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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 331, May, 1843
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 331, May, 1843" ***

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BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE


NO. CCCXXXI. MAY, 1843. VOL. LIII.



CONTENTS.


    DUMAS IN ITALY
    AMMALÁT BEK. A TRUE TALE OF THE CAUCASUS FROM THE
      RUSSIAN OF MARLÍNSKI.--CHAPTER VI.
    REYNOLD'S DISCOURSES. CONCLUSION
    LEAP-YEAR. A TALE
    THE BATTLE OF THE BLOCKS. THE PAVING QUESTION
    POEMS AND BALLADS OF SCHILLER.--No. VIII.
    NATURAL HISTORY OF SALMON AND SEA-TROUT
    CALEB STUKELY. PART THE LAST
    COMMERCIAL POLICY. SPAIN



DUMAS IN ITALY.

    [_Souvenirs de Voyage en Italie, par_ ALEXANDRE DUMAS. 5 vols. duod.]


France has lately sent forth her poets in great force, to travel, and to
write travels. Delamartine, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and others,
have been forth in the high-ways and the high-seas, observing,
portraying, poetizing, romancing. The last-mentioned of these, M. Dumas,
a dramatist very ingenious in the construction of plots, and one who
tells a story admirably, has travelled quite in character. There is a
dramatic air thrown over all his proceedings, things happen as pat as if
they had been rehearsed, and he blends the novelist and tourist together
after a very bold and original fashion. It is a new method of writing
travels that he has hit upon, and we recommend it to the notice of our
countrymen or countrywomen, who start from home with the fixed idea,
happen what may, of inditing a book. He does not depend altogether upon
the incidents of the road, or the raptures of sight-seeing, or any odd
fantasy that buildings or scenery may be kind enough to suggest: he
provides himself with full half of his materials before he starts, in
the shape of historical anecdote and romantic story, which he
distributes as he goes along. A better plan for an amusing book could
not be devised. Your mere tourist, it must be confessed, however
frivolous he submits for our entertainment to become, grows heavy on our
hands; that rapid and incessant change of scene which is kindly meant to
enliven our spirits, becomes itself wearisome, and we long for some
resting-place, even though it should be obtained by that most
illegitimate method of closing the volume. On the other hand, a teller
of tales has always felt the want of some enduring thread--though, as
some one says in a like emergency, it be only _packthread_--on which his
tales may be strung--something to fill up the pauses, and prevent the
utter solution of continuity between tale and tale--something that gives
the narrator a reasonable plea for _going on again_, and makes the
telling another story an indispensable duty upon his part, and the
listening to it a corresponding obligation upon ours; and ever since the
time when that young lady of unpronounceable and unrememberable name
told the One Thousand and One Tales, telling a fragment every morning to
keep her head upon her shoulders, there has been devised many a strange
expedient for this purpose. Now, M. Dumas has contrived, by uniting the
two characters of tourist and novelist, to make them act as reliefs to
each other. Whilst he shares with other travellers the daily adventures
of the road--the journey, the sight, and the dinner--he is not compelled
to be always moving; he can pause when he pleases, and, like the
_fableur_ of olden times, sitting down in the market-place, in the
public square, at the corner of some column or statue, he narrates his
history or his romance. Then, the story told, up starts the busy and
provident tourist; lo! the _voiture_ is waiting for him at the hotel; in
he leaps, and we with him, and off we rattle through other scenes, and
to other cities. He has a track _in space_ to which he is bound; we
recognize the necessity that he should proceed thereon; but he can
diverge at pleasure through all _time_, bear us off into what age he
pleases, make us utterly oblivious of the present, and lap us in the
Elysium of a good story.

With a book written palpably for the sole and most amiable purpose of
amusement, and succeeding in this purpose, how should we deal? How but
receive it with a passive acquiescence equally amiable, content solely
to be amused, and giving all severer criticism--to him who to his other
merits may add, if he pleases, that of being the first critic. Most
especially let us not be carping and questioning as to the how far, or
what precisely, we are to set down for _true_. It is all true--it is all
fiction; the artist cannot choose but see things in an artistical form;
what ought not to be there drops from his field of vision. We are not
poring through a microscope, or through a telescope, to discover new
truths; we are looking at the old landscape through coloured glasses,
blue, or black, or roseate, as the occasion may require. And here let us
note a favourable contrast between our dramatic tourist, bold in
conception, free in execution, and those compatriots of our own, authors
and authoresses, who write travels merely because they are artists in
ink, yet without any adequate notion of the duties and privileges of
such an artist.

When a writer has got a name, the first rational use to make of the
charming possession is to get astride of it, as a witch upon her
broomstick, and whisk and scamper over half the kingdoms of the earth.
Talk of bills of exchange!--letters of credit!--we can put our name to a
whole book, and it will pass--it _will_ pass. The idea is good--quite
worthy of our commercial genius--and to us its origin, we believe, is
due; but here, as in so many other cases, the Frenchman has given the
idea its full development. Keeping steadily in view the object of his
book, which is--first, amusement--secondly, amusement--thirdly,
amusement; he adapts his means consistently to his end. Does he want a
dialogue?--he writes one: a story?--he invents one: a description?--he
takes his hint from nature, and is grateful--the more grateful, because
he knows that a hint to the wise is sufficient. It is the description
only which the reader will be concerned with; what has he to do with the
object? That is the merely traveller's affair. Now, your English
tourists have always a residue of scruple about them which balks their
genius. Not satisfied with pleasing, they aspire to be believed; are
almost angry if their anecdote is not credited; content themselves with
adding graces, giving a turn, trimming and decorating--cannot build a
structure boldly from the bare earth. This necessity of finding a
certain straw for their bricks, which must be picked up by the roadside,
not only impedes the work of authorship, but must add greatly to their
personal discomfort throughout the whole of their travels. They are in
perpetual chase of something for the book. They bag an incident with as
much glee as a sportsman his first bird in September. They are out on
pleasure, but manifestly they have their task too; it is not quite
holiday, only half-holiday with them. The prospect or the picture gives
no pleasure till it has suggested the appropriate expression of
enthusiasm, which, once safely deposited in the note-book, the
enthusiasm itself can be quietly indulged in, or permitted to evaporate.
At the dinner-table, even when champagne is circulating, if a jest or a
story falls flat, they see with an Aristotelian precision the cause of
its failure, and how an additional touch, or a more auspicious moment,
would have procured for it a better fate; they stop to pick it up, they
clean it, they revolve the chapter and the page to which it shall lend
its lustre. Nay, it is noticeable, that without much labour from the
polisher, many a dull thing in conversation has made a good thing in
print; the conditions of success are so different. Now, from all such
toils and perplexities M. Dumas is evidently free; free as the wildest
Oxonian who flies abroad in the mere wanton prodigality of spirits and
of purse. His book is made, or can be made, when he chooses: fortune
favours the bold, and incidents will always dispose themselves
dramatically to the dramatist.

Our traveller opens his campaign at Nice. It may be observed that M.
Dumas cannot be accused, like the present minister of his country, of
any partiality to the English; if the mortifying truth must be told, he
has no love of us at all; to which humour, so long as he delivers
himself of it with any wit or pleasantry, he is heartily welcome. Our
first extract will be thought, perhaps, to taste of this humour; but we
quote it for the absurd proof it affords of the manner in which we
English have overflooded some portions of the Continent:--

    "As to the inhabitants of Nice, every traveller is to them an
    Englishman. Every foreigner they see, without distinction of
    complexion, hair, beard, dress, age, or sex, has, in their
    imagination, arrived from a certain mysterious city lost in the
    midst of fogs, where the inhabitants have heard of the sun only
    from tradition, where the orange and the pine-apple are unknown
    except by name, where there is no ripe fruit but baked apples,
    and which is called _London_.

    "Whilst I was at the York Hotel, a carriage drawn by post
    horses drove up; and, soon after, the master of the hotel
    entering into my room, I asked him who were his new arrivals.

    "'_Sono certi Inglesi_,' he answered, '_ma non saprei dire se
    sono Francesi o Tedeschi_. Some English, but I cannot say
    whether French or German.'"--Vol. i. p. 9.

The little town of Monaco is his next resting-place. This town, which is
now under the government of the King of Sardinia, was at one time an
independent principality; and M. Dumas gives a lively sketch of the
vicissitudes which the little state has undergone, mimicking, as it has,
the movements of great monarchies, and being capable of boasting even of
its revolution and its republic. During the reign of Louis XIV. the
territory of Monaco gave the title of prince to a certain Honore III.,
who was under the protection of the _Grand Monarque_.

    "The marriage of this Prince of Monaco," says our annalist,
    "was not happy. One fine morning his spouse, who was the same
    beautiful and gay Duchess de Valentinois so well known in the
    scandalous chronicles of that age, found herself at one step
    out of the states of her lord and sovereign. She took refuge at
    Paris. Desertion was not all. The prince soon learned that he
    was as unfortunate as a husband can be.

    "At that epoch, calamities of this description were only
    laughed at; but the Prince of Monaco was, as the duchess used
    to say, a strange man, and he took offence. He got information
    from time to time of the successive gallants whom his wife
    thought fit to honour, and he hanged them in effigy, one after
    the other, in the front court of his palace. The court was soon
    full, and the executions bordered on the high road;
    nevertheless, the prince relented not, but continued always to
    hang. The report of these executions reached Versailles; Louis
    XIV. was, in his turn, displeased, and counselled the prince to
    be more lenient in his punishments. He of Monaco answered that,
    being a sovereign prince, he had undoubtedly the right of pit
    and gallows on his own domain, and that surely he might hang as
    many men of straw as he pleased.

    "The affair bred so much scandal, that it was thought prudent
    to send the duchess back to her husband. He, to make her
    punishment the more complete, had resolved that she should, on
    her return, pass before this row of executed effigies. But the
    dowager Princess of Monaco prevailed upon her son to forego
    this ingenious revenge, and a bonfire was made of all the
    scarecrows. 'It was,' said Madame de Sevigné, 'the torch of
    their second nuptials.' ...

    "A successor of this prince, Honore IV., was reigning
    tranquilly in his little dominions when the French Revolution
    broke out. The Monacites watched its successive phases with a
    peculiar attention, and when the republic was finally
    proclaimed at Paris, they took advantage of Honore's absence,
    who was gone from home, and not known where, armed themselves
    with whatever came to hand, marched to the palace, took it by
    assault, and commenced plundering the cellars, which might
    contain from twelve to fifteen thousand bottles of wine. Two
    hours after, the eight thousand subjects of the Prince of
    Monaco were drunk.

    "Now, at this first trial, they found liberty was an excellent
    thing, and they resolved to constitute themselves forthwith
    into a republic. But it seemed that Monaco was far too
    extensive a territory to proclaim itself, after the example of
    France, a republic one and indivisible; so the wise men of the
    country, who had already formed themselves into a national
    assembly, came to the conclusion that Monaco should rather
    follow the example of America, and give birth to a federal
    republic. The fundamental laws of the new constitution were
    then discussed and determined by Monaco and Mantone, who united
    themselves for life and death. There was a third village called
    Rocco-Bruno: it was decided that it should belong half to the
    one and half to the other. Rocco-Bruno murmured: it had aspired
    to independence, and a place in the federation; but Monaco and
    Mantone smiled at so arrogant a pretension. Rocco-Bruno was not
    the strongest, and was reduced to silence: from that moment,
    however, Rocco-Bruno was marked out to the two national
    conventions as a focus of sedition. The republic was finally
    proclaimed under the title of the Republic of Monaco.

    "The Monacites next looked abroad upon the world for allies.
    There were two nations, equally enlightened with themselves, to
    whom they could extend the hand of fellowship--the American and
    the French. Geographical position decided in favour of the
    latter. The republic of Monaco sent three deputies to the
    National Convention of France to proffer and demand alliance.
    The National Convention was in a moment of perfect good-humour:
    it received the deputies most politely, and invited them to
    call the next morning for the treaty they desired.

    "The treaty was prepared that very day. It was not, indeed, a
    very lengthy document: it consisted of the two following
    articles:--

    "'Art. 1. There shall be peace and alliance between the French
    Republic and the Republic of Monaco.

    "'Art. 2. The French Republic is delighted with having made the
    acquaintance of the Republic of Monaco.'

    "This treaty was placed next morning in the hands of the
    ambassadors, who departed highly gratified. Three months
    afterwards the French Republic had thrown its lion's paw on its
    dear acquaintance, the Republic of Monaco."--P. 14.

From Monaco our traveller proceeds to Geneva; from Geneva, by water, to
Livorno, (_Anglicé_, Leghorn.) Now there is little or nothing to be seen
at Livorno. There is, in the place _della Darnesa_, a solitary statue of
Ferdinand I., some time cardinal, and afterwards Grand-Duke of Florence.
M. Dumas bethinks him to tell us the principal incident in the life of
this Ferdinand; but then this again is connected with the history of
Bianca Capello, so that he must commence with her adventures. The name
of Bianca Capello figures just now on the title-page of one of Messrs
Colburn's and Bentley's _last and newest_. Those who have read the
novel, and those who, like ourselves, have seen only the title, may be
equally willing to hear the story of this high-spirited dame told in the
terse, rapid manner--brief, but full of detail--of Dumas. We cannot give
the whole of it in the words of M. Dumas; the extract would be too long;
we must get over a portion of the ground in the shortest manner
possible.

    "It was towards the end of the reign of Cosmo the Great, about
    the commencement of the year 1563, that a young man named
    Pietro Bonaventuri, the issue of a family respectable, though
    poor, left Florence to seek his fortune in Venice. An uncle who
    bore the same name as himself, and who had lived in the latter
    city for twenty years, recommended him to the bank of the
    Salviati, of which he himself was one of the managers. The
    youth was received in the capacity of clerk.

    "Opposite the bank of the Salviati lived a rich Venetian
    nobleman, head of the house of the Capelli. He had one son and
    one daughter, but not by his wife then living, who, in
    consequence, was stepmother to his children. With the son, our
    narrative is not concerned; the daughter, Bianca Capello, was a
    charming girl of the age of fifteen or sixteen, of a pale
    complexion, on which the blood, at every emotion, would appear,
    and pass like a roseate cloud; her hair, of that rich flaxen
    which Raphael has made so beautiful; her eyes dark and full of
    lustre, her figure slight and flexile, but of that flexibility
    which denotes no weakness, but force of character; prompt, as
    another Juliet, to love, and waiting only till some Romeo
    should cross her path, to say, like the maid of Verona--'I will
    be to thee or to the tomb!'

    "She saw Pietro Bonaventuri: the window of his chamber looked
    out upon hers; they exchanged glances, signs, promises of love.
    Arrived at this point, the distance from each other was their
    sole obstacle: this obstacle Bianca was the first to overcome.

    "Each night, when all had retired to rest in the house of the
    Salviati, when the nurse who had reared Bianca, had betaken
    herself to the next chamber, and the young girl, standing
    listening against the partition, had assured herself that this
    last Argus was asleep, she threw over her shoulders a dark
    cloak to be the less visible in the night, descended on tiptoe,
    and light as a shadow, the marble stairs of the paternal
    palace, unbarred the gate, and crossed the street. On the
    threshold of the opposite door, her lover was standing to
    receive her; and the two together, with stifled breath and
    silent caresses, ascended the stairs that led to the little
    chamber of Pietro. Before the break of day, Bianca retired in
    the same manner to her own room, where her nurse found her in
    the morning, in a sleep as profound at least as the sleep of
    innocence.

    "One night whilst our Juliet was with her Romeo, a baker's boy,
    who had just been to light his oven in the neighbourhood, saw a
    gate half open, and thought he did good service by closing it.
    Ten minutes afterwards, Bianca descended, and saw that it was
    impossible to re-enter her father's house.

    "Bianca was one of those energetic spirits whose resolutions
    are taken at once, and for ever. She saw that her whole future
    destiny was changed by this one accident, and she accepted
    without hesitation the new life which this accident had imposed
    on her. She re-ascended to her lover, related what had
    happened, demanded of him if he was ready to sacrifice all for
    her as she was for him, and proposed to take advantage of the
    two hours of the night which still remained to them, to quit
    Venice and conceal themselves from the pursuit of her parents.
    Pietro was true--he adopted immediately the proposal; they
    stepped into a gondola, and fled towards Florence.

    "Arrived at Florence, they took refuge with the father of
    Pietro--Bonaventuri the elder, who with his wife had a small
    lodging in the second floor in the place of St Mark. Strange!
    it is with poor parents that the children are so especially
    welcome. They received their son and their new daughter with
    open arms. Their servant was dismissed, both for economy and
    the better preservation of their secret. The good mother
    charged herself with the care of the little household. Bianca,
    whose white hands had been taught no such useful duties, set
    about working the most charming embroidery. The father, who
    earned his living as a copyist for public offices, gave out
    that he had retained a clerk, and took home a double portion of
    papers. All were employed, and the little family contrived to
    live.

    "Meanwhile, it will be easily imagined how great a commotion
    the flight of Bianca occasioned in the palace of the noble
    Capello. During the whole of the first day they made no
    pursuit, for they still, though with much anxiety, expected her
    return. The day passed, however, without any news of the
    fugitive; the flight, on the same morning, of Pietro
    Bonaventuri was next reported; a thousand little incidents
    which attracted no notice at the time were now brought back to
    recollection, and the result of the whole was the clear
    conviction that they had fled together. The influence of the
    Capelli was such that the case was brought immediately before
    the Council of Ten; and Pietro Bonaventuri was placed under the
    ban of the Republic. The sentence of this tribunal was made
    known to the government of Florence; and this government
    authorized the Capelli, or the officers of the Venetian
    Republic, to make all necessary search, not only in Florence,
    but throughout all Tuscany. The search, however was unavailing.
    Each one of the parties felt too great an interest in keeping
    their secret, and Bianca herself never stirred from the
    apartment.

    "Three months passed in this melancholy concealment, yet she
    who had been habituated from infancy to all the indulgences of
    wealth, never once breathed a word of complaint. Her only
    recreation was to look down into the street through the sloping
    blind. Now, amongst those who frequently passed across the
    Place of St Mark was the young grand-duke, who went every other
    day to see his father at his castle of Petraja. Francesco was
    young, gallant, and handsome; but it was not his youth or
    beauty that preoccupied the thoughts of Bianca, it was the idea
    that this prince, as powerful as he seemed gracious, might, by
    one word, raise the ban from Pietro Bonaventuri, and restore
    both him and herself to freedom. It was this idea which kindled
    a double lustre in the eyes of the young Venetian, as she
    punctually at the hour of his passing, ran to the window, and
    sloped the jalousie. One day, the prince happening to look up
    as he passed, met the enkindled glance of his fair observer.
    Bianca hastily retired."

What immediately follows need not be told at any length. Francesco was
enamoured: he obtained an interview. Bianca released and enriched her
lover, but became the mistress of the young duke. Pietro was quite
content with this arrangement; he had himself given the first example of
inconstancy. He entered upon a career of riotous pleasure, which ended
in a violent death.

Francesco, in obedience to his father, married a princess of the house
of Austria; but Bianca still retained her influence. His wife, who had
been much afflicted by this preference of her rival, died, and the
repentant widower swore never again to see Bianca. He kept the oath for
four months; but she placed herself as if by accident in his path, and
all her old power was revived. Francesco, by the death of his father,
became the reigning Duke of Tuscany, and Bianca Capello, his wife and
duchess. And now we arrive at that part of the story in which Ferdinand,
the brother of Francesco, and whose statue at Livorno led to this
history, enters on the scene.

    "About three years after their nuptials, the young Archduke,
    the issue of Francesco's previous marriage, died, leaving the
    ducal throne of Tuscany without direct heir; failing which the
    Cardinal Ferdinand would become Grand-duke at the death of his
    brother. Now Bianca had given to Francesco one son; but,
    besides that he was born before their marriage, and therefore
    incapable of succeeding, the rumour had been spread that he was
    supposititious. The dukedom, therefore, would descend to the
    Cardinal if the Grand-duchess should have no other child; and
    Francesco himself had begun to despair of this happiness, when
    Bianca announced to him a second pregnancy.

    "This time the Cardinal resolved to watch himself the
    proceedings of his dear sister-in-law, lest he should be the
    dupe of some new manoeuvre. He began, therefore, to cultivate
    in an especial manner the friendship of his brother, declaring,
    that the present condition of the Grand-duchess proved to him
    how false had been the rumours spread touching her former
    _accouchement_. Francesco, happy to find his brother in this
    disposition, returned his advances with the utmost cordiality.
    The Cardinal availed himself of this friendly feeling to come
    and install himself in the Palace Pitti.

    "The arrival of the Cardinal was by no means agreeable to
    Bianca, who was not at all deceived as to the true cause of
    this fraternal visit. She knew that, in the Cardinal, she had a
    spy upon her at every moment. The spy, however, could detect
    nothing that savoured of imposture. If her condition was
    feigned, the comedy was admirably played. The Cardinal began to
    think that his suspicions were unjust. Nevertheless, if there
    were craft, the game he determined should be played out with
    equal skill upon his side.

    "The eventful day arrived. The Cardinal could not remain in the
    chamber of Bianca, but he stationed himself in an antechamber,
    through which every one who visited her must necessarily pass.
    There he began to say his breviary, walking solemnly to and
    fro. After praying and promenading thus for about an hour, a
    message was brought to him from the invalid, requesting him to
    go into another room, as his tread disturbed her. 'Let her
    attend to her affairs, and I to mine,' was the only answer he
    gave, and the Cardinal recommenced his walk and his prayer.

    "Soon after this the confessor of the Grand-duchess entered--a
    Capuchin, in a long robe. The Cardinal went up to him, and
    embraced him in his arms, recommending his sister most
    affectionately to his pious care. While embracing the good
    monk, the Cardinal felt, or thought he felt, something strange
    in his long sleeve. He groped under the Capuchin's robe, and
    drew out--a fine boy.

    "'My dear brother,' said the Cardinal, 'I am now more tranquil.
    I am sure, at least, that my dear sister-in-law will not die
    this time in childbirth.'

    "The monk saw that all that remained was to avoid, if possible,
    the scandal; and he asked the Cardinal himself what he should
    do. The Cardinal told him to enter into the chamber of the
    Duchess, whisper to her what had happened, and, as she acted,
    so would he act. Silence should purchase silence; clamour,
    clamour.

    "Bianca saw that she must renounce at present her design to
    give a successor to the ducal crown; she submitted to a
    miscarriage. The Cardinal, on his side, kept his word, and the
    unsuccessful attempt was never betrayed.

    "A few months passed on; there was an uninterrupted harmony
    between the brothers, and Francesco invited the Cardinal, who
    was fond of field-sports, to pass some time with him at a
    country palace, famous for its preserves Of game.

    "On the very day of his arrival, Bianca, who knew that the
    Cardinal was partial to a certain description of tart,
    bethought her to prepare one for him herself. This flattering
    attention on the part of his sister-in-law was hinted to him by
    Francesco, who mentioned it as a new proof of the Duchess's
    amiability, but, as he had no great confidence in his
    reconciliation with Bianca, it was an intimation which caused
    him not a little disquietude. Fortunately, the Cardinal
    possessed an opal, given to him by Pope Sixtus V., which had
    the property of growing dim the moment it approached any
    poisonous substance. He did not fail to make trial of it on the
    tart prepared by Bianca. The opal grew dim and tarnished. The
    Cardinal said, with an assumed air of carelessness, that, on
    consideration, he would not eat to-day of the tart. The Duke
    pressed him; but not being able to prevail--'Well,' said he,
    'since Ferdinand will not eat of his favourite dish, it shall
    not be said that a Grand-duchess had turned confectioner for
    nothing--I will eat of it.' And he helped himself to a piece of
    the tart.

    "Bianca was in the act of bending forward to prevent him--but
    suddenly paused. Her position was horrible. She must either
    avow her crime, or suffer her husband to poison himself. She
    cast a quick retrospective glance along her past life; she saw
    that she had exhausted all the pleasures of the world, and
    attained to all its glories; her decision was rapid--as rapid
    as on that day when she had fled from Venice with Pietro. She
    also cut off a piece from the tart, and extending her hand to
    her husband, she smiled, and, with her other hand, eat of the
    poisoned dish.

    "On the morrow, Francesco and Bianca were dead. A physician
    opened their bodies by order of Ferdinand, and declared that
    they had fallen victims to a malignant fever. Three days after,
    the Cardinal threw down his red hat, and ascended the ducal
    throne."--P. 63.

But presto! Mr Dumas is traveller as well as annalist He must leave the
Middle Ages to themselves; the present moment has its exigences; he must
look to himself and his baggage. He had great difficulty in doing this
on his landing at the Port of Livorno; and now, on his departure, he is
beset with _vetturini_. Let us recur to some of these miseries of
travel, which may at least claim a wide sympathy, for most of us are
familiar with them. It is not necessary even to leave our own island to
find how great an embarrassment too much help may prove, but we
certainly have nothing in our own experience quite equal to the lively
picture of M. Dumas:--

    "I have visited many ports--I have traversed many towns--I have
    contended with the porters of Avignon--with the _facchini_ of
    Malta, and with the innkeepers of Messina, but I never entered
    so villanous a place as Livorno.

    "In every other country of the world there is some possibility
    of defending your baggage, of bargaining for its transport to
    the hotel; and if no treaty can be made, there is at least
    liberty given to load your own shoulders with it, and be your
    own porter. Nothing of this kind at Livorno. The vessel which
    brings you has not yet touched the shore when it is boarded;
    _commissionnaires_ absolutely rain upon you, you know not
    whence; they spring upon the jetty, throw themselves on the
    nearest vessel, and glide down upon you from the rigging.
    Seeing that your little craft is in danger of being capsized by
    their numbers, you think of self-preservation, and grasping
    hold of some green and slimy steps, you cling there, like
    Crusoe to his rock; then, after many efforts, having lost your
    hat, and scarified your knees, and torn your nails, you at
    length stand on the pier. So much for yourself. As to your
    baggage, it has been already divided into as many lots as there
    are articles; you have a porter for your portmanteau, a porter
    for your dressing-case, a porter for your hat-box, a porter for
    your umbrella, a porter for your cane. If there are two of you,
    that makes ten porters; if three, fifteen; as we were four, we
    had twenty. A twenty-first wished to take Milord (the dog,) but
    Milord, who permits no liberties, took him by the calf, and we
    had to pinch his tail till he consented to unlock his teeth.
    The porter followed us, crying that the dog had lamed him, and
    that he would compel us to make compensation. The people rose
    in tumult; and we arrived at the _Pension Suisse_ with twenty
    porters before us, and a rabble of two hundred behind.

    "It cost us forty francs for our portmanteaus, umbrellas, and
    canes, and ten francs for the bitten leg.[1] In all, fifty
    francs for about fifty steps."--P. 59.

    [1] This was not the only case of compensation made out against
    this travelling companion. "Milord," says our tourist, "in his
    quality of bulldog, was so great a destroyer of cats, that we
    judged it wise to take some precautions against overcharges in
    this particular. Therefore, on our departure from Genoa, in
    which town Milord had commenced his practices upon the feline
    race of Italy, we enquired the price of a full-grown,
    well-conditioned cat, and it was agreed on all hands that a cat
    of the ordinary species--grey, white, and tortoiseshell--was
    worth two pauls--(learned cats, Angora cats, cats with two
    heads or three tails, are not, of course, included in this
    tariff.) Paying down this sum for two several Genoese cats
    which had been just strangled by our friend, we demanded a
    legal receipt, and we added successively other receipts of the
    same kind, so that this document became at length an
    indisputable authority for the price of cats throughout all
    Italy. As often as Milord committed a new assassination, and
    the attempt was made to extort from us more than two pauls as
    the price of blood, we drew this document from our pocket, and
    proved beyond a cavil that two pauls was what we were
    accustomed to pay on such occasions, and obstinate indeed must
    have been the man or woman who did not yield to such a weight
    of precedent."

This was on his landing at Livorno: on his departure he gives us an
account, equally graphic, of the _vetturini_:--

    "A diligence is a creature that leaves at a fixed hour, and its
    passengers run to it; a vetturino leaves at all hours, and runs
    after its passengers. Hardly have you set your foot out of the
    boat that brings you from the steam-vessel to the shore, than
    you are assailed, stifled, dragged, deafened by twenty drivers,
    who look on you as their merchandise, and treat you
    accordingly, and would end by carrying you off bodily, if they
    could agree among them who should have the booty. Families have
    been separated at the port of Livorno, to find each other how
    they could in the streets of Florence. In vain you jump into a
    _fiacre_, they leap up before, above, behind; and at the gate
    of the hotel, there you are in the midst of the same group of
    villains, who are only the more clamorous for having been kept
    waiting. Reduced to extremities, you declare that you have come
    to Livorno upon commercial business, and that you intend
    staying eight days at least, and you ask of the _garçon_, loud
    enough for all to hear, if there is an apartment at liberty for
    the next week. At this they will sometimes abandon the prey,
    which they reckon upon seizing at some future time; they run
    back with all haste to the port to catch some other traveller,
    and you are free.

    "Nevertheless, if about an hour after this you should wish to
    leave the hotel, you will find one or two sentinels at the
    gate. These are connected with the hotel, and they have been
    forewarned by the _garçon_ that it will not be eight days
    before you leave--that, in fact, you will leave to-morrow.
    These it is absolutely necessary that you call in, and make
    your treaty with. If you should have the imprudence to issue
    forth into the street, fifty of the brotherhood will be
    attracted by their clamours, and the scene of the port will be
    renewed. They will ask ten piastres for a carriage--you will
    offer five. They will utter piercing cries of dissent--you will
    shut the door upon them. In three minutes one of them will
    climb in at the window, and engage with you for the five
    piastres.

    "This treaty concluded, you are sacred to all the world; in
    five minutes the report is spread through all Livorno that you
    are _engaged_. You may then go where you please; every one
    salutes you, wishes you _bon voyage_; you would think yourself
    amongst the most disinterested people in the world."--P. 94.

The only question that remains to be decided is that of the
drink-money--the _buona-mano_, as the Italian calls it. This is a matter
of grave importance, and should be gravely considered. On this
_buona-mano_ depends the rapidity of your journey; for the time may vary
at the will of the driver from six to twelve hours. Hereupon M. Dumas
tells an amusing story of a Russian prince, which not only proves how
efficient a cause this _buona mano_ may be in the accomplishment of the
journey, but also illustrates very forcibly a familiar principle of our
own jurisprudence, and a point to which the Italian traveller must pay
particular attention. We doubt if the necessity of a written agreement,
in order to enforce the terms of a contract, was ever made more
painfully evident than in the following instance:--

    "The Prince C---- had arrived, with his mother and a German
    servant, at Livorno. Like every other traveller who arrives at
    Livorno, he had sought immediately the most expeditious means
    of departure. These, as we have said, present themselves in
    sufficient abundance; the only difficulty is, to know how to
    use them.

    "The vetturini had learnt from the industrious porters that
    they had to deal with a prince. Consequently they demanded
    twelve piastres instead of ten, and the prince, instead of
    offering five, conceded the twelve piastres, but stipulated
    that this should include every thing, especially the
    _buona-mano_, which the master should settle with the driver.
    'Very good,' said the vetturini; the prince paid his twelve
    piastres, and the carriage started off, with him and his
    baggage, at full gallop. It was nine o'clock in the morning:
    according to his calculation, the Prince would be at Florence
    about three or four in the afternoon.

    "They had advanced about a quarter of a league when the horses
    relaxed their speed, and began to walk step by step. As to the
    driver, he sang upon his seat, interrupting himself now and
    then to gossip with such acquaintances as he met upon the road;
    and as it is ill talking and progressing at the same time, he
    soon brought himself to a full stop when he had occasion for
    conference.

    "The prince endured this for some time; at length putting his
    head out of the window, he said, in the purest Tuscan,
    '_Avanti! avanti! tirate via!_'

    "'How much do you give for _buona-mano_?' answered the driver,
    turning round upon his box.

    "'Why do you speak to me of your _buona-mano_?' said the prince.
    'I have given your master twelve piastres, on condition that it
    should include every thing.'

    "'The _buona-mano_ does not concern the master,' responded the
    driver; 'how much do you give?'

    "'Not a sou--I have paid.'

    "'Then, your excellence, we will continue our walk.'

    "'Your master has engaged to take me to Florenco in six hours,'
    said the Prince.

    "'Where is the paper that says that--the written paper, your
    excellence?'

    "'Paper! what need of a paper for so simple a matter? I have no
    paper.'

    "'Then, your excellence, we will continue our walk.'

    "'Ah, we will see that!' said the Prince.

    "'Yes, we _will_ see that!' said the driver.

    "Hereupon the prince spoke to his German servant, Frantz, who
    was sitting beside the coachman, and bade him administer due
    correction to this refractory fellow.

    "Frantz descended from the voiture without uttering a word,
    pulled down the driver from his seat, and pummelled him with
    true German gravity. Then pointing to the road, helped him on
    his box, and reseated himself by his side. The driver
    proceeded--a little slower than before. One wearies of all
    things in this world, even of beating a coachman. The prince,
    reasoning with himself that, fast or slow, he must at length
    arrive at his journey's end, counselled the princess his mother
    to compose herself to sleep; and, burying himself in one corner
    of the carriage, gave her the example.

    "The driver occupied six hours in going from Livorno to
    Pontedera; just four hours more than was necessary. Arrived at
    Pontedera, he invited the Prince to descend, as he was about to
    change the carriage.

    "'But,' said the Prince, 'I have given twelve piastres to your
    master on condition that the carriage should not be changed.'

    "'Where is the paper?'

    "'Fellow, you know I have none.'

    "'In that case, your excellence, we will change the carriage.'

    "The prince was half-disposed to break the rascal's bones
    himself; but, besides that this would have compromised his
    dignity, he saw, from the countenances of those who stood
    loitering round the carriage, that it would be a very imprudent
    step. He descended; they threw his baggage down upon the
    pavement, and after about an hour's delay, brought out a
    miserable dislocated carriage and two broken-winded horses.

    "Under any other circumstances the Prince would have been
    generous--would have been lavish; but he had insisted upon his
    right, he was resolved not to be conquered. Into this
    ill-conditioned vehicle he therefore doggedly entered, and as
    the new driver had been forewarned that there would be no
    _buona-mano_, the equipage started amidst the laughter and
    jeers of the mob.

    "This time the horses were such wretched animals that it would
    have been out of conscience to expect anything more than a walk
    from them. It took six more hours to go from Pontedera to
    Empoli.

    "Arrived at Empoli the driver stopped, and presented himself at
    the door of the carriage.

    "'Your excellence sleeps here,' said he to the prince.

    "'How! are we at Florence?'

    "'No, your excellence, you are at the charming little town of
    Empoli.'

    "'I paid twelve piastres to your master to go to Florence, not
    to Empoli. I will sleep at Florence.'

    "'Where is the paper?'

    "'To the devil with your paper!'

    "'Your excellence then has no paper?'

    "'No.'

    "'In that case, your excellence now will sleep at Empoli!'

    "In a few minutes afterwards the prince found himself driven
    under a kind of archway. It was a coach-house belonging to an
    inn. On his expressing surprise at being driven into this sort
    of place, and repeating his determination to proceed to
    Florence, the coachman said, that, at all events, he must
    change his horses; and that this was the most convenient place
    for so doing. In fact, he took out his horses, and led them
    away.

    "After waiting some time for his return, the prince called to
    Frantz, and bade him open the door of this coach-house, and
    bring somebody.

    "Frantz obeyed, but found the door shut--fastened.

    "On hearing that they were shut in, the prince started from the
    carriage, shook the gates with all his might, called out
    lustily, and looked about, but in vain, for some paving stone
    with which to batter them open.

    "Now the prince was a man of admirable good sense; so, having
    satisfied himself that the people in the house either could
    not, or would not hear him, he determined to make the best of
    his position. Re-entering the carriage, he drew up the glasses,
    looked to his pistols, stretched out his legs, and wishing his
    mother good night, went off to sleep. Frantz did the same on
    his post. The princess was not so fortunate; she was in
    perpetual terror of some ambush, and kept her eyes wide open
    all the night.

    "So the night passed. At seven o'clock in the morning the door
    of the coach-house opened, and a driver appeared with a couple
    of horses.

    "'Are there not some travellers for Florence here?' he asked
    with the tone of perfect politeness, and as if he were putting
    the most natural question in the world.

    "The prince leapt from the carriage with the intention of
    strangling the man--but it was another driver!

    "'Where is the rascal that brought us here?' he demanded.

    "'What, Peppino? Does your excellence mean Peppino?'

    "'The driver from Pontedera?'

    "'Ah, well, that was Peppino.'

    "'Then where is Peppino?'

    "'He is on his road home. Yes, your excellence. You see it was
    the fête of the Madonna, and we danced and drank together--I
    and Peppino--all the night; and this morning about an hour ago
    says he to me, 'Gaetano, do you take your horses, and go find
    two travellers and a servant who are under a coach-house at the
    _Croix d'Or_; all is paid except the _buona-mano_.' And I asked
    him, your excellence, how it happened that travellers were
    sleeping in a coach-house instead of in a chamber. 'Oh,' said
    he, 'they are English--they are afraid of not having clean
    sheets, and so they prefer to sleep in their carriage in the
    coach-house.' Now as I know the English are a nation of
    originals, I supposed it was all right, and so I emptied
    another flask, and got my horses, and here I am. If I am too
    early I will return, and come by and by.

    "'No, no, in the devil's name,' said the prince, 'harness your
    beasts, and do not lose a moment. There is a piastre for your
    _buona-mano_.'

    "They were soon at Florence.

    "The first care of the prince, after having breakfasted, for
    neither he nor the princess had eaten any thing since they had
    left Livorno, was to lay his complaint before a magistrate.

    "'Where is the paper?' said the judicial authority.

    "'I have none,' said the prince.

    "'Then I counsel you,' replied the judge, 'to let the matter
    drop. Only the next time give five piastres to the master, and
    a piastre and a half to the driver; you will save five piastres
    and a half, and arrive eighteen hours sooner.'"--P. 97.

M. Dumas, however, arrives at Florence without any such disagreeable
adventure as sleeping in a coach-house. He gives a pleasing description
of the Florentine people, amongst whom the spirit of commerce has died
away, but left behind a considerable share of the wealth and luxury that
sprang from it. There is little spirit of enterprise; no rivalry between
a class enriching itself and the class with whom wealth is hereditary;
the jewels that were purchased under the reign of the Medici still shine
without competitors on the promenade and at the opera. It is a people
that has made its fortune, and lives contentedly on its revenues, and on
what it gets from the stranger. "The first want of a Florentine," says
our author, "is repose; even pleasure is secondary; it costs him some
little effort to be amused. Wearied of its frequent political
convulsions, the town of the Medici aspires only to that unbroken and
enchanted slumber which fell, as the fairy tale informs us, on the
beautiful lady in the sleepy wood. No one here seems to labour, except
those who are tolling and ringing the church-bells, and they indeed
appear to have rest neither day nor night."

There are but three classes visible in Florence. The nobility--the
foreigner--and the people. The nobility, a few princely houses excepted,
spend but little, the people work but little, and it would be a marvel
how these last lived if it were not for the foreigner. Every autumn
brings them their harvest in the shape of a swarm of travellers from
England, France, or Russia, and, we may now add, America. The winter
pays for the long delicious indolence of the summer. Then the populace
lounges, with interminable leisure, in their churches, on their
promenades, round the doors of coffee-houses that are never closed
either day or night; they follow their religious processions; they
cluster with an easy good-natured curiosity round every thing that wears
the appearance of a fête; taking whatever amusement presents itself,
without caring to detain it, and quitting it without the least distrust
that some other quite as good will occupy its place. "One evening we
were roused," says our traveller, "by a noise in the street: two or
three musicians of the opera, on leaving the theatre, had taken a fancy
to go home playing a waltz. The scattered population of the streets
arranged themselves, and followed waltzing. The men who could find no
better partners, waltzed together. Five or six hundred persons were
enjoying this impromptu ball, which kept its course from the opera house
to the Port del Prato, where the last musician resided. The last
musician having entered his house, the waltzers returned arm-in-arm,
still humming the air to which they had been dancing."

    "It follows," continues M. Dumas, "from this commercial apathy,
    that at Florence you must seek after every thing you want. It
    never comes of itself--never presents itself before
    you;--everything there stays at home--rests in its own place. A
    foreigner who should remain only a month in the capital of
    Tuscany would carry away a very false idea of it. At first it
    seems impossible to procure the things the most indispensable,
    or those you do procure are bad; it is only after some time
    that you learn, and that not from the inhabitants, but from
    other foreigners who have resided there longer than yourself,
    where anything is to be got. At the end of six months you are
    still making discoveries of this sort; so that people generally
    quit Tuscany at the time they have learned to live there. It
    results from all this that every time you visit Florence you
    like it the better; if you should revisit it three or four
    times you would probably end by making of it a second country,
    and passing there the remainder of your lives."[2]

    [2] It is amusing to contrast the _artistic_ manner in which
    our author makes all his statements, with the style of a
    guide-book, speaking on the manufactures and industry of
    Florence. It is from Richard's _Italy_ we quote. Mark the
    exquisite medley of humdrum, matter-of-fact details, jotted
    down as if by some unconscious piece of mechanism:--"Florence
    _manufactures_ excellent silks, woollen cloths, elegant
    carriages, bronze articles, earthenware, straw hats, perfumes,
    essences, _and candied fruits_; also, all kinds of turnery and
    inlaid work, piano-fortes, philosophical and mathematical
    instruments, &c. The dyes used at this city are much admired,
    particularly the black, _and its sausages are famous throughout
    all Italy_."

Shall we visit the churches of Florence with M. Dumas? No, we are not in
the vein. Shall we go with him to the theatres--to the opera--to the
Pergola? Yes, but not to discuss the music or the dancing. Every body
knows that at the great theatres of Italy the fashionable part of the
audience pay very little attention to the music, unless it be a new
opera, but make compensation by listening devoutly to the ballet. The
Pergola is the great resort of fashion. A box at the Pergola, and a
carriage for the banks of the Arno, are the _indispensables_, we are
told, at Florence. Who has these, may eat his macaroni where he
pleases--may dine for sixpence if he will, or can: it is his own affair,
the world is not concerned about it--he is still a gentleman, and ranks
with nobles. Who has them not--though he be derived from the loins of
emperors, and dine every day off plate of gold, and with a dozen
courses--is still nobody. Therefore regulate your expenditure
accordingly, all ye who would be somebody. We go with M. Dumas to the
opera, not, as we have said, for the music or the dancing, but because,
as is the way with dramatic authors, he will there introduce us, for the
sake of contrast with an institution very different from that of an
operatic company--

    "Sometimes in the midst of a cavatina or a _pas-de-deux_, a
    bell with a sharp, shrill, excoriating sound, will be heard; it
    is the bell _della misericordia_. Listen: if it sound but once,
    it is for some ordinary accident; if twice, for one of a
    serious nature; if it sounds three times, it is a case of
    death. If you look around, you will see a slight stir in some
    of the boxes, and it will often happen that the person you have
    been speaking to, if a Florentine, will excuse himself for
    leaving you, will quietly take his hat and depart. You inquire
    what that bell means, and why it produces so strange an effect.
    You are told it is the bell _della misericordia_, and that he
    with whom you were speaking is a brother of the order.

    "This brotherhood of mercy is one of the noblest institutions
    in the world. It was founded in 1244, on occasion of the
    frequent pestilences which at that period desolated the town,
    and it has been perpetuated to the present day, without any
    alteration, except in its details--with none in its purely
    charitable spirit. It is composed of seventy-two brothers,
    called chiefs of the watch, who are each in service four months
    in the year. Of these seventy-two brothers, thirty are priests,
    fourteen gentlemen, and twenty-eight artists. To these, who
    represent the aristocratic classes and the liberal arts, are
    added 500 labourers and workmen, who may be said to represent
    the people.

    "The seat of the brotherhood is in the place _del Duomo_. Each
    brother has there, marked with his own name, a box enclosing a
    black robe like that of the _penitents_, with openings only for
    the eyes and mouth, in order that his good actions may have the
    further merit of being performed in secret. Immediately that
    the news of any accident or disaster is brought to the brother
    who is upon guard, the bell sounds its alarm, once, twice, or
    thrice, according to the gravity of the case; and at the sound
    of the bell every brother, wherever he may be, is bound to
    retire at the instant, and hasten to the rendezvous. There he
    learns what misfortune or what suffering has claimed his pious
    offices; he puts on his black robe and a broad hat, takes the
    taper in his hand, and goes forth where the voice of misery has
    called him. If it is some wounded man, they bear him to the
    hospital; if the man is dead, to a chapel: the nobleman and the
    day labourer, clothed with the same robe, support together the
    same litter, and the link which unites these two extremes of
    society is some sick pauper, who, knowing neither, is praying
    equally for both. And when these brothers of mercy have quitted
    the house, the children whose father they have carried out, or
    the wife whose husband they have borne away, have but to look
    around them, and always, on some worm-eaten piece of furniture,
    there will be found a pious alms, deposited by an unknown hand.

    "The Grand-duke himself is a member of this fraternity, and I
    have been assured that more than once, at the sound of that
    melancholy bell, he has clothed himself in the uniform of
    charity, and penetrated unknown, side by side with a
    day-labourer, to the bed's head of some dying wretch, and that
    his presence had afterwards been detected only by the alms he
    had left behind."--p. 126.

It is not to be supposed that our dramatist pursues the same direct and
unadventurous route that lies open to every citizen of Paris and London.
At the end of the first volume we leave him still at Florence; we open
the second, and we find him and his companion Jadin, and his companion's
dog Milord, standing at the port of Naples, looking out for some vessel
to take them to Sicily. So that we have travels in Italy with Rome left
out. Not that he did not visit Rome, but that we have no "souvenirs" of
his visit here. As the book is a mere _capriccio_, there can be no
possible objection taken to it on this score. Besides, the island of
Sicily, which becomes the chief scene of his adventures, is less beaten
ground. Nor do we hear much of Naples, for he quits Naples almost as
soon as he had entered it. This last fact requires explanation.

M. Dumas has had the honour to be an object of terror or of animosity to
crowned heads. When at Genoa, his Sardinian Majesty manifested this
hostility to M. Dumas--we presume on account of his too liberal
politics--by dispatching an emissary of the police to notify to him that
he must immediately depart from Genoa. Which emissary of his Sardinian
Majesty had no sooner delivered his royal sentence of deportation, than
he extended his hand for a _pour boire_. Either M. Dumas must be a far
more formidable person than we have any notion of, or majesty can be
very nervous, or very spiteful. And now, when he is about to enter
Naples----but why do we presume to relate M. Dumas's personal
adventures in any other language than his own? or language as near his
own as we--who are, we must confess, imperfect translators--can hope to
give.

    "The very evening of our arrival at Naples, Jadin and I ran to
    the port to enquire if by chance any vessel, whether steam-boat
    or sailing packet, would leave on the morrow for Sicily. As it
    is not the ordinary custom for travellers to go to Naples to
    remain there a few hours only, let me say a word on the
    circumstance that compelled us to this hasty departure.

    "We had left Paris with the intention of traversing the whole
    of Italy, including Sicily and Calabria; and, putting this
    project into scrupulous execution, we had already visited Nice,
    Genoa, Milan, Florence, and Rome, when, after a sojourn of
    about three weeks at this last city, I had the honour to meet,
    at the Marquis de P----'s, our own _chargé des affaires_, the
    Count de Ludorf, the Neapolitan ambassador. As I was to leave
    in a few days for Naples, the Marquis introduced me to his
    brother in diplomacy. M. de Ludorf received me with that cold
    and vacant smile which pledges to nothing; nevertheless, after
    this introduction, I thought myself bound to carry to him our
    passports myself. M. de Ludorf had the civility to tell me to
    deposit the passports at his office, and to call there for them
    the day after the morrow.

    "Two days having elapsed, I accordingly presented myself at the
    office: I found a clerk there, who, with the utmost politeness,
    informed me that some difficulties having arisen on the subject
    of my _visa_, I had better make an application to the
    ambassador himself. I was obliged, therefore, whatever
    resolution I had made to the contrary, to present myself again
    to M. de Ludorf.

    "I found the ambassador more cold, more measured than before,
    but reflecting that it would probably be the last time I should
    have the honour of seeing him, I resigned myself. He motioned
    to me to take a chair. This was some improvement upon the last
    visit; the last visit he left me standing.

    "'Monsieur,' said he, with a certain air of embarrassment, and
    drawing out, one after the other, the folds of his shirt-front,
    'I regret to say that you cannot go to Naples.'

    "'Why so?' I replied, determined to impose upon our dialogue
    whatever tone I thought fit--'are the roads so bad?'

    "'No, monsieur; the roads are excellent, but you have the
    misfortune to be on the list of those who cannot enter the
    kingdom of Naples.'

    "'However honourable such a distinction may be, monsieur
    l'ambassadeur,' said I, suiting my tone to the words, 'it will
    at present be rather inconvenient, and I trust you will permit
    me to inquire into the cause of this prohibition. If it is
    nothing but one of those slight and vexatious interruptions
    which one meets with perpetually in Italy, I have some friends
    about the world who might have influence sufficient to remove
    it.'

    "'The cause is one of a grave nature, and I doubt if your
    friends, of whatever rank they may be, will have influence to
    remove it.'

    "'What may it be?'

    "'In the first place, you are the son of General Matthieu
    Dumas, who was minister of war at Naples during the usurpation
    of Joseph.'

    "'I am sorry,' I answered, 'to be obliged to decline any
    relationship with that illustrious general. My father was not
    General Matthieu, but General Alexandre Dumas. The same,' I
    continued, seeing that he was endeavouring to recall some
    reminiscences connected with the name of Dumas, 'who, after
    having been made prisoner at Tarentum, in contempt of the
    rights of hospitality, was poisoned at Brindisi, with Mauscourt
    and Dolomieu, in contempt of the rights of nations. This
    happened, monsieur l'ambassadeur, at the same time that they
    hanged Carracciolo in the Gulf of Naples. You see I do all I
    can to assist your recollection.'

    "M. de Ludorf bit his lips.

    "'Well, monsieur,' he resumed after a moment's silence, 'there
    is a second reason--your political opinions. You are marked out
    as a republican, and have quitted Paris, it is said, on some
    political design.'

    "'To which I answer, monsieur, by showing you my letters of
    introduction. They bear nearly all the seals and signatures of
    our ministers. Here is one from the Admiral Jacob, another from
    Marshal Soult, another from M. de Villemain; they claim for me
    the aid of the French ambassador in any case of this
    description.'

    "'Well, well,' said M. de Ludorf, 'since you have foreseen the
    very difficulty that has occurred, meet it with those means
    which are in your power. For me, I repeat, I cannot sign your
    passport. Those of your companions are quite regular; they can
    proceed when they please; but they must proceed without you.'

    "'Has the Count de Ludorf' said I, rising, 'any commissions for
    Naples?'

    "'Why so, monsieur?'

    "'Because I shall have great pleasure in undertaking them.'

    "'But I repeat, you cannot go to Naples.'

    "'I shall be there in three days.'

    "I wished M. de Ludorf good morning, and left him stupefied at
    my assurance."--Vol. ii. p. 5.

Our dramatical traveller ran immediately to a young friend, an artist
then studying at Rome, and prevailed on him to take out a passport, in
his own name for Naples. Fortified with this passport, and assuming the
name of his friend, he left Rome that evening. The following day he
reached Naples. But as he was exposed every moment to detection, it was
necessary that he should pass over immediately to Sicily. The
steam-boats at Naples, unlike the steam-boats every where else, start at
no fixed period. The captain waits for his contingent of passengers, and
till this has been obtained both he and his vessel are immovable. M.
Dumas and his companion, therefore, hired a small sailing vessel, a
_speronara_ as it is called, in which they embarked the next morning.
But before weighing anchor M. Dumas took from his portfolio the neatest,
purest, whitest, sheet of paper that it contained, and indited the
following letter to the Count de Ludorf:--

    "Monsieur le Comte,

    "I am distressed that your excellency did not think fit to
    charge me with your commissions for Naples. I should have
    executed them with a fidelity which would have convinced you of
    the grateful recollection I retain of your kind offices.

    "Accept, M. le Comte, the assurance of those lively sentiments
    which I entertain towards you, and of which, one day or other,
    I hope to give you proof.

    "ALEX. DUMAS."

    "Naples, 23d Aug. 1835."

With the crew of this _speronara_ we became as familiar as with the
personages of a novel; and, indeed, about this time the novelist begins
to predominate over the tourist.

On leaving the bay of Naples our traveller first makes for the island of
Capri. The greatest curiosity which he here visits and describes in the
_azure grotto_. He and his companion are rowed, each in a small skiff,
to a narrow dark aperture upon the rocky coast, and which appears the
darker from its contrast with the white surf that is dashing about it.
He is told to lie down on his back in the boat, to protect his head from
a concussion against the low roof.

    "In a moment after I was borne upon the surge--the bark glided
    on with rapidity--I saw nothing but a dark rock, which seemed
    for a second to be weighing on my chest. Then on a sudden I
    found myself in a grotto so marvellous that I uttered a cry of
    astonishment, and started up in my admiration with a bound
    which endangered the frail bark on which I stood.

    "I had before me, around me, above me, beneath me, a perfect
    enchantment, which words cannot describe, and which the pencil
    would utterly fail to give any impression of. Imagine an
    immense cavern, all pure azure--as if God had made a tent there
    with some residue of the firmament; a surface of water so
    limpid, so transparent, that you seem to float on air: above
    you, the pendant stalactites, huge and fantastical, reversed
    pyramids and pinnacles: below you a sand of gold mingled with
    marine vegetation; and around the margin of cave, where it is
    bathed by the water, the coral shooting out its capricious and
    glittering branches. That narrow entrance which, from the sea,
    showed like a dark spot, now shone at one end a luminous point,
    the solitary star which gave its subdued light to this fairy
    palace; whilst at the opposite extremity a sort of alcove led
    on the imagination to expect new wonders, or perhaps the
    apparition of the nymph or goddess of the place.

    "In all probability the azure grotto was unknown to the
    ancients. No poet speaks of it; and surely with their
    marvellous imagination the Greeks could not have failed to make
    it the palace of some marine goddess, and to have transmitted
    to us her history. The sea, perhaps, was higher than it is now,
    and the secrets of this cave were known only to Amphitrite and
    her court of sirens, naiads, and tritons.

    "Even now at times the sea rises and closes the orifice, so
    that those who have entered cannot escape. In which case they
    must wait till the wind, which had suddenly shifted to the east
    or west, returns to the north or south; and it has happened
    that visitors who came to spend twenty minutes in the azure
    grotto, have remained there two, three, and even four days. To
    provide against such an emergency, the boatmen always bring
    with them a certain quantity of biscuit to feed the prisoners,
    and as the rock affords fresh water in several places, there is
    no fear of thirst. It was not till we had been in the grotto
    some time that our boatmen communicated this piece of
    information; we were disposed to reproach them for this delay,
    but they answered with the utmost simplicity, that if they told
    this at first to travellers, half of them would decline coming,
    and this would injure the boatmen.

    "I confess that this little piece of information raised a
    certain disquietude, and I found the azure grotto infinitely
    less agreeable to the imagination.... We again laid ourselves
    down at the bottom of our respective canoes, and issued forth
    with the same precautions, and the same good fortune, with
    which we had entered. But we were some minutes before we could
    open our eyes; the burning sun upon the glittering ocean
    absolutely blinded us. We had not gone many yards, however,
    before the eye recovered itself, and all that we had seen in
    the azure grotto had the consistency of a dream."

From Capri our travellers proceed to Sicily. We have a long story and a
violent storm upon the passage, and are landed at Messina. Here M. Dumas
enlarges his experience by an acquaintance with the _Sirocco_. His
companion, M. Jadin, had been taken ill, and a physician had been called
in.

    "The doctor had ordered that the patient (who was suffering
    under a fever) should be exposed to all the air possible, that
    doors and windows should be opened, and he should be placed in
    the current. This was done; but on the present evening, to my
    astonishment, instead of the fresh breeze of the night--which
    was wont to blow the fresher from our neighbourhood to the
    sea--there entered at the open window a dry hot wind like the
    air from a furnace. I waited for the morning, but the morning
    brought no change in the state of the atmosphere.

    "My patient had suffered greatly through the night. I rang the
    bell for some lemonade, the only drink the doctor had
    recommended; but no one answered the summons. I rang again, and
    a third time: still no one came; at length seeing that the
    mountain would not come to me, I went to the mountain. I
    wandered through the corridor, and entered apartment after
    apartment, and found no one to address. It was nine o'clock in
    the morning, yet the master and mistress of the house had not
    left their room, and not a domestic was at his post. It was
    quite incomprehensible.

    "I descended to the portico; I found him lying on an old sofa
    all in tatters, the principal ornament of his room, and asked
    him why the house was thus deserted.

    "'Ah, monsieur!' said he, 'do you not feel the sirocco?'

    "'Sirocco or not, is this a reason why no one should come when
    I call?'

    "'Oh, monsieur, when it is sirocco no one does any thing!'

    "'And your travellers, who is to wait upon them?'

    "'On those days they wait upon themselves.'

    "I begged pardon of this respectable official for having
    disturbed him; he heaved such a sigh as indicated that it
    required a great amount of Christian charity to grant the
    pardon I had asked.

    "The hour arrived when the doctor should have paid his visit,
    and no doctor came. I presumed that the sirocco detained him
    also; but as the state of Jadin appeared to me alarming, I
    resolved to go and rouse my Esculapius, and bring him, willing
    or unwilling, to the hotel. I took my hat and sallied forth.

    "Messina had the appearance of a city of the dead: not an
    inhabitant was walking in the streets, not a head was seen at
    the windows. The mendicants themselves (and he who has not seen
    the Sicilian mendicant, knows not what wretchedness is,) lay in
    the corners of the streets, stretched out, doubled up, panting,
    without strength to stretch out their hand for charity, or
    voice to ask an alms. Pompeii, which I visited three months
    afterwards, was not more silent, more solitary, more inanimate.

    "I reached the doctor's. I rang, I knocked, no one answered. I
    pushed against the door, it opened;--I entered, and pursued my
    search for the doctor.

    "I traversed three or four apartments. There were women lying
    upon sofas, and children sprawling on the floor. Not one even
    raised a head to look at me. At last, in one of the rooms, the
    door of which was, like the rest, half-open, I found the man I
    was in quest of, stretched upon his bed.

    "I went up to him, I took him by the hand, and felt his pulse.

    "'Ah,' said he, with a melancholy voice, and scarcely turning
    his head towards me, 'Is that you? What can you want?'

    "'Want!--I want you to come and see my friend, who is no
    better, as it seems to me.'

    "'Go and see your friend!' cried the doctor, in a
    fright--'impossible!'

    "'Why impossible?'

    "He made a desperate effort to move, and taking his cane in his
    left hand, passed his right hand slowly down it, from the
    golden head that adorned it to the other extremity. 'Look you,'
    said he, 'my cane sweats.'

    "And, in fact, there fell some globules of water from it, such
    an effect has this terrible wind even on inanimate things.

    "'Well,' said I, 'and what does that prove?'

    "'That proves, that at such a time as this, there are no
    physicians, all are patients.[3]'"--P. 175.

    [3] The extreme misery of the paupers in Sicily, who form, he
    tells us, a tenth part of the population, quite haunts the
    imagination of M. Dumas. He recurs to it several times. At one
    place he witnesses the distribution, at the door of a convent,
    of soup to these poor wretches, and gives a terrible
    description of the famine-stricken group. "All these
    creatures," he continues, "had eaten nothing since yesterday
    evening. They had come there to receive their porringer of
    soup, as they had come to-day, as they would come to-morrow.
    This was all their nourishment for twenty-four hours, unless
    some of them might obtain a few _grani_ from their
    fellow-citizens, or the compassion of strangers; but this is
    very rare, as the Syracusans are familiarized with the
    spectacle, and few strangers visit Syracuse. When the
    distributor of this blessed soup appeared, there were
    unheard-of cries, and each one rushed forward with his wooden
    bowl in his hand. Only there were some too feeble to exclaim,
    or to run, and who dragged themselves forward, groaning, upon
    their hands and knees. There was in the midst of all, a child
    clothed, not in anything that could be called a shirt, but a
    kind of spider's web, with a thousand holes, who had no wooden
    bowl, and who wept with hunger. It stretched out its poor
    little meagre hands, and joined them together, to supply as
    well as it could, by this natural receptacle, the absent bowl.
    The cook poured in a spoonful of the soup. The soup was
    boiling, and burned the child's hand. It uttered a cry of pain,
    and was compelled to open its fingers, and the soup fell upon
    the pavement. The child threw itself on all fours, and began to
    eat in the manner of a dog."--Vol. iii. p. 58.

    And in another place he says, "Alas, this cry of hunger! it is
    the eternal cry of Sicily; I have heard nothing else for three
    months. There are miserable wretches, whose hunger has never
    been appeased, from the day when, lying in their cradle, they
    began to draw the milk from their exhausted mothers, to the
    last hour when, stretched on their bed of death, they have
    expired endeavouring to swallow the sacred host which the
    priest had laid upon their lips. Horrible to think of! there
    are human beings to whom, to have eaten once sufficiently,
    would be a remembrance for all their lives to come."--Vol. iv.
    p. 108.

Seeing there was no chance of bringing the doctor to the hotel, unless
he carried him there by main force, Mr Dumas contented himself with
relating the symptoms of his friend. To drink lemonade--much
lemonade--all the lemonade he could swallow, was the only prescription
that the physician gave. And the simple remedy seems to have sufficed;
for the patient shortly after recovered.

Not the least agreeable portion of these travels, is the pleasant
impression they leave of the traveller himself, one who has his humours
doubtless, but who is social, buoyant, brave, generous, and
enterprising. A Frenchman--as a chemist, in his peculiar language, would
say--is a creature "endowed with a considerable range of affinity." Our
traveller has this range of affinity; he wins the heart of all and
several--the crew of his _speronara._ We will close with the following
extract, both because it shows the frank and lively feelings of the
Frenchman, and because it introduces a name dear to all lovers of
melody. The father of Bellini was a Sicilian, and Dumas was in Sicily.

    "It was while standing on this spot, that I asked my guide if
    he knew the father of Bellini. At this question he turned, and
    pointing out to me an old man who was passing in a little
    carriage drawn by one horse--'Look you,' said he, 'there he is,
    taking his ride into the country!'

    "I ran to the carriage and stopped it, knowing that he is never
    intrusive who speaks to a father of his son, and of such a son
    as Bellini's. At the first mention of his name, the old man
    took me by both hands, and asked me eagerly if I really knew
    his son. I drew from my portfolio a letter of introduction,
    which, on my departure from Paris, Bellini had given me for the
    Duchess de Noja, and asked him if he knew the handwriting. He
    took the letter in his hands, and answered only by kissing the
    superscription.

    "'Ah,' said he, turning round to me, 'you know not how good he
    is! We are not rich. Well, at each success there comes some
    remembrance, something to add to the ease and comfort of an old
    man. If you will come home with me, I will show you how many
    things I owe to his goodness. Every success brings something
    new. This watch I carry with me, was from _Norma_; this little
    carriage and horse, from _the Puritans_. In every letter that
    he writes, he says that he will come; but Paris is far from
    Sicily. I do not trust to this promise--I am afraid that I
    shall die without seeing him again. You will see him, you----'

    "'Yes,' I answered, 'and if you have any commission----'

    "'No--what should I send him?--My blessing?--Dear boy, I give
    it him night and morning. But tell him you have given me a
    happy day by speaking to me of him--tell him that I embraced
    you as an old friend--(and he embraced me)--but you need not
    say that I was in tears. Besides,' he added, 'it is with joy
    that I weep.--And is it true that my son has a reputation?'

    "'Indeed a very great reputation.'

    "'How strange!' said the old man, 'who would have thought it,
    when I used to scold him, because, instead of working, he would
    be eternally beating time, and teaching his sister all the old
    Sicilian airs! Well, these things are written above. I wish I
    could see him before I die.--But your name?' he added, 'I have
    forgotten all this time to ask your name.'

    "I told him: it woke no recollection.

    "'Alexandre Dumas, Alexandre Dumas,' he repeated two or three
    times, 'I shall recollect that he who bears that name has given
    me good news of my son. Adieu! Alexandre Dumas--I shall
    recollect that name--Adieu!'

    "Poor old man! I am sure he has not forgotten it; for the news
    I gave him of his son was the last he was ever to receive."--P.
    226.

Sicily is one of those _romantic_ countries, where you may still meet
with adventures in your travels, where you may be shot at by banditti
with pointed hats and long guns. M. Dumas passes not without his share
of such adventures. Perhaps, as Sicily is less trodden ground than
Italy, his "Souvenirs" will be found more interesting as he proceeds. We
have naturally taken our quotations in the order in which they presented
themselves, and we have not advanced further than the second of the five
delectably small volumes in which these travels are printed. Would our
space permit us to proceed, it is probable that our extracts would
increase, instead of diminishing, in interest.

       *       *       *       *       *



AMMALÁT BEK.

A TRUE TALE OF THE CAUCASUS. FROM THE RUSSIAN OF MARLÍNSKI.

CHAPTER VI.


_Fragments from the Diary of Ammalát Bek.--Translated from the Tartar_.

... Have I been asleep till now, or am I now in a dream?... This, then,
is the new world called _thought_!... O beautiful world! thou hast long
been to me cloudy and confused, like the milky way, which, they say,
consists of thousands of glittering stars! It seems to me that I am
ascending the mountain of knowledge from the valley of darkness and
ignorance; each step opens to me views further and more extensive.... My
breast breathes freer, I gaze in the face of the sun.... I look
below--the clouds murmur under my feet!... annoying clouds! You prevent
me from seeing the heavens from the earth; from the heaven to look upon
the earth!

I wonder how the commonest questions, _whence_ and _how_, never before
came into my head? All God's world, with every thing in it good or evil,
was seen reflected in my soul as in the sea: I only knew as much of it
as the sea does, or a mirror. In my memory, it is true, much was
preserved: but to what end did this serve? Does the hawk understand why
the hood is put on his head? Does the steed understand why they shoe
him? Did I understand why in one place mountains are necessary, in
another steppes, here eternal snows, there oceans of sand? Why storms
and earthquakes were necessary? And thou, most wondrous being, Man! it
never has entered my head to follow thee from thy cradle, suspended on a
wandering mule, to that magnificent city which I have never seen, and
which I am enchanted merely to have heard of!... I confess that I am
already delighted with the mere outside of a book, without understanding
the meaning of the mysterious letters ... but V. not only makes
knowledge attractive, but gives me the means of acquiring it. With him,
as a young swallow with its mother, I try my new wings.... The distance
and the height still astonish, but no longer alarm me. The time will
come when I shall mount upwards to the heavens!...

       *       *       *       *       *

... But yet, am I happy because V. and his books teach me to think? The
time was, when a spirited steed, a costly sabre, a good gun, delighted
me like a child. Now, that I know the superiority of mind over body, my
former pride in shooting or horsemanship appears to me ridiculous--nay,
even contemptible. Is it worth while to devote oneself to a trade, in
which the meanest broad-shouldered noúker can surpass me?... Is it worth
while to seek honour and happiness, of which the first wound may deprive
me--the first awkward leap? They have taken from me this plaything, but
with what have they replaced it?... With new wants, with new wishes,
which Allah himself can neither weary nor satisfy. I thought myself a
man of consequence; but now I am convinced of my own nothingness.
Formerly, to my memory, my grandfather and great-grandfather were at the
beginning of the night of the past, with its stories and dreaming
traditions.... The Caucasus contained my world, and I peacefully slept
in that night. I thought to be famous in Daghestán--the height of glory.
And what then? History has peopled my former desert with nations,
shattering each other for glory; with heroes, terrifying the nations by
valour to which we can never rise. And where are they? Half forgotten,
they have vanished in the dust of ages. The description of the earth
shows me that the Tartars occupy a little corner of the world; that they
are miserable savages in comparison with the European nations; and that
of the existence, not only of their brave warriors, but of the whole
nation, nobody thinks, nobody knows, nobody wishes to know. It is worth
while to be a glow-worm amongst insects. Was it worth while to expand my
mind, in order to be convinced of such a bitter truth?

       *       *       *       *       *

What is the use of a knowledge of the powers of nature to me, when I
cannot change my soul, master my heart? The sea teaches me to build
dykes--but I cannot restrain my tears!... I can conduct the lightning
from the roof, but I cannot throw off my sorrows! Was I not unhappy
enough from my feelings alone, without calling around me my thoughts,
like greedy vultures? What does the sick man gain by knowing that his
disease is incurable?... The tortures of my hopeless love have become
sharper, more piercing, more various, since my intellect has been
enlightened.

       *       *       *       *       *

No! I am unjust. Reading shortens for me the long winter-like night--the
hours of separation. In teaching me to fix on paper my flying thoughts,
V. has given me a heartfelt enjoyment. Some day I shall meet Seltanetta,
and I shall show her these pages; in which her name is written oftener
than that of Allah in the Korán. "These are the annals of my heart," I
shall say: "Look! on such a day thus thought about you--on such a night,
I saw you thus in my dreams! By these little leaves, as by a string of
diamond beads, you may count my sighs, my tears for you." O lovely, and
beloved being! you will often smile at my strange phantasies--long will
they supply matter for our conversations. But, by your side,
enchantress, shall I be able to remember the past?... No, no!... Every
thing before me, every thing around me, will then fade away, except the
present bliss--to be with you! O, how burning, and how light will my
soul be! Liquid sunshine will flow in my veins--I shall float in heaven,
like the sun! To forget all by your side is a bliss prouder than the
highest wisdom!

       *       *       *       *       *

I have read stories of love, of the charms of woman--of the perfidy of
man--but no heroine approaches my Seltanetta in loveliness of soul or
body--not one of the heroes do I resemble--I envy them the fascination,
I admire the wisdom of lovers in books--but then, how weak, how cold is
their love! It is a moonbeam playing on ice! Whence come these European
babblers of Tharsis--these nightingales of the market-place--these
sugared confections of flowers? I cannot believe that people can love
passionately, and prate of their love--even as a hired mourner laments
over the dead. The spendthrift casts his treasure by handfuls to the
wind; the lover hides it, nurses it, buries it in his heart like a
hoard.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am yet young, and I ask "what is friendship?" I have a friend in V.--a
loving, real, thoughtful friend; yet I am not _his_ friend. I feel it, I
reproach myself that I do not reciprocate his regard as I ought, as he
deserves--but is in my power? In my soul there is no room for any one
but Seltanetta--in my heart there is no feeling but love.

       *       *       *       *       *

No! I cannot read, I cannot understand what the Colonel explains to me.
I cheated myself when I thought that the ladder of science could be
climbed by me ... I am weary at the first steps, I lose my way on the
first difficulty, I entangle the threads, instead of unravelling them--I
pull and tear them--and I carry off nothing of the prey but a few
fragments. The _hope_ which the Colonel held out to me I mistook for my
own progress. But who--what--impedes this progress? That which makes the
happiness and misery of my life--love. In every place, in every thing, I
hear and see Seltanetta--and often Seltanetta alone. To banish her from
my thoughts I should consider sacrilege; and, even if I wished, I could
not perform the resolution. Can I see without light? Can I breathe
without air? Seltanetta is my light, my air, my life, my soul!

       *       *       *       *       *

My hand trembles--my heart flutters in my bosom. If I wrote with my
blood, 'twould scorch the paper. Seltanetta! your image pursues me
dreaming or awake. The image of your charms is more dangerous than the
reality. The thought that I may never possess them, touch them, see
them, perhaps, plunges me into an incessant melancholy--at once I melt
and burn. I recall each lovely feature, each attitude of your exquisite
person--that little foot, the seal of love, that bosom, the gem of
bliss! The remembrance of your voice makes my soul thrill like the chord
of an instrument--ready to burst from the clearness of its tone--and
your kiss! that kiss in which I drank your soul! It showers roses and
coals of fire upon my lonely bed--I burn--my hot lips are tortured by
the thirst for caresses--my hand longs to clasp your waist--to touch
your knees! Oh, come--Oh, fly to me--that I may die in delight, as now I
do in weariness!

       *       *       *       *       *

Colonel Verkhóffsky, endeavouring by every possible means to divert
Ammalát's grief, thought of amusing him with a boar-hunt, the favourite
occupation of the Beks of Daghestán. In answer to his summons, there
assembled about twenty persons, each attended by his noúkers, each eager
to try his fortune, or to gallop about the field and vaunt his courage.
Already had grey December covered the tops of the surrounding mountains
with the first-fallen snow. Here and there in the streets of Derbénd lay
a crust of ice, but over it the mud rolled in sluggish waves along the
uneven pavement. The sea lazily plashed against the sunken turrets of
the walls which descended to the water, a flock of bustards and of geese
whizzed through the fog, and flew with a complaining cry above the
ramparts; all was dark and melancholy--even the dull and tiresome
braying of the asses laden with faggots for the market, sounded like a
dirge over the fine weather. The old Tartars sat in the bazárs, wrapping
their shoubes over their noses. But this is exactly the weather most
favourable to hunters. Hardly had the moóllahs of the town proclaimed
the hour of prayer, when the Colonel, attended by several of his
officers, the Beks of the city, and Ammalát, rode, or rather swam,
through the mud, leaving the town in the direction of the north, through
the principal gate Keerkhlár Kápi, which is covered with iron plates.
The road leading to Tárki is rude in appearance, bordered for a few
paces to the right and left with beds of madder--beyond them lie vast
burying-grounds, and further still towards the sea, scattered gardens.
But the appearance of the suburbs is a great deal more magnificent than
those of the Southern ones. To the left, on the rocks were seen the
Keifárs, or barracks of the regiment of Koúrin; while on both sides of
the road, fragments of rock lay in picturesque disorder, rolled down in
heaps by the violence of the mountain-torrents. A forest of ilex,
covered with hoar-frost, thickened as it approached Vellikent, and at
each verst the retinue of Verkhóffsky was swelled by fresh arrivals of
_Beglar_ and _Agalar_[4]. The hunting party now turned to the left, and
they speedily heard the cry of the _ghayálstchiks_[5] assembled from the
surrounding villages. The hunters formed into an extended chain, some on
horseback, and some running on foot; and soon the wild-boars also began
to show themselves.

    [4] _Lar_ is the Tartar plural of all substantives.

    [5] Beaters for the game.

The umbrageous oak-forests of Daghestán have served, from time
immemorial, as a covert for innumerable herds of wild hogs; and although
the Tartars--like the Mussulmans--hold it a sin not only to eat, but
even to touch the unclean animal, they consider it a praiseworthy act to
destroy them--at least they practise the art of shooting on these
beasts, as well as exhibit their courage, because the chase of the
wild-boar is accompanied by great danger, and requires cunning and
bravery.

The lengthened chain of hunters occupied a wide extent of ground; the
most fearless marksmen selecting the most solitary posts, in order to
divide with no one else the glory of success, and also because the
animals make for those points where there are fewer people. Colonel
Verkhóffsky, confident in his gigantic strength and sure eye, posted
himself in the thickest of the wood, and halted at a small savannah to
which converged the tracks of numerous wild-boars. Perfectly alone,
leaning against the branch of a fallen tree, he awaited his game.
Interrupted shots were heard on the right and left of his station; for a
moment a wild-boar appeared behind the trees; at length the bursting
crash of falling underwood was heard, and immediately a boar of uncommon
size darted across the field like a ball fired from a cannon. The
Colonel took his aim, the bullet whistled, and the wounded monster
suddenly halted, as if in surprise--but this was but for an instant--he
dashed furiously in the direction whence came the shot. The froth smoked
from his red-hot tusks, his eye burned in blood, and he flew at the
enemy with a grunt. But Verkhóffsky showed no alarm, waiting for the
nearer approach of the brute: a second time clicked the cock of his
gun--but the powder was damp and missed fire. What now remained for the
hunter? He had not even a dagger at his girdle--flight would have been
useless. As if by the anger of fate, not a single thick tree was near
him--only one dry branch arose from the oak against which he had leaned;
and Verkhóffsky threw himself on it as the only means of avoiding
destruction. Hardly had he time to clamber an arschine and a half[6]
from the ground, when the boar, enraged to fury, struck the branch with
his tusks--it cracked from the force of the blow and the weight which
was supported by it.... It was in vain that Verkhóffsky tried to climb
higher--the bark was covered with ice--his hands slipped--he was sliding
downwards; but the beast did not quit the tree--he gnawed it--he
attacked it with his sharp tusks a _tchétverin_ below the feet of the
hunter. Every instant Verkhóffsky expected to be sacrificed, and his
voice died away in the lonely space in vain. No, not in vain! The sound
of a horse's hoofs was heard close at hand, and Ammalát Bek galloped up
at full speed with uplifted sabre. Perceiving a new enemy, the wild-boar
turned at him, but a sideway leap of the horse decided the battle--a
blow from Ammalát hurled him on the earth.

    [6] Rather less than an English yard.

The rescued Colonel hurried to embrace his friend, but the latter was
slashing, mangling, in a fit of rage, the slain beast. "I accept not
unmerited thanks," he answered at length, turning from the Colonel's
embrace. "This same boar gored before my eyes a Bek of Tabasóran, my
friend, when he, having missed him, had entangled his foot in the
stirrup. I burned with anger when I saw my comrade's blood, and flew in
pursuit of the boar. The closeness of the wood prevented me from
following his track; I had quite lost him; and God has brought me hither
to slay the accursed brute, when he was on the point of sacrificing a
yet nobler victim--you, my benefactor."

"Now we are quits, dear Ammalát. Do not talk of past events. This day
our teeth shall avenge us on this tusked foe. I hope you will not refuse
to taste the forbidden meat, Ammalát?"

"Not I! nor to wash it down with champagne, Colonel. Without offence to
Mahomet, I had rather strengthen my soul with the foam of the wine, than
with the water of the true believer."

The hunt now turned to the other side. From afar were heard cries and
hallooing, and the drums of the Tartars in the chase. From time to time
shots rang through the air. A horse was led up to the Colonel: and he,
feasting his sight with the boar, which was almost cut in two, patted
Ammalát on the shoulder, crying "A brave blow!"

"In that blow exploded my revenge," answered the Bek; "and the revenge
of an Asiatic is heavy."

"You have seen, you have witnessed," replied the Colonel, "how injury is
avenged by Russians--that is, by Christians; let this be not a reproach,
but--a lesson to you."

And they both galloped off towards the Line.

Ammalát was remarkably absent--sometimes he did not answer at all--at
others, he answered incoherently to the questions of Verkhóffsky, by
whom he rode, gazing abstractedly around him. The Colonel, thinking
that, like an eager hunter, he was engrossed by the sport, left him, and
rode forward. At last, Ammalát perceived him whom he was so impatiently
expecting, his hemdjék, Saphir Ali, flew to meet him, covered with mud,
and mounted on a smoking horse. With cries of "Aleikoúm Selam," they
both jumped off their horses, and were immediately locked in each
other's embrace.

"And so you have been there--you have seen her--you have spoken to her?"
cried Ammalát, tearing off his kaftán, and choking with agitation. "I
see by your face that you bring good news; here is my new _tchoukhá_[7]
for you for that. Does she live? Is she well? Does she love me as
before?"

    [7] The Tartars have an invariable custom, of taking off some
    part of their dress and giving it to the bearer of good news.

"Let me recollect myself," answered Saphir Ali. "Let me take breath. You
have put so many questions, and I myself are charged with so many
commissions, that they are crowding together like old women at the door
of the mosque, who have lost their shoes. First, at your desire, I have
been to Khounzákh. I crept along so softly, that I did not scare a
single thrush by the road. Sultan Akhmet Khan is well, and at home. He
asked about you with great anxiety, shook his head, and enquired if you
did not want a spindle to dry the silk of Derbénd. The khánsha sends you
tchokh selammóum, (many compliments,) and as many sweet cakes. I threw
them away, the confounded things, at the first resting-place.
Soúrkhai-Khan, Noutzal-Khan"----

"The devil take them all! What about Seltanetta?"

"Aha! at last I have touched the chilblain of your heart. Seltanetta, my
dear Ammalát, is as beautiful as the starry sky; but in that heaven I
saw no light, until I conversed about you. Then she almost threw herself
on my neck when we were left alone together, and I explained the cause
of my arrival. I gave her a camel-load of compliments from you--told her
that you were almost dead with love--poor fellow!--and she burst into
tears!"

"Kind, lovely soul! What did she tell you to say to me?"

"Better ask what she did not. She says that, from the time that you left
her, she has never rejoiced even in her dreams; that the winter snow has
fallen on her heart, and that nothing but a meeting with her beloved,
like a vernal sun, can melt it.... But if I were to continue to the end
of her messages, and you were to wait to the end of my story, we should
both reach Derbénd with grey beards. Spite of all this, she almost drove
me away, hurrying me off, lest you should doubt her love!"

"Darling of my soul! you know not--I cannot explain what bliss it is to
be with thee, what torment to be separated from thee, not to see thee!"

"That is exactly the thing, Ammalát; she grieves that she cannot rejoice
her eyes with a sight of him whom she never can be weary of gazing at.
'Is it possible,' she says, 'that he cannot come but for one little day,
for one short hour, one little moment?'"

"To look on her, and then die, I would be content!"

"Ah, when you behold her, you will wish to live. She is become quieter
than she was of old; but even yet she is so lively, that when you see
her your blood sparkles within you."

"Did you tell her why it is not in my power to do her will, and to
accomplish my own passionate desire?"

"I related such tales that you would have thought me the Shah of
Persia's chief poet. Seltanetta shed tears like a fountain after rain.
She does nothing else but weep."

"Why, then, reduce her to despair? 'I cannot now' does not mean 'it is
for ever impossible.' You know what a woman's heart is, Saphir Ali: for
them the end of hope is the end of love."

"You sow words on the wind, djanníon (my soul.) Hope, for lovers, is a
skein of worsted--endless. In cool blood, you do not even trust your
eyes; but fall in love, and you will believe in ghosts. I think that
Seltanetta would hope that you could ride to her from your coffin--not
only from Derbénd."

"And how is Derbénd better than a coffin to me? Does not my heart feel
its decay, without power to escape it? Here is only my corpse: my soul
is far away."

"It seems that your senses often take the whim of walking I know not
where, dear Ammalát. Are you not well at Verkhóffsky's--free and
contented? beloved as a younger brother, caressed like a bride? Grant
that Seltanetta is lovely: there are not many Verkhóffskys. Cannot you
sacrifice to friendship a little part of love?"

"Am not I then doing so, Saphir Ali? But if you knew how much it costs
me! It is as if I tore my heart to pieces. Friendship is a lovely thing,
but it cannot fill the place of love."

"At least, it can console us for love--it can relieve it. Have you
spoken about this to the Colonel?"

"I cannot prevail on myself to do so. The words die on my lips, when I
would speak of my love. He is so wise, that I am ashamed to annoy him
with my madness. He is so kind, that I dare not abuse his patience. To
say the truth, his frankness invites, encourages mine. Figure to
yourself that he has been in love since his childhood with a maiden, to
whom he was plighted, and whom he certainly would have married if his
name had not been by mistake put into a list of killed during the war
with the Feringhis. His bride shed tears, but nevertheless was given
away in marriage. He flies back to his country, and finds his beloved
the wife of another. What, think you, should I have done in such a case?
Plunged a dagger in the breast of the robber of my treasure!--carried
her away to the end or the world to possess her but one hour, but one
moment! Nothing of this kind happened. He learned that his rival was an
excellent and worthy man. He had the calmness to contract a friendship
with him: had the patience to be often in the society of his former
love, without betraying, either by word or deed, his new friend or his
still loved mistress."

"A rare man, if this be true!" exclaimed Saphir Ali, with feeling,
throwing away his reins. "A stout friend indeed!"

"But what an icy lover! But this is not all. To relieve both of them
from misrepresentation and scandal, he came hither on service. Not long
ago--for his happiness or unhappiness--his friend died. And what then?
Do you think he flew to Russia. No! his duty kept him away. The
Commander-in-chief informed him that his presence was indispensable here
for a year more, and he has remained--cherishing his love with hope. Can
such a man, with all his goodness, understand such a passion as mine?
And besides, there is such a difference between us in years, in
opinions. He kills me with his unapproachable dignity; and all this
cools my friendship, and impedes my sincerity."

"You are a strange fellow, Ammalát; you do not love Verkhóffsky for the
very reason that he most merits frankness and affection!"

"Who told you that I do not love him? How can I but love the man who has
educated me--my benefactor? Can I not love any one but Seltanetta? I
love the whole world--all men!"

"Not much love, then, will fall to the share of each!" said Saphir Ali.

"There would be enough not only to quench the thirst, but to drown the
whole world!" replied Ammalát, with a smile.

"Aha! This comes of seeing beauties unveiled--and then to see nothing
but the veil and the eyebrows. It seems that you are like the
nightingales of Ourmis; you must be caged before you can sing!"

Conversing in this strain, the two friends disappeared in the depths of
the forest.



CHAPTER VII.

FRAGMENT OF A LETTER FROM COLONEL VERKHÓFFSKY TO HIS BETROTHED.


_Derbénd, April._

Fly to, me, heart of my heart, dearest Maria! Rejoice in the sight of a
lovely vernal night in Daghestán. Beneath me lies Derbénd, slumbering
calmly, like a black streak of lava flowing from the Caucasus and cooled
in the sea. The gentle breeze bears to me the fragrant odour of the
almond-trees, the nightingales are calling to each other from the
rock-crevices, behind the fortress: all breathes of life and love; and
beautiful nature, full of this feeling, covers herself with a veil of
mists. And how wonderfully has that vaporous ocean poured itself over
the Caspian! The sea below gleams wavingly, like steel damasked with
gold on an escutcheon--that above swells like a silver surge lighted by
the full moon, which rolls along the sky like a cup of gold, while the
stars glitter around like scattered drops. In a moment, the reflection
of the moonbeams in the vapours of the night changes the picture,
anticipating the imagination, now astounding by its marvels--now
striking by its novelty. Sometimes I seem to behold the rocks of the
wild shore, and the waves beating against them in foam. The billows roll
onward to the charge: the rocky ramparts repel the shock, and the surf
flies high above them; but silently and slowly sink the waves, and the
silver palms arise from the midst of the inundation, the breeze stirs
their branches, playing with the long leaves, and they spread like the
sails of a ship gliding over the airy ocean. Do you see how she rolls
along, how the spray-drops sparkle on her breast, how the waves slide
along her sides. And where is she?... and where am I?... You cannot
imagine, dearest Maria, the sweetly solemn feeling produced in me by the
sound and sight of the sea. To me, the idea of eternity is inseparable
from it; of immensity--of our love. That love seems to me, like it,
infinite--eternal. I feel as if my heart overflowed to embrace the
world, even as the ocean, with its bright waves of love. It is in me and
around me; it is the only great and immortal feeling which I possess.
Its spark lights and warms me in the winter of my sorrows, in the
midnight of my doubts. Then I love so blindly! I believe so ardently!
You smile at my fantasy, friend and companion of my soul. You wonder at
this dark language; blame me not. My spirit, like the denizen of another
world, cannot bear the chill and frosty moonlight--it shakes off the
dust of the grave; it soars away, and, like the moonlight, dimly
discovers all things darkly and uncertainly. You know that it is to you
alone that I write down the pictures which fall on the magic-glass of my
heart, assured that you will guess, not with cold criticism, but with
the heart, what I would describe. Besides, next August, your happy
bridegroom will himself explain all the dark passages in his letters. I
cannot think without ecstasy of the moment of our meeting. I count the
sand-grains of the hours which separate us. I count the versts which lie
between us. And so in the middle of June you will be at the waters of
the Caucasus. And nought but the icy chain of the Caucasus will be
between two ardent hearts.... How near--yet how immeasurably far shall
we be from each other! Oh! how many years of life would I not give to
hasten the hour of our meeting! Long, long, have our hearts been
plighted.... Why have they been separated till now?

My friend Ammalát is not frank or confiding. I cannot blame him. I know
how difficult it is to break through habits imbibed with a mother's
milk, and with the air of one's native land. The barbarian despotism of
Persia, which has so long oppressed Aderbidján, has instilled the basest
principles into the Tartars of the Caucasus, and has polluted their
sense of honour by the most despicable subterfuge. And how could it be
otherwise in a government based upon the tyranny of the great over the
less--where justice herself can punish only in secret--where robbery is
the privilege of power? "Do with me what you like, provided you let me
do with my inferior what I like," is the principle of Asiatic
government--its ambition, its morality. Hence, every man, finding
himself between two enemies, is obliged to conceal his thoughts, as he
hides his money. Hence every man plays the hypocrite before the
powerful; every man endeavours to force from others a present by tyranny
or accusation. Hence the Tartar of this country will not move a step,
but with the hope of gain; will not give you so much as a cucumber,
without expecting a present in return.

Insolent to rudeness with every one who is not in power, he is mean and
slavish before rank or a full purse. He sows flattery by handfuls; he
will give you his house, his children, his soul, to get rid of a
difficulty, and if he does any body a service, it is sure to be from
motives of interest.

In money matters (this is the weakest side of a Tartar) a ducat is the
touchstone of his fidelity; and it is difficult to imagine the extent of
their greediness for profit! The Armenian character is yet a thousand
times more vile than theirs; but the Tartars hardly yield to them in
corruption and greediness--and this is saying a good deal. Is it
surprising that, beholding from infancy such examples, Ammalát--though
he has retained the detestation of meanness natural to pure
blood--should have adopted concealment as an indispensable arm against
open malevolence and secret villany? The sacred ties of relationship do
not exist for Asiatics. With them, the son is the slave of the
father--the brother is a rival. No one trusts his neighbour, because
there is no faith in any man. Jealousy of their wives, and dread of
espionage, destroy brotherly love and friendship. The child brought up
by his slave-mother--never experiencing a father's caress, and
afterwards estranged by the Arabian alphabet, (education,) hides his
feelings in his own heart even from his companions; from his childhood,
thinks only for himself; from the first beard are every door, every
heart shut for him: husbands look askance at him, women fly from him as
from a wild beast, and the first and most innocent emotions of his
heart, the first voice of nature, the first movements of his
feelings--all these have become crimes in the eyes of Mahometan
superstition. He dares not discover them to a relation, or confide them
to a friend.... He must even weep in secret.

All this I say, my sweet Maria, to excuse Ammalát: he has already lived
a year and a half in my house, and hitherto has never confessed to me
the object of his love; though he might well have known, that it was
from no idle curiosity, but from a real heartfelt interest, that I
wished to know the secret of his heart. At last, however, he has told me
all; and thus it happened.

Yesterday I took a ride out of the town with Ammalát. We rode up through
a defile in the mountain on the west, and we advanced further and
further, higher and higher, till we found ourselves unexpectedly close
to the village of Kelík, from which may be seen the wall that anciently
defended Persia from the incursions of the wandering tribes inhabiting
the Zakavkáz, (trans-Caucasian country,) which often devastated that
territory. The annals of Derbénd (Derbéndnámé) ascribe, but falsely, the
construction of it to a certain Iskender--_i.e._ Alexander the
Great--who, however, never was in these regions. King Noushirván
repaired it, and placed a guard along it. More than once since that time
it has been restored; and again it fell into ruin, and became overgrown,
as it now is, with the trees of centuries. A tradition exists, that this
wall formerly extended from the Caspian to the Black Sea, cutting
through the whole Caucasus, and having for its extremity the "iron gate"
of Derbénd, and Dariál in its centre; but this is more than doubtful as
far as regards the general facts, though certain in the particulars. The
traces of this wall, which are to be seen far into the mountains, are
interrupted here and there, but only by fallen stones or rocks and
ravines, till it reaches the military road; but from thence to the Black
Sea, through Mingrelia, I think there are no traces of its continuation.

I examined, with curiosity, this enormous wall, fortified by numerous
towers at short distance; and I wondered at the grandeur of the
ancients, exhibited even in their unreasonable caprices of
despotism--that greatness to which the effeminate rulers of the East
cannot aspire, in our day, even in imagination. The wonders of Babylon,
the lake of Moeris, the pyramids of the Pharaohs, the endless wall of
China, and this huge bulwark, built in sterile places, on the summits of
mountains, through the abyss of ravines--bear witness to the gigantic
iron will, and the unlimited power, of the ancient kings. Neither time,
nor earthquake, nor man, transitory man, nor the footstep of thousands
of years, have entirely destroyed, entirely trodden down, the remains of
immemorial antiquity. These places awake in me solemn and sacred
thoughts. I wandered over the traces of Peter the Great; I pictured him
the founder, the reformer, of a young state--building it on these ruins
of the decaying monarchies of Asia, from the centre of which he tore out
Russia, and with a mighty hand rolled her into Europe. What a fire must
have gleamed in his eagle eye, as he glanced from the heights of
Caucasus! What sublime thoughts, what holy aspirations, must have
swelled that heroic breast! The grand destiny of his country was
disclosed before his eyes; in the horizon, in the mirror of the Caspian,
appeared to him the picture of Russia's future weal, sown by him, and
watered by his red sweat. It was not empty conquest that was his aim,
but victory over barbarism--the happiness of mankind. Derbénd, Báka,
Astrabád, they are the links of the chain with which he endeavoured to
bind the Caucasus, and rivet the commerce of India with Russia.

Demigod of the North! Thou whom nature created at once to flatter the
pride of man, and to reduce it to despair by thine unapproachable
greatness! Thy shade rose before me, bright and colossal, and the
cataract of ages fell foaming at thy feet! Pensive and silent, I rode
on.

The wall of the Caucasus is faced on the north side with squared stones,
neatly and firmly fixed together with lime. Many of the battlements are
still entire; but feeble seeds, falling into the crevices and joints,
have burst them asunder with the roots of trees growing from them, and,
assisted by the rains, have thrown the stones to the earth, and over the
ruins triumphantly creep mallows and pomegranates; the eagle,
unmolested, builds her nest in the turret once crowded with warriors,
and on the cold hearthstone lie the fresh bones of the wild-goat,
dragged thither by the jackals. Sometimes the line of the ruins entirely
disappeared; then fragments of the stones again rose from among the
grass and underwood. Riding in this way, a distance of about three
versts, we reached the gate, and passed through to the south side, under
a vaulted arch, lined with moss and overgrown with shrubs. We had not
advanced twenty paces, when suddenly, behind an enormous tower, we came
upon six armed mountaineers, who seemed, by all appearance, to belong to
those gangs of robbers--the free Tabasaranetzes. They were lying in the
shade, close to their horses, which were feeding. I was astounded. I
immediately reflected how foolishly I had acted in riding so far from
Derbénd without an escort. To gallop back, among such bushes and rocks,
would have been impossible; to fight six such desperate fellows, would
have been foolhardiness. Nevertheless, I seized a holster-pistol; but
Ammalát Bek, seeing how matters stood, advanced, and cried in a calm
slow voice: "Do not handle your arms, or we are dead men!"

The robbers, perceiving us, jumped up and cocked their guns, one fine,
broad-shouldered, but extremely savage-looking Lezghín, remaining
stretched on the ground. He lifted his head coolly, looked at us, and
waved his hand to his companions. In a moment we found ourselves
surrounded by them, while a path in front was stopped by the Ataman.

"Pray, dismount from your horses, dear guests," said he with a smile,
though one could see that the next invitation would be a bullet. I
hesitated; but Ammalát Bek jumped speedily from his horse, and walked up
to the Ataman.

"Hail!" He said to him: "hail, sorvi golová! I thought not of seeing
you. I thought the devils had long ago made a feast of you."

"Softly, Ammalát Bek!" answered the other; "I hope yet to feed the
eagles with the bodies of the Russians and of you Tartars, whose purse
is bigger than your heart."

"Well, and what luck, Shermadán?" carelessly enquired Ammalát Bek.

"But poor. The Russians are watchful: and we have seldom been able to
drive the cattle of a regiment, or to sell two Russian soldiers at a
time in the hills. It is difficult to transport madder and silk; and of
Persian tissue, very little is now carried on the arbás. We should have
had to quest like wolves again to-day, but Allah has had mercy; he has
given into our hands a rich bek and a Russian colonel!"

My heart died within me, as I heard these words.

"Do not sell a hawk in the sky: sell him," answered Ammalát, "when you
have him on your glove."

The robber sat down, laid his hand on the cock of his gun, and fixed on
us a piercing look. "Hark'e, Ammalát!" said he; "is it possible that you
think to escape me?--is it possible that you will dare to defend
yourselves?"

"Be quiet," said Ammalát; "are we fools, to fight two to six? Gold is
dear to us, but dearer is our life. We have fallen into your hands, so
there is nothing to be done, unless you extort an unreasonable price for
our ransom. I have, as you know, neither father nor mother: and the
Colonel has yet less--neither kinsmen nor tribe."

"If you have no father, you have your father's inheritance. There is no
need then to count your relations with you: however, I am a man of
conscience. If you have no ducats, I will take your ransom in sheep. But
about the colonel, don't talk any more nonsense. I know for him the
soldiers would give the last button on their uniforms. Why, if for
Sh---- a ransom of ten thousand rubles was paid, they will give more for
this man. However, we shall see, we shall see. If you will be quiet....
Why, I am not a Jew, or a cannibal--Perviáder (the Almighty) forgive
me!"

"Now that's it, friend: feed us well, and I swear and promise by my
honour, we will never think of harming you--nor of escaping."

"I believe, I believe! I am glad we have arranged without making any
noise about it. What a fine fellow you have become, Ammalát! Your horse
is not a horse, your gun is not a gun: it is a pleasure to look at you;
and this is true. Let me look at your dagger, my friend. Surely this is
the Koubatchín mark upon the blade."

"No, the Kizliár mark," replied Ammalát, quietly unbuckling the
dagger-belt from his waist; "and look at the blade. Wonderful! it cuts a
nail in two like a candle. On this side is the maker's name; there--read
it yourself: Alióusta--Kóza--Nishtshekói." And while he spoke, he
twirled the naked blade before the eyes of the greedy Lezghín, who
wished to show that he knew how to read, and was decyphering the
complicated inscription with some difficulty. But suddenly the dagger
gleamed like lightning.... Ammalát, seizing the opportunity, struck
Shermadán with all his might on the head; and so fierce was the blow,
that the dagger was stopped by the teeth of the lower jaw. The corpse
fell heavily on the grass. Keeping my eyes upon Ammalát, I followed his
example, and with my pistol shot the robber who was next me, and had
hold of my horse's bridle. This was to the others a signal for flight;
the rascals vanished; for the death of their Ataman dissolved the knot
of the leash which bound them together. Whilst Ammalát, after the
oriental fashion, was stripping the dead of their arms, and tying
together the reins of the abandoned horses, I lectured him on his
dissembling and making a false oath to the robber. He lifted up his head
with astonishment: "You are a strange man, Colonel!" he replied. "This
rascal has done an infinity of harm to the Russians, by secretly setting
fire to their stacks of hay, or seizing and carrying straggling soldiers
and wood-cutters into slavery. Do you know that he would have tyrannized
over us--or even tortured us, to make us write more movingly to our
kinsmen, to induce them to pay a larger ransom?"

"It may be so, Ammalát, but to lie or to swear an oath, either in jest
or to escape misfortune, is wrong. Why could we not have thrown
ourselves directly at the robbers, and have begun as you finished?"

"No, Colonel, we could not. If I had not entered into conversation with
the Ataman, we should have been riddled with balls at the first
movement. Moreover, I know that pack right well: they are brave only in
the presence of their Ataman, and it was with him it was necessary to
begin!"

I shook my head. The Asiatic cunning, though it had saved my life, could
not please me. What confidence can I have in people accustomed to sport
with their honour and their soul? We were about to mount our horses,
when we heard a groan from the mountaineer who had been wounded by me.
He came to himself, raised his head, and piteously besought us not to
leave him to be devoured by the beasts of the forest. We both hastened
to assist the poor wretch; and what was Ammalát's astonishment when he
recognized in him one of the noúkers of Sultan Akhmet Khan of Avár. To
the question how he happened to be one of a gang of robbers, he replied:
"Shairán tempted me: the Khan sent me into Kemék, a neighbouring
village, with a letter to the famous Hakím (Doctor) Ibrahim, for a
certain herb, which they say removes every ailment, as easily as if it
were brushed away with the hand. To my sorrow, Shermadán met me in the
way! He teazed me, saying, 'Come with me, and let us rob on the road. An
Armenian is coming from Kouba with money.' My young heart could not
resist this ... oh, Allah-il-Allah! He hath taken my soul from me!"

"They sent you for physic, you say," replied Ammalát: "why, who is sick
with you?"

"Our Khanóum Seltanetta is dying: here is the writing to the leech about
her illness:" with these words he gave Ammalát a silver tube, in which
was a small piece of paper rolled up. Ammalát turned as pale as death;
his hands shook--his eyes sank under his eyebrows when he had read the
note: with a broken voice he uttered detached words. "Three nights--and
she sleeps not, eats not--delirious!--her life is in danger--save her! O
God of righteousness--and I am idling here--leading a life of
holidays--and my soul's soul is ready to quit the earth, and leave me a
rotten corse! Oh that all her sufferings could fall on my head! and that
I could lie in her coffin, if that would restore her to health. Sweetest
and loveliest! thou art fading, rose of Avár, and destiny has stretched
out her talons over thee. Colonel," he cried at length, seizing my hand,
"grant my only, my solemn prayer--let me but once more look on her!"----

"On whom, my friend?"

"On my Seltanetta--on the daughter of the Khan of Avár--whom I love more
than my life, than my soul! She is ill, she is dying--perhaps dead by
this time--while I am wasting words--and I could not receive into my
heart her last word--her last look--could not wipe away the icy tear of
death! Oh, why do not the ashes of the ruined sun fall on my head--why
will not the earth bury me in its ruins!"

He fell on my breast, choking with grief, in a tearless agony, unable to
pronounce a word.

This was not a time for accusations of insincerity, much less to set
forth the reasons which rendered it unadvisable for him to go among the
enemies of Russia. There are circumstances before which all reasons must
give way, and I felt that Ammalát was in such circumstances. On my own
responsibility I resolved to let him go. "He that obliges from the
heart, and speedily, twice obliges," is my favourite proverb, and best
maxim. I pressed in my embrace the unhappy Tartar, and we mingled our
tears together.

"My friend Ammalát," said I, "hasten where your heart calls you. God
grant that you may carry thither health and recovery, and bring back
peace of mind! A happy journey!"

"Farewell, my benefactor," he cried, deeply touched, "farewell, and
perhaps for ever! I will not return to life, if Allah takes from me my
Seltanetta. May God keep you!"

He took the wounded Aváretz to the Hakím Ibrahim, received the medicinal
herb according to the Khan's prescription, and in an hour Ammalát Bek,
with four noúkers, rode out of Derbénd.

And so the riddle is guessed--he loves. This is unfortunate, but what is
yet worse, he is beloved in return. I fancy, my love, that I see your
astonishment. "Can that be a misfortune to another, which to you is
happiness?" you ask. A grain of patience, my soul's angel! The Khan, the
father of Seltanetta, is the irreconcilable foe of Russia, and the more
so because, having been distinguished by the favour of the Czar, he has
turned a traitor; consequently a marriage is possible only on condition
of Ammalát's betraying the Russians, or in case of the Khan's submission
and pardon--both cases being far from probable. I myself have
experienced misery and hopelessness in love; I have shed many tears on
my lonely pillow; often have I thirsted for the shade of the grave, to
cool my anguished heart! Can I, then, help, pitying this youth, the
object of my disinterested regard, and lamenting his hopeless love? But
this will not build a bridge to good-fortune; and I therefore think,
that if he had not the ill-luck to be beloved in return, he would by
degrees forget her.

"But," you say, (and methinks I hear your silvery voice, and am
revelling in your angel's smile,) "but circumstances may change for
them, as they have changed for us. Is it possible that misfortune alone
has the privilege of being eternal in the world?"

I do not dispute this, my beloved, but I confess with a sigh that I am
in doubt. I even fear for them and for ourselves. Destiny smiles before
us, hope chaunts sweet music--but destiny is a sea--hope but a
sea-syren; deceitful is the calm of the one, fatal are the promises of
the other. All appears to aid our union--but are we yet together? I know
not why, lovely Mary, but a chill penetrates my breast, amid the warm
fountains of future bliss, and the idea of our meeting has lost its
distinctness. But all this will pass away, all will change into
happiness, when I press your hand to my lips, your heart to mine. The
rainbow shines yet brighter on the dark field of the cloud, and the
happiest moments of life are but the anticipations of sorrow.



CHAPTER VIII.


Ammalát knocked up two horses, and left two of his noúkers on the road,
so that at the end of the second day he was not far from Khounzákh. At
each stride his impatience grew stronger, and with each stride increased
his fear of not finding his beloved amongst the living. A fit of
trembling came over him when from the rocks the tops of the Khan's tower
arose before him. His eyes grew dark. "Shall I meet there life or
death?" he whispered to himself, and arousing a desperate courage, he
urged his horse to a gallop.

He came up with a horseman completely armed: another horseman rode out
of Khounzákh to meeting, and hardly did they perceive one another when
they put their horses to full speed, rode up to each other, leaped down
upon the earth, and suddenly drawing their swords, threw themselves with
fury upon each other without uttering a word, as if blows were the
customary salutation of travellers. Ammalát Bek, whose passage they
intercepted along the narrow path between the rocks, gazed with
astonishment on the combat of the two adversaries. It was short. The
horseman who was approaching the town fell on the stones, bedewing them
with blood from a gash which laid open his skull; and the victor, coolly
wiping his blade, addressed himself to Ammalát: "Your coming is
opportune: I am glad that destiny has brought you in time to witness our
combat. God, and not I, killed the offender; and now his kinsmen will
not say that I killed my enemy stealthily from behind a rock, and will
not raise upon my head the feud of blood."

"Whence arose your quarrel with him?" asked Ammalát: "why did you
conclude it with such a terrible revenge?"

"This Kharám-Záda," answered the horseman, "could not agree with me
about the division of some stolen sheep, and in spite he killed them all
so that nobody should have them ... and he dared to slander my wife. He
had better have insulted my father's grave, or my mother's good name,
than have touched the reputation of my wife! I once flew at him with my
dagger, but they parted us: we agreed to fight at our first encounter,
and Allah has judged between us! The Bek is doubtless riding to
Khounzákh--surely on a vizit to the Khan?" added the horseman.

Ammalát, forcing his horse to leap over the dead body which lay across
the road, replied in the affirmative.

"You go not at a fit time, Bek--not at all at a fit time."

All Ammalát's blood rushed to his head. "Why, has any misfortune
happened in the Khan's house?" he enquired, reining in his horse, which
he had just before lashed with the whip to force him faster to
Khounzákh.

"Not exactly a misfortune, his daughter Seltanetta was severely ill, and
now"----

"Is dead?" cried Ammalát, turning pale.

"Perhaps she is dead--at least dying. As I rode past the Khan's gate,
there arose a bustling, crying, and yelling of women in the court, as if
the Russians were storming Khounzákh. Go and see--do me the favour"----

But Ammalát heard no more, he dashed away from the astounded Ouzdén; the
dust rolled like smoke from the road, which seemed to be set on fire by
the sparks from the horse's hoofs. Headlong he galloped through the
winding streets, flew up the hill, bounded from his horse in the midst
of the Khan's court-yard, and raced breathlessly through the passages to
Seltanetta's apartment, overthrowing and jostling noúkers and maidens,
and at last, without remarking the Khan or his wife, pushed himself to
the bed of the sufferer, and fell, almost senseless, on his knees beside
it.

The sudden and noisy arrival of Ammalát aroused the sad society present.
Seltanetta, whose existence death was already overpowering, seemed as if
awakening from the deep forgetfulness of fever; her cheeks flushed with
a transient colour, like that on the leaves of autumn before they fall:
in her clouded eye beamed the last spark of the soul. She lad been for
several hours in a complete insensibility; she was speechless,
motionless, hopeless. A murmur of anger from the bystanders, and a loud
exclamation from the stupefied Ammalát, seemed to recall the departing
spirit of the sick, she started up--her eyes sparkled.... "Is it
thou--is it thou?" she cried, stretching, forth her arms to him: "praise
be to Allah! now I am contented, now I am happy," she added, sinking
back on the pillow. Her lips wreathed into a smile, her eyelids closed,
and again she sank into her former insensibility.

The agonized Asiatic paid no attention to the questions of the Khan, or
the reproaches of the Khánsha: no person, no object distracted his
attention from Seltanetta--nothing could arouse him from his deep
despair. They could hardly lead him by force from the sick chamber; he
clung to the threshold, he wept bitterly, at one moment praying for the
life of Seltanetta, at another accusing heaven of her illness! Terrible,
yet moving, was the grief of the fiery Asiatic.

Meanwhile, the appearance of Ammalát had produced a salutary influence
on the sick girl. What the rude physicians of the mountains were unable
to accomplish, was effected by his arrival. The vital energy, which had
been almost extinguished, needed some agitation to revivify its action;
but for this she must have perished, not from the disease, which had
been already subdued, but from languor--as a lamp, not blown out by the
wind, but failing for lack of air. Youth at length gained the victory;
the crisis was past, and life again arose in the heart of the sufferer.
After a long and quiet slumber, she awoke unusually strengthened and
refreshed. "I feel myself as light, mother," she cried, looking gaily
around her, "as if I were made wholly of air. Ah, how sweet it is to
recover from illness; it seems as if the walls were smiling upon me.
Yet, I have been very ill--long ill. I have suffered much; but, thanks
to Allah! I am now only weak, and that will soon pass away. I feel
health rolling, like drops of pearl, through my veins. All the past
seems to me a sort of dark vision. I fancied that I was sinking into a
cold sea, and that I was parched with thirst: far away, methought, there
hovered two little stars; the darkness thickened and thickened; I sank
deeper, deeper yet. All at once it seemed as if some one called me by my
name, and with a mighty hand dragged me from that icy, shoreless sea.
Ammalát's face glanced before me, almost like a reality; the little
stars broke into a lightning-flash, which writhed like a serpent to my
heart: I remember no more!"

On the following day Ammalát was allowed to see the convalescent. Sultan
Akhmet Khan, seeing that it was impossible to obtain a coherent answer
from him while suspense tortured his heart, that heart which boiled with
passion, yielded to his incessant entreaties. "Let all rejoice when I
rejoice," he said, as he led his guest into his daughter's room. This
had been previously announced to Seltanetta, but her agitation,
nevertheless, was very great, when her eyes met those of
Ammalát--Ammalát, so deeply loved, so long and fruitlessly expected.
Neither of the lovers could pronounce a word, but the ardent language of
their looks expressed a long tale, imprinted in burning letters on the
tablet of their hearts. On the pale cheek of each other they read the
traces of sorrow, the tears of separation, the characters of
sleeplessness and grief, of fear and of jealousy. Entrancing is the
blooming loveliness of an adored mistress; but her paleness, her
languor, that is bewitching, enchanting, victorious! What heart of iron
would not be melted by that tearful glance, which, without a reproach,
says so tenderly to you, "I am happy, but I have suffered by thee and
for thy sake?"

Tears dropped from Ammalát's eyes; but remembering at length that he was
not alone, he mastered himself, and lifted up his head to speak; but his
voice refused to pour itself in words, and with difficulty he faltered
out, "We have not seen each other for a long time, Seltanetta!"

"And we were wellnigh parted for ever," murmured Seltanetta.

"For ever!" cried Ammalát, with a half reproachful voice. "And can you
think, can you believe this? Is there not, then, another life, in which
sorrow is unknown, and separation from our kinsmen and the beloved? If I
were to lose the talisman of my life, with what scorn would I not cast
away the rusty ponderous armour of existence! Why should I wrestle with
destiny?"

"Pity, then, that I did not die!" answered Seltanetta, sportively. "You
describe so temptingly the other side of the grave, that one would be
eager to leap into it."

"Ah, no! Live, live long, for happiness, for--love!" Ammalát would have
added, but he reddened, and was silent.

Little by little the roses of health spread over the cheeks of the
maiden, now happy in the presence of her lover. All returned into its
customary order. The Khan was never weary of questioning Ammalát about
the battles, the campaigns, the tactics of the Russians; the Khánsha
tired him with enquiries about the dress and customs of their women, and
could not omit to call upon Allah as often as she heard that they go
without veils. But with Seltanetta he enjoyed conversations and tales,
to his, as well as her, heart's content. The merest trifle which had the
slightest connexion with the other, could not be passed over without a
minute description, without abundant repetitions and exclamations. Love,
like Midas, transforms every thing it touches into gold, and, alas!
often perishes, like Midas, for want of finding some material
nourishment.

But, as the strength of Seltanetta was gradually re-established, with
the reappearing bloom of health on Ammalát's brow, there often appeared
the shadow of grief. Sometimes, in the middle of a lively conversation,
he would suddenly stop, droop his head, and his bright eyes would be
dimmed with a filling of tears; heavy sighs would seem to rend his
breast; he would start up, his eyes sparkling with fury; he would grasp
his dagger with a bitter smile, and then, as if vanquished by an
invisible hand, he would fall into a deep reverie, from whence not even
the caresses of his adored Seltanetta could recall him.

Once, at such a moment, Seltanetta, leaning enraptured on his shoulder,
whispered, "Asis, (beloved,) you are sad--you are weary of me!"

"Ah, slander not him who loves thee more than heaven!" replied Ammalát;
"but I have felt the hell of separation; and can I think of it without
agony? Easier, a hundred times easier, to part from life than from thee,
my dark-eyed love!"

"You are thinking of it, therefore you desire it."

"Do not poison my wounds by doubting, Seltanetta. Till now you have
known only how to bloom like a rose--to flutter like a butterfly; till
now your will was your only duty. But I am a man, a friend; fate has
forged for me an indestructible chain--the chain of gratitude for
kindness--it drags me to Derbénd."

"Debt! duty! gratitude!" cried Seltanetta, mournfully shaking her head.
"How many gold-embroidered words have you invented to cover, as with a
shawl, your unwillingness to remain here. What! Did you not give your
heart to love before it was pledged to friendship? You had no right to
give away what belonged to another. Oh, forget your Verkhóffsky, forget
your Russian friends and the beauty of Derbénd. Forget war and
murder-purchased glory. I hate blood since I saw you covered with it. I
cannot think without shuddering, that each drop of it costs tears that
cannot be dried, of a sister, a mother, or a fair bride. What do you
need, in order to live peacefully and quietly among our mountains! Here
none can come to disturb with arms the happiness of the heart. The rain
pierces not our roof; our bread is not of purchased corn; my father has
many horses, he has arms, and much precious gold; in my soul there is
much love for you. Say, then, my beloved, you will not go away, you will
remain with us!"

"No, Seltanetta, I cannot, must not, remain here. To pass my life with
you alone--for you to end it--this is my first prayer, my last desire,
but its accomplishment depends on your father. A sacred tie binds me to
the Russians; and while the Khan remains unreconciled with them, an open
marriage with you would be impossible--the obstacle would not be the
Russians, but the Khan"----

"You know my father," sorrowfully replied Seltanetta; "for some time
past his hatred of the infidels has so strengthened itself, that he
hesitates not to sacrifice to it his daughter and his friend. He is
particularly enraged with the Colonel for killing his favourite noúker,
who was sent for medicine to the Hakím Ibrahim."

"I have more than once begun to speak to Akhmet Khan about my hopes; but
his eternal reply has been--'Swear to be the enemy of the Russians, and
then I will hear you out.'"

"We must then bid adieu to hope."

"Why to hope, Seltanetta? Why not say only--farewell, Avár!"

Seltanetta bent upon him her expressive eyes. "I don't understand you,"
she said.

"Love me more than any thing in the world--more than your father and
mother, and your fair land, and then you will understand me, Seltanetta!
Live without you I cannot, and they will not let me live with you. If
you love me, let us fly!"

"Fly! the Khan's daughter fly like a slave--a criminal! This is
dreadful--this is terrible!"

"Speak not so. If the sacrifice is unusual, my love also is unusual.
Command me to give my life a thousand times, and I will throw it down
like a copper poull.[8] I will cast my soul into hell for you--not only
my life. You remind me that you are the daughter of the Khan; remember,
too, that my grandfather wore, that my uncle wears, the crown of a
Shamkhál! But it is not by this dignity, but by my heart, that I feel I
am worthy of you; and if there be shame in being happy despite of the
malice of mankind and the caprice of fate, that shame will fall on my
head and not on yours."

    [8] Coin.

"But you forget my father's vengeance."

"There will come a time when he himself will forget it. When he sees
that the thing is done, he will cast aside his inflexibility; his heart
is not stone; and even were it stone, tears of repentance will wear it
away--our caresses will soften him. Happiness will cover us with her
dove's wings, and we shall proudly say, 'We ourselves have caught her!'"

"My beloved, I have lived not long upon earth, but something at my heart
tells me that by falsehood we can never catch her. Let us wait: let us
see what Allah will give! Perhaps, without this step, our union may be
accomplished."

"Seltanetta, Allah has given me this idea: it is his will. Have pity on
me, I beseech you. Let us fly, unless you wish that our marriage-hour
should strike above my grave! I have pledged my honour to return to
Derbénd; and I must keep that pledge, I must keep it soon: but to depart
without the hope of seeing you, with the dread of hearing that you are
the wife of another--this would be dreadful, this would be
insupportable! If not from love, then from pity, share my destiny. Do
not rob me of paradise! Do not drive me to madness! You know not whither
disappointed passion can carry me. I may forget hospitality and kindred,
tear asunder all human ties, trample under my feet all that is holy,
mingle my blood with that of those who are dearest to me, force villany
to shake with terror when my name is heard, and angels to weep to see my
deeds!--Seltanetta, save me from the curse of others, from my own
contempt--save me from myself! My noúkers are fearless--my horses like
the wind; the night is dark, let us fly to benevolent Russia, till the
storm be over. For the last time I implore you. Life and death, my
renown and my soul, hang upon your word. Yes or no?"

Torn now by her maiden fear, and her respect for the customs of her
forefathers, now by the passion and eloquence of her lover, the innocent
Seltanetta wavered, like a light cork, upon the tempestuous billows of
contending emotions. At length she arose: with a proud and steady air
she wiped away the tears which, glistened on her eyelashes, like the
amber-gum on the thorns of the larch-tree, and said, "Ammalát! tempt me
not! The flame of love will not dazzle, the smoke of love will not
suffocate, my conscience. I shall ever know what is good and what is
bad; and I well know how shameful it is, how base, to desert a father's
house, to afflict loving and beloved parents! I know all this--and now,
measure the price of my sacrifice. I fly with you--I am yours! It is not
your tongue which has convinced--it is my own heart which has vanquished
me! Allah has destined me to see and love you: let, then, our hearts be
united for ever--and indissolubly, though their bond be a crown of
thorns! Now all is over! Your destiny is mine!"

If heaven had clasped Ammalát in its infinite wings, and pressed him to
the heart of the universe--to the sun--even then his ecstacy would have
been less strong than at this divine moment. He poured forth the most
incoherent cries and exclamations of gratitude. When the first
transports were over, the lovers arranged all the details of their
flight. Seltanetta consented to lower herself by her bed-coverings from
her chamber, to the steep bank of the Ouzén. Ammalát was to ride out in
the evening with his noúkers from Khounzákh, as if on a hawking party;
he was to return to the Khan's house by circuitous roads at nightfall,
and there receive his fair fellow-traveller in his arms. Then they were
to take horses in silence, and then--let enemies keep out of their road!

A kiss sealed the treaty; and the lovers separated with fear and hope in
heart.

Ammalát Bek, having prepared his brave noúkers for battle or flight,
looked impatiently at the sun, which seemed loth to descend from the
warm sky to the chilly glaciers of the Caucasus. Like a bridegroom he
pined for night, like an importunate guest he followed with his eyes the
luminary of day. How slowly it moved--it crept to its setting! An
interminable space seemed to intervene between hope and enjoyment.
Unreasonable youth! What is your pledge of success? Who will assure you
that your footsteps are not watched--your words not caught in their
flight? Perhaps with the sun, which you upbraid, your hope will set.

About the fourth hour after noon, the time of the Mozlem's dinner, the
Sultan Akhmet Khan was unusually savage and gloomy. His eyes gleamed
suspiciously from under his frowning brows; he fixed them for a long
space, now on his daughter, now on his young guest. Sometimes his
features assumed a mocking expression, but it again vanished in the
blush of anger. His questions were biting, his conversation was
interrupted; and all this awakened in the soul of Seltanetta
repentance--in the heart of Ammalát apprehension. On the other hand, the
Khánsha, as if dreading a separation from her lovely daughter, was so
affectionate and anxious, that this unmerited tenderness wrung tears
from the gentle-hearted Seltanetta, and her glance, stealthily thrown at
Ammalát, was to him a piercing reproach.

Hardly, after dinner, had they concluded the customary ceremony of
washing the hands, when the Khan called Ammalát into the spacious
court-yard. There caparisoned horses awaited them, and a crowd of
noúkers were already in the saddle.

"Let us ride out to try the mettle of my new hawks," said the Khan to
Ammalát; "the evening is fine, the heat is diminishing, and we shall yet
have time, ere twilight, to shoot a few birds."

With his hawk on his fist, the Khan rode silently by the side of
Ammalát. An Avarétz was climbing up to a steep cliff on the left, by
means of a spiked pole, fixing it into the crevices, and then,
supporting himself on a prong, he lifted himself higher. To his waist
was attached a cap containing wheat; a long crossbow hung upon his
shoulders. The Khan stopped, pointed him out to Ammalát, and said
meaningly, "Look at yonder old man, Ammalát Bek! He seeks, at the risk
of his life, a foot of ground on the naked rock, to sow a handful of
wheat. With the sweat of his brow he cultivates it, and often pays with
his life for the defence of his herd from men and beasts. Poor is his
native land; but why does he love this land? Ask him to change it for
your fruitful fields, your rich flocks. He will say, 'Here I do what I
please; here I bow to no one; these snows, these peaks of ice, defend my
liberty.' And this freedom the Russians would take from him: of these
Russians you have become the slave, Ammalát."

"Khan, you know that it is not Russian bravery, but Russian generosity,
that has vanquished me. Their slave I am not, but their companion."

"A thousand times the worse, the more disgraceful for you. The heir of
the Shamkhál pines for a Russian epaulette, and glories in being the
dependent of a colonel!"

"Moderate your words, Sultan Akhmet. To Verkhóffsky I owe more than
life: the tie of friendship unites us."

"Can there exist a holy tie between us and the Giaour? To injure them,
to destroy them, when possible, to deceive them when this cannot be
done, is the commandment of the Korán, and the duty of every true
believer."

"Khan! let us cease to play with the bones of Mahomet, and to menace
others with what we do not believe. You are not a moólla, I am no
fakir. I have my own notions of the duty of an honest man."

"Really, Ammalát Bek? It were well, however, if you were to have this
oftener in your heart than on your tongue. For the last time, allow me
to ask you, will you hearken to the counsels of a friend whom you
quitted for the Giaour? Will you remain with us for good?"

"My life I would lay down for the happiness you so generously offer; but
I have given my promise to return, and I will keep it."

"Is this decided?"

"Irrevocably so."

"Well then, the sooner the better. I have learned to know you. _Me_ you
know of old. Insincerity and flattery between us are in vain. I will not
conceal from you, that I always wished to see you my son-in-law. I
rejoiced that Seltanetta had pleased you; your captivity put off my
plans for a time. Your long absence--the rumours of your
conversion--grieved me. At length you appeared among us, and found every
thing as before; but you did not bring to us your former heart. I hoped
you would fall back into your former course; I was painfully mistaken.
It is a pity; but there is nothing to be done. I do not wish to have for
my son-in-law a servant of the Russians."

"Akhmet Khan, I once"----

"Let me finish. Your agitated arrival, your ravings at the door of the
sick Seltanetta, betrayed to every body your attachment, and our mutual
intentions. Through all the mountains, you have been talked of as the
affianced bridegroom of my daughter: but now the tie is broken, it is
time to destroy the rumours; for the honour of my family--for the
tranquillity of my daughter--you must leave us--and immediately. This is
absolutely necessary and indispensable. Ammalát, we part friends, but
here we will meet only as kinsmen, not otherwise. May Allah turn your
heart, and restore you to us as an inseparable friend. Till then,
farewell!"

With these words the Khan turned his horse, and rode away at full gallop
to his retinue. If on the stupefied Ammalát the thunderbolt of heaven
had fallen, he could not have been more astounded than by this
unexpected explanation. Already had the dust raised by the horse's hoofs
of the retiring Khan been laid at rest; but he still stood immovable on
the hill now darkening in the shadow of sunset.



CHAPTER IX.


Colonel Verkhóffsky, engaged in reducing to submission the rebellious
Daghestánetzes, was encamped with his regiment at the village of
Kiáfir-Kaúmik. The tent of Ammalát Bek was erected next to his own, and
in it Saphir-Ali, lazily stretched on the carpet, was drinking the wine
of the Don, notwithstanding the prohibition of the Prophet. Ammalát Bek,
thin, pale, and pensive, was resting his head against the tent-pole,
smoking a pipe. Three months had passed since the time when he was
banished from his paradise; and he was now roving with a detachment,
within sight of the mountains to which his heart flew, but whither his
foot durst not step. Grief had worn out his strength; vexation had
poured its vial on his once serene character. He had dragged a sacrifice
to his attachment to the Russians, and it seemed as if he reproached
every Russian with it. Discontent was visible in every word, in every
glance.

"A fine thing wine!" said Saphir Ali, carefully wiping the glasses;
"surely Mahomet must have met with sour dregs in Aravéte, when he
forbade the juice of the grape to true believers! Why, really these
drops are as sweet as if the angels themselves, in their joy, had wept
their tears into bottles. Ho! quaff another glass, Ammalát; your heart
will float on the wine more lightly than a bubble. Do you know what
Hafiz has sung about it?"

"And do you know? Pray, do not annoy me with your prate, Saphir Ali: not
even under the name of Sadi and Hafiz."

"Why, what harm is there? If even this prate is my own, it is not an
earring: it will not remain hanging in your ear. When you begin your
story about your goddess Seltanetta, I look at you as at the juggler,
who eats fire, and winds endless ribbons from his cheeks. Love makes you
talk nonsense, and the Donskoi (wine of the Don) makes me do the same.
So we are quits. Now, then, to the health of the Russians!"

"What has made you like the Russians?"

"Say rather--why have you ceased to love them?"

"Because I have examined them nearer. Really they are no better than our
Tartars. They are just as eager for profit, just as ready to blame
others, and not with a view of improving their fellow-creatures, but to
excuse themselves: and as to their laziness--don't let us speak of it.
They have ruled here for a long time, and what good have they done; what
firm laws have they established; what useful customs have they
introduced; what have they taught us; what have they created here, or
what have they constructed worthy of notice? Verkhóffsky has opened my
eyes to the faults of my countrymen, but at the same time to the defects
of the Russians, to whom it is more unpardonable; because they know what
is right, have grown up among good examples, and here, as if they have
forgotten their mission, and their active nature, they sink, little by
little, into the insignificance of the beasts."

"I hope you do not include Verkhóffsky in this number."

"Not he alone, but some others, deserve to be placed in a separate
circle. But then, are there many such?"

"Even the angels in heaven are numbered, Ammalát Bek: and Verkhóffsky
absolutely is a man for whose justice and kindness we ought to thank
heaven. Is there a single Tartar who can speak ill of him? Is there a
soldier who would not give his soul for him? Abdul-Hamet, more wine! Now
then, to the health of Verkhóffsky!"

"Spare me! I will not drink to Mahomet himself."

"If your heart is not as black as the eyes of Seltanetta, you will
drink, even were it in the presence of the red-bearded Yakhoúnts of the
Shakhéeds[9] of Derbént: even if all the Imáms and Shieks not only
licked their lips but bit their nails out of spite to you for such a
sacrilege."

    [9] Shakhéeds, traders of the sect of Souni. Yakhoúnt the
    senior moóllah.

"I will not drink, I tell you."

"Hark ye, Ammalát: I am ready to let the devil get drunk on my blood for
your sake, and you won't drink a glass of wine for mine."

"That is to say, that I will not drink because I do not wish--and I
don't wish, because even without wine my blood boils in me like
fermenting boozá."

"A bad excuse! It is not the first time that we have drunk, nor the
first time that our blood boils. Speak plainly at once: you are angry
with the Colonel."

"Very angry."

"May I know for what?"

"For much. For some time past he has begun to drop poison into the honey
of his friendship: and at last these drops have filled and overflowed
the cup. I cannot bear such lukewarm friends! He is liberal with his
advice, not sparing with his lectures; that is, in every thing that
costs him neither risk nor trouble."

"I understand, I understand! I suppose he would not let you go to Avár!"

"If you bore my heart in your bosom you would understand how I felt when
I received such a refusal. He lured me on with that hope, and then all
at once repulsed my most earnest prayer--dashed into dust, like a
crystal kalián, my fondest hopes.... Akhmet Khan was surely softened,
when he sent word that he wished to see me; and I cannot fly to him, or
hurry to Seltanetta."

"Put yourself, brother, in his place, and then say whether you yourself
would not have acted in the same way."

"No, not so! I should have said plainly from the very beginning,
'Ammalát, do not expect any help from me.' I even now ask him not for
help. I only beg him not to hinder me. Yet no! He, hiding from me the
sun of all my joy, assures me that he does this from interest in
me--that this will hereafter bring me fortune. Is not this a fine
anodyne?"

"No, my friend! If this is really the case, the sleeping-draught is
given to you as to a person on whom they wish to perform an operation.
You are thinking only of your love, and Verkhóffsky has to keep your
honour and his own without spot; and you are both surrounded by
ill-wishers. Believe me, either thus or otherwise, it is he alone who
can cure you."

"Who asks him to cure me? This divine malady of love is my only joy: and
to deprive me of it is to tear out my heart, because it cannot beat at
the sound of a drum!"----

At this moment a strange Tartar entered the tent, looked suspiciously
round, and bending down his head, laid his slippers before
Ammalát--according to Asiatic custom, this signified that he requested a
private conversation. Ammalát understood him, made a sign with his head,
and both went out into the open air. The night was dark, the fires were
going out, and the chain of sentinels extended far before them. "Here we
are alone," said Ammalát Bek to the Tartar: "who art thou, and what dost
thou want?"

"My name is Samit: I am an inhabitant of Derbénd, of the sect of Souni:
and now am at present serving in the detachment of Mussulman cavalry. My
commission is of greater consequence to you than to me.... _The eagle
loves the mountains_!"

Ammalát shuddered, and looked suspiciously at the messenger. This was a
watchword, the key of which Sultan Akhmet had previously written to him.
"How can he but love the mountains?" ... he replied; "In the mountains
there are many lambs for the eagles, and _much silver for men_."

"_And much steel for the valiant_," (yigheeds.)

Ammalát grasped the messenger by the hand. "How is Sultan Akhmet Khan?"
he enquired hurriedly: "What news bring you from him--how long is it
since you have seen his family?"

"Not to answer, but to question, am I come.... Will you follow me?"

"Where? for what?"

"You know who has sent me. That is enough. If you trust not him, trust
not me. Therein is your will and my advantage. Instead of running my
head into a noose to-night, I can return to-morrow to the Khan, and tell
him that Ammalát dares not leave the camp."

The Tartar gained his point: the touchy Ammalát took fire. "Saphir Ali!"
he cried loudly.

Saphir Ali started up, and ran out of the tent.

"Order horses to be brought for yourself and me, even if unsaddled; and
at the same time send word to the Colonel, that I have ridden out to
examine the field behind the line, to see if some rascal is not stealing
in between the sentries. My gun and shashka in a twinkling!"

The horses were led up, the Tartar leaped on his own, which was tied up
not far off, and all three rode off to the chain. They gave the word and
the countersign, and they passed by the videttes to the left, along the
bank of the swift Azen.

Saphir Ali, who had very unwillingly left his bottle, grumbled about the
darkness, the underwood, the ditches, and rode swearing by Ammalát's
side; but seeing that nobody began the conversation, he resolved to
commence it himself.

"My ashes fall on the head of this guide! The devil knows where he is
leading us, and where he will take us. Perhaps he is going to sell us to
the Lezghíns for a rich ransom. I never trust these squinting fellows!"

"I trust but little even to those who have straight eyes," answered
Ammalát; "but this squinting fellow is sent from a friend: he will not
betray us!"

"And the very first moment he thinks of any thing like it, at his first
movement I will slice him through like a melon. Ho! friend," cried
Saphir Ali, to the guide; "in the name of the king of the genii, it
seems you have made a compact with the thorns to tear the embroidery
from my tschoukhá. Could you not find a wider road? I am really neither
a pheasant nor a fox."

The guide stopped. "To say the truth, I have led a delicate fellow like
you too far!" he answered. "Stay here and take care of the horses,
whilst Ammalát and I will go where it is necessary."

"Is it possible you will go into the woods with such a cut-throat
looking rascal, without me?" whispered Saphir Ali to Ammalát.

"That is, you are afraid to remain here _without me_!" replied Ammalát,
dismounting from his horse, and giving him the reins: "Do not annoy
yourself, my dear fellow. I leave you in the agreeable society of wolves
and jackals. Hark how they are singing!"

"Pray to God that I may not have to deliver your bones from these
singers," said Saphir Ali. They separated. Samit led Ammalát among the
bushes, over the river, and having passed about half a verst among
stones, began to descend. At the risk of their necks they clambered
along the rocks, clinging by the roots of the sweet-briar, and at
length, after a difficult journey, descended into the narrow mouth of a
small cavern parallel with the water. It had been excavated by the
washing of the stream, erewhile rapid, but now dried up. Long
stalactites of lime and crystal glittered in the light of a fire piled
in the middle. In the back-ground lay Sultan Akhmet Khan on a boúrka,
and seemed to be waiting patiently till Ammalát should recover himself
amid the thick smoke which rolled in masses through the cave. A cocked
gun lay across his knees; the tuft in his cap fluttered in the wind
which blew from the crevices. He rose politely as Ammalát hurried to
salute him.

"I am glad to see you," he said, pressing the hands of his guest; "and I
do not hide the feeling which I ought not to cherish. However, it is not
for an empty interview that I have put my foot into the trap, and
troubled you: sit down, Ammalát, and let us speak about an important
affair."

"To me, Sultan Akhmet Khan?"

"To us both. With your father I have eaten bread and salt. There was a
time when I counted you likewise as my friend."

"But counted!"

"No! you were my friend, and would ever have remained so, if the
deceiver, Verkhóffsky, had not stepped between us."

"Khan, you know him not."

"Not only I, but you yourself shall soon know him. But let us begin with
what regards Seltanetta. You know she cannot ever remain unmarried. This
would be a disgrace to my house: and let me tell you candidly, that she
has already been demanded in marriage."

Ammalát's heart seemed torn asunder. For some time he could not recover
himself. At length he tremblingly asked, "Who is this bold lover?"

"The second son of the Shamkhál, Abdoul Moússelin. Next after you, he
has, from his high blood, the best right, of all our mountaineers, to
Seltanetta's hand."

"Next to me--after me!" exclaimed the passionate Bek, boiling with
anger: "Am I, then, buried? Is then my memory vanished among my
friends?"

"Neither the memory, nor friendship itself is dead in my heart; but be
just, Ammalát; as just as I am frank. Forget that you are the judge of
your own cause, and decide what we are to do. You will not abandon the
Russians, and I cannot make peace with them."

"Do but wish--do but speak the word, and all will be forgotten, all will
be forgiven you. This I will answer for with my head, and with the
honour of Verkhóffsky, who has more than once promised me his mediation.
For your own good, for the welfare of Avár, for your daughter's
happiness, for my bliss, I implore you, yield to peace, and all will be
forgotten--all that once belonged to you will be restored."

"How boldly you answer, rash youth, for another's pardon, for another's
life! Are you sure of your own life, your own liberty?"

"Who should desire my poor life? To whom should be dear the liberty
which I do not prize myself?"

"To whom? Think you that the pillow does not move under the Shamkhál's
head, when the thought rises in his brain, that you, the true heir of
the Shamkhalát of Tarki, are in favour with the Russian Government?"

"I never reckoned on its friendship, nor feared its enmity."

"Fear it not, but do not despise it. Do you know that an express, sent
from Tarki to Yermóloff, arrived a moment too late, to request him to
show no mercy, but to execute you as a traitor? The Shamkhál was before
ready to betray you with a kiss, if he could; but now, that you have
sent back his blind daughter to him, he no longer conceals his hate."

"Who will dare to touch me, under Verkhóffsky's protection?"

"Hark ye, Ammalát; I will tell you a fable:--A sheep went into a kitchen
to escape the wolves, and rejoiced in his luck, flattered by the
caresses of the cooks. At the end of three days he was in the pot.
Ammalát, this is your story. 'Tis time to open your eyes. The man whom
you considered your first friend has been the first to betray you. You
are surrounded, entangled by treachery. My chief motive in meeting you
was my desire to warn you. When Seltanetta was asked in marriage, I was
given to understand from the Shamkhál, that through him I could more
readily make my peace with the Russians, than through the powerless
Ammalát--that you would soon be removed in some way or other, and that
there was nothing to be feared from your rivalry. I suspected still
more, and learned more than I suspected. To-day I stopped the Shamkhál's
noúker, to whom the negotiations with Verkhóffsky were entrusted, and
extracted from him, by torture, that the Shamkhál offers a thousand
ducats to get rid of you. Verkhóffsky hesitates, and wishes only to send
you to Siberia for ever. The affair is not yet decided; but to-morrow
the detachment retires to their quarters, and they have resolved to meet
at your house in Bouináki, to bargain about your blood. They will forge
denunciations and charges--they will poison you at your own table, and
cover you with chains of iron, promising you mountains of gold." It was
painful to see Ammalát during this dreadful speech. Every word, like
red-hot iron, plunged into his heart; all within him that was noble,
grand, or consoling, took fire at once, and turned into ashes. Every
thing in which he had so long and so trustingly confided, fell to
pieces, and shrivelled up in the flame of indignation. Several times he
tried to speak, but the words died away in a sickly gasp; and at last
the wild beast which Verkhóffsky had tamed, which Ammalát had lulled to
sleep, burst from his chain: a flood of curses and menaces poured from
the lips of the furious Bek. "Revenge, revenge!" he cried, "merciless
revenge, and woe to the hypocrites!"

"This is the first word worthy of you," said the Khan, concealing the
joy of success; "long enough have you crept like a serpent, laying your
head under the feet of the Russians! 'Tis time to soar like an eagle to
the clouds; to look down from on high upon the enemy who cannot reach
you with their arrows. Repay treachery with treachery, death with
death!"

"Then death and ruin be to the Shamkhál, the robber of my liberty; and
ruin be to Abdoul Moússelin, who dared to stretch forth his hand to my
treasure!"

"The Shamkhál? His son--his family? Are they worthy of your first
exploits? They are all but little loved by the Tarkovétzes; and if we
attack the Shamkhál, they will give up his whole family with their own
hands. No, Ammalát, you must aim your first blow next to you; you must
destroy your chief enemy; you must kill Verkhóffsky."

"Verkhóffsky!" exclaimed Ammalát, stepping back.... "Yes!.... he is my
enemy; but he was my friend. He saved me from a shameful death.

"And has now sold you to a shameful life!.... A noble friend! And then
you have yourself saved him from the tusks of the wild-boar--a death
worthy of a swine-eater! The first debt is paid, the second remains due:
for the destiny which he is so deceitfully preparing for you"....

"I feel ... this ought to be ... but what will good men say? What will
my conscience say?"

"It is for a man to tremble before old women's tales, and before a
whimpering child--conscience--when honour and revenge are at stake? I
see Ammalát, that without me you will decide nothing; you will not even
decide to marry Seltanetta. Listen to me. Would you be a son-in-law
worthy of me, the first condition is Verkhóffsky's death. His head shall
be a marriage-gift for your bride, whom you love, and who loves you. Not
revenge only, but the plainest reasoning requires the death of the
Colonel. Without him, all Daghestán will remain several days without a
chief, and stupefied with horror. In this interval, we come flying upon
the Russians who are dispersed in their quarters. I mount with twenty
thousand Avarétzes and Akoushétzes: and we fall from the mountains like
a cloud of snow upon Tarki. Then Ammalát, Shamkhál of Daghestán, will
embrace me as his friend, as his father-in-law. These are my plans, this
is your destiny. Choose which you please; either an eternal banishment,
or a daring blow, which promises you power and happiness; but know, that
next time we shall meet either as kinsmen, or as irreconcilable foes!"

The Khan disappeared. Long stood Ammalát, agitated, devoured by new and
terrible feelings. At length Samit reminded him that it was time to
return to the camp. Ignorant himself how and where he had found his way
to the shore, he followed his mysterious guide, found his horse, and
without answering a word to the thousand questions of Saphir Ali, rode
up to his tent. There, all the tortures of the soul's hell awaited him.
Heavy is the first night of sorrow, but still more terrible the first
bloody thoughts of crime.

       *       *       *       *       *



REYNOLDS'S DISCOURSES. CONCLUSION.

We omit any notice of the other written works of Sir Joshua--his
"Journey to Flanders and Holland," his Notes to Mason's verse
translation of Du Fresnoy's Latin poem, "Art of Painting," and his
contributions to the "Idler." The former is chiefly a notice of
pictures, and of value to those who may visit the galleries where most
of them may be found; and in some degree his remarks will attach a value
to those dispersed; the best part of the "Journey," perhaps, is his
critical discrimination of the style and genius of Rubens. The marrow of
his Notes to Du Fresnoy's poem, and indeed of his papers in the "Idler,"
has been transferred to his Discourses, which, as they terminate his
literary labours, contain all that he considered important in a
discussion on taste and art. The notes to Du Fresnoy may, however, be
consulted by the practical painter with advantage, as here and there
some technical directions may be found, which, if of doubtful utility in
practice, will at least demand thought and reasoning upon this not
unimportant part of the art. To doubt is to reflect; judgment results,
and from this, as a sure source, genius creates. There are likewise some
memoranda useful to artists to be read in Northcote's "Life." The
influence of these Discourses upon art in this country has been much
less than might have been expected from so able an exposition of its
principles. They breathe throughout an admiration of what is great, give
a high aim to the student, and point to the path he should pursue to
attain it: while it must be acknowledged our artists as a body have
wandered in another direction. The Discourses speak to cultivated minds
only. They will scarcely be available to those who have habituated their
minds to lower views of art, and have, by a fascinating practice,
acquired an inordinate love for its minor beauties. It is true their
tendency is to teach, to _cultivate_: but in art there is too often as
much to unlearn as to learn, and the _unlearning_ is the more irksome
task; prejudice, self-gratulation, have removed the humility which is
the first step in the ladder of advancement. With the public at large,
the Discourses have done more; and rather by the reflection from that
improvement in the public taste, than from any direct appeal to artists,
our exhibitions have gained somewhat in refinement. And if there is,
perhaps, less vigour now, than in the time of Sir Joshua, Wilson, and
Gainsborough, those fathers of the English School, we are less seldom
disgusted with the coarseness, both of subject and manner, that
prevailed in some of their contemporaries and immediate successors. In
no branch of art is this improvement more shown than in scenes of
familiar life--which meant, indeed "Low Life." Vulgarity has given place
to a more "elegant familiar." This has necessarily brought into play a
nicer attention to mechanical excellence, and indeed to all the minor
beauties of the art. We almost fear too much has been done this way,
because it has been too exclusively pursued, and led astray the public
taste to rest satisfied with, and unadvisedly to require, the less
important perfections. From that great style which it may be said it was
the sole object of the Discourses to recommend, we are further off than
ever. Even in portrait, there is far less of the historical, than Sir
Joshua himself introduced into that department--an adoption which he has
so ably defended by his arguments. But nothing can be more unlike the
true historical, as defined in the precepts of art, than the modern
representation of national (in that sense, historical) events. The
precepts of the President have been unread or disregarded by the
patronized historical painters of our day. It would seem to be thought a
greater achievement to identify on canvass the millinery that is worn,
than the characters of the wearers, silk stockings, and satins, and
faces, are all of the same common aim of similitude; arrangement,
attitude, and peculiarly inanimate expression, display of finery, with
the actual robes, as generally announced in the advertisement, render
such pictures counterparts, or perhaps inferior counterfeits to Mrs
Jarley's wax-work. And, like the wax-work, they are paraded from town to
town, to show the people how much the tailor and mantua-maker have to do
in state affairs; and that the greatest of empires is governed by very
ordinary-looking personages. Even the Venetian painters, called by way
of distinction the "Ornamental School," deemed it necessary to avoid
prettinesses and pettinesses, and by consummate skill in artistical
arrangement in composition, in chiaro-scuro and colour, to give a
certain greatness to the representations of their national events. There
is not, whatever other faults they may have, this of poverty, in the
public pictures of Venice; they are at least of a magnificent ambition:
they are far removed from the littleness of a show. We are utterly gone
out of the way of the first principles of art in our national historical
pictures. Yet was the great historical the whole subject of the
Discourses--it was to be the only worthy aim of the student. If the
advice and precepts of Sir Joshua Reynolds have, then, been so entirely
disregarded, it may be asked what benefit he has conferred upon the
world by his Discourses. We answer, great. He has shown what should be
the aim of art, and has therefore raised it in the estimation of the
cultivated. His works are part of our standard literature; they are in
the hands of readers, of scholars; they materially help in the formation
of a taste by which literature is to be judged and relished. Even those
who never acquire any very competent knowledge of, or love for pictures,
do acquire a respect for art, connect it with classical poetry--the
highest poetry, with Homer, with the Greek drama, with all they have
read of the venerated works of Phidias, Praxiteles, and Apelles; and
having no too nice discrimination, are credulous of, or anticipate by
remembering what has been done and valued--the honour of the profession.
We assert that, by bringing the precepts of art within the pale of our
accepted literature, Sir Joshua Reynolds has given to art a better
position. Would that there were no counteracting circumstances which
still keep it from reaching its proper rank! Some there are, which
materially degrade it, amongst which is the attempt to force patronage;
the whole system of Art Unions, and of Schools of Design, the "in formâ
pauperis" petitioning and advertising, and the rearing innumerable
artists, ill-educated in all but drawing, and mere degrading still, the
binding art, as it were, apprenticed to manufacture in such Schools of
Design; connecting, in more than idea, the drawer of patterns with the
painter of pictures. Hence has arisen, and must necessarily arise, an
inundation of mediocrity, the aim of the painter being to reach some
low-prize mark, an unnatural competition, inferior minds brought into
the profession, a sort of painting-made-easy school, and pictures, like
other articles of manufacture, cheap and bad. We should say decidedly,
that the best consideration for art, and the best patronage too, that we
would give to it, would be to establish it in our universities of
Cambridge and Oxford. In those venerated places to found professorships,
that a more sure love and more sure taste for it may be imbedded with
every other good and classical love and taste in the early minds of the
youth of England's pride, of future patrons; and where painters
themselves may graduate, and associate with all noble and cultivated
minds, and be as much honoured in their profession as any in those
usually called "learned." But to return to Sir Joshua. He conferred upon
his profession not more benefit by his writings and paintings, than by
his manners and conduct. To say that they were irreproachable would be
to say little--they were such as to render him an object of love and
respect. He adorned a society at that time remarkable for men of wit and
wisdom. He knew that refinement was necessary for his profession, and he
studiously cultivated it--so studiously, that he brought a portion of
his own into that society from which he had gathered much. He abhorred
what was low in thought, in manners, and in art. And thus he tutored his
genius, which was great rather from the cultivation of his judgment, by
incessantly exercising his good sense upon the task before him, than
from any innate very vigorous power. He thought prudence the best guide
of life, and his mind was not of an eccentric daring, to rush heedlessly
beyond the bounds of discretion. And this was no small proof of his good
sense; when the prejudice of the age in which he lived was prone to
consider eccentricity as a mark of genius; and genius itself,
inconsistently with the very term of a silly admiration, an
_inspiration_, that necessarily brought with it carelessness and
profligacy. By his polished manners, his manly virtues, and his
prudential views, which mainly formed his taste, and enabled him to
disseminate taste, Sir Joshua rescued art from this degrading prejudice,
which, while it flattered vanity and excused vice, made the objects of
the flattery contemptible and inexcusable. If genius be a gift, it is
one that passes through the mind, and takes its colour; the love of all
that is pure, and good, and great, can alone invest genius with that
habit of thought which, applied to practice, makes the perfect painter.
Castiglione considered painting the proper acquirement of the perfect
gentleman--Sir Joshua Reynolds thought that to be in mind and manners
the "gentlemen," was as necessary to perfect the painter. The friend of
Johnson and Burke, and of all persons of that brilliant age,
distinguished by abilities and worth, was no common man. In raising
himself, he was ever mindful to raise the art to which he had devoted
himself, in general estimation.

We have noticed a charge against the writer of the Discourses, that he
did not pursue that great style which he so earnestly recommended.
Besides that this is not quite true--for he unquestionably did adopt so
much of the great manner as his subjects would, generally speaking,
allow--there was a sufficient reason for the tone he adopted, that it
was one useful and honourable, and none can deny that it was suited to
his genius. He was doubtless conscious of his own peculiar powers, and
contemplated the degree of excellence which he attained. He felt that he
could advance that department of his profession, and surely no
unpardonable prudential views led him to the adoption of it. It was the
one, perhaps, best suited to his abilities; and there is nothing in his
works which might lead us to suspect that he would have succeeded so
well in any other. The characteristic of his mind was a nice
observation. It was not in its native strength creative. We doubt if Sir
Joshua Reynolds ever attempted a perfectly original creation--if he ever
designed without having some imitation in view. We mean not to say, that
in the process he did not take slight advantages of accidents, and, if
the expression may be used, by a second sort of creation, make his work
in the end perfectly his own. But we should suppose that his first
conceptions for his pictures, (of course, we speak principally of those
not strictly portraits,) came to him through his admiration of some of
the great originals, which he had so deeply studied. In almost every
work by his hand, there is strongly marked his good sense--almost a
prudent forbearance. He ever seemed too cautious not to dare beyond his
tried strength, more especially in designing a subject of several
figures. His true genius as alone conspicuous in those where much of the
portrait was admissible; and such was his "Tragic Muse," a strictly
historical picture: was it equally discernible in his "Nativity" for the
window in New College Chapel? We think not. There is nothing in his
"Nativity" that has not been better done by others; yet, as a whole, it
is good; and if the subject demands a more creative power, and a higher
daring than was habitual to him, we are yet charmed with the good sense
throughout; and while we look, are indisposed to criticise. We have
already remarked how much Sir Joshua was indebted to a picture by
Domenichino for the "Tragic Muse." Every one knows that he borrowed the
"Nativity" from the "Notte" of Correggio, and perhaps in detail from
other and inferior masters. His "Ugolino" was a portrait, or a study, in
the commencement; it owes its excellence to its retaining this character
in its completion. If we were to point to failures, in single figures,
(historical,) we should mention his "Puck" and his "Infant Hercules."
The latter we only know from the print. Here he certainly had an
opportunity of displaying the great style of Michael Angelo; it was
beyond his daring; the Hercules is a sturdy child, and that is all, we
see not the _ex pede Herculem_. We can imagine the colouring, especially
of the serpents and back-ground, to have been impressive. The picture is
in the possession of the Emperor of Russia. The "Puck" is a somewhat
mischievous boy--too substantially, perhaps heavily, given for the
fanciful creation. The mushroom on which he is perched is unfortunate in
shape and colour; it is too near the semblance of a bullock's heart. His
"Cardinal Beaufort," powerful in expression, has been, we think,
captiously reprehended for the introduction of the demon. The mind's eye
has the privilege of poetry to imagine the presence; the personation is
therefore legitimate to the sister art. The National Gallery is not
fortunate enough to possess any important picture of the master in the
historical style. The portraits there are good. There was, we have been
given to understand, an opportunity of purchasing for the National
Gallery the portrait of himself, which Sir Joshua presented to his
native town of Plympton as his substitute, having been elected mayor of
the town--an honour that was according to the expectation of the
electors thus repaid. The Municipal Reform brought into office in the
town of Plympton, as elsewhere, a set of men who neither valued art nor
the fame of their eminent townsman. Men who would convert the very mace
of office into cash, could not be expected to keep a portrait; so it was
sold by auction, and for a mere trifle. It was offered to the nation;
and by those whose business it was to cater for the nation, pronounced a
copy. The history of its sale did not accompany the picture; when that
was known, as it is said, a very large sum was offered, and refused. It
is but justice to the committee to remind them of the fact, that Sir
Joshua himself, as he tells us, very minutely examined a picture which
he pronounced to be his own, and which was nevertheless a copy.
Unquestionably his genius was for portrait; it suited his strictly
observant character; and he had this great requisite for a
portrait-painter, having great sense himself, he was able to make his
heads intellectual. His female portraits are extremely lovely; he knew
well how to represent intellect, enthusiasm, and feeling. These
qualities he possessed himself. We have observed, in the commencement of
these remarks upon the Discourses, that painters do not usually paint
beyond themselves, either power or feeling--beyond their own grasp and
sentiments; it was the habitual good sense and refinement of moral
feeling that made Sir Joshua Reynolds so admirable a portrait-painter.
He has been, and we doubt not justly, celebrated as a colourist.
Unfortunately, we are not now so capable of judging, excepting in a few
instances, of this his excellence. Some few years ago, his pictures, to
a considerable amount in number, were exhibited at the British
Institution. We are forced to confess that they generally looked too
brown--many of them dingy, many loaded with colour, that, when put on,
was probably rich and transparent: we concluded that they had changed.
Though Sir Joshua, as Northcote in his very amusing Memoirs of the
President assures us, would not allow those under him to try
experiments, and carefully locked up his own, that he might more
effectually discourage the attempt--considering that, in students, it
was beginning at the wrong end--yet was he himself a great
experimentalist. He frequently used wax and varnish; the decomposition
of the latter (mastic) would sufficiently account for the appearance
those pictures wore. We see others that have very much faded; some that
are said to be faded may rather have been injured by cleaners; the
colouring when put on with much varnish not bearing the process of
cleaning, may have been removed, and left only the dead and crude work.
It has been remarked, that his pictures have more especially suffered
under the hands of restorers. It must be very difficult for a
portrait-painter, much employed, and called upon to paint a portrait,
where short time and few sittings are the conditions, to paint a lasting
work. He is obliged to hasten the drying of the paint, or to use
injurious substances, which answer the purpose only for a short present.
Sir Joshua, too, was tempted to use orpiment largely in some pictures,
which has sadly changed. An instance may be seen in the "Holy Family" in
our National Gallery--the colour of the flesh of the St John is ruined
from this cause. It is, however, one of his worst pictures, and could
not have been originally designed for a "holy family." The Mater is
quite a youthful peasant girl: we should not regret it if it were
totally gone. Were Sir Joshua living, and could he see it in its present
state, he would be sure to paint over it, and possibly convert it into
another subject. We do not doubt, however, that Sir Joshua deserved the
reputation he obtained as a colourist in his day. We attribute the
brown, the horny asphaltum look they have, to change. It is
unquestionably exceedingly mortifying to see, while the specimens of the
Venetian and Flemish colourists are at this day so pure and fresh,
though painted centuries before our schools, our comparatively recent
productions so obscured and otherwise injured. Tingry, excellent
authority, the Genevan chemical professor, laments the practice of the
English painters of mixing varnish with their colours, which, he says,
shows that they prefer a temporary brilliancy to lasting beauty; for
that it is impossible, that with this practice, pictures should either
retain their brilliancy or even be kept from decay. We do not remember
to have seen a single historical picture of Sir Joshua's that has not
suffered; happily there are yet many of his portraits fresh, vigorous,
and beautiful in colouring. It should seem, that he thought it worth
while to speculate upon those of least value to his reputation.

Portrait-painting, at the commencement of Sir Joshua's career, was
certainly in a very low condition. A general receipt for face-making,
with the greatest facility seemed to have been current throughout the
country. Attitudes and looks were according to a pattern; and,
accordingly, there was so great a family resemblance, however
unconnected the sitters, that it might seem to have been intended to
promote a brotherly and sisterly bond of union among all the descendants
of Adam. Portrait-painting, which had in this country been so good, was
in fact, with here and there an exception, and generally an exception
not duly estimated, in a degraded state: the art in this respect, as in
others, had become vulgarized. From this universal family-likeness
recipe, Reynolds came suddenly, and at once successfully, before the
world, with individual nature, and variety of character, and portraits
that had the merit of being pictures as well as portraits. He led to a
complete revolution in this department, so that if he had rivals--and he
certainly had one in Gainsborough--they were of his own making. The
change is mostly perceptible in female portraits. They assumed grace and
beauty. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers were strangely vilified
in their unpleasing likenesses. The somewhat loose satin evening-dress,
with the shepherdess's crook, was absurd enough; and no very great
improvement upon the earlier taste of complimenting portraits with the
personation of the heathen deities. The poetical pastoral, however, very
soon descended to the real pastoral; and, as if to make people what they
were not was considered enough of the historical of portrait, even this
took. We suspect Gainsborough was the first to sin in this degradation
line, by no means the better one for being the furthest from the
divinities. He had painted some rustic figures very admirably, and made
such subjects a fashion; but why they should ever be so, we could never
understand; or why royalty should not be represented as royalty, gentry
as gentry; to represent them otherwise, appears as absurd as if our
Landseer should attempt a greyhound in the character of a Newfoundland
dog. A picture of Gainsborough's was exhibited, a year or two ago, in
the British Institution, Pall-Mall, which we were astonished to hear was
most highly valued; for it was a weak, washy, dauby, ill-coloured
performance, and the design as bad as well could be. It was a scene
before a cottage-door, with the children of George the Third as peasant
children, in village dirt and mire. The picture had no merit to
recommend it; if we remember rightly, it had been painted over, or in
some way obscured, and unfortunately brought to light. Although Sir
Joshua Reynolds generally introduced a new grace into his portraits, and
mostly so without deviating from the character as he found it,
dispensing indeed with the old affectation, we fear he cannot altogether
be acquitted from the charge of deviating from the true propriety of
portrait. Ladies as Miranda, as Hebe, and even as Thais, no very moral
compliment, are examples--some there are of the lower pastoral. Mrs
Macklin and her daughter were represented at a spinning-wheel, and Miss
Potts as a gleaner. There is one of somewhat higher pretensions, but
equally a deviation from propriety, in his portraits of the Honourable
Mistresses Townshend, Beresford, and Gardiner. They are decorating the
statue of Hymen; the grace of one figure is too theatrical, the others
have but little. The one kneeling on the ground, and collecting the
flowers, is, in one respect, disagreeable--the light of the sky, too
much of the same hue and tone as the face, is but little separated from
it--in fact, only by the dark hair; while all below the face and bosom
is a too heavy dark mass. Portrait-painters are very apt to fail
whenever they colour their back-grounds to the heads of a warm and light
sky-colour; the force of the complexion is very apt to be lost, and the
portrait is sure to lose its importance. The "General on Horseback," in
our National Gallery, (Ligonier,) a fine picture, is in no small degree
hurt by the absence of a little greyer tone in the part of the sky about
the head. By far the best portraits by Sir Joshua--and, fortunately,
they are the greater part--are those in real character. His very genius
was for unaffected simplicity; attitudinizing recipes could never have
been adopted by him with satisfaction to himself. Some of his slight,
more sketchy portraits, as yet unexperimented upon by his powerful,
frequently rather too powerful, colouring, his deep browns and yellows,
are unrivalled. Such is his Kitty Fisher, not long since exhibited in
the British Gallery, Pall-Mall. There the character is not overpowered
by the effect.

Gainsborough was the only painter of his day that could, with any
pretension, vie with Sir Joshua Reynolds in portrait. In some respects
they had similar excellences. Both were alike, by natural taste, averse
to affectation, and both were colourists. As a colourist, Gainsborough,
as his pictures are now, may be even preferred to Reynolds. They seem to
have been painted off more at once, and have therefore a greater
freshness; his flesh tints are truly surprising, most true to life. He
probably painted with a more simple palette. The pains and labour which
Sir Joshua bestowed, and which were perhaps very surprising when his
pictures were fresh from the easel, have lost much of their virtue. The
great difference between these great cotemporaries lay in their power of
character. Gainsborough was as true as could be to nature, where the
character was not of the very highest order. Plain, downright common
sense he would hit off wonderfully, as in his portrait of Ralphe
Schomberg--a picture, we are sorry to find, removed from the National
Gallery. The world's every-day men were for his pencil. He did not so
much excel in women. The bent of Sir Joshua's mind was to elevate, to
dignify, to intellectualize. Enthusiasm, sentiment, purity, and all the
varied poetry of feminine beauty, received their kindred hues and most
exquisite expression under his hand. Whatever was dignified in man, or
lovely in woman, was portrayed with its appropriate grace and strength.
Sir Joshua was, in fact, himself the higher character; ever endeavouring
to improve and cultivate his own mind, to raise it by a dignified aim in
his art and in his life, and gathering the beauty of sentiment to
himself from its best source--the practice of social and every amiable
charity--he was sure to transfer to the canvass something characteristic
of himself. Gainsborough was, in his way, a gentle enthusiast,
altogether of an humbler ambition. Even in his landscapes, he showed
that he saw little in nature but what the vulgar see; he had little idea
that what is commonly seen are the materials of a better creation.
Gainsborough was unrivalled in his portraiture of common truth, Reynolds
in poetical truth. Gainsborough spoke in character in one of his
letters, wherein he said, that he "was well read in the volume of
nature, and that was learning sufficient for him." It is said that he
was proud--perhaps his pride was shown in this remark--but it was not a
pride allied with greatness. The pride of Reynolds was quite of another
stamp; it did not disagree with his soundest judgment; his estimate of
himself was more true, and it showed itself in modesty. That such men
should meet and associate but little, is not surprising. That Reynolds
withdrew in "cold and carefully meted out courtesy," is not surprising,
though the expressions quoted are written to disparage Reynolds. The man
of fixed purpose may appear cold when he does not assimilate with the
man of caprice, (as was Gainsborough,) in whose company there is nothing
to call forth a congeniality, a sympathy; and it is probable that
Gainsborough felt as little disposed as Sir Joshua, to preserve, or even
to seek, an intimacy. Their final parting at the deathbed of
Gainsborough was most honourable to them both; and the merit of seeking
it was entirely Gainsborough's. It is singular that any facts should be
so perverted, as to justify an insinuation that Reynolds, whose whole
life exhibited the continued acts of a kind heart, was a cautious and
cold calculator. Good sense has ever a reserve of manner, the result of
a habit of thinking--and in one of a high aim, it is apt to acquire
almost a stateliness; but even such stateliness is not inconsistent with
modesty and with feeling; it is, in fact, the carriage of the mind, seen
in the manner and the person. We make these remarks under a disgust
produced by the singularly illiberal Life of Reynolds by Allan
Cunningham; we think we should not err in saying, that it is maliciously
written. We were reading this Life, and made many indignant remarks as
we read, when the death of the author was announced in the newspapers.
We had determined, as far as our power might extend, to rescue the name
and fame of Reynolds from the mischief which so popular a writer as
Allan Cunningham was likely to inflict. Death has its sanctity, and we
hesitated; indeed, in regret for the loss of a man of talent, we felt
for a time little disposed to think of the ill he may have done; nor
was, on mature consideration, the regret less, that he could not, by our
means, be called to review his own work--his "Lives of the British
Painters"--in a more candid spirit than that in which they appear to
have been written. It is to be lamented that he did not revise it. Its
illiberality and untruth render it very unfit for a "Family Library,"
for which it was composed. Yet it must be confessed, that such regret
was rather one of momentary feeling, than accompanied with any thing
like conviction, or even hope, that our endeavour would have been
successful. There was no one better acquainted with the life of one of
the painters in his work than ourselves. His Life, too, was written in a
most illiberal spirit, though purposely in praise of the artist. But it
was as untrue as it was illiberal. In a paper in _Blackwood_, some years
ago, we noticed some of the errors and mistatements. This, we happen to
know, was seen by the author of the "Lives;" for we were, in
consequence, applied to upon the subject; and there being an intention
expressed to bring out a new edition, we were invited to correct what
was wrong. We did not hesitate, and wrote some two or three letters for
the purpose, and entertained but little doubt of their having been
favourably received, and that they would be used, until we were
surprised by a communication, that the author "was much obliged, but was
perfectly satisfied with his own account." That is, that he was much
_obliged_ for an endeavour to mislead him by falsehood. For both
accounts could not be true. There were, then, but small grounds to hope
that Allan Cunningham would have so revised his work, as to have done
justice to Sir Joshua Reynolds. Besides, after all, "respect for the
dead" moves both ways. The question is between the recently dead and the
long since dead. In the literary world, and in the world of art, both
yet live; and the author of the Life has this advantage, that thousands
read the "Family Library," whilst but few, comparatively speaking, make
themselves acquainted with Sir Joshua Reynolds and his works. We revere
this founder of our English school, and feel it due to the art we love,
to condemn the ungenerous and sarcastic spirit of The Life, by Allan
Cunningham. And if the dead could have any interest in and guidance of
things on earth, we can imagine no work that would be more pleasing to
them, than the removal of even the slightest evils they may have
inflicted; thus making restitution for them. It is very evident
throughout the "Lives," that the author has a prejudice against, an
absolute dislike to, Sir Joshua Reynolds. We stay not to account for it.
There are men of some opinions who, whether from pride, or other
feeling, have an antipathy to courtly manners, and what is called higher
society: jealous and suspicious lest they should not owe, and seen to
owe, every thing to themselves, there is a constant and irritable desire
to set aside, with a feigned, oftener than a real, contempt, the
influence and the homage the world pays to superiority of rank, station,
and education. They would wish to have nothing above themselves. How far
such may have been the case with the writer of the "Lives," we know not,
totally unacquainted as we have ever been, but by his writings. In them
there appears very strongly marked this vulgar feeling. He has stepped
out of his way in other lives, such as those of Wilson and Gainsborough,
to attack Sir Joshua by surmises and insinuations of meanness, blurring
the fair character of his best acts. The generous doings of the
President were too notorious not to be admitted, but generally a
sinister or selfish motive is insinuated. His courtesy was unpleasing,
while extreme coarseness met with a ready apologist. In the several
Lives of Sir Joshua Reynolds, there does not appear the slightest ground
upon which to found a charge of meanness of character: it is
inconceivable how such should have ever been insinuated, while
Northcote's "Life" of him was in existence, and Northcote must have
known him well. He was most liberal in expenditure, as became his
station, and the dignity which he was ambitiously desirous of conferring
upon the art over which he presided. To artists and others in their
distresses he was most generous: numerous, indeed, are the recorded
instances; those unrecorded may be infinitely more numerous, for
generosity was with him a habit. In the teeth of Mr Cunningham's
insinuations we will extract from Northcote some passages upon this
point. "At that time, indeed, Johnson was under many pecuniary
obligations, as well as literary ones, to Sir Joshua, whose generous
kindness would never permit his friends to _ask_ a pecuniary favour, his
purse and heart being always open." That his heart as well as his purse
was open, the following anecdote more than indicates. We are tempted to
give it unaltered, as we find it in the words of Northcote:--

    "Sir Joshua, as his usual custom, looked over the daily morning
    paper at his breakfast time; and on one of those perusals,
    whilst reading an account of the Old Bailey sessions, to his
    great astonishment, saw that a prisoner had been tried and
    condemned to death for a robbery committed on the person of one
    of his own servants, a negro, who had been with him for some
    time. He immediately rung the bell for the servants, in order
    to make his enquiries, and was soon convinced of the truth of
    the matter related in the newspaper. This black man had lived
    in his service as footman for several years, and has been
    portrayed in several pictures, particularly in one of the
    Marquis of Granby, where he holds the horse of that general.
    Sir Joshua reprimanded this black servant for his conduct, and
    especially for not having informed him of this curious
    adventure; when the man said he had concealed it only to avoid
    the blame he should have incurred had he told it. He then
    related the following circumstances of the business, saying,
    that Mrs Anna Williams (the old blind lady lived at the house
    of Dr Johnson) had some time previous dined at Sir Joshua's
    with Miss Reynolds; that in the evening she went home to Bolt
    Court, Fleet Street, in a hackney coach, and that he had been
    sent to attend her to her house. On his return he had met with
    companions who had detained him till so late an hour, that when
    he came to Sir Joshua's house, he found the doors were shut,
    and all the servants gone to rest. In this dilemma he wandered
    in the street till he came to a watch-house, in which he took
    shelter for the remainder of the night, among the variety of
    miserable companions to be found in such places; and amidst
    this assembly of the wretched, the black man fell sound asleep,
    when a poor thief, who had been taken into custody by the
    constable of the night, perceiving, as the man slept, that he
    had a watch and money in his pocket, (which was seen on his
    thigh,) watched his opportunity and stole the watch, and with a
    penknife cut through the pocket, and so possessed himself of
    the money. When the black awaked from his nap, he soon
    discovered what had been done, to his cost, and immediately
    gave the alarm, and a strict search was made through the
    company; when the various articles which the black had lost
    were found in the possession of the unfortunate wretch who had
    stolen them. He was accordingly secured, and next morning
    carried before the justice, and committed to take his trial at
    the Old Bailey, (the black being bound over to prosecute,) and,
    as we have seen, was at his trial cast and condemned to death.
    Sir Joshua, much affected by this recital, immediately sent his
    principal servant, Ralph Kirkly, to make all enquiries into the
    state of the criminal, and, if necessary, to relieve his wants
    in whatever way could be done. When Kirkly came to the prison
    he was soon admitted to the cell of the prisoner, where he
    beheld the most wretched spectacle that imagination can
    conceive--a poor forlorn criminal, without a friend on earth
    who could relieve or assist him, and reduced almost to a
    skeleton by famine and filth, waiting till the dreadful morning
    should arrive when he was to be made an end of by a violent
    death. Sir Joshua now ordered fresh clothing to be sent to him,
    and also that the black servant should carry him every day a
    sufficient supply of food from his own table; and at that time
    Mr E. Burke being very luckily in office, he applied to him,
    and by their joint interest they got his sentence changed to
    transportation; when, after being furnished with all
    necessaries, he was sent out of the kingdom."--P. 119.

    "In this year Sir Joshua raised his price to fifty guineas for
    a head size, which he continued during the remainder of his
    life. His rapidly accumulating fortune was not, however, for
    his own sole enjoyment; he still felt the luxury of doing good,
    and had many objects of bounty pointed out to him by his friend
    Johnson, who, in one of his letters, in this year, to Mrs
    Piozzi, enquires 'will the master give me any thing for my poor
    neighbours? I have had from Sir Joshua and Mr Strahan.'"--P.
    264.

    "Sir Joshua, indeed, seems to have been applied to by his
    friends on all occasions; and by none oftener than by Dr
    Johnson, particularly for charitable purposes. Of this there is
    an instance, in a note of Johnson's preserved in his Life, too
    honourable to him to be here omitted.

    'To Sir Joshua Reynolds.

    'Dear Sir--It was not before yesterday that I received your
    splendid benefaction. To a hand so liberal in distributing, I
    hope nobody will envy the power of acquiring.--I am, dear sir,
    your obliged and most humble servant,

    'SAM. JOHNSON.'

    'June 23, 1781.'"--P. 278.

The following anecdote is delightful:--

    "Whilst at Antwerp, Sir Joshua had taken particular notice of a
    young man of the name of De Gree, who had exhibited some
    considerable talents as a painter: his father was a tailor; and
    he himself had been intended for some clerical office, but, as
    it is said by a late writer, having formed a different opinion
    of his religion than was intended, from the books put into his
    hand by an Abbé who was his patron, it was discovered that he
    would not do for a priest, and the Abbé, therefore, articled
    him to Gerrards of Antwerp. Sir Joshua received him, on his
    arrival in England, with much kindness, and even recommended
    him most strongly to pursue his profession in the metropolis;
    but De Gree was unwilling to consent to this, as he had been
    previously engaged by Mrs Latouche to proceed to Ireland. Even
    here Sir Joshua's friendly attentions did not cease, for he
    actually made the poor artist a present of fifty guineas to fit
    him for his Hibernian excursion; the whole of which, however,
    the careful son sent over to Antwerp for the use of his aged
    parents."--P. 284.

    "It is also recorded, as an instance of his prizing
    extraordinary merit, that when Gainsborough asked him but sixty
    guineas for his celebrated Girl and Pigs, yet being conscious
    in his own mind that it was worth more, he liberally paid him
    down one hundred guineas for the picture. I also find it
    mentioned on record, that a painter of considerable merit,
    having unfortunately made an injudicious matrimonial choice,
    was along with that and its consequences as well as an
    increasing family, in a few years reduced so very low, that he
    could not venture out without danger of being arrested--a
    circumstance which, in a great measure, put it out of his power
    to dispose of his pictures to advantage. Sir Joshua having
    accidentally heard of his situation, immediately hurried to his
    residence to enquire into the truth of it, when the unfortunate
    man told him all the melancholy particulars of his lot, adding,
    that forty pounds would enable him to compound with his
    creditors. After some further conversation, Sir Joshua took his
    leave, telling the distressed man he would do something for
    him; and when he was bidding him adieu at the door, he took him
    by the hand, and after squeezing it in a friendly way hurried
    off with that kind of triumph in his heart the exalted of human
    kind only know by experience whilst the astonished artist found
    that he had left in his hand a bank-note for one hundred
    pounds."

Of such traits of benevolence certainly many other instances may be
recorded, but I shall only mention two; "the one is the purchasing a
picture of Zoffani, who was without a patron, and selling it to the Earl
of Carlisle for twenty guineas above the price given for it; and he sent
the advanced price immediately to Zoffani, saying 'he thought he had
sold the picture at first below its real value.'"

The other is--"the clergyman who succeeded Sir Joshua's father as master
of the grammar-school at Plympton, at his decease left a widow, who,
after the death of her husband, opened a boarding school for the
education of young ladies. The governess who taught in this school had
but few friends in situations to enable them to do her much service, and
her sole dependence was on her small stipend from the school: hence she
was unable to make a sufficiently reputable appearance in apparel at
their accustomed little balls. The daughter of the schoolmistress, her
only child, and at that time a very young girl, felt for the poor
governess, and the pitiable insufficiency in the article of finery; but
being unable to help her from her own resources, devised within herself
a means by which it might be done otherwise. Having heard of the great
fame of Sir Joshua Reynolds, his character for generosity, and charity,
and recollecting that he had formerly belonged to the Plympton school,
she, without mentioning a syllable to any of her companions, addressed a
letter to Sir Joshua, whom she had never even seen, in which she
represented to him the forlorn state of the poor governess's wardrobe,
and begged the gift of a silk gown for her. Very shortly after, they
received a box containing silks of different patterns, sufficient for
two dresses, to the infinite astonishment of the simple governess, who
was totally unable to account for this piece of good fortune, as the
compassionate girl was afraid to let her know the means she had taken in
order to procure the welcome present."--P. 307.

Mr Duyes, the artist, says--"malice has charged him with avarice,
probably from his not having been prodigal, like too many of his
profession; his offer to me proves the contrary. At the time that I made
the drawings of the King at St Paul's after his illness, Reynolds
complimented me handsomely on seeing them, and afterwards observed, that
the labour bestowed must have been such, that I could not be remunerated
from selling them; but if I would publish them myself, he would lend me
the money necessary, and engage to get me a handsome subscription among
the nobility."--P. 35l.

We will here mention an anecdote which we believe has never been
published; we heard it from our excellent friend, and enthusiastic
admirer of all that taste, good sense, and good feeling should admire
and love, in art or out of it--now far advanced in years, and, like Sir
Joshua, blind, but full of enjoyment and conversation fresh as ever upon
art, for he remembers and hears, beloved by all who know him, G.
Cumberland, Esq., author of "Outlines," &c. &c. He it was who
recommended Collins, the miniature-painter, to Sir Joshua. Now poor
Collins was one of the most nervous of men, morbidly distrustful of
himself and his powers. Our friend showed us a portrait of Collins,
painted by himself, the very picture of most sensitive nervousness.
Well--Collins waited upon Sir Joshua, who gave him a picture to copy for
him in miniature. Collins took it, and trembled, and looked all
diffidence as he examined Sir Joshua's original. However, he took it
home with him, and after some time came to Cumberland in great
agitation, expressing a conviction that he never could copy it, that he
had destroyed three attempts, and this, said he, is the best I can do,
and I will destroy it. This Cumberland would not allow, and took
possession of it, and an admirable performance it is. Soon another was
done, and Collins took it to Sir Joshua, with many timid expressions and
apologies for his inability, that he feared displeasure for having
undertaken a work above him. Sir Joshua looked at it, declared it to be,
as it was, a most excellent copy, and gave him more to do in the same
way--telling him to go to his scrutoire, open a drawer, and he would
find some guineas, and to take out twenty to pay himself. "Twenty
guineas!" said Collins, "I should not have thought of receiving more
than three!" This kindness and liberality set up poor Collins with a
better stock of self-confidence, and he made his way to celebrity in his
line, and to fortune.

Is it in human nature, that the man of whom such anecdotes are told, and
truly told, could be guilty of a mean unworthy action? Perhaps the
reader will be curious to see how the writer of the "British Painters,"
who, from the recent date of his publication, must have known all these
incidents, excepting the last, has converted some of them, by
insinuating sarcasm, into charges that blurr their virtue. We should say
that he has omitted, where he could omit--where he could not, he is
compelled to contradict himself; for it is impossible that the
insinuations, and the facts, and occasional acknowledgments, should be
together true of one and the same man. We shall offer some specimens of
this _illiberal style_:--A neighbour of Reynolds's first advised him to
settle in London. His success there made him remember this friendly
advice--(the neighbour's name was Cranch.) We quote now from Cunningham.
"The timely counsel of his neighbour Cranch would have long afterwards
been rewarded with the present of a silver cup, had not accident
interfered. 'Death,' says Northcote, 'prevented this act of gratitude. I
have seen the cup at Sir Joshua's table.' The painter had the honour of
the intention and the use of the cup--a twofold advantage, of which he
was not insensible."--_Lives of British Painters_, Vol. i, p. 220.--"Of
lounging visitors he had great abhorrence, and, as he reckoned up the
fruits of his labours, 'Those idle people,' said this disciple of the
grand historical school of Raphael and Angelo--'those idle people do not
consider that my time is worth five guineas an hour.' This calculation
incidentally informs us, that it was Reynolds's practice, in the height
of his reputation and success, to paint a portrait in four hours."--P.
251. In _this_ Life, he could depreciate art, (in a manner we are
persuaded he could not feel,) because it lowered the estimation of the
painter whom he disliked. "One of the biographers of Reynolds imputes
the reflections contained in the conclusion of this letter, 'to that
envy, which perhaps even Johnson felt, when comparing his own annual
gains with those of his more fortunate friend.' They are rather to be
attributed to the sense and taste of Johnson, who could not but feel the
utter worthlessness of the far greater part of the productions with
which the walls of the Exhibition-room were covered. Artists are very
willing to claim for their profession and its productions rather more
than the world seems disposed to concede. It is very natural that this
should be so; but it is also natural, that man of Johnson's taste should
be conscious of the dignity of his own pursuits, and agree with the vast
majority of mankind in ranking a Homer, a Virgil, a Milton, or a
Shakspeare, immeasurably above all the artists that ever painted or
carved. Johnson, in a conversation with Boswell, defined painting to be
an art which could illustrate, but could not inform."--P. 255. Does he
so speak of this art in any other Life; and is not this view false and
ill-natured? Were not Raffaelle, Michael Angelo, Correggio, Titian,
Piombo, epic poets?

"Johnson was a frequent and a welcome guest. Though the sage was not
seldom sarcastic and overbearing, he was endured and caressed, because
he poured out the riches of his conversation more lavishly than Reynolds
did his wines." He was compelled, a sentence or two after, to add, "It
was honourable to that distinguished artist, that he perceived the worth
of such men, and felt the honour which their society shed upon him; but
it stopped not here, he often aided them with his purse, nor _insisted_
upon repayment."--P. 258. We have marked "insisted"--it implies
repayment was expected, if not enforced; and it might have been said,
that a mutual "honour" was conferred. Speaking of Northcote's and
Malone's account of Sir Joshua's "social and well-furnished table," he
adds, "these accounts, however, in as far as regards the splendour of
the entertainments, must be received with some abatement. The eye of a
youthful pupil was a little blinded by enthusiasm. That of Malone was
rendered friendly, by many acts of hospitality, and a handsome legacy;
while literary men and artists, who came to speak of books and
paintings, cared little for the most part about the delicacy of the
entertainment, provided it were wholesome." Here he quotes at length, no
very good-natured account of the dinners given by Courteney.--P. 273.
Even his sister, poor Miss Reynolds, whom Johnson loved and respected,
must have her share of the writer's sarcasm. "Miss Reynolds seems to
have been as indifferent about the good order of her domestics, and the
appearance of her dishes at table, as her brother was about the
distribution of his wine and venison. Plenty was the splendour, and
freedom was the elegance, which Malone and Boswell found in the
entertainments of the artist."--P. 275. If Reynolds was sparing of his
wine, the word "plenty" was most inappropriate. Even the remark of
Dunning, Lord Ashburton, is perverted from its evident meaning, and as
explained by Northcote, and the perversion casts a slur upon Sir
Joshua's guests; yet is it well known who they were. "Well, Sir Joshua,"
he said, "and who have you got to dine with you to-day?--the last time I
dined in your house, the company was of such a sort, that by ----, I
believe all the rest of the world enjoyed peace for that afternoon."--P.
276. This is a gross idea, and unworthy a gentle mind. "By an opinion so
critically sagacious, and an apology for portrait-painting, which
appeals so effectually to the kindly side of human nature, Johnson
repaid a hundred dinners."--P. 276. The liberality to De Gree is shortly
told.--P. 298. "I have said that the President was frugal in his
communications respecting the sources from whence he drew his own
practice--he forgets his caution in one of these notes."--P. 303. We
must couple this with some previous remarks; it is well known that Sir
Joshua, as Northcote tells us, carefully locked up his experiments, and
for more reasons than one: first, he was dissatisfied, as these were but
experiments; secondly, he considered experimenting would draw away
pupils from the rudiments of the art. Surely nothing but illiberal
dislike would have perverted the plain meaning of the act. "The secret
of Sir Joshua's own preparations was carefully kept--he permitted not
even the most favoured of his pupils to acquire the knowledge of his
colours--he had all securely locked, and allowed no one to enter where
these treasures were deposited. What was the use of all this secrecy?
Those who stole the mystery of his colours, could not use it, unless
they stole his skill and talent also. A man who, like Reynolds, chooses
to take upon himself the double office of public and private instructor
of students in painting, ought not surely to retain a secret in the art,
which he considers of real value."--P. 287. He was, in fact, too honest
to mislead; and that he did not think the right discovery made, the
author must have known; for Northcote says--"when I was a student at the
Royal Academy, I was accidentally repeating to Sir Joshua the
instructions on colouring I had heard there given by an eminent painter,
who then attended as visitor. Sir Joshua replied, that this painter was
undoubtedly a very sensible man, but by no means a good colourist;
adding, that there was not a man then on earth who had the least notion
of colouring. 'We all of us,' said he, 'have it equally to seek for and
find out--as, at present, it is totally lost to the art.'"--"In his
economy he was close and saving; while he poured out his wines and
spread out his tables to the titled or the learned, he stinted his
domestics to the commonest fare, and rewarded their faithfulness by very
moderate wages. One of his servants, who survived till lately, described
him as a master who exacted obedience in trifles--was prudent in the
matter of pins--a saver of bits of thread--a man hard and parsimonious,
who never thought he had enough of labour out of his dependents, and
always suspected that he overpaid them. To this may be added the public
opinion, which pictured him close, cautious, and sordid. On the other
side, we have the open testimony of Burke, Malone, Boswell, and Johnson,
who all represent him as generous, open-hearted, and humane. The
servants and the friends both spoke, we doubt not, according to their
own experience of the man. Privations in early life rendered strict
economy necessary; and in spite of many acts of kindness, his mind, on
the whole, failed to expand with his fortune. He continued the same
system of saving when he was master of sixty thousand pounds, as when he
owned but sixpence. He loved reputation dearly, and it would have been
well for his fame, if, over and above leaving legacies to such friends
as Burke and Malone, he had opened his heart to humbler people. A little
would have gone a long way--a kindly word and a guinea prudently
given."--P. 319. Opened his heart to humbler people! was the author of
this libel upon a generous character, ignorant of his charity to humbler
people, which Johnson certified? Why did he not narrate the robbery of
the black servant, and his kindness to the humblest and the most
wretched? What was fifty guineas to poor De Gree? Who were the humbler
people to whom he denied his bounty? And is the fair fame, the honest
reputation--the honourable reputation, we should say--of such a man as
Sir Joshua Reynolds--such as he has been proved to be--such as not only
such men as Burke and Johnson knew him, but such as his pupil and inmate
Northcote knew him--to be vilified by a low-minded biography, the dirty
ingredients of which are raked up from lying mouths, or, at least,
incapable of judging of such a character--from the lips of servants,
whose idle tales of masters who discard them, it is the common usage of
the decent, not to say well-bred world, to pay no attention to--not to
listen to--and whom none hear but the vulgar-curious, or the slanderous?
But if a servant's evidence must be taken, the fact of the exhibition of
Sir Joshua's works for his servant Kirkly should have been enough--to
say nothing here of his black servant. But the story of Kirkly is
mentioned--and how mentioned? To rake up a malevolent or a thoughtless
squib of the day, to make it appear that Sir Joshua shared in the gains
of an exhibition ostensibly given to his servant. The joke is noticed by
Northcote, and the exhibition, thus:--"The private exhibition of 1791,
in the Haymarket, has been already mentioned, and some notice taken of
it by a wicked wit, who, at the time, wished to insinuate that Sir
Joshua was a partaker in the profits. But this was not the truth;
neither do I believe there were any profits to share. However, these
lines from Hudibras were inserted in a morning paper, together with some
observations on the exhibition of pictures collected by the knight--

    'A squire he had whose name was Ralph
    Who in the adventure went his half,'

thus gaily making a sacrifice of truth to a joke." It is very evident
that this was a mere newspaper squib, and suggested by the "knight and
his squire Ralph;" but Cunningham so gives it as "the opinion of many,"
and with rather more than a suspicion of its truth. "Sir Joshua made an
exhibition of them in the Haymarket, for the advantage of his faithful
servant Ralph Kirkly; but our painter's well-known love of gain excited
public suspicion; he was considered by many as a partaker in the
profits, and reproached by the application of two lines from
Hudibras."--P. 117. But this report from a servant is evidently no
servant's report at all, as far as the words go: they are redolent
throughout of the peculiar satire of the author of the "Lives," who so
loves point and antithesis, who tells us Sir Joshua "poured" out his
wines, (the distribution of which he had otherwise spoken of,) that the
_stint_ to the servants may have its fullest opposition. And again, as
to the humbler, does he not contradict himself? He prefaces the fact
that Sir Joshua gave a hundred guineas to Gainsborough, who asked sixty,
for his "Girl and Pigs," thus--"Reynolds was commonly humane and
tolerant; he could indeed afford, both in fame and purse, to commend and
aid the timid and needy."--P. 304. This is qualifying vilely a generous
action, while it contradicts his assertion of being sparing of "a kindly
word and a guinea." Nor are the occasional criticisms on passages in the
"Discourses" in a better spirit, nor are they exempt from a vulgar taste
as to views of art; their sole object is, apparently, to depreciate
Reynolds; and though a selection of individual sentences might be picked
out, as in defence, of an entirely laudatory character, they are
contradicted by others, and especially by the sarcastic tone of the
Life, taken as a whole. But it is not only in the Life of Reynolds that
this attempt is made to depreciate him. In his "Lives" of Wilson and
Gainsborough, he steps out of his way to throw his abominable sarcasm
upon Reynolds. One of many passages in Wilson's Life says, "It is
reported that Reynolds relaxed his hostility at last, and, becoming
generous when it was too late, obtained an order from a nobleman for two
landscapes at a proper price." So he insinuates an unworthy hypocrisy,
while lauding the bluntness of Wilson. "Such was the blunt honesty of
his (Wilson's) nature, that, when drawings were shown him which he
disliked, he disdained, or was unable to give a courtly answer, and made
many of the students his enemies. Reynolds had the sagacity to escape
from such difficulties, by looking at the drawings and saying 'Pretty,
pretty,' which vanity invariably explained into a compliment."--P. 207.
After having thus spoken shamefully of Sir Joshua Reynolds in the body
of his work, he reiterates all in a note, confirming all as his not
hasty but deliberate opinion, having "now again gone over the narrative
very carefully, and found it impossible, without violating the truth, to
make any alteration of importance as to its facts;" and though he has
omitted so much which might have been given to the honour of Reynolds,
he is "unconscious of having omitted any enquiry likely to lead him
aright."--P. 320. He may have made the enquiry without using the
information--a practice not inconsistent in such a biographer. For
instance, when he assumes, that in the portrait of Beattie, the figures
of Scepticism, Sophistry, and Infidelity, represent Hume, Voltaire, and
Gibbon; remarking, that they have survived the "insult of Reynolds." An
enquiry from Northcote ought to have led him to conclude otherwise, for
Northcote, who had the best means of knowing, says, "Because one of
those figures was a lean figure, (alluding to the subordinate ones
introduced,) and the other a fat one, people of lively imaginations
pleased themselves with finding in them the portraits of Voltaire and
Hume. But Sir Joshua, I have reason to believe, had no such thought when
he painted those figures." We have done with this disgusting Life. We
would preserve to art and the virtue-loving part of mankind the great
_integrity_ of the character of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Documents and
testimonies are sufficient to establish as much entire worth as falls to
the lot and adornment of the best; and to bring this conviction, that,
for the justice, candour, liberality, kindness, and generosity, which he
showed in his dealings with all, even his professional rivals, if he had
not had the extraordinary merit of being the greatest British painter,
he deserved, and will deserve, the respect of mankind; and to have had
his many and great virtues recorded in a far other manner than in that
among the "Lives of the British Painters." His pictures may have faded,
and may decay; but his precepts will still live, and tend to the
establishment and continuance of art built upon the soundest principles;
and the virtues of the man will ever give a grace to the profession
which he adorned, and, for the benefit of art, contribute mainly to his
own fame.

"Nihil enim est opere aut manu factum, quod aliquando non conficiat et
consumat Vetustas; at vero hæc tua justitia et lenitas animi florescet
quotidie magis, ita ut quantum operibus tuis dinturnitas detrahet,
tantum afferet laudibus."

"He had," says Burke, "from the beginning of his malady, a distinct view
of his dissolution; and he contemplated it with that entire composure,
which nothing but the innocence, integrity, and usefulness of his life,
and an unaffected submission to the will of Providence, could bestow."

       *       *       *       *       *



LEAP-YEAR.--A TALE.

CHAPTER I.


In the summer of 1838, in the pleasant little county of Huntingdon, and
under the shade of some noble elms which form the pride of Lipscombe
Park, two young men might have been seen reclining. The thick, and
towering, and far-spreading branches under which they lay, effectually
protected them from a July sun, which threw its scorching brilliancy
over the whole landscape before them. They seemed to enjoy to the full
that delightful _retired openness_ which an English park affords, and
that easy effortless communion which only old companionship can give.
They were, in fact, fellow collegians. The one, Reginald Darcy by name,
was a ward of Mr Sherwood, the wealthy proprietor of Lipscombe Park; the
other, his friend, Charles Griffith, was passing a few days with him in
this agreeable retreat. They had spent the greater part of the morning
strolling through the park, making short journeys from one clump of
trees to another, and traversing just so much of the open sunny space
which lay exposed to all the "bright severity of noon," as gave fresh
value to the shade, and renewed the luxury of repose.

"Only observe," said Darcy, breaking silence, after a long pause, and
without any apparent link of connexion between their last topic of
conversation and the sage reflection he was about to launch--"only
observe," and, as he raised himself upon his elbow, something very like
a sigh escaped from him, "how complete, in our modern system of life, is
the ascendency of woman over us! Every art is hers--is devoted to her
service. Poetry, music, painting, sculpture--all seem to have no theme
but woman. It is her loveliness, her power over us, that is paraded and
chanted on every side. Poets have been always mad on the beauty of
woman, but never so mad as now; we must not only submit to be
sense-enthralled, the very innermost spirit of a man is to be
deliberately resigned to the tyranny of a smooth brow and a soft eye.
Music, which grows rampant with passion, speaks in all its tones of
woman: as long as the strain lasts we are in a frenzy of love, though it
is not very clear with whom, and happily the delirium ends the moment
the strings of the violin have ceased to vibrate. What subject has the
painter worth a rush but the beauty of woman? We gaze for ever on the
charming face which smiles on us from his canvass; we may gaze with
perfect license--that veil which has just been lifted to the brow, it
will never be dropt again--but we do not gaze with perfect impunity; we
turn from the lovely shadow with knees how prone to bend! And as to the
sculptor, on condition that he hold to the pure colourless marble, is he
not permitted to reveal the sacred charms of Venus herself? Every art is
hers. Go to the theatre, and whether it be tragedy, or comedy, or opera,
or dance, the attraction of woman is the very life of all that is
transacted there. Shut yourself up at home with the poem or the novel,
and lo! to love, and to be loved, by one fair creature, is all that the
world has to dignify with the name of happiness. It is too much. The
heart aches and sickens with an unclaimed affection, kindled to no
purpose. Every where the eye, the ear, the imagination, is provoked,
bewildered, haunted by the magic of this universal syren.

"And what is worse," continued our profound philosopher--and here he
rose from his elbow, and supported himself at arm's length from the
ground, one hand resting on the turf, the other at liberty, if required,
for oratorical action--"what is worse, this place which woman occupies
in _art_ is but a fair reflection of that which she fills in real life.
Just heavens! what a perpetual wonder it is, this living, breathing
beauty! Throw all your metaphors to the winds--your poetic
raptures--your ideals--your romance of position and of circumstance:
look at a fair, amiable, cultivated woman, as you meet her in the
actual, commonplace scenes of life: she is literally, prosaically
speaking, the last consummate result of the creative power of nature,
and the gathered refinements of centuries of human civilization. The
world can show nothing comparable to that light, graceful figure of the
girl just blooming into perfect womanhood. Imagination cannot go beyond
it. There is all the marvel, if you think of it, in that slight figure,
as she treads across the carpet of a modern drawing-room, that has ever
been expressed in, or given origin to, the nymphs, goddesses, and angels
that the fancy of man has teemed with. I declare that a pious heathen
would as soon insult the august statue of Minerva herself, as would any
civilized being treat that slender form with the least show of rudeness
and indignity. A Chartist, indeed, or a Leveller, would do it; but it
would pain him--he would be a martyr to his principles. Verily we are
slaves to the fair miracle!"

"Well," said his companion, who had all this time been leisurely pulling
to pieces some wild flowers he had gathered in the course of the
morning's ramble, "what does it all end in? What, at last, but the old
story--love and a marriage?"

"Love often where there is no possibility of marriage," replied Darcy,
starting up altogether from his recumbent posture, and pacing to and fro
under the shadow of the tree. "The full heart, how often does it swell
only to feel the pressure of the iron bond of poverty! This very
sentiment, which our cultivation refines, fosters, makes supreme, is
encountered by that harsh and cruel evil which grows also with the
growth of civilization--poverty--civilized poverty. Oh, 'tis a frightful
thing, this well-born, well-bred poverty! There is a pauper state,
which, loathsome as it is to look upon, yet brings with it a callousness
to endure all inflictions, and a recklessness that can seize with
avidity whatever coarse fragments of pleasure the day or the hour may
afford. But this poverty applies itself to nerves strung for the
subtlest happiness. No torpor here; no moments of rash and unscrupulous
gratification--unreflected on, unrepented of--which being often repeated
make, in the end, a large sum of human life; but the heart incessantly
demands a genuine and enduring happiness, and is incessantly denied. It
is a poverty which even helps to keep alive the susceptibility it
tortures; for the man who has never loved, or been the object of
affection, whose heart has been fed only by an untaught imagination,
feels a passion--feels a regret--it may be far more than commensurate
with that envied reality which life possesses and withholds from him.
No! there is nothing in the circle of human existence more fearful to
contemplate than this perpetual divorce--irrevocable, yet pronounced
anew each instant of our lives--between the soul and its best
affections. And--look you!--this misery passes along the world under the
mask of easy indifference, and wears a smiling face, and submits to be
rallied by the wit, and assumes itself the air of vulgar jocularity. Oh,
this penury that goes well clad, and is warmly housed, and makes a mock
of its own anguish--I'd rather die on the wheel, or be starved to death
in a dungeon!

"My excellent friend!" cried Griffith, startled from his quiescent
posture, and tranquil occupation, by the growing excitement of his
companion, "what has possessed you? Is it the daughter of our worthy
host--is it Emily Sherwood, the nymph who haunts these woods--who has
given birth to this marvellous train of reflection? to this rhapsody on
the omnipresence of woman, which I certainly had never discovered, and
on the misery of a snug bachelor's income, which to me is still more
incomprehensible? I confess, however, it would be difficult to find a
better specimen of this fearfully fascinating sex."--

"Pshaw!" interrupted Darcy, "what is the heiress of Lipscombe Park to
me?--a girl who might claim alliance with the wealthiest and noblest of
the land--to me, who have just that rag of property, enough to keep from
open shame one miserable biped? Can a man never make a general
reflection upon one of the most general of all topics, without being met
by a personal allusion? I thought you had been superior, Griffith, to
this dull and hackneyed retort."

"Well, well; be not wroth"--

"But I _am_. There is something so odious in this trite and universal
banter. Besides, to have it intimated, even in jest, that I would take
advantage of my position in this family to pay my ridiculous addresses
to Miss Sherwood--I do declare, Griffith, I never will again to you, or
any other man, touch upon this subject, but in the same strain of
unmeaning levity one is compelled to listen to, and imitate, in the
society of coxcombs."

"At all events," said Griffith, "give me leave to say that _I_ admire
Miss Sherwood, and that I shall think it a crying shame if so beautiful
and intelligent a girl is suffered to fall into the clutches of this
stupid baronet who is laying siege to her--this pompous, empty-headed
Sir Frederic Beaumantle."

"Sir Frederic Beaumantle," said Darcy, with some remains of humour, "may
be all you describe him, but he is very rich, and, mark me, he will win
the lady. Old Sherwood suspects him for a fool, but his extensive
estates are unincumbered--he will approve his suit. His daughter makes
him a constant laughing-stock, she is perpetually ridiculing his
presumption and his vanity; but she will end by marrying the rich
baronet. It will be in the usual course of things; society will expect
it; and it is so safe, so prudent, to do what society expects. Let
wealth wed with wealth. It is quite right. I would never advise any man
to marry a woman much richer than himself, so as to be indebted to her
for his position in society. It is useless to say, or to feel, that her
wealth was not the object of your suit. You may carry it how you
will--what says the song?

      '_She_ never will forget;
    The gold she gave was not thy _gain_,
      But it must be thy _debt_.'

"But come, our host is punctual to his dinner hour, and if we journey
back at the same pace we have travelled here, we shall not have much
time upon our hands." And accordingly the two friends set themselves in
motion to return to the house.

Our readers have, of course, discovered that, in spite of his
disclaimer, Reginald Darcy _was_ in love with Emily Sherwood. He was,
indeed, very far gone, and had suffered great extremities; but his pride
had kept pace with his passion. Left an orphan at an early age, and
placed by the will of his father under the guardianship of Mr Sherwood,
Darcy had found in the residence of that gentleman a home during the
holidays when a schoolboy, and during the vacations when a collegian.
Having lately taken his degree at Cambridge, with high honours, which
had been strenuously contended for, and purchased by severe labour, he
was now recruiting his health, and enjoying a season of well-earned
leisure under his guardian's roof. As Mr Sherwood was old and gouty, and
confined much to his room, it fell on him to escort Emily in her rides
or walks. She whom he had known, and been so often delighted with, as
his little playmate, had grown into the young and lovely woman. Briefly,
our Darcy was a lost man--gone--head and heart. But then--she was the
only daughter of Mr Sherwood, she was a wealthy heiress--he was
comparatively poor. Her father had been to him the kindest of guardians:
ought he to repay that kindness by destroying, perhaps, his proudest
schemes? Ought he, a man of fitting and becoming pride, to put himself
in the equivocal position which the poor suitor of a wealthy heiress
must inevitably occupy? "He invites me," he would say to himself, "he
presses me to stay here, week after week, and month after month, because
the idea that I should seek to carry away his daughter never enters into
his head. And she--she is so frank, so gay, so amiable, and almost fond,
because she has never recognized, with the companion of her childhood,
the possibility of such a thing as marriage. There is but one part for
me--silence, strict, unbroken silence!"

Charles Griffith was not far from the truth, when he said that it would
be difficult to find a better specimen of her fascinating sex than the
daughter of their host. But it was not her beauty, remarkable as this
was--it was not her brightest of blue eyes, nor her fairest of
complexions, nor those rich luxuriant tresses--that formed the greatest
charm in Emily Sherwood. It was the delightful combination she displayed
of a cheerful vivacious temper with generous and ardent feelings. She
was as light and playful as one of the fawns in her own park, but her
heart responded also to every noble and disinterested sentiment; and the
poet who sought a listener for some lofty or tender strain, would have
found the spirit that he wanted in the gay and mirth-loving Emily
Sherwood.

Poor Darcy! he would sit, or walk, by her side, talking of this or that,
no matter what, always happy in her presence, passing the most delicious
hours, but not venturing to betray, by word or look, how very content he
was. For these hours of stolen happiness he knew how severe a penalty he
must pay: he knew and braved it. And in our poor judgment he was right.
Let the secret, stealthy, unrequited lover enjoy to the full the
presence, the smiles, the bland and cheerful society of her whom his
heart is silently worshipping. Even this shall in future hours be a
sweet remembrance. By and by, it is true, there will come a season of
poignant affliction. But better all this than one uniform, perpetual
torpor. He will have felt that mortal man _may_ breathe the air of
happiness; he will have learned something of the human heart that lies
within him.

But all this love--was it seen--was it returned--by her who had inspired
it? Both, both. He thought, wise youth! that while he was swallowing
draught after draught of this delicious poison, no one perceived the
deep intoxication he was revelling in. Just as wisely some veritable
toper, by putting on a grave and demure countenance, cheats himself into
the belief that he conceals from every eye that delectable and
irresistible confusion in which his brain is swimming. His love was
seen. How could it be otherwise? That instantaneous, that complete
delight which he felt when she joined him in his rambles, or came to sit
with him in the library, could not be disguised nor mistaken. He was a
scholar, a reader and lover of books, but let the book be what it might
which he held in his hand, it was abandoned, closed, pitched aside, the
moment she entered. There was no stolen glance at the page left still
open; nor was the place kept marked by the tenacious finger and thumb.
If her voice were heard on the terrace, or in the garden--if her
laugh--so light, merry, and musical, reached his ear--there was no
question or debate whether he should go or stay, but down the stairs, or
through the avenues of the garden--he sprung--he ran;--only a little
before he came in sight he would assume something of the gravity
becoming in a senior wrangler, or try to look as if he came there by
chance. His love was seen, and not with indifference. But what could the
damsel do? How presume to know of an attachment until in due form
certified thereof? If a youth will adhere to an obstinate silence, what,
we repeat, can a damsel do but leave him to his fate, and listen to some
other, who, if he loves less, at least knows how to avow his love?



CHAPTER II.


We left the two friends proceeding towards the mansion; we enter before
them, and introduce our readers into the drawing-room. Here, in a
spacious and shaded apartment, made cool, as well by the massive walls
of the noble edifice as by the open and protected windows, whose broad
balcony was blooming with the most beautiful and fragrant of plants, sat
Emily Sherwood. She was not, however, alone. At the same round table,
which was covered with vases of flowers, and with books as gay as
flowers, was seated another young lady, Miss Julia Danvers, a friend who
had arrived in the course of the morning on a visit to Lipscombe Park.
The young ladies seemed to have been in deep consultation.

"I can never thank you sufficiently," said Miss Danvers, "for your
kindness in this affair."

"Indeed but you can very soon thank me much more than sufficiently,"
replied her more lively companion, "for there are few things in the
world I dislike so much as thanks. And yet there is one cause of
thankfulness you have, and know not of. Here have I listened to your
troubles, as you call them, for more than two hours, and never once told
you any of my own. Troubles! you are, in my estimation, a very happy,
enviable girl."

"Do you think it then so great a happiness to be obliged to take refuge
from an absurd selfish stepmother, in order to get by stealth one's own
lawful way?"

"One's own way is always lawful, my dear. No tautology. But you _have_
it--while I"----

"Well, what is the matter?"

"Julia, dear--now do not laugh--I have a lover that _won't speak_. I
have another, or one who calls himself such, who has spoken, or whose
wealth, I fear, has spoken, to some purpose--to my father."

"And you would open the mouth of the dumb, and stop the mouth of the
foolish?"

"Exactly."

"Who are they? And first, to proceed by due climax, who is he whose
mouth is to be closed?"

"A baronet of these parts, Sir Frederic Beaumantle. A vain, vain, vain
man. It would be a waste of good words to spend another epithet upon
him, for he is all vanity. All his virtues, all his vices, all his
actions, good, bad, and indifferent, are nothing but vanity. He praises
you from vanity, abuses you from vanity, loves and hates you from
vanity. He is vain of his person, of his wealth, of his birth, of his
title, vain of all he has, and all he has not. He sets so great a value
on his innumerable and superlative good qualities, that he really has
not been able (until he met with your humble servant) to find any
individual of our sex on whom he could, conscientiously, bestow so great
a treasure as his own right hand must inevitably give away. This has
been the only reason--he tells me so himself--why he has remained so
long unmarried; for he has rounded the arch, and is going down the
bridge. To take his own account of this delicate matter, he is
fluctuating, with an uneasy motion, to and fro, between forty and
forty-five."

"Old enough, I doubt not, to be your father. How can he venture on such
a frolicsome young thing as you?"

"I asked him that question myself one day; and he told me, with a most
complacent smile, that I should be the perfect compendium of
matrimony--he should have wife and child in one."

"The old coxcomb! And yet there was a sort of providence in that.--Now,
who is he whose mouth is to be opened?"

"Oh--he!--can't you guess?"

"Your cousin Reginald, as you used to call him--though cousin I believe
he is none--this learned wrangler?"

"The same. Trust me, he loves me to the bottom of his heart; but because
his little cousin is a great heiress, he thinks it fit to be very proud,
and gives me over--many thanks to him--to this rich baronet. But here he
comes."

As she spoke, Darcy and Griffith entered the room.

"We have been canvassing," said Emily, after the usual forms of
introduction had been gone through, "the merits of our friend, Sir
Frederic Beaumantle. By the way, Reginald, he dines here to-day, and so
will another gentleman, whom I shall be happy to introduce to you,
Captain Garland, an esteemed friend of mine and Miss Danvers'."

"Sir Frederic seems," said Griffith, by way merely of taking part in the
conversation, "at all events, a very good-natured man. I have seen him
but once, and he has already promised to use all his influence in my
behalf, in whatever profession I may embark. If medicine, I am to have
half-a-dozen dowagers, always ailing and never ill, put under my charge
the moment I can add M.D. to my name; not to speak of certain mysterious
hints of an introduction at court, and an appointment of physician
extraordinary to Her Majesty. I suppose I may depend upon Sir Frederic's
promises?"

"Oh, certainly," said Miss Sherwood, "you may depend upon Sir Frederic
Beaumantle's promises; they will never fail; they are inexhaustible."

"The fool!" said Darcy with impatience, "I could forgive him any thing
but that ridiculous ostentation he has of patronizing men, who, but they
have more politeness than himself, would throw back his promises with
open derision."

"Reginald," said Miss Sherwood, "is always forgiving Sir Frederic every
fault but one. But then that one fault changes every day. Last time he
would pardon him every thing except the fulsome eulogy he is in the
habit of bestowing upon his friends, even to their faces. You must know,
Mr Griffith, that Sir Frederic is a most liberal chapman in this
commodity of praise: he will give any man a bushel-full of compliments
who will send him back the measure only half filled. Nay, if there are
but a few cherries clinging to the wicker-work he is not wholly
dissatisfied."

"What he gives he knows is trash," said Darcy; "what he receives he
always flatters himself to be true coin. But indeed Sir Frederic is
somewhat more just in his dealings than you, perhaps, imagine. If he
bestows excessive laudation on a friend in one company, he takes it all
back again in the very next he enters."

"And still his amiability shines through all; for he abuses the absent
friend only to gratify the self-love of those who are present."

The door opened as Miss Sherwood gave this _coup-de-grace_ to the
character of the baronet, and Sir Frederic Beaumantle was announced, and
immediately afterwards, Captain Garland.

Miss Sherwood, somewhat to the surprise of Darcy, who was not aware that
any such intimacy subsisted between them, received Captain Garland with
all the cordiality of an old acquaintance. On the other hand she
introduced the baronet to Miss Danvers with that slightly emphatic
manner which intimates that the parties may entertain a "high
consideration" for each other.

"You are too good a herald, Sir Frederic," she said, "not to know the
Danverses of Dorsetshire."

"I shall be proud," replied the baronet, "to make the acquaintance of
Miss Danvers."

"She has come to my poor castle," continued Miss Sherwood, "like the
distressed princess in the Faery Queen, and I must look out for some
red-cross knight to be her champion, and redress her wrongs."

"It is not the first time," said the lady thus introduced, "that I have
heard of the name of Sir Frederic Beaumantle."

"I dare say not, I dare say not," answered the gratified baronet. "Mine,
I may venture to say, is an historic name. Did you ever peruse, Miss
Danvers, a work entitled 'The History of the County of Huntingdon?' You
would find in it many curious particulars relating to the Beaumantles,
and one anecdote especially, drawn, I may say, from the archives of our
family, which throws a new light upon the reign and character of Charles
II. It is a very able performance is this 'History of the County of
Huntingdon;' it is written by a modest and ingenious person of my
acquaintance, and I felt great pleasure in lending him my poor
assistance in the compilation of it. My name is mentioned in the
preface. Perhaps," he added with a significant smile, "it might have
claimed a still more conspicuous place; but I hold it more becoming in
persons of rank to be the patrons than the competitors of men of
letters."

"I should think," said Miss Danvers very quietly, "it were the more
prudent plan for them to adopt. But what is this anecdote you allude
to?"

"An ancestor of mine--But I am afraid," said the baronet, casting a
deprecatory look at Miss Sherwood, "that some here have read it, or
heard me repeat it before."

"Oh, pray proceed," said the young lady appealed to.

"An ancestor of mine," resumed the baronet, "on being presented at the
Court of Charles II., soon after the Restoration, attracted the
attention of that merry monarch and his witty courtiers, by the antique
fashion of his cloak. 'Beaumantle! Beaumantle!' said the king, 'who gave
thee that name?' My ancestor, who was a grave man, and well brought up,
answered, 'Sire, my godfathers and my godmothers at my baptism.' 'Well
responded!' said the king with a smile; 'and they gave thee thy raiment
also, as it seems.' These last words were added in a lower voice, and
did not reach the ear of my ancestor, but they were reported to him
immediately afterwards, and have been treasured up in our family ever
since. I thought it my duty to make it known to the world as an
historical fact, strikingly illustrative of a very important period in
our annals."

"Why, your name," said Miss Danvers, "appears to be historical in more
senses than one."

"I hope soon--but I would not wish this to go beyond the present
company," said Sir Frederic, and he looked round the circle with a
countenance of the most imposing solemnity--"I hope soon that you will
hear of it being elevated to the peerage--that is, when Sir Robert Peel
comes into power."

"You know Sir Robert, then?" said Griffith, with perfect simplicity.

"Public men," said Sir Frederic, "are sufficiently introduced by public
report. Besides, Mr Griffith--we baronets!--we constitute a sort of
brotherhood. I have employed all my influence in the county, and I may
safely say it is not little, to raise the character and estimation of
Sir Robert, and I have no doubt that he will gladly testify his
acknowledgment of my services by this trifling return. And as it is well
known that my estates"--

But the baronet was interrupted in mid career by the announcement of
dinner.

Miss Sherwood took the arm of Captain Garland, and directed Sir Frederic
to lead down Miss Danvers.

"You will excuse my father," she said, as they descended, "for not
meeting us in the drawing-room. His gout makes him a lame pedestrian. We
shall find him already seated at the table."

At the dinner-table the same arrangement was preserved. Miss Sherwood
had placed Captain Garland by her side, and conversed almost exclusively
with him; while the Baronet was kept in play by the sedulous flattery of
Miss Danvers.

After a few days, it became evident to all the household at Lipscombe
Park that a new claimant for the hand of Miss Sherwood had appeared in
the person of Captain Garland. The captain did not reside in the house,
but, on the pretence of a very strong passion for trout-fishing, he had
taken up his quarters in apartments within a most convenient distance of
the scene of operations. It was not forgotten that, at the very time he
made his appearance, Miss Danvers also arrived at the Park, and between
these parties there was suspected to be some secret understanding. It
seemed as if our military suitor had resolved to assail the fort from
within as well as from without, and therefore had brought down with him
this fair ally. Nothing better than such a fair ally. She could not only
chant his praises when absent, (and there is much in that,) but she
could so manoeuvre as to procure for the captain many a _tête-à-tête_,
which otherwise would not fall to his share. Especially, (and this task
she appeared to accomplish most adroitly,) she could engage to herself
the attentions of his professed and redoubtable rival, Sir Frederic
Beaumantle. In fifty ways she could assist in betraying the citadel from
within, whilst he stood storming at the gates, in open and most
magnanimous warfare. Darcy was not slower than others to suspect the
stratagem, and he thought he saw symptoms of its success. His friend
Griffith had now left him; he had no dispassionate observer to consult,
and his own desponding passion led him to conclude whatever was most
unfavourable to himself. Certainly there was a confidential manner
between Miss Sherwood and these close allies, which seemed to justify
the suspicion alluded to. More than once, when he had joined Miss
Sherwood and the captain, the unpleasant discovery had been forced upon
him, by the sudden pause in their conversation, that he was the _one too
many_.

But jealousy? Oh, no! What had _he_ to do with jealousy? For his part,
he was quite delighted with this new attachment--quite delighted; it
would set at rest for ever the painful controversy so often agitated in
his own breast. Nevertheless, it must be confessed that he felt the
rivalry of Captain Garland in a very different manner from that of Sir
Frederic Beaumantle. The baronet, by virtue of his wealth alone, would
obtain success; and he felt a sort of bitter satisfaction in yielding
Emily to her opulent suitor. She might marry, but she could not love
him; she might be thinking of another, perhaps of her cousin Reginald,
even while she gave her hand to him at the altar. But if the gallant
captain, whose handsome person, and frank and gentlemanly manners,
formed his chief recommendation, were to be the happy man, then must her
affections have been won, and Emily was lost to him utterly. And
then--with the usual logic of the passions, and forgetting the part of
silence and disguise that he had played--he taxed her with levity and
unkindness in so soon preferring the captain to himself. That Emily
should so soon have linked herself with a comparative stranger! It was
not what he should have expected. "At all events," he would thus
conclude his soliloquy, "I am henceforward free--free from her bondage
and from all internal struggle. Yes! I am free!" he exclaimed, as he
paced his room triumphantly. The light voice of Emily was heard calling
on him to accompany her in a walk. He started, he flew. His freedom, we
suppose, gave him wings, for he was at her side in a moment.

Reginald had intended, on the first opportunity, to rally his cousin
upon her sudden attachment to the captain, but his tongue absolutely
refused the office. He could not utter a word of banter on the subject.
His heart was too full.

On this occasion, as they returned from their walk through the park,
there happened one of those incidents which have so often, at least in
novels and story-books, brought about the happiness of lovers, but which
in the present instance served only to bring into play the most painful
feelings of both parties.

A prize-fight had taken place in the neighbourhood, and one of the
numerous visitors of that truly noble exhibition, who, in order to do
honour to the day, had deprived Smithfield market of the light of his
countenance, was returning across the park from the scene of combat,
accompanied by his bull-dog. The dog, who doubtless knew that his master
was a trespasser, and considered it the better policy to assume at once
the offensive, flew at the party whom he saw approaching. Emily was a
little in advance. Darcy rushed forward to plant himself between her and
this ferocious assailant. He had no weapon of defence of any kind, and,
to say truth, he had at that moment no idea of defending himself, or any
distinct notion whatever of combating his antagonist. The only
reflection that occurred to his mind was, that if the animal satiated
its fury upon him, his companion would be safe. A strong leg and a stout
boot might have done something; Darcy, stooping down, put the fleshy
part of his own arm fairly into the bulldog's jaws; assured that, at all
events, it could not bite two persons at the same time, and that, if its
teeth were buried in his own arm, they could not be engaged in
lacerating Emily Sherwood. It is the well-known nature of the bull-dog
to fasten where it once bites, and the brute pinned Darcy to the ground,
until its owner, arriving on the spot, extricated him from his very
painful position.

In this encounter, our senior wrangler probably showed himself very
unskilful and deficient in the combat with wild beasts, but no conduct
could have displayed a more engrossing anxiety for the safety of his
fair companion. Most men would have been willing to reap advantage from
the grateful sentiment which such a conduct must inspire; Darcy, on the
contrary, seemed to have no other wish than to disclaim all title to
such a sentiment. He would not endure that the incident should be spoken
of with the least gravity or seriousness.

"I pray you," said he, "do not mention this silly business again. What I
did, every living man who had found himself by your side would have
done, and most men in a far more dexterous manner. And, indeed, if
instead of yourself, the merest stranger--the poorest creature in the
parish, man, woman, or child, had been in your predicament, I think I
should have done the same."

"I know you would, Reginald. I believe," said Emily, "that if the merest
idiot had been threatened with the danger that threatened me, you would
have interposed, and received the attack yourself. And it is because I
believe this of you, Reginald"----

Something apparently impeded her utterance, for the sentence was left
unfinished.

"For this wound," resumed Darcy, after a pause, and observing that
Emily's eye was resting on his arm, "it is really nothing more than a
just penalty for my own want of address in this notable combat. You
should have had the captain with you," he added; "he would have defended
you quite as zealously, and with ten times the skill."

Emily made no answer; and they walked on in silence till they entered
the Hall. Reginald felt that he had been ungracious; but he knew not how
to retrieve his position. Just before they parted, Emily resuming, in
some measure, her natural and cheerful manner, turned to her companion,
and said--"Years ago, when you were cousin Reginald, and condescended to
be my playfellow, the greatest services you rendered were to throw me
occasionally out of the swing, or frighten me till I screamed by putting
my pony into a most unmerciful trot; but you were always so kind in the
_making up_, that I liked you the better afterwards. Now, when you
preserve me, at your own hazard, from a very serious injury--you do it
in so surly a manner--I wish the dog had bitten me!" And with this she
left him and tripped up stairs.

If Darcy could have followed her into her own room, he would have seen
her throw herself into an armchair, and burst into a flood of tears.



CHAPTER III.


Miss Danvers, it has been said, (from whatever motive her conduct
proceeded, whether from any interest of her own, or merely a desire to
serve the interest of her friend, Captain Garland,) showed a disposition
to engross the attentions of Sir Frederic Beaumantle as often as he made
his appearance at Lipscombe Park. Now, as that lady was undoubtedly of
good family, and possessed of considerable fortune, the baronet was not
a little flattered by the interest which a person who had these
excellent qualifications for a judge, manifestly took in his
conversation. In an equal degree was his dignity offended at the
preference shown by Miss Sherwood for Captain Garland, a man, as he
said, but of yesterday, and not in any one point of view to be put in
comparison with himself. He almost resolved to punish her levity by
withdrawing his suit. The graver manner, and somewhat more mature age of
Miss Danvers were also qualities which he was obliged to confess were
somewhat in her favour.

The result of all this was, that one fine morning Sir Frederic
Beaumantle might have been seen walking to and fro in his own park, with
a troubled step, bearing in his hand a letter--most elaborately
penned--carefully written out--sealed--but not directed. It was an
explicit declaration of his love, a solemn offer of his hand; it was
only not quite determined to whom it should be sent. As the letter
contained very little that referred to the lady, and consisted almost
entirely of an account, not at all disparaging, of himself and his own
good qualities, it was easy for him to proceed thus far upon his
delicate negotiation, although the main question--to whom the letter was
to be addressed--was not yet decided. This letter had indeed been a
_labour of love_. It was as little written for Miss Sherwood as for Miss
Danvers. It was composed for the occasion whenever that might arise; and
for these ten years past it had been lying in his desk, receiving from
time to time fresh touches and emendations. The necessity of making use
of this epistle, which had now attained a state of painful perfection,
we venture to say had some share in impelling him into matrimony. To
some one it must be sent, or how could it appear to any advantage in
those "Memoirs of Sir Frederic Beaumantle," which, some future day, were
to console the world for his decease, and the prospect of which (for he
saw them already in beautiful hot-pressed quarto) almost consoled
himself for the necessity of dying? The _intended_ love-letter!--this
would have an air of ridicule, while the real declaration of Sir
Frederic Beaumantle, which would not only adorn the Memoirs above
mentioned, but would ultimately form a part of the "History of the
County of Huntingdon." We hope ourselves, by the way, to have the honour
of editing those Memoirs, should we be so unfortunate as to survive Sir
Frederic.

But we must leave our baronet with his letter in his hand, gazing
profoundly and anxiously on the blank left for the superscription, and
must follow the perplexities of Reginald Darcy.

That good understanding which apparently existed between Emily and
Captain Garland seemed rather to increase than to diminish after the
little adventure we recorded in the last chapter. It appeared that Miss
Sherwood had taken Darcy at his word, and resolved not to think any the
more kindly of him for his conduct on that occasion. The captain was
plainly in the ascendant. It even appeared, from certain arrangements
that were in stealthy preparation, that the happiness of the gallant
lover would not long be delayed. Messages of a very suspicious purport
had passed between the Park and the vicarage. The clerk of the parish
had been seen several times at Lipscombe. There was something in the
wind, as the sagacious housekeeper observed; surely her young _missus_
was not going to be married on the sly to the captain! The same thought,
however, occurred to Darcy. Was it to escape the suit of Sir Frederic
Beaumantle, which had been in some measure countenanced by her father,
that she had recourse to this stratagem?--hardly worthy of her, and
quite unnecessary, as she possessed sufficient influence with her father
to obtain his consent to any proposal she herself was likely to approve.
Had not the state of his own feelings made him too interested a party to
act as counsellor or mediator, he would at once have questioned Emily on
the subject. As it was, his lips were closed. She herself, too, seemed
resolved to make no communication to him. The captain, a man of frank
and open nature, was far more disposed to reveal his secret: he was once
on the point of speaking to Darcy about his "approaching marriage;" but
Emily, laying her finger on her lip, suddenly imposed silence on him.

One morning, as Darcy entered the breakfast-room, it was evident that
something unusual was about to take place. The carriage, at this early
hour, was drawn up to the door, and the two young ladies, both dressed
in bridal white, were stepping into it. Before it drove off Miss
Sherwood beckoned to Darcy.

"I have not invited you," she said, "to the ceremony, because Captain
Garland has wished it to be as private as possible. But we shall expect
your company at breakfast, for which you must even have the patience to
wait till we return." Without giving any opportunity for reply, she drew
up the glass, and the carriage rolled off.

However Darcy might have hitherto borne himself up by a gloomy sense of
duty, by pride, and a bitter--oh, what bitter resignation!--when the
blow came, it utterly prostrated him. "She is gone!--lost!--Fool that I
have been!--What was this man more than I?" Stung with such reflections
as these, which were uttered in such broken sentences, he rapidly
retreated to the library, where he knew he should be undisturbed. He
threw himself into a chair, and planting his elbows on the table,
pressed his doubled fists, with convulsive agony, to his brows. All his
fortitude had forsaken him: he wept outright.

From this posture he was at length aroused by a gentle pressure on his
shoulder, and a voice calling him by his name. He raised his head: it
was Emily Sherwood, enquiring of him, quite calmly, why he was not at
the breakfast-table. There she stood, radiant with beauty, and in all
her bridal attire, except that she had thrown of her bonnet, and her
beautiful hair was allowed to be free and unconfined. Her hand was still
upon his shoulder.

"You are married, Emily," he said, as well as that horrible stifling
sensation in the breast would let him speak; "you are married, and I
must be for evermore a banished man. I leave you, Emily, and this roof,
for ever. I pronounce my own sentence of exile, for I _love_ you,
Emily!--and ever shall--passionately--tenderly--love you. Surely I may
say this now--now that it is a mere cry of anguish, and a misery
exclusively my own. Never, never--I feel that this is no idle
raving--shall I love another--never will this affection leave me--I
shall never have a home--never care for another--or myself--I am
alone--a wanderer--miserable. Farewell! I go--I know not exactly
where--but I leave this place."

He was preparing to quit the room, when Emily, placing herself before
him, prevented him. "And why," said she, "if you honoured me with this
affection, why was I not to know of it till now?"

"Can the heiress of Lipscombe Park ask that question?"

"Ungenerous! unjust!" said Emily. "Tell me, if one who can himself feel
and act nobly, denies to another the capability of a like disinterested
conduct--denies it rashly, pertinaciously, without cause given for such
a judgment--is he not ungenerous and unjust?"

"To whom have I acted thus? To whom have I been ungenerous or unjust?"

"To me, Reginald--to me! I am wealthy, and for this reason alone you
have denied to me, it seems, the possession of every worthy sentiment.
She has gold, you have said, let her gold content her, and you withheld
your love. She will make much boast, and create a burdensome obligation,
if she bestows her superfluous wealth upon another: you resolved not to
give her the opportunity, and you withheld your love. She has gold--she
has no heart--no old affections that have grown from childhood--no
estimate of character: she has wealth--let her gratify its vanity and
its caprice; and so you withheld your love. Yes, she has gold--let her
have more of it--let her wed with gold--with any gilded fool--she has no
need of love! This is what you have thought, what your conduct has
implied, and it was ungenerous and unjust."

"No, by heaven! I never thought unworthily of you," exclaimed Darcy.

"Had you been the wealthy cousin, Reginald, of wealth so ample, that an
addition to it could scarcely bring an additional pleasure, would you
have left your old friend Emily to look out for some opulent alliance?"

"Oh, no! no!"

"Then, why should I?"

"I may have erred," said Darcy. "I may have thought too meanly of
myself, or nourished a misplaced pride, but I never had a disparaging
thought of you. It seemed that I was right--that I was fulfilling a
severe--oh, how severe a duty! Even now I know not that I was wrong--I
know only that I am miserable. But," added he in a calmer voice, "I, at
all events, am the only sufferer. You, at least, are happy."

"Not, I think, if marriage is to make me so. I am not married,
Reginald," she said, amidst a confusion of smiles and blushes. "Captain
Garland was married this morning to Miss Julia Danvers, to whom he has
been long engaged, but a silly selfish stepmother"----

"Not married!" cried Darcy, interrupting all further explanation.--"Not
married! Then you are free--then you are"----But the old train of
thought rushed back upon his mind--the old objections were as strong as
ever--Miss Sherwood was still the daughter of his guardian, and the
heiress of Lipscombe Park. Instead of completing the sentence, he
paused, and muttered something about "her father."

Emily saw the cloud that had come over him. Dropping playfully, and most
gracefully, upon one knee, she took his hand, and looking up archly in
his face, said, "You love me, coz--you have said it. Coz, will you marry
me?--for I love you."

"Generous, generous girl!" and he clasped her to his bosom.

"Let us go in," said Emily, in a quite altered and tremulous voice, "let
us join them in the other room." And as she put her arm in his, the
little pressure said distinctly and triumphantly--"He is mine!--he is
mine!"

       *       *       *       *       *

We must take a parting glance into old Mr Sherwood's room. He is seated
in his gouty chair; his daughter stands by his side. Apparently Emily's
reasonings have almost prevailed; she has almost persuaded the old
gentleman that Darcy is the very son-in-law whom, above all others, he
ought to desire. For how could Emily leave her dear father, and how
could he domicile himself with any other husband she could choose, half
so well as with his own ward, and his old favourite, Reginald?

"But Sir Frederic Beaumantle," the old gentleman replied, "what is to be
said to him? and what a fine property he has!"

As he was speaking, the door opened, and the party from the breakfast
table, consisting of Captain Garland, and his bride, and Reginald,
entered the room.

"Oh, as for Sir Frederic Beaumantle," said she who was formerly Miss
Danvers, and now Mrs Garland, "I claim him as mine." And forthwith she
displayed the famous declaration of the baronet--addressed to herself!

Their mirth had scarcely subsided, when the writer of the letter himself
made his appearance. He had called early, for he had concluded, after
much deliberation, that it was not consistent with the ardour and
impetuosity of love, to wait till the formal hour of visiting, in order
to receive the answer of Miss Danvers.

That answer the lady at once gave by presenting Captain Garland to him
in the character of her husband. At the same time, she returned his
epistle, and, explaining that circumstances had compelled the captain
and herself to marry in a private and secret manner, apologized for the
mistake into which the concealment of their engagement had led him.

"A mistake indeed--a mistake altogether!" exclaimed the baronet,
catching at a straw as he fell--"a mistake into which this absurd
fashion of envelopes has led us. The letter was never intended, madam,
to be enclosed to you. It was designed for the hands"----

And he turned to Miss Sherwood, who, on her part, took the arm of
Reginald with a significance of manner which proved to him that, for the
present at least, his declaration of love might return into his own
desk, there to receive still further emendations.

"No wonder, Sir Frederic," said Mr Sherwood, compassionating the
baronet's situation--"no wonder your proposal is not wanted. These young
ladies have taken their affairs into their own hands. It is _Leap-Year_.
One of them, at least, (looking to his daughter,) has made good use of
its privilege. The initiative, Sir Frederic, is taken from us."

The baronet had nothing left but to make his politest bow and retire.

"Reginald, my dear boy," continued the old gentleman, "give me your
hand. Emily is right. I don't know how I should part with her. I will
only make this bargain with you, Reginald--that you marry us both. You
must not turn me out of doors."

Reginald returned the pressure of his hand, but he could say nothing. Mr
Sherwood, however, saw his answer in eyes that were filling
involuntarily with tears.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE BATTLE OF THE BLOCKS.

THE PAVING QUESTION.


The subject of greatest metropolitan interest which has occurred for
many years, is the introduction of wood paving. As the main battle has
been fought in London, and nothing but a confused report of the great
object in dispute may have penetrated beyond the sound of Bow bells, we
think it will not be amiss to put on record, in the imperishable brass
and marble of our pages, an account of the mighty struggle--of the
doughty champions who couched the lance and drew the sword in the
opposing ranks--and, finally, to what side victory seems to incline on
this beautiful 1st of May in the year 1843.

Come, then, to our aid, oh ye heavenly Muses! who enabled Homer to sing
in such persuasive words the fates of Troy and of its wooden horse; for
surely a subject which is so deeply connected both with wood and horses,
is not beneath your notice; but perhaps, as poetry is gone out of
fashion at the present time, you will depute one of your humbler
sisters, rejoicing in the name of Prose, to give us a few hints in the
composition of our great history. The name of the first pavier, we fear,
is unknown, unless we could identify him with Triptolemus, who was a
great improver of Rhodes; but it is the fate of all the greatest
benefactors of their kind to be neglected, and in time forgotten. The
first regularly defined paths were probably footways--the first
carriages broad-wheeled. No record remains of what materials were used
for filling up the ruts; so it is likely, in those simple times when
enclosure acts were unknown, that the cart was seldom taken in the same
track. As houses were built, and something in the shape of streets began
to be established, the access to them must have been more attended to. A
mere smoothing of the inequalities of the surface over which the oxen
had to be driven, that brought the grain home on the enormous _plaustra_
of the husbandman, was the first idea of a street, whose very name is
derived from _stratum_, levelled. As experience advanced, steps would be
taken to prevent the softness of the road from interrupting the draught.
A narrow rim of stone, just wide enough to sustain the wheel, would, in
all probability, be the next improvement; and only when the gentle
operations of the farm were exchanged for war, and the charger had to be
hurried to the fight, with all the equipments necessary for an army,
great roads were laid open, and covered with hard materials to sustain
the wear and tear of men and animals. Roads were found to be no less
necessary to retain a conquest than to make it; and the first true proof
of the greatness of Rome was found in the long lines of military ways,
by which she maintained her hold upon the provinces. You may depend on
it, that no expense was spared in keeping the glorious street that led
up her Triumphs to the Capitol in excellent repair. All the nations of
the _Orbis Antiquus_ ought to have trembled when they saw the beginning
of the Appian road. It led to Britain and Persia, to Carthage and the
White Sea. The Britons, however, in ancient days, seem to have been
about the stupidest and least enterprising of all the savages hitherto
discovered. After an intercourse of four hundred years with the most
polished people in the world, they continued so miserably benighted,
that they had not even acquired masonic knowledge enough to repair a
wall. The rampart raised by their Roman protectors between them and the
Picts and Scots, became in some places dilapidated. The unfortunate
natives had no idea how to mend the breach, and had to send once more
for their auxiliaries. If such their state in regard to masonry, we
cannot suppose that their skill in road-making was very great; and yet
we are told that, even on Cæsar's invasion, the Britons careered about
in war-chariots, which implies both good roads and some mechanical
skill; but we think it a little too much in historians to ask us to
believe BOTH these views of the condition of our predecessors in the
tight little island; for it is quite clear that a people who had arrived
at the art of coach-making, could not be so very ignorant as not to know
how to build a wall. If it were not for the letters of Cicero, we should
not believe a syllable about the war-chariots that carried amazement
into the hearts of the Romans, even in Kent or Surrey. But we here
boldly declare, that if twenty Ciceros were to make their affidavits to
the fact of a set of outer barbarians, like Galgacus and his troops,
"sweeping their fiery lines on rattling wheels" up and down the
Grampians--where, at a later period, a celebrated shepherd fed his
flocks--we should not believe a word of their declaration. Tacitus, in
the same manner, we should prosecute for perjury.

The Saxons were a superior race, and when the eightsome-reel of the
heptarchy became the _pas-seul_ of the kingdom of England, we doubt not
that Watling Street was kept in passable condition, and that Alfred,
amidst his other noble institutions, invented a highway rate. The
fortresses and vassal towns of the barons, after the Conquest, must have
covered the country with tolerable cross-roads; and even the petty wars
of those steel-clad marauders must have had a good effect in opening new
communications. For how could Sir Reginald Front-de-Boeuf, or Sir
Hildebrand Bras-de-Fer, carry off the booty of their discomfited rival
to their own granaries without loaded tumbrils, and roads fit to pass
over?

Nor would it have been wise in rich abbots and fat monks to leave their
monasteries and abbeys inaccessible to pious pilgrims, who came to
admire thigh-bones of martyred virgins and skulls of beatified saints,
and paid very handsomely for the exhibition. Finally, trade began, and
paviers flourished. The first persons of that illustrious profession
appear, from the sound of the name, to have been French, unless we take
the derivation of a cockney friend of ours, who maintains that the
origin of the word is not the French _pavé_, but the indigenous English
pathway. However that may be, we are pretty sure that paving was known
as one of the fine arts in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; for, not to
mention the anecdote of Raleigh and his cloak--which could only happen
where puddles formed the exception and not the rule--we read of Essex's
horse stumbling on a paving-stone in his mad ride to his house in the
Strand. We also prove, from Shakspeare's line--

    "The very stones would rise in mutiny"--

the fact of stones forming the main body of the streets in his time; for
it is absurd to suppose that he was so rigid an observer of the unities
as to pay the slightest respect to the state of paving in the time of
Julius Cæsar at Rome.

Gradually London took the lead in improving its ways. It was no longer
necessary for the fair and young to be carried through the mud upon
costly pillions, on the backs of high-stepping Flanders mares. Beauty
rolled over the stones in four-wheeled carriages, and it did not need
more than half-a-dozen running footmen--the stoutest that could be
found--to put their shoulders occasionally to the wheel, and help the
eight black horses to drag the ponderous vehicle through the heavier
parts of the road. Science came to the aid of beauty in these
distressing circumstances. Springs were invented that yielded to every
jolt; and, with the aid of cushions, rendered a visit to Highgate not
much more fatiguing than we now find the journey to Edinburgh. Luxury
went on--wealth flowed in--paviers were encouraged--coach-makers grew
great men--and London, which our ancestors had left mud, was now stone.
Year after year the granite quarries of Aberdeen poured themselves out
on the streets of the great city, and a million and a half of people
drove, and rode, and bustled, and bargained, and cheated, and throve, in
the midst of a din that would have silenced the artillery of Trafalgar,
and a mud which, if turned into bricks, would have built the tower of
Babel. The citizens were now in possession of the "fumum et opes
strepitumque Romæ;" but some of the more quietly disposed, though
submitting patiently to the "fumum," and by no means displeased with the
"opes," thought the "strepitumque" could be dispensed with, and plans of
all kinds were proposed for obviating the noise and other inconveniences
of granite blocks. Some proposed straw, rushes, sawdust; ingenuity was
at a stand-still; and London appeared to be condemned to a perpetual
atmosphere of smoke and sound. It is pleasant to look back on
difficulties, when overcome--the best illustration of which is
Columbus's egg; for, after convincing the sceptic, there can be no
manner of doubt that he swallowed the yelk and white, leaving the shell
to the pugnacious disputant. In the same way we look with a pleasing
kind of pity on the quandaries of those whom we shall call--with no
belief whatever in the pre-Adamite theory--the pre-Macadamites.

A man of talent and enterprise, Mr Macadam, proposed a means of getting
quit of one of the objections to the granite causeways. By breaking them
up into small pieces, and spreading them in sufficient quantity, he
proved that a continuous hard surface would be formed, by which the
uneasy jerks from stone to stone would be avoided, and the expense, if
not diminished, at all events not materially increased. When the
proposition was fairly brought before the public, it met the fate of all
innovations. Timid people--the very persons, by the by, who had been the
loudest in their exclamations against the ancient causeways--became
alarmed the moment they saw a chance of getting quit of them. As we
never know the value of a thing till we have lost it, their attachment
to stone and noise became more intense in proportion as the certainty of
being deprived of them became greater. It was proved to the satisfaction
of all rational men, if Mr Macadam's experiment succeeded, and a level
surface were furnished to the streets, that, besides noise, many other
disadvantages of the rougher mode of paving would be avoided. Among
these the most prominent was slipperiness; and it was impossible to be
denied, that at many seasons of the year, not only in frost, when every
terrestrial pathway must be unsafe; but in the dry months of summer, the
smooth surfaces of the blocks of granite, polished and rounded by so
many wheels, were each like a convex mass of ice, and caused unnumbered
falls to the less adroit of the equestrian portion of the king's
subjects. One of the most zealous advocates of the improvement was the
present Sir Peter Laurie, not then elevated to a seat among the Equites,
but imbued probably with a foreknowledge of his knighthood, and
therefore anxious for the safety of his horse. Sir Peter was determined,
in all senses of the word, to _leave no stone unturned_; and a very
small mind, when directed to one object with all its force, has more
effect than a large mind unactuated by the same zeal--as a needle takes
a sharper point than a sword. Thanks, therefore, are due, in a great
measure, to the activity and eloquence of the worthy alderman for the
introduction of Macadam's system of road-making into the city.

Many evils were certainly got rid of by this alteration--the jolting
motion from stone to stone--the slipperiness and unevenness of the
road--and the chance, in case of an accident, of contesting the hardness
of your skull with a mass of stone, which seemed as if it were made on
purpose for knocking out people's brains. For some time contentment sat
smiling over the city. But, as "man never is, but always to be, blest,"
perfect happiness appeared not to be secured even by Macadam. Ruts began
to be formed--rain fell, and mud was generated at a prodigious rate;
repairs were needed, and the road for a while was rough and almost
impassable. Then it was found out that the change had only led to a
different _kind_ of noise, instead of destroying it altogether; and the
perpetual grinding of wheels, sawing their way through the loose stones
at the top, or ploughing through the wet foundation, was hardly an
improvement on the music arising from the jolts and jerks along the
causeway. Men's minds got confused in the immensity of the uproar, and
deafness became epidemic. In winter, the surface of Macadam formed a
series of little lakes, resembling on a small scale those of Canada; in
summer, it formed a Sahara of dust, prodigiously like the great desert.
Acres of the finest alluvial clay floated past the shops in autumn; in
spring, clouds of the finest sand were wafted among the goods, and
penetrated to every drawer and wareroom. And high over all, throughout
all the main highways of commerce--the Strand--Fleet Street--Oxford
Street--Holborn--raged a storm of sound, that made conversation a matter
of extreme difficulty without such stentorian an effort as no ordinary
lungs could make. As the inhabitants of Abdera went about sighing from
morning to night, "Love! love!" so the persecuted dwellers in the great
thoroughfares wished incessantly for cleanliness! smoothness! silence!

"Abra was present when they named her name," and, after a few gropings
after truth--a few experiments that ended in nothing--a voice was heard
in the city, that streets could be paved with wood. This was by no means
a discovery in itself; for in many parts of the country ingenious
individuals had laid down wooden floors upon their farm-yards; and, in
other lands, it was a very common practice to use no other material for
their public streets. But, in London, it was new; and all that was
wanted, was science to use the material (at first sight so little
calculated to bear the wear and tear of an enormous traffic) in the most
eligible manner. The first who commenced an actual piece of paving was a
Mr Skead--a perfectly simple and inartificial system, which it was soon
seen was doomed to be superseded. His blocks were nothing but pieces of
wood of a hexagon shape--with no cohesion, and no foundation--so that
they trusted each to its own resources to resist the pressure of a
wheel, or the blow of a horse's hoof; and, as might have been foreseen,
they became very uneven after a short use, and had no recommendation
except their cheapness and their exemption from noise. The fibre was
vertical, and at first no grooves were introduced; they, of course,
became rounded by wearing away at the edge, and as slippery as the
ancient granite. The Metropolitan Company took warning from the defects
of their predecessor, and adopted the patent of a scientific French
gentleman of the name of De Lisle. The combination of the blocks is as
elaborate as the structure of a ship of war, and yet perfectly easy,
being founded on correct mechanical principles, and attaining the great
objects required--viz. smoothness, durability, and quiet. The blocks,
which are shaped at such an angle that they give the most perfect mutual
support, are joined to each other by oaken dowels, and laid on a hard
concrete foundation, presenting a level surface, over which the impact
is so equally divided, that the whole mass resists the pressure on each
particular block; and yet, from being formed in panels of about a yard
square, they are laid down or lifted up with far greater ease than the
causeway. Attention was immediately attracted to this invention, and all
efforts have hitherto been vain to improve on it. Various projectors
have appeared--some with concrete foundations, some with the blocks
attached to each other, not by oak dowels, but by being alternately
concave and convex at the side; but this system has the incurable defect
of wearing off at the edges, where the fibre of the wood, of course, is
weakest, and presents a succession of bald-pated surfaces, extremely
slippery, and incapable of being permanently grooved. A specimen of this
will be often referred to in the course of this account, being that
which has attained such an unenviable degree of notoriety in the
Poultry. Other inventors have shown ingenuity and perseverance; but the
great representative of wooden paving we take to be the Metropolitan
Company, and we proceed to a narrative of the attacks it has sustained,
and the struggles it has gone through.

So long ago as July 1839, the inventor explained to a large public
meeting of noblemen and men of science, presided over by the Duke of
Sussex, the principle of his discovery. It consisted in a division of
the cube, or, as he called it, the stereotomy of the cube. After
observing, that "although the cube was the most regular of all solid
bodies, and the most learned men amongst the Greeks and other nations
had occupied themselves to ascertain and measure its proportions, he
said it had never hitherto been regarded as a body, to be anatomized or
explored in its internal parts. Some years ago, it had occurred to a
French mathematician that the cube was divisible into six pyramidical
forms; and it therefore had struck him, the inventor, that the natural
formation of that figure was by a combination of those forms. Having
detailed to his audience a number of experiments, and shown how the
results thereby obtained accorded with mathematical principles, he
proceeded to explain the various purposes to which diagonal portions of
the cube might be applied. By cutting the body in half, and then
dividing the half in a diagonal direction, he obtained a figure--namely,
a quarter of the cube--in which, he observed, the whole strength or
power of resistance of the entire body resided; and he showed the
application of these sections of the cube to the purposes of paving by
wood." Such is the first meagre report of the broaching of a scientific
system of paving; and, with the patronage of such men of rank and
eminence as took an interest in the subject, the progress was sure and
rapid.

In December 1839, about 1100 square yards were laid down in Whitehall,
and a triumph was never more complete; for since that period it has
continued as smooth and level as when first it displaced the Macadam; it
has never required repair, and has been a small basis of peace and
quietness, amidst a desert of confusion and turmoil. Since that time,
about sixty thousand yards in various parts of London, being about
three-fourths of all the pavement hitherto introduced, attest the public
appreciation of the Metropolitan Company's system. It may be interesting
to those who watch the progress of great changes, to particularize the
operations (amounting in the aggregate to forty thousand yards) that
were carried out upon this system in 1842:--

    St Giles's, Holborn
    Foundling Estate
    Hammersmith Bridge
    St Andrew's, Holborn
    Jermyn Street
    Old Bailey
    Piccadilly
    Newgate Street, eastern end
    Southampton Street
    Lombard Street
    Oxford Street
    Regent Street;

besides several noblemen's court-yards, such as the Dukes of Somerset
and Sutherland's, and a great number of stables, for which it is found
peculiarly adapted.

The other projectors have specimens principally in the Strand; that near
the Golden Cross, being by Mr Skead; that near Coutts's Bank, Mr
Saunders; at St Giles's Church, in Holborn, Mr Rankin; and in the city,
at Gracechurch Street, Cornhill, and the Poultry, Mr Cary. The Poultry
is a short space lying between Cheapside and the Mansion-house,
consisting altogether of only 378 square yards. It lies in a hollow, as
if on purpose to receive the river of mud which rolls its majestic
course from the causeway on each side. The traffic on it, though not
fast, is perpetual, and the system from the first was faulty. In
addition to these drawbacks, its cleansing was totally neglected; and on
all these accounts, it offered an excellent point of attack to any
person who determined to signalize himself by preaching a crusade
against wood. Preachers, thank heaven! are seldom wanted; and on this
occasion the part of Peter the Hermit was undertaken by Peter the
Knight; for our old acquaintance, the opponent of causeways, the sworn
enemy to granite, the favourer of Macadam, had worn the chain of office;
had had his ears tickled for a whole year by the magic word, my lord,
was as much of a knight as Sir Amadis de Gaul, and much more of an
alderman; had been a great dispenser of justice, and sometimes a
dispenser with law; had made himself a name, before which that of the
Curtises and Waithmans grew pale; and, above all, was at that very
moment in want of a grievance. Sir Peter Laurie gave notice of a motion
on the subject of the Poultry. People began to think something had gone
wrong with the chickens, or that Sir Robert had laid a high duty on
foreign eggs. The alarm spread into Norfolk, and affected the price of
turkeys. Bantams fell in value, and barn-door fowls were a drug. In the
midst of all these fears, it began to be whispered about, that if any
chickens were concerned in the motion, it was Cary's chickens; and that
the attack, though nominally on the hen-roost, was in reality on the
wood. It was now the depth of winter; snowy showers were succeeded by
biting frosts; the very smoothness of the surface of the wooden pavement
was against it; for as no steps were taken to prevent slipperiness, by
cleansing or sanding the street--or better still, perhaps, by roughing
the horses' shoes, many tumbles took place on this doomed little portion
of the road; and some of the city police, having probably, in the
present high state of English morals, little else to do, were employed
to count the falls. Armed with a list of these accidents, which grew in
exact proportion to the number of people who saw them--(for instance, if
three people separately reported, "a grey horse down in the Poultry," it
did duty for three grey horses)--Sir Peter opened the business of the
day, at a meeting of the Commissioners of Sewers for the City of London,
on the 14th of February 1843. Mr Alderman Gibbs was in the chair. Sir
Peter, on this occasion, transcended his usual efforts; he was inspired
with the genius of his subject, and was as great a specimen of slip-slop
as the streets themselves. He requested a petition to be read, signed by
a Mr Gray, and a considerable number of other jobmasters and livery
stable-keepers, against wood pavement; and, as it formed the text on
which he spoke, we quote it entire:--

    "To the Commissioners of Sewers--

    "The humble memorial of your memorialists, humbly
    showeth,--That in consequence of the introduction of wood
    pavements into the City of London, in lieu of granite, a very
    great number of accidents have occurred; and in drawing a
    comparison between the two from observations made, it is found
    where one accident happened on the granite pavement, that ten
    at least took place upon the wood. Your memorialists therefore
    pray, that, in consequence of the wood pavement being so
    extremely dangerous to travel over, you would be pleased to
    take the matter into your serious consideration, and cause it
    to be removed; by doing which you will, in the first place, be
    removing a great and dangerous nuisance; and, secondly, you
    will be setting a beneficial and humane example to other
    metropolitan districts."

Mr Gray, in addition to the memorial, begged fully to corroborate its
statements, and said that he had himself twice been thrown out by the
falling of his horse on the wood, and had broken his shafts both times.
As he did not allude to his legs and arms, we conclude they escaped
uninjured; and the only effect created by his observation, seemed to be
a belief that his horse was probably addicted to falling, and preferred
the wood to the rough and hard angles of the granite. Immediately after
the reading of the stablemen's memorial, a petition was introduced in
favour of wood pavement from Cornhill, signed by all the inhabitants of
that wealthy and flourishing district, and, on the principles of fair
play, we transcribe it as a pendant to the other:--

"Your petitioners, the undersigned inhabitants of the ward of Cornhill
and Birchen Lane, beg again to bring before you their earnest request,
that that part of Cornhill which is still paved with granite, and also
Birchen Lane, may now be paved with wood.

"Your petitioners are well aware that many complaints have been received
of the wood paving in the Poultry; but they beg to submit to you that no
reports which have been, or which may be made, of the accidents which
have occurred on that small spot, should be considered as in any way
illustrative of the merits of the general question. From its minuteness,
and its slope at both extremities, it is constantly covered with
slippery mud from the granite at each end; and that, together with the
sudden transition from one sort of paving to another, causes the horses
continually to stumble on that spot. Your petitioners therefore submit
that no place could have been selected for experiment so ill adapted to
show a fair result. Since your petitioners laid their former petition
before you, they have ascertained, by careful examination and enquiry,
that in places where wood paving has been laid down continuously to a
moderate extent--viz. in Regent Street, Jermyn Street, Holborn, Oxford
Street, the Strand, Coventry Street, and Lombard Street--it has fully
effected all that was expected from it; it has freed the streets from
the distracting nuisance of incessant noise, has diminished mud,
increased the value of property, and given full satisfaction to the
inhabitants. Your petitioners, therefore, beg to urge upon you most
strongly a compliance with their request, which they feel assured would
be a further extension of a great public good."

In addition to the petition, Mr Fernie, who presented it, stated "that
the inhabitants (whom he represented) had satisfied themselves of the
advantages of wood paving before they wished its adoption at their own
doors. That enquiries had been made of the inhabitants of streets in the
enjoyment of wood paving, and they all approved of it; and said, that
nothing would induce them to return to the old system of stone; that
they were satisfied the number of accidents had not been greater on the
wood than they had been on the granite; and that they were of a much
less serious character and extent."

Sir Peter on this applied a red silk handkerchief to his nose; wound
three blasts on that wild horn, as if to inspire him for the charge; and
rushed into the middle of the fight. His first blow was aimed at Mr
Prosser, the secretary of the Metropolitan Company, who had stated that
in Russia, where wooden pavements were common, a sprinkling of pitch and
strong sand had prevented the possibility of slipping. Orlando Furioso
was a peaceful Quaker compared to the infuriate Laurie. "The admission
of Mr Prosser," he said, "proves that, without pitch and sand, wood
pavements are impassable;" and fearful was it to see the prodigious
vigour with which the Prosser with two _s_'s, was pressed and assaulted
by the Proser with only one. Wonder took possession of the assemblage,
at the catalogue of woes the impassioned orator had collected as the
results of this most dangerous and murderous contrivance. An old woman
had been run over by an omnibus--all owing to wood; a boy had been
killed by a cab--all owing to wood; and it seemed never to have occurred
to the speaker, in his anti-silvan fury, that boy's legs are
occasionally broken by unruly cabs, and poles of omnibuses run into the
backs of unsuspecting elderly gentlemen on the roads which continue
under the protecting influence of granite or Macadam. He had seen horses
fall on the wooden pavements in all directions; he had seen a troop of
dragoons, in the midst of the frost, dismount and lead their un-roughed
horses across Regent Street; the Recorder had gone round by the squares
to avoid the wooden districts; one lady had ordered her coachman to
stick constantly to stone; and another, when she required to go to
Regent Street, dismissed her carriage and walked. The thanks he had
received for his defence of granite were innumberable; an omnibus would
not hold the compliments that had been paid him for his efforts against
wood; and, as Lord Shaftesbury had expressed his obligations to him on
the subject, he did not doubt that if the matter came before the House
of Lords, he would bestow the degree of attention on it which his
lordship bestowed on all matters of importance. Working himself us as he
drew near his peroration, he broke out into a blaze of eloquence which
put the Lord Mayor into some fear on account of the Thames, of which he
is official conservator. "The thing cannot last!" he exclaimed; "and if
you don't, in less than two years from this time, say I am a true
prophet, put me on seven years' allowance." What the meaning of this
latter expression may be, we cannot divine. It seems to us no very
severe punishment to be forced to receive the allowance of seven years
instead of one, the only explanation we can think of is, that it
contains some delicate allusion to the dietary of gentlemen who are
supposed to be visiting one of the colonies in New Holland, but in
reality employ themselves in aquatic amusements in Portsmouth and
Plymouth harbour "for the space of seven long years"--and are not
supposed to fare in so sumptuous a manner as the aldermen of the city of
London.

"The poor horses," he proceeded, "that are continually tumbling down on
the wood pavement, cannot send their representatives, but I will
represent them here whenever I have the opportunity"--(a horse laugh, as
if from the orator's constituents, was excited by this sally.) "But,
gentlemen, besides the danger of this atrocious system, we ought to pay
a little attention to the expense. I maintain you have no right to make
the inhabitants of those streets to which there is no idea of extending
the wood paving, pay for the ease and comfort, as it is called, of
persons residing in the larger thoroughfares, such as Newgate Street and
Cheapside. But the promoters say, 'Oh I but we will have the whole town
paved with it'--(hear, hear.) What would this cost? A friend of mine has
made some calculations on this point, and he finds that, to pave the
whole town with wood, an outlay of twenty-four millions of money must be
incurred!"

It was generally supposed in the meeting that the friend here alluded to
was either Mr Joseph Hume or the ingenious gentleman who furnished Lord
Stanley with the statistics of the wheat-growing districts of Tamboff.
It was afterwards discovered to be a Mr Cocker Munchausen.

Twenty-four millions of money! and all to be laid out on wood! The
thought was so immense that it nearly choked the worthy orator, and he
could not proceed for some time. When at last, by a great effort, he
recovered the thread of his discourse, he became pathetic about the fate
of one of the penny-post boys, (a relation--"we guess"--of the deceased
H. Walker, Esq. of the Twopenny Post,)--who had broken his leg on the
wooden pavement. The authorities had ordered the lads to avoid the wood
in future. For all these reasons, Sir Peter concluded his speech with a
motion, "That the wood pavement in the Poultry is dangerous and
inconvenient to the public, and ought to be taken up and replaced with
granite pavement."

    "As in a theatre the eyes of men,
    After some well-graced actor leaves the stage,
    Are idly bent on him who enters next
    Thinking his prattle to be tedious,
    Even so, or with more scorn, men's eyes
    Were turned on----Mr Deputy Godson!"

The benevolent reader may have observed that the second fiddle is
generally a little louder and more sharp set than the first. On this
occasion that instrument was played upon by the worthy deputy, to the
amazement of all the connoisseurs in that species of music in which he
and his leader are known to excel. From his speech it was gathered that
he represented a district which has been immortalized by the genius of
the author of Tom Thumb; and in the present unfortunate aspect of human
affairs, when a comet is brandishing its tail in the heavens, and
O'Connell seems to have been deprived of his upon earth--when poverty,
distress, rebellion, and wooden pavements, are threatening the very
existence of _Great_ Britain, it is consolotary to reflect that under
the guardianship of Deputy Godson _Little_ Britain is safe; for he is
resolved to form a cordon of granite round it, and keep it free from the
contamination of Norway pines or Scottish fir. "I have been urged by my
constituents," he says, "to ask for wood pavement in Little Britain; but
I am adverse to it, as I think wood paving is calculated to produce the
greatest injury to the public.

"I have seen twenty horses down on the wood pavement
together--(laughter.) I am here to state what I have seen. I have seen
horses down on the wood pavement, twenty at a time--(renewed laughter.)
I say, and with great deference, that we are in the habit of conferring
favours when we ought to withhold them. I think gentlemen ought to pause
before they burden the consolidated rate with those matters, and make
the poor inhabitants of the City pay for the fancies of the wealthy
members of Cornhill and the Poultry. We ought to deal even-handed
justice, and not introduce into the City, and that at a great expense, a
pavement that is dirty, stinking, and everything that is
bad."--(laughter.)

In Pope's Homer's Iliad, it is very distressing to the philanthropic
mind to reflect on the feelings that must agitate the bosom of Mr Deputy
Thersites when Ajax passes by. In the British Parliament it is a
melancholy sight to see the countenance of some unfortunate orator when
Sir Robert Peel rises to reply, with a smile of awful import on his
lips, and a subdued cannibal expression of satisfaction in his eyes.
Even so must it have been a harrowing spectacle to observe the effects
of the answer of Mr R.L. Jones, who rose for the purpose of moving the
previous question. He said, "I thought the worthy alderman who
introduced this question would have attempted to support himself by
bringing some petitions from citizens against wood paving--(hear.) He
has not done so, and I may observe, that from not one of the wards where
wood pavement has been laid down has there been a petition to take any
of the wood pavement up. What the mover of these resolutions has done,
has been to travel from one end of the town to the other, to prove to
you that wood paving is bad in principle. Has that been
established?--(Cries of 'no, no.') I venture to say they have not
established any thing of the kind. All that has been done is this--it
has been shown that wood pavement, which is comparatively a recent
introduction, has not yet been brought to perfection--(hear, hear.) Now,
every one knows that complaints have always been made against every new
principle, till it has been brought to perfection. Look, for instance,
at the steam-engine. How vastly different it now is, with the
improvements which science has effected, from what it was when it was
first introduced to the notice of the world! Wherever wood pavement has
been laid down, it has been approved of. All who have enjoyed the
advantage of its extension, acknowledge the comfort derived from it. Sir
Peter Laurie asserts that he is continually receiving thanks for his
agitation about wood paving, and that an omnibus would not hold the
compliments he receives at the West End. Now, I can only say, that I
find the contrary to be the case; and every body who meets me exclaims,
'Good God! what can Sir Peter Laurie be thinking about, to try and get
the wood paving taken up, and stone paving substituted?' So far from
thanking Sir Peter, every body is astonished at him. The wood pavement
has not been laid down nearly three years, and I say here, in the face
of the Commission, that there have not been ten blocks taken up; but had
granite been put down, I will venture to say that it would, during the
same period, have been taken up six or seven times. Your books will
prove it, that the portion of granite pavement in the Poultry was taken
up six or seven times during a period of three years. When the wood
paving becomes a little slippery, go to your granite heaps which belong
to this commission, or to your fine sifted cinder heaps, and let that be
strewed over the surface; that contains no earthy particles, and will,
when it becomes imbedded in the wood, form such a surface that there
cannot be any possibility be any slipperiness--(hear, hear!) Do we not
pursue this course in frosty weather even with our own stone paving?
There used to be, before this plan was adopted, not a day pass but you
would in frosty weather see two, three, four, and even five or six
horses down together on the stone paving--('Oh! oh!' from Mr Deputy
Godson.) My friend may cry 'oh! oh!' but I mean to say that this
assertion is not so incongruous as the statement of my friend, that he
saw twenty horses down at once on the wood pavement in Newgate Street,
(laughter.) I may exclaim with my worthy friend the deputy on my left,
who lives in Newgate Street, 'When the devil did it happen? I never
heard of it.' I stand forward in support of wood paving as a great
public principle, because I believe it to be most useful and
advantageous to the public; which is proved by the fact, that the public
at large are in favour of it. If we had given notice that this court
would be open to hear the opinions of the citizens of London on the
subject of wood paving, I am convinced that the number of petitions in
its favour would have been so great, that the doors would not have been
sufficiently wide to have received them."

Mr Jones next turned his attention to the arithmetical statements of Sir
Peter; and a better specimen of what in the Scotch language is called a
stramash, it has never been our good fortune to meet with:--

"We have been told by the worthy knight who introduced this motion, that
to pave London with wood would cost twenty-four millions of money. Now,
it so happens that, some time since, I directed the city surveyor to
obtain for me a return of the number of square yards of paving-stone
there are throughout all the streets in this city. I hold that return in
my hand; and I find there are 400,000 yards, which, at fifteen shillings
per yard, would not make the cost of wood paving come to twenty-four
millions of money; no, gentlemen, nor to four millions, nor to three,
nor even to one million--why, the cost, gentlemen, dwindles down from
Sir Peter's twenty-four millions to £300,000--(hear, hear, and
laughter.)

"If I go into Fore Street I find every body admiring the wood pavement.
If I go on Cornhill I find the same--and all the great bankers in
Lombard Street say, 'What a delightful thing this wood paving is! Sir
Peter Laurie must be mad to endeavour to deprive us of it.' I told them
not to be alarmed, for they might depend on it the good sense of this
court would not allow so great and useful an improvement in street
paving to retrograde in the manner sought to be effected by this
revolution. I shall content myself with moving the previous
question"--(cheers.)

It is probable that Mr Jones, in moving the previous question, contented
himself a mighty deal more than he did Sir Peter; and the triumph of the
woodites was increased when Mr Pewtress seconded the amendment:--

"If there is any time of the year when the wood pavement is more
dangerous than another, probably the most dangerous is when the weather
is of the damp, muggy, and foggy character which has been prevailing;
and when all pavements are remarkably slippery. The worthy knight has
shown great tact in choosing his time for bringing this matter before
the public. We have had three or four weeks weather of the most
extraordinary description I ever remember; not frosty nor wet, but damp
and slippery; so that the granite has been found so inconvenient to
horses, that they have not been driven at the common and usual pace. And
I am free to confess that, under the peculiar state of the atmosphere to
which I have alluded, the wood pavement is more affected than the
granite pavement. But in ordinary weather there is very little
difference. I am satisfied that, if the danger and inconvenience were as
great as the worthy knight has represented, we should have had
applications against the pavement; but all the applications we have had
on the subject have been in favour of the extension of wood pavement."

The speaker then takes up the ground, that as wood, as a material for
paving, is only recently introduced, it is natural that vested interests
should be alarmed, and that great misapprehension should exist as to its
nature and merits. On this subject he introduces an admirable
illustration:--"In the early part of my life I remember attending a
lecture--when gas was first introduced--by Mr Winson. The lecture was
delivered in Pall-Mall, and the lecturer proposed to demonstrate that
the introduction of gas would be destructive of life and property. I
attended that lecture, and I never came away from a public lecture more
fully convinced of any thing than I did that he had proved his position.
He produced a quantity of gas, and placed a receiver on the table. He
had with him some live birds, as well as some live mice and rabbits;
and, introducing some gas into the receiver, he put one of the animals
in it. In a few minutes life was extinct, and in this way he deprived
about half a dozen of these animals of their life. 'Now, gentlemen,'
said the lecturer, 'I have proved to you that gas is destructive to
life; I will now show you that it is destructive to property.' He had a
little pasteboard house, and said, 'I will suppose that it is lighted up
with gas, and from the carelessness of the servant the stopcock of the
burner has been so turned off as to allow an escape of gas, and that it
has escaped and filled the house.' Having let the gas into the card
house, he introduced a light and blew it up. 'Now,' said he, 'I think I
have shown you that it is not only destructive to life and property; but
that, if it is introduced into the metropolis, it will be blown up by
it.'"

We have now given a short analysis of the speeches of the proposers and
seconders on each side in this great debate; and after hearing Mr
Frodsham on the opposition, and the Common Sergeant--whose objection,
however, to wood was confined to its unsuitableness at some seasons for
horsemanship--granting that a strong feeling in its favour existed among
the owners and inhabitants of houses where it has been laid down; and on
the other side, Sir Chapman Marshall--a strenuous woodite--who
challenged Sir Peter Laurie to find fault with the pavement at
Whitehall, "which he had no hesitation in saying was the finest piece of
paving of any description in London;" Mr King, who gave a home thrust to
Sir Peter, which it was impossible to parry--"We have heard a great deal
about humanity and post-boys; does the worthy gentleman know, that the
Postmaster has only within the last few weeks sent a petition here,
begging that you would, with all possible speed, put wood paving round
the Post-office?" and various other gentlemen _pro_ and _con_--a
division was taken, when Sir Peter was beaten by an immense majority.

Another meeting, of which no public notice was given, was held shortly
after to further Sir Peter's object, by sundry stable-keepers and
jobmasters, under the presidency of the same Mr Gray, whose horse had
acquired the malicious habit of breaking its knees on the Poultry. As
there was no opposition, there was no debate; and as no names of the
parties attending were published, it fell dead-born, although advertised
two or three times in the newspapers.

On Tuesday, the 4th of April, Sir Peter buckled on his armour once more,
and led the embattled cherubim to war, on the modified question, "That
wood-paving operations be suspended in the city for a year;" but after a
repetition of the arguments on both sides, he was again defeated by the
same overwhelming majority as before.

Such is the state of wood paving as a party question among the city
authorities at the present date. The squabbles and struggles among the
various projectors would form an amusing chapter in the history of
street rows--for it is seen that it is a noble prize to strive for. If
the experiment succeeds, all London will be paved with wood, and
fortunes will be secured by the successful candidates for employment.
Every day some fresh claimant starts up and professes to have remedied
every defect hitherto discovered in the systems of his predecessors.
Still confidence seems unshaken in the system which has hitherto shown
the best results; and since the introduction of the very ingenious
invention of Mr Whitworth of Manchester, of a cart, which by an
adaptation of wheels and pullies, and brooms and buckets, performs the
work of thirty-six street-sweepers, the perfection of the work in Regent
Street has been seen to such advantage, and the objections of
slipperiness so clearly proved to arise, not from the nature of wood,
but from the want of cleansing, that even the most timid are beginning
to believe that the opposition to the further introduction of it is
injudicious. Among these even Sir Peter promises to enrol himself, if
the public favour continues as strong towards it for another year as he
perceives it to be at the present time.

And now, dismissing these efforts at resisting a change which we may
safely take to be at some period or other inevitable, let us cast a
cursory glance at some of the results of the general introduction of
wood pavement.

In the first place, the facility of cleansing will be greatly increased.
A smooth surface, between which and the subsoil is interposed a thick
concrete--which grows as hard and impermeable as iron--will not generate
mud and filth to one-fiftieth of the extent of either granite roads or
Macadam. It is probable that if there were no importations of dirt from
the wheels of carriages coming off the stone streets, little
scavengering would be needed. Certainly not more than could be supplied
by one of Whitworth's machines. And it is equally evident that if wood
were kept unpolluted by the liquid mud--into which the surface of the
other causeways is converted in the driest weather by water carts--the
slipperiness would be effectually cured.

In the second place, the saving of expense in cleansing and repairing
would be prodigious. Let us take as our text a document submitted to the
Marylebone Vestry in 1840, and acted on by them in the case of Oxford
Street; and remember that the expenses of cleansing were calculated at
the cost of the manual labour--a cost, we believe, reduced two thirds by
the invention of Mr Whitworth. The Report is dated 1837:--

"The cost of the last five years having been,  £16,881
The present expense for 1837, about              2,000
The required outlay                              4,000
And the cleansing for 1837                         900
                                                ------
Gives a total for six years of                 £23,781

    "Or an annual expenditure averaging £3963; so that the future
    expenses of Oxford Street, maintained as a Macadamized
    carriage-way, would be about £4000, or 2s. 4d per yard per
    annum.

    "In contrast with this extract from the parochial documents,
    the results of which must have been greatly increased within
    the last three years, the Metropolitan Wood-Paving Company, who
    have already laid down above 4000 yards in Oxford Street,
    between Wells Street and Charles Street, are understood to be
    willing to complete the entire street in the best manner for
    12s. per square yard, or about £14,000--for which they propose
    to take bonds bearing interest at the rate of four-and-a-half
    per cent per annum, whereby the parish will obtain ample time
    for ultimate payment; and further, to keep the whole in repair,
    inclusive of the cost of cleansing and watering, for one year
    gratuitously, and for twelve years following at £1900 per
    annum, being less than one-half the present outlay for these
    purposes."

Whether these were the terms finally agreed on we do not know; but we
perceive by public tenders that the streets can be paved in the best
possible manner for 13s. or 12s. 6d. a yard; and kept in repair for 6d.
a yard additional. This is certainly much cheaper than Macadam, and we
should think more economical than causeways. And, besides, it has the
advantage--which one of the speakers suggested to Sir Peter
Laurie--"that in case of an upset, it is far more satisfactory to
contest the relative hardness of heads with a block of wood than a mass
of granite."

We can only add in conclusion, that advertisements are published by the
Commissioners of Sewers for contracts to pave with wood Cheapside, and
Bishopsgate Street, and Whitechapel. Oh, Sir Peter!--how are the mighty
fallen!

       *       *       *       *       *



POEMS AND BALLADS OF SCHILLER.

NO. VIII.

FIRST PERIOD CONTINUED.


A FUNERAL FANTASIE.

    1.

      Pale, at its ghastly noon,
    Pauses above the death-still wood--the moon;
    The night-sprite, sighing, through the dim air stirs;
      The clouds descend in rain;
      Mourning, the wan stars wane,
    Flickering like dying lamps in sepulchres!
    Haggard as spectres--vision-like and dumb,
      Dark with the pomp of Death, and moving slow,
    Towards that sad lair the pale Procession come
      Where the Grave closes on the Night below.

    2.

      With dim, deep sunken eye,
    Crutch'd on his staff, who trembles tottering by?
    As wrung from out the shatter'd heart, one groan
      Breaks the deep hush alone!
    Crush'd by the iron Fate, he seems to gather
      All life's last strength to stagger to the bier,
    And hearken----Do those cold lips murmur "Father?"
      The sharp rain, drizzling through that place of fear,
    Pierces the bones gnaw'd fleshless by despair,
    And the heart's horror stirs the silver hair.

    3.

    Fresh bleed the fiery wounds
      Through all that agonizing heart undone--
    Still on the voiceless lips "my Father" sounds,
      And still the childless Father murmurs "Son!"
    Ice-cold--ice-cold, in that white shroud he lies--
      Thy sweet and golden dreams all vanish'd there--
    The sweet and golden name of "Father" dies
      Into thy curse,--ice-cold--ice-cold--he lies
        Dead, what thy life's delight and Eden were!

    4.

    Mild, as when, fresh from the arms of Aurora,
      When the air like Elysium is smiling above,
    Steep'd in rose-breathing odours, the darling of Flora
      Wantons over the blooms on his winglets of love.--
    So gay, o'er the meads, went his footsteps in bliss,
      The silver wave mirror'd the smile of his face;
    Delight, like a flame, kindled up at his kiss,
      And the heart of the maid was the prey of his chase.

    5.

    Boldly he sprang to the strife of the world,
      As a deer to the mountain-top carelessly springs;
    As an eagle whose plumes to the sun are unfurl'd,
      Swept his Hope round the Heaven on its limitless wings.
    Proud as a war-horse that chafes at the rein,
      That kingly exults in the storm of the brave;
    That throws to the wind the wild stream of its mane,
      Strode he forth by the prince and the slave!

    6.

    Life, like a spring-day, serene and divine,
      In the star of the morning went by as a trance;
    His murmurs he drown'd in the gold of the wine,
      And his sorrows were borne on the wave of the dance.
    Worlds lay conceal'd in the hopes of his youth,
      When once he shall ripen to manhood and fame!
    Fond Father exult!--In the germs of his youth
      What harvests are destined for Manhood and Fame!

    7.

    Not to be was that Manhood!--The death-bell is knelling
      The hinge of the death-vault creaks harsh on the ears--
    How dismal, O Death, is the place of thy dwelling!
      Not to be was that Manhood!--Flow on bitter tears!
    Go, beloved, thy path to the sun,
      Rise, world upon world, with the perfect to rest;
    Go--quaff the delight which thy spirit has won,
      And escape from our grief in the halls of the blest.

    8.

    Again (in that thought what a healing is found!)
      To meet in the Eden to which thou art fled!--
    Hark, the coffin sinks down with a dull, sullen sound,
      And the ropes rattle over the sleep of the dead.
    And we cling to each other!--O Grave, he is thine!
      The eye tells the woe that is mute to the ears--
    And we dare to resent what we grudge to resign,
      Till the heart's sinful murmur is choked in its tears.

      Pale at its ghastly noon,
    Pauses above the death-still wood--the moon!
    The night-sprite, sighing, through the dim air stirs;
      The clouds descend in rain;
      Mourning, the wan stars wane,
    Flickering like dying lamps in sepulchres.
    The dull clods swell into the sullen mound;
      Earth, one look yet upon the prey we gave!
    The Grave locks up the treasure it has found;
    Higher and higher swells the sullen mound--
      Never gives back the Grave!

       *       *       *       *       *


A GROUP IN TARTARUS.

    Hark, as hoarse murmurs of a gathering sea--
      As brooks that howling through black gorges go,
    Groans sullen, hollow, and eternally,
      One wailing Woe!
    Sharp Anguish shrinks the shadows there;
    And blasphemous Despair
    Yells its wild curse from jaws that never close;
      And ghastly eyes for ever
      Stare on the bridge of the relentless River,
    Or watch the mournful wave as year on year it flows,
      And ask each other, with parch'd lips that writhe
    Into a whisper, "When the end shall be!"
      The _end_?--Lo, broken in Time's hand the scythe,
    And round and round revolves Eternity!

       *       *       *       *       *


ELYSIUM.

    Past the despairing wail--
    And the bright banquets of the Elysian Vale
      Melt every care away!
    Delight, that breathes and moves for ever,
    Glides through sweet fields like some sweet river!
      Elysian life survey!
    There, fresh with youth, o'er jocund meads,
    His youngest west-winds blithely leads
      The ever-blooming May.
    Thorough gold-woven dreams goes the dance of the Hours,
    In space without bounds swell the soul and its powers,
    And Truth, with no veil, gives her face to the day,
    And joy to-day and joy to-morrow,
      But wafts the airy soul aloft;
    The very name is lost to Sorrow,
      And Pain is Rapture tuned more exquisitely soft.
    Here the Pilgrim reposes the world-weary limb,
    And forgets in the shadow, cool-breathing and dim,
      The load he shall bear never more;
    Here the Mower, his sickle at rest, by the streams,
    Lull'd with harp-strings, reviews, in the calm of his dreams,
      The fields, when the harvest is o'er.
    Here, He, whose ears drank in the battle-roar,
    Whose banners stream'd upon the startled wind
      A thunder-storm,--before whose thunder tread
    The mountains trembled,--in soft sleep reclined,
      By the sweet brook that o'er its pebbly bed
    In silver plays, and murmurs to the shore,
    Hears the stern clangour of wild spears no more!
    Here the true Spouse the lost-beloved regains,
    And on the enamell'd couch of summer-plains
      Mingles sweet kisses with the west-wind's breath.
    Here, crown'd at last--Love never knows decay,
    Living through ages its one BRIDAL DAY,
    Safe from the stroke of Death!

       *       *       *       *       *


COUNT EBERHARD, THE GRUMBLER, OF WURTEMBERG.

    Ha, ha I take heed--ha, ha! take heed,[10]
      Ye knaves both South and North!
    For many a man both bold in deed
    And wise in peace, the land to lead,
      Old Swabia has brought forth.

    Proud boasts your Edward and your Charles,
      Your Ludwig, Frederick--are!
    Yet Eberhard's worth, ye bragging carles!
    Your Ludwig, Frederick, Edward, Charles--
      A thunder-storm in war.

    And Ulrick, too, his noble son,
      Ha, ha! his might ye know;
    Old Eberhard's boast, his noble son,
    Not he the boy, ye rogues, to run,
      How stout soe'er the foe!

    The Reutling lads with envy saw
      Our glories, day by day;
    The Reutling lads shall give the law--
    The Reutling lads the sword shall draw--
      O Lord--how hot were they!

    Out Ulrick went and beat them not--
      To Eberhard back he came--
    A lowering look young Ulrick got--
    Poor lad, his eyes with tears were hot--
      He hung his head for shame.

    "Ho--ho"--thought he--"ye rogues beware,
      Nor you nor I forget--
    For by my father's beard I swear
    Your blood shall wash the blot I bear,
      And Ulrick pay you yet!"

    Soon came the hour! with steeds and men
      The battle-field was gay;
    Steel closed in steel at Duffingen--
    And joyous was our stripling then,
      And joyous the hurra!

    "The battle lost" our battle-cry;
      The foe once more advances:
    As some fierce whirlwind cleaves the sky,
    We skirr, through blood and slaughter, by,
      Amidst a night of lances!

    On, lion-like, grim Ulrick sweeps--
      Bright shines his hero-glaive--
    Her chase before him Fury keeps,
    Far-heard behind him, Anguish weeps,
      And round him--is the Grave!

    Woe--woe! it gleams--the sabre-blow--
      Swift-sheering down it sped--
    Around, brave hearts the buckler throw--
    Alas! our boast in dust is low!
      Count Eberhard's boy is dead!

    Grief checks the rushing Victor-van--
      Fierce eyes strange moisture know--
    On rides old Eberhard, stern and wan,
    "My son is like another man--
      March, children, on the Foe!"

    And fiery lances whirr'd around,
      Revenge, at least, undying--
    Above the blood-red clay we bound--
    Hurrah! the burghers break their ground,
      Through vale and woodland flying!

    Back to the camp, behold us throng,
      Flags stream, and bugles play--
    Woman and child with choral song,
    And men, with dance and wine, prolong
      The warrior's holyday.

    And our old Count--and what doth he?
      Before him lies his son,
    Within his lone tent, lonelily,
    The old man sits with eyes that see
      Through one dim tear--his son!

    So heart and soul, a loyal band,
      Count Eberhard's band, we are!
    His front the tower that guards the land,
    A thunderbolt his red right hand--
      His eye a guiding star!

    Then take ye heed--Aha! take heed,
      Ye knaves both South and North!
    For many a man, both bold in deed
    And wise in peace, the land to lead,
      Old Swabia has brought forth!

    [10] Of the two opening lines we subjoin the original--to the
    vivacity and spirit of which it is, perhaps, impossible to do
    justice in translation:--

        "Ihr--Ihr dort aussen in der Welt,
        Die Nasen einges pannt!"

    Eberhard, Count of Wurtemberg, reigned from 1344 to 1392.
    Schiller was a Swabian, and this poem seems a patriotic
    effusion to exalt one of the heroes of his country, of whose
    fame (to judge by the lines we have just quoted) the rest of
    the Germans might be less reverentially aware.

       *       *       *       *       *



TO A MORALIST.

    Are the sports of our youth so displeasing?
      Is love but the folly you say?
    Benumb'd with the Winter, and freezing,
      You scold at the revels of May.

    For you once a nymph had her charms,
      And oh! when the waltz you were wreathing,
    All Olympus embraced in your arms--
      All its nectar in Julia's breathing.

    If Jove at that moment had hurl'd
      The earth in some other rotation,
    Along with your Julia whirl'd,
      You had felt not the shock of creation.

    Learn this--that Philosophy beats
      Sure time with the pulse--quick or slow
    As the blood from the heyday retreats,--
      But it cannot make gods of us--No!

    It is well, icy Reason should thaw
      In the warm blood of Mirth now and then,
    The Gods for themselves have a law
      Which they never intended for men.

    The spirit is bound by the ties
      Of its jailer, the Flesh--if I can
    Not reach, as an angel, the skies,
      Let me feel, on the earth, as a Man.

       *       *       *       *       *


ROUSSEAU.[11]

    Oh, Monument of Shame to this our time,
    Dishonouring record to thy Mother Clime!
    Hail, Grave of Rousseau! Here thy sorrows cease.
    Freedom and Peace from earth and earthly strife!
    Vainly, sad seeker, didst thou search through life
    To find--(found now)--the Freedom and the Peace.
    When will the old wounds scar? In the dark age
    Perish'd the wise. Light came; how fares the sage?
    There's no abatement of the bigot's rage.
    Still as the wise man bled, he bleeds again.
    Sophists prepared for Socrates the bowl--
    And Christians drove the steel through Rousseau's soul--
    Rousseau who strove to render Christians--men.

    [11] Schiller lived to reverse, in the third period of his
    intellectual career, many of the opinions expressed in the
    first. The sentiment conveyed in these lines on Rousseau is
    natural enough to the author of "The Robbers," but certainly
    not to the poet of "Wallenstein" and the "Lay of the Bell." We
    confess we doubt the maturity of any mind that can find either
    a saint or a martyr in Jean Jacques.

       *       *       *       *       *


FORTUNE AND WISDOM.

    In a quarrel with her lover
      To Wisdom Fortune flew;
    "I'll all my hoards discover--
      Be but my friend--to you.
    Like a mother I presented
      To one each fairest gift,
    Who still is discontented,
      And murmurs at my thrift.
    Come, let's be friends. What say you?
      Give up that weary plough,
    My treasures shall repay you,
      For both I have enow!"
    "Nay, see thy Friend betake him
      To death from grief for thee--
    _He_ dies if thou forsake him--
      Thy gifts are nought to _me_!"

       *       *       *       *       *


THE INFANTICIDE.

    1.

    Hark where the bells toll, chiming, dull and steady,
      The clock's slow hand hath reach'd the appointed time.
    Well, be it so--prepare! my soul is ready,
      Companions of the grave--the rest for crime!
    Now take, O world! my last farewell--receiving
      My parting kisses--in these tears they dwell!
    Sweet are thy poisons while we taste believing,
      Now we are quits--heart-poisoner, fare-thee-well!

    2.

    Farewell, ye suns that once to joy invited,
      Changed for the mould beneath the funeral shade
    Farewell, farewell, thou rosy Time delighted,
      Luring to soft desire the careless maid.
    Pale gossamers of gold, farewell, sweet-dreaming
      Fancies--the children that an Eden bore!
    Blossoms that died while dawn itself was gleaming,
      Opening in happy sunlight never more.

    3.

    Swanlike the robe which Innocence bestowing,
      Deck'd with the virgin favours, rosy fair,
    In the gay time when many a young rose glowing,
      Blush'd through the loose train of the amber hair.
    Woe, woe! as white the robe that decks me now--
      The shroud-like robe Hell's destined victim wears;
    Still shall the fillet bind this burning brow--
      _That_ sable braid the Doomsman's hand prepares!

    4.

    Weep, ye _who never fell_--for whom, unerring,
      The soul's white lilies keep their virgin hue,
    Ye who when thoughts so danger-sweet are stirring,
      Take the stern strength that Nature gives the few
    Woe, for too human was this fond heart's feeling--
      Feeling!--my sin's avenger[12] doom'd to be;
    Woe--for the false man's arm around me stealing,
      Stole the lull'd Virtue, charm'd to sleep, from me.

    5.

    Ah, he perhaps shall, round another sighing,
      (Forgot the serpents stinging at my breast,)
    Gaily, when I in the dumb grave am lying,
      Pour the warm wish, or speed the wanton jest,
    Or play, perchance, with his new maiden's tresses,
      Answer the kiss her lip enamour'd brings,
    When the dread block the head he cradled presses,
      And high the blood his kiss once fever'd springs.

    6.

    Thee, Francis, Francis,[13] league on league, shall follow
      The death-dirge of the Lucy once so dear;
    From yonder steeple, dismal, dull, and hollow,
      Shall knell the warning horror on thy ear.
    On thy fresh leman's lips when Love is dawning,
      And the lisp'd music glides from that sweet well--
    Lo, in that breast a red wound shall be yawning,
      And, in the midst of rapture, warn of hell!

    7.

    Betrayer, what! thy soul relentless closing
      To grief--the woman-shame no art can heal--
    To that small life beneath my heart reposing!
      Man, man, the wild beast for its young can feel!
    Proud flew the sails--receding from the land,
      I watch'd them waning from the wistful eye,
    Round the gay maids on Seine's voluptuous strand,
      Breathes the false incense of his fatal sigh.

    8.

    And there the Babe! there, on the mother's bosom,
      Lull'd in its sweet and golden rest it lay,
    Fresh in life's morning as a rosy blossom,
      It smiled, poor harmless one, my tears away.
    Deathlike yet lovely, every feature speaking
      In such dear calm and beauty to my sadness,
    And cradled still the mother's heart, in breaking,
      The soft'ning love and the despairing madness.

    9.

    "Woman, where is my father?"--freezing through me,
      Lisp'd the mute Innocence with thunder-sound;
    "Woman, where is thy husband?"--called unto me,
      In every look, word, whisper, busying round!
    For thee, poor child, there is no father's kiss.
      He fondleth _other_ children on his knee.
    How thou wilt curse our momentary bliss,
      When Bastard on thy name shall branded be!

    10.

    Thy mother--oh, a hell her heart concealeth,
      Lone-sitting, lone in social Nature's All!
    Thirsting for that glad fount thy love revealeth,
      While still thy look the glad fount turns to gall.
    In every infant cry my soul is heark'ning,
      The haunting happiness for ever o'er,
    And all the bitterness of death is dark'ning
      The heavenly looks that smiled mine eyes before.

    11.

    Hell, if my sight those looks a moment misses--
      Hell, when my sight upon those looks is turn'd--
    The avenging furies madden in _thy_ kisses,
      That slept in _his_ what time my lips they burn'd.
    Out from their graves his oaths spoke back in thunder!
      The perjury stalk'd like murder in the sun--
    For ever--God!--sense, reason, soul, sunk under--
      The deed was done!

    12.

    Francis, O Francis! league on league, shall chase thee
      The shadows hurrying grimly on thy flight--
    Still with their icy arms they shall embrace thee,
      And mutter thunder in thy dream's delight!
    Down from the soft stars, in their tranquil glory,
      Shall look thy dead child with a ghastly stare;
    That shape shall haunt thee in its cerements gory,
      And scourge thee back from heaven--its home is there!

    13.

    Lifeless--how lifeless!--see, oh see, before me
      It lies cold--stiff!--O God!--and with that blood
    I feel, as swoops the dizzy darkness o'er me,
      Mine own life mingled--ebbing in the flood--
    Hark, at the door they knock--more loud within me--
      More awful still--its sound the dread heart gave!
    Gladly I welcome the cold arms that win me--
      Fire, quench thy tortures in the icy grave!

    14.

    Francis--a God that pardons dwells in heaven--
      Francis, the sinner--yes--she pardons thee--
    So let my wrongs unto the earth be given:
      Flame seize the wood!--it burns--it kindles--see!
    There--there his letters cast--behold are ashes--
      His vows--the conquering fire consumes them here:
    His kisses--see--see all--all are only ashes--
      All, all--the all that once on earth were dear!

    15.

    Trust not the roses which your youth enjoyeth,
      Sisters, to man's faith, changeful as the moon!
    Beauty to me brought guilt--its bloom destroyeth:
      Lo, in the judgment court I curse the boon:
    Tears in the headsman's gaze--what tears?--tis spoken!
      Quick, bind mine eyes--all soon shall be forgot--
    Doomsman--the lily hast thou never broken?
      Pale doomsman--tremble not!

    [12] "Und Empfindung soll mein Richtschwert seyn." A line of
    great vigour in the original, but which, if literally
    translated, would seem extravagant in English.

    [13] Joseph, in the original.

[The poem we have just concluded was greatly admired at the time of its
first publication, and it so far excels in art most of the earlier
efforts by the author, that it attains one of the highest secrets in
true pathos. It produces interest for the _criminal_ while creating
terror for the _crime_. This, indeed, is a triumph in art never achieved
but by the highest genius. The inferior writer, when venturing upon the
grandest stage of passion, (which unquestionably exists in the
delineation of great guilt as of heroic virtue,) falls into the error
either of gilding the crime in order to produce sympathy for the
criminal, or, in the spirit of a spurious morality, of involving both
crime and criminal in a common odium. It is to discrimination between
the doer and the deed, that we owe the sublimest revelations of the
human heart: in this discrimination lies the key to the emotions
produced by the Oedipus and Macbeth. In the brief poem before us a
whole drama is comprehended. Marvellous is the completeness of the
pictures it presents--its mastery over emotions the most opposite--its
fidelity to nature in its exposition of the disordered and despairing
mind in which tenderness becomes cruelty, and remorse for error tortures
itself into scarce conscious crime.

But the art employed, though admirable of its kind, still falls short of
the perfection which, in his later works, Schiller aspired to achieve,
viz. the point at which _Pain_ ceases. The tears which Tragic Pathos,
when purest and most elevated, calls forth, ought not to be tears of
pain. In the ideal world, as Schiller has inculcated, even sorrow should
have its charm--all that harrows, all that revolts, belongs but to that
inferior school in which Schiller's fiery youth formed itself for nobler
grades--the school "of Storm and Pressure"--(Stürm und Dräng--as the
Germans have expressively described it.) If the reader will compare
Schiller's poem of the 'Infanticide,' with the passages which represent
a similar crime in the Medea, (and the author of 'Wallenstein' deserves
comparison even with Euripides,) he will see the distinction between the
art that seeks an _elevated_ emotion, and the art which is satisfied
with creating an _intense_ one. In Euripides, the detail--the
reality--all that can degrade terror into pain--are loftily dismissed.
The Titan grandeur of the Sorceress removes us from too close an
approach to the crime of the unnatural Mother--the emotion of pity
changes into awe--just at the pitch before the coarse sympathy of actual
pain can be effected. And it is the avoidance of reality--it is the
all-purifying Presence of the Ideal, which make the vast distinction in
our emotions between following, with shocked and displeasing pity, the
crushed, broken-hearted, mortal criminal to the scaffold, and
gazing--with an awe which has pleasure of its own--upon the Mighty
Murderess--soaring out of the reach of Humanity, upon her Dragon Car!]

       *       *       *       *       *


THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE.

A HYMN.

    Blessed through love are the Gods above--
      Through love like the Gods may man be;
    Heavenlier through love is the heaven above,
      Through love like a heaven earth can be!
    Once, as the poet sung,
      In Pyrrha's time, 'tis known,
    From rocks Creation sprung,
      And Men leapt up from stone;
    Rock and stone, in night
      The souls of men were seal'd,
    Heaven's diviner light
      Not as yet reveal'd;
    As yet the Loves around them
    Had never shone--nor bound them
      With their rosy rings;
    As yet their bosoms knew not
    Soft song--and music grew not
      Out of the silver strings.
    No gladsome garlands cheerily
      Were love-y-woven then;
    And o'er Elysium drearily
      The May-time flew for men;[14]
    The morning rose ungreeted
      From ocean's joyless breast;
    Unhail'd the evening fleeted
      To ocean's joyless breast--
    Wild through the tangled shade,
    By clouded moons they stray'd,
      The iron race of Men!
    Sources of mystic tears,
    Yearnings for starry spheres,
      No God awaken'd then!

    Lo, mildly from the dark-blue water,
    Comes forth the Heaven's divinest Daughter,
      Borne by the Nymphs fair-floating o'er
      To the intoxicated shore!
    Like the light-scattering wings of morning
    Soars universal May, adorning
    As from the glory of that birth
    Air and the ocean, heaven and earth!
    Day's eye looks laughing, where the grim
    Midnight lay coil'd in forests dim;
    And gay narcissuses are sweet
    Wherever glide those holy feet--
      Now, pours the bird that haunts the eve
    The earliest song of love,
      Now in the heart--their fountain--heave
    The waves that murmur love.
    O blest Pygmalion--blest art thou--
    It melts, it glows, thy marble now!
    O Love, the God, thy world is won!
    Embrace thy children, Mighty One.

    Blessed through love are the Gods above--
      Through love like the Gods may man be;
    Heavenlier through love is the heaven above,
      Through love like a heaven earth can be.

    Where the nectar-bright streams,
    Like the dawn's happy dreams,
    Eternally one holiday,
    The life of the Gods glides away.
    Throned on his seat sublime,
    Looks He whose years know not time;
    At his nod, if his anger awaken,
    At the wave of his hair all Olympus is shaken.
    Yet He from the throne of his birth,
    Bow'd down to the sons of the earth,
    Through dim Arcadian glades to wander sighing,
      Lull'd into dreams of bliss--
      Lull'd by his Leda's kiss
    Lo, at his feet the harmless thunders lying!

    The Sun's majestic coursers go
      Along the Light's transparent plain,
      Curb'd by the Day-god's golden rein;
    The nations perish at his bended bow;
      Steeds that majestic go,
      Death from the bended bow,
      Gladly he leaves above--
      For Melody and Love!
    Low bend the dwellers of the sky,
    When sweeps the stately Juno by;
    Proud in her car, the Uncontroll'd
      Curbs the bright birds that breast the air,
    As flames the sovereign crown of gold
      Amidst the ambrosial waves of hair--
    Ev'n thou, fair Queen of Heaven's high throne,
    Hast Love's subduing sweetness known;
    From all her state, the Great One bends
      To charm the Olympian's bright embraces,
    The Heart-Enthraller only lends
      The rapture-cestus of the Graces!

    Blessed through love are the Gods above--
      Through love like a God may man be;
    Heavenlier through love is the heaven above,
      Through love like a heaven earth can be!

    Love can sun the Realms of Night--
    Orcus owns the magic might--
    Peaceful where She sits beside,
    Smiles the swart King on his Bride;
    Hell feels the smile in sudden light--
    Love can sun the Realms of Night.
    Heavenly o'er the startled Hell,
    Holy, where the Accursed dwell,
      O Thracian, went thy silver song!
    Grim Minos, with unconscious tears,
    Melts into mercy as he hears--
    The serpents in Megara's hair,
    Kiss, as they wreathe enamour'd there;
      All harmless rests the madding thong;--
    From the torn breast the Vulture mute
    Flies, scared before the charmèd lute--
    Lull'd into sighing from their roar
    The dark waves woo the listening shore--
    Listening the Thracian's silver song!--
    Love was the Thracian's silver song!

    Blessed through love are the Gods above--
      Through love like a God may man be;
    Heavenlier through love is the heaven above--
      Through love like a heaven earth can be!

    Through Nature blossom-strewing,
    _One_ footstep we are viewing,
      One flash from golden pinions!--
    If from Heaven's starry sea,
      If from the moonlit sky;
    If from the Sun's dominions,
      Look'd not Love's laughing eye;
    Then Sun and Moon and Stars would be
    Alike, without one smile for me!
      But, oh, wherever Nature lives
        Below, around, above--
      Her happy eye the mirror gives
        To thy glad beauty, Love!

    Love sighs through brooklets silver-clear,
      Love bids their murmur woo the vale;
    Listen, O list! Love's soul ye hear
      In his own earnest nightingale.
    No sound from Nature ever stirs,
    But Love's sweet voice is heard with hers!
    Bold Wisdom, with her sunlit eye,
    Retreats when love comes whispering by--
      For Wisdom's weak to love!
    To victor stern or monarch proud,
    Imperial Wisdom never bow'd
      The knee she bows to Love!
    Who through the steep and starry sky,
    Goes onward to the gods on high,
      Before thee, hero-brave?
    Who halves for thee the land of Heaven;
    Who shows thy heart, Elysium, given
      Through the flame-rended Grave?
    Below, if we were blind to Love,
    Say, should we soar o'er Death, above?
    Would the weak soul, did Love forsake her,
    E'er gain the wing to seek the Maker?
    Love, only Love, can guide the creature
    Up to the Father-fount of Nature;
    What were the soul did Love forsake her?
    Love guides the Mortal to the Maker!

    Blessed through love are the Gods above--
      Through love like a God may man be:
    Heavenlier through love is the heaven above,
      Through love like a heaven earth can be!

    [14] "The World was sad, the garden was a wild,
         And Man, the Hermit, sigh'd--till Woman smiled."
                                   CAMPBELL.

       *       *       *       *       *


FANTASIE TO LAURA.

    What, Laura, say, the vortex that can draw
      Body to body in its strong control;
    Beloved Laura, what the charmèd law
      That to the soul attracting plucks the soul?
    It is the charm that rolls the stars on high,
      For ever round the sun's majestic blaze--
    When, gay as children round their parent, fly
      Their circling dances in delighted maze.
    Still, every star that glides its gladsome course,
      Thirstily drinks the luminous golden rain;
    Drinks the fresh vigour from the fiery source,
      As limbs imbibe life's motion from the brain;
    With sunny motes, the sunny motes united
      Harmonious lustre both receive and give,
    Love spheres with spheres still interchange delighted,
      Only through love the starry systems live.
    Take love from Nature's universe of wonder,
      Each jarring each, rushes the mighty All.
    See, back to Chaos shock'd, Creation thunder;
      Weep, starry Newton--weep the giant fall!
    Take from the spiritual scheme that Power away,
      And the still'd body shrinks to Death's abode.
    Never--love _not_--would blooms revive for May,
      And, love extinct, all life were dead to God.
    And what the charm that at my Laura's kiss,
      Pours the diviner brightness to the cheek;
    Makes the heart bound more swiftly to its bliss,
      And bids the rushing blood the magnet seek--
    Out from their bounds swell nerve, and pulse, and sense,
      The veins in tumult would their shores o'erflow;
    Body to body rapt--and charmèd thence,
      Soul drawn to soul with intermingled glow.
    Mighty alike to sway the flow and ebb
      Of the inanimate Matter, or to move
    The nerves that weave the Arachnèan web
      Of Sentient Life--rules all-pervading Love!
    Ev'n in the Moral World, embrace and meet
      Emotions--Gladness clasps the extreme of Care;
    And Sorrow, at the worst, upon the sweet
      Breast of young Hope, is thaw'd from its despair.
    Of sister-kin to melancholy Woe,
      Voluptuous Pleasure comes, and with the birth
    Of her gay children, (golden Wishes,) lo,
      Night flies, and sunshine settles on the earth![15]
    The same great Law of Sympathy is given
      To Evil as to Good, and if we swell
    The dark account that life incurs with Heaven,
      'Tis that our Vices are thy Wooers, Hell!
    In turn those Vices are embraced by Shame
      And fell Remorse, the twin Eumenides.
    Danger still clings in fond embrace to Fame,
      Mounts on her wing, and flies where'er she flees.
    Destruction marries its dark self to Pride,
      Envy to Fortune: when Desire most charms,
    'Tis that her brother Death is by her side,
      For him she opens those voluptuous arms.
    The very Future to the Past but flies
      Upon the wings of Love--as I to thee;
    O, long swift Saturn, with unceasing sighs,
      Hath sought his distant bride, Eternity!
    When--so I heard the oracle declare--
      When Saturn once shall clasp that bride sublime,
    Wide-blazing worlds shall light his nuptials there--
      'Tis thus Eternity shall wed with Time.
    In _those_ shall be _our_ nuptials! ours to share
      _That_ bridenight, waken'd by no jealous sun;
    Since Time, Creation, Nature, but declare
      Love--in our love rejoice, Beloved One!

    [15] Literally, "the eye beams its sun-splendour," or, "beams
    like a sun." For the construction that the Translator has put
    upon the original (which is extremely obscure) in the preceding
    lines of the stanza, he is indebted to Mr Carlyle. The general
    meaning of the Poet is, that Love rules all things in the
    inanimate or animate creation; that, even in the moral world,
    opposite emotions or principles meet and embrace each other.
    The idea is pushed into an extravagance natural to the youth,
    and redeemed by the passion, of the Author. But the connecting
    links are so slender, nay, so frequently omitted, in the
    original, that a certain degree of paraphrase in many of the
    stanzas is absolutely necessary to supply them, and render the
    general sense and spirit of the poem intelligible to the
    English reader.

       *       *       *       *       *


TO THE SPRING.

    Welcome, gentle Stripling,
      Nature's darling, thou--
    With thy basket full of blossoms,
      A happy welcome now!
    Aha!--and thou returnest,
      Heartily we greet thee--
    The loving and the fair one,
      Merrily we meet thee!
    Think'st thou of my Maiden
      In thy heart of glee?
    I love her yet the Maiden--
      And the Maiden yet loves me!
    For the Maiden, many a blossom
      I begg'd--and not in vain;
    I came again, a-begging,
      And thou--thou giv'st again:
    Welcome, gentle stripling,
      Nature's darling thou--
    With thy basket full of blossoms,
      A happy welcome, now!

       *       *       *       *       *



NATURAL HISTORY OF SALMON AND SEA-TROUT.

    [_On the Growth of Grilse and Salmon_. By Mr Andrew Young,
    Invershin, Sutherlandshire. (Transactions of the Royal Society
    of Edinburgh. Vol. XV. Part III.) Edinburgh, 1843.]

    [_On the Growth and Migrations of the Sea-Trout of the Solway_.
    By Mr John Shaw, Drumlanrig. (Ibid.) Edinburgh, 1843.]


The salmon is undoubtedly the finest and most magnificent of our
fresh-water fishes, or rather of those _anadromous_ kinds which, in
accordance with the succession of the seasons, seek alternately the
briny sea and the "rivers of water." It is also the most important, both
in a commercial and culinary point of view as well as the most highly
prized by the angler as an object of exciting recreation.
Notwithstanding these and other long-continued claims upon our
consideration, a knowledge of its natural history and habits has
developed itself so slowly, that little or nothing was precisely
ascertained till very recently regarding either its early state or its
eventual changes. The salmon-trout, in certain districts of almost equal
value with the true salmon, was also but obscurely known to naturalists,
most of whom, in truth, are too apt to satisfy themselves rather by the
extension than the increase of knowledge. They hand down to posterity,
in their barren technicalities, a great deal of what is neither new nor
true, even in relation to subjects which lie within the sphere of
ordinary observation,--to birds and beasts, which almost dwell among us,
and give utterance, by articulate or intelligible sounds, to a vast
variety of instinctive, and as it were explanatory emotions:--what
marvel, then, that they should so often fail to inform us of what we
desire to know regarding the silent, because voiceless, inhabitants of
the world of waters?

But that which naturalists have been unable to accomplish, has, so far
as concerns the two invaluable species just alluded to, been achieved by
others with no pretension to the name; and we now propose to present our
readers with a brief sketch of what we conceive to be the completed
biography of salmon and sea-trout. In stating that our information has
been almost entirely derived from the researches of practical men, we
wish it to be understood, and shall afterwards endeavour to demonstrate,
that these researches have, nevertheless, been conducted upon those
inductive principles which are so often characteristic of natural
acuteness of perception, when combined with candour of mind and honesty
of purpose. We believe it to be the opinion of many, that statements by
comparatively uneducated persons are less to be relied upon than those
of men of science. It may, perhaps, be somewhat difficult to define in
all cases what really constitutes a man of science. Many sensible people
suppose, that if a person pursues an original truth, and obtains
it--that is, if he ascertains a previously unknown or obscure fact of
importance, and states his observations with intelligence--he is
entitled to that character, whatever his station may be. For ourselves,
we would even say that if his researches are truly valuable, he is
himself all the more a man of science in proportion to the difficulties
or disadvantages by which his position in life may be surrounded.

The development and early growth of salmon, from the ovum to the smolt,
were first successfully investigated by Mr John Shaw of Drumlanrig, one
of the Duke of Buccleuch's gamekeepers in the south of Scotland. Its
subsequent progress from the smolt to the adult condition, through the
transitionary state of grilse, has been more recently traced, with
corresponding care, by Mr Andrew Young of Invershin, the manager of the
Duke of Sutherland's fisheries in the north. Although the fact of the
parr being the young of the salmon had been vaguely surmised by many,
and it was generally admitted that the smaller fish were never found to
occur except in streams or tributaries to which the grown salmon had, in
some way, the power of access, yet all who have any acquaintance with
the works of naturalists, will acknowledge that the parr was universally
described as a distinct species. It is equally certain that all who have
written upon the subject of smolts or salmon-fry, maintained that these
grew rapidly in fresh water, and made their way to the sea in the course
of a few weeks after they were hatched.

Now, Mr Shaw's discovery in relation to these matters is in a manner
twofold; first--he ascertained by a lengthened series of rigorous and
frequently-repeated experimental observations, that parr are the early
state of salmon, being afterwards converted into smolts; secondly,--he
proved that such conversion does not, under ordinary circumstances take
place until the second spring ensuing that in which the hatching has
occurred, by which time the young are _two years old_. The fact is, that
during early spring there are three distinct broods of parr or young
salmon in our rivers.

1st, We have those which, recently excluded from the ova, are still
invisible to common eyes; or, at least, are inconspicuous or
unobservable. Being weak, in consequence of their recent emergence from
the egg, and of extremely small dimensions, they are unable to withstand
the rapid flow of water, and so betake themselves to the gentler eddies,
and frequently enter "into the small hollows produced in the shingle by
the hoofs of horses which have passed the fords." In these and similar
resting-places, our little natural philosophers, instinctively aware
that the current of a stream is less below than above, and along the
sides than in the centre, remain for several months during spring, and
the earlier portion of the summer, till they gain such an increase of
size and strength as enables them to spread themselves abroad over other
portions of the river, especially those shallow places where the bottom
is composed of fine gravel. But at this time their shy and
shingle-seeking habits in a great measure screen them from the
observance of the uninitiated.

2dly, We have likewise, during the spring season, parr which have just
completed their first year. As these have gained little or no accession
of size during the winter months, owing to the low temperature both of
the air and water, and the consequent deficiency of insect food, their
dimensions are scarcely greater than at the end of the preceding
October: that is, they measure in length little more than three
inches.--(N.B. The old belief was that they grew nine inches in about
three weeks, and as suddenly sought the turmoil of the sea.) They
increase, however in size as the summer advances, and are then the
declared and admitted parr of anglers and other men.

3dly, Simultaneously with the two preceding broods, our rivers are
inhabited during March and April by parr which have completed their
second year. These measure six or seven inches in length, and in the
months of April and May they assume the fine silvery aspect which
characterizes their migratory condition,--in other words, they are
converted into smolts, (the admitted fry of salmon,) and immediately
make their way towards the sea.

Now, the fundamental error which pervaded the views of previous
observers of the subject, consisted in the sudden sequence which they
chose to establish between the hatching of the ova in early spring, and
the speedy appearance of the acknowledged salmon-fry in their lustrous
dress of blue and silver. Observing, in the first place, the hatching of
the ova, and, erelong, the seaward migration of the smolts, they
imagined these two facts to take place in the relation of immediate or
connected succession; whereas they had no more to do with each other
than an infant in the nursery has to do with his elder, though not very
ancient, brother, who may be going to school. The rapidity with which
the two-year-old parr are converted into smolts, and the timid habits of
the new-hatched fry, which render them almost entirely invisible during
the first few months of their existence,--these two circumstances
combined, have no doubt induced the erroneous belief that the silvery
smolts were the actual produce of the very season in which they are
first observed in their migratory dress: that is, that they were only a
few weeks old, instead of being upwards of two years. It is certainly
singular, however, that no enquirer of the old school should have ever
bethought himself of the mysterious fate of the two-year-old parr,
(supposing them not to be young salmon,) none of which, of course, are
visible after the smolts have taken their departure to the sea. If the
two fish, it may be asked, are not identical, how does it happen that
the one so constantly disappears along with the other? Yet no one
alleges that he has ever seen parr _as such_, making a journey towards
the sea "They cannot do so" says Mr Shaw, "because they have been
previously converted into smolts."

Mr Shaw's investigations were carried on for a series of years, both on
the fry as it existed naturally in the river, and on captive broods
produced from ova deposited by adult salmon, and conveyed to
ingeniously-constructed experimental ponds, in which the excluded young
were afterwards nourished till they threw off the livery of the parr,
and underwent their final conversion into smolts. When this latter
change took place, the migratory instinct became so strong that many of
them, after searching in vain to escape from their prison--the little
streamlet of the pond being barred by fine wire gratings--threw
themselves by a kind of parabolic somerset upon the bank and perished.
But, previous to this, he had repeatedly observed and recorded the
slowly progressive growth to which we have alluded. The value of the
parr, then, and the propriety of a judicious application of our
statutory regulations to the preservation of that small, and, as
hitherto supposed, insignificant fish, will be obvious without further
comment.[16]

    [16] Mr Shaw's researches include some curious physiological
    and other details, for an exposition of which our pages are not
    appropriate. But we shall here give the titles of his former
    papers. "An account of some Experiments and Observations on the
    Parr, and on the Ova of the Salmon, proving the Parr to be the
    Young of the Salmon."--_Edinburgh New Phil. Journ_. vol. xxi.
    p. 99. "Experiments on the Development and Growth of the Fry of
    the Salmon, from the Exclusion of the Ovum to the Age of Six
    Months."--_Ibid_. vol. xxiv. p. 165. "Account of Experimental
    Observations on the Development and Growth of Salmon Fry, from
    the Exclusion of the Ova to the Age of Two
    Years."--_Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh_, vol.
    xiv. part ii. (1840.) The reader will find an abstract of these
    discoveries in the No. of this Magazine for April 1840.

Having now exhibited the progress of the salmon fry from the ovum to the
smolt, our next step shall be to show the connexion of the latter with
the grilse. As no experimental observations regarding the future
dimensions of the _détenus_ of the ponds could be regarded as legitimate
in relation to the usual increase of the species, (any more than we
could judge of the growth of a young English guardsman in the prisons of
Verdun,) after the period of their natural migration to the sea, and as
Mr Shaw's distance from the salt water--twenty-five miles, we believe,
windings included--debarred his carrying on his investigations much
further with advantage, he wisely turned his attention to a different,
though cognate subject, to which we shall afterwards refer. We are,
however, fortunately enabled to proceed with our history of the
adolescent salmon by means of another ingenious observer already named,
Mr Andrew Young of Invershin.

It had always been the prevailing belief that smolts grew rapidly into
grilse, and the latter into salmon. But as soon as we became assured of
the gross errors of naturalists, and all other observers, regarding the
progress of the fry in fresh water, and how a few weeks had been
substituted for a period of a couple of years, it was natural that
considerate people should suspect that equal errors might pervade the
subsequent history of this important species. It appears, however, that
_marine_ influence (in whatever way it works) does indeed exercise a
most extraordinary effect upon those migrants from our upland streams,
and that the extremely rapid transit of a smolt to a grilse, and of the
latter to an adult salmon, is strictly true. Although Mr Young's labours
in this department differ from Mr Shaw's, in being rather confirmatory
than original, we consider them of great value, as reducing the subject
to a systematic form, and impressing it with the force and clearness of
the most successful demonstration.

Mr Young's first experiments were commenced as far back as 1836, and
were originally undertaken with a view to show whether the salmon of
each particular river, after descending to the sea, returned again to
their original spawning-beds, or whether, as some supposed, the main
body, returning coastwards from their feeding grounds in more distant
parts of the ocean, and advancing along our island shores, were merely
thrown into, or induced to enter, estuaries and rivers by accidental
circumstances; and that the numbers obtained in these latter localities
thus depended mainly on wind and weather, or other physical conditions,
being suitable to their upward progress at the time of their nearing the
mouths of the fresher waters. To settle this point, he caught and marked
all the spawned fish which he could obtain in the course of the winter
months during their sojourn in the rivers. As soon as he had hauled the
fish ashore, he made peculiar marks in their caudal fins by means of a
pair of nipping-irons, and immediately threw then back into the water.
In the course of the following fishing season great numbers were
recaptured on their return from the sea, each in its own river bearing
its peculiar mark. "We have also," Mr Young informs us, "another proof
of the fact, that the different breeds or races of salmon continue to
revisit their native streams. You are aware that the river Shin falls
into the Oykel at Invershin, and that the conjoined waters of these
rivers, with the Carron and other streams, form the estuary of the
Oykel, which flows into the more open sea beyond, or eastwards of the
bar, below the Gizzen Brigs. Now, were the salmon which enter the mouth
of the estuary at the bar thrown in merely by accident or chance, we
should expect to find the fish of all the various rivers which form the
estuary of the same average weight; for, if it were a mere matter of
chance, then a mixture of small and great would occur indifferently in
each of the interior streams. But the reverse of this is the case. The
salmon in the Shin will average from seventeen pounds to eighteen pounds
in weight, while those of the Oykel scarcely attain an average of half
that weight. I am, therefore, quite satisfied, as well by having marked
spawned fish descending to the sea, and caught them ascending the same
river, and bearing that river's mark, as by a long-continued general
observation of the weight, size, and even something of the form, that
every river has its own breed, and that breed continues, till captured
and killed, to return from year to year into its native stream."

We have heard of a partial exception to this instinctive habit, which,
however, essentially confirms the rule. We are informed that a Shin
salmon (recognized as such by its shape and size) was, on a certain
occasion, captured in the river Conon, a fine stream which flows into
the upper portion of the neighbouring Frith of Cromarty. It was marked
and returned to the river, and was taken _next day_ in its native stream
the Shin, having, on discovering its mistake, descended the Cromarty
Frith, skirted the intermediate portion of the outer coast by Tarbet
Ness, and ascended the estuary of the Oykel. The distance may be about
sixty miles. On the other hand, we are informed by a Sutherland
correspondent of a fact of another nature, which bears strongly upon the
pertinacity with which these fine fish endeavour to regain their
spawning ground. By the side of the river Helmsdale there was once a
portion of an old channel forming an angular bend with the actual river.
In summer, it was only partially filled by a detached or landlocked
pool, but in winter, a more lively communication was renewed by the
superabounding waters. This old channel was, however, not only resorted
to by salmon as a piece of spawning ground during the colder season of
the year, but was sought for again instinctively in summer during their
upward migration, when there was no water running through it. The fish
being, of course, unable to attain their object, have been seen, after
various aerial boundings, to fall, in the course of their exertions,
upon the dry gravel bank between the river and the pool of water, where
they were picked up by the considerate natives.

No sooner had Mr Young satisfied himself that the produce of a river
invariably returned to that river after descending to the sea, than he
commenced his operations upon the smolts--taking up the subject where it
was unavoidably left off by Mr Shaw[17]. His long-continued
superintendence of the Duke of Sutherland's fisheries in the north of
Scotland, and his peculiar position as residing almost within a few
yards of the noted river Shin, afforded advantages of which he was not
slow to make assiduous use. He has now performed numerous and varied
experiments, and finds that, notwithstanding the slow growth of parr in
fresh water, "such is the influence of the sea as a more enlarged and
salubrious sphere of life, that the very smolts which descend into it
from the rivers in spring, ascend into the fresh waters in the course of
the immediate summer as grilse, varying in size in proportion to the
length of their stay in salt water."

    [17] Mr Young has, however, likewise repeated and confirmed Mr
    Shaw's earlier experiments regarding the slow growth of salmon
    fry in fresh water, and the conversion of parr into smolts. We
    may add, that Sir William Jardine, a distinguished
    Ichthyologist and experienced angler, has also corroborated Mr
    Shaw's observations.

For example, in the spring of 1837, Mr Young marked a great quantity of
descending smolts, by making a perforation in their caudal fins with a
small pair of nipping-irons constructed for the purpose, and in the
ensuing months of June and July he recaptured a considerable number on
their return to the rivers, all in the condition of grilse, and varying
from 3lbs. to 8lbs., "according to the time which had elapsed since
their first departure from the fresh water, or, in other words, the
length of their sojourn in the sea." In the spring of 1842, he likewise
marked a number of descending smolts, by clipping off what is called the
adipose fin upon the back. In the course of the ensuing June and July,
he caught them returning up the river, bearing his peculiar mark, and
agreeing with those of 1837 both in respect to size, and the relation
which that size bore to the lapse of time.

The following list from Mr Young's note-book, affords a few examples of
the rate of growth:--

_List of Smolts marked in the River, and recaptured as Grilse on their
first ascent from the Sea._

 Period of marking.  | Period of recapture. | Weight when retaken.
---------------------+----------------------+----------------------
1842. April and May. |    1842. June 28.    |     4   lb.
  ...     ...        |          July 15.    |     5   lb
  ...     ...        |           ... 15.    |     5   lb.
  ...     ...        |           ... 25.    |     7   lb.[18]
  ...     ...        |           ... 25.    |     5   lb.
  ...     ...        |           ... 30.    |   3-1/2 lb.[18]

We may now proceed to consider the final change,--that of the grilse
into the adult salmon. We have just seen that smolts return to the
rivers as grilse, (of the weights above noted,) during the summer and
autumn of the same season in which they had descended for the first time
to the sea. Such as seek the rivers in the earlier part of summer are of
small size, because they have sojourned for but a short time in the
sea:--such as abide in the sea till autumn, attain of course a larger
size. But it appears to be an established, though till now an unknown
fact, that with the exception of the early state of parr, in which the
growth has been shown to be extremely slow, salmon actually never do
grow in fresh water at all, either as grilse or in the adult state. All
their growth in these two most important later stages, takes place
during their sojourn in the sea. "Not only," says Mr Young, "is this the
case, but I have also ascertained that they actually decrease in
dimensions after entering the river, and that the higher they ascend the
more they deteriorate both in weight and quality. In corroboration of
this I may refer to the extensive fisheries of the Duke of Sutherland,
where the fish of each station of the same river are kept distinct from
those of another station, and where we have had ample proof that salmon
habitually decrease in weight in proportion to their time and distance
from the sea."[19]

    [18] These two specimens are now preserved in the Museum of the
    Royal Society of Edinburgh.

    [19] The existence in the rivers during spring, of grilse which
    have spawned, and which weigh only three or four pounds, is
    itself a conclusive proof of this retardation of growth in
    fresh water. These fish had _run_, as anglers say--that is, had
    entered the rivers about midsummer of the preceding year--and
    yet had made no progress. Had they remained in the sea till
    autumn, their size on entering the fresh waters would have been
    much greater; or had they spawned early in winter, and
    descended speedily to the sea, they might have returned again
    to the river in spring _as small salmon_, while their more
    sluggish brethren of the same age were still in the streams
    under the form of grilse. All their growth, then, seems to take
    place during their sojourn in the sea, usually from eight to
    twelve weeks. The length of time spent in the salt waters, by
    grilse and salmon which have spawned, corresponds nearly to the
    time during which smolts remain in these waters; the former two
    returning as _clean_ salmon, the last-named making their first
    appearance in our rivers as grilse.

Mr Young commenced marking grilses, with a view to ascertain that they
became salmon, as far back as 1837, and has continued to do so ever
since, though never two seasons with the same mark. We shall here record
only the results of the two preceding years. In the spring of 1841, he
marked a number of spawned grilse soon after the conclusion of the
spawning period. Taking his "net and coble," he fished the river for the
special purpose, and all the spawned grilse of 4 lb. weight were marked
by putting a peculiarly twisted piece of wire through the dorsal fin.
They were immediately thrown into the river, and of course disappeared,
making their way downwards with other spawned fish towards the sea. "In
the course of the next summer we again caught several of those fish
which we had thus marked with wire as 4 lb. grilse, grown in the short
period of four or five months into beautiful full-formed salmon, ranging
from 9 lb. to 14 lb. in weight, the difference still depending on the
length of their sojourn in the sea."

In January 1842, he repeated the same process of marking 4 lb. grilse
which had spawned, and were therefore about to seek the sea; but,
instead of placing the wire in the back fin, he this year fixed it in
the upper lobe of the tail, or caudal fin. On their return from the sea,
he caught many of these quondam grilse converted into salmon as before.
The following lists will serve to illustrate the rate of growth:--


_List of Grilse marked after having spawned, and re-captured as Salmon,
on their second ascent from the Sea._

  Period of        Period of       Weight when    Weight when
   marking.        recapture.        marked.        retaken.

1841. Feb. 18.   1841.  June 23.      4 lbs.         9 lbs.
       ... 18.           ... 23.      4 lbs.        11 lbs.
       ... 18.           ... 25.      4 lbs.         9 lbs.
       ... 18.           ... 25.      4 lbs.        10 lbs.
       ... 18.          July 27.      4 lbs.        13 lbs.
       ... 18.           ... 28.      4 lbs.        10 lbs.
      March 4.          July  1.      4 lbs.        12 lbs.
       ...  4.           ...  1.      4 lbs.        14 lbs.
       ...  4.           ... 27.      4 lbs.        12 lbs.

1842. Jan. 29.   1842.  July  4.      4 lbs.         8 lbs.[20]
       ... 29.           ... 14.      4 lbs.         9 lbs.[20]
       ... 29.           ... 14.      4 lbs.         8 lbs.
      March 8.           ... 23.      4 lbs.         9 lbs.
      Jan. 29.           ... 29.      4 lbs.        11 lbs.
      March 8.          Aug.  4.      4 lbs.        10 lbs.
      Jan. 29.           ... 11.      4 lbs.        12 lbs.

During both these seasons, Mr Young informs us, he caught far more
marked grilse returning with the form and attributes of perfect salmon,
than are recorded in the preceding lists. "In many specimens the wires
had been torn from the fins, either by the action of the nets or other
casualties; and, although I could myself recognise distinctly that they
were the fish I had marked, I kept no note of them. All those recorded
in my lists returned and were captured with the twisted wires complete,
the same as the specimens transmitted for your examination."

    [20] These two specimens, with their wire marks _in situ_, may
    now be seen in the Museum of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

We agree with Mr Young in thinking that the preceding facts, viewed in
connexion with Mr Shaw's prior observations, entitle us to say, that we
are now well acquainted with the history and habits of the salmon, and
its usual rate of growth from the ovum to the adult state. The young are
hatched after a period which admits of considerable range, according to
the temperature of the season, or the modifying character of special
localities.[21] They usually burst the capsule of the egg in 90 to 100
days after deposition, but they still continue for a considerable time
beneath the gravel, with the yelk or vitelline portion of the egg
adhering to the body; and from this appendage, which Mr Shaw likens to a
red currant, they probably derive their sole nourishment for several
weeks. But though the lapse of 140 or even 150 days from the period of
deposition is frequently required to perfect the form of these little
fishes, which even then measure scarcely more than an inch in length,
their subsequent growth is still extremely slow; and the silvery aspect
of the smolt is seldom assumed till after the expiry of a couple of
years. The great mass of these smolts descend to the sea during the
months of April and May,--the varying range of the spawning and hatching
season carrying with it a somewhat corresponding range in the assumption
of the first signal change, and the consequent movement to the sea. They
return under the greatly enlarged form of grilse, as already stated, and
these grilse spawn that same season in common with the salmon, and then
both the one and the other re-descend into the sea in the course of the
winter or ensuing spring. They all return again to the rivers sooner or
later, in accordance, as we believe, with the time they had previously
left it after spawning, early or late. The grilse have now become salmon
by the time of their second ascent from the sea; and no further change
takes place in their character or attributes, except that such as
survive the snares of the fishermen, the wily chambers of the cruives,
the angler's gaudy hook, or the poacher's spear, continue to increase in
size from year to year. Such, however, is now the perfection of our
fisheries, and the facilities for conveying this princely species even
from our northern rivers, and the "distant islands of the sea," to the
luxurious cities of more populous districts, that we greatly doubt if
any salmon ever attains a good old age, or is allowed to die a natural
death. We are not possessed of sufficient data from which to judge
either of their natural term of life, or of their ultimate increase of
size. They are occasionally, though rarely, killed in Britain of the
weight of forty and even fifty pounds. In the comparatively unfished
rivers of Scandinavia large salmon are much more frequent, although the
largest we ever heard of was an English fish which came into the
possession of Mr Groves, of Bond Street. It was a female, and weighed
eighty-three pounds. In the year 1841, Mr Young marked a few spawned
salmon along with his grilse, employing as a distinctive mark copper
wire instead of brass. One of these, weighing twelve pounds, was marked
on the 4th of March, and was recaptured on returning from the sea on the
10th of July, weighing eighteen pounds. But as we know not whether it
made its way to the sea immediately after being marked, we cannot
accurately infer the rate of increase. It probably becomes slower every
year, after the assumption of the adult state. Why the salmon of one
river should greatly exceed the average weight of those of another into
which it flows, is a problem which we cannot solve. The fact, for
example, of the river Shin flowing from a large lake, with a course of
only a few miles, into the Oykel, although it accounts for its being an
_early_ river, owing to the receptive depth, and consequently higher
temperature of its great nursing mother, Loch Shin, in no way, so far at
least as we can see, explains the great size of the Shin fish, which are
taken in scores of twenty pounds' weight. They have little or nothing to
do with the loch itself, haunting habitually the brawling stream, and
spawning in the shallower fords, at some distance up, but still below
the great basin;[22] and there are no physical peculiarities which in
any way distinguish the Shin from many other lake born northern rivers,
where salmon do not average half the size.

    [21] Mr Shaw, for example, states the following various periods
    as those which he found to elapse between the deposition of the
    ova and the hatching of the fry--90, 101, 108, and 131 days. In
    the last instance, the average temperature of the river for
    eight weeks, had not exceeded 33°.

    [22] If we are rightly informed, salmon were not in the habit
    of spawning in the rivulets which run into Loch Shin, till
    under the direction of Lord Francis Egerton some full-grown
    fish were carried there previous to the breeding season. These
    spawned; and their produce, as was to be expected, after
    descending to the sea, returned in due course, and, making
    their way through the loch, ascended their native tributaries.

Leaving the country of the _Morer Chatt_ (the Celtic title of the Earls
of Sutherland) we shall now return to the retainer of the "bold
Buccleuch." We have already mentioned that Mr Shaw, having so
successfully illustrated the early history of salmon, next turned his
attention to a cognate subject, that of the sea-trout (_Salmo-trutta_?)
Although no positive observations of any value, anterior to those now
before us, had been made upon this species, it is obvious that as soon
as his discoveries regarding salmon fry had afforded, as it were, the
key to this portion of nature's secrets, it was easy for any one to
infer that the old notions regarding the former fish were equally
erroneous. Various modifications of these views took place accordingly;
but no one ascertained the truth by observation. Mr Shaw was, therefore,
entitled to proceed as if the matter were solely in his own hands; and
he makes no mention either of the "vain imaginations" of Dr Knox, the
more careful compilation of Mr Yarrell, or the still closer, but by no
means approximate calculations of Richard Parnell, M.D. In this he has
acted wisely, seeing that his own essay professes to be simply a
statement of facts, and not an historical exposition of the progress of
error.

It would, indeed, have been singular if two species, in many respects so
closely allied in their general structure any economy, had been found to
differ very materially in any essential point. It now appears, however,
that Mr Shaw's original discovery of the slow growth of salmon fry in
fresh water, applies equally to sea trout; and, indeed, his observations
on the latter are valuable not only in themselves, but as confirmatory
of his remarks upon the former species. The same principle has been
found to regulate the growth and migrations of both, and Mr Shaw's two
contributions thus mutually strengthen and support each other.

The sea trout is well known to anglers as one of the liveliest of all
the fishes subject to his lure. Two species are supposed by naturalists
to haunt our rivers--_Salmo eriox_, the bull trout of the Tweed,
comparatively rare on the western and northern coasts of Scotland, and
_Salmo trutta_, commonly called the sea or white trout, but, like the
other species, also known under a variety of provincial names, somewhat
vaguely applied. In its various and progressive stages, it passes under
the names of fry, smolt, orange-fin, phinock, herling, whitling,
sea-trout, and salmon-trout. It is likewise the "Fordwich trout" of
Izaak Walton, described by that poetical old piscator as "rare good
meat." As an article of diet it indeed ranks next to the salmon, and is
much superior in that respect to its near relation, _S. eriox_. It is
taken in the more seaward pools of our northern rivers, sometimes in
several hundreds at a single haul; and vast quantities, after being
boiled, and hermetically sealed in tin cases, are extensively consumed
both in our home and foreign markets. But, notwithstanding its great
commercial value, naturalists have failed to present us with any
accurate account of its consecutive history from the ovum to the adult
state. This desideratum we are now enabled to supply through Mr Shaw.

On the 1st of November 1839, this ingenious observer perceived a pair of
sea-trouts engaged together in depositing their spawn among the gravel
of one of the tributaries of the river Nith, and being unprovided at the
moment with any apparatus for their capture, he had recourse to his
fowling-piece. Watching the moment when they lay parallel to each other,
he fired across the heads of the devoted pair, and immediately secured
them both, although, as it afterwards appeared, rather by the influence
of concussion than the more immediate action of the shot. They were
about six inches under water. Having obtained a sufficient supply of the
impregnated spawn, he removed it in a bag of wire gauze to his
experimental ponds. At this period the temperature of the water was
about 47°, but in the course of the winter it ranged a few degrees
lower. By the fortieth day the embryo fish were visible to the naked
eye, and, on the 14th January, (seventy-five days after deposition,) the
fry were excluded from the egg. At this early period, the brood exhibit
no perceptible difference from that of the salmon, except that they are
somewhat smaller, and of paler hue. In two months they were an inch
long, and had then assumed those lateral markings so characteristic of
the young of all the known _Salmonidæ_. They increased in size slowly,
measuring only three inches in length by the month of October, at which
time they were nine months old. In January 1841, they had increased to
three and a half inches, exhibiting a somewhat defective condition
during the winter months, in one or more of which, Mr Shaw seems to
think, they scarcely grow at all. We need not here go through the entire
detail of these experiments.[23] In October (twenty-one months) they
measured six inches in length, and had lost those lateral bars, or
transverse markings, which characterise the general family in their
early state. At this period they greatly resembled certain varieties of
the common river-trout, and the males had now attained the age of sexual
completion, although none of the females had matured the roe. This
physiological fact is also observable in the true salmon. In the month
of May, three-fourths of the brood (being now upwards of two years old,
and seven inches long) assumed the fine clear silvery lustre which
characterises the migratory condition, being thus converted into smolts,
closely resembling those of salmon in their general aspect, although
easily to be distinguished by the orange tips of the pectoral fins, and
other characters with which we shall not here afflict our readers.

    [23] A complete series of specimens, from the day of hatching
    till about the middle of the sixth year, has been deposited by
    Mr Shaw in the Museum of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The natural economy of the sea-trout thus far approximates that of the
genuine salmon, but with the following exception. Mr Shaw is of opinion
that about one-fourth of each brood never assume the silvery lustre;
and, as they are never seen to migrate in a dusky state towards the sea,
he infers that a certain portion of the species may be permanent
residents in fresh water.[24] In this respect, then, they resemble the
river-trout, and afford an example of those numerous gradations, both of
form and instinct, which compose the harmonious chain of nature's
perfect kingdom. In support of this power of adaptation to fresh water
possessed by sea-trout, Mr Shaw refers to a statement by the late Dr
McCulloch, that these fish had become permanent inhabitants of a loch in
the island of Lismore, Argyllshire. Similar facts have been recorded by
other naturalists, though, upon the whole, in a somewhat vague and
inconclusive manner. We have it in our power to mention a very marked
example. When certain springs were conducted, about twenty years ago,
from the slopes of the Pentland Hills, near Edinburgh, into that city,
which Dr Johnson regarded as by no means abundantly supplied with the
"pure element of water," it was necessary to compensate the mill-owners
by another supply. Accordingly a valley, (the supposed scene of Allan
Ramsay's "Gentle Shepherd,") through which there flowed a small stream,
had a great embankment thrown across it. After this operation, of course
the waters of the upper portion of the stream speedily rose to a level
with the sluices, thus forming a small lake, commonly called the
"Compensation Pond." The flow of water now escapes by throwing itself
over the outer side of the embankment, which is lofty and precipitous,
in the form of a cataract, up which no fish can possibly ascend. Yet in
the pond itself we have recently ascertained the existence of sea-trout
in a healthy state, although such as we have examined, being young, were
of small size. These attributes, however, were all the more important as
proving the breeding condition of the parents in a state of prolonged
captivity. It is obvious that sea-trout must have made their way (in
fulfilment of their natural migratory instinct) into the higher portions
of the stream prior to the completion of the obstructing dam; and as
none could have ascended since, it follows that the individuals in
question (themselves and their descendants) must have lived and bred in
fresh water, without access to the sea, for a continuous period of
nearly twenty years. This is not only a curious fact in the natural
history of the species, but it is one of some importance in an
economical point of view. Sea-trout, as an article of diet, are much
more valuable than river-trout; and if it can be ascertained that they
breed freely, and live healthily, without the necessity of access to the
sea, it would then become the duty, as it would doubtless be the desire,
of those engaged in the construction of artificial ponds, to stock those
receptacles rather with the former than the latter.[25]

    [24] Mr Shaw informs us, moreover, that if those individuals
    which have assumed the silvery lustre be forcibly detained for
    a month or two in fresh water, they will resume the coloured
    coating which they formerly bore. The captive females, he adds,
    manifested symptoms of being in a breeding state by the
    beginning of the autumn of their third year. They were, in
    truth, at this time as old as _herlings_, though not of
    corresponding size, owing to the entire absence of marine
    agency.

    [25] Another interesting result may be noticed in connexion
    with this Compensation Pond. The original streamlet, like most
    others, was naturally stocked with small "burn-trout," which
    never exceeded a few ounces in weight, as their ultimate term
    of growth. But, in consequence of the formation above referred
    to, and the great increase of their productive feeding-ground,
    and tranquil places for repose and play, these tiny creatures
    have, in some instances, attained to an enormous size. We
    lately examined one which weighed six pounds. It was not a
    sea-trout, but a common fresh-water one--_Salmo fario_. This
    strongly exemplifies the conformable nature of fishes; that is,
    their power of adaptation to a change of external
    circumstances. It is as if a small Shetland pony, by being
    turned into a clover field, could be expanded into the gigantic
    dimensions of a brewer's horse.

Having narrated the result of Mr Shaw's experiment up to the migratory
state of his brood, we shall now refer to the further progress of the
species. This, of course, we can only do by turning our attention to the
corresponding condition of the fry in their natural places in the river.
So far back as the 9th of May 1836, our observer noticed salmon fry
descending seawards, and he took occasion to capture a considerable
number by admitting them into the salmon cruive. On examination, he
found about one-fifth of each shoal to be what he considered sea-trout.
Wisely regarding this as a favourable opportunity of ascertaining to
what extent they would afterwards "suffer a sea change," he marked all
the smolts of that species (about ninety in number) by cutting off the
whole of the adipose fin, and three-quarters of the dorsal. At a
distance, by the course of the river, of twenty-five miles from the sea,
he was not sanguine of recapturing many of these individuals, and in
this expectation he was not agreeably surprised by any better success
than he expected. However, on the 16th of July, exactly eighty days
afterwards, he recaptured as a _herling_ (the next progressive stage) an
individual bearing the marks he had inflicted on the young sea-trout in
the previous May. It measured twelve inches in length, and weighed ten
ounces. As the average weight of the migrating fry is about three and a
half ounces, it had thus gained an increase of six and a half ounces in
about eighty days' residence in salt water, supposing it to have
descended to the sea immediately after its markings were imposed. In
this condition of herlings or phinocks, young sea-trout enter many of
our rivers in great abundance in the months of July and August.

On the 1st of August 1837--fifteen months after being marked as fry, on
its way to the sea--another individual was caught, and recognised by the
absence of one fin, and the curtailment of another. This specimen, as
well as others, had no doubt returned, and escaped detection as a
herling, in 1836; but it was born for greater things, and when captured,
as above stated, weighed two pounds and a half. "He may be supposed,"
says Mr Shaw, "to represent pretty correctly the average size of
sea-trout on their second migration from the sea." In this state they
usually make their appearance in our rivers, (we refer at present
particularly to those of Scotland,) in greatest abundance in the months
of May and June. This view of the progress of the species clearly
accounts for a fact well known to anglers, that in spring and the
commencement of summer, larger sea-trout are caught than in July and
August, which would not be the case if they were all fish of the same
season. But the former are herlings which have descended, after spawning
early, to the sea, and returned with the increase just mentioned; the
latter were nothing more than smolts in May, and have only once enjoyed
the benefit of sea bathing. They are a year younger than the others.

As herlings (sea-trout in their third year) abounded in the river Nith
during the summer of 1834, Mr Shaw marked a great number (524) by
cutting off the adipose fin. "During the following summer (1835) I
recaptured sixty-eight of the above number as sea-trout, weighing on an
average about two and a half pounds. On these I put a second distinct
mark, and again returned them to the river, and on the next ensuing
summer (1836) I recaptured a portion of them, about one in twenty,
averaging a weight of four pounds. I now marked them distinctively for
the third time, and once more returned them to the river, also for the
third time. On the following season (23d day of August 1837) I
recaptured the individual now exhibited, for the fourth time.[26] It
then weighed six pounds." This is indeed an eventful history, and we
question if any _Salmo trutta_ ever before felt himself so often out of
his element. However, the individual referred to must undoubtedly be
regarded as extremely interesting to the naturalist. It exhibits, at a
single glance, the various marks put upon itself and its companions, as
they were successively recaptured, from year to year, on their return to
the river--viz. 1st, The absence of the adipose fin, (herling of ten or
twelve ounces in 1834;) 2dly, One-third part of the dorsal fin removed,
(sea-trout of two and a half pounds in 1835;) 3dly, A portion of the
anal fin clipt off (large sea-trout of four pounds in 1836). In the 4th
and last place, it shows, in its own proper person, as leader of the
forlorn hope of 1837, the state in which it was finally captured and
killed, of the weight of six pounds. It was then in its sixth year, and,
representing the adult condition of this migratory species, we think it
renders further investigation unnecessary.

    [26] The specimen is preserved in the Museum of the Royal
    Society of Edinburgh.

From these and other experiments of a similar nature, which Mr Shaw has
been conducting for many years, he has come to the conclusion, that the
small fry called "Orange-fins," which are found journeying to the sea
with smolts of the true salmon, are the young of sea-trout of the age of
two years;--that the same individuals, after nine or ten weeks' sojourn
in salt water, ascend the rivers as herlings, weighing ten or twelve
ounces and on the approach of autumn pass into our smaller tributaries
with a view to the continuance of their kind;--that, having spawned,
they re-descend into the sea, where their increase of size (about one
and a half pound per annum) is almost totally obtained;--and that they
return annually, with an accession of size, for several seasons, to the
rivers in which their parents gave them birth. In proof of this last
point, Mr Shaw informs us, that of the many hundred sea-trout of
different ages which he has marked in various modes, he is not aware
that even a single individual has ever found its way into any tributary
of the Solway, saving that of the river Nith.

       *       *       *       *       *



CALEB STUKELY.

PART THE LAST.

TRANQUILITY.


The sudden and unlooked-for appearance of James Temple threw light upon
a mystery. Further explanation awaited me in the house from which the
unfortunate man had rushed to meet instant death and all its
consequences. It will be remembered that, in the narrative of his
victim, mention is made of one Mrs Wybrow, with whom the poor girl, upon
the loss of her father and of all means of support, obtained a temporary
home. It appeared that Fredrick Harrington, a few months after his
flight, returned secretly to the village, and, at the house of that
benevolent woman, made earnest application for his sister. He was then
excited and half insane, speaking extravagantly of his views and his
intentions in respect of her he came to take away. "She should be a
duchess," he said, "and must take precedence of every lady in the land.
He was a king himself and could command it so. He could perform wonders,
if he chose to use the power with which he was invested; but he would
wait until his sister might reap the benefit of his acquired wealth." In
this strain he continued, alarming the placid Mrs Wybrow, who knew not
what to do to moderate the wildness and the vehemence of his demeanour.
Hoping, however, to appease him, she told him of the good fortune of his
sister--how she had obtained a happy home, and how grateful he ought to
be to Providence for its kind care of her. Much more she said, only to
increase the anger of the man, whose insane pride was roused to fury the
moment that he heard his sister was doomed to eat the bread of a
dependent. He disdained the assistance of Mrs Temple--swore it was an
artifice, a cheat, and that he would drag her from the net into which
they had enticed her. When afterwards he learned that it was through the
mediation of James Temple that his sister had been provided for, the
truth burst instantly upon him, and he foresaw at once all that actually
took place. He vowed that he would become himself the avenger of his
sister, and that he would not let her betrayer sleep until he had wrung
from him deep atonement for his crime. It was in vain that Mrs Wybrow
sought to convince him of his delusion. He would not be advised--he
would not listen--he would not linger another moment in the house, but
quitted it, wrought to the highest pitch of rage, and speaking only of
vengeance on the seducer. He set out for London. Mrs Wybrow, agitated
more than she had been at any time since her birth, and herself almost
deprived of reason by her fears for the safety of Miss Harrington, James
Temple, and the furious lunatic himself, wrote immediately to Emma, then
resident in Cambridge, explaining the sad condition of her brother, and
warning her of his approach--Emma having already (without acquainting
Mrs Wybrow with her fallen state) forwarded her address, with a strict
injunction to her humble friend to convey to her all information of her
absent brother which she could possibly obtain. The threatened danger
was communicated to the lover--darkened his days for a time with anxiety
and dread, but ceased as time wore on, and as no visitant appeared to
affect the easy tenor of his immoral life. The reader will not have
forgotten, perhaps, that when for the first time I beheld James Temple,
he was accompanied by an elder brother. It was from the latter, his
friend and confidant, that the above particulars, and those which follow
in respect of the deceased, were gathered. The house in which, for a
second time, I encountered my ancient college friends, was their
uncle's. Parents they had none. Of father and of mother both they had
been deprived in infancy; and, from that period, their home had been
with their relative and guardian. The conduct of one charge, at least,
had been from boyhood such as to cause the greatest pain to him who had
assumed a parent's cares. Hypocrisy, sensuality, and--for his years and
social station--unparalleled dishonesty, had characterised James
Temple's short career. By some inexplicable tortuosity of mind, with
every natural endowment, with every acquired advantage, graced with the
borrowed as well as native ornaments of humanity, he found no joy in his
inheritance, but sacrificed it all, and crawled through life a gross and
earthy man. The seduction of Emma, young as he was when he committed
that offence, was, by many, not the first crime for which--not, thank
Heaven! without some preparation for his trial--he was called suddenly
to answer. As a boy, he had grown aged is vice. It has been stated that
he quitted the university the very instant he disencumbered himself of
the girl whom he had sacrificed. He crept to the metropolis, and for a
time there hid himself. But it was there that he was discovered by
Frederick Harrington, who had pursued the destroyer with a perseverance
that was indomitable, and scoffed at disappointment. How the lunatic
existed no one knew; how he steered clear of transgression and restraint
was equally difficult to explain. It was evident enough that he made
himself acquainted with the haunts of his former schoolfellow; and, in
one of them, he rushed furiously and unexpectedly upon him, affrighting
his intended victim, but failing in his purpose of vengeance by the very
impetuosity of his assault. Temple escaped. Then it was that the latter,
shaken by fear, revealed to his brother the rise of progress of his
intimacy with the discarded girl, and, in his extremity, called upon him
for advice and help. He could afford him none; and the seducer found
himself in the world without an hour's happiness or quiet. What quails
so readily as the heartiest soul of the sensualist? Who so cowardly as
the man only courageous in his oppression of the weak? The spirit of
Temple was laid prostrate. He walked, and eat, and slept, in base and
dastard fear. Locks and bolts could not secure him from dismal
apprehensions. A sound shook him, as the unseen wind makes the tall
poplar shudder--a voice struck terror in his ear, and sickness to
recreant heart. He could not be alone--for alarm was heightened by the
speaking conscience that pronounced it just. He journeyed from place to
place, his brother ever at his side, and the shadow of the avenger ever
stalking in the rear, and impelling the weary wanderer still onward. The
health of the sufferer gave way. To preserve his life, he was ordered to
the south-western coast. His faithful brother was his companion still.
He had not received a week's benefit from the mild and grateful
climate--he was scarcely settled in the tranquil village in which they
had fixed their residence, before the old terror was made manifest, and
hunted the unhappy man away. Whilst sitting at his window, and gazing
with something of delight upon the broad and smooth blue sea--for who
can look, criminal though he be, upon that glorious sheet in summer
time, when the sky is bright with beauty, and the golden sun is high,
and not lose somewhat of the heavy sense of guilt--not glow, it may be,
with returning gush of childhood's innocence, long absent, and coming now
only to reproach and then depart?--whilst sitting there and thus, the
sick man's notice was invited to a crowd of yelling boys, who had
amongst them one, the tallest of their number, whom they dragged along
for punishment or sport. He was an idiot. Who he was none knew so well
as the pale man that looked upon him, who could not drag his eye away,
so lost was it in wonder, so transfixed with horror. The invalid
remained no longer there. Fast as horses could convey him, he journeyed
homeward; and, in the bosom of his natural protectors, he sought for
peace he could not gain elsewhere. Here he remained, the slave of fear,
the conscience-stricken, diseased in body--almost spent; and here he
would have died, had not Providence directed the impotent mind of the
imbecile to the spot, and willed it otherwise. I have narrated, as
shortly as I might, the history of my earliest college friend, as I
received it from his brother's lips. There remain but a few words to
say--the pleasantest that I have had to speak of him James Temple did
not die a hardened man. If there be truth in tears, in prayers of
penitence that fall from him who stand upon the borders of eternity--who
can gain nothing by hypocrisy, and may lose by it the priceless treasure
of an immortal soul--if serenity and joy are signs of a repentance
spoken, a forgiveness felt, then Heaven had assuredly been merciful with
the culprit, and had remitted his offences, as Heaven can, and will,
remit the vilest.

I remained in the village of Belton until I saw all that remained of the
schoolfellows deposited in the earth. Their bodies had been easily
obtained--that of the idiot, indeed, before life had quitted it. The
evening that followed their burial, I passed with William Temple. Many a
sad reminiscence occurred to him which he communicated to me without
reserve, many a wanton act of coarse licentiousness, many a warning
unheeded, laughed at, spurned. It is a mournful pleasure for the mind,
as it dwells upon the doings of the departed, to build up its own
theories, and to work out a history of what might have been in happier
circumstances--a useless history of _ifs_. "If my brother had been
looked to when he was young," said William Temple more than once, "he
would have turned out differently. My uncle spoiled him. As a child, he
was never corrected. If he wished for a toy, he had but to scream for
it. If, at school, he had been fortunate enough to contract his
friendships with young men of worth and character, their example would
have won him to rectitude, for he was always a lad easily led." And
again, "If he had but listened to the advice which, when it would have
served him, I did not fail daily and hourly to offer him, he might have
lived for years, and been respected--for many know, I lost no
opportunity to draw him from his course of error." Alas! how vain, how
idle was this talk--how little it could help the clod that was already
crumbling in the earth--the soul already at the judgment-seat; yet with
untiring earnestness the brother persisted in this strain, and with
every new hypothesis found fresh satisfaction. There was more reason for
gratification when, at the close of the evening, the surviving relative
turned from his barren discourse and referred to the last days of the
deceased. There was comfort and consolation to the living in the
evidences which he produced of his most blessed change. It was a joy to
me to hear of his repentance, and to listen to the terms in which he
made it known. I did not easily forget them. I journeyed homeward. When
I arrived at the house of Doctor Mayhew, I was surprised to find how
little I could remember of the country over which I had travelled. The
scenes through which I had passed were forgotten--had not been noticed.
Absorbed by the thoughts which possessed my brain, I had suffered myself
to be carried forward, conscious of nothing but the waking dreams. I was
prepared, however, to see my friend. Still influenced by the latent hope
of meeting once more with Miss Fairman, still believing in the happy
issue of my love, I had resolved to keep my own connexion with the idiot
as secret as the grave. There was no reason why I should betray myself.
His fate was independent of my act--my conduct formed no link in the
chain which must be presented to make the history clear: and shame would
have withheld the gratuitous confession, had not the ever present,
never-dying promise forbade the disclosure of one convicting syllable.
As may be supposed, the surprise of Doctor Mayhew, upon hearing the
narrative, was no less than the regret which he experienced at the
violent death of the poor creature in whom he had taken so kind and deep
an interest. But a few days sufficed to sustain his concern for one who
had come to him a stranger, and whom he had known so short a time. The
pursuits and cares of life gradually withdrew the incident from his
mind, and all thoughts of the idiot. He ceased to speak of him. To me,
the last scene of his life was present for many a year. I could not
remove it. By day and night it came before my eyes, without one effort
on my part to invoke it. It has started up, suddenly and mysteriously,
in the midst of enjoyment and serene delight, to mingle bitterness in
the cup of earthly bliss. It has come in the season of sorrow to
heighten the distress. Amongst men, and in the din of business, the
vision has intruded, and in solitude it has followed me to throw its
shadows across the bright green fields, beautiful in their freshness.
Night after night--I cannot count their number--it has been the form and
substance of my dreams, and I have gone to rest--yes, for months--with
the sure and natural expectation of beholding the melancholy repetition
of an act which I would have given any thing, and all I had, to forget
and drive away for ever.

A week passed pleasantly with my host. I spoke of departure at the end
of it. He smiled when I did so, bade me hold my tongue and be patient. I
suffered another week to glide away, and then hinted once more that I
had trespassed long enough upon his hospitality. The doctor placed his
hand upon my arm, and answered quickly, "all in good time--do not
hurry." His tone and manner confirmed, I know not why, the strong hope
within me, and his words passed with meaning to my heart. I already
built upon the aerial foundation, and looked forward with joyous
confidence and expectation. The arguments and shows of truth are few
that love requires. The poorest logic is the soundest reasoning--if it
conclude for him. The visits to the parsonage were, meanwhile,
continued. Upon my return, I gained no news. I asked if all were well
there, and the simple, monosyllable, "Yes," answered with unusual
quickness and decision, was all that escaped the doctor's lips. He did
not wish to be interrogated further, and was displeased. I perceived
this and was silent. For some days, no mention was made of his dear
friend the minister. He was accustomed to speak often of that man, and
most affectionately. What was the inference? A breach had taken place.
If I entertained the idea for a day, it was dissipated on the next; for
the doctor, a week having elapsed since his last visit, rode over to the
parsonage as usual, remained there some hours, and returned in his best
and gayest spirits. He spoke of the Fairmans during the evening with the
same kind feeling and good-humour that had always accompanied his
allusions to them and their proceedings, and grew at length eloquent in
the praises of them both. The increasing beauty of the young mistress,
he said, was marvellous. "Ah," he added slyly, and with more truth,
perhaps, than he suspected, "it would have done your eyes good to-day,
only to have got one peep at her." I sighed, and he tantalized me
further. He pretended to pity me for the inconsiderate haste with which
I had thrown up my employment, and to condole with me for all I had lost
in consequence. "As for himself," he said, "he had, upon further
consideration, given up all thought of marriage for the present. He
should live a little longer and grow wiser; but it was not a pleasant
thing, by any means, to see so sweet a girl taken coolly off by a young
fellow, who, if all he heard was true, was very likely to have an early
opportunity." I sighed again, and asked permission to retire to rest;
but my tormentor did not grant it, until he had spoken for half an hour
longer, when he dismissed me in a state of misery incompatible with
rest, in bed, or out of it. My heart was bursting when I left him. He
could not fail to mark it. To my surprise, he made another excursion to
the parsonage on the following day; and, as before, he joined me in the
evening with nothing on his lips but commendation of the young lady whom
he had seen, and complaint at the cruel act which was about to rob them
of their treasure; for he said, regardless of my presence or the
desperate state of my feelings, "that the matter was now all but
settled. Fairman had made up his mind, and was ready to give his consent
the very moment the young fellow was bold enough to ask it. And lucky
dog he is too," added the kind physician, by way of a conclusion, "for
little puss herself is over head and ears in love with him, or else I
never made a right prognosis."

"I am much obliged to you, sir," I answered, when Doctor Mayhew paused;
"very grateful for your hospitality. If you please, I will depart
to-morrow. I trust you will ask me to remain no longer. I cannot do so.
My business in London"----

"Oh, very well! but that can wait, you know," replied the doctor,
interrupting me. "I can't spare you to-morrow. I have asked a friend to
dinner, and you must meet him."

"Do not think me ungrateful, doctor," I answered; "but positively I must
and will depart to-morrow. I cannot stay."

"Nonsense, man, you shall. Come, say you will, and I engage, if your
intention holds, to release you as early as you like the next day. I
have promised my friend that you will give him the meeting, and you must
not refuse me. Let me have my way to-morrow, and you shall be your own
master afterwards."

"Upon such terms, sir," I answered immediately, "it would he
unpardonable if I persisted. You shall command me; on the following day,
I will seek my fortunes in the world again."

"Just so," replied the doctor, and so we separated.

The character of Dr Mayhew was little known to me. His goodness of heart
I had reason to be acquainted with, but his long established love of
jesting, his intense appreciation of a joke, practical or otherwise, I
had yet to learn. In few men are united, as happily as they were in him,
a steady application to the business of the world, and an almost
unrestrained indulgence in its harmless pleasantries. The grave doctor
was a boy at his fireside. I spent my last day in preparing for my
removal, and in rambling for some hours amongst the hills, with which I
had become too familiar to separate without a pang. Long was our
leave-taking. I lingered and hovered from nook to nook, until I had
expended the latest moment which it was mine to give. With a burdened
spirit I returned to the house, as my thoughts shifted to the less
pleasing prospect afforded by my new position. I shuddered to think of
London, and the fresh vicissitudes that awaited me.

It wanted but a few minutes to dinner when I stepped into the
drawing-room. The doctor had just reached home, after being absent on
professional duty since the morning. The visitor had already arrived; I
had heard his knock whilst I was dressing. Having lost all interest in
the doings of the place, I had not even cared to enquire his name. What
was it to me? What difference could the chance visitor of a night make
to me, who was on the eve of exile? None. I walked despondingly into the
room, and advanced with distant civility towards the stranger. His face
was from me, but he turned instantly upon hearing my step, and I
beheld----Mr Fairman. I could scarcely trust my eyes. I started, and
retreated. My reverend friend, however, betrayed neither surprise nor
discomposure. He smiled kindly, held out his hand, and spoke as he was
wont in the days of cordiality and confidence. What did it mean?

"It is a lovely afternoon, Stukely," began the minister, "worthy of the
ripe summer in which it is born."

"It is, sir," I replied; "but I shall see no more of them," I added
_instantly_, anxious to assure him that I was not lurking with sinister
design so near the parsonage--that I was on the eve of flight. "I quit
our friend to-morrow, and must travel many miles away."

"You will come to us, Caleb," answered Mr Fairman mildly.

"Sir!" said I, doubting if I heard aright.

"Has Dr Mayhew said nothing then?" he asked.

I trembled in every limb.

"Nothing, sir," I answered. "Oh, yes! I recollect--he did--he has--but
what have I--I have no wish--no business"----

The door opened, and Dr Mayhew himself joined us, rubbing his hands, and
smiling, in the best of good tempers. In his rear followed the faithful
Williams. Before a word of explanation could be offered, the latter
functionary announced "_dinner_," and summoned us away. The presence of
the servants during the meal interfered with the gratification of my
unutterable curiosity. Mr Fairman spoke most affably on different
matters, but did not once revert to the previous subject of discourse. I
was on thorns. I could not eat. I could not look at the minister without
anxiety and shame, and whenever my eye caught that of the doctor, I was
abashed by a look of meaning and good-humoured cunning, that was half
intelligible and half obscure. Rays of hope penetrated to my heart's
core, and illuminated my existence. The presence of Mr Fairman could not
be without a purpose. What was it, then? Oh, I dared not trust myself to
ask the question! The answer bred intoxication and delight, too sweet
for earth. What meant that wicked smile upon the doctor's cheek? He was
too generous and good to laugh at my calamity. He could not do it. Yet
the undisturbed demeanour of the minister confounded me. If there had
been connected with this visit so important an object as that which I
longed to believe was linked with it, there surely would have been some
evidence in his speech and manner, and he continued as cheerful and
undisturbed as if his mind were free from every care and weighty
thought. "What can it mean?" I asked myself, again and again. "How can
he coolly bid me to his house, after what has passed, after his fearful
anxiety to get me out of it? Will he hazard another meeting with his
beloved daughter?--Ah, I see it!" I suddenly and mentally exclaimed; "it
is clear enough--she is absent--she is away. He wishes to evince his
friendly disposition at parting, and now he can do it without risk or
cost." It was a plain elucidation of the mystery--it was enough, and all
my airy castles tumbled to the earth, and left me there in wretchedness.
Glad was I when the dinner was concluded, and eager to withdraw. I had
resolved to decline, at the first opportunity, the invitation of the
incumbent. I did not wish to grieve my heart in feasting my eyes upon a
scene crowded with fond associations, to revoke feelings in which it
would be folly to indulge again, and which it were well to annihilate
and forget. I was about to beg permission to leave the table, when Dr
Mayhew rose; he looked archly at me when I followed his example, and
requested me not to be in haste; "he had business to transact, and would
rejoin us shortly." Saying these words, he smiled and vanished. I
remained silent. To be left alone with Mr Fairman, was the most annoying
circumstance that could happen in my present mood. There were a hundred
things which I burned to know, whilst I lacked the courage to enquire
concerning one. But I had waited for an opportunity to decline his
invitation. Here it was, and I had not power to lift my head and look at
him. Mr Fairman himself did not speak for some minutes. He sat
thoughtfully, resting his forehead in the palm of his hand--his elbow on
the table. At length he raised his eyes, and whilst my own were still
bent downward, I could feel that his were fixed upon me.

"Caleb," said the minister.

It was the first time that the incumbent had called me by my Christian
name. How strangely it sounded from his lips! How exquisitely grateful
it dropt upon my ear!

"Tell me, Caleb," continued Mr Fairman, "did I understand you right? Is
it true that Mayhew has told you nothing?"

"Nothing distinctly, sir," I answered--"I have gathered something from
his hints, but I know not what he says in jest and what in earnest."

"I have only her happiness at heart, Stukely--from the moment that you
spoke to me on the subject, I have acted solely with regard to that. I
hoped to have smothered this passion in the bud. In attempting it, I
believed I was acting as a father should, and doing my duty by her."

The room began to swim round me, and my head grew dizzy.

"I am to blame, perhaps, as Mayhew says, for having brought you
together, and for surrounding her with danger. I should have known that
to trifle with a heart so guileless and so pure was cruel and unjust,
and fraught with perilous consequences. I was blind, and I am punished
for my act."

I looked at him at length.

"I use the word deliberately--_punished_, Stukely. It _is_ a punishment
to behold the affection of which I have ever been too jealous, departing
from me, and ripening for another. Why have I cared to live since Heaven
took her mother to itself--but for her sake, for her welfare, and her
love? But sorrow and regret are useless now. You do not know, young man,
a thousandth part of your attainment when I tell you, you have gained
her young and virgin heart. I oppose you no longer--I thwart not--render
yourself worthy of the precious gift."

"I cannot speak, sir!" I exclaimed, seizing the hand of the incumbent in
the wildness of my joy. "I am stupified by this intelligence! Trust me,
sir--believe me, you shall find me not undeserving of your generosity
and"----

"No, Stukely. Call it not by such a name. It is any thing but that;
there is no liberality, no nobility of soul, in giving you what I may
not now withhold. I cannot see her droop and die, and live myself to
know that a word from me had saved her. I have given my consent to the
prosecution of your attachment at the latest moment--not because I
wished it, but to prevent a greater evil. I have told you the truth! It
was due to us both that you should hear it; for the future look upon me
as your father, and I will endeavour to do you justice."

There was a stop. I was so oppressed with a sense of happiness, that I
could find no voice to speak my joy or tell my thanks. Mr Fairman
paused, and then continued.

"You will come to the parsonage to-morrow, and take part again in the
instruction of the lads after their return. You will be received as my
daughter's suitor. Arrangements will be made for a provision for you.
Mayhew and I have it in consideration now. When our plan is matured, it
shall be communicated to you. There need be no haste. You are both
young--too young for marriage--and we shall not yet fix the period of
your espousal."

My mind was overpowered with a host of dazzling visions, which rose
spontaneously as the minister proceeded in his delightful talk. I soon
lost all power of listening to details. The beloved Ellen, the faithful
and confiding maiden, who had not deserted the wanderer although driven
from her father's doors--she, the beautiful and priceless jewel of my
heart, was present in every thought, and was the ornament and chief of
every group that passed before my warm imagination. Whilst the incumbent
continued to speak of the future, of his own sacrifice, and my great
gain--whilst his words, without penetrating, touched my ears, and died
away--my soul grew busy in the contemplation of the prize, which, now
that it was mine, I scarce knew how to estimate. Where was she _then_?
How had she been? To how many days of suffering and of trial may she
have been doomed? How many pangs may have wrung that noble heart before
its sad complaints were listened to, and mercifully answered? I craved
to be at her side. The words which her father had spoken had loosened
the heavy chain that tied me down--my limbs were conscious of their
freedom--my spirit felt its liberty--what hindered instant flight? In
the midst of my reverie Dr Mayhew entered the room--and I remember
distinctly that my immediate impulse was to leave the two friends
together, and to run as fast as love could urge and feet could carry
me--to the favoured spot which held all that I cared for now on earth.
The plans, however, of Doctor Mayhew interfered with this desire. He had
done much for me, more than I knew, and he was not the man to go without
his payment. A long evening was yet before us, time enough for a hundred
jokes, which I must hear, and witness, and applaud or I was most
unworthy of the kindness he had shown me. The business over for which Mr
Fairman had come expressly, the promise given of an early visit to the
parsonage on the following day, an affectionate parting at the garden
gate, and the incumbent proceeded on his homeward road. The doctor and I
returned together to the house in silence and one of us in partial fear;
for I could see the coming sarcasm in the questionable smile that played
about his lips. Not a word was spoken when we resumed our seats. At last
he rang the bell, and Williams answered it----

"Book Mr Stukely by the London coach to-morrow, Williams," said the
master; "he _positively must and will depart to-morrow_."

The criminal reprieved--the child, hopeless and despairing at the
suffering parent's bed, and blessed at length with a firm promise of
amendment and recovery, can tell the feelings that sustained my
fluttering heart, beating more anxiously the nearer it approached its
_home_. I woke that morning with the lark--yes, ere that joyous bird had
spread its wing, and broke upon the day with its mad note--and I left
the doctor's house whilst all within were sleeping. There was no rest
for me away from that abode, whose gates of adamant, with all their bars
and fastenings, one magic word had opened--whose sentinels were
withdrawn--whose terrors had departed. The hours were all too long until
I claimed my newfound privilege. Morn of the mellow summer, how
beautiful is thy birth! How soft--how calm--how breathlessly and
blushingly thou stealest upon a slumbering world! fearful, as it seems,
of startling it. How deeply quiet, and how soothing, are thy earliest
sounds--scarce audible--by no peculiar quality distinguishable, yet
thrilling and intense! How doubly potent falls thy witching influence on
him whose spirit passion has attuned to all the harmonies of earth, and
made but too susceptible! Disturbed as I was by the anticipation of my
joy, and by the consequent unrest, with the first sight of day, and all
its charms, came _peace_--actual and profound. The agitation of my soul
was overwhelmed by the prevailing stillness, and I grew tranquil and
subdued. Love existed yet--what could extinguish that?--but heightened
and sublimed. It was as though, in contemplating the palpable and lovely
work of heaven, all selfishness had at once departed from my breast--all
dross had separated from my best affections, and left them pure and
free. And so I walked on, happiest of the happy, from field to field,
from hill to hill, with no companion on the way, no traveller within my
view--alone with nature and my heart's delight. "And men pent up in
cities," thought I, as I went along, "would call this--_solitude_." I
remembered how lonely I had felt in the busy crowds of London--how
chill, how desolate and forlorn, and marvelled at the reasoning of man.
And came no other thoughts of London and the weary hours passed there,
as I proceeded on my delightful walk? Yes, many, as Heaven knows, who
heard the involuntary matin prayer, offered in gratefulness of heart,
upon my knees, and in the open fields, where no eye but one could look
upon the worshipper, and call the fitness of the time and place in
question. The early mowers were soon a-foot; they saluted me and passed.
Then, from the humblest cottages issued the straight thin column of
white smoke--white as the snowy cloud--telling of industry within, and
the return of toil. Now labourers were busy in their garden plots,
labouring for pleasure and delight, ere they strove abroad for hire,
their children at their side, giving the utmost of their small
help--young, ruddy, wild, and earnest workmen all! The country day is up
some hours before the day in town. Life sleeps in cities, whilst it
moves in active usefulness away from them. The hills were dotted with
the forms of men before I reached the parsonage, and when I reached it,
a golden lustre from the mounting sun lit up the lovely house with
fire--streaming through the casements already opened to the sweet and
balmy air.

If I had found it difficult to rest on this eventful morning, so also
had another--even here--in this most peaceful mansion. The parsonage
gate was at this early hour unclosed. I entered. Upon the borders of the
velvet lawn, bathed in the dews of night, I beheld the gentle lady of
the place; she was alone, and walking pensively--now stooping, not to
pluck, but to admire, and then to leave amongst its mates, some crimson
beauty of the earth--now looking to the mountains of rich gold piled in
the heavens, one upon another, changing in form and colour, blending and
separating, as is their wondrous power and custom, filling the maiden's
soul with joy. Her back was toward me: should I advance, or now retire?
Vain question, when, ere an answer could be given, I was already at the
lady's side. Shall I tell of her virgin bashfulness, her blushes, her
trembling consciousness of pure affection? Shall I say how little her
tongue could speak her love, and how eloquently the dropping tear told
all! Shall I describe our morning's walk, her downward gaze--my
pride?--her deep, deep silence, my impassioned tones, the insensibilty
to all external things--the rushing on of envious Time, jealous of the
perfect happiness of man? The heart is wanting for the task--the pen is
shaking in the tremulous hand.--Beautiful vision! long associate of my
rest, sweetener of the daily cares of life, shade of the heavenly
one--beloved Ellen! hover still around me, and sustain my aching
soul--carry me back to the earliest days of our young love, quicken
every moment with enthusiasm--be my fond companion once again, and light
up the old man's latest hour with the fire that ceased to burn when thou
fleed'st heavenward! Thou hast been near me often since we parted here!
Whose smile but thine has cheered the labouring pilgrim through the
lagging day? In tribulation, whose voice has whispered _peace_--whose
eye hath shone upon him, like a star, tranquil and steady in the gloomy
night? Linger yet, and strengthen and hallow the feeble words, that
chronicle our love!

It would be impossible to conceive a woman more eminently fitted to
fulfil the duties of her station, than the gentle creature whose heart
it had been my happiness and fortune to make my own. Who could speak so
well of the _daughter's_ obedience as he who was the object of her
hourly solicitude? Who could behold her tenderness, her watchfulness and
care and not revere the filial piety that sanctified the maid? The poor,
most difficult of mankind to please, the easily offended, the jealous
and the peevish, were unanimous in their loud praise of her, whose
presence filled the foulest hut with light, and was the harbinger of
good. It is well to doubt the indigent when they speak _evil_ of their
fellows; but trust them when, with one voice, _they pray for blessings_,
as they did for her, who came amongst them as a sister and a child. If a
spotless mind be a treasure in the _wife_, if simplicity and truth,
virtue and steadfast love, are to be prized in her who plights her troth
to man, what had I more to ask--what had kind nature more to grant?

Had all my previous sufferings been multiplied a hundred times, I should
have been indemnified for all in the month that followed my restoration
to the parsonage. Evening after evening, when the business of the day
was closed, did we together wander amongst the scenes that were so dear
to us--too happy in the enjoyment of the present, dwelling with pleasure
on the past, dreaming wildly--as the young must dream--of the uncreated
future. I spoke of earthly happiness, and believed it not a fable. What
could be brighter than our promises? What looked more real--less likely
to be broken? How sweet was our existence! My tongue would never cease
to paint in dazzling colours the days that yet awaited us. I numbered
over the joys of a domestic life, told her of the divine favour that
accompanies contentment, and how angels of heaven hover over the house
in which it dwells united to true love. Nor was there wanting
extravagant and fanciful discourse, such as may be spoken by the
prodigal heart to its co-mate, when none are by to smile and wonder at
blind feeling.

"Dear Ellen," have I said, in all the fulness of my passion--"what a
life is this we lead! what heavenly joy! To be for ever only as we are,
were to have more of God's kindness and beloved care than most of
earthly creatures may. Indissolubly joined, and in each other's light to
live, and in each other's sight alone to seek those blessings wedded
feelings may bestow--to perceive and know ourselves as one--to breathe
as one the ripe delicious air--to fix on every object of our mutual love
the stamp and essence of one living heart--to walk abroad, and find glad
sympathy in all created things--this, this is to be conscious of more
lasting joy--to have more comfort in the sight of God, than they did
know, the happy parent pair, when heaven smiled on earth, and earth was
heaven, connected both by tenderest links of love."

She did not answer, when my soul ran riot in its bliss. She listened,
and she sighed, as though experience cut off the promises of hope, or as
if intimations of evil began already to cast their shadows, and to press
upon her soul!

Time flew as in a dream. The sunny days passed on, finding and leaving
me without a trouble or a fear--happy and entranced. Each hour
discovered new charms in my betrothed, and every day unveiled a latent
grace. How had I merited my great good fortune? How could I render
myself worthy of her love? It was not long before the object of my
thoughts, sleeping and waking, became a living idol, and I, a reckless
worshipper.

Doctor Mayhew had been a faithful friend, and such he continued, looking
to the interests of the friendless, which might have suffered in the
absence of so good an advocate. It was he, as I learnt, who had drawn
from the incumbent his reluctant consent to my return. My departure
following my thoughtless declaration so quickly, was not without visible
effect on her who had such deep concern in it. Her trouble was not lost
upon the experienced doctor; he mentioned his suspicion to her father,
and recommended my recall. The latter would not listen to his counsel,
and pronounced his _diagnosis_ hasty and incorrect. The physician bade
him wait. The patient did not rally, and her melancholy increased. The
doctor once more interceded, but not successfully. Mr Fairman received
his counsel with a hasty word, and Dr Mayhew left the parsonage in
anger, telling the minister he would himself be answerable no longer for
her safety. A week elapsed, and Doctor Mayhew found it impossible to
keep away. The old friends met, more attached than ever for the parting
which both had found it difficult to bear. The lady was no better. They
held a conference--it ended in my favour. I had been exactly a month
reinstated, when Doctor Mayhew, who could not rest thoroughly easy until
our marriage was concluded, and, as he said, "the affair was off his
hands," took a convenient opportunity to intimate to Mr Fairman the many
advantages of an early union. The minister was anxious to postpone the
ceremony to a distant period, which he had not courage himself to name.
This Mayhew saw, and was well satisfied that, if my happiness depended
on the word of the incumbent, I should wait long before I heard it
voluntarily given. He told me so, and undertook "to bring the matter to
a head" with all convenient speed. He met with a hundred objections, for
all of which he was prepared. He heard his friend attentively, and with
great deference, and then he answered. What his answers were, I cannot
tell--powerful his reasoning must have been, since it argued the jealous
parent into the necessity of arranging for an early marriage, and
communicating with me that same day upon the views which he had for our
future maintenance and comfort.

Nothing could exceed the gratification of Doctor Mayhew, that best and
most successful of ambassadors, when he ran to me--straight from the
incumbent's study--to announce the perfect success of his diplomacy. Had
he been negotiating for himself, he could not have been in higher
spirits. Ellen was with me when he acquainted me, that in three months
the treasure would be my own, and mine would be the privilege and right
to cherish it. He insisted that he should be rewarded on the instant
with a kiss; and, in the exuberance of his feelings, was immodest enough
to add, that "if he wasn't godfather to the first, and if we did not
call him Jacob after him, he'd give us over to our ingratitude, and not
have another syllable to say to us."

It was a curious occupation to contemplate the parent during the weeks
that followed--to observe all-powerful nature working in him, the
chastened and the upright minister of heaven, as she operates upon the
weakest and the humblest of mankind. He lived for the happiness and
prosperity of his child. For that he was prepared to make every
sacrifice a father might--even the greatest--that of parting with her.
Was it to be expected that he should be insensible to the heavy cost?
Could it be supposed that he would all at once resign the dear one
without a quiver or a pang? There is a tremor of the soul as well as of
the body, when the knife is falling on the limb to sever it, and this he
suffered, struggling for composure as a martyr, and yet with all the
weakness of a man. I have watched him closely, and I have known his
heart wringing with pain, as the eye of his child sparkled with joy at
my approach, whilst the visible features of his face strove fiercely to
suppress the rising selfishness. He has gazed upon her, as we have sat
together in the cheerful night, wondering, as it seemed, by what
fascination the natural and deep-rooted love of years could be surpassed
and superseded by the immature affection of a day--forgetful of her
mother's love, that once preferred him to her sire. In our evening walks
I have seen him in our track, following from afar, eager to overtake and
join us, and yet resisting the strong impulse, and forbearing. He could
not hide from me the glaring fact, that he was envious of my fortune,
manifest as it was in every trifling act; nor was it, in truth, easier
for him to conceal the strong determination which he had formed to act
with honour and with justice. No angry or reproachful word escaped his
lips; every favour that he could show me he gladly proffered; nay, many
uncalled-for and unexpected, he insisted upon my receiving, apparently,
or, as I guessed, because he wished to mortify his own poor heart, and
to remove from me the smallest cause for murmuring or complaint. I
endeavoured not to be unworthy of his liberality and confidence; and the
daughter, who perceived the conflict in his breast, redoubled her
attention, and made more evident her unimpaired and childlike love.

It wanted but a month to the time fixed for our union, when Ellen
reached her twentieth year. On that occasion, Doctor Mayhew dined with
us, and passed the evening at the parsonage. He was in high spirits; and
the minister himself more gay than I had known him since our engagement.
Ellen reflected her father's cheerfulness, and was busy in sustaining
it. All went merry as a marriage-bell. Ellen sang her father's favourite
airs--played the tunes that pleased him best, and acquired new energy
and power as she proceeded. The parent looked upon her with just pride,
and took occasion, when the music was at its loudest, to turn to Mayhew,
and to speak of her.

"How well she looks!" said he; "how beautiful she grows!"

"Yes," answered the physician; "I don't wonder that she made young
Stukely's heart ache. What a figure the puss has got!"

"And her health seems quite restored!"

"Well, you are not surprised at that, I reckon. Rest assured, my friend,
if we could only let young ladies have their way, our patients would
diminish rapidly. Why, how she sings to-night! I never knew her voice so
good--did you?"

"Oh, she is happy, Mayhew; all her thoughts are joyful! Her heart is
revelling. It was very sinful to be so anxious on her account."

"So I always told you; but you wouldn't mind me. She'll make old bones."

"You think so, do you?"

"Why, look at her yourself, and say whether we should be justified in
thinking otherwise. Is she not the picture of health and animation?"

"Yes, Mayhew, but her mother"----

"There, be quiet will you? The song is over."

Ellen returned to her father's side, sat upon a stool before him, and
placed her arms upon his knee. The incumbent drew her head there, and
touched her cheek in playfulness.

"Come, my friend," exclaimed the physician, "that isn't allowable by any
means. Recollect two young gentlemen are present, and we can't be
tantalized."

The minister smiled, and Ellen looked at me.

"Do you remember, doctor," enquired the latter, "this very day eleven
years, when you came over on the grey pony, that walked into this room
after you, and frightened us all so?"

"Yes, puss, I do very well; and don't I recollect your tying my wig to
the chair, and then calling me to the window, to see how I should look
when I had left it behind me, you naughty little girl!"

"That was very wrong, sir; but you know you forgave me for it."

"No, I didn't. Come here, though, and I will now."

She left her stool, and ran laughing to him. The doctor professed to
whisper in her ear, but kissed her cheek. He coughed and hemmed, and,
with a serious air, asked me what I meant by grinning at him.

"Do you know, doctor," continued Ellen, "that this is my first
birth-day, since that one, which we have kept without an interruption.
Either papa or you have been always called away before half the evening
was over."

"Well, and very sorry you would be, I imagine, if both of us were called
away _now_. It would be very distressing to you; wouldn't it?"

"It would hardly render her happy, Mayhew," said Mr Fairman, "to be
deprived of her father's society on such an occasion."

"No, indeed, papa," said Ellen, earnestly; "and the good doctor does not
think so either."

"Doesn't he, though, you wicked pussy? You would be very wretched, then,
if we were obliged to go? No doubt of it, especially if we happened to
leave that youngster there behind us."

"Ellen shall read to us, Mayhew," said the incumbent, turning from the
subject. "You will find Milton on my table, Caleb."

As he spoke, Ellen imparted to her friend a look of tenderest
remonstrance, and the doctor said no more.

The incumbent, himself a fine reader, had taken great pains to teach his
child the necessary and simple, but much neglected art of reading well.
There was much grace and sweetness in her utterance, correct emphasis,
and no effort. An hour passed delightfully with the minister's favourite
and beloved author; now the maiden read, now he. He listened with
greater pleasure to her voice than to his own or any other, but he
watched the smallest diminution of its power--the faintest evidence of
failing strength--and released her instantly, most anxious for her
health and safety, then and always.

Then arose, as will arise from the contented bosom of domestic piety,
grateful rejoicings--the incense of an altar glowing with love's own
offerings! Past time was summoned up, weighed with the present, and,
with all the mercies which accompanied it, was still found wanting in
the perfect and unsullied happiness that existed now. "The love of
heaven," said the minister, "had never been so manifest and clear. His
labours in the service of his people, his prayers on their behalf, were
not unanswered. Improvement was taking place around him; even those who
had given him cause for deepest sorrow, were already turning from the
path of error into that of rectitude and truth. The worst characters in
the village had been checked by the example of their fellows, and by the
voice of their own conscience, (he might have added, by the working of
their minister's most affectionate zeal) and his heart was joyful--how
joyful he could not say--on their account. His family was blessed--(and
he looked at Ellen with a moistened eye)--with health, and with the
promise of its continuance. His best and oldest friend was at his side;
and he, who was dear to them all on her account whose life would soon be
linked with his, was about to add to every other blessing, the
advantages which must follow the possession of so good a son. What more
could he require? How much more was this than the most he could
deserve!"

Doctor Mayhew, touched with the solemn feeling of the moment, became a
serious man. He took the incumbent by the hand, and spoke.

"Yes, Fairman, we have cause for gratitude. You and I have roughed it
many years, and gently enough do we go down the hill. To behold the
suffering of other men, and to congratulate ourselves upon our
exemption, is not the rational mode of receiving goodness from Almighty
God--yet it is impossible for a human being to look about him, and to
see family after family worn down by calamity, whilst he himself is free
from any, and not have his heart yearning with thankfulness, knowing, as
he must, how little he merits his condition. You and I are happy
fellows, both of us; and all we have to do, is to think so, and to
prepare quietly to leave our places, whilst the young folks grow up to
take them. As for the boy there, if he doesn't smooth your pillow, and
lighten for you the weight of old age as it comes on, then am I much
mistaken, and ready to regret the steps which I have taken to bring you
all together."

There was little spoken after this. The hearts were full to the
brink--to speak was to interfere with their consummate joy. The doctor
was the only one who made the attempt, and he, after a very ineffectual
endeavour to be jocose, held his peace. The Bible was produced. The
servants of the house appeared. A chapter was read from it by the
incumbent--a prayer was offered up, then we separated.

I stole to Ellen as she was about to quit us for the night. "And you,
dear Ellen," I whispered in her ear, "are you, too, happy?"

"Yes, _dearest_," she murmured with a gentle pressure, that passed like
wildfire to my heart. "I fear _too_ happy. Earth will not suffer it"

We parted, and in twelve hours those words were not without their
meaning.

We met on the following morning at the usual breakfast hour. The moment
that I entered the apartment, I perceived that Ellen was
indisposed--that something had occurred, since the preceding night, to
give her anxiety or pain. Her hand trembled slightly, and a degree of
perturbation was apparent in her movements. My first impression was,
that she had received ill news, for there was nothing in her appearance
to indicate the existence of bodily suffering. It soon occurred to me,
however, that the unwonted recent excitement might account for all her
symptoms--that they were, in fact, the natural consequence of that
sudden abundance of joyous spirits which I had remarked in her during
the early part of the evening. I satisfied myself with this belief, or
strove to do so--the more easily, perhaps, because I saw her father
indifferent to her state, if not altogether ignorant of it. He who was
ever lying in wait--ever watching--ever ready to apprehend the smallest
evidence of ill health, was, on this morning, as insensible to the
alteration which had taken place in the darling object of his
solicitude, as though he had no eyes to see, or object to behold; so
easy is it for a too anxious diligence in a pursuit to overshoot and
miss the point at which it aims. Could he, as we sat, have guessed the
cause of all her grief--could some dark spirit, gloating on man's
misery, have breathed one fearful word into his ear, bringing to life
and light the melancholy tale of distant years--how would his nature
have supported the announcement--how bore the?----but let me not
anticipate. I say that I dismissed all thought of serious mischief, by
attributing at once all signs of it to the undue excitement of the
festive night. As the breakfast proceeded, I believed that her anxiety
diminished, and with that passed away my fears.

At the end of the pleasure garden of the parsonage was a paddock, and,
immediately beyond this, another field, leading to a small valley of
great beauty. On one side of "_the Dell_," as it was called, was a
summer-house, which the incumbent had erected for the sake of the noble
prospect which the elevation commanded. To this retreat Ellen and I had
frequently wandered with our books during the progress of our love. Here
I had read to her of affection and constancy, consecrated by the
immortal poet's song. Here we had passed delightful hours, bestowing on
the future the same golden lustre that made so bright the present. In
joy, I had called this summer-house "_the Lover's Bower_," and it was
pleasing to us both to think that we should visit in our after days, for
many a year, and with increasing love, a spot endeared to us by the
fondest recollections. Thither I bent my steps at the close of our
repast. It wanted but two days to the time fixed for the resumption of
our studies. The boys had returned, and the note of preparation was
already sounded. I carried my task to the retreat, and there commenced
my labours. An hour fled quickly whilst I was occupied somewhat in
Greek, but more in contemplation of the gorgeous scene before me, and in
lingering thoughts of her whose form was never absent, but hovered still
about the pleasure or the business of the day. The shadow of that form
was yet present, when the substance became visible to the bodily eye.
Ellen followed me to the "_Lover's Bower_," and there surprised me. She
was even paler than before--and the burden of some disquietude was
written on her gentle brow; but a smile was on her lips--one of a
languid cast--and also of encouragement and hope. I drew her to my side.
Lovers are egotists; their words point ever to themselves. She spoke of
the birth-day that had just gone by; the tranquil and blissful
celebration of it. My expectant soul was already dreaming of the next
that was to come, and speaking of the increased happiness that must
accompany it.

Ellen sighed.

"It is a lover's sigh!" thought I, not heeding it.

"Whatever may be the future, Caleb," said Ellen seriously, but very
calmly, "we ought to be prepared for it. Earth is not our
_resting-place_. We should never forget that. Should we, dearest?"

"No, love; but earth has happiness of her kind, of which her children
are most sensible. Whilst we are here, we live upon her promises."

"But oh, not to the exclusion of the brighter promises that come from
heaven! You do not say that, dear Caleb?"

"No, Ellen. You could not give your heart to him who thought so;
howbeit, you have bestowed it upon one unworthy of your piety and
excellence."

"Do not mock me, Caleb," said Ellen, blushing. "I have the heart of a
sinner, that needs all the mercy of heaven for its weaknesses and
faults. I have ever fallen short of my duty."

"You are the only one who says it. Your father will not say so, and I
question if the villagers would take your part in this respect."

"Do not misunderstand me, Caleb. I am not, I trust, a hypocrite. I have
endeavoured to be useful to the poor and helpless in our
neighbourhood--I have been anxious to lighten the heaviness of a
parent's days, and, as far as I could, to indemnify him for my mother's
loss. I believe that I have done the utmost my imperfect faculties
permitted. I have nothing to charge myself with on these accounts. But
my Heavenly Father," continued the maiden, her cheeks flushing, her eyes
filling with tears--"oh! I have been backward in my affection and duty
to him. I have not ever had before my eyes his honour and glory in my
daily walk--I have not done every act in subordination to his will, for
his sake, and with a view to his blessing. But He is merciful as well as
just, and if his punishment falls now upon my head, it is assuredly to
wean me from my error, and to bring me to himself."

The maid covered her moistened cheek, and sobbed loudly. I was fully
convinced that she was suffering from the reaction consequent upon
extreme joy. I was rather relieved than distressed by her burst of
feeling, and I did not attempt for a time to check her tears.

"Tell me, dear Caleb," she said herself at length, "if I were to lose
you--if it were to please Heaven to take you suddenly from this earth,
would it not be sinful to murmur at his act? Would it not be my duty to
bend to his decree, and to prepare to follow you?"

"You would submit to such a trial as a Christian woman ought. I am sure
you would, dear Ellen--parted, as we should be, but for a season, and
sure of a reunion."

"And would you do this?" enquired the maiden quickly. "Oh, say that you
would, dear Caleb! Let me hear it."

"You are agitated, dearest. We will not talk of this now. There is grace
in heaven appointed for the bitterest seasons of adversity. It does not
fail when needed. Let us pray that the hour may be distant which shall
bring home to either so great a test of resignation."

"Yes, pray, dear Stukely; but, should it come suddenly and quickly--oh,
let us be prepared to meet it!"

"We will endeavour, then; and now to a more cheerful theme. Do we go to
Dr Mayhew's, as proposed? We shall spend a happy day with our facetious,
but most kind-hearted friend."

Ellen burst again into a flood of tears.

"What is the matter, love?" I exclaimed. "Confide to me, and tell the
grief that preys upon your mind."

"Do not be alarmed, Stukely," she answered rapidly; "it may be nothing
after all; but when I woke this morning--it may, I hope for your sake
that it _is_ nothing serious--but my dear mother, it was the
commencement of her own last fatal illness."

She stopped suddenly, as if her speech had failed her--coughed sharply,
and raised her handkerchief to her mouth. I perceived a thick, broad
spot of BLOOD, and shuddered.

"Do not be frightened, Stukely," she continued, shocked fearfully
herself. "I shall recover soon. It is the suddenness--I was unprepared.
So it was when I awoke this morning--and it startled me, because I heard
it was the first bad symptom that my poor mother showed. Now, I pray
you, Stukely, to be calm. Perhaps I shall get well; but if I do not, I
shall be so happy--preparing for eternity, with you, dear Caleb, at my
side. You promised to be tranquil, and to bear up against this day; and
I am sure you will--yes, for my sake--that I may see you so, and have no
sorrow."

I took the dear one to my bosom, and, like a child, cried upon her neck.
What could I say? In one moment I was a bankrupt and a beggar--my
fortunes were scattered to the winds--my solid edifice as stricken by
the thunder-bolt, and lay in ruins before me! Was it real?

Ellen grew calmer as she looked at me, and spoke.

"Listen to me, dearest Stukely. It was my duty to acquaint you with this
circumstance, and I have done so, relying on your manliness and love.
You have already guessed what I am about to add. My poor father"--her
lips quivered as she said the word--"he must know nothing for the
present. It would be cruel unnecessarily to alarm him. His heart would
break. He MUST be kept in ignorance of this. You shall see Mayhew; he
will, I trust, remove our fears. Should he confirm them, he can
communicate to papa." Again she paused, and her tears trickled to her
lips, which moved convulsively.

"Do not speak, my beloved," I exclaimed. "Compose yourself. We will
return home. Be it as you wish. I will see Mayhew immediately, and bring
him with me to the parsonage. Seek rest--avoid exertion."

I know not what conversation followed this. I know not how we reached
our home again. I have no recollection of it. Three times upon our road
was the cough repeated, and, as at first, it was accompanied by that
hideous sight. In vain she turned her head away to escape detection. It
was impossible to deceive my keen and piercing gaze. I grew pale as
death as I beheld on each occasion the frightful evidence of disease;
but the maiden pressed my hand, and smiled sweetly and encouragingly to
drive away my fears. She did not speak--I had forbidden her to do so;
but her looks--full of tenderness and love--told how all her thoughts
were for her lover--all her anxiety and care.

At my request, as soon as we arrived at home, she went to bed. I saw the
incumbent--acquainted him with her sudden illness--taking care to keep
its nature secret--and then ran for my life to Dr Mayhew's residence.
The very appearance of blood was to me, as it is always to the common
and uninformed observer, beyond all doubt confirmatory of the worst
suspicions--the harbinger of certain death. There is something horrible
in its sight, presented in such a form; but not for itself do we shrink
as we behold it--not for what it is, but for what it awfully proclaims.
I was frantic and breathless when I approached the doctor's house, and
half stupified when I at length stood before him.

I told my errand quickly.

The doctor attempted instantly to mislead me, but he failed in his
design. I saw, in spite of the forced smile that would not rest upon his
lips, how unexpectedly and powerfully this news had come upon him--how
seriously he viewed it. He could not remove my miserable convictions by
his own abortive efforts at cheerfulness and unconcern. He moved to his
window, and strove to whistle, and to speak of the haymakers who were
busy in the fields, and of the weather; but the more he feigned to
regard my information as undeserving of alarm, the more convinced I grew
that deadly mischief had already taken place. There was an air about him
that showed him ill at ease; and, in the midst of all his quietude and
indifference, he betrayed an anxiety to appear composed, unwarranted by
an ordinary event. Had the illness been trifling indeed, he could have
afforded to be more serious and heedful.

"I will be at the parsonage some time to-day. You can return without me,
Stukely."

"Dr Mayhew," I exclaimed, "I entreat, I implore you not to trifle with
me! I can bear any thing but that. Tell me the worst, and I will not
shrink from it. You must not think to deceive me. You are satisfied that
there is no hope for us; I am sure you are, and you will not be just and
say so."

"I am satisfied of no such thing," answered the doctor quickly. "I
should be a fool, a madman, to speak so rashly. There is every reason to
hope, I do believe, at present. Tell me one thing--does her father know
of it?"

"He does not."

"Then let it still be kept a secret from him. Her very life may depend
upon his ignorance. She must be kept perfectly composed--no
agitation--no frightened faces around her. But I will go with you, and
see what can be done. I'll warrant it is nothing at all, and that puss
is well over her fright before we get to her."

Again the doctor smiled unhealthfully, and tried, awkwardly enough, to
appear wholly free from apprehension, whilst he was most uncomfortable
with the amount of it.

The physician remained for half an hour with his patient, and rejoined
me in the garden when he quitted her. He looked serious and thoughtful.

"There is no hope, then?" I exclaimed immediately.

"Tush, boy," he answered; "quiet--quiet. She will do well, I
hope--eventually. She has fever on her now, which must be brought down.
While that remains there will be anxiety, as there must be always--when
it leaves her, I trust she will be well again. Do you know if she has
undergone any unusual physical exertion?"

"I do not."

"I confess to you that I do not like this accident; but it is impossible
to speak positively now. Whilst the fever lasts, symptoms may be
confounded and mistaken. I will watch her closely."

"Have you seen her father?"

"I have; but I have told him nothing further than he knew. He believes
her slightly indisposed. I have calmed him, and have told him not to
have the child disturbed. You will see to that?"

"I will."

"And now mark me, Stukely. I expect that you will behave like a man, and
as you ought. We cannot keep Fairman ignorant of this business. Should
it go on, as it may--in spite of every thing we can do--he must know it.
You have seen sufficient of his character to judge how he will receive
the information which it may be my painful lot to take to him. I think
of it with dread. It has been my pleasure to stand your friend--you must
prove mine. I shall expect you to act with fortitude and calmness, and
not, by weakness and self-indulgence, to increase the pain that will
afflict the parent's heart--for it will be sufficient for Fairman to
know only what has happened to give up every hope and consolation. You
must be firm on his account and chiefly for the sake of the dear girl,
who should not see your face without a smile of confidence and love upon
it. Do you hear me? I will let you weep now," he continued, noticing the
tears which prevented my reply, "provided that you dry your eyes, and
keep them so from this time forward. Do you hear me?"

"Yes," I faltered.

"And will you heed me?"

"I will try," I answered, as firmly as I might, with every hope within
me crushed and killed by the words which he had spoken.

"Very well. Then let us say no more, until we see what Providence is
doing for us."

The fever of Ellen did not abate that day. The doctor did not leave the
house, but remained with the incumbent--not, as he told his friend,
because he thought it necessary so to do, but to keep the word which he
had given the night before--viz., to pass the day with him. He was sorry
that he had been deprived of their company at his own abode, but he
could make himself quite comfortable where he was. About eleven o'clock
at night the doctor thought it strange that Robin had not brought his
pony over, and wondered what had happened.

"Shall we send to enquire?" asked Mr Fairman.

"Oh no!" was the quick answer, "that never can be worth while. We'll
wait a little longer."

At twelve the doctor spoke again. "Well, he must think of moving; but he
was very tired, and did not care to walk."

"Why not stay here, then? I cannot see, Mayhew, why you should be so
uneasy at the thought of sleeping out. Come, take your bed with us for
once."

"Eh?--well--it's very late--suppose I do."

Mayhew had not been shrewd enough, and, with his ready acquiescence, the
minister learned all.

I did not go to bed. My place was at her door, and there I lingered till
the morning. The physician had paid his last visit shortly after
midnight, and had given orders to the nurse who waited on the patient,
to call him up if necessary, but on no account to disturb the lady if
she slept or was composed. The gentle sufferer did not require his
services, or, if she did, was too thoughtful and too kind to make it
known. Early in the morning Doctor Mayhew came--the fever had
increased--and she had experienced a new attack of hæmoptysis the moment
she awoke. The doctor stepped softly from her room, and deep anxiety was
written on his brow. I followed him with eagerness. He put his finger to
his lips, and said, "Remember, Stukely."

"Yes, I will--I do; but, is she better?"

"No--but I am not discouraged yet. Every thing depends upon extreme
tranquillity. No one must see her. Dear me, dear me! what is to be said
to Fairman, should he ask?"

"Is she placid?" I enquired.

"She is an angel, Stukely," said the good doctor, pressing my hands, and
passing on. When we met at breakfast, the incumbent looked hard at me,
and seemed to gather something from my pale and careworn face. When
Mayhew came, full of bustle, assumed, and badly too, as the shallowest
observer could perceive, he turned to him, and in a quiet voice asked
"if his child was much worse since the previous night."

"Not much," said Mayhew. "She will be better in a short time, I trust."

"May I see her?" enquired the father in the same soft tone.

"Not now--by and by perhaps--I hope to-morrow. This is a sudden
attack--you see--any excitement may prolong it--it wouldn't be well to
give a chance away. Don't you see that, Fairman?"

"Yes," said the minister, and from that moment made no further mention
of his daughter during breakfast. The meal was soon dispatched. Mr
Fairman retired to his study--and the doctor prepared for his departure.
He promised to return in the afternoon.

"Thank God!" he exclaimed, as he took leave of me at the gate, "that
Fairman remains so very unsuspicious. This is not like him. I expected
to find him more inquisitive."

"I am surprised," I answered; "but it is most desirable that he should
continue so."

"Yes--yes--by all means--for the present at all events."

Throughout the day there was no improvement in the patient's symptoms.
The physician came according to his promise, and again at night. He
slept at the parsonage for the second time. The minister betrayed no
wonder at this unusual act, showed no agitation, made no importunate
enquiries. He asked frequently during the day if any amendment had taken
place; but always in a gentle voice, and without any other reference to
her illness. As often as the doctor came, he repeated his wish to visit
his dear child, but, receiving for answer "that he had better not at
present," he retired to his study with a tremulous sigh, but offering no
remonstrance.

The doctor went early to rest. He had no inclination to spend the
evening with his friend, whom he hardly cared to see until he could meet
him as the messenger of good tidings. I had resolved to hover, as I did
before, near the mournful chamber in which she lay; and there I kept a
weary watch until my eyes refused to serve me longer, and I was forced
against my will, and for the sake of others, to yield my place and crawl
to my repose. As I walked stealthily through the house, and on tiptoe,
fearful of disturbing one beloved inmate even by a breath--I passed the
incumbent's study. The door was open, and a glare of light broke from
it, and stretched across the passage. I hesitated for a moment--then
listened--but, hearing nothing, pursued my way. It was very strange. The
clock had just before struck three, and the minister, it was supposed,
had been in bed since midnight. "His lamp is burning," thought I--"he
has forgotten it." I was on the point of entering the apartment--when I
was deterred and startled by his voice. My hand was already on the door,
and I looked in. Before me, on his knees, with his back towards me, was
my revered friend--his hands clasped, and his head raised in
supplication. He was in his dress of day, and had evidently not yet
visited his pillow. I waited, and he spoke--

"Not my will," he exclaimed in a piercing tone of prayer--"not mine, but
thy kind will be done, O Lord! If it be possible, let the bitter cup
pass from me--but spare not, if thy glory must needs be vindicated.
Bring me to thy feet in meek, and humble, and believing confidence--all
is well, then, for time and for eternity. It is merciful and good to
remove the idol that stands between our love and God. Father of
mercy--enable me to bring the truth _home, home_ to this most
traitorous--this lukewarm, earthy heart of mine--a heart not worthy of
thy care and help. Let me not murmur at thy gracious will--oh, rather
bend and bow to it--and kiss the rod that punishes. I need
chastisement--for I have loved too well--too fondly. I am a rebel, and
thy all-searching eye hath found me faithless in thy service. Take her,
Father and Saviour--I will resign her--I will bless the hand that smites
me--I will"--he stopped; and big tears, such as drop fearfully from
manhood's eye, made known to heaven the agony that tears a parent's
heart, whilst piety is occupied in healing it.

It is not my purpose to recite the doubts and fears, the terrible
suspense, the anxious hopes, that filled the hours which passed whilst
the condition of the patient remained critical. It is a recital which
the reader may well spare, and I avoid most gladly. At the end of a
week, the fever departed from the sufferer. The alarming symptoms
disappeared, and confidence flowed rapidly to the soul again. At this
time the father paid his first visit to his child. He found her weak and
wasted; the violent applications which had been necessary for safety had
robbed her of all strength--had effected, in fact, a prostration of
power, which she never recovered, from which she never rallied. Mr
Fairman was greatly shocked, and asked the physician for his opinion
_now_. The latter declined giving it until, as he expressed himself,
"the effects of the fever, and her attack, had left him a fair and open
field for observation. There was a slight cough upon her. It was
impossible for the present to say, whether it was temporary and
dependent upon what had happened, or whether it resulted from actual
mischief in her lung."

       *       *       *       *       *

A month has passed away since the physician spoke these words, and to
doubt longer would be to gaze upon the sun and to question its
brightness. Mayhew has told the father his worst fears, and bids him
prepare like a Christian and a man for the loss of his earthly treasure.
It was he who watched the decay of her mother. The case is a similar
one. He has no consolation to offer. It must be sought at the throne of
Him who giveth, and hath the right to take away. The minister receives
the intelligence with admirable fortitude. We are sitting together, and
the doctor has just spoken as becomes him, seriously and well. There is
a spasm on the cheek of the incumbent, whilst I sob loudly. The latter
takes me by the hand, and speaks to the physician in a low and
hesitating tone.

"Mayhew," said he, "I thank you for this sincerity. I will endeavour to
look the terror in the face, as I have struggled to do for many days. It
is hard--but through the mercy of Christ it is not impracticable. Dear
and oldest friend, unite your prayers with mine, for strength, and
holiness, and resignation. Cloud and agitation are at our feet. Heaven
is above us. Let us look there, and all is well."

We knelt. The minister prayed. He did not ask his Master to suspend his
judgments. He implored him to prepare the soul of the afflicted one for
its early flight, and to subdue the hearts of them all with his grace
and holy spirit. Let him who doubts the efficacy of _prayer_ seek to
clear his difficulty in the season of affliction, or when death sits
grimly at the hearth--he shall be satisfied.

If it were a consolation and a joy in the midst of our tribulation to
behold the father chastened by the heavy blow which had fallen so
suddenly upon his age, how shall I express the ineffable delight--yes,
delight, amidst sorrow the most severe--with which I contemplated the
beloved maiden, upon whose tender years Providence had allowed to fall
so great a trial. Fully sensible of her position, and of the near
approach of death, she was, so long as she could see her parent and her
lover without distress, patient, cheerful, and rejoicing. Yes, weaker
and weaker as she grew, happier and happier she became in the
consciousness of her pure soul's increase. Into her ear had been
whispered, and before her eyes holy spirits had appeared with the
mysterious communication, which, hidden as it is from us, we find
animating and sustaining feeble nature, which else would sink, appalled
and overwhelmed. There was not one of us who did not live a witness to
the truth of the heavenly promise, "_as thy days, so shall thy strength
be_;" not one amongst the dearest friends of the sufferer, who did not
feel, in the height of his affliction, that God would not cast upon his
creatures a burden which a Christian might not bear. But to _her_
especially came the celestial declaration with power and might. An
angel, sojourning for a day upon the earth, and preparing for his
homeward flight, could not have spread his ready wing more joyfully,
with livelier anticipation of his native bliss, than did the maiden look
for her recall and blest ascension to the skies. In her presence I had
seldom any grief; it was swallowed up and lost in gratitude for the
victory which the dear one had achieved, in virtue of her faith, over
all the horrors of her situation. It was when alone that I saw, in its
reality and naked wretchedness, the visitation that I, more than any
other, was doomed to suffer. For days I could scarcely bring myself to
the calm consideration of it. It seemed unreal, impossible, a dream--any
thing but what it was--the direst of worldly woes--the most tremendous
of human punishments.

I remember vividly a day passed in the chamber of the resigned creature,
about two months after the first indication of her illness. Her disease
had increased rapidly, and the signs of its ravages were painfully
manifest in her sunken eye, her hectic cheek, her hollow voice, her
continual cough. Her spirit became more tranquil as her body retreated
from the world--her hopes more firm, her belief in the love of her
Saviour--his will and power to save her, more clear, and free from all
perplexity. I had never beheld so beautiful a sight as the devoted maid
presented to my view. I had never supposed it possible to exist; and
thus, as I sat at her side, though the thought of death was ever
present, it was as of a terror in a milkwhite shroud--a monster
enveloped and concealed beneath a robe of beauty. I listened to her with
enchantment whilst she spoke of the littleness of this world, and the
boundless happiness that awaited true believers in the next--of the
unutterable mercy of God, in removing us from a scene of trouble whilst
our views were cloudless, and our hopes sure and abiding. Yes, charmed
by the unruffled air, the angelic look, I could forget even my mortality
for a moment, and feel my living soul in deep communion with a superior
and brighter spirit. It was when she recalled me to earth by a
reminiscence of our first days of love, that the bruised heart was made
sensible of pain, and of its lonely widowed lot. Then the tears would
not be checked, but rushed passionately forth, and, as the clouds shut
out and hid the one brief glimpse of heaven, flowed unrestrained.

Her mind was in a sweet composed state during the interview to which I
allude. She had pleasure in referring to the days of her childhood, and
in speaking of the happiness which she had found amongst her native
hills.

"How little, Caleb," she said, "is the mind occupied with thoughts of
death in childhood--with any thoughts of actual lasting evil! We cannot
see these things in childhood--we cannot penetrate so deeply or throw
our gaze so far, we are so occupied with the joys that are round about
us. Is it not so? Our parents are ever with us. Day succeeds to day--one
so like the other--and our home becomes our world. A sorrow comes at
length--a parent dies--the first and dearest object in that world; then
all is known, and the stability of life becomes suspected."

"The home of many," I replied, "is undisturbed for years!"

"Yes, and how sweet a thing is love of home! It is not acquired, I am
sure. It is a feeling that has its origin elsewhere. It is born with us;
brought from another world, to carry us on in this with joy. It attaches
to the humblest heart that ever throbbed."

"Dear Ellen!" I exclaimed, "how little has sorrow to do with your
affliction!"

"And why, dear Caleb? Have you never found that the difficulties of the
broad day melt away beneath the influences of the quiet lovely night?
Have you never been perplexed in the bustle and tumult of the day, and
has not truth revealed itself when all was dark and still? This is my
night, and in sickness I have seen the eye of God upon me, and heard his
words, as I have never seen and heard before?"

It was in this manner that she would talk, not more disturbed, nay, not
so much, as when in happier times I never heard her speak of the
troubles and anxieties of her poor villagers. No complaint--no mournful
accents escaped her lips. If at times the soaring spirit was repressed,
dejected, the living--the loved ones whom she must leave behind her had
possession of her thoughts, and loaded them with pain. Who would wait
upon her father? Who would attend to all his little wants? Who could
understand his nature as she had learnt it--and who would live to
comfort and to cheer his days? These questions she has asked herself,
whilst her only answers have been her struggling tears.

The days were travelling fast; each one taking from the doomed
girl--years of life. She dwindled and wasted; and became at length less
than a shadow of her former self. Why linger on the narrative? Autumn
arrived, and, with the general decay--she died. A few hours before her
death she summoned me to her bedside, and acquainted me with her
fast-approaching dissolution. "It is the day," she said, speaking with
difficulty--"I am sure of it. I have watched that branch for many
days--look--it is quite bare. Its last yellow leaf has fallen--I shall
not survive it." I gazed upon her; her eye was brighter than ever. It
sparkled again, and most beautiful she looked. But death was there--and
her soul eager to give him all that he could claim!

"You are quite happy, dearest Ellen!" I exclaimed, weeping on her thin
emaciated hand.

"Most happy, beloved. Do not grieve--be resigned--be joyful. I have a
word to say. Nurse," she continued, calling to her attendant--"the
drawing."

The nurse placed in her hand the sketch which she had taken of my
favourite scene.

"Do you remember, love?" said she. "Keep it, for Ellen--you loved that
spot--oh, so did I!--and you will love it still. There is another
sketch, you will find it by and by--afterwards--when I am----It is in my
desk. Keep that too, for Ellen, will you? It is the last drawing I have
made."

I sat by and bit my lips to crush my grief, but I would not be silent
whilst my heart as breaking.

"You should rejoice, dear," continued Ellen solemnly. "We did not expect
this separation so very soon; but it is better now than later. Be sure
it is merciful and good. Prepare for this hour, Caleb; and when it
comes, you will be so calm, so ready to depart. How short is life! Do
not waste the precious hours. Read from St John, dearest--the eleventh
chapter. It is all sweetness and consolation."

The sun was dropping slowly into the west, leaving behind him a deep red
glow that illuminated the hills, and burnished the windows of the
sick-chamber. The wind moaned, and, sweeping the sere leaves at
intervals, threatened a tempest. There was a solemn stillness in the
parsonage, around whose gate--weeping in silence, without heart to
speak, or wish to make their sorrow known--were collected a host of
humble creatures--the poorest but sincerest friends of Ellen--the
villagers who had been her care. They waited and lingered for the heavy
news, which they were told must come to them this day; and prayed
secretly--every one of them, old and young--for mercy on the sufferer's
soul! And she, whose gentle spirit is about to flit, lies peacefully,
and but half-conscious of the sounds that pass to heaven on her behalf.
Her father, Mayhew, and I, kneel round her bed, and the minister in
supplicating tones, where nature does not interpose, dedicates the
virgin to _His_ favour whose love she has applied so well. He ceases,
for a whisper has escaped her lips. We listen all. "_Oh, this is
peace_!" she utters faintly, but most audibly, and the scene is over.

"It is a dream," said the minister, when we parted for the night--I with
the vain hope to forget in sleep the circumstances of the day--the
father to stray unwittingly into _her_ former room, and amongst the
hundred objects connected with the happy memory of the departed.

The picture of which my Ellen had spoken, I obtained on the following
day. It was a drawing of the church and the burial-ground adjoining it.
One grave was open. It represented that in which her own mortal remains
were deposited, amidst the unavailing lamentations of a mourning
village.

In three months the incumbent quitted Devonshire. The scenery had no
pleasure for him, associated as it was with all the sorrows of his life.
His pupils returned to their homes. He had offered to retain them, and
to retain his incumbency for the sake of my advancement; but, whilst I
saw that every hour spent in the village brought with it new bitterness
and grief, I was not willing to call upon him for so great a sacrifice.
Such a step, indeed, was rendered unnecessary through the kind help of
Dr Mayhew, to whom I owe my present situation, which I have held for
forty years with pleasure and contentment. Mr Fairman retired to a
distant part of the kingdom, where the condition of the people rendered
the presence of an active minister of God a privilege and a blessing. In
the service of his Master, in the securing of the happiness of other
men, he strove for years to deaden the pain of his own crushed heart.
And he succeeded--living to bless the wisdom which had carried him
through temptation; and dying, at last, to meet with the reward
conferred upon the man _who, by patient continuance in well-doing, seeks
for glory, and honour, and immortality_--ETERNAL LIFE.

The employment obtained for me by the kind interest of Dr Mayhew, which
the return of so many summers and winters has found me steadily
prosecuting, was in the house of his brother--a gentleman whose name is
amongst the first in a profession adorned by a greater number of
high-minded, honourable men, than the world generally is willing to
allow. Glad to avail myself of comparative repose, an active occupation,
and a certain livelihood, I did not hesitate to enter his office in the
humble capacity of clerk. I have lived to become the confidential
secretary and faithful friend of my respected principal.

As I have progressed noiselessly in the world, and rather as a spectator
than an actor on the broad stage of life, it has been no unprofitable
task to trace the career of those with whom I formed an intimacy during
the bustle and excitement of my boyhood. Not many months after my
introduction into the mysteries of law, tidings reached my ears
concerning Mr Clayton. He had left his chapel suddenly. His avarice had
led him deeper and deeper into guilt; speculation followed speculation,
until he found himself entangled in difficulties, from which, by lawful
means, he was unable to extricate himself. He forged the signature of a
wealthy member of his congregation, and thus added another knot to the
complicated string of his delinquencies. He was discovered. There was
not a man aware of the circumstances of the case who was not satisfied
of his guilt; but a legal quibble saved him, and he was sent into the
world again, branded with the solemn reprimand of the judge who tried
him for his life, and who bade him seek existence honestly--compelled to
labour, as he would be, in a humbler sphere of life than that in which
he had hitherto employed his undoubted talents. To those acquainted with
the working of the unhappy system of _dissent_, it will not be a matter
of surprise that the result was not such as the good judge anticipated.
It so happened that, at the time of Mr Clayton's acquittal, a dispute
arose between the minister of his former congregation and certain
influential members of the same. The latter, headed by a fruiterer, a
very turbulent and conceited personage, separated from what they called
the _church_, and set up another _church_ in opposition. The
meeting-house was built, and the only question that remained to agitate
the pious minds of the half-dozen founders was--_How to let the pews_!
Mr CLAYTON, more popular amongst his set than ever, was invited to
accept the duties of a pastor. He consented, and had the pews been
trebled they would not have satisfied one half the applications which,
in one month, were showered on the victorious schismatics. Here, for a
few years, Mr Clayton continued; his character improved, his fame more
triumphant, his godliness more spiritual and pure than it had been even
before he committed the crime of forgery. His ruling passion,
notwithstanding, kept firm hold of his soul, and very soon betrayed him
into the commission of new offences. He fled from London, and I lost
sight of him. At length I discovered that he was preaching in one of the
northern counties, and with greater success than ever--yes, such is the
fallacy of the system--with the approbation of men, and the idolatry of
women, to whom the history of his career was as familiar as their own.
Again circumstances compelled him to decamp. I know not what these were,
nor could I ever learn; satisfied, however, that from his nature _money_
must have been in close connexion with them, I expected soon to hear of
him again; and I did hear, but not for years. The information that last
of all I gained was, that he had sold his noble faculties
_undisguisedly_ to the arch enemy of man. He had become the editor of
one of the lowest newspaper of the metropolis, notorious for its Radical
politics and atheistical blasphemies.

Honest, faithful and unimpeachable John Thompson! Friend, husband,
father--sound in every relation of this life--thou noble-hearted
Englishman! Let me not say thy race is yet extinct. No; in spite of the
change that has come over the spirit of our land--in spite of the rust
that eats into men's souls, eternally racked with thoughts of gain and
traffic--in spite of the cursed poison insidiously dropped beneath the
cottage eaves, by reckless, needy demagogues, I trust my native land,
and still believe, that on her lap she cherishes whole bands of faithful
children, and firm patriots. Not amongst the least inducements to return
to London was the advantage of a residence near to that of my best
friend and truest counsellor. I cannot number the days which I have
spent with him and his unequalled family--unequalled in their unanimity
and love. For years, no Sunday passed which did not find me at their
hospitable board; a companion afterwards in their country walks, and at
the evening service of their parish church. The children were men and
women before it pleased Providence to remove their sire. How like his
life was good John Thompson's death! Full of years, but with his mental
vision clear as in its dawn, aware of his decline, he called his family
about his bed, and to the weeping group spoke firmly and most
cheerfully.

"He had lived his time," he said, "and long enough to see his children
doing well. There was not one who caused him pain and fear--and that was
more than every father of a family could say--thank God for it! He
didn't know that he had much to ask of any one of them. If they
continued to work hard, he left enough behind to buy them tools; and if
they didn't, the little money he had saved would be of very little use.
There was their mother. He needn't tell 'em to be kind to her, because
their feelings wouldn't let them do no otherwise. As for advice, he'd
give it to them in his own plain way. First and foremost, he hoped _they
never would sew their mouths up_--never act in such a way as to make
themselves ashamed of speaking like a man;" and then he recommended
strongly that _they should touch no bills but such as they might cut
wood with_. The worst that could befall 'em would be a cut upon the
finger; and if they handled other bills they'd cut their heads off in
the end, be sure of it. "Alec," said he at last,--"you fetch me bundle
of good sticks. Get them from the workshop." Alec brought them, and the
sire continued,--"Now, just break one a-piece. There, that's right--now,
try and break them altogether. No, no, my boys, you can't do that, nor
can the world break you so long as you hold fast and well together.
Disagree and separate, and nothing is more easy. If a year goes bad with
one, let the others see to make it up. Live united, do your duty, and
leave the rest to heaven." So Thompson spake; such was the legacy he
left to those who knew from his good precept and example how to profit
by it. My friendship with his children has grown and ripened. They are
thriving men. Alec has inherited the nature of his father more than any
other son. All go smoothly on in life, paying little regard to the
broils and contests of external life, but most attentive to the
_in-door_ business. All, did I say?--I err. Exception must be made in
favour of my excellent good friend, Mr Robert Thompson. He has in him
something of the spirit of his mother, and finds fault where his
brethren are most docile. Catholic emancipation he regarded with
horror--the Reform bill with indignation; and the onward movement of the
present day he looks at with the feelings of an individual waiting for
an earthquake. He is sure that the world is going round the other way,
or is turned topsy-turvy, or is coming to an end. He is the quietest and
best disposed man in his parish--his moral character is without a
flaw--his honesty without a blemish, yet is his mind filled with designs
which would astonish the strongest head that rebel ever wore. He talks
calmly of the propriety of hanging, without trial, all publishers of
immorality and sedition--of putting embryo rioters to death, and
granting them a judicial examination as soon as possible afterwards.
Dissenting meeting-houses he would shut up instanter, and guard with
soldiers to prevent irregularity or disobedience. "Things," he says,
"are twisted since his father was a boy, and must be twisted back--by
force--to their right place again. Ordinary measures are less than
useless for extraordinary times, and he only wishes he had power, or was
prime-minister for a day or two." But for this unfortunate _monomania_,
the Queen has not a better subject, London has not a worthier citizen
than the plain spoken, simple-hearted Robert Thompson.

In one of the most fashionable streets of London, and within a few doors
of the residence of royalty, is a stylish house, which always looks as
if it were newly painted, furnished, and decorated. The very imperfect
knowledge which a passer-by may gain, denotes the existence of great
wealth within the clean and shining walls. Nine times out of ten shall
you behold, standing at the door, a splendid equipage--a britzka or
barouche. The appointments are of the richest kind--the servants' livery
gaudiest of the gaudy--silvery are their buttons, and silver-gilt the
horses' harness. Stay, whilst the big door opens, and then mark the
owner of the house and britzka. A distinguished foreigner, you say, of
forty, or thereabouts. He seems dressed in livery himself; for all the
colours of the rainbow are upon him. Gold chains across his breast--how
many you cannot count at once--intersect each other curiously; and on
every finger sparkles a precious jewel, or a host of jewels. Thick
mustaches and a thicker beard adorn the foreign face; but a certain air
which it assumes, convinces you without delay that it is the property of
an unmitigated blackguard. Reader, you see the ready Ikey, whom we have
met oftener than once in this short history. Would you know more? Be
satisfied to learn, that he exists upon the follies and the vices of our
high nobility. He has made good the promises of his childhood and his
youth. He rolls in riches, and is----a fashionable money-lender.

Dark were the shadows which fell upon my youth. The indulgent reader has
not failed to note them--with pain it may be--and yet, I trust, not
without improvement. Yes, sad and gloomy has been the picture, and light
has gleamed but feebly there. It has been otherwise since I carried, for
my comfort and support, the memory of my beloved Ellen into the serious
employment of my later years. With the catastrophe of her decease,
commenced another era of my existence--the era of self-denial, patience,
sobriety, and resignation. Her example dropped with silent power into my
soul, and wrought its preservation. Struck to the earth by the immediate
blow, and rising slowly from it, I did not mourn her loss as men are
wont to grieve at the departure of all they hold most dear. Think when I
would of her, in the solemn watches of the night, in the turmoil of the
bustling day--a saint beatified, a spirit of purity and love--hovered
above me, smiling in its triumphant bliss, and whispering----peace. My
lamentation was intercepted by my joy. And so throughout have I been
irritated by the small annoyances of the world, her radiant
countenance--as it looked sweetly even upon death--has risen to shame
and silence my complaint. Repining at my humble lot, her words--that
estimated well the value, the nothingness of life compared with life
eternal--have spoken the effectual reproof. As we advance in years, the
old familiar faces gradually retreat and fade at length entirely. Forty
long years have passed, and on this bright spring morning the gentle
Ellen steals upon the lawn, unaltered by the lapse of time. Her slender
arm is twined in mine, and her eye fills with innocent delight. Not an
hour of age is added to her face, although the century was not yet born
when last I gazed upon its meek and simple loveliness. She vanishes. Is
it her voice that through the window flows, borne on the bosom of the
vernal wind? Angel of Light, I wait thy bidding to rejoin thee!

       *       *       *       *       *



COMMERCIAL POLICY.

SPAIN.


The extraordinary breadth and boldness of the fiscal measures propounded
and carried out at once in the past year with vigour and promptitude no
less extraordinary, wisely calculated of themselves, as they may be,
perhaps, and so far experience is assumed to have confirmed, to exercise
a salutary bearing upon the physical condition of the people, and to
reanimate the drooping energies of the country, can, however, receive
the full, the just development of all the large and beneficial
consequences promised, only as commercial intercourse is extended, as
new marts are opened, and as hostile tariffs are mitigated or abated, by
which former markets have been comparatively closed against the products
of British industry. The fiscal changes already operated, may be said to
have laid the foundation, and prepared the way, for this extension and
revival of our foreign commercial relations; but it remains alone for
our commercial policy to raise the superstructure and consummate the
work, if the foundations be of such solidity as we are assured on high
authority they are. In the promotion of national prosperity,
colonization may prove a gradually efficient auxiliary; but as a remedy
for present ills, its action must evidently be too slow and restricted;
and even though it should be impelled to a geometrical ratio of
progression, still would the prospect of effectual relief be discernible
only through a vista of years. Meanwhile, time presses, and the patient
might perish if condemned alone to the homoeopathic process of
infinitesimal doses of relief.

The statesman who entered upon the Government with his scheme of policy,
reflected and silently matured as a whole, (as we may take for granted,)
with principles determined, and his course chalked out in a right line,
was not, assuredly, tardy, whilst engaged with the work of fiscal
revision, in proceeding practically to the enlargement of the basis of
the commercial system of the empire. An advantageous treaty of commerce
with the young but rising republic of Monte Video, rewarded his first
exertions, and is there to attest also the zealous co-operation of his
able and accomplished colleague, Lord Aberdeen. This treaty is not
important only in reference to the greater facilities and increase of
trade, conceded with the provinces on the right bank of the river Plate,
and of the Uruguay and Parana, but inasmuch also as, in the possible
failure of the negotiations for the renewal of the commercial treaty
with Brazil, now approaching its term, it cannot fail to secure easy
access for British wares in the territory of Rio Grande, lying on the
borders of the republic of the Uruguay, and far the most extensive,
though not the most populous, of Brazilian provinces; and this in
despite of the Government of Brazil, which does not, and cannot, possess
the means for repressing its intercourse with Monte Video, even though
its possession and authority were as absolute and acknowledged in Rio
Grande as they are decidedly the reverse. The next, and the more
difficult, achievement of Conservative diplomacy resulted in the
ratification of a supplementary commercial convention with Russia. We
say difficult, because the iron-bound exclusiveness and isolation of the
commercial, as well as of the political, system of St Petersburg, is
sufficiently notorious; and it must have required no small exercise of
sagacity and address to overcome the known disinclination of that
Cabinet to any relaxation of the restrictive policy which, as the
Autocrat lately observed to a distinguished personage, "had been handed
down to him from his ancestors, and was found to work well for the
interests of his empire." The peculiar merits of this treaty are as
little understood, however, as they have been unjustly depreciated in
some quarters, and the obstacles to the accomplishment overlooked. It
will be sufficient to state, on the present occasion, that notice had
been given by the Russian Government, of the resolution to subject
British shipping, importing produce other than of British, or British
colonial origin, to the payment of differential or discriminating duties
on entrance into Russian ports. The result of such a measure would have
been to put an entire stop to that branch of the carrying trade, which
consisted in supplying the Russian market with the produce of other
European countries, and of Brazil, Cuba, and elsewhere, direct in
British bottoms. To avert this determination, representations were not
spared, and at length negotiations were consented to. But for some time
they wore but an unpromising appearance, were more than once suspended,
if not broken off, and little, if any, disposition was exhibited on the
part of the Russian Government to listen to terms of compromise. After
upwards of twelvemonths' delay, hesitation, and diplomacy, the
arrangement was finally completed, which was laid before Parliament at
the commencement of the session. It may be accepted as conclusive
evidence of the tact and skill of the British negotiators, that, in
return for waiving the alterations before alluded to, and leaving
British shipping entitled to the same privileges as before, it was
agreed that the produce of Russian Poland, shipped from Prussian ports
in Russian vessels, should be admissible into the ports of Great Britain
on the same conditions of duty as if coming direct and loaded from
Russian ports. As the greater part of Russian Poland lies inland, and
communicates with the sea only through the Prussian ports, it was no
more than just and reasonable that Russian Polish produce so brought to
the coast--to Dantzig, for example--should be admissible here in Russian
bottoms on the same footing as if from a Russian port. To this country
it could be a matter of slight import whether such portion of the
produce so shipped in Prussian ports as was carried in foreign, and not
in British bottoms, came in Russian vessels or in those of Prussia, as
before. To Russia, however, the boon was clearly of considerable
interest, and valued accordingly. In the mean time, British shipping
retains its former position, in respect of the carriage of foreign
produce; and, however hostile Russian tariffs may be to British
manufactured products--as hostile to the last degree they are, as well
as against the manufactured wares of all other States--it is undeniable
that our commercial marine enjoys a large proportion of the carrying
trade with Russia--almost a monopoly, in fact, of the carrying trade
between the two countries direct. Of 1147 foreign ships which sailed
with cargoes during the year 1842 from the port of Cronstadt, 515 were
British, with destination direct to the ports of the United Kingdom,
whilst only forty-one foreign or Russian vessels were loaded and left
during that year for British ports. Of 525 British vessels, of the
aggregate burden of nearly 118,000 tons, which anchored in the roadstead
of Cronstadt in that year, 472 were direct from the United Kingdom, and
fifty-three from various other countries, such as the two Sicilies,
Spain, Cuba, South America, &c. The number of British vessels which
entered the port of St Petersburg, as Cronstadt in fact is, was more
considerable still in 1840 and 1841--having been in the first year, 662,
of the aggregate burden of 146,682 tons; in the latter, of 645 ships and
146,415 tons. Of the total average number of vessels by which the
foreign trade of that empire is carried on, and load and leave the ports
of Russia yearly, which, in round numbers, may be taken at about 6000,
of an aggregate tonnage of 1,000,000--ships sailing on ballast not
comprehended--the average number of ships under the Russian flag,
comprised in the estimate, does not much, if any, exceed 1000, of the
aggregate burden of 150 or 160,000 tons. This digression, though it has
led us further astray from our main object than we had contemplated,
will not be without its uses, if it serve to correct some exaggerated
notions which prevail about the comparative valuelessness
of our commerce with Russia, because of its assumed entire
one-sidedness--losing sight altogether of its vast consequence to the
shipping interest; and of the freightage, which is as much an article of
commerce and profit as cottons and woollens; oblivious, moreover, of the
great political question involved in the maintenance and aggrandisement
of that shipping interest, which must be taken to account by the
statesman and the patriot as redressing to no inconsiderable extent the
adverse action of unfriendly tariffs. It is only after careful
ponderance of these and other combined considerations, that the value of
any trading relations with Russia can be clearly understood, and that
the importance of the supplementary treaty of navigation recently
carried through, with success proportioned to the remarkable ability and
perseverance displayed, can be duly appreciated. It is, undoubtedly, the
special economical event of the day, upon which the commercial, and
scarcely less the political, diplomacy of the Government may be most
justly complimented for its mastery of prejudices and impediments,
which, under the circumstances, and in view of the peculiar system to be
combated, appeared almost insurmountable. Common honesty and candour
must compel this acknowledgment, even from men so desperate in their
antipathies to the political system of Russia, as Mr Urquhart or Mr
Cargill--antipathies, by the way, with which we shall not hesitate to
express a certain measure of participation.

We shall not dwell upon those other negotiations, now and for some time
past in active progress with France, with Brazil, with Naples, with
Austria, and with Portugal, by which Sir Robert Peel is so zealously
labouring to fill up the broad outlines of his economical policy--a
policy which represents the restoration of peace to the nation, progress
to industry, and plenty to the cottage; but which also otherwise is not
without its dangers. Amidst the whirlwind of passions, the storm of
hatred and envy, conjured by the evil genius of his predecessors in
office, and most notably by the malignant star which lately ruled over
the foreign destinies of England, the task has necessarily been, yet is,
and will be, Herculean; but the force of Hercules is there also, as may
be hoped, to wrestle with and overthrow the hydra--the Æolus to recall
and encage the tempestuous elements of strife. A host in himself, hosts
also the premier has with him in his cabinet; for such singly are the
illustrious Wellington, the Aberdeen, the Stanley, the Graham, the
Ripon, and, though last, though youngest, scarcely least, the Gladstone.

Great as is our admiration, deeply impressed as we are with a sense of
the extraordinary qualifications, of the varied acquirements, of the
conscientious convictions, and the singleness and rightmindedness of
purpose of the right honourable the vice-president of the Board of
Trade, we must yet presume to hesitate before we give an implicit
adherence upon all the points in the confession of economical faith
expressed and implied in an article attributed to him, and not without
cause, which ushered into public notice the first number of a new
quarterly periodical, "The Foreign and Colonial Quarterly Review," in
January last, and was generally accepted as a programme of ministerial
faith and action. Our points of dissonance are, however, few; but, as
involving questions of principle, whilst we are generally at one on
matters of detail, we hold them to be of some importance. This, however,
is not the occasion proper for urging them, when engaged on a special
theme. But on a question of fact, which has a bearing upon the subject
in hand, we may be allowed to express our decided dissent from the
_dictum_ somewhat arbitrarily launched, in the article referred to, in
the following terms:--"We shall urge that foreign countries neither have
combined, nor ought to combine, nor can combine, against the commerce of
Great Britain; and we _shall treat as a calumny the imputation that they
are disposed to enter into such a combination_." The italics, it must be
observed, are ours.

We have at this moment evidence lying on our table sufficiently
explanatory and decisive to our minds that such a spirit of combination
is abroad against British commercial interests. We might indeed appeal
to events of historical publicity, which would seem confirmatory of a
tacitly understood combination, from the simultaneity of action
apparent. We have, for example, France reducing the duties on Belgian
iron, coal, linen, yarn, and cloths, whilst she raises those on similar
British products; the German Customs' League imposing higher and
prohibitory duties on British fabrics of mixed materials, such as wool,
cotton, silk, &c.; puny Portugal interdicting woollens by exorbitant
rates of impost, and scarcely tolerating the admission of cotton
manufactures; the United States, with sweeping action, passing a whole
tariff of prohibitory imposts; and, in several of these instances, this
war of restrictions against British industry commenced, or immediately
followed upon, those remarkable changes and reductions in the tariff of
this country which signalized the very opening of Sir Robert Peel's
administration. Conceding, however, this seeming concert of action to be
merely fortuitous, what will the vice-president of the Board of Trade
say to the long-laboured, but still unconsummated customs' union between
France and Belgium? Was that in the nature of a combination against
British commercial interests, or was it the reverse? It is no cabinet
secret--it has been publicly proclaimed, both by the French and Belgian
Governments and press, that the indispensable basis, the _sine qua non_
of that union, must be, not a calculated amalgamation of, not a
compromise between the differing and inconsistent tariffs of Belgium and
France, but the adoption, the imposition, of the tariff of France for
both countries in all its integrity, saving in some exceptional cases of
very slight importance, in deference to municipal dues and _octrois_ in
Belgium. When, after previous parley and cajoleries at Brussels,
commissioners were at length procured to be appointed by the French
ministry, and proceeded to meet and discuss the conditions of the
long-cherished project of the union, with the officials deputed on the
part of France to assist in the conference, it is well known that the
final cause of rupture was the dogged persistance of the French members
of the joint commission in urging the tariff of France, in all its
nakedness of prohibition, deformity, and fiscal rigour, as the one sole
and exclusive _régime_ for the union debated, without modification or
mitigation. On this ground alone the Belgian deputies withdrew from
their mission. How this result, this check, temporary only as it may
prove, chagrined the Government, if not the people, and the mining and
manufacturing interests of France, may be understood by the simple
citation of a few short but pithy sentences from the _Journal des
Débats_, certainly the most influential, as it is the most ably
conducted, of Parisian journals:--"_Le 'ZOLLVEREIN,'_" observes the
_Débats, "a prodigieusement rehaussé la Prusse; l'union douanière avec
la Belgique aurait, à un degré moindre cependant, le même résultat pour
nous.... Nous sommes, donc, les partisans de cette union, ses partisans
prononcés, à deux conditions: la première, c'est qu'il ne faille pas
payer ces beaux résultats par le bouleversement de l'industrie
rationale; la seconde, c'est que la Belgique en accepte sincèrement es
charges en même temps qu'elle en recuiellera les profits, et qu'en
consequence elle se prête à tout ce qui sera nécessaire pour mettre
NOTRE INDUSTRIE A L'ABRI DE L'INVASION DES PRODUITS ETRANGERS, et pour
que les intérêts de notre Trésor soient à couvert._" This is plain
speaking; the Government journal of France worthily disdains to practise
mystery or attempt deception, for its mission is to contend for the
interests, one-sided, exclusive, and egoistical, as they may be, and
establish the supremacy of France--_quand même_; at whatever resulting
prejudice to Belgium--at whatever total exclusion of Great Britain from
commercial intercourse with, and commercial transit through Belgium,
must inevitably flow from a customs' union, the absolute preliminary
condition of which is to be, that Belgium "shall be ready to do every
thing necessary to place our commerce beyond the reach of invasion by
foreign products." Mr Gladstone may rest assured that the achievement of
this Franco-Belgiac customs' union will still be pursued with all the
indomitable perseverance, the exhaustless and ingenious devices, the
little-scrupulous recources, for which the policy of the Tuileries in
times present does not belie the transmitted traditions of the past. And
it will be achieved, to the signal detriment of British interests, both
commercial and political, unless all the energies and watchfulness of
the distinguished statesmen who preside at the Foreign Office and the
Board of Trade be not unceasingly on the alert.

Other and unmistakeable signs of the spirit of commercial combination,
or confederation, abroad, and more or less explicitly avowed and
directed against this country, are, and have been for some time past,
only too patent, day by day, in most of those continental journals, the
journals of confederated Germany, of France, with some of those of Spain
and of Portugal, which exercise the largest measure of influence upon,
and represent with most authority the voice of, public opinion. Nor are
such demonstrations confined to journalism. _Collaborateurs_, in serial
or monthly publications, are found as earnest auxiliaries in the same
cause--as _redacteurs_ and _redactores_; pamphleteers, like light
irregulars, lead the skirmish in front, whilst the main battle is
brought up with the heavy artillery of _tome_ and works voluminous. Of
these, as of _brochures, filletas_, and journals, we have various
specimens now on our library table. All manner of customs, or commercial
unions, between states are projected, proposed, and discussed, but from
each and all of these proposed unions Great Britain is studiously
isolated and excluded. We have the "Austrian union" planned out and
advocated, comprising, with the hereditary states of that empire,
Moldavia, Wallachia, Bulgaria, Servia, Bosnia, as well as those
provinces of ancient Greece, which, like Macedonia, remain subject to
Turkey, with, perhaps, the modern kingdom of Greece. We have the
"Italian union," to be composed of Sardinia, Lombardy, Lucca, Parma, and
Modena, Tuscany, the two Sicilies, and the Papal States. There is the
"Peninsular union" of Spain and Portugal. Then we have one "French
union" sketched out, modestly projected for France, Belgium,
Switzerland, and Savoy only. And we have another of more ambitious
aspirations, which should unite Belgium, Switzerland, and Spain under
the commercial standard of France. One of the works treating of projects
of this kind was, we believe, crowned with a prize by some learned
institution in France.

From this slight sketch of what is passing abroad--and we cannot afford
the space at present for more ample development--the right honourable
Vice President of the Board of Trade will perhaps see cause to revise
the opinion too positively enounced, that "foreign countries neither
have combined, nor ought to combine, nor can combine, against the
commerce of Great Britain;" and that it is a "calumny" to conceive that
they are "disposed to enter into such a combination."

With these preliminary remarks, we now proceed to the consideration of
the commercial relations between Spain and Great Britain, and of the
policy in the interest of both countries, but transcendently in that of
Spain, by which those relations, now reposing on the narrowest basis, at
least on the one side, on that of Spain herself, may be beneficially
improved and enlarged. It may be safely asserted, that there are no two
nations in the old world--nay more, no two nations in either, or both,
the old world and the new--more desirably situated and circumstanced for
an intimate union of industrial interests, for so direct and perfect an
interchange of their respective products. The interchange would, indeed,
under a wise combination of reciprocal dealing, resolve itself purely
almost into the primitive system of barter; for the wants of Spain are
such as can be best, sometimes only, supplied from England, whilst Spain
is rich in products which ensure a large, sometimes an exclusive,
command of British consumption. Spain is eminently agricultural,
pastoral, and mining; Great Britain more eminently ascendant still in
the arts and science of manufacture and commerce. With a diversity of
soil and climate, in which almost spontaneously flourish the chief
productions of the tropical as of the temperate zone; with mineral
riches which may compete with, nay, which greatly surpass in their
variety, and might, if well cultivated, in their value, those of the
Americas which she has lost; with a territory vast and virgin in
proportion to the population; with a sea-board extensively ranging along
two of the great high-ways of nations--the Atlantic and the
Mediterranean--and abundantly endowed with noble and capacious harbours;
there is no conceivable limit to the boundless production and creation
of exchangeable wealth, of which, with her immense natural resources,
still so inadequately explored, Spain is susceptible, that can be
imagined, save from that deficient supply of labour as compared with the
territorial expanse which would gradually come to be redressed as
industry was promoted, the field of employment extended, and labour
remunerated. With an estimated area of 182,758 square miles, the
population of Spain does not exceed, probably, thirteen millions and a
half of souls, whilst Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 115,702
square miles, support a population of double the number. Production,
however, squares still less with territorial extent than does
population; for the stimulus to capital and industry is wanting when the
facilities of exchanges are checked by fiscal prohibitions and
restrictions. Agricultural produce, the growth of the vine and the
olive, is not unfrequently known to run to waste, to be abandoned, as
not worth the toil of gathering and preparation, because markets are
closed and consumption checked in countries from which exchangeable
commodities are prohibited. The extent of these prohibitions and
restrictions, almost unparalleled even by the arbitrary tariff of
Russia, may be estimated in part by the following extract from a
pamphlet, published last year by Mr James Henderson, formerly
consul-general to the Republic of New Granada, entitled "A Review of the
Commercial Code and Tariffs of Spain;" a writer, by the way, guilty of
much exaggeration of fact and opinion when not quoting from, or
supported by, official documents.

    "The 'Aranceles,' or Tariffs, are four in number; 1st, of
    foreign importations; 2d, of importations from America; 3d,
    from Asia; and, 4th, of exportations from Spain.

    "The Tariff of foreign importations contains 1326 articles
    alphabetically arranged:--

        800 to pay a duty of 15 per cent in Spanish vessels,
        230    "     "       20  "
         80    "     "       25  "
         55    "     "       10  "
         26    "     "       30  "
          3    "     "       36  "
          2    "     "       24  "
          2    "     "       45  "
        about 50 from 1 to 8 per cent, and the rest free of duty.

    "The preceding articles imported in foreign vessels are subject
    to an increased duty, at the following rates:--

        1150 articles at the rate of 1/8 more,
          80      "           "      1/4 more,
          10      "           "      1/2 more.

    "There is, besides, a duty of 'consumo,' principally at the
    rate of 1/8 of the respective duties, and in some very few
    cases at the rate of 1/4 and 1/2.

    "Thus the duty of 15 per cent levied, if the importation is by
    a Spanish vessel, will be increased by the 'consumo' to 20 per
    cent. And the duty of 20 per cent on the same articles, in
    foreign vessels, will be augmented to 27 per cent.

    "The duty of 20 per cent will be about 27 in Spanish vessels,
    and in foreign vessels, on the same articles, 36 per cent. The
    duty of 25 per cent, will in the whole be 33 per cent by
    Spanish, and by foreign vessels 44 per cent.

    "The duty on articles, amounting to seventy-three, imported
    from America, vary from 1 to 15 per cent, with double the duty
    if in foreign vessels.

    "The articles of importation from Asia are--sixty-nine from the
    Phillipines at 1 to 5 per cent duty, and thirty-six from China
    at 5 to 25 per cent duty, and can only be imported in Spanish
    ships.

    "The articles of export are fourteen, with duties at 1 to 80
    per cent, with one-third increase if by foreign vessels.

    "There are eighty-six articles of importation prohibited,
    amongst which are wrought iron, tobacco, spirits, quicksilver,
    ready-made clothing, corn, salt, hats, soap, wax, wools,
    leather, vessels under 400 tons, &c. &c. &c.

    "There are eleven articles of exportation prohibited, amongst
    which are hides, skins, and timber for naval purposes."

Such a tariff contrasts strangely with that of this country, in which 10
per cent is the basis of duty adopted for importations of foreign
manufactures, and 5 per cent for foreign raw products.

Can we wonder that, with such a tariff, legitimate imports are of so
small account, and that the smuggler intervenes to redress the
enormously disproportionate balance, and administer to the wants of the
community? Can we wonder that the powers of native production should be
so bound down, and territorial revenue so comparatively diminutive, when
exchanges are so hampered by fiscal and protective rapacity? Canga
Arguelles, the first Spanish financier and statistician of his day,
calculated the territorial revenue of Spain at 8,572,220,592 reals, say,
in sterling, L.85,722,200; whilst he asserts, with better cultivation,
population the same, the soil is capable of returning ten times the
value. As a considerable proportion of the revenue of Spain is derived
from the taxation of land, the prejudice resulting to the treasury is
alone a subject of most important consideration. For the proprietary,
and, in the national point of view, as affecting the well-being of the
masses, it is of far deeper import still. And what is the financial
condition of Spain, that her vast resources should be apparently so
idle, sported with, or cramped? Take the estimates, the budget,
presented by the minister _De ca Hacienda_, for the past year of 1842:--

Revenue 1842,          879,193,400 reals
Id. expenditure,     1,541,639,800  id.
                     -------------
Deficit on the year,   662,446,400

Thus, with a revenue of L.8,791,934, an expenditure of L.15,416,398, and
a deficit of L.6,624,460, the debt of Spain, foreign and domestic, is
almost an unfathomable mystery as to its real amount. Even at this
present moment, it cannot be said to be determined; for that amount
varies with every successive minister who ventures to approach the
question. Multifarious have been the attempts to arrive at a clear
liquidation--that is, classification and ascertainment of claims; but
hitherto with no better success than to find the sum swelling under the
labour, notwithstanding national and church properties confiscated,
appropriated, and exchanged away against _titulos_ of debt by millions.
It is variously estimated at from 120 to 200 millions sterling, but say
150 millions, under the different heads of debt active, passive, and
deferred; debt bearing interest, debt without interest, and debt
exchangeable in part--that is, payable in certain fixed proportions, for
the purchase of national and church properties. For a partial
approximation to relative quantities, we must refer the reader, for want
of better authority, to Fenn's "Compendium of the English and Foreign
Funds"--a work containing much valuable information, although not
altogether drawn from the best sources.

In the revenues of Spain, the customs enter for about 70,000,000 of
reals, say L.700,000 only, including duties on exports as well as
imports. Now, assuming the contraband imports to amount only to the
value of L.6,000,000, a moderate estimate, seeing that some writers, Mr
Henderson among the number, rashly calculate the contraband imports
alone at eight, and even as high as ten, millions sterling, it should
follow that, at an average rate of duty of twenty per cent, the customs
should yield additionally L.1,200,000, or nearly double the amount now
received under that head. As, through the cessation of the civil war, a
considerable portion of the war expenditure will be, and is being
reduced, the additional L.1,200,000 gained, by an equitable adjustment
of the tariff, on imports alone, perhaps we should be justified in
saying one million and a half, or not far short of two millions
sterling, import and export duties combined, would go far to remedy the
desperation of Spanish financial embarrassments--the perfect solution
and clearance of which, however, must be, under the most favourable
circumstances, an affair of many years. It is not readily or speedily
that the prodigalities of Toreno, or the unscrupulous, but more
patriotic financial impostures of Mendizabal, can be retrieved, and the
national faith redeemed. The case is, to appearance, one past relief;
but, with honest and incorruptible ministers of finance like Ramon
Calatrava, hope still lingers in the long perspective. With an
enlightened commercial policy on the one hand, with the retrenchment of
a war expenditure on the other, the balance between receipts and
expenditure may come to be struck, an excess of revenue perhaps created;
whilst the sales of national domains against _titulos_ of debt, if
managed with integrity, should make way towards its gradual diminution.

As there is much misapprehension, and many exaggerations, afloat
respecting the special participation of Great Britain in the contraband
trade of Spain, its extraordinary amount, and the interest assumed
therefrom which would result exclusively from, and therefore induces the
urgency for, an equitable reform of the tariff of Spain, we shall
briefly take occasion to show the real extent of the British share in
that illicit trade, so far as under the principal heads charged; and
having exhibited that part of the case in its true, or approximately
true, light, we shall also prove that it is, as it should be, the
primary interest of this country to regain its due proportion in the
regular trade with Spain, and which can only be regained by legitimate
intercourse, founded on a reciprocal, and therefore identical,
combination of interests. In this strife of facts we shall have to
contend against Señor Marliani, and others of the best and most
steadfast advocates of a more enlightened policy, of sympathies entirely
and patriotically favourable towards a policy which shall cement and
interweave indissolubly the material interests and prosperity of Spain
and Great Britain--of two realms which possess each those products and
peculiar advantages in which the other is wanting, and therefore stand
seized of the special elements required for the successful progress of
each other. Our contest will, however, be one of friendly character, our
differences will be of facts, but not of principles. But we hold it to
be of importance to re-establish facts, as far as possible, in all their
correctness; or rather, to reclaim them from the domain of vague
conjecture and speculation in which they have been involved and lost
sight of. The task will not be without its difficulties; for the
position and precise data are wanting on which to found, with even a
reasonable approximation to mathematical accuracy, a comprehensive
estimate, to resolve into shape the various and complex elements of
Spanish industry and commerce, legitimate and contraband. Statistical
science--for which Spain achieved an honourable renown in the last
century, and may cite with pride her Varela, Musquiz, Gabarrus, Ulloa,
Jovellanos, &c., was little cultivated or encouraged in that decay of
the Spanish monarchy which commenced with the reign of the idiotic
Carlos IV., and his venal minister Godoy, and in the wars and
revolutions which followed the accession, and ended not with the death
of Fernando his son, the late monarch--was almost lost sight of; though
Canga Arguelles, lately deceased only, might compete with the most
erudite economist, here or elsewhere, of his day. Therefore it is, that
few are the statistical documents or returns existing in Spain which
throw any clear light upon the progress of industry, or the extent and
details of her foreign commerce. Latterly, indeed, the Government has
manifested a commendable solicitude to repair this unfortunate defect of
administrative detail, and has commenced with the periodical collection
and verification of returns and information from the various ports,
which may serve as the basis--and indispensable for that end they must
be--on which to reform the errors of the present, or raise the
superstructure of a new, fiscal and commercial system. Notwithstanding,
however, the difficulties we are thus exposed to from the lack or
incompleteness of official data on the side of Spain, we hope to present
a body of useful information illustrative of her commerce, industry, and
policy; in especial, we hope to dispel certain grave misconceptions, to
redress signal exaggeration about the extent of the contraband trade,
rankly as it flourishes, carried on along the coasts, and more largely
still, perhaps, by the land frontiers of that country, at least so far
as British participation. Various have been the attempts to establish
correct conclusions, to arrive at some fixed notions of the precise
quantities of that illicit traffic; but hitherto the results generally
have been far from successful, except in one instance. In a series of
articles on the commerce of Spain, published under the head of "Money
Market and City Intelligence," in the months of December and January
last, the _Morning Herald_ was the first to observe and to apply the
data in existence by which such an enquiry could be carried out, and
which we purpose here to follow out on a larger scale, and with
materials probably more abundant and of more recent date.

The whole subject of Spanish commerce is one of peculiar interest, and,
through the more rigorous regulations recently adopted against
smuggling, is at this moment exciting marked attention in France, which,
it will be found with some surprise, is far the largest smuggler of
prohibited commodities into Spain, although the smallest consumer of
Spanish products in return. It is in no trifling degree owing to the
jealous and exclusive views which unhappily prevail with our nearest
neighbour across the Channel, that the prohibitory tariff, scarcely more
adverse to commercial intercourse than that of France after all, which
robs the revenue of Spain, whilst it covers the country with hosts of
smugglers, has not sooner been revised and reformed. France is not
willing to enter into a confederacy of interests with Spain herself, nor
to permit other nations, on any fair equality of conditions, and with
the abandonment of those unjust pretensions to special privileges in her
own behalf, which, still tenaciously clinging to Bourbonic traditions of
by-gone times, would affect to annihilate the Pyrenees, and regard Spain
as a dependent possession, reserved for the exclusive profit and the
commercial and political aggrandisement of France. That these
exaggerated pretensions are still entertained as an article of national
faith, from the sovereign on his throne to the meanest of his subjects,
we have before us, at this moment of writing, conclusive evidence in the
report of M. Chégaray, read in the Chamber of Deputies on the 11th of
April last, (_vide Moniteur_ of the 12th,) drawn up by a commission, to
whom was referred the consideration of the actual commercial relations
of France with Spain--provoked by various petitions of the merchants of
Bayonne, and other places, complaining of the prejudice resulting to
their commerce and shipping from certain alterations in the Spanish
customs' laws, decreed by the Regent in 1841. We may have occasion
hereafter to make further reference to this report.

The population of Spain may be rated in round numbers at thirteen
millions and a half, whilst that of the United Kingdom may be taken at
about double the number. With a wise policy, therefore, the interchange
should be of an active and most extensive nature betwixt two countries,
reckoning together more than forty millions of inhabitants, one of
which, with a superficial breadth of territory out of all proportion
with a comparatively thinly-scattered community, abounding with raw
products and natural riches of almost spontaneous growth; whilst the
other, as densely peopled, on the contrary, in comparison with its
territorial limits, is stored with all the elements, and surpasses in
all the arts and productions of manufacturing industry. Unlike France,
Great Britain does not rival Spain in wines, oils, fruits, and other
indigenous products of southern skies, and therefore is the more free to
act upon the equitable principle of fair exchange in values for values.
Great Britain has a market among twenty-seven millions of an active and
intelligent people, abounding in wealth and advanced in the tastes of
luxurious living, to offer against one presenting little more than half
the range of possible customers. She has more; she has the markets of
the millions of her West Indies and Americas--of the tens of millions of
British India, amongst whom a desire for the various fruits and
delicious wines of Spain might gradually become diffused for a thousand
of varieties of wines which, through the pressure of restrictive duties,
are little if at all known to European consumption beyond the boundaries
of Spain herself. With such vast fields of commercial intercourse open
on the one side and the other, with the bands of mutual material
interests combining so happily to bind two nations together which can
have no political causes of distrust and estrangement, it is really
marvellous that the direct relations should be of so small account, and
so hampered by jealous adherence to the strict letter of an absurd
legislation, as in consequence to be diverted from their natural course
into other and objectionable channels--as the waters of the river
artificially dammed up will overflow its banks, and, regaining their
level, speed on by other pathways to the ocean. We shall briefly
exemplify the force of these truths by the citation of official figures
representing the actual state of the trade between Spain and the United
Kingdom antecedent to and concluding with the year 1840, which is the
last year for which in detail the returns have yet issued from the Board
of Trade. That term, however, would otherwise be preferentially
selected, because affording facilities for comparison with similar but
partial returns only of foreign commerce made up in Spain to the same
period, little known in this country, and with the French customhouse
returns of the trade of France with Spain. It must be premised that the
tables of the Board of Trade in respect of import trade, as well as of
foreign and colonial re-exports, state quantities only, but not values;
nor do they present any criteria by which values approximately might be
determined. Where, therefore, such values are attempted to be arrived
at, it will be understood that the calculations are our own, and pretend
no more--for no more could be achieved--than a rough estimate of
probable approximation.

Total declared value of British and Irish produce and manufactures
exported to Spain and the Balearic Isles in--

1840, amounted to L.404,252
1835,               405,065
1831,               597,848

From the first to the last year of the decennial term, the regular
trade, therefore, had declined to the extent of above L.193,000, or at
the rate of about 33 per cent. But as for three of the intermediate
years 1837, 1838, and 1839, the exports are returned at L.286,636,
L.243,839, and L.262,231, exclusive of fluctuations downwards in
previous years, it will be more satisfactory to take the averages for
five years each, of the term. Thus from--

1831 to 1835, both inclusive, the average was L.442,916
1836 to 1840,                                   320,007

The average decline in the latter term, was therefore above 27-1/2 per
cent.

Of the Foreign and Colonial merchandise re-exported within the same
period it is difficult to say what proportion was for British account,
and, as such, should therefore be classed under the head of trade with
Spain. It may be assumed, however, that the following were the products
of British colonial possessions, whose exports to Spain are thus stated
in quantities:--

                     1831.       1835.       1840.
Cinnamon,          284,201     123,590     144,291  lbs.
Cloves,             15,831       9,470      23,504  ...
India Cottons,      38,969       3,267      10,067  pieces
India Bandannas,    17,386      11,864      16,049  ...
Indigo,             16,641       5,231       8,623  lbs.
Pepper,            227,305      69,365     194,254  ...

To which may be added--

Tobacco,            64,851   2,252,356   1,729,552  ...

The tobacco, being of United States' growth, may, to a considerable
extent, be bonded here for re-exportation on foreign account merely. The
foregoing, though the heaviest, are not the whole of the foreign and
colonial products re-exported for Spain, but they constitute the great
bulk of value. Taking those of the last year, their value may be
approximatively estimated in round numbers, as calculated upon what may
be assumed a fair average of the rates of the prices current in the
market, as they appear quoted in the London _Mercantile Journal_ of the
4th of April. It is only necessary to take the more weighty articles.

Cinnamon,            144,290  lbs.  at 5s. 6d.  L.39,679
Indigo,                8,620   --   at 6s.         2,586
Pepper,              194,250   --   at     4d.     3,232
Tobacco,           1,729,550   --   at     4d.    28,825
Indian Bandannas,     16,049 pieces at 25s.       20,061

It may, we conceive, be assumed from these citations of some few of the
larger values exported to Spain under the head of "Foreign and Colonial
Merchandise," that the total amount of such values, inclusive of all the
commodities non-enumerated here, would not exceed L.150,000, which,
added to the L.404,252 already stated as the "declared values" of
"British and Irish produce" also exported, would give a total export for
1840 of L.554,250.

We come now to the imports from Spain and the Balearic Isles, direct
also into the United Kingdom, as stated in the Board of Trade tables in
quantities; selecting the chief articles only, however:--

                         1831.      1835.      1840.
Barilla,                61,921     64,175     36,585 cwts.
Lemons and Oranges,     28,266     30,548     30,171 packages.
Madder,                  1,569      3,418      6,174 cwts.
Olive Oil,           1,243,686      1,793  1,305,384 galls.
Quicksilver,           269,558  1,438,869  2,157,823 lbs.
Raisins,               105,066    104,334    166,505 cwts.
Brandy,                 69,319     15,880    223,268 galls.
Wines,               2,537,968  2,641,547  3,945,161 galls.
Wool,                3,474,823  1,602,752  1,266,905 lbs.

Applying the same plan of calculation upon an average of the prices
ruling in the London market, we arrive at the following approximate
results:--

Barilla, 36,585 cwts. at 10s. per cwt.                  L.18,292
Lemons and oranges, 30,170 packages, at 30s. per packet,  45,255
Madder, 6174 cwts. at 30s per cwt.                         9,261
Olive oil, 1,305,384 gallons, at L.45 per 252 gallons    233,100
Quicksilver, 2,157,823 lbs., at 4s. per lb.,             431,564
Raisins, 166,505 cwts., at 40s. per cwt.                 333,000
Brandy, 223,268 gallons, at 2s. 6d. per gallon,           27,900
Wines, 3,945,160, gallons, at L.20 per butt,             730,580
Wool, 1,266,900 lbs., at 2s. per lb.,                    126,690
                                                       ---------
                                                     L.1,965,642

The value of the other articles of import from Spain,
which need not be enumerated here, amongst which
corn, skins, pig-lead, bark for tanning, &c., would
certainly swell this amount more by                      200,000
                                                       ---------
Total direct imports from Spain,                     L.2,165,642

On several of the foregoing commodities the average rates of price on
which they are calculated may be esteemed as moderate, such as wines,
brandies, raisins, &c.; and several are exclusive of duty charge, as
where the averages are estimated at the prices in bond. In other
commodities the average rates are inclusive of duty. Wines, brandies,
quicksilver, barilla, are exclusive of duty, for example; the others,
duty paid, but in some instances duties scarcely more than nominal. On
the other hand, it must be taken into the account, for the purpose of a
fair comparison, that these average estimates of the prices of imported
merchandise do include and are enhanced by the expense of freights and
the profits of the importer, and therefore all the difference must be in
excess of the cost price at which shipped, and by which estimated in
Spain. The "declared values" of British exports to Spain embrace but a
small proportion, perhaps, of these shipping charges, and are altogether
irrespective of duties levied on arrival in Spanish ports. As not only a
fair, but probably an outside allowance, let us, therefore, redress the
balance by striking off 20 per cent from the total estimated values of
imports from Spain to cover shipping charges, profits, and port-dues,
whether included in prices or not. The account will then stand thus:--

Estimated imports from Spain in round numbers        L.2,165,000
Deduct 20 per cent,                                      433,000
                                                     -----------
Value of imports shipped,                            L.1,732,000
Deduct declared value of British exports to Spain,       554,000
                                                     -----------
Excess of Spanish imports direct on equalized
estimates of values,                                 L.1,178,000

The acceptation is so common, it has been so long received as a truism
unquestionable as unquestioned, as well in Spain as in Great Britain, of
British commerce being one-sided, and carrying a large yearly balance
against the Peninsular state, that these figures of relative and
approximate quantities can hardly fail to excite a degree of
astonishment and of doubt also. It will be, as it ought to be, observed
at once, that the trade with Spain direct represents one part of the
question only; that the indirect trade through Gibraltar, and elsewhere,
might, in its results, reverse the picture. The objection is reasonable,
and we proceed to enquire how far it is calculated to affect the
statement.

The total "declared value" of the exports of British and Irish produce,
and manufactures to Gibraltar, for the year 1840, is stated at

                                   £1,111,176
Of which, as more or less destined
for Spain, licitly or illicitly,
cotton manufactures,                  635,821
Linens, &c., &c.,                     224,061
Woollens,                              97,092

It may be asserted as a fact, for, although not on official authority,
yet we have it from respectable parties who have been resident on, and
well conversant with the commerce of that rock, that, of the cotton
goods thus imported into Gibraltar, the exports to Ceuta and the
opposite coast of Africa amount, on the average, to L.70,000 per annum.
Of linens and woollens a considerable proportion find their way there
also, and to Italian ports. Of British and colonial merchandise exported
to Gibraltar in the same year, the following may be considered to be
mainly, or to some extent, designed for introduction into Spain:--

Cinnamon value, 77,352 lbs., say value   L.21,000
Indigo 26,000 lbs., say                     7,800
Tobacco 610,000 lbs., say                  10,166

Some cotton piece-goods from India, and silk goods, such as bandannas,
&c., pepper, cloves, &c., &c., were also exported there; say, inclusive
of the quantities enumerated above, to the total value of L.100,000 of
commodities, of which a considerable proportion was destined for Spain.
Assuming the whole of the cotton goods to be for introduction into
Spain, minus the quantity dispatched to the African coast, we have in
round numbers the value of

                             L.565,800
Say of linens one-third,        74,660
Of woollens, ib.,               32,360
Of cinnamon, India goods,
and other articles, in
value L.90,000, minus
tobacco, one-half,              45,000
                               -------
                             L.717,820
Tobacco,  the whole,            10,166
                            ----------
  Total indirect exports       727,986
  To which add direct          554,000
                             ---------
                           L.1,281,986

Again, however, various products of Spain are also imported into the
United Kingdom _via_ Gibraltar, such as--

Bark for tanning or dyeing, 5,724 tons, say value,  L.51,500
Wool, 292,730 lbs. ib.,                               29,270

It may be fairly assumed, therefore, that to the extent of L.100,000 of
Spanish products, consisting, besides the foregoing, of wines, skins,
pig-lead, &c., &c., is brought here through Gibraltar, which, added to
the amount of the imports from Spain direct, will sum up the account
thus:--

Imports from Spain direct, L.1,732,000
_Via_ Gibraltar,               100,000
                           -----------
               Total,      L.1,832,000

Exports to Spain
  direct,        L.554,000
_Via_ Gibraltar,   727,900
                ---------
                           L.1,281,900
                           -----------
Excess in favour of Spain,
  and against England,       L.550,100

--A sum nearly equal to the amount of the exports to Spain direct. As we
remarked before, these figures and valuations, which are sufficiently
approximative of accuracy for any useful purpose, will take public men
and economists, both here and in Spain, by surprise. Amongst other of
the more distinguished men of the Peninsula, Señor Marliani, enlightened
statesman, and well studied in the facts of detail and the philosophy of
commercial legislation as he undoubtedly is, does not appear to have
exactly suspected the existence of evidence leading to such results.

From the incompleteness of the Spanish returns of foreign trade, it is
unfortunately not possible to test the complete accuracy of those given
here by collation. The returns before us, and they are the only ones yet
undertaken in Spain, and in order, embrace in detail nine only of the
principal ports:--

For Cadiz, Malaga, Carthagena, St
  Sebastian, Bilboa, Santander,
  Gijon, Corunna, and the Balearic
  Isles, the total imports and exports
  united are stated to have amounted,
  in 1840, to about          L.6,147,280

Employing 5782 vessels
  of the aggregate tonnage
  of     584,287

Of the foreign trade of other ports
  and provinces no returns are made
  out. All known of the important
  seaport of Barcelona was, that its
  foreign trade in the same year occupied
  1,645 vessels of 173,790
  tonnage. The special aggregate
  exports from the nine ports cited to
  the United Kingdom--the separate
  commodities composing which, as
  of imports, are given with exactness
  of detail--are stated for 1840
  in value at               L.1,476,000

To which add, of raisins
  alone, from Valencia,
  about 184,000 cwts,
  (other exports not given,)
  value                        185,000

Exports from Almeria,           13,000
                             ---------
                           L.1,674,000

Although these are the principal ports of Spain, yet they are not the
only ports open to foreign trade, although, comparatively, the
proportion of foreign traffic shared by the others would be much less
considerable. It is remarkable, under the circumstances, how closely
these Spanish returns of exports to Great Britain approach to our own
valuations of the total imports from Spain direct, as calculated from
market prices upon the quantities alone rendered in the tables of the
Board of Trade.

Our valuation of the direct imports
  from Spain being       L.1,732,000
The Spanish valuation,     1,674,000

The public writers and statesmen of Spain have long held, and still
maintain the opinion, that the illicit introduction into that country of
British manufactures whose legal import is prohibited, or greatly
restricted by heavy duties, is carried on upon a much more extensive
scale than what is, or can be, the case. In respect of cotton goods, the
fact is particularly insisted upon. It may be confidently asserted, for
it is susceptible of proof, that much exaggeration is abroad on the
subject. We shall bring some evidence upon the point. There can be no
question that, so far as British agency is directly concerned, or
British interest involved, in the contraband introduction of cottons, or
other manufactures, or tobacco, it is almost exclusively represented by
the trade with Gibraltar. We are satisfied, moreover, that the Spanish
consumption of cotton goods is overrated, as well as the amount of the
clandestine traffic. Señor Marliani an authority generally worthy of
great respect, errs on this head with many others of his countrymen. In
a late work, entitled _De la Influencia del Sistema prohibitiva en la
Agricultura, Commercio, y rentas Publicas_, he comes to the following
calculation:--

Imported direct to Spain, L.34,687
To Gibraltar,              608,581
To Portugal, £731,673, of
which three-fourths find
their way to Spain,        540,000
                         ---------
        Total,         L.1,183,268

Again, Great Britain imports annually into Italy to the amount of
£2,005,785 in cotton goods, £500,000 worth of which, it is not too much
to assume, go into Spain through the ports of Leghorn and Genoa. Adding
together, then, these several items of cotton goods introduced from
France and England into Spain by contraband, we arrive at the following
startling result:--

FRANCE.

Cotton goods imported into
  Spain, according to the
  Government returns,    L.1,331,608

ENGLAND.

Cotton goods through Spanish ports,     34,637
Through Gibraltar,                     608,581
Through Portugal,                      540,000
Through Leghorn, Genoa, &c. &c.        500,000
                                    ----------
Total,                             L.3,014,826

An extravagant writer, of the name of Pebrer, carried the estimate up to
£5,850,000. Señor Inclan, more moderate, still valued the import and
consumption at £2,720,000. A "Cadiz merchant," with another anonymous
writer of practical authority, calculated the amount, with more
sagacity, at £2,000,000 and £2,110,000 respectively. Señor Marliani is,
moreover, of opinion--considering the weight of tobacco, from six to
eight millions of pounds, assumed to be imported into Gibraltar for
illicit entrance into Spain, on the authority of Mr Porter, but the
words and work not expressly quoted; the tobacco, dressed skins, corn,
flour, &c. from France, with the illegal import of cottons--that the
whole contraband trade carried on in Spain cannot amount to less than
the enormous mass of one thousand millions of reals, or say _ten
millions_ sterling a-year. Conceding to the full the millions of pounds
of tobacco here registered as smuggled from Gibraltar, of which,
notwithstanding, we cannot stumble upon the official trace for half the
quantity, we must, after due reflection, withhold our assent wholly to
this very wide, if not wild, assumption of our Spanish friend. We are
inclined, on no slight grounds, to come to the conclusion, that the
amount of contraband trade really carried on is here surcharged by not
far short of one-half; that it cannot in any case exceed six millions
sterling--certainly still a bulk of illegitimate values sufficiently
monstrous, and almost incredible. We shall proceed to deal conclusively,
however, with that special branch of the traffic for which the materials
are most accessible and irrecusable, and the verification of truth
therefore scarcely left to the chances of speculation.

First, for the rectification for exact, or official, quantities and
values, we give the returns of the total exports of cotton manufactures,
taken from the tables of the Board of Trade:--

1840. Cotton manufactures,                      L.17,567,310
      Yarns,                                       7,101,308

And for 1840 here are the exports to the countries specified:--

                                                     Declared Value.
1840. Cottons to Portugal,               yards 37,002,209  L.681,787
      Hosiery, lace, small wares,                  --         20,403
      Yarn,                                lbs.   175,545      2,796
 Id.  Cottons to Spain,                  yards    355,040      7,987
      Hosiery, &c.                                 --          2,819
      Yarn,                                lbs.    --            345
 Id.  Cottons to Gibraltar,              yards 27,609,345    610,456
      Hosiery, &c.                                 --         21,996
      Yarn,                                lbs.    --          3,369
 Id.  Cottons to Italy and Italian Islands,yds.58,866,278  1,119,135
      Hosiery, &c.                                 --         41,197
      Yarn,                                lbs.11,490,034    510,040
                                                         -----------
                          Total,                         L.3,022,430

The discrepancies between some of the figures in these returns and those
cited by Señor Marliani, arise probably from their respective reference
to different years; they are, however, unimportant. We have already
shown, that, deducting the re-exports of cottons to Ceuta and the coast
of Africa opposite to Gibraltar, the value of those destined for Spain,
by way of the Rock; in 1840, could not exceed

                                                               L.565,800
We shall assume that _one-fourth_ only of the cottons exported
 to Portugal find their way fraudulently into Spain--say         176,290
Say re-exports of cottons from Genoa to Gibraltar, assumed to
 be for Spain, as per official return of that port for 1839,      31,400
Cotton goods direct to Spain from the United Kingdom,             11,150
                                                               ---------
Total value of British cottons which could find their way into
  Spain, direct and indirect, in 1840,                         L.784,640
                                                              ----------
Instead of the amount exaggerated of Señor Marliani,         L.1,663,268
Or the large excess in estimation, of                            898,628

We have the official returns of the whole imports of cotton
manufactures, with the exports, of the Sardinian States for 1840, now
lying before us.

The imports were to the value of only  L.443,360
Of which from the United Kingdom         242,680
Exported, or re-exported,                458,680

The _whole_ of which to Tuscany, the Two Sicilies, the Roman States,
Parma and Placentia, the Isle of Sardinia, and Austria. It will be
observed that there had been a great falling off in the trade with the
Sardinian States in 1840, as compared with 1838 and 1839; and here, for
greater convenience, we make free to extract the following remarks and
returns from our esteemed contemporary of the _Morning Herald_, with
some slight corrections of our own, when appropriately correcting
certain misrepresentations of Mr Henderson, similar to those of Señor
Marliani, respecting the assumed clandestine ingress of British cotton
goods into Spain from the Italian states:--

"Now the official customhouse returns of most of the Italian states are
lying before us--the returns of the Governments themselves--but
unfortunately none of them come down later than 1839, so that it is
impossible, however desirable, to carry out fully the comparison for
1840. Not that it is of any signification for more than uniformity,
because, on referring to years antecedent to 1839, the relation between
imports of cottons and re-exports, with the places from which imported
and to which re-exports took place, is not sensibly disturbed. The
returns for the whole of Sardinia are not possessed later than 1838, but
those for Genoa, its chief port, are for 1839, and nearly the whole
imports into Sardinia, as well as exports, are effected at Genoa. Thus
of the total imports of cotton goods into Sardinia in 1838, to the value
of about L.843,000, the amount into Genoa alone was L.823,000. That year
was one of excessive imports and 1839 one of equal depression, but this
can only bear upon the facts of the case so far as proportionate
quantities.

In 1839, total imports of cottons
  into Genoa--value                L.494,000
Of which from England                313,680
Total re-exports                     475,000
Of which to Tuscany   L.131,760
Naples and Sicily       110,800
Austria                  61,080
Parma and Placentia      40,840
Sardinia Island          28,320
Switzerland              22,240
Roman States             14,880
GIBRALTAR                             31,440

The total value of cottons introduced into the Roman states is stated
for 1839 at L.108,640, of which the whole imported from France,
Sardinia, and Tuscany--

1839.  Total imports of cotton and
         hempen manufactures classed
         together into Tuscany
         (Leghorn)         L.440,000
       Of woollens           117,200

"The total imports of woollen, cotton, and hempen goods together, in the
same year, were to the amount of L.155,000.

"Of the imports and exports of Naples, unfortunately, no accounts are
possessed; but the imports of cottons into the island of Sicily for 1839
were only to the extent of L.26,000, of which to the value of L.8,000
only from England. In 1838 the total imports of cottons were for
L.170,720, but no re-exportation from the island. The whole of the
inconsiderable exports of cottons from Malta are made to Turkey, Greece,
the Barbary States, Egypt, and the Ionian Isles, according to the
returns of 1839."

From these facts and figures, derived from official documents, of the
existence of which it is probable Señor Marliani was not aware, it will
be observed at once how extremely light and fallacious are the grounds
on which he jumps to conclusions. What more preposterous than the vague
assumption founded on data little better then guess-work, that
_one-fourth_ of the whole exports of British cottons to Italy and the
Italian islands, say L.500,000 out of L.2,000,000, go to Spain, when, in
point of fact, not one-tenth of the amount does, or can find its way
there--or could, under any conceivable circumstances short of an
absolute famine crop of fabrics in France and England. Neither prices
nor commercial profits could support the extra charges of a longer
voyage out, landing charges, transhipment and return voyage to the
coasts of Spain. It has been shown that in the year 1840, not the
shipment of a single yard of cottons took place from Genoa, the only
port admitting of the probability of such an operation.

Not less preposterous is the allegation, that three-fourths of the whole
exports of British cottons to Portugal are destined for, and introduced
into Spain by contraband. Assuming that Spain, with thirteen and a half
millions of people, consumes, in the whole, cotton goods to the value of

                                            L.2,200,000
Why should not Portugal, with more than
three and a half millions of inhabitants,
that is more than one-fourth the population
of Spain, consume also more than one-fourth
the value of cotton goods, or say only          550,000?

Brazil, a _ci-devant_ colony of
Portugal, and with a Portuguese population,
as may be said, of 5,400,000, consumed
British cotton fabrics to the value, in
1840, of                                      1,525,000

So, also, why should not Italy and the
Italian islands, with twenty-two millions
of people, be able to consume as much
cotton values as Spain with 13-1/2 millions;
or say only the whole amount really exported
there from this country of                    2,005,000?

It is necessary for the interests of truth, for the interests also of
both countries, that the popular mind, the mind of the public men of
Spain also, should be disabused in respect of two important errors. The
first is, that an enormous balance of trade against Spain, that is, of
British exports, licit and illicit too, compared with imports from
Spain--results annually in favour of this country, from the present
state of our commercial exchanges with her. The second is, the greatly
exaggerated notion of the transcendant amount of the illicit trade
carried on with Spain in British commodities, cottons more especially.
In correction of the latter misconception, we have shown that the amount
of British cotton introduced by contraband cannot exceed, _nor equal_,

                                             L.780,640
Instead, as asserted by Señor Marliani, of   1,683,268

And, in correction of the first error
relative to the balance of trade, we have
established the feet by calculations of
approximate fidelity--for exactitude is out
of the question and unattainable with the
materials to be worked up--that an excess
of values, that is, of exports, results to
Spain upon such balance as against imports,
licit and illicit, to the extent per annum
of                                             550,000

It is therefore Great Britain, and not Spain, which is entitled to
demand that this adverse balance be redressed, and which would stand
justified in retaliating the restrictions and prohibitions on Spanish
products, with which, so unjustly, Spain now visits those of Great
Britain. Far from us be the advocacy of a policy so harsh--we will add,
so unwise; but at least let our disinterested friendship and moderation
be appreciated, and provoke, in reason meet, their appropriate
consideration.

The more formidable, because far more extensive and facile abuses,
arising out of the unparalleled contraband traffic of which Spain is,
and long has been, the theatre, and the attempted repression of which
requires the constant employment of entire armies of regular troops, are
elsewhere to be found in action and guarded against; they concern a
neighbour nearer than Great Britain. According to an official report
made to his Government by Don Mateo Durou, the active and intelligent
consul for Spain at Bordeaux, and the materials for which were extracted
from the customhouse returns of France, the trade betwixt France and
Spain is thus stated, but necessarily abridged:--

                                               Francs.
1840.--Total exports from France into Spain, 104,679,141
1840.--Total imports into France from Spain,  42,684,761
                                             -----------
Deficit against Spain,                        61,994,380

France, therefore, exported nearly two and a half times as much as she
imported from Spain; a result greatly the reverse of that established in
the trade of Spain with Great Britain. In these exports from France,
cotton manufactures figure for a total of

                              34,251,068 fr.
Or, in sterling,             L.1,427,000
Of which smuggled in by the
land or Pyrennean frontier,   32,537,992 fr.
By sea, only                   1,713,076 ...
Linen yarns, entered for      15,534,391 ...
Silks, for                     8,953,423 ...
Woollens, for                  8,919,760 ...

Among these imports from France, various other prohibited articles are
enumerated besides cottons. As here exhibited, the illicit introduction
of cotton goods from France into Spain is almost double in amount that
of British cottons. The fact may be accounted for from the closer
proximity of France, the superior facilities and economy of land
transit, the establishment of stores of goods in Bayonne, Bordeaux, &c.,
from which the Spanish dealers may be supplied in any quantity and
assortment to order, however small; whilst from Great Britain heavy
cargoes only can be dispatched, and from Gibraltar quantities in bulk
could alone repay the greater risk of the smuggler by sea.

Señor Durou adds the following brief reflections upon this _exposé_ of
the French contraband trade. "Let the manufactures of Catalonia be
protected; but there is no need to make all Spain tributary to one
province, when it cannot satisfy the necessities of the others, neither
in the quantity, the quality, nor the cost of its fabrics. What would
result from a protecting duty? Why, that contraband trade would be
stopped, and the premiums paid by the assurance companies established
in Bayonne, Oleron, and Perpignan, would enter into the Exchequer of
the State."

The active measures decreed by the Spanish Government in July and
October 1841, supported by cordons of troops at the foot of the
Pyrenees, have, indeed, very materially interfered with and checked the
progress of this contraband trade. In consequence of ancient compact,
the Basque, that is frontier provinces of Spain, enjoyed, among other
exclusive privileges, that of being exempt from Government customhouses,
or customs' regulations. For this privilege, a certain inconsiderable
subsidy was periodically voted for the service of the State. Regent
Espartero resolutely suspended first, and then abrogated, this branch of
the _fueros_. He carried the line of the customhouses from the Ebro,
where they were comparatively useless and scarcely possible to guard, to
the very foot and passes of the Pyrenees. The advantageous effect of
these vigorous proceedings was not long to wait for, and it may be found
developed in the Report to the Chamber of Deputies in Paris, before
referred to; in which M. Chégaray, the _rapporteur_ on the part of the
complaining petitioners of Bayonne, Bordeaux, &c., after stating that
the general exports of France to Spain in

1839 represented the aggregate sum of  83,000,000 francs,
1840           "             "        104,000,000 francs,
1841           "             "        101,000,000 francs,

proceeds to say, that the general returns for 1842 were not yet (April
11) made up, but that "_M. le directeur-général des douanes nous a
declaré que la diminution avait été enorme_." But although the general
returns could not be given, those specially referring to the single
customhouse of Bayonne had been obtained, and they amply confirmed the
assertion of the enormous diminution. The export of cottons, woollens,
silks, and linens, from that port to Spain, which in

1840 amounted in value to 15,800,000 francs,
1841                 also 15,800,000 francs,
1842    had fallen to     5,700,000 francs.

A fall, really tremendous, of nearly two-thirds.

M. Chégaray, unfortunately, can find no other grievance to complain of
but the too strict enforcement of the Spanish custom laws, by which
French and Spanish contrabandists are harassed and damaged--can suggest
no other remedy than the renewal of the "family compact" of the
Bourbons--no hopes for the revival of smuggling prosperity from the
perpetuation of the French reciprocity system of trade all on one side,
but in the restoration of the commercial privileges so long enjoyed
exclusively by French subjects and shipping, but now broken or breaking
down under the hammering blows of Espartero--nor discover any prospect
of relief until the Spanish customhouse lines are transferred to their
old quarters on the other side of the Ebro, and the _fueros_ of the
Biscaiano provinces, which, by ancient treaty, he claims to be under the
guarantee of France, re-established in all their pristine plenitude.

It is surely time for the intelligence, if not the good sense, of France
to do justice by these day-dreams. The tutelage of Spain has escaped
from the Bourbons of Paris, and the ward of full majority will not be
allowed, cannot be, if willing, to return or remain under the trammels
of an interested guardian, with family pretensions to the property in
default of heirs direct. France, above all countries, has the least
right to remonstrate against the reign of prohibitions and restrictions,
being herself the classic land of both. Let her commence rather the work
of reform at home, and render tardy justice to Spain, which she has
drained so long, and redress to Great Britain, against whose more
friendly commercial code she is constantly warring by differential
preferences of duties in favour of the same commodities produced in
other countries, which consume less of what she abounds in, and have
less the means of consumption. Beyond all, let her cordially join this
country in urging upon the Spanish Government, known to be nowise averse
to the urgency of a wise revision and an enlightened modification of the
obsolete principles of an absurd and impracticable policy both fiscal
and commercial--a policy which beggars the treasury, whilst utterly
failing to protect native industry, and demoralizes at the same time
that it impoverishes the people. We are not of the number of those who
would abandon the assertion of a principle _quoad_ another country, the
wisdom and expediency of which we have advocated, and are still prepared
to advocate, in its regulated application to our own, from the sordid
motive of benefiting British manufactures to the ruin of those of Spain.
Rather, we say to the government of Spain, let a fair protection be the
rule, restrictions the exceptions, prohibition the obsolete outcast, of
your fiscal and commercial policy. We import into this country, the
chief and most valuable products of Spain, those which compose the
elements and a very considerable proportion of her wealth and industry,
are either untaxed, or taxed little more than nominally. We may still
afford, with proper encouragement and return in kind, to abate duties on
such Spanish products as are taxed chiefly because coming into
competition with those of our own colonial possessions, and on those
highly taxed as luxuries, for revenue; and this we can do, and are
prepared to do, although Spain is so enormously indebted to us already
on the balance of commercial exchanges.

This revision of her fiscal system, and reconstruction, on fair and
reciprocal conditions, of her commercial code, are questions of far
deeper import--and they are of vital import--to Spain than to this
empire. Look at the following statement of her gigantic debt, upon
which, beyond some three or four hundred thousand pounds annually, for
the present, on the capitalized _coupons_ of over-due interest accruing
on the conversion and consolidation operation of 1834, the Toreno
abomination, not one _sueldo_ of interest is now paying, has been paid
for years, or can be paid for years to come, and then only as industry
furnishes the means by extended trade, and more abundant customhouse
revenues, resulting from an improved tariff.

_Statement of the Spanish Debt at commencement of 1842_:--

Internal--Liquidated, that
          is verified,        L.50,130,565  Without interest.
        Not liquidated           9,364,228  with 5 per cent in paper.
        Not consolidated,        2,609,832
        Bearing 5 per cent,     15,242,593  Interest,     L.762,128
          Do. 3 do.              5,842,632     --           233,705
                               -----------              -----------
                              L.83,189,850                L.995,833
                               -----------              -----------

External  Loan of 1834, and the conversion
            of old debt,      L.33,985,939  5 per cent, L.1,699,296
        Balance of inscription to the public
          treasury of France,    2,782,681     --           160,000
        Inscriptions in payment of
          English claims,          600,000     --            30,000
        Ditto for American claims, 120,000     --             6,000
                               -----------              -----------
                              L.37,488,620              L.1,895,296

        Capitalized _coupons_, treasury
          bonds, &c., amount not stated,
          but some millions more           3 per cent,
        Deferred,                5,944,584
        Ditto,                   4,444,040  Calculated at 100 reals
        Passive,                10,542,582     per L. sterling.
                               -----------
                                20,931,206
                               -----------
Grand total, exclusive of
            capitalization   L.141,669,676

The latest account of Spanish finance, that for 1842 before referred to,
exhibits an almost equally hopeless prospect of annual deficit, as
between revenue and expenditure; 1st, the actual receipts of revenue
being stated at

                   879,193,475 reals
The expenditure, 1,541,639,879
                 -------------
Deficit,           662,446,404

That is, with a revenue sterling of L.8,791,934
A deficiency besides uncovered, of    6,624,464

Assuming the amount of the contraband traffic in Spain at six millions
sterling per annum, instead of the ten millions estimated, we think most
erroneously, by Señor Marliani, the result of an average duty on the
amount of 25 per cent, would produce to the treasury L.1,500,000 per
annum; and more in proportion as the traffic, when legitimated, should
naturally extend, as the trade would be sure to extend, between two
countries like Great Britain and Spain, alone capable of exchanging
millions with each other for every million now operated. The L.1,500,000
thus gained would almost suffice to meet the annual interest on the
L.34,000,000 loan conversion of 1834, still singularly classed in stock
exchange parlance as "active stock." As for the remaining mass of
domestic and foreign debt, there can be no hope for its gradual
extinction but by the sale of national domains, in payment for which the
titles of debt of all classes may be, as some now are, receivable in
payment. As upwards of two thousand millions of reals of debt are said
to be thus already extinguished, and the national domains yet remaining
for disposal are valued at nearly the same sum, say L.20,000,000, it is
clear that the final extinction of the debt is a hopeless prospect,
although a very large reduction might be accomplished by that enhanced
value of these domains which can only flow from increase of population
and the rapid progression of industrial prosperity.

All Spain, excepting the confining provinces in the side of France, and
especially the provinces where are the great commercial ports, such as
Cadiz, Malaga,[27] Corunna, &c., have laid before the Cortes and
Government the most energetic memorials and remonstrances against the
prohibition system of tariffs in force, and ask why they, who, in favour
of their own industry and products, never asked for prohibitions, are to
be sacrificed to Catalonia and Biscay? The Spanish Government and the
most distinguished public men are well known to be favourable, to be
anxiously meditating, an enlightened change of system, and negotiations
are progressing prosperously, or would progress, but for France. When
will France learn to imitate the generous policy which announced to her
on the conclusion of peace with China--We have stipulated no conditions
for ourselves from which we desire to exclude you or other nations?

    [27] See _Exposicion de que dirige á las Cortes et Ayuntamiento
    Constitucional de Malaga_, from which the following are
    extracts:--"El ayuntamiento no puede menos de indicar, que
    entre los infinitos renglones fabriles aclimatados ya en
    Espana, las sedas de Valencia, los panos de muchas provincias,
    los hilados de Galicia, las blondas de Cataluna, las bayetas de
    Antequera, los hierros de Vizcaya y los elaborados por
    maquinaria en las ferrerías á un lado y otro de esta ciudad,
    han adelantado, prosperan y compiten con los efectos
    extranjeros mas acreditados. ¿Y han solicitado acaso una
    prohibicion? Nó jamas: un derecho protector, sí; á su sombra se
    criaron, con la competencia se formaron y llegaron á su
    robustez.... Ingleterra figura en la exportacion por el mayor
    valor sin admitir comparacion alguna. Su gobierno piensa en
    reducir muy considerablemente todos los renglones de su
    arancil; pero se ha espresado con reserva para negar ó
    conceder, si lo estima conveniente, esta reduccion á las
    naciones que no correspondan á los beneficios que les ofrece;
    ninguno puede esperar que le favorezcan sin compensacion."

We could have desired, for the pleasure and profit of the public, to
extend our notice of, and extracts from, the excellent work of Señor
Marliani, so often referred to, but our limits forbid. To show, however,
the state and progress of the cotton manufacture in Catalonia, how
little it gains by prohibitions, and how much it is prejudiced by the
contraband trade, we beg attention to the following extract:--

    "Since the year 1769, when the cotton manufacture commenced in
    Catalonia, the trade enjoyed a complete monopoly, not only in
    Spain, but also in her colonies. To this protection were added
    the fostering and united efforts of private individuals. In
    1780, a society for the encouragement of the cotton manufacture
    was established in Barcelona. Well, what has been the result?
    Let us take the unerring test of figures for our guide. Let us
    take the medium importation of raw cotton from 1834 to 1840
    inclusive, (although the latter year presents an inadmissible
    augmentation,) and we shall have an average amount of 9,909,261
    lbs. of raw cotton. This quantity is little more than half that
    imported by the English in the year 1784. The sixteen millions
    of pounds imported that year by the English are less than the
    third part imported by the same nation in 1790, which amounted
    in all to thirty-one millions; it is only the sixth part of
    that imported in 1800, when it rose to 56,010,732 lbs.; it is
    less than the seventh part of the British importations in 1810,
    which amounted to seventy-two millions of pounds; it is less
    than the fifteenth part of the cotton imported into the same
    country in 1820, when the sum amounted to 150,672,655 pounds;
    it is the twenty-sixth part of the British importation in 1830,
    which was that year 263,961,452 lbs.; and lastly, the present
    annual importation into Catalonia is about the sixty-sixth part
    of that into Great Britain for the year 1840, when the latter
    amounted to 592,965,504 lbs. of raw cotton. Though the
    comparative difference of progress is not so great with France,
    still it shows the slow progress of the Catalonian manufactures
    in a striking degree. The quantity now imported of raw cotton
    into Spain is about the half of that imported into France from
    1803 to 1807; a fourth part compared with French importations
    of that material from 1807 to 1820; seventh-and-a-half with
    respect to those of 1830; and a twenty-seventh part of the
    quantity introduced into France in 1840."

And we conclude with the following example, one among several which
Señor Marliani gives, of the daring and open manner in which the
operations of the _contrabandistas_ are conducted, and of the scandalous
participation of authorities and people--incontestable evidences of a
wide-spread depravation of moral sentiments.

    "Don Juan Prim, inspector of preventive service, gave
    information to the Government and revenue board in Madrid, on
    the 22d of November 1841, that having attempted to make a
    seizure of contraband goods in the town of Estepona, in the
    province of Malaga, where he was aware a large quantity of
    smuggled goods existed, he entered the town with a force of
    carabineers and troops of the line. On entering, he ordered the
    suspected depôt of goods to be surrounded, and gave notice to
    the second alcalde of the town to attend to assist him in the
    search. In some time the second alcalde presented himself, and
    at the instance of M. Prim dispersed some groups of the
    inhabitants who had assumed a hostile attitude. In a few
    minutes after, and just as some shots were fired, the first
    alcalde of the town appeared, and stated that the whole
    population was in a state of complete excitement, and that he
    could not answer for the consequences; whereupon he resigned
    his authority. While this was passing, about 200 men, well
    armed, took up a position upon a neighbouring eminence, and
    assumed a hostile attitude. At the same time a carabineer,
    severely wounded from the discharge of a blunderbuss, was
    brought up, so that there was nothing left for M. Prim but to
    withdraw his force immediately out of the town, leaving the
    smugglers and their goods to themselves, since neither the
    alcaldes nor national guards of the town, though demanded in
    the name of the law, the regent, and the nation, would aid M.
    Prim's force against them!"

All that consummate statesmanship can do, will be done, doubtless, by
the present Government of Great Britain, to carry out and complete the
economical system on which they have so courageously thrown themselves
_en avant_, by the negotiation and completion of commercial treaties on
every side, and by the consequent mitigation or extinction of hostile
tariffs. Without this indispensable complement of their own tariff
reform, and low prices consequent, he must be a bold man who can reflect
upon the consequences without dismay. Those consequences can benefit no
one class, and must involve in ruin every class in the country,
excepting the manufacturing mammons of the Anti-corn-law league, who,
Saturn-like, devour their own kindred, and salute every fall of prices
as an apology for grinding down wages and raising profits. It may be
well, too, for sanguine young statesmen like Mr Gladstone to turn to the
DEBT, and cast about how interest is to be forthcoming with falling
prices, falling rents, falling profits, (the exception above apart,)
excise in a rapid state of decay, and customs' revenue a blank!

       *       *       *       *       *

_Edinburgh; Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes Paul's Work._





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