which he is
placed are such as to call specially for the one or for the other
instrument. If the subsoil be a rich black mould, or a continuation
of the same alluvial or other fertile soil which forms the surface--it
may be turned up at once by the trench-plough without hesitation. Or,
if the subsoil be more or less full of lime, which has sunk from above,
trenching may with equal safety be adopted. But, if the subsoil be
more or less ferruginous--if it be of that yellow unproductive clay
which in some cases extends over nearly whole counties--or of that
hard, blue, stony till which requires the aid of the mattock to
work out of the drains--or if it consist of a hard and stony,
more or less impervious bed--in all these cases the use of the
subsoil-plough is clearly indicated. In short, the young farmer can
scarcely have a safer rule than this--to subsoil his land first,
_whenever there is a doubt of the soundness of the subsoil_, or a
fear that by bringing it to the surface, the fertility of the upper
soil will be diminished. It is no reply to this safer practice to
say that even Mr. Smith recommends turning up the subsoil afterwards,
and that we have therefore a double expense to incur. For it is known,
that after a time any subsoil so treated may be turned up with safety,
and consequently there is no risk of loss by delaying this deeper
ploughing for a few years; and in regard to the question of expense,
it appears that the cost of both draining and subsoiling are
generally repayed by the first two or three crops which succeed each
improvement. What more, then, can be required? The expense is
repaid--the land is, to a certain extent, permanently improved--no
risk of loss has been incurred, and there still remains to the
improving farmer--improving his own circumstances, as well as the
quality of his land, by his prudent and skilful measures--there
still remains the deeper ploughing, by which he can gradually bring
new soil to the surface, as he sees it mellow, and become wholesome,
under the joint influences which the drain and the subsoil-plough
have brought to bear upon it.

There can, therefore, it is clear, be no universal rule for the use
of the two valuable instruments in question, as each has its own
defined sphere of action. This, we think, is the common-sense view
of the case. But if any one insists upon having a universal rule
which shall save him from thinking or observing for himself in all
cases, then we should say--_in all cases subsoil, because it is the

With this subject the first volume of _The Book of the Farm_ is
brought to a close; but winter still continues, and in other
winter-work of scarcely less importance the young farmer has still
to be instructed. We have hitherto said nothing of the more expensive
and beautiful embellishments of the book, because the most
interesting of them are portraits of celebrated short-horns, working
horses, sheep, and pigs--a subject of which the author begins to
treat only at the commencement of the second volume. The feeding of
stock is one of those parts of the winter's labours, in improving
husbandry, upon which not only the immediate profit of the farmer,
but the ultimate fertility of his land, in a great measure depends.
The choice of his stock, and the best mode of treating and tending
them, therefore, are subjects of the greatest consequence to the
young farmer. In the choice of his stock he will be aided at once by
the clear descriptions, and by the portraits so beautifully executed
by Landseer and Sheriff, by which the letterpress is accompanied. In
the subsequent treatment of them, and in the mode by which they may
be most profitably, most quickly, or most economically fed _in the
winter season_, he will be fully instructed in the succeeding
chapters of the book.

Turnips and other roots are the principal food of cattle in the
winter: a preliminary chapter, therefore, is devoted to the
"drawing and storing of turnips and other roots." Had we our article
to begin again, we could devote several pages, agreeably to ourselves,
and not without interest, we believe, or without instruction, to our
reader, in discussing a few of those points connected with the
feeding of cattle, upon which, though the means of information are
within their reach, practical men have hitherto permitted themselves
to remain wholly ignorant. Of these points Mr. Stephens adverts to
several, and suggests the advantage of additional experiments; but
the whole subject requires revision, and, under the guidance of
persons able to direct, who are acquainted with all that is yet known,
or has as yet been done either in our own or in foreign countries,
experiments will hereafter, no doubt, be made, by which many new
truths, both theoretically and practically valuable, are sure to be

We may advert, as an illustration, to the feeding properties of the
turnip. It is usual to reckon the value of a crop of turnips by the
number of tons per acre which it is found to yield when so many
square yards of the produce are weighed. But this may be very
fallacious in many ways. If they are white turnips, for instance,
nine tons of small will contain as much nourishment as ten tons of
large--or twenty-seven tons an acre of small turnips will feed as
many sheep as thirty tons per acre of large turnips. Or if the crop
be Swedes, the reverse will be the case, twenty-seven tons of large
will feed as much stock as thirty tons of small.--(Vol. ii., p. 20.)
Mr. Stephens points out other fallacies also, to which we cannot
advert. One, however, he has passed over, of equal, we believe of
greater, consequence than any other--we allude to the variable
quantity of water which the turnip grown on different soils in
different seasons is found to contain.

It is obvious, that in so far as the roots of the turnip, the carrot,
and the potatoe, consist of water, they can serve the purposes of
drink only--they cannot feed the animals to which they are given. Now,
the quantity of water in the turnip is so great, that 100 _tons
sometimes contain only nine tons of dry feeding matter_--more than
nine-tenths of their weight consisting of water. But again, their
constitution is so variable, that 100 _tons sometimes contain more
than twenty tons of dry food_--or less than four-fifths of their
weight of water. It is possible, therefore, that one acre of turnips,
on which only twenty tons are growing, may feed as many sheep as
another on which forty tons are produced. What, therefore, can be
more uncertain than the feeding value of an acre of turnips as
estimated by the weight? How much in the dark are buyers and sellers
of this root? What wonder is there, that different writers should
estimate so very differently the weight of turnips which ought to be
given for the purpose of sustaining the condition, or of increasing
the weight, of the several varieties of stock? Other roots exhibit
similar differences; and even the potatoe, while it sometimes
contains thirty tons of food in every hundred of raw roots, at others,
contains no more than twenty--the same weight, namely, which exists
at times in the turnip. [4]

[Footnote 4: For our authority on this subject, we refer to
Johnston's _Suggestion for Experiments in Practical Agriculture_, No.
111. pp. 62 and 64, of which we have been favoured with an early
copy by the author.]

This latter fact, shows the very slippery ground on which the
assertion rests, that has lately astonished the weak minds of our
Southern cattle-feeding brethren, from the mouth of one of their
talented but hasty lecturers--that the potatoe contains two or three
times the weight of nourishment which exists in the turnip. It is
true that _some_ varieties of potatoes contain three times as much
as _some_ varieties of turnip--but, on the other hand, some turnips
contain as much nourishment as an equal weight of potatoes. But no
man can tell, by bare inspection, as yet, to which class of turnips,
the more or less watery, his own may belong--whether that which is
apparently the most prolific may not in reality be the least
so--whether that mode of manuring his land which gives him the
greatest weight of raw roots may not give him the smallest weight of
real substantial food for his stock. What a wide field, therefore,
for experiment? To what useful results might they not be expected to
lead? If any of our readers wish to undertake such experiments, or to
learn how they are to be performed, we refer them to the pamphlet
mentioned in the note.

In connexion with the chapter "on the feeding of sheep," we could
have wished to advert to the advantages of shelter, in producing the
largest weight of meat from a given weight of turnips, or other
food--as illustrated by the experiments of Mr. Childers, Lord Western,
and others; but we must refer our readers to the passage itself,
(vol. ii. p. 51,) as we must also to the no less important
comparative view of the advantages of feeding cattle in close byres
and in open hammels, (vol. ii. p. 129,) and to the interesting
details regarding the use of raw and steamed food, contained in the
chapter upon the feeding of cattle, (vol. ii. p. 120 to 148.)

But our author is so cunning in the qualities of mutton--which, as
we have already seen, he can "kill so gently," performing the
operation without pain--that we think our readers will enjoy the
following passage:--

"The gigot is the handsomest and most valuable part of the carcass,
and on that account fetches the highest price. It is either a
roasting or a boiling piece. Of black-faced mutton it makes a fine
roast, and the piece of fat in it called the _pope's eye_, is
considered a delicate _morceau_ by epicures. A gigot of Leicester,
Cheviot, or Southdown mutton makes a beautiful 'boiled leg of mutton,'
which is prized the more the fatter it is, as this part of the
carcass is never overloaded with fat. The loin is almost always
roasted, the flap of the flank being skewered up, and it is a juicy
piece. For a small family, the black-faced mutton is preferable; for
a large, the Southdown and Cheviot. Many consider this piece of
Leicester mutton roasted as too rich, and when warm, this is
probably the case; but a cold roast loin is an excellent summer dish.
The back-ribs are divided into two, and used for very different
purposes. The fore-part, the neck, is boiled and makes sweet
barley-broth, and the meat, when well boiled, or rather the whole
pottage simmered for a considerable time _beside_ the fire, eats
tenderly. The back-ribs make an excellent roast; indeed, there is
not a sweeter or more varied one in the carcass, having both ribs
and shoulder. The shoulder-blade eats best cold, and the ribs warm.
The ribs make excellent chops. The Leicester and Southdowns afford
the best mutton-chops. The breast is mostly a roasting-piece,
consisting of rib and shoulder, and is particularly good when cold.
When the piece is large, as of Southdown or Cheviot, the gristly
part of the ribs may be divided from the true ribs, and helped
separately. The breast is an excellent piece in black-faced mutton,
and suitable to small families, the shoulder being eaten cold, while
the ribs and brisket are sweet and juicy when warm. This piece also
boils well; or, when corned for eight days, and served with onion
sauce, with mashed turnip in it, there are few more savoury dishes
at a farmer's table. The shoulder is separated before being dressed,
and makes an excellent roast for family use, and may be eaten warm or
cold, or corned and dressed as the breast mentioned above. The
shoulder is best from a large carcass of Southdown, Cheviot, or
Leicester, the black-faced being too thin for the purpose; and it was
probably because English mutton is usually large that the practice
of removing it originated. The neckpiece is partly laid bare by the
removal of the shoulder, the fore-part being fitted for boiling and
making into broth, and the best end for roasting or broiling into
chops. On this account this is a good family piece, and in such
request among the tradesmen of London that they prefer it to any part
of the hind-quarter."--(Vol. ii. p. 98.)

Nor is he less skilful in the humble food and cooking of the
farm-labourer; indeed, he seems never satisfied until he fairly
exhausts all the useful matter contained in every subject upon which
he touches. He not only breeds, and feeds, and kills, and cooks, but
he does the latter with such relish, that we have several times
fancied that we could actually see him eating his own mutton, beef,
and pork. And, whether he luxuriates over a roast of the back-ribs
of mutton, "so sweet and so varied," or complains that "the
hotel-keepers have a trick of seasoning brown-soup, or rather
beef-tea, with a few joints of tail, and passing it off for genuine
ox-tail soup,"--(vol. ii. p. 169,) or describes the "_famous fat
brose_, for which Scotland has long been celebrated," as formed by
skimming off the fat when boiling the hough, pouring it upon oatmeal,
and seasoning with pepper and salt; or indulges in the humbler
brose of the ploughman in his bothy, he evidently enjoys every thing
set before him so much, that we are sure he must lay on the fat
kindly. We should not wonder if he is himself already _nicked_; and
we cannot more warmly testify our good wishes, than by expressing a
hope, that, when he is fully _ripe_, the grim surgeon will operate
upon him _without pain_, and kill him _gently_.

One of Mr. Stephens's humbler dishes is the following:--

"The only time Scotch farm-servants indulge in butcher-meat is when
a sheep _falls_, as it is termed; that is, when it is killed before
being affected with an unwholesome disease, and the mutton is sold
at a reduced price. Shred down the suet small, removing any flesh or
cellular membrane adhering to it; then mix amongst it intimately 1/2
oz. of salt and a tea-spoonful of pepper to every pound of suet; put
the mixture into an earthen jar, and tie up tightly with bladder.
One table spoonful of seasoned suet will, at any time, make good
barley-broth or potato-soup for two persons. The lean of the mutton
may be shred down small, and seasoned in a similar manner, and used
when required; or it may be corned with salt, and used as a joint."
--Vol. ii. p. 105.

How much of the natural habits and manners of a country, and of the
circumstances and inner life of the various classes of its
inhabitants, is to be learned from a study of their cookery!

Reader, what a mystery hangs over the _handling_ of a fat beast! A
feeder approaches a well filled short-horn--he touches it here--he
pinches it there--he declares it to have many good _points_ about it;
but pronounces the existence of defects, where the uninitiated see
only beauties. The points of a fat ox, how mysterious they are, how
difficult to make out! The five points of Arminianism, our old vicar
used to say, were nothing to them. But here, too, Mr. Stephens is at
home. Listen to his simple explanation of the whole:

"The first point usually _handled_ is the end of the rump at the
tail-head, although any fat here is very obvious, and sometimes
attains to an enormous size, amounting even to deformity. The
hook-bone gets a touch, and when well covered, is right.... To the
hand, or rather to the points of the fingers of the right hand, when
laid upon the ribs, the flesh should feel soft and thick and the
form be round when all is right, but if the ribs are flat the flesh
will feel hard and thin from want of fat. The skin, too, on a rounded
rib, will feel soft and mobile, the hair deep and mossy, both
indicative of a kindly disposition to lay on flesh. The hand then
grasps the flank, and finds it thick, when the existence of internal
tallow is indicated.... The palm of the hand laid along the line of
the back will point out any objectionable hard piece on it, but if
all is soft and pleasant, then the shoulder-top is good. A
hollowness behind the shoulder is a very common occurrence; but when
it is filled up with a layer of fat, the flesh of all the
fore-quarter is thereby rendered very much more valuable. You would
scarcely believe that such a difference could exist in the flesh
between a lean and a fat shoulder. A high narrow shoulder is
frequently attended with a ridged back-bone, and lowset narrow hooks,
a form which gets the appropriate name of _razor-back_, with which
will always be found a deficiency of flesh in all the upper part of
the animal, where the best flesh always is. If the shoulder-point is
covered, and feels soft like the point of the hook-bone, it is good,
and indicates a well filled neck-vein, which runs from that point to
the side of the head. The shoulder-point, however, is often bare and
prominent. When the neck-vein is so firmly filled up as not to
permit the points of the fingers inside of the shoulder-point, this
indicates a well tallowed animal; as also does the filling up
between the brisket and inside of the fore legs, as well as a full,
projecting, well covered brisket in front. When the flesh comes down
heavy upon the thighs, making a sort of double thigh, it is called
_lyary_, and indicates a tendency of the flesh to grow on the
lower instead of the upper part of the body. These are all the
_points_ that require _touching when the hand is used_; and in a
high-conditioned ox, they may be gone over very rapidly."--Vol. ii. p.

The treatment of horses follows that of cattle, and this chapter is
fitted to be of extensive use among our practical farmers. There are
few subjects to which the attention of our small farmers requires
more to be drawn than to the treatment of their horses--few in which
want of skill causes a more general and _constant_ waste. The
economy of _prepared_ food is ably treated of, and we select the
following passage as containing at once sound theoretical and
important practical truths:

"It appears at first sight somewhat surprising that the idea of
preparing food for farm-horses should only have been recently acted
on; but I have no doubt that the practice of the turf and of the road,
of maintaining horses on large quantities of oats and dry ryegrass
hay, has had a powerful influence in retaining it on farms. But now
that a more natural treatment has been adopted by the owners of
horses on fast work, farmers, having now the example of post-horses
standing their work well on prepared food, should easily be
persuaded that, on slow work, the same sort of food should have even
a more salutary effect on their horses. How prevalent was the notion,
at one time, that horses could not be expected to do work at all,
unless there was _hard meat_ in them! 'This is a very silly and
erroneous idea, if we inquire into it,' as Professor Dick truly
observes, 'for whatever may be the consistency of the food when
taken into the stomach, it must, before the body can possibly derive
any substantial support or benefit from it, be converted into
_chyme_--a pultacious mass; and this, as it passes onward from the
stomach into the intestinal canal, is rendered still more fluid by
the admixture of the secretions from the stomach, the liver, and the
pancreas, when it becomes of a milky appearance, and is called
_chyle_. It is then taken into the system by the lacteals, and in
this _fluid_, this _soft_ state--_and in this state only_--mixes
with the blood, and passes through the circulating vessels for the
nourishment of the system.' Actuated by these rational principles,
Mr. John Croall, a large coach-proprietor in Edinburgh, now supports
his coach horses on 8 lb. of chopped hay and 16 lb. of bruised oats;
so does Mr. Isaac Scott, a postmaster, who gives 10 lb. or 12 lb. of
chopped hay and 16 lb. of bruised oats, to large horses: and to
carry the principle still further into practice, Captain Cheyne
found his post-horses work well on the following mixture, the
proportions of which are given for each horse every day; and this
constitutes the second of the formulæ alluded to above."

  In the day,
  8 lb. of bruised oats.
  3 lb. of bruised beans.
  4 lb. of chopped straw.
  15 lb.

  At night
    22 lb. of steamed potatoes.
  1-1/2 lb. of fine barley dust.
     2 lb. of chopped straw.
     2 oz. of salt.
  25-1/2 lb.

"Estimating the barley-dust at 10d. per stone; chopped straw, 6d.
per stone, potatoes, steamed, at 7s. 6d. per cwt.; and the oats and
beans at ordinary prices, the cost of supper was 6d., and for daily
food, 1s. with cooking, in all 1s. 6d. a horse each day."--Vol. ii. p.

The reader will also peruse with interest the following paragraph,
illustrative at once of the habits of the horse, and of our author's
familiarity with the race:--

"The horse is an intelligent animal, and seems to delight in the
society of man. It is remarked by those who have much to do with
blood-horses, that, when at liberty, and seeing two or more people
standing conversing together, they will approach, and seem, as it
were, to wish to listen to the conversation. The farm-horse will
not do this; but he is quite obedient to call, and distinguishes
his name readily from that of his companion, and will not stir
when desired to stand until _his own name_ is pronounced. He
distinguishes the various sorts of work he is put to, and will apply
his strength and skill in the best way to effect his purpose,
whether in the thrashing-mill, the cart, or the plough. He soon
acquires a perfect sense of his work. I have seen a horse walk very
steadily towards a feering pole, and halt when his head had reached
it. He seems also to have a sense of time. I have heard another
neigh almost daily about ten minutes before the time of loosening in
the evening, whether in summer or winter. He is capable of
distinguishing the tones of the voice, whether spoken in anger or
otherwise; and can even distinguish between musical notes. There was
a work-horse of my own, when even at his corn, would desist eating,
and listen attentively, with pricked and moving ears and steady eyes,
the instant he heard the note of low G sounded, and would continue
to listen as long as it was sustained; and another, that was
similarly affected by a particular high note. The recognition of the
sound of the bugle by a trooper, and the excitement occasioned in
the hunter when the pack give tongue, are familiar instances of the
extraordinary effects of particular sounds on horses."--Vol. ii. p.

We recollect in our younger days, when we used to drive home from
Penrith market, our friend would say, "come, let us give the horse a
song--he will go home so briskly with us." And it really was so, or
seemed so at least, be the principle what it may.

Pigs and poultry succeed to cattle and horses, and the author is
equally at home in regard to the management of these as of the more
valued varieties of stock--as learned in their various breeds, and
as skilful in the methods of fattening, killing, and cutting up. How
much truth is contained in the following remarks, and how easily and
usefully might the evil be amended:--

"Of all the animals reared on a farm, there are none so much
neglected by the farmer, both in regard to the selection of their
kind, and their qualifications to fatten, as all the sorts of
domesticated fowls found in the farm-yard. Indeed, the very
supposition that _he_ would devote any of _his_ time to the
consideration of poultry, is regarded as a positive affront on his
manhood. Women, in his estimation, may be fit enough for such a
charge, and doubtless they would do it well, provided they were not
begrudged every particle of food bestowed upon those useful creatures.
The consequence is what might be expected in the circumstances, that
go to most farm-steads, and the surprise will be to meet a single
fowl of any description in _good_ condition, that is to say, in such
condition that it may be killed at the instant in a fit state for
the table, which it might be if it had been treated as a fattening
animal from its birth."--Vol. ii. p. 246.

The methods of fattening them are afterwards described; and for a
mode _of securing a new-laid egg to breakfast every winter morning_,
a luxury which our author "enjoyed for as many years as he lived in
the country," we refer the reader to page 256 of the second volume.

Besides the feeding of stock, one other in-door labour demands the
attention of the farmer, when the severity of winter weather has put
a stop to the ploughing and the draining of his land. His grain
crops are to be thrashed out, and sent to the market or the mill. In
this part of his work Mr. Stephens has again availed himself of the
valuable assistance of Mr. Slight, who, in upwards of 100 pages of
closely printed matter, has figured and described nearly all the
more useful instruments employed in the preparation of the food of
cattle, and in separating the grain of the corn crops. The thrashing
machine, so valuable an addition to the working establishment of a
modern farm-steading, is minutely explained--the varieties in its
construction illustrated by wood-cuts--and the respective merits of
the different forms of the machine examined and discussed. With the
following, among his other conclusions, we cordially concur.

"I cannot view these two machines without feeling impressed with a
conviction that both countries would soon feel the advantage of an
amalgamation between the two forms of the machine. The drum of the
Scotch thrashing-machine would most certainly be improved by a
transfusion from the principles of the English machine; and the
latter might be equally improved by the adoption of the
manufacturing-like arrangements and general economy of the Scotch
system of thrashing. That such interchange will ere long take place,
I am thoroughly convinced; and as I am alike satisfied that the
advantages would be mutual, it is to be hoped that these views will
not stand alone. It has not been lost sight of, that each machine
may be said to be suited to the system to which it belongs, and that
here, where the corn is cut by the sickle, the machine is adapted to
that; while the same may be said of the other, where cutting by the
scythe is so much practised. Notwithstanding all this, there appears
to be good properties in both that either seems to stand in need of."
--Vol. ii. p. 329.

Other scientific, especially chemical information, connected with
the different varieties of grain, and the kind and quantity of food
they respectively yield, is incorporated in the chapters upon
"wheat, flour, and oat and bean meal," to which we can only advert,
as further illustrations of the intimate manner in which science and
skilful or enlightened practice are invariably, necessarily, and
every where interwoven.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now the dreary months of winter are ended--and the labours of
the farmer take a new direction.

  "Salvitur acris hiems gratâ vice veris et Favoni,"

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Ac neque jam stabulis gaudet pecus, aut arator igni."

But we cannot follow Mr. Stephens through the cheerful labours of the
coming year. Our task is so far ended, and from the way in which the
whole of the long weeks of winter are described, the reader must
judge of Mr. Stephens's ability to lead him safely and surely
through the rest of the year.

A closing observation or two, however, we beg to offer. We look upon
a good book on agriculture as something more than a lucky speculation
for the publisher, or a profitable occupation of his time for the
author. _It is a gain to the community at large,--a new instrument
of national wealth_. The first honour or praise in reference to
every such instrument, is, no doubt, due to the maker or
inventor--but he who brings is into general use, merits also no
little approbation. Such is our case with respect to the book before
us. We shall be glad to learn that our analysis of it contributes to
a wider circulation among the practical farmers of the empire, of
the manifold information which the book contains, not so much for
the sake of the author, as with a view to the common good of the
country at large. It is to the more general diffusion of sound
agricultural literature among our farmers, that we look for that more
rapid development of the resources of our varied soils which the
times so imperatively demand. To gain this end no legitimate means
ought to be passed by, and we have detained our readers so long upon
the book before us, in the hope that they may be induced to lend us
_their_ aid also in attaining so desirable an object.

We do not consider _The Book of the Farm_ a perfect work: the author
indulges now and then in loose and careless writing; and this
incorrectness has more frequently struck us in the later portions of
the work, no doubt from the greater haste of composition. He sets
out by slighting the aids of science to agriculture; and yet, in an
early part of his book, tells the young farmer that he "must become
acquainted with the agency of _electricity_ before he can understand
the variations of the weather," and ends by making his book, as we
have said, a running commentary upon the truth we have already
several times repeated, that SKILFUL PRACTICE IS APPLIED SCIENCE.

These, and no doubt other faults the book has--as what book is
without them?--but as a practical manual for those who wish to be
good farmers, it is the best book we know. It contains more of the
practical applications of modern science, and adverts to more of
those interesting questions from which past improvements have sprung,
and from the discussion of which future ameliorations are likely to
flow, than any other of the newer works which have come under our eye.
Where so many excellences exist, we are not ill-natured enough to
magnify a few defects.

The excellence of Scottish agriculture may be said by some to give
rise to the excellent agricultural books which Scotland, time after
time, has produced. But it may with equal truth be said, that the
existence of good books, and their diffusion among a reading
population, are the sources of the agricultural distinction possessed
by the northern parts of the island. It is beyond our power, as
individuals, to convert the entire agricultural population of our
islands into a reading body, but we can avail ourselves of the
tendency wherever it exists; and by writing, or diffusing, or aiding
to diffuse, good books, we can supply ready instruction to such as
_now_ wish for it, and can put it in the way of those in whom
other men, by other means, are labouring to awaken the dormant
desire for knowledge. Reader, do _you_ wish to improve agriculture?
--then buy you a good book, and place it in the hands of your tenant
or your neighbouring farmer; if he be a reading man, he will thank
you, and his children may live to bless you; if he be not a reader,
you may have the gratification of wakening a dormant spirit; and
though you may appear to be casting your bread upon the waters, yet
you shall find it again after many days.

       *       *       *       *       *


No. VII.

(The two following poems, "The Ideal," and, "The Ideal and Life,"
are essentially distinct in their mode of treatment. The first is
simple and tender, and expresses feelings in which all can sympathize.
As a recent and able critic, in the Foreign Quarterly Review, has
observed, this poem, "still little known, contains a regret for the
period of youthful faith," and may take its place among the most
charming and pathetic of all those numberless effusions of genius in
which individual feeling is but the echo of the universal heart. But
the poem on "The Ideal and Life" is highly mystical and obscure;--
"it is a specimen," says the critic we have just quoted, "of those
poems which were the immediate results of Schiller's metaphysical
studies. Here the subject is purely supersensual, and does not
descend to the earth at all. The very tendency of the poem is to
recommend a life not in the actual world, but in the world of
appearances [5]--that is, in the aesthetical world."

It requires considerable concentration of mind to follow its
meaning through the cloud of its dark and gigantic images. Schiller
desired his friend Humboldt to read it in perfect stillness, 'and
put away from him all that was profane.' Humboldt, of course,
admired it prodigiously; and it is unquestionably full of thought
expressed with the power of the highest genius. But, on the other
hand, its philosophy, even for a Poet or Idealist, is more than
disputable, and it incurs the very worst fault which a Poet can
commit, viz. obscurity of idea as well as expression. When the Poet
sets himself up for the teacher, he must not forget that the
teacher's duty is to be clear; and the higher the mystery he would
expound, the more pains he should bestow on the simplicity of the
elucidation. For the true Poet does not address philosophical
coteries, but an eternal and universal public. Happily this fault is
rare in Schiller, and more happily still, his great mind did not
long remain a groper amidst the 'Realm of Shadow.' The true Ideal is
quite as liable to be lost amidst the maze of metaphysics, as in the
actual thoroughfares of work-day life. A plunge into Kant may do
more harm to a Poet than a walk through Fleet Street. Goethe, than
whom no man had ever more studied the elements of the diviner art,
was right as an artist in his dislike to the over-cultivation of the
aesthetical. The domain of the Ideal is the heart, and through the
heart it operates on the soul. It grows feebler and dimmer in
proportion as it seeks to rise above human emotion.... Longinus does
not err, when he asserts that Passion (often erroneously translated
Pathos) is the best part of the Sublime.)

[Footnote 5: Rather, according to Aesthetical Philosophy, is the
_actual_ world to be called the _world of appearances_, and the
Ideal the world of substance.]


  Then wilt thou, with thy fancies holy--
    Wilt thou, faithless, fly from me?
  With thy joy, thy melancholy,
    Wilt thou thus relentless flee?
  O Golden Time, O Human May,
    Can nothing, Fleet One, thee restrain?
  Must thy sweet river glide away
    Into the eternal Ocean-Main?

  The suns serene are lost and vanish'd
    That wont the path of youth to gild,
  And all the fair Ideals banish'd
    From that wild heart they whilome fill'd.
  Gone the divine and sweet believing
    In dreams which Heaven itself unfurl'd!
  What godlike shapes have years bereaving
    Swept from this real work-day world!

  As once, with tearful passion fired,
    The Cyprian Sculptor clasp'd the stone,
  Till the cold cheeks, delight-inspired,
    Blush'd--to sweet life the marble grown;
  So Youth's desire for Nature!--round
    The Statue, so my arms I wreathed,
  Till warmth and life in mine it found
    And breath that poets breathe--it breathed.

  With my own burning thoughts it burn'd;--
    Its silence stirr'd to speech divine;--
  Its lips my glowing kiss return'd;--
    Its heart in beating answer'd mine!
  How fair was then the flower--the tree!--
    How silver-sweet the fountain's fall!
  The soulless had a soul to me!
    My life its own life lent to all!

  The Universe of Things seem'd swelling
    The panting heart to burst its bound,
  And wandering Fancy found a dwelling
    In every shape--thought--deed, and sound.
  Germ'd in the mystic buds, reposing,
    A whole creation slumber'd mute,
  Alas, when from the buds unclosing,
    How scant and blighted sprung the fruit!

  How happy in his dreaming error,
    His own gay valour for his wing,
  Of not one care as yet in terror,
    Did Youth upon his journey spring;
  Till floods of balm, through air's dominion,
    Bore upward to the faintest star--
  For never aught to that bright pinion
    Could dwell too high, or spread too far.

  Though laden with delight, how lightly
    The wanderer heavenward still could soar,
  And aye the ways of life how brightly
    The airy Pageant danced before!--
  Love, showering gifts (life's sweetest) down,
    Fortune, with golden garlands gay,
  And Fame, with starbeams for a crown,
    And Truth, whose dwelling is the Day.

  Ah! midway soon, lost evermore,
    Afar the blithe companions stray;
  In vain their faithless steps explore,
    As, one by one, they glide away.
  Fleet Fortune was the first escaper--
    The thirst for wisdom linger'd yet;
  But doubts with many a gloomy vapour
    The sun-shape of the Truth beset!

  The holy crown which Fame was wreathing,
    Behold! the mean man's temples wore!
  And but for one short spring-day breathing,
    Bloom'd Love--the Beautiful--no more!
  And ever stiller yet, and ever
    The barren path more lonely lay,
  Till waning Hope could scarcely quiver
    Along the darkly widening way.

  Who, loving, linger'd yet to guide me,
    When all her boon companions fled?
  Who stands consoling still beside me,
    And follows to the House of Dread?
  _Thine_, Friendship! _thine_, the hand so tender--
    Thine the balm dropping on the wound--
  Thy task--the load more light to render,
    O, earliest sought and soonest found!

  And _thou_, so pleased with her uniting
    To charm the soul-storm into peace,
  Sweet _Toil_![6] in toil itself delighting,
    That more it labor'd, less could cease:
  Though but by grains, thou aid'st the pile
    The vast Eternity uprears--
  At least thou strik'st from Time, the while,
    Life's debt--the minutes, days, and years![7]

[Footnote 6: That is to say--the Poet's occupation--The Ideal.]

[Footnote 7: Though the Ideal images of youth forsake us--the Ideal
still remains to the Poet.--Nay, it is his task and his companion;
unlike the worldly fantasies of fortune--fame, and love--the
fantasies the Ideal creates are imperishable. While, as the
occupation of his life, it pays off the debt of time; as the exalter
of life, it contributes to the building of eternity.]

       *       *       *       *       *


The _first title_ of this Poem was "The Realm of Shadow." Perhaps in
the whole range of German poetry there exists no poem which presents
greater difficulties to the English translator. The chief object of
the present inadequate version has been to render the sense
intelligible as well as the words. The attempt stands in need of all
the indulgence which the German scholar will readily allow that a
much abler translator might reasonably require.


  For ever fair, for ever calm and bright,
  Life flies on plumage, zephyr-light,
    For those who on the Olympian hill rejoice--
  Moons wane, and races wither to the tomb,
  And 'mid the universal ruin, bloom
    The rosy days of Gods--
            With Man, the choice,
  Timid and anxious, hesitates between
    The sense's pleasure and the soul's content;
  While on celestial brows, aloft and sheen,
    The beams of both are blent.


  Seek'st thou on earth the life of Gods to share,
  Safe in the Realm of Death?--beware
    To pluck the fruits that glitter to thine eye;
  Content thyself with gazing on their glow--
  Short are the joys Possession can bestow,
    And in Possession sweet Desire will die.
  'Twas not the ninefold chain of waves that bound
    Thy daughter, Ceres, to the Stygian river--
  She pluck'd the fruit of the unholy ground,
    And so--was Hell's for ever!


  The weavers of the web--the Fates--but sway
  The matter and the things of clay;
    Safe from each change that Time to matter gives,
  Nature's blest playmate, free at will to stray
  With Gods a god, amidst the fields of Day,
    The FORM, the ARCHETYPE,[8] serenely lives.
  Would'st thou soar heavenward on its joyous wing?
    Cast from thee, Earth, the bitter and the real,
  High from this cramp'd and dungeon being, spring
    Into the Realm of the Ideal!

  [Footnote 8: "Die Gestalt"--Form, the Platonic Archetype.]


  Here, bathed, Perfection, in thy purest ray,
  Free from the clogs and taints of clay,
    Hovers divine the Archetypal Man!
  Like those dim phantom ghosts of life that gleam
  And wander voiceless by the Stygian stream,
    While yet they stand in fields Elysian,
  Ere to the flesh the Immortal ones descend--
    If doubtful ever in the Actual life,
  Each contest--here a victory crowns the end
    Of every nobler strife.


  Not from the strife itself to set thee free,
  But more to nerve--doth Victory
    Wave her rich garland from the Ideal clime.
  Whate'er thy wish, the Earth has no repose--
  Life still must drag thee onward as it flows,
    Whirling thee down the dancing surge of Time.
  But when the courage sinks beneath the dull
    Sense of its narrow limits--on the soul,
  Bright from the hill-tops of the Beautiful,
    Bursts the attainèd goal!


  If worth thy while the glory and the strife
  Which fire the lists of Actual Life--
    The ardent rush to fortune or to fame,
  In the hot field where Strength and Valour are,
  And rolls the whirling, thunder of the car,
    And the world, breathless, eyes the glorious game--
  Then dare and strive--the prize can but belong
    To him whose valour o'er his tribe prevails;
  In life the victory only crowns the strong--
    He who is feeble fails.


  But as some stream, when from its source it gushes,
  O'er rocks in storm and tumult rushes,
    And smooths its after course to bright repose,
  So, through the Shadow-Land of Beauty glides
  The Life Ideal--on sweet silver tides
    Glassing the day and night star as it flows--
  Here, contest is the interchange of Love,
    Here, rule is but the empire of the Grace;
  Gone every foe, Peace folds her wings above
    The holy, haunted place.


  When through dead stone to breathe a soul of light,
  With the dull matter to unite
    The kindling genius, some great sculptor glows;
  Behold him straining every nerve intent--
  Behold how, o'er the subject element,
    The stately THOUGHT its march laborious goes.
  For never, save to Toil untiring, spoke
    The unwilling Truth from her mysterious well--
  The statute only to the chisel's stroke
    Wakes from its marble cell.


  But onward to the Sphere of Beauty--go
  Onward, O Child of Art! and, lo,
    Out of the matter which thy pains control
  The Statue springs!--not as with  labour wrung
  From the hard block, but as from Nothing sprung--
    Airy and light--the offspring of the soul!
  The pangs, the cares, the weary toils it cost
    Leave not a trace when once the work is done--
  The artist's human frailty merged and lost
    In art's great victory won!


  If human Sin confronts the rigid law
  Of perfect Truth and Virtue,[9] awe
    Seizes and saddens thee to see how far
  Beyond thy reach, Perfection;--if we test
  By the Ideal of the Good, the best,
    How mean our efforts and our actions are!
  This space between the Ideal of man's soul
    And man's achievement, who hath ever past?
  An ocean spreads between us and that goal,
    Where anchor ne'er was cast!


  But fly the boundary of the Senses--live
  the Ideal life free Thought can give;
    And, lo, the gulf shall vanish, and the chill
  Of the soul's impotent despair be gone!
  And with divinity thou sharest the throne,
    Let but divinity become thy will!
  Scorn not the Law--permit its iron band
    The sense (it cannot chain the soul) to thrall.
  Let man no more the will of Jove withstand,
  And Jove the bolt lets fall!


  If, in the woes of Actual Human Life--
  If thou could'st see the serpent strife
    Which the Greek Art has made divine in stone--
  Could'st see the writhing limbs, the livid cheek,
  Note every pang, and hearken every shriek
    Of some despairing lost Laocoon,
  The human nature would thyself subdue
    To share the human woe before thine eye--
  Thy cheek would pale, and all thy soul be true
    To Man's great Sympathy.


  But in the Ideal realm, aloof and far,
  Where the calm Art's pure dwellers are,
    Lo, the Laocoon writhes, but does not groan.
  Here, no sharp grief the high emotion knows--
  Here, suffering's self is made divine, and shows
    The brave resolve of the firm soul alone:
  Here, lovely as the rainbow on the dew
    Of the spent thunder-cloud, to Art is given,
  Gleaming through Grief's dark veil, the peaceful blue
    Of the sweet Moral Heaven.

[Footnote 9: The Law, i.e. the Kantian ideal of Truth and Virtue.
This stanza and the next embody, perhaps with some exaggeration, the
Kantian doctrine of morality.]


  So, in the glorious parable, behold
  How, bow'd to mortal bonds, of old
    Life's dreary path divine Alcides trode:
  The hydra and the lion were his prey,
  And to restore the friend he loved to day,
    He went undaunted to the black-brow'd God;
  And all the torments and the labours sore
    Wroth Juno sent--meek majestic One,
  With patient spirit and unquailing, bore,
    Until the course was run--


  Until the God cast down his garb of clay,
  And rent in hallowing flame away
    The mortal part from the divine--to soar
  To the empyreal air! Behold him spring
  Blithe in the pride of the unwonted wing,
    And the dull matter that confined before
  Sinks downward, downward, downward as a dream!
    Olympian hymns receive the escaping soul,
  And smiling Hebe, from the ambrosial stream,
    Fills for a God the bowl!

       *       *       *       *       *


  And so we find ourselves once more
    A ring, though varying yet serene,
  The wreaths of song we wove of yore
    Again we'll weave as fresh and green.
  But who the God to whom we bring
    The earliest tribute song can treasure?
  Him, first of all the Gods, we sing
    Whose blessing to ourselves is--pleasure!
  For boots it on the votive shrine
    That Ceres life itself bestows
  Or liberal Bacchus gives the wine
    That through the glass in purple glows--
  If still there come not from the heaven
    The spark that sets the hearth on flame;
  If to the soul no fire is given,
    And the sad heart remain the same?
  Sudden as from the clouds must fall,
    As from the lap of God, our bliss--
  And still the mightiest lord of all,
    Monarch of Time, the MOMENT is!
  Since endless Nature first began
    Whate'er of might the mind hath wrought--
  Whate'er of Godlike comes from Man
    Springs from one lightning-flash of thought!
  For years the marble block awaits
    The breath of life, beneath the soil--
  A happy thought the work creates,
    A moment's glance rewards the toil.
  As suns that weave from out their blaze
    The various colours round them given;
  As Iris, on her arch of rays,
    Hovers, and vanishes from heaven;
  So fair, so fleeting every prize--
    A lightning flash that shines and fades--
  The Moment's brightness gilds the skies
    And round the brightness close the shades.


  O'er ocean with a thousand masts sails on the young man bold--
  One boat, hard-rescued from the deep, draws into port the old!

       *       *       *       *       *


  "A little Earth from out the Earth, and I
    The Earth will move"--so said the sage divine;
  Out of myself one little moment try
    Myself to take;--succeed, and I am thine.

       *       *       *       *       *


  If thou _hast_ something, bring thy goods, a fair return be
  If thou _art_ something--bring thy soul, and interchange with mine.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote 10: The first verses in the original of this poem are placed
as a motto on Goethe's statue at Weimar.]

  Ah! happy He, upon whose birth each god
  Looks down in love, whose earliest sleep the bright
  Idalia cradles, whose young lips the rod
  Of eloquent Hermes kindles--to whose eyes,
  Scarce waken'd yet, Apollo steals in light,
  While on imperial brows Jove sets the seal of might.
  Godlike the lot ordain'd for him to share,
  He wins the garland ere be runs the race;
  He learns life's wisdom ere he knows life's care,
  And, without labour vanquish'd, smiles the Grace.
  Great is the man, I grant, whose strength of mind,
  Self-shapes its objects and subdues the Fates--
  Virtue subdues the Fates, but cannot bind
  The fickle Happiness, whose smile awaits
  Those who scarce seek it; nor can courage earn
  What the Grace showers not from her own free urn!

  From aught _unworthy_, the determined will
  Can guard the watchful spirit--there it ends.
  The all that's _glorious_ from the heaven descends;
  As some sweet mistress loves us, freely still
  Come the spontaneous gifts of heaven!--Above
  Favour rules Jove, as it below rules Love!
  The Immortals have their bias!--Kindly they
  See the bright locks of youth enamour'd play,
  And where the glad one goes, shed gladness round the way.
  It is not they who boast the best to see,
  Whose eyes the holy apparitions bless;
  The stately light of their divinity
  Hath oft but shone the brightest on the blind;--
  And their choice spirit found its calm recess
  In the pure childhood of a simple mind.
  Unask'd they come--delighted to delude
  The expectation of our baffled Pride;
  No law can call their free steps to our side.
  Him whom He loves, the Sire of men and gods,
  (Selected from the marvelling multitude,)
  Bears on his eagle to his bright abodes;
  And showers, with partial hand and lavish, down
  The minstrel's laurel or the monarch's crown.

  Before the fortune-favour'd son of earth,
  Apollo walks--and, with his jocund mirth,
  The heart-enthralling Smiler of the skies.
  For him grey Neptune smooths the pliant wave--
  Harmless the waters for the ship that bore
  The Caesar and his fortunes to the shore!
  Charm'd, at his feet the crouching lion lies,
  To him his back the murmuring dolphin gave;
  His soul is born a sovereign o'er the strife--
  The lord of all the Beautful of Life;
  Where'er his presence in its calm has trod,
  It charms--it sways as some diviner god.

  Scorn not the Fortune-favour'd, that to him
  The light-won victory by the gods is given,
  Or that, as Paris, from the strife severe,
  The Venus draws her darling,--Whom the heaven
  So prospers, love so watches, I revere!
  And not the man upon whose eyes, with dim
  And baleful night, sits Fate. The Dorian lord,
  August Achilles, was not less divine
  That Vulcan wrought for him the shield and sword--
  That round the mortal hover'd all the hosts
  Of all Olympus--that his wrath to grace,
  The best and bravest of the Grecian race
  Fell by the Trojan steel, what time the ghosts
  Of souls untimely slain fled to the Stygian coasts.

  Scorn not the Beautiful--if it be fair,
  And yet seem useless in thy human sight.
  As scentless lilies in the loving air,
  Be _they_ delighted--_thou_ in them delight.
  If without use they shine, yet still the glow
  May thine own eyes enamour. Oh rejoice
  That heaven the gifts of Song showers down below--
  That what the muse hath taught him, the sweet voice
  Of the glad minstrel teaches thee!--the soul
  Which the god breathes in him, he can bestow
  In turn upon the listener--if his breast
  The blessing feel, thy heart is in that blessing blest.

  The busy mart let Justice still control,
  Weighing the guerdon to the toil!--What then?
  A god alone claims joy--all joy is his,
  Flushing with unsought light the cheeks of men.
  Where is no miracle, why there no bliss!
  Grow, change, and ripen all that mortal be,
  Shapen'd from form to form, by toiling time;
  The Blissful and the Beautiful are born
  Full grown, and ripen'd from Eternity--
  No gradual changes to their glorious prime,
  No childhood dwarfs them, and no age has worn.--
  Like Heaven's, each earthly Venus on the sight
  Comes, a dark birth, from out an endless sea;
  Like the first Pallas, in maturest might,
  Arm'd, from the Thunderer's brow, leaps forth each Thought of Light.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have now, with few exceptions, translated all the principal poems
comprised in the third, or maturest period of Schiller's life. We
here pass back to the poems of his youth. The contrast in tone,
thought, and spirit, between the compositions of the first and the
third period, in the great poet's intellectual career, is
sufficiently striking. In the former, there is little of that
majestic repose of strength so visible in the latter; but there is
infinitely more fire and action--more of that lavish and exuberant
energy which characterized the earlier tales of Lord Byron, and
redeemed, in that wonderful master of animated and nervous style, a
certain poverty of conception by a vigour and _gusto_ of execution,
which no English poet, perhaps, has ever surpassed. In his poems
lies the life, and beats the heart, of Schiller. They conduct us
through the various stages of his spiritual education, and indicate
each step in the progress. In this division, _effort_ is no less
discernible than power--both in language and thought there is a
struggle at something not yet achieved, and not, perhaps, even yet
definite and distinct to the poet himself. Here may be traced,
though softened by the charm of genius, (which softens all things,)
the splendid errors that belong to a passionate youth, and that give
such distorted grandeur to the giant melodrama of "The Robbers." But
here are to be traced also, and in far clearer characters, the man's
strong heart, essentially human in its sympathies--the thoughtful
and earnest intellect, not yet equally developed with the fancy, but
giving ample promise of all it was destined to receive. In these
earlier poems, extravagance is sufficiently noticeable--yet never
the sickly eccentricities of diseased weakness, but the exuberant
overflowings of a young Titan's strength. There is a distinction,
which our critics do not always notice, between the _extravagance_
of a great genius, and the _affectation_ of a pretty poet.



[Footnote 11: This and the following poem are, with some alterations,
introduced in the play of "The Robbers."]


  Will Hector leave me for the fatal plain,
  Where, fierce with vengeance for Patroclus slain,
              Stalks Peleus' ruthless son?
  Who, when thou glidest amid the dark abodes,
  To hurl the spear and to revere the Gods,
              Shall teach shine Orphan One?


  Woman and wife belovèd--cease thy tears;
  My soul is nerved--the war-clang in my ears!
              Be mine in life to stand
  Troy's bulwark, fighting for our hearths--to go,
  In death, exulting to the streams below,
              Slain for my fatherland!


  No more I hear thy martial footsteps fall--
  Thine arms shall hang, dull trophies, on the wall--
              Fallen the stem of Troy!
  Thou go'st where slow Cocytus wanders--where
  Love sinks in Lethe, and the sunless air
              Is dark to light and joy!


  Sinew and thought--yea, all I feel and think
  May in the silent sloth of Lethe sink,
              But my love not!
  Hark, the wild swarm is at the walls!--I hear!
  Gird on my sword--beloved one, dry the tear--
              Lethe for love is not!


  Fair as an angel from his blessed hall--
    Of every fairest youth the fairest he!
  Heaven-mild his look, as maybeams when they fall,
    Or shine reflected from a clear blue sea!
  His kisses--feelings rife with paradise!
    Ev'n as two flames, one on the other driven--
  Ev'n as two harp-tones their melodious sighs
    Blend in some music that seems born of heaven;
  So rush'd, mix'd, melted--life with life united!
    Lips, cheeks burn'd, trembled--soul to soul was won!
  And earth and heaven seem'd chaos, as delighted
    Earth--heaven were blent round the belovèd one!
  Now, he is gone! vainly and wearily
    Groans the full heart, the yearning sorrow flows--
  Gone! and all zest of life, in one long sigh,
    Goes with him where he goes.

       *       *       *       *       *



[Footnote 12: This most exquisite love-poem is founded on the Platonic
notion, that souls were united in a pre-existent state, that love is
the yearning of the spirit to reunite with the spirit with which it
formerly made one--and which it discovers on earth. The idea has
often been made subservient to poetry, but never with so earnest and
elaborate a beauty.]

  Who, and what gave to me the wish to woo thee--
  Still, lip to lip, to cling for aye unto thee?
  Who made thy glances to my soul the link--
  Who bade me burn thy very breath to drink--
            My life in thine to sink?
  As from the conquerors unresisted glaive,
  Flies, without strife subdued, the ready slave--
  So, when to life's unguarded fort, I see
  Thy gaze draw near and near triumphantly--
            Yields not my soul to thee?
  Why from its lord doth thus my soul depart?--
  Is it because its native home thou art?
  Or were they brothers in the days of yore,
  Twin-bound both souls, and in the links they bore
            Sigh to be bound once more?
  Were once our beings blent and intertwining,
  And therefore still my heart for thine is pining?
  Knew we the light of some extinguished sun--
  The joys remote of some bright realm undone,
            Where once our souls were ONE?
  Yes, it _is_ so!--And thou wert bound to me
  In the long-vanish'd Eld eternally!
  In the dark troubled tablets which enroll
  The Past--my Muse beheld this blessed scroll--
            "One with thy love my soul!"
  Oh yes, I learn'd in awe, when gazing there,
  How once one bright inseparate life we were,

  How once, one glorious essence as a God,
  Unmeasured space our chainless footsteps trode--
            All Nature our abode!
  Round us, in waters of delight, for ever
  Voluptuous flow'd the heavenly Nectar river;
  We were the master of the seal of things,
  And where the sunshine bathed Truth's mountain-springs
            Quiver'd our glancing wings.
  Weep for the godlike life we lost afar--
  Weep!--thou and I its scatter'd fragments are;
  And still the unconquer'd yearning we retain--
  Sigh to restore the rapture and the reign,
            And grow divine again.
  And therefore came to me the wish to woo thee--
  Still, lip to lip, to cling for aye unto thee;
  _This_ made thy glances to my soul the link--
  _This_ made me burn thy very breath to drink--
            My life in thine to sink:
  And therefore, as before the conqueror's glaive,
  Flies, without strife subdued, the ready slave,
  So, when to life's unguarded fort, I see
  Thy gaze draw near and near triumphantly--
            Yieldeth my soul to thee!
  Therefore my soul doth from its lord depart,
  _Because_, beloved, its native home thou art;
  Because the twins recall the links they bore,
  And soul with soul, in the sweet kiss of yore,
            Meets and unites once more.
  Thou too--Ah, there thy gaze upon me dwells,
  And thy young blush the tender answer tells;
  Yes! with the dear relation still we thrill,
  Both lives--tho' exiles from the homeward hill--
            _One_ life--all glowing still!

       *       *       *       *       *



  Laura--above this world methinks I fly,
  And feel the glow of some May-lighted sky,
      When thy looks beam on mine!
  And my soul drinks a more ethereal air,
  When mine own shape I see reflected there,
      In those blue eyes of thine!
  A lyre-sound from the Paradise afar,
  A harp-note trembling from some gracious star,
      Seems the wild ear to fill;
  And my muse feels the Golden Shepherd-hours,
  When from thy lips the silver music pours
      Slow, as against its will.
  I see the young Loves flutter on the wing--
  Move the charm'd trees, as when the Thracian's string
      Wild life to forests gave;
  Swifter the globe's swift circle seems to fly,
  When in the whirling dance thou glidest by,
      Light as a happy wave.
  Thy looks, when there love sheds the loving smile,
  Could from the senseless marble life beguile--
      Lend rocks a pulse divine;
  Into a dream my very being dies,
  I can but read--for ever read--thine eyes--
      Laura, sweet Laura, mine![13]

[Footnote 13: We confess we cannot admire the sagacity of those who
have contended that Schiller's passion for Laura was purely Platonic.]

       *       *       *       *       *


  When o'er the chords thy fingers steal,
  A soulless statue now I feel,
      And now a soul set free!
  Sweet Sovereign! ruling over death and life--
  Seizes the heart, in a voluptuous strife
      As with a thousand strings--the SORCERY![14]

[Footnote 14: "The Sorcery."--In the original, Schiller has an
allusion of very questionable taste, and one which is very obscure
to the general reader, to a conjurer of the name of Philadelphia who
exhibited before Frederick the Great.]

  Then the vassal airs that woo thee,
  Hush their low breath hearkening to thee.
  In delight and in devotion,
  Pausing from her whirling motion,
  Nature, in enchanted calm,
  Silently drinks the floating balm.
  Sorceress, _her_ heart with thy tone
  Chaining--as thine eyes my own!

  O'er the transport-tumult driven,
    Doth the music gliding swim;
  From the strings, as from their heaven,
    Burst the new-born Seraphim.
  As when from Chaos' giant arms set free,
  'Mid the Creation-storm, exultingly
  Sprang sparkling thro' the dark the Orbs of Light--
  So streams the rich tone in melodious might.

  Soft-gliding now, as when o'er pebbles glancing,
    The silver wave goes dancing;
  Now with majestic swell, and strong,
  As thunder peals in organ-tones along;
    And now with stormy gush,
  As down the rock, in foam, the whirling torrents rush.
        To a whisper now
          Melts it amorously,
        Like the breeze through the bough
          Of the aspen tree;
    Heavily now, and with a mournful breath,
    Like midnight's wind along those wastes of death,
  Where Awe the wail of ghosts lamenting hears,
  And slow Cocytus trails the stream whose waves are tears.

  Speak, maiden, speak!--Oh, art thou one of those
  Spirits more lofty than our region knows?
  Should we in _thine_ the mother-language seek
    Souls in Elysium speak?


  Children of Suns restored to youth,
    In purfled fields ye dwell,
  Rear'd to delight and joy--in sooth
    Kind Nature loves ye well!
  Broider'd with light the robes ye wear,
  And liberal Flora decks ye fair
    In gorgeous-colour'd pride.
  Yet woe--Spring's harmless infants--woe!
  Mourn, for ye wither while ye glow--
    Mourn for the _soul_ denied!

  The sky-lark and the nightbird sing
    To you their hymns of love;
  And Sylphs that wanton on the wing,
    Embrace your blooms above.
  Woven for Love's soft pillow were
  The chalice crowns ye flushing bear,
    By the Idalian Queen.
  Yet weep, soft children of the Spring,
  The _feelings_ love alone can bring
    To you denied have been!

  But _me_ in vain my Fanny's [15] eyes
    Her mother hath forbidden;
  For in the buds I gather, lies
    Love's symbol-language hidden.
  Mute heralds of voluptuous pain,
  I touch ye--_life_--_speech_--_heart_--ye gain,
    And _soul_ denied before.
  And silently your leaves enclose,
  The mightiest God in arch repose,
    Soft-cradled in the core.

[Footnote 15: Literally "Nanny."]

       *       *       *       *       *


    Heavy and solemn,
      A cloudy column,
      Thro' the green plain they marching came!
  Measureless spread, like a table dread,
  For the wild grim dice of the iron game.
  The looks are bent on the shaking ground,
  And the heart beats loud with a knelling sound;
  Swift by the breasts that must bear the brunt,
  Gallops the Major along the front--
  And fetter'd they stand at the stark command,
  And the warriors, silent, halt!

    Proud in the blush of morning glowing,
  What on the hill-top shines in flowing?
  "See you the Foeman's banners waving?"
  "We see the Foeman's banners waving!"
  Now, God be with you, woman and child,
  Lustily hark to the music wild--
  The mighty trump and the mellow fife,
  Nerving the limbs to a stouter life;
  Thrilling they sound with their glorious tone,
  Thrilling they go, through the marrow and bone.
  _Brothers, God grant when this life is o'er,
  In the life to come that we meet once more_!
    See the smoke how the lightning is cleaving asunder!
  Hark the guns, peal on peal, how they boom in their thunder!
  From host to host, with kindling sound,
  The shouting signal circles round,
  Ay, shout it forth to life or death--
  Freer already breathes the breath!
  The war is waging, slaughter raging,
  And heavy through the reeking pall,
    The iron Death-dice fall!
  Nearer they close--foes upon foes
  "Ready!"--From square to square it goes,
    Down on the knee they sank,
  And the fire comes sharp from the foremost rank.
  Many a man to the earth it sent,
  Many a gap by the balls is rent--
  O'er the corpse before springs the hinder-man,
  That the line may not fail to the fearless van.
  To the right, to the left, and around and around,
  Death whirls in its dance on the bloody ground.
  The sun goes down on the burning fight,
  And over the host falls the brooding Night.
  _Brothers, God grant when this life is o'er,
  In the life to come that we meet once more_!
    The dead men lie bathed in the weltering blood,
  And the living are blent in the slippery flood,
  And the feet, as they reeling and sliding go,
  Stumble still on the corpses that sleep below.
  "What, Francis!" "Give Charlotte my last farewell."
  Wilder the slaughter roars, fierce and fell.
  "I'll give----Look, comrades, beware--beware
  How the bullets behind us are whirring there----
  I'll give thy Charlotte thy last farewell,
  Sleep soft! where death's seeds are the thickest sown,
  Goes the heart which thy silent heart leaves alone."
  Hitherward--thitherward reels the fight,
  Darker and darker comes down the night--
  _Brothers, God grant when this life is o'er,
  In the life to come that we meet once more_!

    Hark to the hoofs that galloping go!
      The Adjutants flying,--
    The horsemen press hard on the panting foe,
      Their thunder booms in dying--
    The terror has seized on the dastards all,
      And their colours fall.
    Closed is the brunt of the glorious fight.
    And the day, like a conqueror, bursts on the night.
    Trumpet and fife swelling choral along,
    The triumph already sweeps marching in song.
    _Live--brothers--live!--and when this life is o'er,
    In the life to come may we meet once more_!

       *       *       *       *       *



I wish I had lived in France in 1672! It was the age of romances in
twenty volumes, and flowing periwigs, and high-heeled shoes, and
hoops, and elegance, and wit, and rouge, and literary suppers, and
gallantry, and devotion. What names are those of La Calprenède, and
D'Urfé, and De Scuderi, to be the idols and tutelary deities of a
circulating library!--and Sevigné, to conduct the fashionable
correspondence of the _Morning Post_!--and Racine, to contribute to
the unacted drama!--and ladies skipping up the steepest parts of
Parnassus, with petticoats well tucked up, to show the beauty of
their ankles, and their hands filled with artificial flowers--almost
as good as natural--to show the simplicity of their tastes! I wish I
had lived in France in 1672; for in that year Madame Deshoulieres,
who had already been voted the tenth muse by all the freeholders of
Pieria, and whose pastorals were lisped by all the fashionable
shepherdesses in Paris, left the flowery banks of the Seine to
rejoin her husband. Monsieur Deshoulieres was in Guyenne; Madame
Deshoulieres went into Dauphiné. Matrimony seems to be rather hurtful
to geographical studies, but Madame Deshoulieres was a poetess; and
in spite of the thirty-eight summers that shaded the lustre of her
cheek, she was beautiful, and was still in the glow of youth by her
grace and her talent, and--her heart. Wherever she moved she left
crowds of Corydons and Alexises; but, luckily for M. Deshoulieres,
their whole conversation was about sheep.

The two Mesdemoiselles Deshoulieres, Madeleine and Bribri, were
beautiful girls of seventeen or eighteen, brought up in all the
innocent pastoralism of their mother. They believed in all the
poetical descriptions they read in her eclogues. They expected to
see shepherds playing on their pipes, and shepherdesses dancing, and
naiads reclining on the shady banks of clear-running rivers. They
were delighted to get out of the prosaic atmosphere of Paris, and
all the three were overjoyed when they sprang from their carriage,
one evening in May, at the chateau of Madame d'Urtis on the banks of
the Lignon. Though there were occasional showers at that season, the
mornings were splendid; and accordingly the travellers were up
almost by daylight, to tread the grass still trembling 'neath the
steps of Astrea--to see the fountain, that mirror where the
shepherdesses wove wild-flowers into their hair--and to explore the
wood, still vocal with the complaints of Celadon. In one of their
first excursions, Madeleine Deshoulieres, impatient to see some of
the scenes so gracefully described by her mother, asked if they were
really not to encounter a single shepherd on the banks of the Lignon?
Madame Deshoulieres perceived, at no great distance, a herdsman and
cow-girl playing at chuckfarthing; and, after a pause, replied--

  "Behold upon the verdant grass so sweet,
  The shepherdess is at her shepherd's feet!
  Her arms are bare, her foot is small and white,
  The very oxen wonder at the sight;
  Her locks half bound, half floating in the air,
  And gown as light as those that satyrs wear."

While these lines were given in Madame Deshoulieres' inimitable
recitative, the party had come close to the rustic pair. "People may
well say," muttered Madeleine, "that the pictures of Nature are
always best at a distance. Can it be possible that this is a
shepherdess--a shepherdess of Lignon?" The shepherdess was in
reality a poor little peasant girl, unkempt, unshorn, with hands of
prodigious size, a miraculous squint, and a mouth which probably had
a beginning, but of which it was impossible to say where it might
end. The shepherd was worthy of his companion; and yet there was
something in the extravagant stupidity of his fat and florid
countenance that was interesting to a Parisian eye. Madame
Deshoulieres, who was too much occupied with the verses of the great
D'Urfé to attend to what was before her, continued her description--

  "The birds all round her praises ever sing,
  And 'neath her steps the flowers incessant spring."

"Your occupation here is delightful, isn't it?" said Madeleine to the
peasant girl.

"No, 'tain't, miss--that it ain't. I gets nothink for all I does,
and when I goes hoam at night I gets a good licking to the bargain."

"And you?" enquired Madeleine, turning to the herdsman, who was
slinking off.

"I'm a little b-b-b-etter off nor hur," said the man, stuttering,
"for I gets board and lodging--dasht if I doesn't--but I gets bread
like a stone, and s-s-sleeps below a hedge--dasht if I doesn't."

"But where are your sheep, shepherd?" said Bribri.

"Hain't a got none," stuttered the man again, "dasht if I has."

"What!" exclaimed Madeleine in despair, "am I not to see the lovely
lambkins bleating and skipping in the meadows on the banks of the
Lignon, O Celadon?"

But Madame Deshoulieres was too much of a poetess to hear or see what
was going on. She thought of nothing but the loves of Astrea, and
heard nothing but the imaginary songs of contending Damons.

On their return to the chateau, Madeleine and Bribri complained that
they had seen neither flock nor shepherdess.

"And are you anxious to see them?" enquired Madame D'Urtis, with a

"Oh, very," exclaimed Bribri; "we expected to live like
shepherdesses when we came here. I have brought every thing a rustic

"And so have I," continued Madeleine; "I have brought twenty yards
of rose-coloured ribands, and twenty yards of blue, to ornament my
crook and the handsomest of my ewes."

"Well then," said the Duchess d'Urtis, good-naturedly, "there are a
dozen of sheep feeding at the end of the park. Take the key of the
gate, and drive them into the meadows beyond."

Madeleine and Bribri were wild with joy, while their mother was
labouring in search of a rhyme, and did not attend to the real
eclogue which was about to be commenced. They scarcely took time to
breakfast.--"They dressed themselves coquettishly"--so Madame
Deshoulieres wrote to Mascaron--"they cut with their own hands a
crook a-piece in the park--they beautified them with ribands.
Madeleine was for the blue ribands, Bribri for the rose colour. Oh,
the gentle shepherdesses! they spent a whole hour in finding a name
they liked. At last, Madeleine fixed on Amaranthe, Bribri on Daphnè.
I have just seen them gliding among the trees that overshadow the
lovely stream.--Poor shepherdesses! be on your guard against the

At noon that very day Madeleine and Bribri, or rather Amaranthe and
Daphnè, in grey silk petticoats and satin bodies, with their
beautiful hair in a state of most careful disorder, and with their
crooks in hand, conducted the twelve sheep out of the park into the
meadows. The flock, which seemed to be very hungry, were rather
troublesome and disobedient. The shepherdesses did all they could to
keep them in the proper path. It was a delicious mixture of bleatings,
and laughter, and baaings, and pastoral songs. The happy girls
inhaled the soul of nature, as their poetical mamma expressed it.
They ran--they threw themselves on the blooming grass--they looked
at themselves in the limpid waters of the Lignon--they gathered
lapfulls of primroses. The flock made the best use of their time;
and every now and then a sheep of more observation than the rest,
perceiving they were guarded by such extraordinary shepherdesses,
took half an hour's diversion among the fresh-springing corn.

"That's one of yours," said Amaranthe.

"No; 'tis yours," replied Daphnè; but, by way of having no
difficulties in future, they resolved to divide the flock, and
ornament one-half with blue collars, and the other with rose-colour.
And they gave a name also to each of the members of their flock,
such as Meliboeus, and Jeannot, and Robin, and Blanchette. Twelve
more poetical sheep were never fed on grass before. When the sun
began to sink, the shepherdesses brought back their flocks. Madame
Deshoulieres cried with joy. "Oh, my dear girls!" she said, kissing
their fair foreheads; "it is you that have composed an eclogue, and
not I."

"Nothing is wanting to the picture," said the Duchess, seating
herself under the willows of the watering-place, and admiring the
graceful girls.

"I think we want a dog," said Daphnè.

"No; we are rather in want of a wolf," whispered the beautiful
Amaranthe--and blushed.


Not far from the Chateau d'Urtis, the old manor-house of Langevy
raised its pointed turrets above the surrounding woods. There, in
complete isolation from the world, lived Monsieur de Langevy, his
old mother, and his young son. M. de Langevy had struggled against
the storms and misfortunes of human life; he now reposed in the
bosom of solitude, with many a regret over his wife and his
youth--his valiant sword and his adventures. His son, Hector Henri de
Langevy, had studied under the Jesuits at Lyons till he was eighteen.
Accustomed to the indulgent tenderness of his grandmother, he had
returned, about two years before, determined to live in his quiet
home without troubling himself about the military glories that had
inspired his father. M. de Langevy, though he disapproved of the
youth's choice, did not interfere with it, except that he insisted
on his sometimes following the chase, as the next best occupation to
actual war. The chase had few charms for Hector. It perhaps might
have had more, if he had not been forced to arm himself with an
enormous fowling-piece that had belonged to one of his ancestors,
the very sight of which alarmed him a mighty deal more than the game.
He was so prodigious a sportsman, that, after six months' practice,
he was startled as much as ever by the whirr of a partridge. But
don't imagine, on this account, that Hector's time was utterly wasted.
He mused and dreamed, and fancied it would be so pleasant to be in
love; for he was at that golden age--the only golden age the world
has ever seen--when the heart passes from vision to vision (as the
bee from flower to flower)--and wanders, in its dreams of hope, from
earth to heaven, from sunshine to shade--from warbling groves to
sighing maidens. But alas! the heart of Hector searched in vain for
sighing maidens in the woods of Langevy. In the chateau, there was
no one but an old housekeeper, who had probably not sighed for thirty
years, and a chubby scullion-maid--all unworthy of a soul that
dreamed romances on the banks of the Lignon. He counted greatly on a
cousin from Paris, who had promised them a visit in the spring. In
the meantime, he paced up and down with a gun on his shoulder,
pretending to be a sportsman--happy in his hopes, happy in the clear
sunshine, happy because he knew no better--as happens to a great
many other people in the gay days of their youth, in this most
unjustly condemned and vilipended world. And now you will probably
guess what occurred one day he was walking in his usual dreamy state
of abstraction, and as nearly as possible tumbled head foremost into
the Lignon. By dint of marching straight on, without minding either
hedge or ditch, he found himself, when he awakened from his reverie,
with his right foot raised, in the very act of stepping off the bank
into the water. He stood stock-still, in that somewhat unpicturesque
attitude--his mouth wide open, his eyes strained, and his cheek
glowing with all the colours of the rainbow. He had caught a glimpse
of our two enchanting shepherdesses on the other side of the stream,
who were watching his movements by stealth. He blushed far redder
than he had ever done before, and hesitated whether he should
retreat or advance. To retreat, he felt, would look rather awkward:
at the same time, he thought it would be too great a price to pay
for his honour to jump into the river. And, besides, even if he got
over to the other side, would he have courage to speak to them?
Altogether, I think he acted more wisely, though less chivalrously,
than some might have done in his place. He laid down his gun, and
seated himself on the bank, and looked at the sheep as they fed on
the opposite side. At twenty years of age, love travels at an amazing
pace; and Hector felt that he was already over head and ears with
one of the fair shepherdesses. He did not stop to examine which of
them it was; it was of no consequence--sufficient for him that he
knew he was in love--gone--captivated. If he had been twenty years
older, he would perhaps have admired them both: it would have been
less romantic, but decidedly more wise.

It is not to be denied that Amaranthe and Daphnè blushed a little,
too, at this sort of half meeting with Hector. They hung down their
heads in the most captivating manner, and continued silent for some
time. But at last Amaranthe, more lively than her sister,
recommenced her chatter. "Look, Bribri," she said--"Daphnè I mean--he
is one of the silvan deities, or perhaps Narcissus looking at himself
in the water."

"Rather say, looking at you," replied Daphnè, with a blush.

"'Tis Pan hiding himself in the oziers till you are metamorphosed
into a flute, dear Daphnè."

"Not so, fair sister," replied Daphnè; "'tis Endymion in pursuit of
the shepherdess Amaranthe."

"At his present pace, the pursuit will last some time. If he weren't
quite so rustic, he would be a captivating shepherd, with his long
brown ringlets. He has not moved for an hour. What if he has taken
root like a hamadryad?"

"Poor fellow!" said Daphnè, in the simplest tone in the world;
"he looks very dull all by himself."

"He must come over to us--that's very plain. We will give him a crook
and a bouquet of flowers."

"Oh, just the thing!" exclaimed the innocent Daphnè. "We need a
shepherd: and yet, no, no"--she added, for she was a little jealous
of her sister--"'tis a lucky thing there is river between us."

"I hope he will find a bridge _per passa lou riou d'amor_."

Now, just at that moment Hector's mind was set on passing the river
of Love. In casting his eyes all round in search of a passage, he
perceived an old willow half thrown across the stream. With a little
courage and activity, it was a graceful and poetical bridge. Hector
resolved to try it. He rose and went right onward towards the tree;
but, when he arrived, he couldn't help reflecting that, at that
season, the river was immensely deep. He disdained the danger--sprang
lightly up the trunk, and flung himself along one of the branches,
dropping, happily without any accident, on the meadow of the Chateau
d'Urtis. Little more was left for him to do; and that little he did.
He went towards the fair shepherdesses. He tried to overcome his
timidity--he overwhelmed the first sheep of the flock with his
insidious caresses--and then, finding himself within a few feet of
Amaranthe--he bowed, and smiled, and said, "Mademoiselle."

He was suddenly interrupted by a clear and silvery voice.

"There are no Mesdemoiselles here--there are only two shepherdesses,
Amaranthe and Daphnè."

Hector had prepared a complimentary speech for a young lady attending
a flock of sheep--but he hadn't a word to say to a shepherdess.

He bowed again, and there was a pause.

"Fair Amaranthe," he said--"and fair Daphnè, will you permit a mortal
to tread these flowery plains?"

Amaranthe received the speech with a smile, in which a little
raillery was mingled. "You speak like a true shepherd," she said.

But Daphnè was more good-natured, and more touched with the
politeness of the sportsman. She cast her eyes on the ground and

"Oh--if you wish to pass through these meadows," she said--"we shall

"We were going to do the honours of our reception room," continued
Amaranthe, "and offer you a seat on the grass."

"'Tis too much happiness to throw myself at your feet," replied
Hector, casting himself on one knee.

But he had not looked where he knelt, and he broke Daphnè's crook.

"Oh, my poor crook!" she said--and sighed.

"What have I done?" cried Hector. "I am distressed at my stupidity--I
will cut you another from the ash grove below. But you loved this
crook," he added--"the gift, perhaps, of some shepherd--some shepherd?
--no, some prince; for you yourselves are princesses--or fairies."

"We are nothing but simple shepherdesses," said Amaranthe.

"You are nothing but beautiful young ladies from the capital," said
Hector, "on a visit at the Chateau d'Urtis. Heaven be praised--for in
my walks I shall at least catch glimpses of you at a distance, if I
dare not come near. I shall see you glinting among the trees like
enchantresses of old."

"Yes, we are Parisians, as you have guessed--but retired for ever
from the world and its deceitful joys."

Amaranthe had uttered the last words in a declamatory tone; you
might have thought them a quotation from her mamma.

"You complain rather early, methinks," replied Hector, with a smile;
"have you indeed much fault to find with the world?"

"That is our secret, fair sportsman," answered Amaranthe; "but it
seems you also live retired--an eremite forlorn."

"I? fair Amaranthe? I have done nothing but dream of the delights of
a shepherd's life--though I confess I had given up all hopes of
seeing a good-looking shepherdess--but now I shall go back more
happily than ever to my day-dreams. Ah! why can't I help you to
guard your flock?"

The two young girls did not know what to say to this proposition.
Daphnè at last replied--

"Our flock is very small--and quite ill enough attended to as it is."

"What joy for me to become Daphnis--to sing to you, and gather roses,
and twine them in your hair!"

"Let us say no more," interrupted Amaranthe, a little disquieted at
the sudden ardour of Daphnis; "the sun is going down: we must return
to the park. Adieu," she added, rising to go away.

"Adieu, Daphnis!" murmured the tender Daphnè, confused and blushing.

Hector did not dare to follow them. He stood for a quarter of an
hour with his eyes fixed first on them, and then on the door of the
park. His heart beat violently, his whole soul pursued the steps of
the shepherdesses.

"'Adieu, Daphnis,' the lovely Daphnè said to me. I hear her sweet
voice still! How beautiful she is! how beautiful they are,
both--Amaranthe is more graceful, but Daphnè is more winning--bright
eyes--white hands! sweet smiles! and the delicious dress, so simple,
yet so captivating! the white corset that I could not venture to
look at--the gown of silk that couldn't hide the points of the
charming little feet. 'Tis witchery--enchantment--Venus and Diana--I
shall inevitably go mad. Ah, cousin! you ought to have come long ago,
and all this might never have occurred."

The sun had sunk behind a bed of clouds--the nightingale began its
song, and the fresh green leaves rustled beneath the mild breath of
the evening breeze. The bee hummed joyously on its homeward way,
loaded with the sweets of the spring flowers. Down in the valley,
the voice of the hinds driving their herds to rest, increased the
rustic concert; the river rippled on beneath the mysterious shade of
old fantastic trees, and the air was filled with soft noises, and
rich perfumes, and the voice of birds. There was no room in Hector's
heart for all these natural enjoyments. "To-morrow," he said,
kissing the broken crook--"I will come back again to-morrow."


Early in the following morning, Hector wandered along the banks of
the Lignon, with a fresh-cut crook in his hand. He looked to the
door of the Park d'Urtis, expecting every moment to see the glorious
apparitions of the day before. And at stroke of noon, a lamb rushing
through the gate, careered along the meadow, and the eleven others
ran gayly after it, amidst a peal of musical laughter from Amaranthe.
Daphnè did not laugh.

The moment she crossed the threshold, she glanced stealthily
towards the river. "I thought so," she murmured; "Daphnis has come
back." And Daphnis, in a transport of joy, was hurrying to the
shepherdesses, when he was suddenly interrupted by Madame
Deshoulieres and the Duchess d'Urtis. When the sisters had returned,
on the evening before, Amaranthe, to Daphnè's great discomfiture,
had told word for word all that had occurred; how that a young
sportsman had joined them, and how they had talked and laughed; and
Madame d'Urtis had no doubt, from the description, that it was Hector
de Langevy. Amaranthe having added to the story, that she felt certain,
in spite of Daphnè's declarations to the contrary, that he would meet
them again, the seniors had determined to watch the result. Hector
would fain have made his escape; two ladies he might have faced, but
four!--and two of them above thirty years of age! 'Twas too much; but
his retreat was instantly cut off. He stood at bay, blushed with
all his might, but saluted the ladies as manfully as if he had been
a page. He received three most gracious curtsies in return--only
three; for Daphnè wished to pass on without taking any notice--which
he considered a very favourable omen. He did not know how to begin a
conversation; and besides, he began to get confused; and his blushing
increased to a most alarming extent--and--in short--he held out his
crook to Daphnè. As that young shepherdess had no crook of her own,
and did not know how to refuse the one he offered, she took it,
though her hand trenbled a little, and looked at Madame Deshoulieres.

"I broke your crook yesterday, fair Daphnè," said Hector, "but it is
not lost. I shall make a relic of it--more precious than--than--",
but the bones of the particular saint he was about to name stuck in
his throat and he was silent.

"Monsieur de Langevy," said Madam d'Urtis kindly, "since you make
such a point of aiding these shepherdesses in guarding the flock, I
hope in an hour you will accompany them to the castle to lunch."

"I'll go with them wherever you allow me, madam," said Hector.
(I wonder if the impudent fellow thought he had the permission of
the young ones already.)

"Let that be settled then," said the Duchess. "I shall go and have
the butter cooled, and the curds made--a simple lunch, as befits the

"The fare of shepherds!" said Madame Deshoulieres, and immediately
set out in search of a rhyme.

Daphnè had walked slowly on, pressing the crook involuntarily to her
heart, and arrived at the river side, impelled by a desire for
solitude, without knowing why. There are some mysterious influences
to which damsels of seventeen seem particularly subject. A lamb--the
gentlest of the flock, which had become accustomed to her
caresses--had followed her like a dog. She passed her small hand
lightly over the snowy neck of the favourite, and looked round to
see what the party she had left were doing. She was astonished to
see her mother and Hector conversing, as if they had been acquainted
for ages, while Madame d'Urtis and Amaranthe were running a race
towards the park. She sat down on the grassy bank, exactly opposite
the oziers where she had seen Hector the preceding day. When she
felt she was quite alone, she ventured to look at the crook. It was
a branch of ash of good size, ornamented with a rustic bouquet and a
bunch of ribands, not very skilfully tied. Daphnè was just going to
improve the knot, when she saw a billet hid in the flowers. What
should she do?--read it? That were dangerous; her confessor did not
allow such venialities--her mamma would be enraged--some people are
so fond of monopolies--and besides, she might be discovered. 'Twould
be better, then, _not_ to read it--a much simpler proceeding; for
couldn't she nearly guess what was in it? And what did she care what
was in it? Not to read it was evidently the safer mode; and
accordingly she--read it through and through, and blushed and smiled,
and read it through and through again. It was none of your
commonplace prosaic epistles--'twas all poetry, all fire; her mamma
would have been enchanted if the verses had only been addressed to
her. Here they are:--

  "My sweetest hour, my happiest day,
  Was in the happy month of May!
  The happy dreams that round me lay
  On that delicious morn of May!"

  "I saw thee! loved thee! If my love
  A tribute unrejected be,
  The happiest day of May shall prove
  The happiest of my life to me!"

It is quite evident that if such an open declaration had been made
in plain prose, Daphnè would have been angry; but in verse, 'twas
nothing but a poetical license. Instead, therefore, of tearing it in
pieces, and throwing it into the water, she folded it carefully
up, and placed it in the pretty corset of white satin, which seems
the natural escritoire of a shepherdess in her teens. Scarcely had
she closed the drawer, and double locked it, when she saw at her
side--Hector and Madame Deshoulieres.

"My poor child," said the poetess, "how thoughtful you seem on
Lignon's flowery side--forgetful of your sheep--"

  'That o'er the meadows negligently stray!'

Monsieur de Langevy, as you have given her a crook, methinks you
ought to aid her in her duties in watching the flock.  As for myself,
I must be off to finish a letter to my bishop.

  'From Lignon's famous banks
   What can I find to say?
   The breezes freshly springing,
   Make me--and nature--gay.
   When Celadon would weep;
   His lost Astrea fair,
   To Lignon he would creep,
   But oh! this joyous air
   Would force to skip and leap
   A dragon in despair!'--&c. &c.

Madame Deshoulieres had no prudish notions, you will perceive, about
a flirtation--provided it was carried on with the airs and graces of
the Hotel Rambouillet. She merely, therefore, interposed a word here
and there, to show that she was present. Daphne, who scarcely said a
word to Hector, took good care to answer every time her mamma spoke
to her. To be sure, it detracts a little from this filial merit,
that she did not know what she said. But if all parties were pleased,
I don't see what possible right anybody else has to find fault.

The shepherdess Daphnè, or rather Bribri Deshoulieres, as we have
seen, was beautiful, and simple, and tender--beautiful from the
admirable sweetness of her expression--simple, as young girls are
simple: that is to say, with a small spice of mischief to relieve
the insipidity--and tender, with a smile that seems to open the
heart as well as the lips. What struck people in her expression at
first, was a shade of sadness over her features--a fatal presentiment,
as it were, that added infinitely to her charm.  Her sister was more
beautiful, perhaps--had richer roses on her cheek, and more of what
is called _manner_ altogether--but if Amaranthe pleased the eyes,
Daphnè captivated the heart; and as the eyes are evidently
subordinate to the heart, Daphne carried the day. Hector accordingly,
on the first burst of his admiration, had _seen_ nothing but
Amaranthe; but when he had left the sisters, it was astonishing how
exclusively he _thought_ of Daphnè.


The castle clock sounded the hour of luncheon. Hector offered his arm
to Madame Deshoulieres; Daphnè called her flock. They entered the
park, and were joined by the Duchess d'Urtis and Amaranthe. The
collation was magnificent. First course, an omelette au jambon, entrèe
cakes, and fresh butter; second course, a superb cream cheese.
Dessert, a trifle and preserves. All these interesting details are
embalmed in the poetic correspondence of Madame Deshoulieres, in
which every dish was duly chronicled for the edification of her

At nightfall--for Hector lingered as long as he could--the young
shepherd quitted the party with great regret; but there was no time
to lose, for he had two leagues to go, and there was no moon, and
the roads were still broken into immense ruts by the equinoctial
rains. On the following day, Hector returned to the Chateau d'Urtis
through the meadow. When he arrived near the willow that served for
his bridge across the river, he was surprised to see neither
shepherdess nor flock in the field. He tripped across the tree,
lamenting the bad omen; but scarcely had he reached the other side
when he saw some sheep straggling here and there. He rushed towards
them, amazed at not seeing either Amaranthe or Daphnè; and what was
his enchantment when, on advancing a little further, he perceived
his adored shepherdess by the margin of the Lignon, which at that
point formed a pretty little cascade. The tender Daphnè had thrown
her beautiful arm round one of the young willows in flower, and,
trusting to its support, leaned gracefully over the waterfall, in
the shadow of its odoriferous leaves. She had allowed her soul to
wander in one of those delicious reveries, of which the
thread--broken and renewed a thousand times--is the work of the joy
which hopes, and the sadness which fears. She was not aware of
Hector's approach. When she saw him, she started, as if waking from
a dream.

"You are all alone," said Hector, drawing near.

She hurriedly told him that her sister would soon join her. The two
lovers kept silence for some time, looking timidly at each other,
not venturing to speak, as if they feared the sound of their own
voices in the solitude.

"There seems a sadness," said Hector at length, but his voice
trembled as he spoke--"there seems a sadness on your brow?"

"'Tis true," replied Daphnè. "Mamma has heard from Monsieur
Deshoulieres. He is going to pass through Avignon soon, and we are
going away to see him on his passage."

"Going away!" cried Hector, turning pale.

"Yes! and I felt myself so happy," said Daphnè, mournfully,
"in these meadows with my sheep, that I loved so well."

When Daphnè spoke of her sheep, she looked at Hector.

"But why should you go? Madame Deshoulieres could return for you here"

"And take me away when I had been longer here--my grief would only
be greater. No--I must go now or stay always."

On hearing these words Hector fell on one knee, seized her hand and
kissed it, and, looking up with eyes overflowing with love, said--

"Yes--always! always!--you know that I love you, Daphnè--I wish to
tell you how I will adore you all my life long."

Daphnè yielded to her heart--and let him kiss her hand without

"But alas!" she said, "I can't be always guarding a flock. What will
the poor shepherdess do?"

"Am I not your shepherd? your Daphnis?" cried Hector, as if
inspired--"trust to me, Daphnè--to my heart--to my soul! This hand
shall never be separated from yours: we shall live the same life--in
the sane sunshine--in the same shadow--in the same hovel--in the
same palace; but with you, dearest Daphnè, the humblest hut would be
a palace. Listen, my dearest Daphnè: at a short distance from here
there is a cottage--the Cottage of the Vines--that belongs to the
sister of my nurse, where we can live in love and happiness--no eye
to watch and no tongue to wound us."

"Never! never!" said Daphnè.

She snatched her hands from those of her lover, retreated a few paces,
and began to cry. Hector went up to her; he spoke of his
affection--he besought her with tears in his eyes--he was so
eloquent and so sincere, that poor Daphnè was unable to resist, for
any length of time, those bewildering shocks of first love to which
the wisest of us yield: she said, all pale and trembling--

"Well--yes--I trust myself to you--and heaven. I am not to blame--is
it my fault that I love you so?"

A tender embrace followed these words. Evening was now come; the sun,
sinking behind the clouds on the horizon, cast but a feeble light;
the little herdsman was driving home his oxen and his flock of
turkeys, whose gabbling disturbed the solemnity of the closing day.
The flock belonging to the castle turned naturally towards the

"Look at my poor sheep," said Daphnè, throwing back the curls which
by some means had fallen over her forehead--"look at my poor sheep:
they are pointing out the road I ought to go."

"On the contrary," replied Hector, "the ungrateful wretches are going
off very contentedly without you."

"But I am terrified," rejoined Daphnè: "how can I leave my mother in
this way? She will die of grief!"

"She will write a poem on it; and that will be all."

"I will write to her that I was unable to resist my inclination for
a monastic life, and that I have gone, without giving her notice, to
the nunnery of St. Marie that we were speaking of last night."

So said the pure and candid Bribri, hitting in a moment on the
ingenious device; so true it is, that at the bottom of all
hearts--even the most amiable--there is some small spark of mischief
ready to explode when we least expect it.

"Yes--dearest," cried Hector, delighted at the thought, "you will
write to her you have gone into the convent; she will go on to
Avignon; we shall remain together beneath these cloudless skies, in
this lovely country, happy as the birds, and free as the winds of
the hill!"

Daphnè thought she heard some brilliant quotation from her mother,
and perhaps was, on that account, the more easily led by Hector.
After walking half an hour, with many a glance by the way, and many
a smile, they arrived in front of the Cottage of the Vines--the good
old woman was hoeing peas in her garden--she had left her house to
the protection of an old grey cat, that was sleeping in the doorway.
Daphnè was enraptured with the cottage. It was beautifully retired,
and was approached by a little grass walk bordered by elder-trees;
and all was closed in by a pretty orchard, in which luxuriant vines
clambered up the fine old pear-trees, and formed in festoons between
the branching elms. The Lignon formed a graceful curve and nearly
encircled the paddock.

"At all events," said Daphnè, "if I am wretched here, my tears will
fall into the stream I love."

"But you will have no time to weep," replied Hector, pressing her
hand, "all our days will be happy here! Look at that window half
hidden in vine-leaves; 'tis there you will inhale the fragrance of
the garden every morning when you awake; look at that pretty bower
with the honeysuckle screen, 'tis there we will sit every evening,
and talk over the joys of the day. Our life will be bright and
beautiful as a sunbeam among roses!"

They had gone inside the cottage. It had certainly no great
resemblance to a palace; but under these worn rafters--within these
simple walls--by the side of that rustic chimney--poverty itself
would be delightful, in its tidiness and simplicity, if shared with
one you loved. Daphnè was a little disconcerted at first by the
rough uneven floor, and by the smell of the evening meal--the
toasted cheese, and the little oven where the loaf was baking; but,
thanks to love--the enchanter, who has the power of transforming to
what shape he likes, and can shed his magic splendours over any
thing--Daphnè found the cottage charming, and she was pleased with
the floor, and the toasted cheese, and the oven! The good old woman,
on coming in from the garden, was astonished at the sight of Hector
and Daphnè.

"What a pretty sister you have, Monsieur Hector!" she said.

"Listen to me, Babet--since your daughter married, nobody has used
the little room up stairs. This young lady will occupy it for a few
days; but you must keep it a secret from all the world--you

"Don't be afraid, Master Hector--I am delighted to have so pretty a
tenant for my daughter's room. The bed is rather small, but it is
white and clean, and the sheets are fresh bleached. They smell of
the daisies yet. You will sup with me, my fair young lady?"
continued Babet, turning to Daphnè; "my dishes are only pewter, but
there is such a flavour in my simple fare--my vegetables and
fruits--I can't account for it, except it be the blessing of heaven."

Babet spread a tablecloth like snow, and laid some dishes of fruit
upon the table. Hector took a tender farewell of Daphnè, and kissed
her hand at least a dozen times. At last he tore himself away, with
a promise that he would be with her at daybreak next morning.


Daphnè hardly slept all night in her chamber. She was disturbed by
many thoughts, and became alarmed at the step she had taken. At
earliest dawn she threw open her window. The first sun-rays,
reflected on a thousand dewdrops on the trees; the chirping of the
birds, which already began their matin song; the joyous voice of the
cock, which crowed in a most satisfactory and majestic manner in the
paddock of her hostess; all these sights and sounds, to which she
was so little accustomed, restored her serenity of mind once more.
She dwelt more on the attractions of her love--so adventurous, so
romantic. Love's ways, like those of wickedness, are strewed at
first with roses, and Daphnè was only at the entrance of the path.

While she was repelling from her heart the miserable fancies that had
crowded on her at night, she all of a sudden perceived Hector by the
whitethorn hedge.

"Welcome! welcome!" she cried, "you come to me with the sun."

"How lovely you are this morning!" said Hector to her, with a look
of admiration which there needed no physiognomist to discover was
profoundly real. She looked at herself when he spoke, and perceived
she was but half dressed. She threw herself on the foot of her bed.

"What am I to do?" she thought, "I can't always wear a silk petticoat
and a corset of white satin?"

She dressed herself notwithstanding, as last night, trusting to fate
for the morrow. Hector had brought her writing materials, and she
composed a tender adieu to her mamma.

"Admirably done!" cried Hector; "I have a peasant here who will carry
it to Madame Deshoulieres--as for me, I shall go as usual to the
Park d'Urtis at noon. When they see me they will have no suspicion.
Your mamma goes away this evening, so that after to-day we shall
have nothing to fear."

The lovers breakfasted in the spirits which only youth and love can
furnish. Daphnè had herself gone to the fountain with the broken
pitcher of the cottage. "You perceive, Hector," she said, on seating
herself at the table, "that I have all the qualifications of a
peasant girl."

"And all the gracefulness of a duchess," added the youth.

At one o'clock Hector had found his way to the meadow. Nobody was
there. He opened the gate of the park, and before he had gone far was
met by Madame Deshoulieres.

"My daughter!" she cried in an agitated voice; "You have not seen my

"I was in hopes of seeing her here," replied Hector, with a start of
well-acted surprise.

"She is gone off," resumed the mother; "gone off, like a silly
creature, to some convent, disguised as a shepherdess--the foolish,
senseless girl!--and I am obliged to depart this very day, so that
it is impossible to follow her."

Hector continued to enact astonishment--he even offered his services
to reclaim the fugitive--and, in short, exhibited such sorrow and
disappointment, that the habitual quickness of Madame Deshoulieres
was deceived. The Duchess, Amaranthe, and the mamma all thanked him
for his sympathy; and he at last took his leave, with no doubt in
his mind, that he was a consummate actor, and qualified for any plot

He went back to Daphnè, who had sunk into despondency once more, and
consoled her by painting a brilliant picture of their future
happiness. But on the following day he came later than before--he
seemed dull and listless--and embraced his shepherdess with evident
constraint. Things like these never escape the observations of
shepherdesses, gentle or simple.

"Do you know, Hector, that you are not by any means too gallant?--A
shepherd of proper sentiments would waken his sweetheart every
morning with the sound of his pipe. He would gather flowers for her
before the dew was gone, and fill her basket with fruits. He would
carve her initials on the bark of the tree beneath the window, as
her name is written on his heart. But you! you come at nearly
noon--and leave me to attend to myself. 'Twas I, you inattentive
Daphnis, who gathered all these fruits and flowers. Don't you see
how the room is improved? Hyacinths in the window, roses on the
mantelpiece, and violets every where--ah! what a time you were in

They went out into the garden, where the good old Babet was at
breakfast, with her cat and the bees.

"Come hither," continued Daphnè, "look at this little corner so
beautifully worked--'tis my own garden--I have raked and weeded it
all. There is not much planted in it yet, but what a charming place
it is for vines!--and the hedge, how sweet and flourishing! But what
is the matter with you, Hector? You seem absent--sad."

"Oh! nothing, Daphnè, nothing indeed--I only love you more and more
every hour; that's all."

"Well, that isn't a thing to be sad about"--said Daphnè, with a smile
that would have dispelled any grief less deeply settled than that of
her young companion. He parted from Daphnè soon; without letting her
into the cause of his disquiet. But as there is no reason why the
secret should be kept any longer, let us tell what was going on at
the Chateau de Langevy.

His cousin Clotilde had arrived the evening before, with an old aunt,
to remain for the whole spring! Monsieur de Langevy, who was not
addicted to circumlocution in his mode of talk, told his son
point-blank, that his cousin was a pretty girl, and what was more, a
considerable heiress--so that it was his duty--his, Hector de
Langevy--the owner of a great name and a very small fortune, to
marry the said cousin--or if not, he must stand the consequences.
Hector, at the first intimation, had revolted indignantly against
the inhuman proposal, and made many inaudible vows of undying
constancy to his innocent and trusting Daphne; but by degrees, there
is no denying that--without thinking of the fortune--he found
various attractions in his cousin. She was beautiful, graceful,
winning. She took his arm quite unceremoniously. She had the most
captivating small-talk in the world. In short, if it had not been
for Daphnè, he would have been in love with her at once. As he was
obliged, of course, to escort his cousin in her walks--or break with
her altogether--he did not go for two whole days to the Cottage of
the Vines. On the third day Clotilde begged him to take her to the
banks of the Lignon, and as the request was made in presence of his
father, he dared not refuse. He contented himself--by way of a
relief to his conscience--with breathing a sigh to Daphnè. The
straightest road from the Château de Langevy to the Lignon, led past
the Cottage of the Vines--but Hector had no wish to go the
straightest road. He took a detour of nearly two miles, and led her
almost to the Park D'Urtis. While Clotilde amused herself by
gathering the blossoms, and turning aside the pendent boughs of
the willows that hung over the celebrated stream. Hector looked
over the scene of his first meeting with the shepherdesses, and
sighed--perhaps without knowing exactly wherefore. He was suddenly
startled by a scream--Clotilde, in stretching too far forward, had
missed her footing, and fallen upon the bank; she was within an inch
of rolling into the river. Hector rushed to her, raised her gently up,
and begging her to lean her head upon his shoulder, assisted her up
the bank. "She's like a naiad surprised by a shepherd"--he
thought--and it is not improbable that at that moment he pressed his
lips pretty close to the pale cheek that rested almost in his breast.
When he lifted up his head, he perceived, half hidden among the
willows, on the other side of the river--Daphnè! She had wandered to
see once more the cradle of her love, to tread the meadow where, two
days only before--could it be only two days?--she had been so happy.
What did she see? What did she hear? As her only reply to the kiss
to which she had so unfortunately been a witness, she broke her
crook in an excess of indignation. But it was too much to bear. She
fell upon the bank, and uttered a plaintive cry. At that cry--at
sight of his poor Daphnè fainting upon the grass, he rushed like a
madman across the stream, buoyant with love and despair. He ran to
his insensate shepherdess, regardless of the exclamations of the
fair Clotilde, and raised her in his trembling arms.

"Daphnè, Daphnè," he cried, "open your eyes. I love nobody but
you--nobody but you."

He embraced her tenderly; he wept--and spoke to her as if she heard:
Daphnè opened her eyes for a moment with a look of misery--and shut
them again--and shuddered.

"No, no!" she said--"'tis over! You are no longer Daphnis, and I
Daphnè no more--leave me, leave me alone--to die!"

"My life! my love! my darling Daphnè! I love you--I swear it to you
from my heart. I do not desert you: you are the only one I care for!"

In the meantime Clotilde had approached the touching scene.

"'Pon my word, sir! very well"--she said--"am I to return to the
Chateau by myself?"

"Go, sir, go!" said Daphnè, pushing him away, "You are waited for,
you are called."

"But, Daphnè--but, fair cousin"--

"I won't listen to you--my daydream is past--speak of it no more,"
said Daphnè.

"Do you know, cousin," said Clotilde, with a malicious sneer,
"that this rural surprise is quite enchanting! I am greatly obliged
to you for getting it up for my amusement. You did not prepare me
for so exquisite a scene; I conclude it is from the last chapter of
the Astrea."

"Ah! cousin," said Hector, "I will overtake you in a moment--I will
tell you all, and then I don't think you'll laugh at us."

"Excuse me, sir," cried Daphnè, in a tone of disdainful anger--
"let that history be for ever a secret. I do not wish people to
laugh at the weakness of my heart. Farewell, sir, let every thing be

Large tears rolled down the poor girl's cheek.

"No, Daphnè, no!--I never will leave you. I declare it before heaven
and earth, I will conduct my cousin to the Chateau, and in an hour I
will be with you to dry your tears, and to ask pardon of you on my
knees. Moreover, I am not to blame, I call my cousin to witness. Is
it not true, Clotilde, that I don't love you?"

"'Pon my word, cousin, you have certainly _told_ me you loved me;
but as men generally say the contrary of what is the fact, I am
willing to believe you don't. But I beg you'll not incommode
yourself on my account; I can find my way to the Chateau perfectly
well alone."

She walked away, hiding her chagrin under the most easy and careless
air in the world.

"I must run after her," said Hector, "or she will tell every thing
to my father. Adieu Daphnè; in two hours I shall be at the Cottage
of the Vines, and more in love than ever."

"Adieu, then," murmured Daphnè in a dying voice; "adieu," she
repeated on seeing him retire; "adieu!--as for me, in two hours, I
shall _not_ be at the Cottage of Vines."


She returned to the cottage of old Babet. On seeing the little
chamber she had taken so much pains to ornament with flowers and
blossoms, she sank her head upon her bosom. "Poor roses!" she
murmured--"little I thought when I gathered you, that my heart would
be the first to wither!"

The poor old woman came in to her. "What! crying?" she said--
"do people weep at eighteen?"

Daphnè threw herself into Babet's arms, and sobbed.

"He has deceived me--left me for his cousin. I must go. You will
tell him that he has behaved cruelly, that I am----but no!--tell him
that I forgive him."

Daphnè loved Hector with all her heart, and with all her soul. There
never was an affection so blind, or a girl so innocent. Before
leaving Paris, she had had various visions of what might happen in
the country--how she might meet some graceful cavalier beside the
wall of some romantic castle, who would fling himself on his knees
before her, like a hero of romance. And this dream, so cherished in
Paris, was nearly realized on the banks of the Lignon. Hector was
exactly the sort of youth she had fancied, and the interest became
greater from their enacting the parts of shepherdess and shepherd.
She had been strengthened in this, her first love, by the former
illusions of her imagination; and without one thought of evil, she
had lost her common sense, and had followed her lover instead of
attending to her mamma. Oh, young damsels, who are fond of pastorals,
and can dream of young cavaliers and ancient castles!--who hear, on
one side, the soft whisperings of a lover, and on the other, the
sensible remarks of your mother!--need I tell you which of the two
to choose? If you are still in doubt, read to the end of this story,
and you will hesitate no longer.

Hector rejoined his cousin, but during their walk home, neither of
them ventured to allude to the incident in the meadow. Hector
augured well from the silence of Clotilde--he hoped she would not
speak of his secret at the chateau. Vain hope! the moment she found
an opportunity, it all came out! That evening, M. de Langevy saw her
more pensive than usual, and asked her the cause.

"Oh, nothing," she said, and sighed.

The uncle persisted in trying to find it out.

"What is the matter, my dear Clotilde?" he said. "Has your
pilgrimage to the banks of the Lignon disappointed you?"

"Yes, uncle."

"Has my son---but where is Hector?"

"He has gone on the pilgrimage again."

"What the devil is he doing there?" "He has his reasons, of course,"
said Clotilde.

"Indeed!--Do you know what they are?" enquired the father.

"Not the least in the world--only--"

"Only what? I hate these only's--out with it all!"

"My dear uncle, I've told you I know nothing about it--only I have
seen his shepherdess."

"His shepherdess? You're laughing, Clotilde. Do you believe in
shepherdesses at this time of day?"

"Yes, uncle--for I tell you I saw his shepherdess fall down in a
faint on the side of the Lignon."

"The deuce you did? A shepherdess!--Hector in love with a shepherdess!"

"Yes, uncle; but a very pretty one, I assure you, in silk petticoat
and corset of white satin."

The father was petrified. "What is the meaning of all this? It must
be a very curious story. Bring me my fowling-piece and game-bag. Do
you think, my dear Clotilde, that infernal boy has returned to his

"Yes, uncle."

"Well--has the shepherdess any sheep?"

"No, uncle."

"The devil! that looks more serious. You went past the withy bed?"

"Yes, uncle; but I fancy the gentle shepherdess is nearer the village."

"Very good," grumbled the old Baron, with a tone of voice that made
it difficult to believe he saw much good in it. "Silk petticoats and
satin corsets! I wonder where the rascal finds money for such
fineries for his shepherdess."

He went straight on to the Cottage of the Vines, in hopes that Babet
would know something of Hector's proceedings. He found the old woman
in her porch, resting from the labours of the day.

"How do you do, Babet?" said the old Baron, softening his voice like
any sucking dove. "Anything new going on?"

"Nothing new, your honour," replied Babet, attempting to rise.

"Sit still," said the Baron, putting his hand kindly on the old
lady's shoulder; "here's a seat for me on this basket of rushes." At
this moment M. de Langevy heard the upstairs casement closed.
"Oho!" he thought, "I've hit upon it at once--this is the cage where
these turtles bill and coo. Have you seen my son this week, Babet?"
he said aloud.

"Oh, I see him often, your honour; he often comes sporting into my

"Sporting in your preserves, Babet--a pretty sort of game."

"Oh, very good game, your honour; this very day he sent me a
beautiful hare. I did not know what to do with it; but at last I put
it on the spit."

"The hare wasn't all for you, perhaps. But, listen to me, Babet--I
know the whole business--my son is in love with some shepherdess or
other--and I don't think she is far from here."

"I don't understand you, sir," said the old lady--a true _confidante_,
though seventy years of age.

"You understand me so perfectly," said the Baron, "that you are
evidently ashamed of your behaviour. But do not be uneasy, there is
no great harm in it--a mere childish frolic--only tell me where the
girl is?"

"Ah, your honour," cried Babet, who saw there was no use for further
pretence--"she's an angel--she is--a perfect angel!"

"Where does the angel come from, Babet?" enquired the Baron,
"she has not come fresh from heaven, has she?"

"I know nothing more about her, your honour; but I pray morning and
night that you may have no one else for a daughter."

"We shall see--the two lovers are above, are not they?"

"Why should I conceal it? Yes, your honour, you may go up stairs at
once. An innocent love like theirs never bolts the door."

When the Baron was half-way up the stair, he stopped short, on
seeing the two lovers sitting close to each other, the one weeping,
and the other trying to console her. There was such an air of
infantine candour about them both, and both seemed so miserable,
that the hard heart of sixty-three was nearly touched.

"Very well!"--he said, and walked into the room. Daphnè uttered a
scream of terror, and her tears redoubled.

"There is nothing to cry about," said M. de Langevy; "but as for you,
young man, you must let me into the secret, if you please."

"I have nothing to tell you," said Hector, in a determined tone.

Daphnè, who had leant for support on his shoulder, fell senseless on
her chair.

"Father," said Hector, bending over her, "you perceive that this is
no place for you."

"Nor for you, either," said the old man in a rage. "What do you mean
by such folly? Go home this instant, sir, or you shall never enter
my door again."

But Hector made no reply. His whole attention was bestowed on Daphnè.

"I ask you again, sir," said the father, still more angry at his
son's neglect. "Think well on what you do."

"I _have_ thought, sir," replied Hector, raising the head of the
still senseless Daphnè. "You may shut your door for ever."

"None of your impudence, jackanapes. Will you come home with me now,
or stay here?"

"If I go with you, sir," said Hector, "it will be to show my respect
to you as my father, but I must tell you that I love Mademoiselle
Deshoulieres, and no one else. We are engaged, and only death shall
part us."

"Deshoulieres--Deshoulieres," said the Baron, "I've heard that name
before. I knew a Colonel Deshoulieres in the campaigns of Flanders;
a gallant fellow, with a beautiful wife, a number of wounds, many
medals, but not a _sou_. Are you coming, sir?"

Daphnè motioned him to go, and Hector followed his father in silence.
He was not without hopes of gaining his permission to love his poor
Daphnè as much as he chose. M. de Langevy bowed to her as he went
out of the room; and wishing Babet a good appetite as he passed the
kitchen door, commenced a sermon for the edification of poor Hector,
which lasted all the way. The only attention Hector paid to it was
to turn round at every pause, and take a look at the little casement

When Daphnè saw him disappear among the woods at the side of the road,
she sighed; and while the tears rolled down her cheek, she said,
"Adieu, adieu! I shall never see him more!"

She looked sadly round the little apartment--now so desolate; she
gathered one of the roses that clustered round the window, and
scattered the leaves one by one, and watched them as they were
wafted away by the breeze.

"Even so will I do with my love," said the poetical shepherdess;
"I will scatter it on the winds of death."

"Adieu," she said, embracing poor old Babet; "I am going back to the
place I left so sillily. If you see Hector again, tell him I loved
him; but that he must forget me, as I forget the world, and myself."

As she said these words, she grew pale and staggered, but she
recovered by an effort, and walked away on the path that led to the
Chateau d'Urtis. When she came to the meadow, she saw at her feet
the crook she had broken in the morning. She lifted it, and took it
with her as the only memorial of Hector. The sun was sinking slowly,
and Daphnè knelt down and said a prayer, pressing the crook to her
bosom--poor Daphnè!


She did not find her mother at the chateau: Madame d'Urtis was
overjoyed to see her.

"Well, my lost sheep," she said, "you have come back again to the

"Yes," said Daphnè, sadly; "I am come back never to stray again. See,
here is my broken crook, and Daphnis will never come to cut me

She told every thing to Madame d'Urtis. The Duchess did not know
whether to laugh or scold; so she got over the difficulty by
alternately doing both.

In the Chateau de Langevy, Hector continued firm in the presence of
his father, and even of his cousin. He told them every thing exactly
as it occurred; and spoke so enthusiastically and so sincerely, that
the old Baron was somewhat softened. Clotilde herself was touched,
and pled in Hector's behalf. But the old Baron was firm, and his
only answer was, "In eight days he will forget all about her. I am
astonished, Clotilde, to see you reason so absurdly."

"Oh, my dear uncle!" said Clotilde, "I believe that those who reason
the worst on such a subject are the most reasonable."

"I tell you again, in a week he will have changed his divinity--you
know that very well; or I don't see the use of your having such
beautiful eyes."

"Be sure of this, uncle," replied Clotilde, in a more serious voice,
"Hector will never love me, and besides," she added, relapsing into
gaiety once more, "I don't like to succeed to another; I agree with
Mademoiselle de Scuderi, that, in love, those queens are the
happiest who create kingdoms for themselves in undiscovered lands."

"You read romances, Clotilde, so I shall argue with you no longer
about the phantom you call love."

Hector took his father on the weak side.

"If I marry Mademioiselle Deshoulieres," he said, "I shall march
forward in the glorious career of arms; you have opened the way for
me, and I cannot fail of success under the instruction of the brave
Deshoulieres, whom Louvois honours with his friendship."

M. de Langevy put an end to the conversation by saying he would
consider--which seemed already a great step gained in favour of the

On the next day's dawn, Hector was at the Cottage of the Vines.

"Alas, alas!" said the old woman, throwing open the window,
"the dear young lady is gone!"

"Gone!--you let her go!--but I will find her."

Hector ran to the Chateau d'Urtis. When he entered the park, he felt
he was too late, for he saw a carriage hurrying down the opposite
avenue. He rang the bell, and was shown in to the Duchess.

"'Tis you, Monsieur de Langevy," she said, sadly; "you come to see
Mademoiselle Deshoulieres. Think of her no more, for all is at an end
between you. On this earth you will meet no more, for in an hour she
will have left the world. She is gone, with her maid, to the Convent
of Val Chrétien."

"Gone!" cried Hector, nearly fainting.

"She has left a farewell for you in this letter." Hector took the
letter which the Duchess held to him, and grew deadly pale as he
read these lines:--

"Farewell, then! 'Tis no longer Daphnè who writes to you, but a
broken-hearted girl, who is to devote her life to praying for the
unhappy. I retire from the world with resignation. I make no
complaint: my two days' dream of happiness is gone. It was a
delicious eclogue--pure, sincere, and tender; but it is past--Adieu!"

Hector kissed the letter, and turned to the Duchess. "Have you a
horse, madam?" he said.

"What would you do with it?"

"I would overtake Mademoiselle Deshoulieres."

"You might overtake her, but you couldn't turn her."

"For mercy's sake, madam, a horse! Take pity on my misery."

The Duchess ordered a horse to be saddled, for she had opposed
Daphnè's design. "Go," she said, "and Heaven guide you both!"

He started at full gallop: he overtook the carriage in half an hour.

"Daphnè, you must go no further!" he said, holding out his hand to
the melancholy girl.

"'Tis you!" cried Daphnè, with a look of surprise and joy--soon
succeeded by deeper grief than ever.

"Yes, 'tis I! I," continued the youth, "who love you as my Daphnè,
my wife, for my father has listened at last to reason, and agrees to

"But I also have listened to reason, and you know where I am going.
Leave me: you are rich--I am poor: you love me to-day--who can say if
you will love me to-morrow? We began a delightful dream, let us not
spoil it by a bad ending. Let our dream continue unbroken in its
freshness and romance. Our crooks are both broken; they have killed
two of our sheep; they have cut down the willows in the meadow. You
perceive that our bright day is over. The lady I saw yesterday
should be your wife. Marry her, then; and if ever, in your hours of
happiness, you wander on the banks of the Lignon, my shade will
appear to you. But _then_ it shall be with a smile!"

"Daphnè! Daphnè! I love you! I will never leave you! I will live or
die with you!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It was fifty years after that day, that one evening, during a
brilliant supper in the Rue St. Dominique, Gentil Bernard, who was
the life of the company, announced the death of an original, who had
ordered a broken stick to be buried along with him.

"He is Monsieur de Langevy," said Fontenelle. "He was forced against
his inclination to marry the dashing Clotilde de Langevy, who eloped
so shamefully with one of the Mousquetaires. M. de Langevy had been
desperately attached to Bribri Deshoulieres, and this broken stick
was a crook they had cut during their courtship on the banks of the
Lignon. The Last Shepherd is dead, gentlemen--we must go to his

"And what became of Bribri Deshoulieres?" asked a lady of the party.

"I have been told she died very young in a convent in the south,"
replied Fontenelle; "and the odd thing is, that, when they were
burying her, they found a crook attached to her horse-hair tunic."

       *       *       *       *       *




  Hark! how the furnace pants and roars!
  Hark! how the molten metal pours,
  As, bursting from its iron doors,
      It glitters in the sun!
  Now through the ready mould it flows,
  Seething and hissing as it goes,
  And filling every crevice up
  As the red vintage fills the cup:
      _Hurra! the work is done_!

  Unswathe him now. Take off each stay
  That binds him to his couch of clay,
  And let him struggle into day;
      Let chain and pulley run,
  With yielding crank and steady rope,
  Until he rise from rim to cope,
  In rounded beauty, ribb'd in strength,
  Without a flaw in all his length:
      _Hurra! the work is done_!

  The clapper on his giant side
  Shall ring no peal for blushing bride,
  For birth, or death, or new-year-tide,
      Or festival begun!
  A nation's joy alone shall be
  The signal for his revelry;
  And for a nation's woes alone
  His melancholy tongue shall moan:
      _Hurra! the work is done_!

  Borne on the gale, deep-toned and clear,
  His long loud summons shall we hear,
  When statesmen to their country dear
      Their mortal race have run;
  When mighty monarchs yield their breath,
  And patriots sleep the sleep of death,
  Then shall he raise his voice of gloom,
  And peal a requiem o'er their tomb:
      _Hurra! the work is done_!

  Should foemen lift their haughty hand,
  And dare invade us where we stand,
  Fast by the altars of our land
      We'll gather every one;
  And he shall ring the loud alarm,
  To call the multitudes to arm,
  From distant field and forest brown,
  And teeming alleys of the town:
      _Hurra! the work is done_!

  And as the solemn boom they hear,
  Old men shall grasp the idle spear,
  Laid by to rust for many a year,
      And to the struggle run;
  Young men shall leave their toils or books,
  Or turn to swords their pruninghooks;
  And maids have sweetest smiles for those
  Who battle with their country's foes:
      _Hurra! the work is done_!

  And when the cannon's iron throat
  Shall bear the news to dells remote,
  And trumpet-blast resound the note,
      That victory is won;
  While down the wind the banner drops,
  And bonfires blaze on mountain-tops,
  His sides shall glow with fierce delight,
  And ring glad peals from morn to night;
      _Hurra! the work is done_!

  But of such themes forbear to tell.
  May never War awake this bell
  To sound the tocsin or the knell!
      Hush'd be the alarum gun!
  Sheath'd be the sword! and may his voice
  Call up the nations to rejoice
  That War his tatter'd flag has furl'd,
  And vanish'd from a wiser world!
      _Hurra! the work is done_!

  Still may he ring when struggles cease,
  Still may he ring for joy's increase,
  For progress in the arts of peace,
      And friendly trophies won!
  When rival nations join their hands,
  When plenty crowns the happy lands,
  When knowledge gives new blessings birth,
  And freedom reigns o'er all the earth!
      _Hurra! the work is done_!

       *       *       *       *       *




It was daybreak when Ammalát came to himself. Slowly, one by one,
his thoughts reassembled in his mind, and flitted to and fro as in a
mist, in consequence of his extreme weakness. He felt no pain at all
in his body, and his sensations were even agreeable; life seemed to
have lost its bitterness, and death its terror: in this condition he
would have listened with equal indifference to the announcement of
his recovery, or of his inevitable death. He had no wish to utter a
word, or to stir a finger. This half sleep, however, did not
continue long. At midday, after the visit of the physician, when the
attendants had gone to perform the rites of noon-tide prayer, when
their sleepy voices were still, and nought but the cry of the mullah
resounded from afar, Ammalát listened to a soft and cautious step
upon the carpets of the chamber. He raised his heavy eyelids, and
between their lashes appeared, approaching his bed, a fair,
black-eyed girl, dressed in an orange-coloured sarótchka, an
arkhaloúkh of cloth of gold with two rows of enamelled buttons,
and her long hair falling upon her shoulders. Gently she fanned
his face, and so pityingly looked at his wound that all his nerves
thrilled. Then she softly poured some medicine into a cup, and--he
could see no more--his eyelids sank like lead--he only caught with
his ear the rustling of her silken dress, like the sound of a parting
angel's wings, and all was still again. Whenever his weak senses strove
to discover the meaning of this fair apparition, it was so mingled with
the uncertain dreams of fever, that his first thought--his first
word--when he awoke, was, "'Tis a dream!" But it was no dream. This
beautiful girl was the daughter of the Sultan Akhmet Khan, and
sixteen years old. Among all the mountaineers, in general, the
unmarried women enjoy a great freedom of intercourse with the other
sex, without regard to the law of Mahomet. The favourite daughter of
the Khan was even more independent than usual. By her side alone he
forgot his cares and disappointments; by her side alone his eye met
a smile, and his heart a gleam of gayety. When the elders of Avár
discussed in a circle the affairs of their mountain politics, or
gave their judgment on right or wrong; when, surrounded by his
household, he related stories of past forays, or planned fresh
expeditions, she would fly to him like a swallow, bringing hope and
spring into his soul. Fortunate was the culprit during whose trial
the Khána came to her father! The lifted dagger was arrested in the
air; and not seldom would the Khan, when looking upon her, defer
projects of danger and blood, lest he should be parted from his
darling daughter. Every thing was permitted, every thing was
accessible, to her. To refuse her any thing never entered into the
mind of the Khan; and suspicion of any thing unworthy her sex and
rank, was as far from his thoughts as from his daughter's heart. But
who among those who surrounded the Khan, could have inspired her
with tender feelings? To bend her thoughts--to lower her sentiments
to any man inferior to her in birth, would have been an unheard-of
disgrace in the daughter of the humblest retainer; how much more,
then, in the child of a khan, imbued from her very cradle with the
pride of ancestry!--this pride, like a sheet of ice, separating her
heart from the society of those she saw. As yet no guest of her
father had ever been of equal birth to hers; at least, her heart had
never asked the question. It is probable, that her age--of careless,
passionless youth--was the cause of this; perhaps the hour of love
had already struck, and the heart of the inexperienced girl was
fluttering in her bosom. She was hurrying to clasp her father in her
embrace, when she had beheld a handsome youth falling like a corpse
at her feet. Her first feeling was terror; but when her father
related how and wherefore Ammalát was his guest, when the village
doctor declared that his wound was not dangerous, a tender sympathy
for the stranger filled her whole being. All night there flitted
before her the blood-stained guest, and she met the morning-beam, for
the first time, less rosy than itself. For the first time she had
recourse to artifice: in order to look on the stranger, she entered
his room as though to salute her father, and afterwards she slipped in
there at mid-day. An unaccountable, resistless curiosity impelled her
to gaze on Ammalát. Never, in her childhood, had she so eagerly longed
for a plaything; never, at her present age, had she so vehemently wished
for a new dress or a glittering ornament, as she desired to meet the eye
of the guest; and when at length, in the evening, she encountered his
languid, yet expressive gaze, she could not remove her look from the
black eyes of Ammalát, which were intently fixed on her. They seemed
to say--"Hide not thyself; star of my soul!" as they drank health
and consolation from her glances. She knew not what was passing
within her; she could not distinguish whether she was on the earth,
or floating in the air; changing colours flitted on her face. At
length she ventured, in a trembling voice, to ask him about his
health. One must be a Tartar--who accounts it a sin and an offence
to speak a word to a strange woman, who never sees any thing female
but the veil and the eye-brows--to conceive how deeply agitated was
the ardent Bek, by the looks and words of the beautiful girl
addressed so tenderly to him. A soft flame ran through his heart,
notwithstanding his weakness.

"Oh, I am very well, now," he answered, endeavouring to rise;
"so well, that I am ready to die, Seltanetta."

"Allah sakhla-sün!" (God protect you!) she replied. "Live, live long!
Would you not regret life?"

"At a sweet moment sweet is death, Seltanetta! But if I live a
hundred years, a more delightful moment than this can never be found!"

Seltanetta did not understand the words of the stranger; but she
understood his look--she understood the expression of his voice. She
blushed yet more deeply; and, making a sign with her hand that he
should repose, disappeared from the chamber.

Among the mountaineers there are many very skilful surgeons, chiefly
in cases of wounds and fractures; but Ammalát, more than by herb or
plaster, was cured by the presence of the charming mountain-maid.
With the agreeable hope of seeing her in his dreams, he fell asleep,
and awoke with joy, knowing that he should meet her in reality. His
strength rapidly returned, and with his strength grew his attachment
to Seltanetta.

Ammalát was married; but, as it often happens in the East, only from
motives of interest. He had never seen his bride before his marriage,
and afterwards found no attraction in her which could awake his
sleeping heart. In course of time, his wife became blind; and this
circumstance loosened still more a tie founded on Asiatic customs
rather than affection. Family disagreements with his father-in-law
and uncle, the Shamkhál, still further separated the young couple,
and they were seldom together. Was it strange, under the
circumstances, that a young man, ardent by nature, self-willed by
nature, should be inspired with a new love? To be with her was his
highest happiness--to await her arrival his most delightful
occupation. He ever felt a tremor when he heard her voice: each
accent, like a ray of the sun, penetrated his soul. This feeling
resembled pain, but a pain so delicious, that he would have prolonged
it for ages. Little by little the acquaintance between the young
people grew into friendship--they were almost continually together.
The Khan frequently departed to the interior of Avár for business of
government or military arrangements, leaving his guest to the care
of his wife, a quiet, silent woman. He was not blind to the
inclination of Ammalát for his daughter, and in secret rejoiced at it;
it flattered his ambition, and forwarded his military views; a
connexion with a Bek possessing the right to the Shamkhalát would
place in his hands a thousand means of injuring the Russians. The
Khánsha, occupied in her household affairs, not infrequently left Ammalát
for hours together in her apartments--as he was a relation; and
Seltanetta, with two or three of her personal attendants, seated on
cushions, and engaged in needlework, would not remark how the hours
flew by, conversing with the guest, and listening to his talk.
Sometimes Ammalát would sit long, long, reclining at the feet of his
Seltanetta, without uttering a word, and gazing at her dark,
absorbing eyes; or enjoying the mountain prospect from her window,
which opened towards the north, on the rugged banks and windings of
the roaring Ouzén, over which hung the castle of the Khan. By the
side of this being, innocent as a child, Ammalát forgot the desires
which she as yet knew not; and, dissolving in a joy, strange,
incomprehensible to himself, he thought not of the past nor of the
future; he thought of nothing--he could only feel; and indolently,
without taking the cup from his lips, he drained his draught of bliss,
drop by drop.

Thus passed a year.

The Avarétzes are a free people, neither acknowledging nor suffering
any power above them. Every Avarétz calls himself an Ouzdén; and if
he possesses a yezéer, (prisoner, slave,) he considers himself a
great man. Poor, and consequently brave to extravagance, excellent
marksmen with the rifle, they fight well on foot; they ride on
horseback only in their plundering expeditions, and even then but a
few of them. Their horses are small, but singularly strong; their
language is divided into a multitude of dialects, but is essentially
Lezghin for the Avártzi themselves are of the Lezghin stock. They
retain traces of the Christian faith, for it is not 120 years that
they have worshipped Mahomet, and even now they are but cool Moslems;
they drink brandy, they drink boozá, [16] and occasionally wine made
of grapes, but most ordinarily a sort of boiled wine, called among
them djápa. The truth of an Avarétz's word has passed into a proverb
among the mountains. At home, they are peaceful, hospitable, and
benevolent; they do not conceal their wives and daughters; for their
guest they are ready to die, and to revenge to the end of the
generation. Revenge, among them, is sacred; plundering, glory; and
they are often forced by necessity to brigandize.

[Footnote 16: A species of drink used by the Tartars, produced by
fermenting oats.]

Passing over the summit of Atála and Tkhezeróuk, across the crests of
Tourpi-Táou, in Kakhétia, beyond the river Alazán, they find
employment at a very low price; occasionally remaining two or three
days together without work, and then, at an agreement among
themselves, they rush like famished wolves, by night, into the
neighbouring villages, and, if they succeed, drive away the cattle,
carry off the women, make prisoners, and will often perish in an
unequal combat. Their invasions into the Russian limits ceased from
the time when Azlan Khan retained possession of the defiles which
lead into his territories from Avár. But the village of Khounzákh,
or Avár, at the eastern extremity of the Avár country, has ever
remained the heritage of the khans, and their command there is law.
Besides, though he has the right to order his noúkers to cut to
pieces with their kinjáls [17] any inhabitant of Khounzákh, nay,
any passer-by, the Khan cannot lay any tax or impost upon the people,
and must content himself with the revenues arising from his flocks,
and the fields cultivated by his karaváshes (slaves,) or yezéers

[Footnote 17: Dagger or poniard. These weapons are of various forms,
and generally much more formidable than would be suggested to an
European by the name dagger. The kinjál is used with wonderful force
and dexterity by the mountaineers, whose national weapon it may be
said to be; it is sometimes employed even as a missile. It is worn
suspended in a slanting direction in the girdle, not on the side,
but in front of the body.]

Without, however, taking any direct imposts, the khans do not
abstain from exacting dues, sanctified rather by force than custom.
For the Khan to take from their home a young man or a girl--to
command a waggon with oxen or buffaloes to transport his goods--to
force labourers to work in his fields, or to go as messengers, &c.,
is an affair of every day. The inhabitants of Khounzákh are not more
wealthy than the rest of their countrymen; their houses are clean,
and, for the most part, have two stories, the men are well made, the
women handsome, chiefly because the greater number of them are
Georgian prisoners. In Avár, they study the Arabic language, and the
style of their educated men is in consequence very flowery. The Harám
of the Khan is always crowded with guests and petitioners, who,
after the Asiatic manner, dare not present themselves without a
present--be it but a dozen of eggs. The Khan's noúkers, on the
number and bravery of whom he depends for his power, fill from
morning to night his courts and chambers, always with loaded pistols
in their belt, and daggers at their waist. The favourite Ouzdéns and
guests, Tchetchenétzes or Tartars, generally present themselves every
morning to salute the Khan, whence they depart in a crowd to the
Khánsha, sometimes passing the whole day in banqueting in separate
chambers, regaling even during the Khan's absence. One day there
came into the company an Ouzdén of Avár, who related the news that
an immense tiger had been seen not far off, and that two of their
best shots had fallen victims to its fierceness. "This has so
frightened our hunters," he said, "that nobody likes to attempt the
adventure a third time."

"I will try my luck," cried Ammalát, burning with impatience to show
his prowess before the mountaineers. "Only put me on the trail of the
beast!" A broad-shouldered Avarétz measured with his eye our bold
Bek from head to foot, and said with a smile: "A tiger is not like a
boar of Daghestán, Ammalát! His trail sometimes leads to death!"

"Do you think," answered he haughtily, "that on that slippery path
my head would turn, or my hand tremble? I invite you not to help me:
I invite you but to witness my combat with the tiger. I hope you will
then allow, that if the heart of an Avarétz is firm as the granite
of his mountains, the heart of a Daghestánetz is tenpered like his
famous _boulát_. [18] Do you consent?"

[Footnote 18: A species of highly tempered steel, manufactured, and
much prized, by the Tartars.]

The Avarétz was caught. To have refused would have been shameful:
so, clearing up his face, he stretched out his hand to Ammalát.
"I will willingly go with you," he replied. "Let us not delay--let
us swear in the mosque, and go to the fight together! Allah will
judge whether we are to bring back his skin for a housing, or
whether he is to devour us."

It is not in accordance with Asiatic manners, much less with Asiatic
customs, to bid farewell to the women when departing for a long or
even an unlimited period. This privilege belongs only to relations,
and it is but rarely that it is granted to a guest. Ammalát,
therefore, glanced with a sigh at the window of Seltanetta, and went
with lingering steps to the mosque. There, already awaited him the
elders of the village, and a crowd of curious idlers. By an ancient
custom of Avár, the hunters were obliged to swear upon the Koran,
that they would not desert one another, either in the combat with
the beast or in the chase; that they would not quit each other when
wounded; if fate willed that the animal should attack them, that
they would defend each other to the last, and die side by side,
careless of life; and that in any case they would not return without
the animal's skin; that he who betrayed this oath, should be hurled
from the rocks, as a coward and traitor. The moollah armed them, the
companions embraced, and they set out on their journey amid the
acclamations of the whole crowd. "Both, or neither!" they cried
after them. "We will slay him, or die!" answered the hunters.

A day had passed. A second had sunk below the snowy summits. The old
men had wearied their eyes in gazing from their roofs along the road.
The boys had gone far on the hills that crested the village, to meet
the hunters--but no tidings of them. Throughout all Khounzákh, at
every fireside, either from interest or idleness, they were talking
of this; but above all, Seltanetta was sad. At every voice in the
courtyard, at every sound on the staircase, all her blood flew to
her face, and her heart beat with anxiety. She would start up, and
run to the window or the door; and then, disappointed for the
twentieth time, with downcast eyes would return slowly to her
needlework, which, for the first time, appeared tiresome and endless.
At last, succeeding doubt, fear laid its icy hand upon the maiden's
heart. She demanded of her father, her brothers, the guests, whether
the wounds given by a tiger were dangerous?--was this animal far
from the villages? And ever and anon, having counted the moments,
she would wring her hands, and cry, "They have perished!" and
silently bowed her head on her agitated breast, while large tears
flowed down her fair face.

On the third day, it was clear that the fears of all were not idle.
The Ouzdén, Ammalát's companion to the chase, crawled with difficulty,
alone, into Khounzákh. His coat was torn by the claws of some wild
beast; he himself was as pale as death from exhaustion, hunger, and
fatigue. Young and old surrounded him with eager curiosity; and
having refreshed himself with a cup of milk and a piece of _tchourek_,
[19] he related as follows:--"On the same day that we left this place,
we found the track of the tiger. We discovered him asleep among the
thick hazels--may Allah keep me from them!"

[Footnote 19: "Tchourek," a kind of bread.]

Drawing lots, it fell to my chance to fire: I crept gently up, and
aiming well, I fired--but for my sorrow, the beast was sleeping with
his face covered by his paw; and the ball, piercing the paw, hit him
in the neck. Aroused by the report and by the pain, the tiger gave a
roar, and with a couple of bounds, dashed at me before I had time to
draw my dagger: with one leap, he hurled me on the ground, trode on
me with his hind feet, and I only know that at this moment there
resounded a cry, and the shot of Ammalát, and afterwards a deafening
and tremendous roar. Crushed by the weight, I lost sense and memory,
and how long I lay in this fainting fit, I know not.

"When I opened my eyes all was still around me, a small rain was
falling from a thick mist ... was it evening or morning? My gun,
covered with rust, lay beside me, Ammalát's not far off, broken in
two; here and there the stones were stained with blood ... but whose?
The tiger's or Ammalát's? How can I tell? Broken twigs lay around ...
the brute must have broken them in his mad boundings. I called on my
comrade as loudly as I could. No answer. I sat down, and shouted
again ... but in vain. Neither animal nor bird passed by. Many times
did I endeavour to find traces of Ammalát, either to discover him
alive, or to die upon his corpse--that I might avenge on the beast
the death of the brave man; but I had no strength. I wept bitterly:
why have I perished both in life and honour! I determined to await
the hour of death in the wilderness; but hunger conquered me. Alas!
thought I, let me carry to Khounzákh the news that Ammalát has
perished; let me at least die among my own people! Behold me, then;
I have crept hither like a serpent. Brethren, my head is before you:
judge me as Allah inclines your hearts. Sentence me to life; I will
live, remembering your justice: condemn me to death; your will be
done! I will die innocent, Allah is my witness: I did what I could!"

A murmur arose among the people, as they listened to the new comer.
Some excused, others condemned, though all regretted him. "Every one
must take care of himself," said some of the accusers: "who can say
that he did not fly? He has no wound, and, therefore, no proof ...
but that he has abandoned his comrade is most certain." "Not only
abandoned, but perhaps betrayed him," said others--"they talked not
as friends together!" The Khan's noúkers went further: they
suspected that the Ouzdén had killed Ammalát out of jealousy:
"he looked too lovingly on the Khan's daughter, but the Khan's
daughter found one far his superior in Ammalát."

Sultan Akhmet Khan, learning what the people were assembling about in
the street, rode up to the crowd. "Coward!" he cried with mingled
anger and contempt to the Ouzdén: "you are a disgrace to the name of
Avarétz. Now every Tartar may say, that we let wild beasts devour our
guests, and that we know not how to defend them! At least we know how
to avenge him: you have sworn upon the Koran, after the ancient
usage of Avár, never to abandon your comrade in distress, and if he
fall, not to return home without the skin of the beast ... thou hast
broken thine oath ... but we will not break our law: perish! Three
days shall be allowed thee to prepare thy soul; but then--if Ammalát
be not found, thou shalt be cast from the rock. You shall answer for
his head with your own!" he added, turning to his noúkers, pulling
his cap over his eyes and directing  his horse towards his home.
Thirty mountaineers rushed in different directions from Khounzákh,
to search for at least the remains of the Bek of Bouináki. Among the
mountaineers it is considered a sacred duty to bury with honour
their kinsmen and comrades, and they will sometimes, like the heroes
of Homer, rush into the thickest of the battle to drag from the
hands of the Russians the body of a companion, and will fall in
dozens round the corpse rather than abandon it.

The unfortunate Ouzdén was conducted to the stable of the Khan; a
place frequently used as a prison. The people, discussing what had
happened, separated sadly, but without complaining, for the sentence
of the Khan was in accordance with their customs.

The melancholy news soon reached Seltanetta, and though they tried to
soften it, it struck terribly a maiden who loved so deeply.
Nevertheless, contrary to their expectation, she appeared tranquil;
she neither wept nor complained, but she smiled no more, and uttered
not a word. Her mother spoke to her; she heard her not. A spark from
her father's pipe burned her dress; she saw it not. The cold wind
blew upon her bosom; she felt it not. All her feelings seemed to
retire into her heart to torture her; but that heart was hidden from
the view, and nothing was reflected in her proud features. The
Khan's daughter was struggling with the girl: it was easy to see
which would yield first.

But this secret struggle seemed to choke Seltanetta: she longed to
fly from the sight of man, and give the reins to her sorrow.
"O heaven!" she thought; "having lost him, may I not weep for him?
All gaze on me, to mock me and watch my every tear, to make sport
for their malignant tongues. The sorrows of others amuse them, Sekina,"
she added, to her maid; "let us go and walk on the bank of the Ouzén."

At the distance of three _agátcha_ [20] from Khounzákh, towards the
west, are the ruins of an ancient Christian monastery, a lonely
monument of the forgotten faith of the aborigines.

[Footnote 20: "Agátcha," seven versts, a measure for riding--for the
pedestrian, the agátcha is four versts.]

The hand of time, as if in veneration, has not touched the church
itself, and even the fanaticism of the people has spared the
sanctuary of their ancestors. It stood entire amid the ruined cells
and falling wall. The dome, with its high pointed roof of stone, was
already darkened by the breath of ages: ivy covered with its tendrils
the narrow windows, and trees were growing in the crevices of the
stones. Within, soft moss spread its verdant carpet, and in the
sultriness a moist freshness breathed there, nourished by a fountain,
which, having pierced the wall, fell tinkling behind the stone altar,
and, dividing into silver ever-murmuring threads of pure water,
filtered among the pavement stones, and crept meandering away. A
solitary ray slanting through the window, flitted over the trembling
verdure, and smiled on the gloomy wall, like a child on its
grandame's knee. Thither Seltanetta directed her steps: there she
rested from the looks which so tormented her: all around was so still,
so soft, so happy; and all augmented but the more her sadness: the
light trembling on the wall, the twittering of the swallows, the
murmur of the fountain, melted into tears the load that weighed upon
her breast, and her sorrow dissolved into lamentation: Sekina went
to pluck the pears which grew in abundance round the church; and
Seltanetta could freely yield to nature.

But sudden, raising her head, she uttered an exclamation of surprise!
before her stood a well-made Avarétz, stained with blood and mire.
"Does not your heart, do not your eyes, O Seltanetta, recognize your
favourite?" No, but with a second glance she knew Ammalát; and
forgetting all but her joy, she threw herself on his neck, embraced
it with her arms, and long, long, gazed fixedly on the much-loved
face; and the fire of confidence, the fire of ecstasy, glimmered
through the still falling tears. Could then the impassioned Ammalát
contain his rapture? He clung like a bee to the rosy lips of
Seltanetta; he had heard enough for his happiness; he was now at the
summit of bliss; the lovers had not yet said a word of their love,
but they already understood each other. "And dost thou then, angel,"
added Ammalát, when Seltanetta, ashamed of the kiss, withdrew from
his embrace: "dost thou love me?"

"Allah protect me!" replied the innocent girl, lowering her eyelashes,
but not her eyes: "Love! that is a terrible word. Last year, going
into the street, I saw them pelting a girl with stones: terrified I
rushed hone, but nowhere could I hide myself: the bloody image of
the sinner was everywhere before me, and her groan yet rings
unceasingly in my ears. When I asked why they had so inhumanly put
to death that unhappy creature, they answered, that she loved a
certain youth!"

"No, dearest, it was not because she loved one, but that she loved
not one alone--because she betrayed some one, it may be, that they
killed her."

"What means '_betrayed_,' Ammalát? I understand it not."

"Oh, God grant that you may never learn what it is to betray; that
you may never forget me for another!"

"Ah, Ammalát, within these four days I have learned how bitter to me
was separation! For a long time I have not seen my brothers Noutsál
and Soúrkha, and I meet them with pleasure; but without them I do not
grieve: without you I wish not to live!"

"For thee I am ready to die, my morning-star: to thee I give my
soul--not only life, my beloved!"

The sound of footsteps interrupted the lovers' talk: it was
Seltanetta's attendant. All three went to congratulate the Khan, who
was consoled, and unaffectedly delighted.

Ammalát related in a few words how the affair had occurred.
"Hardly had I remarked that my comrade had fallen when I fired at
the beast, flying, with a ball which broke his jaw. The monster with
a terrific roar began to whirl round, to leap, to roll, sometimes
darting towards me, and then again, tormented by the agony, bounding
aside. At this moment, striking him with the butt of my gun on the
skull, I broke it. I pursued him a long time as soon as he betook
himself to flight, following him by his bloody track: the day began
to fail, and when I plunged my dagger into the throat of the fallen
tiger, dark night had fallen upon the earth. Would I or not, I was
compelled to pass the night with the rocks for a bed-chamber, and the
wolves and jackals for companions. The morning was dark and rainy;
the clouds around my head poured their waters on me like a river. At
ten paces before my face nothing could be seen. Without a view of the
sun, ignorant of the country, in vain I wandered round and round:
weariness and hunger overwhelmed me. A partridge which I shot with my
pistol restored my strength for a while; but I could not find my way
out of my rocky grave. In the evening the only sounds I could hear
were the murmur of water falling from a cliff, or the whistling of
the eagles' wings as they flew through the clouds; but at night the
audacious jackals raised, three paces off, their lamentable song.
This morning the sun rose brightly, and I myself arose more cheerful,
and directed my steps towards the east. I shortly afterwards heard a
cry and a shot: it was your messengers. Overcome by heat, I went to
drink the pure water of the fountain by the old mosque, and there I
met Seltanetta. Thanks be to you, and glory to God!"

"Glory to God, and honour to you!" exclaimed the Sultan, embracing
him. "But your courage has nearly cost us your life, and even that
of your comrade. If you had delayed a day, he would have been obliged
to dance the Sézghinka in the air. You have returned just in time.
Djemboulá't, a famous cavalier of Little Kabárda, has sent to invite
you to a foray against the Russians. I would willingly buy
beforehand your glory; as much as you won in your last battle. The
time is short; tomorrow's sun must see you ready."

This news was by no means unwelcome to Ammalát: he decided instantly;
answering, that he would go with pleasure. He felt sure that a
distinguished reputation as a cavalier would ensure him future

But Seltanetta turned pale--bowing her head like a flower, when she
heard of this new and more cruel separation. Her look, as it dwelt
upon Ammalát, showed painful apprehension--the pain of prophetic

"Allah!" she mournfully exclaimed: "more forays, more slaughter.
When will blood cease to be shed in the mountains?"

"When the mountain torrents run milk, and the sugar-canes wave on the
snowy peaks!" said the Khan.


Wildly beautiful is the resounding Térek in the mountains of Dariál.
There, like a genie, borrowing his strength from heaven, he wrestles
with Nature. There bright and shining as steel, cutting through the
overshadowing cliff, he gleams among the rocks. There, blackening
with rage, he bellows and bounds like a wild beast, among the
imprisoning cliffs: he bursts, overthrows, and rolls afar their
broken fragments. On a stormy night, when the belated traveller,
enveloped in his furry boúrka, gazing fearfully around him, travels
along the bank which hangs over the torrent of Térek, all is terror
such as only a vivid imagination can conceive. With slow steps he
winds along, the rain-torrents stream around his feet, and tumble
upon his head from the rocks which frown above and threaten his
destruction. Suddenly the lightning flashes before his eyes--with
horror he beholds but a black cloud above him, below a yawning gulf,
beside him crags, and before him the roaring Térek. At one moment he
sees its wild and troubled waves raging like infernal spirits chased
by the archangel's brand. After them, with a shout as of laughter,
roll the huge stones. In another moment, the blinding flash is gone,
and he is plunged once more in the dark ocean of night: then bursts
the thunder-crash, jarring the foundations of the rocks, as though a
thousand mountains were dashed against each other, so deafeningly do
the echoes repeat the bellow of the heavens. Then a long-protracted
growl, as of massive oaks plucked up by their roots, or the crash of
bursting rocks, or the yell of the Titans as they were hurled
headlong into the abyss; it mingles with the war of the blast, and
the blast swells to a hurricane, and the rain pours down in torrents.
And again the lightning blinds him, and again the thunder, answering
from afar to the splinter-crash, deafens him. The terrified steed
rears, starts backward--the rider utters a short prayer.

But after this how softly smiles the morning--morn, in whose light
Térek glides, and ripples, and murmurs! The clouds, like a torn veil
whirling on the breeze, appear and vanish fitfully among the icy
peaks. The sunbeams discover jagged profiles of the summits on the
opposing mountain wall. The rocks glitter freshly from the rain. The
mountain-torrents leap through the morning mist; and the mists
themselves creep winding through the cliffs, even as the smoke from a
cottage chimney, then twine themselves like a turban round some
ancient tower, while Térek ripples on among the stones, curling as a
tired hound who seeks a resting-place.

In the Caucasus, it must be confessed, there are no waters in which
the mountains can worthily reflect themselves--those giants of
creation. There are no gentle rivers, no vast lakes; but Térek
receives in his stream the tribute of a thousand streamlets. Beneath
the further Caucasus, where the mountains melt into the plain, he
seems to flow calmly and gently, he wanders on in huge curves,
depositing the pebbles he has brought down from the hills. Further on,
bending to the north-west, the stream is still strong, but less noisy,
as though wearied with its fierce strugglings. At length, embraced
by the narrow gorge of Cape M. áloi (Little Kabárdi,) the river,
like a good Moslem, bending religiously to the east, and peacefully
spreading over the hated shore, gliding sometimes over beds of stone,
sometimes over banks of clay, falls, by Kizlár, into the basin of
the Caspian. There alone does it deign to bear boats upon its waters,
and, like a labourer, turn the huge wheels of floating mills. On its
right bank, among hillocks and thickets, are scattered the villages
(aoúle) of the Kabardínetzes, a tribe which we confound under one
name with the Tcherkéss, (Circassians,) who dwell beyond the Koubán,
and with the Tchetchenétzes much lower by the sea. These villages on
the bank are peaceful only in name, for in reality they are the
haunts of brigands, who acknowledge the Russian government only as
far as it suits their interest, capturing, as Russian subjects, from
the mountaineers, the plunder they seize in the Russian frontier.
Enjoying free passage on all sides, they inform those of the same
religion and the same way of thinking, of the movement of our troops,
and the condition of our fortresses; conceal them among themselves
when they are assembling for an incursion, buy their plunder at their
return, furnish them with Russian salt and powder, and not rarely
take themselves a part, secret or open, in their forays. It is
exceedingly irritating to see, even in full view of these
mountaineers, nations hostile to us boldly swim over the Térek, two,
three, or five men at a time, and in broad day set to work to rob;
it being useless to pursue them, as their dress has nothing to
distinguish them from the friendly tribes. On the opposite bank,
though apparently quite peaceable, and employing this as their excuse,
they fall, when in force, upon travellers, carry off cattle and men
when off their guard, slaughter them without mercy, or sell them
into slavery at a distance. To say the truth, their natural position,
between two powerful neighbours, of necessity compels them to have
recourse to these stratagems. Knowing that the Russians will not
pass to the other side of the river to protect them from the revenge
of the mountaineers, who melt away like snow at the approach of a
strong force, they easily and habitually, as well as from inevitable
circumstances, ally themselves to people of their own blood, while
they affect to pay deference to the Russians, whom they fear.

Indeed, there exists among them certain persons really devoted to the
Russians, but the greater number will betray even their own
countrymen for a bribe. In general, the morality of these peaceful
allies of ours is completely corrupted; they have lost the courage
of an independent people, and have acquired all the vices of
half-civilization. Among them an oath is a jest; treachery, their
glory; even hospitality, a trade. Each of them is ready to engage
himself to the Russians in the morning, as a kounák (friend), and at
night to guide a brigand to rob his new friend.

The left bank of the Térek is covered with flourishing stanítzas [21]
of the Kazáks of the Line, the descendants of the famous Zaporójetzes.
Among them is here and there a Christian village. These Kazáks are
distinguished from the mountaineers only by their unshaven heads: their
tools, dress, harness, manners--all are of the mountains. They like the
almost ceaseless war with the mountaineers; it is not a battle, but a
trial of arms, in which each party desires to gain glory by his
superiority in strength, valour, and address. Two Kazáks would not
fear to encounter four mountain horsemen, and with equal numbers
they are invariably victors. Lastly, they speak the Tartar language;
they are connected with the mountaineers by friendship and alliance,
their women being mutually carried off into captivity; but in the
field they are inflexible enemies. As it is not forbidden to make
incursions on the mountain side of the Térek, the brigands
frequently betake themselves thither by swimming the river, for the
chase of various kinds of game. The mountain brigands, in their turn,
frequently swim over the Térek at night, or cross it on bourdoúchs,
(skins blown up,) hide themselves in the reeds, or under a
projection of the bank, thence gliding through the thickets to the
road, to carry off an unsuspecting traveller, or to seize a woman,
as she is raking the hay. It sometimes happens that they will pass a
day or two in the vineyards by the village, awaiting a favourable
opportunity to fall upon it unexpectedly; and hence the Kazák of the
Line never stirs over his threshold without his dagger, nor goes
into the field without his gun at his back: he ploughs and sows
completely armed.

[Footnote 21: Villages of Kazáks.]

For some time past, the mountaineers had fallen in considerable
numbers only on Christian villages, for in the stanítzas the
resistance had cost them very dear. For the plundering of houses;
they approached boldly yet cunningly the Russian frontier, and on
such occasions they frequently escaped a battle. The bravest Ouzdéns
desire to meet with these affairs that they may acquire fame, which
they value even more than plunder.

In the autumn of the year 1819, the Kabardínetzes and Tchetchenétzes,
encouraged by the absence of the commander-in-chief, assembled to the
number of 1500 men to make an attack upon one of the villages beyond
the Térek, to seize it, carry off prisoners, and take the droves of
horses. The leader of the Kabardínetzes was the Prince (Kniázek)
Djenboulát. Ammalát Bek, who had arrived with a letter from Sultan
Akhmet Khan, was received with delight. They did not, indeed, assign
him the command of any division; but this arose from the
circumstance that with them there is no order of battle or gradation
of command; an active horse and individual courage secures the most
distinguished place in action. At first they deliberate how best to
begin the attack--how to repel the enemy; but afterwards they pay no
attention to plan or order, and chance decides the affair. Having
sent messengers to summon the neighbouring Ouzdéns, Djemboulát fixed
on a place of assembling; and immediately, on a signal agreed on,
from every height spread the cry, "Gharái, gharái!" (alarm,) and in
one hour the Tchetchenétzes and Kabardínetzes were assembling from
all sides. To avoid treason, no one but the leader knew where the
night-camp was to be, from which they where to cross the river. They
were divided into small bands, and were to go by almost invisible
paths to the peaceful village, where they were to conceal themselves
till night. By twilight, all the divisions were already mustered. As
they arrived, they were received by their countrymen with frank
embraces; but Djemboulát, not trusting to this, guarded the village
with sentinels, and proclaimed to the inhabitants, that whoever
attempted to desert to the Russians should be cut in pieces. The
greater part of the Ouzdéns took up their quarters in the sáklas of
their kounáks or relations; but Djemboulát and Ammalát, with the
best of the cavaliers, slept in the open air round a fire, when they
had refreshed their jaded horses. Djemboulát, wrapped in his boúrka,
was considering, with folded arms, the plan of the expedition; but
the thoughts of Ammalát were far from the battle-field: they were
flying, eagle-winged, to the mountains of Avar, and bitterly,
bitterly did he feel his separation. The sound of an instrument, the
mountain balaláika, (kanous,) accompanying a slow air, recalled him
from his reverie, and a Kabardínetz sung an ancient song.

  "On Kazbék the clouds are meeting,
    like the mountain eagle-flock;
    up to them, along the rock,
  Dash the wild Ouzdéns retreating;
  Onward faster, faster fleeting,
    Routed by the Russian brood.
    Foameth all their track with blood."

  "Fast behind the regiments yelling,
    Lance and bayonet raging hot,
    And the seed of death their shot.
  On the mail the sabre dwelling
  Gallop, steed! for far thy dwelling--
    See! they fall--but distant still
    Is the forest of the hill!"

  "Russian shot our hearts is rending,
    Falls the Mullah on his knee,
    To the Lord of Light bows he,
  To the Prophet he is bending:
  Like a shaft his prayer ascending,
    Upward flies to Allah's throne--
  Il-Alláh! O save thine own!"

  "Ah, despair!--What crash like thunder!
    Lo! a sign from heaven above!
    Lo! the forest seems to move
  Crashes, murmurs, bursts asunder!
  Lower, nearer, wonder! wonder!
    Safe once more the Moslem bold
    In their forest mountain-hold!"

"So it was in old times," said Djemboulát, with a smile, "when our
old men trusted more to prayer, and God oftener listened to them; but
now, my friends, there is a better hope--your valour! _Our_ omens are
in the scabbards of our shoóshkas, (sabres,) and we must show that we
are not ashamed of them. Harkye, Ammalát," he continued, twisting his
mustache, "I will not conceal from you that the affair may be warm. I
have just heard that Colonel K---- has collected his division; but
where he is, or how many troops he has, nobody knows."

"The more Russians there are the better," replied Ammalát, quietly;
"the fewer mistakes will be made."

"And the heavier will be the plunder."

"I care not for that. I seek revenge and glory."

"Glory is a good bird, when she lays a golden egg; but he that
returns with his toróks (straps behind the saddle) empty, is ashamed
to appear before his wife. Winter is near, and we must provide our
households at the expense of the Russians, that we may feast our
friends and allies. Choose your station, Ammalát Bek. Do you prefer
to advance in front to carry off the flocks, or will you remain with
me in the rear? I and the Abréks will march at a foot's pace to
restrain the pursuers."

"That is what I also intend. I will be where the greatest peril is.
But what are the Abréks, Djemboulát?"

"It is not easy to explain. You sometimes see several of our boldest
cavaliers take an oath, binding them for two or three years, or as
long as they like, never to mingle in games or gayeties, never to
spare their lives in battle, to give no quarter, never to pardon the
least offence in a brother or a friend, to seize the goods of others
without fear or scruple--in a word, to be the foes of all mankind,
strangers in their family, men whom any person may slay if he can;
in the village they are dangerous neighbours, and in meeting them
you must keep your hand on the trigger; but in war one can trust them."

"For what motive, or reason, can the Ouzdens make such an engagement?"

"Some simply to show their courage, others from poverty, a third
class from some misfortune. See, for instance, yonder tall Kabardínetz;
he has sworn to be an Abrék for five years, since his mistress
died of the small-pox. Since that year it would be as well to make
acquaintance with a tiger as with him. He has already been wounded
three times for blood-vengeance; but he cares not for that."

"Strange custom! How will he return from the life of an Abrék to a
peaceable existence?"

"What is there strange in this? The past glides from him as water
from the wild-duck. His neighbours will be delighted when he has
finished his term of brigandage. And he, after putting off Abrétchestva
(Abrékism) as a serpent sheds his skin, will become gentle
as a lamb. Among us, none but the avenger of blood remembers
yesterday. But the night is darkening. The mists are spreading over
Térek. It is time for the work."

Djemboulát whistled, and his whistle was repeated to all the
outposts of the camp. In a moment the whole band was assembled.
Several Ouzdéns joined from the neighbouring friendly villages.
After a short discussion as to the passage of the river, the band
moved in silence to the bank. Ammalát Bek could not but admire the
stillness, not only of the riders, but of their horses; not one of
them neighed or snorted, and they seemed to place their feet on the
ground with caution. They marched like a voiceless cloud, and soon
they reached the bank of Térek, which, making a winding at this spot,
formed a promontory, and from it to the opposite shore, extended a
pebbly shoal. The water over this bank was shallow and fordable;
nevertheless, a part of the detachment left the shore higher up, in
order to swim past the Kazáks, and, diverting their attention from
the principal passage, to cover the fording party. Those who had
confidence in their horses, leaped unhesitatingly from the bank,
while others tied to each fore-foot of their steeds a pair of small
skins, inflated with air like bladders; the current bore them on,
and each landed wherever he found a convenient spot. The
impenetrable veil of mist concealed all these movements. It must be
remarked, that along the whole line of the river is a chain of mayáks
(watch-towers) and a cordon of sentinels: on all the hills and
elevated spots are placed look-outs. On passing before them in the
daytime, may be seen on each hillock a pole, surmounted with a small
barrel. This is filled with pitch and straw, and is ready to be
lighted on the first alarm. To this pole is generally tied a Kazák's
horse, and by his side a sentinel. In the night, these sentinels are
doubled; but in spite of the precautions, the Tcherkéss, concealed
by the fog, and clothed in their boúrka, sometimes pass through the
line in small bodies, as water glides through a sieve. The same
thing happened on this occasion: perfectly acquainted with the
country, the Beláds, (guides) peaceable Tcherkéss, led each party,
and in profound silence avoided the hillocks.

[Footnote 22: This is exactly the Berserkir of the ancient Northmen.
Examples of this frantic courage are not rare among the Asiatics.]

In two places only had the brigands, to break through the line of
watch-fires which might have betrayed them, resolved to kill the
sentinels. Against one picket, Djemboulát proceeded himself, and he
ordered another Bek to creep up the bank, pass round to the rear of
the picket, count a hundred, and then to strike fire with a flint
and steel several times. It was said and done. Just lifting his head
above the edge of the bank, Djemboulát saw a Kazák slumbering with
the match in his hand, and holding his horse by the bridle. As soon
as the clicking struck his ear, the sentinel started, and turned an
anxious look on the river. Fearing that the sentinel did not remark
him, Djemboulát threw up his cap, and again crouched down behind the
bank. "Accursed duck!" said the Donétz; "for this night is a carnival.
They squatter away like the witches of Kíeff." At this moment, the
sparks appeared on the opposite side, and drew his attention: "'Tis
the wolves," thought he: "sometimes their eyes glitter brightly!" But
the sparks reappearing, he was stupefied, remembering stories that
the Tchetchenétzes sometimes use this kind of signal to regulate the
movements of their march. This moment of suspense and irresolution was
the moment of his destruction; a dagger [23], directed by a strong arm,
whistled through the air, and the Kazák, transfixed, fell without a
groan to the earth. His comrade was sabred in his sleep, and the pole
with the tub was torn down, and was thrown into the river. All then
rapidly assembled at the given signal, and dashed in a moment on the
village which they had determined to attack. The blow was successfully,
that is, quite unexpectedly, struck. Such of the peasants as had time
to arm, were killed after a desperate resistance: the others hid
themselves or fled. Besides the plunder, a number of men and women
was the reward of their boldness. The Kabardínetzes broke into the
houses, carrying off all that was most valuable, indeed every thing
that came to hand: but they did not set fire to the houses, nor did
they tread down the corn, nor break the vines: "Why touch the gift
of God, and the labour of man?" said they; and this rule of a
mountain robber, who shrinks at no crime, is a virtue which the most
civilized nations might envy. In an hour, all was over for the
inhabitants, but not for the brigands. The alarm spread along the
line, and the mayáks soon began to glimmer through the fog like the
stars of morning, while the call to arms resounded in every direction.
In this interval, a party of the more experienced among the brigands
had gone round the troop of horses which was grazing far in the
steppe. The herdsman was seized, and with cries, and firing their
guns, they charged at the horses from the land side. The animals
started, threw mane and tail into the air, and dashed headlong on
the track of a Tcherkéss mounted on a superb steed, who had remained
on the bank of the river to guide the frightened herd. Like a
skilful pilot, well acquainted, even in a fog, with all the dangers
of the desert sea, the Tcherkéss flew on before the horses, wound
his way among the posts, and at last, having chosen a spot where the
bank was most precipitous, leaped headlong into the Térek. The whole
herd followed him: nothing could be seen but the foam that flew into
the air. Daybreak appeared; the fog began to separate, and
discovered a picture at once magnificent and terrible. The principal
band of forayers dragged the prisoners after it--some were at the
stirrup, others behind the saddle, with their arms tied at their
backs. Tears, and groans, and cries of despair were stifled by the
threats and frantic cries of joy of the victors. Loaded with plunder,
impeded by the flocks and horned cattle, they advanced slowly
towards the Térek. The princes and best cavaliers, in mail-coats and
casques glittering like water, galloped around the dense mass, as
lightning flashes round a livid cloud. In the distance, were
galloping up from every point the Kazáks of the Line; they ambushed
behind the shrubs and straggling oak-trees, and soon began an irregular
fire with the brigands who were sent against them.

[Footnote 23: The Tartars and Circassians possess extraordinary
dexterity in the use of their national weapon--the kinjál, or poniard.
These are sometimes of great size and weight, and when thrown by a
skilful hand, will fly a considerable distance, and with the most
singular accuracy of aim.]

In the meantime, the foremost had driven across the river a portion
of the flocks, when a cloud of dust, and the tramp of cavalry,
announced the approaching storm. About six hundred mountaineers,
commanded by Djemboulát and Ammalát, turned their horses to repulse
the attack, and give time to the rest to escape by the river.
Without order, but with wild cries and shouts, they dashed forward
to meet the Kazáks; but not a single gun was taken from its belt,
not a single sháshka glimmered in the air: a Tcherkéss waits till
the last moment before he seizes his weapons. And thus, having
galloped to the distance of twenty paces, they levelled their
guns, fired at full speed, threw their fire-arms over their backs,
[24] and drew their sháshkas; but the Kazáks of the Line having
replied with a volley, began to fly, and the mountaineers, heated by
the chase, fell into a stratagem which they often employ themselves.
The Kazáks had led them up to the chasseurs of the brave forty-third
regiment, who were concealed at the edge of the forest. Suddenly, as
if the little squares had started out of the earth, the bayonets
were leveled, and the fire poured on them, taking them in flank. It
was in vain that the mountaineers, dismounting from their horses,
essayed to occupy the underwood, and attack the Russians from the
rear; the artillery came up, and decided the affair. The experienced
Colonel Kortsaréff, the dread of the Tchetchenétz, the man whose
bravery they feared, and whose honesty and disinterestedness they
respected, directed the movements of the troops, and success could
not be doubtful. The cannon dispersed the crowds of brigands, and
their grape flew after the flying. The defeat was terrible; two
guns, dashing at a gallop to the promontory, not far from which the
Tcherkéss were throwing themselves into the river, enfiladed the stream;
with a rushing sound, the shot flew over the foaming waves, and at
each fire some of the horses might be seen to turn over with their
feet in the air, drowning their riders. It was sad to see how the
wounded clutched at the tails and bridles of the horses of their
companions, sinking them without saving themselves--how the
exhausted struggled against the scarped bank, endeavouring to
clamber up, fell back, and were borne away and engulfed by the
furious current. The corpses of the slain were whirled away, mingled
with the dying and streaks of blood curled and writhed like serpents
on the foam. The smoke floated far along the Térek, far in the
distance, and the snowy peaks of Caucasus, crowned with mist,
bounded the field of battle. Djemboulát and Ammalát Bek fought
desperately--twenty times did they rush to the attack, twenty times
were they repulsed; wearied, but not conquered, with a hundred
brigands they swam the river, dismounted, attached their horses to
each other by the bridle, and began a warm fire from the other side
of the river, to cover their surviving comrades. Intent upon this,
they remarked, too late, that the Kazáks were passing the river above
them; with a shout of joy, the Russians leaped upon the bank, and
surrounded them in a moment. Their fate was inevitable. "Well,
Djemboulát," said the Bek to the Kabardínetz, "our lot is finished.
Do you what you will; but for me, I will not render myself a
prisoner alive. 'Tis better to die by a ball than by a shameful cord!"
"Do you think," answered Djemboulát, "that my arms were made for a
chain! Allah keep me from such a blot: the Russians may take my body,
but not my soul. Never, never! Brethren, comrades!" he cried to the
others; "fortune has betrayed us, but the steel will not. Let us
sell our lives dearly to the Giaour. The victor is not he who keeps
the field, but he who has the glory; and the glory is his who
prefers death to slavery!" "Let us die, let us die; but let us die
gloriously," cried all, piercing with their daggers the sides of
their horses, that the enemy might not take them, and then piling
up the dead bodies of their steeds, they lay down behind the
heap, preparing to meet the attack with lead and steel. Well aware of
the obstinate resistance they were about to encounter, the Kazáks
stopped, and made ready for the charge. The shot from the opposite
bank sometimes fell in the midst of the brave mountaineers,
sometimes a grenade exploded, covering them with earth and fragments;
but they showed no confusion, they started not, nor blenched; and,
after the custom of their country, began to sing, with a melancholy,
yet threatening voice, the death-song, replying alternately stanza
for stanza.

[Footnote 24: The oriental nations carry their guns at their backs,
supported by a strap passing across the breast.]



  "Fame to us, death to you,
  Alla-ha, Alla-hu!!"


  "Weep, O ye maidens, on mountain and valley,
  Lift the dirge for the sons of the brave;
  We have fired our last bullet, have made our last rally,
  And Caucasus gives us a grave.
  Here the soft pipe no more shall invite us to slumber
  --The thunder _our_ lullaby sings;
  Our eyes not the maiden's dark tresses shall cumber,
  _Them_ the raven shall shade with his wings!
  Forget, O my children, your father's stern duty--
  No more shall he bring ye the Muscovite booty!"


  "Weep not, O ye maidens; your sisters in splendour,
  The Houris, they bend from the sky,
  They fix on the brave their sun-glance deep and tender,
  And to Paradise bear him on high!
  In your feast-cup, my brethren, forget not our story;
  The death of the Free is the noblest of glory!"


  "Roar, winter torrent, and sullenly dash!
  But where is the brave one--the swift lightning-flash?
    Soft star of my soul, my mother,
    Sleep, the fire let ashes smother;
  Gaze no more, shine eyes are weary,
    Sit not by the threshold stone;
  Gaze not through the night-fog dreary,
    Eat thine evening meal alone,
  Seek him not, O mother, weeping,
    By the cliff and by the ford:
  On a bed of dust he's sleeping--
    Broken is both heart and sword!"


  "Mother, weep not! with thy love burning:
    This heart of mine beats full and free,
  And to lion-blood is turning
    That soft milks I drew from thee;
  And our liberty from danger
    Thy brave son has guarded well;
  Battling with the Christian stranger,
    Call'd by Azrael, he fell;
  From my blood fresh odours breathing
    Fadeless flowers shall drink the dew;
  To my children fame bequeathing,
    Brethren, and revenge to you!"


  "Pray, my brethren, ere we part;
    Clutch the steel with hate and wrath!
  Break it in the Russian's heart--
  O'er corpses lies the brave man's path!
     Fame to us, death to you,
    Alla-ha, Alla-hu!"

Struck by a certain involuntary awe, the Chasseurs and Kazáks
listened in silence to the stern sounds of this song; but at last a
loud _hurrah_ [25] resounded from both sides. The Teherkéss, with a
shout, fired their guns for the last time, and breaking them against
the stones, they threw themselves, dagger in hand, upon the Russians.
The Abréks, in order that their line might not be broken, bound
themselves to each other with their girdles, and hurled themselves
into the mêlée. Quarter was neither asked nor given: all fell before
the bayonets of the Russians. "Forward! follow me, Ammalát Bek,"
cried Djemboulat, with fury, rushing into the combat which was to be
his last--"Forward! for us death is liberty." But Anmalát heard not
his call; a blow from a musket on the back of the head stretched him
on the earth, already sown with corpses, and covered with blood.

[Footnote 25: "Hurrah" means _strike_ in the Tartar language.]



  _From Derbénd to Smolénsk. October_, 1819.

Two months--how easy to say it!--two centuries have past, dearest
Maria, while your letter was _creeping_ to me. Twice has the moon
made her journey round the earth. You cannot imagine, dearest, how
dreary is this idle objectless life to me; with nothing to employ
me--not even correspondence. I go out, I meet the _Kazák_ [26]
with a secret trembling of heart: with what joy, with what exstacy
do I kiss the lines traced by a pure hand, inspired by a pure
heart--yours, my Maria! With a greedy rapture my eyes devour the
letter: then I am happy--I am wild with joy. But hardly have I
reclosed it when unquiet thoughts again begin to haunt me. "All this
is well," I think; "but all this is past, and I desire to know the
present. Is she well? Does she love me yet? Oh! will the happy time
come soon--soon--when neither time nor distance can divide us? When
the expression of our love will be no longer chilled by the cold
medium of the post!" Pardon, pardon, dearest, these black thoughts
of absence. When heart is--with heart, the lover trusts in all; in
separation he doubts all. You command--for such to me is your
wish--that I should describe my life to you, day by day, hour by hour.
Oh, what sad and tiresome annals mine would be, were I to obey you!
You know well, traitress, that I live not without you. My
existence--'tis but the trace of a shadow on the desert sand. My duty
alone, which wearies at least, if it cannot amuse me, helps me to
get rid of the time. Thrown in a climate ruinous to health, in
society which stifles the soul, I cannot find among my companions a
single person who can sympathise with me. Nor do I find among the
Asiatics any who can understand my thoughts. All that surrounds me
is either so savage or so limited, that it excites sadness and
discontent. Sooner will you obtain fire by striking ice on stone,
than interest from such an existence. But your wish to me is sacred;
and I will present you, in brief, with my last week. It was more
varied than usual.

[Footnote 26: The Kazáks are employed in the Russian army
frequently as couriers.]

I have told you in one of my letters, if I remember, that we are
returning from the campaign of Akoúsh, with the commander-in-chief.
We have done our work; Shah Ali Khan has fled into Persia; we have
burned a number of villages, hay, and corn; and we have eaten the
sheep of the rebels, when we were hungry. When the snow had driven
the insurgents from their mountain-fastnesses, they yielded and
presented hostages. We then marched to the Fort of Boúrnaya, [27]
and from this station our detachment was ordered into winter
quarters. Of this division my regiment forms a part, and our
head-quarters are at Derbénd.

[Footnote 27: Stormy.]

The other day, the general, who was about to depart on another
campaign on the Line, came to take leave of us, and thus there
was a larger company than usual to meet our adored commander.
Alexéi Petróvitch came from his tent, to join us at tea. Who
is not acquainted with his face, from the portraits? But they
cannot be said to know Yermóloff at all, who judge of him only by
a lifeless image. Never was there a face gifted with such nobility
of expression as his! Gazing on those features, chiselled in the
noble outline of the antique, you are involuntarily carried back to
the times of Roman grandeur. The poet was in the right, when he said
of him:--

  "On the Koubán--fly, Tartar fleet!
  The avenger's falchion gleameth;
  His breath--the grapeshot's iron sleet,
  His voice--the thunder seemeth!
  Around his forehead stern and pale
  The fates of war are playing....
  He looks--and victory doth quail,
  That gesture proud obeying!"

You should witness his coolness in the hour of battle--you should
admire him at a conference: at one time overwhelming the Teberkéss
with the flowing orientalisms of the Asiatic, at another
embarrassing their artifices with a single remark. In vain do they
conceal their thoughts in the most secret folds of their hearts; his
eye follows them, disentangles and unrolls them like worms, and
guesses twenty years beforehand their deeds and their intentions.
Then, again, to see him talking frankly and like a friend with his
brave soldiers, or passing with dignity round the circle of the
tchinóbniks [28] sent from the capital into Georgia. It is curious to
observe how all those whose conscience is not pure, tremble, blush,
turn pale, when he fixes on them his slow and penetrating glance; you
seem to see the roubles of past bribes gliding before the eyes of the
guilty man, and his villanies come rushing on his memory. You see the
pictures of arrest, trial, judgment, sentence, and punishment, his
imagination paints, anticipating the future. No man knows so well
how to distinguish merit by a single glance, a single smile--to
reward gallantry with a word, coming _from_, and going _to_, the
heart. God grant us many years to serve with such a commander!

[Footnote 28: Literally, a person possessing rank, used here to
signify an _employé_ of Government in a civil capacity--all of whom
possess some definite precedence or class (tchin) in the state. ]

But if it be thus interesting to observe him on duty, how delightful
to associate with him in society--a society to which every one
distinguished for rank, bravery, or intellect, has free access:
_here_ rank is forgotten, formality is banished; every one talks
and acts as he pleases, simply because those only who think and act
as they _ought_, form the society. Alexéi Petróvitch jokes with all
like a comrade, and at the same time teaches like a father. As usual,
during tea, one of his adjutants read aloud; it was the account of
Napoleon's Campaign in Italy--that poem of the Art of War, as the
commander-in-chief called it. The company, of course, expressed
their wonder, their admiration, their different opinions and
criticisms. The remarks of Alexéi Petróvitch were lucid, and of
admirable truth.

Then began our gymnastic sports, leaping, running, leaping over the
fire, and trials of strength of various kinds. The evening and the
view were both magnificent: the camp was pitched on the side of Tarki;
over it hangs the fortress of Boúrnaya, behind which the sun was
sinking. Sheltered by a cliff was the house of the Shamkhál, then
the town on a steep declivity, surrounded by the camp, and to the
east the immeasurable steppe of the Caspian sea. Tartar Beks,
Circassian Princes, Kazáks from the various rivers of gigantic Russia,
hostages from different mountains, mingled with the officers.
Uniforms, tchoukhás, coats of chain-mail, were picturesquely mingled;
singing and music rang through the camp, and the soldiers, with
their caps jauntily cocked on one side, were walking in crowds at a
distance. The scene was delightful; it charmed by its picturesque
variety and the force and freshness of military life. Captain Bekóvitch
was boasting that he could strike off the head of a buffalo with one
blow of a kinjál; [29] and two of those clumsy animals were immediately

[Footnote 29: It is absurd to observe the incredulity
of Europeans as to the possibility of cutting off a head with the
kinjál: it is necessary to live only one week in the East to be quite
convinced of the possibility of the feat. In a practiced hand the
kinjál is a substitute for the hatchet, the bayonet, and the sabre.]

Bets were laid; all were disputing and doubting. The Captain, with a
smile, seized with his left hand a huge dagger, and in an instant an
immense head fell at the feet of the astonished spectators, whose
surprise was instantly succeeded by a desire to do the same: they
hacked and hewed, but all in vain. Many of the strongest men among
the Russians and Asiatics made unsuccessful attempts to perform the
feat, but to do this strength alone was not sufficient. "You are
children--children!" cried the commander-in-chief: and he rose from
table, calling for his sword--a blade which never struck twice, as he
told us. An immense heavy sabre was brought him, and Alexéi Petróvitch,
though confident in his strength, yet, like Ulysses in the Odyssey,
anointing the bow which no one else could bend, first felt the edge,
waved the weapon thrice in the air, and at length addressed himself
to the feat. The betters had hardly time to strike hands when the
buffalo's head bounded at their feet on the earth. So swift and sure
was the blow, that the trunk stood for some instants on its legs,
and then gently, softly, sank down. A cry of astonishment arose from
all: Alexéi Petróvitch quietly looked whether his sabre was notched--for
the weapon had cost him many thousands [of roubles], and presented
it as a keepsake to Captain Bekóvitch.

We were still whispering among ourselves when there appeared before
the commander-in-chief an officer of the Kazáks of the Line, with a
message from Colonel Kortsáreff, who was stationed on the frontier.
When he had received the report, the countenance of Alexéi Petróvitch
brightenened--"Kortsáreff has gloriously trounced the mountaineers!"
said he. "These rascals have made a plundering expedition beyond the
Térek; they have passed far within the Line, and have plundered a
village--but they have lost not only the cattle they had taken, but
fallen a sacrifice to their own fool-hardiness." Having minutely
questioned Yesoúal respecting the details of the affair, he ordered
the prisoners whom they had taken, wounded or recovering, to be
brought before him. Five were led into the presence of the

A cloud passed over his countenance as he beheld them; his brow
contracted, his eyes sparkled. "Villains!" said he to the Ouzdéns;
"you have thrice sworn not to plunder; and thrice have you broken
your oath. What is it that you seek? Lands? Flocks? Means to defend
the one or the other? But no! you are willing to accept presents
from the Russians as allies, and at the same time to guide the
Tcherkéss to plunder our villages, and to plunder along with them.
Hang them!" said he sternly; "hang them up by their own thievish arkáus
(girdles)! Let them draw lots: the fourth shall be spared--let him
go and tell his countrymen that I am coming to teach them to keep
faith, and keep the peace, as I will have it."

The Ouzdéns were conducted away.

There remained one Tartar bek, whom we had not remarked. This was a
young man of twenty-five, of unusual beauty, graceful as the
Belvidere Apollo. He bowed slightly to the commander-in chief as he
approached him, raised his cap, and again resumed his proud
indifferent expression; unshaken resignation to his fate was written
on his features.

The commander-in-chief fixed his stern eye upon his face, but the
young man neither changed countenance nor quivered an eyelash.

"Ammalát Bek," said Alexéi Petróvitch, after a pause, "do you
remember that you are a Russian subject? that the Russian laws are
above you?"

"It would have been impossible to forget that," replied the Bek:
"if I had found in those laws a protection for my rights, I should
not now stand before you a prisoner."

"Ungrateful boy!" cried the commander-in-chief; "your father--you
yourself, have been the enemy of the Russians. Had it been during the
Persian domination of your race, not even the ashes would have
remained; but our Emperor was generous, and instead of punishing you
he gave you lands. And how did you repay his kindness? By secret
plot and open revolt! This is not all: you received and sheltered in
your house a sworn foe to Russia; you permitted him, before your eyes,
traitorously to slaughter a Russian officer. In spite of all this,
had you brought me a submissive head, I would have pardoned you, on
account of your youth and the customs of your nation. But you fled
to the mountains, and with Suleiman Akhmet Khan you committed
violence within the Russian bounds; you were beaten, and again you
make an incursion with Djemboulát. You cannot but know what fate
awaits you."

"I do," coldly answered Ammalát Bek: "I shall be shot."

"No! a bullet is too honourable a death for a brigand," cried the
angry general: "a cart with the shafts turned up--a cord round your
neck--that is the fitting reward."

"It is all one how a man dies," replied Ammalát, "provided he dies
speedily. I ask one favour: do not let me be tormented with a trial:
that is thrice death."

"Thou deservest a hundred deaths, audacious! but I promise you. Be it
so: to-morrow thou shalt die. Assemble a court-martial," continued
the commander-in-chief, turning to his staff: "the fact is clear,
the proof is before your eyes, and let all be finished at one sitting,
before my departure."

He waved his hand, and the condemned prisoner was removed.

The fate of this fine young man touched us all. Every body was
whispering about him; every body pitying him; the more, that
there appeared no means of saving him. Every one knew well the
necessity of punishing this double treason, and the inflexibility
of Alexéi Petróvitch in matters of this publicity: and, therefore,
no one dared to intercede for the unfortunate culprit. The
commander-in-chief was unusually thoughtful for the remainder of the
evening, and the party separated early. I determined to speak a word
for him--"Perhaps," I thought, "I may obtain some commutation of the
sentence." I opened one of the curtains of the tent, and advanced
softly into the presence of Alexéi Petróvitch. He was sitting alone,
resting both arms on a table; before him lay a despatch for the
Emperor, half finished, and which he was writing without any previous
copy. Alexéi Petróvitch knew me as an officer of the suite, and we
had been acquainted since the battle of Kulm. At that time he had
been very kind to me, and therefore my visit was not surprising to
him. "I see--I see, Evstáfii Ivánovitch, you have a design upon my
heart! In general you come in as if you were marching up to a battery,
but now you hardly walk on tip-toe. This is not for nothing. I am
sure you are come with a request about Ammalát."

"You have guessed it," said I to Alexéi Petróvitch, not knowing how
to begin.

"Sit down, then, and let us talk it over," he replied. Then, after a
silence of a couple of minutes, he continued, kindly, "I know that a
report goes about respecting me, that I treat the lives of men as a
plaything--their blood as water. The most cruel tyrants have hidden
their bloodthirstiness under a mask of benevolence. They feared a
reputation for cruelty, though they feared not to commit deeds of
cruelty; but I--I have intentionally clothed myself with this sort
of character, and purposely dressed my name in terror. I desire, and
it is my duty to desire, that my name should protect our frontier
more effectually than lines and fortresses--that a single word of
mine should be, to the Asiatics, more certain, more inevitable, than
death. The European may be reasoned with: he is influenced by
conscience, touched by kindness, attached by pardon, won by
benefits; but to the Asiatic all this is an infallible proof of
weakness; and to him I--even from motives of philanthropy--have
shown myself unmitigably severe. A single execution preserves a
hundred Russians from destruction, and deters a thousand Mussulmans
from treason. Evstáfii Ivánovitch, many will not believe my words,
because each conceals the cruelty of his nature, and his secret
revengefulness, under excuses of necessity--each says, with a
pretence of feeling, 'Really I wish from my heart to pardon,
but be judges yourselves--can I? What, after this, are laws--what
is the general welfare?' All this I never say; in my eyes no tear
is seen when I sign a sentence of death: but my heart bleeds."

Alexéi Petróvitch was touched; he walked agitatedly several times up
and down the tent; then seated himself, and continued--"Never, in
spite of all this, never has it been so difficult to me to punish as
this day. He who, like me, has lived much among the Asiatics, ceases
to trust in Lavater, and places no more confidence in a handsome
face than in a letter of recommendation; but the look, the expression,
the demeanour of this Ammalát, have produced on me an unusual
impression. I am sorry for him."

"A generous heart," said I, "is a better oracle than reason."

"The heart of a conscientious man, my dear friend, ought to be under
the command of reason. I certainly _can_ pardon Ammalát, but I
_ought_ to punish him. Daghestán is still filled with the enemies
of Russia, notwithstanding their assurances of submission; even
Tarki is ready to revolt at the first movement in the mountains: we
must rivet their chains by punishment, and show the Tartars that no
birth can screen the guilty--that all are equal in the sight of the
Russian law. If I pardon Ammalát, all his relations will begin to
boast that Yermóloff is afraid of the Shamkhál." I remarked, that
indulgence shown to so extensive a clan would have a good effect on
the country--in particular the Shamkhál.

"The Shamkhal is an Asiatic," interrupted Alexéi Petróvitch;
"he would be delighted that this heir to the Shamkhalát should be
sent to the Elysian fields. Besides, I care very little to guess or
gratify the wishes of his kinsmen."

I saw that the commander-in-chief began to waver, and I urged him
more pressingly. "Let me serve for three years," said I; "do not
give me leave of absence this year--only have mercy on this young man.
He is young, and Russia may find in him a faithful servant.
Generosity is never thrown away."

Alexéi Petróvitch shook his head.

"I have made many ungrateful," said he, "already; but be it so. I
pardon him, and not by halves--that is not my way. I thank you for
having helped me to be merciful, not to say weak. Only remember my
words: You wish to take him to yourself--do not trust him; do not
warm a serpent in your bosom."

I was so delighted with my success, that, hastily quitting the
commander-in-chief, I ran to the tent in which Ammalát Bek was
confined. Three sentinels were guarding him; a lantern was burning
in the midst. I entered; the prisoner was lying wrapped up in his
boúrka, and tears were sparkling on his face. He did not hear my
entrance, so profoundly was he buried in thought. To whom is it
pleasant to part with life? I was rejoiced that I brought comfort to
him at so melancholy a moment.

"Ammalát," said I, "Allah is great, and the Sardár is merciful; he
has granted you your life!"

The delighted prisoner started up, and endeavoured to reply, but the
breath was stifled in his breast. Immediately, however, a shade of
gloom covered his features. "Life!" he exclaimed; "I understand this
generosity! To consign a man to a breathless dungeon, without light
or air--to send him to eternal winter, to a night never illumined by
a star--to bury him alive in the bowels of the earth--to take from
him not only the power to act, not only the means of life, but even
the privilege of telling his kinsmen of his sad lot--to deny him not
only the right to complain, but even the power of murmuring his
sorrow to the wind. And this you call life! this unceasing torment
you boast of as rare generosity! Tell the General that I want
not--that I scorn--such a life."

"You are mistaken, Ammalát," I cried; "you are fully pardoned: remain
what you were, the master of your actions and possessions. There is
your sword. The commander-in-chief is sure that in future you will
unsheathe it only for the Russians. I offer you one condition; come
and live with me till the report of your actions has died away. You
shall be to be as a friend, as a brother."

This struck the Asiatic. Tears shone in his eyes. "The Russians have
conquered me," he said: "pardon me, colonel, that I thought ill of
all of you. From henceforth I am a faithful servant of the Russian
Tsar--a faithful friend to the Russians, soul and sword. My sword,
my sword!" he cried, gazing fixedly on his costly blade; "let these
tears wash from thee the Russian blood and the Tartar _naphtha_! [30]
When and how can I reward you, with my service, for liberty and life?"

[Footnote 30: The Tartars, to preserve their weapons, and to produce a
black colour on them, smoke the metal, and then rub it with naphtha.]

I am sure, my dear Maria, that you will keep me, for this, one
of your sweetest kisses. Ever, ever, when feeling or acting
generously, I console myself with the thought, "My Maria will
praise me for this!" But when is this to happen, my darling?
Fate is but a stepmother to us. Your mourning is prolonged, and
the commander-in-chief has decidedly refused me leave of absence;
nor am I much displeased, annoying as it is: my regiment is in
a bad state of discipline--indeed, as bad as can be imagined;
besides, I am charged with the construction of new barracks and
the colonization of a married company. If I were absent for a month,
every thing would go wrong. If I remain, what a sacrifice of my heart!

Here we have been at Derbénd three days. Ammalát lives with me: he
is silent, sad, and savage; but his fear is interesting, nevertheless.
He speaks Russian very well, and I have commenced teaching him to read
and write. His intelligence is unusually great. In time, I hope to
make him a most charming Tartar. (_The conclusion of the letter has
no reference to our story_.)

Fragment of another letter from Colonel Verhóffsky to his _fiancée_,
written six months after the preceding.

From Derbénd to Smolénsk.

Your favourite Ammalát, my dearest Maria, will soon be quite
Russianized. The Tartar Beks, in general, think the first step of
civilization consists in the use of the unlawful wine and pork. I,
on the contrary, have begun by re-educating the mind of Ammalát. I
show him, I prove to him, what is bad in the customs of his nation,
and what is good in those of ours; I explain to him universal and
eternal truths. I read with him, I accustom him to write, and I
remark with pleasure that he takes the deepest interest in
composition. I may say, indeed, that he is passionately fond of it;
for with him every wish, every desire, every caprice, is a
passion--an ardent and impatient passion. It is difficult for a
European to imagine, and still more difficult to understand, the
inflammability of the unruly, or rather unbridled, passions of an
Asiatic, with whom the will alone has been, since childhood, the
only limit to his desires. Our passions are like domestic animals; or,
if they are wild beasts, they are tamed, and taught to dance upon
the rope of the "conveniences," with a ring through their nostrils
and their claws cut: in the East they are free as the lion and the

It is curious to observe, on the countenance of Ammalát, the blush
with which his features are covered at the least contradiction; the
fire with which he is filled at any dispute; but as soon as he finds
that he is in the wrong, he turns pale, and seems ready to weep.
"I am in the wrong," says he; "pardon me: takhsirumdam ghitch,
(blot out my fault;) forget that I am wrong, and that you have
pardoned me." He has a good heart, but a heart always ready to be
set on fire, either by a ray of the sun or by a spark of hell.
Nature has gifted him with all that is necessary to render him a man,
as well in his moral as physical constitution; but national
prejudices, and the want of education, have done all that is
possible to disfigure and to corrupt these natural qualities. His
mind is a mixture of all sorts of inconsistencies, of the most
absurd ideas, and of the soundest thoughts: sometimes he seizes
instantly abstract propositions when they are presented to him in a
simple form, and again he will obstinately oppose the plainest and
most evident truths: because the former are quite new to him, and
the latter are obscured by previous prejudices and impressions. I
begin to fancy that it is easier to build a new edifice than to
reconstruct an old one.

But how happens it that Ammalát is melancholy and absent? He makes
great progress in every thing that does not require an attentive and
continuous reflection, and a gradual development; but when the
matter involves remote consequences, his mind resembles a short
fire-arm, which sends its charge quickly, direct, and strongly, but
not to any distance. Is this a defect of his mind? or is it that his
attention is entirely occupied with something else? ... For a man of
twenty-three, however, it is easy to imagine the cause. Sometimes he
appears to be listening attentively to what I am telling him; but
when I ask for his answer, he seems all abroad. Sometimes I find the
tears flowing from his eyes: I address him--he neither hears nor
sees me. Last night he was restless in his sleep, and I heard the
word "seltanét--seltanét," (power, power,) frequently escape him. Is
it possible that the love of power can so torment a young heart? No,
no! another passion agitates, troubles the soul of Ammalát. Is it
for me to doubt of the symptoms of love's divine disease? He is in
love--he is passionately in love; but with whom? Oh, I will know!
Friendship is as curious as a woman.


"It is only by a naval power," says Gibbon, "that the reduction of
Yemen can be successfully attempted"--a remark, by the way, which
more than one of the ancients had made before him. All the
comparatively fertile districts in the south of Arabia, in fact, are
even more completely insulated by the deserts and barren mountains of
the interior on one side, than by the sea on the other--inasmuch as
easier access would be gained by an invader, even by the dangerous
and difficult navigation of the Red Sea, than by a march through a
region where the means of subsistence do not exist, and where the
Bedoweens, by choking or concealing the wells, might in a moment cut
off even the scanty supply of water which the country affords. This
mode of passive resistance was well understood and practised by them
as early as the time of Ælius Gallus, the first Roman general who
conceived the hope of rifling the virgin treasures popularly
believed to be buried in the inaccessible hoards of the princes of
Arabia, whose realms were long looked upon--perhaps on the principle
of _omne ignotum pro magnifico_--as a sort of indefinite and
mysterious El Dorado. [31]

[Footnote 31: "Intactis opulentior thesauris Arabum."
--_Horat. Od_. iii. 24. Pliny (_Hist. Nat_. vi. 32) more soberly
endeavours to prove the enormous accumulation of wealth which must
have taken place in Arabia, from the constant influx of the precious
metals for the purchase of their spices and other commodities, while
they bought none of the productions of other countries in return.]

These golden dreams speedily vanished as the country became more
extensively known: and though the Arab tribes of the desert between
Syria and the Euphrates acknowledged a nominal subjection to Rome,
the intercourse of the Imperial City with Yemen, or Arabia Felix,
was confined to the trade which was carried on over the Red Sea from
Egypt, and which became the channel through which not only the
spices of Arabia, but the rich products of India, and even the slaves
[32] and ivory of Eastern Africa, were supplied to the markets of
Italy. At the present day, almost the whole of the south coast of
Arabia fronting the Indian Ocean, nearly from the head of the Persian
Gulf to the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, as well as the eastern coast of
Africa, from Cape Guardafui to the entrance of the Mozambique Channel
a seaboard approaching 4000 miles in length--is more or less subject
to the Sultan of Muscat, [33] a prince whose power is almost wholly
maritime, and whose dominions nowhere extend more than thirty or forty
miles inland: while our own recent acquisition of Aden, a detached point
with which our communication can be maintained only by restraining
the command of the sea, has for the first time given an European
power (excepting the Turks, whose possessions in Arabia always
depended on Egypt) a _locus standi_ on the shores of Yemen.

[Footnote 32: This part of Africa is noticed by Arrian as famous for
the excellent quality of the slaves brought from [Greek: ta doulicha
chreissota],and it still retains its pre-eminence. The tribes in
this quarter are far superior both in personal appearance and
intellect to the negroes of Guinea.]

[Footnote 33: We have seen it somewhere stated that the Sultan has
also attempted, by means of his navy, to exercise authority on the
shores of Beloochistan; which would bring him into contact with our
own outposts at Soumeeani, &c., near the mouth of the Indus.]

The process by which we obtained this footing in Arabia was strictly
in accordance with the maxims of policy adopted by the then rulers
of British India, and which they were at the same time engaged in
carrying out, on a far more extended scale, in Affghanistan. In both
cases--perhaps from a benevolent anxiety to accommodate our
diplomacy to the primitive ideas of those with whom we had to deal--

  "the good old rule
  Sufficeth them, the simple plan
  That they should take who have the power,
  And they should keep who can"--

was assumed as the basis of our proceedings: and though the brilliant
success which for a time attended our philanthropic exertions in the
cause of good order and civilization beyond the Indus, so completely
threw into the shade the minor glories of Aden, that this latter
achievement attracted scarcely any public attention at the time of
its occurrence, its merits are quite sufficient to entitle it to a
more detailed notice than it has hitherto received in the pages of
Maga. Nor can a more opportune juncture be found than the present,
when the late events in Cabul have apparently had a marvellous
effect in opening the eyes of our statesmen, both in India and
England, to the moral and political delinquency of the system we
have so long pursued--of taking the previous owner's consent for
granted, whenever it suited our views to possess ourselves of a
fortress, island, or tract of territory, belonging to any nation not
sufficiently civilized to have had representatives at the Congress
of Vienna. Whether our repentance is to be carried the length of
universal restitution, remains to be seen; if so, it is to be hoped
that the circumstances of the capture of Aden will be duly borne in
mind. But before we proceed to detail the steps by which the British
colours came to be hoisted at this remote angle of Arabia, it will
be well to give some account of the place itself and its previous
history; since we suspect that the majority of newspaper politicians,
unless the intelligence of its capture chanced to catch their eye in
the columns of the _Times_, are to this day ignorant that such a
fortress is numbered among the possessions of the British crown.

The harbour of Aden, then, lies on the south coast of Yemen, as
nearly as possible in 12º 45' N. latitude, and 45º 10' E. longitude;
somewhat more than 100 miles east of Cape Bab-el-Mandeb, at the
entrance of the Red Sea; and about 150 miles by sea, or 120 by land,
from Mokha, [34] the nearest port within the Straits. The town was built
on the eastern side of a high rocky peninsula, about four miles in
length from E. to W., by two miles and a half N. and S.--which was
probably, at no very remote period, an island, but is now joined to
the mainland by a long low sandy isthmus, [35]  on each side of which,
to the east and west, a harbour is formed between the peninsula and
the mainland. The East Bay, immediately opposite the town, though
of comparatively small extent, is protected by the rocky islet of
Seerah, rising seaward to the height of from 400 to 600 feet, and
affords excellent anchorage at all times, except during the north-east
monsoon: but the Western or Black Bay, completely landlocked and
sheltered in great part of its extent by the high ground of its
peninsula, (which rises to an elevation of nearly 1800 feet,) runs up
inland a distance of seven miles from the headland of Jibel-Hassan,
(which protects its mouth on the west,) to the junction of the isthmus
with the main, and presents at all times a secure and magnificent
harbour, four miles wide at the entrance, and perfectly free from
rocks, shoals, and all impediments to ingress or egress. Such are the
natural advantages of Aden: and "whoever"--says Wellsted--"might have
been the founder, the site was happily selected, and well calculated
by its imposing appearance not only to display the splendour of its
edifices, but also, uniting strength with ornament, to sustain the
character which it subsequently bore, as the port and bulwark of
Arabia Felix."

[Footnote 35: This isthmus is said by Lieutenant Wellsted to be "about
200 yards in breadth:" perhaps a misprint for 1200, as a writer in the
_United Service Journal_, May 1840, calls it 1350 yards; and,
according to the plan in the papers laid before Parliament, it would
appear to be rather more than half a mile at the narrowest part, where
it is crossed by the Turkish wall.]

From the almost impregnable strength of its situation, and the
excellence of its harbour, which affords almost the only secure
shelter for shipping near the junction of the Red Sea and the Indian
Ocean, Aden has been, both in ancient and modern times, a place of
note and importance as a central point for the commerce carried on
with the East by way of Egypt. It was known to the ancients as the
Arabian emporium, and Abulfeda, in the fourteenth century, describes
it, in his Geography, as "a city on the sea-shore, within the
district of Abiyan; with a safe and capacious port, much frequented
by ships from India and China, and by merchants and men of
wealth, not only from those countries, but from Abyssinia, the
Hedjaz, &c.;" adding, however, "that it is dry and burnt up by the
sun, and so totally destitute of pasture and water, that one of the
gates is named Bab-el-Sakiyyin, or _Gate of the Water-carriers_,
for fresh water must be brought from a distance." In somewhat
later times, when the Portuguese began to effect settlements on the
coasts of Guzerat and Malabar, and to attack the Mohammedan commerce
in the Indian Seas, the port of Aden (when, with the rest of Yemen,
then paid a nominal allegiance to the Egyptian monarchy) became the
principal rendezvous for the armaments equipped by the Circassian
Sultans of Cairo in the Red Sea, in aid of their Moslem brethren,
then oppressed by those whom the Sheikh Zein-ed-deen emphatically
denounces as "a race of unclean Frank interlopers--may the curse of
Allah rest upon them and all infidels!" It was, in consequence, more
than once attacked by the famous Alboquerque, (who, in 1513, lost
2000 men before it,) and his successor Lope Soarez, but the
Portuguese never succeeded in occupying it; and the Mamluke empire
was overthrown, in 1517, by the arms of the Ottoman Sultan, Selim I.
The new masters of Egypt, however, speedily adopted the policy of
the rulers whom they had supplanted; and not contented with the
limited _suzerainté_ over the Arab chiefs of Yemen, exercised by the
Circassian monarchs, determined on bringing that country under the
direct control of the Porte, as a _point d'appui_ for the operations
to be undertaken in the Indian Ocean. With this view, the eunuch,
Soliman-Pasha, who was sent in command of a formidible squadron from
Suez, in 1538, to attempt the recapture of Dui, [36] in Guzerat, from
the Portuguese, received instructions to make himself in the first place
master of Aden, to the possession of which the Turks might reasonable
lay claim as a dependency of their newly-acquired realm of Egypt; the
seizure, however, was effected by means of base treachery. The prince,
Sheikh-Amer, of the race of the Beni-Teher, was summoned on board
the admiral's galley, and accepted the invitation without suspicion;
but he was instantly placed in confinement, and shortly afterwards
publicly hanged at the yard-arm; while the Pasha, landing his troops,
took possession of Aden in the name of Soliman the Magnificent. It
was not, however, till 1568, that the final reduction of Yemen was
accomplished, when Aden and other towns, which had fallen into the
hands of an Arab chief named Moutaher, were recaptured by a powerful
army sent from Egypt; the whole province was formally divided into
sandjaks or districts, and the seat of the beglerbeg, or supreme
pasha, fixed at Sana.

[Footnote 36: The warfare of the Ottomans in India is a curious
episode in their history, which has attracted but little notice from
European writers. The Soliman-Pasha above mentioned (called by
the Indian historians Soliman-Khan _Roomi_, or the Turk, and by the
Portuguese Solimanus Peloponnesiacus) bore a distinguished part
in those affairs; but this expedition against Diu was the last in
which he was engaged. The kingdom of Guzerat was, at that time, in
great confusion after the death of its king, Bahadur Shah, who had
been treacherously killed in an affray with the Portuguese in 1536;
and it would appear probable that the Turks, if they had succeeded
against Diu, meditated taking possession of the country.]

The domination of the Turks in Yemen did not continue much more than
sixty years after this latter epoch; the constant revolts of the
Arab tribes, and the feuds of the Turkish military chiefs, whose
distance from the seat of government placed them beyond the control
of the Porte, combined in rendering it an unprofitable possession.
The Indian trade, moreover, was permanently diverted to the route by
the Cape; and any political schemes which the Porte might at one time
have entertained in regard to India, had been extinguished by the
reunion, under the Mogul sway, of the various shattered sovereignties
of Hindostan. In 1633, [37] the Turkish troops were finally withdrawn
from the province, which then fell under the rule of the still existing
dynasty of the Imams of Sana, who claim descent from Mohammed. But the
ruins even now remaining of the fortifications and publick works
constructed in Aden by the Ottomans during their tenure of the place,
are on a scale which not only proves how fully they were aware of the
importance of the position, but gives a high idea of the energy with
which their resources were administered during the palmy days of their
power, when such vast labour and outlay were expended on the security
of an isolated stronghold at the furthest extremity of their empire.
The defences of the town, even in their present state, are the most
striking evidence now existing of the science and skill of the Turkish
engineers in former times; and, when they were entire, Aden must have
been another Gibraltar. "The lines taken for the works," says a late
observer, "evince great judgment, a good flanking fire being every
where obtained; no one place which could possibly admit of being
fortified has been omitted, and we could not do better than tread in
the steps of our predecessors. The profile is tremendous." A supply
of water (of which the peninsula had been wholly destitute) was
secured, not only by constructing numerous tanks within the walls,
and by boring numerous wells through the solid rock to a depth of
upwards of 200 feet, [38] but by carrying an aqueduct into the
town from a spring eight miles in the country, the reservoir at the
end of which was defended by a redoubt mounted with artillery. The
outposts were not less carefully strengthened than the body of the
place--a rampart with bastions (called, in the reports of the
garrison, _the Turkish Wall_) was carried along some high ground on
the isthmus from sea to sea, to guard against an attack on the land
side--the lofty rocky islet of Seerah, immediately off the town, was
covered with watchtowers and batteries--and several of those
enormous guns, with the effect of which the English became
practically acquainted at the passage of the Dardanelles in 1807,
were mounted on the summit of the precipices, to command the seaward
approach; and, when Lieutenant Wellsted was at Aden, those huge
pieces of ordnance was lying neglected on the beach; and he asked
Sultan Mahassan why he did not cut them up for the sake of the metal,
which is said to contain a considerable intermixture of silver;
"but he replied, with more feeling than could have been anticipated,
that he was unwilling to deprive Aden of the only remaining sign of
its former greatness and strength." Several of them have been sent
to England since the capture of the place, measuring from fifteen to
eighteen and a half feet in length; they are covered with ornaments
and inscriptions, stating them to have been cast in the reign of
"Soliman the son of Selim-Khan," (Soliman the Magnificent.)

[Footnote 37: Captain Haines, in the "Report upon Aden," appended to the
Parliamentary papers published on the subject, erroneously places this
even in 1730, the year in or about which, according to Niebuhr, the
Sheikh of Aden made himself independent of Sana.]

[Footnote 38: "No part of the coast of Arabia is celebrated for the
goodness of its water, with the single exception of Aden. The wells
there are 300 in number, cut mostly though the rock, ... and the tanks
were found in good order, coated inside and out with excellant chunam,
(stucco,) and merely requiring cleaning out to be again serviceable."]

At the time of its evacuation by the Turks, Aden is said,
notwithstanding the decay of its Indian trade, to have contained from
20,000 to 30,000 inhabitants; and the lofty minarets which, a few
years since, still towered above the ruins of the mosques to which
they had formerly been attached, as well as the extensive
burying-grounds, in which the turbaned headstones peculiar to the
Turks are even yet conspicuous, bear testimony, not less than the
extent and magnitude of the ruinous fortifications, to the
population and splendour of the town under the Ottomans.--(See
WELLSTED'S _Arabia_, vol. ii, chap. 19.) From the time, however, of
its return into the hands of its former owners, its decline was rapid.
Niebuhr, who visited it in the latter part of the last century, says,
that it had but little trade, as its Sheikh [39] (who had long since
shaken off his dependence on the Iman of Sana) was not on good terms
with his neighbors; and, though Sir Home Popham concluded a commercial
treaty with the uncle and predecessor of the present Sultan Mahassan,
no steps appear to have been taken in consequence of this arrangement.

[Footnote 39: The town would appear to have passed into the hands of
another tribe since Niebuhr's time, as he gives the Sheikh the surname
of _El-Foddeli_ (Futhali,) the present chief being of the Abdalli

In 1835, according to Wellsted, the inhabitants of this once
flourishing emporium did not exceed 800, the only industrious class
among whom were the Jews, who numbered from 250 to 300. The
remainder were "the descendants of Arabs, Sumaulis," (a tribe of the
African coast,) "and the offspring of slaves," who dwelt in wretched
huts, or rather tents, on the ruins of the former city. "Not more
than twenty families are now engaged in mercantile pursuits, the
rest gaining a miserable existence either by supplying the Hadj
boats with wood and water, or by fishing." The chief, Sultan Mahassan,
did not even reside in Aden, but in a town called Lahedj, about
eighteen miles distant, where he kept the treasures which his uncle,
who was a brave and politic ruler, had succeeded in amassing. He
reputation for wealth, however, and the inadequacy of his means for
defending it, drew on him the hostility of the more warlike tribes
in the vicinity; and in 1836 Aden was sacked by the Futhalis,
who not only carried off booty to the value of 30,000 dollars,
(principally the property of the Banians and the Sumauli merchants in
the port,) but compelled the Sultan to agree to an annual payment of
360 dollars; while two other tribes, the Yaffaees and the Houshibees,
took the opportunity to exhort from him a tribute of half that amount.
There can be no doubt but that, if the Arabs had been left to
themselves, this state of things would have ended in all the
contending parties being speedily swallowed up in the dominions of
Mohammed Ali, Pasha of Egypt; who, under pretence of re-asserting
the ancient rights of the Porte to the sovereignty of Yemen, had
already occupied Mokha and Taaz, and was waging war with the tribes
in the neighbouring coffee country, whom he had exasperated by the
treacherous murder of Sheikh Hussein, one of their chiefs, who,
having been inveigled by the Egyptian commander into a personal
conference, was shot dead, like the Mamlukes at Cairo, in the tent of
audience. Aden, in the natural course of things, would have been the
next step; but an unforeseen intervention deprived him of his prey.

Since the establishment of the overland communication with India
through Egypt, and the steam navigation of the Red Sea, the want had
been sensibly felt of an intermediate station between Suez and Bombay,
which might serve both as a coal depot, and, in case of necessity,
as a harbour of shelter. The position of Aden, almost exactly halfway,
would naturally have pointed it out as the sought-for haven, even
had its harbour been less admirably adapted than it is, from its
facility of entrance and depth of water close to the shore, for
steamers to run straight in, receive their fuel and water from the
quay, and proceed on their voyage without loss of time; while the
roadstead of Mokha, [40] the only other station which could possibly be
made available for the purpose, is at all times open and insecure,
and in certain points of the wind, particularly when it blows from
the south through the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, communication with
the shore is absolutely impracticable. It was clear, therefore, that
the proposed depot, if carried into effect at all, must be fixed at
Aden; and there can be little doubt that its occupation was contemplated
by the Indian government from the time of the visit of the surveying
ships to the Red Sea. A pretext was now all that was sought for, and
this was not long wanted. It was reported to the Bombay Administration
in October 1836, by Captain Haines, (then in command of the Palinurus
at Makullah) that great insecurity to navigation prevailed on both the
African and Indian shores, at the entrance of the Red Sea; and one
particular instance was adduced, in which the crew of a Muscat vessel,
wrecked on the coast near Aden, were subjected to such inordinate
extortion by Sultan Mahassan, that "the master, in anger or despair,
burned his vessel. The Bombay government could only give general
instructions, that in case of any outrage being offered to a vessel
under British colours, redress should be peremptorily demanded. But
long before these instructions were issued, and, indeed, before the
intelligence which elicited them had reached Bombay, a case, such as
they had supposed, had really occurred."--(_Corresponderce relating to
Aden_, printed in May 1839, by order of the House of Commons,
No. 49, p. 38.)

[Footnote 40: "A vessel will lie" (at Mokha) "with a whole chain on end,
topgallant masts struck, and yards braced by, without being able to
communicate with the shore; while at the same time in Aden harbour she
will lie within a few yards of the shore, in perfectly smooth water,
with the bight of her chain cable scarcely taught."--CAPTAIN HAINES'S

An Indian ship called the Derya-Dowlut, (Fortune of the Sea,) the
property of a lady of the family of the Nawab of Madras, but sailing
under British colours, was wrecked on the coast near Aden, February
20, 1837, when on her voyage from Calcutta to Jiddah, with a cargo
valued at two lacs of rupees, (L.20,000.) It would appear, from the
depositions of the survivors, that the loss of the ship was
intentional on the part of the supercargo and _nakhoda_, (or
sailing-master,) the latter of whom, however, was drowned, with
several of the crew, in attempting to get on shore in the boat. The
passengers--who had been denied help both by the officers who had
deserted them, and by the Arabs who crowded down to the beach--with
difficulty reached the land, when they were stripped, plundered, and
ill-treated by the Bedoweens, but at last escaped without any
personal injury, and made their way in miserable plight to Aden,
where they were relieved and clothed by a Sheikh, the hereditary
guardian of the tomb of Sheikh Idris, the guardian saint of the town.
The stranded ship, meanwhile, after being cleared of as much of her
cargo and stores as could be saved, was burned by direction of the
supercargo, who shortly afterwards took his departure to Jiddah,
carrying with him one-third of the rescued property, and leaving the
remainder as a waif to the Sultan of Aden. After he was gone, the
Sultan made an offer to the agent [41] of the ship to restore the
goods which had fallen to his share on a payment of ten per cent for
salvage; but this was declined, on the ground that after such a length
of time "the things on board must have been almost all lost; that he
did not require them, nor had he money to pay for them." The Sultan,
however, still refused to allow him to leave Aden till he had given
him written acquittance of all claims on account of the ship; a document
was accordingly signed, as he says, under compulsion, to the effect that
he made no claim against the Sultan, but with a full reservation of his
claim for redress from the supercargo, who had wrecked the ship and
embezzled the goods saved from her. The agent and several of the crew,
after undergoing great hardships, at last reached Mokha, and laid their
complaint before the commanders of the Company's cruisers Coote and
Palinurus. The latter vessel, under the command of Captain Haines,
immediately repaired to Aden to demand redress for the injuries thus
inflicted on English subjects, while a formal report of the case was made
to the Government at Bombay. The Sultan at first attempted to deny that
he possessed any of the goods in question, and afterwards alleged
that they had been given to him voluntarily by the supercargo; but
finding all his subterfuges unavailing, he at length gave up
merchandize and stores to the amount of nearly 8000 dollars, besides
a bond at a year's date for 4191 dollars more, in satisfaction for
the goods which had been previously sold or made away with, as well
as for the insults offered to the passengers.

[Footnote 41: This person, Syud Nooradeen, had been captain of the
vessel at the outset of the voyage; but had been deposed from the
responsible command by an order purporting to come from the merchant
who had freighted the ship, but which is now said to have been forged
by the supercargo.]

Here, in ordinary cases, the matter might have rested; for though
the conduct of this Arab chief would certainly have been
indefensible in a civilized country, the worst charge that can be
considered as fairly proved against him is that of being a receiver
of stolen goods, as the price of his connivance at the appropriation
of the rest by the supercargo--since with the wreck of the ship,
whether premeditated or not, he had certainly nothing to do--and the
outrages committed by the wild Bedoweens on the beach can scarcely be
laid to his charge. A far more atrocious insult to the British flag in
1826, when a brig from the Mauritius had been piratically seized at
Berbera, (a port on the African coast, just outside the Straits of
Bab-el-Mandeb,) and part of her crew murdered, had been expiated by
the submission of the offenders, and the repayment of the value of the
plunder by yearly instalments, (see WELLSTED'S _Arabia_, vol. ii.
chap. 18;)--whereas, in the present case, restitution, however reluctant,
had been prompt and complete. But so eager were the authorities in India
to possess themselves of the place on any terms, that even while the
above-mentioned negotiation was pending, a minute was drawn up
(Sept. 28) by the Governor of Bombay, and transmitted to the
Governor-general at Calcutta, in which, after stating that "the
establishment of a monthly communication by steam with the Red Sea,
and the formation of a flotilla of armed steamers, renders it
_absolutely necessary_ that we should have a station of our own on
the coast of Arabia, as we already have on the Persian Gulf"
--alluding to the seizure of the island of Karrack--and noticing
"the insult which has been offered to the British flag by the Sultan
of Aden," requests permission "to take possession of Cape Aden." [42]
The Governor-general, however, in his reply, (Oct. 16,) appears scarcely
of opinion that so strong a measure is warranted by the provocation,
and suggests "that satisfaction should, in the first instance, be
demanded of the Sultan. If it be granted, some _amicable arrangement_
may be made with him for the occupation of this port as a depot for
coals, and harbour for shelter. If it be refused, then further measures
may be considered." [43]

[Footnote 42: Correspondence, No. 16.]

[Footnote 43: Ibid. No. 19.]

But notwithstanding the qualified terms of the Governor-general's
reply, it appears to have been regarded by the Bombay government as
equivalent to a full permission [44] for the prosecution of the
object on which they had fixed their views: for by the despatch
of Captain Haines from Aden, (dated Jan. 20, 1838,) we find that no
sooner had he "completed the first duty on which he was sent,"
(the recovery of the cargo of the Derya-Dowlet,) than he addressed a
letter (Jan. 11) to the Sultan, to the effect that "he was empowered
by Government to form a treaty with the Sultan for the purchase of
Aden, with the land and points surrounding it," &c. &c.--that he felt
assured that the Sultan "would, in his wisdom, readily foresee the
advantages which would accrue to his country from having such an
intimate connecting link with the British"--and enclosing a rough
draft of the terms on which it was proposed that the transfer should
be effected. The Sultan appears to have been considerably _taken
aback_ at this unexpected proposition, which, it should be observed,
was not put forward as part of the atonement required for the affair
of the Derya-Dowlut--as for this, (in the words of Captain Haines,)
"satisfaction has been given by you, and our friendship is as before."
A lengthened correspondence ensued, at the rate of a letter or two
daily, till the end of January--in which the Sultan, with all the
tortuous tact of an Asiatic, endeavoured, without expressly pledging
himself on the main point, to stipulate in the first instance for
assistance, in the shape of artillery and ammunition, against the
hostile tribes in the neighbourhood, and other advantages for
himself and his family, particularly for the retention of their
jurisdiction over the _Arab_ residents in Aden: and he at last
quitted Aden for Lahedj, without absolutely concluding any thing,
but having authorized a merchant of the former place, named
Reshid-Ebn-Abdallah, to act as his agent.

[Footnote 44: "The Government of India did not, indeed, in express
words authorize us to negotiate with the Sultan for a cession to us
of the post and harbour: but they desired us to obtain the occupation
of the port as a coal depot, and that of the harbour as a place of
shelter. These words far exceed the mere establishment of a coal depot
under the auspices of the Sultan, and in fact, could not in any
practical sense, or to any beneficial purpose, be fulfilled, except
by our obtaining the occupation of that port and harbour as a matter
not of sufferance but of right."--_Minute by the Governor of Bombay_,
No. 49.]

Still every thing appeared in a fair way for adjustment; the
principal difficulty remaining to be settled being the annual sum to
be paid as an equivalent for the port-dues of Aden. The Sultan's
commissioner at first rated this source of revenue at the exorbitant
sum of 50,000 dollars!--but it was at last agreed that it should be
commuted for a yearly stipend of 8708, a mode of payment preferred
by the Sultan to the receipt of a gross sum, lest the rapacity of
his neighbours should be excited against him by so sudden an
accession of wealth: while the amount thus fixed was believed even
to exceed the actual amount of the customs. The Sultan meanwhile,
though evading the formal execution of the deed of transfer,
constantly wrote from Lahedj that the English were at liberty to
begin building in Aden as soon as they pleased--adding on more than
one occasion--"if the Turks or any other people should come and take
away the whole country by strength from me, the blame will not rest
on my shoulders."

On the 27th, however, Sultan Hamed, the eldest son and heir-apparent
of Sultan Mahassan, arrived at Aden from Lahedj, accompanied by a
_synd_ or descendant of the prophet, named Hussein, who was
represented as having come as a witness to the transaction; and
Captain Haines was invited on shore to meet them. While he was
preparing, however, to repair to the place of meeting, he received a
private intimation through the merchant already mentioned,
Reshid-Ebn-Abdallih, to the effect that the Arab chiefs had
determined on seizing his person at the interview, in order to
possess themselves of the papers connected with the proposed
transfer of Aden, (to which Sultan Hamed had from the first been
strongly opposed,) and in particular of the bond for 4191 dollars
which had been given in satisfaction for the balance of the goods in
the Derya-Dowlut. How far this imputed treachery was really meditated,
there can be, of course, no means of precisely ascertaining; and the
minute of the governor of Bombay (_Correspondence_, No. 49,) seems
to consider it doubtful; [45] but Captain Haines acted as if fully
convinced of the correctness of the intelligence which he had
received; and after reproaching Sultan Hamed with his intended
perfidy, returned first to Mokha, and afterwards (in February) to
Bombay, carrying with him the letter in which the old Sultan was
alleged to have given his consent to the cession, but leaving the
recovered goods at Aden in charge of a Banyan--a tolerably strong
proof, by the way, that the Sultan, notwithstanding the bad faith
laid to his charge, was not considered likely to appropriate them

[Footnote 45: "I am not, however, disposed to treat the matter as
one of much importance. We have no knowledge of it but from report,
and all concerned in it will solemnly deny the truth of the

The unsuccessful issue of this mission pretty clearly proved, that
notwithstanding the dread of the British power entertained by the
Abdalli chiefs, their reluctance to part with their town would not
be easily overcome by peaceable means: while the Governor-general
(then busily engaged at Simla in forwarding the preparations for the
ill-fated invasion of Affghanistan) still declined, in despite of a
renewed application from Bombay to give any special sanction to
ulterior measures--"a question on which"--in the words of the
despatch--"her Majesty's Government is rather called upon to
pronounce judgment, than the supreme government of India." The
authorities at Bombay, however, were not to be thus diverted from
the attainment of their favourite object; and in a despatch of
September 7, 1838, to the Secret Committee, (_Corresp_. No. 59,)
they announce that, "on reconsideration, they have resolved to adopt
immediate measures for attempting to obtain peaceable possession of
Aden, without waiting for the previous instructions of the
Governor-general of India:" but "as the steamer Berenice will leave
Bombay on the 8th inst.," (_the next day_,) "we have not time to
enter into a detail of the reasons which have induced us to come to
the above resolution." A notification similar to the above had been
forwarded two days previously to Lord Auckland at Simla; and a
laconic reply was received (Oct. 4) from Sir William Macnaghten,
simply to the effect that "his lordship was glad to find that, at
the present crisis of our affairs, the governor (of Bombay) in
council has resolved to resort to no other than peaceful means
for the attainment of the object in view."

In the latter part of October, accordingly, Captain Haines once more
reached Aden in the Coote, with a small party of Bombay sepoys on
board as his escort; but the aspect of affairs was by no means
favourable. The old Sultan Mahassan, worn out with age and
infirmities, had resigned the management of affairs almost entirely
to his fiery son Hamed, who, encouraged not only by his success in
baffling the former attempt, but by the smallness of the force which
had accompanied the British commissioner, [46] openly set him at
defiance, declaring that he himself, and not his father, was now the
Sultan of the Bedoweens: that his father was but an imbecile old man;
and that any promise which might have been extorted from him could
not be regarded as of any avail: and, in short, that the place
should not be given up upon any terms. In pursuance of this
denunciation, all supplies, even of wood and water, were refused to
the ship; the Banyan in charge of the Derya-Dowlut's cargo was
prohibited from giving up the goods to the English; and though the
interchange of letters was kept up as briskly as before, the
resolution of Sultan Hamed was not to be shaken by this torrent of
diplomacy: and he constantly adhered to his first expressed
position--"I wish much to be friends, and that amity was between us,
but you must not speak or write about the land of Aden again." The
English agent, however, persisted in speaking of the transfer as
already legally concluded, and out of the power of Hamed to
repudiate or annul: while, in order to give greater stringency to
his remonstrances, he gave orders for the detention of the
date-boats and other vessels which arrived off Aden, hoping to
starve the Sultan into submission, by thus at once stopping his
provisions, and cutting off his receipt of port dues. The blockade
does not seem to have been very effectual: and an overture from the
Futhali chief to aid with his tribe in an attack on the Abdallis, was
of course declined by Captain Haines.

[Footnote 46: "Their first exclamation was, 'Are the English so poor
that they can only afford to send one vessel? and is she only come to
talk? Why did they not send her before? Had they sent their men and
vessels, we would have given up; but until they do, they shall never
have the place.'"--CAPTAIN HAINES'S _Despatch_, Nov. 6, (No. 61.)]

The apparently interminable cross fire of protocols [47]  (in which both
Captain Haines and his employers appear to have luxuriated to a degree
which would have gladdened the heart of Lord Palmerston himself) was now,
however, on the point of being brought to a close. On the 20th of
November, one of the Coote's boats, while engaged in overhauling an
Arab vessel near the shore, was fired at by the Bedoweens on the beach,
and hostilities were carried on during several days, but with little
damage on either side. In most cases, it would have been considered
that blockading a port, and intercepting its supplies of provisions
constituted a sufficiently legitimate ground of warfare to justify
these reprisals: but Captain Haines, it appears, thought otherwise,
as he stigmatizes it as "a shameful and cowardly attack," and
becomes urgent with the Bombay government for a reinforcement which
might enable him to assume offensive operations with effect. Her
Majesty's ships Volage, 28, and Cruiser, 16 gun-brig, which had been
employed in some operations about the mouth of the Indus, were
accordingly ordered on this service, and sailed from Bombay December
29, accompanied by two transports conveying about 800 troops--Europeans,
sepoys, and artillerymen--under the command-in-chief of Major Baillie,
24th Bombay native infantry. The Abdalli chiefs, on the other hand,
made an effort to induce the Sultan of the Futhalis, (with whom they
held a conference during the first days of 1839, at the tomb of
Sheikh Othman near Aden, on the occasion of the payment of the annual
tribute above referred to,) to make common cause with them against
the intruders who were endeavouring to establish themselves in the
country; but the negotiation wholly failed, and the two parties
separated on not very amicable terms.

[Footnote 47: It is worthy of remark, that in a note of December 1st,
(_Corresp_. No. 81,) from the Governor of Bombay to the Sultan,
the ill treatment of the passengers of the Derya-Dowlut is again
advanced as the ground of offence, as an atonement for which the
cession of Aden is indispensable; though for this, ample satisfaction
had been admitted long since to have been given.]

It appears that the determination of the Abdallis to hold out had
been materially strengthened by the intelligence which they received
from India, (where many Arabs from this part of Yemen and the
neighbouring country of Hadramout are serving as mercenaries to the
native princes,) of the manifold distractions which beset the
Anglo-Indian government, and the armaments in course of equipment for
Affghanistan, Scinde, the Persian Gulf, &c., and which confirmed
them in the belief that no more troops could be spared from Bombay
for an attack on Aden. The stoppage of provisions by sea, however,
and the threatened hostilities of the Futhalis, caused severe
distress among the inhabitants of the town; and dissensions arose
among the chiefs themselves, as to the proportions in which (in the
event of an amicable settlement) the annual payment of 8700 dollars
should be divided among them--it being determined that Sultan
Mahassan should not have it all. An attempt was now made by the
_synds_ to effect a reconciliation; but though abundance of notes
were once more interchanged, [48] and the old Sultan came down
from Lahedj to offer his mediation, all demands for the main
object, the cession of the place, were rejected or evaded. The
negotiation consequently came to nothing, and hostilities were
resumed with more energy than before, the artillery of Aden being
directed (as was reported) by an European Turk; till, on the 16th of
January, the flotilla from Bombay, under the command of Captain Smith,
R.N., anchored in Western Bay.

[Footnote 48: In this correspondence, the phrase of--"If you will
land and enter the town, I will be upon your head," is more than once
addressed by Sultan Hamed to Captain Haines and seems to have been
understood as a menace; but we have been informed that it rather
implies, "I will be answerable for your safety--your head shall be
in my charge."]

A peremptory requisition was now sent on shore for the immediate
surrender of the town; but the answer of the Sultan was still evasive,
and, as the troops had only a few days' water on board, an immediate
landing was decided upon. On the morning of the 19th, accordingly,
the Coote, Cruiser, Volage, and the Company's armed schooner Mahi,
weighed and stood in shore, opening a heavy fire on the island of
Seerah and the batteries on the mainland, to cover the disembarkation.
The Arabs at first stood to their guns with great determination, but
their artillery was, of course, speedily silenced or dismounted by
the superior weight and rapidity of the English fire; and though the
troops were galled while in the boats by matchlocks from the shore,
both the town and the island of Seerah were carried by storm without
much difficulty. The loss of the assailants was no more than fifteen
killed and wounded--that of the Arabs more than ten times that number,
including a nephew of the Sultan and a chief of the Houshibee tribe,
who fought gallantly, and received a mortal wound; considerable
bloodshed was also occasioned by the desperate resistance made by the
prisoners taken on Seerah in the attempt to disarm them, during which
the greater part of them cut their way through their captors and got
clear off. Most of the inhabitants fled into the interior during the
assault, but speedily returned on hearing of the discipline and good
order preserved by the conquerors; and the old Sultan, on being
informed of the capture of the place, sent an apologetic letter
(Jan. 21) to Captain Haines, in which he threw all the blame on his
son Hamed, and expressed an earnest wish for a reconciliation.
Little difficulty was now experienced in conducting the negotiations,
and during the first days of February articles of pacification were
signed both with the Abdallis and the other tribes in the
neighbourhood. To secure the good-will of the Futhali chief, the
annual payment which he had received from Aden of 360 dollars, was
still guaranteed to him, as were the 8700 dollars per annum to the
Sultan of Lahedj, whose bond for 4191 dollars was further remitted
as a token of good-will.

Such were the circumstances under which Aden became part of the
colonial empire of Great Britain--and the details of which we have
taken, almost entirely, from the official accounts published by
order of Government. In whatever point of view we consider the
transaction, we think it can scarcely be denied that it reflects
little credit on the national character for even-handed justice and
fair dealing. Even if the tact and _savoir faire_, which Captain
Haines must be admitted to have displayed in an eminent degree in
the execution of his instructions, had succeeded in intimidating the
Arabs into surrendering the place without resistance, such a
proceeding would have amounted to nothing more or less than the
appropriation of the territory of a tribe not strong enough to defend
themselves, simply because it was situated conveniently for the
purposes of our own navigation: and the open force by which the
scheme was ultimately carried into effect, imparts to this act of
usurpation a character of violence still more to be regretted. The
originally-alleged provocation, the affair of the Derya-Dowlut, is
not for a moment tenable as warranting such extreme measures:--since
not only was the participation of the parties on whom the whole
responsibility was thrown, at all events extremely venial; but
satisfaction had been given, and had been admitted to have been given,
before the subject of the cession of the place was broached:--and
the Sultan constantly denied that his alleged consent to the transfer,
on which the subsequent hostilities were grounded, had ever been
intended to be so construed. It is evident, moreover, that the Arabs
would gladly have yielded to any amicable arrangement short of the
absolute cession of the town, which they regarded as disgraceful:
--the erection of a factory, which might have been fortified so as
to give us the virtual command of the place and the harbour, would
probably have met with no opposition:--and even if Aden had fallen,
as it seemed on the point of doing, into the hands of the Pasha of
Egypt, there can be little doubt that the Viceroy would have shown
himself equally ready to facilitate our intercourse with India, in
his Arabian as in his Egyptian harbours. At all events, it is
evident that the desired object of obtaining a station and coal
depot for the Indian steamers, might easily have been secured in
various ways, without running even the risk of bringing on the
British name the imputation of unnecessary violence and oppression.

Aden, however, was now, whether for right or wrong, under the British
flag; but the hostile dispositions of the Arabs, notwithstanding the
treaties entered into, were still far from subdued; and the cupidity
of these semi-barbarous tribes was still further excited by the
lavish expenditure of the new garrison, and by the exaggerated
reports of vast treasures said to be brought from India for the
repairs of the works. Among the advantages anticipated by Captain
Haines in his official report from the possession of the town,
especial stress is laid on its vicinity to the coffee and gum
districts, and the certainty, that when it was under the settled
rule of British law, the traffic in these rich products, as well as
in the gold-dust, ivory, and frankincense of the African coast,
would once more centre in its long-neglected harbour. But it was
speedily found that the insecurity of communication with the
interior opposed a serious obstacle to the realization of these
prospects--the European residents and the troops were confined
within the Turkish wall--and though the extreme heat of the climate
(which during summer averaged 90° of Fahrenheit in the shade within
a stone house) did not prove so injurious as had been expected to
European constitutions, it was found, singularly enough, to exercise
a most pernicious influence on the sepoys, who sickened and died in
alarming numbers. Aden at this period is compared, in a letter
quoted in the _Asiatic Journal_, to "the crater of Etna enlarged,
and covered with gravestones and the remains of stone huts;"
provisions were scarce, and vegetables scarcely procurable. By
degrees, however, some symptoms of reviving trade appeared and by the
end of 1839 the population had increased to 1500 souls.

The smouldering rancour with which the Arabs had all along regarded
the Frank intruders upon their soil, had by this time broken out
into open hostility; and, after some minor acts of violence, an
attack was made on the night of November 9th on the Turkish wall
across the isthmus, (which had been additionally strengthened by
redoubts and some guns,) by a body of 4000 men, collected from the
Abdallis, the Futhalis, and the other tribes in the neighbourhood.
The assailants were of course repulsed, but not without a severe
conflict, in which the Arabs engaged the defenders hand to hand
with the most determined valour--so highly had their hopes of
plunder been stimulated by the rumours of English wealth. This
daring attempt (which the Pasha of Egypt was by some suspected
to have had some share in instigating) at once placed the occupants
of Aden in a state of open warfare with all their Arab neighbours;
and the subsidies hitherto paid to the Futhali chief and the old
Sultan of Lahedj were consequently stopped--while L.100,000 were
voted by the Bombay government for repairing the fortifications,
and engineers were sent from India to put the place in an efficient
state of defence. These regular ramparts, however, even when
completed, can never be relied on as a security against the guerilla
attacks of these daring marauders, who can wade through the sea at
low water round the flanks of the Turkish wall, and scramble over
precipices to get in the rear of the outposts--and accordingly,
during 1840, the garrison had to withstand two more desperate
attempts (May 20, and July 4,) to surprise the place, both of which
were beaten off after some hard fighting, though in one instance the
attacking party succeeded in carrying off a considerable amount of
plunder from the encampment near the Turkish wall. Since that period,
it has been found necessary gradually to raise the strength of the
garrison from 800 to 4000 men, one-fourth of whom are always European
soldiers--and though no attack in force has lately been made by the
Arabs, the necessity of being constantly on the alert against their
covert approaches, renders the duties of the garrison harassing to
the last degree. Though a considerable trade now exists with the
African coast, scarcely any commercial intercourse has yet been
established with the interior of Arabia, (notwithstanding the
friendly dispositions evinced by the Iman of Sana,) the road being
barred by the hostile tribes--and a further impediment to
improvement is found in the dissensions of the civil and military
authorities of the place itself, who, pent up in a narrow space
under a broiling sun, seem to employ their energies in endless
squabbles with each other. Whatever may be the ultimate fate of this
colony, it must be allowed, to quote the candid admission of a
writer in the _United Service Journal_, that "at present we are not
occupying a very proud position in Arabia"--though considering the
means by which we obtained our footing in that peninsula, our
position is perhaps as good as we deserve.

       *       *       *       *       *




  How warms the heart when dwelling on that face,
    Those lips that mine a thousand times have prest,
  The swelling source that nurture gav'st her race,
    Where found my infant head its downiest rest!
  How in those features aim to trace my own,
    Cast in a softer mould my being see;
  Recall the voice that sooth'd my helpless moan,
    The thoughts that sprang for scarcely aught save me;
  That shaped and formed me; gave me to the day,
    Bade in her breast absorbing love arise;
  O'er me a ceaseless tender care display,
    For weak all else to thee maternal ties!
  This debt of love but One may claim; no other
  Such self-devotion boasts, save thee, my Mother!

       *       *       *       *       *




The tongue has nothing to say when the soul hath spoken all! What
need of words in the passionate and early intercourse of love! There
is no oral language that can satisfy or meet the requisitions of the
stricken heart. Speech, the worldling and the false--oftener the
dark veil than the bright mirror of man's thoughts--is banished from
the spot consecrated to purity, unselfishness, and truth. The lovely
and beloved Ellen learnt, before a syllable escaped my lips, the
secret which those lips would never have disclosed. Her innocent and
conscious cheek acknowledged instantly her quick perception, and
with maiden modesty she turned aside--not angrily, but timorous as a
bird, upon whose leafy covert the heavy fowler's foot has trod too
harshly and too suddenly. I thought of nothing then but the pain I
had inflicted, and was sensible of no feeling but that of shame and
sorrow for my fault. We walked on in silence. Our road brought us to
the point in the village at which I had met Miss Fairman and her
father, when, for the first time, we became companions in our
evening walk. We retraced the path which then we took, and the
hallowed spot grew lovelier as we followed it. I could not choose
but tell how deeply and indelibly the scene of beauty had become
imprinted on my heart.

"To you, Miss Fairman," I began, "and to others who were born and
nurtured in this valley, this is a common sight. To me it is a land
of enchantment, and the impression that it brings must affect my
future being. I am sure, whatever may be my lot, that I shall be a
happier man for what I now behold."

"It is well," said my companion, "that you did not make the
acquaintance of our hills during the bleak winter, when their charms
were hidden in the snow, and they had nothing better to offer their
worshipper than rain and sleet and nipping winds. They would have
lost your praise then."

"Do you think so? Imprisoned as I have been, and kept a stranger to
the noblest works of Providence, my enjoyment is excessive, and I
dare scarcely trust myself to feel it as I would. I could gaze on
yonder sweet hillock, with its wild-flowers and its own blue patch
of sky, until I wept."

"Yes, this is a lovely scene in truth!" exclaimed Miss Fairman

"Do you remember, Miss Fairman, our first spring walk? For an hour
we went on, and that little green clump, as it appears from here,
was not for a moment out of my sight. My eyes were riveted upon it,
and I watched the clouds shifting across it, changing its hue, now
darkening, now lighting it up, until it became fixed in my
remembrance, never to depart from it. We have many fair visions
around us, but that is to me the fairest. It is connected with our
evening walk. Neither can be forgotten whilst I live."

It was well that we reached the parsonage gate before another word
was spoken. In spite of the firmest of resolutions, the smallest
self-indulgence brought me to the very verge of transgression.

In the evening I sat alone, and began a letter to the minister. I
wrote a few lines expressive of my gratitude and deep sense of
obligation. They did not read well, and I destroyed them. I
recommenced. I reproached myself for presumption and temerity, and
confessed that I had taken advantage of his confidence by attempting
to gain the affections of his only child. I regretted the fault, and
desired to be dismissed. The terms which I employed, on reperusal,
looked too harsh, and did not certainly do justice to the motives by
which throughout I had been actuated; for, however violent had been
my passion, _principle_ had still protected and restrained me. I had
not coldly and _deliberately_ betrayed myself. The second writing,
not more satisfactory than the first, was, in its turn, expunged. I
attempted a third epistle, and failed. Then I put down the pen and
considered. I pondered until I concluded that I had ever been too
hasty and too violent. Miss Fairman would certainly take no notice
of what had happened, and if I were guarded--silent--and determined
for the future, all would still be well. It was madness to indulge a
passion which could only lead to my expulsion from the parsonage, and
end in misery. Had I found it so easy to obtain a home and quiet,
that both were to be so recklessly and shamefully abandoned? Surely
it was time to dwell soberly and seriously upon the affairs of life.
I had numbered years and undergone trial sufficient to be acquainted
with true policy and the line of duty. Both bade me instantly reject
the new solicitation, and pursue, with singleness of purpose, the
occupation which fortune had mercifully vouchsafed to me. All this
was specious and most just, and sounded well to the understanding
that was not less able to look temperately and calmly upon the
argument in consequence of the previous overflow of feeling. Reason
is never so plausible and prevailing as when it takes the place of
gratified passion. Never are we so firmly resolved upon good, as in
the moment that follows instantly the doing of evil. Never is
conscience louder in her complaints than when she rises from a
temporary overthrow. I had discovered every thing to Miss Fairman. I
had fatally committed myself. There was no doubt of this; and
nothing was left for present consolation but sapient resolutions for
the future. Virtuous and fixed they looked in my silent chamber and
in the silent hour of night. Morning had yet to dawn, and they had
yet to contend with the thousand incitements which our desires are
ever setting up to battle with our better judgment. I did not write
to Mr. Fairman, but I rose from my seat much comforted, and softened
my midnight pillow with the best intentions.

Fancy might have suggested to me, on the following morning, that the
eyes of Miss Fairnan had been visited but little by sleep, and that
her face was far more pallid than usual, if her parent had not
remarked, with much anxiety, when she took her place amongst us,
that she was looking most weary and unwell. Like the sudden
emanation that crimsons all the east, the beautiful and earliest
blush of morning, came the driven blood into the maiden's cheek,
telling of discovery and shame. Nothing she said in answer, but
diligently pursued her occupation. I could perceive that the fair
hand trembled, and that the gentle bosom was disquieted. _I_ could
tell why downwards bent the head, and with what new emotions the
artless spirit had become acquainted. Instantly I saw the mischief
which my rashness had occasioned, and felt how deeply had fallen the
first accents of love into the poor heart of the secluded one. What
had I done by the short, indistinct, most inconsiderate avowal, and
how was it possible now to avert its consequences? Every tender and
uneasy glance that Mr. Fairman cast upon his cherished daughter,
passed like a sting to me, and roused the bitterest self-reproach. I
could have calmed his groundless fears, had I been bold enough to
risk his righteous indignation. The frankness and cordiality which
had ever marked my intercourse with Miss Fairman, were from this
hour suspended. Could it be otherwise with one so innocent, so
truthful, and so meek! Anger she had none, but apprehension and
conceptions strange, such as disturb the awakened soul of woman, ere
the storm of passion comes to overcharge it.

I slunk from the apartment and the first meal of the day, like a man
guilty of a heinous fault. I pleaded illness, and did not rejoin my
friends. I knew not what to do, and I passed a day in long and
feverish doubt. Evening arrived. My pupils were dismissed, and once
more I sat in my own silent room lost in anxious meditation. Suddenly
an unusual knock at the door roused me, and brought me to my feet. I
requested the visitor to enter, and Mr. Fairman himself walked slowly
in. He was pale and care-worn and he looked, as I imagined, sternly
upon me. "All is known!" was my first thought, and my throat swelled
with agitation. I presented a chair to the incumbent; and when he
sat down and turned his wan face upon me, I felt that my own cheek
was no less blanched than his. I awaited his rebuke in breathless

"You are indeed ill, Stukely," commenced Mr. Fairman, gazing
earnestly. "I was not aware of this, or I would have seen you before.
You have overworked yourself with the boys. You shall be relieved
to-morrow. I will take charge of them myself. You should not have
persevered when you found your strength unequal to the task. A
little repose will, I trust, restore you."

With every animating syllable, the affrighted blood returned again,
and I gained confidence. His tones assured me that he was still in
ignorance. A load was taken from me.

"I shall be better in the morning, sir," I answered. "Do not think
seriously of the slightest indisposition. I am better now."

"I am rejoiced to hear it," answered the incumbent. "I am full of
alarm and wretchedness to-day. Did you observe my daughter this
morning, Stukely?"

"Yes, sir," I faltered.

"You did at breakfast, but you have not seen her since. I wish you
had. I am sick at heart."

"Is she unwell, sir?"

"Do you know what consumption is? Have you ever watched its fearful


"I thought you might have done so. It is a fearful disease, and
leaves hardly a family untouched. Did she not look ill?--you can
tell me that, at least."

"Not quite so well, perhaps, as I have seen her, sir; but I should

"Eh--what, not very ill, then? Well, that is strange, for I was
frightened by her. What can it be? I wish that Mayhew had called in.
Every ailment fills me with terror. I always think of her dear mother.
Three months before her death, she sat with me, as we do here
together, well and strong, and thanking Providence for health and
strength. She withered, as it might be from that hour, and, as I
tell you, three short months of havoc brought her to the grave."

"Was she young, sir?"

"A few years older than my child--but that is nothing. Did you say
you did not think her looks this morning indicated any symptoms?
Oh--no! I recollect. You never saw the malady at work. Well,
certainly she does not cough as her poor mother did. Did it look
like languor, think you?"

"The loss of rest might"--

"Yes, it might, and perhaps it is nothing worse. I know Mayhew
thinks lightly of these temporary shadows; but I do not believe he
has ever seen her so thoroughly feeble and depressed as she appears
to-day. She is very pale, but I was glad to find her face free from
all flush whatever. That is comforting. Let us hope the best. How do
the boys advance? What opinion have you formed of the lad Charlton?"

"He is a dull, good-hearted boy, sir. Willing to learn, with little
ability to help him on. Most difficult of treatment. His tears lie
near the surface. At times it seems that the simplest terms are
beyond his understanding, and then the gentlest reproof opens the
flood-gate, and submerges his faculties for the day."

"Be tender and cautious, Stukely, with that child. He is a sapling
that will not bear the rough wind. Let him learn what he will--rest
assured, it is all he can. His eagerness to learn will never fall
short of your's to teach. He must be kindly encouraged, not frowned
upon in his reverses; for who fights so hard against them, or
deplores them more deeply than himself? Poor, weak child, he is his
own chastiser."

"I will take care, sir."

"Have you seen this coming on, Stukely?"

"With Charlton, sir?"

"No. Miss Fairman's indisposition. For many weeks she has certainly
improved in health. I have remarked it, and I was taken by surprise
this morning. I should be easier had Mayhew seen her."

"Let me fetch him in the morning, sir. His presence will relieve you.
I will start early--and bring him with me."

"Well, if you are better, but certainly not otherwise. I confess I
should be pleased to talk with him. But do not rise too early. Get
your breakfast first. I will take the boys until you come back."

This had been the object of the anxious father's visit. As soon as I
had undertaken to meet his wish, he became more tranquil. My mission
was to be kept a secret. The reason why a servant had not been
employed, was the fear of causing alarm in the beloved patient.
Before Mr. Fairman left me, I was more than half persuaded that I
myself had mistaken the cause of his daughter's suffering; so
agreeable is it, even against conviction, to discharge ourselves of

The residence of Dr. Mayhew was about four miles distant from our
village. It was a fine brick house, as old as the oaks which stood
before it, conferring upon a few acres of grass land the right to be
regarded as a park. The interior of the house was as substantial as
the outside; both were as solid as the good doctor himself. He was a
man of independent property, a member of the University of Oxford,
and a great stickler for old observances. He received a fee from
every man who was able to pay him for his services; and the poor
might always receive at his door, at the cost of application only,
medical advice and physic, and a few commodities much more
acceptable than either. He kept a good establishment, in the most
interesting portion of which dwelt three decaying creatures, the
youngest fourscore years of age and more. They were an entail from
his grandfather, and had faithfully served that ancestor for many
years as coachman, housekeeper, and butler. The father of Dr. Mayhew
had availed himself of their integrity and experience until Time
robbed them of the latter, and rendered the former a useless ornament;
and dying, he bequeathed them, with the house and lands, to their
present friend and patron. There they sat in their own hall, royal
servants every one, hanging to life by one small thread, which when
it breaks for one must break for all. They had little interest in
the present world, to which the daily visit of the doctor, and that
alone, connected them. He never failed to pay it. Unconscious of all
else, they never failed to look for it.

The village clock struck eleven as I walked up the avenue that
conducted to the house. The day was intensely hot, and at that early
hour the fierce fire of the sun had rendered the atmosphere sweltry
and oppressive. I knocked many times before I could obtain admittance,
and, at last, the door was opened by a ragged urchin about twelve
years of age, looking more like the son of a thief or a gypsy than a
juvenile member of the decent household.

"Is Dr. Mayhew at home?" I asked.

"Oh, I don't know!" he answered surlily; "you had better come and see;"
and therewith he turned upon his heel, and tramped heavily down the
kitchen stairs. For a few seconds I remained where I was. At length,
hearing no voices in the house, and finding that no one was likely
to come to me, I followed him. At the bottom of the stairs was a
long passage leading to the offices. It was very dark, or it was
rendered so to me who had just left the glare of noonday. At the end
of it, however, a small lamp glimmered, and under its feeble help I
advanced. Arriving at its extremity, I was stopped by the hum of many
voices that proceeded from a chamber on the right. Here I knocked
immediately. The voice of Dr. Mayhew desired me to enter. The door
was opened the moment afterwards, and then I beheld the doctor
himself and every servant of the house assembled in a crowd. The
little boy who had given me admission was in the group; and in the
very centre of all, sitting upright in a chair, was the strangest
apparition of a man that I have ever gazed upon, before or since. The
object that attracted, and at the same time repelled, my notice, was
a creature whose age no living man could possibly determine. He was
at least six feet high, with raven hair, and a complexion sallow as
the sear leaf. Look at his figure, then mark the absence of a single
wrinkle, and you judge him for a youth. Observe again: look at the
emaciated face; note the jet-black eye, deeply-sunken, and void of
all fire and life; the crushed, the vacant, and forlorn expression;
the aquiline nose, prominent as an eagle's, from which the parchment
skin is drawn as rigidly as though it were a dead man's skin,
bloodless and inert. The wear and tear, the buffeting and misery of
seventy years are there. Seventy!--yea, twice seventy years of mortal
agony and suffering could hardly leave a deeper impress. He is
strangely clad. He is in rags. The remnants of fine clothes are
dropping from his shrunken body. His hand is white and small. Upon
the largest finger he wears a ring--once, no doubt, before his hand
had shrivelled up--the property and ornament of the smallest. It is
a sparkling diamond, and it glistens as his own black eye should, if
it be true that he is old only in mental misery and pain. There is
no sign of thought or feeling in his look. His eye falls on no one,
but seems to pass beyond the lookers-on, and to rest on space. The
company are far more agitated. A few minutes before my arrival the
strange object had been found, with the boy whom I had first seen,
wandering in the garden. He was apprehended for a thief, brought
into the house, and not until Dr. Mayhew had been summoned, had it
been suspected that the poor creature was an idiot. Commiseration
then took the place of anger quickly, and all was anxiety and desire
to know whence he had come, who he might be, and what his business
was. He could not speak for himself, and the answers of the boy had
been unsatisfactory and vague. When I entered the room, the doctor
gave me a slight recognition, and proceeded at once to a further
examination of the stripling.

"Where did you pick him up, Sir?" enquired the Doctor.

"Mother sent me out a-begging with him," answered the gypsy boy.

"Who is your mother?"


"Mabel what?"

"Mabel nothing."

"Where does she live, then?"

"She doesn't live nowhere. She's a tramper."

"Where is she now?"

"How can I tell? We shall pick up somewhere. Let me go, and take
Silly Billy with me. I shall get such a licking if I don't."

"Is his name Billy?"

"No, Silly Billy, all then chaps as is fools are called Silly Billy.
You know that, don't you? Oh, I say, do let's go now, there's good

"Wait a moment, boy--not so fast. How long have you been acquainted
with this unfortunate?"

"What, Silly Billy? Oh, we ain't very old friends! I only see'd him
yesterday. He came up quite unawares to our camp whilst we were
grubbing. He seemed very hungry, so mother gave him summut, and made
him up a bed--and she means to have him. So she sent me out this
morning a-begging with him, and told me she'd break every gallows
bone I'd got, if I did not bring him back safe. I say, now I have
told all, let us go--there's a good gentleman! I'm quite glad he is
going to live with us. It's so lucky to have a Silly Billy."

"How is it, you young rascal, you didn't tell me all this before?
What do you mean by it?

"Why, it isn't no business of your'n. Let us go, will you?"

"Strange," said Doctor Mayhew, turning to his butler--"Strange, that
they should leave that ring upon his finger--valuable as it looks."

"Oh, you try it on, that's all! Catch mother leaving that there, if
she could get it off. She tried hard enough, I can tell you and I
thought he'd just have bitten her hand off. Wasn't he savage neither,
oh cry! She won't try at it again in a hurry. She says it serves her
right, for no luck comes of robbing a Silly Billy."

The servants, who betrayed a few minutes before great anxiety and
apprehension, were perfectly overcome by this humorous sally, and
burst, with on accord, into the loudest laughter. The generally
jocose doctor, however, looked particularly serious, and kept his
eye upon the poor idiot with an expression of deep pity. "Will he
not speak?" he asked, still marking his unhappy countenance bereft of
every sign of sensibility.

"He won't say not nuffin," said the boy, in a tone which he hoped
would settle the business; "You have no right to keep us. Let us go."

"Leave me with these persons," said the Doctor, turning to the
servants. "We will see if the tongue of this wretched be really tied.
Go, all of you."

In an instant the room was left to Doctor Mayhew and myself--the
idiot and his keeper.

"What is your name, my man?" enquired the physician in a soothing
tone. "Do not be frightened. Nobody will hurt you here. We are all
your very good friends. Tell me now, what is your name?"

The questioner took the poor fellow at the same time by the hand, and
pressed it kindly. The latter then looked round the room with a
vacant stare, and sighed profoundly.

"Tell me your name," continued the Doctor, encouraged by the movement.
The lips of the afflicted man unclosed. His brick-red tongue
attempted to moisten them. Fixing his expressionless eyes upon the
doctor, he answered, in a hollow voice, "_Belton_."

"Well, I never!" exclaimed the boy. "Them Silly Billies is the
deceitfulest chaps as is. He made out to mother that he couldn't
speak a word."

"Take care what you are about, boy," said Doctor Mayhew sternly.
"I tell you that I suspect you." Turning to the idiot, he proceeded.
"And where do you come from?"

The lips opened again, and the same hollow voice again answered,

"Yes, I understand--that is your name--but whither do you wish to go?"

"_Belton_," said the man.

"Strange!" ejaculated the Doctor. "How old are you?"

"_Belton_," repeated the simple creature, more earnestly than ever.

"I am puzzled," exclaimed Mr. Mayhew, releasing the hand of the idiot,
and standing for a few seconds in suspense. "However," he continued,
"upon one thing I am resolved. The man shall be left here, and in my
care. I will be responsible for his safety until something is done
for him. We shall certainly get intelligence. He has escaped from an
asylum--I have not the slightest doubt of it--and we shall be able,
after a few days, to restore him. As for you, sir," he added,
addressing the young gypsy, "make the best of your way to your mother,
and be thankful that you have come so well off--fly."

The boy began to remonstrate, upon which the doctor began to talk of
the cage and the horsepond. The former then evinced his good sense
by listening to reason, and by selecting, as many a wiser man has
done before him--the smaller of two necessary evils. He departed,
not expressing himself in the most elegant terms that might have
been applied to a leave-taking.

The benevolent physician soon made arrangements for the comfort of
his charge. He was immediately placed in a bath, supplied with food,
and dressed in decent clothing. He submitted at once to his treatment,
and permitted his attendant to do what he would with him, taking,
all the while, especial care to feel the diamond ring safe and
secure under the palm of his own hand. A room was given to him and
Robin, the gardener's son, who was forthwith installed his guardian,
with strict directions not to leave the patient for an instant by
himself. When Dr. Mayhew had seen every thing that could be done
properly executed, he turned cheerfully to me, and bade me follow
him to his library.

"His clothes have been good," muttered the doctor to himself, as he
sat down. "Diamond ring! He is a gentleman, or has been one. Curious
business! Well, we shall have him advertised all round the country
in a day or two. Meanwhile here he is, and will be safe. That
trouble is over. Now, Stukely, what brings you so early? Any thing
wrong at home? Fairman in the dumps again; fidgety and restless, eh?"

I told my errand.

"Ah, I thought so! There's nothing the matter there, sir. She is
well enough now, and will continue so, if her father doesn't
frighten her into sickness, which he may do. I tell you what, I must
get little puss a husband, and take her from him. That will save her.
I have my eye upon a handsome fellow--Hollo, sir, what's the matter
with you! Just look at your face in that glass. It is as red as fire."

"The weather, sir, is"--

"Oh, is it? You mean to say, then, that you are acquainted with the
influences of the weather. That is just the thing, for you can help
me to a few facts for the little treatise on climate which I have
got now in hand. Well, go on, my friend. You were saying that the
weather is--is what?"

"It is very hot, sir," I answered, dreadfully annoyed.

"Well, so it is; that's very true but not original. I have heard the
same remark at least six times this morning. I say, Master Stukely,
you haven't been casting sheep's-eyes in that sweet quarter, have you?
Haven't, perhaps, been giving the young lady instruction as well as
the boys--eh?"

"I do not understand, sir," I struggled to say with coolness.

"Oh, very well!" answered Dr. Mayhew dryly. "That's very unfortunate
too, for," continued he, taking out his watch, "I haven't time to
explain myself just now. I have an appointment four miles away in
half an hour's time. I am late as it is. Williams will get you some
lunch. Tell Fairman I shall see him before night. Make yourself
perfectly at home, and don't hurry. But excuse me; this affair has
made me quite behindhand."

The Doctor took a few papers and a book from the table, and before I
had time to reply, vanished, much to my relief and satisfaction. My
journey homeward was not a happy one. I felt alarm and agitation,
and the beautiful scenery failed to remove or temper them. My
heart's dear secret had been once more discovered. Rumour could not
omit to convey it speedily to the minister himself. In two
directions the flame had now power to advance and spread; and if the
old villager remained faithful, what reason had I to hope that
Dr. Mayhew would not immediately expose me--yes, must not regard it
as his business and duty so to do? Yet one thing was certain. The
secret, such as it had become, might, for all practical purposes, be
known to the whole world, for unquestionably the shallowest observer
was at present able to detect it. The old woman in the village, aged
and ignorant as she was, had been skilful enough to discover it when
I spoke. The doctor had gathered it from my looks even before I
uttered a syllable. What was to hinder the incumbent from reading
the tale on my forehead the moment that I again stood in his presence?

Reaching the parsonage, I proceeded at once to the drawing-room,
where I expected to see the minister. No one was in the room, but a
chair was drawn to the table, and the implements of drawing were
before it. Could I not guess who had been the recent tenant of that
happy chair--who had been busy there? Forgetful of every thing but
her, I stood for a time in silent adoration of the absent one; then
I ventured to approach and gaze upon her handiwork. I shook with joy,
with ravishment, and ecstasy, when I beheld it. What was not made
known to me in that one hasty look! What golden dreams did not engage,
what blissful triumph did not elevate, what passionate delight did
not overflow my aching heart! Oh, it was true--and the blessed
intelligence came to me with a power and a reality that no language
could contain--SHE LOVED ME! she, the beloved, the good, the innocent,
and pure! Before me was the scene--the dearest to me in
life--through which we had so recently walked together, and upon
which she knew I doated, for the sake of her whose presence had
given it light and hallowed it. Why had she brought it on the paper?
Why this particular scene, and that fair hillock, but for the sake
of him who worshipped them--but that the mysterious and communicable
fire had touched her soul, and melted it? I trembled with my
happiness. There was a spot upon the paper--a tear--one sacred drop
from the immaculate fount. Why had it been shed? In joy or pain--for
whom--and wherefore? The paper was still moist--the tear still warm.
Happiest and most unfortunate of my race, I pressed it to my lips,
and kissed it passionately.

Miss Fairman entered at that moment.

She looked pale and ill. This was not a season for consideration.
Before I could speak, I saw her tottering, and about to fall. I
rushed to her and held her in my arms. She strove for recovery, and
set herself at liberty; but she wept aloud as she did so, and
covered her face with her hands. I fell upon my knees, and implored
her to forgive me.

"I have been rash and cruel, Miss Fairman, but extend to me your
pardon, and I will go for ever, and disturb your peace no more. Do
not despise me, or believe that I have deliberately interfered with
your happiness, and destroyed my own for ever. Do not hate me when I
shall see you no more."

"Leave me, Mr. Stukely, I entreat," sobbed Miss Fairman, weeping amain.
Her hand fell. I was inflamed with passion, and I became indifferent
to the claims of duty, which were drowned in the louder clamours of
love. I seized that hand and held it firm. It needed not, for the
lady sought not to withdraw it.

"I am not indifferent to you, dearest Miss Fairman," I exclaimed;
"you do not hate me--you do not despise me--I am sure you do not.
That drawing has revealed to me all that I wish or care to know. I
would rather die this moment possessed of that knowledge, than live
a monarch without it."

"Leave me, leave me, I implore you," faltered Miss Fairman.

"Yes, dearest lady, I must--I shall leave you. I can stay no longer
here. Life is valueless now. I have permitted a raging fire to
consume me. I have indulged, madly and fearfully indulged, in error.
I have struggled against the temptation. Heaven has willed that I
should not escape it. I have learnt that you love me--come what may,
I am content."

"If you regard me, Mr. Stukely, pity me, and go, now. I beg, I
entreat you to leave me."

I raised the quivering hand, and kissed it ardently. I resigned it,
and departed.

My whole youth was a succession of inconsiderate yieldings to passion,
and of hasty visitings of remorse. It is not a matter of surprise
that I hated myself for every word that I had spoken as soon as I
was again master of my conduct. It was my nature to fall into error
against conviction and my cool reason, and to experience speedily the
reaction that succeeds the commission of exorbitant crimes. In
proportion to the facility with which I erred, was the extravagance
and exaggeration with which I viewed my faults. During the
predominance of a passion, death, surrounded by its terrors, would
not have frighted me or driven me back--would not have received my
passing notice; whilst it lasted it prevailed. So, afterwards, when
all was calm and over, a crushing sense of wrong and guilt magnified
the smallest offence, until it grew into a bugbear to scare me night
and day. Leaving Miss Fairman, I rushed into the garden, preparatory
to running away from the parsonage altogether. This, in the height
of remorseful excitement, presented itself to my mind forcibly as
the necessary and only available step to adopt; but this soon came
to be regarded as open to numerous and powerful objections.

It seemed impossible that the incumbent could be kept any longer in
ignorance of the affair; and it was better--oh! how much better--for
comfort and peace of mind that he should not be. In a few hours
Dr. Mayhew would arrive, and his shrewd eye would immediately
penetrate to the very seat of his patient's disquietude. The
discovery would be communicated to her father--and what would he
think of me?--what would become of me? I grew as agitated as though
the doctor were at that moment seated with the minister--and
revealing to his astounded listener the history of my deceit and
black ingratitude. The feeling was not to be borne; and in order to
cast it off, I determined myself to be the messenger of the tale,
and to stand the brunt of his first surprise and indignation. With
the earliest conception of the idea, I ran to put it into execution.
Nor did I stop until I reached the door of his study, when the
difficulty of introducing at once so delicate a business, and the
importance of a little quiet preparation, suggested themselves,
and made me hesitate. It was however, but for a moment for
self-possession. I would argue with myself no longer. The few hours
that intervened before the arrival of the doctor were my own and if
I permitted them to pass away, my opportunity was gone for ever, and
every claim upon the kindness and forgiveness of my patron lost. I
would confess my affection, and offer him the only reparation in my
power--to quit his roof, and carry the passion with me for my
punishment and torment.

Mr. Fairman was alone. The pupils were playing on the lawn upon
which the window of the study opened. There they ran, and leaped, and
shouted, all feeling and enjoyment, without an atom of the leaden
care of life to press upon the light elastic soul; and there stood I,
young enough to be a playmate brother, separated from them and their
hearts' joyousness by the deep broad line which, once traversed, may
never be recovered, ground to the earth by suffering, trial, and
disappointment; darkness and discouragement without; misery and
self-upbraiding robbing me of peace within. My eyes caught but a
glimpse of the laughing boys before they settled on the minister,
and summoned me to my ungracious task--and it was a glimpse of a
bright and beautiful world, with which I had nothing in common, of
which I had known something, it might be ages since--but whose glory
had departed even from the memory.

"Is he here?" enquired the incumbent.

"Doctor Mahew could not accompany me, sir," I answered, "but he will
shortly come."

"Thank you, Stukely, thank you. I have good news for you. I can
afford you time to recruit and be yourself again. The lads return
home on Monday next; you shall have a month's holiday, and you shall
spend it as you will--with us, or elsewhere. If your health will be
improved by travelling, I shall be happy to provide you with the
means. I cannot afford to lose your services. You must not get ill."

"You are very kind, sir," I replied--"kinder than I deserve."

"That is a matter of opinion, Stukely. I do not think so. You have
served me faithfully and well. I consult my own interest in rewarding
you and taking care of yours."

"Yes, sir--but"--

"Well, never mind now. We will not argue on whose side the obligation
lies. It is perhaps well that we should both of us think as we do. It
is likely that we shall both perform our duty more strictly if we
strike the balance against ourselves. Go and refresh yourself. You
look tired and worn. Get a glass of wine, and cheer up. Have you
seen Miss Fairman?"

"It is concerning her, sir," I answered, trembling in every joint,
"that I desire particularly to speak to you."

"Good heaven!" exclaimed the incumbent, starting from his chair,
"what do you mean? What is the matter? What has happened? Why do you
tremble, Stukely, and look so ghastly pale? What has happened since
the morning? What ails her? Go on. Speak. Tell me at once. My poor
child--what of her?"

"Calm yourself, I implore you, sir. Miss Fairman is quite well.
Nothing has happened. Do not distress yourself. I have done very
wrong to speak so indiscreetly. Pardon me, sir. I should have known
better. She is well."

Mr. Fairman paced the room in perturbation, and held his hand upon
his heart to allay its heavy throbs.

"This is very wrong," he said--"very impious. I have thought of
nothing else this day--and this is the consequence. I have dwelt
upon the probability of calamity, until I have persuaded myself of
its actual presence--looked for woe, until I have created it. This
is not the patience and resignation which I teach; for shame, for
shame!--go to thy closet, worm--repent and pray."

Mr. Fairman resumed his seat, and hid his face for a time in his
hands. At length he spoke again.

"Proceed, Stukely. I am calm now. The thoughts and fears in which it
was most sinfull to indulge, and which accumulated in this most
anxious breast, are dissipated. What would you say? I can listen as I

"I am glad, sir, that the boys revisit their homes on Monday, and
that a month, at least, will elapse before their return to you. In
that interval, you will have an opportunity of providing them with a
teacher worthier your regard and confidence; and, if I leave you at
once, you will not be put to inconvenience."

"I do not understand you."

"I must resign my office, sir," I said with trepidation.

"Resign? Wherefore? What have I said or done?"

"Let me beg your attention, sir, whilst I attempt to explain my
motives, and to do justice to myself and you. I mentioned the name
of Miss Fairman."

"You did. Ha! Go on, sir."

"You cannot blame me, Mr. Fairman, if I tell you that, in common
with every one whose happiness it is to be acquainted with that lady,
I have not been insensible to the qualities which render her so
worthy of your love, so deserving the esteem"--I stopped.

"I am listening, sir--proceed."

"I know not how to tell you, sir, in what language to express the
growth of an attachment which has taken root in this poor heart,
increased and strengthened against every effort which I have made to
crush it."

"Sir!" uttered the incumbent in great amazement.

"Do not be angry, Mr. Fairman, until you have heard all. I confess
that I have been imprudent and rash, that I have foolishly permitted
a passion to take possession of my heart, instead of manfully
resisting its inroads; but if I have been weak, do not believe that
I have been wicked."

"Speak plainly, Stukely. What am I to understand by this?"

"That I have dared, sir, to indulge a fond, a hopeless love,
inspired by the gentlest and most innocent of her sex--that I have
striven, and striven, to forget and flee from it--that I have
failed--that I come to confess the fault, to ask your pardon, and

"Tell me one thing," asked the incumbent quickly. "Have you
communicated your sentiments to Miss Fairman?"

"I have, sir."

"Is her illness connected with that declaration?--You do not answer.
Stukely, I am deceived in you. I mistrust and doubt you. You have
_murdered_ my poor child."

"Mr. Fairman, do not, I entreat"--

"Heaven have mercy upon me for my wild uncrucified temper. I will
use no harsh terms. I retract that expression, young man. I am sorry
that I used it. Let me know what more you have to say."

The tears came to my eyes, and blinded them. I did not answer.

"Be seated, Stukely," continued the minister, in a kinder tone;
"compose yourself. I am to blame for using such a term. Forgive me
for it--I did not mean all that it conveyed. But you know how
fragile and how delicate a plant is that. You should have thought of
her and me before you gratified a passion as wild as it is idle. Now,
tell me every thing. Conceal and disguise nothing. I will listen to
your calmly, and I will be indulgent. The past is not to be recalled.
Aid me in the future, if you are generous and just."

I related all that had passed between Miss Fairman and myself--all
that had taken place in my own turbulent soul--the battlings of the
will and judgment, the determination to overcome temptation, and the
sudden and violent yielding to it. Faithful to his command, I
concealed nothing, and, at the close of all, I signified my readiness,
my wish, and my intention to depart.

"Forgive me, sir, at parting," said I, "and you shall hear no more of
the disturber of your peace."

"I do not wish that, Stukely. I am indebted to you for the candour
with which you have spoken, and the proper view which you take of
your position. I wish to hear of you, and to serve you--and I will
do it. I agree with you, that you must leave us now--yes, and at once;
and, as you say, without another interview. But I will not turn you
into the world, lad, without some provision for the present, and
good hopes for the future. I owe you much. Yes--very much. When I
consider how differently you might behave, how very seriously you
might interfere with my happiness"--as Mr. Fairman spoke, he opened
the drawer of a table, and drew a checque-book from it--"I feel that
you ought not to be a loser by your honesty. I do not offer you this
as a reward for that honesty--far from it--I would only indemnify
you--and this is my duty."

Mr. Fairman placed a draft for a hundred pounds in my hand.

"Pardon me, sir," said I, replacing it on his table. "I can take no
money. Millions could not _indemnify_ me for all that I resign.
Judge charitably, and think kindly of me, sir--and I am paid. Honour
is priceless."

"Well, but when you get to London?"--

"I am not altogether friendless. My salary is yet untouched, and will
supply my wants until I find employment."

"Which you shall not be long without, believe me, Stukely, if I have
power to get it you--and I think I have. You will tell me where I may
address my letters. I will not desert you. You shall not repent this."

"I do not, sir; and I believe I never shall. I propose to leave the
parsonage to-night, sir."

"No, to-morrow, we must have some talk. You need not see her. I
could not let you go to-night. You shall depart to-morrow, and I rely
upon your good sense and honourable feelings to avoid another meeting.
It could only increase the mischief that has already taken place, and
answer no good purpose. You must be aware of this."

"I am, sir. You shall have no reason to complain."

"I am sure of it, Stukely. You had better see about your preparations.
John will help you in any way you wish. Make use of him. There must
be many little things to do. There can be no impropriety, Stukely,
in your accepting the whole of your year's salary. You are entitled
to that. I am sorry to lose you--very--but there's no help for it. I
will come to your room this evening, and have some further
conversation. Leave me now." The incumbent was evidently much excited.
Love for his child, and apprehension for her safety, were feelings
that were, perhaps, too prominent and apparent in the good and
faithful minister of heaven; they betrayed him at times into a
self-forgetfulness, and a warmth of expression, of which he repented
heartily as soon as they occurred. Originally of a violent and
wayward disposition, it had cost the continual exercise and the
prayers of a life, to acquire evenness of temper and gentleness of
deportment, neither of which, in truth, was easily, if ever disturbed,
if not by the amiable infirmity above alluded to. He was the best of
men; but to the best, immunity from the natural weakness of
mortality is not to be vouchsafed.

Mr. Fairman was the last person whom I saw that night. He remained
with me until I retired to rest. He was the first person whom I saw
on the following morning. I do not believe that he did not rely upon
the word which I had pledged to him. I did not suppose that he
suspected my resolution, but I an convinced that he was most
restless and unhappy, from the moment that I revealed my passion to
him, until that which saw me safely deposited at the foot of the hill,
on my way to the village. So long as I remained in his house, he
could only see danger for his daughter; and with my disappearance he
counted upon her recovery and peace.

The incumbent was himself my companion from the parsonage. The
servant had already carried my trunk to the inn. At the bottom of
the hill, Mr. Fairman stopped and extended his hand.

"Fare-you-well, Stukely," said he, with emotion. "Once more, I am
obliged to you. I will never forget your conduct; you shall hear
from me."

Since the conversation of the preceding day, the incumbent had not
mentioned the name of his daughter. I had not spoken of her. I felt
it impossible to _part_ without a word.

"What did Doctor Mayhew say?" I asked.

"She is a little better, and will be soon quite well, we trust."

"That is good news. Is she composed?"

"Yes--she is better."

"One question more, sir. Does she know of my departure?"

"She does not--but she will, of course."

"Do not speak unkindly of me to her, sir. I should be sorry if she
thought ill"--

"She will respect you, Stukely, for the part which you have acted.
She must do so. You will respect yourself."

I had nothing more to say, I returned his warm pressure, and bade
him farewell.

"God bless you, lad, and prosper you! We may meet again in a happier
season; but if we do not, receive a father's thanks and gratitude.
You have behaved nobly. I feel it--believe me."

Manly and generous tears rushed to the eyes of my venerable friend,
and he could not speak. Once more he grasped my hand fervently, and
in the saddest silence that I have ever known we separated.

There was gloom around my heart, which the bright sun in heaven, that
gladdened all the land, could not penetrate or disperse; but it gave
way before a touch of true affection, which came to me as a last
memorial of the beloved scene on which I lingered.

I had hardly parted from the minister, before I perceived walking
before me, at the distance of a few yards, the youngest of the lads
who had been my pupils. At the request of the minister, I had
neither taken leave of them nor informed any one of my departure.
The lad whom I now saw was a fine spirited boy, who had strongly
attached himself to me, and shown great aptitude, as well as deep
desire, for knowledge. He knew very little when I came to him, but
great pains had enabled him to advance rapidly. The interest which
he manifested, called forth in me a corresponding disposition to
assist him; and the grateful boy, altogether overlooking his own
exertions, had over and over again expressed himself in the warmest
terms of thankfulness for my instruction, to which he insisted he
owed all that he had acquired. He was in his eleventh year, and his
heart was as kind and generous as his intellect was vigorous and
clear. I came up to him, and found him plucking the wild-flowers
from the grass as he wandered slowly along. I looked at him as I
passed, and found him weeping.

"Alfred!" I exclaimed, "What do you here so early?"

The boy burst into a fresh flow of tears, and threw himself
passionately into my arms. He sobbed piteously, and at length said--

"Do not go, sir--do not leave me! You have been so kind to me. Pray,

"What is the matter Alfred?"

"John has told me you are going, sir. He has just taken your box down.
Oh, Mr. Stukely, stay for my sake! I won't give you so much trouble
as I used to do. I'll learn my lessons better--but don't go, pray,

"You will have another teacher, Alfred, who will become as good a
friend as I am. I cannot stay. Return to the parsonage--there's a
dear boy."

"Oh, if you must go, let me walk with you a little, sir! Let me take
your hand. I shall be back in time for breakfast--pray, don't refuse
me that, sir?"

I complied with his request. He grasped my palm in both his hands,
and held it there, as though he would not part with it again. He
gave me the flowers which he had gathered, and begged me to keep
them for his sake. He repeated every kind thing which I had done for
him, not one of which he would forget, and all the names and dates
which he had got by heart, to please his tutor. He told me that it
would make him wretched, "to get up to-morrow, and remember that I
was gone;" and that he loved me better than any body, for no one had
been so indulgent, and had taken such pains to make him a good boy.
Before we reached the village, his volubility had changed the tears
to smiles. As we reached it, John appeared on his return homeward. I
gave the boy into his charge, and the cloud lowered again, and the
shower fell heavier than ever. I turned at the point at which the
hills became shut out, and there stood the boy fastened to the spot
at which I had left him.

At the door of the inn, I was surprised to find my luggage in the
custody of Dr. Mayhew's gardener. As soon as he perceived me, he
advanced a few steps with the box, and placed note in my hand. It
was addressed to me at the parsonage, and politely requested me to
wait upon the physician at my earliest convenience. No mention was
made of the object of my visit, or of the doctor's knowledge of my
altered state. The document was as short as it might be, and as
courteous. Having read it, I turned to the gardener, or to where he
had stood a moment before, with the view of questioning that
gentleman; but to my great astonishment, I perceived him about a
hundred yards before me, walking as fast as his load permitted him
towards his master's residence. I called loudly after him, but my
voice only acted as a spur, and increased his pace. My natural
impulse was to follow him, and I obeyed it.

Dr. Mayhew received me with a very cunning smile and a facetious

"Well, Master Stukely, this hot weather has been playing the deuce
with us all. Only think of little puss being attacked with your
complaint, the very day you were here suffering so much from it, and
my getting a touch myself."

I smiled.

"Yes, sir, it is very easy to laugh at the troubles of other men,
but I can tell you this is a very disagreeable epidemic. Severe
times these for maids and bachelors. I shall settle in life now,
sooner than I intended. I have fallen in love with puss my self."

I did not smile.

"To be sure, I am old enough to be her father, but so much the better
for her. No man should marry till fifty. Your young fellows of twenty
don't know their own mind--don't understand what love means--all
blaze and flash, blue fire and sky-rocket--out in a minute. Eh, what
do you say, Stukely?"

"Are you aware, sir, that I have left the parsonage?"

"To be sure I am; and a pretty kettle of fish you have made of it.
Instead of treating love as a quiet and respectable undertaking, as
I mean to treat it--instead of simmering your love down to a
gentlemanly respect and esteem, as I mean to simmer it--and waiting
patiently for the natural consequences of things, as I mean to
wait--you must, like a boy as you are, have it all out in a minute,
set the whole house by the ears, and throw yourself out of it
without rhyme or reason, or profit to any body. Now, sit down, and
tell me what you mean to do with yourself?"

"I intend to go to London, sir."

"Does your father live there?"

"I have no father, sir."

"Well--your mother?"

"She is dead, too. I have one friend there--I shall go to him until
I find occupation."

"You naughty boy! How I should like to whip you! What right had you
to give away so good a chance as you have had? You have committed a
sin, sir--yes, you may look--you have, and a very grievous one. I
speak as I think. You have been flying in the face of Providence, and
doing worse than hiding the talent which was bestowed upon you for
improvement. Do you think I should have behaved so at your age? Do
you think any man in the last generation out of a madhouse would have
done it? Here's your march of education!"

I bowed to Doctor Mayhew, and wished him good-morning.

"No, thank you, sir," answered the physician, "if I didn't mean to
say a little more to you, I shouldn't have spoken so much already. We
must talk these matters over quietly. You may as well stay a few
days with your friend in the country as run off directly to the
gentleman in London. Besides, now I have made my mind up so suddenly
to get married, I don't know soon I may be called upon to undergo
the operation--I beg the lady's pardon--the awful ceremony. I shall
want a bride's-man, and you wouldn't make a bad one by any means."

The physician rang the bell, and Williams the butler--a personage in
black, short and stout, and exceedingly well fed, as his sleek face
showed--entered the apartment.

"Will you see, Williams, that Mr. Stukely's portmanteau is taken to
his room--bed quite aired--sheets all right, eh?"

"Both baked, sir," replied Williams with a deferential but expressive
smile, which became his face remarkably well.

"Then let us have lunch, Williams, and a bottle of _the_ sherry?"

A look accompanied the request, which was not lost upon the butler.
He made a profound obeisance, and retired. At lunch the doctor
continued his theme, and represented my conduct as most blameable
and improper. He insisted that I ought to be severely punished, and
made to feel that a boy is not to indulge every foolish feeling that
rises, just as he thinks proper, but, like an inconsistent judge, he
concluded the whole of a very powerful and angry summing up, by
pronouncing upon me the verdict of an acquittal--inasmuch as he told
me to make myself as comfortable as I could in his house, and to
enjoy myself thoroughly in it for the next fortnight to come, at the
very least. It may have been that, in considering my faults as those
of the degenerate age in which I lived--which age, however, be it
known, lived afterwards to recover its character, and to be held up
as a model of propriety and virtue to the succeeding generation--the
merciful doctor was willing to merge my chastisement in that which
he bestowed daily upon the unfortunate object of his contempt and
pity, or possibly he desired to inflict no punishment at all, but
simply to perform a duty incumbent upon his years and station. Be
this as it may, certain it is that with the luncheon ended all
upbraiding and rebuke, and commenced an unreservedness of
intercourse--the basis of a generous friendship, which increased and
strengthened day by day, and ended only with the noble-hearted
doctor's life--nor then in its effects upon my character and fortune.

It was on the night of the day on which I had arrived, that Doctor
Mayhew and I were sitting in his _sanctum_; composedly and happily as
men sit whom care has given over for a moment to the profound and
stilly influences of the home and hearth. One topic of conversation
had given place easily to another, and there seemed at length little
to be said on any subject whatever, when the case of the idiot,
which my own troubles had temporarily dismissed from my mind,
suddenly occurred to me, and afforded us motive for the prolongation
of a discourse, which neither seemed desirous to bring to a close.

"What have you done with the poor fellow?" I enquired.

"Nothing," replied the physician. "We have fed him well, and his food
has done him good. He is a hundred per cent better than when he came;
but he is still surly and tongue-tied. He says nothing. He is not
known in the neighbourhood. I have directed hand-bills to be
circulated, and placards to be posted in the villages. If he is not
owned within a week, he must be given to the parish-officers. I
can't help thinking that he is a runaway lunatic, and a gentleman by
birth. Did you notice his delicate white hand, that diamond ring, and
the picture they found tied round his neck?"

"What picture, sir?"

"Did I not tell you of it? The portrait of a lovely female--an old
attachment, I suppose, that turned his brain, although I fancy
sometimes that it is his mother or sister, for there is certainly a
resemblance to himself in it. The picture is set in gold. When Robin
first discovered it, the agony of the stricken wretch was most
deplorable. He was afraid that the man would remove it, and he
screamed and implored like a true maniac. When he found that he
might keep it, he evinced the maddest pleasure, and beckoned his
keeper to notice and admire it. He pointed to the eyes, and then
groaned and wept himself; until Robin was frightened out of his wits,
and was on the point of throwing up his office altogether."

"Do you think the man may recover his reason?"

"I have no hope of it. It is a case of confirmed fatuity I believe.
If you like to see him again, you shall accompany me to-morrow when
I visit him. What a strange life is this, Stukely! What a strange
history may be that of this poor fellow whom Providence has cast at
our door! Well, poor wretch, we'll do the best we can for him. If we
cannot reach his mind, we may improve his body, and he will be then
perhaps quite as happy as the wisest of us."

The clock struck twelve as Doctor Mayhew spoke. It startled and
surprised us both. In a few minutes we separated and retired to our
several beds.

When I saw the idiot on the following day, I could perceive a marked
improvement in his appearance. The deadly pallor of his countenance
had departed; and although no healthy colour had taken its place,
the living blood seemed again in motion, restoring expression to
those wan and withered features. His coal-black eye had recovered
the faintest power of speculation, and the presence of a stranger
was now sufficient to call it into action. He was clean and properly
attired, and he sat--apart from his keeper--conscious of existence.
There was good ground, in the absence of all positive proof, for the
supposition of the doctor. A common observer would have pronounced
him well-born at a glance. Smitten as he was, and unhinged by his sad
affliction, there remained still sufficient of the external forms to
conduct to such an inference. Gracefulness still hovered about the
human ruin, discernible in the most aimless of imbecility's weak
movements, and the limbs were not those of one accustomed to the
drudgery of life. A melancholy creature truly did he look, as I gazed
upon him for a second time. He had carried his chair to a corner of
the room, and there he sat, his face half-hidden, resting upon his
breast, his knee drawn up and pressed tightly by his clasped
hands--those very hands, small and marble-white, forming a ghastful
contrast to the raven hair that fell thickly on his back. He had not
spoken since he rose. Indeed, since his first appearance, he had said
nothing but the unintelligible word which he had uttered four times
in my presence, and which Dr. Mayhew now believed to be the name of
the lady whose portrait he wore. That he could speak was certain,
and his silence was therefore the effect of obstinacy or of absolute
weakness of intellect, which forbade the smallest mental effort. I
approached him, and addressed him in accents of kindness. He raised
his head slowly, and looked piteously upon me, but in a moment again
he resumed his original position.

For the space of a week I visited the afflicted man dally, remaining
with him perhaps a couple of hours at each interview. No clue had
been discovered to his history, and the worthy physician had fixed
upon one day after another as that upon which he would relieve
himself of his trust; but the day arrived only to find him unwilling
to keep his word. The poor object himself had improved rapidly in
personal appearance, and, as far as could be ascertained from his
gestures and indistinct expressions, was sensible of his protector's
charity, and thankful for it. He now attempted to give to his keeper
the feeble aid he could afford him; he partook of his food with less
avidity, he seemed aware of what was taking place around him. On one
occasion I brought his dinner to him, and sat by whilst it was served
to him. He stared at me as though he had immediate perception of
something unusual. It was on the same day that, whilst trifling with
a piece of broken glass, he cut his hand. I closed the wound with an
adhesive plaster, and bound it up. It was the remembrance of this
act that gained for me the affection of the creature, in whom all
actions seemed dried up and dead. When, on the day that succeeded to
this incident, Robin, as was his custom, placed before the idiot his
substantial meal, the latter turned away from it offended, and would
not taste it. I was sent for. The eyes of the imbecile glistened
when I entered the apartment, and he beckoned me to him. I sat at
his side, as I had done on the day before, and he then, with a smile
of triumph, took his food on his knees, and soon devoured it. When
he had finished, and Robin had retired with the tray and implements,
the poor fellow made me draw my chair still nearer to his own. He
placed his hand upon my knee in great delight, patted it, and then
the wound which I had dressed. There was perfect folly in the mode
in which he fondled this, and yet a reasonableness which the heart
could not fail to detect and contemplate with emotion. First, he
gently stroked it, then placed his head upon it in utmost tenderness,
then hugged it in his arm and rocked it as a child, then kissed it
often with short quick kisses that could scarce be heard; courting
my observation with every change of action, making it apparent how
much he loved, what care he could bestow, upon the hand which had
won the notice and regard of his new friend and benefactor. This over,
he pointed to his breast, dallied for a time, and then drew from it
the picture which he so jealously carried there. He pressed it
between his hands, sighed heavily from his care-crazed heart, and
strove to tell his meaning in words which would not flow, in which
he knew not how to breathe the bubble-thought that danced about his
brain. Closer than ever he approached me, and, with an air which he
intended for one of confidence and great regard, he invited me to
look upon his treasure. I did so, and, to my astonishment and
terror--gazed upon the portrait of the unhappy EMMA HARRINGTON.
Gracious God! what thoughts came rushing into my mind! It was
impossible to err. I, who had passionately dwelt upon those
lineaments in all the fondness of a devoted love, until the form
became my heart's companion by day and night--I, who had watched the
teardrops falling from those eyes, in which the limner had not
failed to fix the natural sorrow that was a part of them--watched
and hung upon them in distress and agony--I, surely I, could not
mistake the faithful likeness. Who, then, was _he_ that wore it? Who
was this, now standing at my side, to turn to whom again became
immediately--sickness--horror! Who could it be but him, the miserable
parricide--the outcast--the unhappy brother--the desperately wicked
son! There was no other in the world to whom the departed penitent
could be dear; and he--oh, was it difficult to suppose that merciful
Heaven, merciful to the guiltiest, had placed between his conscience
and his horrible offence a cloud that made all dim--had rendered his
understanding powerless to comprehend a crime which reason must have
punished and aggravated endlessly My judgment was prostrated by what
I learned so suddenly and fearfully. The discovery had been
miraculous. What should I do? How proceed? How had the youth got here?
What had been his history since his flight? Whither was he wandering?
Did he know the fate of his poor sister? How had he lived? These
questions, and others, crowded into my mind one after another, and I
trembled with the violent rapidity of thought. The figure of the
unhappy girl presented itself--her words vibrated on my ears--her
last dying accents; and I felt that to me was consigned the wretched
object of her solicitude and love--that to me Providence had
directed the miserable man; yes, if only that he who had shared in
the family guilt, might behold and profit by the living witness of
the household wreck. Half forgetful of the presence of the brother,
and remembering nothing well but _her_ and her most pitiable tale,
oppressed by a hundred recollections, I pronounced her name.

"Poor, poor, much-tried Emma!" I ejaculated, gazing still upon her
image. The idiot leaped from my side at the word, and clapped his
hands, and laughed and shrieked. He ran to me again, and seized my
palm, and pressed it to his lips. His excitement was unbounded. He
could only point to the picture, endeavour to repeat the word which
I had spoken, and direct his finger to my lips beseechingly, as
though he _prayed_ to hear the sound again. Alarmed already at what
I had done, and dreading the consequences of a disclosure, because
ignorant of the effect it would produce upon the idiot, I checked
myself immediately, and spake no more. Robin returned. I contrived
to subdue by degrees the sudden ebullition, and having succeeded, I
restored the criminal to his keeper, and departed.

It was however, necessary that I should act in some way, possessed of
the information which had so strangely come to me. I desired to be
alone to collect myself, and to determine quietly. I retired to my
bedroom, endeavoured to think composedly, and to mark out the line
of duty. It was a fruitless undertaking. My mind would rest on
nothing but the tragedy in which this miserable creature held so sad
a part, and his unlooked-for resuscitation here--here, under the
roof which sheltered his sister's paramour. Whether to keep the
secret hidden in my bosom, or to communicate it to the physician,
was my duty, I could not settle now. It had been a parting injunction
of my friend Thompson to sleep upon all matters of difficulty, and
to avoid rashness above all things. Alas! I had not profited by his
counsel, nor, in my own case, recurred to it, even for a moment; but
it was different now. The fate, perhaps the life, of another was
involved in my decision; and not to act upon the good advice, not to
be temperate and cautious, would be sinful in the extreme. What, had
she been alive, would the sister have required--entreated at my hands?
And now, if the freed spirit of the injured one looked down upon the
world, what would it expect from him to whom had been committed the
forlorn and stricken wanderer? What if not justice, charity, and
mercy? "And he shall have it!" I exclaimed. "I will act on his behalf.
I will be cool and calm. I will do nothing until tomorrow, when the
excitement of this hour shall have passed away, and reason resumed
its proper influence and rule."

I rose, contented with my conclusion, and walked to the window, which
overlooked the pleasure-garden of the house. Robin and his patient
were there; the former sitting on a garden chair, and reposing
comfortably after his meal, heedless of the doings of his charge.
The latter stood immediately below the window, gazing upwards, with
the portrait as before pressed between his marble hands. He perceived
me, and screamed in triumph and delight. The keeper started up; I
vanished instantly. He surely could not have known the situation of
my room--could not have waited there and watched for my appearance.
It was impossible. Yes, I said so, and I attempted to console myself
with the assurance; but my blood curdled with a new conviction that
arose and clung to me, and would not be cast off--the certainty that,
by the utterance of one word, I had, for good or ill, linked to my
future destiny the reasonless and wretched being, who stood and
shrieked beneath the casement long after I was gone.

I joined my friend, the doctor, as usual in the evening, and learnt
from him the news of the day. He had visited his patient at the
parsonage, and he spoke favourably of her case. Although she had
been told of my absence, she was still not aware that I had quitted
the house for ever. Her father thought she was less unquiet, and
believed that in a few days all would be forgotten, and she would be
herself again. Doctor Mayhew assured me that nothing could be kinder
than the manner in which the incumbent spoke of me, and that it was
impossible for any man to feel a favour more deeply than he appeared
to appreciate the consideration which I had shown for him. The
doctor had been silent as to my actual presence in the vicinity,
which, he believed, to have mentioned, would have been to fill the
anxious father's heart with alarms and fears, which, groundless as
they were, might be productive of no little mischief. I acquiesced
in the propriety of his silence, and thanked him for his prudence.
Whilst my friend was speaking, I heard a quick and heavy footstep
on the stairs, which, causing me to start upon the instant, and
hurling sickness to my heart, clearly told, had doubt existed,
how strongly apprehension had fixed itself upon me, and how
certainly and inextricably I had become connected with the object
of my dark and irresistible conceptions. I had no longer an ear for
Doctor Mayhew, but the sense followed the footstep until it reached
the topmost stair--passed along the passage--and stopped--suddenly
at our door. Almost before it stopped, the door was knocked at
violently--quickly--loudly. Before an answer could be given, the
door itself was opened, and Robin rushed in--scared.

"What is the matter?" I exclaimed, jumping up, and dreading to hear
him tell what I felt must come--another tale of horror--another
crime--what less than _self-destruction_?

"He's gone, sir--he's gone!" roared the fellow, white as death, and
shaking like an aspen.

"Gone--how--who?" enquired the doctor.

"The madman, sir," answered Robin, opening his mouth, and raising
his eyebrows, to exhibit his own praiseworthy astonishment at the

"Go on, man," said the doctor. "What have you to say further? How
did it happen? Quick!"

"I don't know, sir. I eat something for dinner as disagreed. I have
been as sleepy as an owl ever since. We was together in his room,
and I just sot down for a minute to think what it could be as I
_had_ eaten, when I dozed off directly--and when I opened my eyes
again, not quite a minute arterwards, I couldn't find him
nowheres--and nobody can't neither, and we've been searching the
house for the last half hour."

"Foolish fellow--how long was this ago?"

"About an hour, sir."

The doctor said not another word, but taking a candle from the table,
quitted the room, and hurried down stairs. I followed him, and Robin,
almost frightened out of his wits, trod upon my heel and rubbed
against my coat, in his eagerness not to be left behind me. The
establishment was, as it is said, at sixes and sevens. All was
disorder and confusion, and hustling into the most remote corner of
the common room. Mr. Williams especially was very much unsettled. He
stood in the rear of every body else, and looked deathly white. It
was he who ejaculated something upon the sudden entrance of his
master, and was the cause of all the other ejaculations which
followed quickly from every member of the household. Doctor Mayhew
commanded order, and was not long in bringing it about. The house
was searched immediately Wherever it was supposed that the idiot
might hide himself, diligent enquiry was made; cupboards, holes,
corners, and cellars. It was in vain. He certainly had escaped. The
gardens and paddocks, and fields adjacent were scoured, and with like
success. There was no doubt of it--the idiot was gone--who could tell
whither? After two hours' unprofitable labour, Doctor Mayhew was
again in his library, very much disturbed in mind, and reproaching
himself bitterly for his procrastination. "Had I acted," said he,
"upon my first determination, this would never have happened, and my
part in the business would have been faithfully performed. As it is,
if any mischief should come to that man, I shall never cease to
blame myself, and to be considered the immediate cause of it." I made
no reply. I _could_ say nothing. His escape occurring so soon after
my identification of the unfortunate creature, had bewildered and
confounded me. I could not guess at the motive of his flight, nor
conceive a purpose to which it was likely the roused maniac would
aspire; but I was satisfied--yes, too satisfied, for to think of it
was to chill and freeze the heart's warm blood--that the revelation
of the day and his removal were in close connexion. Alas, I dared
not speak, although my fears distracted me whilst I continued dumb!
Arrangements were at last made for watching both within and without
the house during the night--messengers were dispatched to the
contiguous villages, and all that could be done for the recovery of
the runaway was attempted. It was already past twelve o'clock when
Dr. Mayhew insisted upon my retiring to rest. I did not oppose his
wish. He was ill at ease, and angry with himself. Maintaining the
silence which I had kept during the evening, I gave him my hand, and
took my leave.

I thought I should have dropped dead in the room when, lost in a deep
reverie, I opened my chamber-door, and discovered, sitting at the
table, the very man himself. _There the idiot sat_, portrait in hand,
encountering me with a look of unutterable sorrowfulness. He must
have hid himself amongst the folds of the curtains, for this room,
as well as the rest, was looked into, and its cupboards investigated.
I recoiled with sudden terror, and retreated, but the wretch clasped
his hands in agony, and implored me in gestures which could not be
mistaken, to remain. I recovered, gained confidence, and forbore.

"What do you desire with me?" I asked quickly. "Can you speak? Do you
understand me?" The unhappy man dropped on his knees, and took my
hand--cried like a beaten child--sobbed and groaned. He raised the
likeness of his sister to my eyes, and then I saw the fire sparkling
in his own lustrous orb, and the supplication bursting from it, that
was not to be resisted. He pointed to his mouth, compelled an
inarticulate sound, and looked at me again, to assure me that he had
spoken all his faculties permitted him. He waited for any answer.

Melted with pity for the bruised soul before me, I could no longer
deny him the gratification he besought.

"Emma!" I ejaculated; "Emma Harrington!"

He wept aloud, and kissed my hand, and put my arm upon his breast,
and caressed it with his own weak head. I permitted the affectionate
creature to display his childish gratitude, and then, taking him by
the wrist, I withdrew him from the room. An infant could not have
been more docile with its nurse. In another moment he was again in

It was in vain that I strove to fall asleep, and to forget the
circumstances of the day--in vain that I endeavored to carry out the
resolution which I had taken to my pillow. Gladly would I have
expelled all thought of the idiot from my mind, and risen on the
morrow, prepared by rest and sweet suspension of mental labour for
profitable deliberation. Sound as was the advice of my friend, and
anxious as I was to follow it, obedience rested not with me, and was
impossible. Should I make known the history of the man? Should I
discover his crime? This was the question that haunted my repose,
and knocked at my ears until my labouring brain ached in its
confusion. What might be the effect of a disclosure upon the future
existence of the desolate creature, should he ever recover his reason?
Must he not suffer the extreme penalty of the law? It was dreadful
to think that his life should be forfeited through, and only through,
my agency. There were reasons again equally weighty, why I should
not conceal the facts which were in my possession. How I should have
determined at length, I know not, if an argument--founded on
selfishness had not stepped in and turned the balance in favour of
the idiot. Alas, how easy is it to decide when self-interest
interposes with its intelligence and aid! Neither Mr. Fairman nor
Doctor Mayhew knew of my connexion with the unfortunate Emma
Harrington. To expose the brother would be to commit myself. I was
not yet prepared to acknowledge to the father of Miss Fairman, or to
his friend, the relation that I had borne to that poor girl. And why
not? If to divulge the secret were an act of justice, why should I
hesitate to do it on account of the incumbent, with whom I had
broken off all intercourse for ever? Ah, did I in truth believe that
our separation had been final? Or did I harbour, perhaps against
reason and conviction, a hope, a thought of future reconciliation, a
shadowy yet not weak belief that all might yet end happily, and that
fortune still might favour love! With such faint hope, and such
belief, I must have bribed myself to silence, for I left my couch
resolved to keep my secret close. Doctor Mayhew was deep in the
contemplation of a map when I joined him at the breakfast-table. He
did not take his eyes from it when I entered the apartment, and he
continued his investigations some time after I had taken my seat. He
raised his head at last, and looked hard at me, apparently without
perceiving me, and then he resumed his occupation without having
spoken a syllable: after a further study of five or ten minutes, he
shook his head, and pressed his lips, and frowned, and stroked his
chin, as though he was just arriving at the borders of a notable and
great discovery. "It will be strange indeed!" he muttered to himself.
"How can we find it out?"

I did not break the thread of cogitation.

"Well," continued Doctor Maybew, "he must leave this house, at
all events. I will run the risk of losing him no longer. I will
write this morning to the overseer. Yet I _should_ like to
know--really--it may be, after all, the case. Stukely, lad, look here.
What county is this?" he continued, placing his finger on the map.

Somerset was written in the corner of it, and accordingly I answered.

"Very well," replied the doctor. "Now, look here. Read this. What do
these letters spell?"

He pointed to some small characters, which formed evidently the name
of a village that stood upon the banks of a river of some magnitude.
I spelt them as he desired, and pronounced, certainly to my own
surprise, the word--"_Belton_."

"Just so. Well, what do you say to that? I think I have hit it.
That's the fellow's home. I never thought of that before, and I
shouldn't now, if I hadn't had occasion for the road-book. It was
the first thing that caught my eye. Now--how can we find it out?"

"It is difficult!" said I.

"It is likely enough, you see. What should bring him so far westward,
if he hadn't some object? He was either wandering from or to his home,
depend upon it, when the gypsies found him. If Belton be his home,
his frequent repetition of the word was natural enough. Eh, don't
you see it?"

"Certainly," said I.

"Very well; then, what's to be done?"

"I cannot tell," I answered.

The doctor rung the bell.

"Is Robin up yet?" he asked, when Williams came in to answer it.

"He is, sir."

"And the man?"

"Both, sir. They have just done breakfast."

"Very well, Williams, you may go. Now, follow me, Stukely," continued
the physician, the moment that the butler had departed. "I'll do it
now. I am a physiognomist, and I'll tell you in the twinkling of an
eye if we are right, You mark him well, and so will I." The doctor
seized his map and road book, and before I could speak was out of
the room. When I overtook him, he had already reached the idiot, and
dismissed Robin.

My friend commenced his operations by placing the map and book upon
the table, and closely scanning the countenance of his patient, in
order to detect and fix the smallest alteration of expression in the
coming examination. He might have spared himself the trouble. The
idiot had no eye for him. When I appeared he ran to me, and
manifested the most extravagant delight. He grasped my hand, and
drew me to his chair, and there detained me. He did not introduce
his treasure, but I could not fail to perceive that he intended to
repeat the scene of the previous day, as soon as we were again alone.
I did not wish to afford him opportunity, and I gladly complied with
the physician's request when he called upon me to interrogate the
idiot, in the terms he should employ. He had already himself applied
to the youth, but neither for himself nor his questions could he
obtain the slightest notice. The eye, the heart, and, such as it was,
the mind of the idiot, were upon his sister's friend.

"Ask him, Stukely," began the doctor, "if he has ever been in

I did so, and, in truth, the word roused from their long slumber, or
we believed they did, recollections that argued well for the
physician's theory. The idiot raised his brow, and smiled.

The doctor referred to his map, and said, whispering as before,
"Mention the river Parret."

I could not doubt that the name had been familiar to the unhappy man.
He strove to speak, and could not, but he nodded his head
affirmatively and quickly, and the expression of his features
corroborated the strong testimony.

"Now--_Belton_?" added the doctor.

I repeated the word, and then the agony of supplication which I had
witnessed once before, was re-enacted, and the shrill and incoherent
cries burst from his afflicted breast.

"I am satisfied!" exclaimed the doctor, shutting his book. "He shall
leave my house for Belton this very afternoon."

And so he did, In an hour, arrangements were in progress for his
departure, and I was his guardian and companion. Robin, as soon as
Dr. Mayhew's intention was known, refused to have any thing more to
say, either inside the house or out of it, to the _devil incarnate_,
as he was pleased to call the miserable man. If his place depended
upon his taking charge of him, he was ready to resign it. There was
not another man whom the physician seemed disposed to trust, and in
his difficulty he glanced at me. I understood his meaning. He
proceeded to express his surprise and pleasure at finding an
attachment so strong towards me on the part of the idiot. "It was
remarkable," he said--"very! And what a pity it was that he hadn't
cultivated the same regard for somebody else. A short journey
_then_, to Somerset, would have been the easiest thing in the world.
Nothing but to pop into the coach, to go to an inn on arriving in
Belton, and to make enquiries, which, no doubt, would be
satisfactorily answered in less than no time. Yes, really, it was a
hundred pities!"

The doctor looked at me again, and then I had already determined to
meet the request he was not bold to ask. I believed, equally with the
physician, from the conduct and expressions of young Harrington, that
the riddle of his present condition waited for explanation in the
village, whose name seemed like a load upon his heart, and
constituted the whole of his discourse since he had arrived amongst
us. It was there he yearned to be. It was necessary only to mention
the word to throw him into an agitation, which it took hours entirely
to dissipate. Yes, for a reason well known to him and hidden from us
all, his object, his only object as it appeared, was to be removed,
and to be conducted thither. I had but one reason for rejecting the
otherwise well sustained hypothesis of my friend. During my whole
intercourse with Emma, I had never heard her speak of Somerset or
Belton, and in her narrative no allusion was made either to the
shire or village. In what way, then, could it be so intimately
connected with her brother--whence was the origin of the hold which
this one word had taken of his shattered brain? I could not guess.
But, on the other hand, it was true that I was ignorant of his
history subsequently to the fearful death of his most sinful father.
How could I tell what new events had arisen, what fresh relations
might have sprung up, to attach and bind him to one particular spot
of ground? Urged by curiosity to discover all that yet remained to
know of his career, and more by a natural and strong desire to serve
the youth--not to desert him in the hour of his extremity--I resolved,
with the first hint of the doctor, to become myself the fellow
traveller of his _protégé_. I told him so, and the doctor shook me by
the hand, and thanked me heartily.

That very evening we were on our road, for our preparations were not
extensive. My instructions were to carry him direct to Belton, to
ascertain, if possible, from his movements the extent of his
acquaintance with the village, and to present him at all places of
resort, in the hope of having him identified. Two days were granted
for our stay. If he should be unknown, we were then to return, and
Doctor Mayhew would at once resign him to the parish. These were his
words at parting. We had no opposition in the idiot. His happiness
was perfect whilst I remained with him. He followed me eagerly
whithersoever I went, and was willing to be led, so long as I
continued guide. I took my seat in the coach, and he placed himself
at my side, trembling with joyousness, and laughing convulsively.
Once seated, he grasped my hand as usual, and did not, through the
livelong night, relinquish it altogether. A hundred affectionate
indications escaped him, and in the hour of darkness and of quiet,
it would have been easy to suppose that an innocent child was
nestling near me, _homeward bound_, and, in the fulness of its
expectant bliss, lavish of its young heartfelt endearments. Yes, it
would have been, but for other thoughts, blacker than the night
itself--how much more fearful!--which rendered every sign of
fondness a hollow, cold, and dismal mockery. Innocence! Alas, poor

In the morning the sun streamed into the coach, of which we were the
only inside passengers. Dancing and playing came the light, now here,
now there, skipping along the seat, and settling nowhere--cheerful
visitant, and to the idiot something more, for he gazed upon it, and
followed its fairy motion, lost in wonder and delight. He looked
from the coach-window, and beheld the far-spreading fields of beauty
with an eye awakened from long lethargy and inaction. He could not
gaze enough. And the voice of nature made giddy the sense of hearing
that drank intoxication from the notes of birds, the gurgling of a
brook, the rustling of a thousand leaves. His feeble powers, taken by
surprise, were vanquished by the summer's loveliness. Once, when our
coach stopped, a peasant girl approached us with a nosegay, which
she entreated me to buy. My fellow-traveller was impatient to obtain
it. I gave it to him, and, for an hour, all was neglected for the toy.
He touched the flowers one by one, viewed them attentively and
lovingly, as we do children whom we have known, and watched, and
loved from infancy--now caressing this, now smiling upon that. What
recollections did they summon in the mind of the destitute and
almost mindless creature? What pictures rose there?--pictures that
may never be excluded from the soul of man, however dim may burn the
intellectual light. His had been no happy boyhood, yet, in the
wilderness of his existence, there must have been vouchsafed to him
in mercy the few green spots that serve to attach to earth the most
afflicted and forlorn of her sad children. How natural for the
glimpses to revisit the broken heart, thus employed, thus roused and
animated by the light of heaven, rendering all things beautiful and

As we approached the village, my companion ceased to regard his
many-coloured friends with the same exclusive attention and unmixed
delight. His spirits sank--his joy fled. Clouds gathered across his
brow; he withdrew his hand from mine, and he sat for an hour,
brooding. He held the neglected nosegay before him, and plucked the
pretty leaves one by one--not conscious, I am sure, of what he did.
In a short time, every flower was destroyed, and lay in its
fragments before him. Then, as if stung by remorse for the cruel act,
or shaken by the heavy thoughts that pressed upon his brain, he
covered his pallid face, and groaned bitterly. What were those
thoughts? How connected with the resting-place towards which we were
hastening rapidly? My own anxiety became intense.

The village of Belton, situated near the mouth, and at the broadest
part of the river Parret, consisted of one long narrow street, and a
few houses scattered here and there on the small eminences which
sheltered it. The adjacent country was of the same character as that
which we had quitted--less luxuriant, perhaps, but still rich and
striking. We arrived at mid-day. I determined to alight at the inn
at which the coach put up, and to make my first enquiries there.
From the moment that we rattled along the stones that formed the
entrance to the village, an unfavourable alteration took place in my
companion. He grew excited and impatient; and his lips quivered, and
his eyes sparkled, as I had never seen them before. I was satisfied
that we had reached the object of his long desire, and that in a few
minutes the mysterious relation in which he stood to the place would
be ascertained. "He MUST be known," I continued to repeat to myself;
"the first eye that falls on him, will recognize him instantly." We
reached the inn; we alighted. The landlord and the ostler came to
the coach door, and received us with extreme civility, and the
former assisted the idiot in his eager endeavour to reach the
ground--I watched the action, expecting him to start, to speak, to
claim acquaintance--and having completed the polite intention, he
stood smiling and scraping. I looked at him, then at the idiot, and
saw at once that they were strangers. A dozen idlers stood about the
door. I waited for a recognition: none came.

Seated in the parlour of the inn, I asked to see the landlady. The
sight of the idiot caused as little emotion in her, as it had
produced in her husband. I ordered dinner for him. Whilst it was
preparing, I engaged the landlord in conversation at the door. I did
not wish to speak before young Harrington. I dared not leave him. I
enquired, first, if the face of the idiot were familiar to him. I
received for answer, that the man had never seen him in his life
before, nor had his wife.

"Do you know the name of Harrington?" said I.

"No--never heard on it," was the reply.

"Fitzjones, perhaps?"

"Many Joneses hereabouts, sir," said the landlord, "but none of that
there Christian name."

The excitement of the idiot did not abate. He would not touch his
food nor sit quietly, but he walked swiftly up and down the room,
breathing heavily, and trembling with increasing agitation. He urged
me in his own peculiar way to leave the house and walk abroad. He
pointed to the road and strove to speak. The attempt was fruitless,
and he paced the room again, wringing his hands and sighing
sorrowfully. At length I yielded to his request, and we were again
in the village, I following whithersoever he led me. He ran through
the street, like a madman as he was, bringing upon him the eyes of
every one, and outstripping me speedily. He stopped for a moment to
collect himself--looked round as though he had lost his way, and
knew not whither to proceed; then bounded off again, the hunted deer
not quicker in his flight, and instantly was out of sight. Without
the smallest hope of seeing him again, I pursued the fugitive, and,
as well as I could guess it, continued in his track. For half a mile
I traced his steps, and then I lost them. His last footmark was at
the closed gate of a good-sized dwelling house. The roof and highest
windows only of the habitation were to be discerned from the path,
and these denoted the residence of a wealthy man. He could have no
business here--no object. "He must have passed," thought I,
"upon the other side." I was about to cross the road, when I
perceived, at the distance of a few yards, a man labouring in a field.
I accosted him, and asked if he had seen the idiot.

No--he had not. He was sure that nobody had passed by him for hours.
He must have seen the man if he had come that way.

"Whose house is that?" I asked, not knowing _why_ I asked the

"What? that?" said he, pointing to the gate. "Oh, that's Squire

The name dropped like a knife upon my heart. I could not speak. I
must have fallen to the earth, if the man, seeing me grow pale as
death, had not started to his feet, and intercepted me. I trembled
with a hundred apprehensions. My throat was dry with fright, and I
thought I should have choked. What follows was like a hideous dream.
The gate was opened suddenly. JAMES TEMPLE issued from it, and
passed me like an arrow. He was appalled and terrorstricken. Behind
him--within six feet--almost upon him, yelling fearfully, was the
brother of the girl he had betrayed and ruined--his friend and
schoolfellow, the miserable Frederick Harrington. I could perceive
that he held aloft, high over his head, the portrait of his sister.
It was all I saw and could distinguish. Both shot by me. I called to
the labourer to follow; and fast as my feet could carry me, I went on.
Temple fell. Harrington was down with him. I reached the spot. The
hand of the idiot was on the chest of the seducer, and the picture
was thrust in agony before his shuddering eyes. There was a
struggle--the idiot was cast away--and Temple was once more dashing
onward. "On, on!--after him!" shrieked the idiot. They reached the
river's edge. "What now--what now?" I exclaimed, beholding them from
afar, bewildered and amazed. The water does not restrain the scared
spirit of the pursued. He rushes on, leaps in, and trusts to the
swift current. So also the pursuer, who, with one long, loud
exclamation of triumph, still with his treasure in his grasp,
springs vehemently forward, and sinks, once and for ever. And the
betrayer beats his way onward, aimless and exhausted, but still he
nears the shore. Shall he reach it? Never!

       *       *       *       *       *


To Christopher North, Esq.

SIR,--Mr. Walter Savage Landor has become a contributor to _Blackwood's
Magazine_! I stared at the announcement, and it will presently be
seen why. There is nothing extraordinary in the apparition of another
and another of this garrulous sexagenarian's "Imaginary Conversations."
They come like shadows, so depart.

  "The thing, we know, is neither new nor rare,
  But wonder how the devil it got there."

Many of your readers, ignorant or forgetful, may have asked,
"Who is Mr. Landor? We have never heard of any remarkable person of
that name, or bearing a similar one, except the two brothers Lander,
the explorers of the Niger." Mr. Walter Savage would answer,
"Not to know me argues yourself unknown." He was very angry with
Lord Byron for designating him as _a_ Mr. Landor. He thought it
should have been _the_. You ought to have forewarned such readers
that _the_ Mr. Landor, now _your_ Walter Savage, is the learned
author of an epic poem called _Gebir_, composed originally in
Egyptian hieroglyphics, then translated by him into Latin, and
thence done into English blank verse by the same hand. It is a work
of rare occurrence even in the English character, and is said to be
deeply abstruse. Some extracts from it have been buried in, or have
helped to bury, critical reviews. A copy of the Anglo-Gebir is,
however, extant in the British Museum, and is said to have so
puzzled the few philologists who have examined it, that they have
declared none but a sphinx, and that an Egyptian one, could unriddle
it. I would suggest that some Maga of the gypsies should be called
in to interpret. Our vagrant fortune-tellers are reputed to be of
Egyptian origin, and to hold converse among themselves in a very
strange and curious oriental tongue called _Gibberish_, which word,
no doubt, is a derivative from Gebir. Of the existence of the
mysterious epic, the public were made aware many years ago by the
first publication of Mr. Leigh Hunt's _Feast of the Poets_, where it
was mentioned in a note as a thing containing one good passage about
a shell, while in the text the author of _Gebir_ was called a gander,
and Mr. Southey rallied by Apollo for his simplicity in proposing
that the company should drink the gabbler's health. That pleasantry
has disappeared from Mr. Hunt's poem, though Mr. Landor has by no
means left off gabbling. Mr. Hunt is a kindly-natured man as well as
a wit, and no doubt perceived that he had been more prophetic than
he intended--Mr. Landor having, in addition to verses uncounted
unless on his own fingers, favoured the world with five thick octavo
volumes of dialogues. From the four first I have culled a few
specimens; the fifth I have not read. It is rumoured that a sixth is
in the press, with a dedication in the _issimo_ style, to Lord John
Russell, Mr. Landor's lantern having at last enabled him to detect
one honest man in the Imperial Parliament. Lord John, it seems, in
the House of Commons lately quoted something from him about a
Chinese mandarin's opinion of the English; and Mr. Landor is so
delighted that he intends to take the Russells under his protection
for ever, and not only them, but every thing within the range of
their interests. Not a cast horse, attached to a Woburn sand-cart,
shall henceforth crawl towards Bedford and Tavistock Squares, but
the grateful Walter shall swear he is a Bucephalus. You, Mr. North,
have placed the cart before the horse, in allowing Mr. Landor's
dialogue between Porson and Southey precedence of the following
between Mr. Landor and yourself.

You may object that it is a feigned colloquy, in which an
unauthorized use is made of your name. True; but all Mr. Landor's
colloquies are likewise feigned; and none is more fictitious than
one that has appeared in your pages, wherein Southey's name is used
in a manner not only unauthorized, but at which he would have

You and I must differ more widely in our notions of fair play than I
hope and believe we do, if you refuse to one whose purpose is
neither unjust nor ungenerous, as much license in your columns as
you have accorded to Mr. Landor, when it was his whim, without the
smallest provocation, to throw obloquy on the venerated author of
the _Excursion_.

                          I am, Sir, your faithful servant,
                                                   EDWARD QUILLINAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Landor_.--Good-morning, Mr. North, I hope you are well.

_North_.--I thank you, sir.--Be seated.

_Landor_.--I have called to enquire whether you have considered my
proposal, and are willing to accept my aid.

_North_.--I am almost afraid to trust you, sir. You treat the
Muses like nine-pins. Neither gods nor men find favour in your sight.
If Homer and Virgil crossed your path, you would throw stones at them.

_Landor_.--The poems attributed to Homer, were probably, in part at
least, translations. He is a better poet than Hesiod, who has, indeed,
but little merit![49] Virgil has no originality. His epic poem is a
mere echo of the Iliad, softened down in tone for the polite ears of
Augustus and his courtiers. Virgil is inferior to Tasso. Tasso's
characters are more vivid and distinct than Virgil's, and greatly
more interesting. Virgil wants genius. Mezentius is the most
heroical and pious of all the characters in the Aeneid. The Aeneid, I
affirm, is the most misshapen of epics, an epic of episodes.[50] There
are a few good passages in it. I must repeat one for the sake of
proposing an improvement.

  "Quinetiam _hyberno_ moliris sidere classem,
  Et mediis properas aquilonibus ire per altum ...
  Crudelis! quod si non arva aliena domosque
  Ignotas peteres, et Troja antiqua maneret,
  Troja per _undosum_ peteretur classibus aequor?"

If _hybernum_ were substituted for _undosum_, how incomparably more
beautiful would the sentence be for this energetic repetition? [51]

_North_.--I admire your modesty, Mr. Landor, in quoting Virgil
only to improve him; but your alteration is not an improvement. Dido,
having just complained of her lover for putting out to sea under a
wintry star, would have uttered but a graceless iteration had she in
the same breath added--if Troy yet stood, must even Troy be sought
through a wintry sea? _Undosum_ is the right epithet; it paints to
the eye the danger of the voyage, and adds force to her complaint.

_Landor_. Pshaw! You Scotchmen are no scholars. Let me proceed.
Virgil has no nature. And, by the way, his translator Dryden, too,
is greatly overrated.

_North_..--Glorious John?

_Landor_.--Glorious fiddlestick! It is insufferable that a rhymer
should be called glorious, whose only claim to notice is a clever
drinking song.

_North_.--A drinking song?

_Landor_. Yes, the thing termed an Ode for St. Cecilia's Day.

_North_.--Hegh, sir, indeed! Well, let us go on with the Ancients,
and dispatch them first. To revert to the Greeks, from whom Virgil's
imitation of the Iliad drew us aside, favour me with your opinion of

[Footnote 48: See Mr. Landor's "Imaginary Conversations."--Vol. i. p.
44, and ii. p. 322, note.]

[Footnote 50: Vol. i p. 269, 270.]

[Footnote 51: Vol. i. p. 300.]

_Landor_.--Plato is disingenuous and malicious. I fancy I have
detected him in more than one dark passage, a dagger in his hand and
a bitter sneer on his countenance.[52] He stole (from the Eyptian
priests and other sources) every idea his voluminous books convey.
[53] Plato was a thief.

_North_.--"Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief."

_Landor_.--Do you mean to insinuate that my dialogues are stolen
from Plato's?

_North_.--Certainly not, Mr. Landor; there is not the remotest
resemblance between them. Lucian and Christopher North are your
models. What do you think of Aristotle?

_Landor_.--In Plato we find only arbours and grottoes, with moss
and shell work all misplaced. Aristotle has built a solider edifice,
but has built it across the road. We must throw it down again.

_North_.--So much for philosophy. What have you to say to Xenophon
as an historian?

_Landor_.--He is not inelegant, but he is unimpassioned and
affected; [55] and he has not even preserved the coarse features of
nations and of ages in his Cyropaedia.[56]

_North_.--The dunce! But what of the Anabasis?

_Landor_.--You may set Xenophon down as a writer of graceful


_Landor_.--If I blame Herodotus, whom can I commend? His view of
history was nevertheless like that of the Asiatics, and there can be
little to instruct and please us in the actions and speeches of

_North_.--Which of the Greek tragedians do you patronise?

_Landor_.--Aeschylus is not altogether unworthy of his reputation;
he is sometimes grand, but oftener flighty and obscure.[59]

_North_.--What say you of Sophocles?

_Landor_.--He is not so good as his master, though the Athenians
thought otherwise. He is, however, occasionally sublime.

_North_.--What of Euripides? [60]

_Landor_.--He came further down into common life than Sophocles,
and he further down than Aeschylus: one would have expected the
reverse. Euripides  has but little dramatic power. His dialogue is
sometimes dull and heavy; the construction of his fable infirm and
inartificial, and if in the chorus he assumes another form, and
becomes a more elevated poet, he is still at a loss to make it serve
the interests of the piece. He appears to have written principally
for the purpose of inculcating political and moral axioms. The dogmas,
like _valets de place_, serve any master, and run to any quarter.
Even when new, they are nevertheless miserably flat and idle.

_North_.--Aristophanes ridiculed him.

_Landor_.--Yes, Aristophanes had, however, but little true wit. [61]

_North_.--That was lucky for Euripides.

_Landor_.-A more skilful archer would have pierced him through
bone and marrow, and saved him from the dogs of Archelaus.

_North_.--That story is probably an allegory, signifying that
Euripides was after all worried out of life by the curs of criticism
in his old age.

_Landor_.--As our Keats was in his youth, eh, Mr. North? A worse
fate than that of Aeschylus, who had his skull cracked by a tortoise
dropt by an eagle that mistook his bald head for a stone.

_North_.--Another fable of his inventive countrymen. He died of
brain-fever, followed by paralysis, the effect of drunkenness. He
was a jolly old toper: I am sorry for him. You just now said that
Aristophanes wanted wit. What foolish fellows then the Athenians
must have been, in the very meridian of their literature, to be so
delighted with what they mistook for wit as to decree him a crown
of olive! He has been styled the Prince of Old Comedy too. How do you
like Menander?

[Footnote 52: Vol. ii. p. 298.]

[Footnote 53: Vol. iii p. 514.]

[Footnote 54: Vol. iv. p 80.]

[Footnote 55: Vol. i. p. 233.]

[Footnote 56: Vol. ii. p. 331.]

[Footnote 57: Vol. iii. p. 35.]

[Footnote 58: Vol. ii. p. 332.]

[Footnote 59: Vol. i. pp. 299, 298, 297.]

[Footnote 60: Vol. i. p. 298.]

[Footnote 61: Vol. ii. p. 12.]

_Landor_.--We have not much of him, unless in Terence. [62] The
characters on which Menander raised his glory were trivial and

[Footnote 62: Vol. ii. p. 5. At p. 6th, Mr. Landor produces some verses
of his own "in the manner of Menander," fathers them on Andrew Marvel,
and makes Milton praise them!]

_North_.--Now that you have demolished the Greeks, let us go back
to Rome, and have another touch at the Latins. From Menander to
Terence is an easy jump. How do you esteem Terence?

_Landor_.--Every one knows that he is rather an expert translator
from the Greek than an original writer. There is more pith in Plautus.

_North_.--You like Plautus, then, and endure Terence?

_Landor_.--I tolerate both as men of some talents; but comedy is,
at the best, only a low style of literature; and the production of
such trifling stuff is work for the minor geniuses. I have never
composed a comedy.

_North_.--I see: farewell to the sock, then. Is Horace worth his

_Landor_.--There must be some salt in Horace, or he would not have
kept so well. [63] He was a shrewd observer and an easy versifier; but,
like all the pusillanimous, he was malignant.

[Footnote 63: Vol. ii. p. 249.]


_Landor_.--He was, like our own Bacon, hard-hearted and
hypocritical, [64] as to his literary merits, Caligula, the excellent
emperor and critic, (who made sundry efforts to extirpate the writings
of Homer and Virgil,) [65] spoke justly and admirably when he compared the
sentences of Seneca to lime without sand.

[Footnote 64: Vol. iv. p. 31.]

[Footnote 65: Vol. i. p. 274.]

_North_.--Perhaps, after all, you prefer the moderns?

_Landor_.--I have not said that.

_North_.--You think well of Spenser?

_Landor_.--As I do of opium: he sends me to bed [66].

[Footnote 66:
   Thee, gentle Spenser fondly led,
   But me he mostly sent to bed.--LANDOR. ]

_North_.--You concede the greatness of Milton?

_Landor_.--Yes, when he is great; but his Satan is often a thing
to be thrown out of the way among the rods and fools' caps of the
nursery [67].

[Footnote 67: Vol. i. p. 301.]

He has sometimes written very contemptibly; his lines on Hobbes,
the carrier, for example, and his versions of Psalms. [68] Milton was
never so great a regicide as when he smote King David.

[Footnote 68: Blackwood.]

_North_.--You like, at least, his hatred of kings?

_Landor_.--That is somewhat after my own heart, I own; but he does
not go far enough in his hatred of them.

_North_.--You do?

_Landor_.--I despise and abominate them. How many of them, do you
think, could name their real fathers? [69]

[Footnote 69: Vol. i. p. 61.]

_North_.--But, surely, Charles was a martyr?

_Landor_.--If so, what were those who sold [70] him?

[Footnote 70: Vol. iv. p. 283.]

Ha, ha, ha! You a Scotchman, too! However, Charles was not a martyr.
He was justly punished. To a consistent republican, the diadem
should designate the victim: all who wear it, all who offer it, all
who bow to it, should perish. Rewards should be offered for the
heads of those monsters, as for the wolves, the kites, and the vipers.
A true republican can hold no milder doctrine of polity, than that
all nations, all cities, all communities, should enter into one
great hunt, like that of the ancient Scythians at the approach of
winter, and should follow up the kingly power unrelentingly to its
perdition. [71] True republicans can see no reason why they should
not send an executioner to release a king from the prison-house of
his crimes, [72] with his family to attend him.

[Footnote 71: Vol. iv. 507.]

[Footnote 72: Vol. i. p. 73.]

In my Dialogues, I have put such sentiments into the mouth of
Diogenes, that cynic of sterling stamp, and of Aeschines, that
incorruptible orator, as suitable to the maxims of their government. [73]
To my readers, I leave the application of them to nearer interests.

[Footnote 73: Mr. Landor, with whom the Cynic is a singular favourite,
says, p. 461, vol. iii., that Diogenes was not expelled from Sinope
for having counterfeited money; that he only marked false men.
Aeschines was accused of having been bribed by Philip of Macedon.]

_North_.--But you would not yourself, in your individual character,
and in deliberate earnestness, apply them to modern times and

_Landor_.--Why not? Look at my Dialogue with De Lille. [74] What
have I said of Louis the Fourteenth, the great exemplar of kingship,
and of the treatment that he ought to have received from the English?
Deprived of all he had acquired by his treachery and violence,
unless the nation that brought him upon his knees had permitted two
traitors, Harley and St. John, to second the views of a weak woman,
and to obstruct those of policy and of England, he had been carted
to condign punishment in the _Place de Grêve_ or at Tyburn. _Such
examples are much wanted, and, as they can rarely be given, should
never be omitted_.[75]

[Footnote 74: Vol. i.]

[Footnote 75: Vol. i. p. 281.--Landor.]

_North_.--The Sans-culottes and Poissardes of the last French
revolution but three, would have raised you by acclamation to the
dignity of Decollator of the royal family of France for that brave
sentiment. But you were not at Paris, I suppose, during the reign of
the guillotine, Mr. Landor?

_Landor_.--I was not, Mr. North. But as to the king whose plethory
was cured by that sharp remedy, he, Louis the Sixteenth, was only
dragged to a fate which, if he had not experienced it, he would be
acknowledged to have deserved. [76]

[Footnote 76: Vol. ii. p. 267. This truculent sentiment the Dialogist
imputes to a Spanish liberal. He cannot fairly complain that it is here
restored to its owner. It is exactly in accordance with the sentence
quoted above in italics--a judgment pronounced by Mr. Landor in person.
--Vol. i. p. 281. It also conforms to his philosophy of regicide, as
expounded in various parts of his writings. In his preface to the first
volume of his Imaginary Conversations, he claims exemption, though
somewhat sarcastically, from responsibility for the notions expressed
by his interlocutors. An author, in a style which has all the freedom of
the dramatic form, without its restraints, should especially abstain
from making his work the vehicle of crotchets, prejudices, and
passions peculiar to himself, or unworthy of the characters speaking.
"This form of composition," Mr. Landor says, "among other advantages,
is recommended by the protection it gives from the hostility all
novelty (unless it be vicious) excites." Prudent consideration, but
indiscreet parenthesis.]

_North_.--I believe one Englishman, a martyr to liberty, has said
something like that before.

_Landor_.--Who, pray?

_North_.--The butcher Ings.

_Landor_.--Ah, I was not aware of it! Ings was a fine fellow.

_North_.--Your republic will never do here, Mr. Landor.

_Landor_.--I shall believe that a king is better than a republic
when I find that a single tooth in a head is better than a set. [77]

[Footnote 77: Vol. ii. p. 31.]

_North_.--It would be as good logic in a monarchy-man to say,
"I shall believe that a republic is better than a king when I am
convinced that six noses on a face would be better than one."

_Landor_.--In this age of the march of intellect, when a pillar of
fire is guiding us out of the wilderness of error, you Tories lag
behind, and are lost in darkness, Mr. North. Only the first person
in the kingdom should be unenlightened and void, as only the first
page in a book should be a blank one. It is when it is torn out that
we come at once to the letters. [78]

[Footnote 78: Vol. iv. p. 405.]

_North_.--Well, now that you have torn out the first page of the
Court Guide, we come to the Peers, I suppose.

_Landor_.--The peerage is the park-paling of despotism, arranged
to keep in creatures tame and wild for luxury and diversion, and to
keep out the people. Kings are to peerages what poles are to
rope-dancers, enabling then to play their tricks with greater
confidence and security above the heads of the people. The wisest
and the most independent of the English Parliaments declared the
thing useless. [79] Peers are usually persons of pride without dignity,
of lofty pretensions with low propensities. They invariably bear
towards one another a constrained familiarity or frigid courtesy,
while to their huntsmen and their prickers, their chaplains and
their cooks, (or indeed any other man's,) they display unequivocal
signs of ingenuous cordiality.

[Footnote 79: Vol. iv. p. 400.]

How many do you imagine of our nobility are not bastards or sons of
bastards? [80]

[Footnote 80: Vol. iv. p. 273.]

_North_.--You have now settled the Peers. The Baronets come next in

_Landor_.--Baronets are prouder than any thing we see on this side
of the Dardanelles, excepting the proctors of universities, and the
vergers of cathedrals; and their pride is kept in eternal agitation,
both from what is above them and what is below. Gentlemen of any
standing (like Walter Savage Landor, of Warwick Castle, and Lantony
Abbey in Wales,) are apt to investigate their claims a little too
minutely, and nobility has neither bench nor joint-stool for them in
the vestibule. During the whole course of your life, have you ever
seen one among this, our King James's breed of curs, that either did
not curl himself up and lie snug and warm in the lowest company, [81]
or slaver and whimper in fretful quest of the highest.

[Footnote 81: Vol. iv. p. 400.]

_North_.--But you allow the English people to be a great people.

_Landor_.--I allow them to be a nation of great fools. [82]
In England, if you write dwarf on the back of a giant, he will go
for a dwarf.

[Footnote 82: Vol. iii. p. 135.]

_North_.--I perceive; some wag has been chalking your back in that
fashion. Why don't you label your breast with the word giant?
Perhaps you would then pass for one.

_Landor_.--I have so labelled it, but in vain.

_North_.--Yet we have seen some great men, besides yourself,
Mr. Landor, in our own day. Some great military commanders, for
example; and, as a particular instance, Wellington.

_Landor_.--It cannot be dissembled that all the victories of the
English, in the last fifty years, have been gained by the high
courage and steady discipline of the soldier, [83] and the most
remarkable where the prudence and skill of the commander were
altogether wanting.

[Footnote 83: Vol. ii. p 214.]

_North_.--Ay, that was a terrible mistake at Waterloo. Yet you
will allow Wellington to have been something of a general, if not in
India, at least in Spain.

_Landor_.--Suppose him, or any distinguished general of the English,
to have been placed where Murillo was placed in America, Mina in
Spain; then inform me what would have been your hopes? [84]
The illustrious Mina, [85] of all the generals who have appeared in our
age, has displayed the greatest genius, and the greatest constancy.
That exalted personage, the admiration of Europe, accomplished the
most arduous and memorable work that any one mortal ever brought to
its termination.

[Footnote 84: Vol. ii. p. 214.]

[Footnote 85: Vol. ii. p. 3. Ded. "to Mina."--Wilson.]

_North_.--We have had some distinguished statesmen at the helm in
our time, Mr. Landor.

_Landor_.--Not one.

_North_.--Mr. Pitt.

_Landor_.--Your pilot that weathered the storm. Ha, ha! He was the
most insidious republican that England ever produced.

_North_.--You should like him if he was a Republican.

_Landor_.--But he was a debaser of the people as well as of the
peerage. By the most wasteful prodigality both in finance and war,
he was enabled to distribute more wealth among his friends and
partisans than has been squandered by the uncontrolled profusion of
French monarchs from the first Louis to the last. [86] Yet he was
more short-sighted than the meanest insect that can see an inch
before it. You should have added those equally enlightened and
prudent leaders of our Parliament, Lord Castlereagh and his
successors. Pitt, indeed! whose requisites for a successful minister
were three--to speak like an honest man, to act like a scoundrel,
and to be indifferent which he is called. But you have forgotten my
dialogue between him and that wretched fellow Canning. [87]
I have there given Pitt his quietus. As to Castlereagh and Canning,
I have crushed them to powder, spit upon them, kneaded them into
dough again; and pulverized them once more. Canning is the man who
deserted his party, supplanted his patrons, and abandoned every
principle he protested he would uphold. [88] Castlereagh is the
statesman who was found richer one day, by a million of zecchins,
than he was the day before, and this from having signed a treaty!
The only life he ever personally aimed at was the vilest in existence,
and none complains that he succeeded in his attempt. [89] I forgot:
he aimed at another so like it, (you remember his duel with Canning,)
that it is a pity it did not form a part of it.

[Footnote 86: Vol. ii. p. 240, 241, 242.]

[Footnote 87: Vol. iii. p. 66.]

[Footnote 88: Vol. iii. p. 134.]

[Footnote 89: Vol. iii. p. 172, and that there should be no mistake as
to the person indicated, Lord Castlereagh is again accused by name
at p. 187. The same charge occurs also in the dialogue between
Aristotle and Calisthenes! p 334, 335, 336; where Prince Metternich,
(Metanyctius,) the briber, is himself represented as a traitor to
his country. Aristotle is the teller of this cock-and-bull story!]

_North_.--Horrible! most horrible!

_Landor_.--Hear Epicurus and Leontion and Ternissa discuss the
merits of Castlereagh and Canning.

_North_.--Epicurus! What, the philosopher who flourished some
centuries before the Christian era?

_Landor_.--The same. He flourishes still for my purposes.

_North_.--And who are Leontion and Ternissa?

_Landor_.--Two of his female pupils.

_North_.--Oh, two of his misses! And how come they and their master,
who lived above 2000 years before the birth of Canning and
Castlereagh, to know any thing about them?

_Landor_.--I do not stand at trifles of congruity. Canning is the
very man who has taken especial care that no strong box among us
shall be without a chink at the bottom; the very man who asked and
received a gratuity (you remember the Lisbon job) [90] from the colleague
he had betrayed, belied, and thrown a stone at, for having proved
him in the great market-place a betrayer and a liar. Epicurus describes
Canning as a fugitive slave, a writer of epigrams on walls, and of songs
on the grease of platters, who attempted to cut the throat of a fellow
in the same household, [91] who was soon afterward more successful in doing
it himself.

[Footnote 90: Vol. iv. p. 194.]

[Footnote 91: Vol. iv. p. 194.]

_North_.--Horrible, most horrible mockery! But even that is not new.
It is but Byron's brutal scoff repeated--"Carotid-artery-cutting

_Landor_.--You Tories affect to be so squeamish. Epicurus goes on
to show Canning's ignorance of English.

_North_.--Epicurus! Why not William Cobbett?

_Landor_.--The Athenian philosopher introduces the trial of George
the Fourth's wife, and describes her as a drunken old woman, the
companion of soldiers and sailors, and lower and viler men. One
whose eyes, as much as can be seen of them, are streaky fat floating
in semi-liquid rheum.

_North_.--And this is the language of Epicurus to his female pupils!
He was ever such a beast.

_Landor_.--You are delicate. He goes on to allude to Canning's
having called her the _pride, the life, the ornament of society_,
(you know he did so call her in the House of Commons, according to
the newspaper reports; it is true he was speaking of what she had
been many years previously; before her departure from England.) [92]
Epicurus says triumphantly that the words, if used at all, should
have been placed thus--_the ornament, pride, and life_; for hardly a
Boeotian bullock-driver would have wedged in _life_ between _pride_
and _ornament_.

[Footnote 92: Vol. iv. p. 194, 195.--Pericles and Sophocles also
prattle about Queen Caroline! vol. 2, p. 106, 107.--In another place
the judgment and style of Johnson being under sentence, the Doctor's
judgment is "alike in all things," that is, "unsound and incorrect;"
and as to style, "a sentence of Johnson is like a pair of breeches,
an article of dress, divided into two parts, equal in length, breadth,
and substance, with a protuberance before and behind." The _contour_
of Mr. Landor's figure can hardly be so graceful as that of the
Pythian Apollo, if his dress-breeches are made in this fashion, and
"his Florentine tailor never fails to fit him."--See vol. i. p. 296,
and p. 185, note.]

_North_.--What dignified and important criticism! and how
appropriate from the lips of Epicurus! But why were you, Mr. Landor,
so rancorous against that miserable Queen Caroline? You have half
choked Sir Robert Wilson, one of her champions, and the marshal of
her coffin's royal progress through London, with a reeking panegyric
in your dedication to him [93] of a volume of your Talks.

[Footnote 93: Vol. iii.]

_Landor_.--I mistook Wilson for an uncompromising Radical. As to
his and Canning's nobled Queen, I confess I owed her a grudge for
disrespect to me at Como long before.

_North_.--How? Were you personally acquainted with her?

_Landor_.--Not at all: She was not aware that there was such a man
as Walter Savage Landor upon earth, or she would have taken care
that I should not be stopt by her porter at the lodge-gate, when I
took a fancy to pry into the beauties of her pleasure-ground.

_North_.--Then her disrespect to you was not only by deputy, but
even without her cognisance?

_Landor_.--Just so.

_North_.--And that was the offence for which you assailed her with
such a violent invective after her death?

_Landor_.--Oh no! it might possibly have sharpened it a little;
but I felt it my duty, as a censor of morals, to mark my reprobation
of her having grown fat and wrinkled in her old age. It was
necessary for me to correct the flattering picture drawn of her by
that caitiff Canning. You know the contempt of Demosthenes for

_North_.--Demosthenes, too!

_Landor_.--Yes, in my dialogue between him and Eubulides, he
delineates Canning as a clumsy and vulgar man.

_North_.--Every one knows that he was a man of remarkably fine
person and pleasing manners.

_Landor_.--Never mind that--A vulgar and clumsy man, a
market-place demagogue, lifted on a honey-barrel by grocers and
slave-merchants, with a dense crowd around him, who listen in
rapture because his jargon is unintelligible. [94] Demosthenes, you
know, was a Liverpool electioneering agent, so he knew all about
Canning and his tricks, and his abstraction of L.14,000 sterling
from the public treasury to defray the expenses of his shameful
flight to Lesbos, that is Lisbon.[95]

[Footnote 94: Vol. i. p. 245.]

[Footnote 95: Vol. i. p. 247. This charge against Canning is
repeated at Vol. iii. p. 186, 187, and again at Vol. iv. p. 193.]

_North_.--Has England produced no honest men of eminence,
Mr. Landor?

_Landor_.--Very few; I can, however, name two--Archbishop Boulter
and Philip Savage. [96] I am not certain that I should ever have thought
of recording their merits, if their connexion with my own family had
not often reminded me of them; we do not always bear in mind very
retentively what is due to others, unless there is something at home
to stimulate the recollection. Boulter, Primate of Ireland, saved
that kingdom from pestilence and famine in 1729 by supplying the
poor with bread, medicines, attendance, and every possible comfort
and accommodation. Again, in 1740 and 1741, no fewer than 250,000
persons were fed, twice a-day, principally at his expense. Boulter
was certainly the most disinterested, the most humane, the most
beneficent, and after this it is little to say, the most enlightened
and learned man that ever guided the counsels of a kingdom.[97]
Mr. Philip Savage, Chancellor of the Exchequer, married his wife's
sister, of his own name, but very distantly related. This minister
was so irreproachable, that even Swift could find no fault with him.
[97] He kept a groom in livery, and two saddle-horses.

[Footnote 96: Also Vol. iii. p. 92.]

[Footnote 97: Vol. iii. p. 91, 92, note.]

_North_.--Is it possible? And these great men were of your family,
Mr. Landor!

_Landor_.--I have told you so, sir--Philip was one of my Savage
ancestors, [98] and he and Boulter married sisters, who were also Savages.

[Footnote 98: Vol. iii. p. 92, note.]

_North_.--You have lived a good while in Italy? You like the
Italians, I believe?

_Landor_.--I despise and abominate the Italians; and I have taken
some pains to show it in various ways. During my long residence at
Florence I was the only Englishman there, I believe, who never went
to court, leaving it to my hatter, who was a very honest man, and my
breeches-maker, who never failed to fit me. [99] The Italians were
always--far exceeding all other nations--parsimonious and avaricious,
the Tuscans beyond all other Italians, the Florentines beyond all other
Tuscans. [100]

[Footnote 99: Vol. i. p. 185.]

[Footnote 100: Vol. i. p. 219.]

_North_.--But even Saul was softened by music: surely that of
Italy must have sometimes soothed you?

_Landor_.--_Opera_ was, among the Romans, _labour_, as _operae
pretium_, &c. It now signifies the most contemptible of performances,
the vilest office of the feet and tongue. [101]

[Footnote 101: Vol. i. p. 212.]

_North_.--But the sculptors, the painters, the architects of Italy?
You smile disdainfully, Mr. Landor!

_Landor_.--I do; their sculpture and painting have been employed
on most ignoble objects--on scourgers and hangmen, on beggarly
enthusiasts and base impostors. Look at the two masterpieces of the
pencil; the Transfiguration of Raphael, and the St. Jerome of
Correggio; [102] can any thing be more incongruous, any thing more
contrary to truth and history?

[Footnote 102: Vol. i. p. 109, note.]

_North_.--There have been able Italian writers both in verse and

_Landor_.--In verse not many, in prose hardly any.


_Landor_.--He is entertaining.


_Landor_.--A coarse comedian. [103]

[Footnote 103: Vol. ii. p. 252.]

_North_.--You honour Ariosto?

_Landor_.--I do not. Ariosto is a plagiary, the most so of all
poets. [104] Ariosto is negligent; his plan inartificial, defective, bad.

[Footnote 104: Vol. i. p. 290.]

_North_.--You protect Tasso?

_Landor_.--I do, especially against his French detractors.

_North_.--But you esteem the French?

_Landor_.--I despise and abominate the French.

_North_.--And their literature!

_Landor_.--And their literature. As to their poets, bad as Ariosto
is, divide the Orlando into three parts, and take the worst of them,
and although it may contain a large portion of extremely vile poetry,
it will contain more of good than the whole French language. [105]

[Footnote 105: Vol. i. p. 290.]

_North_.--Is Boileau so very contemptible?

_Landor_.--Beneath contempt. He is a grub. [106]

[Footnote 106: See Mr. Landor's Polite Conversation with De Lille,
Vol. i. and Note at the end, p. 309, 310.]


_Landor_.--Diffuse, feeble, and, like Boileau, meanly thievish.
The most admired verse of Racine is stolen, [107] so is almost every other
that is of any value.

[Footnote 107: Vol. i. p. 293, 294.]

_North_.--But Voltaire, Mr. Landor?

_Landor_.--Voltaire, sir, was a man of abilities, and author of
many passable epigrams, besides those which are contained in his
tragedies and heroics, [108] though, like Parisian lackeys, they are
usually the smartest when out of place. I tell you I detest and
abominate every thing French. [109]

[Footnote 108: Vol. i. p. 254.]

[Footnote 109: We, however, find Mr. Landor giving the French credit
for their proceedings in one remarkable instance, and it is so
seldom that we catch him in good-humour with any thing, that we will
not miss an opportunity of exhibiting him in an amiable light. This
champion of the liberties of the world, who has cracked his lungs in
endeavouring, on the shores of Italy, to echo the lament of Byron
over Greece, and who denounced the powers of Europe for suffering
the Duke d'Angoulême to assist his cousin Ferdinand in retaking the
Trocadero, yet approves of French proceedings in Spain on a previous
occasion. Admiring reader! you shall hear Sir Oracle himself again:--
"The laws and institutions introduced by the French into Spain were
excellent, and the _king_" (Joseph Bonaparte!) "was liberal, affable,
sensible, and humane." Poor Trelawney, the friend of Byron, is made
to talk thus! Both Trelawney and Odysseus the noble Greek, to whom
he addresses himself, were more likely to participate in the
"indignation of a high-minded Spaniard," so vividly expressed by a
high-minded Englishman in the following sonnet:--

  "We can endure that he should waste our lands,
  Despoil our temples, and, by sword and flame,
  Return us to the dust from which we came;
  Such food a tyrant's appetite demands:
  And we can brook the thought, that by his hands
  Spain may be overpower'd, and he possess,
  For his delight, a solemn wilderness,
  Where all the brave lie dead. But, when of bands
  That he will break for us he dares to speak,
  Of benefits, and of a future day
  When our enlighten'd minds shall bless his sway--
  Then the strain'd heart of fortitude proves weak;
  Our groans, our blushes, our pale cheeks declare
  That he has power to inflict what we lack strength to bear."]

_North_.--Well, Mr. Landor, we have rambled over much ground; we
have journeyed from Dan to Beersheba, and found all barren. Let us
return home.

_Landor_.--Before we do so, let me observe, that among several
noted Italians whom you have not glanced at, there is one whom I
revere--Alfieri. He was the greatest man of his time in Europe,
though not acknowleged or known to be so; [110] and he well knew his
station as a writer and as a man. Had he found in the world five equal
to himself, he would have walked out of it not to be jostled. [111]

[Footnote 110: Vol. ii. p. 241.]

[Footnote 111: Vol. ii. p. 258.]

_North_.--He would have been sillier, then, than the flatulent
frog in the fable. Yet Alfieri's was, indeed, no ordinary mind, and
he would have been a greater poet than he was, had he been a better
man. I admire his Bruto Primo as much as you do, and I am glad to
hear you give your suffrage so heartily in favour of any one.

_Landor_.--Sir, I admire the man as much as I do the poet. It is
not every one who can measure his height; I can.

_North_.--Pop! there you go! you have got out of the bottle again,
and are swelling and vapouring up to the clouds. Do lower yourself
to my humble stature, (I am six feet four in my slippers.) Alfieri
reminds me of Byron. What of him?

_Landor_.--A sweeper of the Haram. [112] A sweeper of the Haram is
equally in false costume whether assuming the wreath of Musaeus or
wearing the bonnet of a captain of Suliotes. _I_ ought to have been
chosen a leader of the Greeks. I would have led them against the
turbaned Turk to victory, armed not with muskets or swords but with
bows and arrows, and mailed not in steel cuirasses or chain armour
but in cork caps and cork shirts. Nothing is so cool to the head as
cork, and by the use of cork armour the soldier who cannot swim has
all the advantage of him who can. At the head of my swimming archers
I would have astonished the admirers of Leander and Byron in the
Dardanelles, and I would have proved myself a Duck worth two of the
gallant English admiral who tried in vain to force that passage. The
Sultan should have beheld us in Stamboul, and we would have
fluttered his dovecote within the Capi---

[Footnote 112: Vol. i. p. 301.--Vol. ii. p. 222, 223.]

_North_.--I will not tempt you further. Let us proceed to business.
To what am I indebted for the honour of this visit, Mr. Landor?

_Landor_.--I sent you the manuscript of a new Imaginary
Conversation between Porsou and Southey.

_North_.--A sort of abnegation of your former one. For what
purpose did you send it to me?

_Landor_.--For your perusal. Have you read it?

_North_.--I have, and I do not find it altogether new.


_North_.--I have seen some part of it in print before.


_North_.--In a production of your own.


_North_.--In a rhymed lampoon printed in London in 1836. It is
called "A Satire on Satirists, and Admonition to Detractors." Do you
know such a thing?

_Landor_.--(_Aside_. Unlucky! some good-natured friend has sent
him that suppressed pamphlet.) Yes, Mr. North; a poetical manifesto
of mine with that title was printed but not published.

_North_.--No, only privately distributed among friends. It
contained some reflections on Wordsworth.

_Landor_.--It did.

_North_.--Why did you suppress it?

_Landor_.--Because I was ashamed of it. Byron and others had
anticipated me. I had produced nothing either new or true to damage

_North_.--Yet you have now, in this article that you offer me,
reproduced the same stale gibes.

_Landor_.--But I have kept them in salt for six years: they will
now have more flavour. I have added some spice, too.

_North_.--Which you found wrapt up in old leaves of the _Edinburgh

_Landor_.--Not the whole of it; a part was given to me by
acquaintances of the poet.

_North_.--Eavesdroppers about Rydal Mount and Trinity Lodge. It was
hardly worth your acceptance.

_Landor_.--Then you refuse my article.

_North_.--It is a rare article, Mr. Landor--a brave caricature of
many persons and things; but, before I consent to frame it in ebony,
we must come to some understanding about other parts of the
suppressed pamphlet. Here it is. I find that in this atrabilarious
effusion you have treated ourselves very scurvily. At page 9 I see,

  "Sooner shall Tuscan Vallambrosa lack wood,
  Than Britain, Grub street, Billingsgate, and _Blackwood_."

Then there is a note at page 10: "Who can account for the eulogies of
_Blackwood_ on Sotheby's Homer as compared with Pope's and Cowper's?
Eulogy is not reported to be the side he _lies_ upon, in general."
On the same page, and the next, you say of Us, high Churchmen and
high Tories,

  "Beneath the battlements of Holyrood
  There never squatted a more sordid brood
  Than that which now, across the clotted perch,
  Crookens the claw and screams for Court and Church."

Then again at page 12,

        "Look behind you, look!
  There issues from the Treasury, dull and dry as
  The leaves in winter, Gifford and Matthias.
  Brighter and braver Peter Pindar started,
  And ranged around him all the lighter-hearted,
  When Peter Pindar sank into decline,
  Up from his hole sprang Peter Porcupine"

All which is nothing to Us, but what does it lead to?

  "Him W ... son follow'd"--

Why those dots, Mr. Landor?

  "Him W ... son follow'd, of congenial quill,
  As near the dirt and no less prone to ill.
  Walcot, of English heart, had English pen,
  Buffoon he might be, but for hire was none;
  Nor plumed and mounted in Professor's chair
  Offer'd to grin for wages at a fair."

The rest is too foul-mouthed for repetition. You are a man of nasty
ideas, Mr. Landor. You append a note, in which, without any
authority but common rumour, you exhibit the learned Professor as an
important contributor to Blackwood, especially in those graces of
delicate wit so attractive to his subcribers. You declare, too, that
we fight under cover, and only for spite and pay; that honester and
wiser satirists were brave, that--

  "Their courteous soldiership, outshining ours,
  Mounted the engine and took aim from towers;"

But that

  "From putrid ditches we more safely fight,
  And push our zig-zag parallels by night."

Again, at page 19--

  "The Gentleman's, the Lady's we have seen,
  Now blusters forth the Blackguard's Magazine;
  And (Heaven from joint-stock companies protect us!)
  Dustman and nightman issue their prospectus."

_Landor (who has sate listening, with a broad grin, while Mr. North
was getting rather red in the face_.)--Really, Mr. North,
considering that you have followed the trade of a currier for the
last thirty years, you are remarkably sensitive to any little
experiment on your own skin. Put what has my unpublished satire to
do with our present affair?

_North_.--The answer to that question I will borrow from the
satire itself, as you choose to term your scurrilous lampoon. Our
present affair, then, is to consider whether Walter Savage Landor,
Imaginary Conversation writer, in rushlight emulation of the
wax-candles that illumine our Noctes, shall be raised, as he aspires,
to the dignity of Fellow of the _Blackwood_ Society. In the
note at page 13 of the said lampoon, you state that "Lord Byron
declared that no gentleman could write in _Blackwood_;" and
you ask, "Has this assertion been ever disproved by experiment?" Now,
Mr. Landor, as you have thus adopted and often re-echoed Lord Byron's
opinion, that _no gentleman could write in Blackwood_, and yet wish
to enrol yourself among our writers, what is the inference?

_Landor_. That I confess myself no gentleman, _you_ would infer.
_I_ make no such confession. I would disprove Byron's assertion,
by making the experiment.

_North_. You do us too much honour. Yet reflect, Mr. Landor. After
the character you have given us, would you verily seek to be of our
fraternity? You who have denounced us so grandiloquently--you who
claim credit for lofty and disinterested principles of action?
Recollect that you have represented us as the worthy men who have
turned into ridicule Lamb, Keats, Hazlitt, Coleridge--(diverse
metals curiously graduated!)--all in short, who, recently dead, are
now dividing among them the admiration of their country. Whatever
could lessen their estimation; whatever could injure their fortune;
whatever could make their poverty more bitter; whatever could tend
to cast down their aspirations after fame; whatever had a tendency
to drive them to the grave which now has opened to them, was
incessantly brought into action against them by _us_ zealots for
religion and laws. A more deliberate, a more torturing murder, never
was committed, than the murder of Keats. The chief perpetrator of
his murder knew beforehand that he could not be hanged for it. These
are your words, Mr. Landor.

_Landor_.--I do not deny them.

_North_.--And in regard to the taste of the common public for
Blackwood's Cordials, you have said that, to those who are
habituated to the gin-shop, the dram is sustenance, and they feel
themselves both uncomfortable and empty without the hot excitement.
_Blackwood's_  is really a gin-palace. _Landor_.--All this I have
both said and printed, and the last sentence you have just read from
my satire is preceded by one that you have not read. An exposure of
the impudence and falsehood of _Blackwood's Magazine_ is not likely
to injure its character, _or diminish the number of its subscribers_;
and in this sentence you have the secret of my desire to become a
contributor to _Blackwood_. I want a popular vehicle to convey my
censures to the world, especially on Wordsworth. I do not pretend to
have any love for you and your brotherhood, Mr. North. But I dislike
you less than I do Wordsworth; and I frankly own to you, that the
fame of that man is a perpetual blister to my self-love.

_North_.--Your habitual contemplation of his merits has confused
you into a notion that they are your own, and you think him an
usurper of the laurel crown that is yours by the divine right of
genius. What an unhappy monomania! Still, your application for
redress to us is unaccountable. You should know that we Black
Foresters, lawless as you may suppose us, are Wordsworth's liegemen.
He is our intellectual Chief. We call him the General! We are ever
busy in promoting his fame.

_Landor_.--You are always blowing hot and cold on it, and have
done so for years past. One month you place him among the stars, the
next as low as the daisies.

_North_.--And rightly too; for both are the better for his presence.

_Landor_.--But you alternately worship and insult him, as some
people do their wooden idols.

_North_.--If you must learn the truth, then, he has been to us, in
one sense, nothing better than an unfeeling wooden idol. Some of us
have been provoked by his indifference to our powers of annoyance,
and his ingratitude in not repaying eulogy in kind. We have among
ourselves a gander or two, (no offence, Mr. Landor,) that,
forgetting they are webfooted, pretend to a perch on the tall
bay-tree of Apollo, and, though heavy of wing, are angry with
Wordsworth for not encouraging their awkward flights. They, like you,
accuse him of jealousy, forsooth!  That is the reason that they are
now gabbling at his knees, now hissing at his heels. Moreover, our
caprices are not unuseful to our interests. We alternately pique and
soothe readers by them, and so keep our customers. As day is
partitioned between light and darkness, so has the public taste as
to Wordsworth been divided between his reverers and the followers of
the Jeffrey heresy. After a lengthened winter, Wordsworth's glory is
now in the long summer days; all good judgments that lay torpid have
been awakened, and the light prevails against the darkness. But as
bats and owls, the haters of light, are ever most restless in the
season when nights are shortest, so are purblind egotists most
uneasy when their dusky range is contracted by the near approach and
sustained ascendancy of genius. We now put up a screen for the
weak-sighted, now withdraw it from stronger eyes; thus we plague and
please all parties.

_Landor_.--Except Wordsworth, whose eyelids are too tender to
endure his own lustre reflected and doubled on the focus of your
burnished brass. He dreads the fate of Milton, "blasted with excess
of light."

_North_. Thank you, sir; that is an ingenious way of accounting for
Wordsworth's neglect of our luminous pages. Yet it rather sounds
like irony, coming from Mr. Walter Savage Landor to the editor of
"The (Not Gentleman's) Magazine."

_Landor_.--Pshaw! still harping on my Satire.

_North_.--In that Satire you have charged Wordsworth with having
talked of Southey's poetry as not worth five shillings a ream. So
long as you refrained from _publishing_ this invidious imputation,
even those few among Wordsworth's friends who knew that you had
_printed_ it, (Southey himself among the number,) might think it
discreet to leave the calumny unregarded. But I observe that you
have renewed it, in a somewhat aggravated form, in the Article that
you now wish me to publish. You here allege that Wordsworth
represented Southey as an author, _all_ whose poetry was not worth
five shillings. You and I both know that Wordsworth would not deign
to notice such an accusation. Through good and evil report, the
brave man persevered in his ascent to the mountain-top, without ever
even turning round to look upon the rabble that was hooting him from
its base; and he is not likely now to heed such a charge as this.
But his friends may now ask, on what authority it is published? Was
it to you, Mr. Walter Landor, whom Southey (in his strange affection
for the name of Wat) had honoured with so much kindness--to you
whose "matin chirpings" he had so generously encouraged, (as he did
John Jones's "mellower song,")--was it to you that Wordsworth
delivered so injurious a judgment on the works of your patron? If so,
what was your reply? [113]

[Footnote 113:
   "I lagg'd; he (Southey) call'd me; urgent to prolong
   My matin chirpings into mellower song."--LANDON. ]

_Landor_.--Whether it was expressed to myself or not, is of little
consequence; it has been studiously repeated, and even printed by
others as well as by me.

_North_.--By whom?

_Landor_.--That, too, is of no importance to the fact.

_North_.--I am thoroughly convinced that it is no fact, and that
Wordsworth never uttered any thing like such an opinion in the sense
that you report it. He and Southey have been constant neighbours and
intimate friends for forty years; there has never been the slightest
interruption to their friendship. Every one that knows Wordsworth is
aware of his frank and fearless openness in conversation. He has
been beset for the last half century, not only by genuine admirers,
but by the curious and idle of all ranks and of many nations,
and sometimes by envious and designing listeners, who have
misrepresented and distorted his casual expressions. Instances of
negligent and infelicitous composition are numerous in Southey, as
in most voluminous authors. Suppose some particular passage of this
kind to have been under discussion, and Mr. Wordsworth to have
exclaimed, "I would not give five shillings a ream for such poetry
as that." Southey himself would only smile, (he had probably heard
Wordsworth express himself to the same effect a hundred times); but
some insidious hearer catches at the phrase, and reports it as
Wordsworth's sweeping denunciation of all the poetry that his friend
has ever written, in defiance of all the evidence to the contrary to
be met with, not only in Wordsworth's every-day conversation, but in
his published works. There is no man for whose genius Mr. Wordsworth
has more steadily or consistently testified his admiration than for
Southey's; there is none for whom, and for whose character, he has
evinced more affection and respect. You and I, who have both read
his works, and walked and talked with the Old Man of the Mountain,
know that perfectly well. You have perhaps been under his roof, at
Rydal Mount? I have; and over his dining-room fireplace I observed,
as hundreds of his visitors must have done, five portraits--Chaucer's,
Bacon's, Spenser's, Shakspeare's, and Milton's, in one line. On the
same line is a bust on the right of these, and a portrait on the left;
and there are no other ornaments on that wall of the apartment. That
bust and that portrait are both of Southey, the man whom you pretend
he has so undervalued! By the bye, no one has been more ardent in
praise of Wordsworth than yourself.

_Landor_.--You allude to the first dialogue between Southey and
Porson, in Vol. i. of my _Imaginary Conversations_.

_North_.--Not to that only, though in that dialogue there are
sentiments much at variance with those which you would now give out
as Porson's. For example, remember what Porson there says of the

_Landor_.--The most fervid expression in commendation of it is
printed as Porson's improperly, as the whole context shows. It
should have been Southey's.

_North_.--So, I perceive, you say in this new dialogue; and such a
mode of attempting to turn your back on yourself, to borrow a phrase
from your friend Lord Castlereagh's rhetoric, will be pronounced,
even by those who do not care a bawbee about the debate, as not only
ludicrous, but pitiably shabby. Keep your seat, Mr. Landor, and keep
your temper for once in your life. Let us examine into this
pretended mistake in your former dialogue about _Laodamia_. Well, as
you are up, do me the favour, sir, to mount the ladder, and take
down from yon top shelf the first volume of your _Conversations_. Up
in the corner, on the left hand, next the ceiling. You see I have
given you a high place.

_Landor_.--Here is the book, Mr. North; it is covered with dust
and cobwebs.

_North_.--The fate of classics, Mr. Landor. They are above the
reach of the housemaid, except when she brings the Turk's Head to
bear upon them. Now, let us turn to the list of _errata_ in this
first volume. We are directed to turn to page 52, line 4, and for
_sugar-bakers_, read _sugar-bakers' wives_. I turn to the page,
and find the error corrected by yourself; as are all the press
errors in these volumes, which were presented by you to a friend. I
bought the whole set for an old song at a sale. You see that the
omitted word _wives_ is carefully supplied by yourself, in your own
handwriting, Mr. Landor. On the same page, only five lines below
this correction, is the identical passage that you would now
transfer from Porson to Southey. Why did you not affix Porson's name
to the passage then, when you were so vigilantly perfecting the very
page? Why does no such correction appear even in the printed list of
_errata_? Let us read the passage. "A current of rich and bright
thoughts runs throughout the poem. [114] Pindar himself would not, on that
subject, have braced one into more nerve and freshness, nor
Euripides have inspired into it more tenderness and passion."

[Footnote 114: Vol. i. p. 52.]

_Landor_.--Mr. North, I repeat that that sentence should have been
printed as Southey's, not Porson's.

_North_.--Yet it is quite consistent with a preceding sentence
which you can by no ingenuity of after-thought withdraw from Porson;
for the whole context forbids the possibility of its transition.
What does Porson there testify of the _Laodamia_? That it is
"_a composition such as Sophocles might have exulted to own_!"--and
a part of one of its stanzas "_might have been heard with shouts of
rapture in the Elysium the poet describes_." [115]

[Footnote 115: Vol. i. p. 51. Few persons will think that Mr. Landor's
drift, which is obvious enough, could be favoured if these passages
could be _all_ shuffled over to Mr. Southey. It would be unwise and
inconsistent in Mr. Landor of all men to intimate that Southey's
judgment in poetry was inferior to Porson's; for Southey has been so
singular as to laud some of Mr. Landor's, and Mr. Landor has been so
grateful as to proclaim Southey the sole critic of modern times who
has shown "a delicate perception in poetry." It is rash, too, in him
to insinuate that Southey's opinion could be influenced by his
friendship; for he, the most amiable of men, was nevertheless a
friend of Mr. Lander also. But the only object of this argument is
to show how mal-adroitly Mr. Landor plays at thimblerig. He lets us
see him shift the pea. As for the praise and censure contained in
his dialogues, we have no doubt that any one concerned willingly
makes him a present of both. It is but returning bad money to
Diogenes. It is all Mr. Landor's; and, lest there should be any
doubt about the matter, he has taken care to tell us that he has not
inserted in his dialogues a single sentence written by, or recorded
of, the persons who are supposed to hold them.--See Vol. i. p. 96,
end of note.]

These expressions are at least as fervid as those which you would
reclaim from Porson, now that, like a pettifogging practitioner, you
want to retain him as counsel against the most illustrious of
Southey's friends--the individual of whom in this same dialogue you
cause Southey to ask, "What man ever existed who spent a more retired,
a more inoffensive, a more virtuous life, than Wordsworth, or who
has adorned it with nobler studies?"--and what does Porson answer?
"I believe so; I have always heard it; and _those who attack
him with virulence or with levity are men of no morality and no
reflection_." [116] Thus you print Wordsworth's praise in rubric,
and fix it on the walls, and then knock your head against them. You
must have a hard skull, Mr. Landor.

[Footnote 116: Vol. i. p. 40.]

_Landor_.--Be civil, Mr. North, or I will brain you.

_North_.--Pooh, pooh, man! all your Welsh puddles, which you call
pools, wouldn't hold my brains. To return to your proffered article,
there is one very ingenious illustration in it. "Diamonds sparkle
the most brilliantly on heads stricken by the palsy."

_Landor_.--Yes; I flatter myself that I have there struck out a
new and beautiful, though somewhat melancholy thought.

_North_.--New! My good man, it isn't yours; you have purloined
those diamonds.

_Landor_.--From whom?

_North_.--From the very poet you would disparage--Wordsworth.

  "Diamonds dart their brightest lustre
  From the palsy-shaken head."

Those lines have been in print above twenty years.

_Landor_.--An untoward coincidence of idea between us.

_North_.--Both original, no doubt; only, as Puff says in the
_Critic_, one of you thought of it the first, that's all. But how
busy would Wordsworth be, and how we should laugh at him for his
pains, if he were to set about reclaiming the thousands of ideas
that have been pilfered from him, and have been made the staple of
volumes of poems, sermons, and philosophical treatises without end!
He makes no stir about such larcenies. And what a coil have you made
about that eternal sea-shell, which you say he stole from you, and
which, we know, is the true and trivial cause of your hostility
towards him!

_Landor_.--Surely I am an ill-used man, Mr. North. My poetry, if
not worth five shillings, nor thanks, nor acknowledgment, was yet
worth borrowing and putting on. I, the author of _Gebir_, Mr. North,
--do you mark me?

_North_.--Yes; the author of Gebir and Gebirus; think of that, St.
Crispin and Crispanus!

  "Sing me the fates of Gebir, and the Nymph
  Who challenged Tamar to a wrestling match,
  And on the issue pledged her precious shell.
  Above her knees she drew the robe succinct;
  Above her breast, and just below her arms.
  'She, rushing at him, closed, and floor'd him flat.
  And carried off the prize, a bleating sheep;
  The sheep she carried easy as a cloak,
  And left the loser blubbering from his fall,
  And for his vanish'd mutton. Nymph divine!
  I cannot wait describing how she came;
  My glance first lighted on her nimble feet;
  Her feet resembled those long shells explored
  By him who, to befriend his steed's dim sight,
  Would blow the pungent powder in his eye.'" [117]

Is that receipt for horse eye-powder to be found in White's Farriery,
Mr. Landor?

[Footnote 117: The lines within inverted commas, are Mr. Landor's,
without alteration.]

_Landor_.--Perhaps not, Mr. North. Will you cease your fooling,
and allow me to proceed? "I," the author of _Gebir_, "never lamented
when I believed it lost." The MS. was mislaid at my grandmother's,
and lay undiscovered for four years. "I saw it neglected; and never
complained. Southey and Forster have since given it a place whence
men of lower stature are in vain on tiptoe to take it down. It would
have been honester and more decorous if the writer of certain verses
had mentioned from what bar he took his wine." [118] Now keep your ears
open, Mr. North; I will read my verses first, and then Wordsworth's.
Here they are. I always carry a copy of them both in my pocket. Listen!

[Footnote 118: Mr. Landor's printed complaint, _verbatim_, from his
"Satire on Satirists."]

_North_.--List, oh list! I am all attention, Mr. Landor.

_Landor_ (reads.)--

  "But I have sinuous shells of pearly hue
  Within, and they that lustre have imbibed
  In the sun's palace-porch, where, when unyoked,
  His chariot-wheel stands midway in the wave."

  "Shake one, and it awakens--then apply
  Its polish'd lip to your attentive ear,
  And it remembers its august abodes,
  And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there."

These are lines for you, sir! They are mine. What do you think of

_North_.--I think very well of them; they remind one of
Coleridge's "Eolian Harp." They are very pretty lines, Mr. Landor. I
have written some worse myself.

_Landor_--So has Wordsworth. Attend to the echo in the _Excursion_.

                  "I have seen
  A curious child, who dwelt upon a tract
  Of inland ground, applying to his ear
  The convolutions of a smooth-lipp'd shell,
  To which, in silence hush'd, his very soul
  Listen'd intensely, and his countenance soon
  Brighten'd with joy; for, murmuring from within,
  Were heard sonorous cadences, whereby,
  To his belief, the monitor express'd
  Mysterious union with its native sea."

_North_.--There is certainly much resemblance between the two
passages; and, so far as you have recited Wordsworth's, his is not
superior to yours; which very likely, too, suggested it; though that
is by no means a sure deduction, for the thought itself is as common
as the sea-shell you describe, and, in all probability, at least as
old as the Deluge.

_Landor_.--"_It is but justice to add, that this passage has been
the most admired of any in Mr. Wordsworth's great poem_." [119]

[Footnote 119: From Mr. Landor, _verbatim_.]

_North_.--Hout, tout, man! The author of the _Excursion_ could
afford to spare you a thousand finer passages, and he would seem
none the poorer. As to the imputed plagiarism, Wordsworth would no
doubt have avowed it had he been conscious that it was one, and that
you could attach so much importance to the honour of having reminded
him of a secret in conchology, known to every old nurse in the
country, as well as to every boy or girl that ever found a shell on
the shore, or was tall enough to reach one off a cottage parlour
mantelpiece; but which he could apply to a sublime and reverent
purpose, never dreamed of by them or you. It is in the application
of the familiar image, that we recognise the master-hand of the
poet. He does not stop when he has described the toy, and the
effect of air within it. The lute in Hamlet's hands is not more
philosophically dealt with. There is a pearl within Wordsworth's
shell, which is not to be found in your's, Mr. Landor. He goes on:--

  "Even such a shell the universe itself
  Is to the ear of Faith; and there are times,
  I doubt not, when to you it cloth impart
  Authentic tidings of invisible things--
  Of ebb and flow, and ever-during power,
  And central peace subsisting at the heart
  Of endless agitation."

These are the lines of a poet, who not only stoops to pick up a
shell now and then, as he saunters along the sea-shore, but who is
accustomed to climb to the promontory above, and to look upon the
ocean of things:--

  "From those imaginative heights that yield
  Far-stretching views into eternity."

Do not look so fierce again, Mr. Landor. You who are so censorious of
self-complacency in others, and indeed of all other people's faults,
real or imagined, should endure to have your vanity rebuked.

_Landor_.--I have no vanity. I am too proud to be vain.

_North_.--Proud of what?

_Landor_.--Of something beyond the comprehension of a Scotchman,
Mr. North--proud of my genius.

_North_.--Are you so very great a genius, Mr. Landor?

_Landor_.--I am. _Almighty Homer is twice far above Troy and her
towers, Olympus and Jupiter. First, when Priam bends before Achilles,
and a second time, when the shade of Agamemnon speaks among the dead.
That awful spectre, called up by genius in after-time, shook the
Athenian stage. That scene was ever before me; father and daughter
were ever in my sight; I felt their looks, their words, and again I
gave them form and utterance; and, with proud humility, I say it_--

     "I am tragedian in this scene alone.
       Station the Greek and Briton side by side
       And if derision be deserved--deride."

_Surely there can be no fairer method of overturning an offensive
reputation, from which the scaffolding is not yet taken down, than
by placing against it the best passages, and most nearly parallel,
in the subject, from Æschylus and Sophocles. To this labour the
whole body of the Scotch critics and poets are invited, and, moreover,
to add the ornaments of translation_. [120]

[Footnote 120: This strange rhapsody is verily Mr. Landor's. It is
extracted from his "Satire on the Satirists."]

_North_.--So you are not only a match for Æschylus and Sophocles,
but on a par with "almighty Homer when he is far above Olympus and
Jove." Oh! ho! ho! As you have long since recorded that modest
opinion of yourself in print, and not been lodged in Bedlam for it,
I will not now take upon myself to send for a straight-waistcoat.

_Landor_.--Is this the treatment I receive fron the Editor of
_Blackwood's Magazine_, in return for my condescension in offering
him my assistance? Give me back my manuscript, sir. I was indeed a
fool to come hither. I see how it is. You Scotchmen are all alike.
We consider no part of God's creation so cringing, so insatiable, so
ungrateful as the Scotch: nevertheless, we see them hang together by
the claws, like bats; and they bite and scratch you to the bone if
you attempt to put an Englishman in the midst of them. [121] But you
shall answer for this usage, Mr. North: you shall suffer for it.
These two fingers have more power than all your malice, sir, even if
you had the two Houses of Parliament to back you. A pen! You shall
live for it. [122]

[Footnote 121: Imaginary Conversations, vol. iv, p. 283.]

[Footnote 122: Ibid. vol. i. p. 126.]

_North_.--Fair and softly, Mr. Landor; I have not rejected your
article yet. I am going to be generous. Notwithstanding all your
abuse of Blackwood and his countrymen, I consent to exhibit you to
the world as a Contributor to _Blackwood's Magazine_, and, in the
teeth of all your recorded admiration of Wordsworth, I will allow
you to prove yourself towards him a more formidable critic than
Wakley, and a candidate for immortality with Lauder. Do you rue?

_Landor_.--Not at all. I have past the Rubicon.

_North_.--Is that a pun? It is worthy of Plato. Mr. Landor, you
have been a friend of Wordsworth. But, as _he_ says--

     "What is friendship? Do not trust her,
         Nor the vows which she has made;
       Diamonds dart their brightest lustre
         From the palsy-shaken head."

_Landor_.--I have never professed friendship for him.

_North_.--You have professed something more, then. Let me read a
short poem to you, or at least a portion of it. It is an "Ode to

      That other men should work for me
      In the rich mines of poesy,
      Pleases me better than the toil
      Of smoothing, under harden'd hand,
      With attic emery and oil,
      The shining point for wisdom's wand,
      Like those THOU temperest 'mid the rills
      Descending from thy native hills.
      He who would build his fame up high,
      The rule and plummet must apply,
      Nor say--I'll do what I have plann'd,
      Before he try if loam or sand
      Be still remaining in the place
      Delved for each polish'd pillar's base.
      _With skilful eye and fit device_
      THOU _raisest every edifice_:
      Whether in shelter'd vale it stand,
      Or overlook the Dardan strand,
      Amid those cypresses that mourn
      Laodamia's love forlorn."

Four of the brightest intellects that ever adorned any age or country.
are then named, and a fifth who, though not equal to the least of
them, is not unworthy of their company; and what follows?

      "I wish them every joy above
      That highly blessèd spirits prove,
      Save one, and that too shall be theirs,
      But after many rolling years,

Here are Chaucer, Shakspeare, Milton, Spenser, Dryden too, all in
bliss above, yet not to be perfectly blest till the arrival of
Wordsworth among them! Who wrote that, Mr. Landor? [123]

[Footnote 123: Whom Mr. L., who is the most capricious as well as the
most arrogant of censors, sometimes takes into favour.]

_Landor_.--I did, Mr. North.

_North_.--Sir, I accept your article. It shall be published in
_Blackwood's Magazine_. Good-morning, sir.

_Landor_.--Good-day, sir. Let me request your particular attention
to the correction of the press. (_Landor retires_.)

_North_.--He is gone! Incomparable Savage! I cannot more
effectually retaliate upon him for all his invectives against us
than by admitting his gossiping trash into the Magazine. No part of
the dialogue will be mistaken for Southey's; nor even for Porson's
inspirations from the brandy-bottle.

All the honour due to the author will be exclusively Mr. Walter
Savage Landor's; and, as it is certainly "not worth five shillings,"
no one will think it "worth borrowing or putting on."

       *       *       *       *       *


  Sound the fife, and raise the slogan--let the pibroch shake the air
  With its wild triumphal music, worthy of the freight we bear;
  Let the ancient hills of Scotland hear once more the battle song
  Swell within their glens and valleys as the clansmen march along.
  Never, from the field of combat, never from the deadly fray,
  Was a nobler trophy carried than we bring with us to-day:
  Never, since the valiant Douglas in his dauntless bosom bore
  Good King Robert's heart--the priceless--to our dear Redeemer's shore!
  Lo! we bring with us the hero--Lo! we bring the conquering Graeme,
  Crown'd as best beseems a victor from the altar of his fame;
  Fresh and bleeding from the battle whence his spirit took its flight
  Midst the crashing charge of squadrons, and the thunder of the fight!
  Strike, I say, the notes of triumph, as we march o'er moor and lea,
  Is there any here will venture to bewail our dead Dundee?
  Let the widows of the traitors weep until their eyes are dim;
  Wail ye may indeed for Scotland--let none dare to mourn for him!
  See, above his glorious body lies the royal banner's fold--
  See, his valiant blood is mingled with its crimson and its gold--
  See how calm he looks and stately, like a warrior on his shield,
  Waiting till the flush of morning breaks upon the battle field.
  See--O never more, my comrades! shall we see that falcon eye
  Kindle with its inward lightning, as the hour of fight drew nigh;
  Never shall we hear the voice that, clearer than the trumpet's call,
  Bade us strike for King and Country, bade us win the field or fall!
  On the heights of Killiecrankie yester-morn our army lay:
  Slowly rose the mist in columns from the river's broken way,
  Hoarsely roar'd the swollen torrent, and the pass was wrapp'd in gloom
  When the clansmen rose together from their lair among the broom.
  Then we belted on our tartans, and our bonnets down we drew,
  And we felt our broadswords' edges, and we proved them to be true,
  And we pray'd the prayer of soldiers, and we cried the gathering cry,
  And we clasp'd the hands of kinsmen, and we swore to do or die!
  Then our leader rode before us on his war-horse black as night--
  Well the Cameronian rebels knew that charger in the fight!--
  And a cry of exultation from the bearded warriors rose,
  For we loved the house of Claver'se, and we thought of good Montrose.
  But he raised his hand for silence--"Soldiers, I have sworn a vow;
  Ere the evening star shall glisten on Schehallion's lofty brow,
  Either we shall rest in triumph, or another of the Graemes
  Shall have died in battle harness for his country and King James!
  Think upon the Royal Martyr--think of what his race endure--
  Think on him whom butchers murder'd on the field of Magus Muir;--
  By his sacred blood I charge ye--by the ruin'd hearth and shrine--
  By the blighted hopes of Scotland--by your injuries and mine--
  Strike this day as if the anvil lay beneath your blows the while,
  Be they Covenanting traitors, or the brood of false Argyle!
  Strike! and drive the trembling rebels backwards o'er the stormy Forth;
  Let them tell their pale Convention how they fared within the North.
  Let them tell that Highland honour is not to be bought nor sold,
  That we scorn their Prince's anger, as we loathe his foreign gold.
  Strike! and when the fight is over, if ye look in vain for me,
  Where the dead are lying thickest, search for him who was Dundee!"

  Loudly then the hills re-echo'd with our answer to his call,
  But a deeper echo sounded in the bosoms of us all.
  For the lands of wide Breadalbane, not a man who heard him speak
  Would that day have left the battle. Burning eye and flushing cheek
  Told the clansmen's fierce emotion, and they harder drew their breath,
  For their souls were strong within them, stronger than the grasp of
  Soon we heard a challenge-trumpet sounding in the pass below,
  And the distant tramp of horses, and the voices of the foe;
  Down we crouch'd amid the bracken, till the Lowland ranks drew near,
  Panting like the hounds in summer when they scent the stately deer.
  From the dark defile emerging, next we saw the squadrons come,
  Leslie's foot and Leven's troopers marching to the tuck of drum;
  Through the scatter'd wood of birches, o'er the broken ground and heath,
  Wound the long battalion slowly till they gain'd the field beneath,
  Then we bounded from our covert.--Judge how look'd the Saxons then,
  When they saw the rugged mountain start to life with armed men!
  Like a tempest down the ridges swept the hurricane of steel,
  Rose the slogan of Macdonald--flash'd the broadsword of Lochiel!
  Vainly sped the withering volley 'mongst the foremost of our band,
  On we pour'd until we met them, foot to foot, and hand to hand.
  Horse and man went down like drift-wood, when the floods are black at
  And their carcasses are whirling in the Garry's deepest pool.
  Horse and man went down before us--living foe there tarried none
  On the field of Killiecrankie, when that stubborn fight was done!

  And the evening star was shining on Schehallion's distant head,
  When we wiped our bloody broadswords and return'd to count the dead.
  There we found him, gash'd and gory, stretch'd upon the cumber'd plain,
  As he told us where to seek him, in the thickest of the slain.
  And a smile was on his visage, for within his dying ear
  Peal'd the joyful note of triumph and the clansmen's clamorous cheer;
  So, amidst the battle's thunder, shot, and steel, and scorching flame,
  In the glory of his manhood pass'd the spirit of the Graeme!

  Open wide the vaults of Athol, where the bones of heroes rest--
  Open wide the hallow'd portals to receive another guest!
  Last of Scots, and last of freemen--last of all that dauntless race,
  Who would rather die unsullied than outlive the land's disgrace!
  O thou lion-hearted warrior! reck not of the after-time,
  Honour may be deem'd dishonour, loyalty be called a crime.
  Sleep in peace with kindred ashes of the noble and the true,
  Hands that never fail'd their country, hearts that never baseness knew.
  Sleep, and till the latest trumpet wakes the dead from earth and sea,
  Scotland shall not boast a braver chieftain than our own Dundee!


       *       *       *       *       *


The period of a single year but just elapsed has exhibited in the
neighbourhood of the Indus events of the most memorable and
momentous kind. Disasters the most disgraceful have been
endured--victories the most brilliant have been achieved. The policy
and the fortunes of a mighty empire under one governor, have been
wholly reversed under another. Safety and security have been
substituted for danger and dismay--a strong and dignified peace for
a weak and aggressive war. These changes have been coincident with a
great revolution in domestic politics. Under Whig auspices those
evils had arisen which their successors have now redressed. Under
the administration of Whigs, that flood of calamity was opened up
which has been arrested without their aid; but which could not have
continued its threatened course without the most perilous
consequences to the country, and the heaviest burden of responsibility
on the authors of the mischief.

In such circumstances it might have been expected--if manly courage
or common decency were to be looked for in such a quarter--that on
these Eastern questions the Whig party should this session have
followed one or other of two courses: either that they should have
taken a bold line of opposition, and vindicated their own Indian
policy, while they attacked that of their successors: or that they
should have preserved a prudent silence on subjects where they could
say nothing in their own praise, and have only lifted up their voice
to join the general acclamations of the country for successes in
which, though not achieved by themselves, they had the best reason
to rejoice, as shielding them from the ignominy and punishment which,
in an opposite event, would have been poured out by public
indignation on the heads of the original wrongdoers.

A strong or an honest party would have chosen one or other of these
lines. But the Whigs are neither strong nor honest; and they have
accordingly, in the late Indian discussions in Parlament, pursued a
course of policy in which it is difficult to say whether feebleness
or fraud be the more conspicuous. They have not ventured to
vindicate their own conduct in invading the Affghan country: they
have not dared to dispute the wisdom of their successors in retiring
from it, when the object of a just retribution was accomplished. But
while driven from these points--while forced to acknowledge the
ability and judgment with which the present Governor-General has
applied the forces of the empire to retrieve our honour and
reputation in the East--while unable to point to a single practical
measure as either improperly taken, or improperly omitted by him,
the Whigs could not refrain, on some pretext or other, from marring
the general joy by the discordant hissings of an impotent envy.
Experiencing in an unparalleled degree both the indulgence of a
generous nation, who are willing to forget the past in the enjoyment
of the present, and the forbearance of high-minded opponents, who
could easily have triumphed in the exposure of their disastrous
blunders, the Whigs have made a characteristic return, by
rancorously assailing the man whom the public views as its benefactor,
with captious criticisms on the terms of a proclamation, or
hypocritical objections to the transmission of a trophy. With that
cunning which the faction have often shown in the use of apparent
opportunities, they gained the reluctant concurrence of a few upright
men, of whose peculiar scruples they contrived to avail themselves,
but with an ignorance of the true English character, for which they
are equally distinguished, they overshot the mark, and stand
convicted of a design to make a verbal misconstruction the pretence
for persecuting an absent man, and to convert honest prejudices into
an unconscious instrument of oppression. They have thus earned a
large allowance of general contempt, and they have nowhere, perhaps,
excited a stronger feeling of disgust than in the minds of those who
thought themselves compelled, by a rigid conscience, to give a
seeming concurrence to their proceedings.

In judging of the conduct and position of Lord Ellenborough, it were
gross ingratitude and injustice to forget the nature of the
calamities with which India was assailed and threatened at the
commencement of his goverment. In the second week of March 1842, the
overland mail from the East conveyed intelligence to our shores which
struck the nation to the very heart, and spread one universal
feeling of grief and dismay, approaching for a time as near to a
feeling of despondency as English breasts can be taught to know. Let
us describe the effect in the words of an impartial observer writing
at the time:--

"No such disastrous news has for many years reached this country as
that which has arrived from India. 'The progress of our arms' was
carried merrily on, till our flag was set beside that of our puppet,
Shah Soojah, in Cabul; but there the progress has abruptly
terminated in the total engulfing of 'our arms.' Yes, Sir William
Macnaghten had just written home to declare our supremacy established,
when all Cabul rose beneath his feet. Sir Alex. Burnes was the first
swallowed in the earthquake of arms; next Sir William himself,
governor of Bombay, and representative of the power of England in
North-Western India, was destroyed, and his mutilated remains were
made the object of ignominious ribaldry; and at length, if very
general rumour is to be believed, the English army of occupation has
been literally expunged. Corunna, Walcheren, all the reverses that
have chequered our military career, baffle the memory to find a
parallel to the utter defeat which, in the eyes of the barbarians of
the Indian frontier, has crushed our power."--_Spectator_, p. 242.

These were the feelings that possessed this country, and which wrung,
even from the Whigs, with every wish to palliate them, an
acknowledgment of the heavy disasters which had befallen us. Pressed
with the weight of these convictions, Mr. Macaulay, in a debate on
the Income-tax, in April 1842, after _cannily_ disclaiming any
responsibility for the Affghan invasion, as having been effected
before he joined the Government, was driven to deplore these
military reverses as the greatest disaster that had ever befallen us:
and added, somewhat incongruously:--

"He did not anticipate, if we acted with vigour, the least danger to
our empire; though it must always be remembered that a great
Mahometan success could not but fall like a spark upon tinder, and
act on the freemasonry of Islamism from Morocco to Coromandel."

What, then, must have been the feeling in India, in the very focus of
this calamitous visitation? Lord Auckland's despatches, now made
public, will tell us what _he_ felt. That he contemplated from the
first the total and instant evacuation of Affghanistan, without
attempting a blow for the vindication of our honour, or the release
of the prisoners, is past all dispute, from documents under his own
hand. Whether he is to be blamed for this resolution, or for the
state of matters which rendered it necessary, is not here the
question. But the fact is remarkable, as throwing further light on
the effrontery of the Whigs. Lord Palmerston, in last August,
twitted the Ministry with Lord Ellenborough's supposed intention to
retire from beyond the Indus, and congratulated the country on the
frustration of that intention, as having saved us "from the eternal
disgrace." He was answered by the Prime Minister at the time in
terms that might have been a warning, and that are now no longer a

"The noble lord presumed much on my forbearance, in what he said with
respect to the Affghan war: and I will not be betrayed by any
language of his to forget what I owe to the public service in
replying to him. It is easy to say, why don't you move troops to
Candahar; and why don't you move troops somewhere else? The noble
lord finds no difficulty in this; but does he recollect that 26,000
camels, carrying the baggage of the troops in Affghanistan, were
sacrificed before they reached it? The noble lord says, 'Who
contemplated the abandonment of Affghanistan?' _I could tell the
noble lord_. Beware, I say; let the noble lord beware of
indiscriminate reflections upon those in office."

It is now known "_who_ contemplated the abandonment of Affghanistan,"
without a struggle to punish the perfidy of the Affghans, to avenge
the insults to our honour, or to redress the wrongs of our countrymen.
Lord Auckland resolved on this course, without even an aspiration
after any thing better than a safe retreat. Nor is such a resolution
to be wondered at when the state of our military preparations is
considered. A letter from Sir Jasper Nicolls, of 24th January 1842,
to the statements in which we see no contradiction in the _Blue Book_,
exhibits at once the condition of our resources, and the feelings of
the head of the Indian army.

"After I had dispatched my letter to your Lordship in Council, I
received the note, of which I transmit a copy herewith, from the
Adjutant-General, and I had a second discussion with Mr. Clerk on the
subject of holding our ground at Jellalabad against any Affghan
power or force, in view to retrieving our position at Cabul, by
advancing upon it, at the fit season, simultaneously from Candahar
to Jellalabad. Having thus regained our position, and the influence
which such proof of power must give, not only in Affghanistan but
amongst all the neighbouring states, we should withdraw with dignity
and undiminished honour. Admitting the undeniable force of this
argument, I am greatly inclined to doubt that we have at present
either army or funds sufficient to renew this contest. Money may,
perhaps, be attainable, but soldiers are not, without leaving India
bare. Shortly before I left Calcutta, there were at least 33,000 men
in our pay in Affghanistan and Scinde, including Shah Soojah's troops,
but not the rabble attached to his person. How insufficient that
number has been to awe the barbarous and at first disunited tribes
of Affghanistan and Scinde, our numerous conflicts, our late reverses,
and our heavy losses fully prove. I admit that a blind confidence in
persons around the late envoy--a total want of forethought and
foresight on his part--unaccountable indecision at first,
followed by cessions which, day by day, rendered our force more
helpless--inactivity, perhaps, on some occasions--have led to these
reverses; but we must not overlook the effects of climate, the
difficulty of communication, the distance from our frontier, and the
fanatical zeal of our opponents. No doubt your lordship can cause an
army to force its way to Cabul, if you think our name and
predominance in India cannot otherwise be supported; but our means
are utterly insufficient to insure our dominion over that country.
If this be granted, the questions for your lordship's decision
are--whether we shall retake Cabul, to assert our paramount power;
and whether, if we subsequently retire, our subjects and neighbours
will not attribute our withdrawal even then, to conscious inability
to hold the country."

In the same spirit the Commander-in-chief, in the beginning of
February transmitted to General Pollock, with the acquiescence of
lord Auckland, to whom he communicated his letter, the following
explanation of the views of Government:--

"You may deem it perfectly certain that Government will not do more
than detach this brigade, and this in view to support Major-General
Sale, either at Jellalabad for a few weeks, or to aid his retreat;
very probably also to strengthen the Sikhs at Peshawar for some time.
It is not intended to collect a force for the reconquest of Cabul.
You will convey the preceding paragraph, if you safely can, to the

Such being the desponding views of the authorities stationed on the
spot, what must have been the anxiety of the new Governor-General on
his arrival in India, when this scene of disaster suddenly opened
upon him with a succession of still further calamities in its train?
We cannot better describe his position than in the words of Sir
Robert Peel, in his speech on the Whig motion for censure--

"The moment he set foot in Madras, what intelligence met him!--the
day he arrived at Benares, what a succession of events took place,
calculated to disturb the firmest mind, and to infuse apprehensions
into the breast of the boldest man! It has been said the cry in
England was, 'What next?' That was a question which Lord
Ellenborough had to put to himself for four or five days after his
arrival. He lands at Madras on the 15th of February, presuming at
the time that his predecessor had secured the admirable position so
frequently spoken of in Affghanistan. He lands at Madras, after a
four months' voyage, in necessary ignorance of all that had occurred
in that interval of time, and to his astonishment he hears of the
insurrection at Cabul. He receives tidings that Sir William
Macnaghten and Sir Alexander Burnes, the envoy and representative of
the British Government, had been murdered; that the city was in a
state of insurrection, and that doubts were entertained as to the
security of the British army. What next? He arrives at Calcutta, and
there hears of the orders of his predecessor to hasten the
evacuation of Affghanistan, for the noble reason of inflicting as
little discredit as possible upon the British powers. He repairs to
Benares, and there he hears the tremendous news that not only you
had lost power in Affghanistan, but that you had so depressed the
spirits and shaken the confidence of the native army, that General
Pollock gives this melancholy account in a letter to Captain M'Gregor:
--'It must no doubt appear to you and Sale most extraordinary, that,
with the force I have here, I do not at once move on; God knows it
has been my anxious wish to do so, but I have been helpless. I came
on ahead to Peshawar to arrange for an advance, but was saluted with
a report of 1900 sick, and a bad feeling among the Sepoys. I visited
the hospitals, and endeavoured to encourage by talking to them, but
they had no heart. On the 1st instant the feeling on the part of the
Sepoys broke out, and I had the mortification of knowing that the
Hindoos of four out of five native corps refused to advance. I
immediately took measures to sift the evil, and gradually reaction
has taken place, in the belief that I will wait for the
reinforcements. This has caused me the utmost anxiety on your account;
your situation is never out of my thoughts; but having told you what
I have, you and Sale will at once see that necessity has kept me here.
I verily believe, if I were to attempt to move on now without the
reinforcement, that the four regiments implicated would, as far as
the Hindoos are concerned, stand fast. The case, therefore, now
stands thus--whether I am to attempt, with my present materials, to
advance, and risk the appearance of disaffection or cowardice, which
in such a case could not again be got over, or wait the arrival of a
reinforcement, which will make all sure--this is the real state of
the case. If I attempted now, I might risk you altogether; but if
you can hold out, the reinforcements would make your relief as
certain as any earthly thing can be.' What next? On the 17th of April,
Lord Ellenborough hears of the failure of General England to force
the Kojuck Pass. On the 19th of April he hears that Ghuznee has
fallen. And what next? This was a question which, I repeat, Lord
Ellenborough had from day to day to put to himself. But what next?
Lord Ellenborough had to contemplate the retirement of the British
force from Afghanistan. This was due to the safety of the British
army, after the proof that the king you had set upon the throne had
no root in the affections of the people, and that the army in
possession of Affghanistan was separated from supplies by a distance
of 600 miles. Finding this state of things, Lord Ellenborough
thought he had no alternative but to bring the troops within the
borders of British protection. For that difficult operation your
policy, and not that of Lord Ellenborough, is responsible. Those who
involved the country in an expedition of this kind, ought justly to
be responsible for its retirement."

It is needless to detail the difficulties in which the armies of
General Pollock and General Nott were then placed. Despondency and
desertion prevailed among the native troops, so as to render any
advance in the utmost degree hazardous, even if they had been
capable of moving. But of the means even of retrograde motion they
were utterly destitute. The explanations given in Parliament on the
vote of thanks to the army and the Governor-General, establish
beyond a doubt the absence of all means of carriage till the
indefatigable exertions of Lord Ellenborough supplied them with
every thing that was needed. The Whigs affect to disparage these
arrangements as belonging to the vulgar department of a
Commissary-General; and we may therefore infer that Lord
Ellenborough's predecessor would have deemed such a task beneath his
dignity, and left it to some delegate, who might have performed or
neglected his duty, as accident might direct. Had that been the case,
the chances are at least equal, that Lord Auckland would have been
as well and as successfully served in this branch of military
administration as he had already been in the occupation of Cabul,
and that further failures and reverses would have hung the tenure of
our Indian empire on the cast of a die.

The evacuation of Affghanistan at the earliest possible period, was
dictated both by the proceedings of Lord Auckland, by the condition
of India, and by the peaceful policy of a Conservative Government.
But the mode in which it should be accomplished, and the
demonstrations of British power which should attend it, were
necessarily questions depending entirely "upon military
considerations;" and for several months it seemed impossible that
our armies could be put in a state of moral and physical strength,
such as could justify the risk of any forward or devious movement of
importance. The indefatigable zeal and admirable arrangements,
however, of the Governor-General, his personal presence near the
scene of exertion, the concentration of a large and imposing force
on the Sutlej, giving courage and security to the troops in the field,
and the undaunted spirit of British officers, succeeded at last in
giving, an altered and more encouraging complexion to the aspect of
our affairs. In one of the first statements of his views, Lord
Ellenborough had significantly said, (15th March 1842:)--

"We are fully sensible of the advantages which would be derived from
the re-occupation of Cabul, the scene of our great disaster and of
so much crime, even for week--of the means which it might afford of
recovering the prisoners, of the gratification which it would give
to the army, and of the effect which it would have upon our enemies.
Our withdrawal might then be made to rest upon an official
declaration of the grounds upon which we retired, as solemn as that
which accompanied our advance; and we should retire as a conquering,
and not as a defeated, power."

But it was only in July that the Governor-General was in a condition
to suggest the practical accomplishment of this desirable object,
incidentally to our retirement from a country which we should never
have entered. On the 4th July is dated the admirable despatch to
General Nott, which, in the opinion of the Duke of Wellington, was
all that could have been wished for, and which we cannot help
transferring to our columns:--

"You will have learnt from Mr. Maddock's letters of the 13th May and
1st of June, that it was not expected that your movement towards
the Indus could be made till October, regard being had to the health
and efficiency of your army. You appear to have been able to give a
sufficient equipment to the force you recently despatched to
Kelat-i-Ghilzie, under Colonel Wymer; and since his return, you will
have received, as I infer from a private letter addressed by Major
Outram to Captain Durand, my private secretary, a further supply of
3000 camels.

"I have now, therefore, reason to suppose, _for the first time_,
that you have the means of moving a very large proportion of your
army, with ample equipment for any service.

"There has been no deficiency of provisions at Candahar at any time;
and, immediately after the harvest, you will have an abundant supply.

"Nothing has occurred to induce me to change my first opinion, that
the measure, commanded by considerations of political and military
prudence, is to bring back the armies now in Affghanistan at the
earliest period at which their retirement can be effected,
consistently with the health and efficiency of the troops, into
positions wherein they may have easy and certain communication with
India; and to this extent, the instructions you have received remain
unaltered. _But the improved position of your army, with sufficient
means of carriage for as large a force as it is necessary to move in
Affghanistan, induced me now to leave to your option the line by
which you shall withdraw your troops from that country_.

"I must desire, however, that, in forming your decision upon this
most important question, you will attend to the following

"In the direction of Quetta and Sukkur, there is no enemy to oppose
you; at each place occupied by detachments, you will find provisions:
and probably, as you descend the passes, you will have increased
means of carriage. The operation is one admitting of no doubt as to
its success.

"If you determine upon moving upon Ghuznee, Cabul, and Jellalabad,
you will require, for the transport of provisions, a much larger
amount of carriage, and you will be practically without
communications from the time of your leaving Candahar. Dependent
entirely upon the courage of your army, and upon your own ability in
direction it, I should not have any doubt as to the success of the
operations; but whether you will be able to obtain provisions for
your troops during the whole march, and forage for your animals, may
be a matter of reasonable doubt. Yet upon this your success will turn.

"You must remember that it was not the superior courage of the
Affghans, but want, and the inclemency of the season, which led to
the destruction of the army at Cabul; and you must feel, as I do,
that the loss of another army, from whatever cause it might arise,
might be fatal to our government in India.

"I do not undervalue the account which our government in India would
receive from the successful execution by your army of a march
through Ghuznee and Cabul, over the scenes of our late disasters. I
know all the effect with it would have upon the minds of our soldiers,
of our allies, of our enemies in Asia, and of our countrymen, and of
all foreign nations in Europe. It is an object of just ambition,
which no one more than myself would rejoice to see effected; but I
see that failure in the attempt is certain and irretrievable ruin;
and I would endeavour to inspire you with the necessary caution,
and make you feel that, great as are the objects to be obtained by
success, the risk is great also.

"If you determine upon moving by Ghuznee, and entirely give up your
communication by Quetta, I should suggest that you should take with
you only the most efficient troops and men you have, securing the
retreat of the remainder upon Killa, Abdoola, and Quetta.

"You will in such case, consider it to be entirely a question to be
decided by yourself, according to circumstances, whether you shall
destroy or not the fortifications of Candahar; but, before you set
out upon your adventurous march, do not fail to make the retirement
of the force you leave behind you perfectly secure, and give such
instructions as you deem necessary for the ultimate retirement of the
troops in Scinde, upon Sukkur.

"You will recollect that what you will have to make is a successful
march; that that march must not be delayed by any hazardous
operations against Ghuznee or Cabul; that you should carefully
calculate the time required to enable you to reach Jellalabad in the
first week in October, so as to form the rearguard of Major-General
Pollock's army. If you should be enabled by _coup-de-main_ to get
possession of Ghuznee and Cabul, you will act as you see fit,
_and leave decisive proofs of the power of the British army,
without impeaching its humanity_. You will bring away from the tomb
of Mahmood of Ghuznee, his club, which hangs over it; and you will
bring away the gates of his tomb, which are the gates of the Temple
of Somnauth. _These will be the just trophies of your successful

"You will not fail to disguise your intention of moving, and to
acquaint Major-General Pollock with your plans as soon as you have
formed them. _A copy of this letter will be forwarded to
Major-General Pollock to-day; and he will be instructed, by a
forward movement, to facilitate your advance_; but he will probably
not deem it necessary to move any troops actually to Cabul, where
your force will be amply sufficient to beat any thing the Affghans
can oppose to it. The operations, however, of the two armies must be
combined upon their approach, so as to effect, with the least
possible loss, the occupation of Cabul, and keep open the
communications between Cabul and Peshawar.

"One apprehension upon my mind is, that, in the event of your
deciding upon moving on Jellalabad, by Ghuznee and Cabul, the
accumulation of so great a force as that of your army, combined with
Major-General Pollock's, in the narrow valley of the Cabul river,
may produce material difficulties in the matter of provisions and
forage; but every effort will be made from India to diminish that
difficulty, should you adopt that line of retirement.

"This letter remains absolutely secret. I have, &c.


A paltry attempt was made in Parliament by Lord John Russell to
represent this despatch as intended to defraud General Nott of his
military trophies in the event of success, and to relieve the
Governor-General of responsibility in the event of failure. No such
base construction can be put upon it. Lord Ellenborough was doing his
own duty as a civil minister, and leaving General Nott to do _his_
as a military commander. A military responsibility lay on General
Nott, from which no ruler could relieve him; but the military glory
was his also, if he felt himself justified in choosing the path of
honour that was opened to him. Who grudges the triumphs that General
Nott and his companions-in-arms have achieved? Not certainly Lord
Ellenborough or his friends. Let the distinctions which have been
heaped on the Indian army and its leaders answer that question. But
is their military merit a reason for denying to the man, under whose
administration these victories were won, the high honour of having
done all which a civil governor could do, to direct and assist the
armies of his country? Let each receive the praise of his own merits,
and we doubt not that military men, wherever, at least, they have
experienced the reverse, will be the first to appreciate and commend,
in Lord Ellenborough's administration, that active sympathy and
assistance which are so essential to military efficiency and success.

It is said that the despatch of the 4th of July is qualified by
heavy cautions. And should it not have been so? In addressing a
British officer with a field of exertion before him, so glorious in
a military, so hazardous in a political view, it is surely not the
spur, but the curb, that a civilian was called on to apply. The
courage of such a commander required nothing to fan the flame: The
danger, if any, was rather that he would rashly seize the
opportunity afforded him, than that he would timidly resign it; and
if he was not prepared to adopt the bolder course, in the face of
all the hazards which attended it, it was best that the enterprize
should not be undertaken at all.

But Lord Ellenborough knew his man. In appointing General Nott, in
March, to the command of all the troops, and entrusting him with the
control of all the agents in Lower Affghanistan, the Governor and
Council had desired him "to rely upon our constant support, and upon
our placing the most favourable interpretation upon all the measures
he may deem it necessary to adopt in the execution of our orders."
And in now giving him the option of retiring by Cabul, Lord
Ellenborough was assured that the General needed no other
encouragement to avail himself of it, than the feeling that all
counter-considerations had been stated and duly weighed. Every
preparation was immediately made to support General Nott in his
adventurous enterprize; and Lord Ellenborough writes to General

"I am in hopes that Major-General Nott will to-day be in possession
of my letter of the 4th instant, and that you will, very soon after
you receive this letter, be made acquainted with the Major-General's
intentions. _My expectation is_, that Major-General Nott will feel
himself sufficiently strong, and be sufficiently provided with
carriage, to march upon Ghuznee and Cabul."

The result was such as had been looked for. The combined operation
of the two armies placed the Affghans at our mercy, and terminated,
by the ample vindication of our honour, and the restoration of our
imprisoned friends, our inauspicious connexion with these barbarians,
who had retaliated so cruelly the aggression we had made upon them.

It may be safely conjectured, that if these final triumphs had been
achieved under the direction of Lord Auckland, even though merely
retrieving the errors of his former policy, we should never have
heard an end of the eulogiums pronounced upon him. Lord John Russell
would have crowed and clapped his wings in the "moment of victory."
Lord Palmerston would have blustered more brazenly than ever.
Mr. Macaulay would have aired the whole stores of his panegyrical
vocabulary; and Sir John Hobhouse would not have gone abroad.

But, under whatever Government achieved, these results would have
filled the minds of patriotic men with unmingled gratitude to all
who had contributed to their accomplishment. India had been in danger,
and was safe. The British arms had been stained by defeat, and were
again glancing brightly in the light of victory. Our countrymen and
countrywomen had been almost hopeless captives, and were now
restored to freedom and their friends. In such a scene and season of
rejoicing, we might have thought that none but a Whig of the very
oldest school of all, could have entertained any feelings but those
of generous sympathy and unrepining satisfaction. But limits cannot
easily be put to human perverseness. The party whose policy had
caused the evils from which we and they have been delivered, felt
nothing but intense hatred to him who had been most prominent in
that deliverance; and, heedless of the good that he had done, they
fastened on what seemed to their malignant and microscopic vision
some specks that chequered his otherwise unblemished administration
of affairs.

The idea of discussing in Parliament, as we have lately witnessed,
the literary style of a Government state paper at a crisis so
momentous, implies a levity that would be hateful if it were not
ludicrous. But there is something peculiarly laughable in the
pedantry of such criticism. When other men are thinking of what has
been done, the reviewers and poetasters of the Whig Opposition can
think only of what has been said. The facts that are before them
have no value in their eyes; they see nothing but the phraseology.
From men who had themselves done nothing but what was mischievous,
this is perhaps natural. They are content, possibly, if they have
never said a foolish thing, to have never done a wise one; though we
are doubtful if a taunt about simplicity of composition, either
comes well from the noble leader of the Whigs, or his friends, when
we remember some of their old achievements in addressing their
supporters. But in the peculiar position of the Whigs, with ignominy
and impeachment suspended over their heads for their Affghan errors,
we think that such a course is as becoming as if a condemned
criminal were to carp at the literary composition of his own reprieve.

The tactics of the Whigs in their move against Lord Ellenborough, had
all the craft of conscious weakness. First, they postponed their
motion from time to time, till they were rescued by their opponents
from Mr. Roebuck's assault upon them. Then they arranged their
attack for the same night in both Houses of Parliament, lest
explanations in any high quarter in the one might damage a future
discussion in the other; and lastly, though thus acting by
simultaneous and concerted movements in both, they framed their
motions differently in each place; and in the Commons, where they had
some dream of better success, confined themselves to the religious
question under the letter on the Somnauth gates, omitting the Simla
proclamation of the 1st October, which they knew neither
Conservative nor Radical would join them to condemn.

With regard to the Somnauth gates, a pettier piece of hypercriticism,
and a more palpable exhibition of hypocrisy, were never witnessed on
a public question. Two things on this point are as plain as day.

1. That in retiring from the Affghan country, we were called upon to
do so as much as possible in the light of triumphant victors,
bearing every mark of military prowess and superiority that could
readily be assumed, and inflicting as heavy a blow, and as severe a
discouragement on our perfidious enemies, as humanity would permit.

2. That, the Affghan trophies of Mahmoud's success were treasured up
by his nation as an assurance of continued ascendancy over their
Hindoo neighbours; and that, in particular, the redelivery to India
of these very gates of Somnauth, were, in negotiations of recent date,
demanded by Runjeet Singh as an inestimable boon, and deprecated by
Shah Soojah as a degrading humiliation.

Keeping in view these undeniable circumstances, it is clear that the
seizure of these Somnauth gates was appropriately ordered as a
palpable and permanent demonstration of conquest, and one eminently
calculated to encourage the Indian army, and to depress their enemies.

That these gates were connected with the religion of the country, is
of no relevancy in this matter. Every thing relating to Hindoo
grandeur is more or less interwoven with religion; but we must take
things as they are. We are the rulers of Hindostan; where the vast
preponderance of our subjects and soldiers are Hindoos. We wish them
to be Christians, but they are not so yet; and, until they become
Christianized, we cannot hope or wish that they should forget the
only faith which they have to raise them above the earth they tread.
Their religion is corrupted to the core; but in its primitive type,
after which its worshippers will sometimes even yet aspire, it is
not destitute of a high spirituality that would seek to assimilate
and unite men's souls to the Great Being, whom they reverence as the
maker, maintainer, and changer of the universe. Hindooism is more
fantastic, and less pleasingly endeared to us, than the paganism of
Greece, but it is scarcely more lax or licentious; yet if Fortune,
in its caprices, had ordained our Indian subjects to be heathen
Greeks, with a Whig Governor-General bringing them back in triumph
to their homes, Lord Palmerston, who now, in a mingled rant of
mythology, and methodism, talks of "Dii and Jupiter hostis," would
himself have penned a paragraph about the restored temple of Mars or
Venus, and would have held up the scruples of Sir Robert Inglis and
Mr. Plumptre to classical ridicule.

But it is plain that here no religious triumph was, or could have
been, contemplated by Lord Ellenborough. On this point we need no
other evidence than that of Joseph Hume, who, combining the
properties of Balaam and his ass, often brays out a blessing when he
intends a curse. He tells us that--

A Hindoo of high caste, now in this country, the Vakeel of the Rajah
of Sattara, had written to him a letter, in which he stated--
"It appears to me that the restoration of the gates of Somnauth
could have no reference either to the support or degradation of any
religious faith. To restore the gates to their original purpose is
impracticable by the tenets of the Hindoo religion. Their doctrine is,
that any thing, when in contact with a dead body, or any thing
belonging to it, whether tomb or garment, is utterly contaminated and
unfit for religious purposes. In my opinion, therefore, the
proclamation must have been intended to gratify the feelings of the
Hindoo portion of our army, by removing a stain which the western
portion of India had long felt oppressive. In fact, he believed that
the Governor-General, by this means, conciliated the feelings of the
Hindoo soldiery in their return from those scenes of death and
disaster in which they had behaved so well, and where thousands of
their fellow-countrymen had fallen. I hope that this intention of
Lord Ellenborough to conciliate the princes of India will extend to
my unfortunate master.' This letter was from (we believe) Rumgoo
Baffagee, Vakeel of the Rajah of Sattara, and he thought it was so
important, that he had sent for the Vakeel, whom he found a most
intelligent man; and from his conversation he (Mr. Hume) was
satisfied that, so far from being applied to the Hindoo population
exclusively, it was utterly impossible that the gates could be used
for the religious purposes to which the Governor-General seemed to
have destined them. He had satisfied him (Mr. Hume) that the object
of the proclamation was merely to bring back to Western India those
gates, the absence of which in Afghanistan had long been felt as an
opprobrium. He hoped therefore, that those religious sects who had
most unnecessarily take the alarm on this score, would be appeased.
So far from the proclamation being an exclusive one, no single
sentence was there in it which could be read after the address to
'_all_ the princes and chiefs, and people of India,' as applicable
to any one."

But it is said that such a trophy may give offence to Mahommedans;
and Mr. Mangles tells us, that the Mohommedan population sympathize
strongly with the Affghans, and revere the memory of Mahmoud. If
that be the case, it would have been difficult to bring any trophy
home, or to imprint any mark of the superiority of our arms, without
displeasing this sect. But, in that view, who are the parties
responsible for thus placing our essential interests, and the safety
of India generally, in contrast with the feelings of  Mohommedan
subjects? Those certainly who, regardless of all justice, made a
wanton aggression on a Mahommedan power. Those certainly who,
regardless of all prudence, gave occasion to the Affghan massacre
and captivity of British and Indian soldiers; and, by a great
Mahommedan success, kindled a spark which was ready to set the
freemasonry of Islamism on fire "from Morocco to Coromandel." If we
have been placed in a false position, as regards our Mahommedan
subjects, we have to blame the Whigs, whose wanton and unwise
measures created this collision of interests, and not Lord
Ellenborough, who has adopted measures the most natural and the most
humane, to reestablish the ascendancy and the reputation of English
and Indian power.

The proclamation of Simla needs no vindication. It has satisfied
every one but the Whigs, who can never forget and never forgive it.
It is poor pretence to say, that it denounces in an indecorous
manner the errors of the previous governor. It does no such thing.
It speaks, indeed, of errors, but only conscious culpability would
have taken the allusion to itself. There were errors, and grievous
ones. The Whigs themselves must say that; and they have not been
slow to shift to the shoulders of military officers the results that
most people think they should bear themselves. The proclamation of
Lord Ellenborough seems to us to have been framed with a punctilious
desire to reconcile in the eyes of India his own policy with that
which had been avowed by his predecessor, and to ascribe the change
of plans to a change of circumstances, and not of principles. We
speak here of the avowed policy of his predecessor; for Lord Auckland,
at least, pretended that he had no aggressive or hostile views
against the Affghans, and no desire for a permanent occupation of
their country. The real designs of the Whig Government are a
different thing; and with these, as avowed by Lord Palmerston in
Parliament, the intentions of Lord Ellenborough were wholly

Let us listen here to one who knows the subject. The Duke of
Wellington tells us the errors that Lord Ellenborough alludes to as
occasioning our military disasters, and he shows us where those
errors lay:--

"There is not a word in this proclamation that is not strictly
true. But I do not blame the noble lord opposite, the late
Governor-General of India; yet I cannot help looking _at the enormous
errors_ which have been committed from the commencement of these
transactions in which these disasters originated, down to the last
retreat from Cabul--I say, looking at all this, I still must blame,
not the late Governor-General, but the gentlemen who acted under him.
In the first place, I attribute the error to the gentleman who fell
a victim to his own want of judgment. The army unfortunately was
partly English and partly Hindoo--not Affghans, but Hindoos. What
was the consequence? To maintain the whole system of the government,
including the collection of the revenue, devolved upon that army.
All the details of the government were carried on through the agency
of that English and Hindoo army, and eventually it became necessary
to support that army with some troops in the service of the Company.
Now, the gentleman who was responsible for this ought to have known
that there was one rule, the violation of which any one acquainted
with the government of India knew nothing could justify, and that was,
the employment of the Company's European troops in the collection of
the revenue. That rule is invariably laid down, and is invariably
observed. That, as your lordships must plainly see, is one of the
errors that has been committed. There is another point to which I
wish to call your attention; it is this, that the country never had
been occupied by an army as it ought to have been occupied. With the
north no practicable communication was maintained--no practicable
communications were kept up between Shikarpore, Candahar, and Ghuznee.
The passes were held only through the agency of banditti. I do not
blame the noble lord, but I blame the gentleman to whom the army was
entrusted. He seemed never to have looked at what had been done by
former commanders in similar circumstances. Any officer who has the
command of an army ought to feel it to be his first duty to keep up
a communication with his own country. If such communication had been
maintained, those disasters never would have befallen us--they could
not have happened. This was one of the errors committed; but I do
not say that the noble lord opposite is answerable for that error.
Not only was no communication kept up with the north, but none was
kept up with the south. Neither the Kojuck nor the Bolan pass was
kept open. Can that, my lords, be called a military communication?
Could such a state of things exist? Why, was not this another
error--a gross error? The noble lord opposite (Lord Auckland) had no
more to do with this than I have. Sir W. Macnaghten, the gentleman
who perished, could not have been ignorant of what was done in other
places. He must have read the history of the Spanish war, and he
must have recollected how the French conducted themselves in a
similar situation; how they fortified the passes, and secured their
communications. But he was not an officer; the gentleman at the head
of the army in Affghanistan was not an officer--that was another

That such errors existed is undeniable. Lord Auckland says there
were errors:--

"With regard to the errors of the campaign, he conceived they rested
with the military commanders, not with Sir W. Macnaghten; and if
errors had been committed by Sir William, they must be shared
between him and the more direct military commanders."

Lord John Russell said,--

"I have heard causes given, and upon very high authority, for these
disasters; I have heard it stated that very great errors were
committed--that those errors consisted partly in not keeping up a
communication by the straightest road between Cabul and Peshawar.
This may be just; these may be errors, but they are errors not
necessary or in any way connected with the policy of entering into
Affghanistan. I may mention another circumstance--that the
expedition into Affghanistan was undertaken under Lord Keane, who was
shortly after succeeded by Sir W. Cotton; he came home, and was
succeeded by General Elphinstone, who, from the time of assuming the
command, never appears to have been in the state of vigorous health
necessary for such a position. Are not these circumstances to be
taken into account? If my Lord Auckland had had at his disposal any
of those illustrious men who had honoured the British army in later
days--if such a man as Lord Keane had remained in Cabul--my
persuasion is, you would never have heard of such a disaster as that
which took place at Cabul."

We shall leave the Whigs to settle the question with their
subordinates, as to the precise degree of blame which each of the
parties shall bear. But there is seldom blame with the servants
without blame in the master; and it is one of Lord Ellenborough's
just titles to our praise, that he has been ably served by the
officers whom he so ably supported.

If our Affghan disasters were imputable to gross errors in detail,
was it not right to denounce the cause? It would have been a
melancholy thing if we had been thus betrayed and circumvented
without errors in our own servants. If British troops had been thus
cut off, notwithstanding the use of every prudent precaution, the
disasters would then have gone far to put in question the
invincibility of our military power. It was necessary to declare,
that by individual and special mal-arrangement, this unparalleled
disaster had arisen; so that none of our enemies should thence
derive a hope to crush us again, until at least the incompetent
officials of a confiding Whig Government should give them another
such opportunity.

The proclamation of Simla had another purpose--that of announcing
the future policy of the Government, and repudiating those designs of
aggression and aggrandizement which there was too good ground for
imputing to us, and which could not fail to inspire distrust and
suspicion in the minds even of friendly neighbours. On this point
nothing can be added to the admirable exposition of Lord Fitzgerald
in the late debate:--

"But there were other circumstances which compelled the
Governor-General of India; he meant, which made it his duty to
proclaim the motives of the policy of the Government; and why?
--because a different policy had been proclaimed by his predecessor;
and when it became necessary to withdraw from Affghanistan, it was
necessary to show that this was not a retreat. We were compelled to
show that we were not shrinking from setting up a king, because we
could not sustain him there. He said it was the duty of the
Governor-General to make that known to the Indian public. He would
not attempt to shelter Lord Ellenborough in this respect, by
saying--'it was prudent,' or, 'it did no harm:'--he maintained it
was his duty. What had been the language of the late Ministers of the
Crown, in the last session of Parliament? And these debates, as the
noble Earl had well said, 'went forth to India;' the discussions in
that House went forth to the Indian public. He found one Minister of
the Crown saying--'He should like to see the Minister, or the
Governor of India, who would dare to withdraw from the position we
occupied in Affghanistan.' (Hear, hear.) He found another noble lord,
in another place, stating, 'they took credit for the whole of that
measure, and he trusted that at no time would that position in
Affghanistan be abandoned.' These were views of public policy which
went forth to India, and it was not inconvenient nor unjust that
those who administered the government of India on different
principles should proclaim their views. The noble earl opposite,
knew that at that period it was not intended altogether to confine
the operations of the army to the westward of the Indus. It was very
well to say, that it was unwise and impolitic, and calculated to
destroy the unanimity which was so essential to the Government of
India, to issue public information as to the reasons for the
withdrawal of an army, although its advance was heralded by a
declaration on all these points, because the withdrawal of an army
was supposed to terminate the operations; but in the eyes of India
and Asia, if the declaration of the noble earl, dated from Simla on
the same day of the same month of a preceding year, had remained as
a record of British policy after that declaration had been followed
by a campaign, brilliant at its commencement, but as delusive as
brilliant, and terminated by a most awful tragedy, and by the
greatest disaster that ever befell the British forces--was it
unbecoming in a Governor-General to state, that the views and policy
of the Government of India had changed, and that the Government no
longer wished to interfere in the policy of Affghanistan, its motives
for so doing having passed away on finding that the king,
represented to be so popular, was unpopular? But there was another
circumstance which called for Lord Ellenborough's declaration, namely,
the necessity of allaying the apprehensions and fears of other states;
and it was Lord Ellenborough's duty to do this. Had the Sikhs no
apprehensions with respect to our intentions on Lahore? The most
serious apprehensions had been stated by the Durbar of Lahore to our
political agent there, Mr. Clark, and had been represented by him to
the Government of India.--Other states also had entertained
apprehensions of the intentions and motives of the Indian Government,
and he had yet to learn that it was a fault in a Governor-General to
allay these apprehensions of native states, even if no precedent
could be found for such a proceeding. After the policy of the Indian
Government which had been proclaimed, it became Lord Ellenborough's
duty to take the step he had done."

This, however, is the true _gravamen_ of the quarrel of the Whigs
with Lord Ellenborough. He has thrown overboard their aggressive
policy--that policy which Lord Auckland, indeed, had not in words
avowed in India, but which his friends at home had openly declared
and gloried in. It was necessary for Lord Ellenborough, by a frank
declaration of his intentions, to exclude the prevalent
suspicion--nay, the universal belief--of those projects of
encroachment which the Whig Government had countenanced. This was
the unkindest cut of all.

  "Ill-weaved ambition! how much art
  thou shrunk!"

It was hard that their Affghan laurels--the only wreaths of victory
that the Whigs had ever won--should have already withered on their
brow. It was hard that their disasters should have been retrieved
under the sway of a political opponent. But it was intolerable that
the plans of conquest which they had fondly cherished, and tried to
press upon the country, should be virtually denounced amid the
universal approbation of all good men at home and abroad; that the
solitary achievement of their administration in military affairs,
should be recorded in the page of history, only to be condemned as
an act of injustice, inexcusably undertaken, and incompetently
executed: and relinquished by their successors in the very hour of
triumph, with a wise self-denial which no one will suspect that a
Whig could have ever practised.

The cloven foot has here too plainly been revealed. It is not this
phrase or that procession in particular that has displeased the Whigs.
It is the abandonment of a policy which they dared not proclaim in
India, and which they could not justify in England. They are always
hankering after it still. Mr. Vernon Smith: "Considered it most
absurd for any Governor General to declare publicly that our Indian
empire had reached the limits which nature had assigned to it. Why,
what were the limits which nature had assigned to our Indian empire?
In early days, the Mahratta ditch was said to be its natural limit;
and why was the Sutlej or the Indus to be more the boundary of our
empire than the Himalayas?"

Even Lord John Russell, who _now_ acknowledges the wisdom of
surrendering Affghanistan, declares, in almost so many words, that
his party have shrunk from a general vote of censure because they
could not properly put it, and have chosen this Act as "not the worst,"
but the most convenient to attack. What the other errors of Lord
Ellenborough are, or whether there are any, except the exploded
story of the incivility to Mr. Amos, is nowhere definitely,
discoverable in their discussions, and is not likely for some time
to assume a greater degree of consistency than vague Whig calumnies
and general Whig dissatisfaction. Let them come to something definite,
and see how they will fare. If, as their old friend Lord Brougham
said, "revelling in defeat, and intoxicated with failure," they know
not when they have had enough--if they desire a contest on some other
issue--let them name their day and abide the result.

In conclusion, we would only observe, what a contrast the conduct of
the Whig party towards Lord Ellenborough exhibits to that of their
opponents towards Lord Auckland! The ex Governor-General is not
absent, but here to defend himself; and every one sees how much room
there is for assailing his measures. Their calamitous result would
of itself go far to support the charge of imprudence, or something
worse. But not a word has been said against him that could be avoided;
and even those statements that necessarily reflect upon his
discretion, have been extorted from the Conservative party, in reply
to the attacks which Lord Auckland's friends have made upon his
successor. The English people admire fair play as much as they
appreciate the value of practical benefits. They see the false
pretences on which an absent man has now been assailed by
disappointed opponents; they feel the generosity that has saved his
rival from retaliation. They know the state of Indian affairs when
Lord Ellenborough assumed his office, and they can estimate the
position into which they have now been brought under his vigorous
management. They agree with him in the pacific principles which he
has avowed, and look forward to a continued career of useful services,
in which the resources of that great empire will be more than ever
developed under his control, and the power of the British name
perpetuated by a wise, an upright, and a fearless Administration.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 330, April 1843" ***

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